Welcome to Alison’s Alembic! You may have arrived here as a stop on the Tarot Blog Hop from either Hannah Berg's or Brandi Hopkins' 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!
It’s the time of Samhuinn (“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, Jay Cassels, has asked us to look at where we are at the end of this cycle – what’s happened to us since last Samhuinn, and where we might be headed as we begin a new year.
This resonates with me more than usual, as I’m approaching the end of an even bigger cycle early next year – my Saturn Return! Not only that, but this year sees Jupiter travelling through Scorpio, the home of my natal Jupiter, so I’ll be experiencing the end of yet another cycle during the coming year.
With all that in mind, I’ve decided to use the Spirit of the Circle spread (as described in the accompany book to the Druid Animal Oracle) and my ‘go to’ deck for this time of year, the Wildwood.
Card 2 Card 7 Card 4
Spirit of the Ancestors The Gift Spirit of Time
Card 5 Card 6 Card 3
Spirit of Place Spirit of the Journey Spirit of the Tribe
Self: Queen of Bows - Hare
This suggests that over the past year I’ve become kinder to, and more understanding of, myself – and, I hope, others too. These qualities have certainly helped me to complete several of my long-term projects earlier this year, and I'm sure they will stand me in good stead in whatever I set out to do over the coming year.
Spirit of the Ancestors: 5 The Ancestor
(I kid you not - I really did draw this card!)
I’m at the gateway of a new cycle, I know. A turning point. I’m wary of what lies ahead but I know that if I listen to my ‘inner ancestor’ and draw from all my past experience – not only from the past year but from all my experiences – I will have the strength and patience (I’m a double Taurus, after all!) to keep me going on whatever new path calls me.
Spirit of the Tribe: Page of Bows - Stoat
Second card from the Bows, and second court card too! The stoat is a hunter, with the ability to change the colour of its fur. That, and the fact that it lives underground, has given me a strong sense of secrecy (highlighting my Scorpio Ascendant), of staying hidden when necessary and adapting to changing circumstances. There’s a bit of the “free spirit” at work too, underlying all the “shoulds” and “ought tos” that The Spirit of the Tribe – today’s culture, in other words – projects, which I’d be wise to listen to. Keep my head down until it feels right to pounce!
Spirit of Time: Ace of Bows
Subtitled “The Spark of Life”, the Ace of Bows (the third Bow to appear in the spread), this suggests that the “spirit of the times” is inviting me to start a new fire burning, to kindle a new spark of creativity, to hunt out new skills to learn.
Spirit of Place: 6 The Forest Lovers
I have been working with the image of the Forest for the past couple of years, as part of my path, so seeing the Forest Lovers representing Spirit of Place resonates on that level. I feel I'm nearing the end of this part of the path, so this card reminds me that I'll have choices to make when I reach the next "fork" in my journey.
Spirit of the Journey: Ten of Arrows
Subtitled “Instruction”, this card conjures up the completion of two long-held writing projects over the past year. The passing on or sharing of knowledge and ideas…that’s the journey I’ve been on this year – perhaps there’s more to come as the wheel continues to turn...
The Gift: King of Bows – AdderA bit of a shudder when I drew this card (snake phobia) but I also felt a shiver of excitement at this gift. Maturity, strength of resolve, energy and wisdom are phrases associated with this card – what wonderful qualities to receive as the new year begins.
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.
The next stops on the Tarot Blog Hop are - depending on whether you’re moving backwards or forwards through the list - Hannah Berg's or Brandi Hopkins’ blog. The Master List can be found here.