A while ago now, I did a tarot reading for Polly from The Forest Mermaid. This was my first online Skype reading, which I found surprisingly nerve-wracking- I think I keep forgetting that I have anxiety! Polly is extremely lovely, we talk all the time on Twitter and it was really nice to speak to her ‘in real life’ at last.
I wrote the reading itself in the first person, as if addressing Polly directly.
We did a Celtic Cross reading. The general area of the reading was about what you were doing with your life right now, as you started a new job and wondered whether this new role, and moving in with your boyfriend are the right direction for you. Here is the layout:
Position 1 – The Issue: Innocence (major arcana)
This beautiful card is one of my favourites. An old man gazes the insect in his hand with the wonder of a child. It symbolises an innocence with an inherent wisdom in the way you view the world around you, and to me very much relates to your love and wonder at nature. For you this seems to relate to two areas of your life, the first being your romantic life where a bad experience with a partner not being who they said they were meant an end to your relationship and a loss of the stability associated with that. The second area that this seems to relate to was finding work, and how bad experiences like being sexually harassed at work had lead to you feeling that, as with love, you could no longer trust your instincts to assess things at face value. The way that these experiences relate to the card seems to be how you can maintain an innocence about yourself and your approach to life (which you regard as quite an integral part of your personality) but at the same time be wise and learn from these experiences and avoid feeling like the wool has been pulled over your eyes in the future.
Position 2 – What is enhancing or obscuring the issue: Awareness (major arcana)
I found this card a little hard to interpret while doing the reading itself. I think I now interpret it to mean that you can approach things with both innocence and awareness without compromising this innocent outlook that helps you feel the wonder of the world around you. This card suggests that cultivating a mindset where you can enter relationships and new work ventures with an awareness of what can happen, both good and bad, but not an expectation that any of those things will necessarily happen. This can free you of the stress and suspicion that comes with having been burned both in love and in your efforts to forge a career.
Position 3 – The unconscious influences: Thunderbolt (major arcana)
Thunderbolt points to an event in your life that was literally a bolt out of the blue, that shook you to your foundations and swept away all security. It can point to the loss of a home or place of safety. This seems to relate to your breakup with an ex-boyfriend who lied to you and which resulted in the loss of your home together. Though this card seems in some ways negative, the lesson from the card is that you needed this experience in order to start to envision your life as you truly want it to be. This card appears in the unconscious influence position, and though I think you are aware of the impact this experience had in your life, I think the position here indicates that there are still things you can uncover from this experience, that are perhaps affecting you on an unconscious level.
Position 4 – The conscious influences: Silence (reversed, major arcana) We talked about how this could relate to your current living situation, where at home with your parents you can’t find the mental quietude needed to tune into your inner voice at the moment. You told me how you really get this feeling from being in nature, and about finding time to go back into nature and allow that to have this quieting effect which helps you hear your inner voice. This will help you to know what you really want from life right now.
Position 5 – Old patterns, the old way: The Lovers (major arcana) I think this card has two meanings in this positions. One, of moving beyond a dependent, idealised romantic love, to something more whole and all encompassing, which allows you to be fully yourself. And two; of your perception that what happened with your ex is reflective of something negative about you. I think this sense that you need to stop being so naive in order be a real grown up, and have successful relationships and work experiences, especially when this quality of innocence is so important to you makes me feel a little sad. Both the experience of being in a relationship with a manipulator and being sexually harassed at work are truly awful things to happen to you, because they make you question your sense of self. To me they are reflective of very unpleasant qualities in the perpetrator, not an overdose of naivety in you. I have known people who are the very opposite of naive and innocent to fall prey to the same kind of people and I very strongly feel that you and your personality traits are not at fault, or something that you need to change in order to protect yourself here. I guess this card to me represents leaving behind this sense that these difficult experiences were reflective of a fault in your character, and leaving behind the type of relationship relationship in which you lose your self.
