Empowered or Disempowered?

September 27, 2017

Many people are afraid of Tarot card readings. They think it’s some dark omen that augurs the future. That belief always surprises me, especially when you realize that a Tarot card is just a piece of paper with picture on it. I liken it to a Rorschach test—pictures we’re asked to interpret.

I have been interpreting Tarot cards the last 12 years. If you were to come to me for a reading, here’s how I would see it:

1. You have a question. For example, Is this the right time for me to sell my house? Will I get a promotion before the end of the year?

2. You come to the reading with a certain energy around that question. You may or may not be aware of that energy. The cards have a mysterious way of tapping into your subconscious energy, which, by the way, holds a powerhouse of information. It may hold information your conscious self denies.

3. Next, you pick one or more cards with that question in mind. Each card has a certain energy and meaning. If more than one card is picked to answer the question, they may be put into a spread. Each position in a spread usually has a certain meaning. A simple spread could be Past, Present and Future.

4. You end up with a convergence of energy: the energy you bring to the reading about that question, the card’s meaning and the position’s meaning. Those three components comprise the interpretation and an answer to your specific question.

What?  You Don’t Like What the Cards Say?

Perhaps you don’t like the card that you pulled for the Future. You have choices in how to respond: You can stomp away in frustration (and say, “It’s all hogwash!”), or you can pull additional cards to explore what is meant by that Future card. Those additional cards can provide more information on how to best deal with a situation that initially looked unfavorable in your eyes at the moment of the reading.

When you pick Tarot cards in a reading, it reflects the energy of your behavior up to that moment. This is an important point many do not understand. The cards are giving you a head’s-up. If they are telling you not to sell your house even though you are hell-bent on selling it when you came to the reading, it’s worth your attention to stop and consider the issue more deeply. Perhaps there are issues you haven’t considered. What are the pitfalls? Could you get a higher return if you wait? Perhaps more repairs need to be done before putting it on the market. Or innumerable other variables you may not have considered or probed deeply enough.

We are so pummeled with bad news, hostile exchanges, and fear-mongering that when we come for a Tarot card reading or any other so-called fortune telling medium, we are quick to give our power away, especially if the reading isn’t to our liking or expectations. Laura Day, the author of several self-help books that focus on intuition, puts it this way:

“…people get really confused about precognition—telling the future. The way people use it is often damaging. If I hear I’m going to have a car accident, for example, I don’t wait in terror for it to happen. I ask, What are the circumstances? Who am I with at the time? What day is it? What color is the car? I look for those things and then I do my best to avoid the accident.”

You Are an Infinitely Powerful Being

A Tarot card reading may not be able to answer all those questions, but it gives us clues we can spot, especially if we listen to our intuition. Those clues can spur us to make different and more thoughtful choices. Those choices can then lead us to more propitious outcomes, significantly better outcomes than had we let things unfold on their own. When we take charge of our choices, we end up feeling empowered and confident for having taken good care of ourselves.

My meditation teacher keeps telling me, “You are so much more powerful than you can imagine.” Laura Day says, “…every one of us is an infinitely powerful being. So as you work with intuition, remember that you can also make choices that can change those predictions.”

So, when you choose to go for a Tarot card reading, know that the cards are simply a tool to give you information you may not be fully aware of. They reflect your energy at the moment of the reading, not necessarily your energy in the next week or next month, especially if you start making choices and taking action different from those before.

I believe the cards are meant to help you. You’ll know the next best steps to take when you let your intuition absorb what the cards have to say. Make Tarot cards your friend, not your foe. Use them to empower yourself, because you are an infinitely powerful being!

The thrust of this story is that a woman committed to sign up for one of my classes. The fact is she ghosted me. So, what happened?

A woman I didn’t know called asking about the services my business ALIGN offers. She wanted help with clearing her clutter—not her physical clutter, but the mental, emotional and spiritual clutter she has been grappling with. I offer a class called “Consciously Clearing Your Clutter, Uncovering the Subconscious Reasons for Your Clutter.” Although the focus of this class is ultimately on clearing physical clutter, much of the class helps people identify their intangible attachments to it.

