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Tarot Circle: Navigating Difficult Relationships with Work Colleagues

By March 13, 2013Tarot Circle

blog-20130313-tarot-circle-navigating-difficult-relationships-with-work-colleaguesThis month’s Tarot Circle is from Joanna in Singapore.

As with all Tarot Circle posts, I’ll provide my initial thoughts and then I’ll hand it over to you, the reader, to use the comments section to write what you see.

Remember there’s no right or wrong and you don’t have to be an experienced Tarot reader to comment. This is all about learning from each other and applying your Tarot reading skills to a ‘real life’ reading.

The Question

Today, Joanna, a professional Tarot reader at Sun Goddess Tarot, shares a reading she did for her client, Brenda (not her real name). Brenda was asking about how to manage her working relationship with a colleague, Corinne (also not her real name).

Joanna’s Tarot Reading

tarot-circle-work-relationshipsJoanna created her own 8 card layout and drew the following Tarot cards.

  • How was my relationship with my colleague last year? Knight of Swords
  • What factors, internal or external, influenced my relationship with him/her last year? Four of Swords reversed
  • How will my relationship with my colleague pan out this year? Seven of Swords reversed
  • What factors, internal or external, will influence my relationship with him/her this year? Moon
  • What is he/she thinking about this relationship? Devil
  • What can I do to help foster a better working relationship? Page of Swords reversed
  • What would be the outcome of the relationship throughout the year? Five of Wands
  • Advice? Temperance

This is a great layout for any Tarot reading on working relationships with colleagues.

My Interpretation of Joanna’s Tarot Reading

Joanna shared her interpretation of the reading on her blog. I’ll include snippets here along with my own interpretations.

Let’s get started!

Lots of Swords cards here! Swords represent the intellect, thoughts, words and communication. Focusing on these aspects may help to navigate some of the challenges Brenda has in relating with Corrine at work. My advice to Brenda – be mindful of how you communicate your ideas, share information and make requests for certain tasks to be completed. Given 2 Swords are reversed and 2 are upright, there needs to be a balance between adapting Brenda’s communication style and responding to Corinne’s communication style.

The Knight of Swords is incredibly ambitious and competitive, so it seems as if Brenda and Corinne were both competing fiercely with each other to achieve the same goals. As Joanna notes, Corinne “brought with her a lot of enthusiasm and ambition to get the project off the ground, and not allowing anything or anyone to stand in her way of progress.  She’s very assertive about how she wants the project to be run, sometimes to the point of cutting my client, Brenda, out of the whole discussion process.” Perhaps Corinne’s ambition was a trigger point for Brenda, creating sparks and tension between the two women.

I often see the reversed Four of Swords as a sign of burn out and exhaustion. The pressure was high and the work unrelenting. So, add to that a highly ambitious colleague who presses your buttons in all the wrong ways and you get a melt-down.

Joanna’s take is slightly different. “The Four of Swords reversed is also a reflection of the frustrations everyone in the team felt due to the delays and stagnation of some aspects of that project.”

So how will things go between Brenda and Corinne this year? Ugh. The reversed Seven of Swords. Not my favourite card at all. Often a sign of deception, betrayal and manipulation, and in the reversed position, all of this happening behind your back. Joanna also comments on this – “There is a lot of mistrust between them, and they are trying to absolve themselves from responsibility for any negative outcomes that may emerge along the way as they work on that project together.”

But I also see another side to this reversed Seven – the need to be more cunning and strategic in your approach. Brenda can start planning strategies now to ensure that she doesn’t have to be impacted by Corinne – perhaps sorting out a job transfer or a change in project team.

The Moon – not all is what it seems. Brenda is advised to be on the look-out for any subversive, ‘under the radar’ tactics from Corinne, especially given the reversed Seven of Swords before.

I really love how Joanna sees the Moon as the Shadow Self here – “The Moon represents our shadow selves, an aspect of us that we often try to hide in the closet, out of fear of the negative opinions of others perhaps.  So between Brenda and Corinne, the Moon represents a murky situation made even murkier by both their attempts to suppress their shadow selves, be it their lack of confidence, their lack of skill sets in certain areas of their work, or their fear of being judged.” Nicely done.

Another not-so-fun card, the Devil. This is for what Corinne is thinking about the work relationship. She may be starting to feel trapped by the attachment she has created for herself at work. She may be stuck in a contract (tangible or intangible) with Brenda, and vice versa, that both parties feel they cannot break. And so the working relationship may become even more challenging in the future.

Joanna sees this as control – “The Devil is a representation of Corinne and her fear in letting go.  She is obsessed about controlling the project and she wants to be seen as having the expertise to manage this project just because she was specially hired for it.”

I often see the reversed Page of Swords as saying really dumb things – speaking without thinking. So my advice to Brenda is to hold your tongue. Don’t let Corinne get a reaction out of you. Be mature with your words and think before you speak. It’s also about ‘walking the talk’ as Joanna puts it. If Brenda wants collaboration, she’ll need to lead the way.

So where is this all going? Uh-oh. The Five of Wands. Tension and conflict, differing opinions, clashes. Not fun. Joanna adds, “Nothing an opened and honest discussion couldn’t solve.  If there is need to lock the both of them in a room to resolve their differences, then perhaps that should be something they should consider doing to move the relationship forward in a more productive manner.”

Hmm, if I was Brenda and on the receiving end of this reading, I would be heading straight to the job classifieds and finding a new job. It looks to be like a very challenging relationship between two colleagues, one that may be insurmountable (bar an open and honest conversation like Joanna suggested). The question is, do you stay and fight, or do you get the hell out of there and keep your sanity?

Keep-calm-and-carry-on-scanThat takes us to the final card – Temperance. This is about balance, harmony, peace, patience and integration. Maybe it is worth one more go, with the view to bring only love and compassion to the work relationship and sort this out. The question is whether Corinne will respond favourably. There’s only one way to find out – try it and see. It will take a lot of strength on Brenda’s part, especially if she is battling a shadow side of herself and a series of triggers that Corinne seems to be setting off, but Temperance is asking her to “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

What’s Your Read?

Over to you! How would you interpret these cards and the spread overall? What is your advice to Brenda?

Post your response in the comments below. Use this as an opportunity to hone your Tarot reading skills or to get your opinion out there!

Want Your Tarot Reading Interpreted?

If you are interested in having your own Tarot reading interpreted for the Tarot Circle, I will invite submissions periodically via my Facebook page.

Or, you can request a personal and private Tarot reading interpretation with me here.


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