Dear Oracle, I'm wondering when I'll be financially free. I've been carrying around my student debt for 10 years. It's a modest amount, but it's still there, and now with three kids (my partner's from their first marriage, but we have
full custody) and a new mortgage, I can't tell if I'll still be in debt in 10 years when the oldest starts college. Do the cards show anything for my financial future?—Money Matters
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The Four of Cups means you might feel deeply disillusioned, depressed, and indulge your whims.
Cards: The Lovers, Ace of Wands reversed, Nine of Swords reversed, The Star
Dear Money Honey, first, I'm so sorry that you have this yoke of student debt. As a millennial who has both attended and worked in higher ed, I've seen firsthand how predatory student loan practices can be, how financial aid from the state/national government has dried up, and have watched my generation become crippled with a debt that, for many, will never be paid off. It's a terrible burden, and I'm sorry that you're going through it.
The minor arcana here speaks to that feeling of being trapped. The Nine of Swords is a card filled with anxiety and feeling pinned down, while the growth that the Ace of Wands promises is at a standstill. It wouldn't surprise me if that "growth" is financial, and if you have three kids you'd like to send to college, that economic standstill can feel like a cycle that's doomed to repeat.
But we have two major arcana here that offer a lot of promise. With The Lovers card, I'm wondering if your partner is able to help you pay down some of that debt. If you don't already, I'd strongly encourage you both to speak candidly with each other about your finances and meet with a financial advisor who can talk to you about this debt. There might be a way to consolidate it or refinance it to offer you some breathing room.
I don't know if you'll be able to pay everything off in 10 years, but I think there will be a shift, and this will not feel so much like a burden in the future. The Star is an interesting card because it's often about the balance between the outer world and the inner. The idea of balance here could be financial; it could mean paying off what is reasonable for you and your family and accepting that the debt might not go away.
I won't tell you to just "stop worrying" about your debt because that would be condescending, unhelpful, and particularly hypocritical of me. Still, The Star suggests moving towards a state of harmony—be it financial or mental. If you're able to, you might find it helpful to speak with a therapist who specializes in financial anxiety.
Again, I'm sorry that you're dealing with this. Hopefully, speaking with financial experts will help you move towards that feeling of harmony. Take care and best of luck.
Dear Oracle, I'm a bartender here in Tampa but recently got offered a job in Las Vegas. It would be more money and a completely different scene, but I don't know if I should take it or not. It would be starting completely over. What do the cards think?—Move Along
Stay: Two of Pentacle, Full Moon, Ten of Swords reversed Go: Seven of Cups reversed, Three of Pentacles reversed, Four of Cups
Dear Move Along, to answer this question, I have to ask another: how are you around a lot of drugs and booze? Take a passing interest in it? Have an addictive nature?
Because Vegas seems to be a trickier option, with the plethora of bad opportunities mixed with the good (Seven of Cups reversed), and there's a chance you might feel deeply disillusioned, depressed, and indulge your whims (Four of Cups.) But, Vegas could also be a place where you become a great bartender. The Three of Coins is an exciting first step in developing your art, with a feeling of camaraderie to boot.
Staying here also has some "ups and downs." The Two of Pentacles is a lovely, balancing card, with you finding harmony in your work. Your current job might offer you a work/life balance that is healthy for you. But we also have the Ten of Swords, which can flood us with thoughts of jealousy, rage, persecution, or just general impending doom and crisis, all while that full moon amplifies everything (which, you know, might undercut that nice healthy balance from the Two of Pentacles).
So. Both options might be a bit of a "mixed bag."
I think it's worth considering why you want to move someplace to "completely start over." It's tempting to believe that a new city will offer a new life, and while that might happen on a superficial level, you still show up wherever you are. This new job in Vegas might help you grow your career as a bartender, and in this economy, a move to make more money is entirely understandable.
But, if you have some issues lurking in your mind here in Tampa, they'll still be there in Vegas. Vegas might offer a multitude of ways to escape those intrusive thoughts, but they won't disappear, and that feeling of being unsatisfied will stick around.
I'd encourage you to talk to someone you feel comfortable confiding in, be it a therapist or a friend, and talk about what might lurk in your mind's dark corners. Then, if there are issues, you might be able to see other paths forward.
Who knows? You might still consider a cross-country move or even a career change, but at least you'll be going towards something opposed to running away.
And if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. Vegas might be fabulous and if you feel that's the right decision, go forth. I hope whatever you decide brings you a sense of peace. Best of luck!
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