“I realized many years ago that I was an absolute genius at manifestation . . . with one big problem. My problem was that my genius was hitched to my unconscious programming instead of what I consciously wanted to create.” Gay Hendricks, “Attracting Genuine Abundance,” DailyOm
I grew up in one of those families from hell. Alcoholic, abusive father, detached, depressive mother, a military family so we were constantly moving and never growing roots.
And, as Melody Beattie said in, “Codependent No More,” one of the real curses of that is that you accept the insanity you’re living in as, “normal.” Being beaten, screaming fights, drunks passed out on the floor – it’s all perfectly normal in YOUR household. Doesn’t everyone live like that? Hell, you’re just a kid, how are you supposed to know the difference?
Someone once said that your parents always know how to push your buttons because they installed the control panel. There’s a lot of truth in that – on a primal, cellular level no one knows you better than your parents. And, in addition to installing the control panel, they also installed the programming.
If you were raised in a less than benign household that programming can be pretty awful. You probably grew up hearing things like:
“You’re a very, very bad girl.”
“Why did you do something so stupid?”
“I don’t like hitting you but you don’t leave me any choice.”
And your poor little subconscious, your subconscious that was too young and too trusting and too inexperienced to know any better just soaked that shit up and believed it, the same way that you believed that drunken, crazy parents were normal. And – voila! – you end up as an adult who believes that he’s very, very bad, stupid, and deserves to be abused. After all, your parents told you so, didn’t they?
I was talking with a therapist about all of that subconscious, self-defeating programming and I asked if affirmations and visualizations were a way to sort of short circuit it. She looked very thoughtful for a minute and said, “No, I think of them more as a way of writing your own story. Who do YOU want to be in your story? How do YOU want to live and feel in your story?”
That’s a wonderful distinction that we miss too often. Affirmations and visualizations aren’t just ways of overcoming negative beliefs that we absorbed in the past. They’re also ways of consciously creating what we want our futures to look and feel like.
A great deal of The High Priestess is about the deep mind, the subconscious and unconscious part of our minds that holds both our creativity and our self-defeating beliefs. Too often it’s like a one way door. Magic, symbols, dreams emerge from the Right, feminine, side of the brain, but we don’t consciously interact with it, we don’t, “input,” data, we just passively receive content.
When we dream or meditate that realm of magic that resides in the Right Brain flows into our lives. When we visualize or do affirmations, we’re talking directly to the Right Brain. We’re dropping what we want our lives to be, what we want our stories to be, into our subconscious and then it performs the magic and makes it real.
In my original definition of The High Priestess, I wrote this about what happens when the card is reversed, when we’re ignoring that interactive process with our subconscious:
The creative, intuitive, feminine right side of the brain is being overpowered and held hostage by the logical, sequential, male left side of the brain. Intuition and creativity are being ignored in favor of so-called rational thinking. There is a need here to reconnect with your primal self. Take the time for meditating, long hot baths, dancing, art. Get back in touch with your creative energy.
We need to take the time to visualize, to affirm what we want in our lives, to have a nice, quiet talk with the High Priestess. We need to take the time to write our own story or someone else will write it for us.
“Just the Tarot,” by Dan Adair, a book of basic Tarot definitions available on Amazon.com.