Card of the Day with Commentary: Death, Five of Wands, Seven of Pentacles

I was having a rough morning. Feeling anxious, tired, and deeply, deeply unloveable. Like the dark core of myself that I’ve always believed to be true, the broken bit at the base, had been confirmed. True fact: Gloom Fairy is not truly loveable.

So I did some journalling.

And then I did my card of the day.

All three of my cards – the one for my day (Death), the present moment/how I’m feeling about the situation (Five of Wands), and the background to the day (Seven of Pentacles) – were jumpers. I unwrapped my deck and the Death card flipped over as I pulled the cloth away, “hello, you are looking for me” she seemed to say. And I thought, okay. I’ll take it. I love that card. Renewal, transformation, rising out of the ashes. (On which note, I had been listening to this song all week.)

And then I started shuffling and the Five of Wands basically backflipped out of the deck. “IT’S ME! Hello, it is me.” So I thought, again, okay. I’ll take it. It makes sense. My companion book says:

In the Five of Wands, sometimes it seems the world tosses dozens of obstacles in your path. When gathered together, these minor obstructions become an overwhelming wall to over, but take heart… Answer that challenge not with despair but with renewed vigor. Appreciate the unknown strengths that are drawn forth when faced with difficulties.

And then I went back to shuffling, kind of amused and a little dismayed because I actually love the ritual of cutting my newly shuffled deck and laying the cards and flipping them, the routine of it, the ritual, the repetition of an action that helps me feel grounded and calm. But no! It was not to be! The Seven of Pentacles dropped saucily out of the middle of the deck, winking. Choices got you here, she said. She’s right.

So here’s my spread of jumpers.

Death, Five of Wands, Seven of Pentacles from the Shadowscapes tarot.
Death, Five of Wands, Seven of Pentacles from the Shadowscapes tarot.

It’s a cheeky little spread, I think. And encouraging. (I find the Shadowscapes deck is always gentle and warm and welcoming – that’s why I went there this morning rather than my usual draw from The Wild Unknown.)

This is how I read the spread –

My card of the day is a reminder of my greatest strength – my ability to go through the deep dark and come out transformed into a better version of myself. The Death card is one of my favourites in tarot, because of how it reveals the necessity of change for growth. There are some endings that are necessary. There are some endings that are beginnings. That’s what this card says, to me. Let go so you can grow. Let it die. Let it be reborn.

And I’m not really sure what this means for me, right now. What is it that I need to let die? My belief in my unloveability, maybe. That sharp thread runs danger-bright through the core of me. That’s a big death, if that’s it.

Or maybe it’s the relationship with my springtime love that used to be. The one before. Maybe I need to let that go, let that die. It’s not coming back. It’s ashes now, and gone.

The Death card says that’s okay. That doesn’t mean the relationship can’t be reborn. But it does mean the relationship has to be reborn. Made new.

And those wands. That’s a daunting task. It’s a lot of obstacles to navigate. But the Five of Wands isn’t hopeless. Far from it. Like the Death card, it’s a card of overcoming.

And the Seven of Pentacles, reminding me that the time for waiting has passed, the seeds that were planted are growing, and although there is still work in the future, there is also the opportunity to appreciate the fruit in front of me. She’s all about choices, this card. And about reaping the rewards of hard work. She’s the background to the Death card and the Five of Wands in this spread, the reminder that growth is slow but rewarding, that choices lead places, that our efforts do bear fruit.

So let it burn down, and then build it back up. Let it go. Let it come back. It’s daunting, but it’s worth it.

“Begin Now, With What You Have”: Getting to the Two of Cups

Excuse me, but did you see that Beth at Little Red Tarot has published a book of tarot spreads? Because you might want to buy it.

On Wednesday, I used the “Begin now, with what you have” spread, with the Two of Cups that I drew as my card of the day as the goal. Because yes. That is my goal. And I thought I would use the energy of that card coming up in my daily draw to help me figure out what I need in order to get there.

The Wild Unknown tarot.
The Wild Unknown tarot.

