Sarah Maria Griffin is back with her tarot horoscope fusion, helping us gently through this literal and metaphorical period of darker days…
A short introduction from me again this time, folks – here, at the beginning of the darkest months of the year, during the second lockdown, at a strange and disquieting time in history, I am finding the cards offering me strange and subtle patterns. Again and again this month they suggest pulling close to people, even though everything in the world we live in tells us we just can’t.[restrict]
I wish I had more concrete advice for how to move through this dark spell. I wish I could turn a card and offer you the future, a time and a date when our lives would be back to normal, or when the world would settle into safety and bounty or something resembling a kinder state. All I can do for you, this Scorpio Season, this Mercury Retrograde, is tell you to call the people you love and ask them how they are. Make space in yourself for their stories, their worries. Make plans with them: plans without a date, but plans none the less. Don’t try to get through this by yourself. That’s always my inclination: to walk away from the slew of texts, to avoid the Zoom parties, to deflect and deflect. Try and speak to one person you love a day, and to listen deeply to them – and to speak truthfully. This doesn’t have to be heavy. It can come with a lightness. There are people who want to hear from you. And besides, the phone is way better than staring into the pixels of Zoom, right?
The year is wilting, growing darker, but we cannot. We’ve got to hold steady, lift up our leaves, keep emitting our light. You’re here for answers, aren’t you? That means you’re looking to at least try. I have faith in you, stargazers.
Now. The cards.
The Ten of Cups
This is a warm place to find yourself, in winter, Aries. Ten cups spread across a rainbow, hanging over a family – a delight of a card, coming at the end of the suite and therefore marking a sense of completion. An emotional cycle has come to a successful finish, and you are home. Now, though this card may read like a cozy blanket to crawl under, it is also, like every stop on the way of the tarot, a query. Cups being the house of emotion, it invites us to pour ourselves into the people we love at this time. To gather them under the emotion you have to give. This is going to be a tough winter – how can you make sure that you are pulled close to the people who love you most, even with the distances that 2020 has enforced?
Again and again this card shows up in my readings for Rogue, and every time I circle around the same interpretation. A woman holds a beast by the jaw: but gently. She is wearing a white robe, a crown on hear head, and an infinity symbol levitates above her. She is exercising a control over the creature through serenity, not violence: and this is the surface reading of the card, an encouragement to us to be patient, and kind – a reminder that true strength is not through brutality. However, I always try to reframe this reading: how can we reorganize our lives so our hands are not always so close to the sharp jaws, or a creature that we do not understand, or that which would harm us? Do we have to be benevolent lion tamers, all the time?
Eight of Wands
Ah, this card comes to us from the thick of it, Gemini. And what time is more utterly the thick of it than this strange autumn during the plague year – when it can feel like there is so much coming at us, so much action, so much motion? This is a whirlwind card, at a time when everything is locked down – so it must therefore speak to a feeling of inertia. The thick of it doesn’t always have to come from outside of us: it can be hard to feel like we want our lives to continue, we want to step into the next chapter of our year, when everything is still, by necessity. You’re resilient, Gemini. What is the best place for you to channel your wild, busy energy? How can you best focus your momentum?
Three of Pentacles
This is a card about collaboration, and team work, Cancer – and again, I know that images of togetherness feel strange and might jar against the time of isolation we are living in under Covid, but here we are in the suite of work and our three, our architects in the church, are inviting us to consider the places we take in ensembles, and the power of being supported. This is a time to link arms with the people you work with, or if you are freelance, to seek out the community of other people who work alone. How can you connect more closely people at this time – and ensure there is mutual support, and not disharmony, or a sense of unfair obligation? Who can you consult with? Who can you offer advice to?
Five of Pentacles
Leo, this card tells us a tiny story about feeling locked out. This is an isolation card: depicting figures fighting against the snow, against warm light coming from within a building they cannot – or are not accessing. It’s easy to feel locked out when we’re all locked in: even easier to continue the steady, predictable trudge of moving through the cold by ourselves, without seeking help, or seeking closeness. It can take humility to ask for shelter, and humility is often one of the hardest things to muster, because it can look like surrender, or failure. There is no failure in seeking help, Leo. The winter is on the way. Don’t choose the colder way: look for the door towards that glow.
