A Tarot Reading for the Ancestors

Last night, as I was knitting and the Laird Hamilton was being equally glamorous and ironing his shirts, we spoke about the cloudiness of our ancestry. This topic had come up earlier in the week during a barbecue we hosted, and I was keen to know his thoughts on the matter.

I have always been rather desperate to know the specifics of my family’s past – their home, their religion, their dress sense outside of the string of pearls that I inherited. I ache for the sense of belonging to a chain that stretches back in time.

He, on the other hand, didn’t seem troubled by it. He said that it didn’t matter to him if he was a Stuart or a Foster or a Hamilton – he was still my husband, still our cat’s daddy, still the owner of our lovely house. Why would it matter?

I couldn’t help but laugh at his suggestions. Perhaps his surname would be different if his full ancestry was known, but there was no way he was questioning if he was Scots. Of course his heritage is Scottish – one only needs to look at his beard for confirmation of that. We could have a different name, but to be without a tartan would be unthinkable.

On the other hand, I have learned slightly more of my ancestry. I know that my great-granddad was in the Russian army before he and his family immigrated to America with the assistance of the White Star Line. My great-grandma had said that their third class stateroom was built for a queen; her phrase has a ring of Lenin’s ‘Taj Mahal’ assessment when he saw an example of an American kitchen. Perhaps Russians are just prone to hyperbole.

In light of this, I have done a Tarot reading today for my ancestors. Obviously, there is no way of gaining confirmation of my findings now, but the results feel right to me. Ultimately, that is the point of a Tarot reading, I feel.

Thus, without further ado: Tarot, please will you tell me what I need to know about my ancestors?

A spread using Kat Black’s Golden Tarot; journal found here.

For this reading I have done a five-card spread and read it like a journey. None of the usual past/present/future spreads or even the classic Celtic Cross felt suitable for a purely past-orientated reading. So, first of all, we have the Wheel of Fortune, which sets the scene for their journey. Generally considered positive, it reminds us that we can have our fortunes changed – the Universe has a hand in our progress and downfall.

Next, we have the Nine of Coins. This is one of the most positive cards in the deck. It shows harmony and material satisfaction. The harvest has been fruitful and leisure pursuits (such as falconry, which we see here) can be taken on. There is also a fluffy lamb at the back, perhaps displaying innocence or livestock with a renewable resource in their wool.

Following on, we have the Knight of Wands – a knight of passion, fire and growth. Even the grass seems to be made of fire in this card, and the knight’s livery is covered in vines as he charges ahead. This card indicates impulsiveness and courage, charging ahead regardless of risks.

Then we see The Tower, one of the most tragic cards in the deck. It depicts helplessness and fear, dealing with dramatic change beyond control. As it often speaks of disaster and upheaval, I was not shocked to see this card; immigration is a very stressful thing. Circumstances often forced people to immigrate, and happy occasions (such as marriage, which led to my own transatlantic resettlement) would have been unlikely. So, in this card, we see a tower in (red) flames and someone leaping out of it in desperation. If I were feeling heavy-handed, I would point to the October Revolution. At any rate, the old structures were no longer working, and so it was time to abandon them.

Initially, The Tower was my final card and I felt a little dismayed. After all it’s the worst card in the deck! But I asked for a card representative of the aftermath, and drew the Two of Cups. This one slightly resembles the Nine of Coins – both feminine in nature, accompanied by sheep and an exotic bird. The robes are still rich and the woman appears pregnant, which I heard my great-grandmother was when she went through customs. This card is one of partnership, of love and, indeed, happy beginnings.

I wonder if my ancestors look on my ‘return’ to Russia a few years ago as a betrayal of their escape. I like to think that they would see it as a short stint in the Motherland, and a relearning of the culture that they left behind.

Mabon: A Time for Harmony

Today marks the Autumn Equinox, and a time to ensure that one’s own life is in balance. In the past year, I feel that I have reaped many successes, and there is much to be grateful for. Though these are becoming fewer when it comes to material conquests, for the first time in ages I’m writing again. Stories are being spun in my hands, and I’m so proud to have finished pieces.

Moreover, I have ideas regarding where I want my work to progress. I have a vision for Lady Hamilton, both as an extension of myself and for the website. That creative, sexy minx will be inspiring women to understand that the alluring and the crafty can go together. As women, we do not need to shun one part of ourselves in favour of another.

However, this year has been a big one for my spirituality as a whole. Its seems appropriate to discuss this now, on the final pagan holiday on the Wheel of the Year. I have begun to see clearly that all our spiritual paths are leading to the same sacred place. That said, not all will lead us as effectively, and in this we need to use our own judgement. What is right for one seeker may not be right for another. We all have souls in need of different lessons, and so we must be open to new paths for growth.

Anyway, most organised and unorganised disciplines advocate of loving those around us, but some go deeper, teaching us that we are all one – with each other, with the Earth, with all living beings. To believe this is to live lightly, to tread delicately on our Earth Mother, to know that any harm we do is harm done to ourselves. Likewise, to send love and understanding out to others is to receive it.

In the past year, I have learned that we all make mistakes, and we are all doing the best we can on our particular path. After feeling stagnant for years, this time of reflection has allowed me to look on my own life with new eyes. I’ve come to appreciate the miracle of life for its own sake, rather than resenting this gift that I’ve been given.

I have read before that you need to go down to the depths of your soul to understand yourself and your own nature. I feel that this step was taken, whether I had intended to or not. And now, in keeping with the necessary balance, I have swung back into a different type of understanding. We are all forever learning, and our own spirituality is a lens through which we see the world. From there, all other elements of the self branch off. We are, first and foremost, spiritual beings, of and connected to the source of all life. Any teachings which tell us otherwise keep us apart and small.

It is in this spirit that I have started exploring my own spiritual understanding. Detailing my progress in this matter is expected to be part of this blog’s content. However, I will be including my other passions, including my writing and crafting as well. In keeping with today’s spirit, all elements must be in balance.

And so I wish to profess my gratitude to the universe and forces at work in my life. Thank you for being here today, thank you for the abundance bestowed upon us, thank you for the health of myself and those around me, thank you for my inspiration and enthusiasm in all matters.