Shadows, Zombies & Hops

A magical book that dwells in an attic where the pages turn themselves
An evil book kept only by those who wish to do great harm to others
A book of amazing spells that can vanquish demons, offer lifelong beauty and more

8 of Swords, Zombie Tarot, click for larger image

Welcome to the 7th Tarot Blog Hop. We started at Imbolc of this year. I’m glad you have found me along the way. If you are hopping forward, you just go here from Joanne’s blog. You can find the next link at the bottom of this post.

This Tarot Blog Hop is being wrangled by Amethyst Mahoney. She has challenged every blogger to answer this question.

“Who is hiding beneath the normal every-day mask you wear for the World?”

Another question she posed was “What aspects of yourself do you feel like you have to keep hidden?”

“Who are you really, once you shake off the expectations of your community and the World?” is also asked.

This was an interesting concept to me. I think of myself pretty much as an open book. Most who know me will soon learn that I am a queer femme, over 50, professional psychic and author of erotic fiction. I seek joy because it is a lifesaver for me. It’s not so much that I avoid the shadows as that I don’t roll about in them. I acknowledge them. I accept that the balance of nature–of light and dark–exists within me as well as outside of me. I don’t see shadow self as a flaw so much as a piece of me.

And a rather important piece at that. You see, when I write, I access Shadow Self. I will capitalize it to honor it. Because the Shadow Self deserves as much honor as the Light self. In my Tradition there is a Book of Shadows. In popular fiction this has been made into many things

  • A magical book that dwells in an attic where the pages turn themselves
  • An evil book kept only by those who wish to do great harm to others
  • A book of amazing spells that can vanquish demons, offer lifelong beauty and more

But really, a Book of Shadows is simply a recipe book at its most basic level. There is more of course, but that is a discussion I would have only with others of a like mind. What many don’t know is that many witches keep a companion book. That goes by several names, but Book of Light is one of those. It is for experiences and education received while working with the “recipes” in the other .

So balance is important. I guess I don’t feel that Shadow Self is hidden so much as protected. Without that part of me capable of delving into and reliving pain, I couldn’t write. Simply put.

I couldn’t write.

And that means, I couldn’t breathe.

So I let my Shadow Self have room. I let her keep her calm, quiet hours of long, silent times. I let her be my creative side. This piece of me is my Hermit self. So for this, I came up with a spread to honor Shadow Self.

Honoring Shadow Self

1. What part of me is protected by the every day mask I wear?
2. Why do I keep this part of me separated from the world?
3. How can I honor this Shadow Self?
4. What does my Shadow Self need most right now?
5. What is the message the Universe wants me to know about my Shadow Self?

Using the Zombie Tarot, I pulled these cards.

1. What part of me is protected by the every day mask I wear?

Queen of Wands, Zombie Tarot, Click for larger imageQueen of Wands: I love that she is a nurse trying to heal herself. She is there with the tools of her trade as if she can put herself back together. And this is very true of me. Some of the background on my joy seeking is that I was in an abusive relationship. That was a long time ago, but a lot of that pain went undealt with for a long time. It caused me to try to grow new relationships from salted earth. And, as any good battle strategist will tell you, doesn’t work. You have to heal the ground before you can grow anything new. So my healed ground is what I protect.

2. Why do I keep this part of me separated from the world?

Judgment, Zombie Tarot, click for larger imageJudgment: Um ouch? Yes, that is exactly why I protect Shadow Self. The harsh judgment of others who can’t, don’t or won’t understand frightens me. There. I said it. It’s actually scary to work so hard at being a joy seeker. Folks think I miss the snide comments or the sideways looks when I work at staying joyful. Yeah. It hurts, but it hurts worse to give into that negativity. And yes, I still do get negative. I still make catty remarks. I just try to control it. Am I successful? Not always, but it’s a growth issue.

3. How can I honor this Shadow Self?

8 of Swords, Zombie Tarot, click for larger image8 of Swords: Now what an interesting card here. Normally this is a card of being a victim but here, the first thing I saw was the heart enclosed in the ribs–protected. And there’s netting there as well for more protection. I honor Shadow Self by protecting her. There’s really not much else for me to say about that one, is there.


4. What does my Shadow Self need most right now?

6 of Swords, Zombie Tarot, click for larger image6 of Swords: Awww, time with old friends and reminiscing. I love that this shows a canoe. If you read my blog regularly, I just posted about a love affair with a canoe and a bayou. So more time thinking about the past good rather than the past bad. Okay!


