Cards by Brian Froud
Book by Jessica Macbeth

The Laume
Portrait by Brian Froud
© Painting copyright 2000 by Brian Froud
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the artist.

Card 30. The Laume

Unconditional giving. Unconditional receiving.

She is The Laume in the same way that The Macgregor is the chief of the Clan Macgregor - The Laume of all Laumes. The Laume is a charitable soul in the old sense of the word charity, which is loving and giving. She knows the joy of giving without expectation of return. From practicing this ourselves, we learn that there always is a return, often from the least expected source. The universe likes to keep its accounts up to date, and her job is to encourage us to keep the credit side of our cosmic accounts balanced by freely giving. We have been given the earth, the sun, the stars and the moon. We have been given trees and flowers and things to eat and a multitude of prospective friends - it's going to take a considerable amount of generousity to come into balance with all those gifts already received.
When we fall out of balance in what we give and what we receive, we can have "constipation" or "diarrhea" of the spirit. Spiritual constipation makes us toxic and bloated and unable to deal with more intake. Spiritual diarrhea makes us energetically depleted, limp, and needy. The spiritual forms of these particular malfunctions are entirely a result of our choices about balancing our giving and receiving. You may think you have it right, but if things are not going well for you, The Laume suggests you think again.
If you are pushing and pushing at something - especially achieving or acquiring - it can often help greatly just to back off, relax about it, and let the energy flow. If, at the same time that you back up from your efforts, you put energy into the universe elsewhere, then energy just naturally has to flow back to you in the most appropriate and generous form. The universe also has to keep its accounts balanced.
Studying The Laume's picture, Michael wrote, "The Laume is still bugging me. She looks passive, but watchful. I think she feels that this giving business needs a bit more explanation. It is about being ready to do that sometimes quite small thing just when it is needed. A pinch of fairy dust in just the right place at just the right time works wonders - but big clouds of fairy dust just make everyone sneeze."
This is true - sometimes a small bit of helpfulness now prevents a big need later. And sometimes a big thing is needed right from the beginning.
Nadine noted that The Laume's wings looked a bit tattered and wondered if this indicated that it is sometimes appropriate to give until it hurts. "Yes, it is," The Laume says. "Not as a habit, not as a sort of martyrdom, but only on the rare occasions when it is truly needed."
One of The Laume's charming customs is to give through whatever pair of hands is nearest - providing they allow her to do so. Do you let The Laume give through your hands or do you put them in your pockets and hold back, holding on to what is "yours"? If so, you are missing a lot of fun, some interesting experiences - and spiritual growth.

Starter Reading

If you are stuck or blocked in a situation and The Laume turns up in a reading, you probably need to stop focusing on what you are trying to accomplish, and simply give to others - freely and generously and unconditionally.
Try a few random acts of kindness, unconditionally given, of course. Go do some volunteer work somewhere. Mow your elderly neighbor's lawn or take homemade soup or some flowers from your garden to someone you know who is ill. Give some help to a coworker just because they need it. Give to a needy stranger, whether or not you think he deserves it. Take flowers into a hospital and give them to a stranger at random. Or give them to a nurse, with compliments from the universe. Give a bit more than you think you can afford; go a little further than you think you reasonably can. Empty your wallet or purse of all your cash for a beggar on the street. Don't worry - it will fill up again, faster than you might expect.

Reverse

Ask yourself if you have been giving too much and it is time to stop and attend to your own needs for a bit. Alternatively, ask yourself if you have been refusing to receive the bounty of the universe flowing through The Laume's hands, just because it wasn't in quite the form that you expected or because it was from a different source than you wanted it to come from. Sometimes we put restrictions on our receiving. For example, we may feel that approval and love has to come from one specific person or all other approval and love is without value to us. If so, we need to learn to accept what comes from any source as coming from a loving universe, blessed by The Laume's hands.

A personal view:
The Laume and I usually get along pretty well, but every once in a while she bops me alongside the head with her magic wand (a fairly hefty one) to get my attention. For the last few years she and a few others have been giving me lessons in unconditional receiving. Would you believe that unconditional receiving is a lot tougher than unconditional giving?
It is - receiving is harder because we feel more vulnerable when we receive and we feel more in control when we give. This feeling, however, is often an illusion and we are vulnerable both ways - vulnerable when we give and when we receive - especially if our giving is not unconditional and we expect something back. It doesn't matter if that something is tangible or not - it may be no more than expecting appreciation for what we do. But that expectation makes us vulnerable to disappointment and to the perils of projecting our previous experiences of disappointment into the future. When we project things like that, we then often go ahead to create them, eradicating any other possibilities that might otherwise have existed.
This business of giving and receiving with an open and well-balanced heart is waaaay tricky. It takes a lot of practice.

The first part of this page, the quote on The Laume from Faeries' Oracle, is
© copyright 2000 by Jessica Macbeth and Brian Froud. All rights reserved.
"A personal view" is © copyright 2001 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved