2016 Midwinter Blog Hop Master List
- Morgan Drake Eckstein, Gleamings from the Golden Dawn
- JoannaKate Grant, A Journey with the Thoth Tarot
- Benebell Wen
- Arwen Lynch Poe
- Sarah ‘Sezo’ Kral, The Divine Path
- Joanne Sprott, Cosmic Whispers Tarot
- Christiana Gaudet
- Joy Vernon, Completely Joyous
- Tabitha Dial, North Star Musings
- Chloe for Celtic Lenormand
- Nicole Dauch, Evergreen Readings Blog
- Joy Vernon, Denver Tarot Convention Blog
- Stella T’arot Passer, U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
- Deirdre Doran, The Willow Path
- Chloe McCracken, Inner Whispers
- Karen Sealey, The Pure and Blessed Way
- Debra Nordstrom
About the Theme: Awaken the Heart
“…the still point of the center of the fixed stimulates germination and the awakening of the heart.”
This is the information that was provided to potential bloggers to explain where the theme comes from and to help stimulate their creative process.
The Background on the Theme
The mid-winter holiday in agricultural calendars is the time of the quickening of the seed in the earth, and the time of the first litter (? Don’t know the right word!) of livestock that foal (? Don’t know the right word!) more than once a year. Basically, the birth of the first lambs. (This is why I’m not Pagan! I’ve never lived on a farm! Although I did date a farmboy once… 😉 )
Phew. Got that awkward part out of the way. Now on to things that I know something about!
Astrologically, our blog hop date marks the 15th degree of the sign of Aquarius, the middle or the fixed center of a fixed sign. The fixed sign of Aquarius is associated with community, revolution, innovation, humanitarianism and idealism. It is ruled by the planet Saturn (Uranus in modern astrology) which layers on the idea of foundational and structured transformation—completely razing the old and rebuilding from the foundation. Saturn as ruler, combined with the fixed mode of the sign, dictate that the Aquarian ideal bring about everlasting change.
In tarot, using the qabalistically based Golden Dawn correspondences, the Star card is assigned to Aquarius. Also, the 5, 6, and 7 of Swords represent the three decans of Aquarius—for the purposes of our “middle of the middle” association, the 6 of Swords, attributed to the second decan of Aquarius as ruled by Mercury, is our card.
So what does any of this have to do with the theme, “Awaken the Heart”? I’m glad you asked!
In the Golden Dawn system, each tarot card derives its associations from the correspondences of the qabalah, and the Star is given the mythological principle of “Awakening of the Heart.” This is the theme that is explored when doing pathwork on the path of Tzaddi, which links Yesod (Foundation-Moon-Astral realm) to Netzach (Victory-Venus-Emotions).
Interestingly, Aquarius is not considered a very emotional or heart-centered sign—it tends to be idealisitic and intelligent, more analytical than caring. I’ve even heard it said that Aquarians love humanity and hate people. So what is the source of the Awakening of the Heart on this path? To take it back to the agricultural ideas (but not my disturbed concept of the foaling of litters of lambs), we have the quickening of the seed, which can now in the early spring while the days get longer feel enough warmth in the earth to germinate. I’m curious to explore how the still point of the center of the fixed stimulates germination and the awakening of the heart.
So your mission, should you choose to accept, is to work with the above ideas and themes and share them on your blog. To brainstorm some ideas and directions, you can:
- Explore the theme of the Awakening of the Heart by designing a spread or casting sheet
- Examine the Star card imagistically and symbolically or study its placement in the sequence of the trumps and discuss how the theme fits (or doesn’t, but that’s no fun) (N.B., Thoth and Thoth-lineage readers—due to Uncle Al hearing voices in his head, the Path of Tzaddi is assigned to the Emperor in his deck, so that would be your card).
- Write a ritual, meditation or spell that uses tarot to Awaken the Heart.
- Cook us a Valentine’s Day dinner, dish, or dessert that will Awaken the Heart and cast each ingredient as a tarot card or assign the meal a card.
- Write a poem, design a card, sing a song, dance a dance, all while balancing the Star card on your nose (not really, I’m just tired and need a break)
- Go where your awakened heart takes you!!
(Note about the Quarter Days/Cross Quarter Days as related to astrology, for those who find it interesting: The Quarter Days of the pagan calendar are at the 0 degree points of the cardinal signs—the beginning of the beginning decan of the signs that initiate, or begin. They represent the beginning of the season (first day of spring, first day of summer, etc.). The cross-quarter days find their dates corresponding traditionally to the beginning of the second decan of the sign (February 1 for the celebration of Imbolc, for example), or the beginning of the middle. In many ways it makes more sense to choose the middle of the middle—the fixed center—to represent these dates, which correspond to the height of the season (middle of summer, middle of winter, etc.). So by this reasoning then the Cross-Quarter days would be the middle of the middle decan of the signs that are fixed, or in the middle of the modal cycle. It’s just one way of looking at things, but I find it interesting. And I just wanted to explain why I chose that otherwise odd-looking date.)
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Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.