Even as I scale back & spend more time offline, I want to keep doing these readings.
They’re not generating any hits & nobody else gives a fuck if I do it or not, but it’s fun, it’s relaxing & it’s good practice both at interpreting symbols & building stories. In fact, I’d encourage any writer to do the same.
So without any further hand wringing, we go…
I’ve organized the readings by zodiac element — simply because it left me with four clean reading options. The elements are: Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagitarius); Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn); Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius); and Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces).
If you’re anti-astrology, you are welcome to just pick a pile & roll with it. Or you can select the reading for your rising or moon sign if you’re feeling that more at the moment.
Really, it doesn’t matter. We’re just going to find a story in the cards, have a chat about it, & see if it’s relevant or maybe just laugh at my complete inability to even begin to thread the needle.
The tarot decks I’m using in these spreads are The Illustrated Bestiary (deck & guidebook), The Language of Flowers, The Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot, & The Muse Tarot.
NOTE: I tend to write these very off-the-cuff & do not reread them. This is a bad practice, but they are so long… Ugh. So, if you find a typo or something grammatically fucked, let me know.
Bestiary Oracle: Zigzag Spider, “Everything is connected”
Language of Flowers: Belladonna / silence, “Listen more and quiet be”
Tarot: Six of Pentacles reversed clarified by the Queen of Cups, Strength reversed clarified by the Seven of Swords reversed, Knight of Wands reversed clarified by the King of Wands
The reading starts out with a couple of very complimentary oracle cards. In “The Illustrated Bestiary” by Maia Toll, the Zigzag Spider is described as “taking the temperature of the world” while “sitting on her web waiting for dinner.” It’s a reminder that the things we do in our day to day lives have wider repercussions, all connected to the bigger world in some ways. Combined with the advice to listen, the easy interpretation is that the current situation requires the querent to find stillness & see the threads that connect their world to the outside.
This is sometimes a very difficult thing to practice, because it’s easy to feel isolated, entirely separate, now more than ever. However, the inner world of even the most curmudgeonly hermit has infinite tie to the outside world — through both inspiration & community.
Between the oracles & the waning moon being a time to let go of deconstructive behaviors, the theme of the reading is to go quiet & examine the situation, determine what the querent missing regarding their place in a current problem or the world at large — depending on how deep they are willing to go.
The Six of Pentacles reversed indicates an imbalance, more specifically the inability to achieve balance. Perhaps because the querent is not aware of what is needed in a situation. Clarified by the Queen of Cups — a steady compassionate & nurturing archetype — it’s possible that the querent is in a situation where they are not reciprocating evenly with a counterpart (especially considering the King of Wands at the end of the read). The Queen of Cups also has a tendency to overlook negatives for the sake of love, so the querent could be entirely unaware of this discrepancy. Is there a situation where someone else has put in a lot of work on the querent’s behalf & has not received the same loving attention in return? This does not necessarily have to be a romantic situation, it could be family, friends, or even an idea that has been sticking in the querent’s head persistently despite there being no action to develop it.
Based on the energies of the cards & the advice to be still & find the connections, I would lean toward the idea that the querent is unaware of how an idea or feeling is connected to something larger. With the Queen of Cups in play if it’s a romantic interest, perhaps they are not seeing signs that their feelings are reciprocated.
In the second position, Strength is reversed, indicating a lack of courage, or self-doubt (which doubles down on the first position’s energy). Clarified by the Seven of Swords in reversed it could be the reason the querent is lacking this awareness is because they’ve set themselves up to fail or have outsmarted themselves in some way. Perhaps they’ve convinced themselves otherwise. “There’s no way that could pan out because…”
Finally we have the Knight of Wands in reverse clarified by the King of Wands. Combined the cards talk of a need to mature, that the energies of the young knight chasing his passions endlessly have gone awry & no longer suit the situation. There is a need to develop & come into a steadier version of the energy. It’s a feeling of needing to channel restless energy into something productive.
It’s clear that the querent is passionate about the situation, but the overall feeling is that there is some piece of information missing from their understanding, something that could be made quite obvious if they were to really look at the situation.
