Solstice Ritual in 4 Steps- The About Face Spread

1.Create Space

There were several reasons I needed to do a Summer Solstice ritual this year. I had to close out a month-long reading that was still on my altar. That reading revealed healing I needed related to productivity and self-care. I’d also broken up with one of my loves and was feeling some kinda way about that. With these reasons I knew that I might do a Solstice ritual even though I hadn’t consistently done ritual in years and it would be “a thing.”

We all know about the might-do moment. It’s that awkward place where you want to do or commit to something and say “I will do that thing on this day.” But you don’t want to be disappointed later if you don’t do it. Maybe like me you’ve said you would do something only to realize later that the excitement has waned and you don’t do it. It’s sort of awful when this happens but not in a noticeable way. Underneath everything being alright, you trust yourself a little less to make the call about what you will actually do.

This might-do moment is about willpower. Third chakra if you’re into that kinda thing. Willpower is a muscle. When this muscle is big, it looks like integrity. It inspires trust. The person with strong willpower trusts themselves and earns the trust of the people around them. When this muscle is small, it looks like fear. It’s that feeling that everything might not be ok. It keeps a person from committing, trusting in their commitment to self and commitments from other people. So it’s funny that I’d be shaky committing to a ritual intended to support me in setting down addiction to productivity and encouraging consistent self-care. Irony much?

Rather than figure any of that out I went to a Solstice ritual out in the world. I had my energetic goals in mind while I allowed others to facilitate ritual for me. This is sort of like what happens at church. I’ve had a lot of success with this in the past when I didn’t have the space to facilitate my own ritual. I did a card pull. I lived on my edge, talked to people I didn’t know as if that’s a thing I do comfortably as a socially anxious introvert. Felt vulnerable, foolish, and inspired in public. All good stuff. It was…ok and not what I needed. Or maybe it was JUST what I needed. It made my might-do into a will-do. I decided to do a solo ritual, and I knew exactly how to do it.

Card Pull at Solstice thing. Carding's Transparent Tarot by Schiffer 2008

Card Pull at Solstice thing. Carding’s Transparent Tarot by Schiffer 2008

2.Set Solstice Intent

My ritual had a dual purpose:

  • close a reading I did in May, clear my deck & altar
  • honor some interpersonal transitions and reclaim the energy that went into them
Close & Clear

In May I tried an experiment to leave a reading on my altar for about a month. I interpreted the reading four separate times. Each time yielded more depth and clarity than the last. It was pretty amazing because it helped me recognize harmful patterns in my life and realize the need for an energetic check up.

Altar from May. Morgan-Greer by US Games 1979

Altar from May. For the Tarot Geeks, this is a version of the 1st operation of OTK that I use. Morgan-Greer by US Games 1979

I did a few card pulls with other decks, but I spent a lot of time focusing on this one reading. Since I put so much care and effort into it, I decided to take it apart with care as well. I reflected on each card one more time and put it into a  large random pile with the intent to let go of the work that I had done.

Me undoing my previous spread. Morgan-Greer by US Games 1979

Me undoing my previous spread. Managed to melt my yoga mat a little. It was inevitable. Morgan-Greer by US Games 1979

Honor Transition & Reclaim Energy

I wanted resolution with three of my most meaningful relationships. Amongst energy workers, there is a practice called cord cutting where you sever energetic attachment to an experience, place, person or whatever. The purpose of this process is to reclaim your lost energy. I decided a cord cutting was what I needed. I was confident in my ability to do the practice since I’ve done it in the past with and without guidance, so I created a tarot spread to do it in my way.  I had a bit of superstition about this practice left over from when I was a practicing Wiccan. I was worried I’d do it wrong somehow. Doing this practice was pretty powerful because it reassured me that while cutting cords can be “a thing,” it was something I could do for myself, my way and that spiritual allegiance was irrelevant.

3.Let Go

The About Face Spread

I call this the About Face because it requires me to look at my position, attitudes, and beliefs about a person and then turn around completely, as if in one definitive motion. If you try it, customize it for your situation. I used three decks for this cuz’ I felt like it, but this could easily be done with one deck and with one person or situation.

  1. Go through the deck and select a card to represent the person or situation that is difficult or transitioning. Ie: A situation where you cling to someone, or where you are angry.
  2. Go through the deck and select a card to represent who you are when you currently interact with this person or situation, things that might not be serving you anymore. Maybe you judge or blame this person more than you’d like. Maybe you are too fond of them and abandon your self-care habits or friends. Mentally picture yourself being these ways or describe it in words if you prefer. Make it as real as you have time and energy for.
  3. Pick a random card that represents who you are without your story about this person or situation.  Leave this card face down for later. I slid the other cards I’d chosen over this one using a scarf because I wanted to, literally, unveil it when I turned it over.

    About Face. Manara's Erotic deck by Lo Scarabeo, Padma's Osho-Zen Tarot by St Martin's Press 1995, Morgan-Greer by US Games 1979

    About Face. Notice the 5th card under the silk? Manara’s Erotic deck by Lo Scarabeo, Padma’s Osho-Zen Tarot by St Martin’s Press 1995, Morgan-Greer by US Games 1979

  4. Raise some energy. If you want to start small, you might breathe for a few minutes thinking about your intent to let go of what doesn’t serve you. Do whatever gives you a boost: dance, sing, draw, chant mantra. As long as it works for you, it counts. I did some breath work and a meditation I’m fond of lately. You know you’ve completed this part when you feel a bit floaty in the brain, maybe out of breath, and feel “complete.”
  5. Brush the old cards aside, leaving only your single face down card, the one that represents you without the story. I did this quickly and with a sharp exhalation, kinda like shushing folks at the library. I’m a kinesthetic person, and I wanted the motion to feel final.
  6. Interpret this final card with an open heart and an eye toward compassion for yourself. See all the new ways you could relate to the person or situations or describe it in words if you prefer. Make it as real as you have time and energy for. Use the images in the card to flesh out the new story. I took a picture of this final card to reflect on for a while. It’s currently the wallpaper on my phone.
  7. Sit in silence and breathe, and let what you just did sink in. This part is important so don’t skip it.

    Final Card. Padma’s Osho-Zen Tarot by St Martin’s Press 1995

4.Integrate

You can use this spread after a breakup or loss, or when you are feeling insecure at the start of a new relationship. You could use it when you are angry at someone, or jealous. You could use it when feeling overwhelmed. Don’t forget the silence in the end. Give yourself the space to settle.


Can you think of other ways to use this spread?
What did you do to connect with yourself this summer?
I’d love to hear about it. Comment below.


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