Ask Willow

If you’ve got a problem that you’d like help or guidance with, an issue that you would like to understand better, or advice about how you can move on in your life, you can email me and I will consult the Tarot on your behalf by picking three cards at random and interpreting them.

In terms of phrasing your question, be as clear as you can about what you want to ask, and avoid ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. The clearer you can be, the more likely you are to get a helpful reading. I cannot answer questions about third parties.

My email address is willow@willowmerrymoon.co.uk


Stay or Go

Question: What I want to know is should I return to my present work? J.

ANSWER - Hello J, thanks for your question about your work. I am going to break the question down into three parts for the purpose of your reading, as follows below. I hope you find it helpful, cheers, Willow.

Three of Swords
Three of Swords
Five of Coins
Five of Coins
Eight of Cups
Eight of Cups

Answer: THREE OF SWORDS - What is underpinning your uncertainty about whether or not to return to your present work? This is quite a difficult card and it seems to indicate that there has been a lot of upset and sorrow when you were last at work. It's as though somebody else pushed their way in and you began to feel discounted and soon felt more like an outsider than a colleague. This has left you questioning whether you want to carry on or not.

FIVE OF COINS - What are the advantages and disadvantages of returning to your present work? This is another difficult card. It shows two people walking away from somewhere that could have sheltered them. They are wrapped up against the cold and feeling decidedly unhappy. Also, the place they're walking away from has several precarious staircases. This could suggest that you've done several of these staircases, i.e. climbed the professional ladder and don't really know if there's anywhere else to go with it. If you don't return, it could lead to a period of depression, feeling a sense of loss. I guess the advantages of returning are that you have continuing status and income, staying with what you know - could it be a question of better the devil you know?

EIGHT OF CUPS - What are the advantages and disadvantages of not returning to your present work? This card is a really positive one. It's about knowing when it's time to move on! The decision that the person is making is about leaving behind something that has been really good, and there is a slight reluctance, a wondering why should she move on when things have been so good. The point is that the time is right for her. She is moving on to new adventures, a new phase. She accepts that that's what she needs to do and embraces the new phase in her life. The good that's been had will still be with her, it can't be lost. But she is now climbing the next cliff, and with gusto. That seems like the advantages. The disadvantages may be that it would be quite a challenge to move on. The prospect of something or somewhere different might seem daunting because of having to take on so much that is new, but it's only your own fears and doubt that make you think like that, rather than the reality of what could come.

To sum up, it does seem like there is something to be gained by each scenario, and something lost, but the Eight of Cups is by far the most positive and hope-filled card. What you do is ultimately up to you but I hope this has helped to give you some clarity, and I wish you all the best. Willow.

Posted at 09:04 on 19/04/2016

To Be or Not To Be

Question: There's an old friend who came back into my life last year. The situation is complex with regard to moving forward. Do I tell him how I really feel and will it be the outcome I want if I do? Yvette.

Nine of Swords
Nine of Swords
Ten of Cups
Ten of Cups
Two of Swords
Two of Swords

Answer: Hi Yvette, here is your three-card reading. I have divided the question into three parts and I hope you find it helpful. Cheers, Willow.

1. NINE OF SWORDS. What have the cards got to say about the complexity of the situation? This card shows that you are really worried about someone else's feelings if you were to get involved with your friend. It looks like it is causing you some sleepless nights and maybe you think you will have guilt as well if you go ahead. However, the card also tells you that you are worrying more than you need to.

2. TEN OF CUPS. What is causing you to hesitate about telling your friend how you really feel? This card seems to confirm an aspect of the first card. It shows a lovely, happy situation, a nice family who are all happy together and you are afraid of spoiling someone else's life. Yet the feeling I get is that you are not seeing the whole picture, that there is stuff going on behind the scenes that isn't quite as wonderful as you think. These first two cards tell me that you are a kind, caring and thoughtful woman who tends to put other people's needs before your own.

3. TWO OF SWORDS. If you do tell him, what is the likely outcome? This card suggests that even if you tell him, you will still have ambivalent feelings, but that doesn't mean that they can't be resolved. You will ultimately have to make up your mind either to commit or withdraw. In other words, you can have what you want but think carefully. Do you actually know what you really want? If so, go for it. Might you just be hankering after the past? Only you can know. The choice is yours.

