I drew the Ace of Pentacles today. “The possibility of prosperity, abundance, and security.”
Aces are challenging cards for me right now. I want to move past possibility and into reality. But I can’t. I can’t make things suddenly be okay, be “abundant, prosperous and secure.” I can’t make any of that happen on my own schedule. I can just… fuck. Continue to do my own work, trust that other people are doing their work, and that in the end the work will bear fruit?
The little face in that pentacle looks like it’s mocking me. And I am frustrated.
Breathe. Breathe and do the work and have faith. That’s all I can do.
I drew Temperance today for my card of the day. I woke up feeling sad, uncertain, discouraged. Not sure how to balance my hopes with my fears, where to find the space for a more healthy approach to what’s happening in my life. The card seems pretty on-point.
But before I pulled Temperance, the Five of Pentacles jumped out while I was shuffling. I kept it aside as a commentary, especially because it seems so relevant. The background noise to today’s question is, indeed, the Five of Pentacles. Sadness.
I wish I had more to say today, but I feel like it’s a day for thinking and feeling, more than for saying. It’s a day to droop. But maybe to find some balance, also.
I’m not sure what to do with her. When I look at the card, the first thing I see is the pentacle-stars all around her, and it makes me think about home, about safety, about being grounded. And there’s the air of her element, she’s way up high with those swans. It feels hopeful, open. And she has that tiny little cygnet on her chest.
Honestly, I know exactly what this card makes me think of, what it makes me feel, and I just don’t know if I have the energy or the personal resources or the inner strength to feel these things and not break down. Because she feels like home, she feels like my springtime love and his little humans. She feels like peace, and calm, and home. And I don’t know why she’s showing up today, with that energy. Because I’m not there. And I don’t know when I will be or if I will be.
So a little reading. What I see in the card isn’t actually a common reading for the card at all.
The Page of Swords is almost like a green light to say, “Go for it”. There are always going to be challenges with whatever option you choose and not everyone is going to be happy with your choices but when it comes down to it, you need to follow your passions and go where your true energy lies. This Page encourages you to move forward and to get the wheels in motion, despite any challenges or setbacks that may potentially stand in the way.
Vigilance, honesty and truthfulness, scrutiny of beliefs, a strong sense of purpose.
So there’s an element of action here, not just home. And that swords-suit dedication to intellectual rigor, to honesty and the scrutiny of beliefs.
I feel like that little cygnet is my heart, and my hope. And I’m trying so hard to keep her safe, but things are hard right now. (All those feathers falling down around the Page – her ability to stay aloft being compromised the longer she stays up there without being able to come down to safe ground.)
Anyway. I’m probably reading way too much into it. But I barely slept last night and I am feeling profoundly off balance these days. And I don’t know how to manage it.
The Two of Cups shows the sharing and growth that we experience through our connections.…This shows a sense of reciprocity and mutually exchanged beauty.
… One of our most basic needs as human beings is to feel seen and valued. In a reading, the Two of Cups can encourage you to reach out to others. Tell someone you appreciate them, make an effort to strengthen a bond or offer a kind word. Despite the complications and conflict that accompany human interactions, this card shows our ability to forgive, bond, heal and encourage one another.
This is love.
It’s not The Lovers, it’s not the Ace of Cups.
For me, it’s the Two – of cups, bottles, chalices, water – that really represents what love feels like when you make it real.
What’s happening is an exchange. This version of love is like, you hold this cup, this bottle, which contains all of your water – your feelings, your heart, your soul – and then you offer it to someone else. And, hopefully, they’re offering theirs to you. You offer with complete trust, with the genuine desire to connect. So you can each take the cup of the other, offered so willingly, and drink deep. It’s about saying yes, about saying ‘let’s explore this, together’, and ‘here is my heart, here is what it needs – do you think we can do it?’
So that was Wednesday. And then I ran into him at the science centre. And I wasn’t able to offer anything – I didn’t even make eye contact with him. But I texted him after, and said that I still love him, and there were FEELINGS. Feelings. There were feelings. And I thought, of course I saw him on the day I drew this card. Of course. Of course.
