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.

 

strength in stillness

today’s card is one of my favorites: the four of swords.

four-of-swordspeaceful and strong, the lamb is confident in the power and clarity of her third eye. she’s aware of the swords hanging overhead, but she still smiles in the face of the unknown, allowing herself some much-needed rest. as the guidebook says, she sits in stillness and without fear. fours can represent stability and balance, so combined with the strong air energy and mental power of the swords, this card is all about quiet, rest, and finding space. it can remind us to set gentle boundaries, to protect ourselves, to seek tranquility and self-care practices that gives us peace and strength.

it’s absolutely possible to find moments of peaceful retreat while under pressure, and it’s an important skill to develop. not everything can be done by sprinting or pushing hard – sometimes we have to pause, to breathe, and give ourselves some time to rest and evaluate our progress before we can continue facing those swords again. knowing how to set those boundaries, both for others and for ourselves, is essential for healing and self-care. i’m not very good at creating those gentle barriers, but i relish the quiet times when i can find them. and with so much going on lately, both professionally and socially and mentally and emotionally, i’ve been craving some still moments for myself.

perhaps some time of meditation and solitude will help keep those swords overhead at bay for a little while longer.

choosing to pause

today’s card is one of my favorites, and a welcome friend in this moment: the hermit.

IMG_0361solitary, wise, strong, careful, and extremely aware of personal needs and challenges, the hermit doesn’t do anything without thinking it through. he cherishes stillness, embraces reflection, and thrives in the quiet moments. he will not be rushed, and does not push himself to simply get things done – rather, he knows when it’s essential to be thoughtful and considerate. he knows that things worth doing are worth doing well.

this card encourages us to be still, to breathe, to mediate. there’s a lovely sense of time and space here, a deep awareness of the need to be quiet and simply listen. there’s so much happening in the world and in our country and in our day-to-day lives, and so little time set aside for honest reflection. and without those quiet moments between all the loud conversations and dizzying adventures and hard choices and everyday stresses, how do we keep hold of ourselves?

i’ve written so much about my depression in this space, and my cards recently have been pushing me to act, to seize opportunities, to find new adventures and exciting beginnings and fresh starts. and i have pushed back mentally, saying to myself, not yet. i’m not totally in the clear. i’m not safe yet. the fog is still surrounding me, though i sense it’s starting to clear. but cards like the hermit, and the seven of wands, and the empress – they give me permission to stand alone for a bit, to be myself, to find a way to bring a bit of light into that darkness. there’s beauty in a pause, in a breath, in choosing to examine what matters. and i’m not afraid of stillness, not when it’s a choice instead of a trap.