The Devil, You Say

There is a simple three card tarot spread that I drew to ask about a relationship/situation in my life that I’m not really at peace with. This spread addresses:

1. What you can change / 2. What you can’t change / 3. What you may not be aware of

The first card I pulled, the Prince of Cups, reminded me that it’s my emotions that I can change and master. The second card, the Ace of Wands, helped me to remember that I cannot change the fiery personality of the other individual, nor do I have to allow myself to be burned by it. Ah, but the third card, seen here, reminded me of something very important…

In any situation where I feel agitated and ruled by my emotions, it’s helpful to remember to see things with some humor. I’m still at the stage of learning the tarot that pulling a card labeled “The Devil” causes a sharp breath intake (you can take the girl out of the Catholic Church but you can’t always take the Catholic Church out of the girl!). Yet I’m learning that the meanings I have ascribed to certain symbols are not the same in the Thoth Tarot.

The goat has those beautiful horns reaching to the heavens and his third eye is wide open. He’s got a smile on his face, almost a smirk that says he’s not riled by anything he sees. The column reaches to the heavens and down into the earth (like a tree), reminding me to ground myself, and the female/male figures in the circles at the bottom are dancing with life, which I certainly haven’t been in the relationship struggle I’ve been having.

Tarot cards are not to be feared, though I understand why certain ones create that initial response. Every time I pull a card that I’m somewhat scared of, I know that there’s something for me to learn. I do periodically lose my sense of humor with this other person, taking my situation too seriously. I know I have no power to change them nor do I choose to change the situation at this time. Those cobweb-looking strings in the Devil card remind me of the way my mind can weave all manner of story and get stuck to it. But in the midst of doing so, I can remember to loosen up.

So today I’ll put this into practice. I’ll observe myself in whatever situation arises, will notice the emotions I feel, and with a bit of remove, will remind myself to smile.

The devil, it’s been said, is in the details…

©Maria K. Benning, M.Ed.



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