Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Joy of Gifting ~ Yule Tarot Blog Hop

Happy winter solstice to you my friend! Here in Scotland it is the darkest day of the year. 

I hope you are keeping well where ever in the world you may be reading this from. In this special seasonal post, you'll find my contribution to this year's Yule Tarot Blog Hop.

We are a tarot reader bloggers community that celebrates our different approaches while exploring a chosen topic in our own individual way. With each blog hop, the community focuses on a seasonal topic, all posting at the same time Sunday 21st December 2014, 18:00 GMT. You'll be able to view my fellow contributors' posts by clicking the previous, master and next links above and below.

This year we were given the following as our Yule Tarot Blog Hop Topic
Yule, Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Winter. Whatever you call this time of year, it is a season of gift giving, gift receiving and sharing with family and friends for a majority of the world. Whether Papa Noel brings you a candy cane or the Winter Witch brings you switches, it’s a time of anticipation. The anticipation of what I might be getting and what I am giving are equal joys for me. To that end, here is a spread for each of us to do. 
The Joy Of Gifting 
To set up for the reading, I selected some items to create a sacred space and evoke the sense of warm winter festivities: glass christmas baubles in shades of red, white and green, locally foraged ivy & pine cones, a red candle representing all four elements (solid wax - earth, melted wax - water, flame - fire & space around - air).

To bring more energy to the theme of Joyful Gifting, I also chose items that had been gifted to me. A purple scarf given to my sister by my mother to wear with her outfit at my recent wedding, which has in turn been gifted from my sister to me. Purple is one of my favourite colours!

On top of that I lay a white silk scarf with the 8 ashtamangala (ashta = 8, mangala = auspicious) buddhist symbols. This was gifted to me by my first buddhist teacher, Ven. Kelsang Tharchin, at the end of a Medicine Buddha empowerment in the Forest of Ae, Dumfries & Galloway where I used to frequently spend weekends on meditation retreats.

I am eternally grateful to him for all his love and guidance on my spiritual journey. He helped me to deepen my respect and skillful offering of tarot, guiding me to always motivate my readings with love, compassion and wisdom, relying on the spiritual guide-ess and protector-ess at my heart and all around me, the female Buddha Arya Tara ~ a powerful gift that infuses into every tarot reading I have given since.

I chose my current favourite pack, the Shadowscape Tarot. These cards were joyfully gifted to me by my gorgeous herbalist tarot reader friend to thank me for hosting her when she came to visit from her home in Ireland. I love them! Thank you again, Elly.
Here are the cards I drew...

A Swords card (4 of Swords), a Pentacles card (Page of Pentacles), 
2 Major Arcana cards (The Hermit & Death) & a Cups card (6 of Cups)

To view a better quality version of these cards on 
Stephanie Pui-Mun Law's (creator of Shadowscape Tarot) website, 
click the images of the single cards below.


1. What gift would you give the world if you could? ~ 4 of Swords

The 4 of Swords shows a woman reclining with her eyes closed, under a white sheet, 3 swords under and over her head and one sword on top of her body, her movement restricted. It appears that she is floating with pink lotus flowers blooming around her.

What gift would I give the world if I could?

It's interesting that this card came up for me as I work in the healing professions as a holistic herbalist and massage therapist. Often people choose to visit me after a long period of neglecting their health and well being, sometimes when they have come to the end of conventional treatment, or still not experiencing sufficient results with avenues they have tried and seeking a new approach.

So many people in modern society are stressed, burning the candle at both ends and exhausted. We know this is not sustainable, but it can be so hard to just stop and change pace, give our physical vessels the sacred care and sustenance it needs.

Eventually our body or circumstance takes charge and helps us return to balance by becoming ill or debilitated, forcing us to slow down and reassess where we have become out of balance.

When we get ill we gain an opportunity to take a step back from our everyday lives, to take space and time out to rest and heal, so that with the right care and time we may receive physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy, strength and freedom of movement in return.

If I could, the gift I would give to each and everyone the world would be a heartfelt realisation of the preciousness of our human lives. I would like you to know how valuable the gifts you bring to the world truly are, and encourage you to treat your body as a temple ~ ideally before you get unwell, but especially when you do.


