Nine of Cups

Nine and Half Full Cups

I pulled Nine of Cups this morning and braced myself. I thought, I know what it is about:

Being productive. Planning. Getting my cups, I mean, ducks in a row.

I had a long to-do list and I was in a better mental state today compared to the last few days. If I played my cards right and do most of the things on my to-do list, I would feel accomplished at the end of yet another workweek.

It’s now 16 minutes to midnight. I didn’t manage to finish a work task that I started at 10 AM and continued working on until 9 PM. I didn’t have time to run any errands today, nor to exercise and read. I haven’t written anything except of course for this.

But do I feel semi-accomplished? Tbh, kinda.

I filed my taxes, led a meeting and created an extensive excel spreadsheet. I studied 20 pages from my CPA textbook, which might seem nothing, but at least I started. Also, since I read a book to study, maybe I could claim that I also read. I checked on my cousin, spoke to my parents and told an annoying person off. Granted, I did it all with the help of three cups of coffee. But still, not too bad, eh?

It made me realize that Nine of Cups ━ feeling accomplished, can be seen as a glass half empty or half full. Especially for a Virgo like myself. Today, I chose to see it as the latter.

Tarot Cards

My Deck Deciding Tarot Cards

Whenever I like a tarot deck, enough to consider getting it, I have a set of go to cards that help me to make the decision whether it’s a deck I want invite into my life. Though it’s not a hard and fast rule, I follow it most of the time as it helps to culled my obsession over tarot decks.

Here are the cards I look for in the new deck that help me to make the decision:

Major Arcana: The Fool (I don’t like decks where it looks like The Fool is deliberately falling off the cliff), Strength (it’s the number 8 – my fave number. Also it’s strength/power – something I gratify towards), The Hermit (ultimate Virgo card), The Hanged Man (my tarot birth card), The Tower (my fave “bad card”) and The Star (the wish card).

Minor Arcana: Eight of Wands in the Wands suits (travel card), Ten of Cups in the Cups suits (my idea of contentment), Six of Swords in the Swords suits (the ultimate healing card) and Nine of Pentacles in the Pentacles suits (the energy I wish to emulate in life. My dream state of life).

Court Cards: I don’t rely on court cards to decide whether to get a tarot deck or not, but sometimes, I look at their Queens. Even then, it’s only the Queen of Wands (my fave among the four Queens) and on rarer occasion, the Queen of Swords (the Queen I relate the most with).

The Hermit Tarot

An Evening with The Hermit

I have the apartment for myself this evening. Earlier, I counted the last time I had the place for myself for more than an hour or so. It was pre-lockdown, which coincidentally was during my redundancy months. It was almost a year ago. Far too long, no thanks to Covid.

“The solitary evening must be celebrated”

the Virgo in me has spoken.

I took a long hot shower and poured myself a tall glass of chilled Moscato. It was the only bottle left from the eight bottles we bought last month in preparation for Christmas celebration. Pinning the thought that I might be a fully functioning alcoholic aside, I put the cookie dough on the tray into the oven. Yes, it might be a weird choice to combine cheap chilled Moscato and chocolate chips cookies on a summer evening, but those things bring me joy.

After putting Final Destination 2 as the background noise and while waiting for the oven to make the “DING” sound, I took out all my tarot deck. Tonight we party! Well, not all of us, as I only invited the Hermit from each deck.

The thing is, even though I claimed to be an introvert and a through-and-through

who need their space and me-time, I have yet to connect with The Hermit card. I have yet to sit and meditate, let alone journal with them. And I guess today is a good day as any to connect the archetype that I am all too familiar with.

Traditionally, The Hermit is about taking some time to contemplate, solitude, isolation, introspection, me-time and carving some space for oneself. With those characteristics attach to them, the Hermit can be seen as well harmless at their best and dull at their worst. It’s not without reasons. The Hermit is a not threatening card. None fear them in a reading. But at the same time , The Hermit card doesn’t scream good luck either. Well to be fair, The Hermit doesn’t scream for anything.

Even for a yes-no question, The Hermit won’t give you a resounding answer immediately. They will need to contemplate the question first, for some time — preferably alone in the dark. Before coming up with, what they think as, a well thought answer.

They can be border lining with boring those Hermits, but let me ask you this:

What can be a better card to represent our collective 2020 experience if not the Hermit?

It’s the epitome of the lockdown, confinement, isolation — both self-imposed or forced.

Back to the Hermits that I laid on the table — I could see a thread that connects them all, from the classic Rider Waite Smith tarot deck to The Light Seer’s Tarot deck, the lantern.

In The Spacious Tarot deck, The Hermit is depicted as a lantern, brightening the dark woods with its’ light. The guidebook says this about the tree in the woods: “they offer a clearing, a sacred space for you to reconnect with yourself.”

Refreshingly, in both This Might Hurt Tarot and The Numinous Tarot decks, the cards are drawn as feminine figures. Though their faces are hidden (typical The Hermit), the long grey-hair and the shapely coats indicate their womanhood.