Position 6 – New patterns, moving into the new: Letting Go (8 of water)
This water card represents an emotional softening or letting go, perhaps of a past identity, or past experience. Oddly in relation to my reading of the last card, it also represents a merging with the universe and a loss of self, of ‘I’. Perhaps a selflessness? It represents the casting off of a previous identity or character trait, and through this discovery of innocence. Whereas the last card represented the loss of self in favour of becoming a mirror to another individual, this to me is more about becoming part of everything. Allowing your unique contribution to the universe to affect the whole.The implication of this card is that the events which will allow that to happen have already been set in motion, and like the gravity pulling the drop of water into the pool in the image on the card, you are already on your way to this. We wondered if this could relate to leaving behind your family home and moving into your own place with your partner, or your new role at work. I feel like this could mean that in moving into a new home with your partner, and into independence in work you are able to let go of this past experience with your ex. In realising that this is a happy relationship that you can ‘let go’ emotionally in without fear of hurt or of losing yourself, you can lay to rest your feelings that somehow what happened in the past was your fault.
Position 7 – Self – your feelings and attitudes about the issue: Ripeness (9 of rainbows) The represents a readiness within in you. With very similar symbolism to the previous card, of something being ready to drop. This card is also about sharing your gifts with the rest of the world. As the rainbows suit I feel this relates strongly back to the idea that these gifts of yours are about magic in the mundane and a deep appreciation and love of the natural world around you.
Position 8 – What you are attracting from the outside: Travelling (8 of fire) This card is the suit of fire, which represents masculine, active energy. In this context it perhaps signifies that you are on a journey – in this case I think an inner movement from one way of being to another, rather than a physical one. I feel like this card in conjunction with the previous one (ripeness) points to a journey of self discovery, one where you really uncover what it is that have to offer the world and how you can share your unique gifts. This card tells you to accept and embrace the new!
Position 9 – Your desires and denials: Exhaustion (9 of fire)
This card is also one of fire, and I think is a note of caution about what can happen if we let that active energy run away unchecked. It is about over-work, forgetting or not allowing oneself to rest and recharge, and about setting up routines that keep chaos and spontaneity out of our lives. I think this is a little warning to stop you from getting bogged down on your journey, to remember that staying fresh in your outlook and excited about life’s mysteries is more important than being productive or busy. I think there could be two possible meanings here – one to assess whether a full time 9-5 job is the right thing for you if it makes being creative difficult. Secondly it could be about blogging and how it’s easy to get caught up in a schedule of blogging and really enjoy life. The symbolism of this card is that of a robot or some kind of mechanical shell around a person – my feeling is that this card is telling you not to surround yourself with machines or people who are like machines, lest you become a machine yourself.
Position 10 – Outcome/Key: Possibilites (2 of fire) This third fire card, is all about you having a unique perspective on life right now that allows you to see a myriad of possibilities open to you. It indicates being at an exciting crossroads, but where many many options are at your fingertips. It also talks about how you are at a particularly self contained, self-loving point in your life, where you are very much in tune with your own nature. It tells you that your opportunities are boundless and that you do not have to settle for content and small, as your potential is limitless. I think this card is telling you to follow your dreams, follow what you love, follow what gives you this feeling of limitlessness. The symbolism of this card is yet again all about nature, and I think this a key thread to the reading overall.
To summarise the reading there is a sort of ‘knot’ formed by the 5 major arcana cards surrounding the issue. major arcana cards often indicate particularly key issues for you. The ‘letting go’ card in the ‘moving into the new’ position implies that by softening emotionally, relaxing and trusting your current relationship, you can finally unknot and move on from painful issues surrounding relationships and work. the column on the right of the reading is set upon the suit of rainbows – the ‘magic in the mundane’ suit- which totally represents what you are all about. This is then followed by card after card from the fire suit, indicating a time of great action and energy (which includes the possible pitfalls of too much action and energy!). This is all about a time of change, of moving towards and becoming, all built on a foundation of getting in touch with your inner nature, and learning how to share that with the world.