Week 8 The (Un)Stuck Spread (#TarotReading #DarkWoodTarot #52WeekProject)

I’ve been feeling spectacularly stupid lately. I’m second-guessing myself and questioning every decision I make. Much of this is the result of a bad judgment call I made a few weeks ago, prepaying someone for a job that hadn’t been completed yet. That person is now demanding more money to complete the work that should have been covered by the original payment. This is made me feel I’m on shaky ground, and caused me to feel like the first class fool. So I decided to do what I always do when I feel this way – work with my Tarot deck. I found the spread below in Sheilaa Hite Presents 101 Tarot Spreads by 20 Modern Tarot Masters Vol 1. I don’t necessarily need to explore why I feel foolish but how I can get rid of that sensation.

The Knight of Wands Rx reveals the I need to let go of the idea that I can handle things the way I could when I was younger or when I had John. I just don’t have the same energy level that I had when I was in my 30s or even 40s. The book offers this tidbit “Small issues steal focus from productive energy”. I think this is another way of saying that my energy is so scattered that I can’t focus on anything right now. I need to focus my energies on what’s really important and break free of the distractedness that is sapping my resolve. The truth is I’m not a good multitasker. So, instead of fighting against myself I need to start handling things one issue at a time and then move on to the next one.

The tower is a reminder that I’ve experienced three dramatic life-altering stressful issues all at once. That’s not an easy thing to process, and I need to allow myself to take the time necessary to process it. I haven’t fully processed John’s death. Trying to arrange for Edward to be settled somewhere, and selling this house on top of that is probably much too ambitious right now. Dealing with any one of these issues right now would be a challenge; trying to handle all three at once is insanity.

The Star is telling me that there is always hope. It always seems darkest before the dawn, but eventually there will be healing and a Star to guide me on my way. It’s something that can sustain me when things feel overwhelming.

The 4 of Pentacles Rx is reminding me that I need to work on not holding so tightly to things; not to be pennywise and pound foolish. I also think it’s a reminder not to ignore my own health and physical needs, which has been easy to do with what’s been going on.

It’s ironic, this reading told me exactly what I needed to hear right now to kickstart me and help me feel unstuck. It’s always fun when the Tarot gives me a smack upside the head and reality check.

Week 7 Autumn Equinox Spread (#TarotReading #LePsychoTarot #52WeekProject)

I found this spread on Litha Rose’s website and thought it would be a great way to celebrate the Sabbat!

1. What is my harvest? (Celebrate this!)  Temperance Rx –  Temperance Rx shows that my harvest is forging the things I want to do and the things I must do into a balanced and cohesive whole.  This is still a work in progress for me but I am very happy with the success I’ve had so far.  Temperance is always a challenge for me because it speaks of moderation and being temperate, neither of which are innate to my nature.

2. How can I best spend this autumn season?  8 of Cups Rx –  Seeing this card made me hear the song Let It Go.  To me, it’s about putting the mourning behind me; about focusing on what I want to bring into my life going forward, not what I have to leave behind. That doesn’t mean I won’t always miss my husband, simply that I won’t lose myself in the grief.

3. How can I best close off this year?  The Chariot – I can best close off this year by taking the reins of my own life. It’s been a challenge since my husband passed away, taking over the responsibility for things that I always let him handle. It’s made me passive in certain aspects of my own life. I think the Chariot is showing that it’s time to pick those reins up again and start becoming more focused about where I want to steer my course.

4. How can I find more balance in my life?   4 of Coins – Unlike the usual imagery for this card, this 4 of Coins seems more about conserving one’s physical essence and tending to ones health. Or maybe that’s what I’m seeing because that is what would be extremely appropriate for me right now. I’ve been so focused on taking care of others for the past few years that I have lost sight of my own health. This card points out that I need to be more balanced in this respect and start to put my own physical concerns and health needs on a par with those of others.

