I was going to share this spread in the next column, right up on the eve of New Year’s, when so many of us will be dreaming about the coming year, setting resolutions, thinking about all of the shit we want to let go of, all of the wonderful things we want to welcome in, all of the ways we want to change or grow or stay the same.
But then went to an island in the wind and rain and pulled a ‘transformation’ card on a deserted beach and I realised I really, really needed this myself. And it was a new moon. And all I could think about was how much I needed to take charge of this thing and make a decision to change, here and now. To announce a turning point and then to bloody well have one.
I don’t know about you, but this has been one tricky old year. A combination of stuck-in-the-mud feelings with a conflicting and contradictory urge to ground, to move towards earth. A desperate need to Step Away From The Computer, a fear that I was losing myself in something, that I’d lost hold of that always-elusive certainty of Who I Am. This, coupled with an irregular series of blinding revelations, wry lessons and moments of the sheerest joy. Oh, yes: I’m confused. And yes, I’m in a process.
Whatever change you’re ready for, let’s not wait for the new year to take charge of our own transformations. Sometimes you just know that a turning point is upon you and it’s time to make a change. You can do this right now, if you want. Or you can save this spread for New Year’s eve, you can use it on the next new moon, New Year’s day, or on the winter solstice, or on your next birthday.
If you’ve been feeling anything like me lately, I hope so much you’ll find this spread helpful. And in the spirit of vulnerability and looking fear right in the eye, I’ve shared my own reading below.
Love, love and love.
Creativity and Courage: A turning point tarot spread
- Fear. What is that lurking in the shadows? What are you most afraid of? What is holding you back? Don’t be afraid. Bring it out, look it in the eye, accept it.
- Hope. What are you longing for? What is your goal? What is the relationship of this goal to your fear?
- Transform. Integrate your hopes and fears into you, into your life. How can you work with them to create something positive? How can you use them, what energy do you need?
- Release. What must you now let go of, in order to do this work?
- Ground. Set your intention here. Use this card to make a commitment to yourself, to doing this work. Do you need to welcome in a new energy or tap into what you already have? What will you do? How will you do it?
- Create. Make your intention real. Demonstrate your commitment to yourself. Be brave. Go forth. Create.
1. Fear. What is that lurking in the shadows? What are you most afraid of? What is holding you back? Don’t be afraid. Bring it out, look it in the eye, accept it.
Father of Cups
It’s so hard to write about facing your fears in a public space. For me the Father of Cups warns me about emotional aloofness, thinking you “know yourself.” This urge I have to always be rationalizing my feelings and explain them logically. I don’t want to become that person. I want to keep an open heart and a belief that I know so little about my soul and that all I can do is watch and feel and learn. This card represents my fear of not doing this, of not keeping in touch with this journey, of shutting off, as I know I have a tendency to do.
2. Hope. What are you longing for?
Nine of Pentacles
This, for me, is the “independent woman” card. It’s about autonomy. And success! This is a person who has achieved plenty, is comfortable, is rich — whatever that might mean — and content. This is the result of hard work and being seriously practical. When I see this card I think about the kind of person I want to be. Someone who works hard and builds a solid, sustainable, beautiful life.
3. Transform. Integrate your hopes and fears into you, into your life.
Ten of Pentacles
By putting magic at the heart of everything I do, the Ten of Pentacles, for me, is about comfort and abundance, but points out that these things can’t be achieved without an appreciation for the magic in life. For the energy of the universe or the way the wind blows out cobwebs of how it feels when she holds you. In work, if the magic isn’t there the greatest pay in the world won’t bring about happiness. But when you’re working with that magic, earthy pentacle energy, that’s a vocation. That’s wholeness, embodied in real life.
For me there’s also a message here about returning to earth, to the soil, rocks, grass, the natural world I love and left behind. I’m having other thoughts right now about whether city life is what I really want. I moved from Yorkshire (think Wuthering Heights) a year ago. I love this city, but I’m not sure I can thrive here. I’m yearning to get my hands dirty again and work less on my computer. The Ten of Pentacles feels like it’s pulling me to do that.
4. Release. What must you now let go of, in order to do this work?
Eight of Wands
This constant need I have to package my experiences up into words or boxes so I can communicate them efficiently. Like that lightening bolt, I leap to quickly onto definitive statements about who I am, what I believe, what I’m offering. But what’s happening right now can’t be defined by that. Flow is what’s needed, not dynamic striking in this point or that. It’s okay not to know everything right now, and to really embody that kind of flow, I need to let go of this card’s demands.
5. Ground. Set your intention here.
Seven of Pentacles
This, for me, is a card of pause. Of stocktaking. Of looking at progress so far in an objective way, looking practically at what is working and what needs a tweak. This is about celebrating the journey so far and looking at what can be learned, taking the time to do that reflection, before beginning to plan for the next chapter. Taking time to pause and reflect like this feels like a very grounding thing to do.
6. Create. Make your intention real. Demonstrate your commitment to yourself. Be brave.
Six of Swords
This reading is telling me to own my journey, to be proud of this transformation, even in the more painful or stuck moments. The way the figure (in the Rider Waite Smith version of this card) is carrying those swords in the boat with her — even though she’s about to make a new start— is inspiring. She owns those life-lessons, those tougher experiences. They make her who she is.
If I really want that sense of wholeness and solidity found in the Eight of Pentacles, I have some work to do. Letting go of my need to articulate and contain my emotional experiences is not helping me. The Seven offers me a chance to pause, to ground, to reflect. Confronting a representation of my fear — the emotional aloofness of the Father of Cups — is uncomfortable. But being pulled towards a more honest and grounded sense of myself, and allowing myself to transform along the way without needing to explain it, is powerful. I know it’s what I need. So I’m committing to this work.
Did you try this spread? Or are you at a turning point too? Let’s talk about it in the comments!