Thursday, 26 April 2012

poise and power

Many querents come to me for advice on how to act to settle the outcome of a difficult situation. They want reassurance regarding their plans. They want to know if it's really time to act to try to instigate change or if they need to hang back and observe before rushing in where angels fear to tread! Weighing up different options is one of the most fruitful ways to use Tarot because, ultimately, it's all down to the individual - they are the ones who will eventually have to choose a direction. My place, as a reader, is not to instruct absolutely but to advise objectively. Most of the time my intuition will lead me to favour one course of action or the other, but there should always be options laid out and reassurance given that power is in their hands and that they shouldn't be afraid to use it. So, what do you do when you can't choose between moving and staying still? When you're not sure whether to argue your case or keep quiet? When you're on the verge of changing things drastically, but you're unsure of the possible consequences?

Some cards in the Tarot have a strong message of forging ahead and the need for assertiveness and positive action. These cards offer encouragement for the task that lies ahead and remind the querent that self-belief is of paramount importance on the journey towards success. Other cards ask for subtlety, refrain, control and the biding of time in order to wait for more beneficial conditions. These cards speak of the need for patience and the wisdom to understand that not everything is for the taking all the time - some situations marinade slowly and the process needs to be respected in order for it to work. Most of the cards combine advice on being both active and passive, dependent upon their position in the spread, whether or not they appear in the reversed position and so on. But I feel that most cards speak a little more loudly one way or the other, favouring one kind of action in order to achieve a good result. What can the cards reveal about the benefits of active and passive responses to the issues we deal with in life? Which cards are more likely to appear when action must be taken swiftly? Which are more in line with holding back and meditating on things before a decision is reached?

Just taking a look through the deck today, several key cards speak to me of the positive benefit of shaking things up and actively pursuing something to improve your life. When you strike out and make something happen, you have to feel safe in doing so. A little bit of healthy anticipation is to be expected, but if you're genuinely scared of the repercussions or you feel that your friends and family won't accept your decisions, you'll also need to analyse that fear and decide if you really deserve to feel terrified just because you want to take your life into your own hands. Here are some cards you can turn to and approach for active energy:

The Emperor - He's a 'doer'. He may have been waiting in the wings for a long time, hoping that things would organically change, but he's now at a time in his life where he's stopped following and started leading. He's become more aware of what he wants and deserves and he's willing to strike out alone to get those things if necessary. He exerts control in order to arrive at positive results. He's brave and assertive. When considering the message in this card, it's important to remember that you don't need to be domineering or too single-minded when going forward, but you do need a strong sense of self and the ability to be able to speak up for what you believe in. Sometimes the message of The Emperor is, 'enough is enough'. Waking up one morning and deciding that you're not going to live under your present conditions anymore  is a conviction that you can really go through with under this influence. Take a stand. Learn to hone and use your active energy to glean a more satisfying state of play.

The World - This card delves into the importance of being comfortable enough with who you are to be able to act in your own best interests. It speaks of an inner wisdom and self-knowledge that makes it easier for you to break down the barriers in front of you and show those around you that you're prepared to fight for your rights and chase your dreams. It's quite a down-to-earth message of strength and vitality, but it also tells you that your potential has to be consciously acknowledged in order to be useful. Take a look in the mirror and define who you are and who you want to become. Refine your options through being aware of what you want and where you need to get to. There's a lot of active energy here. The World speaks of both the beginning and end of a journey in some respects. Maybe you're done with being cautious and quiet and there's now a need to move forward in a bigger, more noticeable way. Maybe you're only just beginning to realise your capabilities and now it's time to be brave enough to use them.

Queen of Pentacles - This card illustrates a woman who knows what she wants and can define a clear pathway towards getting it. She is in control of her earthly realm. She's savvy when it comes to finances and she's taking charge of her career and workload. She's dispensing her energy evenly and being sensible and responsible when it comes to knowing what's possible and what's obviously beyond her reach. She's living within her means, calculating her chances of success in a realistic way and not losing heart just because the journey ahead may involve hard work. She's focused, she's ready for anything, she feels confident and self-aware. Her eyes are open to the facts. Is this you? Then you're ready to make your move.

Now let's take a look at some cards which could offer insight into your more passive energy. These cards address your ability to be calm and composed whilst playing a waiting game of sorts. Assessing your options before diving in is a major necessity if you're not yet sure that you can make huge changes to the status quo.

The High Priestess - This card can sometimes entail a message of waiting. Not all of the relevant information has yet come to consciousness. There are further considerations that have yet to make themselves known. This is not a time for rash decisions but for focused inward reflection. Asking yourself profound questions about your own reactions to the situation at hand can be a helpful course of action at this time, rather than making a move that could later prove naive or unhelpful. When asking a very direct question about which way to move forward, the appearance of The High Priestess is often a push towards using your intuition and following inner guidance which can give you a deeper perspective than suggestions from anyone on the outside looking in. This card suggests that secrets from the hard-to-reach places are going to make themselves known, but not yet.

Eight of Swords - You're unable to see all of your options under this influence. You know that your current situation is difficult and unpleasant and you want to make a final decision which will set changes into motion, but the fact is that your judgement is clouded and you're not prepared for action just yet. The Eight of Swords sometimes arrives in a reading as a message of caution. There are probably influences at work that you're not yet aware of. You're stumbling in some way and it's not a good idea to attempt to move through a dangerous area when you're unsteady on your feet. Waiting to see how things materialise is a good idea. Circumstances are definitely subject to change.

The Hanged Man - This card often indicates a period of necessary waiting. This waiting is represented as frustrating and unpleasant but it's often forgotten that periods of non-movement can be very revealing and character-building for the querent. Instead of attempting to wriggle free of the stagnation, try to view it as a positive time. It's a chance for you to reflect and plan accordingly whilst also watching out for subtle changes that could influence your thoughts one way or the other. This is a chance to stay on the sidelines and observe. It's not a sign of failure to stay still at times. It's actually a sign of good judgement. The Hanged Man also speaks of the importance of self-sacrifice. You may be experiencing the necessity to put your own desires on the back burner under this influence in favour of the greater good. Sometimes non-action is the only way to make positive action possible in the long-run.

When you're weighing up your options you may realise that the decision lies in whether or not to act. Asking the deck for its passive and active messages to come forward and make themselves known might help you to consider which course of action is currently needed. You might also find that a different perspective is offered and you find yourself thinking outside the box. Which is never a bad thing.