Word Snobbery is a Control Issue

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words…” make me the target of violence and shame. Why?

I’m the child of two brilliant humans who surrounded me with books and words. I had many memorized thanks to my father reading not just wonderful children-targeted stories, but Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series and other adult-targeted books as bedtime stories. I fell asleep with no boundaries to my dreams. I was quite shocked when I read the books later as an adult. My father edited the daylights out of the more adult-themed sexualities while keeping the wonder and awe intact.

The Sweet Pickles series blew my world open with imaginary friends, each unique and equal. Novels quickly followed. I couldn’t get enough of words, regardless of their mother language. My parents taught me in multiple languages. I learned humans everywhere had words and that they all came from different sources. Etymology was almost a guilty pleasure in school.

There is a dark side. I don’t see any point to it, but can’t deny it exists.

I can’t even count the memories I have from childhood where an adult I was told to respect would glare at me or sigh with exasperation and tell me to use smaller words. I did learn to be snobby about words. I didn’t care whether somebody knew a word or not, only if they wouldn’t learn what it meant and would try to control my vocabulary rather than expand their own.

I also had my mouth washed out or was smacked across the mouth by various adults for using a word they decided I shouldn’t use, not because I was cruel or hateful … but because the word was one they didn’t like. It is still considered ok to violently correct a human’s vocabulary choice, not on the basis that it communicates a thought considered wrong, but because of the listening person’s aversion to it.

I’m angry when word snobbery leads to people being divided into “quality levels” as a result. If somebody says “shit”, another says “crap”, another says “poop” and another says “feces”, and yet another simply sniffs and coughs, unwilling to dirty their lips (pun intended) with a descriptive word at all due to their feeling of the subject matter, I see it as personal expression of individuality and each one as equally valid.

Every word is a human word and is of equal basic heritage and class. Emotional ties and memories can elevate or decimate words for an individual person, but like all personal issues … the fault or exhault lies with the person, not with the word. Word snobbery is personally-justified verbal or written violence and bullying. Words are beautiful and amazing. To sully any word, not for the meaning of the word, but for the letters in it, makes no sense to me.

I challenge you to make up a word. Give it a meaning. Use it. Teach it to others. Then, if somebody snubs it and tells you a better word to use … research the source of the word they give you. Find the human who made THAT word up. If that human didn’t have red blood, didn’t use a brain just like yours and had a researchable superpower, ask yourself what could possibly make their word any more fantastic and wonderful than your word.

If the answer is peer pressure or somebody threatening to wash your mouth out, I dare you to use your word anyway and let the person know they have control issues and then pass this challenge to them as well.

P.S. I’m aware that some adults don’t care what words their children use except that they’ll get in trouble for using them due to current societal perceptions. If you explain to them they shouldn’t use it because it will make them a target of violence, not because the word is inherently wrong, you might be surprised how understanding your child becomes about it. Children learn quickly about violence and bullying. Your child may even make it a mission to fight the status quo. You just never know with kids. They’re pretty amazing.

The Personality Spread

While I’ve read the cards for years, I’ve been using new spreads to break out of my comfort zone.

I watch Tarot Elements on Facebook and Google+. Catherine posted about The Personality Spread. I glanced at it, saw a 9-card grid and shrugged. There didn’t seem to be anything particularly special about it. The position names caught my eye as I read further. I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did. This was a wake-up call reading for me. If you don’t want to learn more about me, might wanna stop now. 🙂

My main deck is The Mystic Dreamer Tarot. I didn’t even consider doing this spread with one of my other decks. That should’ve told me this was a special spread.

The Tarot Elements post invited a changing of the position names to personalize it. I changed it up … a bit.

ThePersonalitySpread

The Personality Spread

1-2-3

Conscious-Unconscious-Source of Stability

4-5-6

Tenacity-Aspiration-Type of Spirituality

7-8-9

Opportunity Usage-Motivation-Energy Level

Conscious-Unconscious

5 & 4 Cups

Five and Four of Cups

Conscious-Five of Cups: I have a really hard time pushing through my near-constant grieving to see what I still have. Even when I lay down and try to imagine happy times, they don’t seem “real” to me unless there’s also constriction of the relationships. I keep telling myself it’s temporary, that this simply can’t last, but part of me just seems stuck in it. I see this card as a sign to take a closer look at what I still have and accept that it’s okay to grieve about what I’ve lost.

Unconscious-Four of Cups: This caught me off guard. I felt totally “emo” for a moment. I’m bored to an almost cosmic level. My anger and depression just keep swirling around and around underneath. I have put so many things in my life to care about because it made things better for others and me more palatable to them that I’ve erased much of myself from my outward existence. I apparently have an inner problem with doing that. This card made me look at everything I do from activities and hobbies to how I just spend my time when I don’t have any obligations for a moment. I was stunned at how much of it felt “phoned in” to me – like my life was a fantasy I didn’t really believe in at all.

Source of Stability-Tenacity

10Wand-KingSword

10 of Wands & King of Swords

Source of Stability-Ten of Wands: I have a pretty stable pattern, I think. I take it on, then some more, then more, then a lot more and then get angry and ruthlessly scale it all back down to reasonable levels, regardless of what/who gets tossed aside when I hit my limit. I set goals and work very hard to achieve them. I see this card as a signal to not just work hard, but work effectively and be okay with a reasonable workload the whole way through instead of just when I can’t go further without falling on my face from the weight.

