We’re just over half way through February and I’m starting to see a pattern emerge in my daily draws. So far a third of my draws have been made up of three cards, Death, the Three of Swords and The Hierophant. To be exact it has gone Death, the Three of Swords, Death, The Hierophant, the Three of Swords and The Hierophant. Whenever instances like this take place I take note, for they usually have a strong meaning behind them.
Since the last time I posted a few things have changed in my life. February the 3rds daily draw of Death was definitely fitting. I was going through a transition in the workplace, from acting manager of a store that was potentially closing down, to manager of a store which was now staying open. I had to make a decision as to whether this was where I wanted to be and allow all the past thoughts and fears to wash away. In a way, like the Phoenix on the card, who is death, rebirth and life encapsulated in one image, I was going through a rebirth. I needed to cleanse myself of the negative thoughts and feelings towards my job during that unstable period, so as to begin afresh under this new ownership.
Then came the Three of Swords on Feburary 7. Whenever this card comes to me I have a whole body reaction to it, it’s one of the only cards that does that to me. I think that subconsciously there is still a lingering link to my most recent heartbreak. I am so much better now than I was 6 or so months ago, but to be completely truthful I am not fully healed. The Swords have been removed, but the scars are definitely still there. When this card first came to me I wasn’t 100% sure whether it was to do with that past situation or to do with my present. For recently a new person has entered my life, a person whom I really enjoy spending time with and who makes me feel happy inside. It wasn’t until the next day when I drew the Two of Swords, the card of conflict between heart and mind, that I began to think of the Three’s potential meaning. To be honest with myself previous to this draw I felt like I was split in two, half of me really wanted to pursue this budding relationship, to throw myself in completely, but the other half, the logical half, kept bringing up the fact that I had been planning on leaving the country in August (if not for good then for a long period of time). I was and have since been stuck in this conflict between what I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. And I fear that heartbreak may ensue, I’m just not sure whose heart it is that the Swan represents.
So first and foremost, on Monday I recieved the news that my store will in fact continue to trade with the new ownership. The Fool’s message of trust and faith in the universe came through for me. As soon as I received the news I was of course elated and felt a great weight fall from my shoulders, but with further thought I’ve begun to question whether I actually do feel happy and rewarded or whether I feel like I am simply plodding along, like the lovely SJ brought up in my Seven of Pentacles post. I feel like this may require a reading in the future but at this moment in time I’ve decided to create a free flow reading from the 6 daily draw cards I have drawn so far this week. I’ve never done anything like this, so bare with me, as it is a learning process more than anything else :).
Starting with Monday’s card, the Page of Swords, we see a young girl allowing herself to be lifted and carried away so as to have some time to think clearly. The Page of Swords can represent a messenger bringing us challenges, and often it is these challenges that stimulate personal growth. To me this is representative of receiving the news that we would continue to trade. In the Shadowscapes representation the Page cradles a Cygnet in her lap which I see as representative of how this dilemma or quandary may affect the smaller things in our life. Another aspect of this representation I like is the use of black and white, symbolic of her ability to look at the balance of black and white around her without condemnation. I need this right now, for truly neither side is positive or negative, but rather holding both posibilities within themselves.
Linking this to both Tuesday’s card The Hermit, and Thursday’s card The Hanged Man, I am feeling a strong pull towards the need to spend some real time thinking about what I want out of this life! My job is not overly stimulating, and a lot of the time I feel mentally weakened purely from a lack of said stimulation! The Hermitis all about being alone and discovering truths about yourself. And coming after the Page it suggests a need to remove myself even further from distractions, for as we see on the card he has climbed even higher than the Page, above the flight of the birds themselves.
The fact however that these two cards fall either side of the Queen of Cups makes me feel that this personal development will both lead to and out of a connection to my true well of emotion and what it is I really want. I have always been drawn to the Queen of Cups, seeing her as the person I wish to become. I am deeply emotional, but can often allow these emotions to overpower me unlike the Queen of Cups who has full control over the waves of emotion!
