This card came up reversed. The upright meaning is given here as "determination, triumph over obstacles, willpower, self-control, controlling one's own destiny." The reversed meaning is "pressure, lack of self-discipline, no clear focus, scattered energies, loss of direction."
I have been engaged in a struggle between these two states of mind for a few days now. This blog project is about regaining focus, encouraging myself to write habitually and coping with emotional duress. Sometimes it feels like it's working, and sometimes I feel like I'm falling behind. So this is a very suitable card for the day. I used to be upset when I drew reversals, which usually have more negative meanings than their upright counterparts. My wise and wonderful girlfriend, who exposed me to Tarot in the first place, taught me a better way of looking at reversals, which is that it might be an encouragement to change things around, to fix whatever's broken. I have also noticed that I tend to look at a card's "full" meaning a lot more when it comes up reversed -- that is, I take both the upright and the reversed meaning into account. And they are both important! For every good mood and accomplishment, there's a drawback or a failing hiding in the woodwork. And vice versa.
Today I woke up very late, having stayed up to an ungodly hour last night trying unsuccessfully to finish a piece of writing. I had bizarre and often unpleasant dreams, the confusing kind that blended a little too much with reality. The day is dark, cold and wet. It was a great setup to have a lousy and otherwise unproductive day. I think the relevance of getting this card today is to show that I am teetering on that precipice, in danger of tumbling into a dark place, but I still have time to rein myself in. It's late to be "starting" anything today... the sun hasn't really shown itself, but it's still "going down." Sometimes darkness and bad weather deter the hell out of me. Today I'm not going to let that happen. I'm going to put a good effort forth and get some things written, and some things read.
"Scattered energies" could also refer to how I am balancing a lot of projects now. I have started reacting to my continued unemployment by piling more and more projects on myself, either trying to ensure I stay busy or actively trying to overwhelm myself (I can be terribly cruel to myself when the mood is right... or wrong). Maybe having scattered focus isn't a bad thing though. Maybe I can little important pieces done on a lot of different things at once. That's what I would hope for a day like today.
It's an old and well-repeated sentiment, but that only means it's easy to forget how true it is: the best attempt is all we can ever do.
I'll be back, maybe with something less hippy-dippy-introspective, later on.