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.
So, apparently today is all about the feels. I mean, this is not surprising. But this spread really resonates.
The Six of Cups has come up for me a few times. Reclaiming things lost from my child-self, healing old traumas, processing. In this card I see the bright colour and energy that the tree draws up from its roots, and I am reminded that I, too, have deep and vibrant roots that I can draw on.
The Ten of Cups is my present situation/what’s on my mind. In this deck, I read this card (along with the Three of Wands and a few others) as non-reversible. The numeral is legible in either position and the image stays the same, too. This is a card about balance, reciprocity, abundance. And it is on my mind. How to give and receive freely and openly, with generosity and without shame.
In the background to the day I have the reversed Father of Cups. Support being blocked, the opposite of that Ten of Cups. There are ways in which my offering of support is being rejected right now, and it does background all my feelings about today, but there are also ways in which I am not allowing myself to feel supported. Particularly, I think, in how I am not allowing my own roots to support me.
In the last couple days I have felt myself move hard into the swords – up in the air and heavy in sorrow. This spread reminds me to come back to the cups that are my more balanced home, and to the earth and grounding that I have worked so hard to find.
There’s a lot of colour in this spread. A lot of hope. I just need to open myself to the support that is already there.
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 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.
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?
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.)
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.)
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.
Your situation at this moment
The earth of your situation
The water of your situation
The air of your situation
The fire of your situation
The spirit of your situation (added by me, haha, sorry Beth!)
And this was my spread –
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 –
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.
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.