Monday 31 October 2016

Tarot Blog Hop: Samhuin 2016

Welcome to Alison’s Alembic! You may have arrived here as a stop on the Tarot Blog Hop from either Louise’s Priestess Tarot or Ania M'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!

(First of all, I have to apologise for any weird font sizes that follow. No matter how many times I reset them to 'normal', Blogger insists on making it all tiny again. If they still look odd, I hope you all have a good magnifying glass to hand!)

It’s the time of Samhain (“summer’s end”), a liminal time when 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. Our wrangler for this particular Blog Hop, Louise of Priestess Tarot, has asked us to think about how we might connect to the ancestors, to see what advice they might have for the coming year. She suggested we might want to design a spread, or a sigil, or anything else with the cards that connects advice from the ancestors to the year ahead.

Now, it just so happens that in another pagan group I work with, we’ve been set the task of creating an organic symbol which we’ve imbued with things we want to release – known and unknown - into our Samhuin fire. I thought I could combine this symbol with the challenge Louise has set. So, here’s a photo of my symbol, made of the sunflower stalks and dead fronds from plants in my garden…

…and here’s a spread based on that design. Not an original shape, by any means, but I hope you will find the concept useful. The cards are from the Margarete Petersen deck, and all card images are copyright Margarete Petersen.


Five of Flames (trimmed):

Card 1(at the top): What do I need to let go of?

The Five of Flames. I need to let go of anger, channelling it into something more useful, like clarification. As Margarete Petersen says “cleansing the atmosphere like a thunderstorm”. This certainly hits the nail on the head...I spend too much time railing against things I don't seem to have much control over. This feels much more productive!

Moving clock-wise around the symbol...

Four of Coins (trimmed)

Card 2: What do I need to protect?

Four of Coins. I need to protect my boundaries, work out where I need to be and maintain that – and then rest! Again, excellent advice. I've been letting too much 'crap' sneak in. Some time spent reviewing the situation (to quote Fagin) will help me gain better perspective, and show me what I need to hold onto and protect.

Hierophant (trimmed)
Card 3: What do I need to learn?

The Hierophant (V). I need to learn how to make the ‘outer’ rules work with my ‘inner’ ones – to stop kicking against all the restrictions by trying to understand the reasons behind them, and then working with them productively.

Mediatrix (trimmed)

Card 4: What do I need to create?

Mediatrix (XIV) - Temperance in other decks. A better balance in my life.

It's hard to see in this image, but the figure dances above the glyph for the planet Pluto. Now, I've always associated Jupiter with this card, but Pluto makes me think about transformation, about the urge to change at a very deep level... this balance isn't just about surface stuff!

Ace of Flames (trimmed)
Card 5: What do I need to pass on to others?

Ace of Flames! The spark of creativity, the seed of a new adventure…that new beginnings are not only possible, but are ready and waiting for us.

This card comes up for me time and time again. Clearly I haven't been getting the message... Perhaps I've spent too much time in unnecessary conflict, or fighting against perceived rules and boundaries that have kept me off-balance. Time to re-dress all of that over the coming year.

Thank you for stopping off here on your travels through this Samhain Tarot Blog Hop! Please do come back and read some of my other posts – I’m currently working my way through the Margarete Petersen deck!

The next stops on the Tarot Blog Hop are - depending on whether you’re moving backwards or forwards through the list - Louise’s Priestess Tarot or Ania M's blogs. The Master List can be found here.

Margarete Petersen Tarot, Copyright ©2014 Königsfort-Urania Verlag


  1. Fab, another spread for me to try. Thanks :D

  2. Wow, it's a beautiful spread and I love the cards that have come up (and the images are lovely!). Your Pentacle is really well done, and rather inspiring...!

  3. Just realised that I forgot to leave a comment when I read this the other day... I ended up veering over to Amazon and buying a deck... Oh! The hazards of hopping! Nice spread, I will take it for a spin :)

  4. I love how versatile that shape is for spreads ;) This is a lovely one, and the advice felt very pertinent, remembering what we spoke of at the TABI Conference.

  5. I keep getting the Ace of Wands or Flames a lot recently too. It's wonderful to recognize that spark of creativity, but quite another one to access it and stop paying too much attention to all the noise around you. Best of luck in the coming year breaking through!

  6. Beautiful wreath & spread, thank you lovely! :)