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The Story Behind the Spirit Card (Mother & the 7 Dwarves)

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

This story involves my mother who died nearly 16 years ago, one of my spiritual homes, and also rather weirdly the Seven Dwarves.


My oracle cards are very purposely designed to reflect yourself, and to encourage you to see whatever is relevant to your situation. There is no such thing as One Size Fits All, not as far as I’m concerned, and I put a lot of effort into giving people a variety of colours, images, positions, symbols, etc to experience them however is most meaningful. Saying that, some cards do have more specific stories behind them, and this is one of those cards.


The building on the card is St. Michaels Tower, which is on top of Glastonbury Tor in Somerset, England. The Tor itself is actually the Earth below, it is the hill (tor means hill), rather than the tower. It is a deeply spiritual place for many of us attached to Pagan, Wiccan, or any number of other similar paths. Glastonbury itself is absolute hippie central. It is believed to be the very heart chakra of Mother Earth herself, and it is this Pagan heart-based aspect that attracted me there to begin with. I’m not that fussed about the King Arthur or Holy Grail mythologies of the place, though I certainly respect them. But in my Pagan belief system, Glastonbury Tor is essentially the living, breathing heart of the spirit I value the most: Nature. Mother Earth. Gaia. By visiting her at the Tor, I was making the time to connect my heart with hers at a point in my life when I needed the connection very much.


On the day of my first visit there, I had been thinking about my mother a lot. She died when I was in my late 20s, when I was 6 months pregnant with my second son. I then went into premature labour, and two weeks after her death my son arrived. It was shortly after all the dust settled that I first “felt” her. Communication with the afterlife is no odd occurrence as far as I’m concerned, but when I first felt my mother after her death, and after the ridiculous maze of multiple griefs afterwards, it was an absolute shock to my system.


When she was alive, my mother was nothing short of a fiery, loud-mouthed, bossy, creative, funny, and unavoidably energetic powerhouse. For instance, one of her favourite songs to sing, despite all the laws of sanity and reason, was the Hi-ho Hi-ho song from Snow White and the seven Dwarves. In fact, out in public, she’d often just randomly break out into “Hi-hooooooooo” for a laugh. And she always got a laugh.



When I first felt her after her death, I was holding my newborn son in my arms after he had finally come home from a long time in the hospital. I’d soothed him to sleep and was feeling very pleased with myself, and I felt my mother there, also very pleased with me. The moment was filled with that fiery energy she possessed when she was alive - it was impossible to miss. I felt her, unavoidably, and from the deepest core of my heart.


And then there was quiet. Many years of it.


In all the years since then, I’ve mostly met my mother in gentle ways, through blackbirds and crows. They appear when she’s on my mind in uncanny ways, often getting very close to me. There was never any drama to it, never that exuberant, unavoidable energy I first felt. It was always meaningful, but it was always quiet. Whether I wanted it to be or not.


As I said, when I first visited the Tor my mother was on my mind a lot. Being a mother without one yourself is… tricky, I guess. My most important, steadying frame of reference for motherhood was gone. I was just guessing, without having my own mother offering wisdom, or at least context. My eldest son was getting ready to move out, and I wanted nothing more in the universe than to talk to her about it. Mother to mother, how it feels when your children start leaving you. What does it mean. Does it ever stop hurting.



I was walking up the quiet, tree-lined lane that leads up to the Tor when I first felt her. It was intense, unavoidable, and caught me short of breath. It was the same overwhelming feeling from her visit 15 or so years before, and I wasn’t expecting it in the slightest. I was expecting to feel Mother Nature here… not Mother my Actual Mother. I walked on, keeping her with me, crying quietly now, wondering how I was going to feel at the Tor if I was already feeling this way... and I hadn’t even made it to the gate yet.


Just outside the entrance, there are often vans filled with happy, unusual people selling happy, unusual things like handmade walking sticks, pendulums, crystals, painted rocks, and knitted shawls. As I walked past the last van, there was a man hooking up some sort of sound system, ready to play out music. He could tell I’d been crying and asked if I was okay, and if it was my first time here. He said he can often tell when its someone’s first time. I said yes, and that I was here to see Mother. I was going to say Mother Earth, but given what I was feeling at the time I stopped short. Mother was still true. Both my actual Mother, and my spiritual one. I continued past him, through the gate, and began my walk up the beautiful, beautiful Tor up towards the tower.


Then the song happened. Not just any song. Quite possibly the very last song any normal human would ever play on a sound system in the middle of quiet Somerset countryside. A song almost no adult has on any intentional playlist. The man at the bottom of the hill had finished setting up, and was blasting a song… and I do mean the loudest most obnoxious verison of the word ‘blasting’ here. Positively booming and echoing across the vast, nearly human-free, countryside.


Hi-hooooooooooooo!



I sat down, and I cried. I couldn’t help but laugh. I cried at the absurdity of it, at the crystal clear bell my mother had rung out in the English countryside to announce her presence. I laughed and cried at the hilarious ridiculousness of it, how a memory so absurd and childlike as a random ear-worm Disney song could bring me to my knees in sobs. My mother, the beautiful nutcase, making it very clear to her daughter, another beautiful nutcase, that She Was There.


He only played the one song, and drove off. My life is absolutely filled with “Well, that was incredibly strange” moments, and that was certainly one of them. But also one of my favourites. I kept walking up the Tor, and spent a few hours there, connecting with the Earth. With my mother. The triplicate of women: me, my mother, and mother Earth. It was an incredible experience. I’ve been to the Tor many times since then, and it is always meaningful, but that first time sits alone in an unshareable category.


When it came to making the Spirit card for this deck, I knew it needed to be the Tor. There’s nothing about my mother in that card, or even death really. It is dark, which you could interpret as an afterlife sort of colour, but that’s up to you. A lot of people looking at it won’t recognise the building, or even know it is Glastonbury Tor. That’s also absolutely fine. They’ll see moody colours, a path, a tower, and an interesting creature overlooking it all. How they interpret Spirit will be absolutely exactly right for them.


Spirit reaches us all differently. My way won’t be your way. Your way may be energy or nature, dreams or connections to people, or the personal energy you feel as your own spirit around. There’s no wrong way.


And it is my wish that despite quite a specific reason for making the card the way I did, the people who hold this deck in their hands will still see what THEY need to see. Behind it is the story of my mother, and of her ridiculous way of announcing her own Spirit to me when I needed her… while I was at the heartbeat of the planet herself. But everyone will have their own experiences with this card, one that makes sense to their circumstances. It is a genuine honour to help facilitate these experiences, and one that I don’t take for granted.




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