Tarot for the week ahead, 11.7.21

Cards from the Dark Wood Tarot

There’s some really interesting emotional weather coming up these last couple of weeks. Cancer season doing what it does best!

This week we have care of our physical selves at the centre of the message. The Queen of Pentacles embodies manifestation, pleasure, the full use of our senses: she knows the importance of taking care of the self in order to fully appreciate the sensory experiences the world offers us.

The flanking cards, however, come with a warning and a lesson. Remember the Four of Vessels last week, with the balancing elephant? Here we have another Four representing stability, but at a potential cost. This week’s tells us that we are in a secure position materially – there is strong groundwork in place – but cautions against holding on too tightly to what we perceive as the things that keep us safe. Note too that here it’s a mandrake holding on tightly to his Pentacles. Mandrake was well known in arcane lore as an aphrodisiac (fatal in large quantities). Is this a nod to the relationship questions raised in last week’s reading?

Perhaps it is, because on the other side we find the much feared Three of Swords. I really like the Dark Wood deck’s particular take on this card: the accompanying guide says it is “the wound that lets in the light… To imprison love is to lose its essence. Allow the Three of Swords to break your heart wide open.” So often we try to shield ourselves from pain by avoiding intense emotional experiences, attempting to rule the heart with the head. We would rather risk being stuck in the web – possibly even devoured – than feel the discomfort necessary in order to set our hearts free. How well does this really serve us in the end?

In combination, these cards urge us to be a little braver this week: be willing to take risks. We can risk letting go of our material comfort blankets; we can accept the risk of pain to open ourselves to the breadth of emotions that make us living, feeling humans. If we truly want to take care of ourselves and honour what we need, we should be prepared to risk doing uncomfortable things to achieve those ends.

Have a good week and stay safe x