May Day Musings

May Day always makes me think of my grandmother.

My main frame of reference for the first of May as a child was Grandma teaching us how to make heart-shaped May baskets out of woven strips of construction paper to fill with candy and hang on the doors of people we liked. I think this has added a lot to my mental image of my grandmother as extraordinarily innocent.

She passed away last May, though she faded away from herself far before that, thanks to a drawn-out battle with dementia. It’s been many years since I made a May basket with my grandmother. But there’s still something about the joy and springiness and love of the start of May that always reminds me of her.

I decided to do a little three-card spread with my Wildwood Tarot deck – not assigning any specific question to each card, but just to give myself a broader-than-one-card picture – to help me think about what sort of energy I’m carrying forward into this new season.

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the green woman (the empress in a traditional deck), the nine of vessels (cups), and the sun of life (sun) from the wildwood tarot, art © will worthington

There is all sorts of exciting energy here. The Green Woman reminds me that my grandmother’s May Day is not the full picture – far from being all innocence, there is wildness here, Nature at her least tamed and most alluring.

At the same time, the Nine of Vessels tells me that the connection and sharing with loved ones is an important part of this season. I have plenty, therefore I should pass it around.

And the Sun of Life…I feel like I’ve been running into the Sun a lot, lately. Even when the weather outside is grey and depressing, there is brightness and life within me.

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On the Bright Side…

Yesterday, I wrote about struggling with an ending, a letting go that needs to happen.

This morning, despite the fact that I’d already spent some time on my daily single-card meditation, I felt compelled to pull out my Wild Unknown deck and ask for a word of encouragement. I shuffled, and laid out three cards, and as I looked down, I was reminded that, really, the bright side of endings is that it frees up new energy for beginnings.

ace of wands, the fool, and the sun

ace of wands, the fool, and the sun from the wild unknown tarot, © kim krans

I asked for encouragement, and encouragement I received.

The Ace of Wands from this deck is one of my favorite cards; I like it so much I recently got it tattooed on my forearm as part of a tarot triptych (alongside The Hermit and the Nine of Pentacles). It speaks to me of the unstoppable urge to create, of passion and energy and the desire to make beautiful new things come into the world. It speaks to the part of me that is a writer, and a knitter, and a musician, the part that can’t resist doodling or taking photos or dreaming up stories.

The Fool is a card that I only just realized this morning has been following me quietly around all week, too (see yesterday’s blog post for the other card that’s been haunting me). It whispers to my wanderlust, drawing me on to new adventures (even if they’re mostly taking place internally). The Fool steps off from the safety of their known environment and trusts the Universe to catch them if they stumble over the first few steps. There’s a trust there, and an openness, and a wonderful sense of limitless possibility in new beginnings.

The Sun is such a lovely card to top off this simple spread. It echoes the sentiments of energy and bright prospects, giving light and life to a world that’s been a little too given to gloomy weather lately. It’s all vitality and enlightenment and joy, and that’s exactly what I needed today.

I’m still struggling to let go, but I am feeling more confident as I realize that there is so much out there that I want to accomplish, and that I can only accomplish anything if I move forward. I’m reminded that life is what happens when you’re waiting for it to begin, that change is an inevitable part of our lives, and that there is great joy and peace to be had in letting yourself get swept up by it.