This is why you need to deal with negative emotions first!

This is why you need to deal with negative emotions first!

In the world of ‘love and light’ spirituality, there is no room for the negative and dark. And yet, I’d like to meet the person who truly has no negative feelings ever. Or perhaps I really wouldn’t!

The fact of the matter is that it is completely normal for negative emotions to arise. You get rubbed the wrong way by something and ‘boom’, you’re feeling something uncomfortable and unpleasant. Something you don’t really want to admit to.

Last week, I offered some magical tapping, a spread and a spell on success. However, several people came back to me saying success felt too far away, too unreachable. Or that, if they succeeded at some thing, they’d failed at another thing, and guess which one they were thinking about most!

Okay, so you might not have actually failed, but you can feel that way 🙁

Tapping for feelings of failure

First things first, I offered a tapping session to release feelings of failure, as you saw yesterday. Tapping is especially effective at honing in on negative emotions, trapped in your energy system, and releasing them. If you have any feelings of failure you want to let go of, please do give it a try: it’s powerful stuff!

Next, here’s a way to think about tarot reversals.

Tarot Reversals

Of course, if you want to look at failure, you can just consider it the reverse of success. So, if success is the Six of Wands, then you simply turn that card upside down to find failure. However, not everyone enjoys reading with reversals. And looking at a reversed card doesn’t always achieve the emotional connection of a right-way-up card, which is one of the most powerful aspects of tarot.

Another suggestion, is to look for the ‘opposite’ card. This is achieved through a mirroring technique. Alison Cross wrote about this in terms of the Court Cards here.

You can do the same with the Minors. For example, taking the Six of Wands: Wands represent Fire (at least that’s how I attribute them, following the Golden Dawn system), so they are the opposite of Cups cards (attributed to Water). And if you lay out all the pips in a line, put a partition half way through, then look across for the mirroring card, then the Five mirrors the Six. Other examples would be that the Ace mirrors the Ten, and the Three mirrors the Eight. That makes the reverse of the Six of Wands… the Five of Cups.

Five of Cups

Failure is not really a traditional interpretation of the Five of Cups. Let’s take a closer look and see how it might or might not fit.

In the Five of Cups, shown here from the RWS Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2012), you see a dark-cloaked figure. At their feet are three overturned cups. Behind them, another two cups still stand, unseen. There is a bridge in the distance, crossing to a small town.

The figure here clearly feels dejected. They feel like their cups are all spilled, that they have nothing of any worth. Though traditional interpretations mostly focus on the emotional element, it sounds pretty much like failure. And as with your own feelings of failure, there are probably some elements of  life that are still good, still supportive. You may be ignoring any successes that don’t feel important to you in the moment.

For example, you may not have the job of your dreams, yet you can have great friends. Or, you may have failed at a particular relationship, yet have a hobby that delights you. Or you may have failed in the healthy eating stakes, yet have a skill you are not using to the full.

Five of Cups Failure Spread

Based on the symbolism of the Five of Cups, here’s a little spread to help you acknowledge your feelings of failure, and move on:

1 + 2 + 3 – Feelings of failure

4 – Bridge to move you forward

5 +6 – What you might find on the other side

The reading

Feelings of failure – Nine of Swords, Two of Swords and Eight of Wands

The Nine of Swords could suggest you’re exhausted, which doesn’t help your mood! Also, it speaks to a mind churning with self-doubt and judgments. The Two of Swords suggests being stuck, and can also point to procrastination – I’ll just wait and see which sword gets too heavy to hold, then I’ll use the other one… Finally, the Eight of Wands talks of things moving fast. So, you may feel like you are being left behind. Or perhaps you are trying so hard to keep up that pace that you end up making mistakes, or simply feeling overwhelmed.

Bridge – Nine of Pentacles

Oh, this is one of my favourite cards in the deck! This lady is so calm and in control: she’s really got all her s**t sorted 😀

The way to move forward is through being calm, focused on the practical or material. And also, there’s an aspect of discipline. You may need to consciously ‘blind yourself’ to distractions for a while (like the hooded hawk on her arm), so that you can find the focus that will lead you to success.

The other side – Queen of Cups and Eight of Pentacles

The charming Queen of Cups reminds you to nurture yourself. You need to fill your own cup before you can feel joyful or be emotionally available to others.

As for the Eight of Pentacles, it’s a direct contrast to the speed and fluster of the Eight of Wands. Echoing the message of the Nine of Pentacles, this person pours their time and effort into what they are doing, and takes things slow.


I’d love to hear what you think of this method of exploring reversals! And do let me know if you have any questions on your own cards with this spread.

Love, Chloë


  1. Diana on October 7, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Great post! I think this spread could equally be used to address feelings of despair, when feeling powerless over an outside situation. Loved the way you described the two of Swords dynamic, too 🙂

    • Chloe on October 8, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      Hi Diana, that’s a great point! The Five of Cups can often mean feelings of despair, so yes, this spread could be used for that. And yes, the Two of Swords is an old frenemy of mine 😉 Hope you can find your inner Nine of Pentacles to move through the tough times, or whatever energy will be your best bridge 🙂

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