Whether we want to admit it or not, each of us is the villain in someone else’s story. Whether we intentionally hurt them or it was just an unfortunate byproduct of our interaction with them, someone out there thinks we’re the worst person on earth, problematic AF, and we need to be stopped at all costs. Sometimes we weren’t that innocent – we did people wrong, sometimes ruthlessly and carelessly. But often, we were simply the car that got rear-ended by someone else, causing us to smash into someone else as a result. And no matter how often we apologize or how much we try to prove them wrong, we will continue to be cast as the villains in others’ stories.
And no matter what anyone else tells us – it isn’t our job to be liked by the people who cast us as villains.
That’s been a tough pill for me to swallow for myself, chronic people-pleaser that I have been. My trauma is such that my very safety depended on how liked I was – my first abuser my ugliness and unlikeability for his excuse why he did what he did. So, being likeable is woven into the fabric of who I am as a safety measure, not just a personality quirk. It was a way for me to control my environment. And my biggest traumas were people who defied that control to hurt me, only reinforcing that likability wasn’t truly protection. but another cage.
I turn forty-five this year and I’ve reached the “frak around and find out” part of my life. I’m done placating shallow men who can’t see my beauty. I’m done walking on eggshells around powerful people who abuse their authority. I’m done holding myself back in an over-abundance of caution while lesser fools take the spotlight that was reserved for me. I’m done trying to get people to understand me, trying to ensure that everyone is happy with what I present and how I show up in the world. I’m done apologizing for being so extra. I’m tired of playing useless power games of “prove your love” with friends whose hearts are too small to hold me as I need.
“Never waste your time explaining yourself to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.”Dream Hampton
I won’t ever be able to stop people from casting me as the villain in their one-man soap opera about how hard their life is. They might be pointing at me from afar jealousy whispering “why does she get to be successful?” or they could be feeding me honey and roses to my face while spreading rumors about how I “took their man” or some such monogamous nonsense. They’re telling their husbands, girlfriends, and significant others that I’m “off limits” because my very existence is a threat to the house of cards they keep their loved one trapped in. They chose me as the enemy of their life and trying to change their mind is just another trap.
All of this reminds me of Gollum in Lord of the Rings and how he was so wrapped up in his obsession, his greed, his enchantment with darkness that Sam and Frodo were cast as his enemies. And while he helps for a bit, it’s always tenuous for the moment he sniffs betrayal, more like a fabrication of his own twisted mind than reality, he breaks faith. Because of what he chose to see, how the ring (and previous experience) had taught him to distrust. They weren’t “tricksy hobbitses” but the cruelty and unchecked obsession convinced him to see them that way.
The same happens with us. A lot like Gollum, the cruelty we’ve experienced when combined with the obsessions we guard, we end up turning even the best of hobbits into our enemies. We see the slightest sign of danger and we burn every bridge in sight. That isn’t resilience, it’s a trauma reaction. It isn’t intuitive, it’s our lizard brain response to old stimuli coming back to haunt us. It blurs our judgment and when truly activated, we then cast anyone who even moderately resembles that stimuli, whether in appearance or belief, in the role of the villain before they ever even say hello. Or…that’s how it worked for me.
This week we’re advised to take a long hard look at what we deserve and to prioritize what we actually want – especially in the realms of justice. Look at who is winning through dirty tricks this week – they are paving the way for patriarchy’s victory parade. And we, as a people, need to address why we continue to tolerate, endorse and praise those tactics. Is this really the world we want?
When I stopped trying to convince people committed to misunderstanding me that I was right or worthy (an ego-driven need), I started showing up only in those times that my voice, experience, and insight could actually be valuable – like when someone is constructing strawmen arguments and dirty tricks that exploit or worsen the trauma people carry. Instead of wasting time trying to convince people (especially mansplainers) of my worth, I show up only in those situations and fights that are worthy of me. HUGE difference!
That is the energy of the cards this week. The Pulp Tarot has a Treat-Yo-Self vibe mixed with a jilted femme fatale. It’s dramatic and poignant in the readings it gives and it demands the very best of my time and attention. But that’s because it wants the very best for us too. It helps us discern what we actually want versus what we’ve been settling for. And this week, it has a giant warning for us – only care about those who are worthy enough to even have you as an enemy, because if they have to pull dirty tricks to win, they were never worthy of us in the first place.
See more below…
Where we are this week
The themes of Justice pervade this week – with a new moon in Virgo at the end of the week, the devil is in the details. The proof is in the logical pudding we’ve been swimming in for years. We are all starting to find our voices and remember our calling to show up for justice. We have a duty to stand up and demand justice from those who have harmed us and our communities. Remember what Dr. Cornel West says, “Justice is what love looks like in public.” Justice is an invitation for alignment, but sometimes the invitation goes unheeded and it must be delivered en masse. The justice we deserve is not a simple matter of allocation or punishment, it is burning the whole system to the ground to rid it of the infections of patriarchy and capitalistic greed. We are no longer tolerant of excuses from manipulators and no longer willing to let them test our limits without swift retribution. Anyone who wants to mess with us will feel the sharp sword of righteous justice this week.
Frak around and find out.
Messages from our Guides
Four of Cups (R)
Our guides are telling us “you know what you need to do” but we can’t seem to force ourselves to do it. We might have planned out all the steps, but we’re either second-guessing our plan or we’ve lost motivation to pursue it altogether. Especially when we pour ourselves into projects that don’t pan out – I can definitely relate as a small business owner – it’s hard to feel like it’s all worth it. But our guides are offering to help us through our ennui if we just…do one thing. Just one simple thing. Create one small success (“I got dressed today”) and build on it to create others (“I got dressed and proofread my blog post over morning coffee”). Our guides are asking that we trust that our efforts will be worth it in the end. If we’re feeling stuck, giving the reins of our motivation over to our guides can help.
