Today, I’m using a whimsical deck that I found in a New Age shop a while back and that, as a fan of Through the Looking-Glass in particular, I had to take home with me: The Wonderland Tarot by Morgana Abbey and Christopher John Abbey.
One of the things I love about the chessboard structure of Through the Looking-Glass is that it sets a pace and highlights an organizing principle for a story within a world that is often regaled for its nonsense, its entropy, and its imaginative chaos. And I feel like applying the concept of Wonderland and its inhabitants into a tarot deck works in much the same way.
Today’s tea of choice is whimsical, too, at least in my mind. If I wasn’t already such a fan of English Tea Shop’s line of delicious teas, I doubt anyone could have convinced me to try a blend called Lemongrass Peppermint Tropical Punch, but: it works! This is one of my favorites, and I put it in the mug a dear librarian friend sent me when she heard I would be starting library school. Since I was offered a position in the children’s department at a new library just this past week, I’m celebrating my excitement with both mug and tea!
Now, let’s begin today’s reading!
I’ve opted to work with a standard ten-card spread, since getting a new job with the book about to come out means I have a bit more going on than usual! As the Abbeys, who created this deck, describe the positions of the cards in the spread, they represent:
- Your current environment and position.
- Immediate influences and/or obstacles surrounding you.
- The goals you’re aiming to achieve.
- The distant past and/or a past life.
- The recent past and/or your current life.
- The near future.
- You and your present outlook.
- Your relationships with others and the impact that they have.
- Your intimate feelings and worries.
- The final answer/solution to the question/current situation.
This ten-card spread (sometimes called a Celtic Cross) is great for when things are a little busier, or when you’ve got a particular question or problem on your mind. I’ve also set out a couple of pieces of calligraphy script stone (a.k.a. calligraphy jasper, Miriam stone, elephant skin jasper), which is a good stone for creatives trying to push through challenging times.
The first card I’ve drawn is the Two of Oysters. In this deck, that means the questioner is staring down the future and feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially in regards to a new project that is likely literary in nature. And with the upcoming deadlines for everything I still need to get done on NASCENT WITCH before release day, I can’t say that the card is wrong! (Don’t worry, I’m a Virgo through and through: it’ll get done. I’ll just be a nervous wreck until it does, that’s all!)
The next card is the Four of Hats, which suggests perfectionism and all the anxieties that come with it. Although this card relates to being overwhelmed and feeling a need to get things done and to do them well, it also implies that settling for less doesn’t have to be an option. The Four of Hats says that raising the bar is always acceptable, if not admirable.
In position 3, we have The Tower. Now, I drew this card during my last reading and spoke about how it’s a card under which I make sure to take special care to think before I act. The Wonderland deck affords more negativity to the hazard implied by The Tower: in this deck, the card means loss and failure. It is a warning to be prepared to lose despite solid efforts. Sometimes, the unexpected and the unknown result in consequences that no amount of hard work can prevent against.
The Star represents hope and the ability to learn from the past. Although loss and destruction may be inevitable, The Star says that rebirth, too, cannot be avoided. Light can be found in even our darkest moments. There is also emphasis here on the astrological, help and guidance from the stars above.
The next card is the Four of Oysters, a card that is all about material things. The Four of Oysters indicates an obsessive fixation on wealth and money, perhaps out of greed. It also may indicate a miserliness that comes from significant monetary loss and the fear evoked by that loss.
The Chariot is always an interesting card that takes on very specific meanings depending on which deck you’re using. In this deck, it indicates putting a lot of energy towards a goal that is still not quite clear. This doesn’t mean that the efforts involved will have been in vain; however, the questioner may be surprised by how things actually turn out. There is much they may not see coming, and there’s a chance they’re losing the forest for the trees.
In position 7 is the Page of Flamingos. This card indicates a shrewd perspective and a mind that is not easily fooled. It says that goals will be attained regardless of the risk involved, and a thoughtful point of view will allow for this achievement to happen subtly and discreetly.
For the same reason I love The Chariot, I find The Devil card fascinating as its meaning evolves from deck to deck. And who doesn’t love a Jabberwock popping up in the middle of their reading, even if it’s not the best omen? Anyway, here the card embodies evil and negative influences. In this position, The Devil says there are outside forces that will likely do one harm, and vigilance is absolutely necessary. It’s important to be careful who you trust, and to keep your eyes open for influences that may lead to ruin and failure. Also a good time to lock the doors and windows at night, sage the household, and scatter some salt along the entry points to the home.
The Queen of Oysters is a card indicating financial security and generosity. It is a card of wealth, but also of smart and kind distribution of that wealth. The idea behind this card is that the most clever person knows there is enough to go around, and that they will share what they have with others because in the end, all will benefit from such graciousness.
Finally, we see my favorite card of all, no matter what deck I’m using: Strength, the eighth card in the Major Arcana. In the Wonderland deck, Strength represents victory through sheer will. The efforts involved may be tremendous, but they will absolutely prevail in the end. Much courage and strength of both body and mind are engaged.
I hope you’ve had fun joining me in today’s Witchtember reading! And I hope that at the end of your own struggles, no matter how many or how difficult they may be, you also draw a card of great strength that will help you see things through to a happy end.
More Tea & Tarot to come!