After a dark and gloomy January here in the UK, February has finally arrived.
I can sense a sudden exhilarating shift in my mood as if a button has been pressed in my brain.
The days are getting longer, the snowdrops are blooming, the crocuses are on their way, I’m looking out for buds on shrubs and trees…. on our tarot journey, it’s the return from darkness into the light. Yay!
The return to the light is symbolised by the Sun in the Major Arcana. Before we embrace this positive energy of joy and enlightenment, we can put closure on the darkness with this little spread:
Now that we have put the darkness to rest (at least for a while), we can focus on the lighter side of life – creation, success, clarity, simple abundance, vitality.
In the tarot, when the Fool reaches the Sun, he has reached his goal. He is exactly where he wants to be.
In the RWS deck, his achievement is symbolised by the red feather on his head on both cards and the sun in the sky, which has turned from white (beginning) to golden (completion):
In the Cosmic Faery Tarot, I have illustrated the Fool’s milestone as a seedling growing into a beautiful sunflower:
Working with the Sun, ask the following questions:
What has come to fruition?
What commitments have I made?
What do I now understand?
What can I celebrate today?
What is making me happy right now?
The Sun is very much about living in the moment, the here and now. Just for a change, there is no need to make plans or think about the future. What is most important is to savour the present and just be.
The Sun’s energy is linked to various cards in the tarot, most notably the Ten of Swords (Sun in Gemini), which depicts quite profoundly the emergence from darkness into the light.
With Halloween and winter fast approaching, it’s a good time to light some candles, burn some incense, play some atmospheric music and work with the shadow cards of the Major Arcana for some serious self-exploration:
The Hanged Man, Death, The Devil, The Tower and The Moon.
The late Hajo Banzhaf (Tarot and the Journey of the Hero) assigned these cards to the Arc of the Night of the Major Arcana, the descend into the underworld, which starts with the Hanged Man and ends with the Moon.
These are not the most welcome cards when they appear in readings, but when we face them and examine our dark side (including those past experiences we’d rather forget), they can help us turn our darkness into light.
The best way to do that is through self-enquiry. Here are some questions you can ask yourself for each card:
The Hanged Man – What do I keep avoiding? Where am I stuck in my life? In what situations did/do I find it hard making decisions? What sacrifices have I made in order to make progress? What do I refuse to give up?
Death – Endings in my life that were painful. Changes that were unsettling. New beginnings that resulted from these endings/changes. What do I need to let go of now (habits, things, people…)? How can I transform anguish, loss and grief into a new sense of purpose and understanding? What transformations have I experienced in my life?
Tarot spread: 1. Me now / 2. Me a year ago – What has changed?
The Devil – What is controlling me / what am I controlling? Where do I feel trapped? How can I break free? Where am I complacent? Where am I wasting too much energy that isn’t worth it? What am I obsessed about? Where have I been despondent? A taboo in my life / family / society.
The Tower – What am I angry about? When was the last time I showed my anger? What incident or situation shook my world? How have I recovered? When did I feel that my life was falling apart, and how have I rebuilt it? What has gone out of control? What have I destroyed on purpose in order to start again differently?
The Moon – When did my imagination last run wild? What are my fears / insecurities and doubts? What am I confused about? A nightmare I can remember I once had. My lunar fantasies: visions and illusions (pull a card for each). What is obscured and needs to be revealed? Where and how am I deceiving myself?
Make this Halloween a date with your shadow and descend into the underworld with these cards. Enjoy!
Over the last couple of weeks, I have reduced my time on the computer as much as possible.
Of course I’m still available for readings and continue to respond to my students and messages I receive on social media.
But I also had the urge to get immersed into something tangible again, such as art and creative journaling, painting, paper crafting, mandala crocheting, baking cakes, reading inspirational magazines….
There was method behind this computer fatigue madness though; along the way I learned tons of new stuff and generated new ideas for future tarot and journaling projects.
Sometimes it’s vital to take some time out to explore new ideas, evolve and to keep the spark alive (or re-ignite it if necessary).
Perhaps you also feel like taking some time out, and if you are not kept too busy with family commitments over the Christmas / Yule holidays, then you might want to treat yourself to some creative journaling me-time.
First, you could invest in a new Tarot deck to invigorate your intuition and refresh your perspective on the cards. A new and perhaps more unusual (non-traditional) deck may help you avoid stagnant “same old” readings.
Next, you could enrol on a FREE art and healing online course at Willowing Arts. I have recently discovered this network and look forward to diving in. There are two one hour tutorials to download, PDFs and a community to join. Perhaps I’ll meet you there 😉
And for more journaling, you can grab your copy of the Tarot Moon Journal workbook and planner. Manifest your goals with the help of tarot, the moon and the zodiac.
Last but not least, in the spirit of the season, here is another gift for you, which may come in handy to organise your tarot journal or Book of Shadows – a winter themed journal divider / front cover:
Samhain / Halloween is fast approaching, a time when the veil between the world of the living and the dead is at its thinnest.
So it comes to no surprise that if you wish to make contact with dearly departed, this is the perfect night to do so.
I am no spiritual medium and therefore no expert in making contact with dead people, but I do feel it is possible to have a conversation with them through the Tarot.
Many years ago I tried to make contact with my mum, who had died the year before, and even though nothing spooky happened during the reading, I did have some interesting dreams on several occasions afterwards, some of which where astounding to say the least.
This year I intend to make contact with my Dad, who passed over in July this year, so while I’m still going through the process of coming to terms with it, I have the need to reconcile with him in some way.
