finding resources

i’ve been hesitant to return to tarot for the past few days, after drawing such strong, intense, dramatic cards on my last reading. i’m still not sure what steps forward to take, what kind of transformation i should be seeking, but i’m continuing to ponder these lessons, and have reached out to a much-admired reader for a personal reading to offer more clarification. in the meantime, i don’t want to stay too separated from my cards. i don’t want to withdraw into fear, or refuse to listen, or ignore what other wisdom my deck has for me.

with that in mind, i was pretty tentative in my drawing today, and received a lovely and welcome gift: the mother of pentacles.mother-of-pentacles

calm and strong, alert and aware, kind and supportive, this mother is nurturing, loving, compassionate, practical, resourceful, and confident. she knows who she is, what she’s capable of, and how she fits into her world. her child rests against her, completely at peace, and while she’s watchful of any danger, she does not look afraid – she is simply doing her job, caring for her family, and ready to tackle any issue that arises.

while i find all of the mothers particularly strong and admire each of them in different ways, there’s something so empowering about this queen of the earth. she knows that she has rich resources and powerful tools at her disposal, and is so deeply connected to the world around her. there’s no doubt, no stumbling, no indecision – she can handle anything that comes her way, and can care for those around her as well as her own personal needs.

i find this card both encouraging and challenging today. i have reached out for additional help in seeking my next steps, both by continuing to see a therapist that i really trust, and by looking for answers and insight from a more experienced tarot reader. i’m trying to rely more on my friends and family, being open with my fears and struggles rather than pretending everything is fine. but i can always do more, both for myself and for those around me. my partner is struggling deeply with his work, my friends need support, my family deserves the truth about some difficult issues – and i do have the strength and the resources to help, even if i can’t always see it. i can be better, stronger, more resilient. i can care for those around me in a more honest, compassionate, practical way, while still finding ways to care for myself.

hard truths

while this blog is named after the daughter of cups, a card i hope to grow into and evolve from, today i pulled a card that i identify with very strongly: the daughter of swords.

daughter-of-swordsfrank, observant, insightful, detail-oriented, and judgmental, the daughter of swords doesn’t miss a thing. this owl is watchful and honest, careful and clear, with no room for bullshit. she’s surrounded by the night sky, with glittering, colorful stars behind her, but her grip is on the blade of the sword rather than the handle. perhaps she’s not comfortable wielding it just yet, but this could also be a warning that the sword of truth can be sharp and double-edged. she’s a student of justice and truth, prefers to keep things simple and straightforward, and deals with situations head-on, though she isn’t unkind. she relies on her intellect and her powers of observation to get through tough situations, and those around her trust her to be truthful and strong.

paired with yesterday’s card, today’s drawing feels like it’s showing me how to approach the world again. i’ve been withdrawn, hesitant, unsure of how to shake off the last of this long-lasting depression. my legs are a bit wobbly. my head is still spinning. it’s so very tempting to continue to hide, to rely on others to tell me what to do, to pull that cloak of darkness back around myself and shy away from the light. but that’s no way to live, and it’s not the person that i want to be. i am stronger than that.

this daughter may not have all the answers – but she’s looking for them, and she isn’t afraid to be herself at the same time. she knows she’s not as adventurous as her older brother or as wise as her more experienced parents, but she also knows that her wide eyes and hungry mind will go a long way towards reaching her goals. and if i can lean into that hard truth, and not shy away from what’s in front of me, i can reach mine too.

breathe deep

i’ve been pulling a lot of positive cards lately – ones that encourage me to look forward to what’s ahead, to seek hope and adventure, to start something new and embrace my own power through it. and it’s been lovely to feel so much strength and energy flowing through these cards – but it’s been a bit overwhelming too. today’s card, the seven of cups, seems to reflect and understand that perfectly. IMG_0338

i’ve written about this card before, and while it’s not always the most welcome sight in a
daily reading, it can also be a bit of a relief to have feelings acknowledged. this card flips everything on its head, and we don’t know which way is up, what time or place or day it is, or even how to move forward. it takes things we thought we were sure of and makes us question them. it can be an indication to stop, look around, take a breath, reassess. things are not what they seem, confusion is afoot, something is amiss.

i’ve been procrastinating, unsure, feeling simultaneously afraid to start and oh-so-tired of being stagnant. depression, especially when it lingers, is like slogging through mud, like wandering through fog, and it makes everything feel slow and heavy and exhausting. and as i attempt to stand up and stumble out of this darkness, to find my way back to who i know i can be, it’s hard to know how to get back into real life again.

the-empressin an effort to seek guidance, i pulled a second card for clarification, and got some serious female power: the empress. she’s beautiful and bold, a colorful beacon in the darkness. this strong tree is constantly evolving with the seasons, and her brilliant shades of pink and purple speak of spring, of the growth and life that come after a long period of cold darkness. she is warm, gentle, compassionate, and strong.

both of these cards are set at night, but reveal very different truths. while the seven reflects the confusion that darkness can bring, the confusing emotions and conflicting directions, the empress is solid and grounded, confident in her light and her strength. the darkness only serves to illuminate her, causing that which is insignificant to fade into the background.

and while it’s okay to be unsure sometimes, to feel hesitant or weak or confused about the next step, the empress reminds me that there can be power in the darkness. finding that inner light is not always easy, but that doesn’t mean that it has faded away.

