"Corn and grain, corn and grain,
All that falls shall rise again."
- Wiccan Harvest Chant
Carolyn Cushing from Easthampton, MA, owner of The Art of Change Tarot, poet, and all around sweetie-pie, ran a lovely Equinox Circle Teleseminar last evening. I was honored to be invited.
There is something so magical about the Autumn Equinox...I notice I often cannot tell when spring turns to summer or when fall turns to winter (the Summer and Winter Solstices), as solstice seasonal-turnings always tend to blur into each other in my view.
But the Equinoxes...they are both unmistakable. After the starkness and silence of winter, spring bursts forth. And after the brilliance and lushness of summer, all of nature suddenly pauses, cools, and turns inward in the autumn. The Equinoxes are far more dramatic to me. And for that reason, far more magical.
Here is an autumn poem to savor, from Annie Finch:
A Crown of Autumn Leaves By Annie Finch
For Mabon (fall equinox), Sept. 21
Our voices press from us
and twine around the year's fermenting wine
Yellow fall roars
Over the ground. Loud, in the leafy sun that pours
Liquid through doors,
Yellow, the leaves twist down
as the winding of the vine
pulls our curling voices--
Glowing in wind and change,
The orange leaf tells
How one more season will alter and range,
Working the strange
Colors of clamor and bells
In the winding of the vine
our voices press out from us to twine
When autumn gathers, the tree
That the leaves sang
Reddens dark slowly, then, suddenly free,
Turns like a key,
Opening air where they hang
and the winding of the vine
makes our voices turn
and wind with the year’s fermented wine
One of the hanging leaves,
Tightens its final hold, receives,
Through, and is covered soon
in the winding of the vine--
Holding past summer's hold,
Open and strong,
One of the leaves in the crown is gold,
Set in the cold
Where the old seasons belong.
Here is my crown
Of winding vine,
Of leaves that dropped,
That fingers twined,
to yield and shine
with a year’s
So what is the connection between the Equinox and tarot, the title of this post? Any dramatic time of change always inspires me to pull out my tarot deck. Tarot does not interest me as a fortune-telling device, nor do I think it's particularly helpful to use as a predictive tool. Instead, I use it to mirror what is going on around and inside me--more as a psychological tool. I find it extremely helpful to deepen my connection to my inner self, and also to point out what is happening around me or within me that I may simply not have noticed. Those little painted cardboard pictures have a way of going straight to the heart of things.
While I would have done an Equinox reading anyway, when Carolyn emailed last week to say that she was doing a teleseminar on the topic, and would I be interested, I jumped at the chance. Carolyn is a wonderful reader, although "reader" is perhaps a poor description of what she does; she is actually a superb prompter and question-asker, two things I deeply appreciate. She believes, as I do, that the answers to our questions are already within, only needing to be coaxed out by the right questions.
In 90 minutes last night, our small group of truly wonderful women (I believe there were only about 7 or 8 of us, the perfect size for a circle), guided by Carolyn's pre-planning and skill, opened an Equinox Circle and welcomed the Triple Goddess in the form of Persephone, Baba Yaga, and Sheela na Gig. Quite the trio. Carolyn had drawn these three Goddesses as the guides for our group from Ellen Lorenzi-Prince's Dark Goddess Tarot. That is a deck I do not own (which didn't matter for our purposes last night).
Based on her drawing of this trio, Carolyn had formulated the following four prompts for us to use when doing some Equinox Tarot Play together:
Participants used a variety of decks, from the Gaian to the Dark Goddess. I used my "homie" deck, the Thoth.
I pulled the following four cards in answer to the above four questions.
Of course, all of us pulled different cards. Carolyn then skillfully led us through a discussion of how these four prompts drew answers from us as we each looked at our cards. My own interpretation of my cards was:
"Leaves will fall, and blow away.
Do not interfere."
To close, a Mary Oliver poem HERE.
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), long-time meditator and coach, focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
NEXT INTRO TO ZENTANGLE CLASS:
No immediate group classes scheduled (I'm open to hearing about a good venue in Western Massachusetts. I am always happy to teach 1-1 and/or in a small group in your home.
Come and amaze yourself!
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society