Four of Arrows: Rest

My morning routine for the last week has been to wake up as early as I can manage (without making my fibro pain and exhaustion worse) and write three pages in my journal, then draw my card for today.

Today’s journal entry was all about how I need to work harder today than I did yesterday.

And then I drew this card.

Recharging after a period of stressful activity, work or emotional trauma. Allow time for the imagination to sojourn into the otherworld to renew and rejuvenate vitality.

Not what I hoped for.

Not what I think (thought?) I need today.

But one of the themes of this year is ‘coziness’ – nesting, finding ease and balance in my internal ecosystem.

Today will be busy – there are things I can’t avoid and can’t put off – but I’ll look for ways to rest in the gaps, rather than looking for ways to fit more work in.

And maybe I’ll set a firm bedtime for myself and go to bed early. It’s harder when the kids aren’t sleeping, but it might help.

I do love the arrows in this card, too. Danger thudding into the ground all around. That’s how I feel when I rest. That’s why I rarely do rest. It would be nice to learn how to trust that I can sleep even when it seems like my to do list is firing at me.

Knight of Vessels: Eel

It took a while to get to this card this morning. I had a rough morning. I am struggling.

I haven’t been asking a question with my daily draw this week. Just shuffling with the intention of learning something and then seeing what comes. But today I had a question – ‘what will get me through this day?’

And everything this week has been so airy – all Arrows and up in my head (except yesterday, of course, which I still don’t know how to integrate) and as I cut the deck and was ready to pull the card I thought, before I could stop myself (why did I want to stop myself?), ‘please give me some water.’

And then this eel!

So strong. So joyful and full of intention.

And then I saw the sword on the rock – air AND water!

It just felt really comforting.

The guidebook is full of meanings related to agreement, compliance, accord, union, arrival, purity of intent, quests of personal revelation, deep feelings expressed with sensitivity. The Eel, says the book, is a wise protector.

And the eel is associated with the Morrigan, whose been coming up recently for me.

I have a lot of thoughts about how to apply this to my life but here’s what I’m committing to: I will spend some time today writing, expressing my emotions. And I will have a bath, to find myself some of that watery comfort.

The Wheel, The Guardian, and Endurance

(The picture is sideways because the upright/reversal thing felt important but not straightforward.)

I drew 10: The Wheel today. Change. Cycles. Fate and choice interacting. (I am enjoying all the ways in which this deck interprets archetypes differently – the different names and meanings of the cards.)

There’s a lot going on in the card. To be honest, it doesn’t really resonate with me. So, to help me get a better sense of what to do with this, I drew some commentary cards. (If I’m honest, I found The Wheel an irritating draw this morning. I am feeling very frustrated with the interaction of my choices with the systems around me – with the way that my choices feel so right for me and yet are not making it easier to navigate this capitalist hellscape. I have internalized, even though I hate it and challenge it externally, the idea that if you do the right work – if you follow your heart and your passion – the money will follow. So, Wheel, where’s my money?! And I also found the setting of the card grating. I want to be outdoors! I want to be in the woods doing crafts and communing with nature – my life arranged so that I have long days in a cabin writing, and Skype coaching sessions, and trips into town to meet with clients and travel to conferences. This card looks like a window into a life I want.)

Anyway, commentary cards.

15: The Guardian. Fear and deep knowledge at the entrance to the cave.

And Five of Stones: Endurance. Also at the entrance to a cave.

So I wonder what I am afraid of, what I need to endure, what dark cave I might choose to explore – make a change, turn that wheel, make a choice.


I’m not really sure.

I know that I had some kinda feels about those two commentary cards – a sense of calm yesness to the idea of that Guardian, that reminder of my endurance.

But this morning’s cards aren’t speaking to me as clearly or as cleanly as I’d like.

I’ll have to take these thoughts forward into the day and see what happens.

