Third Time and Done

When I was studying with a Tarot master, back in the 1990s, I pulled a card during one of our readings and I hrmphed at getting it. She laughed. “What do you do when you get a card you don’t want?” I asked. “I put it back in the deck and pick a new one!” She answered.

So. You can do that. Just be clear that you’re not doing it to avoid something that you need to know.

Tomorrow, if I pick the Nine of Wands again, I’ll do that. So far, this is the third time in a row, so maybe third time is the charm, maybe someone out there needs to hear this message one more time.

This isn’t unheard of, but it is unusual. There are 78 cards in the deck, so … well … I just spent a bunch of time looking up the probability and got too many conflicting answers. Suffice it to say, it’s unusual.


This time we begin with the weary warrior (you can read more about this card in Tend & Befriend and Shabbos Oracle) and, for this reading, let’s put him in the position of the recent past. In your life, what can you look back to in your recent past to say, yes, this has been a long battle for me, either internally with yourself or externally with others. It doesn’t feel like it’s over, there is still a lot of charge to the issue you’re struggling with. If you think about it, the fire in you rises – perhaps anger, perhaps a sense of injustice, perhaps you feel poised for some kind of fight. Whatever it may be, you’re also exhausted by it – you’re tired of it.

The Two of Pentacles offers you a way out, in the position of the present moment. Pentacles are practical. They see the ups and downs of the tides of life and they deal with it. I’m a Taurus – and you don’t get much more down to earth and practical. I do have a lot of fire in my natal chart, so I have that initial impetus to battle – and if I give it a few moments to roil through – it leaves and I’m left with my essential Taurean self. Relatively placid, able to take the action that will serve me best.

With the Two, we have the opportunity to weigh and balance the situation. Instead of being held tight inside the situation, we are outside of time for a moment (the infinity sign). We can hold it our hands and look at it with more dispassion, from a distance. Like when you’re trying to figure out which of two things is heavier by holding them in your hands, and perhaps switching from one hand to the other, to be sure.

And then you decide. Two is duality – this or that. Not only do you get to make a choice, you’ve got to make a choice. Maybe you want the one that’s heavier because it feels better in your hand. Maybe you want the one that’s lighter because it feels better in your heart. Decision, like incision, means to make a cut.

flower-3072697_1920To decide is to cut away from. In this case, to cut away from the situation that makes you feel like the weary warrior. There’s no way you can make a good decision if you are still stuck in warrior scene – prepped and anxious.

Once you decide – you move on. You don’t keep turning back to the situation, you let go. But that’s really hard! Yes, it can be. But I have to give up something that I still want! Yes, you have to choose which is more important. Maybe you have to use the Two of Pentacles to go through all the smaller choices that make up the bigger one before you are finished with that card and that card is finished with you.

The reason I know this is a choice that you must make is the final card, Three of Cups. This card represents the near future. And, let’s face it, if you’re still stuck in the battle of the recent past, if you’re stuck in trying to come to a choice, you can’t celebrate. And you’re meant to.

Perhaps the celebration is inner and personal – you celebrating with your selves on how far you’ve come and what you’ve harvested from the battle and the choice. Perhaps the celebration is a joining with other with mutual acknowledgment and honoring of one another. You’ll know it when you feel it.

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