Reading with the Tarot of the Crone by Diane Wilkes

The querent identified with Selene, Goddess of the Moon, so I created her spread for the New Year based on the lunar cycles. Various versions of lunar cycle spreads influenced me--those of Teresa Michelsen, Errol McLendon, and Yvonne Rathbone all come to mind. Since Selene was particularly honored during the Full and New Moons, I laid special stress upon those cards. While most lunar cycles are designed for monthly spreads, I decided the macrocosm reflects the microcosm and vice-versa, and designed this spread for the year ahead.

New Moon Cards:  One card speaks to the theme and archetypal energies for the next year. I used a Majors-only deck for this (Storyteller) in order to focus on how the querent could achieve her goal.  The second card spoke to how this energy will play out in the mundane world or a plan or resolution she had for the coming year and possibly insight into how to approach it.

Card One - The Hermit - Archetypal energy -- The Storyteller Hermit's slant is a bit different than some others, in that it is based on Diogenes...who really existed, I was surprised to discover. A proponent of the Stoic school, he emphasized being natural and open to the point where he lived in a tub outside! He even thought people should do everything outside and publicly, like the animals--ie., go to the bathroom, fornicate, etc.

This card speaks of the path of a loner, someone who follows a unique and unconventional path. In the coming year, the querent might be alone but not lonely, getting more in touch with her "real" "true" self and following that path accordingly. This is a card of brilliance and depth. In the coming year, she is likely to be able to shut out the rest of the world in order to find the light within, which she can then disseminate in her own unique and special way.

Card Two - The Magician

How will that play out? In Tarot of the Crone, the Magician plays the role of one who passes between illusion and reality. So as she goes deeper and deeper inside this year, she will find herself walking/creating between these two worlds. Balancing the two in a proactive, vital, and self-sustaining way is her challenge and her gift.

Crescent Moon Card:  This card represents her initial feelings about her goal and how it might feel to take the first actions toward it. This card might indicate sensitive areas and suggest baby steps in order to deal with them effectively and lovingly towards herself.

Card - Six of Disks - Style

Finding her own unique slant is something that isn't a game for the querent, but a way of life. Because it is so much a part of her, and because it is so unique a path, moving towards her goal(s) this year is a bit of a struggle--it's hard to be a pioneer (yet the Hermit/Magician combo demand that of her). She may have to try on and discard a few different personae before she finds the path that is right for her, but when she finds it, she'll recognize it. It's more a case of experimentation and trusting her own taste and style.

First Quarter Moon Card:  This card represents adjustments or challenges that might occur as she begins to bring her archetypal energies into the world.

Card - Five of Disks - Work

Her biggest challenge will be to settle down and do the work. This is the card of the mindless brutality of "just getting on with it",  dealing with the demands of the mundane as pertaining to her goals AND her everyday life. Catching the moonbeam in your hand and using it to light your way sounds glamorous, but it's hard work. And part of what the querent needs to do is not gossamer, not lovely, not Pre-Raph. Some of it is making the mortar. She wants to make beauty, but is more interested in the end result than the imperfect beginnings. This card reminds her that getting down and doing the work is the only way to move ahead. The only thing more unpleasant than doing what this card demands is living with herself if she doesn't.

Gibbous Moon Card:  This card speaks to balancing the energies of the mundane world with the desire to create and bring her vision into reality this year.

Card - Justice

This card is about making hard choices, using her discernment to judge what matters most and walking the path of making those tough decisions. And acting upon them. There are webs of emotion and webs of compassion and webs of past failure that make it hard for her to "just get on with it." If she wants to bring her vision into reality this year, she may have to make unpleasant choices. She may have to face some issues that she'd be just as happy not to look at. But this card of independent thought suggests she weaves her own web, a web that creates her own world, free of cruelty, fears, fantasies that never become reality. If the querent weaves her web with love, it will protect her and she will become a beacon for others.

Full Moon Card:  This card represents the culmination of your work, thoughts, and efforts, what this can be and do in your life.

Card - Nine of Cups - Healing

If the querent had been suffering, this card is a gift, a promise of what can be. It's about integration, integrating all the beautiful and magical things that make up who she is, her own unique ribbons tied together in a beautiful and magical synergistic linking of want, need, love. This is about making what is broken, whole. What has seemed beyond repair, repaired. This is a card of renewal, a birth/rebirth of love and harmony, like a flower that has been buried underground rising up again, stronger, more lovely, more intricate, complete. This speaks of relationships that enhance who the querent is, as well.

Disseminating Moon Card:  This card represents what the querent can do once the goal has been achieved.

Card - Nine of Disks - Community

This is about creating community so that others find a sense of home within the querent--and she finds her own unique home within that community. In healing others, she creates a starred community that reflects her personal webs described in the Justice card. I am not sure how the querent will want to manifest this, but I get a sense of something within the world of cyberspace.

Third Quarter Card:  This card indicates its impact on the world, and also on you. What is next on the agenda, in terms of how it relates to this project/resolution.

Card - Beast of Swords - Crow

A sense of freedom and excitement will infuse her with the courage to truly take flight. We can't know what is next on the agenda, but we know it's a path no other(s) have taken. Others will feel easier in finding their own path because they will see that she has done it, and has healed from the experience.

What she will do in the year ahead will help her to love flying without a net--she will feel that is how she has always traveled.

Balsamic Moon Card:  This card is taken from the most psychic, karmic cycle of the Moon. It speaks to what is ending--which means it speaks to what is now beginning. I chose another card from Storyteller to ensure a Majors-only card, but perhaps, most meaningful is the card that follows...because it speaks to the future, as well as what is past.

Card - Judgment

This card is based on the movie It's a Wonderful Life. It's taken from the scene when Clarence stops George from jumping off the bridge, and shows him how to measure and evaluate his life in a more positive and accurate way. When George felt most like a failure was actually a time when he was truly most blessed and had the most support, support he had earned with his kindnesses and sacrifices. The querent's experiences in the coming year will be such that she sees her entire life with new eyes, eyes that see more clearly her own gifts and attributes, her own kindnesses and sacrifices. She will get a sense like never before of what she has contributed in her earthwalk, and this will lead to...next year's card--The World. Dancing with ease and naturalness within the constraints of every limitation, a recognition that what has held her down is something to respond to with movement and grace, and confidence in her whole and naked self.

The querent has quite a year ahead. I wished her much luck as she dances and flies down her path.

You can read reviews of this deck here and here.


Images from Tarot of the Crone 2002-2003 Ellen Lorenzi-Prince; from Storyteller Tarot Arnell Ando and Diane Wilkes 1998, 2003
Reading, spread, and page 2003 Diane Wilkes