TLDR: The time has come to make things right. Do you have all the information you need to make your next move? If not, your next move should be quiet, contemplative. Don’t undermine yourself with useless shortcuts. The answer is right in front of you, just listen.
Bestiary Oracle: Red salmon, “Navigate with Determination”
Language of Flowers: Stephanotis / cooperation, “Take the hand offered or ask”
Tarot: The Well reversed clarified by The Magician, The Page of Cups clarified by The Lovers, The Star clarified by the Four of Wands reversed.
After reading over the Red Salmon entry in “The Illustrated Bestiary” by Maia Toll, the two analogous tarot energies I picked up on were the 10 of Wands & the 6 of Pentacles. The salmon’s journey is about tenacity, about continuing on with a single mind even when you feel like you’re breaking down — but also about giving back.
Combined with the Stephanotis card which feels a bit like the Three and Five of Pentacles, the general message seems to be that determination & single-minded focus on a goal is only half of the equation, it’s necessary for the querent to consider not necessarily collaboration but support. Realize that nothing happens in a vacuum & that your actions — even when very deliberately pointed inward — have effects outside of you.
The first card in the tarot spread is The Well reversed clarified by The Magician. The Well is a card unique to the Ethereal Visions Illuminated Tarot Deck & it represents something that you could call the muse or the universe or the unseen or the world of ideals or whatever. It is the cosmic reserve of knowledge or inspiration, the flint of idea. In reverse, it’s a big of a well gone dry feeling, yet there’s The Magician below continuing to manifest, to create, despite feeling tapped out. What the symbols appear to be adding up to, especially when we take the oracles into account, is that there is a fear of being unable to finish something or to go on to the next project after successfully finishing the last one.
It reminds me of a lyric from Circa Survive’s “The Difference Between Medicine & Poison is the Dose”: “My mind’s not a well, it won’t run dry.” This is a push to understand that regardless if the querent is asking about a career or a relationship, there is a long-term aspect to it. There is only creating here, this is ongoing — as is life. The story isn’t over until you’re dead. Be prepared to go the long run & don’t worry about making it up along the way. I promise you, we all do.
In the second position we have the Page of Cups clarified by The Lovers. & it feels as if this reading is trying to veer decidedly into a romance reading. & we can take that into consideration. It could be interpreted that the querent’s creativity has been reawakened by a romantic connection & though they feel the want to reach out, ultimately there choice has not yet been made because they are concerned that a romance will effect their work or creative life. It could also mean that the querent is concerned with putting too much of their emotional energy into their work, but also faced with the realization that creating something sterile & devoid of their humanity is not very satisfying.
Finally, we have The Star clarified by the Four of Wands in reverse. This ties it all up. The Four of Wands in reverse can be interpreted a marriage broken or a romance gone wrong, while the Star represents faith, renewal, healing. It reverberates through the whole of this reading — this feeling of impending disaster negated by the overall idea that help is available should you need it.
My interpretation is to work fearlessly toward what you want & don’t be afraid to reach out & get another opinion. Also, don’t waste time being afraid of loss, be it a loss of love or loss of creative flow. It will come.
TLDR: While nothing can move you out of your groove, there are people to love & choices that need to be made. Take heart, there’s hope until there’s nothingness. Make the leaps & live your life, work relentlessly toward your goals, & don’t waste time worrying about losing things you haven not yet lost.
Bestiary: Common Raven, “Align your inner compass”
Language of Flowers: Tiger Lily / Security, “Chose the safe harbor for now”
Tarot: Ace of Wands reversed clarified by the Knight of Wands, Seven of Pentacles clarified by the Knight of Swords, Page of Swords clarified by Temperance
“The Illustrated Bestiary” by Maia Toll describes the Common Raven energy as both finding connection between yourself & the universe & recognizing the nuance in the world around you. This is interesting because not only does it recognize the need to find connection with the universe to figure out what’s right for each individual — but that what’s right can depend a lot on the gray shades in between the often black & white dichotomies of morality offered by various philosophies & religious doctrines.
