Scarcity, sand and soup

This morning, I drew cards from three decks. A tarot card, (then another,) from The Collective Tarot. An oracle card, from Dori Midnight’s Dirty Tarot. And a crystal card from the Crystal Portraits deck:

Five of Bones

Here’s a card I’ve seen in my own readings fairly regularly over the past year. In The Collective Tarot guidebook, artist Annie Murphy writes about scarcity, poverty, ill health or not nuturing ourselves, giving away more than we have.

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I look at this image and see time slipping away, the hand of death trying to hold it. It feels like a powerful reminder of my mortality, encouragement to make each day count. Time is not a physical entity, of course, and this is a ‘pentacles’ card, but what we do with our time is earthy. It’s what we make.

Last week, Em and I made a pact to live more in the present. Not that we don’t enjoy life as it happens, but we have so many exciting ideas and plans for the future, we’d got into the habit of focusing on these even in everyday conversation. For me, this was tied together with a feeling of a lack of creativity – of creating art for its own sake. Or spontaneously taking time to do what I feel like, rather than getting stuck in the routine I’ve created of coming to my studio each day – even if I’m not in the mood, even if I’d rather ride my bike, go on a wildflower walk, draw or read. Did I become self-employed to adopt the same 9-5 (let’s call it 8-6) routine of my employed life? Nope. This card reminds me that life is precious, and what I do with it is precious too. That feeling of scarcity – of the importance of every minute – resonates hard, today.

I drew a second card:

Nine of Bottles

The ‘wish card’.

The person in this card is completely showered by all of the wonderful things they have yearned for. They smile with radiant satisfaction, fulfilment and happiness.

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This person certainly seems ‘present’…yet at the same time, there is still the element of wishing, of hoping. Here, it’s about the fulfilment of wishes. For me, following the Five of Bones, it’s a reminder that I have what I need – no need to wish further. Presence, here, now, with what I have, is what makes me happy – not dreaming of more, or different. Do I love my life? Yes – I truly do. Do I feel rich? God, yes. I have real, true, incredible love. I have work that I create for myself and am devoted to. I have enough money. I’m lucky enough to own my home (Empress, the boat) in the city where I truly want to live.


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A bowl full of everything good. A hot complex stew, enough to feed a city. Medicine of food and Care. Generosity. Fulfilment. Completion. Wholeness.

Dori Midnight

Nourishing, simple, warm and comforting. I know what I’m making for dinner tonight. I wonder if my neighbours will share.


Smoky Quartz

This card comes with a reminder: “Only through a combination of humility and gratitude is a state of grace achieved.”

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Smoky quartz is a stone used to boost spiritual courage in dark or difficult times. I have my private struggles. I know what this stone is telling me.

Gratitude. Presence. Valuing my self, my creativity, my time, my life, and everything in it. Spiritual strength. These cards bring me a simple message, one that I really need to hear right now. I feel encouraged, held – by my own life. Reminded of what I have – of all the possibilities of time, and at the same time, its limits. One day it will run out. How, therefore, will I spend each precious moment?

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  1. Ellen says:

    I like it how you draw from several different decks and how the cards blend perfectly together. And yes routines can be suffocating. Hurrying from one moment to another without never being where you are supposed to be: In the present moment

    • Beth says:

      Thanks Ellen – yes, the cards seemed discordant at first, till I sat with them for a moment. ‘Presence’ is such an oft-discussed term, and honestly, I believed that I practiced it. But right now, I needed this reminder to really sit me down in the present, give me a bowl of soup and make me appreciate the beauty of my own life.

  2. chloetarot says:

    Loved this reading, it feels really powerful! That smoky quartz image is gorgeous, too. My favourite, though is the bone hand – wow! For me, being present comes and goes, but at least it’s there in moments every day… 🙂

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