I woke up early this morning, as I often do when the moon is waxing towards full, and I took advantage of the quiet to do a full moon tarot spread, a favourite practice of mine. I will often reach for my tarot deck when I am working through big questions or changes in my life but also have a personal ritual of doing spreads for the full and new moons and the junctions of the seasons. We have just passed the summer solstice, the midpoint of the year, which means the sun sits in the sign of Cancer while tonight the moon will be full in the sign of Capricorn. At the time of the winter solstice the sun sat in Capricorn and the very first full moon of our year (Jan 1st 2018) occurred in the sign of Cancer. Capricorn and Cancer oppose and compliment each other. They are the mother and the father of the zodiac, cardinal earth and water signs which usher in the seasons of winter (Capricorn) and summer (Cancer). So with this full moon, we are given an opportunity to shed some light on what the past six months have been trying to teach us and gain some insight into what can help us to move through the next turn of the wheel that will take us back to the winter solstice.
In my opinion tarot cards are not meant to give us yes or no answers or tell the future, rather they can be used to help us recognize the archetypal energies that may be at play in our lives. When I am able to recognize a symbolic representation of my inner experience I often find it easier to work with in a conscious way. Tarot cards are like dreams and they speak to us in a similar way.
As I am sending out my full moon newsletter today I thought I’d share the five card spread I created this morning so that you might be inspired to use it as a starting off point for your own full moon reading. I am using the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot here, a deck I absolutely love, but you can use any deck you are drawn to- including an oracle deck.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Reading
There are certain tools and practices that can really help you to get the most out of your tarot readings and though I think ultimately everyone must find their own way, here are a few tips to support your practice.
- do some kind of centering practice before working with the cards, whether this is a short yoga practice, a walk outside, meditation, mantra or prayer- don’t reach for the cards without focusing your intent first
- take your time shuffling the cards, contemplating your questions and feeling into each inquiry before you draw your cards
- read your cards intuitively before you reach for books or Google meaning- what do the cards mean to you? in this moment? trust yourself (it’s your reading after all)
- if you get a “scary card” look deeper then conventional meanings and ask yourself what this might mean in relation to your present moment experience- the cards use the language of symbol and metaphor and are rarely literal in their meaning
- write down your interpretations in your tarot journal- I usually get my greatest insights at this stage in the reading
- leave your full spread or a few key cards from your reading out for a few days- I like to put them on my altar- you will often find that they continue to reveal personal meaning over time
My 5 Card Spread for the Capricorn Full Moon
Once you have taken the time to center and ground yourself in the way that works best for you, take out your favourite tarot deck and shuffle it while contemplating the following inquiries for each card position. I’ve given you a few options for questions so you can choose the ones that are most resonant.
Card 1: Waxing Year
- is there a particular symbol or archetype that characterizes the energy of the last six months of this year?
- what have I embodied in the last six months? how have my experiences shaped me?
- who have I become in the waxing phase of this current year?
Card 2: Message or Teaching
- is there a core teaching or lesson that has come out of this time? something for me to remember or pay attention to?
- what were the qualities of being that helped me navigate the last six months of my life?
- what can I take forward as a tool as we move into the second half of the year?
Notes: I recommend looking at these two cards separately and together as they will likely offer you some sort of narrative when placed beside each other as I have shown from my own reading. In my opinion, the meaning of the individual cards shift greatly in relation to how they sit with each other. So look closely at what you draw for card 1 & 2 and try to see the story in your own cards.
Card 3: Waning Year
- is there a particular symbol or archetype that I can draw on as we move into the waning phase of the year?
- what might be unfolding for me at this time?
- who might I be becoming?
Card 4: Message or Teaching
- can the cards offer me any insight into the primary themes of the next six month?
- are there any qualities of being which might help me navigate this time with grace and insight?
- is there anything I would be wise to remember as we move forward into the next turn of the wheel?
Notes: Again, look at the cards separately and as a pair. Zoom out and try to see the bigger picture. Let go of textbook definitions and instead ask what these symbols mean to you in this moment of your life. Inquire as to what they might have to tell you about the different aspects of your life- practical, mental/emotional, spiritual. Take your time and don’t rush. Let the meanings come to you slowly.
Card 5 (optional): Final Message or Overarching Symbol
Often I will pull a final card for my reading and I definitely recommend this if you feel you have gotten mixed messages or are needing clarification of any kind. Take your time with your final question and only draw the card when you feel you are able to focus your inquiry.
- is there a final message or overarching symbol that can encapsulate this reading for me?
- is there anything else that might be helpful for me to remember? or acknowledge?
- are there any specific energies or guiding principles that can support me as I journey through this year?
- any last words from my guides/inner teacher/subconscious mind?
I hope you enjoy this spread as inspiration for your own and if you do the spread I’d love to hear how it went for you! Please don’t ask me to interpret your cards for you, as the magic lies in finding your own meanings, but do let me know if you got insight from this practice. I’d love to hear from you.
Full moon and solstice tide blessings to you. May this next turn of the wheel offer you wisdom and understanding.