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.
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.
As I’ve talked about many times before, I identify strongly with the Nine of Wands and its defensive meaning. Tonight I decided to draw nine cards to represent the nine wands of my little defensive fortress. I don’t have any particular question in mind. I just thought I’d practice trying to see the spread as a whole. Baby steps. And I’m not in the mood tonight to look on the bright side or to think of how I can respond positively in this current situation. I’m holed up in my fortress, and that’s the way it is right now. Maybe these nine card can give me some insight or validation about my little fortress or how I end up here.
Well, the first thing I noticed is the three fives. Struggle, conflict, and pain. The Two of Swords speaks to a difficult choice. The Eight of Cups is leaving something behind, while the Devil is being trapped. The Page of Swords is rational and assertive, but may be too quick to judge. The Knight of Cups is dreamy and romantic, and the Ten of Pentacles is about abundance and family. So, putting these all together …
Three of the cards that jump out as part of the same narrative to me are the Devil, the Two of Swords, and the Eight of Cups. A difficult decision is being pondered behind these fortress walls: Do I abandon something I’ve worked very hard at? And am I at risk for some kind of imprisonment either way? If I walk away, am I trapped by my own inability to stick it out, resulting in a Five of Pentacles (hurt) and/or Five of Swords (hollow “victory”) situation? Or if I stay, am I trapped by my emotional intensity (Knight of Cups) in being too invested in something I don’t get emotional returns on?
Part of me wants to Five of Wands the situation. Open up my gates and come out swinging. Sharing some characteristics with the Page of Swords, I could be effective at that particular approach, but is that the approach I want to take? And will that lead me to the abundance of life of the Ten of Pentacles?
The cards certainly reflect the conflict waging within myself and in my outer world. Not only conflict, though, but intense confusion and mixed emotions. The Knight of Cups and the Page of Swords don’t seem to see eye to eye about how to do things, and they’re both certainly fighting within me. I also, against my better judgment, hold out a wee bit of hope for wholeness and happiness (Ten of Pentacles). Do I stay, do I go? Do I love, do I fight? I do recognize that these things are not necessarily either/or. They’re still very uncomfortable to mix and balance. Too much of one and I damage myself. Too much of another, and I do unnecessary harm to someone else. What a mess!
I’m not sure how “well” I did at interpreting this, but this seems to have helped me to articulate some of my conflicting emotions about this situation. So I’ll call it a success! These cards all did really hit home, and when I put them in direct conversation with each other the conflict and confusion really seemed apparent to me.
And I’m certainly open to any help or suggestions as I awkwardly wiggle into the stage of trying to see the spread as a whole 🙂
I found this great Thanksgiving spread I’d like to try out. I’m doing it a day early because we’re getting ready to head over to spend the next couple days with family, and I won’t have anywhere private to do this. (I’m not exactly “out” yet about my tarot reading.)
This seems a lot more gloomy than I was anticipating. Time to dive in and see what some of this might mean.
Position One: What sustains me (Turkey)
Five of Pentacles
This seemed like a tough card in this position, but I pulled out Joanna’s little white book, and some of the key words she uses for this card can certainly fit here: “truth, adaptation, endurance.” These little kiwis have been through a lot, but they still have each other and they know this moment is not the end. Better things will come. They just have to endure the present moment. I think it is fair to say that this sense of endurance is something that sustains me. I’ve been through bad times, but I’ve learned to stick with those who love me and to know in the midst of sorrow and hardship that better things will come.
Position Two: What completes me (Stuffing)
The Wheel of Fortune
A change in my life for the better. The period of my life defined by pain has ended. A new era has dawned, and even though some of it is mysterious and beyond my control, it’s a much better place to be. I love the image of a spider web as the Wheel. This can symbolize the interconnectedness of all things. I may only be a thread in the web, but I am both an essential piece (valuable, with purpose) and connected to the others (attached, not in control). Additionally, spider webs look pretty delicate, but they’re quite strong.
Position Three: What I don’t get enough of (Green Bean Casserole)
Ace of Swords
At first I was confused by this card in this position since I tend to be a sword-heavy person. But perhaps in this place it means clarity and courage. I think a lot and rely on my mind a lot, but it doesn’t mean I’ve felt brave about some of the changes I’d like to make, or clear on how to create these changes. I’ve not been seeing with the clear sight of the eagle.
I like what Joanna says, “Let the world speak. What we find may not be what we wanted, but it may be what we needed after all.”
Position Four: What I get too much of (Cranberry Sauce)
Ace of Wands
Well, I’ve already established that it’s not courage. I think with this Ace in this position, I think I’ve had too much fire and drive with too little direction to send it in. I want change, I’m ready for change, but I’ve got all this pent up energy. Without the clarity of the Ace of Swords, I can get burned by this energy.
Position Five: What I need to share (Bread)
One of the many meanings that the Magician conveys is “as above, so below,” and so also “as within, so without.” I have moments of confidence and pride in who I am on a deep level. I need to share that. I need to share myself, my talents, and my skills to create the “as within, so without” balance represented in the Magician.
Position Six: What I should enjoy more (Pie)
Nine of Wands
This is a card of defensiveness. When I first discovered this, I immediately related to it. The RWS depiction of someone with their flimsy fort of sticks was a symbolic depiction that spoke directly to me. In the Animism Tarot, we can see that this elephant had good reason to fight. She was being held captive. However, if we look closely, we can see that her chains are broken. She can run away now. I should enjoy my freedom more, rather than feeling like I’m still in the middle of a fight.
Position Seven: What my blessing is in life (Blessing)
Three of Swords
While this card represents heartbreak and pain most clearly, it also speaks to healing. I wouldn’t necessarily call my pain a blessing, but the sunrise after the storm is something a lot of people don’t get to see. For folks who live out their lives in mostly sunny days, a sunrise may not be something special. But as someone who spent the first two decades of her life in a dark and scary storm, the sunrise after was and continues to be a huge blessing. My blessing is that I escaped my pain (or the source of my pain, anyway), and I get to journey to greener pastures. I get to revel in the joy of many small kindnesses that others may take for granted.
That turned out much less gloomy than I thought it might at first glance. My pain is a part of me, but that doesn’t mean the pain itself stays central to who I am. It may shape me, but my life is about more than dwelling in the hurt.
Note: I swapped green bean casserole and cranberry sauce from their original positions in Arwen’s spread to better fit my Thanksgiving taste buds 🙂