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
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
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:
What is the dream telling me? Knight of Wands Rx
Why did my husband appear that way? The Wheel of Fortune Rx
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.
Last night I attended a Tarot Meetup at the fabulous Crystals of Quartz store here in Greenwood Lake. These monthly meetups are led usually by Meghan and Jem but this month Syd, who owns the store, was the co-facilitator. It was a lively Meetup filled with a very diverse group of women ranging from two very mature and insightful young ladies of 9 and 13, to us more allegedly mature types in our 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and eternal.
We did a few different spreads and got some interesting messages. The one I’m sharing and focusing on here is a new moon spread exploring “What is the new moon teaching me?” Using Sasha Graham’s wonderful Haunted House Tarot, this was my answer: 3 of Cups Rx, Ace of Wands Rx & King of Wands Rx
The first thing I noticed is that everything is reversed which suggests to me that these are all areas which I haven’t fully manifested yet. The second thing is that two of the cards are wands suggesting my inner fire has been dampened, perhaps by the water the figure in the 3 of Cups is submerged beneath (my grief). I also think what I’m learning is how to shift this current circumstance so that I can activate the energies of these cards.
The 3 of Cups Rx reminds me that even if I can’t embrace it right now, I do have friends ready, willing and able to provide emotional support for me as I process my new status in life. The Ace of Wands reminds me that no matter how much I might wish to douse my own candle (in a vague, apathetic way) that’s not who I am. That’s really not who I want to be and that’s not who my John would want me to be. I think the King of Wands shows me what lies in wait once I can activate the candle shown in the Ace. The woman in his arms is Queen Debbie who was part of the ruling couple. Now she is morphing into a King in her own right; a Debbie who is master of her own fate and the final authority in her own life.
Quite honestly this felt very profound for me and it’s something I think is going to take me awhile to fully process. I’m both terrified and energized by the possibilities and potential that awaits as I move forward.
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:
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.
The root of the matter, what you need to do to keep both your feet on the ground? 5 of Swords
Career, attitudes about work – are you following your heart’s desire or just surviving? Page of Swords Rx
Finances, attitudes about money – Money is energy; is your energy blocked or does it flow freely? Queen of Swords Rx
Connections and sharing – how do you let your guard down to share with others? The Star
Health & healing; how do you nurture & care for yourself? The Sun
First harvest you have planted, the garden and the seeds of your life – What are you reaping for yourself based on your attitudes and behaviors? What are you harvesting? 8 of Pentacles
Fruition achievements maturation fulfillment satisfaction success – what are you thankful for? Life Renewed (Judgement)
The figure on the Five of Swords is fierce and determined. She looks like she’s going into battle convinced of the rightness of her cause and that others will follow her. In the context of this reading, I think she reflects that fighting for our truth, fighting for what we believe in, fighting for our ideals can help keep us grounded. The world is a very scary place right now and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by what’s going on. I think the Five of Swords shows that defending what we believe in gives us purpose. The unfortunate flip side to this is that those who disagree with us will be equally vehement in defending their beliefs and ideals. Sometimes, that’s the way it goes.
The reverse Page of Swords suggested right now might be a time to reassess what you’re doing on a professional level. Something isn’t sitting right for you at the moment. Perhaps you just don’t believe in the value of your job the way you once did. You’ve lost your sense of purpose. In the context of this spread it suggests that you’re letting the logical path (staying in a job you may no longer be passionate about because it’s a secure income) outweigh your desire to feel committed to your work; to feel that it has meaning and value.
The reverse Queen of Swords shows that right now your energy is blocked, especially as it pertains to finances. If we connect this to the Page of Swords reversed, perhaps this Queen is reflecting that you’re blocked because, although you’re getting paid, your current job not nurturing your inner self; it’s not allowing you to live up to your ideals and your beliefs. If that is one of your core values, then this might be an area that you address so all that blocked energy can be freed.
The Star reflects the hopefulness and trust we might need to bring to connecting with others. Let’s face it any relationship requires a certain amount of faith because we open ourselves up to others as reflected by the childlike figure on this card. That also leaves us vulnerable to being hurt and betrayed. What The Star shows us is that even if this is the case, hope will remain as a light in the darkness to guide us through it. As many public service announcements remind LGBTQ+ youth, it will get better. In this reading, I think The Star reminds us that if we close ourselves off to meeting new people, to exploring relationships with those that seem unfamiliar or have different viewpoints, we risk becoming isolated and rigid.
