Tag: magick

Month at a Glance: July 2019

Month at a Glance: July 2019

The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck

What better way to kick off Independence Day than with a Month at a Glance reading? Here’s mine for the month, and I thought I’d share it all with you.

July is a month of possibilities and creativity. With all four cards pulled being Wands, my creativity and inspiration are at the front. However, I need to pull together at get things done in the real world and quit letting everything reside in my mind.

The theme for the month of July is represented by the 7 of Wands. It stands tall and courageous, alone and lit standing in the crowd. I need to watch out for moments this month where my courage will be tested and a lack of support will feel apparent. This serves as a reminder to always stand up for myself, my beliefs, and my creations.

Past influences affecting July for me are represented by the 6 of Wands, a beautiful blue butterfly flying to be free. My newfound creativity, inspiration, and ambition from the past months will help to catapult me forward this month and continue the change on the path to where I want to go.

Roadblocks for this month are represented by the 8 of Wands. With this card, lightning strikes swiftly, lashing out at the creativity and inspiration represented by the wands gathered in a circle. Change is going to happen, whether I like it or not, and I need to go with the flow and not let the change hinder me. It is a part of life, and though resisting it might seem like a good idea, it never ends well.

Lastly, the possibilities of the month are represented by the 4 of Wands. This card shows me that as long as I keep pushing forward and remember the advice that I’ve been given, celebration is possible. Success in what I love is possible. I just need to remember my roots, my change, and my ambitions.


Overall it seems like July is going to be a very promising month!

Want to get your Month at a Glance for July? I’m offering July readings up until July 7th through my shop. Any purchase made after July 7th will be for August.

Click here to get your own reading!


Energy Work How-To

Energy Work How-To

One thing that you’ll hear witches mention a lot is the need for energy work. So, what is energy work in witchcraft? Well, its exactly as it sounds: using and manipulating energy around you to achieve a specific result. It can take a lot of practice, but its something that is doable. There are a few things that I think you should know first. Those include how to ground yourself, center yourself, and read the energy.

Grounding and centering yourself is important because what happens if you take on too much excess energy? That can lead to several different things, but I find the most common symptoms of energy overload to be anxious feelings, jitteriness, fatigue, and exhaustion. Learning how to ground yourself and balance your energy will help to combat energy overload.

You should also know how to read the energy in the room. Most people do this without realizing it. Have you ever walked into a room and felt immediately angry, or that the air seemed thing? Chances are the people that were in the room before you were having a heated argument. You’re picking up on that risidual energy of anger and tension. This is important if you’re not doing energy work in a natural environment, i.e. outside in nature. If someone has recently had an argument in the room you require for your energy work, it would be highly beneficial to clear out the residual energy before you do your work. Not doing so can lead to distractions and energy interference.

So, what’s energy work used for? Most often, its used for healing sessions or cleansing purposes. In spellwork, energy work is only part of the process. When casting a spell, it is important to have knowledge of energy work to know how to direct your energy to your specific purpose. You can also borrow the energy from the environment around you, but I only recomend doing so if you have a good relationship with the object/place/entity you’re borrowing energy from.

Practice Exercise One: Room Reading

  • Go into a random room in your home that anyone else also has access to. If you live alone, try this with offices at work, breakrooms, etc.
  • Close your eyes and focus on the energy in the room.
  • What do you feel?
  • Try to figure out what happened in that room before you got there. Details aren’t important at this point, just emotions. Was there an argument? Was there joy? Was there disappointment?

Practice Exercise Two: Energy Balls

  • This is the most common form of practice in energy work. You’re going to create a ball of energy in your hands! Practice this as often as you want to get a feel for how energy feels close to your skin. When you get better at it, try redirecting the ball of energy into something else.
  • Hold your hands a few inches apart from each other, palms facing.
  • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, imagining the energy between your palms. If you have trouble visualizing this, I like to imaging the scene in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 where Peter Quill meets his dad and they play catch with an energy ball (check it out here)
  • Move your hands closer together, then farther away, slowly, building the energy between your palms.
  • When you feel an adequate amount of energy, form that into a ball.
  • How does it feel? Is it warm? Is it cool? Is it heavy?
  • Keep practicing until drawing this energy in becomes second nature!

Do you have an energy work techniques or practice tips? Share them below!

Persephone

Persephone

Persephone – cgaddictworld.deviantart

Persephone – The Poems of Sappho

I saw a tender maiden plucking flowers
Once, long ago, in the bright morning hours;
And then from heaven I saw a sudden cloud
Fall swift and dark, and heard her cry aloud.

Again I looked, but from my open door
My anxious eyes espied the maid no more;
The cloud had vanished, bearing her away
To underlands beyond the smiling day. [1]


Persephone [pər-ˈse-fə-nē] is the Greek Goddess of spring growth and the Goddess Queen of the underworld, married to Pluto (Hades). She is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, and her myth explains the causes of Spring and Autumn. She was worshiped alongside her mother Demeter in the
Eleusinian Mysteries. She has many names, but the most common are Kore and Persephone. She is referred to as Kore when she is Earth-side, bringing Spring to the land by her return as Demeter rejoices. As Persephone, she is the Queen of the Underworld for the dark half of the year, aiding Hades in the receiving of the dead.

