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Balanced between the 8 and 10 of wands, burnout.

I love the story between the cards, and the story within each of the suits can tell us so much about the individual cards.

Recently I have been very much in the place of the 9 of Wands. Exhausted, unable to rest and definitely in the place of burn out.

On a good day I am in the 8 of Wands. Lots going on, but with careful organisation, and a close eye on timing, my life just about fits together. I love the 8 of Wands – a sense of exhilaration with so much happening, so much movement. And with the Wands all in parallel, all falling to that rich and fertile landscape, this feels full of potential for me. And there is much that is good in my life. I love my work, spending time with my kids, walking in the local woods, connecting with friends – life is busy, one step away from hectic, but good.

The problem is when one thing falls out of alignment there is not enough wiggle room in my life to catch my breath. The life of a single parent can be hard- if I need to give an extra lift at the end of a busy work day it is likely my meal time or short daily walk that I give up. And if my children need more from me than I had planned for, as happens from time to time, there is no one else to fill this gap except for me.

So often I fall into the 9 of wands. Fear sets in a little, I try to over plan for the next day. Instead of resting I work harder, trying to get ahead. Fear grows with exhaustion and the cycle deepens.

When I look at the 9 of Wands I see exhaustion, the need for a rest. I see someone focused on preparation (all those Wands behind him creating a barricade of protection) but the elephant in the room is he is using up more energy than he has to create this illusion of security. When I look at the 9 of Wands I see a sense of paranoia, fear, that no amount of preparation or work will ever be quite enough. Which often creates the cycle of over work in trying to calm the fear- when rest is the only thing that will actually make a positive difference.

Which is the move from 9 to 10 of Wands. Overwork, overload, working to hide from life. I always connect with how the Wands are held in the 10 of Wands, obscuring the view forward.

Work (being busy, not always “paid” work) becomes a way of avoiding the reality that feels so scary in the 9 of Wands. I often find in the 10 of Wands I lose all sight of perspective in my life, focusing on EVERYTHING that I feel needs doing, rather than what actually needs to be done right now.

Sometimes Tarot is best at helping us to see the reality of our situation. My nicely balanced 8 of Wands became the 9 of Wands when I worked through illness instead of taking time to rest. I ploughed on with finishing my Tarot book project, which was a useful project- but probably not quite as useful as resting would have been.

I am writing this blog partly to share my “stalker cards” those cards that have been in every reading for myself, mirroring my mental state with graceful honesty. And partly as a promise to myself to get my balance back.

I love writing my blogs. A quiet morning, a good cup of coffee, and a chance to reflect on life.


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