08/22/11: Conflict Zen | Reversed Five of Wands


“A conflict begins and ends in the hearts and minds of people, not in the hilltops.” –Amos Oz

I do make it practice, to “live Zen” much as I can, because  I’m so much happier! :yinyang: Even (especially?) with little things, I consider job to keep my intent pure, leaving the Universe to sort out the rest. I maintain faith that as I send out any energy, it will go where it needs to go, whether or not it’s how I’d have anticipated.

It’s is a very freeing perspective. Once I hit send on an email, hang up the phone, even once I write an Everyday Tarot column, I make a conscious effort to let that energy go without “outcome strings.” It’s not a guarantee I’ll never become frustrated, but it is a guarantee I’ll skip some ego-driven, internally-generated drama. If you always do the best you know how and put that out infused with good intent, it’s like Karmic insurance.

Today’s Tarot is the Five of Wands reversed or Lord of Strife, associated with Saturn in Leo. This lovely version from Shadowscapes features feisty foxes fighting. And you know, there is kind of a “pack” feel to the Five of Wands. It’s a crowd mentality—everybody is going at it with all they’ve got. Reversed, though, I’d expect an opportunity to end the struggle, perhaps simply by dropping out of the fray.

What if someone is being unkind or hurtful? Obviously, aggression doesn’t endear folks to us, but how much does it change, practically speaking? Is the threat real? Are the issues at stake relevant, or is it about hurt feelings? Restraining (Saturn) ego (Leo) may be in order. Because if we find a situation disagreeable, we can often choose not to pay attention. I try to feed the energy I like in my life, and starve unpleasant frequencies. It’s like an energetic volume setting.

There are an awful lot of fights we can escape by simply disengaging. Just because we’re nearby and get a shot aimed our way doesn’t mean we have to opt-in for a full-blown war. Certainly, there are times when it’s appropriate and necessary to fight. I’d never suggest otherwise. The question is, “Is this one?”

The reversed Five of Wands suggests reviewing battle zones. Is this a fight worth having? Can you easily erase it from your life by ceasing to pay attention? If it is a worthy battle, hold tight to your highest intention throughout and maintain kindness even as you step up to the challenge. Keep your integrity intact regardless. But if it’s not worthy of your attention, send good wishes to your would-be adversaries and leave the trashy vibes out on the curb. The stench lingers.

Do you have a battle afoot? How is it going?

Shadowscapes Tarot
by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

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08/19/11: Bouncing Back from Poor Choices | Reversed Seven of Cups, Three of Cups, Five of Wands


“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” –Buddha

Mistakes? Yeah, I’ve made choices I’d count as mistakes. Not more than I can help, but I’m smart enough to catch a clue in hindsight sometimes. Often, choices are not what they appear to be when we make them. This is part of life, and hardly reason to self-criticize. If we never make mistakes, it’s indication we are not taking many risks, not doing much.

We’ve got a 3-card spread from the New Visions Tarot today.

  • Reversed Seven of Cups or Lord of Illusionary Success, associated with Venus in Scorpio
  • Three of Cups or Lord of Abundance, associated with Mercury in Cancer
  • Five of Wands or Lord of Strife, associated with Saturn in Leo

Choices cannot be avoided, even when we don’t have the full picture. And honestly, even when we do have the facts, we can misread them, or be swayed by outside factors into misreading the information we have on hand.

But mistakes or no, looking for camaraderie from “your people” is what leaves you feeling rich, nurtured and more than anything, heard (Mercury) at the heart level (Cancer). This both heals hurts and intensifies joy.

Keeping that community nearby allows us the strength and stamina to stand up to whatever battles we face. We make our choices alone, we fight our battles alone, but we live in community. That community, those that love us, celebrate in our joy and offer comfort in our sadness,  recharge us to carry forward, learning lessons, living life, and being the best people we know how to be.

The reversed Seven of Cups reminds me we cannot avoid difficult choices, and we certainly cannot know exactly what they’ll bring before we make them. The Three of Cups would advise taking those opportunities to connect with others, celebrating our victories and accepting consolation for our defeats. Everyone has some of both. Refreshed and recharged, we’re ready to face the conflict the Five of Wands holds. There are battles to be fought, struggles to overcome, in every life. But if we make the best choices we can, and shore ourselves up in the meantime, we’ll be up to the challenges they bring.

