A Womb of One’s Own

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My submission for 2018 Yule Tarot Blog Hop.

How do you cultivate cozy, warm, and safe?

When the days are short and filled with rain and drear (or, I feel chilled to the bone), I retreat indoors to be with my tarot cards, books, and a warm cup of coffee. Any space can serve as a home for incubation; or a womb of one’s own that keeps me warm, safe and supported –I am adaptable.

Sometimes the womb is my own light filled apartment with a holiday tree and twinkling lights and my family. Throughout the winter there is always a pot of soup or stew on the stove, the smells add to the warm cozy feel and I’m well fed.

Sometimes the womb is the coffee-house down the street with a little bit of hustle and bustle but warm nonetheless and with ample coffee. It’s always been a perfect retreat to create tarot card of the day messages –especially for the past two years.

Sometimes, the womb is the wine bar where I’ve done tarot readings for the past five years. A warm, cozy, community filled space that gets me in out of the cold and places me next to friends and neighbors. In this space, I am able to connect with others and be a channel that offers support, encouragement and guidance in order for their dreams to emerge. I hold space and help create the womb.

If I have a comfortable, safe and supportive environment where all of my needs are met, anything is possible. I have the freedom to create. My ideas have room to grow, take shape and transform. The winter months are ideal for planning, supporting, nurturing, incubating and giving shape to ideas. A cozy environment is a must.

motherpeace

When I think of a tarot deck that reads as cozy, the images of the Motherpeace Tarot speaks to me most and seem to convey the type of physical and emotional warmth I am looking for. Energetically, I can feel the earth and fire elements within the deck itself and this is conveyed with the imagery too. The people represented often look social, joy-filled, confident, either willing to relax deeply or take action. Being part of a community is often highlighted even when people are alone, there is the hint of family support (or the confidence that is projected when you are supported by others). The warm rich tone of the deck supports the warm cozy feeling too. Often, I notice, people are working together, not against each other. Compromise and respecting other people’s ideas seems valued.

the empress (11)

It’s easy for me to think of the Empress when choosing a tarot card that embodies warm and cozy. The Empress is the mother archetype of the tarot – one who nurtures easily but one who also needs nurturance and love in return. The air sign Libra is associated with the Empress which tells me in order for the Empress to express her love, ideas, and creativity, she must feel safe, supported and cared for. The Empress must feel grounded in the earth element and loved by the people within her environment.

The Empress expresses herself by being supportive of the people she loves most. Caring for others becomes an art form. Being creative herself, she creates a beautiful environment for herself and those she loves. I think of the Empress as being quite patient, she takes her time and allows others to grow into themselves. The Empress also blooms over time. 

Sometimes the Empress’ creativity can be projected onto other people as she works behind the scenes to support the creative development of those she loves most. The Empress is also working on boundaries with other people, learning how to love without losing aspects of herself or giving too much of her own power away. That’s where the need for balance comes in as she learns to create it for others and herself. 

elements2(11)

I see the Empress using all of the elements in different ways. The Empress wants to express herself and looks for creative ways to do so (Air and Water). I see her reach for the tools of Fire and Earth to support her path. A social person, other people stimulate her and might ground through her even though she is often an air sign.

The Empress is happiest when life feels balanced, people are getting along and things flow smoothly and there is time to relax. When the Empress is relaxed her ideas (Air) can be brought down to the ground and she can give them shape (Earth).

The Empress has the ability to create with her physical body. Growing a physical human is an obvious form of expression as well as creating with her own hands in whatever way she sees fit, whether that is through cultivating an herb garden, cooking gumbo or painting a landscape. Ideas are expressed by grounding them in the day-to-day world. I see Fire and Earth being expressed here too as another human might creates fire within and an expectant mother feels the heat of that life.

The Empress stays healthy if she can tend to her inner landscape and express her creativity in the ways she sees fit. The Empress is stimulated by the fire within others. She benefits by helping to contain it and shape it herself through her loving guidance. Sometimes the community gathering brings the fire element that keeps the stimulation alive and well in her environment.

