This blog goes with Healing Thru Tarot Podcast episode 32. In this blog, I will be discussing how to work on emotional healing using the witch archetype. And I will be reviewing the Seasons of the Witch: Samhain and Yule oracle decks, which can be used when healing with this archetype. I will share with you the 9 card spread I created for us to use to facilitate this healing work related to the witch archetype.
Many people I work with and follow on social media speak about feeling connected to the witch archetype, myself included. Many even feel strongly that they’ve lived other incarnations either as witches, mystics, and healers or someone who was wrongly accused of witchcraft and persecuted. The witch archetype has many lessons to teach us, and I find that this is a powerful archetype to work with when healing, especially when someone feels like the black sheep of their family. Maybe they feel different than their relatives or distanced and estranged from family. Maybe they have been ostracized for their religious beliefs or lack there of or ridiculed and demeaned for their practices. Even many lightworkers feel like the black sheep of their family.
The term “witch” has had a negative connotation for millennia. Women hundreds or even thousands of years ago were cast out of their villages because their neighbors blamed weather phenomena or disease outbreaks on these women - mostly older, single, childless women who they found unattractive and unholy. When researching about the Salem Witch Trials, you will even come across documentation that neighbors were turning their neighbors in solely for property disputes or personality conflicts.
Can you imagine how many accusations of witchcraft we’d have now, if you could turn your neighbors in for mild altercations? With how divided the world is now, it would be millions of people. But that’s all it took hundreds of years ago. They even allowed spectral evidence in the Salem Witch Trials, meaning that the accusers could make an accusation of seeing the accused in their bedroom at night and never had to provide a smidge of evidence, and the court treated it as if it were fact.
Archetypes related to the witch archetypes with the Myss Archetype Deck
Those of us that feel distanced or disconnected from society now as the world divides itself more and more can tap into that feeling of being cast out for being too different. Most lightworkers that I know feel more like an observer of humanity than an active participant at least during these tumultuous years we find ourselves in now. We know what that separation from community feels like. At least, these days in most countries we aren’t at risk of being persecuted for our beliefs or practices. There are still some countries, though, where practicing divination or witchcraft carries a death sentence. Centuries ago, it was the norm to face that penalty across the globe. I often think about that when slinging cards.
When working with the witch archetype, it is important to work on healing the wounds created by scapegoating, banishment from family or community, and loss of personal power. One of the first suggestions I would give you is to sit down and explore where in this life or other incarnations you may have had your power stripped from you. Journal and reflect on how vulnerable you felt when your power was taken from you. This could be with family, at work, or in school, maybe even in a marriage. Tap into any memories of powerlessness. Explore experiences where you also gave power away – maybe to escape harm, humiliation, or a threat to your safety. Healing with the witch archetype, centers on regaining our power. When I embody witch or crone energy, it feels so empowering. There is a sense that I am in control of my whole world – my body, my spirit, and my surroundings.
The tarot card I work the most with for healing powerlessness is The Queen of Wands, and there is a significant reason that is the card that I resonate the most with. She is the witch of the tarot. And the Queen of Wands owns her power - she’s the boss. She’s in total control, and when I embody her energy there’s no sense that anyone would be powerful enough to strip her of her power. She’s the one I turn to when I need to face fears of speaking out, taking on a leadership role or a more visible role in the world. And that is because she has no fear. She’s all fire and power. I would encourage you to take out the Queen of Wands from your tarot deck this week, and once she’s in front of you, focus on her image. Channel her energy and tap into her power. See what it feels like to step into her shoes for the day. See how it feels to wield her power and self-confidence.
The reason witches where so feared centuries ago is because those around them feared their power, their voice, their knowledge about the natural world, and their healing abilities. Working with the witch archetype can offer us healing in many areas. Many of the women and men persecuted centuries ago were in fact healers. They treated their neighbors with tonics, tinctures, teas, and herbal remedies – most of which we would call homeopathy now.
Can you imagine being persecuted and hanged or burned at the stake for making an herbal tea for your neighbor in today’s world? It’s madness. Times have certainly changed, but we still have trolls in our society that still find ways to harass those they single out as too vocal and progressive. These days powerful women are attacked online in an effort to demean them and take them down a few pegs just because others are threatened by their drive, ambition, and success. This can also take the form of stalking, harassment, unwanted sexual advances, and sexual assault.
You can instantly feel a rush of power shoot out of the solar plexus when embodying witch energy. That’s why I think autumn is many people’s favorite season - the season of the witch. Many of us feel stronger and more rooted in our sense of self August through November. There’s more magic and mystery in the air. We are more curious about our surroundings in the natural world. We dabble in new practices because we feel drawn to more mystical energies. We walk on the wild side a little more that time of year, and we crave a bit of mystery. If you’ve experienced any of those emotional states, you’ve tapped into witch energy. Why not tap into that energy year round? Why do we only allow ourselves to channel that power a few months out of the year?