(On which note: Jealousy on Monday ended up making a lot of sense as my sister and I navigated a difficult conversation about our fears for the upcoming project – that sense of scarcity was there, and leaning into the creative and giving nature of the project helped. And Balance yesterday also made a bit more sense at the end of the day, when I made a choice to stop working and take the last part of the evening off. So, we’ll see what happens with these.)

14: Balance

My card for today is Balance.

The write-up in the guide is all about how humanity has destroyed the balance with nature and it is a crime beyond comprehension. It was a rough read first thing this morning.

As I sit with this card and this thought and this day (which will be full of meetings and admin work and catching up on all the things I don’t want to catch up on), I feel the anxiety in my belly.

I know I need balance but I don’t know how to achieve it.

I know I need to take the time to reflect, to introspect, but I don’t know how to find that time.

I know I need to find my inner peace and stillness, but I don’t know how to find that while I’m also struggling so hard to make ends meet.

This feels like the right card but I don’t know how to act on it.

And I feel sad about that.

(It’s also interesting that this is the first card outside of the Arrows and it’s still a very airy card. Up in my head? Indeed.)

Three of Arrows: Jealousy

My card today is the Three of Arrows: Jealousy. The guidebook describes a ‘tension of emotions creating fear, jealousy or envy between people.’ I really appreciate that the guidebook includes acknowledgement of how jealousy can have its origin in lack, scarcity, and injustice. It even references broken economic systems.

When I pulled the card this morning, I felt immediately let down.

Yesterday’s draw of the Kingfisher was so encouraging, and the guiding questions actually did shape the discussion my sister and I had of our project.

Later in the day, in a moment of emotional struggle, I pulled another card. The Five of Arrows: Frustration. The write up spoke directly to my experience – ‘Take a deep breath and steady your mind and see clearly what the goal is.’ I did, and it helped.

But what do I do with today’s card?

I can’t see where it applies to this day, to this moment.

As I write this, I realize that I’ve said, ‘I just feel so much envy lately’ about twenty times in the last two months. Envy and jealousy, growing out of my own sense of financial precarity (which is getting worse) and physical pain (also getting worse) and to-do list overwhelm (also getting worse, especially with my Masters program starting now) and my business not taking off as quickly as I want (and feel that I need) – I have been struggling. Every time a friend has a success, I feel that stab of envy. And it mixes with my joy for them in a way that feels so overwhelming. I am sincerely happy for my communities and for the people around me who are finding stability and success and ease. And also I am deeply sad for myself, and I want that for myself.

Life feels hard lately.

The financial stuff especially. It just feels so hard.

So… hmm.

The guidebook suggests that:

The healing balm for envy is humility, acceptance, and forgiveness, even in the face of bitter rivalry and anger, just as the constant refocusing of your energy into a positive and creative momentum in your own life is the best healer for the effects of jealousy.

I can definitely stay focused on my positive and creative momentum. And I guess I’ll watch for opportunities to practice acceptance, forgiveness, and humility today.

It is such a hard topic and a hard feeling, and it has been with me for so long – this feeling of being deep within scarcity.

Do I read this card as validation of my struggle?

Do I read it as condemnation?

It definitely feels judgemental and hurtful, and I think maybe that’s the best opportunity in front of me right now to practice finding a new narrative. Because it doesn’t have to be condemning. It can be validating and encouraging.

So, I’m going to try to reach for that.

King of Arrows: Kingfisher

This is the first card I’ve drawn from my new Wildwood Tarot.

I’m in Canmore right now, with my sister, working out the logistics for a new collaborative project. I opened my deck last night, looked at all the cards, read the intro. They weren’t ready to shuffle yet, so I left them overnight.

This morning, I journaled and it was a hard process of coming back to the page, bringing my anxiety and fear and shame and overwhelm, writing about how I feel so lost – I wrote, ‘I want to sink deeply into the peace of this moment – this is exactly the kind of thing I want to bring more fully and more often into my life. This moment, this setting. But instead of sinking into this, I am tossing around on the stormy surface of my mind, thinking about everything I need to do, everything I am behind on, everything coming up that I am going to fail at. I am thinking about failure a lot.’

