Happy belated Solstice! Happy Winter solstice to those in the southern hemispheres and happy Summer solstice to those of us in the northern hemisphere.
This week’s Media Review, during which I reviewed Queering the Tarot by Cassandra Snow, didn’t have any spreads included in the book. So, in celebration of the solstice, I decided to do a spread that I found on Instagram.
I recently started following Seed of Shakti, and they posted their Summer Solstice: Embracing Your Radiance spread. The card formation is a V, starting with Card 1 in the center, then moving up to the left for Card 2, up and to the right of Card 1 for Card 3, then up and to the left of Card 2 for Card 4, up and to the right of Card 3 for Card 5, and so on until there are 7 cards.
For my spread I used the Neo Tarot. There is also an eighth card in my spread, since it fell out while I was shuffling.
As a shuffled, I asked a question or requested a card for each position. I didn’t stop shuffling and then lay out the spread, but rather shuffled until a card fell out while focusing on each position, then continued shuffling for the next position. I found this to be quite effective.
I am my own subject for this reading (don’t worry, I gave myself full permission to share!).
The Fool is open-heartedness, and a new journey. When I woke up and did this spread on the Solstice, I honestly felt like something new was dawning. I felt refreshed. I personally connect to the Summer Solstice deeply (despite my birthday actually falling on the Winter Solstice). It’s always been my favorite day of the year, I think perhaps because it’s the longest.
It is a day of inspiration. Last week I had a week somewhat off from blogging, and took a while to let myself rest and re-examine what I’m doing. Yesterday morning, when I woke up on the Solstice, I felt confident in moving forward for the first time in a long time.
The Fool offers new beginnings and an openness of what’s to come, and that is exactly what I felt. The Fool, this delightful being, confirmed this.
While the Hierophant is generally seen as the teacher or the guide, I see this card as a two-way street. I think it’s being the teacher and the student. It’s a matter of looking at the lessons that can be learned and ingesting them so they can be passed on. Of course, this isn’t always applicable to everyone. Sometimes it is just being open to being taught. Sometimes it’s looking at institutions/organizations which can teach you, or involve conforming to a certain way of thought.
When I first flipped this car over, I saw the two-way street. My first thought was circular breathing, but in a teaching sort of way. When you have learned enough, when you know a subject enough, then you can teach it. I thought about breaking down the lessons I learned into smaller, bitesize wisdoms and sharing them.
One of the best ways I’ve experienced this was when I worked as a writing tutor. I worked with folks from just about every background—adults living in their cars trying to get their GED, high school students taking college classes, students having just arrived from somewhere in Asia learning English, people who were working the same job for 40 years and are forced to learn a new trade, people who were differently abled regarding vision or hearing, and people who were on the Autism spectrum. This experience taught me so much while I was helping them to learn and develop their own skills of communication to get them through their studies.
I truly believe I am about to enter into this role again, in some way.
I’m very work-focused. One of the problems I know I’ve been having is that I’ve been working too hard, so hard in fact that I lost sight of the goal. I also got pretty lonely. I need to adjust myself and remember the goal, and use that as my motivation to prevent burnout. However, the work is there for the garden. I am trying to make sure it grows.
This looks like my hard work will pay off. It’ll result in accomplishment, something having been built.
The 10 of Pentacles is about legacy, creating something that will last. Sure it’s financial gain on some level, but given that the Pentacles, in my book, represent the spirit realm as well as the physical realm (the Pentacle itself having five points—one for each element plus Spirit, and a circle that shows how they all work together to elevate), there is a ‘level up’ aspect to the 10. There will be spiritual fulfillment, and that is what I personally believe is important.
The 9 of Pentacles is usually someone in their fruiting garden, enjoying the labors of their hard work. This is a nice time of rest and enjoyment, a time of giving yourself a pat on the back. But I think it’s also a point of complacency. There is still a further step. What do you do with the fruit and veg? You eat it, share it, store it for the future, make it last. Thus, while the 9 of Pentacles is a great card to get to say that you’ll be accomplishing your goal, it’s also the reminder that you can’t stay in the garden forever. You have go on to the next step.
I need to remember that when I reach a goal, not to be complacent. In fact, I need currently to remember not to be complacent.
This is one of those ‘difficult’ cards that people generally dread. It looks gloomy. But I think it’s a matter or reminding you to keep your head up. While things look rough and gloomy, they’re generally not that bad, or rather, even if they actually are that bad and you have hit rock bottom, you can look up and see that there is support. Traditionally, the 5 of Pentacles depicts two people, sick and injured, in the snow, barefoot, looking down as they make their way. What they don’t see is the glowing church window above them, signaling sanctuary at least through the worst of the storm. That is the support that is there for them at that time.
The message from the Sun is telling me to keep my head up. Just keep looking up. Remember that there’s help if I know and remember to ask and look for it.
Slow down. That doesn’t mean that I’m necessarily moving to quickly or that I shouldn’t be working toward my goals, but rather, I don’t need to be thinking as far ahead as I am. I need to see things as they are, moment to moment. Of course have the goal in mind, but just look at the next two steps opposed to the next ten steps. Things will happen at the pace they do, but in order to fully be present for what I’m trying to achieve, I need to slow my roll.
This is another of the ‘difficult cards.’ Many books, when you read about this card make mention that it’s unclear as to whether the querant is the one having been beaten, or the one who has beaten the two who walk away. I actually had never considered this aspect with this card until I started reading more books for reviewing.
This card has always been about humility, remaining humble. It doen’t do to get cocky.
My main deck has been the Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon, for the last 15 years. The depiction of the 5 of Swords is someone on a raft with all the swords, while the other two are in the water. The message behind it is that while the cotrious one is on top, the waters under his feet make the raft unsteady, and he could just as easy get knocked into the water himself.
This is humility. Don’t get cocky.
Pentacles rule this reading. Pentacles, as I mentioned earlier deal with the physical realm, but also the spiritual realm. If we are not well in our bodies, then it is difficult for us to be well in our spirit (this is not, of course a rule–there are many wonderful people who are chronically unwell and still are beautifully spiritual or well in spirit), and vise-versa.
This reading is about looking after myself on both matters in order to move myself forward. Sure I want to be financially successful, but I want to be healthy. I to be connected to the natural world, to the needs of my body, to sort my weight out, to sort my diet out (after living as a student, generally your diet doesn’t come out positively), and so many other things. This reading reminds me that this is important. This needs to be something of focus to me. Meditation, eating well, exercising will all help me in my career. I can’t think if my brain isn’t nourished, for a start. I can’t feel good about what I’m doing if my spirit isn’t nourished, either.
A recurring number in this is 5. 5’s are the number of transition, which is why they tend to be difficult when they come up in the cards. It is a number of shifting from the lower to the higher, into something better. Thus, when this transition comes up, we feel uncomfortable. But, the Hierophant rules ove the 5’s. There are lessons to be learned, and, returning to the idea of the HIerophant being cyclical, the 5’s are transitioning from student to teacher.
The numbers, when all added up bring me to 44, which reduces to 8. This corresponds to the Strength card. Strength has to do with finding the inner muscle to bring you through a situation or lesson. It is about ignoring brute force, and instead moving forward with the power of character. This means courage, this means compassion. The woman in Strength sooths the lione not because she is physically strong, but because she is using her inner peace to connect with the beast and work with it rather than against it.