5. What can I find if I descend in the dark and look inward?  2 of Cups Rx – I will find true emotional balance. I will find a way to merge and blend the light and dark halves of my spirit and heart. If there is one thing I’ve learned since my husband died, it’s that a relationship with someone else requires compromise, which forces us to downplay or give up pieces of who we are. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, in a truly beneficial, loving relationship, both parties change certain aspects of their personality in order to maintain a healthy relationship. Perhaps we drop interest in certain things because our partner doesn’t enjoy them. Or we don’t want to force participation in an activity they won’t enjoy. One of the most interesting aspects I’m finding about widowhood is that I don’t have to compromise with anyone anymore. I can do what I want, when I want. That is both amazingly freeing and absolutely terrifying! And I think it pertains to this card because what it’s showing is that right now is that descending into darkness will help me strengthen and further explore my relationship with myself.

Week 5 – Judgment & Control (#TarotReading #LePsychoTarot #52WeekProject)

This week I decided to focus on something that’s been bothering me lately. I’ve always been a rather judgmental person. Part of that is due to the fact that I’m convinced that I know better than absolutely anybody else in the world. The other part is due to a desire to help other people fix the messes in their own lives because it’s a hell of a lot easier than fixing the messes in my own. So this week I decided to focus on being judgmental and trying to control other people’s lives. This is the reading I devised.

  • What need does being judgmental fill?
  • What drives people to want to control others’ lives?
  • How can I change these tendencies in myself?

As you can see in the image above, the cards I pulled are Temperance Rx, 10 of Circles Rx, and The Emperor. I found this to be an interesting answer in response to my query. The overall take I got from these three cards is that a lot of this is due to imbalances in our own lives and an unwillingness to take control and be responsible for ourselves. Although that might quite possibly sound pretty judgmental on my part. 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️

So I think Temperance Rx is suggesting that we become judgmental in an effort to avoid dealing with imbalances in our own lives. Instead of forging ourselves into healthy, heartier, more holistic versions of ourselves, we project our unpleasant parts onto others. I know I often judge others poorly and see them as less because it helps me feel better about myself. So instead of building myself up, I try to accomplish the same goal by tearing others down. Instead of doing the hard work to embrace all my parts and merge them into a stronger unit; I slough it off, denying it and weakening myself. I think this is where Shadow work comes into play and can prove to be a very useful tool and fixing this particular flaw in myself.

The 10 of Circles Rx tells me that at the root of the desire to control others might be a need to maintain the status quo. I think a desire to protect our families, ourselves, our possessions, our stuff often feeds the desire to control others. I know I am often resistant to and fearful of change. It makes me feel very threatened and frightened. One way to address this fear is to try to control others to make sure that I protect my position, to keep my stuff. It took me awhile to remember that the point of this life is not accumulating stuff, it’s accumulating knowledge and experience. I lost the thread and lost sight of the fact that, in my opinion, my purpose for existing is to learn about myself, about the world, about other people. I can’t do that if I’m operating from a place of fear. As the saying goes it’s about the journey not the destination.

Seeing The Emperor in this position made me smile. It’s rather an obvious answer. The best way to change these tendencies mentioned above is to take control of my own life; to become the master of my own destiny. Instead of allowing myself to operate from a place of fear and reaction, I need to create my own game plan and move forward in order to achieve those goals and desires. Controlling others will never fix the core problem only I can do that by recognizing acknowledging and working on them myself. Other people have the right to live their lives however they choose to. It is not for me to say that their way is wrong. All I can say is that it’s the wrong way for me.

I want to focus on a more live and let live approach. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone I think people should be free to live their lives the way that they choose, and I would hope they grant me the same courtesy. Unfortunately, there seems to be an increasing tendency towards trying to force one’s personal beliefs onto the rest of society. I have no desire to play that game. I think a lot of what we’re seeing going on these days is rooted in fear. There’s we’re always concerned about the status quo shifting, but the reality is nothing is fair about people enriching themselves at the expense and the oppression of others. {Soapbox rant ended}

Week 2 Tarot Reading (#TarotReading #SecretForestTarot #52WeekProject)

