libra season

transitioning from earthy, reflective, structured virgo season into airy, balanced, exploratory libra season always feels like a relief. i love the rich soul-searching and powerful internal understandings that come from virgo and the hermit, love having time to process all the lessons from the previous seasons and make a concrete plan for how to manifest all the of the dreams and visions that have come up - but now we have a chance to lighten up a bit, to seek out pleasure and collaboration, to breathe and ask questions and experiment. libra’s card is justice, an archetype of balance and harmony, and a time when we start to put our ideas and perspectives out into the world, see how they feel when those opinions stop being theoretical and begin to impact our choices and decisions. this season is all about finding our footing, considering multiple approaches, honoring our internal sense of morality and ethics while still understanding that we live in a very complex world. and with the weather turning crisp and cool, this is a time of harvest, to look at what we’ve accomplished and consider what more is in store for us.

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my tarotscopes at autostraddle for libra season are now live, and always include a spread template for readers to plug in the cards i’ve pulled to make a custom reading for the season. but with today also being the autumn equinox, i wanted to create another spread that made space to explore some more possibilities, to find greater potential, and to understand the importance of balance as we move into the next portion of the astrological year.

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what am i harvesting? five of wands. i’ve had so many ideas for projects i want to work on, ambitions to pursue, dreams i hope to manifest - and while it’s been exciting to think through the possibilities, it can also cause internal conflict or a sense of being overwhelmed. too many directions and i end up going nowhere. this season i’ll be harvesting that difficult struggle between wanting to do it all and knowing i need to choose one thing at a time - libra season will allow me to release some of that pressure and instead enjoy the process of creating and collaborating.

how can i find more balance? the star. it’s been a difficult year in so many ways, but i’ve also seen a lot change in a short period of time. the star is a beautiful card of hope and healing, and being willing to consider positive outcomes or thinking more critically about the ways that my struggles have made space for growth could help to shift my perspectives, opening me up to new viewpoints and emotions. it’s okay to not always be okay, but it’s also okay to celebrate progress rather than downplaying accomplishments. the star has enough space for both.

what can be lightened? six of wands. i don’t often take time to feel a sense of pride in my accomplishments, preferring instead to just move on to the next thing. but the six of wands has so much victory, joy, celebration, and ushers in a new period of focused movement and powerful inspiration. libra season is asking me to take time to honor the growth i’ve experienced, the successes i’ve had, and to find joy and personal power in the movement i’m creating.

how can i find my deepest potential this season? knight of coins. pentacles have been a huge theme for me this month, and seeing this determined and resourceful knight, moving with thoughtful patience and deep focus, is incredibly inspiring. i can find my richest potential this season by continuing that path forward, by honoring the work i’ve done and the goals i’ve set, by staying consistent and organized. knights always carry a bit of a warning not to get too lost in one particular energy, and the explorer of earth is a reminder that i shouldn’t be too stubborn, or become unwilling to shift my path forward - libra brings a lot of flexibility, and i need to embrace that too.

what does this darker time of year have in store? nine of cups. this is such a lovely card of satisfaction and success, of acknowledging the wishes we’ve had fulfilled along with the ones we’re still holding close. as the days begin to shorten and the nights grow longer, i’ll find myself proud and content, able to share the work i’ve done with others that celebrate with me. this isn’t a card of absolute completion, reminding me that all of my projects won’t be wrapped up - but it will be a state of joy and happiness, a chance to honor all that i’ve done and continue moving gently forward.

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i love the balance between fire and earth in this reading - it really speaks to the passion and inspiration i’ve been feeling lately, while continuing to remind me that growth requires patience and focus, and is not something that can be rushed. at the end of this journey comes joy and satisfaction, pleasure and pride, and it’s a beautiful thing to be working towards - the work i’m doing and the projects i’m planning all fulfill some deep needs and desires, and i see the star as an indication that maintaining this journey will also bring some essential healing.

what are you most looking forward to about autumn and libra season? what lessons did virgo bring that you can explore from a fresher perspective? what’s your relationship with the justice card, and how do you see its influence playing out in the coming weeks?

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samhain

as someone raised in a very conservative protestant tradition, i've been slow to adopt the pagan wheel of the year that so many witches follow. it isn't that i feel that it clashes with how i was raised - on the contrary, i love celebrating the seasons and honoring the past, present, and future, and i really enjoy having holidays and celebrations that are separate from my christian roots. but i have a bit of imposter syndrome, as i rarely cast spells, light candles, or use an altar. i don't generally refer to myself as a witch, even though i want to. for me, praying feels like setting intentions and spell casting. my desk feels like an altar, a place where i can sip tea and consider each day. and reading tarot cards feels like daily magic. my approach may be simple, but i'm slowly learning to make these new traditions feel like my own.

samhain feels like a beautiful time to start fresh. this is my favorite time of year - the crisp air, the sense of change, the slow cold creeping in. the thinning of the veil feels tangible, impossible to ignore. and as a scorpio, with my birthday just around the corner, i can't help but feel like this time of year was made just for me.

with that in mind, i'm using this simple tarot spread to celebrate samhain, the witches' new year.

