Journal Entries

Midweek Mindfulness: Six of Cups.

TW: Non-specific references to childhood trauma.

In tarot, sixes always have the potential to invite harmony in our lives where there may have been dissonance. They bring a gentle return to hope and can bring a sense of warmth and gratitude. The Six of Cups is a bit tricky as it is associated with our past, and experiences of nostalgia. For those of us with trauma attached to our past, even the sweetest memories can be barbed.

In our healing work, if it feels safe, we can try separating our beloved memories from the ones that upset us when we return to them.  An example that came up from my own life is one of my sister and I lying on our backs looking up at the falling snow and imagining the snowflakes were stars which made us feel like we were shooting through space. I remember the pure joy and giddiness that I felt while doing this. For many years, this, or any thoughts of my youth were accompanied by a wash of adrenaline and nervous system responses. I am slowly getting to a place where I can hold both realities at once. It sounds something like this: “This is such a beautiful memory, and it is okay to acknowledge that this was not the entirety of my experience. I am still holding my inner little one close and making sure she knows that I’ve got her now, and these memories can be explored securely. Even my favourite stories might bring up painful thoughts but I am safe now.” Find wording that feels good to you and little you.

Six of Cups can inspire work with our inner little ones to see if we can invite in some joy from a small part of our past and allow ourselves to expand into this place while gently holding the idea that this is a process. It can be done in our own time. We can explore the difference between the gentle sting of nostalgia and the unpleasant body sensations with traumatic recollections. It is also one of the most powerful ways to release the hold that our abusers have on us. In this way, we can slowly rewrite our story so that we get to decide which parts we return to rather than being hijacked by upsetting memories.

You are so incredibly special and valuable,

Love,
Carrie

From The Crow Tarot by @crowtarotmjcullinane

Journal Entries, Tarot

Mid-Week Mindfulness: The High Priestess

Image: La Papesse from the Sacred Sisterhood Tarot by Ashawnee Dubarry and Coni Curi featuring an individual with dark skin, with a head wrap topped with a crescent moon in a bowl of water. They are holding the Tora across their chest in their right hand . Two columns are on either side of them and there is fabric with golden pomegranates behind them.

That question you have been wrestling with-you already know the answer.

We often turn to others for clarification, and that can be a vital step in our journey, but what would it look like to fully trust your inner knowing? Tarot is such a valuable tool for self-inquiry as the cards serve as a metaphorical “third party” but they will always reflect the truth that we hold inside. No card does this better than the High Priestess.

This card serves as a reminder that while our truth can become muddled and can have layers of doubt laid upon it, it is there for us when we are ready. The powers that hunch over our society would shrivel and collapse if they were faced with a populous that was steadfastly self-assured and did not allow campaigns of fear and scarcity affect our every decision. There is a large investment in keeping us in a state of self-doubt. This is important to remember when we are facing situations that require us to really listen to that quiet voice of intuition. We all have one! Even folx who don’t consider themselves to be intuitive hold the same vital information that all of us do-they just need practice.
To work with High Priestess energy is to work with our most intimate capacity for self-trust. For many of us, who had our relationship-to self-fragmented as children through trauma and unmet needs, this can feel startling, overwhelming, and even dangerous. This is where the High Priestess holds us close and allows us to unfold within a container of safety. They remind us consistently, but gently, that we hold the key to everything we are meant for in this life. We hold the answers, the guidance, and the map.

Some of the ways we can connect with this inner knowing is through meditation, pathworking, silence, writing, sleeping (dreaming), and most of all listening. Our brain chemistry tends to yell over everything else, and learning to honour the work our brain does to keep us alive while inviting in the quiet messages that our subconscious has for us is where the medicine lies. There is no wrong way to do this-only the way that works best for you.

Every time we come home to ourselves when we have stayed from our convictions, every time we say “no” to something that doesn’t serve us, and every time we remember that we are the best source of our truth, we embody High Priestess energy. We never lose this gift-they are with us every step of the way. All we have to do is listen.


Until our paths cross again,

Carrie






Journal Entries, Tarot

Mid-Week Mindfulness: Eight of Wands

I am so grateful for Jeremy Hush’s reimagining of this card. Traditionally, this card is all about creative vision, swiftness, progress, and energy. That is all wonderful…except if you want this card to serve as a waypost. How often do you face the day with a feeling of rocket-fueled inspiration? If so, that is amazing! It is not, however, a common human experience. With each one of the 78 cards, I make it my priority to ensure that all card meanings are universally helpful and serve everyone. So while this idea of being swept away in creative bliss sounds wonderful, it is only one way of experiencing this energy, which brings me back to my gratitude for this particular art.

