What is the best way forward today?

Being a recently laid-off person, the question that comes up most for me (usually) when I divine for myself is, “What is my best way forward right now?” It gives me at least a little comfort in that it provides some form of action I can take, where if I’d asked “When will I get a new job?” I’m kind of implying my own powerlessness, which makes me crazy. So when I asked this morning what my best way forward is at least for today, Ran came up. She is the Norse goddess of the deep oceans and the drowned. (Oh, p.s.: the deck I’m using is Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s Dark Goddess Tarot  and the charms are Carrie Paris’s Magpie Oracle II. Huge amounts of YAY! on both, and I highly recommend them.) When Ran (whose name is pronounced “Rawn”) appears in a reading, it’s time to get way into touch with your own inner depths.

Ran, Hag of Water (King of Cups)

Ran, Hag of Water (King of Cups)

Personally, I’m being called on to go deep for answers. That’s the short answer to why I drew this card for today. But what else is going on here? Let’s look at the charms because there’s all kinds of stuff happening:

  • The Camera rests over Ran’s eyes. This is indicating the importance of observation and of trusting what you see. Don’t add or synthesize the data, but just SEE what’s there and record it. Be an impartial observer, if you can, of the real and the immediate.
  • The I indicates that we’re talking about your deeper self here. This isn’t about how you interact with others, it’s about how you are with you. Your relationship with your higher self (the I is at the top of the card, after all) is the most important relationship you’ll ever have, and while the charm is reminding you of that fact, the card is telling you where to find yourself. (Hint: it rhymes with “m-ocean.” 😉 )
  • The Clock is simply indicating that we’re all on the clock, as it were–tempus fugit and all that.
  • The dice are interesting. I try not to draw them for these types of castings because they’re best used for Yes/No questions (Red means “no,” Yellow means “ask again later” or “maybe” or “pause a bit,” and Green means “yes”) rather than for larger questions. But if they come out of the bag when I grab a handful and end up on the card, I’ll take a look at where they land and what number is showing to see if there’s a significance. Here, both Yellow and Red dice show up, and both are at the number 1 which indicates the Self to me. The Yellow die fell on the little guy struggling to keep his boat afloat, which tells me he needs to just hang on a bit longer. The Red die fell on the little guy who’s sinking into the depths (i.e., he’s dead or about to be dead), which tells me to not give up, to stop acting like everything’s over because it’s not.
  • The Fan brings elegance to the equation, telling me that no matter what I’m going through, facing it with grace and beauty is ALWAYS an option, and the gods tend to like that sort of bravado in the face of adversity.
  • The Broom is a profoundly witchy tool, and it’s one that we think of whenever we think of hags in general. “Hag” = “witch” = “flying away on a broom, cackling.” There is great power here, and it’s in the darkest depths of the water (the blue on which the Broom landed is the darkest blue of the card. Go deep. That’s where your witchy power is.
  • The Handcuffs indicate that this is a situation to which one is chained. This issue has happened before, and since it’s on the right, it will probably happen again in the future. Maybe movement is limited, the way you have difficulty maneuvering when your hands are tied. Well, your hands are tied here. Maybe the hands of the Divine are tied too. Maybe this is just something that needs to be gone through, to get through and move on.
  • The Plane is flying away, into the left of the card. The left side is usually associated with emotions and the unknown, so we’re being encouraged to take a trip into the wild unknown, the Mystery with a capital “M.”
  • The Shark is a wonderful sign. Sharks are very mysterious and ancient creatures, and while they are constantly moving, it’s very difficult to track all their movements. Scientists have noticed via tracking tags on Great Whites off the west coast of North America that these sharks for some reason travel to the same very very deep spot way out in the Pacific, and then they come back. Nobody knows why they go there, or what they do. It’s a shark mystery, and since they are so old on the evolutionary chain, it’s probably a mystery that goes back millions of years. Go with your inner shark. Visualize yourself following Shark out to your own inner depths, and see what you find there.
  • Both the Indigenous Chief and the King appear here, emphasizing the card’s nature as the King of Cups. You are the ruler of this element, and you are in command of yourself throughout this process. Act like it.
  • The Mask is under Ran’s feet. There is no hiding here, no putting on personas or costumes or hiding behind alternate personalities. You must be who you are in Her realm. No fakes, no phonies. All masks will be stripped away and crushed underfoot. Can you take it?
  • The Wand is another power tool like the Broom. It’s on the sea floor, so you have to go down, down, down to Ran’s realm to get it. You may even need to bring Her something to trade for it, because that’s often how it goes in these matters. But it’s there for you and can be yours to take back up to the world, IF you’ve got what it takes to go get it in the first place.
  • The Dragonfly is also at the bottom of the sea in the card. Great power and the ability to transform are there, waiting for you.
  • Lastly we have the Wishing Well. Are you making wishes? Are you praying? Take time (make the time) every day to send up your wishes into the air and the sea. They are being heard, so keep it up. Wish on stars. Throw coins into fountains. Pick up pennies you find on the street. Blow dandelion fuzz into the air. These may seem like ridiculous whimsical wastes of time, but they’re not. They’re powerful spells, just like any other prayer. You are acknowledging the existence of the unseen.

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