The Hierophant asks us to create a container for magic to happen, and dive into our mystical studies, says Brandon Alter …
Here comes spring! And it’s a time to practice the art of receiving, says Bess Matassa, who also has a personal audio Tarot reading for April 2019 for each sign …
April 2019 card for the collective: The Empress
As we transition from Aries to Taurus energy in April 2019, The Empress asks us to move beyond our scarcity mentality. Ruled by Venus, The Empress presides over the holy heaven-on-earth trinity of sex, beauty, and money. She is the QUEEN OF RECEIVING, and this month she is asking us to smoke out any old stories about our lack of worth, so we can reap all the juicy fruits that are ripe for the plucking.
In the weeks to come, let The Empress remind you that pursuing what you love is the fastest way to magnetize more of this into your life. What if it didn’t have to be any harder than that? Once there, try not to get caught up in the self-sabotaging cycle of immediately wondering how long it will last. Imagine if, by simply saying “yes” to only what feels good, this opulence continued to propagate organically in your world.
Read on for the card, mantra, and cosmic audio reading for your sign …
ARIES or ARIES RISING: 4 of Cups
“My feelings are a force that create my foundations.”
TAURUS or TAURUS RISING: The Wheel of Fortune
“Letting myself grow wider is the way towards wisdom.”
GEMINI or GEMINI RISING: Page of Wands
“Getting back to basics makes me feel bedazzled.”
CANCER or CANCER RISING: 2 of Pentacles
“Liberation comes from not carrying it all.”
LEO or LEO RISING: 10 of Pentacles
“I pledge allegiance to the light that never goes out.”
VIRGO or VIRGO RISING: 8 of Cups
“I am loosening my hold on what’s already leaving.”
LIBRA or LIBRA RISING:The Star Rx
“Returning to my whole self is the homecoming I’ve awaited.”
SCORPIO or SCORPIO RISING: Ace of Pentacles
“Paying attention to the tiniest glimmers makes my life glow.”
SAGITTARIUS or SAGITTARIUS RISING: The Hanged Man
“Stillness is the superpower that soothes my soul.”
CAPRICORN or CAPRICORN RISING: Queen of Pentacles
“I am willing to wait for what’s worthy of my presence.”
AQUARIUS or AQUARIUS RISING: 5 of Swords Rx
“My flesh and blood is more than good enough.”
PISCES or PISCES RISING: 8 of Wands Rx
“Raising the stakes brings me closer to the creative flame.”
Learn more about Bess and her work and check out all her personalized Astro + Tarot offerings HERE.
VIRGO // VIRGO RISING
Knight of Swords
Happy Solar Return, Virgo! You’ve got a lot to say this month, both internally and to the world! The Fire of conviction is burning within, bubbling your emotions to a fever pitch and compelling you to let it all out. The Knights are passionate, at times to the point of being impulsive. And with your ruling planet of Mercury, planet of communication, entering your sign on the 19th, you should be positively effervescent in your expression. Allow your thoughts and words to flow freely and openly, just make sure you maintain your connection to the heavier elements of Earth and Water to mitigate any sharp edges that may come as an unintended outcome of such fast-paced intellectual outpouring. The last thing you want is a lesson in the potential of wounding inherent in the suit of Swords.
And while we’re talking about the power of Air, I’d be horribly negligent if I didn’t take this opportunity to remind you that all words are magic words, so choose them wisely even as you race to keep up with the speed of your thoughts. This is an excellent time for you to focus on making some adjustments to patterns of speech and mental frameworks to make them support your goals more strongly. Talk a lot about how much you hate your boss? Replace that with a statement about how much you look forward to the day when you have a boss you admire or when you are your own boss. Lather, rinse, repeat. Make your birthday gift to yourself a whole new set of spells that call in the experience of life you desire.
Virgo stone for September: Blue Lace Agate gently opens perception to allow access to both see and communicate truth, both inwardly and outwardly, deepening compassion for self and others.
LIBRA // LIBRA RISING
Eight of Cups
After all the building and planning and making and growing of your life these past few months, you’ve got a little time to settle into how all of this impacts your emotional life, Libra. Change, even the most exciting and hoped for change, is stressful to our bodies – spiritual, emotional, and physical. Once we settle into the new structure of routines and habits, we need to take time to focus on how to best structure our emotional lives to ensure we can maintain a good relationship with our new circumstances. Water is one of the heavy elements. It can take some time to catch up once Fire and Air settle down and things start to feel routine again. Listen to your heart and give it time to express what it needs to stay full and bright.
I’m sure you have a LOT to do this month, Libra. There’s no way you came out of an Emperor month feeling like you’ve got loads of spare time on your hands. You can still carve out a little bit every week – bonus points for every day – to experiement with adding little things to your routine to help maintain a lasting emotional stability. Maybe daily affirmations are your thing, maybe a cup of chamomile tea before bed calms you like nothing else, maybe you need to schedule in time to read or paint or write or sing – whatever it is, take the time now to figure it out and start building the habits. Your long-term happiness depends on it.
Libra stone for September: Emerald cleanses and energizes the heart physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is an excellent stone for all aspects of heart health and emotional development.
SCORPIO // SCORPIO RISING
Knight of Wands
Well, Scorpio, I hope you spent last month digging DEEP into that Seven of Cups energy! If you did, and you got very clear about what your heart truly desires, you have an incredible opportunity to throw yourself into getting it this month with everything you’ve got. Knight of Wands is the Fire of Fire of the Tarot family, gifting us with an almost superhuman level of energy, drive, and animal instinct that is essential for going after something big, something we maybe didn’t even think we were allowed to wish for. What is it that is gnawing at your gut instinct as you read these words, urging you to pull the thread? What deeply held desire has gone neglected for too long?
