We are in the middle of summer term at the community college, and a colleague of mine has asked for a progress report as to how she is doing with her challenging group of students. The cards have been well-shuffled and cut three times.The first three cards are the heart of the reading, and the fourth card is the summary or clarifier.
Two out of the first three cards are pentacles, so this is a confirmation that this reading will be about values or, in fact, a type of evaluation. There does not seem to be any conflict (swords), and the feelings and relationships involved (cups) are not at issue here.
The spotlight has recently been shining on her having taken back the power to lead her own life, do it HER way, a triumph pictured in the ace of wands. Although we have academic freedom as to course design and execution, it is easy to become intimidated by the status quo, use one of the rather expensive textbooks, and put in full-time hours grading papers, even though most of us are part-time instructors. I congratulate her on her decision to use free outside resources (OER) and assign topics that are of interest to her, not necessarily those featured in one of the textbooks. Her emphasis has been on developing skills (wands).
The spotlight is now focused on the seven of pentacles, a longing for the “good old days,” when life was easier, classes were smaller, students seemed to have fewer problems that interfered with their learning, etc. I reassure her that whatever she did in the past has taught her well, and she is more than capable of helping her current students grow and flourish. Her energy is best directed to the here and now, The more she is able to stay present, the better the results for everyone involved.
The spotlight is moving toward a tendency to value external indicators of success, grades, money, pass/fail ratio. attendance figures, etc. The four of pentacles appears here to show her that the true enduring value of the situation lies in herself, what she offers her students in terms of her attitudes, work-ethic, enthusiasm, self-respect, etc. She must not minimize or take for granted the impact that her integrity and honesty are having.
The final card in the reading, the ace of cups, is a fabulous summation of everything that has already been said. This woman’s value to her students lies in the fact that just spending time with her makes them feel better about themselves. She triumphs by being all of who she is, and her interactions with others shower blessings into their lives.