Part of my Samhain resolution for the upcoming year is to embrace the dark parts of myself (something I've been needing to do, but was only recently brought to my attention at my astrology session with astrobarry). to that end I thought I'd do a tarot spread revolving around The High Priestess (aka the Female Pope), who is the dark goddess of the major arcana. I used a spread from the book The New Tarot Handbook which I picked up on my last residency at Goddard (it's written by a faculty member). I absolutely love the book (go get it!!) and I've been reading and re-reading it when I'm away from my cards or unable to read for whatever reason (like on long plane flights between the east & west coasts).
I must admit, I haven't been as dedicated to the cards as I was in the past. It's been a while since I've picked them up. So many exterior emotional drains in my life have made it seem impossible to spare the energy to sort through the deck. I was, however, pleasantly surprised with how my intuition came back when I picked up the deck tonight...
See my reading after the jump.
High Priestess Spread:
The High Priestess is all about dark mystical powers, and esoteric secrets. She embraces intuitive knowledge and those things which we feel but cannot explain.
ONE: What is deep within me?
The three of pentacles is generally a card of craftsmanship and creative/artistic mastery. It can also indicate cooperation, and satisfaction in your work. I think here it is speaking to the ability to master my particular artistic craft.
TWO: How can I know it?
Death upright usually shows us something we cannot control. After all, Death is the one thing no one can avoid. It can also imply a drastic change from the status quo (that's the "death" it's speaking about). Inverted it tends to indicate stagnation, and fear of change, but I think here it is showing that no change is needed, and that the course is already laid out.
THREE: How can I be true to it?
Two super misunderstood cards in the same spread! The Devil is about willing bondage (look at his two "slaves"... the chains around their necks are loose enough for them to escape, but they choose not to). It's also something of a party card, sometimes indicating a divergence from the rules and regulations of society. Inverted here I think it is leaning more towards a need to be serious and responsible in my creative endeavours.
FOUR: What do I need to give to others?
I think it's really interesting that the major arcana card I call the "card of giving back" appears in this position here. The Star indicates hope and openness, as well as a willingness/ability to allow others to see the real you (who you would otherwise hide). She is comfortable in her sensuality and her physical body. Her pitchers pouring water onto land and into the pool indicate equilibrium. I think for the purposes of this reading she is suggesting a need to allow others to see the real, hidden parts of myself, and to allow openness in general.
FIVE: What do I need to keep within?
The two of pentacles is a bit of a tricky card for me. A lot of its meaning depends on how you view the look on this juggler's face... as anxious or carefree. Personally, I see him as anxious so this colours my reading of him. He generally indicates the juggling of responsibility in daily life. My initial reaction was that this card was telling me to keep my daily struggles with balance to myself, but I wasn't sure so I decided to draw another card to elaborate...
Additional card: What do I need to keep within?
Knights usually indicate younger people in their twenties or thirties (I'm going to assume this is me here) who have the qualities of their suit. The knight of wands in a courageous and energetic young person, who is also charming and confident. I think this card strengthens my previous reading, which leans toward a need to be self reliant in my daily struggles between responsibilities.
Overall the spread indicates that I have it within me to master my artistic craft if I continue on my path of dedication and become more serious in my pursuit of the work. I need to "let others in" and be open to allowing others to know the "real" me. At the same time, I need to be self-reliant and courageous in my daily struggle for balance, and rely on myself for confidence.
I may share more of my tarot work in the future (this is only one of the several spreads I did today), as blogging it seems to help me flesh out the ideas the cards bring up. Merry Samhain to all, & have a happy Pagan new year!