Seven of Pentacles

Seven of Patience

These past few days, I have been feeling sad and defeated. The culprit: a personal project that I have been working on since last year, which should be finalized over the weekend, faced yet another sizeable hurdle.

It felt like I was back to square one, and this time instead of being excited and hopeful like I was at the start of this project, I felt cornered and deflated.

There goes hours and hours of time and energy spent on this project”, I thought, and I wasn’t sure I would be able to go through the whole process again.

I was just exhausted.

So, it was no surprise the Seven of Pentacles came up on my daily tarot draw this morning.

How fitting, this is exactly how I feel right now”, I mumbled to myself before putting the card back to the deck. I wasn’t ready to dissect its’ message just yet.

But I am now…

Seven of Pentacles in the classic Rider Waite Smith is depicted by a guy standing in his tended garden looking a bit tired and disconnected. Similar to the guy on the classic Rider Waite Smith deck, I, too, feel like pausing and taking a break. But that’s not the point, is it? It invites me to see my efforts as the seeds that I will reap one day, even though it’s not now and that I ought to practice patience.

Meanwhile, Charlie, the creator of the Fifth Spirit Tarot (the deck that I am currently using), said when this card appears, it’s because we might feel tired and run down, doubting our hard-work and investment. That’s me! Then they go on with:

“It tells us to value our sweat, labor and screw up because we are learning, growing and adapting.”

Lastly, Beth of Little Red Tarot had this to say about the card:

“If things aren’t feeling great – don’t give up, not just yet. Think about how you might do things differently from now on…”

Together with my own understanding of the card, their words brought plenty for me to digest.

To know that these setbacks don’t actually mean I was back to square one. That, I am still in the game. The project is still progressing, maybe just not as close to the end as I wanted it to be. But with the right mindset, some tweaks and perseverance, I am going to tick this one off too ━ as I had for past goals that I have set for myself.

Ace of Swords The Fifth Spirit Tarot Deck

Ace of Clarity

I pulled Ace of Swords from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck today. Ace of Swords is about clarity, and my mind is anything but that.

My un-caffeinated brain (Fafa was out so no bed coffee for me this morning) is riddled with period haze, pending work-tasks, impending lockdown announcement, the messy desk, the even messier cupboards, and the ever-growing to-do list seems out of control, the floating-in-the-air goals and sans travel plans in the horizon.

So yeah, I feel anything but clear right now, but maybe that’s precisely why the Ace of Swords made an appearance. As in I am invited to bring clarity into my mind, my list and my life.

My hand is being offered the knife (Sword). Therefore, it’s my choice to grab it — or not. And if I do, what to do with it. Maybe it’s for me to use it to sort through things mentally first, before tending to the rest.

🖋️ K

Film Camera MjuII Kodak Color 400 Four of Cups Moon Void Deck Tarot Goals Winery

My 22 Tarot Goals

  1. Complete the posts on the traditional meanings and keywords of the 78 tarot cards.
  2. Complete the 78 tarot memoir I started last November.
  3. Give free tarot readings to others for practice.
  4. Note down all new and full moon tarot spread in one year.
  5. Practice reading with two and more tarot cards and more tarot spread.
  6. Carry my tarot deck everywhere.
  7. Combine my photography and tarot passions.
  8. Study the connections between tarot cards and arts.
  9. Find real-life depiction of the image on the tarot cards.
  10. Interview a tarot reader and a female tarot deck creator.
  11. Incorporate Oracle into my tarot practice.
  12. Get a professional tarot reading done.
  13. Work and shed more light into difficult cards.
  14. Create stories with more than a single tarot card.
  15. Be a part of and participate actively in the tarot community.
  16. Read and review a tarot book.
  17. Get a tarot tattoo.
  18. Turn the blog to be a bit more tarot-savvy. 
  19. Memorize the keywords of each tarot cards.
  20. Support indie tarot decks created by female artists.
  21. Lean on tarot as a self-care and self-discovery tool.
  22. Support the normalization of tarot.

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 7

Happy New Year from a liminal space in Echuca!

Today is our last day in the farmhouse. Though I’d love to stay for much longer time (weeks if not months), I am grateful for the short time I had here. It recharged me completely ━ mind, soul and body. I feel refresh and rejuvenated. Ready to conquer (no, not “slaying” my year anymore ━ from now onwards, I will be respectful of the new year) 2021.

