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Cycle 10 - 2020 Daily Medicine Cards - December 21-31

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

This is also only a partial cycle because...well, 2020 is over!

Day 119 - December 21

Solstice Greetings My Friends! I feel like I say this almost every day, but I can’t imagine a more applicable card for us today - ADJUSTMENT (aka Justice) with the Crowley-Harris Thoth tarot.

The Daughter of the Lords of Truth, The Ruler of the Balance, The Woman Satisfied. These are some of the traditional names of this card. The scales tip again today as we welcome back the light! The longest night is behind us, and with the return of the Sun, perhaps the illumination of Truth and some truths will come along with it.

  1. Personal - From Lon Milo DuQuette and his integral text Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot (honestly a much more thorough companion on the deck than Crowley’s own The Thoth Tarot- which is nonetheless still a fun read): “The goddess of Adjustment is in perfect balance, left to right and top to bottom. Amid spheres of light and darkness, she stands on tiptoe at the very point of her sword.” We can each take this powerful image as applicable to our individual personal lives. How many spheres are you juggling in your life? What does balance look like to you? And how quickly does it change! Who are you when you are perfectly balanced on tiptoe, and what is your sword made of?

  2. Collective - In a critical correspondence to Lady Frieda Harris regarding her illustration of this card, Aleister Crowley drives home the concept of balance as dynamic rather than static (he thought her original illustration was too rigid and cold - not enough movement, that seems to be remedied in the final version, and I agree). The concept of balance as dynamic is one of my favorite universal laws, and a reason I so love Chinese Medicine. I think that one of our primary collective ailments is the idea that once we achieve a goal we will have arrived and be done with it, will have achieved “balance” and will be healthy/stable forevermore. More from Crowley “Nature is not the grocer weighing out a pound of sugar; it is the compensation of complicated rhythms. I should like you to feel that every adjustment was a grande passion; compensation should be a festival, not a clerk smugly pleased that his accounts are correct.” I like to imagine the potential for a Universal energetic(electromagnetic) realignment that could occur if a critical mass of collective consciousness invited the concept of dynamic balance into our hearts, bodies, lives.

In magic and medicine, yours truly

Gina Mauro

Day 120 - December 22

Fellow Seekers and Saboteurs! If any of you have ever read a book by Caroline Myss, or listened to one of her audio lectures (such as The Language of Archetypes which is available on both audible and soundstrue) you know that spares no detail or length in explaining things. You’ll also know by-heart and never be able to forget that the Saboteur is one of the four primary archetypes that everyone has. The Child, The Victim, The Prostitute and the Saboteur make up the archetypal foundation from which our other 8 personal archetypes are born. Myss explains that everyone has a primary personality collage made of 12 archetypes. We also have to remember that even though the 4 that we all share can sound kind of “negative” that there really is no such thing as good and bad on the spectrum of the spirit. So let’s explore the combination of the Saboteur and the Seeker, as the cards jumped out of the deck together which was part of my point in mentioning Myss’s verbosity and tendency towards ongoing addendums - this is our final draw from her deck this year and I really feel her presence with us telling us that we absolutely must focus on both of these.

  1. The Seeker may begin their search with earthly curiosity, but has at its core the pursuit of wisdom and truth wherever they’re to be found. Part of this thirst for truth includes a deep desire to expose the issues that plague the Saboteur's shadow side - fears and issues related to low self-esteem that block your own empowerment and success.

  2. Personal - The primary aspect of the Saboteur which undercuts the Seeker is the self-destruction that comes from a lifetime pattern of constantly moving from one potential source of wisdom or truth to another. Have you dealt with this? Conquered it? What helped you “settle down” and focus on a particular path? Did you specifically become aware of your Saboteur at some point?

  3. Collective - When we decide to invite the Saboteur in as an ally, we will find that it calls our attention to situations in which we’re in danger of being sabotaged by others or ourselves. The Seeker can fall prey to such things when in our “lost soul” shadow expression that makes it easy for the underlying egocentricity vortex of false gurus to seduce us. I fully ascribe to the concept that as humans with emotions and egos, we can’t really base relationship decisions on being able to fully “trust” others or ourselves. We need to find a path to unconditional love on the inside that does include some conditional boundaries on the outside.

