A couple weeks ago, someone on Aeclectic asked for a spread with a lighthouse theme - it's been awhile since I tried to create a structured spread, so I gave it a whirl and came up with this.
As I am about to enter what promises to be a very full month, I thought I'd try it to look at the month ahead. What I know is going to be happening is three birthdays (mine, my youngest daughter's, and my sisters), one baby shower for my second youngest daughter, and whatever the month brings concerning my parents estate and guardianship issues. There's a possibility I might also be taking a trip out to see my mother, though that is tied in with how the court proceedings play out.
8 of Pentacles
In this case, my 'ship' is the overall theme for the month - what aspect of my life I'm trying to bring 'home' to the end of the month. The 8 of Pentacles speaks to detail work and step by step effort as I learn and grow more skilled in getting everything done.
In this card, the figure seems oddly seems to be steering the pentacle in front of him, like the captain of a ship... take care of what's in front of you and the rest will follow.
2. What Keeps Me Afloat -
the sea in its positive sense... what is helping
But of course.. Temperance suggests balance and moderation - the angel, like a fine cook, puts in just the right amount of water (emotion) and fire (energy) to get a well blended result.
This is a reminder that I can do all the steps required of me if I pace myself and remember to blend in periods of rest - not burn out early or procrastinate until the end of the month. Just a reasonable bit, day by day until everything is done.
Wheel of Fortune
This is all the stuff that is out of my hands (and there's a lot). It is difficult for me to focus on the small step by step efforts I can make when there are still so many unanswered questions and things that are pending... things that can't be guaranteed. But in this position, I am reminded that I can't get tripped up by that... what is out of my hands is out of my hands and will play out however it will.
Meanwhile, I still need to focus on what I can do, not on my frustration and worry over what I can't. The figure at the top of this card reminds me of the Charioteer... but no one can perfectly drive a path solely according to their will. Fortune does seem to be turning to my favor, but counting on that is as foolish as worrying that it won't... focus on my own steps and let the rest sort itself out as it will.
Page of Wands
The court card here suggests to me that this has to do with my own self-identity and with this page that self-identity has to do with learning about personal power and the ability to channel it. For sure, when all of this started, I was feeling like my energy and my ability to manage it was totally shot. It's embarrassing to admit, but my first reaction to learning about everything that was going on was to try to run from it on the grounds that I wasn't strong enough to deal with it and would surely mess up if I tried.
That faulty view has passed (and did after the first week of coming to grips with this) but at this point, my view of myself as someone who can channel and use my energy for such a vitally important purpose is till pretty shaky.
I think this card is telling me that I have more energy for this than I think I do - my belief that I'm not strong is masking what I need to watch out for.
4 of Swords
And that ties right in with this card - the 4 of Swords has to do with recuperation... stepping away from thinking about a situation in order to rest and recover. And while that is generally a good thing, right now, I need to avoid doing so... I just can't afford to check out right now, not even temporarily. That faulty view of myself as someone without enough energy to get through this could lead me to automatically rest more than I actually need to and in doing so waste precious time. Temperence shows me the better path... keep things in moderation and keep everything flowing, rather than coming to a total halt at intervals.
3 of Swords
This is the light that burns through the fog of my own lack of confidence and keeps me from the rocks of checking out entirely - the 3 of Swords here shows my own sadness and heartbreak over the situation with my mother. I have been at intervals shocked, dismayed, angered, outraged and offended to find myself related to people who would deliberately attempt to take advantage of a tragic situation for their own ego and money driven desires. I wouldn't have thought it possible, and if I could find a way to safely go into denial about it, I know I would. Instead, that painful reality - and the even more painful reality of my mother's precarious situation - is what keeps me moving. The situation as it is simply cannot stand and if not me and my sister fighting to correct the situation, then who? That pain enables me to behave more energetically than I feel, and put off the true recuperation period I am planning to take later once things are taken care of.
4 of Pentacles
You know, I'd have liked to see Justice here, but wierdly, this makes sense - right now my biggest ally is my relative's greed - every break I've had has come from them accidentally revealing information I can use by attempting to hang onto everything for themselves. Their dogged determination to keep control keeps resulting in either mistakes that show their intent (which helps get authorities interested in helping) or forces them to take steps that give me the same information they refused to volunteer. I think that in their minds, they believe that we are after the same goal as they are, and because we aren't we're in a position to more clearly see their motives than they can see ours, and allows us to be more flexible about our path.
A breakthrough moment for me was when I realized that ultimately, the worst they can do to me is to make work for me... in the end the law is on our side, and because I have no hope or intention for any personal gain, I have no investment to lose - and I believe they're already spending money at a rapid rate hoping it will come back to them with profit. Well.. keep hoping. Their greed is working in my favor and will, in the end, be what helps me make sure my mother is safe.
10 of Cups, rv
This is the realistic expectation of where I want to 'land' by the end of the month - and it makes sense... I would like to be in a place where a happy resolution is possible, but the reversal here is a reality check... I'm not going to be able to make everyone happy nor do I even want to try. Letting go of that inherent desire lets me work on movement toward that most emotionally satisfying conclusion possible, and let go of any responsibility to do more than that. I'm afraid my mother is in for some unhappy days while transitions take place... I know I'm not near any 'happily ever after' in this. And being willing to decide that is ok... that it's even ok to live with everyone else's unhappiness with me and disappointment that I can't be all things to all people right now is ok and I'm not going to take on that burden and start feeling defeated that it's not possible.
8 of Wands, rv
Back to the lighthouse, this is what guides me toward that provisionally happy result... the 8 of Wands reversed shows more icy cold energy than fiery hot - electricity rather than flame. For me this card tends to have to do with distance communication through technology... fax, phone, email, etc and it is telling me to document conversations, keep my passions out of it - stay professional and communicate speedily in ways that can be pulled up later to clear misunderstandings and show my work. That way, when others are unhappy with what is being done, I can clear up confusion AND stand my ground based on what was already decided.
And finally, the Lover's card, reversed seems to offer a final bit of advice along that same line... I am a person that is wired to connectedness... it is my habit and desire to assess success by how well everyone is pleased with the result. And under normal circumstances, I like being that way - this situation is outside of my comfort zone and 'success' in this case means capably representing my father's wishes, and doing the best I can to respect my mother's wishes as long as they aren't against her better needs. It means deliberately arranging things to ensure my relatives don't get the outcome they want. It means subjugating my emotions to better deal with courts and lawyers and banks (and lions and tigers and bears, oh my). The Lovers card here suggests to me that for right now, I need to follow the dictates of my heart much less than the dictates of my head, even if that doesn't come naturally to me when working on large cooperative (or adversarial) efforts. The time for the Lovers card will come.. just not now.
I can't say the month ahead looks all that fun or satisfactory, but I do think that keeping my head down and dealing with one day at a time, one step at a time, we'll be a lot closer to a conclusion (or at least a clear path forward) by the end of it. No easy fixes here ...just a lot of work.
And that is totally ok... after two months of legal limbo, the prospect of actually getting into the work phase of all this comes as something of a relief.