Journal Entries

Four of Pentacles and “Resource Guarding.”

Approx. Reading time 3.41 mins

I know that resource guarding is a term used in dog behavior, but hear me out. In my practice, Pentacles/Coins are all about safety. For some of us that means having a robust savings account to lean on; for others, it is food security, for some people, having a reliable shelter equals safety but today I want to talk about pentacles/coins and our bodies.

For those of us with chronic conditions, neurodivergence, and cognitive challenges, everyday tasks that many people don’t think about can be incredibly draining for us. Some days, just getting out of bed takes everything we have. While some people spend full days in noisy and chaotic environments, for some of us, a few moments in those surroundings can be physically painful. Masking and being aware of every movement and gesture is exhausting and I’ve been thinking about this card from this perspective. I wanted to share a bit about that in case it resonates.

As an autistic person with ADHD, migraines, C-PTSD, and mood disorders, I tend to push way too hard when I have energy, and then completely burn out. For anyone unfamiliar with the term “spoonie,” this refers to folks living with chronic illness and the analogy that they are allocated a certain number of “spoons” each day and tasks such as cooking and laundry spends a certain number of those spoons. When you’re out, you’re out. The urgency of the task doesn’t matter at that point.

So, moving away from the older associations with this card being folx who are miserly or frugal, since Pentacles represent the physical realm, it makes sense that this could be in regards to physical “spending’ if you will.

I wanted to invite conversations around conserving our energetic currency as needed and making space for that not only to be okay but to recognize that this creates safer relationships for the person with the limited capacity and those who care about them. It creates transparency so that the person who struggles can be honest about where they are at, and their companions don’t have to worry that their friend will say “yes” when they don’t want to. What does this look like in practice? For example, I don’t often commit to things very far in advance because I truly don’t know where I will be at from one day to the next. I know that pushing myself to do things when my mind and body are screaming “no” is injurious and I no longer do that. It is frustrating and humbling but at least for now, it is my reality. I do my best to keep my word when I do commit to events but there are times when rest is not optional.

Wherever you struggle and overextend yourself, the medicine in this card is there to remind you that you don’t “owe” your physical currency to others. Much like the “oxygen mask theory,” if we burn ourselves out, we can’t help anyone, even our closest loved ones. Where do you have trouble saying “no” in your life? Are there certain people or situations where you tend to put your needs aside to support them? How might you anticipate and plan to have a more self-advocating approach next time?

Even as a mother, I have learned ways around my zero-spoon days and while I haven’t yet banished the associated guilt, I have accepted that these days will happen. However, I think that the real magick in this card comes from slowing down enough to notice body cues before you hit that wall. For neurodivergent minds, this is often a struggle. We forget to eat, sleep, or drink water, and we just keep chipping away at the neverending to-do list. Suddenly we bonk and it takes time to recover. I recently read that it can be helpful to aim to utilize 50% of your energy for that day rather than spending it all. Maybe, in the Four of Pentacles, we can remember to pause, take a breath, and ask our body what they really need at this moment. It isn’t miserly, it’s resource-guarding for survival. You are amazing.

Sidenote, with this interpretation you can almost imagine theis person on the card doing the somatic self-holding activity which I find incredibly helpful when I am in crisis. This is done (if you are able to) by tucking your right hand in your left armpit and your left hand on the outside of your right bicept and applying as much pressure as feels good. Photo below:

Drawing of a person doing the somatic self-holding exercise. The person has their right arm tucked in their left armpit and their left arm on the outside of their right bicep.

With love,

From the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith.

Journal Entries

Midweek Mindfulness: Page of Coins

Approx. Reading time 2.45 mins

In this beautiful depiction of the Page of Pentacles, we have the quote: “aut viam inveniam aut faciam” which translates from Latin to English as: ““I shall either find a way or make one.” Such is the spirit of this Page.

Pages embody youthful energy and provide a rich way to work with our inner children. The Page of Pentacles is endlessly curious in a grounded way. They want to know how things work and whether there is a better way forward.

In working with the energy of the Page of Pentacles/Coins, we might take some time to look at things as though it were the first time we are seeing them! Imagine the wonder and amazement at all of the moving parts of today’s innovations! We may use our kitchen mixer every day but do we ever stop to think about all of the steps that were taken to create this efficient machine?

