Saturday night, after a troubled, restless week, I made a fire and sat down with my cards.
I shuffled slowly, thinking of the past days, thinking of the eddying, the whirlpools, the odd flow-less swirling of feelings I’d been experiencing, in my mind which raced through nothing in particular, and in my heart, which beat hard, not knowing what for.
At times I’d had a feeling of banging my head against a wall. Of working hard and feeling stressed, but getting nowhere. I felt frustrated and stuck, lacking direction and purpose. Other times I felt angry, at no-one and nothing, or perhaps at everyone and everything. I yelled at the chickens. Kicked a box til my toe hurt.
It’s a feeling I always have when I’m struggling to ground. My Capricorn moon needs a home, and increasingly, a garden. My life feels like it’s in limbo right now – though I’m safe and warm in my friends’ lovely home, I don’t have my own space and I feel like I’m not living my own life. I struggle to find ways to be present – though there are rugged hills and a churning sea outside, wind and sun and rain that shock and inspire, and though there are many amazing moments of connection and relaxation, overall, I struggle to connect and still feel stuck.
I asked Thea’s Tarot to help me be present in the moment. To ground right here, to ‘bloom where I’m planted’, regardless of what may or may not be next. I don’t know what the future will hold, and right now, I can’t know. This is the edge of a comfort zone for me. I have to learn to work with what I have right now, in this beautiful place. Remember how lucky I am to be here, to be safe, to be loved. Find comfort and purpose right here, without knowing what comes next.
The Pentacle Amazon, then the Daughter of Pentacles (Knight, then Queen)
She’s naked, growing pots, overflowing with plants. A moveable garden? Create right here, plant seeds, put down roots, roots that can be moved. They’re still beautiful. There is still a harvest, still learning, still growth. There’s still the pleasure of purposeful work, even if it isn’t heading towards a known or well-planned goal. It’s okay. It’s grounding.
Later, the Daughter, the Queen. Hands in the earth, horizontal to take in all of the space. Digging down, the connection runs deeper. Here is home, eventually. There is magic in this earth. An invitation.
It’s a progression. The Amazonian knight in me wants it all now. But I can be a daughter, a queen, in training. Loving the journey, present in the learning, in the growing. Roots that aren’t permanent still reach down into the earth, drawing up nutrients, feeding growth. Is she planting by the moon? Beneath the sun? Both, I think. In tune with these cycles, lunar waxing and waning week on week, shifting seasons, solar swelling and falling back, the reign of light and dark, high energy, and low.
There’s also something here about ownership. As the Amazon, I feel I need to ‘own’ my own garden, to cultivate my own plants, to take control, make earth mine. As the Daughter, it’s possible to move beyond that. I am surrounded by nature’s wild garden, the hills, the Highlands, the heather-covered crags and streams running through fields of meadowsweet. I don’t need to own this, I could never make it mine. Yet it is all here for the taking, for the enjoying.
Life is never in limbo. As long as it is being lived, the journey progresses. Every moment, something new is learned. New strengths, skills, limitations or desires discovered and explored. “No way out but through”, my friend says of her own current struggle. It’s true. There was a third card in this reading – the Daughter of Swords. I chose not to write about her but as I type, she comes back to me. My tendency to rationalised. To look for the cold and the logical.
It could be wise to put a little warmth in your honest and sometimes harsh words, because even when you are speaking the hard truth, people may hear it better if it is wrapped in something resembling love.
Oliver Pickle, She Is Sitting in the Night: Revisioning Thea’s Tarot
Do I speak to myself with love? Hardly ever. Too much time up here, in my head. Always so keen to leap straight to the point, to sum things up so they can be put away. But there’s more, and though I love her, I’m done keeping her on a pedestal. Earth and earth. Cycles and shifts. I know what I need. I’ve known it for 18 months, been seeking all this time. If I can’t ground myself in my grown-up goals of a house and a garden and a stable routine, I will find another way. Those things alone don’t create self-care.
This morning, it’s windy. In the sky the clouds move so fast, it’s bright sunshine one moment, gathering grey shadow the next. The wind brings a feeling of change. Mid August already. A difficult summer. Something changed, in these past few months – for many of us. Realisations. So much pain. Lost. Found. An awakening, bringing tension, boiling point, a tipping point.
No way out but through. A revolution cannot happen overnight. Seasons and moons, elemental shifts. Personal cycles. Death. The Juggler. I will pay attention. Push my roots down to find what’s good. Know that the good and the bad together are the journey.
The sun is out. The wind is blowing but it feels light, not like the hailstones and battering of the stormy weekend, when Em and I stood out on the rocks, marvelling that this could be summer, the sea churning and smashing onto the rocks, barely visible through our battered, streaming glasses.
I head to the barn to check on my herbs. Wild chamomile at the bottom of the rack, smells good, sweet, soft. I bring the half-dried bunches to the bench and sit in the flashing sun and shadow, clouds racing above me, cutting the faded yellow heads from their wizened stalks. Just handling these flowers and breathing in their scent is calming. It takes ages to fill even a small jar.
The slowness of this mundane process forces me to handle the camomile and its soft, calming magic begins to seep in through my fingers, through my nose. At first I’m frustrated by how long it’s taking. Gradually, I relax. The chickens come over and I apologise to each in turn for yelling. The wind blows and I breathe into it. My shoulders relax. The trees block out all other sounds – the sea, the birds – with their rustling. The hills are immovable and ancient. The camomile in my hands is twisted, frayed leaves, crumbling yellow flowers.
By the time I’m done, my day is shifted. I have herbs for tea and a feeling of ease. I’m more in my body, less in my mind.
I head out for a walk.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.