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This is a second reading I performed for a client who admits they don't seem able to balance school and work. My previous reading showed very positive for them entering school at that time. However, it was apparent to me that feelings of disenchantment and lethargy within their choice of education after the first quarter of school and perhaps even some dissatisfaction with a part-time job has left them believing they may be surround by "bad" energy. So they asked for Tarot's advice. (Name is omitted, of course, for discretion.) _______________________________________________________________________________

I think it might be really helpful if you read over my previous reading because what Tarot suggested is still applicable in this case, although the former reading may have covered about a year's period of time.

The first thing I did was to ask a yes-or-no question about whether or not you've actually taken on too much. This is not to say that you should not be working or not be in school, but perhaps you might evaluate whether you could sacrifice a little less time to one or the other or both. If you really want dedication to your studies, perhaps, if you can manage it, stop work. And I know that's not always an option, as it was never an option for me.

You have your responsibilities as a wife, homemaker, deep into your educational pursuit and then also working at outside employment. Even if it's flipping hamburgers, it still remains a job with time and responsibility involved.

I drew cards three times, and the first two times were a "Yes," the third time was two positive cards and two negative cards which kind of balanced out to a neutral. HOWEVER: I think it's pretty significant to note that two times, from a shuffled deck, I drew the 9 of Swords. (So two times you were doing too much and the third time was more of a neutral.)

9 of Swords:

First, I'll mention what the 9 of Swords means. And this was in your previous reading, but I'll add the meaning here anyway. That is the 3:00 a.m. card. It comes about when you are our haunted usually by a sense of loss or grief. This can be physical, like losing a loved one (pet or person), having your favorite watch stolen, maybe your most beautiful car was damaged in an accident. I'm also speaking to intangible losses -- the loss of something you've not yet received, the loss of an opportunity, the loss of a friendship. These thoughts, real or imagined, physical or intangible, seem real to you and cause you sleepless nights.

There's often a lot of self-blame showing up in this card over situations or happenings that you believe could be or could have been prevented.

The image, nonetheless, actually tells a slightly different story in that it's being pointed out that the disturbing matters that may keep you awake or restless is inevitable, beyond your control of prevention. It's probably happening for a reason or reasons that you cannot imagine right now. There's a little bit of force majeure. For instance, in the image, the girl is sitting up in bed at night, covering her face because she's tired, can't sleep. Noticing her quilt, there are roses on the patchwork quilt, and these roses represent mystery. Alternating between the patches with the roses of the quilt are astrological symbols meaning that it is probably beyond your control. This is something created by powers greater than yourself.

4 of Swords:

I had the 4 of Swords come up also, very similar to the 9 of Swords. This card is asking that you take time for a retreat. You've mentioned that you're very lethargic and don't feel like digging into your studies. You just need to regroup. I question whether you've been sick, physically ill, because there is also yellow shading on this card which, in some instances, symbolizes illness. The stained glass window in the background of the card is an indication that your loved ones are waiting for you to recover.

So there is need for a much-needed recuperation. Since this is a minor Arcana card, this will be a temporary recuperative period as long as you take the time to recover completely.

There are three swords pointing down at the male figure reclining on the bed within the card's image, but the fourth sword lying parallel beside the bed means that you have a secret weapon, another measure you can use to defend against the three swords pointing down at you. I believe this fourth sword represents good sense, good sense in that you have the ability to balance everything out that won't leave you ill and out of energetic balance.

This card often appears in post-trauma time periods, after some sort of conflict or battle that one has been through, indicating there is a need for rest before returning to a normal schedule.

So the aspect of this card of needing rest and the 9 of Swords speaking to restlessness, burning the midnight oil, worrisome nights/days, do relate. You will also notice that I drew The Hangman, which has to do with resting, waiting, incubation. So they all have similar meanings. Use your good judgment in coming to your own conclusion about this.

The Hangman:

There are some readers who place a variety of religious aspects to this card. I believe in your case, not so much. I think it's indicating a waiting period.

It points to a momentary pause, a break period, traditionally relating to recovery from a self-sacrifice (one of those "self" words). Do you feel as though you're sacrificing yourself in some way? If so, are there any rewards to this? Remember not to force an outcome.

The overall theme may be said to mean "Use your time wisely."

The obvious meaning is just hanging around. Events may not be moving very quickly. So all you can do is just wait it out patiently, knowing that the Universe has it's own course of action.

There are many things that you have no knowledge or influence over. So when you see this card, maybe expect delays; for instance, travel plans and projects.

