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10 of WandsToday’s card is the 3 of staves from the Ancestral Path Tarot by Julie Cuccia-Watts. The image shows the pharoah and his queen preparing for a voyage or expedition. A servant carries a chest of valuables, while a splendid ship waits near the dock.

The 3 of staves is a card of setting things into motion, of launching something. It carries feelings of excitement, anticipation, and expectations of future success. The energy can also be unsettling, as it represents an irreversible commitment to change: taking the plunge into something new.

For many years, I always had trouble initiating something new – approaching someone I thought was attractive, applying for a job, deciding to move, travelling . . . I would be fine after having taken the initial step, once things were rolling along, but breaking out of a familiar habit and making that first move was terribly hard.

The 3 of staves (or three of wands in some decks) has helped me overcome my trepidations with such things. This is, after all, just a step in the process, one that can’t be bypassed, and is not really as scary as it might seem. It’s the threshold between planning and accomplishment, between imagination and action. I don’t have much fire energy in my makeup, so I don’t leap in naturally like some people do, but seeing it as a natural step, a part of the big picture of things, gives me enough perspective to deal with the anxiety and just get on with things.

When the 3 of staves comes up, it implies that you are embarking on a new initiative, promising enough to put your personal energy into, but with results still far off. Instead of just imagining possible futures, we set out upon a road that leads to one.

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aries-softphp.jpgMercury enters Aries today, sprinting through the entire sign in a dizzying two weeks, to exit into Taurus on the 17th. This is the fastest part of Mercury’s cycle, midway between retrogrades. It is fitting that he is Aries at this time, a sign known for its energy and initiative.

Mercury governs how we communicate and how we organize our thoughts. He also contributes strongly to our mechanical skills, dexterity, and attention to detail. In Aries, he wants to face the world as an innovator and is driven by a sense of purpose and self-confidence. During the next couple weeks, many of us may be inclined to “cut to the chase” in our dealings with others, and not mince words.

The nice thing about this is that we can expect some release from negotiations that have become bogged down or planning activities that seem to run in circles and get nowhere. Mercury in Aries can help by blurting out the suggestion that gets the ball rolling again.

The downside is that diplomacy takes a back seat, and ideas may not be expressed in the most cordial fashion. If you feel stung by someone’s words, don’t take it too personally. There’s probably no hidden agenda or malice behind it, just impatience and an inner censor that’s been set to idle for awhile. It can also be a frustrating time for those of us who like to mull things over; decisions will be made swiftly.

People with planets in fire signs (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) will enjoy this new energy the most, and slip into it quite easily. If you have Libra, Cancer, or Capricorn planets, expect to feel more conflicted about your verbal outbursts (and those of others).

All this reaches a sort of climax when Mercury passes the Sun on April 15-16, just before leaving Aries. The purpose of all those animated conversations and new ideas should come into focus then, giving us a neat package to work with later, if we so choose.

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