I had a mini breakdown... but I’m back now!

Collective readings

This is a 5-card spread by Emerald Lotus Divination called ‘A Conversation with my Greatest Fear’. It was such a powerful reading that once I was done, I got up, started planning my next steps, and haven’t looked back since.

Table of contents

These past few weeks have been rough for me. My mind did that thing where you go from confident to “what the fuck am I even doing with my life” as fast as Thanos can snap his finger.

I remember sitting in bed talking to Spirit. I said, “I’m going to do a reading right now and I’m asking you to speak to me. And if I don’t hear back from you in this reading, I’m going to quit and find something else to do with my life.” And, man, the reading I got was so touching, so freaking powerful, I decided to share it here because it felt too good to keep to myself.

See, when I chose this path of spiritual healing in August last year...I should say when this path chose me, because it felt more like a demand that was made from my soul... I made one deal with Spirit. I said, “you’re asking me to do the scariest thing I’ve ever done. What the fuck is tarot even? Who will understand? I’ll sound crazy. But I’ll do it, on one condition. You have to walk with me every single step of this way. If I need reassurance, you need to be there. If I need guidance, I’d better receive it. And if at any point in this journey I ask for help and I don’t get a response, I’m walking away.”

So we made the deal. And in all the months since, every time I’ve needed help, every time I’ve doubted myself, I’ve always had a support system that’s bigger than my fears.

And that pretty much sums up what we’re going to be doing in this reading…

This month’s reading

This is a 5-card spread by Emerald Lotus Divination called ‘A Conversation with my Greatest Fear’. It was such a powerful reading that once I was done, I got up, started planning and haven’t looked back since.

(Speaking of which, if you haven’t had the chance to check out my new website yet, please do! It’s beautiful and it’s my baby and I’m a very proud mama.) 😊

The Cards:

Card 1: Describe your greatest fear

The Emperor

I’ve been reading about personality archetypes, and the first archetype I read about was people who love structure. These are the people who mapped out their lives when they were children and will probably walk that path the rest of their life. This first archetype finds fulfillment through order satisfied. They like having a clearly defined job description where they do the same thing every day (probably something to do with numbers and detailed data), and they do it well. They don’t like living in a society with rapidly shifting beliefs and values. They probably have one religious belief that they grew up in and will not question, because they appreciate the order that it gives to their life.

If you’re reading this, I'm going to take a huge bet and say that this is not most of us. And then I'll take a further gamble and say that for a lot of the people reading this, our greatest fear... the thing we've been avoiding most of our adult life is taking real responsibility over our life.

And when I say real responsibility, I don’t mean the trivial things. My bills are paid. My deadlines are met. Those are not the things I have an issue with. I mean the responsibility of accepting that you are in control of where you steer your ship.

The responsibility of taking over the steering wheel and turning around if you’re not happy with where you’re going.

The responsibility of accepting that...and this is a difficult sentence for me to write...that the deep dissatisfaction we feel is largely our own fault, because we don’t want to put in the difficult work of changing at a fundamental level (and I’m of course excluding the dissatisfaction we ALL feel at having to survive in this capitalist, divisive, greed-driven landscape that we call home.)

I don’t know how you feel reading that, but it’s painful for me to admit to myself. Because once I own up to the responsibility I’ve been avoiding, it makes it difficult to crawl back into my shell of ignorance. Once I open my eyes to all the ways I’ve been living on autopilot, it’s like I’ve been shaken awake. And I don’t want to go back to sleep and wake up 10 years from now realizing that I've let even more of my life slip away.

I feel like a lot of people have this double-sided fear of taking responsibility over their life, but then are also scared of the consequences of not taking responsibility. It’s like a lose-lose situation where either side is equally scary, which is probably why we spend so many years stuck in the same place, afraid to move in any direction.

To get the most out of this card: reflect on how you’ve been avoiding responsibility in your own life. Where have you been living on autopilot? What have you been avoiding? What do you think will happen if you continue to live on autopilot? Name it in as much detail as possible. It's painful to do, but seeing it written on paper can be a powerful catalyst for emphasizing to yourself why you want to work to make things different.

Card 2: Why is this your greatest fear?

9 of Pentacles

Why are so many of us afraid to step into the full power we have as humans?

And I say ‘power’ because with great responsibility comes great power. (Yes, another Marvel joke. I’m on a roll.) You can’t have one without the other. Realizing the massive responsibility in your hands also means awakening to the incredible power you have within you to get the job done.

I’m not being dramatic — this is the one shift I’ve made that has helped me do incredible things this past year. I always knew I need to change my life. I never knew I had the power.

I spent years in therapy trying to build up my courage. It, sadly, did not work that well for me. But once I connected with the divine, once I learned to trust in my spiritual support system, once I started to ask for help and see it show up(!!!) that's when I realized I actually had the power to do this shit.

If you can’t see your power, there’s no way you’re going to want to take on all that responsibility. Your mind goes like, “Well, life on autopilot sucks, but it’s better than breaking myself under the weight of trying to change something impossible.”And it makes sense. If you believe that you’re going to fail, you’re not going to put yourself in the position to be proven right. So the mind keeps things as they are, and you remain stuck. And then, even worse, you blame yourself for not being good enough, strong enough, clever enough, whatever enough.

I really can’t stress the importance of having a spiritual support system. Having a source of strength you can call in whenever you need it. That’s the whole reason I do what I do — to help non religious people connect to their spirituality so that they don’t have to go through life alone. Because when you realize that you can work with strength even beyond your limited human capacity, baby, the game changes. And I am 100% speaking from my own experience.

