of shadow work
facing the darkness /
to live in the light
to live in the light
Today we are looking at the Three of Pentacles (Mars in Capricorn). Please be patient with me- this post might be kind of long but I will do my best to structure the information in a way that’s easy for you to understand. As you will come to realize if you keep reading, the Three of Pentacles is about seeing what works & what doesn’t work, & when it comes to transmitting a lot of information, what works best is to be 1) detailed, 2) organized & 3) slow.
First things first, understanding the root, or base of the The Three of Pentacles, also known as Mars in Capricorn. The Three of Pentacles is a combination of Mars energy (represented by the Tower) & Capricorn energy (represented by the Devil). Therefore the Three of Pentacles is equal to The Tower + The Devil.
Remember, the Tower is the uncomfortable & unforeseen finger of God toppling structures in our lives that are already unstable, so that we can rebuild purposefully & effectively to achieve greater stability.
Traditionally the Devil is seen as repetitive habits, patterns & relationships that have become toxic & perfunctory- in other words, the things we do because we can’t not do them, whether we want to do them or not. This can range from smoking cigarettes after every meal (even if you hate the taste & you want healthy lungs), or smiling at people who irritate you (because God forbid you should appear impolite), or driving the same way to work every morning even though you want to try new routes (but maybe tomorrow).
Indulge me in talking about the Devil a wee bit more, because our work around the Lovers card in the Ten of Swords changed my understanding of the Devil. If you hold up the Lovers Card next to the Devil card, you can see that they feature the exact same people, except in different environments. In the Lovers card, they have distance between them in paradise but in the Devil card, they are chained together in hell. Once we figured out that the The Ten of Swords (Sun in the Lovers) is seeing what love really looks like (in all its ugliness), I realized that if the Lovers is about ‘Love,’ then the Devil is about ‘Like.’
Remember the distance between the couple in the Lovers..? This is because real love allows for freedom. Real love allows folks the distance to follow their own path of self discovery. Real love allows folks to make mistakes (Ten of Swords) & figure out how to move on & grow. However ‘Like,’ doesn’t allow for the same freedom. When you ‘like’ something, you expect it to remain exactly the same. For example, I liked your hair like that, why’d you change it? Or I liked the couch in this corner, why did you move it?’ or I liked you better before you got your degree because you were easier to talk to.’ When we ‘like’ things/ people, we don’t give any space or freedom because we get addicted. We consume things we like (call me when you get home!), but we preserve the things we love (I know you’re tired, get some rest & I’ll talk to you later).
The reason this dynamic (Devil energy) is depicted in the environment of Hell, is because it's unnatural & torturous for anything God made (relationships, circumstances)- no matter how much we enjoyed them in the beginning- to never change. The Most High (Nature) is constantly in a state of change, cycles, transitions & flux. Like Octavia Butler wrote, God is Change. Therefore any person or circumstance that doesn’t allow change & evolution automatically becomes the antithesis of nature, the enemy of God, the Devil.
It's clear from the Devil card that this is an unnatural arrangement. If we could hear the couple in the card speaking, they are saying, I, like you, am chained (changed). In other words, I’m just like you are- I’m different than I used to be & I’d like to move on & explore that, but I’m stuck here forced to pretend as if everything is the same & I am not chained (changed).
Ok, hold that in your hand for a second, & let’s go back & talk about the Tower, or the other half of the dual influence that makes up the Three of Pentacles. Once again, the Three of Pentacles is a Minor Arcana card that is the combination of two Major Arcana cards- the Tower card & the Devil. If we were to study the Major Arcana in order, we would see that in the order of the deck, the Tower card comes immediately after the Devil card. In other words, when we are stuck in Devil energy (refusing to change), the Tower is God’s way of forcing us to change. We look forward to the Tower in that instance, because it’s the only thing that can move us out of our own self-imposed prison. We are ready for the transition.
However, remember with the Three of Pentacles, it's a depiction of Mars in Capricorn, or the Tower in the Devil. In other words, whereas the Tower traditionally follows the Devil, in the Three of Pentacles, Mars (the Tower) precedes Capricorn (the Devil). This is when change happens suddenly in the midst of us slowly becoming aware that we probably should change- but we are not quite ready to do it. In the Three of Pentacles, we are not ready for the transition.
Two realistic examples of the Three of Pentacles, or Mars in Capricorn, or the Tower in the Devil:
Y’all get the gist- The Three of Pentacles represents those moments where the thing you eventually wanted to happen- or knew would happen sooner or later, HAPPENS NOW, with no warning or preparation. Pencils down, time’s up, this is where we (& everyone else) find out what we’re really made of.
Let’s follow this testing metaphor (pencils down!) for a moment as we look at the actual Three of Pentacles card. These moments are life testing us, yes? And the way we move forward from these moments depends on how we “pass,” them, right? So we can look at the environment in the Three of Pentacles as a grey area, or a grading area, where we pass or fail the tests & trials of life. Remember from the Ace of Swords that life = light; so the Three of Pentacles is a grading area where we test & trial the LIGHT within our grey (great) cell (self).
When all is dark around us, do we know how to turn on our inner light & see our cell (self)? Can we become aware of ourselves (cell, aware) enough to figure out how we got stuck here, & how our position here affects others? Can we muster the courage to move through the only way out- the scary shadows (sad how) & find a way to light (like) ourselves again? Can we find our way up from the rock bottom of self(cell)-imprisonment into freedom? Can we forgive ourselves & then forget ourselves?
That seems so hard! Its seems like so much work- to 1)become aware of how our actions affect our own life, 2) to become aware of how our actions affect other people, 3) to face our faults & the things we don’t like about ourselves, 4) forgive ourselves, & 5) forget our issues enough to let our light shine outwards on others who need it.
That is a lot! That is too much! That’s enough to shout to the Almighty Most High Test Maker- why are you giving me all this to deal with?? Why have you ASSIGNED ME SO MUCH?!
And then the Almighty Most High Test Maker whispers back- you ASKED for this beloved, remember? Remember in the Four of Wands when you asked me to send-you-a-sign (send you, assign)? Remember when you asked me to show you a way where you could be of service & also receive what you need? This is it! This is the answer to your prayers, no? I have sent you as assistance to the person who needs you the most- YOU.
Dammit lol. That’s why they say ‘be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.’ We want to believe the work lies outside of us because that’s where our attention is usually focused, but truly it begins within, where we are most uncertain, most unqualified, most insecure, because it's where we spend the least time. It takes a lot of work to want to spend time alone in your cell (self). You have to really, really like yourself ( your cell). The way you live inside your cell (self) affects the way you face & deal with the world. Just think in terms of your actual home- when you like your room / house, you 1) don’t mind having people over & 2) don’t mind when they leave, because either way you’re content in your space. But when you don’t like your room /house, you 1) hate having people over & 2) feel bad when they leave because you’re all alone again.
When you like your cell (self), the people in your life are free to come and go. When you don’t like your cell (self), it's hard for people to get close to you but when they do, you project your insecurities onto them (Why are you leaving?? Don’t you want me?? Don’t you love me??).
The only solution to turning your cell (self) from a place that you don’t like into a place you do like, is to re-spec the cell (respect the self).
Spec (v.)- give (something) a particular specification; construct to a specified standard.
If we look at the Three of Pentacles, we see there are only-two-men (only human) showing the man-working-on-his-cell (self) a blueprint for re-construction (re-spec). He made a mistake (only human) but there is still time to fix it & be rewarded for his efforts. He can re-design himself, or re-spec. They tell him, re-spec the way you build your cell. Re-spec & we’ll pay.
Respect yourself. Respect will be paid. Raise your standards. Build yourself UP.
Remember again, the Three of Pentacles is a combination of Tower + Devil energy. If the Devil represents the unwillingness to change (I don’t like it but this is who I am), then God is love in the form of change (opposite of the Devil). To re-spec yourself then, is an act of self-love whereby you allow yourself to evolve (change!) in the form of raising your standards & expectations for YOU. Maybe you no longer like (light) the things you used to like (light), but what lights you up NOW? What do you like now? What are you like, now? Allow yourself to reintroduce yourself, haha.
When you re-spec your cell so that it lights up from within, you become a beacon to others (hey Eight of Swords!) When you are a light unto yourself, this affects the trajectory of those Three of Pentacles moments, where you are suddenly faced with situations you didn’t expect that show you & everyone else what you’re made of. In the face of uncertainty, do you enlighten? Illuminate? Provide an example of direction & instruction? When folks are lost, do you help them? When you are lost, do you help yourself?
Or do you hold-yourself-in-black (hold yourself back) & deny (knee-high), as you buy time in your stall (bide your time & stall) because you feel dim (dumb)?
It all depends on 1) Whether you’re able to do the work being asked of you (re-spec your cell) & 2) What you tell yourself about these foolish interruptions.
Can you take a joke (jolt / Tower)? Can you handle the unexpected? Are you prepared? Are you stable? Are you confident? Is your work consistent or inconsistent? Do you practice what you preach? Can you make fun for / of yourself?
Remember the Three of Pentacles holds Devil energy (which isn’t inherently bad! We like the Devil!).
Keeping that in mind, where is the most common location of the Devil? IN THE DETAILS.
Details = Do, tell us.
What DO we TELL ourselves about these Three of Pentacles moments? Is this an opportunity for blanket affection (those fools are wearing blankets, in case you wondered) & providing warmth in an otherwise cold place? Is this an opportunity to level up / graduate / see-their-dilploma (diploma, see? diplomacy)? Is this a chance to be polite & work together?
Or is this an opportunity for side-lean-abutment (silent judgements) & say this the re-spec, fool! (disrespectful)?
Can you offer warmth & a positive solution for whatever shows up in your cell? Or do you refuse to offer common decency to new developments because they disturb your grey monotony?
The story we tell (do tell!) ourselves & others about these only human (only-two-men) moments affect how we behave.
Remember again, the Devil is in the details. It appears as though there are three people in here, but where are they really?
IN YOUR CELL. How can anyone be inside yourself except YOU?? Every action or nonaction we take, arises with ourselves first. We can’t affect anyone without first affecting ourselves. We can’t disrespect or respect another person without first disrespecting or respecting ourselves. Our whole big lives happen within our tiny cells & no place else.
This can be exhilarating or infuriating depending on our understanding of our cell (self). Either we can feel as if we are all alone (tiny cell!) & powerless to change our circumstances; or we can recognize that we have the power to re-spec our cell & make it bigger & more powerful if we so desire (infinite cell!).
The answer lies in becoming clear on our position within our cell. Isn’t that crazy- that we are in our cell but we are not our cell! We in-body (embody) as a work-man, but the cell is separate from who we truly are.
It's difficult to discern the work-man’s position actually, because he’s in between two planes of existence. On the one hand he’s under a building (below), but on the other hand he’s standing above the floor (above). He’s below & above at the same time. This is magic! This is sorcery! LOL
This is BEL / OVE.
Hold up. Say that again.
So the occupation of the work man in his cell, is to be love.
Which means the Three of Pentacles is a sudden opportunity (hey Tower!) to remind us that we are not our cells, we are the love inside our cells.
& What does God (love) do that the Devil (like) don’t do?
As the God (love) inside our cells, our job (hey work-man!) is to re-spec ourselves so that we continue to level up, grow, expand, & consistently labor towards the infinite potential of our building (build-in).
We are alone in our cell (selves) but we are not alone in this work. This is the work we ALL do. All cells (selves) are similar in the re-spec that our identity is love & our work is to transform our cells by turning on our light (like).
Love is who we are, & light is what we do.
Love is who we are & like is what we do.
I am love, I like (light) myself.
If I don't, I can change.