For the past several weeks preceding the call, my attention had been and continues to be focused on re-branding my business. ALIGN currently works with three different tools: clutter, tarot and essential oils. It had been 12 years since I launched ALIGN. I was in the process of clarifying what aspects of my business are important to me.

During this re-branding process I rediscovered my passion for clearing clutter. Physical clutter is an important issue, because it literally covers a host of feelings no one wants to look at. But the more insidious clutter is the mental, emotional and spiritual clutter that we contend with day in and day out.

For the most part, we go about our days unaware of the stuff that fills our minds and hearts. The woman who called, we’ll call her Judy, wanted help with this kind of clutter. She was in town for only a few weeks. Could I help her now? Yes!

What One Phone Call Will Do

This one call was all I needed to create a class that would address the issue of intangible clutter. I was on it! In one week I gathered my thoughts and resources. I developed a four-session agenda, the class objectives and the handouts for the first session. The class is called “It’s an Inside Job! Consciously Clearing the Clutter within You.” I was ready!

Judy said she would call me back a few days after the initial call. She didn’t. I called her. She answered the call and said she couldn’t meet on the upcoming weekend because she had a friend coming to visit her from out of town.

She promised to call me Saturday morning to set a meeting time. No call Saturday morning. When I called her the next day, she agreed to meeting Thursday at 5:00 pm. Subsequently I sent her an e-mail asking her to consider a few questions before coming to class.

Thursday at 5:00 pm came and went. No Judy. The next morning I discovered she had sent me an e-mail a few hours before our agreed-upon time telling me she couldn’t make it. She indicated she had time to meet during the next few days. I responded using both e-mail and phone and asked her to call or text me. No text. No call. No response during the following 24 hours.

I finally got the message. Judy wasn’t coming.

Once I Knew I Was Ghosted

First, I was ticked off! Why string me along? She could have said, “I’ve decided I don’t want to take the class.” Instead, her cat-and-mouse approach drew me in and pushed me away several times until I finally figured out she wasn’t coming.

I confess I stewed on this awhile—a couple days, until I stumbled across a segment of the book I am currently reading, The Spontaneous Healing of Belief by Gregg Braden. Substantial information precedes the following quotation, but you’ll get the gist:

“Unresolved negative feelings that underlie chronic hurt—our beliefs—have the power to create the physical conditions that we recognize as cardiovascular disease: tension, inflammation, high blood pressure and clogged arteries.”

Braden goes on to cite researcher Tim Laurence from the Hoffman Institute in England, whose research shows that the potential impact of our failure to heal and forgive old hurts and disappointments cuts us off from good health. Laurence’s research indicated that “teaching people to ‘tone down’ their emotional responses to life situations could prevent heart attacks.”

This segment by Braden gave me pause. I needed to let go of the negative feelings I was harboring by being ghosted. I needed to move on. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Her behavior taps into memories and feelings of being ghosted in the past. It became imminently apparent I had to forgive Judy and forgive her now! Staying healthy is my priority.

The Bigger Picture

Braden’s words helped me to understand the bigger picture of this interchange between Judy and me. I believe Judy sincerely wanted to let go of her internal clutter. Otherwise, why would she have called me? Unfortunately she just wasn’t ready to do the work it required.

The few questions I sent her in advance of the class tipped her off and triggered her fearful “I’m in” and “I’m out” response. I suspect she wasn’t totally conscious of her handling of the situation, let alone the impact it had on me. Still I would have liked to have helped her.

The Bonus

Judy was the impetus for me to develop this class—a class I will launch within the next couple of months. I have her to thank for galvanizing me into action. This is the bonus of having had this brief encounter with her. I am grateful for it.

“They” say that you teach what you need to learn. Healing myself of the internal clutter that blocks me from living a happy and love-filled life is the work I must do. If I can do it, then I can help others do it, too.

