The Fall Equinox, Libra Season, & Leaving the Chariot

 
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Early this morning, at 3:50am ET, the Sun transitioned from Virgo to Libra, we shifted from The Hermit to Justice, and stepped into the bridge like portal of the Autumnal Equinox.

Today is a huge clearing, and most likely feels like one. What lessons have come up for you since the last Equinox, or Solstice that you experienced? How have you changed? What are you ready to step into?

The Autumnal Equinox is the halfway point between the Summer Solstice and the Winter Solstice: the longest and shortest days of the year, respectively. It is a time when we experience roughly equal amounts of day and night. The Equinox, whether experienced in the Spring or the Fall, brings with it a medicinal invitation: to rebalance, and realign.

With each Equinox, the horizon line of our lives is clear. We get to see what is working, and what isn’t working. What is providing a sense of soul centered equilibrium in our lives, and what is energetically tipping the scales. Honoring the wisdom of what is here with us in reality, while holding a space for transformative change, is what Libra season, and the Justice card, is all about.

Libra season is not just about equilibrium and review. It is about finding our balance in the midst of what feels imbalanced. The Justice card is ruled by Libra, and contains a similar invitation. This card teaches us that the only path to true balance and equilibrium is to be present with reality — without judgement, story, or opinion about how it “should” be different. Then, and only then, will we be free to create real, lasting change. When we drift into, “This shouldn’t be,” “I should be better", or “What’s wrong with me?” around any area of our lives, we miss the opportunities that can arise through simply saying, “This is what’s here. I have my feelings and emotions about it, I don’t necessarily like what is here, but I cannot deny that this is what is present in the reality of my life right now. Now that I know that, and have acknowledged that, what can I do to change it?”

When we move through the Autumnal Equinox, we plug into the power of alignment. We step into a space of transformative self awareness. From there, we are free to make changes, to acknowledge what is and what has been, to grieve (or celebrate) what is ready to go, to acknowledge the bigness that comes with evolving into greater alignment with all that is in our highest and best. With the Autumnal Equinox, we leave The Chariot, and step into the seat of Justice.

What does it mean to leave The Chariot? How does that relate to the Fall Equinox?

Four times per year, we experience a seasonal shift in the form of two Solstices (Winter and Summer), and two Equinoxes (Spring and Fall). Each of the Cardinal signs of astrology, Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, rule over the four cycles we move through each year. The Devil (Capricorn) rules over winter. Justice (Libra) rules over the fall, and The Emperor (Aries) rules over Spring. This means that The Chariot (Cancer) rules over the spiral of summer, which is what we are releasing today, in the Autumnal Equinox.

Any Chariot in our lives is a kind of container, an egg of sorts, that holds us until we are ready to outgrow and shed it. It is the nature of Chariots to come and go, for us to be consistently releasing them. However, it is all too easy for us to grip onto that shell. It’s what we know, what is familiar, and has worked for us in the past. Why change? Why risk discomfort? Because we are here to evolve. Because the moment we grip onto something is the moment it begins to slip away. We have to step away from our Chariots, from the things that look good, but actually can’t take us as far as the soul truly desires to go, in order to shift into the profound alignment of Justice. Justice initiates a whole cycle that includes Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius seasons, one that is devoted to the balancing of our lives from a soul centered perspective. We cannot take the first step into this new world without leaving behind what doesn’t serve.

May this spread serve you on this powerful day of transition, transformation, and change.

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The Knights: Medicine of Movement

 
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In this post, we will be exploring The Knights of the Tarot, looking deeply at the medicine of movement.

How do you move through the world, literally and figuratively? What is your pace? Your general tempo? How does your mind move? Is this different from the way your body moves?

What ways of moving frustrate you? What ways of moving invigorate you?

If you could have access to a kind of magical compass, letting you know the most aligned path forward with regard to your movement through the world on any given day, would you lean into it for support? The Knights represent that compass, and are available to offer this kind of gentle guidance and direction to us anytime we choose to engage with them.

