From our Midwinter zine.
The Holly and Oak Kings are brothers, lovers, or mortal enemies locked in battle over the ruling halves of the year. At Midsummer, the Oak King is at the height of his power; at Midwinter, the Holly King rules. As such, the solstices are opportunities for us to look at the waxing and waning powers of the year, to honor what energies are currently holding court, but also to look ahead at what will be swiftly gaining power in the turn of the seasons. It is in understanding the ebb and flow of these powers that we understand the magic of the season and use it to best prepare ourselves for the remaining winter months.
- Center: You; Now
- This card represents yourself, your current challenge, or the role you play, particularly as it hangs in balance at the moment of the solstice.
- Right: Waxing Energy (the Oak King)
- This is the energy that is steadily gaining steam in your life. This is what will guide your decisions over the next six months, culminating in the Summer Solstice.
- Left: Waning Energy (the Holly King)
- This is the energy that is most influencing your life at the moment, but also starting to ebb away. This is what you must prepare to give up as the light returns to the world.
- Below: Longest Night
- What can the darkness of the solstice teach you? What hidden parts of yourself are germinating in the cold and the dark?
- Above: Dawning Light
- What lessons can be learned from the return of the sun? What is starting to thaw in your heart? What can you embrace in the coming year?
Etienne and Sage got hitched last year, but our wedding bells are ringing for a Samhain wedding. We’re off to Michigan for the ceremony and some well deserved rest in a lakeside cozy cottage. While we’re gone, check out our Samhain Zine! We’ve included the Samhain Spiral Spread, a Trick or Treat! spread, and three unpublished spreads.
- Message from Beyond:
- Crone at the Crossroads:
- Pumpkin Patch:
Purchase the zine on Gumroad for $2!
For those that follow the four Celtic Fire Festivals, Samhain (lit: “Summer’s end”) marks the end of the light half of the year and the beginning of the dark half. Samhain also marked the beginning of winter to the pre-Christian Celts; while not all of us live in similar climes as these cultures and none of us live in their age, Samhain is still a good opportunity to assess where we are as we head into darker and colder days.
This spread is arranged in a spiral of eight cards forming four pairs. Each pair asks opposing questions regarding the flow of energies unique to this sabbat. Spirals represent an inner knowing and experience that defies the logic and order of our waking minds. Traveling a spiral, or its more complex sister the labyrinth, takes time and energy to emerge only a short distance from our starting point. It is walking a spiral, taking its twists and turns, allowing ourselves to become dizzy with questions, that we arrive at meaning. And no matter how long or short our journey was, we are always different for having made it.
Blessed Samhain to you and yours.
- What ends in your life? — What energies are leaving you at this moment? Which roles have you transitioned out of? What do you miss?
- What is being reborn? — What energies manifest in your life right now? Which roles are you stepping into? What do you look forward to?
- What do you fear? — What is your greatest fear at this moment? Do you know it or is it a surprise? How does it shape you?
- How can you be still? — In the face of fear, how can you calm your fight or flight response? Where can you breathe deep and lean into being afraid?
- Where do you cling? — What attachments keep you from moving forward? What things, attitudes, people, and perceptions of yourself no longer serve you?
- Where can you release? — Where are you ready to let go and make room for new growth? What needs to be allowed to pass?
- Who do you grieve? — Samhain especially is marked by the absence of those who are no longer with us. Whose presence lingers around you?
- How can you remember them? — How can you honor those whom you grieve? What can you do that would have made them proud?
It’s easy to get bogged down in complex spreads or drawing dozens of clarifying cards. Sometimes you just want a reading that’s short and sweet. Look no further than our Trick or Treat Spread – perfect for Halloween or any time of the year when you need a general overview of what’s headed your way.
- Trick – Watch out for this!
- Treat – Look forward to this!
Sage and I are HUGE fans of The Adventure Zone by the McElroy brothers and their dad (no spoilers, Sage isn’t done with the Balance Arc). For those of you who don’t know, TAZ is an actual play D&D podcast. The Balance Arc is the first story full of goofs and shockingly poignant moments.
The other day I said to Sage, “hey, let’s do a TAZ spread based around Magnus rushes in, Taako’s good out here, and Merle casts zone of truth!” And within an hour I have an image in my inbox of the spread, I love our relationship.
Even if you aren’t a fan of TAZ or know a single thing about the show, this is a great spread to assess a situation, we hope you enjoy using it!
- Magnus rushes in
You need to act and you need to act now. Now. Right now. Why are you still waiting?? Thinking is for other times and other people, but there’s an opportunity that needs your direct action and it cannot wait. Where do you need to surge ahead?
