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Monthly Archives: February 2014

How can I commit my ideas to action?

 

One of the difficult things for me about interpreting tarot cards is translating the various possible meanings into a specific action. It’s easy to say that you need to be more imaginative or take more risks, but what exactly does that mean in the context of real life? So for this spread I’m going to try to interpret each card as a possible action I can take to further my goals, viewing them as either-and rather than either-or.

First is the Page of Pentacles, whose message is “be practical.” Translating this into action, this card says to get up and do something, as opposed to staying locked up in my head or laying around. One of the things I haven’t done as much since I’ve been sick is stretching and exercising, so maybe it’s time I picked up the habit again.

Next is the Ace of Pentacles, which shares many traits with the Page but is more about setting yourself up for success. I need to do some things that will make it easier to act on the Page’s advice, which will probably involve a lot of early “spring cleaning;” there’s a lot of clutter in my house and I need to do something about it.

Last is the Two of Cups. This is a little tricky since it is commonly read as having romantic overtones, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t apply here. Taken on the individual level, it rather points to emotional synergy and balance. In other words, I need to start doing things that make me feel emotionally balanced. Meditation springs to mind, since that’s also something I haven’t been doing a lot of either lately. It’s possible that I also need to express my emotions more, maybe to someone I know I can confide in.

That got a little stickier than I had wanted, but at least now I have something solid to build on. I came away with three things I can start doing right now, which was my objective, so I’d say this was a fairly successful exercise; and if you want to chime in with more suggestions or tell me what actions you would take if this had been your reading, comments are always welcome

What should my priority for this week be?

Just a simple three-card reading for today. I decided to ask the question “What should my priorities for this week be?” using the Problem – Obstacle – Solution spread.

Problem – Two of Wands. This card is about taking initiative and achieving goals. That would mean that my problem has something to do with losing focus or lacking personal power or drive. As a Two, it could also point to some indecisiveness on my part.

Obstacle – King of Swords. This is a curious card to draw here because I often take it as a symbol for my idealized self as the Knight of Swords. In its position as the obstacle, though, it seems reasonable to interpret the meaning as Reversed. This could mean that my natural intellectual energies are being blocked. Again the lack of decisiveness shows itself.

Solution – King of Wands. This card is about being creative and inspiring. The themes of boldness and charisma seen in the Two of Wands are present here. However, more eminent is the idea of getting things done. The thought seems to be that doing something – anything – will help me to clear my head and get back on track.

Taking a bird’s-eye view for a moment, the cards together seem to be saying that I am presented with a choice — I can either be the King of Swords or the King of Wands. Both the matching suits and the positions of the cards in the spread seem to indicate that the King of Wands is the better choice in this situation. I will try to take this advice to heart as I work through this next week.

What do I need to know about myself?

Well, it never fails. As soon as I start being able to post again, I get sick. I suppose I might as well just pick up where I left off, and since I went several months without doing a reading, I figured it would be appropriate to revisit the Tree of Life. I haven’t looked at this particular spread since doing the Opening of the Key back in September. This is a simplified version of that phase. If you’re interested in unpacking some of the symbolism of the different positions, check out that post or, you know, look it up yourself.

In the spirit of getting back on track, I asked the cards “What do I need to know about myself?”

Keter – Divine Will. The Hierophant in this position suggests that my understanding of the divine is shaped by a system of beliefs. It also says that my spirituality is manifested in discipline and study. I take a very cerebral approach to spiritual matters. I’m also an interpreter an illustrator of spiritual principles.

Chokhmah – Divine Wisdom. The Ten of Swords here points to hitting the lowest point, being immobilized by misfortune, and suffering a lapse of judgment from stress caused by a multitude of minor grievances as wisdom is “pinned down” by heavy thoughts and feelings. The harmony to that melancholy note is that relief is not far off, as troubles will come to an end, just as the darkest darkness retreats before the dawn.

Binah – Divine Understanding. The Ten of Wands in this position is an apt companion to the Ten of Swords, as it represents being burdened, or the feeling of fighting uphill. In essence, my thoughts have been preoccupied with how much harder things have become, and how I’ve had to cut back on a lot of things in order to compensate.

Chesed – Loving-kindness. The Knight of Swords here might be saying that at present I am devoted foremost to myself. It could also be saying that, just as I take an intellectual approach to spiritual matters, I need to take that same approach to how I display love and faithfulness. I need to do those things which display loving-kindness even when my heart isn’t necessarily overflowing with emotion.

Gevurah – Wrath. The Four of Swords in this position seems to indicate that the “holy fire” that pushes me on and allows me to overcome obstacles has been cooled to embers by buffeting winds, and is quietly preparing for a resurgence as I take time to rest and recover.

Tiferet – Harmony. The Emperor, like the Hierophant, has to do with authority and organization. It is to the cards following it what the Hierophant was to the cards before it. The message here would be that taking things into my own hands and imposing some kind of structure will be what brings much-needed balance to the current state of affairs in my life.

Netzach – Perseverance. The Chariot in this position points toward victory through sustained effort. It seems to say that the way I am overcoming hardship is simply to weather it, and not lose my resolve. Like the Emperor it is focused on taking the reins and assuming authority, but in this light it takes a more passive role of letting competing interests wear each other out in order to achieve dominance.

Hod – Elegance. The Hanged Man in this position emphasizes the beauty of letting go, and sacrificing for the greater good. It is the true martyrdom to the Ten of Swords’ perceived martyrdom. My subconscious energies waiting to be manifested center on humility and acceptance.

