A paradox is defined as a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth. Life is full of paradoxes- "Less is more;" "Hurry up and wait;" "The first rule of Fight Club is, you do not talk about Fight Club."
Some of the beliefs that I hold most dear, that have proven themselves to me over and over again, turned out to be huge paradoxes. Once I embraced these paradoxes, and stopped fighting against what my brain told me couldn't be true, life just... flowed.
I was born on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius- Earth and Air. My elemental birth chart is heavy in Air energy and Fire energy, but Earth energy and Water energy are almost nonexistent. So, I always knew I was an Earth child, with heavy Air and Fire influences- no Water at all.
Then we moved to England. It rains 364 days out of the year there (okay, in reality it's like a third of the year, but if you've ever lived there, you know it sure *feels* like it rains almost every day). In England, I was at the height of my "gifts"- I had clairaudience (extra sensory perception by hearing), clairvoyance (extra sensory perception by sight), and became a rather strong empath (ability to feel others' feelings). We left England and moved to South Carolina- again, an area of high humidity, and my gifts got even stronger. I picked up reading Tarot like it was reading a picture book; I started seeing auras; I could walk into a room and immediately tell what happened 5 minutes before, because the energy "told" me.
Then we moved to Arizona- the desert. I went blank. No clairaudience. No clairvoyance. My tarot cards just looked like beautiful works of art. I could barely tell what was going on in the room while I was in it, much less 5 minutes before I walked in. I meditated. I divined. I begged the Universe to give me my gifts back, and wondered what I had done that was so wrong that my gifts would just be gone.
Then, monsoon season started. For 4 months we have monsoon season, where it rains just about every day. The rain poured down, and my personal energy rose. I became more motivated. I just felt alive.
That's when the thought popped into my head...
"Maybe Water is your element..."
No, no. I'm on the cusp of Earth and Air, with high Air and Fire energies. No Water. No Water anywhere. Plus, I'm pretty deathly afraid of Water. I only stick my toes into the ocean; I panic when a bridge goes over water- not land, just water; I don't ever go into the deep end of a pool; I loathe when my clothes get wet when it rains; I don't even have water gun fights with my kids. Water and I just don't get along.
Why is that? My thought train just kept chugging away...
Well, when I was about 9 or 10, I almost drown in a pool. As I bobbed up and down in the deep end, I remember the lifeguard staring at me, as if I was pulling a prank. My friend had to pull me out of the water, where I vowed to never go into the deep end again.
So, the element that almost killed me, gave me strength...
Whoa. Paradox #1.
As much as my mind wanted to fight the idea, and as much as water scared me, I began to work with Water, to learn from Water, to embrace Water. Almost instantly, I felt a shift in my energy. Water began to calm me, when it had previously caused anxiety. When it rained, I felt stronger. I walked into my yard, fully clothed, during a rainstorm. I sat in the shower and just let the water fall over every inch of me. I looked forward to monsoon season.
My element is Water. I just accept it now, and it has given me so much strength.
This idea stayed in the back of my mind when I came face-to-face with my other morbid fear- snakes. My whole life I've been afraid of snakes- the way they move, the sinister look in their eyes, the way they lie in waiting to strike when you least expect it. Horrible. Just horrible.
We moved into a new house almost a year ago- a place up in the desert, without 75 neighbors all within a few feet of you. Our little slice of paradise. One night, I walked out of my bedroom, through my dark office, to check something, and as I walked back into my bedroom, a small shadow caught my attention. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could make out a head, S-shaped body... Oh, very funny. My kids put a rubber snake at my bedroom door to scare the crap out of me. I relaxed a little, then went to kick the "rubber snake" out of my doorway, while I opened my mouth to yell to my kids... and the "rubber snake" turned around and headed to the bookshelf behind me.
I'm not going to lie- it took my brain a few seconds to comprehend that a "rubber snake" doesn't move on its own.
Yes, I screamed. Yes, I ran. Yes, I called my husband and made him leave work, drive all the way home to find the intruder, who we found after an hour, behind my witchy cabinet. It was a baby King Snake- harmless, about 12" long. And when my husband asked me, "Do you want me to kill it?" I couldn't say yes. I watched as he grabbed it, took it outside, and threw it over our wall, alive and well. Then, I proceeded to have my third panic attack of the night...
Fast forward a few months, to a few weeks ago. I was out for my morning stroll, paying more attention to the semi-busy road I was walking along, and not so much at the ground. My Pandora played a song I wanted to skip, so when I looked down at my phone to hit 'Next,' I stopped dead in my tracks... about 2 feet from one of the largest black snakes I have ever seen that wasn't behind glass at a zoo. I couldn't think. My vision blurred. I knew I needed to back up and cross the street, but my legs wouldn't move. I started hyperventilating, and as I forced myself to cross the street and head home, all I could think about was how I almost stepped on a 4 foot snake. I made it home, crumbled to the floor, and cried like a baby.
Snake symbolism, everyone told me. Look up what the snake symbolizes. Transformation- okay, sure, we're going through some huge changes here right now. Rebirth and cycles- yeah, makes sense. Then, I read the description of someone who has the snake as their totem or spirit animal:
- A natural ability to balance energies (you're likely a gifted healer)
- Diplomatic and eloquent in areas of speech and writing
- Dynamically intuitive (often knowing other's thoughts and emotional states without trying)
- Impulsive, but not without careful consideration. This may sound paradoxical, but those with the snake totem know what I mean here.
Holy crap, that's me!
Could my spirit animal be a snake?
No. No. NO!!
The more research I did, the more obvious it became. The snake is my totem. Paradox #2.
I set up some snake symbolism on my altar and began embracing the snake energy. I felt stronger, more at peace. I still haven't brought myself to start taking morning walks again, but I'm taking baby steps with this. I didn't just jump into the deep end of a pool when I started working with Water; I'm not heading to the exotic pet store to pick up a python anytime soon, either.
Deathly afraid of Water; Water is my element.
Deathly afraid of snakes; The snake is my spirit animal.
Life is full of paradoxes.
I definitely advise everyone reading this to take a look at the things that scare you the most, and analyze why they scare you. What lesson does that object, animal, element, place, etc have to teach you? What message are you ignoring because fear takes over?
Embrace your paradox. Face your fears. You'll find out more about yourself than you ever knew before. And your energy will flow more freely when you aren't fighting the lessons you are meant to learn.
Morgan is the owner of Inked Goddess Creations. When she's not working on store stuff, she enjoys watching ridiculous shows and 80s movies with her kids, cuddling with her dogs- Ariya Stark and John Snow, pretending she's going to take a day off to relax, experimenting in the kitchen, and plotting ways to annoy her husband for the next 18 years, as it has worked so well for them for the last 18. You can read more serious info on the shop's About Us page.