Three Cards Today: The Hierophant, The Tower, The Sun (Reversed)

I somehow wound up with three cards today when I meant to pull one–and what cards! The Hierophant–institutions. The Tower–a flash of blinding truth, old structures and institutions falling apart. The Sun reversed–well, the Sun is always there for us, but sometimes we can’t see it because there are clouds, or because we are turned away from it. Today, something falls apart because the truth comes out. It’s hard to see the silver lining to this event, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Form good intentions and use this opportunity, which is literally an unstoppable gift from the gods, to make a fresh start, to shake off the bonds that previously enslaved you, and start over, free, and with boundless possibilities lying ahead of you.

I always pull a separate card for the day for myself, personally, and my card for myself today was Intention, from Toni Carmine Salerno’s Universal Wisdom deck. It goes well with these cards. When everything falls apart, you create something new, and the starting place for that is your intentions. Set your intention, make it very clear, visualize it fully, and then manifest it.

Card for the Day: the Fool, Reversed!

Hesitation plays a role in our lives today. We consider taking a big step, but are not sure if it is truly for the best. It’s always prudent to make an educated decision, but don’t hesitate for too long. Look before you leap, but don’t be afraid to leap. Trust your gut over your head on this one — look with your third eye, your intuition, at the situation, and go with your instincts. You are not a fool, so don’t act like one. Have faith in yourself and your ability to make a good decision, whether that means moving forward or digging in  your heels and refusing to take this step. All will be well.

Cards for the Day: Reversed 7 of Cups and Reversed Queen of Wands: It Won’t Be Easy, But Stay Focused

It’s a good thing that today is a holiday for many of us, because it won’t be easy to concentrate on work. Today, again intending to draw one card, I drew two, both reversed, the seven of cups and the Queen of Wands. It’s not easy to focus on our dreams today — much less to set goals and intentions and go after those dreams. We are feeling worried and anxious. Our dreams seem unrealistic (and let’s face it, they often are, but that doesn’t mean they are definitely unattainable). Not only are our own fears getting in the way today, but someone, maybe an older woman, is trying to push our buttons too. This woman (a mother? a mother-in-law? someone who is used to being in charge in at least certain situations) really thinks that she knows more than we do about what is best for us or at least how we should best use our skills and resources. In the face of her bullying (or at least pushing), we feel lethargic. It’s hard not to give in to her manipulation. 

But the question is, is this woman right? As the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you — likewise, just because someone is trying to manipulate you doesn’t necessarily prove that what she wants you to do is not in your best interest. Mothers often do know best. Nevertheless, trust yourself and your dreams. Pull yourself together. Find some inner source of self-confidence. Be your own person. And evaluate, assess: is she right? Make your own decision, focus on, perhaps, just one goal for today, and go for that one goal with everything you’ve got. Don’t let yourself get lost in fantasy–try to think clearly and focus. Maybe a cup of coffee will help! Or some journaling. Do what you need to do to keep yourself on task, because your dreams ARE important, and you — we all — are running out of time.

Card for the Day: The Fool: Innocence is its Own Protection

Don’t be afraid to stick to your ideals. Traditionally, The Fool is the card of infinite potential and new beginnings — and maybe this is that kind of a day for you. For those of us who woke up to a world covered in snow, everything does seem fresh and new today. It’s a good day to not only start over (and you’re still in the “zone” for a new year’s resolution if you haven’t made one yet!), but also to go out on a limb and take a risk. But to me, this card isn’t just about starting a new journey, but about approaching each step of the journey that you are already on with a beginner’s mind. The Fool isn’t just stepping out onto his (or her) doorstep — he (or she) has already climbed quite a distance into the mountains. And mountains, to me, have lofty ideals written all over them.

Believe in yourself. Trust in the Universe. You are here with your dreams and ideals for a reason. The events around you are happening for a reason. Open up to that reason (or reasons) and new possibilities, new opportunities, new directions in which to travel will appear all around you. It might even be the case that the direction your dream takes you is straight off a cliff (metaphorically speaking — please don’t step off any literal cliffs based on my advice!). Simply not knowing the future makes many of us fearful — it makes us feel as though we are stepping off a cliff. But the fact is that you never know the future. All the directions that you think are such sure things by comparison with your dream are equally as risky and equally as unknown — you just don’t realize that yet.

One more thing I’d like to say about this card is that if you go into life in a spirit of innocence and naivete, such a spirit carries with it a powerful amount of protection. It is not only angels who watch over fools — humans do too. If you are a cynic, you probably expect humans to take advantage of fools, but I have not found that to be the case. What I have found is that if you approach a situation trustingly, idealistically, with faith in the goodness of those around you, even those with evil intentions toward you will frequently find themselves dropping those intentions — and they themselves don’t even know why. People respond to elemental goodness and innocence even if they don’t even recognize within themselves that they are doing so. And those who once had evil intentions toward you will often end up doing you some good turn instead and sending you off with some paternalistic warning to take better care of yourself and watch out in the future. It’s as if trust in basic goodness were some kind of Jedi mind trick! You’ll think this is crazy if you haven’t experienced it yourself, but if you have, then you know it works.

“Angels watch over fools and children.”

