V of Wands and Strength

Photo on 1-7-16 at 7.40 AM #2

I can’t chitchat for long because I need to go get ready and I’m trying to stay on schedule (which I did not do yesterday). I don’t know if I mentioned this or not but I have been waking up 15 minutes earlier and earlier every morning. I started out on Monday at 7am, then 6:45, 6:30, and today 6:15, tomorrow 6am. I’ve been making coffee, feeding the cats, getting on the treadmill, then writing. Today I added in meditation which was really nice.

Today I shuffled the cards prior to deciding to meditate. (Whoops, I had to step away for a sec there. Let me get back to my thoughts…) I did a 10 or 15 minute long meditation and it felt so good. I really should get into doing it whenever I have a chance. It always improves my mood, stress levels, and general feeling of well-being. Anyway, after I meditated, I drew my cards. At first I drew the V of Wands and felt like I needed something else so I drew the major arcana card, XI Strength. This is one of my numerology cards so I was glad to see it.

I’ll start with the V of Wands. I’ve pulled this card before when I was going through a tough time at work. I don’t recall what it means but it’s not great. Interpreting it on sight, I see five wands that look like they’re in freefall OR scattered haphazardly on a surface. The background of the card is all conflicting perpendicular spaces filled with parallel lines. To me, this feels like pockets of order in a disorganized space and I identify with it.

The book says, “Scattered, Lack of Focus, “Lost.” “The five of wands is a card of conflict. you may find yourself scattered, distracted, tending to everything and nothing. Since wands deal with our dreams and goals, it usually means this conflict resides within. Your energy moves outward in many directions, yet you are suffering inside. Take this card as a warning: find ways to bring calm and focus into your mind or these troubles will only increase.”

Two things are interesting here:

  1. When I woke up this morning, I was definitely in a scattered mindset. Earlier in the week, I was pretty happy to wake up early but as the call time has gotten earlier, I’ve gotten more glum about it. Still, I made the coffee, fed the cats, hopped on the treadmill, and sat down to write. However, before I sat down to write, I felt sort of fusty-faced. Aware that by this time I’ve been feeling good most other mornings, and armed with 15 minutes more time, I decided to meditate. Once I finished meditating, my mood totally lightened up. In fact, my body did too. I feel much calmer and more relaxed. This card is telling me to stay plugged into what I’m currently doing: making time for exercise, meditation, writing, reading, and doing the things that both relax me and improve me.
  2. I’ve been feeling so scattered lately. This week I’ve been sort of cranky about the holiday season being over. Objectively, I’m having a lovely week. It’s so awesome that Kristyn is on school break and that everyone is back in the office rested and happy. But it’s also like coming out of a dark room into a light room. We’ve all been on holiday time and now we have to get back to work. Even though I worked all through the holidays (from home), I feel like they do, a little squinty-eyed. But that’s not all. I’ve been very conflicted about what I want my next big goal to be. I know that I want to have a kid and all this “getting in touch with my body” stuff is a part of that larger goal. I also want to go back to school and have been researching it but a big alarm bell in my head is clanging like “No prisoner, don’t look back!” I have been a professional student for my entire life. I feel two ways about it: a) Why stop now? While you’re in that mindset, get your Master’s Degree and then you’ll have it forever. You’ll sleep when you’re dead. b) Why do you need a Master’s Degree? For who? I don’t know. We’ll see. Maybe the exercise, meditation, and writing will bring clarity.

Now I want to write about XI Strength. Like I said, this is my numerology birth card. Let me back up a bit because I realize I got woo woo and then added an entire tablespoon of woo woo on top of that. I’ve always been interested in spirituality and the supernatural and mysticism; both as a wannabe believer and as a gleeful skeptic. Basically, I just love the possibility of it. It’s like “believe anything you want”! I guess I just love the optimism, possibility, spookiness, drama, and spirituality of it. I wax and wane on it though. I’ve been interested in tarot on and off but I used to be more interested in it in a “tell your fortune” kind of way and less in a “learn an archaic historical tradition” and “writing prompt” sort of a way. When a friend recommended it as a writing prompt, I googled “Queer Tarot” because I wanted something different. As a feminist, this is going to sound self-flagellating but I was kind of put off by the crunchy “womyn” aspect of tarot before as it didn’t feel like “me.” I guess it felt like part of a generation I was just a little too young to truly connect with. So I did the googling and “Queer” seemed like a good place to start because we always have to do things a fun way. When I did that, I found littleredtarot.com. She’s British and considers herself a “Witchy Queer.” THAT I CAN GET DOWN WITH. I soon saw that she also writes a column for Autostraddle. Cool. Anyway, I bought an eCourse that Beth from Little Red Tarot sells. I started it but haven’t finished it yet because I’m easily distractible. However, through researching her, I found the Wild Unknown deck and got started.

