Once upon a time – it was our parents, our elders and our ‘tribe’ that was entrusted with the task of educating us. It was the village that raised the child and that was that. Times have changed, haven’t they? These days, we have schools, universities and an avalanche of online learning materials. We should be learning more… but we’re more swamped than ever. We retain very little of the information we consume, and even when we do master the skills we’re supposed to – they become outdated very quickly.
The first card I drew for you is the Ten of Arrows from the Wildwood Tarot Deck. In this card we see an older man teaching a young boy how to shoot a bow and arrow. Yes, we are more technologically advanced than our elders, but there are few things more memorable than the bond we shared with those more experienced than us. The time they gave us was more valuable than any amount of money in the world. They guided us. They showed us a way.
Education was a bonding experience. Our elders passed down what they had learnt from the generations before them. What they taught us, we cannot learn in any book, school or university.
It was through spending time with our elders that we learnt the importance of endurance. To truly master something requires patience, dedication and discipline. If something was hard, they wouldn’t let us give up. They knew: that the things that were truly worth having didn’t come easy. On the way, we were bound to encounter roadblocks, false opportunities and delays. Sometimes we even meet people who hurt and betray us.
But like the little girl in the Five of Stones, we must keep the fire burning. We must tap into the lessons that our elders taught us to stay strong and resilient inside. Yes – life can be hard, but we must draw on our inner resources and wait till the right opportunity appears. We should not settle for less than we deserve – because our elders have taught us better.
The last card I drew for you is the Knight of Vessels. Like the river in this tarot card, our lives can be like an untamed current that goes wherever it wants without caring what we think. But the eel is wise. It knows that it is futile to resist the force of the river. It flows. Instead of going against the tide, it knows that it is far better to accept that we are stronger when make the most of unexpected changes.
In Joe Cocker’s N’Oubliez Jamais he sings, ‘Every generation has its way.’ We can never be our parents. The same way that our parents cannot be our grandparents. Life changes. The river flows. Things must move. Things must change. Let’s maintain the traditions that are relevant and necessary for our times and let go of the ones that no longer work.
No one knows what the future holds. And no one can truly prepare future generations for an unpredictable future. The important thing is to honour and cherish that bond we shared with our elders so that one day when we are elders, we can somehow do the same.
I wish you all the best in this crazy journey called life.