Fear of Success

About a week ago, I was giving a tarot reading for a friend and a card popped up that insinuated she was fearful of something. When I asked her what she was afraid of, she automatically said, “Oh that’s easy! I’m scared of being successful.” I was baffled! I just couldn’t comprehend the idea of being frightened of “doing well”, because, at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? Fear of failure? Of course! That’s something I worry about often, but success? I just didn’t see how that could possibly be scary.

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Flash forward to a few days ago when another friend of mine was wonderful enough to do a reading for me regarding my question, “What did I need to know or do in order to have a successful tarot reading business?”, since I’ll be officially charging for my services starting on May 1st. Aside from the reading being deep, healing, and powerful, she also said something that completely illuminated my mind:

“It seems like there will be endless opportunities that will come your way. Could you be worried about this? Is there a fear of success? Sometimes we think of fear and assume that we fear rejection or failure when in fact we may concern ourselves with stepping into our power, living to our fullest potential, or achieving the success we know in our hearts we deserve.”

It was like the parting of the Red Seas, or my big “A-ha!” moment. You see, for the last month, either Death or the Hangman has shown up at some point in the readings I’ve done for myself, meaning, I needed to let go of “something” in order to move forward OR look at a situation from a different point of view so I can push past stagnation. At first I thought, “Hmm…I think I’m scared of not being a good enough tarot reader” or “I’m worried that no one will want me to read for them,” but slowly I let those anxieties dissipate, yet, Death or the Hangman kept knocking on my door. I couldn’t understand what it was that I needed to let go!

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Prisma Visions Tarot

However, thanks to my friend’s beautiful interpretation, I was finally able to view my fear from an alternative perspective. Succeeding, and then trying to maintain that success, in conjunction with balancing my business, blog, school, family, and friends all at the same time, is probably just as terrifying as flat out failing. It’s a lot of pressure where things can get chaotic fairly quickly and life becomes overwhelming in an instant. Or does it?

Everyone has heard the famous quote by 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” In other words, you can spend all of your time worrying (consciously or subconsciously) about what might or might not happen, but you’re not doing anything productive. If you fail, so what? At least you tried. If you succeed and things get stressful, so what? Find a way to deal with it. If you land some where in the middle, so what? Come up with a plan to continue moving forward towards your end-goal. There’s always a road to take no matter what happens, so even though the outcome may not be quite what you expected, it’s no where near as terrible as it would have been if you had never even taken that initial step in the first place.

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Image from http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-nominated-for-unprecedented-third-term

As my friend said in her concluding remarks of my reading, “Let fear be your motivator, not your reason for paralysis or stagnation.” I couldn’t agree more. So, press onward my friends, no matter where the road takes you.

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Image from https://pixabay.com/ 

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Wait…What???

Picture this: You’ve been going back and forth on what you should do about a specific issue for days (if not weeks) and you’re just not sure what decision you should make. Ahh!! But luckily there’s no need to worry because you got your handy, dandy, tarot cards, so you know that the right path will be revealed to you as soon as you sit down to do a reading. 2 hours, 3 tarot decks, and 1 oracle and Lenormand deck later, you’re still just as confused as ever because they all keep saying the same thing; nothing.

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Image from Pixabay

This was me yesterday. I’m pretty sure I used up over half of my day trying to get a concrete answer and all I had to show for it was frustration and irritability. Was I doing something wrong? Did I not use the right deck? Do all of my decks need their energy to be cleared? *GASP!* Could I have possibly lost the ability to read the cards? Although the answer to all of those questions was a resounding, “NO!”, this type of situation is all too familiar for anyone who reads the Tarot (personally and/or professionally), regardless of how long or how intimately they’ve worked with their cards. So, what do you do when the cards reveal vague and seemingly irrelevant responses related to your inquiry?

The first thing you need to do is SRB; Stop, Relax, and Breathe. The more you force yourself to try and make sense of it, the further you move away from the the Tarot’s message, which causes both mental and physical tension that just continue to prevent you from “cracking the code”, so to speak. Take a deep breath, put away the cards, walk away, and try to make a strong attempt to not think about it until you’ve “cleared your head.” Once you’ve done this, sit down in a quiet area and allow your mind to return to the puzzling message you received earlier. It will probably still seem vague and confusing at first, but it’s essential you remain calm and understand that the message you received was, indeed, very significant.

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You have to remember that the Tarot only reveals what you need to know or do in baby steps. For example, let’s say you’re looking for a job, so you do a 3-4 card spread to provide you any information regarding this process. However, all it says (no matter how many cards you pull) is that you need to give up “the old”, so there can be room for “the new”, use your knowledge and talents to move forward, and don’t be afraid. You’ll probably end up thinking, “Uhhh…what? I’m not afraid and there’s literally nothing I can think of that I need to get rid of!” But, if you take the time to SRB, you’ll realize that in order to receive more specific directions to solve your external issue, you have to move internally first, even if you think you don’t have to, because in reality, you probably do.