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finding inner light

another wand. this suit has been with me all week – there are clearly some lessons to glean here: inspiration into action, passionate creativity, the power of important challenges. today’s card is a beautifully empowering one: the seven of wands.

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a bright flame stands alone, illuminating the darkness all around. the other wands are piled in the corners, leaning against walls, seemingly exhausted or cast aside. the others have succumbed to the darkness, but our bold seven stands up straight, on her own power. that brilliant flame is the only color here, and is not merely a spark but a full, beautiful light.

sevens are focused on personal attainment, achieving a goal, and providing some practical advice. and with so many wands in my recent readings, it’s impossible not to feel that my cards are pushing me to find that inner strength, to seek that fiery confidence of the seven of wands. she’s bold, powerful, and solitary – proud of her inner strength, unafraid to be an individual, following her heart and spirit to be as brilliant as she can. there’s so much encouragement in this card, a real “take no shit” attitude that i love. shine on, little wand.

this can be easier said that done. it’s not always easy to be brave, to be proud, to stand tall and alone. embracing our inner weird, not shying away from what makes us individuals, and having the confidence to burn alone can be a terrifying prospect. but whatever it means, for you reading and for me writing, finding that inner light can be essential to keep going. i keep writing about this darkness i’m trapped in, and this beautiful card reminds me to trust my inner fire, to let that little spark guide me through my day.

standing up

it’s been a long, hard few months. after yesterday’s post got much more personal than i usually am in this space, i spent a lot of time reflecting on where i am, where i’ve been, and where i’m going. depression is a long, winding road, with no real destination or end in sight. it’s a tough path to travel. but sometimes there’s such beauty to be found in darkness, and a poignancy to pain that can reveal harsh, but essential truths. while this isn’t a journey i would choose, it’s one i must take, and all i can do is keep my eyes and ears open to the lessons i can find along the way.

after so much introspection, i’m rather delighted by today’s card: the magician.

IMG_0353a new card for me, and one of self-empowerment, stamina, strength, and spirit. the wild unknown book describes the magician as “a card of boundless, expansive energy,” and indeed, the card is vivid, almost pulsing with light. the wildcat is strong, graceful, courageous, and wields the energy of all four suits with ease. he’s aware of his surroundings, but not afraid of them. there’s beautiful potential here, an anticipatory feeling of stillness, readiness. the magician is poised, awake, aware. he knows that he has the tools needed to conquer any situation, and the fortitude to know which skill will be needed in order to succeed.

after so many weeks in the dark, knowing that i’m still probably going to be drowning for a bit longer, this is an immensely empowering card. all about action, the magician knows what to do and how to do it. there’s no self-doubt, no confusion, no hand-wringing or gnashing of teeth or hiding in a corner. there’s such bold, quiet confidence here, such beauty and power and intensity. and while i may not feel that in myself at this very moment, pushing myself to find actions that i can take to find my own beauty and power and intensity feels like good advice.

i think it’s okay to not always be okay. but remembering that action is possible even when you feel completely and utterly powerless can be a beautiful reminder of what we are all capable of. the tools are right there – i just need to find a way to grab them and wield them with grace.

the long climb

coming to the last leg of a difficult race, the final steps of a long journey, the end of an intense battle – even after persevering, after staying strong, after pushing yourself hard, sometimes finishing something is so much more difficult than starting it.

nine-of-wands

there are many different depictions of the nine of wands, but the wild unknown’s interpretation resembles a staircase, shaped with thick, roughly-cut wands leading up to a shining moon. the branches get narrower and thornier the higher up the stairs climb, though the gentle colors and bright crescent give a sense that the struggle to reach the top will be richly rewarded.

nines are right at the tail end of the journey – we haven’t quite reached the completion (or burnout) of ten, but can see the finish line in the distance. it’s all about that final push, gathering the strength and stamina to reach your goal. it’s important to keep a small reserve of energy, to protect ourselves, to stay strong and resilient and not stumble when we’re so close to achieving our objectives. the war is almost won, the prize is within our grasp – don’t give up now, not when you’re so close!

there’s also an element of transformation present in this card that i really love. there’s something in struggles, in pain, in a long, difficult journey that has the power to alter us permanently. the passions and fire that are so present in wands are capable of wild and beautiful things, but can leave lasting impressions that change us irrevocably. that lost job, that broken heart, that big mistake can hurt so deeply, but also continue shaping us into the people that we’re meant to be. and in those final steps towards mystery and magic and completion, as we reach down deep for whatever shreds of courage we have left, we can discover truths about ourselves that aren’t as visible when things are easy.

after yesterday’s bright, positive ace of cups that seemed brimming with love and joy and possibility, today’s wands still give me hope. so many pieces of my life have been stagnant for too long, but i will persevere. i will not give up. i will reach the top and be able to look back over the journey, with all of its twists and turns and struggles, and know that it was worth the trouble to finish what i’ve started.