Question: May we please have advice for dealing with bullies and bullying?
The Card: Two of Pentacles, Minor Arcana.
Colours: Green, Brown.
The Deck: The Rider-Waite Coleman-Smith, first published in 1910. Card illustration here by Aimée.
Lunar Position: I cast the reading during the Waxing Crescent in Pisces, in a plume of white sage, with compassionate intentions. May it harm none.
Physical Description: In the Two of Pentacles, we see a jauntily-clad person on a beach juggling two golden coins with agility. The coins move through the air in the shape of a figure eight/infinity symbol. In the background, two sailboats ride swooping ocean waves. The person looks relatively calm, alert and confident, though the task at hand is challenging. They wear a tall red hat, green shoes and a red belt over a tunic with many red buttons. They use their whole body to achieve balance during their juggling dance.
Advice: Two of Pentacles reminds us, while change is possible, change is not linear and often unpredictable. One day, you may think you have made a difference in a bully’s life. The next day, you may feel discouraged when they bully someone again. Patience and flexibility are required. Sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back until the way forward is clearer.
If you are being bullied, you may be tempted to change yourself to avoid attacks. However, Two of Pentacles depicts a person who is proud of their unique character and choices. Though it can feel challenging, be yourself. The bully is a person in pain who can make anyone a target. It is not your fault you are being bullied. Spend time with people you trust and who make you feel good. Whenever possible, do not spend time with people who make you feel unwell or bad about yourself.
Workplace bullying is sadly very common. The Two of Pentacles advises to keep your income streams multiple and diverse to avoid feeling trapped in toxic workplaces. The suit of Pentacles also shows that our bodies, trust, health and income are all inter-related. Start by only working for people and organizations you trust. This may reduce the chances of being bullied at work.
If you are being bullied at work, please remember you can make changes in your life. You have power. You do not have to accept things that damage your health for the sake of money. Trust in your skills and trust your loved ones to help you find healthy work and healthy places to be.
In the Tarot, the suit of Pentacles is ruled by the element of Earth. Earth is the slowest moving element. While the Two of Pentacles is a lively card, it is still an Earth card. This reminds us that changing behaviours such as bullying can take a long time. Healing can take time too. The suit of Pentacles also suggests prioritizing physical health and rebuilding trust in both the bullied and the bully’s life.
This card suggests we need to take multiple approaches or tactics when we deal with bullies. What is effective in one instance may not work in another situation. Everyone is different. Time, counselling and shifts in perspective for both parties can help improve the situation. Be willing to change your perspective and habits. Allow yourself to be surprised by someone’s changes or lack thereof!
Also be willing to make changes to your behaviour. Whether you are being bullied or bullying someone, the situation is not sustainable. Change must happen to lead you to healing. Holding tightly onto the hurt will probably not help you. The Two of Pentacles shows us change is constant and we must embrace change to grow and maintain balance.
Finally, the infinity symbol in the Two of Pentacles reminds us of the larger picture. If you happen to be a bully, ask yourself, “what does the path I am making look like from above?”