living a split life, with my tarot work running on one side, and my 'real' life - work, family, most of my friends - running parallel alongside it. These paths don't cross because I'm afraid of what will happen if ALL of me is out there for all to see.And I'M SICK OF THIS!!! It's stressful. And limiting.
I had a jolt of an idea during the Readers Studio this year.
Holding back my tarot work from the world not only hurts ME, it makes impossible any good that I might be doing, any help I might offer. That never occurred to me before.
There's a spread I'm working on, which I call the Four Seasons spread. Unlike most layouts, the querent is not in charge of choosing what will be addressed. The cards choose what they want to talk about with you.
Here's a bit about how it works. (You don't have to read this next bit of blather if you don't feel like it.)
Note: the seasonal/suit pairings are from the companion book to the Victorian Fairy Tarot, and are different from the astrological ones used by many.
Shuffle your chosen deck thoroughly - this is all the mixing it's going to get.
Deal off the top until you reach a Major. This is what your spread is about. Try not to think too deeply and angst-ily about it; what word(s) jump into your head about this card? Go with that.
Continue dealing cards until you come to the first Sword. Place it at the top (Winter). Continue going through the deck, placing the first Wand that comes up (Spring) to the right, first Cups (Summer) at the bottom, first Pentacle (Autumn) to the left.
Now, from the part of your deck that remains, deal off 4 cards face down to the right of each season, beginning at the top and moving clockwise. Do the same on the left of each season. There will be two for each season - one that helps and one that hinders. It'll look like this:
I did this for myself recently, using the Tarot of Delphi. It's new to me (and alas, already out of print), and I wanted to work with it.
Well...the deck picked Justice for our topic. Usually I would see this as justice for someone else, or me dealing justly with others. This time, it felt like it was about being fair to myself. Because I'm sick of worrying about what others think of me around this issue!
After working the whole spread over two days (it's 13 cards and there's a lot to think about) I closed my notebook with a satisfying thump and turned on the computer. Waiting in my inbox was this poem from The Writer's Almanac.
My thoughts as I read it are on the right in hot pink. This just put the seal of approval on my reading! Affirmation! Go ahead and lift off the roof - I'll be fine!
You were the one for skylights. I opposed
Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove.....of my accustomed lifeOf pitch pine. I liked it low and closed,.....for safety
Its claustrophobic, nest-up-in-the-roof
Effect. I liked the snuff-dry feeling,
The perfect, trunk-like fit of the old ceiling.
Under there, it was all hutch and hatch.
The blue slates kept the heat like midnight thatch.
But when the slates came off, extravagant.....ah! air, light
Sky entered and held surprise wide open......freedom, new things!
For days I felt like an inhabitant
Of that house where the man sick of the palsy.....sick of a disjointed life
Was lowered through the roof, had his sins forgiven,
Was healed, took up his bed and walked away......free!
"The Skylight" by Seamus Heaney from Opened Ground.
copyright Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999
Now what? I wonder. Sky's the limit? Maybe.