Sometimes we just don’t know when to stop, and today is one of those times. Do you ever find that when you are working on a project that involves multiple steps, sometimes you do one of the steps exceptionally well, taking extra care with it, because of anxiety over moving on to the next step? That is what I see happening today. Procrastination, but procrastination that occurs in the midst of working very hard (Ten of Wands), because we may be feeling anxious about what comes next. So we respond to that anxiety by trying to be over-prepared. Frankly, overpreparing is not a bad strategy for dealing with anxiety, so I won’t tell you not to do this or to let go of it. But look at your own circumstances. Are you overpreparing? Are you ready to let go? Are you being honest with yourself about the anxiety you may be experiencing as you look ahead? Also, the Nine of Wands card often looks to me like a cage. Are you really overpreparing, or are you caging yourself in to prevent yourself from moving forward into what feels like a risk? Take some time to reflect on what you are really doing and why you are doing it. Is it overkill, at this point?
“I was told there would be no math.” But today’s cards are full of numbers…two fours (Four of Cups, reversed Four of Swords), which make eight, but also, if you look at the cards side by side, you can see that each card depicts a three and a one. Three worries that prevent us from reaching out and seizing our dream (Four of Cups) and three issues that potentially threaten our survival (doesn’t the individual lying in repose on the Four of Swords card look as though he/she is about to be impaled on the three swords on the wall, when the card is turned over?), while one issue alone consumes our attention. What is going on here?
Stress, preoccupation, and a sense of being more in our minds than in our bodies today. There is a lot on our minds. Try to ground and center, but it’s not going to be easy, with everything on that long to do list and with all the problems that are awaiting resolution.
More math…you could read one upright four and one reversed four as being four minus four, which makes zero. Much as we want to get things done today, there’s a risk we may not manage to progress at all. But I think there’s a way to avoid that outcome: with a strong will, we may manage to be organized and productive. What’s called for is to form an intention. Reach out with a hand and grab that floating cup. or seize one sword and stride out into the world with it. That’s all it takes. Though the energy for nothing to happen today is here, its equal and opposite energy, the energy that we need to walk out into the world and make a difference, is here as well. Is your day going to be one of reflection or action? Make your choice, and then let it be so.
Our Cups are back, but this time they are right-side-up (Two of Cups). We aren’t overwhelmed by the intensity of these feelings any more — we’ve, at least for the most part, let go of the fear and anxiety that was connected with them (The Moon, reversed). And now it’s possible to form a connection that feels safe and secure…and happy. A good day to renew your strong appreciation for the people you love — and a good day to take your courage in your hands and express feelings of love and appreciation for someone with whom you may normally remain much more reserved. If you have held back from committing to the person you love out of fear, today’s a good day to finally speak your heart. Good luck!
A week ago I started testing a new spread I’ve designed for asking whether a particular politician will be prone to keeping his or her promises, or to forsaking them. Here’s a link to the post I wrote about President Barack Obama, in case you missed it. This time, I’m going to try out my political cheating spread on Mitt Romney.
Here’s how the political cheating spread works. Lay out four cards, with three laid in a row across the top, and the fourth card on the bottom. The significance of the card placement is as follows:
1. motivation: what is this politician’s reason for making promises?
2. backbone: what is the basis for this politician’s staying power?
3. temptation: what would cause this politician to stray?
4. bottom line: what is this politician’s overall level of true commitment to his or her promises?
Please try this spread yourself at home, either with the politicians I am reading about, or others (maybe your local candidates?) and let me know your results in the comments section. But for now, let’s turn to Mitt Romney. Here are my cards:
1. motivation: reversed Ten of Wands. What a coincidence! That’s the same card I pulled for Obama in this position (though for Obama I also drew the Five of Wands, which jumped out of the deck at me along with the Wands). Like Obama, Romney has a lot of ideas to carry around, and he expects to need each and every one of them. For both politicians, each idea committed to represents a responsibility to someone or to some group. Each promise made weighs these politicians down more and more — by the end of a campaign, they must feel as though their backs are about to break. But though I drew the same card for both, I don’t think Romney views the campaign as the fight that Obama sees it as. I think Romney may honestly think that he can work hard and succeed, and that his success in this campaign will be directly related to how hard he works. He’s forgotten that each campaign has more than one candidate in it. Do you see how the figure on the Ten of Wands is looking at the ground? Romney is focused on his own ideas and his own path, and isn’t thinking about how his path will intersect with that of his opponent. Obama has never forgotten that their paths will meet from time to time.
