As you well know, today is the first day of the glorious month of May, the date of my late Papa’s birthday. Each year, true to form and without fail, he recited:
“Hip Hooray, the first of May! Outdoor screwing starts today!”
Not the classiest of one-liners, but definitely telling in terms of the pagan roots of his Scottish Heritage. Beltane is the fire festival of fertility and represents the peak of Spring’s verdure and the transition from maiden to mother in the triple goddess tradition. When I was living in the motherland in 2005, I attended a Beltane festival on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill and reveled with the fae and fire-breathers well into the evening. These twin memories make this day a poignant one for me–not only do I honor my grandfather’s memory, but I think back to times of freedom and wildness and living without boundaries or regret.
Whenever May pops her head over the hill, I’m filled with a renewed sense of vigor, zest, intuitive connection and generative creativity.
Perhaps this is why I find myself hosting not one, but two challenges this month, both of which seek to unite us with our inner knowing and our potential to consciously create our experience. The first, #mayjorchallenge, almost spontaneously created itself when I sat down last Sunday and said, “I really want to create an Instagram challenge for May.” I decided upon using the major arcana as my inspiration and decided that I wanted to “put the archetypes to work for us,” so to speak. The questions accompanying each bloomed naturally and organically like the petals of a flower. I looked at what I had created and I thanked the muse and the season for the inspiration.
If you can’t tell already, I like to go in depth with things, and the more unique and genuine they are, the better.
I am deeply moved by personal narrative–I fell in love with it long before I fell in love with the tarot, and it continues to be my main inspiration for doing the work that I do.
Our stories are our birthright and our legacy, and they form the patchwork of the quilt that represents our experience. As we grow and change and move through our paths, the thread work becomes more intricate, the patterns more varied, and the colors richer. Eventually, we reach a stage where happenings and our reactions to them become gloriously magickal. I read a passage from The Art of Loving by Erich Fromme last night that perfectly illustrates this phenomenon:
I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice, until eventually the results of my theoretical knowledge and the results of my practice are blended into one – my intuition – the essence of the mastery of any art.
I’ve been thinking a lot about intuition lately–of the role it plays in my decision-making, in my tarot reading practice, and in the way I approach spirituality and witchcraft. Earlier last week, my husband and I bought a car–during Mercury Retrograde, no less–the same day we test drove it. Hell, it was the first day we even looked for a car in the first lot we visited. But despite everything working against us, it just felt right, you know? Like this was the car we were supposed to have. There was a bit of logic to back it up (a good deal), but for the most part, it was impulsive and generally ill-advised.
I’m a huge proponent of listening to my intuition, and I’m the first to admit that despite the logical circles I trace in my mind, my gut feeling (when I have one) wins out nearly every time.
Therefore, when the glorious Arwen Lynch let me know it was my turn to proffer a tarot tag to our beautiful YT community, I knew almost instantly (intutively?) That I wanted to write one that focused on intuitive tarot.
The Seven of Swords AKA my most triggering card in the tarot deck.
In it, I explore this idea that our ability to interpret tarot intuitively can be honed, which raises an interesting question regarding intuition in general–is it a practice, or an innate ability?
Honestly, I think it’s a bit of both. As a society, we’ve largely lost touch with that inner knowing that was so prized and revered in the ancient religions. If we can explain something logically or rationally, it’s discarded or stripped of legitimacy. Yet, this inner verve, inner desire, inner compass, inner knowing, is part of what makes us human and of this earth. The Spring blooms into being without argument or decision. We don’t choose who we couple with (especially on May Day!) based solely on how much “sense” our coupling makes. Attraction is an intuitive hit, an epiphany that says, “I dig this person” long before you know much about them. Such is the magick of May, and such is the magick of our very human experience.