Weekend Forecast: Building Your Own Personal Community

E. Tempesta

Yesterday I read Bethany’s December Letter from the Editor about just not feeling celebratory this month. I thought about it all night, about all my people and how they were feeling and the heavy cloud so many of us are under.

For the first time in weeks, I slept well, and when I woke up, I got out my deck. I thought about Bethany’s letter, and my people, and our parenting community, and what we need. Not what message we need, or some new way of looking at our situation that would help. Not some hope for the future in spite of these dark times. What will lift us up? I asked. And I pulled the three of cups.

photo credit E. Tempesta

photo credit E. Tempesta


Holy shit, just look at it. It’s beautiful. Three of cups. Three richly-draped people standing amidst a harvest, toasting one another. It’s simple, whole, and—whoops—celebratory. Their outstretched arms overlap to form a circle, and three of them stand together, showing completion and strength in both shape and number.

I don’t know what story this circle of figures tells you, but to me, it’s loud and clear. Normally I read these cards much more generally, but here and now, for me, this three of pentacles is my friends Bethany and Lindsay and I, the way we feel at our strongest. We started working on this publication a couple months ago, but we’ve been trying to build something for longer than that.

Bethany and Lindsay have known each other for a long time, and they invited me into their lives at a crucial moment when we each knew we had something to offer, but we weren’t sure what form it would take. But we all felt called to build community and community power.

In a circle, there are no weak points. Every part is exactly as strong as every other part. That’s how I feel about these friends of mine. Our collective energy strengthens us all, even when one of us (or all of us) struggles. We keep each other strong to keep doing the work; and I have been amazed by the way that that circle has grown into the community that is Candor. Even through some of my hardest experiences, I feel supported, loved, and celebrated.

So, why this personal story? I was hesitant to tell it—I didn’t want it to be all about me, so I looked for other, more general ways of reading this card. But in the end, this was the clearest illustration I could offer of what this card is telling us. Solidarity is power. It’s what moves us beyond surviving into thriving. You don’t have to just huddle together for warmth: come together in celebration of each other. Build circles of mutual admiration and vision in your community, and commit to them enthusiastically and completely. Three of cups says: celebrate your people. They make you strong.

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