Today I completely understand this card – it’s all about me! Family and friends are focusing on me today rather than me focusing on family matters. It’s my birthday and I insist on feeling as excited about that as I felt about birthdays as a child. It’s a celebration of me, of my life, of my happiness. Yes, that is a very self-centered approach and I think that’s why the card is reversed – the focus is internal on manifesting what I consider a happy birthday rather than a party that would require me to focus on others. And I’m not in that place today.
Seeing this card also made me think of the Simon & Garfunkel song Homeward Bound. They sing about the emptiness and shallowness of the life they’ve been living and how they wish they were homeward bound. I think that’s one of the things I’ve learned over the last year. All the “things” I felt I had to have in my life to make me happy have turned out to be shallow distractions. They are fun and I do not feel they must be discarded but they are not what makes life worth living. Whether I get a specific doll, book or even Tarot deck is ultimately not going to make or break my life. How I treat the people in it and how I deal with challenges and adversity are what is going to determine what kind of life I have. It can be fulfilling and meaningful or shallow and full of pretty things. I’ve come to realize the pretty things are just bandages to cover up the pain of a shallow and meaningless life, at least for me.
It’s also the mom-in-law’s birthday – a piece of irony that has never escaped me. We spent quite a bit of time over there and I think she had a great time. She just likes being around people and she had two of her favorites with her today – her nephew and my mother. There was a lot of laughter and fun. I used the wonderful gift card my sister gave me to order a fabulous cast iron Dutch oven that will be used for baking bread once the weather turns colder (a very Pentacles thing). My mom also got me a lovely bakeware set that is made in USA (always an important factor in my choices but even moreso now) and a lovely herb pot to grow fresh herbs. Hubby got me a lovely new Tarot deck, the Vision Tarot by Dirk Guillabel. It was basically a quiet, fun, family-oriented day and I had a fabulous time.
Today also marks the start of my Hierophant/Temperance and considering both are my birth cards I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. My Emperor/Death year had a lot of upheaval and a lot of building going as, as one might expect. Somehow I get the sense that this year will help me become who I was truly meant to be. I think it’s going to be an interesting journey.
I’ve always had a lot of affection for the Queen of Pentacles. I find her earthy and solid approach to life very appealing. She reminds me of the practical woman who deals with crises by picking herself up, dusting herself off and doing what needs to be done. She’s at home in her skin and her space and knows how to take the necessary steps to achieve her goals and manifest her desires. She can also, as suggested by the Bear on the Wildwood Queen of Stones, be fiercely protective of her territory and her young. She will leave you alone as long as you don’t both her but cross her or invade her home turf and you’ll have a fierce battle on your hands. Bears are also known to hibernate during the colder months. In some cases bears give birth while hibernating. This suggests that it is possible to incubate various ideas and projects eventually manifesting them when the time is right, even if I don’t realize it at the time.
I’m interpreting the Queen of Pentacles as a positive omen today for a few reasons. The first is that I’m meeting a friend who happens to be a Virgo and has some pretty powerful Queen of Pentacles energy (very practical, organized and no-nonsense). She’s also treating me to lunch as a birthday gift so she’s the bountiful, beneficent one sharing her gifts. I also happened to get my Gaian Tarot today – a very earthy, full-bodied and realistic deck showing people of all shapes, sizes and colors in setting both natural and beautiful and created by a Capricorn with very strong Queen of Pentacles energy. I manifested the Queen of Pentacles today by shopping at a local green market and just experiencing the gorgeous, rich and earthy aromas as well as enjoying some very earthy humor with one of the vendors. I chose two beautiful heads of lettuce, some rainbow chard and several herbs. I’m actually quite proud of myself because I made my first batch of pesto yesterday – quite a Queen of Pentacles type of thing to do. And tomorrow I want to make some more tasty sauces (like a spicy chimichurri) and toss some fabulous salads. My Capricorn mother is coming up tonight, more Queen of Pentacles energy.
