The Joy Expression Spread

The equinoxes–both vernal and autumnal–spur in me a sweet nostalgia of times gone by. I keenly recall the instances in which I felt most free on this planet–sitting cross-legged in a Madrid plaza eating sandwiches, dancing down the sidewalk for the entire half-hour trek to a friend’s party, racing across the land bridge that connected Cramond Island to the mainland before the tide crept up and swallowed it whole. Travel, celebration, and adventure seem to be the common thread that unites these freedom experiences, and this common thread helps connect me to the concept of joy and the role it plays (or doesn’t play), in my life.


In The Wildwood Tarot, the five of cups and its keyword, “ecstasy”, suggest blissful detachment, transcendence, and abandoning oneself to the joy of the moment. This card has appeared multiple times in my readings as of late, properly aligning with my general mindset this time of year and reminding me that, as Simone de Beauvoir asserts, “The joy of existence must be asserted in each one, at every instant; the movement toward freedom assumes its real, flesh and blood figure in the world by thickening into pleasure, into happiness.”

Inspired in part by The Wildwood Tarot, these reveries, and the philosophy of joy-seeking taroist Arwen Lynch Poe, I designed this spread to help guide me towards a joyful life as we blissfully move into Spring (or Autumn).


  1. What must I learn to release to taste the joy and excitement of freedom once more?
  2. What’s my greatest obstacle in terms of attracting more joy and celebration into my life?
  3. What steps can I take to begin living more authentically and self-lovingly?
  4. Where should I seek joy?
  5. What energies can I channel to help me choose joy in the future?
  6. How can I share this joy with others?

A grounded, earthy deck calls out to me in terms of this spread, one that centralizes its expression in the visceral and the mundane. Joy is so often found in the simple things, in the daily interactions and occurrences that, given their frequency, tend to recede into the background and find residence there. It’s when we travel, go on adventures, or generally switch up the context that we re-discover them, but if we’re mindful and imaginative enough, connect with this feeling right here, right now. It is my genuine wish that this spread will help you do just that.

Much Love,


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