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Le Séjour Souterrain de Perséphone

Persephone's Journey in the Underworld (original Mabon special spread)

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Despite its many treasures, Mabon remains for many a not very well known festival. With this spread, my wish is to draw attention on one very often left aside aspect of this sabbat though it is one of the most interesting of this festival. Mabon is the autumn equinox and marks the beginning of the dark half of the year, which endures until Ostara. At the equinox, day and night are equal and nature is getting ready to face the domination of darkness over light since from this day on nights get longer than days. This time of the year is thus favorable to meditation and introspection: as we explore our hidden aspects, we honor the darkness. We thus choose to go deep within and become fully aware of the part pf darkness we all have inside. This can be frightening for some, because the idea of being face to face with our darkest part is never easy. However, this is a very enlightening exercise which leads to a better understanding of who we are.

This tradition is used in different kinds of mythologies. The probably most famous legend about this belongs to Greek mythology and tells the tale of Persephone, daughter of earth goddess Demeter is abducted by Hades and taken to his realm underground to become his queen. Being a very beautiful Young maid, Persephone is coveted by Hades, king of hell. While she is picking up daffodils, he takes the opportunity and abducts her, taking her by force to his realm underground, planning to make her his wife. Devastated by sorrow, Demeter refuses to make the earth fertile again, which leads to a lack of fruit. Worried about the harvests to come, Zeus decides to send Hermes to Hades to propose a bargain aiming at freeing Persephone. However, since the Young maid has eaten pomegranate seeds during her stay, she now belongs in the underworld. Hades nonetheless accepts the bargain but allows his wife to go back to the surface (and thus to the light) only for six months. At the end of this period, she has to go down to him again. The bargain agreed, Persephone accepts her role as queen of Hades. Each year at the autumn equinox she goes underground to be with her husband and comes back to the surface again at each spring equinox. That is how the main two seasons of the year are created: from the spring equinox to the autumn equinox, days are longer than nights (summer), while from the autumn equinox to the spring equinox the nights are longer than the days (winter). 

This special spread is inspired from Persephone's journey underground and aims at helping the Querent to deal with his own darkness and to accept it as a full part of himself. The main events of the legend are represented and their symbolic meaning corresponds to the positions of the cards in the layout.

 

How to proceed
After shuffling and cutting your deck, take thirteen cards which and spread them as follows:

Le Séjour Souterrain de Perséphone

  

Reading and interpretation
Cards 1, 2 and 3 represent Persephone and the narcissuses she is innocently picking up, unaware of the fact that she is on the verge of being abducted by Hades. They show what the Querent refuses to see and what makes him carefree. Card 1 shows the Querent as he is when he decides to use this spread, with everything he is, including every part of himself he does not want to be confronted with, consciously or not. On the left, card 2 indicates why he is afraid to look at this aspect of his own personality. On the right, card 3 reveals the kind of difficulties he is confronted with when trying to deal with the obscurity he holds inside.

Cards 4 and 5 refer to Persephone's descending in Hades' subterranean realm. They reflect what triggers the Querent's introspection and what draws him to his own darkness. Card 4 is the reason why he decides to go deep in his deeper dark self and card 5 is what he expects to find during this journey. This card can express what he worries about in this process, what motivates him or what he would like to find.

Cards 6 and 7 depict Persephone's stay in the underworld. They are the heart of the Querent's introspection and show what he will find deep within himself. These two cards are to be read together for they show the most prominent aspect of his dark side and the energies in presence at the time of the reading. Card 6 thus reveals what the Querent finds at the heart of his own darkness and card 7 opens his eyes on the consequences of not learning to deal with it and refusing to accept it as a full part of himself.

Cards 8 and 9 show Persephone's ascension as she is on her way to the surface. They depict the solutions that can be found by the Querent and the possibilities offered to him to help him deal with his darkness and restore peace and confidence in his relationship with this aspect of himself. Each card presents the Querent with precious advice and shows him the way.

