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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Examining influences

Deck of 1000 Spreads with Prairie Tarot
This morning I decided to take a closer look at something that has been bothering me a lot lately, diet and fitness. I've ended up with a monster of  a spread, which is a side-effect of using the Deck of 1000 Spreads tool--but it was fun putting this thing together.

Top row
1. Problem   2. Health   3. Conscious Desires   4. You

Negative Influences from
5. Partner (what you can't change)  6. Partner (what you can change)
7. Co-Workers (what you can't change)  8. Co-workers (what you can change)
9. Friends and family (what you can't change)  10. Friends and family (what you can change)

Positive Influences from
11. Partner
12. Co-workers
13. Friends and family

Right side
14. Success
15. Outcome

In the top row, I have drawn 4 of Cups, Knight of Cups, King of Wands and Queen of Wands. I'm not surprised to see that the Problem is a lack of enthusiasm coupled with a bit of feeling sorry for myself! However, I am a bit disturbed at Knight of Cups in the Health position, which I take to mean that I am under some illusions about the state of my health. There probably is a lot of wishful thinking or self-deception going on where my health is concerned. I need to become more aware of the reality of my situation and stop mooning about. I mean, how much more of a reality check do I need than the fact that I've gone up two sizes in clothing! But no, I just keep wearing this one clearly outsized pair of trousers because it has a lower number, rather than buying the new ones I try on that have a higher number. And when I see the reality of dimpled thighs in the mirror, I tell myself it's 'unforgiving lighting' in the dressing room. (Which has extended to my living room, funnily enough). My Conscious Desire really is to be the King of Wands, and have lots of energy to attack this problem head on. (It's funny, I drew this guy yesterday, too). Maybe I should ask myself what Rooster Cogburn would do. Now the big surprise for me in this row was getting Queen of Wands in the 'You' position. Me? The Queen of Wands?? I took a closer look at the You card from Deck of 1000 Spreads:

Okay, I admit the Queen of Wands and I have a history. I just don't associate myself with her at all. So it could be that there are things about the Queen of Wands, or rather, my 'attitudes, energies or thoughts' about Queen of Wands that are hindering me with regard to losing weight. How can I let go of my negative associations with Queen of Wands so that I can embrace her positive qualities within myself in order to achieve my goal of improved fitness and less flab?

She's clutching a sunflower here in the Prairie Tarot card, which for some reason makes me think of the phrase 'Strike while the iron is hot.' I guess because it's midsummer and the sunflower is a potent solar symbol. Seize the moment, don't put it off. I do keep thinking that if I screw up today, I can always start again tomorrow. But then after several hundred tomorrows have come and gone and I'm up two sizes of clothing, clearly that strategy is not working for me. The black cat is like a warning. It's about to cross my path in this card. It seems to me to be the shadow of bad things to come (health and otherwise) if I fail to grasp the sunflower and take action.

Drawing the Queen of Wands reminds me that I have the power to do this, that it really truly is my decision and the results of my actions that I am where I am right now. There's no sitting under trees wondering why the world is against me about it. The Queen of Wands does not sit under that shade tree, she sits out under the blood red sky, where nothing casts a shadow that might obscure her vision of her goal.

The middle bit of the spread looks at the influences surrounding me, negative and positive. I wanted to take a close look at those negative influences that I can't change and must learn to deal with, and those that I can change, so that I can find ways to do so. I also wanted to see what positive influences I should take advantage of.

Starting with my partner, the hubster, the cards I drew don't seem directly related to weight loss, but surely must have a bearing on my state of mind and thus my eating behaviour. I can see from the 5 of Swords that there are always going to be things that annoy us about each other, you can't make a relationship perfect; however, what can be changed is the extent to which we stab each other through the heart (3 of Swords). This is directed at me; I can be quite ferocious when annoyed, but there's no reason to wound to the heart just because you're pissed off. This is a behaviour I can change, and it will be positive influence on me to do so. His positive influence on me is seen in Page of Coins, who is a very steady person indeed, surpassed in steadfastness only by big brother, Knight of Coins. Yes, my partner is the stable one and I'm the flaky one. I should pay more attention to how he maintains his equilibrium, rather than 'tearing into him like a monkey on a cupcake', as Raymond once said to Debra in 'Everybody Loves Raymond.'

