There was a stuck, stagnant quality to the collective ennui this week that brought to mind this image:
FOUR OF CUPS
In this card, we have sunk deep into apathy and emotional withdrawal, having become disillusioned, disappointed, and disenchanted with the world.
We may be finding life stale and flat, or are bored and unstimulated by our environment, stuck in an emotional rut. Nothing feels worth doing, and so we have disengaged from life.
(I admit that I grinned at the "OVER IT" shirt in the second image, as I'd privately named this the "MEHHH" card in my head :P)
Extreme versions of this pattern may find us bitterly sulking in our isolation, completely absorbed in the self-referential loop of our melancholy. Our fantasies about the good ol’ days may prevent us from perceiving the fresh gift being offered to us by the present moment.
(A note of caution around these more intense manifestations: incessant rumination and anhedonia--an inability to feel pleasure--may indicate symptoms of depression or other mental health concerns; if you are struggling with this, you may wish to seek professional support. Please let me know if you need a referral!)
Conversely, this card may also signify an introspective period of self-reflection and contemplation. We may just relish being lost in delicious reverie, or seek spiritual renewal by detaching from mundane interactions.
We can use this card as a mirror to help us direct our inner work. As we did in the Hermit, we can ask ourselves: are we turning towards or away from something?
If we are closed off to others, are we being gently invited to open up to potential new relationships, represented by this fourth cup? Can we trust that there is still yet more beauty and possibility for pleasure to be found in life?
If we feel detached, we can ask ourselves what would engage us again? Do we need a fresh start to shake things up, or just some encouragement to appreciate what is already right in front of us?
Or have we just survived a period of intense stress and overwhelm, and now feel the need to turn inward for respite and to restore emotional balance?
Or... do we just need a minute to fully allow ourselves to be OVER IT? Can we grant ourselves permission to deeply explore the textures of this collapse, to really know how this emotional shape arises, without getting stuck here indefinitely?
Can we move past it by moving through it (and by ignoring that bossy disembodied hand and its shiny new cup for the moment)?
As always, dear reader, I present possibilities, and then trust that your inner wisdom knows better than us both, and can point us in the right direction.
Be well and take care!
(Cards pictured here are from the Universal Waite, a recolored version of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, and the Modern Witch Tarot, a modern and diverse interpretation of the classic RWS deck.)
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Jessica Katzman, Psy.D.
I'm a psychologist with a private practice in San Francisco's Castro District. I'm interested in harm reduction, LGBTQQIAAP issues, psychedelic integration, social justice conversations, size acceptance, and any intersections of the above. I welcome your comments!
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