I cannot overstate the importance of seizing this moment, Scorpio. Fire of Fire burns powerfully bright, but it cannot sustain itself for long. These moments are gifts and it is our choice to be gracious receivers or to deny the gift out of fear, humility, or even laziness. Resist the urge to linger too long in the depths, questioning your emotional response. This is the time to embrace that Scorpionic connection to the wisdom of Death and release any lingering doubts that are holding you back. Your soul’s passion is begging to be let loose to lead you to a time of renewed conviction that you alone have the power to make your dreams come true. Heed the call and stoke the flames. This month is a sprint. Make it count.
Scorpio stone for September: Ruby is the stone of passion. It infuses the energetic body with the courage and strength needed to follow your true path and pursue your highest aspirations with optimism.
SAGITTARIUS // SAGITTARIUS RISING
The High Priestess
This month will be spent getting your temple in order in preparation for the coming harvest season, Sagittarius, and I have a hunch you’ll be looking at quite a bounty. The High Priestess does not show up for the small stuff. When she comes knocking – or, better put, when you receive her invitation to knock on her temple door – it is an indication that something big is underway. You’re now being gifted the ability to carve out a little world of your own, a temple, to make it sacred, apart from space and time, and to travel effortlessly between your personal sanctum and the outside world. It’s perfect work for this time of year, a sort of spiritual nesting as we approach the Autumnal Equinox.
This month, I want you to point that gorgeous idealistic gaze directly at your home enviroment. What household cleanups, repairs, or projects have gone undone for too long? Is there any way you can make your physical surroundings more comfortable, more suited to you? It is difficult to sink into the deeper spiritual work when nagging material world concerns populate your temple space. If you can’t get everything done, designate a specific area and get it cleared out and leveled up. Populate it with trinkets, and magickal items to elevate your devotional practice. Allow your temple to be the mirror that see your true image reflected in. When you do, the distorted image you see relected in our imperfect society will fall to the background, allowing you to fully embody your innate Divine form.
Sagittarius stone for September: Moonstone heightens intuition, introspection, and protection of individuality. It helps us to maintain control of our personal temples of home, body, and spirit.
CAPRICORN // CAPRICORN RISING
Five of Swords
Dear Capricorn, I would like to invite you to enjoy a quiet month filled with nourishing food, plenty of rest, and loving, supportive friends. Generally speaking, you are transitioning from achievement to chaos in the realm of Air. This is not a time for big ideas or attempts to talk or think through really anything of great importance. When this anarchic breeze blows in, it’s best to keep your head down, put one foot in front of the other, and stay on the path you know best – and enjoy it! It’s rare that we are called on to do less, to take a break in any area of life and just rest and be. Let this month act as cosmic pause button on all the things you believe you have to “figure out” in order to move forward.
So, what can you do when you can’t use that seductive power of Air to run your life? You get down with the other elements, especially Earth and Water. This should be music to your ears, my cardinal Earth sign darling. Dig your heels in, don’t do anything you don’t feel like doing (within reason, of course), and feel absolutely no pressure to explain yourself. The message probably wouldn’t come across as intended anyway. Channel your inner luxurious recluse. Spend a day alone at the spa, see a matinee, take a long hike in the woods. Whatever makes you feel like your heart is taking the lead and reinforces your connection to the Earth under your feet.
Capricorn stone for September: Smoky Quartz carries the gravity of our planet in energetic form. It connects us to ourselves and the Earth, helping us to feel grounded as it gently pulls psychic static from our field.
AQUARIUS // AQUARIUS RISING
Seven of Crystals
I suspect you may be feeling a little impatient about seeing actual results from the work you did last month, Aquarius, and I’m here to talk you down with my dear friend the Seven of Crystals. Sevens ask us to find where we are doubting ourselves, the Universe, or both in their elemental realm, and here we are looking to weed those pesky doubts out of the Earth. Anxieties about whether our work is paying off in tangible ways is common and understandable. Earth is the slowest moving element. We spend most of our time in the lighter elements, dreaming up ideas, taking action to bring them to life, and then we have to wait for their manifestation in the material plane to take form.
Rest assured, Aquarius, your work has not been for nothing. The seeds you planted are quietly and resolutely outgrowing their outer husks and making their way to the surface where they will begin their journey toward the Sun. I know this is a jarring and potentially frustrating change of pace. When you find yourself antsy for something to do, some action to take, water the seeds. Love them, care for them, pour your heart out and offer it up to their growth and development. And when you come up against that nagging anxiety in the back of your mind, the voice that tells you that you are wasting your time, that you can’t make it work, that it was a dumb idea anyway – love that voice too. Soothe it and put it to bed.
Aquarius stone for September: Howlite relieves stress and opens connection to the eternal Divine. It brings an atmosphere of acceptance and contentment with one’s circumstances and surroundings.
PISCES // PISCES RISING
Four of Swords
Now that your heart has been thoroughly rinsed and renewed, Pisces, it’s time for a little check in on how your views and thoughts meld with how you live and communicate day to day. Periodic assesments of whether our head is in alignment with our heart are essential for finding stability in the realm of Air, that lightest and most difficult to contain of elements. Lightness is a great place to focus – this can be a gentle and enjoyable experience. No need to get into judgment or mourning of things, ideas, or patterns that no longer serve your highest goals. This is simply an opportunity to gently sift through the contents of your mind and to let anything heavy fall away.
I strongly suggest you not make any big life changes this month. There can be a strong urge to make bold moves when we first realize that something is not in alignment with the life we seek to live. It is intoxicating to step into your own power of clear sight. However, this energy is with you all month long. Things can shift around quite a bit in that time. Plus, this whole operation is more about your internal intellectual framework and how you present that framework to the world than it is about the container of your life. If you already had a change in job, living situation, or relationship in the works, that is another story. But resist taking action on an internal shift that comes up this month. Stay the course and let it all unfold.
Pisces stone for September: Fluorite is a stone of insight through clarity. It helps to clear the mind, allowing for greater focus and decision making, and opening the door to the wisdom of the higher self.
