Tarot Letters 5

these cards ask if you're up for a challenge

You know that Spongebob meme where he’s like, not wearing his clothes for some reason, and he’s blowing out a breath like PHEW while he’s half hidden by some pillar/rock he’s leaning against, as if he just escaped something? That’s how I feel having written these like whoa, some of you folks are dealing with some doozies, and you came to me — a lil clueless nobody — asking for some guidance. One of you asked me why you’re not getting on with having a kid! Well okay! I rolled my sleeves up, got the cards out and tried my best. Thank you letter writers for trusting me with your questions.

I felt called to use a deck I don’t use much for this round, mainly because it deals with a lot of religious/mystical symbolism and astrological knowledge I do not feel I have. It’s a beautiful deck, the Thoth Tarot, and so very rich; the images that came from the cards I pulled were really captivating. In my replies, I do not get into the symbolism, mythology, or astrology, but I have linked each card to a page with more details on those things and note further reading suggestions where relevant.

I hope you enjoy reading, or find something that resonates with you. Shares and likes are always appreciated! You can send me more questions at this open form here. Previously, I wrote about The Wheel of Fortune and the Hanged Man, discovering a fourth time dimension during this period where time seems completely meaningless. If you’ve been enjoying the newsletter and would like to support the work, here’s my tip jar. Image descriptions of the cards are at the very end of the newsletter (and also at the links).

L1: I have been job hunting for a couple of months and while I have a decent track record of professional and personal growth, I cannot seem to land even one interview at this moment. I am beginning to feel dejected, and past voices of an abusive friend — of whom I trusted so much — who told me I would never amount to anything, keeps resurfacing. How can I learn how to reframe this dejection in a way that feels like a process towards something greater?

Reframe: You are not waiting for your life to change. You are an active participant in the change already happening in your life. And in that active participation, there is work to be done beyond the work of trying to acquire paid employment. The Two of Disks (Pentacles) is asking you to lean into the material, concrete and practical. It’s asking you to work, specifically on yourself. I’m not into hustle culture or the notion of productivity being the be-all and end-all for any free time we have for ourselves. So what can you direct your energy to right now that directly benefits your material sense of wellbeing? It could be revisiting your budget during unemployment, cleaning up your CV to try different approaches, reading advice related to self-improvements within your field, cleaning the house, dedicating more time to moving your body in ways that make you feel good, committing to learning a random new skill — it could be busting out the glue, scissors and magazines and making a physical vision board of how you want your life to be! Not all of these are fun, but can they make you feel more rooted and cared for?

Your self, your life, your existence: these all continue and require attention whatever it is these potential employers or past “friends” think of you. The Two of Disks asks us to consider the things we juggle in our lives, consider how they relate to one another — is it harmonious, complementary, discordant, does it introduce friction (which can be good or bad or neutral)? — and then how that relationship benefits or doesn’t benefit your vision of the life you want. And in this consideration, it also asks us to transmute our energy into actions. Reframe: What if this is a much longer and bigger journey? How do you sustain yourself and the rest of your life while this job search is a part of it? I hope things work out for you! 

Further reading: Jupiter in Capricorn, Chokmah (Kabbalah Tree of Life)

L2: I feel like I should be grateful to be employed at all, especially after having gone through unemployment for a year, and with a recession looming. I can be very good at this job, but the environment I work in is terrible. I know it’s unhealthy, but I can’t tell if it’s made worse by current circumstances and things will improve, or if I’m just ignoring too many signs. How should I approach this?

The Fool suggests taking a leap. Reading this question, seeing this card, I imagined The Fool in your situation already hurtling downward through the air, freewheeling into uncertain adventure and/or doom. There’s a suspended tension in that motion: will the landing be graceful or will you have to dust off more than a few scrapes when you eventually find (or crash into) your footing? Either way, you’re going somewhere new, you made that decision already. So it may help to think back to why you made this decision (beyond the practical reasons): what kind of pay-offs seemed possible, what you think/know about yourself that can be applied not just to the parts of the job you can be good at, but the parts of the job that are now challenging you — the parts you may have to survive.

The Fool can be about learning our limits, engaging for the first time with new elements or engaging with familiar elements in new ways and seeing what sets you off, what hardens and softens, what’s built and destroyed. If you know this situation is unhealthy, what does your body and mind do to brace itself against that, and which of those things feel right to what you already know about yourself and your limits? Grit your teeth and bear it, list all the things you’re not going to deal with anymore once you hit the ground. Lean into the chaos of it all, pull off a couple of impressive mid-air feats, chase the spectacular ending of this situation. Imagine your escape plan, the parachute you can pull that takes you out of this current momentum? Every stint as The Fool ends eventually, one way or another. Good luck. 

