TarotBlogHop: Samhain 2017 Handbaskets and Maps

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Our blog hop wrangler, Jay Cassels, gave us an easy-peasy topic for this hop. (casts big stank-eye at Jay.) If you are hopping forward, you just came from Messages from Lore. If you are hopping backwards, then you already met Jay (if not, leave him a message on his blog that tells him I’m giving him the stank-eye!)

After reading his topic, I thought I’d name my post “Handbaskets and Maps.” But the spread he gave us took me to a different spot. I’m okay with that. Here’s his topic:

For this year’s Samhain Hop, I am interested to find out where you are at the end of this cycle. Using either a single card or a three card spread from your chosen deck:

  • What do the cards tell you about where this cycle has lead you – Where have you been?
  • What do they tell you about where you are headed – Where are you going?
  • What do you feel has changed for you at the end of this cycle along your journey of life?

Like I said, easy-peasy, right? Sigh! So, I’m going to use the Secrets of the Mystic Grove. While it’s not a Tarot deck, I like it for the way it’s been answering my questions lately. Of course, I’m partial to it for other reasons.

Secrets of the Mystic Grove Seeking Knowledge
Seeking Knowledge

So where have  I been this cycle from last Samhain to this? Ha! Seeking Knowledge indeed! I’ve learned so much in this year. And I’m still cramming more into my brain on a daily basis. In case you missed it (and, darlings, how could you with as mouthy as I’ve been), I’m the new editor of The Cartomancer. This print & digital quarterly was founded by Jadzia and Jay DeForest. When Jadzia announced this past May that she was going to be turning the magazine over to someone, I threw my name in the hat. After talking with Jadzia quite a bit, she decided I was the right candidate for this.

I was thrilled. Then I realized I was also terrified. A bit like the gal in this card who seems to have overloaded her head with information. Still, I’ve learned I can ask for help. I can trust people to help me. I’ve learned that I’m a terrible ditherer when I get anxious. I’ve learned that my husband is very good at pointing things out that help me grasp the situation. So yes to Seeking Knowledge. I’ve also learned a lot about myself in this year. You would think at 56, I’d have a handle on that, but come to find out…there was more to learn.

Secrets of the Mystic Grove Bloom
BLOOM

So cards, where am I heading now? What’s the next point on the wheel for me? Bloom it is. This is the card that I draw a lot. It is, in my head, a paraphrase of one of my favorite quotes.

Bloom Where You Are Planted. Ashleigh Brilliant.

I first read that quite a while ago. Saw it in a newspaper and clipped it out (when’s the last time you did that?) Because I was something of a gad-about in my younger days (still am, truth be known), my mother used to write me into her address book in pencils. Something of a family joke.

But that “being seen” is certainly a good thing for me in terms of my work. I want the magazine to not just maintain, but to grow. And right now, I really am all about the magazine. Well and the decks I’m writing for. Two are turned in to my publisher (USGames) with a third in progress on my computer. I’m loving it, too. When I did the Fairy Tale Lenormand, I was hooked.

Secrets of the Mystic Grove 5 Authenticity
Authenticity

So the last question is what do I feel has changed for me from the Arwen I was in 2016 to the Arwen I am in 2017. I think I’m more confident about my self-worth. I’m told I still under-value myself, but hey! I’m getting better. But why don’t I look at the cards, hmmm? This is a reading, after all. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Authenticity for the win. This card made me laugh out loud when I first saw it. I was so startled by the pheasant in her hair that I didn’t see the cactus right away. Talk about a woman who doesn’t care what others think, right? I don’t want a damned bouquet, thank you very much. I shall pose with a small barrel cactus and you can suck it if you don’t like it. So yes, this time last year I had just left a job that I wasn’t really giving my all. Now this year I have a magazine, a Patreon, a YouTube channel and decks to my name. Has it been easy? Nope, it hasn’t. I’ve had to face fears, shed tears, and lose a few friends along the way (that was mostly politics, damn it.)

As I’ve told more than a few people, when I turned 50, I discovered that 50 is the new “fuck it.” 55 to nearly 57 has been a whole lot more of that. I have less patience for the inane but am also less inclined to engage it. It’s just not worth the expenditure of energy to try to fix crazy. Crazy doesn’t fix. It just gets more cray-cray. Probably the best lesson I’ve learned this year.

Blessed Samhain to my fellow travelers on this path. Happy season of the witch to the rest of you. May your ancestors bring you wisdom and carry away grief as necessary. And if you do find yourself in a handbasket, look under the seat for a map. I’m sure I left one somewhere.

Secrets of the Mystic Grove used with permission of US Games Systems, Inc., c. 2017. All rights reserved.

