Samhain is an ancient Celtic festival that marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of longer, darker and colder days, in other words winter. It is believed that the veil between the material and the spiritual world is at its thinnest around 31st October.
Samhain starts the new cycle of the wheel in the Pagan calendar and is effectively the beginning of a new year. The festival of Samhain is marked by honouring ancestors, bonfires, divination, feast of apples and magic.
Personally, this is my favourite time of the year, when the air becomes crispy, when the leaves on the trees change colour and wear magnificent crimson, gold, orange and brown hues. Animals such as squirrels are busy burying nuts, bees are pollinating the last flowers, mushrooms are appearing and generally speaking, nature is preparing for the big sleep.
Time to stay more indoors, to prepare earthy food, to read books and to honour our ancestors, to remember them, to reflect on the passing year and to be grateful.
Of course, tarot readings at this time of the year are quite potent, perhaps more than usual. With that in mind, the spread above can help you connect with your ancestors.
If you choose to do this spread, meditate afterwards because lots of info will be available and it may take time to absorb into your understanding.
A good idea would be to take a picture of your spread and to write down your thoughts and impressions of the cards for future reference. I looked at mine from last year and it was so spot on, that if I didn’t know better, I would find it totally spooky!
To enhance the spread, I have listed some of the Gothic decks you could use.
The list is not by all means exhaustive.
I will write another blog on decks that use skulls and zombies, vampires and the like.
The Bohemian Gothic Tarot – 1st and 2nd edition – BabaStudio.
The decks are exquisitely gothic (the old Goth in me loves it) and can really enhance any questions about the past, past lives etc. I particularly love the 9 of Cups, the Absinthe drinker….so deliciously Victorian and dark.
The Deviant Moon tarot by Patrick Valenza
Another great tarot deck dealing with darker characters, some quite menacing and others like the Ace of Wands or the mermaid in the World, depicted in this image, are quite whimsical if not, a darker, underlying tone.
Patrick has a unique style which deals with the darker side of humanity’s psyche whilst being truthful to the tradition of the tarot. A very delicate balance that he has achieved.
The Gothic Tarot by Joseph Vargo
This deck is a firm favourite of mine, as readings with it can be powerful, straight to the point and not running around the bush. I used this deck quite a bit back in the days when I was doing psychic readings on TV, and was using it particularly for past lives.
Maybe because of my Gothic tendencies, reading a deck with Nosferatu, Dracula, vampires, skeletons and the like makes an old Goth happy 🙂
Halloween without pumpkins, black cats, ghosts, witches and ghouls would not be Halloween right?
This deck is whimsical and follows the Rider Waite tradition in its imagery.
A great tarot to have at parties (I use this deck as a treat and, a darker deck as a trick) and people love it, as it is lighter unlike the ones we have just reviewed.
A fabulous deck if you prefer a less dark tarot and more fun looking at the kitties on the cards 🙂
Okay, not a tarot deck, but rather an oracle deck, and I absolutely love this one.
The artistry is very good and evocative, and I like to use it at the end of a reading at a party as the message of “spirits” with very spooky accuracy!
Of course cauldrons, black cats, skulls and the like are part of the attraction for many people following an ancient spiritual path.
This one is the darkest tarot I have. It is a rare deck and out of print.
It is not for the faint hearted and has an underlying Victorian sense of the macabre, which means death and taxidermy, needles, absinthe, torture and the like. A descent into a disturbing asylum of the dead and the grotesque.
I have done readings with this deck for myself and it was quite revealing actually.
But not to do if you do not want to see the depths, mechanics and undercurrent in a situation.
We have now finished our little walk through some darker tarot decks in my collection.
I hope you will have a magical Samhain
Oephebia and the kitty monsters
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