What area do I need to follow-up? Queen of Cups (Deviant Moon & Dark Grimoire)

 

Drawing the Queen of Cups today was especially symbolic and appropriate because over the last few weeks (oh who am I kidding, over the last few years), I’ve developed a lot of self-doubts about my abilities as a Tarot reader.  Don’t misunderstand, I know I have a fairly decent knowledge of Tarot – its history, the card meanings, its connections to various other occult traditions.  However, this does not necessarily translate into an ability to read for others.  I’ve seen people who have less experience that I do become fabulous & successful Tarot readers.  I do no begrudge them their success and if he or she is a friend, I am usually happy for them.  Then I end up wondering why I don’t have that kind of success.

A conversation with a friend last night forced me to stop and think about my situation.  I often joke that I have a resistance to becoming a professional reader but is it truly a resistance or it is fear?  Am I really afraid that if I put myself out there as a reader I will fail abysmally?  I have to wonder why none of the people for whom I’ve done a reader come back or recommend me to a friend.  When I read for others I often get reactions such as “well I already knew that” (which can be a bit frustrating when they insist they don’t have any specific questions at the start of the reading).  Maybe my technique needs work.  I don’t know what the problem is but it’s demoralizing.  I feel like shaking them and myself or maybe just shaking my fist at the Universe and crying out – What am I doing wrong?!!  Am I sending out the wrong vibe?  Am I really just not that good a reader?  I just don’t have the answer right now.

And that brings us back to the Queen of Cups.  For me, the Queen of Cups often symbolizes trusting my intuition and listening to my inner wisdom, developing my psychic abilities and learning to use them in a way that benefits myself and others. In the past, we’ve had a somewhat antagonistic relationship because I haven’t always trusted my intuition, psychic abilities or emotions.  To often, in my past, these have been used in negative ways for manipulation.  I’m much more comfortable with my Wands-y and Swords-y nature.  Having said that, the Queen of Cups and I have been able to forge a relationship but it’s still in its early stages.  So is my fear driven by my reluctance and mistrust of the Queen of Cups’ gifts?  Or is it that I have not yet fully embraced my inner Queen of Cups?

I’m still very confused about this issue.  I think I need to do a more thorough reading about it but it’s also distinctly possible that can’t see things clearly.  Unfortunately because I’m exceedingly stubborn and convinced I know what best for me, getting a reading from someone else would probably go in one ear and out the other.  Although I always appreciate the insights of others, for some reason, they just don’t make as big an impression on me.  Sheesh, right now I’m feeling like quite a mess and I just don’t like it.  Indecisiveness is not natural to me.  I need to do something to fix this situation.

Where do I need to focus my energy today? 6 of Wands (Vision & Touchstone)

 

The Vision Tarot card has the keyword Solitude.  This is not something I would usually associate with this card.  In the companion guide, Dirk Gillabel offers this insight into the card “The world of humans can be hectic, chaotic and sometimes even destructive.  A spiritual person will find a growing need for solitude, a necessity to be by oneself, be it in a cave, a basement, or in nature.  It is a time to calm one’s mind and to reconnect with the life forces all around us.”   Looking at the image on the card I was struck by how much it reminds me of Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World”.  In it, Christina sits looking at the landscape before her with a farmhouse in the distance.  Despite the fact that she’s obviously part of this world, she is also distant and separate from it.

So this made me wonder how solitude connects with one of the traditionally associations of this card with victory.  At first there doesn’t seem to be much overlap.  Solitude and victory actually seem to be almost as opposite ends of the spectrum.  Then I really considered it – the times when I have been victorious or highly successful at something have also been somewhat isolating.  Yes, people might crowd around to bask in the glow of victory of experience the thrill of success, but at the end of the day once the parades are over and the trumpets have stopped blaring (and yes, this happens to me every time I’m victorious at something), they disperse and you’re left alone.  Sometimes it even serves to isolate you from your peers.  Who can remember being the champion at something in school and then finding that the other kids tease, avoid or even torment you?   You have managed to stand out from the pack and cast their lack of success into stark relief.  This rarely endears one to those who have not been victorious or successful.  In fact, it can sometimes breed serious hostility.

