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21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card -- Step NINE

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step 9 - 21 ways - crow's magick: page of cups


the questions my card invites me to ask:

what are you excited about today?
who/what makes you feel so secure that you have no problems jumping out into the big wild universe?
who is this super eager person in your life?
pisces, cancer and virgo what does that mean in your life right now?
the lizard has her/his mouth wide open and you say that thats because she/he is smiling and happy tell me more about that

snapshot as i said in step 8, it reminds me of the time of supervising practicum students, their excitement and eagerness. also makes me think a bit of a young dog i know. right now i see myself more as the cup, watching over it all, being a mother and grandmother. the card also reminds me of a family friend, who has pisces and virgo in his chart (the card shows pisces, cancer and virgo).

Q: what are you excited about today?
A: not much its in the middle of the winter, and im a bit affected by seasonal affective disorder.

Q:who/what makes you feel so secure that you have no problems jumping out into the big wild universe?
A: when i do feel that way its because of my higher power.

Q: who is this super eager person in your life?
A: most of all bentley, the dog

Q: pisces, cancer and virgo what does that mean in your life right now?
A: my sun sign is cancer and my moon sign virgo. my ascendant is gemini but i think the gemini energy is not that present in my life right at this moment. melancholy, introspection and procrastination are definitely more noticeable, even though i dont see this directly in this card maybe its the reverse quality.

Q: the lizard has her/his mouth wide open and you say that thats because she/he is smiling and happy tell me more about that
A: ah, thats me. the eternal polyanna
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Hemera  Hemera is offline
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Step Nine~Vampyres~the Empress


Some questions looking at the Empress:

Why are you so sad?
What is the great mystery you carry within?
What are you listening to?
Who is the rose for/from?
Are you well connected to nature?
Are you well grounded?



My three questions:

1. What are you listening to?

snapshot: Im in my late teens and Im in a summer school. I feel sad and confused because Im feeling so different from the rest of the gang. I miss my boyfriend terribly. I happen to meet M. who is an elderly lady I have only met a few times earlier (she is a friend of my parents) and I pour my heart out to her. She listens quietly and she understands. I get strength to carry on. I never saw M. again and she has passed away now but I still feel thankful for the time she took to listen to me and for the way she quietly listened and understood.

What do I need to look at in my life right now as suggested by my responses, metaphors, and memories?
I now need to be the one who can quietly listen to the young ones. Thinking back my problems that summer long ago feel so small but they felt big then. It was important that M. did not brush my problems aside as insignificant but took the time to sit down and really listen.



2. Are you well connected to nature? Are you well grounded?

snapshot: Im back home from the hospital after three week. I have lost a lot of weight. I do not feel well grounded since a lot of the muscles are gone. But I love the feeling of lightness because also a lot of the fat is gone.

What do I need to look at in my life right now as suggested by my responses, metaphors, and memories?
My body is the part of nature that is closest to me. I need to work on the balance. To be grounded means (for me) not to be too light or skinny. To be well connected to nature in my body means I need to take good care of the muscles, tendons and everything else. I need to keep finding the balance of nutrition and exercise over and over again. I do not like to overdo anything. I like the idea of cave man nutrition and cave man lifestyle that someone has written about that you choose to live in a more spontaneous and random way. Sometimes you eat less and sometimes more. Sometimes you exercise less and sometimes more. But there is a balance somewhere in the big picture of it all anyway.



3. Why are you so sad?

snapshot: Looking at my mother and seeing how she has wasted her whole long life in bearing old grudges and hating people (mostly out of envy). I feel so sorry for her and very sad that she is getting too old to change anything now. She will go to her grave hating most people around her

What do I need to look at in my life right now as suggested by my responses, metaphors, and memories?
To always remember to look at the bigger picture. To see my life as something temporary and something that is moving fast towards the end so that I would not waste this precious time on things like envy, greed or hatred.
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21 Ways - Step Nine


Step NINE - Dark Carnival Tarot, The Hierophant

9-1. Go back over the descriptions you've given for your chosen card....ask at least three open-ended questions.

