Tend & Befriend

Have you ever felt like life was a never-ending battle and the only way to deal with it was to retreat into dreams? There’s always another choice. Welcome to today’s reading.

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We begin with the Nine of Swords, a grizzled veteran of many battles. He’s learned how to defend himself and when; he has an arsenal of weapons to back him up, and he is standing alone; his shoulders are high and his eyes look out suspiciously at every passerby.

There have definitely been times in my life when I’ve felt this way – expecting and ready to be attacked and willing to use the weapons I have at hand. Wands are Fire. The fire of anger, the fire of intellect, the fire of addiction to the battle so as to avoid the let down when it’s over. The fire of quick wit to disarm the other, of snark and snarl and bark to get the others a.w.a.y.

As I consider this card – it might be the current patron saint of social media. Especially Twitter where, for the most part, it all happens right now. Everyone is ready to defend their little piece of turf from foreign ideas, attitudes, opinions, and belief. And the tool to use is fire.

One way to avoid the conflicts of life is to fade into the dreams of the Seven of Cups; as Neptune traverses it’s home sign of Pisces – dreams are more appealing than ever. Drug and drink, meditation and mindfulness, all as a means of avoidance and escape.

Recently, astrologer Christopher Witecki noted that the last time Neptune was in Pisces the U.S. also faced an opioid epidemic when the soldiers returning from the civil war had been exposed to morphine. With Neptune in Pisces, there’s little more enticing than that dreamy feeling of being free of all pain.

With all that we face personally, socially, politically, economically, environmentally – we are stressed. And we have not been taught how to deal with stress. We tough it out or we escape. Fight or flight.

There’s another way, not necessarily the middle way but more of an open door we haven’t seen before in a very small room. Tend and befriend. We begin with ourselves – we tend ourselves, our needs, our hurts, and our desires. We care. We nourish the friendship we have with ourselves so that we can move out of the ongoing stress response and begin to flourish. No need or desire to fight, no need or desire to disappear into dream.

The King of Pentacles is the steward of the earth and all things on the material plane. He tends his fields, his gardens, his livestock, he tends to the people of his realm, his family and his court; he tends to his treasury and his resources. He does this with love and respect for the other and the relationship. 

Once we are firmly in the habit of tending ourselves, we can begin to tend and befriend those in our social circles – at home, at play, at work. All the people in our lives can only benefit from the gentle stewardship of the King of Pentacles who listens to understand before he chooses how to respond.

If you haven’t yet noticed, there are similarities with yesterday’s reading where the Seven of Cups was also the center card and the King of Cups was in the final position. This suggests to me that we are still resonating with yesterday’s powerful astrological events. It also gives you the opportunity to see that interpreting a card is deeply connected to the context where you find it.

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