I’ve been feeling in a bit of a funk recently. In the past month I’ve been hit by two viruses (cold or flu or a combination of both, I’m not sure) and the reality of our possible move to the US is really starting to sink in. I have so many mixed emotions I don’t even know what is going on anymore, so I decided to ask Dame Darcy for a bit of a check-up to put the main issues into size-manageable pieces. This is an open reading and the only card that has any sort of positional meaning is the last one.
While my first instinct is to start off reading chronologically from left to right, the Empress feels like my significator card here. Her purview, like my concerns at the moment, is all about nurturing, comfort and abundance, and right now I feel caught in between all of the new possibilities, opportunities and encounters a move to the US could bring us and the very real knowledge that we will have very little money to live on. How will we survive? How much are we, and my kids particularly, going to go without as we scramble to find our feet? Will the whole thing fail?
This seems to be a pretty accurate representation of the situation at hand so I decided to pull one more card for advice. The Four of Pentacles – solid, practical, stable and my good ole reliable stalker card. It tells me to keep my shit together and find a balance between hopes and fears. No one ever grounded their feet in the air or water of cups and swords, so it’s time to come back to earth, to give the dreams a rest for a while and try and ease up on the anxiety by simply taking it one sensible, solid step at a time.
I took the outline of this spread from Barbara Moore’s Tarot Spreads book, which is packed with plenty of layouts that go well beyond your basic three-card and Celtic Cross.
This spread was originally designed as a seven card affair, with positions based upon the gods and goddesses of the ancient Greek pantheon. To increase its resonance with me I decided to use the gods from my own pantheon, adding two cards (the number 9 is highly significant in Norse myth) and amending some of the positional meanings to better represent the scope and character of the Northern gods.
Tyr – The role will and determination play in your life
The High Priestess – My will and determination play an integral yet somewhat secret and hidden role in my life. For the outside, I am aware that I do not appear to be a particularly ambitious person, but it is there, quiety bubbling underneath, informing and driving my actions and desires. These things do not manifest loudly in what I say, but quietly in what I do and how I choose to live my life.
Odin – The role learning, knowledge and wisdom play in your life
The Fool – New beginnings, always new beginnings. I try to approach life as a perpetual student, always learning something new, something challenging. The Fool shows not only how unwanted ignorance plays a role in my quest for wisdom, it also reminds me that the things we do not know in life will always outweigh those that we do. Regardless of how stern or studious a face we put upon ourselves, there is always plenty of room for humility, humour and the ability to laugh at our own foolish ignorance with lightness rather than embarrassment. The Fool says, relinquish pride and never be afraid to admit what you do not know, it is only in this admission that you will ever be able to learn anything new.
Frigg – The role that sensitivity and intuition play in your life
King of Swords – My sensitivity and intuition shape how I plan my approach to life, events, challenges and people, they are the primary tools I use to make sense of the world. The mind and rationality are important to me, but it is my intuition that leads my thoughts to places where they then seek to create some semblance of structure of order. Furthermore, taken literally from the card image, my intuition and sensitivity inspire my desire to write and share my thoughts on the stranger, and often stigmatised, things in life like divination and alternative spirituality.
Freyja – The role spirit, mystery and magic play in your life
Eight of Wands – In any other deck this might be quite an odd card to pull here with it’s swiftness and speed, in Ceccoli however we see a doll like girl holding twinkling fireflies on strings like balloons that gently illuminate her face. She looks as though she’s listening to their messages and seeing them through her mind’s eye. It’s a beautiful image and I can see myself tethered to spirit and magic in such a way, letting it softly guide my thoughts and illuminate different mystical possibilities.
Freyr – The role that sensual experience, pleasure and joy play in your life
Page of Swords – Yep, totally inevitable that I should pull a Sword here. I often get so wrapped up in the pleasures of my mind, reading learning, thinking, playing with ideas and communicating them, that I feel quite out of touch with my body. My joy comes from acquiring new knowledge and playing in the mental realms of imagination and I often feel that were my character understood elementally, I would be all Water and Air with a dash of Fire, but very little Earth (do you see any Pentacles in this spread?). Much of my relationship with my body is perfunctory, treating it more as a vehicle for my mind and soul, and I am prone to neglecting its needs and pleasures. Freyr reminds me that I must make changes in this area and do more to enjoy and appreciate my body.