P.S. How though?? How do we change? How do we re-spec? We are tired, worn out, hopeless in this dark af grey cell. Where do we find the light? Who has answers? Who sent these fools to bother us in the midst of this VERY IMPORTANT WORK?? Where is the boss? Can we speak to someone on the upper levels because none of this down here makes any freaking sense?! Can someone just… make it plain?!
(pray, ask thee Lord)
& in the meantime
(light it up)
(do what lights you up, for a change from darkness)
Do what you like, for a change.
P.P.S. One more thing- advice is a hidden element of this card. If a Tower (uh oh) is falling onto the Devil (nothing ever changes), then you’re dealing with something you’ve never you’ve never dealt with before. You are literally “in the dark” with your situation. This makes you feel stuck in your cell (self) within a particular reality or situation that you can’t “see” your way through. Now if love is what we are & light is what we do, then the very thing we are made for is to get each other & ourselves through dark times. We’re above it & beneath it at the same time (bel/ove) so we have the capability to show/find the way through; all we need is some perspective from someone up ahead who can shine a light backwards & give us some direction. But that would require you telling this person where you are (point to it on a map) so they can show you where they’ve been (i went that-a-way; you don’t wanna go that-a-way). In this way, the two of you can work together, back & forth in the darkness until the lost one becomes found, i.e. your realities shift from one of you being in an undesirable situation & the other in the opposite desirable situation, to you both being in the desired situation. That’s advice- you’ve been there, you tell me, I listen, we live well, happily ever after. Or, you’ve been there, you tell me, I don’t listen, I don’t live well, I learn, I change, I live well, I’ve been there, I tell the next person, they listen, they live well, we live happily ever after. Or they don’t listen, they don’t live well, they don’t learn, they don’t change, they die.
Advice can go all sorts of ways. It’s up to us to give it & it’s up to us to take it. But remember, the devil is in the details. No matter whether we take the advice or not, this whole time, we’ve still only been in our cells. We’re the only ones in the dark. The hour groweth late, & we have to figure out how to rise higher than this lil' ass step stool if we’re gonna light a whole building. We have a light (life) to build. Just the one. We have to think bigger. It’s scary but we can do it.
We have to truss ourselves.
“A truss is an assembly of beams or other elements that creates a rigid structure. In engineering, a truss is a structure that "consists of two-force members only, where the members are organized so that the assemblage as a whole behaves as a single object".”
To successfully build our light/life, we have to become an “assembly of beams” (light/ like/ things we like in re-spec to being love) “that create a rigid structure.” What does love do? Love BUILDS YOU UP. Structure. Discipline. Planning. Integrity. We must consist of “two-force members only,” what works & what doesn’t, in re-spec for building the best possible light/life, which is the entirety of our work. & We must constantly organize our two members (this works / this does not work) read: get our shit together- so that our “assemblage as a whole behaves as a single object.” This is accomplished by deciding that no matter what happens, whether it does or doesn’t work; that both force members have behaved as a single object by building a light/life of love (that’s you!)
It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it was all useful because whatever happened was love-doing-its-best-to-build-you-up. Look, at the tall floors (all yours!) We live in our best life. :)
Ok, back to trussing ourselves. Trusting ourselves to do what exactly?
To build our best life.
Ok but how though?
Me to me: I like how you think, girl! Did you really write this whole post yourself? Wow. That’s really cool. And people are gonna read it? And think about what you said? Wow! That’s awesome. What else can you do? I bet you can do so much!! I bet you can do things you don’t even know you can do. You’re amazing!
(Love builds you up.)
P.P.P.S. We don't only have the power to build our own lives/lights, but we are also capable, as love, of building other cells (selves) up & tearing them down. Remember, that love builds you up. You don't have to light/like everyone but don't tear them down.
Re-spec. Move around. (Hey Three of Cups!)
P.P.P.P.S. You couldn't have understood this whole post unless you've been doing all your shadow work up in here which is SO MUCH WORK. I feel like this post was a pop-quiz from our Master Teacher (it certainly felt like an essay test, yeah?) so if you passed & you feel good about yourself (like you!) then CONGRATULATIONS B**** THE SHADOW WORK IS WORKING WOOOOOTTTTTTT!!! I am SO PROUD OF US!!!
& if you don't feel that way you don't know wtf we're talking about, drop a comment & we're happy to help.
(just a-like you)
Y’all, this Three of Pentacles won’t leave me alone! We’ve had posts where we covered two cards in one day, & now we’re gonna have a post where we cover one card in two days because apparently there is more to say-
I know I said that Pentacles = Pinnacles (problems to solve / perspectives to reach) but the Most High showed me that Pentacles (at least in the case with this card) also = Principles, i.e. rules to live by.
The first principle was that we are not our cells/selves, we are the love that animates our cells/selves. As love, our job is to build a life/light, or a life we like, or a life that is lit up.
Principle 1: Love is who you are, light is what you do.
The second principle is that as love that lights, we have to trust ourselves to move through the darkness via a lifelong process of trial & error whereby we understand & report to others what works & what doesn’t work.
Principle 2: Through trial & error, we learn to trust ourselves & guide others seeking to build a life/light of love.
The third principle is what brought me back to this post because it's important af. Remember when I said in the original post that we have to forgive ourselves & then forget ourselves? That’s because of-
Principle 3: We are not alone. Love & light is not all there is.
Hold those pentacles in your hand for a second.
When we began our shadow work, we agreed to close our eyes & face our inner darkness. We looked into the black hole within ourselves; into our painful memories & ugly bits, the things we aren’t proud of, the things we wish we could forget. We faced the growling shadows within & rectified them one by one. Yay us!
But remember we agreed we are not our shadows, yes? Our shadows were merely blocking our inner light, or keeping us from lighting/liking ourselves. Now that we’ve removed so many layers of darkness, one by one, finally our light/like begins to shine, since we’ve taken the first step (as an act of self of love) toward building ourselves up. We can see that our true nature is the light, & not the darkness. Finally we give ourselves permission to open our eyes (they were closed for a while as we meditated on the inner work, yes?) & truly see.
What do we see? Well… if we are the light, then the only thing we could possibly see is...more darkness. What would be the purpose of spending our lives building a life that is lit up from within, if we are not located in some form of outer darkness? Therefore our life purpose as love, is to illuminate the dark. Now that we’ve dealt with the darkness within us, we are better prepared (& finally aware!) to deal with the darkness outside us. This too, is shadow work.
Let’s use our logic + imagination to see where this is going. If we are love at work in our cells/selves building lives of light, then a shorter title for ourselves would be light workers.
As light workers, by definition & common sense, we can deduce that we must be surrounded by darkness (otherwise what would be the point of the work?) We must also acknowledge that this darkness is closer to us as any other light- because it is the presence of light that gives shape & boundary to darkness.
This isn’t benign darkness either. This darkness is active. This darkness is alive just like we are alive. If we are love-in-self that brings in light, then the darkness too, has a self that brings in dark. The darkness is working just like we are working, & there are more of them than us. If we’ve been assigned (send me! assign!) to keep it light, then they have also been assigned to keep it dark. (read: shady)
Even though the darkness is our closest companion, it takes us a while to discover it there. We as light workers are hella self absorbed (in our self of love) because we like ourselves. We want to be with ourselves, talk about ourselves, share ourselves. Me is our favorite person.
This is why it takes us awhile to realize that those closest to us (read:shady) don’t really like us. Other people building lives they light/like have the ability to like/light us, because they light/like themselves, but those people are at a distance surrounded by their own darkness. That’s how you recognize them as a single light.
However, the darkness (which is sitting right beside you), cannot possibly like/light you. Don’t take it personally, either because this is science. This is the nature of humans, who are dark and light.
The light is there to illuminate the dark- which gives the light purpose. And the dark is there to shade the light, which gives it definition. The light likes/lights the dark, but the dark only needs the light. They don’t like/light you but they are attracted to you (like a moth to a flame), want you, need you, otherwise they would disappear. If not for being near your light, they could see nothing except all the other beings of the dark. They would blend in, lose definition, be lost.
Lost (lost us/ lost us) except for you, the light.
L/us/t, but for you.
Lust for you.
But cannot possibly like you & actively doing the work of the dark, which is to not light/like you.
Hold that pentacle in your other hand.
Now we have to talk about the difference between love (which you are) & lust (which will be offered to you from the darkness).
We also have to talk about why they seem the same at first, but are not the same, & how to figure out the difference between the two.
Have you heard the phrase, “new levels, new devils?” It means that for every level you build your life up, there will always be something that appears on that level to chain you up, hold you back, bring you down, confuse you. Remember that the “devil is in the details, yes?”
Let’s look at the details in the Three of Pentacles. These two men that have entered the cell appear very similar. You could say they are one person, doubled. They both point to the map, as if asking the worker to choose: Which of us is right? Which of us is true? How is the worker to know when they both look & sound so similarly except for minor details? How is he to know which one is love (like him/ likes him) & which one is lust (does not like him but needs him)?
Remember that at each level, there is a devil (in the details/ do, tell). The first level was the moment of creation where the Most High spoke life into existence: Let there be light.
From this level immediately sprang up another principle, seemingly a double of the first, yet quite different in detail (do, tell): From light, came lie.
Let there be light. Let there be lies. These are the two elements of life.
You are love, & your work is to light.
The other is lust, & its work is to lie.
Those that lust for you cannot light / like you, but they can lie to you about love, and they can live with you & lie with you in lust. They can need you & want you & be addicted to you, because you are the light of their life/lie, & all they want to do is live with you & lie with you (while lying to you, but never, ever build a light/life with you that you like, because that would be counter-productive to its purpose.) Remember, the darkness has a job to do, just like you.
Through this process of confusion, we become the embodiment of love lost in lust & our light goes dim.
To prevent this, we must understand that love & lust are as different as light and darkness. The bible tells us that love is patient & kind; this means lust is impatient & mean (I need you now; Who her? Fuck her). The bible says love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. This means lust is all of those things- envious (skinny bitch), boastful (look how much I paid for this!) & rude (no offense but…). The bible says that love is not irritable or resentful, it doesn’t not rejoice in wrongdoing but REJOICES IN THE TRUTH. Meanwhile lust says, hurry up, let's sneak, just lie, no one has to know. Finally, the bible says love never ends; but lust is bored with you already & says sorry, my phone died, I had to work late, I fell asleep.
Oooh, what a mess! Luckily though, the bible also tells us the battle is not y/ours, but the Lord’s. As the love within our cells, our only job is to keep building our lights/lives & not be deceived into darkness through the lustful lost ones (who don’t like/light anything). It’s true the situation seems hopeless (So many levels & devils! So much darkness!) but that’s not our concern. Apparently there is a battle that the Lord is fighting in the darkness (scary bro), & we help Him see by being… ourselves. We are the light, not the fight, you dig? We are the lightworkers, the light of the Lord. That’s it. As long as we keep shining (Shine-in! Do what lights you up!), we can live in the light (truth), observe the dark (lie) & enjoy our perfect position to watch God work.
This also means that life as a lightworker is a consistent mind trip because if we live in truth, observing lies, then nothing we see is to be believed.
We see reality, but we are not supposed to believe it. The phrase seeing is believing is another one of those devil/doubles.
The truth is that believing is seeing.
What do you believe?
(Whatsoever you believe, so shall it be done unto you / so shall it come into view.)
Don’t hold that last pentacle, spend it. There’s plenty more where that came from.
Peace Family! Today we are looking at the Three of Cups (Mercury in Cancer).
