About the Hop
I'm super excited because this is my first Blog Hop and the first time I'm dipping my foot into the Tarot Collaboration waters. If you're not familiar with a Blog Hop, a bunch of bloggers agree to write about a specific topic and post on a specific day. Each blog post includes links to the post before and after so that you can hop from post to post. Our wrangler for this Hop is Aisling the Bard and she came up with a super special Blog Hop that taps into the energy of Imbolc and the Blue Moon.
The Particulars per Aisling the Bard
We are calling this Hop “Brighid’s Blue Moon”. This festival is a “trifecta”, a combination of three significant events on a single date. February 1st is “Imbolc”, meaning “In the Belly”, the festival dedicated to Brighid of the Three Fires, who brings life back to Land, Sea, and Sky after winter’s doldrums have passed. But on Imbolc Eve, the day before the festival, we will see a Full Moon, which is also a Blue Moon, the second Full Moon in a calendar month. Therefore, we are celebrating a “Solilune”, a combination of a Solar and Lunar Festival, and it’s dedicated to a Deity who Herself is represented in Her Celtic realm by three Elemental locations, Land, Sea, and Sky, and three characteristics of the Inner Flame, Poesy, Smithcraft, and Healing, as well as shedding her beneficent influence on three areas of human life, Body, Mind, and Spirit . This day also represents a Secret Gift of Spirit, the Blue Moon, representing those things that are rare and precious--after all, they only happen “Once in a Blue Moon”. Therefore, we will be creating a pattern of triplicity in our draw and layout for this Hop.
Deciding to Hop
I have to be honest and say that I was a little overwhelmed when I read the requirements for this hop so I did what I always do when I get overwhelmed, I put it aside for a bit and went about my life. While I was in this reflective period, I drew Brighid from the Dark Goddess Tarot as my card of the day and she told me to step through the flames and I would be transformed. She assured me that the flames would not consume me, but would make me a better version of myself.
I went back to the blog post and read it more carefully and it didn't seem so overwhelming and I felt ready to proceed. I chose to use the Dark Goddess Tarot, both because of the wisdom I'd gotten from Brighid and because I've felt in need of feminine guidance. I've had male mentors my entire life and they have helped me tremendously, but as I get older, I realize that I need feminine wisdom in my life and the Dark Goddess Tarot provides that.
I generally create backgrounds for all my spreads to help me connect to the energy of the spread and so that my tarot journal looks pretty ;). Sometimes, I use physical art supplies, but since I was traveling, I turned to PowerPoint and created a background for the foundation, construction, and surprise.
After choosing my deck, creating my background, and lighting a candle, there was nothing left to do but dive into the reading.
The Foundation: You will draw three cards, one representing Land (Body), one for Sky (Mind) and the third one for Sea (Spirit). These will indicate for you the physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual focus of your year-to-come. These cards honor the Solar Festival of Imbolc and the Three Fires of Brigid.
Body: This card represents the body and provides guidance about what I need to do over the coming year to honor my body and take care of myself. Fittingly, I drew the Five of Earth (Demeter) for this position. Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, the creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot, guides us to "Give no part of yourself to what does not sustain you." This perfectly sums up the conclusions I'm drawing as I begin my 52nd year on this beautiful planet. I'm realizing that, like Demeter, I sometimes need to withdraw my support for others and focus on my own needs. Although doing so may seem selfish, it really is the only way that I can regrain (a fitting typo) my strength. This is a very difficult lesson for women to learn as we've been conditioned to put the needs of others first and been told repeatedly that we are selfish if we take time for ourselves.
Mind: The mind card provides guidance on how to nurture and grow my mental abilities throughout the coming year. Isis, the Magician, came to me in this position and her message was to believe in my own power and the power I have, in partnership with the divine, to manifest what I need/want in life. Isis reminded me that I do possess incredible power and that it is my responsibility to channel this power for good. Isis reminds us magic happens when we marry our intent with physical actions. On a personal note, Isis is also about the power of love and my goal this year is to manifest more love in my life so Isis is reminding me that I need to not only do the magic, I also have to make room in my life for Love.