Yesod – Unity. The Nine of Swords  in this position seems to say that finding balance in my life is predicated on dealing with the pain that comes from within. As opposed to the reactionary anguish of the Ten of Swords, this card is more about feeling unsatisfied with myself. It’s true that I often come to the  point where I feel like I’ve reached my limit. Even so, the best thing I can do is remind myself of what brings me joy.

Malkuth – Creation. In the final position rests the Star. This is an oddly optimistic card considering all the negative cards in this spread, but it does follow the theme of tranquility and harmony seen in the more positive ones. The Star is focused on creating, believing, and giving generously, as well as finding serenity in the midst of one’s circumstances. As the natural culmination of the energies represented by the previous cards, it can be taken to mean that the dark tunnel I have been passing through is reaching its end, and to find solace in the fact that soon a new chapter in my life will begin, despite a few false starts.

Well, that was an altogether fairly hopeful reading. I hope you enjoyed walking through it with me, and as ever, comments are always appreciated. Barring any other setbacks, I expect to resume my daily schedule from here on out.

How should I start this new year?

It seems that it’s finally time to break my hiatus. I hope none of you missed me too much (not really worried about that one). January is usually a rough month for me, and this one was no exception. I spent most of it sick, laying in bed, playing Skyrim. I’ve logged around 250 hours on it at this point, which is just about a year of in-game time. That has nothing to do with this reading, though…but since I wasn’t able to do a “new-year’s” tarot reading, I figured for this one I’d ask “How should I start this new year?”

Since it just happens to be Saturday, that means I’m using the old standby; the Celtic Cross. If you don’t know how this is done…you’re pretty new around these parts, aren’t you? You can check out this post where I go through how I personally read all the card positions in a more in-depth way if you want, but for this reading I’m going to kind of breeze through, ’cause I got stuff to do. Dragons to slay and all that.

Important to note here is the shadow card, which in this case is the Seven of Wands, denoting aggression or assertiveness. It commonly has to do with going after what you want and refusing to yield. This can be a valid strategy, but it has its downsides. We’ll have to see how this idea plays out in the rest of the reading.

The Heart Of The Cards this time turns out to be the Seven of Pentacles, crossed by the Magician. My oh my, it seems that my reward will hinge greatly on my ability to perform. That’s never a good sign. There may also be undertones of a change in direction that I will need to pay attention to, and fully commit to once the time comes.

Up above we have the Tower, and oh has there never been a more appropriate card. The tower speaks on both levels here, of a physical crises (or more aptly, several minor crises in succession), and in the sense of a revelation, or at least a bringing forth of something that I’ve been ignoring. For clarification I drew the Ace of Pentacles, which tells me that the root of these issues is more physical/biological, and also could have a lot to do with money or financial issues.

Below we have Strength, which says to me that patience will win the day, and I should draw on my stores of inner strength to strengthen my resolve. Bringing this forward will be key to weathering the crisis events represented by the Tower, and will help to bring me into balance.

To the left we have the Six o Pentacles, a card representing dualities of having and not having, whether it be resources, knowledge, or power. It can mean excess, lack, or both. Considering the other cards in the spread, namely Seven of Pentacles and the World, this card seems to be about material possessions, specifically the issue of having some things at the expense of others. It carries the idea that my decisions on how to spend my money (that is, what to acquire) has in some way had an important impact on my present situation.

To the right we have the Six of Wands, often symbolizing celebrating triumph with the knowledge that things aren’t finished yet. In a sense, you’ve “arrived” at a new plateau, but you aren’t done climbing. This seems to say that if I continue on my present course, I will be vindicated. However, if I handle things badly (i.e. the Magician/Seven of Pentacles issue doesn’t get resolved), the result could be a major fall from grace, not to mention a hit to my self-confidence.

Atop the staff sits the Empress, which styles me as someone who is driven by, or to, nurturing and abundance. Having more than enough is the ideal that I chase, and is something that is very important to me as someone who always feels constantly behind the curve. It’s my nature to want to both give and receive abundantly, and not being able to do that is stifling.

Next down we have the World, often symbolizing accomplishment and fulfillment, but can just as easily represent incompleteness and lack of closure. In the context of its place in the spread, in essence this card is saying “the time is right.” How the opportunities surrounding me play out will determine on how I take advantage of them.

After that we have the King of Cups, suggesting that the crucial piece of knowledge I’ve been missing has to do with my emotions. This means that the key to unlocking my inner King of Peace has to do with what to do about them. This also has a lot to do with the Tower and how that situation gets resolved.

At the bottom of the staff rests the King of Pentacles, which seems to say that the long-term outcomes of this reading have to do with financial security and physical well-being. It encourages me, or warns me, to be a good steward of what I have, and to not let my emotions dictate my spending habits. The message here is that “cooler heads will prevail.”

So that’s it for this long overdue (and long-awaited, I’m sure) new-year’s tarot reading and end to my hiatus. I have toyed with the idea of doing two readings a day to catch up on the days I missed, and if I can manage to keep up my momentum over the next month, I might start doing that in March. It will take a bit of planning though.

Also, if you have any interesting or unusual tarot spreads, feel free to let me know! I am always looking for new spreads to try out, especially for my Sunday readings. I’d be happy to try something you’ve found or came up with yourself.

That’s all from me for today, so just remember to stay hopeful, and keep your eyes on the sky, traveler.