Y’all know Mercury is the Magician card & Cancer is the Chariot. Shit always gets tricky, tricky, tricky with the Magician so watch your back. The Magician is tricky because he uses his tools either in the positive or the negative. This means his power lies in what he says (or doesn’t say), what he feels (or doesn’t feel), what he does (or doesn’t do), & what he has (or doesn’t have). We’ve already dealt with Magician’s Six Swords (trigger (s)words or words that send you off into a MOOD) & the Magician’s Five Pentacles (can I contribute to your pinnacles/problems pleeeeeaaase??)- but now we’re dealing with Magician’s Three Cups.
In this case, the Magician’s cups exist in the astrological sign of Cancer, or the Chariot. Remember that Cancer represents the Fourth house of home & the mother, or the mother as home- which is a fancy metaphor for the body-as-mother-and-being-at-home-in-yourself. It makes sense too, because the body is much like the Chariot- its blocky, it takes up space, it has to follow directions in order to move, its mysterious af (re:sphinxes), & its connected to the heavenly realms (see the stars in the interior?). Also, if we look at the two masks on the Charioteer’s shoulders, he has badges in both kinds of feels- happy AND sad. When he is in control of his vehicle (body), he’s mastered both spectrums of emotion.
But what happens when the Charioteer hops out of the driver’s seat & the Magician hops in? The Charioteer loses control of the reins, that’s what. HE IS MADE FEEL SOME TYPE OF WAY lol, experiencing twists & turns while struggling to navigate his (e)motions. I can relate. The day I wrote this post, I started the day feeling amazing. I got an email with great news, I cried with validation, appreciation & relief reading y’alls responses on the Nine of Pentacles post, I took my five & three year old to the store in the rain & felt such joy & contentment watching them turn up their faces & laugh. I was in a great mood but then it turned immediately around- my baby daddy irritated the ish out of me & all these messed up I AM statements rose up in my spirit- I am so tired of… I am so sick of... ; then the dude who works behind the counter at our hotel kept asking me to leave a common area for paying guests because he, the employee, wanted to eat his lunch in there & I had the awful, condescending thought: this is why you can’t be nice to the help because they forget their place; then the dude I was texting hurt my feelings (on purpose I think) to see if I cared & I’m worried my non-reaction was me trying-too-hard not to care which inadvertently showed I do care, FUCKKK. Then I worried my three year old hasn’t been eating enough vegetables so I did a great job (yay mom!) of getting him to eat all his carrots before letting him have any chicken nuggets BUT he drank too much of his Frosty & threw it all up, carrots included & I spiraled into feeling like the worst mom in the world. Because I needed some comfort (read: male attention & validation), I found myself fighting the urge to text another dude who ghosted me even though the very fact he ghosted me means he’s not into me.
Let me say- I am SUPER glad this card is coming up toward the end of our shadow work because I don’t think I was emotionally strong enough to handle it in the beginning. That’s because this card takes a great amount of self awareness that I didn’t have before (thanks darkness!).
Follow me- say you woke up on payday planning to wear a cute suit to work but then your kid bumps into you & you spill coffee all over yourself on the way out the door, & you don’t have anything even close to what you wanted to wear clean (because you haven’t done laundry)- so you rush & put on some yoga pants but they’re the ones without the built in waist slimmer so you’re looking more pudgy than usual; & because you’re running late you don’t cook breakfast but instead you get fast food; & because you’re wearing your fat pants & you’re already feeling a bit down, you naturally order more food than usual (bc fuck it), & then you’re eating at a stop light & drop fries in your lap, & when you bend down to pick them up you don’t notice the traffic light turn from red to green, & the person behind you honks & then drives around you & when they pass you they say, LEARN TO DRIVE YOU FAT BROKE BITCH. Annnnnd now you’re crying.
The Three of Cups is this process, whereby three turns-in-a-field (feelings turn around) cause your Chariot to make a 180 degree revolution to where you wind up faced with the opposite emotion than the one you started with. (Woke up feeling like a million bucks on payday, remember?) The key to reversing the Chariot & heading in the right direction is to remember the truth of who you really are. This requires being brutally honest with you regarding who you is & who you ain’t. You are not a broke bitch. This is payday. You are not fat but… are you bigger than you want to be? Yes. Did you order more food than usual? Yes. Should you have done laundry so that you would have a cuter back-up outfit? Yes. Fuck that guy though? Yes, FUCK THAT GUY.
With any vehicle, reversal requires that you stop first & get your bearings. You have to keep a clear perspective of where you ARE (& how you got there!) in contrast to where you WANT TO BE. Otherwise you keep going the wrong way until you find yourself screaming & crying uncontrollably outside of your Chariot (read: outside your damn body) asking, how tf did I get here?? And then you have to retrace your steps in the dark- (asshole…french fry... fat pants… laundry… coffee..kid...outfit...payday!) because no one around can shed any light (I don’t get it...Why are you so mad??? It’s payday!) on how you ended up going… there. Even if you find your way back, it's exhausting having your mood go up & down, back & forth like that. Going there makes you emotionally unstable.
Remember, the key is direction. Direction is determined by destination, yes? Which means that regardless of where you go, who you talk to, or what you experience (signs of the times), you do not turn your car (Chariot) towards any feelings (fields) you don’t want to go through. (I’M NOT GOING THERE WITH YOU).
Folks say feelings are just feelings but emotions, but don’t forget that if an emotion is ENERGY IN MOTION, then your feelings take you places. They drop you off in states of being & planes of existence. If you are sad/mad, no matter how many good things happen, you’re in a “bad place.” If you’re excited / joyful, it doesn’t matter what sucky things occur in your environment, you’re in a “good place,” yes?
Ok, so what destination, what state of being, what plane of existence, what e(motion) should ALWAYS be programmed into our Chariot GPS regardless of what’s going on in front of our window (eyes)?
GRATITUDE (It’s payday!).
Frfr, it’s in the picture. See the chick with the grapes down by her waist & the yellow smock over her dress (smock in view / mocking you)? Her hand is down so the grapes are forgotten. She’s forgotten-she-feels-grape-full (forgotten to feel grateful). This is why she’s taken aback by the bully in the red cape who is incapable (in-cape-a-bully) of feeling good about anything because she’s totally concealed & you can’t heal what you don’t reveal. Since the bully is afraid of introspection, she tries to make other people miserable by being ready-to-turn-into-view (ready to turn on you) or putting-cistern-in-her-face (putting her sister in her place). The sister in all white is faring a bit better with the grape-full-in-her-hair. She is gratefully aware this bitter bitch is trying to start some shit- so she puts her face up to the chalice (face up to the challenge) & returns the e(motion) to cistern (return to sender / sister).
Also there’s something here about the way we respond to others based on how honest we are with ourselves about ourselves. If we know the truth but desire to conceal it, we come over to defend sis or become overly defensive. If we’re in denial, then when we hear the truth about ourselves we’re unable to respond, not even to defend. We’re completely taken aback. With the example I gave above, an overly defensive person would say, I’m not a fat bitch!!, a person in denial would say, How dare you!! but a human being comfortable in their own skin would say, shut up jerk, my man loves my FAT ASS.
It appears there are only two options for response when somebody is coming at your head- to be taken aback or get into the shit. But appearances are deceiving (hey Magician!) Both responses have to do with carrying on, around and around with a fool. But grown women who do their shadow work don’t do that. We recognize that engaging with a miserable motherfucker can’t help but rub off on you, no matter what you say. It’s like quick sand- whether you push back or pull away, you’re STUCK.
The way to re-route your Chariot (read: get yourself together) is stop trying to win (play stupid games, win stupid prizes) & just be still. Look down (find some in view, grapes on the floor) & find something in YOU to be grateful for that sends you emotionally in the opposite direction (It’s payday!) Misery loves company but contentment & appreciation stand alone.
The Three of Cups is where we learn to turn ourselves around. Instead of following the path, we become the path.
Don’t get run over. Be a path.
A path, thee. Apathy.
Fuck you, could care less.
(Keep it moving.)
Edit: It's been a few days since I originally wrote this, & during that time I've had a couple of occasions come up that made me recognize my own bitter-bastard shadow. As much as I wanted to think of the Three of Cups as returning/ refusing negative emotion, the Most HIgh showed me how it can also mean accepting & appreciating positive emotion.
Over the last week, three different women each, in turn, said something to me that moved me to actual tears of relief & joy. I was feeling a-type-of-way & they each (without knowing each other) turned me right around.
Let us acknowledge that this too, is the Three of Cups- words spoken in love, from a well (wealth) of love can turn your self around. (Fixed your wagon, huh? )
Life's not all bad. :)
Today we are looking at The Ten of Swords (The Sun in Gemini). This card is a combination of Sun energy, which represents clarity, sight, joy, understanding, renewal & youth, & Gemini (The Lovers) which has to do with the Third House of friendships & close relationships (& also confusion, deception & decisions). Combined in the Ten of Swords you get the experience of seeing & accepting yourself & your relationships exactly as you are / they are- the good, the bad & the ugly- the titties & the snakes, the pretty hair & the flaming loins, the angels & the obstacles, the closeness & the distance.
It's funny to me that this is the card that would come up after the Nine of Pentacles, because toward the end of the Nine-of-Pentacles post I was talking about the woman’s loverrrrrr & then sure enough, the Ten of Swords is an extension of The Lovers. But despite its parents, when we look at the actual Ten of Swords, dude is dead af & love is the furthest thing from our minds.
But if we look at the Lover’s card, that’s our idea of love. Perfect bodies, beautiful scenery, eyes closed in bliss, angels blessing the path. Never mind the snake in the woman’s ear making her mistrust her own thoughts, or the burning bush behind the man setting his loins on fire for anything that moves- all that is on the sidelines/ background because the focus is lllllooooove. Notice though, this couple is at a bit of a distance from each other. They have a mountain between them (pinnacles!) which indicates problems, but they don’t care about that. They figure if they can just find that perfect person, that twin soul, then somehow the angels will remove the obstacles & make all the struggles worthwhile. A happy ending. All's well that ends well.
But not exactly. With the addition of the Sun card, baby makes three. This doesn’t have to be a literal baby, this just represents the reality that there is always something new to do, deal with, understand, relate to, react to, take care of, learn from, handle, delegate, protect, experience- on the path. Life comes at you quick. Never a dull moment. Literally as I’m typing this, my thirteen year old daughter had just finished doing her hair, & it was so pretty & she was feeling herself (as she should). She was thinking about how tomorrow is her first day back to school after X-mas break, & her hair would be super cute on the Zoom call. And then she got up to make a PB & J, & then when she sat down, ready to eat her sandwich & watch a YouTube video, she discovered that somehow her earbud had ripped apart & broken. Her five year old brother said, karmaaaaa. She hit him out of anger, he hit her back, I broke them up & then lectured her about taking out her aggression on him, & now she’s sitting here crying because all she wanted to do was eat her damn sandwich in peace & now she has to either deal with no ear buds at school tomorrow or put on outside clothes & go to the store in the rain. The most chill, optimistic moment went to shit in five seconds. That’s the Ten of Swords, AKA clarity on the path, AKA the realization that expectation versus reality will have you fucked up every time.
Because the Ten of Swords carries Lover’s energy, it deals with the self as much as it deals with the other. As you have experiences that help you immediately recognize someone else’s bullshit, you also have experiences that force you to face your own bullshit too. Instinctively you want to reject other people’s bullshit as well as your own, because its not pretty, the way love is supposed to be pretty. Somewhere we got the idea that we are only supposed to love perfect, beautiful, angelic beings- & therefore we automatically reject the parts of ourselves & others that are gross, despicable, irritating, deceptive, frustrating, smelly, stupid. We try to change ourselves & change our loved ones to fit into the mold we’re comfortable showing affection & appreciation, but when that doesn’t work, we wind up suppressing ourselves & rejecting our loved ones- which only guarantees we’ll meet those same parts of ourselves & others somewhere else on the path (Sun Card, hello!!) because there’s nowhere else to go except earth & there’s nothing else to be except human, & earth is an imperfect place filled with imperfect people.