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Litha 2017 Tarot Blog Hop

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Our TarotBlogHop wrangler, Aisling, asked us, in part, “so we will use our Tarot cards to explore and explain the duality of our own natures. Who, indeed, is your “other Self”, your “Tanist”? How is it that you are, actually, of “two minds”?”

She gave us a very detailed set of steps. I have chosen to go off-book by taking only one part of her instructions for this post.

“These two cards, the light and darkness of your own Being, will work as a unit but represent two opposite views of the same situation. They both may be in the same suit or in two different suits, one may be major and one minor arcana, but if one were to receive both these cards in a reading, how would you represent the opposing energies thereof as they apply to your own personality and all the situations which life hands you?”

When  I think about duality of being, my Piscean sun self swims effortlessly into the topic. I think we are all far more than merely two parts of one whole. For me, there are layers to the dark and layers to the light. I cannot, by my very nature, see myself as just dark and light. I am at my heart, a myriad.

That is to say, a multitude, a large/great number, a large/great quantity, scores, quantities, a mass, a host, droves, a horde. In a way, this correlates to my feelings about the Tarot. The seventy-eight cards are also myriad. Within one deck, you have countless ways to combine cards for scores of interpretations. When you expand your mind to encompass the fact that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of artistic interpretations of each of those seventy-eight cards? Yeah. Mind=blown.

How can I see only two sides of myself? I am not a fan of seeing shadow self as evil or wrong or even as needing to be incorporated into anything. For me, again that Piscean nature leaping in a great splashing arc, I see shadow self as whole and separate. I think I will call it my Submerged self while the other main self is Emerged. Submerged is no less important than emerged. And vice-versa on that. What I allow to be seen may be partially my submerged self. The fact is only I will ever know the true answer to that. Which points to my strong Scorpio moon influence. Secrets are part of my life. I know many secrets that aren’t mine but were given to me in confidence. So I keep them there in confidence.

If  I only address Submerged Self and Emerged Self, I wonder what they would say.  Could I be a bridge between those two pieces assuming they don’t actually communicate? It’s  my belief that they do communicate–well and often. The society we live in has a norm of not addressing Submerged Self except as an enemy. What intelligent being would allow itself to be seen if it is only ever thought of as wrong?

To that end, I wanted to create a vehicle for communication between Submerged and Emerged Selves. Of course, that vehicle would be a Tarot spread. I thought I might use the Sun and the Moon for the Emerged and Submerged Selves but it didn’t work for me. Instead I have a list of questions. Then I follow that with my reading for myself using this spread.

Submerged-Emerged Selves Spread

    1. What is the main message from Submerged Self?
    2. How can Emerged Self use this message best?
    3. What does Submerged Self need most from Emerged Self?
    4. What is the main message from Emerged Self?
    5. How can Submerged Self use this message best?
    6. What does Emerged Self need most from Submerged Self?

 

  1. How can Submerged Self and Emerged Self best work together?

What is the main message from Submerged Self? Main Message (Submerged) is the Teacher. Here is someone sitting with Coyote just behind them. They offer me a dandelion which most of us consider a weed. I must remember that  Submerged self offers up seemingly useless parts of myself. But with a bit of exploration, I can learn all the uses of those unwanted-by-society parts.

How can Emerged Self use this message best? Take all the energy of worrying about what other people think and use it to swing my own personal fire. Be my own best self as the Explorer(Knight) of Fire is her best self.

What does Submerged Self need most from Emerged Self? Submerged Self needs Emerged Self to allow both halves to drive the Chariot (Canoe). Only by swimming together can we master our own true purpose.

What is the main message from Emerged Self? The Seven of Earth is the card of the gardener. The one who plants and tends and lets things grow. Here the plants of the Teacher are echoed as she puts saplings into the earth. Both selves are intent on growth and learning about the things we plant.

How can Submerged Self use this message best? Interesting to see the Child (Page) of Fire show up when the Knight of Fire showed up for the reverse question. Here I am told that Submerged Self could be more proactive, more curious about how things are. This is a card of energy and movement. Both sides have plants and energy.

What does Emerged Self need most from Submerged Self? Death floats in reminding me that to master myself (as with the Canoe), some parts of me must be laid to rest. Any parts that aren’t nourishing me. If I don’t flourish from the energy, then it must be let go. Death is change that is inevitable, inescapable, and unavoidable.

The final question is How can Submerged Self and Emerged Self best work together? The Elder (King) of Air with his Luna moth companion made me smile when they showed up. I see him as the Priest who does the work. He is sending his prayers (and those of others) up to the heavens. The Luna moth serves as the steed to carry those hopes. When I stand in myself as priestess, I am myriad.

