May: The Month According to Tarot

A tarot spread for the month of May including the Eight of Pentacles, The Hermit, The Empress, the Six of Swords, the Knight of Cups, and the Queen of Wands.
Soul Cards Tarot by Kristine Fredheim
Image by Victoria Constantino

This month may bring powerful manifestations, and the conditions are right for the seeds of our intentions to sprout, for us to start seeing attainment of our hopes, dreams, and desires. This month, whatever you are working on, go for it! The energies are strongly supporting your manifestations and creations. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get clear on what you want, set goals, and tune into your heart’s desires. You are a powerful creator and you can make the magic happen. You can create the life you wish. Now is the time to reach for the sky, and believe you can get there. Tuning into our expectations and beliefs this month and making any adjustments can be rewarding. Believe in yourself and make it happen!

Q1: What are the overall energies of May? Eight of Pentacles

This month shows us reaping the rewards of our efforts and focus. The goals we have been working toward are beginning to bear fruit, and the seeds we have nurtured are starting to sprout. Reward and gain, achievement and recognition, notable (and noticeable) progress are all being made manifest this month. May inches us ever-closer to summer in the Northern hemisphere, and the abundance of blossoms we see all around is echoed in the potent energies of manifestation and creative fertility that are increasing in the weeks to come, destined to reach their peak in the few months ahead. Everything is cyclical, and as we live our human lives, we feel these cycles too, as the wheel of the year turns and our experiences are echoed in the rise and fall of the sun, the warmth of spring and the cold of winter, the peaks of lush, fragrant abundance and the cool retreat of the plant kingdom into the frozen underworld. Now, we can embrace the beauty and prosperity that are all around us. We may receive fresh ideas and new excitement, burgeoning enthusiasm for new projects and goals or for what we know not yet.

Q2: Week 1: The Hermit

The Hermit says it’s time to retreat into your heart, into your mind, into the truth of who you are. Think of the fertile soil in which seeds hide. There, they gestate and grow and, when the conditions are right, they begin to manifest into the world above. When we retreat within, we can weed the garden and make room for the seeds we will plant. We can add nutrients to the soil to make it a fertile place and decide what we will plant there. When the time is right—and only we will know when it is—we can then plant the seeds and water and nurture them until they sprout. These seedlings hold so much possibility, and so do we. We can plant anything we want. The more we feed and nurture the new life, the faster, stronger, and healthier it will grow. This is the energy of The Hermit—the retreat within to do the inner work, to heal, to clear and release, to connect to our intuition and find the answers we seek to forge a bright new path ahead. The Hermit holds the lantern and is sometimes associated with a guide figure. While we hold our own guidance within, we can also call on our allies for support whenever we need it.

Q3: Week 2: The Empress

The Empress lives in abundance and fertility. Her world is one of her own creation; she is a self-made woman, a woman in her power. This card pertains to all, not just feminine energies, even though it is strongly feminine in nature. We all have within us both masculine and feminine. We may be guided to seek balance if things are off-kilter and to come to a place of fertile resonance and harmony in our own hearts and minds. The Empress may also represent the divine feminine on a greater scale, or the divine feminine in your own life—a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. She may be you—who you are now or what you are striving to achieve. The Empress represents creativity and creation, and indicates the power each one of holds to manifest whatever we wish. In regards to manifestation, The Empress indicates the receiving mode—that state of being or vibration in which we allow all we desire to flow to us unfettered. This week, the energies are fertile for creation and creativity. Abundance and prosperity are flowing, and we can choose to get into the stream and receive.

Q4: Week 3: Six of Swords

The Six of Swords finds us sailing into something new, which could be a manifestation or the attainment of a goal we have been working toward. We may be sailing away from one situation and into a better one. We may be freed from blocks or a situation that held us back, gaining an increasing sense of freedom and hope. Where swords represent the mind and sixes are associated with harmony, this card may see us becoming unblocked, gaining clarity, or being freed from constraints that once bound us. We are working through the conflict of the Five of Swords, coming into greater understanding and gaining awareness or perspective on events that may previously have felt unresolvable. Our focus, intention-setting, goals, hopes, and wishes are becoming evident, our thoughts turning to things as we begin to sail into hope, into improved circumstances and a better way of life. A new phase is beginning.

Q5: Week 4: Knight of Cups

With new beginnings often comes idealism, and that can be a great thing. The Knight of Cups may be asking us to focus on (and believe in) the highest possible outcome. If you are embarking on something new, traveling, accepting an offer, or starting out on a new path, cycle, or phase in your life, believing in the best possibilities will serve you well. After all, we get what we expect. Cups are linked to the emotions, and especially to the heart. This card can sometimes indicate travel, positive change, or an exciting new relationship. It can also sometimes urge us to consider our options carefully and know when it serves us to be practical and when we need to let loose and have a little fun. Only you will know what is right for you. This week may bring something fun to consider and is a good week to travel.

Q6: Guidance from the Universe for May: Queen of Wands

The Queen of Wands is linked to powerful manifestation and creativity, and as an energy, she brings vitality, prosperity, vibrance, and warmth. She is generous and active, enthusiastic and passionate. This month, she may be guiding us to be true to our hearts, to not give up on our dreams, and to pursue our ideas with zest and creativity. “You can do it,” she reminds us, and, “you’ve got this!” This month, ventures bring fulfillment, dreams become reality, and things that were mere seeds of ideas become clay in our hands, which we are moulding and shaping in every moment with our thoughts, beliefs, expectations, goals, and desires. This month, do the thing! You were born for this. Keep going. Believe in yourself. You really have got this.

