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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Authentic Life Spread

James Wells of Circle Ways has created a tarot spread based on the book 'Top Five Regrets of the Dying,' which aims to help us 'live a life that is less regret-filled and more fulfilling and authentic.' That sounds like a very good aim, and so I am going to try out the spread here using my newly arrived Tarot Illuminati by Erik C Dunne, with companion book by Kim Huggens (Lo Scarabeo, 2013). 

1     2     3     4     5
  1. How can I remain true to myself?
  2. How can I remember to set work aside for other important things?
  3. How can I develop and maintain the courage to express my feelings?
  4. How can I remember to stay in touch with people whom I love and value?
  5. How can I demonstrate my choice to be happy?

My draw contains no majors, but instead focuses on details of mundane life, with themes of stability, emotion, and moving forward. I've always maintained that life lived on a small scale is epic enough (god knows), and have felt happy to live this way. I like it. And so in order to remain true to myself, I maintain the foundations that I know make me happy. But sometimes when you compare your life to others, even if you are actually quite happy, you can begin to think there must be something more you should be doing with it, and you begin to doubt. The 4 of Wands reminds me to celebrate the security of my life. The Tarot Illuminati companion book calls this card 'the Thanksgiving of Hearth and Home,' and if you have read my blog for any time at all, you must have picked up on how much I love my quiet domestic situation and enjoy being at home. I can remain true to myself by continuing to celebrate my quiet, stable life, and inviting others to share the celebration. 

I thought seriously about changing the wording of question 2, as I most sincerely do not allow work to impinge upon my life--beyond the 37 hours a week I put in to earn a wage. I don't have a career, I have a job. It's not an issue. But then there are some things that we might not think to call 'work' but which we allow to distract us because we really think those things are important. Maybe it's like the poem by Nadine Stair, 'If I Had My Life Over': 
If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.

I think the Six of Cups is telling me to eat more ice cream and less beans--figuratively speaking. I'm vegan, plus I actually like beans. Ha Ha. It's telling me not to let 'duties' or 'what's good for me' get in the way of precious time doing things that make me and those around me feel happy and loved. Let my inner parent indulge my inner child, as the man on the stairs looks on while the children in the Six of Cups play around the fountain. 

In order to maintain the courage to develop and express my feelings, I must always keep moving on, like the people in the Six of Swords. I must continue to grow and develop in my mind; and from this card I take the message that it's okay, and actually necessary, to change my mind, and have the courage to speak my mind even when what I'm saying contradicts past thoughts or beliefs. This is the only way growth can happen. We have to dare to get things wrong, to dare to say what we think or feel in the moment, even if tomorrow we go back and say the total opposite. It reminds me of Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay, Self-Reliance, 'Speak what you think today in words as hard as cannon-balls, and what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today.' In order to develop and maintain the courage, I must have the courage. :) I like that. 

About keeping in touch with my 'loved ones' - which I take to mean family - I have drawn 8 of Cups, and am struck by what Kim Huggens writes in the companion book: 'Some say I abandoned my life, leaving behind all the world's best things. They don't understand.' It is so meaningful to me, because I did leave one life to start a new one in a new country, and I did leave behind an entire life--I came here on my own, hoping for a new life experience.  I didn't go back. This card reminds me that it's up to me, not societal expectations, to sort out who I will love and value, who I keep in touch with, and why I do what I do. It also reminds me that once you've turned your face toward the road, that doesn't mean you can't turn around again...there are 8 standing cups behind the lad in the card, all upright and presumably still full. Ready to welcome. Maybe they are filled with more understanding than our pilgrim might have thought.

If Prince Lenormand reads this, I hope he notices that I have drawn King Thighs! So, does this card mean in order to demonstrate my choice to be happy, I need to buy a leg press machine? Seriously though, this card has a deep meaning to me, based yet again on the words of Kim Huggens: 'When emotion and feeling is passive, it cannot go out in the world and do any good...mine is the power of active compassion.' In other words, the King of Cups is master of all aspects of the Water element -- the emotions, the feelings, intuition, and relationships. And he says that these things can't be pent up or hidden, they must be active, they must manifest in daily life. And so to demonstrate my choice to be happy...I should reach out actively from a place of emotion and feeling and engage with the world. 

This was a meaningful reading for me, and I am impressed both by the spread and the Tarot Illuminati deck and companion book. Thanks to James Wells, and Erik Dunne & Kim Huggens. 

I would be most happy to use this spread for my tarot clients. If you are interested in having a reading using this spread, please feel free to contact me. See Tab above marked 'Order a Tarot Reading', and ask for the 'Authentic Life Spread'. 


  1. I really like this spread. Very much! I may have to give it a try. You know I'm going through struggles right now, so this might help me focus and gain perspective.

  2. What a very beautiful reading! And my, Kim really hit some doozies for you in her companion book, didn't she?! Loved the bit about indulging your inner child ;)

    I was struck by three Cups cards, though not surprised. I think our connection with others is the most important part of our lives, not the things we own or the projects we work on or the thoughts we think. They have their place, but if it was a place without others by our side, it would be an empty one.

    1. Well, my life card is Lovers, and I think that really says a lot for my mission in this incarnation.