It's really lovely to return to the UK, to teaching, to this blog with the theme of balance. Equinox is on Tuesday officially and each equinox is a time of balance between light and dark, between daylight and night. It's the shift of seasons, and with that brings a moment of celebration, of reflection, on the season which is passing. To come with gratitude for all that's been achieved, learnt, loved, lost, uncovered, expanded in the season and to consider what now needs to be released to prepare for the new season.
I looked for an Autumn Equinox spread, as it's Autumn here in the UK and found a really lovely on a site called www.wortsandcunning.com It's an 8 card spread so a little longer than the usual, so bear with me! It very much has a focus of returning to the self, releasing from the previous season, balance and preparing for the coming season, which in the UK is Autumn and then Winter. And in Autumn the leaves shed their leaves, plants are harvested for the final time and die back, and the earth prepares for retreat, refertilisation, release. It's a time of reaping the rewards of all thats been sown and worked in the year, and of releasing all which no longer serves to prepare for new growth the following year. And we can see that mirror in our own lives, with the shifting seasons bringing us the opportunity to review all we've harvested this year, and releasing what no longer serves us; preparing us for a period of dying back, rest and refertilisation. The spread echoes these themes, as do the cards.
I chose the traditional Rider-Waite deck for this as it seemed appropriate for a celtic and pagan understanding of Equinox. However, after I drew the cards, whilst the reading felt right, I was really struck by how white and euro-centric these cards seem. They felt very 'old fashioned' and not in a good 'vintage' kind of way and more in a limiting in how we see the world kind of way. I considered changing them for another deck, but I felt I should keep the reading as is, but that I am not wanting to use this deck in the future. This feels like something I am letting go, I am releasing with gratitude - in order to start this season with fresh perspective.
I realise that the cards in this reading may feel daunting or challenging and you may feel worried about seeing 'Death', 'Devil' and 'Judgement' in here. But fear not! These are not bad cards. There's no such thing as a bad or a good card. They can bring some challenging aspects, as all the cards can, but really it's about letting their truth speak to you, for your life. It's in the interpretation. They also bring really positive messages and speak to moving forward, releasing and expansion of your spiritual journey (or personal growth journey). Please read how I share these cards before you decide to run!
Overall, there are a lot of Major Arcana cards in this spread, suggesting this is a significant phase in our lives right now and we're working through some big themes. These are things which are likely to be with us for the season, and not just momentarily. There is a lot of warm energy in the oranges and yellows - our sacral and solar plexus chakras. Our sense of security, emotion, desires, dualities, creativity, sensuality and our courage, determination, willpower, and drive. We need both of these and the balance of these in this coming season. Orange and yellow are also the colours of Autumn as the leaves change to these colours and fall from the trees. Overall the message is positive - if we can change how we are feeling, draw in positive energy, we can release what no longer serves, free ourselves from the chains we've tied ourselves in - the deceptions, the lies, the fears we tells ourselves and we can bring balance between the heart and mind and in doing and being. Again - the this is very much in the balance of orange and yellow, of sacral and solar plexus, of masculine and feminine energies.
The questions for each card are:
Inhale: what are you breathing in? What are the sources of your vital energy? This can point to balances or imbalances in your everyday life
Exhale: What are you breathing out? What are you shedding and undoing? How are you clearning your own body of it's harvest to allow for strengthening?
Descent: How are you preparing for the descent through Autumn?
Guide: Your tools for your journey. These may be skills, or guides to develop relationships with to navigate the journey of this season
Harvest store: What have you harvested this season - how has your hard work manifested itself?
Harvest gifts: What abundance of harvest do you have to share with others? This could be skills, insights or to repay debts
Balancing out: What needs to be balanced by expanding your energy outwards?
Balancing in: What needs to be balanced by bringing your energy inwards?
The cards are:
The Star, reversed (17 = 8)
Six of Cups (6)
Death (13 = 4)
The Devil (15 = 6)
Ten of Pentacles (10)
Judgement (20 = 2)
King of Cups
Knight of Wands
The Star is the energy we're breathing in right now. It's in the reversed position, but as the only reversed card here, it could be read both ways. The star is all about positive energy coming in, of a bright light in a dark night of the soul, of your dreams coming true. Reversed, it suggests that perhaps you are breathing in feelings of loss and despair and feel that things won't get better. The Star is here to tell you they will, to have hope, to not give up. It's encouraging you to rebalance the energy you're drawing in to the energy of hope, the energy of a light in the darkness, and to keep going because things are turning around. This energy of hope will sustain you this season.