You see, the reason why we get so frustrated when the Tarot’s message isn’t as concrete as we’d like is because sometimes we automatically expect it to tell us something we already know “deep down.” Although this is true in a lot of cases, it’s by no means “law” and if you really want to understand how the Tarot works, you kind of have to expect the unexpected with what’s going to be revealed. It took me HOURS to finally figure out what my cards were trying to say, but when I did, it was like a weight had lifted off of my shoulders and I felt 10 times lighter. As a gifted reader once told me during a discussion about card interpretation, “The Tarot doesn’t necessarily tell us the truth we want to know at that time, but it DOES tell us the truth nonetheless. Even though it’s meant to be our guide, WE were meant to do the work.”

So, the next time you get “stuck” during a reading, don’t panic or get upset; just SRB, come back to the message, and with an immense load of compassion for yourself and the process in general, solve that puzzle 🙂

 

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Image from Pixabay

Love and Light,

Jenna (Gypsy Rose)

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Tarot for the Non-Spiritual

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Image from https://pixabay.com

I’m blessed to have a handful of people in my life who I love dearly and I would do anything for them in a heartbeat. As much as we have in common with one another, these individuals and I also share some differences, namely our beliefs in relation to spirituality or “the divine.” I’m one who believes in a multitude of things and have developed my own, personal spiritual practice over time that allows me to be a better person and to help me cope with the “ups and downs” of life. Others, such as my fiancé and sister, lean more towards an atheist and/or agnostic viewpoint, which is absolutely fine! They’re both amazing human beings and whatever path works best for them, is exactly what they should follow.

My sister doesn’t know much about the Tarot, other than the stereotypes presented in pop culture, such as “scamming fortune tellers” who may or may not be trying to “swindle” people out of money. I explained to her that you don’t have to be someone who is spiritual or believes in the metaphysical to appreciate what the Tarot can provide, which is a deeper understanding of yourself and your situation(s) as well as how you should (or shouldn’t) move forward from where you’re currently at in life. Then I explained how noted psychologist, Carl Jung, had openly discussed the connection between the archetypes presented within the tarot cards and the transformation process of an individual person on a conscious and unconscious level.

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Carl Jung: Image from  http://www.philosopher.eu/texts/carl-jung-summary/

For example, Jung stated, “We can predict the future when we know how the present moment has evolved out of the past” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfNKdI6iPJE). This means that there are certain events that everyone experiences in life and, apart from a few anomalies, the process and outcome of how to effectively navigate through those events are conceptually the same. Birth, death, love, loss, good times, bad times; these are all things we as the human race experience (both on an individual and a collective level) and these cards identify all of the various stages associated with both success and struggle. So, the better we are at identifying the patterns of our past, the better we can become at changing our future.

This seemed to make a lot more sense to my sister once I was able to delineate from the Tarot’s spiritual or “magical” aspect and focus solely on it’s benefits for mental health. Although she still wasn’t ready to receive a reading, she has a much better understanding of why it would be good to utilize, especially if someone is struggling to move forward or maybe suppressing their true feelings about a person or situation. In fact, my fiancé, who is one of the most logical and practical people I know, believes that the Tarot is a very useful tool since the meaning of each card can be related to literally anything a person has, is, or will eventually be going through. Now, that does take the fun, divinatory aspect out of it just a little, but regardless, it does the same thing, which is helping people to cope and move on .

So if you or someone you know is still on the fence about using the Tarot, present it to them (or think about it) from a purely scientific and psychological viewpoint because at the end of the day, “the magic” from the cards is really just the magic we create for ourselves in order to improve the well-being of our lives.

Love and Light,

Jenna (Gypsy Rose)

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Can You Really Have Too Many?

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When I first started reading tarot, I vowed to only have one, MAYBE 2 decks. So, how many do I have now? Six, or eight if you count my oracle decks…or 10 since I’ve pre-ordered the Brady Tarot Deck and I plan on getting the Tattoo Tarot when it’s re-released this summer. I guess it’s a fairly conservative number compared to others who have fifty or more, most of whom are big into deck collecting, which is awesome! There are so many beautiful decks out on the market right now being produced by both independent and corporate distributers, so it’s easy to understand how it can be hard to not pick up that hobby. However, my fiancé asked me a question a few weeks ago that I thought would be a good concept for my next post: “Why do you need so many tarot decks? Don’t they all kind of have the same meaning?” My first reaction was, “Uhhh, no!! Whatever..he just doesn’t get it.” Then I thought to myself, “Hmm..why do I have so many decks? Is having more than just a couple really necessary for my personal practice?” The answer, was of course, yes! Absolutely! I’m going to briefly go through each deck I own and explain why I bought and kept them as well as what type of readings I use them for. Enjoy!

