I had a job interview yesterday and I was pretty wound up about it, so I pulled a card for it. I was sure I was going to get The Fool, because my life is 100% Fool right now. 100%, y’all!
Instead I got the Two of Stones (picture below), and felt a little dizzy because it was too real.
“Prepare for a gush of changes. Ground yourself without becoming stuck. Move, glide, dance, and spin from your core.” ~Slow Holler Tarot
This Two is all about balancing, about finding a space of quiet equilibrium in a fluid situation that feels a little bit dangerous. Like you climbed up really high and now you are looking down and wondering what the fuck you’re supposed to do now and you’re perfectly balanced between exhilaration and oh shit, and like, there you are.
“The Two of Stones asks you the channel the grounded, stable energy of the Ace and apply it to situations that may be highly dynamic or unstable.” ~Slow Holler Tarot
Two weeks ago, my grandmother died. I got the news in a text, about five seconds after I got a heart-fluttery text from someone I love, and I was like, this is life. This is what it is: balancing between love and death and sweetness and grief. The space of groundedness is being able to accept that and to be here for it, even when it feels like it’s going to crush you--it's knowing you'll be able to put yourself back together if (when) you break.
I pulled two more cards face up:
The Ace of Stones, a big plinth of heavy stone surrounded by water, aka Feelings, to remind me of what it feels like to be grounded in the midst of it all.
And The Fool, for being at the beginning of a new stage, for courage in a space of ambiguity and fluidity and uncertainty, and for leaping, because now you know the truth: you were never fragile.
“It’s okay that you aren’t prepared; you’re ready. Go!” ~Tiny Lantern Tarot
Slow Holler Tarot
Monday was the spring equinox! I’ve also been thinking about Passover, which starts next month, and spring cleaning and garden bed clearing and all of the letting go and clearing out that spring inspires.
So last Sunday, after I pulled one million weeds, helped chop dead plants out of the sidewalk cracks, and cleaned my room, I did a reading for spring. Here’s the spread I created:
1. Something to keep (top left)
2. Something to remember (bottom left)
3. Something to let go (top right)
4. Something to forget (bottom right)
5. Something to invite in (far right middle)
Something to keep
Daughter of Wands. The first thing that jumped out at me in this card is the wand itself. It looks just like the quince in my front yard. I am at this very moment looking at a quince wand that is the twin of the one on the card, sitting in a jar of water on my altar! The quince is the most murderously persistent, indestructible plant I’ve ever met. It’s flexible steel with vicious thorns; a thicket that someone thought would make a pretty garden shrub. It is lovely, especially when it flowers, and it shelters birds and squirrels and lots of other critters, but it’s not a pretty little shrub. It seems to be saying, don’t let other people make you smaller than you are, don’t let anyone plant you where there’s not enough room for you to grow, and poke the shit out of anyone who won’t respect your boundaries. Be the glorious, dangerous thicket you were meant to be!
Something to remember
Son of Pentacles. Being a glorious, dangerous thicket is hard work. Figuring out where you belong, what your true shape is, and where your boundaries are—in a world that wants you to do none of those things—takes dedication and persistence. Your small, daily efforts may not be sparkly or sexy, but they are everything.
Something to let go
Four of Cups. I struggled with this one because introspection is really important to me! I think this is saying, challenge yourself to let go of some of the ratty, sad part of introspection—the isolation that isn’t serving a purpose, and the distance that keeps you from noticing opportunities for the kind of connection that will help you grow. As best you can, pay attention to what’s being offered and receive it when it’s right for you. Don’t get so wrapped up in that hard work that you miss those chances!
Something to forget
Three of Cups. This one puzzled me, not only in the context of the Four of Cups, but because I’ve been working hard to build more community in my life. But it made more sense in the context of the last card, the Two of Cups. I think the Three of Cups here means, worry less about community and more about relationships. For instance, I’ve started hosting a monthly dinner, and I notice myself worrying so much about whether it’s all coming together that I feel sort of background-frantic the whole time—even as I’m enjoying the event. But community is, at its core, relationships. So, right now... just build relationships. In the dinner party example, focus on conversations with individual people at the dinner party, and let the group stuff take care of itself.
Something to invite in
Two of Cups. One-on-one connections—new ones! New connections have felt really challenging to me lately. But I’m taking baby steps toward more connection, with a much stronger sense of who I am, how I want to be treated, what I want to receive in relationships, and what I have to offer others. This card is inviting me to take some more risks for connection’s sake. And roses—with their protective thorns (our theme is thorns!)—remind me that boundaries, and the ability to recognize and work through conflict, are essential to authentic intimacy.
