Oracle of Ybor: I’m falling for someone I met on a plane, but don’t know if I should pursue a relationship

Hang tight.

click to enlarge The Hanged Man hangs out of devotion, not punishment. - PHOTO VIA ADOBE
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The Hanged Man hangs out of devotion, not punishment.
Dear Oracle, I met someone earlier this year on an airplane(!), and I fell pretty hard pretty quickly! However, we live in different states, and our lives have made a relationship challenging to pursue. Is there any potential, or should I let it go?—Is Love in The Air

Cards to let go: Ace of Wands, Three of Swords, Last Quarter Moon Cards to pursue: The Hanged Man (reversed), Seven of Cups, Waxing Gibbous

Dear ILITA, What a wonderful meet-cute story! As someone who met her husband while traveling and dated long distance for a while, I know exactly how you feel. It’s a great reminder that love is utterly indifferent to circumstance and strikes whenever and wherever she pleases. But when circumstances stack the odds against you, it can feel difficult to leap headfirst into love.

Let’s start with the breakup option. The relationship is still in its infancy; it’s Ace of Wands, all new and full of potential, which is why it might feel like you can make a clean break. But if you think that just because this is new, you can walk away completely unscathed, I don’t think that’s realistic. You said so yourself that you fell pretty hard and fast for this person, and if you leave, you’ll be nursing that Three of Swords heartache.

Will you survive that heartache? Probably. Most people do. But the last card, the Last Quarter, makes me wonder if you’ll have some lingering doubts. The Last Quarter in my deck (Pagan Otherworlds) is a card of destiny and forces beyond our control. To breakup might feel like it wasn’t fated to be…or that it was, and you went against your destiny. Was it fate that sat you next to each other on the plane? Or a random chance that led to a short and sweet fling? Only you know your gut feeling on that.

So what about pursuing this relationship?

First, it’s going to require some sacrifice and a perspective shift. The Hanged Man is a card that requires patience, and being reversed suggests that this patience needs to last for a while. You’ll also have to look at the situation from a different angle. It’s certainly not the relationship that either of you planned, but The Hanged Man hangs out of devotion, not punishment. A sacrifice of comfort might bring a greater reward.

Then, there is the Seven of Cups, a risky game of choice. Each cup is an option, and some bring joy and others pain, but you should keep those options open as you get to know each other better. Finally, this spread ends with a Waxing Gibbous, a card about potential and readjusting our plans. And falling in love can absolutely change your life—for good or bad.

So what will it be: heartbreak and worry that you crossed fate or sacrifice, risk, and a potential huge life change for better or worse?

My high school therapist (a wonderful man named Andre) used to say when faced with Sophie's choice: “You’re going to suffer either way, so which suffering do you want to tolerate?”

You have two options, both of potential suffering. You know it’ll be heartbreaking to end it. And moving forward requires sacrifice and risk—and potential greater heartbreak. But it also could be surprising and rewarding. So what do you want to tolerate? Whichever path you choose, I hope you can move forward with confidence.

Dear Oracle, I have some friends going through some tough times right now. Between work stress, health issues, family problems, and a divorce, it feels like “when it rains, it pours.” I want to be a good friend to those in need, but I’m worried that checking in via texts/phone calls and occasionally hanging out isn’t enough. Do you have any advice on how to be a more supportive friend?—A little help from a friend

Cards: Seven of Pentacles, The Tower, Ace of Cups, all reversed

Dear Friend, watching the people we love suffer can be so hard, especially if we’re natural caretakers and want to ease their troubles.

It seems like significant life changes are afoot, with The Tower looming in the middle of the spread. The Tower card can also mean miscommunication or talking past one another (it’s the Tower of Babel, technically), and while I often believe you should take people at their word, if your friend keeps saying “I’m fine” but is clearly struggling, perhaps help them out without prompting. Offer to pick up groceries when you’re at the store or babysit when they’re at their doctor’s appointments. Some people bristle at “being taken care of,” so if actions are unwelcome, don’t continue. But if you think your friend wouldn’t ask but would appreciate your help moving out of their ex’s house, go ahead and buy the packing tape.

The Seven of Pentacles is a card about reflection and investing, so consider if there are ways you can support in their care that are suitable for the situation. For example, a friend feeling overwhelmed with work might welcome a dinner out of the house, while a friend dealing with illness might just want someone to watch TV with. Different people have different bandwidths—including yourself. You can’t be everything for everyone, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself as well.

Lastly, just love your friends. Love them without judgment and be compassionate. That’s what Ace of Cups is all about. People might be grumpy or lash out or be too depressed to say “thank you” right now, so try to remember why you’re helping out in the first place. You love these people, and they need some tenderness. If your usually kind friend is snapping at you, try to forgive and recognize that abnormal circumstances are causing abnormal behavior.

I’m sorry your friends are going through such a hard time right now. I hope whatever ails them can be rectified and that their suffering eases. Best of luck, my dear.