Card study: The Chariot

IMG_20190306_074031_328.jpgThis is a very intriguing rendition of this card. Notice there’s no driver which is the usual depiction of this concept. Rather the horse seems to stare directly at you. It’s a challenge and an invitation. Will you hop on its back and go forth on this journey?

The swaying mane lets us know that this path is uncertain with many bumps in the road but there is the taste of freedom if we take the risk. The pentagram is a symbol for the five senses and also a symbol of protection. Let that sink in for a minute. We must be prepared to bring our WHOLE self to this journey. And we must be sure to approach the work with our body as well as our soul and heart. Our unconscious lies in our body. We store memories there. Tap into that on this journey.

The Crescent Moon lets us know that the adventure is only just beginning. And all of the energy radiating out from the Sun signifies the incredible potential of this journey. To be sure it will be hard at times. The Sun Shines harsh even as it nurtures us.


Card study: Five of Wands

IMG_20190227_072829_611.jpgWhen most of us see this card we know there’s disharmony. There’s fighting and disagreement but hopefully the impact is not too long term. But let’s dive a little deeper into this rendition. Notice the way the lines create siloed spaces for each wand. Each one is segmented off with other lines pointing at it. When we examine the energy of the lines in this image we can see that the individuals involved in this disagreement are only able to see their perspective and only able to perceive the impact the situation has on them. Everyone is closing in on their particular Narrative of the situation and letting that shut them in. In examining the lines, we also see how if one wand just slightly shifts their position it could start to bring them back into alignment with another wand.

So what will you do? Will you stay corralled? Or will you shift ever-so-slightly and start to see other people’s lines?

Decluttering you

SPIRAL___20090Has decluttering madness hit your house? This year, I’m working on decluttering my PSYCHE, y’all. My drawers are full of neatly folded shirts and my pantry is pretty well-organized. (I own that organizing and cleanliness are my socially-accepted forms of false control.) My mind and heart are cluttered though. Can you relate?

I’m grateful for good therapy, good friends, and good tarot for helping me find what sparks joy in my soul while saying good-bye to what no longer serves me. Here is the trick though: how do you thank the soul clutter for what it did for you? That can be hard. Some concepts that help me in this process are these:

  • Forgiveness: forgiving oneself and understanding what forces were TRULY at play that led to this “clutter” in your life. Acknowledging any shame around this, but not letting yourself feel shame for having shame (serious, constant self-talk is the only advice I got for that and tell someone you trust about this shame. Airing shame does wonders.)
  • Forgiveness: forgiving others. You do not need to forget. You do not need to keep them in your life even. Again, trying to understand the forces at play can be helpful. Remember: these forces are REASONS and not excuses! Forgiveness is a PROCESS despite our insistence upon making it a final destination. We must recommit to forgiveness. Recommitting usually happens when we are triggered or when a boundary is yet again broken. We can verbally forgive or just do so in our hearts. I honestly believe that is helpful when verbal forgiveness might not be entirely safe.
  • Mercy: This is a new one for me that I learned from Dr. Bre Haizlip. For acts that are unforgivable, we can regain our power by deciding to show mercy to someone. Again, they do not need to stay in our lives. Like forgiveness, you decide for YOURSELF if you need to verbally show mercy or just decide to do so in your heart. Like forgiveness, you often must recommit to showing mercy at times. And you can always change your mind.
  • Grace and compassion: sometimes we are just jerks. Give yourself and others you love and want to keep in your life grace and compassion during difficult times. This  can take the form of taking breaks from them, giving designated venting time, biting your tongue, not biting your tongue and finding gracious ways to say “you are a jerk right now,”

I love tarot because it offers a helpful framework for viewing issues I want to work on. And it often offers a PATH, too. Sometimes the path makes no sense at the time, but eventually if I trust in it and follow it, I see the method amidst the madness.

tumblr_pmevrqTZBg1w7u8nmo1_1280A word of caution in this process: resist toxic positivity. Resist books and workshops that offer the opportunity to “declutter your soul and be happy!” Resist the simplistic idea that “happy” is the destination and final marker of success. This is so much more complex. Further resist the idea of “balance.” That is also simplistic BS used by marketers and magazine editors to lure us. Dig deep and come up with your own markers. Resist the idea that a decluttered soul can be summed up by a beautifully-lit picture of a succulent on Instagram (raising my hand in guilt.)

(spiral image: Louise Bourgeois)

(can anyone help with toxic positivity credit?)

Card study: Two of Pentacles

IMG_20190221_074003_859.jpgThis is a card that often speaks to juggling and trying to keep it all together. What I love about the imagery in this card is what it suggests about the juggling. It is juggling that is truly transformational. In the moment we might feel like we are just one more step away from total chaos. But in the bigger picture of our lives, this process has transformed us into that beautiful butterfly. And we have what we need inside already to take on what we need. Our job is to dig deep and find that.

This card also suggest through the figure eight does it balance we are trying to achieve is connected to a bigger purpose somehow. Again it can be hard to see that in the midst of daily life. This card really focuses on the ways an individual is managing their lives. It’s only once we get past this card to the Three of Pentacles that the idea of community and helping others with their daily lives come in to play.

Card study: Knight of Pentacles

IMG_20190215_091810_301Kim Krans reframes the court cards as a family, which is an interesting take.  If you struggle with the court cards, take a look at elements like body language, facial expressions, an actions. Noticed how the Son of Pentacles has a serious expression on his face. His head is down, a bit like nose-to-the-grindstone. He’s clearly focused on a detail in front of him. Which is excellent for when you’re trying to accomplish a goal. But don’t forget to look up and see the bigger picture. Often this card is telling you that you need to take a wider view. If you’re having trouble focusing, then this card is a message to limit distraction.

The important element for me here is that blazing sun above him. That’s the success, that’s the goal. Keep that bright goal in mind as you move forward. And if you’re feeling bored or uninspired, try to find that ray of sunshine on your journey. Know you might have to look hard to find it.

He is a good one to see when money or leadership/career are in question. FOCUS, FOCUS, and be frugal, he says. Do not count chickens before they hatch. Do not take anything for granted. Hone in on details, keep the big picture in mind, and be prepared for a long haul.