Tarot reading: Last quarter moon, December 2018

This spread and prompt are from the final moon phase of the final edition of the Many Moons Workbook by Modern Women (run/edited/primarily authored/compiled by Sarah Faith Gottesdiener). I paraphrased/shortened some of the prompt language.

I don’t like to do a reading where I pull specific cards to start, thereby removing them from the possible answer pulls, so I used Ethereal Visions for the signifier cards and Pagan Otherworlds for the reading itself.

Pull out a card that, right now, is an accurate reflection of you. Put it in the center of your table.

I’ve been feeling Page of Wands energy recently: grounded and centered in my passion and energy, eager to get to work but acknowledging I have much to learn. The Page of Wands is a delightful adventurer, a free spirit, beginning this leg their fool’s journey with more direction and training but a similar lust and trust for the journey. In 2019 I intend to be brave, wild, and humble, seizing every opportunity but taking notes and asking questions along the way.

Put The High Priestess, Strength, and Justice in a row under that card, in that order.



Ask: What does the moon want me to know? What did I start or continue healing by trusting my inner voice? Place this card under the High Priestess.

Ahh, the three of cups! Bounty, community, joyous victory. Come taste of my bountiful harvest and drink mead at my table, dear friends!

Notice this card shows bounty that is born of earth, water, and fire (sunlight). As the Page of Wands, I step into the High Priestess’s watery moon realm with earthy page energy and a fiery wand lit in my heart. It is here that I can begin to receive.

I have stepped into or strengthened some bonds in 2018 with positive groups or communities. I don’t think that’s what this is about, but it is worth noting in case it turns out to be the case. I think, though, that this refers to the community and bounty that will open to me by continuing on this new adventure of putting myself out there, working through my spirit journey in a semi-public format, and prioritizing the cultivation of my inner world.

I think between quests on this adventure, I need to visit the High Priestess’s moon garden, both to rejuvenate and to help her cultivate.


Ask: What is the secret superpower of my heart? What did my wildness and energy put into motion this year? Place this card under Strength.

This is such an interesting one, because the Seven of Wands suggests hidden, protected secrets or wisdom, a turning point that reveals the very core of the querent, and the first question is asking to reveal what that is.

The second question gives a bit more to go on: this year, my wildness and energy (note how fiery this description is, which I moved into as the wild Page of Wands and then pulled a fiery wand card that may suggest a gateway into the more watery realm of the High Priestess) have set into motion my path to gain access to the secrets behind the Seven of Wands.

I think a later card in this reading will help elucidate it a bit further, but also further confounds the situation.

The answers are there, willing to be found by a worthy seeker. That is the path I must now walk, and it won’t always be easy, but I’m further along than I realize and there is reason to think I will succeed in getting through in one piece.


Ask: What is the truth of this year’s lessons? What can I take with me? Place this card under Justice.

The Six of Pentacles shows young butterflies (all butterflies are young, by human standards) flitting about, presumably pollinating the flowers that grow at the base of a tired looking tree with a crooked trunk and no visible foliage.

The butterflies move around a stack of pentacles, those symbols of the earthly and material realm, which are set up in a design that looks like a ataircase: it can elevate you, it can help you to the earth.

Whatever you may need, everyone in this scene is working without a care to help one another, and as a result, the whole place is flourishing.

The old tree, which has presumably provided shade and food and shelter to plants and animals over the years, can rest while still effortlessly contributing some of those things.

The work I do involves communicating complicated messages to a general audience in a nonprofit setting. Between that, the personal communities I’ve joined and helped foster this year, and the recent commitment to offer my gifts to anyone interested via this blog, it’s easy to see a pattern of joyous contribution and to understand that is something in which I need to continue participating.


Ask something only your inner knowing can answer.

What do I need to sacrifice this year to step into my highest self? Place this card under the card you pulled for Strength.

I need to sacrifice the Wheel of Fortune?

That … probably isn’t what’s happening here. But I won’t rule it out!

I have made plenty of decisions, including decisions to hold myself back or pass on an opportunity, out of fear. Fear of failure, fear of choosing wrong, fear of missing the next, better option; fear of falling low on the Wheel of Fortune.

I’ve feared letting myself ride higher, breathlessly moving to cling to the same left or right point, to avoid the eventual comedown. I’ve feared, of course, that comedown itself.

Ironically, the harder you try to stay in one place on the side of the moving wheel, the more dramatically you will eventually fall to the bottom, and without having even seen the view from the top. You’ll wear yourself out trying to stay in the middle, until you collapse back to the ground.

The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Anaïs Nin

I think what I need to sacrifice is my resistance to the Wheel of Fortune; my resistance to riding it calmly through the ups and downs, accepting my time in each position and knowing the wheel will turn again, as it always does.

I will try, then, to relax into the ride, find something to enjoy at each point, and pay attention so I can learn at each point.


Ask: What does my higher power want me to know about where to focus my energy for the beginning of next year? Place this card above the querent signifier.

The Hanged Man was a jumper (ha!) and the Sun was my actual pull. I’ll look at them in relation to each other and in relation to the question, while bearing in mind there could be a few different orders to their relationship.

The Sun has been coming up for me a lot lately. The Hanged Man, not so much. I’m actually more frightened by the Sun than I am by the Hanged Man, and I have a feeling that’s what this is about.

The Hanged Man always makes me think of Odin hanging from Yggdrassil, and of Shadow in American Gods following in his father’s footsteps. Or Jesus, if that’s your thing. In each case, he’s going through a period of profound suffering that will result in a spiritual breakthrough and, essentially, a rebirth or awakening.

He seems to be a victim, a prisoner, but this is ultimately an illusion. He can get down; part of his journey will be realizing he can, figuring out how to do so, and then putting in the work to do it. He is biding his time, about to wake up and reenter the world, better than before.

He’s hanging, but he’s not hung. He’s alive, and he’s even looking skyward, at the realm of knowledge and – at the sun. And plants grow fruitfully around him. There is life in this image. There’s a heart-shaped leaf pointing toward his own heart. This is not his ending. This is not his final form.

Then, we have the Sun. I wrote in my last post about my general distrust of the Sun card, and about the Sun card in this deck appearing more benevolent and positive to me than most others. I actually had a pro-Sun epiphany earlier this week, but that will be its own post another time, and will look at a Sun card that used to scare me.

Anyway. This card is energy, but benevolent guidance as well. It’s movement, but it’s relaxed movement. The baby is celebrating and heading forward on the journey, but the horse is calmly doing the work. The baby will, of course, need the Sun’s energy and fire to stay seated if the horse decides to run, but those resources are readily abundant, and for now, the baby can just enjoy the ride.

So. Where do I need to focus my energy? We’ve got the Sun, a card of victory and movement that often makes me uncomfortable, and we’ve got the Hanged Man, a card of waiting and stillness and illusory suffering and the development of wisdom.

What I’m hearing is:

It’s time to get the fuck down.

Get down from your gallows. You’ve done the hanging. You’ve done the waiting. You’ve gathered as much of the wisdom as you’re going to gather hanging there like that. There is more to learn, more to do, but it’s not here. It’s over there. Get on your damn horse, take the wisdom in which you’ve been brewing and stewing, and get. going.

And so I will.