Oracle of Ybor: Sometimes we must kill a precious thing in order to make room for the unknown

Also, here’s why the cards can’t tell you if that relationship will be good for you.

click to enlarge The Death card gets downplayed a lot nowadays, usually to mollify new clients who might freak when they see it. - Adobe
The Death card gets downplayed a lot nowadays, usually to mollify new clients who might freak when they see it.

Dear Oracle,  I’ve been wanting to start my own business since 2014, but I’m unsure as to what I want to expand and work on. I became a yoga teacher in 2017 with the intention to make that my business, and I’ve made it a side business but always worked with a studio or a company. I want to make my own money, set my own hours, and I know I can run things better than previous bosses. I fear starting something and then lacking the motivation to keep going (I think it’s a Gemini trait.) But I’ve always seen myself starting a yoga studio or coffee shop. Do you have any insight into this?—Yoga hustler

Cards: The Emperor, Death, Ten of Cups, all reversed (CW: mention of suicide) 

Dear Yoga, I don’t think you actually want to start a business. I think you want to have a happy, fulfilling life, one that you dictate, and I think you want out of your current one.

The Death card gets downplayed a lot nowadays, usually to mollify new clients who might freak when they see it. It’s often said that Death isn’t REALLY death; it’s just a metaphor for transition, a card of rebirth. And that’s true, but it isn’t the whole truth. I love Death in my deck: it’s a pregnant creature with a cow skull for a head who’s about to crush her happy lil’ cow-skull baby. It’s gnarly but accurate.

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Sometimes, we have to kill a precious thing in order to make room for the unknown. Sometimes, Death is just death. It’s about a life coming to an end, and it’s crucial to figure out what that looks like.

Death isn’t the only way to end a life. One of the most radical things I have ever learned in therapy was how to parse my own suicidal thoughts: did I actually want to die, or did I want to completely end my life as I knew it?

This is an important distinction because those two paths don’t have to have the same outcome. You can end your life as you know it and start again, with that same heart a’ticking. You can remake it, and I think you have that drive.

The other major arcana card here is The Emperor, someone who is in control of their destiny. The Emperor doesn’t rule by the sword but by scepter; they’re diplomatic and in charge, because they know what they want. It makes sense that you want to be your own boss because you want control of your life and time. But, you don’t know what job you want because (and I suspect you know this, too) this isn’t really about a job. It’s about feeling in control, of feeling proud and fulfilled with your life, possibly of being needed—Ten of Cups is a fulfilling life, but it’s also a family card, someone that can be depended on—but that is one tall order for a job. Even if you started a successful studio or coffee shop, that success might not be enough. I think it’s worth digging deeper.

You might need to identify a hunger. What do you need, if anything, mentally? (Therapy? Conversational German? A challenging degree?) What do you need spiritually, physically, emotionally? What do you need in your relationships?

I do think you’ll find fulfillment. It will require an examined life, which is as hard as it is rewarding, but I think you can handle it. You’re the powerful Emperor, you’re death crushing its own baby to bring forth another. You can handle some tough shit.

Dear Oracle, I recently got into a new relationship. I am curious to see how things will go, but they seem very promising. I guess my question would be, will this relationship be good for me in the long run? Is it as promising as it seems?—Hopeful but cautious 

Cards: The Hierophant, The Moon, Nine of Cups

Dear Hopeful, I can’t tell you if this relationship will be good for you because I’m not you. I can’t see red flags or good signs; I can’t feel the pain of a heart softening or the damp disappointment of hope spoiled. Only you can know if this feels right.

And, unfortunately, not even the cards want to play prediction. It’s a “trust your gut” spread if I’ve ever seen one.

The Hierophant and The Moon, two major arcana have you tap into what is felt and unseen. The Hierophant is a symbol of faith, and there needs to be a lot of faith in relationships. You have to trust your partner, your intuition, and trust fate. The moon is the subconscious, a deeper well of emotions. How does your gut feel about this person?

Is there anything that seems off, or is it all promising?

The Nine of Cups can be a card of rose-tinted glasses. With it, there is a risk of gushing when you should be running, but the cure for that isn’t cynicism. It’s knowledge. It’s important to know yourself, to understand how you are in relationships, and to know how you want to be treated. We might know our big deal breakers (doesn’t want kids, only consumes Soylent,) but there are smaller ones, too, that we might sweep under the rug once we get to them. Your partner might be great, but he treats waitstaff terribly. Or she might be cruel to your mother the first time they meet. Keeping an eye on these minor upsets will help keep you from projecting all the great things you want to be true.

I’m not someone who believes each and every relationship can teach us something worthwhile. Relationships can be toxic or deadly just as much as they can be enriching and joyous. But if you’re feeling excited about this and things seem promising, go ahead and hunt that rabbit. It might turn out as you hope, it might not. But we gotta have faith.

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