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 fromย 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.

Lost In A Depression Hole

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.

3 - Reading
Golden Tarot (in not-so-great lighting since it’s night!)

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.

Reading: True Magic

Still feeling all ruffled and weird inside. Better than before, yes, but scared and vulnerable too. So I decided to try another spread from Barbara Moore’sย Tarot Spreads. I settled on the “True Magic” spread to help reframe this issue in a way that can make me think outside the box. Think “magically,” if you will! I’m feeling at a loss for quite what to do and, like I said, feeling quite vulnerable. So as has become my norm, I am seeking some perspective from tarot ๐Ÿ™‚

Reading 2016, Jan 8
Ostara Tarot

Position One: The magic I have, whether I realize it or not

Page of Swords

An enthusiastic curiosity and willingness to tackle any obstacle I find worthwhile. And I find this current obstacle incredibly worthwhile. I think that is part of what makes it so painful. It is so important to me, but the path is made of quicksand. I have to tread carefully. In some situations I’m totally at peace with taking things slowly. In this situation I am so eager to reach a better place I feel antsy and confused and unsure of myself. If I reframe this feeling as enthusiasm and dedication it may make the process easier.

Position Two: The magic I need and should try to acquire

The Emperor

Trust in stability. Trust in the stability of family. I need the magic of a supportive safety net that I know and believe will catch me if and when I fall. I need the magic of believing in the stability of other people’s love. I am fiercely loyal to those I love, but I don’t trust that most people who love me will return the favor. I need the magic of having people in my corner.

When I first began learning about this card, I didn’t really care for it. It felt rigid and bossy and constraining. I am beginning love this card because I pine for what it can represent: safe stability.

Position Three: Who will help

Ten of Coins

Well … family! Those I look up to and long to be family with. They can help, but we come from such different backgrounds that it is tricky ground to cover together. We each have such different ideologies about how to handle these things and how to even communicate about handling these things.

And perhaps my grandmother can help too. She is still with me in spirit, so even though I can’t call her anymore, I can feel her and know what her advice would be. She and I are soul mates, and I know she would want me to see this though. She would be firm that I stick around and not run away.

Position Four: What to do

Two of Cups

Practice active loving — and that includes for myself. This is trickier than it seems in this situation. Loving myself feels like standing up for myself (which I’ve done), and loving this other person feels like forgiving and allowing for another try at this. I want to do both, and that’s where I’m a bit conflicted. Where and how do I hop back and forth between to the two? To both protect myself and to participate in the rebuilding of this relationship? I’m not sure what the answer is, but those are indeed both things I deeply desire to do.

Position Five: What not to do

Five of Swords

Do not be so prideful and stubborn that I hurt myself and those around me. On principle it is tempting to throw in the towel and say, “Look, I’m done. I can’t do this anymore.” It would be one thing if that was the healthiest and best path for myself. But I would be devastated. Being vulnerable and working together is scary and will be hard work, but it’s better than the long-term regret and sorrow that would come from removing myself entirely from the relationship. That would be a mistake.

Position Six: Outcome

The Tower

I was startled when I turned this card over at first, but then I immediately thought, “Oh! A fresh start!” There has certainly been a proverbial fire, and an old way of functioning in a relationship is crumbling. So the outcome is the destruction of a damaged and unsafe way of being. I certainly hope that is utterly destroyed. I’m happy to burn that to the ground. I would love this outcome! This is best case scenario. I don’t want anything to do with the old way of things. I want positive and loving communication and respect. Not indifference and anger. Burn, baby, burn!

Overall Impression

I feel like this reading was loud an clear about family, love, and trust. I really feel like I’m settling into a comfortable groove with tarot where my intuition can kick in, and I can really connect the cards to my life. It’s a very cool feeling, and it’s such a support! I feel more physically at ease after a reading. It gets my thoughts more settled and allows me to find very productive ways of viewing the world and approaching the things that come up in my life. Ah, I love it!

