Dark Days | Solitary tarot to the rescue

The current political climate and dark moon in Cancer provide fertile ground for depth work (often called ‘shadow work‘), which is the practice of re-programming core beliefs.

By looking honestly at problematic core beliefs, we have the opportunity to choose a new way of thought – one that heals both within and without. It can be difficult to unearth core beliefs because they usually begin in childhood or adolescence. What starts as a seed becomes ingrained after years of affirmation from what surrounds.

Some beliefs are painful. They may be tied to painful memories, spurring you to disassociate in order to survive. Beliefs prefer the company of like thoughts, which is why their release feels like it may come with a tidal wave attached. These floodgates are rumbling from all corners of the globe. Paradigms are shifting and belief systems are crumbling. There is a lot to unpack.

While it can be healing to examine and re-shape beliefs, it’s important to remember that many are held by the community and not solely by individuals.

You may be examining yourself one minute and then examining your entire lineage, friend group, workplace or family structure the next. 

Do not expect to do all of your work all at once. Working as a community, which is called for during times of great change, can produce a kind of “swept up” feeling reminiscent to losing your footing. Feeling like this can challenge your sense of safety, sometimes leading to problematic behavior like self-neglect.

Use your solitary Tarot practice as a buoy in these thrashing seas. As the world turns, turn inward on the regular.

During a particularly heavy morning, I reached for my Tarot deck.

The only question I could ask it: What work are we doing? 

The spread revealed three major themes: 

The Hanged
Taking ownership of our beliefs and actions (or inaction) is essential to integrity. Notice: you may not want to look in the toilet at what you’ve produced, but it will tell you a lot about your insides, so you may as well.

The High Priestess
We are hearing from our ancestors. They wish to contribute. We do this work not only for future generations but also those gone by.

Temperance
We are learning to feed all mouths. This requires grace, listening, work, patience, discipline and respect.

The simple act of sitting down with my Tarot cards allowed me to find myself again when I was feeling particularly swept up by the energy of my community. I was able to make grounded observations while staying connected to that energy.

I also found beauty again, which can feel far away when I’m swept up. I became enmeshed in the ritual of shuffling, placing and turning cards. My crystals glistened as sunlight peered through the soft shades of my bedroom windows. I noticed the beauty in the cards and then myself. I pondered the meaning in the cards, and I found links in my understanding that I couldn’t see when I was swirling in the mob. I powdered my nose and did the dishes and went for a walk with my partner.

The deck featured in this article is Dark Days Tarot, available on Little Red Tarot and www.darkdaystarot.com, where this post was originally published.

Inspired to create her way out of complacency surrounding a wary political climate, Wren McMurdo published the Dark Days Tarot deck in late 2016. This deck is inspired by the dark side of the lunar cycle, when gravity and tide unearth deeper truths. Wren has studied art and the metaphysical world for as long as she can remember.

She’s also a feminist queer and lives with her wife in Seattle, Washington. Her Dark Days Tarot Deck and the Dark Days New Moon column can be found at Little Red Tarot, and more information can be found at darkdaystarot.com.

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