A Winter Solstice Tarot Spread

Wintery cards from the This Might Hurt Tarot by Isabella Rotman

It’s that time again. The longest night of the year is creeping up on us, wintering has been very much on my mind, and it’s time to draw some cards for a winter solstice tarot spread.

What does it mean, to make winter a verb? How can we live in this season, move in sync with it? I know my natural tendency is to be cold and grumpy and longing for days in the sun and balmy nights, but I also know that welcoming what is, whatever that might be, is the true path to a full and rich and present life.

So, I’m embracing the cold and the dark and the quiet.

Because we need it, don’t we? We can’t always be on, always generating, doing, expressing, influencing, willing, creating, performing. Sometimes, we need to be still, quiet, dormant. Sometimes we need to replenish, to input energy and hold it inside us, before we can let it bubble up and out. Sometimes we need to let the seasons show us what to do. And what we’re doing right now is wintering.

I asked myself, what do we need to embrace and live through this winter season? Four things came to mind.

Protection from the elements.

Rest and replenishment.

Stories for the fireside. 

Hope for what comes next. 

These four things can be embodied in so many different ways. Wearing our warmest coat. Making the bed with our thickest blanket. Closing the curtains. Sleeping late. Cooking hearty foods. Brewing tea. Taking a break. Sharing our dreams. Watching a film. Reading by the heater. Exploring underworld tales from around the world. Writing a letter. Lighting a candle. Planning a spring garden. Scheduling a spring clean. Making plans for summer.

We can also turn these four prompts to oracular ends. Divination is a perfect activity for cold nights by the fire, after all!

To that end, I offer you a tarot spread. 

CARD 1: PROTECTION FROM THE ELEMENTS: What approach might I take to keeping my boundaries sovereign, my heat inside?

CARD 2: REST AND REPLENISHMENT: What approach might I take to filling my cup at this time? (You might interpret this as something you decide not to do, if you wish)

CARDS 3, 4, and 5: STORIES FOR THE FIRESIDE. Who is the hero of this winter initiation story for me? Who is the antagonist? What is the prize, the lesson?

CARD 6: HOPE FOR WHAT COMES NEXT. What talisman might I look to as I hope for the return of the light?

BONUS CARD: If you’ve been around here for a while, you may have tried out my Summer Solstice Tarot Spread. The last card of that spread invited us to ask what we could set down or pack away until the time was right for reflection and inner exploration.

Friends, that time is now! If you made a note of that card, now’s the moment to take it out. Sit with it, reflect on it, explore what it means to you now that you’re here in the winter.


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