Victimhood vs. Vulnerability

It is a very important distinction to make between an act that serves us versus an act that alienates us. One that I’d like to point out today is the difference between being vulnerable and being a victim.

If you’re feeling beaten down, as with the Ten of Swords, there is a clear cut choice to make here. You can sit with outward blame and project the betrayal on others, a lá victimhood, or you can choose to be vulnerable, take responsibility, and heal.

Well what does all of that mean?

Vulnerability takes Strength. No only does it takes courage to feel your emotions authentically, but to let someone in that you trust can be outright scary! But this is the exact reason why talk therapy, 12 step programs, and life coaching alike work; they all require a degree of vulnerability and sharing to release some of the inside pressure in order to move on. Being vulnerable means taking responsibility for your emotions and dealing with them in a constructive manner. Being vulnerable means loving yourself enough to let your feelings out before they bubble up to the surface.

On the flip-side, being a victim requires no bravery whatsoever. In fact, victimhood kind of embodies this melting figure into a bubbling pool of liquid for me. When you’re a “victim,” you’re accepting no personal responsibility for your feelings.

This is not to say that all victims have control over the reason for their grief or trauma. Not by a long shot. But EVERYONE has the power to heal. When something terrible happens to you, like an attack or a death or a fire, that is not your fault, and I am not insinuating that it is. However, your response to those occurrences are all under your control. You can grieve, pick yourself up from your boot straps, and move on through your life, or you can sit there and say woe is me and never get anything done.

And to be extremely frank, being around a victim is SO BORING. Sitting next to someone who can’t stop complaining about how awful their life is and how things keep happening TO them is such a yawn. It is a huge turnoff.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret…

You have complete control over your life. Facing a stream of setbacks with grace and vulnerability will only serve you in the long run. And projecting blame will only make your life seem terrible to you and everyone around you.

RuPaul said it best, “Life is hard if you do, and life is hard if you don’t.” Any which way you slice it, life is gunna throw things your way. But building character and creating a world in which you are the supreme ruler takes guts, moxie, and is all well worth it.

Get vulnerable, feel all your feelings, and stay witchy ( *)

Control Freaks and the Unknown

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Reversed, the Emperor denotes excessive control and rigidity. And that sounds super familiar to me.

You see, regardless of the self help path that you venture on, you’re bound to revisit some demons. But when you face these demons with the tool belt you’ve stocked up, you’re more able to combat them in a successful way.

So, as a person who struggles with control, I constantly come into contact with situations that are far out of my control (obviously) and it makes my psyche suffer. Until I whip out my tool belt.

Let’s take, for example, my trip to Europe. I’ve always had a big problem with money anxiety and in order to keep that in check, I’ve used my tools. Let’s see what that looks like:

Alright so I booked the trip on October 1st. I set out a savings plan to give me “enough” money  (3000 US dollars projected) to last me the month that I’m away.

I’ve stuck with my plan to the best of my ability, and yet, there’s still anxiety surrounding the situation.

Why?

Because I’m facing an unknown. I’ve never been to Europe and I’m terrified that I’ll run out of money and be stranded.

But where does that stem from?

I’ve written about this before, and it was more philosophical, but now it’s personal. The reason why I feel like I need to control the money aspect is because I’m afraid of my spending habits while I’m there, and also the fear of being unable to support myself.

Having 3000 in hand is going to be as much as it is. That is the bottom line. But it isn’t the amount that’s scary. It’s me. I’ve lived with myself all of these years and know the rabbit hole I can fall down when I live recklessly. I’m still paying off a 15 grand debt from credit card purchases. 

So in order to combat the scariness that surrounds me, I breathe and recite mantras that instill trust in myself. I also research the hell out of prices in Europe for peace of mind, but I mostly breathe and chant.

You see, the money isn’t the issue. I have what I have and that is that. A five hundred dollar expense doesn’t just sneak up on you (under normal circumstances) so just remembering to have a little trust goes a really long way.

Having faith in yourself is difficult, because you are faced with your entire wrap sheet. But if you just take a breath, take a look at where you are, understand that there are forces outside of you that you have no control over, you actually gain peace of mind. Accepting and surrendering is the best way to stay on top of yourself. Remember to breathe and stay witchy ( *)

 

Vanity’s Power

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Often described as a “shrinking violet,” the reversed Queen of Wands conveys the lack of confidence I think all women feel at some point in their life. With the age of selfies and social media upon us, expensive makeup and contouring, and ,of course, photo-shop, it becomes reasonable to have a compare-complex.

