Tarot for the week ahead, 11.4.21

Cards from the Crowley/Harris Thoth tarot

Hmm. Some pause for thought needed here to assimilate the message. Maybe because there’s a nudge in it for me personally, or maybe it’s just the Moon doing her thing (or both)?

I think there are two points we should take from the Moon at the centre of this reading. Firstly, a literal nod to the new moon in Aries coming tomorrow: a new cycle begins with the start of another lunation. Secondly, the symbolism of inner work, the metaphorical dark night of the soul where those things that we hide from the daylight become illuminated by the lunar glow. Not always a comfortable process, facing those things that dwell in the dark, but one I think we’re being encouraged to attend to this week in whatever form is appropriate.

The flanking cards provide some further context. The Six of Swords is often a card of moving on, progressing mentally, crossing the Rubicon: in the Thoth context, I tend to think of the focus as leaning more towards the assimilation of new knowledge, perhaps after the trials of the Five, and the establishment of what we might see as right mental order. A calm that comes from clarity. I think this tells us that we may have learnt some hard lessons or found the previous lunar cycle mentally quite challenging – but that we should now be ready to leave those challenges behind.

And if we do that, following the path that our inner work beneath the Moon has laid out for us? The Ten of Cups offers us a warm flush of emotional ease. Not that we should consider our work done (when is it ever?) – there’s a Mars influence in this card that tells us we must keep moving – but we may find that this new moon cycle is less painful, more nurturing, than the previous one. And I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that gladly.

Have a good week and stay safe x

Tarot for the week ahead, 4.4.21

Cards from the Pagan Otherworlds tarot

Ooh OK… a three Majors kind of a week. That’s a sit up and pay attention spread!

Look carefully at our horned figures at either side. We have the Emperor – logical, rational leader, proponent of order and ethics – on the one. On the other, our old friend the Devil: a slightly less straightforward character. I tend to view the Devil as dealing with our instinctual, animal selves and how well we are able to integrate those parts of us into our whole person. Are we honest about our basic needs, our desires, our darker impulses? Do we deal with them in a healthy way? Do we have hang-ups, fears and inhibitions or do we go too far in the other direction?

Either side of the Star, then, we have the logical vs. the primal. Now look at what she’s doing in the centre. See how she pours her vessels in a kind of circular motion, connecting the land and the water (the material and the spiritual, in metaphorical terms). She bridges the gap between two states of being, and she does so while shining a light of hope and encouragement.

So. This week, we may struggle with the balance between order and chaos. We may feel we should act in one way, whilst our inner voices tell us what we actually want or need is entirely different. But the Star offers us balance: she tells us to maintain our faith, and to keep going. When she shows herself, things are going to be OK. We just need to remember that.

Have a good week and stay safe x

Tarot for the week ahead, 29.3.21

Cards from Robert M Place’s Alchemical Tarot

This feels like a week about resources: mental, practical, emotional.

The Ace of Swords urges us to part the clouds and see clearly. Maybe there are new insights and ideas, or maybe we will just get out of our own way for long enough that the things right in front of us will begin to make sense?

The Nine of Coins (aka Discs/Pentacles) always feels to me like such a lovely, grounded card in this deck. Here is a tree that is healthy, mature and ‘fruiting’ generously. Fruit like this does not come on demand – we have to nurture it, wait for our patience to pay off – but its generosity is worth the wait.

The Ten of Vessels (aka Cups) is distillation: it is about connectedness, “the many connected to the one” as Place puts it. It is the emotional payoff from being brave enough to trust in the process of connection: the way individual vessels create something new together. It’s not without risks and unpredictability, but perhaps this week we need reminding that it’s a risk that can pay off.

Two cards, then, full of the practical and emotional harvest we can expect from trust and patience: and one that tells us new ideas or insights will result. Should be an interesting few days!

Have a good week and stay safe x

Tarot for the week ahead, 21.3.21

Cards from Pamela & Joyce Eakins’ Tarot of the Spirit

Back after a recovery week… and what an interesting reading to come back to. Anyone else feeling a bit of a Spring Equinox rush in these cards?

Here is heat and power and dynamic energy, fizzing to be used and directed. There’s a little risk too – Brother of Wind (aka Knight of Swords) can be hot-headed, impetuous, quick to jump. If you act decisively this week, temper any anger with the controlled foresight and strength of the Father of Fire (aka King of Wands). Pick your battles, and if you do so successfully – the Sun will be there to shine on you.

Have a good week and stay safe x

On the things that keep us down

[CW: discussion of violence against women]

It has been a very long week.

I don’t know if the world really gives a toss for the thoughts of one more furious woman, but where else am I to set them down? They are eating me from the inside and I would like to stop feeling consumed.

This weekend my body did what it seems, over the last couple of years, to have learned to do when it needs to tell me that I have had enough. It usually starts with a deep lower back/hip ache to one side, gnawing, impossible to stretch away – though I tried, stood in the vet’s car park, waiting for the cats to have their annual jabs inside. This is almost what passes for a trip out, now.

