decisions

For this reading I will use the first ten sword cards and the first ten major arcana cards to examine how I am as a risk taker.   Swords generally deal with struggles, power and strategy and I hope to see how I might best manage the risk and anxieties in my life.  

The Layout

This reading uses a triple cover and cross layout.  I will use three basic cover and cross pairs using the I-X of Swords and the first ten major arcana cards, shuffled separately.

The basic cover and cross layout consists of one card upright (covers you) and one laying across that one (crosses you).  Just like a cross.  The cover card represents the current situation and the cross card represents the challenges you face.

Shuffle the sword cards while asking your question and deal up the first three cards in the covers position.  Then shuffle the major arcana cards while asking your question and deal up the first three cards in the cross position.

Tarot Reading

The Question: How can I ensure I take the right risks?

The Spread

Covers:  X Swords
Cross:  X Wheel

Covers:  IX Swords
Cross: IX Hermit

Covers: I Swords
Cross: VI Lovers

Interesting or coincidental that the first two are both nines and then both tens.  Hmmm.

The Answer

You are very capable of making a comeback.  Look to trusted friends for advice, but when the decisions need to me made, take some time to yourself and trust your own gut.  You will have the most success working with a partner.

The Cards

X Swords

My Take*:  A Man cowers under a ring of swords.  He is currently repelling the swords but that situation could change at any time.  He is naked and hides his head. Vulnerable is the word that comes to mind.

The Card:  You have completely lost yourself in the ruminations of your conscious mind.  The chattering monkey mind has obscured your perspective and the ability to see clearly and you are no longer able to manage things productively.  The good news is that there is nowhere to go but out of this situation now.  This is the end of the road and now you are able to see new opportunities and the potential for growth.

X World

My Take:  This card always reminds me of the Wheel of Time.  How no matter what happens time keeps moving on, with or without us.  It represents all the possibilities of the Universe and it is all up to us whether we seize those opportunities or let them pass us by.

The Card:  This card represents the feeling that our fate is determined by some mechanical or cosmic machine.  But no matter how many things are out of our control, there are many many things that we can control.  We just have to look at these things in new and creative ways.  It can represent feeling helpless to your circumstances and most definitely means that change is coming, usually for the better.  We must remember the control that we do have in our lives and not let ourselves believe too strongly in the power of those things outside ourselves.  

IX Swords

My Take:  Afraid of the things that go bump in the night.  A woman lays, afraid.  The swords are all gathered in a point right above her head.  A tree reaches out like a claw.  These are the scary thoughts that run around in our heads.  Being afraid of everything whether it is real or not or should be scary or not.  Letting our thoughts cripple us.

The Card:  Anxiety caused by the trappings of the mind.  How we think about things effects our perception of the world around us.  If we expect bad things to happen then they usually will.

IX Hermit

My Take:  This card is about looking deep within ourselves for the answers to our questions.   It’s about removing ourselves from out surroundings in order to gain perspective on a situation.  

The Card:  Seclusion, meditation and removing of oneself to gain perspective.  Self imposed isolation and contemplation.   The lantern brings light into the farthest reaches of the mind.  Make sure that the isolation is for reflection and not simply to escape.

I Swords

My Take*:  An armored and winged woman is the hilt of this single sword.  Light radiates from behind the sword through a dappled cloud sky.  The tip of the sword runs through a golden triangle.  Ones are generally about new opportunities.   This card speaks to me of a renewal in strength.  The woman is ready to take flight like a regal bird, yet grounded by the golden triangle.

The Card:   A new idea or “Aha” moment.  A new  and clearer understanding of the world around us and our personal path.  Great opportunity for growth and change.

VI Lovers

My Take:   Intimate relationships.   Obtaining the ultimate closeness while still retaining your own identity.   

The Card:  Relationships, sharing of self, vulnerability, attraction of opposites.  All types of relationships are represented, not only love relationships.    Sharing of oneself can be frightening, but closeness and a breaking down of barriers can be achieved by being honest and up front.  Communication and understanding prevail. 

Reading Analysis

These three set reading tend to deal with past present and future and the first set seems to hold true with this.  I feel like the last year has been all about giving in and resigning to the situation so that I can finally see past all the anger and pain and fear and move on with my life in a more productive and genuine way.  It is time for me to break myself down and pick through all the pieces to determine who it is I really want to be.  This required getting rid of the negative influences in my life, renegotiating my boundaries and interactions with those closest to me and learning enough about myself to redefine who I am.  With this comes the ability to move forward in a new way that is very exciting and more than a bit scary.  