This energy combined with the Tiger Lily’s message of seeking security in the present moment is a message of grounding & taking a step back to recalibrate in a world that has become perhaps too hectic or chaotic. Which makes a lot of sense in our current sociopolitical climate, especially in the United States.
In the first position, we have the Ace of Wands reversed clarified by the Knight of Wands reversed. There was a passionate new beginning, a new idea that either did not pan out or fizzled. It’s possible that the querent did not seize the opportunities presented to them, perhaps because they did not recognize them.
Honestly, even in the best of situations, it can be hard to recognize the nuanced opportunities that present themselves to you with the noise of interpersonal interactions, but if your inner compass is not calibrated & you’re not sure what’s right, it’s even harder to take a step in the right direction.
In the second position we have the Seven of Pentacles clarified by the Knight of Swords. The Seven of Pentacles is a card of assessment, of determining if current endeavors are worth continuing. The Knight of Swords indicates a flightiness, an instinct to rush in or run away. There’s no nuance to the Knight of Swords, a lot of sword energy is blunt even though it is of the intellectual ether.
In the final position, we have the Page of Swords, the younger, less brash version of the Knight. The page energy is more guarded, more about watching for the right moment. Clarified by the Temperance card, a card indicating divine timing & intervention. I feel like the message loops back to our oracles quite clearly.
There is some situation or relationship that did not pan out as the querent thought it would & the instinct is either to cut & run or rush in & hastily try to fix things. The advice is to take a step back, watch & wait. Find the nuance in the situation & align yourself with true north before moving forward.
TLDR: Practice patience & find the nuance in the situation. Though you are tempted to rush in, consider that hasty action may cause more problems. If you watch closely, you will know when the time is right. Play it safe for now.
Bestiary: Broad-winged Katydid, “Discover the pattern”
Language of Flowers: Calla Lily / rejuvination, “Reawaken and then stand stronger”
Tarot: Six of cups in reverse clafied by Justice in reverse, Two of Swords in reverse clarified by Three of Wands, The Lovers clarified by the Ace of Wands reversed
The Broad-winged Katydid archetype is described as a “nocturnal bard” chiming in to the symphony of the universe in “The Illustrated Bestiary” by Maia Toll. The cricket-like insect also has compound eyes, watching a situation unfold through many angles. The overall feel is that of seeing the situation as thoroughly as you can & chiming in when the time is right. It’s not just discovering the pattern, but finding where the next beats are so you can contribute your own voice to it.
Combined with the Calla Lilly energy, there’s a feeling of being still followed by a burst of energy (which is a theme that has run through most of these readings today, which fits because a lot of the world is sitting on the cusp of a perhaps ill-advised reopening after months of pandemic lockdown). The pause indicated by the Calla Lily card is rich with understanding & renewal — “stand stronger.”
The Six of Cups in reverse is a card of childhood memories, of nostalgia. The reversal, especially when clarified by the Justice reversed speaks of seeing things in a negative light. It’s quite possible that something did not go off as bad as you believe it did.
In the next position we have the Two of Swords in reverse clarified by the Three of Wands, which indicates that the querent has stayed a serious life decision while waiting for the proverbial ships to come in. This is quite like that pause state indicated in the oracle cards. It’s likely that the uncertain or negative way the querent viewed the situation based on past experienced caused this stall.
In the final position we have The Lovers, another card of decisions to be made & it is clarified by the Ace of Wands in reverse (which caught my eye as tying back into the last — air — reading). This to me indicates that there is still a decision to be made here, regardless of how stagnant the situation has become. The Lovers being a card of divine union as well as decision, combined with the energy (although reversed) of the Six of Cups (another card of divine union — which you can think of as soulmates, fated love or just the right goddamn pheromones, whatever works for your belief system) indicates a significance to this, moreover a tenacity to it. It’s not just going to go away if you ignore it.
TLDR: There is an important decision that needs to be made & while you may wish that it would just resolve on its own without any input from you — that is unlikely. Don’t let your past experiences taint your reaction to what’s in front of you right now, listen & learn & find the rhythm as you go forth & seek out the spark that did not catch.