Thor – The role of friendship and family in your life
Seven of Wands – Quite a funny looking card to show up here, but what I think it is saying, quite simply, is that friendship and family keep me in check – they ground me in reality and challenge any tendencies towards selfishness, they give me a reason not to partake in destructive behaviours because I know the consequences will be swift and undesirable – I do not wish to disappoint or lose face in front of those I care about and have a responsibility to protect.
Heimdall – The role of observance, listening and receptivity in your life
Ten of Cups – I find this a really interesting and apt card here, as much as I like to write and create output, what gives me that Ten of Cups feeling of fulfilment is the opportunity to absorb. Spending time people-watching, reading, seeing films and generally observing all of the peculiarities of humanity helps me to feel like a part of it and emboldens me to explore even further.
Saga – The self-constructed narratives at play in your life.
Five of Wands – I think because of where I live and the difficulties I have faced to remain with my family, I have built a narrative of us against the world. I have dreamed of living a life of radical action, but there is no magic flaming sword to defeat this dragon of bureaucracy and violent state politics, so I begrudgingly appease it with my compliance to maintain the status quo. The narrative then is one, not of victimhood or rebellion, but pragmatism, and the knowledge that some dragons cannot be slain.
The Disir – A message from your ancestral mothers on how you can improve your approach to life.
The Magician – Don’t fear the unpredictable, wear the masks you need to wear, use your skills and know your worth. Have magic and be adaptable, know your surroundings and know your audience, these things will serve you well in life. Despite what they say, it is never too late for a leopard to change its spots.
I found this great ancestor spread on the blog Tarot in a Teacup and thought it would be the perfect reading to do on Halloween. Since I found the Wild Unknown Tarot and Animal Spirit Oracle work so well together, I decided to use both for this reading.
Top Row: What is my ancestral lineage?
Gazelle, Panther and Lizard – The first thing that caught my attention with these cards is that all three are designated as Fire animals by the deck’s creator, Kim Krans. A few people in my family have done some work on our family tree and both my maternal and paternal lines are populated by immigrants, and I see the fire of these cards characterised by this heritage of wanderlust and questing for a better life.
In Gazelle and Lizard, I see two creatures of acute observance, aware of their surroundings and always attuned to any change in their environment – the slightest movement, the faintest breeze or a new scent. There is astuteness in this lineage, attention to detail and a hint of vulnerability too.
In the little paper fold-out of card keywords, Krans defines the Panther as representative of “annihilation of the unnecessary, purging”, which is a wonderful precursor for the following three cards. Continue reading “Halloween Ancestor Reading”→
Lisa Frideborg posted this fantastic spread a few days ago and I’ve finally had a chance to give it a go. For full details and a good run down of the Sun, Moon and Rising signs’ significance I highly recommend you check out her post here.
The cards in the central vertical column act like significators, they are the Major Arcana cards that correspond to my Sun, Moon and Rising signs, which are Gemini, Capricorn and Scorpio. The card to the left of each significator indicates where you are out of balance in this area, and the cards to the right indicate what you can do to restore balance.
I decided to use the Wild Unknown Tarot for the significators and imbalance cards and the Animal Spirit oracle for advice on how to restore harmony, to give me that extra boost of having a spirit guide to visualise and call upon for assistance.
The Sun sign represents your ego-personality in this lifetime, which in my case is Gemini/The Lovers. I associate strongly with the element of Air, always up in my own head thinking, thinking and thinking, which frequently troubles my ability to fall asleep or stay focused while performing repetitive or menial tasks.
The Wing of Isis spread is one of two spreads created by Alana Fairchild especially for the deck, she says that it is intended to “lift you into new understanding”, and after some interesting one and two-card draws I thought it was time to try another larger spread with the deck. The cards are read left to right.
What is the real issue for me right now on a spiritual level?
