“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.”
—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
Samhain or Mid-Fall, is the last of the three harvests in the Northern Hemisphere and the advent of Spring in the Southern hemisphere. It is a time that we know as being a thinning of the veil…a time for the honouring of those who have crossed over before us, and it is traditional at this time of year to commemorate, commune and to communicate with them.
In the Thoth deck, Samhain, falling in the first decan of Scorpio, presents a powerful trio of images, and here we are faced with images of death, putrefaction and an insatiable hunger for life.
It can seem almost cruel, in the darkening of the year that comes now, that we are awakened into such deep passions. The heady and lustful days of spring seem almost childlike in comparison to the voracious need of Scorpio’s intensity, the devouring darkness that asks for the ultimate and total surrender, to give your all, or to die in the attempt. The darkly intense and secret needs of this much maligned and often misunderstood sign, erupt into our lives in many ways, ways over which we usually have little control, and in forms that can bring us to our knees, laying waste our reason and our sensibilities, tormenting us and shattering our lives, for the purposes of being re-born, stronger, wiser and more whole.
The Five of Cups, with its associations of disappointment, awoken hunger and appetites for something intangible and beyond reach, drives us to break free from the emotional harmony that we have enjoyed, but may have grown tired of, urges us to seek further, to reach for the forbidden fruit. The Prince of Cups, he has his eyes fixed firmly on the snake in the cup, and seems to have forgotten about the lotus of love that hangs from his other hand, he seeks renewed power, and longs for intensity and the devouring ultimate union . Death then, takes his scythe and reaps all that lies before him, laying waste, and releasing the eagle of wisdom, to fly free into the heavens with the souls of the departed, leaving all else to rot and wither behind him, fertilising the ground for future work.
This yearning for renewed life is felt most intensely at this time of year, as we witness the departure of The Sun, and also perhaps as we sense the endless hunger of those close to us, who have passed on, as they lust for the life that they no longer have. As the veil thins, we have the opportunity to walk between the shadows and to commune with those who have departed, to whom love, lust or pain still bind us. I created this spread specifically to look into the passing of a loved one, and to gain deeper insight into the dynamic around the relationship with the departed. I personally found it extremely insightful, and hope that you may also find it helpful when looking at your own situations.
The Doorway Spread
Card 1: What does/did your life give me
Card 2: What do I share with you
Card 3: What does your loss give me
Card 4: What am I still holding on to
Card 5: How can I let this go
Card 6: Your message to me
Wishing you all a blessed Samhain.
Art Credit 3 Eyed Raven: Audrey Benjaminsen.
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.