Tarot Reflections: Small Gestures & Releasing Guilt

modern witch tarot deck by Lisa Sterle

Six of Cups: Sometimes the smallest gestures are the most potent.

It’s easy for me to underestimate how much power there is in small moments of kindness, generosity, gentleness, and pleasure.

I tend to view generosity in terms of grandness, which I believe is in-part due to growing up around ideas of saviorism, especially in relation to Christianity and white saviorism.

With the emergence and increased popularity of mutual aid, I’ve grown much more attuned to the power of giving what you can when you can (with the freedom to ask for help as well).

I’m much more inclined to give $5–10 here and there or to support people and orgs with recurring smaller amounts instead of larger one-time gifts.

All of this to say, nothing is too small to matter or too insignificant to be worthwhile.

And of course, this isn’t just in relation to money.

How many times have we had a friend, family or community member who’s going through it, and we put off reaching out because we question how much we can give them?

I carry this sense of: Well, if I can’t be EVERYTHING they need, then I should be nothing, right?

When I really spell it out, it makes no sense. But I live in fear of disappointing people, especially those close to me, so here we are.

But when you really think about the beauty of life, it’s often in the small and seemingly mundane: a butterfly, a cold glass of water on a hot day, a bear hug from a friend, that one lone tear when a work of art touches you.

I think capitalism has us convinced that if something can’t be measured or counted, it’s unworthy. But love is expressed in both the quick “Thinking about you” text as much as the hours-long phone call.

The reversed Nine of Swords truly hits home.

It reminds me of a conversation I was having with a friend earlier today about ancestor work.

I was essentially asking her how to grapple with the problematic parts of my ancestral past.

Start small with a benevolent, well-meaning, supportive ancestor, she told me.

Build an altar and begin with reverence, love, and appreciation.

Ask for support, protection, and guidance, and remain open.

It’s common for me to be debilitated by guilt, shame, fear, self-loathing. But especially guilt.

And this card reminds me that I’m working through it, I’m letting it go and finding a way to relate to myself and the world through a lens beyond guilt (which is much more abundant, giving, and forgiving).

Because joy, self-love, and self-forgiveness are all a part of healing.

And being held accountable, learning how to move forward with a sense of justice and reparations, is a blessing, not a punishment.

And when we move from joy, love, acceptance, and humility, we find we’re much more receptive to change and being called in (or out) than when we’re navigating from a place of guilt and fragility.

When we learn being wrong or making a mistake doesn’t define us, we’re much more receptive to learning, to understanding, to growing through it.

So as I walk this path of love and justice, I do so with joy and openness. And with a reverence for all the love, sacrifice, and joy that has come before me. ❤

A reluctant optimist, I use writing to talk myself down from the perpetual threat of existential crises. https://beckitabrown.tumblr.com/ https://w