I get this question every now and then – and I love it when it comes up. In my experience and (not so) humble opinion this is the best use for Tarot readings.
Q: I’m open to whatever the cards say. Am I doing the right things growing spiritually? Am I on the right spiritual path? Does that make sense?
A: Your question makes perfect sense…this is exactly what Tarot and intuitive readings are all about! Well asked! 😀
Readings like yours lend themselves well to a simple pathway reading. It is more detailed and more flow than a single card meditation, yet it has a nice clarity and focus too. The first card is “lessons from the past”. This is typically a validation kind of message, and draws your attention to something from the past that applies now…a lesson learned, some to do differently, something you do well and should continue…that kind of thing. The second card is a theme for right now, a reflection of the energies and lessons moving through life now that might have prompted you to seek a reading. The next card reflects the next step forward, ideas about the best way to proceed from here.
Your cards today are:
past…five of cups
next step…ace of swords
General pattern: 2 of the 3 cards are minor arcana, so that is a bit of reassurance and ‘don’t panic’ in itself. No surprise that the major arcana card is in the now position since you are feeling the energy and change acutely enough to want a reading. Any major arcana cards being present in a spread this small is significant. Minor arcana outnumber major 2 to 1 (20 major for 56 minor in most decks), so by the numbers its significant, but intuitively it doesn’t feel like a major deal. Have you ever had a reading before? My sense of it you have or at least are very comfortable with this whole process…again, well done.
Past: Classically the five of cups has to do with loss, pain, grief, regrets. There is a mild sense of that here. The feeling is a trace of bittersweet sadness about the things you have had to let go in order to grow and progress spiritually to this point. I don’t know if it is the same for you, but the energy here reminds me of something my friends and I have often experienced. Sometimes as we spiritually progress, we loose friends (or even family) because we “grow apart”. Sometimes the separation is slow and gentle. Sometimes it is more explosive as they just aren’t able to accept / handle the changes. It hurts when others can’t accept the gift of honesty, authenticity. It hurts when others reject the first glimpses of the REAL you. Here I feel a trace of “welcome to the club”…congratulations and welcome…not for the hurt or loss, but because it is such a common,common thing for everyone on a spiritual path. The good news is those sorts of losses make room. “Only the empty cup can be filled”…so the cooling or even loss of some relationships makes room for others to come in – others who understand, others of like mind. It may not even be that literal. It may be a twinge of loss on a very abstract or esoteric level. If your spirituality takes you on a different path from most of those around you, others may not reject you, but there is still a shift in self-identity to process. In my experience, that came in the form of religion. By leaving the religion of my parents and family, while they didn’t reject me, there was a shift if tenor and tone…I went from seeing myself as the ‘good’ kid, to being the black sheep of the family. Even if it is happening entirely in our own perception (they don’t see anything as different)…even if it is only internal perception, those shifts in perception make a real difference to you. Growing spiritually changes how the pieces of our lives fit together, how we feel about ourselves, and how we feel / see the world around us. It is OK, normal and expected to feel anything and everything from ecstatic and liberated to wistful and melancholy about spiritual progess.
I get a sense of validation here…you’ve done the hard let-goes involved with spiritual growth. The advice is to allow yourself to to feel the losses, to mourn the the things you’ve given up for the greater good for a little bit if that’s what you feel.
Or if you feel thrilled, allow that too. It’s the bittersweet acknoledging the losses that is harder to do. It’s tempting to deny or suppress those feelings but they deserve a nod. Simple acknowledment and then moving on is different from wallowing in negativity, which is something people on a growth-path typically want to avoid. You can’t continue your journey if you are stuck in the mud, right? But you know that already, I suspect. So the carry away here is don’t supress feelings of loss – or the real, tangible, outright losses – that can come with spiritual development. You have let go rightly…keep up the good work, but be good to yourself in the process.
Now: Don’t panic. Are you familiar with Tarot and the death card? I get a lot of people who still wig when they see this card, because they believe the ‘you are going to die’ TV and movie nonsense about the card and Tarot in general. As I’m sure you know, the death card is about change, particularly a life-altering, irreversable change. You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube or the genie back in the bottle kind of change…in your case it feels truely about emotional and spiritual development. Once you’ve seen a larger, more open, more compassionate world you can’t shoehorn your spirit back into a narrow minded, judgemental, less mature box again. I see the Death card a lot at bachelorette parties of all things. Just like getting married is a good and happy thing, so is spiritual growth. Both have their bumps along the way, but in the end it makes life better. Even if it blows up in your face, you’ve still learned something big and gained ground. So the death card can symbolize happy change just as well as any other kind. Death and change are closely related…The only things that don’t change are dead. After decay, there is no more change and we are well and truely gone. For the “new you” to emerge, the old you has to…conceptually…die. Like Richard Bach wrote…”what the catepillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly”
For you, the death card is validation that you are changing and growing. And it’s a reminder that – as with the five of cups – to be come the new you, the old you has to pass away – into the past, that is. Out with the old, in with the new is the sense of advice I get here.
It is ok to have some fun with it. It is important, even healthy, to acknowledge grief, losses, and bittersweet pangs of nostalgia, but it is just as important (maybe more so) to look forward welcome the new and send off the old things with a hearty “good riddance” too. For some reason Dave Turners book “How To Be Dead” comes to mind. It’s a total scream…I recommend it for just plain brain candy fun, when you need a break from all the serious spiritual development stuff. Laugter and fun is part of spiritual development too…happy, spiritually advanced hearts are often the lightest ones. There you can veer into Dan Millman, “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” and his “laughter of the enlightened man”.
Next we have the Ace of Swords which is associated with the element of air (think inspiration) and the idea of “awakening”. My sense is that this is pure reassurance – you are on a path of awakening that is right for you.
Look at the progression of the cards…from grief and loss looking down through change to awakening and pointing up. It’s that simple.
Summary: “How to be Dead” comes to mind again here (it’s very inexpensive on kindle if you want to give it a quick read) In my minds eye I see the grim reaper eating cookies (it’s that kind of quirky, British humor…a total giggle) There is a sense of “lighten up and let yourself laugh”. I see whites, greys, black and silver. Like a painting or maybe a tattoo…swirling shapes.
Maybe it’s the grim reaper / cookie thing…but for some weird reson “oatmeal” pops to mind.
Now candles…like those scented jar candles…pine or patchuli or some resin and woodsy kind of scent. Dark green and black comes to mind (nothing scary…probably just my logical side remembering that patchuli yankee candles are black).
And there the energy steps back.
You ask such a good question, have such a nice energy in all this, would you mind if I share an anonymous version of your reading with my blog readers? I think this is a good reminder for anyone on a path of spiritual learning….I have a hunch it may help someone else too.
But first of all, I hope it helps you. Best wishes!
Yeah, Yeah…I know. I talk about these books all the time. I really do love them, and recommend them hands down. Here they are again, linked to their amazon page if you are interested in a good read…shout out to goodreads.com. My author’s page is still there. Anyway, I’m pretty sure the books mentioned in this reading are readily available online in both print and electronic formats.
- “Illusions: Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” by Richard Bach
- “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman
- “How to be Dead” by Dave Turner
Of course, while you are there anyway, and if you would like a quick $0.99 Tarot how-to and daily meditation guide, I’d be honored if you’d consider a Kindle copy of #PeaceTarot