Learn how the tarot can help you identify when you are giving away your power.
When you have plenty of personal power in your reserves you feel energized, clear, capable and positive. When you are lacking in personal power you may feel overwhelmed, drained, confused and like you are dragging through your day.
There are many ways in which you can restore your personal power such as achieving a meaningful goal your worked hard for, mastering a new skill that excites you, practicing self-care, being outside in nature and spending time with empowering, positive people that inspire you.
As much as you work to restore your personal power, you also give your power away almost everyday. That is not meant to make you feel badly. It is merely an aspect of life.
Most of the time power is leaked out, in small ways throughout any given day or week; through minor episodes or exchanges. Perhaps you encounter a driver expressing road rage or you are the driver expressing road rage in your rush to get to work. Out leaks some of your power. Maybe you get in a disagreement with a co-worker and you get really worked up emotionally. Out leaks a little more of your power. Then you meet up with a friend who always seems to be going through a hard time and needing your advice. You feel drained when you part ways. Out leaks more of your power. Some times you experience bigger life events that impact you on a deep level; a major break-up, family struggle, illness or loss.
The reality is that being here on the planet, in physical form, means you are not going to be immune to these power losses.
But you do have a choice in how you respond. You can choose to be aware and practice self-care. To identify the ways you are leaking power and when. Then create change and call your power back to you.
So how can the tarot be a tool to help you gain awareness about personal power loss?
You can look for the following Minor Arcanas as indicator cards in your readings. There three cards, from each of the four suits, that are highlighted here as particularly helpful at identifying potential power loss.
Now, that doesn’t mean that every time you pull one of these cards you are leaking power like a sieve. You will want to tap into your intuition; check placement and look to see what other cards are showing up with them to determine if any given card is indicating personal power loss.
So, let’s take a deeper look at three cards from each suit.
Two of Pentacles:
The classic meaning of this card is about decisions; about juggling more than one option and wishing for more knowledge, confidence or clarity to know which pentacle to choose. The figure is seen juggling two pentacles while appearing to be waiting for the ship in the distance to arrive. This card can indicate physical power loss around the decision making process. Perhaps the power loss comes from the timing to make a decision, whether that is dragging your feet or holding back due to uncertainty. You may be juggling more than you can comfortably handle and this affects your focus. It can reveal that there is a pattern of being up in the air rather than grounded. All this can result in a loss of personal power.
Four of Pentacles:
The classic meaning of this card is about being guarded, protective or even hoarding with the figure holding four pentacles close to them. This card can indicate power loss in regards to your flow of physical abundance. Sometimes seen as a card of stability, it can indicate that your need for security is fear-based; too restrictive and rigid. If you are out of alignment with abundance mindset this can lead to you clutching, withholding or hoarding. That results in pinching off your flow and restricts your capacity to receive (power loss). Being miserly or fearful around resources can impact your ability to experience joy and that leads to more power leakage.
Five of Pentacles:
The classic meaning of this card about is about going through a difficult challenge or impoverished time. The figures in the cards certainly look destitute, that fate has dealt them a bum hand, but there is a deeper message here. In times of tests and trials, how do you respond rather than react? Even in trying times, there are actions to take back your power. How you respond can lessen the duration of the challenge especially if you are trapped in the mindset of a victim. The two figures are right outside a church in the classic decks, signifying sanctuary is close by. Do you choose to walk on without seeking aid or do you enter the place of sanctuary and be willing to receive assistance? Do you find yourself in a pattern of crisis or drama often? What steps can you take get help to let go of these cycles which drain your personal power?
Five of Swords:
The classic meaning of this card is about knowing when to withdraw from a battle, struggle, drama or other form of engagement. It appears that the figure holding the swords is victorious, that the conflict has ended but do they recognize it is time to walk away? The victor clearly has the upper hand, but at what cost? This card can teach you a wealth of wisdom about personal power and struggle. Some battles are not worth the price you will pay. It speaks to the importance of knowing when is it more appropriate to avoid engagement; to step away leaving others, and yourself, with their grace and dignity intact. It can remind you to stop and consider if the power you will expend is worth it. It can also show how personal power is given away by perpetually creating conflicts and seeking to fulfill the need to be “right” or vindicated.
Seven of Swords:
The classic meaning of this card is distraction and indecisiveness. There is a central figure clearly headed in one direction with their arms full of swords but their mind is on the swords behind them. They are not fully focused on the moment or their actions, unsure which swords they should carry. When you choose to let distractions dictate your actions, you give your power away. Do you hide behind perpetual distractions as a habit to keep you from what truly is most important to focus on? The same is true with indecision. When you engage the pattern of indecisiveness, you give your power away to external powers. Know that failing to make a decision is a decision. Do you give your power away by letting outside forces dictate what happens rather than committing to your own course?
Eight of Swords:
The classic meaning of this card is about understanding self-imposed limitations. The figure is bound, blindfolded and surrounded swords. The message held within this card is about understanding self-imposed limitations and how to set yourself free. You might have been taught these limitations by external forces (tribe, family, teachers, significant others, culture, etc) but in reality you hold the key to your own liberation. You regain your power when you start asking: is this my own truth or someone else’s? When you choose to let go of attitudes, concepts and stories that are not in alignment with your authentic self, you begin to see all the potential and possibilities before you. This card can also reveal an opportunity to stop allowing your head to rule you: “The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.” (Orion Foxwood) You reclaim your power when you decide to live outside your comfort zone.