Doing the hard, daily work of claiming space (always with a lens of accountability) and working with boundaries. Letting go of harmful isolation and "community building" as a an abstract concept, and instead nurturing opportunities for one-to-one, human connection. It's a lot, in a world that often feels really terrifying, but the time is now! May we work hard to learn the creativity, strength, and solidarity necessary to build a world in which all of us can grow to be everything we have the potential to be.
I have been in a tizzy for over a month about buying a car. With everything that’s going on in the world, how can that possibly be a big deal? But it is. (Also I’m not sublimating you’re sublimating.)
I think it’s class stuff. I was raised middle class, but have been broke for most of my adult life. Then, about six months ago, I got a job with a solidly lower middle class salary. So many feelings! They ranged from “I should move into a shed and give every penny I’m not spending on stale bread to immigration and prison abolition groups” to “but what if I cashed out my bank account and piled up the money so I could sleep on it like a pale, smug dragon LOOK AT HOW MUCH MONEY THIS IS.” I’ve been trying to find a middle ground, with some amount of income redistribution and some amount of slowly restocking crappy, worn out socks and coats and bras and stuff (and a few new tarot decks; I regret nothing).
I also decided I wanted a car. I bought a truck this summer, having not owned motorized transportation for many years, and it was a charismatic mess, lacking fancy things like power steering and a functional transmission, so eventually we had to part ways. Therefore, given my newfound STACKS OF CASH, I thought I’d buy a car that didn’t suck.
My attempts so far to do so have been unsuccessful. Fresh from the frustration of the charismatic yet totally broken truck, I was determined to take any potential car to a shop for a pre-purchase inspection. But cars were selling so fast that no one wanted to waste a day driving their car to the shop to get inspected.
This made me feel kind of nuts. After so long of not being able to afford a car, or at least a car whose transmission wasn’t about to fall out, I had the exact right number of dollars to get the exact thing I wanted and no one wanted to sell it to me! I slowly realized that the friends who kept telling me about reliable dealerships and easy online purchasing were talking about situations in which the cheapest car available cost twice what I had to spend.
It was in that context that, after walking out of a sketchy dealership on a freezing, windy Sunday afternoon in tears because the owner refused to drive a car literally one mile to an independent mechanic for an inspection, I swore off car shopping for at least 24 hours—only to find myself awake the next morning at 5 am, checking Craigslist. Not good.
So I decided to do a tarot reading about it. I think my actual question was “Cars! Or—argh! All of this bullshit! Dammit!”
The cards never let me down, y’all. I was prepared to be bewildered by whatever came up, because I wasn’t feeling terribly focused and I don’t know this deck very well, but the reading did not disappoint.
I did a celtic cross, which I rarely do because I think the spread is too complicated, but it worked out really well. First impressions: lots of Majors and knives, with stones and branches also represented. Also—cars! There are two cards in this deck with cars on them and I got both of them.
It starts with the situation: The World, reversed. That feeling of having made it to a new level, but not quite being able to access it. Not really there, or there and also not there at the same time. Makes sense.
Then the conflict is Six of Knives. The standard meaning for this card is about accepting help and moving away from sadness/discord. But it’s also a picture of a car being driven across a rocky road under a sky full of knives. This is my actual car shopping life right now. And it's a white car, which is interesting in relationship to the leaving influence, so let’s move left…
The leaving influence (major theme from the recent past that is now receding in the… rearview mirror, if you will) is The Chariot. I suppose we could talk about the standard meaning for this card but let’s just jump to the fact that it’s a picture of a red pickup truck from which a cute queer is stargazing, which is the exact fantasy I had for my life with my charismatic, broken-ass pickup truck, which was, for the record, RED. And the white car in the Six of Swords looks suspiciously like the white car I’m borrowing from a friend and considering buying, even though I promised myself I’d never drive stick again.
Tarot is not usually this literal for me, friends. MOVING ON.
The incoming influence is The Guild, which corresponds to The Hierophant in traditional decks. In sequence with The Chariot and the Six of Swords, I read it as telling me to let the red pickup fantasies go,* and buy the white car even though it has a stick shift (it’s a very nice car) so that I can stop being so isolated in my house because I’m too tired to take the bus to community building things.