This is week two of my personal 52 week project. My goal is to do a weekly three card reading and post it to this blog. I plan to stick to it but, as we all know, sometimes life has other plans

My reading for this week: 1) What aspect of my life should I focus on this week? The Moon; 2) What will help me with this? 6 of Wands Rx; 3) What unseen factors impact this? The Empress Rx

So, the Moon shows that I need to listen to my subconscious and find what fascinates in mesmerizes me. I really love how the two figures on this card seem to be in thrall to the Moon and communicating with it on some level. I need to do the same, to trust my instincts and look deep within myself to reconnect and find the answers to this question. For so long I’ve done what I had to do, I’ve kind of lost sight of what brings me joy and fulfillment. Now would be a good time to dive deep and uncover those treasures.

The 6 of Wands reversed guides this transformation by helping me triumph over my self doubt and inner demons. It also shows that I need to reframe my achievement so they’re less about defeating things and more about exploring new terrain and overcoming my own fears.

The Empress reversed reinforces the six of Wands reversed by pointing out that my focus needs to be on tending my own inner landscape, nurturing myself and my creative spirit. For so long I’ve been forced to nurture and care for others and it’s left a bad taste in my mouth. I need to relearn that nurturing and nourishing is not a bad thing, not when it’s done willingly. I spent enough time expressing my Empress energy on others, now it’s time to focus that on caring for and nurturing myself.

Full Moon in Aquarius (#TarotReading #FullMoon #Aquarius #SecretForestTarot)

I did this reading to tap into the energies of the Full Moon in Aquarius. I wanted to focus on what I want to change in my life and how to achieve that. Using the tarot with the secret Forest I drew the 9 of Swords, The Hanged One, and The Emperor reversed.

The 9 of Swords is showing that I want my current nightmare to end (still caring for my brother-in-law). I want to reclaim my life and be sure my brother-in-law is settled in his new life too. I want my responsibilities and obligations to stop preying on my mind, and causing me stress and restless nights.

The Hanged One is showing I can achieve this desire by looking at it from a different perspective; looking for an unexpected option. At the same time, being calm and patient is important. This is the time to tap into my Libra Rising and Capricorn Moon; to stay rational and grounded rather than my usual fiery and impulsive response.

People who know how to subvert and work around bureaucracy will be the most helpful in dealing with this situation. Taking the “by the book” approach will be like trying to pour honey in Winter – slow and frustrating.

So, in order to create the change I want I need to be a little patient and calm, but not passive. I need to be willing to explore alternative options to resolving this situation because taking a “wait and see” approach will just lead to more stress and restless nights.

Looking at my week ahead – Week 1 #TarotReading #SecretForestTarot #52WeekProject

So I know I’ve been missing for quite a while. Life’s been challenging but I want to get back into posting Tarot readings and other content to this blog and hopefully there’s still people out there who want to read it. So I decided to set a challenge for myself. I’m going to challenge myself to post at least one Tarot card reading a week for the next 52 weeks. For the most part they’ll be three card readings because those are just the types I prefer. This is my first entry.

Week 1 three card reading using the Secret Forest Tarot

I focused on “What will bring me joy this week?” “What will cause sorrow?” “What will help me balance between them?”

Temperance shows me that joy can come from moderation and finding the way to forge balance between my obligations (those things I must do) and my hobbies and interests (those things I want to do). It reminds me of the Serenity Prayer, and that I need to understand that certain things are just out of my control. No matter how much I try, I won’t make any headway with those. At the same, time there are steps I can take to try to change those circumstances. So, I need to focus on not causing myself stress by fighting against circumstances over which I have no control. I also need to allow myself to accept that it’s okay for me to have fun, even while dealing with these obligations. As the saying goes, all work and no play makes one a dull girl.

The 2 of Wands reversed speaks to me on two different levels. On a personal level, it’s pointing out that it’s okay to get frustrated over the fact that all my excitement over new adventures and new experiences is temporarily dashed. It doesn’t mean it’s forever, but at this point those goals are stymied. It’s also a reminder that I may see other people exploring new projects and opportunities and feel a little resentful because I’m in a holding pattern. Or, on a more macrocosmic level, I may see other projects that I don’t want to see come to fruition because I disagree with their goals or agenda. I just need to remind myself it’s okay to be said about all of that.