All I could see was red. That’s what happened when my freshman college English professor Mrs. Nesselhof handed back an essay I and my classmates had been assigned to write. In that instant, when I saw all those red marks, I felt a “Scarlet I” had been imprinted on my chest and definitely in my mind. The “I” stood for INCOMPETENT! Now I had proof. I can’t write. The grade was irrelevant, probably a C or C-, but the message was not. So, so many red marks!

Fifty years later, I have not been able to erase the red stain from my memory. It has nestled itself in the recesses of my brain. To excavate it would mean major surgery, and I’m not sure I want to go that route. I just have to deal with it.

The Fragility of a Young Mind

I share this moment because we all need to be conscious of the fragility of young people’s minds. I am sure Mrs. Nesselhof was doing her best to let me know I could write better than I did. She had high standards and wanted me to perform at that level. But all those red marks did not propel me to the higher level she aspired for all her students. Instead they sent me straight into the halls of insecurity, a place from which I have struggled to escape for lo these many years.

Going back even farther, I have a vague recollection from high school. I was one of a few chosen seniors to prepare for the English Advanced Placement test. If I tested well, I could get placed in a more advanced English class in college. For some reason, as we prepped for the test, I was dropped from the group. I was never clearly informed as to why, but obviously my writing didn’t make the grade. My writing just wasn’t good enough.

A Way Around It

In an effort to succeed, I shifted my focus from English to foreign languages. I first chose French and later Russian. I figured I might be better able to communicate in a foreign language than in my own Mother tongue. It’s convoluted, I know. To communicate in another language you have so much to deal with—the mechanics of the language, the vocabulary, and the culture. What was I thinking? The mind is a curious thing. I could somehow handle all the red marks on those papers. After all, I was in the process of learning the language. I could forgive myself for my mistakes.

After I graduated from college, my initial goal was to become a translator. Using money my grandmother left me in her will, I studied French in Geneva, Switzerland, for a year and then French and Russian in Paris, France for the next year. During the summer in between I studied Russian with a group of American college students in what was at that time called the Soviet Union. After my two years abroad, I came home and enrolled in a Masters program in Russian Language and Literature. No longer wanting to be a translator, I set my sights on becoming a professor of Russian literature. Sounds impressive, but I graduated feeling I still had much more to learn in order to be fluent in Russian and to qualify as a professor.

A Detour

After my first year in the Masters program, I got a job as a Russian analyst at the National Security Agency (NSA). It may sound cool that I secured a Top Secret clearance and was doing work using Russian, but NSA and I were not meant to be together. Alas, deciphering intercepted, always garbled, Russian telephonic messages was something I could not do day in and day out. The blinds in the office were always closed because it was believed a scruffy band of Russians might be hiding in a copse of trees not far from our building. Why? They might be targeting laser beams at our windows. With those beams they could intercept our conversations. By shutting the blinds, we could not only block their efforts but the sunshine from our daily life. Did anyone ever see those Russians? Not while I was there!

I had accepted the NSA job to help pay for my schooling. In my naiveté I must have thought using Russian in a job like that would help me cement my knowledge of the language. In hindsight I discovered it wasn’t the language I was so enamored with. It was the stories written by those 19th century authors like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol and the torrid relationships they described.

Returning to English

After two years of being sequestered in a windowless room, listening to conversations that showed no signs of espionage, I resigned. That’s when I ended up writing English again. My first stop was a non-profit organization, where I wrote four- to six paged single-spaced, typewritten letters to clients. In an effort to cut corners, the boss didn’t want staff making long-distance telephone calls. This was in the mid-1970s when each minute of a long-distance call cost money. My colleague and I had to resort to writing letters.

The job entailed helping people write grants to private foundations. Since grant applications can be complex, especially when describing ideas that may only be in their formative stage, my letters had to convey creative ways that would help clients make a convincing argument for their project’s need for financial support. This meant I had to write clearly and in an organized fashion. Mrs. Nesselhof never entered my mind. If I was going to keep that job, I had to write those letters and on an IBM Selectric typewriter no less.