In Soul Tarot, which is the kind of Tarot I teach, we don’t consider Court Cards to be other people. It’s not to say that they cannot be other people, or be representative of other folks in our lives from time to time, but it is not where they start. The Court Cards are master level energies, each bringing huge evolutionary invitations into our lives. When all 16 Court Cards come together, they represent a kind of complete, holographic higher self. Anytime we work with a Court Card, or we pull one in our reading, we are being invited to engage with these higher, soul level realms — to step into each Court Card, and embody their energy. To consider the Courts as other people robs us of this medicine, our power, and our agency. It immediately shifts these energies away from us, and gives them away to other people. There is absolutely a place for a rich practice that leans on The Court Cards as representations of other people, but we want to leave generous room at the table for ourselves. Doing so is a huge reclamation of our empowerment around our Tarot practice. These cards are here for us, inviting us into sacred, master level expansion. If we are available to this invitation, it can truly be life changing.

In Soul Tarot, The Pages, ruled by Earth, call us back into the realm of new beginnings, and reconnection with the wisdom of our inner little ones. The Queens, ruled by Water, represent four facets of the inner realms within us, and The Kings, ruled by Fire*, represent the ways in which we are being called into aligned, inclusive leadership, the ways our inner gifts can be shared with the world.

The Knights, ruled by Air, represent the ways in which we move through the world, the ways in which we take up space. This is so important, because it is often difficult to discern the ways that we are being invited to take action in our lives. How many of us have found ourselves in the midst of a particularly puzzling situation, looking at all the facts, and saying, “Yes, I know all of this. What do I do about it, exactly? What action, if any, can I take here?” This is where the Knights come in. Calling upon these cards in our decks is very much like checking in with our inner compass. Once we have that clarity, we can relax and let the wind carry us to the shores of our next destination.

Of all the Court Card suits, I personally find The Knights to be some of the most concrete, and the most useful for every day life. In this post, we will go over a bit about each Knight, and invite you into a way to call upon them when you was to gain greater clarity on how you are being invited to walk through the world.

Knight of Swords, Air/Air — the fastest Knight. When we move through Knight of Swords, we fly like the wind. It is an invitation to do, not think. To actually bypass, to a safe and respectful degree, the preferences of our bodies, and push ourselves to our limits. If you have been on an extreme deadline, have worked a double shift where you’ve been on your feet and they feel sore, or if you have spent so much time working on a project that you forgot to break for lunch, you know what it is to engage with Knight of Swords. This card says, you can go further than you think you can, so do it. When we pull this card, it is wise to trust the pace and the flight that is available to us. While it’s not a space to drop into all the time, it can be an immensely helpful ally to us in moments of great bursts of creation, caretaking, and productivity. You might be tired and achy, but when Knight of Swords comes up, is safe to edge into our limits in a safe and curious way.

Knight of Pentacles, Air/Earth — the slowest Knight. Knight of Pentacles does not mean that we are moving slowly, or that you, individually, are a slow person. It also doesn't mean that life is forcing you to move at a slower pace than you would perhaps prefer. Knight of Pentacles weaves together Air and Earth, movement and grounding. It is a card of preparation. If things feel like they dragging, and you pull Knight of Pentacles, it is a heads up that you are being called to prep before your journey. Are there things that need your attention right in front of you? Loose ends to tie up? Phone calls to make? Details to finalize? If so, this is the ally that will call us into the fine print. I often think of Knight of Pentacles as the kind of energy I would call upon for a road trip. When preparing for a road trip, we ideally want to get our car checked (maybe an oil change, maybe better tires), get it gassed up, purchase snacks and beverages for the road, download offline maps to our phone in case we run out of service, make sure our insurance and inspections are all up to date — then, when the road trip starts, we will be so much more supported than if we just leapt into it without paying ourselves first. With Knight of Pentacles, it’s not that we have to wait — we get to prepare. Once we’ve prepared, then we get to fly.

Knight of Wands, Air/Fire — moving through the world feeling ourselves. That is the best description for Knight of Wands energy. Unlike the Knight of Swords, or the Knight of Pentacles, Knight of Wands does not abide by a certain speed or tempo. It is more of an energetic experience, one that can guide us toward all kinds of different people, places, experiences, and opportunities. Knight of Wands is explosive and delicious in all the best ways. What pulls you into that feeling? Thinking about a crush? Working out? Listening to music that makes you feel alive? Painting? No matter what, Knight of Wands invites us to call in the things that light us up, that make us feel like we are dropped into our best selves. We don’t necessarily have to feel happy, joyful, or sexual to engage with this card, and we certainly don’t have to ascribe to a certain demeanor or behavior to be connected with this energy. In other words, this card is here to support us in feeling ourselves — us. When we move through the world in this way, reaching for the things that ignite that inner flame, it calls all kinds of things to us, and can inspire so many ideas and opportunities. It might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but learning to lean into this card can be so powerful.

