New Moon Wellspring

I laid this spread out the night of the new moon, but I’m a couple of days late sitting down and interpreting it in detail. I found this spread at Little Red Tarot, and I pulled the shadow card as well.

7 - New Moon
Ostara Tarot

Position One: Where I stand

The Tower

Things are certainly changing all around me. I wasn’t surprised or taken aback at all to see this card in this position. Job, home, town, certain relationships. So much change at once! But really most of it is good. Old things are falling down as new things sprout forth. But it does feel turbulent just because it’s so much at once!

Position Two: Something to leave behind

Four of Swords

I’ve been a bit frozen as I watch the Tower crumble. Again, mostly good things, but it’s BIG and a bit overwhelming. I haven’t been accomplishing much lately, including things I value very much (like keeping up with practicing tarot daily!) because I’m like a deer in the headlights. Some of these changes will take a while to take full effect. Sitting here frozen isn’t going to help the process along or make it go faster. Carrying on won’t either, but at least I’ll be doing things I enjoy! Time to get off my tush. I do have a life to live between now and when the full effect of these changes happens. I can’t just sit and watch the world go by for the next few months. How sad would that be!

Position Three: Something to receive

Ace of Pentacles

An absolute abundance of opportunity! Smile and welcome it 🙂

Position Four: Something to learn

Two of Pentacles

Balance. Thanks Two of Pentacles. Like I didn’t know that. I’m always sassy to this card when it shows up. It’s so darn practical and obvious. But that doesn’t make it any less true! Balance these huge, slower moving changes with my day-to-day life stuff.

Position Five: Something to give

Ace of Swords

I’m a smart lady. I need to be sharp and give my knowledge and thoughts during these super big changes. It’s really important to be on my toes and active in these large decisions. This next month is not a time for brain relaxation.

Position Six: My hopes and dreams

The Hermit

A home to call my own! Mr. Donkey and I are planning our own little cave. Our own get-away from the world. A safe and cozy and family-oriented space to thrive and grow.

Position Seven: My secret special skill

King of Swords

I don’t do bullshit. And like I said earlier, now is a time to be on top of things. Don’t let anyone pull the wool over my eyes. Don’t get tricked. Stay sharp, speak up, and be a commanding presence.

Shadow card

Page of Cups

My emotional bits are still bruised and sore. There will for sure be some incredibly difficult emotional moments and stretches during these changes. It’s just the way it is. It will happen, and it’s better to acknowledge that than to pretend otherwise and be knocked flat when it happens. There will be really bad days. But hopefully there won’t be many of them.

Gray Day, Open Reading

This morning I was particularly sad. I’m taking a break in communicating or spending time with someone, which is something I need to do while I figure out what I want or what to do. But that doesn’t make it easy. I’m sad! I miss them! This ache was, for some reason, rather acute this morning.

I wanted to do a reading but wasn’t sure what to ask, so I decided to do a four card open reading. Then I couldn’t decide on just one deck, so I decided to consult two of my tarot “friends.”

Reading 2016, Jan 25
Top row: Ostara Tarot, Bottom row: Gypsy Palace Tarot

Ostara Tarot’s Message

Ace of Coins, The Hierophant, Four of Wands, Seven of Coins

The Ace of Coins says to me that there is an opportunity for a new beginning. In this scenario, I’ll consider that beginning as encompassing most of my world: work, family, relationships, home. While this can be a good thing or lead to a sense of stability and joy (Four of Wands), it is not an easy thing. I am having to question many of my currently held beliefs (The Hierophant), and it’s not quick work (Seven of Coins). The colors in this spread seem very mellow. This feels like it emphasizes the slow nature of the work I’m doing right now and reminds me that many wonderful things grow out of slow processes. This wait is part of what makes the end result so valuable or special.

The Ostara description of the Ace of Coins mentions the garden as growing “organically” — things will happen as they unfold. I can tend my proverbial garden, but I can’t make a rose a watermelon or make a sprout flower overnight.

The Hierophant represents not only belief systems, but larger systemic structures. I can search for outside wisdom and inspiration during this time. For example, I’m reading my new book The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren and it is already giving me so much to think about as I process my emotions in this situation. The Ostara depiction is my favorite Hierophant because there’s a book and pages. A plant grows out of the Hierophant’s head here — another hint at organic unfolding.

The carrots in the Four of Wands offer a similar hint.

