Self-Love Tarot Spread

As we moved through Cancer season, the season of self-care, I moved through some shadow work that redefined for me the importance of self-love. Not the narcissistic self-love that cares more about itself than about other people, but the kind of self-love that cares enough about itself that it won’t allow others to hurt, manipulate, shame, or guilt it. This type of self-love has been hard for me all of my life, but is something that Spirit has shown me it is time to work on in a big way. And one of the tools that Spirit gave me to do this is this self-love spread.

Tarot is a natural tool to help ourselves with self-love anyway, because it brings our inner truths out into the open. It puts us in touch with our intuition and our subconscious through the archetypes present on the cards. With this spread, we can work to become clear on specific steps we can take to work on loving ourselves, even those parts that we may not like.

The idea for this spread came when I pulled the Ace of Cups for my daily pull one day. The Aces are generally harder for me to work with or interpret because I have not had as much practice with them, but generally they call our attention to ourselves and our relationship with the energy of the suit. I have always viewed the suit of Cups as having to do with emotions, and my teacher Lindsay Mack teaches that it has to do with the heart and coming back to the heart. So much of our lives happens in our heads, and in order for us to reconnect with ourselves, find ourselves, and take care of ourselves, we need to come back to the heart. That is where our intuition lives, it is really where we live. It can be so hard to come back to that part of ourselves because stress, trauma, and just living our lives in today’s society can cause us to build a wall around our hearts and focus solely on our brains. But we do ourselves a disservice when we live like that. Science is actually proving that our hearts are very robust perceptual organs, and we live better and fuller lives when we put our brain in service of our heart. When we listen to our hearts and connect with our intuition, it causes us to realize that we have placed our needs below those of being productive at our jobs, being available to our families and others who need us, and all of the other ways that we get pushed and pulled in our daily lives. When we slow down and listen to our hearts and really connect, we lead less stressful lives. We can do the things that are required of us better.

They say that you can’t give from an empty cup. The Ace of Cups reminds us of that, to slow down and fill our cup first so that we will be better able to give to others. That is the essence of self-love, making sure that we are taken care of before we try to take care of others. Hopefully this spread will help you in your journey toward self love.

New Moon in Gemini

Tomorrow we will celebrate a new moon in Gemini. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the exact time for the dark moon will be at 12:39 pm EST. My mind immediately started trying to figure out how to pull off a small ritual while I am at work, but I suppose just an acknowledgement until I can get home to do a real ritual will have to do.

I love new moons because they are all about beginning a new cycle. Whether it is starting something new such as a new business or new hobby, or beginning to learn about something new, a new moon is a time to reflect on something new for your soul. It can even be a new phase of something that you are already working on. During this new moon, take a moment to take stock of where you are and what you are doing, and figure out if there is a new way to work on it, or a new angle to focus on. Even if you are stuck in quarantine because of the pandemic, now could be a time to look into a new hobby or read about something new.

Gemini adds an interesting spin to this energy, in that it is about communication, travel, education, and knowledge. Because we are in the middle of a pandemic, communication and travel have been hard for a lot of people. I haven’t been around friends in quite a while. My Piscean daughter keeps up with her friends on the phone or Roblox, and she definitely misses seeing them. Even education has had a different spin with the pandemic, with schools moving everything online.

New Moon in Gemini and the Tarot

I have really been getting into how the Tarot adds more flavor and depth to astrology, and I have been enjoying not only melding the

two, but learning about them in tandem.

From the Tarot of the Spirit by Pam Eakins

Gemini rules the Lovers card, which is not so much about love between two people. It can be, but there are people out there that do not want to be in a relationship with someone else, or maybe can’t for some reason. My teacher, Lindsay Mack, says that if a card’s meaning doesn’t apply to everyone, then it is time to revisit the meaning. The Lovers card is about soul love and reconnecting to your soul. So many of us walk around disconnected from ourselves, and I have been one of those people for so long. I can’t say that I am completely connected with myself – I think that might not be entirely possible because we are all humans living in the world. There are all kinds of things out there that can send our focus flying away from ourselves. Other people may say something to us that make us start wondering about them instead of ourselves, or our job gets us hyper-focused on what it takes to do give 110% of ourselves, leaving nothing for us to focus on when it comes to our soul. So for the new moon what can you do or create that can help you reconnect with yourself on a soul level? This is all about deep self care and self discovery. And some of us may not have the time to go all that deep because we are required to work super hard right now as essential workers, and that can mean putting other people before ourselves in a big way. But even doing something as simple as stopping for a moment to take a deep breath, or paying attention to ourselves long enough to discern our own heart beat – simple practices like this can go a long way in helping us reconnect to ourselves even when we don’t have a lot of time to go deep with it.

The current Venus Retrograde in Gemini brings an added focus to our relationship with ourselves and others. Venus retrograde asks us to turn inward and look at our role in our relationships, and the basic foundations of our relationship with ourselves. This double focus on our relationships means that old relationship stuff may come up, or we may be asked to examine dynamics of old relationships in order to be able to learn from them and apply the lessons to new relationships moving forward.

Gemini is ruled by Mercury, which is the planet of communication and travel. Physically, Gemini rules the lungs and hands. The lungs help us communicate as well, so we can also explore what ways we can communicate with our soul self. What expressions of communication resonate most with you? Are you a dancer, communicating through movement? Are you a musician who communicates through music? Do you communicate through speaking or writing? Think about what you can do to communicate with your soul self and perhaps build that into a new moon ritual.

