I was working up to a special halloween reading on Saturday, but didn’t really know what I was going to focus on. Cruising around the blogosphere, I came upon this excellent spread at Tarot Dame. Perfect! If ever there was a time for me to connect with guides I am and am not aware of, the night of the thin veil was the night.
Seeing as I would be venturing into uncharted territory, I decided to use the Spiral Tarot. The images are incredibly easy to read, I find, and very… interactively communicative. I added the Tarot of Metamorphosis to allow for quirkiness and strangeness. It seemed “right” and I figured it would allow the non-human guides to communicate in concepts that might be more to their comfort and liking. For position 1 – message from the dead – I went with “message from my ancestors” instead, thinking of Dia de los Muertos; I am not experienced enough to actively work with the dead. It sounds like the same thing, but in my head it’s different.
One of the most striking results of this this reading was the different levels of clarity I got from the different guides. Those I had a clear concept of – whether I “believe” in them or not – like angels and fairies, gave clear results. Those I didn’t fully understand or have entrenched in my unconscious cultural beliefs were garbled or didn’t make much sense eg. ascended masters.
This is the layout:
1. Message from the Dead (Human spirit)
2. Message from your Spirit Guide
3. Message from your Guardian Angel
4. Message from an Ascended Master
5. Message from the Nature Spirits
6. Message from the Faeries
7. Message from the Animals
8. Message from the Magical Creatures
9. Message from the Dream World
Position 1 (Message from the Dead) will most likely be a message from someone you personally know who has passed on, though I suppose it’s possible to receive a message from someone you’ve never met. But in my experience, Halloween is a time where deceased loved ones reach out.
Position 9 (Message from the Dream World) is one that I placed in the center of the reading, as dreams often serves as a bridge between the physical (bottom cards) and spiritual (top cards).
 Message from my Ancestors
3 of Pentacles – The Stars
Funny, I had a feeling the 3 of Pents (specifically from the Sprial) would show up in this reading. What a beautiful way to start the spread – there is so much love and protection in these cards. I see myself as a young girl – I wanted to be a ballerina, surprise! – and the dress is one my grandmother (still living) made for me: it was pink with 3 tiers and ruffles galore. These are ancestors who knew me or have been watching since I was very young. The ballerina also reminds me of my mom – maybe it’s her line that is represented here? It feels like I’m being cheered on, as well as watched over. There is a distinction between the 2 “stars” and the 3rd.
Now see: The Stars from the Metamorphosis, not The Star (singular) – there are 3 figures! 2 female and 1 male. The females are much older; the male is sleeping, resting. He seems like a baby. Could be my grandfather, who passed away in 2006; still new to the afterlife and transitioning. The “jumbledness” of the species gives me the impression that everything becomes one, blended as it should be – body, spirit, nature, all together and inseparable. Indistinct from each other. The Stars is epic, vast, profound; the 3 is intimate, familiar and comforting, but they combine beautifully. The colour schemes of the two cards are strikingly similar. This is a very cohesive message.
 Message from your Spirit Guide
Knight of Swords – The Sun
Although I do not have much knowledge of my guide/s – haven’t worked with them actively or tried to communicate directly; there still much work to be done here and I think there is so much cross-over in terms of the definitions and pigeonholes “we” put “them” in – I’ve been told that they have a “funny sense of humour”. I think the expression on The Sun’s face says it all! The Knight looks like he’s fighting his way through water, even though this is an air card. The horse looks spooked and the Knight looks like he’s under attack.
This is quite confusing, especially in contrast to the ever-so-slightly smug Sun. I get the feeling he’s cheeky – tricking the naked nymphs to bathe in his “essence”. The beaver only adds to the whole idea of naughtiness. He reminds me of a Guru! Those portraits that people hang in their homes. Wait – could be the Knight is fighting to get his message through? Through the mess of my highly emotional thoughts? The message is the Sun, and he’s trying to convey that? The high contrast between these two cards is throwing me off.
