keep your head down

today’s card is all about focus, determination, craftsmanship, and innovation: the eight of pentacles.

eight-of-pentacles

confident and skilled, the spider is constantly pushing herself to create new, intricate webs, never giving up. if a web is broken or damaged, she fixes it. if it’s destroyed beyond repair, she creates a new one, that’s stronger and more beautiful than the one before it. she is constantly honing her skills, seeking mastery of her craft. detail-oriented, determined, focused, and devoted, she is constantly challenging herself to do better.

this card is all about balance and devotion, understanding that hard work and drive can achieve so much. there can be joy in every stage of a process, learning to embrace every single aspect of a project or craft. and while there’s always plenty of things to distract us, sometimes the best thing we can do is keep our heads down, stay focused, and put all of our energy into making something strong and beautiful.

this is a challenging card for me today, as i have a quiet work week planned. my to-do list is completely finished, every task that’s been wiggling in the back of my head completed – all that’s left is writing difficult letters to my family, which i’ve been putting off for weeks now. pentacles are so connected to the earth and possessions for me, all about stability, material things, wealth and careers and property. but eights are goal-oriented, all about achievement, getting things done.

son-of-wandsmy clarifying card is the son of wands, a card that’s been popping up a lot lately. this son has no fear, no self-doubt, but pushes forward with confidence and strength and passion. i don’t want to force the cards or miss something, but this feels like it could speak to my still-unwritten letters. after all, finishing coming out during pride month was the goal that i set for myself, and while i’ve taken the first step i have stumbled over the others. the son has such purpose, such fire, and he and his mother have appeared so many times this month. it feels like the court of wands is pushing me to push myself, to finish the journey i started years ago.

yes, it’s scary. i might destroy the fragile webs i’ve been building all these years, damaging relationships that are so important to me. but if i can keep my head down, focus on the task at hand, use the skills and intuition and empathy that i’ve been developing – perhaps i can build something even stronger.

every which way

after so much beauty and strength in yesterday’s draw, today’s card initially feels a little discouraging: the five of wands.

five-of-wandsthese wands are laying haphazardly, each pointing in a different direction, with none of them touching or overlapping. the lines behind them reflect the chaos, moving in hard angles and with erratic spacing. all of this suggests a complete lack of focus, confusion, distraction – the eye wanders, unsure of where to look. rather than working together to move in one direction, they seem to be fighting each other, defensive and contrary.

i’ve been enjoying pushing myself in different directions in my photography, but it can also bring up worries about talent, ability, and stretching myself too thin. am i good enough to try all of these styles and specialties? can i make a living doing all the things i like, or do i have to choose just one? this field is so competitive, and with everyone posting images every single day from their cell phones, some good and some downright terrible, it’s impossible not to feel threatened or like i have to prove my worth and value every day.

daughter-of-cupsi pulled a clarifying card to offer additional guidance, and found an old friend: the daughter of cups. and while she can represent many things, in this context i see her quiet confidence in the full spectrum of the suit of cups. she knows that water can be clear or murky or choppy or still, bright and illuminating or dark and mysterious. even when she doesn’t understand every facet of herself, she still trusts that every emotion has value, and believes in her own instincts. knowing that she doesn’t know everything does not bother her – she finds it comforting that there is much she does not understand. there is power in wonder, in the unknown.

confusion is not always bad, as it forces us to focus on what matters. and second-guessing my career choices doesn’t make me weak, as long as i don’t allow it to stall or consume me. but these cards feel like they’re pushing me to rise to a challenge, rather than give in to distraction and fear. i am capable of riding out these difficulties, as beth from little red tarot says. this tension can make me stronger.

 

focus & strength

today’s card is a beautiful, encouraging one: the chariot.

9ccc795f1209e4161696b48dbb206836looking straight ahead, the beams of the sun above streaming down around her, this horse is poised, intense, and sure of herself. she radiates power and confidence, her gaze focused and ready. there’s nothing she can’t accomplish if she puts her mind to it. the wild unknown book calls her a reflection of one’s inner warrior, reflecting our personal confidence and will.

there are so many important details in this card – the moon on her forehead points to intuition, reminding me to trust my instincts and listen to that little voice inside. the pentacle around her neck shows that she is grounded, perhaps that she has gained mastery over earthly goals and is ready to conquer something new. and the sun shining overhead offers strength and new possibilities, offering illumination and happiness. she has overcome much, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that her journey is over – there is always more to do.

i think this is such a strong, lovely card, and while it’s one i’ve drawn for friends, is not one i’ve seen in a personal reading for myself. i can’t help but hope that this is encouragement for me, a reminder that i am stronger than i believe, that i can accomplish so much with focus and determination. perhaps she is answering some of the questions that yesterday’s drawing seemed to ask. the chariot represents triumph, success, overcoming adversity. and while she does not float through difficulties without effort, she is sure and strong, pushing herself to reach for those dreams and possibilities and wishes.

as i continue to wrestle with my own demons, working through a difficult choice, i’ll take her strength, experience, and wisdom and work to apply it to my own situation. if i can focus on my goal, the chariot reminds me that anything is possible.

 

the power of the wand

i’ve pulled wands in every single reading this week. today was no exception: the two of wands was my daily draw this morning. and in addition to a lot of intense fire energy, i’ve also pulled the ace, two, and three of wands this week. a lot of bright, bold, adventurous energy here.