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L3: I want to have kids and I worry I’m running out of time. But I also want a lot of other things and just started a new job and I’m thinking about committing to more there (like a project that could take 4 years to complete, thereby putting off baby making even further). Everything else is in place (outside of work worries) to clear the way — but I keep stalling. Why?

The Priestess is a card about connecting to your highest and deepest levels of intuition. It affirmed to me what I already thought when I received this question — which intimidates me more than any other question I’ve received so far for ROAY! — which is that no one but you knows the real answer to the question you’re asking. Your life is vast and full of small details that are likely unknown even to you, what more to me, a stranger. So you are being called to investigate yourself and your desires. Who you think you are and can be, in all the different roles you play in your life, but also all the parts and aspects of you that remain unknown to you. 

The Priestess has connections to The Moon, which is related to mystery, dreams, the subconscioys, depths, shadows. This is not light work, it is not even close to being casual work. It’s life work and depending on what you believe, it’s work that goes beyond this current version of you — into all your pasts and all your futures. What are your dreams of parenthood, of having a child/children, of being a person in the world, a person with the life you live and the relationships you want to have? What don’t you know about these things, what scares you about them? Who are the people in your life (who you trust / respect / seek to better understand) who have had to make decisions similar to what you’re grappling with now? Who has made completely different decisions, and how did they get there? There’s no answer here. There’s searching, learning, finding knowledge that only you can find, and doing based on that knowing. All the best on this incredible journey. 

L4: I’m a fighter, sometimes to my own detriment. How do I know when enough is enough?

What are you fighting for? Articulate your purpose and drive, the engine which fuels the fight within you and tells you when, where, how to take action. Because if you don’t know what starts your engine and keeps it running, it might be hard to figure out how to stop it. With the Nine of Cups, the answer may lie in the realm of your emotions, specifically your relationship to happiness. Do you feel you understand what makes you happy, the elements that complete the picture of your happiness? There’s beautiful balance and abundance in the Nine of Cups, and sometimes the shadow of that is thinking Well this is good, but surely it can be better and in striving for more, one may forget the true shape of what you already hold in your hand, the gift of what already exists and is real. Where are you restless and feeling lack? Are you fighting for more or are you fighting to defend what you have, and if you answer yes to either question, why do you feel fighting is what’s necessary here? Take time to reflect on who you are as a giver and receiver too. 

Further reading: Jupiter in Pisces, Yesod (Kabbalah Tree of Life). 

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Image descriptions: Two of Disks - A snake with greenish-grey large spots against pale blue is curled into a figure eight, its own tail in its mouth, a gold crown on its head. The backdrop contains circular bands mimicking the figure eight in varying shades of purple. In the top circle, a yin and yang symbol in blue (light red circle with a triangle in it) and yellow (blue circle with a triangle in it) with the glyph for Jupiter above it. In the bottom circle the same symbol mirrored, in purple (yellow circle with a bisected triangle in it) and yellow (light purple circle with a bisected triangle in it). The Fool - A blonde man wearing a green tunic over green tights and golden pointed boots stands with arms and legs extended in all four corners of the card. He’s wearing a small white pointed hat with short white horns on either side. In his right hand he holds a four pointed white diamond, in his left something emitting orange flames. A curved golden sword comes out from his chest and continues as a rainbow/light beam that loops around him in big circles and returns to the point of his heart. To the left near the light beam are a small white bird, a larger pale blue bird with longer wings, and a yellow butterfly. An orange tiger bites at his left leg and in between his legs is a green crocodile. To the right, a blue curtain with a pattern of circles containing astrological glyphs and a dark purple bunch of grapes. The Priestess - a female figure all in white sits on a throne with a curved ornate bow on her lap, her arms outstretched holding two ends of a sheer net that covers half of her body. She is wearing a crown made up of stacked crescent moons pointing upwards, and at her feet are various flowers, precious stones, fruits, and a camel figure. The colours of this card are cool and muted, dominated by light blue. Nine of Cups - three rows of three light purple goblets with large bases and rounded bowls. Atop each a downturned white lotus, their orange stalks creating a curved lattice behind the goblets. From each flower streams of water pour, overflowing in the cups and spilling downwards to the cups below.

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