This reading made sense to me. I realize that I used some shorthand here and there but this was a deeply personal reading.bI offer this spread for you to use.  Please do not post it without my attribution: Spread by Arwen Lynch

And if you are doing #CampNaNoWriMo, check out my secret weapon.

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TarotBlogHop: Master List Imbolc 2017

This is the master list for the Imbolc 2017 Tarot Blog Hop. Thanks for stopping by. This list serves as a one-stop-shop to find your favorite bloggers or to deal with a broken link. We do our very best to make sure our links are good, but we aren’t perfect.

  1. Stacey Carroll
  2. Joy Vernon
  3. Jay Cassels
  4. Ingvill-Susann Kjørsvik
  5. Olivia Destrades
  6. Aisling the Bard
  7. Boglarka Kiss
  8. Meniscus TarotLink Not Working
  9. Arwen Lynch Poe
  10. Scott Rattigan
  11. Ania MLink Not Working
  12. Karen Sealey
  13. Alison Coals
  14. Chloe McCracken
  15. Joanne Sprott
  16. Morgan Drake Eckstein

Thanks for reading the posts. We love your comments! You honor us by sharing our words as well. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

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Tarot Blog Hop: Samhain 2016 Wake The Dead

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Welcome to the 2016 Samhain/Halloween/Mid-Fall Tarot Blog Hop. We’ve been doing these hops since Imbolc 2012. It brings me such joy to know that for these past five years, community-minded bloggers have gathered every six weeks to create a ring of posts that all share the same subject. It’s been copied by others (which also brings me great joy) so I know that original question “How Can I Be The Best Candle” truly burns on.

This time, we are asked by our wrangler, Louise Underhill of Priestess Tarot, to turn to our ancestors for advice. She challenged us to “seek their advice on what we need to work on in the year to come.”

So I did. First, I wanted to be clear on the questions as well as the intent. Once I had the questions, I took time to make sure I was mindful of my surroundings. I wanted to be aware of not only where I was, but who I was.

I opened up asking my ancestors to gather if they would. I requested that one of them step forward to give me advice for the coming year (in my Tradition, we treat Samhain as the New Year even though the validity of that has been brought into question.) Honestly I hoped that someone from my deep ancestral bloodlines would turn up. Maybe the daughter of that English king (not a very popular king, oops) or the German lawyer would weigh in on the questions.

Nope. I got a much closer relative. And I knew her the moment I pulled the first card. But first, let’s look at the spread itself.

Arwen Lynch's Wake The Dead spread
My 2016 Samhain spread: Wake The Dead

The answers were pretty clear. Because of the reading, the answers were also quite personal. I’ll show you the card and give you the abbreviated answers.

Moon Victoria Regina Tarot
The Moon, Victoria Regina Tarot

First up was the Moon. With the binoculars and crawfish on this one, I immediately knew it was my mother. She was a Scorpio as well. I have a Scorpio Moon that rests in the 8th house so this could only be Mama. At first I thought it might be her mother, but the crawfish and binoculars were all Mama.

10 Swords Victoria Regina
Ten of Swords

Next came the 10 of Swords. If I wasn’t sure before, this nailed it (pun intended). My mother once told me a story about a sparrow, a cat and a pile of manure. The lesson was to stop complaining about where you were. The main message I got here was, “Being weighed down by other people’s opinions is silly. That’s their energy, not yours. DO YOU.” On a side note, when I look at my handwriting on this question, the “do you” is very similar to my mother’s handwriting. Hmmm

Strength showed up as the response to the third question.

Strength Victoria Regina Tarot
Strength

Her admonition here was that she raised me to be a strong woman. She reminded me that she had not been fair to me in one area (she took care of me when she should have let me find my own feet) but she felt I was getting better there.

 

World, Victoria Regina Tarot
World

The fourth question brought the World (so many Majors, Mama.) She was a bit fierce on this one which didn’t surprise me. Protecting her children was one of her strengths. Living with a Scorpion for a mother wasn’t always easy, but you knew she had your back. The answer was, in part, “Focus on the people who add to your life rather than take away. Be your own center.”

Finally, I pulled the Two of Wands. My mother loved that I wrote. She got to read the first book my writing partner and I ever finished. That book has never been published, but my sister called me. She was laughing because my mother, who was in the hospital dying from cancer (she passed away two months after), would not take any calls. She told my sister to tell them she was reading. Her message here was to take action. Do rather than be. The funniest thing was her “Get wet sooner” message. She’s the reason I keep writing.

Thanks, Mama. I love you and I will always remember you.