It is funny that they talked about the chattering monkeys.  My therapist referred to my constant ruminating as chattering monkeys as well.  A big part of this journey for me has been to differentiate between when the monkeys are working on something productive and when they are just being distracting and destructive.  I am working on this and also telling them that this isn’t productive and diverting them onto more productive paths.  It seems to be working quite well.  Really dealing with depression, anxiety, fear, chattering monkeys or whatever else is all the same.  You have to look it straight in the eye, accept it and recognize it for what it is, then simply move on with your day.  There is little you can do about your physical reactions or mental wanderings, but you can identify it correctly and chose to live your life anyway.  And eventually the thoughts and physical sensations begin to subside, at least that has been my experience.

For a while now, I have felt really out of control, like the world was spinning out of control around me.  The Wheel card represents that.  But now, I am taking back the control that I do have, by choosing the people who influence my life, facing my fears and slaying the dragons, as I like to say, as well as trying to reconcile, resolve and/or let go of the things that haunt me from my past.

The nine of swords and Hermit pairing make perfect sense for the present with anxiety brought on by the workings of my mind and my resulting self imposed isolation.  I have been going through a lot and have closed rank as a way to cope and work through everything.  Only recently have I really started to reach out again and am beginning to attempt to clear away some of the rubble.  

This is where the risk this reading addresses really comes into play.  In the future set we have the one of swords about new inspirations and opportunities paired with the lovers which deals with open and honest communication and relationships.  To me this means that new opportunities lie in my relationships with others and with open and honest communications, being comfortable with my vulnerability and recreating the important relationships in my life in an honest and meaningful way.   It also may mean that a new relationship in my life will be a rewarding risk.  

Overall an honest and encouraging reading.

 

* Please keep in mind that I am learning and this is a new deck of cards for me.  The “My Take” statements are my first impression based on just looking at the card.  It is very likely that the first time the card comes up they won’t be even remotely close.  Please don’t hold it against me.  “The Card” statements are more accurate and based on the meanings that are presented with the card.

This morning we sat as a family and watched the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America.

Although words are not coming easily to me at this point, I am full. Full of hope for the future. Full of pride in my country. Full of love for everyone and everything.

I know I am not alone in my deep reflection on this moving experience. It amazes me and fills me with joy that such an inspirational and capable man has come to power at a time when we need it so badly. All things happen for a reason at the time it is most needed and I think that is the case here.

I was impressed with the strength of his speech, the message he sent to the world and most importantly his message to us, the American people. These are tough times for this country and we must all stand together and get ready to work hard beside each other building a new America.

You can’t help but feel there was a fundamental shift that occurred this morning and I can’t help but notice that I feel fundamentally different because of it.

Dear Mr. President: Be strong and follow your heart. Your judgement is sound and good and should be trusted as well as critically questioned. Surround yourself with smart and experienced people you trust and listen heartfully to them, but don’t let them sway you from the task at hand. We need you now to show us the way. Tell us what you need from us and we will be there, standing next to you. We need change, need to take responsibility for our actions and contributions to both the good and bad that is this time in this country, need to be inspired and led by you. You will be great and my hopeful and positive thoughts will be with you every step of the way.

For my own selfish reasons and for my personal purpose of always wanting to remember this day, I have quoted the text of President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech below.

Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address

Following is the prepared text of President-elect Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address, as provided by the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

This reading will look into this years financial outlook.

The Setup

For this reading I will use a cover and cross layout and will deal out three cover and cross pairs.  The cards in use include I-X of the Major Arcana cards and I-X of Coins.  Coins are the cards of money matters.

To Deal Out this spread, shuffle the Major Arcana cards and the Coin cards separately.  Deal out three cover cards from the Coins pile and then three cross cards that lay across the cover cards from the Major Arcana pile.

The Question

What is the financial outlook for this year?

The Spread

Tarot Reading

Cover:  IX Coins
Cross: IX Hermit

Cover: V Coins
Cross: VI Lovers

Cover: VII Coins
Cross: IV Emperor

The Answer

Pair 1: You will have enough to ease the pressure and pursue your goals.
Pair 2: You will feel your belt tighten and look for budget tightening measures.
Pair 3: Your earnings will maintain your desired lifestyle.

