Do Nice Folks Finish Last?

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.

5 - Reading
Smith-Waite: Two of Cups, Eight of Wands; Arthur Rackham Oracle: Guardianship

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 fromΒ 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.

Full Moon Reflection

Reading 2016, Jan 23
Prisma Vision Tarot

In addition to mimicking the shape of the full moon, I also drew the shadow card to represent what the light of the full moon may cast a shadow on.

The Full Moon

Six of Wands, Eight of Wands, Queen of Pentacles, The Hierophant, Six of Pentacles

What I see here is that even though it doesn’t feel like I’ve really accomplished much, I should stop thinking about what I think I “should have” accomplished and look instead at the real progress that has been made. I have been much more compassionate and forgiving with myself. I’m seeking balance and deeply examining my beliefs. What do I wish to hang on to and what do I wish to let go of? What do I need to rewrite? These things are actions and are successes.

Shadow

Five of Pentacles

The work I’m doing isn’t easy, and it can often leave me feeling defeated. A definite shadow. If I keep in mind that what I’m doing is important and is valuable and necessary, perhaps that can help mitigate the feeling of defeat.

Reading: Self Love

Depression is kicking my tush today. I mean big time. Now that I’m functional enough to be able to process a little through tarot, I wanted to do a small reading. However, any of the readings I found from my (very short) internet search of tarot readings for depression involved more self work than I can take right now. I don’t have any extra emotional reserves. I just need help with positive self-talk. So I decided to do a three card draw with just one question in mind: “What makes me a good person?”

Reading 2015, Nov 29
Gypsy Palace Tarot

Nine of Pentacles

I do things well, even if it takes time.

Even though I get really enthusiastic about things (at times to the point of obsessiveness), I am good at waiting when I know what’s coming is good. I’m independent. I take pride in a job well done. Once the initial foundation has been laid for a relationship, I am patient and dedicated to working on improving it and making it as good and strong as it can be.

Eight of Wands

I am passionate and action-oriented.

I am enthusiastic about my projects. When I am excited about something, I love putting together and implementing a plan. Like Huszka’s depiction, it feels like entering a new and enchanting place I’ve never been.

Two of Cups

I love deeply.

As much as relationships are a source of fear for me, I do love fiercely. I desire love, and I take great joy in expressing my love for others whether it be through kind gestures, small gifts, thoughtful listening, or quality time. When I love someone, I love them intensely.

Reading: The Chariot

Reading 2015, Nov 13
Gypsy Palace Tarot, A Reading for the Chariot from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

This reading serves as an overall reflection of sorts on the first row of seven in the Major Aracana.

Position Zero: Fool. What am I leaping into at this time in my life?

Three of Pentacles

I am leaping into a cooperative era of my life that is quite new for me! This includes both a conscious cooperation with those around me to make emotional connections and a conscious cooperation between my body, mind, and spirit.

Huszka’s portrayal of the Three of Pentacles is more reflective of the frustration of having an idea that you aren’t quite sure how to put into action. In this position in the spread, I think the traditional meaning fits best, but it’s also good to remember that a breakthrough will come if I am feeling frustrated.

Position One: Magician. Where is the energy, the magic?

Three of Wands

The magic is in taking my dreams and fantasies and turning them into reality.

Position Two: High Priestess. What is secret or hidden or unspoken?

The Chariot

Like the individual / ego represented by the Chariot, as I reach the end of my delayed emotional adolescence, I still have much of my unconscious or “true self” to discover. As I come to a sense of balance with the ideas in the first line of the Major Arcana, I look forward to delving deeper on my journey.

Position Three: Empress. What is my passion?

Ace of Swords

My passion is truth and fairness.

Position Four: Emperor. What are the rules I follow (possibly hidden or unconscious)?

Five of Cups

A rule I follow is being realistic about what life brings: some sorrow to be sure, but there are always good things if you know where to look. Mourn that which is lost and don’t miss out on what you still have.

Position Five: Hierophant. What is the path laid out for me?

