reading the cards

It’s been wonderfully springtimey here and I have things on which to opine.

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Let’s start with reading my Tarot cards!

Let me preface this by saying that I wouldn’t describe myself as *believing* in things like astrology and tarot, but I enjoy them. Foremost, I think that they can be really cool, interesting ways to connect with the people who do the interpreting, and that to me is their main value. And it’s fun! And just to keep the skeptics mad, I’ll note that my mom’s great aunt did astrology throughout her life and did the charts for both my sister and I when we were born (my mom has her letters saved in family photo albums). And she said that I would be a lifelong cat lover (haha!) and be interested in nutrition, and my sister would be sensitive and crave a sense of home, and be a writer. Very very true of both of us! And the reading below is pretty damn interesting too. Which is to say, WHO KNOWS!?

So my friend Andrea has a neat deck of legit Tarot cards, and she described them as a fun hybrid of ancient pagan symbols, signs of the zodiac, and early Christian symbols. This is the Celtic cross, one of the most common formats you lay out to read someone’s cards. When you’re looking to answer questions about someone’s life you both look at which cards appear (and note that I, as the person whose cards were being read, cut the deck) and in which positions of the Celtic cross they appear.

(sorry for the crappy picture, this is just to give you an idea of the layout)

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There are four suits in the Tarot deck (as well as “major arcana”, essentially “face cards” that don’t belong to a suit), and the suits correspond to the elements of the earth. Andrea described this to me a little but I also did a bit more Internet research because I thought this stuff was fun!

Wands, my most commonly recurring suit, corresponds to fire and its qualities- heat, light, destructive yet regenerative, self perpetuating. Also involves creative energy, drive and ambition, passion.

Cups corresponds to water- water is vital to life and nourishing. It can be still or turbulent and destructive. It’s flexible, moving. Water is wrapped up in love, mind, body and spirit, and feelings.

Swords correspond to air- air can both be cleansing (wiping the slate clean) yet the interplay of hot and cold can result in winds that can be devastating. Air can be wet or dry. This suit is wrapped up in concepts of truth, clarity, ideas, justice, and mental strength.

Pentacles (the stars) correspond to the element of Earth- holds water and can sustain fire. stabilizing. growth, beginning stages of something tangible, material abundance, new enterprise, improving wealth

Now, for my specific reading. You can approach a reading with a particular question- I kept it general and asked how my next few months would be.

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The first card laid down is person in question- in this case me! The king of wands has will/determination, is dynamic, confident and high in mental energy (all the good qualities of fire, which corresponds to wands, remember?)

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Overlaid over the first card the challenge/situation at hand- the 2 of wands. The lower numbers in a suit represent the poorer attributes of that suit’s corresponding element. So Andrea read this as the negatives of fire: control, domination over another, a willful vision of things, dissatisfaction. Perhaps there had been an influence in my life, from myself or others, pressuring me to be a certain way.

She also talked about how this and other things about the arrangement of my cards implies that I’ve been guilty of too much navel gazing and being too much in my head, and the way to get out of this is through being a positive fiery force, full of energy and action.

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The recent past- yikes! I’ve kept it no secret on my blog that the recent past has been crazy and stressful and this card calls it pretty perfectly. I don’t really need to explain the tower- it symbolizes sudden and unexpected upheaval.

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I read a number of interpretations for the position on the right. The future/best outcome/present state of things/current resolution or lack thereof. Flux, I’d call it! So the moon symbolizes dreams but also nightmares, hidden things, mystery, confusion. This is funny given I have had a LOT of sleep disturbances lately! And also have been feeling a sense of mystery about the meaning of life/why terrible things happen to good people/etc.

I also just want to note I think this card looks really cool and it’s fun to think about all the attributes of the moon and how they can be human attributes as well. I also want to note that this is the first of many highly female symbols, which is apt since I’ve been all about the female energy lately (girlfriends, mother, sister… even the cat is a girl)

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Above- this position symbolizes my goal, the possible/best outcome of the question, and a more short term outlook. Totally dig this Temperance card- it’s all about harmony, balance, and moderation. I will note that this is the closest thing to my star sign- I’m a Libra!

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Below- this position is all about someone’s foundation, their subconscious realm- underlying feelings and trends. I got this card upside down, which is significant and is called a reversal. A reversal of the 5 of pentacles signifies coming out of a dark period, small gains, turn for the better. Sweet! Andrea and I talked about the interplay of gender, and how this could be a paternal deprivation card, and all the other strong female energy cards I have are in the opposite, nourishing spirit.

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This next position in the Celtic cross had a lot of potential meanings listed! It can mean advice and recommendations from outside influences, or factors affecting the situation (which is a little vague to me). Anyway, this is another super grim looking card! The 10 of swords- ruin, feeling broken, sudden ending, grief, negative outcome. Yes, the outside world has been kind of intense lately.

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Andrea talked about this position being how you’re observed by others, whereas the Internet said it was about external influences too, or the environment. Anyway, another awesome female energy card! This is the queen of pentacles- she’s a Mother Earth type. This card is all about self nurture. It’s cool if this does symbolize my surrounding environment, because as this blog tries to highlight, my neck of the woods is reallll crunchy. Andrea also pointed out that right now the work I do for one of my professors is a study that’s all about supporting mothers and babies, so I think this card is wrapped up in that too.

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For some reason I forgot to take a picture of this card at Andrea’s, but I found it online! This position is all about hopes and fears. The 4 of wands symbolizes initial success, first stage of completion, progression, setting up a new home. I certainly feel as though I’ve been doing this in a figurative, if not literal sense. And of course a new home can symbolize a fresh start but also the loss of the comfortable and familiar.

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The last position is a long term outcome- where the situation is headed, how the issue will be resolved. This card was another inversion, the upside down 7 of cups. If you look at it right side up (Just stand on your head in front of your computer! I’ll wait :D) there are all this gold cups, but if you look inside them they have snakes and other nasty dangerous things. So if this were upside up, this would be about deceit, but since it’s an inversion, it’s about seeing through lies, making up my mind, uncovering ill intentions, and foremost- recovery!

So that’s a bit of kookiness for your Monday!

So last week was my Spring Break. I went home for a few days. We had a memorial service for my cousin- in the Greek tradition, you do a memorial for someone who has died at seven days later, 40 days later, and a year later. My mother points out, aptly, that you’re in a different phase of your feelings at each of those times. Anyway, it was good to all be together.

Also, we all had a meal afterwords at my sister’s godparents’ house, and they got a ridiculous amount of dessert (God bless my family). And we got to take most of them home after my sister was ruled the dessert appointer and everyone else refused these beautiful tarts!

I mean my God, we had three kinds of tarts in our fridge. Ridiculous.

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I spent my remaining time at home cultivating my wellness (including a mental health refresher with my old shrink, yaaaay!) and bonding with my favorite ladies. Long walks with my mom, Zumba with my sister, and morning snuggles with Sheila.

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More soon!

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