I did the “Card of the day with commentary” from my Complete Book of Tarot Spreads.
The Shadowscapes deck doesn’t really have reversals, but in today’s spread they felt really important, so I used the Little Red Tarot wisdom on reversals when I interpreted this.
The card of the day was the (reversed) Four of Wands. I don’t normally do anything with reversals, but I drew this one reversed, and when I looked at it – so bright and joyful and triumphant, I felt my heart sinking. This isn’t me, not right now. Today, the whole day, has been heavy and I feel like Sisyphus, pushing that fucking boulder forever. It feels hopeless. Where is the “Celebration, freedom, harmony, prosperity, peace, letting go of limitations, jubulation“? The reversal felt right.
Both the “fear of” and the “blocking of” reversal interpretations feel like they apply. There is actually a lot of joy in my life right now, but I have so much trouble feeling it because things have also been so stressful and overwhelming. Not just the ongoing process of grieving my distant love and hoping for a future together, but also our new house presenting endless (expensive) problems, and the difficult (holy fuck, so difficult) process of dealing with my codependent patterns and trying to process old pain. It’s been a lot. It overshadows the joy, and I will admit that there is also an element of martyrdom in it. If I just suffer hard enough, I’ll be rewarded with joy, right? And on the flip side, if I don’t suffer endlessly, I’ll never get what I want because… I don’t know. Latent Calvinism? I don’t know.
So my card of the day has forced me to think about why I am so afraid of joy and celebration, and what I am doing to block myself from feeling it. It also made me think about Brenè Brown’s discussion of “fearful joy” as one way to avoid vulnerability, which is something I’ve been starting to notice in myself more and more. It was a good reminder that there is nothing inherently noble in suffering, and that denying myself the freedom to taste the sweet and the bitter in some misguided attempt to store up the sweet for some perfect future time is a little bit misguided. (Where “little bit” means “an awful lot.”)
The second card, representing the present situation/what is on your mind, was also reversed. The Two of Wands, “Personal power and influence, authority, courage.” Again, “fear of” and “blocking of” apply, because I have felt so deeply that I have no power in the situations that are most painful, no influence, no authority, and very little courage. But that’s not true. It is absolutely true that I don’t have any influence over what is happening in my love’s life and with their choices, but you can’t read Tarot for someone who isn’t there, and this spread is for me. I do have personal power, influence, and definitely authority over my own life. I can make choices that are right for me, and that move me in the direction I need to go. But I don’t want to. I don’t want that responsibility. I don’t want that weight. I don’t want to do this work. I’m tired. I’m sad. I’m discouraged. I want to stay in bed until everything is sorted out, and then step into my life once it’s better.
But I can’t. That’s not how it works. (And I know that – I do. I just don’t want to know it and don’t want to act on it.)
The last card, the background of the day’s events, is Judgement. Choices. Yeah, ya think? I laughed when I saw it.
And then I made a choice. I flipped the reversed cards right side up. I started a blog. I took a deep breath.
I can’t make choices for anyone else, but I can make them for myself. And I am.