In magic and medicine, yours truly

Gina Mauro

Day 121 - December 23

Dear Human Mushrooms, Wow, after spitting out literally every mushroom card we’ve seen over the past 4 months, Paul Stamets’ Mushroom Playing Cards brought us the Queen of Hearts - Grifola Frondosa - Maitake. I want to explore this gourmet beauty in a slightly different format than usual. We’ll discuss her mycelial properties, then we will do a deep dive into the Queen of Cups (I think our October 9 reading with the Morgan-Greer was a bit surface-level), then we will wrap it up with some prompts for personal inquiry and/or meditation.

  1. Grifola Frondosa/Maitake - Also known as hen-of-the-woods (not to be confused with chicken-of-the-woods which is not edible) Maitake mushroom is a gourmet favorite - enough so for Stamets to offer her the placement of Queen in his cards. Though she is a shelf mushroom, she grows low enough on the trunk of her tree that her mycelium are underground - and they’re actually pretty large and tuberous, not fine stringy hairs like most mushroom’s psychic telephone lines. I love this in terms of the idea of being super grounded through water element. Her giant potato-like roots are what let her gorgeous fruit-body foliage get really big and ornate - so Queenly! This is a primary culinary mushroom in Japan and they often let/help her grow to over 100 pounds!!!

  2. Queen of Hearts/Cups - Our Queen here is not just the most successful and balanced of the suit of Cups, but of the entire minor arcana. She can even be read as the home-base version of the World card - wise, creative, unifying. She serves as a bridge between imagination and action, creativity and social usefulness. Like the tuberous root of our mushroom, the water at our Queen’s feet merges with her dress, signifying the unity of self with emotion and imagination aided by unconscious underlying spiritual forces. Unification of water, land and Queen (or frilly fancy beauty mushroom) reminds us that we do not nourish our imagination by giving it freedom to wander at will, but by corralling it towards valuable activities that will ultimately bolster our conscious endeavors. She also reminds us that said corralling must be field by love not willpower or control.

  3. Prompts for personal inquiry/meditation - How does water ground you in your life? Can it do so even more powerfully than earth at times? Do you store reservoirs beneath your feet? Or do you let the water of the world flow over your feet at nature’s pace? When you find yourself trying to push and force your imagination into creative action, what happens if you step back and soften the scenario with love? What is your fanciest outfit? Do you feel nourished when you wear it?

In magic and medicine, yours truly

Gina Mauro

Day 122 - December 24

Wintertide Blessings All, Let us seek some Physical, Mental and Spiritual guidance from Monte Farber’s prompts in his Karma Cards. Today the deck directed us to focus on the Sun which just went into Capricorn on Monday and is, at least in this moment on the East coast of the US, in the 10th house.

1. Physical - “Act like a leader, use the most businesslike way and become a person of power and status.” What even is power? Status? What do these things mean to you personally? Who is the leader inside you? And does businesslike mean cold? Does professional mean uncaring? How can we imbue these topside quests with the medicine of the soul?

“Things brought to life or light resulting from the rules imposed by your career.” Imagine you’re holding a ball of clay in your open palm - it rests there, maintaining its shape, being itself in some seemingly definable form. What happens when you make a fist? What do you learn about the clay as it squishes through your fingers? What is revealed about yourself when a structure (no judgment here, no “good” or “bad”) imposes its force on you? Do you change how you define yourself?

2. Mental - “The gaining of respect for or from focusing on where you’re going.” Why do we want and crave respect? Is it for survival alone? Akin to our above prompt, without judgment, what happens to us when we define ourselves by our goals? What alchemy occurs when others see us dedicated and focused, especially when goals are driven by our hearts?

“Realize the day-to-day reality of success.” It’s been really interesting writing this newsletter and specifically trying not to talk about 2020, but this prompt feels worthy of a timely check-in. How has your concept of success changed this year? Especially in small scale day-to-day life? If you haven’t yet, can you afford yourself the grace to reassess success in a kinder gentler way?

3. Spiritual - “Demonstrate your goals responsibly.” Our physical prompt told us to act like a leader, but really, you are already a leader. Every single one of us leads by example even if we think no one is watching. Can you live today with a reimagined sense of responsibility about where you’re going? Even tiny moment-to-moment goals, not just the big ones, but those too.

“The creation of dedication to achieve your destiny.” The creation of dedication. To me this speaks to the spiritual(perhaps magical) process of creating something out of nothing. We all have a destiny (this can function outside of concepts of fate, karma, dharma, etc) which is simply the fullest expression of ourselves - where that will bring us, we can’t possibly know. Connect with the feeling space of that definition of destiny in order to pull from thin-air a force of dedication that is not how you would have previously defined “dedication.”