From step 2
Who have I really looked up to in a "hero-worship" way? Was I able to learn from them?

Raising my hand in Harold Bloom's class at Yale. Everyone else seems to be too intimidated, and heck, I'm intimidated, but I think I have a good answer to the question he just asked. OMG he's calling on me. And now he's agreeing with me. And I feel such overwhelming relief and gratitude and pride. I can hang with THE greatest Shakespeare scholar of the century. I don't have to be afraid to speak up...my mind, my thoughts, my knowledge, are all good enough. I'm full of confidence and I'm not afraid to speak my mind.

From step 3
When have I felt like I was exactly where I belonged and reveled in what I was doing?

(I had a lot of snapshots here but I crossed out all the ones that happened when I was in a manic phase or drinking...)

Blacklighting in Texas. I can hardly believe I'm deep in the heart of a highly-restricted nature reserve with Eric Eaton and Ed Riley and a slew of other professional entomologists, and they're asking me to identify lady beetles. The lights are bringing all the insects off the lake and out of the marshes and trees...there's a big moth that won't let go of my shirt, I've got bugs up my sleeves and in my hair and I don't care. Bugs all over the sheets, hundreds of thousands if I could start counting them all. Such diversity. I wish the night would never end. Here, this place, these people, all this life...I've never felt so much like I belonged exactly where I was.

From step 7
When has connecting with a higher power helped me deal with the difficulties of the world around me?

Early in AA, developing an attitude of gratitude by thanking God for everything that happens. Standing at the bus stop as a squirrel dashes back and forth in the street till it's struck and killed by a car. I know it's just a squirrel but it's really upsetting, and so random; how do I thank God for this? Well...I work hard at it. In the middle of the city, squirrels have no natural predators; no hawks or owls or foxes. Something has to keep the population under control...so....Thank God for maintaining the balance of the urban ecosystem. Maybe it's a stretch but it works. I've turned a random upsetting experience into a grounding and enlightening one. I can handle anything if I hand it to God.

(That was probably not the deepest story of sobriety I could've come up with but it was the clearest snapshot. I'm sticking with it.)

9-2. What do you most need to look at in your life right now...? Where was the strongest emotion?

All three answers involve feeling like I belong somewhere, I'm being recognized by people I respect, and things make sense and fit into place. All of which are missing from my life right now. I'm going around in circles trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing with my life, I can't find any real meaning in it right now. (I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, and I'm almost 40....) I like my job but I feel like I'm never getting praise or recognition, never moving up the ladder - people I trained a year ago have been given more responsibility than I have, and I've been here 12 years. Jeez, you'd think I'd at least be recognized as a good trainer, if they're doing that well already! I need to stop relying on other people to validate me, to be able to realize that I've done well and internalize that. I shouldn't have to wait for someone to pat me on the head. I'm not a success story because I'm not telling the story myself.

That's it. I need to star in my own story. I need to write the plot myself. Maybe the story is about someone who's stuck in a job where she isn't respected, but there can be subplots...she has friends and hobbies and outside interests and spiritual guidance. She's happy and successful on her own terms. She tells herself she's good enough, and that's good enough. No, I'm writing it, so that's better that good enough. It's good. She's good. I'm good.

Good. Now stop crying.
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21 Ways: Step Nine


Step NINE: Radiant Rider-Waite, Six of Cups

9-1 Review all your previous descriptions for your chosen card. Ask at least three open-ended questions, and answer them. Write about the snapshot memory image for each.

1. Which figure do you identify with most in this card?

You know, actually, I think that I identify most with the guard in the background! I wrote a paragraph from his point of view early on in this study. I've always been on the shy side. When I was a kid, and then later as a teenager, I was excruciatingly so. I felt on the edges of most everything. Other kids seemed so much more happy-go-lucky and popular than I was. They wore the cool clothes, had the cool haircuts, they didn't wear NHS glasses, they didn't have buck teeth, and they certainly weren't weird like me. So these cool kids would be in their groups, and I would lurk on the periphery, wondering why I was such an oddball, and why oh why couldn't I be cooler? I had friends, yes, but not many close ones, and we were bullied because of all the above reasons – clothes, hair, geekiness, etc. So I see myself as this guard, heading away towards the back of the Six of Cups card. Perhaps when he passed by those two sweet figures on the green, he looked at them wistfully and wished that his life could be simpler, like theirs.