Posted at 10:34 on 18/05/2015

TO STAY OR TO GO

Question: I have been having a very tough time maintaining the love and energy I have for my job. There are several times a day that I start to question myself as a worker and a leader. So much so that it comes home with me and I have self doubt about myself as a person. I have been using all my creative outlets to keep me emotionally grounded and satisfied. There is a lot of positive feedback from my art but I cannot bring myself to get away from the security of my job. I am willing to go back to school to try something new or risk it and try my art, but really, I want to know if my current work life will get better, if I should power through this lull?

Death
Death
Two of Coins
Two of Coins
Ace of Rods
Ace of Rods

Answer: Thanks, T, for your question. I've have considered your question carefully and have addressed it by dividing it into three separate questions. I hope you find it to be of some help.


1. WHAT ARE THE UNDERLYING ISSUES? - DEATH. You seem to be feeling that you are at the end of what you can do/how you can develop, either the job or yourself, in your current workplace. It's as though you are dying inside and need something new and different to happen. You feel as though something should have happened by now and it just seems like this will never be resolved. Does this resonate with past experiences and situations, where you have been left with a sense of hopelessness? Yet it looks like there is still fertile ground where you work, and a new development is possible if you can hang on a bit longer for a while.

2. THE BENEFITS AND RISKS OF LEAVING AND DOING SOMETHING ELSE - TWO OF COINS. The first thing about this is the obvious, which you implied by your comment on financial security -could you manage? There's a real balancing act going on here. This fairy is not only balancing coins but standing on tip-toes in a very precarious position. She can't look down and look up at the same time so she needs to have total body awareness. Are you worried about how a change would impact on not only your finances, but your physical health as well? If you decide to leave your job to pursue something else, you would need to be fully prepared and know exactly what you are doing, so investigate all the possibilities thoroughly. The benefits are the freedom to be much more fully yourself without the constraints that your job imposes. There are, of course, bound to be other constraints because you still need to earn a living. However, you would be in more control of it, and the decisions will be yours.

3. THE WAY FORWARD - ACE OF RODS. Well, that's very clear. Whether you stay in your job, or leave to retrain/work with your art, you need to be prepared to focus all of your energy on it. Feeling wishy-washy about it won't make for a successful outcome. Whatever decision you make, it doesn't mean that there won't be anxieties about whether you've done the right thing; rather, it's about having the focus in spite of that - acknowledging your feelings but not feeding them. Keeping your eyes on the task/goal is what is required in order to achieve what you want.

Posted at 10:47 on 07/09/2014

A HEALTH DILEMMA

Question: I've been having problems with my kidneys for a long time and the doctors want me to start on dialysis. When a neighbour went on dialysis last year he seemed to go downhill fast and died with three months. I'm terrified the same thing will happen to me. I don't know what to do.
Many thanks. Simon

Four of Coins
Four of Coins
Seven of Cups
Seven of Cups
Four of Rods
Four of Rods

Answer: Thank-you, Simon, for your question. I have broken it down into three parts in order to get some understanding, as follows

1. Four of Pentacles. What else might be at the root of your fear?

You seem to want to hold onto what you've got - i.e. people close to you, and you fear that if you go on dialysis, they might not support you in the same way as they have been doing up until now.

2. Seven of Cups. What can support you in making the decision?

This card suggests that it would be really helpful if you could explore all the options, advantages and disadvantages, in order to have the information you need to make a truly informed choice. I'm wondering if you could create the opportunity to do so by seeing someone who has all the facts and can remain impartial.

3. Four of Wands. Advice of the Tarot.

Keep yourself in a place, in every sense, where you feel safe, and as comfortable as possible. Avoid putting yourself under any unnecessary pressure to look after others. Focus on getting your own needs met.

I hope you find this helpful, and I wish you all the best.

Willow

Posted at 02:08 on 30/04/2012

Holding On

Question: Nine years ago my mum died and I still can't get over it. I feel stuck, can't get on with living my life and all my friends are getting really fed up with me. I feel desperate but don't know what to do. Diane.

