Monthly Archives: April 2016
OMG, you guys! I love my Nature Spirit tarot deck even more than when I first found it. I got it back in August, my first RW-style tarot deck. The artwork called to me. It was love at first sight.
But when I started to use it, I became overwhelmed with the complexity of tarot. I put it aside for a while and returned to my runes. Last night, I decided it was time for me and my deck to get properly acquainted. So I did an interview spread. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but I’ve been afraid. I came across some interview spreads other people have done that indicated tough-love sort of decks, or decks that apparently “hated” them. I didn’t want to find out that the first ever tarot deck that called to me was going to be a difficult one to work with. But it was time. It was time to finally find out. And I am so so so happy with the results.
Here is the spread:
Right away, I was stunned by the presence of three cards from my favorite suit in this deck (the wands) and three of my favorite major arcana cards (the strength card is my especial favorite from this deck). As I began to interpret the cards, I realized that me and this deck, we are going to be friends forever.
Here are the questions and my interpreted answers:
- Tell me about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?
- Ace of Wands: I am the latent potential of your creative and spiritual development and a guide to mental clarity.
- What are your strengths?
- II of Wands: My strength lies in helping you to learn from your past experiences and to build from them. I am your guide to new beginnings built on a foundation of your past.
- What are your limits?
- VIII of wands: My strength is aiding your spiritual growth from within, not from without. Don’t expect intervention from an external divine source in your readings.
- What do you bring to the table — What are you here to teach me?
- The Star: I am here to teach you spiritual wisdom and mastery of a quiet mind.
- How can I best learn and collaborate with you?
- Strength: You must use your own inner strength to tame the beast within and acquire the mental discipline needed to follow the path on which I will lead you.
- What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
- You will learn to quiet your mind, to slow down, observe, meditate, and reflect before taking action. With my guidance, you will find inner peace and perpetual spiritual growth.
How lovely is all that? This is a very spiritual deck and will help me more with internal than external concerns. This is exactly what I need at this time. This is what I have needed for a long time. I have severe anxiety and stress. I can do very little without fretting so much about messing up, that I really do mess up. I am rarely relaxed even when doing something I love. I worry about perfection even when I am the only one to witness what I am doing. I really really really need to access my inner strength and find inner peace. I need to seriously chill out, detach from all the stresses around me, and get a grip. :p With the guidance of this tarot deck, I may finally be able to do this! \(^^)/
The Spring-Cross quarter is most commonly known as Beltane in the neopagan community. It corresponds with our modern May Day and with the German Walpurgis Night. Although the Cross-Quarter days have more historical significance to the Celtic peoples than to the Germanic peoples, the most iconic element of this High Day today is the Maypole, which originated in Germanic lands. The original symbolic meaning of the maypole was lost when it was adapted into a Christian context, though some scholars suggest it had something to do with a reverence for trees or was representative of the world tree, Ygdrassil. Some even suggest that it was a phallic symbol, which would correspond well with our current understanding of Beltane as a fertility festival.
Unlike Eostre, which is also a fertility festival, Beltane celebrates the fertility of the people rather than of the land. This is a logical correspondence for ancient pagans, since the first major planting of the year would have been completed, leaving time for more personal pursuits. Even today, Neopagans retain these associations, despite not being as dependent on the land. We may not have to base our entire livelihoods on our crops, but many of us maintain our own gardens and have plenty of work to keep us busy in early springtime.
The Germanic counterpart to Beltane, Walpurgis Night, is named for the 8th century saint, Walpurga, whose feast was celebrated the following day. Although Christian in origin, the Eve of Walpurga’s feast was and is a night for pagan-based festivities. Germanic pagans believe it is on this night when Witches gather for a celebration on Brocken mountain. It is a night, much like Samhain, when the vail between the worlds is thin and marks the end of Woden’s Wild Hunt, which began on Samhain.
Our Own Druidry defines Vision as,
the ability to broaden one’s perspective to have a greater understanding of our place/role in the cosmos, relating to the past, present, and future.
Merriam-Webster defines Vision as,
- the ability to see: sight or eyesight
- something that you imagine: a picture that you see in your mind
- something that you see or dream especially as part of a religious experience
Dictionary.com also includes the following definition after vision as eyesight,
2. the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be: prophetic vision, the vision of an entrepreneur.
ADF’s definition of vision gave me trouble at first, because I associated vision almost exclusively with the future. After stepping away from the definition for a few days and returning to it with a fresh, and more vision-oriented mindset, I found the part involving the “past, present, and future” to be more palatable.
Vision, per my own modified definition, is the willingness to see time, place, self, and other all in perspective such that one can and will make a wise decision for the future. In this way, the future remains a significant component of vision, but it is dependent on the past and the present. My definition is similar to ADF’s except that I think vision, as a virtue, should involve a willingness moreso than an ability. Vision requires action based on “a greater understanding.” Having an understanding, like having an ability, is not enough in-and-of-itself to be a virtue. To be virtuous is to actively use our understandings and abilities.
n.b I have modified this essay from the original for grammar and readability.