Samhain 2021 – A New Year

This is something I’ve been putting off for a while now. Partly because I’m a fairly private person and don’t like exposing parts of myself to the general public but somehow this felt important to address here. On April 8th I lost my husband of 35 years. He died of a massive heart attack and went the way he would have wanted to go quickly and probably painlessly. And while I’m happy that he didn’t suffer, I’m also angry that he left me. I realize that to some degree this was out of his hands but I’m convinced that his smoking along with stress contributed to this. Maybe if he had stopped smoking a few years back it wouldn’t have gone this way. I’m trying to adapt to this new status in my life. For the first time in 38 years I am not part of John and Debbie; I’m just Debbie, and I’m not sure how to be just Debbie anymore. So I’m learning.

I’ve been very lucky to have supportive friends and families helping me with this and I’ve been doing a lot of Tarot work. In fact I think the only reason I might avoid grief counseling is because of the Tarot. It’s reminded me that one gift from my husband that I need to carry forward is a belief in myself. He was always my biggest supporter and convinced that I could do anything if I focused on it. So now I need to focus on being a solo individual. It is both an exhilarating and terrifying concept.

In honor of Samhain I decided to do the Fruits of Wisdom spread from Christine Jette’s Tarot for All Seasons. I used the Trick or Treat Tarot and pulled the following cards:

Fruits of Wisdom Spread using Trick or Treat Tarot

Death reverse carries a fairly simple to understand message for me right now – I’m still processing my John’s death and it’s ramifications. I’ve accepted and continue processing his loss but what is more challenging to get a handle on is who I am in the wake of his death. I think that’s where the Ace of Wands comes into play. It’s reminding me that no matter how much I sometimes feel the desire to join John, the reality is that I’m not the tight to just lie down and die. It’s not who I am and it’s not what John would want me to do. The Fool reversed is pointing out that I need to release and let go of the pattern of stasis I’ve been in lately. I lost my faith in myself and it’s paralyzing me so it’s time to let it go; time to make those leaps of faith and believe things will work out; to explore the uncharted territory that is Debbie Alone. I need to protect and nurture all the skills I’ve acquired up to this point, embrace the lessons John taught and the knowledge I gained simply by watching and listening to him. The Knight of Pentacles has always been the court card I most associate with John. Showing up reversed here reinforces that while he might be gone from the physical realm he’s still alive in my heart and soul. The Page of Cups reminds me that at the end of the day I need to look within myself and reconnect with things that gave ME joy and make ME happy. For 38 years I’ve taken into consideration what kinds of things John liked to do and where my interests and his overlapped. He did as well; that’s what being in a relationship should be. Now that John is gone I have an opportunity to explore my interests and my joys. I don’t know where this will take me but I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be an interesting journey.

Who Would I Be if I Was Not Me? (#Tarot #LightSeer’s)

I was recently reading a work of fan fiction in which the protagonist developed amnesia. The story focuses on learning who you are all over again, both the good aspects and the bad.  This made me wonder how I would feel about myself if I woke up with all my skills and knowledge but no memories of my past, of who I was.  As I slowly learned about myself, what would I think about that person?  Would I be disappointed by things I had done?  Would I be proud of what I achieved?  So, I decided to work with my tried & true standby, my Tarot deck, to find an answer.

  • What positive aspects of the old me would I like?  10 of Swords Rx
  • What negative aspect of the old me would be disappointing?  3 of Wands Rx
  • How can I change that which should be changed?  – 6 of Swords
  • What part of me would be changed the most if I had amnesia?  Knight of Cups
  • So, who would I be?  Page of Swords

