Card study: Princess (Page) Of Swords

psThere is a lot going on in this card. A quick reminder that Pages often serve as Messengers. They also represent the beginning of a cycle towards mastery.
Let’s just break down the symbols themselves to start understanding this card.

Notice the way the sword is being held upright and is blossoming out of a Lotus. Lotuses represents beauty that comes from hard work and being willing to dig into the literal dirt. The upright sword represents focus. When we usually start an undertaking, we are focused and ready to go out there.

Notice that the sword is translucent. Whatever we’re about to undertake is not yet fully formed.We don’t have a plan quite yet because we’re still fantasizing about what we want. That is a really important part of any undertaking: Taking the time to sit and dream.

The sky is clear and the Sun is bright which indicates that now is a good time for this undertaking. We are not assured of success but we knew do know that signs point to yes. Notice the bird flying in front of the Sun. A bird flying up high represents having a big picture sense. So that’s where we’re being told to point are energies. Right now as we fantasize we need to try to also get a sense of the bigger picture. Birds flying also connect to our souls. While swords is the suit of our minds, this bird reminds us to remember the place of our soul in our undertakings.

Card Study: Eight of Cups

eight of cups.jpgAnother eight to study. Eights are when we have opportunity for stability, insight, pausing before climbing that last hill but with some valuable perspective to help guide us.

This is a call for healing attention. You are asked to see how clearly you can view situations, especially your role in them, and see how far you can move forward from where you are now. When I see this card lately, I feel that it is a call for healing attention. I use that word attention specifically. I no longer believe that we are Healed End of Story. Healing is a constant process. In our dominant culture, we want everything to have finality. We want gold stars and stamps of completion. But the reality is that life is an unfolding process. When we heal, we must know that we are committing to a lifelong process. Fortunately as we heal, we do make progress. This card is all about making progress in our healing.

So when you see this card, know something needs healing attention right now. Know that the work you’ve done for healing has made a difference. But the situation now needs new attention and new points of focus.

When using this card, I invite you to use that phrase: healing attention. That allows yourself or your client to know that this is a process. It is a journey and not necessarily a destination as much as we want it to be.

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?)