On The Work and The Tarot

A perk of being a professional word nerd is learning about a bunch of things and getting paid to do it. One of the projects I’ve been involved with lately in the work-I-do-for-money has had me chewing on that other work that I do.

You know, the learning and growing and becoming a better person today than I was yesterday and all of that important drivel.

The Work.

This project has me reading up on the developmental tasks of children and has me wondering “I am 40 and I’ve surely not reached my final form and I most certainly did not stop developing at 18 (when most of these charts and theories and the rest end), so what is my developmental task?”

I mean, I know that there’s that learning and growing and becoming a better person today than I was yesterday drivel. I also know that my creativity has a huge part to play in that and that, by proxy, play has, as well, but how to hone in and prioritize on The Work of developing as a person?

In comes the Tarot. As a person who often feels trapped in her own head by her own thoughts and feelings, I tend to use the Tarot as a tour guide through all of that internal mulch, a good friend who knows all of the shortcuts (through brains – that friend is probably a bit nutty), but it all starts with having the right questions and, it turns out, indulging my not-so-inner sprog with the question “what is my developmental task?” makes for falling into a really interesting/fun/fraught traipse through the cards and rabbit hole of discovery.

I begin with a three card, past/present/future reading:

IMG_8996
I don’t really have a special place to do my readings, but one of my favourite places is my bed. Welcome to my bed, y’all!

I need to take an aside about inverted cards; I am a fan and I read them as muted forms of their purer, upright messages that bring a level of depth to the reading that’s difficult to get when you read the messages as pure. This reading is a great example of that. The first two cards, in past and present positions, are inverted. I kind of rolled my eyes when I drew the cards in a “yes, mum. I know. I KNOW” kind of fashion because these were not surprising and I’ll explain why in the break down.

The Break Down

In the past position, I have the Ace of Swords, inverted. This card represents the steps taken to get here (but, like, the Coles Notes version). It says that I came from a place of applying logic in order to do the right thing for me to set me on a path that was closer to my truth. That it’s inverted reminds me that my choices have also been emotional (this will always be the case for me); that, even though it was the right choice, the timing could have been better; that I haven’t fulfilled some of the choices that I made; that those choices got me closer to something that matched better with my values and what I bring to the world, but not nearly close enough to be there yet, baby.

Eye roll. That was my past. I remember all of the “holy crap, am I sure I’m doing the right thing?!?!” bits. Thanks, tips. Important stuff to remember, though. Unroll eyes.

In the present position, I have the Mother (or Queen) of Swords, inverted. This card represents the current state of affairs, but more importantly, the strengths and difficulties I face in my development. Mama of swords is a total badass; she is smart and witty and has an intuition that cuts through to the core of people like lasers, but confidence enough to let them walk their own paths, even when they’re being a bit foolish. She competes with no one.

Alas, she is not me. She is merely my potential.  She is The Work.

Eye roll…kinda.

And this is what I love about the Tarot: it cuts through to those things I don’t want to hear. I do know that I need to work on having a better sense of humour and set aside some anger in the face of the folly of others instead of being judgy and mouthy (there’s a time and place for that, but I’ve had some run-ins that have left me feeling like the smaller person, by far). I do know that I need to work on communicating in a more straight-forward manner (way to hit below the belt, cards. I’m a fucking communicatrix. Ugh. Damn you). I do know that I’ve lacked the presence of late to quickly and accurately assess situations so I’m not stepping into the shit piles that land me feeling like the smaller person or are actually bad for my physical, emotional, and mental health.

These things are getting in the way of my (unfortunately merely metaphorical) Queen-hood. They are taking up far too much time/space/energy/resources.

I know these things, but I am not addressing them. Because she’s inverted, it means I’m extra-super-duper not addressing them.

Which moves us forward to…

The Hermit, upright, in the future position.

This card, you guys. I’m SO not about him.

This card represents the “how” given all that we know of where I’m coming from. That he’s upright means that it’s a good, clear path, but that, again, is not something I want to hear. His path is really lonely and demands a lot of hard work because I am SO much better and drowning the noise of the emotions and dreams and ambitions in my with external distractions than I am at taking a good, hard look at what is inside for me to build upon.

Eye roll, again.

I had actually just (like, two months ago) talked to my counselor about how I needed to forge some space for proper alone time into my regular routine in order figure some of my shit out…aaaaaaaand, I’ve totally stalled on that (for, like, two months). This card is giving me a clear kick in the arse to make it so.

In a Nutshell

This reading is basically telling me to stop being a petty little jerk because it’s a waste of my time and, depleting my resources, and tripping me up by distracting me from what I really want and  what I’m actually going to need to do (possibly physically) set myself apart from those distractions in order to get The Work done.

The Traipsing

From this reading, I had a LOT follow-up questions for the cards:

  • How can I best balance the need to “hermit” with the rest of life? (3-card spread)
  • Where to focus? (1-card draw for meditation, many, many, many single-card draws)
  • What are my strongest resources? (4-card spread for physical, emotional, spiritual, mental)
  • What are my greatest weaknesses (4-card spread for physical, emotional, spiritual, mental)
  • …and on and on.

The best part is, I can keep going into this rabbit hole allatonce, or I can keep dipping into it as and when I like…or both. I find my brain taps out after an hour of multiple readings and they no longer become productive, but I get a lot to chew on out of that hour. I also enjoy taking 20 minutes to do those single-card readings and focusing on what they tell me, internalizing them and carrying them through my days.

The way I read is a lot less divination and a lot more guidance. After a few decades with them, they’ve become pretty good guides for getting The Work done.

Do you read? What is your medium? What is your style?

 

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