Past Present Future: Two Paths
I’ve used this technique before when doing my daily 3 card drawings and every card comes up reversed, negative, or for whatever reason I can’t seem to grasp what it means.
While things like asking the same question more than once in search of a different answer and going to multiple readers with the same question is basically Tarot-abuse (that’s a thing, I called it), I think that pulling extra cards FOR EACH CARD IN QUESTION helps a lot. So today, I pulled the 10 of Swords, The Page of Cups and The Fool, ALL reversed. I mentally scanned over the information I could remember off the top of my head about all of these cards and while they do seem to fit, I’d certainly rather they NOT. So I put an extra card under the Present (Page of Cups, Rx) and the Future (The Fool, Rx) position. 7 of Swords and King of Cups, respectively. See:
*sorry about my dirty carpet… time to vacuum for sure*
We know that the past can’t be changed. There’s no use doing a “what would things be like if THIS didn’t happen”. The 10 of Swords, visually, whether upright or reversed, looks very much ike my past. Blood and blades. Even snow and a dark sky. Ick. Creepy. This is a card though whose reversed position might be actually somewhat better than it’s upright meaning. I interpret this card to be about “dodging a bullet”.
Upright, I refer to this card as “a bad end to a bad situation”. Also applicable to my life, and very reminiscent of the Death card. Both have to do with new beginnings that come after big endings. I see the 10 of Swords though as more of a self-imposed ending; I mean, look at the 8 & 9. The ego is destroying the person in the 8 of Swords, and the 9 is all about pain from within. Then it appears the 10 just… walked out into the world with this awful mindset and slipped on the ice or something. Now he’s lying in a pool of blood. So my point is, reversed means a distortion or blockage of the upright energy. Dodging the bullet and getting a second chance really speak to me here.
The Page of Cups, Rx in my present situation is also very accurate. I call him “Eeyore” when reversed. I think anyone who knows me would be quick to agree that this IS me right now… often sad and depressed, can’t be motivated, emotionally hypersensitive, distortions of body image, etc. Sometimes he is said to be obsessive, particularly with the psychic world. Ok, fine! I get it. But I don’t WANT to be like this guy.
The future position that follows this reversed Page is the reversed Fool. Reading over my more detailed card description notes, I question if I somehow pulled TWO present cards. Lack of trust, self-esteem, hope, vision… feeling trapped and coming up with stupid, far-fetched and/or dangerous schemes to make that feeling go away. (I’ve done this before to the extreme— extreme as in becoming homeless because I felt trapped. Stupid.) The Fool’s upright eccentricity turned upside down is more like outright delusional and looks more like a mental illness than just a high spirited, excited person. He doesn’t plan ahead, acts with no regard to consequences. And… good at ignoring things. Yeah, no. I see this as a very dangerous aspect of myself, perhaps my Shadow self as it were. I don’t want to see more of this in my future, so… what else can I do?
All I can ACTUALLY change is the present. Rather than the woe-is-me attitude of the Page of Cups (which also resonates with me if the reversed 10 of Swords before it implies dodging a bullet— I did narrowly avoid several situations over the last year and a half that would have most definitely meant THE END, yet I have trouble feeling happy and grateful that things turned around at the last minute!), I have another choice. The Seven of Swords.
Now, ok. The Seven of Swords always makes me think “Thief” immediately. Just look at the guy… he’s obviously running off with some swords that he probably isn’t supposed to have. Being in the suit of Swords, I associate this theft with a “theft of ideas”. But there are other, less negative implications. Using the mind to get out of a bad situation. Using tact, cunning, strategy. Resourcefulness (mental), logic and reason, flexibility and adaptability. This brings that awful word, “homeless”, back to mind— but in a different light. Travelling light, not getting to attached to creature comforts, staying on guard, self-preservation mode. I know how to live that way, unfortunately, but perhaps it isn’t so unfortunate to have at least learned how to live on nothing!
Tying into the Future in the Option #2 line, the King of Cups. Interesting, since in Option #1, the PAGE of this same suit is upside-down in my present. As I write this, I note that a big difference in these two cources of present action is that the first and less desirable path involves distortions of EMOTION. The alternative path is suggesting MENTAL clarity in the present, and the emotional stuff comes next.
The King of Cups reminds me of my dad, to an extent. I think a lot of people could relate to that statement. He is gentle, wise, calm, tolerant, loyal to the family, good natured for the most part. He represents the mastery of Emotions. He’s definitely the “hippie” of the Kings. Peace is his weapon of choice. As an outcome, this card can assure us that these character traits will apply. We will be dealt with in a compassionate way, things will have an air of positivity, placidity, tranquility.
To recap, using this spread I can see that YES, this shitty stuff happened in my past. I narrowy escaped complete catastrophe— but the pain of what happened still haunts me day and night. I find myself in a self-constructed prison of painful memories, flashbacks and night terrors, when I can sleep at all. I’m responding to my past like a reversed Page of Cups. Wallowing in misery! But I could change things. I could (try) to move all that misery and pain somewhere ELSE, and instead, focus on sharpening my mind. There is a great deal of correct timing, tact, planning and strategy needed to ever get me out of where I’m at now. The 7 of Swords guy is making his move at the exact right moment because he’s clear-headed. The reversed Page of Cups is too busy crying to make any sort of plans.
All that I truly WANT is inner peace. I WANT to master these emotions. I want healing. I want those pleasant characteristics of the King of Cups to be a description of my life.
As always, this is all stuff I know, deep down. I’ve been reading my own cards for about 9 months now and doing so has helped me tremendously— not in a divination or decision-making sense, but in the sense of learning what each card can mean in it’s many differing contexts. Each card in the deck of 78 has a few main themes, and a LOT of possibilities when applied to different situations. Interpreting cards in a love reading will be different than in a career reading, etc.
I think this two path daily draw is going to really help me to broaden my understanding of how the cards work together and also will serve to remind me that even when things feel utterly hopeless, we always have a choice in the PRESENT moment. Changing what’s present, even if it’s simple as shifting from an emotional to a objective perspective, can totally change the future.