What will help me maintain this new direction in my life? 3 of Wands R + 7 of Pentacles (BoS So Below)

BoS So Below 3 of Wands BoS So Below 7 of Pentacles

The 3 of Wands reversed tells me that I need to stop trying to focus on external projects.  Now is not the time for that.  Now I need to focus on internal projects – caring for myself, tapping into my creative energies and just relaxing.  These are things I have ignored in favor of slugging (simple sitting in a vegetative state).

The 7 of Pentacles reminds me that I need to stop and enjoy the fruits of my labor.  Of course that would have to mean I’ve actually done labor so that there are fruits to enjoy.  Right now I’m coasting.  And I’m not saying that as a negative judgment on myself.  I’m exhausted, tired and burnt out so much of the time the only thing I can do it sit and stare.  I want to change that pattern but I don’t want to do it in a way that just creates more stress and more goals I can’t achieve.

I need to spend more time enjoying tea and crayons and cookbooks and friends.  I need to reconnect with the flow of things and accept that everyone’s life has seasons and cycles and I’m not exception.  No matter how much I try to fight it or how often I deny it, I end up back in the same place feeling more frustrated and defeated.  I’m setting myself up to fail and I don’t want to do that anymore.

If I want to maintain this new direction I need to take things one day at a time and keep reminding myself that this is part of the cycle.  Things will eventually change and I can embrace the change and deal with it when that occurs.  For now, I need to work within the boundaries and are my life.  They may prove to be a opportunity for transformation at a deep level, if I allow it.

How can I best embrace clarity? King of Swords R + 3 of Wands (BoS So Below)

BoS So Below King of Swords BoS So Below 3 of Wands

Interesting that embracing clarity does not involve an overabundance of intellect, wits or communication skills.  Instead it would appear that those needs to be become something of a non-priority for me.  I don’t need to be in charge.  I don’t need to be leading the class.  I don’t need to be goal oriented and focused right now.

Instead, like the relaxed woman on the 3 of Wands, I need to take time for tea and self-care.  Even if I can only dedicate 10 minutes to myself every day that’s better than nothing.  I need to stop and enjoy those little moments I can steal for myself.  It’s not about becoming king of the world, it’s about being happy in mine.

This past few readings have pointed out that even in my current situation I tend to be very achievement oriented.  I’m so busy looking at the map and plotting out the destination that I never look up and see the passing scenery.  These cards are telling me that it’s time to knock it off and enjoy the scenery.

There is  season for everything.  I know that in my heart but sometimes mine mind shouts it out.  It thinks it can control things if only it can figure out the pattern.  I may be intelligent and quick witted about certain things but those skills aren’t very useful to me right now.  Now it’s times for me to start fully embracing and exploring my more heart-centered, emotional and nurturing side.  Even after several years caring for the in-laws I’m not comfortable with that side of myself.  I’ve tried distancing myself from it and using my intellect to build barriers.  I guess it’s time for the barriers to come down and face some truths.  That’s the only way I’ll truly be clear and not confused.

Why am I confused? 9 of Wands R + Queen of Chalices R (BoS So Below)

BoS So Below 9 of Wands BoS So Below Queen of Chalices

Lack of focus and insight – that’s why I’m confused.  My energy stores are depleted and my concentration is almost non-existent.  With the situation surrounding me, focusing or concentrating on any task are absolute luxuries.  I feel as though I’m developing attention deficit disorder because my attention span has become nonexistent.  If I can focus on a book long enough to read a chapter it’s a minor miracle.

I’m beginning to realize that some of this confusion and lack of focus is circumstantial and not due to any innate character traits.  My life is not conducive to focus or concentration right now.  Things may change in the future but as things stand right now I’m fighting against the prevailing current.  It’s frustrating but I need to be more flexible about this.  It would seem that now is just not the time to focus on personal projects no matter how much I’d love to start.

I think the Queen of Chalices is telling me that I need to comfort myself right now.  I need to give myself the same support and acceptance I would give a friend going through similar experiences.  I think we all tend to be much harsher and more judgmental with ourselves in situations like this.  Those inner critics that lie in wait to shred our self-confidence thrive on moments like this.  Instead of feeding that energy I need to embrace myself and say all those kind, comforting things I’d tell a dear friend.