When engaging in this type of healing work there are some areas that I suggest you focus:
It is vital to learn to tap into using your voice. Many witches were literally silenced. Google witch bridles to see images of the muzzles they used to bind witch’s tongues to keep them from uttering spells against their accusers or jailers. If you’ve had other incarnations as witches or accused witches, you will most likely feel this one deeply. You may have a blocked throat chakra as a result, and that could take quite a bit of work to unblock. If you struggle about coming out of the tarot or mystical closet, it could be possible that you've had an incarnation where you were persecuted or hunted for divination, witchcraft, or healing others, which was considered witchcraft at that time. So, this is a powerful archetype to work with to heal those past traumas.
Another thing that I’ve noticed as well is that people will have a strong sense of a coven energy if they've had a past witch incarnation. It will feel like a strong sisterhood that you miss terribly. To me, it feels like a nostalgic feeling gnawing at me, like a longing for those bonds to return. It’s very powerful. Coven energy will often come up when working with the witch archetype. And many of us miss that energy in today’s modern world.
When working with the witch archetype within the tarot, I turn to the tarot queens. Each has their own gifts, abilities, and power. I've written descriptions below of each tarot queen as a witch archetype.
Now that we’ve covered all four queens in the tarot, there is one major aspect of the witch archetype left to discuss – the crone. See her description below.
So, to summarize, the witch archetype is the seeker and holder of deep, sacred knowledge. Witches are connected to the laws of nature, medicine, and healing. This threatens those in charge. The witch brings forth ideas that disrupt the current values and order, which is one of the reasons the church feared her. Witches for millennia were demonized by men in authority and the church who feared losing their power to women who spoke out about the abuses of power of the church and the overreach of that power.
They needed a way to silence those women, so they tarnished their reputations and admonished them for any behavior they deemed immoral like practicing medicine. The powers that be made up lies about witches consorting with the devil in the woods at night. They manipulated society’s view of these wise sages. That’s why you often see the witch portrayed as an old, evil hag in all the fairy tales. They made her ugly and undesirable to quash any desire to emulate her practices. It was basically a smear campaign, and it worked for thousands of years.
As we tap into the witch archetype to heal ourselves, we also change the perception of witches. We are reshaping the way society views witches as a whole. Just look at the evolution of Salem, Massachusetts the past three hundred plus years. Now it’s a mecca for anyone interested in the folklore of witches.
Pop culture is full of positive examples of witches now. In everyday society, we talk more openly about divination and witchcraft. So, don't hide your connection to magic anymore. What many don’t realize is that it's easy to fall into depression, if our innate gifts aren’t being used. If we aren’t allowed to express this energy through these outlets, we begin to withdraw and disconnect. It’s painful to not express these gifts when they flow through you effortlessly. Don’t fear your gifts, embrace them. To be a witch is to manifest, to create, to conjure, to heal, and to purify. So, connecting to this magic again is freeing, life changing and lifesaving for many.
Review of witch oracles to use for healing
Now I want to share with you my impressions of the Seasons of the Witch Oracles. I have worked with the Samhain oracle for a full year now, and I have just gotten acquainted with the Yule oracle the past few months. Rockpool Publishing sent me a copy to review in October 2021. I’ve worked with this deck all winter and love it. I’ll start with the Samhain oracle since I’ve worked with this one the longest.
The Seasons of the Witch: Samhain Oracle has powerful witch energy. I love to work with this deck all autumn but especially in October. I find witchy decks to be powerfully healing and empowering. There are so many magical elements in this deck. There are cards that tap into spell work with cards like potions and spells, ritual, candle magic, altar, crystals and herbs, and cauldron. There’s tons of sacred knowledge imparted through the cards of elders, ancestors, and the veil.
My favorite cards are the ones that relate to intuition and divination. The elemental energies are strong with these decks. The Samhain oracle taps into nature through the nature vibes and nature spirits cards, and moon energy is represented through the dark moon card (shown above). There are animal spirit connections with the wolf, frog, owl, and black cat cards.
One of my favorite aspects of the Samhain deck is that includes Halloween vibes with cards like pumpkin, bat, spider, haunted, and witch - there’s even an All Hallow’s Eve card that never fails to pop out of the deck around Halloween. The cards include original poems written by Juliet Diaz. The creators provide custom spreads in the Samhain Oracle such as The Graveyard Spread, The Spiritual Council Spread, Reclaiming My Power Spread, The Witch’s Tools Spread, Shadow Spread, The Healer’s Spread, and The Athame Spread and many more. The creators of this deck have done a phenomenal job with the card meanings and illustrations. The book is written by Lorriane Anderson and Juliet Diaz and it is illustrated by Giada Rose.
Seasons of the Witch: Yule Oracle
As the wheel turns from Samhain, we find ourselves wanting a change of pace. The Yule oracle is perfect for yule time. The snowy winter landscapes and the chilly themes create an atmosphere for us to withdraw externally and reflect inwardly and put the sole focus on our own healing with cards like Dove medicine and Bear medicine.
I love the addition of the Yule Oracle to my collection because while I have a ton of autumn tarot and oracle decks, my winter collection is very minimal. Last year I only had the Winter Waite Tarot and the Light Visions Tarot. This year I added The Nightmare Before Christmas Tarot, which is perfect for Halloween and Christmas, but I still didn’t have a winter oracle. So now the Yule Oracle infuses my tarot practice with those winter vibes that I had been lacking.
