Eight years ago, I flew down to Sayulita, a town on the west coast of Mexico, for a yoga retreat because I really needed a vacation. It was paradise – watching the sunrise every morning and practicing yoga for hours at the edge of the magnificent ocean. I had a reading with an astrologer there who told me I was the High Priestess, the third card of the Major Arcana. Really? This was the last person I expected to meet because she is the symbol of the feminine.
I worked on Wall Street. I suited up to play a game that was dominated by men and Type A, aggressive, Alpha women who acted like men. And I was one of those women – no feminine energy for me. But I couldn’t deny that something else was happening in my life. The raises and promotions were good, but I was stressed out, dealing with the aftermath of a divorce, commuting between New York and Boston, and working until all hours.
One day, feeling almost broken, I found my way to Baron Baptiste’s yoga class. Little did I know that it would be the spark for so many future changes. It was like I was wearing a blindfold in a game of pin the tail on the donkey. After being spun around during that class, I opened my eyes and found myself standing at the foot of a brand new path.
I followed Baron everywhere and in his classes I learned that I was really attached to my life story. I wouldn’t – or couldn’t – see that there might just possibly be another way. Slowly, slowly over the years, as I saw myself through the lens of asana and yoga philosophy, I began to transform, shedding old sadness, deeply rooted pain and a lot of fear. I let go of preconceived notions about who I was and how I was supposed to be. I even started sitting in lotus at meetings and doing headstands in my office at the bank!
I questioned what I should be doing with my life but I couldn’t bring myself to up and leave finance. What else would I do? I tried to imagine an entirely different life but I had no idea know what it would look like – that was scary, incredibly scary.
And that was where I was when the astrologer told me that it was time to embrace my feminine side and all that it is to be the High Priestess – the powerful one in the flowing blue robes. For such a long time, I had been surrounded by so much masculine energy that I was completely out of tune with my own. Or so I thought. Without even realizing it, I had already become different in little ways. I ditched the stockings, started wearing high boots, and even – gasp – dresses instead of suits.
The astrologer said, “The appearance of the High Priestess means that your intuition is trying to send you a message. It is stronger than any other force no matter how much you try to suppress it. Be open to it. What would accepting femininity in your life bring? Let that be your guide as you discover your hidden potential – you have a lot of work to do in this world. And it is time to do it.”
Deep down I knew that my life long dream was to be a wife and a mother – the embodiment of the feminine – but at present that seemed completely impossible. All of my creative energy went into denying that which I secretly wanted most. Where would I start? And then I thought to myself, but what shoes would I wear?
Not long after I got back from that retreat, the universe opened up for me. I was offered a financial package – a way out of my job without having to quit. I was paid for a while which gave me time and space to drop the identity I had worked so hard to create and embrace a new one – lighter, calmer, more open. I continued to practice yoga daily and I even went shopping for some new clothes. What does a girl wear when she doesn’t go to work in an office and is trying on her feminine side?
I would see a man in yoga class and we would smile at each other. When he looked at me he saw me. And I just don’t mean the physical me, but the real me, because I was finally ready to be seen. And when I saw him, it seemed to me that anything was possible. And in a flash, that man became my husband and the father of my son.
They say the Tarot signals what is necessary in life – the next move. All that we really need to know is right there for the taking, but so much other stuff gets in the way. Meeting the High Priestess confirmed that I needed to have faith as my life changed, to trust the universe, and to allow myself to fill her shoes.