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Tarot Forecast: Winter Solstice 2023

tarot forecast winter solstice four of swords strength five of pentacles

Hello and welcome to the Ecstatic Rabbit Podcast, a space for esoteric exploration, heartfelt insight, and expansive curiosity. I'm your host and the founder of Ecstatic Rabbit Tarot, Sarah Corbyn Woolf.

Friends, it has been a minute. So I just recorded a whole introduction to this episode and then lost it because Mercury Retrograde is Mercury Retrograding. So here's the deal. I know many of you were very excited when I was getting into more regular posting in the beginning of 2023, when I announced that I was back from my big break in 2022. I've been thinking a lot over the last couple of months about what this podcast means to me, means to you what a sustainable practice looks like. The fact of the matter is, and if you took any of my classes, especially in 2021 into 2022, you've probably heard me say this before, but this business -- which isn't going anywhere, before I go on -- but this business was such a haven for me during truly the most difficult chapter of my life to this point. It was a place where I could not only find support and camaraderie, feel a sense of accomplishment, feel a sense of generosity, those core needs that we all have. But frankly, it was also a place to hide. I could really bury myself into this work and keep my head down to get through a rough patch.

As my life stabilized through 2022 and into 2023, and now as we as we scoot on into 2024, I didn't need it as much. My scaffolding sort of diversified. I had more friends, family close by, work that I loved, new communities to feel connected to. I didn't need Ecstatic Rabbit to be kind of my everything, and that meant that it bumped down in priority. It evened out with some other things in my life. And I decided to give myself some grace and not necessarily hold myself to the structure I had anticipated at the beginning of the year, which is why you haven't heard from me in a while. But I do love putting this out, when I love it, and I know that there are a few loyal listeners out there who love it as much as I do, if not more, frankly. So I want to find a way to keep it going. And today, a very sleepy day for me, despite my low spoons, I also felt really inspired to hop on and record this new idea for the pod.

So here's the deal. I'm going to spread this out and make this a quarterly podcast. I'm going to see if I can stick to that throughout the next 12 months. Shouldn't be hard, that's just four episodes. But I'm going to make them longer episodes. I want to offer a sort of guide to you through each quarter of the astrological wheel. For the last two years now, I've been doing a very fun practice of pulling a card for each astrological season at my birthday. So because my birthday is towards the end of Scorpio season, starting with Sagittarius season and then moving all the way through the wheel and ending with the following Scorpio season one card each season. And what I love about it is that while I'm not a, you know, a predictive tarot reader, I am able to make space in that practice between a sort of sense of fatalism and fortunetelling and, something gentler, something that's just sort of thematic bubbles to examine as we move through time or as we reflect. I love doing these channelings because they feel quippy and bullet pointy and, um, there's depth to them, but there's also this sort of frothy, foamy on the surface quality that they take on, which I find really fun.

If you've come in for a reading at Iconica, it's possible that you've heard me say, you know, if I were gonna sum up this reading in a sentence, which I won't, but if I were, you know, here's what it would be. And what I love about these is that I kind of lean into that with these astrological season pulls, and we'll get into more depth than that. I'm not just going to leave you, you know, with three sentences for the next three months, but that's sort of the sandbox I want to be playing in, something lighthearted and fun and, frankly, easy, sustainable, rhythmic but light. That's what I'm looking for. So what that means is that today, in anticipation of our upcoming winter solstice, we'll be pulling three cards one for Capricorn, season one for Aquarius, season one for Pisces season. And then if all goes according to plan, I'll be back in March.

Okay my friends. So we are starting off with December 22nd, the first day of Capricorn season, and the card we have is the Four of Swords. I always forget how hard December is. I always forget how hard Sagittarius season is. There's this sense of adventurousness and expansion that is countered, at least in our northern hemisphere, where I think most of you are, by the hibernation, the darkness, the closing in of winter. What a strange combination, to be reaching and curious and ready to expand at the same time that the weather and the season and the light are asking us to contract. I've never thought of it that way before. And it stands to reason that following that paradoxical time, not to mention a time that's full of, you know, end of Q4 and holiday plans and parties and family and all of the drama and stress and even joy that can be overwhelming, it stands to reason that come Capricorn season, we would sort of get it together and take a break.

Would that we could in a more literal way. But in The Four of Swords, what we see is a respite of the mind. This is rest and restoration. This is shutting down the computer and leaving it off for 30 seconds before rebooting. Last winter, there was this wicked cold snap at Christmastime, and I had a malfunctioning heater. And one of the things that I kept trying to do to help fix it, at both the suggestion of the internet as well as my maintenance guy, was turn the thing off and then hold down the on button for 30 seconds to, I quote, "drain" it. Now, I understand a lot about techie stuff. I do not understand the ins and outs of that. But for some reason it was going to help reset the system and maybe it wouldn't keep shutting down under 32 degrees. It didn't work, but how strange that even in our technological landscape, our highly automated landscape, there's still this, like, visceral trick that we can try to use to drain this machine of its energy so that it can come back ready to try again. This is a pretty on the nose metaphor, I confess, but swords are the suit of tech in many ways, the suit of communication and logic and mathematics.

