The Saint Lucia Tarot Spread was originally published on www.tarotize.com in 2012.
On the 13th of December, an odd tradition is alive and well in my native Sweden. This secularised Lutheran nation still celebrates a Sicilian Catholic Saint named Lucia (aka St Lucy) every year. Lucia lived in Syracuse in the 4th century CE. She is a patron saint of the blind. If you read on, you will find out why.
Yesterday, a Swedish friend asked about a Sagittarius New Moon and/or St Lucia Tarot spread since they happen to fall on the same day this year. I liked the idea well enough to oblige. Someone pointed out to me that the 13th of December (St Lucia) is traditionally a day to stay away from magick. This is due to dark spirits causing trouble more than usual on this day, apparently.
However, I’m not superstitious and I think that we should be brave and challenge the darkness just as St Lucia herself did. Besides, I don’t think doing a reading with the Tarot spread below necessarily qualifies as magick. It is a form of examen and self-reflection.
The beautiful young Lucia had been promised to a Pagan man. However, she was devoted to Christ and urged her mother to give her dowry to the poor instead so that she could go on serving God. Enraged, the jealous suitor put her through all kinds of torture to try and force her to change her mind. When he realised she would never relent, he finally managed to kill her. If he couldn’t have her, nobody else should either!
I’m not sure if anybody knows why Lucia remains so popular in Sweden, long after all the other Catholic saints have faded. But her story is pretty remarkable. I suspect that it’s the aspect of divine light and hope during the darkest time of the year that gives Lucia staying power even though the emphasis of the Swedish celebration is more on eating, drinking and musical merriment.
Sagittarius and St Lucia
The celebration of Lucia takes place during the Season of the mutable Fire sign Sagittarius. Sagittarius is the visionary of the Zodiac and Lucia is the patron saint of sight. According to one account, she offered her eyes to her intended so that he would leave her alone to serve Christ. Unfortunately, the bold move did not pay off. Lucia’s suitor did manage to kill her in the end but by then God had given her a new set of eyes (!).
I think that saying a prayer for the ability to see with the eyes of the heart is probably a good (and less painful) move before laying the cards out for the St Lucia Tarot spread:
The St Lucia Tarot Spread
- How I shine my light in the world
- Something or someone who is pulling me away from my path
- A sacrifice I need to make to stay on my path
- What would I see if I could see clearly with the eyes of my heart?
- How can I act on this vision to keep it alive?
I realise that these are quite deep and serious questions but they do resonate well with the spirit of Lucia herself if not so much with the festivities associated with her. Most Swedes just use her celebration as an excuse to stuff themselves with saffransbullar and pepparkakor…