The 10 of Swords Rx speaks to me of being a survivor; someone who is able to take a beating and keep on going, endure being stabbed in the back.  There is strength, stubbornness and beauty in this image.  She is not easily defeated and will continue on her journey despite any and all objections.  I do think this is a quality I embody and it’s one of which I’m very proud.  I think I’ve taken a lot of knocks in life; triumphed over a number of disadvantages and keep moving forward.
The 3 of Wands Rx suggest that one of my less admirable qualities is that I’m not a self-starter; I will often let self doubt and insecurity undermine pursuing my goals, my dreams.  I often became enthusiastically involved in projects other people have begun but rarely initiate them myself.  This means I’m pretty good at helping other people achieve their dreams, but lousy at pursuing my own.
The 6 of Swords reminds me that what I need to change is my focus and my willingness to pursue my own ideas.  When I look at this image the woman in the boat has harnessed crows and has them pulling her across the water. She is alone, doing this by herself.  The birds off in the distance are distraction, not part of her journey.  This card reminds me that I can do it by myself, I just need to be focused and trust in my own ideas, my own thoughts.  I can’t allow myself to get distracted by self-doubt, inner critics or other people’s input.
The Knight of Cups shows me that without the life history I have had, I would be more open on an emotional level and more willing to pursue my hopes and dreams.  I wouldn’t be so suspicious and emotionally closed off.  Even looking at the image on this card I want to mock him and feel contempt for him.  My initial reaction to this image is that he’s a poser, that this is an act to seduce someone into trusting him.  Of course that tells you more about my state of mind and frame of reference than about this card.
The Page of Swords as a reminder that if I were able to let go of my defense mechanisms and protective weapons developed to prevent and protect me from harm, I would be a perpetual student.  I would maintain a youthful enthusiasm for learning new ideas and experiencing new things.
I think if nothing else, the take away from this reading is that if I can let my defenses down a bit and listen to my inner self, I’ll find more joy and fulfillment in my life.  Being a bit more trusting and open might bring untold benefits and satisfaction.

#MessageoftheDay – Page of Pentacles Rx, The Emperor + 7 of Wands Rx (#SecretForest Tarot)

We are learning new things and discovering revelations about ourselves. We can’t engage the world in our usual way, so we are left looking inward. This is our opportunity to dig deep within our psyches and excavate who we truly are; to uncover who we want to be.

Although it seems like things are falling apart, they’re not. Unrest is being exhibited but overall people are doing their best to maintain the societal status quo; to follow the recommendations provided by authority figures. Things are still stable and orderly, not anarchical.

Of course we’re all probably suffering from a touch of cabin fever; feeling the need to get outside and go somewhere, anywhere. We’re tired of defending our territory. However, it does feel as though an end is in sight. Things seem to be slowing down but if we cease being vigilant we may endanger this improvement.

It sucks, we all probably share this sentiment right now. We’re stressed and frustrated but the only way through this is to stay the course. Part of me agrees with protestors and wants to see everything open up again but I have someone else to worry about. For myself, I’d might chance it but I won’t risk exposing him to this virus. I also don’t think it’s fair to expose others to any contagion I might carry. Just because I’m asymptomatic doesn’t mean I’m clear. I may not agree that I’m my brother’s keeper but when it comes to communicable diseases I don’t know if there’s any other way to handle things. We need to balance our needs with those of society; make decisions for the greater good without losing sight of the rights of individuals. Quite a trick.

#ChattingwithTarot – Page of Oyster, 5 of Oysters Rx + 3 of Peppermills (#Wonderland #Tarot)

Today’s tea & chat with the ancestors produced a rather encouraging response.  I really needed an upbeat and supportive message today.

So, my message from my ancestors:  “The world is your oyster if you’re willing to take the chance.  It’s time to let go of what has held you back in the past; stop focusing on a poverty mindset.  It’s not about what you have or don’t have, it’s about what you do with what you’ve got.  Stop hiding who you are, cowering behind the curtain  and peeking out as life passes you by  Just jump into the thick of it and get moving!”

In the Shadow of the Selkie

Have you ever heard of the Scottish myth of the Selkie? It’s a tale of a mythical, shapeshifting seal woman who sheds her skin and turns into a beautiful woman. A man becomes enamored of her and steals her skin, hiding it where she cannot find it. As long as he possesses her skin, the seal woman cannot leave. They often live as a married couple, having children and seemingly content. Eventually, the seal woman’s yearning for the sea becomes too much and either the husband, who truly loves her, restores her skin to her so she can return to the sea or she finds it herself and leaves him and their children behind.

I find these stories and the dynamics they express are still present in modern relationships, both interpersonal and communal; as above, so below.

Have you ever observed or found yourself in a relationship in which you feel your spirit is being held, hostage? Perhaps you initially agreed to the dynamics of the relationship but over time they shifted or your needs did and you find yourself unable to break free? I often note this dynamic in relationships where one partner is financially dependant upon another – often whichever is the stay at home parent raising the children or engaging in other traditionally feminine roles. I’m not referring to a SAHM or SAHD who feel this is their life purpose and who are treated as equal partners in the relationship. I’m referring to those in which the stay at home partner is treated unequally and told things like “It’s my money and I’ll decide how it’s spent” (you know what I’m talking about). Or relationships in which the more financially secure and established partner threatens to take away the children or the home if the other partner leaves. Some wonder how a woman can leave her children behind but if she has been forced to bear these children and their father and society determine they are “his”, then perhaps they are really a symbol of her imprisonment. How awful must it be to find yourself forced to bear children for someone who is imprisoning you?

