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.
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.