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The Prisma Vision Tarot (PVT): Although I began my tarot journey with The Wildwood Tarot (I’ve since given this away as a gift to a friend who I thought connected with it better), I REALLY learned how to read cards with this deck. At the time, I  was looking for something that I could instantly connect with and truly enjoy the art that would be represented on each card. It wasn’t long before I stumbled across PVT and I was instantly hooked. The cool thing about this deck is if you lay out each suit, it ends up making one, giant, panoramic picture and then I would create a story based on each picture. This helped me tremendously with learning the minor arcana and it’s still my “go to” deck. I’ve also found that I tend to use it more when I read for others since I’ve become so comfortable with interpreting it.

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The Universal Rider Waite Smith Tarot (URWS): The PVT really helped me to get to know tarot on a more intuitive level, but I felt that it didn’t give me quite enough practice with literally interpreting each card (this is a common critique I usually hear when it comes to this deck). I decided I needed to go “back-to-basics;” I was going to buy a Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck. However, about 6 years ago I bought the traditional RWS deck and I was very turned off by it. The art was archaic and it just kind of creeped me out for some reason, so since then I had always tried to avoid buying another one. Luckily, there are a ton of RWS models to choose from and the one I loved the best was the URWS deck, primarily due to the softer illustrations featured on the cards. I use it for my weekly spreads as well as when I read for other people. It’s not only great for gaining a better understanding of how to read the tarot (which is a never ending process!), but it’s also amazing for divinatory purposes.

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The After Tarot (AT): When I first saw that this existed, I was very intrigued. Each card is the scene that takes place directly after what you see in the original RWS deck; fascinating! I thought it would really add to my understanding of the card meanings and help me to better develop my interpretation skills. Although the book it comes with is fairly detailed and does give you some great background information about the reasoning for the images used in the traditional RWS deck, it doesn’t really tell you anymore than you probably already know. I find it’s not that useful if you want to figure out the deeper meanings of yourself or a situation, but it’s pretty decent if you’re just doing a reading for that day or the question being asked isn’t too complicated. It’s a really pretty deck and it’s nice to have it around if I get a little tired of seeing the standard RWS imagery.

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Slow Holler Tarot (SH): I went back and forth on whether or not I wanted this deck, but I finally decided that, as Wayne Campbell from Wayne’s World put it, “It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.” I honestly had no idea what to expect when I started to read with it; it was and still is the ONLY “dark” deck I own and I truly have no need for another. It is absolutely GORGEOUS. I mean, I just can’t stress that enough. The card stock is a little thin, which kind of sucks since it has a $46 price tag, but it does come with a reading handkerchief as well as a well-detailed companion booklet so I feel like it somewhat balances out. This deck is entirely personal and I haven’t (nor do I think I ever will) used it to read for anyone else. I conduct readings with it whenever I want to do some “shadow work” and tap into any feelings I maybe ignoring/suppressing at the time. I usually walk away from these readings feeling irritated, which lets me know that these cards are doing their job. No matter how frustrated I can get with them, they have been absolutely necessary in order to gain a better understanding of myself and, if you are in need of a solid “shadow deck,” consider investing in this one.

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Tarot de St. Croix (TDSC): I also went back and forth on whether I should purchase this deck or not, which should have been a clear sign that this was necessary for my practice since I had so much success with the SH. Where the SH is dark and penetrating, the TDSC is full of light and wonder. My connection with it was instantaneous; I wanted them to go everywhere with me. Although the card meanings are more or less based off of the RWS model, each individual card is so personal due to all of the imagery being related to someone or something in Lisa de St. Croix’s (the creator) life. There’s so much love in this deck and you almost can literally feel the emotion she’s associated each card with. Because of this, you never walk away from a reading feeling perplexed or frustrated; instead, you leave lighter and happier than when you first came in and began to shuffle the cards. This is also a personal deck I don’t normally use with others, although I’m open to it if I feel that person needs emotional and/or mental healing, which is its main purpose when I do readings for myself.

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Everyday Witch Tarot (EWT): Last, but certainly not least, is the EWT. I LOVE Deborah Blake, but I initially hesitated on buying this deck only because I kept hearing that the card stock was extremely thin. This is kind of a pet peeve of mine; if I’m going to pay $26, I’d like for my card stock to be a little thicker so I don’t have to come back in a year in order to buy a whole new deck due to the cards falling apart. However, all of that went out of the window when I took the beautiful and, surprisingly, dense book and cards out of the box. Yes, the card stock is pretty thin, but it’s also fairly sturdy as well, which I know must sound like an oxymoron; there’s just no other way to describe it. This is probably the most favorite deck I own. The imagery is adorable and super comforting and, even though it follows the traditional RWS format, the accompanying book does an amazing job at really getting to the heart of the message each card has. It reads perfectly, and similar to the TDSC, reading reversals aren’t just unnecessary, they really don’t make sense if you try to use them. The EWT is my every-day, divinatory deck and I do intend to eventually use them in readings with others once I feel comfortable enough with interpreting them without help from the guidebook.

See? Every deck has a purpose and a special place in my heart. So, the next time someone asks you, “Why do you have so many tarot cards?”, just smile and know that there’s a rhyme and a reason for everything and you most definitely are not the only ones! 🙂

Love and Light,

Jenna