Knight of Cups, Air/Water — moving through the world in a balanced way. Knight of Cups is ruled by water and air. With this in mind, we can think of the horizon, where the sky meets the ocean. When we move through the world embodying Knight of Cups, we are being invited to engage with this level of inner equilibrium. It might mean that we don’t take on certain conversations or confrontations in that moment. It might mean that we prioritize our own self care first. It might mean that we are crazed and busy, and instead of locking into Knight of Swords, we are actually bring called back to the body, back to ourselves. When we move through the world in this way, life becomes a walking, breathing meditation. Knight of Cups energy is a chance to shift back to the heart again and again and again, checking in with that horizon line throughout our day. Is it balanced? Knight of Cups does not mean that we are calm and serene. This card absolutely includes and holds a space for huge emotion. In fact, its typically when we experience these huge waves of feeling and emotion that this card will come up, gently lifting our gaze to the horizon, and away from the contraction of the waves. The more we move through the world in this way, the more aligned our day will be — even if we are working with big inner experiences.

How can we engage with these energies to align ourselves with the medicine of movement?

As simple as it sounds, my favorite way to do this is to take out my four Knights, and place them in front of me in a little pile, face down. From there, I will take a deep breath, drop in with my Guides, and ask for clarity on how I am being invited to engage with the world today. I might add a little to the question, asking how I can best engage with my body in the midst of a deadline, or how I can care for myself in the midst of a certain situation. I encourage you to do the same, to just sense if there is anything else that you can add to your inquiry that feels right for you.

Once you’ve asked the question, close your eyes and pick up the four Knights in your hand. With your intention shining in your heart, let your hand guide you to the card that feels the best for you, and then pull it and see what you’ve received. If you prefer not to pull cards this way, that’s okay! You can pull your Knight card in any way and in any style that feels right for you.

What did you pull? What clarity did it provide, if any?

I invite you to continue to deepen your relationship with these magnificent allies and archetypes. The more you tune in with them, the more intimate and rich your practice will become.

*It is important to note that the assignations of the Court Card elements (Earth for The Pages, Air for The Knights, Water for The Queens, and Fire for The Kings) is very flexible, and often changes from reader to reader, or teacher to teacher! Sometimes folks mix these up, and assign different elements to different Court Cards. This is the way that it most makes sense to me, and the way I choose to teach it. However, if you roll differently, it’s all good!

 

Strength: Living with an Undefended Heart

 
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Of all the cards in the Tarot, I find myself most repeatedly returning to the Strength card as a source of untold wisdom. No matter how much time I spend with this card, it always has more to teach me.

Ruled by Leo, the Strength card is an invitation to face the things that frighten us with open, soft, undefended hearts. In doing so, we initiate an opportunity for true transformation, aiding us not just in acknowledging our fears, but in befriending them.

In the Smith Rider Waite Strength card, we see a woman dressed in white, adorned with flowers, with a calm and trusting expression on her face. In the card, this woman is laying hands on a lion. We understand that the lion could attack her, perhaps kill her. But instead, the lion is relaxed, open, accepting of her touch.

The infinity loop around the woman’s head tells us that this is no ordinary connection. The woman is being guided, perhaps despite her better judgment, to show up with an open, curious heart. Because the woman shows up undefended — no weapons, no shield, no armor — it shifts the energy of the interaction with the lion from one of potential violence and misunderstanding to one of deep, intimate relatedness.

When we speak of the Strength card, we often focus on the lion outside of us: the things we are afraid of in the world, the tough conversations we have to have. We don’t often relate it to the world within ourselves.

Both of these archetypes, person and lion, exist within us, communicating with one another all the time.

