Two of pentacles is a perfect card to exemplify the dialectical approach – you have to balance acceptance of who you are with the necessity of change.
I’m only a few weeks into DBT, but from this beginner’s perspective it seems that Wise Mind is the core of this therapeutic approach.
Within DBT, the theory is that there are two minds that everyone is aware of: Emotion Mind and Reason Mind. Being in either for too long can be problematic, and acting from either can also cause issues. Wise Mind is said to be the synthesis of these two opposites. Before we act, especially if we’re experiencing powerful emotions, we’re encouraged to try to find Wise Mind and discover what Wise Mind would do in the situation.
This is not easy. But I have found – again only over the past few weeks – that shifting my focus to something else before I act can be very helpful. Hence this spread. It’s just a variation on the three card spreads that most people are familiar with, but I’ve really found that it helps. The cards are arranged:
One Three Two
One is Emotion Mind – what do our emotions and values urge us to do?
Two is Reason Mind – what do logic and detachment tell us to do?
Three is Wise Mind – where is the middle path between these two? How can we validate our emotions and still act in a way that takes logic and effectiveness into account?
I love this spread because it is simple. It’s accessible to me even when my emotions are taking over my mind – which really is the point of it.
What kind of tarot reader do I want to be? I first started trying to read tarot when I was about thirteen. I was fascinated by these cards that I couldn’t understand. I had a deck of cards that, in my adult life, I have come to truly hate. But they got me, they caught me. Tarot was where my pagan journey officially started, and tarot is where I return now that things seem to have fallen to pieces. The kind of tarot reader I want to be is me.
I’ve tried to put on tarot personas when I read, and all that has done was put distance between my cards and me.
I’ve known tarot as a tool for communicating with discarnate entities, and when that was what I used it for most often I found that I imbued it with a kind of reverence that, again, served only to distance me from the cards.
I work best with tarot cards when I use them to better understand myself, my life, and my circumstances. That, for me, is when they really come alive. When the Eight of Swords pops up to tell me that I’m not as powerless as I feel, when The Star appears to let me know that, for now, things will be OK – that’s when I feel the cards in my soul.
One day I need to write a love letter to the Eight of Swords – that old friend whose appearance always means that I’m allowing my sovereignty to be taken from me.
The borderline unstable sense of self is a real bitch, but I’m learning to find the things that make me feel not only like a self that is real, but like a self that I’m glad to be. Tarot is one of those things, and that’s really why I’m doing this.