Signposts of the year: spreads for equinoxes and solstices

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Signposts of the year: spreads for equinoxes and solstices

Post by Nemia » 28 Sep 2017, 05:08

There are four important astronomical events that influence our lives on a daily basis and our whole lives long.

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Twice a year, in March and in September, day and night are equal (equinox). In December, day is shortest, and in June, night is shortest (solstice).

For the Northern hemisphere, these events mean the official beginning of the seasons:

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For the Southern hemisphere, it's the other way around:

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These signposts of the year are important in human cultures and are celebrated in many different ways. As tarotists, we can celebrate them by special readings.

The idea for a twelve-day Yuletide spread came up on AT , inspired by this blogpost.

The idea is simple: you draw a card from a deck every day for twelve days, the sacred days of Yule. Each day reflects the season in a different way. In the end, you get a powerful wheel of cards with deep messages. The experience is even more powerful when you do it in a group and exchange your readings.

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These are the general directions the author, Linda J. Paul, gives for the spread:

This spread is unique from other spreads - it is done one card at a time, over the course of twelve days. Each card is meant to be drawn and reflected upon as a separate entity, with a special unique message for the particular sacred day.

1. First, print out a copy of the Yule Wheel.

2 Select a quiet consistent time of day to draw each card over the twelve days if you can. Considering the busyness of the season, this could be a challenge.

3. Each day, draw one card from your tarot deck and lay it on the appropriate spoke of the wheel. Reflect on each card and glean the message it has for you, according to the meanings given above.

4. By New Year's Eve your wheel will be full with the drawn twelve cards. Reflect on the overall meaning of these twelve cards as a whole and write down your impressions of the message being given for the coming year.



(Imo it's not necessary to print out the wheel - you can simply put the cards on a surface in a circle. I live in a cattery ;-) so I put up the cards with magnets on a door)


Here is the Sacred Days of Yule spread:

Sacred Days of Yule

This spread will help you to learn to apply the tarot to enjoy and enrich your passage through the twelve festive days from December 20th to 31st. The meaning of each card in the spread reflects the energy of the festivity associated with each of the twelve days.

1. Mother Night of Dreams: - Dec 20th This card reminds us to look for a particular message in our dreams tonight. The ancients believed that our dreams on this night foretold some of the important events in the coming year.

2. Yule - Winter Solstice: - Dec 21st This card shows us how best to connect to the Light within and without - it symbolizes the Birth of the Sun.

3. The Time of Beth: - Dec 22nd This card points to the inner blocks and resistance that is holding us back from following our dreams.

4. Hopi Time of Renewal - Dec 23rd This card indicates the best way for us to seek purification and renewal, and to build tolerance for others.

5. Feast of Mothers, Christmas Eve: - Dec 24th This card shows how we can connect with the spirits of our ancestors for communion and to ask for wisdom and guidance. It is also a time for Christians to reflect on the birth of Christ.

6. Festival of Life, Christmas: - Dec 25th This card shows us how to connect directly with Spirit.

7. Yuletide, Kwanzaa: - Dec 26th This card shows us how to express nurturance, to attend to our families and to express the protective energy within us towards others.

8. Birth of Freyja: - Dec 27th This card points to issues of love, luck, artistic and creative expression and female wisdom.

9. Feast of Alcyone: - Dec 28th This card gives us a personal inner message - one that speaks directly to our heart and spirit.

10. Day of Nymphs - Dec 29th This card encourages us to connect to our playful side, our inner child and how best to cultivate this aspect of ourselves.

11. Day of Rest: - Dec 30th This card shows us how to walk our path in a relaxed and confident way....with the ability to deal with stressful situations in a philosophical, detached way.

12. New Year's Eve, Hogmanay - Dec 31st This card shows us how to release the old and let in the new. This relates to both our external lives and our inner being.



The idea was a great success, and Raven of Summer developed it into the wonderful summer solstice spread:



Sacred Days of Midsummer

1. Birth of the Muses – June 14: This card shows how our inspiration and creativity is manifesting.

2. Vestalia – June 15: An ancient Roman festival dedicated to Vesta, Goddess of the Hearth. This card shows us our hearth, the fire at the center of our life and home, and how to tend to it.

