Kim M. asks:

I’ve been dealing with a lot of rough stuff lately, long story short I have a job I’m not happy with and I want to know if I should move out of it and to someplace better. I want to find a way to get more money soon, and get my life really started but it all seems grim. I’m thinking the universe is against me here, because everyone else in my life seems to have things together and I’m still at the starting line. Is it always going to be like this? I feel like I’m missing something.

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PAST: The reversed Knight of Swords can indicate that you need to be on your guard, hold your cards close to your chest and be cautious with those who have not yet earned your trust.

PRESENT: The Ace of Cups is a very happy card indeed. In the context of employment if traditionally signifies an opportunity for promotion and/or new, good job headed your way. You and your hard work slogging through a job where you are under-appreciated will be rewarded and valued

FUTURE: The Five of Swords will likely bring about some mixed feelings about life in general and often about a few people in particular. It is the card of cruelty and unfairness, Diplomacy is your buzzword, attempting to speak truth to power is not a good idea. You’re not going to be able to change the system overnight, best to play by the rules as set out until you have the seniority to speak out.

You don’t go into detail about the job you want to leave, but if the cards are accurate, I’d say your workplace is bordering on hostile. There seems to be a lot of distrust and backbiting going on, and I do not blame you for wanting to leave. The Ace of Cups tells me that you will be much, much happier when you leave.

But the Five points out that when you do eventually make the leap, you might end up swapping one set of problems for the other. It’s quite likely that your next job will be an largely entry level position, in a workplace with something of a corporate culture. You might be forced to do things that don’t make a lot of sense to you at the time, just because “well, that’s the way we do things around here.” You may not feel that you have anything going for you in your present job, but at least you have some seniority.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you are willing to accept the trade-offs that a career change would involve. Certainly a move would alleviate the discomfort you’re living with now. But it will come with its own set of challenges to be sure.

All in all, the universe is not out to get you exactly. It can be a little cruel and unyielding at times, and there isn’t an easy “happily ever after” to your situation. But you have the means at your disposal to improve your situation.

And just remember that life is not a competition. You’ll only drive yourself nuts comparing yourself to your neighbors and friends. You don’t see everything that goes into the lives of those around you. The person with a great job may be dreading every moment of it, the person with a great house and car may be up to their eyeballs in debt. Focus on your own path, and on making forward progress.

L.D. asks

I just went through a big move/job change. I’m super happy with where I am professionally now, but moving away from my partner sucked. Due to family commitments he can’t move to be with me right now. While I am very busy and happy with my new life, I really miss him and the life we had together. Should I be moving on and seeing new people or is there still a future between me and the guy I left behind?

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PAST: The Ace of Cups is a very powerful, positive card relating to love, happiness, and affection. In other words, what you had was a nearly storybook romance.

PRESENT: And now that storybook romance is tested. The Five of Pentacles points to a time of poverty, going without, being left out in the cold, and anything where life is feeling less than secure. I can’t think of a better card to illustrate the hardships of a long distance relationship.

FUTURE: The Eight of Cups often means that you may be thinking about leaving a situation that seems as if it is no longer working. Receiving the card in reverse, however, points to a need to stop and think about it a bit longer. You may not have given the situation enough time yet.

Sometimes the cards are inscrutable, it takes an intuitive mind to connect the dots and see the patterns that correspond to the question asked. This is not one of those times. I don’t see the cards being any more clear than they are this week. And in this case, the clear message is “Hang in there.”

The Past and Present cards capture the situation behind your question succinctly. You had a beautiful storybook romance back home, but now that you’re apart things are quite different, and you’re feeling lonely. Such is the case with many long distance relationships. Many times people in long distance relationships, especially those that aren’t married, decide that it’s too much to handle. And the Eight of Cups captures that question directly, “Should I get out?”

And in this case, the reversal of the card is saying “Not yet.” Not necessarily “No” mind you, just “Not yet.” It’s important that I qualify this somewhat; I can’t promise that the guy you left back home is going to be “the one,” or that there will be a “happily ever after” if you stay with him. The cards are not saying that. Remain open to possibilities, if your gut is telling you that you really need to get out of the relationship, go ahead and trust yourself. All that the cards are saying is to think long and hard about it first. What you had back home was amazing, and you owe it to yourself, (and to him,) to make sure that you don’t burn your bridges with him.

