A grayscale illustration of 3 tarot cards side by side. The left card depicts a large pentacle, a smaller pentacle, and another pentacle that’s on a glue bottle. There are puzzle pieces around, and the bottom reads “Three of Pentacles.” The middle card depicts a waterfall with people floating along and falling down it. There’s a big cloud behind it and the sun is overhead and masked. The bottom reads “Ace of Cups.” The right card depicts a person with braids who’s wearing a cropped top and a skirt. They have pentacles floating above each hand and a crown shape behind their head. They’re standing in water. The bottom reads “Two of Pentacles.” Illustration by Karla Rosas.


When we understand the relationship between failure and success, we become able to leverage our own skills toward the advancements we desire. Learning—skill building—requires some failure, some trial and error, maybe even some embarrassing moments. This is important for us to teach our young: being able to tolerate the discomfort of this process, possessing patience for learning, making mistakes, and sometimes just not getting the desired result or outcome despite our best efforts. The Three of Pentacles encourages us to recognize not only our skills but the process we underwent to gain that acumen. Perhaps more urgently, this card pushes us to recognize those who have supported and inspired us in ways both large and small. Too often we take ideas from others and build on their concepts, yet take credit as if none had come before us. Too often we ignore the sweet efforts of our friends, family, and lovers who encouraged us and lent their hands or monies to our dreams. To say that there is nothing new under the sun is a reminder that we do not create or thrive in a vacuum.

The Ace of Cups is the primordial fountain of all life. This cup is the mysterious creator of all, of even you and I. It is a never-ending flow of healing waters, pouring continuously over its brim, on and on without end. This card appears now to remind us—or teach us—that when we undercut ourselves so that others don’t beat us, we are setting a hard limit on what we allow ourselves to achieve. We may be inclined to use self-deprecation to protect ourselves from constructive feedback, which is a somewhat complicated defense. It is imperative that we lay boundaries against jealous or entitled criticisms of our work. Our best strategy is to know our work well enough to seek appropriate advice. To control the gate in such a way that the right feedback will reach us and the rest won’t affect us—or at least not prevent us from growth—is a display of prowess. The Ace of Cups is an overflowing delight of self-esteem, self-compassion, and infinite joy, and it is for you. It is a compassion for oneself that is most required when we fear what will happen if we reach our highest potential. Know this: you can handle it.

We are rewarded with the Two of Pentacles, signaling a harmonious change. We have handled many twists and turns in the last few years, but we are in control of how we take this next turn. We know which direction we are headed, even if we can not yet see our destination, and we are prepared to handle the obstacles ahead of us or learn how to do so, even right in the heat of the moment. Every sign points to playing the long game without compromising our ideals. It is often said that one must give a little to get a little, but let us be discerning. Human dignity and sovereignty are non-negotiables and to compromise these for only a moment is to forsake them for eternity. Let us choose our path now and walk it in joy. May we relish the feel of the wheel against our palms.

illustration by Karla Rosas

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