Five of Wands

Five of Wands

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

The Five of Wands plucks us from our joyful celebrations at home in the Four of Wands and drops us right back into our creative venture. In this card, we can potentially find the “too many cooks spoil the broth” scenario playing out. Our project has grown to the point where we have a small team in place and suddenly everyone wants their voices heard. This card is often depicted with five individuals holding sticks and entangled in battle (sometimes playfully). It can bring to mind holiday dinners where everyone is talking over each other and not much is being accomplished.

In the Five of Wands, our “baby” is being picked at by everyone involved. It may be tempting to shut this interaction down, grab that “baby” (book, play, recording) and run screaming back to the drawing board. Don’t. Not yet, anyhow. This input from a variety of individuals can prove to be invaluable. Fives often represent change, and this stands to change the course of your project but this may be a beneficial new path!

It can be challenging to have someone criticize our grammar let alone our deeply personal creative work. If we can view this input as a gift from other minds who come from different backgrounds with a range of experiences we have not shared, we invite diversity, contrast, and depth to a project. This becomes even more complicated when it is our own internal narratives that scrutinize our work.

This card may also indicate competition. In this way, there may be a parallel project being developed that causes us to hold ours up for comparison. 

When was the last time you had created something and had this challenged by others? How did you feel at the time? How did you respond? How did you feel after the initial shock had worn off? Often criticism can cause our shadows to rear their ugly heads. For many of us, that critical voice is internal–either ours of the voice of someone who has previously made us feel “less than.” I encourage you to learn to work with that voice of criticism before we react to it. We can choose what to do with this feedback but the willingness to consider this input is a gift to our work.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller

“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.”
― Ray Bradbury

Until our paths cross again…

Four of Wands

Four of Wands

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

The Four of Wands heralds a time of festive celebration. After we have applied ourselves in the Three of Wands, the four allows us to sit back and toast to what we have accomplished so far. This might be a gathering of your “chosen family” or community in the spirit of holidays such as Thanksgiving. It is a time to reflect on where we came from and what we have accomplished.

While wands tend to be associated with passions, will, and the ego, this card has a sense of “coming home” or celebrating our surroundings. It can feel like a period of homesickness is over and we are surrounded by people and reminders that make us feel like we have truly arrived. This is a time to truly celebrate yourself and the foundation you have built!

Have you recently taken time to truly revel in gratitude? Perhaps this would be a good time to have a dinner gathering just for the sake of it. Sometimes being surrounded by people who help reflect the best parts of ourself back at us is cause enough for celebration. If funds are a concern, potlucks are a great way for a large feast with something for everyone! All too often we spend time digging away at our self-worth by focusing on what has not been accomplished but let this card be an invitation to celebrate the things you HAVE accomplished–you truly are amazing!

“Those who mistrust their own abilities are being too wicked to themselves, discouraging themselves from doing what they should have been excelling in. If you are good at discouraging yourself, you can’t be a good leader because leadership is built on inspiring others to face challenges.”
― Israelmore Ayivor

“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”
― Germany Kent

Until our paths cross again…

Three of Wands

Three of Wands.jpeg

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

With the Three of Wands, we move from that place of planning into creative forward-motion. Threes in tarot indicate a strong foundation that the planning in the Ace and Two have created. Now, we begin the exciting phase of building/writing/directing this venture. Remember that we are in the realm of creativity, passion, will, and the ego, so this fiery card will feel like a continuation of that spark that was ignited in the Ace.

This card is an exciting part of the creative process. It is the realization that this inspiration in you is coming alive through your direct action! There are few feelings that compare to this! If you are still hesitating in the safety of planning, now is the time to jump out of your desk chair and get messy!

This is also a time to share your vision with others. This card suggests collaboration so be courageous and share with your peers. This could be a pivotal point in this project. Because this can involve the ego, it is a great time to see how you respond to criticism, especially if the project is close to your heart. Keep your sights locked on where you want this area of your life to go. Ensure that you are staying in alignment with that goal.

This might be an interesting time to examine your creative process from planning into action. Is this something that comes naturally or do you require a gentle shove? Are you someone who tends to have many sparks of inspiration that are left to sizzle rather than being fanned into flame? How about collaboration? How does your creative process look when several people are involved? This might be a fun mind-mapping activity that helps you visualize and troubleshoot areas of your creativity that challenge you.

The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”
― Octavia Butler

Until our paths cross again…

Two of Wands

Two of Wands

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

The Two of Wands is a perfect example of taking the seed offered to you in the Ace and tending to it by creating a clear and workable action plan. The spark of creativity has inspired a project and the next steps are being laid out.