Eight of Coins
Eight of Coins
The Devil
The Devil
Ace of Cups
Ace of Cups

Answer: l. The Eight of Pentacles is an interesting first card. I would have expected it to be a really sad card, yet this one tells me that you've been working really hard at actually avoiding moving on - I wonder if this comes as a surprise to you or if deep down inside you are aware of it. It's not uncommon for people who are grieving to be afraid of 'getting over it' because of the fear that they might forget the loved one, feel disloyal because they start to enjoy life again, or any other reason. Perhaps the clue to this lies in the next card.

2. The Devil does suggest that you were very attached to your mum, very close indeed. Was she your best friend? You are probably feeling like you've lost your right arm and can't function without mum. In a way, it's not surprising that your friends feel as they do. They would no doubt love to support you but you are shutting them out and not letting them help you move on. I wonder if you might benefit from some bereavement counselling to help you understand your relationship with your mum more and get some closure.

3. The Ace of Cups is a fabulous last card - it shows you that there is 'life after death', so to speak. It is possible for you to be happy again and the fact that you have written to me certainly suggests that you are ready to start moving on. You'll no doubt have heard this before, but just imagine your mum sitting in the chair opposite to you and talking to you. What would she be saying? Listen to her, and take action. Your GP should be able to tell you about bereavement counselling services in your area, and I do recommend that you seriously think about it. I wish you all the best for the future, Diane.

Posted at 00:27 on 12/02/2012

Getting Out

Question: I've been off work ill for a few years and feel I am at last ready to work again. The problem is that I've lost all my confidence and can't imagine anyone wanting to take me on. Please can you help? Charlotte.

Two of Cups
Two of Cups
Four of Swords
Four of Swords
King of Coins
King of Coins

Answer: 1. The Two of Cups shows that you are feeling much more in harmony with yourself after a long period of mental and emotional distress. It also looks like you're afraid that if you put any stress on yourself you might go backwards a few steps and destroy all the hard work you've already put into getting yourself well.

2. The Four of Swords shows that you are bored now and fed up of just being at home. However, home is where you feel safe so it's really hard for you to be active outside the home. The problem is that the longer you stay there, the harder it will be to engage with the world again. A good confidence-builder in your circumstances is to start by doing some voluntary work - it can be as little as you like so that you gradually get your confidence back. There'll be lots of opportunities for all sorts of volunteering where you live - you could try your local Voluntary Services Agency, the library, charity shops. It's not necessarily going to be easy to take the first step but you can do it. Imagine yourself doing something, e.g. walking dogs, serving at a homeless shelter, helping in a charity shop, whatever you like doing and see yourself doing well.

3. The King of Pentacles is a fantastic card for you. This shows that when the time is right and you feel ready to apply for jobs, there is an employer there waiting to take you on. Good luck, Charlotte

Posted at 00:12 on 12/02/2012

Backwards or Forwards

Question: Six months ago I was made redundant from a profession (in architectural design). I have no bond to it anymore but have spent ten years of my working life in this field. Since then I have drifted without any direction other than the desire to create art. But with this I am so loaded with expectations, that I trip myself up before I get out of the started gate. I need to know what my purpose in life is, how I can move forward and what type of work to look for that will support me in this journey. I don't know if I should go back to my previous career for security, or get some part-time work whilst I move through all this. I am frustrated, confused and in need of guidance.

Eight of Coins
Eight of Coins
Two of Coins
Two of Coins
The Hierophant
The Hierophant

Answer: Answer - In order to be clear about what aspect each card is addressing, I have formulated your reading into three questions.

1. What is the major stumbling-block which is preventing you from moving forward with your life? Here we have the Eight of Pentacles. You have always been very hard-working and you may have feelings of guilt that you are not doing so right now. The dilemma is - do you go back to what you know to be a safe option, or do you take the risk and pursue what you really want to do? I'm wondering how you think other people view where you are now in your life? Are you worried you might be letting other people dow or seen as a having failed in some way? Perhaps a significant part of the problem is tied up with concerns about being a disappointment. It seems like you are afraid to move forward at least partly because of what others will think.