The surface reason for why I’m so wound up about this (top card), the Six of Stones, is all about giving and receiving. In the traditional image, a rich dude is tossing money to one poor person while ignoring another poor person and waggling a scale (of justice, one presumes) at said poor people. I’m not quite sure how this image tracks to that, but what I see in this card is coming to terms with feelings of loneliness and exclusion. The little black dot in the center of the stones seems like it’s more integrated into the community because it’s surrounded by its megalithic friends, but it’s also kind of boxed in and flat. The rose is off to itself, but it’s vivid and alive, and it has lots of grass to be friends with.
I think this is speaking to the feelings of wanting to have Middle Class Stuff (i.e., a Prius), partly because it has great resale value, low maintenance costs, and stellar gas mileage, but also partly because it’s a symbol of being financially secure and one of the group. Those aren’t my real values (well, not the part about being one of the group in that way), but it’s real that I struggle with them. We’re all indoctrinated in our class background and it’s natural to wrestle with that. I would buy the hell out of a Prius if I could afford one though.
The deep reason (bottom card) for why I’m so wound up about this is The Alchemist (Temperance in a traditional deck). This card is about holding space for opposites and finding balance. Part of what’s been happening this week is that I’ve been all about crunching data and numbers and trying to control every variable, but I'm doing that in an environment that is inherently uncontrollable. Calculating the difference between the fuel costs for a Civic and a Prius over five years is soothing if you love spreadsheets and data (I do!!), but it doesn’t do a thing to solve the problem of car sellers not being willing to drive their cars to the shop for an inspection, which is the actual problem. I’m spinning because my airy, intellectual labor is mostly useless in this situation. I can’t make people want to do a thing they don’t want to do (even though they are totally wrong, gah). I need to balance out that air energy with some earthy pragmatism and an emotional gut check. And maybe funnel some of my smart air energy and creative fire energy into figuring out how to practice scary stick shift situations so they are less scary (go white car!).
Moving over to the self position, we have the Nine of Knives. Yup. This is exactly how I’m feeling right now. Like a disembodied skull with scary teeth and a bunch of pocket knives in its head! This is generally a card about nightmares and worrying and being taken over by fears and waking up full of dread. Or, as the case may be, with an irrepressible urge to check Craigslist. Nine of Knives, you get me!
Above that is the environment card, which is the Two of Branches. This is usually about planning—after the seed of a new idea is planted, but before it’s ready to send up its first leaves. I think this is connected to that reversed World; it’s all about being in a space where I still really don’t have the means to get some of the things I want and need. It’s a caution to wait a little longer, be a little bit more patient. And a reminder that things are growing, things are moving, things are changing, even if it’s all under the surface still.
The hopes and fears position is The Oracle (The High Priestess in the traditional deck). I think it’s telling me that my hopes and fears about this car go a lot deeper than the worries about money. Those feelings are a deeply intuitive sense that I need help being more connected (as indicated by The Guild) and that easier transportation is a key part of that, coupled with some fears about being a sellout because I drive a car instead of riding a bike. I’m comfortable with my reasons for choosing to own a car, but that fear still nags at me sometimes.
And, finally, the Seven of Stones. I read this as “a word of advice”, as suggested by Beth at LRT. This one is about tending the garden. It’s the process of checking to see what’s ripe and what’s growing well, what needs to be weeded out to make space for new growth, learning from the past, and working for a good future. This card is so grounding and summery. I feel like it’s saying, friend, it’s okay to relax a little. You’ve done a lot of good work and you’ve got some great stuff going. It’s not all fully mature yet, but that’s okay. Keep showing up and watering the plants and caring for them as best you can. Try some stuff, make some mistakes, try again. You got this.
Y’all, I love tarot. I felt frustrated and spiky when I started this reading, and now I feel relaxed and settled. I’m so grateful for all the tarot readers who came before me and shared their wisdom so I could have access to this tool and companion. Sending out good thoughts to all of you on your tarot journeys.
*I’ll just mention that my most amazing red pickup truck stargazing experience, while it was truly epic, ended in me peeing all over my sleeping bag as I attempted to empty my bladder into a mason jar to avoid a 3 am journey over the tailgate, so it was not all starry nights and cute undershirts.
Content note: abuse (no abuse stories, but things we are brainwashed to believe about ourselves as survivors)
Recovery is always a spiral. We heal and grow and transform, and then revisit old stories with a new perspective. Sometimes, there are fast-moving eddies in the larger slow spirals, and recently I found myself stuck in one of those eddies. That led me to another round of survivor-focused work, and I laid out cards late one night in a femme survivor spread by andi grace.
This one gave me chills, y’all. All majors, meaning the issue I’m working with is about major life themes. And all reversed, which I interpret as affirming that I’ve been feeling really stuck around this stuff.