In this card, while there is a recognition of the goal, we are cautious enough to sit with the excitement and work out the new path. There is a feeling of discovery and curiosity but with hesitancy. It will take courage to let go of our current position in order to pursue something greater. This may result in a feeling of being pulled in two directions–do we stay in the familiar or step out into the new and vast landscape?

What was your most recent creative project? Remember that creative simply means an idea put into action in any fashion. Did it take some discomfort, or the decision to leave something behind? What did you learn in the process? Even when new ventures end poorly, the important thing is that you took a creative risk and without that, our human experience can become incredibly dull. What will your next creative project be? How can you step out of your daily routine and do something inspired?

“It’s through mistakes that you actually grow. You have to get bad in order to get good.”
-Paula Scher

“There is only one of you in all time. This expression is unique and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.”
-Martha Graham

Until our paths cross again…

Ace of Wands

Ace of Wands

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

Have you been fortunate enough to experience that divine spark of initiative and creativity that wakes you out of your day-to-day routine and demands attention? This is the fiery energy in the Ace of Wands.

As with all Aces, we are presented with a fertile seed that can grow into a creatively fulfilling venture. This requires careful tending and nurturing in order to grow into fruition. The energy is there, the inspiration is there, but we must be willing to funnel that energy into a new project. Often the term “creative” can be disarming and sometimes as adults we have lost the willingness to call ourselves “artists,” whereas children will excitedly announce that they are just that. It is important to remember that we are all creative. We all have gifts of innovation that we use on a regular basis. Perhaps you are naturally inclined to mathematics. Maybe you whip up nourishing, belly-warming dinners for your loved ones. Is it that you pull together outfits in a unique and memorable way?

Creativity is simply having an idea and doing what it takes to bring it to life! It is problem-solving.

How have you nurtured your creative spark? How does the energy of the element of fire translate for you? Have you harnessed this energy in the past? If so, how did it manifest? Contrarily, have you ignored this spark? Have you let this seed wither and wish to pick it up again? The Ace of Wands suggests that it is time! Let this spark spread into something beautiful!

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
― Osho

“Blessed are the weird people:
poets, misfits, writers
mystics, painters, troubadours
for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.”
― Jacob Nordby

Until our paths cross again…

 

 

 

 

 

21 – The World

21 - The World

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

We have arrived at the final card in the Major Arcana–The World. The World is all about taking time to savor our accomplishments. This is the breathing room after a long journey. It is the respite for the battle-worn but satisfied human. This card asks you to sit with this feeling of fulfillment and really drink it in. Your journey is not over but this chapter is. What would you like to take forward from this period of your life? What would you like to edit? Now is the time.

When did you last take a moment to reflect on just how far you have come? We spend so much of our time and lives thinking about what we haven’t accomplished that it is easy to lose sight of how many incredible things we have done! The World brings integration and synthesis. It brings a sense of completeness and satisfaction.

Consider this. How many people have you helped? How many unfavorable habits have you left behind? Have you completed a challenging course or degree? Have you given your all to parenthood? If you are not in touch with your accomplishments at the moment, remember that you are here and you are trying. Most of us have hit a point in our lives where the temptation to give up presented itself in a neat little package. If you are here, reading this, you are a warrior. You kept going despite your circumstances.

How do you measure success? What does achievement look like to you? If you were able to completely remove the concern of what others might think, what would an accomplished life look like? Are you bringing that life into actualization? If not, The World brings you a perfect opportunity to take stock and move in a new direction for the next chapter of your life.

“A word of advice, my sweet Emmett – mourn the losses because they are many. But celebrate the victories because they are few.”
― Debbie Novotny

“I may not have avoided certain wounds in my life, but I do appreciate these scars because they are a constant reminder of my victories.”
― Gift Gugu Mona

 

Until our paths cross again…

 

 

 

 

 

20 – Judgement

20 - Judgement

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

The Judgement card represents a spiritual awakening and a call to action. Where cards like The High Priestess have allowed us to lean into our intuition, Judgement shakes us out of inertia and asks that we step forward with the knowledge of who we were meant to be! This will require a blend of logic and intuition but what a wonderful place to find ourselves! We know what we are meant to do and how we are meant to serve and are ready to take steps to get there. Through our journey, we have learned from past experiences, good and bad, and are ready to apply these lessons moving forward. There is often an image of the angel Gabriel blowing a trumpet suggesting that we will not be able to ignore this call.

