finding hope

i swear i don't only use tarot spreads from beth at little red tarot - but i'll gladly admit that hers are some of my favorites. they're consistently challenging, direct, and encouraging, and i always learn something new about tarot and about myself. her spring equinox spread looks like just what i need this morning. it's the spring equinox, and i'm trying to be optimistic. after feeling a bit lost the last months, doubting myself and my relationships, i'm trying to be stronger, more resolute, and make some real decisions about friendships i've been holding on to for too long. i'm a very loyal person, and a very lonely person. it's hard for me to connect, takes time for me to open up - but once i do, those connections are forever.

but that's just me, and i know that's not how everyone functions. it's so hard to recognize when a friendship has turned sour, when someone doesn't value you anymore, but for my own well-being it's time to change my inner narrative around a particular person. i'm taking my heart back, rescuing it from someone who hasn't treated it well. it'll take time for my heart and i to heal. but isn't spring all about renewal, new life, a fresh start? it's what i'm craving. and while the cards aren't as interested in my interpersonal struggles, they do have a lot of advice and encouragement for me.

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what is coming forth in my life right now? what is emerging, what is just beginning to pierce the surface and peek through? the mother of swords. perceptive, sharp, experienced, powerful, determined, with some suffering in her past and present. she's wise and intelligent, but can be prickly and defensive too. she's been hurt many times, and has learned to guard her heart, keep others at a distance, and stay cautious. but she also knows when to laugh at the world, when to not take life or mistakes or pain too seriously. she's not afraid to face the truth, even when it sucks.

i really feel the spirit of this queen these days. i'm sifting through painful memories, trying to let go of hurts, making myself harder and stronger and more independent. i crave community and hate being misunderstood, but perhaps i'm just someone that's meant to be alone. i have a wonderful partner and a few friends that truly know and love me, and that will have to be enough. i hope the arrival of this fierce, proud lady is an indication that i will find strength, power, and respect in hardening myself, that i can make my pain into something that gives me clarity and wisdom and pluck.

IMG_0304how might I really honour this emergence? how might I frame what is happening for me right now, so as to truly understand and integrate? the two of wands, the first of three fire cards in my spread. determination, focus, direction, moving forward. rather than lingering in the painful memories i'm holding, it's time to channel that strong female energy and move into the next stage of my life. by embracing my inner fire, letting passion drive me, and keeping my thought patterns positive and forward-facing, i can find that core of strength and power that i know is inside of me. doing the work to channel that fire into something real, something tangible, is so hard - but it's what's necessary to truly create something new and powerful and inspiring.

this card can also speak to partnerships in creative endeavors - and while i haven't spoken to a single soul about the details or vision for my private project, perhaps one day i'll find someone that will give me the same encouragement and inspiration that i've always tried to spread.

IMG_0311what is the work of the coming months? what does it look like? the nine of wands. this is such a beautiful, inspiring card to me, speaking of strength, confidence, stamina, and focus. the end of the journey is near, hard work is about to pay off, and we just have to rally our power and keep our eyes on the prize.

seeing the nine of fire brings me a lot of hope for the future of my creative work, that i may grow weary or frustrated but it doesn't change the fact that i'm on the right path. there will be challenges in the future, times that i'm too tired or confused or lost to keep going, but i hope i'll remember this card and see it as a light in the darkness. my project has merit, it's important and worth fighting for, and i have the creative spirit and vision and power to do the damn thing. i just need to keep on going.

IMG_0359what do I need to clear or let go as part of this work? the chariot, the only major card in my spread. this beauty represents courage, strong will, determination, and triumph, an inner warrior with the drive and focus to conquer her demons. she may be a little naive, a little inexperienced, but she knows what she wants and will push herself hard to get it.

there are a few ways to interpret this card in this particular position: perhaps i need to pace myself, not make snap decisions, ease into my projects and not cut people out too quickly. or perhaps i need to focus on what i want, let go of my worries and fears and instead put all of my energy into reaching for success. either way, this card asks me to believe in myself, release doubt, and channel my strength. i need to be wary of obsessive behaviors, both in creative work and in spiraling thoughts and doubts about relationships and my own self.

IMG_0303what ‘fertilizer’ do I need right now? What is the most nourishing food I can offer myself, how can I show myself love as I begin this chapter of my journey? the ace of wands. energy, expansion, inspiration, growth, enthusiasm, adventure. that flash of fire, bursting life, untapped potential. scrambling for a pen to write down the words that jumped into your mind, scribbling a quick sketch to finalize later, texting a friend with a brilliant idea for collaboration, recording a melody that turns into your favorite piece of music - it's powerful creative energy, and it's right at your fingertips.

i love seeing this card. i can show myself love, build myself up, make myself stronger by channeling that inspiration into something new, something beautiful. rather than cutting something out, cutting someone off, cutting myself up, i should be building, creating, growing. it's time to shift my focus to my own projects, let that fire feed my soul and help me find a new adventure. that buzz of possibility is everywhere, and i'm craving it.