Perhaps the solitude is a necessary adjunct to success.  It is what allows us to stay humble and grounded.  How many celebrities, sports figures and rock stars have we seen crash and burn because their egos got too big for their talents?  How many times have we seen child prodigies burn out by the time they reach adulthood because the pressure to succeed was relentless and wore them out?  It’s an all to familiar story – those that fly to high and lose touch with reality, like Icarus, often end up with singed wings or even crash and burn.  Not a very positive or hopeful outcome.  Considering this has given me a greater appreciation for how solitude and victory do work together.  The help us stay balanced, grounded and focused because as long as we can see the bigger picture and our part in it, we can avoid suffering from inflated ego syndrome.

COTD – King of Swords R (Moon Garden & Romanian Dream)

 

Looking at these Kings of Swords, both seem like confident, almost arrogant men.  They are impartial, logical, clear-thinking and intellectual.  Their approach to decision making is not based on sentiment or bias.  Sometimes that actually means their decisions and actions are not seen as fair by those around them.  They are sometimes perceived as cold and unemotional.  However in reality the King of Swords may feel emotions deeply but he does not allow them to sway his decision or actions.  In many ways I embody these aspects of the King of Swords.  I sometimes seem harsh and judgmental (okay let’s be fair, I sometimes am harsh and judgmental) because I and focusing on logic and intellect rather than emotions and sympathy.

For today the King of Swords is reversed which suggests that it’s time to downplay those energies and not let them influence today.  This is especially appropriate because I did a ritual for Lughnasadh today as well as a spell for bringing money into my life.  I’ve always felt that in order for magic to work you have to believe.  If you’re approach to such matters is overly intellectual and logical, this will interfere with the magical energies and undermine the working.  At the same time I think it is beneficial to take a logical and organized approach to preparing for the ritual and spell working.  So the King of Swords energy is helpful but it must be tempered in order that it not taint the results.

Sometimes I think the King of Swords has lost his ability to have fun.  He is somewhat rigid; constrained by his role and responsibilities.  Spontaneity might undermine his authority or make him a less effective ruler.  At the same time, those energies are the ones that allow us to effectively master tasks and skills, organize, communicate effectively and reason through various situations.  It is that side of us that prevents us from descending into chaos when crises occur.  Today I didn’t need to be in crisis mode,  just be a bit organized and effectively communicate my needs, wishes and desires to the Universe and myself.  It’s amazing sometimes how difficult it can be to convince yourself that you deserve something good in life.  I think I was able to do that today.

COTD – Ace of Wands R (Dreams & Ferret)

 

 

Aces symbolize beginnings, the start of something new and the seed of new growth.  Wands are associated with inspiration, energy, passion, feeling, enterprise, ambition, matters pertaining to the “spark of life”, and the element of fire.  Skill; creation; the beginning of a project, enterprise, idea, or invention.  Enthusiasm; initiative; energy; the joy of life; sexual vigor; conception; a journey  Reversed:  A false or bad start; criticizing or not using one’s potential; journey deferred; delays and difficulties; failure of an enterprise.

“You sense the potential for creating a new self-image of self-concept.  You can privately name yourself in a new way.” – Gail Fairfield

Reversed – another reversed card.  I’m getting the sense that the Tarot is telling me I’ve got a lot of blocked energy in my life.  The images on the Tarot of Dreams Ace of Wands shows a volcano erupting, suggesting creative energy being unleashed and flowing over the landscape.  Am I that volcano?  Could I be?  Can I glow and shine like the crystal atop the wands, sending my radiance and energy out into the world to help others?  I can feel a part of me, buried very deep for many years, straining to break free; thrilled and excited at the very idea of being that kind of a beacon.  At the same time, a lot of responsibility can come with that.  I think of how many people who put themselves out there as leaders or teachers become targets.  It’s as though we mistrust and dislike anyone who knows more or seems “better” than we are.  Unfortunately there has also been a lot of past evidence that supports the belief that those who set themselves up as leaders are often poor role models and hypocrites as well.

The Ferret Ace of Wands shows an adorable ferret holding onto the trunk of a tree and peeking up at its full branches.  She seems to have a mischievous expression on her face as well as some excitement and anticipation.  It’s as though she can’t wait to see what’s at the top of the tree.  When you consider how much energy and light it takes for a tree to grow, it makes you appreciate just what a miracle it is.  Upside down, the image looks like the ferret is getting ready to slide down a pole into the branches of the tree.  It’s almost as if she’s trying to contain herself; holding herself back.