As young ones, we often pose the question “why” after almost everything adults say. It comes from this inquisitiveness that is often discouraged by frazzled adults who may not know the answers. So, in time we stop asking, and with that, we stop wondering. What would it feel like to lean back into that level of curiosity? If you have a young one in your house, you might choose a day to answer every time they ask “why” or “how?” If you are not sharing your space with a little, this invitation is for you to pause and consider some of the things you do and imagine explaining them to a young person, or even someone from another planet. It sounds silly, but this can be such a fun activity. If you are someone who wears makeup, imagine explaining each step and what each product does. When you put a meal together, what makes you choose certain ingredients? If you have an animal companion in your home, what would it be like to explain their characteristics and adaptations to someone who had never seen one?

The idea is to spend some time noticing where you take things for granted. It is an activity that has the potential to create new ways of thinking and can even strengthen the connections in your brain. It is also a way to bring some gratitude into your day in a natural and authentic way.

Take a moment to look around you right now. Imagine you have just been dropped into this room, at this moment, and everything is brand new. What questions would you have? What items do not make sense without prior knowledge?

We can take this curiosity with us when we engage with people. Curiosity helps us to come from a place of non-judgment and helps reduce conflict. Instead of making assumptions about someone, we might ask questions. For instance, when someone makes a statement that is in direct contrast to our own belief systems, maybe it is something that they have not thought much about. By asking questions, not only do we make our interactions softer, we may just encourage folks to examine truths that cause harm to others. In this way, the Page of Pentacles can be a deeply transformational energy to invite in! Is the way forward the best for us, or shall we create a new way?

With love,

From the Antique Anatomy Tarot by Claire Goodchild

Journal Entries

2023: Year of The Chariot

Approx. Reading time 3.5 mins

2023: Year of the Chariot

So what does that mean? Numerology is an important component of tarot and to use it, we break more complicated numbers up into their single-digit parts. So, for years: 2023=2+0+2+3=7. We are working with 7’s this year. In the Major Arcana, the larger themes in the tarot, this aligns with The Chariot.

The Chariot asks us to harness and focus our intention and will in a chosen direction. This can feel like it is often illustrated in the card-much like trying to pull two strong horses together and keep them on the same path despite their desire to pull in two opposing directions. 

The last couple of years have consisted of deep internal dives and persona excavation. It has been laborious and often distressing work. It has been necessary to prepare us for the theme of this year. It is time to, as one of my learning facilitators Sarah M. Chappell says: “Take messy action.”

As a neurodivergent person who is often paralyzed by overwhelm, brain fog, and PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance), any action can feel distressing, so please know that I approach this with empathy and the understanding that you will honour your autonomy and nervous system first and foremost. 

So, in this spirit, if there have been things that you have wanted to take action on, but you are stuck and unsure of which interest or path you would like to take, The Chariot nudges us to pick one and take the first steps. For example, if you are thinking of a career change but feel inundated by choices, pick one and take the very early steps toward it. Ask yourself questions about it. Perhaps you could arrange a session with someone who does this work so you may learn what a day looks like in that field. There are websites such as Coursera which offer university-level courses for free! Begin your exploration and see how it feels. You may either learn that it isn’t at all what you thought, or you might find yourself ignited with a desire to pursue it. Both of these states are unattainable from the consideration phase. 

The idea is that we can easily get stuck spinning our wheels and trying to make the “best” decisions. We are living in increasingly uncertain times and it can make planning for the next day excruciating, let alone planning for our future, but without anything to move towards with anticipation, we can fall flat pretty quickly. 

What would you like to contribute to in this world? What conversations would you like to take part in? How do you feel called to show up and what steps can you take to align with that purpose? This is the year to ask these questions. 

This may also be a personal goal that you wish to attain. For me, 10 months ago, it was leaving alcohol behind for good. In the beginning, those steps looked like 60-second intervals. The *only* thing I could manage at that time was to not drink for that moment. Those single minutes became half-hour segments and eventually opened into me getting long overdue diagnoses and learning how to trust myself again. If I had thought about these huge concepts at the beginning, I never would have started. So, regardless of what you would like to achieve this year, it is helpful to consider what that first step would be and steer the “horses” in that direction.

Recalibrating to putting our energy toward that which feels purposeful can help us to feel liberated and energized but that doesn’t mean that this path will be unobstructed. Rarely do great things happen without the punctuation of naysayers, obstacles, and self-doubt. 

The Chariot reminds us that we can do hard things. You have done hard things and look at you holding on to yourself and staying the course despite what has been thrown at you. You are fucking amazing and I hope that this year, you see that for yourself.

With love,

From The Light Seer’s Tarot by Chris Anne