The days between Christmas and the Festival of the Three Kings on January 6 seem not to fit in the ordinary. The old year comes to an end and a new begins. It calls for introspection, looking back to the old and expecting the new. These days are called “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. I try to post a spread for each of these days, for each day has a special quality.
These days, the days between Christmas and New Year are family and friends days. Seeing family and friends and being with them can stir up memories, thoughts about loved ones that are not there anymore. Besides that, it is possible that the end of the old year makes us think of all other things that are ended in our lives. On this day, Holy Innocent Day, mourning is the theme of the spread.
The spread is inspired by a legend about a woman called Rachel. Rachel was one of the mothers of Jerusalem whose child was murdered. Rachel had lost two boys. She was mad and sick of grief. Fr three days she did not eat nor drank. Then, in the night of the third day she had a dream. In that dream she saw Maria, sitting on a donkey carrying little baby Jesus on her arm, Joseph was walking beside her. Two little angels were flying next Maria. One of the angels turned around and said to her: “Look mother, it is us, your sons. Dry your tears, do not cry anymore. Were are here now and happy, we are protecting little Jesus from what happened to us”. When she looked even better she saw all the other murdered children of Jerusalem as little angels flying round Jesus, protecting him. Rachel woke up comforted by this vision. She went to the graveyard on the hill to the other mothers and told them her vision. They were comforted by it as well. They planted the graves of the children with roses. From that day on, the roses in that graveyard flower all year.
What is lost and January 28 is traditionally “Holy Innocent Day”. On this day the children are remembered who were slaughtered by King Herod after the birth of Jesus. When King Herod heard that there was born a special baby, he felt threatened and set out to kill all the little Jewish boys.
The spread is called: “Comfort in mourning”
The spread has 4 cards. Read the cards you pull one by one, not turning over the next before you have read the one before.
Card 2. An image of your mourning
Rachel does not eat nor drink and is sick of grief. Mourning takes on many shapes. You can feel it as emptiness, anger and sadness, but it can also manifest itself as physical pain. It is also possible that you walk away from it, in order not to feel it. This card gives an image of
Card 3. An image that comforts
Rachel gets an vision that is comforting to her. The card that you pull here is meant to give an image that comforts. But, be aware, at some moments nothing can give comfort.
Card 4. Living on
Rachel lives on, comforted by her dream. This card gives an image of how you live on with your loss. It can again give a picture of your grief, or of an other expression of it. It can give an image of how you live on being comforted by card 3, or it can give a new image that comforts you.
Here I read two cards 1, and card 2, for card 2 is the same as yesterdays’ card.
Card 1 gives an image of what is lost, of what I do not have. I have pulled here the Guardian of Wands, from the Inner Child Cards(King of Wands from the RWS, but different). Pictured is Raphael, one of the archangels. His name means: "God heals". My grief is not being the person that I want to be: a really wonderful card-reader and healer. I cannot help enough or my help is ineffective. O dear, oh dear, what images of grandiosity are hidden behind this! It makes me deeply ashamed.
Card 2 gives an image of my grief. I’ve pulled The Midas Touch, (Justice from the RWS). It shows my shock becoming aware that I am not as perfect and nice as I want to be.
Painting by Francois Boucher, The Rest on the Flight to Egypt.