Awakenings

As some of you may know, after being on a long journey of exploration through all of the world’s religions and belief systems, I have chosen to return to my point of surrender, at the feet of the cross of Jesus Christ. This is an action some (definitely all traditional Christians) would equate with leaving all occult practices and a belief in reincarnation behind. However, I’m fortunate to be connected with kindred spirits on various social media platforms and one of them took a particular interest in this plot twist. He has given me permission to share the questions he emailed me that triggered today’s blog post.

The reason I’m choosing to share this correspondence in blog format is simply because the Holy Spirit guided me to do so. I know there are many out there who struggle with reconciling their mystical nature with faith in Christ, and I want you to know you’re not alone. Please remember, the King himself never excluded you from his Kingdom. Be weary of those who seek to bar your way or ban you from following Him. Be weary of those who seek to make you a stumbling block. You may or may not be fortunate enough to find a group or congregation to worship with, but you need never forsake your faith in Him because others don’t understand your gifts or nature.

Strengthen your faith by prayer, reading, contemplation, visualisation of the gospels and praising God in song and dance. ‘Test all things and keep that which is good.’ Trust the Holy Spirit go keep guiding you, as promised by the Son of God.

I’m curious, if I may inquire as to your present journey- though I’m not familiar with your journey hardly at all…

To really understand my present journey, you have to understand my past.
My journey began in a secular home with two non-neurotypical parents who would have both been labeled mystics with surrender, proper nurturing and spiritual direction. I was christened at 6 months (as a nod to tradition), taught to pray a children’s prayer and ‘Our Father’ a few years later but was left to my own devices after that and we never attended church as a family.

My mother left when I was three and got involved with the Russian Orthodox Church in Stockholm for a while after that. I wish I knew more about her journey but she wasn’t around much and she has bad dementia now.

My father and mother had a turbulent relationship before mother left and I remember scenes of domestic violence, as well as trying to go between and separate my parents during a fight when I would have been about two years old.

The physical and verbal abuse my mother suffered was transferred mainly to me, rather than my younger sister after mother left. I am grateful for having been able to take the brunt of the abuse and act as a shield for my sister. It was hard to know what would trigger the beatings but I had a warning sign. Before dad hit me, his eyes would turn almost black.

Because of the abuse, our home represented fear more than safety to me – just the kind of environment favoured by evil entities. I was constantly afraid of going to bed at night because the demons would gather at my bedside night after night. I would pray the two prayers I had been taught frequently and at times rather fervently since it seemed to help against the powers of darkness.

Something or someone was definitely watching over me… When I was six years old, I had an out-of-body experience. I was lifted out of my body by a benevolent force that shielded me from the evil around me. I saw the very fabric of the universe, with the sounds and colours that we are limited from seeing here on earth. I heard angelic choirs singing and I didn’t want to leave…

My main solace during my childhood years was books and when I was ten years old, I came across a book by Wayne W. Dyer called ‘Your erroneous zones.’ This book helped me tremendously and, for a couple of years, before puberty set in, things seemed almost OK. I was coping. I was even able to sleep with the light off!

Then, at age 12, the violence escalated and I was punched so badly by my father in the chest, as I was lying in my bed, that I didn’t think I would live. I remember looking out of the window, seeing the moon and thinking ‘this is the last thing I see before I die…’ And often I thought he would try to kill me in my sleep. All my life, I’ve had problems sleeping because of this trauma and I still suffer from chronic chest pain – costochondritis, which I believe is related to this incidence.

But I lived, and I lived hating my life most of the time (though I imagine that this is not unique for a 15-year-old to feel this way). I was ripe for the picking. Any alternative belief system would have done but I was particularly interested in Christianity after watching ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ with Robert Powell that year. Yet the first vicar who was ever in charge of the care of my soul during confirmation training failed to see this. He brushed over my questions and it was very clear that his own faith was very thin. Scrape away one layer and it would be gone. For example, he explained away the miracle of the feeding of the multitudes with five fish and two loaves of bread as a good-will thing that happened because people started sharing what little they had when Jesus and the disciples encouraged them.

Then, less than two years later, I was finally given a chance to throw myself on the cross of Jesus. I was staying with an American, Bible-believing family during my high school exchange year. I felt safe with them. They went to a Baptist church three times a week and invited me to come with them. I loved it. Everyone was so warm and welcoming and it only took a couple of weeks after they introduced me to their teachings before I agreed to accept Jesus Christ as my saviour. I was baptised only days later. (And yes, I’m aware the Bible says there is one baptism. I guess I’ll leave it to God to decide which of the two I had he prefers…)

After that I was active in the Church for just over a decade… although it wasn’t smooth sailing and along the way, I moved from the Evangelical Church to the Catholic Church until the day came when I felt I had to leave organised religion behind. This happened during a difficult time and the thought of leaving the only ‘family’ I had ever known was causing me anguish, though I felt I had no choice as I wasn’t really welcome any more after I started owning the spiritual gifts I was born with and realised how the Church had messed up the canonization of the Bible.

I was asking uncomfortable questions and realised that I was a theological mismatch everywhere. Too hardcore in my faith for some, too ‘woo’ or too liberal for others. Not to mention the more superficial things I was being judged for. Oh, and I wanted a divorce (I had married way too young) and I had made my mind up that I really had to just leave the Church for all of the above reasons… But in my heart I knew I couldn’t leave Jesus. I didn’t want to. One night, during this difficult period, he appeared to me in a dream vision. He was seated on rock throne, above a waterfall. He didn’t speak. I was lifted up (sort of floating through the air) until I was at eye level with the Lord, and I remember his brown eyes looking deep into my heart and soul. I knew I would always still be his somehow and woke up with peace in my heart.