ARIES // ARIES RISING
Page of Wands
Ok, Aries, what did you learn last month about the power of your own instinctual knowing and ability to create? What conclusions did you come to about how to best use this power, its potential, or your relationship to it? Any hard and fast rules you came across? Any nuggets of eternal wisdom to frame your personal gift with Fire? Throw them out. All of them. Or rather set them aside, locked away for safe keeping. You won’t be needing them for now. The Page is here to disrupt anything you thought you knew about Elemental Fire and to open new doors of exploration and experimentation in this realm of action, magic, and creation. Cleanse that magic wand, clear yourself of all expectations, and get ready to play.
Welcome this energy with open arms and this can be a wonderful month of expansion. Dig in your heels and you’re likely to have a frustrating four weeks ahead of you! Think of it this way – you don’t have to be married to any of these new ways of handling your native element that come up. You’re not signing any contracts or setting anything in stone. This is simply a time to be open, to say yes. Pages represent the Earth of the Tarot court, they bring us back down to basics, slow us down, give us time and space to explore in an energetically safe environment. It is a beautiful gift to step into the shoes of the novice. Accept it graciously and use it wisely.
Aries stone for September: Honey Calcite inspires action and dedication while maintaining a light-hearted atmosphere. It provides the perseverance needed to make a creative spark become a full blazing fire
TAURUS // TAURUS RISING
Eight of Crystals
My dearest Earth child, here we are again. This time focusing on building a beautiful, lasting stability in your material world. After the refining moment of the Ace last month, you’re in a great position to work with this energy. Thinking about everything that came up regarding your home life, your physical surroundings, your feeling grounded (or ungrounded), your method of interacting with our society’s version of the currency of Earth – money, find what feels like home to you. Dig deep into the ground beneath your feet and find exactly what it is that keeps you stable. We live in a time when many of us have more options than we ever have before. It can be overwhelming. Now is the time to whittle your life down to the essentials that will serve you best in the long term.
Finding this type of stability requires us to seek and confront our true nature, our deepest core of Self, that eternal piece that holds us steady while our bodies and circumstances shift around us. This is soul work, Taurus, pure and simple. Your inherent desire for security and predictability in your surroundings is essential to your nature. You are being called to step into alignment with this aspect of your Self, to ensure that you are nuturing this need for many years to come. This doesn’t have to be difficult. It could be as simple as finally acknowledging that you like to always have fresh flowers in the house and committing to make that happen. Find your Earthly bliss!
Taurus stone for September: Danburite connects the heart to spirit realm, bringing the calming and loving energy of the Divine down into our daily lives, calming and reassuring us in our Earthly pursuits.
GEMINI // GEMINI RISING
Queen of Cups
Get ready for a month of nurturing and emotional excavation, Gemini, all courtesy of your inner mother. The Queen of Cups is here to lead you by the hand to a safe place where you can step outside of yourself to be the loving caretaker you have been waiting for. I have a strong suspicion that taking inventory of your internal communications last month dredged up more than a few emotional rough spots. As we pass from Summer into Fall, you have the opportunity to mend your bruised heart in ways you have never been able to before – or more likely, ways you didn’t even know you needed. This is excellent timing. When the seasons tip and we begin to head toward the nesting of winter, you will be in great shape to move from damage repair into some more forward moving modes of development.
Spend time alone this month, but try to keep it purposeful, rejuvenating even. No wallowing. The Queen of Cups encourages deep and long dives into our innermost depths, but she does not tolerate indulgent self-pity. Imagine her as a kindly grandmother, always there to clean up a skinned knee with tender care, but just as quick to send you back out finish your chores once you’re taped up. Coming back up for air is the most important part of any dive into our emotional waters. Take a long bath, get serious about journaling, pour your heart out to yourself as you never have before. And then take a deep breath, lift your head up, and get back to it.
Your stone for September: Rhodochrosite teaches us the art of self-love. It opens a channel within that allows us to love ourselves as we desire to be loved, to be our own best friends and caretakers.
CANCER // CANCER RISING
Perspective (Hanged Man)
It’s time for a change of scenery, Cancer, and I don’t just mean sitting in a different spot in your living room. The scenery I am talking about is more energetic, spiritual even, the stuff we can’t see but that alters our perception of our surroundings immensely. This month you are being asked to see things in a new way and the more you can push up against the edges of that, the better. You had a month of digging in the Earth in August and now you can spend a little time up in the clouds, surveying the new lay of the land, getting a broader picture of what is possible and within that, what is desirable. And since we are in the Major Arcana, we are looking at all realms of life – emotional, spiritual, creative, intellectual, and material.
How many different ways can you find to force a shift in your perspective? What would it look like to try on a new emotional perspective? A new instinctual perspective? Can you borrow another person’s experience for a time? Use your enviable powers of empathy to walk in another’s shoes without ever moving a muscle? This may sound like an invitation to get into astral travelling (which I wholeheartedly encourage if you can accomplish it), but it can be as deceivingly mundane as watching a movie about a person completely unlike yourself or reading a book by someone you normally wouldn’t. The important thing is to keep your heart, mind, and eyes open to new experiences.
Cancer stone for September: Blue Apatite is a stone of profound psychic opening. It can act as a key to opening levels of knowledge and wisdom and as a catalyst for exploring past lives and energetic influences.
LEO // LEO RISING
Is it your birthday AGAIN, Leo?? A swell of personal power to manifest your dreams and desires is headed your way to carry you into the Fall. You have the magic of the elements tingling at your fingertips, waiting to help you connect the kernel of intention in your heart to the blueprint of the Universe. The Magician ignites personal power – power that originates from within and that is used to control, alter, or expand the personal sphere. True magic(k) is a tool of self-mastery. It has no place or interest in manipulating the free will of others. If this is sounding a bit heavy, it’s because it is! There is a great deal of responsibility that comes with the gift of The Magician.