This card also appears when someone is feeling frustrated with their progress. So the actual message here is "incubation." Just hold on and wait. Your matters need time to evolve. This shows up in reference to pregnancy, as is the Empress' meaning (because she's the fertility card). So in the birthing of a child, along with that comes an incubation period. The Universe wishes you to be patient. In your former reading, the Temperance card was asking you to be patient. So kind of like cards when speaking of time.

In the card's image, the man is hanging upside down. There are a lot of interpretations. Why is he upside down hanging by his right leg? Why does he have his left leg folded perpendicular to the right leg? Why is his head lighted up with a halo? My idea about the halo is he's thinking, in touch, recuperating, becoming inspired, he has to use his mind in order to balance his frustration for hanging around in limbo. There are many views of this. It's one of those confusing cards.

CONCLUSION: You need to rest or get some down time, cut down on the number of plates on your table.

The Devil:

I'm surprised I got this card. I don't see it all that often, except in readings where I suspect the person I'm reading for is an addict of some kind.

In your instance, this doesn't have to do with addiction to drugs or sexual perversion. I believe it relates to enslavement or bondage. You may have had a positive or pleasurable attitude, and it's kind of reversed. You may be feeling very controlled by your work or school or family members or even yourself.

This card usually appears when a situation is not worth trying to heal or to fix. The message is to simply walk away or escape as best you can regardless of the temptation to stay. It may be that your chosen master's program is not as satisfying as it could be. Perhaps you need to shift or tweak your classes or your thesis, the focus. Just as an example, for a business program, maybe shift from finance to IT. Something not huge, just a bit. Luckily, you haven't gone too far into the program. Maybe add an additional focus, and even though it may be more work, you may feel better about it because you're going to graduate with a broader scope of qualifications and can rest assured you're more likely to find a rewarding career. Perhaps you have a toxic work environment. Something in your life right now is controlling, and there's bondage to something. Could carrying your dedication of commitment be feeling like bondage? Is there a way to cut down on perhaps the number of credits you're taking? Some programs don't allow that. I'm sure there are program directors or counselors that would be very helpful. Evaluate the people in your life, how you feel when you correspond with them.

The Devil is a card of entrapment. See if you can relate this to something going on within your environment. This could be physical or mental (intangible). You must like what you're doing. But there is no bad energy hanging around you. It is within you to make changes and feel better.

I've mentioned the rest and recuperation; I've mentioned focusing to see if there's any better subject matter for your master's program or schedule you may be on; take a look at your job; and I mentioned focusing and having patience, that you may experience some delays but don't become frustrated.

The following are the questions I formulated for this reading.


Queen of Cups:

Follow your heart. The suit of Cups is about love primarily and then basically all the emotions. Changing your emotional stance is of importance right now. This queen, because she's emotional and loving with a tendency to hold the gifts of being creative and artistic, you would do well in medicine, caregiving, therapies, research; subject areas and professions that are not mainstream. It's saying that you're very empathic. So stay away from situations with a lot of emotion. You're probably what is termed "a sensitive." And I know that from reading your Life Path. In being sensitive to the persons around you, you must be more particular about those who are around you. If you mix with those who annoy you or make you uncomfortable, it creates an environment that will cause you emotional concerns, dragging you down, bonding you, tying you down, and you will not be productive.

As I've said, you may need to tweak the focus of your master's program or job to offer you more of a creative outlet, thus easing up some of these emotions as a result of bondage. These feelings could also be coming from more than one source. So definitely rethink your educational pursuit and your work environment.

Again, review your first reading because it has material that you will find helpful.

You do have strong people skills, but you should be around the right kind of people.

It shows in the image that there is water at the Queen's feet which has just a bit of rippling, meaning you tend to overthink situations and amplify your emotions. I'm just making you aware of this.

Try to feel your way into your projects, your endeavors. Trust your heart and use your inner guidance to lead you in the right direction. You mentioned that you feel something is off kilter. Cut down on your obligations, don't blame yourself for anything, prioritize the day, rethink your schooling (not quitting school, of course), rethink your work setting, make sure you have some creative outlets.


2 of Pentacles:

This is asking for the energy of balance. Because the person in the card's image is wearing a very tall hat, it has a twofold meaning: (A) there's a lot of thinking involved; (B) wearing many hats and managing a lot of responsibilities. The pressure may be overpowering and expressing itself in your more lethargic, less-interested behavior.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, it would be best to take some time out of your current schedule and use it to plan and prioritize. That's the balance I'm speaking of here, where all matters are running smoothly and more effectively.

