This isn’t the most exciting card in the Halloween Oracle deck, but it’s an excellent reminder. Don’t let temporary darkness lead you to your lesser self – a new beginning is coming.

DAWN – The light after the darkness

After the darkest times
The sun will always rise
The dawn will always come
This can be no surprise

While midnight is often thought of a magical hour, throughout time dawn has also had its share of the mystical. All manner of magical beings had to return to their true forms by dawn (werewolves, for example) and vampires could only be active while the rays of the sun did not pierce the sky.

Dawn and deities of dawn heralded both hope and new life. Goddesses such as Eostre and Gods like Helios and Apollo were those who brought new life and dawn’s light to the world. The journey from the darkest night of the soul to a bright and hopeful dawn is one of the deepest and most power heroes’ paths repeated over and over in mythology.

Should you receive the Dawn card, you are being reminded that there is always a fresh start and a new beginning to be had. Change is unstoppable and even the most difficult times will pass, no matter how devastating they may seem. Hope is one of the most powerful motivating forces in the Universe and it’s being indicated here.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

What do you fear? Sometimes things we are taught to fear don’t make sense, and this card shows us that. There’s nothing in a graveyard to fear, but many do because it makes them consider their own mortality. Many of us fear change. We fear our neighbors. But should we? Maybe the change is for the better or the neighbor you think is so different is actually a caring person. Consider the rationale behind your fears.

Blessings!

GRAVEYARD – Unnecessary fear

The stones they mark
The eternal resting place
Yet the spirits they are walking
And they are ready for the chase!

Today’s modern graveyards are restful places – normally highly manicured and very well set out. While they can be places of profound sadness, few are the creepy gothic places of old, yet they still hold an undercurrent of fear and seem frightening places.

Due to countless stories of haunted graveyards, the thought of walking through cemeteries evokes fear in many of us – we imagine zombies and ghosts rising from the graves and bad spirits hiding out, waiting to harm an unsuspecting living person walking by. The idea of being at a graveyard after dark, or worse, at midnight, is the stuff of dares and nightmares.

But this isn’t the way with every culture. On the Mexican Day of the Dead, whole families picnic on the graves of their loved ones who have passed. Children play upon the graves, people play music, drink wine and share food all in the “company of the dead.” Graveyard dust is used as an ingredient in protective spells, not in curses.

Pull this card and know that you fear unnecessarily. Things are not as they seem and you can overcome your obstacles. The anxieties you have, although real, should be put aside before they haunt you long term. Instead, trust that you know the correct next steps and that you will act upon them.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist by Jimmy Manton

Thank you for being patient with me on the daily card. Yesterday, I had an early appointment in Kansas City, and I simply didn’t get up in time to pul the card.

As for today, now is the time to consider future actions and goals. The Veil thins as we near Samhain (and Beltaine), which makes divination more fruitful. However, you don’t have to wait 3 weeks to consider things and to plan.

Blessings!

THE VEIL – The Future

There is a misty curtain
That divides us all
The veil that this night thins
Transparent the weave becomes
And the future no longer dims

The ancient Celts used to call the time of the longest night of the year, Samhain (pronounced SOW-en). They believed that there was a misty veil that separated the world of the dead and the living, but on two nights of the year, Samhain and Beltaine (the shortest night), that the veil would thin.

The fineness of the veil meant the ancestors were closer than ever and even gods would be close. This would mean that communications from the dead were more likely to occur and that divination (where the Divine speaks through something) would be more effective.

So while using this oracle, as the veil lifts, know that the other worlds are close. Listen in particular to what messages may come forth about your future. Look to what you want to happen: plan, set intentions, think big!

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

As we head into the weekend, this is a card to remind us to enjoy the sweetness of what’s in our life now while looking to future things. Balance. 🙂
Have a great weekend, everyone!

BARMBRACK – Sweetness and synergy

A pea, a cloth, a coin, a ring, and stick
Within a loaf of speckled sweetness
Slice it and eat it
A glimpse of my fate’s completeness

Not quite a cake and not quite a bread, barmbrack is a sweet loaf, larger than a typical bread loaf, baked with flour, sugar, salt, and dried fruits such as raisins. The making of barmbrack is an Irish tradition that still stands around Samhain. The person baking the loaf would be sure to set the intention for love, truth, and synergy whilst preparing. Inside the dough, a number of special objects are hidden and baked into the loath.