So maybe this is saying that as a result of this introspection I will find a deeper connection to my wellspring which will in turn lead to The Hanged Man’sacceptance and willing surrender. For what does The Hanged Man represent but an end to the constant struggles we impose upon ourselves. He urges us to let go of our control, and what we think we need, to in turn reverse our view of our situation and hopefully come out with the realisation of where we then have to go.
Following on from this personal reversal we find Friday’s draw, the Page of Wands. I see the Page of Wands as someone who has just discovered/rediscovered their sense of Self, what fuels their Passion, or something Inspiring. The place in the spread to me suggests the re-discovering aspect of this Page, but it could also mean that out of The Hanged Man I may discover something new. She urges us to be Creative, Enthusiastic, Confident and Courageous, all things which I wish to be more prominent and know I am, but are just currently lying dormant.
Then finally we have today’s card, the Six of Pentacles, the card of flowing material energy. This was the hardest card for me to interpret in this constructed spread. I don’t know who I feel more connected to, the Plant receiving the energy or the Piper releasing it. I feel like I put so much of my energy into this job and all I receive back is a monetary reward. My soul receives very little nourishment! But if we look at the card more closely we see that the balance between the two is more delicate than otherwise assumed. For while the Piper releases his energy in the form of the flow of Pentacles feeding the Plant, the Plant is in turn adding buttress to the wall on which he sits. I see this as symbolic of the cycle of dependency between those who have and those who don’t and that by helping out someone less fortunate we may in fact allow them the opportunity to do so for someone else in the future. An interconnected cycle of energy :). But how does this link to my situation? If I look at it as flowing on from the previous 5 cards then maybe it is telling me that through this journey I will receive knowledge of where I wish to be and then with that self knowledge I will in turn be able to feed back into the universe and help others who wish to grow and expand as well.
I think it is clear from this that I need some time alone to think over where I am and where I want to be, and that hopefully by doing so I will get back in touch with my true inner self and discover what it is that makes me happy and feeds my soul! I really enjoyed trying to find a thread through these daily draws, and might even do them more often. I hope you also enjoyed this experiment 🙂
Ah Ms Shadowscapes, you always find a way to strengthen my belief in you, you cheeky thing. Before you begin to read this post, I would suggest that you read yesterday’s post for some background information! Ok, done? Good, we may begin :). So after yesterday’s rather appropriate visitation by the Seven of Pentacles I woke up this morning wondering what else I needed to learn or be informed of before I receive tomorrow’s news. So as I was shuffling the cards I kept the situation in my mind, rolling it around and allowing my thoughts to blend with my shuffle. Then I drew and what came up, well you wouldn’t believe it but it was The Fool. The Shadowscapes’ representation of The Fool has got to be one of my favourite cards in the deck, its energies completely jump out from the card with so much power, enthusiasm and vitality, it’s truly beautiful.
The Fool is the first card in the deck, given the number Zero. Zero in fact, is not strictly a number, but represents the absence of a number and hence holds all numbers within itself. In this, we see it as representative of infinite possibilities. It also represents that there is no difference between possibility and reality. If all possibilities are open to you and like The Fool, you are open to all of them with a total emptiness of hopes and fears, then your reality is whatever you wish it to be. If you look at 0 closely, it resembles an egg, that from which life emerges! Everything is open to a being who is willing to go in any direction, who is completely free with a total openness to life. This is what The Fool represents.
As card Zero The Fool lies at the beginning of the Major Arcana, but also somewhat apart from it. Along with unlimited potential this card also stands for the fact that in any moment anything goes, she brings to mind the spontaneity inherent in every moment. She represents the fact that by living in the moment, with nothing expected and nothing planned, you will begin to feel uninhibited and carefree. In this she symbolises a complete faith that the universe is worthy of trust, that it is ok to let go of your fears, for if you trust in the flow of life then you will be protected and loved. This brings us to another aspect of The Fool, that of new beginnings or a change in direction. She will often come up when the querent is about to enter a new phase of their life, starting something new, or going on an adventure.