Snapshot: Me, standing against the wall in the primary school playground, surrounded by older girls – bullies – who are interrogating me with questions that I don't want to answer. I'm a little panicked by them, because they're standing too close, and my friends aren't nearby. I feel hemmed in.

How do I feel now, thinking about that? I feel angry! Angry that back then I was too afraid to stand up for myself.

2. And what lessons could you learn from this?

Shy kids can suffer all forms of hell through school. If there's a lesson to be learned from this, it's not to show that depth of vulnerability to those who'd take advantage of it. Stand up for yourself. Bluff your way to extroversion if you have to. It's funny how Six of Cups focuses on innocence, caring and goodwill and childhood, when kids can be the meanest little git-bags on the face of the earth. Now that I'm an adult, many many years past school-age, I'm still shy, but nowhere near as introverted as I was when I was younger. I stand up for myself now. I don't take crap. Milling crowds of kids/teens still tend to unnerve me, though. Some memories you can't shake.

Snapshot: Walking out of the school gates on my last day of secondary school. I'M FREE! No more school! I'm an adult! I won't see this place, or these people, ever again!

How am I feeling, remembering that? Well, I'm smiling to myself. A quiet echo of the euphoria I felt back then.

3. Which keyword from the Six of Cups best describes you?

Helpful. I'll go out of my way to help someone, find them an answer, sort them out, make them feel better about whatever it was that was causing them a problem. And thinking on that, that was probably one of the reasons why I got into Tarot and Oracle – to help in yet another, slightly different way.

9-2 What do I most need to look at in my life right now?

I still need to heal from my childhood, I think. I have a lot of bad memories of school, which weren't the happiest days of my life by any stretch of the imagination. My descriptions and memories from the earlier study exercises painted a brighter picture, but this exercise has gotten down to the nitty-gritty, which I believe is a good thing.
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My card is still The Judgement from the Golden tarot.

In Step 2 I wrote:
Quote:
I am in the middle of a group of 5 people, 2 men and 3 women, me included. One of the man seems to be praying.
So one of my question is "What am I praying for?"

Quote:
I can see a soldier in a corner, with his helm and his armour, and another woman. She seems younger than us, and seems to be praying all alone, not watching the rest of us.
Another question is: "Why am I alone in prayer?"

Quote:
This all stands before a golden curtain with latin wirtings on it
"What is written in latin?"

So.

"What am I praying for?"
To go back home. That's the answer that came immediately to my mind. It reminds me of when I was little, and I always waited to be able to go home (from school, or from any other place), when I could finally relax and find peace and quiet. Now I am home, still there are no peace and no quiet.

"Why am I alone in prayer?"
Because I can immerse myself better in the reality I am praying for. All the other people are listening to Jesus, I do not need to. I know what he's saying. I just want to savor Paradise right now, and this can only be done alone.
This reminds me of when I pretended to be listening to other people, while I was actually fantasizing in my head about more interesting things. Of course, you can only fantasize alone, especially if other people are talking. It was fun, and helped me pass the time.

"What is written in latin?"
"Salvation" and "So above as below". I didn't read the first sentence, I read just the second one.
This reminds me about one of the few times I was brought into a church. It was unpleasant, smelly and boring.
It also remind me about a game I did when i was little, which is a bit complex to describe. It was a game of fantasy and imagination.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO LOOK AT IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW?
I think that I have to find again the "home" inside me. The only place I can call home, because I will find peace nowhere else. And finding it, I can at least try to make it a bit more real in my life.
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21 Ways - Steampunk


Step NINE - Steampunk (Moore) - 5 of Wands

I'm really starting to wish I'd chosen a more positive card. This has been a difficult process as it's brought up some issues I'd rather not deal with. But I know it's good for me to look at this stuff, so onward I go!