3. Night of the Teardrop – June 16: Remembrance of the tears of Isis causing the Nile River to overflow. This card shows what our emotions are telling us at this time.

4. Juno, Goddess of Fertility and Union – June 17: Celebrating the ancient Roman goddess for whom the month of June is named. This card shows us an area of fertile growth in our lives.

5. Festival of Strawberries – June 18: As the strawberries ripen, this card shows us the sweetness in our lives and encourages us to live in the moment.

6. Oak King – June 19: A dedication to the Oak King, who is now near the height of his power in his battle with the Holly King. This card shows us our strength.

7. Scrying – June 20: In the tradition of scrying at the time of Midsummer, this card shows us a blessing to come.

8. Summer Solstice – June 21: We are at the height of the sun’s power, the longest day, in the Northern Hemisphere; OR in the Southern Hemisphere this day is the turning point for the days to get longer. This card shows us how to shine our own light like the Sun.

9. Honey Moon – June 22: This card shows us how to release anxieties or worries, how to enjoy ourselves.

10. Saint John’s Eve – June 23: Like the herbs traditionally gathered on St. John’s Eve, this card shows what protects or heals us.

11. Guru Purnima – June 24: Indian festival of expressing gratitude to teachers. This card reminds us of a lesson we have learned, or an experience or person who taught us something, that we should remember and have gratitude for as we move forward.

12. Parvati, Earth Mother – June 25: The card shows us how to ground ourselves and how to connect with the earth’s abundance.



I loved this spread and made my own spread wheel for it.

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And I used the Harmonious mini cards on it, that was a good idea.

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We were very sad when AT closed down and thought we'll never have such a reading again. Then I came up with the



Sacred Days of Autumn Solstice spread:

The wheel of the year rolls on and everything moves - our Earth rotates around the Sun, the Moon around the Earth, and our whole solar system travels through a galaxy. Humans have aways measured time by watching the celestial events. Four of them are especially meaningful - the two solstices and the two equinoxes that mark the beginning of a new season. Many festivals and holidays in different cultures reflect and celebrate their importance.

Let's enrich our lives by exploring each of these sacred events. Through twelve days, we draw a daily card from a deck chosen with love and care, and focus on the energies of each special day. Doing it as community gives special power to this personal ritual.


Day 1 18.9. Ludi magni games - Roman games in honour of the god Jupiter, celebrated with circus performances. This card reflects the spirit of celebration in your life, and how you can bring more joy and playfulness to yourself and others.

Day 2 19.9. Day of Our Lady of La Salette - an apparition of the Christian Mother of God/Holy Virgin. She brings message of hope to humanity. Where is your personal source of hope and spirituality?

Day 3 20.9. Sedna, Inuit Goddess of the Sea - This card asks you to address your fears and shadows before the winter comes, like the Inuit did in their Sedna festival.

Day 4 21.9. Eleusinia - an ancient Greek holiday, commemorating Demeter and Persephone. She has to leave the world of of growth and abundance and descend to the realm of death. This card reflects grief, sadness and the traces of tears in your life. Acknowledge and honour them.

Day 5 22.9. Rosh HaShana - beginning of the Jewish New Year. It's a Jewish custom to send greetings and good wishes to people in your life. Use this day to focus on the people who are important to you, what you can do to strengthen your ties to them, and contact at least one person you have neglected lately.

Day 6 23.9. Autumn Solstice - Libra - Mabon - the day of perfect equilibrium. A day for two cards. What is growing in your life, what is decreasing? This two-card reading reflects the balance of your energies and, if there is imbalance, what you need to address.

Day 7 24.9. Brazil holiday of Maiso, mother goddess - what is the role of your mother in your life, how do you mother yourself/father yourself? Reflect on the maternal/paternal archetypes within yourself, and how you can make them work for you, not against you.

