As often happens, I “accidentally” drew two cards instead of one for today: The Star and the Eight of Cups, reversed. Do you see the similarities between these cards? Both are night scenes, illuminated by the heavens (stars, moon). Both involve flowing water (feelings, intuition). The upside-down cups in the reversed eight of cups seems to indicate that our emotions are overflowing–out of the cups and all over the place. That can get overwhelming–and emotionally exhausting.
The Star reminds us that we need balance, one foot in the waters of emotion and one keeping us grounded on dry land. The reversed Eight of Cups points the way to how we can achieve that balance–by turning our backs on all these upsetting emotions and going into the mountains (at least metaphorically, although literal mountains are very spiritually renewing for many people and highly recommended if you can get there) to meditate and/or pray, in a solitary retreat.
It’s not easy to retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and all the demands that it makes upon us. But find a way to do so for the sake of your inner balance, so that when those everyday events come along and threaten to knock you down, you’ll be able to stay on your feet.
Nobody wants to see this card on a Monday–especially not me! We have enough life delays around here as it is. But here it is, the Eight of Wands, reversed. Our creative projects and deadlines, the stuff we’d like to be getting done as quickly as possible, are not exactly moving at top speed today. Instead, life keeps happening, throwing monkey wrenches into our plans. And in our frustration, we respond, either by rushing around like chickens with our heads cut off, getting nothing accomplished but wearing ourselves out, in an illustration of the old saying, “haste makes waste,” or, alternatively, we rush around procrastinating and getting distracted by other things because we are so anxious and apprehensive about the stuff that we aren’t getting done.
Personally I am prone to the latter.
On a day like this it is especially hard to take time to slow down and meditate or incorporate spiritual practices such as prayer into our routines, but, although those of you who this most applies to have not even made it this far down into the post, I feel I have to say that it is on a day such as this that we MOST need those practices. Take time to slow down and meditate if you can. Put the head back on your headless chicken–that can’t help but make your day go a little bit more smoothly, even if that reversed Eight of Wands energy is still lingering. You’ll be able to cope.
Sunday (or some other day of the week) should be a day of rest, whenever you can swing it, though sometimes our busy lives convince us otherwise. The Four of Swords encourages us to take time for rest and recuperation today. Recent events have worn us out emotionally and we need the rest. One issue, in particular (see the one sword that the figure in the card is ling on top of?) is on our minds.
A note about the imagery in this picture: when we see a person lying down in church, we may be inclined to think that person is dead and that we are at a funeral. Not so in this case. Though it is interesting that the person here (male or female? does it matter?) is drawn and colored almost like a statue on a gravestone monument. Still, I regard this person as still very much alive, but taking some time for quiet meditation, withdrawing from the world. See the position of his/her fingers? This is a moment for consideration of the future, planning, and being still to consider all possibilities. Further, this figure, by lying down for quiet meditation (and/or prayer), reminds us that we can meditate and pray lying down, and it’s well worth doing so, not because we are lazy but because this position (corpse pose in yoga) allows us to fall into deep relaxation, so that we can release the tensions of the past few hours, days, or weeks, and focus on meditation and stillness. If we fall asleep, that too may be beneficial. Pay attention to what you dream if today’s stillness makes you drowsy enough to fall into a REM state.
This doesn’t really feel like a day for celebration to me. I don’t feel like the Three of Cups at all — I feel more like the Hermit! Yet the Three of Cups insisted on being drawn. And here is my conclusion: even if you feel like a Hermit like me today (and if you are a writer like me, working at home, the odds are better than good that you do!), this card is a message that a loving support network of friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues is out there eager to interact with you once you get around to coming out of your cave.
If you are already an extrovert and you LIVE outside your cave, then this card probably reaffirms your whole outlook on life–it’s a good day to be social, especially if you have the day off for President’s Day. And if you don’t, you’ll find that this is a good day to work together with others on a team–ideas flow synergistically and stuff gets done, even if you are working in a committee.
For some of you, this is a day of celebration because you’ve made an important decision in your life and you’re happy about it.
This card also speaks to me about abundance. With the tiny pumpkin in the lower right hand corner, and the other plants burgeoning with produce behind the dancers, this looks like a fall card, one that should show up around Halloween or Thanksgiving. What harvest are you bringing in today? Whatever it is, this harvest has an emotional aspect to it. You’ve been waiting for this a long time.
And there’s one more aspect to this card that I can’t help pointing out–three women, celebrating, lifting their cups in what looks like a toast. I’d like to think this card is a positive sign of women stepping up to the plate to try to change the world — and then, having done so, taking time to celebrate. If that happens, then I believe we will start to see real change.
No rest for the weary? The thing about the campaign trail is that it never ends–not until Election Day. About now is when candidates and staffers are sick of each other, sick of the trail, sick of the campaign, and everyone is stuck in a rut. Welcome to campaign burnout. And you all still have to go out and fundraise and look perky. This is one job I’m very glad not to have!