 


 

IMG_3351spring brings with it new life, possibility, opportunity. this spread really gives me hope that this year will be less about transitions and more about owning my power and passion, being honest with myself, and finding ways to express my creativity that really honor my personal vision. i want to be more than my depression, than my loneliness, than my pain - i want to make something beautiful, inspire others, and offer something new. perhaps i'll always be understood and feared by others - but if that gives me the space and strength to create something powerful, maybe it'll be worth it.

on the three of cups

IMG_0334i've written before about stalker cards, and this past month i have a new one - the three of cups. it's not hard to pinpoint why, exactly - i've been struggling with changing relationships, feeling left out and misunderstood, battling my loneliness and trying to learn to reach out and ask for help more often. the three of cups is a card of friendship and community, a safe space of honesty, love, and openness. this is a beautiful, comforting card, one that represents those that truly allow us to be ourselves. and while for most it's a very welcome card, for me it's come to represent a particular relationship that's shifting, and other relationships that are lost. it feels like it's mocking my feelings of doubt, isolation, and rejection. seeing it again today, reversed, feels very pointed. rather than letting this card stand alone, it seems like time to do a stalker spread.

 

1. What is the importance of this card in my life right now?

IMG_0315the mother of wands, a card of fierce loyalty, vibrant energy, and incredible passion. strong-willed, determined, and independent, this is a card that has shown up when i'm pushing myself, and when i'm scared - she tends to reveal herself when i need an extra boost of confidence and clarity, when i'm hesitating, when i'm doubting myself. she's a reminder to fight for what's right, to stay true to ourselves, to practice gratitude and focus on what matters.

in this reading, the mother of wands feels like a reminder to keep reaching for what i want. i'm afraid of relationships falling apart, i don't want to push people away that i care about, and i don't want to be alone with my troubles - but at the same time, i hate feeling vulnerable, asking for help, sharing my feelings. it may take a lot more effort on my part, and i may need to push myself to keep being honest and working through my issues, but it'll be worth it to get what i want and need. i can't keep bottling everything up, hoping that the people in my life will somehow magically know what i need. my friendships and communities matter deeply to me, and right now i need to fight for them, and to make an effort to connect with friends both near and far.

2. What is preventing me from hearing the message of this card?

strength, a card of gentle courage, personal power, and true patience. this card is a reminder to tap into that well of inner strength and mastery, to learn to walk in tandem with our inner demons rather than always engaging in battle, to exercise patience and IMG_0360love when working with others. it's a beautiful, encouraging card, but a challenging one in this position.

while strength is generally considered a positive thing, something to aspire to and work towards, the cards seem to be saying that in this case, it's become a hindrance. i'm clinging to a specific idea, mistaking my refusal to change for patience, perhaps not taking enough responsibility for my own feelings and actions. i keep ploughing ahead with the same view of the three of cups, sure that it alludes to my sadness and isolation, that it keeps popping up to taunt me. but there are plenty of cards that represent loneliness, depression, loss, grief, discouragement, rejection. is it so hard to take this card at face value, to believe that i have a community that cares about me? can i be strong enough to see this card for what it truly is? do i truly believe that showing vulnerability and feelings is a weakness, or can i embrace it as a true strength of will?

it's time to stop seeing stubbornness as a synonym for fortitude. sometimes, strength comes in knowing when to shift, when to regroup, when to stop and breathe and reconsider. strength can be honesty, openness, admitting weakness and fear and brokenness. and rather than clinging to old ideas, calling it patience while i wait for things around me to change, perhaps it's time to adjust my own attitude.

3. How can I release any blockages?

the ten of wands, a card of burnout, exhaustion, scattered energy and emotion. the suit of fire and passion, enthusiasm and opportunity, has reached its natural conclusion: feeling overwhelmed and utterly depleted. there's a sense of burden and even shame here - too many things going on, feeling stretched in every direction, unsure of where to go next or how to succeed.

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this card is a reminder to focus on what truly matters, to strip away the distractions and all the extra, to remember where joy lives and to seek it out. and right now, that feels pretty damn impossible - i can see the fog of depression creeping over the horizon, my own sadness is at higher levels than usual, my therapist is out of town, i feel lonely and strange, everything is wrong but i'm doing my usual song-and-dance that everything is fine. i don't want to fight through this tangle of branches, choosing the one that matters most - i want to use them for a bonfire, burn it all down, start over. and perhaps this is a reflection of how i feel about the three of cups: so many tangled feelings, making something that seems so simple and lovely into something utterly complicated and dark.

the ten of wands itself is a card that demands release, that advises us to let go of all those extra burdens and instead find the joy that started the whole mess. and the joy of the three of cups is so simple: feeling understood, feeling valued, feeling heard. knowing that you mean something to the people in your life, both those you see all the time and others that take more effort to stay connected with. i am lucky enough to have both, a community of friends in my city along with old friends i've known for years, though they're much farther away. and while sometimes i'm stumbling in the dark, feeling utterly lost and alone, i have a family that i've chosen, that somehow has chosen me right back.

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i knew this spread would be a difficult one, and it is. i clearly have trouble accepting love and friendship, leaning on others, admitting when i need help. i'm much better at reaching out to friends that are in pain than i am at reaching out when i'm in pain. i struggle with believing that people truly care about me, especially when i'm battling my demons. but the three of cups keeps popping up not to mock me or insult me, but rather as a constant reminder that i matter to someone. it's a difficult lesson for me, but it's one i need to take to heart, particularly in this time of challenge and change.