The classic meaning of this card is about conflict, but energetic, passionate conflict. In this card, there are many figures wielding staves and there is no organization. This card indicates the potential of power loss when passions and opinions run high leading to conflict with other people or circumstances. Perhaps you are not connecting with guiding principles that could help open the way when working with others. Being in a perpetual state of conflict drains your personal power. It can indicate power loss when this conflict is internalized and you are out of alignment with your spiritual passions or visions and dreams. You can feel drained when you feel too much in your life is in conflict: pushing a constant boulder in your way.
Seven of Wands:
The classic meaning of this card is standing your ground, being on the defense or standing in your truth. There is a figure at the top of a hill and from your perspective they have the higher ground or so it appears. This card can reveal potential power loss when we are repeatedly under siege or overly defensive or paranoid. If you are under siege, it could indicate the need to take action to change your situation or environment. If you are on the defense, it could be showing you that you are operating from a fear-based stance and need to consider why. However, it should be noted that it can indicate a power loss if you do not stand your ground and defend your truth. You are passionate for a reason and standing in your truth will restore your power.
Ten of Wands:
The classic meaning of this card is being burdened but it can also speak to the perseverance needed to accomplish a task. The figure is carrying a heavy load, perhaps too heavy, and their vision is impaired by their burden. Are they truly responsible for this load or does it belong to another? Does a situation require them to carry this extra load until a certain point where they can set it down? This card can reveal to you when you are being drained of personal power by doing too much or doing the work of others (or taking on responsibilities that are not really yours in the first place). It can also illuminate if you have a habit of over committing or needing to care for others to the detriment of your own resources and well being.
Five of Cups:
The classic meaning of this card is one of mourning and loss. There is a figure looking sorrowfully upon three spilt cups but behind them are two upright cups. There is red liquid flowing out, looking like it could be blood as likely as it is wine, into the ground. While deeply upsetting, loss and grieving are a natural part of the cycle of life. This card could signal your power bleeding away, like the red liquid, if you were to get caught in the stages of mourning and miss out on the blessings that you still have. It can also reflect how you can lose power by trying to avoid the mourning process. Another source of power loss could be revealed if you are too often stuck in the past, rehashing old hurts and disappointments and harboring regrets.
Seven of Cups:
The classic meaning of this card is understanding the role of illusion and delusion in your emotional evolution. Before you are seven cups full of positive and negative visions. The visions represent that not all in life is what it appears to be and that your growth comes from experiencing what each cup holds. Some cups offer more pleasant experiences and some less but there is an important role in each cup that helps develop your heart and soul. Power can be loss when you give in to temptations or get caught up in the pretense of illusions. Power is regained when you step into the flow of grace and remember that you are the Fool on the fool’s journey and these encounters are natural tests as part of it.
Eight of Cups:
The classic meaning of this card is about walking away from that which you have already experience and completed (been there, done that) and heading towards what is next on the journey. It can be seen as a card of letting go, but the figure in the card is not looking back at what they are leaving behind, rather, they are looking forward. The figure knows that they take with them the wisdom and experience held within each cup, good and bad. This card can indicate how you might be giving your power away when you resist leaving a situation, relationship or environment even though it is long past time to walk away. The truth it offers is that by choosing to leave a circumstance you have outgrown, or is not healthy, you engage your future, move on to new destinations and reclaim your power.
To make it easier for you to keep track of these cards, I have created a free, quick glance reference guide you can download, print and keep handy during readings. Grab your free, printable “cheat sheet” here
Now that you have these tarot tools to help you, how do you go about reclaiming power you already have given away?
While you will want to restore lost personal power and be a mindful steward to minimize power leaks as you move forward, remember that part of living is to encounter situations and challenges that will impact it. Even being attentive, it is impossible to avoid.
That said, you can learn to be a mindful steward. Checking in regularly with a tool like the tarot, developing healthy boundaries and practicing self-care will make a big difference. You might decide to review situations or relationships currently in your life and begin to re-direct your path. However, the very fact that you have brought your attention to this, is going to initiate change.
A great way to immediately bring back your personal power is to do this simple but profound exercise I learned from Orion Foxwood in Faery Seership. It goes like this:
Chant the following.
By the Power of the Holy Mysteries, I Call My Power Back to Me.
As you chant, you will want to do the physical part of the exercise. Stand with your eyes closed. Slowly, as you chant, extend your hands, one by one, palms facing up. Imagine lost pieces of your personal power softly returning into your hands. Pull each hand, one then the other, towards your body as you feel your power returning. Do this exercise for at least five minutes. Repeat often. (Much gratitude goes out to Orion Foxwood for his permission to share this with you.)
Remember, the key is to use the wisdom of the past to illuminate your path. From this empowered place you can decide what actions to leave behind and what new ones to embrace.
Now it’s your turn.
I invite you to try some readings to track your personal power in your life right now and apply some of the concepts I have presented here. I would love it if you shared how it went and what you discovered in the comments below or feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org