Sometimes Tarot has a beautifully helpful way of reframing situations that leave us feeling drained and depressed. I don’t think I’m alone when I say that the events of the past week have left me feeling a huge mix of emotions: hope, joy in community, deep sadness, and a powerful rage against injustice. It's exhausting. Where to go with all of this when things show no sign of slowing down? How can we remain engaged while caring for ourselves and feeling out our many emotions?
We draw three cards this week that urge us to zoom out of our individual reactions and focus on something different. This is one of those readings where instead of reflecting our current state, the cards show us another option, a way of being, we may be overlooking. Here, they’re giving us much needed perspective, like a close friend telling us to snap out of it and look at the world around us. We need this and the message is supportive and encouraging.
The two Major Arcana cards bookending the reading show us that since larger forces are at work in the world right now, it is best to focus on our own larger goals and motivations instead of getting lost in the details. We’re being asked to do big things, but we can gather a great deal of energy and inspiration from our values. We must focus on why we’re here in the first place. What really matters to us? How do we want to be in the world? How do we want to feel? This is not a time to be putting one foot in front of the other in a monotonous march forward. We need inspiration, and we have a lot of inspiration around us if we take the time to look up and see it.
So where should we be directing our focus? The Empress and Justice give us a clear answer. How can we be grounded in our world and work towards justice that honors the interconnectedness and diversity of the world? This springs from The Empress whose solid ties to nature, relationships, and generosity gives her the kind of flexible strength and power we could all use right now.
She reminds us to feel the ground under our feet, breathe in deep, and remember that this is our world and those around us are of this world too. We cannot forget this as we move forward otherwise we risk spinning off from our center and losing sight of each other and our goals. This is what leads to burnout and confusion. This is what allows for injustice to flourish.
The Empress is part of nature. She changes with the seasons, she feels her body, she is flexible. She knows there is a fall, winter, summer, and spring and she excels in all of these seasons despite their limitations. Seen here, she is a prime reminder that focusing on self-care – caring for our bodies and minds – is extremely important, just as thriving through these difficult times in whatever ways we are able is not a detraction. We can’t allow ourselves to be cut off from our source of power and rejuvenation. It only makes us weaker. To feel joy in times of darkness is not callous or frivolous. It’s essential for our survival. And all the better if we share it with those around us.
If you recall, we ended last week’s forecast with The Empress. I find it quite special that she’s appearing as the first card here. Last week’s theme was the embrace of tenderness and openheartedness as a new way of being the world. However we applied that in our lives, The Empress showing up again this week tells us that this was important and validating. We made changes and they have brought us to a new place. What we’re doing is working and now is not time to abandon ship.
This brings us to Justice. This week we must spend some time considering how we can apply our embodiment of The Empress to our ideas of Justice. I think this is particularly on the nose given the political climate, and the cards seem to suggest we must work to embody the values of The Empress – community, holistic living, respect for all forms of life, and love. I think this is the justice we want to see; focused on equality, community, and honoring each other’s place in the world.
We’re grappling with big issues and coming from a very good place. This isn’t easy, and we’ll be needing to draw on all of our resources, personal and communal. The Knight of Swords indicates that we can’t take a break just yet. In fact, we’ll be rushing forward to confront things head on. If we keep the messages of The Empress and Justice in mind, we’ll be able to move in the right direction and maintain our focus. This Knight tells us to keep on keeping on, our heads held high. We must stay focused and confident in our ability to rise up and bring light to truth. We must keep our eyes on the prize and be ready to cut through any distracting bullshit in our way to a better world.