In This Might Hurt Tarot deck, the woman is holding a lantern illuminating a dark snowy night. It’s beautiful. I also love Isabella Rotman’s parting message regarding the card. She said:

“It doesn’t mean that you need to rent a cabin in the woods and throw your cellphone in a river. You just need to withdraw enough to listen to yourself.”

And I will do just that right after this with a book companied by a plate of freshly baked cookies, another generous serving of Moscato. I wish you a lovely start of the weekend!

Ten of Wands Moon Void Tarot Black and White Tarot Run

Ten of Wands My Old Friend

It has been my morning routine to pull a tarot card for the day.

This morning, it was the Ten of Wands. I half-expected to pull either this card or the Eight of Pentacles as I had another busy day ahead. But unlike yesterday, where my day was equivalent to the Ten of Swords energy (I didn’t draw the card, it was too chaotic of a day to even connect with the deck), today I was prepared.

I had written down the three most-important-things to tackle at work. I have stocked enough snacks to go through the four meetings and later to fuel me through the overtime. I even prepared a question to ask Clarissa Goenawan, the author of Perfect World of Miwako Sumida, who was going to have a zoom author meet and greet later today. At the same time, I have deferred some of my non-urgent tasks to next week, reducing the tasks on my Todoist app to the lucky number thirteen. And by the time I write this here, I have ticked off running, Indonesian groceries shopping, laundry and some other things from the list, leaving only five more things to either do tonight or to be rescheduled to tomorrow. and I am okay with both.

Ten of Wands is not a delightful card. In the reading, for a yes-no question, this card is the unwanted adjective to the answer. The:

“…but it’s going to be a hard work…”

or another variation of it, crowning it as the “long-sigh” card.

Even when you see the artwork depicting Ten of Wands in the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, you can almost expect the man to release a long-sigh once he reaches his destination and able to put the ten of wands he has been carrying (albeit in a weird position). 

I also let out a long sigh when I saw the Ten of Wands today, but mine was followed by:

“Hello there, old friend!”

As a Virgo sun and rising, I have fully embraced the energy of the Ten of Wands in my life, claiming it as a part of my character. My shadow show self. I knew all I needed to do was to put my warrior queen headband and go through my to-do list.

Tower Moments

Of all the “bad cards” in tarot, the Tower is something I am comfortable with. Maybe even a little too comfortable.

The 16th card from the Major Arcana, the Tower is traditionally seen as the representation of disaster, sudden change, significant disruption and chaos.

Those are enough reasons for people to not want to see it in a reading.

It makes sense. We, human beings, tend to seek stability in our lives. I am no different. As I write this on top of my picnic rug, in the park soaking the sun, eating the cheese and getting a bit buzzed from the wine, I too don’t wish for the rug to be pulled from under my feet. Both metaphorically and literally.

But it didn’t start this way for me.

I came from a somewhat traditional Indian family. I say somewhat because my parents are smart people with kind hearts who want nothing but, what they think, as the best for their daughter. But at the same time, they are bogged down by society and at times dated and jaded traditions. Growing up, it had always been a constant struggle between following the social values and just being a child, and later, a teenager. For example, they would let me wear whatever I wanted, which was more than most Indian girls growing up in a traditional family could ask for. But at the same time, I wasn’t allowed to date.

I did both. With that, I turned into the rebel of the family and started what I called as my Tower moments.

My Tower moments started when I, as a teenager, laughed on the face of the priest who told Amma that he could magically make me stop rebelling. A major tower moment was when I cancelled my wedding a couple of weeks before the day. Another one, when I moved to Singapore without a job and proceeded to live there for almost a decade before uprooting the somewhat comfortable life I had built for myself to go back home because I wanted to heal my relationship with my parents. Again without a job. I also summoned The Tower when I migrated to Melbourne, and again when I married someone from a different background in Bali. This time without any priest.

The Tower is a shadow self that I have accepted. It taught me to be calm throughout chaotic periods in my life. From the period when my dad stopped talking to me to being bullied; even when I was made redundant. I went through these with a zen-ish outlook.

And I know I can go through similar shit moments in the future because I had deliberately chosen to walk through worse things, either because it aligned with my values or to chase my dreams.

I also learned that even though I always have plans for my life (Virgo baby!), sometimes the Universe grants my wishes in different ways. And based on my past experiences, it could just be in the Tower mode.

It’s good to remember that fundamentally the Tower is about radical changes. A reminder to:

“Be positive, it is time to replace the old foundations of the past with something that is more genuine and will serve better in what is to come”

Labyrinthos.


Not gonna lie, knowing that — if tomorrow, something happens and I have to uproot my life yet again — I can do it, feels pretty empowering. And I blame my semi-traditional Indian parents for it. They shouldn’t have instilled the value of resilience in the young rebellious me.

Celebrating My Self-judge-y Virgo

Not having time to update my tarot journal sucks! I feel like my intuition is dwindling-down. Like today. I wasn’t sure what does the Judgement card which I draw as the card of the day is for.

I can’t connect it with my day.

Btw, I have been thinking that at times I downplay myself. I don’t celebrate myself, my accomplishments and achievements enough. Moreover, I don’t let my best self shine— both my physical and personality. I need and want to put a stop on this.

Well is that me being the self-judge-y Virgo self? Judgement card meaning finally came through!