Joan of Arc, a peasant girl living in medieval France, believed that God had chosen her to lead France to victory in its long-running war with England. With no military training, Joan convinced the embattled crown prince Charles of Valois to allow her to lead a French army to the besieged city of Orléans, where it achieved a momentous victory over the English and their French allies, the Burgundians. After seeing the prince crowned King Charles VII, Joan was captured by Anglo-Burgundian forces, tried for witchcraft and heresy and burned at the stake in 1431, at the age of 19. By the time she was officially canonized in 1920, the Maid of Orléans (as she was known) had long been considered one of history’s greatest saints, and an enduring symbol of French unity and nationalism. Source: History
It has been almost 600 years since the trial and execution of Joan of Arc, and her memory hasn’t faded. From Martyr, saint and military leader Joan of Arc, acting under divine guidance, led the French army to victory over the English during the Hundred Years’ War.
Joan of Arc played an important role in medieval society. She helped to structure women’s right, such as fighting in war and asking to lead an army. During the medieval society, women had no rights to fight with an army, nor did they lead an army to fight for their country.
Much has been written about Joan d’Arc. This spread encourages us to examine the qualities that we identify ourselves as having. I have used the Tarot of the Sweet Twilight. I began by laying out my birth cards and then shuffled and drew three cards. Given how much that is revealed in these cards, I plan to journal in more detail.
Make sure to keep an eye out on what is new here at The Tarot Midwife.
After The Village Tarot Witch did some Past Life Readings for me and a character I am working with I asked her if she would be willing to help me kick start my Tarot Community Interviews by answering some questions.
Do you believe you have lived before? Are you curious about your past life? How might a past life reading be incorporated into a memoir?
Reincarnation appears to be woven into the fabric of the modern esoteric tarot. That fact, combined with tarot’s unique ability to tap thoughts, memories, and stories long submerged in the subconscious, makes the deck a powerful tool for exploring past lives.
Karly @thevillagewitch is doing some fabulous work with Past Life Readings. She generously volunteered to do readings for followers on Instagram on the United States Election Day and I was delighted with the reading she provided me.
Then I decided to ask her if she would do a reading for Georgie, the former Popess of the Legrande Circus and Sideshow Tarot who I am currently doing some memoir work with
Those who work with me know that I am a purveyor of creative stimuli, an artistic midwife who has worked as a specialist teacher of writing for decades. While I have worked in this field all my life, I have known fallow times so I do like to regularly take my creative pulse. Working with a Tarot Spread is a good way of taking one’s creative pulse.
There are a vast array of spreads available online and in books that specialise in presenting a diverse range of tarot spreads, suited to all occaisons. I like this particular spread because it helps me keep on track and monitor progress, particularly as, in November 2019, I committed to spending years working closely with symbols and to learning more about how they can ignite the creative flame and draw out words that are so often trapped behind internal walls of steel.
As a New Year in my creative life dawns I decided to use a spread presented by @thepathtarot. I decided to use the Sakki Sakki Tarot because Monika Clio Sakki has specifically focused on providing Tarot and a Companion Book which actively supports creative journeys.
Rather than lay the cards out as suggested I chose to lay them out on a hand, with the first card beginning at the thumb and the five cards moving back towards the little finger. I also asked my Runes to strengthen the reading by offering three messages for me.
Not surprisingly this reading proved quite challenging, especially with the appearance of two cards which are universally regarded as ‘darker’ cards. Ultimately it was the Runes which completed the picture for me.
My creativity wants me to know that I am gestating, that I am pregnant wth possibility. She reminds me that true creations come at the right time.
The Six of Cups tells me that the way I played as a child has nurtured my creativity and has been a constant source of strength. I stop and remember Archie Hair, an old friend from my childhood, his Box of Natural Wonders, his treasure hunts and his playfulness. I know that he passed these gifts on to me and that they are a key to my creativity.
Experience has shown me that in times of sadness, grief and disappointment my creativity wanes and I have been silenced for significant periods of time. Given the recent death of my beautiful Neeky, a beloved companion for the past ten years, I am mindful that I need to be careful not to be silenced by the grief I am feeling. I am so aware of the huge void she has left.
The Seven of Swords is not usually well received but in this instance the seven of swords represents the power of thoughts. The swords represent aspects of my thought processes. My creativity keeps insisting that I think as strategically, as possible, that I find the gold in the troubled times, that I gather ideas, research and keep moving forward.
I keep moving forward, try not to dwell in the past, because I know that the very swords that have pierced my heart have ultimately fuelled my creativity. I honour my scars and heart wounds.
Three messages from the Runes
Raido: I am no longer burdened by what I have left pinned to the ground and left behind
Jera: The ground is fertile and ready to be planted
Adj. 1. untethered – not confined or restricted with a tether. unbound – not restrained or tied down by bonds.
