Since I don’t really know how to bake and August in Georgia feels more like the height of summer than the beginning of harvest season, I don’t usually do anything for Lammas. I thought about letting it go this year, too, but lately, I’ve been trying to be more active when it comes to my craft. I have this chronic issue with delving into things I’m excited about: I plan and plan and plan so that I know that I’m absolutely sure what I’m doing before I start, but then, I never get around to actually starting. I’m ready to start really chasing my goals instead of just constantly planning how to achieve them, and I thought I’d start by designing a ritual and a tarot spread for Lammas.
When I design spreads, I like to visually represent the topic in the placement of the cards, so my spreads tend to be larger and more complicated than the nice elegant ones I’ve been seeing around (like Little Red Tarot’s Lammas spread). I decided to create a Lammas spread that resembled a scythe, harvested wheat, and some crops yet to be reaped.
Cards 1 through 7: Each card represents an event or lesson I’ve learned over the past seven months that has helped me grow or succeed.
Card 8: Harvested bounty–what have these lessons helped me achieve this year?
Card 9: What are these lessons preparing me to face over the coming months?
Card 10: How can I use them, or what can I take away from them, that will help me when I take on that challenge?
Card 11: What could I still gain in the coming months by acknowledging and learning from the gifts I’ve been given?
Card 12: How can I use them, or what can I take away from them, that will help me achieve that goal?
My spread, laid out glamorously on my kitchen counter, looked like this:
(Antique Anatomy Tarot by Black and the Moon)
For cards 1 through 7, I drew:
– The 10 of Earth; learning to exchange support with my community and with those in need.
– The 2 of Water; accepting new relationships and acknowledging that they can happen at any time.
– The Magician; manifesting the path I want to follow.
– Death; finding my own afterlife in the wake of sudden upheaval and learning to continue transforming my life.
– The Star R; feeling too ungrounded to be a humanitarian.
– The 7 of Air; showing up to represent the change I want to see and learning to navigate subtleties in order to sway things in my favor.
– The 3 of Earth; checking in with people I know and agreeing to improve a situation for everyone’s sake.
For card 8, I drew the Tower. I’ve been blessed with a life generally free of crisis, and I always seem to land on my feet, but this year, I’ve felt like everything is falling apart in both my life and my country. The Tower has helped me find my strength this year by throwing me into situations where my only option was to be strong.
For card 9, I drew the 8 of Air R. I’m not surprised that this card showed up, since I’ve been struggling with a particularly bad bout of anxiety for the last few months. In this position, the 8 of Air reversed is telling me that I’ll need to buckle up and find the stability to work through my fears. Card 10, the 5 of Fire R, adds that I can help ground myself against my anxieties by choosing to reach out to the people around me and work together instead of insisting on pushing my own agenda and then feeling fragile on my own.
For card 11, I drew the 10 of Water–emotional fulfillment. I find this interesting because I did a reading for the New Year where I drew one card to represent advice I should follow each month, and the 10 of Cups came up for December. Here it is again, representing a harvest that hasn’t yet come in, but very well could. Card 12, the Page of Fire R, lets me know that I can start down that path by dialing back my tendency to dip a toe into every new activity that inspires or interests me rather than dedicating my energy to one goal. It makes total sense, after all, that the emotional satisfaction and happiness of the 10 of Water might only come my way if I’m willing to focus on what I really want.
My takeaway from this spread is that this has been a year of learning to understand the relationship between what I want, what’s good for me, and how I can help or accommodate the people around me. I’m grateful for the tough situations that have pushed me to find new solutions instead of comfortably accepting an unpleasant reality, and now, my goal for the rest of the year is to discover how to focus my energy toward improving myself in a way that benefits my community as well.