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.

Reading: True Magic

Still feeling all ruffled and weird inside. Better than before, yes, but scared and vulnerable too. So I decided to try another spread from Barbara Moore’s Tarot Spreads. I settled on the “True Magic” spread to help reframe this issue in a way that can make me think outside the box. Think “magically,” if you will! I’m feeling at a loss for quite what to do and, like I said, feeling quite vulnerable. So as has become my norm, I am seeking some perspective from tarot 🙂

Reading 2016, Jan 8
Ostara Tarot

Position One: The magic I have, whether I realize it or not

Page of Swords

An enthusiastic curiosity and willingness to tackle any obstacle I find worthwhile. And I find this current obstacle incredibly worthwhile. I think that is part of what makes it so painful. It is so important to me, but the path is made of quicksand. I have to tread carefully. In some situations I’m totally at peace with taking things slowly. In this situation I am so eager to reach a better place I feel antsy and confused and unsure of myself. If I reframe this feeling as enthusiasm and dedication it may make the process easier.

Position Two: The magic I need and should try to acquire

The Emperor

Trust in stability. Trust in the stability of family. I need the magic of a supportive safety net that I know and believe will catch me if and when I fall. I need the magic of believing in the stability of other people’s love. I am fiercely loyal to those I love, but I don’t trust that most people who love me will return the favor. I need the magic of having people in my corner.

When I first began learning about this card, I didn’t really care for it. It felt rigid and bossy and constraining. I am beginning love this card because I pine for what it can represent: safe stability.

Position Three: Who will help

Ten of Coins

Well … family! Those I look up to and long to be family with. They can help, but we come from such different backgrounds that it is tricky ground to cover together. We each have such different ideologies about how to handle these things and how to even communicate about handling these things.

And perhaps my grandmother can help too. She is still with me in spirit, so even though I can’t call her anymore, I can feel her and know what her advice would be. She and I are soul mates, and I know she would want me to see this though. She would be firm that I stick around and not run away.

Position Four: What to do

Two of Cups

Practice active loving — and that includes for myself. This is trickier than it seems in this situation. Loving myself feels like standing up for myself (which I’ve done), and loving this other person feels like forgiving and allowing for another try at this. I want to do both, and that’s where I’m a bit conflicted. Where and how do I hop back and forth between to the two? To both protect myself and to participate in the rebuilding of this relationship? I’m not sure what the answer is, but those are indeed both things I deeply desire to do.

Position Five: What not to do

Five of Swords

Do not be so prideful and stubborn that I hurt myself and those around me. On principle it is tempting to throw in the towel and say, “Look, I’m done. I can’t do this anymore.” It would be one thing if that was the healthiest and best path for myself. But I would be devastated. Being vulnerable and working together is scary and will be hard work, but it’s better than the long-term regret and sorrow that would come from removing myself entirely from the relationship. That would be a mistake.

Position Six: Outcome

The Tower

I was startled when I turned this card over at first, but then I immediately thought, “Oh! A fresh start!” There has certainly been a proverbial fire, and an old way of functioning in a relationship is crumbling. So the outcome is the destruction of a damaged and unsafe way of being. I certainly hope that is utterly destroyed. I’m happy to burn that to the ground. I would love this outcome! This is best case scenario. I don’t want anything to do with the old way of things. I want positive and loving communication and respect. Not indifference and anger. Burn, baby, burn!

Overall Impression

I feel like this reading was loud an clear about family, love, and trust. I really feel like I’m settling into a comfortable groove with tarot where my intuition can kick in, and I can really connect the cards to my life. It’s a very cool feeling, and it’s such a support! I feel more physically at ease after a reading. It gets my thoughts more settled and allows me to find very productive ways of viewing the world and approaching the things that come up in my life. Ah, I love it!

XIX. The Sun

The Sun
Efflorescent Tarot

Card Meaning

The Sun symbolizes clarity, joy, simplicity, knowledge, and openness. When considering the third row of the Major Arcana as a whole, the Sun is significant: from darkness (in the Devil and Tower) to light (from the Star, to the Moon, to the Sun). What was in shadow in the light of the Moon is now clearly seen.