My next move was with a higher education association—a move that led me to working in four professional associations during the next 15 years. Each job required me to write countless agendas, meeting minutes, letters, convention programs and even a published magazine article. The writing seemed so straightforward that I never questioned my ability to write. I analyzed, synthesized and summarized issues as well as other people’s writing.

One memorable moment was when one association president called me into his office regarding a letter I had written on his behalf. The intent of the letter was to counter another association president’s opinion on the issue of higher education accreditation. I thought he was going to criticize how I worded the letter. I was shocked to discover he wanted to compliment me on how diplomatically I conveyed his perspective. My fear of his criticism showed me just how stealthily Mrs. Nesselhof lived in my psyche.

If I Had Just Listened to My Mother

Writing this blog causes me to remember the several times my mother said I ought to write. When I was a child, she instilled the notion of writing thank you letters to anyone who gave me a gift. Each letter I wrote was always personal and conversational. I would take time to think about the gift, what it meant to me, how I was going to use it, and thank the giver for his/her thoughtfulness in giving this specific gift to me. She saw something in my thank you notes that was worth encouraging.

She, of course, was my mother and what do mothers know? Once I met Mrs. Nesselhof, I concluded my mother was just plain biased. Now, 50 years later, I wish I had heeded her encouragement. Here I am writing this blog and feeling vulnerable. I’ve gained confidence over the years, but the specter of Mrs. Nesselhof shows up periodically to nudge me to higher heights and also to question how competent I am. Someday I’ll tell her to “sit on a tack,” but until I do, I guess I’ll just keep writing.

This is the third in a three-part series on seeking life purpose. The first was posted on April 7 and the second on April 18, 2017.

A friend of mind came to me asking about her life purpose. A favorite way for me to explore complex issues like this one is using Tarot cards. She picked seven cards for a spread called “My Blind Spot.” Three, in particular, caught my attention.

In my first blog of this series we looked at the card she pulled for the position of “Blind Spot” – the Eight of Pentacles. The second blog examines the position of “What I don’t know, but everyone else does.” For that she pulled the King of Pentacles.

Even though these cards relate directly to my friend and her question, they may hold relevance for you as well. Since the cards and their meaning are all connected to each other in a spread, you may find it helpful to check out the two other blogs in this series.

At Last—A Feminine Counterpoint

The third card in my friend’s spread was the Queen of Cups. It landed in the position of “Insight.” Insight is the ability to see intuitively or to understand the inner nature of things. A card in this position can help us discern a deeper understanding of what was uncovered in the previous two cards and causes us to look at the situation through a different lens.

How interesting that a female figure shows up this time, and instead of a pentacle, she holds a cup. She is quite a contrast to the men in both the Eight and King of Pentacles. Let’s explore the differences as well as the details of the card.

First, she’s a queen! She has power and it resides within her. She knows what she wants and how to get it. How does she do that? With love! Cups represent emotions, intuition, love, and creativity—the intangible stuff, within and between people. This queen is also maternal. She’s sensitive to not only to her feelings, but to those of others. Cups are quite a contrast to the pentacles that showed up in the previous two cards. Pentacles represent things material like houses, jobs, cars and relationships (having a partner, friend, or colleague, but not necessarily loving him/her).

Listening to and Loving Oneself

At first blush, the Queen of Cups implies my friend could benefit by spending more time with and by herself. She may see this as a radical shift from how she spends time. The Eight of Pentacles is working, working, working while the King of Pentacles is doing for others or making sure others are taken care of on a material, tangible level. What if she were to simply love others, instead of doing for them?