We rarely get any snow where I live in Tennessee, so the snowy, cold, white images in the Yule oracle taps into the quintessential themes of winter with cards like Chills, Cold moon, Darkest hour, Frost, and Snow. The cards create such a wintery chill that it makes me want to cozy up under a blanket by the fire and stay warm through the coldest months of the year. The warmth of the Hearth card is so inviting.
When winter starts Dec. 21st, we are still in the holiday season, so family gatherings and holiday parties are still underway. But by January, the colder part of winter calls for us to turn inward and reflect on where we are in life. And the Yule oracle covers both ranges of these winter months. We have some cards to depict feasting and family gatherings for the holidays of Yule, and a Father Christmas card for Christmas. But it also provides us with cards like Tranquility, Contemplation, Self-care, and Turning Inward to signify that shadow work and reflection period we all experience this time of the year.
The holidays are represented very well in this deck with cards like Merriment, Mistletoe, Ornaments, Reindeer Medicine, Ringing the bells, Silent night, Wreath, and Yule log. I don’t have a holiday oracle, so this one covers them for me, and it reads so well with the Winter Waite Tarot. In the Yule oracle, they provide custom spreads to use with the deck like The Christmas Cross Tarot Spread, The Evergreen Wreath, The Star Tarot Spread, and The Winter Care Spread.
I love working with decks that mirror the energy of the seasons because it makes that healing journey more experiential, and it allows me to go deeper in my healing work. What I love about these decks is that it helps us to reclaim the witch archetype and rekindle our connection to magic. The energy of these decks connects me with my inner witch and crone energy for that wisdom and sacred knowledge that leads my intuitive practice.
There are several ways you can incorporate these oracle cards into your divinatory practice. You can use these cards as invocations, daily pulls for what to reflect on, intentional manifestation, goal setting, displays on your altars, in spells, rituals, and meditation. I love displaying certain cards when I want to embody that energy or shift energy with the card’s themes. You can work with a card’s energy for specific healing work and shadow work. In the introduction of Yule oracle, the creators suggested using these cards for daily guidance by asking the following questions:
I love working with different decks seasonally. I already decorate my house according to the seasons, so when I started collecting tarot and oracle decks, it felt natural to work with them in a seasonal manner. This helps keep my practice fresh since I switch out my decks every few months and that means it helps my energy and my healing work evolve in a forward motion. It keeps me progressing on my journey.
Working with these seasonal Seasons of the Witch Oracles helps my energy shift with the cycles of the natural world as we work along the wheel of the year. There are natural ebbs and flows in the natural world, so our healing work should mirror that natural cycle as well. In the fall I work on what is falling away, and this gives me time to get comfortable with what needs to be released. So, by the time winter comes it's easier for that release to happen. I can then close those chapters and clear up space for new chapters to begin by the time spring arrives.
The Samhain deck gives me strong coven energy and crone energy, which inspires me to explore my magical gifts and witchy side, while the Yule oracle helps me reflect on the inner work needed to become the person I am striving to be. That work takes a lot of solitude and meditation and a connection to nature while the Samhain deck calls for me to explore magic in more active ways. These decks have very different energy to me. The Samhain oracle has upright and reversed meanings, but the Yule oracle does not. There is more diversity in the Yule oracle, and the creators addressed that issue. They are committed to using more diverse images in the oracles from now on. They are creating an oracle for each sabbat. The Season of the Witch: Beltane Oracle is the next to be released, and I very much look forward to working with that new deck in the springtime. I highly recommend both of these oracles!
For working with archetypes of all kinds I recommend Caroline Myss' archetype deck and the Wild Unknown Archetypes deck. I have both and love to use them alongside the tarot archetypes.
My favorite tarot decks to use when working with the witch archetype are the Green Witch Tarot, Everyday Witch Tarot, and Bonestone and Earthflesh Tarot for crone energy. Another perfect magical oracle deck to use with the season of the witch decks is the Magick and Mediums Oracle. I’ve reviewed all those decks in previous episodes. Check out my favorite autumn decks for thorough reviews on these witchy decks.
Links for all the decks discussed here are at the end of the blog
9 card Spread for healing with the witch archetype
I would love to see the photo of your spreads if you throw this one for yourself. Please tag me on Instagram @healingthrutarot and please use the hashtag #healingthrutarotwitcharchetypespread
Decks shown in this blog or recommended: Caroline Myss Archetypes Deck, The Dark Mansion Tarot, Everyday Witch Tarot, Green Witch Tarot, The Light Seers Tarot, Magick and Mediums Oracle, Seasons of the Witch: Beltane Oracle, Seasons of the Witch: Samhain Oracle, Seasons of the Witch: Yule Oracle, Wild Unknown Archetypes
Link to Podcast Episode 32 on Anchor click here
Other relevant Podcast Episodes - Click titles below to listen.
If you are interested in working with your decks seasonally, you might want to check out my episodes on the healing work I focus on each season and my favorite decks for those seasons
New tarot spread ebook - Just launched
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