The snow is melting – at last – and the whole valley feels like it can breathe again. The jackdaws on our roof are flying off in pairs to find their nests. There are new leaves on the honeysuckle, buds on the rosebushes, and the hellebore flowers have emerged from underneath the snow, still in full bloom and more beautiful than ever.
after the snow
before the melt
I’ve been cleaning the kitchen ready to make balms – sun-filled balms made of beeswax and olive oil infused with marigold and chamomile – with this song playing in the background:
Sunshine is definitely something I am channelling right now.
At the end of an exhausting December, I’ve had a quiet day. I’ve taken tiny dog for a walk in the hills, gathering springwater for the houseplants and the altar; and now I’m cozied up at home, where I plan to watch White Christmas with a gin in memory of my old grandpa, while cutting out the pictures I’d like to keep from last year’s calendar, and possibly playing with some crochet patterns.
But before I hit the gin, it’s time for some reflection.
Ten years ago I was living in a small flat by the sea, facing east. One of my most cherished memories from that time was the ‘path’ made by the moonlight reflected in the water – ripples of light leading to a smooth pool of silver on the far horizon. I knew it was an illusion, and that the silver pool could never really be reached, but that didn’t stop me wanting to jump in a boat and set out to try.
The Moon card in the Anna K Tarot captures this feeling perfectly. As soon as I saw the artwork for this card, I fell in love (as I did with The Star and The Sun – all cards I can struggle to connect with in other decks).
Recently, The Moon has been appearing in pretty much all my readings – when it’s not in the spread, it will usually be the extra card I draw for clarification.
24 June: St Jo(a)n’s Day, when the rising summer sun can be seen moving on the horizon once again, after three days of stillness. The solstice was the turning point, but this is when the movement can be felt. The days are starting to grow shorter.
It’s still high summer, though, and after several stiflingly hot days the breeze this afternoon enticed me out into the hills. I packed my ogham oracle deck in my rucksack, and pulled three cards while sitting on a mossy boulder high above the town.
Subtitled – sorry for the swears – emerging from a shitty situation.
It’s happening a lot this year: friends getting in touch to tell me they’re ok, but that they’re just beginning to realise they haven’t been ok for quite a while. And while I was thinking about how I could help, this spread just popped into my head, almost fully-formed.
I thought I needed to choose. That’s what this card is about, right? Seeing through the fog. […] But in addition to decisions or disillusionment, this card is about matters of the spirit. To be nourished, we must descend the muck. Explore the corners of ourselves where the dark deities are, with their conditions and judgment, where our unworthiness lives.
For the past several days I’ve been writing in my journal rather than online, but this is a draw I’d like to keep more visible, so I can refer back to it without rooting around in my huge stash of random notebooks. All very apt for The Emperor, a card of order, structure and control over resources.
The first days of the new moon feel like a good time to pause and take stock. A lot has happened in the past 28 days. I left a full time, permanent job and possibly a career, in search of a better way of life closer to home. Right now, I am looking ahead, to what might develop as the moon waxes and wanes through its next lunar cycle.
This reading is based on the dark moon spread from the ever-inspirational Little Red Tarot blog (check it out!), with the questions and placements slightly tweaked for my own purposes:
1. Things to let go
2. Things to keep
3. Things yet to come
4. Me, at this moment
5. What to give
6. What to receive
7. What to learn
“This is is portrait. Look at his flat, yellow teeth, his ruddy face. He has horns, and he carries a foot-long wooden stake in one hand and his wooden mallet in the other.
Of course, there is no such thing as the devil.”
— Neil Gaiman, ‘Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot’
Yesterday I had a message on my phone, inviting me to an interview at short-ish notice for a job I really want: local, ethical, well-paid and not desk-bound. Attending the interview, however, is going to be tricky… In two minds about whether I should pull it off – let alone whether I could – I drew a card.