11 June 2022

Free-Reading Friday - but on a Saturday


 I was sick yesterday. I'm still a bit under the weather, but my energy is definitely up from yesterday, so I'll offer Friday's free readings today. 

Today's reading is Where will you be a year from now? If you want to know how things will be looking for you a year from now, hit me up in the comments, and I'll draw a couple of cards for a short reading. 

Readings good for today only. 

Photo by Viva Luna Studios on Unsplash

07 June 2022

01 June 2022

That Time I Tried to Call Down the Moon, but Called Up Something Else Instead.

 

Another tale from the 80s. This was the mid-80s, and I was living in a small but hip college town in the deep south. In those days, I was practicing witchcraft to the best of my ability, and I had a group of friends with whom I had formed a loose-knit but sincere newbie coven. 

We read books, we practiced various magical arts, and actually managed, despite ourselves, to become good at various things. I was pretty good at healing bones and muscle, for instance. Another friend became quite proficient at psychometry. And so on. 

One night we'd all taken a walk to a stretch of woodland near my house, where a stream rushed over some large boulders. Though not too far from civilization, the woods were fairly thick and gave a strong sense of isolation. 

One of our friends, a skeptic who had a reputation of not being the brightest bulb in the box, was in rare form that night, mocking our burgeoning esoteric interests. 

I wasn't really attempting to draw down the moon. I was actually trying to annoy our skeptical friend. I stood on a large flat rock in the middle of the stream. Moonlit water was flowing past me, pale and frothy, and over the sound of rushing water I could hear the skeptic's voice as I raised my arms dramatically. "Nothing is going to happen" he said, "nothing is going to happen."

And nothing happened, for a second, or two, or thirty. Then the world lit up like daylight. The light didn't come from any particular direction, it was simply dark one moment, then bright white the next. It was diffuse, coming from everywhere all at once. I almost want to say that it came up from the ground, but it seemed more immediate that that. Like I said, it had no source. It wasn't, then it was, then it wasn't again. 

I dropped my arms, shocked. I know I hadn't actually done anything, but of course I was being credited with the event anyway. After all, I was the one doing the dramatic priestess pose. 

In truth I was scared, and I know I wasn't the only one. One of my closer friends grabbed my hand on the walk back. We were both afraid that we'd return to a town that was no longer there. The light had been so bright we feared a nuclear explosion (yes, I know that sounds ridiculous now, but if you'd grown up during cold-war days, you'd understand).

But the town was there, my house was there, and I never discovered what happened that night. I did, however, gain quite a bit of street-cred as a witch. 

Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

27 May 2022

Free Reading Friday: A Message from your Future Self


 I like the idea of offering free readings every Friday, and each Friday will explore a different topic. If the topic interests you, feel free to comment. A short reading will be done for you, consisting of 2-3 cards, and a few sentences. I'll respond to your request in the comments. 

Today's topic is A Message from your Future Self. What does your future self want to tell you about what's currently happening in your life? If you are interested in finding out, hit me up in the comments. This reading is available through the weekend of the 27th. 

My own reading is as follows. I drew the Ancestry card from my oracle deck, as well as The Devil and The Sun from my tarot deck. Wowee, that packs a punch. 

I have had a lot of indications lately that my ancestors are reaching out to me, so the Ancestry card is not unexpected. I feel like this card punctuates an admonition to continue my ancestry work. It's important to do so in order to overcome the restrictions and distractions that plague me (The Devil) and find the warmth and enlightenment that I am seeking. (The Sun).

Thank you for this message, future me. 

Photo by Cristi Ursea on Unsplash

20 May 2022

Psalms Magic: How I Do It, Using Psalms 65 as an Example

 

Biblical Magic has been practiced since there was a Bible. Medieval grimoirists, occultists, witches and practitioners of folk magic have all used Bible verses and references to God, Jesus, saints and angels in their workings. The idea of witchcraft being a strictly pagan practice is fairly new. 

