I am a great fan of Stephanie Dowrick, former publisher, therapist, now writer and spiritual adviser. One of her books, Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love, is on the list of books that changed my life for the better. Of this book, I recall her comment which went something like ‘Imagine being the person who needed to write it’. Likewise, imagine being the person who needed this project. Imagine being the person who needed to find help in the guise of an oracle deck based on roses.
I have a large collection of decks of many different types. My first was a tarot deck based on Renaissance themes and imagery. I was at Uni, so it was after the whole adoption thing exploded in my face, which by the way was not of my own doing. Looking back, I had never connected these two events until now. Now, it seems SOOOOOO logical.
When you’re adopted under the closed system as I was, the whole fabric of society collides in a lie. You get issued with a fake identity. Sometimes you get told its a fake, and sometimes not, but either way its a fabrication. Everywhere I went and everyone I knew pretended in the truth of this fabrication, and they expected, no needed, that I would too.
It’s hard to convey to anyone who isn’t adopted just how disturbing and destabilising this is. To know with every fibre of your being that everyone one you know is withholding vital information from you, and, they say it is for your own good. Never mind that they are in possession of the same information themselves…never mind that every bit of television, advertising and general propaganda tells you that the bond between mother and child is sacred and unbreakable, and you do not go a day in your life without being reminded that you are the exception to that maxim, and no one will let you ask why.
My discovery of oracle cards gave me an alternative. Being unable to trust the reality of my everyday life, oracle cards suggested to me that the reality I dwelt in might not be it after all. What relief….Plus, there was the world of nature. A refuge for many who for whatever reason feel like freaks, outcasts or rejects. There were a few roses in my childhood home, but I especially remember Mr Lincoln. His is my first rosé memory. I am very glad to be reunited with him in my current
Mum had Superstar as well, and I recall a white rose. In my grandparent’s garden, I remember swathes of freesias on the west side beneath the oleander, the nasturtiums up the back, the violets and the mulberry tree. I remember kangaroo paws at the block, the tiny cats paws and bacon and egg plants. These acted as subtle anchors for me. Aspects of nature that were consistent, and reliable and had no agenda for me.
So in retrospect, a card deck on roses is as natural as breathing for me. But I have learned to be careful about who I reveal this side of myself too. The same mindset that believed closed adoption could work also tends to derogate alternate forms of knowing. I figure that means I am probably on to something.