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Taking Up Space: Advice for real life from the magical realm of tarot

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

Welcome to Taking Up Space, a series using the power of tarot and oracle cards to offer real-life advice for real-life people. Why the name? Because I view tarot as a home, a structure, in which there are 78 rooms (aka, the cards). We all live in this house, visiting different rooms at different points in our lives, sometimes camping out and sometimes peeking in to turn off a light or grab something we forgot in a dresser drawer. No matter what, we all deserve to take up as much space in these rooms, stay as long or as little as we need, and know we’re always safe and supported. THAT, to me, is the power of these cards.

But wait, there’s more! Tarot, in conjunction with the advice and guidance of an expert or person who has been through something similar is even more powerful, which is why I’ve asked for their help with this column.

DISCLAIMER: The advice in this column is not meant to replace the personalized advice and guidance of a professional. For entertainment purposes only.

About today’s expert:

Headshot for Darcy Scott
Darcy Scott

Darcy Scott is a therapist in Austin, Texas who runs a private practice specializing in neuropsychological counseling. Darcy has experience working with clients after experiencing traumatic brain injury. She also facilitates equine assisted psychotherapy, aka, she gets to work with horses in a therapeutic model. Currently, she’s working towards certification as a death doula, supporting those at the end of life. You can find her at, or at Vista Brewing Company in Driftwood, Texas enjoying a pint, where I was lucky enough to meet her while reading tarot last year.

Today’s question:
“How do I navigate relationships with friends or family who have hurt me?”
The Tower, Judgement, Knight of Pentacles, Six of Pentacles pulled from The Wandering Star Tarot by Cat Pierce
The Tower, Judgement, Knight of Pentacles, Six of Pentacles pulled from The Wandering Star Tarot by Cat Pierce

What the cards say:

The Tower speaks to the feeling of being hurt, of wanting to “burn it all to the ground,” and the feeling of having the rug pulled out from under us. It’s often a time of shock and awakening. But the Tower also beckons us to use these moments of pain as a catalyst for real, lasting transformations. When the foundation of a relationship crumbles, it can be an opportunity to rebuild—if not the relationship itself—a part of ourselves on which that relationship was built. Is it our insecurity that needs to go? People pleasing? Masking our feelings? Codependency?

Perhaps your awareness around these “Tower” moments in these relationships is helping you find more acceptance of yourself. Judgment can be released internally and externally through moments like these, so the most genuine parts of yourself can be freed and allowed to rise to the surface. THIS is the you to bring to these relationships now, if you so choose, for the less judgment that you place upon yourself, the less judgment you place upon others, and their past actions. Self-forgiveness as well as attempting to forgive the others in this equation could help you lighten your own heavy load.

Knight of Pentacles is advising you to re-invest that energy that was spent on the hurt, the pain and the past into your future, your healing, your personal journey. This could pave the way for a healthier balance, like the one in the Six of Pentacles, to emerge in these relationships. Once you shore yourself up with self-love, you’ll have the perspective, confidence and wisdom to know just how much—or how little—of yourself to give, and where you can be open to receive as well.

What Darcy says:

This one is a doozy, and even I have personal experience. We often see family as a given, especially if it's your parents. Filial piety is a concept that speaks to the feeling of needing to honor and respect our families. After all, they know us, hopefully seemingly better than anyone else.

But right or wrong, they also are a source of where our patterns and most likely, maladaptive patterns can come from. When we start to get better by changing those patterns, especially in families, we play a role. And you've likely played that role your whole life. Now that you're not playing that role, families (or friends) can have a big reaction to it. When dynamics change around family relationships, and when we start to change our role, there will likely be a counter reaction that is normally pretty big. It's like a pendulum. It can go to the extreme first, and then will start to settle. The key is maintaining those boundaries in the case there is a big reaction. What you need to do is remind yourself that their reaction belongs to them, not you.

This is when you get to decide if this is going to be worth it for you to continue that relationship or not. If it's a toxic relationship, we're the ones still paying the price for that hurt and it carries onward, because toxic relationships cause stress, and stress in our bodies continues to hurt us.

It's a hard choice to make, especially when family is involved, but the thing that I like the best about making decisions is that if things change, we can revisit it. There's nothing to say that you can’t remove yourself from the situation temporarily, or by adding the words “right now.” For example, “this relationship isn't working for me right now.” This has a different feeling than, “I'm cutting you off.” There is a big difference between those two.

Do you need advice? Send your questions/situations/experiences to Confidentiality is respected.

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