Don't get me wrong, I have a deep respect for pagan witchcraft, and I understand that many witches prefer to avoid all the trappings of Christianity, due to the harm that modern Christianity has done to them and others. I felt the same way for a very long time, and it took me over three decades to finally make some peace with my Christian roots. 
 
Despite making peace with Christianity, I am not a Christian. I consider myself a Gnostic in the broadest sense of the word, in that my personal gospel is based on my own experiences and knowledge, and not on any one book. I practice mysticism with a Christo-Gnostic flavor, and I do work extensively with Saints and Angels. I'm really into the Holy Spirit aspect of the Trinity, as both Sophia and Protennoia (Barbelo), and my power-trio of Saints include Mary Magdelene (straight up avatar of the Holy Spirit), John the Baptist (who channeled Holy Spirit via Baptism) and John the Evangelist (who channeled Holy Spirit via writing). 

But heck, I've only just started and here I am getting way off topic. 

Psalms magic. 

I have a special journal dedicated just to Psalms and biblical magic. It's not just a notebook, but an alter unto itself. Because I've experience housing instability a lot in recent years, I've made my magic portable as possible. Using the page of a journal as an altar keeps it simple, without the need to cart around loads of implements. 

My Psalms journal has been cleansed with holy water (my own holy water is a collection of river waters and spring waters, as well as sulfur water from Indian Springs in Georgia. Use whatever water you consider holy, whether from the well of a church, from Lourdes, or from the ocean, a lake or a river). I have also anointed my journal with Exodus Holy Oil. You can make your own, or you can buy it from a reputable source (I like the oil that Twilight Alchemy Lab makes).

To start a new working - in this case Psalm 65 - I open to a clean page. At the top I make a circle for a talisman. You can use a color corresponding to your working. Psalm 65 is for abundance, and using green or gold would be appropriate. I used green. You can also color your circle in with an appropriate color. 

You can make your talisman either by writing your name and a few keywords, such as abundance, prosperity, etc. Or by sigilizing your intention, if you're into sigils. 

Below my talisman, I write out the entire Psalm. I have a pen that I use only for magical work. It's cleansed and anointed. It's a special pen, more high-end than a Bic. It's red and gold, very Yin, fiery, active colors. I'll write out my Psalm with this pen (for more introspective journaling, I use a green pen). It can be a Psalm from any version of the Bible. I like more straightforward, modern versions, but if you prefer the archaic formality of the King James version, go for it.

You can light a candle, but you don't have to. I will usually anoint myself in an appropriate oil. For prosperity work I like King Solomon's oil, which grants money and the ability to use it wisely. If you have a money oil you like, use that. I also dab a little oil onto my talisman, then I read through the Psalm aloud, finishing with an Amen. 

Then I read through the Psalm again, more slowly and contemplatively. Every line or so, I go off into an improvisational tangent, allowing the symbolism of the Psalm to inspire me. For instance, when I reach line two: 

You who answers prayer,
    to you all people will come


I might add  "To You, all people will come, for there is nowhere You are not. You are within all things, and are all things, and Your abundance fills the Universe. "

And when I reach the lines: 

The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
    the hills are clothed with gladness.
 The meadows are covered with flocks
    and the valleys are mantled with grain;


The very mention of wilderness and flocks of sheep are going to remind me of John the Baptist, one of my power saints, so you know I'll end up going on a tangent there. Go on your own tangent, make the Psalm yours. 

Psalm 65 is a great place to start with abundance work, because it is a very approachable Psalm. Its symbolism is straightforward, and it is a Psalm about blessings, prosperity. The imagery of grain, and water, and flocks, all bring to mind the blessings of the earth. And it is a joyful, positive psalm. Can't recommend this one enough. 

After my initial reading, I'll go back and read the Psalm twice daily, in the morning, usually after a shower when I'm clean, and at night before bed. Sometimes I'll have a set number of days, and sometimes I'll repeat it for as long as feels right. 

All you need for Psalm magic is a Psalm. Everything else - oils, candles, waters, perfumes, herbs, colors - is your way of making it your own. I encourage you to experiment with this gentle but potent magical system. Let me know how you work with Psalms, or the Bible, in your regular practice, and how it works for you. 

