Happy New Year! October 31st through December 31st of each year is always a sort of intense time of closure mixed with looking forward for me. My birthday falls in this window too. The season itself also tends to really interrupt routines, so there’s an extra sense of groundlessness underlying this cycle of transitions. I tend to do my largest overview card spreads for myself during this time because I’m already in a state of self-examination. When looking to make big moves or major shifts it’s good to work with tools that encourage big picture mindsets. Cartomancy and other sorts of sortilege and divination helps break up our routine thought patterns which makes us more open to new perspectives and opportunities. It asks us to consider the possibilities. This year, in my own journaling practice I’m working with the Tarot cards for my birth date, my year birthday 2019 to birthday 2020, the current year 2020, and a card of my choice. For spreads, I’ve focused on a Lenormand Grand Tableau and a Tarot “Wheel of the Year” spread. Over the next few days I’ll post more about how each of those works and you can use what you like to supplement your own intention setting process.
This Halloween season I got to read for a wide variety of people at various events. At one party, a four year-old girl sat at my table and wanted a reading. Many professional readers I know refuse to read for children. Very often children are struggling with very real and somewhat heavy issues too. And many readers are uncomfortable having a conversation with a young querent* about these topics if they show up in the cards. And that’s fair, it is much better to set boundaries and refer a querent to another reader who would be more suitable for their needs.
(*querent: one who is receiving the reading)
I, personally, enjoy reading for children. The most important part of reading for a minor is that you treat them like every other querent… you have a conversation with them as a person. The card interpretations and the suggestions should be specific to their life situation and needs. Just as you would for anyone who would sit at your table. Being aware of their sensitivities and taking care with their emotions.
Also… not every deck is appropriate for minors. I suggest carrying a family-friendly deck with you if you read for minors and your regular working deck is too mature, startling, esoteric, etc. I happened to be using my Halloween Tarot deck by Kipling West for most of this Halloween season’s events and it is a perfect deck for family and youth readings.
While I have read for many children over the years, I think that four years-old is the youngest querent I’ve ever had (with the exception of my son who was also four when he asked for his first reading).
9 of Swords –
Me: “Do you ever get bad dreams?”
8 of Wands –
Me: “Sometimes, if you have one bad dream, does it seem like they just keep happening when you try to sleep again?”
Girl: (lowers eyes slowly and nods)
Me: “See this card? What’s happening in the picture?”
Girl: “There’s a lion by her.”
Me: “Looks kinda scary, right? What about the lady… who is she?”
Girl: “I don’t know.”
Me: “Is she a lion tamer maybe?”
Girl: “Maybe. Yes.”
Me: “She’s looking at the lion’s teeth. Does she seem scared?”
Girl: (shakes head enthusiastically “no”)
Me: “Exactly. Next time you have a bad dream, you be the lion tamer and look that bad dream in its teeth.”
Girl: (slightly cheerier) “Ok!”
The Moon –
Me: “Have you ever looked at your back yard at night? Looks kinda spooky, right?”
Girl: (wide eyes, vigorous nodding)
Me: “But it’s still just your backyard. Nothing’s changed. Right? Just spooky lighting.”
Me: “When you wake up at night, it’s still your bedroom. It’s just dark. That’s all.”
Girl: (happy smile)
Me: “You’ve got this. Look that bad dream in its teeth and say ‘This is my room, if you want to be here… you behave.’”
(we high-fived, she giggled, hopped off the chair, and ran to hug her mom)
Now if I’d done this reading for myself it would’ve looked more like this:
9 of Swords – Stress and anxiety are starting to have an affect on your health. While there are things to cause concern… you are giving them too much power over your thoughts.
8 of Wands – It’s a busy time and there’s a lot to do. Busyness itself, is neutral. It’s how you handle the busy times that shape your experience of them.
Strength – Remember you have inner strength and stamina. Tend to it to keep yourself healthy.
