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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.