September 26, 2012

Ghosts and Spirits Tarot

While are ancestors and those who have passed are always around us, certainly it is at this time when the veils are the thinnest at Samhain that the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot by Lisa Hunt seems the most appropriate tool. Published by US Games Systems, this 79 card deck explores international supernatural lore and legend. Messages are delivered from the beyond through these ethereal images, illuminating our current situations, bridging past, present and future.

The author was always a sensitive child, picking up energies in her surroundings and compelled to transcribe her visions in order to bridge the physical and spirit worlds. She was fascinated, like all of us, by how do we as humans reconcile life and death, honor the dead, and prepare for the afterlife as expressed through many sources of lore and legend. As Hunt puts it, "Let the ghosts and spirits talk to you and help you dissolve the barriers between conscious constraint and objective inner reflection... (they) are messengers (and) a conduit for further communication and understanding."

Hunt presents a five card spread called The Realm of the Spirits spread to unearth whatever haunts your past and to free yourself to enjoy the present. The five cards pulled are:

1. Spirit of the Present: The right now, inspirations, concerns, anything that feels missing.
2. Ghost of the Past: whatever is lurking from the past that needs liberating
3. What frightens you: What is buried in the subconscious and needs to be faced and confronted.
4. What lifts your spirits: that which brings joy and liberation that needs to be embraced more fully.
5. Spirit of the Future: one you have removed the cobwebs of doubt, you are ready to move towards your chosen destiny.

I shuffle the deck, first the standard seven times for randomness, then thirteen times as it seemed appropriate. I am a wimp by nature and my daughter laughed when she saw the deck, knowing I am easily spooked. With the intention to look my demons in the eye and bid us to become allies, I pulled the following cards:

1. Present: Queen of Pentacles. A pale yellow card reminds me of the harvest, a dour looking queen wanders the fallow fields surveying the first sprinklings of snow. Dressed in white, she carries an amulet. Here is Cailleach Bheur, the Scottish bringer of winter storms, a reminder of the necessity for cycles of change and to make plans for the future.

2. Past: 3 of Pentacles. Three wraiths seem to juggle three different disks deep inside a cave, blocking a pathway that has stone spirits guarding the way. Considered the Divine Dead, the Manes inhabit crypts and burial monuments. The card represents a time to renew or create skills, and to acknowledge how individuals contribute to team effort.

3. Fear: 8 of Swords. A skeletal being reaches for the hilt of one of eight swords. In the background are many skulls, seeming to me like the echoes of the past, regret and remorse. The Flying Dutchman represents being indifferent, restrictive thinking, and feelings of futility.

4. Joys: 8 of Pentacles: one of the more positive images, a small bald headed gnome in a green tunic pauses between two enchanted trees who seem engaged in gossip. You know, they herd it through the grape vine. The Kobold from Germany is a household spirit who are helpful as long as respected, a reminder to work hard, be skillful and invest wisely.

5. Future: The Chariot. The only major arcana pulled, a figure labors through the snow by the edge of the treelike, staff in hand. In the background we see skeletal figures on horses, blades drawn, trampling across the night sky. More spectral faces fill the cosmos as birds take flight on the horizon. This is The Wild Hunt, signifying the polarities and a time to take action.

I love stories and mythology, and certainly the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot has added to my repertoire  of lores and legends. I intend to convey to my clients in order to give them comfort, hope and ways to let go of the past, to properly grieve and mourn that which has died, whether a relationship, business, deeply cheriched concept or actual being who has passed to the other side.

Blessed be.