The Cards

IX Coins

My Take: A woman stands in a garden holding a dove, another flying overhead. Her dress suggests a traditional and conservative woman. Coins surround her head like a wreath. This feels like a card of adequate amounts, of building something comfortable.

The Card: You have worked hard and have created a peaceful and well deserved oasis for yourself. Be careful that you might be shutting out the rest of the world.

IX Hermit

My Take: The Hermit sits isolated looking inward for the answers. His light beacons for others to find him so that he may share what he learns. He is alone and withdrawn.

The Card: Self-imposed isolation. The hermit removes himself in order to gain perspective on his situation through meditation and self-reflection. The light from the lantern brings access to the deepest recesses of your mind. If you are using seclusion to escape, use the hermit energy to figure out why.

V Coins

My Take: It is snowing. A ragged woman begs for money, holding her baby close trying to keep it warm. She feels sad, reaching out to others to relieve her situation.

The Card:   Experience of misfortune, either financial or emotional.  You must be willing to do what it takes to get through this time and onto the next cycle of your life.  This is a temporary state.  Beware of a poor me attitude, your success or failure may depend on your attitude.

VI Lovers

My Take:  The couple is intertwine, joined in the intimate of ways.  Although this can obviously refer to positive sexual relations, it can also refer to two people being in sync with one another, working well as a team.  You must only be careful not to lose yourself in the other person.

The Card:  Any kind of relationship and the vulnerabilities that go along with it.  Being open, honest and vulnerable with another person.

VII Coins

My Take: This card shows a tree filled with coins with a woman sitting under it with he dog and some empty baskets.  The sun is out and she has a satisfied look on her face.  This card reminds me of the proverbial money tree, ripe and ready for harvesting.  Things are good and the money it there for the taking, just reach out and fill your baskets.  There is something slightly lonely about this card though.  She is far away from anything much and has only her dog for company.  There are two sides to every coin.

The Card:  The tree is ripe and ready but it is important to be patient and wait for just the right moment to optimize the harvest.  The woman ponders her situation, examining her next move.  Another interpretation might be that something that you have tended to and cared for is now ready to grow on it’s own.  Your immediate attention is no longer needed.

IV Emperor

My Take:  The emperor is all about structure and order and having the tools available to you to accomplish the task at hand.  In this reading it seems appropriate that there would be enough money to create the structure and material world that is needed for you to feel secure and powerful.

The Card:  The emperor sees the need for structure and order in everything.  He yields the power to decide what projects to take on and/or who is worthy of his civic offerings.  He must be aware of the consequences of his decisions.  This card can refer to all things dealing with power.  Fathers or fatherly figures, government institutions, laws and regulations, tyranny and charity.

Reading Analysis

I like to think of multiple cover and cross pairs as a sort of timeline.  I asked about the next year so I see it as the first pair being about the current situation, the second about the middle of the year and the last as the end of the year.  

There are no surprises here.  All of my inputs say the same thing, that money is here, will be here and will keep coming.  There have been some signs along the way that there is a lot of money somewhere, but there has been no sign of any big windfall anywhere.  Karli has been doing very well for us and I have no doubt will continue to do so.

There seems to be a little stumble sometime this year, where we might need to address the budget and our expenditures some.  I will keep this in mind as I can see it being an issue as for the first time since I left work, we are finally in the black and have been spending a little willy nilly lately.  We’ll have to make sure to keep that in check.

After examining each card individually, it is uncanny how the cards can address the questioned situation while still being very telling in other pertinent areas of our lives.  The cards speak of isolation, self-reflection, turning inward, pain, feeling sorry for yourself, reaching out for help and depending on those closest to us and then reestablishing order and looking closely at what the future looks like.  That sounds like a past present future reading for myself if I ever saw one.

We are now moving away from Wands and onto Cups.  Cups deal with personal relationships and emotions.  The next several readings will deal with the people around me and my relationships with them.

For this first Cups reading we will use the I-X of Cups and return to numerology to select the card.   I will be using my first name and “adding up” the letters in my name to determine what card represents how I am doing in my personal relationships.

Karin

11+1+18+9+14 = 53 = 5 + 3 = 8

VIII Cups

The Answer

You tend to get involved in structured, open-ended relationships.  You like a structured framework around your relationship, allowing you to speak your mind.  Your best friends will be like thinkers and people who you feel you can share all your secrets.

