My First Baseball Tarot Spread

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!

19 March 2016
Baseball Tarot

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 CupsFour 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While I usually connect more strongly with a more positive-leaning interpretation of this card, today it fits well with withdrawn and isolated.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:

  1. Work together as I am able at attempting to reconstruct the relationship. If I 100% withdraw, there’s no chance of the relationship healing.
  2. 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.

Overall

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.

The Lenten Season

Tomorrow begins the Lenten season of 2016. I was raised in the Christian tradition, and I have always felt a sense of reverence toward this time of year. A yearly time set aside that makes me examine myself and what I have and to deeply consider how I am connected to others. I do try to be cognizant of these things throughout the year, but I’m not as good at it as I’d like to be. This season stops me wherever I’m at mentally and immerses me in a mindset of thankfulness, charity, compassion, and sacrifice (which I see as another side of the thankfulness coin). It’s a beautiful time to do some serious self-work. And since I have family that also celebrates Lent, it’s easy during this time to stay focused on the work at hand.

I decided to create a spread for Lent to help me on my journey and to help me decide what to give up and/or to take on during this season. (I’m using the Smith-Waite Centennial Edition, which I am in love with! But more on that later.)

Reading 2016, Feb 9
Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition

Position One: What to give up

Reading 2016, Feb 9 (2)
Prisma Visions Tarot

Five of Cups

I’ve been in mourning for some time about a situation that crushed up my little heart. Perhaps it’s time to begin letting those three spilled cups go. Actually, in the Prisma Visions Tarot depiction of the Five of Chalices, a figure drops three cups off a precipice into the water below. An active release of these three cups. It may not have been an easy decision or process, but those three cups must go. Healing will take time, but I think I might be ready to begin taking my first steps away from the sadness and grief I have felt.

Position Two: What to create or add

The Fool

Ah, the Fool! I admit I smiled when this card popped up in this position. The Fool is something I’d like a lot more of in my life. I’m serious and planning three steps ahead and always thinking. I like that the Fool is here in the “what to create or add” position. So rather than “giving up” being thoughtful or responsible, I can add silliness and wonder, delight and intuition. That doesn’t sound so bad. It doesn’t sound easy for my personality, but it certainly sounds worthwhile. Add some Foolishness!

Position Three: What to grow

Two of Pentacles

Balance in my world. I’ve been making progress, but I’ve been in a rough patch for a little while. Seeking this balance has kept this rough patch from getting even worse or messier than it already is. Like the juggler in the card, I can either make it a game I dedicate myself to, or like the boats in the background I can pray I don’t go under with the next crash of a wave. Life will have its ups and downs either way, but I’m only in control in one of those scenarios. Or consciously controlling what I am able to, anyway.

Little note

 I happened to turn my deck over when putting it away, and guess what the shadow card was? The Nine of Wands! Of course it was.

Reading: Openness

I’m a hot mess right now. Angry, sad, confused. My eyes are puffy, I have a headache. I don’t even really trust myself right now. So I asked tarot, “How can I be open to some movement toward positive change?” Because I feel like I’m not open to anything right now. I’ve very much in “scared donkey” mode right now. I’m frozen and everything sounds like a terrible and scary idea. I am not budging.

Reading 2016, Jan 28
Ostara Tarot

Five of Cups

Yes, I am grieving. I feel sadness and some regret. At this moment I am having a terribly hard time seeing that there are still cups standing. The cup that got knocked over was trust, so the others seem insignificant in comparison. This card has snakes, which can symbolize new beginnings. Right now sucks, but maybe maybe the contents of some of the other cups can be mixed up to make trust again. Maybe!

Strength

At this point in time, Strength seems to be saying to me, “Pull yourself together, woman!” My inner lion/dragon is a terrified thing running around in circles, knocking things over, and biting people. There is no balance! I need to take my inner dragon, hold its little face in my hands, and say, “Look, I know you’re scared right now. But trust me. We can do this. It won’t be easy, but it will be even harder if you don’t sit still for a hot second. You are adding to the chaos. Drink some tea, take a nap, find a safe place to calm down.”

The Emperor

My life feels like chaos right now. Maybe I can create some stability. Not over this situation at the moment, but I can fold the laundry, get back to daily tarot in the morning (that really helps start my day off right), and plan out the meals for the week. I can be someone I can count on. That little bit of created stability may make the rest of this mess feel easier to handle.

Two of Wands

In this depiction of the card, a girl is caged up while the birds fly free. I’m not ready to the leave the cage, but maybe if I can even just imagine that the door is open that might help. Like I said, I don’t know what the solution to this mess is, and nothing sounds good. But even so, if I just imagine that something (even if I don’t know what it is) can open the door maybe that will help. The Ostara Tarot’s lwb description of this card mentions courage, which is my word of the year. Maybe I can scribble the word on a sticky note and post it by my bed, because I’m having an awfully hard time remembering it on my own right now.

Reading: Death

Reading 2015, Nov 23
Gypsy Palace Tarot, A Reading for Death, based on the White Rose (designed by Paula C. Scardamalia) from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

Position One: What has already died?

Six of Pentacles

I’m learning this card is much more nuanced and complex than I first thought (that’s starting to happen a lot lately as I get a better grasp of tarot). While Huszka’s depiction does not show the merchant and beggar of the RWS Six of Pentacles, the merchant and beggar symbols are both important in this position for me. I have given up on being so rigid I will not ask for help. Like the beggars, I am not too proud to ask for what I need. However, as a shadow, I do at times feel like I’m begging. I’m in the midst of the mystery of this death of pride where I’m not yet comfortable in a position of expressing need.