Three questions that come to mind when I read through my previous exercises:
1. What makes me feel defensive?
2. Where is there adversity in my life?
3. How do I react to conflict?

1. I feel defensive when I feel like I'm not being heard. When I have something to say and either I am not given a chance to express it, or I'm cut off/interrupted before I can get my whole story across. I can be shy and have trouble starting to speak - sometimes I think people assume I don't have anything to say and move on.

A snapshot I saw while answering this was of a co-worker who cut me off last week when we were discussing an incident (very minor one) at work. I never was able to finish telling her what had happened, and her understanding would likely have changed significantly if she's heard me out.

2. The adversity in my life is mostly internal. I fight my own fears, habits, thoughts, and emotions regularly. I rationalize my bad habits in particular, and then I feel guilty about how I behave. I then fight the guilt, telling myself I deserve to be happy. But it would be so much easier to be happy if I dealt with those darn habits, so the circle goes on.

A snapshot that came to mind here was related to my cleaning habits. I am terrible at motivating myself to clean. I have attempted to tackle this numerous times, and end up feeling really good about myself when I'm successful, but then I fall right back into my old ways (and the guilt gets worse each time).

3. I tend to avoid conflict when possible. This leads to me bottling up my angers and frustrations instead of dealing with them. Eventually I lash out (or verbally 'strike', reminding me of the image on my card), generally over some tiny little thing. I could easily prevent this if I just dealt with conflicts as they arose, but I rarely do.

My snapshot for this was a fight I'd had with an ex. It was over the tiniest thing (we disagreed on the best route to take home from a store). But it ended up being a huge fight, one of our biggest, because I released so much anger from things that had bothered me earlier in our relationship. Sure, bottling things made those earlier conflicts a bit easier at the time (though not as much as I would have liked!), but had a bigger impact overall once the feelings were unleashed.

Overall, my answers and snapshots show me that I really have to look at how I treat myself. I really am my own worst enemy and should deal with my internal conflicts. I need to look inwards to the source of my frustrations in order to grow and move forward in a healthier way.
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crystalrose  crystalrose is offline
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1. Where are you throwing caution to the wind?

Reading over my first description of the Fool with her animal companion yelling at her, I started thinking about how I live alone and my cat is always meowing and crying for no reason, and half the time I ignore her b/c I know it's about nothing significant, she's just making noise for no reason.

I feel like I'm constantly having to silence my inner voices of doubt when I'm trying to start something new. I tend to worry a lot and I'm slowly learning that most of the things I worry about will never come to pass. I often imagine things being worse in my mind than how they actually turn out.

2. How is your head in the clouds?

Snapshot - me as a kid reading books. I would get lost in the fictional world. I can remember at least once not even hearing my parents calling me because I was so caught up in the books I was reading. They were my escape and also a way of experiencing things in my mind that I didn't have in my daily life - love, adventure, romance, excitement. I used to love those young adult fantasy novels about supernatural powers.

Even though I don't read as much fiction anymore, I'm still an imaginative person. And my mind is constantly thinking of new things to do, places I could travel. Currently I have some travel plans and creative projects I'd love to see come into fruition. Even though my life is one way right now, I often try to envision myself as someone else living a different life. It reminds me of a Youtube video I was watching the other day about how everyone has unlived lives that they dream about, and how bringing the essence of those fantasies into your everyday life can make you a more happy & whole person.

3. Where are you stubbornly defying the odds?

Memory - When I was a teenager, I used to play basketball but being a girl with a small frame, I was obviously weaker than the guys. Anyway, one night I decided that I was determined to make a three point shot, no matter how long it took me. I was only the court all night, I'm sure my friends were mad at me and tired of me being stubborn about it. But after trying for I can't remember how long, I finally made it! My success was partially out of sheer determination. Interesting that I thought about this memory, because I've never thought about the Fool as having determining. But it does seem like it could be about a stubborn determination to fly in the face of convention.

