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Diary

Lockdown Diary: Day 1

Today is the first day of Melbourne third lockdown.

There ━ a sentence I was praying never to write. The authority announced it yesterday afternoon; said it’s going to be only for five days and calling it a circuit break. As if making it sound mechanical could help to ease the despair.

I wanted to share my experience here, diary-style, as I regret not doing it consistently during the last previous lockdowns. Also, I figured surely I can commit for five days.

Today, on the day one, I woke up, turned off the alarm, recounted my blessings, drank my bed-coffee and shuffle my tarot cards.

First, I drew the card for the day, Queen of Pentacles and Judgement flew out. Then, I did a lockdown tarot spread. By the time I finished journaling Fafa had come back from the market (shopping for essential is still allowed) with an almond croissant. What a treat!

I stayed on the bed until past noon, which seemed the least I could do for myself in the name of self-care after the work week I had combined with the lockdown announcement and having had to cancel both the Airbnb and dinner-date to celebrate Valentine this weekend.

After that, I did healing yoga, showered and went to the market myself. I wanted to get myself some flowers and the over-priced hipster juice from there, which I deemed as my happiness potion. Unfortunately, the roses were also over-priced and the hipster food store was closed. Instead, I came back with stuffed capsicum and quinoa salad for lunch, red velvet Vals cupcake and iced coffee for Fafa.

I read for a while but then thought I’d give my weary brain some rest and joined Fafa to half-watch Your Honor while browsing Affirmations decks on Etsy.

For dinner, we ordered fancy-ish take-away to recreate the date night that we had to cancel. We got Szechuan style king prawns and spicy fried rice from Dainty Szechuan and when we realised we forgot dessert, tiramisu from Thirty Eight Chairs.

I also watched The Descent (2005), it was really good; and The Neighbour (2017), which was extremely boring.

Right before bed, I called my parents and got an earful to be extra cautious as if being put on lockdown is not enough. And with that, I shall retire this first day take three.

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Seven of Swords Fifth Spirit Tarot
Tarot

Strategizing With The Seven of Swords

During a recent tarot reading, the Seven of Swords kept appearing. And every time it did, I sucked my breath grudgingly. As you might have noticed, I had never written about it before because, well, I am kind anxious around it.

Unlike other cards that I am not a fan of, because either I don’t have much understanding of (Temperance) or just not that into (Queen of Pentacles), I am all too familiar with the Seven of Swords.

Especially the young me.

As a teenager living under a strict roof of my traditional Indian parents, I have called upon and emulated the Seven of Swords energy plenty of time. Tricking, not telling the whole truth or just plain lying to manipulating ━ I have done it all ━ just to have a chance of a normal teenager life; like eating pizza with friends, not coming straight home after school or going to a friend’s house over the weekend.

Learning the Seven of Swords as a tarot-loving adult unwillingly brought back all those childhood memories ━ or traumas, depends on how I feel like framing it. Either way, it wasn’t fun; hence I avoid hanging-out with the Seven of Swords.

Back to the reading, I was expecting advice along the “beware of trickers and manipulations” line, but the reader kept saying “strategize” whenever the Seven of Swords popped up.

At the end of the session, I asked why, and she said:

“Because it asks you to strategize. You might have the tools, but you need to know how to use it for your advantage to achieve what you want — kind of like The Magician.”

Seven of Swords is the strategy card

Before then, I had never seen the Seven of Swords in a positive light. Strategize doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Maybe I can work with it to slowly rewrite my childhood stories.

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Four of Wands Fifth Spirit Tarot Deck
Tarot

At Home With The Four of Wands

We are looking for the Four of Wands“, Glenys the tarot reader told me as she laid out the black cloth with numbered boxes painted on it. She went on saying that:

“The Four of Wands is the card that indicates anything house related”.

Back home, after the unfavorable reading, I flipped through the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck on my nightstand to find the Four of Wands card.

It took me a while as the card didn’t resemble the classic Rider Waite Smith. In the RWS the Four of Wands potrayed fancy gown wearing people, garlands, grapes, flowers and a castle in the background.

There was none of it on the Four of Wands card that I was holding. There were no wands. Oil lamps have replaced the wands, surrounding a vintage cooker. Burning fire. A boiling kettle and a sizzling pan on top of it.

Could it be… breakfast food?

The image reminded me of the mornings in the Echuca farmhouse, where I was greeted by a very similar scene in the kitchen — of Fafa making us coffee and breakfast.

This card carries so much more home-ey vibe for me than the classic RWS. After all, I don’t envision a castle when I dream of my nest, but more of being greeted by a warm home-cooked meal.

I put the card on my altar for the day, to attract the new home energy that I wish for.