This was an interesting card in this position. The Sun is usually symbolic of celebrating ourselves and embracing our successes but in this case it’s reversed. I think that’s telling us that we can’t celebrate ourselves and embrace our achievements until we can value ourselves. Perhaps this ties in with the reversed Page and Queen in terms of one’s attitude towards their career and money. If someone sticks to a job they detest in order to maintain a secure income it might impact their self-esteem and sense of self; cause untold levels of stress that negatively impact one’s health. It’s hard to celebrate yourself and acknowledge achievements if these things have no value to you because they’re in a field that you no longer find fulfilling. So maybe the key to unblocking this energy is free the stuck energy reflected in positions 2 and 3.
The 8 of Pentacles is a reminder that we get out of this life what we put into it. If we continue forcing ourselves to pursue a path that no longer brings a satisfaction it’s going to impact our relationships, our health our sense of self. I love the energy reflected in this card because it seems a perfect melding of Earth and fire; of the physical and the energetic; of money and career. In order to get to this place perhaps we need to look at the other blocked areas and get them unstuck.
Life Renewed reminds us that there is a way out of the darkness. We can emerge from all this blocked energy filled with dissatisfaction and self doubt by changing our mindset. We need to reassess and reevaluate what we’re doing and see if it’s providing the benefit we desired. We don’t always have to work at a job that is our hearts desire as long as it fulfills a need and only you can decide what that need truly is. The important thing is to recognize whether you’re feeling trapped by the situation and if so what can you do to change it because only you can lead yourself out of the shadows and into the light.
The three Swords cards at the core of this reading suggest that healing this situation is going to depend upon changing our perspective and mindset. We need to communicate more effectively with ourselves and listen to our inner voice. We might also find it useful to communicate more effectively with others in our lives so they understand our thoughts about a situation and whether we are truly satisfied and fulfilled. And if not, what they can do, if anything, to help us change it. It’s useful to remember that others in our lives cannot read our minds. If we don’t tell them what we’re thinking, we can’t become upset when they don’t fulfill our needs.
I did this reading on the Solstice but, being the champion procrastinator that I am, I’m just getting around to posting it now. This spread is from Christine Jette’s book Tarot for All Seasons, which is filled with spreads for each Sabbat as well as the lunar cycles.
Position 1 – What will set your spirit free? – 3 of Zephyrs Rx I see this card as a reminder that sometimes we can hold on to past betrayals or painful experiences and this holds our Spirit back. I just heard it quote attributed to Stephen King that “ghosts are real and they live inside us”. I think to some degree that’s what this card represents – the ghosts that live inside us holding us back because we can’t move forward until we’ve laid those goes to rest. So in order to set our spirits free we need to release those ghosts and the lingering memories of the pain they might have caused so that we can move forward.
Position 2: Future Trends of Freedom and Liberation. Indicates possible scenarios based on influences at this time. Do you obtain your heart’s desire or are you setting up the wrong life? – 7 of Zephyrs Rx The image on this card shows a cuckoo laying its eggs in another bird’s nest. Considering it’s reversed, I think it’s a reminder that trying to obtain your heart’s desire at the expense of others will probably bring more harm than good. For example if you cast a love spell how could you ever be sure whether any resulting relationship is based on genuine love and attraction? Or if you pursued advancement in your career by detracting others efforts then is your success deserved? I suppose these are questions we can only answer for ourselves but it does raise interesting concepts to ponder.
Position 3: The Need for Protection. Shows your vulnerabilities or where you might block your heart’s desire. – High Priestess Rx This High Priestess shows a Chimera – a legendary creature composed of parts from different animals. The word can also refer to an illusion or fabrication of the mind. The reverse nature of the card in this position suggests that we are vulnerable and blocking our hearts desire because we don’t have the ability to imagine anymore; to see ourselves making our dreams come true. Sometimes the only way to create magic in our lives is to believe that we have the ability to create magic. Without a magical belief in our own abilities, we undermine ourselves.
Position 4: Future Trends of the Need for Protection. Are you on the path to fulfilling your heart’s desire, or do you need to go in another direction? – Ace of Zephyrs I think this Ace of Zephyrs shows us that we have the ability to achieve our hearts desire but we have to allow ourselves to see things clearly and align our disparate mindsets. In other words, I think this is showing we need to combine the magical thinking suggested by The High Priestess with a certain amount of reality and clearsightedness. The only way we can achieve our dreams, fulfill our heart’s desire is by both believing in ourselves and having a clear understanding of our capabilities and our skills. It’s showing us that we can always start anew, begin over again and change the path, to help guide us to our desired goal. All we have to do is change our mindset and believe in ourselves.
