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Searching for Shirley Valentine


“I've allowed myself to lead this little life, when inside me there was so much more.”

― Willy Russell, Shirley Valentine

One can see why Shirley Valentine chose the Med to host her transformation.

Shirley Valentine found that the Med was a perfect place for her to become herself again she dropped the persona of mother and the wife in order to be Shirley. I shall gloss over the fact that she met her Adonis which was key to her transformation.

I am reminded of the Lovers card.

Principally, this card is about doing what you are attracted to. Shirley is the feminine aspect in us all, she discovers the Adonis the male who resides in us all, something is created something is transformed, we move from one state of being in to another, this in turn opens up our destiny and the path back to the beloved.

This is what I have in mind for my retreat.

It is a place where people can come to discover themselves and unpack those dormant talents and see themselves anew. I hasten to add that my work is not necessarily aimed at the middle aged. In my view even the youngest can be the eldest! However, there is something familiar in Shirley’s story where she wakes up and longs to be the person she was born to be. This can happen to any of us at any age.

Tarot can be a beautiful part of that journey and can show us areas in our life that either can be released or developed.

Tarot is a sacred tool and helps us to realise our own sense of magnificent self. This is the essence of Kitchen Sink Spirituality; everything we do is spiritual, all we have to do is to be alive! No experience is ever wasted and when we work with Tarot we go off on these amazing explorations, deep into the interior where we slay dragons, swim oceans, find the black pearl and become whole again.

I love that quote by Carl Jung, the one that says, ‘I don’t want to be good I want to be whole’.
There we have the rub.

We can’t hide from our shadow, those bits and pieces that disturb us, our guilt or shame, our temper or avarice and so on but we can illuminate them and ultimately put them in a fresh perspective whereby they can be powerful allies and serve us well.

I interviewed my Morgan Greer deck on the art of self-discovery.

ME: Which card could be helpful in understanding the idea of self-discovery?

MGD: KING of CUPS.

An interest in spiritual matters will be very helpful and be aware that rites of transformation are just as important as the actual transformation itself. Be calm and patient and adopt a genuine interest in your own development and that of others. Insight into your mental and emotional state will assist you in understanding your own nature further. Remember that self-discovery brings tranquillity and flashes of inspiration.

ME: Does self-discovery help us in a practical sense?

MGD: DEVIL.

Here we are shown that we need to examine the deeper reaches of the heart and to be completely honest and open to what shows up as a way of assisting with transformation. Our darkest aspects can be a wonderful opportunity for change. Uncertainty and change must be faced in order to deal with life situations as they transpire so you can receive the best results from living. Let go of any mind limiting beliefs and don’t back down from what frightens you and be prepared to understand things at a much deeper level. With that comes a much more balanced evaluation of what needs to be done as opposed to walking away and merely hoping for the best outcome.

ME: Is there an end to self-discovery?

MGD: KNIGHT of CUPS.

In a word…no! Don’t have any commitment to a destination or an end. Instead go with the flow. Water finds its own level and just as your reach a new paradigm then you move on to the next! Enjoy what discovery brings to you.

ME: What can we do with our discovered self?

MGD: 3 of SWORDS.

You will find yourself to be in a much better place to deal with the intellectual struggles instead of shutting down. All those painful experiences, lost possibilities, conflicts and wounds are portals to transcendance. Rise above the miseries that you have witnessed in the world, allow yourself to become a new person with a new outlook on potential. At the very least you can proceed forward with a calm determination and a confidence in your intuition.

ME: Any other insights or advice for those that are on the journey?

MGD: 6 of CUPS.

Yes, reflect on your positive and creative moments from the past, what did that bring to the table? Forgive past injuries and value that which is positive in the now. Be willing to go back and bring closure to unfinished business and past struggles, this will bring about a rebirth which will give you the energy to explore who you are and where you are going in the future.

In conclusion...

We are many people - between birth and death we become a whole tribe!

This is only possible due to transformation which is an inevitability in life. We are vast and diverse and powerful, we just have to tap into it.

Enjoy who you are.
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