So there’s this recurring feature I do called Tough or Tender Tarot. But sometimes nooooobody needs more toughness!

So today, we’re going to do Tender or Tender Tarot. I will use two decks. You can choose the deck you feel drawn to. Either way, the message will be tender, and hopefully give you something soft and kind to carry with you.

Before that, just some raw thoughts: most of us are feeling all the things lately. I am, at least. I’ve talked a lot in my past few messages about feeling grateful, and I still do, that’s a feeling I try to cultivate.

But I also feel a lot of anger. And hope. And despair, then hope again, then frustration, peace, guilt, more anger, witchy as fuck, connected, lonely, alive… it’s a wild ride.

The specifics vary widely, but we are all in a weird place lately. And maybe like me, you’re feeling all the things. So, I’m trying to be tender with myself, and today extend some of that tenderness to you.

I picked two of my favorite decks which are gentle without being saccharine: Gaian Tarot and The Spacious Tarot. Both speak strongly but always from the heart center. I kind of feel like Gaian is a big sister to Spacious. In fact, the court card titles in the Gaian are what inspired the titles we used in Spacious.

Take a moment to sense into which pile you are drawn to. Top is the Gaian Tarot, bottom is The Spacious Tarot. The crystal is cobalto calcite (my favorite for loving vibes).

When you have your selection,

If you chose Gaian Tarot, you have Four of Fire and the Priestess. The woman on the Four of Fire stands in a circle of candles, under the full moon. She urges you to plug into a vital life force. She teaches you to participate in aliveness. Like her, you can refuse to be separate, or made small. You can celebrate your right to take up space. How can you affirm the fact that you belong here, at this time, on this planet?

The Priestess has a similar vibe. She exists on the cusp of sea (unconscious) and land (conscious). She asks you to be equally reverent of your inner youth and inner elder. The owl and the fish remind you to value both traditional wisdom as well as your unique intuition. The moon and the sea are both things that ebb and flow around the Priestess. She asks: what ebbs and flows around you? How can you be present with this, without seeking to repress or control it?

A common thread carries through these two cards: the magic of ritual. Ritual could be the answer to some of the questions posed for you here: rituals honor your belonging, your aliveness. Rituals ground and center you through whatever waves come your way. Your rituals can be big, elaborate traditional ceremonies to honor phases of the moon or points on the wheel of the year. Or your rituals can be small and secular: your morning coffee, watering your plants, Zooming a friend. What ritual can you devote to that will serve and heal you at this time? Do it!

If you chose the Spacious Tarot, you have the Explorer of Swords and Ten of Pentacles. The Explorer (Knight) asks what you are really ready to invest yourself in. Your energy levels may be very different than they were a couple of months ago, so it’s important to make sure you’re not rushing to say YES to every request that comes your way. The Ten of Pentacles guides you to make choices that are sustainable, to only devote yourself to building things you really, really want to build.

Not everyone, but some of us have extra time at home right now. There’s been a lot of heated debates online about what you should do with this time. I think we’re all finally in agreement that you shouldn’t be pressuring yourself to write a novel or compose a symphony during a pandemic, but the Explorer of Swords shows that the voice in your head that yells “YOU SHOULD BE DOING SOMETHING IMPORTANT” doesn’t always quiet down right away, even when you know you need to give yourself grace. So be patient if this voice arises, engage it from a place of understanding and nuance, do not let it try to rush you to conclusions.

At the same time, the Ten of Pentacles suggests that maybe you do feel called to build something sturdy, something that will last. So don’t force the things you’re not in a place to do, but also don’t hold yourself back from the work that calls to you. And don’t judge the scale of that work! Maybe you do have the energy to take on a big, long term project. Or maybe it’s just about finishing a puzzle or making a loaf of bread. Either way: be honest with yourself, speak kindly to yourself, and be selective about what you have the energy to build.


That’s it for today, friends.

Take care, be tender, kindness matters.

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Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.


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