The bottom row is my foundation, my “what you have.”

The Six of Wands, which has been coming up often in my spreads. The liner notes key words are “victory, rising up,” and Happy Fish Tarot says:

The six wands below throw back to the discord and hassles of the previous card. They look like a chaotic trap, a sticky situation that our butterfly was able to rise above (both literally and metaphorically). The wands below descend into the dark, while the butterfly ascends to the pure, clear white. She is victorious.

The Six of Wands shows times of triumph. This card encourages us to follow the butterfly’s example and tap into our strength of spirit when we are faced with adversity. Remember that life is on your side, know that you were born to soar.

Justice, which has also been coming up a bunch. Those cats, man. That swords. Everything in that card moving towards the diamond in the centre, the hard decision to be made. Happy Fish says:

The sword above the diamond is a reminder that decisions must be made even when there isn’t a “black and white” answer. The point of the blade rests directly above the center of the diamond, showing that true Justice takes into account all the complexities and nuances of a situation. The base of the sword is elegantly decorated. It’s positioning, high above the cats, suggest that the power of the blade comes from a higher, spiritual realm.

The symbolism in this card shows that ‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ This is the ideal traditionally associated with the Justice card – karma, truth, decisions and morality.

And the Ace of Cups. Love’s beginnings, according to the liner notes. But I, like Carrie at Happy Fish, tend to see the cups as holding all the emotional states, and this ace, like all aces, holding the potential for any emotional beginning.

So, in the foundation, I see hope and caution. Balance. Hope, though, A lot of hope, And the need for a decision, which isn’t surprising in the least, but is a good reminder.

Okay, the second row. “Begin now.” These are my next steps.

Strength (patience, mastery of emotions, courage) and the Two of Wands (determination, willpower).

So, let me tell you what my heart did when I turned these cards over. I saw the rose in the lion’s teeth, mirroring the rose in the Two of Cups. And I saw the position of the wands, mirroring the stems in the Two of Cups, and my whole stupid, hopeful, battered-and-still-beating heart just… My whole heart just took a deep, deep breath. “Yes,” she said. “Yes.”

And then, before I even did any serious reading about what these cards mean, I sent pictures of this spread to two of my tarot friends and said “am I missing something super obvious, because this looks really hopeful to me and I don’t want to be hopeful if I shouldn’t be” and they both said “yup, looks hopeful” and then I put my feet back down on the ground and kept thinking.

So, my next steps towards the goal that is embodied in that Two of Cups, the goal of reaching a reciprocal, mutual, fulfilled love relationship, are to find my courage, continue to work on mastering/learning/observing/witnessing/experiencing my emotions, and to be willing to do the necessary work.

Beth at Little Red Tarot has this to say about Strength, and it really resonates for me in this context:

The strength in this card is about facing your fears head-on, understanding all the joys and pains in the world that make you who you are, and transforming these into something useful, something that can benefit you. It’s all there inside us, the good and the bad. Some of it was invited in, some of it came anyway, and it’ll keep on coming. But it can all be resources for self-awareness, and thus change.

True strength is about how we react to the stuff life keeps chucking at us, and choosing to respond with something positive, powerful and useful. It’s about taking responsibility for our actions. We’re not just silent recipients of pleasant experiences, passive victims of pains inflicted from outside ourselves. All that stuff that’s made you YOU…what are you going to do with it?

And of the Two of Wands, Carrie at Happy Fish Tarot says this:

Two Wands point towards the horizon – the angular positioning suggests we can reach right out and take ahold of them! The Wands beckon us forward. What might we find if we embrace their power (which is really our power)? What waits for us off the beaten trail? Are we ready to embark on our unique path, even when it holds struggles and dangers?

The horizontal lines in this and other cards in the Wild Unknown (such as Temperance and the Fool) suggest energy which is currently stable and untapped. This energy is powerful, but can’t reach its potential until we come in and direct it. This imbues the Two of Wands with an energy of potential.

