This card indicates a situation in which we are so focused on some goal or on escaping from some situation with such determination that we may be unaware that we are working in opposition to someone close to us. Together, the women in the Four of Chains could easily escape, but each of them is so determined to try to save herself that she is unaware that she is making her partner's situation, and her own, worse. This opposition cannot last, else both will surely perish.
In a reading, it presents a warning: beware focusing on our own situation with such single-mindedness that we ignore how we are hurting others, and ourselves!
Keywords: Conflict Chaos Deadlock Strife
This card is a symbol of struggling to move against the weight of something keeping us back, with such determination that we are not even willing to spare the effort to glance backward and see what is impeding our progress. Exerting still more effort might allow us to struggle forward, step by halting step, but all the things that are holding us back have a single source.
In a reading, it suggests that sometimes, the best use of our energy is to name the thing that is causing our problems. By taking the time to identify the source of our problems, perhaps we can make better progress than we can if we merely struggle blindly against them without really looking at them.
Keywords: Struggle Deadlock Opposition
The symbology in this card is indecision, of being in a situation where we are tugged in two directions or we are faced with two alternatives that offer no clear advantage. This indecision results in a stalemate; just as the schoolgirl's indecision means that she is reading neither of the books, so our position is one in which the dilemma results in inaction.
In a reading, it may stand for a perplexing problem: we want two different things at the same time, but we can't have both of them, and we don't know which one to choose. If we can't resolve the impasse, we will remain deadlocked.
Keywords: Deadlock Indecision Choice
The Four of Books is a card symbolic of failure to prioritize. This card may indicate a situation where we are at an impasse of our own creation. We are spending so much time trying to make everything happen at once that we can't get get anything accomplished at all.
In a reading, it may be a symbol of some situation where we have taken on too many things in a haphazard way, and now they are beginning to tumble down around us; or it may be a reminder to prioritize and work on doing just one thing at a time.
Keywords: Indecision Frustration Deadlock
This card symbolizes an internal conflict, an indecision between simultaneously reaching for and shrinking away from something. The schoolgirl in the Two of Tentacles is both reaching for and fearful of the tentacle approaching her; similarly, we are in a position where we both want and try to avoid something.
In a reading, this card may indicate a situation that we are of two minds about, especially a situation dealing with practical matters. This tension can not last, but must be resolved if we are to move on.
Keywords: Conflict Deadlock Physical Choice
The Five of Tentacles is a card of frustration. The captive schoolgirl is frustrated at being held upside down, frustrated at being unable to escape, and even frustrated at the part of herself that enjoys what is happening to her.
In a reading, the Five of Tentacles may refer to previous commitments and choices have placed us in an untenable position, and now conflicted emotions are rising to the surface. We are not able to change the course of events, no matter how frustrating they may be. Different emotions, including anger, resentment, or even pleasure, may be appropriate.
Keywords: Frustration Deadlock Powerlessness Commitment