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” –Shunryo Suzuki

Card for the Day: Justice Reversed!

“No fair!” this card practically screams at us, like my eight-year-old, who called me a “meanie” this morning. All sorts of things seem unfair today. All the things that we normally have a problem with seem worse than bad — they are simply NOT FAIR. Especially after yesterday’s victory card, we feel as though we deserve to succeed and have all good things happen to us, not to be foiled at every turn (and we do, of course, deserve this). And this card, Justice reversed, just proves that what’s going on is wrong and unjust–doesn’t it?

Well, it certainly feels that way. But here is my take on this. Justice reversed is telling us that things will FEEL unfair — and we certainly are in a cranky mood about it, ready to go out and dish out unfairness in turn. Is whatever is happening to you unfair? There are really only two possible answers to that question: either your current situation IS unfair, or it ISN’T. Does it matter?

Yes, I just asked you that. Does it matter whether your current situation or issue, whatever it may be, is fair? Does it really matter? Ask yourself this question over and over. I have come to the conclusion that it truly does not matter whether life is fair. For it to matter, it would have to affect what you do next. And the answer to this question should NOT affect what you do next. When life feels unfair, the most practical and also the most spiritual approach, the approach I recommend, is to take a step back, get grounded and centered, and look at things from a wider perspective. Fair or not, this will help you. Look at the wider context. Look at the individuals (including yourself) whose actions have landed you in this situation. Consider the wider context for each person. Once you do this, if you do it with a pure and sincere heart, in an honest attempt to fully understand the big picture, your feelings of righteous indignation are likely to vanish. Like a cloud of dust, your cries of “no fair!” will dissipate in the cooling rain of compassion. You’ll see that there are two or more sides to every story, including your own. And it will never again seem as clear to you as it did before, who was right and who was wrong.

Card for the Day: Six of Wands

What a card to follow yesterday’s Ten of Pentacles! The Six of Wands literally fell out of the deck at me when I started shuffling the cards this morning. It looks like a victory parade, and might as well be. This card is supposed to indicate success and public recognition for one’s work-related or creative accomplishments. However, to me it doesn’t feel like this card is directed at us as individuals (other than to offer an absolute “believe in yourself! have faith in yourself!” affirmation). I think this card has to do with a shift in our overall, collective energy this year. Suddenly, the energy is right for success. It isn’t so much that you can expect to succeed suddenly today at work, and be carried around on people’s shoulders to the tune of “For He/She Is a Jolly Good Fellow.” It’s more that the time is right to charge ahead — success is inevitable, though it might not be today. If you have been setting goals and making plans–now is the time to follow through on them.

“Put down those spears, Joshua cried, for the battle is in our hands.” –from “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho.”

“Damn the torpedos–full speed ahead!” –Admiral David Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War.

Card for the Day: Ten of Pentacles

This card looks as though it is raining money! Family is together and happy, and the two dogs in the picture are getting lots of love and attention. This has to be a good omen, and it is. If times have been difficult, they will turn around soon — if they haven’t already — and in a way that will mean something to you. Expect good health and abundance.

That’s the traditional interpretation of this card. But I think it is saying something more to us as well. It’s telling us to expect all good things to come. Keep your thoughts positive, even under the influence of the Cancer full moon (which I have been reading will tend to make us a bit insecure). Stay positive, and keep thinking of how wonderful everything is going to be, because your thoughts, and your actions based on those thoughts, are what will bring about all this goodness, abundance, and wellness.

“All will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well.” — Lady Julian of Norwich (Christian mystic)

“Celebrate, good times, come on!” — Kool and the Gang

2 Cards Today: The Magician AND 7 of Pentacles

I meant to draw just one card, but two popped out of the deck at me: a bonanza! To me The Magician is a card about the power of thoughts and intentions to create reality. But in case we were fooled into thinking that just daydreaming about our goals would get them accomplished, along comes the 7 of Pentacles to tell us that we will be successful, but we’re going to have to invest some effort and work to make our dreams come true. If we bring both factors together: strong, clear intent plus long hours and days of hard work, we will accomplish what we set out to do.

If your goal — your clear intention — is to accomplish a multitude of New Year’s resolutions, though, beware — this card combination looks to me like singleminded focus and concentration on ONE goal, the one thing that we most long to throw our heart, mind, body and spirit into. To make that one thing happen, we have to give it all we’ve got, but we can do it. Be patient with the process, because there’s a harvest coming at the end of all that hard work.

Card for the Day: the Star, Reversed

If this card were upright, all would be well, but turn it upside down and the waters of emotion and the subconscious start flowing all over everywhere. We are a little out of touch with reality today and a bit caught up in our own neuroses. The day feels like a chore and we are turning our backs on the usual routines that might help both to bring us back to earth and to spiritually renew us on a daily basis. This will be the day when you think you’re in too much of a hurry for meditation or spending time in nature or maybe, even taking a shower!

But don’t worry. This too shall pass. The flood of discouragement and feelings of being overwhelmed will subside, and before they do, they may carry us to places we didn’t know we had it in us to go. The subconscious is rich in ideas and creativity, so why not take advantage of that today and brainstorm about whatever problems you are searching for a solution to? Perfect day for writing it all out in a journal.