Sidenote:  Your future involves making a departure of some sort.  You will travel to see someone at a distance.

The Card

*My take:  A figure climbs a set of pillars resembling stairs.  Eight cups are laid out on the floor below.  The “stairs” seem to be leading to the moon.  The sky is dark and starry.  You are departing, leaving on a journey, whether physical, psychological or emotional.  The cups, representing the people in your life are waiting at home, supportive and grounding.

The card: Following a new path always requires abandoning something.  The eight cups represent that that you are abandoning, whether it be a project, relationship or situation.  The moon represents an intuitive leap.  The man is nude, indicating a primal connection to his intuition.  Basically this means that your current path has come to it’s logical conclusion and now it is time to look to the moon (your intuition) for you new path.

Reading Analysis

Well, my life now is revolving around my new path and trusting my intuition to lead me to it, so this card makes sense, but what it has to do with the current state of my personal relationships, I’m not sure.  I have a feeling that the path that is coming to an end has to do with me only taking care of my kids.  Maybe by taking this new path, I am leaving behind some of the focus on everyone else around me and turning some of the focus on myself.   I can’t help but feel a little guilty about this.  This new path will definitely be a departure from my current existence.  In the answer it discusses what I seek out in friendship and that is generally a correct assessment.

* Please remember that I am learning and so the “My take” sections are my impressions after looking at the card.  These will change and come together with the real meanings as we go.  My goal is to come to a general meaning that resonates with me and coordinates with the card’s meaning.

This is a classic Celtic cross spread using the major arcana and wands cards we have been using so far to get a little more detail about the state of my career.

The Layout

The Celtic cross layout is one of the most classic and popular layouts. It generally give you a good overview of the past, present, future and how you can expect things to go.

Here is the general layout

       3         10
 5     1     6    9
       2          8
       4          7

Shuffle the wands and the major arcana cards separately while asking your question.

Deal the top two major arcana cards into positions one and two. These two cards are a cover and cross duo (this is really hard to represent without creating a separate image), but use your imagination.

Deal the top four wands into positions 3 thru 6.

Shuffle the remaining cards together, again asking your question, until the cards are finished and then deal the top four cards into positions 7 thru 10.

Here is some detail about what each position means.

1. Covers You – The current situation
2. Crosses You – The challenge you will need to confront and overcome
3. Above You – The best you can hope for, given the current conditions
4. Below You – The past foundation that needs to be considered
5. Behind You – Something that just happened the is influencing the situation
6. Before You – Something that is just about to happen that is influencing the situation
7. Who You Are
8. Who they want you to be – represents all the people around you and what they want for you.
9. What You Want
10. What you get – The end result, the answer.

The Question: What can I expect from my career this year?

The Spread

1. Covers You – IV Emperor
2. Crosses You – XI Justice
3. Above You – III Wands
4. Below You – X Wands
5. Behind You – IV Wands
6. Before You – VIII Wands
7. Who You Are – V Wands
8. Who They Want You to Be – II Priestess
9. What You Want – VII Chariot
10. What You Get – VI Wands

The Answer

Right now you are dealing with strong personalities, high expectations and power plays. Be strong and resolved. You need to make your own decisions. Your challenge is to set the right priorities and then go for it.

Success lies in joint undertakings. You must overcome past defeats and get out from under the things that burden you. Just recently, you cemented a deal. Just coming up, you are tying up loose ends.

You are the one on the front lines, you have good skills. Others want you to give input and read their minds. You want to be recognized. You have the opportunity for career advancement.

The Cards

IV Emperor – Covers You (the current situation)

My take: Order, ruling over things. Things are laid out before you in a straightforward manner.

The card: Fathering, law and order, social responsibility, power and structure. You have great power, use it carefully and thoughtfully. Be careful not to misuse it as you may be seen as tyrannical.

XI Justice – Crosses You (the challenge you must face and overcome)

My take: The scales are balanced. The skies are dark, she is blinded and armored. Whatever is in the scales shines brightly. You may not see what you are seeking, but all is as it should be?

The card: Fairness, being too judgmental, fighting for those less fortunate. The blindness indicates an unbiased approach to situation.