5. What is the message the Universe wants me to know about my Shadow Self?

Lovers: Can I get an AMEN on this deck? Anyone else go, “DUH” when they saw this? A well man kissing a Zombie woman who is holding his heart. I need to love my Shadow Self and fully embrace that part of me.

I’d be honored if you chose to try this spread. And please let me know! You can share your reading here or just link to it in the comments.

Now hop along to RoseRed’s blog for the next stop in our Samhain Blog Hop.

If you get lost or a link is broken, use Amethyst’s Master List.

The Zombie Tarot: An Oracle of the Undead with Deck and Instructions, Quirk Books, 2012

Not a fan of Zombies? Here is a review of another deck you might like more.

Thanks for following and liking me!

22 thoughts on “Shadows, Zombies & Hops”

  1. Hi, Arwen! Love the spread. Will try it out this evening, but must get back to work at present. Excellent narrative, and I like your theme of integrating and protecting the Shadow self. Some folks get the idea that one is supposed to fight it and destroy it, but that’s not the point, and only makes good fodder for space operas. Zombie Tarot is not really my style (I’m a fan of faerie and such), but your spread definitely helped me appreciate that artist’s method of expressing the archetypes. Thanks!

    1. LOL. The Zombie Tarot is definitely not for everyone. I really hate to say this, but it “grew” on me. 😐 Sort of like a virus. snicker. Thanks for your understanding about the protecting of Shadow Self.

  2. Wow! Girl love what you shared with this one. I just found the blog hop and am doing a mad dash catching up. I just may try this spread and do some revealing myself before I call it a night. Don’t ya ever give up on sharin that joy around!! I with you on that and so many others!

  3. So, here’s the deal (almost literally!). My shadow-self draw (with the Shadowscapes deck), looks like this:

    Page of Pentacles, Ace of Cups, Sun, Moon, Tower

    She’s powerful, I’ll definitely give her that. πŸ˜‰ Let’s see, the Page is what I protect with my mask. She feels as if she only has the beginnings of power in her hand, even though she sits astride a dormant dragon. Perhaps afraid she’s not ready to wield that power?
    Why do I want to protect this part of me? Because it holds the seed of love (Ace of Cups). Love is delicate, vulnerable. I wish to protect it from being hurt because it seems to have no defense of its own.
    How can I honor this shadow self? The Sun! Oooh. Let’s see that dragon’s power the Page has kept hidden. Shadow self wants exposure??!!! Wants me to be my Sun self.
    What does Shadow need? Actually, the Moon says that the Shadow would like to stay…in the shadows, influencing, coloring the brightness of my Sun self, but it doesn’t need to be active and visible necessarily. Or, it still wants to run things from the dark, which I don’t allow, actually.
    Oh, and the Universe? It knows how powerful my Shadow is, obviously, given the Tower. Just a reminder that my Shadow has been the catalyst for big, big changes in my life, very disruptive ones, and although she has an important supportive role, primarily for me to remember and be compassionate about other people’s shadows, she can be very dangerous if she’s allowed to lead.
    With great power comes great responsibility. πŸ™‚

    Thanks! Great spread!

      1. Yep, Arwen, I thought the Sun-Moon combo was really interesting (new deck, but it’s been well-shuffled from the first reading I did and then this one as well). There will always be uncomfortable things “under the covers” of our psyches, just a question of who’s running the show, I think. Like you say, you have to embrace your shadow to know how to work with it. And as Ali pointed out, the creepy stuff can be exciting, too. Spice of life. Thanks again for the inspiration. πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks for the rockin’ way to Honor Shadow Self, Arwen! Your spread layers yet another dimension to the Shadow Reading I am building from Frankensteining the BlogHop spreads. Happy Samhain!

  5. oooh – how interesting! I am going to try this spread – it’s sort of like one that I already do….but yours is WAY better!

    The deck is perfect for Hallowe’en. I’m totally creeped out. Which I kinda like πŸ˜€

    Ali x

    1. Koneta, I saw that you are now a Zombie addict. Brainnnssss! πŸ˜€ Let me know how you like the spread. I’d love to know.

  6. I agree with Ali, this is a perfect, creepy halloween deck πŸ˜‰ I especially loved your interpretation of the Queen of Wands. I hadn’t really picked up on the fact she’s trying to heal herself. So important, as you say. And the Lovers at the end, just perfect! Thanks for another great spread to try, and fascinating post to read πŸ™‚

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