I see this dynamic on a national scale in the US since the attacks on Sept 11th. So many are willing to give up their autonomy, right to privacy and independence for the illusion of safety and security Some have given up their skins in pursuit of the illusion of being cared for by the government and as a result those of us who were not willing to give up our freedom is being forced to anyway. Our skins have been stolen by those in charge. That is such a risky proposition. I think it’s what has to lead us to the situation in which we currently find ourselves and if we don’t fight to reclaim our skins we may find we are never able to return to that place of autonomy and independence and that way lies dictatorship.

So I asked the Divine via the Tarot:

Where am I a Selkie in my own life? 9 of Sword
How is Selkie energy being expressed in people’s lives? Page of Swords
How can we reclaim our skins? Knight of Pentacles
What can the Selkie teach us? 8 of Wands

So, my take on this reading. The first thing I noticed is that there are no Majors present. That suggests that changing this situation is entirely within our control. It’s about using our wits, our minds backed by groundedness and passion. This isn’t a time to appeal to hearts because people’s hearts (in many instances) are filled with fear.

In my own life, I think it’s more a fear of finding myself in a Selkie-type situation rather than a reality. The truth is that I’ll never willingly give up my skin and, in fact, would fight to the death to reclaim it. I’m also not in a relationship with a man who feels the need to dominate me in any way. In fact, he values and supports my independence and snarkiness.

The Page of Swords suggests that Selkie energy is the result of insecurity and an inability to trust in ourselves. We’re not sure we can protect ourselves and are trusting in others to do it for us. It seems logical to trust in the government to put our best interest first but history has proven that is risky and often unrealistic. Especially if the reality is that we’re being terrified into abandoning our skins. We’re not children (well most of us) and need to take responsibility for ourselves and our safety. If we allow anyone else to take away our freedom, we doom ourselves to losing autonomy over our lives. Can we really trust someone who has either captured, imprisoned or brainwashed us to ensure our rights won’t be violated?

The Knight of Pentacles offers the hopeful message that we can reclaim our skins but it will be an uphill battle. We will need to be stubborn, determined and focused. We can’t lose our heads or allow ourselves to be distracted by extraneous matters. Whether this is at a national or personal level, we need to stay the course and be willing to make the sacrifices and take the risks necessary to achieve this goal.

The Selkie teaches us that nothing is stagnant. New ideas and beliefs, new inspiration and energy are constantly entering our lives. Even if certain circumstances fit our needs right now, that may not be the case down the road and we need to be willing to fight for ourselves, for our autonomy and for our ability to breathe free. We need to seize the moment and be willing to burn down the house if all other options are exhausted.

The Body Never Lies (#TarotfromtheDarkSide)

I’ve been reading Alice Miller’s “The Body Never Lies” I felt it resonate within me. In the book, Miller addresses the damage abusive parenting can cause in our lives. Specifically, she connects diseases in adulthood, ranging from asthma to mental illness, to harsh, cruel parenting styles. Miller uses the histories of well-known writers to support her theories and, while I think she makes some overly enthusiastic leaps of logic, her premise rings true.

One of the points Miller makes that I find intriguing is that we block these abuses from our memories because adherence to the 4th Commandment (honor thy father and mother) is so prevalent in our society that we don’t even realize its impact. We can’t reconcile our need to honor our parents with the realities of the abuses we experience and this manifests in physical and mental ailments. Our souls and psyches are broken on the wheel of obedience to our parents’ wills and societal demands that we honor our abusers.

I know in my own life I was frequently told not to speak ill of my parents; that I didn’t’ understand what they had gone through. Depending upon my age and attitude at the time I might ignore the comments or I might choose to unleash a rage-filled diatribe against the offender, explaining to him or her that they were talking out their ass. In some respects I consider myself blessed because I seem to lack that personality trait that requires me to absolve my parents of their sins against me. I may have learned to forgive my parents but it doesn’t ameliorate the abuses to which they subjected me. However, my goal here is not to revisit these abuses or even to explore Miller’s theories. Instead, I want to use Tarot to explore my own responses to this childhood abuse and how I can heal from it.