What shows up as the lion within you? What are the wild and scary aspects of yourself? We all have parts of our inner landscape that feel unpredictable and frightening. Our natural human impulse is to stay as far away from these parts of ourselves as humanly possible, and yet this is exactly the opposite of the Strength card’s invitation. The lions within us, no matter how spiky, heavy, or uncomfortable, are longing for us to acknowledge them. We don’t need to go back into traumatic memories or thoughts. We don’t have to indulge in harmful behavior or impulses. But the willingness to touch the hand to the heart, to close the eyes against the roar of our contraction, and simply say, “Hey there. I see you. I witness you. I acknowledge you,” can be a transformative experience.

How do we show up to these feral, wild places within us? How can we practice this? We can show up like the person on the Strength card — frightened, perhaps, but open, soft, and willing to befriend these aspects of ourselves. The unexpected magic that occurs within these moments is that, rather than attacking, the inner lions tend to soften. They tend to become calm and quiet. Sometimes, if we are lucky, those parts of ourselves can trust us enough to communicate to us, whispering their fear, hurt, pain, or grief into our ears. From there, we can cradle the deep feelings in our hands like a baby bird, learning slowly, one step at a time, to reparent ourselves.

Understanding, and more importantly, directly experiencing this kind of inner shift is life changing. Showing up with an undefended heart to our inner lion can help us cultivate greater intimacy and compassion toward all aspects of ourselves. 

No matter how fierce the lion might seem, remember this: everything gentles when we offer it our compassionate witness. The Strength card shows us, again and again, that this is possible.

I invite you to consider how you can connect with the Strength card in this way. What is asking for your attention and acknowledgment at this time? What emotions, feelings, or thoughts have been showing up at your door? How do you usually relate to those experiences? Asking these questions is the gateway into this kind of transformative interaction with ourselves. From there, we can show up in ways that feels supportive and resourced.

I would love to share a spread below that will help to bridge these concepts together with a practice. May it serve you in your continued expansion.

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WISE INVESTIGATION WITH AN UNDEFENDED HEART

A Soul Tarot Spread for deepening our relationship with the Strength card

  1. What is the “lion” in my life at this time?

  2. What is it trying to communicate to me?

  3. How can I offer this lion my compassionate witness and attention?

  4. What defenses need to be released within me in order to do this?

  5. How can I caretake my heart in these moments?


Strength is an important foundational lesson in my upcoming Tarot course, Tarot for What Is, which is currently open for enrollment. If this resonated with you, and you would like to go deeper around this card, and gain skills to support your Tarot practice, I encourage you to check it out. To learn more about the course, or to sign up, click here.

 

How a Brain Aneurysm Diagnosis Transformed my Tarot Practice

 
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If you knew that you could die at any moment, suddenly and without warning, how would you live your life? What would you walk away from without a second thought? What would you communicate? How would you start living? 

If you knew that you could die at any moment, suddenly and without warning, how would it change your spiritual beliefs? How do you imagine it might change your Tarot practice? 

What kinds of questions would you ask of your Tarot deck if you were face to face with the possibility of death, often on a daily basis? How would you relate to the cards? How would you relate to yourself? 

What would it mean to rethink everything you thought you knew and believed that the Tarot could be? 

These are the questions I started asking myself when I was diagnosed with a fusiform brain aneurysm in December 2017. The diagnosis came after a period of enormous stress and anxiety, compounded by excruciating head and neck aches, followed by a number of mysterious symptoms that seemed to warrant no less than an MRI. From there, the unthinkable: an enlarged, inoperable blood vessel in my brain stem, to be monitored for the rest of my life. 

The diagnosis was in and of itself a kind of torture: a threat to the body that could take my life at any moment, and nothing could be done about it until the threat was underway. The degree of trauma, terror and grief I experienced around this was indescribable. Almost overnight, Death swept into my life and took up permanent residence. 

I knew that this news would irrevocably change my life -- what I didn’t expect is how deeply and profoundly it would shift my Tarot practice.

At the time of my diagnosis, I had been teaching folks how to read Tarot for the present moment for about two years. The core of my work is centered around inviting students to view and utilize the Tarot as a helping tool around fear, discomfort, and trauma. This method of reading is called Soul Tarot, a way of interpreting the cards that I developed through using Tarot as a tool in my own healing journey after a PTSD related breakdown in 2014. Applying the Tarot as a kind of salve to experiences of panic, trauma, anxiety, and hypervigilance was something I became adept enough to teach, with great passion and enthusiasm.

Tarot was unquestionably the deepest medicine, most beloved tool, and clearest bridge to God in my life. 

