The days between Christmas and New Year can often feel like a strange space, as the festivities (for those who celebrate) are over and the previous year draws to a close. It is, for many, a time of anticipation in terms of the year to come: and also a period of reflection, introspection even. This can be something of a double-edged sword, of course. Time to think – and that impending calendar shift into a new year with all the expectations that come along with it – can give rise to any number of fears, anxieties and misgivings. Our job this week is not to feed them. Take a little time out to pause and reflect, by all means. Understand where your fears come from, give them a name, work out how you might allay them: but try not to take them with you when you step over the threshold into 2023.
As we approach the Winter Solstice this week, where the days are at their shortest, our reading seeks to remind us that as with the seasons, our lives too are in a state of continuous movement. The only constant (it’s a cliché because it’s true) is change: our task in moving through the world is to continually balance opposing elements, juggle priorities, make space in one area as another contracts.
All this, while keeping our hands firmly on the Chariot’s reins, harnessing our will to keep us headed in the right direction. No mean feat, is it? There’s a reason we take a driving test, and it’s because being in control whilst moving is a highly skilled thing to do. It doesn’t pay to get too lazy or complacent just because we might have been doing it for some years. Staying alert and being prepared to act when needed is how we get to where we’re going in one piece. Let’s bear that in mind this week.
Ever heard that truism about how the definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results? That’s what we need to think on this week. If there’s difficulty and misunderstanding in the air; if we feel that we’ve lost out on something but are struggling to accept it; then now is the time to come to terms. Life is change and movement, whether we like it or not, and it has a way of making the decisions for us – in ways we may not enjoy – if we put off dealing with matters of our own accord. This week is one in which to grit your teeth and acknowledge reality, before a short sharp shock comes along to do it for you.
You win some, you lose some. You can’t always predict which: that’s just the way the wheel turns. What you can do is sit with the disappointments and think about why they occurred, your expectations and how you might deal with those kinds of situation in future. It’s not always a pleasant process, but sometimes insight is by nature hard won. If you can learn to see clearly in spite of that, it will serve you well.
Remember that in the coming days if things don’t work out the way you thought they might. Have a good week and stay safe x
We all seek to have enough. Material security is, for most of us, a long term process: there are rarely quick fixes or ‘sure things’ that will magically provide that sense of safety.
At the same time, however, we can find ourselves too involved in the material if we aren’t careful. Money and things are important, but they are not all that complete us. The only way to work out what does that – what provides happiness, what takes away that burdensome sense of constantly striving, trying to keep up with those around us and pushing the boulder uphill – is to engage in honest self-reflection. That’s our task for this week.
All of us can experience times where we feel trapped: by circumstance, by dependency on people, things, substances or by shame. Our belief systems and how we perceive ourselves within our communities play an enormous part in what, if anything, we feel we can do about where and how we are stuck. Sometimes we’re simply unwilling or afraid to risk walking through the dark wood in order to reach what might be at the edge of the trees.
This week, however, is a time for us to allow limiting beliefs to wither and fall away. If they no longer serve us, if they keep us stuck in fear, it’s time for them to go. Old habits may die hard, but die they must if we intend to make progress.
Flanking this week’s reading we have two cards which, in their distinct ways, speak of steadiness. The Daughter of Pentacles is gentle, dependable and hard working: the Emperor authoritative, stable, strong. Yet in the centre, the Fool, bringing a far more untethered energy. It heralds new beginnings, but not necessarily the kind meticulously thought through and planned in advance: the Fool is for spontaneity and making a leap into the unknown. The Fool lives for “what if… Well, let’s find out, shall we?”
Think, then, about how you can centre spontaneity and innocence in spite of your own responsibilities. We all have obligations and duties, but we all deserve a release from those that allows us to reconnect with our impish side. Look for a space to enable a little of that this week.
There’s a simplistic reading to this spread which says: friendships should not be taken for granted. They require practical effort to be sustained. That is absolutely true, and message enough on its own.
Read a little deeper, however, and consider the invitation of the Four of Cups to give attention to how well our emotional circumstances serve us. Are there relationships we need to reevaluate? Are we giving our time and attention to people out of habit, rather than because there is genuine mutual satisfaction derived from the relationship? Who within our circles are close friends and who, simply acquaintances? It is so easy to spread ourselves too thinly. We would therefore do well to be clear with ourselves this week where our efforts are best concentrated.
It’s not often a weekly reading will speak so nakedly of what’s happening in the news and current affairs, but… the cards say what they have to say. This week, they caution us that whilst the prevailing narrative is that a powerful man renowned for fiscal responsibility will bring order and restitution, we should question the things that we don’t see and what is kept hidden in the shadows. All may very well not be as it is portrayed.
It will be easy, this week, to be caught up in misunderstandings. They may arise directly with others, either through stubbornness or conflicting points of view; or alternatively they may be caused by the internal conflict we create out of our own unhelpful thought processes, the kind that suck us into a spiral of negative talk that takes us round and round in mental circles.
The way around these conflicts – or out of them, if they prove unavoidable – is the swift, bright fire energy of the Eight of Wands. A rainbow occurs when light is reflected, refracted and dispersed through water. When we allow light to be similarly cast and dispersed across what may, at first, seem intractable issues, suddenly they can look very different. New, frank perspectives, perhaps from unexpected sources, will see us through.