|Tarot reading, 3/6/15
||[Mar. 7th, 2015|02:00 pm]
The Cynical Romantic
I did this reading last night, although I didn't type it up because I didn't feel like going online--just took a photo and some notes. It's a Celtic Cross done with my old Vampire deck, because it's my most familiar.
I didn't so much ask a question as think on all the badness at work lately--the stress, the dumb office politics that I wasn't really aware of and have no idea how to navigate, the feelings of frustration and impotence and being set up to fail, embarrassment, the terror of possibly losing my job, the feeling stupid that I'm not doing as well as I know I could or should be doing, helplessness at feeling like my attempts to improve are being stymied and resentment of the inkling of an idea that it' on purpose, hopelessness at the feeling that the only person whose opinion of my performance really counts doesn't really want me to succeed. Feeling like a failure from the constant job-hopping, stressed out from insecurity, afraid that if I screw up again I will be basically unemployable. I didn't have the courage to straight-up ask the cards if I'm going to keep my job or not, and they didn't tell me.
The first thing that's odd about this reading as a whole is that it doesn't contain a single Pentacle card, which is the suit related to issues of career and finance and all that practical keeping-a-roof-over-your-head stuff. On the other hand, there are three Knights--the Knight of every suit except Pentacles--which, in my old court card system, usually represented a person concerned with those sorts of matters, although in this reading I can't really tell if they are actually supposed to represent people or just matters of more import than the regular suit cards. Wands, swords, and cups are all here, with swords somewhat overrepresented--not usually a great sign.
The cover card is the Ace of Cups, the root of the suit of water, which refers to matters emotional and intuitive. I thought this was definitely strange, but it seems into indicate that this reading may be how I feel about things rather than what's happening externally. Or it could be about what's happening externally but mostly about how everyone's feelings are running rather than the concrete facts of what's happening. Which is a little terrifying, as that's precisely what I'm afraid I'm up against. Like, I know I have to step up my performance, but all the weird shit that's been happening makes me afraid that that's not the whole issue and I'm mostly up against my boss' dislike of me, which may be a lot harder to fix even if I do manage to learn everything I need to learn in the next few weeks. Weirdly, my little book tells me that the Ace of Cups, "The Stirring of the Heart," represents "New love," and can represent "Emotional Renewal," "Friendship. Kindness. Peace," and "Partnership. A positive work relationship." As a situation card, it represents "a new beginning in your emotional life" and "You are about to be blessed with love and happiness." So... that seems a bit out there. Although I perhaps it means the substance of the question is whether I can somehow forge new good working relationships where I need them.
The crossing card is the Knight of Swords, in my old system someone who concerns themselves with material matters and approaches them from an intellectualized, abstract, or cerebral place. My little book calls the Knight of Swords "Rapid Coming and Goings," which is just mean, all things considered. He represents "Fortrightness. Sudden changes," and the key words are things like "An important event related to a matter of intellect or conflict." As a situation card, it's giving me "You may enter a conflictual situation with frenzy and excitement, only to have it pass quickly and chaotically out of you life," which does not say anything about the manner of its passing and is therefore giving me a stomachache. It also says that "Swords often herald a period of struggle or competition in which you need to take quick and firm action," which I do. Its advice seems sound if easier said than done: "Now is a time to follow your head rather than our heart. Be strong and decisive, and approach situations with a steel-trap mind. Sound professional advice can spell the difference between success and failure." As a modifier to the previous card, it seems to be saying that the challenge to all the emotional stuff is either just being in a period of strife or perhaps, more specifically, the need to keep my head on and do everything I need to do perfectly correctly. As a person, the Knight of Swords can mean "Someone who involves you in a conflict," "Those who are bright and successful in business but also somewhat ruthless or selfish in pursuing their goals," "One who gets what he or she wants," and "A professional advisor," among other things. So that's the "crossing" card. As a microcross I think it's got a lot of possible things going on, all of them big and exhausting.
