Tarot in the midst of heavy days
These have been heavy days—following the ongoing Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford regarding Brett Kavanaugh. The weight and intensity of the world has left me feeling worn down with weariness of standing in tides of patriarchy that feel inevitable.
Reading tarot is one way that I come to perspectives that I maybe would not have come to on my own, looking to mystery and nonlinear forms of meaning-making for lines of flight beyond the repetitive thought processes that just keep bringing me back around and around the same rage and frustration. Today I read for myself, but inspired by adrienne maree brown’s #movementtarot, I also read for all of us.
I hope this opens up some room to breathe, imagine, and dream new possibilities:
As Pluto prepares to station direct tomorrow, these were my questions:
-What can we transform?
-What are the structures and foundations we can resurrect from our dead?
-What is the source of our hidden power?
Knower of Rivers:
Transformation is already happening. Life is change. Center the transformation of the world around you—the changing seasons, the flow of the rivers and the tides of the seas—in your joy. Yield your static understandings of yourself. You must be willing to enter into the waters of your own inner darkness, the formless possibilities of all that you might become, in order to discover that your own power is in your capacity to face your own shadows and surrender to change. Hold tightly to the expansive possibilities of your own imagination, dive deep into the dark waters, and let go of who you believed you had to be.
10 of Stones:
Gather the resources that you’ve been given, the sacred traditions of your ancestors and the earth, and build a site to which you can arrive as one thing and depart as another. You are not facing this darkness alone. You are standing with all the Dreamers who live within the earth and who brought us to this place, who taught us to survive, who taught us how to fly. Go back to the earth, go back to the ancestors and the wisdom traditions they have passed to us, gather with them and ask how they transformed all that was possible into the concrete forms we receive.
The Hanged Woman:
Your power is in surrender, in sacrifice, in the duration of discipline, the steadiness and ease of sadhana. What are the practices that ground and center you in all things, that connect you to the rhythms and cycles of a world that is so much bigger than you? What are the practices in which you experience your union with the world around you? Your power is not in your independence or autonomy; the source of your power is in your devotion to practices that dissolve the artificial boundaries between self and other.
[cards from The Shining Tribe Tarot by Rachel Pollack, accompanied by an essence from Dori Midnight]
Autumnal Equinox Astrology
Today is Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox, when the Sun enters Libra. Libra is an air sign associated with balance, harmony, cooperation, collaboration, justice, and beauty. Libra invites all voices into the conversation with equal say, and knows that in order for justice to flourish, it must be both collective as well as particular and situated. There is no “one size fits all” for balanced justice, even in "justice for all." True balance is dynamic and responsive, attending to many perspectives, and meeting different kinds of needs, each on their own terms.
These themes are emphasized for us as the nighttime and daytime come into perfect balance in our journey from the longest day of the year (summer solstice) to the longest night of the year (winter solstice). This is the midpoint, at which we experience illumination and shadow in equal parts.
When we think about all the ways in which our world feels out of balance right now—the exponential escalation of climate change and the Sixth Great Extinction, patriarchal abuses of power at every scale from the intimately personal to the highest politics of the U.S., the ongoing state and socially-sanctioned violence against people of color and trans folks, the dramatically disproportionate distribution of wealth, just to name a few—we can see how the values and voices of some are given excessive weight, priority, and privilege. What is required to bring each and all of these systems into balance?
As soon as the Sun moves into Libra, it applies an almost immediate opposition to Chiron. Chiron is an asteroid that has also been called a minor planet; in astrology, it is marks the site of a primal wound, the part of injury and trauma that we each carry. Chiron is sometimes called the “wounded healer” in that it asks us to do the work to heal parts of ourselves in a way that is also a part of collective healing. At the start of this new season, as the Sun moves into Libra and this opposition to Chiron, we find ourselves facing our personal and collective wounds, the traumas that we carry, and also the task of healing.
The Sun—as well as Mercury, which also moved into Libra today—also moves into a square (90-degree aspect) to Vesta in Capricorn. Vesta is an asteroid associated with the Goddess of the hearth, the one who tends the eternal flame. Vesta is the warmth and comfort of returning home, the nurturer who supports us in our survival as we move through this difficult world. Vesta also symbolizes devotion to oneself, one’s own integration and purpose, and commitment to a cause. Vesta is also trine (120-degree aspect) to Uranus in Taurus. With Vesta sitting in these aspects—square Sun and Mercury, trine Uranus—this equinox calls us back to ourselves, to the comforts of home, to the inner flame that nurtures each of us, in order to commit our cause during destabilizing times and to do the work of pursuing balance and healing. What is the hearth around which you gather? What are the resources that will support you in—to borrow language from adrienne maree brown and Autumn Brown—surviving apocalypse?
Lastly, the Moon moves into Pisces today and applies a supportive trine to Venus in Scorpio. Together, we dip into the deep waters of compassion and empathy. We soften our boundaries and borders and recognize that connection itself is a process of healing.
As we move into this powerful moment of balance, how can we respond to the call of justice?
How can we come to face our own deep wounds and ask how our injuries are traces of collective traumas?
How can we take the time to return to our inner flame, the experience of hearth and home that we each carry inside of us, in order to step back out into the struggle?
How can we practice softening, dissolving that which divides us, and coming into connection as a process of healing?
Blessed Mabon, everyone.
Michael J. Morris is a witch, an astrologer, a tarot reader, an artist, a writer, and a teacher.