Spring Equinox is exact tonight at 8:49pm PST (0° Aries) with the waning Dark Moon in Aquarius. While it is beautiful and sunshine-y here in Portland, Ore., we’re asked to practice social distancing, when what we really want to do is socialize and share in the buzz of excitement as the Sun brings life back to the earth in the Northern Hemisphere.
Spring Equinox is the time to celebrate the sign of life’s return from Winter. However, it’s also a time to honor the balance of light and dark, since the Equinox splits the day and night equally. During the Spring and Fall Equinoxes we honor balance. The Sun rises directly in the East and sets directly in the West.
As much as we want to celebrate and be active, this year Spring’s entrance falls on a waning moon, a time when we are meant to honor the energy of discension and inner work. The Spring is about rebirth, but this year it is being born during the dark lunar time of going inward. And this lunar energy is certainly being highlighted!
As we quarantine ourselves, it’s an opportunity to use the Springtime energy of rebirth to reflect on our personal resurrection. To shine a light inward and honor the emotions we might be feeling during this strange and chaotic time.
We have been going through a Dark Night of the Soul together, and we are on the same ride for better or worse. As humans, we want to be productive, to stay busy and distracted from the things that cause us fear, and it’s much easier to ignore our feelings sometimes.
However, I think these intense times, which bring a lot of uncertainty, is ushering in a new era! There’s a huge shift happening this year, and we’re going through growing pains. The old ways aren’t working for the collective anymore and there’s a breakdown of old structures and traditions that are toxic and stagnant. As a result we are awakening to new ideas that will create significant shifts that I believe will not be temporary!
We will be going through these changes at least through December 21st--Winter Solstice—when many astrologers believe that the Age of Aquarius will be fully actuated. I realize that's a long way off, but I'm sure it will be worth it!
In tarot, this is an Emperor year (2020=2+2=4) that has been tinged with the Tower card's energy. Saturn is 29° Capricorn and will move through 1° Aquarius through June (where we will see a relief of some of these energies), and then he will retrograde back into Capricorn until he moves direct again in December (back into Aquarius by the end of the year). This movement of Saturn in 29° Capricorn is showing us huge karmic changes that we have been, and will be, working through the rest of the year.
The established ways are broken. The Age of Aquarius will put a halt on what isn’t working anymore. The “me against the world” attitude and “every man for himself” is no longer going to cut it. And, we are seeing that it does not work in the current situation we are finding ourselves. We are in this together and the humanitarian energy of Aquarius—the visionary, the reformist, the illuminated mind—is what will save us! We are on the precipice of change!
I have to retract something I wrote in the Divine Muses Oracle Companion Guidebook about the Eternal Student card that could spread negative perceptions about Sikhs and those who practice Sikhism.
In the Essence and the Shadow section, I don’t write about specifics regarding religion, Sikh or otherwise. However, the last sentence of the In the Card section, I write that the artwork leans towards the shadow side of the card’s definition and that isn’t fair. I can see how that is highly problematic and I’m so sorry I didn’t see this sooner.
In a world where there’s anti-Sikh sentiment and Islamophobia, pointing the artwork in this way misrepresents the historical figure I used in the artwork, and could reinforce negative stereotypes. That was not my intention. However, I see how pointing the artwork towards the shadow could denigrate Sir Rajinder Singh specifically. I will not make excuses as to what I really meant to say because in the end, it can still be misinterpreted and cause harm.
I am sorry for causing offense. I know where I went wrong in writing about the artwork. I will continue to use the card in the deck, but I will be removing that last sentence from the guidebook in all future printings.
I’m grateful to the woman who contacted me and brought this to my attention. She is Sikh and is well-placed to comment about her experience and that of her community. I couldn’t have asked for a more compassionate email. Her kindness and understanding is rare in a world where lobbing accusations online is seemingly becoming the norm. She said that she was really pleased to see Sikh representation in a deck, and explained to me why she thought the description was harmful. When I reread the entry I saw my mistake immediately.
As a deck creator, collage artist, and archivist, I strive towards creating more diverse and inclusive card decks. It can be challenging to find photographs and imagery that I can use in my work. One must be sensitive and conscious when working within the 19th century archives.
Even though I was careful with my work, I still made a mistake. The next course of action is to own it, fix it, and share my mistake, so those of you who have the oracle set are aware of this.
It’s a fitting lesson this should happen with the Eternal Student card.
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Maree Bento is an artist and practitioner of the mystical & healing arts.
She’s a professional tarot reader and veteran deck creator born under a Sagittarius Sun with a Libra Rising & Capricorn Moon conjunct Pallas Athena. She's been deepening her astrology studies the last few years, after a years-long hobby interest in the subject.
Maree was a licensed massage therapist for 17 years practicing various holistic modalities for body, mind, and spiritual well-being & connection.
Her background in the healing arts inspires her present approach to tarot, creativity, ritual, and divination.
She loves traveling, especially to her ancestral homeland, the Azores, and has been relearning her mother tongue. She enjoys connecting with family, friends, & animals, She lives in Portland with her beloved, David, and their huggable hound, Dante where they hike rain or shine.
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