“The cult of Persephone was especially strong in Sicily and southern Italy, and besides the Eleusinian Mysteries at Eleusis there were sanctuaries to the goddess across the Greek world, most notably at Locri Epizephyrii, Mantinea, Megalopolis, and Sparta. Here annual festivities celebrated Persephone’s marriage and her picking of flowers. The Thesmophoria was a Greek-wide celebration of the goddess and her mother. Exclusive to women, it was held annually before the sowing period when sacrifices were made and putrefied pig’s remains were mixed with the seeds. Persephone, in her guise as Queen of the Underworld, was often appealed to in curse tablets and on the inscribed gold leaves buried with the dead followers of Orphism which gave instructions on how to conduct themselves in the after-life.” [2]

Her myth is controversial because of the many interpretations and the name of one of the myths. The Rape of Persephone has been interpreted metaphorically as well as literally, and it is up for personal interpretation as well. I believe that Persephone was at first taken against her will, given to Hades by Zeus to be his wife, but later, when offered the pomegranate seeds, she ate them of her own free will. She did this knowing that once you eat the fruit of the Underworld, you cannot leave.

You can read pieces of the myth below from Homer, and I will link to other sites as well so you can make your own interpretation. There are many ways you can honor Persephone in your life and practice. One of the main things to do to honor Persephone is to leave offerings of fresh flowers on your Altar. According to Theoi.com, asphodel is a sacred flower to Her [3]. If you have this available to you, this would be the recommended offering. Another offering would be anything related to pomegranates. You can also learn her hymns and recite them. One is listed for you below.

[28] XXVIII. TO PROSERPINE [PHERSEPHONE]

A Hymn.
Daughter of Jove [Zeus], almighty and divine, come, blessed queen, and to these rites incline:
Only-begotten, Pluto’s [Plouton’s] honor’d wife, O venerable Goddess, source of life:
‘Tis thine in earth’s profundities to dwell, fast by the wide and dismal gates of hell:
Jove’s [Zeus’] holy offspring, of a beauteous mien, fatal [Praxidike], with lovely locks, infernal queen:
Source of the furies [Eumenides], whose blest frame proceeds from Jove’s [Zeus’] ineffable and secret seeds: 
Mother of Bacchus [Eubouleos], Sonorous, divine, and many-form’d, the parent of the vine:
The dancing Hours [Horai] attend thee, essence bright, all-ruling virgin, bearing heav’nly light:
Illustrious, horned, of a bounteous mind, alone desir’d by those of mortal kind.
O, vernal queen, whom grassy plains delight, sweet to the smell, and pleasing to the sight:
Whose holy form in budding fruits we view, Earth’s vig’rous offspring of a various hue: 
Espous’d in Autumn: life and death alone to wretched mortals from thy power is known:
For thine the task according to thy will, life to produce, and all that lives to kill.
Hear, blessed Goddess, send a rich increase of various fruits from earth, with lovely Peace;
Send Health with gentle hand, and crown my life with blest abundance, free from noisy strife;
Last in extreme old age the prey of Death, dismiss we willing to the realms beneath, 
To thy fair palace, and the blissful plains where happy spirits dwell, and Pluto [Plouton] reigns. [4]


Orpheus – Myths of the World

“Demeter, knowing that one of the Gods had carried off Persephone against her will, and knowing that what was done had been by the will of Zeus, would go no more into the assemblies of the Olympians. She quenched the torch that she had held in her hands for nine days and nine nights; she put off her robe of Goddess, and she went wandering over the earth, uncomforted for the loss of her child. No longer did she appear as a Goddess gracious to men; no longer did she bless their fields. None of the things that it pleased her once to do would Demeter do any longer.” [5]


Homeric Hymn – The Rape of Persephone – III The Return of Persephone

“Now when all-seeing Zeus the loud-thunderer heard this, he sent Argeiphontes [Hermes] whose wand is of gold to Erebos, so that having won over Aides with soft words, he might lead forth chaste Persephoneia to the light from the misty gloom to join the gods, and that her mother might see her with her eyes and cease from her anger. And Hermes obeyed, and leaving the house of Olympos, straightway sprang down with speed to the hidden places of the earth. And he found the lord Aides in his house seated upon a couch, and his shy mate with him, much reluctant, because she yearned for her mother. But she was afar off, brooding on her fell design becuase of the deeds of the blessed gods. And strong Argeiphontes [Hermes] drew near and said : ‘Dark-haired Aides, ruler over the departed, father Zeus bids me bring noble Persephone forth from Erebos unot the gods, that her mother may see her with her eyes and cease from her dread anger with the immortals; for now she plans an awful deed, to destroy the weakly tribes of earth-born men by keeping seed hidden beneath the earth, and so she makes an end of the honours of the undying gods. For she keeps fearful anger and does not consort with the gods, but sits aloof in her fragrant temple, dwelling in the rocky hold of Eleusis.’
So he said. And Aidoneus, ruler over the dead, smiled grimly and obeyed the behest of Zeus the king. For he straightway urged wise Persephone, saying : ‘Go now, Persephoneia, to your dark-robed mother, go, and feel kindly in your heart towards me : be not so exceedingly cast down; for I shall be no unfitting husband for you among the deathless dods, that am own brother to father Zeus. And while you are here, you shall rule all that lives and moves and shall have the greatest rights among the deathless gods : those who defraud you and do not appease your power with offerings, reverently performing rites and paying fit gifts, shall be punished for evermore.’
When he said this, wise Persephoneia was filled with joy and hastily sprang up for gladness. But he on his part secretly gave her sweet pomegranate seed to eat, taking care for himself that she might not remain continually with grave, dark-robed Demeter. Then Aidoneus Polysemantor (Ruler of Many) openly got ready his deathless horses beneath the golden chariot. And she mounted on the chariot, and strong Argeiphontes [Hermes] took reins and whip in his dear hands and drove forth from the hall, the horses speeding readily. Swiftly they traversed their long course, and neither the sea nor river-waters nor grassy glens nor mountain-peaks checked the career of the immortal horses, but they cleft the deep air above them as they went. And Hermes brought them to the place where rich-crowned Demeter was staying and checked them before her fragrant temple.” [6]


