The Daily Draw: Two of Cups, reversed

Build a relationship with yourself

Two of Cups ReversedReversed cards can indicate an internal flow of the cards energy as opposed to an external flow when the card is right-side up. The Two of Cups is a card of connection, specifically at the heart chakr

a. It can indicate forming, realizing or strengthening a relationship that could be a conventional romantic relationship or could be the coming together of two kindred spirits.

When the Two of Cups is reversed the indication might be that the relationship in question is the one you have with yourself.  We’ve all heard that this is the most important relationship you’ll ever have, but how many of us really live that. Do we give ourselves the time to get to know ourselves, the space to love ourselves, or are we too busy giving our time and energy to everyone around us that we are lucky to have a few drops of that essence left to us at the end of the day. We feel drained from trying to give people the love and respect we long for ourselves.

Many of us are conditioned to think that focusing on yourself is a sign of being selfish. Technically it is, but is that such a bad thing? Some authorities in our lives want us to believe that it is, and begrudgers will agree. Why is that? Maybe it’s because you might stop listening to those external influences and start listening more to yourself, which would translate into recognizing their authority less and recognizing your own, and your higher power(s) more.

Treat yourself as well as you would like others to treat you. Be open and honest with yourself, see the light and the shadow and love it all unconditionally. There may be changes you want to make, but you can still love yourself while you’re making those changes. It certainly feels better than criticizing yourself for not being enough until you reach some ideal notion of who you should be. Your journey is where you are every day, you do not need to withhold approval of yourself until you reach your goal.

There is great healing power in loving, respecting, and accepting yourself. That power radiates outwards as well as in, making it so much easier to show those qualities to others.  When you truly feel them within you, you can give with much more resilient energy.

 

The Daily Draw: Three of Pentacles

three of pentacles
What’s the difference between the people on the Three of Pentacles and a group of council workers? The people on the Three of Pentacles are standing around idle after the job is done.  Although another difference could be that they are assessing the job they just finished as opposed to wondering how long they can stretch their tea break. 

Thank you council workers for letting me borrow your stereotype for a few minutes. my point is that this card represents the energy of cooperative effort, as when a group of people come together to build a house, organize a charity event, put on a play or go to their day jobs where teamwork might be an essential part of the process. There are some things you can’t even start without the help of others. 

Most of us are quite happy being individuals and have our own way of doing things. teamwork requires compromise. There needs to be a common set of rules and standards. but it’s also a great learning opportunity to see how others approach their work. Plus we all have our own skills, strengths and weaknesses. When we combine our efforts the resulting synergy can be greater than the sum of it’s parts. 

The Daily Draw: Nine of Cups

Nine of CupsThe RWS version of the None of Cups features a very satisfied looking person sitting on a bench with all his cups on display above and behind him. The card seems to say that this guy has it all and he knows it. And why not? However he acquired this collection the fact is he has it, so why shouldn’t he enjoy it. How often do we strive to reach a place like this only to sabotage ourselves by listening to the internal critic who tell us we aren’t really deserving, it won’t last, there’s more to do, blah blah blah.

 

What’s in the cups? Since this is the suit of the emotions it hardly matters. What does matter is how he feels about what’s in the cups. They make him happy, so it doesn’t matter whether they are nine Oscars or nine bales of string. They might even represent the love he feels for and from the people in his life. Either way he’s delighted with himself, satisfied, maybe even a little smug. Let him have his moment.

 

If this is your moment, let yourself enjoy it. As with any other card this isn’t the finish line, although you could be forgiven for feeling like it is. But no, everything is transient, so if you have the opportunity to feel this energy, indulge yourself. Let yourself embrace it fully. You deserve it.