In magic and medicine, yours truly

Gina Mauro

Day 123 - December 25

Morning Blessings Friends, I maintain my theory that the cards are consciously and urgently trying to cram in as much as possible in our final round together. Today the Morgan-Greer Tarot immediately spat out 2 cards, which I read as “the challenge” 9 of Swords, and “its solution” the Queen of Wands. We received a message from the Queen of Wands through the Ostara Tarot on September 5th but shockingly have never received the quintessential “nightmare” card 9 of Swords at all in our journey through the final 4 months of this nightmare year.

  1. It could seem that the 9 of Swords is simply stating the external obvious: that we are bound, trapped, and cannot access the tools (swords) of our spiritual intellectual powers to solve a particularly awful bunch of situations. However, what my teacher Sandy always reminded me is that this card is a lot more about the internal landscape because that’s the one we can control. The Queen of Wands shows up, not at all to tell us to look on the bright side or count our blessings, but how to access the power of feminine fire to gently blowtorch the shit out of any internal attachment/fear that is compromising our ability to deal with the external.

  2. Personal - Our Queen of Wands is the matriarch of hearth and home: creative, warm, generous and wise. Of all our Queens, she is the one who has been through hell (and due to these trials, has mastered elemental fire) and has come out the other side wise and willing to help literally anyone and everyone along the way. She is loyal and remembers where she came from. She is honest and friendly. She is strong willed and here to tell you to trust yourself. In conjunction with the 9 of Swords, she is here to validate your nightmare and would never say anything like “don’t worry sweetie, it was just a dream.” She knows there is no such thing as “just a dream.” She knows there is no such thing as “just think positively.” She understands the inner workings of anxiety and despair- she does not gain her strength from ignoring these things but rather excavating them and burning out their poison.

  3. Collective - The Queen of cups would fight to the death for her friends and family. She is very warm and loving, but if you harm one of her loved ones she will hunt you down and make sure you are punished. Here we speak of universal and instant “karma.” The quantum mechanics of karma does not say that if you do something “bad” you will be punished later, or even in your next life. Rather, that when we do (with thought, word or deed) something damaging to ourselves or others, the cellular intelligence of our bodies receives that thought, word or deed as vibrational information. So when those with massive power enact abuse and cruelty on others just because they can, it is the Queen of Wands (even more so than Justice) creating that ripple of karma with the blinding light of her penetrating gaze. When she shows up in our reading, we are about to take on her attributes. We will feel strong and ready to face the world and to be generous with all you have.

In magic and medicine, yours truly

Gina Mauro

Day 124 - December 26

Scryers! Another exciting day with the cards as we rapidly approach the end of the year- our Circle of Life Tarot revealed not 1, 2 nor even 3 cards for us, but is offering us a storyline of 4 cards. With a 20 minute scry (7+4+7+2=20) I read the cards in a columnar fashion starting with the 7 of Pentacles, going to the 4 of Wands then the 7 of Swords and culminating with the High Priestess. So I am reading this story as the becoming of the High Priestess, from birth through initiation. I’ll share some brief and very basic standard (Golden Dawn/Smith-Rider-Waite) descriptive prompts for each card, share a little about what I think it means through the lens of Maria DiStefano’s illustrations, and then leave you to your own scrying!

1. The 7 of Pentacles - Feeling restricted, change of job/responsibility, putting energy into a new project, fear of both failure and success, stop and evaluate- is the decision to change so challenging that the rewards wouldn’t be worth it? Don’t give up, but also stop going back and forth, make a firm decision.

I see this Fairy Godmother character in a basket of only 6 eggs, is the scarab she is casting the 7th egg/pentacle? Is it the seed of mystery and wisdom that will eventually become the High Priestess?

2. The 4 of Wands - Stability, relaxation and rest, harmony, settlement, celebration (perhaps a marriage or the birth of a child), a well-earned and solid foundation to build upon. As my teacher Sandy would say - “It’s time to rest up for the hardships ahead!”

I read the female slightly amphibian characters in this card as initiate priestesses. I see the figure in the back holding the frog (the 4th wand) and staring into its eyes as our future High Priestess who sees mysteries and truths that others don't.

