December 30th, 2006

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

The Twelve Days of Christmas, Fourth Day, Festival of Fools

Day four of the Twelve Days of Christmas is the Feast of Fools. It is derived from the Saturn days in Roman times. During these days the social order was reversed. The masters served the slaves. This was to show that the normal order was the best in the end, but it also relieved the slaves from the tension of their roles for a few days.

These last days of the year are ambivalent. They are solemn and profound, but there is glitter and glamour in them as well. There are parties and beautiful dresses, may be to forget the dull order, to escape that.

The spread of today (well of yesterday, I am running behind) is called “Spread of the Fool”. It invites you to look at your problems in a new, different, fresh, unexpected, foolish way.

The spread has three cards, and they are obtained in a foolish way. I tell how:
1.Find the Fool in your deck (when you do that the Fool in you gets your attention).
2.Put it back somewhere.
3.Shuffle the cards.
4.Look through the card and search the Fool, but be careful, do not lift the card out of the deck.

Well (now it is going to get complicated, and I cannot show it here), the card that is on the back of the Fool is the origin of the problem and is card 2. Card 1 is the card on the front of the Fool. That is the card the Fool is heading for, he is walking towards that card, so to say. This card shows the problem that the fool invites you to solve in an to solves in a foolish way. The Fool is card 3 (but it is in the middle).

So, there are three cards in the following order:
Card 1, on the left, is the problem the Fool is heading for, the problem that must be solved in a foolish way, card 3 in the middle is the Fool himself and card 2, on the right, is the origin of the problem.

I you want to, you can draw an extra card, number 4, to show you what is a foolish way to solve your problem. 

The following are the cards that I have pulled.


I have used Tarot of the Secret Forest for this reading today. I have received The Star as my problem, as card 1. A little butterfly-person is pouring water out of a jar. My problem, card 1, is again (sigh) wanting to give and help others, doing good, so to say.

The origin of the problem is 10 of Wands, which in this deck is a turtle on which plants are growing. Interesting is that I received this card last year as the card that represented the divine child (Christ-child) within me. There is much hope invested in a divine child, so the turtle has an enormous burden to carry, all the growing plants on its back. That is the origin of my problem: I expect ‘divine’ things of myself, but I can not live up to it.

Card three in the middle is the Fool. In this version of the Fool he is kicking the right, in the direction of the origin of the problem. So I must stop having these high expectations of myself.

Seen in another way, the Star on the left calls for rest and regeneration. The wings of the butterfly are damaged. In that case the Fool in the middle kicks away a few of my tasks on the card at the right side of him, which is quite necessary, because I do have too much on my plate at the moment.

Twelve Days of Christmas, Fifth Day, Day of "Bringing in the Boar"

This is my last entry in the series of The Twelve Days of Christmas. I must give my undivided attention now to a course in the Inner Child Cards I teach for therapists this winter. I’ve worked on this course mainly in busses and trains. Now it’s time to look and see what I have thought up and I must write it all down.

So, this is the last spread, designed for day five, the day of “Bringing in the Boar”. Probably in earlier days a boar was slaughtered in this time of year, for meat, but also as an offering for the new year.

The spread of this day is meant to look back and to honour the events that have passed this year, and the issues you tried to tackle, successfully or not.

It consists of 7 cards, and its based on the different rooms in a house. It is called “Spread of the Old Year”. You need to pull a card for each room in your house. Every room has a different theme.

Card 1. Front door: What new came into your life this year?
Card 2. Living room: How was your home life this year?
Card 3. Study: How did you fare with your work, study or hobby?
Card 4. Bedroom: This card gives an image of your rest this year
Card 5. Kitchen: Health: How was your health this year?
Card 6. Back door: What has left out of your life this year?
Card 7. Hallways: (connect all the rooms) What is the main theme of this year?

At the end you can honour and dedicate it you year to your favourite deity by saying something as the following, while burning incense:

I lay down my Old Year.
The events string together
like a string of pearls,
valuable in my hands.
I give them over,
they go up with the smoke.
What done is done.
What happened is happened.
May it be for You,
and bring fruitfulness.

I have pulled one card, for this entry, card 7, the card for the hallways which shows the main theme of my past year. The card I have drawn is Queen of Swords from the Tarot of the Secret Forest. Depicted is a woman in a nice dress, standing on prickly thorns, in a cold atmosphere. She keeps her hands for her head as in prayer, she is afraid. 


Fear was an important theme for me this year. I have been afraid for the health of my husband, and for the health of my daughter as well. My husband is feeling better now, but he was ill during the first part of the year. My daughter is feeling much better as well. Another fear -less important-  was if I would have time enough for all the plans I had for courses, and sometimes for my blog. 

Fear was an important theme, but this Queen gives me also the idea that I am not aware of the fruits of past year. I, as the queen of swords, keep my hands for my eyes, so that I am I am not able to see them. It would be interesting to look into this in order to see why I am doing that, not now though. Well, if I do take a look I see many fruits. First of all, I type again, for the first time in ten years, and I have started this journal. I have taught many courses, included a new one: Tarot and Dreams. I like this new course. It gives me the opportunity to work more direct with the processes of people than in my other courses. Furthermore, I have finished writing the course for the Major Arcana, on which I worked for two and a half year. I have had many nice contacts with friends, including my family, an my family in law. So all and all, a year to be thankful for.

This whole undertaking of The Twelve days in spreads is inspired by John Matthews, The Winter Solstice, Godsfield Press, 2003 (1998). The spread is adapted from the "Room-Spread", Trish MacGregor, Phillis Vega, Power-Tarot, FireSide, 1998.