Does the support of your community help you keep going?

Tarot of the New Vision (English/Spanish)
by Lo Scarabeo

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Everyday Tarot, 06/27/11: Short-Circuit Conflict / Five of Wands

five-wands-tarot-forecastUh oh. “There are no bad cards. Really. There are no bad cards. Seriously.” I remind myself. I mean, you’d think I was talking about The Tower or the Three of Swords or something. But no.

I hate conflict. So I wince when I see the Five of Wands. Last time I drew it for Everyday Tarot, I pulled two more cards so he would have less attention. (That’s legal.) Evidently, he still wants to be heard. Tarot is kind of insistent like that. And thank God! Who knows how much I’d miss, otherwise?! I can be oblivious.

Registered and duly addressed, oh Source. Thank you. “Conflict” is the topic today.

Today’s Tarot forecast is the Five of Wands or “Lord of Strife,” associated with Saturn in Leo. Tarot fives highlight conflict, although it’s useful to remember that not all conflict is negative. Some conflict is necessary and highly productive. Remember this, Dixie.

This version from Legacy of the Divine is especially interesting, because all the attackers shoot off as branches from the same tree. I sometimes get this version for internal conflicts, or situations where the parties fighting have the same goal, but radically different visions of how to get there.

I keep coming back to, “As within, so without.” It doesn’t matter where the perceived roots of the conflict lie. Internal and external mirror each other; that’s how energy works. Conflicts that suck emotional energy are all indications of attachments to some vision of reality—maybe how other people should behave or how the world should work or how you should be treated.

When I’m very upset with others, I know it’s because it triggers some nerve in me. If I’m livid over disloyalty, maybe it’s stimulating an old wound, or aggravating self-doubts, or causing me to question my own loyalties. Or whatever. If I’m hurting, there has to remain a predisposing vulnerability that allows pain in. The more upset, the bigger the pond we’re diving in.

That’s not to say I have to like everything, that everybody does. Good God, no! The question is, how much does it knock me off my game, take away my own sense of balance, disrupt my own energy flow?

One way to short-circuit is reaching under the surface and tugging at triggering roots. It takes some of the punch out, knowing why you’re feeling what you are, and gives options for shoring up. Those attacks don’t feel so personal anymore. The more responsibility (Saturn) I can take for managing my own show (Leo), the more powerful I am—and the fewer situations able to disrupt my peace, you know?

The Five of Wands reminds me that conflict is an inevitable and vital catalyst for change, but feeling conflicted is purely optional. Opt-out.

Do you see this connection, or something else at work?

Legacy of the Divine Tarot
by Ciro Marchetti

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Everyday Tarot, 06/18/11: Making Your Own Dinner

tarot-3-card-forecastWhen you’re working with the cards, there will be times you get something that you don’t want. In client readings, I’ll often ask for clarification, advice or more info to deal with troublesome energy. That’s just what I did with today’s Tarot forecast.

First, I pulled the Five of Wands. Oh great—conflict! I really appreciate all Tarot has to tell me, but c’mon! The Five of Wands is a tiresome vibe. Who wants to fight?

“Okay, what do we do with this conflict, then?” I asked. The inverted Ten of Swords appeared in response. “And what kind of outcome can we expect with that approach?” yielded the King of Swords.

IMG_1372So let’s get to the chase.  Whatever conflict has you feeling overwhelmed? Stop taking it personally! Back off from problematic situations and detach. You’ll feel like a pincushion only as long as you allow those little attacks to remain intact in your psyche.

Other people’s issues impact you, sure, but are SO not about you. Without internalizing those little pricks of betrayal, you can make rational, considered decisions about what to accept as your reality. You get to pick what you eat.

It’s remaining attached to behavior you have no control over that messes us up. Getting a little more Zen, forgiving and releasing, gives a clarity we’d never be able to find remaining wounded. In the release is freedom.

You don’t have to manage anyone else’s conflicts. You only have to manage yourself, and keep trusting that is enough. It is, you know. That’s exactly your job here—living the best life YOU can.

How’s your dinner?

The Housewives Tarot
by Paul Kepple

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