The individual in this image does not seem remotely concerned with urgency. In fact, they are quite peaceful in repose as nature moves on around them. No doubt there is probably motion of all kinds surrounding them, but it is not changing their experience or their pace.

The suit of Wands is fire-based and while it does have to do with what we are most passionate about, what would that look like without the capitalist indoctrination? Can we deeply care about what we are putting out in the world, while still recognizing that we do not have the capacity to designate energy to it right now? Of course! Pushing through when we know we are at our limit in an attempt to stay relevant, or even in our purest desire to help is unnatural and will inevitably lead to a miserable crash. Our unique medicine is special because it is finite. We are allowed to allocate it how and when works for us and this will fluctuate over time as it should. Healers and deep-feelers often have to learn this the hard way, so use this card as an invitation to look at the offerings you put into the world and assess if you are doing this in a resourced, or a frantic manner. Your gifts and love for your life’s work will not shrink with rest-but they will dull with overexertion.


Until our paths cross again,

Carrie






Journal Entries, Tarot

Mid-Week Mindfulness: Seven of Cups

Daydreaming is something that we often “unlearn” in adulthood. We are taught to “keep our feet on the ground” and often give up on our aspirations. While there is some truth in being realistic while pursuing our goals, there is rich medicine in allowing our minds to wander to “what ifs.”

This card invites us to imagine a different life, a different career, or a different way of being in the world, but also advises us to look closely at what we are aspiring to. If you notice, in this traditional Rider-Waite Smith card seen here, some of the images in the cups are translucent. This can reflect the “grass is greener” mentality we are all vulnerable to, especially when we are envisioning change. As we allow ourselves to sip from the outside of the limits we, and likely society, have placed on ourselves, we must also check in with our inner knowing before making abrupt change. If there are things in our lives that are not working, is that because of the situation, or have we been disinterested and apathetic? There is no wrong answer here-simply observation.

The Cups represent our emotional realm, and one that is particularly vulnerable to the repercussions of stagnation. I invite you to indulge in the luxurious, limitless, and exciting possibilities that you can bring to mind, and imagine embodying these new personas or lifestyles. How can you welcome some of these practices into your life without completely overturning everything? Are there introductory classes to something you have always wanted to learn? Could you use a change of scenery with your partner? Is there a new way of cooking that you have always been curious about? This is your nudge.

Until our paths cross again,

Carrie






Tarot

Two of Cups

Page of Wands (1)

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

Please see my thoughts on age, race, and gender in tarot.

Traditionally, this card is read as a coming together of two people in a new, loving relationship. This eliminates a large part of our wonderful population so let’s explore a slightly different angle. While this card can be about an equal, compatible partnership, it has more to do with the overall theme of “coming together.”

In tarot, twos often point to decisions and duality. Because we are in the realm of emotions with the Cups, this card often comes up when someone is having trouble holding space for two or more parts of themselves.

12644951_10153749695945935_4116842080432364353_nAs we go through life, we often branch off in many directions, sometimes nudging parts of ourselves away. This can be a positive thing, but it can also lead to a sense of instability. It brings me back to the idea of “This AND that are true.” Meaning, the more we open ourselves to loving all polarities that exist within us, the more balanced and self-loving we become. 

There is also a gentle vulnerability in the Two of Cups. An offering of the cup that holds all of your precious secrets, fears, shame, and hopes. With uncertain hands, we hold this out to someone. Such a beautiful gesture, and a courageous one.

For those who are seeking partnership, this can be a vital step in attracting someone that will provide a more supportive and rich relationship. It is almost as if we send out signals that we are unwilling to settle for anyone who won’t appreciate our unique gifts the way we do. 

For those not seeking a partnership, this could mean both a deepening of self-appreciation or potentially a new friendship, or experiencing a new level of closeness with an existing friend. That goes for individuals currently in a partnership as well. 

I invite you to spend some time looking at all of the “hats” you wear in life. Using myself as an example, I am a homeschool mom so that is my “teaching” hat, I’m also a mother, a partner, a daughter, a sister, a friend and a tarot instructor. There are times where being a homeschool mom does not play well with being a mother so it can be difficult to appreciate both of those things at the same time. Out of these “hats” the most challenging one would be associated with my family of origin. This is something I am continually working on due to a necessary separation from them. 

What are the “hats” you wear? How about masks? Many of us have masks that we must wear to fit in under certain circumstances. Some of those are necessary, but are there any masks that might be shed? In order to love all parts of ourselves, including parts that we hide away, we must be willing to look inward with curiosity and love, and without judgement.

We think the fire eats the wood. We are wrong. The wood reaches out to the flame. The fire licks at what the wood harbors, and the wood gives itself away to that intimacy, the manner in which we and the world meet each new day.”
― Jack Gilbert

“To say “I love you” one must know first how to say the “I”.”
― Ayn Rand

Until our paths cross again…

Tarot

Ace of Cups

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

Please see my thoughts on age, race, and gender in tarot.

