Back in October, I had a newfound goal to really dedicate myself wholeheartedly to building my tarot business. I had been recently laid off from one of my part-time jobs and figured it was as good a time as any to really turn that lemon into lemonade, as I had no more excuses that “there wasn’t enough time” to work on my tarot consulting practice and building my community, which I had neglected in the hustle and bustle of raising three kids as a single mom and trying to juggle not one, not two, but three jobs…
After a couple weeks of issuing my revived newsletter, and working the social media circuit, I completely shut down. Just stopped making an effort. Came to a complete halt without warning, without explanation.
One skipped week led to another, and then there was no energy left to devote. All of that bright and sparkly energy that I had just weeks before had disintegrated into the ether. What happened? Why was doing even the simplest task starting to feel like trying to keep my head above quicksand?
This stall-out and not getting the car started again has brought up a few questions for me, and as it often happens, several of my clients who have booked readings lately are also feeling stuck, directionless, or completely lacking in motivation to tackle projects that they were once so excited about.
It can be really troublesome because the more we try to fight the block, the more we end up sort of perpetuating it at the same time and continually asking ourselves, WHY can’t I just kick myself into gear?
Feeling stuck can also lead to really pesky emotions like guilt. You know what I’m talking about, because it’s the “I should” voice in your head.
“I should be using this time to work on my business instead of surfing You Tube and Facebook…”
“I should be organizing my bills and debt rather than charging these things on my credit card…”
“I should be hitting the gym instead of eating right from this huge bag of potato chips…”
It’s when we hear the “I should” voice, but the “Who cares” voice takes over. Ugh. Being stuck. It’s hard to pull out of a rut, and hard to be compassionate with ourselves when we feel like “we should” be doing the exact opposite of what we’re actually doing.
And yet, being stuck and being “in a rut” also has its value. One of the powerful messages of the tarot is that all experiences have value, and all experiences have their proper place in the cyclical nature of life.
That might sound a little new-agey or like do-gooder Polyanna thinking, but it is really a sort of basic universal truth. We can’t be all things all the time. Avoidance or resistance to what actually is, when it’s something we judge as “bad,” usually just creates more tension, stress, and anxiety, while acceptance can sometimes “magically” get us unstuck, a little bit like reverse psychology.
Personally I’ve been “dealing with” The Hanged Man in my own readings over the past couple of months. For a person who is deeply fire-sign oriented and an incurable over-achiever, the message of the Hanged Man is a very difficult one for me to incorporate.
Just wait and see? Hands off? Non-action? What? How does one DO that?
Oh, that’s right, it’s not DOING, it’s BEING.
When you’re stuck in a rut, rather than trying to force yourself to have energy that you don’t have, and rather than beating yourself up because you’re not doing the should dos, try a counter-intuitive approach. Maybe accept that right now isn’t the optimal time for you to be pushing forward that new goal. Maybe there are other factors in your life that are draining energy and you aren’t taking full stock of their impact on you overall. Maybe you can extend the same compassion to yourself that you would extend to a friend in your same situation.
Let’s see what the cards can tell us now about how we can come to terms with and constructively approach those times in our life when we’re feeling blocked, stuck, unmotivated, lost, or completely apathetic, lazy, and without a clear direction.
What can we consider and recognize when we’re feeling blocked? What can help? What advice and guidance can we become open to?
notice I didn’t put “should” ;-p
Here are the three cards that came up, and my ideas for reflection. Let me know what you think in the comments, too!
When we look at these three cards initially as a unit, we notice that there’s a distinct color scheme that unites them. Yellow and white are really prevalent here. Yellow is a representative of light, warmth, energy, happiness and joy in the tarot, and white of purity, beginnings, fresh starts and innocence. When our cards have these bright and vibrant colors, like the card of The Sun itself, we know that we are in the presence of an energy that has the power to uplift and heal, rather than a dark energy that oppresses, binds, and obscures.
That tells us that the first key to finding our way out of a rut is to look towards the lighter side, lighten up, shine some light on the situation, and seek out warmth in all its forms.
Secondly, the key to this reading is in the central card, the Ace of Wands, showing us that new growth, new energy, and new projects are always there for the taking.
If we’re stuck in a rut, it doesn’t have to be seen as a permanent “condition” but rather as a gestation period prior to being offered that wand from the cloud, the new project, energy, or initiative that we’ll be given in order to take action.
Trust and faith that when the time is right that offer will come, can help us to muddle through the dark period of feeling stuck. If we believe that there will never be an end to our block, convincing ourselves that energy will never come back, we won’t be able to recognize when that new opportunity comes along.
The Magician shows us that we always have all the tools that we need to create what we want at the exact moment that it’s appropriate in our lives.
In other words, we’re always given what we need at the right moment, no more and no less. The Magician’s arms indicate above and below, reminding us that all things are connected, the microcosm reflects the macrocosm, and that if you’re currently stuck, most likely it’s a reflection of where you’re at on your overall journey. This card encourages us to stop in our negative self-talk and harsh judgement and criticism of ourselves and remind ourselves that we have the power within, already, right now, to create magic, which we could define as making the impossible possible. When we’re stuck we tend to forget about the fact that we are whole, right now. We are capable, right now. That doesn’t go away. It’s our inherent birthright. So even if we don’t have the energy to create or do, we can at least acknowledge our existence as a blessing, and give thanks for the fact that we are capable of creation, even if we aren’t motivated to do so at the current moment. We can trust that when the time is right we will answer the call, reach out and take that magic wand being offered here from the Ace of Wands back towards the Magician.
The 9 of Pentacles shows us what happens when we allow ourselves to “flow” with the block and emerge on the other side. The woman in the 9 of Pentacles is content in her ability to stand on her own two feet, and she enjoys the luxury that comes from her own company and her self-reliance.
Sometimes being stuck is a necessary condition to forge us for our journey, to help us realize what it is that we need in order to become fully self-sufficient or in order to get in touch with parts of ourselves that are resistant to abundance or inviting abundance into our lives.
The 9 of Pentacles reminds us that we are encouraged to welcome abundance into our lives, to take an approach of abundance towards the Universe rather than lack, and to try, even in moments of difficulty and feeling blocked, to cultivate a gracious attitude of counting our blessings and taking full advantage of enjoying the abundance that already surrounds us. Sometimes appreciating what we have rather than focusing on what we don’t have can create the conditions we need to emerge from a stagnant period with renewed energy.
And so, this post is born out of my own tentative emergence from a cyclical rut. It reminds me that as human beings, we can only do our best. And sometimes our best is just acknowledging that we aren’t able to really go anywhere at the moment, and that is perfectly acceptable!