2. What will support you right now to enable you to move on? Two of Pentacles. This card is telling you that your judgement is clouded by the issues above and it is difficult for you to see what to do because of other people's ideas and the way you feel judged. What could really help you is for you to take a step back - is it possible for you to get some time alone with your own thoughts in order to see your own situation more clearly? If so, you will find that although you are still weighing things up before moving forwards, it will be much more manageable and not so overwhelming. Carrying other people's baggage only drags you down and holds you back.

3.What might be the challenges/opportunities that lie ahead? Here we have the Hierophant. The biggest challenge of this card is about you wanting to 'move outside the box', to allow yourself to do something that is not particularly conventional - a big change when you have spent so many years in a well-respected profession. You don't know how your life will go if you take the leap - if you do so, will you fall into the abyss? It seems like fear plays a large part in maintaining your position of 'stuckness'. However, if you can overcome your fear and take the leap, you may be surprised by how much at home you feel and how fulfilling you find your involvement with art, in whatever way you choose to express it. The Hierophant also suggests that you could benefit a great deal from talking to someone who has no emotional involvement with you. Who springs to mind? Whilst it may not be easy for you to ask for help, talking over your options and exploring possibilities will enable you to know just what you want and to find a way of achieving that. Take it step by step, break your journey down into achievable steps and be more understanding towards yourself.

Posted at 12:22 on 21/12/2010

HOME OR ABROAD

Question: My grandmother died a while ago and I have just found out that she left me a lot of money. I'm in my mid-twenties and have always wanted to travel so this seemed like a golden opportunity. However, my parents think it would be dangerous for a woman travelling alone and also think I should do something 'worthy' with some of the money, like putting it towards the deposit on a house. I still live with my parents and have always done what I thought would please them, but I'm not ready to make the commitment of buying a house and would far rather go round the world for a year. I don't want to upset them but I do want to do something that pleases me for a change.

King of Rods
King of Rods
Five of Swords
Five of Swords
Queen of Swords
Queen of Swords

Answer: l. It looks like your father in particular has a really strong influence over you. Undoubtedly he loves you very much and has your best interests at heart and your strong bond with him makes it difficult for you to make your own decisions when they conflict with what he thinks is right for you. As long as you remain under your parents' roof it will be hard for you to be your own person. It's likely that your dad still thinks of you as 'his little princess' and hasn't realized yet that you are grown-up now.

2. Is this the scene you imagine when you think about going against your parents' wishes? A fight with no good outcome? Is your fear holding you back? You could carry on as you are but where would you be in five years from now? Separating from one's close family can be difficult, especially when you've been living with them for so long - but for you to fulfil yourself and grow as a person, it has to be done.

3. Well, here you are, the Queen of Swords, very much your own person. And this is indeed who you can be if you have the courage of your convictions and do what you feel is right for you. And does it have to be all or nothing - travel or a house - perhaps there is room for both? You are an adult with the right to do what's right for you, so talk to your parents honestly and openly - I've just pulled a fourth card to see what the outcome may be and it's the ACE OF PENTACLES - what a fantastic card - just go for it!

Posted at 00:56 on 11/07/2010

SEXUALITY

Question: I am a fifteen-year-old boy and my problem is a bit embarrassing. I think I might be gay. I've never been interested in girls, not like a boyfriend-girlfriend sort of thing, just as mates, and some of my friends at school have been teasing me. They don't mean any harm, they are great friends but they don't understand how it hurts me when they call me silly names like 'puffter'. I can't bring myself to tell them what I really feel and I don't know where to turn for help. Are there other boys like me? I don't know of anyone else.

Knight of Swords
Knight of Swords
Five of Rods
Five of Rods
Strength
Strength

Answer: l. The Knight of Swords is probably a good portrayal of how you are feeling on the inside - all sort of thoughts flying round and getting you nowhere, leaving you feeling that you just aren't in control. At the same time, this card is a caution against rushing headlong into anything, or acting on the spur of the moment.

2. Although you feel alone, there are plenty of other boys out there who have the same sort of feelings as you. Being part of a group would probably be very supportive for you - the five on this card are 'play-fighting' - having fun and getting a lot out of just being together. Have you thought about looking locally for a support group or some one-to-one support, or a telephone helpline? You will probably be able to find something like that if you look in your local library or newspaper. You'll undoubtedly be able to find lots of stuff online - forums, support groups etc..