Sources

[1] The Poems of Sappho – Persephone
[2] Ancient History Encyclopedia
[3] Theoi.com – Asphodel and Persephone
[4] Hymn to Persephone
[5] Orpheus – Myths of the World
[6] Rape of Persephone


I will never feel like I do Persephone justice. She is a Goddess that I feel extremely drawn to and it is hard to explain the feeling I get when I think of Her. To me, She is protection and justice as well as innocence and love. Veneration is a word that sticks in my head when I think of Her, and it fits.


Thoughtful Thursday

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’ve thought about this before, but I don’t think I have one solid answer because there’s so much that I want to know. We know that history is written by the victor, and most often, the victor tainted the story of how things happen. I’d like to go back in time to witness the building of Stonehenge. It has always been a mystical place to me that one day I hope to visit. Seeing images of Stonehenge during the Solstices gives me a strange sense of nostalgia.

It would make my scientific brain happy to see how they managed to build such a great monument. The physics and mechanics that had to go into standing the stones upright and stacking the stones on top have to have been phenomenal for their time.

It would make my spiritual heart happy to speak with the ancient peoples and ask why it was built. What was their purpose in building such a beautiful monument that aligns perfectly with the Solstices? Was their a greater purpose? Were they called upon by a local spirit or deity? My heart just yearns to know, even though I know I never will.


What is thoughtful Thursday? This is something I created to give everyone a chance to dig deep into their spiritual selves and answer some questions that require a bit of thought. How do you participate? Well, you can comment here, post about it on Instagram, or use the question as a prompt for your own blog post! Whatever you write, drop me a link in the comments! I would love to read it!



Next week’s question: How do you define your faith? Be as specific or vague as you’d like!


Abnoba

Abnoba


Left: Statuette combined with an inscription to the Celtic goddess Abnoba. In the Badischer Landesmuseum de Carlsruhe. RG, Germ., 345 ; LIMC, II.2, n°418, p. 628. Right: Statuette in bronze of Artemis/Diana wearing a chiton*, boots and a quiver in her back. In the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Lyons. LIMC, II.2, p. 603, n°85

“Celtic goddess. Known in both Britain and on the Continent, Abnoba gave her name to the many rivers named Avon, including the famous one in England that flows through the the town where playwright William Shakespeare was born; she also ruled the source of the Danube River in central Europe and was associated with the Black Forest, perhaps because of its numerous rivers. Sometimes this goddess was called Dea Abnoba, which means simply “the goddess Abnoba.” Inscriptions to Abnoba from the Black Forest suggest that the Romans identified her with their woodland goddess Diana. She is sometimes depicted as a huntress accompanied by a hunting dog and a stag.” – The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore by Patricia Monaghan

There is little information available about Abnoba, and any real information is scattered, diminished, or lost altogether. We do know that the Romans equated Her with their goddess Diana. She is thought to be a goddess of childbirth, protector of woods, waters, and wild animals.

It is said that you can petition Abnoba to help preserve wild nature, forest plants, and animals. If you want to dedicate an altar or space to Abnoba, it should be decoarted with forest items like pine cones, fir boughs, and animal imagery. You can also leave offerings of spring water.


Altar of Diana Abnoba in the Roman bath ruin of Badenweiler. Badenweiler / Southern Black Forest / Germany


Altar of Diana Abnoba in the Roman bath ruin of Badenweiler. Badenweiler / Southern Black Forest / Germany

Links and Sources
* Theses

* The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore by Patricia Monaghan

* Sacred Haven


This post does NOT contain affiliate links. I own a copy of the book used as the source and highly recommend it for anyone interested in Celtic mythology and folklore.


A Beginner’s Guide to Crystal Healing

A Beginner's Guide to Crystal Healing

Crystals and natural stones have been used in the art of healing for thousands of years. Some of the oldest amulets from a natural source date back 30,000 years and are made of baltic amber. Humans have an affinity for pretty things, and stones and crystals are no exception. These healing and protective crystals were worn as jewelry, sewn into clothing, and placed around the home. As talismans and amulets, they were banned by the Christian church after the death of Christ, but that doesn’t mean that the practice itself died out (1).

How does it work?

Crystals, like everything else in this physical world, have their own vibrations. Some vibrate at a higher frequency while others are lower. Likewise, your body and different body systems work at different frequencies. When one body system is off, the vibration and frequency is off as well. The crystals pair together with the vibrational and energetic frequencies of your body to help heal and repair you mind, body, and soul. There is a well known IBM scientist named Marcel Vogel, who did a lot of research on crystals, their energy, and how they are affected by thought and breath. He learned that when exhaling from the nose in short bursts, accompanied by thought towards a quartz crystal, he could affect the shape of the crystal as it formed under a microscope (2).

So how do you start?

If we take the work of Marcel Vogel to heart and know that our thoughts and energy affect the things around us, it is entirely possible that the opposite is true. You must first open your heart and mind to the possibility that crystals can help you heal in one form or another.