The trick with this energy is that if you’re not very specific with your words, thoughts, and actions, you could send an unintentional signal to the Universe, one that manifests something you don’t want or need. So be extra mindful this month with the messages you are transmitting. Take a few minutes each day to set your intentions – for the day, week, month, year, and even longer. Write them down, say them out loud, carry stones in your pocket that emanate an energetic quality that supports them, light candles and give offereings for them, and for the love of the Divine, mark the New Moon on the 9th and the Full Moon on the 24th with a manifesting and releasing ritual, respectively. Harness this energy in alignment with your true path and you could be feeling the benefits for a long time to come.
Leo stone for September: Labradorite is the Magician’s stone, activating powers of personal magic, self-mastery, and manifestation. It elevates one’s personal vibration to ensure purity in conjuring.
Looking to add some spice to your divination practice? Alessandra Calderin gives us a crash course in Sex Tarot 101, and uncovers how you can start casting cards between the sheets …
The Tarot is a mirror and a tool that reflects archetypal imagery that spans the spirals of the human experience. It allows us to connect to ourselves (and our Selves) because we intuitively understand these images. Sexuality is as primal and instinctual in us as the need to eat, sleep and breathe, and so the cards can reflect the ways in which our power, intuition, and connection manifest through our sexuality.
So WTF is a “sex tarot” reading?? There are so many ways to draw cards and create spreads to explore sex and desire! Here are 4 ways to get started …
1// Pull a “desire” spread. Pull cards asking what your subconscious desires are, what might be blocking them, and how to work through that block. The possibilities are endless!
Start with a simple 6 card spread:
Card 1: What is my heart’s desire?
Card 2: What is blocking me from fulfilling it?
Card 3: What is my deeper unconscious desire?
Card 4: What is preventing me from seeing this?
Card 5: How can I balance and integrate these desires?
Card 6: What can I shed to make space for their fulfillment?
2// Do a sacral chakra reading. Explore the seat of your sexuality by diving into the 4 “sides” of this chakra. The more you look at the pelvis and your desire as linked to your creativity, the more you start feeling how they ebb and flow together, and the more tools you have to work through both.
Card 1: Front of the sacral chakra. How does your sexuality appear to others? What is your exhibition style?
Card 2: Right side. How do you manifest sexuality and creativity in the world?
Card 3: Back. What experience of your sexuality do you hold onto?
Card 4: Left side. How do you receive creative inspiration, the desire of others, and pleasure?
3// Masturbate with the Majors. You can also use Tarot for masturbation and sex magic practices by meditating on the archetypes of the Major Arcana or court cards.
Choose whatever cards are ruled by planets or signs that show up strongly in your birth chart, where the Moon is hanging out, what astro season we’re in, or just pull a Major and start working with it at random. You might even choose one you have trouble with (like when I pulled Justice- I was bummed by how unsexy that card might be on the surface, but there was powerful medicine in that feeling and the resulting meditation!)
Most recently, for the Super Blue Blood Moon in Leo on 1/31 during Aquarius season, I meditated on Strength (because Leo rules it) and The Star (because Aquarius rules). I let those two figures guide me as I touched, explored, played with my hands and my favorite toy (Njoy Pure Wand). As I was getting ready to orgasm, these two images reassured me that my sexuality and desire were a gift, and sacred sources of feminine power.
4// And channel the deck’s sexiest cards to unlock pure magic! I could probably make an argument for the sexual energy of every card, but this is a good place to start. Explore how you feel about these cards and the kind of pleasure they channel, or isolate the pack and draw one as your teacher of the moment.
*She/He pronouns refer to the archetypal genders of masculine and feminine energy. These figures are figuratively gendered, but anatomically genderless.
:: Strength :: In the Thoth, Strength is actually called Lust. Some interpretations say it’s the taming of desire, but I would say it’s more like mastery over desire. Taming connotes that there is too much desire and you need to control it. In this context, I see her as the master of her desire in a world that denies her that power. Your desire becomes sacred fuel the moment you master it.
:: The Empress :: The Empress is receptive. She is how I learned to receive pleasure without having to think about reciprocating in that moment. She allows herself to be fully nourished, filled to the brim with love, pleasure, and affection, but she also rides and caresses like a goddess. She bestows the gift of her mouth upon you and it’s like drinking an unearthly elixir with her kisses and nibbles and expertly executed oral.
:: The Emperor :: The Emperor might be a surprise for this, but as the Empress’s counterpart, he allows her to unleash. He’s like a very good Dom, providing the container for every expression of kink you might wish to explore safely. You want to be tied up, spanked, penetrated in out of the ordinary ways? He reads your body language, pushes the edges, and knows your limits before you even need to utter a safe word. The master of boundaries, he’s here to teach you how to consent so enthusiastically you forget what ambiguity feels like.
:: The Moon :: The Moon represents the wild woman running naked in the woods and howling at the Moon- the deep waters of sexuality and mystery. She is a shapeshifter. A wolf. A mountain lion. She visits you in the dead of night and brings your to orgasm in the dream realm, and when you wake up the memory is hazy but you know something powerful has been touched inside you. She breathes underwater and is as mysterious as the bottom of the sea. You know her without words.
:: The Devil :: The Devil can sometimes deal with a repression of desire, and to me has always had a BDSM vibe to it. I think this one depends on your relationship to that kind of imagery and sexual practice, but as a Capricorn (The Devil is ruled by Capricorn), and a big fan of power play, The Devil can sometimes be a freeing card. Reclaiming the divinity and balance of the shadow, of words like slut, whore, bitch, freak, breaks the chains that bind us to our own fear and repression. It’s a balancing act. The Devil reminds us that there are more layers and sides to it.
