Samhain is ripe with potential for honing your psychic skills and divination plays nicely as a tool of fine tuning. There are many tools that can be used for divination, but Tarot is one that is at the very top of the list in versatility and access for learning. Today, I am offering a specially created Tarot spread to be used to seek answer to a query you have for an ancestor.
What You Will Need:
- Your favorite deck of Tarot Cards. Rider-Waite Tarot is the deck most used for beginning study and deepening your interpretations;
- A solid color scarf or piece of fabric to be used to lay out the spread;
- A small candle (optional) or two;
- A small crystal (optional) of choice that you associate with as opening your psychic senses. A small quartz point is a generic choice.
- A drink and small portion of food favored by the Ancestor you are reaching to for answer. Have a second portion of each for yourself to be eaten as a point of communing and gratitude to your beloved after the reading is complete. These should be placed nearby, but not on the reading cloth.
About the Spread:
You will use Five (5 )cards for this spread. Five was selected for its numerologic significance as being a number of change and transformation. It also aligns with the five alchemical elements of air, fire, water, earth and the sixth, of Spirit.
Air represents mind, thought, breath and flexibility. It is the only element that cannot be visualized. We see the by products and effects of air, such as the curtains blowing or the breeze across our body, but we do not physically see air.
Fire represents the will and resultant action that is catalyzed by that will. Fire stimulates us to create and stirs us to quicken what we wish to fuel with passion.
Water represents the heart and emotions. The depths of intuitive sight bubble up as we “feel” our way through experiences. Water has no boundary or shape of its own; rather it takes on the form or shape of the container that it flows into.
Earth represents all that is manifest, physical and corporeal. Earth is our body and the body upon which we make our home. Earth is the final manifest product that Air (Mind) creates that breathes into the Fires (Will to Action) that begin movement towards the goal that is birthed in the space of Water’s (Heart) and intuitive knowing.
Spirit is the imminent part of our being that is the source of our divine nature. Spirit contains the four alchemical elements within itself, acting as the synthesis of each one’s higher form and essence.
Additionally I’ve pulled the energy of “as above, so below” using the six pointed star that is comprised of two triangles; one pointed upwards as above and the other dipping down into manifestation as below.
Using this energy, Cards 2 and 3 straddle the mid-point of synthesis where the triangle of Spirit and Manifestation intersect. So, their reading encompasses what is received in both layers of expression.
Ready, Set, Go!
If you have a nice piece of fabric or scarf that is a solid pattern (to avoid distraction) use that to lay your cards out. You may want to add a candle and feel free to add a small crystal (I like to use a clear quartz point) to place on the cloth and use to open my awareness.
Select your favorite deck to use and shuffle the cards well. This serves a dual purpose of ensuring that the order of cards will be random and you will also be embedding your energetic imprint into the deck. Once shuffled, take a moment to hold the deck in both hands, speak your query out loud or silently and breathe the energy of your intention into your deck. Place the deck on the surface of the cloth. Divide into two piles and reassemble putting one on top of the other.
Turn your attention now to the ancestor you wish to commune with for your answer. Draw up the image of that beloved on your inner screen with as much detail and clarity as possible. Imagine them sitting across from you and guiding the energy of your card selection as way of reply to you. When you feel the blessing of their presence, audibly say…
… “thank you for your wisdom and joining me”
Place the remainder of the deck off to the side and out of the way. Pause for a moment and then turn each card over, one at a time, moving in order. When all are facing up, begin reading your cards, focusing on what their intention and placement is. You may wish to take a picture of the spread for future reference and write down your interpretations in a journal so you can piece it together later.
Note: Although traditionally accepted, I don’t usually do reverse card (upside down) readings of the card. If a card is turned over and is upside down I just place it upright. If you prefer to read the cards as they present upright or reversed, honor what you are used to.
The Intention of the Cards:
CARD 1: EARTH/THE PHYSICAL – Where is your place (or gift) of anchor?
This card is rooted as the point of the manifest world (“as below”) and represents what in the physical world keeps you strong, grounded and stable.
CARD 2: AIR/MIND – What will serve as my blueprint (or plan) of design, originating from my spiritual self (or path)? and What will serve as my blueprint (or plan) of design, originating in the physical world?
This card straddles the manifest and the spiritual and receives two spaces of use. The answer given to this query will play out in these two aspects of yourself- the spiritual and the human. The synthesis of answer comes from the ability to draw from the plan that originates from your higher self and blends with the human self to manifest a product that will serve all aspects of your being.
CARD 3: WATER/HEART – Where will I find my passion in the spiritual world? Where will I find my passion in the physical world?
This card also straddles the manifest and the spiritual and receives two spaces of use.
The answer given to this query will play out in these two aspects of yourself- the spiritual and the human. The synthesis of answer comes from realizing that will to action is fueled by your hearts desire and passion for what you wish to achieve. The intuitive sight received from the heart of the spiritual self and the passion that evolves in the birthing waters of what you offer your heart to.
CARD 4: FIRE/WILL – What action must I take?
This card is rooted in the spiritual self (“as above”) and emanates from the higher self. The answer to this query will be fused in right action and in accord with the highest good for all.
CARD 5: SPIRIT – THE ANCESTOR and WISDOM SHARED – What will be your gift to me? and How will I honor you?
This card represents the essence of the ancestor from whom you’ve requested help. The two questions represent the reciprocity of gratitude. The gifts received in reading the other 4 cards provide the foundation (4 is a number of stability and foundational effort) and align the elements of self that will act upon the wisdom received.
When you have completed all five cards and are satisfied with the information received, be sure to spend some time “hanging out” with your ancestor and thank them for what was shared with you. A toast and favorite food, shared with your ancestor, is an excellent way to end the reading.
To Learn More About Tarot:
Live Presentation of a workshop presented on the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Handouts, images and audio available.
A Walk Through the Major Arcana
Card Interpretation if you are new to Tarot:
Aclectic Tarot – a good online reference site
and…..Stay tuned for an online course beginning soon to learn the Tarot on my blog, Tarot for Troubling Times.
To Learn More About the Alchemical Elements:
The Elemental Year: Aligning the Elements of Self
R. Fennelly. 2013 First Edition