XII: Sacrifice

This morning as I sat on my older daughter’s bed, waiting for my younger daughter to slowly wake up, I laid out the Goddess Tarot deck that was sitting on their bedside table and pulled a card of the day. It was XII Sacrifice: Kuan Yin.

Pocket Goddess Tarot
U.S. Games Systems

I had just a few minutes before been chatting with my husband about the kids’ upcoming vacation with their grandparents, so that was on my mind. And the card (traditionally called the “Hanged Man”) featured a particularly poignant image, as Kuan Yin floats through the sky holding a child. Letting my kids go for such a long vacation time does feel like a sacrifice. But the sky in this picture speaks to me. Kuan Yin is carrying a child away from the moonlit night and into the beautiful pastel glow of a sunny day. I’ve been talking a lot lately (to both my husband and to my children) about anticipation being worse than reality. The unknown (the moon, the dark sky) can be scary and cause feelings of apprehension. But the sunlit sky shows that everything is going to be okay. Yes, this is a sacrifice of sorts, but there is so much joy to be had, too. The sacrifice is not in vain, and it’s only temporary. What new insights will I uncover by letting go? This has been a theme for me lately: relinquishing control, going with the flow. And Kuan Yin encourages me to let go, as well, and to remember that there is a lot of good in this arrangement, and if I am willing to shift my focus from the moon to the sun, I’ll find healing comfort there. As I examined the card I noticed that the inner border is filled with pink water lilies, which is a flower associated with Kuan Yin. Just yesterday I attended my younger daughter’s 2nd grade graduation, and she gave me a late Mother’s Day gift after the ceremony: a pink water lily that she had made out of clay in art class! These synchronicities are like gentle nudges from the universe. Water lilies symbolize death and rebirth, transition and transformation. In the context of the Hanged Man, it suggests the need to retire one perspective so that a new paradigm can be born. If I release my hold on one way of thinking, or at least open myself to the Great Mystery (death/night), I allow space for new wisdom to blossom (rebirth/day).