New Cards, Old Ways

Way back in February, I happened across a pre-sale notification for The Magical Nordic Tarot by Jayne Wallace. I ordered it as a gift to myself and yesterday on my Birthday, it landed on my doorstep. It seemed a good idea to indulge in a birthday reading… I spent most of the day on and off idly shuffling the deck until I felt they were mixed enough to go. When I finally sat down to read, my hands took on a life of their own and started sifting out the Majors… I shuffled them up and laid down the cards in a way that I’ve not read for a very long time. So long, I’m not even sure how/where I learnt the method nor how much I’ve bastardised it over time… I used to read often in this way but the last time I can recall would be circa 2011.

The Major cards are shuffled then placed face down where they feel as though they want to go… To me, it always feels an organic kind of reading… Once all the cards are laid down, they are all turned face up, paying attention to keep the positions of groupings and overlaps. Then it’s a matter of navigating the flows and patterns as they are revealed. I’ll not go full-blown on pointing out every thing I see. Here are some edited highlights…

It’s not always the case but this particular throw down felt to be naturally split into 3 sections… Past, present, future. This impression was further reinforced by the positions of VII and VIII (my personal year cards for 2019-20 and 2020-21 respectively).

When I read this way, the first card I actively seek out is 0 The Fool. I use this as a indicator of where my energies are tied up…

The position of The Fool in this layout is not what I would consider to be favourable… It’s sitting in the past and also sitting under a flow of overlapping cards which speak very clearly to me of a chain reaction story that I won’t narrate here… The key to clearing this energy feels to be The Empress centrally located and with clear spaces all around…

(Looking back to the first photo… It’s interesting to see how across the 3 sections, the grouping of the cards changes from overlapping to small groups to much more separated out cards.)

In the middle section (shown below) there’s the stand-alone Empress, and also 3 groups of cards.

The bottom trio of Chariot/Devil and Temperance feels to be a reminder of moderation in all things including moderation… Sometimes treading that middle path leaves you in treading a thin line between travelling your own path and selling your soul to the Devil… The Empress above would suggest that now is not a time to compromise on artistic integrity…

Another key thing I look for is the position of my birth cards… The Sun is my shadow/hidden factor – currently overshadowed by the Hanged Man… That doesn’t feel to be a bad thing. In fact, it feels to be a good thing for reasons I won’t go into… Particularly given the positions of the other 2/3 of my Trio – I and X which look to form a solid foundation for the future…

Another grouping I found to be of interest is the VIII/XI combo with XXII. I like the proximity of the VIII & XI especially as I flip flop so often on which way around I prefer them. In many ways, they feel similar and interchangeable to me… like one cannot exist without the other in a way that brings any true depth of meaning… How can you have/find Justice without Strength? And vice versa? XXII Charity is an extra card designed by Tracey Emin. I rarely read books that come with decks (well, not until I’ve well and truly broken the cards in), here I made an exception and read the notes before I had too many of my own thoughts laid down. I liked what I read – ” Charity is a card of compassion and self-care. Like a cat, well known for its independence, this card encourages you to rely on yourself, rather than others…” “… Your intuition may be heightened, and your desire to paint or write may be strengthened, too;”

I’ll distill that down to – Charity begins at home, with self-support through art.

I think The Empress would endorse that… Don’t you?

2 thoughts on “New Cards, Old Ways

  1. Yup. I definitely endorse that. orGANIC reading. Love the spread, the community of cards, the BIG “3-Card” spread by placing property lines between the 3 sections. It brings to mind “Do not back away from big things, big challenges, or people larger than yourself. Every big thing is composed of many little things” in synchronous orbit. Shutter-ripple the balance to get in, and once you’re do not dodge. Absorb the strength. Use it from the Place of Creation that is the ALL of the Universe Now in community with the Other or another. “He/She who takes care of the little things will be given much.” “Thinking small is not difficult. It is simply a habit. A habit with consequences. Same for thinking big.” This spread facilitates that context of the Both-And of the small and the large. For myself I will title it the Atman Spread: the larger than large and smaller than small. And, to make the title more current, I might go with At(wo)man or Atperson. Or, nahhhh. I’ll dispense with tepid PC things, respect the 14c Alchemy word, and stick with Atman. Oh right! You’re Virgo. Thanks much for the suggestion! Got it. You’ve got a point there… Wouldn’t want to ignore beauty. Ok, if you insist, I’ll take them all.

    This spread does all that wonderfully.


  2. “I’ll dispense with tepid PC things, respect the 14c Alchemy word, and stick with Atman”. When I read that, in my mind’s eye, I saw Thoth XIV, so I’ll see your Atman and raise it to Artman.
    This morning, I was sat in the grounds of Walsingham Abbey, next to a small stream that has flooded over and pretty much thinking about all the big/small/ripple stuff… Thanks for writing up my thoughts! 🤣


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