Above in the Shadowscapes representation we see a young woman who has travelled far, called to this high pinnacle by a unknown voice, standing tippy toed in a posture of complete openness and faith. What I like about this image is that unlike the RWS image below, she carries no belongings with her. Rather she stands completely open and free, ready to set out on this new beginning. She is dressed in a loose wrap of white cloth, a symbol of purity of being, and if you look at both the flow of the dress and the light around her it looks like the outline of a bird in flight :). All that holds her up from the iminent fall are the doves who have wrapped her in red ribbons of faith and folly, red being the colour of passion and the senses. Doves in and of themselves are a symbol of faith, and here represent her belief and trust in the world. Her faith will hold her up and her passion will keep her going!
Late last night I received an email from HR with regards to the takeover of the company I work for. As you know, the last month or so has been quite stressful as a result of this takeover and the potential of my store no longer being in business. In the email it said that all transferring employees would recieve a new contract by email on Monday the 25th and that any staff not transferring to the new entity due to a closure would be told personally on Monday. Freaking frightening right?! So now the state of limbo has been intensified over the first full weekend off I’ve had in a long time. Not fair I say! But I guess at least now I know the date on which I find out my fate. Anyways, as I was shuffling my cards this morning obviously this was playing on my mind, and when I turned over the card for today I was both shocked and pleasantly surprised, for it was the Seven of Pentacles.
To me the Seven of Pentacles represents a time where we are appraising the results of our efforts. It’s a time-out card where, after a rush of activity, we have time to sit back and assess the fruits of our labours, quite often also suggesting a reward coming our way! So assessment is a key to this card. When we are busy, working hard towards a goal, we can sometimes get so caught up that we actually forget why and what we are working towards. The Seven may appear when it is required for us to stop and ask “am I still on track?” “Is this what I really want?” In this the Seven also represents being at a crossroads, for it is so very easy to continue with our routines, even if they are not overly fulfilling. The Seven may appear when it is time to consider a direction change, it may be asking us to start questioning our choices and ponder the alternatives.
To the left we see the RWS representation of the Seven of Pentacles. Here we see a young man resting on his hoe, appraising the results of his harvest. His work has resulted in lush greenery and the Pentacles are blossoming :). He has put in the effort required and is about to recieve reward for his hard work. He stands back, appraising his efforts and admiring his handiwork. That satisfying feeling that comes with success. But if you look closely, that look of appraisal could be construed as a realisation that what he worked so hard for is in fact not what he wanted. If this is the case then the Seven suggests a direction change, presenting the fact that you are never committed to a certain path and change is always possible.
So far this month I have drawn a card each day, 21 cards as of yet, and I am starting to see a pattern emerging. For the first two weeks or so I was pulling a lot of Pentacles. The King of Pentacles and Queen of Pentacles actually came up four days in a row, going King, Queen, Queen, King. I found this quite intriguing because I have been feeling a real lack of connection with my surroundings, maybe they were trying to tell me to get back in touch. The plethora of pentacles ended however and since I have been pulling Major after Major. Ten Majors in total with two repeats, The High Priestess and Judgement. Today in fact my card for the day was Judgement, which I feel to be quite apropos this being my first card post in a while.
Judgement is an interesting card, with themes that maybe seem on the surface to be in juxtaposition. The name itself has quite negative connotations, for when do we ever really feel that being judged is anything but negative. Whether this stems from the fear instilled in us at Sunday School that the ‘Day of Judgement’ will come and only the ‘saintly few’ will be brought up to heaven, or maybe as a result of bullying at school, a feeling of judging eyes always upon us, most of us link the word judgement to a negative feeling. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and in fact the card Judgement is quite a positive one.