The Sun is a card of self-confidence. It can represent a harmonious joining of our eternal selves and our mortal selves or the discovery of our own inner Garden of Eden. When we have made the connection between our inner light or eternal self and our mortal self, how could we be anything but confident? To know that such beauty and power lies within us is empowering and joyful indeed! The joy of the Fool has been transformed into a joy bred of self-knowledge and experience.

I love this statement by Paul Quinn in Tarot for Life: “‘Light is above us, and color around us,’ observed Goethe, ‘but if we have not light and color in our eyes, we shall not perceive them outside us.’ The brighter our inner Sun, the more apt we are to see the Sun in the world (as within, so without)” (128). Quinn also relates the card to our inner child and says this is not a refusal to see that which is painful or bad in the world — but rather the knowledge that goodness burns brighter and will outlast these things (129). One of the keywords the Animal Wisdom Tarot assign the Sun is “radiance.”

The Sun
Gypsy Palace Tarot

As card 19, 1 and 9 make us think of the Magician and the Hermit. The Magician reminds us of the “as within, so without” adage, and in the Sun, the Hermit has climbed out of his cave radiant and whole. 1 + 9 = 10 (The Wheel of Fortune), which indicates that even though the Sun might seem like the end of the Fool’s Journey we still have some changes in store.

As the sun in the sky is a source of life, the Sun card might lead us to ask “What is sustaining me and supporting me right now?” And if we are full of Sun energy ourselves, what are we doing to help sustain others?

A shadow of the Sun could be being a little too cocky, perhaps in assuming the world revolves around you. Another shadow could be false cheer, only as an outward performance. An opposite or reverse of the Sun could be refusing to see the light and good of things, keeping your own light from the world, or having low self-esteem.

Elemental Association

If I were to assign an element to the Sun, it would be fire, air, and water. Fire for joy, air for knowledge, and water for spiritual harmony.

The Sun
Animal Wisdom Tarot, Animism Tarot

Personal Reflection

Honestly, the most Sun-like part of my life is practicing tarot. I’ve tried many things (all kinds of hobbies, not only spiritual practices) and enjoyed them, but nothing has gotten me so fired up and excited and sure that I can be awesome at something as tarot has. I’m loving every second of it. I have the privilege of staying at home right now, and I spend probably four hours a day usually studying tarot. And the time flies! I mean seriously flies. I already have plans in the works to set up an online reading business, but I’m waiting to learn more and save up for starting costs. Even so, I think about it every day. I look into logos and LLCs and how others do email readings and all kinds of things. Tarot makes me confident in a way I don’t think I’ve ever been. I feel empowered and good at something and wildly enthusiastic! Tarot is my Sun-place, and hopefully that will eventually leak out into other parts of my life that could use a little more self-confidence.

XVII. The Star

The Star
Efflorescent Tarot

Card Meaning

The Star is hope, calmness, and peace. After the rubble has settled from the crash of the Tower, we see a Star letting us know we’ve made it through. It can also represent healing and wholeness.

Visually, this card is very similar to Temperance, but the woman in the Star is naked suggesting a comfort with one’s true self. Additionally, the woman in the Star card pours the water out into the pool of water and onto the ground. She gives freely and trusts that her energies will be restored. Paul Quinn in Tarot for Life reminds us that our human wells do sometimes run dry. When that happens we need to pause and replenish.

The Star
Gypsy Palace Tarot

As card 17, 1 + 7 = 8, which is is Strength. The strength needed to love our true selves, and the strength needed to make it through the fall of the Tower.

The Star can also speak to our wishes and dreams. I think Huszka’s representation illustrates this beautifully. I also really enjoy Joanna’s depiction of the Ibis, wings spread, beneath a waterfall and gazing up at the bright stars. The Animal Wisdom Tarot’s peacock (“The Illuminator”) reminds us to take pride in who we are.

A shadow of the star could be ideals that are too lofty. An opposite or reverse of the Star could be refusing to see the light, despairing, or keeping our energies bottled up.

