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by Chava
Beltane 2002, Vol 1-3
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book cover
courtesy of LLewellyn's On-line Bookstore

Tarot for All Seasons: Celebrating the Days and Nights of Power
by Christine Jette

Tarot for All Seasons, Christine Jette's third book on the Tarot, offers readers an excellent model for working with the cards and the energies of each of the holydays. The book begins by providing short but informative sections on the Wheel of the Year, the Tarot, and basic principles of magic. In these sections Jette explains her own paradigms and encourages readers to work with the cards and the Wheel to come up with their own personalized understandings. Readers who do not have much background in these areas would probably find Jette's discussion to be rather truncated and would be well advised to peruse one or more of the books listed in the bibliography.

From a Dianic perspective, this book is, for the most part, very readable. Jette's writing focuses almost entirely on the Goddess and all of the sample Tarot readings involve female querents. Her chapter, "Enchanted Nights: The Esbats" includes beautifully written passages about the Maiden as Lady of the Hunt, the Mother as Great Mother, and the Crone as Dark Goddess. However, Jette's Wheel is the traditional dualistic Pagan model, where the Goddess gives birth to the god at Yule and "unites" with him at Beltane.

The Beltane spread is called the "May Queen" and is intended to be used "to regain or confirm a sense of abundance and safety". For each holyday, Jette suggests building a Tarot altar and offers appropriate correspondences. In the case of Beltane, she suggests creating an altar with the following cards:

…the Lovers…to symbolize commitment and responsible choice in ongoing relationships. The Two of Cups resonates with emotional balance, romance, and passion. The Ten of Cups relates to fulfillment, joy, and contentment in personal relationships….Use the Page of Cups to represent a child or feeling young again. The King of Pentacles conveys prosperity, and the Empress or Queen of Pentacles celebrates your power to create.

After creating this altar, the querent would draw five cards (presumably from a different deck), as follows:

Card 1: Safety. Emotional security. What you need to feel safe….A seemingly negative card describes a situation that needs your focused attention. Work with the energy of that card to produce feelings of safety.

Card 2: Abundance. Feelings of plenty….A challenging card directs you to constricted energy flow; by releasing the block of a challenging card, emotional abundance will follow.

Card 3: Regeneration. Exploring the possibilities. The bold action needed to grow and flourish. A challenging card will show you the block that keeps you from your heart's desire.

Card 4: Love….All forms of love, from friendship to sexual passion….Look at the suit of the card: what does it tell you about the love in your life right now? (Wands = passion or anger; Cups = love or friendship; Swords = loving the intellect, heartache, or painful decisions; Pentacles = sensuality, the body, or the value you place on love; Court Cards = personal characteristics in your relationships; Major Arcana cards = the big picture, karma, or the spiritual aspects of your relationships.)

Card 5: The Future. The present conceivable outcome based on the flow of cards one through four….The lessons to be learned and the potential for growth.

After outlining the spread, Jette emphasizes that nothing is preordained and encourages readers to honor the information the drawn cards offer, but then "choose other cards that radiate the energy of your heart's desire and place them over the original layout". In this way, Jette empowers readers to use magic as an affirmation of their power to reclaim abundance and safety -- a very useful and unique theme for Beltane.

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+ book cover, Tarot for All Seasons, courtesy of LLewellyn's On-line Bookstore

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