Being strong doesn’t mean doing it alone and nostalgia can trip you up (Strength R & 6 of Cups)

08 Illuminati 6 of Cups

 

I think these cards are a reminder that I can only do so much by myself. I think I’m reaching the limits of my strength and fortitude. I have endured and hung in there but I’m burning out. I’m still fighting the same battle and almost nothing external has changed. However I do think I’ve finally learned some useful techniques to deal with this situation.

Instead of trying to tame things and bend them to my will, I’ve become more flexible and fluid but I still prefer a slightly more organized, orderly and structured life. I like clear boundaries and they don’t exist in this situation.

The 6 of Cups points out that on one level I’m still seeing things through the eyes of the past, of memories & nostalgia. My mother-in-law will never again be the woman she was when I first met her. I have to stop reacting to her as though she is that woman. On another level it’s pointing out that our roles have been reversed. She has become the child in this relationship and we’ve become the parent. That is a difficult transition to navigate – for all of us.

Introversion vs. extroverion

Tarot of the Secret Forest Empress Tarot Illuminati Hermit

My need to be creative, productive, and nurturing is battling with my need to be alone.  I know exactly what this means.  This weekend I’m scheduled to spend the weekend with friends in a creativity, brainstorming and support fest.  We’re planning to help each other develop our professional sides and develop a creative and thriving business.  we are each trying to set up businesses that will allow us to be flexible, prosperous and tap into our somewhat unorthodox interests.

My goal is to build a business as a professional Tarot reader.  I’ve already taken some steps towards achieving that goal but I know there is more that I can do.  Part of my challenge is simply that my family obligations don’t leave me with a lot of free time to schedule potential customers.  So I haven’t put that out there yet.  What  I need to figure out is what I can do in the meantime.

For the last two days I’ve been having second thoughts about going.  I’m feeling anxious about attending and spending time with these women.  I’m not sure why.  Sometimes I do develop a deep desire for solitude and my introverted side becomes very prominent.  Sleepovers have always caused me a certain amount of anxiety.  As a child I often called my mother halfway through the night to pick me up.  I eventually was able to control the urge to do this but whenever I am staying away from home the anxiety returns.

Whichever choice I make, hopefully I’ll learn something useful and transformative from the experience.  I suppose the most important factor is not which choice I make but how I use my time once I’ve made it.  I can attend this weekend and keep myself blocked and resistant resulting in nothing useful being gained.  I could stay home and do some exercises, research and actually use listen to some of the podcasts and tapes I’ve got.  Who knows how I’ll feel in a day or two?  I may shift back into extrovert mode and this will become a moot point.

Becoming the master and commander of my financial and physical world

Witches' King of Pentacles Dance of Life Sage of Money & the Material World

 

Hmm, I’m taking this card as a good sign that this gent turned up. He gives me some hope that I’m moving in the right direction and that I’ve got some things under control. Right now things are getting quite scary on the fiscal front. We’ve been hanging in there but we’re starting to reach our limit. Things are still tight all over. When I hear reports about the economy improving I wonder where they’re looking. I still know quite a few people who are unemployed or under-employed. Folks are still scared and scrambling just to hold it together.

I have learned that I can survive on less money than I would have believed possible. I have also learned to enjoy what I already have rather than looking for new distractions. I want to be a successful Tarot reader and counselor. I want to be able to support myself doing something I love and that I feel allows me to make a difference. I want to offer help to people when I can. I also want to make a living.

Both these figures seem secure, comfortable and confident in their surroundings. They are not worried that they will be able to support themselves, they know they can and have achieved that goal. They can be mentors for me. In fact perhaps they are reinforcing some of the messages I’ve been getting this week to ask for help and guidance when necessary. I can’t do it all by myself. The only way to address that issue is to admit I need help and ask for it. There is no shame in that. It doesn’t make me a failure. In fact it will serve me better than wasting hours stumbling around in the dark on my own. That might be a bit challenging to put into action but now that I know I need to be aware of it, I can start taking steps to fix the issue.