Once you have opened your mind and heart, it is time to pick the crystals to suit your needs. There are a few ways to do this. My personal favorite is letting the crystal choose me instead (I wrote more about that here). You can do this by closing your eyes and holding your hand above different crystals. Feel the energy and vibration from the crystals and choose the one that resonates the best with you. I’ve found that my body and energy vibration knows what I need before I do, and allowing my own vibrational energy to choose the crystal that reacts with it works better for me. Another way you can do this is by researching the different crystals and stones available to you and choosing the one you think you need. Different crystals have different properties and can be used for different things based on their vibrational frequency and energy inherent in them.

Popular Crystals and their Properties

*Amethyst – One of the most popular crystals for healing, amethyst is perfect for anyone who needs some balance in their life. Amethyst is known to bring calmness and focus to the mind, stress relief, and stimulates motivation and memory. Physically, amethyst is thought to balance the hormones, strengthen the immune system, and help keep you sober. The name actually comes from the Greek word “amethystos”, roughly translating to “not drunken”.

*Clear Quartz – Clear Quartz, or Crystal Quartz, is a powerful healing and and meditation crystal. Its vibrational frequency and energy make it the perfect stone for protection and balancing of energies, both physically and spiritually. Crystal Quartz can be used to enhance psychic ability and is easily adaptable, allowing for “programming” with intention to be used for the desired effect. Physically, Crystal Quartz is said to promote healing and balance as well as stimulating the immune system.

*Rose Quartz – Widely known as the crystal of love, Rose Quartz is the perfect crystal for those suffering with heartache. Rose Quartz encourages unconditional love of the self as well as others. It stimulates peace, forgiveness, and compassion for those around you. It is also used to stimulate the wearer’s sense of self-worth as well as healing emotional wounds. Physically, Rose Quartz is thought to stimulate the circulatory system, increase fertility, and protect against miscarriage.

Some final thoughts…

Although healing crystals do work, it is worth pointing out that crystals should not be used exclusively for healing of any ailment, physically or mentally. I always advocate for using alternative healing methods in conjunction with modern medicine. It is also good to point out that some crystals and stones should not be worn directly on the skin, ingested, left out in the sun, or get wet. Please be sure to do your research before embarking on any alternative therapy.

Sources

(1) The Problematic Status of Christian Amulets
(2) Marcel Vogel: Dreamhill Research Facility
(3) 10 Popular Healing Crystals

Tarot: The Fool’s Journey

The Major Arcana in tarot can be seen as a metaphor for life, with each of the 22 cards representing a major event/person/situation that we may experience on the physical plane. There’s a reason that the major arcana cards are called trump cards, and that’s because when they are pulled in a reading, they are given extra attention due to their importance in the deck. They don’t just stand alone. Each one leads to the next, either forwards or back, depending on your movement in life and the direction that your soul needs to take in this life to achieve its goals. Each image pictured below is from the original Rider Waite deck, which you can find here. Follow along with me on the journey of the Fool.

220px-rws_tarot_00_fool

(0) The Fool – He sets out for the first time in this world with nothing to himself but what he has in his bag. He is oblivious, but happy. Full of hope. He has no idea of the things that life can and will throw at him, and he doesn’t see the cliff he just might step off of if he isn’t careful. The Fool is the naivety in us all. The newborn soul stepping into this world for the first time. All he knows is the happiness he feels at being alive and part of the physical world and is ready to experience this life he has been given. He knows that the possibilities are endless, and it is fitting that this card is given the number 0, as it has no beginning and no end. The infinite number of possibilities give rise to the spontaneous nature of the Fool, whether to his detriment or not.

01-magician-meaning-rider-waite-tarot-major-arcana_large

(I) The Magician – The Fool then encounters the Magician, who teaches the Fool that our consciousness and our willpower can affect the world around us. The Magician represents that active part of our creative awareness and impulses, teaching the Fool that all we need to create, we hold within us. The Fool simply needs to take the pieces of the puzzle and put them together, and the Magician teaches the Fool how to use the tools he is given to change his life.

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(II) The High Priestess – After meeting the Magician, the Fool encounters the High Priestess. She teaches the Fool about the mysteries of life and that sometimes they are better left as mysteries. She represents our hidden selves, the shadow of the unconscious, where all mysteries of the self are repressed. The High Priestess teaches the Fool that the shadow is not a bad thing. She shows the Fool that sometimes, it is within that shadow that our creativity may sit, waiting for the spark of imagination and idea to ignite it and bring it into the light.

rws_tarot_03_empress

(III) The Empress – When the Fool meets the Empress, he knows he is safe. The Empress is a mother figure to the Fool. Through the Empress, the Fool learns to express and appreciate his love for nature and sensation. She teaches him to explore his surroundings and take in all that he sees. She is the Fool’s biggest fan and encourages his growth through the exploration of what is around him.

04-emperor-meaning-rider-waite-tarot-major-arcana_large

(IV) The Emperor – Next, the Fool meets the Emperor who rules with strong will and strict adherence to the rules. He is the authority figure to the Fool and teaches him about structure, rules, and discipline. With the order that the Emperor teaches the Fool, the Fool begins to understand the way the world works. Rules will be enforced, and sometimes the Fool will not always get his way. However, with the guidance of the Emperor, the Fool begins to understand his place in the world.