Huszka’s depiction seems very optimistic, perhaps pointing to the good that will come as I complete this passage in my life.

Position Two: What killed it?

Ten of Wands

I couldn’t carry my load alone anymore! I like the symbolism in the RSW depiction, but I really like Huszka’s vision of this card. I’ve pushed so many rocks on my path that I became trapped. They all piled up and I couldn’t move forward. I became completely overwhelmed, and now I’m having to say, “Yes, I do need help. Will you please help me out of this situation?”

Position Three: What needs to die?

King of Cups

While I am able to ask for help, I still keep a pretty good poker face about it all. Rachel Pollack in The New Tarot Handbook says, “The King of Cups may indicate someone with deep levels of feeling who does not show this side to others lest it rise up and flood him” (233). While it’s good to have boundaries, a perpetual refusal to allow people to see my emotions is not a good way for building deep loving and trusting relationships. This fear of vulnerability needs to die.

Position Four: What will release it?

Five of Cups

The traditional RWS depiction is a figure cloaked in black looking at three spilled cups while two upright cups stand behind them. This speaks to grief and loss as well as the hope that remains. I also like Huszka’s interpretation: without sufficient rest or love or trust, our fears can grow and overtake us, making it difficult to see the good. Using both of these depictions, I can say that release from my fear of vulnerability will come from turning around and picking up the two upright cups in the RWS version and in surrendering to the rejuvenating love that is being offered. Both require an act of will. I have to make that choice.

Position Five: What is buried?

Two of Wands

This is a tough card for me to interpret in this position. The Two of Wands can speak to a motivation for change, but an uncertainty about staying put (security) or moving forward (adventure). I have the spark, but what is buried is the confidence to throw myself into the adventure. I peek my head out the door, but I haven’t made a run for it yet. But as Huszka’s depiction of this card shows, stagnation can lead to rot.

Position Six: What can be born?

The Hanged Man

A higher level of peace and acceptance with vulnerability. That word, vulnerability, is what I always think of when I see Huszka’s Hanged Man. And yet she does not look sad or distraught or afraid or uncomfortable. She returns my gaze without shame.

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 this 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.

Reading: The Magician

Reading 2015, Nov 7
Animism Tarot, The Magician’s Reading from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

Position One: What does magic mean to me?

Seven of Pentacles

Rachel Pollack in Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom says it perfectly: “The card implies that whatever has been built up (including relationships between people) has reached a point where it can grow by itself, and the person can step back from it without it collapsing” (246). Yes! For me, it is definitely the relationships. When I can exist so comfortably in a relationship with someone that I’m not constantly doing “work” or feeling self conscious, it is indeed magic.

Position Two: How does magic act in my life?

Queen of Wands

Queens are water, and wands are fire. I would say that magic acts a bit like both of these seemingly contradictory elements. It can act quickly and unexpectedly like fire, but it can also act smoothly and soothingly like water. The Queen of Wands is also considered attractive, and this magic in my life shows me very attractive ways of being in or seeing the world.

Position Three: Where do I look for it?

Four of Wands

I absolutely look for magic in the loving bosom of a stable home. While the number four denotes structure, fire (wands) cannot be easily contained. So this can speak of an expansive, joyous stability. The “warm fuzzies” of stability. This lack of constraint can be seen in the Animism Tarot’s depiction of the Four of Wands as two joyous hummingbirds. While they make their home in the (stable, wand-like) branches, they also fly through the air and feel the warm glow of the sun on their wings.

Position Four: How do I find it?

Page of Cups

This card represents contemplation and imagination, a newly emerging consciousness. She notices synchronicities and feels intuitively. This page is not bogged down by the pressure to make decisions or organize her desires. She happily ponders.  Paul Quinn in Tarot for Life provides this Mark Twain quote to open the discussion of the Page of Cups: “One learns through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect” (199). I can find magic by quietly and contentedly watching what emerges from my subconscious. Don’t judge or feel the need to take immediate action. Allow this magic to manifest itself without accidentally squashing it or altering its course. Like the happy otter in the Animism Tarot swimming alongside the flower watching and enjoying its magic.

Position Five: How do I use it?

Five of Cups

At first I wasn’t sure what to make of this card in this position, but I think it’s actually a very cool card here. It offers a realistic view of using magic in my own life. I have absolutely suffered loss and grief. And that will surface from time to time, but in the traditional RWS depiction, two cups remain upright. My life isn’t over or all sorrow. There is hope and goodness. I can grieve when I need to, but when I don’t I can use the “magic” in my life to turn around and take joy in the two full cups. My life can be full and beautiful even if some of my “cups” have been spilled, and if I use the magic in my life to good ends I can have that full and beautiful life.

I think the Animism Tarot depiction is wonderful for this. The Marbled Salamander sits in his cave. “Rain falls softly as he finds solace in the shadows. He mourns for his losses, and there have been many. But as the rain starts to fade, the sun slowly rises.” The sun after a storm is quite magical, just as joy after great sorrow is.

Overall Reflection

The elements that showed up are the cups, wands, and pentacles. It feels like tarot might be saying, “You may have assigned The Magician the element of air, but if you want to emulate her, you’d better make sure you’re including these other elements.” Additionally, they were all Minor Arcana cards, which could serve as a reminder that I need to remember the grounded, earthly, downward facing arm of The Magician rather than getting stuck in the clouds. Her power is in manifesting her magic in the world around us. Not in thinking about or seeing the spiritual alone.