3. The Strength card shows that you will come through this difficult time and be happy with who you are. Always remember that you are who you are and you deserve to be able to be yourself.

Posted at 00:29 on 11/07/2010

BACK TO WORK

Question: For the past fifteen years I've been bringing up my children and felt it was the right thing for me to do to stay at home with them but now that they are all independent and need me so much less I would like to go out to work again. It's so many years since I was last in paid employment that I've no idea what's out there and where to start. I think I have lost confidence over the years without realizing it and don't know whether I can put myself out there.

Queen of Cups
Queen of Cups
Nine of Rods
Nine of Rods
Five of Cups
Five of Cups

Answer: l. This is you - the Queen of Cups - your role as the stabilizing influence in your children's lives, the one that they could depend on in a crisis. It has in many ways been a comfortable role for you - you knew exactly what you needed to do. You could carry on staying at home and not 'put yourself out there', but really and truly you know in your heart of hearts that if you do that you will only stagnate. It's definitely time for you to find something different, something that will ultimately be fulfilling for you personally.

2. Nine of Wands - it's a scary prospect for you to move back into the world of paid employment after so long at home and the Nine of Wands highlights your fears that it may be very difficult. Yes, there will be challenges and you may find it hard work, especially to begin with, but fear not, you do have what it takes.

3. Five of Cups - this card demonstrates just how you might feel by and by if you don't take up the challenge. You'll be full of regret and self-recrimination, become depressed and very negative. You could try doing something practical to get yourself off the starting-block, e.g. is there a careers adviser at your local college, or a back-to-work programme? Visit your library to look at what going's on in your area. You may want to explore options around the areas of work you were in before you had your family - or do some re-training in an area of work that interests you. Take that first step and you'll soon be on your way.

Posted at 00:11 on 11/07/2010

SCHOLARSHIP

Question: Recently I won a scholarship to a university in America. It seems like a fantastic opportunity but I've never been away from home for more than a week, when I have been on holiday with a friend's family. I know my family is delighted and are happy for me to go but I'm not sure I will be able to cope. What have the cards got to say about this? James, aged 18

The High Priestess
The High Priestess
Ace of Cups
Ace of Cups
Four of Cups
Four of Cups

Answer: Hello James, and thank-you for your question. In order to get the most out of your three cards I have posed the following questions to the Tarot.

1. What is it that's really bothering you? The High Priestess - you play your cards close to your chest, so to speak and you're not sure that you want to tell your parents how you really feel. It's really important to you not to disappoint them as they have high expectations and hopes for you.

2. If you don't go - Ace of Cups - your family will be just as happy for you to stay put and do something else instead. They only want what's best for you and would be really unhappy if they found out later that you didn't really want to go.

3. If you do go - Four of Cups - you need to be sure that you make the most of the opportunity. Embracing the experience fully is the only way to get the best from it. There's no point going half-heartedly so have that talk with your parents - it will help you to make the decision that is right for you.

Posted at 22:45 on 31/05/2010

DRUGS

Question: I have just found out my seventeen-year-old daughter is taking drugs. I don't understand how this has happened as she has been brought up knowing the harm that drugs can do. What should I do? Suzanna.

Ace of Cups
Ace of Cups
Knight of Cups
Knight of Cups
Knight of Rods
Knight of Rods

Answer: Hello Suzanna, and thank-you for your question. I have broken it down into the following three parts which I hope will be of help to you.

1. What are your true feelings about the situation? Ace of Cups - You have only ever given your children love and believe you have protected them from the bad things out there in the world. It seems as though you feel personally injured by your daughter's behaviour, as though after all the love you have shown her, this is how she repays you - leaving you feeling so confused and not knowing what to do.

2. How might you best deal with the situation? Knight of Cups - Rushing in with all guns blazing is definitely not the way to go - go gently and offer an open invitation for your daughter to talk to you without her feeling judged. Show her you want to understand her and be open to what she has to say.

3. What might be the outcome if you follow the advice of the Knight of Cups? Knight of Wands - Even with a cautious approach there will still be upset and tears, but this will soon pass. Your daughter seems to be going through a phase, trying out the world and will come through in time.

Posted at 22:28 on 31/05/2010