a reading for a-camp

tomorrow i fly to ojai, california for a queer lady summer adventure called a-camp. hosted by autostraddle, a cultural website for queer folks, it's packed full of hiking, sing-a-longs, rainbow wars, whiskey tastings, dancing, movies, campfires, and friendship. this is my first year attending, and i signed up without knowing a soul - an uncharacteristically brave move, i must admit. i've been longing for a queer family of my own, and recently have been pushing myself to attend more events, connecting with people at meet-ups from nancy podcast and queer book clubs and even an inclusive, incredibly welcoming church service. a-camp feels like a massive, scary step, but i'm incredibly hopeful that it will bring me some lasting friendships, connections with local queer women, and a sense of belonging.

time for a holiday tarot spread.

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  1. your spirit in going: maiden of cups. i'm taking on this adventure, armed with intuition, a desire for connection, and a hope for the future. i'm trying to be as open as possible to this new experience, even though i'm anxious and intimidated by what may happen in the next week. i do feel a bit like a child, unsure of my place and hoping i don't embarrass myself or stand out.
  2. what to pack: five of cups. i should bring my lingering pain, feelings of loss and betrayal, sense of isolation? yes - because rather than ignoring the emotions i've been sorting through for the past few months, by acknowledging these feelings i can learn to release them. there's healing to be found at camp, if i'm willing to reach for it, but i won't find it by trying to leave my pain behind.
  3. what not to pack: two of pentacles. i've been juggling a lot, busy with local friends and new social events, multiple work clients pushing for more of my time, helping my partner through a difficult work period, worrying about several family members. this trip is a time for me, and an excellent opportunity to unplug, disconnect from the real world, and let some of that stress go.
  4. the spirit of the holiday: ten of cups. this trip is all about community, connections, and inclusivity - and so is this card! there's so much love and healing here, positive energy, overflowing joy, true happiness. this card gives me so much hope for true, lasting friendships being built at camp, which is exactly what i've been craving.
  5. the highlight: the magician. action, self-reliance, endless potential - this trip will include some powerful creative energy, the beginning of a new cycle, and help me learn to make my own magic. a sense that anything is possible will be a big part of this adventure. alchemy and manifestation are at my fingertips. something new, something powerful is being created. i am powerful.
  6. your souvenir: the world. completion, unity, actualization, interlocking energies, success, duality - this is a huge card, full of promise and celebration. it's a beginning and an end all at once, a sense of clarity and empowerment, a knowledge that we are exactly where we are supposed to be. this adventure couldn't be coming at a better time - and it seems that the universe feels the same way.

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honestly - wow. i'm a pretty cynical person by nature, and these cards are so positive that it's a bit overwhelming. the ten of cups and the world, all in one spread? it feels impossibly big to hold, too much joy and completion for one reading. and yet, this trip has felt full of magic and potential since i first signed up, and seeing cards this uplifting gives me such a sense of peace about going.

everything in me is telling me to be careful, to stay guarded, to keep my expectations low. i don't want to be disappointed if i don't come home with ten new best friends, a whole gaggle of nyc queers to call my own, a circle of intuitive tarot readers that want to stay connected - i want to be able to go with enjoyment, and take what i can. but these cards are giving me permission to hope for more, to be open and generous and bring my true, whole (and broken) self to this.

very grateful for tarot today.