So I’m kind of a dork when it comes to new age-y crap. I like reading my horoscope, I definitely have more than one crystal for harnessing positive energy and purging negative energy, aaaand I like tarot readings. I don’t believe in these things in an absolute sense; rather, I treat them as placebic salves. I don’t literally think that holding a crystal in my palms will ‘absorb’ all my negative thoughts, but it helps me focus. It makes me meditate on the act of mental release. With tarot readings, I read into them what I want, because much like horoscopes their descriptions are purposefully vague. I don’t look at them as telling my future, but again, as ideas and concepts to ruminate on. They can be helpful in putting things in perspective for you, if you’re willing to look past the absence of scientific validity.
So, that being said, I have a tarot deck. I gave myself a reading a few weeks ago, and it was… interesting. I do a basic 3-card reading. One card represents your past, your present, and your future. This is the way I do it, though there are variations: I shuffle the deck while thinking really hard about a question I have. It can relate to anything from your career, your love life, happiness, luck, etc. Then, once you feel the question has been solidified, once you feel the deck has been shuffled enough (there’s no correct number of times to do this, in my opinion, you just stop when you’re done), you spread it out on a table and then pick 3 cards. The first card will be the reading of your past, the second your present, the third your future. I tend to place them right to left, although I don’t feel that this matters all that much. Then, I turn them over by picking up the lower right hand corner and flipping it over to the lower left hand corner (like opening a book).
I asked the universe to give me some mental gum about happiness, since I’ve had a lot of anxiety/depression/identity crisis -related emotions lately. This is what I got:
Ok, so. Reading right to left:
My Past: The King of Cups. (for interpretive descriptions, I always opt for biddy tarot)
“The King of Cups, like all the court cards in the suit of Cups, represents emotion, creativity, and the unconscious. Unlike the preceding three court cards, however, the King of Cups expresses much more restraint in his emotional state. He is a master of his own feelings, and remains in control of his emotions. Not to say that he represses those feelings and sentiments. On the contrary, the King of Cups represents the balance between the emotions and the intellect. He is a master of compassion and kindness and his card often indicates strong bonds in a relationship based on temperance and understanding…
…If you are facing challenges, then the King of Cups is an indication that you must create balance in the realm of the emotions. The King of Cups represents compassion; one of the most powerful and beautiful qualities of the human spirit… …The King of Cups encourages you to be considerate in your dealings with others and as you counsel others. You may need to understand why strong feelings have surfaced and how to best cope with them. It is important that you do not repress emotions but instead explore them with an open heart and an open mind.
Sometimes, the King of Cups can represent an older male who may appear in your life. This card represents a man… who is kind, considerate and willing to take responsibility for his actions. He is paternalistic but in a sensitive, generous manner, and he enjoys the quiet power associated with providing loving energy to others. He is able to listen mindfully to others and he responds calmly in a crisis. He uses diplomacy rather than force, and reached out to help, not to stifle or have it only his way! Similarly, the King of Cups shows you generosity, graciousness, love, calmness, caring and will give you his healing ways… If there were a crisis at hand, this is someone you would hope to have near.
If you are being challenged personally, the King of Cups suggests you will need to remain emotionally mature in dealing with the negative energy from others. You need to be clear in your own mind about what your boundaries are and what is and is not acceptable on an emotional level.”
I chose to interpret this one in a literal manner: V posited that the King of Cups represents Huzband Zero. HZ is the only man in my life, aside from my dad, that has consistently been reliable. He is one of the kindest souls I have ever met, and we bond on so many levels, and not just because we both love Poofl (to re-cap for any new readers: Poofl is my best friend, also known as E, and her husband HZ is my other best friend. They met in my parent’s kitchen while sitting on the floor taking shots of tequila, more than 10 years ago. I agree, it is the most romantic story ever told). I also love him because he always gives me drunk piggy back rides, whether I want them or not, and he always hugs me if I cry in front of him. So, in this sense, I have that strong, kind male presence in my past, one that I admire and that I should keep in mind as continue the (currently passive-) search for a potential mate.