 Message from your Guardian Angel
8 of Cups – Ace of Swords
The 8 is so romantic and wistful and… inviting. It’s almost a dare… following the “defenseless” maiden down the stairs, into the starry darkness… perhaps she will drop her covering and reveal herself once on her home turf. This is a feeling card; it’s loaded. She carries a pomegranate, which makes me think of Persphone (as well as Sekhmet). She says, “You can have these 7 Cups that are obvious, or you can follow me and have this 1 Cup of mystery, the choice is yours.” There is a small vortex behind her – a trans-dimensional portal (says the geek). OMG! Just looking at the huge scan of this card I just noticed the snake! Down there, bottom right, slithering down the stairs. Wisdom. Knowledge. Arcane stuff. There is a hint of danger in this card; something will have to be sacrificed.
The Ace is one of my favourite cards from the Metamorphosis, it’s so damn quirky! I can hear the beetle man clicking his wings together as he writes. I feel like I know him, but just can’t place his face. He is an active communicator; his language is proper and old-fashioned, but very witty. A real gentleman. Oscar Wilde without the venom. I really, really love this card, even if the background’s a little “laudanum dream”. The colour schemes in these cards are similar again, and the figures face each other. They both seem to say, “You can stay, if you’d like. Watch what we’re working on, become involved.” I think it’s funny that the “angel” cards both have wings (the white “feathers” of the woman’s drapery).
ETA: In reading the Spiral LWB, I’ve learned that the 8 of Cups shows… Persephone! Hello, Lady.
 Message from an Ascended Master
The Devil – 6 of Pentacles
Ugh, what to make of this mess? The Devil doesn’t normally affect me, but this card is yuck yuck yucky. It really is an excellent representation of all The Devil stands for. It’s filled with confusion and panic and general… overwhelmingness. If I take an ascended master to be a bodhisattva – something I can understand – then this is a message from someone who knows what it’s like to be human; to face The Devil. The nonchalant attitude of the devil says, “Look. There you are, in all your weakest, most fearful, base, human moments. Look. Don’t look. I don’t care. It’s your mess, you sort it out. I just hold the mirror.” It’s fun and pleasurable and easy to remain one of the go-go dancers (the little blue people); it’s hard to confront and meld with your own humanity.
It is only through complete and total acceptance that there can be transcendence. And then you get your own flying carpet and are able to cruise through space-time, free from the boundaries and limitations of the physical world. The Devil has become a genie or a magician. Ha ha! Suit of Pentacles = reference to The Devil. I can’t stop thinking of Monty Python’s “Meaning of Life”, where Eric Idle sings the title song as he and a woman walk through the green grid galaxy and the world is reborn :D
 Message from the Nature Spirits
The Chariot – 9 of Wands
Another case of not really knowing who I’m talking to. Simply put, I am Cancerian, thus The Chariot is my card. It is my nature. It is taking control of this nature and balancing it, so that I can move forward, rather than keep being pulled in opposite directions. The charioteer is a stern disciplinarian; naturally, I don’t like him very much, but it is something I could really do with in my life, I admit. This card is so heavy with symbolism… it makes me think of precious jewels and velvet and gold thread. I would have to say this card contains a tiny element from everything I love, am interested in and want for myself.
The 9 – wow. All those little lives waiting to hatch. To blossom and bloom. The spheres look a little like the pomegranates in the 8 of Cups. I love the luminosity in this card; it is very pure, clean, crystalline. It is another dimension, untouched by the filth of everyday life. You can be reborn; you have many lives. 9 lives! Yes! It is never too late to start over. Damn, that’s beautiful.
 Message from the Faeries
Princess of Wands – 10 of Cups
See? Now this imagery I instantly understand: a message from the faeries and ta-da! A fairy appears, with her dragon playmate. Even the leaves and berries underneath her look like little dragons, my mythical creature of choice. They are discovering something new together; the dragon is joyful for her: the princess has coaxed life out of the wand! She might be a wand, but she is also very earthy. The fire of life, pure and ripe with potential. She is a child of the sun. Making life comes easily to her.
And the 10 of Cups is another expression of life – this time connected and of the creation. Her hair is the universe, her feet and arms are buried in the world/matter and the cosmos flows from her breasts. There aren’t any fishes in this card, by I see them. Koi. And bettas. She is the Moon to the princess’s Sun. The message? There are distinct opposites here, but they are joined by Life. Fairies are nature spirits, elemental. This could be a reference back to The Chariot: that in order to experience and enjoy Life, I need to take control of my life. Both “sides” of it.