Cards 10, 11 and 12 represent Persephone, who is now queen of darkness, reaching the surface of the earth. They put into light what the Querent has "gained" thanks to his introspection as well as how he will assimilate his dark side by following the advice provided throughout the spread. These three cards show how the light comes back again at the end of the winter, that is to say at the spring equinox also known as Ostara. While cards 1, 2 and 3 depicted the Querent at Mabon, these present him the way he will be at Ostara when winter ends. They are a summary of what the dark season will bring for the Querent. Card 10 is thus the Querent as he will be at the end of his journey within himself. On the left, card 11 reveals what the Querent will have gained, the way he will have managed to "tame" the dark aspects of himself put into light during the analysis of the spread. On the right, card 12 is an opening on something the Querent will still have to be working on in order to find the right balance between his bright and dark sides. It can also be a warning which he will have to keep in mind if he wants to achieve his goal.

Card 13 symbolizes the pomegranate seeds eaten by Persephone during her stay in Hades' realm. It thus shows what the Querent takes and keeps with him from his inner journey. It shows in what way the Querent's dark side is necessarily connected with his identity and is a full part of it that cannot be ignored. This card reflects how he is continually connected with his own darkness. It shows the way to follow and is a conclusion to the spread.  

 

Remarks
This spread has been designed especially for Mabon and is to be done at this time. However, those who want to remain faithful to the legend of Persephone can do it at the full moon that is the closest to the autumn equinox, for it is at this time that Demeter's daughter is said to have been abducted by Hades.

The way the cards are spread pictures Persephone's descent and her stay in the underworld. Cards 1, 2 and 3, as well as cards 10, 11 and 12 stand on the surface and show the Querent respectively before and after his journey within himself. Cards 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are the evolution of the Querent in his own darkness. They reflect his introspection. Card 13 stands in between. Being at the same time part of the world of light and part of the world of darkness, it belongs to both worlds and connects them. It is thus a synthesis showing how the Querent finally finds his own balance by managing to handle both his bright and his dark sides.

Considering the duration of Persephone's stay in Hades' realm, this layout spreads over a period of six months, from one equinox to the other. It enables the Querent to see his own journey throughout the dark half of the year and to get a hint of how the domination of night over day will help him accept his own darkness.

 

Which decks for this spread?
Any tarot or oracle deck can be used with this spread. While the "classics" will of course do a great job here, one may want to use a deck especially designed for self-exploration and introspection for it will bring a very interesting point of view, which will be particularly accurate for Mabon. For instance, "Madame Endora's Fortune Cards", "Chrysalis Tarot", "Oracle of the Shapeshifters", "Oracle of Shadows and Light", "The Fairy Tale Tarot" (Lisa Hunt), "Psycards" and many more will be perfect!

Rencontre avec un nouveau jeu

Encounter with a New Deck (original spread)

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Purpose
This introductory spread aims at getting to know a new deck and getting an idea of the kind of work you will do with it. It will show you what kind of insight you will get from your new deck.

 

How to proceed
After shuffling and cutting the deck, draw eight cards and lay them out as follows:

Encounter with a New Deck

 

Interpretation
Card 1: Who are you? Introduce yourself. This card represents the main characteristic of the deck, which is something that was given to it by the person(s) who created it.

Card 2: What will the nature of our relationship be? This card is a general overview of the kind of work and of the type of explorations that will be done with the deck. It is thus important to read this card according to the kind of feelings (enthusiasm, excitement, calm and peace, etc.) and tendencies it shows. Do you get an impression of peace or do you get worried by the card? Do you see trust and confidence, a harmonious relationship, or something else?

Card 3: What do I expect from you? This card shows what the reader-querent expects from the deck, what they would like to do with it and the hopes they nourrish toward this new relationship.

Card 4: How will you help me deal with my fears? This card pictures how the deck will confront the reader-querent with their own fears, worries and doubts. Will it be in the soft way, or on the contrary in the harsh way? Will the reader be directly confronted with their fears or will they rather be suggested to them? Will they find solutions to weaken them, dominate them, or even vanquish them with the help of the deck?