After journaling, I was going to get to work. But I walked past the coffee table and there was that deck. Waiting. Ready now.

First, I divided it up.

The core of me, and then my elements. Air, fire, earth, water.

I split the core of me across the elements. Starting with fire – finding myself in my passions. Then earth. Then water. Then air, last.

I split my earth across the stacks. Bringing grounding into every part of myself.

I split my fire, lending passion to each piece of me.

Then my water.

Last, my air. Finally able to see how this thinking/overthinking self is still a part of each piece of me.

Then I combined them all and shuffled, split the deck, and pulled this card for today.

From the guidebook:

This tiny bird, both sexes covered with the colours of the rainbow, is equally at home in the air or in the water. …

You may need to exercise judgement, power, force of will. …

Finding a way through chaos by calm clarity. Being watchful. The need for good counsel. Discerning the truth of a situation. Finding an impartial standpoint. Being fair/unfair. An urge to buck the system. …

What must you focus upon clearly? Who can give you good advice? What wise words will help this situation? What is your duty to society?

Considering how much I struggled to accept any air this morning, how I was seeing my mind as the stormy surface and the threat, this feels powerful. It is possible to be in my mind and still access my intuition and my heart.

The bird is bright and strong and determined.

The questions are relevant to my day and to this work.

It feels good.

Finding the way forward

The last week has been brutal. I haven’t touched my cards since the election (and the subsequent email from Kellie Leitch up here in Canada – we are far from safe, far from clear of the poison of white supremacy and xenophobia and misogyny and racism and hate).

have been working. A lot.

My coaching page is up on Facebook – you can find it here – and I’m posting daily self-care tips. I’m working on content for upcoming workshops and getting my website ready to launch. I have a business account, my business name is registered, and I’m prepping hard for an official launch in the new year.

But it’s been a rough week. Holy wow, it’s been a rough week.

This morning I finally felt centred enough to do some tarot.

I did my favourite five card spread. First, the situation, then the right path and the wrong path, then cards for why each path is what it is.


So, the situation. The Wheel of Fortune, reversed. Big, bad change. Cataclysmic change.

The right path: The Fool. Moving forward, having faith, taking risks. Foolish bravery. And, for me, this is my heart card. This is the card that comes up again and again when I need a reminder to be true to myself. So, risk-taking, movement, leaps of faith, and being who I am. I will not retreat into a closet again. I will be wide open to this world, even when it’s turning to the dark.

Why: Page of Cups. Because this is where I will find the “well of love,” as Beth Maiden at Little Red Tarot calls this card. This is where I will find:

a sort of making-it-right quality. And within that, I find an accepting-wrongdoing quality. Because accepting and trying to heal our mistakes is an act of love, and a creative act. It requires us to look into ourselves for that well of love, and put aside self-motivated, petty, angry thoughts.

It’s a hard ask in a time when I want to be angry and petty. (And, to be clear, I think there absolutely is a need for anger right now – deep anger, anger that motivates us to act, to stand up against hate and violence and bigotry. But this card is a reminder that anger can be wielded in many ways, and petty anger right now is not helpful.)

The Page of Cups as the “why” for The Fool as my right path speaks so gently to me about deep love, about making space for the overflowing cup of emotions in my self and my communities. Moving forward heart-first and with love. Finding healing.

These cards tell me a story of moving forward bravely and authentically, engaging my emotional self in the work.

In contrast, the wrong path: The Hanged Man. Motionless, trapped, upside down, disoriented. This path is so tempting, because that Wheel has turned and the world does seem so upside down (it seems that way to me, from my position of privilege. I know that for many people of colour, and especially Black women and Indigenous communities, this is not a turning of the Wheel but an acknowledgement of the rubble they’ve been buried under for generations. My shock betrays my privilege.)

