A couple of weeks ago, exasperated by the rain and needing to Go Somewhere, anywhere hot, I booked a trip to Spain.
Camping on the coast and a city break at the end. Em texted and said she’d come too. Perfect!
The night before, after packing our small bags, Em and I drew cards for the holiday. I was gutted when mine was the Three of Swords and decided to ignore it, as would any sensible person who’s after a bit of fun in the sun and isn’t remotely interested in Hard Work and heartbreak.
We headed off. And each day we drew cards and each day mine were confusing. The Five of Swords, the Five of Pentacles, the Ten of Pentacles and the Nine.
Where was the sunshine and the peace and the relaxing? They weren’t turning up in my cards because that wasn’t what was actually going on…instead of chilling out on the beach I had a knot of worry in my stomach and a racing mind.
So, lazing around in a cute little beach bar, built from bamboo on the white Costa Brava sands, overlooking the Mediterranean sea, and feeling super-confused about why I didn’t feel 100% awesome, I decided to do a full tarot reading to find out what was going on (you can see the spread here):
Tarot’s greatest strength is that it shines light on stuff you already know on *some* level, and often reassures you that what you’re feeling is okay. This reading did exactly that.
1. Spirit in going: Three of Cups
Well obviously, I want to have a laugh, party and drink! I’ve been feeling more sociable lately than I have for some time and have been looking for opportunities to reconnect with old friends.
2. What to pack: Six of Swords
Bring my worries with me? I see the Six of Swords as a gentle transition over mental patterns which have haunted a person – not so much leaving them behind as transforming them into lessons which strengthen rather than hurt. The suggestion here is that in bringing my worries on holiday, I can transform them.
3. What not to pack: Ten of Cups
Huh. I shoulda left behind the idea that this will all be perfect and joyous and fulfilling.
4. Spirit of the holiday: The High Priestess
THANK YOU tarot cards! There’s something pretty deep going on here and it’s truly time to stop overthinking it. Be quiet, be still, allow that Six of Swords process to take place. Listen to my intuition not my mind. Allow what needs to come to the surface to arise. Be in the process – don’t force it.
5. Highlight: Three of Wands
A flash of inspiration? A new burst of energy? The moment of change? When I drew this, it’s fair to say it hadn’t yet emerged…but later in the holiday it appeared in a conversation with Ems. More on that some other time maybe!
6. Souvenir: Nine of Cups
This needs a whole post of its own, as it has changed the way I view the Nine of Cups. Here, it supported The High Priestess with a strong ‘let it be’ message. Where I was to leave the Ten of Cups, with it’s emotional perfectionism, behind, I would be coming home with the Nine – an incomplete circle, the space where the tenth cup would be filled instead with the same crescent moon is seen in the High Priestess. Stop pushing for fulfilment and be in the moment. Let happiness emerge, rather than trying to think my way there.
This reading showed me what I already knew – that I was in the middle of a process and needed to stop forcing things. My tendency to overthink stuff has really, really caught up with me and after this reading, the holiday feels like a cut-off point – a week out to learn to stop the mental ping-pong and be present for a moment. It’s not so much about having wild kinds of fun as switching off that overactive brain and letting intuition take over.
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.