The Gifts of Yule: A Tarot Blog Hop

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Welcome to the 2019 Yule Tarot Blog Hop. It is my pleasure to be the wrangler for this one with special kudos going to Jay Cassells for helping me out. You are a STAR, Jay. Thank you!

For this hop, I set this as our topic.


We all love to talk about gifts. Do we have them? Do we not? Do we need them? Etc. What are your thoughts on your own gifts as a reader? What do you bring to the table?

To answer my own questions, I do think we all have gifts. I think some of us are better at some things while others complement us by being better where we are lacking. My husband unit is a madman when it comes to organizing. I am … not. Yeah. LOLOL. Just not. He loves putting things where they go. I like putting things…down.

Some of my gifts are compassion, empathy, and love. I am able to love easily. I can tell you I love you even if I don’t know you. I think everyone deserves love. I don’t like everyone, but I do love.

When I sit down to do a reading for or with a client, the first thing I do is check-in with myself. Am I in a good place? If I am not, often I will delay the reading. What good is it to try to do a compassionate, loving reading for someone if I am in a bitchy mood? Or worse, a depressed one.

Side note: While I am the Goddess of Joy and I do want everyone to Seek Joy, Y’all, I am also an individual who has depression. Sometimes it gets out of hand. This past year it’s been out of hand a lot. Too much. But I am here. I have an amazing support system that includes a provider, a therapist, and some of the staunchest allies I could hope. Just keeping it real, y’all.

Back to gifts! I gave everyone a spread to do as a leaping off point for their blog.


  • Card One: What gift am I ignoring in myself?
  • Card Two: How can I bring that gift forward more?
  • Card Three: What gift am I over-relying on?
  • Card Four: How can I ease up on that gift?
  • Card Five: What gift can I expect to develop next year?

Using the Light Seer’s Tarot (limited edition), here is the reading I did for myself

  1. What Gift Am I Ignoring In Myself?

Hello handsome. It’s the Knight of Cups come to call. He’s got his hat in his hand with roses in the other. His steed behind him has a very suspicious ray of light emanating from his forehead…or is that just the sun in my eyes? A picnic awaits in the bottom right with a letter sealed in red wax. And look at my Knight’s shoes…are those wings I spy? Hermes? Is that you?

I see this as me ignoring my own gift of self. Not doing the things I need to do to survive. Well, no. I am surviving. I mean to thrive. In order for me to thrive, there are things I must do. I have not been doing them. One of those is focusing on my heart and my gift of loving. I shut down when my depression brain hijacks my heart. Time to ‘cowgirl, up’ and do what I need to get back in the saddle.

2. How Can I Bring That Gift Forward In Myself More?

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, really Universe? The Three of Swords is the answer? Goddess bless, this card sucks. Sorry, but it does. In order to bring forward my gift of self, of the loving, caring, compassionate Knight of Swords, I need to do the effing work. And then let it go. The Three of Swords, to me, is about THINKING about pain–particularly emotional pain. It is about staying in that moment or moving on. My choice. Which will I choose?

The problem here is that in order to move on, I have to move through. I don’t want to. I want to avoid that like the plague. Heck, I HAVE been avoiding that like the plague. Okay, Universe. Challenge accepted. It’s not like I haven’t been here before.

3. What Gift Am I Over-relying On?

So help me, Peter, if you say writing… But no, it is the 10 of Swords. This is a very controversial card for many. I choose to use it here because this is a lesson for me of being too strong. Here I see a woman who shows the healing scars. She’s taken care of herself. She relies on no one in this moment. Her healing is her strength. She brings no one into the process because she trusts no one because of her past.

Man, oh man, does this hit home. And, to be frank, I nearly didn’t use this deck because I was so sure this card would show up. But I am staying true to the deck at this moment. I do rely too much on myself. Like that defiant five-year-old, I stand with my hands on my hips declaring, “I do it my own self!”

But how smart is that? What if what I need requires the help of others? What if my gift of self-reliance really is fear-based? Fear that if I reveal things, no one will love me. No one will like me. No one will even feed me worms! So that’s a lesson I must take to heart. Because part of me screams that I shouldn’t write this no matter how true it is. It sounds like a pity party. As if I need others to tell me I’m loved and to praise me.

Truth is? I do.

