New moon, going deeper, re-visioning my work

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Unstructured lunar ramblings to be better articulated another day.

The new moon in Sagittarius was a big event for many of us. Everywhere I looked, I saw grand statements about our collective power, our duty, our capacity for change-making. I was surrounded by intentions, resolutions, renewed commitments to what was right and good.

As the moon hid from view last night and prepared to begin a new cycle – because the night we call ‘new moon’ isn’t really new, it’s dark, invisible, the moment of pause before the new beginning – all over the world lunar-following folks drew down the power of Sagittarius, passionate, loving, earnest, and set intentions for working with this bold energy.

Of any moon, this was one for creating change.

I didn’t hold a ritual or mark the occasion with friends. I stood outside in the dark, feeling the misty rain speckling lightly all over my face and hands, and felt the blackness of the sky, thicker here than anywhere else I’ve lived.

Then I went inside and drew tarot cards.

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Right now, at this halfway point between Samhain and Solstice, I’m in a period of intense change. Personally, yes, though that is for other posts. I’m thinking about this website, in terms of Little Red Tarot, in terms of you and me together and what this space can really be for. I wanted to use Sagittarius’ focus on change-making to re-vision this website, this resource, this space and what it means.

Re-vision may be the wrong term, for I already have a vision and it has not altered: I want Little Red Tarot to be the most inclusive, helpful, genuine, practical, supportive, fun and diverse space for alternative-minded tarot folks everywhere. I want it to be a place where all approaches to tarot are welcome and where we can learn and geek out together, where we can apply lenses to our practice and ‘jalibreak’ the traditions we play with from colonial, heteronormative and other limiting and harmful roots.

(No biggie.)

That isn’t changing. So this is more of a plus-visioning. A bringing of this vision together with feedback, inspiration, additional hopes and dreams and ideas I’ve accumulated this year. Right now, it’s a big, churning whirlpool and I’m flying around in the middle of it, enjoying the ride but ready to calm the waters. Soon, soon. More reading, more listening, more thinking, more sketching, first.

But anyway, back to the tarot cards.

I asked where to place my focus for 2017. I drew the Seven of Swords.

I asked for further clarification. I drew the Empress.

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The Seven of Swords tells me to go deeper. That I’m hiding. That there’s more to reveal. This scares me. I have a comfort-zone in this blog, a level of vulnerability I’m happy to share, no more. But the Seven of Swords challenges that, asks for a re-evaluation. I don’t ever believe that a card tells you that you ‘should’ do a thing, but it provokes you to think around it and arrive at your own conclusions.

Hmm.

Last year I wrote the bones of a sister course to accompany the Alternative Tarot Course. This year, I returned to it, over and over, yet I kept hitting a wall. A few weeks ago, Em was away for a few days and I set myself the single goal of completing this piece of work. But there was that brick wall yet again. Eventually I found myself pacing the house, wailing out loud: but I’m bored with this! It does not excite me!

Of course, I wasn’t going deep enough. With my explorations of the cards, with my approach, with the doors I wanted to push and the shadows I wanted to tiptoe into – I was holding back. I was bored because my writing and my work seemed a regurgitation of everybody else’s.

I was bored because I wasn’t challenging myself. I wasn’t plumbing my own depths. A disservice to myself. A disservice to this community.

That, that alone, should be my resolution for 2017. To challenge myself in my tarot writing. To go deeper, to go queerer, to flip those cards on their head and back again, shape-shifted and re-imagined. To discover what they truly mean to me, because after six years of writing about them right here on this blog, I still couldn’t tell you that.

Which brings us to the Empress.

I asked for clarification. Earth, she said. Never mind what’s up there.

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This year, despite being in such a wild place, I have felt – and acted – less rooted than ever. Grasping for a connection to the earth through thoughts, words. Grateful for those occasional breakthroughs, those wild moments that reminded me of my physicality and my place in the magical-yet-mundane, mundane-yet-magical world around me.

