It’s 10:35 on a Sunday morning barely 3 days away from the longest day of the year, or so my calendar says because if I didn’t have one, I wouldn’t believe you if you said that Solstice was upon us. I have my living room lights on because the sky is so dark and all my doors and windows are shut because there is a chill in the air. It feels more like April than June.
The positive for days like this is that it’s a great time to dig out a deck that you’ve been meaning to spend some time with and get to work.Today, for me, it is the vintage Ansata deck created by Paul Struck. First published in 1981 as a companion to the book Astrologie und Tarot by Bernd Mertz it is a 22 card majors only deck with a strong Egyptian theme to it. The deck looks very familiar with many of the traditional motifs you would expect to see in a Smith-Waite style deck, but its astrological attributions and its intended use is quite unique.
As it's Solstice the Sun card is my particular focus today, an exquisitely detailed card with strong astrological and alchemical imagery. A dark woman and a light man have linked arms in front of a tall tree whilst standing in a ring of laurel leaves. All around them are the symbols of the zodiac and in the background is the alchemist's workbench filled with flasks and beakers. The whole image tells of a story of balance so fine that it takes just a gentle tip one way or another and things will change. At the highest level we have the cusp of Gemini and Cancer, then the couple balanced each on one foot holding the other up, and finally the moment when lead transmutes to gold or collapses into something polluted and of no use whatsoever. What these different levels of symbolism mean is up to you, but it is an interesting exploration.
Exploring the image further the dancers remind me of the Druid ‘Awen’ symbol, three rays of divine light rich with mythological, cultural and linguistic symbolism. At its simplest though it represents the stations of the sun, in the evening, at noon and at dawn and in this form they are a perfect pattern for a solstice divination spread.
Card 1 - What rises for me?
Card 2 - Where does my power shine most strongly?
Card 3 - What is falling into shadow?
Unlike normal readings you must read it from right to left, just like the rays of light. Looking at my reading I’m rather excited for the months ahead, my last 6 months has been way to Empress-y for my liking so the alchemical balance between my shadowy moon energy and a strong magical creative solar energy is right up my street. What about you? What will rise for you with the strength of the solstice sun?
Tara is an Author, Speaker, Tarot Reader amongst other things. She can be found at:
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