When vanity steps in, it isn’t because you have so much confidence and you pride yourself on looking your best. Quite the contrary. When one exhibits vanity, it is because of the obsession with looking good from fear of being ridiculed. Unfortunately, as women, it’s a fear we are all too familiar with.

I heard a comedian the other day saying that, on a night out, “at that moment, it was like reapplying my lip liner was my key to eternal happiness.” And isn’t that so poignant? That when we have an unflattering cow lick right over our bad eyebrow, we obsess on it and flatten it down so much that our hand looks permanently glued to our head? Because that is way more attractive, right? And because being attractive hinges on our right to happiness?

I am going to be 100% honest. Not only was I extremely into my looks (hair extensions, lip injections, fake nails) but I still am. I love looking like a Barbie doll because it makes me feel good. But what has switched in me, because I found the ability to love myself the way I am, is that I can go to the grocery store after a work out and not hide in shame because my eyebrows aren’t penciled in. In fact, the other day my cat scratched me on my face, and instead of cowering and crying in my room for days because I looked like a Disney villain, I shrugged it off and held my head high because life is life and shit happens.

To be completely and utterly a victim of vanity is not just wanting to look good. It’s another obsession. It takes you from being confident enough to wear a bright shade of lipstick to contouring your face to look like a different person. It takes you from trying out the new lip plumper in Sephora to suction cupping your lips a la Kylie Jenner. It takes you from eating healthy to starving yourself while wearing a waist trainer. It takes you from a few hours of yoga a week to purging your lunch.

Its a slippery slope, and I did ALL OF THESE.

Girls, we have it hard. We are held to a ridiculous beauty standard that is only attainable when one doesn’t have a normal life, but a life where money is available only to make you look better. When you are equipped with a personal trainer, plastic surgery, juice cleanses, facials, and a beauty squad of 20 to contour the fuck out of your face and blow out your hair miles high, it’s pretty easy to look like a bombshell. But more importantly, our beauty should come from strength and intuition, because ladies, we have that in spades.

So check your vanity. Does it have a stranglehold on you? Instead of giving you the key to happiness, does it actually get in the way because you’re so obsessed with it? Ask yourself these questions and do a little digging. Stay beautiful and stay witchy ( * )

 

Rationing Your Time

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Good afternoon witches! As some of you may have noticed, my blog posts have becoming more infrequent. While I used to try and post as often as possible, the time has come for me to spread out my writings in order to preserve the quality of my content.

Which brings me to the Ten of Wands. Today we’re looking at a reversed card that signifies the process of holding onto a burden that is unnecessary. Biting off more than you can chew and finishing the bite out of pride. This kind of behavior is silly and ends up working against you by burning you out.

This blog was originally made to be a writing project for me to spill my guts, while using my influences of tarot and self help to allow me to move my message in a personalized manner. As I would like my posts to exhibit an air of passion over obligation, I am taking a step back from writing when I have nothing to say. I want this page to have content full of worth rather than filler pieces for when I have writers block.

Essentially, this post is to apologize, inform, and explain the gaps in my writing. I will still be posting multiple times a week, but only when it feels organic and there is a subject worth writing about.

I love you all and thank you for following. Stay witchy and stay reading ( *)

Tackling Obsession

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Uh oh. Here’s that scary Devil card again.

However, today, we’re going to use it to illustrate obsession.

This card is not “bad” by any measure, but it is truly enlightening. It is the perfect metaphor for obsession. Being bound by mental chains of fixation on one thing or another is quite debilitating.

When we obsess, we lose sight of everything else around us. We are the horse with blinders on, only staring ahead at the thing we desire most. And that thing may even change routinely, but when the obsession is present, nothing else is.

I have a problem with obsession. From the tiniest of things to large scale life goals, obsession is something I have struggled with for most of my life. It stems from my need for control: if I put this in the forefront of my minds eye, it can’t go anywhere or do anything until it is achieved. It cannot change or be forgotten if all I do it think about it.

As unhealthy as that is, in earlier years I convinced myself that the obsession begat ambition. That it was fuel for the fire. And in my rationalizing my obsession, it became ok to do with everything in my life.

However, the stark difference between obsession and goal setting, is that goal setting doesn’t interfere with the rest of your life. Goal setting makes room for many aspects in it, while obsession demands full attention.