Position 5: Paying Attention to Intuition. Either describes how to develop the inner voice of the soul, or what may be blocking its development – Strength The best way for us to develop our inner voice of our soul is not to hide from ourselves and to be willing to actually make the attempt. Sometimes we can act like we’re tough and capable and strong enough to handle what life throws at us on the outside, but on the inside we’re the child hiding beneath the bison’s protective body. I think what Strength reminds us is that we need to have the inner fortitude to keep trying even when we fail the first few times. We need to be willing to pick ourselves up and keep working at it. After all, practice makes perfect and very few of us are perfect at something on our first attempt. At the same time we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves because we weren’t successful on our first attempt. We need to be gentle with ourselves; nurturing and protecting our fragile inner spirit.
Position 6: Future Trends in Psychic Development. Given the influences of the cards at this time, what is a probable outcome to your psychic development? – The Chariot I think the energy of The Chariot and the image on this card combine to remind us that our psychic development, or indeed our ability to achieve any goal, is a combination of being willing to take the opportunities offered to us as well as understanding that sometimes slow and steady wins the race. No matter how much we might wish it were different, life provides few fairy godmothers as well as rare instances of immediate success. The most successful people we know spend years honing their craft. I think this Chariot is reminding us that it’s equally appropriate when dealing with psychic development. Practice makes perfect and the longer we practice the better we will be.
Although the reading specifically addresses psychic development and achieving one’s heart’s desire I believe these cards can be applicable to any endeavor one pursues in life. We can’t let the ghosts of past failures paralyze us and hold us back. We need to be careful not to claim other people successes as our own. At the same time if we don’t believe in ourselves no one else will either. We also need to continually support and nourish our inner spark; treating it gently and with encouragement, not harsh criticism.
The best way to achieve our goals is to keep trying, be persistent even if we fail at first. We also need a clear understanding of our own skills and abilities. After all no matter how hard one might wish for it, if you’re not well coordinated and athletic the odds are you will never be a successful professional basketball player. However that doesn’t mean you can enjoy the experience of playing the sport just for the joy of it.
For the past few months I have been at loose ends. I can’t focus; haven’t been able to even start a new book; don’t even feel like changing out of my pajamas. As a result, I feel like a sloth. So I decided to gain some insight by using Tarot to explore what’s going on with me.
Using the Muse Tarot, I asked:
Why am I so unfocused? Queen of Materials Rx
What can change this? 10 of Inspiration
What underlying factors impact this? 3 of Voices Rx
Looking at the cards helped me realize that isolation and quarantine are negatively impacting me (something I’m sure us not unique right now. I can’t manifest what I want in my life. I’ve been forced into a caretaker role which is not innate to my nature and feels as though it’s sucking all my creative energies. I can’t focus on my needs and care for myself because I have to focus on others, and I rail against this restriction.
I can change this by taking baby steps; nurturing and tending to one interest, one creative endeavor even when I feel too worn out. Using the large amphora carried by the woman, I can carefully refill the smaller jars and slowly refuel. Instead of focusing on what I can’t do right now, explore what I can.
The reversed 3 of Voices touches on childhood feelings of feeling abandoned and excluded; as though I’ve been ditched in advance. Growing up I was always an oddball, a misfit and didn’t fit in well with most of my peer group. I had friends but even they didn’t get me. Quite often I felt like everyone else spoke in a code I didn’t understand and regularly mocked me (yes, I had issues). Being isolated and disconnected from friends and family right now triggers a lot of those feelings and made me realize it’s something I might need to work on a bit more.
I know I’m not alone in these feelings. In fact, in an odd way it’s reassuring to see other crafters expressing similar feelings or chatting with friends and hearing they’re going through their own moments of isolation and frustration. It helps me understand that I’m not in this alone, even if it feels that way right now. The best way for me to handle it is focusing on what I can do and using my creative energies in ways that revive and rejuvenate me.
I was recently reading a work of fan fiction in which the protagonist developed amnesia. The story focuses on learning who you are all over again, both the good aspects and the bad. This made me wonder how I would feel about myself if I woke up with all my skills and knowledge but no memories of my past, of who I was. As I slowly learned about myself, what would I think about that person? Would I be disappointed by things I had done? Would I be proud of what I achieved? So, I decided to work with my tried & true standby, my Tarot deck, to find an answer.