I don’t think I’m confused as much as I am exhausted and depleted.  I’m confusing being warn out with being confused.  I can’t focus on building a new career because I am up to my neck in my current career.  Perhaps it’s not a paying job but caring for my in-laws is no less demanding, draining and time consuming.  It’s time to stop fighting the current and go with the flow, even if that flow is taking me in a direction different from the one I would have chosen.

Why am I afraid of becoming this? 10 of Air + Ace of Water R (BoS As Above)

BoS As Above 10 of Air BoS As Above Ace of Water\

The image on the 10 of Air is wonderful – what a fabulously different interpretation of this card.  The Tarot reader sits with her cards arrayed before her as sylphs dance around her.  I can just hear them whispering in her ears; offering divine wisdom based on the cards drawn.  She seems quite calm and confident; not the least bit unsettled by these helpful winged creatures.  She has long grown use to receiving messages from the Universe and feeling the breath of divine messengers in her ears.

The Ace of Cups is an active, vigorous card.  Barbara Moore describes it as depicting the symbolic Wiccan Great Rite; the union of the athame and chalice, of male and female.  It shows the source of all life; the activation of potential, the divine spark combining with the primordial waters.  It offers the promise of a new psychic bond; a deeper intuitive connection to the life energies that surround us all.

So what’s to fear?  Oh please, that’s easy.  I’m afraid of becoming that woman; of representing that connection to the Universe for other people.  I’ve seen how some people can react when given a Tarot reading.  It becomes a prophecy written in stone.  No amount of explaining or warning can rid them of this conviction.  That is a huge responsibility.  I don’t take Tarot readings lightly, despite the sometimes fun, light-hearted approach I sometimes take.  I would not want to frighten a client with a negative reading.  Of course I’d like to hope that I’m a skilled and sensitive enough reader to avoid this.  I think it’s time to activate my Wonder Twin powers.

What lies hidden beneath the ice? – 2 of Pentacles R + Queen of Cups (Hidden Realms)

Hidden Realms 2 of Pentacles Hidden Realms Queen of Cups

I was inspired to ask this question after looking out my window and seeing the ice sheet covering the nearby water.  It’s a reminder that we are still in winter and its frigid grasp is not yet ready to let go of the land.  It made me wonder what seeds might be germinating in my own life just waiting for the thaw to sprout forth.

The 2 of Pentacles is the perfect successor to yesterday’s Ace.  This card shows a fae creature resting on the grass next to a flower.  She is connected to the heartbeat of the earth and listening to its slow and throbbing pulse.  She is in no rush and her full attention is focused on this one flower.  This card reminds me that there is life throbbing beneath the outer shell in which I’ve encased myself.  It also speaks to me about working with the energies of the season not against them.  Now is the time for germination, planting and encouraging the little seeds to begin sprouting.  It’s time for planning, for dreaming and for preparing the ground for the new seedlings.

The Queen of Cups is the manifestation of who I can become if I am able to trust my more intuitive, receptive side (as shown in yesterday’s 2 of Swords).  For much of my life I’ve avoided this serene, mystical lady’s offering.  Her chalice might as well have been filled with poison.  I was a child of Athena, a creature of logic, intellect and the Sun.  I was the father’s daughter and the receptive, intuitive, dreamy gifts of the Queen of Cups were anathema to me.  I was a warrior, not a dreamer!

Of course now I realize that they are not mutually exclusive and that working with the energies of the Queen of Cups and not losing yourself in the process requires more courage and strength than facing a charging knight on horseback.  She is at home in the dark places in our psyche.  She can guide us into those depths we so often avoid and fear.  As Barbara Moore writes in the companion book, a drink from her chalice forces you to scry your soul and is not for cowards.  Her chalice can bring healing but true healing is not for the faint of heart.  Soul healing requires us to look at those dark places in our soul and embrace them.  I see the Queen of Cups healing as a process of soul retrieval and it can be risky for the untrained or unprepared.

Combined these cards remind me that this process takes time and must be nurtured and carefully tended to be successful.  It’s a gift that must be earned and worked towards (at least for me) and in the process my soul may be scoured.  I love a good challenge but the reality is that the harder I intentionally try to achieve this goal, the quicker it slips from my grasp.  It’s not something I can gain by active and assertive methods.  I have to be still and listen, allow myself to open to the message from the Queen of Cups and finally be willing to drink the draught when it and if it is finally offered.

