So, Worts and Cunning has a tarot spread for Summer Solstice. I decided to give it a go:
I did this spread with my Osho Zen deck, but am pairing up the cards I drew with the corresponding cards in my Wildwood deck.
1. SUNRISE. What is your source of abundant growth?
Control / Kingfisher (King of Swords), R
I’ve pretty-much always read Control as Lord Domly Dom, so preoccupied with How Things Are Supposed To Go that he can’t (or won’t) bend to the realities of a given situation.
I have a hard time reading anything good into air cards, to begin with, so seeing three of them in this spread kind of made my heart sink a little.
A broader reading of the King of Swords – partially via the Wildwood’s Kingfisher rendering – points towards a preoccupation with truth, with knowing right from wrong, doing the actually right thing in a given situation, as opposed to an obsession with, say, knowing the Right Jargon to make it look like I know what I’m doing (at all costs).
I’m not sure how this can be read as a “source of abundant growth”, but it makes me think of that Thing that all the astrologers say about Scorpios: That we tend to swim in the deep end of the pond all the time (the way those kingfisher can dive so deep, with so much accuracy), tend to be so (impatiently) hungry to Understand Everything Intimately, understand everyone intimately, understand every part of ourselves intimately.
My wife says that she looks at my dedication to understanding my own Issues, figure them out, know them well so that I can live with (and mitigate) them, rather than be ruled by them, and that it impresses the socks off of her. (Bonus!) So, in terms of “source of abundant growth”… yeah. The thing that keeps me growing is my willingness to shine a light into my own often-icky, murky depths and sort out what’s really going on in there.
2. BONFIRE. Where do you shine brightest? How do you illuminate the world? Adversely, what do you fear to show the world? What holds you back from exposing your greatness?
Beyond Illusion / The Great Bear (Judgement, 20 of MA), R
When Beyond Illusion shows up in a reading, I tend to understand it as a “cut through the bullshit” card – so it relates a bit to the King of Air in my Sunrise position.
That said, I feel like that’s almost too easy?
I know I’m afraid to be Big – not stature-wise, because that’s been the case for 20+ years and is kind of just how things are, but Big like “visible”, like “noticeable”. Because people who get noticed, get hurt, get slammed back into the place where they’ll stay small and cringing.
Which is… frequently true. But is also clearly just something that my Jerk Brain is telling me (See: all of Miss Sugar’s posts about Glamour, basically). I could read this as just “Stop hiding your big light, lady”. But… I don’t know?
The write-up for The Great Bear says “Be honest, be patient, be forgiving”, and touches on the way that initiation strips us bare and then rebuilds us wiser and stronger than we were… Maybe this is still about illuminating the truth after all. (Suggetions are totally welcome here, y’all…)
3. SUNSET. What is it that you have to give?
Postponement / Rest (4 of Swords), R
Well, I knew that… People have been telling me I’m a “natural ground” for 10+ years. I can help people process their trauma. Or feed them. Or give them a couch to fall apart on. I give really good hugs. That’s what I’ve got.
4. SUMMER SUN. Overview of the strengths of your relationships between friends, family, and lovers.
Silence / The Pole Star (The Star, 17 of MA), U
I get this card confused with The Moon all the time, but this card isn’t about all the unconcious Stuff repeating in one’s life. Silence corresponds to The Star (or The Pole Star, as the case may be), and is all about guidance when you’re feeling lost (there we are with Truth again…).
In a different context, this card asks you to name & recognize your personal Inner Truth, but in the context of interpersonal relationships, it’s hope and holding fast – my sometimes foolish refusal to give up on people and believe (or tell myself again and again) that the Hard Stuff is mostly circumstantial and that we can get through the rest. It can touch on letting go of insecurities. It can touch on loving through changes, growing together, being generous with each other (be patient, be forgiving…). These are good strengths to bring to the way I relate to the people I care about.
5. SUMMER SHADOW. Overview of the weaknesses of your relationships between friends, family, and lovers.
The Dream / Reunion (6 of Cups), U
Ha! Yeah. What I said about telling myself that “everything is circumstantial”? The Dream (which could just as easily be named “wishful thinking”) is all about that: Longing for what could be, what might have been, for what you don’t have anymore, for the grass that could be greener elsewhere (for us poly folks, that probably looks like NRE on steroids or something – I did a reading the other day that reminded me not to forget how good things are at home). I totally do all of that. Reunion is a much more charitable way of reading the 6 of Cups, but it still touches on ruminating about The Past (what went wrong? how did I screw this up?), even if it’s coming at it from the perspective of taking responsibility, and the potential (maybe? wishful thinking?) for forgiveness that could come.