:: The Lovers :: The Lovers feels like an obvious one because you have to love all the sides of yourself like a lover before you can love anyone else. Getting there is anything but obvious or easy, though. Use a mirror. Look at yourself. This is the real shit. The deep work. It takes a lot of unraveling and excavation to be able to love your body and yourself just as you are. Your best Lover will look back at you eventually.
:: Queen of Pentacles :: Queen of Pentacles is the master of the home and body. An independent woman, she knows what she likes and moves through the material world with the grace of an angelic ballerina. Queen of Wands is known to be the most sexual queen in the deck, but Queen of Pentacles knows pleasure like no one else. Part earth angel, part water nymph, she creates the primordial mud that those Dead Sea masks get their magic from.
:: Knight of Cups :: Knight of Cups will go down on you first without being asked. Inviting this kind of energy into your bedroom, the person who will massage and caress you slowly, who dreams of drinking you like you’re water in the desert, is clutch in truly sinking into pleasure. Find you a man (or woman or non-binary) who can give it to you good.
:: Page of Wands :: Page of Wands is bursting with potential energy, often creative and sexual. She’s ready and willing to try new toys and discover what she likes. She’s the teen who just discovered her clitoris and hasn’t been told there is something wrong with the amazing feeling that swims through her body when she touches it. She just got her period and is ready to finger paint with her blood. She will make out behind the bleachers and let herself love completely. She writes love songs and sings them without the slightest bit of embarrassment.
:: Ace of Cups :: Ace of Cups is a pure gift of water, love, communication, and intuition. I often see it as an invitation to masturbate with more loving intention. To swim in your waters and to practice accepting the water gifts from elsewhere.
:: 10 of Cups :: 10 of Cups is a literal orgasm. It could be something that feels as good as an orgasm, a self pleasure practice that’s out of this world, or a partner that takes you to the places of rainforest waterfalls and fireworks.
Alessandra is an intuitive healing facilitator, tarot practitioner, yoga teacher, writer, poet, comedienne and performer based in New York. She will be teaching her Tarot Immersive later this month and currently teaches yoga at Three Jewels, focusing her attention on energetic sensitivity and the pelvic floor. Explore her offerings at Boneseed, and follow her on Instagram.
This month’s cosmic shifts give us the opportunity to pause, prepare for expansion, and rediscover a sweet sense of hope, says Melinda Lee Holm. Set your sights on new horizons with this tarot journey through December 2017 …
The theme for December is HOPE. After the inner work and expansion of November, we open ourselves back up to the world around us. And with a major slow down courtesy of Mercury Retro to kick off the month, we’ll have plenty of psychic space to stop and appreciate beauty, realign with what truly matters, and set our sights on the new hope of longer days to come.
Prepare for expansion with this tarot journey through December 2017 …
//12/3 Mercury Retrograde: 4 of Pentacles
While it may sound crazy, the forced slow down of Mercury Retrograde (until 12/22) is exactly what many of us need this time of year. This cosmic downshift begs us to get crystal clear in our communications, methodical in our actions, and to give ourselves plenty of extra time to get things done.
Get grounded and prepared with the 4 of Pentacles. In the 4 we get our first taste of true, earthy stability and we’re not giving it up easily. Generally, I advise people to be mindful of hanging on too tight to finances when this card comes up, but with Mercury in Retrograde, I say clamp down! Keep your spending in check and stay slow and steady to avoid upsetting the delicate balance of the material world that is earned in the 4 of Pentacles.
Calling in the 4 of Pentacles:
- Wear or carry Garnet to help stay grounded in your body, the Earth, and reality
- Eat mandarin oranges, symbols of abundance and good fortune
- Be like Santa Claus – make a list of daily tasks and check it twice
- Budget in cash – bring only as much money with you for the day as you can responsibly spend
//12/10 Human Rights Day: Knight of Swords
Human Rights Day honors the anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This document’s anniversary invites us all to get familiar with the rights our fellow humans are entitled to, and to be empowered to speak out and act when those rights are violated.
The Knight of Swords has the energy and the will to speak up and speak out. Wielding the power of intellectual and communicative Air, the Knight rides boldly into battle to defend his convictions. The red feather of passion streams from his helmet as he charges forward, no longer content to stand on the sidelines, ready to take action for what he believes in.
Calling in the Knight of Swords:
- Carry or wear Ruby to inspire passion to speak up for others
- Donate to the Global Human Rights fund or any other charitible organization working to defend the rights of those in need of advocacy
- Drink peppermint tea to suport internalizing positive change
- Go for a run to feel the wind through your hair and the power of your own speed
//12/13 Geminid Meteor Shower: Page of Cups
Our annual show of racing lights, the Geminid Meteor Shower arrives on the 7th and peaks on the 13th. If you grew up wishing on “shooting stars,” this peak night is a beautiful time to reconnect to that childish sense of wonder and open your heart to the beauty, majesty, and magic of the Universe.
The Page of Cups provides just the right brand of unguarded emotional exuberance to help us fully enjoy and embrace the magic all around us. Not burdened by past woundings, regrets, or by any set of rules about how to handle the emotional element of Water, the Page is free to give and receive freely, unabashedly appreciating and loving the world around him.
Calling in the Page of Cups:
- Gaze up in wonder at the beauty and magic of the Geminids in the night sky!
- Wear lace or fanciful patterns – clothing that expresses the romantic within
- Express your love openly – let your friends know how you feel
- Add a little brown sugar to your coffee or hot cereal to sweeten your outlook on the world
//12/21 Winter Solstice: The Star
As we reach the longest night of the year, it’s time to celebrate the coming light, to look forward with bright hope to the new year ahead, and to begin to set intentions for what we will grow come planting time.
A card traditionally associated with hope, the 8-pointed star seen on most versions of The Star was originally known as the star of The Goddess. As an ancient symbol of Divine Feminine Power, this calming and peaceful card is a reminder that The Goddess is always with us and within us, lighting the way.
