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.

stalker cards

the nine of wands keeps coming up for me - this is the third time i've seen it in two weeks. it seems to describe this move so aptly, and it feels like it's haunting me. i even dreamed about this card the other night. i can't seem to escape it. nine-of-wands

when a card is recurring like this, i think it's tempting to blow it off or find a way to explain it all - yeah, yeah, i get it. especially with a card like this, in a situation like this: we've been working towards this move for months, it seems like every stage gets more complicated and difficult, and this card signifying the end of a long journey and perseverance seems rather... obvious.

many of my resources talk about stalker cards, and the importance of giving them their due. when a card continues to show up in different readings, it's trying to tell us something important, make us see something that we're missing. and while the meaning of this card seems fairly straightforward to me, i'm also a very new reader - there's always more to learn, additional insights, new information and hidden meanings that i need to spend some time parsing through.

with that in mind, i decided to do a simple three-card spread to gain additional insight into this card, and what i might be missing.

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

seven of swords. seven-of-swords secrecy, protection, remaining aware of surroundings, staying on guard - this card fascinates me. so many possible meanings, so many layers. this card can speak to deception, to procrastination, to avoidance, but i've always seen a fox under tremendous pressure, trying to remain aware of the dangers and protect herself. even in a position of rest, she's got one eye open, a sword at the ready. she knows about the swords overhead - she's looking forward, staying aware of any new dangers she hasn't seen yet.

i see a lot in this card, particularly in this position - i think i've been extremely afraid of this move falling apart, and haven't wanted to completely commit to the process in case it doesn't work out. with someone taking over our sublet, our application to a new place pending board and management approval, the owner of our new apartment also trying to get approved for her new place - it's so many moving pieces, and i don't want to be too disappointed if it doesn't work out. but being so guarded and protective of myself, being so aware of all of the potentials for this to go wrong... it's making me slow and overly cautious. i'm putting off tasks that i could easily do now, simply because it moves me closer to the end. and while protecting myself isn't completely foolish, it's also working against me.

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

five-of-wandsfive of wands. scattered, unfocused, lost, confused, overwhelmed. this is absolutely the best card in the deck to describe my current frame of mind. i'm practically in a daze, can't pay attention to details, and feel utterly exhausted. i keep missing pieces and forgetting to do things, putting things off and never coming back to them.

i'm so concerned with what might go wrong, so overwhelmed by the possibilities and making contingency plans, that i've completely lost sight of what it would mean to actually move. i can't envision my goal. my limited energy is pointing in a million directions.

3. how can i release any blockages?

three of pentacles. three-of-pentacles focus, collaborate, find discipline. the only card in the spread with any hints of color, it seems to point to both my dealing with the nine of wands as well as how i need to make this move happen at all. by harnessing my skills, leaning on the abilities of others, and working hard, i can both understand the deeper meanings of this card and also get everything on my enormous to-do list completed.

my recent cards have been pointing to focus and structure, from the fiery energy of the ace of wands to the stable, disciplined presence of the emperor. teamwork has been the key to my tarot studies, both in relying on the wisdom of more experienced readers and also getting involved in forums and speaking more with friends about what the tarot is teaching me. by continuing to harness that energy i'll find a deeper understanding of the nine of wands, and will also be able to accomplish my goals.

overall, this was a really helpful spread. my fears of failure and my overall exhaustion are keeping me from the main message of the nine of wands - to stay calm, and to focus on one step at a time. it feels like i keep getting close to my goal only to have another setback, another complication, another delay - but if i can stay focused on each small task, rather than worrying about everything that may go wrong, and if i can lean on my husband and my friends and my family to help me get through this, this move will happen just the way it should.

the long climb

coming to the last leg of a difficult race, the final steps of a long journey, the end of an intense battle - even after persevering, after staying strong, after pushing yourself hard, sometimes finishing something is so much more difficult than starting it. nine-of-wands

there are many different depictions of the nine of wands, but the wild unknown's interpretation resembles a staircase, shaped with thick, roughly-cut wands leading up to a shining moon. the branches get narrower and thornier the higher up the stairs climb, though the gentle colors and bright crescent give a sense that the struggle to reach the top will be richly rewarded.

nines are right at the tail end of the journey - we haven't quite reached the completion (or burnout) of ten, but can see the finish line in the distance. it's all about that final push, gathering the strength and stamina to reach your goal. it's important to keep a small reserve of energy, to protect ourselves, to stay strong and resilient and not stumble when we're so close to achieving our objectives. the war is almost won, the prize is within our grasp - don't give up now, not when you're so close!

there's also an element of transformation present in this card that i really love. there's something in struggles, in pain, in a long, difficult journey that has the power to alter us permanently. the passions and fire that are so present in wands are capable of wild and beautiful things, but can leave lasting impressions that change us irrevocably. that lost job, that broken heart, that big mistake can hurt so deeply, but also continue shaping us into the people that we're meant to be. and in those final steps towards mystery and magic and completion, as we reach down deep for whatever shreds of courage we have left, we can discover truths about ourselves that aren't as visible when things are easy.

after yesterday's bright, positive ace of cups that seemed brimming with love and joy and possibility, today's wands still give me hope. so many pieces of my life have been stagnant for too long, but i will persevere. i will not give up. i will reach the top and be able to look back over the journey, with all of its twists and turns and struggles, and know that it was worth the trouble to finish what i've started.