This card shows the moments when we realize our own ability to direct our energy, to shape our lives. We are all creators, this card reminds us of our ability to harness our power and make bold moves. Experiencing the Two of Wands can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. We have the opportunity to grab ahold of the wands, but will we make the move?

In both these cards is the question – you are invited to step into the moment, to take responsibility, to face fears and take actions, so, will you?

And I want to say yes.

Because I want to get to that goal.

And then the last card, the “new insight” card.

The Wheel of Fortune (and there’s the owl, of course. Of course.)

Beth, at Little Red Tarot, says this:

It is about hope in the face of adversity, humility in the face of great fortune, and just as importantly, about knowing where and how to be master of our own fate. The Wheel of Fortune points out that we are at a turning point in our own lives, and asks us to assess this position responsibly, acknowledging all of the influences that come to bear on it, not least our own.

This card promises change – inevitable change. One of the meditations from the Stop, Breathe & Think app that I use most often is the 6-minute “change” meditation. It helps to know that nothing stays the same. Especially because if my springtime love and I are able to find our way to the Two of Cups-ness that I truly feel we’re capable of, I want that relationship to incorporate intentional space for growth and change. I want us to ride the wheel together as long as our paths allow us.

And it’s also a hopeful card for me, right now. Because I want this situation to change. I want that a lot. And maybe I can get there. Maybe we can get there.

(Also, entering my tags, it occurs to me that this spread is all cups and wands and major arcana. Emotion and action and big things happening. Feels right.)

Week 2 Reading: The Four* Elements

I’m still working my way through Beth’s wonderful Alternative Tarot Course over at Little Red Tarot. You can read about my week 1 reading here.

This week was all about the elements in the Minor Arcana suits. It had me thinking about balance, and looking for where I’m connected to the elements in my own life. Today was a day of particularly emotional … emotions … so it seemed like it was about time to do the Four (except I added Spirit) Elements reading.

And hoo boy, these cards, man. These cards.

So.

The Four Elements Spread from the Alternative Tarot Course.
The Four Elements Spread from the Alternative Tarot Course.
  1. Your situation at this moment
  2. The earth of your situation
  3. The water of your situation
  4. The air of your situation
  5. The fire of your situation
  6. The spirit of your situation (added by me, haha, sorry Beth!)

And this was my spread –

IMG_0852
Four* Elements Spread with the Wild Unknown deck.

The heart of the situation – the reversed Two of Pentacles. Blocked from being balanced. And there’s so much in this card that resonates for me in my situation with my springtime love. The butterfly, which is the metaphor I’ve constantly been drawn to for what we are both going through. The reversal – being blocked from becoming that fully realized butterfly. I think that he is currently in the process of deciding whether coming out of his cocoon is a risk he’s willing to take, and all I can do is hope that he does. And the infinity symbol there… A lot of feelings. A *lot* of feelings.

Then my earth. My foundation. The Five of Pentacles. Oh, yes, the Five of Pentacles indeed. Sadness. Grief. Loss. And that rose is so alone. This card, as soon as I flipped it, hit me hard in the heart. This is my earth right now. Deep grief, heavy loss. Is it the same rose as in the Two of Cups? I think so. My heart says yes. My heart says that if he came back, we could transform this dropping flower into something vibrant and alive. But that’s not the present. The present is sadness.

Then my water. My emotions, my heart. The Chariot, reversed. Another blockage, another instance where there is something stopping me from moving forward, from progressing. The Chariot is such a hopeful, positive, powerful card and I feel, just like in the reversal of the Two of Pentacles, that we are *so close* to movement, and yet still so far away.

Then my air. My intellect, my wide-open spaces, my expansiveness (that’s how I picture air, anyway, maybe because all my guided meditations end with picturing your mind emptying into a clear sky). The Ace of Wands. Again. Always this card! It tells me there is hope, there is growth coming, there is beauty up ahead. But it doesn’t tell me whether that happens with or without him, and I hate the cards for that (even though I don’t believe they tell the future. Still, I want them to! God, I want them to). Again, the anger that points to where I’m feeling trapped and helpless and off balance and out of control. That anger is becoming a very useful tool for recognizing the spaces where I’m letting myself down.

