Tarot in Retrograde: Flavor of the Funk


A couple of days this week, I woke up after 8 hours of sleep feeling like someone took a baseball bat to the back of my head. I really cleaned up my act a few years ago, went vegetarian, then vegan, got rid of almost all chemicals like dyes and preservatives from my diet, stopped eating processed foods. For a couple of years, I’ve felt re-born, healthy and vital, and my creative work has blossomed.

So, why this shit feeling now? It reminds me of the old me, the one who always felt awful and thought it was because I was empathic and was picking up the dredges of the world’s darkness. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t just the diet that changed me but all the spiritual work I now do. At any rate, when I woke up earlier this week and felt like something the cat dragged in, I hadn’t felt that badly in years. Years and years.

So why now? Clients and friends started calling with the same complaint. They asked for tarot readings to make sense of their own feelings of depression, worthlessness, inability to focus, lethargy, the list goes on. So what was going on?

Someone told me Mercury was in retrograde. I’m a tarot reader, not an astrologer and have never really gotten astrology. So, I thought, “Well, that’s all fine and good about Mercury, but what are we to do with all this darkness?”

So, I’m here today to do a tarot reading on the subject. What are we supposed to understand about this level of funk, and what is there possibly to gain from it? Those are my questions.

Here goes. I’m just going to channel the tarot reading. My guides like to speak in their own language, so I’m just going to let them.

The ones who are feeling the pull downward are those who are seekers. Yes? The seeker wants healing, and we’re offering it to them. We’re taking you down into the dark core of all that has not healed.

It is easier, of course, to give an example. Caroline (that’s me) doesn’t really want to reveal herself here, but we’d like to use your example, if we may.

Yeah, whatever, go ahead.

You felt as a child that you were not honored for who you were. Mystical, unique, perhaps even rare. And now you are honoring those sides, but still this deep embedded rage exists. So deep it at times sickens you. Would you agree this is the case.


We are using a plunger upon you, and plunging that rage up to the surface so it can be fully purged. It’s not comfortable. It’s overwhelming. It’s like a surgery of the soul. Surgery requires a purge, and then a time for healing. Allow yourself to deepen into this. Own it. Live it. Create from it. Don’t go out jogging or clubbing or parachuting in the next few weeks — stay with it. Deepen into it. Hear its melancholic voice.

Live the wail. What do we mean by this? Instead of conveying a self that has it all together, explore the sides that don’t have it all together with the same creative aplomb that you do everything else. There is power in this broken place. In this broken place, all of the world lives. It is universal.

Tell this to everyone reading this blog. In your broken place, humanity lives. Many people feel wrong for being so broken. When we see we are all thusly broken, we heal together. Don’t hide it.

Ride the retrograde purge like you are riding a wave, and bring others will you to the shore. How many metaphors did we mix there? We’re laughing because Caroline abhors the mixed metaphor.

We would end by asking anyone who wants to to share the core of their funk. What is it? How might it be universal? Caroline, feel free to share more here, too.

Okay, this is me sharing. When I was a kid, I felt like everybody was trying to fit me into some role, some box. I couldn’t be me. There was the subsistence farming practical box, the straight-A good girl student box, the intrepid journalist box. But there was a real me there, a mystical forest-loving artist girl. Where was the support for her? Where was the platform for this girl? The nurturing? Where were the people rooting her on? Who was marveling at the glow of her soul? Why all the fear and hate and rage — oh I get it — their rage is the same as mine — a childhood of not being truly soulfully nurtured. My question though is this: I’m writing and doing visual art. Isn’t that enough work on the subject? Why do I still have so much rage? (It’s not JUST your rage, my friend. It’s universal RAGE at a world set up to nurture ego and not the soul.) 

What we’re trying to show people in this blog, Caroline, is that simply by sitting and journaling their own personal flavor of the funk they can come to some epiphanies. How did you put it? “What’s the purpose of the punch and bite to this retrograde?” It is to sink into this dark place and find its universal wisdom, to understand its generational struggles, to seek and find the doorway not just to our own healing, but to the healing of others. As we mentioned earlier, the ones feeling this are the seekers. So seek, my friends. Go deep into the dark. Seek. Find.

To read more about Caroline Allen, her visual art and literary novels, go to www.carolineallen.com.


2 thoughts on “Tarot in Retrograde: Flavor of the Funk

  1. Loved this Caroline. I too have been feeling the funk and trying not to run from it. The rage and despair and feeling of being broke. An impatience with myself for feeling this way and with the world and all the cruelty and stupidity in it.
    Trying not to run from it or numb it out completely. Waiting it out. Crying. Muttering to myself and sighing.
    Sometimes in the middle of it, shafts of light shine through illuminating something beautiful, a piece of music, a hug from my daughter, the pink glow of the sunset tonight. I don’t really understand it. Your Tarot reading and guides musings bought my begrudging descent into some sort of perspective. A glimmer of hope and a collective experience. I am a writer and a singer of songs. A Yoga teacher and body worker as well. Sometimes one must walk the walk . It’s a rugged, ragged path this retrograde Mercury thing, but cleansing somehow hopefully.
    All Things Must Pass.
    Thanks Carloline for exploring this time and eloquently sharing with the rest of us up the creek on a leaky boat.

    Liked by 1 person

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