3. The 7 of Swords - Finding balance between diplomacy and secrecy (like don’t tell everyone everything about your plan) for this is an unstable situation, a grand plan (motivated by a wish or hope) that may fail, walk softly- do not use might, but skills of the mind.

Now our priestess on her journey has grown horns, wings and hooves. She faces down an egret with just one of her swords (though she has 6 more that she could access) As mystical egret teaches us to stand in both the physical and spiritual worlds, acquiring its power could help us look deeper into aspects of life. Is our priestess on some sort of quest or trial to bring out her innate wisdom? Egret also represents determination and self-reliance, qualities required of the High Priestess as she is in a class of her own, not just in physical isolation, but carrying and protecting secret knowledge.

4. The High Priestess - Hidden knowledge, intuition, spiritual interest and gift, inner voice, advice, psychological insight, hidden issues, early memories, messages in dreams, meditation, prayer, celibacy/love without sex, hidden potential.

Now our priestess has arrived in her final form as The High Priestess, and she wears a bird pendant at her chest (is it the egret? Or something transformed?). The wisdom she carries is so heavy that she must prop up her horns with pillars. The cloths/ropes/tendrils coming out of her head strike me as telephone wires to outer realms and inner wisdom.

In magic and medicine, yours truly

Gina Mauro

Day 125 - December 27

Practical Magic Greetings All! That’s how I feel about Mudra day! We whip up all this knowledge, insight and energy throughout our two-week cycle, then on Sunday (Mudras) and Monday (acu points) we get to direct that energy and manifest some healing ripples within and around ourselves. Our mudra today is called Karana Mudra, let’s dive in a little more to examine the concept of “purification.”

  1. As with most of our mudras so far, our directions for practice include: sit in a comfortable position with a nice straight spine, engage the mudra with both hands and rest them in your lap. Breathe naturally and set a timer for 5-45 minutes. Physically this mudra benefits the bladder, colon and large intestine, and assists the mind and body in releasing negative patterns and habits.

  2. Personal - I’ve mentioned herbalist April Graham in this newsletter before. If you’re one of my roommates (aka my mom and dad lol) who is on this list you’re probably tired of hearing me talk about her as I just read her absolutely incredible book last week. One of the concepts she touches on quite emphatically is that of “detoxification” and the momentum this dangerous myth has whipped up in both the holistic healing and allopathic medical communities. “Your body isn’t dirty” she reminds us, “Your liver is not a car filter that holds on to toxins.” She then shares a bunch of information including that our digestive organs regenerate cells every 150-500 days (a lot faster than the 7 years it takes our entire bodies to do the same). She focuses on the concept of supporting our system so that the new cells can be as strong and healthy as possible. So I think that the safest and most important thing for us to apply the concept of “detoxification” and “purification” to is our minds and the negative patterns and habits. However, same as with the physical cellular body, we can’t just take things away, we must support these systems as well by replacing that which can damage us with that which can enhance, fulfill and strengthen our lives.

  3. Collective - I actually really like the idea of using this mudra as a collective offering for for the world, perhaps working with the concept of clearing rather than cleansing. Our card suggests “similar to the way you might use a bundle of dried sage to clean and clear the space of unwanted energies, conclude by opening all the doors and windows, lighting incense and filling the space with a sacred sound (ringing a bell, a bowl or chanting loudly). It’s hard to corral the mind into the idea that things might not need to be detoxified (the climate crisis! covid!) Who wouldn’t want to scrub the shit out of these scary things that make us feel like we and our Mama Earth are “contaminated.” I honestly don’t have any answers, but I like the idea of regularly challenging ourselves to rearrange concepts, even just experimentally, and see what happens in our lives.

In magic and medicine, yours truly

Gina Mauro

Day 126 - December 28

Medicine People, Once again, the consciousness of the cards is on display today with Lonny Jarrett’s Spirit of the Points deck. As we discussed briefly 2 weeks ago with the Wheel of Fortune card from Many Queens, this year is not one to be easily wrapped up or comprehended. Stomach 1 - Receive Tears can give us some guidance on how to support our systems through this time when our cognitive processing of what has transpired over the past year is not necessarily accessible. As per usual on these Mondays, I’ll quote heavily from Jarrett’s book on clinical practice.