After my diagnosis, I stopped being able to read for myself. 

Oh, don’t get me wrong: I tried. I pulled constantly, as you might imagine someone in my situation would. Every time I would feel a headache, or sharp pain in my neck, I would turn to my deck, as I had done each time I experienced anxiety or trauma that was too big for me to get on top of, to help me know what was really happening.

This time, I wasn’t getting answers. The clarity and relief I so desperately longed for was met with silence. I was enraged at God. I felt lost, abandoned by my cards. What had worked for me around those prior experiences was not working for me now.

It took an unraveling over many months to understand the kind of transformation that was taking place within me, and within my practice. It took some time to understand that I was being invited to ask different questions of my deck.

Every time I asked a question with even a hint of future, a hint of “why,” the deck was silent. If I brought my terror of sudden death to my deck, it was silent. Over time, I started to experiment with asking questions for the present moment. Not, “What is the outcome of this headache,” or “Why is this aneurysm here?” I never got answers to those questions. Instead, “What am I being invited to pay attention to in this moment?” always yielded a deep and generous response, one that included my head, and the fear I had around it.

I slowly began to realize that the cards and my guides were teaching me to work with my deck in a new way, a different way. They were helping me to gain new skills, to lean on Tarot for an anchor to be with what is, with the full spectrum of my experience, without trying to change, alter, or move out of it. Everything could come with me: the headache, the hyper vigilance, the fear, the specter of death. It was all present, and all medicine, helping me to grow and expand.

What does it mean to look to the Tarot for what is? It means that we start with what is actually happening around and within us at any given moment, rather than trying to leapfrog over it to get to what’s next. How do we read Tarot for what is, without attempting to change or bypass what’s here? By noticing what is present with and around us. By asking what we can offer our attention to. By asking what hurts, and then slowly learning to stay with the wound. By tending and listening, rather than fixing. By rethinking the way we have used, interpreted, and reached for our decks.

What is the value in being with what is, especially when we might believe that Tarot can offer us a peek into our future? Simply that there is no future. It is not a fixed state. We are birthing the most aligned future for ourselves in every moment that we agree to be awake to what is. When we pull cards for the future, we are only glimpsing into one window of possibility. We are in an ever changing, co-creative dance with the future, propelled by our choices and our free will. What we pull in one moment will inevitably change, and this is something to celebrate.

The medicine that resides in the present moment, no matter how uncomfortable or uncertain, is a gift beyond measure. When we attempt to bypass the present moment and move into the future, we rob ourselves of the limitless potential and wisdom of what is here. It is only when we open our eyes to what is that we truly create the capacity for change. From there, true evolution is possible.

My aneurysm is truly one of the greatest gifts of my life, my most important, revered, and respected teacher. It has become a kind of oracle, helping me to make decisions for the good of my body. If I had been unwilling to be present with it, I might not have been available to receive the gifts that it brought me. It has helped me to shift things that weren’t working in my life, and helped me to cultivate the courage to reach for the things that did. It has helped me to mature, to become softer, and far more present in my relationships as a result of living with this diagnosis. My connection with Spirit and my intuition has blown open past what I ever thought was possible. My work as a Tarot teacher has become so much stronger than it was. It has helped me to rest in the unknowns of life. It has allowed Death to become a friend and ally. All of these gifts and treasures, a life I am so grateful for, and I have this amazing, powerful, serpentine little aneurysm that could to thank for it.

We don’t know what’s going to happen — and the Tarot can help. It can be the roadmap that guides us back home again and again. It can help us be with anything, and I mean anything, that arises in our life. A whole world of guidance, wisdom and compassion, embedded in these 78 miraculous cards. It all begins with one little question: what are you being invited to pay attention to?

If you would like to learn to use the Tarot in this way, I humbly invite you to consider my new Tarot course, Tarot for What Is, which was conceived through my experience with the work above.

To learn more about the course, go to tarotforwhatis.com. Enrollment opens on Monday, August 12th!

 

Welcome.

 
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Welcome, loves. My newest project is a love letter to you: a Soul Tarot journal, where I will share lessons, thoughts, exercises, and interviews. I intend to share something 1-2 times per month with you. My deepest hope is that it serves to support your Tarot practice.

The first post is coming August 8th. Stay tuned until then!

xx, Lindsay