I sat down to pull this reading at Lake Merritt, one of the sweetest community meeting places in Oakland, California, the city I call home. I’ve been traveling for the last six months, and I’m finally back. It feels good.
If there’s one thing travel always reminds me, it’s that home is a thing we have the capacity to cultivate for ourselves, at all times, regardless of where in the world we may be, or who we’re with. Even in Oakland, in the midst of potlucks and special events and gatherings, I often wrestle with feeling like a stranger on the shore, much like the figure in the Three of Wands.
This week’s reading suggests that through tapping the creative, feminine energy of the Queen of Wands; putting in the patient, steady work to build an environment of prosperity suggested by the Knight of Pentacles; and coming to the deep knowledge of self depicted in the Three of Wands, therein lies the potential to experience that sense of home and true belonging.
Wands represent the element of fire, and the spark that ignites when spirit—or God, as I call it—proposes an idea, and you accept. The Queen of Wands is an expert intuitive who possesses the highest level of receptivity. When she shows up in a spread, you too are being blessed with an extraordinary ability to receive, a being that is fertile, and the conditions required for new creations to sprout.
Not only are your senses wide open to a massive influx of creative ideas and passion projects at this time, but the Knight of Pentacles suggests you’re also being gifted with a balance of pragmatism and practicality; you’re not wasting time on things that will go nowhere and you’re experiencing an enhanced capacity to quickly sort through and dismiss any options that are not in service of your higher mission.
I’ve written before about being “home” to receive messages, and once again this week the Queen of Pentacles is reaffirming the importance of being still and present—antenna up—to receive what’s on offer. Now is not the time to expend energy rushing about, chasing or pursuing things—instead, call upon the yin and Queen-like energies of passivity and patience. Be still and receive.
Here, the Three of Wands is about the knowledge of self that is required for all of the above, to stay on a track that is consistent with what matters most to you. This card may also represent a deep soul journey, or overseas travel that’s related to re-connecting with your roots, investigating family history, or training in something that you’ve been called to do. Either way, it suggests something about who you are that has the potential to radically shift the way you engage with your life and the people in it.
Many of us have at some point fallen prey to this great lie that we have to tag or box our selves, and that the choices we make in life about who we are must be mutually exclusive. If I want to be a dancehall DJ, I cannot also be a devoted ashtanga yoga student; if I am a wife and mother, I cannot also travel and be an entrepreneur; and if I’m to write about science, I cannot also write about spirituality and divination, for example.
Our brains love to label and classify. This is likely an evolved trait that helped our ancestors survive, but in modern times it comes with the potential to substantially limit the ways we choose to live our lives. The Three of Wands, recognizes you as somewhat of a peripheral person, who dwells on the edges of many different communities. Being this way has challenged you, perhaps even paralyzed you; your understandable need to classify yourself has stirred up fears of commitment, or of making the wrong choice. You have been operating under the assumption that you must choose between the various aspects of your authentic self, and in your perpetual state of trying to make a decision about which box to put your self in, you have wound up choosing nothing. The Three of Wands says: You don’t have to choose.
Once you’ve made the brave choice not to box yourself (and you may have already, or are in the process of doing so), you might notice that people act strange, distant, or even judgmental toward you. When the human brain is not able to label something, it can trigger a feeling of threat or danger. It’s not necessarily other people’s fault, per se, for mistreating you just because they don’t get you. But it’s also really important that you understand that it’s not your fault either. Understand that when people feel threatened, the range of behaviors otherwise available to them becomes significantly narrowed, and in that state they are thus often unable to act with love and compassion. It’s not personal.
If people have mistreated you, left you out, or flat out refused to accept what it was that you brought, always remember that it’s not about you. It may be healing to take some time to call up some of the more painful social rejections you’ve experienced and infuse those memories with the knowledge that people behaved the way they did for a reason. Remind yourself that people’s bad behavior is rarely a reflection of your levels of lovability or dopeness.
You may spend a lot of your energy wondering how to integrate all of your various interests at once and wind up doing little or nothing instead. Make a conscious decision to allow yourself the flexibility to be fully you in any environment. Actively challenge the desire to fit in. Celebrate the fact that there is no one else in the room quite like you.
It is plausible to be all of the things that you are, and to altogether disregard the pressure that others unconsciously put on you to be classifiable. You can be unclassified. You can be thirty five things at once and make zero apologies. You can choose not to let the confusion others may have about who you are confuse you. You can adopt the belief that fitting in is basic, and actually quite boring. Being unfathomable can be a lonely road, but it is also wildly liberating and entirely possible.
Misfit, peripheral people do experience loneliness a lot. Even though you may be involved in many different communities, and likely have lots of friends and acquaintances, you’re intimately aware of the fact that you will always be alone in your you-ness. You will never be able to define yourself by any one or two of the social groups to which you belong. You will never be the kind of person who can achieve a sense of full belonging just by looking to the spaces you inhabit and the people who surround you. But this is also a blessing, because you get to create a more solid sense of home within yourself; a sense of belonging that depends on no one, and that no one can take from you.
At any time, you can draw on the energy of the Queen of Wands to remind you that whatever room you’re in, you belong there. Be royal, regardless of the physical context in which you find yourself. Focus on being—be this, be that, be all of the things you authentically are at once. Meditate on the possibility that you have the capacity to contain them all. No explanations necessary, and absolutely no apologies.