Today I’m feeling a burst of renewed energy for my business plans. I haven’t stopped being excited about it, but yesterday’s fair left me feeling really pumped that this is something I can totally do! So I’ve been researching and drafting and coming up with stellar ideas. Yay!
Position Two: How can I strive to be my best tomorrow?
Six of Pentacles
For me, this card is very visually polarizing across decks. I either really like it or it really rubs me the wrong way. This isn’t one of my favorite depictions, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t communicate important information. The person sharing coins seems to look off to the side indifferently while carelessly dumping a handful of coins in the general direction of the beggars. This to me is a reminder to be genuine and present when I am with others. Don’t go through the motions or do what I think I “ought” to do. See with my heart and be compassionate and caring. My actions should come from a place of love.
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.
I can see the light! My heart aches much less today. Someone has helped to begin the healing process.
I decided to do a tarot spread to celebrate and process this breakthrough, and I’m calling it the Sunrise.
Position One: What has come to light
Page of Cups
A fresh emotional perspective. A new beginning. Earth of water: a grounded perspective on emotions. Everything is out on the table, and a new journey together is beginning.
Position Two: What to remember about myself
At heart I am a loving nurturer. This doesn’t mean that I have to tolerate being treated badly, but on this new journey I can really thrive and lend my knowledge and skills to the process of growing and renewing. I feel much happier in this role rather than feeling sad and defeated. I can shine now that the sun has risen with the Page of Cups.
I love that this depiction of the Empress has a bird’s nest in her hair. I watched an amazing show on PBS about bird nests and how incredibly intricate they are — truly skilled pieces of construction. Nurturing is not easy work. It is hard work that takes time, dedication, and great skill. I want to build this new nest for a fresh start.
Position Three: What to remember about the other person
King of Cups
They are emotionally invested, but they are working on mastering expression of emotion in healthy ways. Things should be different now, but if they stumble I should remember that they are as emotionally invested as I am. If this happens, I can be firm but loving to direct them back on track.
Position Four: What is possible
Six of Pentacles
A respectful and fair balance. A mutually beneficial give and take. I particularly love the Animal Wisdom Tarot’s description of this card as relating to community and providing for everyone and taking only what one needs. Loving, caring community is possible.
On a side note, this seems to be the card stalking me at the moment.
Position Five: What is the earth/foundation we are standing on
Eight of Swords
The previous foundation was a lack of productive communication. Two minds out of sync, trapped in isolation from each other. Through some intense honesty, the blindfolds have been removed and the new foundation is one of shared knowledge and goals, and mutual understanding. The previous foundation was a recipe for disaster. Now that the foundation has been repaired, hopefully we can build a lovely (and loving) house.
Today there was a wonderful reciprocal balance at home. My sweetheart and I had a nice day enjoying each other’s company, and I did a good job of being present in the moment and enjoying the experience.
Position Two: How can I strive to be my best tomorrow?
Ace of Wands
It’s the beginning of the new year, and I have many projects and ideas. Take advantage of this time of newness to resurrect or begin a project. Even just tentatively beginning. I don’t have to master and complete something immediately. Enjoy the process as well. Just harness my creative powers and see where they lead.
I had a friend over today who has a budding business, and I shared with her my dreams of a tarot business. We had a nice evening of sharing support and advice. A lovely give and take. I was very comfortable accepting help and advice, which can sometimes make me uncomfortable.
Position Two: How can I strive to be my best tomorrow?
Ace of Cups
Revel in the love of family! Enjoy the water element energy. I look forward to it 🙂
This reading is about a choice or situation with extreme contradictions. I will keep in mind my internal conflict between people pleasing and intolerance for what I consider unacceptable behavior.
Position One: Current Situation
Falcon, Seeker of Feathers (Knight of Swords)
Air of air, the Knight of Swords can represent battle. I definitely have an internal battle being fought in a very air-like way (logic, thoughts). I think this card in this position is representative of this internal battle rather than me rushing forward, because I keep wavering back and forth, which is not a courageous run forward.
Position Two: Alternative
Bat, Master of Suspension (The Hanged Man)
Funnily enough, I think this card is an indication that the time for contemplation is over. At least until I reach a new place worth contemplating. It’s time to have my world turned upside down, to surrender control and see what happens. I have thought so much, but the remaining question is how others will react to me when I stop being so quiet and passive. And their reaction is something I cannot control. So surrender and jump into this new world. Then I can ponder where I’ve found myself.
Position Three: Possible Middle Way
Gorilla, Six of Fossils (Six of Pentacles)
I particularly love the Animal Wisdom Tarot interpretation of this card: “Six of Fossils highlights the harmony of exchange. Gorilla advises balance, to share freely and take just what you need. Release judgments of pride or shame; learn to give and receive” (73).
This could imply a more conscious back and forth. I may need to recognize when an olive branch or gift is being extended my way, even if it isn’t being presented in the way I might want or expect it to. And I can communicate what I need. I don’t have to only change my behavior and then fearfully wait for a reaction or response. This doesn’t have to be entirely in my head. I can keep these loving gorillas in mind and try to emulate their give and take, their loving care for all: others and themselves.
