Hope, shadow, and the Two of Wands

Lately, I’ve found myself feeling stuck in what feels like a ‘Two of Wands’ kinda place.

Perhaps you can relate: It’s like, there are all these thoughts and ideas, part-baked, some totally unformed, swirling around in my head. Big ideas, ideas about how I want this world to be, how I want to be in it. Ideas that should really be described as dreams.

I rant and splurge and start piece after piece of writing, lists, anything to get this stuff out of my head and onto the page where I can see it.

But it’s futile. The idea is not yet fully formed.

It needs time to bed in. To germinate.

That’s the thing with the Two of Wands, I think. Coming after the Ace, the initial spark of an idea (the hopeful feeling that comes with Imbolc, the renewed energy of revolution in the air, the anger and hope of resistance…), it’s the moment where I have to be still, watch and wait, allow those ideas to crystallise.

I don’t know what my ‘big vision’ is right now… not so’s I could describe it, anyway. I don’t know what my first steps should be. I feel like I’m fumbling towards a big idea, a vision, and it’s a shared one. But I don’t yet know what it is.

It’s taking all of my patience to sit here with this swirling. It’s so much easier to react than to create from scratch. I can rant and rail about all that’s broken in this beautiful world, that comes easily. But can I dream up a new way? Can I actually describe what I would have instead?

I am sincerely grateful for the conversations I’m having right now.

The friends who are opening space for these vulnerable fumblings, the trying-out of statements and ideas, the slowly working-towards. It is a privilege to have friends who will allow this process to take place, who don’t demand definitive truths, but create space for the process.

Because I need this process. We all do.

That’s the work of the Two of Wands.

The forming of a spark of an idea into something real, something true. It’s that vital moment between inspiration and action that I so urgently want to bypass…but that is where real foundations get laid. For me right now, this is done through reading. Through reaching out. Through finding my people, connecting. Taking and listening. Trying ideas on for size, testing out how they sound coming out of my mouth, how they feel when I drink in their words.

It’s deeper work too. It’s the shadow work that is so essential to any real revolution. The turning of focus from all that is wrong ‘out there’, to my own fears, my own complicity, the shadows within me that feed into this big universal ball of energy that throws us this way and that. Again, this is a deeply active process.

I drew this card this morning…right after abandoning yet another piece of writing. It’s lesson felt so clear. Plant your seeds. Nourish them. Give them time. Give yourself time. Activity, activism, resistance and rebuilding – these things are not just about loud, bold, glamorous actions. They are also about learning, growing, formulating. Sometimes these things about fumbling towards truth, as much as at other times they are about holding aloft great swords. They are about the conversations that happen between us, in groups, in pairs, in emails, across coffee tables, across borders. They are about engaging in the process of becoming, of forming, and not always about having all of the answers from the start.

I am reading so much right now about being bold, speaking up, fighting the good fight, and all of this is true, all of it is right. At the same time, I know there are other processes taking place. Processes of learning and growing, reaching out and connecting. Listening.

This work is as valid as the rest.


Cards shown are from the Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Piu-Mun Law, The Circo Tarot by Marisa de la Pena, the Slow Holler Tarot and the Collective Tarot.

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One comment

  1. Kathleen says:

    This is so what I needed to hear. I’m in exactly this place right now, and I want to scream. I feel like I’ve been here for over a year, and I just want to be able to articulate it already! I’m trying to heed the advice of your reading from a while back and give myself some space to admit that I’m ill and to learn what that means for my life, but…it’s HARD. The two of wands, the seven of cups, the five of pentacles, the hanged man, the tower…heeding those cards (and they keep coming up) is just so against my nature. I think I’ve been doing the (im)patient work of letting things germinate, but over the long term it feels like stagnation, and maybe I try to force it too soon because it isn’t happening. I’m trying to keep telling myself, it’s not quite spring yet – keep feeding it, and eventually it will start growing again…right? The buildup makes me feel like exploding, but maybe it’s like trying to force an orgasm – you’ll just kill it, or at best it will be kinda weak. Let it build in its own time.

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