can't pin me down

what part of the underworld am i journeying through: knight of pentacles

things that are really hard for me:

  • sticking to a daily routine

  • having a schedule

  • making a plan and sticking to it

  • letting things develop slowly and on purpose

  • being patient

  • resting

  • packing

  • readjusting the plan after things get off track

things i would much rather do:

  • have one thousand fresh starts

  • spend a lot of energy setting up a new plan that will one hundred percent work this time

  • working really hard (too hard) to make something happen so that i don't have to readjust the plan

  • ignoring the past if it didn't go the way i wanted it to

  • stop talking about / referencing things that didn't work and pretending they don't exist


when any knight comes up, i think about it as a chance to check in with how we're moving through the world. quickly? methodically? with grace? and the knight of pentacles is the one most connected to the earth element - solid, grounded, sturdy.

knight of pentacles energy is making a list and then using that list to pack, and then double checking against that list once you have packed, and making notes about how best to update that list while you're on the journey.

knight of pentacles energy spends time learning how to shoot a bow, the history of archery, and then practices the stance, and aiming, and hand placement on the bow all before taking a shot.

knight of pentacles energy spends all winter reading through seed catalogues, sketching out garden bed designs, researching soil ammendments and letting the cover crops enrich the soil before ever planting a single seed.

when we talk about an underworld journey, we talk about going deep with parts of ourselves that are ready to evolve. the parts of ourselves that need healing. the parts we've outgrown. the lessons we're ready to integrate. we all have experiences that, irrevocably, change us. we enter them one way, and we come out another. harry potter and the forbidden forest. luke skywalker and the dagobah cave. bears in their cave in the winter. we lose parts of ourselves, and it is hard. scary. disorienting. painful. but it brings about the change we need to move to the next part of our lives.

and this card, in this spot, is a clear indication that it's time for me to think about and sit with my relationship to planning. to preparation. to moving in a methodical, measured way.

one of the reasons that it's hard for me to stick with a plan is that my body can be unpredictable. i have a chronic illness, endometriosis, that flares with my hormonal cycles. i have three good weeks a month, and then when i have my menstrual cycle, anything can happen. mostly, it shows up as extreme fatigue, brain fuzziness, and pain. i definitely don't want to, in those weeks, stick to my 5k training plan, or write my 750 words a day, or stick with my weekly schedule.

but this is more than that. this is bringing up a lot of my grief about the ways that my plans haven't saved me. they haven't protected me from pain, or confusion, or fear. my plans, in some big and spectacular ways, have failed.

i started a phd because i planned to be a professor.

i worked really hard in the teaching and learning center while doing my phd because i planned to move into that field when we inevitably moved for my husband's job.

i worked really hard to build a business that would be flexible so that i could continue growing it while i was pregnant and then caring for the kids we were planning on.

i worked incredibly hard, for years, to try and get pregnant. injections, diets, surgeries, ER trips, insurance calls, therapy, exercise plans, books, support groups, prayers, meditation, alternative medicine - they warned me it would be hard, but i did everything right, and more.

and yet.

i'm not a professor. i don't work in a teaching and learning center. i have a flexible business when i don't need to be flexible and might actually prefer more stability. and i've had two hard losses, permanent side effects from the meds, but no baby.

there is a world of words that i could write about all of it, but this card is gently guiding me to the idea that it's time to dig into why i feel so betrayed - not by the outcomes, i truly don't feel entitled to anything - but by the failed plans. plans had always been executed, and success more or less acheived, and then, they stopped working.

i planned, i packed, i monitored, and still, failure.

so for the last few months or so, i've been doing things with zero plans. taking trips, applying for jobs, starting projects, saying yes to things without thinking twice. i've been cancelling things, following interests, letting things wither that i wasn't interested in. surprising myself by getting really into things i thought i hated (running, writing) and letting things i've loved lie dormant (reading, painting).

so this month, maybe the time is right to explore what it would mean to plan again. not as a contract with the universe - no one gets to make one of those, but as a way of structuring my time and effort and energy. maybe moving methodically looks different to me now. maybe preparation feels different. maybe there are lessons in the anger. maybe there are gifts in the grief.

This month, Iā€™m writing every day as part of the Tarot for the Underworld challenge, hosted by Lindsay Mack of Tarot for the Wild Soul and Amy Kuretsky of Breathwork for Business Babes. See more on Instagram!