The Ostara depiction of the Seven of Coins with the little raccoons snuggled in their tree reflects the need to patiently cultivate the world around me. The coins seem to magically grow out of the tree, representing where true treasure lies.

Here, the Ostara Tarot is reaffirming the slowness of this transition in my life. It is what it is. I should use this time well.

Gypsy Palace Tarot’s Message

Two of Wands, Nine of Wands, The Empress, Ten of Pentacles

I’m feeling trapped in a “stay or go” cycle of questions in my mind. Huszka’s depiction of the Two of Wands warns us that if we wonder for too long, stagnation and decay will set in. While I wait for the things that need to unfold organically, I can throw some fire energy into other things, like planning for my tarot business and being a good partner to my sweetheart.

I think in this situation, the Nine of Wands can represent not only my current sense of defensiveness but also my questioning and restructuring of personal boundaries. Particularly emotionally. This is one of the things that I feel will unfold as a combination of organic, subconscious happening and concerted, conscious work. Right now I feel like the grumpy woman guarding her fenced-in property!

The Empress reminds me to be nurturing and compassionate, which I think I’m doing a pretty good job of lately with myself. With others it feels tricky because of my unsureness about where and how to set boundaries. Before, I’ve always put others before myself, so it feels strange to put myself first and to leave others be on their own. I look forward to striking some kind of balance between the the Nine of Wands defensiveness and the Empress’s outward love and nurturance.

Where the Ostara Tarot gave me the Ace of Coins, The Gypsy Palace Tarot shows me the Ten of Pentacles. In fact, the Ace is the first card in my spread, and the Ten is the last! Perhaps here the Ten may indicate the end of an old cycle of being and thinking. One that worked for a while but isn’t functioning in a healthy way anymore. It can also represent a hopeful peek into the future: a joyous Ten of Pentacles representing success and fulfillment.

Broader Observations

Each deck gave me one major card and a combination of coins/pentacles and wands. No swords, no cups. Much of what is happening feels like emotion and thought, but perhaps this spread indicates these are actions that are unfolding organically around and within me. The two major cards symbolize, broadly, love (The Empress) and beliefs (The Hierophant). I feel that these two things are really at the core of what is happening in and around me right now. I am full of love, but I just have to figure out what I really believe is the best way to share that and to protect my heart.

Reading: The Emperor

Reading 2015, Nov 10 (2)
Gypsy Palace Tarot, A Reading for The Emperor from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

Position One: How am I an Emperor in my life?

Nine of Swords

At this transitional moment in my life, I think this card can have two meanings. (1) My life has been structured by pain and grief. I can’t say whether I’ve built it that way or whether I “let” it happen, but either way pain and grief have been my life’s scaffolding for a very long time. (2) As I seek to take control of my life and rebuild my self and my approach to the universe (a possible “reverse” reading of the card), I am taking the Emperor’s role of both creating structure and stability and of protecting myself. I am stepping up to the throne, so to speak.

Position Two: How am I not an Emperor?

The Sun

I am not an Emperor when I use tarot to grow my spiritual understanding of myself, the world, and the universe. I am an Emperor by choosing a form of study to help me on the path of self-care, but I do not let structure get in the way of exploring tarot. I am able to not worry about what is “right” or “wrong” and to delve into the cards with an open mind and heart. A curiosity and openness that isn’t very Emperor-like. And I think that’s a good thing!

This card also appeared in my reading for The High Priestess. In that reading, The Sun spoke to letting my inner truth shine forth. By not over-Emperor-ing my approach to tarot, I can facilitate that happening.

Position Three: Where do I need to take charge?

Queen of Pentacles

The Queen of Pentacles loves nature, values hard work and simple pleasures, and brings love out into the world. She is a queen (water) within the suite of pentacles (earth). Perhaps I need to take charge of consciously finding the simple pleasures the world offers and anchoring my life’s structure around these things. I also ought to take charge of making sure that I am giving love into the world as well. The Emperor hold his orb representing his responsibility to the Whole. Part of this responsibility could be making sure my love is not hidden away. Share it consciously.

This is the third time she has shown up in five Major Arcana readings! First in my reading for The Fool for where I can be more foolish and last in my reading for The Empress for what nurturing gives me. All extremely positive positions.

Position Four: How am I weak?