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(V) The Hierophant – Soon the Fool ventures away from his home and meets the Hierophant. This is when he begins his formal education and starts to learn that there is more than one system of beliefs. The Hierophant teaches the Fool about the belief systems that surround him, and soon the Fool begins to find a place that he fits with others like him. The Fool learns the acceptable behaviors of the society and culture in which he lives, and takes delight in fitting in with his group.

06-the-lovers

(VI) The Lovers – The Fool soon discovers the concept of love. He starts to long for companionship and relationship with another person, to become the half of a whole unit. He must understand that with love comes responsibility, and to be the half to a whole requires work on both parts in order for the partnership to be stable and last in happiness. The Fool begins to realize that a partnership with another person can bring joy to his life. He desires to share his beliefs and values with another person of like mind.

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(VII) The Chariot – As the Fool grows and matures, his Ego is mastered, as that is all he has had thus far. He is self-confident and in control of his situation and surroundings, leading him to be assertive in nature and dominant in the things he pursues. He is well-educated and believes at this point that he knows all that he needs in order to be successful in life, and he believes his current success will last.

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(VIII) Strength – Soon the Fool realizes that not everything is going as great as he wanted. Things begin to happen in his life that require Strength, and he learns that sometimes suffering is necessary to grow. By calling on his Strength, the Fool learns to grow his courage to stand his ground and get back up when he falls. The Fool realizes that to be strong, sometimes you must be soft. The Ego of the Chariot needs to be put back in its place before growth can happen on a larger scale.

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(IX) The Hermit – When the Fool meets the Hermit, he starts to question the things around him. The Hermit teaches the Fool to ask “Why?” and to search for deeper meaning in life. The Fool comes to understand that the sensuality that he felt when he encountered the Lovers is not all there is to life, and he secludes himself away to find the deeper truth to life.

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(X) Wheel of Fortune – Not everything in life is guaranteed, and when the Fool encounters the Wheel of Fortune, that becomes clear to him. The Wheel of Fortune teaches the Fool that even though it may not always be clear, everything is by design. The Universe and all of its parts work together in harmony, continuously turning and moving the world forward. The Fool has some questions answered and knows now that even though he may have a small part to play, every part is important. His perspective is widened and his sense of purpose is found again.

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(XI) Justice – With a wider perspective, the Fool meets Justice. Justice makes the Fool look back at his actions, inactions, and their consequences to view the causal relationship between them. The Fool has grown much so far and is now mature enough to take responsibility for his actions. Justice makes the Fool question his current path and wonder if he wants to continue on in life with an open perspective and clean slate or go back to his secluded, yet easier, life of unknowing.

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(XII) The Hanged Man – After meeting Justice, the Fool encounters the Hanged Man who is quite literally hanging upside down. The Hanged Man teaches the Fool that sometimes your actions have undesirable consequences that turn your world upside down. The Fool sees himself in the Hanged Man, and learns that sometimes you have to let go and give up your control in order to move forward and find peace. The Fool feels suspended in time, unable to move forward from the daunting place he is in, until he lets go and allows the Universe to do its work.

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(XIII) Death – One of the more upsetting figures that the Fool meets, Death has an important lesson to teach the Fool. Death is not always the end. Sometimes, Death clears away the things that need to be gone from the Fool’s world in order to pave the path for new and better opportunities and learning experiences. Even though the Fool may feel he is suffering due to the Death of the old and unnecessary, Death teaches the Fool to rise up and face the new dawn. To grow once again where the old was removed.

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(XIV) Temperance – To say the Fool’s journey so far has been harmonious would be false. The Fool has swung back and forth on the emotional spectrum, from the hard and ego-centered ruler of the Chariot to the secluded and introspective character of the Hermit. Temperance teaches the Fool the joy in a harmonious life, one that is ruled by moderation instead of extremes. The Fool has now combined all aspects of himself into one, a centered and stable whole who is able to experience the extreme emotions of the Chariot and the Hermit without letting it overrun his thoughts and actions.

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(XV) The Devil – Soon after, the Fool encounters the Devil. The Devil’s lesson for the Fool may be a difficult one to learn, but it is one that is needed. The Devil teaches the Fool that sometimes, we may feel lost and hopeless. The Devil shows the Fool that though he may be happy with what he has now, the chains that bind him to the material world are holding him back and he only needs to free himself of these chains to continue to grow and lose any sense of despair he might have.

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(XVI) The Tower – The Fool wants to shake the despair that has bubbled to the surface after meeting with the Devil, and thus encounters the Tower. The Tower is not a physical place but a place within the Fool. It represents the wall he has built around his ego and he knows now that he needs the enlightenment brought by a sudden change to knock down the walls of his tower, topple the crown of his pride, and free the truth within.

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(XVII) The Star – The Star brings the Fool the peace and serenity after the storm of emotion that the Devil caused and the overthrowing of the Fool’s pride by the tower. The Star teaches the Fool to hide behind no disguise and be true to himself. The Fool’s trust in himself is restored, and the Star shines brightly, reminding the Fool to share the love and spread generosity whenever he can.

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(XVIII) The Moon – After the emotional turmoil caused by the Devil and Tower, and the restoration of the Fool’s trust in himself by the Star, what might the Fool possibly encounter next? The Moon shows the Fool not to get lost in his emotional state of being. In his state of pure bliss, the Fool is susceptible to the illusions of reality and a dreamy condition that could bring rise to living in a fantasy. The Moon reminds the Fool not to get lost in his thoughts, as he might end up feeling bewildered and lost when the reality of the situations at hand hit him.

