Tarot for Solstice 2014: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir


The solstice is an exciting time. Endings, new beginnings, holidays, the shift of seasons and length of days. I thought this would be a perfect time to launch this new column, different from my regular beauty one (although I find similarities in the celebration of all things unusual, beautiful and life-affirming, whether they are people, beauty products, and yes, tarot cards.)

For Tarot, I’ll be using the Rider-Waite deck here, as it’s the most familiar one. (I also use a Visconti deck, which are just beautiful.) I’ve had my Rider-Waite deck for nearly thirty years, and it’s served me well.

Now, I’ve chosen Twelfth card of the Major Arcana for our last month of the Roman calendar year. Don’t let appearances fool you – as with all the cards, look carefully and see what’s going on. This isn’t physical death or a hanging. Our Hanged Man is all about letting go. Not sitting and demanding answers, or waiting for life to happen around you, but releasing – even if just a tiny bit – that allows you the freedom for that vibrant new energy that a solstice brings. He’s upside down: reversal of thinking, new ways of perception by one simple change – reverse your view, if need be. If you practice yoga, what happens in headstands or inversions? The blood flow invigorates, the room is upside down: perspective instantly changes, spontaneous laughter is common. That’s what the Hanged Man is all about: hang with yourself.  His halo symbolizes the enlightenment that comes with surrender, the end of struggle, the relief of release, and balance that ensues if we stop and let it readjust. If things seem topsy-turvy right now, trust there’s a reason why.  Giving in or up doesn’t mean weakness; they’re just direction words. This is reversal through non-action – making space for the new: the new year, a new season, a new start.  To put it bluntly: he’s chilling out, because he knows that’s how the answers will come. Let go. It’s not as scary as you think.


This card reminds me of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Mrs. Muir, a widowed mother with a child, lets go of her safety net, with limited means to support this new journey, and naysayers warning her to do the “right” thing – their way, of course – which she firmly and politely declines. She trusts her intution that her actions will lead to the right result, whatever they may be. And what happens? Her life changes in ways that outsiders don’t understand, but she doesn’t care what anyone thinks – having trusted her intuition and stopped listening to others’ advice, she’s entered a new physical, emotional, and spiritual world. A life that would not have availed itself had she listened to others rather than her own instinct.

I hope you enjoy! As a longtime reader of Tarot, palms, and tea leaves (I read for friends when they ask), there are a few things I use daily and one of them is High Priestess Marcella Kroll’s Sacred Symbols Oracle Cards. If you have any tarot questions, please email me.

Donna Lethal

About Donna Lethal

Donna Lethal is the author of "Milk of Amnesia" and writes for her own blog (Lethal Dose), Hair Hall of Fame, Dowager Quarterly, Find A Death, & the Valhalla Cemetery chapter in "Weird Hollywood." A native of Lowell, Mass., she's lived in Boston, NY and London before settling here. When not writing, she's hiking, soaking in a Korean salt room or in the high desert with her pit bull.
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