 Message from the Animals
9 of Wands – Justice
I’ve never considered having animal guides, although I adore animals (far more than people). These 2 cards are very difficult to read. The 9 is so defensive – you can look, but you can’t touch – and at the same time he seems to be a showman.
Justice weighs a sad fairy. She is in a honeycomb room, where the cells are filled with sprites, fairies and little aliens. the embryonic life makes me think of the 9 of Wands up there. Oooh, could Justice be weighing her own inner child? Trying to balance it? Her sword blooms with a lotus-like rose: love and truth. I don’t know why the 9 is stopping me from progressing – is it a warning? I really don’t know.
 Message from the Magical Creatures
2 of Swords – 6 of Cups
A woman walks blindfolded, on a tightrope, suspended over the churning waves and rocks, holding 2 swords. She is completely trusting. (Or foolish!?) She is protected and her defenses are up, but she is allowing her intuition – for how else can she “see”? – to guide her along the treacherous path. It is a night-time card and the mountains in the background are inscribed with spirals. This is a mystical, magical image. The woman is journeying internally.
And then the funny little cups card. There is a careful, truly loving tending to something larger and more beautiful than oneself. The reward is in the work. It is a special honour to be entrusted with the care of this unique flower and the little man does so gladly. Complete opposites can form a fruitful union. I’m seeing the 2 swords as a channel; in the way they are held they form a vessel. They are her “feelers”. I think I can just barely grasp this message if I don’t try to cling to it too tightly…
 Message from the Dream World
6 of Wands – 10 of Swords
Woo-hoo! Teh WIN! And the goddess at the centre of the pomegranate. She looks a little pissed, or at the very least, taken aback at the intrusion. A jockey doesn’t win overnight, it takes training and practice and skill.
The pomegranate is a powerful, powerful symbol and one I hold dear. Here it is depicted as the fruit from the Tree of Life; the Forbidden Fruit that gave Man knowledge. Man is silhouetted in the background. Fertility, blood, sex. The juice stains. It leaves a mark. Erotic. The pomegranate hearkens to the poppy, another of my favouite symbols. It’s all very altered-states and chthonic. The two together? You will experience victory in your dreams? In working on you dreams? The two are so different: the wands are very grounded in reality, while the swords are very mystical.
I’m understanding the message I’m being given, again and again: DO something, but I don’t know what to do. There are 2 major areas I could focus on and I am really, really confused and blocked on which path I’m supposed to be following. One path is creative – actively pursuing my art – the other is the spiritual. Both I see in Cups, so I never know what is being referred to when I ask for clarification! I drew 2 more cards to ask “What??” and got:
The Hermit & 5 of Wands (I tried to pull one card, but these two stuck together)
8 of Pentacles
This Hermit is WOW. She looks you dead in the eye and says “Come.” In the card, she seemed to be floating, but in the scan I see she has feet. I still think she is floating. The scan also shows that she has a snake coiled around her left wrist! AND her gown is almost the same colour as Persephone’s in the 8 of Cups. There is a flame on her chest, but it looks very much like female genitalia. It can be both; the symbolism of wither is valid. I love how delicately and lightly she holds the lantern, with its 6-pointed star. She beckons and I cannot help but follow.
The 5 upset me when I drew it, but seeing the scan of this one, I see hidden details too. The showman from the 9 of Wands is in the background – the bugger – but the other men don’t seem to be really fighting; their expressions are more mock-fighting, taunting. It’s silly and counter-productive to fight what’s happening. If I’ll just wise-up and follow, stop asking so many questions, things will sort themselves out. And as for machine-head over there on the 8 of Pentacles? The background is like the background in Justice, but mechanised. The cells/screens hold faces. Yammering. Too much noise. Too much intellectualising. Sterility, where there should be Life (Pentacles). I think I’m being told!
Illustrations from the Spiral Tarot deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright ©1999 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. Artwork by Kay Steventon, who also designed the equally lovely Celestial Tarot.