LEO is dedicated to bringing you engaging, fun, and unique content that crosses many spectrums. From our sister paper in Tampa, Creative Loafing, we’re happy to share the Oracle of Ybor, written by Caroline DeBruhl. Here you may submit your questions about life, and the tarot will help to guide your answers.
Got a question for the Oracle? Write to either Oracle@cltampa.com or DM the Oracle on Instagram @theyboracle.
I adore my parents and enjoy being regularly in touch, but I’m challenged by their inability to reflect on the past and learn from it in a therapyesque fashion. As I am trying to work through trauma and challenges of my youth, it would be so valuable to have them on board and able to offer insight; unfortunately, they get very defensive and angry when I attempt to do so. I want to try to break patterns in the familial thread that lead to these traumas but feel powerless to do so without their help. Will I ever break the faulty chain?
-a faulty chromosome
Cards: The Fool (rev), Five of Cups, Eight of Pentacles, Two of Wands (rev.)
Dear Faulty Chromosome,
A therapist might tell you that forgiveness is not about excusing the other person’s behavior but allowing yourself space to move on from that hurt. And there’s a reason why they talk about forgiveness as a one-way street: not everyone thinks they did something that needs forgiving.
To answer your questions briefly: yes, you can break the faulty chain because you can recognize the pattern and choose not to follow it. That’s The Fool’s journey here: you’re becoming conscious and starting down a new path. But not everyone is going to want to join you.
Our parents are complex and contradictory and kind of fucked up, like all humans are. Some parents really knock it out of the park when it comes to child-rearing. Some rightfully have CPS called on them. Most fall on a spectrum between. It seems like you really want a better relationship with your parents than it has been, but there’s a breakdown in communication, which is what we see from the Five of Cups.
The Five of Cups is about dysfunction in a relationship, an issue that leaves both parties unhappy. But the Five of Cups is about how things feel, not how they actually are. Our memories aren’t reliable; with time, little changes can occur, or parts can be forgotten. This is especially difficult when talking with a parent about incidents from childhood because what might be a hurtful memory for you might not even register in their mind. They might not remember an episode of abuse or, in their minds, might remember it as something different. The “Truth” is probably some combination of both memories—but that doesn’t really matter. You felt hurt by your parents, and you would like them to acknowledge that they hurt you.
And the truth is, I don’t know if they ever will. The Two of Wands is looking back; your parents have and hold onto a different version of the past than you do. If you want to forgive your parents, that forgiveness will have to come without an “I’m sorry” from them. It’s shitty. I’m sorry.
But you don’t have to continue down that family path. Remember, you’re on your own journey as The Fool. With the hardworking Eight of Pentacles, I think a therapist could help you process your past and support you as you move on.
Breaking out of unhealthy familial patterns is an incredible goal. I wish you well on this healing journey.
I’ve never been super gung-ho about the prospect of giving birth. Still, as my window of opportunity shrinks with the passage of time, I have become increasingly curious about the experience. A large part of me wants to step into the new challenge of human experience, and so I accept that as “wanting to have kids.” Is this reason enough?
Cards: Nine of Wands (rev.), Seven of Wands, Knight of Swords, The Hanged Man
Dear Cautiously Curious,
My very wise mother has often told me this: almost nothing in this life is irreversible. It might take a lot of money, time, or lawyers, but almost no decision is for life.
The one caveat she would mention is choosing to have kids. Once you decide you want to, and they arrive, and you start raising ’em, that’s it. Technically, you can surrender them before age 18, but that’s not great for a child’s psyche or self-esteem, so I strongly encourage that situation to be avoided if possible.
You are sitting at a precipice: to have kids, to not have kids. The cards suggest a total commitment one way or the other.
The wands, both Seven and Nine, show that there needs to be some sort of breakthrough. It’s a change that feels correct on all fronts, almost like an epiphany. Once this clicks, the path forward feels obvious. The trick is how to get there.
Your letter is very “heady” when it comes to pregnancy. You mention “curiosity” and seem to intellectualize the process, interpreting those thoughts as you “wanting to have kids.” With that impulsive intellectual, The Knight of Swords, you can intellectually get behind this idea—but you also need your heart in agreement.
The Hanged Man is often misunderstood, and while it looks like he’s being tortured, he’s content with himself. He knows in his heart and his gut what’s right.
Intellectually you could talk yourself into having kids as easily as you could talk yourself out of having them. But I think, deep down, you have a true answer. There is something in your gut that you know, even if you haven’t discovered it yet. I can’t tell you what that is, nor can the cards. Only you can crack that nut.
So journal, meditate, make a shamanic journey—whatever you need to help uncover those feelings, do. I know you’re worried about your fertility window, but I think it’s better to be sure and possibly go an alternate route (surrogate, adoption) than to discover that your heart wasn’t in it. It’s a big decision but I know you’ll find an answer. Take your time, my dear.