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(XIX) The Sun – With the reminder of the Moon in his mind, the Fool then encounters the Sun. The Sun shines light on the Fool, illuminating all that might be hidden in the darkness and reminds the Fool that without darkness, there can be no light. The Sun directs the Fool’s imagination and dispels the clouds of uncertainty and fear that hold the Fool back. With the light shining on him, the Fool feels empowered and begins to understand the goodness in the world instead of just feeling it.

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(XX) Judgement – The Fool has finally began to shed his ego-driven facade in honor of his true self. Judgement calls to the Fool to examine his past mistakes and, though he may regret them, the Fool now understands that the mistakes made were due to his ignorance and fear. Judgement comes to ask the Fool which values he is going to cherish in this life and allow him to let go of that which no longer serves him. The Fool is now ready to follow his dreams, having the knowledge and experiences he needs to realize his purpose in this life.

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(XI) The World – As the final thing that the Fool encounters, the World is exactly as it sounds. The Fool steps out into the World with a new understanding of life, love, and happiness. He knows now with his experiences that he has the tools he needs to achieve his dreams and spread his message through the world. He becomes actively involved in the growth and achievements in his life, forever reaching higher to continue his growth and achieve his life’s destiny.

Though the Fool’s journey may be over for now, he is us and we are him. He will continue to grow, and he may revisit any of those he met along the way at any time in his life when it is necessary. We all need a reminder sometimes that we shouldn’t lead with pride, rule with an iron fist, or succumb to our fantasies. Let the story of the Journey of the Fool guide you in your life.


Tarot: Top 5 Things to Know

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If you’ve grown up with any amount of pop-culture in your life, you’re probably familiar with the image of the g*psy woman dressed to the nines, headscarf and all, sitting behind a little wooden table with her crystal ball and tarot cards. Let me be honest with you. That’s so far from the truth of reading tarot today! I’m not even sure where that image came from, but I know that it is based in some semblance of fact. Anyway, that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. There are a few things that need to be said about the tarot, and I’m going to give you the top five today.

Number One: Tarot will not tell you your future!
– It might seem counterintuitive to what you’ve seen or been told. A lot of people equate reading tarot with fortune telling. In a way, they’re not wrong. However, tarot will not tell you your future because it isn’t set in stone. The future is changing all the time and one single decision, no matter how small, can change the course of your future drastically. Tarot is a tool to use to give you guidance and show you your choices. It is also used to give insight into situations and experiences you might be having.

Number Two: Tarot is not evil!
– Now depending on your beliefs (and I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this blog, you’re an open-minded person), this is up for debate. Simply put, the tarot is just a deck of cards made from paper and ink. That’s it! When we use tarot, and depending on how you believe it works, we are calling on certain things to ask for guidance. This could be your own subconscious, a deity or deities, or simply the universe.

Number Three: Go ahead and buy your own!
– There’s a huge misconception out there that you absolutely cannot buy your own first deck of tarot cards. I say bulls**t. If you want to learn to read tarot, go out and buy your own deck. Not everyone has someone who is willing to buy them a deck of tarot cards, especially if everyone they know thinks tarot is evil/devilwork/stupid/etc. This misconception comes from some people thinking that any deck you buy yourself won’t work for you, will have bad luck, or whatever. I don’t believe this to be true at all. So go out, buy your deck if you want, and get to work!

Number Four: It takes practice!
– You’re not going to pick up your deck of tarot cards and immediately be 100% accurate or even good at it. Like any other craft, it takes practice and time to get comfortable reading the tarot. Work up a daily/weekly/monthly routine to get yourself acquainted with the cards and into a comfortable position to read for yourself and, if you want, other people.

Number Five: No need to memorize every card!
– There’s 78 cards in a tarot deck, and each one has their own meaning. If you want to memorize each and every card, go for it, but it’s not necessary. I’ve been reading tarot for several years and still refer back to the books that come with the cards if something isn’t clear or if I forget the meaning of a card. There’s also a method of reading tarot based solely on your intuition and has nothing to do with the meanings prescribed to the cards. So read in a way that works for you, and trust yourself and your guides.

There’s a lot that goes into reading tarot cards, and everyone does it different, but I find that these five things are more common than not in those of us that use the tarot.

Until next time!
Megan


*Note: The image above pictures the Three of Cups from The Wild Unknown tarot by Kim Krans. You can get it here (The Wild Unknown) from Amazon.

Balancing Act: Making Time when Life gets Chaotic

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via Pixabay Free Images

It’s part of modern life, running out of time. Sometimes it seems like we have a million things to do every single day and never enough time to do it. I’ll use myself as an example. I work a “typical” job with a schedule from 8am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. I get two 15 minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch. I typically don’t count my breaks as freetime because of the nature of my work, and I basically use my breaks to “veg out” and decompress from the daily gunk that I might deal with. I answer a lot of phones, talk to a lot of people, and get hung up on or yelled at when I can’t do something for someone because I’m bound by HIPAA and federal law. My drive to work is about 20 minutes, and my drive home is about 20 minutes. So just for work, there goes more than 9 hours of my 24 hour day. I’m usually in bed by 10pm and up at 6am, so there’s another 8 hours of my day.

With just work and sleep, I’m down 17 hours and 10 minutes. Then I have the other stuff I need to do: get ready for work, pack lunch, wake up Em (my daughter’s nickname), get her ready if she’s not staying home with her dad (which will not be happening starting next week because she starts school), drive to work, do the work, drive home from work, help with dinner, cleanup, get Em ready for bed, do laundry, etc. etc.

