Eight Useful Tarot Spreads Day 4: Toolkit spread

Today’s post is a review of the Toolkit tarot spread from Evvie Marin’s Eight Useful Tarot Spreads for Times of Change and Resistance.

I stayed with the theme of navigating despair and discouragement. The spread is meant to help the reader recognize, utilize, and uncover tools and resources.

So let’s jump into the toolkit and see what’s available to help us build our way out of the discouragement.

First of all, I really love this spread. I appreciate all the variations that Marin’s post offers, and I love the way it brings three separate spreads together and allows for reading them together or individually.

I also loved this reading. Sometimes the deck is just so gentle and helpful. I hope you find some help (and some hope) here too.

Image description: A nine-card spread, laid out in three rows of three. The top row is Page of Pentacles, The Emperor, Five of Swords. The middle row is Five of Pentacles, Six of Swords, Six of Cups. The bottom row is Two of Cups, Knight of Cups, Four of Swords.

The top shelf (row) of the toolkit:

To Fix: Page of Pentacles. We can mend our sense of hopeful movement towards stability and a more just material world. The Page of Pentacles here invites us to repair and renew our curiousity, our willingness to try something new, and our enthusiasm for resisting injustice and building something better.

To Break: The Emperor. Oh, how my heart loves this. Break that pattern of imperialism, colonialism, patriarchy. Break the habits of control and power being privileged over justice. Break the systems of privilege that harm us all.

To Measure: Five of Swords. Assess where we are at risk, where we are under threat, where we are in conflict. And also assess where we are not. Where we can resist conflict, where we can choose collaboration.

The middle shelf (row) of the toolkit:

A Talent: Five of Pentacles. The Five of Pentacles is about scarcity, material lack, necessary resources that feel out of reach. For those of us on the margins, struggling with despair and discouragement and with scarcity and lack (especially the intergenerational poverty faced by Black and Indigenous folks), we have been learning how to live within scarcity our whole lives. We are able to weave safety nets out of the thin threads available to us, and that’s magical. But I also think that this points to a talent for seeing things as they are. We can recognize where the scarcity is artificially imposed.

A Resource: Six of Swords. This position in the spread is about external resources, and this card is also about accessing help and external resources. Other people (other communities, other folks within our communities, perhaps even accomplices outside of our communities), may be able to help us build our way out. Who has insight we could benefit from? Who has energy, time, space, or material resources that could help us? This card invites us to ask.

A Skill: Six of Cups. We have such deep roots in our communities. We have strong connections to our joy and our dreams. Holding onto those dreams is a skill. It is something we have had to develop over time. Every survival strategy, every coping mechanism that we have cultivated over our lives, has roots and we have tended to those roots. We have built these skills. And now we can draw on them to help us build our way out of discouragement.

The bottom shelf (row) of the toolkit:

What’s Hidden: Two of Cups. There is connection available to us. Balanced, wholehearted, joyful connection. Relationship. Friendship. Community. Sometimes it’s hidden – despair and discouragement leave us feeling isolated and alone. The connection available to us sometimes ends up hidden. And I think that sometimes call out culture contributes to this, too (and ties this card to the Five of Swords).

How to Unlock It: Knight of Cups. We can unlock that connection and community by going after it, pursuing it, turning our focus on it and keeping it as a goal for ourselves. Fight the isolation of discouragement by actively pursuing connection.

Where to Apply It: Four of Swords. Ah, friends. Can we rely on our communities to enable us in resting and renewing ourselves? Wow. What a beautiful invitation. Working together, leaning on each other, feeling safe together – it can allow us to access peace, rest, renewal.

I love this spread.

And I really love reading tarot.

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