And I did a larger spread with this card as the base, and I’ll write that up next.
Thursday, I drew the Daughter of Wands.
And I had another of those “eff you, tarot deck, you don’t know my life” moments that I’m really starting to pay attention to. Because the Daughter of Wands, according to Happy Fish Tarot,
is a sweetly charming character. She is coiled around a blossoming wand, her body forming a figure 8, or the lemniscate symbol (representing infinity). She looks graceful and flexible, ready to incorporate into her environment whatever suits her fancy.
She is colored with red and yellow, making her stand out from the harsh black background. The tip of her tail curves gracefully, giving her an artistic flair. She is a creative and original character, someone with an infinite imagination. She lives life in her own fresh, original way – she is not bound by the status quo.
There’s an innocent confidence to this card. The Daughter of Wands moves not with a cocky arrogance, but with a quiet assurance. She has sweet faith that things will work out for the best.
…You are being asked to step forward into something that resonates with your authentic self. You have the ability to make the world a more beautiful place. Use your charm to your advantage and cultivate a belief that you’ve got what it takes to succeed.
On Thursday I felt hopeless. Discouraged. All that Two of Cups energy and still I wake up without my springtime love and with no confidence in any future for us, and I don’t want to have “sweet faith that things will work out for the best” and I don’t want to “live life in [my] own fresh, original way.” No. Fuck that. Much like my reaction to drawing The Empress a while ago, my reaction to this card was a temper tantrum and a strong desire to retreat. Couldn’t I pull the fuckin’ Hermit or something? Fuck.
But I sat with this “you do you” creative energy for the day, and I still hated it, but I started to see how the wand here looks so similar to the Ace of Wands that I keep getting. And I thought about how maybe that wand blossoms because she is willing to step into that creative, authentic energy of her self. And I thought, okay. Fine. So I expressed myself. I expressed the hell out of myself, and said way more than I probably should have, but it was the right thing to do. And just like when I closed my eyes and jumped into the Empress energy before, this also felt like a necessary catharsis. I was pretty upset after, and my friend offered to come over, and I told him what I’d done and said, and his reaction was to say “Yeah, well, that’s you. That’s all the way you.” It was what I needed to hear.
It’s a bit funny, today’s card, given yesterday’s card.
It’s the Two of Swords.
I described it to someone this morning as a “shut up, doofus” card. I know that’s a fairly flat interpretation of a card with quite a bit of nuance, but given the context it seemed appropriate. “You’ve said your thing, now be quiet and think.”
I’m not good at that. At all. I’m just better at saying my thing, and then saying more, and then more, and then more, and then a little more, and then, after that, a little bit more.
And the Two of Swords is also a card of emotional withdrawal, of defending the way in to the heart. Another thing that I am really, really not the best at. And something that feels relevant right now, today, because my heart feels wide open and I am trying, so hard, to remember how to maintain boundaries for myself and not slip back into negative patterns of behaviour and thought. So I need those swords, intellect and analysis, thought and memory, awareness of self and other. I need those. I need to be quiet, to think, to guard this wide-open heart just a little bit. To set boundaries requiring balance and reciprocity in my relationships (that’s from the spread I did last night – I’ll try to write that up today too!).
That’s where my days have been at. It’s been a lot! I am thankful for tarot as a lens through which I can view this tumultuous time in my life. It gives me something physical and tangible to ground myself down into. I need that, have needed that. And I appreciate it.
I was going to skip my card this morning. Do it later. I’m tired (one of the dogs I’m looking after barked basically non-stop from midnight to four, despite being let out and cuddled. Turns out he wanted to sleep in the living room instead of the kitchen. What a twerp.)
I did it, though, because I really appreciate the moment of calm and the reflective pause that it offers. So I fed the dogs, sat down, shuffled and drew.
Mother of Wands.
This card is everywhere for me these days, but always in a spread to do with relationships. I think on its own, it’s an invitation to think about what this card might mean for me, myself. The liner notes say that the Mother of Wands is ‘attractive, vibrant.’ That’s one aspect of the card that doesn’t usually resonate so much for me. Usually when I see this card, I see more of what Happy Fish tarot describes – the willingness to know and defend what’s best for her and her loved ones.