The Empress strives to create balance. Her appreciation of beauty is evident in the environment and how she takes care of herself and others. There is a sense of forward movement. Things grow and change over time (Water). Energy is manipulated and transformed and the Empress is adaptable and moves with the flow of energy. Because the Empress often puts the needs of others ahead of her own, self-care is something she is always working on. Over time, energy leeks need to be tended to and repaired. A well cannot continue to give without being replenished. Boundary work is the work of a lifetime.

thisone

I’ve created a tarot spread inspired by the Empress. In order to create “A Womb of One’s Own” self-care and boundaries must be prioritized in order to have the energy to create. Thinking of the cozy womb, I chose a 9 month cycle thinking, what do I need to  express my best self? What do I need when I create?

This spread expresses the last 9 months leading up to this moment and the next 9 months. What you learned from the past 9 months is meant to be put into action in the next year.

The first 3 cards: What foundation needs to be in place in order to express your best sense of self? What do you need to survive and thrive? What resources are you working with? How do you take care of yourself?

Seeing the Shaman of Wands is not a surprise. I have Chiron in Aries and during the past 9 months I’ve been feeling called to heal a soul wound. Something I’ve learned is, in order for me to express my best sense of self and to fully come into my leadership abilities I must feel like I have a safe and supportive base free of conflict. The 5 of Coins and the 5 of Swords at the base tell me my immediate needs must be taken care of  and I must feel safe, comfortable and loved. In my environment, things begin to unravel if  there is a lot of tension, secrecy or people are in conflict. It’s important for me to see others being supportive and encouraging of each other, if I see people gossiping or being overly critical  of others it shuts me down and I don’t have the desire to participate or to share my abilities.  I have learned:  I can create something that is simple, stable and that will be long-lasting. When I focus on communication that is open, generous, upbeat and positive, it flows easily and I know my next step will be supported and encouraged because I am responsible for cultivating it myself.

The second 3 cards: How do you create balance? Who or what is assisting you with creating stability, safety and maintaining healthy boundaries? How do you express your best sense of self when balance and boundaries are supported and maintained?

Seeing the Hanged One is not a surprise either. Forces I cannot see stepped in to create balance for me. I was aware of a karmic debt being paid (Justice), as karma was cleared I began to feel unsupported and suspended and questioned my ability to control my destiny and path. What was I doing? I learned that I create balance by trusting and allowing. I don’t have all of the answers, nor do I want them. It was time for me to reflect on my experience and to truly see. Was my environment safe and supportive? Did people have boundaries? Was I balanced in my own life? In the end, the hard answer was a no.

My best sense of self is represented by the Shaman of Water. As an empath, in the past 9 months I took on a lot energetically. it was hard not to be aware of what I was feeling and how it affected me energetically. In the end, I felt drained. My spirit guides stepped in and said no for me. In the next 9 months, I don’t need to take on karmic debt that belongs to others and I can work harder to protect myself from people who have poor emotional and energetic boundaries. I am responsible for my own self care and creating those boundaries. In the next year, as I move forward, I am healing some energy leeks within myself and as I focus inward, I use my own healing gifts to heal my self. Maybe some of the healing comes from focusing on my own creativity.

The third 3 cards: How is less more? What do you do to preserve energy? How are you discerning with who you share your energy with? Is there anyone in your environment who takes or uses your energy without your permission? How do you protect yourself?

The 8 of Wands tells me that about 9 months ago I felt all fired up and my energy felt aligned with others who were working in a similar fashion. I was excited to be moving in a new direction. There was forward momentum and the sense that everyone was carrying their own weight energetically speaking.

I was in an environment where there was a lot of fire energy and after some time I felt burned out (10 of Wands).  I was so fatigued, I had to shut the door and tend to my own sense of self. I had to create a womb of one’s own in order reclaim my sense of self and to create balance (4 of Coins).

In the next year, I know, when I create better boundaries for myself, take the time I need to care for myself, I can renew my own sense of creativity and stoke the creative fire within. When I look forward, I know my own energy and internal fire is supported by appropriate down time and space from others. I need quiet and solitude free of mind chatter to feel healthy. Meditation is a must.

As I move forward with leadership goals and share my intuitive and creative gifts, I must be discerning and respect my own boundaries and call others out when I feel like my boundaries are not being respected. I am my own boss. I decide what is right for me. I trust myself and I know how to protect myself.

If you feel called to try my “A Womb of One’s Own” tarot spread, please feel free to share the results in the comments!

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4 Card Winter Tarot Spread

Here is a simple 4-card tarot spread for the winter season.