This reading is showing that you're very, very busy and getting caught up in day-to-day demands and losing sight of the larger picture. Just remember to manage your time and balance it. Your workload is high and to get everything done, stay focused and productive. Be sure to use a to-do list, see that all is calendered, and keep to your strict schedule.


The Lovers:

This is a major Arcana card, relating to a more primary life change. This card also relates to your career path in a way by saying that you may need a slight change in your career path so you might follow your passions more closely and do work that is very important to you and lights you up. This is again stating to follow your heart. Don't be someone who you're not just to fit in. Be your authentic self.

This is known as a card of duality. This is perfect because it could represent the Divine and could represent you. So you will be working in combination with the Divine. When you admit that you're a good partner with the Divine, then you'll learn to trust. These Tarot cards are the Divine. So if you trust in the cards, you'll trust in the Divine.

I see that you're willing to expose yourself to its most vulnerable state, and you will also learn to trust the Divine by opening your heart to your truest feelings and then sharing them with others.

Be sure you've created a harmonious relationship at home and with yourself, which carries over to the Tarot cards which, in turn, represent the Divine, and that relationship is built on this trust and respect as a result of good communication.

Trust in the Divine can be achieved also by understanding your values and beliefs, and you can, in turn, accomplish this by taking a rest period, rebuilding your system and strengthening your innate soul connection through your heart.

This is about choice. Who do you want to be right now? Who do you want to be at a later time in your life? How do you want to connect with others? At what level?

In order to trust the Divine, you've got to know yourself, you must stay true to yourself. There's an angel in the card's image overlooking two lovers. Perhaps your value system is being challenged, and you're being called to take a higher path even if it is more difficult. Whatever you do in trusting the Divine, you cannot make any of your decisions in conjunction with worry, fear or guilt. Those are definitely no-no feelings. This is asking you to choose love, that which is within your heart and within which the Universe lies. If you trust in your heart, then you will always live in the best version of yourself, and you will trust that whatever your thoughts and decisions, that they come from the Universe, and you can trust that the Universe knows everything, including Divine timing.


3 of Wands:

We might say that everything we've talked about so far relates to being good to yourself -- compassionate -- giving yourself a break, not speaking badly of yourself. You must maintain your moral compass. Speak nicely about yourself.

View yourself in a much broader manner. Compassion is accepting your ups and downs, your triumphs and your follies. Give yourself love for all of that. Don't denigrate yourself for small mishaps. By looking at yourself within broader aspects, you'll understand yourself to a greater degree, seeing the direction you are pointed, able to forgive yourself in your dealings with all the challenges that you face. So it's seeing the wide picture. The image on the card is a person with his back turned, gazing out toward the sea with his three wands. Wands represent communication, career, speed, passion. So Tarot is wanting you to communicate with yourself and see all the adventures you've had, places you've been, and people you've met. View yourself as a very special individual. Understand that your soul goes way beyond this body, way beyond this galaxy. Know how expansive you are. You're much more than merely international; you're intergalactic. Give yourself a break. You deserve it.

The 3 of wands indicates a waiting. I say that this is the card of a man waiting for his ship to come in. He views his wait as promising. His expectations are high that his ship will come in if he stands on the hill and waits long enough.

So wait and be patient, as we've already spoken about, be forgiving of yourself, understanding that you have a direct line or connection with the Universe, And if you've connected in the correct way and asked for the right things, that's all you can do. Then you're trusting in the Divine.

In summary, looking at you in a more expansive light will cause you to be more compassionate of everything you are going through currently, and you know you may be going through in the future, because soul expansion will only continue. Once you've expanded, at any point, even if it is living under a bridge for the next 20 years, that expansion will never decrease. In other words, you'll never lose all that you've gained in the way of expansion.


The Emperor:

I drew The Emperor for your first reading. I would suggest that you read that portion of your reading again. You may find it helpful.

This is a major Arcana card. I think in your case now, because you're having some form of blockage, similar to writer's block in principle. It may be helpful to purchase a book on writer's block. It would be a genre of self-motivation and could be very helpful to read.

You get into sync with motivation by stepping into your power. You should increase your feelings of responsibility. Fall into your role as being accountable to the projects which you've begun. The 3 of Wands, which we've just discussed, having to do with compassion for yourself, along with The Emperor, does ask for you to assume a role in developing a business and educational strategy, to write it down. I think that I also mentioned that balancing your life as told by the 2 of Pentacles. It's not saying there is anything particularly wrong with your life, but you just may need a little more balance.