Then my fire. My spark, my drive. Temperance. Balancing fire and water, holding seemingly incompatible elements in balance with each other. This feels hopeful, and accurate. I am good at this. Feeling fear and acting despite it. Sitting with discomfort and doing the work of processing it. I am willing to do this work. And I am good at it. It’s part of what makes me who I am.

Finally, my spirit. The Wheel of Fortune, reversed. And an owl there, of course. Because I am on this path because of my love, because our connection made me feel that there is, perhaps, something ineffable between us and within me, and I wanted to explore that. But reversed, because again there is that something blocking forward movement. That’s the whole spread, right there. So much potential, and something blocking any movement forward.

But a reversed card isn’t permanent, I don’t think. Blocks can be moved. And if I flip them all, it looks like this –

FullSizeRender

Still a reading with sadness in the foundation, but look at all the movement, all the progress. Finding balance, finding peace, moving forward. And when I look again at this spread, I see how the drooping flower in the Five of Pentacles is given new life in the Ace of Wands. And I can see the Wheel of Fortune up there in the corner, with that owl, and I think that whatever happens, there is a connection here. And it’s good.

If I read the spread top to bottom, this is what jumps out at me –

I start in this sadness. Yes, I can’t deny that and I can’t change that. That card is solid, and that card is my foundation right now. Five of Pentacles, I see you. I acknowledge you.

But then up, to the Two of Pentacles and to the butterfly – coming out of the cocoon and into balance, into an “always”ness that was already present, but needed to be recognized and accepted.

And up again, to the Ace of Wands and to a new beginning, to the flowers blooming, to the bright potential there.

And up, once more, to the Wheel of Fortune and the owl that will always be my love, and to moving through difficult times into better ones and then back into difficulty (but maybe together, this time?).

It feels hopeful.

Things may be stuck right now, but they won’t stay stuck forever. And once they unstick, they will be amazing.

Trying a relationship spread 


This spread, with the Wild Unknown tarot, made me laugh. (It comes from Barbara Moore’s book Tarot Spreads.)

So, briefly (since I’m on my phone, at my sister’s house). 

Left to right:

Why do I want him back? The Lovers. Yes. Fuck, yes. Oh, my heart. He is home for me, and this is my favourite representation of this card – the geese flying together in the same direction, growing together and helping each other soar. This is exactly why I want him back. Because we can have this, together. 

Why do I not want him back? Reversed Four of Swords – yes! Because our relationship, as it is(n’t) right now absolutely does block my inner stillness. The Four of Swords is a really important card for me, and when I saw this reversal it really resonated. I do want him back, but I don’t want the pain and uncertainty of this limbo. 

What went wrong? The Magician. I mean. Yeah! I snorted when I saw this. Because yes, The Magician is a powerful positive card, but there’s also an element of manipulation there, and a shifty side-eye from that cheetah. AND at the same time, what went wrong? Not using the positive aspects here! Not owning our personal power and making choices and taking actions that would have been positive. Hoping for the best without doing the work to make it happen. Rejecting the parts of The Magician that are good and powerful, and not moving into the balance that this card offers. The Magician is one of those cards that calls out my codependency and offers an alternative. What went wrong? Not taking that alternative. 

What to let go of? Oh, my heart. Reversed Three of Swords. Let go of the heartbreak, the betrayal. 

What to learn? Ten of Cups. Harmony and joy. How hopeful is that? That’s super hopeful. And I hope it loops around, and I can bring my newly learned harmony and joy into a new beginning with my lover. 

Hope. There is hope. 

  

Reading my heartache

I’ve had a therapy-full couple days – I saw my psychologist yesterday, and we talked about The Feels. And then I saw my cranio-sacral therapist today, and we also talked about The Feels. But different Feels. Or, the same Feels but from different angles. Right now, while things are really difficult, and since I am working so effing hard on tending my inner garden, I’ve been finding it really helpful to have the two complementary therapies working side-by-side. And I am fortunate to have a psychologist who is supportive of my queerness and my non-binary gender and my poly and my kink and on top of all that, my new exploration of some kind of spirituality. She’s basically the best.

