I have had a really rotten day today. I’m already dealing with the depression issues, of course, but I’ve had three different instances of being treated really poorly today. Like really, really poorly. It’s got me wondering, do nice folks really finish last? Because today it sure feels like it.
I try my best to be a good person. To remember that everyone is fighting their own battles. To come from a place of care and understanding. And boy, do I feel like I come up with the short end of the stick awfully often. It feels like being the “bigger person” just allows others to take advantage of me, or to take me for granted.
So I thought I’d ask tarot “Do nice folks really finish last?” I wanted to see what perspective I might see in the cards.
Two of Cups, Guardianship: Protection of the Vulnerable, Eight of Wands
I wasn’t sure what to expect in this spread, but immediately these cards gave me pause.
Community and care are not passive activities. They’re greatly important and shouldn’t be dropped by the wayside when they aren’t reciprocated. But care and compassion should also be directed inward. So when a relationship is consistently negative or toxic, a different kind of action is needed. That could take a few different forms. One possibility is voicing concerns with the person or people involved. If they are invested in the relationship, they should care how you feel. It might not be an easy message to receive, and perhaps they’ll be defensive at first. But change should happen if they truly value you in the same way you value them.
And if you find out that you are not valued, it might be time to bow out. Which might be harder on you than the offending party! Unless of course they’re using you, in which case they may be in for a shocker when they stop receiving whatever satisfaction they’re sucking from your life force.
So I guess nice folks finish last when they never value themselves. But if we stand up for ourselves and leave toxic relationships, we don’t have to come out last.
Of course that’s in a nutshell. Living it out can feel much more gray than that, but this is the reminder I needed today. I can absolutely be a kind and caring person. But when it becomes clear I’m being taken advantage of, it’s time for a new action. And that is a-okay. It doesn’t make me a bad person.
Oh goodness. It’s been real dark and gloomy over here in my head. I’ve let myself fall off the wagon of daily routines which help me keep my sanity. Like tarot! I even missed my Monday Meditation this week. Not good!
So I pulled out the deck I’m getting to know this month (Golden Tarot) and asked “How can I get back on the wagon?” I know this won’t make things better or sweep away the gloom, but I just need to get up and get back to my daily things: tarot, exercise, cooking. Things like that. Without those I’m kind of a sad lump.
Page of Cups, Queen of Swords, Two of Cups
Child-like wonder, self-discipline, self-love.
Nice and clear today!
When I’m doing them, I really enjoy daily tarot practice, cooking, and general self-care. Think about it as fun, because it is! Don’t mope around. Say, “Donkey, get up! Go do a spread, go try a new recipe, go for a walk!” And then do it. And remember I’m worth this fun and this care. These are good things and enjoyable things I’ve let slip from my daily routine.
Well, maybe not let exactly. Depression is tricky like that. But I’ve fallen into a rut, I’m recognizing it, and it’s time to crawl out. And it’s okay to start small as long as I’m starting.
Last night I had the most wonderful visit from a beautiful Barred Owl. I followed her on foot as she flew from rooftop to treetop around the apartment complex. She was stunning and didn’t seem to mind my company. It was a truly magical experience.
When I returned to the apartment, I decided to pull out all of the owl cards from my animal-themed tarot decks to ponder the message she may have had for me.
Perhaps the message I can take from this beautiful visitor is, “I feel your pain. I know it’s a hard time right now. There’s no denying that. There’s also no rushing it. The dark night will pass, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find small joys in the meantime. Night isn’t as scary as some folks think. There’s magic to be found. Maybe healing magic. Listen and learn. Don’t rush yourself and don’t be down on yourself. Healing will come at its own pace. Be present where you are, even if it is dark.”
I laid this spread out the night of the new moon, but I’m a couple of days late sitting down and interpreting it in detail. I found this spread at Little Red Tarot, and I pulled the shadow card as well.
Position One: Where I stand
Things are certainly changing all around me. I wasn’t surprised or taken aback at all to see this card in this position. Job, home, town, certain relationships. So much change at once! But really most of it is good. Old things are falling down as new things sprout forth. But it does feel turbulent just because it’s so much at once!
