Tarot Workout: Should I Change Jobs?

Tarot Workouts are short, real-life case studies to help you exercise your tarot-reading muscle. Enjoy it as a sample reading. Or, if you are a tarot student, read the question, check out the cards, and then step away from the essay to formulate your own response. Read the end later to see how my response compares to your own.

The Question

My client explained that she had been offered a job in a different company. With very few details, she asked whether switching jobs looked like a good idea. Her precise question was, “Which position would be more advisable for me to take?”

The Spread

3-card tarot spreadI chose a simple 3-card spread:

  • CARD 1 (Highest potential at current job): 3 of Cups, upright
  • CARD 2 (Highest potential at job #2): 2 of Pentacles, reversed
  • CARD 3 (Most advisable move): 9 of Wands, upright

I used the Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative deck for this reading:

Present Day Tarot Reading 1.jpg***** Students, stop here and formulate your own answers *****

My Response

It’s always noteworthy when a reading points in a different direction than my logical brain. If I’d been asked this question from a friend, I most likely would have said, “go for it!” My personal inclination is to try new things and err towards risk-taking. However, for me these cards painted a different story. Below is my written response to the client.

“It looks like staying in your current job will be easier and more enjoyable for you, while job #2 will be a challenge and possibly too much to manage. The overall advice from the cards is to sit tight, rely on your strengths, and be on the lookout for better opportunities.

I always give advice with a grain of salt, and strongly encourage you to look at each card and check it through your own intuition. A card-by-card description may give you insight as to the choice you ultimately want to make:

Version 31) The 3 of Cups is a card that symbolizes a supportive group of friends. It may be that your co-workers at your current job offer this for you, and/or that while you are there, you have access to fun and support (even if it comes from friends outside of work). You are relatively stress-free in this setting. The other side of this card is that it is not particularly challenging or rewarding. You might be bored and looking for something more.

Version 22) The 2 of Pentacles is a card that shows stress and change. It can be dynamic and exciting. However, when shown upside-down, I see it more as simply chaotic and unenjoyable. That doesn’t mean it would be a bad decision, necessarily. You may be looking to shake things up. If this is appealing to you, I would wager that you would not stay at job #2 very long, but that it might advance you to a different scenario and set of choices.

9 of Wands PCS3) The 9 of Wands is about strength and protection. I believe it says to be cautious and not to act impulsively. It reminds you that you have strength and knowledge that will serve you in either situation. The figure in this image looks outward, as if being open to change but wary of nonsense. The advice that I see from this is to stay put for now and keep your eyes open for opportunities that will be a better match for you.”

Following this reading, the querent gave me the feedback that my input squared with her intuition, and that the reading encouraged her to believe that there could be a third, more promising option waiting in the wings.

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If you enjoyed this Tarot Workout, these other offerings may interest you as well:

  • You, too, can get an online reading from Present Day Tarot! I offer written answers to your questions with a 3-day turnaround. You can contact me via email for clarification following the reading. Email me to make arrangements:  (yetta@presentdaytarot.com).
  • For Seattle locals, I offer classes in my South Seattle studio. To learn about my 2017 Summer Series, follow this blog or my Facebook page, and/or email me to get on my mail list.
  • Read other Tarot Workouts in my blog.

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.)

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

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A Beautiful Question

A client asked me a beautiful question:

“Any positive life changes on the way for me? I have been going through tough times for too long.”

I love this question for so many reasons. While it’s about the future, it isn’t a fortune telling request. The person asking it is looking for empowerment, which is perhaps the highest purpose of the Tarot. Even though it’s worded as a yes/no question, it invites a descriptive answer from a wide range of possibilities. Mostly, what makes this question so suitable for a good reading is that it was asked from the heart rather than the head.

When people prepare for a reading, I recommend that they bring an open-ended question that matters to them and that they are able to share with me. In general, the more heartfelt the question, the more meaningful the reading will be. We will spend time upfront fine-tuning the question, so that we can return to it as a landing place if needed during the reading.

For the questioner in this case, the response was as elegant as the question. The World card – the final Major Arcana card in the deck – is a message of earned wisdom, mindfulness, and wholeness. You can’t get there without hardship, and you can’t be there without peace.

