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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Samhain Spirits Spread 2020

Samhain – [pronounced sah-win]

I enjoyed doing this spread for past Halloweens on Tarot Notes, so I’m giving it another go. To set the stage, I am quoting from The New Encyclopedia of the Occult by John Michael Greer (Llewellyn Worldwide):
“Samhain. The beginning and end of the year in the old Celtic calendar, falling around the beginning of November in modern terms. Samhain is the oldest documented festival of Celtic Paganism. . . Samhain was traditionally associated with the spirits of the dead, who were believed to walk the world at that time. After the arrival of Christianity, the feast of Samhain became All Hallow’s Day. The evening before it, the modern Halloween, retained much of the same symbolism.”
The positional definitions for this spread are inspired by the hauntingly beautiful song “All Soul’s Night” with words and music by Loreena McKennitt. You can listen to the song _HERE_.  You can read the lyrics of the song _HERE_.

This year, I am using the Ghost Tarot by Davide Corsi (Lo Scarabeo) The layout is in the shape of a pentacle.

I stand in darkness at the entrance to the graveyard on All Hallow’s Eve, on Samhain, when spirits walk the world…

(1) This Spirit dances around and around: THE HIEROPHANT / The Sustenance of Faith

Although I have trouble picturing the guy on this card “dancing around and around,” it’s not hard to imagine “faith” doing that. Faith is hard to pin down, hard to quantify or qualify. It is everywhere around us, yet we cannot see it as it dances through our lives. Different people have faith in different things, and in the Tarot, The Hierophant does often refer to traditional expressions of faith (for example, through organized religion). Yet my experience is not limited to that expression, and I see this card as an affirmation that some expressions of faith are not regimented or limited by the views of historical figures or even by human understanding in general. 

(2) This Spirit brings a hidden memory: KNIGHT OF COINS / The Spirit of the Defender

The Knight brings a hidden memory of patience, careful consideration, and steadiness but also a memory of a time when self-discipline was especially needed. Bringing such a memory into my conscious mind can help me with something I am involved in that is not going as smoothly or moving as quickly as I would like.

(3) This Spirit carries a light in the distance: THE EMPEROR / The Government of Experience

As an experienced leader and unquestioned authority, The Emperor carries a light to help me make my way forward through the days and months to come. I keep my eyes on him as he leads the way.


(4) This Spirit waits for me on the bridge: QUEEN OF COINS / The Spirit of the Mother

Waiting for me on the bridge is the Queen of Coins, who protects, nurtures, and nourishes all her children, including me. At the same time, I am asked to fulfill her role towards others or perhaps even myself.

(5) This Spirit passes by the bridge and me: FIVE OF CHALICES

It is fitting that the Five of Chalices passes by the bridge and me, as its meaning often points to the need to let things go, set them (and myself) free, and move on. I am encouraged to contemplate what things I need to abandon in order to start anew.


The dominant elemental energy in this collection of cards is Earth – representing the material, physical world. I may benefit from focusing my attention on matters such as finances, health, and work – on the aspects of my life that offer security, stability, and continuity. With The Hierophant dancing around and around, the Knight of Coins bringing a hidden memory, The Emperor carrying a light in the distance, the Queen of Coins waiting for me on the bridge, and the Five of Chalices passing by the bridge and me, I have much to consider and evaluate at this significant time of the year.


Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain to all!

Friday, October 9, 2020

Me, An Enemy, A Friend, An Opportunity

Today on Tarot Notes, I'm introducing a reading that could be used daily, weekly, monthly, or whenever you like. For this reading, I am using the Otherworld Tarot by Alison Williams, with artwork by Sarah Nowell (Schiffer).

Layout looks like this:




Otherworld Tarot

(1) Me: SEVEN OF CUPS (Choice)

Today I am aware of choices, especially at an emotional level. What is most likely to bring happiness and fulfillment to me today (this week, this month, etc.)? I need to make a choice and direct my time and attention accordingly.

(2) An Enemy: PAGE OF WANDS (Creative Inspiration)

My enemy is any tendency to suppress creative inspiration or allow burdens to block creative energy. 

(3) A Friend: SEVEN OF SWORDS (Underhandedness)

My friend is an ability to recognize that the motives and tactics I need to employ may have to be kept under wraps and may not be what I would normally feel comfortable using. On the other hand, I may become aware that someone else is keeping secrets and seeking to undermine me or bring me strife in an underhanded way.

