Reading with the MerryDay Tarot by Diane Wilkes
A friend recently had a birthday and asked for a birthday reading. We created a spread to answer seven questions that were foremost in her mind. All cards were read with the preface, "In the coming year..."
Card One - What do I need to know about my relationship/situation with my son?
The Fire Dragon correlates to the Ace of Wands in other decks. The keywords given for this card are "Contained Fire", which describes the ideal situation for both the querent and her son. Both have anger issues and difficulty controlling their fiery tempers. The situation calls for both individuals to learn to contain their anger in ways that stimulate creativity and productivity, not tantrums and violent scenes. The image of the dragon evokes the ceremonial dragons in Asian festivities, which made me suggest that she and her son create some rituals together to "contain their fire," and devise some informal or formal methods to control their tempers.
Card Two - What do I need to know about purchasing a home?
The Emperor made both querent and reader grin. The querent and her husband are known for making excellent budgeting plans and executing them for a short period of time. Sustained structure and stability are necessary for the couple to make buying their dream home a reality. Until the querent and her spouse can consistently avoid bouncing checks and living from paycheck to paycheck, any home would be built on an unsure surface. This particular Emperor is quite ecologically-aware, and I suggested that the querent continue to work on that aspect of her living arrangements (she wishes to purchase the home they are presently renting). In addition, continuing to improve their home, buying new doors, painting, and building a decks all have a certain magical quality--announcing to the universe that the home is already theirs to build upon.
Card Three - What do I need to know to increase my tarot practice?
The Empress in the MerryDay Tarot is quite obviously pregnant, and the querent is the mother of several children, including a newborn. I suggested that the querent not be too self-critical about what she is unable to do because she is so busy tending to the needs of her children. The querent is very creative, and she needs to use that creativity to expand her tarot practice--one of the symbols in this card is a painter's palette, and she has started making her own tarot deck. We discussed ways to use the cards she has already created, such as developing homemade greeting cards for sale. Also, this card indicated that the querent might want to emulate the Empress as she does her readings, concentrating on a nurturing and creative approach. The sun in this card is emphasized--the querent is a sunny and warm person, which adds to her appeal as a reader. Lastly, the outdoors quality of this card reminds the querent to stay present and in nature to keep herself grounded.
Card Four - What can I do to improve my relationship with my husband?
The keywords Louisa Poole uses on the Three of Wands in the MerryDay Tarot are Searching/Traveler. We discussed the idea that both the querent and her spouse are on different roads, searching for different things in themselves and their lives, though there is also much common ground. There is nothing wrong with this--in fact, as long as they aren't on divergent roads, each has more to offer the other precisely because they are both learning new things about themselves and life that they can communicate and share. There is something about this card that speaks of patience and perspective--the querent has "sent out her boats" and needs to wait for her "ship to come in." Instead of immediately expressing dissatisfaction and/or irritation, the querent needs to stop and look at the big picture. One thing her spouse wants is for her to be more involved with her children, and this, too, requires patience and perspective--patience with her childrens' less-than-adult needs and personae, and the perspective that these days pass all too quickly.
Many of the cards in this reading not only reinforced things the querent knew, but were in the forefront of her mind. We talked about the importance of displaying this card, because it is so easy for her to forget the importance of the message of the Three of Wands.
Card Five - How will the situation with my new coven play out?
The querent recently formed a coven with eight other women. The Five of Swords at first seemed an ominous card--one that indicated that there would be internal conflict and struggle. The keywords on the MerryDay Five of Swords are "Win, Lose, Draw" and show three men as they end a conflict. One is a smug winner, one a disconsolate loser, but the third man shows someone who is ready for battle, but not inclined to fight unless he has no choice. We talked about the potential for conflict within the group and the need for the querent to eschew her usual attempts to mediate any disagreements that arise that don't involve her. For the coven to be a place of learning, community, and healing, the querent needs to develop necessary and healthy boundaries, and not become involved in internecine disputes.
Card Six - What do I need to know about my spiritual practice? (This question dovetails with the last, but is also a separate issue.)
The Nine of Wands in this deck shows a woman looking carefully at her ornately carved wand. She has a ceremonial drum to her left, a lion cub at her right. This is an atypical version of the Nine of Wands, and suggests that the querent has all the tools she needs to develop and continue her spiritual practice, and may want to spend time with the tools she has, rather than continue to look outside of herself and her possessions for "more." The eight more mundane wands behind the woman show that she has even more trappings of the spiritual life than she actually needs--what is wanted now is the attention to these items, and looking within for answers.
Card Seven - What is my birthday gift from the universe?
This is the card of the Student (traditionally, The Chariot), and goes hand in hand with the last question. This is a time for her to really explore in depth the spiritual path she has chosen, to study the things that appeal to her in an open and curious way. The fact that this card is traditionally The Chariot speaks to the idea that focus is important, and that she should use this time of study to move in the direction she most desires. This isn't simply about learning, but learning with a purpose, a goal.
You can read reviews of this deck here and here.
Images © 1997 Louisa Poole
Reading and page © 2001 Diane Wilkes