Today, though, I’m thinking about vibrancy and attractiveness. Specifically, I’m thinking about those parts of myself that I find most attractive. My courage, my open-heartedness, my enthusiasm.
I think I’m going to take today to think about the person that I most want to be, and how I might invite that person more into my daily life.
I woke up early this morning. I couldn’t sleep. Anxiety and hope fluttering in my belly. I thought about forcing myself to go back to sleep, but I decided that was silly. Got up, turned on the kettle, drew my card (also checked social media and my horoscope, because, anxiety).
So the Eight of Swords, reversed.
There’s the cocoon. The keywords for this card in the liner notes are “trapped, powerless.” I like that I got it reversed. That the time of feeling trapped is almost done, it’s coming to an end. There is forward-moving energy, and this feels like such a hopeful card. The swords do, as Happy Fish Tarot says, appear to be threatening the butterfly. But sometimes you have to come out of your cocoon even if you feel like the swords are threatening. Sometimes you have to make a choice to move towards freedom, even when it’s terrifying.
This card shows those times where there seems to be no solution in sight, no matter how hard we try to think of one. The harder we think, the more trapped we believe we are.
The imagery here draws some similarities to the Waite-Smith depiction, which shows a woman bound and blindfolded. The butterfly is bound up around itself, unable to find a way to navigate the surrounding swords and stretch its wings.
This card shows those times when we feel stuck, and worse yet, we doubt our own ability to disentangle ourselves. It can become tempting to give up our personal power and wait for another person or an outside circumstance to offer assistance.
In a reading, this card can ask you to look at the stories you are telling yourself about your options. If you seem to be stuck or entrenched in mental fog, this card can remind you to take steps towards reclaiming your personal power.
Of course, this is easier said than done! You can begin by changing your thoughts, updating your stories. Instead of focusing on your confusion and lack of clarity, train yourself to look for steps – even small steps – towards freedom. When you consciously choose to loosen your mental constraints, a path forward will begin to emerge.
I read the reversal as indicating that this process has begun. This energy is present – both the feeling of being trapped, and the encouragement to move beyond it.
I’ve used the metaphor of the butterfly a lot lately for myself and for my springtime love. I think that the traumatic break in April forced us both into cocoons, and now we each have a choice as to whether we emerge or stay trapped and powerless.
I want to choose expansiveness. I want to choose to fight my way out of this fog, out of this cocoon, to continue to grow. Shake these wings off and fly. I want him to do the same, to meet me there (and now the image of The Lovers from The Wild Unknown seems even more clear). I can’t make that choice for him, though. All I can do is make the choice for myself and trust that if we’re meant to fly together, we will. We were pretty rad caterpillars together. And they’ve shown that butterflies remember what they learned as caterpillars, despite the cataclysmic change of metamorphosis (is there anything more emblematic of the cataclysmic change than turning to goo and then reforming, mind intact? I don’t think so.).
This cocooning has been awful. Painful. Hard. But I am grateful for the opportunity to grow into my better self.
I think it’s time to come out of the cocoon. It’s time to become this new self.
I woke up in my niece’s bed (both my niephlings are with their dad this weekend) and I felt overwhelmed. Lost and alone and sad – I had dreams all night, and it’s so rare for me to remember them. I dreamed about my springtime love, the dreams I have often, the only ones I seem to remember, where we are together. I mean, I get it, my subconscious is not subtle in her desires. But it makes the mornings hard.
So I woke up sad. Checked email, Facebook, Twitter, and then stopped. This isn’t what grounds me. This isn’t what brings me back to myself. I grabbed the deck at the foot of the bed, shuffled, and drew.
And there she is. That dedicated spider working hard at her web. Spiders scare me, but I don’t kill them. I recognize how valuable they are in the environment and I also don’t think that my fear justifies me causing harm, so for the most part I leave them alone or if my partner is home, they’ll take them outside.
Visually, I find this card overwhelming. She’s at the centre of that intricate web and although she’s in control of her work, there’s not a lot of visual space on the card. There’s not a lot of openness, not a lot of room to breathe. The eight Pentacles on the sides of the card feel, to me, like bars on a cage. I’m reading a lot of my own feelings into this card today, the sense of overwhelm, of being trapped, of being unable to make progress.