It can be hard to stop and take time for yourself, let alone time for your faith. This is why I’m a firm believer in bringing your faith into your everyday life and not just leaving it for ritual and Sabbat. Here are some ways that I’ve found helpful for me to reconnect with the Divine during times of chaos.

  1. Make your morning routine matter. Instead of just rushing through the motions in the morning (or whenever, for that matter), be mindful about what your doing. Use your shower to not only physically cleanse you, but spiritually as well. Water is a powerful element and can do some major energetic work if you let it. Find ways to make your routine more magickal without adding extra time to what you have to do. Let your shower wash away any negativity that you might be holding on to!
  2. Your drive doesn’t have to be boring. Depending on my mood, I basically blast my music in my car (as long as I’m the only one in it) on the way to work. Music is powerful to me, and there are a lot of songs that move me and give me that tingly feeling throughout my body. I have a station on my Pandora that plays a lot of good spiritual and Pagan music, including songs from Kellianna, Damh the Bard, and Erutan. It gives me a brief moment in time to sing along to the songs and give my praise to the Divine through song while doing something I already have to do.
  3. Spruce up your coffee. This one will probably only apply if you drink coffee or tea, because I don’t know what else you could add to other drinks and I’m a huge fan of coffee. Did you know that there are herbs and spices you can add to your coffee/tea for magickal purposes without changing the flavor of your drink too much? My favorite to add is cinnamon. Some of the magickal properties of cinnamon include improved communication, harmony, healing, purification, and wisdom. It’s also one of those spices that just gives you a warm, comfy feeling. Find an herb or spice that you like and experiment with adding it to your drink. Just be sure to do your research on the safety of the herb/spice before you drink it!
  4. Cook with intention. Just like adding herbs and spices to your drinks, you can do the same thing when you cook. Most of us need to cook anyway (and if not, how lucky of you!) and you can make cooking your meals a magickal experience. Whenever I think of kitchen witchcraft, I always think of the old woman hunched over her cauldron, stirring with a big wooden spoon and chanting as she adds ingredients. Today, we have replaced the cooking cauldron with a pot on the stove instead of an open fire, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stand there and stir, adding ingredients while chanting incantations or intentions over your meal.
  5. Meditate or practice mindfulness. This one can be hard, especially if you are extra busy and feel like you have no time. My favorite time to meditate is at night before bed. It doesn’t have to be long, and my meditations average about 10 minutes. It gives the mind, body, and spirit a chance to rest and recuperate after a long day. If you are typically in bed by a certain time, adjust that time by an extra 5 or 10 minutes and simply be still. Do your short meditation and then hop in bed, ready to do it all again the next day.
  6. Go barefoot in the grass. The practice of “earthing” has been studied recently, and implications for magickal and mundane usefulness would be surprising to those who don’t have a Pagan perspective. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, “Multi-disciplinary research has revealed that electrically conductive contact of the human body with the surface of the Earth (grounding or earthing) produces intriguing effects on physiology and health. Such effects relate to inflammation, immune responses, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases…Grounding reduces pain and alters the numbers of circulating neutrophils and lymphocytes, and also affects various circulating chemical factors related to inflammation” (1). Of course, they study grounding from a scientific perspective on the effects the electrical impulses from the earth have on our physical  bodies, but they don’t study the effects it can have on our spiritual selves. When you ground, or earth, you are literally receiving from the Earth itself, and if that isn’t Pagan I don’t know what else is! Besides the physical effects that earthing can have on the body, it allows you to reconnect with the Divine through the physical plane and center yourself back into a state of spiritual awareness.

We know life can get crazy. We live it every day, and some days might be crazier than others. When we practice bringing our faith and spirituality into our everyday lives, we live it rather than just experience it.

How do you bring magick to your life through seemingly mundane means? Do you have an “rituals” that you practice that keep you centered on your faith throughout your day? Let me know in the comments!

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/

Witch by Lisa Lister || Book Review

Witch by Lisa Lister || Book Review

 

“A witch is a wise woman, a healer. Yet for so long the word “witch” has had negative connotations. In this book, third generation hereditary witch Lisa Lister explains the history behind witchcraft, why identifying as a healer in past centuries led women to be burned at the stake, and why the witch is reawakening in women across the world today. All women are witches, and when they connect to source, trust their intuition, and use their magic, they can make medicine to heal themselves and the world. This book is a re-telling of Herstory, an overview of the different schools of witchcraft and the core principles and practices within them. Discover ancient wisdom made relevant for modern witches: •The wheel of the year, the sabbats, the cycles of the moon. •Tools to enhance your intuition, including oracle cards and dowsing, so that you can make decisions quickly and comfortably. •Understanding the ancient use of the word “medicine”. •How to work with herbs, crystals, and power animals so that you have support in your spiritual work. •How to build and use a home altar to focus your intentions and align you with seasonal cycles, the moon cycles, and your own intentions for growth. •Cleanse, purify, and create sacred space. •Work with the elements to achieve deep connection with the world around you.In addition, Lisa teaches personal, hands-on rituals and spells from her family lineage of gypsy witch magic to help you heal, manifest, and rediscover your powers. Above all, Lisa shows that we really are “the granddaughters of the witches that they couldn’t burn” – Book Description from Amazon

Book Details:
* Available on Kindle
* $15.99 for Paperback
* 304 pages long

Lisa Lister is a self-proclaimed “menstrual maven”, a third-generation gypsy witch, and the founder of something called SHE flow, a “personal invite for women to celebrate the fiercely feminine, sensual pleasure of being a woman through movement, massage, menstrual mysteries, and magic.”

