un-doing (a lesson in un-ambition)

It’s not meant to be a strife
It’s not meant to be a struggle uphill

After a lovely day in the apothecary, scented with juniperberry and lavender from the oil burner in the store, I settled in to read some new books on essential oils.

fragrant pharmacy
The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood: a classic

I am fascinated by aromatherapy. It smells so good, and the oils are powerful chemicals in their own right. I have witnessed and experienced the effects they can have on the skin, on minor injuries and illnesses, and above all on states of mind. I want to learn all about their chemical constituents and folkloric associations, and how to blend them and use them to create all sorts of beautiful and healing blends.

Perhaps, I thought, I should be an aromatherapist!

So I drew a card. And then another.

10 wands

two pentacles








These two cards keep coming up for me – every time I get caught up in enthusiasm for some new scheme or other, which at the moment seems like every other day.

The 10 of Wands recently came up as the ‘outcome’ card in a reading I received through the excellent TABI free reading service (which, by the way, I totally recommend). The reader was very tactful and not at all discouraging, but gently mentioned the possibility of overwhelm when taking on too much too soon. “I can take on all these extra tasks!” I say, as I feel my legs buckle under the strain…

And the 2 of Pentacles frequently shows up reversed whenever I draw cards about enrolling on a course or taking on more voluntary work. “I can juggle all these commitments,” I think to myself – in spite of being so overwhelmed I can hardly tell which way is up…

One of the things I love about tarot is the way it keeps bringing me back to the here and now.

On this winding path that is my life, where am I, precisely? What am I doing? And how do I feel about that?

I often feel it’s not enough to be interested in something for its own sake: I have to learn it to the utmost degree, make it the focus of everything I’m doing. And I have to do it NOW! Enroll on the VERY NEXT course – and qualify BEFORE the next arbitrary life event that I’ve somehow decided to measure myself against. And why?

You’re trying too hard
Give yourself air*

Perhaps, one day, I will be an aromatherapist. I would love to create synergistic astrology blends of bath and body oils – standard sun sign blends, and bespoke sun/moon/rising blends based on individual birth charts. How great would that be? I have visions of volunteering in hospices, creating blends that are nurturing and uplifting for people who really need the emotional and spiritual support that these oils and their scents can bring. I can easily imagine an aromatherapy practice in which my clients each leave with a small bottle of their own unique blend, empowering them to keep on caring for themselves long after the consultation is over.

One day.

But it doesn’t have to be today.

Today is for quietly carrying on building our home life, nourishing my mind with information that fascinates me, and learning that I don’t have to dive straight from one career headfirst into another, in order to make “sense” of my life. I can take the future one step at a time. And I can enjoy things for their own sake.


*I think the lyrics are supposed to be give yourself in, but these are the words I’ve always heard, and I love them.

Author: angharadlois

"I'm only interested in everything."

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