Calling in The Star:
- Ingest or wear lavender for a calm, peaceful feeling, and to shield hope from negativity
- Read Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel comics for inspiration – both superheros wear the 8-pointed star as their emblem
- Treat yourself like the manifestation of the Divine Feminine you are with a trip to the spa or a home treatment
- Make a list of all your hopes for the next 6 months so you can stay focused on actualizing them as the days grow longer
Buckle up, divination divas. As we prepare to take on the dark side of the year, let these tarot cards for October 2017 help you face your fears and break on through, says Melinda Lee Holm.
As Fall brings a shift in the light, we are crossing through the veil into the collective and individual subconscious for some major breakthroughs.
October offers the opportunity to treat the dive into the dark side like a gift, as we expand our understanding, birth our passion projects, face our deepest fears, and learn to be better partners.
The energy this month is tailor-made to get you out of your comfort zone and into the fast lane. Buckle up!
:: 10/9 Indigenous People’s —9 of Pentacles ::
Many cities across the U.S. have transformed what was formerly Columbus Day into Indigenous People’s Day, and this shift is the result of decades of work to raise awareness of and appreciation for the history and experience of the indigenous people in the land we now call home.
The 9 of Pentacles helps deepen our awareness of this experience. This card represents an accomplishment in the Earthly world, a recognition of the fruits of our labor, and an understanding of how we have been transformed by our experiences. But with this knowledge comes an awareness that what we have learned demands that we learn even more. We are driven to push ahead towards an ever more profound understanding of our world and ourselves.
Calling in the 9 of Pentacles:
- Use tea tree oil on your body or in your home – it clears confusion, in addition to being a great antiseptic
- Read a work of non-fiction
- Dress foods with mustard – mustard seed promotes the courage and perseverance needed to learn and integrate challenging information
- Keep African violets in your home to attract grounded wisdom
:: 10/10 Jupiter Enters Scorpio—Queen of Cups ::
As Jupiter begins its transit through Scorpio, we’re in for 13 months of majorly deep dives into the desires we wish to expand. This is BIG DEAL energy for pushing hard to get passion projects up and running. The trick is, with the potential sting of Scorpio’s tail, we have to be sure that what we pursue is truly in alignment with our hearts.
The Queen of Cups has a masterful devotion to her passion. She knows her emotional self completely and is comfortable with all aspects of her emotional field. This makes her able to skillfully identify what is in perfect alignment with her heart and leaves her free to dive completely into that project and care for it as she would a child.
Choose wisely and give of yourself completely. This is a potent time.
Calling in the Queen of Cups:
- Drink linden tea to fearlessly open the heart and follow its lead
- Wear or carry Ruby to inspire passionate devotion to a goal or project
- Eat legumes – plant the seeds of success in yourself via proverbial “magic beans”
- Dress with intention – as the saying goes, fake it til you make it
:: 10/13 Friday the 13th—The Moon ::
Getting a Friday the 13th in October is truly a gift for fans of the spooky and macabre. Long considered an unlucky day in the U.S., it is embraced and celebrated by those with a flair for the dark side. Today, take a cue from the goths and learn to love what scares you.
The Moon card is a great ally for stepping out of the day to day and into the murky darkness of the subconscious. This card is all about major growth through facing fears, and trusting our intuition and instincts to lead us safely through the wild unknown. It’s time to be brave and embrace the monster in the closet once and for all.
Calling in The Moon:
- Cook with Cumin to exorcise any superstitions holding you back
- Watch a scary movie
- Eat pomegranate seeds – they were Persephone’s key to thriving in the Underworld
- Wear or carry Moonstone
:: 10/22 Mars Enters Libra—8 of Swords ::
Mars, planet of action, drive, and desire, enters the sign of partnership on the 22nd and stays until December 9th, putting a focus on harmony in all our relations with others. But with Mars’ fierce determination, there is a danger of becoming so fixated on harmony that we’re willing to bend the truth to get it.
Avoid sacrificing clarity for comfort with the 8 of Swords. This card brings a lesson in cutting out the chatter and getting grounded in what truly matters. This chatter can come from the opinions of others, societal norms, and internalized rules about how we should or should not think, feel, and behave. Get grounded, get clear, and be true to yourself in order to keep your relationships strong.
Calling in the 8 of Swords:
- Wear or carry Fluorite to maintain clarity in your intentions
- Season food or drinks with lime juice – lime promotes fidelity and peace
- Write ‘morning pages’ daily (3 handwritten stream-of-consciousness pages) to clear the internal chatter before you start your days
- Burn myrrh resin or incense to create a peaceful atmosphere
Got a serious case of the Eclipse Season crazies? Fear not, says Melinda Lee Holm. This simple tarot practice will help you navigate August 2017 and pave the way for a brand new era …
With two eclipses sandwiching the start of yet another Mercury retrograde period, August could feel like a bit of a roller coaster month.
But fear not! Leaning into the completion of the lunar eclipse and taking advantage of the slow down of Mercury can ease emotional turmoil and pave the way for the opening of a glorious new era …
:: 8/7 Full Moon Lunar Eclipse—10 of Swords ::
Lunar eclipses bring completion, end emotional cycles, and can give us an opportunity for an emotional reset. While endings are not always comfortable, if we focus on acceptance and release, we can integrate the lessons of the challenge, and move forward with love and hope.
The 10 of Swords illustrates this acceptance beautifully. At first, the image appears frightening and brutal—a figure with 10 swords piercing its body. But what we see is the turning point, the moment the figure chooses to see this strife as a blessing (see the formation of the fingers of the right hand), and to integrate the experience to move forward.
At this moment, the dark clouds finally lift and a bright new day appears on the horizon, full of light and promise.