So it was all the therapy and all the tears. Sweet baby dragons, I cried all the fucking tears. Today, with her hand on my belly, my therapist said “have you ever wanted to be a mom?” and OH MY GOD. The sobbing. The hand-on-heart, whole-body sobbing. Because there are exactly two children in this world that I have been eager to share my every-day with, and they… well. They are not in my life right now. At all. And wow. Wow. I don’t often let myself touch that particular pain, because it’s a specific form of awful. But she asked, and my body answered. It’s a complicated answer – the answer is “no, I have never wanted to be a mother and I will never have biological children” but it is also “there’s a piece of my heart that I happily handed to two tiny humans, and as much as I love the other tiny humans in my life, these two… I thought they would be in my life always and I wanted that more than anything and it terrified and bewildered me even at the time and now, without that, it’s just a them-shaped gap that I barely even comprehend.” When I first met my cranio-sacral therapist and she was asking about my state, she thought there had been a pregnancy. There wasn’t. Won’t ever be – this uterus is a baby-free zone – but there are those two little humans. Fuck, that hurts.

Anyway.

After all the therapy and all the tears, I had a tea-and-tarot date with one of my best friends.

We went to Chapters and I got some things for the kids’ room in my place – there are lots of little people who share time with me – and I got a gift for one of my partners, and I took a picture of some owl beanies and I bought an owl teapot and basically I am pathetic and sentimental but it was okay. And then we went back to her place and I did a reading for her and she did a reading for me.

This was mine –

Reading from The Wild Unknown deck.
Reading from The Wild Unknown deck.

That’s my new deck – it just arrived yesterday. It’s The Wild Unknown and it’s gorgeous. I’ve had a few readings done with this deck before – one of my good friends has it, and Beth from Little Red Tarot used it for my reading (which I’ll be writing up and sharing soon). Anyway.

It’s a slightly modified past-with-commentary, present-with-commentary, future-with-commentary. Modified to add that seventh card because the reading just didn’t feel done until I did that. My question was “what’s happening with my springtime love”? (Because I am predictable as fuck. *facepalm*)

So. My past. The Four of Wands. Completion and celebration. Every time I’ve done a past-present-future spread, the past is glorious. And I always think, yes. It was. It was amazing. He showed me that it was possible to be loved for all the parts of me that I didn’t think anyone would even want to share, let alone adore. He gave me back parts of myself that had been lost to trauma decades before. So, celebration? Yes.

And the commentary – Mother of Swords. Experienced, all-seeing. Because I thought that I knew what the future was going to hold. I thought I knew. I thought it would be us, always. That’s what we said, over and over. Us, always. Always, always, always. And there’s an owl on that card, just to fuck with me. Yes. That is my past. Yes.

And then the present – the Six of Cups. I’ve written about her before. In the liner notes for The Wild Unknown, this card is memories, childhood. And that also is accurate. So accurate. What I’m working on right now is undoing old habits and old patterns of relating and being, things deeply rooted in my childhood. And also reclaiming lost ways of being, rooted even more deeply in that child-self. Reacquainting myself with my child-self, relearning the lost art of feeling safe and wild and free.

The commentary – Temperance. Another card I’ve drawn a few times, and one that I struggle with. The liner notes say “healing, renewal, balance.” I am trying. Fuck, am I ever trying…

Then the future. And my breath held as the cards turn over, and I want an answer this time. I want definitive. I want to know! I don’t even believe that tarot can tell the future, but oh my god, I want to know. I want to know! This limbo, it’s awful. It’s painful. It’s confusing and it hurts and I hate it. I hate it! I want an answer.

