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Celebrate Spring!

March 31, 2016

A couple of weekends ago, I celebrated spring with my son, Travis, and his girlfriend, Sachi.  We started at the time of the equinox, 9:30 PM, by testing out the the theory that an egg will stand up on its end for an hour before and and after the moment of the equinox.  It worked, and we soaked up the atmosphere of equal day and equal night, feeling balanced and in harmony with the earth.  Here’s what it looked like.


We also talked about projects for the garden we would be working on the next day, the first day of spring.  We shared spring gifts, like Russian style painted wooden eggs, turmeric tea, and lavender soap. In the morning we did our own exercising and reflecting to get us in tune with the stretching towards the sun the plants around us were doing, and we did some planting and clearing in the garden, young mustard greens, nasturtiums, aloe plants.  We brought roses in to bring spring indoors, and in the afternoon we had a tea and tarot activity to get us into the spirit. Here’s the structure we followed to help us reflect on the spirit of the season.


We each chose a deck to work with, and pulled out cards to go with four different aspects of the season.  We used images from the RWS deck to get us started, using the prompts below to work with the cards.

The winter is ending, and so is the last yearly cycle of work and reflection.  It is time to finish with the last year of both joys and losses and to wake to the breaking dawn that offers a new quest, and a new sense of purpose.  The 10 of Swords shows the darkness and hardships of the last year giving way to a spring morning, promising opportunities for growing new fruits and flowers of accomplishment and happiness.  Find a card from your deck that shows a picture of what you are leaving behind from your last year, something that has outlived its usefulness, that you no longer need to carry around with you. Describe what you are leaving behind, without regret, and what the bright sky of dawn means to you.

The Temperance card shows an angel with one foot in the spiritual, emotional world of water, and the other foot stable on the firm shore to stay grounded.  The spring dawn has clearly broken in the background, strengthening the promise of early morning sky in the 10 of Swords.  The path to the mountains is illuminated by the sun’s light, showing you a clear track to follow your quest.  Find a card from your deck that shows you something of your first steps on your journey.  What do see in the card that encourages you to believe you are on the right path for you, like the blooming irises in this card?

The tarot suit of Swords represents the effects of spring, slicing through the dark clouds of winter to reveal the bright blue skies and shining sun that warms and nourishes us.  The Ace of Swords offers the raw energy of this time of year, giving mental and physical prowess and growth.  Accepting the Sword of your own destiny helps you focus on your goals, wielding your purpose and talents to keep on your path and face obstacles with confidence and strength.  Find a card that represents your own Sword of energy, something that keeps you pointed toward your goal.

The Queen of Pentacles resembles the goddess of spring, Eostre, who is still vaguely remembered in the spring holiday, Easter.  Her animal, a rabbit, appears near her throne, a symbol of the energy and fertility of this season.  She is comfortable in the landscape of flowers, waterways, and a rich sunny sky.  She reminds us to enjoy, even luxuriate in, the beautiful and health-giving season she rules over.  Find a card that shows your feelings of celebration during this happy time so full of promise and potential.

Resources for Andre Breton’s Tarot Connections

September 27, 2011

At BATS I gave out a bibliography/resource page with the essay in my last entry.  Since then,  some of the participants from the presentation have given me some new leads to follow up, so here’s the list, but with some additions:


Revolutions of the Mind:  the Life of Andre Breton, Mark Polizzotti, 1995.  A complete and compelling biography that sheds light on the surrealist movement as well as on Breton’s work.

Free Rein (La Cle des champs), Andre Breton, 1953.  Trans. Michael Parmentier and Jacqueline D’Amboise, 1995.  Great collection of essays, including a discussion of the deck of playing cards created by Breton and a group of fellow surrealists, which they called the Jeu de Marseilles.

History of the Surrealist Movement, Gerard Durozoi, 1997.   Trans. Alison Anderson, 2002.  Lavishly illustrated, complete history of the twists and turns of the surrealist journey.  It has some samples of the wonderful Marseilles deck that Breton writes about in La Cle des champs.   A page that gives the history of the Jeu de Marseilles, as well as some samples.

The Tarot of the Bohemians, Papus. First published 1896.  Trans. A.P. Morton.  The occultist Oswald Wirth created a tarot deck for this book.  Wirth  revised it soon after, but it was not published 1926.  Breton was using this revised deck for Arcane 17. Both decks are known as the Wirth Deck.

Andre Breton, Mary Ann Caws, 1971.  An accessible analysis of Breton’s major works.  A brief French language biography with many helpful links.  A site on surrealism and Breton, includes poetry and the Surrealist Manifesto.  A nice sampling of poems from some of the major surrealists.

Welcome to the Crossroads Tarot Blog

June 13, 2011

I’ve immersed myself in tarot, literature, and mythology for most of my life, but it’s only in the past few years that I’ve started bringing them together in my writing and teaching.  I’ve found that there are others who see the appeal of this heady melange of image, word, and archetype, so I’m starting this blog to share some of the wonderful connections I’ve found between these three magic vessels of wisdom and enchantment.  And if your life’s quest is also guided by the light of tarot, literature, and myth, I hope this blog will be a forum for you to share similar treasures found on your journey.