Temptation and Temperance
I’m experimenting with some weekly spreads instead of the daily three-card spread I’ve been doing for a while. We’ll see how it goes.I found this simple four-card spread somewhere on the Web.The first card is the one at the bottom, and then the reading goes clockwise. The cards are supposed to form a “tree” but I set them out straight for the sake of the photo:
The Past of the Situation: Ten of Wands Reversed
Traditionally, the Ten of Wands in reverse signifies blame, overwork, burnout, lack of productivity, lack of focus, dissipation, and lack of control because tasks are too numerous and not prioritized. Upright, the card shows a hero – a shining knight on a white horse, golden. But power and this workhorse, in reverse, means something has wormed its way in and corrupted the situation. This has indeed been the case at the office. My workload has been ridiculous. My perfectionism doesn’t help matters. A wolf in sheep’s clothing has been involved, just as this card also warns. I’ve taken a deep breath and started digging out while also letting go of inessential responsibilities. This includes dropping some dharma and sangha aspirations. I’m just letting everything go but the few roles I need to fulfill and the few people I need to fulfill them for. This is a time for quieting down, coming back down to earth and the body, and going into my everyday life with full simple presence.
The Current Outgrowth: The Devil Reversed
The Devil is major arcana, so this is significant. This card is about personal demons. In reverse, it indicates, specifically, weak will power, addiction, and unhealthy attachment. Like the Ten of Wands Reversed and like Temperance, another major arcana card in this spread, it is about the masculine principle, power, but reversed, meaning weak, worn down, succumbing to unhealthy habits. This may be my perfectionism and lack of thrift in sorting priorities.
What to Do: The Three of Wands Reversed
This is the third card in this spread to signify energy blasting down the spine and the lust for knowledge, enlightenment, or power creeping up the spine. The caduceus is two snakes winding together and apart around the chakras. In reverse, this card is telling me to patiently wait the situation out; to refrain from making it bigger than it is in the full scheme of things; to refrain from perfectionism, ambition, and obsessions; and simply dispense with the list of details in short order and move on. I need to sort the small stuff that has piled up in my life before any more big plans can be made. I still haven’t recovered from the year I spent virtually all my free time working on MCTB2, buried in it while my ordered life disappeared. In a sense, I need to pull away from all things dharma and simply feel into my humanity, send down roots.
What Following the Advice Leads To: Temperance
The painting on this card is the masculine tiger completely swamped and engulfed in the soft yin waters. This card is about uniting the feminine and masculine. Again, the caduceus is mentioned in Marie White’s description. This is the unraveling of a knot, its release, which brings balance back into my life. This is regeneration, redemption, born of moderation, letting go, balance.