TO TEND THE FIRE: ON HOME VOL. 4
You might remember Diana Rose Harper from her first piece, Digital Covencrafting for POC Mystics. Creating real and conceptual homes is as important to her as it is for us and she’s offering a monthly musing on what home means to her, to people, and to the world. Expect to see anecdotes, words of wisdom, and tidbits of witchy knowledge peppered throughout.
This summer has been a bit brutal. Harsh eclipses and frustrating retrogrades have left hearts more scorched than usual, the parched, scraping-bottom sensation of late summer more acute. Conversations with beloveds carry the sharp strain of a desperate need to refill the well, overtoned with anxieties both articulated and inexplicable, shadowed by depressions born of exhaustion.
Transitioning from the intense fire of Leo to the softer earth of Virgo is a small relief, and it brings with it themes of health, healing, and nourishment. It’s not that it’s time to let go of fire; rather, it’s a time to bring fire down to earth, to ground it, to contain it and gently nudge it towards usefulness. Wildfires destroy, but the flames in my firepit are what allow me to make s'mores.
Virgo Season and Vesta
Thinking about fire and earth, I’m reminded of one of the celestial bodies sometimes associated with Virgo: the asteroid Vesta. Its namesake, the goddess Vesta, was honored in ancient Rome with a temple and a coterie of Vestal Virgins, priestesses devoted to maintaining Vesta’s sacred fire. Vesta held sway over home in multiple senses. She was honored in the humble cookfires and small altar flames within Roman dwellings, and at the same time it was believed that if the temple flame went out, the city of Rome itself -- home to thousands -- would be at mortal risk. The fires of hearth and temple were essential to survival: the hearthfire made cooking and therefore physical sustenance possible; the temple fire fed the existential and spiritual aspects of ongoing life.
Beyond hearth and temple, sacred fires are held in the spark of spirit carried in the heart, too. Based on my own experiences and those of my beloveds & clients, this is the fire that’s most tapped out for a whole lotta folks right now. This moment is less about reconnecting -- knowing that your heart is tired is pretty good proof of connection -- and far more about nurturing.
As this summer winds down towards autumn, refueling our fires is just as important as refilling our wells.
A Time of Water and Fire
Well-filling and fire-fueling are two different components of self-care. To “fill the well” is to emotionally recharge, to reduce givingness for long enough that your own reserves get back to normal. The well can be tied to the High Priestess, The Moon, and The Star in tarot: there’s more to do with intuition, with rest, with meditative connection to the deep waters of spirit.
Refueling, on the other hand, is maintenance of vitality, the stoking of whatever momentum and motivation is required for you to keep on keeping on. To refuel is to feed the horses ridden by all the Knights of the tarot: you have to pause to do so, but it’s a pause before leaping forward yet again.
The asteroid Vesta is currently in Sagittarius, a fire sign, and will enter Capricorn, an earth sign, on September 18th, about 5 days before the Sun leaves earthy Virgo to enter the air of Libra. This elemental mirroring between now and the 18th -- Vesta in Fire and preparing to enter Earth as the Sun traverses Earth after the fires of Leo -- is a magical moment for us to consider how we nourish our own sacred flames. Virgo season is a perfect time to re-evaluate how we maintain our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Virgo supports us in purifying the dregs we’ve picked up over the summer. Virgo literally feeds us with the bounteous harvest of late summer and early fall fruits, grains, and vegetables. As the days begin to cool, Virgo invites us back inside, back into our homes, towards our hearth-fires and hygge hangouts with our beloveds.
In honor of Virgo and Vesta’s sacred fire, I put together this spread centered on holding and nourishing our own little flames. You can think of this as a sort of fire nest: a container that nurtures something small towards greater strength.
TENDING THE FLAME TAROT SPREAD
[see spread photos below]
- What most needs holding: what aspect of you or your life could use extra nourishment in this moment?
- An important external factor that supports Card 1
- A crucial external factor that challenges Card 1
- A strong internal factor that supports Card 1
- A hidden internal factor that challenges Card 1
- Something you should definitely bring with you to your new hearth
- Something to let go of as best you can before you build your new hearth
- The immediate next action to take towards building your hearth
- Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
- Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.