1: The Truth
An endless string of lights drapes around a person’s head, neck, waist, and hands. Are they sorting them out, or are they tangled up in them? In the past, I worked so hard to neaten up things for everyone else, while I got more and more tangled up. Now I have the chance to sort things out for myself. I can stop bending over backwards to come up with reasons why they were doing their best and didn’t mean it. I can let go of the convoluted reasoning required to prove that they really were a good person, really, and that it was all my fault. I can see the devastating simplicity of what happened. I can look the truth in the eye and finally grieve, in calm, clear sadness.
And, grace. I can’t go back in time to protect myself, but I get another chance today. It’s over. I get to try again, every second. I am safe and free and healing; full of love and rage and glorious possibility.
2: The Lie
You should have known.
3: What happens when I believe myself
RWS decks switched Justice, traditionally number eight of the Major Arcana, with Strength, traditionally number eleven. This deck puts Justice back at eight.
So this card is not Strength. It’s not the hope that you can tame the dangerous lion if you expend enough gentle, selfless, endless labor and patience. Instead, it is weighing, deciding, choosing, setting standards; compassion tempered with boundaries. This version of Justice has no scale and no sword. They are just a person who takes themselves seriously, weighing options and making choices. Justice is the quiet space in which the tightness in my chest eases; where I can tell the whole, complicated truth, the good and the bad, the painful, the humiliating, all the things that happened. And then I can choose what comes next.
Rosh Chodesh Tamuz* was on July 6th. I didn’t pull my monthly cards that night as I normally do, because I couldn’t concentrate. Just hours before, police had murdered Philando Castile in front of his partner and little daughter, and I was nauseated and furious and full of grief.
A few days later, I was able to focus better, and I decided to pick my cards for this month face up. Rather than pulling cards face down, we can choose specific cards to focus intention or for other reasons, as explored in this series by Siobhan Rene. I decided to try it this month because picking face up helped me feel like I was choosing my own path instead of having it chosen for me. That’s especially meaningful for me right now, as I’m moving out of a period in which I needed to drift and into one in which I need to be more focused, because did I mention I got the job? I got the job! The World was right on.
I chose the Eight of Wands, The Fool, and Strength as focuses for this month.
I chose the Eight of Wands for momentum and moving out into the world. A person stands amidst rocks and trees with their fox friends, blowing seeds into the wind. Seeds are the beginnings and ends of plants. This plant has gone to seed, ending a cycle, and now it begins its journey into its next life. It feels like things are moving fast for me too. I spent months job hunting and networking and often felt like I was just spinning my wheels. Now all that built-up energy is pouring out and rocketing me forward, and I want to embrace that momentum as I start the next phase.
I chose The Fool because I’m a little bit scared to start a new job in a new field, and I want to access that Foolish energy of embracing new experiences, taking risks, and stepping boldly off the cliff to see what happens. The Fool stands on top of a tower of rocks, stretched up on tiptoe and ready to plunge over the edge, trusting that they will be okay and full of curiosity about what lies below. Their clever fox friend is by their side, and a cloud of birds wraps them in ribbons—not to hold them up, but to show them how it’s done**. This reminds me that I need to surround myself with smart friends who support me without trying to rescue or fix. Also, I’ve looked at this card a bazillion times but I never noticed the bees! Since one of my long-term goals is to chuck it all and become a bee farmer, I feel like this Fool is telling me I’m on the right track.
I chose Strength because I want to embody power through collaboration. A person stands next to a lion so ferocious he’s sprouted horns. The person is relaxed, their right hand draped over his huge head, and their left hand right next to his sharp teeth. At their feet are two smaller cats, belled to protect the birds at the bath below. This is strength, but it’s not the strength of possession or dominance. There is trust and respect of each others’ agency, intelligence, and power. In the past, I’ve sometimes given up my power, failed to share power, or ignored my physical/emotional boundaries in order to please others at work. This card reminds me to slow down a little, to share power, and to respect my own needs as much as I respect others’ needs.
Happy Rosh Chodesh Tamuz, everyone. May we use this month to act in solidarity with one another for our mutual liberation. None of us are free until all of us are free.
*Rosh Chodesh means head/beginning of the month (the Jewish lunar month), and Tamuz is the name of the month. All Jewish days begin at sundown, so the new month starts when the sun goes down.
