BY TIFFANY CHANEY
Soon the veil will thin. Skeletons will poke their skulls out of their coffins, whether you like or not. You will either be someone you are not, or become who you truly are. This is Halloween...This is Halloween...Full of traditions, tricks, treats, and superstitions that haunt us every Halloween. Many of these we pass on from our forebearers.
My grandmother was my favorite person in the world, when I was a little girl. She and my grand-aunts had their share of folk stories, superstitions, and were firm believers in God. My grandmother read the Bible to me every night before we went to bed, telling me how Jack and Jill fell down the hill and stories of my mother as a child growing up. For some reason, my mother couldn't seem to keep a cat alive. My grandmother, deep in the dark of the night, would tell me again of the black cats, the gray cats, and the white cats Mama brought home until the school bus ran over the last one she owned. Yet, my mother didn't seem to retain any trauma from this as an adult. My grandmother tended to pick and choose her superstitions, one of her most particular biases tending toward being afraid of black cats. My mother teased her for not wanting to cross paths with a black cat or cross a street that had one resting on the other side. Black cats were a bad omen.
No matter our belief systems, we each have odds and ends of folklore, home remedies, or tendrils of old traditions we pass on, mostly out of fun. We pick and choose our superstitions. So, here I adapt superstition into a Scary Cat Halloween Tarot Spread for you to utilize, passing on a particular family story in a witchy way.
Scary Cat Halloween Tarot Spread
The Positions And What They Mean
1) Front Feet: Present, or what's in front of you.
2) Back Feet: What is hidden, or what is about to emerge from behind the veil.
3) Cat Eyes: What you must not avoid.
4) Omen: Fears and the Unconscious.
5) Omen: What to protect. May reveal the Unexpected.
6) Fight or Fright: Heed this.
7) Tail: Outcome. One's reaction. How one's emotions/behavior affects one's path.
The Scary Cat Halloween Tarot Spread When Dealt
In Which Tif Reads Halloween Tarot For Herself (Gulp)
Okay, I'm going to be my own guinea pig for this spread. Let's go over the positions and see what they mean in correspondence with the cards that come up. For this Halloween tarot spread, I'm using a new tarot deck that I recently purchased--the Ghosts and Spirits Tarot by Lisa Hunt, which "explores the fascinating subject of ghosts, surveying supernatural lore and legend from around the world.... [presenting] ethereal beings, some frightening, some friendly." Crap. Oh, jeez. Um... Here goes.
1) Front Feet: Present, or what's in front of you. Ace of Pentacles. Rübezahl: A German forest spirit, which was pleased by confusing travelers on their path. A princess the spirit tried to abduct once confused him by making him count turnips. He wanted to marry her, but she made him count turnips as proof of his love. She escaped. This brings awareness to the untamed, creative spirit. Look for unexpected opportunities. You are developing grand ideas and creating wildly. Keep at it.
2) Back Feet: What is hidden, or what is about to emerge from behind the veil. Judgment. Judgment of the Dead. This card parallels with the mythology utilized in my Steampunk deck (Barbara Moore's): In Egypt, the recently dead were led into a hall where one's truth/deeds would be weighed against the feather of Maat (truth and virtue). If the feather is not heavier than the heart, the person moves on to the Field of Reeds (Happy place!). If it was heavier, one's heart would be devoured. This is about a need for evaluation and weighing decisions. A time of deep introspection.
3) Cat Eyes: What you must not avoid. King of Wands. Our King is depicted as Herne, the Hunter (Celtic), who appears in Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor as a ghostly figure on a ghostly horse. Legend has him portrayed as a huntsman in service to Richard II. When he was mortally wounded, a wizard fixated sacred antlers to his head. In the end, he chooses to end his own life by hanging. The image portrays him blending into his organic surroundings. Thusly, one can also be more sensitive to the various realms of existence and being; to psyche and the unconscious. Wands are about passion and fire and action to me. As a king, there are leadership roles. It may be time to take up a leadership role and not be so afraid of being out there. Of taking risks.
4) Omen: Fears and the Unconscious. The Hanged Man. (Wow. Isn't that just an awkward coincidence between the last card and this card?) This card is portrayed as the Undead, or a Vampire. The Undead wander the earth, without feeling, draining those who cross their path. This reminds me of feeling stuck, whether in a dead end job or in any area of life, which I've definitely been there. The fear here is that life will yield up circumstances that will leave me stuck yet again, even though I've put in the work. Is it all for naught? This can also be resonate of people in one's life draining you emotionally or mentally. I have been really tired lately. I have to remember to step up my boundaries and maintain them for my sanity's sake.
5) Omen: What to protect. May reveal the Unexpected. Knight of Pentacles. Moss Maidens. They are helpful healers but can be vengeful toward anyone who disrespected their habitat. Knights often bring messages and are about action. Pentacles are keyword for "practicalities" to me. This really resonates. To protect one's habitat or risk being more than a little snarky. There might be a need to be snarky, to say what you need to say, but the need that is the greatest is to enrich one's home life. To focus on self care and the hearth.
6) Fight or Fright: Heed this. The Fool. Portrayed as Leshy here, Baltic shape-shifters that are tricky by nature (mischievous or maleficent, depending on your experience). They mimic sounds and trick wanderers or travelers. This goes back to position one and the Ace of Pentacles, with the element of tricking travelers. Challenges are ahead. I feel it's important to maintain that untamed, wild creativity, but to remember to take care of one's habitat. It's great to be enthusiastic and want to charge ahead on various pathways, but don't trip yourself up or let others trip you. Slow down.
7) Tail: Outcome. One's reaction. How one's emotions/behavior affects one's path. Five of Pentacles. The Unquiet Grave: An English folk ballad about one man's grief over the death of his beloved. He wept and wept on her grave until she spoke up to him, demanding quiet so she could finally rest. The spirit wants to move beyond the "confines of the living." Slow down. Work on self care and your habitat or risk becoming divided, and be aware that you may have to count your losses. It's part of experimenting with different ideas. When one path doesn't work out, there's always another. There's a great urge to move forward quickly and with one's ideas, which are grand and have a likely rate of success, but one must take their time and nurture both inner and outer lives. Do not fear the past or the unconscious; let it empower you.
That resonates. I hope that you find this spread resonates for you, too. This post also appears at tiffanychaney.com as a Weekly Tarot Spread Offer, where you can DIY the spread or I can do it for you.
Featured image/Cat stock image by Dana Decals. Scary Cat Tarot Spread designed by/tarot spread photo by Tiffany Chaney.