Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Between Light and Darkness

Are you going to evolve or not?
Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop for Ostara 2013. If you are a hop reader, you might have just came from Joanna Ash's blog, or maybe you decided to start here considering that I am the cat herder for this particular Tarot Blog Hop. (The Master List for this Hop is the post that--in theory--went live just one minute before this post is located here.) As for my regular readers, I encourage you to read some of the other posts in this blog hop...just because I suggested the idea behind this hop.

If you are reading this on March 20th 2013, today is the Vernal Equinox. (And if you not pretend that you are.) Today is the day where night and day are equal; and for the next few months, the day will be longer than the night...

...provided that you are in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the nights that are getting longer.

The significance of today literally depends upon where you are standing, and how you are looking at it. The only thing that we can all agree upon is the fact that today, there is an equal amount of light (day) and darkness (night)--a pivotal moment in the Sun's dance between light and darkness.

(The reason that I am painfully aware of this is that I used to be the proctor for a bunch of Golden Dawn students in Australia--we can't even say that their pagan holidays are backwards from is more like a completely different set--much like the fact that Ancient Egypt had different seasons than we do in the North.)

So how does this relate to the Tarot?

About fifteen years ago, when I was doing the "take every class and workshop that is available at the local occult shop" cycle, I took a class from one of the local Tarot readers (Timothy). One of the things that he taught was that the Hope/Fear position of the Celtic Cross Spread should be laid out on its side. The position represents BOTH hopes and fears--and often, the same event was both a hope and a fear for the person who was getting the reading.

Example--a person wants a relationship, but fears the loss of freedom that comes with it. Another example--a person wants to become a successful business person, but fears that they will lose all their friends if they do succeed. Their greatest hope is also their greatest fear--it is probably this tendency that makes us human, and not angels.

Now, once you accept the idea that something can be ambiguous, a type of grey, rather than a straight-out white or black (good or evil), it opens up a bunch of possibilities for reading the cards...perhaps in an unacceptable can of worms manner if you really want there to be only one right answer to any question. Grok it enough, and you find yourself reading all cards in a neutral manner.

It also makes you look at some other things in a different light if you embrace the concept deeply enough. For instance, the whole concept of white and black magic fades into a strange type of grey. And one becomes very aware of the lemon-aid concept--when life hands you lemons, make lemon-aid. Some of my biggest defeats have turned out to be blessings in disguise, but only because I used them to grow. Mercury retrograde also becomes a source of amusement. It all depends upon how you look at things.

In light of that, I would like to share a Tarot spread with you--the "Dancing between Light and Darkness" spread. It is designed for those weird times where you are aware that you are in a grey, ambiguous situation, one which outcome will depend solely on how you decide to treat the situation--is it the end of the world? or is it a brand-new beginning?

It is a nine card spread, and I tend to lay out the middle row of cards first, left to right, before the final two cards (which I tend to add after reading the middle cards). The seven cards in the middle represent the energies of the seven classical planets, and the two final cards represent evolution and degeneration (increased spiritual development and descent into eventual extinction).

All seven of the planet cards are read both positively and negatively. This may seem strange for a couple of the cards. For instance, the Sun position looks on the surface to be completely positive...but being successful can cause stress (a loss of vitality) and limit your willingness to take future risks. Likewise, the Mars position initially may to be all negative, but occasionally you need to flush the garbage out of your life.

Those students who have studied the Vault of the Adepts of Golden Dawn (RR et AC) will see the pattern behind the spread, and possibly the deeper layers hidden in the spread.

Happy Equinox everyone! Remember to keep dancing.

For those who are continuing with the Blog Hop, the next stop is Christiana Gaudet's blog. And if there are any broken links, remember that you can find the Master List for this Hop here.


Alison said...

Fascinating...especially the part about it being so dependent on where you stand. I'll be trying the spread later... Thanks!

Koneta said...

I find myself most often, In the Grey.

Alison Cross said...

My first spread of the blog hop! thanks Morgan!

Ali x

Tarot By Arwen said...

What I love most is the duality of the positions. I have always told people that the Hopes/Fear position can show up as either or both!

Cher Green said...

Love this spread. And I especially appreciate the Hopes/Fear position mention. Great post.

Unknown said...

What a great cat herder you are Bloghop Neighbour! And this is an even greater post. I love that each card can be read in both ways hope/fear. Makes tarot so alive doesn't it?

Inner Whispers said...

Interesting spread, though I fear I need more astrological knowledge to get the most from it. I first read about assigning both Hopes and Fears to that Celtic Cross position in Rachel Pollack's 78 degrees of wisdom, and it was a total "aha" moment :)