Horns & Hooves Spread

This spread is from the new US Games blog and is based on a passage from an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I haven’t read much Emerson, which is a real oversight. Whenever I run into a quote or piece by him, I am reminded that I need to fix this! There’s something indefinably appealing about the way he phrases things, and this tarot spread that Janet built around the passage strikes me in the same way.


Fantastical Creatures Tarot by D.J Conway and Lisa Hunt; U.S. Games, 2007

[1] Trait Admired (Horns) XIV Temperance: Xochiquetzal

My ability to walk between the worlds, so to speak; to flow back and forth across beliefs, realities, systems etc. I am quite chameleon-like in my ability to move and adapt to what is required.

[2] How is this trait a downfall; a weakness? – Page of Cups: Tangorea

I think the Page of Cups tends to be the most wishy-washy of the Pages and, taking Temperance as a weakness rather than a strength, this is emphasised. The downfall of being able to blend metaphorical oil and water is that it leads to a failure to commit to any one thing. Everything in moderation isn’t necessarily a good thing for all purposes. As well, often I am channeling Temperance because it is expected from outside of me, to my detriment.

[3] Trait Despised (Hooves) 7 of Cups: Dolphin

This is almost a by-product of Temperance: I beat myself up because of my dreaminess and tendency to wild ideas, because I can’t bring them to fruition. I see my wonderful imagination as the fault, when it is what I do – or DON’T do – with it that is the problem.

[4] How is this trait useful; a strength? – XIX The Sun: Horus

It can bring me great joy and fulfillment, if I mature beyond being a Page, take control and use my gifts. It’s a lot to do with focus: stop seeing faults where there aren’t any and realise that old methods and habits need to be re-evaluated.

[5] What do I need to “mend my shell with pearl”? (Advice towards wholeness and integration) 2 of Cups: Otter

Although they are mammals with legs, otters are “amphibious” in their natural comfort level with water. They are able to maintain their identity, even while existing in an environment that should be alien to them, based on their biology. This is an echo of Temperance, except the blending of elements is temporary and neither becomes the other; they co-exist comfortably.

Water, water, – EVERYWHERE – with a single, blazing ray of sunshine. I think Temperance and the Page point to the fact that I am still “trying out” a good many things; experimenting to see what works. The whole way through this spread, I couldn’t stop thinking, “Will it blend?” :D With The Lovers as the Quint, the theme of choices and comings-together is repeated. I’m going to go with this being a very emotional issue, not one based in logic. Remember: feelings are not facts.

Maybe it’s got a lot to do with loving the disparate parts of myself, rather than playing favourites? There’s a lot of visual swirling in these cards; turbulence. So true. But it’s also dynamism, so there’s a lot of energy to make powerful things happen if it can be properly harnessed and directed.

This is one I need to let sit and stew. I’m caught up in all that swirling, although there’s clarity despite the movement. I’m just going to swim in it for a while…

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