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

 

16 May 2022

My Tarot and Oracle Decks - All of'em.

14 May 2022

Spiritual Nourishment

 

Karma

I do a Tarot reading every Monday, for the coming week. This weeks was weird. It recommended that I re-evaluate the source of my spiritual nourishment, in order to attract more money. I was not sure what those two things had to do with one another, to be honest. My spiritual practices usually seem far removed from my woeful financial circumstances. 

I've been poor all my life, or at least it feels that way. There have been moment of reprieve from the grinding poverty, but those have been few and far between. This time around I feel so stuck that I'm not sure there's any release beyond death (and no, I'm not rushing toward that solution. Like I said, I've been poor all my life, I can handle it if I have to, I just don't want to)

So I was randomly scrolling through a chat and saw someone discussing their reticence to charge for Tarot readings. And someone else replied "I've seen this before. Did you take a vow of poverty in a past life." The other person seemed to have a realization, as did I. 

Maybe I didn't take a vow of poverty in my past life, but it is very possible, nay, probably, that my poverty is karmic. I later had this confirmed in a tarot reading from someone else. 

Now I'm going to say that I do not have a very simplistic view of things like "karma" and "past lives". A lot of my views on these things are pretty out there and me even speaking in such terms are over-simplifying. But maybe I need to, for the time being, behave as if it is just that simple. 

Tomorrow is the north-node eclipse. A good time to do some karma-release work. And with it in scorpio, deep work on finances. I don't usually feel very positive about eclipses. They always throw me off, but this time I'm optimistic. 

I'll update in the future. 

10 May 2022

That Time the Matrix Glitched on Me.

 I've written about this before in other social media spots, so if you've seen it before, that was me. 


So let me preface by saying that animals will 100% grab my attention every time. Even if I don't pay much attention to humans, I love cute cats and dogs, and will fawn over them in any setting. 

This happened when I was working the self-checkout area in a very large retail store. The job was not the most mentally stimulating and I was mostly zoned out, but I perked up when a man stepped into the area with a beautiful golden retriever. Now, I wouldn't have noticed the guy at all if it weren't for his canine companion. I of course wanted to pet the dog, but it was obviously a service dog, and I know better to run squealing with grabby hands toward a dog who is on the job. 

The guy was unremarkable. Average height, brown hair, bearded, thin. He was wearing a baseball cap. I want to say it was red, but I don't really remember. I think he wore glasses. The dog was blond, of course. It looked healthy and well-groomed, was very well behaved, and was wearing what looked to be a medical saddle-bag that probably held medication. 

The man and his dog went to the far end of the self-checkout area, directly opposite of where I was standing, and the guy proceeded to scan his items while the dog sat patiently on the floor beside him. I watched the dog the entire time. When the guy finished bagging his items, he and the dog left the self-checkout area and headed toward the exit. I followed them with my gaze until the dog was out of sight.

When I turned my attention back to my work area, there, at the same register, was the same man - average height, bearded, wearing a hat, and his golden retriever with the saddle bags. He was scanning his items, same as before, with the dog sitting patiently on the floor beside him. But he'd just left!

There was no way he and the dog had had time to circle all the way around through the entrance and back to the checkout, even if they were running, which they weren't. It had only been a split second since they'd vanished from my sight. 

Could the guy have had a twin wearing the same clothes, with the same disability, accompanied by an exact service-dog replica? Maybe, but how had they walked past me to get into the self-checkout area without me seeing them. They would have had to pass just a few feet from me, and another dog would have been sure to catch my attention. 

I was discussing this occurrence with a friend recently, and we came to the conclusion that this stuff probably happens a lot more often than we think. We just usually aren't paying much attention. I freely admit that I would not have been paying attention at all, if it weren't for the dog. 

So, what do you think? Time loop? Glitch in the matrix? Is it a rare occurrence, or does it happen all the time? Let me know in the comments.

09 May 2022

15 Tarot Questions

 This is a 5 year old tag on YouTube, apparently started by Arwen.  I'm not entering a contest, since it's light years old, but I thought it would be fun to answer some of these questions. So here goes.