My friend and I also used the Vision spread from Catherine of the Tarot Elements blog to help us work towards manifesting our goals. It was interesting to see what cards we each selected and where there was overlap. In some respects we complement each other and in others we enable. It did allow me to see a snapshot of some things in Tarot form that I knew but preferred to avoid addressing. It also became clear that passion and manifestation are inextricably intertwined for me right now. Whatever I want to manifest in my life must be something about which I am passionate. I also need to take practical, concrete steps to manifest abundance and prosperity in my life. These are things I know and this spread helped me clarify some of the issues that have been preventing me from moving forward. I’ll have to make sure I revisit this reading in the future to ensure I’m moving in the right direction.
For some reason today I am feeling quite restored and healed on a spiritual level. For the past few days I’ve been in a moody, lousy, depressed funk. It ebbed and flowed like the tide and I had no clear idea what triggered it. My life, while challenging and sometimes exhausting, is far from miserable. I realized that part of the problem was that I needed to change my perceptions. I’m not going to go all New Age here (because that’s really not my thing) but I have to admit that there is some truth to the statement that you can’t always change your circumstances but you can change how you face them. The problem wasn’t that my life had become so dramatically different in the past few days or weeks, it’s that I was focusing on the negative.
I let myself get caught up in my own drama and was preparing quite a nice pity party for myself. I can host pity parties like nobodies business. Then at 3AM while searching for meaning in various Tarot books, I had an epiphany (which I already shared in my COTD essay on Tuesday). Something about the mind-shift or metanoia (as I remember a former religion teacher explained means “a transformative change of heart”) left me feeling renewed and cleansed. It was as though a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders and allowed me to return to my usual bubbly, extroverted, opinionated self. I don’t like feeling down, depressed or sulky. As I have joked on numerous occasions, I have no use for depression in my life because depression is often defined as anger turned inward and I’m very comfortable turning my anger outwards. Of course in the current situation there was no outlet for that anger and frustration. It is rightly aimed at the Fates, destiny, the Norns, Wyrd – whatever you choose to call it. The reality is that a number of decisions made years ago by my in-laws has led to this pass and since I cannot change the past, there is nothing I can do to change the situation. What I can change is how I handle it and taking steps to improve it. Once I was able to accept that on a deep, spiritual level, I was able to let go of the anger and depression.
It is really amazing that I drew this card today because in some respects I have felt like the lone figure wandering through the woods on the Wildwood Pole Star. Only instead of looking up at the night sky for guidance and enlightenment, I’m seeking it within myself. The forest I’m wandering through is my own tangle of self-doubts, frustration and confusion. My own lack of clarity about many things was leading me deeper and deeper into the thicket of briars but now I think I’m back in the clear. I think the healing waters being poured out by the woman on the DruidCraft Star are spilling through my soul and helping cleanse and heal whatever they touch. I’m not usually comfortable sharing this level of anything online but today I’m feeling so cheerful that I just need to let the world know. I’m sure by tomorrow I’ll be back to my snarky self.
As as I saw this card, the song lyric “I want money, that’s what I want” scrambled through my brain. And in reality that is how I’m feeling right now. While we are not destitute, we are not flush with cash either. We are able to pay bills but things are extremely tight. If we hadn’t been relatively careful prior to this current financial disaster, we’d be in very bad shape indeed. Of course the question is how to generate this new cash? How can I find ways to manifest this desire I have for income? That’s the tricky part.
For my hubby, it’s a fairly black and white issue. He is a union construction worker and once the industry picks up, he is likely to be back to work. Of course that is complicated by the increasing use of non-union labor on construction jobs as well as other factors. In my case I can probably look for a full-time job in a field similar to the one in which I was previously employed but that’s not really where my heart it anymore. Something about being freed from the chains of a traditional 9-5 type job has made me want to avoid returning to one as much as possible. Granted if something really excited came up I would certainly explore the possibilities but for a variety of reasons, my hubby returning to full-time employment is the preferred option right now.