How can I take a more active role in my own life? – 5 of Swords R + 2 of Cups R (Crone)

Tarot of the Crone 5 of Swords Tarot of the Crone 2 of Cups

The pile of crystal point on the 5 of Swords reminds me of a kids’ TV game show that used to feature 3 adolescents competing in various physical activities.  The final event was scaling something called the Agrocrag (or Megacrag depending on which variation).  This image reminds me of that Agrocrag – a pile of geometric shapes that needed to be approached with caution.  The tip of this pile of crystals point directly at me.  It suggests I need to be pierced or have something punctured.  It reminds me of a spear point.

I think what needs to be pierced is my retreat into a world of the mind.  I don’t actually live here most of the time but it is a well-honed and well-used defense mechanism.  Intellectualization and rationalization are two of my most effective mechanism for avoiding actually doing stuff.  I can think of loads of reasons why something shouldn’t work or why I shouldn’t bother to try something new.  It’s a brilliant method of staying stuck in a rut.  If I want to take a more active role in my life then I need to get the hell out of that rut and puncture that fear of failure, ego-driven approach to life.

The reversed 2 of Cups seems to be a heart cracked open and pouring love down on me.  I am surrounded by it and awash in it.  I get such a gentle, warm and nurturing energy from this card (I think the coloring of Ellen’s Cups in this deck makes it one of my favorite versions of the suit).  It reminds me of a prayer I learned in Catholic elementary school about the “most sacred heart of Jesus”.  It included the line “take it and place it in your open, broken heart” (or at least that’s how I heard it).  At the time the imagery creeped me out (it was right up there with the line “if I should die before I wake” in another prayer), but looking at this image I feel as though that open broken heart is not damaged at all simply loving and giving.  It is healing me and allowing me to grow stronger as a result.

I have always considered myself an extrovert but today I took an online Myers-Briggs Personality test and the results were ISFP.  To say I was surprised to see that I scored higher (although not by much) on the introvert scale was something of a surprise.  Then I read the description and it did click.  Especially this paragraph “This personality trait is connected with ISFPs’ love of freedom – ISFPs are very independent and fiercely resist all forms of control. People with this personality type are the ultimate “free souls”, seeing nearly all rules, guidelines and traditions as self-imposed limitations that make life dull and boring. ISFPs live completely in the present, refusing to dwell on the past or prepare extensive plans for the future – they take things as they come, experimenting and adapting their behavior as necessary.”

I love this description so of course I’ll embrace and accept it (I have the same reaction to any and all descriptions I’ve ever read of my Leo sun sign).  Reality is that depending upon my mood when I take these tests and how I chose to interpret the questions I have received different answers in the past.  I’ve always viewed myself as an extroverted introvert.  I do believe I’m more introverted but I have a well developed extroverted side.  As a result I tend to avoid “touchy-feely” stuff, at least I used to be this way.  Recent developments in my life have forced me to become more fully acquainted with my nurturing, caregiver side – my inner Queens of Cups and Pentacles if you will.  I fully embrace and embody my Queens of Wands and Swords but those Cups – ewwww!!!  The Queen of Pentacles and I have always been on a cordial, friendly footing even if we’re not always on a first name basis.  The Queen of Cups – oh please I’d rather have root canal than enter her realm.

Even as a child reading Greek mythology I was more drawn to Persephone, Athena and Artemis.  I avoided Aphrodite and Demeter – mothering and sexuality, NOOOOO!!!  I wanted to be a Valkyrie not a mermaid.  Now I’m a Work At-Home Caregiver (a WAHC if you will) and have learned that patience, kindness and nurturing are the order of the day.  Becoming overly excited or trying to be logical and intellectual in this situation is a waste of time and effort and a surefire path to frustration.  So now that I’m learning to be less judgmental and harsh with others maybe I can learn to be less judgmental and harsh with myself.  By Freya’s necklace!!  Is is possible I’m a deep diver pretending to be a noisy, shallow stream?  Or maybe I’m both depending on day, mood and situation.  What a conundrum!!  I am complex!