One last piece of advice. Many people in long distance relationships swear by Skype video chat to keep their relationship together. What people do on these calls is not something I’m prepared to go into detail on, but I’m fairly certain the two of you can figure out some creative and romantic uses for it. Best of luck.

Queueing up a new batch of readings!

Aside

I’m about three months into my blogging career, and I’ve learned a few things already. The first thing I learned from your feedback is that writing in to this blog is less like a traditional tarot reading, and more like writing into an advice column such as Dear Abby. And I’m OK with that assessment. Hopefully that means I’ve found a unique format that no one else is really doing, which means that if I can make this work, the sky is the limit.

The other thing I learned is how to pace myself. When I initially started Tarot Busker, I initially answered reading requests pretty much as they came in, so that I had a body of work to build on going forward. That however had the unintended effect of blowing through my queue of requests, which resulted in a couple of months of downtime.

Now of course, most blogs have their issues when initially launching, and mine is no different. Granted, many blogs don’t admit their troubles in public, but you’ll find that I like being honest with my audience.

So based on all that, I decided to tweak my format and make this more like a regular weekly column, posting one reading a week to start. Later on, if and when the requests start to come in more frequently, I can release two or three readings a week. That way I can spend more time with each post, meditating on each interpretation, researching out some of the meanings that I’m less familiar with, and hopefully posting an interpretation that not only helps the querent with their question, but is entertaining and informative to anyone who reads their post.

The upshot of all this is that now would be a great time to request a reading for yourself. I need you guys to send me questions. It does not cost you anything to request a reading. You can make as many requests as you want, (though I will probably space out your requests so I’m not answering a bunch of the same person in a row.) Remember, you don’t have to pay me for my response unless you think it was really, really good. A buck or two is perfectly fine. Anything that is a few pennies above Paypal’s cut is truly appreciated, so that I can make back the money I spent on the .com, But ultimately, the experience in doing readings for you is my real reward.

The other thing I would like for you to do is to Like me on Facebook. I have 29 Likes there, which is right at that threshold where one more Like grants access to Facebook’s activity data. I’m also looking at how to incorporate Google+ into the site, (if any of you WordPress gurus out there can point out a good G+ integration solution, hit me up privately.)

All in all, thanks to all of you who have stuck around with me as I launched this blog. And thanks to those of you who are just now discovering Tarot Busker. I love you all, and I thank you for not chasing me off this virtual street corner.

Robyn asks

I have struggled with computer hardware/software malfunctioning or not being up to the level of functionality that I need for a very long time now. I would very much like to know if and when, or how long until, I will be back to the level of functionality that I prefer and is required of me to finish my schooling, and beyond.

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PAST: The Empress is a classic representation of the Goddess, the maternal motherly creatrix. She traditionally represents fertility when she appears in a spread, but in the context of monetary concerns like your question, she can signify coming abundance. She brings fertility of the pocketbook.

PRESENT: The Three of Cups is traditionally a card of reunion, and of celebration.That reunion can be someone from your past reappearing, or perhaps it may mean the union of a community. Financially it indicates a rather fluid state. Money will be coming in, but going out just as fast. Your basic needs will met, as long as you play your part, but there will be no large swings either way.

FUTURE: Classically the Nine of Cups is the “Wish” card, usually a strong indicator that your request will indeed be fulfilled. But the reversal here tells me that it might not play out the exact way you expect it to.

As I notice the layout of this spread, I am struck by the emotional element being brought forward. Two Cup cards, and the Empress which is also heavily Water-element based. Water is the element of emotions, and right now you’re soaking in it. This computer you’re using is FRUSTRATING you to no end, and the cards are reflecting that. While generally it’s not a good idea to salve emotional wounds with material things, in this case the material issue is the source of the frustration. You are clearly due for an upgrade, and it’s just a matter of how it’s going to come about.

The Three of Cups tells me that your current financial state does not really permit you to save up a lot of excess money to buy yourself a fancy new MacBook Pro or Windows Ultrabook though. Your budget seems to be bobbing up and down at sea level, and I’m not seeing a change in that anytime soon.