Yet there’s a fine line between being using imperfection as a motivation or a crutch. There is a difference between ‘people always lie so fuck people,’ & ‘People tend to lie so I’ll not be so naive,’ or ‘I’m flawed & there’s not point in trying,’ & ‘i’m flawed so I know I need to try harder.’ Attitude is everything.
Remember the Lover’s card is represented by the Air Sign Gemini. Air is swords, yes? So love is MENTAL. It's a choice, a decision that you make in your mind & then follow through with your body. You will never feel like pretending like it doesn’t bother you when your wife plucks her chin hairs, or flushing your husband’s poo because he got in the shower & forgot- but it is the mental choice of love & the respect of your vows that keeps your shit together when you want to scream & run.
And it is the same with ourselves. The longer we walk the path of life as our own soul mates, we recognize certain phases we’ve gone through & come out on the other side. When we realize suddenly we’ve grown out of being who we were, there always the blindingly uncomfortable clarity of who we’ve been- God, I was such a BITCH, I can’t believe I used to dress like that, my hair was so UGLY, ugh my ass was so FAT. In these moments we can become overly infatuated with who we’ve become (Look at ME, I’ve come such a LONG WAY) as a knee-jerk rejection of who we used to be. Which is crazy, because how can we be who we are, if not for who we were?? How can we honor our progress without paying homage to our problems? One begat the other, yes? Baby makes three.
On top of that, the very thing we feel “proud” of one day, we’ll one day evolve past & instinctively want to ridicule, unless we make the (mental!) decision to love & accept ourselves in all our phases, with all our faces, with all our chins & ass & pimples & breath & teeth & skin & should-a, could-a, woulda-s - & it is the same with those we proclaim to love. We must love them beyond the fairy tale, the ideal, the filters, the likes. Love is REAL. And it is the same with those who claim to love you. Do you want to be loved for your highlights, your waist trainer, your paycheck, your laugh…? It's easy to be loved for those things. But those things are not the REAL you, only the things you use to soften your essence, like using soap to soften water (but it's the water that gets you clean).
Speaking of REAL, the picture on the Ten of Swords is what we do to those we REALLY love, including ourselves. Swords behind their back (gossip/ betrayal), overkill (harping on flaws), abandoned-him (abandonment), felled / killed-he (feeling guilty); & then the realization that they-murdered-him-then-missed-his-eye (there’s more to him than meets the eye). A pile of knives (apo-lo-gize). God, mourn him (Good morning!); handles in the storm (handled the storm), here comes the new sun (here comes someone/something new).
The Ten of Swords is a snapshot of true, everlasting love (both of self & other): betrayal, fuckery, hurt, sadness, depression, the pointlessness of existence, the repeated attempt to bury the words & thoughts that speak the name of this fucking awful reality & kill it once and for all- yet inexplicably, despite the worst storms, the wounds, the pains, the KILLING (S)WORDS, inexplicably here again is the light, the sun, the joy, the terrible desire & overwhelming compulsion to seal his fate / see his face, despite knowing exactly how this shit finna go.
Love is mental yet it makes NO SENSE, lol.
(One + One = baby makes three)
What’s y’alls Ten of Swords?
P.S. I named this post after the movie titled ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ starring Kate Winslet & Jim Carrey because it is exactly about the stupidity & invincibility of love. Watch it if you haven’t, it's so good!!
P.P.S. I have hella shadows with this card! This card IS a shadow, or naw? One thing that stands out particularly for me, is the fact that my older sister & my husband are both Gemini’s with the same birthday. They both get on my last damn nerves, & I’m estranged from one & divorcing the other- but I have to also be honest & say no one has ever loved me higher, deeper, wider, longer, stronger, more loyal, more freaking...TRUE- than my sister & husband. And also, no two people have hurt me more, or been more disloyal, shallow, deceptive, selfish, dramatic, violent, careless, dangerous. Our relationships are exactly like this Ten of Swords, where we hurt each other & apologize again & again, but I noticed the exact same shit always happened. Eventually, I chose the opposite of love when dealing with them- I did what made sense to my Virgo (Hermit) mind- I cut them off. I quit fucking with them. Which I guess means I made the mental decision to stop loving them (because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over and expecting a different result & loving them drove me fkn crazy). I still love them in my heart but what good does that do them? None because I refuse to show it. I will never have one of those swords in my back again, as it pertains to those two. For them, I have no more (s)words. But that’s kind of messed up, no? Or naw? I guess that’s the part where I’m fucked up, but nonetheless I honor my choice.
I’ve had the exact same conversation with both of them, too. They each apologized to me for a bunch of shit, & I half-ass accepted, more to shut them up than anything (can't get a s-word in). And then they each (in separate conversations mind you!) asked me, do you have anything you want to apologize to ME for? Silence & a shrug was my answer both times.
Let me think about it, I said, after a pause.
(dead-man-at-sea / in-san-i-ty)
(deadened- wait-for-ship / dead end relationship)
Peace family! *(If you read this post already, please note I added more at the bottom)*
The card we’re discussing today is the Nine of Pentacles, also known as Venus in Virgo. Once again, just like with the Four of Wands, we are dealing with Empress (Venus) energy, except this time with pentacles instead of wands.
If Venus (the Empress) is the expression of the Soul, & the Hermit (Virgo) is the spiritual experience of solitude & introspection- then the Nine of Pentacles (Venus + Virgo) is the soul’s expression of its most core identity, aka, the treasure-of-the-self, aka the experience of being who we think we are. If we understand that our reality is manifested from within, then the Nine of Pentacles is about the external proof of our inner worth, or showing what we are made of.
If the Four of wands was about reaching out to get what we need (my fair share!), then the Nine of Pentacles is about going within to appreciate what we have (waste not, want not!). Asking for outside help, vs. experiencing first hand what we ourselves have to offer.
Four of wands (assistance / needy) vs. Nine of Pentacles (service / fulfilled), both of them aspects of the Empress, or natural expressions of the soul.
Let’s look at the Nine of Pentacles literally:
There’s a woman standing in her garden of grapes & pentacles. Remember from the post on the Ace of Pentacles, that pentacles = pinnacles, & pinnacles are the highest & best perspective after a long climb. In other words, the reward of an obstacle, or problem. If grapes are turned to wine, then (in terms of this picture), the pentacles must also be turned into some sort of solvent in order to have value. This woman has tons of responsibility- not only is she a grape grower (has great power), & she is someone who performs pinnacle solvency (problem solver). Whew chile, that’s a lot. You would think with all that going on, she would be focused on the tasks at hand (because that’s NINE problems she has to solve + hella great (grape) ideas to be turned into fruition). But instead, she’s giving all her attention to the bird-on-a-glove (burden of love). She has a weight-on-her-glove (has to wait on her love). If you look at her huge head wrap, you can see that this love, this weight (wait?!) is heavy on her mind. It’s all consuming. It's all she can think about. It’s made everything slow down into turtle speed. Even the bottom of her dress has become the shape of a snail, as is the pace of this (where IS IT?!) love. And while she focuses on this bird burden, what does it say to her? Cheep. Cheep. (Cheap. Cheap.)
It makes sense though- of course the woman is cheap, because (like we realized in the Ace of Pentacles) time is money. Since she’s fixated on the burden of love all day (where is it??), she has no time leftover to tend to her extraordinary ideas (bring them into fruition!) & solve her everyday problems (pinnacles). A change of focus is needed. A change of hands (plans) is required.
If the woman moved her hand, she could release the bird-on-glove (burden of love), & use her time with her weighted-glove (wait on love) more wisely, to work in her own garden overgrown with ideas & issues. Instead of standing one-handed, waiting on a loverrrrrr (help mate) to assist her with her own stuff, she could use both hands & help herself. Spending time juicing her ideas & solving problems would increase the value (money!) of her garden, & before long she would be so busy being of self-service that she would realize she never needed a help-mate (assistance) at all, outside of her own focus, talents & two willing hands. She would see she turned her weighted-gloves (wait, love) into work gloves (work, love).
Sometimes love (or the wait, the infernal WANT of love) is a distraction like a mf. Not necessarily romantic love either, but love in terms of people who… give a fuck. We can get so wrapped up in wondering who cares about us that we forget how capable we are at caring for ourselves (& by extension, others). This card teaches us that if we can switch our obsession from who-can-help?? to, who-can-I-help-(starting-with-myself)??, then we can make our own pinnacles solvent, or solve our own problems, instead of showing off our great (grape) ideas that need-to-be-wine (need to whine) & revealing all our un-solvent pinnacles (unsolved problems).
Let us be so busy handling our business, solving our problems & pressing our ideas into wine that we wind up drunk from serving the ones who needed us the most: OURSELVES.
I can't help but notice those labels are super judgy, even though they make perfect sense in the context of the post. Part of the shadow of this card is that you really can't please everybody. If you think about the root of the Nine-Of-Pentacles- its about someone who showed all their great ideas & problems to the world, just waiting for someone to love them enough to come... help. But no one showed up. So finally, the person said f*** it, accepted that no one was coming, & did the work alone. Now that work is paying off in a major way, but folks still talking shit LOL! It's damned if you do & damned if you don't- either you're supposed to wait for help that's never coming (needy bish), or roll up your sleeves & make it work (show off).
Damn! Cold world.
Sis is dressed for it though. She's got herself covered.
What's y'alls Nine-of-Pentacles?
P.S. I am really tripping on this card because these placements frfr exist in our birth charts! For instance, my natal Venus (Empress) is in Cancer (Two of Cups). Remember I told y'all I can't work & have dick at the same time? From this course, I learned that's my expression of a generational sickness, where we as women completely lose our focus when sexually ignited, likely due to some fundamental, childhood sexual trauma. (Nobody's watching, let's sneak...) However I have a friend whose Venus is in Virgo, & he is the most self-reliant, self-sufficient person I know! He's also cheap af when it comes to other people, but has no problem spending plenty of money on himself. Before I understood myself & my shadows & my triggers, I used to tell him alla my problems & great ideas, expecting him to jump on board with both. He did neither! He would tell me he had complete confidence I could solve my problems, & tell me my ideas didn't mean shit to him until they were actions. It used to piss me off so bad y'all! I had all this potential & I wanted him to love me enough to bring me into fruition. Of course I needed him to do it, because how could I do it for myself when my every waking thought was occupied with when (when?!) he was gonna try to distract me & sneak me away for some irresponsible love?? But he never did. I judged him for it. I told him he didn't love me, that he was self-serving, selfish, work-a-holic. Mind you when he had problems, I had excuses. I was nowhere near able to provide the level of support I wanted (otherwise I could have just given it to MYSELF, yeah?)
If you spread out the tarot cards & put all the wands in a row, & all the cups in a row, & all the swords in a row, & all the pentacles in a row, there is a huuuge distance between the Two of Cups & the Nine of Pentacles. I'm sitting here tripping at the fact that, for the first time in my life, I resonate more with the Nine of Pentacles than the Two of Cups! My soul has matured in its expression!! Instead of unconsciously using lovers to heal things I need to heal on my own, I am consciously putting love on the back burner to fix myself! Wow! New Year who THIS?? I feel like Ms. Celie in The Color Purple when she finally pulled off with Shug- I'm poor, black, I may even be ugly, but dear God! I'm here! I'm here!!
Or Sethe at the end of Beloved when Paul D. told Sethe- You your best thing, Sethe. You are.
& then Sethe said, Me? Me?
