Thursday, 31 October 2013

Tarot Blog Hop - Samhain 2013





Welcome to Alison’s Alembic!   You may have arrived here as a stop on the Tarot Blog Hop from either Joanna Ash's or Lynda Hardy's blog.  Or you may have found this through TABI’s Facebook page, or though one of the many wonderful tarot bloggers in the ether... It doesn’t matter – what does matter is that you’re here! 

We’ve been asked, for this Samhain blog, to write on the theme of ‘Love’, linked to tarot or other forms of divination. I struggled for a long time with this, not knowing where to start. I mean, what a huge topic, and what a range of approaches that could be taken!  ‘Overwhelmed’ only begins to describe my feeling.  Finally, I sat down and thought, OK, what is it I love about tarot and divination in general? And here it is...

The thing I love most about life is its cyclical nature. On a very literal level, I love watching the changes of the seasons, watching what nature is doing as things move from one stage to another – all part of the cycle of the year.  As an astrologer, I love how the way that the zodiac demonstrates the cyclical, or spiral perhaps, nature of life. Perhaps not surprisingly, given that I have a Scorpio Ascendant (!), this is my favourite time of that cycle (in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere, at least).  As a child I loved kicking through the piles of red, orange and brown leaves, to and from school.  I loved the mystery of Hallowe’en, of collecting a ‘soul cake’ – far more intriguing than the sweets generally on offer!  Leaves fade, decay, and rot...all around us are signs of death and dying, as nature prepares for winter and a deep sleep before waking up again to the warmth of spring, ready for the seeds that have been buried underground now to burst forth.  Scorpio reflects that darkness, that compulsion to go deep underground and explore what’s underneath – our shadow, if you like.  


The Guardian (15), Wildwood Tarot
I love the idea that this is the time when this world is closest to the ‘otherworld’, that the veil that separates us from those who are no longer walking in this world is thinnest. The Day of the Dead, a time to honour the ancestors.  And, in the old Celtic tradition, the end of the year.


Five of Vessels, Wildwood Tarot
...and from there I come to the tarot. I love the way that tarot and astrology come together, the rich tapestry of mythology that underlies it all enriching the cards, allowing the readings to take on a greater intensity.    

My love of this time of year is reflected in my favourite cards in the tarot, some of which are linked astrologically to Scorpio (no surprise there either!).  I love the image from the Wildwood’s Five of Vessels, for instance... reminding me of the ecstasy that comes from shamanic trance dance, which seems to me a very Mars (traditional ruler of Scorpio) in Scorpio energy... 



Death, Thoth Tarot
The Journey, Wildwood Tarot
I’m often drawn to the Death cards in decks – the Thoth and Wildwood images being particular favourites.  

Here it’s not just the images, the artwork – although that’s powerful enough in both cases - but also the knowledge that’s come through working with this card about the power of transformation, challenging and difficult and painful though that may be.  As Jung said, the shadow is 90% pure gold!

This time of year is associated with the alchemical process of nigredo, the breaking down and ending of a cycle, out of which new possibilities come forth. Glennie Kindred, in her magical The Alchemist’s Journey (published by Hay House, 2005), writes of this being “an opportunity to explore emotional depths at the deepest level. I become aware of where I am disconnected from Love and where I am emotionally stuck.”  So many thanks, Glennie, for the inspiration for my Samhain spread... (using the Wildwood Tarot)
Knight of Arrows


Where am I disconnected from Love?
 

The Knight, or Hawk, helps me realize how I allow doubt and uncertainty to undermine Love in my life.   

Six of Bows
 
What is hidden in Shadow?


The Six of Bows reminds me that there’s abundance all around me, if only I’d take the time to look in the shadows! 



Great Bear
What will help me to re-connect?




The Great Bear (20 in the Wildwood's Major Arcana) suggests that being more patient, more honest, and more forgiving – not just with/of others but also of myself will help me to re-connect with Love.





Thank you for stopping off here on your own journey through this Samhain Tarot Blog Hop!  Please do come back and read some of my other posts, looking at astrology in the tarot.  


The next stops on the Tarot Blog Hop are - depending on whether you’re moving backwards or forwards through the list -  Joanna Ash's or Lynda Hardy's blog. The Master List can be found here.



Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by US Games Systems, Inc.
Wildwood Tarot created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections

9 comments:

  1. Hello! What great cards you got for this spread (my first one of the hop - hooray!) - and the Thoth fits in rather nicely with the Wildwood!

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  2. Love your choice of cards! I got stuck in the middle for quite a while... as imagined the Thoth Death and Wildwood 5 of Vessels having a little dance together, waltzing away... :)

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  3. It's funny how many of us love this time of year. :)

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  4. I'm loving you expressing a kind of Walk Into The Phoenix place, like a womb, like experiencing a magical twilight bridge of dusk and dawn between times... so that seasonally crossing, The Phoenix will re-awaken. Thoth and Wildwood are two great tastes that taste great together. I hadn't ever put them together before, and now they are like family to one another. Thanks! Happy Hallowe'en and have a Spooktacular day!

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  5. I don't have a Thoth deck (though I do have a "Thoth clone" that I like) - so I'm not familiar with the artwork on many of the cards. I agree with you that Death is one of my favorites, in general. And the Thoth version is really beautiful. Though I don't usually love the versions that depict a skeleton and a scythe, there is something really lovely about the colors and movement in this card that are just beautiful! Thanks for sharing a great spread, as well :)

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  6. Really love the cards. What a unique thing to do, to intermingle Thoth and Wildwood in your description of the Death card. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I'm a Scorpio Sun, and like you I love the changing of the seasons, the constant flow of death and renewal. I have the Thoth and the Widlwood but never felt drawn to using them together until now. The contrast/similarities between then are stunning.

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  8. Another wonderful spread! That's at least three I've seen so far as I start belatedly hopping around!!

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