And that makes me wonder how or why am I holding myself back?  There is a lot of fear and uncertainty in me right now and I’m not sure why.  It’s as if the closer I get to realizing some of my personal dreams and desires, the more frightened and skeptical I become.  The inner demons become stronger, more vociferous and vicious.  It’s as if I feel that on some level I don’t deserve to feel fulfilled and satisfied.  Self-doubts and low self-esteem start to crowd out any pride of confidence at my achievements and accomplishments.  No matter what goals I attain, I don’t value them because on some level I believe that if I can achieve this it couldn’t have been that difficult.  Why do I feel things have to be difficult in order to be valuable?  And why don’t I appreciate the value in what I’ve achieved?  Those questions need more than one Tarot card to answer them.

I also realize that right now, my focus is just not in seeking the answers to those questions.  Lately I feel as though I’m in a fog – distracted and disinterested.  I’ve just slipped into a routine that is suffocating me and I’m not sure how to free myself.  I guess the reality is that I can’t free myself right now.  I think the only way to keep my sanity is to find creative outlets for my energies.  I have to force myself passed these fears and self-doubts and unleash that fire and passion.  Otherwise I risk putting that flame out completely.  And I don’t want to douse that fire.  I don’t want to live a life without passion and inspiration.  I don’t want to become a zombie – just going through the motions, mindless and choiceless.  The only one who can do this is me.  If I don’t make some changes now, I risk becoming exactly what I fear most and that would be horrible for me.

COTD – 6 of Wands/Bricks R (Fenestra & Dante)

 

Sixes symbolize the union of opposites, finding equilibrium, harmony in the face of constant change.  Wands are associated with inspiration, energy, passion, feeling, enterprise, ambition, matters pertaining to the “spark of life”, and the element of fire.

“You’ve met the challenge to your identity and come through it.  Now, the self you’re presenting to the world is more confident and stable.  You feel more secure with your identity and sense of purpose or personal direction.  You’re settling into the groove of being this self.” – Gail Fairfield

Somehow this card seems to tie in with my epiphany of yesterday.  The triumphant procession shown on the Fenestra card suggests that I can triumph over this fear of success and inner demons who enjoy enhancing my self-doubts.  The image on this card shows another figure walking beside the rider but I think because it’s reversed, the card is letting me know that before I can accept or expect accolades from others, I have to be willing to praise myself.  That can be easier said than done.

The Dante 6 of Bricks shows two figures (one male and one female) standing beside a tree with an open book on a podium.  They appear to be plighting their troth to each other or perhaps even getting married.  They are focused on each other and the rest of the world’s distraction are clearing in the background and not intruding.  Perhaps each functions as the inspiration for and ignites the passions of the other.  They create a balance and harmony by combining their two energies that allows them to triumph over the temptations and distractions in the world.

The combination of these two cards suggests that I have to learn to love myself; to find a way to energize my own inspiration and passion before I can move forward.  If I don’t allow myself to appreciate the victories I’ve achieved that how can I expect anyone else to honor them?  That has often been a problem for me.  Anything I do well or that comes easily to me is quickly discounted.  I tend to do well in school and get good grades so that achieving two masters degrees was not a big deal for me.  When others praise these accomplishments, I tend to downplay them.  Doing that send the message to my inner self and to others that I’m not worth praising.  And if I keep that energy surrounding me then I’ll never feel truly victorious at anything.

I have to learn to appreciate the things I am able to do well and accept praise for them. I am worthy of praise and accolades.  Receiving recognition from others will not cause my friends to be jealous or alienate them.  True friends will appreciate my victories too.  That is a childhood fear based on childhood experiences that I have to move passed.  It will trip me up and hold me back until I can release its negative influence on my life.

So in order for me to be more triumphant and victorious on the out plane, I have to learn to be more comfortable with praise and acknowledgement on the inner plane.  To paraphrase Stewie Gilligan Griffin – “Victory shall be mine!”

COTD – 3 of Wands/Bricks R (Fenestra & Dante)

 

The number 3 symbolizes the generative force, creative power, multiplicity, and forward movement.  They are about planning and preparing, putting the details into place before beginning the work.  Wands are usually associated with the element of fire, inspiration, energy, passion, feeling, enterprise, ambition, matters pertaining to the “spark of life”.  They can refer to the growth and awareness of the self.  Wands are focused on discovering your true self, apart from others.

