As Solstice finished I began to look ahead to Lammas. I wanted to do a reading which would help me understand what I was to work on during this time period, what was to come next? I felt very strongly about having a “quest” or an assignment for me to pursue which would also be in conjunction with the energies of Lammas.
I looked over the internet and through a few of my tarot books. None of the spreads I found felt right and I knew I was going to need to design my own spread. The first thing I do when designing a spread is to get a blank piece of paper and write out aspects of what I want to cover in the reading. Not all of them make it and many get combined into a single position. I also like to keep the number of position totals to either 5 or 7 for manageability.
I liked what I read about the Camelot Oracle and it’s pathway cards and I decided to use it as inspiration. I wanted a card to represent the “type” of path before me as I headed towards Lammas. A descriptor card that would show more with it’s images and feelings evoked then the actual meaning from the book. I also wanted to know who or what my allies would be along the way and what challenges or experiences stood before me. I also wanted to know where the path led. What was the destination? Again, like the path card, I wanted it to be more of a descriptor-style of card.
I wanted a reading that felt “different” from the standard past, present, future set-up. I fiddled with things for around an hour before I came up with the simple spread below.
I used the pendulum to dowse the sequencing of the card pulls. I do believe that it will need a bit of tweaking here or there and so I fully expect a Questing Path 2.0 version soon enough.
Here is the description of each position.
1. The Path – This is a descriptor card and you should look at the overall image of the card to help describe your path. You can also find a keyword for the card and use it to fill in the blank on the phrase “The Path of _____ .” (See below for an example of this.)
2. Mid-Point Navigation – This card points to a midway marker or event between the beginning of the path and the destination. This is not a descriptor card. This could be a direct challenge or it could be an experience I was to look for along the way.
3. The Destination – Again, another descriptor card. Look at the image on the card and where the scene is that is taking place. Given that this spread is for Lammas, I’m looking for not only the feel of the card but a location where I might want to acknowledge Lammas when it arrives.
4 and 5. Allies Along the Way – This card would point to energies and entities along the way that I could call on for clarity, support and assistance. They would remind me of my strengths and my experience and might also be individuals, physical or non-physical, that I might encounter.
6 and 7. Challenges – These two cards would show me not only where the sticky points were going to be but also how to identify my greatest teachers on the path from here to there.
Let’s take a look at what they say.
On the surface, this reading appears to be full of oh-no’s and some unsettling stuff. When you see this sort of thing always remember, that is fear talking. This reading is actually not unsettling at all!
#1. The Path – The Moon over Water, 18.
Remember, this card is a descriptor card which means the image itself will tell you a great deal. The path ahead is swampy, shadowy and lit by the moon only. Perhaps a lot of work by the light of the moon? I will need to move along with my intuition and my other non-physical senses in this realm. I will be working with not only with fears but those entities and creatures that move in the shadows of the subconscious and reality. (The Fey?) I feel no fear or apprehension from this card. The card itself stands for inner transformation and rebirth (which is a theme since the Spirit Quest.) But it is an inner path I will be walking towards Llammas. I decided to call this The Path of Inner Moonlight.
#2. Mid-Point Navigation – 7 of Vessels, Mourning
Again, I felt no dread though the card could easily cause some in other readings. It was telling me that sometime around mid to late July there would come a point where I needed to consider letting a piece of my past go. It was holding me back from my future. It was necessary. At this point I am not entirely sure what it entails but given the theme of rebirth and transformation, I have a few ideas as to where to start. (Note the extra card and information at the end of the reading.) It is the suit of vessels which is cups in traditional tarot. A suit of emotions. I will need to address those emotions and how they are connected to the past in order to successfully let them go. This will be a turning point.
#3. The Destination – Queen of Vessels, Salmon
Another Descriptor card. I worked with the energy of the card as it presented itself to me, not by the definition in the book. This card is sunlit, vibrant and full of energy. It looks like a beautiful summer day near a lake or a good stream. I will need to plan on a Lammas celebration out of doors and in the sunshine. I cannot help but get strong, wonderful energetic vibes from this card. On other notes, the Salmon card is about swimming upstream to your birthplace. I thought, perhaps, my spiritual birthplace? This took me on quite a mental run to try and figure out WHERE that would be! Ah-HAH! Part of the quest indeed! I would need to figure that out and then I might know where to go. Perhaps the mid-point navigation would offer some insight? Salmon is also about renewal and the card itself is about Joy and recovery. Again, the theme of rebirth and renewal plays itself forward!