III Wands – Above You (the most you can hope for if circumstances don’t change)

My take: A man sits waiting on a rock as a ship sails in through the sky. The man is naked and vulnerable, yet surrounded by three rods, protectively. Something speeds toward you. You have the strength to handle it, but you must be patient.

The card: Waiting for signs of success and a return of your investment of energy. Beware not to become to wrapped up in initial success. There is still much work to do. The man is naked to show the purity of his intentions. You have chosen the path and set the wheels in motion and now must wait to see what happens next.

X Wands – Below You (past foundation)

My take: A naked man is crouched, 10 rods hovering above him. Very strong force of power. A triangle is at the top of the card, shining light down . His head is bowed as if in prayer or submission. Surrendering to situation, knowing you have done what you can and now it must play out on it’s own.

The card: The man is weighed down by the obstacles, problems and crumbling of his idea. This plan may have run it’s course and it is now time to look forward to new ideas. Beware of becoming a slave to your own ambition.

IV Wands – Behind You (just happened)

My take: The door is ajar, seen through the woods. Four towering wands surround the door. A fiercely bright light is just beyond the door. It’s so close you can taste it. You have all the strength you need, just reach our and take what’s yours.

The card: Stability, solid foundation. All plans and good ideas must eventually be acted upon or they just disappear. It is time to take action.

VIII Wands – Before You (coming soon)

My take: Eight wands fly through the air along with 8 doves. Things are in motion. Spirits are high and all is flowing well.

The card: High energy. Everything is clicking in high gear. You are inspired and can see your path clearly.

V Wands – Who you are

My take: Battle, Men with wands fight, stand guarded and ready against attack. You are armed and ready for the battle ahead.

The Card: There are several possible meanings to this card depending on the context. Most obvious is that there is a battle. Others include that the group is armed and ready to fight together, or they are ready to work creatively together. Each man is isolated from the rest of the group, indicating that the group is either fighting or working together from their own isolation.

II Priestess – What you are to others.

My take: She is mystical, psychic. She looks for higher meaning in things and finds comfort in the mystery of life.

The Card: The ability to tap into the subconscious and yet stay grounded in the present. It’s a delicate balance. A withdraw from the norm of the day to day.

VIII Chariot – What You Want

My take: This is a swift moving card. There is a man in a chariot with two white steeds and they are riding a wave. There is a huge steel contraption in the background reminiscent of an oil rig. This grounds the card and takes away some of the otherworldly qualities. I feels of being swept forward and taken for a ride. But, you must make sure to remain grounded in real and secure things.

The Card: Confidence, willpower, pride, arrogance, youthful energy, anger, insecurity. The path has been contemplated and chosen and now it is time to set forth. The road is not set in stone and you must keep your eye on the ball and not be distracted by the emotional forces acting here. With the right focus and dedication, you have the willpower, energy and confidence to fully succeed. The oil rig represents the beginnings of creating our mental framework, of pulling up ideas and thoughts from our subconscious and beginning to turn those into tangible attainable products of the real world.

VI Wands – What You Get – Then end result or answer

My take: A man stands on a balcony, 5 wands holding him up, his arms held up in victory, a bright light shining from the top of the remaining wand, which he holds firmly. This is reminiscent or roman times. This man looks like a leader and definitely a victor.

The card: Victory, plain and simple. A moment of elation and enjoyment of your accomplishment is in order. Just be aware that this feeling is temporary and the wheel of fortune will soon begin to move again.

Reading Analysis

Well, it seems like things are going to start moving and that success is definately possible and even probable. There is a group aspect to what I will be doing, but maybe not directly. It indicates that the decision has been made and now it is time to move on it. This still confuses me as I don’t know what decision has been made. A couple of things have happened over the last week or so. A friend of mine mentioned a part time web gig for a friend of hers that does cranial sacrum work and then I got this sinus infection (ouch and sucky) and did a bunch of research on holistic ways of approaching sinus infections, and from several other directions I am getting bombarded by the alternative medicine thing. I have a horticulture degree and herbology and holistic medicine have always been great interests of mine. It is worth looking into and exploring, but I can hardly say that I know for sure about that. If I know anything for sure, it is that I would really like to be a yoga instructor and that I don’t want to do the web thing forever. With the yoga thing, i am a good year away from even having that discussion with my instructor so I can’t see that this is it. The only thing I can think of is that the events of the last week or so have put something I’m not quite aware of into motion. I’m going with that.