The Tarot suggests she turn her focus inward for that is where the answer to her question resides. This queen stares intently at the ornate cup she’s holding. A.E. Waite, one of the creators of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, describes the cup as one that she has created. He goes on to say that it “symbolizes achievement brought about through using imagination.” (Pollack, Rachel, Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom). In other words, this queen, when she allows herself to imagine what she wants, can make it real. The message to my friend might well be, “Indulge yourself. Love yourself. Give yourself time to imagine what you want. You can create it.”

Imagination Coupled with Love

Another important aspect must also be considered. Sheer will is not enough to create this cup. She must infuse the process with love—love of herself, her imagination, and her ability to create. This focus is starkly different from that of the pentacle cards. It’s not so much about doing (i.e., getting things done) or taking care of others, but letting oneself dream and getting excited about those dreams. That’s a form of self-love.

Maybe my friend hasn’t allowed herself this luxury of dreaming lately. Filling one’s day with a to-do list can easily block the tender dreams of a beginning life purpose seeker. How many times have we filled our day with tasks that don’t nourish our spirit or encroach on our alone-time? Probably, way too often.

The Insight

When it comes to answering the question of life purpose, this Queen must relinquish her role as King of Pentacles, that guy who spends most of his time overseeing his kingdom—the out there. It’s time for her to go inward and tend to her spiritual self.

In her book mentioned above, Rachel Pollack describes the cup this queen holds as having “a church-like shape.” Apparently before the modern age “all art expressed and glorified spiritual experience.” You see, for my friend to even ask the question about life purpose, indicates her spirit is nudging her for more attention. That elusive life purpose she seeks is within her. Spending more time meditating, walking in nature, and being by herself will likely lead to the next step of her self-discovery.

This may seem frivolous to a lot of us doers out there. When we are doing, we usually see the tangible results of our work. Spiritual work, however, doesn’t necessarily produce the tangible results we doers aim for. Instead it nurtures and nourishes our spirit. When that happens, life looks and feels different. What didn’t seem possible becomes possible.

The Tarot’s advice for my friend: “Seek the riches that lie within your spirit. The answer to your life purpose question will be revealed, especially if you listen to your spirit.”

For a Tarot reading, e-mail me at bev@alignyourlife.net or call  703.998.0880.

“You picked HIM!” That’s what a therapist said to me as I was licking my wounds from a failed relationship when I was in my twenties. My reply, “No, I didn’t!” Then I went on to explain that HE approached me and that some kind of chemistry enveloped me. I couldn’t escape. I was caught in the magical web of attraction.

Now more than 40 years later I finally got it—what the therapist was trying to tell me. I did choose HIM. I chose to write his name on my dance card, and then I chose to dance with him until he decided to dance with someone else. He left me. I was left holding the detritus of a fantasy.

I writhed in the grief of abandonment and victimhood for a good long while…actually too long. I claimed my victimhood, made depression my best friend and shrouded myself with self-protection. As much as I wanted another relationship, I wasn’t going to let this scenario happen again. The sad thing is that it happened several more times.

And why was I seeking a relationship anyway? I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was operating under the false premise that if I had a relationship I would be complete. It was the tangible proof I was lovable—a necessary notch in my self-esteem. Without it who was I?

Are You Really Taking Responsibility?

Taking responsibility is not an easy thing to do, especially if you’ve been ignoring its role in your life or worse—thinking you’ve been taking responsibility all along when, in fact, you haven’t been.

This notion started coming clear to me just a few years ago. The story begins in 2005, when I started a new career as a Tarot card reader. As destiny would have it, I quickly met and became friends with a Tarot entrepreneur in my area. I was hungry to learn. She offered classes, workshops with renowned Tarot experts and opportunities to read at Tarot parties. Why wouldn’t I befriend her?

About a year later, she suggested we teach a class together using Tarot cards and essential oils to unlock blocks to prosperity. It was a cool idea and since I teach and create classes, I was in. As we developed the class I started noticing her sidelining my ideas. She named the class, wrote the marketing materials and developed the agenda. My job was to say yes and carry out the role she had slotted for me.

