Is your life a car wreck? Or a classic to be restored?

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In chatting with my wife the other night, we started talking about making repairs to a car as a good analogy for figuring out when to let go in life. At what point is a car just not worth sinking any more cash into? At what point is a new transmission cheaper than a new car? It can be easy to tell when an accident has mangled it beyond recognition. However, in those years between the new car smell and plywood on the floor to cover the holes it can be a whole lot less clear.

Our car, if we have one, can be a real source of emotional attachment, but it gets even more complicated when we start looking at our whole life in this context of when is it time to let go. It can be so hard to notice the exact moment a relationship is over or a job is no longer working for you. We are only human and being imperfect is to be expected. This is made worse when we hold onto something, hoping we can breathe life into it, when it has gone past its expiration date.

I have had many folks come and sit across from me who had duct taped the bumper back onto their love life. They have liberally used bondo to fill all the dents of unpleasant exchanges. Acquired a collection of pine tree air fresheners to beat back the encroaching odours of hours and years of sitting in its seats. Or to be a bit les poetic about it, they search for ways to renew a relationship, job, or situation that is just not salvageable. Their attachment to whatever the broken situation is encourages them to spend far more, emotionally or monetarily, than makes sense. Each investment adds another level of “but I have invested too much to give up now” to the problem.

How do we break this cycle if we find ourselves in it? A good mechanic, like a good reading, can help you make a better decision about when you are holding on too long.

Is it a write off or a repair job?

Think about an area you are struggling with or lacking clarity about in your life and use the following spread to get some advice from your trusted mechanic – the tarot.

As we step into this spread I’d like to take a moment to talk about how a spread might give us an answer that suggests we leave the rest of the cards unturned. In this example the 2nd question is essentially a test to see if we should continue to look into the possibility of fixing a situation in our lives. Sometimes the answer is just no. I am not in general a fan of yes/no answers from the cards, but in this case I think it can be tremendously helpful.

A quick note about yes and no in the tarot.
Decide how you are going to determine yes or no first. I have in the past used a few different approaches, some are more complicated than others:
• reversal as no and an upright card as yes
• a major a yes and a minor as no
• a suit/card antithetical to what I am asking as no a supportive one as yes
• my own assignment of yes/no/maybe values to the cards (which I’ll share soon)

Lay out four cards from left to right. The positions are described in order here.

What is not working in this situation?
If you don’t know what’s wrong you can’t fix it. Read as much into this card as you can.

Is it broke beyond repair? Yes or no using the approach you have committed to. As my martial arts instructor used to say you can’t cheat me you can only cheat yourself. Treat this answer as absolute.

What will it cost to fix it? This card speaks of what it costs to get this situation moving ahead again. There might still be other issues that will only surface once the initial repairs are done. It is not suggesting that this will make things like new again, but sometimes we need to have a car until we can get a new one.

What will it cost to restore this car?
This card is here to speak of how much time, energy and attention it will take to give this vehicle a new life.

If you need a mechanics advice just give me a shout.

The Hermit’s Lamp is the blog of Andrew McGregor – Toronto Tarot reader, artist and teacher. The Hermit’s Lamp is also a storefront in Toronto selling metaphysical and spiritual supplies. Please visit The Hermit’s Lamp website for more information on readings and classes both online and in Toronto. You can also listen to the Hermit’s Lamp Podcast here.

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1 comments on “Is your life a car wreck? Or a classic to be restored?”

  1. Arwen

    Excellent article, Andrew. I really like the analogy AND the spread you came up with. Thank you for sharing this.

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