It took me about a month to figure out how to write this post. I just couldn’t find the right words. Whatever I wrote seemed contrived and not as meaningful as it should. But when it really comes down to it, this is Sheryl’s story and I think she tells it best. Just a note for background. Sheryl and Rick are lifelong friend’s of the parents of some of our best friends from College (did you get all that?). Back in college we began going camping over Memorial Day weekend with our friends and their parents. Now, 13 years later, this is as much our tradition as it used to be theirs. The group has grown large and many children and grandchildren have been born and we look forward to our time spent in this loving circle as our most cherished.

And now, Sheryl’s story.

I Am Not Alone

By Sheryl Baker
I am a 52-year-old survivor of a ruptured brain aneurysm. I would appreciate sharing my story with you in hopes that you will feel it inspiring enough to share with your family and friends.

It was Monday, May 27th, 2007. My husband, Rick and I were camping at Steamboat Rock State Park in Washington State. We had spent a glorious Memorial Day weekend with lots of friends. Rick and I had enjoyed the prior day riding our motorcycles with another couple, in a very remote part of Eastern Washington. That Monday morning we woke up early to winds and looming rain clouds in the distance. We decided to take the jet ski out of the water before the rains came, and before the boat ramp got busy with other campers doing the same.
Rick walked me down to the lakeshore and watched me jump on the jet ski to head out into the water. There were no other boats out on the lake yet, but I wasn’t worried, as I had done this hundreds of times in the past by myself. I waved goodbye as Rick walked back up the hill where our motorhome was with the jet-ski trailer attached. As he started his drive to the boat ramp I eased the jet ski through the no wake zone and then gave it gas to get it up on a plane. I had a 10-minute ride to the pier where I knew Rick would be waiting on the boat ramp. Just as I hit the throttle, a huge wave from nowhere slammed me in the face and all down the front of me. It was cold, but not nearly as cold as the thunderous headache that immediately followed. I still had the longest part of the ride facing me. I knew I was in trouble, but I could not focus on what was happening.

A few minutes later I awoke sitting in the lake on the boat ramp. How did I get there and why was my head still pounding? Rick was telling me that help was on the way. Apparently, after getting hit by the wave, I continued on my way. I have no memory of this. The route was due north, then a sharp turn into another no wake zone at the boat ramp. Rick said he was standing on the dock watching for me. Finally I appeared, but he said I was coming into the no-wake zone too fast. As I approached closer he said my eyes were “blank” and he knew something was wrong. A few feet from the pier I fell off the jet ski backwards into the water. Rick came into the water to pull me to shore. When I regained consciousness he told me help was on the way, an ambulance had been called.

I was taken to a small hospital in Grand Coulee, WA. A CT scan revealed blood on the brain, but the origin was unknown. The emergency room doctor suspected a ruptured aneurysm. A brain aneurysm is a weak, bulging spot on the side of a brain artery, like a thin balloon. When this ruptures it causes the blood to be released into the head. The result of a ruptured brain aneurysm can lead to brain damage, paralysis, or in some cases death. I feel so very blessed to have had Dr. Schnyder on call at the hospital that day. His recommendation was to fly me to Sacred Heart, a larger hospital in Spokane. The winds were too high to send me by helicopter, so the decision was made to medivac me by airplane. I did not remember being at this hospital until months later when I returned to give my thanks to Dr. Schnyder. I do have a vague memory of being put on a plane, but no memory of the flight or of my arrival at the next hospital.

When I finally came to, my son was standing at the foot of my bed. I remember wondering if I had died, and if so, why was Jeremy here? Oh wait, Lindsey, Jeremy’s fiancée, is here too. They both live in Maryland, but why were they here? It was all so confusing. Rick was there also, and once again reassured me that all was going to be fine. I attempted to wipe the hair out of my eyes, but my hands would not budge. It was then that I heard for the first time that I had three brain aneurysms and one had ruptured while I was on the lake. I was also told that I had surgery and then suffered a stroke. Dr. Hirschauer, a neurosurgeon, had met with Rick upon my arrival. After confirming there were three aneurysms, he recommended that I have each aneurysm coiled. Another specialist, Dr. Zylak was called in to perform the procedure. There are only two radiologists in the state of Washington who do aneurysm coiling, and I happened to be at a hospital where one of them was on staff. The coiling procedure consists of having a tiny catheter threaded from the groin upward into the brain artery and then into the aneurysm. A small platinum wire (the size of thread) is fed through the catheter and forms a ‘yarn ball’ in the aneurysm to seal off the blood flow. My surgery was successful, but I suffered from a vasospasm, and then apparently a stroke on my way to ICU. A neurologist, Dr. Geraghty was on call, and I am so thankful to have received the wonderful skills that each of these Doctors possess. I truly feel blessed to have had this dream team caring for me.

