designed by Helen Howell
(see Helen's reading with this spread HERE)
I love this spread! I don't have a "Halloweeny-Vampire" type deck, so I thought I'd go with the next best thing: Tarot of the Cat People by Karen Kuykendall (published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
And here we go!
1: The Skeleton in the cupboard - something you need to face or acknowledge right now
EIGHT OF SWORDSIn a nutshell (from the LWB): "A woman is surrounded by swords that are arranged to symbolize her imprisonment by her inner turmoil." Notice that the cat who perches nearby is calm, composed, and free. I need to face and acknowledge (right now!) that my own thoughts, perceptions, and attitudes are all that stand between me and freedom. It might even be helpful for me to list eight of these thoughts, perceptions, or attitudes and perform some sort of ritual (like tearing up and burning the piece of paper) to banish them from my mind. I have five cats in my house who can act as role models for a new me.
2: Bats in the Belfry - what you need to do to clear away any negative thoughts
SIX OF PENTACLESMy initial response to this card here is that I can clear away any negative thoughts by giving them away, perhaps even giving them (symbolically) to my cats to dispose of. This card is also a reminder to me of how fortunate and happy the last ten years of my life have been on so many levels. It was the Six of Pentacles that I drew in a reading for myself ten years ago that prompted me to take the steps that led to my current highly preferable situation.
3: Ghost or Ghoul? - what needs to be changed
THE EMPRESS (Trump 3)My initial reaction to this card is "Stop trying to mother everybody" or perhaps "Stop trying to create so many different things at one time." If I stop and think about the card for a bit, I get a sense that perhaps I need to change my perception of what I have accomplished or attained in life so far. The Empress is a strong, no-nonsense sort of person. She sees value in her actions and her approach to her world. She wastes not and wants not. The book that accompanies this deck states: "Her leopard companion appears docile, but in reality is on the alert for any opportunity that presents itself." Once again, the cat seems to demonstrate an attitude that I might be wise to adopt.
4: Witches spell - what will help you succeed
FOUR OF WANDSHere we see a man relaxing with his companion cats, away from the hustle and bustle of life. His loose clothing signifies a carefree mood. The cats are obviously not stressing about anything whatsoever. The number Four (stability, security) combined with the element Fire suggests high energy but controlled energy that is used calmly and steadily rather than in a flurry of activity. Again there is an emphasis on appreciating the fruits of my labors to date and allowing myself to relax and experience tranquility.
5: Monsters under the bed - one more thing that may be hidden
THE HANGED MAN (Trump 12)This particular Hanged Man has an enlightened outlook on his suffering, as evidenced by the glow about his head. The cat above him is completely unconcerned as it bats at the gallows rope in a leisurely fashion. I normally view this card as representing the need to readjust or renounce the perspective from which I have been viewing something and to allow a new perspective to emerge. The message of sacrifice is also part of this card. What may be hidden is perhaps this new perspective that I need and/or an understanding of what I need to sacrifice. The earlier positions seem to focus on getting rid of negative thoughts, and I think this ties in with that goal. In order to *see* that which is hidden, I need to look at things a different way and perhaps give up something I *think* I want or need.
6: Jack O' Lantern - This will light the way forward.
FOUR OF SWORDSLike the Four of Wands, this card is about rest, respite, and repose. The Swords form a pattern that reflects the message of stability and strength conveyed by the number Four. The woman in this card forgets her problems and anxieties for a while as she enjoys the antics of her companion cats. She allows herself, for a time, to "not try so hard" to accomplish something. In this restful state, allowing her mind to relax, she is more likely to see her way forward. She can return to her goals refreshed, with new ideas and renewed enthusiasm.
To me, most of these cards seem to convey a message of "slow down, calm down, gear down," encouraging me to proceed steadily rather than racing ahead. In the elemental association system I use, three of these cards are active and three are passive, suggesting a balance or "even keel" approach that blends activity with retrospection and relaxation. The two Trump cards are passive (Earth and Water), emphasizing a calculated, calm approach.
Numerically, the two Trumps are odd (3 and 3), while all the other cards are even (8, 6, 4, 4). This also suggests a balance to me of stability with change or evolution.
There is a lot to think about here, and I can definitely recommend this spread if you're looking for some insight into your current situation or state!