Since autumn I have felt the ground reclaiming me, that old connection returning, that yearning for land and dirt and rock and heath pulling down, down, on my limbs – not in a heavy or cumbersome way, but in a gesture of welcome, a reminder of my belonging. Still, I have resisted the urge to really immerse myself. I have kept my distance. Fear of my own vulnerability. Fear of the shadows, of the depths, of acknowledging what is there.

I need a new story. Or an old story. I need my story. To stop keeping this distance and return to the earth and myself and the rhythms that have been and gone but are always really there. Call it ‘witch’ or call it ‘human’. Call it me. Call it you.

Let’s call it us.

Tarot cards are one way of infinite ways we can establish connection, tune in, find the frequency we’re seeking. Tarot cards have enabled me to articulate my fears, my feelings, my desires, but I think I’ve grown lazy. If you’re not careful, in any pursuit, there comes a time when you think you know it. And that is precisely the time you know least. That thought marks the edge of a precipice.

I’m ready to delve deeper. Ready to work with these cards in new ways and to invite you to do the same. I’m ready to listen, ready to close my eyes and feel. Ready to push my feet down into the cold dark earth that birthed me and examine those elements that make all of us.

It means being vulnerable – not a welcome feeling for this mind-dwelling Aquarius sun or this light-loving Leo rising. Not welcome, either, to this stability-seeking Capricorn moon.

But I’ll go there. I hope you’ll come too.

Cards shown are from the Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans.

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13 comments

  1. Thank you for your latest blog posting. I, too, am on this precipice of change and new beginnings. 2016 was such a strange year for many reasons but this last new moon helped me move forward with life plans, stripping away the things that don’t work and focus. I look forward to see what’s next in store for you. Wishing you all the luck and good vibes!

  2. I’m just back from a weekend poetry workshop – the first exercise that we did broke us open and made us all vulnerable, and let us write more powerful and deeper work than we ever could have. Caroline Bird was the tutor, and what she wanted was for us to realise that we have two voices in poetry; the one we use to ourself, and the one we use to perform to the public (or publish, or whatever). What we did in the exercise was write lists of what we do ‘When the world is not looking,’ not realising that the next thing that we would do would be to read these lists. So we wrote in our inside voices, in the ones we use when we are sleepwalking and daydreaming, and then had to speak in those voices, which was terrifying.

    What I guess I’m saying is that I look forward to hearing what you say to yourself in your inside voice, and then say to us.

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      Wow, Elaine – thanks for sharing that. What an intense and valuable experience. And yes, that’s it – the inside voice and what we think/do/say/feel when no-one is watching. Blogging is a little like performative poetry (only a little, mind!) in that you necessarily become very aware of an audience – that’s wonderful, but it also alters your tone and your relationship to self-exploration and creativity.

  3. Lisa says:

    I squealed when I read about a follow-up course, did you hear me? And wow, the 7 of Swords has been coming up for me a LOT and your thoughts here have opened up the meaning of the card for me in significant ways especially when I consider a seeming “aimlessness” I’ve been experiencing and a realization it is from not digging deeper. Adding on to it the above comment/exercise of inside/outside voice … a strong A-Ha for sure! Can’t wait to see what you manifest in the coming year!

  4. Ashley Story says:

    So so resonate with this. Also, over the fucking moon about a follow-up course!!! AHH!

    This New Moon was something else wasn’t it? And the following energies are kind of taking a similar effect on me. This entire Sag season right now is just kicking my ass into gear. Coming out of my deeply emotional and uncovering season of Scorpio, this fiery archer is kicking my scorpion self into action.

    Ah, so much love to you, dear.
    xo

    • Beth
      Beth says:

      It was a full-on one, yeah – I felt sad that I hadn’t organised some kind of get together. I’m so glad Sagittarius has been pulling you forward Ashley – I know you’ve had a rough ride lately. Here’s to collective power and inspiring ourselves and each other. Love and love to you xxxxxx

  5. Angela says:

    Beautiful, Beth. I am taking my own dive into the depths. Your tarot reading for all of us, in January 2016 has served me very well. I’m finding my way. Looking forward to, day by day, both your work, and your little updates. I’m grateful for you sharing this post, as if we were sitting around a table. it feels intimate, and genuine. I’m so grateful. <3

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