I closed 2020 by eating 12 grapes and thanking the Universe all the good things I experienced and all the not so good things that helped me grow.

Meanwhile, started 2021 by wishing Fafa and then my parents a Happy New Year (even though it was just 8 PM of a different year on their time) and went to sleep peacefully.

I woke up early to have one last breakfast made by Fafa at the farmhouse. Then I ran, meditated, fed the chickens, pulled the tarot card for the year (Ten of Swords!!!) and did the new year tarot spread.

After writing this, the last part of my last farm stay diary series, I have to pack, tidy up the farmhouse and bid goodbye the baby cows, the farm and the house before heading back to Melbourne and forward to 2021.

Rustic Bedroom Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 6

Hello from the last day of the unprecedented year.

Today I woke up from yes, another great night sleep. After slathering my face with the pure luxe face oil I got as a free sample, I started reading The New Parisienne by Lindsey Tramuta in bed.

I was in the middle of writing the annual post of “The Year I..” when Fafa called me for brekkie. Today he only made egg on toast anticipating the delicious lunch date in the town.

I published the above post, pulled a card representation for the year-end (King of Cups), went running, clocked 150km for the year, and sat to do one of my new year rituals; writing my new year intentions and goals, resolutions, and sharing the process with Jik.

2021 Intentions, Goals and Resolutions

By then, it was almost lunchtime. We got ready and drove half-hour in the scorching heat. We had lunch at the Monkey Coo & Asian Kitchen. My order wasn’t as good this time, but the crab spring rolls appetiser was yummy!

Before leaving Echuca town centre, we made a short stop at Candle Scents as I wanted to give a small thank you token to the farmhouse owner who has been so courteous throughout our stay, even when we broke the bathtub yesterday.

It was past 3 PM when we were back in the farmhouse. Since it was too hot to do anything and it’s a liminal space day anyway, after feeding the chickens, I changed into Pjs, opened a new bottle of wine and started journaling.

I wrote my last gratitude list for the year, tarot related goals for the next year and any random things I can think of in between, with the pink-sky backdrop which can be seen from the dinning room where I am writing this from. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

After this as my previous days’ routine, I am going to shower, watch Come Dine With Me on SBS Food, have steak dinner (Fafa’s new year’s eve speciality), drink more wine in the name of festivity, write a bit more, greet the cows, wish my parents an early Happy New Year, read, eat 12 grapes as another new year tradition, drink tea, watch Dexter, pray and go to bed early-ish so I can greet the new year in peace and gratitude.

Happy New Year’s Eve ━ hope you are celebrating it the way you want.

Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 5

Another good night sleep (Fafa complained that I started all my recent entries with the status of my sleep ━ it’s a diary, Fa, That’s how I write my diary) and stayed in bed for some time while Fafa cooked us Farmer’s breakfast. I so can get adjusted to this morning routine!

Chicken Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

After breakfast and doing my daily tarot-card draw (Four of Wands), we went out to feed Korona and Kovid ━ the chickens, and I continued walking around the compound for some morning bird-watching session. It’s one of the self-care activities that nourish the old-soul in me.

After an hour in the blazing sun and failing to see any bird from close-proximity, I gave up. More than this, Amma for sure would complain of me being tanner than usual.

Since it’s our anniversary (we met in a bar in Singapore 11 years ago) we thought we would do something different instead of lazing around the farmhouse. We ended up driving to Bendigo town and roamed around the unexpectedly pleasant art-gallery there.

Aboriginal Painting Bendigo Art Gallery Moon

My favourite pieces include the dot paintings, the 1800s European paintings with strong oriental influenced and a wood-block painting of Asakusa temple. There were also beautiful indigenous pattern silk scarf and moon inspired jewellery made by local indigenous artist. In the end, I got the paper towel for our home and a zipper case for Jik, both in a same aboriginal print.

Art-upped, we walked around the town centre for some late lunch, forgetting for a moment that we were in a small town in Australia and nothing opens past 3 PM except for some chain restaurants.

Grill’d is a famous burger chain in Australia that claimed that they make healthy burgers. Since I’m not fond of burgers at all, I have never tried them, until today. It was okay, but not something I would go for again if there is any other choice.

