SPREAD: Wrestling Demons

When Wrestling With Your Demons, Don’t Forget To Dance**

Wrestling with demons. It’s a metaphor for that thing that we do when we are trying to overcome habits that don’t work for us or thought-patterns that do tear us down instead of build us up. I know I have a few demons that I wrestle. Some are back for a re-match year after year while others seem to stay defeated. Then again there are the ones that freaking tag-team on me.

So, as per usual, I wanted to see if I could design a spread around this metaphor. My focus was to find tools to help me see where my energy was being wasted and where it needed a bit of a boost. This spread has seven (7) cards which is a nice number in so many magical systems.

We start with what demons. Then break it down into specific questions and end with giving the Universe an opportunity to tell us what we may still be missing. This last question is a very important one for me. I always want to give Spirit/God/Universe–however you see that great amorphous energy in the sky–a chance to knock me upside the noggin. Because Gods know, I can be so obtuse at times.

Now the layout for this spread is simple. Lay three cards face-up left to right (or right to left if you are so inclined). These are the answers to the question in Stage One.

Next lay three cards face down. First take another look at the demon cards. Do not turn over this second set of three just yet. Name your demons. Acknowledge them. Understand who/what they are in your life.

Now and only now, turn up one of the face down three card. Just see what your first reaction is. What hits you in the gut? Do the same with a second card and then third. Now see which one answers the questions in Stage Two. You will find that you may think you know EXACTLY which demon the first card goes to, but then the next two may cause more in-depth processing. This is a good thing.

Finally lay one last (the seventh) card down face up. Think about all the work you’ve been doing on these three demons. Admit to yourself that you are doing good work and commend yourself for continuing the battle even when it is incredibly hard.

Now let’s look at the last card. Consider this. Sometimes we get so caught up in wrestling these demons of ours that we forget the essentials–like seeking joy! This is the message from the Universe telling you when you need to dance. What do you see in this card first?

    The cards in this spread:

  • Stage One
    • What demons am I currently wrestling? (3 cards)
  • Stage Two
    • Which demon do I give too much attention? (1 card)
    • Which demon do I give too little attention? (1 card)
    • Which demon have I finally defeated for good? (1 card)
  • Stage Three
    • When do I need to dance?

Wrestling Demons Spread

Stage One: My Demon Cards

Whew. Can I just stop now and say I do not like this spread? How dare it tell me this! And it immediately makes me uncomfortable that it shouts out loud what I am working on. That’s not right, y’all! That’s my private business.  But onward, darlings!

King of Pentacles represents my own gluttony and sloth. This is me wrestling with the demon of my body and how I take care of myself.  For the demon aspect, I am going with the negative/reversed/ill-favored idea of each card. The King of Coins can be a hard-headed, negativity magnet. Those who follow me on Twitter will know that I am fighting this one.  SEEK JOY, Y’ALL! Sound familiar? That is part of my King of Coins battle. To see my own body in a positive light.

The Devil is deceptively easy. It represents my wrestling with living with integrity. There is an ongoing issue in my life with someone who has hurt me very badly. I want to hurt them back. I want to go to all our mutual friends and tell them all about this mean, nasty human. But that is not fair. This person is not mean or nasty. They simply do something I am not okay with so I have chosen to withdraw from their sphere of influence. But the Devil in me wants to make it a huge drama. I won’t!  See those figures chained at the base of the Devil’s pedestal? That’s me fighting my urge to fall back into my old drama queen ways.

And then the Universe shows up? How the HECK is that a demon? Unless of course it is me wrestling with my heart. I’m trying to be open again and take more risks. I am trying to listen to the Universe more. It’s hard. It’s easy to listen to the Universe for other people, but for me? Nah. I’ll pass. 🙂 This is also about me wrestling with some friendships and learning to trust. My trust has been shattered by the person in the last card. They said something that now makes me suspect every one of my friends. This one is really hard for me.

All those friendly helpers seem to be negative Nellies and backstabbing friends in this demon card. When the Dancer is upside down, she can’t control herself. KA-POW. Right between the eyes, I tell you.  So this is me wrestling to keep myself open and attentive.

Stage Two: Which Demon?

Yikes. This spread sucks rocks. I am not sure what to do with these.

The Empress to me is the one that seems to be about having defeated for good and I think this is about the King of Pentacles and the body issues. I am taking much better care of myself these days. I am far more confident about how I look and feel.  She stands as reminder to me that nurturing myself is a very good habit.

She is a soft answer to the hard King of Pentacles, but she is no push over. Her counterpart in the Tarot is actually the Queen of Pentacles so in a way this is his mate’s SUPERSIZED self stepping in.

7 of Swords is definitely the Universe. By not trusting others I am stealing friends from myself. Whoa. That hit my between the eyes. I have to trust. This one is that I give too little attention to, I think. I want to turn away from this one the most. I want to pretend it isn’t real. I want to pretend that I don’t need friendship.

And this is a reminder to not STEAL from myself, then…isn’t it.

So that leaves Temperance for the Devil and isn’t that a beautiful response to the one I am giving too much attention to. I need to remember to balance myself and not give energy to that person. I have been doing a very good job so far I think but maybe I am being a bit hyper vigilant still?

And perhaps there is a hint here of giving myself credit for the way I’ve maintained my boundaries. Even when I so could have fallen back into old, destructive, “Devil made me do it” ways. I do love this card for the beautiful rainbow wings.

Stage Three: DANCE

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  *ahem* Pardon me. The Universe is toying with me!

The Ace of Cups! And I know EXACTLY what this one is about. I am actually exploring the very beginnings of what may be more than “just friends” with someone. I don’t know where this is going, but I do know I am enjoying this journey a great deal. Ace of Cups is reminding me to just kick back and not push the river. I can do that.

And to drink deeply if offered. That one is important. Make sure I take big, huge gulps of life and love when offered.

So, is anyone else game? If you do this spread, let me know what you think. Does it suck as much as I think it does? I do not know that I could do this for another person. Seems to be a very very personal thing. A bit scary to actually post this, but I think it is worth the risk.

**Title comes from an internet search I did. I saw a sermon titled “When Wrestling with God, Don’t Forget to Dance.” While I did not read the actual sermon, the title tickled me enough to co-opt it.

NOTES: Images are from the World Spirit Tarot. To see larger images, please click on the image. I do hope you will take the time to dialogue with me here. I like to know what you think. If you have a tweak to this spread, please share it.

As always, this spread is under my copyright. You  may use it. You may not publish it or claim it as your own. You may use it for your clients if you like. Just a big ol’ Texas “hell no” on you trying to publish it. 🙂 Capiche?

5 thoughts on “SPREAD: Wrestling Demons”

  1. Interesting spread, Arwen. Thank you for sharing your deep personal insights – it helps to bring the reading to life. I know it takes courage to do that. 🙂 I’ll have to give this a whirl.

  2. Been doing shadow work, and had an aha! when I read about this on your FB page. Definitely going to use this one. Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  3. I too have been working with shadows. Can’t wait to try this one out. Probably tomorrow. Will let you know how it turns out.

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