Position Two: Something to leave behind
Four of Swords
I’ve been a bit frozen as I watch the Tower crumble. Again, mostly good things, but it’s BIG and a bit overwhelming. I haven’t been accomplishing much lately, including things I value very much (like keeping up with practicing tarot daily!) because I’m like a deer in the headlights. Some of these changes will take a while to take full effect. Sitting here frozen isn’t going to help the process along or make it go faster. Carrying on won’t either, but at least I’ll be doing things I enjoy! Time to get off my tush. I do have a life to live between now and when the full effect of these changes happens. I can’t just sit and watch the world go by for the next few months. How sad would that be!
Position Three: Something to receive
Ace of Pentacles
An absolute abundance of opportunity! Smile and welcome it 🙂
Position Four: Something to learn
Two of Pentacles
Balance. Thanks Two of Pentacles. Like I didn’t know that. I’m always sassy to this card when it shows up. It’s so darn practical and obvious. But that doesn’t make it any less true! Balance these huge, slower moving changes with my day-to-day life stuff.
Position Five: Something to give
Ace of Swords
I’m a smart lady. I need to be sharp and give my knowledge and thoughts during these super big changes. It’s really important to be on my toes and active in these large decisions. This next month is not a time for brain relaxation.
Position Six: My hopes and dreams
A home to call my own! Mr. Donkey and I are planning our own little cave. Our own get-away from the world. A safe and cozy and family-oriented space to thrive and grow.
Position Seven: My secret special skill
King of Swords
I don’t do bullshit. And like I said earlier, now is a time to be on top of things. Don’t let anyone pull the wool over my eyes. Don’t get tricked. Stay sharp, speak up, and be a commanding presence.
Page of Cups
My emotional bits are still bruised and sore. There will for sure be some incredibly difficult emotional moments and stretches during these changes. It’s just the way it is. It will happen, and it’s better to acknowledge that than to pretend otherwise and be knocked flat when it happens. There will be really bad days. But hopefully there won’t be many of them.
Position One: Seed, a beginning or something that needs nurturance
King of Wands
I am really fascinated by the Animal Totem’s description of this card. It speaks to me much more clearly than any other description for this King I’ve read. He may seem mellow, but he demands respect and he’ll become dangerously frenzied if he is crossed. It may not be the most flattering thing to admit, but I can relate to that. Respect is really huge for me. So how might this represent a seed here?
Honestly, my self-confidence has taken a huge hit recently. So perhaps I need to nurture the cocky confidence of the King of Wands (without taking it too far, of course). To feel worthy of respect.
Position Two: Sprout, energies, guidance, and support during the process
Queen of Cups
A willingness to go deep within myself to explore all of the emotions at play in this situation. However, I’m not sure if I am best served at this point in time by doing this solo or by inviting someone to make the dive with me. I need to do some serious reflecting on this.
Position Three: the Fruit, possible outcome
The High Priestess
If I am able to tackle this task successfully, I will have a stronger sense of who I am as I am. Not as others see me or wish me to be. I will be more confident in myself without allowing others to so easily shake my self-esteem. I will trust my own inner voice and intuition more than the voices around me.
I thought today would be a good day to reflect on our friend the Fool.
I’ve actually been feeling pretty foolish lately, in several ways. So this will be a good exploration of what it means to be a fool, which will hopefully help me to understand the Fool on a deeper level.
On one hand, I’ve felt like a drowning fool. Like the eager dog in the Prisma Visions’ Fool, I’ve swum out farther than I should have in my eagerness and excitement. Now I’m tired and the shore is far away. What have I done? Will I make it back to shore? Or will I perish here in this deep pool where I’ve landed myself? Will the pelican throw me that life preserver? Or it is indifferent? Or judging me for my foolishness?
I followed my heart in one direction thinking I was along on this journey with a pal, but suddenly I realized I was quite alone. I feel foolish for thinking I was part of a team. For placing so much of my heart in someone else’s hands. Of course I didn’t realize my mistake until the proverbial rug was pulled out from under me. It seemed sudden, but in hindsight I feel quite foolish indeed.
However, without taking foolish risks where I place my heart with other people, how will I make true connections with others? If we think of the Fool as how we are without our masks, as who we are at our core, showing our “fool” to others is the only way to make a relationship beyond the superficial level.
This in itself can be considered very “foolish” because it makes us incredibly vulnerable. If someone mocks a mask of ours, it’s easier to laugh it off because it’s not who we are. But if someone laughs at our inner self, at our soul or true self, that can be excruciating. It can be unbearable. And sharing this part of ourselves opens us up to the possibility of this kind of deep pain.