Also, this is a good time to think about the ways we communicate with the people around us. This is something that I have to do constantly since I am an administrator. I communicate with the staff where I work, and I have to keep in mind that different people have different communication styles. I really have to tune in to my spirit guides when I talk to other people. One good thing about my Aquarius Sun and Moon is that I am good at intuiting what people are saying between the lines. It is something that I didn’t even recognize that I was all that good at until recently, and it is a skill that I have tried to get better at the more I work as an administrator. Is the way you are communicating with others in the highest and best of everyone involved? (I have to give major credit to Lindsay Mack for my wording here – checking in to make sure that something is in our highest and best is a habit that Lindsay teaches on her podcast and courses.) Is the way you communicate in alignment with your purpose?

The Magician from Tarot of the Spirit by Pamela Eakins

Mercury rules the Magician, which is all about the tools we use in our practice. One tool you have is the way you communicate, but there are so many tools we use in so many areas of our lives that we can explore. What tools do you use in your spiritual practice? Are they in alignment with your purpose? Are they getting you to where you need to go?

If you are going to begin a new creation or new hobby during this new moon cycle, what are the tools that you need for that process? Are they something that you need to learn how to use – how can you go about doing that?

I am truly excited about this new moon and the energy behind it. I hope that this post has inspired you to look within and explore some aspects of Gemini as we move through the season and this new moon. Let me know in the comments how you have been inspired!

The Non-Linear Nature of the Tarot

The Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan, the deck I have been using for about a year.

I’ve had a tarot deck for a year or so now. I’ve gotten it out to explore it quite a few times, but for the most part I’ve been overwhelmed by learning card meanings. So I don’t get it out as often as I want to, because I really want to learn how to read Tarot. Most of the decks I have (only a few, really) come with a book that explains what each card means, and it feels cumbersome to pull cards and then have to go through the book to figure out what is being shown in the cards.

Thankfully, I follow a lot of great podcasts by some really wonderful Tarot teachers. I mentioned one of my favorites in my last post, which is Tarot for the Wild Soul by Lindsay Mack. I have really not listened regularly since the summer, so during the last few days I have gone back to listen to episodes that I missed before, and I have not been disappointed by that decision. First of all, episode 40, which was titled Trauma and the Tarot, was absolutely amazing. During this shadow season I have been trying to dive into some of my past trauma and see how it has informed my actions and reactions, and that episode was so helpful when it came to how Tarot can help and other resources and ways to deal with trauma. I highly recommend that you listen to this episode if you have been a victim of trauma and if you are even remotely interested in exploring Tarot.

But it was a statement in episode 41 that really reframed the Tarot for me in a way that made sense. Lindsay Mack was interviewing Christianna Wincek, also known as Crone of Wands on Instagram, and she made a comment about the non-linear nature of the Tarot. They went on to talk about it after the comment was made, and I had to pause for a moment because it was like a lightbulb flashed in my head.

Of course Tarot isn’t linear.

There aren’t a lot of things that are linear when you enter onto this path. Growth is not linear. Creativity is not linear. Learning is not linear. Our seasons of the year are a cycle. When you get away from it all and put away the tech, time becomes non-linear. Our relationships with nature and the world are not linear (or at least they shouldn’t be). So why am I spending all of this time with the Tarot treating it like it is something linear too.

We have been conditioned to think about pretty much everything in a linear fashion. As a former teacher and current administrator, I know that most teachers teach in a linear fashion because that was how they were taught, but I also know from experience that it is not the best way to learn, or even to teach. We are taught to listen and think with our brains, a very linear instrument, and very little with our hearts and guts, which require a non-linear way of looking at things and relating to the world.

So what does linear Tarot look like? Well, it looks like the system that was overwhelming to me: each card has one meaning, which is defined by the book. If you aren’t using the book to get your meanings, you are doing it wrong. This explains why my readings were frustrating and at times did not make a lot of sense. If you ask the cards a question and then go straight by the book for the answer, of course it might not make sense. The cards may not even relate to what you are asking at all if you relate to them this way.

But non-linear Tarot, intuitive Tarot, is a different story. It requires you to look at the card and the symbols present on the card and see how they relate to the question that you have asked. In this way, the card works with the question and can perhaps give you insight into the question that you had not had before. Because of this, the card meanings might slightly change or be shifted depending on their relationship to the question that is asked.

For example, when I was pulling cards yesterday, I asked about a particular experience that was a bit traumatic for me. I was expecting a card that would define the trauma. Instead, I got the Ace of Swords, a card about strength and courage, about movement and going my own way. And I was able to see that, yes, I did show strength during that situation. I did use the book to help with the meaning, but I applied the meaning to the situation and was able to expound on that meaning through journaling, through exploring all of the ways that I showed that strength during that situation. In this way, using the Tarot became a lot like being in a therapy session, something that is talked about in episode 43. The cards were showing me things that I already knew about my situation and what happened, but through the use of the cards I was able to change the way I thought about it. Instead of viewing myself as a victim, I was able to see how much strength and courage I showed during that time, and how I stood up for myself and did not lose my voice in the face of some pretty harsh judgment. And my reading was rich and full of helpful information in a way that has made the cards come alive. I am actually looking forward to doing another reading soon.

One thing that I did try to do with the cards, too, was download Tarot apps. They are great in a pinch, and give me a good way to look up cards the podcasters are talking about on the fly, but I have become disillusioned with using them for readings. For one thing, feeling, touching, and interacting with the physical cards helps build the bond with the cards, which was something that I had heard podcasters say but had never really put much stock into until recently. So while I believe that Tarot apps are a good tool, I don’t think I will be using them nearly as much as I had been before.

I believe it will be fun to build up that relationship with the cards, and I’m looking forward to posting more spreads as I learn about the cards. I hope you enjoy the process as much as I am.