Card 5: How will you help me deal with my sorrows? Whether they belong to the past or to the present, sorrows are part of everybody's life and can only leave prints into it, which act as everlasting reminders. This card thus helps the reader-querent to know how the deck will enable them to "digest" and to transform their sorrows so that they are no longer obstacles in their life. The reader-querent will then be able to start anew, rich of their experiences.

Card 6: How will you guide me toward the accomplishment of my hopes and desires and the fulfillment of my dreams? This card highlights how the deck may help the reader-querent to go forward toward the fulfillment of their dreams, hopes and desires. Important personal accomplishments are also shown here.

Card 7: How can you and I work together in order to help others? The card pictures how the reader-querent can use their deck to help other people. It may also reveal the very nature of this help.

Card 8: What aspects of myself will you help me look deeper into? A tarot or oracle deck is a mirror to the person who uses it. It helps the reader in getting to know themselves better and in unveiling hidden aspects of their personality. The card thus shows in what way the deck will help the reader to know themselves better and what aspects of their own personality will be revealed thanks to it.

 

Remarks
In a question-mark shape, this spread aims at helping the reader – who is also the querent – to get to know their new deck better. Consequently, the card positions in the spread are defined by questions which address the deck directly. That is how we can have an overview of several aspects of the situations and feelings that can be explored with the deck, which, according to the responses they get, enables the reader to decide to what purpose they will use the deck. Indeed, some decks are more accurate for such or such kind of analysis and questioning, that is why choosing the appropriate deck according to the questions that have to be solved. I thus recommend writing the spread you get down in a notebook with its interpretation so that you can get back to it whenever you need it and know your deck and its possibilities better and better each time. This is a very good way of evaluating the kind of relationship you can build with a new deck!

 

Recommended tools
I designed this spread after receiving the stunning "Chrysalis Tarot" by Toney Brooks and Holly Sierra so that I could get to know it a little bit, for this deck looks particularly interesting and innovative to me and I was curious to get an overview of how I could work with it and of what it could reveal to me, both about itself and about myself.

Needless to say, this spread has not been designed only for the "Chrysalis Tarot" and can very well be used with any tarot or oracle deck you buy (or are given). It will shed light on the specific characteristics of each deck, whether they are due to its structure or to the cultural approach it illustrates.

A Message from Cernunnos

A Message from Cernunnos (original Litha/Midsummer special spread)

Endora's face

 

 

 

 

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Despite what we might think, Litha is here and we are currently going through the longest days of the year. Also called Summer Solstice, Litha will occur on June 21st, celebrating the moment when the creative and regenerating Sun Force will reach its zenith on the Wheel of the Year. Litha is traditionally the perfect time to draw this life force and use it to nourish new projects or to practice magick, for all undertakings thus benefit from the power of this flow of energy.

There is no better time in the year than this one to test our own strengths and the forces that are working within ourselves: those which we use everyday, but also those which are still germinating deep within and which will grow and help us in what we undertake. In the same way, "charging" one's projects and initiatives with this energy will surely help!

 

Hommage to Cernunnos
This year's special Litha spread has been designed to put into light the forces and energies that can be found within the Querent at the time of the sabbat. As you will see, several degrees are taken into account according to the stage of development of each kind of energy. I thought that a spread shaped as a stag's head would be particularly appropriate (cards 1, 2, 3 and 4 form the head while cards 5 to 10 are the antlers).

Litha being the sabbat which honors Cernunnos as the Horned God, I wanted the lay out to illustrate this, for he is the masculine half of the Sacred Energy which rules Nature. Indeed, this Supernatural Being is very often depicted as a majestic stag, or at least with stag antlers. That is why the king of the forest was, to my mind, the best image I could use to create a special spread in relation to Litha.

 

Purpose
Help the Querent to analyze the way forces are working within him at the summer solstice. Through the image of Cernunnos, he will thus see what the sabbat holds for him. No need for a question.