The 21st Major Arcana Card images shown here, from left to right, come from the Fountain Tarot deck, the Thoth deck (renamed as the ‘Universe’), and the Golden Tarot deck. Feature photo above is the classic Rider-Waite-Smith deck.

Find your own inner world! Book a reading today.

Promotions and Progressions

A client of mine was promoted to lead a large division of a new company – a big and very welcome career move. She’d been at the new job for 5 months when she came to me for a reading. Things were going well, but she was impatient to see more progress. Despite herself, she was feeling the start of a crisis of confidence, and hoped that a reading could help guide her forward.

To the left, I drew several cards to represent her situation now. To the right, a parallel spread would answer, “How can I best get to where I want to be?” I have shown the key cards in the images here, from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.

The progression of the overarching cards was crystal clear. To the left, the World card, and to the right, the Queen of Pentacles. I translated: “You are on the top of the world! Now bring it down to earth.”

It was an encouraging start, which helped us ease into the more challenging cards that showed up next.

Version 4In tarot dictionaries, the 7 of Swords is associated with dishonesty, and the 8 with feeling trapped. Those traditional definitions were not resonating with me. How could the 8 of Swords be a helpful, something she would do well to embrace?

The key was to get a handle on the 7, which characterized her present. My client was adamant that “dishonesty” did not feel like an issue at her work. The connection she made with the image was one of running with scissors, going too fast and risking a sloppy accident or injury. She identified with the feeling of being on the move. She felt she basically knew where she was headed, but had so many possibilities to choose from that it was as if she was grabbing at swords, knowing that she couldn’t get them all.CCF30112015 copy

Version 2Her description has a lot in common with another 7 card – the 7 of Cups, which is associated with daydreaming and failing to focus. I wondered why this card hadn’t come up instead. Well, she was hardly daydreaming. She was leading a highly complex, heady activity. Rather than daydreaming, she was multitasking. Though inspired, she was not being particularly strategic.

Another reason the 7 of Swords was so fitting is its direct progression to the 8 of Swords. In the light of this nuanced definition of the 7, the 8 now looked more like discipline than entrapment. It said, “put those swords in a row. Limit your own options for the time being. This will enable you to move from the inspiration of the World to the practicality of the Queen of Pentacles.”

My client said this reading felt like an invitation to slow down and embrace her new authority, and that she couldn’t wait ‘till Monday.

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Do you have a work problem the Tarot could help you work out? Use my scheduler to book a reading, or email me at yetta@presentdaytarot.com.

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Please note that when I publish accounts based on actual readings, I alter all identifying details to fully protect the privacy of the people I read for.

Dems and the Tarot

13645264_1459011067446105_3518131994254736296_nThe opinionated Crowley deck is serving me well for politics. I asked: “Show me the energy of the Democratic Convention,” and drew a 10-card spread that was magic.

I did this reading on the first night of the convention, just after Bernie made his long anticipated, ultimately gracious concession and relinquished his energetic hold on the room. In the center of the spread, Death (reversed) shows a monumental end that was a long time coming. And crossing this card, also from the Major Arcana: the Empress, in a pink and green pantsuit.

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The Death card represents a loss and new beginning. Many cards in the deck show angles on this (the 6 of Swords, for instance), but this Major Arcana card makes it monumental. The Empress shows the energy crossing the issue, “for better or for worse.” It even looks like Hillary! That coincidence happens more often than you’d think possible.

I cannot write up the whole spread and expect anyone to want to read to the end, but each card had equally jaw-dropping resonance for me. To quote another politician we know [who showed up as the Hierophant (reversed) in position 8], “Believe me, it’s really, really good. The best.” To see comments about each card separately, see my Facebook post from 7/28/16.

Reading about the present day is one of my favorite things to do. Readings that resonate give you insight into both the situation and the cards themselves. I’ll follow this reading with a deep look at each card in context, making entries in my tarot journals and personal dictionary. In November, I’ll look back at them again. Perhaps then I will understand why the Princess of Cups is showing so joyfully as the Outcome card. And looking so much like Elizabeth Warren.

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Contact me if you’d like a tarot reading, a mentoring session, or a summertime tarot party.