Evening Read

I’ve been contemplating a daily activity with tarot that I will enjoy and benefit from. Daily draws didn’t seem to beย quite what I was looking for, so after some pondering I have a plan to try. I plan to (usually daily) draw two cards at the end of the day.

Position one is: What did I excel at or learn today? (So, finding a positive)

Position two is: How can I strive to be my bestย tomorrow? (Self-growth)

I just got the absolutely stunning Ostara Tarot deck, so I decided to do my first evening read with it ๐Ÿ™‚

Reading 2015, Dec 14
Ostara Tarot

Position One: What did I excel at or learn today?

Two of Cups

Paul Quinn inย Tarot for Life says, “At its deepest level the Two of Cups echoes the Lovers’ theme of making peace with our inner opposites” (181). I was surprisingly not hard on myself today. I let myself relax and play with no self-scoldingย or obsessive thoughts that I could be doing something “better” with my time. I guess I did a good job of loving myself today!

Position Two: How can I strive to be my bestย tomorrow?

Ten of Swords

Don’t be overly cerebral. Stay in touch with my emotions and maintain compassion and patience for myself and others. Stop myself and work to stay grounded if my thoughts spiral out of control. Use the acronym “halt” — am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?

Reading: The Moon

Reading 2015, Dec 3
Gypsy Palace Tarot, A Reading for the Moon from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

Position One: What phase of the moon am I in — waxing, full, or waning?

The World

When I first read this question I was really worried about how to read waxing, full, or waning from a card. But the World clearly says full!

Position Two: What benefits does it bring me?

The Moon

It should give me the power and light necessary to explore the mysterious world of my unconscious during this new time in my life.

Position Three: How does it challenge me?

Two of Cups

As I’ve spoken of before, giving freely in love is a new and challenging experience. But the metaphor of a full moon certainly describes where I’m at as far asย being ready to really give it a go. So it’s a challenge, but one I’m up for.

Position Four: How can I meet the challenge?

Eight of Cups

By leaving behind my carefully constructed walls and assumptions about the world and how love works (or doesn’t). The Eight of Cups acknowledges that it’s not the world’s easiest choice, but the choice is made and I am moving forward.

Position Five: What will come next?

Three of Swords

Go away, Three of Swords! I’m tired of seeing you! And what are you doing in this position?

Huszka’s little white book frames this as a card of letting go. While I am using logic to overcome my deeply emotional fears regarding relationships, it doesn’t mean it will be a painless transition. So perhaps this is a reminder that a new direction won’t automatically make it all sunshine and rainbows. There will be discomfort and possibly pain. This card also features a moon. So in this position I read that as deception. Any pain that comes will likely result from the irrational beliefs that I hold, so when it happens I should stop and examine the pain and the beliefs behind the pain.

 

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 Devil

Reading 2015, Nov 28
Efflorescent Tarot, A Reading for The Devil from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

Position One: What illusory chains hold me?

The Hierophant

A set of beliefs thatย don’t serve me well.

Position Two: How can I see through the illusion?

Three of Cups

By seeingย the joy that can come from another way of seeing and being in the world and being cognizant of theย lack of joy that comes from this damaging set of beliefs.

Position Three: How do I free myself?

Two of Cups

By giving trust and accepting love.

Position Four: What will I discover?

The World

Fulfillment and wholeness ๐Ÿ™‚

Position Five: What is the first step?

Two of Swords

Stop mulling things over, stop doubting myself.

Reading 2015, Nov 28 (2)Shadow card

Two of Pentacles

The reading didn’t call for a shadow card, but I’ve just recently learned about this concept (the bottom card on the deck), and I thought this would be a good reading to pull it and see what it might say.

The reading was pretty straight forward, and I didn’t feel the need to write at length about the different positions, but this makes theย third two in this reading. Balance, balance, balance. I’m reading you loud and clear, tarot. The Two of Pentacles reminds me that yes there will be ups and downs, but that’s no reason to quit. I don’t need to rejoin the “devil I know” when things get scary. I just need to know that things will be on the upswing soon and to hang in there. I’ll get my footing or sea legs — it just might take practice and a few tumbles.