In between, the Page of Pentacles show that balance will be found in practical, grounded responses and reactions rather than my usual fiery and impulsive ones. I also think its reminding me to use this opportunity to learn more about myself and find ways to express my creativity and find fun in things I can do right now. It may be time to reacquaint myself with SARK.

Dealing with a nightmare neighbor (#TarotReading #PearlsofWisdomTarot)

So, I’m having a problem with a neighbor over a small piece of property that belongs to me. She, however, feels that it is part of her property and has decided to try staking her claim by putting a chair on my property as though marking her territory. She’s never directly confronted me. Although, when I questioned her about what she was doing on the property, she did become rather verbally aggressive telling me she would not speak to me, and I should call the police. So I did. Naturally, it proved futile because she still behaves as if it’s her property.

Her property is to the left of the water, mine is to the right. The chair inside the fence, on the right side, is my neighbor’s.

I was becoming very stressed out by this. Headaches, anxiety, nervous stomach all decided to pay me a visit. One consistent trait I possess is that I’m very outwardly expressive when it comes to anger, I don’t internalize it. I sometimes joke that if depression is anger turned inward, I won’t suffer from it because I prefer to turn my anger outward. This situation, however, was getting the best of me. So I decided to do something about it because it had become intolerable and unacceptable.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Tarot always comes to me. So I did what I always do when I need clarification, I pulled cards! First I asked the Morrigan (my Matron goddess) “What is my neighbor’s problem? Then I asked my husband “How should I handle this?” And finally I asked my ancestors for additional insight or clarification. Here are my answers;

Pearls of Wisdom Tarot : King of Cups, Strength, 8 of Wands

The Morrigan showing me my neighbor’s problem as the King of Cups suggests to me that this woman would benefit from therapy. I’ve seen her in other circumstances and she becomes easily agitated and emotionally overwrought, disproportionate to the situation. She definitely gives off a vibe of an out of control neighbor who could easily cross the line into potentially harmful confrontations.

My husband sending me the Strength card as the answer to how I should handle this is just so true to who he was, and how he saw me. This is John sending me support, and letting me know that I’m strong enough to handle this. I shouldn’t let this get the best of me. I don’t need to become aggressive in this situation, I just need to stay calm, not lose my cool, and do whatever is necessary legally to make sure that this is cleared up.

The final card, additional insight from my ancestors, is the 8 of Wands. As soon as I saw this image the first thing I thought of was people plugging in to a tree or waterway (appropriate, as this property is along an arm of a lake). That made me think of restoring myself by plugging in to the nature that’s surrounds me. Letting myself just relax by watching the squirrels and the birds and the other critters coexisting on this property. When I shared this reading with two friends, they both also pointed out that it could also symbolize plugging into my support network and my community so that I know I’m not dealing with this alone.

This reading really helped me get a better handle and different perspective on this entire situation. I feel much calmer and much better able to handle it in a non-stress-inducing way. I’ve decided she can play all the games she wants and each time she puts that chair on my property I will remove it again. If she involves the police, I will just calmly explain that it’s my property and, unless she can prove otherwise, I’m going to remove anything on there that isn’t mine. In the meantime, I will figure out a way to put up a barrier or some type so she can’t access it anymore. Simple but clear steps that should prove effective.

I hope anyone reading this enjoyed the journey through my mini near breakdown. While I hope none of you need to deal with a similar situation, if you do, I hope this post will prove helpful in some small way.