Day 8 25.9. Greek holiday Pyanopsia - Thanksgiving for the fruits of the sun. Wind white or purple wool around a laurel or olive branch, and hang or arrange fruit around it. These don't have to be actual fruit - you can write on a paper things that you are grateful for. What is the fruit of your past action, ripening now?

Day 9 26.9. Holiday of Neptune - This is a card about anger and anger management. Contemplate about how you deal with negative feelings. Is there a way to tranform negative energies into positive ones, making your anger pull your carriage and drive you on?

Day 10 27.9. Vendémiaire -month of the grape harvest in the French revolutionary calendar month. Raise your glass to your big and small achievements in the last year, either with wine or grape juice, and enjoy your success.

Day 11 28.9. Maha Navami - a Hindu holiday celebrating goddess Durga's victory over a demon. Part of the celebrations is chanting. Reflect on a victory you want to win over the next three months, and devise a chant for it. Write it down where you can see it and envision the joy you will feel when you reach this goal.

Day 12 29.9. Meditrinalia - an ancient Greek holiday honoring the goddess of healing. Think about your healing process and how you can continue it. Where do you draw strength from? How can you heal and nurture yourself in the future? Pamper yourself today and close these twelve days of introspection with healing thoughts.



I hosted this spread event here on ET, and tomorrow is the last day.

There are several problems with this wonderful idea, though.

For readers from the Southern hemisphere, the seasonal feeling is off. It would be necessary to re-write the spreads for the Southern hemisphere, incorporating festivals and holidays from cultures on the Southern part of the planet. I think probably only someone from the Southern hemisphere can get it right.

Another problem is the difficulty in doing this reading every day for twelve days. I struggle, too! I do the daily draw and my tarot calendar and the Thoth reading circle... and I totally get it when people don't have the time to keep it up.

I think it's totally okay to break up the spread into chunks - either three times four or four times three - it's all sacred numbers anyway. Then it's easier to follow through with it.

I totally intend to write a spring solstice spread and publish it here - but before that, we'll have a Yuletide event which I will host here.

Comments, ideas, criticism - let it all come.

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I Sunshine
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Re: Signposts of the year: spreads for equinoxes and solstices

Post by I Sunshine » 30 Sep 2017, 20:34

I am very sorry I missed the 12 sacred days of Autumn. I would have loved to do it. I know that if I was still working, I would have a hard time doing any of the 12 day spreads. But it is worth it, if at all possible! The 12 Days of Mid Summer were very important to me - Profound really. I like your two ideas Nemia. I don't know if the Southern Hemisphere can just flip flop the two spreads or if they would need to recreate there own. I am too ignorant of the traditions down under, so to speak. Wish I wasn't. And to break them up in thirds or quarters if that works better with ones schedule, that is brilliant!
I think we should go ahead and do 4 of these a year. I will participate and am willing to help in any way that I can!!

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Re: Signposts of the year: spreads for equinoxes and solstices

Post by Nemia » 30 Sep 2017, 22:27

That's great! I hope we can make it a tradition :-)

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Re: Signposts of the year: spreads for equinoxes and solstices

Post by theFeeLion » 30 Sep 2017, 22:41

Nemia, I have some ideas I scribbled down for Sacred Days of Spring, if you're interested in them I could PM them to you?

ETA: I like the idea of breaking these up into chunks too, much more manageable for when people are busy! :icon_e_biggrin:
Come faeries take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. - W B Yeats

May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with faeries and talk to the moon. - Unknown

Beginners Tarot Club

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Re: Signposts of the year: spreads for equinoxes and solstices

Post by Nemia » 30 Sep 2017, 23:09

Yes, that would be great. We could also make it an open discussion in an open thread, that might be even better. And we have to find a solution for the Southern hemisphere :-)

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Vernal/Spring Equinox Spread

Post by Nemia » 07 Mar 2018, 07:49

The time is drawing closer - get ready for the Sacred Days of March Solstice... I'm still working on the spread positions but if you want to participate, think about a suitable deck already!

And here is my tentative version of the spread - input is appreciated!