What positive aspects of the old me would I like? 10 of Swords Rx
What negative aspect of the old me would be disappointing? 3 of Wands Rx
How can I change that which should be changed? – 6 of Swords
What part of me would be changed the most if I had amnesia? Knight of Cups
So, who would I be? Page of Swords
The 10 of Swords Rx speaks to me of being a survivor; someone who is able to take a beating and keep on going, endure being stabbed in the back. There is strength, stubbornness and beauty in this image. She is not easily defeated and will continue on her journey despite any and all objections. I do think this is a quality I embody and it’s one of which I’m very proud. I think I’ve taken a lot of knocks in life; triumphed over a number of disadvantages and keep moving forward. The 3 of Wands Rx suggest that one of my less admirable qualities is that I’m not a self-starter; I will often let self doubt and insecurity undermine pursuing my goals, my dreams. I often became enthusiastically involved in projects other people have begun but rarely initiate them myself. This means I’m pretty good at helping other people achieve their dreams, but lousy at pursuing my own. The 6 of Swords reminds me that what I need to change is my focus and my willingness to pursue my own ideas. When I look at this image the woman in the boat has harnessed crows and has them pulling her across the water. She is alone, doing this by herself. The birds off in the distance are distraction, not part of her journey. This card reminds me that I can do it by myself, I just need to be focused and trust in my own ideas, my own thoughts. I can’t allow myself to get distracted by self-doubt, inner critics or other people’s input. The Knight of Cups shows me that without the life history I have had, I would be more open on an emotional level and more willing to pursue my hopes and dreams. I wouldn’t be so suspicious and emotionally closed off. Even looking at the image on this card I want to mock him and feel contempt for him. My initial reaction to this image is that he’s a poser, that this is an act to seduce someone into trusting him. Of course that tells you more about my state of mind and frame of reference than about this card. The Page of Swords as a reminder that if I were able to let go of my defense mechanisms and protective weapons developed to prevent and protect me from harm, I would be a perpetual student. I would maintain a youthful enthusiasm for learning new ideas and experiencing new things. I think if nothing else, the take away from this reading is that if I can let my defenses down a bit and listen to my inner self, I’ll find more joy and fulfillment in my life. Being a bit more trusting and open might bring untold benefits and satisfaction.
This card was actually drawn on January 23rd but it took me a couple of days to process it. I see it as the flip side to The Devil card that I drew on the 22nd and the reading I did in my previous post.
Having The Star appear so closely after The Devil shows that hope and healing are still possible even after such a harrowing experience. We can still find a light in the darkness no matter how how intense and overwhelming that Darkness might seem.
So, in exploring The Star’s message I pulled chords to answer the following questions:
How can we reinforce the thread of Hope offered in The Star? 2 of Cups Rx
What will heal the wounds left by The Devil? Temperance
How can we shine brightly again? 6 of Cups
What is the bright side to be found in this experience? The Magician Rx
What struck me about the reverse 2 of cups is that the image digests one way to re-enforce The Hope and healing shown in the store is by sharing our love and emotions, which we might usually keep between close friends and family or romantic partners, with others. We need to learn to embrace those that might be different and love them anyway. I may no longer practice Catholicism but the energy of this car reminds me very much of Jesus’s teachings to love one another as we would want to be loved; to turn the other cheek and forgive those who have hurt us. Such a simple but powerful message and one that I think will ultimately serve us all in the long run.
Temperance speaks of being forged into a stronger people. Using our differences as strength instead of a method to divide us. if we can move past the need to assign blame we can instead work to respect each other’s opinions and appreciate what we eat bring to the table two for joy nation into a place stronger, better and healthier than it has been in the past. It will not be an easy process and will require a lot of pounding out issues, smoothing disagreements and cooling tempers but if we truly wish it to be it can be done.
The 6 of Cups reminds us that we can shine brightly by growing up and accepting that the past is the past. We can’t allow nostalgic tunnel vision to blind us to the fact that things are different now and we need to adjust. The good old days were probably not as good as we remember and we can make a future that will be brighter as a result of facing that reality. We can also look at who we once were and try to become the person that our younger, more idealistic, self hoped and thought we would be. Or more simply put, be the person your dog thinks you are. Sometimes we let reality beat us down and loose sight of our better, higher selves. If this experience has taught us nothing else, it’s shown us how important it is to hold onto that side of our nature rather than wallowing in our most venal petty nature.
And finally we have The Magician Rx. I can’t think of a clearer way to show that the bright side we can find in this experience is to not submit ourselves to the will of others. Even if we agree with the beliefs and dictates of the people in power, that doesn’t mean we should unquestioningly follow their lead. The unfortunate truth is that people in positions of authority can quite easily abuse it. If we do not challenge them and hold them accountable, we might as well be cult members or living in a dictatorship. It has been said by wiser minds than mine that “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” and I think that’s the message The Magician Rx offers us. We can’t rest on our laurels and trust those in positions of authority to always have our best interests at heart. We can’t let them drive things forward without demanding accountability and explanations. We can’t be mindless sheep or we risk losing everything we claim to value.