2. What gift would you want from the world? ~ Page of Pentacles

The Page of Pentacles card shows a young person sitting in nature on top of a rock, around which a slumbering dragon is resting around. Enchanted creatures whisper messages and guidance from the roots, stones and greenery. His companion, a peaceful wise owl is on the look out.

What gift do I want from the world? 

The Page is a first in the sequence of Page, Knight, Queen, King - at the apprentice stage on a journey to mastering a particular aspect, in this case the Pentacles representing the earth element, themes of stability, security, home, money management.

So this card suggests a gift I could be giving myself is an opportunity to reassess the handle I have on these areas in my life. Be open minded to a fresh approach, be willing to learn again, go back to basics and start again from the foundations, building upwards from there.

This certainly does resonate with me. Anyone who knows me well, I think, would agree. In the past couple of years, I have been working with various mentors and coaches to help me grow my heart-centered business, transform my relationship with money and release some of the negative associations I have had with it.

This has been eye opening and transforming. I'm learning that money is not necessarily a replacement for love, or 'the root of all evil', but simply energy that can flow and bring many benefits to improve the lives of many who truly need it.

Another way I am interpreting this card is to tune more into my inner child and allow her to become more playful. Certainly in the past month or two, I have been receiving support and guidance to do just this. In the card, little faces in the plants, minerals and animals are there to offer support and guidance on life's journey.

As we grow older, for some a cynicism and reluctance to tune into a more enchanted world can set in. This has certainly been true for me in the past. More and more now, my heart and soul has been retuning to its child-like essence, opening to a more playful communication with the elements and learning to listen to nature's wise whispers.


3. What gift have you gotten that has brought you joy? ~ IX The Hermit

The Hermit card shows an intrepid traveller looking out from an impossibly high and treacherous peak, higher even than a flock of birds flying below her feet, gazing towards the heavens, stars almost within reach. She holds the lamp of wisdom to light her journey. Now that she has reached the top, her journey continues back down towards the earth where she can share the wise stories and insights of her adventure with others.

What gift have I been given that has brought me joy?

Although to some this card may appear quite lonely and bleak, to an independent, soul searching, free spirit like myself, this solitary figure standing on the top of the world embodies a blissful state. 

Time and space to myself to day dream, doodle, write, meditate, walk, create, retreat on my own, contemplate the stars, and look within. This brings me a great deal of peace of mind and sense of joyfulness. I'm incredibly grateful and fortunate to have had the means, personal will, and encounters with others to have led me to solo adventures where I have learned so much about myself and the world.

I used to think there was something wrong with me that I love and crave my own company so much, now I realise it's a beautiful quality about myself that I celebrate. 

A message that the Hermit card brings is what goes up must come down. All the wisdom gained and lessons learned on my journeys are gifts to share with others in the community, in society and with the world.

This gift has been given to me by myself, my personal choices, my parents, family members, my husband, my friends. Time alone for me to be me, space and silence for inspiration to flow in and hear the voice of wisdom within and all around me.


4. What gift have you given that has brought you joy? ~ XIII Death

The Death card is a bright swirl of orange, red and yellow. Like a phoenix rising resplendent from ashes, a woman with open heart and arms is shape shifting into a fiery bird-like creature, completely transformed from her former existence and ready to begin a new journey of empowerment. On a branch below, an egg holds a new bird, symbolising that new life springs from the falling away of the old.

What gift have I given that has brought me joy? 

The Death card is one that many people fear in the tarot. To me there is something energising and powerful about what Death symbolises which is an essential part of the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth.

When I was doing my final year of BSc Herbal Medicine, my grandmother had suffered a stroke and died after many months of paralysis and inability to speak, being cared for by her children. This period before her passing was a real opportunity for them to return just a small part of the vast ocean of love she had devoted to them.

I chose to focus on Herbal Medicine to Support Grief in Life Threatening Illness as my dissertation research project. This choice was very much influenced by my need to nurture my own feelings of losing my dear grandmother, and to explore ways to support others and my future clients using natural methods when they go through this inevitable period with their loved ones.

Today I feel very comfortable in creating a safe space for others to express and allow healing of difficult emotions in whatever way they might experience it, mentally, physically or emotionally. Death is an area that many shy away from but for me, it brings me joy to be able to offer comfort to people's range of emotions in the process of this transitional time.