Despite the lunch blunder, I like Bendigo, dare I say, more than Echuca. On the drive back home I told Fafa, I could retire there. He pretended not to hear me.

One-hour later, we were back in the Echuca farm. Just in time for me to shower, write the anniversary card I got for Fafa and watch an hour of Come Dine With Me together. After this, I am going do the Cold full-moon in Cancer (The Chariot) tarot spread, call my parents and read. Later tonight, if the wind storm is not so bad, Fafa and I are going to do some star-gazing.

Not a bad way to celebrate anniversary, eh?

Murray River Paddlesteamers Echuca

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 4

I woke up from another day of excellent sleep and a bit later than usual, but why not eh? After all, it’s my vacation days. I pulled the card of the day ━ Page of Wands ━ journaled a bit about it while updating my to-do list for the next two days and next year.

After breakfast, we went to the Echuca town centre, which is best to be avoided during the holiday season as it’s crowded from assortments of tourist.

We had to go there because it’s also where the Murray River Echuca Paddlestreamer docks. We boarded the 2-hour cruise before noon and sat on the top-deck so we could enjoy the uninterrupted view of the river while enjoying some drinks and reminiscing the old times.

After the recommendation of a colleague, I booked the paddle streamer, but I came with low expectations. I mean, I have seen the Murray River before, it’s brown. How fun could it be cruising through at brown coloured water, I thought. It turned out to be a scenic journey where we got to see the other side of Echuca, including the camping site, private-boat families, kayaking couples, inns by the river and a gorgeous glasshouse.

By the time they put us back on the land, we were hungry and decided to try our luck to find a decentish food in the very crowded town centre. After being turned down by a couple of places, we went inside Monkee & Co Asian Kitchen. Again, I kept my expectation low because I couldn’t see any Asian running the restaurant. I was proven wrong the second time today. The coconut lime seafood curry I ordered was sublime! So was Fafa’s Rendang Bao, so much so that suggested we go there again tomorrow.

Back at the farmhouse, I fed the chickens (which I named Kovid and Korona), lit the Christmas candle I got on a hefty discount from the lovely people at The Candle Scent and put the flowers we got from Coles into a vase and settled for a nap. But I was too restless (maybe too well-rested?), so I went to the beautifully-lit kitchen to try a new summer salad recipe.

This time it included avocado, watermelon and feta cheese. Once it was ready, we sat for a simple dinner of the said salad and spicy Indo instant noodle.

I took a shower before writing this. The plan was to write today’s happenings and cross-off a few things of my to-do list today, but all I want to do is sit in the living room with the TV on, read a book lazily and drink a chilled glass of wine.

You know what, I might do just that. After all, I am already half-way through my holiday (acutely aware and dreading this), I shall enjoy as much as I can by doing all the things I want and not the things I need/must/should do.

Cancer Full Moon Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 3

I might have jinxed it when I wrote about the most peaceful sleep I had in months on my first night here — because neither of us got much sleep yesterday, no thanks to the severe wind storm. It had started yesterday afternoon, but by midnight it was a full-blown storm. The whole house kept rattling and the trees swooshing hard that it kept us awake, tossing and turning all night. On top of that, I was so worried that the strong ass wind would blow the chickens away.

When I saw the sunrise, I called defeat and jumped into the shower to freshen up. After pulling the card of the day (Six of Wands again) checking the chickens were still there and alive, Fafa and I sat for a proper breakfast.

We also met the farm owner, a photographer who lives in the bigger house nearby with her farmer husband and their three young kids. She filled us in with the history of the farmhouse. It was locked for 15 years before they bought and turned it into Airbnb earlier this year.

By mid-morning I couldn’t keep my eyes open and strangely felt cold in the 35-degree weather, so I turned on the heater in the bedroom and started reading the latest book Fafa got me (The New Parisienne: The Women & Ideas Shaping Paris Book by Lindsey Tramuta) before snoozing off.

It was past 1 PM when Fafa woke me up. He offered to drive us to a neighbouring town, Kyabram, for some Thai lunch, which I quickly welcomed since Asian food means rice and I haven’t had rice since the day before yesterday. After a 20 minutes drive, we were greeted by an empty town. There goes my rice dream for the day. We then tried our luck in another town, Rochester and were enticed by the menu board that offered both Thai beef salad and sriracha burger. Unfortunately, once we were inside, they told us they were only serving the display counter food. All were sad looking, but I was already hungry by then. I settled with the savoury scones thinking how bad could a scone be. It was bland bad.