Judgement is the second to last card in the Major Arcana, and if you split the cards into three lines of seven it is situated in the third line representative of the release of archetypal energies and development of spiritual awareness. First we break free from The Devil’s chains, from our attachment to the physical world and belief that nothing exists beyond personal desires. Next we come upon The Tower and experience a shattering of illusions, one which alters our perceptions of materialism and releases our repressed energies. Then we journey through the three forms of light and experience beginning with the inner revelation of The Star, through the mysterious unconscious energy of The Moon and finally into the conscious warmth of The Sun. Once we have had our experience with The Sun we realise that we are in fact part of the whole, come out reborn and find a sense of our inner and outer having merged with Judgement. Feeling reborn, finding absolution, making a judgement on our past life, and hearing and heeding a call. These are all represented by Judgement.
In the RWS depiction to the left we see an angel, usually said to be the archangel Gabriel, blowing a trumpet and awakening the dead below, ready to send those worthy up to heaven. Here we have, in my option, the most symbolically ‘Christian’ card in the whole deck, easily linked to the ‘Day of Judgement’. Now of course when we conciously link it to that, negative connotations are plentiful, but when you actually look at the card, no one looks fearful, in fact they look joyous, arms stretched open towards the angel in the sky! This to me links the trumpet blow not to an apocalyptic end of the world, but to a spiritual awakening, a change in conciousness. Which in fact is an important aspect of this card.
Woah!!! First of all sorry to my readers for the long, long absence. Looking back at all the other times I’ve felt neglectful towards this blog for not having written for a few days now seems silly in comparison. Suffice to say the last 40 or so days have been a roller coaster of emotions and physical exhaustion. The Fates threw some pretty hefty boulders my way that I have striven my best to deal with, but I’m now finally starting to feel as if I am coming out alright. The Tower and The Wheel have definitely made their presence known :P.
To fill you in, work has been so very stressful! There was a change made to the structure of the company I work for and during this time I was promoted to manager. While this is seemingly a good thing, giving me much more control and responsibility, it unfortunately came at a time where the livelihoods of all those who depend upon there jobs are in the balance, again due to the restructure. On top of that various problems have occurred in the workplace which have added fuel to the fire. So work has really just been a hive of stress and discombobulation. To add to that, I had quite the frightening health scare, which was utterly consuming my mindscape for a few weeks, and coupled with the stress from work literally took over my free time. Which is why you haven’t heard from me for awhile 😦
When all of this started to pile up, I simply stopped thinking about my cards for the rest of December, but it was for the best because it gave me time to rest, recuperate and ponder. On January 1st I said to myself that I would draw a card every single day without exception, which I have done, and it has been great to just have them there in the back of my mind each day! We are still yet to find out whether we will continue on in our jobs, so there is still stress there, but after a few tests it was confirmed that the scare was a false alarm so at least that’s cleared away :). And I’m finally starting to feel the urge to write again, so each free moment I have from now on is going to be put to good use rekindling this hobby of mine, and expanding my knowledge of the Tarot through card posts and a few readings when I can.
And look, my hair is growing quite well 🙂 :). Going to be down to my bum in no time :P.
How have you all been? I hope life has been better for you over the holiday season 🙂
So as it turns out The Hanged Man’s message (seen in my last post) was much harder to take in than I expected! As those of you who have been reading my blog since it’s birth would know, 2015 has been a tumultuous year for me. But while there has been a lot of pain this year, it has also been a year of self-discovery and a deep questioning of what it actually IS that drives me! While this was spurred on by a negative emotional event, which to be honest has pretty much bled into most of my year, it has in turn helped me develop more positive and helpful ways of looking at pain and ‘negative’ emotions. But like most things, this is a stage of development that is going to require a lot of effort, and a lot of time! And during this stage there are of course going to be ups and downs, which I understand, but the fact that I have little control over this is starting to get to me! A month or so ago I was finally starting to feel like I was on the right track, and beginning to open myself up to the world again! To let my vulnerability see the light of day and venture out of the cage of safety I had created for myself since May’s events. But I never imagined it would be this difficult! It’s such an odd experience to feel like you aren’t the person you used to be, I find myself questioning every little thing I do, which is incredibly draining, and I no longer feel comfortable when in new or unfamiliar situations. I’ve tried to put myself out there lately, to meet new people, and get out of my comfort zone, but in these situations I find myself questioning every little thing I’m saying and wondering if the person sitting opposite me is even interested. And I am trying my best to listen to The Hanged Man and his message of letting go, I really am, but I think I’m scared that if I let go of the semblance of control I feel I have, I will be completely lost. And that thought frightens me! So after spending some time with The Hanged Man, I decided that it was time to pull another card of the day to see if the Shadowscapes had anything to help me through this process, and up came the Six of Swords.