ADDENDUM: I had a bit of an epiphany after posting this. 💡 I realized that although the King of Cups can indeed suggest that this neighbor would benefit from therapy; I think it’s also pointing out is that she is a master emotional manipulator. Now, that might not be the right interpretation for other people, but I have always had a problem with the suit of Cups. I would prefer to get Swords in a reading for myself over Cups any day (it’s my issue, I’m dealing with it). The point is, in my own readings, I often see the Cups Court cards as representing some type of emotional manipulation. As Mel Brooks said in History of the World, Part I “it’s good to be the king”. 👑 She enjoys the sense of power that playing these kinds of games gives her. To take away that power, I need to stop responding the way I have been. I need to remove myself from her little emotional games. I can’t believe I didn’t see that before! 🤦‍♀️

Working through my loss (#TarotReading #PearlsofWisdomTarot)

The one year anniversary of my husband’s death is next week. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been a year. On the other, hand it feels like he’s been gone far longer than that. My husband and I were together for 38 years when he died and it was very challenging learning how to deal with things on my own. I didn’t realize how many things he took care of for the both of us. I’m sure it would have been the same situation if I had died and he lived because we tended to divide up our responsibilities that way. There’s something both terrifying and reassuring about the fact that I’m able to handle a lot of this without John even if I wish I didn’t have to.

April 1, 1986 is the day John and I went down to City Hall in New York and applied for our marriage license. 36 years ago – seems like such a long time ago and yet I remember it like it was yesterday. In honor of this anniversary I pulled two cards from my Tarot deck while asking John for a message. This was his response

John’s message using Pearls of Wisdom Tarot

Seeing these cards I burst into tears because they are truly both such John energies, especially as they pertained to the way he cared for in about me. The Chariot suits John for many reasons: it’s his birth card; he was a car guy who loved tinkering with his vehicles; and he refused to let anyone else tell him what to do. He steered the course of his life, for better and worse. With this card John is reminding me that I need to be sure to take up the reins and guide my life going forward. I can certainly seeks advice and guidance from others, but I’m the charioteer now.

The 9 of Pentacles is John’s way of reminding me he always wanted to be sure I would be in a good financial place if anything happened to him. He has definitely done this. In fact, he could have retired but he continued to work. He wanted to be sure there would be enough in his pension to take care of me if something happened to him. Ironically that is what happened. He is visually showing me that he wants me to enjoy what I have and the time I have left. He wants me to be happy and healthy and take care of myself. I think the best way to honor John’s memory is to do that

Waking up from a terrifying dream #TarotReading #HauntedHouseTarot

So, since my husband died I find myself trying to speak with him every night before I fall asleep. I ask him to give me some kind of sign that he’s still with me in some way and I’ve never gotten one. It frustrated me because I believe in the afterlife and in the soul traveling to the Otherworld after death; and I felt like I was being cheated. I was rather angry about it. It was bad enough that he died on me but now I had no connection, no sense that he was still there at all. Until the other night.

I dreamed I was in my house, not a house I have ever actually owned but I knew it was my house. I also knew that my husband was there. I’m not sure how I knew this because I couldn’t see or hear him, but I was sure he was there. I was getting ready for something but I don’t know what. Then I heard footsteps walking through the house and knew that it was John coming my way. He finally stood in the doorway where I could see him. I took one look at him and turned away towards the wall screaming in horror. I was so terrified that I woke myself up and began sobbing. The figure I saw standing in the doorway bore almost no resemblance to my husband and in fact reminded me more of a Frankenstein type monster. I was shaken by this dream for days afterwards.

So, I processed this dream the way I process anything that bothers me – I did a tarot reading. Using Sasha Graham’s Haunted House Tarot, I pulled 3 cards:

  1. What is the dream telling me? Knight of Wands Rx
  2. Why did my husband appear that way? The Wheel of Fortune Rx
  3. What terrified me? Justice

After looking at these cards, this is my interpretation of this reading. The first sentence that popped in my head upon seeing the reversed Knight of Wands is from the original Planet of the Apes movie. Dr. Zaius warns Taylor to be careful what he looks for because he might not like what he finds. I think that’s what this card is showing me. I’m trying to reach out beyond the veil for some type of reassurance from my husband but now might not be the time for that. What I discover might be more disturbing than I’m ready to handle. I have no idea how time flows in the afterlife or how a human soul processes transitioning to that level. Perhaps the living aren’t supposed to know these things or at least I’m not supposed to at this time.