 

How to proceed
After shuffling and cutting the deck, draw ten cards and lay them out as follows:

A Message from Cernunnos

 

Interpretation
The spread is divided into two main parts where cards 1, 2, 3 and 4 are the head of the stag and are to be read first while cards 5 to 10 are the antlers.

Card 1 describes the Querent at the time the spread is used and thus at Midsummer.

Below is card 2, which show what lies beneath, what lies asleep within the Querent, what he is about to become.

Card 3 presents him with what makes him strong at the time of the sabbat while card 4 allows him to face the things that make him weak or to see what is weakening and waning within him.

Card 5 shows which force among those that lie in the Querent reaches its zenith at the solstice while card 6 hints at the one that is retiring, allowing it to grow.

Card 7 depicts a force already developed within the Querent but which needs to continue growing until next Litha. Card 8 is what will be "sacrificed", what will diminish little by little in order to allow it to grow.

Card 9 is a force yet sleeping within the Querent, just like a seed that was planted but is still in the ground as a young shoot. Present Litha will give it the energy it needs to "get out" and start growing and manifest. Card 10 is what this seed is about to replace.

 

Remark about the structure
Cards 1, 2, 3 and 4 are a variation on the simple cross spread. They set the frame of reference that describes the Querent at the time of the reading.

Cards 5 to 10 are the stag's antlers. In the World, each and every thing and force obeys the laws of balance... and this spread couldn't ignore them! As a consequence, connections between what is growing and what is declining are shown through the way these cards are read. Indeed, the first antler (cards 5, 7 and 9) shows the forces that are currently growing within the Querent while the second one (cards 6, 8 and 10) identifies what he will "lose" as a counterpart. The cards are thus read with a mirror effect.

 

Recommended decks for this spread
Because of its obvious connections with neo-pagan traditions, this spread was especially designed for "Madame Endora's Fortune Cards". However, any deck with a Neo-Pagan atmosphere is appropriate, just like for instance the beautiful Oracle of Shadows & Light and Oracle of the Shapeshifters or the wonderful "Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle" and other decks which will be reviewed here in the next few months.

Indeed, a tarot deck can also be used, but you will get better results if you make sure the one you choose reflects the spirit of the season and/or neo-pagan ideas and themes. Faery tarots are also great tools for this kind of spreads and will do wonders if you combine them with the summer solstice!

 

Merry and blessed Litha to you all!

 

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The Stolen Child Tarot, by Monica Knighton

"The Stolen Child Tarot", by Monica Knighton

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This review was published on Aeclectic Tarot in June 2013.

 

The Stolen Child Tarot, by Monica KnightonWhen I learnt thanks to Aeclectic Tarot that an artist was working on a tarot deck based on W.B. Yeats' poem "The Stolen Child", I couldn't resist looking it up... and I was immediately under the spell of the candor Monica Knighton put into her illustrations, for it is in perfect harmony with the innocence of the child on which the poem is focused.

"The Stolen Child Tarot" was a self-published deck (only 500 copies) and is due to the hard work of a talented illustrator who has a passion for tarot and faery. This deck melts tarot with the world of William Butler Yeats. In addition to being one of my favorite poets, he also was a renowned occultist and an important member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. I had been waiting for such a deck for a long time, and Monica Knighton made my dream come true!

 

Presentation and packaging
As it is often the case with first versions – especially when the cards are self-published –, this deck is only composed of the major arcana. They come wrapped in two layers of green and brown cardboard tied by a thread. Those natural materials hint to the spirit of the deck since no man-made item is depicted in the illustrations. Right from the packaging, this deck seems to come straight from Faery world!

The Stolen Child Tarot, packaging

 

The Cards
By taking off the thread which seals this treasure chest, the twenty-two major arcana appear, as well as the card displaying the number identifying the copy of the deck you own (it is a numbered deck!). Just like the other cards, this one is wonderfully illustrated.

The cards are perfectly cut in thick white cardstock. This already shows how careful and meticulous the artist was in the production of the deck.