So my question is: How have childhood traumas impacted me:
Physically? Dancer of Money & the Material World
Emotionally? Muse of Self
Psychologically? Sage of Money & the Material World Rx
How can I move forward and heal this damage? Muse of Money & the Material World Rx


Looking at these cards the initial message I receive is that as a result of my childhood experiences I have a chip on my shoulders; always struggling not to lose myself beneath the weight of those experiences. I can also be emotionally closed off and protective of my heart. At the same time, I am willing to keep struggling uphill and I’m comfortable exploring those dark places within myself; to explore my shadow side. I’ve also put a lot of time and effort into mastering and exploring my psyche so the damage has been exposed, explored and expunged.

Moving forward, I think the key to dealing with this is to remember that it is in the past, it can’t hurt me anymore. I know how to balance the anger and betrayal I feel towards my parents because of those traumas against the love I genuinely do bear them. I can understand some of what damaged them and lead to this abuse but that doesn’t exonerate them. I think the primary difference between my experience and those Alice Miller writes about is that I never accepted it was okay. I never forgot or tried to downplay those memories. I was also fortunate enough to have a husband who bore witness and reinforced that I had every right to hate my parents for what they did to me. So, although I am certainly damaged by my childhood trauma I have also healed and learned to move forward.

#TarotDaily

Which of your inner passions do you need to express?

I need to figure this one out. I could say that the passion I need to express is the one that leaves me off-balance and maybe a little obsessed; the one that leaves no room for anything else. Of course what that might be, I’m not sure.

Perhaps it’s time to explore a relatively new passion in more depth. Or maybe I need to revisit an inner passion that’s been dormant since childhood. The first thing that comes to mind is writing. When I was a child I loved writing – poems, journal entries, short stories. I lost faith in myself but maybe this is a sign to reconnect with my inner author; re-explore my writing skills. Am I strong enough to put myself out there and risk negative feedback? Time will tell.

#TarotDaily – Page of Pentacles Rx + Queen of Swords Rx + Wheel of Fortune (#TrickorTreat)

How are you feeling trapped? How did you get to this point? What is your next step?

I trapped myself into believing I would always be a student, never confident enough to practice or teach. Instead, I convince myself I still have more to learn. I don’t have faith in my skills and knowledge, too afraid to put myself out there.

I don’t value or nurture my own intellect. Instead I pretend I have nothing new to offer. Instead of trying to share my unique insights and thoughts and communicating them to interested parties, I downplay it; denigrate it; treat it as if it’s nothing special.

My next step is to change these things. To paraphrase line from Mad Max:. Beyond Thunderdome, I need to break a deal and spin the wheel. I need to break free from this mindset that undermines my confidence and prevents me from recognizing my gifts. I need to create magick in my life; break the curse under which I’ve placed myself. No one else can do it for me.

This beautifully complements yesterday’s reading.

#TarotDaily – Page of Wands + 5 of Pentacles (#TrickorTreat)

How are you holding back? What are you afraid of?

I’m afraid of starting over; of being the student again, the beginner. At the same time I do have faith and confidence in my ability to succeed at whatever I focus my energies towards achieving. I think there is still a part of me that resists drawing attention to myself; that wants to avoid standing out from the crowd. Call it the lingering effects of high school mocking and teasing.

My inability to seek support and assistance further complicates matters. I’m definitely in the “rugged individualist” camp. I know it’s short-sighted and makes things more difficult than they need to be but it’s a mold I find almost impossible to break. I come from a long line of self-sufficient, fiercely independent women. We can bear a helluva lot without asking for help. In this respect I’m my own worst enemy. So, the only thing holding me back is me and my own self-doubt and stubbornness.

#TarotDaily – 6 of Cups Rx + Page of Wands Rx (Radiant WS)

TarotHunter’s Salt Rounds:

  • Despite your emotional connection to your childhood, now is not the time to lose yourself in nostalgia. You need new ways to express your creative energy and explore new creative paths. Looking behind you is not the way to accomplish this.
  • Or perhaps a stroll down memory lane is the perfect solution to finding new creative outlets. What arts & crafts inspired you as a child? Reconnecting with those simple, yet oh so enjoyable, activities might help you reignite the fire that seems to be dimming in your spirit.
  • Right right now you’re mourning the past, looking at your childhood with rose colored, nostalgic glasses. This is preventing you from living your life fully right now. You feel uninspired, as if your creative spark has been doused. Instead of moaning about the way things used to be and “the good old days”, look at what brings joy and excitement into your life right now. Focus on that and let it help you reignite that spark that seems to have gone out.