In reading Beth’s blog, I found her post about numerology birth cards and did my own. Basically, you just add together the month, day, and birth year to reduce it down to one number then connect it to the major arcana card associated with your number. For me, my birth date is September 18, 1979. So 9+1+8+1+9+7+9 = 44. 4+4 = 8. 8 is my major arcana card. I know what you’re going to say, XI Strength is the 11th card in the deck. It’s only XI in THIS deck. Strength is VIII in most decks. Here is the strength card and the justice card in the Rider-Waite deck (which is the most common deck):




In some decks, the VIII and XI, Strength and Justice vary. In the Wild Unknown deck, XI is Strength and VIII is Justice:



You know what’s really weird about that? This morning when I sat down at the desk, there were two cards left out for some reason. One was this card, Justice. I’ll look into that later. However, I identify with both cards and consider them my own. First, they’re both cats which is the animal I identify with the most. Second, the XI Strength card in the Wild Unknown deck looks like Monster who if I had a familiar, would be my familiar haha.

So let me get down to talking about the XI Strength card. There is a lion on the art looking off into the distance with soft eyes. He has a rose in his mouth and a red, yellow, and orange figure eight in his forehead. A sun radiates light down onto him. He is beautiful. I feel protected.

The book says “Mastery of Emotions.” “It’s common to think of this card as the roaring, devouring side of the lion. But look again…the “strength” this card suggests is a much deeper force that’s found within. The lion represents our most patient, composed self. He’s a master of focus, compassion, and self control. When this card comes up you’re in need of harnessing this power for yourself. All the courage you need can be found in the muscle known as your heart.”

Self-control is something that I’ve been both excelling at and failing at this week. I am doing better at one goal and slacking on the other. I went back to the dietician this week and she was fine with the fact that I slid off during the holidays. She said “It doesn’t matter what you do between Christmas and New Year. It matters what you do between New Year and Christmas.” Makes a lot of sense and I’ll hold onto that. However, I left the office in a huff. It wasn’t anything she said really. Like I said, I guess I just had a sugar addict’s tantrum about going back to it. Yesterday I didn’t do well with it at all. I totally let myself take a dive and I paid for it. I ate something that always makes me feel terrible (Red Robin). I did it partially because I knew Kristyn wanted to get out of the house and get her Birthday burger but I also did it because I was hungry, worked late, and felt defiant. Man of La Mancha did I pay for it. The second I was done eating, I felt sick, not stomach sick but like flu sick. I felt shivery, cold, and like I needed to go to bed. I was afraid I was coming down with something. I woke up today with zero problem. I definitely am not sick. The food was the problem. I think this card is telling me to tap into my strength, composure, self-control, and that I’ll feel much better. I’ll keep this card in my mind today as I set about my day.

One last thing, even though I started by saying “I can’t chit chat long.” I want to analyze the VIII Justice card. On it, there are two cats, one white and one black, looking over their shoulders at me in mirroring stances, their tails entwined. There is a diamond hovering between them that is also half black and half white but the colors are opposite to the cats. In the center above them, a sword hangs in the balance just above, but not touching, the diamond. Unlike the scattered planes in the V of Wands card that I pulled today, all the lines are parallel but point culminate at the diamond. Everything is coming to the center.

The book says “Decisions, Karma.” “With tails entwined, two cats look directly at you…waiting for you to choose between them. Which is right and which is wrong? The justice card implies a weight or heaviness surrounding a choice you have to make. Now is not the time to shun the concept of divine balance or karma. All of your choices affect your life and sometimes lives around you…both now and in the future.”

Let me say that this does not help haha. I am exquisitely aware that my choices bear a lot of weight. That’s part of the problem. One major thing that I haven’t discussed is the money part. Going to grad school is expensive. I have an inexpensive school that I’m looking at (and can probably get into), and two more expensive options (that I’ll probably get into). I’m lucky that my job will pay for a good amount of tuition per year which is the equivalent of four undergrad classes or two undergrad classes per year of the more expensive school. I know that if I go into grad school, it will help my life financially. However, it could also become a financial burden if I’m not careful. While I’m at this job though (which I intend to be for a very long time), I should take advantage of the benefit. A part of me is not ready for the commitment. I just want to be myself. However, I know I’ll regret it if I don’t go. There are two majors that I’m looking into. I want the MA to be a workhorse. I want it to give me the most options available to me; aka I’d like for it to give me the ability to excel in my current position, to give me the option to have a business on the side, and the option to teach. One MA (which is the more frivolous-seeming of the two) is terminal so I’d have the option to teach on a college level. However, this field is saturated so it’s unlikely. This option also benefits my current position (tangentially) and gives me the tools to start a business of my own (which relates back to my current position). The other option is murky. I think it’s most beneficial to my current position. I like it’s flexibility. I think it MIGHT give me the tools to have my own business. Basically, I’m confused and  have to do a bit more organizing and thinking about it.

I really must go. There are other things that are “hanging in the balance” right now as I’m determining next steps about my life. However, I’ll leave it there. Time to start my day!

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