Nine of Pentacles
A woman stands in a fine gown, a bird at her hand, in a lush meadow full of fruiting plants and golden coins. I mean, goals. This is another one of those delicious cards of plenty, a card signifying an almost-complete cycle, a time of reaping rewards and enjoying luxury: indulging in the fruits of our labour. The nine here invites us to give ourselves what we are due and, if at all humanly possible, to enjoy that. To take pleasure in what we have earned. Something I’ve struggled with under Covid, and lockdown, is a sense that rewards have disappeared from the day. Not a lot of nice lunches or tiny pick-me-up trips to the shops, no dinners with friends, not to speak of holidays or trips. How can you find a way to reward yourself, regardless of this close new world, Virgo? Are there places you can visit in the natural world? Are there flowers you can see?
King of Cups
The King of Cups caps off the suite of emotion, and love – it represents a figure who is entirely in control of their emotions, and who leads and protects with their heart, but has also mastered the art of preserving their own reservoirs, too. Ironically for you, Libra, the scales of the Zodiac, this card often is seen to represent a true balance between the head and the heart. The appearance of the King of Cups can invite us to make sure our balance is kept, especially if it feels like there are people around us pushing us off center. How can we measure our emotional responses this time? How can we tell our truth, while also maintaining a steadiness and balance? The King here reminds us that the best way to lead and to incite change is not with ferocity and brutality: it is with measured steps, a level head, and importantly, a level heart.
Nine of Swords
It’s your birthday season, Scorpio – I always feel like Scorpios are kind of the celebrities of the zodiac, or something: the passionate, secretive and vengeful stereotypes around your nature make you a helpful centerpiece for memes, too. I hear more about Scorpios than almost any other sign – but this time of the year is all yours. The nine of swords isn’t a cheery card to present to you this month, but it speaks clearly about anxiety and worries: this is a card about staying up all night worried our of our minds. How can you place some of the terror outside of your place of rest, Scorpio? How can you carve space for yourself to be at peace at this time? How can you claim the rest and peace that is rightfully yours?
Wheel of Fortune
I love and hate this card at once, Sagittarius. This card always feels to me like the deck throwing its arms up and saying, ‘it is what it is, it will be how it will be’ and realistically, nobody comes to a tarot reading or scrolls to their horoscope for those kind of answers, do they? When it comes up, rather than shrug my shoulders though, I invite the querent to surrender. This is a hard, hard thing to do, to cede control, to step back and out of action, to observe the cards falling as they will. Something around you is about to change, and you can’t steer it: and the harder you try to, the more it will resist. You will spin out the other side, Sagittarius, just let it roll until then.
This is a big one, Capricorn, the final card in the major arcana. It represents a huge part of life’s narrative coming to an end: a point of totality, and the beginning of a new stage. Not a small one, either – I always say the major arcana is written in bold, and represents life’s more important steps than the day-to-day business of the minor arcana. Here at the World, when things are changing and starting over, I invite you to maybe take pause and catalogue some of the things you have learned up until this point. What wisdom have you gathered that you can take on with you through your next journey? What emotional equipment? What secrets do you now know the answer to? Something new is about to begin, but you do not have to turn forward empty-handed.
Hey Aquarius. From one water bearer to another, this card is a strange one. I don’t see The Magician very often. This card represents the first figure the Fool meets on their journey: and morally, I never know where they stand. I do know that they are a person who has all of the elements they need to create magic: they have all their tools laid out just so. They have knowledge, they have equipment: but what they do with those things is the most important thing. Intention is the most important thing. Are you trying to make divination happen? Are you trying to make change, to create something spectacular? Or are you performing illusions? Make sure the magic you create is the kind that makes the world better, Aquarius, not the kind that makes fools of other people.
The Six of Swords
This card is the card of walking away, Pisces. Even though it shows a sad, difficult scene: a couple on a boat, facing away from the frame, carrying all they own towards unknown shores – for me, it always speaks of independence, and stepping away from places that don’t hold anything for you. It can be hard to feel as though you are leaving something behind, but we are always moving from place to place, really. We are always shedding selves, skins, lives. Take the things that matter most to you, Pisces – the people, the memories – and allow yourself to leave the place where there is no warmth for you. The water will be steadier, ahead.