Marilu Johnston circa 1956
Marilu, my beautiful mother

Now please leave a comment then hop on to the next post. Or hop backwards. And thanks so very much for sharing this and other posts. You can use the hashtag #tarotbloghop .

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It’s the Litha Tarot Blog Hop, Y’all!

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Our wrangler, Morgan, gave us the task of making a card. He suggested we use junk mail. Well, I didn’t follow the rules because I didn’t manage my time well. 😀 But I am going to use one of the variations.

Before diving into that, I’d like to invite you to check out a collaborative book I’m part of. Today is release day. It’s 365 Moments of Grace.

I use Zentangle as a meditative practice. I don’t set out with anything in mind when I tangle but the end results often remind me of a Tarot card. It’s an interesting exercise for me to “see” something in the artwork.

So what I want to do is offer a few of my tangle pieces here and have YOU tell me what you see. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”TarotByArwen” suffix=”tarotbloghop”]What card comes to mind with these images for you?[/inlinetweet]

 

Zentangle Mandala
Zentangle Mandala by Arwen

Zentangle050Zendala4112013

Click to see large version

 

I also wrote an article for Witches And Pagans about how Zentangle made me a better psychic.

So what do these images bring to your mind? Once you’ve answered that question, it’s time to hop along to the next blog in this Tarot Blog Hop.

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Spring! Tarot Blog Hop 2016

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Money Money Money and Tarot is our topic. That damned Ania was anti-bunny this year so she’s forcing us to talk about money and oracles. 😀 Okay, so she’s not really forcing us but I thought I’d whine a bit.

Money and this Pisces are not the best of friends. I am very fond of spending my money. My darling husband is more a fan of keeping the stuff. We usually find a common ground. But when we don’t? Oh good gods, y’all! It’s fireworks then–and I don’t mean the fun kind.IMG_3132[1]

It’s the kind that breaks things. No, we don’t throw stuff, but trust and love can get damaged when money comes up.

While this isn’t a spread per se, these sets of questions are designed to get you talking to your partner (or partners if you are in a poly group). Use it as a springboard for fine tuning your own money relationships. You can use them for opening up communication. Please note that if you get triggered easily, you should find a good therapist to work with you and your partner. Money is one of the deal-breakers in many marriages.

(For Poly folk, just add a card after Person 1 and Person 2.)

Person 1: What is your biggest block around money?
Person 2: What is your biggest block around money?

Person 1: What is your biggest financial dream?
Person 2: What is your biggest financial dream?

Person 1: How do you relate to money?
Person 2: How do you relate to money?

Person 1: How do you want Person 2 to think about money within your relationship?
Person 2: How do you want Person 2 to think about money within your relationship?

You can create your own dialogues as well of course. Just stay open to the idea that you are exploring this with your other half. Don’t make it a war, please.

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Imbolc Awakening the heart

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Our blog hop wrangler, Joy Vernon, tasked us with this theme:

“…the still point of the center of the fixed stimulates germination and the awakening of the heart.”

I thought about it a long while. Thought I had a blog idea after someone attacked all Tarotists as abominations, but then I decided not to give that crazy any more space in my head.

I thought I might blog about saving a dog only to have to release it to animal control to be euthanizes. I opted to not burden you all with that sorrow.

Then last night just as I was going to bed, I realized what I wanted to share with you. My muse gifted me with a spread for you. I will do a reading for myself via video (below). Here is the spread.

Germination Spread

Seed: This card represents something you want. You can choose it intentionally by going through the deck until you see/feel/sense/know the card you need. Or you can draw it at random.

Soil: This card represents what surrounds your SEED. It is what supports this need of yours, this want. It is the nutrient-rich darkness that all ideas/dreams/whispers must exist in as it begins to burgeon with all your expectations and hopes.IMG_2016

Water: This card represents what you will have to do to bring your SEED to life. Here is your sweat, your salty tear, your moistened mouth as you wet your lips while you hunger for this SEED to burst forth into the light.

Sun: This card represents your heart, your heat, your very spirit. This is the warmth of your love, the heat of your desire, the brilliant inferno of lust for this SEED you have planted.

Time: This card represents what you will do while you wait. Waiting is a part of all things in life–especially growth. We cannot force things into being. We cannot reach beneath the soil to firmly yank the small green sprout upwards. But while we wait for our SEED to grow, there are things that we can do.IMG_2015

I invite you to do your own germinating as you continue your hop through the kickoff of our fifth year of the Tarot Blog Hop. This started as a seed itself. A discussion on Facebook led me to asking a question that then led me to inviting others to join me on a group exploration of one question. You can see that here.

