Bee Halton is back to share more of her spiritual journey series. Please have a read. ~Colleen~
Hello, dear sisters and readers of “Sisters of the Fey.” How are you on this Friday the 13th? Do you believe the thirteenth is a bad luck day? Have you noticed that I post here on the thirteenth of each month?
Click to learn The MYTHOLOGY OF THE NUMBER THIRTEEN
I don’t think Friday the 13th is bad luck. Ever since I received the number thirteen for my GCSE’s and they went well, I rather believed the opposite.
I also love the number 13 of the Great Arkana in the Haindl Tarot called “The Death” which speaks of transformations of the self. I bought this Tarot Deck in my twenties when studying social work in the North of Germany, but maybe we’ll start our journey a little earlier.
I left school at twenty-one. Yes, I know that sounds rather late but I did not start school until I was seven and then had to repeat one year when we moved in with my step-mum.
You usually started school in Germany of the Nineteen Seventies by the age of six but my birthday was at the cutoff time and my parents felt I wasn’t ready for school at six. You attended school for thirteen years for your A-Levels, hence my late leaving.
I loved school and learning but was ready to spread my wings when I finished my A-levels two years after the Berlin wall came down. While doing my A-levels, I considered doing a gap year abroad but wasn’t courageous enough. So, I traveled to my absolute favourite city in the world: Berlin.
It proved to be the most exciting time to spend in Berlin. For the first time, you could visit both parts of the city. Construction and building went on along the death strip between both sides of the wall.
I worked in a home for children with additional needs in the city’s north directly beside the wall. It still stood. When we walked alongside it, we watched vendors who picked out pieces of the wall to sell to tourists. Berlin was exciting, vibrant, and had developed a huge alternative culture scene. It was a wonderful time to be alive.
I met my first husband in that home. I was more occupied with living than with my spirituality.
I lived at a volunteer’s home on the premises of the place where I worked. I found a great group of people living and working there. We often visited the incredible cultural opportunities that Berlin offered: theater, musicals, cinema, museums, and a vast array of restaurants with cuisine from all over the world.
It was great to see the famous “Friedrichsstadt Palast.” It was THE showplace in the former East of Berlin, which showed a variety of musicals when I was living there.
Another time, we went to a place called “Kunsthaus Tacheles,” which was a community of artists who lived and worked in the ruins of a Jewish department store. They also had a cinema, shops, and restaurants.
Berlin in the 1990s was such a creative and innovative place. I am incredibly grateful that I had the chance to experience it all.
I loved Berlin and also enjoyed my work, which led me to the decision to study social work. My then-boyfriend/later husband wasn’t as happy in Berlin as I was. He was homesick and wanted to return to his northern German home close to the Dutch border.
I studied in Muenster and got a place at a private Catholic university. Again, I spent time in a city that was going through a transition. Muenster had a huge British garrison and as Germany transitioned to a non-occupied country, the allied forces moved their people somewhere else.
Muenster has two universities and was a very “green” city. There were cycle paths everywhere, and the city was closed for much of the traffic. You found a good deal of little food markets all over the city. Just like in Berlin, the restaurants featured cuisine from all around the world.
They also had wonderful cinemas and a great library within a modern building that was rather controversial at the time it was built. There were many bookshops, both big and small. Muenster is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany, and if you ever get the chance to visit the country, please make a stop there.
I met a group of women who studied there. We often went out together. The university I went to was rather small, which meant learning was supported well.
I enjoyed my studies, but my mental health became a real problem. Anxiety consumed me, so I spoke to the university’s counselor. At this point in my life, I suppressed my experiences of childhood sexual abuse. Instead, I concentrated on the grief of losing my mother at such a young age.
Counseling helped as it dug into the reasons behind my anxiety and experienced traumas. However, it never felt like something that would help me all on its own.
I also took a “Religious Studies” class at the university where I delved into the scientific realities of the Catholic faith which gave me the freedom to venture out into different paths of spirituality.
My group of study friends came from all spectrums of the faith community, from atheists to practicing Christians, and to people practising Tarot. We had discussions about what spirituality meant and if it was still relevant in today’s world.
It was in this set-up that Tarot cards found their way into my life. I eventually bought my first Haindl Tarot deck and guidebook. That deck became my go-to practice for when I needed guidance in my life and for meditation support.
I love the Haindl tarot deck for its majestic artwork and how it brought ideas from all spiritual paths together in one place. It is still a treasured part of my spirituality, even though I’m not using it as much as I used to.
But wait! Just because I used a Tarot deck didn’t mean that I considered myself to be a pagan. Even though I immersed myself in the Christian faith, I still introduced myself to different, and not yet explored spiritual methods.
My studies ended with a practical year, of which I took in a home for people with learning difficulties in a town about an hour away from Muenster. Unfortunately, one of the staff abused a girl which led my boss to conduct a workshop about what sexual abuse meant. We discussed the signs of sexual abuse and what we should do in case it happened to us.
That hit me like a rock. All of those suppressed feeling from the abuse I had suffered, bubbled up and overflowed. It made me locate a therapist outside of the university. Sadly, the first I went to did not take me seriously. However, I was so disturbed at the time that I changed to another therapist who turned out to be great.
My first husband was still not happy, even though we now lived just an hour away from his home, and not eight hours away like we had in Berlin. So after I finished my education, we moved to his homeplace close to the Dutch border, further north of Muenster.
It was a rural area, and I found it hard to find a job. There was, however, an emerging freelance job sector for custodians of people who could not fully take responsibility for themselves. This is what I chose to do.
We got married and bought a house. Unfortunately, my husband never believed that I suffered sexual abuse at the hands of my father. I remained open from the beginning, but my husband could not bring himself to accept that the jolly man he’d met had abused me. Eventually, we divorced. I’ll share more about that next month.
In the meantime, I discovered a Protestant church and choir in Meppen where we lived. I felt like I’d found a new spiritual home. I volunteered again with the church’s children’s groups and attended church every Sunday.
However, my soul needed something else. I continued to use the Tarot cards for guidance as I read up on other faiths and spiritual paths. I felt torn between experiencing community at the church and these “other” demands of my soul. Through all of this, I continued to struggle with my mental health. That is how I entered my thirties.
More about this next month. Thank you very much for reading and going on this journey with me. I hope you are well and am sending you my blessings.