How can I find my voice as a Tarot reader? The Empress (Wheel of Change & Mythic)

 

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.

What is coming into being in my life right now? Judgment R (Bohemian Gothic & Vampire)

 

Traditionally Judgment represents a time of returning to the light after experiencing the darkness. It is a card of rebirth, renewal and rejuvenation; of healing and transformation. It can also be seen as a wake-up call telling us that our perspective on life is about to change and wake us up to new ways of looking at things. It may represent experiencing natural growth and maturation; an old phase of your life ending because you are ready and mature enough to move forward. Things are maturing at their natural pace and now you are transitioning into a new phase of your life so it’s time to celebrate.

“Anger at being forced to change your life totally. Clinging to old ways though better things are on offer. Being dragged “kicking and screaming” to starting anew. A forced move or even an emigration that isn’t desired.” – Bohemian Gothic LWB

Yeah, I think this about sums it up – being forced into changes with which I’m not thrilled’ being dragged “kicking and screaming” to starting anew. I’ve never been a big fan of change – I’m a fixed sun sign and that apparently manifests itself in my day to day life. I also dislike the feeling of not being in control of things, even when I know intellectually that it’s inevitable. Stubborn is probably quite an accurate description of my personality in this area.

I am trying to find the positive aspects of these changes but the most challenging part is the lack of free time; of me time. Whenever I get home I’m so brain dead and bone tired that all I want to do is veg out in front of the television or lose myself in a book. Cooking, enjoying my hobbies or cleaning just don’t have enough appeal to encourage me to “un-veg” out. Getting out of the house and meeting friends isn’t an option either for a number of reasons. I’m also finding that online socializing ultimately leaves me feeling dissatisfied – like eating a candy bar or fast food meal when you’re really hungry. Having already left FB, I’m also considering avoiding the instant messenger type programs I’ve been using.

The dearth of bookstores in my area makes this situation even worse. In the past when I’ve needed a mental health break I could also head over to a bookstore and lose myself for a few hours. The nearest bookstore is over 30-40 minutes away and with the price of gas today is just not worth the trip unless I know I will buy something.

In addition to the stress family responsibilities have pushed on me, I’ve decided to take another stab at deleting wheat from my diet. For a variety of health reasons, I have come to realize that wheat products are wreaking havoc with my system. The best way to fix these problems is to eliminate wheat. On an intellectual level, I know this. My taste buds or physical cravings have other ideas in mind. A friend has also recently been forced to give up wheat and sugar and has had wonderful results. She’s been supporting and encouraging me to re-commit to removing these things from my diet. It’s really not easy (it’s amazing how much food has wheat of some type in it). Luckily I found two books that rely on nut flours and other gluten-free, sugar-free items to make tasty treats. I’ve already tried a few recipes and they’re great.

I hate when I know something is in my best interests but still resist making the change. Once again my stubborn streak rears its ugly head and I dig in my heels. Being told what to do is something else that triggers a knee-jerk defiant reaction. It guess it’s time to grow up and just accept that certain things are out of my control and focus on the things I can control that will improve my life. So far stubbornness hasn’t been helping much.

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 – 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 – King of Wands/Bows (DruidCraft & Wildwood)

 

Adders?  Okay, I don’t get why one would chose to use adders to represent the King of Bows but I can roll with it.  I am very unfamiliar with adders but looking at the slithering mass of them on this card I was not immediately given a warm and fuzzy feeling.  I don’t dislike snakes by any means but I would prefer not to wander on a nest of them either.  Apparently adders are venomous and found almost all over the world.  One fact I found fascinating is that adders can decide how much venom to release into a victim.  That could certainly be seen as a King of Wands quality.  According to the Wildwood book, adders engage in a battle for supremacy that can appear to be a mating ritual.  Snakes have often been associated with goddess worship, hidden knowledge, and cyclical changes.  Many (if not all) snakes shed their skin.  I can see that quality being connected with fiery energy.  Fire has a tendency to flare up and die down, bursting forth again just when we think it’s ready to go out.  Perhaps the adder is a reminder not to underestimate the power of the King of Wands.  He may be mature and experienced but he’s not worn out yet.  He still has some fight left in him and he has learned when it is appropriate to expend his energies in a cause.

I get that same sense of confidence and contained energy from the DruidCraft King of Wands.  He is poised to move into the fray when necessary but right now he is fine just where he is.  There is no need for him to exert himself just yet.  He may watch the youngsters struggle and waste their energy in unnecessary posturing and struggles but he is above all that.  He no longer needs to prove himself to anyone.  He is confident, powerful and strong and perfectly capable and willing to unleash that power and strength on enemies when the need arises.  He may occasionally flare up and lose his temper but over time he has learned to master his anger and channel it in ways that are more productive and beneficial to him and his people.

For myself, the King of Wands offers qualities to aspire to in myself.  His mastery and control over his temper and his ability to channel his energies into more productive routes are one I would do well to learn.  He knows how to pick his battles whereas I often find myself in a scattered energy phase – spewing random flashes of energy all over the place.  I need to learn to be prepared for battle without being quite so eager or courting it.  It might be to my benefit to master my anger and energy and passion instead of letting them master me.  I don’t need to lead the charge into the fray anymore.  Maybe I’d be more useful as an advisor and supervisor rather than a direct participant.  Something to consider at any rate.

COTD – 10 of Disks/Stones R (Wheel of Change & Greenwood)

 

The Wheel of Change 10 of Disks shows ten drums from a variety of cultures resting on a beautiful print blanket.  There are hand drums and frame drums, doumbeks and gongs.  They each represent a different culture’s way of connecting with the heartbeat of the planet.  They are sitting in the middle of a verdant meadow while the summer sun creates a pale, powder blue sky.  The 10 of Stones shows an ancient Celtic dwelling framed by two monolith-style stones inscribed with various symbols.  A path leads between the stones to the house and a ribbon of smoke rises from the chimney.