The Daily Draw: Knight of Pentacles, Reversed

Let it Be

Knight of Pentacles ReversedWhen the album “Let it Be” wasn’t (that’s not a typo) released between “The Beatles” (white album) and “Abbey Road”, various unofficial bootleg tapes of the recording sessions began circulating. They were fascinating to listen to. Up until this point we, the public, had been presented with a mostly perfect image of four successful pop musicians who could pretty much do no wrong (even when they did) and went about their work with good cheer. The “Let it Be” bootlegs were the sound of that band falling apart.  In between unpolished versions of the better known songs were many half played jams on old chestnuts and a bit of monkey business such as Lennon taking the mick out of McCartney by doing square dance calls as Paul tried to take the lads through “Teddy Boy”.

There was also a lot of talking. It was not the animated conversation of people working toward a shared goal. It sounded more like bored acquaintances waiting for the morning bus. At one point, while trying to lead the rest of the band out of yet another jam into yet another take of “Let it Be”, McCartney says, “Come on lads, back to the drudgery.” To which Lennon snaps. “It’s you McCartney. You’re the one making it drudgery.”

Hands up anyone who equates being a Beatle with drudgery. Yeah, I didn’t think so. And yet by the winter of 1969, at a point when in seven years they’d produced ten albums and umpteen singles (most with different songs than the albums) they’d apparently had enough, and confirmed that after their next and last album “Abbey Road”.

Some of you may be confused at this point. “Let it Be” was released after “Abbey Road” but recorded before. It was a low point for them, so much so that they couldn’t quite bring themselves to release it—twice. There was even a detailed, planted (I assume) story in Rolling Stone describing how the master tapes had been kidnapped, held for ransom and accidentally erased by an airport metal detector upon their return. Don’t bother Googling that. I only know about it because I read the original article shortly after the incident supposedly happened. Talk about covering your tracks. Anyway, after the band broke up John Lennon gave the tapes to Phil Spector to see if he could do anything with what Lennon referred to as a pile of shit.

So, what does all this have to do with the Knight of Pentacles being reversed? Well, the Knight of Pentacles is a workhorse on a workhorse, so to speak. And for the most part that suits this knight. He is all about manifesting in the material world—planting trees, building houses, recording albums (the producing product part as opposed to the joy of creativity part). This knight works away all day every day. And folks, let’s face it, you can focus on that and only that for only so long before you burn out, before you forget why you wanted to make widgets in the first place, before you feel stuck in an apparently endless rut of drudgery.

If even the Beatles could get fed up with being a Beatle because it turned into a seven day a week grind, then what chance do the rest of us have in sustaining full-time career choices for decades without taking the shine off them?  Take a break before you burn out. Cultivate other interests. Take inventory—are there still things you enjoy or find worthwhile about the career path you’re on? It might be time to move to something different.  What excites you? What are you interested in. The days when our parents would get a job and stay in it for 45 years seem well and truly over.

The trick is to know when it’s the right time to move on so you can leave on a high instead of bottoming out on a low. “Abbey Road” is a perfect example of leaving on a high.

The Daily Draw: Four of Pentacles

Four of PentaclesIt’s All I Have

On the Four of Pentacles we see a seated person holding tightly to four large coins, with a facial expression that says, “Don’t even think about trying to take these away from me.” So it’s an easy read that this person is closed off and miserly. The indication is this person is clinging to material possessions represented by the pentacles, or he is blocked at the crown, heart and root chakras, so pretty much closed off to every other thing in this world and the next. Misanthropic much?

But as synchronicity would have it, I have recently had opportunity to widen my perspective on this card and see that, while standing behind everything I said in the first paragraph, there is more to this story. The person on this card is actually quite vulnerable. The attitude suggests otherwise, but look at the environment.  The scene is set outside of a large town or city, and this person is seated on a stone bench, or perhaps just a block, along what looks like a road. By that description we can start to see that maybe he has fallen on hard times. Let’s remember that we are only one card away from the Five of Pentacles, a card in which people feel so hopeless they cannot even see the help that is available to them.

