The Tower asks us to let the storm sweep away what’s no longer solid, clearing space for us to rebuild even stronger, says Scorpio Season’s reader-in-residence Anna Toonk … Cast using The Slutist Tarot
The Tarot is both a mirror and an evolutionary invitation towards change. Lindsay Mack offers us a guide to the so-called “scary” cards and reveals how we can use our decks to turn fear to medicine …
Fear is a highly unpleasant, but profoundly important emotion — one that deserves a place at our table of feelings.
Fear, when considered for what it is, can offer information, wise counsel, direction, and clarity on our deeper feelings. We don’t have to believe everything our fear communicates to us, but it can be transformative to hear it out. By doing so, fear can become an ally, especially when we understand the strength that can arise within us through working with it.
Fear has always been a very deep teacher in my life. I live with a long term brain condition. I’m a healthy and joyful survivor of extreme childhood abuse, and have worked through complex PTSD for most of my life. I have traveled through some of the darkest places a person can experience, and every time I take one of those journeys “through the woods,” I am shifted for the better, having gained deeper strength, trust, and faith, my fear shifting into medicine with wisdom to offer me. The more wisdom I cultivate through those paths of darkness, the more I have to offer to myself, my students, and my clients.
The Tarot is a profoundly useful tool to turn to in moments of fear, trauma and stress. It can help to contextualize what’s happening underneath our fear, and how it is trying to help us evolve. It can also bring a visual landscape to something that we may not be able to communicate or understand with words. Whether you are a reader or not, The Tarot can be a deep aid in moments of darkness.
There are six Tarot cards in particular that, when we look at them through a soul centered lens, offer a beautiful invitation to evolve through fear.
Read on for how use them as guides in our own journey, exploring what it means for us to shift from fear to medicine. You can also check out my brand new course, From Fear to Medicine: A Six Week Journey into the “Scary” Cards of the Tarot. The first class begins on April 22nd – find out more HERE.
// THE FOOL // Trusting The Invisible
Have you ever been called to take a giant leap of faith with hardly any proof that it will pay off? If you have, you’ve been in the energy of The Fool. It is the invitation to jump into the unknown, and begin a whole new cycle of our lives. We are drawn to the edge of a cliff in this card, but it is up to us to jump off of it. The soul work that we are asked to do in this card is to trust ourselves, and trust the invisible.
To our brain chemistry, The Fool can feel like death, a loss of control for the ego. If we can move through this deep contraction with mindfulness, leaping into the unseen, the treasures we will gain will be priceless. We will begin to truly know that when we jump in The Fool, we will be supported. We will begin to trust our intuition, and we will be a co-creator in our own evolution and growth. Trusting the invisible takes deep work. The Fool is here to help us learn.
// WHEEL OF FORTUNE // Centering in the midst of change
The Wheel of Fortune heralds the coming of great change, the marriage between our choices and our destiny. The change that Wheel of Fortune brings is always for our good. There is no “bad” turn on this card, and there is no reversal.
When we work with the Wheel of Fortune, we can never see the change that’s coming. It teaches us to root into the unknown, and to stay centered in the Wheel, rather than flailing on the outer edges. When we work with this card, we get to learn how to root into ourselves in times of change, staying calm in the eye of the storm. Beautiful wisdom for life.
// DEATH // Sacred Compost
There is no greater metaphor for the Death card than that of composting. I eat you, then you eat me. Nothing truly dies in the Death card, just like nothing ever truly dies here on Earth. It merely changes form, becoming a different version of what it was.
The Death card is the transformation of something – a relationship, a thought pattern, a belief – into something new. When we work in this card, it is a signal that we are no longer being fed by something growing in the garden of our lives. It lets us know that it is time to pull the weeds up and allow it to become sacred fertilizer, encouraging the new things in our lives to grow. The work we do in this card is profound ego surrender, letting go of the things that are ready to go.
// THE DEVIL // Blessing the Shadow
The Devil is an opportunity to look deeply at our shadow. Are we judging ourselves? Believing that there is something wrong with us? Are we spiraling into an old, destructive pattern out of fear or contraction? If we are, The Devil will let us know.
If we pull this card, it is a sign that we are doing everything right. The Devil always shows up as a little mindfulness bell around our expansion, letting us know that the brain is trying to pull us into some old, limiting patterns to keep us in what it perceives as safe and known. We get to drop into these patterns and say no thank you to the invitation, whatever it may be. By doing so, we liberate ourselves from believing that we are “bad” or “wrong,” to thinking that there is anything adverse about us for our desires or our anger, and allowing all parts of ourselves to just be there.
// THE TOWER // When Things go Wrong
Everyone has experienced a Tower moment in their lives. It is a moment where it truly feels like everything has gone wrong – it can feel like we are living in a nightmare. A beautiful metaphor for The Tower is a forest fire. We watch everything burn, knowing that it is clearing the soil for new growth.
It is an intentional shaking of the foundations underneath us, all to help us grow, and shed some part of ourselves that is no longer aligned with our expansion. The Tower can be intensely uncomfortable, or it can be a very minor, internal experience. When we survive and move through Tower experiences, we emerge stronger, clearer and transformed, our lives shifted on its very axis.