P.S. I've been thinking about these cards a lot the last couple of days, the Four of Wands & the Nine of Pentacles. Probably because I didn't really sit with them as long as I should have, because I am just very much ready to hurry-the-fuck-up & finish up these last few posts & be done with this Shadow Work already. I feel as if I made my explanations too personal, which just resulted in all my shadows being highlighted. At the end of the Four of Wands post, I asked for a tip, & then someone (thank you!) sent me a tip, but she left the comment, 'Charge more next time...?" which is perfectly valid, right? Because if you gonna charge one amount & then turn around & ask for more, then maybe you should just charge more. But at the same time, it brought up all these feelings of fear & unworthiness. My first internal response was, ain't nobody gonna pay more. Which is a blaming response instead of owning my shit. Because the truth is, people do pay higher prices when they value what is being offered. But value is directly associated with quality, & because my focus is often scattered, the quality of my work is not what it should be / could be. I am often late with deadlines, I procrastinate, I say one thing & do another, I wait hella long to respond, I can be nice/nasty, flaky, & most importantly, I just don't put in the ass-in-seat time to PLAN before I execute, which results in mistakes & the squandering of good fortune on forgiveness. When I wrote the Four of Wands post, I saw myself as the planner with no support but truthfully, I am the non-planner with plenty of support but they can't help because I have no plan. Anyway, I feel vulnerable af, & ya'll aren't commenting & the silence is so loud, but I just had to come back & own my shit even if that's the only comment. This is my (mean/mine) shadow work project & I appreciate y'all for being here even if I wish you shared more. But I'll take what I can get (which I think is another shadow side of this card). There is a shadowy, cheap, desperate, put-up-a-good-front vibe with this energy that I am/have been guilty of.
But back to this idea of feeling like ain't nobody gonna pay more if I charge more. I have struggled with that for so long! I think alot of entrepreneurs struggle with that actually, because its like charging a little & having a little is better than charging a lot & getting nothing. There's always this question of what-do-I-do-in-the-meantime while waiting on folks to pay more? Starve? Die?? But that energy just leads to a hustling, exhausting cycle of desperation that feels gross. I don't have a solution to this & speaking on it feels uncomfortable but that's the work. I think a key to the solution lies in the grapes (great ideas) because, you can grow grapes as a human being, but you can't create a grape seed. Only God can do that. You have to remember there's a part of the process of wealth & abundance that you'll never be able to control, & relax in faith that God will do what God does, which is give life & give it more abundantly. Which means that if the abundance is in God, then the lack is within us.
Lack is a state of mind.
Thank you if you read all that, I appreciate y'all being a witness. & I'm sorry if I've rubbed any of you the wrong way.
Y’all, I was not ready for this card. I thought I was. I took notes on it & I was like, oh okay, I get it. But then when I sat down to look at it when it was time to actually write the post, a whole ‘nother interpretation popped out (but it had literally been staring me in the face the whole time) & now I want to close this dang Chromebook & go away, that’s how bad I don’t want to face this fkn shadow right here.
Let’s get to it though, because this card is, in part, about the consequences of being beaten-around-a-bush (beating around the bush).
The Four of Wands (Venus in Aries) is a combination of the Empress card (Venus) & the Emperor card (Aries). Upon first glance, it appears that the Emperor & Empress are equally yoked, yes? But if you really think about the way the Major Arcana is set up, remember it’s nothing but planets & astrological signs, which imo, is souls & spirits. The planets are the soul lessons & the astrological signs are the spiritual lessons. The Empress (Venus), the divine mother, represents the soul’s expression of everything within- which is why she is pictured as pregnant, full, abundant, bountiful. The Emperor sits beside her, but he is not her man/equal (could never)- because he’s a spirit (astrological sign), not a soul (planet). He represents the astrological sign of Aries, which is all of humanity in its most primal, baby-ish phase. In other words, the Empress is the soul’s infinite potential for expression & the Emperor is the first spiritual experience being expressed- the ability to to want, desire, long for, or reject. The Empress is the mom & the Emperor is her son. So with this combination in the Four of Wands, we are looking at the experience of giving birth to your own desires, or quite literally family dynamics with children & siblings. Ugh.
Because we give birth all the time, yes? Sometimes in life we give birth to circumstances we want, & sometimes we give birth to circumstances we don’t want - including children - but whether we hate it, love it, want it or don’t want it, it's still 100% our creation. Sometimes we plan for things to go one way & they go a whole ‘nother way; sometimes things happen that weren’t in the plan; sometimes there is no plan & that’s why things happen; sometimes no plan was the best plan because the unexpected turned out for the best. There’s no rhyme or reason. Life does what it wants.
Especially in the case of families. If we go back to understanding that in the Four of Wands we are looking at the energy of the Empress & the Emperor (mother & child), then we have to realize that in the Four of Wands, something is already wrong. The title Emperor indicates a boy child, yes? But we are looking at two sisters. Or are we…? Appearances can be deceiving. Either we are looking at the Empress's two daughters (such a shame, no son), OR, we are looking at Empress & her one daughter (such a shame, no son). Either way, we are looking at something that, at its root, is not equal or balanced or going according to plan.
From the outside looking in, the positioning & decoration of the Four Wands seem to be announcing a fair of some sort (is-a-fair / isn’t fair/ is it fair?) At a fair, games are played & there are winners and losers, just like in this picture. If you just glance at it, you’d say it’s a celebration & both people are victorious; but if you look closer, you realize only the woman on the right (either the Empress or the first daughter) is really celebrating with both hands & her head raised high. It’s clear she feels proud. The woman on the left though, is sad af. She only has her right arm raised & her head and shoulders are slumped. Her left hand is down & out (left down and out). You can tell from the way the sisters stand (a-sis-stands / assistance) that the one on the left is the quiet one, the supportive one (kind of…?), who doesn’t make a fuss. If you look at the bottom of her dress, she’s standing in the hedge that she likely planted (plant-a-hedge / planned ahead). So she has plans / plants, but it looks like they could use a little trim because they are blocking the abutments supporting the bridge (a-but-ment / what about me?). Maybe she could use help with that, but she says nothing. She feels down & out, beaten-around-a-bush. She’s got her plans & maybe could stand to lean on some a-sis-stance, but because she automatically feels like she’s a loser & her sister is a winner, she doesn’t speak up. Especially since on her sister’s side, there is no hedge. She didn’t even plant-a-hedge (plan ahead) but she’s winning! She has people behind her!
So one sister is winning at life with no plan (but plenty of support), & the other sister is losing at life with a plan (but no assistance). It seems to me there is room for them to work together, but they would have to speak up about their needs in order for that to happen. The sister with no plan could use some help with planning because the people behind her don’t know how to help (bc there’s no plan), & the sister with all the plans could use some people behind her because her plans are out of control & she can’t handle them alone. In their current position, they can’t stand under four reeds (two are mine!) because they don’t have the roof- or they can’t understand or read your mind if they don’t have the truth.
Lawd I feel attacked but Imma keep going (speak up / speed up / stop beating around the bush).
Our willingness to speak up (tell the truth) about your plans / needs & ask for assistance is in direct correlation to whether or not we feel proud of ourselves (winning!). When we don’t feel proud of ourselves, it can be super easy to spiral into negative self talk that blames everybody else for why we don’t have what we need- never got any support, folks always got her back but not mine, her parents planned for her but I just grew up, she didn’t even DO anything & gets celebrated but I work my ass off & no one notices, blah, blah, blah, LIFE ISN’T FAIR- which results in keeping to yourself & going-at-it-alone from shame, blame, resentment & bitterness.
And it's true, life isn’t fair. Life is not a fairy tale where everybody ends up ‘happily ever after.’ And the faster we understand that & accept that as fact, the easier it will be for us to release these chips on our shoulders & just ask for what we need instead of beating ourselves up for not having it. It's not fair that one child is born to millionaires & another is born in a slum, nor do the circumstances speak to the worthiness of each child. Yet when we get older, we turn things we had no control over growing up (brains, beauty, bank account) into reasons to exalt or berate ourselves- but I don’t believe that’s what the Most High intended. I believe God made things unfair on purpose so that we could act like true brothers & sisters on this planet & SHARE. It’s up to recognize where things ain’t right (or speak up!), & make it right. I noticed mom gave you two cookies & me four, so take a cookie so we’ll each have three.
Or something like that.
Imma tell y’all right now, I am not sharing a shadow story for this card because I have to function today, & this one here hits too deep. If you’ve been reading my posts, you know I have a some sister have’s & I-have-nots shit going on & I’m raw right now. (loser, loser, loser, loser).
So if this card is about asking an actual sibling for a-sis-stance, then I’m shit out of luck.
However, if we look at this card as the universal sisterhood of women, then I can do what the card says, which is look-for-a-sign. The wands are a sign of the fair, yes? So instead of going down a rabbit hole of depression & self-flagellation regarding being unsupported / non-supportive, instead I’m gonna ask that the Most High send me a sign.
(Send me. Assign.)
Send me to where I can be of help & also receive assistance.
Assign me to people & places where there is mutual benefit.
P.S. Interesting that this card is about sharing / reciprocity- because I’ve noticed that for awhile, we’ve had the same four or five people sharing their experiences with these cards, but I know for a fact it's way more of y’all reading along. What’s up with that?
P.P.S. My Cashapp is $Oubria & my paypal is Oubria@gmail.com & I most gratefully accept tips if y’all feel like this work is worth more than the original $11.
P.P.P.S. Cheryl if you are still reading (& I hope you are!), remember YOU are the one who always reminds us that things always take longer than we think they will. I understand if you have to go, but tbh I felt a-type-of-way. Much love to you in the New Year & I'll see you somewhere online. I am so grateful for your presence while you were here!
Peace family! Today we're looking at The Eight of Swords, also called Jupiter in Gemini. In the tarot, Jupiter is the Wheel of Fortune & Gemini is the Lovers. Honestly, both of these cards confuse the shit out of me. The Wheel of Fortune is about being moved forward by fate into new experiences, mental paradigms & reality shifts, & it comes with hella downloads (which makes you sleepy) because the Most High has to explain things to your subconscious mind (crazy dreams) because your conscious mind wouldn’t understand. In other words, the Wheel of Fortune is an upgrade, & when we get upgrades we have to put the system to sleep.
Now, Gemini is the Lovers card & I try hard af as a reader not to pigeonhole it as the Twin Flame card. The Lovers also represents the astrological sign of Gemini (twins) + Gemini is the ruler of the Third House which has to do with siblings & friends, so the Lovers COULD be about friends & familial love, not so much romantic love, even though everybody is nekkid. Plus when you factor in the mountain that separates these two, there is no closeness here (there’s not even clothes / clothe-ness / closeness).
Speaking of family & friends across the distance- if we look at the actual Eight of Swords (downloads + friends & family), we see that the woman is bound by a tie that covers her eyes & wraps around her body. Although she can’t see it, this is the tie that binds.
Sidenote: This picture irritates me because I don’t know what the fuck is going on here & I hate being confused, I fucking HATE IT. Being confused leaves you stuck because you don’t know which way to move forward. All paths turn back in and around on themselves. Choices lead to other choices & you can’t see the outcome of any of them.
Ironically enough, just the other day I told a tarot student who was confused about a lesson, that she had to move forward with her lessons, through the confusion, & allow clarity to come. Kind of like walking in the dark; eventually the light will come & you’ll know which way you’re going. Even if you have to turn around & recalibrate, you can see the alternate route.
Willing to be confused, I stare at the card. Snatches of phrases whisper to me- Stand in place of missing knife / Stand in place missing life; Fixated on first sword / Fixated on the first word; Stuck on the sword…? No. / Stuck on the word ‘No.”