The third card, the "beneath" card, shows "where the question comes from... the roots or foundations of the current situation" and is the Page of Swords, "Quick Thinking," who represents "Decisiveness. Unexpected or upsetting news." Key words that jumped out at me included "Constructive criticism," "Defensiveness. Delayed plans," and "Professional advice." In my old system this card represents someone focused on ambitious matters or personal passions and who considered them from an abstract or logic-oriented approach. As a situation, which I think is most likely for this reading, it can mean that "You may find yourself in a situation where discretion, quick analysis, and decisiveness are of the essence" and advises to "Know what you are committing yourself to and what the future ramifications of your current decisions are." Negative readings include "Upsetting news may be on the way" and "you may find yourself in a situation where gossip or rumors play a significant role."
The fourth card, the "behind" card, is the Knight of Wands--earth of fire, in my old system, someone concerned with earthly matters and coming at the with a lot of drive and passion. This is the "passing out of influence" card, which worries me, because this card is in my little book as "Escape from Difficulty." It would be a great future card, but it's a bit ominous in this place in the reading--it seems to imply that the period of having escaped difficulty is drawing to an end. The card also reads "Change is in the air. Creative energy," which basically leaves me guessing at what kind of change will be no longer changing. And I don't feel like I've had much creative energy of late, anyway. Some key words that jumped out at me include "Not wanting to settle down" and "Change of environment," which seem to indicate that the change of environment has already happened and will not be changing again in the present or near future? I don't know what to make of this card, really. As a situation card it again seems to be very future-oriented, which makes it a bit odd in this spot in the reading: "Change is in the air... You may be about to move or embark on a creative project or long journey, possibly related to business. You are entering or leaving a significant situation... Perhaps you are changing jobs or residences." That already happened; does being in the "passing out of influence" stage mean that the events themselves will revert or that the period of change is over?
The fifth card, the crown card, shows potential--opportunities, possibilities, goals. In this reading it is the Nine of Wands, "Strength in Reserve." (So far so good.) Representing "Stand Your Ground. Defense," this card apparently "suggests a need to stand up for yourself" and possibly to "defend your reputation or a decision you have made," and assures the querent that "Although the situation looks demanding, you are on firm ground. Once you overcome this final challenge, you are on the way to success, so don't give up." So apparently it is possible for me to overcome this mess, which is good, although actually doing it may be another matter. The card tells me "You have the strength in reserve to tackle any problem... Your position is strong, and you have the courage and determination to achieve your goals when the time is right."
The sixth card, the "before" card, is the Knight of Cups. In my old system, he represents someone concerned with material matters (as all the Knights do) and in this case, who approaches them from an emotional and intuitive standpoint. In my book, this card is titled "New Relationships" and represents "Romance. Artistic talent," which ties in with the Ace of Cups at the very beginning but otherwise seems a bit out of left field. Key words include "An important event related to relationships and emotional concerns," so that's possibly ominous. As a situation card, it predicts "Someone may present you with an offer that is hard to resist" and "An invitation or an opportunity for a new relationship may be in the near future." It warns to be sure of my own feelings "to avoid being easily led by others" and says that "Your greatest assets at this time are your gentleness, sensitivity, and idealism." For people, it may represent "Idealists. Dreamers. Champions of the underdog" or "A passive person who is easily influenced by others."
As a cross, it all seems a bit of a jumble, but one thing is certain: there are a lot of powerful cards here, and I have my work cut out for me. The three Knights seem to indicate that there is a focus on "earth" matters, but it seems like all the real action is going to take place in other realms--my ability to keep my emotions in check and bring my intellect fully to bear on the situation; other people's feelings and goals and perceptions; if I can somehow manage or influence those perceptions. But there seems to be an indication that I can do it.