To get the most out of this card: take some time to think about where you get your spiritual support from. Friends, family and therapists are great at building you up. But if you haven’t learned how to fill your own cup, you’ll always have to rely on someone else to fill it for you when it gets empty... which if you have anxiety can be multiple times a day, if we’re keeping it honest. What’s missing for you in your spiritual life? What would you like to see more of?

Card 3: How does this fear hold you back?

The High Priestess

I talk a lot about the eternal struggle between the mind and the soul. The soul is always nudging you in the right direction, speaking in whispers, telling you that you can do it. The mind typically doesn’t like any of Soul’s ideas because they’re new and unfamiliar, and it prefers to do what it’s already good at.

And when you—conscious, thinking you—are caught in the middle, it feels terrible. It’s confusing to wake up one day thinking, “I can totally do this,” and then by the end of the day to question and doubt yourself until you’re just about ready to give up. You never know which side is true. “Can I actually do this, or is the critical voice in my head telling me the truth?”

I knew for a fact that I had a problem because I once said these exact words to my therapist, “I would support anyone else who came to me with this idea, but when it’s my own idea I don’t know if it’s good enough.”

Logically, I knew the idea was good. But the critic in my head was so convincing at telling me that I was the broken piece in the plan — that the idea was perfect but in my hands, it would automatically fail. And because the mind is so much louder than the soul, for a lot of people it ends up winning. Even when you want to believe in yourself, even if you’re trying to push past your fears, if you haven’t learned how to work with your mind, it can totally end up wearing you down until you have no resistance left and you no longer question the things it says.

And that’s why in your spiritual work if you’re not learning how to work with your intuition, if you’re not learning to trust in your inner wisdom above everything else, then you’re honestly doing yourself a disservice. If you don’t trust your intuition then it’s difficult to trust yourself. And if you don’t trust yourself, how can you ever be sure that you’re walking the right path? Because I know what it feels like to take one step forward and two steps back every time, because the mind reaches out and pulls you back whenever you feel like you’re finally making progress. I’ve lived that. I still live that. And the only thing that keeps me going is the relationship I’ve built with my soul. I listen to it and trust it above everything else, and I’ve learned its voice so well that I know when a message is coming from soul versus when it’s just noise in the mind.

And so when we dig deeper into this fear of taking full power over your own life, as we’re uncovering the layers here, then you realize that it’s not about just being motivated or driven enough. The narrative that people who are lost just don’t want it badly enough is so demoralizing and basically just kicks you when you’re down. If you want to start to heal the fear, then start at the soul.

To go deeper with this card: Ask yourself, “do I trust myself?” And if the answer is “not well enough” then this is a great place to start to pay more attention to. I know for me, tarot, writing, and reading spiritual books are the quickest ways to shift my awareness from mind to soul. And I’m hesitant to even list these things because I don’t want to give the idea that you have to do some specific thing to connect with yourself. The activity is honestly not even the point. Even just a regular practice of “okay, I’m listening. What would you like to say to me?” is spiritual work. But I absolutely love tarot for giving me structure to communicate with Soul. Waiting for messages to pop up without any framework would not work for me, but it might be perfect for you!

Card 4: What do you need to learn about this fear?

2 of Swords

You need to learn to stop looking with the mind and start looking through the eyes of your intuition. You need to learn that thoughts are actually not the most important thing, even if they feel that way.

You need to learn that you’re not going to be able to make the progress you want to make without overcoming this fear. And that doesn’t mean never having this fear ever again. Not at all. A lot of us make the mistake of thinking that healing means getting rid of the uncomfortable feelings. That’s not true, and that can actually derail healing by making us think we’re broken because we’re still having these feelings.

Healing is turning up the volume of the soul high enough that the criticism in the mind doesn’t stop us from doing what we want to do.

If you’ve been confused about your spiritual journey, if you’ve been confused about what to do or where to start, that is the roadmap. That is the destination. You'll still feel the same uncomfortable feelings. You'll still have the same boogeyman hiding under your bed. The difference is that now you know he’s imaginary, and so you don’t spend so much of your precious energy trying to fight him.

A healed you is not a version of you that never gets scared. A healed you is a version of you that feels the fear and has enough inner support to navigate the fear and come out on the other side — even if it takes a couple of days to make that journey. And every time you’ve been able to do that in the past, that is proof that you are healing.

To go deeper with this card: Look for all the little victories that you have in your day and celebrate those. Tell Soul thank you for showing up for you and giving you the strength to respond to that text, to open that email with a scary headline, to speak about your dreams and goals out loud. Write your victories down. Clap for yourself. Stop waiting to *feel* healed, and start looking for all the proof that you’re already halfway there.

Card 5: How can you face this fear?

Knight of Wands


We’ve come full circle, folks. How do you step into the Emperor energy of the first card? We started out with a fear of action, and now the reading closes with a card about action.

We’ve talked so much about the inner work that needs to be done. But healing doesn’t serve you if it’s not creating any real change in your external life. The whole point is to help you tap into your highest self in your everyday life. So you can’t just have your spirituality be something you do for 15 minutes in the morning and then put aside and go out into the ‘real world’. It has to be something that’s integrated into you — that you take with you as you move, like a tortoise carries its shell on its back.

So the Knight of Wands has popped up here— very perfectly, I might add— to tell you to stand up, shake out your legs and start moving.

And if that sounds too simplistic, I promise you, when you let Soul lead the way, you will be amazed at how the path unfolds before you. My teacher said that to me way before I ever believed her, and now I’m saying it because I’ve lived it.

So thank you for allowing me to share this reading with you. And a huge shout-out to Iva for being the newest subscriber! Yay!!! 😊

If you have any questions or just want to chat about the reading, please feel free to email at me@terriwanjiku.com and I'll get back to you within a day or two.

Until the next reading, be safe and be well.