Five of Swords

The Five of Swords Take on Achieving Goals

Today, I did a new moon tarot spread ritual. Being an Aries ♈︎ new moon, the first zodiac in the cycle with a new beginning theme attached to it, I did the spread focusing on the goals I set for myself this year. The last card on the spread was the “message from the Universe“, and I got the Five of Swords.

Five of Swords is about:

conflict resulting in winning but not really (winning at all costs) or being defeated.

Neither is a message I expected to get when asking about achieving my goals.

The card I pulled was from the Tarot of The Divine deck by Yoshi Yoshitani (yep, I finally got the deck after waiting for more than six months). Here, the card shows Anubis, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, holding five scythes while the fertility Goddess Isis is mourning near his feet.

Btw, I feel like it’s worth mentioning that looking at the card only and associating it with The Five of Swords‘ traditional meaning, one might interpret it as Anubis has defeated Iris in the duel. That’s not the case. In the Egyptian mythology, Anubis restored Iris’s husband, Orisis’s, chopped dead body parts, turning him into the first mummy. Therefore, Anubis is more of an ally instead of an opponent. It flipped Five of Swords’ classic deception, which is traditionally drawn as two opposing sides, one side winning and causing a grievance to the other side. Because of this and many other distorted links between the image on the cards and the mythologies behind each of them, I am not sure whether I want to celebrate this deck as the culture-themed tarot deck that I have been waiting for all my tarot-practicing life.

Five of Swords Tarot

Anyway, back to the Five of Swords and my achievement-focused Aries ♈︎ new moon tarot spread. After some mulling-over, I remembered a story from the mega-inspiring book that I read years ago: Happier by Tal Ben Shahar. He started the book with a story of being disappointed after winning a race he put so much effort into because he thought it would make him happy (the classic: I will be happy when *insert future achievements here*), but it didn’t, because achieving goals doesn’t equal being happy/happier.

I guess the Universe is trying to tell me the same thing:

Achieving all my 2021 goals won’t bring me happiness.

Both might work parallelly and possibly interlinked, but I’d be a fool to see them as the same things. This, though I don’t like to admit, is a good reminder for a goal-hungry Virgo like myself.

Now, how do I cultivate happiness, which is the ultimate goal?

The Emperor Moon Void Tarot Deck Black and White Crystal

Stalked By The Emperor

The Emperor is stalking me. He has appeared for three consecutive days on my daily tarot card reading. Four, if I include the Meletos staycation tarot spread. What’s weirder is that this isn’t the first time this card has stalked me. The last time it happened, I chalked it as a message to call Appa. He did stop appearing after that.

But this time, I don’t think it has anything to do with a masculine representation in my life. For once, The Emperor card in the Moon Void Tarot deck – the one I have been using ever since I got it early this month – doesn’t have the Emperor on it; the card only shows his crown, sceptre and robe placed on his throne. Seems like he is busy doing stuff instead of just sitting on his ass. Which, if I am honest, is a nice alternative to the classic depiction of the card in Rider Waite Smith tarot deck. On the Rider Waite Smith, the Emperor is just sitting there, drapped in a red robe, looking rather stern.

His rigidness on the Rider Waite Smith deck aside, I am indifferent towards The Emperor in tarot. It’s not one of my deck deciding tarot cards. And come to think of it; I have never seen The Emperor card that I like to from any deck I own.

The traditional meaning of the card The Emperor is about structure, authority, ability and so on. Meanwhile, Stef, the creator of the Moon Void Tarot deck, said this about the him:

Emperor (Aries) energy appears when we are asked to stand up and stand out, to take up more space as well as holding space for others.

Foundation, respect, standing the ground, space… I still am unsure what message the Emperor is trying to convey me. Maybe I ought to spend some more time with it. It could just be the first tarot card that I meditate on.

Brewing The Two of Wands

It was still pitch black dark outside. I had been up for some time. Unable to go back to sleep. This time it wasn’t because I was sick or stressed out. After all, I just had a long weekend. My mind had been filled with random ideas.

Ideas for the day (I should run first before attending my first 9 AM meeting), for the week, month and the end of the year. Faster than those ideas were the ideas on what to write for my NaMeWriMo drafts.

I tried to remember some of these ideas while dismissing the others because the last thing I needed on this garbage of a year is feeling burnt out. Especially, this close to the holiday season. After some more time passed, and it was clear to me that I would not go back to sleep, I sneaked out to the living room.

Once outside, I reached out to my trusty tarot deck — waiting for me on the bookshelf — took a few deep breaths and pulled out a card.

Two of Wands

On point.

For me, two of Wands (Aries) carries the energy of contemplation.

The tea-brewing of ideas. I’d need to let it steep first, witness the colour change adding flavours thanks to the heat before sipping it.

All these metaphorical ideas brewing made me crave for an actual hot cup of tea. A perfect company for the cold Melbourne morning (mornings in Melbourne generally tend to be on the cold side no matter what time of the year it may be). On this morning it was Singapore Breakfast tea from T2Tea.

While waiting for my tea, I rummaged through my witchy-drawer where I kept the rest of my tarot decks. I pulled out the Two of Wands from The Light Seer Tarot and This Might Hurt tarot decks to company the first Two of Wands from The Spacious Tarot deck. The card from Rider Waite Smith tarot deck was not required as I have memorized the traditional image.

A man, wearing a red robe, holding a globe in his hand, standing on the fortress, overlooking the sea with two wands standing in between him.

It’s not too different from the This Might Hurt deck, which has my favourite depiction of the Two of Wands. On it, a girl is sitting on her car front, reading the opened map in her hand, there are two different sized wands in between the car.

Though the Two of Wands is often associated with travel (both the globe and the map), today I see it more of the planning stage. The stage of collecting and brewing some of those ideas who came knocking way too early.

I considered waking Fafa up, so he could take a picture of me ‘contemplating’ from the balcony with the sunrise as the background as the image depicted in The Light Seers Tarot deck, but decided to let the man sleep in peace. Also, the sky is too grey to make an Instagram worthy picture.

Instead, I opened the laptop and wrote this in morning silence, while sipping my tea. I must say, among those many 5 AM ideas, writing this experience felt like a good one to follow.