Take a piece of paper and a pencil and jot down a few ideas about what you want to work on this winter. What’s the plan? What are you trying to accomplish? Where are you directing your energy? What is growing and developing within you? Who is helping you with your goals? When will you get there?

I don’t think I always have the answers but I know I always have questions. Can you answer any of these? Use your intuition before you do your own reading or look at the one I have here. You might be surprised by what you already know about your experience before you even look at any tarot cards.

Divided your tarot deck into three parts (Major Arcana, Minor Arcana, and Court cards).

Shuffle the Major Arcana and draw the first card. This will represent the theme for the winter months (the card at the bottom of the pile represents the summer months if you are curious to know where you will be in 6 months time based on how you direct your energy through the winter months). The Major Arcana card will address a major lesson and what you should be focusing on even if it seems in opposition to your goal. How can I get what I want if a challenging energy is blocking me? Is this part of the process? Where do I need to be right now? Who or what is helping me?

Shuffle the Minor Arcana and draw two cards and shuffle the Court cards and draw 1 card. These cards will tell you more about who or what will be influencing you through the winter months. Where are you in the spread? Is there another person involved in your story? 

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WINTER

 

A sample reading or possible path forward. Does it resonate with you? Then it must be for you!

The Devil made me do it. I want it now. Impulsive actions do have consequences. Winter trial. Stop struggling. There is just one more thing I need to do before I can actually focus. I feel.

Some questions to ask yourself this winter: What is within your control? What happens when you compromise your values? What is the emotional undercurrent of the situation? How might anger or frustration be misdirected (at yourself or others)? What happens when you compromise with other people in your environment? What type of work meets your need for independence, autonomy and freedom and what type of work meets your needs for security, conformity, or safety?

The Devil will ask you: What does control mean to you? Sometimes there are circumstances that are beyond your control. Sometimes control makes people feel safe. Sometimes we have to work within conventional structures where control of the environment will ensure that everyone feels safe. How are you responsible to yourself and others?

The Devil and 9 of Swords ask questions about the emotional undercurrent coupled with reaction. Who do you resent? Who are you angry at or who is angry with you? Why are you frustrated? What are you worried about? What do you have control over? Here are some open-ended sentences. Take a piece of paper and pencil and jot down whatever comes to mind. You might find you have some answers in the end.

I resent…

I get angry when…

I’m scared of…

I’m frustrated by…

I want you to…

I feel safe when I…

I don’t feel safe when you…

I don’t like it when…

I like it when…

I feel powerful when…

I empower myself by…

You have a lot on your mind. You have so many worries your brain is active and spinning story after story. The story you tell yourself might go something like this:

I resent people who try to control. I get angry when my plans must be put on hold for other people or because of life circumstances. I’m scared of not having freedom and autonomy. I’m frustrated by people who bully or are dishonest. I want you to help me, but I can’t ask for the help. I feel safe when I have control of my life circumstances and I have my security and safety needs met. I don’t feel safe relying on your passion projects to generate income. I don’t like it when you don’t worry about money. I like it when you share. I feel powerful when I’m able to provide for everyone. I empower myself by working.

If you let some of your worries go, your story might go something like this:

I am a visionary and I use my vision in the world to create my own success and it provides for myself and my family.  I exist within this conventional formula where I have to work more than one job, go to school, pay rent, buy groceries, take care of myself and the people around me. I do not feel victimized by life circumstances. I see the humor in not being able to get exactly what I want when I want it because if I did life would be boring. I am not tied to anyone or anything. I get to choose the people who exist within my world. The people around me value my autonomy, hard-working sensibility and flexibility and know I am a powerful person.  I am connected to people in my environment. I am responsible for myself and other people because I am an adult. I have control of my day-to-day attitude and I bring humor and fun to my environment. I exist within a conventional experience because it provides me with opportunity, structure and connections. I maintain healthy boundaries with myself and those around me.

Looking towards the summer months I see the Hierophant. Let’s see what you learn about yourself over the winter months and how your self concept might change as you work on healthy boundaries and gain the type of freedom you require.

I have some ideas but you have the answers. What I am writing is just a framework for you to discover more about yourself. Continue the story for yourself.

Please comment or share if you find that this blog post is useful!

*I used the Morgan Greer Tarot deck.