The objects are used as a kind or random oracle – each one has a particular meaning which represents the fate of the person who found it in their slice! The traditional objects include a coin, a pea, a stick, a ring, and a small piece of cloth like muslin. Some other additions, made in more modern times, were religious medals.

Should your slice of brack contain a coin, this would indicate prosperity and good luck. The pea unfortunately meant that no marriage would occur for you that year, yet finding the ring meant a marriage was certain. The stick – to be avoided at all costs – indicated disputes and unhappiness and finding the cloth meant bad luck and little money ahead.

When you pull the Barmbrack card, it indicates a curiosity to know what is ahead but it’s important to balance that with the now – after all, we have the tools to change our future should we choose. The sweet synergy of barmbrack – all the ingredients including the objects are more complete and powerful together, than they are individually, should encourage you to seek your own “sweet spot.”

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

It is hard to break free of the limitations the world tries to put on us. Work for the life that YOU want. Blessings!

SKULL OF STARS – Infinite possibilities

Why think so small
when galaxies spin with in?
Realize that you are made
of the stuff of stars
and infinite possibilities begin.

This skull brings us back to the fact that we are all made of the stuff of stars yet many of us think so small! We are each born with a blank canvas to paint upon and we are indeed an open sky of possibilities.

It is easy to feel small in a world that is so busy, impersonal and seemingly self-absorbed. We can, at times, feel lost and unclear about our direction and lose sight of our place in the cosmos. The skull of stars reminds us that we are only limited by our own imagination and boundaries. If we can dream it, it is possible.

This card indicates that you need to think bigger and more broadly about your future and what you would like to achieve. Perhaps there are false beliefs, often old, that no longer serve you as you grow and change. Sometimes these beliefs may not even be yours – they may have been imparted to you by your parents or the wider community, yet feel rather incongruent to you. You need to endeavor, with all your heart and soul, to live the life you want and honor your own wishes and truth.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

This is a great card as many of us are stuck in a pandemic rut – or stuck in a pattern of stress about other things going on in the world. It’s time to look at your patterns and see what will make your life a healthier and more pleasant experience.

Blessings!

MUMMY – “Change”

The sand in his mouth
The bandage wound
Jealous of the living
Eternal life bound

The ancient Egyptians took death very seriously. Death was not seen as many of us see it – a finality to be dreaded – but as just the beginning of a new life and often eternal life, in a better place, the “afterlife.”

The practice of honoring and preserving the body through a complex process of mummification was central to ancient Egyptian culture. This was not just a physical embalming process but a carefully enacted ritual process that ensured preservation in the next world. Many other cultures also mummified their dead including the Incas, the Argentineans, the Maori, and many cultures of the Torres Straight Islands.

In our modern horror genres, the mummy has become an icon. From early horror writing at the turn of the century to the very popular films The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, the plot normally revolves around the mummy returning to life and cursing and hunting down the living. The discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tombs and other long-hidden Egyptian treasures in the 1920s in particular sparked an explosion in mummy-related films and literature.

Should you pull the moaning Mummy card from the deck, know that change is inevitable and that no matter how hard you try, things will not be preserved exactly the same way. The card also indicates that this change will be for the better. The endings, the closed doors, the barriers? This is just a healthy pause and and an indication that a change of tactics is needed. You are not cursed – you have just developed a pattern. You can take control and change it.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artists Jimmy Manton√

Skull of Flowers is such a visually stunning card but so is its meaning. It does seem as though there is so much ash now, but don’t forget that when anything that is broken down can be rebuilt better.

Blessings!

SKULL OF FLOWERS – Creating through the ashes

To blossom and bloom
The work must be done
Through the fire and ashes
Our fortune it comes
Before flowers are born, they are sweet buds on a plant that came from a smaller form like a seed or a bulb. The seed needs prepared, nourishing soil to grow to its potential. Some plants and trees only seed after fire or a period of extreme adversity like drought or flood. Sometimes we wish for a life different from the one that we have and that can mean radical change. Sometimes to have that new life, everything falls apart to make it so – and that can be uncomfortable. We may lose our relationships or they may change. We might lose a job, have to move house or become ill – all big events that lead to a reassessment of the “how” of our lives.The Skull of Flowers illustrates that there is a sureness and yet a rawness to creating again, to starting afresh. Sometimes the universe gives us a blank slate to work from, so we can build what we really want, rather than just settling for less. The Skull of Flowers celebrates not just a kind of phoenix energy but also an energy of success and full bloom through adversity.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

The Witch card is about recognizing your own power to change your reality. So often, it is easy to put off making changes until the “perfect” moment. There is no perfect moment.

