Weekly Reading: Old and New Narratives, December 30th, 2018 - January 5th, 2019

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I’m putting this reading out there for all. If you are taking a look at one of my readings here on Patreon for the first time, this is a bit longer than most. It is the new year. :) 

One of the ways I like to work with the Tarot is narrative. They tell stories. This can be done alone, or with others and multiple decks, even oracles thrown in. In a circle this can be done together around a question, each card, rune or oracular device adding a piece of the grand tapestry of the reading. 

This is reflective of life as well. Not one of us is without a collection of stories that intersect the lives, bodies, and stories of others. We are walking, living, breathing libraries of generations, and millions of years of evolution; and our lives we are living in now. 

What I’m centering on in these 2019 readings is telling story, and using the Tarot as guides to that narrative. This engages some of the aspects of the readings and meditations in last year such as listening to what is coming in, what is being spoken to us outside of one’s mind, and the reflective oracle properties of inner visioning. 

I’ve worked with this method for decades, since I started my Tarot Journey in ernest, 1994. Which took me to strange places. I’m hoping that this style will serve us all, and intersect well with the daily journal prompts of Power and Love, which look like they will be delivered in a weekly format at the start of the week. The voting for that is still open. 

This Winter Solstice and Yule, amidst the loss of family and other emergencies, communicating with distant family and friends, and traveling I reflected a lot on narratives. The Linestrider Tarot really helps with that one. The author and creatrix of the deck really did put the love into the descriptions of the cards, creating strength in their reading through use of herbs, color, illustration and story. 

I really thought about inherited narratives from our families, how they serve to bring us together in loving ways, and sometimes how those stories alienate others. When someone falls outside of the family narrative, what is the dynamic? When we recognize some beautiful strangeness in ourselves such as queerness, or gender, or different spiritual calling, how it shifts the narrative; and how that pivot can result in an expanded family dynamic, or more often than not exclusion, othering, or shaming. 

Death can do this to us as well, as it is an inevitable that touches all of us, and we are seldom prepared for it culturally, or individually. This too was an intersection during our holidays. It brings up questions in all of us. 

What arose in my quiet observing of friends and activists, of family near and far, was that we, none of us, are bound by any narrative that we do not choose to participate in. If we see something in our family that is not right within ourselves, in our bodies, it is up to us to honor that difference and start to tell a new story. 

The New Year is in many ways the same. What was in the 2018 calendar year can ritually be put aside. We can use journals, I’m participating in a new years writing piece that is helping me, we can use magick to review (look at it, that’s the important piece, inquiry), cast out, burn, belch up, or banish the stories that didn’t work for us personally. We can invite in what we desire our story to be. The Magician speaks to our wonderful capacity to be the magick, to call in the Spirit of what it is we wish to be, and see in the world. She or he has the power to work with the tools, and the elements of their life and reanimate them in new formulas and ways. Can you engage that with hope, or joy? Spirituality is often dour, or stoic, heavy with the lead of old things, can we bring in mercurial laughter, or golden love to fuel our vision for change? 

Desire is a word of fire and light, of flesh and pleasure, and it can be activated in a new moment. Desire is holy. It asks us to come alight with new delight in our world-bodies and fish into possibility. Desire is Spirit, it can enliven us to act, to change, to love. 

Our new year 2019 may add up to 12, or the Hanged man in the Tarot, but maybe… just maybe she or he is asking us to suspend our disbelief about the stories we have been told, the things we “know,” and get over, get passed, or look beyond them. Ultimately the hanged man is at a place of change or pivoting, and offering themselves the advice to pause, suspend and see from another perspective. 

The days after yule are spiritual storytelling times. We can use the massive global enthusiasm of the collective to launch new stories into the calendar year. 

Maybe it’s time for us to investigate our known and familiar places, and reinvent, or discover new songs, poems, and accounts. Not just what we are telling ourselves about ourselves and our world, but with what tone and feeling, enthusiastic and joyful, or fearful and reticent? What is beneath our stories can tell us so much, the flowing emotional body is the base and tremble to all our songs and narratives. 

The moon card Challenge asks us to hear what the rest of the world is saying rather than our own tribes and talking circles; to engage life as a student, not a master. To see different points of view as doorways. To beware absolutes, and solutions or teachers that are “the only one” or “inevitable.” If we are looking at our internal dialogue than highlight with care the words: Should, Must, Have to, and thoughts like “if I don’t,” as well. These need love and your ear, they need healing. The challenge cards asks us to break habits and patterns, pieces that we may have begun 2018 with that were going to “change everything” but didn’t and we ended up dragging those intentions like weights through the year, rather than riding them into loving destinations. 

How will changing our stories, change us? 

Quote: “If you want to know how your spiritual practice is going, just look at your capacity to love.” -- Jack Kornfield, Transmissions

Keywords: Suspeding. Unknown. Creativity. Magick. Challenge. New Vision. Letting go. 


  • Call in an Aires energy (or friend), and ask to see the world from a child’s perspective, new and full of possibility and wonder. Vanilla, and Rosemary can hold us while inviting in new clarity. 
  • For the year tending Ivy and watching it grow in all its wild directions, curling around things, flourishing could be a powerful allie. Sit with a Pisces, visit the ecstatic, to develop new vision. Marigold can help us with what was, and what is, although not as resilient as Ivy and may not last the year. 

From my happy little altar to yours... 


Scott K Smith
Practice | Magick 

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