The Mother of Wands. This is not what I want, my heart wails. I want The Lovers, or The Star, or the Two of Cups, or something. Something that isn’t – you will be okay either way. I don’t want to be okay either way. I want to be okay together. Hear me, universe?! TOGETHER! *flips table* *stomps off*

Okay, I didn’t actually flip the table. And I will be honest about the fact that hearing Beatrice talk about this card, described over at Happy Fish Tarot as:

A snake curls protectively around a nest of eggs, a wand held at an angle seems to serve as added armor. This mother is someone you wouldn’t want to mess with. Although she can be kind and warm, she is fierce and loyal, and not afraid to stand her ground.

She holds her values dear to her heart and isn’t afraid to live in a way that lines up with her moral code. She doesn’t do anything halfway – she’s in it to win it. She pours all of her love, originality and unique energy into everything she does. She is a true artist, more mature than the son or daughter.

The background is filled with horizontal lines, colored throughout with orange and red. It gives the Mother of Wands a strong, stable energy. She is so vibrant that she almost has an energy field around her. But unlike the emanating energy of the Son of Wands, her energy is steady. She channels her energy in a more effective way.

More so than any other depiction of the Queen/Mother of Wands, this card gives me the impression of someone who holds their beliefs dearly. She’s willing to fight for what she knows is right. Even so, she knows how to have fun. She has a strong life force, a kind of palatable cheeriness that draws others to her.

In a reading, the Mother of Wands asks you to practice gratitude and protect the things that matter to you. Keep your attitude bright and good things will come your way. Live with your whole heart. You’re not here to half-ass things. Let your zest for life color everything you do!

How this card is so me. How I am living authentically and openly, more than most people she knows. I will admit that even though I don’t want to know that I’m already okay, and I will be okay, either way… still, it felt good. And right. And just like when I drew The Empress the other day, my anger again pointed to somewhere that I’m feeling powerless but actually am not powerless.

(And there was part of me, soft and vulnerable and deep in my heart, that sees hope for a future that includes those tiny humans.)

The commentary – the Ace of Wands. Inspiration, new beginnings. Here, again, a type of card that I see often when I read tarot on this topic. Opportunity, potential, hope. Not a single, specific hope, but hope none-the-less. Beatrice said that this future is all me. And very me. And I agree.

But it didn’t feel done. Right. Finished.

So I drew one more card. Where is my love in this future?

The Father of Wands.

And, oh. My heart.

Here’s Happy Fish Tarot on this card:

If you thought the Mother of Wands stood her ground, wait until you meet the Father! He is someone you do not mess around with. He knows his domain, and he has complete confidence in his role as the master of this territory. He is the boss here, and in both subtle ways and bold, he’ll make sure this is known.

The background of the card is black, which adds to the dominance of the snake. He stands out as a bold, striking character. He isn’t afraid of the night, or anything else. A bolt of pure red and orange descends. These are the colors of raw power.

The bolt also adds a bit of drama to the card. This Father does have a bit of a flair for the dramatic.He enjoys entertaining, and even if he wouldn’t admit it, he likes keeping others on their toes.You’re never really sure what the Father of Wands is going to do next.

But unlike the Son of Wands, the Father does have a master plan. He’s learned a thing or two, and he doesn’t take action just for the sake of it. He takes measured but bold steps, and it isn’t hard for him to find results.

In a reading, this card can remind you not to shy away from your own power. What do you want to create? How can you use your hard-earned skills to make it happen? What plan feels both solid and exciting to you? The Father of Wands invites you to try out his approach to life and watch the results as they are magnetized towards you.

When we were together, he had a lot of this energy. Playful and a trickster, enjoying the ability to keep me on my toes. I think that’s part of why we connected so well in certain areas that neither of us had been able to explore previously. He liked to be in control, and I liked the way he played with that energy. And he does have it in him to be strong, and brave, and to take “measured but bold steps.” I don’t know if this card means he’s in my future (but can I tell myself they’re a pair? Can I tell myself it means he will be?) but the thought of him finding that boldness and confidence and power and inner strength, and finding more outlets for his gleeful expressions of control… that makes me happy. I would like that for him. (I would like to share that with him, but I would like that for him either way.)

