09/08/11: Savior versus Supporter | Reversed Ten of Wands


Do not remove a fly from your friend’s forehead with a hatchet.” –Chinese Proverb

I am very prone to biting off more than I can comfortably chew. I won’t say it’s “more than I can chew,” because once I’ve committed, I almost always WILL finish the job or die trying. Whether it’s mine or not, I believe I can do it quicker, easier, and better than most anybody else. This would be insufferably egotistical to say if it weren’t usually true. But egotistical or not, it’s still stupid.

At the time I volunteer, it all sounds like such a good idea! Virgo loves to help, man. But later, when I’m knee-deep in the soup and feeling it, I curse myself for of foresight. Note to self: don’t say “Yes” so damn fast!

Today’s Tarot forecast is the inverted Ten of Wands or Lord of Oppression, associated with Saturn in Sagittarius—you’ve got oversized (Sagittarius) responsibilities (Saturn)! As one of the Tarot Tens, we’re wrapping up one cycle in anticipation of starting a new. Tarot Wands are associated with fire, and are all about doing—working, creating, or building. So in short, the Ten of Wands is about carrying a huge load. Inverted, though, you’ve got means of escape.

The point here is to look carefully at what you’re carrying. If you’re load is too heavy, chances are some of it’s not yours. Your friends can figure out their own marriages. Your kids can decide for themselves what job is right for them.  Your coworkers can pick their own doctors. There are three little questions to look at here.

  1. Does the person want my help? If not and we’re talking a competent adult, pursuing is disrespectful.
  2. Do I want to help? Ability does not equal obligation. Am I in the position to take it on?
  3. Is it my place? Am I really “helping” by helping? Because some types of assistance allow people to avoid needed consequences to learn and grow.

One of the hardest parenting lessons I’ve run across is that there are NO magic words for helping a child wise up. You can plant seeds, but you’d best be happy averting your gaze once you have. Otherwise, you’ll drive yourself (and your kids) nuts checking the progress. A little faith is in order here, grasshopper. I didn’t want to raise dependent children. I wanted to raise strong ones. To do that, I had to find the strength within myself to know when to step back and shut up.

There’s a tremendous difference between SUPPORTER and SAVOIR, right up there with the difference between Mother and Martyr. I can drop a hint  (of the feather-weight versus leaden variety), offer insight, provide information, and that’s helpful, meaningful support. I can also tell others what to do, turn my life upside down in their name, or simply absorb their issues as mine—that’s running for savior and even if you manage it, you haven’t really done anything beyond emphasizing helplessness.

Saviors amplify weakness. Supporters amplify strength. Often, the most helpful thing I can do help convince someone they can effectively manage their own issues. That’s how I approach my Tarot work, too. I’d rather serve as cheerleader than crutch. Everybody’s happier and it has a much bigger impact, in the long run. It’s a more economical use of your goodwill. Leaves you with more to spend around.

Do you over-help? Can you find a route out?

Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot
by Us Games Systems

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