Alternate Title: Finding the Devil in the Details (Part 1)
I started the first draft of this post thinking I would list everything my card for the year meant to me for 2019. But it didn’t feel right; it felt a little… presumptuous? Like I was trying to plan out my growth for the year (ha!). And we already went over the potential meanings for The Devil card (both light and shadow and their intersections), so that felt a bit redundant.
I realized I was approaching it all wrong. Listing all of the possibilities I might encounter as potential lessons for The Devil card kind of took away from its role as a teacher.
In school, I was that girl who LOVED getting her Syllabus at the beginning of the semester, highlighting the items I was most interested in, writing the due dates and test dates and adorning them with stickers in my School-branded Agenda (remember when they were called Agendas?), but I often enjoyed it so much more when the Teacher went off the tracks and started sharing something entirely unexpected.
So let’s be real: Life ain’t got no Syllabus. And as much as we can try to use tarot cards in this way, they really only end up being a brief overview of upcoming chapters that we may or may not dive into.
The thing we need to remember about determining our Tarot Card for the year is that interpretations and perspectives will change as the months pass by. Making a big ol’ list at the beginning of the year to get a feel for what we may learn is a nice idea, and it can set the tone for how we move through the coming months, but I think these cards are best used in the heat of the moment. As a check-in, or a pit stop in your journey.
So when you’re in the thick of living, sometime in March, or June, and you’re sitting around wondering what the fuck happened in the last 30 days to get you where you ended up, well… that’s when you nab your card of the year, grab pen and paper and examine how it’s representing itself in your life.
So I’d like to try something a little different. Let’s toss out the syllabus. This will be a multi-part series exploring The Devil card as it shows itself in my life. I’ll break it down into Quarters, ideally, but maybe it’ll change more often than that. The key is to consistently reflect on the card to learn its lessons as I go. If this sounds interesting to you, how about you try it out with me?
And if you’re also into planning like me, then perhaps you already have some goals set for the year, broken out by quarter and maybe even month (So Hardcore, I know, but it’s kind of addictive and humbling at the same time, and maybe I’ll talk about that in another post). Add this to your journey: Throw some Tarot Card of the Year reflection into your monthly or quarterly goals. See how it affects your perspective, and how it could shift the way you move forward with your life and your plans.
Anyway, about that Devil Card:
If anyone else has The Devil card for 2019, perhaps this will ring true for you: Right now, this card is about rebellion. My main aspiration for 2019 is creating a life I love, in every area. Making choices that appeal to my heart as well as my head. I’ve begun to live a life so authentically mine, that I’m beginning to see just how much I stick out like a Sore Thumb in this town. I don’t know how it is for others, but I often find that when socializing with folks, I invariably hit a wall — one where my non-work interests have either gone over their head, have triggered an awkward silence, or worse, have prompted them to excuse themselves from the conversation entirely.
Friendship is hard in your 30s; even more so if you move around. It can make you edit yourself in social situations for the sake of superficial familiarity on the rare occasion that you run into these people when you’re out and about in the grocery store, or go to a local bar or restaurant. But why go through life, fearful of what someone is going to think of you? For the sake of avoiding potential gossip in your community? To make sure you get invited to that next party of people whose lives have never gelled with your own?
I have always tried to remind myself that there are plenty of towns and plenty of people who simply Do Not Give a Fuck about whether the kind of life I lead matches their own moral standards. If the people can’t handle me, I can always move (But please re-read the first sentence of the previous paragraph).
So my first 2019 Devil motto, lesson, whatever you call it: Don’t Hide.
The Devil card can be seen as a huge Flaming Middle Finger to the Status Quo. I saw it as the realization that it was My Fault that I felt confined to outdated or mismatched values. And since I’m at a particular stage in my life where certain expectations are assumed (read: marriage, babies, having my entire life figured out), and living in a particular town where certain behaviors are expected (read: Christian, 9-5 job that I hate, making babies, bingo player), the pressure to conform was a bit overwhelming. After living here for a couple years I found myself saying that I just wanted to be settled, comfortable, stable. I told myself that I was okay with just living a quiet life in a quiet town, with a couple “friends”, maybe popping out a kid or two, etc etc. There was nothing wrong with those aspirations if they were what I actually wanted.
But were they? I think I started this inner work a little while ago when I made the decision to get a new job that allowed me to work remotely. I had to Stop and think about the dissatisfaction in my life. Where did it stem from? Was it my relationships? My job? My external aspirations? My extracurriculars? I realized that I had morphed into this sneaky version of my former self, trying to conform to the people around me (through careful conversation and behavior) who didn’t think the same way that I did. I did it for these people who weren’t interested in taking big leaps of faith for crazy dreams. These people who weren’t interested in asking as many questions about life as I did. These people who were happy with where they were. And rather than seek out my own happiness full force, I tried to make my life look like theirs. And when I started to speak of my interests, I didn’t like the reactions. So I stayed quiet.
We all have reasons for pausing before we speak of ourselves. Some of us have better reasons than others. I have not a single good one; only that I didn’t want to see the raised eyebrows, or the subtle step back from people when they would hear of the things I enjoyed doing outside of my somewhat impressive day job (the industry I work in pretty much always gets me cool points).
My main goal for the coming months is to no longer hesitate when talking about myself as a Tarot Reader, as a Musician, as a Writer. It is to no longer stop myself from enjoying things purely based on how others might view me, or because I can’t seem to fit into any particular category and may seem a bit contradictory in personal style and interests.
Don’t Hide any of it for someone else’s sake. And if anyone makes you feel uncomfortable for expressing your true self (unless you’re harming others; don’t be an asshat), remember that they’re not worth the friendship or the time.
If you made it this far, thanks! In hindsight, I probably could have broken it up into two posts.
And if you want to nerd out and join me on my Tarot Card of the Year check-ins, leave a comment below with your own card for the year, and tell us how it feels to you right now.
How to Calculate: Take your Birth Month + Birth Day + Current Year and add it all together until you get a number that aligns with one of the Major Arcana (Numbers 1 thru 22; 22 being The Fool). So for me, 7+23+2019 = 2049. 2+0+4+9 = 15. 15 is The Devil.
Until Next Time, my Fellow Fringers,