Tarot: The Journey Within

Decks: Soul Cards Tarot & Blue Bird Lenormand
Image by Victoria Constantino

Tarot is a reflection of ourselves. When we hold a deck, a sort of energetic transference takes place. It is a connection that takes place all day, every day, and it is as natural as breathing. Anytime we hold something, we are connecting with its energy. It may not be a conscious connection, but it happens nonetheless. When we consider that everything is energy, this isn’t so surprising. Those who are sensitive to energy can connect with objects in this way and obtain any information they may hold.

Anyone who has worked with energy tools, like pendulums and tarot, for any significant period of time will tell you that you can get a skewed or false reading if your energy is off, or not aligned. If you are upset or impatient or having a bad day, for example, or if your thoughts are scattered or you are experiencing anxiety, the cards will reflect this. That is why it is so important to breathe deeply or otherwise connect in to a place of peace before entering a reading, whether you are receiving it or performing it, for yourself or another. Many practitioners develop their own rituals around this, and often, those may include prayer or calling on higher guidance or allies for a message. It can simply involve calling on the highest truth and light to assist with the reading. This is a way of ensuring the truth and accuracy of the cards and interpretation, and that it comes from a place of light to bring clarity and wisdom to the querent.

The way we approach a reading is also connected to the expectations we have for it. If we enter a reading with doubt that it will be of any value, then the cards will reflect that. However, if we enter the reading in a place of trust or positive expectation, expecting clarity to come from it, then that is what the cards will deliver. In precisely the way that the cards reflect our energy, they are also a powerful reflective tool that allows us to peer within. Of course, we can ask the cards anything, which opens up infinite possibilities of exploration for us. If we are examining what we need to release that we may not be aware of, or anything that may be coming up for clearing and healing, or even how best to go about doing the work of healing, the cards can be a valuable tool that allows us infinite insight into our interior landscape.

When we are attuned to our intuition, we can gain exponentially greater value from a reading. In this ideal interpretive space, we can go far, far beyond what the guidebook says to find the meaning and interpretation that is meant especially for us and our specific situation and experience. Certain symbols on the cards may catch our eye, for example; those can hold meanings that we can interpret in ways that are particular to us and, in this way, provide us with unique value. Trusting our instincts when it comes to the interpretation is key, as it opens us up to a greater flow of information. As soon as we doubt, we put up blocks to anything that might want to come through. Overall, tarot provides a medium through which we can tap into deeper and deeper layers of healing, awareness, and understanding that bring us further in our journey into the interior.

Trusting the Process

Photo & painting by Victoria Constantino

Imagine you’re driving down a road at night. The only illumination is coming from your headlights, and beyond that, the rest is a mystery, shrouded in darkness. You trust that the road continues beyond what you can see, so you keep driving, the guidelines painted on the road snaking off endlessly into the hidden distance.

The healing journey is a little bit like that, and so is life. We keep going, because we trust that there will be a next thing, and a next, that we won’t suddenly cease to exist or fall off into planar nothingness. The healing journey is ours to navigate. It’s important that we trust the guideposts to show us the way. In order to see them, though, we must be paying attention.

Doing the work sometimes means navigating through darkness. Sometimes our only light comes from within, but our inner light is the brightest light of all. Once we uncover it, we remember who we are; we remember our truth. We may reach a point where we decide that we want to discard everything that covers up that light. Through a process of healing, clearing, and releasing—one layer at a time—we discover how brightly we can really shine.

As long as we keep moving and keep desiring to heal and grow, we will. No matter how blocked off we are or how deep our pain, we can reach that heart-opened place of allowing where the answers flow to us and the guideposts light up like beacons. Where we flow easily in alignment with our higher self and receive our highest guidance as naturally as we inhale breath into our lungs.

The more we trust, the more we let go of our grip and relax the need to control outcomes. That’s when things start to come together. Great ideas flow to us, solutions spring up in our path, and we realize suddenly how far we have come. We look back on the times we leaned into trust and flowed with the process, and understand that it led us to exactly where we needed to be.

The Wisdom of Tarot

Not surprisingly, The World card comes in for the collective today, coinciding with this weekend’s new moon. New moons are a time of seeding intentions, a time that supports the writing out—and speaking aloud—of the things we wish to breathe into being. This card aligns with the new moon energy perfectly. It tells of promising new beginnings and a new cycle coming into existence. This is a time in which we are powerfully supported by these universal energies—in which success, accolades, honors, and achievements can all be ours.

So often, the cards we receive align in this way, so perfectly with the supporting energies, whether those energies are universal or personal. This tells us something. Tarot holds a particular wisdom. It reveals the unseen, the energies and hidden dynamics that are working on our behalf behind the scenes, and the groundwork that is being laid for us. It holds up a mirror to show us where we can improve and where we are headed, given the current circumstances.

Looked at another way, everything is attraction. We live in an attraction universe. The tenet of the Law of Attraction, a sibling to the Law of Gravity, is simply this: that which is like unto itself is drawn. The cards we attract show us where we are, reflect our current vibration, revealing to us what we are attracting into our lives.

That is, perhaps, tarot’s highest purpose. This form of divination is a mirror reflecting back to us our own state of being. The beauty of knowing where we currently stand is that we can shift our vibration, our focus, at any time. We can always redirect, reroute, and change course. We can always change our minds. We are never locked into any specific endeavor.

Life is a palette of contrasts, a magnificent artist’s toolkit with seemingly infinite variety. We get to sift through all the materials at our disposal and determine what it is we want to create, where we are headed next, what we are reaching for as we grow, change, and evolve.

It is an infinite dance we are participating in, one of continual seeking and finding, desiring and receiving, as we climb the ladder of our own growth and evolution. And we can thank the tarot for being a guiding light along the way.