Oh my, so much to catch up on since my last public journal entry: Solstice readings, including Lisa de St. Croix's excellent Visual Journaling; full moon readings late on Christmas Eve after a big holiday party; and then the Fortune Circle Holiday Party! And as I start my period of reflection on 2015, I'm going to work backwards, so to speak; which means that the Harvest Tree readings at the Holiday Party are the first ones I'll be journaling about.
The Fortune Circle work I've been doing with James Wanless and about a dozen intrepid Fortune Seekers has certainly been one of the highlights of these last few months. Our get-togethers usually include James talking about one of the Gold You Rules, splitting into breakout sessions for discussions, a guided meditation, and then picking cards that match the topic of the night. The holiday party had a slightly different format, picking multiple cards and describing a spread for people to do their own Harvest Tree reading. One interesting thing about the Fortune Circles is that they're pseudonymous; Monday night, it was me, Morpheus, Azeri, the Queen of Wands, Dragon, and the Fortune Maker.
2016 adds up to the perfect, indivisible and final single digit number 9, which, thus, represents completion (going the whole nine yards). Nine symbolizes both an ending and a time of harvest.
What are you harvesting this year?
To help you create your harvest, follow the natural principles of the tree. Year after year, trees harvest themselves by their fruition. Trees know how to produce.
-- introduction to the Harvest Tree reading
James framed the discussion of 2016 as a year of harvest in terms of the Harvest Tree, a great example of face-up tarot where you intentionally pick cards. We use James' Voyager Tarot* during the Fortune Circles. There's a lot of internal structure in the deck and it's great to hear about it directly from James and see how he uses it. If you prefer another deck, feel free to adapt this face-up reading by choosing different cards for the different positions.
The four bottom sections in it represent the different seasons:
- Winter, a time for planning, with the Two of Worlds (Reflection) and Priestess, the corresponding Major Arcana;
- Spring, getting sharing, with the Four of Worlds (Commencement) and Emperor;
- Summer, maintaining, with the Three of Worlds (Nurturing) and Empress;
- and Fall, with the completed goal, Nine of Worlds (Harvest) and Hermit.
On the side is Five of Worlds, Setback, the barriers that may happen on the way; at the top is Ten of Worlds, Reward, with Fortune and the Ten of Wands, Growth. Overall, it's a great structure for a discussion of goals.
And it starts with what James called "the big question": What are we harvesting in 2016? It's a great question, and everybody had a good answer to it, so we spent a while discussing and encouraging each other. The answer that popped out of my mouth was "make a living via TapestryMaker", harvesting all the time and energy I've put into it over the last few years. As with any other goal or resolution, just saying it out loud (or typing it!) and sharing it with others makes accomplishing it more likely.
After that, we moved to picking an ally card from the 16 "family cards" (the Voyager equivalent of "court cards" in traditional tarot). I got the Man of Cups, Surfer. My first reaction to this was to think about being in flow and keeping my balance. James added that it was also about enjoying the journey. He also had great fedback on the cards others drew: Morpheus' Man of Worlds, Azeri's Woman of Cups, Fortune Maker's Child of Crystals, and the Queen of Wands' Sage of Wands.
With the aid of our ally, the next topic was identifying an "action habit", something we'd do regularly to help with what we're harvesting. My answer in the meeting was "write every day". On the one hand , which while a good thing feels like only a piece of the bigger answer. So it's a good topic for some reflection as I work on my new year's goals and resolutions.
We wrapped up the party by picking cards for the year, the outcome of the path that we were on. Mine was the Four of Wands, Aspiration. Here's a bit of what James says about it in Voyager Tarot Way of the Great Oracle:
Aspire to the heights. Your spirit cannot be contained. Liberate yourself in order to freely be all that you can be. Reach out for your goals, smashing through blocks with your fist. Pierce resistance with focus and will and burn out oppressive obstacles with the touch of illumination and purification. Move onwards and upwards.
Sounds like a plan! Or at least an aspiration :)
As we wrapped up, we went back to the Harvest Tree, and James pointed out that even though we had done it face-up, it would make a good spread for a reading in its own right. "And we can do that with TapestryMaker, right, Kallisti?" he asked me. "Sure!" I said ... aspirationally. Because actually TapestryMaker needed a little work in order to do it well. So instead of doing this blog post yesterday the way I originally intended, I did some programming and editing, and now it hopefully works. Here's mine:
Winter: Make a PLAN for harvesting your goal: Ace of Cups — Ecstasy
Spring: Show your intention by SHARING it with others: Ace of Wands — Illumination
Summer: Maintain an "ACTION HABIT" to nurture the growth of the goal: Nine of Wands — Integrity
Fall: PRESENT your completed goal: Sage of Crystals — Knower
Setback: Like a tree, always protect your own growth. What SETBACKS must you DEFEND against?: Sage of Cups — Regenerator
Reward: What’s your REWARD for following this Harvest Map? Nine of Worlds — Harvest
The Harvest as the reward for following the Harvest Map, gotta like that! And overall these cards all ring true and point towards things I can be doing to realize my goals: begin with love, ecstasy, and illumination (the Ace of Cups and Ace of Wands); keep my integrity and remain true to who I am (the Nine of Wands); connect and synthesize, looking at the big picture, and share the knowledge and wisdom (the Sage of Crystals), and use creativity to rejuvenate myself after setbacks and more broadly as well (the Sage of Cups).
Sounds like a good mindset to kick off 2016!
* images copyright 1985 by James Wanless, used with permission. Voyager Tarot is available online at jamesgwanless.com ... a new Android app is coming soon!