I do believe that making contact with a departed loved one can help to bring some closure and therefore contribute to the healing process.
So, my advice is only to communicate with the dead, if your intention is reconciliation, closure and healing.
Before you begin, think about the questions you would like to ask your loved one. Write them all down, so you won’t forget during the reading.
Although it’s always worthwhile wording your questions wisely, you can ask anything you like, because you are trying to talk to someone you once loved (and still do), and they loved you too, so they won’t mind!
Questions like “How are you?”, “Are you at peace now?”, “What’s it like?” are perfectly okay. You don’t need to censor yourself. In addition you can also ask your loved one for advice just like you used to when they were still with you.
Do your spirit reading later in the evening on the 31st October. The best time would be around the witching hour. Make sure you won’t get disturbed by anybody, like those pesky trick-or-treaters or whoever lives with you.
3. Sacred Space
Set the scene with seasonal decorations, candles and crystals (see also Halloween ideas).
For this kind of work I love using my Black Obsidian Skull. The energetic vibrations of carved crystal skulls are said to make a mental connection with your brain, thus helping you to be more receptive to messages from the spirit world.
Start with your usual grounding ritual and include a request to the spirit world, such as “Spirit world, please open up to me, so (insert the person’s name you wish to talk to) can talk to me.”
It also helps, if you have a personal item from your loved one you can hold whilst asking him/her to come forward.
Once you feel you are ready, or you may even feel the presence of your loved one, you can begin the reading.
Shuffle your deck while thinking of your loved one. For each question you have, pull a card. The messages you receive from the cards may be from your loved one.
I say “may”, because they may also be from your own subconscious, which knows the answers all along and has the desire to reveal them to you, so you can heal.
Either way, this reading can contribute to your healing process by helping you feel connected to your loved one and getting some answers you need.
If you are planning to do a reading that is focused on self-exploration, then you can try out the spread in the box on the right.
During challenging times, it can be a blessing to stumble across something inspirational, that not only keeps you going but also encourages you to aim higher than you thought possible.
Often it is the simplest piece of advice that can make everything fall into place and lead you into the right direction.
I came across this quote chosen for the Winter Solstice card of my Oracle of Quotes on Tumblr, and it made me change my perspective of the situation I am currently trying to manage.
The time around the Winter Solstice is about new beginnings, rebirth, vitality, illuminations, enlightenment and revelations.
Now is the perfect time to focus on how to make your dreams come true, and really make it happen.
But where do you start?
Well, “ask yourself what is really important and then have the courage to build your life around your answer”.
Change can be overwhelming, but in order to avoid stagnation, it is sometimes necessary to face your fears and recognise your reasons for your reluctance to move forward.
Journalling can help, not only to formulate your goals but also take a step-by-step approach to get to where you want to be.
But instead of using a blank journal, you could try a guided journalling workbook to help you focus.
Check out Leonie Dawson’s 2015 life & biz workbooks, or if you prefer to use the Tarot together with astrology and the moon phases, treat yourself to the Tarot Moon Journal 2015, a gift that will last a whole year, and perhaps even longer depending on how you use it to transform your life…
In the meantime, I wish you a blessed holiday season full of joy, healing and peace.
May you have the courage to make your dreams come true.
A friend of mine told me recently that she found the transition from summer to autumn hard.
The falling leaves make her feel depressed, and she was dreading the unavoidable approach of the long cold winter months ahead.
To a certain degree I understand her sentiment, but once you consciously decide to tune in and embrace the light and dark of all the seasons, you discover the magick and beauty of each one of them.
Just like the trees shed their leaves in the autumn, so can we shed old stuff that is holding us back.
The shedding of leaves is preparation for new life and growth in spring, and we can do the same in order to pave the way for new experiences and growth.
Today is Virgo’s (the Hermit) last day in the sun until Libra (Justice) takes over tomorrow.
Over the last four weeks, the energy of the Hermit has encouraged us to go inwards, reflect and explore what new skills to learn, new knowledge we can acquire and how we can turn it into wisdom that will serve us and others well in time to come.
The New Moon in Libra tomorrow invokes the energies of Justice, encouraging us to create and appreciate harmony in life, especially in relationships, including friendships that need building and nurturing.
So there is much we can do, and the approaching darkness will help us focus on what we need to do including planning and implementing.
Perhaps today at the time of the Autumn Equinox, or over the coming weeks until Samhain, you may want to consult the Tarot to explore some of the following questions to help you gain focus and direction:
What is holding me back right now that I need to let go of?
At this time of year with the energies of Libra/Justice, explore your options rather than making a decision. It’s about weighing up the pros and cons, so you can make your final decision by Samhain (31 October).
What new skills do I need to learn to help me reach my goals?
Depending on the card/s you draw, these could relate to
leadership and creativity (fire, wands),
emotions and relationships (water, cups),
mental challenges and conflict resolving (air, swords), or
hands-on practical skills and money management (earth, pentacles)
What can I do to strengthen my relationships with people that are important to me?
Remember that important people in your life are not restricted to your partner or close family, but also extended family, friends, co-workers, professional networks… Explore how you can build bridges, overcome conflict, encourage solidarity and teamwork, bring people closer together etc.
And here are a few other practical ideas to get you started:
make a to-do list
declutter your bookshelf to make room for new knowledge
network with people and see what you can do for them
when it comes to friendships, it’s not about quantity but quality. Only two genuine friends are worth more than a large bunch of acquaintances, who don’t care about you.
get your finances in order
avoid drama and the people creating it
enrol on a course
Wishing you a Happy Equinox and a magickal autumn season ahead.