I’m really on the fence about this book. Some parts of it are written well with good information, but others are full of exclusive and extreme feminism. Lisa Lister makes note in the “About This Book” section that this book will probably piss off traditional witches, Pagans, men, and the transgender community. And she’s not wrong. Even as a cisgender woman and feminist, I found a lot of the feminism-focused writing to be hard to read because of how exclusive it is. She talks of things like “pussy power” and “womb breathing”, centering the entirety of her feminism around those people who have vaginas, wombs, and a capability to menstruate. She calls these people women, but not all women have vaginas or wombs, and not all women want them or feel the “power” in their monthly cycle.

I can agree with some of her writing on patriarchy, but I disagree with her methods and teachings regarding how to combat the oppression that women have faced in the last several hundred years. She does make a good point about how, in ancient times, women were revered as magick-makers, and that our monthly cycle can be a magickal thing. Especially when you think about the fact that our cycle can align with the cyclic nature of the moon and Her phases.

Because of her style of writing and the words that she chooses, I actually decided to keep track of how many times she used the words womb and pussy, because it made me a little uncomfortable to read since I am not someone who centers my magickal experience around my menstrual cycle.

Womb: at least 77
Pussy: at least 10

She also states in her introduction that we must also connect with HE, the Divine masculine. “It’s time to connect with HE, the divine masculine, because wholeness is what we’re all seeking” (xvi), but she only mentions the Divine masculine maybe a handful of times in the entire book, surely less than I can count on one hand.

If you can get past the feminism and womb-centered idea of healing, you might like this book. I divided it into two different sections, because that’s how it appeared to me. The first half of the book is all about reclaiming the power of women using our wombs, vaginas, sexual appeal, and menstrual cycle. I didn’t like this part of the book because it is not a good representation of what I feel feminism should be (inclusive, not man-hating, and good for everyone, not just the women) and I don’t think this type of extreme feminism has a place in witchcraft.

The second half of the book has loads of good information regarding the Sabbats, moon phases, crystals, herbs, and spell work. She says some things that I definitely agree with in regards to tools, how to cast spells, and what needs to be done in terms of focus to help you be successful in your endeavors. She reminds us of what we so often forget, especially in the practice of Wicca. Working with the darkness is not inherently bad. Its like that saying in the witchcraft circles that I’ve seen. You can’t know how to heal if you don’t know how to curse. Now, that’s not something that a lot of people agree with, and that’s ok. It is a reminder that knowing the darkest parts of yourself will help you along in whatever it is that you want to do. You don’t need to embrace your shadow, but you do need to acknowledge that it is there and that it has a lesson to teach you.

“Its in the darkness that roots grow deeper…” (52)

“I invite you to feel into the truth behind the actions you hear or read about. Get curious. What was the motivation?” (61)

“We realize that we’re not separate after all. Instead, we’re interwoven; and the wisdom of Mumma Earth flows through each and every one of us.” (109)

“It’s the focus, concentration, intentions and desires that reside within YOU that are the real ‘tools’ of the witch.” (150)

“What’s important is that you cast your spell with honesty, clarity, focus, and intent.” (161)

She also says some things that I disagree with or that make me feel extremely uncomfortable. For example, the following quote in talking about five witch archetypes that she believes are part of each of us made me shudder. I don’t even want to think of anyone prodding my vagina with a broomstick, for any reason. I think she could have chosen much better words. Words that don’t bring about the shadow of sexual assault to those of us who have experience unwanted “prodding”.

“I share them as a broomstick-prod to your pussy…” (104)

She also seems to change the meaning of the word “virgin” and I’ve looked, trying to find a source for her definition (we know how much I love my sources). I found several articles that use this definition, but I couldn’t find a source for the so-called “ancient” definition of the word. Latin-Dictionary.net defines the Latin word “virgo” from which “virgin” originates as a “maiden, young woman, [or] girl of marriageable age”, so it is possible that the original meaning of the word virgin was somewhere along the lines of what Lisa writes, but it might be a bit far fetched to say that it meant sexually independent like she writes.

“Ishtar, Diana, Astarte and Isis were all called Virgin too, but that didn’t mean ‘sexually chaste’ as Christianity has had us believe. Instead, it meant ‘sexually independent’. A woman unto herself.” (66)

Overall, this book was okay. I was able to move past the feminism since I already have strongly held convictions regarding the topic. I enjoyed the writing about the different types of witches and religious paths, the section on crystals and their meanings, and the writing about the Sabbats. I also liked that she gave recipes and ritual frameworks based on her own practices so that we know she isn’t just writing to make a buck and regurgitating information.

Would I recommend this book? Yeah, but only if you don’t mind, or can get past, the way she writes about feminism, being a true woman witch, and healing from the womb and vagina. However, if you are new to the practice of witchcraft in any of its forms, new to feminism, are an identified male (or otherwise not a cisgender female), believe that trans-women are women, etc. I would not recommend this book for you unless you are capable of reading it while disregarding her unwillingness to be politically correct.

While I applaud Lisa for writing about something that she strongly believes in, and writing with such conviction, that part just wasn’t for me.

If you’d like to check out the book for yourself, click the link below.

Witch: Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic.


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