A Political Prediction

Choosing the leader of the Free World should not be taken lightly. But from a tarot perspective, it is great fun to play with the cards in an election season. You can ask your questions, place your bets, and find out in no time if you were right or wrong.

This may seem like a contradiction to my central philosophy, that Tarot is less about predicting and more about reading the energies of the moment. However, it’s a great learning tool to ask juicy questions of the Tarot – in good faith – and then see what Tarot gives you in return.

With that disclaimer, I asked, “How will this republican primary unfold?”

I’ll attach a photo of the entire spread and invite your comments. To keep this post to a readable length, I will focus only on the right pillar. In the Celtic Cross spread, these cards signify, from bottom to top: 1) the person in relation to the question asked, 2) the energies surrounding that person, 3) hopes and fears, and 4) the outcome. Because I wanted clarification on the outcome card, I pulled an additional 2 cards and placed them on either side.

So many trumps! I used the entire deck for this spread, but the final 6 cards are all from the trump suit, reflecting how larger-than-life this contest has become. Does it feel to anyone else like we are experiencing a struggle of archetypal proportions?

The Fool shows as the subject of the spread. And while this card is in many ways the most respected card in the deck, Freud famously noted “sometimes a pipe is just a pipe.” Sometimes the Fool is just a fool. Is this fool one of the candidates, or is it ME, for asking the question? There’s nothing like being called out by your cards.

The Fool can come in when the cards want to refuse an answer, basically saying, “I’m not telling.” Still, I’ll allow myself to think of this as Trump. The other two men have different characteristics that would show themselves in other cards. (That would be a fun thing to ponder.) Plus, I see a supporting image in the fantastical headpiece in the Sun card above.

The surrounding energy is represented by the High Priestess – indisputably Hillary. Regardless of whether or not she gets the nomination, her energy is a mighty presence in this race. (But full disclosure: this is the second spread I’ve done that shows Hillary rising to the top.)

The 3rd card I love – Death reversed in the position of hopes and fears. When is the Trump fiasco going to unravel? We vacillate between wanting his streak to end, and fearing its end because of who would fill the void. We hope for and are terrified by the same thing.

And finally, the Sun card, reversed, as the outcome. This is a tough call, as predictions usually are. The reversal of this sunny card could represent overconfidence, childlike simplicity, or a false sense of security, turned on end. I asked for two clarifying cards and got the Star reversed and the Emperor. Those say “misguided power” to me. Could be a candidate, or it could be the republican establishment as a whole. I am swayed again by the amazing hair on the Emperor in the Golden Tarot deck, and so have strengthened my hypothesis that Trump will rise to lead the establishment that he has, in large part, dismantled.

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Wow, it’s difficult to write down all the impressions from a spread! In person, the Celtic Cross takes close to an hour to examine, and is best done with the interaction of two people – seeker and reader. I haven’t even touched the left side of the spread. If you are intrigued or have interpretations, please chime in. Or, better yet, message me for a reading about something more immediate in your own life. I am always happy to draw out the cards.

These cards are from the Golden Tarot deck by Kat Black.

6 of Swords

I occasionally go out into public with a “Free Tarot” sign attached to my purse. If people see, notice, and ask, I will do an impromptu reading.

I was headed to downtown Seattle a couple years ago for a protest. I don’t remember the event as much as the ride there on light rail with my purse slung across my shoulder. A man stopped me – “What’s that sign say there?” – and so we began.

He asked how he could be happy in his life, and what he could do to be more settled? Out came the 6 of Swords. I said something like:

“This card is about taking a courageous journey from rough waters to something more promising. The journey follows stress and anxiety. The card is here to reassure you that you are not alone, that there are other people supporting you and cheering you on – maybe even helping to steer the boat some time.”

He was quiet and very slow to reply, but eventually told me he was on his way to his AA meeting. He’d been thinking of skipping out, but now he knew he’d go.

The chances of my having spoken to this stranger under any other circumstance was as close to zero as it gets. But here we were, shaking hands warmly, making fearless eye contact, and sincerely wishing each other all the best for a glorious future.

The images above are from (l-r) the Rider-Waite-Smith deck and the Ghetto Tarot.

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Email me today if you want a Present Day Tarot reading. Tell me your time zone and what time/day of the week you’d prefer. I’ll get back to you with my next available openings.