If I want to take a more active role in my own life I need to stop hiding behind crystalline walls of logic and intellect.  I need to topple that pile of crystal points and allow the love, tenderness and caring pouring from the 2 of Cups rain down on me and gently wash away those fears and doubts.  It’s time to turn things inside out and stop seeking the answers in books.  I need to trust my heart, find other loving, caring people to help support me and accept support from me.  I need to love those that come to me for answers and offer them compassion and kindness blended with some logic and reality.  It’s about balance – both aspects have their benefits and it’s time to allow them to blend into a marvelous, beautiful and healing whole.

How can I find the most joy in the day? – The Moon + Witch of Disks R (Crone)

Crone Moon Crone Witch of Disks

Hmm, this is a bit of a puzzler.  The Moon, especially in this deck, seems to reinforce a sense of isolation, separation and solitude.  She is surrounded by a dark, bleak lunar-looking landscape, wrapped in a full length blue cloak.  Her round face bears with its large eyes and huge grin almost appears ghastly (it reminds me of the grimace the Joker worse in Batman comics).  I get the sense she is the only read thing in this landscape.  Everything around her is the result of her own inner vision and imagination – for better or worse.  If I ask her a question I might get an answer but whether it will be the one I seek is open to debate.

The Siren of Disks shows a serene dark-skinned woman with white hair.  She is adorned with a large green pendant and earrings.  She seems wise, serene and approachable.  This is a woman who will welcome me into her home and offer me a hot cup of tea, nourishing food and a supportive ear.  She gives practical, wise counsel and reminds me that the best response to situations is probably the simplest.  At the same time she doesn’t sugar-coat things.  I get the sense that this wise elder will call me on my bullshit quicker than she’ll refill my teacup.

This is a rather odd combination, especially in response to my query today.  My question was prompted by a beautiful afternoon outside – the sun was shining and it was rather warm.  I felt joy and happiness well up inside when I walked outdoors.  I wanted to wrap myself in that feeling for the of the day.  Looking at The Moon I realize that one way to achieve this is to listen to my inner voice and trust my instincts.  I need to trust in my dreams and allow myself to connect with parts of myself that have “never been born” because I didn’t have the faith in myself.  I think this connects with the work I’ve been doing with the dark feminine.

This is balance by the practical, grounded energy of the Siren of Earth.  She is reversed because I think she is letting me know this is energy I already possess; it’s inside me.  I just need to make sure I balance my quest on the inner planes and with the dark feminine with an equal amount of common sense and reality checking.  I need to be careful not to get so caught up in my dream world that I lose my connection to reality.

On another level this card reminds me of the current situation with my mother-in-law.  She is stuck in an isolated, barren and stark landscape with no idea how she got there or how to get out.  Her reality seems very dream-like or perhaps nightmarish is the more correct term.  Perhaps I am the Lady, the Witch of Disks, who keeps her tethered to reality in some small way.  Maybe I need to look for whatever joy can be found in this kind of situation.  It doesn’t need to be completely stark.

Even with limited options, it’s important to nurture and care for yourself – Page of Cups + 7 of Cups R (Housewives Tarot)

Housewives Page of Cups Housewives 7 of Cups

 

I started using the Housewives Tarot yesterday (the Full Moon was Sunday and I decided it was time to swap decks).  I thought the Housewives would be appropriate because we’re nearing Thanksgiving and it seems to fit the feel of tradition and home that permeates the air.

Today I drew the Page of Cups which shows a small boy with a big grin watering flowers that bear the faces of older people.  The book talks about tending our emotional relationships and nurturing them.  In this case I think the Page of Cups is reminding me that if I don’t tend to such matters – nourishing and watering the relationships I value in my life, then I’ll find myself much poorer for the experience.

The 7 of Cups reversed shows a well dressed woman pondering seven cocktail glasses that are arrayed before her.  She seems to be considering her decision – which drink will she choose?  This card reminds me that I don’t have a lot of choices right now.  And the ones I do have are not as tempting as which cocktail I’d like to try.  I think it’s showing me that I need to think before making a choice, especially because the options are very limited.

