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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
The Devil, as I read it, is no external supernatural malicious power. It’s a stand-in for our own personal devils; our bad habits, our addictions, the choices that we just know are the wrong ones but that are just too appealing. It’s the card of having that extra drink (or three) when you know you’ve had enough; of buying another packet of cigarettes when you said you were quitting; of texting the ex who you know is bad news; of giving in and lashing out in anger and frustration rather than communicating with honesty and compassion. It’s about taking the easy road, not the right one.
And I was thinking to myself ‘this seems like a very big card for an ordinary rainy Wednesday, I wonder what it’s doing here?’. And I continued to think about this as I checked my Facebook. And I mused on it a bit further as I scrolled through Twitter. And I vaguely wondered about it as I read a few posts on Reddit. And then I realised I really ought to be getting on with some work. And then I realised what this card is doing here.
Today’s devil, or temptation, is procrastination; social media. Get off the internet and do some work, self.