However, it would be another kind of foolishness to refuse to ever connect with with another person because of fear of ridicule. We are all connected, and if we isolate ourselves in this way we will wither and fail to thrive. We will not escape pain, but we will suffer it alone. So I to play the fool still, sharing my heart.
Another kind of foolishness that has been a theme over my lifetime is the fear of trying new things. If I’m not already good at something, I usually am too embarrassed to give it a try. But like the Rookie of the Baseball Tarot, you have to start somewhere. If I don’t step up to the plate, I’ll never get to play the game — only watch from the sidelines. Of course that’s okay sometimes. I don’t need to try every single thing. But to spend much of my life on the sidelines would be foolish indeed.
To avoid this, I need to “make a fool of myself” more often by getting out there and looking silly trying things I’ve never done before. I need to channel the Rookie. As the book the accompanies the Baseball Tarot says, “Experience can be earned only by those who take the chance to try” (49). The Rookie is probably nervous, but he steps up to the plate anyway.
At this full moon, I decided to try a spread from New Age Hipster. I used the Animal Totem Tarot and the Mirrors of the Heart oracle deck.
Position One: What’s going on in my life right now
King of Cups, Gentleness
The King of Cups has great control over the watery element of emotions. I am barely hanging on to control, but I suppose the key is that I haven’t let my emotions overtake me. There are many changes happening right now in my life. My business plans are moving along, Mr. Donkey just got a new job, we’ll be moving, and I’m having trouble with a particular relationship. While most of these are good things, I still don’t handle change super well. So it’s good that I’m still tenuously in control of my emotions. I have to be gentle with myself when I stumble and gentle with myself by allowing myself to feel some of the intense emotions that are headed my way. They aren’t inherently bad. Just observe, feel, and don’t lose control.
Position Two: What to release, it no longer serves me
The Hermit, Movement
At first these cards seems to be contradictory. But in the position, perhaps I need to let go of the expectation that others will go within themselves, reflect on certain issues, and take action based on their introspection. As much as I would love this, I certainly can’t make it happen. And if I expect it I’ll be disappointed quite regularly. It’s a hard thing to release, though, because I just don’t think it’s asking a lot for people to think before they act when their actions are potentially harmful or damaging. Having this expectation brings a lot of pain.
Position Three: Lessons
Page of Cups, Awakening
I’m not even sure yet. I feel like I’m in the middle of many lessons right now, but I’ve not yet quite “learned” them. Time will tell. Pages are the youngest and least developed of the court cards, and the Awakening card depicts little fetuses in the earth. I’m still in the beginning stages of many lessons during this crazy transitional time in my life. So who knows? Like the seal, I just need to go with the flow and have as much fun as I can along the way.
Position Four: Blessings
Two of Wands, Peace
It’s been a blessing to start taking some big steps in my business plans. I’m finalizing a logo at the moment, and when we move I’ll be creating a brand new work space. I have many choices ahead, and being able to create these plans is a blessing in itself. I’m much more at peace beginning this work than have been at other work. This work will allow me to care for myself and to create a peaceful environment in ways I could not with a more “traditional” job. A privilege and a blessing indeed.
Position Five: What my heart wants
Nine of Pentacles, Sanctuary
Sanctuary! It’s been a really rough go for a while. My soul aches some days. I wish for peace and contentedness. A nice slow pace of life and quiet place to seek peace. I want sanctuary from heartache. But I don’t want to isolate myself.
Position Six: Big step to take to reach my dream
Ten of Cups, Voice
Speak up in my family of choice. If I show up without my voice, I’ll never feel like myself — which means I’ll never feel like I really belong. Show up, speak up.
Position Seven: What to focus on next
Two of Pentacles, Stillness
One thing at a time without overburdening myself or over- or under-focusing on any one area. Make small goals, all the while maintaining an inner sense of quiet stillness. One day that might be to pack several boxes. Another day that could be to revise my code of ethics, to walk in nature, or to read and journal. Focus is needed during this time, but I need to focus on only focusing on one thing at a time. Focus on not getting overwhelmed.
I haven’t done a personal reading in quite a little while, other than daily draws. I was excited about my new Baseball Tarot deck and feeling a little funky, so I sat down and made up a spread using my neat Deck of 1000 Spreads (it has lots of cards that can represent different positions, so it’s easy to go through and build a spread when I’m feeling stumped). The Baseball Tarot did not disappoint. This spread really hit home in a lot of ways, and I’ve been thinking it over for days!