Then, back home, the cold and the shaking. Uncontrollable, full-body shakes, jaw slamming itself shut every so often (thankfully my tongue is intact, but it’s a close call). Rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat probably, but it is hard to tell because everything is moving, constant, and I have very little control over it. I try to do calming breaths as best I can, but it is a struggle.

This part lasts for up to an hour. My husband sits with me, covers me with blankets, tells me I’m doing OK. This is the part I’ve almost got used to now, after the fifth time in two years: I don’t feel panicked or confused, I just wait for it to stop.

Then, when it stops, the rough stuff starts. The exhaustion. Disturbed sleep, oscillating between heavy sweats and cold because my body has temporarily forgotten how to regulate its temperature properly. Muscle and joint aches everywhere. Deep, deep exhaustion. Staying awake is excruciating because my head, face and jaw hurt and painkillers only graze it, really. Sleeping to avoid it is hard because all of the above. This time it was about two days of that before I stopped wanting to rip my own head off. Last time it wiped me for nearly a week.

I think (and this is not a medical opinion – I had a run of tests in 2019 after three of these in shortish succession, and everything was A-OK, so no answers there) that what is happening is that I get overwhelmed, and for some reason my body throws out a ridiculous spike of adrenaline on top of what’s already buzzing around, and it’s too much to deal with physically so basically it short-circuits me for a while. Error. Malfunction. Alert. Alert.

And the bit that’s interesting to me is: how the hell do I never see this coming?

There are signs, of course, but only when I look backwards. Each time it’s happened I can point to a cluster of different things going on at the time which individually, I felt that I was coping OK with: maybe finding things hard going, but in a “well, sometimes things are just tough for a while, it’ll be OK” sort of a way. And yet altogether, somehow, unnoticed by me, those things coalesced into Too Much, tipped the scale so subtly and adroitly that I didn’t feel the change happening.

What was it this time?

If I am honest, I can no longer deal well with lockdown. It isn’t just the increasingly pressing need for other people – real, physical other people apart from the one I live with who has to put up with my nonsense every single day. It is also the loss of work; the future uncertainty about what work looks like for me now, and the difficulty of engaging with that; the feeling of being hemmed in, becalmed, desperate to see somewhere, anywhere else; the feeling that I should be quietly grateful for my privilege in being able to sit the whole thing out; the deep resentment that festers with obeying rules that, however necessary, are created by people who will happily trash any rule they like in order to line their friends’ pockets while people like my friends put themselves at risk and get a clap instead of proper remuneration.

That’s definitely part of it.

And then there was the news last week. Sarah Everard’s tragic and shocking murder, when simply walking home minding her own business, is the very worst kind of reminder that even without a lockdown to keep us contained, male violence and the apparent lack of will to seriously address it remains a dragging chain around the ankle of women and girls – and plenty of men too, even those who think it doesn’t affect them because they’re neither a victim nor a rapist so what are you implying?

I have been so angry. Filled with rage at the endless stories shared by women. Neverending lists of aggressions, the small to the utterly heinous, always the same shit, stinking heaps of it piled onto us over the years but how dare we wrinkle our noses? Just get on with it, why are you bitching about being covered in shit? I know other women who are quite happy being covered in shit, you’re just being difficult.

I’ve thought, unusually, about all the examples in my life. The ones I can remember at least, because we file a lot of the small ones away, knowing there is no point doing anything else. Women’s pain is not interesting enough. Take a look at all the International Women’s Day rhetoric if you need a reminder. We want our women Strong! Inspiring! Brave! None of the messy stuff, thanks, that takes effort to fix and we’ve better things to do. I’ve thought about how absolutely ludicrous it is that I should have to consider myself lucky that I’ve never been seriously sexually assaulted or raped.

Then there are the female celebrities obediently opining that we shouldn’t make men sad by saying they’re all terrible (we’re not, that’s a crass misrepresentation of the point), because it might harm their mental health. But it’s apparently OK for women’s mental health to suffer from lifetimes of socially-normalised misogyny. Cool, cool. Glad we cleared that up.

Perhaps it isn’t such a surprise that I never see it coming when the adrenaline takes over. We learn quickly as women. What many men think of us. How to be disarming to avoid a confrontation in which we know we’ll come off worse. How to keep our mouths shut. How to cope. Get on with it. Just cope. Cope. Cope.

And just now I’ve had enough of all that.

I don’t have answers, not even close. I have a pretty privileged existence as a white woman, I know that, and yet even I can ill afford the anger and frustration, because it makes me physically unwell even when I feel mentally OK.

Imagine what all this is doing to other women. Women you know. Talk to them. Listen. Understand. Make it better.

Tarot for the week ahead, 7.3.21

Cards from the Zillich tarot

I almost didn’t read tonight – got distracted with other things – but I’m glad I did, now. I like the strength emanating from this spread.

I also think it’s a simple message for the week in which, here in England at least, we take the first steps towards easing ourselves out of lockdown and back towards a more integrated life. At the centre is prudence: we must be gradual, methodical. This is not a time to rush. The Emperor reminds us of the importance of order and rule. Let’s not get too giddy for change, not just yet?

And the Sun – well, there is the warmth and possibility awaiting us if we can do those things. A reward worth waiting for.