The reversed Wheel of Fortune tells me that John appeared the way he did because he’s not finished transitioning yet. He hasn’t fully adapted to his new reality and so he looks like an unfinished science experiment. At the same time I can’t help but feel touched and reassured that despite this he still reached out to reassure me because he always tried to do that.

Justice was a little trickier for me to interpret. It wasn’t until I looked at the actual image on the card that a connection was made. The dream terrified me because if I had been able to fully connect to my deceased husband I think it would have thrown me off balance; so off balance that there would have been psychological and physical health repercussions. The female figure in the forefront of the Justice card looks like an old fashioned nurse. This makes me think that as things are right now my health would be endangered and that’s what terrified me. My soul was protecting itself.

When I first woke up from the stream I was so upset and disturbed. It really shook me. However, upon further reflection it has calmed me and helped me move forward in my grieving process. I realize now it’s not that my husband doesn’t want to connect with me; it’s just not advisable right now. Just knowing that he was willing to make the attempt, even if it wasn’t ultimately in either of our best interests, is reassuring and reminds me how much he loved me. I know now that I will reconnect with him someday; if not in this life then in the next. That makes me feel lighter.

Samhain 2021 – A New Year

This is something I’ve been putting off for a while now. Partly because I’m a fairly private person and don’t like exposing parts of myself to the general public but somehow this felt important to address here. On April 8th I lost my husband of 35 years. He died of a massive heart attack and went the way he would have wanted to go quickly and probably painlessly. And while I’m happy that he didn’t suffer, I’m also angry that he left me. I realize that to some degree this was out of his hands but I’m convinced that his smoking along with stress contributed to this. Maybe if he had stopped smoking a few years back it wouldn’t have gone this way. I’m trying to adapt to this new status in my life. For the first time in 38 years I am not part of John and Debbie; I’m just Debbie, and I’m not sure how to be just Debbie anymore. So I’m learning.

I’ve been very lucky to have supportive friends and families helping me with this and I’ve been doing a lot of Tarot work. In fact I think the only reason I might avoid grief counseling is because of the Tarot. It’s reminded me that one gift from my husband that I need to carry forward is a belief in myself. He was always my biggest supporter and convinced that I could do anything if I focused on it. So now I need to focus on being a solo individual. It is both an exhilarating and terrifying concept.

In honor of Samhain I decided to do the Fruits of Wisdom spread from Christine Jette’s Tarot for All Seasons. I used the Trick or Treat Tarot and pulled the following cards:

Fruits of Wisdom Spread using Trick or Treat Tarot

Death reverse carries a fairly simple to understand message for me right now – I’m still processing my John’s death and it’s ramifications. I’ve accepted and continue processing his loss but what is more challenging to get a handle on is who I am in the wake of his death. I think that’s where the Ace of Wands comes into play. It’s reminding me that no matter how much I sometimes feel the desire to join John, the reality is that I’m not the tight to just lie down and die. It’s not who I am and it’s not what John would want me to do. The Fool reversed is pointing out that I need to release and let go of the pattern of stasis I’ve been in lately. I lost my faith in myself and it’s paralyzing me so it’s time to let it go; time to make those leaps of faith and believe things will work out; to explore the uncharted territory that is Debbie Alone. I need to protect and nurture all the skills I’ve acquired up to this point, embrace the lessons John taught and the knowledge I gained simply by watching and listening to him. The Knight of Pentacles has always been the court card I most associate with John. Showing up reversed here reinforces that while he might be gone from the physical realm he’s still alive in my heart and soul. The Page of Cups reminds me that at the end of the day I need to look within myself and reconnect with things that gave ME joy and make ME happy. For 38 years I’ve taken into consideration what kinds of things John liked to do and where my interests and his overlapped. He did as well; that’s what being in a relationship should be. Now that John is gone I have an opportunity to explore my interests and my joys. I don’t know where this will take me but I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be an interesting journey.