The 5 of Cups reversed suggests that now is not the time to focus on what was. My mother-in-law is home and it will take at least a few days before she’ll be back to the condition she was in pre-hospitalization. Right now she is having moments of being almost catatonic, bathroom issues and a few other challenges. I’m hoping she’ll bounce back after she’s home, in a familiar environment for a few days but it’s frustrating. Most of these issues are a direct result of how she was treated in the hospital. I hope that the staff felt they were acting in her best interests but the result is that she’s almost in a state of shock.
My hubby is ranting about the neglect and mistreatment he felt she experienced at the hands of the hospital staff. I understand how he feels and even agree with his assessment. However finger-pointing serves no useful purpose right now. Instead of why she’s acting this way we need to focus on getting her better. I realize that she’ll never be 100% again but I’d like her to get back to how she was before going into the hospital.
The 2 of Swords reversed is a reminder that it doesn’t matter how clearly I can see this situation, at this time, that’s not going to help improve things. Looking back at the causes and effects of her hospitalization might prove an excellent exercise in mental masturbation but won’t help her heal. I know that but sometimes I still get caught up in the blame game.
What I can see and what I need to focus on is moving forward and getting the mom-in-law better. She has to be the focus not what they did to her. The bottom line is that she probably doesn’t consciously remember the experience but it’s that doesn’t lessen the impact. It does seem to be a sad commentary on health and aging in this country.
Looking at these cads today I realized that her message is twofold – one is that I need to be more nurturing of myself on a physical level. I need to take care of my body and treat it with love and respect. She’s also reminding me that I have friends who can function as a support network for me in this endeavor. The young turbaned man on the Dance of Life Lover of Money and the Material World holds a scale – a reminder that this is not an all or nothing prospect. It’s about balance and moderation.
I have a tendency to plunge head first into failure. If I slip from the path, eat something I know that I shouldn’t, I just give up and spend the day rolling around in poor food choices. I need to accept that just because I stray from the healthy eating path, doesn’t mean I can’t get right back on track. Instead of wallowing in the slippage, I need to pick myself up and get back on track. Of course I already know this but actually doing it is another matter.
I had a great conversation with a friend today about this issue. She pointed out that one way she stays on track with her eating is finding “cheats” that aren’t really cheats. She finds foods that are allowable under her dietary restrictions but are close enough to whatever she’s craving that she stays on track. It may not be the best choice but it’s better than the usual choice.
I also have to get over the fact that I need to plan ahead. If I’m going to make better and healthier food choices then I need to make sure I have the right ingredients in the house to make this happen. I need to get over my resistance to meal planning and strategic grocery shopping. As the old saying goes – one doesn’t plan to fail, one fails to plan. If I continue to fail to plan I’ll find it impossible to make these dietary changes and modifications.
I think the key for me is learning to love myself and believe that I am worth feeding healthy food, even if it is more expensive. I want to be more particular in the food I select and not focus so much on cost. I know money is an issue but reality is that if I don’t start investing in my health now, I’ll pay for it later with more long-term health issues and visits to doctors and hospitals. I hope to avoid having to have body parts removed or replaced because I didn’t care for them properly. And I need to remember that any change in life starts with that first step.
All the treasures and abundance I need are within myself. Now is the time to tend this temple of manifestation.
Okay so the reality is that I feel like crap and I think this card is reminding me to gather my resources and take care of me rather than trying to do too much.
My voice as a Tarot reader is The Empress? No frickin’ way!! This stopped me in my tracks because I still have some challenges embracing her energies. Of course that is my issue, not hers. It’s taken me a while to see her energies as something beyond Big Mama and to see maternal energies as more than just the self-sacrificing, child-focused mother. So many of the mothers with whom I’ve interacted are the types who subsume their desires and needs to their children’s. Their lives revolve around their children and they want to protect their children and shield them from the sometimes harsh realities of life. This type of mother is anathema to me. I don’t comprehend her mindset and cannot share her perspective on life.