Of course that doesn’t mean I can’t find other ways to generate some income. I’ve actually found it a little scary when I realized how much less money we need to get by than we previously thought. Although we both made a good salary when we worked, we also spent most of it. I think we felt that we were entitled because we worked so hard at jobs that we didn’t enjoy anymore. I think a lot of folks fall into this trap and it’s why America is such a consumerist society – we try to bury our sorrows beneath the things we buys. However I have been feeling a need to de-clutter my life and I’m starting with some of the things I spent that money on – they just don’t hold the same appeal for me anymore.
What I need to focus my energies on is finding ways that are practical and doable that will enable me to generate income without requiring all my time and energy – especially as I don’t have a whole lot to give right now. I have several ideas but haven’t really spent much time focusing on them. I think now is the time. The longer I wait, the further into this rut I’ll fall and the less likely I’ll be to do anything. So it’s time to get my behind out of the doldrums and hit the ground running. I can let these disks serve as wheels that will help me move in a new, more positive and more lucrative direction.
Three is a charm I guess because this is the third time this month that this card has made an appearance as my card of the day. So I’m guessing that there is still some aspect of this message I need to hear. Actually considering some of the options it can suggest, I have a feeling that it’s telling me the status quo on my financial situation is going to change and I need to take some steps to make sure they’re not moving in a negative direction. Right now we are okay as long as nothing major occurs to shift the balance. Not the most comfortable place in the world to be but tolerable. I think we’re both getting tired of tolerable.
I was really having a hard time understanding this card’s message today. I was in a fairly lousy rather self-pitying mood and I think it was blocking my brainwaves. Try as I might I was drawing a blank while looking at this card. In some ways I felt like the 10 drums on the Wheel of Change 10 of Disks were preventing me from getting the message. They were blocking my path and I was getting a “can’t see the forest for the trees” sensation. I finally grew desperate enough to seek the answer in one of the many books I’ve managed to accumulate over the years. While each one had some useful insight or interpretation, none felt right to me. Then I realized that they all shared a common theme which had been eluding me – this is the happy family card. The 10 of Pentacles represents how the family is the core of lives and the basis of what we do – for good or for ill.
This stopped me in my tracks. I often bemoan the fact that I’ve been put into a situation where I am the primary caregiver for an elderly and frail mother-in-law. To say that this is not a happy situation for any of us would be an understatement. My mom-in-law may have her bad days but on her good ones she’s lucid enough to realize how dependent she’s become and it distresses her deeply. This was an fiercely independent and tough old broad who never liked relying on anyone but her mother and sister, both of whom are now gone. She was proud of the fact that she dealt with her handicapped son (now almost 54 years old) without assistance. Now it’s all beyond her. She is barely able to care for herself let alone her son. And I can admit that part of me is deeply resentful for being put in this position. I’ve never, ever wanted to be someone’s mother and in many ways that’s what I’ve become in this situation. It rankles.
However what this card hit me between the eyes with is that fact that we are lucky in many ways for having this strong family tie. At least we are able to be there for my mom-in-law and brother-in-law. It’s exhausting and frustrating but I hate to think of them being institutionalized and that’s what would happen if we weren’t here. I am also very lucky because my family has often offered to help out if needed. In fact I think it makes my mother’s day to feel needed. We’ve also been blessed by friends who are there for us and try to help whenever possible. In the long run, this experience is still frustrating, exhausting and relentless but at least focusing on some of the positive aspects eases the pain a bit.