Judging by the clothes, this person is used to the finer things in life, even if they are looking a bit ragged.  So why is he sitting outside like a bag person? Surely if he had a home he would be keeping his coins there and not clutching them on the street where he is a sitting target for a gang mugging. Maybe he is recently homeless and maybe this is all he has left. We could interpret this to mean that perhaps his world has changed so much, he is grasping the few remaining things that remind him of the way things used to be when he was in his prime and life was good (for him anyway).

The fact is, change is one of the few things you can count on—it will happen and you won’t escape it, one way or another. The person on the Four of Cups seems to be trying to stop it, but I hope we all know that effort will do him no good. You can roll with the changes or you can get rolled by them. If this person doesn’t find another way to deal with the change he’s trying to avoid, then we will no doubt see him in the next card.

The Daily Draw: Five of Wands, Reversed

wands5_rxFive of Wands, Reversed: You know that BZZZZZZZZZZZZZ energy when the TV is on in one room, the radio is on in the next, three people are trying to talk across each other, the kids are bouncing off the walls and you’re climbing them? Here it is in this card. You could get caught up in some “he-said, she-said” sibling rivalry with your children where either side could be the victim, the pretender, or both. The baby could pick today to discover the joys of emptying a jar of sudocream over himself. Maybe someone dings your car in the parking lot and drive’s off, leaving you fuming and frustrated. You’re friend says “it could have been worse”. The two of you don’t speak for fifteen minutes.

You meet someone on the street who you don’t particularly like and definitely don’t trust – they’re always trying to one-up you, attempting to steal your business accounts, coveting your partner, whatever. However, you might feel like you need to keep the peace with them for the sake of your family or social circle. Perhaps they feel the same way about you. So there you stand, having a conversation where you try to lean as much as you can about each other’s business while giving away as little as possible, all the while putting on a forced smile.

I recently experienced another example of this card’s energy when I attempted to buy coffee at an unfamiliar shop. The first conflict came when I moved out of the queue to inspect what was on offer at the other end of the counter. This resulted in people behind me being served AND in me being accused of skipping the queue, two mutually exclusive concepts one might think. Next, one might expect two white coffees to appear practically identical, but in this instance one looked as expected and the other had about an inch less liquid and no white froth. “I ordered two white coffees”, I said. “These are two white coffees”, came the insistent reply. A little incredulous, I pointed out how unlikely it was that these were both the same type of coffee since one of them could be “none more black” (as David St. Hubbins would say). The server grunted something I did not take as an apology and removed herself to the back of the room. Not long after, a second server appeared with an actual white coffee and an explanation that there was a fault with the machine, which was now corrected. Sure, it was a frustrating hassle for a few minutes, but it’s only coffee. No one died.

With the card reversed, you could be internalizing this cards energy more than usual, or it could be an indication that your sensitivity is telling you there is more of that energy out there than there actually is. And you might want to contemplate why you feel that way, but you can also unplug from the outside world, put on some relaxing music, meditate, or just having a glass of wine if the universe lets you away with it. You’re allowed to chill out and recharge your batteries.

If you don’t have time or space for quiet seclusion, don’t forget to breathe and stay grounded. Tomorrow is another day.

The Daily Draw: Ten of Cups

Don’t Be Distracted by the Drama

Ten of CupsThe ten of Cups is the completion of the cycle of matters of the heart, love, emotion, intuition. You can see this illustrated in the RWS deck by a joyous family beneath a rainbow of cups. It’s all good, you are blessed, you have joy, peace and no drama. Of course it’s a lot easier to write about drama because there’s…drama, and any good story has at least some drama. The Ten of Cups delivers a conspicuous lack of drama.

As you are probably aware, most families experience a certain amount of drama and conflict on a regular basis. Someone is born, someone dies, someone is sick, someone is going off to college, someone is coming back from a deployment overseas, the cat ate the neighbor’s hamster, the police are here again, etc. etc…and that’s just the threshold. In some homes, for example, the dinner table is covered in a residue of tension and animal fat.

