First, a confession.
I have STOLEN this wonderful question from TABI's Reefgirl, who posts monthly practice questions for us all to learn from and experiment with. Thank you!
The weather here is hot, so I'm keeping this light and a bit flippant. Here's August's practice question, using the Silhouettes Tarot by MASA September.
"My circle of friends is generally wealthier than I am (I'm a single teacher; they're not). They're all going on holiday, and have offered to pay for me. I don't feel comfortable accepting, but I hate the idea of being stuck at home. What do I need to know about accepting their offer?"
Right off the bat, I can see that the querent is blowing hot and cold about this trip idea!
1. On the one hand...7 Wands
You may feel a need to defend your independence and worthiness to be an equal member of this dynamic group.
Yes, you can take the high ground and fight against the idea of accepting charity, but I'm not sure how long your pride can prevail against your friends' burning desire to share the trip with you.
They have six burning torches; your defense is one very flammable broom.
2. On the other...5 Pentacles
You can, of course, turn your back on the promise of a vacation if the idea of accepting this gift from your friends makes you uncomfortable.
If huddling in the snow and cold while the others bask in the sun is your choice, then walk away from their offer.
Keep in mind that you may feel sad about the situation or have second thoughts, and be prepared to deal with any lingering regrets that may crop up after they've left for their trip.
3. Compromise...5 Wands
This scene reminds me of a puppet theatre - Punch and Judy with a cast of five!
How about a brainstorming session with your friends to come up with ideas that will make you feel less like a charity case, and less beholden to them?
Could you repay them in non-monetary ways? Have you skills, talents, ideas, that your friends may not possess?
They may get all fired up at the idea of receiving a hand-made item from you, or a monthly casserole or batch of cookies. Perhaps research is your forte - could any of them use some assistance in that area?
Maybe the trip arrangements can be turned over to you, saving them the time and hassle.
Will the group be needing local guides? Museum reservations? Concert tickets?
Current information about festivals, holidays, venue closures?
Put down your broom, come in out of the gloom, and get to work on a compromise plan that pleases all of you. Surely your worth as a person and friend is determined by more than your bank balance!
Uh-oh, it appears that they do. And one was just swimming in my apple cider...
What about fireflies?
While reading out on the porch yesterday, my left eye kept getting distracted by movement on the surface of my glass of wine. A terrified beetle was thrashing around in there. I scooped him out, but probably not before he lost his lunch or voided his bowels in terror.
Perhaps there are as-yet-unknown health benefits from ingesting bug poop.
A writer friend is attempting his first short story romances. It's not a genre he's familiar with, either as a reader or a writer; this is more or less a tool to sharpen his character-writing skills.
Corrine Kenner's Tarot for Writers came to mind. I pulled it off the shelf and was reminded of the variety of information, both writerly and tarot-ly, it contains. And, bonus, it's an entertaining read!
So, just for fun, I'm attempting a few book blurbs using an assortment of Twos of Cups as prompts.
Alice had never been on a blind date before; she'd always thought they were only for people much braver than herself. However, the lure of High Tea at posh Lapin Manor overrode her shyness, and she accepted the invitation. Her companion was not what she expected, but quite charming, and an attentive host. They chatted easily at their table in the Otage Garden. Had Alice paid more attention during French class, she would have known what otage meant...
Whoa, this babe might be more than he could handle. He should've waited until he was sober before suggesting they get hitched. I mean, he liked tough chicks as well as the next dude, but chains? vows etched in blood? spiked collar? He hoped it wasn't too late to back out.
They were highborn and wealthy; their union had been planned long before their uniformed nannies rocked them in their heirloom cradles. It was a match avidly sought by both families. Their flawless bloodlines would merge into an unstoppably powerful next generation. And thus would begin the dynasty that no one could have predicted...
He was so handsome and kind; he knew just what to say to put her at her ease, to make her feel grown up. One minute she was sitting alone on the cold stone bench, contemplating running away and ending it all; the next she found herself lulled by moonlight and his persuasive, gentle voice. She would show them that she wasn't a child...
The entire village had turned out for the festivities. Four pigs had been roasted and consumed along with copious quantities of wine and ale supplied by the bride's father. According to tradition, the prospective couple had never been alone in each other's company until this day. And now, with the ceremony behind them and the band packing up, it was time for the townsfolk to escort the newlyweds to their marriage bed amid the customary drunken catcalls and lewd shouts. The young husband comes to his new wife unschooled in the arts of love. As for the young bride? Her father would willingly have slaughtered every one of his pigs to be rid of her.
They had pulled it off - an entire week together on the tiny secluded island of St. Kitts. As far as their spouses were concerned, Brynne and Tony had flown to Toronto for a conference on managerial styles.
Larry punched in the number. "Brynne's finally gone," he said. "You all packed?"
"I thought Tony would never leave," said Marilyn. "Seven glorious days alone with you! I've never been to St. Kitt's - can't wait!"