Costume Change

Belly dance tarot cards hold answers to questions of love and commitment
Helen Patrice undergoes her own quiet, but profound, transformation.
Perhaps I can keep your trust by saying that I wanted a set of these oracle cards anyway, that I'd asked Jasmine several times where I could purchase a set, and suggested places she might market them.

I am caught in a sort of "cash for comment" situation. Jasmine Safi asked if I'd mention her beautiful Belly Dance Soul Cards oracle set in one of my articles if she sent me a set. I thought about John Laws, and his recommending of certain banks and services to listeners.

So let me say, the cards are gorgeous, the messages meaningful to me, and I'm envious. I tried to create a belly dance tarot deck some years ago, and the drama and egos that presented were more than one dancer/writer/yogini could bear. End of the sneaky advertisement (www.haremlounge.com). Ahem.

Of late, I've been presented with a number of issues surrounding trust. Over the years, I've managed to choose a number of partners who were unsuitable in all sorts of ways. Asperger's Syndrome, workaholic, mean to my kids - you name it, if the guy was not fully baked, I'd haul him out of the oven much too soon and try to play. Then I'd try to be serious. And each time it went pear-shaped, I'd be that little bit older, that little bit less the seductive ideal (if I ever was). Would I ever find love again?

Yes. I can say a wholehearted YES! It's wonderful, and steady, and calm, and luminous and still I wonder if I can count on my own judgement. I suspect the only ones of my girlfriends I haven't surveyed on the sly are either overseas or have locked themselves away from me and my neurotic questions.

Is he The One?
Is he The Right One?
Is he, is he, is he?

I turned to my oracle decks, of which I have a few. No concrete answers. One day, at one of my favourite new age bookstores, I was playing with the decks. Possibly-the-right-one was standing by, looking lost. I gave him a deck.

"Here, find yourself some answers."

We'd half joked many times that before he proposed to me, he'd need a signed note from his God. I gave him a deck of Archangels and Saints, figuring they'd be his cup of tea. Silently, he asked if he should propose to me on the anniversary of our first meeting. He got the card of Commitment and Marriage. Sure, he gets a specific answer and I'm still diddling about with vagueness.

So, today as I write this, I find the Belly Dance deck in the post and eagerly ask my questions.

Daring Diva: the fearless self, pioneering spirit, take a risk.

Just get in there, Helen, and stop second guessing what might happen in 20 years. So, Possibly-the-right-one becomes The Right One, and will be referred to henceforth as TRO.

I have allowed TRO to sort out my finances and take over care of me and my family. Big double, triple gulp. Me, a kept woman? Me, surrendering my freedom? My hardwon independence?

TRO looks at me funny. What am I surrendering? The scrabble for enough rent money, worrying about not being able to send my kids to university, no health insurance, robbing Inanna to pay Erishkigal, watching my writing wither while I clean houses. Yeah, I must be suffering greatly, surrendering all that.

Again with the cards. I want to represent how I can see this "surrender".

Sisterhood: working together, camaraderie, unity.

Oh right, yes, I keep forgetting we're a team and I don't have to nobly do this alone, forging on into the night with only a crust of bread and one broken shoe.

Most importantly, I've had to trust TRO with my kids. I've had to trust that he can portray himself as a stepfather to nearly-grown children, not as expecting to be Dad. All has gone well. A few rocky moments when they gave him the hairy eyeball. TwentiesDaughter needed to see physical proof of his hunter and gatherer skills Nintendo (they went shopping). TeenBoy had to suss out his skills, whether or not they could have a good laugh together, and if he had another anime ally on his side (he does, and they both like ghastly anime TV series where everyone screams all the time, and they all have impossible hair). Our crankiest cat is on love with TRO. He's the only one allowed to pat her all the way down her back and tail, without ripping his arm off and hitting him with the wet end.

Do I trust this situation?

Stillness: quiet strength.

TRO did indeed present himself quietly and calmly and allowed the kids to come know him in their own time.
How do I feel about all this? It's a lot of change very quickly for this little Capricorn who likes quiet, stability and stillness. After a good long cleansing cry, there was a sense of relief, and sense of coming home, of rightness.

Temple Dance: heaven on earth, serenity, integration.

Yes. I could have asked any of my decks and received a version of these answers, for all oracle decks work with the energy brought to the table at the time. Different words, same meanings.

But somehow, it felt right to use these ones at a time when I am retiring from teaching belly dance and embracing being a student again. Costumes for the sake of play, not work. Workshops and classes that truly interest me, instead of attending things that I take back to my students. I am trusting that this is the right move for me. I am entering the second half of my life and it's time to transform myself. Two years from now, I have no idea what will be listed on my business card.

Desert Sword: decisions, mental strength, focus.

Is it time for me to leave behind (maybe temporarily, maybe forever) belly dance teaching and tarot? It seems so. These decisions have taken a lot of time, a lot of strength to cut the ties. Now, I look forward to what is next, both personally and professionally.

Let's play: freedom, adventure, inner child.

Well, that sounds like fun, and excites me. Bring it on.