Sacrificing Integrity

That insidious feeling of “being controlled” started inserting itself into my psyche. I expressed my concerns, but timidly because I felt beholden to her for all those opportunities previously mentioned that she appeared to offer. Ah, the classic case of sacrificing your integrity in order to get something you believe you can’t get on your own. I saw her as my doorway to new people, experiences and business. Arguing with her that my ideas merited attention wasn’t going to work. I couldn’t jeopardize the relationship if I wanted to get more of the “goodies” she offered.

I am not proud to admit this. On the other hand, this friendship did give me many opportunities to learn more about who I am and how I choose to live my life. We had a friendship for at least nine years and during that time I learned a lot, not only about Tarot but about myself. The control factor, however, became intolerable. I found I didn’t trust her. I didn’t want to share my thoughts and feelings with her. I wanted her to go away. Eventually I went away.

Two years later I learned about the Emotional Freedom Technique, known as EFT or tapping. Because I kept stewing about this relationship, I decided to tap on it. (For those who don’t know about tapping, check out www.thetappingsolution.com.) I held no expectations that anything would happen when I started the tapping protocol.

Midway through lightning struck—a moment of blinding clarity came through. I saw my complicity in this relationship in a way I had never acknowledged before. It was visceral. I had to admit that once again I had written a name on my dance card and chosen to dance with that person. I had been feeling victimized and controlled when I was just as much a player as she. I had agreed to the tacit contract we both signed.

Here’s the Secret

Feeling like a victim takes time and energy. It can suck you dry. I spent an inordinate amount of time perseverating over the shards of this friendship gone awry, resenting her, feeling hurt and, yes, struggling with its loss. The moment I learned of my complicity in that tapping session was the moment I freed myself from those painful emotions. I could move on. I could take responsibility. I could claim my power again. I could independently blaze my own trail in the Tarot world.

Gregg Braden in his book The Spontaneous Healing of Belief, Shattering the Paradigm of False Limits (Hay House, 2008), underscores the point I am making:

“The fact that someone else did what they hadn’t been able to do themselves plays right into their subconscious beliefs of limitation.

When this happens, people tend to look to someone or something else to intervene where they feel powerless. They’re looking for a savior, whether it’s a drug or another person performing a miraculous healing. If we’re convinced that we’re powerless and dependent upon something beyond ourselves in order to have the experience, then we’ll also feel the need to return to that “something” again and again to get what we need. We will, that is, until we realize that we can do for ourselves what is being done by someone else for us. It’s at this point that the savior is no longer needed and we’re truly healed.”

In both cases with the boyfriend and the Tarot entrepreneur, I was seeking completion outside myself. I handed my power to them and deemed them my savior. These may seem like easily reached conclusions, but they’ve taken years to solidify in my mind. I can now pick them up, look them in the eye and claim responsibility for how things unfolded and turned out.

This is the second in a three-part series on seeking life purpose. The first was posted on April 7, 2017.

A friend of mine came to me asking about her life purpose. A favorite way for me to explore complex issues like this one is using Tarot cards. She picked seven cards for a spread called “My Blind Spot.” Three, in particular, caught my attention. In the first blog of this series we looked at the card she pulled for the position of “Blind Spot”—the Eight of Pentacles. Check out the first blog for a more thorough discussion of the card and how it relates to my friend’s quest for life purpose. You may find it relevant to your own search.

How Others See Her—As a King!

The second card that caught my attention was the King of Pentacles. It landed in the position of “What I don’t know, but everyone else does.” Another pentacle card, but this time the figure is a king, not a worker! What does the notion of a king conjure up for you? Someone powerful, with authority, who rules? Someone with a kingdom?

Keywords often associated with this card are responsible, resolute and unshakeable, and competent, no-nonsense approach. Sarah Bartlett in her book The Tarot Bible describes this king as having “The Midas Touch.” To me this means able to resolve the problems that come up—the benevolent problem-solver. Let’s explore the details of this card.