It’s more than just needing a rest, though. All sorts of issues are confused and need to be clarified. Staffers are desperately trying to draft better policies–along with speeches for their candidates that will justify those policies and promises. The air needs to be cleared, and candidates need to get all sorts of stuff off their chests, but it probably won’t happen this week.
If you are involved in a campaign, take some time to rest anyway, and more than that–center yourself, get grounded, and meditate. Pray if that is part of your spiritual tradition. Go to church. Renew your spiritual side and get inspired for what is yet to come.
Another two card day — with two reversals! The symbolism in these two cards is not exactly obscure: a relationship turned upside down, possibly by a choice, with emotions running out of these cups everywhere rather than being contained or limited. The Wheel of Fortune throwing us for a loop as well. Everything feels like it is going wrong.
The thing about that wheel, though, is that it will keep turning. Everything may feel wrong today, but it won’t always be like this. Try to sit this fight out, unless the choice you face is one you just have to make and you just have to make it today, because the choices you make today will have consequences. Beware that your choice might have life-changing ramifications, or at least relationship-changing ones. If you can’t contain your emotions, at least be kind with them. Kindness won’t alter the choices you make, but it can sure make them less full of drama and easier for everyone who is involved to bear.
The Five of Swords, either upright or reversed, is one of the hardest cards in the deck for me to interpret. I plain don’t like the looks of this card. It looks like two people threw down their swords to avoid fighting with a not very honorable character. But here the card is reversed, so we have that energy blocked or turned upside down or…something. Here’s my best guess:
Maybe in the past we have tended to walk away from a particular fight–and walking away from that fight left us feeling like a victim. Maybe it’s time to stop walking away. But that doesn’t necessarily mean a fight is brewing. As Obe Wan said, “You can’t win. But there are alternatives to fighting.” Maybe this is one of those times when we walked away because we couldn’t win–but now we see another way to handle the situation. Something creative. Like, maybe speaking from the heart instead of fighting back.
On the other hand, maybe this card tells us that a situation will arise today and we’ll have a choice–fight or walk away–and not too much good will come of either option.
Either way, be alert to situations today when you might have to choose to fight or walk away. Consider your options with care and choose the most ethical alternative, if you don’t want to regret your choice later.
The Hierophant Reversed keeps coming up lately. In fact, Feb. 9 was a Hierophant Reversed day, though I pulled the card so late in the day that day that I decided not to bother posting it. And it’s easy to see why this card keeps popping up when you look at world events. Change is in the air–and that change is going to take our ordinary institutions that we have been taking for granted and turn them on their heads. This card is warning us that more changes of this sort are on their way–and that’s a good thing, most of the time. It’s not just that people are fed up and have no further patience with the status quo–though that seems to be the case!–it’s also that it’s time. Nothing stays the way it is forever. Gay marriage is a good example of this — positive change occurring because at this stage, it almost couldn’t not do so. Why? Because it’s time.
Not all the changes that are coming will be entirely positive. We are already seeing revolutions and the overthrow of repressive regimes around the world, which is both exciting and disturbing, because although the changes being brought about are probably going to be positive in the end, in the short term it’s a lot of violence. To families who have lost their loved ones, this violence is not short term–it’s permanent. But again, these changes almost couldn’t not occur. Why? Because it’s time. (Not time for families to lose their loved ones, but time for sweeping change that unfortunately also sweeps individuals up in its unstoppable momentum.)
Expect to see more of this card in the coming months. In the meantime, on an individual level, we may find that this is a day when everything bubbles up inside us and has to come out. Today, we can’t help but speak our minds, even when doing so is an act of defiance or outright rebellion. We are determined to do things our own way, questioning authority and challenging the status quo. It’s not a good day to be an emperor, particularly a naked one, because this is one of those days when we won’t just look the other way–we will do something about it.
Maybe it’s just my sleep deprivation speaking, but this day sounds like something out of a Maurice Sendak poem. Institutions upside-down, alligators all around! (No, I don’t actually see an alligator on the card. Sorry.)
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
–Robert Frost, “The Road Not Taken”
Again, two cards jumped out of the deck at me today: the Two of Swords and the Seven of Wands. To me, this combination says that we find ourselves making a difficult choice today, and I am proud of us, because I see us choosing the difficult path that involves struggle and hard work, not the easy path (if there ever is an easy path). The woman on the Two of Swords card is blindfolded and can’t necessarily see which choice will be easier, but she senses it, and either way, she knows — we usually do know — which path is the more ethical one.
That choice, once made, leaps us straight into the Seven of Wands scenario, where we find ourselves standing up and fighting for what we believe in. It’s a struggle, but look at the card — this isn’t a struggle that will defeat us. It’s a fight we can win if we are willing to put some effort into it. And we are.