I spent a month in Spokane at both the hospital, and then at a rehabilitation facility. I remember lying at night during my stay at the hospital and wondering why I was still alive. I knew the answer; God has bigger plans for me on this earth. I still have something to do. Over the next month I continued to ask him what it was that He wanted me to accomplish. One of my dear friends told me to quit asking, as He would lead me in the right direction. I would soon find that out. I am also extremely thankful to be surrounded by a wonderful family and the best circle of friends ever possible! They were there with me every step of the way. When you marry someone, you just always expect him or her to stand by you, you know, “for better, for worse, for sickness and in health…” Rick never let me down. He kept my spirits high and watched out for me when I wasn’t able to. Jeremy and Lindsey returned to the East Coast, and their upcoming wedding was the inspiration for my commitment to recovery. My parents who are strong in their faith put out prayer requests for my healing. My sister put her life on hold to be with me and aid in my recovery. I was encouraged by my many countless friends and family members who made the 12-hour road trips to see me. I can’t express in words my gratitude for their love and prayers for my recovery. My survival is nothing less than a miracle.

The week following my surgery, Rick was invited to attend a lecture that Dr. Zylak was giving about coiling procedure of brain aneurysms. Rick has since presented three brain aneurysm awareness classes at his workplace, the submarine base in Silverdale. His Power Point presentation is a short class to share our experience with fellow workers. Our mission is to raise awareness and hopefully prevent brain aneurysm ruptures and the difficulties associated with them. One of the supervisors who attended Rick’s class shared the information with another co-worker who had been having extreme headaches. She explained to the co-worker my story, and suggested that she be tested for an aneurysm. The co-worker contacted her insurance company for approval to have an MRI. While waiting for the approval she suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. She had a coiling procedure done, and I am happy to say that she is doing well. We need to get the message out

On August 22, Rick and I were on our way to visit my parents. Rick drove by a parked car along side the highway. As he drove by, I looked back and saw a man lying in the gravel on the other side of the car. Rick quickly turned around and went to help him. I phoned 911 as Rick was trying to get a response from the man. Rick couldn’t feel a pulse and started CPR. I was still too weak to help Rick in the resuscitation therefore I flagged down a passing motorist to assist him. Paramedics arrived and took over the resuscitation. We left and continued to my parents. I stayed awake most of that night, praying for this man. Four days later I telephoned the newspaper and inquired as to any info that they might have about the incident. The editor told me that he knew the man, Rich Oien, and he had been airlifted to Harborview Hospital in Seattle. The editor asked for my name and number, and he forwarded it on to Rich’s family. About 30 minutes later I received a call from Rich’s brother, Conrad. I was told that Rich had passed away the following day and the family had the opportunity to say goodbye to him thanks to my husband. I asked if he had suffered a heart attack, to which Conrad replied “no”, Rich had died from a brain aneurysm. I was beginning to know my purpose for living.

My dear friend Julie, who happened to be the friend who told me to quit seeking my purpose here on earth, lost her mom in October… to a ruptured brain aneurysm. I had never known anyone who had a brain aneurysm before and now my life has become engulfed with brain aneurysm events. I don’t believe in coincidences. I think there is a purpose for everything. I know that God is calling on me to raise awareness for brain aneurysms.
I am not alone. God was with me on the jet ski. I am not alone. I have the best support group of family and friends. I am not alone. There are many people that are unaware who have brain aneurysms. I am not alone. Together we all must stand up to bring awareness to this cause.

I want to make a difference. I will make a difference. And so, I’m sharing my story with you, in hopes that you will pass it and the following information to people you know and love.

