Queen of Cups: Peace, Pace, and Protection


I recently participated in a fantastic talk with Fanny Priest aka The Trauma Witch. Fanny is a “reluctant expert on discomfort” and the first phrase you find when going to her website is “Your don’t need to try harder, you need to feel safer.” Her work is changing things for me in the best possible way and it feels mostly private and fragile at the moment but what I do want to share is the ways it’s making me think more, and differently, about purpose.

What I do and create takes a lot of preparation and recovery. In order to share my art and writing, read cards for people, and do the outward facing tasks associated with making a living through these practices takes a great deal of emotional stamina. It’s always risky, it’s always vulnerable, and always new, in some way, every single time. It is fraught with self-doubt pitfalls and possibly the “unsafest” work I could do. But it’s also the only work I want to do. So what Fanny has introduced me to is the thought that maybe the more important thing to cultivate in my work day are the resources and environment to regulate my nervous system, not mindset strategies for getting more done. The quality of my days is less about what tasks I accomplish and more about how I honoured peace, pace, and protection. Any gifts I have to offer will only become more valuable if I am taking care of those considerations first.

Peace means the room and resources to regulate my nervous system. For instance, I really benefit from being able to have a nap when I can - it is a powerful reset for me. I have some of my best ideas after waking up from a nap.

Pace means honouring my own rhythms even and especially when they don’t match the world’s speed of productivity. I don’t work well on urgent deadlines or having too many things lumped together in time.

Protection means feeling safe so I have the capacity for the next thing and also creating containers of time that respect the space I need between things for this work.

These are all needs that I used to call “lazy.” Desires around the nature of my days that I thought of as “unmotivated.” As I’m making more space for there to be valid and undeniable reasons why I need to work this way, my relationship to work is changing. There is a flow that eluded me before - I would frequently struggle with “procrastination” that was really just my body trying to adjust pace to reduce discomfort. In some ways, the work I have chosen is actually perfectly suited to these needs, particularly being self-employed.

So why am I sharing this? Because I drew the Queen of Cups for you this week and this experience I’ve shared is a story about me navigating Queen of Cups energy. This Queen wants to drench your tender soul in gifts of the heart but they can only do this because they’ve also learned how to hold back what they need. There is a process of preservation that is understood as the lifeblood of any form of tending. The cup in the Queen’s hand is never fully emptied, they will help you drink but the bottom half is for safe keeping, always. This is a balance that is always a work in progress. I don’t think it ever gets easy but it does get easier.

My invitation to you this week is to contemplate the three P’s: what does peace, pace, and protection mean to you in relation to the fourth P, your purpose?


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