For some people, the court cards are the hardest cards to understand in the entire Tarot. A lot of teaching methods tell new readers to imagine people they might know - but sometimes that's hard to imagine or interpret in a spread. Other times the cards are related to forms of energy or abstract ideas, but that's even harder to fix in a reader's mind. For me, it's always been a combination of both. The court cards are forms of behavior, broad personalities, and it's important to take a good hard look at whether you're displaying - or need to display - what they portray.

Take the Knight of Pentacles, our card of the week. The Knight is the moody teenager of the bunch. He works in extremes, inhabiting some of the best and worst qualities of the suit he belongs to. The Pentacles are the suit of earth - dry, solid, full of roots. They represent material and practical things, a well-organized mind, being solid and comfortable. What's the extreme side of that? When those roots go too deep, getting so big and snarled they can't be moved to a different place.

We can grow very attached to our ideas, or the stories we tell ourselves. They become a broken record in the back of our minds, informing how we live and how we behave. 

"I'll never be lovable or desirable." 

"I'll never have the career I want." 

"I'll never look or feel the way I'd like to."

"I can't make things happen for myself."

Even young trees sometimes have to be flexible, willing to be taken up by their roots and moved to a place they'll grow and thrive. If we can't move to where there's more sunlight and nourishment, we get blocked by weeds, overshadowed by blooming flowers. Our foundation was never solid to begin with, so our tangled roots can't bring up nourishment.

If you feel mired in a bog, stuck in your old habits and routines with your goals out of reach, ask yourself: have I stopped moving? Is there a new frontier I haven't looked at because I'm digging my heels into what's comfortable? 

Am I telling myself the wrong story?

Bring in some Page energy - the energy of someone youthful, enterprising, and ready to start something new. Ask yourself "why?" the way a young child does. And then ask yourself "why?" again to the response. When you've stopped running out of answers, you may have loosened up the mud and muck beneath you enough to start forging a new path, and get yourself moving again.

It's been a long, weird month away from my business and from you, my amazing tribe. I've had a few personal emergencies that threw me totally off my groove and left me putting out some fires - including, at one point, a full-scale top-to-bottom cleaning of my apartment! I suppose it's only fitting, with Halloween and Samhain (the New Year for a lot of Pagans) only a week away. And it's left me thinking about clutter of all kinds: the physical kind, the mental, and even the spiritual.

You don't have to be a hoarder - or someone in a long-time battle with cleaning, like me - to suffer from a buildup of junk. We're reluctant to get rid of things that no longer work for us, to create new systems for our lives, to streamline the world we live in. In honor of the upcoming new year, here are five ways you can cut down the clutter in your life - and feel like you're getting a whole new start!

1. Keep, Store, Toss
Everything has a purpose, but sometimes it can wear out its welcome. Go through your house and take a look at what you have in storage, laying around the house, or in your closets and dressers. Decide what you use all the time, what you need to put in storage (for me it's the books I can't bear to get rid of), and what needs to get donated or thrown out.

2. How's That Working For You?
But this isn't just about physical "stuff"! Spend about a week keeping track of your day, from what you do at work to how you spend your evenings when you've got a moment to yourself. Where are your breaks too long, or too short? Is there a way to cut down on the time your work takes? How effective are you at what you're doing, and is there another way to make it easier?

3. Make Some Sacred Time
It might sound ridiculous to add one more thing to a packed and overwhelming day. But if you're reading this blog, chances are you have a spiritual path you follow and you know how important it is. Set aside ten minutes for some kind of daily ritual: meditation, exercise, yoga, daily devotions, or prayer are just a few of your options. Taking time out for your connection to the Universe gives you clarity and discipline, and most of all, it lets you know you're part of something bigger than yourself. You matter, and we all need that reminder sometimes.

4. The Power of Three
At any point in time, I've got twenty different things I keep meaning to get to "someday". The trouble is, those "somedays" can clutter up my mind and leave me distracted with half-baked ideas, vague plans, and guilt when I don't achieve half of what I wanted to. Pick just three things to get accomplished in a day, and make them your goals. If your goals are long-term, pick three small things you can do to accomplish those goals. Write them down, put the list somewhere you can see it, and commit. When you're done with that list for the day, you can tack on more if you need to, but this will help keep your life streamlined and clear.

5. Don't Be Afraid to Ask For Help
It can be hard to ask for help - but sometimes it's what we need. When everything gets overwhelming, there are places to go. Life and spiritual coaches can help you get a handle on the day-to-day. Friends and family can give you a new perspective, or just a sounding board if you need it. It's scary to admit you don't always "have it together", like you're making yourself vulnerable and opening your life up to visitors all at once. But sometimes, just getting it all out in the open can leave you feeling clear and refreshed. And two pairs of hands can work much faster than one.

Here's wishing you a happy, healthy, and clutter-free week!

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