…& ten.

three tens in a row is not a coincidence.

ten-of-wands

the ten of wands is a card i get a lot. dreary, disorganized, scattered, confused, lacking direction – these wands are tangled in the darkness, going every which way. it’s hard to even see the individual wands, or to tell which way they’re pointing.

tens being the end of the cycle represented in the minor arcana, and wands embodying passion, fire, purpose, inspiration, creativity – getting this card frequently seems appropriate. my daily work is creative, my brain is creative, my passions are all creative. i’m a water sign, a scorpio. i live in the dark, i trust my intuition, i thrive on passion, i feel deeply. it makes sense that a soul like mine, which tends towards strong emotions and intense cravings, would feel burned out constantly. my job is in the visual arts, so every time i’m working i need to dive into that deep well of creative energy. and my hobbies are all creative too, from the more passive ones (i love to read and lose myself in music) to  more active pursuits (writing, tarot, cooking, pretending to learn guitar). creativity and passion are what keep me whole and functional, and some days it feels like the cycle of the suit of wands and fire is one that i live every week.

while this card is very understandable and relatable for me, it also feels like a bit of an admonition. i don’t get very specific in my queries for daily readings – i almost always ask for guidance for the day, where i should focus, and how i should spend my energy. but today i found myself rambling, listing all the possibilities and inadvertently asking a million tiny questions about how exactly i should spend this quiet, rather unstructured day. the cards are giving me a clear message – you’re scattered, you’ve overwhelmed, you’re exhausted. chill out, prioritize, declutter.

so i asked for a clarification card, and boy did i get one: the lovers. what a beautiful card.

the-lovers

union, joy, love, desire, contentment. it feels like the complete opposite of the ten of wands – like an overflowing cup rather than a tangle of sticks in the darkness. and while i think this card can mean so many things depending on how and where it falls, in this context it feels like advice: to be grateful for my marriage, to be content with what i have, to seek peace in going with the flow, to blend and enjoy all the facets of me. yes, i’m a dark, weird, passionate, intense person – but i’m also married to someone energetic, analytical, adventurous, bright. i need to support him, but can also learn from his enthusiasm and airy, sagittarius energy.

it’s okay to feel this dark, swirling energy constantly, and it’s understandable that i’d feel burned out a lot. but it’s also okay to push that aside, to care for myself, to focus on joy, and to put my energy into being gracious and grateful.

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ten & ten

i’ve pulled two tens the last two days, and while their messages initially seemed completely opposite, the more i wrestle with them, the more i see a common theme. yesterday i had no time to spend with my cards, but before i rushed off to jury duty i pulled the ten of cups. a lovely card that seemed timely – being on a jury is mostly about being fair and just, but i think it’s also important to recognize kindness and compassion for all parties involved, as well as staff and other jurors. and with so many of my friends and family dealing with tremendous stress and anxiety and confusion at the moment, i took this card as a strong reminder to reflect love and positivity back towards the people i care about, even if it’s a struggle.

ten-of-cups

this is such a beautiful, holistic card – i love that it so clearly shows giving and receiving, reflecting back light and color in an even, continuous way. i really like this depiction, particularly as a queer woman who’s not interested in having children. it seems that so many versions of this card feature a heteronormative family, with children and love and the whole “fairy-tale ending.” but for me, my happiness is not defined by my romantic relationships, and having children is not the ultimate goal for my life. i really appreciate that the wild unknown tarot instead focuses on energy, reflecting positivity, and finding fulfillment in multiple places and channels, whether that’s through family or community.

and then today, i get the most melodramatic card i know: the ten of swords.

ten-of-swords

how much suffering can someone handle before they completely break down? there are so many swords impaling this poor bull that it moves past real tragedy and into the realm of the absurd. a few bloggers that i really love refer to this card as completely over the top, so much as to be laughable – and i have to admit that i did laugh when i pulled this card today. after being instructed to reflect love and send out good vibes into the world yesterday, today’s card reminds me not to get in my head or make things more difficult than they need to be. so what if a conversation i had two months ago didn’t go exactly as i’d hoped? so what if i made a mistake at a job six months ago and know that i could’ve done better? so what if i said something dumb to someone two years ago and still feel foolish about it? obsessing over these tiny pieces of my life – ones that have had little to no lasting impact on my career or personal life – isn’t productive in literally any way. i need to truly focus on the positive, and let all the negative things go. i can’t change things that have happened, but i can learn from it and move forward.

these tens work together beautifully, reminding me that my present community – the family that i have built, that’s inclusive and kind and loves me for exactly who i am, flaws and all – is worth my time and energy, and is worth remaining positive for. all that shit in the past that i can’t stop thinking about? it’s time to let that go, and make room for the good stuff.