Of course that is not the type of mother I’d be if I had children (at least I can’t believe I’d be that way based on my personality) and I don’t think the Tarot is telling me to become that type of mother. I think The Empress is reminding me that there are different types of mothering and I need to find my own unique approach and share that with my clients. I’m more of a tough love, no nonsense type of Empress. I will nurture and support but there will come a time when it may cease to be unconditional. If I feel someone is taking advantage of me or abusing our relationship, I will eventually cut those ties. I have limits to my patience and understanding. I also try enable people in unhealthy behaviors (although sometimes I may come off like Roseanne Barr).
I need to find the happy medium – being nurturing and no nonsense, loving and firm. I want my clients to feel that I’m approachable but I don’t want them to see me as a crutch. I want to be able to help them through their dark times and crises but I also want them to realize my goal is not to fix things for them. My focus now needs to be on communicating that to potential clients via my website, informational materials and readings. Hmm, I must ponder this further.
The first thing that struck me while looking at these cards today was to wonder whether I’m giving enough to myself. I think I’m fairly generous to others (within my means) and I’ve learned to be able to accept help from others (although that can still prove to be a bit of a sore point). What I’m not sure I’m very good at is giving to myself. All of the family obligations and responsibilities I’ve been dealing with have taken up a considerably amount of my time and energy, leaving little for me. I don’t mean this in a selfish way (although I certainly have my moments), I mean that down time, that “me” time we need to recharge the batteries. Like a lot of caregivers, I seem to have lost sight of this fact.
I don’t have a martyr complex and I’m not so giving I just can’t help myself. Sometimes it’s just easier to flow along following the same pattern day to day. It requires no thought and causes no ripples. If I have to make alterative arrangements or plans it mucks up the works and then it takes a while to get things flowing smoothly again. Of course that also means there are days when I feel as though I’m suffocating under these responsibilities. I wonder what happened to me? What happened to that person who used to spend so much energy focusing on “dressing for success” and completing tasks in a manner that would find favor with supervisors? What happened to the me who would spend hours roaming through libraries and bookstores (of course the fact that bookstores are going the way of the dinosaur and 8-track tape does not help this situation)? I don’t know anymore. On some level I know that me is never coming back. I’ve become so liberated by not having a standard 9-5 job that I truly feel no desire to ever return to that state. However I would like to find time to spend just exploring things I enjoy – museums, bookstores, libraries, etc.
Even if I cannot leave the house, I need to find ways to give myself a break; to take a time out. Otherwise I’ll end up fried and resentful. I don’t want to become that way. So I need to look into meditation, reconnecting to my spiritual practices and just carving out some alone time. Right now I’m finding solace in sweets and junk food – that’s a bad choice on many levels.
Something about these cards also reminded me of A Christmas Carol, perhaps because of the time of year and because I go on Scrooge overload. I love watching the various versions of this classic tale ranging from the Seymour Hicks 1935 version to Scrooged with Bill Murray. They bring to life the concept that it is better to give than to receive and that if we hoard what we have instead of sharing it with others, we deny ourselves one of life’s joys. I spoke with a friend today who was able to play “Secret Santa” and pay off someone’s outstanding lay-a-way balance at a local K-Mart and she was so full of joy about it that I was caught up in it with her. It’s a wonderful gift, to know that you have done something that will help others enjoy the holidays. As so many holiday movies, books and songs remind us – the important thing at this time of year is to remember that it doesn’t matter what you buy or get as gifts, it matters how you share your heart and love.
While considering this card’s message to me today I thought about how I view The Empress. I’ve often considered her to represent the primal female energy – that nurturing, supportive and protective energy that allows life to flourish and flora to bloom. I’ve often seen her to represent that feminine essence that is a bit gentler, more intuitive and less structured. She is about creating communities and encouraging growth. And while I respect the Empress’ energies, they are not ones with which I am always comfortable working. However we have come to an understanding between us. and she has appeared reversed several times as my card of the day. So I have to wonder what it is about her nature when she’s reversed that I need to consider.
