Tarot in the Waiting Room

Present Day Tarot SpreadThe Surgery Pavilion waiting room at University Hospital is hopping.

I expected something heavy and morose, but instead there’s laughter and activity. Just one person from a group can accompany a patient to their room, leaving a large number of friends and family behind to comfort one another and pass the time.

I am here today for a friend, waiting with others for what is expected to be a long day of surgery. She disappeared down the hall in her wheelchair 10 minutes ago to be prepped. Eventually, we will be able to track her progress on the monitor overhead.

Since the room feels so different from what I was expecting, I decide to do a 3-card reading of the environment. I get:

  1. The King of Cups, upright
  2. The Empress, upright
  3. The 3 of Pentacles, reversed

Version 2The card that catches my eye first is the smallest, the 3 of Pentacles. Reversed, it says: The medical team is at work in the other room. You can only imagine what your loved one is experiencing right now. You have no hand in it. Concern is lurking in the periphery of your mind, but with effort you can keep it at bay, and keep it small. This card sits to the side like the monitor we try not to stare at.

Version 3The grander cards of the King and the Empress dominate the spread, explaining the upbeat feel that caught me so off guard. They – we – are the loved ones who are in the tough but well-defined position of supporting our people through difficult times. We are purposeful but powerless. Stuck to a chair! Our only choice is to love.

Tarot EmpressThe King, who reins over the suit of emotions, is determined to keep his sea-tossed throne upright and not allow one drop to spill from his cup. He is masterful, but today I can see that it takes effort to stay composed. He stares at a fixed point like someone trying to keep balance in a yoga pose. The Empress is the great nurturer – a role we all can step into when circumstances require it. Breathe deeply and have faith in the big picture. Allow yourself to be nurtured by the hospital, too, which is the result of collective Major-Arcana-scale nurturing energy. The goal is health and balance. The way to get there now is to love. And everyone in this room seems to know it.

(As always, my gratitude to Pamela Colman-Smith for painting these images for the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in 1906, and to the Gods of Time for bringing this deck into the public domain.)


Contact me for readings and classes: Yetta@presentdaytarot.com

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