I might have stumbled upon Kelly-Ann’s Self-Love September via her blog or gone down my favorite YouTube rabbit hole of spread-hunting through this video but either way, I’m so happy I ended up on Kelly-Ann’s video #207: Self-Love September – Useful Spreads.
I waited for my boyfriend to go to sleep before diving in to this very intense spread. I tried to approach it a little light-heartedly but after I turned over the first card, I knew there was no way we were staying light-hearted. This was going to be W. O. R. K.
The spread isn’t too large and I added a slight modification to each card. You’ll see in a minute. It looked a tiny bit intimidating but the positions softened it up. It’s only 10 cards! Why on earth would I feel like it was too large for me to handle? Oh, I know why – because I had to start with the cards face down and turn each one over individually. New! Exciting! Scary!
The top card is the Core Card. It is a snapshot of the current energies and circumstances. The “where you are right now” position. Imagine my delight when I turned the card over to reveal the Five of Pentacles!
The first thing I thought of was: “Oh shit, this isn’t going to be easy and fru-fru and lovey-dovey is it?” and then I thought, “I need help in some kind of way.” Because it’s a Pentacles cards, my thoughts immediately went to money. I almost had a nervous breakdown at the Apple Store on Friday because while I used to throw money at a new upgrade phone and be done with it, they changed their policies and now, it feels like a car payment to me. I was so stressed out about the money situation that I almost didn’t get the phone because it wasn’t worth that but I ended up getting it because my old phone is pretty much dead now. I upgraded right on time. But the card to me felt bigger than just money. It felt like it was me worrying about everything – money, time, people, my life, my choices…and the traditional church window that’s looming in the background signifying help represented someone or something that can help me but I haven’t been paying attention.
To all of this, I added an extra thing for my cards. Each card has a Meditate On This section after each breakdown. For the Five of Pentacles, my meditative question is: What is it that is making me feel this way and how can I make peace with it and move past it?
The first card in the second line is the Fall In Love With Yourself card. It represents your inner strengths and more insight for why you need to fall in love with yourself. I was truly delighted to see The High Priestess.
To me, this is saying that my intuitive abilities are my inner strength. Not just the “I hear voices and see things sometimes” part but my gut feeling. My dreams are a big part of that. I sometimes have wild dreams – like the one that lead me to create a tarot spread or the one that I have been trying to develop into a movie for over a decade (!!!) or the one that is begging to be developed into a TV show (no lie, it haunts me). This card is here to remind me to pay attention to the things and symbols and patterns that no one else notices. There’s a reason why it’s being brought to my attention.
Meditate On This: What are my dreams telling me? Is there a common theme? What are my feelings when I wake up?
The next card is Where To Find Sparks of Self-Love. This card represents ideas and inspiration to connect with yourself more. Surprise! It’s my favorite card: the Two of Cups.
Balance, harmony, partnerships in love and friendship always inspire me. But I’m choosing to stay away from the romantic aspect here. My romantic life is in a great place and there’s no need to focus on that for this because my old tendency was to think I could find self-love in others but that’s not the case. My boyfriend is very loving but also very adamant about our independence. Before, I would tailor my life around the people in it instead of putting myself first. My boyfriend encourages me to be selfish and I think this card is saying it’s okay to branch out from the tight-knit people you hold so close. I’m going to take this in a self-centered way, meaning that I will do something radical and scary: I will put myself first for once!
Meditate On This: What small steps will you take to start putting yourself first with love?
The next card was a card I was a little nervous about based on what Kelly-Ann said in her video but it turned out to be what I needed to hear: Inner Critic Issues. An action card to help you deal with underlying issues. How do I bully myself? The World.
Directly from my notebook: my first thought: “My inner critic says, ‘The world is against me!!!'” This card is about completion and achievement but also the stresses of getting there. When I was younger, I wrote A LOT but I would never finish the stories because I never wanted them to end! I think this card is a reflection of that feeling – never wanting the good things to end. I finished my first story ever two years ago and it was strange and wonderful. At first, I kept revisiting it to see if I could add on to it somewhere and recently, I trashed all the edits and revisions I made and ended it where I first ended it because it felt right. Baby steps! I love that in Tarot, endings mean new beginnings and I should probably approach it from that perspective rather than, “Oh no, it’s ending!!!!”
Meditate on this: What is it about endings that has me so scared?
The next card is Acknowledging Your Efforts. Check in with your commitments and praise the actions on your journey so far. Here comes the Knight of Wands riding in.
I have a small problem with Court Cards sometimes. My first thought with this card was that the pegasus was bleeding. Why was it bleeding? Was it the Knight’s impulsive actions? Did it rush through a thorny bush to reach the princess (Sleeping Beauty talk) or was it just a sliver of what impulsive actions are capable of? Then I thought this was acknowledging and praising that I have embraced change so well over the past year. I’m learning to let go of my controlling nature and be more impulsive (like my Aries boyfriend). Instead of loathing around, I have been approaching things with a new sense of enthusiasm and wonder. I’m open to new ideas and the idea of impulsiveness – to a certain degree. But for me, I’m only talking the talk, I’m not walking the walk 100% of the time…baby steps, little Libra! You can’t go charging in like that!