So then I realize, ok this is self talk. This is a mental prison. So how to break out of a mental prison? We must recognize that our mind is the jailer, & our mind is also the key. Notice, the woman is wedged in only space where she could turn around & be free (turn around to sea/see). Yet she herself has become the sword / word (NO!) that holds her back.
Another word for sword is katana. If she stands in place as if she is a sword, then she is katana. She katana (can’t). & Since she cannot, she fixates on the first sword/ word ‘no’. This word NO teaches us the places we cannot go & the things we cannot do (don’t even THINK about it). Therefore we get stuck in very small patterns & circles in life, squeezing ourselves into one little corner of existence because of that original voice in our mind telling us these non-choices are our only choices. The only way to free ourselves is to drag our focus from negative reinforcements (no its too late, no you’re too old, no you’re too young, no its too far, no because no one else has, no because everyone has already done it, no they don’t love you, no we don’t want you, no no no), & instead we must be willing to step in the puddle (puzzled; I think I can figure this out) in order to ground ourselves & turn back to see (sea) what we can do & where we can go. Maybe we can’t go forward but we CAN go back, ha!
If we think of our bodies as simply vehicles for consciousness (swords / words), then with any vehicle, you have to put it in reverse to get unstuck. Back it up a bit. Retreat. Retrace. Reroute (because there are SO many routes!). Remember when I said that confusion is choices leading to other choices but you can’t see the outcome of any of them? That’s actually a good thing if you hit a dead end, yes? Because there is always another way to go, or something else to try. So many options!
The question becomes, how do we become unbound (from the relationship ties that bind), so that we can stop being so fixated on the word NO (rejection), & be willing to step into the puddle (puzzled) about what held us there so long & then pivot around to sea (sea) what else life has to offer.
The ties bind… but they’re kind of loose, yes? So maybe we could just… shrug them off…? Let them go…? Shrug off any (relationship ) bonds where you cannot free (be) yourself? Turn around & move on?
If the woman in the picture does turn around & move on, she’ll find herself facing the lighthouse on the cliff. I researched lighthouse keepers for this post… did y’all know they used to go insane?! There was an extremely high rate of suicide in this particular profession due to loneliness. Often they could go for weeks (or even months) without hearing a single human voice. Kind of like solitary confinement in prison, I would imagine someone in that situation would start talking back to the voices in their head. And if the voices if your head always agree with you, then there’s no conversation- so there has to be an argument in order for there to be any communication at all. Notice the Eight -of-Swords woman’s bind doesn’t quite cover her left ear. It’s been left out for a reason, yes? There is something she’s listening for, something she needs to hear off the side of her head (outside of her head.) Something she may not necessarily recognize by the way it looks, but she will know it by the way it sounds. She will know it by the way it speaks, because it will say the opposite of the word that has kept her bound. She is listening for a YES.
Listening for a YES against all odds- even with the voices inside your head AND outside your head repeatedly say NO- well that’s…hope.
Lighthouse keepers used to be called ‘wickies,’ which is another word for the twine (the twine that binds) that keeps the candle lit. Twine sounds like ‘time,’ which makes sense because light keepers were also timekeepers, as they had to light the house during certain specific schedules for the ships. So if the woman in the Eight of Swords is a lighthouse keeper, then she is a living wick of hope, listening for a YES, yet bound to the responsibilities & restraints of time (twine).
Now remember, this card is about relationships, yes? And the wickie (witchy) woman’s true job is to turn away from the negative self-talk, & take herself back up to the cliff to watch for the (relation)ships that are scheduled to come. The (relation)ships might be late. The witchy woman might have been waiting hella long wondering wtf. She might feel like there’s no point to keeping her light on, since no one has sailed toward her in forever. But what a shame it would be if she gave up, just when the captain of her scheduled (relation)ship finally appeared. After all his work at sea (because steering a ship is HARD), it would be terrible if the journey ended with crashing in the dark, all because his witchy woman went dim.
Hone (sharpen) your thoughts.
Keep hope a-light (alive).
Your (relation)ship(s) is(are) coming.
Guide them home.
Speaking of home, I haven't been home in forever. When I was growing up, my parent's custodial agreement was that I would spend the first ten days of the month with my father, & the rest of the month with my mother. I did this rotation, every 20 to 21 days, until I was 11 years old, had a nervous breakdown & went to live exclusively with my mother. Until then, I had a parent at each house, a step parent at each house, a sister at each house, two sets of toys, two sets of clothes, two sets of books, two tones-of-voice, two sets of chores, two favorite nightgowns, two household routines to settle into, two toothbrushes, two pets, two school bus routes. Before I opened my eyes in the morning I would guess which bed I was in. I wasn't allowed to bring anything from one parent's house to the other's because I didn't buy that for you to leave it at your mama's / daddy's house. I was a double person living a double life. My only singles were my backpack & my father (because my stepmom was a 2nd mom but my stepfather was not a 2nd dad). My dad always told me that his house was my home too even though I spent more time with my mother. I used to refer to my mom's house as home & my father's house as 'my father's house.' & He would always correct me- THIS IS YOUR HOME TOO. I didn't have words to articulate then what I now understand, which is that 'home' is a singular word. If you have 'two/ TOO' homes, then you have no home. If you have to leave home & come back according to someone else's schedule, then you are not home. Imo, home is a place that you don't have to leave if you don't want & also a place you are free to leave & come back to. If you can't leave, you are a prisoner. If you must leave, you are a visitor. This is the root my "homelessness," that has remained with me my entire life. Ironically enough, even though I considered my mother's house, 'home,' my mom moved to a different apartment every year. To me, anywhere I could see her face was home. My father on the other hand, is still living in the house he bought when he was 26. Even though he was the more "stable" parent, anywhere I saw his face, I was uncomfortable & couldn't wait to leave.
I've made peace with all of that though. Time really does heal. I've never had a home that I didn't have to leave, or that I could return to whenever I wanted, or a place where I could stay that I actually wanted to stay- but I do have the hope that I can create that for my children if I keep working hard. I know that if I'm consistent, it's not a matter of if but when.
This shadow work has helped me immensely in that respect, because its allowed me to remove so much of the shame & stigma around being homeless in order to see the root, pluck it out, & plant a new story & a new narrative for my own life. Crazy thing is, just today typing this post, I got the urge to take my kids' to Chicago to visit my Dad. His house may not be my home, but he is my home. Had he not been so consistent & kept hope alive & kept a flame burning for me all these years, I wouldn't have come around. I've learned that people are flawed af (including my dad, including me), but home isn't perfect, its just love. Love covers a multitude of sins. It always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. It leaves the light on for you.
What does this card bring up for y'all?
Ok, one thing I'm realizing about this process is the Most High expects us to be smart (sharp). We gotta put our thinking caps on, frfr. Full disclosure: I had to google a couple of facts about the Four of Swords (Jupiter in Libra), the card we're getting ready to discuss. You know how I figure out the message behind the message of the card by calling out what I see...? But in the case of the Four of Swords, I was looking at something I'd never seen before.
Sidenote: One of the parents of the Four of Swords is Jupiter (Wheel of Fortune). The Wheel of Fortune has to do with the heavenly realms sending us downloads of information & upgrades that will help us handle the next life cycle we're being pushed into. Even as I type this, I'm getting a download about the nature of this card, which is that sometimes we will want to use our Ace of Swords to call forth certain experiences from the darkness, but it's possible that we won't recognize what we're asking for when it shows up because we've never seen it before.
Anyway, the first thing I googled was 'casket with carved image on top,' because I don't know what the heck to call a casket like that. It turns out it's called a catafalque, which is a "raised bier, box or similar platform, often moveable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of the deceased during a Christian funeral or memorial service." So on one hand we are calling forth new things from the void that we may not recognize, but on the other hand, this picture is centered around the memorial & exaltation of a dead thing. Interesting...
Then I googled 'stained glass windows' & it came up that another name for stained glass windows is 'leaded light' or LET IT LIE.
Another interesting thing about this card is that- once again- it's a combination of the energy of Jupiter (the Wheel of Fortune) & Libra (Justice). In the tarot, the Wheel of Fortune is '10' & Justice is '11', so the Four of Swords is one of the only cards in the tarot that carries the energy of divine, sequential order. (Which might be why the funeral is so fancy pants.)
Ok, since Jupiter (Wheel Of Fortune) is about upleveling to a new life phase, & Justice (Libra) represents mirrored relationships that let us "see," ourselves, then the Four of Swords represents that space where we're moving on from the relationships (even with ourselves!) that have fulfilled their purpose honorably & now can die with dignity. This relationship (karma) has served its purpose. So while we may pay our final respects, we may not try to raise the dead. We let it lie (leaded light). We let it rest in peace. This is the divine order that everything has a season & when that season is over you move on. Unless we are willing to do so, we will be so fixated on raising the dead that we won't recognize the new experiences waiting to enter our lives. We'll be so busy looking at what we always see that we won't see what we've never seen.
Since this goes for relationships with ourselves too- & relationships with self involve communication- then how we gonna on the one hand be calling something new out the void but on the other hand still saying the same old dead shit? In order to welcome the new circumstance, truth, light, thought, whatever- you have to let that old heavy leaden thought lie & die, honey. Just die.
When we don't let it die /lie, it's because we think we have to cling to it because it's the only light/ lie/ LIFE there is, & we look up and realize we've been telling the same story about the same pains, same issues, same wounds, same lies for decades. It's understandable that we do that to make sense of what has happened to us. We speak about the past to understand it & make peace with it, but that's why the bible says we need to practice peace the PASSETH understanding because if you wait for understanding before you let your mind rest, you will never get any rest. The answers are forward, not backwards. To figure out where the story is going, we have to turn the page, yes? So the answer to the reasons why this happened and that happened do not lie in the past, they lie in the future. That's how you make peace with it, by assuring yourself that more will be revealed, that there are new chapters to every story, that LIFE GOES ON.
If we look at the Four of Swords literally, we have a statue of a man, frozen in prayer (appear, i.e. stuck on how things look), with three swords (remember the meanie words from the three of swords??) pointed down on him. He's stuck under the point of these swords / words / knives / lies- what did it mean when he said... what did she mean when that happened... what was this... what was that... for eternity. All that shit is dead but even the dead person can't let it die. This is his eternal focus. With his hands in prayer right underneath the first sword, he eternally prays for the Ace of Swords, for the root, the potential, the power, the ultimate POINT OF IT ALL to be illuminated & cut through the dark places in his understanding. He wants to know WHYYYYY.
Yet the only light that comes through the window is the leaded light. Let it lie. Let it go. Let it be. No matter how hard you pray, all you will be shown is the way to move on.
So the person does the only thing he can do, is he rests on the fourth sword, or the fourth word or the forced word, which means stop forcing the issue, put it down, rest. And then you'll sleep (see).
But not until you wake up.
Because a wake is what this is, yes? A wake.
Wide awake. Why the wake?
To pay respect. Which sometimes has to be done in silence because we do not speak ill of the dead. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
Instead we have to move on to the people / situations that you feel alive, about whom you have plenty of nice things to say.
Not flattery (not flatter he/ can't flatter him bc he's raised up), but nice (knight). Knights are granted the title of 'sir' by a governing religious order. So you have the authority to knight any circumstance in your life is 1) dead, & 2) declare that it has served (sir) you well & 3) refuse to speak ill of the dead. Because if something is "ill," it's still technically alive.
This card is also a warning about dead things being lifted up. If we don't pay our respect & be nice & allow these dead situations to rest in peace, then you will continue to battle with them. You'll be a gravedigger or a zombie maker, giving this dead thing power over your actions & thoughts. So then YOU become a dead thing, infected, like a zombie.