The following facts have been provided by the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. Their web address is www.bafound.org.
Brain Aneurysm Statistics:

  • An estimated 6 million people in the USA have an unruptured brain aneurysm. That is about 1 in 50 people.
  • About 50% of people who have a ruptured brain aneurysm will die as a result.
  • 4 out of 7 people who recover from a ruptured brain aneurysm will have disabilities.
  • Brain aneurysms are most prevalent in people ages 35-60 but can occur in children as well.
  • Women, more than men, suffer from brain aneurysms at a ratio of 3:2.
  • Ruptured brain aneurysms account for 3 – 5% of all new strokes.

Warning Signs:

  • Cranial nerve palsy
  • Dilated pupil
  • Double Vision
  • Pain above and behind the eye
  • Localized headache
  • Drooping eyelid

Detection methods:

  • CT Scan (Computed Tomography)
    This scan takes a picture of your brain. It is a fast and painless test, which requires you to lie on your back, very still, while you are pushed into a large, tubular machine that creates the images. This test shows whether any blood has leaked around or into the brain.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
    An MRI is a safe, painless diagnostic scan that examines various areas of your body, in this case, your head. Through the use of a large doughnut-shaped magnet and a computer, magnetic signals are seen through a computer as radio waves. The computer is able to transform these radio waves into images. An MRI helps locate the aneurysm.
  • MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiography)
    This scan combines a regular MRI with the contrast dye, which is injected into a major vein. Like the CTA, this dye travels to the brain arteries, and images are created using an MRI. This creates a more enhanced image.
  • Angiogram (Arteriogram)
    This test allows doctors to see the size, shape, and location of the aneurysm, as well as reveal any bleeding or vasospasm. A small incision is made on one side, or both sides, of your groin after it is locally numbed and prepped. Then, a thin tube (catheter) is threaded through arteries from the groin to the neck. A contrast dye is injected and travels to the brain arteries, X-rays are taken, showing all your arteries and any abnormalities, such as an aneurysm.

And how am I doing now? Well I’m pleased to say that I am still progressing in my recovery. I have a slight paralysis in my left hand and a continuous low grade headache. At times it gets more severe, but I’m on new medication that the Doctors are hoping will help. Stress seems to make it worse, so I’m now on a stress-free diet. My cognitive skills are still somewhat slow, but I’m coping with it. I continue to make the 12-hour round trip to Spokane to see the Doctors and their associates who first treated me. I have so much confidence in them. I am asking for your help in educating people about brain aneurysms. Let’s get the word out. We need to have more awareness and more research that will lead to early detection. As this, is the key for better treatment and better recovery. Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

Fondly,

Sheryl Baker

For this reading I will be using I-X of Wands to ask about work related issues. This again will be a numerology based question, identifying the wand card that represents the best kind of work for me to do.

This is the big question of my year, so I am interested to see what this one has to say.

The setup: Add the values of your first initial and last name, reducing down to one number. A=1 B=2 etc.

K. Reece
11+18+5+5+3+5 = 47 = 11 = 2

II Wands

The answer: You will be inclined to change jobs and your mind frequently until you find what you really want to do with your life. This will come to you eventually and remember, looking is half the fun. You will enjoy anything that includes long term planning or dealing with people at a distance. Watch for some news from a distance.

Funny enough, there is a little side note at the bottom of this card’s answer that says that if your card in reading #1 is the Hermit (which mine is, weird) that I should consider going on a retreat, taking a class or seminar or continuing my education.

My take on this card: There are two windows side by side with steps leading between them. Through the windows you can see off into the distance, one with red clouds, one with blue clouds. The windows are surrounded by stars and space. The impression is that this is leading to somewhere far off and that there is a choice of two paths, one very different from the other. Two wands flank the beginning of the path, almost standing guard.

The card: Power held in reserve while evaluating options. The two of wands is a card of power, but we hold onto it because although we know we want to move forward, we haven’t got the plan fully laid yet. We wait until the decision between the windows has been made to fully use this power.

Reading Analysis

This reading doesn’t surprise me at all as I am currently standing, looking at the windows, waiting for the big reveal. I am collecting my power and know that sometime soon, my path will reveal itself to me. I always need to remind myself that the journey is just as important as the outcome and that patience is critical as timing is everything.

Yesterday was my birthday and my friend did a reading for me and it is really interesting that the reading told that I needed to get my poop in a group, build my power and be prepared to make a commitment that would lead me to what I am supposed to be doing. It’s funny that this is a numerology reading as that takes any timing out of the reading, yet this is so timely. The reading also said that I would need some additional schooling of some sort in order to follow this path. Interesting.