As the saying goes no woman is an island. Being a “rugged individualist” will only take you so far. Eventually one needs to seek guidance from a map or a guide or someone who has already explored the terrain. It’s not shameful, simply sensible. I need to start being sensible and work on strategies and plans to help me reach this goal. Otherwise it will all be wasted effort and what’s the point in that.

The Hermit is looking for me

Sevenfold HermitSteampunk Inventor

Looking at the images on these cards, the sense of isolation and determination present in both figures struck me. The Inventor is certainly surrounded by a more splendrous isolation accompanied only by his cat. He seems content in his isolation – perhaps he is more focused on his inventions than his surroundings. I get the sense of someone who others appreciate and honor for his inventions but who has no interest in the rewards. His focus is on the act of inventing. The Sevenfold Hermit is more traditional in appearance. He walks through the wilderness with only his star for companionship. He focuses on that star and appears oblivious to his surroundings.

Both cards seem to carry a message of focus and determination; a willingness to ignore all distractions. This has not been my modus operandi lately. I seem to have developed a temporary case of ADD – I am allowing myself to become distracted by all kinds of stimuli. Rather than focusing on what I need to for myself, I put it off and focus on superficial matters. I think both these cards are reminding me that I need to regain my focus and start moving forward. I have to stop waiting for someone else to come along with me or help me and just keep going on my own.

This is the second time in the past few days that I’ve pulled the Hermit/Inventor. Obviously my theme this month is repeat messages which suggests that the Universe feels I’m ignoring or not understanding them clearly the first time. From these cards I get the sense that I need to focus on spiritual matters. I need to get focused and start actually performing my daily devotionals and rituals. I know that I feel better when I do these things and yet I keep putting them off. In fact I do the same thing when it comes to dietary/health issues too. Hmm, perhaps these two are pointing out that I know what path I need to take and the direction I need to follow. What I need to do now is start down the road. The time for procrastination is past and I need to set off in pursuit of a healthier, happier, more fulfilling future.

Where does my wisdom lie? The Devil R (Bohemian Gothic & Vampire)

 

It’s interesting that I drew this after pulling The Lovers and Death yesterday; somehow it seems appropriate. The image on the Bohemian Gothic Devil sends shivers down my spine. I’ve always had a fear of needles and being drugged against my will so this image pulls up those fears. There is also a sense of passively giving up control over your life to the demon offering sedation and altered consciousness. The woman on this card is embracing the demon with the needle – she is seeking this forgetfulness; courting oblivion. That trait is fairly absent from my personality. I may occasionally wish for forgetfulness, and in my youth I actively courted the seeming bliss offered by a bottle of booze, but at the end of the day I couldn’t completely give up control of myself.

The red demon on the Vampire Tarot Devil card is a reminder that even if vampires seems to immortal and invincible, they also dance to the tune of a greater power. Despite their seductive allure, The Devil reminds us that vampires are bound by their own nature. They might live forever but they are essentially soulless. They have traded that valuable commodity to The Devil in exchange for physical immortality. A vampire’s powers may be mighty and amazing, but essentially they are carrion; the vultures of the metaphysical world. They can only exist as long as humans live to provide their sustenance.

So what does this have to do with me and my question? Not sure. My initial response, after a snort of disbelief, is that maybe my wisdom lies in knowing my own addictive tendencies and behaviors. From a hypothetical standpoint, I can appreciate that. From a realistic perspective, I’m not so sure. I have a pronounced proclivity towards impatience and abruptness when dealing with other people’s addictive behaviors. Sometimes it depends on what the addiction is – for example I sympathize with anyone who is a biblioholic. However junkies, drunks and other assorted drug users and abusers – not so much.

