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Courage is a Lot Like Love

The Cowardly Lion with Dorothy

From the Wizard of Oz: The Cowardly Lion with Dorothy

“Courage is like love; it must have hope for nourishment.” -Napoleon

In the story, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, on her way down the yellow brick road helps the Scarecrow from being impaled on the pole he has been on, helps the Tin Woodman move again with a simple oil can and encourages them and the Cowardly Lion to journey with her and Toto to the Emerald City. The Scarecrow wants to get a brain, the Tin Woodman a heart, and the Cowardly Lion, courage. All are convinced by Dorothy that the Wizard can help them too. Together, they overcome obstacles on the way including narrow pieces of the yellow brick road, Kalidahs, a river, and the Deadly Poppies.

When each traveler meets with the Wizard of Emerald City, he appears each time as someone or something different. To Dorothy, the Wizard is a giant head; the Scarecrow sees a beautiful woman; the Tin Woodman sees a ravenous beast; the Cowardly Lion sees a ball of fire. The Wizard agrees to help each of them, but one of them must kill the Wicked Witch of the West. The Wizard provides the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion with a head full of bran, pins, and needles (“a lot of bran-new brains”), a silk heart stuffed with sawdust, and a potion of “courage.” Because of their faith in the Wizard’s power, these otherwise useless items offer a focus for their desires.

Courage never operates in a vacuüm; we can always try hard and see ourselves as courageous about something.  We also need to believe that there will be some consequence to our acts of bravery.  It seems we are all looking at the long-term for a deliverance for ourselves and others.

Love, too, needs a sense of future, time to develop and flower.  It is only passion that lives for an instant and passion, like the red rose, doesn’t last out the full year.

So I believe, love and courage are similar and work together for our own good and the good of others.  By working on ourselves through a form of personal growth and development we treasure love and courage as we find ourselves with greater wisdom and more abundance of peace with ourselves and others.  I believe that this is one of the ways we have faith in the long-term and in things that endure. No one is suggesting we can change overnight, but with love and courage and the hope on which they depend, we can all work wonders! I believe in my courage to change day-by-day.

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The Three Rune Spread

The Three Rune Spread does the job for all but the most demanding or challenging situations.  With an issue clearly in mind, select three Runes, one at a time of course.  Place them from right to left in the order each Rune was selected.  So that one doesn’t make a conscious effort changing the direction of the stones, especially as one becomes familiar with the symbols, it is good practice to place each Rune blank side up, and the turn them over.

With the selection complete, the Runes will be before you as in the diagram above.  Reading from the right, the first Rune reveals the Situation; the second or center Rune identifies the Action; and the third Rune (the one on the left) indicates the New Situation.  The way in which one happens to turn the Runes may have some effect and alter the direction of the symbols to either an upright or reversed position, but remember, this too is all part of the process.  Since only nine Runes read the same upright and reversed, the readings for the remaining Runes will be determined on how the Runes have been placed or turned.

Application

When I was faced with the end of a long term relationship, experiencing emotional pain and grieving over the loss, I turned to the Runes and did a Three Rune Spread.  My issue I felt at the time was, “What am I to be learning from this separation?”

From my journal I am able to recall the Runes I drew: Reading from the right, the first Rune was Algiz, the Rune of protection reversed addressed my sense of being totally vulnerable, and unprotected.  This was the first time in my adult life I would really be on my own; without a partner.  Only right action and correct conduct provide protection in a time such as I was facing.  I would have to grow and learn from the loss of the relationship.

The second Rune drawn was Kano, the Rune of opening.  I was encouraged to trust the process and consider what aspects of my old conditioning would be best if changed.

Third drawn was Nauthiz, the Rune of constraint and pain.  The new growth would not free me from anguish over the situation.  The end of that relationship caused me to begin on my path of personal growth.  For the first time as an adult, I was working on me.  I also came away from this reading knowing that I was being called upon to be mindful of the fact that rectification must come before progress.

Though I was feeling vulnerable and “exposed,” I was made aware that with pain comes the necessary clarity to get on my path of personal growth and change.  As I began to move along that path, I was often reminded to consider the positive uses of adversity.

Tears Dry On Their Own — Amy Winehouse

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All I can ever be to you is a darkness that we knew
And this regret I got accustomed to
Once it was so right
When we were at our height
Waiting for you in the hotel at night

I knew I hadn’t met my match
But every moment we could snatch
I don’t know why I got so attached

It’s my responsibility
You don’t owe nothing to me
But to walk away I have no capacity

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I’m grown
And in your way
In this blue shade
My tears dry on their own

I don’t understand
Why do I stress a man
When there’s so many bigger things at hand

We could’ve never had it all
We had to hit a wall
So this is inevitable withdrawal

Even if I stop wanting you
And perspective pushes true
I’ll be some next man’s other man soon

I cannot play myself again
Should just be my own best friend
Not fuck myself in the head with stupid men

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I’m grown
And in your way
In this blue shade
My tears dry on their own

So we are history
Your shadow covers me
The sky above ablaze

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I’m grown
And in your way
In this blue shade
My tears dry on their own

I wish I could say no regrets
And no emotional debt
‘Cause as we kiss goodbye the sun sets

So we are history
A shadow covers me
The sky above ablaze
That only lovers see

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I’m grown
And in your way
My blue shade
My tears dry on their own

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I am grown
And in your way
My deep shade
My tears dry on their own

He walks away the sun goes down
He takes the day but I am grown
And in your way
My deep shade
My tears dry

— Amy Winehouse