Welcome to summer, at least in South Texas. The mesquite trees are settling into their summer green.
And welcome to another Tarot blog hop from whatever direction you came, whether from….
May. Small word with two origins and wealth of power and subtlety.
I shall use our wonderfully idiosyncratic wrangler, Karen Sealey’s free association method (which she uses to humorous and intelligent effect in her blog posts) to wander through the facets of May and see what connections to the Tarot arise.
may, the verb
[…Fetches the dictionary to see what’s what about may and May:]
Yes, Beltane and May Day are closely related celebrations of the fullness of spring and the beginning of summer. Lowercase may as possibility.
On this May Day, we also see the wild abandon of dancing around the May pole, or in some Wiccan circles, the symbolic celebration of the sexual union of God and Goddess. May as permission.
And may is finally about intention. “May she rest in peace.” “May you be blessed…” May as manifestation.
Well, lots of possibilities here. [Digs further into the dictionary…]
It seems such a mild word, but originally in Old English, the verb meant to have power (which is where “might” comes from as well). I think that feeds into the manifestation aspect that the word still carries. When we wish well for some one (or even wish them evil), we are using the ancient sense of the literal power of words to manifest situations in the real world. May as magical spell.
That takes care of our lowercase may, the verb we use every day.
May, the goddess
But wait! May as the last fullness of spring in the calendar is actually a whole other word (English is so cool!). So even though I made all those lovely connections to the verb may (and they do fit nicely), the month’s name, like many calendar names, leads back to gods and goddesses, in this case, Greek. This May is for Maia.
Maia, a Greco-Roman goddess/nymph is the daughter of Atlas (dude who holds up the world—talk about power!) and Pleione the Oceanid, and is the eldest of the seven Pleiades (get your sky charts out and look to the west just below the constellation Orion’s belt—that fuzzy “scabbard” is the Pleiades).
Thanks to Zeus’s general philandering (see the sexual union permission meaning for may), Maia is also the mother of the Greek messenger/trickster god, Hermes, better known by his Roman name of Mercury. If you have Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, you’ll see Hermes at the position of the Magician. More magic spells. 🙂
Bet you didn’t really think about how many “mays” there were (being a linguist by training, I get excited about such things, but most folk don’t). We often take for granted the richness of our English language. So many late spring gifts of growth, warmth, and general manifestation in May.
Joanne’s May Possibility Spread
Gotta have a cool takeaway, so here’s a spread to create manifestation from the different meanings of may/May:
1) What’s my wish for myself? (You can purposely choose a card for this one)
2) What’s possible?
3) Where do I need look for permission?
4) Where should I look for my Maia (mother power) to make my wish come true?
I used my Tarot of the Hidden Realm for this spread:
1) My wish is Eight of Pentacles, to create abundance through my own creative work in a new area (learning).
2) My possibilities may seem small in terms of return right now (Ace of Pentacles), but small improvements are coming (kind of goes with the first card’s focus on working the craft).
3) To the sensual side of myself, but with the wisdom of experience in the wry eyes of the Shadowdance faery. The couple in the background are engaging their passion without awareness, but the Shadowdance faery has learned the secrets of channeling the sensual passions. This is what I have permission to do to take the limits off of getting my wish.
4) The Eight of Wands faery sends me off in short order to make my wish come true. Stay focused and get on with it, she says. Launch your dream. 🙂