As I was taking care of my elderly mom-in-law it struck me that I have been knee-deep in the Empress’ reversed energies. If she is the one who nurtures, nourishes and supports the growth of new life, then she must also be involved in nurturing and supporting those who are reaching the end of their journey; helping them deal with the aging process and preparing to move on to the next phase. It is her energies that allow adult children to care for their parents – dealing with such tasks as preparing their food to dressing them to changing their diapers. Depending upon the situation, the elderly parent becomes dependent upon his/her adult children and their roles are now reversed. That seems quite an apt expression of the reversed nature of the Empress’ energies and ones with which I am intimately acquainted.
So despite my best efforts to avoid the energies of the Empress, I have found myself swimming in them up to my neck and to be perfectly honest I am glad I have the ability to serve in this capacity for my mother-in-law. She spent many years of her life functioning as mother to her sons, especially her deaf and mentally disable d son. Now she cannot do it anymore and many of those tasks have fallen to me. Hopefully I can help make these final years as positive and loving as I am able. I’m glad I was able to find this connection to the Empress in my life.
This is the second day in a row I’ve drawn a swords card and the third time this month; and two have been reversed. I think this is a message that I need to stop living in my head, intellectualizing and relying on book knowledge over my own inner knowledge. I’ve always been more comfortable with book knowledge because it seems more reliable, more authentic somehow and it’s certainly more objective and less subject to being “wrong”. For most of my life I’ve had a horror of being wrong and focusing my energies on expressing myself in a swords-like manner has helped me avoid that. If I can quote precedents, articles, research and other academic materials then I can’t be “wrong”. I might have misinterpreted data but that doesn’t carry the same emotional punch for me.
The King of Swords – in fact all the Swords court, have served me well in my professional and academic life. Balanced by my Wands nature, I’ve been able to at least be viewed by others as warm and funny and not overly pompous and intolerable. However when it comes to reading Tarot cards and working with people in that capacity, then my know-it-all approach fails miserably. People want someone who can be sympathetic and help them work though their issues not learn the history of Tarot cards. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit – I don’t tell querents the history of the cards but I probably do give them a bit more info about their meanings than they really want to know. I know this is because my inner critic kicks in and I get nervous and scared. I need to learn to trust my instincts and let them tell me what the querent needs to hear rather than pontificating on the meanings of the cars. It’s like explaining how to conjugate verbs in Spanish rather than telling somehow how to say a phrase in Spanish. It’s not that either is wrong but it depends upon what the person seeking the information wants.
So I think what I’ve been ignoring is the fact that the King of Swords part of my nature is helpful and useful but I need to be more judicious in how I express it. The King of Swords might be appropriate to manifest in academic or professional settings but when I’m working with peoples’ emotional issues and life challenges then I think it’s time for a judicious combination of my inner Queens of Wands and Cups with a bit of the Queens of Pentacles and Swords thrown in. for balance. My pattern has been a bit unbalanced with a preponderance of Swords and a touch of Wands. It’s time to realign myself and find my way to express my Queen of Cups. I also need to accept that it will be different than how others express it. At my core I will always be more at home and comfortable with Wands and Swords energy but I have come to appreciate my Pentacles and Cups nature as well. Now is time to let the King of Swords take a bit of a vacation and let my other aspects shine.
That’s what I get for being a smartass. What’s wrong with me is that I cling tenaciously to my vision of the world and my place in it. I am a very fixed personality and change really shakes my security tree. I can be oblivious (deliberately so) to any potential benefits that might result from these changes. And one of the concept which I cling to strongest of all is how I see myself. I am a master at rationalization and can explain away any positive or negative consequences or outcomes. It’s quite amazing if I do say so myself.
