Monday, January 30, 2012

How Can I Be the Best Candle?

Welcome new friends. Hello to the old. I decided to participate in a Tarot blog round robin around Imbolc. The theme you see above is "How Can I Be the Best Candle?"

I gave it a good month's worth of thought. I tossed around several ideas, such as how fascinated I am that a candle represents all four elements in one form (fire on the wick, earth in the wax, water in the melted wax, air consumed by the flame). How strongly I feel that the challenge of the Hermit (the light for one) is to become the Star (the light for many). I even thought of several tenets of being a good Tarot reader. All of them were fine ideas. None of them spoke to the heart of what I felt it was to be the Best Candle.

So, I asked for clarity. And once again, I walked into another one of those "be careful what you wish for" situations.

As most of my loyal followers know (hi, Mom!), I don't support myself by Tarot or writing. When I do mention the day job, I refer to it only as my "Clark Kent" job. I tend to mention it as little as possible.

For who would suspect, despite ten books, the best possible Tarot mentor, and some very stout encouragement from every English teacher I had from fifth grade up, that I, Melanie A. Howard, would ever spend 40 hours a week...

As a claims adjuster!

Ladies and gentleman, the secret is out. I spend the vast majority of my time making money for money's sake. I work for a finance institution that hires out to other finance institutions and handle five times as much money in one day than I make in a year.

In my list of jobs, it is by far the one I have been best at. I was a fine children's book editor. I was a good teacher. I am an excellent writer and a sincere Tarot reader.

But I am remarkable at finance.

As the months after my return from Guatemala turned into years, I wasn't sure whether I was more surprised or horrified by this glaring reality. After all, what was I building? Who was I serving? How could I possibly be enriching the world?

It's easy to forget sometimes, in the world of "good" and "evil," that not all of us get to be the candle planted righteously at the head of a nonprofit organization serving widows and orphans. Someone is the candle on the other side of the phone line explaining how to reboot your internet, how to work your steering wheel touch controls, how to return the dress that was so cute in the catalog but hideous in person. Someone is the candle who arranges a payment plan for you when your life takes a turn, reverses the overdraft oopsie you didn't mean to make....

... and reviews the settlements received on an auto account in the event of an accident to make sure all parties paid correctly.

The Best Candle lights the Best Candle in others and illuminates the dark places. Whether your candle is in the Sistine Chapel or at the register at a gas station during a power outage, the purpose is the same. Shine a light wherever you are planted.


For those of you following the Imbolc post cycle, I invite you to click on to Michael Banuelos:

If you did not just come from there, the blog before mine was:


  1. Really liked this. It hammers home that our flame-selves are good wherever we are as long as we do our best. Fun to know that you are really good at finances and that you like that. :) I do tech support and I'm really good at that. Hard some days but this is a good reminder for me.

  2. Most of us have led many lives. Being good at what you do -- even if it wasn't your all-time first choice -- can be incredibly rewarding. Thanks for this peek into your "day job" and your delightful personality!

  3. You are a wonderful writer ... and I believe you when you say claims adjuster, too. Sounds like you have elemental balance in your life of work for money and passion. I love how the Tarot suggest that elemental balance for us so thanks for being so self-revealing and modeling that. And I really like Psychic Tarot. I gave it a quick read and it is next up on to really work through. So good to meet you on the Blog Hop!

    1. Glad you enjoy the book! Balance is the hardest thing to achieve - and the hardest thing to keep once you've got it! I'm always working on balance.