We’ve made it to the end of January, and this full moon in Leo packs quite a punch! Leo is a fire sign and is represented by the suit of Wands, which also represents our ambitions, confidence, and impulses in life. Wands showed up quite a bit in today’s reading, along with the presence of quite a few court cards, which I interpreted as asking us to look for the ways we are allowing the opinions of others to erode our confidence and hold us back from putting ourselves out there. Read on for my interpretation of the Celtic Cross spread I pulled, and download the free journal pages at the end!
The significator card is 7 of Cups in its reversed position, which flavors the reading by asking us to get real with ourselves. If you’ve been holding onto unrealistic goals without a tangible plan to make things happen, or fooling yourself about the role you have played in your own troubles, today’s reading might sting a little.
Most of us don’t even struggle to see the ways we try to manipulate others… we are truly blind to it. That internal blindness makes us extra-sensitive, and sometimes we project our inner turmoil onto the world around us in a misguided (but earnest) attempt to resolve the inner unrest. We strike out against the ghosts that we conjured into the world, often severing relationships in the process, all the while telling ourselves that our anger was necessary and our foul behavior justified because of “outside forces”. In today’s reading, the 8 of Crystals (Pentacles in other decks) represents those “outside forces”… and as it turns out, this card represents spiritual growth and reaping the rewards we have earned from the time we have invested. It seems kind of counter-intuitive, but since everything is happening FOR you, not TO you, let’s try to practice alchemy!
This full moon is dredging up something – whether that is people, situations, or feelings – from our pasts that we might have hoped never to think of again. (King of Wands Rx) It’s doing this not to knock us down, but to allow us to stand in grace. In the past, we stood on top of a suitcase full of excuses for our choices and behavior… we highlighted how wrong the situation was and how innocent we were. That suitcase never latched properly, and we’ve lived in fear of that latch coming undone and exposing the content of that suitcase ever since. This fear made it difficult for us to stretch ourselves sometimes, and some of us (myself included) started to believe that the fear was coming from outside of the suitcase, and not the suitcase itself.
The 3 of Wands reversed as the heart of the matter is crossed by the Page of Cups reversed, describing a situation where we struggle to separate our need for acceptance with our actual needs… and we need to learn to see the ways we have failed ourselves instead of the ways others have failed us. Ouch. At the root of this is the major arcana card Strength reversed, indicating that we need to face our sacred fears and trust that we are strong enough to survive, even when the ego is screaming that it can’t bear to look at the truth. The truth is, my friends, that the world has failed us 100 times… but we have failed ourselves 100 times 100 times. Why do we insist on holding anyone accountable when failure is not a crime? I’ll say that louder for the people in the back…
The other ugly truth is that we’re not really trying to hold people accountable for their actions… we are trying to blame them for our uncomfortable feelings. THAT is where things tend to go sideways. THAT is the deception that fools nobody but ourselves. We have projected the wounds of the past into our present-day scenarios, escalating simple situations into all-out brawls, demanding “respect” and an audience with the manager when an exhausted barista scrawls our name illegibly on the $6 oat milk iced coffee beverage we ordered… “I said NO ice!!!”… just trying to get a healing for our emotions. It was never about the latte, or the penmanship, or the way someone looked at us… it was about what our early emotional imprinting told us those things MEANT about us. That we weren’t good enough, or pretty enough, smart enough, too picky… whatever it was, it wasn’t about the latte. It started with us… we made a choice to believe what it meant… and we can choose to see things differently.
The 3 of Cups in the recent past position asks us to think about the relationships and opportunities that we asked for and that we received… and what we did with those opportunities. King of Wands reversed in the “highest good” position describes not only that our past choices never really go away, but also that we don’t need to define ourselves by our mistakes and the we are being asked to allow the experience to change us. To ripen us and make us sweet though, not to rot us from the insides. Transformation reversed in the near future position (Death in some other decks) is telling us that THIS obsession with the past is what is preventing us from moving forward, and that is nobody’s fault but our own.
The Queen of Wands is one of my favorite cards, as she represents personal power and optimism with a shot of wild, independent fierceness that I adore. She is fiery AND kind. She embraces the whole spectrum, and in this reading she shows up in the position that describes the subject of the reading… you and I. The message I got from her today was that our power comes not from denying our weaknesses, but from embracing all aspects of ourselves as exactly what we need to experience right now. Embrace what needs healing as much as what we have mastery of. Embrace it, but don’t put it on a pedestal… we are not here to be anti, we are here to be real. We must accept all aspects of ourselves, but part of the deal is that we strive toward being better every day.
The 8 of Crystals gives us a peek at the energy surrounding our situation, and as we mentioned before seems a little contrary at first blush. The culmination of our efforts exposing all of the wasted energy, inner wounds that we projected outward, damaged relationships, and emotional immaturity does NOT seem like a good thing. It feels heavy, but anything tied down will feel heavier than it is. We need to sever the ties in order to let it go and leave it in the past as a lesson. That is our only choice for alchemy, my friends, and one that is not particularly easy or simple. Interestingly enough, the phrasing that came across with this message is more commonly used to talk about money than time. We are being asked to see the value in the mistakes we have made and not to write it all off as a loss.
The Emperor describes our hopes and fears, asking us to stop worrying our lives away. He advises us to learn how to take initiative, the right ways this time, and to plan ahead so we can be ready to ask questions should something come up. The King of Crystals reversed in the outcome position asks us to look carefully at our energetic balance for signs of self-indulgence and to be brutally honest with ourselves. Where we find inauthenticity or partial success, we are asked to investigate. Can we really live with the compromise of something that feeds only our bodies, but not our souls? We don’t need to spend more, talk more, or acquire more… we need to invest more. Time and energy invested in ourselves will pay back dividends, even if at first blush it seems rather harsh.
Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you found something in here that resonated with you! As promised, feel free to download the free journal pages below! The download is an 8″ x 10″ (standard office paper size) .pdf that has room to punch holes for a binder or notebook. I hope you are able to take a moment during this cycle for meditation and letting go. Namaste, friends!