Tuesday, 29 November 2011

working towards work

Work stress can be extremely intense. We spend a hell of a lot of our lives in the work place and if people or situations there are causing us problems it can be difficult to see our way through. Likewise, making a living is a necessity and when people who've been in a stable work situation for years suddenly find themselves unemployed it can put their life into major upheaval. Career questions are very popular with those who seek Tarot for guidance and support. Here are some of the major themes I've encountered over my fourteen years as a reader.
  • doing too much Stress and pressure can pile up. Expectations in the work place can occasionally run too high and make people feel unnecessary pressure. The desire to succeed and progress at work can feed into healthy ambition but when it gets out of hand you can find that nothing you do seems good enough and self-worth can start to hit an all time low. It may be that you feel you're in the right career but it's become stagnant and no matter what you do to try and get promoted or get to a place you feel happy with, nothing works. Temperance is a good card to remind us to achieve a healthy work-life balance and accept our limitations.
  • doing too little Apathy and a lack of motivation can make work into a horrible place to be. Whether you feel you're in the wrong job or you're just having difficulty finding a job after a long time out of work, cards like the Page of Cups and the Page of Pentacles can remind us that getting ourselves out there and making the most of the work place can steer us onto the right path again, either in a new position or continuing on our present course. The Three of Wands signifies a transitory period from one set of circumstances to another and this makes it a perfect card for pushing forward and seeking out new opportunities.
  • taking work home It's important for all of us to take some time to unwind and free our minds from the stress and politics of the work environment. If you're taking your work home with you, worrying about it when you're lying in bed or trying to enjoy time with family and friends, the Six of Swords represents a need to move away from situations that are causing us more harm than good. The Four of Cups reminds us not to get too tied up and emotionally invested in a situation to the point that we lose sight of what's important and forget how to be happy.
  • searching for work Those who are out of work often experience self-doubt and feelings of worthlessness. Many also become complacent in their situation and start to stagnate. The Wheel of Fortune reminds us to take a risk in order to gain something and change our lot in life. Nothing is achieved without a gamble here and there and forward motion is usually always better than staying put in an unhappy situation. The Emperor reminds us to build our own empire and see the good in our character and abilities. Regaining a sense of dignity is important for long-term job seekers.
  • changing a career path Many of us are looking for a new path way in career matters. We're sick of our current position in life, we know we could be utilising our passions to make a living or we feel that we're not valued in our current place of work. When you need help deciding which path to take next, cards like the Three and Eight of Pentacles urge us to expand our horizons with training, study, apprenticeships or career advice. Death is a good card to remind us to be flexible in the face of extreme transition. Changing our work situation is scary. Facing the unknown is something many of us put off for years out of fear.
  • needing validation Sometimes an employer forgets to lavish praise on someone who's done a good job. Sometimes promotions seem to be offered to everyone else first and even our most concerted efforts go unnoticed. The Nine of Pentacles represents enjoyment of the fruits of our labour and can be a great card to encourage someone to pat themselves on the back and give themselves credit for what's been achieved.
Working for a living can entail a series of massive highs and lows. Sometimes we take too much of our emotional baggage into work with us, we care too much about how other people rate our performance or we feel lost and incapable in the midst of a hostile environment. Everyone who comes to the Tarot for work guidance has a slightly different issue and the cards can cater perfectly for all of us if they're used to encourage decisive action and positive thinking.