Hardly a day goes by that I’m not shuffling a pack of cards. Tarot is a central part of my life, obviously! Even so, it has actually been quite a while since I’ve done a spread for myself. I still do a daily draw for myself, but that just involves pulling one card and quickly jotting down a sentence about how it might apply to my day.
This is totally normal, of course. Many seasoned tarot readers notice that their relationship with the cards ebbs and flows. Sometimes we feel we need more frequent, in-depth spreads. Other times we sense it’s okay to let some time pass between reading sessions.
Usually I have a pretty good feel for this and know intuitively when I’m due for a more in-depth session with the cards. But lately I’ve been so go, go, go that I didn’t realize how much I needed a reading until I stumbled upon the three card spread I’m going to share with you here. The spread is credited to @owlandbonestarot and the positions are Embrace, Erace, Face. When I saw this spread it hit me right in the gut and I said out loud “ooh, I NEED TO DO THIS.” So here I am, with the Fountain Tarot next to me. I’m going to give this spread a go for myself and notate some of the insights here.
EMBRACE: Nine of Coins | ERASE: Four of Cups | FACE: Six of Wands
Immediately, the Nine of Coins feels like an invitation to embrace all the growth I’ve experienced lately. I definitely have a tendency to be self-depracating. Even when I’m making real improvements and generally doing well at life, I can get mired down by beliefs that all my progress is a farce and I am actually an epic failure. It’s a shadowy tendency that I’ve become more and more aware of over time, but there’s still work to do here.
Just last week I found myself breaking down in tears because of the sense that I’m not doing enough, that I’m failing, that I suck at life. Luckily my husband and my dog were there to remind me of my value and bring me back to center. But being in that shadowy place is not a healthy thing for me, and this card is a reminder of that truth.
I need to embrace that I’m doing just fine. And perhaps even more than that – perhaps I am doing great. How would it feel to believe that? How would it feel to take ownership for how far I’ve come? What might my experience look like if I learned to tame these shadowy beliefs, as the woman in the card has tamed the falcon?
As the suit of coins is associated with the mundane realm, this card also invites me to acknowledge evidence of my progress. Sort of a confirmation bias thing: if I’m looking for evidence that I’m a failure, I’ll find it. But on the other hand, if I choose to actively embrace the evidence that I’m doing well, I’ll find that instead. This isn’t to say I should ignore the real areas of improvement that may be available to me, but it does seem to indicate that I need to give myself a lot more credit for all the ways in which I’m growing and improving.
The Four of Cups in the erase position is an interesting card to see here. This is one of the more complex tarot cards for me – I view it in so many different ways depending on context, intuition and so on. One of the keywords I often see given to this card is apathy. Although I do not always view the Four of Cups in this way, that’s what it feels like for me here in this spread.
I am asked to erase apathy, because apathy gets me nowhere. Apathy prevents me from taking the constructive advice of the previous card. Apathy lets me stay in the comfortable (but glum) groove of self-deprecation. Then the question becomes, how the bloody hell do I erase apathy? I see some advice on that front coming forward in the next card.
I am asked to face the Six of Wands, and this card hit me in the gut the second I saw it show up in the spread. I get a sense here of excitement. The person on this card looks completely swept up in joy. They are not holding themselves back from this experience, they are giving in to the joy, letting themselves be carried by it.
This is why the Six of Wands hit me in the gut: I do sometimes resist letting myself really RIDE waves of joy. When good things start happening, I have a tendency to (unconsciously) slam on the energetic brakes. I described the Four of Cups as glum, but comfortable. There is certainly part of me which would rather stay in a glum but comfortable place than let myself be swept up in the rhythms of joy. Those rhythms may be more enticing than the glum place, but they aren’t as comfortable because they are unknown, they are outside of old patterns and comfort zones.
Perhaps this is why I’m asked to erase those old, comfortable but glum ways of being. Maybe I needed them for a time. Maybe they did not exist because of my shortcomings, but because of some deep seated need of my psyche. But it feels like I have now transcended that need, and I am now asked to face something different. Something brighter and more expansive. I need to be patient with the scared part of myself that would rather stay put. I need to invite her into the adventure and convince her that it is safe to face happiness, it is safe to exist in a different way.
Hmm. This is getting into some deep shit. Suffice it to say, I think it’s a universal spiritual conundrum: being resistant to embracing joy, because something ‘bad’ might happen. So the weariness of an imagined and as yet completely fictional ‘bad thing’ prevents us from the thrill of enjoying the ride. Yep.
Some of the messages I’m getting here are applicable as I work on The Spacious Tarot, the deck I’m creating with my friend Annie Ruygt. Even though it has been going well and I have every reason to believe it will continue to go well, I have had a few freak out moments over it. I probably haven’t let myself really give way to the joy of this project because I get stuck in old blah energies. Time to let myself face forward and get swept up in goodness!
This is one of those spreads I’ll be thinking about for a while. Also, I love the spread positions here! And if it seems interesting to you, I encourage you to give this spread a go for yourself. I got a lot out of it and what I shared here is really only scratching the surface of what this spread has led me to consider. It’s been a while since I encountered a new three card spread that felt really exciting, but this one is fantastic – shoutout again to Owl and Bones Tarot!
Speaking of tarot readings and the deck I’m working on, I’ll soon be taking a break from client readings to focus on writing the deck’s guidebook. If you’ve been thinking about getting a reading with me, now’s a good time to book. I’ll be putting my services on pause at the end of this week!