Hello friends how are you feeling in these early days of 2015? I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions but I'm very interested in contemplation and reviewing the lessons and messages that appear at the close of a year. I usually use January as a time to review the past year and gain clarity about the possibilities for the year to come. I always feel that I tune into the Chinese New Year much more - at the New Moon in February this year - I can physically feel the year birthing at this time. So I love to spend the month of January contemplating, releasing and dreaming - tilling the soil before planting new seeds.
And have I had time to contemplate this year - on new years day I went for a walk for the first time in a week after being completely bedridden and unable to walk after putting my back out just after Christmas. Like most of us, I really wanted to be like this figure in the Sun card from the Vision Quest Tarot you see above - joyously greeting the new energies of the year to come. Instead I was living with the consequences of burning myself out at the end of the year, not stopping work even on Christmas Day. Because I love to make art, especially for others, I thought it was ok to just keep on going. Sometimes it's hard to believe that art is work too. But I had to have a good look at my work practices in that long week in bed - why did my feelings of worth come from being productive? Why do I pride myself on my working hard? And why had I forgotten how much I love to read for hours in bed?!!
Needless to say, I had a lot of time for reflection and one thing that stood out for me was how many animals had crossed my path over the last month. Tony and I had been lucky enough to meet a snake, echidna, caterpillar and lots of bees who are now visiting our home many times during the day to drink from a bird bath that we have filled with water gathered at a local natural spring. I realised that I hadn't spent a lot of time with the messages from these animal teachers and that perhaps they had been trying to give me hints about the burnout that was coming but I was too busy to notice.
Last night I created a tarot spread to understand these messages. I wrote down 4 animals that had crossed my path in the last month and then I shuffled the 4 Aces from each different element or suit of the tarot. Each element relates to a suit and to 4 quarters of the wheel:
Ace of Earth : Physical world (body, finances, work)
Ace of Water: Emotional world (love, healing, creativity)
Ace of Air: Mental world (ideas, worries, teaching, communication)
Ace of Fire: Spirit world (passion, dreams, magic, willpower)
I wanted to see what part of my life or element each animal had come to teach me about. I shuffled the Aces (the gifts or blessings of each suit) and placed them beneath medicine representing each animal. For this you can also just write the name of the animal on a piece of paper. I then thought of an animal that has been a big part of my journey this year or perhaps my whole life, a totem and for this animal I chose a Major Arcana card to represent the soul message and also a Minor Arcana card to represent the practical advice from this animal totem. And finally at the bottom of the spread I began to tap into the tiniest, whispers of promise and opportunity available to me in the beginning month of 2015.
All I can say is I wish I'd done this spread before Christmas! I truly believe that after reading it I would have let myself rest. There were so many messages about slowing down and receiving pleasure, playing more and loving each moment for what it is not what I wanted or hoped it to be. My wish is that this spread helps you to understand the spirit of the last month and the gifts that came to you through your animal visitors (and they can be any animals at all - perhaps you read about a particular animal or watched a documentary that stayed with you for a long time. And of course they can be your own animals that live with you, our wise familiars).
This year I will be happily returning to sharing tarot circles and also creating an online tarot weavers web to share wisdom and spreads. We will be making these offerings to our subscribers first so please join our subscriber tribe if you wish to be notified. If you find it hard to read for yourself I will be taking bookings for Tarot readings from 10th January. You can book a Skype or telephone Medicine Tarot reading with me here.
Animal Elements for Transition Tarot Spread
First separate the Minor & Major Arcana cards and the 4 Aces.
1 - 4: Choose 4 different animals & write their names on paper - place in these positions.
5 - 8: Take out the 4 Aces of each element & shuffle. Place them in these positions. The element will tell you what part of your life this animal has come to assist.
9 - 12: Shuffle the Minor Arcana and choose 4 - place here. These cards represent advice on how to create balance and transition in these areas.
13. Think of a significant animal totem that has been appearing in 2014 or throughout your life and write the name of this animal and place it here.
14. Shuffle the Major arcana and choose a card for the Soul Message from this totem to you in regards to the best way to transition from 2014 to the energy and spirit of 2015.
15. Shuffle the Minor Arcana and choose a card for Practical Advice on how to integrate the Soul Message and apply it in a practical way to create a smooth transition.
16. Major Arcana: Opportunity for growth and blessings in the early part of 2015.
17. Minor Arcana: Opportunity for growth and blessings in the early part of 2015.
Oceans of love for you and your animal messengers. I'm looking forward to weaving together into the year of the Sheep xx