4. How Can I Ease Up On That Gift?

You know, as I’m doing these questions, I’m asking myself what the heck was I thinking? Why did I think this would be an easy-peasy spread? Just a bit of a jumping-off point for the blog round. SHEESH!

And, hahahahahahaha, I get the Page of Swords in answer to the 10 of Swords. We go to a woman who is reading as she navigates across a tightrope. Of course, the space isn’t that wide. Silly girl, you could have just as easily jumped over. But she’s got light bulbs that are balloons. Get it? They really are light…bulbs.

So how I ease up on the feeling of needing to take care of myself (ummmm, did that just reach right back to that first card, or what?)? By trusting. By reading more. By letting my friends be with me. Our Page of Swords is the eternal student. I can LEARN to let go more. I must.

5. What Gift Can I Expect To Develop Next Year?

I’m not laugh-crying! You’re laugh-crying. Again, REALLY UNIVERSE? This is a public freaking reading! Sigh. The Eight of Cups shows someone walking away from a burning bowl. This is the last of the bowls to sink. You can see where the others have dropped beneath the water. Each one contained an offering or a release or both. Each one was set on fire then left to be submerged by nature and time.

She walks away. She leaves it behind. She doesn’t look back. She understands that there is a true strength in trusting that old things can be let go of. This is her Elsa moment so she is letting it go. The sun rises to greet her. She points her heart towards the new day.

Well, hell. This reading went a very different way than I expected it to go. Happy Yule, y’all!

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Author: TarotByArwen

Arwen is the professional Joy Seeker. Her true calling is as a Professional Joy Seeker. She co-creates solutions with her clients to help them find their joy again. "Seek joy, y'all" is her motto. Her decks include The Fairy Tale Lenormand, Secrets of the Mystic Grove, Bianca Niero Tarot, the Elle Qui Oracle, and the Field Guide to Garden Dragons (all published by U.S. Games INC.). She is the author of 33 Days to Finish Your Book.

7 thoughts on “The Gifts of Yule: A Tarot Blog Hop”

  1. It’s the one thing that I admire in you Arwen; your strength. Even when the world for you in a challenge, you find the strength to get through and grow stronger. Your a Goddess of so many Virtues, the Goddess of Joy, Love, Honesty and You are also your own Goddess of Arwen!

    The tarot can sometime be a cruel kindness, in that it tells us exactly what we need to hear, just not always what we want to hear. Which, sounds like the kind of reading the cards just gave you. Thank you for being Awesome <3

  2. Arwen, this spread definitely IS challenging! But I love that about it.

    And I love you for mentioning depression, because that is a topic that I believe takes a lot of courage to bring up.

    Re the 3 of Swords, I hate to quibble with your interpretation. But I don’t see these swords as sticking into YOUR heart (even though that usually is how I interpret that card). But today, for you, seeing them with that Knight of Cups–I somehow today am seeing them as arrows for you to shoot into everyone else’s heart: little arrows that get people’s attention and remind them, oh yeah, joy! I mean, not literal arrows, of course. But like, telling someone that one story that makes them cry. And then they react the way people react when something has opened them to being more compassionate, they tend to the people around them, and guess what that tending causes? Joy! So it’s like, the Three of Swords is calling you to say to people, “I’m here to break your heart so you can open up to experiencing joy again.” That kind of arrow. Am I making any sense? Am I making this card worse? Oops….Or, here’s another way to look at it. It’s like when people say “pinch me so I know I’m not dreaming.” No one seems to say that any more, but if they did, then the Three of Swords would be telling you that you’re the person who should pinch them, to remind them to seek joy, y’all! 🙂

    Sorry to be so slow in commenting–the holidays kidnapped my brain.

  3. At first I was scrolling up and down to see card images, although I believe I have seen some cards from this deck before. But then I just relaxed into reading your descriptions. I think there is magic (I know there is, there’s historical precedence) in using words to create images. I appreciate being able to experience these cards through your eyes and your words. And lovely interpretations. I particularly like the “light” bulb balloons. It also brought to mind the other metaphor of light bulbs — new ideas. You are so creative and productive, maybe the idea of easing up on the gift of self-reliance is about the fresh ideas. I guess I’m seeing it as self-reliance is needed for the fresh ideas to pop up, then after you’ve got those ideas, then you can ease up on the self-reliance. Cross the tightrope back and forth — cross over to self-reliance, get ideas, cross back to friends and allies, get support.

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