The Wheel of Fortune shows our Universe set against the cosmos. A twelve spoked wheel bearing multi-colored stones is overlaying the Universe, with the Sun as its hub. The stones at the compass points each bear a letter – T in the North, A in the East, R in the South and O in the West. A blast of light shoots forth from each of the wheel’s spokes. We see Jupiter with its huge red spot, Saturn with its rings, red Mars and glorious Earth enhanced by the swirling cosmic spiral of stars. The Greenwood Wheel of Fortune shows a shirt being created that bears various figures – a bear, a stag, a human, a horse, a sun and a moon. They are each part of the bigger picture; components of the whole. They remind us that we are all
When I first saw the Wheel of Change card my first reaction was that it looked like the Big Bang in action. The Sun’s radiant glory swirling out to embrace the Universe. Looking deeper I note the twelve spokes on the wheel symbolizing the years or the zodiac signs. The planets floating in space each exert their influence in our lives. This card reminds me that there is a cosmic plan in our lives – our horoscope might be one way to explain and examine this plan. I don’t see it as something which sets our every move in stone but more as a guideline, a roadmap or our options and possibilities. I remember a psychology teacher once telling me that humans are often born with the potential for something (we were discussing illnesses and behavior patterns) but he pointed out that our environment and what experiences we are exposed to will determine whether these predispositions manifest themselves. That is how I see our astrological charts. They are guide posts, potentials and possibilities but not our only options. The Greenwood Wheel of Fortune offers a similar sense – there is obviously a pattern that is being followed. We may not see the overall pattern but it is clear we are part of it. We are woven together in a way that makes us interdependent upon each other.
This Wheel of Fortune reminds me of the song Circle of Life from The Lion King. In this image Jupiter’s influence is supreme and Saturn’s is waning. But we all know that eventually Saturn will have its return. Just as we know that Mercury will eventually go retrograde. But at the same time I see the Sun at the center of this marvelous cosmos representing us – after all aren’t we always the center of our own lives. Our radiance and light shines on all those around us, and we influence them as much as we are influenced by them. This Wheel of Fortune is a reminder that we are not alone when we goes through these cycles in our lives. There are others around us who can help guide us and assist us in handling these phases. And hopefully we will be there for them in turn. Maybe the Wheel is our plans, our goals and our dreams, with the influences of the Universe flowing underneath.
Reversed, this card suggests that there are things changing inside me. I can hear David Bowie singing “I’m going through changes” in my mind as I write these words. It’s a slow process, rather like moving stones, but they are occurring. Slowly but surely I am re-aligning myself to a new direction, a new path; orienting myself to follow a new star. I’m not sure where these changes will lead but there is a part of me that is very excited and hopeful to see how things turn out.
Interesting that the Wildwood Tarot chose to use the horse to represent the Knight of Stones. In the Greenwood Tarot, this decks precursor/inspiration, the horse is the King of Stones. However I can see the horse easily fitting into the paradigm of the Knight of Pentacles. This is the wild mustang or perhaps the warhorse of old, not the cart or plow horse. There is an element of untamed energy moving forward and charging ahead. However this energy is also focused and solid. This knight know how to use his resources wisely, with no wasted effort. I’ve often considered the Knight of Pentacles to be the steady, reliable, hard-working, almost plodding, knight. He may lack the romanticism, charm or wit of the other knight but he is loyal to a fault, focused and will achieve his goals. This is the knight who will stand by you through thick and thin and always be there for you when you need him.
So how does this tie in to my life right now? In one sense this card refers to my hubby. I’ve always seen him as a Knight of Pentacles – solid, reliable, loyal and determined as well as stubborn. He is methodical, practical and careful and as a result he gets things done. The challenge arises when he realizes he cannot control all factors in the equation, causing frustration. Many of these traits would stand me in good stead as I work on manifesting my desires into reality. I get excited about projects but then my enthusiasm peters out and I lose interest and momentum. This card takes the energy and persistence suggested in the 8 of Pentacles yesterday and moves it to the next level It is time to be practical and focused, harness that initial energy and enthusiasm and figure out ways to manifest it into reality.
It’s one thing to have skills. It’s another thing to have enthusiasm, drive and energy. Putting them together in a way that works is yet another thing. Having the skills and the energy is useless unless you can create a plan, a strategy that helps you work with both in a way that is beneficial and concrete. I have been and can become enthusiastic about a number of things, some of which I am unable to actually do. There are skills and talents I possess which I have no interest in pursuing as a source of income. I need to find the area where these overlap and focus my attention there. Otherwise I’m basically spinning my wheel sin quicksand – it may make a lot of noise and waste a lot of fuel but it’s not getting me anywhere.
