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High Priestess – Major Arcana
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Sound: “io” as in “helios”
Stands for: The World Serpent
Casting meaning: Ior symbolizes dual natures, evident in the amphibious habits of many water beasts (like the World Serpent). It also signifies the unavoidable hardships in life that we can do nothing about, but should still not worry about.
Triple goddess, life/death/rebirth, trinity, love – romance
Some people read this witches rune as a flower – new life, birth, fertility, love. I tend to read it more like the triquetra – life/death/rebirth cycles, triple goddess, etc. It’s completely up to you how YOU interpret these!
Regret, pride, shame, embarrassment, learning from experience, resolution
Tree: Elder (Sambucus spp.)
Shame isn’t all bad and does not deserve a uniformly awful reputation. Without shame and the fear of being shamed, every human child would be demonically bratty. Shame is a limit that informs us to keep our own ego in check. It is often about considering others. Having shame about one’s own past behavior is motivation to avoid shameful behaviors such as cheating and stealing.
Shame is an emotion that demands confrontation. All too often, people run away from what shames them, attempt to excuse themselves from wrongful or immoral behavior because they’re too cowardly to face what they have done or to admit their responsibility in causing their own misfortunes or the misfortune of others. Ruis indicates a willingness to face one’s own shame and to do with shame what it was meant for, and that is to use shame of the past to build oneself into a better person for the present and future. Ashamed of something you did? How can you make yourself into the type of person who would never even think of doing something like that? Overcome being the type of person who would engage in the shameful behavior and you become the master of it; you won’t have the remotest chance of repeating such a mistake. Did you become embarrassed because you did something you now understand to be greedy? Then learn to balance thriftiness with generosity. Adjust to the circumstance rather than overreacting to it. Are you ashamed about cheating on a boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse? Become a person who would never cheat on your boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse regardless of conditions, which could mean an assortment of outcomes: sticking to a resolution of no cheating and staying together, admitting one’s sexual preferences and going with the flow, changing the person you are with, or being single for a long time.
Because humans tend to remember negative experiences more easily than positive ones, it’s important when you draw Ruis to acknowledge the things you are not ashamed of about yourself. For every bad or shameful thing you’ve done, remember there are a thousand shameful things you avoided. Maybe it is time to appreciate the places you could have gone horribly wrong and did not.
Questions when you draw Ruis: