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.