1. What is your current favorite deck?

Right now, it's Journey of the Sacred Bee. It's colorful, it's expressive, it has bees. I love it.


2. What Tarot card do you think stands for who you are now?

Knight of Swords. I've got that whole Gemini, ADHD thing going on. Lots of ideas, but with a wonky executive function.

3. What Tarot card do you think stands for who you want to be?

King of Swords. I love my thinky side, I love my ideas, but I just want to see myself a little more disciplined, and with a little more follow-through.

4. Draw a Tarot card and tell us how it answers the question, "What does the Universe want you to know  right now?"

6 of Wands. The Universe is saying "You got this!"

5. Do you have any cards that  you MUST love in  order to work with  a Tarot deck?

Yes. If I don't like the Hanged Man in a deck, then I won't use that deck. I can be more forgiving with other cards, but the Hanged Man better be awesome.

6. Why Tarot and not some other divination system?

I do use other divination systems. Astrology, Geomancy, I Ching, Chiromancy, Bibliomancy, and Lenormand to name a few. I've done some scrying and some channeling. I've used the ouija board but really hate it - not for fear reasons, but because it's incredibly boring. But I've been doing Tarot the longest and it is probably the most accessible.

7. What's the first book you can remember reading about Tarot  (other than the LWB [Little White  Book]?

Aleister Crowley's Book of Thoth. The Thoth deck was my first deck, and the Thoth system was the first system I learned.

8. What Tarot person would you like to sit down with  for a chat about Tarot?

The people I most love talking about Tarot with, are people that I speak with fairly regularly.

9. Tell me about one YouTube  Tarot channel that you watch (and why.)

Oh, I enjoy watching all of them, but TarotTube has the unfortunate side-effect of making me want more decks, which is why my wish-list is ungodly long.

10. How many Tarot decks do you have?

I had over 200 decks before Hurricane Katrina, some of them extremely valuable and highly sought-after. After losing them all, I decided from then on I would only keep decks that I read with. No more collecting for collecting's sake. Now, I'm not sure. Probably around 25 or 30.

11. Do you mix oracles and Tarot when you read?

Sometimes.

12. Have you ever created  your own Tarot card or deck?

Yes, I've created a Tarot deck, and started on an Oracle deck.

13. Do you read for yourself?

Yes

14. What are your favorite questions to  be asked when you do a reading for someone else?

Anything that isn't about romance.

15. What's the craziest thing that's happened to you during a reading?

I once gave a reading to a non-human parasitic entity, and that experience went on to have far-reaching effects on my life.

08 May 2022

That Time my Doppleganger went to a Gay Bathhouse


Back in the 80s I had a leather jacket that had been hand-painted by a friend's brother.  This jacket was one-of-a-kind. I am the only person who had a jacket like this. This is important. 

The friend whose brother had painted my jacket was named Mike. Because Mike's brother had painted the jacket, Mike was very familiar with the artwork on the back. One day Mike asked me "Why were you at the bathhouse last night?"

Not only was I not at the bathhouse the night before, I hadn't even been in the same town as the bathhouse the night before. I was 90 miles away. I told Mike this and he said "No, I saw you. I was in the pool and I saw you at the far end, standing at the edge of the pool talking to someone. You were wearing your lace dress and your leather jacket. I jumped out of the pool and ran to the other end but by the time I got there, you were gone."

Nothing I could say would convince him I wasn't there. And he was so familiar with that jacket that he would not have mistaken another for it. So, what can I say? My doppleganger was out that night having way more fun than I was. 


07 May 2022

That Time an Angel Appeared in my Living Room

 I've had many paranormal or supernatural encounters in my life, probably enough for me to consider them "normal" and "natural". Several should have been creepy, or downright scary, but I have this problem. My threat assessment skills are practically non-existent, so sometimes my reactions to frightening things are idiotic, to say the least. 


But there was one time, when I saw an angel, that was actually pretty fucking scary. 