Then again maybe that’s not what this card is trying to tell me. Maybe the reality is that I can’t access and tap into my wisdom until I address my own addictions and behaviors (sweets being high on the list). Perhaps the key to wisdom for me lies in needing to walk the walk before I can talk the talk (Sheesh! I hate that expression). The bottom line is that I’m not going to figure out this puzzle sitting here today but it will require some additional readings and insights to fully appreciate. I think I’ve just tapped the tip of the iceberg on this topic.

Of course there is also the option that my addiction is that I keep believing I have some wisdom. Of course that’s snarky even for me.

 

What do I need to ward and protect in my life right now? The Magician (All Hallows & Gothic)

The Magician is the 1st Trump in the Major Arcana representing yang energy and the masculine power. The Magician is also represented by the planet Mercury – ruling communication, wisdom, will, and action in all forms and phases. The Magician is often symbolic of having strength of will to create your own life; to make the magic real for you. This card symbolizes the ability to communicate and control your environment, to focus your energy and concentrate. The Magician is about making your will into reality, manifesting your hopes and dreams into your life.

My initial reaction (after feeling a bit of a shiver down my spine) when seeing this card was what I need to ward and protect right now is my magic, my power, my ability to control things in my life.  That doesn’t sound very earth-shattering but the reality is that lately I’ve been feeling out of control and very much subject to the whims of fate.  I hate that!

By nature I’m not a passive person, or at least I haven’t been one in the past.  Lately I’ve been feeling like a feather drifting on the winds or a piece of flotsam swept along by the ebb and flow of the ocean.  I’m sure there is a lesson to be learned in all this however I am just not in the mood anymore.  Feeling as though I’m “helpless” makes me very, very cranky and rather unpleasant to be around.

So what can I do?  How the hell should I know.  If I had all the answers I wouldn’t need Tarot cards.  However, in light of this card and some others that have come up recently there are some clear themes.  I need to start carving out sacred time and sacred space for myself.  I know that taking a few minutes a day for a devotional and meditation often makes me feel more grounded and calmer throughout the day.  However I also often choose an extra 20 minutes of sleep over all other options (hence the same wash & wear hairstyle for 20 years).  I need to start making my spiritual practices more of a priority.

I also need to stop futzing around with my health.  I know that with a few changes and minor tweaks many of my current health issues will improve.  Of course that will also require more attention and pre-planning – sheesh!  My extra sleep is really going to suffer.

On the positive side perhaps these two simple steps (well simple to conceptualize, we’ll see how simply they are to implement), will help me feel more as though I’m doing things as opposed to “having done to me”.  Of course I already know this stuff but unfortunately I can sometimes be very, very difficult to convince.  I guess I have to stop procrastinating, which is a real shame because I’m a world-class procrastinator.  However I have a feeling I cannot continue to ignore the message from the Universe forever.

 

What is the limit of my personal power? 3 of Swords (Vikings & Old Path)

Okay, I am getting bored with asking the same questions for my Card of the Day readings.  So I decided to start pulling a rune each day and developing a question from that.

 

Today I drew Eihwaz

Meaning:  Eihwaz, a shamanic rune bearing the secret mysteries of life and death, represents the giant yew tree that supports the Nine Worlds.  Its transcendent nature allows for communication and travel between different realms of being.  Eihwaz is also a rune of mighty endurance against the forces of evil.

Affirmation:  Life moves to death, but I stand strong and tall as the yew tree.  Evil cannot crush my spirit.  (Stephen McNallen)

A “rough tree” on the outside, and perhaps the hardest of all the runes to fully understand, Eihwaz is the “keeper of the fire”: the hidden, but all-holding might of runic wisdom. As Jera embodies the interaction of opposites and the gradual growth of understanding, so does Eihwaz embody the melding of opposites and the lightning flash of revealing at the completion of initiation. The yew is known to the folk as the tree of death, having been planted in cemeteries until this day.

