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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Yule ~ A Tarot Journey






Yule for me is a time of beautiful paradox ~ a time of being still, immersing yourself in the Earth and the womb of the Goddess, delving into the darkness inside and discovering what lies in my soul while simultaneously shedding the extraneous and unnecessary from my life, and making plans that are to be borne at the Spring Equinox. It is here that we stand on the horizon, during the darkest hour gathering warmth in the Sun's promise of growth and renewal in times to come.
Yule is a time of darkness, release, letting go, warming the heart, nourishing the soul and affirming that which is to come, a time of being still while taking an inner journey as we get closer to the Spring Equinox. We need to remember that life continues in the darkness and that light will always reappear.

The Yule journey can be depicted in the tarot, whether by casting a spread and seeing what lessons the universe has in store for you, or by meditating on certain cards that represent the Yule journey. In this article I am going to give you the chance to do both! I am going to explore a tarot journey through Yule using four cards that I feel are connected to Yule, and I am also going to give you a spread to use as part of your Yule ritual/celebrations.

The Tarot Journey of Yule

3 of Swords
Traditionally in tarot readings, the Three of Swords denotes heartbreak, pain, loss, anxiety, betrayal, but in the context of Yule, I see something completely different in this card.
This turn of the Wheel, I opened myself up to the energy of Samhain more truly then ever before and while it was an incredible journey, heartbreak was mixed with the exuberance. The darkness has a way of breaking us down, leaving us to rebuild ourselves again in the light of day once all has been evaluated and considered. This is what the 3 of Swords represents to me. Ponder this: the sword essentially has two functions; one is to pierce, the other is to carve away the unnecessary ~ both are painful but both provide powerful lessons we need to grow. And this growth has to come from within you. This is exactly the purpose of Samhain, to examine your soul and purpose then begin to identify what needs to be removed at Yule. The swords have pierced; now it is time for them to cut away that which is unnecessary.

The actions associated with the 3 of Swords are:
being seperated
discovering a painful truth
wandering far from home
removing that which is unnecessary

4 of Swords
Here, a figure lies in rest, quiet preparation and relaxation. The Swords cards all stand for trials of some kind, but the Four suggests feelings of peace and stillness. Why is this card different? Because it represents the challenge to be quiet! Sometimes resting and doing nothing is the ultimate challenge. The 4 of Swords is also a time when the focus of your life shifts from the external to the internal ~ note that the central figure is “blank” and the world outside is small, colourful and waiting ~ the time will come to re-join that outside world, but now is the time for introspection, to weigh your options, ready yourself for the activity that is to come with the Spring Equinox.

The actions that are associated with the 4 of Swords are:
relaxing body and soul
listening to your inner voice
reviewing where you are
consolidating your inner resources
coming to terms with what is



The High Priestess
The High Priestess is perfect for Yule ~ as we are dropping down into the Earth, the High Priestess awaits us in her underground cave. Many High Priestesses are depicted as being underground, in a cave, a patient teacher waiting for her student as full of potential and mystery as the darkness itself.
The High Priestess is the guardian of the unconscious. She sits in front of the thin veil of unawareness which is all that separates us from our inner landscape. She contains within herself the secrets of these realms and offers us the silent invitation to know these secrets and know that we are own our priests and priestesses. The High Priestess challenges you to go deeper, look beyond the obvious, see the hidden and remember the unlimited possibilities you hold within yourself. Look at her, take note of her stance ~ the knowledge contained in the Torah (in many other decks this knowledge is depicted as a book) is held close to her and the Lady does not share easily; if you truly want that knowledge you have to prove you are ready for it. In the context of this tarot journey, it is the 4 of Swords taken to it deepest level.

The actions associated with the High Priestess are:
using your intuition
trusting your inner voice
opening to dreams and imagination
understanding the possibilities
opening to what could be
allowing development

The Star
A beautiful symbol of hope, healing and renewal, the Star is a wonderful card to end the Yule Tarot Journey with. Looking up to the light of the Star after our time in the dark underground somehow transports us away from ourselves and onto a higher plane. The Star promises that after the upheaval and emotional work done throughout Samhain and Yule, there is hope and healing (which is symbolized by the pool of water) Open your heart and release your fears and doubt; the Star is the Tarot's way of saying that the/your Goddess is with you through this journey. Take some time to swim in those healing waters before heading back to the real world, your work is beginning and it will be beautiful to watch unfold. While the Star gives us light, hope, healing and protection, it is not a card of practical solutions and answers; just love and confirmation.


Actions that are associated with the Star card are:
realizing an inner strength

experiencing peace of mind, counting your blessings

having faith in the future, creating

The Sacred Days of Yule Spread


This spread consists of 12 cards that can be read in two ways ~ June Kaminski, the woman who created this spread, uses this spread over 12 days by turning over one card a day and reflecting or meditating on the meaning and message of each card for an entire day to fully absorb it's meaning. You can follow this method or you can read all 12 at once ~ tarot spreads are completely up to you in the way in which they are read.

Card 1 ~ Mother Night of Dreams. Look for a particular message in your dreams. What are your dreams trying to tell you?
Card 2 ~ Winter Solstice. This card shows us how to connect to the light within and without.
Card 3 ~ The time of Beth. The inner blocks and resistance that is holding us back from following our dreams.
Card 4 ~ Hopi time of renewal. The best way to seek purification and renewal and build tolerance of others.
Card 5 ~ Feast of Mothers. How to connect to the spirits of our ancestors and ask for wisdom and guidance.
Card 6 ~ Festival of Life. How to connect directly with spirit.
Card 7 ~ Yuletide. How to express nurturance, attend to our families and express protective energies to others
Card 8 ~ Birth of Freyja. Issues of love, luck, artistic and creative expression and feminine wisdom.
Card 9 ~ Feast of Alcyonne. A personal inner message, one that speaks directly to your heart and spirit
Card 10 ~ Day of Nymphs. Connect to your playful side, your inner child and how best to cultivate this aspect of yourself.
Card 11 ~ Day of Res. How to walk your path in a relaxed and confident way ~ with the ability to deal with stressful situations in a philosophical, detached way.
Card 12 ~ Hogmany. How to release the old and let in the new. This relates to both your inner and outer worlds.



Take the time this Yule to truly contemplate who you are, what you want, how to walk your path and more importantly ~ know you are protected, loved and very much a part of this world. The Goddess doesn't make rubbish and it is time for you to realize your potential and shine as bright as the Star!

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