a tarot spread for beltaine
The trees and flowers where I am are blooming blooming blooming abundantly.
May first is the cross-quarter of Beltaine, the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Traditionally, a maypole celebration marks Beltaine. It is a symbol of fertility, a coming together for power and creation, a weaving of binaries and polarities. <— That’s me trying to take the gender out of it, but traditional paganism is abundant with binary gender. For example, the hole for the pole was dug by the women, a symbol of receptivity. And the pole was erected within the hole, and … well, you get what that's about. It's a challenge to approach paganism with more non-binary awareness. Still, the symbols of the hole and the pole are potent and earthly and human. The ribbons criss-crossed around the pole in some traditions were black and white, symbolizing even more coming together and weaving of the polarities.
Beltaine is also the cross-quarter that mirrors the October 31st celebration of Samhain, and in both celebrations we are in more etherial times, closer to other planes — the “veil of the worlds is thin,” as they commonly say.
So, this is a time of tapping in to intuition, inner knowing, the thread of connection between us and the divine, god, the collective unconscious — whatever we want to name it.
I’ve been throwing a lot of Tarot cards lately, not so much as a ‘divination’ tool as a tool for personal insight. I ask, “What do I most need to know about today?” and feel into the deck in the mornings, choosing one that has just a little zap of energetic heat, and I read descriptions of the card throughout the day. First, usually, in one (or seven, depending on how much time I have) of the dozen books of Tarot that I have at home; later, usually I look around on different Tarot websites whose interpretations I trust, or I search Instagram for the card’s hashtag — #kingofcups — and look at the various imagery from various decks, and read their interpretations too.
Mostly I’ve been pulling one at a time, but sometimes I throw a larger spread. I did one for my birthday, and one for spring equinox. I’ve been looking around for a Beltaine spread and found this one:
- The positions of the cards symbolize different things. In this spread:
- The hole. What is your level of readiness and receptivity for something new?
- The pole. What energies are around you and ready to help you create something wonderful?
- The black ribbon. What must you relinquish in order to achieve your goals this spring?
- The white ribbon. What active energies must you utilize — the things you must actually do — to achieve your goals this spring.
I threw this spread on Tuesday and received some very supportive and loud truths. I took a photo of the spread with my phone and made it my phone background so I could keep it in mind in the next week or two ... or however long until I'm ready for a new note-to-self.
Of course, if you aren’t feeling drawn to the Tarot version, you could always use these as writing prompts or meditations or places to contemplate. I'm working on a write-up of my own thoughts on my instagram, and maybe that'll make it over to my online writing project too, find me there if you want more on this.
I’d love to hear if juicy things come out of this for you, too.