Do as I say, not as I do. If YOU are feeling super tired all the time for no apparent reason, please go and see your doctor. Even a simple blood test can often turn up a reason for exhaustion. However, when I faced this situation, I chose to see what insights I could find from tarot (and, actually, my doctor knows I am tired; medical solutions are not going uninvestigated).
I set up a spread as follows: one card for each of the seven chakras, plus one to the left, for the situation, and one to the right, for advice. Originally, I tried to lay out the seven chakras in one long vertical column, but damn, that takes up a lot of space when you are using large cards. Instead, in my photo, you can see that I have chakras 1-3, then the heart, or bridge, chakra, and then chakras 5-7. The deck I used is Le Tarot des Femmes Erotiques, so if you prefer not to see nudity–then don’t look at the photo!
Here’s what I noticed, in looking at this spread for myself. The first thing that jumped out at me was that the three lowest chakras all showed images of women resting or reclining and staring off into space. (And the Four of Swords, in the root chakra position, is a card that I very much associate with resting and regrouping.) This made me feel somewhat inclined to suspect a physical need to rest–as I associate the first three chakras more with the physical body and chakras 5-7 more with spiritual concerns. In some ways, this was simple confirmation–“yes, you’re tired! Please rest.” I also noticed the Moon prominently located in my second chakra (the chakra associated with sexuality and the reproductive system), which makes me suspect that some of my current exhaustion is cyclic in nature–that it’s either connected with PMS or perimenopause, or perimenopausally-induced super PMS (I made up the phrase “perimenopausally-induced super PMS,”, but it’s apt, don’t you think?). The Wheel in my seventh chakra also ties in to such cycles, as does the Goddess (the Empress in some decks). Adding another layer of information, though, the pregnant Goddess combined with the Wheel also makes me think of work that needs birthing, and of timing, and I think the cards are telling me that it isn’t the time quite yet for everything that I think I need to be working on. Some of my work is still gestating.
The Eight of Swords in my heart chakra seems to me a reflection of my frustration with being tired. But it also seems to say that there’s a way out, here, a way that is obvious but that I haven’t yet considered. More on that in a moment.
Turning to the throat chakra–a chakra that I believe is often connected with exhaustion in women, partly because the thyroid is located there, but also because women, despite the stereotype that we talk all the time, actually do tend to bottle up the things we really want to say and not say them–and that’s exhausting. Do I do that? Um, that would be a yes. Here I see the Page of Pentacles, and in this deck, the card says “Opportunity,” as if in answer to the Eight of Swords observation that there is a way out. That way out might involve speaking up, clearing out some of the words that are massively blocking my throat–and that might mean spending the day writing rather than editing other people’s work. Though editing is more lucrative (for me), writing seems necessary to energize me. But because this is the Page, I also see study and learning as an energizing remedy–I am one of those people who becomes difficult to be around if I don’t have time in my life set aside for reading and learning new things. And for me, study is one of the things I do when new work is gestating (as noted above).
And the Abbess (or, in some decks, the Emperor), appearing in my third eye chakra and saying “Unblock Your Emotions,” seems to confirm this view. Because here is what I–and I think a lot of women–tend to do: I bottle up my emotions in my body, and then fly away in my thoughts–in other words, I totally dissociate and live in my head. Which is really not a terribly healthy practice and is a practice that tends to induce sleepiness. Where better to fly away, than in dreams? (Being able to slip into a trance or do dreamwork is a good skill–but–note to self!–it’s NOT advisable or healthy to dissociate all the time or wander about in a trance or half-asleep.)
Though writing and speaking my mind seems important, for me, in overcoming tiredness, so is actual rest. When I look at my situation and advice cards, I see the Nine of Pentacles for my situation–and in fact, I have been working hard lately and meeting my income goals, actions I associate with the Nine of Pentacles, a woman standing on her own two feet. My advice card, the Six of Swords, says “Retreat from Travail.” To me that says that I need actual rest and some time for myself. Everyone should have a weekend! Even me, I guess! Another layer to this card–and I believe that tarot can tell us multiple things in different layers that are all true–is the Rider Waite image of this card–a woman and a child leaving a situation, in a boat pushed along by a boatman. Sleep and dreams are very watery, and so the image of journeying across that water in a boat seems relevant to me. I feel as though this card is in part advising that sleep can be for purposes other than rest–than dreams may be a way of getting to where I need to go.
However, I keep going back to the Eight of Swords telling me that there is an obvious solution to my exhaustion. I decided to try one obvious solution–clearing. I have been learning energy clearing from Megan at Limitless Living for quite some time now, yet I often think of clearing for others before I think of clearing for myself. I sat down a little while ago and cleared for each of my chakras, and am feeling noticeably more awake and energetic as I write this post. Then again, as noted above, writing also energizes me. But exhaustion, in my opinion, is one of those chronic problems that often needs more than one solution–so, clearing, rest, reading, writing, dreaming, and we’ll see what else my doctor comes up with.
Do you have a practical tarot question that you’d like me to write about in this blog? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.