**"not to hold them up, but to show them how it’s done" is paraphrased from a reading by Siobhan Rene.
I feel like I should begin this post with some moon-related anecdotes after several moon-centric posts, but I am devastated to report that my moon-watching efforts last night were unsuccessful. Undaunted, I went ahead with a reading to prepare for a busy week of interviewing. I've been feeling like things have turned a corner in my job search, following a spate of interesting job postings and a few interviews that could result in me receiving wages in return for my labor, so I decided to use this Bridge spread from Little Red Tarot to help me think about where I've been and what might be next. The card positions are:
1. What you have left behind
2. The hardest lesson you learned
3. Something that helped you
4. The high point—where you are right now, looking back and looking forward
5. The next step
6. Something that will help you
7. Your destination: the new shore
Here are the cards I drew!
What you've left behind: Seven of Wands
The RWS* meaning of this card is defense against an attack. The simplest interpretation of the image in this deck a that a fox is defending its kits against an attacking badger. But I can’t help but wonder who, if anyone, is the aggressor. After all, there are more foxes than badgers. Maybe the foxes are all adults, and the badger is defending her den. Or maybe the badger had to leave her den and is trying to find a sanctuary in the foxes' territory, but the foxes can’t or won’t share space. In this standoff, it’s not clear who’s right and who’s wrong. Maybe no one is. But everyone’s upset and defensive and there aren’t enough resources to go around. All the energy and creativity is focused on the standoff. This type of conflict all too familiar.
The hardest lesson you learned: Queen of Wands
Energy has limits. The Queen has mastered their element of fire, of energy and creativity, in their internal world. Part of that mastery is knowing the limits of the internal store of energy, exactly what it can and cannot do, and how to work within that framework. In this transition, I’ve learned a lot about my energy, and I’ve had to make some tough decisions to step away from things that take more than I’m willing to give. By accepting my limits, I can make better choices about how to focus my energy, and get the most out of what I have.
Something that helped you: The Empress
The Empress has been my guide card for navigating burnout and this transition. They are all about nurturing and creating and birthing, in the inner world as well as the outer world. Deciding to take myself seriously enough to put substantial energy into caring for myself, instead of pouring all of my energy into others to the point of burnout, has definitely helped me in this transition.
It’s also interesting to me that, in this deck, the Empress standing on the same wooden arch as appears in the Four of Wands. The Empress is typically associated with earth, not fire, but the Empress is also strongly associated with birth—which is pretty darn creative—and creativity is a major facet of fire/wands. Thus, if there is a wands association with the Empress, the entire first half of the bridge is wands. One of the things I’ve learned in this transition is that I tend to get out of balance in favor of wands and swords, and that I need to bring more cups and pentacles into the mix, which is exactly what the second half of the bridge is composed of!
Where you are now: Ace of Cups
This ace indicates a new stage of connecting with feeling and emotion. I’ve been working hard to reconnect with my emotional self rather than being constantly stuck in my head or distracting myself by being on the go. Well—it worked. Sometimes it feels like it worked a little too well! I have a lot of new skills to learn, but it’s growth and it’s progress and I’m grateful for it.
The next step: Six of Cups
As a Serious Tarot Person, I feel like I should say this card is telling me to be conscious of the balance of giving and receiving in my life, and to examine my ideas about wealth and poverty, but what’s true is that when I looked at this card I couldn’t stop laughing. Like the green plant amidst the brambles, I am small and also mighty and I am ready, universe, to accept a glorious waterfall of cash.
Something that will help you: Seven of Cups
This card is about illusions and choices, and discerning between dreams and reality. One person seems to be a dreamer, determined to get to the seemingly inaccessible sky-tree-castle-thing, even though there are two other castles that seem like more realistic goals. The other person looks more down-to-earth and is consulting… a map? Or perhaps it's instructions for how to build a helicopter? This card is saying, be wary of illusions when making choices—but don’t be too quick to assume you know what’s going on. Access your analytical self and your dreamy, imaginative self when making choices, and look for opportunities to engage both aspects of yourself in your decision.
Your destination: Judgement
This is the penultimate card of the Major Arcana, and a major here indicates that the destination will involve overarching life themes. A winged being plays a trumpet, calling up a rush of ghosts and butterflies from a field of poppies. I think this means, this transition has felt in some ways like a death, but death is always followed by rebirth, and a day is coming when you will feel that you’ve come back to life, that you have been transformed, and you will be surrounded by beauty.
*RWS is Rider-Waite-Smith, which is the 20th century deck that most modern decks are based on. There are several other major systems.