Position One: The Situation
The Pitcher (The Moon)
Here the moon speaks to me of trauma, which is tricky and not straight-forward. Trauma lives deeper than the conscious mind — in the unconscious and in the bones. The situation is steeped in trauma.
Position Two: Attitudes & Thoughts
Four of Mitts: Foul (Four of Cups)
While I usually connect more strongly with a more positive-leaning interpretation of this card, today it fits well with withdrawn and isolated. I wonder if now is when “enough is enough.” I’ve begged for the outstretched cup (of the Waite-Smith depiction) for so long it’s become degrading. And it’s only now being offered once I’m past the point of feeling like I have any dignity left.
I don’t feel able to reach out and take the cup because I’m trying to cling to any sense of dignity or self-worth I may have left in this situation. I am a human being worthy of some minimal degree of respect and consideration, and I’ve been fooling myself into thinking for some time now that I’m being patient and understanding when really I’ve just pathetically been begging for the kind of treatment I’m clearly not worth to another person. It makes me feel a sort of self-loathing and patheticness to have allowed this to happen.
Position Three: Positive Influences
Three of Mitts: Triple Play (Three of Cups)
There is now a willingness on the part of the other person to cooperate and actually take an active role in this relationship. As I alluded to above, however, I fear it’s too little too late as I try to nurture the remaining shreds of self-respect I have left.
Position Four: Blocking or Covering
The Team (The Lovers)
What is blocking this positive influence is that I’ve been made to feel such an outsider from “the team” for so long while jumping and pleading to be allowed to play that I don’t know if I can join with any dignity now that it may be possible. Even if I “join,” I will always know what it took to be allowed inside — and that is nearly unbearably painful.
Position Five: Heart of the Situation
The Manager (The Hierophant)
The principle of it. I understand that the Hierophant can in some circumstances stand for rigid dogma, but I’ve done a lot of soul searching and self-questioning. At the heart of the situation is my absolutely core set of beliefs which I have reexamined many times and which remain true to me. Someone trespassed and hurt me at this deepest level of beliefs. Is this something I can move on from? Is the relationship salvageable in any meaningful way, or is carrying on a superficial relationship as good as it can be now?
Position Six: Relationship
Five of Mitts: Error (Five of Cups)
Error after error after error. I feel like I’ve been 110% invested in improving “the play,” but the other person has just not taken it seriously at all until I finally threw my hands up and left the field crying. While on the field I said over and over why this was important, but it didn’t matter. Not until I said I just can’t do it at all anymore.
The quote that starts this entry in the book for this deck says, “I cannot get rid of the hurt from losing. … But after the last out of every loss, I must accept that there’ll be a tomorrow. In fact, it’s more than that there’ll be a tomorrow. It’s that I want there to be a tomorrow. – Sparky Anderson” I want there to be a “tomorrow” for this relationship, but I don’t know whether or not I’ve suffered a career ending injury during the final, massive error.
I’ve been willing to learn from mistakes and grow and accept imperfection. But I was the only one really, really trying for a long time. And now I don’t know if I want to try anymore.
Position Seven: Advice
Three of Bases: Safe (Three of Pentacles)
In this position, I think this card offers two separate pieces of advice:
Work together as I am able at attempting to reconstruct the relationship. If I 100% withdraw, there’s no chance of the relationship healing.
As an individual, throw myself into my own crafts. Tarot, crochet, writing, cooking, cleaning. Continue to build ways to feel good about myself and to do work I’m proud of.
Position Eight: Outcome
Two of Bases: Pickoff (Two of Pentacles)
The Two of Pentacles is not one of my favorite cards because I feel like it’s such an unwelcome reality check. Every time I see it I feel like it says, “Listen, life has ups and downs. It ain’t always easy. What else do you expect?” Egh, thanks for the reminder that life sucks sometimes.
However, I do really enjoy the Baseball Tarot’s description of the card. So perhaps a possible outcome is the ability for the relationship to feel less like work and more like play, though coordination is needed either way. And whether that’s to be a real, substantive relationship or a superficial, unclose relationship remains to be seen.
While I don’t exactly feel better after this reading, I feel like many things were articulated I’ve had trouble with. This reading really affirmed what I’m feeling while also casting things in a light that helps me to make better sense of my feelings. I’m still unsure, afraid, sad, hurt, angry, and confused. But it’s been a really good examination of all of these messy emotions that have been rolling around inside of me, tangled up and yucky.