Q&A: Education, Where to Live and Tarot Guidance


Q: (summarized) I’m from Southeast Asia originally, and am currently attending college in the United States. I’ve applied to a number of graduate schools with some rejections, a couple of interviews that are pending decisions, and two acceptances. The one acceptance is in (the U.S.) and the other is in (Asia). The one in (U.S.) is a good program, but just isn’t the right place for me. I just don’t want to return to (Asia) for social and cultural reasons. My parents have sacrificed so much for me to have an education abroad, I can’t fail, I can’t miss getting into graduate school. There is so much at stake. I feel restless and under stress. Is there any guidance that Tarot can give?

A: You do have a lot on your plate!

I was starting to feel confused and overwhelmed just reading about the details…I can’t imagine what it is like for you living through it! That is what inspired this suggestion: lets balance all this complexity with a great deal of simplicity…in other words, I think a one card meditation is what’s needed. That might be the antidote for all the restlessness and the moving parts you have to follow in all this.

I’ll shuffle the cards and cut the deck to reveal one card. That will be your over-arching theme…your clue how to approach the whole big issue of school and education. The nuts and bolts details, the things you actually do to keep moving forward will fall under the realm of logic and reason. The one card intuitive guidance will give you a sense of direction…some way to point all those logical nuts and bolts.

5CupsYour card today is: 5 of cups

The five of cups has a variety of traditional meanings you may have seen before, but put into the context of your question, it really isn’t as bad as it may sound at first blush. Traditional meanings include loss, grief and pessimistic outlook…but also it means a turning point.

My sense of it is that this card is very advice – oriented rather than being a caution or warning at all…

To me it seems the advice is to focus on the positive, and not give any further concern to the negative. Yes, your parents have given much for you to have come this far…and you are right to be conscious of that and do your best, always. But rather than dwell on that, perhaps the best way to honor their sacrifices and show your gratitude is to be as forward-thinking as you can muster. For example, instead of thinking about the bad things of returning to Asia (you already know that isn’t the right thing for you) focus on what you need to do to stay in North America. That is a fair decision, so done deal…you want to stay, so put your mental focus on that rather than persuing singapore if that’s what you want. If NYC isn’t right, rather than worry about that decision…done deal, fair decision made…now move on to finding other better fitting options. That is the kind of “turning point” the card is talking about. That is the kind of grieving it talks about…the kind where you acknowledge your true feelings…be they good, bad or indifferent…and decide. Release what needs to be released, and then focus on repairing any damage done. Acknowledge the pain, but then focus on healing it…see what I mean?

Two things came to mind as I am writing this…

Back in the 80s and 90s I was a Physician Asssistant before I moved on to my Ph.D. and holistic health work (tarot is a part of that…I view it as a folk art, folk medicine, non-pharmaceutical technique for manageing stress, spiritual development…all as part of holistic mind-body-spirit health…but that’s another story)…

How that connects is Dr. Lloyd. When I was a PA student, one of my clinical supervisors was a Canadian MD who had trained and worked in Canada. He was the most brillian diagnostician I’ve ever met. I have a very positive feeling about Canada…that may be the solution for you if you are not able to get admission in the U.S.

Another thing that comes to mind is the children’s movie “Meet the Robinsons”…its theme is just the kind of forward looking persistance and optimism that the Five of Cups suggests here. The Robinson family motto is “keep moving forward”. It also teaches kids a valuable lesson…so-called “failure” is OK. “When you fail, you learn something. When you succeed, not so much.” There may be an element of that lesson for you here, too. Have you ever seen “Mythbusters” on the Discovery Channel? (I love that show) You know how they say “failure is always an option” and “any data is good data”…That is another excellent point for this card…where are you dwelling on expectations, and where can you look at “what is”. Rather than focus on want, should, opportunities lost etc, focus on setting a clear goal, (focus on north america rather than split your energies, etc) focus on what resources you have and how you can use those resources to move toward your true goal.

And there the energies step back…..

I hope most of all that this has bee at least a little bit helpful to you

Good Luck!