tarot tuesday: August’s stop|start|continue|focus

At the beginning of every month, I do a tarot spread regarding the month ahead for a little outside-the-box inspiration. I pull a stop card (what I should stop doing in the coming month), a start card (what I should start doing), a continue card (what I should keep doing), and a focus card (what I should keep in mind).

Wait, don’t leave! Let me explain.

Allow me to pause for a second before I continue and offer a brief explanation of what Tarot is (or rather, is not), how I got into it, and why. If you still feel inclined to write me of as some Professor Trelawney Wannabe without a soul, I accept your position. (Just know I will put a curse on you! KIDDING.)

Which brings me to my first point: Tarot cards and the act of reading them is not witchcraft. It’s truthfully not much different than reading a poem or scripture (yeah, I said it) and interpreting a meaning and inferring guidance based on where you are at in your life. I think of it as self divination. I believe that all of the answers we need are already inside of us, but that we have to quiet enough to hear them. For me, reading Tarot is one way I get quiet, in addition to meditation and prayer. (Yep, still spiritual; please don’t throw stones.)

I got into Tarot via my sister. She’s been practicing for nearly a couple years (I think), and when she first told me about it, I will admit my reaction was likely similar to yours just now: Okaaaaaay. Whatever floats your boat. But I was supportive of course.

However, I eventually became curious, especially when she compared it to learning a foreign language, and when I went to visit in February, I signed up for my first lesson with her. She gifted me the deck you see below (Universal Waite Tarot Deck); traditionally, first decks are given, not purchased. (Keep in mind, just a tradition.) And away I went.

I’ve been dabbling since then, with her help and some self-teach. Biddy Tarot’s website and podcast have also been excellent resources. In no way do I claim to be an expert, just a practitioner; readings are my intuitive own.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled programming.

This month, this was my spread:

4-Card Tarot Spread (Reversed Five of Pentacles, Temperance, Reversed Four of Cups, Reversed Empress)

My first impression of this read is that August will be another month of inner work that needs to be done (the presence of three reversals), but it is all in service of the person you are becoming.

5 of Pentacles
Struggling couple walking through the snow with the man gazing up at a church’s stained glass window featuring five pentacles or coins.

The Stop Card: Reversed (i.e., Upside Down) Five of Pentacles
This month is all about stopping the slow trudge ahead, specifically with regard to money and financial well-being. While this reversed card can indicate the end to a time of financial hardship, I read it as a call-to-action when it comes to your spending habits and financial planning. Stop simply imagining the life that you want. Stop only just making ends meet. Make a plan; put in the work; reap the benefits.

 

 

Temperance
Winged angel standing with one foot in the water and the other on land while pouring water between two cups.

The Start Card: Temperance
This card is a call to moderation and balance, which is going to involve self-discipline. Seek serenity and tolerance when it comes to your inside thoughts and external reactions. Strive for patience and perseverance as you establish a new habit or curb and old one. Ensure the true self and the face you present to the world are in line.

 

 

 

Reversed 4 of Cups
Crossed-arm man deep in thought at the base of a tree while a cloud offers him a cup in addition to the three that sit in front of him.

The Continue Card: Reversed Four of Cups
When upright, this card can serve as a warning to not take advantage of what you have or as a sign that you have stagnated. I read the reversal as a reminder to stay open, to opportunities and emotions, specifically your willingness to express yours. Continue being obsessively grateful for the work you have done and need to do and where it has gotten you.

 

 

 

The Reversed Empress
Full-bodied blonde woman wearing a crown of starts sitting on a throne in the middle of a lush natural environment.

The Focus Card: Reversed Empress
The Empress is our Earth Mother card; she’s a symbol of the power of femininity and embodies sensuality, fertility, and abundance. When reversed, I read this card as a call to come back to your own. This month, focus on turning your attention inward and really nurturing and getting in touch with your femininity (perhaps while getting outside). Spend your time visualizing what you want your life to look like and harnessing your power.

 

 

If you need a song to get you through this month, this is your tarot-inspired shower jam: I Am Woman by Jordin Sparks.

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