Tarot Tuesday: Attachment to Pleasure + Flexibility

Tarot Tuesday: Attachment to Pleasure + Flexibility

I have a confession. When I pulled the cards for the weekly reading last night, I didn’t like what I got so I put the cards back, shuffled, and pulled again. The Tarot Gods don’t play that shit, so the second spread made zero sense and because I’m stubborn as hell I put them, too, back, shuffled again, and pulled a third time. This is truly naughty tarot reader behavior. (At least I’m being honest?) Again, of course, the third spread was garbage. So finally, reluctantly, I went back to the original spread.

So why did I hate the first spread so much, you ask? Well, because it was these two beautiful feminine cards—Queen of Pentacles and The Moon—and then, grotesquely sandwiched between them was the horrible, overbearing, heavy, hideous, and entirely inconvenient Devil card. Barf.

For reasons that are most likely obvious, I really hate The Devil card. I make no claims to equanimity or nonjudgment in this case. He sucks. At his worst, he’s about disempowerment, addiction, unhealthy behavioral patterns, and destructive urges. At best, his appearance is akin to that one friend who makes you look honestly at things you’d rather ignore when you’re out here just trying to live your life and have a good time.

The readings for the last couple of months have been all about big, beautiful, soul-expanding things. It makes sense that the first card, Queen of Pentacles, tells of a stable, creative, grounded, abundant, and peaceful place. Add The Moon in there and it’s truly a lovely vibe, especially because it was an actual full moon day. And so my immediate reaction to The Devil wedged between them is to say, no man, not today. But in a sense, this is a lot of what the card is about; dark and inconvenient things you’d so love to ignore, but should not.

So there’s this whole heap of playful mystery, creation, and growth happening in your life right now, but you’re looking through rose-colored lenses. Research has shown that it’s common to perceive the world as a less threatening place when you’re feeling connected with others—and you certainly are at this time—but there are still things to be cautious of.

The last few months have been about physically creating the life that you want—and I’m talking about real, material and visible growth. You’re bank book may be getting fatter or your garden starting to bloom. Perhaps you’re finally recording music that’s been simmering quietly inside you for years, or you’re putting things on paper that you’ve never had the words to say before. You might have a new job doing work you’ve always dreamed of doing; or have moved into a new home; or are getting back in shape. The point is, things that you’ve wished for are materializing, and it’s a beautiful time for you personally.

The symbolism of a Queen suggests that you have matured and acquired the tools you need—the understanding of how your mind works; the compassion of spirit; and the healthy concept of self that’s needed to have healthy relationships with others. Things are moving and taking root finally, after a season or even a lifetime of what felt like constant log-jams and drought. Not only do you have enough, you know for sure that you are enough, and then some. You have a great deal to give, your cup truly runneth over, and generosity is pouring from your being. 

So here’s the thing. The inconvenient buzzkill of a thing that this damn Devil is here to say:

When all of these things that bring you pleasure and make you feel big, broad, and important start to emerge after a long spell, or perhaps even lifetime of feeling small and powerless, it is very, very easy to become attached and even addicted to these feelings. After all, you worked your ass off to get here. It is understandable that you believe you deserve and are therefore entitled to the fruits of your labor. These dreams start materializing and it brings you such pleasure. You’re under the influence of this intoxicating feeling called being someone in this world.

It is so, so easy to roll right into adopting this delusion that the things you have now have come to you because you are special, dammit, and you are owed things. But then soon you begin to feel that you are in control of all the things, and that you have truly earned what you have, purely on your own merits. In your grandiosity, you lose touch with your smallness. You forget that there is a higher order to things, a higher power. And from this state, it becomes hard to see clearly. Just like that, The Devil can lure you down his path.

So even though the trees in your yard may be dripping with fruits, the cash may be coming, the pot may be bubbling, and your home may be ever full of sweet scents, be cautious not to become attached to the rewards of your labor. Do not get stuck in this delusion that this was all your doing and that you are therefore entitled to it. Humble yourself.

And Although you’re seeing many physical signs that suggest you’re on the right path, do not be tricked into thinking you can just plug in your destination and then coast the rest of the way on cruise control. The path you’re on is going to require great flexibility, and the strength to shift gears when the terrain changes, and it will. It’s cool to have a vision for the future, and you should. But be careful of getting so attached to any one constant forward trajectory that you lose the ability to take pause and re-assess when needed. The Devil warns against the rigidity that dominates when you have blinders on. Be willing to revise your plan at all times. 

Now even though The Devil may have killed your buzz a little, The Moon is also here saying hush…Everything will be okay, if you commit to your intuition and you be brave enough to acknowledge the dark things inside you that have the potential to divert you from going toward what matters. Be gentle and remind yourself that it is completely acceptable to have urges to avoid discomfort, attachments to pleasure, and the need to feel in control of both your inner world and the world around you.

The Moon is about intuition, and things that must be felt to be known. It is the tool you’ll use to navigate away from these traps of attachment, craving, addiction, rigidity, tunnel vision, and the preoccupation with control. If you can stay in touch with your deep inner knowing about what’s truly important, you won’t get too attached to the ideas you have about the way the physical world should look.

It’s not at all surprising that on the eve of the Summer Solstice and the full strawberry moon, the spread is overflowing with ultra feminine energy brought forth by the Queen of Pentacles and The Moon. These are positive, awesome, creative cards that each individually speak to the highest levels of physical and emotional richness and depth, respectively. It’s a ripe time and so much is being birthed and grown. The meanings of these cards cannot and should not be overshadowed by the presence of The Devil, but at the same time he cannot, should not, and evidently will not be ignored.

There is so much loveliness in your life right now. Do remember that any place blessed by pleasure and joy is also home to the potential for pain and agony. Make it a priority to continuously examine your motives and the things that are driving the choices you make so that you can be sure they are consistent with what matters to you. If you’re not sure yet what your values are, you might find resonance with the ideals embodied by the Queen of Pentacles; security, stability, service to others, creativity, and abundance.

Call upon the qualities of The Moon and pledge allegiance to your intuition in order to stay on the track that’s right for you. You do not know the entirety of the track yet, so be aware of the The Devil’s temptation to latch on to a fixed outcome. If you get locked into tunnel vision, you’re not only fostering a mindset of rigidity and weakening your brain’s ability to stay flexible, you’re going to wind up somewhere that feels misaligned with what you truly want and need.

The Devil might feel like a bit of a pest right now, sent solely to kill your vibe and ruin the fun. But you’re much better off acknowledging him now than pretending he isn’t there. If you are human, you have habits that don’t serve your higher visions and you need to be aware of them. Look for places The Devil might be hiding in the moves you’ve been making and the things you’ve been planning. If you find that a choice you’ve made or are about to make reflects your fears more than your dreams, or if something simply doesn’t feel right, you are allowed to change your mind, always and forever.

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