Tarot Spreads: Tending Your Spiritual Garden
Ohhhh, the winter of 2015! At least here in the Northeast. Thank every God out there that I don’t live in Boston, where the drifts were ten feet high…but we had our share.
Now mind you, I have a BLACK thumb (I kill plastic plants!) but here in farmer-rich Schoharie County, a lot of my friends and neighbors tend to counter the Snow Blahs by pulling out their seed catalogs and planning their spring plantings. Envisioning the March and April mud, they mull over melons, peruse the pea plants and hanker for honeysuckle and hollyhocks. Yes, they know there is a lot of clean up work after a heavy winter, but the reward is worth it. And most of them are also good friends to the wildlife around us, leaving compost heaps and trimmings for the birds and beasts just coming out of hibernation.
We all have gardens, you know. They may not hold heirloom tomatoes, but those “inner gardens” of growth and spirituality need their own times of planting, harvesting, and lying fallow. And when it’s time to start fresh – on New Year’s, your birthday, or any other time you feel the need to rejuvenate it – the same tasks are required: pull up the dead things, plant the good things, and leave some things to feed other creatures. And this is where a little divination is as good as planning the crops and perusing the seed catalogs.
So let’s try a “Tending the Spiritual Garden” Tarot reading, shall we?
When you clear a garden from the winter detritus, you get rid of the muck and weeds that never got pulled up in the fall.
You plow the ground and get rid of the stones.
You fertilize it.
You plant specific seeds.
And if you know that the leftovers are useful (bracken for birds to hide in, for instance), you put them neatly aside.
That’s how I’ve designed a “Tending Your Spiritual Garden” spread for you – and I’ll model it first with a standard Tarot deck, and then with an Oracle deck, just to show that the deck is not as important as the spread and the intent.
- What needs clearing?
- What needs plowing/reshaping?
- What will fertilize growth?
- What shall I plant?
- What shall I prune and/or leave for others?
For the Tarot, the cards are:
CLEARING: XV The Devil
PLOWING: V Pentacles
FERTILIZER: King of Pentacles
PLANT: Queen of Swords
PRUNE: Page of Cups
The first card, Clearing, is pretty clear: for properly tending your Spiritual Garden, clear out all those small and large things that bedevil you, and the bad habits that keep you from moving forward to your highest and best.
The second card, Plowing/Reshaping, is all about finding your balance in what may feel like spiritual quicksand. As you review the last part of your life, see where you stumbled and gently pry up the memory; what was underneath that you failed to see? How can you take that knowledge and make it something worth keeping?
The third card, Fertilizing, says “spend wisely” – and in this case spend wisely is put your time, energy, abilities and materials into what will enrich your spiritual life. Budget, if you will, so that you get the most return for what you “plant.”
The fourth card, Planting, speaks of using both head and heart to walk the spiritual path; cut through fluff and look at all the things you have wanted to do spiritually and choose only a few that will really nourish your growth.
The fifth, Pruning, is the eternal hope of the novice; you are no longer in the novitiate, but can leave that bright and shiny emotional toybox to the “rookies” who will follow you. It’s also giving away the idea that you have to have friends on the same path; the true Seeker knows that if they need to seek alone, they will do so. Leave the “herd mentality” for those who do not yet know how to walk a solitary path.
All right. Let’s say you don’t have (or don’t use) a Tarot deck, but one of the Oracle decks instead. Let’s use the Ascended Masters Deck by Doreen Virtue:
CLEARING: Nurture Yourself
PLOWING: Retreat into Nature
FERTILIZER: Fertility (!)
PLANT: Positive Change
In this case, Clearing may be indicating that you have been spending too much time on comforts and the easy road. You may be being asked to look outward to others.
Plowing, or preparing the ground for growth, is asking you to literally find a growing ground and make yourself part of it. Even in the winter you can walk in a quiet park and listen to Nature sleeping. Reconnect yourself and gain some Earthwisdom to deepen your spiritual practice.
Fertilizer and Fertility! What could be better? It is all about being willing to literally “rebirth” yourself.
Planting in this case means get ready for Change. All change is positive if greeted with willingness – running toward change rather than running away. This signals that your life will likely be VERY different on this new spiritual road. That’s why tending your Spiritual Garden is vital — you want to make sure YOU choose what’s growing!
Pruning your listening says that you must not be swayed by every new idea that comes along – in this day and age, there are new spirituality “gurus” under every rock and around every corner. Check in with yourself deeply and pay attention to what feels right in your heart and soul.
So there you have it – an easy way to make sure your spiritual garden is ready for the warm winds and sunshine of the spring to come. Happy gardening!