Each year I pick at random one Tarot card to represent myself for that year. For the year 2011 I chose Justice, for this year it is The High Priestess. The card I choose each year will tell me what challenges and blessings I can expect in the new year. The card I pick will portend the role I will play in the lives of others, will predict in what direction events in my life will take, and what lesson I will learn this year. Basically, it is like determining which way the wind will be blowing psychically. If there was one special talent I have as a witch, it lies in divination. Mixing potions and remedies gets a little too messy for me. I find visions come to me naturally and that I find symbolism endlessly fascinating. I spend a lot of my time studying dreams, crafting my own symbolic codes, and creating my own forms of cartomancy. One card deck project in particular, one that I have been working on since 2006, I hope can be used to help bring joy to the sick and dying. Someday soon I wish to write more about that, but for now I shall concentrate on just Tarot reading.
Justice: 2011 Year in Review
Last year, Justice taught me the importance of balance and morality, namely how to know when is the right time to act on my sense of rightness, knowing when I am acting out of a sense of selfishness and when out of a true sense of ethics, and how to pick my fights wisely — the lesson learnt was be careful not to get into any unnecessary battles. I also learned that I cannot fight for every cause all at once, that sometimes I have to hold back and let those better suited and trained to fight to do their job (like letting the police investigate and apprehend a group of arsonists). Justice is also about adjustment — I successfully met my health goal last year — I balanced my blood glucose! I am continuing to make progress beating my diabetes. Awesome, yes? The transition from Justice to High Priestess means I am given the invitation to take steps beyond what I have so far accomplished. She is a good omen card to have following Justice because it is good to start from a balanced foundation before one takes the next steps to manifest any kind of change. Without that balanced, stable foundation, we would have a faulty, pipe-dream kind of foundation that will collapse the moment we build something solid on it.
My Annual Tarot Ritual
I am writing about my Personal Tarot for Year 2012 a bit late. I celebrate the new year on Samhain, which occurs on October 31st during the previous year, and the most suitable time to perform divination ritual. Besides being the Irish new year, it is celebrated as the Witches’ new year as well, a sort of respectful nod to our Irish cousins who have gifted us with their wisdom and ritual. My annual Tarot ritual may seem complicated, but it is not to me. I use one of my oldest, most worn and trusted Tarot decks, laying out only the Major Arcana (the 22 trump cards, not the minor pip cards that our playing card deck is based on). I use only the Major Arcana for the annual prediction because they represent the main events and themes in life. I go into trance, using the image on the Tarot card as a focus, and free-write the images and feelings I experience during the trance. Again, it seems more complicated or weird than it actually is. There is no secret trick to it, just some spiritual cooperation and, as some would say, creative visualization. Here is what was written during my trance last Samhain…
Center spirals, openings opening up like never evers before — a freeing up from obstacles — a door opening that was once locked to me — an invitation. Revelation revealed revealing ritual repeating so it can be repeated and passed on and on. Between women, between friends, hands opening and closing over other hands, holding. The people will show you that they can be trusted, that there is time to trust, and let there be caution first, and slow ease in the dance as you learn to open to trust. The closer you are to the Quiet Things the more They will feel secure enough to whisper Their sweetness into You and the more They want it to be shared through you unto others and beyond, beyond and boldly flow outward into the world. But. There are some things left hidden beyond the curtain, left to imagination, left behind for others to discover and you must let them find it on their own, you must hold back your joy and not give it away too much, and wait on the other side to celebrate. Grace cannot be learned, or taught, it can, however, be experienced, cannot be owned, but lived with, allowed to flow, and you will learn to move with it. Moving with it alters you and becomes part of your behavior. Grace owns you. She is the series of spells that draw you further into the woman you are, the woman who wears the moon on her head, the woman with the lunar moth’s wings for hair, who cries tears of silver, the woman who stands between two halves of herself — one ugly, the other beauty — holding the book-map-key. Her words are curved, twisted, centering, spiraling, curling and uncurling circles. Do you know who you are at the gateway? Do you feel where you are at the curtain breathing? Is the window open? Can you hold the wind? Detect the draft? Do not invite mystery to kidnap you, “You will never be prepared,” She says, “because you still have living to do in this world. I am here to show you the dream of being what may become.” Let the mystery wait. And then the whispers floods and the words I write here cease to come. Her one voice is lost. My vision is disappearing and I run out of poetry to describe the sensation as I return from the trance.
First, the traditional symbolism is thus revealed:
The two pillars, one black with the letter B for BOAZ, the other white with the letter J for JACHIN, represent the destructive and blissful sides of creation.
The scroll in the hands of the priestess with the word TORA means divine law.
The solar cross, with arms of equal length, on her breast is a symbol of elemental balance.
The Veil, or curtain, behind her is decorated with pomegranates to represent the vagina, and palms to represent the phallus — together both plants are the regenerative forces in nature = fertility.
The Crescent moon at her feet and her gown trailing on the floor is the stream of consciousness.
The High Priestess is the link between worlds, or different states of consciousness, she is a conduit, spokesperson for the Gods, yet also a keeper of mysteries. She can reveal secrets, but only to those who can be trusted to keep secrets safe. She can represent higher education, revealing to you information that wasn’t available to you before, letting you into a world or business or direction you weren’t able to earlier, yet it is still up to you to act within that realm. She is just the invitation and, sometimes guide. She is an especially awesome omen for women who value the arts and mysticism because she connects us with people of a like mind.
What it means for me this year…
Based on both the traditional symbolism and the vision I received, I am to take a more active spiritual role this year. I have for too long put aside the Witch to concentrate more on Valentina the ordinary person working on her health problems. Ever since my mother died I have sacrificed my way of worship and spiritual practice to make the people around me more comfortable. I felt an obligation to my conservative Christian mother to carry out her dying wishes, but now I feel that her spirit has given me the “okay” to be free and happy to worship God/dess in the beautiful and meaningful ways that bring me joy and comfort.
During my own bouts with illness, my religion has been a great and powerful force of comfort and motivation. I long to be with people like me again. I have kept myself too isolated, afraid that it has gotten too late for me to rejoin the dance. But you know what? It is NEVER too late. The High Priestess is telling me that my talents are not dormant, nor are the lessons I learned and the secrets I’ve kept wasted. All of the struggles I got over the last seven years were necessary to go through, and now the time is ripe (and right) for me to emerge again into the larger world. Even though I still have my doubts about how people will respond to me, especially when they learn I have battled and still cope with a mental illness, the High Priestess tells me that I’m not here to be perfect. She volunteers respect from others, she doesn’t demand it. My struggles are part of my story, and let that be a testament for you, too. Let your struggles not be your downfall, let them be the steps you took to victory.
There is much more I could write about the High Priestess, and there will be more to write about other personal predictions I have made for this year, but that will be another blog post for another time later.
Why do I use Tarot cards as a tool to foretell my own future? Why not just meditate without the cards and come up with a vision on my own? The answer is simple: I like Tarot cards. No. I love Tarot. It has been a primary interest of mine since I was a kid. The art and symbolism have always intrigued me. I never felt that they were evil or wrong or even mysterious, just pretty. I learned the cards fairly quickly, too. I have always been a natural reader. This is the way I like to do it.