Many of you know this week, I will be returning to Guatemala for a week (there is a volunteer reunion). I am excited, and a little nervous, and just bursting to get some first-hand information on what in the heck is going on down there! My beloved Guatemala is hardly ever in the news, but I know it is struggling. I miss my kids, and I worry about them. At my site, we were near a hot zone (they don't have volunteers out there anymore), and I knew gang activity was escalating even while I was there. I hope I will hear that things have gotten better, but I fear I will hear they are worse.
Guatemala was one of those once-in-a-lifetime-but-changes-your-whole-life experiences. It was the one time I ever stepped off a plane on United States soil, looked back down the bridge to the plane door, and said to myself, "Yep, that might be the most important thing I have ever done, and may ever hope to do again."
I started apprenticing with Nancy shortly after returning. It led to a lot of changes in my life, actually. But, it will probably not surprise you to know that while I was there, I had my Tarot of Transformation deck with me. Even before I undertook formal study, I was bonded to the Tarot.
Guatemala is a Christian, largely Catholic country. Catholic in the old, old way. Knowing this, I never revealed that I read cards. In the beginning, I was afraid to.
In truth, I could have shouted it from the rooftop of my house if I'd wanted to. Guatemala is Catholic, this is true. But a lot of the indiginous beliefs still hold as well. I remember twice being asked, after I said I'd be willing to play cards, if I also read them. I was always surprised to be asked, and shocked when, after I admitted I did, the person would ask if I would read for them sometime. As though it were completely natural. There wasn't a blink, a hesitation, that very pregnant pause while the person shifted around their conceptions about readings cards and what they knew about me. It was unexpected, and refreshing.
Say what you will about Guatemala. I have never met more accepting, inclusive, truly Christian people in all my life. Many have nothing and yet display such depth of happiness and strength of community that you can't help but be in awe. The nation might be crumbling in places, but the people remain strong. I just wish so many good things for them, they deserve so much more.