So after my pity party resulting from the fact that I do not seem to be very successful at expanding (okay who am I kidding, creating) my Tarot business, I began to consider why none of the folks for whom I’ve done readings have ever come back for a second. None! That has to signify something. Of course I’d prefer to believe it’s all them but in reality the only answer is that it’s me. Something about my reading style or personality does not encourage repeat clients. I can be oblivious but even I can’t ignore this fact. So then the next thing I need to consider is what is the problem? What do I do (or not do) that discourages repeat clients or even recommendations and referrals?
Well, let’s see. The first thought that sprang into my head is that perhaps I’m not the most sympathetic ear folks can find. I realized this last night as I was chatting with an acquaintance on Facebook. I would say we are friendly rather than friends. This person is actually a friend of my mother’s and I have known her for many years. However, I have never really considered her my friend. And as we were “chatting” I felt myself thinking “why are you telling me this? I don’t care”. That’s when it clicked, when the lightning struck and blasted away one of my preconceived notions about myself – I can be fairly intolerant and find it difficult to fake interest and friendship. If I like someone, then I like them. If I don’t like someone, I am fairly transparent about that too. As I have often said, I am as deep and mysterious as a shallow stream. I have no ability to hide how I feel.
Applying this to reading Tarot cards for others, that means if I’m in the wrong frame of mind I can seem unsympathetic and even judgmental. Even if I don’t say the words, I’m fairly sure my body language and attitude convey this. It’s interesting that the most frequent response I receive from clients is “Well I already knew that” and my reaction (even if I never voice it) tends to be “then why haven’t you done anything about it?” Not exactly the best approach for a Tarot reader I suppose. It’s not that I don’t care and don’t want to be supportive but unfortunately I often take a more traditionally “masculine” approach to things (you know that “c’mon, man up” attitude) in an effort to avoid dealing with feelings; painful, messy, awkward feelings.
And of course all of this is further complicated by the fact that I detest marketing myself. I feel it would dishonest of me to claim that I’m better than other readers or that I have amazing gifts. I might be better than some readers but I’m sure there are others better than me. I just have an aversion to the whole concept. Or perhaps that is simply an excuse I use to explain why I’ve been unsuccessful at building up a Tarot practice. As I’ve already explained, I’m very good a rationalizing things.
I really need to consider this because it occurs to me that perhaps I do not have the personality to be a Tarot reader. I may have the technical knowledge and the skill to be a reader, but if I am unable to connect with clients then what is the point of reading for others? So if I do wish to pursue a career as a Tarot reader, then I need to change my technique. Obviously what I am doing now is not effective so something must change. I can only imagine that what I would need to change is me. I would need to be more sympathetic, more open and allow myself to connect with the clients on an emotional level. Of course the mere thought of people becoming overwrought during a Tarot reading gives me the shivers. I’m not at my best when dealing with others’ tears. This card has given me a lot to think about and will definitely force me to make changes that will probably have some life-long impact. Damn!!!
This card combined with the Knight of Cups earlier this week forced me to reassess and reconsider the way I’ve been living lately. The first thought that struck me when I saw this card is that I need to remember who I am! I’ve always identified with the Queen of Wands. I have a lot of fiery energy in my personality and my birth chart, sometimes to a fault. Lately, as a result of various family obligations and lifestyle issues, I have been tamping down all that fiery energy. When one is caring for an elderly relative, that aggressive, assertive energy is overwhelming and misplaced. It called for a gentler more nurturing approach. On the one hand that is wonderful because it has provided me with an opportunity to more fully explore my inner Queen of Cups and we have come to a cordial detente. She and I will probably never be bosom buddies but at least I can allow her energy in my life without the negative reactions I’ve experienced in the past. Unfortunately my inner Queens of Wands and Swords have been virtually neglected and unappreciated. Seeing the Queen of Wands come up for me today brought all of this into my consciousness.
