Oracle of Ybor: Go to therapy, start that cult

Burned out and alone.

Share on Nextdoor
click to enlarge The Lovers card is the emotional powerhouse in this spread. - Photo via volkovslava/Adobe
Photo via volkovslava/Adobe
The Lovers card is the emotional powerhouse in this spread.
Dear Oracle, I constantly feel like I’m not doing “enough.” Enough for my job, enough for my passion projects, enough to take care of myself—I’m not even doing enough to relax! I just constantly feel like time is running out, but instead of doing things I love, I just feel exhausted and end up looking at my phones for hours. Any advice on how to deal?—Enough isn’t enough

Cards: The Lovers reversed, Ten of Pentacles reversed, Six of Pentacles

Dear Enough, first, you should get more sleep. I don’t say this to be patronizing, as if you’re a fussy toddler; I say it because you sound like you have a textbook case of burnout. Insomnia is a classic symptom of it, and chronic insomnia can lead to emotional dysregulation (like a looping negative thought that you’re not enough), feeling exhausted, and wanting to numb out with the iPhone. It throws everything off and makes it harder to deal with your health. If you aren’t sleeping well, I highly encourage you to speak to your primary care doctor or a psychiatrist for treatment.

The second thing is that you need to cut yourself some serious slack. With that giving Six of Pentacles coupled with the reverse Lovers, I think you are overdue for some genuine self-compassion. With that Ten of Pentacles, you might come from a “rise and grind” kind of family, or it could be your job is running you ragged, but you need to be honest and meet yourself where you’re at. If that sounds too soft-handed for you, think about it this way: without tending to yourself now, you’re not going to have the energy to pour into your passion projects and relaxation later.

Being the only major arcana, The Lovers card is the emotional powerhouse in this spread. It’s not just a card about love and relationships—it’s also about all of our strong emotions and about what we value. Unfortunately, there does seem to be a disconnect between what you value and how you feel you can get there. While there are dozens of articles about dealing with burnout with some suggestions that are alright in the moment (ordering dinner if you feel overwhelmed, being around a supportive friend group), they don’t cut to the underlying reason and may not be enough for treatment. Burnout is often coupled with anxiety and depression, and if you can, I’d highly encourage you to speak to a therapist.

I’m so sorry that you’re going through such a rough time right now. I hope you’re able to talk to someone and take time for yourself. I know that’s easier said than done, but I sincerely hope that for you.

Dear Oracle, like you, I identify as a witch. I would love to join up with others to worship, but my practice is fairly eclectic, and I don’t know what that would look like. While I started out as a Wiccan, I no longer identify with that or any really established tradition. Should I start my own tradition? Join another tradition’s coven even if I don’t 100% agree? Keep being solitary?—Witch Way to Go?

Cards: Queen of Cups, New Moon, Seven of Wands reversed, Seven of Cups

Dear Witch Way, if I had to choose a single word to describe my spiritual path, it would be “lonely.” While my faith includes a powerful relationship between me and my deity, I don’t have a lot of other things that make up a communal religion. I don’t have a book like The Bible I can turn to. The history of my tradition is fractured, so I don’t have precise rituals to follow. I don’t have the fellowship that comes with joining a church, which is something I miss, and I don’t have anyone locally to circle with.

I understand exactly how you feel—and others do, too. Most other witches I know are also solitary and not necessarily by choice.

If spirituality is a large part of your life, it’s natural to want to share it with others, though that might be difficult to do. If you aren’t from an established path such as Wiccan, with shared iconography, prayers, and ceremony, it can be difficult to “click” with others because what feels profound to one person might feel silly to another.

As the Queen of Cups, you are someone who sits well with profound mystery. Pair that with the creativity of the New Moon card, and it’s no wonder you’re an eclectic witch. You are someone who can feel around in the dark and out of that blackness create something new. I’d guess that with this ability, you probably won’t like working in a more rigid tradition, and it doesn’t surprise me at all you’d want to create your own.

But take heed, high priestess: not all paths are good. We also have two “seven” cards, Wands and Cups. While the Seven of Wands can show the world what you’re made of, it’s also a card that says “protect your neck.” The Seven of Cups is similar, with both great and terrible options laid out before you.

If you do decide to start your own tradition—which, honestly, you’d probably be good at—you’d have to walk a tightrope to make sure your ego is in check and that you are inviting in people with energy you not only want to mingle with but also help guide. A priest is a priest, after all.

I’d encourage you to really think long and deep about this and commune with your deity. Ask for guidance. If it is, best of luck. It can be profound to circle with others. If it isn’t, what are other ways you can deepen your practice? Perhaps instead of becoming a high priestess, you’re meant to become a kind of witch-nun. (We should have a name for that.)

Whatever the answer is, I wish you the best of luck on your path.

Send your questions for the Oracle to [email protected] or DM @theyboracle on Instagram
Scroll to read more Columns articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.