Sacred Symbols

Exploring the symbols, metaphors and archetypal patterns found in myth, pop culture, nature, literature, oracles, astrology, religion, psychology, Tarot, art and history.

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A Halloween Divination Spread

Halloween ace of pumpkins 400

Symbols, both ancient and contemporary, can be a treasure trove for creating fresh divination positions for layouts. Even symbolic shapes have informed tried-and-true spreads; the Celtic Cross and Horseshoe Spreads spring to mind.

When it comes to spreads--positions for Tarot/Oracle cards, Runes or other divinatory objects--it's easier than you may think to create custom layouts based on holidays, stories, songs, sacred texts, deities or themes using symbols for positions. 

For example, I contributed a spread to the Shadow of Oz Tarot project that I called The Yellow Brick Road to Awakening Spread. I chose Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Woodsmen, Cowardly Lion, Field of Poppies, The Wizard and No Place Like Home as the symbolic positions for the spread. Toto represented Guardian Power, Scarecrow symbolized Innate Intelligence, Field of Poppies indicated area that the seeker was "asleep", and so on.

I've created many spreads like this over the years, and you can too! You're only limited by your imagination. There's no "wrong" way to create custom spreads as long as it serves your purpose and addresses an issue.

Not for the faint of heart (or spirit), here’s a Halloween Spread I've created to descend into the murky psyche while carrying the torch of truth. I used several motifs associated with Halloween to create the positions of my spread. First, the video version...then, the written one:

Halloween Spread

You can choose one card for each position, or multiple cards:

Ghosts: What is haunting me from my past? (Recurrence)

Bats: What is driving me batty at this time? (Irritations)

Graveyard: What needs buried right now? (Surrender)

Cobwebs: What is a source of confusion for me? (Uncertainty)

Wicker Man: What needs burned right now? (Purification or Removal)

Monsters: What am I afraid of right now? (Fears)

Jack O’ Lantern 1: What needs illuminated from within? (Awareness)

Jack O’ Lantern 2: What do I need to carve out time for right now? (Priorities)

Trick or Treat Bag: What goodies do I offer the world? (Gifts and Blessings)

What kind of symbols would you choose for a Halloween divination spread? What would each meaning be? What about Samhain?

Do let me know if you try out my Halloween Spread with your divination tool of choice, as well as how it worked for you!

-- Janet

Ace of Pumpkins image from the Halloween Tarot by Karin Lee and Kipling West

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Janet Boyer is the author of Back in Time Tarot, Tarot in Reverse and Naked Tarot: Sassy, Stripped-Down Advice. She's the co-creator (with her husband, artist Ron Boyer) of the Snowland Deck and Coffee Tarot, and authored both companion books to those decks. Janet is a Renaissance Soul: Teacher, Blogger, Podcaster, Jewelry Designer, Creative Director of ChezBoyer.Etsy.com, Scent Alchemist (AromaPower.Etsy.com) and award-winning cook. As a respected, trusted Amazon.com Hall of Fame Reviewer, she's penned over 1,200 published reviews that have also been featured in print magazines and other online outlets. Next to creating, her favorite thing to do is spend time with her beloved husband, son and 4 cats at her rural home in Pennsylvania.

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