Daily card: Three of Pentacles

Three brightly-coloured pentacles in front of a towering mountain, echoing the three peaks visible on the horizon. All the peaks are part of the mountain; one stands above but all three are part of the whole. This card seems to suggest a major journey ahead, but not an intimidating one – a challenging and rewarding one. Threes mark an initial completion, and pentacles suggest a professional project (which suits my day well). Determination and effort are needed to carry this project on, but you’ve made an excellent start.

Traditionally, the three of pentacles is a reference to hard work, but more specifically the value of teamwork and collaboration, of acknowledging contributions at all levels. This card seems to pull in less of the collaborative idea, but is also more (quite literally) grounded; scaling the foothills of the mountain may not be as exciting as arriving at the peak, but it’s just as essential a step.

This is a particularly well-suited card for today as I’ve made a substantial start on a new work project, and am feeling really inspired about the amount of work I can see ahead of me.

Alternative Tarot Course: Courtroom Reading

A majors-only tarot spread from the LittleRedTarot course, to ask ‘how can I become a truly brilliant tarot reader?’

The centre: The Lovers. This I find a hard card to interpret in this position, though I think it echoes the love and care of the Empress. One aspect, though, is that – paradoxically – the Lovers can point to the development of one’s own individual identity (marking the way the Fool steps out into the world after meeting the Hierophant). I find reading tarot feels like a step away from many of the existing interests and relationships in my life – in a good way, in the sense that it’s an aspect of myself that has gone unexplored for some years. And how can one be a happy and loving partner or friend or mother without continuing self-development and new interests?

In my favour: The Empress. My own compassionate, nurturing, intuitive, loving and creative side (and indeed the many aspects of that which I can credit to my own mother) is the energy I need to bring to my tarot readings.

Against: The Magician. The card of making things happen, of accessing resources in the world, I suspect the most relevant meaning of this card is that my tendency to take on new projects (or indeed a career change, as is imminent) is likely to eat into my available time for tarot reading and learning.

The Judge: Strength. A card that seems to me to be more about balance than the instant surface meaning would suggest, it’s more about strength tamed, ferocity turned to calm compassion. This card seems pleasingly apt in this position; firm but fair, strong and careful, it amplifies the compassion of the Empress, but also the power of the Magician.

Decision: The Fool. This suggests to me that my best path is to treat this as a completely new journey. Not to rush to the end, not to skip steps because I think I’ve got the gist, but to recognise that I am truly a novice. It also seems worthy of note that the outcome is the ultimate in journey’s-start; my tarot journey may be more significant for me than I anticipated.

Daily card: Seven of Cups

Another seven and another card about wishes and desires, fulfilled or otherwise. It’s not clear which way is up on this card – the sun shines at the bottom, the moon at the top; some cups face upward, one central cup faces downward. Are the cups against a distant rainy mountain range, a clear sky, a lake? It’s not obvious.

Your desires, the things your heart tugs you towards, may not be quite what you think they are. Today I’ve been considering the complications of metawanting; of wanting to want something, despite not actually wanting it. And actually this is such a complicated and multilayered desire, it feels like it fits the Seven of Cups and its confusion and topsy-turviness well. The Seven of Cups suggests that perhaps the thing I want, or the thing I’m trying to want, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, or that I’m not seeing it clearly.

Daily card: Seven of Wands

A single torch burning brightly in the shadows, lighting the way out of a tangle. Light your fire and keep off the darkness, says the Seven of Wands; use your power, take control of your problem, and find your own way out – do it alone if you have to, and you may well have to. There may be obstacles, and they may seem to be coming at you from every direction, but there is a way out. You have the power to take this on and stand your ground proudly.

Sevens can also be about wishes and desires, fulfilled or otherwise. Seven of Wands uses the energy and inspiration of Wands to create a sense of wanting a solution to a problem, wanting to take charge; the creativity of Wands means that there may be multiple routes (and even multiple outcomes) other than the one you first think of, but it reminds you that you can do this.

A confidence-boosting card, on a day when I’m keen to work with a couple of new clients but am having a wobble about my own ability to juggle all the different areas of my life – can I really take on new work and be the mother I want to be, too? Seven of Wands says yes – but that the solution may need more creativity from me than I’ve so far accounted for.

Daily card: Temperance

Not too difficult a card to interpret, this one, but a little deeper than the simple meaning of moderation. A crucial concept is the idea of synthesis; the heron is blending the elements of fire and water, two extremes. By choosing the moderate path, we choose to walk between two excesses – not too much, not too little, just right – but it’s not merely an absence of excess. It’s taking what is valuable from each, and using it wisely and with forethought. Not cowardly nor foolhardy, but courageous. Not stingy nor taken advantage of, but generous.

It’s not just about walking the moderate path, or about avoiding excess, but about recognising the value in all aspects of our selves, and bringing it all together.

Today, though, this card for me has the more prosaic meaning of reminding me not to overdo it; after a busy and tiring day, it’s a suggestion that I don’t have to do everything, all the time!

Daily card: Ace of Wands

All potential and possibility, this one; huge amounts of energy radiating outwards (so much so as to have burst the branch into blossom). Fertility, creativity, inspiration and enthusiasm; anything is possible, says the Ace of Wands. Chase your dreams.

“this is unstoppable creativity and enthusiasm, the kind that makes you fired up, burning to get on with it. Like the fertile abundance of spring, this card can feel like anything is possible, like you’re seeing a whole new world. Be bold, be courageous, be expansive.”

Well then. Making plans, I guess!

Daily card: Wheel of Fortune

Tens mark the end of a cycle (and, therefore, the beginning of another); the Wheel of Fortune takes that thought and multiplies it. The turn of the wheel, a turning point on the road, a change in fortunes; from night (the top of the card) to day (shining brightly at the bottom of the card). Our route may be tangled and twisted, like the multicoloured ribbons wound around the branches of this wheel; we may be within reach of the owl’s wisdom, or find ourselves a long way from it. This card can be a reassuring reminder that all things change, and if you think things are as hard as they can get, then perhaps you’re at the bottom of the wheel, due an upswing any day now. It can also be a note of caution, that no matter how wonderfully things are going right now, no matter how easily everything falls into place, it won’t be like that for ever; don’t take it for granted, appreciate it while it lasts.

This can feel like quite a momentous card, suggesting big shifts in life path. Strangely enough, I’ve been wondering for the last couple of days when I’d next see it, as it seemed apt. And here it is. Once again, my determination to see tarot as a non-mystical tool for self-reflection is taking a bit of a dent from alarmingly well-placed cards.