Using the Tarot of the Crone

The night before this year’s Summer Solstice I had a rather powerful meditation session, in which I cleared out some psychological baggage and got some healing.  When I prepared to connect with the energies at the moment of the Solstice, I kept in mind the idea of Spirit being grounded into five-senses form (as Machaelle Small Wright says in her books), which meant I visualized what I hope to accomplish in the next six months.  In retrospect, I realized the completion of my thesis was sort of tacked onto the end of it all.   🙂   Most of the things I visualized had to do with fixing up our yard and cleaning our house.   (I didn’t do much housework during grad school.) 

Though I wrote about Christine Jette’s book, Tarot for All Seasons, and the Midsummer Dreams spread, I realized it wouldn’t quite do for my Summer Solstice reading this year.  So I wrote questions for my own three-card spread.  Card 1 on the left would be, Where am I now?  Card 2 on the right would be, Where will I be next?  And Card 3 in the middle would be, How do I get there?  I decided to use the Tarot of the Crone for this reading.

The Tarot of the Crone is a self-published deck created by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince.  You can see additional cards from that deck (and her new Pandora’s Tarot) at .  Tarot of the Crone is out-of-print, but I’ve heard she may be producing more; I’d encourage you to contact her through her website if you are interested.  Tarot of the Crone is a very powerful deck; the artwork is simple but bold, and shows people as they are (beautiful because of their wrinkles and the lives they live).  Those who use it do so because it gives very powerful, often blunt answers, and challenges us to live lives of meaning. 

For Card 1, Where am I now?, I got the Empess reversed (shown here right side up).  The ma-3-empress.jpgbook that comes with the card has a poem for each, and the one for this card is about nurturing.  Ellen doesn’t do reversals with these cards, but I do.  With this deck, I generally take a reversal to mean inner work OR the opposite of what the upright card implies.  Based on my meditation work the night before, I took this to mean that at this time I am using my personal power to nurture myself, to help myself become what I’m here to be. 

My second card, Where will I be next?, is the Ten of Wands, which Ellen also calls Transformation.  The poem with this card is very short: “I went as far as one could go/And then I went farther.”  There’s the shape of a person standing inside that blasted tree wands-10.jpgstump, with the sun rising (setting?) behind it.  So along with the idea of hard work, for me it carries the idea that the hard work is accomplishing something.  There’s a lot of Fire energy in that card, and realization things will not be the same.

My third card went in the middle, between these two, in response to, How do I get there?  It is the Shadow of Swords, which she also calls Machine, and it was reversed.  This scan makes it look black-and-white, but it is tinted with shades of ice blue.  Each suit has a Shadow card, which represents “the element’s overdone, destructive and transformative powers,” and Ellen’s Sword suit is expressed as Air.  The poem with swords-shadow.jpgthis card is also short: “My thoughts are perfection/Crystal air/Never touching/Gross matter.”   This card always disturbs me; it reminds me of the mechanical garden in C. S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength, where everything is made of metal, perfect and not subject to decay.  BUT, I got it reversed, so for me this suggests that my way to Transformation is not through thought, but by getting my hands dirty, putting out effort and sweat. 

I like to create an affirmation associated with the tarot readings I do for these natural holidays, and the Tarot of the Crone made it easy to come up with a pretty basic one: It’s time for hard work.  Think I’ll print it out with a picture of the Ten of Wands, to remind myself it is leading to Transformation. 


About judithornot

Lives in semi-rural Northern California, happily married, retired counselor, night person, knits, plays WoW.
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