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Living on a sailboat has many wonderful joys that go along with the journey. However, there are times, just like in a land based life, when, and I’ll be blunt, “shit happens”.

On August 17, while heading to a pretty bay to stay at anchor for a few months we managed to steer our boat onto a reef. The whole story is available on our sailing blog http://www.sailingtroubadour.blogspot.com. The damage was extensive enough that we had to take the boat to a yard and decided to rent an apartment while repairs are underway.

While safely on shore, I was looking at our boat in the yard and feelings of anger, frustration, and sadness were stewing inside me. “We’ve sailed thousands of miles, why did this happen to us?” “How will we accomplish all the repairs and maintenance in the next eight weeks before we vacation in the states for the holidays?” “After all the help we received, why do I still feel sadness?”

I was struggling to answer these questions, and I turned to my Tarot cards for a path through the thicket of my thoughts. The help I needed came in this three card spread (no specific meanings attached to any of the positions):  The Queen of Cups (R); the Nine of Pentacles; and Three of Swords.

I felt as though I needed to keep us focused on our repairs so that we didn’t waste time in the boat yard; I even felt like I was “mothering” – and wanting to write out a timeline (ugh! was I back at work?); I was getting frustrated by the tiniest things and getting a bit bossy toward my sweetie. The reversed Queen of Cups (no surprise, on the Cups, I live on the water), appeared as a warning that my emotions and creativity were getting out of balance, and that I was suppressing my true feelings. Indeed, I hadn’t really shared my frustrations with Chris openly and honestly, rather I was acting them out through snippy comments and coolness. Although it may have seemed obvious to my friends, I couldn’t see clearly how to maneuver this turn of events in a creative way.

The Nine of Pentacles (one of my favorite cards) was guiding me toward my creative side. In essence, I think it was asking me to stop and behold the beauty around me, and notice the good things that were happening in my life – such as securing an apartment quickly and near the boat yard; to embrace the change of venue and live like an islander for awhile, to take advantage of the land-based time to practice yoga (no wobbly boat beneath my mat!), to not have to worry about being back on the boat by sunset (a cruiser rule we follow)  – we can actually enjoy some nightlife, now. Nines are about completion, the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. I also think this card is asking me to let go of this circumstance, it happened, it’s over; and to be patient while going through the process of repairing our boat. By balancing my creative side, with the reality of yard work, I will find the emotional and material stability that I felt was lost.

The Three of Swords nailed my emotional upheaval in body (I was getting a cold, too), mind (confusion and frustration) and spirit (difficulty finding my balance). I was sad, and like the rain falling down as depicted on the card (Universal Waite), I learned that I needed to go through the emotional pain and let it wash through me, in order to let go. By accepting and embracing what I was feeling, rather than holding it in, I could, in essence walk through the rain/pain and see clearly on the other side. This was the most troubling of the three cards for me, but after delving deeper into its meaning, I was able to accept that everyone suffers, in myriad of ways, and we just have to let the pain in and work through it to heal and grow. 

I shared this reading with Chris, and he also felt similar frustrations. We talked through our concerns and expectations and plan to make the most of our “land” life until the day we put Troubadour back in the water.