The Moon – Really look at your habitual reactions to stress and triggers… are you acting based on old patterns that grew from anxiety and trauma or are you truly engaging with the present? Don’t let your subconscious keep playing the same nightmares over and over again. Are you really talking to the person in front of you or to ghosts from your past?
Conclusion – Keep your focus on maintaining your inner strength during this active time and don’t let subconscious triggers overshadow reality.
Obviously interpreting the cards like this would’ve been confusing, boring, and not relevant for my young client. So when reading for a young querent make sure you are speaking to them appropriate to the stage of life they are currently in. One of the greatest gifts you can give to a child who sits at your table is to treat them like a regular client; don’t speak down to them and don’t underestimate the depth of their experiences. Have an honest and caring conversation with them guided by the cards and they will remember that you took them seriously. Really, that’s what any seeker truly wants.
The Sun card is making an appropriate appearance for June. With the bright light of the sun we can find plants flourishing, living creatures basking in the warmth, and… in the startlingly harsh glare of a summer sun… we can find clarity.
But that can be the trick, can’t it? While the light can reveal what was previously obscured in the shadows, what we find can be hard to accept. The light can feel blinding. Truth can be overwhelming if we’ve grown too accustomed to the darkness.
So what should we do when The Sun shows up; when we are faced with what we know should be our fulfillment and yet we feel overly exposed in the light? For now, I’m treating The Sun as a call for acceptance of the true self. You’ve worked hard and gotten to this point. Enjoy what you’ve attained but also take a look at exactly where you are. After all, with each completed goal comes a new one to work towards. There’s truly no need to be afraid of the realities we find, we are always a work-in-progress. There is always somewhere to go from here.
The Sun Meditation: Draw The Sun card from your favorite deck. Sit with it quietly for a few minutes. Note it’s dominant qualities: the main colors, symbolic themes, general impressions. Now think about how these qualities relate to your current situation. How is The Sun manifesting in your life at present? Are you feeling comfortable in your accomplishments or are you feeling exposed in the light of day? And why? Now look at any aspect of the card as it relates to your present situation that feels uncomfortable, lacking, or incomplete. How can you reconcile your accomplishments with that which is still unfinished? Visualize a bright light encompassing all aspects of The Sun as it relates to you. Let the light continue to grow until there is nothing but the light. Sit with this light for several minutes. Eventually let the light dissolve into darkness. Look at the card once more and, with gratitude, place it back in your deck.
The Sun Spread: Place The Sun card at the top of your reading. Form two columns of three cards each underneath. The cards in the left column are the things you have accomplished. The cards in the right column are the aspects that can be taken further. It’s important to not think of the right column as things which are lacking. These are simply aspects of your path that have room to grow. Finally, draw one more card and place it at the bottom of your reading. This card is the suggested action or focus which will help bridge the accomplishments (left) with the works-in-progress (right).
Many people I know are emerging from prolonged periods of self-reflection. Now we find ourselves in the bright summer sun. We must learn to love and trust what we have found there. Running back into the darkness is not the way to go. Work with the light. Let it show the way.
Pictured: Old English Tarot, The Sun XVIIII
I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to face challenges head on without becoming bogged down in the… well… “challenge” part. Inspired by the season I created The Trick and Treat spread. The center card identifies a core current challenge needing attention. Upper right is the “treat;” what the positive benefits could be from dealing with this challenge. Upper left is, you guessed it, the “trick;” what makes this particular issue a little difficult. The three lower cards are a suggested action path to bridge the gap from the trick to the treat.
I’ve been experimenting with this reading a lot lately and I’m very happy with the results. This time of year can be filled with stress and reflection on those things in our life that have brought us pain. While it’s important work to face the shadows… we need some light to keep us from getting lost there. The Trick and Treat spread is like a nice little meditative lantern in the autumn evening. It’s simple, direct, and empowering. Realistic and hopeful.
Try it for yourself or book a reading with me: The Trick & Treat