Knight of Swords

Knights are air and swords are air. As I’ve said numerous times, I can be an overly-air-heavy person. My weakness is in placing too much value on intellect and “right” and “wrong.” This would lead an Emperor to be rigid and domineering, punishing or abusive even. I can work on overcoming this tendency by following the advise of the previous card: The Queen of Pentacles as a guide for where to take charge in my life: water and earth. I should just be careful to not take charge in such an “air-like” fashion. Take charge in some ways by giving over to water and earth. Letting water and earth take charge within me.

Huszka’s Knight of Swords looks like kind of a mess. A storm rages behind him, ships fly through the air, he has one leg and no pants. He keeps trudging forward, but maybe he needs to stop and reevaluate for a bit.

Position Five: How am I strong?

Ace of Swords

The Ace of Swords in this position may remind me not to demonize my air qualities so much. They are a strength. They just need to be directed in an appropriate manner so I don’t cut myself or those around me. My mind is strong. Use that strength in a positive and productive way.

Position Six: What rules, conscious or unconscious, govern my life?

Ace of Pentacles

Even though I am sword/air-heavy, there is a little Ace of Pentacles beating in my chest begging to be set free and planted in the ground. It feels like a bit of my “true self” that is trapped at times. I think that the rules that govern my life boil down to the interconnectedness of all things. People, animals, plants, the universe. The physical things that surround me are things I am intimately tied to, and so I want to be in harmony with these things. In loving harmony with my family of choice, in loving harmony with the creatures and plants that fill my world, in tune with the greater spirit/web that connects us all.

This card also appeared in my reading for The Fool regarding what gifts the Fool can give me.

Overall Reflection

I enjoyed this reading very much as it was a great way to see both the ways that I take power and control within my own life and the way that I either need to let go of power and control or need to take control in a different way/realm.

The presence of two Aces might suggest the great potential that lies before me as I take charge of my life.

Reading: The Fool

I just received Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook: Master the Meanings of the Cards. After each Major Arcana card description, she provides a reading about that card. So I thought doing these readings after I explore each card would be a perfect way to work my way through the majors. So here is the first one: The Fool’s Reading.

Reading 2015, Nov 6
Gypsy Palace Tarot, The Fool’s Reading

Position One: How have I been a Fool in my life?

The Devil

This one has taken a lot of thought and reading, and I’m not sure I’ll get it “right.” Good thing practicing tarot isn’t about one right answer! 🙂

As I’m skimming through the majors, I’m beginning to get a sense of the story or path that they show. Of the different experiences and lessons we all go through or need to achieve on our “fool’s journey.” Frankly, I haven’t mastered a lot of things along the way. I didn’t have a lot of guidance, and so I think this card here might represent that. I was “chained” by my longtime assumption that I was responsible for the emotions of all of my family (of origin) members. I was chained by the assumption that I had to have these people in my life, even when they sucked my own life energy away. Silenced by the assumption that I couldn’t stand up for myself.

How have I been a Fool in my life? I think the problem is: I haven’t. At least, not in a long, long, long time. So I’m a Fool who has lost my intuition, but I am aware of my chains. Not the world’s happiest thought. But it’s true.

Position Two: How has it helped me?

The Lovers

Being aware of these chains, the little Fool inside me is not content to sit down and remain chained forever. This could be a choice that The Lovers represent. In addition to representing choice, The Lovers also represent connection. I see my chains, and I can choose to chip away at them by forging connections. So while my past certainly hasn’t “helped” me, my awareness of the damage it has done is essential to leaving it behind. And love is essential for this process: love of my myself, love for my family of choice, and love from my family of choice.

The Lovers can represent a (very delayed!) adolescence of sorts for me. A getting to know myself, which means letting go of these proverbial chains and going out into the wide world — like The Fool.

Interestingly enough, the number of The Devil (15) reduces down The Lovers’ number (1+5 = 6). I’m not sure what that means here, but it is interesting.

Position Three: How has it hurt me?

Nine of Pentacles

The woman in the Nine of Pentacles is able to enjoy the success of her hard work. Rachel Pollack in Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom says, “‘Success’ here means not so much worldly achievement as success in ‘creating’ ourselves out of the material given us by the circumstances and conditions of our life” (243).

I think I’m going to go with a double-negative here since my answer to Position One was that I haven’t really played The Fool. So I’ll say that not playing The Fool often enough has made it difficult to obtain and enjoy a successful self-creation. This is something I am currently working on now. Through The Lovers’ influence of love for self, for others, and from others, I am taking ownership of my own life by being less serious and creating myself through joyful (“foolish”?) exploration.