Position Four: Needed Approach
Hippo, Ten of Shells (Ten of Cups)
Happy, harmonious, and loving. Approach from a position of assuming the best and of loving those around me rather than imagining the situation as antagonistic or dangerous.
Position Five: How to let energy flow
Heron, Two of Feathers (Two of Swords)
Don’t assume my choice is between either the logical path or the emotional one. They are not actually mutually exclusive. It will be a painful choice if that is the choice system I create. The energy will flow better if I slowly lower my defenses.
Position Six: What commitment is needed
Monkey, Two of Fossils (Two of Pentacles)
I need to commit to the journey, knowing there will be ups and downs. I need to commit to staying in the process. This might take creativity, flexibility, and a playfulness I often keep buried.
There are an abundance of cards that speak directly to balance in this reading! I’m hearing that message loud and clear — both in the spread itself (a reading for Temperance) and in the cards that showed up (The Hanged Man, Six of Fossils, Two of Feathers, Two of Fossils). That may be my new mantra for a while: “Balance. Share like the gorillas. Choices aren’t all mutually exclusive. Go with the ups and downs. ”
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.
Position One: How am I different from the people around me?
This is a really tough card in this position for me, but I’ll do my best after consulting all my books. I think I am more aware of the interconnectedness of all things, I have high hopes and goals, and I am (or try to be) very aware of my unconscious. However, unlike the World, I am not able to transcend the dualities that make up life. The people around me I think are less self-aware, but in being less caught up in trying to balance pieces of themselves, they transcend those issues.
Position Two: What are my deep values?
Six of Cups
The Animal Wisdom Tarot sums up some of my deep values well: “practice giving and receiving; celebrate togetherness; choose peace. … find pleasure in simply joys” (59).
Position Three: What brings me pain?
Seven of Cups
This card can symbolize imagination and daydreams. I am brought pain at times when my fantasies do not materialize into reality.
Position Four: What brings me joy?
Six of Pentacles
Equality, respect, and fairness. I try my best to always consider others’ feelings before speaking and acting, and it makes me really happy when I can tell someone has paid me the same respect. In Joanna’s depiction of the alligator and plover in the Animism Tarot, she says, “Life is a journey of give and take, and when they work as one, they both come out richer.” I agree 🙂
Position Five: What can I discover?
Nine of Cups
There are a wide array of interpretations of this card in my different books and little white books. One of these is enjoying the pleasures of life. I can discover how to live out my deep values of enjoying earthly pleasures. By embracing my imagination but accepting that not all I hope will come true, and through loving respect, my values can come to fruition.
The Hanged Man is a temporary state, so this spread reminds me that while there may be a pause needed before change can occur, I do have to move forward and put my plan into action at some point!
The Six of Pentacles actually caught my eye yesterday as I was looking through the deck, but I was neck deep in the Reader’s Reading so I didn’t stop to look at it closely.
It reminds me of blind justice, but the woman with the scales is not the one blindfolded. The sun behind her head looks almost like a halo. While usually I prefer brighter or cooler colors, I really like something about the colors of this card. I think it’s really beautiful. I’m not sure what the blindfolds on the other two people represent, but I’m curious to find out. I would guess this card is about charity or fairness or compassion.
Reflections After Research
The figure with the scales also holds the money, so this could imply that the one with power is the one also deciding what is considered fair or who is deserving of charity. That’s kind of a pessimistic outlook. It could also indicate that the person with power (or money) is using that position of privilege to create fairness.
It looks like the blindfolds may be unique to the Efflorescent Tarot deck, but I’m still curious. For a while I worked in a place that served underserved people. We (the ones working there) had access to a lot of information about navigating different avenues of assistance. Many of the people we served were not aware of these forms of assistance until we told them. So this could in a way represent the obligation of those in positions of power/privilege to actively help people in need become aware of what may be available to them. There could be ten outstretched hands full of money in front of these blindfolded individuals, but without having access to that knowledge they may remain destitute.
Some of the people I worked with would never go out of their way to share these things with the people we served; they said they should ask if they want to know. But not everyone knows the same things or communicates in the same way. If the woman with the scales and coins only walks up to these two blindfolded people and stands there (visually communicating), she is not actually helping. She should also say, “Reach out and take these coins from my hand” or she should place the coins in their hands. These things would communicate in a way that could be perceived: sound and touch.
Helping and desiring to help are one thing, but taking the responsibility of making sure that help is effective is essential. Without this step, any “help” is just a way to make the “giver” feel good about themselves rather than an actual commitment to fairness, change, or compassion.
From my animal decks:
Gorilla: Balance, sharing with the community. Take only what you need and give what you can, or else the balance is upset. Maybe that’s what the scales in the Efflorescet Tarot could represent!
Alligator & Plover: Both creatures benefit from their relationship. Again, the theme of balance.