Together I see a bigger message from these two cards.  The Page of Cups is letting me know that even if my choices are limited, I still do have  some options.  Or perhaps what the 7 of Cups reversed is telling me is that I FEEL as though I have no options but that may not be the case.  Perhaps what the message of these combined cards is that I have some choices (no matter how I feel right now) and I need to cultivate, tend and nurture them so that they will expand and provide even more options.  Even little seeds can grow into big trees if the conditions are right.

It’s also just as important for me to tend to my own emotional needs.  As I’m sure it is for many caregivers, I’m finding it gets easier and easier to put my desires and needs aside to care for someone else.  Part of me hates doing that (I have a well-developed selfish streak) but with things as they are right now it’s unavoidable.  So even if I don’t have a lot of options available to nourish and nurture my emotional side (all those lovely cocktail glasses) that doesn’t mean I should ignore it altogether.  I need to do what I can to sustain and tend to my needs too.  A challenge but one I’m sure I’ll eventually figure out.

No earth-shattering kaboom! but lots of small tremors (Queen of Pentacles R + The Tower R – Deviant Moon)

Deviant Moon Queen of Pentacles Deviant Moon Tower

 

On some level I have been paying more attention to my own well-being. I’m trying to focus more on my health, appearance and need to “me” time. It’s almost impossible to focus on anything while I’m caring for the relatives. They demand too much of my time and attention. By the time I get home I’m exhausted and just want to get to bed. So I need to figure out something that works for me. This has been an ongoing battle for me and I’m still trying to figure out a practical strategy.

The Tower reversed can indicate a few things. It can be trying to warn me that some crucial insight that will help me work through some of this stuff is being ignored or missed. It might be telling me that a dramatic, earth-shattering internal change is coming and I might want to get ready for it. Or it maybe be reminding me that despite all the dramatic, earth-shattering changes I’ve already experienced in my life no one else shares these experiences (well except the hubby).

It’s one of the toughest things to accept about this situation – no one else is impacted by it the way we are. No one else really cares (well that’s a bit harsh and an overstatement but I think you get my point). Others care because they care about me or because we always care when another human is suffering but it’s a different level of concern and involvement. The other people who should be as impacted by this (other children, grandchildren, etc.) are not here. They don’t even check on things. That is a bitter pill to swallow. It’s also caused a dramatic shift in how I perceive those family members. It might not cause an “earth-shattering kaboom” (as Marvin the Martian might say) but it’s definitely created a shift if my view of them and of how our society handles aging and disabilities too.

Who knows, maybe somewhere down the road I’ll find these become priorities that cause me to become involved in ways that just aren’t possible right now. Maybe instead of one major Tower moment, this card is showing the many minor Tower moments I’ve experienced and reminding me not to minimize their impact on my life, my perceptions and even my health.

Even the Earth Mother has limited resources (Queen of Pentacles & Wheel of Fortune – Deviant Moon)

Deviant Moon Queen of Pentacles Deviant Moon Wheel

 

The Queen of Pentacles and I have become old friends in the last few years. Although I often considered her the quintessential Earth Mother and Lady Bountiful, I am beginning to see her as much more than that. She takes a practical no-nonsense approach to life. Yes, she will care for others – bring cookies to the fund-raiser, soup to the sick, etc, but she also will call folks on their mishegas. She won’t continue to care for someone long after they should have been able to care for themselves. She will draw the line when she feels enough is enough.

I’m getting the sense that the Queen of Pentacles is telling me I need to be clear about my limitations. Right now I can provide the nurturance and caring necessary for those I love. At some point in time I may reach permanent burn out. I may need to admit that I cannot handle it anymore and it’s time to let go. That doesn’t mean I don’t still care and love them, simply that I can’t provide them with the services they need – at least not on my own.

The Wheel of Fortune shows that eventually all things change. How does the saying go – the only thing constant in life is change? Whether the change will be to my benefit or detriment I cannot know yet. I think this card is reminding me that resistance is futile – and everyone who knows me knows I resist change as though it’s the most horrible thing in the world. As my friend Diane likes to say “your such a fixed Leo”. I can list loads of reasons for this resistance but the reality is that it truly is pointless. All I accomplish is staving off the inevitable for brief time.

So I suppose my lesson today is to remember that even the Queen of Pentacles can reach the limit of her resources and that will bring about changes. I can’t stop those changes but perhaps by approaching them in a more positive manner I can make sure they’re as beneficial as possible for all concerned.