(4) An opportunity: THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE (Change)

I have an opportunity to better understand that life is constantly changing, there are “ups” and “downs,” and nothing (whether positive or negative) lasts forever. I have an opportunity to assess where I am and, if I’m not happy with that, to take comfort in the knowledge that things can and will change. I may also have an opportunity to acknowledge that something I view as positive in my life might very well change.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

U.S.A. Presidential Election 2020

Although I don’t “do politics” at Tarot Notes, I do sometimes explore political situations such as Presidential elections. 

For this year’s election, I am going to ask the cards to describe the two candidates and suggest the characteristics of the eventual winner.

I am using the Hudes Tarot by Susan Hudes (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) For this reading, I am separating the deck into (1) Major Arcana, (2) Court Cards, and (3) Minor Arcana to supply answers for each candidate. I will then shuffle the cards all together again to draw a card to represent (4) “The Winner.”

I am not designating which candidate is #1 or #2. We will each need to deduce that from the cards that are drawn.

(1) Over-arching Energy at Work in Candidate 1 // Over-arching Energy at Work in Candidate 2

(2) Key Personality Trait(s) Expressed by Candidate 1 // Key Personality Trait(s) Expressed by Candidate 2

(3) Additional information about Candidate 1 // Additional information about Candidate 2

(4) The Winner

Here we go.


Over-arching Energy at Work in Candidate 1: DEATH

The over-arching energy at work in this candidate is the energy of the zodiac sign Scorpio. Astrologers typically associate Scorpio with an intense energy that incorporates tendencies to be jealous, secretive, vindictive, ambitious, stubborn, violent, curious, determined, controlling, and passionate. Scorpio has a powerful and demanding presence. The Death card usually points to ending a way of being or stage of life in order to start a new way or stage. Its energy is about change that is deeply felt and enacted. The hope of rebirth is inherent in the meaning of this card.

Over-arching Energy at Work in Candidate 2: THE TOWER

Like Death, The Tower is typically about change – dramatic change. It symbolizes release from a prison that we ourselves have created by severing the connection between intellect, emotions, and intuition. This energy is not smooth or peaceful. Associated with the planet Mars, it involves lightning and fire. Often when things have come to a difficult stage, it takes the explosion of The Tower to illuminate a reality we may have been reluctant to see. With The Tower, we must face difficult truths.


Key Personality Trait(s) Expressed by Candidate 1: PAGE OF PENTACLES

The Page of Pentacles often represents a focus on the physical, material world (Earth). Pages can refer to youth or a youthful spirit, but can also suggest immaturity, childishness, or naivety (a lack of wisdom or experience). Being a novice at something isn’t, in itself, a bad thing. However, it can be a problem if the person who is a novice tries to be something or someone he just isn’t ready or qualified to be.

Key Personality Trait(s) Expressed by Candidate 2: KING OF SWORDS

Kings as a group are seen to represent maturity, wisdom, authority, and intelligence. The suit of Swords is the suit of the mind and communication. Interestingly, the book Wisdom in the Cards by A.L. Samul (inspired by the Hudes Tarot deck) compares the King to the President of the United States, in that both have a military component to their role and responsibilities. The King of Swords is known for having foresight and the ability to listen carefully to what others have to say.


Additional information about Candidate 1: NINE OF CUPS

The 9 of Cups is typically viewed as a card of contentment and satisfaction, of needs and desires fulfilled. This suggests that Candidate 1 is prosperous in many ways, rich in relationships and connections to others. He has what he wants and needs and is aware of its value.

Additional information about Candidate 2: TEN OF SWORDS

The 10 of Swords could be seen as a “bad luck” card, representing defeat, damage, and difficulties. This desperate state requires the help of others to overcome. The number 10 does suggest a turning point, almost as if to say, “This is as bad as it’s going to get. If you can weather this storm, the path ahead is clear.”  But it’s going to get worse before it gets better.



The winner of this election is most likely to be the candidate who has the most integrity, who is known for honesty and equality in business dealings. This is a person who can negotiate and work through differences, examining all avenues of action. This person looks directly at the one he is communicating with and has nothing hidden behind his back. He places himself on equal footing with those who oppose or disagree with him, and is prepared to seek a fair outcome. 

The suit of Wands is the suit of Fire and, as such, it is viewed as highly compatible with the suit of Swords (Air). Candidate 2 has two Air cards and a Mars card (commonly thought of as Fire – obviously highly compatible with Fire). Candidate 1 is represented by two Water cards and an Earth card. Based on elemental dignities alone, we might conclude that Candidate 2 is the most likely winner.

I would love to hear your thoughts on which candidate you think the cards are pointing to.