Here, we enter the realm of the Cups which represent our emotions, intuition, and relationships.

Screenshot 2021-01-15 132526With the Ace of Cups, we are being offered a new beginning in the form of a rush of feelings, excitement, and/or intuition. While traditionally this card is associated with new relationships, considering many folks are not looking, it is helpful to widen our approach to this card. In this way, the idea of a rush of new feelings can be applied to friendships, events, and realizations. This energy may come through as the experience of something the seeker has not felt before. 

This Ace is an awakening of sorts. Sometimes it manifests as a deepening of feelings for a certain person or a rich deepening of your intuition.  

How would you describe the feeling of the Ace of Cups? Where does it manifest in your physical body? This might be a fun intuitive painting, sketch, or free-write. Can you recall a time when something inside of you awakened? Do you think there might be ways to invite Ace of Cups energy in when things are stagnant? Perhaps you could journal about these thoughts and the idea that we can, at any time, summon the energy of a tarot card as a guide and an ally.

“Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.”
Ramana Maharshi

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”
― Helen Keller

Until our paths cross again…

Tarot

King of Wands

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

Please see my thoughts on age, race, and gender in tarot.

The King of Wands is a powerful combination of fire (Kings) and fire (Wands). This King is passionate, creative, confident, and highly driven. When this card comes up in a reading, it can suggest that the seeker is being invited to trust in their abilities and mastery in their area of interest. This is not the time for self-doubt.

LightSeers-14-King-of-Wands-Tarot-Meaning
The Light Seer’s Tarot did a beautiful job of illustrating a more youthful King of Wands.

The King of Wands is someone who is incredibly passionate, ethical, and capable of igniting fires of inspiration wherever they go. Despite their inherent power, there is a restlessness about this energy and there can be a tendency to want to move on as soon as things become tedious or repetitive. This King has a nearly limitless supply of energy but this can cause them to ignore the physical constraints of their body which can lead to burnout if they are not careful.

Freedom is deeply important to this King and without it, they can become hot-tempered and experience control issues. However, if given the room to fully express their abundant nature and passions, this frank and friendly King will be the warmest, most magnetic person whose spark is a pleasure to be around.

I invite you to consider what lights this fire inside of you? Perhaps you could make a list of the causes that are closest to your heart. Social activism is a wonderful way to experience King of Wands energy. Is there a way you can become involved? It may also be helpful to think about figures who exude this kind of energy. Who in life has inspired you to become part of necessary change? How can you embody this courage and inspire others?

“Mother Dear, one day I’m going to turn this world upside down.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

“Love is an expression of power. We can use it to transform our world.”

― Ericka Huggins

Until our paths cross again…

Tarot

Queen of Wands

Page of Wands (2)

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

Please see my thoughts on age, race, and gender in tarot.

With the Queen of Wands we get the intriguing blend of fire (Wands), and water (Queens). The energy in this card burns hot but flows like cool water. This Queen is not likely to go unnoticed. She holds the key to bringing polar opposites together magically and exudes this effortlessly. This may remind you of people you have met who just radiate sexuality and seem to be a magnet while their external features are not those traditionally admired. There is just something so special about them. This reminds us that we all have the birthright to feel sexy, powerful, and radiant regardless of our physical appearance (which is ever-changing). This Queen embodies creative and productive energy.

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It is worth noting a few things in the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith card (left). First, this is the only Queen who sits in a wide-legged position, suggesting assertiveness and strong sexuality. Second, this card is often referred to as the “Witch of the Queens” in tarot which suggests that the black cat may be her familiar. There is such a magical quality to this energy. Perhaps this is due to the alchemy required to bring fire and water together in such a harmonious way. It is as though this person can silently insist that the two elemets play nice.

It is interesting to consider that apparently Pamela Colman Smith, who illustrated this deck, was instructed to draw a different animal for this card but chose a black cat instead. This black cat has become an iconic topic of discussion in tarot communities. What does it bring to mind for you?

With all of this in mind, I invite you to explore when and where you feel empowered and sensual. I ask that you do your best to shelf shame and guilt while you ease into this. How do you experience your inner magic? How can you tap into your personal power? Is there a way to spend more time exploring this space?

This can also be a great time to look at where you are allowing your boundaries to be taken for granted or disrespected. Everyone has a right to their own boundaries. If you find that you are constantly defending them to someone, it may be time to take a break from that relationship until they can honour what you have established for your own safety. You do not have to answer to or apologize for your personal sense of power (assuming no harm is being done). You will find that as you strengthen your boundaries, your relationships will become more mutually fulfilling.

“I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.”