Even though apparently loosely based on it, the deck follows the structure and symbolism of the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot. Indeed, the eye has to be sharp and attentive in order to identify the cards, but this is precisely what makes the subtlety of the illustrations and their quality, both on pictorial and divinatory levels. In fact, Monica's paintings go deeper into the symbolic language of the Waite system than what can be seen at first.

The black and white back of the cards cleverly shows four animals. Each of them is associated with one of the four elements: a salamander stands for Fire, a squirrel for Earth, a fish for Water and a bird for Air. They appear in a diamond shape at the center of the back of the card and face their respective opposites. The squirrel is thus facing the bird, and the same thing goes for the fish and the salamander.

The way Monica Knighton composed variations on the symbolism of the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot without betraying it is remarkable. The deck takes a very unique flavor thanks to the merging of the language of the Waite tradition with the fairy world where everything takes place here. This richness can be appreciated thanks to a brief presentation of a few cards.

The Fool depicts the young child on whom the whole deck is focused on. He is naked and sits in the green grass, bathed in the sunlight. Flowers grow around him. The child is laughing out loud surrounded by hummingbirds playing with him. Although this scene looks very different from what we are accustomed to, it pictures the very same ideas: the nudity of the child and the laughing materialize the innocence and the vulnerability that are attributed to the Fool in the Waite tradition. The beginning of the sacred cycle is also suggested by the child himself who, just as the Fool is at the beginning of his long way, is at the dawn of his own life and thus clear of any experience.

Because of his fox disguise and of the two rats about him, the Magician is identified as cunning and clever right away. His mustaches and fangs trigger questions about his real nature: he is definitely not human and seems to have changed into a fox thanks to some magic trick. This idea is reinforced by the four elements that are represented around him: Fire (behind him), a shell for Water, an oak leaf for Earth and a feather for Air. Nature is his altar.

The High PriestessThe rendition of the High Priestess may seem peculiar at first. Nevertheless, a close look at her reveals that the card shows the principles she embodies. Half-fairy half-bird, a creature stands with open wings before a nest where two eggs are lying. Interestingly enough, one can notice that the creature's chest and the eggs are blue. This is clearly an allusion to spirituality and to the High Priestess' mantle in the Waite tradition. Here, the eggs are the pillars of the Temple of Nature, for they embody the secrets of the making of Life and gestation in any sense. Those two aspects are connected in the sense that the egg holds the mysteries of Life to which the High Priestess has unlimited access. She thus has the sacred knowledge of the secrets of Creation.

In this deck, the Empress and the Emperor are a couple, just like in the Waite tradition. Both are bears, the one being a brown bear and the other a polar bear. As is well known, the bear is a plantigrade and thus embodies solid stability, which is precisely the dominant feature of the imperial couple in the tarot. When put side by side, the two cards show stunning similarities: one bear is the reflection of the other as in a mirror, except for the front left paw which is not in the same position. On both cards, the child stands between their front paws and wears a cub skin of the same color as the bear of the card. Furthermore, the Empress remains connected with the idea of fertility through the white and pink flowers that are about her. The Emperor appears as the dominant element, not only by his bear nature which settles his extraordinary might and balance, but also by his great strength and robustness, which are suggested by the polar landscape in which he is depicted. He is surrounded by snowflakes which echo the Empress' flowers.

The Hierophant is a pelican and stands on a rock before two mermaids. Under his foot lies a fish. Showing a pelican on this card is very interesting because is emphasizes the way this animal is connected with religion. Indeed, it was long believed that pelicans tore their own chest up with their beak in order to feed their young ones, thus sacrificing in the same way Christ did to save humanity. The truth was understood much later: in fact, the bird uses his beak to fetch the food he keeps in a special pouch. He nevertheless remains a Christlike figure. He thus naturally was chosen to embody religion and dogma, in the same way as they are expressed by the Hierophant in the Waite tradition. The two mermaids are similar – in position and role – to the two monks which appear on the original card.

