2014: Looking Back

Unusual and intense climatic, environmental and geological events have hallmarked the year 2014. We’ve seen two of the tetrad blood moons and two solar eclipses. Earth’s magnetic field is weakening at an abnormally rapid speed, perhaps preparing us for a magnetic field flip.

I believe this is a continuation of the earth’s vibrational ascension process as initiated in 2012… but let’s talk Tarot.


I recently watched this helpful video by Kelly-Ann at Four Queens.

My personal version of a Tarot mandala looks like a wheel with eight spokes. I’d like to share a personal reading on myself, to be totally candid with you about where I’m at.

tarot mandala spread 11.18.14

feat. The Witches’ Tarot by Ellen Dugan, artwork by Mark Evans

The vertical axis represents the solstices, and the horizontal axis represents the equinoxes. The diagonal axes are the points in the middle, or “cross-quarter” days, altogether representing the Neopagan Wheel of the Year. The center represents the major focus and major challenge of the year.

The horizontal axis from right (Spring Equinox) to left (Fall Equinox): 5 of Cups, IV The Emperor, King of Swords (crossing), Six of Pentacles, Six of Cups.

The vertical axis, from bottom (Summer Solstice) to top (Winter Solstice): 3 of Pentacles, 9 of Pentacles, 4 of Cups (center), 8 of Pentacles, 10 of Pentacles.

The diagonal axis to the right of center, from top (Imbolg- Feb 2) to bottom (Lughnasadh-Sep 1): 10 of Cups, III The Empress, (4 of Cups,) Ace of Wands, Page of Pentacles.

The diagonal axis to the left of center, from bottom (Beltane-May 1) to top (Samhain-Oct 31): 9 of Wands, IX The Hermit, (King of Swords,) XI Justice, VIII Strength.

Next time, I may add a card in the center for each of the cross quarter axes. I am disregarding reversals in this layout because it is a wheel (there is no up).

Not only does this layout allow me to read chronologically, but elementally, with each of the compass points representing (from top, clockwise) Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, or respectively, body, thoughts, actions, feelings. You may have your own medicine wheel association and can focus on that. You may have different associations for turning points, but I find the Wheel of the Year to be the easiest to use given my own Neopagan background.

Rather than going over meanings of each card, individually, I will create a narrative of the events that I have experienced this past year, starting with February 1.

I became pregnant around New Year’s Eve and confirmed my pregnancy shortly after Imbolg. This was a joyous occasion for me (10 of Cups) as I love being a mom (III The Empress). I felt surrounded by loving support in this new development. At the spring equinox, I found myself struggling (5 of Cups) with my relationship with male authority and father-figures in my life (IV Emperor). By the beginning of May, I had recovered my strength from my first trimester experience of almost consistent nausea and returned to taking yoga classes and volunteering at a local organic market as well as drumming for a college African dance class (9 of Wands). I was able to shine even in my solitude, regaining confidence in my role as a single mom (IX Hermit). Through this time, I focused on maintaining my healthy habits and activity, even hiking with my daughter. I remained secure in my solitary existence.

Summer solstice marked the beginning of my third trimester (3 of Pentacles), and people began to ask me if I was sure I had just one baby growing in my womb. I participated in a nutrition study hosted by Utah State University which provided extra money to spend at the Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market (9 of Pentacles).

On September 1st, I manifested some specific furniture that I would need to accommodate a newborn in my tiny apartment, which was the first of more to come (Ace of Wands, Page of Pentacles). I remained active (Ace of Wands), even riding a bicycle, and seriously focusing on my health (Page of Pentacles), and kept my ankles from swelling with a nutritional tea of calcium-rich herbs.

My second daughter, LBR, was born early on the morning of the Fall Equinox after about 6 hours of labor (the 6 of Pentacles and 6 of Cups in this deck both depict two children). My doula was amazing, providing me with support worthy of a birthing partner. Again I felt totally secure in my choice to have the baby, confident in divine providence (6 of Pentacles) to support my choice to keep this wonderful gift of life, via support from my community and my friends (6 of Cups). My mother visited shortly after, and together we were able to reconcile differences and grow closer than I have felt to her since my childhood (6 of Cups).

Shortly thereafter, the divorce with my elder daughter’s father was finalized, ending two years of stress and furthering the healing process for our daughter and ourselves (XI Justice). By Samhain, LBR had been blessed and welcomed into our spiritual community, and for trick-or-treating, I went as a Goddess-Worshipping, Baby-Wearing Warrior Woman (VIII Strength) because that is the energy with which I felt most strongly in tune (and because it came naturally).

Now, as I enjoy the middle of this final turn of the solar year, heading into the Yuletide season, I have dedicated myself to writing a book about Shadow work (8 of Pentacles) that reflects on certain experiences in my life that have led me to further self awareness and a satisfying amount of self love and self appreciation (10 of Pentacles). I’ve also signed up for life coaching services with a newly certified local lady who’s conducting a gratia project to break into her new career field.

The central theme of the year, the 4 of Cups, touches on my level of uncertainty and dissatisfaction in my life. Currently I am relying on support from outside sources rather than income that I generate, and I strongly desire to generate enough income to support myself on my own. The King of Swords, though, tells me I have come far in creating a calm state of mind, and it is by being my own administrator that I can create my own success.

I invite you to share any experiments you conduct with this layout in the comments below! Please show your support for Kelly-Ann at Four Queens by subscribing to her channel, if you like her video, and if you are ready for me to help you in your journey of Self Examination and Self Mastery, you can check out this link to schedule your reading.


