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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.

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