So far, the day wasn’t going as I envisioned it to be. On the way home, Fafa, God bless his heart, offered to cook us some steak tonight, which of course I replied with a “yes please!“.

When we came home, I took another shower to wash the dust and heat off and settled in on the dining table with some grapes, spicy chips and a big glass of wine. With that, I could slowly feel I am back on track with the vacation vibes.

Since the weather was not too crazy and the sky was pretty blue-ish, I went out to greet the cattle that were walking back to the parlour for their second and last milking of the day.

By the time I came back, Fafa had started preparing the steak. With an addition of the quick-n-easy Aunty Jen’s summer salad (this time I added the zucchini freshly plucked from the farm) , a glass of wine and a bottle of Furphy we sat for a delicious meal.

After dinner, I prepared a bath for myself using one of the three Lush bath bombs I treated myself for Diwali. Who knew, soaking in the bathtub with a glass of wine while listening to the Wildly Tarot podcast was exactly what my soul, body and mind needed to heal and rejuvenate.

I feel so relaxed. Tonight I have a back to back Come Dine With Me starting from 10 PM, Gone Surfing tea from T2Tea to keep me warm and Home Body by Rupi Kaur downloaded on my kindle. Oh, also some stargazing in between ━ it’s almost full moon (CancerThe Chariot) tonight and it looks so beautiful.

Eight of Pentacles The Spacious Tarot Bees

Eight of Pentacles Prompting To Re-pick My Personal Projects

I drew the Eight of Pentacles, today, on my first day off for year-end break this year. At first, I was like what?

The Eight of Pentacles is about: dedication, up-skilling, mastery, focus, upskill, education, pride and hard-work.

What was it that the Eight of Pentacles want me to dedicate some hard work to ━ when all I wanted to do was to relax and enjoy my time off of work.

But upon reflecting on it, there were some truths on it. I have been neglecting my personal projects, including painting, reading, writing the morning pages, even my self-care routines like yoga, healthy eating, meditating and running.

Maybe the next ten days can be focused on building a solid foundation for the routines and rituals that will support me next year.

The Nine of Swords Depression Moon Void Tarot

The Depressing Nine of Swords

I pulled Nine of Swords from the Moon Void Tarot deck today on my last working day of 2020.

Though it might be unusual to pull the gloomiest card on the tarot deck a couple of days before Christmas, I wasn’t surprised at all. I have anticipated my workday would be hell, and it was. Alas, it’s done now, and I don’t even want to think let alone elaborate about it anymore.

Let’s talk about the Nine of Swords itself. A card that dominated the year 2020 collectively ━ at least for most of us ━ included me during the large-part of #isolife.

The Nine of Swords is a card of sadness, depression, despair, helplessness, and inability to escape reality.

Whenever I pull the Nine of Swords, especially as a stand-alone card say as a card to describe my day, I feel like the air around me has been sucked and making me unable to breathe normally.

As I shared here before that I am not deterred when I pulled The Moon, The Death even The Tower card but Nine of Swords always want me to shove the card back into the deck, take a nap to restart my day and redo the reading.

There is no two-way about it, the Nine of Swords put a fear in me.

Aside to the depressive general interpretation of the card above, the image of it is also unpleasant.

The traditional Rider Waite Smith tarot deck depicts the Nine of Swords as a girl crying alone in her bedroom. Eek!

Also, I don’t particularly appreciate that on the most tarot deck I have seen, the Nine of Swords, if it has a person on it, is usually shown as a woman instead of a man. As if depression, crying and showing vulnerable emotions are more of a woman thing. It’s not. It’s universal. Let’s change the narrative!

Yes, I am sure the Nine of Swords also has some redeemable qualities about it and like all the card in the tarot deck, is here to guide and or teach us something. Maybe I can start a quest on Nine of Swords. An in-depth study on it so I can understand better and learn from it. But for now, I am just glad this card comes to me very rarely, and if it’s a stand-alone or where I wouldn’t want it to be the likely outcome or solution, I usually pull a clarifying card to ease up the pain of the many, MANY, swords.