So as we recover from our December, from our holidays, from the end of this Gregorian year, see if you can offer your own mind either a full shutdown, a little bit of rest, or even just a singular focus in the face of the raging perfectionism and capitalism and hit the ground running and anti-fat bias of most January's.

Next up we have Aquarius season and the Strength card. Y'all know I love the Strength card, if you've been around at all in the last couple of years. So on the heels of this rest period of allowing our brains to really shut down, we now have to check the inbox, right? So I have this whole extended metaphor about the Strength card that fears are emails. And oftentimes when we feel overwhelmed or at capacity, we just read the subject line and ignore the email and close the inbox and shut down the computer and run away. And sometimes that's exactly the right thing to do. Sometimes we do just get to unplug a la Four of Swords. But eventually, any one path, especially an extreme one like that, is not going to be sustainable. So the strength card says, hey, why don't you open the body of that email? The longer you ignore your fears, the more urgent those subject lines are going to get, the more overwhelming they'll be, the harder it'll feel to approach them and manage them and deal with whatever they hold. But if you open up that email, then you'll be able to better assess, okay, is this something truly threatening that I need to deal with immediately, or is this something that I can triage and put aside until later?

Strength asks us, invites us, offers us the opportunity, and perhaps even offers their support as we take on the task of facing our fears of looking at something head on and saying, okay, what's actually there? What do I actually need to deal with? It walks the line between a perceived threat and an actual threat. And that's important because there are many, many, many perceived threats in this world. And it's important to honor our perception and our nervous system as we respond to those perceived threats. But not all of them are actual threats. And by taking that time when we have the capacity and the support to really examine what we're responding to, then we can have a clearer sense of what's around us. So big ask during Aquarius season, right, saying, okay, let's jump in. Let's really look at what we're dealing with here.

That season is starting I believe January 20, and then February 19, we move into Pisces season, and the Five of Pentacles. This is a tough card. I've mentioned a couple of times, you know, not wanting to bypass the reality of scarcity, the reality of not being able to just take a break for your mental health. Not everyone's life supports that. Not everyone's job supports that. Not everyone's home situation supports that. And sometimes not everyone's mental health supports that. Sometimes it can be too overwhelming to stop and reflect and pause. But the Five of Pentacles is traditionally associated with poverty, with scarcity, with physical ailment. It always just feels like that feeling when you just can't catch a break. The world just keeps throwing bad shit at good people, which happens too much.

An old iteration of myself is a tarot reader would see this card and say, okay, so things really suck; now just look for the opportunity. Look for the glowing window, look for the doorway to walk through. And I think that that's present in this card. But the longer I work, the longer I read, the longer I pay attention to the world around me, the more I think that the fives across all four suits. Are an invitation to honor what sucks, right? To go, Damn! Woof! Yikes! And really acknowledge the contraction. I think this is best illustrated by the Five of Cups, which asks us to make space for our grief. When we turn to Pentacles and are living in the arena of physical well-being, of ease, of pleasure, I think that this card is a deceptively gentle invitation to acknowledge how hard things are.

It's a little like, you know, how can you make change if you don't acknowledge the change needs to be made? This is taking that in a sort of a different direction, but with a similar logic of, you know, how can we ask for help if we can't admit to ourselves how much we're struggling? How can we take a break if we don't admit that we need one? How can we show up for our community if we refuse to recognize the suffering of others? And I think that applies on every concentric circle, from our family to our larger community to our global community. So as Pisces season rolls around and the feelings start to flow, here we are, a moment to honor our struggles, our griefs, the struggles and griefs of those around us, to again face the reality of contraction, the reality of hard times, not yet to fix them, but in order to start better understanding them, so that hopefully we can then make our way towards expansion, towards relief.

It's a really fascinating little trio here, right? We start with this, okay, let's, like, shut down, let's reset; waking up and saying, great, let's face the monsters, let's face the lion. And finally, it's almost as though that facing of our fears and the Strength card leads us towards the more direct, that Minor Arcana sort of what's-right-in-front-of-us approach to the struggles that we're having. We have to face our fears in order to admit to what's hard for us. So that's what I've got for you this winter. I hope that these three cards are of support and service as you move through the coming months.

If you are looking for other ways to work with me, there's a couple of options. Every full moon I offer moon zooms, which are a sort of deconstructed moon circle. They're usually no more than 20 minutes where we gather, each of us does our own little thing on our own, and then we reconnect at the end to pull a card together. If you are in the northeast, you can usually find me reading tarot on Thursday nights here in Massachusetts, but Tarot Thursdays are taking a break between January and April. There may be some surprise appearances at Iconica during that time, so find me on Instagram in order to stay apprised of any last minute changes of plan there. And finally, of course, you can book with me virtually for both readings and tarot study, though spots for that are currently quite limited.

Thank you for joining me. Thank you for your patience as I figure out what the next iteration of the pod looks like. And I'll be back in March. Until then.

Time Stamps: Intro: 0:00

Capricorn: 6:15

Aquarius: 9:51

Pisces: 12:30


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