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.

shifting perspective

after all of the emotion and release that happened yesterday, i wasn’t sure what the cards would have in store for me today. but a new card is always an exciting challenge, and the hanged man is an excellent opportunity to explore new facets of my deck.

IMG_0364suspended upside-down, the bat views the world in his own unique way. finding rest during the daylight hours and coming out to hunt and explore only in darkness, he comes at life from a different angle. everything is a bit off-center, new and sometimes strange, but for him this is his daily routine. the only color in this card is in his eyes, blood red and wide open.

there are a lot of interpretations for this card – sacrifice, surrender, release, struggle, restriction, suspense, retreat, meditation, resistance. it all comes back to this idea of waiting, whether intentionally or not, along with seeing things from a new perspective. he transcends what is “normal,” and instead approaches problems from an unexpected position. while being upside-down can be an uncomfortable position for us, for him it feels natural and relaxed. this card can encourage us to seek stillness, to find rest in spite of what feels difficult, or to prepare for a unpleasant or uncomfortable situation that is approaching.
son-of-wandsi may have taken a step forward, but there are much more difficult ones to come. for me, this card is a reminder to try to see the perspective of others, to find stillness and calm in uncomfortable places, and to keep my eyes open and aware.

seeking more insight into this difficult card, i gave myself an additional card for clarification: the son of wands, a card with a completely different energy. while on his own he speaks to drive, passion, and adventure, when paired with the hanged man he could be suggesting putting all of that energy and action into embracing that new perspective. rather than struggling against what could feel like a trap, relaxing into an uncomfortable position can force us to stretch and grow in ways that soon feel like second nature. like a challenging yoga inversion, sometimes pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone can ultimately strengthen us, helping us master what at first felt impossible.

i love this pairing. both the hanged man and the son of wands are independent, self-sufficient, and utterly free. they create their own perspective, push themselves to do things differently, and don’t shy away from the unknown. it’s a beautiful lesson for today.

 

what’s next?

i was thinking a lot about the dual nature of tarot as i prepared to draw this morning’s card, particularly how sons/knights can represent the strengths and weaknesses of each suit. i find them such fascinating, difficult cards, and was intrigued that i hadn’t pulled one in awhile, particularly since i’ve been in such a challenging mental state for so long.

my cards do seem to tease me, because of course i pulled the son of wands as today’s daily draw. clearly i have more reflecting to do.

son-of-wandsoh, this charming, clever, passionate son. bold and confident, adventurous but flighty, he brandishes his fiery wand with pride and stares straight ahead, never looking back. he knows what he wants and it doesn’t even occur to him that his plan might not work out. this son of fire, of energy, of inspiration and creativity, is always on the move. he pushes forward, obsessive and driven, craving the next high and completely sure of his place in the world. i’ve written about him before, but today i think he carries a different message for me.

there’s no fear in this snake, no hesitation, no room for self-doubt. he’s ruled by his passions, by that constant need for adventure – everything in his posture is about the next big thing. wrapped around the wand, bathed in the brilliance of its light, he barely seems aware of what’s around him. he’s focused solely on what’s next.

and while this card clearly carries warnings, and there can be danger in this kind of single-minded pursuit of passion and glory and excitement, there’s something so lovely in his pure, unadulterated eagerness. he could be the captain of a ship, staring into the storm without fear. he could be a warrior, believing in the honor of the upcoming battle. he could be a firefighter, assessing the blaze and knowing it’s time to run into it. that intense focus, that readiness for whatever is around the corner – he’s not afraid of the challenge, he’s actually seeking it, anticipating the next big thing.

to actually welcome what’s coming, even if it’s unknown – there’s beauty there. and after yesterday’s three of wands, with its glimpses of a colorful future, perhaps i can begin to seek hope too.

(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?