La Loba Spread: Air and Fire

Vickie from Eternal Athena Tarot (IG: eternal.athena.tarot) created a very interesting spread called “La Loba” that was inspired by her reading of “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. The spread is as follows:

Image: Victoria Wilson

This spread is based on the myth of La Loba, a half-wolf, half-human crone who searches the desert landscape for bones that she reassembles and eventually sings back to life. The myth is about reclaiming our power as women, those aspects of ourselves that we lock down tightly, the harder edges that we soften to be more pleasing to society, the parts of our essential selves that we lose along the way. I actually pulled these cards nearly two weeks ago and have been sitting with them, letting them simmer, come together, letting the flavors blend, so to speak. Here they are:

Fountain Tarot

Who is the wild woman within? Knight of Swords
Where do I gather my bones? King of Wands
How do I express her? 7 of Swords

I’ve been doing a lot of work with the Knight of Swords over the past month or two, unintentionally, really. This card has come up quite a bit for me of late, particularly in the days prior to my interview in November (which ultimately landed me my new position). I was initially resistant to it because I just don’t see myself in this Knight at all – or rather, I didn’t. Sharp edges?? I am the master of earth and water, subtle, calm energies, soft edges. But as I sat with it I realized that there are many aspects of the Knight of Swords that I do see reflected in myself: problem solving, quick thinking, perception, the ability to see to the core of a matter, being clever, and having the ability to be very clear and precise in communication. However I still didn’t see my Self as the Knight of Swords – embracing some qualities, perhaps, but not truly living in that skin. And then… I pulled these cards, and my wild woman within is none other than the Knight of Swords! And yet it all makes sense. I care a lot about other people, and always seek a way to meet others where they’re at, no matter where they are coming from. I am very careful with my use of words because I know how easy it can be to be misunderstood, and to misunderstand, too. However in many ways I’ve hidden aspects of myself in order to be easier to swallow. As Marianne Williamson wrote about in her famous quote, I often “played small” in order to reduce the potential insecurity of others. However in the process I diminished my own voice, and my own sense of personal power. I remember listening to my sociolinguistics professor speak about “hedging” – a behavior more often employed by women than by men in an attempt to minimize the impact of their ideas or thoughts by allowing space for doubt, ambiguity, or lack of authority. For example: “Trump seems to have challenging perspectives, but I don’t really know much about politics.” I never thought I “hedged” but I have come to realize that I do it far more than I realized. I may not always hedge in terms of word choice (though I certainly do that, too); I also hedge with body language, via the use of smiles or certain gestures, or even via tone of voice. However I am rarely unsure about what I think or want. Sure, sometimes I need to do some investigating, or perhaps sit with a concept for some time before I can wrap myself around it, but during that period I am simply quiet and contemplative. In general, I am often very clear about what needs to be done, what I want or don’t want, but I often hedge as a way of diminishing any potential abrasive impact that comes from simply stating what you mean, from being very clear and sure of yourself, and for being unapologetic about that clarity. The Knight of Swords is my wild woman within. I gather bones from all of the ways in which I can embody the King of Wands – the fiery passion, the great visionary sight that draws people in like moths to a flame, that brings minds together around an idea in order to manifest it. These are things I am capable of, but rarely recognize or live out. The 7 of Swords is how I express her. Through clarity (and strategy, at times) in the written and spoken word. Though recognizing, and being honest with myself, about my underlying swords-nature. By not hiding or apologizing for my ideas. By knowing the difference between diplomacy and presenting a false-face. A sword is a tool, not something to be afraid of.  When wielded well, with strength, honor, and truth, even the 7 of Swords can be a powerful force for positive growth and development.