Eihwaz strengthens the will. It is the might which holds memory and purpose through death and rebirth, and it may be used to call upon wisdom and might from earlier existences. You can learn from both other dead and the dead whose knowledge and power have been passed on and hidden in your own soul.  (Teutonic Magic by Kvelduf Gundarrson)

So my question become: What is the limit of my personal power?  3 of Swords (Vikings & Old Path)

 

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.  The suit of Swords is associated with reason, thought, logic, will, courage, verbal skill, matters pertaining to the mind, communication and the element of air.  It can represent getting all your plans and thoughts assembled in a coherent manner before presenting them to the public.  It’s about deciding how to incorporate these plans and ideas into your current lifestyle.  The 3 of Swords can also indicate a conflict of the heart or a flash of insight that allows the seeker to perceive a situation for what it is.  Sometimes it suggests a sense of betrayal and heartbreak, something that our mind thought would come true has failed.

This card answers my question on two different levels.  On one level is the idea that the limit of my personal power is my own ability to plan, communicate and move forward with my creative energy and power.  It’s reflects the need to think and plan and then move forward.  Many times I have a tendency to act first and think later.  That limits my personal power because by not considering all the factors and possible alternatives, I’m denying myself the benefits of actually manifesting my plans and seeing them through to fulfillment.  I think a portion of this is due to the fact that sometimes I get distracted or I lose interest in the concept for the time being.  I need to find a way to coherently and creatively make plans and follow through on them.  Otherwise I’m limiting my personal power.

On another level this card can be seen to represent betrayal and heartbreak.  In the context of this question I think this card serves as a reminder that one of the limits of my personal power is how others act towards me.  I cannot control how other behave (and that’s probably a good thing) but that means that sometimes I will be hurt by what others do and I can’t change that or control it.  My personal power lies in how I handle those types of situations and in how I behave towards other to prevent them from betraying me.  That can be tricky because sometimes we can’t be sure what will trigger betrayal from someone we trust.

What do I need to focus on today? Ace of Swords (Legacy of the Divine & Crone)

I love the eye coming at me from the center of the Ace of Swords in Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s Tarot of the Crone.  For some reason that symbol spoke to me quite clearly today in terms of the Ace of Swords power and message.  Today might be a good day to take a clear-sighted, realistic view at things in my life right now and see where changes can be made.  The eagles soaring around Ciro’s Ace of Swords in Legacy of the Divine Tarot is a reminder that sometimes you have to rise above the situation in order to see the full picture.  Limited sight prevents us from making decisions based on all the factors and can result in a different outcome that the one we desire.

In my case, I think this is also a kick in the ass.  There are some practical, reasonable changes I need to make in my life right now (especially pertaining to diet and health) and I’m putting it off simply because I’m being lazy and uninspired.  Instead of just picking up the sword (in this case a pen) and writing down what I need to do, I’m procrastinating.  I can offer dozens of reasons why this is the case but the bottom line is that I’m not focusing on the big picture; instead I’m getting lost in the here and now.  The benefits from these changes won’t be apparently immediately and I’m at a point in my life where immediate gratification is winning all the battles.

So how can I convince myself to take the steps necessary and make the changes that I know will have long-term and long-lasting repercussions?  This card holds the answer to that question too – one step at a time.  I have to take that first step.  Once I’m stable and comfortable on that first step then I can take a second step.  I don’t need to climb the staircase in one move.  Baby steps might be the best approach to this situation because I can allow myself to acclimatize to these changes and make sure that they last.  Then I can soar with the eagles instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off or hiding my head in the sand like an ostrich.

 

 

COTD – Ace of Pentacles/Stones (Wheel of Change & Greenwood)

 

As as I saw this card, the song lyric “I want money, that’s what I want” scrambled through my brain.  And in reality that is how I’m feeling right now.  While we are not destitute, we are not flush with cash either.  We are able to pay bills but things are extremely tight.  If we hadn’t been relatively careful prior to this current financial disaster, we’d be in very bad shape indeed.  Of course the question is how to generate this new cash?  How can I find ways to manifest this desire I have for income?  That’s the tricky part.