I didn’t draw a commentary card on that last one. It felt a little like I was asking too much, already. Demanding to know more than the spread was freely offering. But that last card felt necessary. It felt right to pull it, and it gave me a lot of hope. I know you can’t read for someone who isn’t there and isn’t asking, but if that’s the role he can play in my future, I will be very happy.

So now I wait. More waiting.

But I wait with the questions brought up in therapy at the forefront of my thoughts – how can I keep myself safe and whole while I wait? What do I need to do so that I am continuing on my path and not caught up in always scanning the world for any sign of his return (or any sign that he’s made a decision at all).

Even if we do end up together, I’m still writing my own story. Forgetting that is what has led to so much pain and codependency in my past, and I’m not going to lose the lessons I’ve struggled so hard to begin to learn.

So.

Hope, yes. And that Ace, like all aces, promising something but not hinting at what. Sit with it. That’s my present – Temperance. The willingness to hold conflicting desires and states in harmony, to find balance, to find healing. That’s what I’m doing now. That’s not what I’m waiting for – if I wait for it, it will never happen. I have to keep doing it now, myself, for me. That’s how this works.

And I can hold my secret hope down deep in my heart, and think about … well. All the ridiculous things I am thinking about!

Card of the Day: The Fool

The Fool from the Shadowscapes tarot
The Fool from the Shadowscapes tarot

I have a lot of positive feelings about this card. For one thing, it’s the first card I ever drew for myself from this deck, and it feels welcoming and hopeful and like home. I really see myself in this Fool, with her hopefulness and willingness to take the next step. She’s brave, and it doesn’t always work out, but that’s who she is. That’s how I want to see myself.

But also, I recently did a “what is going on” spread for myself, and this is the card I drew for my springtime love, and it made me feel really hopeful. Maybe he will take on some elements of The Fool. From my companion book:

The Fool is a symbol for new beginnings and adventures, pleasure, passion. … Like The Fool you may stand upon the precipice gazing out into the unknown. … There are unlimited possibilities opening up for the seeker.

But this isn’t that reading (though I would like to write that reading up sometime, because it was lovely and hopeful), this is today. So what is The Fool for me today? Hope, still. Taking risks with the hope of new beginnings, adventures, pleasure, and passion.

Yesterday was an interesting day. I took The Empress to heart and I spent (most of) my day off of social media and thinking about what I could do to bring more creative energy into my life. I picked up supplies for a few crafts, and it felt really good. But the day was also hard, and when I went to sleep I felt drained and discouraged and ready to close doors.

Then I slept.

And I woke up, and there was hope.

So, The Fool for me, today, is the willingness to take the risk of keeping the door open and staying hopeful. She feels right.

There’s an element of action in The Fool, a willingness to take that step into the unknown and uncertain, to trust that it will be okay. That’s the part that I haven’t figured out for myself in today’s draw. I am not sure what action is presenting itself (for me, today, The Fool feels like she’s got a lot of Hanged Man energy, and that actually feels okay – hanging in is an action, and maybe The Fool tells me that it’s worth it).

Okay! Foolishly forward!

Card of the Day: The Empress

I woke up sad today, discouraged, hopeless. And not the quiet sadness of “this is hard” but the frantic sadness of “this is pinning me to the bottom of the ocean and I cannot breathe.” Frantic I-can’t-do-this hopelessness. Can’t-breathe-through-this-heartbreak grief. Can’t-move-under-the-weight-of-this-pain. Can’t-see-past-this. Can’t-move.

But I am not drowning, not pinned to the bottom of any ocean. And even if I was, one of my best friends says I’m a nixie, made for water.

And I can breathe. Is the thing. I can. Deep breath in, long breath out. I can breathe.

And I can move.

So I got up, and I pet one of the cats I’m looking after and she put her two front paws on my chest and rumbled life into me, and rubbed her soft black face against my chin and it was good. And then I did my card of the day.