Meditate On This: Why are you so afraid of “walking the walk”? What is so scary about impulsiveness (in moderation, of course!)?
The next position is Trust Yourself. This is an empowering card to encourage you to trust yourself more. I love that this first row begins with The High Priestess and has ended with The Empress!
I feel like because The High Priestess and The Empress are the end-caps for this first row, it’s pointing to the fact that I need to connect with the Divine Feminine and my own femininity. Since The High Priestess is telling me to focus on my subconscious, The Empress is here to tell me to go deeper and connect there as well.
Meditate On This: How can I connect with all aspects of the Divine Feminine?
Starting off the second row, we have Forgive Yourself (and Others). In order to move forward, you need to forgive. I was surprised to find the Ten of Cups until I dove a little deeper.
I love the Ten of Pentacles and the Ten of Cups because they’re always the “Happily Ever After” of some sort. The Ten of Cups, to me, represents a happy family life. There’s usually a family celebrating this rainbow over their town / farm / house / situation. I think this showed up here because I need to forgive the fact that my personal home life hasn’t really been as picture-perfect as the card. Maybe my deep subconscious wanted that and has been secretly operating on the fact that it didn’t get that…? I need to forgive myself and others for what has happened in the past because, as we all know: We can’t change it now! Look forward!
Meditate on This: How can I forgive myself for my past mistakes? How can I forgive others in my heart in order to truly move on?
The next card is Be Honest With Yourself. This is radical acceptance, being honest about what is and isn’t working for me, being honest about the lies I tell myself. I find it interesting that the Ace of Cups popped up here.
I didn’t think about the true meaning of this card – new beginnings, spiritual awakening, emotional abundance… – I thought about who it represents in my life. When I first got into Tarot, I pulled cards to represent people I know. This card showed up for a particular person in my life that has very important significance to me and it makes sense that this would show up here. I need to be honest with myself about what that person really means to me. This particular person was my very first love, so the Ace of Cups is a pretty accurate representation. Being a Cancer, they are also deeply emotional, artistic and true romantics at heart. I feel like in order to be honest with myself, I need to get right with our friendship. We’re pretty close friends now but we know we will never, ever be together romantically again. Sometimes I find myself wondering why we hold on so tightly to each other? We genuinely care about each other but we know it’s not meant to be in a “happily ever after’ sense. I think in order to move on, I need to go ahead and pitch my movie idea about our friendship to give us both closure and begin the process of letting go. Not gonna lie – I cried at this revelation just a little.
Meditate On This: How can I compassionately let go of this idea of a relationship?
The next card is Take Action. The next action to take to stay on track towards self-love. I was happy to see the Three of Pentacles.
I usually say, “Teamwork makes the dream work!!” with this card but instead, I see ravens working hard to build their nest. I have the skills I need, I need to do the work! I need to aggressively journal this out and actually meditate on all the prompts I have given myself. Self-love just doesn’t happen overnight! It takes time, healing and forgiveness. I can do this.
Meditate on This: Where do I need to start? Which goal or goals do I need to direct my attention to in order to move forward?
And last, but certainly not least, we have Go Where Your Spirit Finds Joy and Beauty. I love this position name! Here’s another point of inspiration where I can focus towards self-love. I was thrilled to see the Knight of Cups! Why? Because when I did Kelly-Ann’s Inner Child Assessment Spread, the Knight of Cups appeared as the response to how I respond to the idea of my Inner Child. The Steampunk Tarot’s Knight of Cups is my idea of my Inner Child. This Knight is in love with love. This Knight is very idealistic, romantic, imaginative, sensitive and in touch with feminine energy. With regard to my Inner Child, this Knight is in love with romance, love itself, chivalry and all things “Romeo and Juliet”-style. It is the act of yearning that she loves. I find joy and beauty in love, romance and ideals. I’m a real daydreamer! I’ve got my head in the clouds and romanticism as my priority.
Meditate On This: Where can I find joy and beauty in the everyday world? This might be a great time to continue your gratitude lists!
Phew! Okay – a million words and truths later, I have revealed way too much but I feel better for it. I highly recommend this spread for everyone! It’s such a great spread to use to explore what areas of yourself you need to heal and how to elevate yourself in a non-selfish kind of way. I think I always thought that any kind of expression of putting myself first was a little selfish and self-centered – in a bad way. I always thought, “Who am I to think I am above others?!” But it’s not even like that! I don’t want to put myself first just to spite other people, I want to put myself first to honour and love myself! It’s not a bad thing to love myself first. As a great philosopher once said, “If you don’t love yourself, how in hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in here!” You know I’m quoting RuPaul, right? 😉
I’ll be sure to stay up on Kelly-Ann’s Self-Love September this year for sure! Let me know if you plan to follow along as well and if you try this spread! I highly recommend it! xoxo