The Eight of Pentacles again. The first time it came it I was really struggling with not knowing what I should do next work-wise. I was really drawing a blank and feeling unmotivated and scared and worried about money, the future etc. I’ve come back from Christmas with an idea of something I can do, and a way of doing it that won’t push me too far. My priorities are with my child and getting her through each day as peacefully as possible. We have good days and bad days. I find it impossible to focus on work without feeling overwhelmed and constantly stressed.
This card is like an affirmation, saying to me that my idea is a good one. Now is the time to sit down and methodically work out the details. I’m glad a pentacle has come up rather than a wand. I need to go slow and steady in a very grounded way. My tendency is to throw myself into projects with lots of ambition and drive and then to burn out a few weeks or months down the line. Last year this ended up being very bad for my health. This year seems to be more about planning and going at a steady and sustainable pace.
On learntarot.com the keywords for this card are knowledge, diligence and detail. The actions tie in with my feelings: going at a steady pace, working out the details, checking and rechecking, getting down to the nitty gritty.
Passion and drive can only take you so far. Careful, methodical planning is needed to sustain progress.
This is the second time The Star has come up for me recently. Today as I tuned into the energy of The Star the words ‘filling the well’ came to mind. That’s a new one for me and ties in when one of the interpretations of the card being renewed motivation. I could use some renewed motivation right now. However, there’s a danger for me. My motivation tends to be very bi-polar. I pour all my resources, time, money, energy into projects and then burn out after a few months. That’s what happened for me last year and I still haven’t recovered my energy. ‘Filling the well’ reminds me that it’s important to renew energy, nourish the soul, recharge the creative batteries along the way in order to maintain a steadier pace.
My daily sketches have slowed down a bit for the time being. It’s December after all and that means holidays, family, and visiting old friends. So for the time being I probably won’t be updating daily. I am still enjoying this as an exercise in creativity and tuning into the energy of the cards.
The latest card is The Empress, symbol of feminine power. I see in The Empress not only symbols of fertility and maternal caring but I also think: glamour, dazzling, bewitching, fierceness and protectiveness. The Empress gives life, celebrates life, nurtures life and infuses creation with a sense of awe.
Every ending is also a new beginning. The death card often depicted showing a skeleton or grim reaper is arguably the most dreaded card in the tarot. It needn’t be though. It’s position in the Major Arcana at 13 indicates that is not a final ending. There’s still plenty more journeying to come. As such it represents a transition and presents us with the opportunity to decide how we are we going to handle this transition. Will you fight it, avoid it, or embrace it openly?
In this sketch I wanted to show this transition. Moving through to the other side, setting aside our worldly attachments, letting our physical attachments dissolve away and going into a place of light with open arms.
For this sketch I spent some time meditating on the energy behind this card. In the Rider Waite deck it shows a man hard at work, bent over a large pentacle that he is engraving. Seven other pentacles that he has already completed hang around him. You also see in the background the walls of a distant town. Normally I associate this card with hard work, diligence, skill and the rewards that come from it.
However there’s another side to it that I wanted to show in my sketch. This card has reminded me from time to time of an artist friend who goes through long periods of withdrawal from society in order to dedicate herself to her work. She can spend days in her studio, barely seeing anyone else, working away well into the early hours. She becomes single mindedly focused on her project, neglects her friends and family all for the sake of whatever project she is working on.
In my sketch I wanted to show this side of it. The work has become bigger than the craftsman, who is alone, all he can see is the work before him and his own face reflected in it.
Six of Cups – Happy Memories
Six of Cups As Resources
This is the card of happy childhood memories, recollection of more peaceful times. Nostalgia. Positive formative experiences. I’ve chosen to show a child blowing out her birthday candles because this is a rite of passage that is looked back on both by children and parents. We reflect both on our own birthdays as well as those of our children. As parents we are the ones responsible for creating the happy memories for our children.
I also see this card in the context of the two cards surrounding it. The Five of Cups (in the Rider-Waite) shows a hooded figure lamenting the loss of three of his cups. I think this card represents depression, despair, lack of perspective – being stuck in a dark irrational emotional place. The Six of Cups represents the thing that will bring us out of our despair – our emotional resources. Connecting to a resource is an important technique used by councillors and therapists to lesson the pain of traumatic experiences. They bring us back into the here and now and make the tough times easier and less painful. If we can recall some time or place when we felt happy and safe and loved then we can build our resources to tackle the really tough dark times. Of course we don’t all have memories of happy childhoods. For some, a resource might simply be connecting to a time when they did not feel pain.
This card is saying take a break from the emotional pain, even just for a moment. Think back to a happier time. Know that you are capable of feeling OK again. Let this knowledge nourish you and give you the strength to make the choices you now have to make.
I’m King Of The Castle
I’ve always found the Five of Wands an interesting card to come up in readings because it’s one that people have very different interpretations of. I’ve always seen it as representing something more like a play fight while some people see it as a full-on battle. I was very surprised once when a friend suggested that it looked like all the figures were working together to build something. I’d never even considered that possibility.
Fives in the Tarot generally represent the height of conflict in their suit, so I definitely see fighting in this card. But for me it’s more like a gang of unruly boys playing ‘I’m King Of The Castle’. One struggles to the top only to be deposed moments later by another who takes up the flag and leads on. There’s no viciousness in their struggle but it is very physical. Lots of shoving and jostling about. I can also see it as a heated argument, a brainstorming session or battling inner demons.
When this card comes up I ask myself, Where is the conflict in my life and what is it working towards? What comes next?