But that’s not what this card is about. It’s about skill, craftsmanship, creativity and work. It hints to me that maybe the way through (could it be that those bars are not a cage, but a hallway?) is to keep working and to do the work that I’m best at.
And there’s hope in this card, even if there’s not a lot of open space. The edge of the card has a thin rainbow line, a barely-visible promise of open sky and space to breathe and hope.
And, too, it’s Pentacles. A lot of pentacles. A lot of reminders to stay grounded, to be present. I needed that today.
I’m going to do some creative stuff today, finish staining my wood project, and maybe do some sewing. Get my spider on.
There’s a lot that I love about this card. The hopefulness of it, the movement towards the goal, and way the halo looks kinda like a space helmet and I picture this as a scene from 50,000 Leagues Below The Fae Sea. The Sci Fi Arthurian Saga: Lancelot Goes Swimming. (Though, our friend looks pretty close to finding the Grail, so I guess it’s more likely to be Galahad, right? But I’ve always had more of an affinity for flawed, big-hearted, loves-too-much, queer-as-fuck, heart-first Lancelot.)
It makes me feel silly, and happy, and hopeful. I like feeling these things. They’ve been in short supply lately.
I also love that this card evokes those feelings because the knight is on/in the water, and that’s okay. He’s not drowning. (He’s got his space bubble helmet!) Water is something that has always terrified and delighted me. I am petrified of drowning, and didn’t learn to swim until my 30s. But I love being near the water, and now that I can tread water, I love being in it. So, on a more serious note, this card, for me personally, says that I won’t drown in these terrifying depths and that the way to get to my Grail is to stay in the water.
Critical open-endedness – is “the water” my willingness to stay in limbo, not knowing when or if my springtime love will return? Or is “the water” my inner work around healing codependency and earlier trauma and solidifying my sense of self and my mindfulness and presence and ability to “allow, allow, allow”?
Okay, fine, it’s not really open-ended. Fine, fine. The cards are mine, the journey is mine, the message is mine. Especially a card of the day, I think. This isn’t telling me to stay in the water of my hope for my love – it isn’t saying anything about that. This is about me. My grail is not a relationship with him, it’s a relationship with me. Blah blah self-awareness blah. Kidding! Ish. I am happy that I can see myself here, and recognize how being with myself is the most important relationship and one I have neglected for decades. I appreciate that perspective that tarot offers me on a daily basis, I do.
So, onward. In this water, deep and dark and delightful, towards my goal.
The Suit of Pentacles feels like home. Staying grounded is often the hardest thing for me (getting grounded, even, until very recently) and for the first month that I was reading tarot, it was Pentacles all over the place. I found them comforting, reassuring, encouraging. The Seven of Pentacles is one of my favourite cards, and one that I come back to over and over as I check in with myself regarding my ability to stay open to my springtime love. The Ace of Pentacles is another touchstone – come back to your breathe, it tells me. Seeds have been planted, and now they will wither or flourish or bloom here or over there, and you can’t rush a seed.
Today I drew the Three of Pentacles.
This is another favourite card. When I did the Little Red Tarot “begin now, with what you have” spread, the Two and Three of Pentacles (along with the Knight of Pentacles) were in my foundation. Balance, community, and perseverance. It felt good.
Today I noticed something I hadn’t noticed in that reading months ago. Today, the first thing I saw was that she was being held by someone else. I hadn’t seen that the first time, or not consciously. The first time I looked at this card, I just saw her, building. Now I see the relationship that allows her to build.
They are working together, a team.
I am blessed with an amazing community. Friends and beloveds and family (chosen and given). My sibling is a badass feminist and a queer-friendly child-birth educator. My niephlings are the chaotic joyfulness of my heart. My best friends are amazing. I am lucky. So lucky.
The Three of Pentacles reminds me of that. And also reminds me of the strength that can come from the right relationships. Last night I was thinking about the quote from Lao-Tzu, “being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” This card seems to symbolize everything good about that quote.