Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
I always love this time of year, there is a fragile perfection in the light that begs me to look a little longer, to hold the moment for just a minute more, lest I forget. This is a time of turning inwards, to count the harvest, and to look towards the darkening days with a deep gratitude for the lingering warmth that tarries on the heels of the fleeing Summer.
Mabon, “The Second Harvest” is the festival that is associated with the Autumn Equinox, where we have a time of equal darkness and equal light. It is the time to look at what we have gathered from the seeds that we sowed in Spring; it is a time to let go of what is over, to accept that some things must pass away, and to take the time to reorganise our lives for the next crop, the next sowing, for which we must prepare the ground.
The myth of Persephone has strong links with this time of year, where the daughter of the earth goddess Demeter, is dragged from her innocence, playing in the eternal meadows of summer, into the depths of the underworld by Hades himself. Here she tastes the fruits of womanhood, represented by the Pomegranate, and becomes the consort of Hades, and therefor Queen of the Underworld for six months every year, leaving the earth barren as her mother Demeter searches far and wide, mourning for her absent daughter. In Spring, Persephone returns again, in the guise of an innocent maiden, and the cycle begins again.
The Tarot cards that I am looking at as I consider the next quarter, are Adjustment, Death Art, and The Princess of Cups. The Princess of Cups, which is associated with the period 0 degrees Libra to 30 degrees Sagittarius, to me represents reconnection, allowing emotions to blossom, where before I may have felt afraid, to have faith in the authenticity of my emotions. In order to explore full emotional capacity at this time, I must make adjustments in my outer world, change what needs changing, in order to create a suitable container for the work at hand. This is the function of Adjustment. I need to let go of all that no longer serves me, and to allow a space, and emptiness in my life, a place of stillness before the next stage, this is the function of Death. Finally in the cauldron created by the outer work, and the inner work, a collaboration will take place, an alchemical union where the raw materials that I have revealed will be combined into a new form. This is the function of Art.
Like Persephone herself, at this time of year, we are drawn towards the darkness, and undercover of the night, to face the dark, and undergo the transformations that are required.
In order to focus on where this work needs to be done, you might like to try the following spread, inspired by the cards above.
What aspect of my emotional nature is asking for more space in my life?
What practical adjustments do I need to make in order to facilitate this?
What emotional pattern do I need to let go of this year?
What emotional quality do I need to focus on to bring about the desired change?
What will I bring out of the darkness into the light after the Winter Solstice?
My name is Joanna Grant, I am an Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Writer, who lives on the beautiful Beara Peninsula in the South West of Ireland. I can often be found at home, deep in arcane research, or practicing some new form of divination whilst burning the dinner! My children probably wish that I was “normal” but may well remember my eccentricities fondly when they come to face the challenges of their own paths. My long knowledge of Astrology leads and informs my practice, in offering guidance, empowerment and healing, helping others to lead a more authentic and magical life. You can read more about me here.
Thoth card images are reproduced with the kind permission of U.S.Games