Which brings us to the Five of Swords, where you can either be a zombie or a zombie killer. Also- peep that this is the first time the cards (which I still shuffle to determine the day's card, btw) have shown up sequentially. Remember that the Four of Swords is about divine order, & now its being followed by the Five of Swords. Interesting...
So the Five of Swords (Venus in Aquarius) is a combination of Venus (The Empress) & The Star card (Aquarius). Venus is the full, outward expression of everything we've hidden within (think seeds hidden in earth becoming big ass trees) & Aquarius is the unique, personalized energy that highlights the original traits that set us apart from others. In the tarot, the Star Card (Aquarius) appears directly after the Tower, so this is also the energy of wishing for healing, expressing vulnerability & exercising the freedom of having nothing left to lose (because all was lost in the Tower).
When you put these energies together in the Five of Swords (outward expression + desire, freedom & individuality after a Tower moment), it creates the experience of WISHING A N**** WOULD hahahahahaha. Honestly this card cracks me up so much! If you look at its parents- the Empress all beautiful & the Star so lovely- you'd never expect this sort of language to come from the mouth of their child! This is the card of the sweet old granny who can slice the lips off somebody talking to her crazy, but still lovingly give them bus fare home the hell outta her face. Hair trigger grannies are usually that way for a reason (Tower moment). They've survived some calamity- the Great Depression, the Great Recession, the Crack era, the 'Rona- & lived to tell the tale. After surviving the unsurvivable (living dead), they've come to the conclusion that there are certain things they just don't have to, ain't about to, will never again tolerate because they've already passed life's hardest tests & you ain't finna test me again. So any energy that reminds them (even the tiniest bit) of the disrespect / disenfranchisement / disillusionment / discomfort they've already experienced, gives them a bit of PTSD, & you will be the one to suffer for it, not them. It's as if they've been to war & instead of coming back home with missing limbs, they came back home having morphed into a landmine (watch ya step).
The reason why I call this a zombie killer or be killed card is because- remember in the Four of Swords where we were instructed to RIP and/or respect the dead? That can only happen if we accept that whatever is dead served its purpose. If we don't believe the event had any sort of purpose except to harm us, then there is no growth (new life) as a result, only bitterness (decay), & everytime we are reminded of the event, we will want to bring it back to life & kill it again. Therefore we will always be on the hunt (offensive) ready to verbally assault anything & everything that looks like that shit that we don't want, could never accept, will never respect & (ironically) keep alive by virtue of always being the one to bring the shit up (speaking ill instead if letting it die).
Now, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with zombie killing in a world of the walking dead. You do what you gotta do to survive, of course. But what Five of Swords folks fail to realize, is they are simultaneously animating and killing the zombies. They are both the zombie killer & mother, because they give birth to dead events in new situations constantly. They experience something today, but react to it as if it's some long dead thing that happened six years ago. So first there's the case of mistaken identity- You look like Herbert & you said something similar to what Herbert used to say- & then there's the overreaction- I thought I killed you already! I'll never let you hurt me again!!! FUCK YOU HERBERRRRT!!!! *slice* *slice* *slice*
& Now there's another undead, wounded soul with a vendetta against mean grannies hurt by Herberts. & Then the vitriol spreads, just like a zombie bite.
That's why it's really, really important that we (Four of Swords) learn to respect our past without necessarily understanding it (with faith that the answers will be revealed as life unfolds) because otherwise we will spend our lives on guard against long dead assailants, chained to decayed thoughts that infect our new opportunities & relationships. Also, we mustn't forget that we are talking about swords, yes? Not cups (feelings), not wands (actions) & not pentacles (situations), but WORDS. All of this is mental & verbal- the way we talk to others & most importantly, the way we talk to ourselves. The issues we struggle with are happening in our mind (not in reality!), yet we wear tense facial expressions with no shortage of curt words for anyone who dares trigger ill memories of dead pain.
On the flip side (double-edged swords), the Five of Swords can be helpful, because there are real zombies out there; people (or your own thoughts) who expect you to be a dead version of yourself, because they (or yourself, mentally) have not moved on from the past. In this case, your transformation would be the actual Tower moment, having crumbled your old foundations & habits, & gone on to successfully build (Star-t) a new life yet still being tested with words & thoughts from your dead life / self. This is the sober person with alcoholic friends who call every few months just to see if you want a little drink, or folks who know you've been vegan for a year inviting you to a dinner where everything has butter. This is also getting a raise & doing well at work, but still telling yourself you "can't afford," things that you actually can afford, because spending money brings up hella old, dead fear. When those moments happen, SLIIIIICE! Cut that shit off quick. It doesn't have to be elaborate, either, just to the point. Nope. Not doing this with you (or me) today. Key word TODAY. Drag your mind to the present no matter how you feel about the past. Open your eyes & see that it is NOW, not then. This is mind over matter. It's a process & a practice.
If we add up the Four of Swords + the Five of Swords, we get the Nine of Swords. Remember the Nine of Swords was the first card from our shadow work, & it was technically about mind under matter, & how we can be so mentally exhausted from battling & reasoning with the things we don't want to do & don't want to confront, that instead of getting out of the bed to do the hard thing (with great reward), we do the easy thing which is lie back down (& suffer). The Nine of Swords was certainly me this morning (& I've been a Five-of-Swords mama lately too, watch it!) lying in bed, comfortable af, waking up to emails that pissed me off, looking at low sales from the week (but still having all the money, food, clothes, shelter & Xmas presents for my babies that I need currently), worried about the future, doubting my abilities, remembering shit that happened a million years ago & feeling all the sad feels, wanting to hit that snooze button one-more-gin... & then I realized I needed to get my ass up out that bed, no matter HOW I felt.
I realized that the Hierophant (number 5 in the Major Arcana & therefore hanging around the Five-of Swords energetically) is the High Priest explaining to his parishioners that we are all rich (rich-you-all) but we are rich in our habits (rituals) not necessarily money. You are what you repeatedly do, & thinking is a part of that. I also thought about how the Hierophant is all fancily dressed because he's explaining that we gotta "dress the part," even if we aren't there yet. Fake it till you make it. Renew your mind. Excellence is a habit. Get your ass up. Fuck your feelings. Do what you gotta do.
Once again, this is why the Four of Swords is so important, because once you let a thought/situation construct die in peace, assuming its purpose will be revealed as you move on, then you realize that the thoughts/situation died, but you lived. Which means you have to acknowledge that 1) You are not your thoughts & 2) ask yourself, Who could I be WITHOUT that thought? This also goes back to what I said at the beginning of the Four of Swords, which was, how will we recognize the things we want but have never seen, since we've never seen them? This means we have to quiet our minds & really pay attention to what's going on NOW- otherwise we will ignore a new thing by calling it an old thing, & treat it as an old thing, all the while longing for our new thing (& being mad it ain't here!)
"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?" (Isaiah 43:19)
(live & let die)
(Allow me to (re)introduce myself)
What are y'alls Four of Swords / Five of Swords?
(Sidenote: I realize I haven't shared a personal story in a couple of days but I decided I can't tell those particular stories anymore. It's time for a new story. Y'all are welcome to comment with anything you like, story or naw. I'm learning it's ok to move on. Shadows linger but we aren't the shadows. It's feeling light af up in here.)
(Sidenote part deux: As a tarot reader, I can't ignore the fact that four of swords (somebody grave-plotting) + plus the five of swords (somebody executing their grave-plot) = the nine of swords (somebody in mental anguish). In other words, the shadow side of this combination of energy is somebody plotting & purposely putting someone in a bad mental place. Let us not forget the swords are 1) double-sided & 2) can be telepathy - so this can play out two ways:
1) This could be someone listening to their own dark thoughts & executing a plan to throw an unsuspecting person into a nine-of-swords situation;
2) Or this could be the intended victim hearing those dark thoughts (because they are clear minded due to letting dead things die, therefore light and darkness have a clear space to reveal themselves), resulting in the clear minded person Five-O-Swords-ing the intended attack by not reacting (or slicing if a n**** get too close ). This effectively boomerangs the gross energy back to the gross person (ewwww), letting them stew in their own Nine -of-Swords.
(Return to sender)
Peace family! Today we are looking at the final Ace of the series, the Ace of Swords (haha, the last sword).
Remember, the Aces are the source of raw power & potential within their respective element. Since Swords (Words) represent the element of Air, the Ace of Swords is the infinite energy behind all communication, whether in thought, speech, hearing, writing, telepathy or silence. It is being handed into the frame via the right hand, which means that the Air element is something we do, or express. Communication is active, not passive. Even as I typed that, I questioned it a bit- because imo (up until this post anyway), I felt communication is passive, yes? Don't we receive words, whether we hear them or read them? Aren't you receiving this word right now? But when you think about it...you have to think about it in order to receive it- which is technically active. (Ok, makes sense lol)
So the fact that the Sword is being handed via the right hand means that no matter what words we are given, we must first make the decision to take them or not, & then how to take them, which puts the responsibility of activity on the hearer. Maybe this is what Jesus meant when he said let he who has ears, hear, because you can choose to take what you hear one way... or another.
Words are a double-edge sword. When I was a child, my mom loved to say that life & death lie in the power of the tongue. If we study the picture, we see that the Sword enters the frame in a burst of light, illuminating the shadowy peaks & valleys below. This reminds me of the beginning of the bible, when God spoke, let there be light. Now y'all know how I love to break words down & take them at their sounds (let she who has ears, hear, not spell lol). So to me, let there be light also means let there be life & let there be lies. There has to be both, because the sword is double edged, yes? So if there's light, now we understand darkness. If we understand darkness, we see it lives in the depths & shadows. In terms of life, depths is also deaf- so we have light vs. depth & life vs. death. If you are a person determined to only "hear" truth & let deceptive words fall on deaf ears, then we can also say, lie vs. deaf.
As indicated by the crown on the top of the sword, we are ruled by our minds The philosopher James Allen wrote, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Notice that there are two types of growths spilling from the crown- one that bears fruit (abundance) & one that does not bear fruit (lack). Thoughts that bear fruit are thoughts that give life (Jesus said, I came so that you may have life, & have it more abundantly), & thoughts that do not bear fruit, yield death. This choice is crucial once you realize there are no passive thoughts, only active ones even when you hear them from someone else. Every single thought is a choice between abundance & lack, or life & death. This is where lie/ deaf comes into play, because you have the choice to decide that someone's words are lies as it pertains to your reality & allow their opinion of you or your circumstance to fall on deaf ears. We hear this choice hidden in our language all the time- return to sender, rebuke, ignore, don't pay it no mind, don't listen to them, that doesn't have to be your truth, silent treatment, no contact, etc.
No matter what a naysayer might say (even if the naysayer is faceless & masquerades as our own thoughts), we always have the power to speak life/light over ourselves.
Seriously, look at the picture; see how it appears that the peaks are the only landscape in the photo? That can't possibly be true though can it? Because common sense tells you that you can't have peaks without valleys. You can't have highs without lows. So even if the valleys are hidden, they're there. Which means that in terms of this picture, PEAKS LIE. Peaks only tell half the story. Hidden behind every peak (success/ victory), there is a valley (failure/ defeat). When you are in the valley, there is nowhere to go but up. But when you are at the peak, there is nowhere to go but down. How frustrating, to struggle & climb out of the valley, only to reach the promised peak only to realize that from that vantage point, everything must go (back) downhill. It's at that moment that our mental power becomes necessary, because once you recognize the truth that peaks lie, this becomes the perfect moment to SPEAK LIFE. What is life, but abundance? Growth, yes? So speaking life means talking to yourself & others with the expectation that any circumstance (peak or valley) will yield some sort of growth, or fruit that will someday be valued. It means being confident in value-able expanses (valuable experiences) rather than fruit-less and death here (fruitless endeavors).