For my hubby, it’s a fairly black and white issue.  He is a union construction worker and once the industry picks up, he is likely to be back to work.  Of course that is complicated by the increasing use of non-union labor on construction jobs as well as other factors.  In my case I can probably look for a full-time job in a field similar to the one in which I was previously employed but that’s not really where my heart it anymore.  Something about being freed from the chains of a traditional 9-5 type job has made me want to avoid returning to one as much as possible.  Granted if something really excited came up I would certainly explore the possibilities but for a variety of reasons, my hubby returning to full-time employment is the preferred option right now.

Of course that doesn’t mean I can’t find other ways to generate some income.  I’ve actually found it a little scary when I realized how much less money we need to get by than we previously thought.  Although we both made a good salary when we worked, we also spent most of it.  I think we felt that we were entitled because we worked so hard at jobs that we didn’t enjoy anymore.  I think a lot of folks fall into this trap and it’s why America is such a consumerist society – we try to bury our sorrows beneath the things we buys.  However I have been feeling a need to de-clutter my life and I’m starting with some of the things I spent that money on – they just don’t hold the same appeal for me anymore.

What I need to focus my energies on is finding ways that are practical and doable that will enable me to generate income without requiring all my time and energy – especially as I don’t have a whole lot to give right now.  I have several ideas but haven’t really spent much time focusing on them.  I think now is the time.  The longer I wait, the further into this rut I’ll fall and the less likely I’ll be to do anything.  So it’s time to get my behind out of the doldrums and hit the ground running.  I can let these disks serve as wheels that will help me move in a new, more positive and more lucrative direction.

COTD – Prince of Pentacles/Knight of Stones (DruidCraft & Wildwood)

 

Interesting that the Wildwood Tarot chose to use the horse to represent the Knight of Stones.  In the Greenwood Tarot, this decks precursor/inspiration, the horse is the King of Stones.  However I can see the horse easily fitting into the paradigm of the Knight of Pentacles.  This is the wild mustang or perhaps the warhorse of old,  not the cart or plow horse.  There is an element of untamed energy moving forward and charging ahead.  However this energy  is also focused and solid.  This knight know how to use his resources wisely, with no wasted effort.  I’ve often considered the Knight of Pentacles to be the steady, reliable, hard-working, almost plodding, knight.  He may lack the romanticism, charm or wit of the other knight but he is loyal to a fault, focused and will achieve his goals.  This is the knight who will stand by you through thick and thin and always be there for you when you need him.

So how does this tie in to my life right now?  In one sense this card refers to my hubby.  I’ve always seen him as a Knight of Pentacles – solid, reliable, loyal and determined as well as stubborn.  He is methodical, practical and careful and as a result he gets things done.  The challenge arises when he realizes he cannot control all factors in the equation, causing frustration.   Many of these traits would stand me in good stead as I work on manifesting my desires into reality.  I get excited about projects but then my enthusiasm peters out and I lose interest and momentum.  This card takes the energy and persistence suggested in the 8 of Pentacles yesterday and moves it to the next level  It is time to be practical and focused, harness that initial energy and enthusiasm and figure out ways to manifest it into reality.

It’s one thing to have skills.  It’s another thing to have enthusiasm, drive and energy.  Putting them together in a way that works is yet another thing.  Having the skills and the energy is useless unless you can create a plan, a strategy that helps you work with both in a way that is beneficial and concrete.  I have been and can become enthusiastic about a number of things, some of which I am unable to actually do.  There are skills and talents I possess which I have no interest in pursuing as a source of income.  I need to find the area where these overlap and focus my attention there.  Otherwise I’m basically spinning my wheel sin quicksand – it may make a lot of noise and waste a lot of fuel but it’s not getting me anywhere.