For the past several days I’ve been writing in my journal rather than online, but this is a draw I’d like to keep more visible, so I can refer back to it without rooting around in my huge stash of random notebooks. All very apt for The Emperor, a card of order, structure and control over resources.
She sits enthroned on a mountaintop with the dawn breaking behind her, eyes closed, holding a double-edged sword with her hand on its blade.
The Queens, as I have been learning, can symbolise internal mastery – this Queen of Swords has taken the lessons of her suit and made them part of who she is. Her closed eyes show her inward focus. Her hand on the blade almost reminds me of the traditional Strength card: she is not afraid of its razor edge, she is confident in her mastery of it. The tip of the blade points upwards, and reminds me of the saying “You don’t always have to chop with the sword of truth. You can point with it too.”
In the background of this card, a tree grows on a mountain ledge. It looks almost like a bonsai, gnarled and twisted by exposure to the elements, but still a beautiful, mature tree. It’s a lovely visual metaphor for the inner mastery of this suit of sorrow.
there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. — Hamlet, Act II Scene 2
Years ago, when I found myself fascinated by tarot, I came across the superstition that you should never buy your own first deck – it should just somehow find its way into your possession. So I waited and waited, feeling frustrated, playing with online cards and dropping huge hints to anyone who’d listen (ridiculous, right?).
Luckily, one day a wonderful friend sent me a little package containing the Druidcraft Tarot deck, along with a magpie card which I still keep in the box. It seems particularly apt to draw the 6 of Pentacles from a deck which was given as a gift.
The first days of the new moon feel like a good time to pause and take stock. A lot has happened in the past 28 days. I left a full time, permanent job and possibly a career, in search of a better way of life closer to home. Right now, I am looking ahead, to what might develop as the moon waxes and wanes through its next lunar cycle.
This reading is based on the dark moon spread from the ever-inspirational Little Red Tarot blog (check it out!), with the questions and placements slightly tweaked for my own purposes:
1. Things to let go
2. Things to keep
3. Things yet to come
4. Me, at this moment
5. What to give
6. What to receive
7. What to learn
A lazy weekend of reading in bed brought me to an old but brilliant Autostraddle article: a roundtable of writers thinking about the future in terms of how they want to feel, instead of what they want to do.
I haven’t read the book which inspired this piece, but the idea of envisioning goals in terms of feelings, rather than achievements, really struck a chord.
In the little apothecary, “how do you want to feel?” is the question I most often ask when helping people choose a remedy, or some suitable natural skincare. It works so much better than “what do you want?” Out of all the products in the shop – let alone in the wider world – how do you even begin to choose what you want, or figure out what you need? Identifying how you want to feel is a good first step.
At the end of a week which has brought the world tumbling down around me, I am pausing for a moment to reflect on what I have, and to feel thankful for it.
My partnership with a fellow human, who loves me with a kindness and wisdom that can still catch me by surprise. This week, when he heard some big news that I felt pretty shaky about sharing, he responded with a picture of a snail. I knew exactly what he meant.
The friends and family who trust my intuition, sometimes more than I trust it myself, and accept the creative chaos of my decisions as part of who I am.
My mother, whose tireless capacity for reinvention in the face of every challenge and change is a gift she handed down to me.
Tiny Dog, for bringing playfulness into our lives, and for consistently (doggedly!) reminding me to enjoy the simple pleasure of resting in a cosy home.
Our home, solid walls and a roof which hold us here, giving us stability, actually physically grounding us in this place, a blessing I have never really had before.
Endless inspiration from ‘out there’ – the corners of the internet where magic can be found.
“This is is portrait. Look at his flat, yellow teeth, his ruddy face. He has horns, and he carries a foot-long wooden stake in one hand and his wooden mallet in the other.
Of course, there is no such thing as the devil.”
— Neil Gaiman, ‘Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot’
Yesterday I had a message on my phone, inviting me to an interview at short-ish notice for a job I really want: local, ethical, well-paid and not desk-bound. Attending the interview, however, is going to be tricky… In two minds about whether I should pull it off – let alone whether I could – I drew a card.
Today I am a tattooed aspiring-tarotist.
How very unlikely that seemed, not so long ago.
I’ve spent about a third of my life wanting a tattoo and not getting one. Then, this afternoon – on the spur of the moment, with about 12 years’ consideration – I finally did. My reasons might make for uncomfortable reading, and not just for my parents (hi mam, hi dad, I still have no idea whether I would ever want you to read this), so I will leave you with the beautiful image and haiku which inspired it while you decide whether to read on.