©2022 Michael Raven
It’s been a spell since I tossed down some cards for a tarot reading. Mid-September, in fact. After moving things around in my working space (writing, paying work, shallow thoughts masquerading as deep thoughts, etc.), my tarot deck came to the forefront of my new “writing on paper” space and I thought… hmmm, that seems like something I should do just so I don’t get rusty on looking at this kind of archetypal symbolism.
As you may recall, I look to tarot as one of the many possible tools for spirit- or soul-work; not necessarily as a divinatory tool so much as a means towards understanding the spirits at play in our inner alchemy (this is also much how I approach the runestaves, as you probably have noticed).
If you recall way back then, I was exploring doing a modified past/present/future spread derived my my current understanding of wyrd at the time. Before I got really wrapped up in my rune study, I was obsessed with some of the conceptualizations of ørlǫg, or fate/destiny/fortune, which is probably the more correct term to use as opposed to wyrd (based on linguistics and a deepened understanding of the Norse conceptualization of it all). In Norse mythology which, in turn, influenced Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic myth and culture, there were three fate-like beings known as The Nornir. They were said to be responsible for shaping the course of human destinies (ørlǫg). While there is some debate about the matter, the three are as follow:
- Urðr (from which the A.S. word wyrd is derived) represents “That Which Became or Happened”; sometimes conceived as the immutable part of fate and being.
- Verðandi is the nornir envisioned as representative of “What Is Presently Coming Into Being”; e.g., the Present Moment.
- Skuld is the nornir representing “What Shall Be (or Should Be)”; the point of understanding one’s ørlǫg is to understand what it intended to be, and not necessarily a immutable “fate”, but a changing fate based on the immutable (Urðr) and the emergent (Verðandi) ørlǫg of the individual and that individual’s choices.
My own conceptualization of the spread, while derivative of the Past/Present/Future three-card spread that’s out there, was envisioned to skip the strict linear representation of time as we commonly conceive it in the modern era and introduce the idea of entanglement — that the linear time is irrelevant to the spread, conceived instead as a cyclic spiral. Patterns repeat across the time until that which ultimately should be comes to pass.
Three Cards Spread | Subject: personal ørlǫg
Urðr (Knight of Pentacles)
Hard work has been taking place and is the foundation for a methodical approach for now and approaching an understanding of ørlǫg. Methodical approaches will serve my interests in an evolving transitional period, and help smooth over the ruts and potholes in the path ahead. The card suggests a time of relentless focus may be at hand.
Verðandi (Page of Wands, reversed)
Right now, in this present moment, there are the stirring of something new occurring, but it is currently just the germ of thought, something that is too fresh to be put into concrete words. The mists are parting and a new path emerges, one of an intense spiritual nature. Answers I am seeking will be found from within, not from without.
Skuld (II Cups)
That which should be requires self-love. The current target, that signpost on the path, is a place where I am living authentically and honoring myself for who I am, where I have self-respect and self-acceptance, as well as that firmly embraced self-love. Finding love for myself within myself is critical to finding my way on the path in this turn of the wheel.
All of this resonates with my recent experiences, and therefore is unsurprising on the macro level. There are some details that are ripe fruit for consumption above (and in a few of the details I kept to myself for personal reasons). I think much of it is self-evident and doesn’t need any additional explanation as a whole. In all, interesting and informative reading.
Note: Biddy Tarot is my resource for understanding the card meaning. Different references may result in a different interpretation of the cards.