Seeing the Knight of Cups on Wednesday reminded me that I’ve been searching for something that will allow me to unleash some of my energy and fulfill me on an emotional level. My first reaction when looking at the Wormweird Knight of Cups was that I should be careful not to drown my sorrows in a bottle, which is certainly a family tendency. I have been rather cautious about drinking simple because if something goes wrong I want to be able to handle it without the added burden of being hung over. Unfortunately that has also caused me to avoid friends and situations that might involve drinking – oh hell I’ve avoided most socializing in general. I’m isolating myself and that’s not healthy. I think the Knight of Cups is reminding me that I need to seek out my own emotional supports. I need to find friends that can help me deal with my own frustrations during this time.
Like many stay-at-home mothers, I’ve lost sight of myself – my needs, my interests and my desires, because I put the needs of someone else ahead of my own. It is certainly a noble sentiment but what happens when the person for whom you are caring no longer needs your care? You are left feeling hollow and empty with no idea of who you are anymore. I think there is a serious risk in wrapping your whole life around someone else’s needs or to your profession because if the situation changes and that focus is gone, we risk becoming lost and drifting. We forget what our goals were and what we dreamed of achieving in our lives. I don’t want to let that happen to me. In order to avoid it, I need to take more concrete steps to take back my life – even if it’s only for 2 days a week. I am entitled to it and I deserve it. There is nothing wrong in occasionally being a bit selfish and claiming time to attend to your own needs. I lost sight of this fact for a while but now I’m changing that pattern.
I’ve always had a lot of affection for the Queen of Pentacles. I find her earthy and solid approach to life very appealing. She reminds me of the practical woman who deals with crises by picking herself up, dusting herself off and doing what needs to be done. She’s at home in her skin and her space and knows how to take the necessary steps to achieve her goals and manifest her desires. She can also, as suggested by the Bear on the Wildwood Queen of Stones, be fiercely protective of her territory and her young. She will leave you alone as long as you don’t both her but cross her or invade her home turf and you’ll have a fierce battle on your hands. Bears are also known to hibernate during the colder months. In some cases bears give birth while hibernating. This suggests that it is possible to incubate various ideas and projects eventually manifesting them when the time is right, even if I don’t realize it at the time.
I’m interpreting the Queen of Pentacles as a positive omen today for a few reasons. The first is that I’m meeting a friend who happens to be a Virgo and has some pretty powerful Queen of Pentacles energy (very practical, organized and no-nonsense). She’s also treating me to lunch as a birthday gift so she’s the bountiful, beneficent one sharing her gifts. I also happened to get my Gaian Tarot today – a very earthy, full-bodied and realistic deck showing people of all shapes, sizes and colors in setting both natural and beautiful and created by a Capricorn with very strong Queen of Pentacles energy. I manifested the Queen of Pentacles today by shopping at a local green market and just experiencing the gorgeous, rich and earthy aromas as well as enjoying some very earthy humor with one of the vendors. I chose two beautiful heads of lettuce, some rainbow chard and several herbs. I’m actually quite proud of myself because I made my first batch of pesto yesterday – quite a Queen of Pentacles type of thing to do. And tomorrow I want to make some more tasty sauces (like a spicy chimichurri) and toss some fabulous salads. My Capricorn mother is coming up tonight, more Queen of Pentacles energy.
My friend and I also used the Vision spread from Catherine of the Tarot Elements blog to help us work towards manifesting our goals. It was interesting to see what cards we each selected and where there was overlap. In some respects we complement each other and in others we enable. It did allow me to see a snapshot of some things in Tarot form that I knew but preferred to avoid addressing. It also became clear that passion and manifestation are inextricably intertwined for me right now. Whatever I want to manifest in my life must be something about which I am passionate. I also need to take practical, concrete steps to manifest abundance and prosperity in my life. These are things I know and this spread helped me clarify some of the issues that have been preventing me from moving forward. I’ll have to make sure I revisit this reading in the future to ensure I’m moving in the right direction.