Oracle of Ybor: Here’s how to deal with the Seminole Heights neighbors talking shit about you over the fence

Don’t call the cops.

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Dear Oracle, I’m thinking about starting a big new creative project. It’s completely different than anything creatively I’ve done before, and while that is exciting, I’m not 100% sure where to begin. So what advice do the cards have for tackling this new hot pursuit?—Beginner Bae 

Cards: The Lovers, Eight of Cups, King of Pentacles, Nine of Wands, all reversed

Dear BB, If I may recommend a soundtrack for your new pursuit, let it be A Love Supreme by John Coltrane. It’s an album of pure agape, of a supernatural love both for the divine and for creation, which can be the same.

We start with The Lovers, a major arcana that encompasses all types of love. Sure, it’s Eros—romantic love—but it’s also the enduring love you feel when creating. All creative projects are love affairs (why else would you make time for them?), and this new project is no exception. As a result, it can be a very fulfilling project.

And it very well might be easy for you—and profitable. We have the King of Pentacles, a real go-getter of a card, and suggestion of both mastery and profit. Perhaps this new project will open up several in the same vein, and it may be a calling… which might come as a surprise to you and even a bit of a disappointment. 

The Eight of Cups is finding your true path, of slowing down and letting go of perfectionism. You mention that this is different from any other creative project, which means you walk other creative paths. Perhaps you’re switching directions because you’re feeling stuck in one. If so, it’s OK. If this new project comes easy, it doesn’t mean the old path cannot be revisited.

Though, before you get too excited, just because you’re a natural doesn’t mean you get to slack off. It’s still going to be a lot of work, as the Nine of Wands suggests. It’s important to know the difference between skill and talent. While talent can get you far, if you don’t hone it, you won’t be able to reach your truest creative potential if you don’t pick up skills.

Now, where do you start? Wherever you feel the flame of inspiration. Get something down on the page or the canvas or begin playing the piano—whatever feels fun, go for it. The hard work of drafting will come later. Right now, just feel that love supreme and create. 

Send your questions to [email protected] or DM @theyboracle on Instagram.

Dear Oracle, about six months ago, my husband and I moved into a house. We love the neighborhood and our backyard, but we have one little problem: our next-door neighbors hate us. It started when we asked them to turn down their music once (it was blasting in the back yard past 10 p.m., and we both had work in the morning), and they said no and slammed the door in our faces. There have been a couple of other minor instances of miscommunication, but we’ve been trying to make amends. We baked them cookies, and they refused to open the door to us. We say hello and wave, and they never respond. I hear them talk shit about us over the fence, and they do seem to blast their music louder and later now, and I want to know if there’s anything we can do to make this better? I don’t want it to escalate anymore, but I’m not sure how to make it better if they won’t talk to us. Any advice?—Suffering in Seminole Heights

Cards: Two of Pentacles (reversed), Ten of Wands (reversed), Page of Cups (reversed), Seven of Cups 

Dear Suffering, I’m sorry that your new abode might be in hostile territory. With that Ten of Wands reversed, I can tell that this has been a burden for you for the past six months. Nobody likes overhearing people saying nasty things about them, especially not in your own backyard.

But, before I tell you what to do, there are some big things NOT to do: 1.) Do not engage in a sound war with your neighbors. That will just make everyone else in the neighborhood hate you. 2.) Don’t call the cops on them. Worst-case scenario, it could become deadly. Best-case scenario, it just escalates things more.

It can be tempting to take the revenge path, which is always an option with the Seven of Cups, but really, it’s just going to blow up in your face. Take the path of diplomacy.  

The Two of Pentacles is the overarching theme for this spread, and it’s a card of balance. While it typically has to do with work/life balance, it can also do with our dreams for the future. You dream of having a quieter neighbor—or at least one that doesn’t talk shit about you within earshot—and to achieve that goal, you’ll have to work on it in an almost business-like fashion. These people may never be your friends, but they can probably be buttered up. Turn on the charm of the Page of Cups.

They won’t open the door for cookies? Leave a rosemary plant at their doorstep with a note. (It’s a versatile kitchen herb, can withstand squirrel attacks if left unattended, and is a plant of purification.) Depending on your fence size, if you see them in the backyard, say hello. Talk about neutral things like the weather or soil quality. Keep waving, keep being polite. If it ever looks like they need something—a hand with groceries, a garden hose—politely offer.

While this is a burden, the Ten of Wands is also manageable. It might suck for a while, but hopefully, being a little bundle of diplomacy and kindness will ease these tensions and inspire a bit of peace.

Or, at the very least, for them to feel guilty and only talk shit inside. Best of luck!

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