Have a good week and stay safe x

Tarot for the week ahead, 28.2.21

Cards from the Crowley/Harris Thoth tarot

It’s a very blue, green and gold week we have in store, apparently! I always think it’s worth noting when a reading presents this kind of colour theme – it speaks to me of consistency, a firmness of purpose and message. So what message, then?

We begin with the suits of Swords and Cups, both of which are concerned with the internal realm and, respectively, the areas of thought and feeling. We have cards which, again respectively, initiate and complete each suit. The Ace brings us clarity and inspiration: I tend to think of it as the ‘cuts through the crap’ card. The Knight (aka King) of Cups can be a romantic, changeable character, as befits his watery realm, but he speaks to us of ideas concerning emotional matters. So… it’s a week for thinking, and sorting out how we feel about new ideas or information.

And what of the Magus? He is Hermes/Mercury, the winged messenger – yep, there’s that new information again. He is rather more concerned with the external over the internal world, but as card 1 in the Major Arcana he too is an initiatory force, a figure who speaks of manifestation and the force of will. So whatever is on its way, don’t just sit around thinking about it. This is a week to turn thoughts and feelings into action – and to bear in mind Hermes is also known as a trickster, so keep your wits about you when new things come to light!

Have a good week and stay safe x

Tarot for the week ahead, 21.2.21

Cards from the Pagan Otherworlds tarot

Well, I’d say that’s a bit of a contrast to last week, wouldn’t you?

The moon cards in this deck very rarely make an appearance for me, but this is the second time in a week after another one showed up in a daily pull. I’m taking that to mean that we’re looking at some noticeable shifts this lunar month, with this quarter moon a sign that something is building, on its way.

Two major arcana cards to complete the reading feels like another sign of big shifts: these cards especially. Notice that they’re all about the X’s? I’m a pretty bad numerologist, but tens (including the 10s in each suit of tarot pips) are often associated with the completion of a cycle, a point pregnant with possibilities as to what happens next. Judgement suggests that we’ll know that when we hear it: that’s a pretty big trumpet, right? The Wheel of Fortune, though… I have a feeling that whatever’s shifting, this is not about the kind of change where the results are fixed, permanent, definite. A new phase of some kind perhaps, but a step along the road rather than the end of the journey.

And if that all sounds very hand-wavy and general, well – sometimes that’s how life is, isn’t it? We roll with it, and we keep going. Roll with it, this week, is my advice.

Have a good week and stay safe x

Tarot for the week ahead, 15.2.21

Cards from Robert M Place’s Alchemical Tarot

Ooh, I love an Ace of Vessels (aka Cups) week. A big inrush of heart energy (yes, I know I’m a day late and Valentine’s Day was yesterday).

I think we have a pretty simple task this week, actually: to tend to ourselves, and our interactions with others, thoughtfully. Ourselves in terms of care of our physical health, as recommended by the Queen of Coins (aka Discs/Pentacles), and externally how we cross metaphorical Swords with others. The Two suggests that wisdom should be our guide in these interactions, but with the Ace at the centre of things, that wisdom cannot be a purely intellectual exercise.

So, think carefully about what your heart tells you is needed this week, be sure that your head and body are in agreement, and then you’re good to go.

Have a good week and stay safe x

Tarot for the week ahead, 7.2.21

Cards from Pamela & Joyce Eakins’ Tarot of the Spirit

There are those who will see the Three of Wind (aka Swords) and The Moon in a reading and suck in a sharp breath through their teeth. I’ll admit I’ve certainly struggled with this Three in the past myself, while I was becoming acquainted with tarot. These days, however, I try not to jump to the obvious (and sometimes incorrect) ouch conclusion.

What are we looking at here, then? Two major arcana cards is pretty big energy for the week. Larger currents are at work, things are moving, changing. The Moon tells us that we can’t yet see the path ahead clearly, or focus on where our feet meet the ground in the darkness. The clouds will obscure her light and we will have to rely on our other senses to keep moving.

The Hermit, sat between the other cards, is reinforcing that message by reminding us quite literally to centre ourselves. It is so noisy outside, there are so many external stimuli, demands, conflicts trying to grab our attention. If we ignore these and head off to our (metaphorical) cave in the wilds for a while, and just listen quietly in the silence – what does our inner voice tell us? What do we learn if we allow that voice space and time?

And the Three of Wind… well, yes, there has been pain this last twelve months, hasn’t there? We all know it. I really like the way this card avoids the traditional pierced heart motif that we often dread seeing. Recognition. Pamela Eakins says “you have seen so much and you sometimes wish you hadn’t.” That hits home in Covid times.

I’ve worked backwards today, but now to draw all of that together. We’ve all taken the mental hit of 12 months in a pandemic. This week, we are encouraged to recognise and understand how that experience has touched us, changed us, affected what our future looks like. Those answers are within us and it will benefit us not to block them out but to spend a little time getting our thoughts straight about it all. That’s not to say it will make the future certain, or straightforward: but if we sharpen up our awareness it equips us better to walk the path in spite of the shadows.

Have a good week and stay safe x