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cafe cucinetta murphy street south Yarra Nine of Pentacles
Tarot

Dining With The Nine of Pentacles

I drew the Nine of Pentacles today from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck as a daily tarot reading. The card portrayed a banquet from the reader POV. Later, on the same day, Liz treated me the most delicious Italian dinner I have ever eaten in Melbourne at Cucinetta.

Right before we ate, I managed to snap a picture of our meals which reminded me of the image on the card. And that, my friend, was one of tarot-imitating-life moments for me.

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The Fifth Spirit Tarot deck
Tarot

Tarot Decks I Am Lusting Over in 2021

Here are some tarot decks I am lusting over — and willing to part with my a portion of my pay-check in exchange for, in 2021 (I updated the list hence the repost).

Sorted by my level of obsession from top to bottom. Prices are in USD, excluding shipping.

1. Fifth Spirit Tarot – $55

A queer and inclusive deck for a world beyond binaries, Fifth Spirit Tarot, by Charlie Claire Burgess. It will be my next purchase once the Australia stockist, Seeker Tarot, has it.

Update: I bought it! It’s here, I have been practicing with it and absolutely enjoying the artwork and the card quality. Highly recommend it.

2. Yokai Yochi Tarot – $53

This deck portrays ghosts, folklore, and traditional Japanese artwork. All things that I am drawn to. I hesitated a bit to when I saw the cards, because it’s grey and well.. creepy, but I can’t think of a better deck to accompany me on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage I have been planning for.

You can pre-order now to be shipped in July 2021.

3. Mother Tarot – $69

A colourful, beautifully drawn, square-shaped deck, by the same creator who created The Dark Days Tarot, Wren McMurdo Brignac.

You can pre-order now until July to be shipped latest by September 2021.

4. Tarot Visions of Life – $60

This deck uses humour to illuminate different life situation and with a keyword written on the bottom of the image, it has a bit of oracle vibes. But the illustrations are colourful, light and funny. Feels like a deck we all could use to navigate during this period of uncertainty. Also free shipping to Australia. Yes pls!

5. The Ink Witch Tarot – $40

I am surprised this deck hasn’t got a cult following. The beautifully hand-illustrated cards have subtle shades of grey, making it the third grey-dominated deck on this list. It might just be the the theme of my deck choice for this year.

6. CoronaTarot – $40

Finally, the deck that fits our current life collectively. If you tend to lean against dark humour to navigate through life’s woes, as do I at times, maybe this is the best deck to get this year.

7. The Future Ancestors Tarot – $65

Created by Filipina-American artist and tarot reader, Alexa Villanueva. Read her inspiring story in full here.

8. Cosmic Cycles Tarot – $40

Created by Martina Razo and illustrated by Miriam E.G. This deck has been on my list for more than a year. I almost bought it last year but it was cancelled at the last minute by the seller due to international shipment issue no-thanks to Covid.

It’s currently sold-out.

If none of the above is your deck-of-tea, here are others that I also like: The Not So Mystical Tarot Deck $47, The Shuffle Tarot, Tarot Mood by Natalie Meraki – $40, Kaleidadope Tarot: A Dope Deck – $55, Hungry Demon Tarot – $48, The Quirky Creatives Tarot – $39, Third Eye Tarot – $48.

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Ace of Swords The Fifth Spirit Tarot Deck
Tarot

Ace of Clarity

I pulled Ace of Swords from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck today. Ace of Swords is about clarity, and my mind is anything but that.

My un-caffeinated brain (Fafa was out so no bed coffee for me this morning) is riddled with period haze, pending work-tasks, impending lockdown announcement, the messy desk, the even messier cupboards, and the ever-growing to-do list seems out of control, the floating-in-the-air goals and sans travel plans in the horizon.

So yeah, I feel anything but clear right now, but maybe that’s precisely why the Ace of Swords made an appearance. As in I am invited to bring clarity into my mind, my list and my life.

My hand is being offered the knife (Sword). Therefore, it’s my choice to grab it — or not. And if I do, what to do with it. Maybe it’s for me to use it to sort through things mentally first, before tending to the rest.

🖋️ K

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Fifth Spirit Tarot Spread Interview
Tarot

Fifth Spirit Tarot Deck Interview

Hello Fifth Spirit Tarot, tell me about yourself!

1. Your vibe:

Two of Cups.

2. What type of reading suits you best/What are you good at?

Six of Wands.

3. What is a challenge for you?

Page of Cups.

4. How to treat you?

Judgement.

5. How do you spill your tea?

Ten of Wands.

6. What are you here for?

Page of Wands.

7. Our vibes together:

Ten of Swords.

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