the family tree tarot spread

setting: cool spring evening, relaxing after a whole day of roadworks sounds

listening to: destruction - joywave

family's been on my mind lately, so i'm picking this activity from my list of to-dos and ideas:

the family tree tarot spread

(i'll be using the ritual tarot and relying heavily on the images, followed by my own numerological system of meanings.)

1. blessing from my mother's bloodline - justice.

oh, i feel that's not something i've tapped into. i've had plenty of examples from my mother's family of fighting for what's duly yours, not "letting" anyone screw you over etc. i'm a little bit too non-confrontational for that, and generally i don't have enough energy to push through that resistance. but if i ever truly need to - i know how to do it and i still have people to advise me on that if i need support.

2. challenge from my mother's bloodline - devil.

feels like the flipside of card 1. watchful of everyone, everyone's out to get you, can't trust anyone. i've seen it turn into bigotry. that's a lesson that took a little stronger hold in me, unfortunately. i don't have a problem with trust in general, but i'm very concerned about continued material survival, not having my own means of income. even when i'm doing alright, there's a "what if" stopping me from being as generous and open as i could be. (needless to say i'm also doing a lot of continued work on various types of biases and -isms).

3. blessing from my father's bloodline - death.

i'm tempted to take this quite literally - all the closest family members from that side are gone. two died before i was born, two other when i was in my 20s. along with my own brushes with death, these were formative experiences, especially when it comes to my spiritual path and later dealings with the Dark Mother. (ironically there was a sort of psychopomp on my mother's side who complemented this lesson, and put the practicalities of death into a spiritual context for me).

on a less literal level, my youth followed a similar path to that of my father and it included a lot of change and moving around. the experiences i gained abroad were life-changing and i still benefit from them 30 years later.

4. challenge from my father's bloodline - empress.

fitting, as 3 and 13 are very much two ends of the same continuum. i want to say there wasn't really much of "goal setting", bringing a project to life and to completion. family members on this side were great at seizing an external opportunity, but the jobs were nine-to-fives, clock in-clock out. the personal projects were more along the lines of "tinkering". i don't necessarily think there's anything wrong with just vibing and i don't even know if and what i'd like to bring to life. but not having examples makes it harder to be sure whether i don't have anything i want to bring forth, or i just can't conceive of this type of endeavor at all.

interesting that the whole first level is made up of major arcana. some solid themes there. "fairness, but only if i've been wronged - otherwise, selfishness" and "the benefits of change, without stopping long enough to learn about the benefits of stability. no growth, only uprooting".

5. talent i've been gifted with from my mother's bloodline - 7 of coins.

i want to say this is the ability to be patient, survive and thrive on very little, find joy in the immediate and physical. enjoying a good creative limitation. this side of the family were countryside folks, farmers, their lives were not easy. comparatively i'm living in the lap of luxury, but still manage to not get hooked on extravagance and living beyond my means. luxury doesn't compel me. if there's extra money, i'd rather save it for future needs than splurge on immediate wants.

6. talent i've been gifted with from my father's bloodline - temperance.

or, going the thoth way - art. i mean yeah. i didn't know many members of that branch of the family, but mom's side were decidedly more practical people, and dad at least had some musical leanings. i'm ready to believe my creative dabblings stem from this line.

7. how can i cultivate these talents: 3 of coins

cooperate and contribute. helping family and friends with finances feels good, additionally helps me feel i have enough/more than enough. creativity has always grown the most when participating in something bigger, like fandom events. or making gifts. i've never actually done a collab but would really like to. plus hoping to participate in a friend's little art group, that should be a motivating, stimulating environment when it gets off the ground.

the 3 also gives me a "project" vibe, and "chipping away at something". and obviously this is true - if i made things into complete-able projects and chipped away at them until they're done, i'd do more conscious, intentional work, leading to quicker growth.

8. what advice do my ancestors want to give me about my family: 4 of swords

chill out more? i've been a little bit Despairing about the state of our family recently but maybe it's just how it is with families and it's fine?

i also interpret the four as a stable/reliable pattern of communication, so maybe i could work on that. i'm pretty decent with mom, but i wouldn't mind cluing my sister in more often, and touching base with the cool aunt - she's getting up there in years, i don't want to miss out on any opportunities to talk

9. what is my ancestors' overall perspective about my family: king of coins

doing well for ourselves! i guess? granted there were people in living memory who had done better but those times are gone now. perhaps we're on an upswing. there's security and quite a bit of freedom to decide how we want to do things, independence. interesting to see such a strong card, i'd think coins here could also represent succession but among my closest family members it doesn't look like anyone will have biological kids to continue our lines. but then the family overall is rather large, with grandma's and grandpa's multitudes of siblings and their kids etc. well, the most important thing is the ancestors are happy!

10. how well am i aligned with my ancestors? do i need to work harder to connect with them? 7 of wands

haha oh dear. this guy is defensive and under attack. could it be i haven't been paying attention? i definitely moved away from a daily ancestral veneration over the last year (there's just no room for the type of shrine i enjoy), but even despite that i've felt guidance and companionship from certain departed loved ones. maybe it's time to tune in and open up, pay closer attention...

phew, that was a big one. now to transfer and explore each of these cards into the study journal. might be an enjoyable task for the next few days.

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