The Empress. She’s new to me. She didn’t resonate for me at all, at first. All openness, balanced on that wooden branch, looking upward hopefully. There’s the heart, dangling from her belt. And there’s the red thread tied around her wreath, but beyond that… this isn’t me, I thought. This isn’t my day. This isn’t what I have right now. None of this energy is present in me. I felt more discouraged. (Then I noticed all the butterflies, and thought about the metaphors I’ve been using for myself to try and get through this time of compression.)

My Shadowscapes companion book says that The Empress is “creativity, generosity, patience, love.” That she is about “abundance, experiencing the senses, and embracing the natural.”

I sort of wanted to throw my book, at that point. I don’t want to settle into my patience, the patience that this deck (and my self) keeps cautioning me is needed. I don’t want to “experience the senses” or “embrace the natural.” I want a fucking message and some fucking hope.

So.

Okay, breathe.

I am starting to notice when my readings (or other things) call up such anger in me, and recognizing how this anger is often tied to a feeling of hopelessness/helplessness, and I think I am beginning to take tiny, frustratingly slow steps towards recognizing that the anger points to where I am feeling helpless/powerless but where I am not actually helpless or hopeless or powerless. I’ve had the phrase “feeling or fearing a thing doesn’t make it real” on my wall of self-care for years, but it’s a hard one to actually turn into action. Right now I feel hopeless and helpless and powerless because I feel rejected, abandoned, hurt. But even though those feelings are totally valid and real, they’re about what’s coming in at me and although I can’t control that, I can control what I do about it. I can choose to take up the power that is within me, and act within my sphere, within my own little world, within my own life. It’s not that other people’s choices stop impacting me, it’s just that they don’t have to immobilize me. I think, maybe. After sitting with the card and with the anger it pulled up in me, that’s where I might be landing.

I read through the Little Red Tarot Empress tag and, as always, I found Beth’s interpretations encouraging and warm.

From this post about how The Empress and manatees are connected:

A manatee is an Empress!

They know what they need, and how to get it. They’re sociable. They know how to commit and I bet they are super loving. They’re big and earthy and beautiful and gentle and are queens of their world. They’re relatives of elephants – an animal I also associate with The Empress.

I like that. I am going to take today to figure out what I need, and how to get it. I’m going to turn off my social media for the day – shut off notifications on my phone and ipad, close the tabs on my computer, move my apps off my main page on my phone and ipad (so if you want to get me, text me!). I’m going to embrace my inner manatee today, or try anyway, and see how it goes.

I’m going to try to approach this day of reflection and inwardness like this, from this post:

It starts with an open-mindedness, an ability to see different possibilities, different sides of something, to see opportunities, to see the details and nuances. And then it’s not so much about actively pushing an idea, so much as providing the conditions for it to grow and develop, as a good parent does.

Actually, I think the parenting thing is a good metaphor for understanding the meaning of this card. It’s about nurturing that idea, and nurturing yourself, and going easy on yourself and letting things come. It’s about acting with love, it’s about being in touch with yourself. It’s about learning from your creations and letting them be what they need to be, about letting them guide you as much as you guide them. Not that I’m an artist, but I imagine that when a creative idea grabs you, the better response is not to grab it and try to mould it and make it into whatever you want, but to follow it, understand it, feed it and let it take you where it will. Acting with your instincts, with respect and love, and seeing what comes out. That sounds like nurturing to me.

I like that. I can see how that is a good way to approach a day like today, where it feels like I’m only seeing one aspect of my life and I want to open myself up to others.

So I’m going to post this, put a link up on my facebook and twitter, and then do this little mini-retreat. I might hula hoop a bit. Definitely do a lot of cleaning at the petsitting place and my own. Make tea. Write. Think. Sit outside in my lovely back yard and watch all the birds.

And then after dinner I’ll turn my social media back on because you better believe I’m going to tweet the hell out of the Nicki Minaj concert tonight. Oh yes!

Onward.

River and The Empress, from the Shadowscapes tarot.
River and The Empress, from the Shadowscapes tarot.