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what have you accomplished this past year? queen of cups. introspective, kind, generous, caring, creative, empathetic - this mother of water is sensitive but strong, deeply trusts her own instincts, and takes endless joy in both giving and receiving. she takes time for herself, gives herself space to consider and recover when needed, but still honors those around her as often as possible. the depth of her spirituality and emotions are as bottomless as the sea. for me, seeing this lovely archetype fills me with gratitude. last year at this time, i was coming out of a deep depression, having damaged relationships and feeling that i was fully unloveable. a group of friends i deeply cared for seemed to fracture, all because of my selfishness and inability to communicate. but now i have people in my life that understand me, and i have a better understanding of what i can do for others and what i cannot help with. i'm learning to trust my intuition in a way that makes me feel both empathetic and powerful. i feel calm, but there's a little bubble of joy in there too.

what lessons are to be learned from the spirits of the past? five of coins, a card of loss, hard times, illness, lack of resources. it's felt in the past that my depression and insomnia have severely limited what i can accomplish, the amount of energy and empathy i can provide - and that's still a reality, whether i like it or not. but growth can come from challenges, and experiencing those difficult times is a reminder that it's okay to take care of myself. i don't have to fully deplete myself in order to show others that i care for them, especially when it leaves me with nothing. sometimes it takes courage to prioritize myself, and to honor what i need rather than giving too much away or asking someone else to provide for me.

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what advice can we take from the spirits for the upcoming year? ten of cups. fulfillment, connection, overflowing love, boundless gratitude, profound joy. this is a card of completion, of true acceptance. we've fallen in love with ourself, found our chosen family, navigated some difficult decisions, discovered a spiritual path that brings comfort and joy, and now we feel whole, true, content. this is a lovely card under any circumstances, but as advice it encourages me to keep diving into community. going to a-camp earlier this year was a huge risk for me, but it paid off in spades, both in terms of helping me find true friends as well as giving me confidence to put myself out there, make new connections, and open myself to people that feel safe and right. this upcoming year can be one of true community, as i continue to build my chosen family and creating lasting, meaningful friendships with those i trust.

it was a simple spread, but a beautiful one. i feel so blessed by the cards that appeared, and i know i'll be thinking on them in the coming days.

thank you for reading, and have a blessed samhain! i would love to hear how you celebrate in the comments - do you make an altar, cast spells, leave out an offering? do you combine the sabbats with other traditions?

full moon in pisces

i'm not always very good about doing spreads to follow the moon cycles, but it's something i would really like to connect with more regularly. i even bought a workbook to follow along with cycles this year, but i drifted out of practice, forgetting to use it. but today feels like the right time for a full moon in pisces spread, and i immediately responded to this one created by the.word.witch on instagram.

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the bed: what needs rest. four of wands. this is typically a card of celebration, joy, a milestone within a larger project. perhaps i've spent too much time and energy being pleased with how far i've come, and now it's time to refocus on what's ahead rather than behind. i think sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to be pleased with where we are, and don't always give ourselves the space to open, to look further.

the pillows: how to surrender. six of swords. a new beginning is here, but it requires me to leave something old behind. right now i'm in a very transitional place, leaving my freelancing life behind to embrace a new, high pressure career. there's some mourning happening for the freedom i've lost, as well as a feeling of surrender to what i've gained. the waters are calm, and what's ahead is beautiful, but i have to let it happen and enjoy the journey.

the dream: how to receive what wants to come through. eight of swords. it feels now that i'm trapped in this new place, that i've made choices that have led me somewhere i cannot escape. but instead of seeing this new job and my decisions as a closed room, i instead need to recognize the many options that are now in front of me. i'm only trapped in my own mind - i need to open myself to the potential and possibilities that already exist.

the dark: what scares you but you do not need to fear. seven of cups. i don't like being confused or unsure about what to do next - i feel more secure when i have control, when my path is clear, when the choice is obvious. but having many wonderful options in front of me doesn't have to be something i fear.

the dawn: how to trust that you are on the right path. ace of swords. this sword is full of power, illumination, truth. its brilliant light reveals the true path forward, my honest wants and needs. it can sometimes be difficult to see clearly, but the ace is a reminder that i already know what to do - i just have to trust in myself and my intuition.

the day: how to carry the dream into the reality of day. ace of cups. so much of the spread is about being open to possibility, being able to acknowledge potential and receive joy, and the ace of cups in some ways is the truest form of that message. for me to be able to fully understand my own dreams, to be able to carry it forward into the light of day and beyond, i have to be open to whatever comes next. unafraid to see my options, willing to examine my own dreams in truth and honesty, able to walk away from what may hurt me, willing to both work past the joy of current success and not get lost in the darkness of what could be ahead - the full spread is captured in the ace of cups.

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i've been seeing a lot of wands lately, but now i need to put the fire away - this is the time for my head and my heart to come together.