Friday, August 1, 2014

Lammas Blog Hop 2014: Remembering to Nurture Yourself

Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop! To navigate to more wonderful blogs in this circle, please use the links above, or at the bottom of this post!

For this Lammas Blog Hop our lovely wrangler Joanna Ash, from Sun Goddess Tarot, asked us to consider how the energy of the Queen of Pentacles manifests in our lives. This topic came at a particularly interesting and important time for me, as my typical nurturing role as mother and wife had been entirely turned on its head for the month of July: my husband was gallivanting about Europe, and our three children were spending vacation time with their grandparents. That meant….that I was alone!

I love having alone time. But it’s one thing to carve out bits of alone time while balancing children, dinner, work, bath time, date night, studying, divination, etc. etc. etc. It’s quite another thing to have a large block of alone time placed gently in your lap, the Universe looking you in the eye as if to say, “What will you do with the time you’re given?” Oh easy… I’ll go to the bookstore and browse for hours on end! I’ll head over to the library, pick out some books, and camp out all afternoon at that table in the far back corner where no one ever goes. I’ll go to a movie all by myself! How wonderful that will be!

Crystal Tarot by Elisabetta Trevisan
Lo Scarabeo/Llewellyn 2000

It is wonderful. There’s just a bit more to it than that. With no family serving as my anchor I was left entirely unmoored, ungrounded, unearthed. The first thing that hit me was the empty space. I was really alone. No noises of chattering children, no husband out mowing the back lawn. Just silence and my own thoughts.

The second thing I started to realize was that I had no idea what to do with myself. I don’t mean that I was at a loss for activity, per se, I just had no sense of how to regiment my time. That first day, I worked for nearly 8 hours, came home and spent three hours cleaning, doing laundry, organizing… only to realize I’d entirely forgotten to feed myself, and I was ravenous!  So I threw together a simple meal: a veggie burger on a bagel, some carrot sticks and frozen peas. Why bother cooking a proper dinner when no one is there to enjoy it?

So without a family to structure my time, I had to start to guide myself. I made a list of the things that I needed to do so that I could check those off bit by bit, but I also started to build in time for the things that I actually wanted to do. One day I left work and instead of heading home (to clean, do laundry, and organize!), I decided to keep driving, and finally managed to get to the bookstore. I plopped myself right down on the floor of an aisle and thumbed through books, reading for an hour. Almost bliss! Except then I remembered that once again I’d forgotten to eat! There seems to be a learning curve when it comes to caring for oneself! So I headed home to another veggie burger, another plate of carrots and peas.

DruidCraft Tarot - S./P. Carr-Gomm
Will Worthington
St. Martin's Press

Eventually I decided that I really needed to feed myself properly. I realized that I cook primarily because I have to take care of people, because I want my children to eat well, and because doing that for them gives me pleasure. Here I was alone, not cooking at all, and not finding much pleasure in the thought of putting that effort and creativity forth for…just…me! So I went to the grocery store and purchased some things to make a good meal for myself. When you’re used to feeding five people, it’s quite an experience shopping for one. I learned that a single russet potato is more than enough to make myself a side of mashed potatoes! Who knew? I even picked a tomato from the garden for my salad. And instead of multitasking while I ate my first hot meal, I put on a movie and simply sat there, enjoying my food, and focusing on just that one thing.

I was alone for nearly a month, but instead of remaining listless I took advantage of that time to replant my feet in the ground of my own, individual life. I did clean quite a bit admittedly, and I figured out (eventually) how to enjoy feeding myself appropriately. I acquired books I’d been wanting to read but never made time for  (and I read them). I took my many floating ideas, brought them down to eye-level, and determined which I truly wanted to pursue and which I could release (kind of like cleaning out the mental closet). I enjoyed a fat piece of chocolate cake, all for me!

The Queen of Pentacles nurtures her family and her home. She protects her children, and works to provide a healthy and comfortable environment for her dear ones. There is immense value in that! But there is just as much value in learning how to care for and nurture oneself. When I was temporarily stripped of my familial responsibilities, it gifted me the opportunity to realize how little I prioritize my own needs. I don’t think this is entirely a bad thing – when you’re a parent, this is often what you do, and it’s usually out of deep love. But there must be a balance, and by becoming aware of my own needs, and learning how to tend to those needs, I can work to find a healthy and happy balance between caring for others and caring for myself (turning the reversed Queen upright again).

Queen of Pentacles Activity

Find your favorite Queen of Pentacles/Earth from whatever deck you like. Study the image. How does she make you feel? What do you love about this particular Queen of Pentacles? How might you see yourself in her, and how might you see her as a part of yourself? Set the card down, in view – she will be the center card for the rest of the activity.  Shuffle your deck and pull a card for each of the following questions:

1) In what ways am I neglecting my own needs?

2) How can I better nurture myself? 

Lay one card down on each side of your Queen. What do your cards tell you about yourself? How can you allow yourself to be inspired to action in regards to self-care?

Make this a journal entry that you can reflect on, and keep track of your own efforts to be good to yourself.

Thoth Tarot - A. Crowley/F. Harris
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

That concludes this Lammas BlogHop post, and I wish you all many harvest blessings! I encourage you to keep moving through the circle of wonderful divination writers: look both at the top of the post and along the bottom to find the links to continue your journey!


  1. I really like the activity, always good to have a look at self care

  2. What a fabulous spread. I'm very fond of super simple spreads and this fits the bill. Identify and resolve. :D

  3. Great activity idea - and rwo really lovely cards you used to illustrate this!

  4. Hi Olivia I remember how difficult it was for me to learn to take care for myself when my family situation had changed,
    Cooking for myself no way! Bread was my lifesaver. Sometimes when you are defined as a mum it may look like it is all there is. "replant my feet in the ground of my own, individual life."How wonderful you have found yourself again in these weeks.

    1. Thanks, Ellen, it was definitely quite the experience!! I think I learned a lot about balance these past weeks!

  5. Lovely activity and plenty of food for thought...

  6. Excellent questions! Thanks, Olivia.

  7. what a great spread! I can't wait to try it. Thank you.

  8. I love the idea of the Queen of Pentacles as silence! Thanks for sharing your story.

  9. Wonderful blog Olivia. But when I came down for my week long visit, your Queen was upright, while mine was reversed:) LOL....You took care of me, mentored me, calmed me, and took me on outings. Even though I'm older than you, I felt like a little sister. It was a wonderful experience, dear friend:)

    1. I am happy for that, Robin!! Thank you for the lovely words, we had fun! :)

  10. I used to be rubbish at cooking for myself and I'd just have a piece of cheese or a bowl of cereal for dinner when I lived alone,(I still wouldn't really bother with anything complicated), but since I am here and so is the kitchen and plenty of food, I do indulge a little, particularly in things that I love and my family don't :D

    1. Indulging is what I plan to do today! Kids aren't back yet, and I (finally) have big plans for some amazing food. Can't wait!!

  11. A lovely reminder that nurturing includes ourselves! And as others have said, I love the deep simplicity of your spread :D