I don’t usually offer a four-card weekly reading, but this evening two more cards jumped as I pulled the second, so here we are: sometimes messages are eager to make themselves known.
This week there’s a stirring of Spring to be felt. The rising of the sap, the growth of new things, a renewed sense of hope in the future. For those who have struggled their way through the long greyness of winter, there is the promise of joy ahead: the week could bring the urge to start leaving your hibernatory phase behind and to reconnect with friends and loved ones. Be warned, however, that the currents of seasonal change can be powerful: there’s transformative energy in the air, and there’s every chance that it won’t manifest as you expect, or wait for you to be ready when it hits. Keep your eyes open.
This week offers some restorative, stabilising energy. We may find ourselves better able to tap into our inner strength and decisiveness after a time of stress and uncertainty. Best of all, the light at the end of the tunnel is shining in part from those we are closest to: we can hope to feel loved and supported as we make the most of our period of recovery.
There is a part of us that prioritises logic, intellect and clarity: the ability to apply razor-sharp thought to cut through obstacles in our way. Sometimes, even, to the extent of believing that we must be cold or unfeeling in order to see things as they truly are.
Then there is our earthy, touchy-feely self. The physical part of us that works on gut feeling, is deeply embodied, prioritises health and self-care. The part that, faced with a challenge, recognises that sometimes you put logic aside because what’s required is an all-encompassing bear hug.
It’s no surprise that these two facets sometimes feel like they’re in opposition to each other, but we contain multitudes, don’t we? Really the knack is in balancing these apparently opposing instincts, understanding that we need both – in varying proportions and at different times – to maintain our equilibrium. There is no one right way to achieve peace. We should keep that at the forefront of our minds this week.
Craft, make no mistake, is admirable. The dedication and consistency it takes to become skilled enough to produce high quality or even perfect work – output to be proud of – should never be undervalued.
Here’s the thing, though. When you have your eyes down and your focus entirely on your labour, sometimes you can lose sight of the opportunities around you for spontaneity; for taking chances; for generating the kind of magic that comes from expanding rather than narrowing your field of vision. A very different kind of magic, but one arguably of equal value to our lives and one we neglect at our peril.
This week, look up from your main focus and see where you might stray from the path, just for a little while. You never know where it might take you.
When you are heading towards the unseen and/or uncertain, it pays to be as physically and mentally equipped as possible for whatever you may find. Keep your mental strength up. Know what, and who, you are prepared to fight for (and pick those battles carefully). Protect yourself, if you have to. And last but not least, even if your progress is slow… keep going. One foot in front of the other, always. Remember that this week.
There is an old truism – one that can feel trite from repetition, but is valid nonetheless – that one cannot pour from an empty cup. If we are not replenishing our own resources by nurturing ourselves first, we aren’t in a position to be a great deal of use to anyone else either. If that means we have to withdraw for a while in order to replenish and see clearly: so be it. It isn’t permanent. Sometimes it’s the path back to reciprocity and to balance in our health, relationships, outlook. We shouldn’t be afraid to be solitary when it’s needed.
When you are in the middle of a period where anxiety is high; where you may be trying to do too much, carry too much or soldier on in spite of the way you feel; try to make space to channel the Explorer of Pentacles. Take things slow and steady. Aim for consistency. Follow the path that draws you, even if you can only make a little progress at a time. Maybe even stop to take in the colour of the sunset, because whatever your mind may tell you, there is time for that. We all need those moments now and again. Make sure you find them, this week.
Traditions, groups and institutions exist in no small part to connect us with each other and a wider sense of community, as well as drawing our focus to our greater place in the universe, however we may define it. What resources we choose to expend on them, however, and more fundamentally even what credence we allow them, may vary according to our means – physical, psychological, material – at any given time. Sometimes we have a lot to give, sometimes we simply don’t and we need to draw inward, if only for a time, to conserve our energies. Self care can feel like a betrayal of our habits, traditions and commitments if we allow it, but in simple terms it is necessary to ensure we have something left to give.
And so, this week, be honest with yourself about what needs to go. Are you giving too much in any areas of your life because “I’ve always done it” or “it’s expected of me”? Do you worry about letting people down, yet know you can’t keep up with something that drains you physically, mentally or financially? It is OK to let things pass. Change is hard sometimes, but it’s necessary to allow the kind of die-back that precedes new growth. Ultimately when we allow change to happen, it has a knack of proving why it was needed. Trust in that process to give you what you need.
This is not the week for striding into something new. It’s January: it’s a cold, wet, fallow time. It is, however, the week to appreciate what you already have – sounds simple, but is far too easy to forget! – so spend a few moments considering how far you’ve come. What (and how) have you grown this past year? What resources are at your disposal? How might you need to nourish them, or yourself, to maintain your health and security into 2023? Plan a little, dream a little maybe, but be clear where you’re starting from. When it’s time to move, you’ll know better where you’re going.
There’s a watery full moon coming this week – the first of the year. Emotions could easily be running high. Our first reading of the year is a cautionary one in this respect. If you’ve been nurturing hurt feelings or disappointment towards someone, these could be undermining the harmony and equilibrium of your relationship as well as preventing you from moving fully forward.
The Moon reminds us that what’s in the shadows is as important as what’s illuminated, so look carefully at what you may have hidden away and be frank with yourself. Are your expectations realistic? Have you been honest with people of late about how you feel? Do you really know what’s going on in their lives right now? Give yourself the best chance of arriving at the weekend without your disappointments in tow by thinking hard on what it is you need – and resolving to achieve it through positive communication.