Ancient Power Mysteries, “Hear the Rattle of Isis Playing”
Excerpt rom the guidebook: “You are guided to use words that reflect the experience you would like to create in your life. It may involve shifting how you speak , for example, rather than focusing on struggle or what is not working, focusing on the signs of life and healing that you experience. This may also include using chant, incantation and prayer…The Oracle guides you to honour the power of your voice whether through spoken or sung words, and in what you write, speak about or stand for symbolically also.”
Today is my birthday, the big 33 – old and uncool to a teenager and a child to a crone – so I decided to pull a rather random mix of cards for some reflection time and guidance.
First, I went to the Ceccoli tarot for a simple three card draw.
What lesson/s have I learned in the past year?
The Moon – I have learned that there is a whole other universe of energy, mystery, meaning, truth and power both within myself and in the universe. All is not as it seems and I have been sleepwalking for far too long. Continue reading “Ecclectic Birthday Reading”→
Lisa Frideborg of Angelorum recently posted a special spread for this month’s full moon. Luckily the kidlets fell asleep at a reasonable hour so I had a chance to draw my cards in preparation for the full moon tonight. This particular spread is all about personal accountability, opening up to your guides and getting your sh*t together so you can move forward and evolve. As a deck dedicated to the dark creatures of the night with precisely zero fluff, I thought this would be the perfect time to crack out my brand new Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels, with the added lunar energy boost of my new little selenite stick.
Position one starts at the bottom left and the spread works its way up, left to right.
Lisa Frideborg of Angelorum yesterday published a fantastic post and new spread about healing the Witch Wound. Witch wounds are the battle scars women inherit, carry and pass down after facing millennia of patriarchal institutions and dogma telling us that our bodies are shameful and that our capacities for power, creation and intuition are wrong, sinful or the delusions of ‘hysteria’. As an out-and-proud feminist, it got me all fired up and excited to share. I highly recommend following the link above and giving the post a read as it provides more context to the spread, and will get you in the mood to face the scars you carry with the courage to confront and heal them.
1. How the witch wound has crippled me
Knight of Wands – I have spent most of my life with all of the passion and drive, but none of the confidence of this Knight. For much of my 20s I was The Party Girl, I wanted to charm the pants off of everyone, be popular and have a good time – I wasn’t very good at it. What this attempted image was masking was an incredibly low sense of self-esteem and self-hatred. I felt that I wasn’t worth anything beyond what other people – particularly men – thought of me. I felt myself hollow, talentless and pointless, tormented by the fire I carried, believing it brought me nothing but false promises. I had so much passion for learning and so many dreams of things that I wanted to pursue, but they all came to naught because I felt I was destined to fail at anything I tried. All of this unused wildfire morphed into an almost frenzied aggression I directed inwards, I would harm myself quite spectacularly and in so many ways, hoping I could burn so bright I would just burn myself right out of existence. Continue reading ““We are the granddaughters of the witches you weren’t able to burn””→
Lisa Frideborg of Angelorum recently posted this fun exercise on my favourite tarot Facebook group, the 3 of Cups Tarot Community, to explore the court cards and the elements of their personalities that are dominant within us. My draw pretty much nailed it, so I thought it might be nice to share it here!
So, the exercise is as follows:
After you have separated the court cards from the rest of the deck choose one that you feel best represents you. Write down some of the reasons why you feel the closest connection to this card, return it to your court pile and shuffle.
Cards face-down, select another card. This represents the hidden, inner, lunar you, the deeper layers of personality that you don’t always show to the world and perhaps don’t even own fully for yourself. Take some notes and return it to your pile and shuffle again.
Pull another face-down card. This represent how you are perceived in your closest relationships. Same process, take notes, return to pile and shuffle one final time
Draw another card face down. This card represents your public face, the way that your boss and co-workers who you aren’t close with see you.
Finish writing down your final first-impression notes, did any particular court card appear more than once? Is one elemental suit more dominant than another? Do the court attributes appear to complement or contradict one another?
*A few words of warning: two of the cards drawn contain nudity, full frontal male and full frontal female. I would categorise both as artistic nudity, the images are not sexual or exploitative, however I am aware mileage and opinions on nudity do vary, so you have been warned!
I’m a couple of days late with this, the full moon was on the 11th but the youngest and I both came down with a nasty stomach bug, so while I did manage to draw some cards in the haze, I didn’t have any energy for a write up.