Even though you're a sensitive, try your hardest to overcome some of that sensitivity and find yourself speaking with authority. What will be self-empowering for you is just to hear your own voice saying these things. Write a short speech about anything. It might be just half of a page. You don't have to be in front of a mirror but stand up and recite the speech as if you really know about it. Write your own speech. For example, write 500 words about "Is it better to receive a formal education, or is it better to learn on the job?" And this is only one way to help you self-empower.

I have a website and a page for blogging. What is a blog? I found an article written about why it's good for you to blog. Some of the reasons included the developing of communication skills, learning to be a better writer, learning how to research, learning about various subject matters. I've never been a big blogger, but it is apparently quite worthwhile.

As a whole, motivation works hand in hand with various skills such as self-confidence, planning, organization, and setting up outlines or structures to manage all the efforts you're putting in to create this motivation. This is what The Emperor is asking you to do to get your motivation back up. It would be nice to have a million dollars in the bank but that doesn't always work out. This is not saying that you need to be an Emperor, or you need to be in business, or you need to be some sort of coach or mentor. The question was not that. It was how to find motivation. And in order to fill The Emperor's role, you must be organized, you must feel you are actually in control, you need to be willing to distribute work, to delegate employees, to have appropriate people skills, know the guidelines of skills needed to fill various positions, the idiosyncrasies of government in general. IN SHORT, BE AN EMPEROR.

So The Emperor is representing outlining strategies, following a plan, reorganize, if necessary, rely on time schedules, maintain visible control.

In your first reading, The Emperor represented your husband. And your husband may still affect your motivation, but I won't go into that right now because I've already asked you to review your previous reading as there are various tips in there about how you may use your skills to be positive in your educational setting or why you need not worry about doing well. I don't know how much time you're putting in at your job or how much attention you devote to your husband or how involved you are with your family. These are all matters you'll be required to balance out time-wise and energy-wise for stimulating motivation.

How will The Emperor find your motivation? Get organized.

There are no bad energies. You're not surrounded by any untoward energies waiting to attack you. Your own energy surrounds you, and it just may be misguided or temporarily waylaid a bit.

Let's wrap up. In order to become more productive, allow yourself to be heart-centered, don't overthink, make sure that your career and your work are on the creative or artistic side, be easy on yourself. Also the energy which you channel should feel inspired; simply put, the energy of balance. That means laying the groundwork. Know your working schedule, education schedule, resting schedule, responsibilities toward other persons, evaluating your alignment with the subject matter of your education and work, both presently and at least somewhat into the future. And by trusting in Tarot, trusting in the esoteric arenas, trusting in your intuition -- the Queen of Cups is all about intuition, trusting in the timing, don't rush things, as we pulled The Hangman, as we pulled the 4 of Swords, as we pulled the 9 of Swords, all indicating interludes or pausing to regroup, and even as we pulled The Devil, indicating bondage or self-sacrifice (the Devil aligns with The Hangman) -- you will notice a much healthier you.

If you believe you're sacrificing yourself -- that means either your work, your husband, your home, your relatives, your school or your job -- you are to blame for this. It's not nearly so difficult to solve as you believe. Just take everything one step at a time and follow a plan to become heart-conscience. Then matters should begin to fall into place.

Remember also that the 3 of Wands works with The Emperor to create a plan. The individual standing on the hill has a plan. He knows what to expect, and he'll patiently wait.

Once these things are in place, I believe your mind will rest much easier, and you'll notice the burdens you mentioned start to lift. Don't, however, get the idea that if you do all of these things, you'll receive a life of "pie in the sky." Life is hard, hard work. You'll never find it all that easy until you die. But it can be a bit easier. Don't fight the down periods. Go with the flow. You know by now that suffering plays no favorites. Out of anything that appears negative to you, sit down, write on your calendar how you can make that a positive. Stay away from negative people. "Bad things will happen to me" and "It's all their fault" mantras are poisonous. Accept your own fate as your fault, that you've created it. So learn from it, make it a challenge for yourself to turn it around. Remember, you're going to come out right where your soul wants you to come out, though you may have taken a crooked road.

Once again, thank you for allowing me to read for you. It’s been my pleasure. I wish you the best in all your endeavors. You should be absolutely fine.

Warm regards,

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