Card of the Day: Two of Cups, Daughter of Wands, Two of Swords

I’ve had a tumultuous few days, and I couldn’t write. Or didn’t write. Whichever. Mostly moped around.

On Wednesday, I drew the Two of Cups. This was a bit of a mind-fuck, because… Because! Because of the situation that precipitated this whole journey.

Two of Cups from The Wild Unknown tarot.
Two of Cups from The Wild Unknown tarot.

Carrie over at Happy Fish Tarot says this about the Two of Cups in this deck:

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.

Beth at Little Red Tarot says this about the Two of Bottles (Cups):

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.

Daughter of Wands from the Wild Unknown tarot.
Daughter of Wands from the Wild Unknown tarot.

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.

Now, today.

It’s a bit funny, today’s card, given yesterday’s card.

It’s the Two of Swords.

The Two of Swords from the Shadowscapes tarot.
The Two of Swords from the Shadowscapes tarot.

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.

Card of the Day: Ten of Wands

Ten of Wands, from the Shadowscapes deck.
Ten of Wands, from the Shadowscapes deck.

I have a lot of feelings about today’s card of the day draw. A lot. A lot.

When I first drew the Ten of Wands, and sat with the card, I felt such a strong resonance and sense of encouragement. My initial thought was that this card means “if you do the work, it will be okay.” She’s building that whole beautiful city up there! It’s gorgeous. All those little people, they’re living in such a lovely space because she’s supporting them. (Dude, I can’t even type this shit without recognizing how bad it is… because, what is she getting from that??? Where are her needs being met?)

I saw myself in the Ten of Wands, and I thought, yeah. The world should be on my back, because I can support it and then everything will be lovely and good and glowing and look at that! That’s right.

And then I read the companion book about it.

This dryad bears the weight of what seems to be a miniature world upon her back. Her branches are weighed down, bent beneath the heavy structures. The support and welcome of the beings who inhabit those towers are hers to nourish with the flow of life’s safe through her branches and leaves. … But the gray cold seeps into her roots, and it is a hard burden to bear. She pushes and strains upwards, reaches towards the sun for the fire that can help to sustain through dark times.

Overextending, taking on far too much, burdened with overwhelming responsibility, being held accountable, doing things the hard way. Perhaps those little beings who live among her branches do no need the constant watchfulness and nourishment that she believes must be her duty.


I struggle with codependency. The way I enact my codependent tendencies is to prioritize other people’s well-being over my own, to give more than I can afford to give, to pay closer attention to others’ needs than to my own and to be most comfortable when I am meeting other people’s needs rather than meeting my own. Lest that sound like a good thing – “oh, boo hoo, you’re kind and generous and empathetic” – it’s not. Because I don’t do it to be kind or generous or because I’m empathetic (I am all of those things, I think. But when I’m acting out of codependency those positive traits get twisted.) When I’m acting out of codependency – out of fear – I do those things because I am trying to control the situation. I am trying to make sure that I won’t be abandoned. I am trying to make myself indispensable so that I won’t be dispensed with. I am trying to manipulate my friends and lovers into needing me.

It’s all about need.

It’s all about wanting to know that I’m needed, because you can’t get rid of something you need.

But that’s bad. It’s bad on so many levels. (And it’s also not true. The sense of control is false.)

It’s disrespectful of my friends and lovers. It’s disrespectful of myself. It treats the people that I love as incompetent and it treats my needs as irrelevant.

That little city that the dryad is holding on her back in the card – there’s nowhere else for those little beings to go. That city is contained to her branches. And if I am honest, there is a dark part of me that wants that. That is willing to make that trade. I will give you every drop of my life, but you have to need me. You have to need me. I need to be needed.


Admitting it is so gross.

But as I work through this codependency stuff, and learn how to observe my motivations for behaviours and when I’m acting out of fear, pause and maybe choose another action, and when I’m acting out of my generous and empathetic nature without the strings attached, celebrate those moments… as I work through this, I’m also working with Brenè Brown’s research and insight into shame resiliency and vulnerability. So even though admitting this feels gross, I can do it. Because I don’t have to be ashamed of these maladaptive patterns, I can just choose to see them, turn a compassionate eye inward, accept that these behaviours, at one point, kept me safe, and let them go.

She can put that city down.

She can let it put down roots for itself, and she can stand up. She can stretch. She can trust that those little beings she loves so much will choose to stay close, and that if they don’t, that’s still okay. She can offer help without offering herself. She doesn’t have to always do it the hard way, she doesn’t have to always drain herself, overextend herself, hurt herself.

It doesn’t have to be so codependent.

(Edited to add a link to this post – More Joy, Less Shame – Ten of Wands from Little Red Tarot. Yes! Yes. More joy, less shame. Yes!)