Oracle of Ybor: Fighting During The August Heat

Dear Oracle, 

I am very much in love with my long-term partner. He’s absolutely the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, and I truly believe he’s my soul mate. But we’ve been fighting so much for the past month! Typically we’re very good at communication, but for some reason, we seem to just be getting on each other’s nerves and lashing out. The fights aren’t really about “big things,” so I’m unsure where the hostility on both ends comes from. Do the cards have any insight? 

— Moody Blues

Cards: First Quarter, Queen of Swords (rev.), Strength, Ten of Cups (rev.) 

Dear Moody,

For the past month, we have been in what the ancient Greeks called “the dog days of summer” because Sirius, the dog star, is in the sky. In The Iliad, Homer called Sirius the “brightest of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat and fevers to suffering humanity.” It was generally known as a time when people were in the foulest of moods, their weakest minds, and were real quick to murder each other because it was too damn hot.

In 2023, we are in the middle of the hottest summer on record, suffering under an unrelenting heat dome. Regardless of what’s happening with you two, know that this heat is not making things easier. Rising temperatures can lead to fiery tempers, even if you’re typically cool-headed.

For the “why” of the fights, I drew the First Quarter moon card, and The Queen of Swords reversed. The First quarter is about actions and our choices, and it looks like you’re both choosing to be more critical of each other. While the Queen of Swords can have a clear view, she often lacks tact and can be brutal when it’s not necessary. These small fights might be about bothersome things that need to be addressed, but it looks like you’re both saying your needs with the sharpest of tongues, leading to fights.

So what to do about it?

To get back to that happily-ever-after Ten of Cups, you need Strength. The Strength card is not about force: it’s about trust, resilience, and empathy. In my deck, it’s a woman walking with a bear, and they are equals. You and your partner (whom you love so much!) are equals and each other’s support system. You gotta remember that you two are a team and to bring some empathy into the communication. Not only will that help the fights, but you’ll also have a better shot of getting them to actually clean the kitchen or remember the recycling or whatever you’re fighting about because they won’t feel defensive.

If you haven’t talked to your partner already about these fights, I think it would be a good idea too. You can address it neutrally like you did here, saying you’ve noticed that you’ve been fighting more, and you don’t like. They probably feel the same way (who wants to fight?), and together you can talk about being a little more conscious of how you speak to each other.

And then go to the pool, get ice cream, or go to the movies. See if getting physically cool helps chill those hot tempers.

Best of luck, my dear.

Dear Oracle, 

Through an inheritance, I find myself able to potentially buy a house. I would like to get a place where I could add a tiny house to the backyard so my longtime roommate, whose on disability, can have a place of their own. I have no idea how to start this process. Any advice? 

— Big Tiny Dreams

Cards: Page of Wands, The Fool, Two of Wands

Dear BTD,

Congratulations on your windfall and your potential new home. I love the youthful energy of this question, which is very in line with The Fool. I know this is an exciting new journey for you, one of which you haven’t experienced before. So first, here is some practical advice:

1.) You’re going to get a real estate agent, one you like and trust. They’re going to help you in the process of finding a house, ideally one without an HOA, because 2.) you’re going to look into all the laws and regulations about having a tiny house (which is going to be an “additional dwelling unit” or ADU) in your backyard and what that does to your taxes, your home insurance, and your electric/water bills. 3.) If you can afford it, look into hiring a tiny house builder who can build one to accommodate your roommate’s disability (if need be), or get ready to teach yourself how to build a tiny house.

I assume you’ve already spoken to your roommate, and they’re gung-ho with this plan. With the hopeful energy of the Two of Wands and the slightly naïve Page of Wands, I think you are going into this plan full of heart and have the best intentions. It’s a great plan A.

However, it might serve you to also develop a plan B. If the tiny house part doesn’t work out, would you still want to live with your roommate in a house? What would your needs be? What would their needs be? Would you want them to help you look for a house? Would you take their opinion or needs into account when buying?

The Page of Wands is a bit of a free spirit, so I wonder if there would be any tension if you loved a house, but your roommate hated it.  How would you two deal with that conflict if it arises? These are a couple of things to consider. 

However, there is an unshakable optimism to these cards, and I don’t want to crush that. Have a professional help you with all the legal stuff, and best of luck with house hunting and possibly house building.

Best of luck, my darling!

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