Elemental Association

If I were to assign an element to the Star, it would be water for the spiritual and emotional calmness it represents.

The Star - animals
Animal Wisdom Tarot, Animism Tarot

Personal Reflection

So far, the only times I’ve seen the Star in a reading it’s been telling me I’m too idealistic about certain things. So even though it hasn’t shown up in its more warm and fuzzy meaning for me, I love the imagery, symbolism, and meaning. Things might still be a little dark, but not fearful or destructive. More curious and exciting. We wouldn’t be able to see the stars at all if it weren’t for darkness.

I particularly like the meaning of healing. Healing is possible, and it can be beautiful like the Star rather than always painful or uncomfortable. Rather than focus on the darkness surrounding me, focus on the beautiful light. Which takes self confidence and strength. It can feel incredibly vulnerable to let myself feel hope.

Reading: The Tower

Reading 2015, Dec 1
Gypsy Palace Tarot, A Reading for The Tower from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

Position One: What structures my life?

Five of Pentacles

My experiences of hardship, pain, and rejection.

Position Two: How has it supported me?

Ace of Swords

It has supported my intellectual gift. I have nurtured this side of me because it was the safest piece of myself to grow in that environment.

Position Three: How has it confined me?

Justice

I can often have a skewed or confused sense of justice. I am both acutely aware of inequality and injustice, and I struggle with whether my expectations and ideals of justice are fair or if I “rule” too harshly. I lack self confidence in decision making and my sense of true self.

Position Four: What will break it apart?

Queen of Pentacles

My gentle friend the Queen of Pentacles is back to remind me: true joy in the world around me. Surrendering to what is beautiful and joyful in this world. Accepting the love and nurturance of those who encourage this in me.

Position Five: What will emerge?

Page of Pentacles

A new me. A curious and enthusiastic woman happy to explore the world around her for no other reason than the joy of learning.

XVI. The Tower

The Tower
Efflorescent Tarot

Card Meaning

The Tower represents sudden or surprising change, upheaval, revelation, chaos, crisis, or spiritual awakening. Spiritual awakening is particularly relevant when considering the Tower’s location within the Major Arcana’s third row of cards. The Devil was illusion, materialism, and imprisonment. In the Tower, the illusion is shattered.

If we compare the Tower to the Tower of Babel, it speaks to the idea that human constructions (be it buildings or even language itself) cannot ever reach or describe the divine. Language, for example, can blind us to the fact that the worldly and the divine are intertwined. This same idea that language divides the world and therefore the very way we see the world is also a sociological idea. The Tower shows (at least some of) these constructed ways of seeing or understanding the world being destroyed. The lightening can represent the divine spark which instigates change or enlightenment.

Like the Wheel, there is water at the bottom of the Tower, but the change in the Tower is perhaps more sudden and certainly not as anticipated as changes indicated by the Wheel. The water below both indicates a deeply spiritual and/or emotional experience of change. The waters below the Tower in the Efflorescent deck are much more turbulent than the waters in the Wheel. The Tower seems perhaps like a forced and much less peaceful Hanged Man. If we refused to or were unable to reach victory in row two of the Major Arcana, our perspective may be changed anyway, and it will be jarring and scary. (The people falling from the Tower are getting a new perspective whether they like it or not.)

The Tower
Gypsy Palace Tarot

Huszka’s depiction shows a women whose body is out of proportion and who looks pretty dismal. This is a great representation of the disorienting feeling of a Tower experience. At the very bottom of the card, we see some stairs leading down into the water (or into the unconscious). If we take these stairs and explore the meaning of our Tower experience, we may be reborn, so to speak, like the figure emerging from behind the woman. The Animals Wisdom tarot depicts a winged snake helping to destroy the Tower, and snakes can be a symbol of new beginnings and rebirth. I like the name of this card in the Animal Wisdom Tarot as well: “The Quickener.”

Paul Quinn in Tarot for Life reminds us of the saying, “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable” (114). That is what we see in the Tower. (Though of course the Tower could at times represent a more positively felt revelation.) However, we have to acknowledge our Tower-like experiences as such or else we may set to work rebuilding the very same tower over and over instead of seeing that there is something better or bigger to be attended to.