Calling in the 10 of Swords:
- Carry or wear Black Tourmaline to release energetic sludge and negativity
- Clean out your closet – the symbolic release of possessions will lead the way for emotional release
- Burn palo santo
- Sprinkle bee pollen on yogurt or cereal for a boost of optimism
:: 8/12 Mercury Retrograde—The Hermit ::
Just 5 days after the big completion of the Lunar Eclipse, Mercury stations retrograde, turning our sights back for new insights into what has occurred since the last retrograde cycle. Many subtle (and not so subtle) messages can come through during this time. In order to best take advantage of the wisdom these messages can offer, it’s time to slow down, open up, and let it all sink in.
The Hermit is the perfect guide for this inner exploration. He goes into solitude by choice, on a mission to gather knowledge and synthesize this knowledge into wisdom he can bring back out into the world for the benefit of others. Let The Hermit teach you how your personal insights and revelations can benefit you as well as those around you.
Calling in The Hermit:
- Carry or wear Iolite, the stone of shamanic journeying
- Drink Licorice tea—the root offers powerful protection to keep your insights clear
- Take a long bath in silence
- Limit screen time to get in tune with your natural rhythms and intuition
:: 8/21 Total Solar Eclipse—3 of Wands ::
While we’re still lingering in the psychic cave of The Hermit, we get a major breakthrough with the Total Solar Eclipse. This is the first total solar eclipse to grace the United States in 99 years. Solar eclipses bring new beginnings. Even if you are not in the path of totality (meaning you only see a partial eclipse), this energetic reset is sure to signal a powerful change in direction, particularly following the clearing and reflection of the lunar eclipse and Mercury retrograde.
For inspiration in moving into uncharted territory, we take the wise and gentle hand of the 3 of Wands. The figure in the illustration appears well traveled, standing in loose robes with a headband, looking out over a barren landscape. There is no fear or hesitation here, but rather the considered pause of experience. The past has all been preparation for this moment. The true journey is about to begin …
Calling in the 3 of Wands:
- Carry or wear Moss Agate, the stone of new beginnings
- Wear clothes that are easy to move in
- Stretch your body to encourage your mind to follow
- Add flax seeds to your smoothie to heal any old wounds preventing you from braving a new path
:: 8/26 Women’s Equality Day—Strength ::
Women’s Equality Day commemorates both the signing of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote, and the Women’s Strike for Equality, held on the 50th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in 1970. As we face continuing threats to our autonomy, safety, and equal rights, it is important that we build on the work of our sisters and mothers and ensure that our efforts include and protect all women, especially the most vulnerable among us.
To keep our hearts pure and in the fight, we call on Strength. The Strength card is a perfect portrait of feminine force. The figure is not dressed in armor or bearing any weapons. Her strength lies in her innate ability to co-create with the natural world. When we recognize that we are all one with the world, we can truly change the world for the better.
Calling in Strength:
- Keep Orange Calcite in your workspace to stimulate playful, co-creative energy
- Wear animal prints
- Eat fennel to boost and fortify inner strength
- Burn Amber incense to invoke the stability and longevity of the fossilized tree sap
This month we’re entering a period of independence, expansion, and major growth, says Melinda Lee Holm. Find out how these tarot cards explain July 2017 …
We’ve come to the long, hot days of Summer! After the fine-tuning inner work of June, which helped us gain clarity and perspective, July is set to help us move into the public realm.
We’re set for a month-long journey of independence, expansion, action, and collaboration. This can be a great period of growth, both personally and professionally, if we tune in to the energy and amplify the signal in our daily lives.
:: 7/4 Independence Day- Ace of Swords ::
On July 4th, we celebrate the signing of the country’s Declaration of Independence, and it’s a great opportunity to declare our own personal independence. Let’s honor our chosen allegiances with all the bravado of a fireworks show – loud, beautiful, and unapologetically ostentatious.
The Ace of Swords has just the energy we need to pull off this grandiose project. As the symbol of the pure, primal power of the element of Air, the Ace of Swords promotes decisiveness, mental clarity and acuity, and effective communication – all incredibly powerful tools for gaining and lovingly asserting our independence.
Calling in the Ace of Swords:
- Carry Aquamarine to promote clear communication of your needs and boundaries
- Wear a Joan of Arc medal – the saint is not only a great representative of independent spirit, her coat of arms bears a single sword and crown
- Eat garlic to strengthen the body’s physical and energetic immunity to sickness and negative energies
- Listen to your favorite music while working or doing household tasks – create your own personal soundtrack!
:: 7/10 Nikola Tesla Day- Hanged Man ::
Nikola Tesla was an incredibly gifted scientist who did not live to see his achievements recognized in profit or prestige. In many ways, he helped to expand our world, announcing proof of the possibility of wireless communication in 1893 and working for decades on a plan to supply power wirelessly – and free of charge – to the entire world.
His ideas were far ahead of his time. Some we have not caught up to even now. The world needed to wait and to slowly change its view of what is possible before it could understand Tesla’s gifts.
The Hanged Man carries the wisdom the world needs to catch up to those ahead of their time. Counterintuively, we don’t need to race to catch up, rather we need to slow down and shift our thinking so we can expand our realm of possibilities.
Like The World (that we looked to last month), this figure has its legs held in the shape of the symbol for Jupiter, planet of expansion. But the expansion here comes from a conscious shift in perspective and a major dose of patience.
Calling in The Hanged Man:
- Rearrange the furniture in your home
- Take a new – and longer – route to a familiar place
- Sleep with selenite by your bedside to open up expanded consciousness in your dream state
- Try a food you’ve never tasted
:: 7/20 Mars in Leo- Knight of Wands ::
The entry of impulsive Mars into the fiery, confident sign of Leo can be extremely useful for pushing forward on big goals, especially those that have been delayed by overthinking or self-doubt.
Mars is the planetary keeper of elemental Fire energy – action based purely on intuition – and when coupled with Leo’s fearlessness, he can be an incredible ally in getting projects completed and promoted.