The Six of Swords represents a state of despondency, those times when you feel like you are only just keeping your head out of the water, your not incredibly sad, but your not happy either. It’s a dull, listless feeling. But it’s not all bad, it shows that there is a way out! Quite often this card represents the beginning of a new phase after a time of upheaval, a journey away from a stage of unhappiness to a better place. It can represent a change in your frame of mind, or an actual physical journey away from a negative situation. And on top of that, there is help on this journey, you don’t have to do it alone!
Here in the RWS image we see a cloaked figure and a child, huddled together, being ferried off to an island in the distance. The figure is cloaked, which to me represents loss and sadness, that all too familiar feeling that occurs when you are leaving something behind in your past! Another important image that solidifies this is that the water to the right of the boat is rough and choppy, whereas the water to the left, towards the island and hence the direction they are going, is smooth and calm. This shows that the woman and the child are moving away from turmoil and conflict towards a calm and tranquil future. And this I think is the key to this card. Although we may be sad by our loss or predicament, as we move away from the past and its turmoil there is a sense of moving into a brighter future.
And then there is the ferryman, representative of the help that we may find along the way, and also importantly the 6 upright swords in the boat, representative of the importance of a logical frame of mind in these situations. Another way I like to look a these Swords is in the fact that they are not sinking the boat, nor weighing it down! In this respect it is important to realise that on this journey we may carry our past with us, but it will not weigh us down or sink us! Also I feel that the fact that they are coming with the woman and child on this journey shows that they represent something that the two figures have been dealing with for a long time, something that may no longer be painful but that stays with us throughout our life.
I’ve been in a weird place over the last week or so, getting stuck in overthinking and worry. It’s funny, because nothing overly bad has happened, in fact there have been some really positive things that have occurred! But these positive possibilities have also been laced with downfalls, which I think is the main reason why I’ve been a bit stuck! The day before last I drew Strength, which is the card that the Tarot keeps sending me when I’m feeling at a loss. Ever since it came up as my major tool for this coming birth year in my New Years Spread, it has popped up as a reminder every time I’m feeling a bit weak! And then yesterday I drew The Sun, as if the Tarot was trying to tell me not to worry, all will be ok! But I was still feeling frazzled, stuck in this cycle of thought centred on a situation I really have little control over! So today while drawing a card I decided to ask the deck outright what I need to do to get out of this energy, and what was her suggestion, The Hanged Man of course :P.
Could I have been sent a more suitable card? I don’t think so! The Hanged Man is all about letting go, and not in a forced way, but as a surrender or acceptance. It asks us to give up our hold on control, to surrender to our experiences, to be open and vulnerable and to end the constant stuggle that for so many of us is self-imposed! And I think it is this that is most important for me to take away from today’s card! Life is already hard enough, without imposing any other hardships upon ourselves! The Hanged Man also tells us that sometimes, in order to really see a situation for what it is/has to offer, we may need to suspend action, pause for a moment to reflect, and take the time to just simply be present. And if this doesn’t work then we might just need to take a real leaf out of this man’s book and reverse our view of the world.