Motivational trust to overcome ennui.
Messages from Lady Gaia
King of Pentacles (R)
When this card came up, it reminded me of Roger Sterling from Mad Men, which felt dead-on for the It should come to no surprise that Mother Earth is not a fan of how capitalism has created further inequality and harm on earth. The era of the world’s resources and humanity’s gifts being exploited by rich white men in suits dripping with unsuppressed capitalistic greed is over and dead. It’s out of fashion and frankly, it just stinks of cigars and gin. The men who did get there didn’t create a better world, they only protected themselves while continuing the same abuses inflicted on them on the way up. And while this era may be over, it’s so ingrained in our culture that it will take a mighty conscious collective effort to overcome it. Mother Earth asks us “why are you working so hard to please your boss who is working hard to please her boss…when does it end?” Well, it has to end with us.
The good old boys’ club is over.
Messages from our Ancestors
Page of Cups
Believe it or not, our ancestors are lightening it up this week. Usually reminding us of our emotional and ethical duty to deal with our stuff, this week they want us to enjoy the small, unexpected delights that bring us joy, laughter, and hope. Watching a kid playing in a puddle, snuggling a puppy, taking a photo of a flower or a sunset. It’s the small delights in life that make it worth living. Our ancestors hold memories of millions of moments like this, sometimes the only brightness in a world that was against them. Build up those moments this week – celebrate and share them (tag them with #RadicalReflections too!) because we all need to remember what it is we’re fighting for – it isn’t just the big things, but especially the small things.
Don’t overlook the small delights of life.
Messages from our Future Selves
Eight of Pentacles (R)
Our future selves are telling us that there is a masterpiece inside of us trying to come out, but our talents keep getting misdirected. Channeled into making a profit for some company that doesn’t cover enough in health insurance, we use up all of our talents to make someone else money, never truly seeing the benefit of it for us. Likewise, once we give that talent, we have very little control over how it’s used in the outside world or who our ingenuity may hurt. Meanwhile, we have nothing left to give to our own vision, our own ambitions, our own creative manifestation. Who benefits most from misdirecting our talent, our vision, and our voice? Who is better because we were taken away from our inner life’s work? Our future selves warn of the very real danger of dying with the music still inside us.
Who benefits from our misdirected talent?
The Sun (R)
Mary doesn’t speak often in reversals, but this one made too much sense and few other cards could convey what this does: we need to tend to the inner child living with all of us. We are in danger of their wounded, shadowed selves getting behind the wheel and creating wreckage in our lives. It isn’t just that our inner child wants a popsicle and a puppy, it’s that it needs us to hear the pain and hurt they felt, the rejection and confusion for early events in life – parental actions that we now understand, societal harms that were scary to a child, messages given to our out of fear or ignorance. Many of us are going to find those inner children awakening and it’s important for us to be the parents that they needed during that time, just like Mother Mary holds us in loving maternal energy, for when we are loved unconditionally we truly can bloom. “Hold the hand of the child that lives in your soul. For this child, nothing is impossible.” – Paulo Coelho
Tend to the inner child to gain wisdom.
Undercurrents & Final advice
Ten of Wands
Assess the true costs of our goals
Five of Swords
Backstabbing isn’t a power move.
I have a love-hate relationship with the Ten of Wands. While it denotes completion, it’s in the all-too-familiar nonprofit way: Yay, I just spent 60 hours on that grant application all so I can hire someone to work 60 hours a week at a soul-crushing pace. We got what we wanted, but we need to assess what it cost us. Yay, I finally got that corner office, all I had to do is abandon my kids, disappoint my elders and play along with patriarchy. No big deal, right? If the damage that lays behind us is more than we expected, then something isn’t working – either the goals or the methods. But regardless, here the Ten of Wands exacts a cost for our success and we must ask…was it worth it?
We choose our enemies just as our enemies choose us. And the methods we use on our enemies are the ones they will use against us eventually, a karmic retaliation delivered with poetic justice. And sometimes our “winning is everything” vibe makes us employ tactics that only sullies the victory. For if we had to lie, cheat and steal to win, was the win really worth it? Were we worth it? We go out of our way sometimes to thwart our enemies – just to feel our own power, not to truly stop someone bad or unqualified. And in a week when the theme is justice, look for who is pulling dirty tricks in order to be able to win. Does it stand up to scrutiny or does it fall apart under the pressure of its own ego-importance? Not naming names here, but that sounds an awful lot like someone we all know, right? Either way, it’s time to steer clear of those tactics and claim the wins that actually matter.
As we enter the orb of the New Moon in Virgo at the end of the week, protect our vision and keep us steadfast to those paths that honor our gifts, that contribute to our callings. Guide us toward those actions that elevate the conversation and deliver true justice of balance and alignment in our world and our hearts. May we look for ways to overcome old narratives of “win at all costs” greed and instead work for a world that wins for all.
I am with you always in love 💖
So may it be.
Come learn how to use tarot as an emotional mirror🪞a time-traveling companion⌚ and a loving guide for the present 😍 in this monthly 90 min workshop ✨
“We can predict the future, when we know how the present moment evolved from the past.”Carl Jung
What you can expect
We’ll start with analyzing a few cards together to warm up our intuitive muscles 🏋️♀️ before exploring some common themes and practicing interpreting cards through new spreads each month.
The class is limited to 20 participants.
No Experience Necessary! Just bring an open mind & an open heart.
- September (9/27) – Suit of Swords/Air
- October (10/25) – Suit of Cups/Water
- November (11/29) – Suit of Wands/Fire
- December (12/27) – Suit of Coins/Earth
Can’t wait to see you in class!