One of the visual themes that struck me in all of these cards is the transferring of energy. Whether it is energy coming from the universe to us, from us to others, or from us to the universe, each card seems to show this exchange in one form or another. To me, this represents the beauty and simplicity of “as above so below” and “as below so above”. We reap what we sow. The wolf we feed is the one that grows larger. These are warnings we have heard at various points which I think are very appropriate right now. if we want to heal as a nation then that’s where we need to focus on energy not on continuing to demonise or villainize one side over the other. This doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t be called to account for the wrongs they have perpetrated simply that we need to focus as much or more energy on moving forward and healing. I guess at it’s core, that’s what The Star offers us – the chance to move beyond The Devil’s traps and temptations towards healing and light.
I use an Android app called Uni Tarot to randomly pick my card of the day. I prefer this app because it allows me to upload whatever deck I feel like using. This cycle I’m using The Light Seer’s Tarot. Recently The Devil was the card drawn. As I looked at the image on this card it struck me that this figure reminds me of a cult leader – he’s attractive, exudes a charisma and sexual energy mixed with soulful eyes that promise he’ll heal your wounded soul. All the while, attached to his fingers are the strings that hold you captive. I’ve always found myself fascinated by cult leaders and the people willing to give up their autonomy to follow him. This inspired me to do the following reading.
What is The Devil offering? 10 of Wands Rx
What will it cost? The World Rx
What need is he fulfilling? Queen of Pentacles
What’s the best way to handle this? 4 of Pentacles Rx
Looking at this reading, a few things struck me right away. The first is that three of the cards are reversed which suggests The Devil and all his temptations tap into hidden needs and the shadow side that we choose to ignore. This suggests it’s unhealthy and ultimately not in our best interest to succumb to his seduction. The second thing I noticed is that two of the cards are Pentacles and The Devil is associated with Capricorn which is an earth sign. Another hint that perhaps the false promises The Devil makes allow us to feel more secure and as though the ground beneath our feet is not going to shift unexpectedly.
Looking at the first card drawn, I was struck by how appropriate its message is. I think one of the things that attracts people to cults or fundamentalist religious paths is that you no longer have to carry the burden of free will; you don’t need to be responsible for making decisions. They tell you what rules to follow and what to think. They tell you what the consequences will be if you break these rules. To some people that may feel like a burden has been lifted from their psyche.
However the second card, The World Rx, reminds us of the dangers inherent in some admitting to the will of others. We risk losing everything in which we once believed, that we value and hold dear. It’s both that simple and that complex.
I found the Queen of Pentacles an interesting card to appear in response to this question. I suppose there is something that seems nurturing and supportive in The Devil’s promises. She persuades us to believe that she will care for us, attend to all our needs and all we have to do for her is follow. She allows us to feel as though we are now fulfilled because we have found our path, even if it is ultimately a false one. Another aspect of any cult is that they usually siphon all of your assets which may also be reflected in the Queen of Pentacles.
And finally we see the 4 of Pentacles Rx, another interesting card in response to what was asked but one which makes perfect sense. I think it’s a reminder that very often what leads people into the clutches of cults whether religious or political is that they play into our fears of scarcity and losing what we have. They convince us that there is an “other” out there that wants to take everything we own; everything we’ve worked so hard to acquire. It feeds into our fears and makes us clutch our positions even more closely like a miser. It leads us down a path of being not only financially impoverished but spiritually impoverished as well. the reverse nature of this card suggests that the way to free yourself from The Devil’s illusions and influences is by letting go of your fears and embracing the others. Welcome them and befriend them, give them the benefit of the doubt and consider what you can work together to build rather than what you’re convinced they wish to take away from you.
This reading seems so appropriate right now because I think as a nation we have gone through a time of listening to devils’ illusions and false promises and now we are left reeling and unsure how to move forward. I think what we have to do is pick ourselves up stop holding on to our fears and allow ourselves to embrace the possibilities that lie ahead.
Something that occurred to me is I was reviewing this post is that in some birth card systems the shadow side of The Devil is The Lovers because 15 reduces down to six. Maybe that is ultimately the answer to the seductive false promises of The Devil – love and aspiring to connect with our higher selves, our better angels. Instead of listening to The Devil that allows us to wallow in our pettiness and venality perhaps we can connect with our higher side and aspire to be greater than the sum of our parts.