Since nobody protested, I'll copy the spread here, too - so in future, everyone who wants to do the Signposts of the Year readings can do so and find all the information in this thread!

The Vernal Equinox Spread:

Day 1: 15.3. Cybele and Attis Festival

Today is the first day of week-long celebration of Cybele, the great Mother Goddess, and her youthful consort Attis. Today's card talks about love and eros in your life, and how you can celebrate them.

Day 2: 16.3. Gahambar Hamaspathmaidyem

Today begins the Zoroastrian Holiday Gahambar Hamaspathmaidyem, celebrating the life cycle of human beings, from creation to death, and the presence of angels. Today's card connects you to your own path in life and the angel/power/energy that protects you.


Day 3: 17.3. Liberalia

On this day, the Romans celebrated the Liberalia festival of freedom. Today's card tells you how you use your freedom and encourages you to be really free of bonds that limit your personality, talents and longings. What are the bonds you have to break to be free?

Day 4: 18.3. Ugadi

The Hindu holiday Ugadi is celebrated in some parts of India as New Year. Its traditional food represents the different tastes: sour, salty, sweet and bitter. Today's card shows you how to balance the flavours in your life, to be able to enjoy it to the fullest in the months ahead. How can make you make your life more flavourful and enjoyable?

Day 5: 19.3. Eostre/Ostara

The Germanic goddess of spring is celebrated with eggs, rabbits and the ringing of bells. Today's card reminds you of a bell ringing in your life, a bell that calls you forward and that you didn't heed or overhear until now. Understand what this bell wants to tell you, and in the coming month, try to make its voice heard.

Day 6: 20.3. Spring/Vernal Equinox

This is the day of balance between day and night, when new things grow and push through the earth, when Kore/Persephone returns from the underworld and brings flowers with her. Today's card calls you to contemplate on creativity and renewal in your own life. Where do you resist change, and where should you embrace it?

For Southern Hemisphere tarotists who experience Autumn: what are the wilting things and feelings in my life that I should let go?

Day 7: 21.3. Harmony Day

In Australia, Harmony Day celebrates inclusiveness and acceptance. Today's card asks you to probe your own hidden prejudices, and what you can do to become more open and tolerant. Challenge yourself to inform yourself and get to know cultures, topics or people that until held irrational negative associations for you. How can you become an ambassador for inclusiveness and harmony in your society and immediate surrounding?

Day 8: 22.3. Minerva Day

Minerva/Athene is the Roman/Greek goddess of intelligence, rational thinking and objectivity. Today's card asks you how you use your intelligence and talents, whether you give them the proper place or whether you feel you have undeveloped potential. What can you do to make the best use of your mental powers and intelligence?

Day 9: 23.3. Hilaria

The Roman holiday of Hilaria celebrates laughter and fun. Today's card throws a light on the place light-hearted fun and humour have in your life. Do you laugh often enough? The card challenges you to find things that make you laugh and forget your worries, and do them regularly from now on.

Day 10: 24.3. Earth Hour

On this international day, people stop to think about the environment and the use we make of it. Are you doing all you can to keep and preserve this earth? Today's card asks you to find your own connection to the Earth you live on, whether through environment awareness or the voice of your spiritual tradition. How are you connected to this Earth and how can you honour it?

Day 11: 25.3. Palm Sunday

The Christian holiday of Palm Sunday celebrates peace, hope and new beginnings. Today's card shows you where you have to make peace - with memories, people in your life or other painful matters. Let them go and don't beat yourself up any more.

Day 12: 26.3. Preparation of the Temple of Luna

On the final day of our 12 days, we prepare for the annual Roman festival in the Temple of Luna, the Moon goddess. Today's card tells you how you can become more attuned to the intuitive, quiet side within you, how you can make your spiritual work more meaningful, and how to integrate your shadow into your life. It's the message of the Moon for the spring days ahead while the influence of the Sun is rising.

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Re: Signposts of the year: spreads for equinoxes and solstices

Post by shadowrose » 23 Aug 2018, 10:42

wow, this is amazing. adding to my journal :)

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