Here is me doing my own Germination reading. (don’t forget to come back to continue the hop, y’all.)

And please? Leave comments as you go. Share the posts that speak to you. We do this as a community for you and for ourselves. Comments tell us you were here. Sharing tells us we touched you on some level.

May your seeds grow. May you find the courage to weed out the ones that don’t have strong stems. May your year bring you all the joy you deserve.

zentangle_seekjoySeek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

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Tarot Blog Hop Yule Office Party

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So what happens when a bunch of Tarotists get together for their virtual office party? That’s what I asked of my fellow Tarot Blog Hoppers for this Yule Tarot Blog Hop. Join us for eighteen tales of “that one time, at our office party…”

I hope I don’t end up with a lampshade on my head!

I decided to share a silly Tarot spread to help determine how to have more fun at your own office party.

 

  1. What to wear to the office party
  2. Who to bring as your date
  3. What gift to bring for the White Elephant game
  4. Who to keep an eye on at the party
  5. The best outcome of the party

 

Office Party Spread
Office Party Spread

So the Five of Wands is what I should wear. Something sparkly that catches the attention of everyone…maybe even starts a small riot? Diving blouse it is!

And the Ten of Wands is my date? Well that’s my poor, overworked man who is buried at work right now but apparently he’s coming with me. Sorry honey!

And the best gift for the White Elephant is Death? Cool! I guess I’ll be wrapping up that ceramic sugar skull. Wonder who will end up with it.

Whoooo boy! Who do I need to keep an eye on? Why that Six of Wands person of course. You know them…they are always bragging about how good they are and what amazing things they’ve done. 😀 I may want to learn how to emulate that confidence.

The best outcome of the party that features a bunch of Tarot folk? Why the Moon, naturally. There will be cards and readings and laughter and predictions about what an amazing 2016 we will have.

My sincere gratitude to everyone who has participated in a Tarot Blog Hop these last four years. 2016 will be our fifth year. I wonder what subjects we will blog about next year.

Happy Yule, y’all! Happy Everything.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

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MidFall/Samhain Tarot Blog Hop

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I am this year’s wrangler for our MidFall/Samhain Tarot Blog Hop. I asked everyone to focus on this topic.

***Commune, Communicate, Commemorate with those who have gone on before us. ***

Samhain Incense 2015
Samhain Incense 2015

It’s Samhain or MidFall. This is the last of the three harvests in the Northern Hemisphere and the advent of Spring in the Southern hemisphere. It is a time that I know as being a thinning of the veil…a time for the honouring of those who have crossed over before us. This will be a hop focused on communing, communicating and commemorating our loved ones.

My offering is this YouTube video that I did this morning. It is an All Hallow’s Eve tradition for me. I cast my circle then did my New Year’s reading using Joanna Powell Colbert’s Elder of Fire spread. All links are in the drop-down box beneath the video. Just click “More”.

Arwen’s Elder of Fire reading.

Now I invite you to hop through to the rest of this Samhain Tarot Blog Hop. If you find a broken link, just go back to the post you came from and click the Master List link to skip that one.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on. Blessed Samhain to you.

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Mabon Hopping: Getting Creative for the Tarot Blog Hop

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Hey y’all. It’s Mabon today. In my tradition that’s the feast of the second harvest. Many of my fellow Wiccans think of it as our time to give thanks for what the year has brought us.

I wanted to do that now. I am in a place of amazing good right now. I have moved to New Mexico to live with my husband. We have a roof, food to feed ourselves and our pets. I have a husband who buys me things like bird feeders from garage sales because he knows how much I love watching the birds.

Right now I can look out my office window to see two house finches and a sparrow on one of those feeders. They are amusing me because they are squabbling over territory. I want to talk to them to remind them that there is food for all here at our home. The birds might not be as amused to find that we call their feeders “bird tv” since the cats love sitting in the windows to watch them.

Our TarotBlogHop wrangler is that lovely Utah harpist and poet, Aisling. Check out her poetry book here or her simply magical harp CD’s here.

She asked us to think about Mabon then create a card that spoke of the season. I was going to do the Empress but the Seven of Pentacles called to me. My card is created in GIMP using a photo I took of my own cherry tomato plant (2011). I reminds me that each blossom and small fruit is a supernova of energy. They represent the work we put in and the reward that will come.

I’d like to invite you to also join me on my YouTube channel where I am offering videos on how to read Tarot intuitively as well as other subjects. I also do deck reviews there. I am covering new decks and old as well.

Happy Mabon, everyone. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

7 of Pentacles, (c) Arwen Lynch
7 of Pentacles, (c) Arwen Lynch [click for larger]

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