5. What is one last thing you would like to share about this season. ~ 6 of Cups

The 6 of Cups card shows girl in an enchanted forest, hosting a tea party for her teddies and woodland creature friends. Symbolising a reconnection with the inner child and homecoming, re-visiting your childhood hopes and dreams.

What is one last thing I would like to share about this season.

At this time of year, many of us are preparing to reunite with our family members, returning to our roots, sparking up family memories of long ago, both pleasant and less so. The 6 of Cups reminds us of the importance of reconnecting from time to time with our past, to heal our grievances, to allow forgiveness in and make space in our hearts again for child like innocence.

Lately, I have been encouraged to reconnect with the little girl within, the hurt crying child, equally as much with the bright and laughing child. In this festive season, charged with a mixed roller coaster of feelings and emotions, I would like to remind you to flow like the water element (symbolised by the Cups) around painful memories, around any resistance to difficult communication in relationships, and be open to a softening in your heart.

Somewhere in our psyche is a place of innocence where hurts can be healed and hearts can feel open and trusting again. Spend some time reflecting there this solstice time.


On the day of this posting, I will be gifting my knowledge of Sacred Herbs and Teas and enjoying a Celebration of the Sacred Day at The Salisbury Centre, a beautiful meditation and holistic well being centre open to people of all faiths and none, that is close to the hearts of many spiritually minded souls here in Edinburgh. The centre is also special to my husband and I as we were married there earlier this year in spring. 

Like the Tarot Blog Hop Community, The Salisbury Centre embraces the wise and loving essence of all traditions, religious or non-religious, a sentiment that I infuse in the readings I offer to those who wish them. 

I will take a moment today to send abundant blessings to all the blog readers who are taking the time to read this, wishing you peaceful hearts and profound gifts of love and wisdom. I thank you for the kind thoughts I am receiving in return :)

I hope you find my tarot musings on The Joy of Gifting of benefit to your life at this time.

Yule love and mistletoe kisses,
Fiona Morris
Tarot Reader, Herbalist &
Holistic Wellness Catalyst


  1. Love how you have set out your reading space.

    1. Thank you very much! Helps to get me in the zone :)

  2. What a great reading! That incredible phoenix for the gift that has brought you joy--what a powerful reading. I have always loved the artwork of the Shadowscapes! And a very clever idea to link from your photos to the artist's webpage--I just might steal that idea from you in the future! Thank you for joining the Hop!

    1. Thanks for your comments, Joy! Yes, it's such a gorgeous pack! Hey no need to steal, you can have that idea as a yule pressie from me ;) It's a pleasure to be part of the Hop, really enjoyed it. x

  3. I was particularly struck by Death as the gift. What a beautiful sharing that way. I'm glad you joined us! Hope to see you more. :D

    1. Thanks for the welcome, Arwen. I really appreciate your comment. It can feel a tricky one to turn Death into a gift, but really each and every card brings gifts if we choose to find them!
      It's great to finally feel ready to join in, has been on my radar for a while, but not felt the right time till now. Starting to find my tarot voice and more confidence in sharing it with the world! Look forward to joining in more blog hops in 2015 :)

  4. Nice post! I love the IV of Swords as your gift to the world. I agree that everyone could use a little more self care and much less stress. That goes great with The Hermit as your own personal joy.

    1. Thank you very much for sharing your observations Deirdre. Wishing you lots of restful recharging self care in 2015 :)

  5. The Six of Cups for this season generally is beautiful: reconnecting, whether with friends or family or our own inner child! Altogether a very healing vibe to your reading, thank you for sharing it, Fiona :)

    1. Appreciate your lovely words, I agree there's something so perfect about the 6 of cups appearing in relation to this festive season full of actual or metaphorical homecomings and reconnection. Thank you :)

  6. Really beautiful post. I especially love your foray into Death as a gift - that's something special.

    1. Thanks so much Olivia :) It was lovely to explore all these cards from the perspective of the gifts they bring, especially the more unexpected ones like Death!

  7. The IV of Swords as a gift is just beautiful, thank you so much for this. I hope that you had a great day at the Solstice with your healing practice! Ali x

    1. Thanks so much Ali, I appreciate your words! Had a beautiful day at Salisbury Centre sharing rose petal chai tea, doing one card herbal tarot readings & discussing seasonal and ancient sacred herb practices. In my element xo