Hello blog friends! It’s been a while. I haven’t been pulling cards regularly--I haven’t been doing most of my practices lately, tbh, and I’m really feeling it. I’ve had a ton of transition in my life over the last few months, and I’m feeling less like a big solid rock in a river and more like a handful of pebbles that have been tumbled and scattered down about twenty miles of riverbed. Like, it’s been fun to take a ride, but I also need to pull myself together again because the returns are diminishing, y’all.
Today I stayed home from work, because I'm just beyond exhausted, and I decided to pull a card of the day. Actually, I pulled two cards: one in a regular shuffle/cut situation, and one from the bottom of the deck. I got this idea from Beth Maiden; the one you pick first is your card and the one of the bottom of the deck is “ but not this,” so it modifies the original card.
I got the King of Pentacles, and the bottom card was the Ten of Wands.
The King of Pentacles is all about power in the material realm, and my initial impression was that this is about my job. This card is about reaching that place where you’ve hit your stride and you have work that takes care of your body and your home and your bank account; where you have material abundance.
That feels complicated for me right now. I do have my financial needs well covered at this job--well enough covered that I have serious survivor’s guilt, for having found a way to survive capitalism (for the moment), and for having the kinds of privilege that allowed me to get to that place of survival. But it also doesn’t really feel like security. When I didn’t have enough money, I was scared and stressed out a lot. Now I have enough, sort of? If I keep working until I die? And I still feel scared and stressed out, because I might lose it, and I ALSO feel guilty for having it right now when most people are struggling to make it with so much less.
Cristy C. Road wrote, “the King of Pentacles asks you to forgive yourself for the journey you are on.” I think that’s the biggest challenge here--how do you find a measure of material security in this world and have compassion the choices you had to make to get there while also being in right relationship with community and accountability?
The other piece of that is the “not this” card, which is.... surprise!... the burnout card! Ten of Wands is about how you picked up all of these sticks because you were full of passion (each stick is a thing you felt passionately about) and it felt so good, or at least so important, when you picked it up--and now you have way too many goddamn sticks.
This feels so true for me. At first I was thinking about this as being my job, but I just realized that this is also true about my home life right now. I feel like I’ve been picking up every stick I see that looks nice and feels good in the moment, but now here I am dropping sticks all over the place and not paying attention to which sticks are cute and nice but can also be set down for a minute with no serious consequences and which sticks actually cannot get dropped.
So maybe these cards, which at first seemed like, your job is burning you out and you need to quit and believe that you can find another way to experience material security and also find a more grounded way to engage with your privilege and survivor’s guilt (which is 100% definitely true but also not a big revelation), is actually telling me that I need to dig into what home and security mean to me and do some prioritization of all these sticks I’ve got right now.
Because I’m dropping sticks that are my relationship with myself. I dropped them because there were some other sticks that I really really wanted and I couldn’t figure out how to carry both kinds of sticks and that’s super real and relatable. But the sticks that are my relationship with me, that are about caring for my body and mind and spirit, are actually not droppable. Not for long.
I need to find a way to hold myself first and then see what other sticks fit in my hands. I need to be courageous enough to face all the truths that arise as a result of that process, and creative enough to imagine new ways of being until I have the sticks I need.