I'm a bit surprised to see two majors turn up in relation to my co-workers. I don't know why I didn't think they would be of significance, considering how much time is spent in the workplace each day. The majority of my eating will always happen there, as the majority of my waking hours are spent there. I suppose the Hermit suggests to me that I will always be somewhat on my own in seeking to eat healthily and live well. I cannot expect them to behave in ways that create a safe environment for me. The biscuits and chocolate are always going to be on the table. However, I can take lessons from my co-workers in living a balanced life -- as seen in The Star from Prairie Tarot. In this card, there is a Native American maiden pouring water from a clay pot into the river, one foot dangling in the water, the other tucked under her. To the right side of the card, the seven chakras are in perfect alignment and balance. I should take more notice of the way they live their lives and try strategies that are working for them. This is in all areas of life, not just eating, as all seven chakras are represented on the card. This positive influence is reinforced by the Justice card, which shows balance and teamwork and measured actions through the symbols of a set of scales, a yoke for oxen, and a sword.

What I can't change about Friends and Family is the fact that I need them. This sounds silly, but I have a tendency to be quite solitary and often forget to seek out companionship and connection. For some reason, I am struck by the foot positions of the two figures in the 2 of Cups cards. They have one foot toes pointing forward, but the other foot has the instep turned toward the front, toward the fire and each other. This requires a full rotation from the hip, and is a quite open, unprotected stance. It just seems a bit awkward, not really comfortable. Hard to make a quick get away with your leg all twisted like that! Not sure where I'm going with this, but those feet really stood out to me...I guess I can't change the need to be open and vulnerable. What I can change is being on the retreat all the time. The 6 of Swords shows a creek or river crossing by ferry... Because the positive influence of Friends and Family is 4 of Wands, a card that usually symbolizes stability, and in the Prairie Tarot seems to have a similar meaning. In the vast wilderness, the fence gives a boundary, protection, a sense of being safe from the unknown, even if it is just a few posts and some wire. A fence can make you feel a lot better about your chances out there, and so can Friends and Family.

So, what do I need to achieve Success? I've drawn the 9 of Wands. That is one sexy cowboy, by the way. I love the way his hat shades his eyes, and his rolled back sleeves, and his slim fittin' cowboy trousers. Interesting that I've got a fence again here. For success, I need to create stability; this card suggests to me that rather than looking over his shoulder, this cowboy ought to take a closer look at what he's achieved so far, because his fence has got into a terrible muddle! He's going to have to pull up those fence posts and move them -- what on earth good are they doing the way they are?? He needs to get his fence posts in a row and wired up. And I need to get my fence posts in a row, too! Stop looking over my shoulder for some magic solution and do the dirty work of undoing my past mistakes and making them right.

All right then, if I follow the advice of the reading, the Outcome is 2 of Swords. Well, yay. This card usually represents a temporary holding pattern, as symbolized by the blindfolded woman. I suppose I see this card as being constantly on my guard. It reminds me of the scene in Star Wars where part of Luke's training is to ward off attack while blindfolded, because the inner sense is stronger than the evidence of your eyes. Whatever the outcome of my efforts in losing weight and being healthy, maintaining the status quo will require a lot of digging deep to stave off the bad habits creeping back.

This has been a long and convoluted reading, but in essence it is telling me:

Part of my problem is feeling sorry for myself and not facing reality (4 of Cups, Knight of Cups). I am ultimately responsible for the situation I find myself in right now.  I have the power to change that (King and Queen of Wands). A perfect life is not going to fall out of a tree and hit me on the head, like an apple. I am going to have to take a good hard look at myself and others and the way I have allowed myself to react to outside influences, and make the changes where I can, while stopping laying the blame on the things I can't change. I can experience annoyance at home without brutalizing the source. I don't have to join in the unhealthy eating at work, but can observe tips in life in other areas. I can seek out support from others instead of turning away (Middle bit).  The key to my success is to take a look at what I've built around myself, the situation I find myself in now, and doing the very hard, sweaty work of digging it up and doing it over again (9 of Wands). And finally, in this health and fitness lark, there's no finish line, I will always have to be aware of myself and my behaviour, blindfolded to my delusions and self-deceptions, facing the inner truth of why I do what I do, and also the truth of how I can stop doing the things I want to stop doing (2 of Swords).

If you have a situation or problem that you would like to take a closer look using this spread (it doesn't have to be a weight loss or health issue!), contact me using the Order a Tarot Reading tab at the top of this page. Or we can craft a spread just for your situation. Let's have a chat about what a tarot reading can do for you!


  1. Like you, I'm not often a fan of big spreads. Still, this one really did bring up a lot of interesting points. Good luck with that hard work, and I hope we can support each other in it - 2 of Cups for Friends cuts both ways :)

    1. It did bring up a lot of good points, I wonder if I can live up to them.

  2. Great spread and I think the cards really did speak to you quite loudly. I love your interpretation of each of them. I don't usually use large spreads either but just might give this one a try. Thanks for sharing.

    I agree that 2 of Cups goes both way. Here to be supportive in any way I can be. You can make it work. Like I always tell myself .. one moment at a time ...

    1. Thanks, Carol! I appreciate your support. *hug*