The Six of Cups is the energy we're breathing out right now. We're being invited to release the temptation of nostalgia and rose tinted glasses for times that are passed. You might be wishing for things to go 'back to normal' but this card is inviting you to release these desires and this nostalgia and instead bring gratitude to all you've received this year, despite it not being 'normal', because it's not been 'normal'. It's inviting you look at the world through your inner child's eyes and see it with wonder, with joy and without all the layers of judgement and criticim we put on it as adults. It's inviting you to release adult burdens, adult responsibilities and see the world through the eyes of your inner child.
We are preparing for this season by releasing all which is old, letting die what no longer serves, giving thanks in gratitude for all it's given us so far, and realising that it isn't of use anymore in the season we're embarking on. We're letting it die back, like the tree releasing it's leaves, to create space and energy for new things. The tree cannot grow new leaves if it doesn't first release the old ones. Thank your leaves for their service and let them fall with grace in the changing colours of the season. Do not be afraid of the emptiness, because in this space is great magic, transforming that energy into the new. We have to let go without a certainty of the new and trust this process of renewal. Like the trees trust they will grow new leaves in the spring.
Our guide in this journey of release, of letting go, of letting die what must, is the Devil. The Devil is pointing to where we are deceiving ourselves, where we are lying to ourselves. Where we are keeping ourselves in chains because we aren't willing to see the truth. If we shine a light on these deceptions, these chains we've placed around ourselves, we will see we can free ourselves. The Devil comes with the message that we have the courage we need to face our own demons, our own lies; so that we can fully live in our truth. This is what we are learning this season, this is what our work is - to release ourselves from the chains which we have bound ourselves with.
To help us with this journey, we have the Ten of Pentacles. This card says - we have manifested so much in the physical realm this past season - we have so much abundance, we have worked so hard and the fruits of our labours are here to see. Look around you and see the abundance you have created for yourself - this might be in new ways of thinking, of being, new beliefs you have allowed yourself, new behaviours, new values. It might be in new relationships, new habits, new ways of caring for yourself. All this stands you in great stead, your harvest stores are full to the brim. You can use all of this to support you this coming season, in your journey.
And you have such abundance, the Judgement card says you can share your personal growth or spiritual insights with others. Share the journey you're on, even if you don't know where it's going, perhaps especially so, with others - to inspire them, to encourage them, to shine a light for them. Share all you're learning, all you've gained from your inner work, your devotion and dedication to yourself, your growth, your spiritual and personal journey. The world needs your story now, your struggles, your triumphs, your wonderings and wanderings. You do not know what impact this will have. So share and put this energy into the world because your store is brimming full.
The King of Cups says that you can bring balance to the head and the heart by balancing outwards. Look outwards, and bring a balance between the logical, rational mind and the emotions and intuitions of the heart to what you are doing in the external world. There is much to be gained by using both wisely. Don't get drawn into either dwelling too much in emotion, or overthinking and worrying. Use the other to balance it out. You need both for this next season. This is the balance of the sacral and solar plexus chakras, of orange and yellow. Of masculine and feminine. You need to expand this balance outwards.
And the Knight of Wands is the Knight of action, of spiritual growth and moving forward. Making great plans and putting them into place. He invites you to bring this energy of enthusiasm, passion, willpower, determination inwards, to your inner world, and use this to bring in the balance of the Star energy. Use your naval, your solar plexus energy, to stoke your inner fires and bring that balance here. This is sun energy. Stoke your inner sun for balance.
This, I feel, is a really lovely reading for the coming season. Draw in the colours of orange and yellow. Draw in the balance of doing and being, of allowing and releasing, of the internal and external. Balance letting go of the chains which bind us, with drawing in the positive energy of the Star, of hope, of knowing that light shines brightest in the dark.
This week classes are drawing on all of these themes and seeking to bring in balance, gratitude and presence so that we can access that inner sun, that inner joy, which is not dependent on external circumstances. I am also sharing all classes without charge for the rest of September as my harvest gift, with gratitude for my abundant store. Just use the code SEPTFREE when booking.