“You are seeing yourself in a detailed and complete manner.  You are clarifying your self-image and sense of personal direction.  You are making plans for becoming the self you privately want to be.” – Gail Fairfield

The 3 of Bricks from the Dante Tarot shows a male sitting with a woman’s head in his lap.  He seems grieving and upset.  She is stretched out on a bed and holding a lit wand.  Another figure (possibly female) is walking out of the scene.  Her back is to us but I get the sense that she is a healer who is departing after offering little assistance to the figure on the bed.  There is a sense of sadness to this card.  It almost feels as though the woman’s flame is about to flicker out and the male is mourning the loss of her light.  The female figure’s eyes are closed and she is very pale.  It’s as though she is losing her vitality.

The Fenestra 3 of Wands is a more traditional RWS image showing an androgynous figure standing above a waterway looking out towards the horizon.  Three staves stand nearby, each with a top that appears to be flowering.  The figure is holding onto one of the staves.  There is a sense of anticipation and eagerness in the image.  This person appears to be expecting something to appear on the horizon quite soon.

Both cards seem to offer a sense of moving on to a new phase – either a project coming to fruition or passing on to a new plane of existence.  Both are projects although of very different types.  In the Dante 3 of Bricks, I’m not sure which figure is the one that will be transitioning but I get the sense that both the man and woman will be in very different places going forward.  What is flowering for them?  I cannot be sure.  What is flowering for me?  It is hard to narrow that down right now because it is a work in progress.

Right now I am at a place where there are number of different options available to me.  I’ve bid farewell to several activities that had been consuming much of my time and now it’s time for me to focus my energies on my personal projects.  One of them is establishing myself as a Tarot reader.  Of course that means I have to slay my fear of marketing and promoting myself.  Perhaps that is what the figure on the bed in the Dante 3 of Bricks represents for me – that self-doubt and inner fears.  Once I am able to let them die, I can move on and find a way to manifest my passions and dreams  and leave those self-doubts behind (like the white clothed figure leaving the room in the Dante).

Okay, I had to take a break here.  I realized as I was writing the I wasn’t “feeling” this interpretation.  It wasn’t ringing true to me.  It might have been accurate from an intellectual perspective but it wasn’t right for me.  So I decided to do the dishes (I find this very therapeutic).  As I was washing a plate it hit me like a ton of bricks – this card is reflecting my fear of success.  I have the ability to have my projects come to fruition, achieve fulfillment.  However first I have to be willing to actually let them set sail.  I avoid letting anything set sail because I’m so afraid they won’t be successful and I’m even more afraid that they will.  How could I have missed it?

Like many people, I have spent years not fully pursuing my dreams because as long as they remain dreams at least there is the potential for happiness and fulfillment.  If I try and fail, I could probably deal with that because I would rationalize numerous reasons for the failure.  But if I try and succeed, a whole new world gets opened up.  If I succeed there will be a number of changes in my life, many of them leading to potential bliss.  How scary is it to be happy?  I’ve done this to myself on numerous occasions when it comes to my weight.  I have cheated on every “diet” I’ve ever followed.  As long as I stay fat I feel safe.  I don’t have to worry about being attractive or drawing undue and unwanted attention.  Being sexy and attractive in this society can be quite scary.  A lot of men feel they have the right if not obligation to make comments ranging from wolf whistles to frighteningly obscene ones.  My weight became a security blanket.  As a fat woman I didn’t have to worry about this kind of attention.  I used my weight as a political statement of sorts but in reality I was afraid to be sexy and attractive.  Becoming successful in my pursuits raises the same inner demons.

It feels like a relief to finally shed some light on this.  I can acknowledge it and work on it.  It won’t be easy and I’m sure there will be times when I’ll go backwards, but at least I’m feeling ready to address the issue.  There are a lot of reasons I fear being successful – changes being a main one.  I also realize that there is part of me that worries others won’t like me if I’m successful.  In school, being smart and getting good grades tended to alienate people.  As long as I didn’t seem too happy it seemed to reassure folks that I was human.  If I’m smart and successful – then what?  I know that sounds a bit arrogant but if you’ve ever been there (and feel free to fill in another adjective for smart – pretty, artistic, popular, athletic, etc.) you understand what I mean.  If we’re too successful, it tends to trigger jealousy and envy in folks.  And I need to accept that and move forward because those folks aren’t true friends anyway.  My true friends will support me and encourage me to be successful, not try to undermine me and secretly root for my failure.

I will be successful, happy, fulfilled, blessed and blissed out beyond belief.  That is my goal and I’m sticking to it.