Spirit--The Spirit/Emotional card is about honoring my spiritual and emotional needs. Blodeuwedd (Nine of Earth) appeared in this position. She tells me that it is time for me to reclaim my personal power and to choose to be a star in my own life. All too often, we choose to be supporting characters in life by enabling others to achieve their dreams, while doing nothing to create the lives that we want. Echoing the message of Demeter, Blodeuwedd reminds us that we need to unlearn the lesson that it is selfish to take care of our own need and learn the importance of valuing self care and our own lives. She also reminds is that we are the stars of our lives and we need to step up and reclaim that role.
Overall, thee cards provided powerful lessons about taking charge of my life and choosing to make my own needs a priority.
The Construction: This Moon, according to the Celtic Tree Calendar, is the Full Rowan Moon. This tree is sacred to Brighid, and represents “Protection from Evil Enchantment”. It is considered a Guardian, a Guide, and a Gateway, so that we may be safely sheltered and receive direction as we walk down the new path of the year. So the three cards you draw for the second level, the Lunar energy of the year, will represent the answers to the following three questions: What is the energy of the new path that presents itself? From what will I need protection on this journey? What energies of my own or of spirit will guide and protect me?
From what will I need protection on this journey?: Oya (the Witch of Air) tells me that I need protection from the clutter that can build up in my environment and in my soul. Oya comes in and blows away that which no longer serves us and makes room for the new. Oya is a goddess of transition and she helps us see that the world is ever changing. What I love about Oya is that she appears to be always in motion and she reminds me that standing lightly on the earth can help me to feel grounded.
What energies of my own or of spirit will guide and protect me? Lethe, representing the four of cups, reminds me that I need to take responsibility for saying no to things that are not in my best interests. The traditional four of cups shows a discontented person folding their arms and refusing a cup being offered by a giant hand. Some people read this to mean being stubborn or ungrateful, but I've always read the four of cups as saying no to something that is not in my best interest. Perhaps my view of the world comes from having grown up in a family that constantly gave unsolicited advice, then got upset when I disregarded it. I learned that I had to be very firm in turning down advice and stuff that did not serve me, so I have a lot of sympathy for the person in the four of cups who is saying no to something he/she does not want.
These were powerful lessons of both being protected and guided by spirit and by actions I can take to help myself over the coming year.
The Surprise: Once in a Blue Moon, wonderful things come forth. Draw your final three cards connected with Body, Mind, and Spirit, in that order, to see what treasures the Universe has in store for you.
Body: Aphrodite (Siren of Water) is another card that is is almost too perfect in the position of surprises of the body that the universe has in store for me. I had a love/hate relationship with Aphrodite until she showed up in a reading and gave me an incredible message, "I am not your rival. I am you. Embrace my gifts of beauty and sensuality. Let go of the fear in your heart about not being pretty enough or sexy enough. These are old messages. You are beautiful, kind, loving, and have a beautiful heart. I am not your rival, I can be your coach and friend if you can open up your heart and trust." Receiving Aphrodite again in this position just reiterates the message that I am enough and that I need to love myself. She also gives me a delicious reminder that love and lust may be coming my way shortly.
Mind: Maat (Justice) tells me to use my heart as well as my mind to evaluate relationships and situations. It also tells me to carefully evaluate the relationships in my life to determine whether or not they add value. This is hard for me because in the past, I've tended to put myself in the other person's shoes to my own detriment. When my ex was abusing me, instead of standing up for myself or telling him he was out of line, I made excuses for him and continued to put up with his bad behavior. Maat is telling me that it is okay to set boundaries and protect myself. Echoing Isis, Maat is also telling me that my words have power and that I should use my words carefully. Lately, Maat is telling me to embrace order instead of chaos.
Spirit: Maman Brigette (Hag of Fire) is my guide for this question and she reminds me to honor my ancestors and the gifts I've received from them. This one is hard for me because I am estranged from much of my family for a variety of reasons, but one of the actions I have been taking lately is to step back from personalities and remember the lessons I've learned from them. One of my new practices is to take some time on my ancestors' death days and to make an altar to them and to pull a few cards. This practice is helping me to put the past into perspective and to let go of my anger.
These cards gave me some delicious insights into how to live my life over the coming year and provided guidance on things I should do as well as actions I should avoid.
Overall, this was a deliciously deep dive and provided amazing insights. Some of the messages I received were reiterating things I already know and others were new insights that I will reflect on over the coming days.
Use the links below to hop to other posts in this blog hop.