Monday, 20 August 2012

The Elder Spread

To further explore the Elder from Emily Carding's Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011), I was inspired to create a spread based on it. 

Cards from the Tarot of the Sidhe
1)  Snake - What do I need to shed?

2)  Tree - Where do I need more connection?

3)  Sidhe Lady - How can I feel the magic of life?

4)  Empty Stool - What wisdom do I have to share? 

5)  Glyph-Etched Stump - What is the wise counsel of this reading?

And of course, I had to give it a whirl :)


©Emily Carding

1)  Snake - What do I need to shed? 

The Dancer says I need to shed my desire for simple emotions and easy answers.  While love is the most important lesson for us to learn in this life, I also need to recognise that love isn't always easy.  Thinking I should be able to balance amid a whirlpool of emotions is unrealistic.

Emotions come in so many guises, and though there is a single source underlying it all, I need to acknowledge the complexity of feelings.  It's alright not to just feel loving and positive emotions all the time, to recognise my shadow emotions, too.  These may sometimes feel scary, and I may feel guilty about them, but trying to pretend that I have only positive, nice emotions does no-one any good, myself least of all.

©Emily Carding
2)  Tree - Where do I need more connection? 

The Maker Queen suggests I need to get more connected to my sense of groundedness and abundance.  It is hard to offer healing to ourself or others when we feel weak or lacking.  Perhaps, too, a need to connect with my sense of fertility and ripeness - my creativity in every sense.

I wonder whether part of the message here is about connecting to others whom I associate with this archetype?  It can be easier to connect to our own groundedness and abundance when we see it mirrored in those around us.  So, a reminder to spend time with people I admire, who have these characteristics.  My mother is one, several of my friends are others...

©Emily Carding
3)  Sidhe Lady - How can I feel the magic of life? 

This card seems to emphasise the message of the previous card, though with its own nuances.  Feeling the magic of life would be helped by connecting more with other, like-minded individuals.

I love this card, with its circle of people raising a rainbow of energy.  It speaks of circles of friends, covens, the power that we have when we are with others, rather than alone.

One thing it makes me think of are the circles of people I connect with around the world through the internet.  Be it in particular forums or on Youtube, these are groups who share a desire to be more connected to magic, to understanding the energy that flows through life, and how to channel it.

It also makes me think of one friend, in particular, Carla of Rowan Tarot.  We have been sharing book and deck suggestions, discussions on meditation and our spiritual paths.  We are meeting up in a few weeks time for a Conference on Pagan Studies - how cool is that!  I think this is exactly the kind of thing I need to help me feel the magic of life :)

©Emily Carding
4)  Empty Stool - What wisdom do I have to share? 

Wow, I was quite blown away by this card!  The wisdom I have to share is the World?!  Actually, I guess it makes sense.

Firstly, there's the fact that I'm in my early forties, so I've seen a fair few cycles in my life.  I have enough experience to know that the end of anything indicates the beginning of something else, and to understand that the journey and our learning is never "done".

That's shown beautifully in this card, with the World tree spreading its roots in a moonscape and raising its branches to the sun.  Day follows night follows day, just as the seasons also flow.  Each is exactly as it should be, and does not make the other any worse or less.

This points to another piece of wisdom that has come to me in recent years: that there is no such thing as perfection.  That might sound obvious, but for many it's a hard lesson to learn.  For decades, I tried to  be perfect: the perfect daughter, the perfect student, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect mother.  It really doesn't work!  The World card kept coming to me, in negative positions or reversed.  A reminder that perfection and completion are archetypal ideas, not reality.

©Emily Carding
5)  Glyph-Etched Stump - What is the wise counsel of this reading?

What a lovely card to have in this central position, the heart of the reading.  The Warrior Four card is subtitled "Foundations Blessed", and speaks of the need for me to accept the blessings in my life; the love, the challenges and the delights.  I need to let go of fear, and acknowledge just how blessed I am, to learn to feel that.  In doing so, I open myself to joy, to the magic of life that comes from a deep connection to others and a sense of being at peace with oneself.

Easier said than done, of course.  Still, this card has some suggestions there, too.  It suggests focusing on making a sacred space for myself and my family.  It recommends taking time both to connect to others and to connect with myself.  It promises that spirit is always there, just a breath away, if I am willing to open the door to it.  There is something there, too, about knowing ourself through the mirroring of others - yet another reminder of the importance of other people.

It seems to sum up this reading well: shedding simplistic notions of love to connect to the true abundance of good friends and the magic of shared direction and enthusiasm.  Acknowledging that we are always laying the foundations for the next thing, never "completing" things entirely.  Even when something in our life ends - a relationship, a job, a life phase - it leaves traces of its presence in us, laying the foundation for what will follow.  And so the wheel turns...


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