Ten of Wands

The path laid out for me is not the easiest path in the world, but it is worthwhile. I may feel burdened at times, but as long as I take time to rest and make sure I’m still on the right path, I’ll end up somewhere good.

Huszka’s portrayal can also represent having pushed rocks ahead of us on our path, but at some point they pile up so high we have to stop and dig ourselves out if we’re going to be able to keep moving.

Position Six: Lovers. How do I express my passion?

Eight of Wands

I may ponder something for a while, but once I’ve decided on something I ACT! Sometimes a bit obsessively.

Position Seven: Chariot. Where is it all heading?

The Empress

What a huge question! The Empress, within the context of the other cards in the spread, may be saying that I am on the road to being able to joyfully and passionately experience the outer / physical world. While my passion is truth and fairness, this doesn’t mean only internal contemplation. There are truths related to the world around us that I’m missing out on. It won’t always be the easiest journey, but the end of the road sounds wonderful! I can accomplish thisΒ by using my passion and drive to turn my dreams of this end result into a reality, and I don’t have to do it alone. And once I’ve reached a balance in the outer world I can better journey through the second row of the Major Arcana.

Daily: Eight of Wands

8 of Wands
Efflorescent Tarot

Today’s card is the Eight of Wands.

Initial Impressions:

Eight sharpened wands look like they’re coming down from the sky. A road leads to a town in the distance on a hill or mountain. A cloud “mountain” towers over the town. It feels somewhat aggressive or ominous. While there are green leaves on the sharpened wands, the landscape is all gray.

Huszka’s Eight of Wands looks quite different. A woman in a yellow dress appears to float midair while smiling. A blue person covered in stars holds one of the floating woman’s legs. A blue wolf or dog and a green, blindfolded head are behind the floating woman. Green branches seem to come out of the green head’s mouth. A small ladder sits on the foot of the blue starry person. There might be a road and some buildings in the center of the card. I have no idea what it all means! But it seems much less ominous than the Efflorescent Tarot card.

The jaguar and the black mamba snake repeat the ominous feeling, the snake more so than the jaguar. Perhaps this card could be about impending danger?

8 of Wands
Gypsy Palace Tarot

Reflection After Research

This card is about action. Maybe I would have guessed closer to this if I’d remembered to take the suit into consideration πŸ™‚

A project or relationship may be reaching some sort of conclusion. Benebell Wen’sΒ Holistic Tarot says, “Air meets Fire here” (140). Thoughts materialize into physical action. Paul Quinn’sΒ Tarot for Life says that even though there is rapid action, it is ordered, as symbolized by the neatly spaced wands shooting in the same direction together. Unlike the Five of Wands, where they are all held by separate people and come together in chaos and conflict.

8 of Wands - animals
Animal Wisdom Tarot, Animism Tarot

Jaguar says to think before pouncing and to trust our power while Black Mamba says it’s time to act now, no time for thinking. Both may be able to encompass the concept of decisiveness. We also need to make sure that our action is directional, like the wands in the card. If we are aimless, we may regret our action.

Today, the Eight of Wands might say to me, “You’ve been thinking about communicating your feelings to this person for some time. Now is the time to do so.”

Part of the reason I think this is what the Eight of Wands might be saying is that before drawing the Eight of Wands, I drew first The Lovers and then the Three of Cups. Since I’ve examined both of them so recently, I kept drawing until I reached a new card — the Eight of Wands.

Drawn Cards
Efflorescent Tarot

The Lovers speak of connection, and the Three of Cups speaks to family and joy. I am still really, really struggling with what happened two weekends ago. I haven’t been sure whether to discuss this with the one particular person I am upset with or to try and process and “get over it” on my own. I’ve tried for over a week now to come to peace with it by myself, but this isn’t working. I’ve thought on my own, and I’ve thought about communicating. Maybe this impromptu reading says, “Yes, it’s time for communication. It’s time to take action. Passivity is not fixing the situation. Foster the connection, get back to joy.”