Position Four: Where in my life do I need to be more foolish?

Queen of Pentacles

Pollack in The New Tarot Handbooks says this queen “brings passionate love to the living world” (255). The Animal Wisdom Tarot says, “Pig encourages us to dig up lost, vulnerable, or despondent selves” (80). I should be more foolish both out in the living world and in my inner world to free my lost (Fool) self. Get silly, think silly, be silly.  The Queen of Pentacles takes joy in the small things in life. Things don’t have to be complicated to be beautiful and bring happiness.

Position Five: Where will the Fool not serve me?

Knight of Cups

This knight is dreamy and prone to fantasizing. The Fool also is not action-oriented. To successfully unchain myself, I will definitely need to take definitive action. I can certainly take time for introspection and thinking and dreaming, but these things alone will not free me.

Position Six: What gifts does the Fool bring me?

Ace of Pentacles

Aces are representative of beginnings, and so is the Fool. Pentacles represent earth energies, which are the things of our physical world: friends, family, home, work, money, sex, pets, nature, activities. The Fool freely explores whatever strikes her fancy. She can gift me this ability to lovingly explore and experience the world around me with excitement and childlike wonder.

Overall Reflection

This was a really hard reading for me, and while I’m not totally confident in the interpretations of each of the individual cards, this has been a good exercise for thinking about my inner Fool.

Additionally, three of the six cards were pentacles. In my exploration of The Fool, I assigned her the elements of earth and fire. I absolutely have the drive (fire, wand) in this situation; it’s putting it into action in the world that is tough. So perhaps this was another nudge to not think so much about my motivation and desire, but to manifest these desires physically.

Halloween Reading

I wanted to do this yesterday, but we were awfully busy and I wasn’t able to. So I’m doing my Halloween reading one day late. I found this spread at The Daily Tarot Girl.

Reading 2015, Nov 1
Efflorescent Tarot

Position One: The Costume, who do I want to be this year

Four of Cups

The Four of Cups speaks to dissatisfaction and inner contemplation. I like to consult all of my little white books, and the Animal Wisdom Tarot book says, “Isn’t it time to come out of your shell?” Yes, that’s who I want to be this year. Someone who can let go of the supposed stability (really, rigidity) that keeps me dissatisfied, feeling trapped in myself. While it’s good to look inside myself for contemplation, I can’t stay there forever. It’s time to crawl out of my shell and be a freer, and happier, person. The guide for the Animism Tarot mentions a fear of change. I acknowledge that this fear exists, even as I so wish for change to happen.

Position Two: Possessed, what drives and inspires me

The Moon

The Moon speaks of the unconscious, how it affects us, and sometimes deception.

The moon is our primary natural source of light at night, and by the light of the moon things may or may not be as they seem. In the same way, my unconscious can bring my attention to important things by showing them to me in a new light. But it can also distort reality and make me feel fearful or drive me mad. I am driven by a desire to be a healthy and whole person. To understand my unconscious and how it and my traumatic past influence me so I can take conscious control and grow as a person. It feels like a tightrope pretty often: incredibly empowering and incredibly scary. Are those friendly dogs or hungry wolves under that moon? I’m not sure, but I keep going.

Position Three: Candy, how to get more sweetness out of life

Ace of Pentacles

The Ace of Pentacles represents opportunity. I can get more sweetness out of life by taking hold of more earth-centered opportunities. Create and accept physical comfort, the feeling of home, the wonders of nature, and the presence of my loved ones. I can get sweetness from putting down roots rather than retreating so often when things feel scary. Stay put, ride out the storm, and enjoy the physical joys that come from being in the world.

Position Four: Haunted, ghosts from the past

Ten of Cups

My past is the opposite of the Ten of Cups, which represents unconditional love, family, and bliss. I absolutely did not have a stable support system, and any time I thought things were going well, the rug would be violently pulled out from under me. I desperately want what the Ten of Cups represents. Who doesn’t, right? But any time I feel like I’m getting close to a life that might resemble the happiness contained in this card, I am absolutely gripped with fear that it will all be taken away and that the people I thought could be my loving family aren’t really invested in me and that I’m replaceable and unimportant. It is indeed the ultimate ghost from my past.