The Hanged-Man is definitely one of my favorite cards. Very rich in terms of symbolism, it refers to the different aspects of the Hanged-Man, both on the initiatory and on the mythological planes. As a consequence to hanging on the tree, the creature has merged with it. This is a clear reference to the sacred tree that connects the worlds and which is called Yggdrasil in Norse mythology. The squirrel that runs between the roots and the branches of the tree reminds of Ratatosk in Snorri's Edda, for he behaves in the same way. The spider (and its web) that hangs on the other side of the tree pictures patience, which is one of the main features of the Hanged-Man in the tarot. If we take into account how much the creature has been "swallowed" by the tree, we can understand that he's been there for some time. This idea is emphasized by the moss that grows on the roots of the tree and spreads on the character's right arm and by the liana which runs around the trunk and depicts the bonds that prevent the Hanged-Man's movement. However, it is precisely this immobility that enables him to access sacred knowledge, which is embodied by the eggs that lie in the nest he is holding in his left hand.

Death is also one of my favorite cards for the point of view adopted by Monica Knighton for her rendition of the specific symbolism is very subtle and witty. Set at night, the scene shows two animals and a fairy-child who stands under a mushroom. A raven spreads his right wing while a moth rises above that very same mushroom. The raven is usually taken as a deadly omen and connected with the darkness. The type of moth chosen here is particularly well chosen here, for it is a Death's-head moth. This symbol of metamorphosis associated with the image of death illustrates the transformation traditionally expressed by the 13th major arcanum. The two types of toxic mushrooms that grow in the grass remind of the fact that danger is always at hand.

The Tower is also a real work of art and a model of subtlety. Here, there is no building whatsoever. The Tower is a birch tree. Here, no lightning either. The fall of the tree is caused by... beavers! The weakened the tree by gnawing it, so that it is about to fall. Before it reaches the ground, two ethereal spirits escape from the tree. They echo the two figures that fall from the tower in traditional imagery. A bird also rises from the top of the tree, in the same way as the crown is severed from the top of the Tower.  Moreover, the autumnal setting emphasizes the original symbolism of the card thanks to the fiery colors of the season which are in adequation with the fire that causes the Tower to fall. An interesting parallel can easily be seen between the fall/decline of the Tower and the decline announced by the season (also called fall!) which leads to winter.

These few elements give only a hint of the richness and the fineness of the whole deck. This deck is an invitation into Faery Land and gets you to wish you could go and discover the World with Fairies as your guides, just like the child who leaves the human world which is full of tears and sorrows to go towards Faery Land where carefreeness and joy govern. The tribute paid to Yeats is incredibly wonderful. Indeed, the poem can be understood at several levels for it has several meanings since it can also be read as the passage of the child from life to death because going away with fairies is the same thing as going to the Other World in Celtic mythologies and folklores. The point of view presented here by the artist plays on these several levels, making the deck even more interesting.

Several cards from The Stolen Child Tarot

 

The little white book
As this is a self-published, there is no little white book in its usual form. A .pdf file is sent by Monica when the order is made. It contains the main meanings of the cards and a few words about their symbolism. The document does not display any special spread or reading method.

 

Using the deck
This deck may be used like any other Rider-Waite Smith type tarot deck [N.B.: the version presented here has only the twenty-two major arcana].

It is also an ideal tool for meditation for the cards invite you to daydreaming and to escape into Faery Land.

 

Remarks
"The Stolen Child Tarot" is a unique deck by its originality, its accuracy and the subtlety which appears on each and every card. The profusion of details can be surprising to the eye at first, but once used to looking at the cards and to deciphering the parallels between traditional tarot imagery and that adopted by the artist, one can access a world of stunning depth. Once the specific language of these cards has been assimilated, the absence of names and numbers is not a problem anymore.

I do not wish, even for a second, I hadn't bought this deck. It is the perfect deck for anyone who, like I do, loves Yeats' works, faery worlds and esotericism, and who like to keep in mind the connection that exists between the poet and esotericism, for he was indeed an important member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and did a lot for this initiatory order. Many of his works have thus been influenced by and illustrate principles and ideas specific to the Golden Dawn. Monica Knighton pays a beautiful tribute to Yeats – both the poet and the specialist in Irish folklore – through cards which translate the very depth that can be found in his works. Needless to say, this deck has a very special value in my collection since it is one of my favorites!

