Our resident spirituality expert – Rory Lula McMahan – shines some of that full moon light on this month’s deck, the Universal Waite Tarot.
About Rory: Rory Lula McMahan has always been captivated by the beauty of the soul. An Intuitive Diviner, she has been a practicing Witch and Pagan Priestess for more than 20 years and has an intimate knowledge of creating sacred experiences in coven, solitary, community, and temple environments. Rory’s extensive and varied spiritual trainings allow her to connect others with their highest purpose and most intentional path through divination, ancestral work, ritual, symbol, and simple physical tools.
Rory’s studies encompass not only divination and the Tarot but also Priestess, Shamanic, and Ifa trainings and initiations. She has an insightful and intuitive approach that brings people gently forward along the path of their purpose. This ability is enhanced by her grounding in Witchcraft, Paganism, Animism, ritual, and nature-based spirituality, which lends a deep understanding of the synchronicities, signs, and symbols of the physical world around us.
Owner of The Sacred Table, author of Instagram’s Daily Draw, and selected as Westword Best of Denver 2017, she teaches classes and workshops across Denver and mentors private clients across the country in the art of leading spiritually authentic lives. You can find her divining and teaching in Denver and beyond, connect with her on Facebook at The Sacred Table, on Instagram @rorylula, or learn more by visiting www.thesacredtable.com. She offers honor to her teachers and ancestors, and she is humbled to serve you on your unfolding path.
The Deck: The Universal Waite Tarot is a deck that I am often tempted to set aside in favor of more hip and current options. Since I read regularly for others, I am very aware of the fact that it is not a trendy choice, and I often wonder how that is going to influence the folx who come to seek my insight. But whenever I spend even a small amount of time diving into the clear colors and traditional symbols, I am reminded again and again of why classics are – well, classics.
In this version of the commonly seen Rider-Waite tarot, the now-timeless illustrations of artist Pamela Colman Smith have been re-colored by artist Mary Hanson-Roberts, and Roberts’ respectful care-taking of these iconic creations shines through in every vibrant tonal choice. The result is a collection of images that opens not only observant thought to those who draw from it but also reaction, emotion, and even epiphany. I am consistently awakened to subtle (and obvious) symbols throughout the entire deck that I had not noticed before, that somehow grab my attention and go straight to the heart of whatever matter is being divined upon in the moment. Despite its commonality in the eyes of some, I return to this deck again and again for its uncommon ability to get straight to the truth every time.
The Reading: With the full moon in Libra kicking off the waning cycle along with the Sun’s upcoming entrance into Taurus, it’s an excellent moment to consider how to both balance and beautify your day-to-day life. Of course you want to manifest your wildest dreams, but you also have to live here on the practical Earth in real time – and oh how disparate those things can feel. Instead of concentrating on what separates those two worlds, find out how they can work together.
After shuffling your cards, ask to discover what you truly desire, and draw a card. Then ask to discover what you truly need, and draw one more, laying it next to the first. Finally, ask to see what can bridge these two realities. Lay that card sideways across the other two to see what connects your wants and your necessities. Take time to explore all three of your draws carefully. Is your desire what you expected? Do you actually need something different than what you thought you did? And what has been shown as the way join them both to create balance rather than frustration in your life? Don’t discount what is revealed even if it seems off. Remember, this is your soul speaking to you, and it has sacred insight that your conscious mind does not.
The Tip: There are so many gorgeous tarot and oracle decks out there these days, and to be honest, I want them all. But when I sit down to read with one, I am often surprised at how a deck I thought I would love turns out to be rather silent – and how a deck I was sure I wouldn’t care for suddenly has so much to say. Finding the right match, it turns out, is just like the skill of reading itself: Our headspace pushes in to tell us what we think we want, but our spirit ends up doing the talking that matters.
When choosing a deck for yourself, absolutely pay attention to what makes logical sense based on your usual favorite themes and styles, but also take some time to reach for something unexpected and tune in to the visceral feelings triggered by the colors, the art, and the images. You may be surprised at what ends up in your hands and in your heart.