I began the new year reading Glennie Kindred’s Sacred Earth Celebrations – a beautiful book which makes an amazing primer for anyone wanting to work with the wheel of the year, and filled with information and guidance for those who already make the turning seasons, but want to deepen this practice.
One of the biggest things for me was the introduction of four directions to correspond with the four seasons, and the four elements (and thus the four suits in tarot.) Lines were drawn between the grounding solidity of earth, winter and north, the cool bright clarity of air and spring and the dawn in the east, the heat and activity of fire, summer and the south, and the flowing, intangible qualities of water, autumn and west.
This week I shared a tarot reading on Autostraddle which called on those four directions for advice. The querent asked about a possible move from the city, the beginning of a new life, but feared what would be given up in the process.
I created a tarot spread based on the four points of the compass and their corresponding elements. I’ve created a compass spread before, and also a four elements tarot spread, but I’d never made something that asked for the wisdom of north, south, east and west in such a way.
I was struck as I did the reading by how physical those four directions seemed to become – as though I was allowing them to flow thorough me as I read the cards. It was a beautiful experience, very real. It made me think that this spread could be used as part of a ritual, or a ritual could be created in the process of reading. As Glennie Kindred suggests in her book, turning and facing those four directions as you ask, read or speak, placing cards or elemental symbols in the four directions helps you to draw down the power and wisdom of each.
As always, I thought I’d share it with you!
Here’s the card layout
1. The heart of the question
2. The dilemma or issue
3. North – where can you ground, what is happening in your physical world, how are you connected to the earth?
4. East – what is dawning in your life? What are you now able to see? What shoots are coming through, prompting reflection on when you sowed them? Where can you find clarity in your life?
5. South – what must you do? What action can you take? What can you create in your life right now, where can you channel your energy, what fuels your fire?
6. West – how are you feeling? Are your feelings flowing? How deep are you willing to look? What is your intuition telling you?
If you’d like to see this spread in action, you can read a reading over here on Autostraddle.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.