Oracle of Ybor: Go on and get the hell out there on your own

click to enlarge The Ace of Swords can be a mastery of your own mind. - Illustration by Shamanska Kate via Adobe
Illustration by Shamanska Kate via Adobe
The Ace of Swords can be a mastery of your own mind.
Dear Oracle, I recently started out on a cross-country journey that I’ve been fantasizing about for years and have started planning seriously for since lockdown began. I’ve put my things in storage, given up my apartment, and am living out of my SUV. I’m a week in and just tested positive for COVID. I’m OK physically (I’m riding it out in a motel) but wondering if this is a bad omen. Anything else I should know on my trip?—Ramblin’ man

Cards: Ace of Swords, Eight of Wands, King of Swords

Dear Ramblin’, mazel tov on starting your journey, but I’m sorry that you couldn’t outrun the ‘Rona. I’m glad you’re in a place where you have access to running water and glad to hear you’re doing OK. (Be sure to tell the manager when you check out so they can give the room a very deep clean.)

For your journey, I drew cards for what you know, what you don’t know, and what you should prepare first.

First, don’t worry about bad omens. As the Ace of Swords, you know this is a journey you need to take, an adventure where you are running wild and free in your individuality. The Ace of Swords can be a mastery of your own mind, and if this has been a long fantasized-about trip, then I would guess you had to put some things in order before heading out—including doubt or anxiety. However, you’re out here! You did it!
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But at the risk of sounding like a white woman in a crystal shop, remember: it’s about the journey.

Because what you don’t know is that the Eight of Swords will be throwing all sorts of shit at you. This might be a lot of bumps in the road (COVID, car troubles), or it can be a lot of exciting but draining events (like a week of all-nighters in Vegas before going to Burning Man), but whatever it is, you need to make sure that you aren’t getting spun out. You are taking this trip for a reason, so don’t rush through.

To prepare for this, you’ve got to embrace your inner King of Swords. This means keeping a level head and looking at things with a critical eye. Do you need to restock on water before the desert drive? Can you afford to go off-road with that amount of gas? Should you pull over and sleep? You don’t want to die in the belly of an abandoned bus because you refused supplies and accidentally poisoned yourself like that kid from “Into The Wild.” Really listen to yourself and your body about what you need.

But if you keep a level head and good stock of supplies (and some solid paper maps), I think this journey will be a profound experience for you. You learn a lot about yourself when you keep the company of one, and I think that knowledge and experience will serve you well. Bravo on following a dream.

Just don’t eat any berries you aren’t 100% sure about.

Dear Oracle, this year I founded a company, and we are developing a product. Development is going well in some ways and slow in others which is stressful. My worry is that our funding will run out before we’re finished. Do the cards have any advice to make this launch a success?—CE-Oh-no

Cards: Six of Swords, Ace of Wands, Ace of Pentacles (reversed)

Dear CE-Oh-no, when I started this column, many people asked about quitting their jobs to strike out on their own, and it’s exciting to get questions from people who took the plunge.

With the Ace of Wands, I can tell that this is an exciting moment for you. The Ace of Wands is filled with creativity and possibility, a card of firsts and births. This idea or product is your “baby.” It might be something the world has never seen before or something unique in its own way. It’s exciting energy to be around.

But I get where the anxiety comes from surrounding development because there’s a “we” involved.

The Six of Swords is a card of transitions, particularly concerning the ego. This idea or product might be your “baby,” but you aren’t the only one working on it, meaning the success or failure depends on other people. Letting go of that control can feel terrifying, but it’s something you have to do. You hired these people for a reason—one of which is that you can’t do everything yourself.

That doesn’t mean you can’t be an effective boss. However, you need to guide that boat, so see why some parts of development are slow and if there’s a workable solution. (Though if it’s something beyond control, like supply-chain issues, recognize those limits.)

The Ace of Pentacles has the energy of a fresh start in business, and with it reversed, I wonder if you’ve already missed a milestone in development you previously set. If you have, that could certainly cause some stress. But, the best forward is one where you’re prepared.

Be mindful of the money going into this project. Would it save money in the long run if you hired another person to finish with development? Do you need to tailor your goals? Do you need (additional) investors?

While the Ace of Wand energy is exciting, you want to keep your head clear about the long game. Perfectionism is a gateway drug to inertia, and while you don’t want to rush an unfinished prototype out, you don’t want to bleed the budget dry as you tinker with something to make it “perfect.” Plenty of companies improve upon their product after launch, so version 2.0 can be the goal down the road, but right now, what’s the best you can do with your time, talent, and budget?

Constrictions don’t have to dampen your excitement. You’re still doing it! You’re just at the beginning.

Best of luck with your launch, my dear.
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