supermoon

early this morning, the moon was an intense combination of magical happenings: supermoon, blue moon, blood moon, and lunar eclipse, all at once. as a leo moon and a scorpio sun (and gemini rising, if you're curious), i knew this combination would hit me particularly hard. i've been feeling lots of creative energy, but have also been oddly drained and irritable. today's spread calls back to august's eclipse spread, answering questions and beginning new journeys. in many ways, this eclipse is the end of a cycle, wrapping up what the first one opened. a lot of the issues that popped up for me last summer are absolutely reflected here, which feels like it confirms a lot of my struggles from several months ago.

1. personal power: where is my power during this full moon?

IMG_0324seven of pentacles, a card that also appeared in my last eclipse spread. this is a card of stepping back, taking responsibility, evaluating progress, and making a plan for the future. not the sexiest card in the deck, but taking time to take stock of where i am and where i want to go will help me achieve my goals in a way that's real.

lately i've been beginning some new creative and physical projects - a tarot writing and photography series that's challenging the way i approach the cards, and my first full marathon in november (on my 33rd birthday, no less). but the way i've approached both projects is radically different - i already have most of my marathon training plan complete, including long races, training groups, running tools, and trips that will keep me motivated. but with my creative projects, i've done almost no planning, and have been frustrated with my lack of progress.

it's fun to think of creative projects as just bursting forth: someone typing frantically, painting wildly, music pouring out of them, as if art just manifests itself and we are simply vessels to get it into the world. but in reality, creating art takes the same level of patience, planning, and persistence as anything else. if i really want this project to develop into something meaningful and complete, i need to step back and make a real plan for how to achieve it - and now seems like the perfect time to start.

2. drop the drama: what belief, relationship, or habit no longer serves me?IMG_0304

two of wands, a card of power, excitement, and collaboration. the spark is there, and now we're taking the next steps to plan, sharing our passion with others, feeling a connection and motivation to continue.

receiving positive feedback and support from others is incredible, and knowing that someone believes in your vision and your abilities can really bolster confidence. it's a beautiful thing to share your heart and soul with someone, and receive love back. but seeking approval too much can stop everything in its tracks, and keep us from pushing forward with a vision we truly believe in.

my creative project may still be taking shape, but i need to believe in it enough to move forward, even if no one is there on the side, cheering me on. i can't keep relying on others to give me the passion and motivation that i need - i have to find that within myself. i have to believe that my voice, my vision, my creative abilities, are strong and unique enough to be worth the effort it takes to build something beautiful.

3. take a risk: what area of my life could benefit from a risk taken?

ace-of-swordsace of swords, representing a flash of truth, the potential for something real, a fresh start. swords are often connected to writing, as a sharp mind is needed to put together words in just the right way. i can't help but feel that this card is continuing the message from the first two in the spread, urging me to seek honesty and take risks in this creative project.

air is a difficult element for me, as my mind can be a dark and challenging place. those flashes of lightning don't always illuminate truths i want to see, or am able to grapple with. but perhaps my creative project and my tarot work will continue to blossom if i can push myself farther, seek those difficult realities, and not be so afraid to delve inside my mind. i know that i'm capable of completing this writing project, but i have to believe that my own truth is worth exploring and sharing.

4. be creative: how am i being challenged to be creative and think outside the box? IMG_0298

the daughter of swords is intelligent, cunning, observant, cautious, wise, fair, loyal, honest, and can be a bit of a buzzkill. she doesn't miss anything, even when you want her to. when i pull this card, i see the part of myself that is critical but truthful, that cuts to the heart of the matter and calls out the shit we were hoping nobody would acknowledge.

how can this analytical, cynical voice help in my creativity? i need to take a hard look at my project, see where it doesn't make sense, and keep pushing myself to do better. i know where ideas are weak, where i've been lazy, where things don't really match up. by bringing a critical eye to my work, i can make it better, challenge myself, and create something that will really resonate. there is a path forward, and it's time to stop living in my fear and doubts and instead figure out a way to make progress.

5. my needs: where am i seeking validation in my  life?

eight-of-swordseight of swords, a card of fear, paralysis, and a feeling of being trapped. the dangers aren't necessarily real, but it feels that there is no way forward, that we are surrounded on all sides by that which hurts us the most.

i'm trying to be more comfortable with being alone, with not sharing myself, with keeping things close and hidden. it's not fair to others to share how dark things can be for me - i need to handle my shadows alone, and not burden others with my struggles. but it's scary to go it alone, to not let anyone in. and while i know that staying this private probably isn't permanently sustainable, it feels like the only possible answer right now. i know it may be damaging to me, but i can't seem to help it - i don't trust anyone to really hear me anymore.

i have some opportunities that will help me meet new people, and there's always the chance that there's someone (or several someones) out there that could handle my darkness, could really understand me, would be willing to stay even when things get scary. but rather than reaching for possibilities, i'm retreating in fear. i need validation that i'm not alone, that i'm not impossible to understand, that i'm not too dark for friends, but i'm not sure i'm brave enough to find it.

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no cups but three swords - it's time to stop letting my emotions dictate everything, and be more methodical. i need to get real with my creative ambitions or they won't go anywhere: make a plan, stop looking outside of myself for encouragement, channel that inner spark into an exploration of truth and realness, and perhaps begin to consider the possibility that i don't have to be so isolated.

forward motion

swift change, rapid motion, freedom and space - the eight of wands is all about moving towards goals, free of obstacles and struggles. the wands are focused, glowing, pushing all of their energy into that brilliant, sparkling goal just ahead. there's no more hesitation, no confusion. the destination is in sight, the end is within reach, and things are moving fast. IMG_1907i love the look and energy of this card - those golden wands are surging forward, straight and strong, moving towards their target. everything in them is centered around that luscious green island, and my eyes can't help but fix on the perfect little center. the wands know exactly what they want, where they're going, and the path forward is clear.

it's almost too fast, too intense, too much. the speed is palpable, the focus absolute, like a car a breath away from skidding out on a slick road. everything feels heightened, and while there appear to be no obstacles, it feels like one little shift could push everything off course. that focus has to remain, or we could lose sight of our goal, find ourselves pointed in the wrong direction yet again.

i've been having trouble writing this week, floating in the endless, shadowy sea of depression. it's impossible, humbling, distressing - i feel empty. this energetic, positive card full of ambitions and dreams realized feels so far from me, it's completely unreachable. i'm finding comfort in distraction, losing myself in fictional worlds and alternate universes, staying away from friends and family, being quiet, doing anything to forget the person i am. this card feels too personal, speaking of a goal i can't even see.

but perhaps today, this card is simply a reminder to keep looking forward. at times like this i simply need to do whatever i can to find comfort and rest, even if that may look odd to others, even if my internal monologue is vicious and unyielding, even if i feel useless and worthless and pathetic. i may not be reaching the end of an epic journey, but right now every small victory feels monumental. i'm still breathing, still getting out of bed, still struggling. more than that is too much, but i've kept my dog alive, managed to eat a little, am still reading my cards even if i can't write about it.

i'm still here. even if i'm standing still, i just need to occasionally lift my eyes forward - and that can still feel like motion.

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one last note - in the spirit of the eight of wands and trying to set small goals, i'm going to try to participate in this month's september tarot challenge, put together by @lionharts on instagram. if you'd like to follow along, find me at @wandering.priestess and see all the participants by following the hashtag #theseptembertarot. see you there!