Many people these days are suffering. They struggle with finances, with out of control cost of living increases, they feel pangs of loneliness and despair. It’s hard to believe that things will improve, and this is where this week’s reader Jennifer was coming from when she asked: How long before life gets better?

Jennifer, I think a whole lot of us are wondering the same thing. It’s tough out there! This week, in order to answer your question, I created The Equal Armed Cross Spread. The Equal Armed Cross was alternately known as the Square Cross, or the Peaceful Cross, the Grail Cross, and in Ancient Greece may have represented the four Senses, Winds, or Elements. In some traditions it is a symbol for Truth.

In this case, the spread is meant to show Past, Present and Future Trends, with a card below for Spiritual Advice, and another card above to indicate possible changes you might make in attitude to bring the most positive results for achieving the peace you seek.

Let’s begin!

Card 1, The Past: The Knight of Cups

Foot-loose and fancy-free. Romantic, in love with Romance. Poetic, artistic soul. Wanting to explore, not ready to fully commit.

Jennifer, in the recent past, you may have been able to take things for granted and trust that life would be fairly enjoyable. The Knight of Cups brings romance, parties, invitations, and a generally positive outlook. It’s hard to take life seriously under this influence. You may find yourself trying all sorts of things, or meeting all sorts of people– but it’s hard to pick just one and make a real commitment!

Card 2, The Present: The Fool

Surprise! New phase of life, new experiences. Need to take a leap of faith. A new adventure! A new life journey.

You may be challenged to believe in yourself and embrace a new beginning– and it’s probably out of your comfort zone. Instead of balking in fear that you’re making a Fool-ish mistake, try looking at these new circumstances as an adventure, or fun escapade. You’re in search of your own personal Holy Grail! Your faith in your own abilities is what will sustain you during what may seem like a difficult time. This is really a period of extraordinary personal growth for you.

Card 3, Future Trends: The Lovers, reversed

Seeing everything in black and white. Success or failure thinking. Worry that the choices you make for yourself aren’t healthy. Refusal to choose a path. Ruled by unhappy relationships. Stuck.

Jennifer, first of all, the designation “Future Trends” really means that this is the pattern you’re most likely to follow if you don’t make any changes in the way you’re doing things. So, this card points to a tendency to second guess your choices out of fear that they may not be the healthiest. You may be at a crossroads and know that you need to choose one direction or the other, and because you fear that you’re making a mistake, you refuse to choose, waiting instead for life to just “happen to you”! If you see everything in terms of, “I succeeded, I win!”, versus ” I failed, so I’m worthless.”, it’s very difficult to remember that your efforts towards reaching any goal, personal or professional, or even spiritual. Are all a process. Sometimes the journey is what counts. So the lesson here is to trust in your ability to make healthy choices for yourself that create positive change in your own life. Decide, then act!

The timing of The Lovers is traditionally tied to the number 6. So you should see improvements slightly after 6 days, weeks, or months. In this case, because of the surrounding cards which indicate a lot of work that needs to happen before your situation can improve, I’m going to go with just a bit over six months before things change for the better. Now, here’s the good thing about this: all that time gives you a chance to make those impossible decisions and get your ducks in a row, so that you can make a much smoother transition to the positive new life you’re in the beginning stages of planning!

Card 4, (Below) Advice for the situation: 9 of Pentacles reversed

Spiritually burnt out. Giving to others, with no return of energy. Not a good time to go in a new spiritual direction.

Kisa, one of the things you could work on at this time is how to give and minister to others without burning yourself out. That means learning how to set boundaries. It may be time to re-approach old Gods and Goddesses with a new openness and a true heart. Learn how to receive, as well as to give. Work on old relationships before beginning new ones. Listen to your intuition.

Card 5, (Above) Attitude change most needed at this time: 2 of cups, reversed

Not the best timing for focus on problematic relationships. Learn to love yourself! Watch out for fair-weather friends.

Jennifer, this is a time to work at truly loving yourself and appreciating all the beauty and joy that you create in the world. You’re a lovely, giving soul and may need to set better boundaries: be cautious of those who only want to be your friends when things are going well for you, or when you have something they want. If they disappear when you need them, maybe take a pass on them for awhile.

Wrapping It Up

To answer your question Jennifer, I think your life will get much better in the coming months– but that requires a certain amount of effort from you! Focus on getting your financial house in order, choose your friends more carefully, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes or not succeed on the first try. If you give it your best shot, you’ll not only succeed beyond your expectations, you’ll also blossom as you progress on your personal journey! Carpe Diem: Seize the Day!

(Or if you’re Goth, Carpe Noctem!)

Submit your question to Raven now using the form here. Each week, Raven will choose a question and perform a personal Tarot card reading, offering her advice, insight, and wisdom based on what the cards say.