how can i call in support: death
i spend a lot of time thinking about astrophysics. nerdy, maybe, but true. i can't get enough news about the large hadron collider. i spend a lot of time reading about the big bang. when i need to get a sense of perspective, the stars are my first and most powerful place to turn.
stars are so far away we literally can't comprehend it. the closest star to our solar system, alpha centuri, is 4 light years away. 24 trillion miles. it would take 1.2 billion hours to get there. brains just can't comprehend that. so we invent new scales and ways of measuring to make it easier to do the math, but it doesn't change the wonder of it, at least not for me.
and when stars die, we don't know about it for millions and millions of years sometimes. we watch things in the sky or with telescopes that happened eons ago, because we have to wait for the light to travel to us across the void of space to even know that things have changed. it seems like it is happening now, and in some ways, it is. it is happening now for us, and millions of years ago for the star, but what does the star care about our time?
time isn't as stable as we think it is. we count on the fact that an hour is an hour, and a year is a year, but it's all relative. we could decide that there is a new measurement of time that's 74 seconds to every minute and everything, from our phones to our stoves to our holidays, would change. it's wild, it's destabilzing, and a lot of the time, i find it wildly comforting.
this card is about transformation, release. a snake shedding its skin. change. death as a part of growth. there is no part of nature that continually grows. everything that waxes eventually wanes. but we're in a culture that only really has tools to talk about and be in the growth. there's much less comfort around the rest of the cycle.
when i think about support for myself, and this card as a messenger, a nudge about where to look, i admit that i didn't jump for joy. the 13th card, ruled by scorpio, this isn't light and sweet medicine. this is dark, and sticky, and nourishing, and hard to swallow sometimes.
everyone loves to celebrate fall - the leaves change color! the pumpkins ripen! the air is crisp and we're more comfortable and for some of us (definitely me) a certain coffee drink comes back that you wait all year for. there's a lot to love about the glorious transition between the summer of growth and the winter of rest.
but all those leaves that are changing color are actually leaves that are dying, and a tree that is preparing to lose them. the leaves fall because the tree builds a layer of cells between the stem of the leaf and the branch that thickens until the connection between the two is severed, and the leaf falls away.
we love to watch the colors change, but we don't always love the mess of death. the raking, the piles, the decay, the mold. fall is messy. death is messy. change is messy. but it isn't the wrong, and it isn't anyone's fault.
this card is asking me to support myself, and be with people that support me in understanding that change is necessary, part of growth, and not the result of anything i did wrong. fall isn't a punishment for a tree, and no leaf can stop itself from falling off the branch by being an extra productive chlorophyll producer all summer long. the mess of the leaves on the ground is part of the process.
change is always happening. we are always gaining and losing, shifting and moving, transforming and releasing. there are moments when the change becomes visible, but like the star millions and trillions of miles away, the timing is fluid. we might only be getting information about it now, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been in process.
we don't have to like it. we don't have to celebrate it. we can feel messy. we can feel grief, and loss, and fear, and sadness. but being present for it, bowing to the change, that's the support i'm being asked to call on. be here for what is changing, and what space it is making for what is yet to come.