We have just over 6 weeks to harness this energy. To take full advantage of all it has to offer, we look to Fire of Fire, the Knight of Wands. Knights are the activators of the Tarot court. They seek to bring the energy of their element out into the world. The Kinght of Wands gallops boldly through life fueled by the pure conviction of his intuitive knowing and his unrelenting need for action.
Calling in the Knight of Wands:
- Carry carnelian to promote the firey warrior spirit within
- Eat spicy food
- Go for a run or a brisk walk – get your blood pumping with forward motion
- Wear warm colors to activate the lower chakras
:: 7/30 International Day of Friendship- 3 of Cups ::
The International Day of Friendship was started in 2011 by the United Nations to promote peace and understanding between nations. This unifying intention can be honored in our personal lives as well by drawing our friends and collaborators near and expressing thanks for their presence in our lives.
The 3 of Cups is the perfect guide for this celebration of togetherness. We see 3 women dancing in a circle, holding their cups high, surrounded by the fruits of a bountiful harvest. It is a lesson in the abundance that comes from joyful collaboration.
Calling in the 3 of Cups:
- Wear gardenia perfume – gardenias attract friendship
- Give chrysanthemums – in Victorian flower language, mums say “You’re a wonderful friend”
- Host a dinner party with your BFFs
- Carry Rainbow Moonstone – it promotes harmony between people while protecting individuality
Welcome to sweet, sun-kissed summertime! Pack up your beach bag and don’t forget to bring the perfect tarot cards for June 2017, says Melinda Lee Holm.
As we leave the blossoming of Spring behind and head into the cultivation of Summer, June brings the promise of a new era of personal growth and development. We will be challenged to see clearly, to get in touch with our deepest desires, to integrate the lessons of the past so we can expand into the future, and to honor both the yin and yang as indispensible parts of our whole beings.
Let June’s tarot guides lead the way … (to be used in conjunction with the monthly Tarotscopes for your sign by Lindsay Mack!)
:: 6/09 Jupiter Stations Direct in Libra – The World ::
This planet of expansion has been retrograde since February 5 of this year, giving us the chance carefully consider the steps we are taking to develop personally and professionally. When she stations direct on the 9th, we are in a great position to use all of that gathered wisdom to grow purposefully and consciously, and Libra’s influence will bring a touch of beauty and partnership to the mix.
The Major Arcana’s final card, The World, represents the birth of a new era built upon the work and completion of a previous cycle. In the card, we see a figure with her legs positioned in the shape of Jupiter’s symbol floating in a womb-like container, surrounded by watchful celestial allies. She pauses now, taking in the greatness of the cycle she has completed so she can fully integrate the wisdom of this phase before she steps into the next, knowing that the Universe will be here to support her continued growth.
Calling in The World:
- Spend a day alone at the spa (or the beach, or in the tub)—emerge feeling reborn
- Eat figs—they are associated with Jupiter’s fecundity
- Give yourself a clean slate by clearing out your desk, your closet, or your whole house
- Add a drop or 2 of food-grade Frankincense oil to your juice or tea—the strong anti-inflammatory properties of the resin will help calm your body from the inside out
:: 6/12 School’s Out! – 7 of Cups ::
Whether you’re in school or not, now is a great time to get into the ‘school’s out’ mentality and focus on following your bliss. Forget about what you think you should be doing or should be desiring, ignore the chatter telling you what success looks like, and explore your heart’s true desires on these long gorgeous days of sun and leisure.
With the 7 of Cups as our guide, we can take a minute to turn on, tune in, and drop out of the rat race and into our own personal paradise. The Rider-Waite illustration shows us that the outer trappings of glory we grasp for —beauty, riches, a big house, a dragon!—are incomparable to the emotional fulfillment that comes from finding that magical something that sets our heart on fire. Symbolized by the draped, glowing figure in the central cup, this intangible light of joy is the source of true bliss.
Calling in the 7 of Cups:
- Wear or carry raw or cut Ruby—the stone helps ignite the heart’s true passion
- Volunteer for a cause you are passionate about
- Go on vacation, even for a day—without your phone and computer
- Wear loose fitting clothing, allowing your body to move completely without restriction, following its own bliss!
:: 6/18 Father’s Day – King of Pentacles ::
Tradition in the US has pulled the holiday away from its Catholic roots and toward a more personal celebration of the bond between Dads and their kids. It’s an important holiday in a culture that does not tend to reward men for the nurturing, understanding, and caring qualities they need to be great fathers.
The King of Pentacles, the Tarot’s nurturing patriarch, provides us with a wonderful example of the power of gentle masculinity. He leads with a velvet touch, encouraging everything and everyone around him to grow and thrive as best fits their individuality. This laid back, supportive nature combined with his readiness to fight for those around him (note the armor peeking out from beneath his robe) make the King of Pentacles my pick for best Dad of the deck.
Calling in the King of Pentacles:
- Dress decadently—patterns, colors, fabrics—wear what feels regal!
- Meditate with Clear Calcite—it promotes unconditional love and helps clear any blockages to giving or receiving it
- Plant wildflowers or other plants native to your area
- Commit to only giving advice when it is asked for
:: 6/20 Summer Solstice – The Sun ::
Summer Solstice festivals in agrarian societies honored the fire of life and the drive to plant and produce in hopes of a bountiful harvest. Metaphorically, it’s a time to invigorate our personal goals and plans with this renewed fire.
The message of The Sun card is ‘what you see is what you get.’ This can be a challenging energy if what you see is not what you want to believe. But once we push past the loss of the created narrative, we can feel the relief of simply being able to trust what is present rather than obsessing over the past or fantasizing about the future. The Sun calls us to see and believe in the here and now.
Calling in The Sun:
- Go outside and bask in the rays! (don’t forget your sunblock)
- Decorate your space with fresh sunflowers
- Wear or carry Fluorite—the mental clarity it provides help tap into the psychic illumination The Sun card offers
- Eat citrus fruits—the cleansing properties of citrus will help you to stay clear and present