- Taako’s good out here
You need to consider the safety and comfort of yourself and your own interests. If you were a tank you’d get in harms way and hit a lot of things but you’re smart so you’re going to hang back and think this through. What needs protection and analysis?
- Merle casts Zone of Truth
Pandammit, you are so sick of everyone’s BS. You cast a spell for clear sight and deep truth, but remember that everyone is affected – even you. This card is an honest assessment of where you stand. Where can you cut the bullshit?
- Fantasy Costco
GOT A DEAL FOR YOU! What resources are at your disposal? What do you need to trade in that looked really flashy two arcs ago but has been sitting in your inventory gathering dust?
- Your Dungeon Master and your best friend
This guy. This fucking guy. The narrator of your story, the thing that keeps you on track, the overall shape of the plot, and all the funky characters in your life. What drives your story?
I’ve been struggling with some big questions in regards to my gender/identity. There are a lot of obstacles in my way to even beginning to find solutions. There is a lot of asking myself, “well, what do I do?” and “how do I get around this?” Particularly, in light that these obstacles aren’t something I can remove in without going up against society as a whole, or at least workplace bureaucracy. Since I don’t particularly feel like tilting at windmills, but still wanted some guidance while handling my troubled emotions, I created this spread to help me look at at my situation with a different light.
I based the idea around a hiker, coming up against an obstacle that they need to climb, or otherwise get around and dubbed it the Traveler’s Spread.
Card One: You, now.
Card Two: This is the ground below. Are you stable? shaky? You can treat this card a few ways, but ultimately, it’s the energies/people/things/nouns that are influencing you in your current mental/emotional/physical self.
Cards Three & Four: This is what’s in your way, the energies/nouns that are stopping you from going on your merry way are tied up in these cards.
Cards Five & Six: These are your tools in your bag. Again, you can treat this card a few ways. Maybe they are actions you need to take to get around the blockage, emotions you need to focus on, before you can move forward. Perhaps they are things or people you can access to help you move on the trail.
Card Seven: The goal you want to reach. This card stands as a final word on your reading. For me, this card was the Hanged Man in my reading (which, by the way cards, thanks for being so sarcastic) telling me I have to be ready to surrender to reach my end goal. This card could also stand as what you have to gain by getting by your obstacles.
Whatever you’re facing, I hope this reading can help give you some prospective. Keep on keeping on, we can make it through all of this. – ❤ Etienne.
What abundance manifests for you this Harvest Moon?
The autumn equinox isn’t the only astronomical event that heralds the arrival of fall. The full moon rising closest to this equinox is known as the Harvest Moon; according to the Farmer’s Almanac this date falls on October 5, 2017 in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Harvest Moon is a good time to take stock of our, well, stocks! Practicing gratitude is not only a feel-good habit, but it also lets us become aware of all different kinds of wealth at our disposal that we might otherwise overlook. The Harvest Moon is also a time for planning how best to direct the abundance in our lives, or even how to attract more abundance through careful decisions and the smart use of resources.
- What has come to fruition?
- What energies do I have stored?
- How can I best use this abundance?
- How do I manage my stores?
- What should I be aware of when using my stored energies?
Harvest Moon Spread Layout
Book this reading with Etienne and Sage for $15.00 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!
This is my favorite time of year, when summer in all her glory gives way to the harvest maiden tending over fall’s crops. There’s a beautiful still moment between seasons during the equinox when we can feel two energies meet, meld, and separate again. It’s an especially auspicious time to break out the cards and take stock of what summer has given us and what autumn will require in return. This spread is specifically made for a general autumn equinox reading that assesses the fruits of your labors and where your energies will take you over the next several weeks.
- goodbye summer – what is leaving your life (energies, people, places, things), or what maybe needs a gentle push out the door.
- hello fall – what is entering your life, or what needs to be welcomed in with the rest of autumn.
- equinox – the blurred boundary between summer and fall encompassing you, right now, as you are; also the focal point unique to you this sabbat.
- bumper crops – unexpected gifts and opportunities to be had with summer’s lingering energy; you want to jump on these right away!
- autumn stores – the resources now at your disposal over the coming season such as living allies and the beloved dead, gods and spirits, and your own talents and strengths.
- harvest bounty – how the fruits of your past labors have paid off; what exactly you are harvesting at this moment in time.
- community table – how you can best spread your abundance around, especially when giving back to the communities that support you most.
- see you at samhain – a final word of advice for how to proceed and what to look out for until the next sabbat.
Book this reading with Etienne and Sage for $30.00 by emailing email@example.com!