Bogged Down with Responsibilities

In contrast with the Eight, her blind spot, this card spoke volumes. First, my friend doesn’t seem to be aware of how powerful she truly is. She is the person who commands not only her household but her life; this king is how others see her. Family members and most certainly friends come to her for advice and direction. She knows what to do and makes sure it gets done, if not by her, by someone else.

The challenge of being king may be that she is called on way more than she would like. Look at how bogged down this king is. Even though his robe is covered with grapes, a symbol of abundance, it looks heavy and cumbersome—an impediment to getting out of that throne. How spontaneous can this king be? He isn’t free to jump up and leave.

Could the responsibilities my friend has assumed prevent her from being spontaneous? Spontaneity carries energy, sudden creative urges and little to no planning. When we are fulfilling our life purpose, spontaneity sprinkles itself in between the plans and projects we embrace. Whimsical ideas, humor and fun get integrated into the process. Our King of Pentacles, however, feels the weight of his authority and may not be quick to inject humor into the mix. He is, above all else, at least in this context, responsible.

Making pentacles is like honoring commitments. Those commitments can blind us from seeing what’s best for our own spirit and well being. If we lighten our load, we can create the necessary space for finding and defining our life purpose. Like the Eight, the King is preoccupied with the pentacle he’s holding. He’s not free to go to the castle behind him. Instead he sits on this throne maintaining the authoritative, responsible role that a king assumes.

What’s Missing?

Pentacles represent things tangible and material like money, cars, houses and even relationships. If we are seeking our life purpose, where are our emotions, passions and plans? Life purpose without passion seems pretty dismal. How can you go after your life purpose if your emotions aren’t engaged?

The fact that my friend’s blind spot is the Eight of Pentacles, how she sees her situation, and others see her as the King of Pentacles seems limiting. An emphasis on being responsible can curtail the excitement and enthusiasm that a life purpose inspires. Other suits in the Tarot, like Wands, Cups and Swords, reflect these aspects.

Male versus Female

Once again the male figure as in the Eight shows up. Even though the Tarot has a Queen of Pentacles, my friend picked the King. Kings represent a dynamic force for change or choices to be made. Coupled with pentacles, this King has reached a level of maturation. He’s made his dynamic choices. No longer impatient to achieve his material goals, he can relax and enjoy them.

What a conundrum for my friend! The King of Pentacles is how others see her, yet on the inside she feels restless and seeks her life purpose. If the card she picked for this position were the Queen of Pentacles, others would see her peaceful and relaxed at where she finds herself in this world.

The masculine energy of the king is practical and pragmatic. Whatever the issue will be handled and resolved. Once handled, he will wait for the next one. In contrast, the feminine energy is typically more sensitive. Rather than quick to take action, the female is attuned to her feelings and those of others. It’s likely she’ll address those feelings before taking any action.

Let’s remember my friend is the one feminine voice in a family of men—her husband and three sons. Outnumbered. It makes sense that after years of being immersed in male energy, she might acquire some of it for herself. No surprise that others see her as the King of Pentacles.

In Short

The King of Pentacles is telling my friend to take off the kingly robe and get off the throne. Another way of saying this is “Just say No!” “No!” to taking on others’ issues. “No!” to believing it’s her responsibility to solve others’ problems. “No!” to always being available to others at the expense of her own peace of mind. She must be her Number One Priority. Her dreams, desires and urges need to see the light of day. Honoring them will open the door to life purpose.

My third blog in this series will address the third card that caught my attention, the insight my friend can glean from this reading. Read the rest of this entry »

We’re all supposed to know our life purpose, right? It turns out that pinpointing what that is eludes many of us. If we knew it, perhaps we would have the key to life. For those of us still wondering what that is, just asking the question can point us in the right direction. Many don’t ask the question, but when we do, answers can begin to emerge when we least expect it.

A friend came to me asking about her life purpose. She has three grown sons in their thirties and a loving husband. She heads a smooth-running household, has friends she gets together with often and meets regularly with a spiritual mentor. Something, however, is missing.