The way I deal with my obsession is by using an exercise tailored to the root of my problem. I fixate because I’m afraid I will forget, and therefore fail. So in order to not forget, when I find myself becoming fixated on whatever it is, be it a healthy diet, new pair of jeans, a morning routine, or even the pursuit of love, I write it down. Once it is written down in a list or a notebook, something I regularly look at, it cannot be forgotten. It now exists in stone, and frees up my mind from all of the worries and anxieties associated with obsession.

So if you find yourself fixating on something, try to figure out why it is so important, and try to soothe your mind based on what you find. Obsession is wasted energy, and there is so much out there that deserves your attention. So be frugal with the amount of energy you spend, and stay witchy ( *)

Why Pity Parties Don’t Work

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In the Five of Cups, we see a man cloaked in despair. He is focusing on three spilled cups in front of him, and is unaware of the two cups,still full, behind him.

And that is Lame Ass, amiright?

Pity parties can be fun for a hot second, like when you really just need to be dramatic and let it out. But there is a clear and evident time for when to end that shit, get back on the horse, and be thankful you still have those two full cups behind you.I know that it is hard not to feel bad and sorry for yourself, but when you do, you are wasting precious, valuable time you could be using to bounce back.

Grief is real and should be felt. Sadness is a true emotion and should be treated with care. But to sit around and whine about how bad things only happen to you and that you’ll never heal from this setback and that life is too hard is just plain annoying. None of that is true and to lower yourself to that level is insulting to your insides. You should get real with yourself and realize that no matter how bad your situation is, there is someone out there with it ten times worse who has already shaped up and is on the road to recovery.

When my little dog, my best friend in the world, passed away, I was the Queen of Pity Parties. Not only had I been reigning royalty in the court for years beforehand, but once we had to put little Max down, my title was stronger than ever. I walked around mopey, convinced that no one had it as hard as I did (a privileged, attractive, white female growing up in one of the biggest cities in the world.)

I didn’t actually grieve. I was sad, of course, but the sadness was just stagnant because I didn’t know what to do with it. I used that sadness as a crutch, because I was already just unhappy altogether. My dog passing away, which, in a vacuum, is sad as hell to begin with, was compounded with all of my other “stuff” and blown out of proportion. Because I was looking for any excuse to feel bad for myself, I took it to a whole other level and basically demanded attention from people through it. Which is super fucked up (R.I.P. Maxy Boy.)

So the point is, there is a stark difference between grief and feeling sorry for yourself. Feeling sorry for yourself takes away from the actual incident and inhibits your ability to heal. Grief and sadness are normal human reactions and are necessary for growth. Self-pity is a crutch. Clarity through healing is an open door.

So get up off that floor and dry your tears. There’s always a way out, and it starts with you taking the focus off of your pain and putting it onto your healing and the resources your still have. Those are your two full cups. Remember that, and stay witchy ( *)

 

 

Why Couple Tarot and Self Help?

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The Page of Cups symbolizes the realization of a new part of yourself; the start of your journey in listening to your intuition.

And isn’t that what the journey of self help is in a nut shell?

I’ve recently gotten many questions about this. What does tarot have to do with psychology and personal development? One seems to negate the other. Behavioral science versus “magic” and psychic abilities? Don’t they work against each other?

Well the short answer is no.

Tarot cards are just cards with pictures on them. It is our intuition and interpretation of them that give these cards any meaning. They are not dark forces that cast a shadow on our future. They are merely the vehicle from our subconscious to our conscious explanation.

Think of the Rorschach test, or word association. These are common tools psychologists use to gain deeper insight into their clients. Similarly, the cards work for your clients through pictures and symbols.

If I were to turn the Lovers card over to two different people with two different experiences and two different current romantic standings, it would mean two different things. Same with the Death card, or the Devil.

And those cards have very powerful meanings. If we take something like the above card, the Page of Cups, which loosely represents new beginnings in a creative and emotional sense, it could mean many things for anyone! The real magic comes from our intuition, and what frame of mind we place these cards in.

If you are going through a breakup, or another emotional time in your life, your world will be clouded with thoughts of this event. Everything you see you will relate to your pain. Similarly, if things are going well, you will relate certain cards to your successes.

I truly believe in tarot, but not that the cards are magic. I believe in the transference of energy and the intuition of the reader to the querent. But I also believe that we make our own destiny, and that is when we take the cards meanings and match them up to what we envision our lives to look like. Whether that is positive or negative is all up to you.

So, when looking for an answer, be it with tarot or self help (or both) use your gut as your guide. We inherently know when things are wrong, but sometimes we go through the motions because pain seems normal to us. Trust that initial intuition and you will pull through. Just remember to stay witchy ( *)