That’s the bad news of the Three of Cups. The good news is that you have a strong and vibrant community around you. One that perhaps could sustain a bit of a barter economy if you collectively put your minds to it. I would not be surprised given these cards to find out that someone out there has a gently used laptop that they have outgrown, or a spare video card/hard drive/etc. that just happens to be the perfect fit to swap into your current configuration and alleviate your current technological troubles. Even if you don’t directly find someone in your sphere of influence that has what you need, you can still find odd jobs, or make some arts and craft stuff for your friends, so that you can put it towards your upgrade

Ultimately, what you put into your community comes back to you with interest. Instead of just focusing on your material needs, you create a win-win situation for everybody. Your technological needs are met, your emotional stressors are alleviated, and your community is stronger. The sweat equity you put into procuring your computer will result in a stronger appreciation of what you will end up with. And isn’t that better than mere “retail therapy?”

Halo asks

My son’s father doesn’t have anything to do with him, doesn’t call or try to visit him or anything like that. I want to change my son’s last name to mine, but his father says it would be the last straw. I am not sure what he means by this, but he has made my life very difficult many times in the past. Should I change my son’s last name anyways, or will that just cause me more trouble then it is worth?

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Before I begin this reading in earnest, I must add a disclaimer here. A tarot reader is probably not the best person to be offering legal advice. I’ll help where I can, but any modification to your divorce decree or parenting plan is probably best handled by someone who has passed the bar exam.

PAST: The Chariot is a card about movement. It could be a literal move from one physical place to another or something more metaphorical, a change of heart and/or mind. Either way, a reversal here indicates that you need to take a hard look at where you are going and why. Or in this case, where you were and how you got here.

PRESENT: Queens often stand in for an actual woman, and in this case, I believe this is you here. Pentacles typically signify prosperity, and the Queen of Pentacles is often associated with the home and hearth, and of motherhood.

FUTURE:The Five of Wands shows us conflict and competition. I think this is a clear indication that you will have a fight on your hands if you pursue this strategy.

Looking at the first two cards, I can already tell that you have had a rocky road getting here,  but you have survived and thrived, being a good mother and creating a positive and nurturing home for your son. And that’s certainly to be commended. Your need to believe in yourself is stronger than ever now. Hold your head up high, and have faith that things will end up working out for the highest good.

The Five of Wands certainly confirms the fact that if you do decide to go ahead and ask for a name change, you will get an objection from the father and it will likely result in the both of you before a judge. That alone may be reason enough not to pursue this. But if you play your cards right, you can compete successfully. The only way to lose for sure is not to try. Play fair even if his side plays dirty. You’ve proven yourself to be a good parent, and I believe the court will continue to see that.

Andy asks

I’m trying to decide what to do. My wife’s work life is hell right now, 60 hour weeks for several months now. It is putting a huge drain on our relationship. She earns a lot, so me working more would not help. I think I need to go on a trip so she won’t have to live with me being unhappy for next month (after which the project will end) which would lower her stress some. On the other hand, my taking a vacation seems unfair and I can’t help her with food and things at home. She says go, but I feel bad about it.

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PAST: The primary theme of Seven of Swords is of duplicity, stealth and theft. I don’t think you’re actively being shifty, but I wonder if on some level you’ve felt guilty that you’re not the primary breadwinner. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with challenging the traditional gender roles, but sometimes it’s hard to counter the messages we were raised with.

PRESENT: The Eight of Cups paints your wife’s situation rather concisely. She’s weary, drained, and just wants this to be over. Many times a couple going through this kind of energy will evaluate whether or not to continue the relationship, but the reversed nature of the card tells me that an end to your marriage is not on the table.

FUTURE: A second Cup, also Reversed, underscores that there’s a LOT of emotional upheaval going on right now. And here the Queen herself appears. Queens in a reading often point to an actual woman in our lives. And with the reversal, it can indicate that this woman may be feeling hurt or put-upon. But even reversed, she still among the most loving archetypes in the tarot deck, indicating compassion, love, and concern for ourselves and each other

You certainly have a heavy and emotional situation. The biggest takeaway I see from all this is that clearly you and your relationship will survive this. Either way you go, your Queen is still in your future. So at this point we come to the question put to us so many years ago by The Clash. And for this, I decided to pull one more card…

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The Ace of Wands like a breath of fresh air, swoops in with the answer. It talks about inspiration, new beginnings, maybe even new business ventures? Take that trip, BUT don’t call it a vacation, because that will trigger the Seven of Swords guilt we talked about earlier. Instead, go do some networking, maybe go learn something new that you can use in your line of work. You’re not working for the sake of bringing in more income to the household, but you’re planting seeds of future opportunity.