This card also tells us that we are in a period of good and sound judgement. We might be in the middle of a large decision and when this card shows up we know that we are in a good state of mind to make a wise choice.

This card does not refer to judgement in the sense of choice and legal matters but reflects the idea of Judgement Day in Christianity. In the Druidcraft Tarot, this card is known as “Rebirth,” which might be a better fit. The truth is, we can decide when we want to reinvent ourselves. We can acknowledge ways of thinking, spiritual paths, and relationships that no longer work for us and release them. With this, we gain a new understanding of ourselves and gain freedom from things that are holding us back.

Maybe this card is urging you to take stock of how you spend your days. Are there habits or belief systems that you adopted early in life but that no longer align with your values? Are there patterns that you have fallen into that are not contributing to the healthiest version of yourself? Perhaps you can write a list of things that you would like to let go of. You may wish to destroy this list. Releasing things into fire (safely) can be incredibly satisfying! Imagine yourself as a phoenix rising from the flames. It is never too late for a fresh start!

“She remembered who she was
and the game changed.”
― Lalah Delia

“I actually plan to mess up my life and start over every seven years. That way, I’ll never get in a rut. I read somewhere that most of your cells only live about seven years anyway, so in theory you literally are a new person; I figure that’s the best time to start over.”
― Jody Gehrman

Until our paths cross again…

 

 

 

 

 

19 – The Sun

19 - The Sun

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

When we find ourselves steeped in darkness, our one hope is for the light to return. In tarot, nothing brings this light to us like The Sun. This beautiful, warm and reassuring energy rekindles our joy and this positivity radiates to those around us. The Sun is responsible for the light, warmth, and food necessary for our survival.

If you have ever experienced a time where you find yourself emerging from a dark mood with an overwhelming feeling of optimism and internal illumination you have experienced the power of this wonderful card. Similarly, if your health has been poor, this card often indicates a renewal of vitality and healthy energy.

The Sun asks us to share this joy with others. When we can create this infectious spirit, we create a ripple effect that can positively impact others.

There is a story shared in shamanic societies about “The Four Universal Healing Salves.” If someone came to a medicine person with depression or a lack of spirit, they would be asked four questions:

  1. When did you stop dancing?
  2. When did you stop singing?
  3. When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
  4. When did you stop finding comfort in silence?

In much of Western culture, we rarely spend time in any of these activities and it shows in our disconnection. The Sun invites you, and provides you with the energy, to participate in these vital practices. It also asks you to share this with others. Celebrate for the sake of it! Having loved ones in your life is reason enough to rejoice. The child that appears on this card in many decks reminds us of a carefree time of innocence and joy just for the sake of it.

The Sun shines light in all dark corners so occasionally truths that were hidden by The Moon are illuminated. This can sting, just as the beauty of the sun can burn if you stare at it for too long, but these truths are all there to lead you to your highest good. You will find yourself with the energy, optimism, and vitality to endure and honor these truths.

What does paradise look like for you? Is it a cabin nestled on vast, green land? Is it a massive feast surrounded by all of the people you adore? Is it late-morning snuggles with your littles? Is it hours in a lush, vibrant garden with the intoxicating smells of nectar? Perhaps it is time in solitude where you can tease out your creativity. If you like, find a guided meditation or sounds that reflect your idea of paradise, such as this one, and allow yourself to sink into these blissful surroundings. Then, perhaps you could create a list of all of the characteristics this has. How can you begin to create this in your life? What actionable steps can be taken to come closer to this ideal lifestyle? Even if you are in a tiny apartment but crave the forest, consider ways to bring that feeling in. Maybe you could invest in some air-purifying house plants. Perhaps some green furnishings and rich, natural-dyed linens and blankets could bring that feeling closer.

While enjoying the energy of The Sun, it might be fun to create a vision board with all of the things you deeply want to manifest in your life. Images have power! Pair these images with statements that reflect your desires such as: “I spend my days tending to our acreage and growing nutritious food.” It is important to phrase these statements in the present, as though they are already happening. Visit your vision board daily and continue to be open to possibilities!

Perhaps you could devote a period of time (such as a month to start) to actively participating in the Four Healing Salves as a daily practice. You could do this alone or in groups as you wish. Perhaps you could enlist friends to join in the challenge. When you practice joy, you create a vibration that invites more of these wonderful, celebratory gifts to you and others.

Note: I am deeply grateful to Jess from Red Hawk Healing for her guidance with vision boards and many other wonderful lessons.

“Even
After
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

“You owe me.”

Look
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.”
― Hafiz

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Until our paths cross again…