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these three cards can tell a story about starting something new: the ace is a powerful idea, excitement, energy, readiness. the two is focus, determination, solidifying the idea and thinking through the steps and pieces necessary to make it happen. and the three is action, jumping in, envisioning that beautiful goal and going after it. it’s a powerful trio, and pulling all three cards over the last few days feels significant.

of course, i’m not really in the middle of an exciting new adventure – i’m slogging through the same old depression, wondering if it will ever end. everything is so grey and washed out right now, and all three of these cards are positively bursting with color and vitality. but the two of wands is all about taking a quick pause to determine direction and focus, to evaluate the plan, to become fully aware of everything that’s happening. there’s so much light and energy in this card, but those horizontal lines also show stability and power, ready to be harnessed and focused in whatever way we need.

this is an exciting card, but it’s also a bit overwhelming. i’m not sure what to do with all of this fire, or where to direct it. to make the choice to reach out and grab those wands – am i ready? can i handle it? will it backfire?

i’m not sure i have the answers. but the cards seems to think that it’s time to take some of that colorful power back. i hope they’re right.

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seven again

i’ve been taking a bit of a break from tarot, unplanned but perhaps subconsciously. i’ve been so drained, so exhausted, and it felt like drawing cards was just spinning my wheels. sometimes it can be helpful to have feelings and thoughts mirrored in the cards, a kind of validation – but the last week or two i haven’t found it helpful. i’ve missed my daily ritual, but i think it’s been good for me to step back a little and reflect on what i’m really seeking from these daily draws.

we’ve officially signed a lease, and are moving on monday. this very long-awaited change is finally happening, and all of those to-do lists i’ve been writing can finally be put into action – and i’m exhausted. time to gather all the courage and strength i have left. today’s daily pull is the seven of wands.IMG_0309

i love getting new cards that i haven’t worked with before, especially when they seem to say exactly what i need to hear. sevens are all about evaluating where you’re at and making adjustments to meet your goal – they’re cards of choice, a kind of “temporary perfection” as one forum reader put it. we feel that we could be done, that we’ve achieved our goal, but sevens can show us that we actually have farther to go. we need to rally, gather our strength, and carve out a path to the end.

the seven of wands can traditionally be interpreted as preparing for a battle, someone pushing themselves to overcome difficulty or challenges, to gain the upper hand. while i’m hardly preparing for a fight, i am struggling to overcome this depressed haze i’ve been in for the past few weeks. not full out depression, mind you, just a kind of fog that i can’t get out of. this beautiful image of a single wand illuminating the darkness, finding their inner spark, unafraid to shine light boldly, really inspires me. that quick burst of fire is so necessary, pushing forward, finding adrenaline, bursting forth with energy and passion. but it’s so easy to burn out, to expend energy too quickly, and this card can also caution me to watch my energy and make sure i have enough to complete my goals.

keep calm & carry on

my cards the last few days have been pretty scattered, giving me a lot of advice on how to approach each day: keep your heart open. stay high energy. listen to your intuition. don’t be afraid of adventures. be passionate. be emotional. be strong. be courageous. (but don’t get too carried away!) rather than my usual general questions, i took a slightly different spin today and asked what kind of energy i should be channeling for myself, and which way i should be moving: and i pulled the emperor.

the-emperor

a strong, full evergreen tree stands tall and alone in the bright daylight, stable and grounded. he offers shelter to those in need, and a steady, calming presence to everyone around him. unlike the empress’ colorful leaves and blossoms, the emperor’s needles are constant throughout all the seasons, weathering every storm. his is a reassuring presence, one that denotes strength, logical, practicality, sensibility, and order. his control and strength is the yang to the empress’ yin, his outward energy harmonizing with her internal mystery and magic.

some of my resources have a lot more difficulty with this card, as he can represent an authoritarian father or ruler, someone that imposes rules and discipline and structure. as a harsh taskmaster or a stern disciplinarian, this card has less appeal – my immediate instinct is to rebel, to fight those rules and regulations, to make my own path. but i think in this case, this more organized, practical approach is best right now – moving is so complicated, and there’s so much swirling around in my head that i can barely focus on any one task. this is definitely a time when being organized, making lists, and following schedules will help me achieve my goals and not lose my damn mind.

 

 

 

(but don’t shake too hard)

yesterday’s cards were focused on change, upheaval, and finding balance. and after a long day of looking at apartments and realizing that we essentially have a week to sign a new lease and move, my husband and i both came home discouraged, stressed, and frustrated.

the apartments that we’d been planning to rent aren’t available any longer, none of the units we looked at seem like they’ll work, and there isn’t much left that we haven’t already seen. with only a week to go, how can we do this?

this frantic, confused energy is what i brought to today’s reading, and i think the cards are trying to help me. today’s draw was the son of wands.son-of-wands

court cards are tricky, and the sons (or knights) are particularly challenging to interpret sometimes. they have a fascinating dual nature about them – they can represent the most single-minded focus and positive aspects of the suit, but can also showcase what happens when the qualities of the suit are pushed too far. he can be so charming and adventurous, ready to seize the day, anticipating the future, up for anything, exciting and passionate and energetic. but pushed too far, his charisma proves to be a smoke screen, his attention wavers, he’s so enamored with the next big adventure that he misses everything wonderful in the present. all that passion can turn to frustration, confidence shifts into arrogance, and he slips away without a second thought. he can be fickle, perhaps a bit of a drama queen, and difficult.

while i think there’s a lot that can be gleaned from this card, my daily readings usually ask what should my focus be today? or where should i focus my energy? with that in mind, i think this card is encouraging me to stay positive, stay energized, and stay excited about the future. we’ve been really anticipating this move, but now that it’s here we’re discouraged about the options, stressed about the process, and confused that we may be moving again very soon. it’s hard to get excited about one adventure, when the next one may be even bigger. all we can do right now is focus on what’s directly in front of us, find that excitement that we’ve lost, and devote our energy to making this move work.

how do you deal with sons/knights in your daily readings?