 

Who is this deck for?
"The Stolen Child Tarot" is for everyone who likes tarot, literature and/or art. I admit that the peculiar symbolic system that is used here can make it a bit difficult to understand for beginners, but anyone can be delighted with the way the artist depicts the World. More experienced tarot users will be impressed by the originality and the ingenuity shown by the artist to produce those beautiful cards, for they are both true works of art and very faithful to the Waite tradition.

Collectors will definitely want to add this item to their collections. Whether you want to use it for divination, meditation or to give it the status of a piece of art (and maybe all of these all at once!), this is a invaluable deck.

If you have a taste for everything having to do with fairies, Celtic folklores and/or Yeats' works, this is the perfect deck for you!

 

Where to find the deck
Unfortunately, only 500 copies of this deck were published and there is no available copy anymore. However, if – as I do – you want to see this deck completed and made into a 78 card tarot deck, you can support Monica Knighton's project on her Kickstarter page by helping her funding the making of the deck. If the pledges reach a certain amount of money in a given time, 2000 copies of the whole deck will be self-published! For more information about this, you may also read this article.

 

N.B.: all the images used in this article appear with Monica Knighton's kind permission. A big thank you to her!

Le Vol de la Sorcière

The Witch's Flight (Halloween/Samhain spread)

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The witch is definitely a part of the Halloween folklore. That's why it seemed quite logical and natural to me to dedicate a special spread to this emblematic figure. The following layout is the first of a series specifically designed for Samhain.

Traditionally, witches ride their brooms on the night of a sabbat and fly towards the place where the celebrations take place. By doing so, they go from one state to another insofar as the sabbat is connected to a rite of passage since it marks an important step on the Wheel of the Year. This is all the more true about Samhain, for this festival is the door to the new year.

The spread – broom-shaped! – is called "The Witch's Flight" and explores the notion of passing from one state to another and of evolution. It is perfect for the new year in order to have an overview (past and present) and foresee what lies ahead. It allows close examination of a situation in which the querent is emotionally or spiritually involved so that the implications and consequences of the decisions that are made or the changes that are taking place around the querent can be fully measured. This spread can thus be used with or without a question.

 

How to proceed
After the deck has been shuffled and cut, draw ten cards and lay them as follows:

Le Vol de la Sorcière

 

Interpretation
Visually, this spread is divided into two main parts: cards 1 to 6 are the straw of the broom while cards 7 to 10 are its stick.

This structure can be divided again into several smaller parts, which are distinct but complementary and based on the three-card spread.

Cards 1 to 3 show what we leave behind, what we are going away from, what we turn our back on.

Cards 4 to 6 show what pushes the querent forward, their deep motivations.

As the connection between the straw and the stick of the broom, card 7 is the convergence of what we leave behind, what pushes us forward and what lies ahead (which is indicated by the last three cards). This card puts into light the way these three axes are connected.

Cards 8 to 10 represent what lies ahead for the querent, where they are headed, strong of their past experiences and of what has already been revealed in the spread.

 

Further remark
Each of the three axes is composed of three cards. Individually, the cards have no particular meaning defined according to their respective positions. The different groups are rather read as full entities and the cards they contain are deciphered as if they were telling a story for they describe a logical sequence of events or states of mind that the querent has been through.

 

Which decks to use?
This spread fits any tarot or oracle deck. However, considering the special event it is related to, some decks will be more attuned to the season and to the kind of explorations allowed by this spread than others.

Among tarot decks, you may of course use the classical Marseille, Rider-Waite Smith or Crowley, but you may also like the “Halloween Tarot” (no kidding!) or Joseph Vargo's "Gothic Tarot", or any deck close to this kind of atmosphere.

Concerning oracle decks, “Oracle of the Shapeshifters” is just perfect since just like this spread, it explores changes and transformations. “Oracle of Shadows & Light” and "Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle" are very pleasant too, as well as “Madame Endora's Fortune Cards”.