I’ll be 47 in only a few days. I was 17 when I surrendered my life to Christ and 27 when I started trying to claw parts of it back. It took me 20 years to figure out that I would be better off by surrendering all of it. That said, I don’t regret my journey of exploration and the knowledge I have gained of God’s glory shining through in other belief systems.

It seems that you’re having a spiritual awakening toward Christ, and that this is basically affecting you in multiple ways. How did you come to this place, if I may ask, and how does that impact your tarot reading?

In short, how I came to this place of a second awakening was through messing my life up in a big way and realising that I could try and try and try in my own power but I could never even achieve a smidge of what I could achieve if I chose to abide in him. Working deeply with my Tarot year card for 2016, Death (ego mortification) certainly helped, as did choosing to attend church during lent (combined with fasting and reading of the Scriptures).

Toward the of the year, there was pivotal ‘event.’ On the surface my life wasn’t bad as judged by the standards of the world. My home life was finally peaceful and I had a job I loved… But I knew my soul was at peril. I was still filled with pride and had not been faithful in the small things… because how can you when you do not abide in him and rely fully on his grace? So I was tested in a big way and nearly fell from grace completely. The details of this are not as important as the lesson I learned. Nobody but my ego was seriously harmed. Suffice it to say that it opened my eyes to how utterly foolish I had been and how much damage I had done inadvertently along the way, simply by relying on my own power and gifts that weren’t completely surrendered.

Re-dedicating my life and surrendering my work completely to Christ, I realised very soon that I had to purge my practices of false teachings that I had implemented one by one to prop up my ego. Many of them were things I had learned from New Age literature. Unfortunately, much of the Tarot stuff connects us with a ‘spiritual’ community steeped in the false ‘Law of Attraction’ teachings. LOA, Tarot, crystals, angels etc… It’s all lumped together, and it’s easy to find yourself on that slippery slope where you start using the Tarot to help your clients prop up their egos… Because what the ‘New Age gospel’ teaches us is how to maximise our sense of entitlement to attract more stuff into our lives because based on an ethos of ‘you’re worth it’ (Many New Age ads actually use wording similar to the l’Oreal ads!). There isn’t a smidge of surrender or grace in these teachings.

A friend of mine recently commented on how ‘Quite a few in the New Age community are working with dark entities and don’t know it it seems.’ and then asking ‘Seriously, how some can get vicious and turn on ya like a rabid dog it is quite confusing because aren’t they all about non-judgement love light and peace?’ It’s obviously because these people who think they are calling on beings of ‘light’ to help with their ‘lightwork’ are actually attracting darker entities that they turn on you and snarl like ‘rabid dogs.’

I’m not saying that all New Agers are demon-possessed or that the whole movement is intentionally evil. I’m saying that the Church actually helped give birth to the New Age movement by silencing mystics and people with spiritual gifts. The Church needs to repent and invite back those who were ostracized, just as those of us who turned our backs on the Church need to repent.

It is, of course, entirely possible to continue to read the Tarot cards under a paradigm of grace. We must do it prayerfully, just as we do everything else, and carefully formulate the right questions to ask. When we interpret the cards, we must stay on the ‘straight and narrow.’ This is not a problem if we ask the Holy Spirit to guide us.

On a practical level, I find that I have become more of a purist and have started purging my deck collection of smarmy, entitled New Age decks. I prefer the Ancient Tarot of Marseille decks, the RWS and my own Frideborg Tarot, which uses modern symbols found in the world around us that I feel connect me with the ancient archetypes.

When people ask me for Angel Readings these days, I find I need to tell them that they probably won’t get what they expect if they have been reading or listening to New Age teachers. I recently sent the following reply to one such request:

The focus of the 15 minute session is to answer your question. While I use cards with angels on them – it is essentially the same as a Tarot reading, which is to say I won’t go into detail about the cards or particular angels but rather seek to help you gain clarity. Also, to be clear, I don’t subscribe to the New Age view that the angels are here to serve our desires – they are servants of God and when they do help us, it is to help us lead lives that are holy and fully aligned with God’s will. If you are used to hearing New Age teachers speak about angels, please understand that I’m not in that genre of Angel Card readers. However, unless you ask directly about spiritual direction, none of this matters since your question is about work.

Luckily, she came back and told me I was exactly the type of reader she was looking for!

What do you relate to tarot cards now with your renewed faith?

This is a work in progress and some things may not change at all, I have always seen The Fool as representing the kind of innocence we see in someone who is filled with the Holy Spirit (a holy fool) at one end of the spectrum of possible interpretations, the Hanged Man as representing Christ’s sacrifice (this is expressed in the Frideborg Tarot imagery) and the Ace of Cups as the Holy Grail.

But I want to learn more about the history of the Middle Ages in general to understand the mindset that created the symbolic images of the Marseille Tarot. It is clear that the cards were created with a Christian ethos by people who were Spirit-filled. The Major Arcana represents the Virtues and the journey from innocence back to innocence. So part of the work before me now includes studying the works of people like Hildegard von Bingen and Julian of Norwich.

My faith in Christ never went away but it was at times overshadowed and yes, I was at times blinded by the glittery New Age teachings. More isn’t better. I don’t need crystals or other paraphernalia to express my faith any more. I don’t need any spirit guides other than my own Guardian Angel, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I want to keep things pure and simple because that way I’m better able to provide guidance for others that is pure and from Spirit.

This doesn’t mean that I will be beating my clients over the head with the Christian message. Rather, I hope that, as a now devoted ‘Follower of the Way,’ his teachings and the Holy Spirit will infuse the guidance I provide with the love of God in subtle ways. People don’t come to Tarot readers for spiritual direction (or they rarely do) – they come for help with ‘uncomplicating’ their lives, making smart decisions and moving forward.

Love and Blessings,

Lisa Frideborg