a fiery reflection at the water, reckoning with the Five of Wands

I finally got myself to some water. I spent a truly refreshing and healing day at the beach with my sister. I hadn't felt so light in weeks. There's something about ocean water that is incredible. I thought it the perfect place for a tarot reading, of course!

Cards from the Herbal Tarot and the Earthbound Oracle

I have to admit, that as soon as I saw the cards, I abandoned further exploration of the reading for the whimsy of the ocean. Not that I could avoid it for too long. A reading like this stays with you.

It's a reflection of my world right now, to be sure. The sitting cards are upended, both the Four of Pentacles and the Queen of Cups. Usually these two figures sit securely in their element holding on to the keys to their seats of power (the Queen of Cups less tightly than the Four of Pentacles figure to be sure). In this reading, on either side of the riotous Five of Wands they are turned over, risking their grasp on what gives them security and power.

And what is it that unseats them? The answer is to be found in the Five of Wands, I think. So that's where I start.

The Five of Wands is a card of discord, unrest, and confusion. Here we have five different figures, only their hands visible, clearly at cross-purposes. This is not just an argument, it's the aftermath of one. The Five of Wands is the frozen moment before we decide engage the conflict, where raised fists lead before steady minds. It is a wild, fiery, and feverish place to be; in this moment, peace looks so far from attainment. We're not thinking straight, our hearts are a mess, to say nothing of our spirit. The Herbal Tarot's guidebook is incisive in its assessment: "to feel threatened is to betray an inner weakness that is better examined before we react...it represents, in some way, a personal failure in dealing with our own shortcomings as well as an inability to communicate that which we feel vital to our survival and well-being."

Sounds about right. Grief deals a powerful blow that I'm struggling to recover from.

Inner strength. Knowing oneself. Intuition, as the Earthbound Oracle offers as clarity to the Five of Wands, has been rather missing where I'm concerned. I'm all well and good seeking my intuition for others. However when it comes to seeking my path, to the home I see in the Four of Pentacles, I am inundated with all kinds of distraction. I am both lethargic and restless. I'm endlessly moody and taken to distraction. I'm not resting, not really like I should. I am running away. I find myself taking in others fears and worries and not dealing with my own, and have forgotten what it is to see my way clearly when I feel I'm most needed. It shakes up previously comforting notions of home and homemaking.

This is a reading asking me to take myself back.

The suggested balm? Turmeric. I love that although it is quite a fiery and fierce herb (add it to your tea or stew for delightful flavor) it is also an herb that dispels unnecessary heat and reduces pain and inflammation. Most herbs have corresponding actions spiritually as they do physically and Turmeric is no different. Spiritually, a meditation with Turmeric invites one to release unnecessary fire in your world, tending it in such a way that it is grounded in your core, providing inner strength that comes not from burning all the bridges around you but from building a confidence that comes from knowing yourself.

So yes my cup is overturned, and I've lost all my coins. And that has to be okay for now. In trying to figure out what new energy takes their place I have to return to myself first- it's rather impossible to go forward without that. So it'll be turmeric and rosemary tea tonight (or this morning, did I mention the insomnia?) to stir the mess and confusion out of my root where its stewing right now. Normally I'd avoid their warm energy before trying to sleep, but today I feel the heat will be more like a warm blanket on a cold night. Just the thing to comfort and set to bed. I do not hope to dream- dreams have not been refuge lately- but if I must, I hope they provide some insight into finding the peace that feels so far away.



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© Asali Earthwork