The day-to-day stuff can make family life seem like the polar opposite of the Ten of Cups. But if you’re not seeing all the colors of the cup rainbow that doesn’t mean they are not there. Maybe you’re distracted by some temporary drama,

Perhaps in extreme rare cases there are families who would be better off disbanding and moving to different time zones, but generally speaking, no matter how much drama and conflict there seems to be , whether you feel taken for granted, overcriticized, or just get on each other’s nerves we would all say we love our families.

The Ten of Cups is at the core of every family, even if it is buried deep in the clouds of whatever narrative is being played out.  Because we know it’s there, and because we’re healers, we dissipate our own clouds and try to help others shift theirs so that everyone can see the rainbow.

The Daily Draw: Seven of Swords

Off You Go

Seven of SwordsIn the RWS Seven of swords we see someone who is sneaking off with five swords. It should be seven, but he’s in such a rush to get out there he dropped two. Or maybe he’s looking around to see what happened to them and is about to go back and get them. Or maybe he’s not stealing them at all—maybe he’s sneaking them in to some captured rebel alliance in an effort to break them out. Or, looking at it a little less literally, maybe he’s striking out on his own because he’d rather do whatever he’s doing without objections, interference or other points of view, although how he’s going to manage all seven swords at once is beyond me. He can’t even do it in the Pamela Coleman Smith illustration, let alone on the field.

The Seven of Swords is one of those cards that makes it obvious that interpretation is in the eye, mind and intuition of the interpreter.  The meaning can go in a variety of directions depending on the context, what you’re picking up from the seeker, and your own internal filter. Yes, we try to be objective and as clear of our own stuff as possible when doing a reading, but admit it—one or two interpretations jumped out at you while others didn’t occur to you. For me it was sneaky dealings of one sort or another with lone wolf following quickly behind in second place, ironically enough.

I will give you some context now. The question was, “What do people need from me today?”  We can all make a case for our different interpretations of this single, stand-alone card. And as long as we come by those definitions with a certain degree of honesty and integrity, who is to say whether one is better than the other, more “right” or more “wrong”. We don’t all interpret identically, not just with the cards, but in all things.

Even taking one of the possible interpretations here, that he is stealing the swords, some might assume that he is acting dishonestly and some might not. Your own feelings about that are probably tied to the question “why is he taking the swords?”. The obvious answer is that he’s a thief. Maybe, and maybe those were his swords to begin with and he is taking back what is rightfully his. Or maybe he’s trying to prevent a battle that would end in disaster. Of course he might not be stealing them at all. How do you know? We need more context, insight and intuition?

On a more logical level we’ve probably all read up on various interpretations of this card from sources good, bad and indifferent, so that will come into play. Swords, relate to the intellect, justice, force and fortitude. The number seven is where spirit and matter unite, and perhaps conflict, forcing us to make a choice, take us out of our comfort zone and do something we wouldn’t normally do. We can juggle all those swords in our left brain while deciding on an interpretation, and probably drop a few in the process like the guy in the card.

So what is the answer? Wait a minute, what was the question again? “What do people need from me today?” Hmmm, I seem to have just wandered out on my own and done my own thing without giving you a tangible answer. Yep, you’re on your own. Don’t worry. There’s so much to work with here I’m sure you’ll come up with something. It will be the interpretation you think, feel and trust in, without anyone telling you what it should be. You can collect all the information and second-hand insight you want, but eventually you have to strike out on your own. You alone know what this card means to you, in your life, on this day.

Hey, I just thought of another one—maybe this guy is playing a practical joke on his friends. Maybe he’s practical joking with intent.

The Daily Draw: Page of Pentacles reversed

Learn to Be Effective

Page of Pentacles, reversedThe pentacles are about the material, the tangible, the pragmatic. They also have to do with what is sturdy and what is trustworthy.  With the youthful energy of the page the Page this card can relate to learning to create something solid in the 3-D world or having a youthful eagerness to do so, whether that be a house, a business or a good reputation, for example.

