At the divination panel, the last panel of the gather, Andros did a tarot reading using his Shadowscapes Deck for the Shining Hearth community. After some ruminations, here's the reading and commentary on the cards:
Page of Pentacles
A young woman sits atop a sleeping dragon, holding a small ball of balefire in her hand. off to the side, an owl perches on a branch. This is a card holding the promise of potential, waiting to be tapped. At one level, this represents the gather in its planning stages, when its future was indeterminate; we were planning for a virtual gather to cater to elves, fae and adjacent kintypes, and we weren't sure what to expect. What kind of community would we have, and how could we best serve them? How would they respond to our efforts?
At another level, the Page of Pentacles represents the (metaphorical) sleeping dragons within each of us. The pandemic has been a long winter, and we have had to make dormant aspects of ourselves during this time. Now, the end of that winter is in sight, if not necessarily in proximity, and soon the new spring will arrive to wake whatever we have left sleeping. What will awaken within you, when that time comes? What will you do with it?
Ten of Pentacles
A woman bedecked in fine golden silks rides an ancient golden dragon, riding high above a world made out of stained glass. In this context, this represents hard work and effort paying off. Keeping one's self safe from the virus has taken a lot of effort and sacrifice, especially for those who work essential jobs. Others have had to make an effort to keep themselves financially above water. A lot of us have had to hold ourselves together mentally, or care for loved ones. We have encountered challenges that nobody living in the last century has had to face before, in addition to what has happened to us before the pandemic.
Just being here is an achievement in itself. Being here and being present enough to share your magic with others is remarkable. And for our combined efforts -- five months of planning on the committee's part, the attendee sharing their presence and energy, and the presenters sharing their perspectives -- we have made something magical and unique. It was, of course, not perfect; few things in this world are. But any chance to come together and create a safe haven for ourselves, however fleeting, is no small comfort.
Nine of Wands
A soldier with their wand holds position on their mount atop a precipice. In the background, their comrades do the same, forming a line on the cliff face, keeping an eye on the horizon, waiting for an unseen enemy to come. The watchword for this card is constant vigilance.
The weekend of Shining Hearth created a place of respite for us, however temporary, and gave us a spark of community and magic. But there are still tough times ahead. Even after this pandemic, we will still have our struggles to overcome, and Banality will, as before, be around to mess with us (and the rest of the world). Now more than ever, it's important to keep your hearthfires burning, and to keep the spark of glamour and magic within you. As we have learned this past year, just because we can't see the danger doesn't mean it's not there.