For the my seasonal Tarot reading I chose to do a spread I found online called Hekate’s Sickle, in honor of the darkening moon. The spread can be found here.
1. Significator (drawn randomly)–Queen of Pentacles
2. The Key to unlock mysteries–Eight of Pentacles
3. The Rope that binds, for good or ill–Knight of Swords
4. The Dagger that cuts through illusions–Death
5. Torch 1, the maiden, raw energy/beginnings–Nine of Swords
6. Torch 2, the mother, creativity/growth–Two of Pentacles
7. Torch 3, the crone, death/rebirth–Six of Cups
I’m a newbie Tarot reader. I only have one deck, the Shadowscapes Tarot, and I’ve only had it for about a year. I’m definitely no expert, so if after I post my analysis you, dear reader, can see some things I’m missing please point them out! I have no idea how to contextualize relationships between cards yet, or anything like that…So any guidance would be appreciated.
That said…here’s my (working) analysis.
The Significator (tone of the season), Queen of Pentacles: When I drew this card I felt an immediate kinship with it. This card contains a lot of elements I recognize in myself that I don’t think will change over the summer: a mother, lover or nature, keeper of the home, working to nurture and provide. I take it to be a positive card, one of contentment and the potential for future positive growth.
The Key to unlock mysteries, The Eight of Pentacles: I had not drawn this card before. At first, I saw elements of universality: the spider spinning a web much like a storyteller spinning a story. It speaks strongly to my desires to write and continue my craft, though I seemingly hit bumps all the time. It is a card that represents hard work and admonishes us to consider our earthly home as well as our natural and universal one. It is a great personal reminder that the way to get what you desire in life is work.
The Rope that binds us, for good or ill, The King of Swords: Easily the hardest card for me to interpret. It seems like the Shadowscapes card says one thing to me and other, more traditional cards say another. In the Shadowscapes card I see a troubled, slightly melancholy man. A warrior, obviously, trying to balance the dark and the light. His boot sits on a skull; his throne has Davinci’s Vitruvian Man carved on it, exemplifying the blend of art and science. The suit of swords tells me this is about the mind and thoughts. A sword itself is an implement of pruning (positive) and potential destruction/death (can be positive). That it is the King tells me the energies might be a bit more forthright, aggressive. The title of the card placement–for good or ill–already tells me that I’m working with a ‘double-edged sword’, so perhaps the advice is that though my I can think about ____ all I want to, eventually, I need the experience/feeling/action/creativity behind it.
The Dagger that cuts through our illusions, Death (XIII): Nothing cuts through our illusions like Death, right? This card is vivid and in context of all the others–the purple-hue Swords, green Pentacles and blue Cups card it stands out like a beacon. I don’t think it requires much explanation–change, transformation, pruning, wildfire, birth/death/rebirth.
Torch 1, The Maiden, raw power/beginnings, The Nine of Swords: At first glance this card stumped me. This card definitely did not seem to be about energy! I huffed a bit. Then after I finished the spread and looked over it again it made sense. The figure on the card is fearful, so anxious about the threat out there (!!!) that she doesn’t even notice that a raven is pecking her wings off. She clutches her sword to her, has her fear/anxieties tattooed on her chest. The message was clear: you can’t access your power or even begin while you’re too busy being afraid of what people might think, what the future might bring. I’ll talk about my issues with anxiety later, but especially paired with the Six of Cups (Crone placement) it was the most potent combination of the spread.
Torch 2, The Mother, creativity/growth, Two of Pentacles: A playful card. Light greens and yellows, a jester juggling two pentacles while a monkey, butterfly and lizard watch on. Symbols of spirals indicate a universal theme of balance with juggling all things and play time, too. A reminder to have fun, that creativity and growth isn’t all about ANGST. It’s also about…fun. Plain and simple. Play time. Imagination time.
Torch 3, The Crone, death/rebirth, Six of Cups: A child has tea time with her stuffed animals, fae, dryads and sylphs. Golden fish swim along the stream. The background is richly colored in blues, illuminated by soft gold. A reminder of simpler times, of childhood, of the freedom of imagination. To me, in direct opposition to the Nine of Swords. Sometimes the knowledge of a crone is in the wisdom of a child.
In summary: I thought this was a very interesting and layered reading. Lots to chew on for the summer season. I think it is overall advising me that this summer I need to work, research and develop my crafts. Whether that be witch craft, herb craft, writing, house keeping, whatever…It is a season where work will bring pleasure and reward, as well as help me get past mental hangups and anxieties.
Not to be forgotten in all of this work though is play time. Summer is a child’s time. Even if you’re an adult you can feel the freedom and exultation on your community’s last day of school. That’s a powerful energy to tap into. Temper work with play, better yet…find play in work.
The card of Death sets a powerful overall tone for the reading. It is a reminder that this summer I might lose things I hold dear. Perhaps I’ll come out more publicly as Pagan and lose/damage some relationships. Maybe I’ll fight those fears and anxieties with phoenix-fire and emerge stronger for it. All possibilities. All interesting possibilities.
That’s what I like best about the Tarot. Nothing can be foretold, absolutely, but the possibilities are always so interesting.