Anyway, in keeping with the strong message for centring on expression and communication in my weekly forecast reading this week, for this full moon I decided to do this lovely spread I found on Little Red Tarot called What’s Howlin’ (the spread was originally conceived by Chanel Bayless, but the link to it on her site seems to have expired). This spread is all about the messages and desires you are yearning to unleash.
With the energies of the full moon, this is an opportunity to ask the High Priestess to lift the veil a little and allow out the most urgent messages of the unconscious mind…what does it want to be heard? What needs to step out of the shadows and into the light?
The obvious choice for this spread was the Mary-El, the primal energy of this deck can match a wolf’s, howl for howl!
1. The message you are howlin’ at the moon
The Fool – cue Freddie Mercury singing “I want to break free”, because I’m feeling ready for something entirely new. Stability is turning into stagnation and my little wolf is howling out that she is ready to pounce in some new direction and shake things up a bit. This is, however, going to require a bit of creative thinking on my part as I can’t really change the basic format of my day, I have two young kids to look after and a house I would rather didn’t look like a dump, so I need to hunt down something dynamic and new to do in those few hours when the littlies are napping or out playing. I feel up to the challenge though, and there are a couple of new things I’ve been meaning to read about, learn and do, but have so far procrastinated on really dedicating my concentration to. The Fool tells me it’s time to stop messing about and jump right in.
2, 3 & 4. How you can communicate this
The Tower – Big changes need to be made. To release my heart’s message I am going to have to take a long, hard look at the structures I have built up around it and knock down what is holding me back. I’ve been feeling like I am standing on unsteady ground recently and the Tower warns that it is time for me to start dismantling some of my thought patterns and behaviours before everything comes tumbling down in an almighty crash. I feel almost constantly tired and drained, so I need to dig deep and start rebuilding myself anew, because what I’ve got going on now emotionally is not working. I don’t need a completely new life, but I do need a new way of beingin my life.
Five of Cups – This is one of the cards in Mary-El I find an interesting deviation from the RWS. In the guidebook, White relates the unicorn to both Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of Norse mythology, and the teacher and wounded healer Chiron from the Greek sagas; she speaks of sacrifice, guardianship, peace and heartache. I feel this image speaks to the fact that I have always been interested in the healing arts. Although it will be a few years before I can begin any studies in a healing tradition or discipline in earnest, this card reminds me that healing can be done at any time, by anyone – it can start at home, it can start with me. I don’t need a degree or years of training under my belt to practice empathy and compassion, I already do do that, but I can do so much more by simply listening harder to what is around me. I have relationships to heal: with people, with the idea of spirit and with the earth. I can start that now.
Queen of Wands – This Queen looks straight at me, almost through me, and while her expression isn’t judgmental, she has no time, I repeat, no time for my bullshit. She knows a thing or two about desire, about going after what she wants, and she knows a thing or two about be burnt in the process. Drop the affected apathy and go boldly forth, dream big, care for something, burnfor it, she says.
Well, she sure has me pegged. I do extinguish my own enthusiasm, almost the second it appears, I’ve done it for so long now it isn’t even a conscious effort for me to do so. This all stems back to the years of listening to that little jerk-brain inside telling me I’m not good enough, not smart enough; that whatever I try I am ultimately going to fail; that no one is ever going to care about or notice what I do anyway, so I’d better not get too invested in the outcome, that it is best to remain detached so my inevitable disappointments don’t hurt. And it’s true, if I don’t invest all of my hopes into my efforts I have nothing to lose, but I’ll never really have anything to gain either. True creativity demands your heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears, and this Queen tells me it is time to do give all of those things and just strive, strive, strive.
With two Major Arcana cards relating to change, destruction and renewal a large upheaval is being asked for this full moon. I need to get to the bare bones of my situation and think about what needs to be demolished and what needs to be fortified. The path forward is not yet clear, but with a bold and open heart it soon can be. I must say, this draw hasn’t come as a complete surprise, there are a number of things changing in regards to where I feel called on my path, most of which are very unexpected, but my eyes and ears are open, I am ready.