Years ago, a psychic told me that I was highly intuitive but because I left my body so often—by ruminating constantly about the past and future—I wasn’t receiving the wealth of insights that were available to me. After that, I began to use my yoga practice as a space dedicated to homecoming; to anchoring in the experience of being, through concentrated focus on the breath and body.
To this day, I get some of my best ideas on the yoga mat. I suspect that when I’m able to switch from my overactive, problem-focused mode of mind to a more being-focused, receptive mode of mind I become available to receive these gifts. And when I’m working on my weekly tarot spreads, my morning yoga practice tends to be when I receive the most meaningful insights about the cards.
So this week’s spread is all about receiving. It’s about allowing adequate living conditions for what it is you’ve received to be born into and grow, and about creating the conditions for these processes to occur in a healthy way.
The Knight of Cups represents someone or something that has arrived or will soon arrive into your life. This is not just any kind of person or thing, but one that brings the possibility for an emotional experience that permeates your being on a level you’re not accustomed to. You’ve either never before experienced this depth, or are feeling it for the first time in a long time. This week’s reading finds you in the early stages of being emotionally moved so much, that you can feel the essence spread through every vein and passageway in your physical body. This is deep.
This thing that the Knight of Cups has brought you—whether it be a new lover, creative project, job, home, baby, or otherwise—offers the emotional depth you’ve long craved on a silver platter and yet you may find that allowing it is more challenging than you’d expected.
There are few things more dangerous in this life than caring deeply for something or someone. Think about it: When we allow ourselves to love, we throw ourselves head first into attachment—No big deal, just the root of all suffering. When we love, we risk everything. We beg to be annihilated.
Psychologist and spiritual teacher Tara Brach wrote that when we become attached “we leave our beingness and leave the moment.”
And so again, this theme of being available to the present underlies all the cards in the spread this week. In order to receive this thing that the Knight of Cups brings, with all of its potential to transform you, you must make your self available.
And so, in comes The Empress. The ultimate symbol of being.
The Empress is a mother. She understands that you have fear around caring so deeply for this new thing. She gently reminds you to check the perception that love is coming in from an external source. This is an illusion. Love has simply been uncovered and awoken, and has sprung forth from the core of your being. Focus on being love.
The Empress is the lush, ripe feminine. She is the woman about to give birth to new life. She asks that you assume the qualities of nurturance, patience, and passivity while this new thing sprouts roots and starts to grow. Treat this new thing like you would a baby; be gentle, be playful, be attentive. Do not rush. Do not force.
The Empress is, at her core, about receiving. Here, the Eight of Swords says that in order to receive what is being delivered, you need to be home. If you’re not home, you need to get there as soon as possible. Many gifts are being offered to you at this time—ideas, possibilities, lightbulb moments, and life-changing insights—but if you’re not home to answer the door when they arrive, you’ll miss them.
The Eight of Swords says that in order to harness the incubative powers of the Empress—which you most certainly need now for what it is that you’re creating—you must come home to yourself, over and over again, as often as necessary.
As time goes on, you will be tempted to compare this new thing of yours to the things of others; this is one example of the type of outward-facing focus represented by the Eight of Swords that takes you away from home. If you spend your time watching others, you will fall into the trap of thinking someone else has it better, or does it better than you. But no one is better than you.
Be aware of the urge to attach your self to the approval and validation of others. Who you really and truly are is not subject to approval or rejection. Remove your blindfold and watch as those thoughts come. You can acknowledge them, but you must still reject them.
Another relevant Tara Brach gem:
In any moment that we’re in some way in the grip of wanting others to think of us a certain way – even a little bit – we’ve left home. We’re no longer inhabiting a kind of spontaneity and naturalness. We’ve conformed ourselves to be okay for that other person…We’re reaffirming that we can’t trust our naturalness and, in that mistrust, there’s a natural contraction that can’t let the loving wash through. We can’t trust that love is always loving us when there is any bit of seeking approval.
A brand new entity—a being, life, project, job, home, or endeavor—that deals in the emotional aspects of your self has emerged. In order for this new thing to have the best shot at a healthy life, you’re being asked to call upon the qualities of patience, stillness, and passivity. You’re being asked to receive, and to courageously accept what is being offered to and asked of you. This is an enormous responsibility. After all, if you do not bring forth this new thing, which is uniquely yours, it will be lost and the world will not have it.
The way to creating an environment of nurturance and fertility for this new thing to prosper is to find a home within your self and to stay there. This does not mean don’t interact with others, or that you should go into seclusion; it means to stay true to who you are and to reject the idea that the approval of others has any relevance to this new thing. Ultimately, what is being grown inside of you now must be your top priority. The opinions, perspectives, and judgments of others are simply not relevant to this process.
Receive what has been brought to you. Be patient and gentle with it. Stay home and give it the love it needs to grow. Don’t look elsewhere. After all, does a pregnant mother look to others to tell her how to grow her baby, or does he grow naturally inside her? And so should your new thing grow. You have inside of you all the love and insights that you need. Hold your focus firmly there.