  1. Stomach 1 through 8 form “the top of a funnel that collects acquired qi and readies it for its descent and assimilation into the body. Just as food is received via the mouth and then chewed, life experience arrives to us via the sensory orifices, where it is processed through by thought, the spirit of the earth element...Only the appropriate amount of life can be processed at any given monet or the funnel will become clogged. Such stagnation is associated with dysfunction above as thought processes are compromised and below as digestion and assimilation are hampered.”

  2. Personal - “When emotional material is not digested and integrated, it can burden us in much the same way as undigested food can impart feelings of heaviness and stuckness.” So the way we can use this point (image attached) is either by palpation or actually crying. Because the “funnel” is clogged, we aren’t going to be able to logic our way through this, so we need to support ourselves energetically.

  3. Collective - When we do this kind of powerful work, especially while standing in raw awareness of some of the machinations at play, we really get to use our own bodies as pinpoints on the larger web of the All There Is. So yes, we will be helping ourselves of course, but offering ourselves the grace to engage this medicine is also a collective offering. I recommend pressing this point early and often.

In magic and medicine, yours truly

Gina Mauro

Day 127 - December 29

My Dear Many Queens, Lettie Jane Rennenkamp’s tarot apparently wants to go out with a bang! Our final time with her this year (though the Many Queens Tarot will be the deck I use every Friday for my Tarot medicine column on Medium and my own blog) the World card bursts forth. Not only is the World the final card of the Major Arcana, but there’s some interesting stuff going on astrologically in correlation to this card. I’ll be quoting and paraphrasing heavily from Kate, The Modern Laundress’ video on our current astrological climate in conjunction with not only the World card, but also as it corresponds to our previous Many Queens reading from 2 weeks ago - the Wheel of Fortune. I highly recommend you watch Kate’s entire video, it is 13 minutes long and can help you synthesize some stuff from the past year, past 200 years and past 2000 years, as well has help you gear up for the remainder of Capricorn season, the coming year, and the Age of Aquarius in general. However, if you wish to skip to the bit on the World and the Wheel and why it is so important right now as they move from their time in Capricorn over the past year into a conjunction in Aquarius, the timestamp is minute 6:33. Now let's dive in.

  1. I’ve decided to include the image of the Wheel from our last cycle so that you can easily compare the imagery between the two. From Kate: The Wheel (as corresponding to Jupiter) gives us the opportunity for expanding the limits of the World (as corresponding to Saturn) as we have previously known it. The Wheel/Jupiter require us to take risks as the World/Saturn require us to let go of attachments to “the way things used to be” (whatever your marker of “before” may be personally or collectively, I know there are many to choose from at this point). “Whenever these two meet it is an opportunity to clear old Karma.” While Saturn rules karmic history, legacy and patterns, Jupiter gives us the opportunity to release and these and expand beyond them.

  2. Personal - Like many cards in the tarot, the World is indicative of the circle of life: birth, growth, death, rebirth, and repeat. When we reach this apex of the ongoing cycle, it indicates that we have cut through some of our limitations and have succeed in a goal or ended of matter of some sort. Lettie Jane reminds us that if we are only one piece away from completion, the good news is that we have the whole World to work with in order to find that missing piece.

  3. Collective - I wish to share a brief bit of prose from Rachel Pollack’s 78 Degrees of Wisdom as an invocation and blessing for us all with this World card. “There is no centre, no place where we can say, ‘Here it all began, here it all stops.’ Yet the centre exists, everywhere, for in a dance the dancer does not move around any arbitrary point in space, but rather the dance carries its own sense of unity focused around a constantly moving, constantly peaceful centre. Nothing and everything all at once.”

In magic and medicine, yours truly

Gina Mauro

Day 128 - December 30

Dear Dear Friends, I just love the fact that our two Animal medicine decks are the ones who will be ushering us on from this particular chapter. So let’s see what Jamie Sams and David Carson’s Medicine Cards have for us.

  1. At this time of transition, Butterfly medicine affords us the space and grace to assess where we are in the ongoing cycle of self-transformation at this particular time. “When you understand where you are, the symbol can teach you what to do next to continue in the cycle of self-transformation.”

  2. Personal - Which stage are you in?

  3. The egg stage - the beginning, where your idea is born. Is it just a thought or idea?

  4. The larga stage - is it time to move towards manifesting your idea into the physical world? Do you need to make a decision?

  5. The cocoon stage - going within, developing your project or aspect of your personality. Are you doing something to make this a reality?