Whispers of the Ancestors: A Tarot Spread for All Hallows

Elder of Fire

Last year, I designed this spread based on the Gaian Tarot Elder of Fire card. Many people have commented on the power of this card, especially the potent gaze of the curandera herself.  I’ll be doing a reading using this spread over the weekend.  How about you?  Let’s share our readings in the comments. Blessed be.

Here’s what I wrote in the Gaian Tarot companion book about this card:

A curandera (healer) squats on the earth in front of an altar honoring the ancestors during Los Días de los Muertos — the Days of the Dead. She holds a handful of burning herbs that direct waves of energy to dissipate the foul and bring in the sweet. She lives in la época del mito (the Otherworld, the time of myth) as much — or more — than she does in the world of consensual reality. Her gaze, directed at the viewer, is potent and challenging. She reminds us to open up to the Otherworld, the world of energy patterns and spirits and Invisibles. When we shift our inner reality, our outer reality shifts as well. Her ally is Iguana, who brings the medicine of the dreamtime.

The “Elder of Fire” Tarot Spread

Elder of Fire SpreadGaze into the eyes of the Elder of Fire . . .

1. Offering: What or who is dead or dying, that you need to honor?

2. Challenge: What task does the Elder of Fire ask of you?

3. Center: Where do you find your center of power?

4. Opening: What new sweetness is wafting in on the scent of burning herbs?

5. Wisdom: What secrets do the ancestors whisper to you during this season of All Hallows?

19 thoughts on “Whispers of the Ancestors: A Tarot Spread for All Hallows

  1. I will be doing one as well.

    I received this message last year on Halloween and it rang true all year!

    “There’s a crack between the worlds–brimming with creativity, wisdom and tranquility–it’s all there waiting to manifest into Reality!”

  2. Ordered your deck a couple weeks ago from my favorite indie bookstore. Picked it up yesterday and when I got home there was your All Hallows blog. Perfect. Put aside what I was “supposed” to do, charged my new cards, and laid the spread.

    I have recently been letting go of a lifelong pattern of trying to please the male/authority figures in my life, so card #1, what is dead or dying, was of course the 8 of Earth – the little girl looking up to her father. Followed by the task asked of me, which was 3 of Fire, a bold, luscious, confident woman doing as she pleased with no apparent restraints or inhibitions. Rather than taking card #3, my center of power, at it’s traditional value, I interpreted the androgynous figure as working with nature and her/his totems found there – which is my absolute seat of power. Card #4, the sweetness being sent to me, is being open to warm, loving, nurturing male energy. It’s a gift I don’t have to earn. Card 5 was a little less clear. To be honest I didn’t like the card at all when I first saw it and was disappointed to see it in the spread. What I took from it though is to be willing to be taught, to be open to the idea that there are wise men out there that I can learn from.

    Thanks so much for sharing your Elder of Fire spread, and for creating a deck I am so pleased to welcome into my home.

  3. So illuminating Joanna! Mine showed up as a poem… Can you guess the cards 😉

    Blessing, honoring the circles of women who have held me
    kissing the passing of this cycle…
    I am grateful

    Eyes wide open
    Leading with my spirit
    Heart-centered and strong
    Maps, guidelines, roads
    paradigms and rules
    left behind
    trusting my soul
    trusting the Earth
    to show the way

    I move beyond mountains,
    streams, & butterflies
    to the chaotic heart
    the powerful womb-dark space
    of uncertainty … unknown … world upside down

    I am dynamic balance in chaos
    ease in paradox
    trusting unseen patterns

    tending the spirit-fires of inspiration
    I guide and wait….guide and wait
    patience and swiftness in balance
    honoring the spirit hearts
    of those who seek me

  4. dear Joanna, thank you for sharing this spread again. I did it last year too. This year I hadn’t handled the cards in a while, had in fact kind of stayed away during some transitions here. This reading was very powerful for me, with three majors appearing, and the solar female, Strength, on a diagonal with the lunar male, The Hermit. I am still studying it. I needed the nudge to work with the cards again.
    love to you,

  5. Baxter, oh my, you are so welcome! Sometimes the cards we least like to see can be the ones that give us the most insight, in the end, after a little contemplation.

    Tracie – ah!!! What a lovely poem! Mmm, let’s see.

    6 of Water
    6 of Air
    Tree / Hanged One
    Guardian of Fire

    How’d I do?

    Cari, so glad the desire to work with the cards is returning. We all need a break sometimes. It’s like cleansing the palate. 🙂 Hugs.

    1. Wow! Considering my inexperience with traditional tarot meanings & how cryptic my poetic clues were, really well! You had all of the elements correct – and knew that the two majors were majors….
      6 of Water
      7 of Air – reversed
      Gaia – reversed
      Eight of Fire – reversed

  6. Ah, I *meant* 7 of Air when I wrote 6 of Air! And since I don’t use reversals, I didn’t think of those. Good job, Tracie!

  7. I did this spread on All Hallow’s Eve. I’m still processing the messages! Recently I received an astrological reading as a gift and it gave me some insight into the meaning of the cards. So synchronistic!

  8. Pingback: Harvesting Loss
  9. 1. 2 of Air – I’ve not been allowing myself to be still and listen
    2. 3 of Earth – Continue to create in community
    3. 6 of Air – Gratitude
    4. 4 of Water – Fill my well – be near water
    5. 7 – The Canoe – Stay on the Path, you are always supported

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