Certain times of the year bring with them their own special magic. Samhain is usually celebrated on the evening of October 31. This time of year, the end of summer and the beginning of the dark season, is recognized by many religions and cultures with holidays such as Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, All Souls' Day, and the Day of the Dead. Samhain began as the Celtic New Year and is now celebrated by Wiccans as the New Year as well.
Samhain's magic is powerful, and to some, a bit frightening. During this time, the door between the worlds is opened. The veil between the living and the dead, the past and the future, is at its thinnest. On a more mundane level, it marks the end of the harvest, and as such is an opportune time to give thanks. The end of summer also means the beginning of the dark time, the perfect time to request protection for the short days and long nights ahead.
From the description of the Spirit of Samhain card in Destiny's Portal, the companion book for the Enchanted Oracle by Jessica Galbreth and Barbara Moore
Although all seasons bring about their own types of changes, those of autumn always seem the most spectacular to me. The visible change of leaves from green to red, yellow, and brown is striking. The "going back to school" feeling is, after all these years, still palpable to me, inspiring me to start something new. Even with the happy memories and the excitement of new beginnings, there is still something melancholic about fall.
Readings about change
The positions are:
To use this spread, shuffle your entire deck (including the five cards the positions are named after) and lay out the cards in order.
Another simple spread when facing change is from the above-mentioned Enchanted Oracle. Although its simplicity is well suited for an oracle deck, it is equally effective with a tarot deck. If you are considering a major change or a spiritual change, try it with only the Major Arcana cards.
1. This is what you need to take with you
Spreads about changes usually include positions about what to leave and what to take. Changes are like the beginnings of journeys. And whenever you pack for a trip, you have to make decisions about what to leave and what to take. You can't take everything all the time or you'd never go anywhere, right? Well, unless you live in a mobile home or have very few belongings.
Be smart when facing your changes and your journeys. Figure out what you'll need and what'll get in the way. Pack light. Have a map. Leave space for spontaneity.
There are a couple of techniques that work well for me when faced with a card that I suspect I might be masking. The first considers various possibilities for the card; the second involves imagining other cards in the position.
Let's say you are asking about a relationship. The card that comes up is the Hanged Man. You want the relationship to be okay; you want everything to be fine. So you say, "the Hanged Man means being peaceful and mellow and just hanging out." Possibly true. But what are other alternate possibilities? Sacrifice? Looking at things from a different point of view? Try coming up with three possibilities, one positive, one neutral, and one negative. See how they each work in the reading. See how you respond to each possibility. Often, if we allow ourselves, we will know which is the best reflection of reality and which will provide us with the most useful information.
Using the example above, think about the meaning you are assigning to the Hanged Man…that everything is fine. Then think about what other cards could have come up that might reflect that idea even better. Pull that card or cards from your deck. Look at them next to the Hanged Man. How are they similar? How are they different? Why did the Hanged Man come up and not that other card? What is the difference? I believe in identifying that difference, you will find the answer.
Whether your life is changing like autumn leaves or you're trying to unmask important truths in your life, I hope some of these spreads and techniques work as well for you as they have for me.
Barbara Moore (Saint Paul, MN) has studied and read tarot since the early 1990s. She wrote the bestselling Tarot for Beginners and more than a dozen other books, and she has contributed to many bestselling tarot kits, ...