Daily Draw: The Sun

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There’s something about my pagan witchy self that always distrusts the Sun card just a little bit because of the association with God and Christianity.  The depiction of the Sun card in the Night Vale tarot deck shows the neighboring Town Desert Bluffs.  For episode after episode we’re taught by Cecil, the radio host of the show, that Desert Bluffs is bad, the people are not to be trusted.  They worship a Smiling God instead of the traditional Night Vale worship conducted in Blood Stone Circles.

But lately, we’ve been finding out that maybe those Desert Bluffs people aren’t so bad bad.  Seeing this in my daily draw (and I randomly chose this deck for today) reads maybe like a sign that I ought to rethink my knee-jerk reaction to the Sun card.

And going back to basics and reading about this card tells me that it’s about assurance and enlightenment.

Thank you, daily draw, for reminding me that it’s never too late to re-evaluate what you think you know, and that there is always something more to learn.

Card of the Day: Seven of Cups

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Today’s card is the Seven of Cups from the Night Vale Tarot

Today’s card depicts everyone’s favorite scientist, Carlos!  This card img_0544depicts that terrifying moment where Carlos went into The Condo.  In case you haven’t heard the episode (and I encourage you to do so if you haven’t, it was an amazing episode!!) Condos appear for sale in Night Vale and Carlos goes to investigate them and possibly buy one for himself and Cecil.  The condos draw people in, showing them images of things that they are fascinated by–for some it’s a lost city in a jungle, for others it’s endless rows of scientific equipment.  In each case the person must choose between this perfect fantasy life that is only an illusion or their real life which might be disappointing but is real.

It’s an imperfect summation of the episode, so here’s a quote that I think helps capture the energy of the moment.  Carlos has stepped into the Condo, as you can see in the card, and Cecil has come to bring him back.

“And there was a moment. There was a moment, dear listeners, where I considered it. I considered joining Carlos and becoming perfect. But I’ve come to know something after these months together with dear Carlos.

Perfection isn’t real. Perfection isn’t human. And Carlos is not perfect, no. Even better — he is imperfect.

Everything about him, and us, and all of this, is…it’s imperfect! And those imperfections in our reality are the seams and the cracks into which our out-sized love can seep and pool. And sometimes we are annoyed, and disappointed, and that too is a part of how love works. It is not a perfect system, but…

Oh, well.

And so I resisted.

I fought off the vision of the shrouded figures and the dark planet and all that was perfect and I held close to imperfection.

To my imperfection.

And to my imperfect Carlos.”

Condos – Welcome to Night Vale

The Seven of Cups is a card of many choices.  In this depiction there are so many Condos!  So many ‘perfect’ lives that you can pick from.  Standing there and seeing them all could paralyze you.  You know that by making a choice, even if it looks like a really good choice, it means that you are not choosing one of the others.  The Night Vale Seven of Cups reminds us that is is important not to be paralyzed by fear of making the wrong choice.

In some other depictions of the Seven of Cups a person looks at a selection of cups all with exciting things in them, and the message there is to not get lost in wondering over all the possibilities and forget to act at all.

The Night Vale Seven of Cups is a little different.  With the condos the choices aren’t exactly exciting, they’re kind of terrifying.  This card is showing you a choice between a perfect imaginary life where you give up your free will or a real life that you choose but might be imperfect.  Do you embrace the imperfections like Cecil or do you let yourself get lost in the dreamworld?

In your life you’ll make choices and some might mean disappointment, but it is better to choose and continue living than to get so trapped in fear of losing that perfect life that you don’t live any kind of life at all?  Make your choice.

Card of the Day: Three of Swords

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Today’s card is the Three of Swords, and this particular representation is from the Welcome to Night Vale Tarot deck by Hannah Holloway.  I’m a huge WTNV fan so when I heard they were coming out with a tarot deck, I jumped at it.  I bought it literally the moment I knew it existed.  I hadn’t even seen the card designs and I didn’t know the artists.  I just HAD to have it.

I haven’t actually done any readings with it yet, because although it is visually lovely, it didn’t come with ANY interpretation at all.  And even though I love a deck that forces me to rely on my intuition, there are more than a few cards that depict scenes and characters I can’t immediately recognize, which is a challenge.  My initial thought was that I would just try to work with it and it would tell me more about itself.  But, I’m a librarian, and I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  I did some searching and found that Hannah posted a ‘Little White Book’ to accompany the cards on her tumblr.

img_0543So then, we come to the Three of Swords, represented here by the Trophy that Cecil wanted to give to Carlos in the ending episodes of season one.  The three of swords is a tough card to see: it stands for heartbreak, loneliness, and betrayal.  And the Trophy represents that so well here.  Carlos doesn’t show up in that episode because he’s busy trying to save Night Vale, which is a recurring theme for Carlos and Cecil.  Cecil’s emotions really run the gamut of those three aspects of this card during the episode.  He is lonely and so he invites Carlos to be on the show, then he feels betrayed that Carlos has gone off to do something else, and finally he feels heartbreak when he hears about what has become of his beloved scientist.  Adding one more layer to this card is the fact that the trophy is also a cup, the suit of water and of emotions.  These three are pretty powerful emotions.

Cecil’s three-fold experience is a fantastic way to look at this card.  There’s no getting around that this is a painful card.  The more traditional Rider-Waite-Smith interpretation shows a heart being literally stabbed by three swords.  Sounds pretty bleak, doesn’t it?  One thing to consider, especially with the Night Vale Three of Swords, was that everything turned out all right, even when it seemed so very dire.  So when you see the Three of Swords, ask yourself if it’s just the way you’re looking at the situation.  Is there a different way to approach the situation?  Perhaps by stepping outside of yourself and getting a fresh pair of eyes on it, you might be able to see a way through the pain of the situation.

Maybe you too can end up watching the lights above the Arby’s with your favorite scientist.  Apologies for anyone not familiar with WTNV.  If you’ve not heard this wonderfully quirky, racially diverse, queer-affirming podcast, I urge you to go and give it a try.  It’s terrifyingly delightful.