Oracle of Ybor: A Soul-Crushing Job

LEO is dedicated to bringing you engaging, fun, and unique content that crosses many spectrums. From our sister paper in Tampa, Creative Loafing, we’re happy to share the Oracle of Ybor, written by Caroline DeBruhl. Here you may submit your questions about life, and the tarot will help to guide your answers. 

Got a question for the Oracle? Write to either or DM the Oracle on Instagram @theyboracle.

Dear Oracle,

As an arts major, my career has always been an adventure, but I found a full-time role up north that I mostly enjoyed before we moved to Pinellas County two years ago. I found a related job in Tampa but quickly realized it wasn’t a good fit for me. Now I’m commuting 6+ hours a week to a difficult, stressful, unfulfilling job while struggling to meet people where I live. I’ve applied to positions with no luck, hired a career coach who sent me jobs located even further away, and considered going back to school. This job is sucking the soul out of my body, but I don’t know if I can take a $15k pay cut to work closer to home. Do the cards have any wisdom for me? 

Thank you for your help, 

New Floridian from the Great White North

Cards: The Chariot, Eight of Swords (rev.), Six of Pentacles (rev.), The Hierophant (rev.) 

Dear New Floridian,

So I’m going to start off this reading with some pagan theology but stick with me because I promise I have a point.

In the religion of Wicca, there is a central tenet known as the Wiccan Rede: “An’ harm none, do as ye will.” Like most quotes of religious texts, people of the faith have argued about its meaning (and exact phrasing) since Doreen Valiente first spoke it in 1964.

Some argue that it means that as long as you don’t harm anyone, you can do whatever you want. Others argue that this phrase comes from the older tradition of Thelma: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” In Thelma, “thou wilt” doesn’t mean “do whatever you want.” It’s supposed to be following your True Will or the grand destiny of your life.

The argument for this interpretation is that you should follow your destiny as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. But here’s the catch: to deny yourself your True nature or your True calling is to harm yourself. That breaks the first part of the rule.

I bring all of this up because of the very first card of the spread: The Chariot. It is a major arcana card and the only one right side up, meaning it’s the most crucial energy you’re facing.

The Chariot is a powerful card of momentum. It’s a card that can plow through barriers and propel your forward at a breakneck speed. The Charioteer stands their ground; they are in absolute control. But this type of energy is a double edge sword. You have to really know yourself to be in control of The Chariot. Because while it can obliterate barriers and plow through challenges, it can also send you off in the wrong direction at 100 mph.

It is most defiantly a “shoot first, ask questions later” sort of card, and right now, I think you need to ask the question: what is my True Will?

What is it that you really, in your soul, know you want and need to do for your career? Be completely honest with yourself, even if that answer feels unrealistic or silly, or impossible. That answer is going to be how you navigate this Chariot.

Your current job sucks, and you should absolutely quit it as soon as you can financially swing it. But you want to make sure that you don’t go galloping off into another dead-end job. You need to be intentional about the next steps.

I know you’ve been applying to jobs without hearing anything back and have hired a career coach who has been less than helpful. You’re feeling stuck; we can see that with the Eight of Swords reversed. But, as I’ve written about before, the Eight of Swords is deceitful; there is a way out if you can find it.

You might need to get creative and look at different strategies. A slight pivot into an adjacent field may actually provide a more satisfying career path. But again, be honest with yourself about what you’re looking for and what you need. As an arts major, do you need a flexible day job that allows you more time to create? Do you need to be in the field to feel connected and inspired?

You brought up possibly going back to school, and with The Hierophant, I think that’s a solid option to consider. Getting an advanced degree in your field could help with job prospects, but it could also help you explore your interests and find that True calling, and then help you hone the skills you need.

But there are financial worries right now that need to be considered. The Six of Pentacles is a tricky card because it’s both about giving as well as receiving. It might mean you need to find a job that is more giving—or it might mean you need to take out loans to pay for grad school.

Take a holistic look at all of the finances of your household: pull out all bills, all debts, all information about savings and income, and bonuses and assets. What is the base amount you need every month? What makes you feel comfortable savings-wise? Having a clear picture of your finances will help you see if you can take a significant pay cut for a job or not and what you would need finically to go back to school (if you choose.) Would others in the household be able/willing to cover changes in financial circumstances? This is also a great place for honest conversation.

The good news is, whatever happens, you’ll get out of this soul-crushing job. You are The Chariot, goddammit, a mighty and fierce thing to behold. You have the power to plow through barriers while still being rooted with the reins in hand. It might be a bumpy road, but with your True Will to guide you, you’ll be on the path you’re meant to take.

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