Today’s card is one that I have always been interested in, I don’t think I can say why exactly, but in every deck it always stands out, as if it is calling to me. Lots of people are drawn to the Death card in a deck, or sometimes it’s The Devil or The Lover’s that make or break a deck for someone, but for me it’s The High Priestess who keeps calling out to me, taunting me with the secrets she holds. I see her as representative of why I wish to use Tarot, to learn more about life’s mysteries and to look beyond the obvious surface of the situations I find myself in, to what is hiding beneath.
The High Priestess is card number 2 in the Major Arcana and stands for mystery, potential, pyscic awareness and all things unconscious. She comes to tell us to look deeper, both within ourselves and in the world around us, to see what could be, to seek what is concealed or hidden, and to open ourselves to our own intuition. By doing so we can begin to trust our inner voice and in turn become aware of a larger reality!
In the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot we see a mysterious dark haired woman sitting before a veil, in between two stone pillars representative of ‘Boaz’ and ‘Jakin’, the two pillars in the Hebrew temple in Jerusalem. The dark pillar here represents passivity and mystery, while the white represents conciousness and action. And she sits between them both. What I see as important however is that the letters inscribed upon the pillars are of there opposite colour, showing that within two extremes there is always an aspect of its opposite, that duality is in fact an illusion and the world is made up of a spectrum, not a one or the other dynamic. This is what The High Priestess promises, knowledge of the true nature of all things.
As in the RWS representation she most often sits before a veil, which represents the thin layer of consciousness that seperates us from our inner awareness. It is often thought that we are not allowed behind this veil until we have been initiated, for what we will find will be to unrational for us to understand, but I feel it is there to show us that there truly is little that holds us back from inner awareness. And what is behind the veil, not a dark and mysterious temple, nor symbols of magical power. It is a lake and hills, a body of water representative of our unconscious and the truths hidden within. And it is important to note that this body of water is still and calm, for that is the only way to come to terms with our inner reality, we must become calm, passive and receptive!
This brings us to the fact that The High Priestess is often seen as the ying to The Magician’s yang, where he is representative of the active principle, and she the passive. And more often than not activity is seen as a positive masculine trait and passivity is seen as a negative or weak feminine trait! I want to break this ill-conceived and outdated belief. For without passivity, we would never have the time to sit and think about what we have learnt from our actions. Passivity gives the mind a chance to think and in turn to learn from what we have experienced. And more importantly passivity allows the unconscious to come to the forefront, to emerge from beneath all that constant action and movement that we all too often burden our lives with. For if we are active, we never have to truly think about what it is we are doing, and question the motives behind our actions. I feel that this is a real problem with our society today, we build success upon outer involvement in the world, upon what it is we do, and how ‘important’, we are. And this creates a fear of the unconscious, a fear of our inner truth. And what’s worse is that this has grown to be such a persistent trait within our society that in a way has become unconscious. We need to conciously break this pattern, to in turn come to term with our true inner awareness.
Today I drew the final King to complete my collection. First came the King of Swords, with his analytical and objective mindset, shortly followed by the calm self-assurance of the King of Cups, then they were joined by the hardworking and conscientious King of Pentacles and last but not least, the King of Wandsmade his grand entrance. In a monarchy, the King is the supreme ruler of his society who is responsible for maintaining the welfare and happiness of the inhabitants of his kingdom. Because of this, Kings represent success, expressed by their position, power and social responsibility. And in the Tarot they represent an outward mastery of their suit.
The King of Wands, being of the suit linked to fire, represents a strong minded individual, who is both creative in his approach to life, and inspiring in his relation to others. He belives in himself above all else, knowing that his methods are best, and it is this firm belief in himself that grants him such power. He is an incredibly charismatic person, inspiring others to follow his lead, and like a magnet, attracting people to him with no effort on his part. He has a deep respect for others and knows how to bring the best out of them, empowering them to succeed in whatever they pursue. He is forceful when pursuing his own goals, never balking at a challenge or risky endeavour, with such a commanding presence, naturally taking centre stage wherever he goes, and carries his authority with a natural grace and a bold and daring strength.