Tarot for Overachievers, Part the Third

Just trying to get a bit creative on that title there, folks.

Ok, so, whew! Let me just tell you: when it rains, it really pours. Gotta love the ol’ Universe for always being so kind as to put you intensely right up close and personal with your “issues” whenever you actively ask to heal them. I mean, people. Just as soon as I launched this here little series of posts, my life has become ever-more hectic and it’s become more and more apparent that “something’s gotta give.” Problem is, in my warped sense of reality, everything is of utmost importance. Yikes, right?

If you’re just now joining our programming, let me review what we’ve covered so far:

Part 1) Shelley admits that she’s an overachieving recovering type A perfectionist in dire need of objective assistance from her Higher Self via tarot.

Part 2) Shelley begins to “unpack” the advice given in the first set of three cards.

Today we look at the “trunk” of the tree, addressing these questions:

1 – What motivates my behaviors [ie, over-achieving and perfectionist]
2 – What I fear most if I don’t behave in that way [ie, if I stop doing, going, and giving]
3 – What I need to know regarding that fear

I put my own “problem” behaviors in brackets, ie, what I’m trying to get some insight and guidance about, but the reason I did that was so you could modify this spread if you wanted to [insert concerning issue/behavior here] type thing. Clever, right? I know. I do what I can, folks.



Oh you silly 2 of Pentacles, you! I knew that you weren’t going away that easily! (That juggling dude showed up in my first reading in the position of the “me” that I hold as personal truth, the “me” that I am conscious of, which, of course, is a wee bit out of whack with the reality I try to show everyone outside of myself.)

So here’s the deal, folks. Break it down for us, Shelley:

I feel like I have to be a perfectionist and over-achiever because I need to be an intellectual authority like the Queen of Swords. Oh hell, let’s not mince words here. I’m a bossy know-it-all, people. It’s in my DNA, as much as I try to keep it in check, that’s the damn truth, and since we’re faced with the Queen of Swords here, overlady (is that a word?) of ruthless straightforward bluntness, let’s just tell it like it is. I like being in charge, I like feeling like I know everything about a particular topic, I like intellectual stimulation, and I like being a straight-shooter. I want to know everything about everything, and hence, I feel compelled to read every book, express every thought, and hold court. Frankly, it’s not realistic. Ok, ok, I get that. Sort of…. [internal resistance begins to kick in… MUST… KNOW… EVERYTHING…]

And so what’s the big worry, why all that internal turmoil about letting go of this intense need to be the intellectual authority, the know-it-all who has a need to consume and absorb information and tasks like she’s at an intellectual all-you-can-eat buffet? Uh oh! Loss of authority! Fear of failure! Not being seen as the big-shot smarty pants! Oh man, that’s gonna leave a mark. Here we have The Emperor turned on his head. He’s gotten a bit of a knock down from his high horse and rather than commanding with compassionate authority, he’s a bit off kilter in his quest to be in charge. My fear apparently is that if I don’t know everything in my quest to become an immaculate overachiever, I’ll somehow lose ground, and become powerless. Yep, that’s kind of accurate. Damn it all to hell. And on a more philosophical note, might I add that this fear that the tarot is showing me is obviously (and like many of our underlying fears that motivate our compulsive behaviors) totally illusory and irrational. I mean, frankly let’s be honest. It’s the illusion of power I’d be losing, the illusion of being able to do it all and know it all, which is obviously physically impossible to begin with. So in the end, I wouldn’t really be losing anything except my unrealistic expectations and irrational fears, if I were to give up this obsessive quest to be the best. I’d however obviously be gaining some peace of mind and quite possibly chill out a bit. Yes, that sounds good right about now.

What I need to know regarding that fear is the 2 of Pentacles reversed, which I sort of just anticipated in my analysis right there. I need to know that this quest to do everything and be everything to everyone is obviously not working out so well, in the sense that it’s putting me on my head trying to juggle everything, and taking all the fun out of it. I’m losing the lighthearted and passionate aspects of my intellectual curiosity and they’re being overwhelmed by an oppressive sense of obligation. Me no likey.

So here we see that the 2 of Pentacles is a recurring theme that I really need to look closely at, especially as it appeared both times reversed, highlighting that right now I might be dropping a few balls from this juggling act if I don’t try to find some balance. I always think of balance with the 2 of Pentacles for the simple fact that the dude is juggling ON ONE FOOT. It’s like, why don’t you spin a basketball on your fingertip while you’re at it, right? Love.

[Side note for tarot readers: what do you think about how the queen and the man on the two are both looking at The Emperor? Don’t forget to take note of these subtle details and clues in body position and body language in the cards. They’re both seeming to tell The Emperor reversed, “Look buddy, if you don’t come into line, you’re in for a rude awakening! We told you it would end up this way, with you toppling off that nifty throne of yours!” I can imagine The Emperor reversed here as total creative and professional burn-out and absolute fatigue, inability to lead or command for lack of direction, focus, and personal power.]

Folks, are you having as much fun as I am dissecting my neuroses? I know. Good times were had by all.

Coming up next, if I manage to keep all my balls in the air: [cue suspenseful music]

Reading 3: The Roots of the Tree
1 – The side of myself, the “shadow” of me, that I don’t want to face
2 – How my current behavior relates to my shadow side and its lack of expression
3 – How I can constructively give expression to my shadow side

Oooh, did she say shadow side? That sounds mighty intriguing. Stay tuned…


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