// THE MOON // Floating in the Darkness
In The Moon card, we learn how to hang out in the Void – no easy feat! Ruled by Pisces, this card goes as deep as it can go. It is an experience of truly not knowing where we are going next, not having any answers, and feeling like we are floating back into old, shadowy feelings and emotions. To experience this can be very uncomfortable, and can make us want to really swim to shore, to find the light, to get some semblance of clarity and direction.
But, the more we kick, the deeper the waves become. We eventually learn the most profound surrender in The Moon card, letting the darkness become an ally, learning from the quiet, tuning in with ourselves beyond the din of our ego. When the light finally dawns, we learn that we have been moving all along, allowing the currents to take us to our next destination.
Want to go deeper into these energies, and learn how to work with your own fear in a mindful, empowered way? Please join me for my brand new course, From Fear to Medicine: A Six Week Journey into the “Scary” Cards of the Tarot. The first class begins on April 22nd – find out more HERE.
As we slip into the subtle fall energies of Virgo Season, it’s time to assess our relationship to the earth element and to our core beliefs, says Melinda Lee Holm. Let a tarot practice steer your ship as you navigate September 2017.
A shift in seasons brings profound change this month, as we celebrate personal and community connections, mirror the balance of the cosmos in our earthbound lives, and call in a strong challenge to our beliefs about what is true and eternal.
Let your deck lead the way into fall …
:: 9/4 Labor Day- 10 of Pentacles ::
While many of us associate this day with one last beach weekend, it was created to honor the courageous men and women who organized labor. We owe our weekends, 8-hour work days, overtime laws, and restrictions on work done by children all to the Labor movement and its belief that a healthy and happy workforce is the cornerstone of a properous community.
The Tarot teaches us that the greatest form of earthly abundance is found not in a single wealthy figure, but in a wealthy society. The 10 of Pentacles represents the highest material aspirations of the minor arcana. We see a thriving community represented in three generations of citizens and two white dogs in a well-groomed city.
Only through valuing every member’s role and contribution can the health and wellbeing of all be maintained.
Calling in the 10 of Pentacles:
- Eat maple syrup on pancakes, yogurt, or oatmeal – energetically it promotes wealth and longevity
- Throw a block party or BBQ to connect with your neighbors and community
- Shop local
- Give Malachite as a gift – it’s a powerful stone of prosperity
:: 9/10 World Suicide Prevention Day- The Ace of Cups ::
The world can be a very tough place for many people, unbearably so for some. Today we actively send our love and compassion to those who are struggling and those who have been affected by suicide.
The Ace of Cups is the primal power of Water, the element of emotion. Love is the root of our human experience of emotion, and the centerpiece of the Divine gift of an emotional body. The Aces all represent the pure unadulterated state of their element, the most exalted sense of what they represent.
What could possibly be more exalted in the emotional realm than pure unconditional love for our fellow humans?
Calling in the Ace of Cups:
- Wear or carry a Rhodonite, the stone of outward-directed love and compassion
- Drink Rose tea to open and expand the heart
- Donate gently used clothing to a shelter – or better yet, sign up to volunteer!
- Check in with those you love and let them know you care
:: 9/22 Autumnal Equinox, Sun Enters Libra- Justice ::
As the days and nights equalize in length before the night begins to take over, this cosmic event triggers a shift from the productivity of summer to the harvest of fall, in preparation for the winter.
Justice teaches us that just as truth, fairness, and order, in society and law, require careful weighing of information, achieving fairness and order in the Universe requires a constant careful balancing of energies. To enjoy the long days of summer, we must survive the long nights of winter. To have stamina to be active, we must set aside time for rest.
Calling in Justice:
- Carry Tiger Eye to promote energetic balance
- Eat salty/sweet food combinations like prosciutto wrapped melon or potato chips and ice cream
- Wear mixed metals – Wearing both the silver of the moon and gold of the sun connects us to the balance of the celestial bodies that influence us most
- Donate to the ACLU
:: 9/28 Jupiter Opposition Uranus- The Tower ::
Jupiter opposition Uranus happens only once every 12 years and comes in pairs or trios due to apparent retrograde planetary motion. This is the second opposition in our series of two for 2016/17.
Expansive Jupiter in this aspect to rebellious Uranus brings periods of great change on an individual level, sometimes in sudden and uncomfortable ways. But this does not have to be a traumatic time. If we open ourselves up to radical change, we can make the most of this transit.
The Tower is generally seen as one of the most frightening cards in the deck – visually and energetically. It represents major change and teaches us to let go of ALL preconceived notions of the true nature and identity of ourselves and the world around us.
While it may be hard to see in the moment, these changes will always be in service of our highest good. We don’t usually think of The Tower as something we seek to call in intentionally, but with this transit, it is best to get ahead of the game and go with the flow of this potentially challenging aspect.
Calling in The Tower:
- Drink coffee – coffee beans are used in spellwork to clear negative thinking and assist in breaking through internal barriers
- Carry or wear Herkimer Diamond to connect to Divine wisdom and strength
- Clean your space with pine-scented cleanser, or bring pine branches into your home to promote a clean break from past beliefs and a strong fresh start
- Burn a black candle – black candles are very effective for clearing energetic blockages and can be a huge help in loosening your attachment to any of your own personal Towers that are ready to come down