Whether we are trying to choose between two disparate futures or between a point of view on a memory, we might feel trapped until we decide. The Moon card offers us a little light in the darkness, but mostly just company and wisdom. We are likely to feel distressed when confronted by a paradox. Life is full of paradoxes—incongruity that can not be resolved into a singular answer or course of action. The Moon assists us to hold paradox as a singular whole. Our current cultural education teaches us to select the right option in order to solve problems and eliminate uneasiness. We are instructed to search for the products and services that will not only resolve our angst but also make us right, smart, and worthy. This framework settles into our deeper psyches and creates existential problems that will inevitably result in a variety of anxieties for which we will need to seek further relief. It is up to us to teach ourselves and our young to hold conflicting desires and contradictory thoughts with humor and peace. It is up to us to come into a state of mind that allows the roads not taken to thrive in our dreams as part of the pleasure of living, rather than as regrets we cannot cure.

Whether we are looking for a way forward within a community, family, organization, or the opposing forces within our own minds, we are offered the Four of Wands for consideration. This card has the magical ability to simultaneously soothe and invigorate. The wands represent the element of fire which ignites inspired thoughts and passionate feelings. The number four is associated with structure, and when we put these two ideas together we locate a powerful dynamic. If a home or collective is to be a genuinely fulfilling place, each person must be allowed to be who they are in ways that do not encroach on the rights of others. A bonfire can be built in such a way that we can anticipate its height and width and general shape by how we organize the logs. Fire is unpredictable—this is true—but we can arrange and plan for what will be most conducive to our needs and desires. Rigidity will break goodwill and limit possibilities. Unless behaviors are abusive or manipulative, accommodation is the challenge. In the case of the former, making the circumstance uninteresting to those causing problems will be of greatest benefit. In the privacy of our own psyches, we will free a good portion of our mind from paradoxes when we remind ourselves that all of our thoughts and feelings exist and are allowed to exist, even in contradiction. It is this internal recognition that will prevent us from saying one thing while we do another.

The cups represent the element of water. In the cups, we can see reflections of our feelings, and also the first physical attempts to bring the inspirations we receive from fire into the manifest world. The Five of Cups indicates both grief and what remains for us once we begin to process our losses effectively. There are not always reasons for everything or, more likely, anything. Meaning is something we craft as conscious beings—what Albert Camus called the invitation. By this, he meant that to lack an established destiny is to be invited to become an active collaborator with life and to forge who we are and how we live from our own creativity. To give up our sovereignty is always a mistake, no matter how much we might wish for larger inherent meanings; they are unlikely and we waste precious opportunities in our wishing. To become okay with grief as a companion, to accept that life means extraordinary loss and heartbreak, and to still say yes to what remains is to uncover the immaculate human heart. May we find something of incomparable value in our current sorrow.

illustration by Gurleen Rai