Tarot Elements by Melissa Cynova
This book will be so very helpful to so many readers, whether you read for yourself, for friends, or professionally. So many times people come to the cards unable to form a question or have a question that is so tangled that it feels like their whole lives are involved. That makes sense because we don’t exist in a vacuum and our lives, no matter how hard we try, are not compartmentalized. Everything is connected.
Melissa developed this system of readings based on the elements to help her clients. It examines all areas of life, helping to identify problem areas and do a kind of diagnostic. The five readings are designed to work together but can also be used alone, if preferred.
Because this book is so integrated, it is hard to just pull a section out, but let’s take a look at her introduction to the Earth reading:
You hear a lot about being ‘grounded’ in the energetic sense, but might not have any idea what that means. Essentially, being grounded in your body is being wholly present and in your skin. The element of Earth is the essence of being grounded, and your home is a huge part of feeling safe and grounded. Finances are also reflected in this element, compounding that feeling of safety and security. One of the most notable things about the earth element is that if you are secure in the present and in your home, it doesn’t matter, really, what happens outside of that space. If your family is going through a tough time, but you’ve got a couch that’s just perfect for snuggling, you have a home base advantage. If you’re going through emotional turmoil, pulling up your Dr. Who blanket and reaching over, knowing exactly where the light switch is by touch helps you settle down. When you feel at peace in your home, things outside of you don’t have as much power to shake you up.
Instead of living in the future with anxiety or staring into the past, you are truly grounded when you are right here, right now.
Financially, when you have a certain amount of money in the bank, you can relax. If the water heater breaks or the car overheats, you won’t have that moment of panic and can just take care of it like a grown up. I’ve found in my own life and in the lives of my clients, there is always a number that someone can think of that will make them feel at east. If you have that number in savings, it releases the anxiety that debt can cause. It lends that same grounded energy to your life.
Safety, security and peace of mind – these are the goals of the Earth reading.
First things first: if you don’t like or feel comfortable in your home, it’s going to be difficult for you to deal with the rest of your life. A few years ago, I met one of my clients at her new house. We got there at the same time and I followed her in. She tossed her keys toward a table and fell short. Damnit. She couldn’t find a pen at first. She couldn’t find a notepad and got cranky about it. It had been four months since she gotten the house, and still hadn’t finished unpacking. All of her stuff was present, but everything wasn’t in its home. It made her her homecoming uneven and annoying. Not impossible, but difficult. There is something about coming home and feeling at peace that helps you deal with the stress of the day.
As a society, many of us are far removed from living off of the land. Now we live on it. Even though I’m a Pagan, honestly, I’m a terrible one. I have allergies, I hate bugs and the heat makes my asthma crazy. I swear, I’ve looked at the full moon more out of my kitchen window than I’ve seen in outside. My idea of ‘roughing it’ is no restaurant in the hotel. Nightmare. I do have friends who go camping on purpose, so I know that there are others like them. They feel both free in and connected to the outdoors, and strive to bring that energy into their homes. I think that we’re all looking for that feeling of having a nest. A sanctuary where everything makes sense.
I finally feel connected to the Earth in my home. It took a while to get where I wanted to be, but after a few moves and life changes, I’ve reached a place in my life where I can navigate my kitchen without turning the lights on. I have artwork that I love on the wall and little collections and tchotchkes around the house that make me feel better every time I see them. I feel comfortable walking around in my underwear and eating leftovers at 3am. My kids and my partner feel a sense of ease when they get here. Our house isn’t perfect, by any means, but it feels perfect to us. We don’t have a lot of money or really nice stuff, but it’s ours and it’s perfect for us. I always remember my Dad saying when I was a kid, “It might not be fancy, but it’s ours, and we’re going to take care of it.” Regardless if you have 600 square feet or 6000, building a nest in which you feel safe is paramount to peace of mind.
When I do readings for people who are not at home in their house, I can pick up on that discomfort. They’ve inherited furniture that’s stacked in the basement. They haven’t gotten rid of their kids outgrown clothing (or their own). All over their house, you’ll find things that take up square footage without paying rent. This is a problem. I don’t know a lot about feng shui or how energy works in homes, but I do know that if your home is filled with things that don’t matter, there is less space for those things and people who do. Lookit – I just did feng shui math.