Moving from the cross to the pillar, here's the first thing that really jumped out at me when I was laying down the cards: the seventh card, the "Self" card, is Major Arcana 13, Death, in its upright position representing "Major transformation." In my sense of self? That's a little terrifying! The very first key word is "Necessary and profound change," followed by "Liberation." So... thanks, but probably a fair cop, and I hope whatever profound changes I am going through are indeed liberation, although I actually feel more like I am being stuck in myself. When the card represents people, it can mean "Those undergoing major life changes" or "Agents of change," so... I really don't know. As a situation card, it can mean "A major change is about to take place" (which sounds external) or "Transformation is imminent" (which sounds internal, and therefore probably makes more sense for this place in the reading. The card doesn't predict if they're good or bad changes, but it advises, "Now is a time to rid yourself of attitudes and situations you have outgrown to pave the way for a new stage in life... All that is useless or outmoded must be discarded... You must let go of old unproductive ways." This seems relatively in keeping with other advice throughout the reading, especially in being nerve-racking.
The eighth card, the "house" card, is Major Arcana 10, "The Wheel of Fortune," representing "A change for the better." The house card represents the current state of "your environment and those around you," which I desperately hope does not mean "are making a great change by getting rid of me." One possible reading of this is that it "reveals how outside influences and environmental factors... might affect the outcome" so hopefully that means they will help me out. At any rate, the Wheel of Fortune means "Good luck. Advancement. Opportunity... Rapid change," "A lucky break" and "Improving circumstances." I'm hoping this means there's a big change for my better in my environment, not just that there's a change of some sort that benefits the people around me, although of course I wish everyone around me the very best. As a situation/advice card, it says I am "entering a new cycle involving a fortunate set of circumstances that promise beneficial change and continuing progress" and that "Rapid changes offer new opportunities to improve your life... A chance circumstance may bring an end to past difficulties and herald a period of good fortune and success." It also says I (or my environment?) "may need to make an important decision that will influence the unfolding of events" and more stuff like that that seems to tie in very closely with my Self being Death right now.
The ninth card is "hopes, fears, and expectations," and is the Five of Wands. The first two of the three pip cards in this reading are both Wands, which is the suit of fire. The Five of Wands is "A Mock Battle," representing "An exciting challenge," echoing the conflict alluded to in the crossing card and possibly the crown card (the other Wand pip). Key words here include "Struggle. Rivalry. The need to prove oneself" (definitely that last one), "Success through formidable effort," "A conflict of interests," "Too many irons in the fire," and "The need to set priorities." So that's all a lot of fun. As a situation card, it discusses a "need to compete or face an exciting challenge" and advises me to "Avoid passivity at this time. Success will come as a result of your assertive efforts to overcome nuisance and obstacles." The card suggests that I am dealing with "contention and rivalry," or in this position, I guess that I fear that I am dealing with "contention and rivalry." It recommends that I "set priorities to avoid excessive stress" which I guess means I'm scrapping a lot of my nonessentials from my to-do list. This isn't really a predictor card, but it seems a fairly accurate summation of what I at least think is going on.
The tenth and final card is a sword card, which is usually not great! This one is the Eight of Swords pip, "Restriction," which represents "Feeling trapped" and is indeed not great, as I remember this card fairly well--it refers to basically having a mental block or working against your own interests, "An oppressive environment" and "Lack of empowerment." So whatever happens to me, it looks like the likely outcome is that I will still feel stuck and disempowered about it. It "represents fear, blockage, limitation and restriction that are often self-imposed" and says "You may be acting as your own worst enemy." So that's a shitty note to end on. It advises that I must "face your fears before you can make an important decision. With courage you can transcend your anxieties and resolve the problems that surround you." It also advises that I "seek wise counsel and heed sound advice," which I will certainly be doing my best to be doing.
I'm not sure this really makes me feel all that much better, but I do sort of feel like it gives me a better sense of direction, even though it probably didn't. It mostly just seems to reflect what I was already worried about. But it could be worse.