Blessings!

THE WITCH – The earthly weaver of the worlds

Earth, Air, Fire, Water
A woman lovely, a woman strange
Weaver of the worlds, moon’s daughter
Witch: The catalyst for change

Witches have had bad PR for a couple of millennia now. Originally the healers or cunning women of the village, the very word “witch” is believed to come from the Celtic word “wicce” meaning weaver or wise.** When the new religion of Christianity spread through the land, the custodians of the old Pagan ways, in part witches, were labeled as evil and – as we know from history – persecuted. They were driven underground (or under the night sky) into the shadows of misunderstanding and darkness.

However, for the purpose of Halloween, let’s look at witches as the weavers of magic and change. Through spells and rituals and even through herbal recipes (yes, often brewed in a cauldron), they weave the powers of this world and the next in synergy to solve problems and heal.

Holding the Witch card means that you can weave your own change throughout life and that magic indeed is afoot! You must understand that you have power and it is real. It may also indicate that others may be threatened by your developing personal power and that they may not appreciate or like the changes in you as you grow. Be prepared for this and do not be discouraged. New friends and better opportunities will be attracted instead.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

** This is the oracle author’s view. The etymology of the word “witch” is actually much more complicated than this, and debate goes on about it. I suggest looking it up in the Online Etymology Dictionary and historical sources.

This is a bit like the Death card in the Tarot – there is no need to fear the Underworld for it is a place for change, transformation, and sometimes cleansing before starting something new. Take time to consider what you need to transform your life and what needs to change.

THE UNDERWORLD – Where all things pause and begin again

Another realm, shadow filled
Travel from death’s bed
Where we stop and transform
Within the realm of the dead

The idea of the Underworld, a whole realm that we go to after we die, is a concept that crosses a huge variety of cultures and eras. The Sumerians, the Turkish, the Incas, the Greeks through to the Siberians, the Maori and the Kymers – all had a distinct word for the Underworld. What is different though is how these cultures treat this concept – whether the Underworld is seen as a place of rest and rejuvenation or horror and punishment.

The Christian hell is a place of darkness, fire, and punishment. The Egyptian underworld is one of judgment, peace, and renewal. In Maori culture, it is an in-between place of waiting, wisdom, and transition. Many myths that mention the underworld often involve the concept of a place of waiting and of trials and eventual judgment. It can also be a place of joy and peace.

Should the Underworld card be present in your reading, you are being asked to consider exactly what you have to do to transform your life into something you find easier or more authentic to you. This may involve changing course. It may involve trials and tests. Keep moving. Whilst things may fall away and your life may appear bare for a time, this is temporary. Space is being made into which you can create the new.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

Strange how two of my favorite cards from this deck pop up in the first two days of using it as we lead up to the Samhain season. Hearth and home have always been important to me, something I learned from my Mom who made our house warm in spite of the odds against her. The fact is, it doesn’t take money to make a house your home: it takes love, work, and intention.

Blessings!

HEARTH – Happiness in our hearts and homes

The heart of every home
The fire that unites
Winter’s warmth centres
Stories, love, and delight.

The ancient Romans believed that every home had a heart and it was the hearth. Where the fire burned, the family gathered for sustenance, communication, and protection. This concept was so important to the culture that there was a huge city hearth – the Vestal temple – where the fire of the home goddess, Vesta, burned forever without ever going out. This sacred flame was protected by the soldiers with their very lives should there be an invasion.

The place where the Goddess Vesta was honored within every ordinary home was also the hearth, and it is where women prepared food and cooked. Some of the food was always offered back into the fire as an offering to Vesta for her blessing and protection. Often husbands were sent away on military duty for years on end and their wives at home were not just expected to keep the home and and often the business running, but to wait for their husbands faithfully until their return. They prayed to Vesta to ensure their family members’ safe return and to keep the fires of love stoked. The saying “Keep the home fires burning” was inspired by this practice.

Should the Hearth card appear in your divination, you are being asked to look to your idea of what home and family is for you. Take the time to build up your “love” fire and have it burning brightly. Make your relationships a priority. If there is conflict within your home and family, it is time to take concrete steps to address the issue for good. If you or a member of your family is away from home due to travel and work, know that protection is being given.

The Halloween Tarot by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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