Weekly Forecast: July 16-22

 Weekly Forecast with the Victorian Romantic Tarot

This week is giving us an opportunity to feel refreshed, motivated, and driven. Once we've had our first cup(s) of coffee we're ready to charge ahead and get a lot done. We have focus, we have a strong sense of self, and we have an exciting vision to back all of our actions.

But that's not all.

It seems like we have some tricky energy at play within us this week. It's that voice that whispers to us, just as we're getting into our first task of the day, " why don't you pick up your phone and see how many people have liked your Instagram post!" or "I wonder what your ex-boyfriend from six years ago is up to? Let's find out NOW!"

Though we have The Devil on the right, this isn't the intense, derail-your-life iteration of the card. Rather, it's the lazy self-sabotaging side. Think "little devil perched on your shoulder," not "looming force of evil." In excess, these traits might lead to disaster, but for this week the challenge is to make sure we don't fall into our usual small patterns of sloth and distraction. 

The cards are presenting us with a clear-cut choice. Do we harness the diligent energy of the Eight of Pentacles to further our ambitions and goals a la The Chariot, or do we backslide into the slacker comforts of The Devil?

The Eight of Pentacles is a fascinating card because it shows us how bringing mindfulness to our work gives us clarity and satisfaction. When we're engaged in the practice of doing - not thinking to the future, past, or imagined "something better" - we unlock huge stores of potential. We're in a state of flow, checking things off our to-do lists with ease, galvanized by the delightful feeling of making progress.

So how do we tap into this energy when we have a pesky Devil at play? Oddly enough, the answer is to make room for him. The Chariot, though at first glance it might seem like a card that's all about victory, is also a master of reigning in opposites. How on earth could you get a tiger and a fox to pull you towards your goals? This week it's our task to reign in our Devils and use them to work for us, not against us.

Again, The Chariot has some helpful tips. If we're going to move forward we have to have vision, confidence, and a solid knowledge of who we are. That includes our decadent, distracted Devil-self, too. Getting to know the ways we avoid success and are drawn to mind-numbing pleasures is the first step towards working with them. 

Let's put ourselves in the charioteer's shoes. Say the tiger on the right has a huge fondness for facebook. Every time the charioteer signals it's time to get going, the tiger is busy getting outraged by his distant relative's toxic political views. Being a savvy leader, the charioteer pulls the reigns in, getting an app to block facebook for the duration of the workday. Now the tiger is free to walk forward with purpose (and lower blood pressure). After work, they can all go out and spend some face-to-face time with real friends.

Though this example may seem silly, it's important to realize that we can treat unruly parts of ourselves with compassion and understanding. There's a lot more to our actions then meets the eyes. Disavowing them and trying to cut out behaviors only makes our Devil-sides stronger. Because let's be honest, what feels better than doing something you really shouldn't be doing?

Working directly with our bad habits and channeling them towards healthy expression (i.e. interacting in real life vs. facebook in the example above) satisfies our true desires while taking the naughty allure out of the distracting behavior. 

So in a way, these cards still show us moving forward this week, regardless of how much we struggle with The Devil card. If we keep coming back to the work of the Eight of Pentacles we'll find ourselves again and again. And The Chariot is showing us that we're more than up to the task of achievement. All we need to do is get the rest of us on the same page.