Taking Stock: Spirits of the Circle

IMG_4348For New Year’s I decided I wanted to do a tarot spread to check in with my life and see where things are going. One of the spreads I really love is called the Spirits of the Circle. It comes from the Animal Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm. It is also used in the Druidcraft Tarot by the same authors. I own the Druidcraft Tarot. It is my favourite deck to work with, because of the artwork of Will Worthington, but particularly because it uses the visual language of the Druid Order I’m a member of.

The question I asked was for a reflection of what my relationship with the different aspects of my life is at the moment so that I can better work with them and see what’s going on. My initial response to the reading was that it felt very lighthearted and at the same time quite powerful. There are two aces and three cards from the major arcana. I notice that there are no swords present. The strongest elements present appear to be water (Ace of cups, Moon and Hanged Man), then Fire (Queen of Wands, 3 of Wands), and Earth (High Priest, Ace of Pentacles).

I’ve let this sit for a few days and I will continue to mull over it for the coming weeks. For now, I’m going to go through the cards, one by one, just reflecting on how I think this shows my life situation at the moment.

Each of these cards and placings represents one of the major influencing factors in my life.

1. The Self: Ace of PentaclesIMG_4358

This is me in relationship to my life at the moment. The Ace of Pentactles speaks to me about the possibility of everything. It is about hope and promise and wealth and riches.

I feel incredibly wealthy in my life. I have very good friends. I have a job. I have money in the bank. I am excited about my future. Everything feels full of promise.

In some tarot decks, the Ace of Pentacles is the author’s signature card. This card is the beginning of it all. It is both empty, a new beginning, and full of wealth and wonder. It also carries, for me, a sense of being the Author of my own life.

2. Spirits of the Ancestors: Queen of WandsIMG_4356

This one is puzzling me a little. I often find the court cards difficult to interpret and with the sorts of readings I like to do, I rarely ever have to think of them as actual people, more as energies. The book tells me that the queen of wands represents the embodied qualities of fire which are dynamic, confident and strong willed.

Perhaps this does represent my changing relationship with my family and my ancestry. For a long time I felt quite estranged from my family, especially before I eventually came out. Since my breakup and with recent family dynamics, I feel much more able to be myself.  Also, and this is something that came to me in therapy today, there’s something here about the transforming and healing of my relationship with and for my ancestry. I don’t feel there is anything I need to do with this, but simply to notice.

3. Spirit of the Tribe: Ace of Cups

IMG_4355I smiled when I saw this come up. My tribe, my friends, my chosen family, my Friends and loves. There’s a lot of love in my world. I know some simply amazing people. I love some amazing people. The ace of cups shows that love coming from its source and overflowing through the card. With my tribe, I am constanly looking to deepen and nurture the relationships I have. I really am a very blessed man.

4. Spirit of Time: The High Priest

IMG_4354In more traditional decks, this card is known as the Hierophant. The High Priest speaks about the transmission of tradition, of wisdom and authority. I am interpreting this position as relating to my time of life. I am thirty five years old. This is a significant age. My therapist tells me that some traditions regard it as the age one fully arrives on earth. All of me is here. I have had a very significant year since turning thirty five. A long term relationship ended, I entered therapy, I entered the Druid Grade with OBOD and in several places in my life, I have stepped into leadership positions.

5. Spirit of Place: The Moon

IMG_4353The meaning of the Moon is essentially to face our fears and to walk forward, even in shadow and uncertainty and vulnerability. I am living in Galway. My time here has been pretty transformative. Since moving here I have been through some pretty intense experiences. One of them was the Mankind Projection NWTA a year ago. Another was a breakup. Perhaps the most significant and the most current, is my therapeautic relationship. I see a therapist once a week. It has been incredibly healing. It feels very right to see this card here.

6. Spirit of the Journey: Three of Wands

IMG_4357Some intrepretations of this placing say it’s about the spirit of our journey from past lives. I don’t have a belief in past lives, so I interpret this as my longer life journey.

The three of wands shows how past intention and enthusiasm is beginning to yield results. It’s a very hopeful card and speaks about having long term vision and goals.

This past month I have felt overworked and disconnected from my vision. In a previous workshop I did, the participants were supported to create a mission statement for life. I feel like I’ve lost that somehow. Last year I worked on several short bucket lists premised on having only three years, one year, and six months to live. It really heightened my sense of what is important in life. I’d like to work that the other way too. What would I like to achieve if I would live to 100? What is my purpose here?

In this position, I feel this card is calling me to question and quest deeper into that. Things are going well, but what’s my long term vision for my life?

7. Awen: The Hanged Man

IMG_4352This position is about the influence of Spirit in my life and my relationship with Spirit. My worldview allows for a ‘guiding hand’ or ‘unseen current’ that we can can call Spirit or Tao. It is the dance and the river of life. The hanged man is a very significant card in the tarot. It is for me, at least. It speaks about surrendering to the process, being at peace with whatever is happening, being willing to have your world turned upside down, and about the time of harvest. The deeper meanings of the card are far too mystical to go into here. For the purpose of this reading, I am reading it to mean that I am called to embrace what comes. I am hesitant to write more here about this. It feels too personal for now.


2 thoughts on “Taking Stock: Spirits of the Circle

  1. I’ve been interested in Tarot for a few years now and I’ve recently started using this Deck’s app. I find it’s take on the typical meanings of the cards to be quite upbeat and optimistic, even the usually dark cards. I particularly like the alchemical references which I think are great metaphors for transformation.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, please share them with me.

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