Another problem turns up if they’ve gotten a divorce and have a big, empty house that doesn’t suit them anymore. Or, they got a divorce and realized that their house never really matched them. When I was divorced, it was difficult for me to be alone in my own house. My kids were spending time at their dad’s house, and he was gone, too. I remember walking around the empty house sobbing. Even though the house was technically mine, it didn’t FEEL like it. It felt like the house that I used to own with my husband. It held arguments and sadness. It held the heartbreak of realizing that he wasn’t my Person anymore. That maybe I didn’t have a Person. It was quiet, lonely and alien. I hated to be home without my kids.
It took me awhile to pull my head up and look around. Do you know what I saw? White walls. No bookshelves upstairs. It was really stark, and I’m a person who dances in bright colors. I saved up and hired a fella to paint every room in my house. MY house. The living room was bright orange and soft yellow. Green bathroom, peacock master bath, pink and purple for the Girl Child’s room and green and yellow for the Boy Child. I bought a beautiful comforter made of recycled sari’s for my bedroom and painted the walls light brown and avocado. The basement? Sky blue!
Just this simple thing – adding color – made this MY house. Mine. I added bookshelves in nearly every room and filled them up, creating the library I’d always wanted. After I was finished, I felt GOOD. I liked coming home and I loved feeling that I had a nest. A home instead of a house. This wasn’t as expensive as new cabinets, flooring or siding. It was affordable and made such a huge difference to me. It helped me realize that the more my home reflected who I was, the more comfortable I would feel in it. I never quite thought about that before.
I also feel better when my house is clean. Call it compulsive, but I can’t think clearly in a dirty house. I just keep thinking about the mess and how it’s just sitting there…mocking me. (I literally just got up to put dishes in the dishwasher because writing about it reminded me and bothered me SO MUCH) I’m sure this is a leftover impulse from my childhood, but knowing that the sinks are empty and the floor is swept makes me sleep better.
Another thing that I do as medicine for my home is using candles and incense. And before you give me any shit about cultural appropriation for using sage or smudge sticks, please recognize two things. One, I am a descendant of Elsie Lake, from the Seneca people. Two, so many spiritual practices use smoke to clear energies, that it’s become commonplace outside of the traditions of the First Nations. Actually, I literally can’t think of a spiritual practice that DOESN’T rely on incense, candles, censors, or even charcoal to realign energies and provide focus. Even in the Catholic church in which I grew up, the priest used smoke in ritual to gain attention at sacred times, and candles to carry intent. As long as someone isn’t wandering around with a sacred symbol on the back of their phone or calling what they do an ‘authentic smudging ceremony’ when it’s actually them walking around with a sage and cedar stick they got off of Amazon, asking all evil spirits to get the hell out of their apartment, I don’t care.
Using smoke and candles to clean the energy in your home is a really old and really easy tradition. You can find ethically sourced sage bundles online or grow your own. You can pick up incense almost anywhere. Think of these tools as energy erasers. They can cancel out any lingering energy and basically act as a reset button for your home. I’ve outlined a way to clean your house energetically later in this chapter.
I often read for people whose lives have changed in many ways. They’re empty-nester’s, their relationship has changed, they’ve moved out of their folk’s house or home from college. Their lives have changed, but their homes haven’t changed to reflect it. One of my best friends is sending his second kid off to college, and the first thing he and his wife did was sell their big house. He’s one of the most centered fellas I know, and he doesn’t like unnecessary things in his home. He and his wife decided that they had excess house, and found a much smaller, out in the woods place where the kids still had rooms, but it wouldn’t feel as empty after they went back to school. Brilliant. Now they have a forever-home, and they’re not even close to retirement yet.
I’ve had clients who have moved into apartments after living in a house. Who have inherited all of their Great Aunt Ida’s china and had no room for it. Who have never let go of a magazine or a plastic butter dish (because you never know) in their entire life. I understand this impulse. My family is blue collar all the way. Farmers and police officers and nurses. I understand not releasing things, because they can build a wall of security. The problem comes up when the stuff has no value – not to you, not to a collector. If they have no value, they become burdensome.
This reading can find that you need to move, declutter, or even just add some paint. If you are happy in your home, I’m happy to tell you that there are four other chapters for you in this book! And way to go – that’s not easy. If you can’t feel at peace in your home, it’s difficult to feel at peace in any other part of your life. We long for home. We sing songs about it. Our hearts live there and our families connect there. If our home is lacking, our life is, too.
As far as the financial problems that can come up and make everything unsettled, this reading will work as well. Just shift your question and thinking to financial security instead of your home. Also, I’ve put in some tips at the end of this chapter for financial stability that might help out.