The 10 of Disks represents that no matter what our outward appearance, we are all connected at the heart.  Each drum shows a different way to connect with the heartbeat of the planet but they still share the common bond of being a drum,  So are we all humans, children of the Earth.  Just as the vibrations of one of these drums will impact on the drums around it, so do our actions impact the lives of those around us.  This card is both a symbol of the variety and beauty all around us, as well as a reminder that our differences are only skin deep but our sames go to our soul.  The Greenwood 10 of Stones is also a reminder of the connectedness and need for community.  The ties that enrich our lives and enable us to go forth and deal with the rest of the world.

I don’t know why I hadn’t considered it before but I think that is part of the challenge facing me right now – I’m not using my community to my best advantage.  I have friends who have already tread this path and could probably provide guidance, advice and even the occasional shoulder to cry on but I’m resistant to asking.  Asking for help has always been a sign of weakness for me.  I can do it if I have to but I prefer to avoid it.  If I’m not willing to reach out and network with friends both in and out of the Tarot community then why bother doing this?  Why even try to establish myself as a Tarot reader if I’m unable to speak to others about things.  Isn’t that the point of what I’d be doing?

I need to grow more comfortable with asking folks for help – help in spreading the word to potential clients, help in establishing and creating my niche, help in exploring other opportunities that might be available.  It’s only by talking to friends and acquaintances that I can use all the tools in my arsenal.  It may take a village to raise a child but it takes a community to build a business (okay so it’s not so creative but gimme a break here).  And I’m starting to think I’ve been the village idiot.

The Archer (Chariot) (Greenwood & Wildwood)

 

 

This is the third time in the past few weeks I drew this card.  And in fact it came up yesterday when I was doing a reading for someone else.  I think it’s message is a continual reminder that whatever path I wish my life to take as I move forward, I need to make that decision and choose the direction.  I have to aim my arrow and take my shot.  I’ve been hemming and hawing for too long.  If I don’t at least give this a try, then I’ll always regret it.

Who knows I may find out that this particular path is not the one I really want and that’s okay too.  I have to get more comfortable with picking a path and being willing to change it if it turns out not to be what I desire.  It’s ironic how easy it is to advise someone else to take the reins of their lives and chose what direction they wish to go.  When it comes to ourselves things are different.  We often have quite a well-developed list of reasons why we can’t do something.  We may be in a rut but very often we feel safe in that rut.  As they expression says, “better the devil you know”.  We may be unhappy with how things are but we are afraid things could be worse.  I suppose I am not unique in often taking a reactionary approach to life instead of taking a more assertive and goal-directed approach.

I have taken steps to make sure my life is now moving in the direction I desire.  I am still working out some kinks but at least the course has been plotted.  The bowed has been pulled back and the arrow notched in place.  I may not be ready to release it just yet but I’m almost ready to be ready.  The reality is that not knowing how things might turn out if I pursue this path will ultimately be worse than if I actually fail.  I’ll always regret not having tried but I’ll get over it if things don’t work out.

It’s also very interesting that I drew this card after having selected the 9 of Arrows on Saturday.  It’s as if I had to look at the different arrows or options I have and select which one I want to focus my energies on manifest and sending forth into the Universe.  Today is the day to focus on releasing that goal and working towards manifesting it.

COTD – 8 of Swords (Dreams & Ferret)

 

The number 8 represents balance, systems, regeneration and structure.  Swords represent reason, thought, logic, will, courage, verbal skill, matters pertaining to the mind and survival in the world and the element of air.  This card can often suggests that the querent is trapped by her own fears but has the ability to free herself.

“You’re actively organizing or reworking something you’ve said or written.  You’re looking at your lifestyle and activities and finding ways to re-prioritize what you’re doing so that your schedule more closely matches your values.  You’re examining your communication patterns and making some decisions about which patterns you prefer.” – Gail Fairfield

The Tarot of Dreams 8 of Swords shows a nude woman encased in a clear sphere hovering above 8 upright swords.  Her back is to us and she seems to be touching the edge of the sphere but whether she is trying to free herself or test the limits of her captivity is unclear.  On the Ferret 8 of Swords, a ferret is struggling ferociously to free herself from a leash.  Despite the fact that it symbolizes a certain amount of safety and security, it also signifies domesticity and captivity.  Obviously the ferret is not willing to sacrifice her freedom for security.  Of course she also doesn’t realize that is she relaxed a bit more, she might find it easier to free herself from the leash.

I completely understand that feeling – trapped and yet unwilling or unable to free myself.  My entrapment is not because of external bonds but internal ones.  My own inner demons and self-doubts keep me encased in this prison.  It feels somewhat more secure but that’s because I already know its limitations and it gives the illusion of safety.  Limitations can serve a purpose, especially when one is still learning a craft or skill because it can prevent you from harming yourself or others.  But when we impose those limitations on ourselves, then we risk stunting our growth.  I think that is how I feel right now – stunted.  A variety of factors have consolidated in such a way that I’ve let myself become entrapped and leashed.

Now I’m tired of feeling that way.  I need to start challenging those beliefs that are holding me back.  I need to create some structure and establish new priorities for myself.  One of the benefit of having my “world” fall apart when I was laid off is that I was able to move beyond the edge of my world into dragon territory.  Things I did not believe I could live without, I now realize are not essential to my life.  I no longer want to work at a 9-5 job for someone else.  I don’t need that kind of security anymore.  So I have broken beyond some of my previously self-imposed barriers.  Now it’s time to break down some more.