NOTE – For the Allies (and Challengers) I decided that since I was working so closely with the Fey I would modify things a bit and ask for a Fey ally and a Fey challenger on this Quest. To be polite, I gained permission first which was quickly granted. To that end, I drew from my Faeries Oracle deck to see who would arrive and placed those cards into the reading.
The Allies — The Journey and The Faery Godmother
Wow. A lot to say here… With the Journey card coming up if I had any doubt about this whole “rebirth thing” they were quickly dashed. In the Wildwood Tarot, The Journey is the Death card. When I turned these over I sat stock still because the impact and energy of the cards stunned me. Notice how the Raven is looking directly at the reader and how the Faery Godmother is giving a sideways, somewhat amused glance at the Raven? What is on this path before me, the death and rebirth, is inevitable. It needs to happen. That inevitability is an ally, a source of energy and power I can use to my advantage as I head forward. When a warrior or any individual accepts his own death he can become unstoppable. Death becomes a friend not an opponent.
The Faery Godmother looks on and smiles. When this card shows up it has been my experience that I need to be ready for a shower of support and “good things” to come my way. She is the grand dame of spirit guides and otherworldly assistance and support. Pretty much ’nuff said there!
The Challengers — Ace of Arrows and The Friends
This took a bit to decipher but I think I have the basics worked out. First of all, I believe the Aces can be nearly as powerful as the Major Arcana. In this case, the Arrows suit is one of the Mind, of mental sharpness. This card in particular speaks of breathing life into a thought, of the very beginnings of bringing a thought into full physical manifestation. My challenge here? Managing my thoughts and learning manifestation. Note how the arrow in this card points directly to The Journey above. A challenge of how I wish to manifest my Journey, my rebirth? Yes, I think so.
The Friends was an interesting one. It’s a challenge to untangle my friendships. This actually came up during some work during the Spirit Quest back in June. A challenge to not only reconnect but to first sort them out “with Honesty and Tact.” This WAS the faery challenge so I believe it’s speaking to my reconnection not only with my physical, human friends but also my Fey friends. Something I’ve already started to do and obviously what they wish for me to continue! This also came with the reminder that this was a challenge. It is not going to come easy and it will take effort on my part. Got it!
As I wrapped up the reading I asked my dowsing pendulum if there was anything else. It responded there was and then began to circle directly to the right of the Mid-Point Navigation position. It then went to the Wildwood Tarot. Another card then? Another bit of navigation or a clarifier? Yes to both. Alright, then, be that way.
I drew another card.
The Archer — Deliberate aim and focus. (The Chariot card in traditional tarot.) Do not become distracted. This was tied to the Mid-Point Navigation card which was the card of Mourning and letting the past go. This was telling me I needed to be VERY deliberate in the hunting of what I want to let go but also what I want the new rebirth to be about. “Take careful stock of what I want to achieve, why and how you will go about it.” (Note the echoes in this from the Challenger card, Ace of Arrows.) More manifestation energy and a clarifier to be specific, to choose my targets and my focus wisely and carefully. Now is not the time to relax or dilly dally with my intentions! Also, another Major Arcana! This would make 3 Major Arcana and an Ace in an 8 card reading. Impressive!
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In the end I could not be happier with this spread.
I feel that it achieved everything I needed it to do and I have a clear idea of what I need to be working on as I approach Lammas. I have my marching orders! I am happy with the idea of the Pathway and Destination cards being used as Descriptors. After spending more time with the reading (and even more getting all this typed and into the blog) I know exactly WHERE to go to have my Lammas celebration and the issues of manifestation and letting the past go have become even more clear.
I can see where the spread could be useful for all sorts of quests, journeys and even vacation trips so at this point, I am happy. I do think I will be making some minor tweaks to things, possibly starting with the draw order. I will, of course, post it here.
Let me know your thoughts!
Addendum — I’ve been thinking about this and it is my hope that people will also use this spread. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences with the spread! All I ask is that if you reproduce it elsewhere that you credit me and the blog where it originated, please. I think that is fair? Feel free to link back to here too if that would be easier.