So what does any of this say about Romney’s attitude toward his promises? Making promises is part of the work of campaigning, that’s all. That’s why he makes promises. For him it’s just part of working hard and getting ahead.
For either politician, I would have liked to see a little more heart commitment to their promises, but I didn’t. Oh well.
2. backbone: Queen of Pentacles. Again with the money and resources (do you see the large coin in the Queen’s lap?) — you just can’t run a campaign without them. This makes me sad, but the truth is that you probably won’t find a politician whose commitment to his promises is rooted in moral fiber. What I see here, for Romney and for other politicians, is that much of his strength and staying power comes from his sponsors. However, there is one particular source of support that means more than the others: his wife. And there’s the heart commitment I was looking for. If she supports the ideas that Romney has committed to, she will help him to hold steady and maintain the course. If he views betraying his campaign promises as potentially disappointing her, and I suspect he probably does, then he’ll be motivated to hold firm. His marriage has the ability to turn Romney into a romantic idealist — something he is far from being in the other aspects of his life.
3. temptation: Knight of Pentacles. Money is the root of much temptation in life, and it’s Romney’s Achilles’ heel. He’s not an adventurous person, and he doesn’t like risks. He believes in attention to detail, and money is a major detail. Romney believes that you have to be practical, and if your ideas do not have financial support, then you’re wasting your time with them. If the money for his ideas disappears, his commitment to those ideas will waver. This is a candidate who needs to know that he’s got all his ducks in a row (or all his seeds planted, to use the image on the Knight of Pentacles card — do you see the furrows in the field just beyond the Knight?).
4. bottom line: Nine of Wands. Romney plans to stick with his ideas to the end, and he’s a man who, when he has planned to do something, he does it. He doesn’t want to have to defend his ideas and he’s not the world’s greatest fighter. But he’s got some tenacity and endurance. He can persevere. If he has to take that last idea (the wand held in the Nine of Wands figure’s hands) and crawl over the finish line with it, he will still get it there. And what happens once he crosses the finish line? What happens then, as far as Romney is concerned, is what he planned to have happen. But — I wonder if he has considered what his course of action will be if something unexpected occurs? I don’t see this man as being someone who has a lot of imagination. I don’t see him envisioning having to get creative to make his plans a reality. He believes you just keep going and keep putting one foot in front of the other. And that’s not an ineffective way to proceed — it certainly has gotten him this far. But just what will he do if something unusual happens? How will he adapt? I wonder.
I don’t see, in Romney, the same intellectual arrogance that I see in Obama, but I also don’t see the ability to creatively adapt to changing circumstances that Obama has in spades. I don’t see much vision in someone who simply keeps working and looking straight at the road just under his feet. You have to look ahead, up the road, for that. Obama is looking up the road; Romney isn’t. Obama has looked around and scoped out the situation, and probably knows when he’s being used as a tool (nobody could come out of Chicago politics and not know that). The thought that maybe he’s being used as a tool by strategic interests is an idea that I don’t think has entered Mitt Romney’s head yet (or if it has, he hasn’t yet realized how big a deal it is, because so far it isn’t a fact that has interfered with his own plans). I think he earnestly believes he got into the position he’s in by working hard (which is probably partially but definitely not entirely true).
So on the one hand we have a scrappy fighter who knows the lay of the land and will shift around as needed to ensure his own political survival (Obama) and who also thinks he knows better than most people what is in the country’s best interest, anyway. And though Obama’s arrogance is a dangerous thing, at the same time, like many of our most deeply held beliefs, it’s rooted in something real, which is that he’s smart, well-educated, and cynical enough and creative enough to adapt to changing political realities. The question for me, when it comes to Obama, is: will he know when to drop the political posturing and adapting and simply commit his heart and soul to something important?
On the other hand, in Romney, we have a plodding planner with strong special interests behind him, yet who will if nothing else stick to his plans and his goals (even if something happens that causes them to become irrelevant). Who is more likely to keep his promises? Romney, without a doubt. In sticking to his policies so doggedly, though, will Romney risk giving up power to those who have their heads up and are looking around and feeling out the lay of the land? Will he end up being only a tool? This is the danger that Romney’s supporters should seriously consider — because it would be like having no President at all.
This whole exercise brings out another point: how much do we truly want our politicians to stick to their promises? I wasn’t happy when Obama broke his, but I can understand, if not forgive him, when I look more carefully at the underlying situation. What do the rest of you think? Please feel free to raise these questions and any others that you’d like to bring up, in the comments section below.
