Hello Autumn: Lumina Tarot & The Wheel of the Year

Happy fall, everybody! Technically, the autumn equinox is still a week away, but I’m already all fired up about it. I feel like I just looked up and all of a sudden it was autumn; brisk air, orange leaves, fresh wind. Yumm.

I’m especially jazzed because this year I fully get to do the back-to-school craze again; I’ve just started a master’s program in Women’s Spirituality, which I’m doing remotely with California Institute of Integral Studies. This means a lot of my favorite things, including: textbooks (yay), new pens (double yay), reading scholarly texts about goddesses (holy heck, triple yay), and more! It also means I took about a month’s hiatus from the blog. But I’m back now, fueled by the golden light of fall, ready to pour my creative juices into this space again!

And it’s not just autumn that’s getting me excited; it’s also my brand new Lumina Tarot deck, which I’ve been eyeing (and drooling about) for several months. I finally caved and ordered it, and got my deck just a few days ago! It’s totally gorgeous. It’s got animal imagery, sacred geometry, splashes of vivid watercolor, and—maybe my favorite aspect— equal dark/light energies of the cards.

Maiden [Page] of Pentacles from the Lumina Tarot

Maiden [Page] of Pentacles from the Lumina Tarot

The inclusion of both dark and light energies is really important to me in a deck. If I see a Tarot or oracle deck that’s all sunshine and rainbows, I can’t get behind it. That’s not what life is like, and it sure isn’t what my spiritual practice is like. If every card is happy, it make me seriously skeptical. The earth, our world, everything is based on a balance of dark and light. We humans love each other, and harm each other too. We go through periods of deep sadness and ecstatic joy. The earth brings us a season of sun, then a darker season of low light and cold wind.

In Pagan traditions, this transition of the seasons is known as the Wheel of the Year. In looking at time as a cycle, we see the repeating patterns of the seasons, and we recognize that time is not linear, that there is no beginning or end. In her seminal work The Spiral Dance, legendary witch Starhawk writes: “Waxing and waning, birth and death, take place within the human psyche and life cycle. Each is to be welcomed in its proper time and season, because life is a process of constant change.”

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As we ride this cycle, each phase of the Wheel of the Year has something different to teach us; a different energy, a different celebration. A fabulous book for breaking this down is a gem I found in my favorite used bookstore in Seattle (Twice Sold Tales… so good!): The Grandmother of Time, by Zsuzsanna E. Budapest. Budapest, another foremother of the Women’s Spirituality movement, takes you through the year, describing each month’s lessons, festivals, deities, and themes.

The month of September, in The Grandmother of Time, has three messages for us: to create, to prosper, and to appreciate. Since September is associated with the fall harvest, this makes sense; it’s time for us to harvest the fruits of the seeds we planted earlier in the year. It’s time to start to nest; get cozy and settled in your home, beginning to prepare for the cold months. It’s time to take the first turn inward after the juicy extroversion of spring and summer. It’s time to appreciate the prosperous conditions in which we live, whatever that may look like for you.

Oh, and there is also a spell for “to drive a poltergeist from your premises” in this chapter. Bonus! Although, metaphorically, this makes sense; since it’s about to get cold, and we will be spending more time indoors, it is the perfect time to drive old energies out of your home.

What are your favorite things about fall? What are your thoughts on the Wheel of the Year? How do you drive poltergeists from your home?

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And if you want a reading with my brand-new Lumina Tarot, send me a message… this deck is positively BURSTING with energy, and I’m so excited to use it.

Blessed be!

xx