In the Jewish calendar, months are based on the lunar month. Each month begins the day after the new moon (rosh chodesh, or head of the month), when the waxing crescent of the moon is first visible in the sky. Blessings are said, candles are lit, and it's a lovely fresh start.
Last night was Rosh Chodesh Sivan (the beginning of the Jewish month of Sivan). And so, after a long day closed up in my (relatively) cool (actually pretty hot) room, hiding from a murderous Portland heat wave that left me feeling flattened and vaguely nauseated, I decided to go out to see the new moon before I said the blessings. You’ll be able to see it from the front porch, I told myself, which cheered me as I grudgingly got dressed.
I couldn’t see the moon from the front porch, but the cool darkness was delicious, so I ventured out a few blocks, craning my neck toward the western horizon and trying to find a break in the trees, expecting a little moon sliver fairly high in the sky.* After several blocks' walking, as I became increasingly impatient and grumpy (did I mention I don't handle hot weather well?), I saw it! It was just visible though a tiny crack in the layers of trees. It was lovely and fat and hanging just over the horizon, showing the first slender edge. And pink.
I don’t know why I’m ever mad about anything in a world where gigantic pink crescent moons exist, I really don't.
I walked home, feeling better about life, to say the blessings and draw my Rosh Chodesh cards. My practice this year has been to draw two cards each month, a major and a minor, as a guide or focus for the month. Normally I just take the first major and minor, ignoring any intervening cards. This time, the intervening cards were so fascinating that I took a whole series of four: the Nine of Pentacles, Five of Pentacles, and Knight of Swords (all reversed), and the Empress.
The Nine of Pentacles shows a figure playing a grand piano while sitting crosslegged on a spiral shell. A tree has grown through the piano’s case, and the piano is sprouting twigs. There's a stained glass window suspended between two trees. It's about integration of work and nature, nature in the sense of the earth and in the sense of the worker’s nature. Your needs are abundantly met, allowing you to relax and create, you are grounded, and you know you are part of something real and tangible.
The Five of Pentacles is the opposite of the Nine. This stained glass window is embedded in a cold marble wall, the figure sits on a hard marble bench, knees drawn up, face buried in their arms. They are surrounded by thorns. They don’t see the butterfly or the flowers or the cracks in the wall. This card is about being stuck and struggling to meet the most basic physical needs.
And then the Knight of Swords. A heavily armored person rides a bird off to battle and all the other birds have come along. Birds typically represent thoughts, feelings, and communication. I feel like this card is saying, I must gather every single thought and every idea and every issue I need to process about and go deal with all of them, all at the same time, right this second, hurry up you guise!
All three cards are reversed.
Together, they seem to say, it’s true that you don’t have the integration and ease and freedom and abundance you want in your work life—in actual fact, I’m unemployed and engaged in what has become a soul-sucking work-search/career transition—but remember that a lot of your physical needs are being met.
Not like, someone else has it worse so don’t complain (which is a burnout-inducing guilt trap that props up the kyriarchy and does nothing to address actual issues of privilege and oppression), but like, you have what you need today. The rent is paid. You have money for food. You have clothing, your phone bill is paid, you can even go to the cheap movies when it’s a bazillion degrees outside. You are making steady progress on your job search. Everything is okay right now.
So you don't have to get stuck in your head, worrying and trying to predict and hash out every potential issue and every possible pitfall until you’re exhausted. You don’t have to barrier yourself quite so tightly. Trust yourself, trust that you can find a solution by working at a reasonable pace, and resist anticipatory suffering. If you get to the Five, you can deal with it then, and you’ll handle it better if you’re not exhausted from worrying about it before it happens.
And then the Empress. I love this card. It’s about nurturing, receptivity, caring for self and others, birth and re-birth, emotional labor. Being your own mama, being the mama you needed. Making delicious food for yourself, sleeping when you are tired, going for walks in the cool soft darkness, laying in the sun with your friends. Setting boundaries and limits, but being open to what will surely come and what is. Accepting this period of between-ness and drifting as a gift and a place of healing, of gestation before rebirth.
So essentially--notice that you are safe right now, don't go racing off to the thought-battle and exhaust yourself if it's not necessary, be patient, be open, and care for yourself like it's your job. Except that you don't have an actual job, so soak it up and let yourself relax a little.
I think I can do that.
Happy new moon, and Rosh Chodesh sameach all!
*This was entirely wrong, as I learned during the ensuing moon rise/set internet nerd-out! During the new moon and immediately after, moon's rise/set is almost exactly synchronized with the sun's rise/set--hence its actual position just over the horizon shortly after sunset.