Almost every day I add “tarot reading” to my to do list, and rarely do I follow through.
Unlike any of my three day jobs, or my coaching work, or my editing work, or the work I’m doing for the Patreon, the tarot is just for me, and because it’s just for me, it’s the easiest to abandon. Like stretching, eating well, and getting enough sleep, my tarot practice (and my connection to any sense of ritual and inner work) is the first on the chopping block when I run out of time and energy. And I am always running out of time and energy.
But it’s important to me. This practice, this connection. It’s important to me. And so I start again. Restart. Restart. Restart. Stall out and start again. (I love the coaching, editing, and, especially, the work I’m doing with the Patreon. I love it. But I need this, too. I need the inner turn and the ritual, and the insight that the cards offer.)
I was going to do a draw a day for the first 21 days of the year, and didn’t. And then felt ashamed and didn’t do any. Didn’t want to come back to this space and see my failure.
But restarting is not failing. It’s just one way forward.
So, another card today.
Just a single card.
A card for where I’m at right now.
I pull out my Fearlessness and Confidence annointing oil, that I bought in San Francisco over a year ago and have never used, and dot it on my hands. I put some peppermint and eucalyptus in the diffuser.
I shuffle my cards for the first time in a month and a half. (My Shadowscapes deck, of course.)
The Five of Swords.
Mmmhmm. Looking at the fae creature in flight, looking back defensively, black swans on either side, I think – yes. Indeed. Fighting. Choosing your battles, and choosing how you fight them.
Beth Maiden at Little Red Tarot writes, “Whilst this card can tell you that, if you fight hard enough, you can win your battle, it raises questions about your motivations…. this card asks ‘is this fight worth it? What are you trying to achieve?’ – and questions whether I should be entering into this battle at all. It suggests to me that it may not be a fair fight. Someone – perhaps myself, or my opponent, won’t be playing straight.”
I’m fighting a lot lately.
I’m fighting my own exhaustion, all the time. And that’s a fight that I should lose – I should be letting myself rest more. But there’s just so much to do.
And, more sharply to this card, I’m fighting my stepson’s autism therapy team, in this ongoing year-long struggle to have my non-binary gender recognized and acknowledged in speech therapy sessions where pronoun drills are common. It is exhausting. It is overwhelming and discouraging and depressing.
I look at this card and wonder if there are ways to approach this issue that involve less fighting.
Not giving up, of course. Gender is not a binary and pretending that it is doesn’t actually do my kiddo any favours, because he knows that I’m genderqueer, and he knows other genderqueer people too.
But maybe I can find a way to move forward with a little less defensiveness and fear.
I don’t know.
The card feels right – that is how I feel right now. Like I’m clawing for every scrap of victory and I’m exhausted by the fight and I’m defensive and afraid and vulnerable and weakened.
I’m going to have to sit with that for a while and see how it feels, see if any new ways to move forward present themselves.
The question Beth presents – “at what cost?” – associated with this card feels relevant. I need to sit with that.
Interestingly, I just wrote yesterday about the difficulty and fear associated with making choices that turn away from an option in order to fully pursue other options. That feels relevant, too.