This whole "linguistic gymnastics" is funny to me though, because when you break it down further you realize that speak life & peaks lie is also, SPEAK LIES. Even though the bible says, "thou shalt not lie," we lowkey do it all the time when we speak life over ourselves, except in this case it's called faith, which the bible describes as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. If something is "not seen," that means its in the darkness, yes? So the Ace of Swords is the reminder that through our faith, we can call forth circumstances out of the darkness (valleys) that we believe we will one day see in the light (peaks). In the book of Romans, when discussing Abraham's faith, it is written that he, "calleth those things which be not as though they were." Remember how Abram was an old man living alone with his old, barren wife Sarai? He'd had a dream where the Most High had promised him that he would be a father of many nations & Abram was like, How Sway I don't have any kids & I'm OLD. But God told him don't worry about all that, just trust. God then changed Abram's name to Abraham, "father of many nations," which means from the day Abram dreamed about a future different from his present, he went forth literally being "called a thing which he was not, as though he was." He was a childless man with a barren wife being referred to as the ancestor of millions (& sure enough his wife gave birth at the age of 99 & he is indeed the ancestor of millions).
This story represents the subtle distinction between faith & lying. Abraham didn't go around telling everyone he met, I HAVE NUMEROUS DESCENDANTS because that would have been an outright lie. Instead, he spoke the lie/life/ light over himself (only!) & changed his own name to represent his own vision, which was simply being obedient to his personal sight, or peak perspective.
The fact that we can speak light/lie/life (LET THERE BE LIGHT!) over ourselves & call forth circumstances out of the darkness proves that we are indeed God's children endowed with the same power & responsibility of our Father. In Isaiah 55:11, it is written that God said, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." In other words, if I say it, it's going to happen, PERIODT. What we often fail to recognize is that we have the same power, & it is activated by the two most powerful words in our language, I AM.
When Moses met God, He introduced himself as I AM THAT I AM. So every time we use that title, we create in God's name. What words do you put after I AM? I must admit, I have been guilty of putting the wrong shit & speaking all sorts of deathly circumstances over myself- I am so sick of him, I am so tired, I am exhausted, I am worried, I am broke, I am so fucking stupid, I am lonely, etc., etc., etc. & ALL of those things have come true because there are no idle words, only speaking or not speaking, just like there are no idle swords, only cutting or not cutting.
When I first began to study metaphysics & the law of attraction, this was the principle that used to trip me up the most, because I don't like to lie. But you don't have to lie to speak different circumstances over yourself. For instance, I am so sick of him can become, I am looking forward to the day when I feel differently about this person. Or, I am so tired can become, I am looking forward to feeling rested & rejuvenated. Or, I am so broke can become, I am in the PERFECT position to receive & truly appreciate a financial windfall. Y'all see what I'm saying? Reality is flexible but words are sharp so we have to use them wisely to bend & carve our lives.
The more we do this, the more we'll see miracles happen right in front of our eyes, as the wonderful things we've called forth, appear (a prayer). Truly, miracles are only the mechanism of experiences revealing our ability to communicate effectively.
Mir-a-cle = Mirror Oracle.
We are our own oracles & our lives mirror what we say.
(And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.)
Peace family! Thank you for your patience. It's getting to the point that I lowkey dread some of these cards because I am living them in real time (are any of you?? lemme know in the comments...) & battling with back to back shadows is exhausting. Please send me some supportive energy cus right now a sis is sluggish af & feeling a lil' beat up (but I'm getting back up tho).
Anyway, on to the Seven of Wands:
The Seven of Wands is Mars (the Tower) in Leo (Strength). The astrological sign of Leo (Strength) represents how we express our fiery energies, whether as courage, anger, restraint, enthusiasm, excitement, fury, resentment, etc. Since Tower moments (Mars) are the divine emergencies master-minded for our benefit, the Seven of Wands has to do with how we handle the unpleasant circumstances beyond our control. Do we face emergencies with courage & purpose...? Or do we lash out, cower & hide...?
Let's look at the picture literally: We have a man balanced precariously in relation to a fault line (in relation to my feet / feelings, where does the fault line/lie?) He's holding one wand defensively, & there are six other wands poking up at him from underneath the picture. From our vantage point, we can't see the people or circumstances that threaten to knock him off balance, but he looks terrified. The man has two choices: he can either accept the wands (acceptance ) & risk falling (failing). If he dropped his defensive wand, he would be free to "get-a-grip," on the incoming wands, "collect-them-himself" (collect himself) & take control of the "sticks-that-hate-him" (situation).
On the other hand, if he keeps up this resist-wands (resistance) where every underhanded poke & jab threaten to make him unstable because he refuses to "get-a-grip," & then he will inevitably slip into "this arroyo" (dis-order, dis-array), & will have to use the one wand he fell with (defense-stick) as a tool to climb out. He will poke up toward higher ground defensively, trying to get out of being in-the-fault, wanting someone to pull him & share the plain (pain / blame) with him.
So issa choice- either you can put down your defense stick & accept the wands (acceptance) of others who don't want to be in-the-fault (at fault) by helping them out & sharing the plain (pain / blame) - which would indicate the belief that you & the ones you assist are meant-to-be-stable (mentally stable) - OR you can keep your defense stick up, refuse to share the plain (blame) & allow every inconvenient poke to send you spiraling into this arroyo (dis-order, dis-array), in the fault alone. Without any assist-wands (assistance) & accept-wands (acceptance) & nothing but a defense-wand (defensive), you'll feel like you either have to get back on the plain yourself (blame yourself) or remain in the fault feeling the arroyo for yourself (feeling sorry for yourself).
This card is also about recognizing the difference between dealing with meant-to-be-stable (mentally stable) or meant-to-be-unstable (mentally unstable) people. You can tell the difference by how they handle their "reeds." Mentally unstable people will keep their defenses up when even faced with a group-of-reeds (agree/agreed/angry); whether you here-a-reed (hear, agree) or don't-here-a-reed (don't hear, don't agree), they wind up angry either way. Somehow, it's all the same to them & you're damned if you do & damned if you don't. These people don't accept any one's reeds-in (reasoning) except their own, and if you continue to wave your reed around in an attempt to justify your reeds-in (reasoning), they see your insistence as just-a-fight.
This card is also about the thin line between sticking up (taking sticks up) for yourself & being pushed over (pushover). When you perceive "opposing reeds in" (opposing reasoning) as an attack, perhaps you simply give up & allow your defense stick (defenses) to fall-in-the-line (fall in line). But when you accept opposing reasoning as a motivation to pivot & adjust your stance because the-fault-has-been-revealed, then your position maintains its integrity. You can't be afraid of success (six sticks) because success (six sticks) comes with different up-in's (opinions) but ultimately they force you to strengthen your position & balance your perspective.
This is also about success (six sticks) & failure (fall here). If you can accept that things won't always go your way & not allow that to throw you off (even if it knocks you down), then if you fall down seven times, you'll get up eight. Success & failure go hand in hand; you can't have on without the other.
For me, this card is about my father & my husband, myself & my daughter, my mother & my step-mother:
My dad is mentally unstable & so is my husband, per the definition of this card. Neither of them can be wrong, ever. they can't accept criticism or differing opinions. Any sort of pushback makes them attack. When you refuse to engage in the attack, they look for other ways to siphon your energy, whether it's through yelling, sulking, forced discussion, punishment, etc. In other words, whether you agree or disagree, they just want to fight.
This behavior has made me mentally unstable too (per the definition of this card) because growing up I felt any critique from a teacher or adult meant that it would get back to my dad that I wasn't perfect & he would look for a reason to beat my ass. It was not ok to make mistakes. But since no one can ever be perfect, this pressure made me hide my mistakes instead of confronting them & getting help. I learned to cower & sneak because I didn't want any trouble. I learned to take the easy road with zero challenges (because I never learned to properly deal with challenges). This backfired because life challenges are inevitable & it's just good practice to know how to handle things rather than avoid them (issa skill, actually). But because I'd practiced easy-as-survival, life became much harder for me than it needed to be. Not because I'm a bad person but because I lacked the skills to face the fact that bad things that happen to everyone, without spiraling into blame, shame, self-punishment & pity. As I type this I'm realizing those behaviors were simply the adult version of the cycle of punishment/spanking/abuse: Blame- you did this, Shame- what's wrong with you??, Punishment-don't leave the house! don't do anything fun! & Pity- my life is so awful, can you comfort me...?
When you're a child, comfort is physical affection & a tasty treat. As an adult, comfort is often practical advice (sticks-up-in/ sticks in opinion). I wanted no part of that. You know the copout- I don't want you to FIX it, I just want to VENT. I wasn't in a place to receive reeds in / reasoning, I just wanted someone to hug, screw & eat with.
That's one of the reasons why doing the shadow work & feeling so... ATTACKED... has been a blessing in disguise because for the first time the blinding clarity of these patterns has left me defenseless. There ain't no hiding the fact that I am nowhere near perfect (flawed af). That admission creates a space inside me where I can relax...? exhale...? with relief at the fact that no one's perfect (which makes us human), but we never stop trying (which also makes us human). When I can admit I fucked up, it creates a space where solutions flow, as opposed to resistance to reality, where you can't fix it because you pretend you don't see it. When you can admit there's an issue, the whole (earth) world opens up for heels-in-the-faults (healing the flaws).
But now I watch this pattern play out with my daughter & my husband, because I don't engage him anymore when he's clearly in one-of-those moods (can't win with him!). Since I don't argue with him anymore, somehow this energy gets redirected to my 13 year old daughter who has not yet learned to pick her battles. And just like my stepmom would become deaf mute when my dad was in a "mood" & which put him on the "warpath," with me & my sister, I also completely check out when my husband & daughter start going back and forth. Since my sister & I could never feel heard by our father (damned if you do, damned if you don't), we subconsciously learned that all conflict is pointless- although with maturity I've learned there are some battles you should engage in. With respect to my husband & my daughter, I find myself teetering between hoarding my peace by keeping quiet, or martyring myself into their discussions as a buffer so he'll redirect his anger toward me. I also struggle with the fact that, although I don't agree with his methods, my daughter is 13 & so is her mouth, & sometimes she does need to be checked & put in her place. They have a lot of conversations about respect, but both of them (mostly him) struggle with the fact that it should go both ways. "Respecting" children is new to our generation (bc our parents were having none of it) but somehow our kids are born thinking they deserve servants & parades (which like respect, is earned).
If we look back at the seven-of-wands picture, we can see that if the person holding the defensive wand was able to pivot back & forth in exchange with the other wands, it would help him maintain his balance in the middle instead of leaning too far side to one side or the other. In other words, just-a-fight-able-to-anchor, or justifiable anger. The truth is that anger is not all bad, & sometimes you do have to have a tough conversation to allow folks to vent, instead of denying them (& you) the opportunity.
Remember when I said the Two-of-Swords reminds me of my mom...? One of the reasons is because she always seemed perfectly balanced like nothing made her angry (deceit), but then sometimes she could be cold af & you had to figure out where you went wrong. Don't get me wrong- she loved to "debate," or have philosophical discussions but deeper issues were not given the same attention. Meanwhile my Dad is the Seven of Wands & you can't tell him nothing without there being some sort of falling out.
This shadow work has revealed that I am just like both my parents in that respect- I'll pretend like nothing is wrong & give the cold shoulder yet if you force a confrontation WE FINNA FALL OUT.
I don't have an answer to any of this or a neat bow to put on it, but I think the work of this card is to see the problem & trust the uphill battle into solution (light) without spiraling into the sunken place (shadow). Anger management...?
What's y'alls Seven of Wands?
all of us.