In my own life now, it's about my attitude, not a specific event. Which I guess makes sense because the Fool is a major, and I wrote about majors in these exercises as being about psychospiritual needs. Anyway, I do have a need to do things my own way and I get a kick out of defying conventions.... people tend to say that women can't do xyz, or men aren't like abc, but I make an effort to think outside the box and as a result, I tend to have opinions that are completely different from the norm sometimes. I really hate getting stuck in a particular mindset just because everyone else is, so I do see myself as someone who explores & lives life to the beat of my own drum.

As far as what I need to look at, it seems like a need for me to break out of the box and go on some new adventures. And also to embrace my individuality. But I think I also need to explore some of the fantasies and daydreams I have about the life I want to be living, and bring those into actual reality by taking a leap of faith & trying something new and different sometimes. Not being so scared to fail & relying on my inner strength and determination to explore some new frontiers... ex travel more, try some new approaches in my relationships, embracing a new me.
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21 ways - Step 9 - THOTH UNIVERSE


The Universe card is definitely about ciclicity.
Reading again what I have gathered in the previous steps, I have found myself asking: at what point of ciclicity do I feel right now in my life?
I am at the end of a period where the recovery from my heroin addiction was THE ONE focus. I feel good about it, like I can't wait to catch up on all the good stuff I have been missing.

SNAPSHOT: Me at 20, the only time I went rafting, enjoyed the day a lot. Neither me nor my friends were experts, we tried a river in our area in south western Italy, and it was really challenging:phisically, psycologically, and also on friendship cause the tallest were always the only ones that had a chance to find the right path.
I was not one of them, but neither I was a dead weight, I was pulling myself up quite well. Being proud of myself.
When the dark came and we had to make our way back without reaching the next town (our destination) we felt loosers, but the next day someone went to the library for internet and found out the river was one of Europe's hardest, and that two or three of the passages we made were considered very dangerous and for professionals. We felt great.. gods.. in a few days we were fo travel to Amsterdam as most of us were just finished high school, and that was the last summer home..
We were to take our flight and we had started with a bang..

I also feel a bit afraid when I think of my daughter: I don't see her from Christmas 2012. She was only two, I was never able to have her with me, so I decided that there was no point to be in her life as a junkie.
SNAPSHOT: Me running but still missing the bus to go visit my daughter cause I lost time getting the dealer sell me stuff for less than agreed... Shame, anger at myself. Feeling slave, with no choice

I moved abroad with the will to recover, but swearing to her and myself not to come back until I was able to bring something good in her life, not just trouble as I was doing up till then.
SNAPSHOT: Me on my plane departing. High. Exhilarating feeling. Fresh start. No more chain. Future. Now. Feel good.

Ouch this hurt. I might have more questions but not now. Sorry

Right.
Another question that the card prompts me to think of is:
Q: What will your next cycle be about?
I feel I am able to deal with my relationship with my loved ones. This will mean getting out of my comfort zone, because of late I realize I am quite suffering the company of others. They (my loved ones) look to me all too much involved in petty things, always panicking and worrying about stuff that never comes to be..

SNAPSHOT: Me on the phone with my mum, and her ranting about how my sister in law "plays dirty" and how better off my daughter would be with her.

I need to sort out how much of an involvement I can bear with my family and relatives, because if on one hand for all these years I have missed their love, I must never forget how crushing it can be (which is one of the reasons I am so messed up in the first place).
I must not isolate myself from anyone because I need to confront my ideas with others

SNAPSHOT: The hall of my community centre

but I must avoid investing too much espectance in my relative cause they are what they are and one cannot det blood from stones..

Through the snapshot I understand that I should be looking for the right company of people to spend time with, people that stimulate me and that don't always need help of me.. But how? It is not going to be easy, cause right now I very much enjoy spending time on my own, studying things that make me think and grow and hopefully become a better person.
I have no motivaton for the now rto go out and look for other people

SNAPSHOT: my sister in law

Through this snapshot (that I had thinking of the last snapshot..) I see how much energy is going to go in dealing with all of them, and I despair to ever be able to find even more energy to put in some other friendship, even if the friendship was to actually be exciting...
Well I ll just take one thing at a time and see where it goes... None of this has the slightest importance compared to the infinitg of the universe.. (thankfully..)
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