CARD 1 - Something to Nourish
First and foremost, we eat food to survive. Even something like fried chicken--which may not seem that nutritious--provides calories and protein that we need. The Empress nurtures and protects, and symbolizes abundance. This warm, maternal energy tells me not to feel guilty about indulging sometimes, because self-care is important. Even fried chicken can be part of a balanced meal!
CARD 2 - Something to Delight
There's really nothing like the first bite of your favorite dish. It's a full-body appreciation that is difficult to put in the words, but "bliss" comes close. That simple, visceral joy is powerful, and we can prioritize it by looking for additional ways to experience it. Though the five of wands is often associated with ego and conflict, I couldn't help but see a friendly pick-up game of soccer or football in this context. The high energy and playfulness of impromptu games helps us manifest joy in a very physical way.
CARD 3 - Something to Connect
I think we'd be hard-pressed to find a culture that didn't use food as a focus for social gatherings. This card demonstrates that connection with others is often an important part of self-care, and the three of wands appropriately signifies collaboration and opportunities for partnerships. I imagine making space for creative acts that involve others. Examples include joining a local theater group, starting a band, or being a part of a table-top gaming group.
CARD 4 - The Gravy Card: A Little Extra!
And finally, on top of it all, something special to tie it together. The gravy card adds a little extra flavor and richness, infusing the other cards. The two of wands is forward-looking, relying on a stable sense of self for progress. In the end, one of the most powerful ways to care for ourselves is to acknowledge the validity of our unique experiences and worldview. Connect with whatever makes you feel the most like yourself! Observe that feeling, and let it guide you through the nourishment, delight, and connection of the other cards.
A RUN OF WANDS
I recently talked about reading runs of Minor Arcana, and having three cards sharing a suit show up in this spread provides a perfect chance to practice. Wands symbolize passion and creative energy, and maybe a little spontaneity. Within the context of this spread, I interpret this run to mean that the querent can embrace an energetic, intuitive approach to self care, with special focus on creative outlets.
I hope these cards inspire you to connect not only with others, but with yourself (and I hope I didn't make you too hungry!) What kinds of energized, creative, collaborative activities do you enjoy for self-care? Does your self-care tend to manifest itself differently? What is your favorite heritage food? (Who knows, it may end up in one of my spreads!)