Skill, hard work, achieving a certain level or competence and mastery in a field – all of these can be seen as aspects of the 8 of Pentacles. This card reminds me that without practice, hard work and persistence, it is unlikely that we will become truly skilled at anything. There are folks born with an innate talent – such as singing, a musical ear or athletic ability. However if they do not practice and hone those skills, they are just wasted potential. Even when we are born with certain talents, practice allows us to hone and improve those skills.
It occurs to me that the same principle applies to manifesting the future I want. It is not just going to happen because I want it to happen. It will take focus, concentration and plain old hard work. It will involve making mistakes and being willing to continue moving forward despite the setbacks. It will take believing in myself and my skills even when both inner and outer critics try to undermine my confidence. I realized as I’m writing this that it’s pretty amazing anyone manages to reach journeyman or master craftsperson status in any field. Our own inner demons are always so ready to undermine us and knock us down. Perhaps the true key to becoming a master craftsperson in any field or to manifesting the future you desire is the ability to focus and ignore those damn loud, noisy, persistent inner critics.
I’m reading Ensouling Language right now and it is amazing how things I take for granted in my daily life, such as the ability to focus on small things that give me pleasure and sensing when something doesn’t feel right, are also skills Buhner recommends for someone who wishes to write. He helped me realize why I enjoy some authors and books and dislike others, even when they’ve been highly praised by various reviewers. Each person will have their own sense of what feels right. In order to achieve a level of mastery in any craft, we need to stay true to our own belief in what feels right. That is much more difficult than it first appears, especially when what we believe feels right flies in the face of popular attitudes. Bucking the trend and being willing to be an outsider is quite challenging.
So the 8 of Pentacles/Stones is reminding me that a true master at a craft is willing to stay true to her own vision and believe in herself. She is willing to accept that feeling and living her own truth might make her an outsider to the rest of her community. And she needs to embrace the hard work and focus that are necessary to help her improve her skills. Talent may be a gift we are given at birth but mastery and skill in our chosen field are only acquired through persistence, determination and practice.
For some reason whenever I draw this card reversed I hear the Elton John lyric “don’t let the sun go down on me. Although I search myself it’s always someone else I see.” If one of the key aspects of The Sun is lighting up the world with our own radiance and brilliance; enjoying the dawn of a new day with all its potential and hope, then The Sun reversed is like the sun going down on us. Even when the heat and humidity make it difficult to appreciate the sun’s blessings, this card reminds us that tomorrow is another day with new opportunities to fix the mistakes of today.
The Sun can also be connected to our ego, the core of our identity and how we see ourselves. I have always felt a personal connection to this card because my sun sign is Leo which is ruled by The Sun. Much like the sun, I can sometimes be brilliant, radiant and fun to be around and other times I can be just too much – blowing too hot. I also have a tendency to shed light on things some folks might prefer to have remain n the dark; exposing to the harsh light of day the darkness we hide from ourselves. Sometimes this is because I just have a low tolerance for hypocrisy and other times it’s because I can’t stand bullshit so I call folks on it, including myself. Either way – it often makes folks prefer to keep their distance for a while.
On a larger scale, the reversed Sun may be a reminder that before blazing forth in all my radiant brilliance I need to make sure I have something worth blazing about. In other words I need to make sure I tweak what needs to be tweaked and tune what needs to be tuned. I need to work on polishing up that radiance and brilliance and making sure it’s worth viewing. Otherwise it’s just a lot of false promises that will ultimately turn people away. That is not my intent. I also want to be sure that I’m warm without being overwhelming and brilliant without being blinding. If folks can’t bare to look at you (metaphorically speaking) then they find something else to view. My goal is to make sure that doesn’t happen – that they want to be and enjoy being with me.
My card for today is The Sun reversed. So I decided to write a haiku for each card to see if I can tap into and express their energy.
Feeling lost, unsure, alone
Who will see my light?
Unwilling to shine
Loving my brilliance alone
Afraid of my light