If you’re a member of the Keeping Her Keys Facebook community, you’ll be well aware that there are many ways to incorporate Hekate into our Tarot practice. In this example, I describe a technique that provides insight about things we should approach and those to avoid on our daily journey using Hekate’s guidance.
Approach and Avoidance
The ways we practice approach and avoidance across a variety of situations are indicators of personal well-being. For example, using avoidance coping can be hurtful except when it’s a problem that we can’t actually solve. In contrast, approaching things that we don’t have much control over can be disastrous. Coping is a mixture of both approach and avoidance. Balance is found in knowing whether to approach or avoid an event, person or situation. We are continually engaging in approach/avoidance thoughts and behaviors without giving much thought to the underlying concept.
Approach/Avoidance in Magick
The ubiquity of the approach/avoidance duality is also found in magick. Probably the most common application is working with the different phases of the lunar cycle. I can use the energy of the waning moon to help with spells of avoidance. These are the things that I want to remove from my life. The opposite energy comes with the waxing moon – that energy if for things that I want closer to me. This is approach energy. Full moon energy is a balance of both approach and avoidance energy. The dark moon can be interpreted as the absence of both.
Approach/Avoidance and Magickal Ingredients
There are countless ways that we use approach/avoidance in magick. Many ingredients used in spells have one of these aspects or a balance of the two. For example, bay leaves are often used to attract financial gains. Another way of thinking about this is approach magick – we want the money to come to us. Sage is often used for purification – we are using it to avoid harmful energy. This applies to minerals, too. We could use amethyst because we desire to have a lover approach us. Red jasper is one of my favorites for banishing nastiness as a means of avoiding metaphysical troubles. I’ve been applying approach/avoidance to all sorts of things in my magickal inventory. It an interesting way of thinking about magick, isn’t it?
Hekate and Approach/Avoidance
This applies to magick involving Hekate, too. When I invoke one of Her epithets, I am tapping into energy that is either approach or avoidance, except for those characteristics that are neutral. I can use use the energy of the epithet in an approach or avoidance manner. I may use approach energy when calling upon Hekate Brimo for helping being more assertive.
One of Hekate’s most popular epithets is Enodia, meaning “of the way.” This is Hekate as our Guide along our Middle World journey of this life. Enodia guides us as we seek a balance of approach and avoidance energy. There is my witch’s journey and there is Hekate willing to guide me along it. With Her guidance, I can figure out what I should run towards and those that I need to back away from.
Hekate Enodia Two Card Daily Guidance Tarot Spread
This is a simple two card Tarot spread that uses the energy of Hekate Enodia for insight into things in our lives that we should approach and those that needed to be avoided. It’s designed to be used for daily guidance.
Approach/Avoidance in the Tarot
There are so many ways that approach/avoidance can be used for interpreting the Tarot. I’m going to use a few examples to illustrate some of the different way that approach and avoidance can apply to the cards. For this discussion, I’m using the traditional Tarot deck, with the four suits of Cups (Water), Pentacles (Earth), Swords (Air), and Wands (Fire) and the Minor/Major Arcana framework since this is the one most of us know. Although I use my beloved Hekate deck (which uses a different structure; pictured in the photos) for specific questions, I always use my trusty Druidcraft app for my daily two card spread:
Approach/Avoidance Tarot Interpretations
I’m going discuss approach/avoidance using a few cards from a deck developed made by one of my favorite local artists, Bennie Allain:
Most Tarot cards can be interpreted using approach/avoidance in one of two ways: either or both. Using the two card spread, each card would be assigned the position of “approach” or “avoidance.” However, a different approach would be to use another type of spread but interpret each card using both approach or avoidance. In the examples, I’m focusing solely on either approach or avoidance since the reading uses two cards, one representing each concept.
The Tower card signifies great upheaval, not necessarily something I want to approach. However, if I approach the coming storm mindfully then I’m likely to come out okay on the other side of the collapse. Pulling the Tower in the approach position can be interpreted this way.
The Ace of Cups
The Ace of Cups is generally seen as a card that we would want to approach. Who doesn’t want their cup to run over? However, if this card is in the “avoid” position, it could mean that we risk losing our blessings or are in danger of excess.
Cards with Mixed Messages
I’m using these two examples to show that most Tarot cards can be interpreted based on their position in the Hekate Enodia spread. Some cards seem to have mixed messages, though. This is where the position in the spread (either approach or avoidance) and your interpretation become important. Some cards can be interpreted as representing a balance of approach/avoidance energy, like The Lovers and the Two of Wands. While The Lovers perhaps indicates a merger of approach/avoidance, the Two of Wands suggests a balance that’s more like being between the two:
I’m hoping that these few examples illustrate the usefulness of doing the Hekate Enodia spread as a daily source of insight. For interpreting your cards, a blend of the established meanings with your own personal insight works best. You may experience Hekate coming forward with a message during your reading.
Using the Technique
This spread is designed to be done by anyone who wants to use the cards for daily guidance If you are new to Tarot, I suggest you read Mat Auryn’s explanation that divination is devotion. His article will be helpful in understanding how to take care of your cards and how to go about using them. Mat also has many reviews of different decks on his blog in case you’re looking for help in choosing one.
I suggest doing the daily spread first thing in the morning or at bedtime in preparation for the following day.
Pulling the Cards
There’s so many ways to pull two cards that I’ll leave it up to you. The important thing is to concentrate on approach or avoidance as you shuffle your cards and then pull one at a time. I generally shuffle once, then hold my intention while I shuffle again, pull that card and repeat the process for the second card. If you’re using an app, concentrate on either “approach” or “avoidance” before you select a card.
Once you have your two cards, contemplate the meaning of the card in terms of approach or avoidance. Drawing the cards is simple, interpreting may not always be! I hope the few examples I provided help with thinking about the cards in terms of approach and avoidance.
Tarot Tuesday is loads of fun and insight with Hekate’s guidance in the Keeping Her Keys Community. Join us.
I’ve also developed the popular Hekate Shadow Self Tarot Spread.