-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white. I will have my serpent’s tongue—my woman’s voice, my sexual voice, my poet’s voice. I will overcome the tradition of silence.”
—Gloria E. Anzaldúa

Until our paths cross again…

Tarot

Knight of Wands

Page of Wands (1)

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

Please see my thoughts on age, race, and gender in tarot.

There are few characters in the tarot who burn brighter than the Knight of Wands. This energy is a combination of fire (Wands) and air (Knights) and we know what happens when we mix those two elements: combustion! This may represent someone with an assertive and action-oriented nature.

The Knight of Wands can be very theatrical and may live to entertain. In discussing this personality, Lindsay Mack associates performers such as Prince, David Bowie, and Madonna which are all wonderful examples of this energy.

The flip side may be a tendency to be hasty and run headlong into battles without too much thought. Someone with this energy may also be prone to hyperbole and recognized for their large, erratic gestures

flame dancerThe Knights are all about movement and the way we take action in the world. This Knight asks us to look at where we enjoy the spotlight. When do we feel our fiery energy flowing and notice our posture changing to an upright, self-assured silhouette? If it is social justice, you may feel this spark when you are contributing to a cause that is close to your heart. If you have neglected an art form that lights you up, this knight insists that you make time and space for that. If it is performing where you shine the brightest, try to get involved in theatre or your activity of choice. If nothing comes to mind, this knight may nudge you to try new things to find something that ignites you (pssst, this could also be sex).

The Knight of Wands invites you to take up space and occupy the attention you deserve. You have the capacity within you to delight, so tap into your own unique gifts and unleash them!

“Occasionally we encounter a person whose personality is so effusive that they take over a room. They may not be the type of person everyone wants to resemble, but we enjoy watching them, and their presence uplifts us. An extrovert craves other people noticing and acknowledging their presence, they can never receive too much attention.”
― Kilroy J. Oldster

“What I like my music to do is awaken the ghosts inside of me. Not the demons, you understand, but the ghosts.”

–David Bowie

Until our paths cross again…

Tarot

Age, Race, and Gender in Tarot

These are my personal reflections on age, race, and gender in the tarot so please enjoy what resonates with you and feel free to disregard the rest. This is by no means a thorough examination of this subject, but I wanted to touch on it before the first court card description in my “78 Ways to Heal with Tarot” series. 

RiderCourt

As we have approached our first set of court cards in this tarot series, I wanted to briefly acknowledge the fact that most of the older, traditional tarot decks that we know and love have problematic elements in our modern society. To begin with, the majority of us have limited emotional connection to royalty, so for many readers and seekers, when the court cards show up in a reading there is potential for confusion or detachment from the reading.

The larger issue is that most of the characters we see in the decks are cisnormative, white, enable-bodied humans which hardly reflects the beautiful range of people we encounter in our daily lives. This is problematic throughout the deck but tends to stand out in the Court Cards.

When studying the tarot, many traditional resources will suggest using the court cards (generally labeled Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings) to represent the person seeking the reading and/or people in their lives. This often extends to a suggestion of the appearance and age of the person. As an example, it is common to see suggestions like this:

Pages = children under 14
Knights = teenagers, unmarried young adults
Kings & Queens = older (or wiser) people, married (or partnered)

The descriptions for each of the court cards are often quite detailed, such as: “The Queen of Pentacles has a dark complexion and her hair and eyes are often dark brown.”

While there may be a place for using the court cards this way, I find it too limiting and it supports assumptions that I am not comfortable with.

My personal approach to these cards is that the energies may be inherently masculine (active) or feminine (receptive) and that the ages suggested by the court cards reflect maturity and experience. This is a broad generalization but the idea is that for me these cards often embody certain qualities rather than physical appearances. While these cards may represent the querent or people in the querent’s lives, it can also be personality traits in the seeker that are being called in.

For example, I have met individuals in their early 20s who had wisdom far beyond their Court-cards-collageyears and could easily fit into the Queen/ King territory. Similarly, I have known adults in their late 70’s who seemed to have halted their expansion in the “Pages” timeline. By opening up the way we use the court cards, we allow possibilities to further tap into our intuition and best serve our clients. Within the court cards, as in all tarot cards, we can find rich symbolism and correspondences which can be a bit overwhelming at first.

The wonderful thing is that there is a huge shift in tarot card designs and approaches towards the issues mentioned here. There are some lovely decks featuring people of color, non-binary individuals, differently-abled people and all manners in-between.* Many modern readers wish to honour the diversity in their lives. While there is so much rich dialogue to be had around this topic, I will take my leave here for now.

*While it is important to support artists who are creating diverse decks, it is worth a bit of research to ensure that the artist profiting has not directly appropriated a culture that they do not belong to. This is tricky territory…or tarot-tory 😉

Until our paths cross again…