My Present: The Star, reversed (Yes, when you flip a card and it’s facing away from you, it changes the meaning)
“When the Star is reversed, it suggests that your spiritual mission is distorted. Instead of hope, you are feeling despair or discouragement. Instead of being filled with positive possibilities, you find yourself dwelling on negative issues. Negative thoughts will wear away at you to the point where you may give up control of the situation and concede defeat. To remedy this, the reversed Star suggests you identify what is making you feel discouraged or overwhelmed and work on moving past these issues. They can take on an importance far greater than they deserve and can hold you back.
In a Tarot reading, the reversed Star card also indicates that you are beginning to feel disengaged and uninspired with life or components of your life (for example, work, hobbies, relationships, personal projects, etc.). Perhaps you started out with great vision and enthusiasm but you are now finding yourself overwhelmed by day-to-day routines that are boring and dreary. You may find life a chore now, when it used to be such a pleasant experience.
The Star reversed may reflect a loss of faith in a particular situation, resulting in you waiting for a sign or a ‘calling’ to proceed further. You may need reassurance that you are still on the right path, particularly if you have been experiencing setbacks or challenges along the journey…
…Oftentimes, the reversed Star card is more about a test of faith than it is an indication of a negative outcome. Sometimes you need to go through an incredibly trying time in order to come to a point of personal transformation and awakening. You need to keep believing in the Universe and know that it will do what is best for all. This is a test of your faith and you will no doubt come out of this a stronger person. Often, the reversal of this Major Arcana card indicates a need to bring your attention and energy within, so that you can effectively master the spiritual lesson contained in this card.”
This resonated with me in several respects. It encapsulates the roller coaster of the past couple of years: the “loss of faith,” especially, in relationships and myself. It references the doubt regarding my chosen career path, the frustration and the constant battle with imposter syndrome in higher education. The worry that I would always feel ‘crazy,’ and the bad days would forevermore outnumber the good. Indeed, I was feeling a lot of despair and discouragement. I needed (need) to identify the particulars which cause those negative thoughts and work to move past them. “This is a test of your faith and you will no doubt come out of this a stronger person.”
My Future: Nine of Swords, reversed
“The Nine of Swords is about worry, anxiety and not being able to sleep because your thoughts are running at one hundred miles an hour. Reversed, the Nine of Swords indicates that you are working yourself up and becoming incredibly stressed and anxious when, really, this does not have to be a complicated issue. You have a tendency to get very worked up about how bad a situation appears, losing sight of what it is really happening and what opportunities are available to you. What is needed here is for you to stop and objectively examine the reality of the situation. Bring yourself back to earth by uncovering your fears and anxieties and working to reduce the impact of those fears and anxieties on your life. Know that it is going to be ok, no matter what.
The Nine of Swords reversed also suggests that your worry and despair may actually be causing you harm. The more you worry about something, the more likely it is you will manifest your worst nightmares. Do not let this nightmare become your reality! Take a deep breath and realize that life is not as bad as it seems and that the more you worry, the more harm you are doing to yourself.
It is also possible that you have already worked through this period of worry and depression and are beginning to make a recovery. You may have recently come to the realization that it is not as bad as you had made it out to be, and you are beginning to relax and calm yourself about what was once a terrifying situation. You may also find that your dreams are very telling at this time. Use a dream journal to help you analyse what is happening at a subconscious level.”
Well, yes. Part of me will always harbor an anxiety-ridden temperament. My thoughts often run one hundred miles an hour. Especially at this point in the semester, my body is a mess. My uterus has decided that no, I’m actually not done having my period, and now it’s time to bring back high school-level cramp severity. The right half of my back has clearly fallen out of favor with my left, and I will basically have a stomach ache until I turn in my last paper in mid-December. This card served as a reminder that things really aren’t as bad as they seem, as bad as they feel. I constantly have to remind myself to let go and just breathe, and so that mantra crept up again to say, ‘hello! Remember me?’
However, I took a silver lining out of this card as well: “It is also possible that you have already worked through this period of worry and depression and are beginning to make a recovery.” Cool. Maybe I’m more than halfway back to feeling normal again.
Current Jam: “Savior” Rise Against