Finally some relief after the unrelenting Cups of the last week! Emotional floods are necessary at times but they can be so intense that they steal all your focus. Now, though, we’re emotionally ready for creative progress again, full of confidence for whatever projects are on our lists (Ace of Wands). It almost seems as though a sense of readiness, calm and balance has arrived out of thin air. But the way ahead isn’t totally clear yet (reversed Three of Wands). That’s okay — as we get closer, we’ll find a way to turn that Three of Wands right-side-up again, and then we’ll be able to see where we are going so we can steer.
It’s still a very emotional time (Ace of Cups reversed), although the flood of emotions and intuition from the last few days is abating somewhat. It’s not so overwhelming as it was before. Fortunately, the flood has brought us inspirational dreams and visions, motivating some of us to start a new journey (The Fool). Unlike some journeys we have undertaken in our lives, this one feels very intense, but it is a good change, so allow yourself to be happy about it. Don’t worry about how it will all come to pass. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and all journeys begin at some point with essentially nothing (which is basically all the Fool has to work with — nothing). Allow today’s “new beginning” energy to refresh you and carry you along — this may prove to be a very exhilarating time.
The emotional intensity of the last few days is almost played out, at least for now (Nine of Cups, reversed). Those cups full of feelings are almost dry — if you have reacted to this emotional/intuitive flood by crying a lot, you may find that you are now just about cried out. The flood begins to ebb and calm and balance begin to return.
That means that now, finally, you may have it in you to bring your heartfelt feelings and dreams, as well as your spiritual aspirations, into your daily life. You are coming down to earth, so to speak. Apply what you have learned from the last few days in a calm and grounded way, taking the time to organize and plan (The Hierophant). The Hierophant is a major arcana card and today is a day when the energy in the Universe should be with you as you structure your own personal institutions (your family life, your home, your business, your activities). As the emotional flood abates, you will be able to better focus on these things. Think about what kind of organizational structure and material support would be needed to make your most heartfelt dreams and aspirations a reality. Set goals and plan how you will achieve them.
What’s wrong with the Page of Cups? He (or she) was hoping for a drink, but there’s a talking fish in the cup. Yesterday’s emotional flood has continued, and it is really starting to get to us. And the truth is, it’s more than just an emotional flood — for some people, it’s a psychic flood, with intuition pouring in. Frankly, it’s rather startling — enough to turn anyone upside-down!
What does this kind of thing, whether it’s emotions or intuition affecting you, do to your confidence and ability to charge forward (Knight of Wands)? Well, for one thing, it is likely to cause not only disruption of your Knights, but of your nights — confusing dreams may result, or sleep disorders. When nights are disrupted, so are days. Work deadlines get harder to meet, and keeping up with personal commitments is equally difficult.
In an emotional or intuitive roller coaster ride, it doesn’t help to react by trying to seize control. You’re upside down, for goodness’ sake. Before you can try to get control of the situation, you’ve got to get your feet on the ground. Try the best grounding strategies that you know: breathing, meditation, fresh air/spending time in nature, mind/body/spirit types of exercise, aromatherapy (oils that come from trees tend to be very grounding). You won’t feel that you have time for this. But if you don’t take time to ground, you will end up continuing to spin your wheels as you tumble head over heels in space. First step: feet on the ground. After than you can think about moving forward.
Some readers view the reversed Queen of Cups as a sign of being an emotional wreck or codependent, but I disagree, though I do see a flood of emotional energy (the water in the picture) that may threaten to overwhelm us at times. I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion, though, that we are overwhelmed — that depends on how we react to this energy. Do we let it flow through us and work with it? Do we resist and fight back? Or do we let it control us?
Look at it this way: there is a reason why cities build storm water drainage into sewage systems. Water that is allowed to flow, drain, and be released is not likely to do a lot of damage. If that same water were to be trapped with nowhere to drain, it could cause immense damage. Our emotions are like this as well. Even intense emotions need not traumatize us if we let them flow and then release them. Water, and emotions, that are allowed to flow, not only will not cause damage, but may bring blessings — without water, the land becomes dry and dusty and few things can live there. Don’t fight your feelings so hard that you turn your inner landscape into an emotional wasteland. Instead, allow yourself to soak up these feelings and be healed by them. You’ll be all right, as long as you have adequate drainage. (Can you tell I have gardening on my mind today?)
However, a flood of emotions will tend to wear our patience (Strength) thin. We need that patience today, especially with ourselves. Take things slow and go one step at a time.