Tenacity-King of Swords: I decide whether to hold on or not from a source of intelligence, objectivity and rational analysis. My mind chooses the object of my affections either before or simultaneously with my heart. I have to fight harder to hold onto something I see as weak or incompetent. When someone or something wins my respect, loyalty is just about assured … for life.

Aspirations – Type of Spirituality

Chariot-3Pent

The Chariot & Three of Pentacles

Aspirations-VII The Chariot: I wasn’t surprised at all with this one. I want mastery of everything to carry me forward to my goals. I don’t like relying on others to carry me along. I want to run, feel the wind in my hair and know my own legs took me to that finish line. I don’t mind running with others, but would feel cheated if I sprained my ankle and a friend carried me over the line, however grateful I am for their friendship and sweet action.

Type of Spirituality-Three of Pentacles: I’m great with soul, okay with mind and working hard on body. It’s balance that has eluded me. I hoped to see Temperance here as a sign that I’d achieved my goal, but knew it wouldn’t be since I’m not quite there yet. I’ve learned that balance is a constant action of walking for me. I tried creating a perfect picture of balance, such as a martial artist stance or stack of stones in the middle of a lovely pond, but those aren’t me. My balance is in walking a barely-traveled path through a gorgeous forest remembering to stretch and sip water as I go to stay hydrated. The motion, the mental activity of strategy and coordination, physical nourishment and soul-connection with nature is the epitome of my personal balance. I’m close … but not a mistress at it yet.

How I Use Opportunities-Motivations

4-8Sword

The Four & Eight of Swords

Opportunity Usage-Four of Swords: This card amused me. This is just about exactly how I deal with opportunities. When someone offers to give me plants I can’t get alone for my garden, I relax. When someone offers me a job, I relax. When someone asks if I’d like to swap houses, I totally don’t do it; but the moment the offer is made, I relax. I’m comfortable with most-likely-good changes. I get excited the closer I get to them actually happening if I decide to do them, but the opportunity itself presenting, I chill. The opportunities usually come on the heels of truly sucktastic moments, so I’m cool with my natural instinct to take a breather the moment they show.

Motivations-Eight of Swords: This sucks, but is so true. My entire life, what makes me move is for me to get pissed. What makes me pissed? Being trapped. If I’m afraid to move for getting cut, or terrified of what people think of me or whatever … I get angry and break out. Being trapped by a deadline, other people’s actions or opinions or imminent suffocation will pop me into action that doesn’t give the slightest damn about what damage it causes. I’ll kill to get out the moment I realize I’m trapped.

Energy Levels

Hermit

Hermit

Energy Levels-IX The Hermit: I see this. When I seek my truth, whether alone or in a teaching/studying position with others of like mind, my energy goes up. The previously mentioned trek through the forest path is incredibly invigorating. Any time I’m actively exercising my soul, I recharge my batteries. Dancing with lit candles, natural fabrics, deep bass and percussion … I heal. On the other hand, when I’m bored, procrastinating and only socialize in ways that are incredibly boring to me … I get just plum exhausted.

That’s it. That was one of the most informative spreads I’ve ever used. If you got this far, I recommend you not only give it a go, but read the original post at Tarot Elements, then customize it for yourself. 🙂

Educational Eclipse

I originally intended to just sleep through whatever was going on for my mom. I thought it was just a dinner and special church service my mother wanted to attend. I didn’t know it was a funeral service until just before we arrived. There was no possible way for me to be near a funeral rite of that power and emotion … and sleep. So I popped an energy shot to stay up for it. I didn’t know the woman who died, but attended the service to support my mother and out of a deep respect for sacred rituals for Death’s part of the journey.

I helped the ladies of the church set up the food while the guests listened to music that was special to their recently departed friend. Mom introduced me to her church friends including a fun set of sisters, Pat and Sandy. I liked them immediately and enjoyed the chatter and banter.

There were still the awkward moments I expected from going anywhere near any part of my Christian background. “It’s been so long since I last saw you,” to “Why haven’t I seen you in services here?” weren’t as hard as I expected them to be. It was a bit freeing to stand in a powerful church of my past, look around and feel no tugs or guilt. I’m completely comfortable, spiritually. I’m happy. I actually felt more comfortable in my own self after going to Mom’s church than before I arrived because the niggling thoughts left over from my childhood disappeared.

Still … when Sandy said, “You should come back,” I couldn’t say anything for half a second. I couldn’t think of a nice way to say, “I don’t intend to come back for any church services, so unless you plan to have a lot of funerals for my mom’s friends …” I ended up saying something lame like, “We’ll see.”

As soon as the food was set up for everyone, I found a comfy recliner and passed out until my mom came and let me know they were finished socializing. Mom and I talked about a lot of stuff on the way home. It still blows her away how much happier I am with myself as a witch than I ever was as a conflicted Christian.

Today was worth the overall effort just for the many lessons I learned about myself when all was said and done.

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