My favorite way to get answers to a question like this is to pull a few Tarot cards. She pulled seven, but three, in particular, stood out for me. This essay is the first of three in a series that looks at how the Tarot can be used to explore complex issues—in this case, finding one’s life purpose.

Eight of Pentacles

We agreed to use a spread called “Blind Spot,” which seemed appropriate for the issue she was exploring, her life purpose. The Eight of Pentacles, the first card she pulled, was in the position called “My Blind Spot.” The man in the card is making pentacles, those yellow discs you see in the card. Pentacles represent things tangible and material like money, cars, houses, even relationships.

How Many of These Pentacles Do I Have to Make?

He’s doing a good job with six of them lined up in front of him like diplomas on a wall.  Let’s look at some of the details in the picture that might shed a brighter light on my friend’s question.

Before we started the reading, she mentioned her family and her home are a large part of her daily life. The man in this card, however, is alone with no family in sight. He is busy working. He’s making pentacles, one pentacle right after another. Even though he’s pretty intent on doing the job and doesn’t seem unhappy, his work could be perceived as rote and monotonous. Does he have an option to create something different? Is this his choice to keep making pentacles? Certainly no one is looking over his shoulder telling him what to do.

Alone and Safe in Our Routine

His aloneness in the card might reflect my friend’s preference for being alone. The vital role she plays as mother and wife doesn’t preclude the pleasure she finds in being by herself. That’s an aspect to keep in mind when and if she decides to venture beyond the familiar to find her life purpose.

Sometimes we are so immersed in our own routine, we can’t see ourselves outside it. I remember a metaphor I heard long ago. A woman had to clean her fishbowl, so she filled her bathtub with water and put her fish in the tub temporarily while she cleaned the bowl. When she came back, the fish were swimming in a circle, the actual size of the bowl, when they had the whole tub to swim in.

Many of us stay in familiar situations because it’s safe, comfortable in its discomfort, and mostly risk-free. When we don’t quite know what to do next, we usually stay where we are and do the same thing we usually do. We keep our routine alive.

But I Want Something More!

The number eight in this card is worth noting. Eights represent mastery and accomplishments. It’s no surprise that my client is secure and confident in handling the needs of her family and the concerns of her household. She’s been married for 30-plus years. She has had the time and intention to master the responsibilities as wife and mother, but the unrest within her signals something more. Her quest for mastery is not yet complete.

In the Tarot, nine is the number of completion. It makes sense my friend picked the Eight of Pentacles when asking about her life purpose. Even though she has achieved mastery within her family and home, her search for mastery somewhere else is not over. With this first card, we can’t tell what endeavor that is, but we can deduce she may need to stop making pentacles or at least make fewer of them in order to engage in something new and outside her comfort zone.

Have I Sidelined My Feelings?

One last point: my friend is female, and the figure in the card is male. Typically males are doers, not that women aren’t, but the male prototype is all about getting things done. Males don’t usually consider emotions, something the female is known to excel at, when they have a job to do. Rather, they’re all about the nuts and bolts of getting the job done. The end result is their focus.

I wonder if my friend has sidelined her feelings about fulfilling her life purpose. Pentacles reflect the practical, hard-working side of us. How often do we sideline our feelings when it comes to issues that really matter? It’s easier to do the work at hand, which is usually tangible and finite rather than deal with the confusing, complex feelings entwined in the bigger issue. This may be the case with my friend. Perhaps we’ll get the answer when I share the subsequent blogs in this series.

In Short

The Eight of Pentacles reflects how my friend sees herself now—questioning the sameness of her routine, alone by choice and comfortable in her comfort zone. This is her blind spot. The warm and cozy cocoon of familiarity and mastery she has created for herself prevents her from seeing the different opportunities where her life purpose might flourish. She may need to drop the figurative pentacle she’s working on and head toward the village in the distance on the card to find that life purpose. If this holds relevance for you, is there a pentacle you need to drop?