Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Reading for the Vernal Equinox

Like full moons and solstices, an equinox exists as a point in a continuum. Though we celebrate it as the day when light and dark are equal, it is actually a singular moment. Fleeting. Impossible to pin down. As liquid and relentlessly flowing as time itself.

The 2017 vernal equinox will be on Monday, March 20 at 6:28 AM when the sun crosses the celestial equator to enter the sky’s Northern Hemisphere. Known as Ostara, Eostre, or Alban Eilir in the Wheel of the Year, the spring equinox reminds us of the importance of balance. We are letting go of the hibernating, nurturing night and moving into the clean, fresh day.

Like an equinox, a tarot reading is also a moment. A snapshot of a slice of time. Unlike an equinox, however, a tarot reading captures that moment and holds it still. Once the cards are laid out, a tarot reading exists outside of time even as it perfectly preserves it. This allows us to make one singular moment tangible enough to look at and think about and quite literally hold in our hands.

I designed this Vernal Equinox spread in the shape of a flower, with one card as the stem, two cards as leaves, and one card as the blossoming petals. I also added another wild card floating above my flower (like a bee or butterfly) to represent any external energies affecting our reading. This allows us to explore the foundational conditions carried over from the winter, supporting energies, the flower itself, and any other something that might come buzzing up.

And here is what I got.

Well. Things started off solid enough with the Six of Pentacles as the stem. This is often called the karma card, described in the Steampunk Tarot (which you'll see pictured in the spread) as the card of flowing material resources. Flow looks like a very chaotic and random processand in many ways it as, as one cannot predict where one particular droplet of water will end up when all is said and donebut fluid dynamics calculates the process of flow quite accurately. And that is what karma is, after allaction flowing inexorably into consequence.

(PS: We see this idea continued in our final result, our blooming Wheel of Fortune. But we'll get to that in a second).

Our supporting influences (the leaves) are the Queen of Pentacles and the Two of Cups. This Queen represents someone who provides material comfort and support, so be grateful when she shows up this spring, and say thank you. The Two of Cups classically refers to a romantic attraction, but it can also mean any emotionally exciting partnership, especially in its early stages.

Our final resultour bountiful floweris the Wheel of Fortune. For while the Six of Pentacles is about cause and effect, the Wheel is about randomness. But if you've ever studied fractal patterns, you know that even in the most seemingly random occurrence, you'll see the spiraling patterns of order. Which is so seductive, after all. To know the rules is to know the order, and to know the order is to predict and protect.

Ah. But then there is the Tower. I had hoped that spring would bring us something like a bee or butterfly, a pollinator of some kind. Alas. We get the unexpected freeze and the hard rain as surprise guests. But not all is lost. The Tower is no friendly card, but the destruction it foretells has always been inevitable. And the clean space it leaves behind is the best ground to till for whatever you want to come next. What will that be? That is up to you.

So creative ones, batten down the hatches and the hatchlings and any other delicate objectsthis spring is going to be a wild ride. Projects will live and die and be reborn in astounding ways. You will receive help from unexpected quarters and unforeseen partners. Yes, rough winds may shake the darling buds this month, but destruction and construction are two sides of the same coin. Practice what Keats called the negative capability, the ability to hold two contrary ideas simultaneously and not seek to reconcile them, and you'll be fine.

Is it all just a big dice game? Or is there some inherent meaning under it all? The answer is yes.

Now go out there with the birds and the bees and create something. Will it last? Who knows? Make it as beautiful and true as you can regardless. That's all the Universe asks of us. And enjoy the creating. The birds and the bees surely do.

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