Shame is the Shadow of Love

Have you ever thought about how the Lovers and the Devil card are connected through Numerology? 15=6 when distilled to its numerological value, so when refined through the trying fire, the Devil card leads to the Divine Union described by the Lovers, by facing us with the suffering we do unto ourselves by clinging to our attachments yet hating ourselves for it.

Then why, in the Royal Road of the Hero’s Journey, does the Fool meet the Lovers first, and not the Devil? The explanation may lie in our own development as children, in our relationship with our parents and all members of their generation, and how we see them engage in their loving relationship with each other. Mark Z. Danielewski wrote in House of Leaves, “The Angels of our childhood become the Demons of our maturity.” We define our world first by our parents, and as children they are our heroes. We create defense mechanisms as children to accommodate whatever life we’ve been born into. Later, any negative patterns passed on to us become our hangups, addictions, obsessions, blocks: our Demons. Only by confronting our personal Demons can we come into fullness of Understanding of the Lovers card: the Balance of Elements in Divine Unity. To confront the negative patterns about ourselves, we must return to the Source of Origins: the emergence into Humanity.

If we want true peace and harmony in our relationships, we must love our shadow, because we can only accept our partner as much as we accept our Self. We must transform the naivety of innocence into wisdom, while protecting that innocence. Love.

The Occasional Card of the Day: The Six of Cups, Reversed.

I’ve been working on memorizing and polishing a layout: The Zodiac Wheel of the Year. Each card represents a house and potentially a sun’s transit of each sign, in the year. The card in the middle signifies the overall theme of the year, the focal point of the cycle – this can also represent the 13th Moon.

Part of the reason this works so well is because the Tarot cards each have an astrological significance: a planet, sign, or simply an element rules each card (sometimes planets and signs jointly preside over a card). As I have been working more with this spread, I am becoming more familiar with the astrological significance of each card, including today’s card, the Six of Cups.

The Six of Cups is related to the Sun and Scorpio (according to the Order of the Golden Dawn attributions); in that context, this card becomes all about exposing hidden emotions and restoring balance in relationships, especially through recalling childhood connections and affections. When reversed, old relationships return to play a new role in your life. You are easily able to recognize patterns in your relationships, and either celebrate them or release them.

I had a relationship that crashed and burned a few years ago. I was best friends with a girl for over half my life; we grew up into women together. Then, suddenly, I found myself unable to be in the same room comfortably with her, and found her more or less disinterested in me. I felt judged by her all the time, because I knew how her mind worked and I knew her opinions of  my habits. Instead of communicating with her directly about her scrutiny, I let the tensions build and build until I moved away from the city where we both lived at the time, back to the city where we attended college together. A sort of climax occurred when I got married, and a lot of dissonance entered our personal interactions involving my wedding plans, but mostly the conflict went unadressed. After one really awkward conversation right before I moved back to Logan, we stopped talking for nearly two years. Upon my return to Utah, I was faced with all the old memories we had shared. The church we had attended together, the houses we rented (one of which I pass by on a regular basis), and mutual friends greeted me and I got to develop a new relationship with them, on my own terms. I realized that I had based a lot of my life and personal decisions on what I thought her opinion was of me and what was best for me: whether to conform to those opinions, or to rebel. Many of my impressions were correct, which on a lot of levels makes the reparation process more difficult. Now, she has expressed a simple disinterest in me as a person, and I have pursued some kind of closure, but haven’t been able to decide whether I wish to transform my relationship with her, or whether I just want to leave her behind and move on completely. On some level, I think she gave all of what she had to give in the moment, and I rejected that because I felt it wasn’t constructive for me, and so now she has given up altogether. Last winter solstice, we had a heart to heart, and realized that probably 99% of our frustration in the relationship involved reading too much into each others’ words and actions, and not talking enough about our own feelings. We had grown into each other’s heads too much to take a step back.

I still haven’t figured out the reasons behind all my complicated feelings to do with her, but I have learned a lot about mistakes I made, and how I want to approach my relationships from here on. I often lack the courage to keep in touch with her, knowing that I tend to anticipate her judgement of me, knowing that it’s not fair of me to do so; also knowing that she’s in probably 90% disagreement with my parenting strategies. I have learned that it is hard for me to be around someone who not only disagrees with me, but thinks I should be doing things their way. As a Libra with a Cancer ascendant (and I think my Aquarius moon comes into play, here, too), it’s important for me that my close friends share my core values. We can differ on the execution, but for me to fully relate to someone, they have to have certain priorities. I like just about everyone I meet just fine, but I don’t tend to have very intimate relationships with people I interact with on the surface. Few of my closest friends spanning ten years ago share these core values. I can’t imagine a casual relationship with this formerly close friend, after bonding with her so deeply. Since the 6 of Cups Rx called this relationship to mind, perhaps it can offer some guidance.

Under the 6 of Cups’ Rx influence, you may feel the need to make reparations for damage to others in the past. You are also likely to identify harmful behavioral patterns you have engaged in with old relationships. This card reminds us that now is always the time to release grudges and accept healing energy into your life. Any reversal gives us a chance to make amends for past missteps in our friendships. Those amends may not take the form of direct restoration, but may come in the form of a second chance in another relationship. Re-examine the person you were then, compared to who you are now, and see the ways in which your past experiences were necessary for the growth that led you to your present place. Love heals all wounds. In the area of health, it can indicate emotional outbursts stemming from hormonal imbalances.