Position Five: RIP, how to banish those ghosts for good

The High Priestess

This is a tough one for me. The High Priestess represents intuition, the unconscious, and keeping secrets. Perhaps she is an indication to keep moving along my moonlit path, even though it’s a bit scary. She may also be saying to use my intuition more and my conscious intellect less. Feel my way along the path rather than think my way. Paul Quinn in Tarot for Life says, “that wisdom cannot merely be handed to us; we must feel our way toward it” (46, emphasis in original).

Position Six: Monsters & Goblins, fears and negative habits I’m ready to let go of

Ten of Swords

The Ten of Swords represents defeat. I’m tired of being depressed! I’m tried of fearing that my family of choice doesn’t love me as much as I love them. I’m tired of being afraid to show that love and appearing overly cool with them. Animals Wisdom Tarot’s Ten of Feathers is the vulture which can represent bringing life from death and flying high to shift the way we see the world. I’m ready to do that. I’m not assuming it will be easy, but I’m so ready.

Elements & Aces

Today I’ll be exploring a few lessons from The Alternative Tarot Course by Beth of Little Red Tarot. I’m thinking about the elements, the aces, and how I can connect these things to my own life.

Pentacles

Ace of Pentacles
Ace of Pentacles, Efflorescent Tarot

Pentacles are the suit of our material lives. Things like home, money, health, work, bodies, sex, and nature. Pentacles also represent the element of earth.

Ace of Pentacles opportunity: I’ve recently been able to quit my job, and I have the opportunity to nurture my home and health. I can vacuum and wash dishes and do yoga and walk in nature and craft. In general, I’ll be a better partner. And I’m pretty darn excited about all of these things!

Pentacle & Earth Parts of Me: I love being in nature, and I love animals.

Room for Improvement or Balance: I’m not always very in tune with my body or very good at taking care of it.

Wands

Ace of Wands
Ace of Wands, Efflorescent Tarot

Wands are the suit of our inner fire. Things like “ideas, projects, creativity, beginnings, inspiration… the things which motivate us, excite us and drive us forwards.” Wands also represent the element of fire.

Ace of Wands opportunity: Pretty much everything I’m doing right now feels wand-y. I’m full of inspiration on my new life path! I’ll get back to writing my novel which I’ve neglected for months now. I’m learning tarot which is really fun so far (and really helpful too). I have my whole life ahead of me, and I feel for the first time like I really am the author of my own life.

Wand & Fire Parts of Me: I can be really creative. I am passionate and driven. Sometimes I’m adventurous.

Room for Improvement or Balance: Trust my creative self more.

Cups

Ace of Cups
Ace of Cups, Efflorescent Tarot

Cups are the suit of our emotional and spiritual selves. Things like “love, connection, sadness, spirituality/religion, soulfulness, artistic creativity.” Cups also represent the element of water.

Ace of Cups opportunity: Since I am able to stay at home now, I will be able to dedicate much more time to caring more for my mental/emotional health. I’ve been struggling a lot lately, and I’m looking forward to caring for myself. Which will make me better able to connect with others.

Cup & Water Parts of Me: I am compassionate. I have depression, anxiety, and c-ptsd, so my emotions are out of whack at times. I feel things deeply. I love animals freely and people cautiously.

Room for Improvement or Balance: Emotional stability, trusting others.

Swords

Ace of Swords
Ace of Swords, Efflorescent Tarot

Swords are the suit of our intellectual selves. Things like “knowledge, truth, justice, strategy, communication, obsession.” Swords also represent the element of air.

Ace of Swords opportunity: I am now able to try building my intellect in new areas. I have primarily focused on formal education — I’ve loved school since the first day of kindergarten! But I’m looking for fulfillment and satisfaction elsewhere. And I can use my smarts to learn skills associated with the other suits/elements: crafting, communicating, writing, creating. It will be a new adventure for my thinking brain 🙂

Sword & Air Parts of Me: I am hardcore analytical and very intelligent (in a sword-y kind of way … the rest, not so much). I have an obsessive personality.

Room for Improvement or Balance: Don’t think so darn much. Feel and go with the flow.

Overall Reflection

I think that at this moment in time, Wands/fire are my biggest strength. I just need to trust myself to use those parts of myself. While I’m “best” at what the Swords represent, I’m overly dependent on my mind and need to cultivate my others traits and care for my body and heart. A better balance is what I’m working toward.

In my daily draws and readings now, I’ll try to take note of the elements at play and take them into consideration in my reflections.