6. SACRED HERBS. Overview of your relationship to the green world including the food you eat.
Transformation / The Journey (13 of MA)
Uh… I don’t know what to make of this one. O.O
In terms of Transformation, I’m inclined to take the word literally and draw on the words from Starhawk’s Earth Path, wherein she says that the land told her that, when she grows, forages, and eats the food that grows where she lives, she becomes the land, the land becomes the literal makeup of her body. Which is very much why I aim for local, “micro-bio-reeeeeeeeeeegional”, food when I get my groceries (whether at a shop, at a farmer’s market, or by foraging for greens and fruit in my neighbourhood and growing veggies, herbs, even fruit in my back yard), and why I try to Know The Neighbours, the non-humans, in my nieghbourhood so that I can recognize them as food, as medicine, as poison, as bee-lovers, on sight.
The Journey, with its carion imagery makes me think of compost, of the cycle of decomposition that feeds new life, and also of the way I have a somewhat “food not bombs” approach to left-overs + a focus on eating the whole animal (and eating animals at all), in my cooking. Which, granted, is slightly less about the plant kingdom, but there it is.
7. LAND SPIRITS. Overview of your relationship to the land spirits.
The Rebel / The Greenman (The Emperor, 4 of MA), R
I’m Bossy? Gosh, I hope not…
I like the Collective Tarot’s interpretation of The Emperor, the way flags tradition and rules of engagement (and even “daddy”) without hitting the Patriarchy buttons that often come with this card. The Rebel is similar, in that it’s a “master of your own domain / go your own way” card of self-definition. How that relates to the way I interact with the local spirits of place… I’m really not sure. Unless it’s because I put out a call, have a small pantheon of my own People, make offerings… inconsistently? But still make a point of making them?
The Green Man of the Wildwood reminds me of the Magician card, all the represented elements, a sense of control. But… I’d really rather be “working with”, or “part of”, than the “power over” stuff that comes up in Reclaiming as a thing to avoid.😉 If I were to try to read this as how I relate to the local spirits of place… I would be inclined to talk about being a hearth witch rather than a hedge witch. I like to make things on the stove. I like to cultivate the plants I want in my garden rather than heading into the forest to try and find them amidst the poison ivy and potential for bears. Yes?
8. STIRRINGS. What part of you is awakening as the wheel turns towards the first harvest?
Schizophrenia / Injustice (2 of Swords), R
Schizophrenia has consistently shown up as a feeling of being pulled (apart!) in two directions. The two of swords can sometimes mean “hiding from the truth” (truth again…) or “willful ignorance”. Injustice definitely touches on the “willful ignorance” aspect of this card. But this is all about the personal as personal (not so much political?), so I need to think about balancing introspection (air cards, searching for truth) with actual action. Making decisions in spite of fear (O, hai, life coach…), shuffling forward one tiny step at a time. Then again, maybe I’m just going to have a summer of “Eugh! So unfair!” about All The Things. I mean, I hope not, but it could happen. Better that (in theory) than blocking emotions (as if), Playing It Cool, or staying stuck while feeling confused about Feeeeelings. Wish me luck on that front. Life coaching, ahoy!
Added to this spread, I drew the following cards (two from the top, one from the bottom):
ADVISOR: Completion / The World Tree (The World, 21 of MA)
OVER-ARCHING INFLUENCES: The Lovers / The Forest Lovers (6 of MA)
UNDER-LYING INFLUENCES: We Are The World / Home (10 of Earth)
Yeah, well, that’s no surprise…
I mean, it is a spread about relationships, right? Of course The Lovers (even in the annoyingly heteronormative Wildwood depiction) are going to be all over it. Of course the Ten of Earth, the card that mean Home and Safe and Family, is going to be all over it.
I think it’s really neat how The World Tree and Home reflect each other so well, how that relates to the way my personal sense of Completion is the “We Are Family” security of We Are The World.
While I appreciate that this spread includes relationships with spirits of place and the green kingdom in general, my particular spread is very, very much about the human-interpersonal. I’ve seen the 10 of Earth intrepreted as “second chances” or “trying again, trying something different, now that you know better or have new/deeper understanding about X”. It makes me lookat that 2 of Air card, that “What’s waking up for you” card, with its calls to not hide your feelings, to nothold yourself back through willful ignorance or Pretending Everything’s Fine, to keep moving and be honest rather than telling yourself untruths that keep you stuck.
Onwards into summer. I’ve got some (more) digging to do.