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Lapis Philosophorum » expectations

Reading #7: January Energy Drain

Posted in Alchemical Tarot, Journal on January 3rd, 2010 by Kristine Gazel

In as much as I love the celebration of the New Year and the promises of renewal and transformation that it brings, I simply can’t stand the long, cold and dark month of January. I now feel totally drained by the very thought of it – lying there  ahead of us.

January simply sucks in Copenhagen.

Since this is my first post in the PDR this year, I think I should ask how I best take care of my self and my energy to meet January.  Maybe it is just a question of being neutral, and to know from which sources to renew my energy.

I guess I’ll simply do a modified celtic cross with 6 cards to understand my current situation, letting 2 be hope and fear too, so that I may understand what makes the very thought of January so depressing  and burdensome;


5   1/2   6


Let’s see how it works out:

1. This covers me: Lady of Coins. This is me – trying to keep my feet on the ground, appreciating the little things, Nature’s gifts, flowers and such. This Lady may be paying too much attention to the materialistic stuff, and too little to the Moon, and spirituality.

Well, I guess I try to do that, and the Yule spread encouraged me to do that, but also to find ways to work out practical ways to connect to spirituality (more about this in a later post).

Maybe I’m looking too pessimistic and practical on the time ahead, and on earthly matters – such as bringing children to and from daycare, getting to work, having enough sleep, money and what to have for dinner –  and not so much on the possibilities that also lies in these things?

2. This crosses me / hope and fear: Six of Coins. The children – my children – understands how to have a playful attitude towards the earthly and practical matters – the practicalities of everyday life. So I guess yes – I do look too pessimistic and practical on these things. I can learn from my children. I can learn about love, generosity and play in everyday life.

3. This crowns me: Three of Coins. I sometimes tell my querents that this is about their ideals, about what they want to do with their life, their longings, wishes and ambitions. And this tells me, that – yes -what I want to is to work creatively.

4. This grounds me: The Chariot. Will power – ego drive. Stuff has to be done, I have to do certain things, in order to get going. I do that excellently, but sometimes it bores me – and I may go too fast. From The Alchemical Tarot Study Group:

Tarot wisdom: The Chariot shows us what can happen when we become impatient. Alchemical heating is a patient process – the alchemist should not add too much heat too fast. As we draw closer to the Stone, we glimpse it, and want to get to it as quickly as possible.  It has been hidden from view–now it is in plain sight. But getting there, to spiritual wholeness, is not a fast process. We must check our impulse to charge off, and proceed more slowly and carefully. We must stay centered.

The Chariot offers us exuberance, energy, ambition, and willingness to take on a challenge. These are good traits that can serve us well, as long as they are properly managed and tempered. The long distance traveler knows how to pace himself so as not to burn out before reaching his destination.

So I’ll have to use my will power, but also be wise and go patiently.

5. This lies behind me: Queen of Staffs. I have experienced creative and emotional energy during x-mas, for example by writing, reading and being with my family. This energy I’m leaving now, and the thought of this – feels like the energy drain, that initiated this reading.

3 of Swords

Three of Swords

6. This lies before me: Three of Swords.The feeling that my thoughts have everything to do with my pessimistic attitude and approach towards January is very much confirmed by this, and it tells me that I must look at my own expectations to grow and get out of my winter blues.

Again from The Alchemical Tarot Study Group:

This card represents pain and suffering, but also shows how our suffering can lead to new growth. In the book Place says that the eye symbolises the soul and suggests and awakening consciousness. He also says that suffering is necessary to achieve the consciousness of the higher self.

Because this is a sword card, and represents the mental realm it is also important to ask what part your own thoughts and expectations and mental habits play in your current suffering. Is the suffering a wake-up call to encourage you to change your mental patterns to enable growth? If the rose is the goal of Alchemy then suffering can be seen as an opportunity to grow and to become all that we potentially can become.

So: The Chariot tells me to be in control, patient and go steady. I have to work on my attitude, be wiser, and look and learn from the children. I have an real opportunity to learn how my own thought patterns play a crucial role for my energy level, and that I do have the responsibility for changing my attitude, and thereby my energy.

Otherwise January will suck and the three swords will cut me, and my expectations will fullfil themselves as a painful prophecy.

Images from The Alchemical Tarot, copyright Robert M. Place, are used with kind permission. Visit the Alchemical Tarot website.

1. Centrum ”This covers you”

2. Det, der kommer på tværs ”This crosses you”

3. Det højere Selv ”This crowns you”

4. Det ubevidste ”This grounds you”

5. Nærmeste fortid ”This lies behind you”

Nærmeste fremtid ”This lies before you”

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