reaching for my cards has been difficult lately. the cards are wise, comforting, and challenging, but they take a lot of energy to interpret correctly - i have to be in an place where i can hear anything, where i'm willing to see the messages and lessons that are intended, rather than looking for what i want or what i fear. i haven't felt strong enough, but i'm trying to push myself today. i mentioned in my last entry that i'm beginning a september tarot challenge on instagram, and i'm already a few days behind. it felt like fear (and it partially was), but i also liked the idea of tackling the first three days together - my theme for the month, my strength this month, and my weakness this month. i'm not sure how much the challenge will spill over onto this blog, and am honestly not sure how many days i will get through, but starting with these three cards felt right to me.
armed with rose quartz for healing, compassion, and love, i laid out cards from both of my decks. deep breaths, quiet prayers, trying to enjoy the stillness rather than feeling trapped by it. it's been a long, difficult few weeks. please, cards, be kind.
1. my theme of the month card
the fountain, a major arcana card unique to the fountain tarot, representing oneness, clarity, ultimate connection, enlightenment, surrender, understanding and acceptance. it was designed to be separate from the cycles of birth, death, time, and form, and while it appears after the world in the major suit, also exists outside of it - similar to the fool, with its 0. this card is infinite, whole, separate. this card is complete on its own.
it's a stunning card, with sparse, abstract patterns of light and shadow. a brilliant white beam cuts through the center, allowing the edges and swirls to play on either side in their own natural, beautiful way. the card is not perfect, not symmetrical, not flawless, but it is whole, complete, and gorgeous. there's a peace, a tranquility about this card - it feels confident, calm, aware in its stillness. the text for this card includes the phrase surrender to that which you are, which really resonates - i spend so much time struggling against my own self, my desires, my wishes, my preferences, my needs, my demons. i judge myself daily, especially when my depression is wrapped around me, cutting me off from the world, making it hard to breathe. this idea of unity, of being utterly connected with the universe simply by tapping into everything that makes me me, feels huge, powerful, uncomfortable. but surrender, embracing who and what i am, understanding that even my flaws are essential to my self? what a lovely, complicated idea, and a beautiful challenge and theme for my month.
2. my strength this month
a card of self-preservation, conscious action, and full awareness, the seven of swords represents the strengths that i can draw on this month. this has always been a challenging card for me, feeling like it could have a number of interpretations based on the situation at hand, but i don't normally see deception or deceit here - at least, not as secrets with wicked or damaging intentions. rather, this feels like a card of protection, staying alert, keeping one eye open and aware of possible danger, trouble, obstacles. our fox is a clever trickster, yes, but he's using his mental energy and clarity to stay sharp, to make a plan, to keep himself protected and safe, even if that means withholding information from others.
i prefer to keep things close, private, personal. it's hard for me to share thoughts and feelings and dreams, even when they're positive - i'm an introvert, but i'm also pretty secretive. i don't let just anybody in. and in these shadowy days, this fox feels exactly like me - i've driven everyone away with my depression and my irritability and my darkness, and am utterly alone, clutching my sword, sad and afraid. everything hangs overhead, and it's up to me to keep my secrets, stay aware, protect myself. i don't know if my solitude is helping or making things worse - i hate feeling that i don't matter to anyone, but i also truly believe it, way down deep. it's all up to me, because who else is there?
can this be a strength, this tendency to hoard personal details, this unwillingness to share, this desperation to stand on my own even when i've already fallen flat on my face? perhaps it can. i've seen others write about this card in terms of tact, diplomacy, keeping secrets to protect ourselves and others from unnecessary harm - and that i can do. and as i approach my theme of the month, learning to surrender to my true self, perhaps a bit of caution, protection, full awareness, wouldn't go astray. these are big, scary themes - knowing how to keep myself quiet and safe could come in very handy this month.
3. my weakness this month
my weakness this month is the ten of wands, a card of burnout, exhaustion, too many projects, scattered passions, stagnant energy. these wands, which once pulsed with fire and flame, are now piled high, their light extinguished. too much of a good thing, overwhelmed, a burden of enthusiasm. we can't say yes to every single thing - we have to pick and choose where to invest our time, our energy, our passion, or we run out of steam, and things fall apart.
the creator of the wild unknown deck talks about mental and physical burdens, missing the wood for the trees, a weight on ones' spirit that leads to hopelessness and depression. and that all rings so true right now - i feel heavy, yet empty. hope feels out of reach. my body hurts, my soul aches, i can't see things that are right in front of me. my depression is a weakness, to be sure, but it's also a challenge. every single thing i do takes too much energy, and i have to push to complete the smallest tasks. my everyday household chores, caring for my beloved dog, setting up work for the future, trying not to drive my husband completely insane - it's so much harder than usual.
i hope september isn't only defined by my depression. i hope i'm not stuck here for too long, trapped in this heavy haze of sadness and loneliness and frustration. i hope i come out the other side stronger, that i haven't permanently damaged my relationships, that i haven't alienated too many people, that i haven't lost work or contacts or momentum. but even if i come out of the storm soon, this card reminds me to not jump back in too quickly, to stay focused and passionate, to channel my energy into the places and projects that truly matter to me. taking the time to reconnect with the world, and working to maintain balance, will be essential for me this month.
there are challenges here, to be sure. life is difficult right now. but that pulsing light in the center, the wholeness and quiet power of the fountain, is a lovely guiding light for my september. even with swords overhead, with depression and fear and sadness weighing me down, if i can keep moving towards that beautiful surrender, perhaps my september will bring me some peace and healing.