Joanna’s description of the Tower imagines we are standing on the crumbling structure: “Beware. Watch each step and be forewarned: one must tread cautiously here. So pause, and calculate each step carefully, because one wrong move and everything will collapse, bringing with it a world of chaos.” This brings to mind our agency. Even when it feels like we’re being thrown through space and our foundation is gone, we do still have choices. And these choices can greatly influence how the Tower falls and what the ultimate outcome will be.

The Tower - animals
Animal Wisdom Tarot, Animism Tarot

A shadow of the Tower could be this refusal to learn from these experiences. An opposite or reversed meaning could be preventing or trying to prevent a Tower-like experience.

Elemental Association

If I were to assign an element to the Tower, it would be fire and water. Fire for the power and transformation of the card, and water for the intensely emotional and/or spiritual experience of this transformation.

Personal Reflection

Much of my life has been so traumatic, I think I actually expect most things to end is a horrible and chaotic Tower moment. Thankfully, things don’t work out that way much anymore, but even the expectation of my world crumbling around me kind of ruins (or seriously mars) many experiences. It makes it hard to enjoy living in the moment when I “know” it won’t last and will end horribly. It’s not a super helpful way to live. So I think I need to stop seeing Towers in the distance where there are none. I’ll find out later what the remaining Major Arcana cards might say about that.

Daily: The Hierophant

HierophantThis is the fifth card of the Major Arcana.

Personal Reflection

I’m not sure at face value what this card means, but I’ll list some of the symbols I see. It seems like a religious figure. They’re holding up a hand with three fingers and a staff with three horizontal pieces. Two keys cross on their chest, one white one black. Several tall columns line the space where The Hierophant sits. A crescent moon is on the foot of the robe.

Reflection After Research

The Hierophant is associated with the element of earth, which indicates an association with the external forces in our lives.

This card represents conformity/convention or deception, which can be thought of a few different ways:

  • A deception. A covering up of one’s true self in order to conform to better fit in.
  • A deception. A covering up of knowledge or information because you might think it best. This assumes you know what is best and can decide that for others. (Or the opposite, someone trying to hide something from you and deciding they know what is best for you.)
  • Conformity. Authoritative orthodoxy. Institutional and cultural expectations. Persecution or punishment for failure to conform.

This is in contrast to card 2 of the Major Arcana: The High Priestess. She can represent heterodoxy (being unconventional or in the minority). The Hierophant represents a “higher” or “divine” authority as opposed to a legal or governing authority as the Emperor might.

The pillars represent the strength of the Hierophant’s philosophy. But pillars are man-made and can crumble like the Tower. This card may urge us to pay heed to the balance between our belief system and the truths we hold and openness to new ideas. To not be afraid to question how we came about some of our ideas. A rigid and dogmatic approach to life or to others is a refusal to understand the social location of others. Or perhaps we are feeling punished or persecuted by a “hierophant” in our lives: an institution, social pressures, religion.

We do not exist in a vacuum and we do not learn our values and beliefs in a vacuum either. I like what Paul Quinn says in Tarot for Life: Reading the Cards for Everyday Guidance and Growth: “Our task is to keep the ones [the ideas] that expand out spirit and retire the rest. … the Hierophant represents not only what one has learned or must learn, but also what one must eventually unlearn to nurture the heightened consciousness beckoning in the World card” (62, emphasis in original).

So the light side of this card could have to do with moral or ethical matters, loyalty to a group or collective beliefs, or following your own path even if it goes against convention. A shadow side to this card could be unquestioning conformity, self-righteous or dogmatic views, or behaving in ways that do not conform to your values.

Returning to the element of earth, this card represents how we view the world and how we are expected to behave within the world.

Hierophant - animals
Animal Wisdom Tarot, Animism Tarot

From my animal decks: 

Bull: Bull can represent sacred knowledge passed though generations “through custom, ritual, symbol, myth, and beliefs.” Dogma is rigid, but a rich symbolic history of our beliefs can be a pillar for us.

Stoat: A link between realms.