The young person here is standing in a lush, grassy field. A grove of mature trees are in the background. To the right there is tilled farmland. My guess is this person didn’t make it that way, but they might be the latest generation of those who did, or someone who is drawn to this work but just learning the craft.

With the Page of Pentacles reversed I get the sense that something isn’t quite right. Maybe the page has taken his or her eye off the pentacle being gazed at with such intent. Maybe not enough attention is being paid to detail. Maybe corners are being cut due to impatience or external factors.  The king and the knight know it takes time and effort to produce a quality result. While there may be time-saving tips that come with experience, there are no shortcuts. You have to pay attention to the process, and not just focus on the desired result. Otherwise you may find more time wishing you were making something as opposed to actually making it.

Alternatively, reversed cards can have an internalized aspect. Depending on the context the advice here might be to think through the project, study the blueprints, plan things out before you begin. The temptation might be to just start doing your work, but some consideration beforehand can improve the effectiveness of that work greatly.

If you’ve already started the project, maybe you need to ask yourself if what you are doing is really working or whether it just seemed like a good idea at the time.  There’s no harm in taking time to see whether the steps you are taking are leading to your desired outcome. Chances are you’ re working individually, so you have sole responsibility but you also have freedom of choice to change what you are doing if you don’t seem to be getting the result you want.

The Daily Draw: The Hanged Man

The Hanged ManYesterday’s post, the Nine of Wands Reversed, was basically about letting go of defensiveness. To carry on the theme of letting go, today’s draw is the Hanged Man, a person who has somehow managed to get tied by the ankle to danglie upside down from a wooden T cross. Yet he seems at peace with his predicament, glowing in fact. Maybe he knows something we don’t.

At 12, The Hanged Man comes in sequence between Justice and Death. To condense that down to one sentence: Reap what you have sewn, accept the results, change accordingly so you can move on up the spiral. The Hanged Man, of course, is the acceptance part. Change (Death) is coming whether you accept it or not. Wouldn’t it be to your advantage to go with it and not to fight it?

The Hanged Man can also indicate taking a step back, removing yourself from a situation, or at least the drama of a situation, and becoming more of an objective observer. Part of that is letting go of your own emotional baggage, expectations, or projections of a desired outcome to a situation. When you remove these filters to your perception the picture becomes clearer and you can better see the truth of what is, as opposed to what you wish it was or are pretending it might be.

Maybe you’re part of a perpetual cycle of conflict that seems to be going nowhere. Often the best way to break the cycle is to simply stop. It can be incredibly difficult to let go of a fight when you are right.  If you are right you should win, right? Except the person who disagrees with you is also right, or at least thinks they are. You know they are wrong, but they know they are right. But you’re the one who is really right, right? Right! So why don’t you both agree? In fact, why doesn’t everyone agree with you?  I’ll tell you why: it’s because everyone is right. Don’t believe me? Try finding someone who thinks they’re wrong. Even if they say they’re wrong, they’re right about being wrong.

So everybody is right. Now what do we do? Maybe the most effective thing you can do is to give up your need for everyone to know and acknowledge that you are right. Sacrifice your desire to be crowned king or queen of the right fighters.  At first this may be confusing or disorienting for the people you’ve been arguing with—“This isn’t the expected bow back to my bluster.” The bluster will be taken out of them, or if it isn’t they will have to go somewhere else for their drama fix because they won’t be getting it from you. Be the bigger person, set the example, be consistent. Eventually people figure out who the bigger person is without you needing to tell them. (Hint: If you need to tell them, you’re probably not it). They might even come to realize that you’re…well, you know…

I know those last couple of paragraphs sounded a bit wandy. I guess I’m feeling the progression from yesterday’s Nine of Wands. On the other hand, yer man is tied to a big honking wand, of greater girth than any of the wands in the suit cards. More growth too, if you look at the edges.

Ultimately the message I’m getting today is take a step back to take two steps forward. Sacrifice your ego to fulfill your soul. Let go so you can have what you really want. You know it’s the right thing to do.