Why is this the wrong path: Two of Swords. Because now is not the time for weighing both sides of the debate. Allowing myself to be bound by the feelings of helplessness and horror, and trying to intellectualize an understanding of how this happened rather than moving forward along the path. It will lead to a stalemate, an impasse, an inability to engage with the emotions that need to be felt. In so many ways, it is the exact opposite of the Page of Cups and her watery wholeheartedness. This sharp, airy, arid immobilization is why letting myself hang upside down in horror is not the response right now.

I am reminded, again, of the talk I saw late last week with G. Willow Wilson, the fantastic creator of the new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan – Marvel’s first Muslim superhero. Wilson said that sometimes, the mess stays messy. Sometimes there is not a way out, but there is always a way forward. This sentiment has become the guiding principle in how I’m shaping all of my coaching materials – moving away from the victim-blaming “law of attraction” model of coaching and towards something that acknowledges systemic oppression, takes into account the ways in which there is not always a way out, and offers tools and support for moving forward.

I am going to keep moving forward.

I’m grateful for the power of narrative, and the ability of stories to provide hope and inspiration. When I look at the Page of Cups and the Two of Swords, I know which character I want to inhabit. When I look at The Fool and The Hanged Man, I know which one I want to be right now.

Let’s go. Foolishly, bravely, forward.



Emergency tarot

Sitting in the car, kids cranky, both of us stressed and grumpy, heading to the zoo. Feeling overwhelmed and stretched too thin. Shuffling tarot with an inner scream of ‘help!!!!’

Nine of Wands for myself. It’s heavy but it’s not too heavy. You’ll make it. You’ve got the resources. The elf warrior on the Shadowscapes Nine of Wands is full of resolve. The colours are strong. It will be okay. I read this for this moment and also for the wider moment. I have spent the day panicking about to do lists and endless obligations. A messy house, paperwork, deadlines already missed. The Nine of Wands sees it, breathes into it, reassures. 

And Judgement for my partner. The choice is made and it will be okay. A big card for a small moment. Is it a terrible idea to go to the zoo on so few resources with cranky kids? It doesn’t matter, says Judgement. The decision is made, and it will be okay. Breathe. Breathe and keep breathing. 

Shuffle my deck with a sigh of relief, put it back in my jacket pocket just as we pull into the parking lot. 

Post this, because sometimes it’s enough to do a thing even if it’s just a small thing. 

Thirty five

It was my thirty fifth birthday two days ago and I started this post in the bathroom that evening, supervising a splashy five year old kid – a kid I love – while my partner carved crockpot chickens for supper and the two year old watched Super Why. 

I got one sentence written before the bath was done. Dinner took over an hour, and at no point did the four of us sit at the table together. I tried to make my birthday cake three times before I finally succeeded once both kids were in bed, and it came out of the oven at 9 pm, shortly after my friend came over to talk about poly and navigating non-normative relationships while being saturated in endless normativity in our media and societal assumptions. 

Then it was the morning, more than twelve hours after I started this post. I was awake with the kids, since my partner got up with them the last few mornings. Step parenting is tough, but I love it. I love these kids, and I love being on such a functional team with my partner. But it’s hard to find time to write, time to think, time to do the self-care that is so important to me. It’s hard to find time for tarot, or tea, or much of anything. I’m always busy these days, it seems. With the kids, and seemingly endless part-time jobs – data entry and petsitting and admin work and anything else that comes up that can knock a few hundred off the credit cards. 

The lead up to this birthday was tough. 

I’ve been feeling like a failure – so many parts of my life are in transition and it’s hard to see progress in the middle of the process. 

I got this far in the post and then the kids needed food and my partner was awake and I was making brunch for friends and I didn’t get back to it for another day. I’m finishing it in the car while the two year old sleeps. Once she wakes up, we will join her cousin’s birthday party, happening at the park just outside the car door. Life offers so many metaphors. 

I’m thirty five now. 

This year feels important, and challenging. My goal is to have thirty five moments of celebration, and to keep track of them here. To fill my cup, to inhabit my Queen of Cups self.