Faced with this scene in the alternative universe I have been inhabiting, I had cause to ponder upon what is tethering me at the moment, restraining me.
What has me tethered? The Death card reveals so much. After carrying the sweet soul of my beloved dog to lie in a fertile space death still has me tethered. I am restless, wandering almost aimlessly, numbed by the void that has been left behind. The place seems ‘deathly’ quiet and I would have her back, pain free, in a nano second. I have found it has been necessary to put myself into a kind of convalescence and I have isolated myself.
What is blocking my path? Profound grief at the loss of a companion who has walked with me and born witness as I have sought to reinvent myself.
How can I break free? Ultimately I will break free, especially when I meet and work with matched minds.
When it looked as if Christianity was taking hold in her native Campania in southern Italy, the Sibyl left her labyrinth of caves in Cumae below the temple of Apollo She had pronounced her oracles there for hundreds of years, but she was now taking to the hills, to make one of the last stands of paganism on the highestridge of the Apennines, still called the Monti Sibillini in her honour. From The Beast to the Blonde by Marion Warner
This collection of repurposed cards, collaged with images from fantasy magazines and assorted old books records a healing inner journey into the world of the Sibyl in her labyrinth of caves in Cumae.
Through techniques of pathworking (guided meditation), your imagination can shine a magic mirror on your personality. This inner landscape reveals your world as your unconscious sees it – a perspective that enables you to make dramatic changes.
Make an appointment to write! Join me, read Tarot over Tiny Tea and spend time working on your journal.
Joseph Gill’s The Gill Tarot, first published in 1991, is a beautiful deck to work intimately with and provides amazing imagery for those wanting to journal or path-work.
A pathworking takes you on a journey through an inner landscape. Path-working as a technique is derived from magical uses of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. In that system, a path-working is a journey along one of the 22 paths of the Tree of Life, each of which has a specific set of landscape and symbolism associated with it (and corresponds to one of the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot).
Alternatively you can engage in a visualisation by focusing on the specific images in front of you; sometimes the image tells a story or involves travelling through a landscape (real or imaginary); sometimes it is intended to bring about a specific result.
At other times you may dialogue with a aspect of your personality as represented by someone like Gill’s Queen of Cups.
Anastasia Riversleigh is just one of my alter egos. She is a member of the Skull Clan who is currently working, primarily, with the Tarot of the Vampyres. Given that she is taking this opportunity to do important shadow work she will be leaning on numerous decks and other resources.
Visit her and you will find a detailed journal which records her newest adventure, in residence, living and playing with many interesting internal characters at Shadwell Manor and on the old Ghostly Spanish Galleon that sails the seven seas.
There can be no doubt that everyone on the planet is faced with a tower moment of monumental proportions. Some of us understand that, much as we may desire it, there is no going back.The reality is that we can only adapt and adjust. Caroline Myss is one of the people who understands that we need to be built to cope with change.
Watch her emotional talk and then draw some cards to guide daily steps and provide some fresh direction. Feel free to share any inspiration in the comment section below.
We all yearn to have time for personal needs and creative dreams — after all, this is our life to make the most of. And we all know how hard it is to remember what really matters. With distractions from jobs, aging parents, and children — not to mention women’s perennial fear of being labeled “selfish” — following our own desires and dreams can become ever more elusive. The Life Organizer aims to help you shift your focus, augmenting traditional goal setting with the ease that comes from steady inner listening and mindfulness. It will become your trusted companion — and maybe the most important book you’ll ever own.
I agree with Davy and Tracy that “Tarot is a fantastic tool to use for personal development and daily mindfulness practice. The imagery on most tarot decks are wonderful prompts for journaling and meditation.
Tarot helps to focus your mind, and engages your intuition and sub-conscious, aiding in your ability to facilitate connections and explore different ways of thinking about any aspect of your life or circumstances”.
Three weeks ago I pulled out this book by Jennifer Louden, that had been resting on my shelves for many years, and decided that, while there are many spreads and challenges that help us to adapt our thinking, I would apply Louden’s 52 weeks of Mindful Living and draw cards in response to the questions she puts forward each week.
For example the first week posed the following:
What experience or feeling do you yearn for today?
How might my shadow or time monsters block me from trusting myself or exploring the yearning I have named?
What would help my body feel listened to and loved?
How have I been talking to myself lately?
Initially I worked with the Mary El Tarot and these are just three of the cards I meditated upon in response to the questions posed for the first week. Then I worked with the material that emerged in my journal.
Personally I am not in to reinventing the wheel so do check out Davy and Tracy’s page about how they use Tarot for personal development and mindfulness. What I have found is that this can also be done in a group situation or with a partner. The dialogue that emerges is invariably very stimulating.