Wednesday, December 3, 2014

9 of Spirals: Releasing Expectations

Over a week ago I drew the 9 of Spirals from my Chrysalis Tarot (Toney Brooks/Holly Sierra), whose keyword is "perseverance." I drew it reversed, and honestly I did momentarily feel the wind leave my sails (hmmm, that's rather fitting, actually, given the card imagery!). I thought, "I'm going to feel defeated today?" Dissatisfied with that conclusion, I focused on how I could turn that energy around so that I felt empowered.

On this particular day some family was on their way in from out of state for the holidays, and that morning my husband had received news that the mother of a close friend had just passed away, on the friend's birthday no less! My husband was feeling pretty badly about all of that, and not necessarily in the best frame of mind to receive a house full of guests. I felt that I would likely be steering the ship all day, in many regards. At the time I drew the 9 of Spirals, I had been cleaning for hours already, and on top of that I was anticipating a stressful day at work the following day, which was floating around in the back of my head. This flurry of thoughts, feelings, concerns and energy could certainly all have led me to feel rather oppressed.

9 of Spirals - Chrysalis Tarot
Holly Sierra

When I looked at this card my eyes fixated on the what looked to me like a clenched hand over the head of this wind being. After considering it for a moment I realized that it felt to me like a fist holding tightly to "the way things need to be." And I realized that the more tightly I held to my sense of "facing difficulty," the more oppressed I would feel, and I probably wouldn't cope very well. This card asked me to relax my expectations (both of others and of myself). The interesting thing is that, as most card readers understand, it's one thing to identify what needs to be addressed, and quite another thing to put forth the effort to actually follow through! In this case, I was almost surprised by my ability to simply let things go. By being flexible enough to roll with the gusts instead of against them, I felt better about my entire day. As potential complications arose, I pictured the 9 of Spirals in my mind, and I "unclenched the fist." I let go of any desire to impose my rules or structures on the people and environment around me, and I was thoroughly amazed at how good I felt.

In all sincerity, that card draw and the ensuing experience became an "ah hah" moment for me. We often express the importance of "no expectations" but it's not nearly as simple to practice it as it is to utter those five syllables. Actually - truly - releasing all expectations meant that I was more compassionate, less frustrated, happier, and as a whole I felt very liberated. I've carried that feeling with me ever since, and have applied it to many different contexts with equal success. Don't get me wrong - there is mindfulness involved here, so it's not like I flipped a switch and suddenly am entirely expectation-free.... but what I learned from this is that through self-awareness I am capable of experiencing the joy and peace that comes from allowing people to be who and what they are, in any given moment (and that applies to situations as well!). I can feel things - I can be a bit sad, or pleased, or excited - but the predominant, overarching experience is one of understanding and acceptance.

There is great power in that - both self-empowerment, and the acknowledgement and acceptance of others.


  1. This is the second post I've read today about letting go of expectations. Only with you hands open wide you can receive what you might have crushed between clenched fists. Personally for me it helps to respond instead of react to a given situation.:)

    1. Definitely! I think that the difference between reacting and responding is mindfulness. It's pretty powerful!

  2. That's a lovely way of using the card, and a great practice to soften that mental fist! :) Just yesterday I was asking myself, how else could I respond to situations that frustrate me? Thinking about what was causing the frustration, how fixable it was, whether I needed to let it go, or plan for a longer term solution, really helped :)

    1. Yes!! It is so empowering to be able to turn those potentially frustrating situations around....