I should backtrack a bit. I'm an occultist. Not a good one, but one nonetheless. I've been practicing occultism, witchcraft or magic in one form or another since I was old enough to know what that was. I've had a fascination with witches and woo for as long as I can remember. My interests were probably influenced a great deal by my great-gramma and the subtle folk-magics that she would practice around the house (not to mention her clairvoyance). Another influence was probably my love of horror-movies, an interest I shared with my dad. We'd sit up and watch the Friday Night Frights on TV every weekend, often until dawn. A lot of those old movies portrayed witchcraft or voodoo. Badly, to be sure, but it was still enough to fascinate my young mind. 

Getting way off track here. I'm a crappy occultist and I'm surprised I'm not dead yet. It's bad enough that my astral travel practices managed to fling me into a parallel universe (I swear, I'll write about that one another time), but I've had some spectacular failures. 

Not sure whether to count this one as a failure or not. I summoned an Angel, and was surprised when one appeared. 

It was the second time an entity had appeared, fully formed and visible, in my living room, but was the first time it was an angel. It did not look like the accompanying picture to this post, but it also didn't look quite like how people portray the biblically accurate ones. 

At the time, I was living at my mother's house, caring for my terminally ill mother. It was 2008. I was sleep-deprived and silently dealing with a grief I couldn't show. I knew she was dying but I was trying to keep everything about her. I know I failed in this regard sometimes. There were cracks in my facade. Usually the emotions that seeped out through those cracks were directed at my mother's nurses, or at my mother's drunk and useless husband. 

I tried to keep up my spiritual practices as best I could in the situation, but if I had been half-assing it in the past, then during my mother's illness, I was quarter-assing it. One night after tucking my mom into bed, I did an Enochian Key on the fly. Just a quick and quiet reading with a bit of holy oil as my only trapping. Knowing me I was probably wearing pajamas. 

After my less than stellar performance, I went online to chat with a friend. I think in those days we mostly talked via email. Not very streamlined, but it worked. A light in the corner of the room, up near the ceiling, caught my eye and I turned my head to see what I still to this day have a hard time describing. It was like a series of lines, curves and angles, kind of metallic and shiny, surrounded in a golden glow. But this really doesn't come close to describing its alien strangeness. As I looked at it, it vanished, not all at once. It seemed to get sucked out of material existence, like water funneling down a drain. Like it was being pulled into a black hole. 

It didn't scare me at first. In fact, I was kind of like "huh, that was somethin'". I told my friend about it and she said "It sounds like an angel". Neither one of us was completely comfortable with that idea, but considering what I'd just been doing, it did seem a safe bet that it was indeed an angel. 

The fear crept up slowly and settled on me in the days, weeks and years afterward. For a while it became a full-blown phobia. I didn't want to see another angel. But I did. More than once, and wasn't too happy about it. 

I have, in recent years, come to terms with angels. It didn't matter whether or not I wanted to work with them, it seems I opened a door, and they intend to work with me. I refer to myself as a reluctant angel-whisperer these days, though I'm less reluctant than I was. Angels are now a part of my regular practice, but they are most definitely not fluffy, chiffon-wearing androgynes or be-winged babies. I know all too well they are not that. 

In the past few years I've started to lean more toward mysticism, and less toward magic. Maybe it's old age. Maybe it's because I'm a better mystic than I ever was an occultist. Don't get me wrong, magic is still plentiful in my life, but mysticism kicks ass and due to my mystical practices, my connection with angels (and my power trio of saints) has gotten much stronger. 

05 May 2022

Sentimental Decks

 This tag was started by James Feeney. I'm too ugly for YouTube, but I do like answering some of these prompts, so I will stick to blogging. This is a tough prompt. I'm a sentimental person to be sure, but there aren't a lot of decks that I get sentimental over. I either love a deck, or I don't. I'm more likely to get sentimental over decks that I've been given, but those are few and far between. This list is likely to be a short one.


Thoth Tarot

The Thoth Tarot was my first deck. I got it when I was 15 years old, and the Thoth system was the first
Ace of Swords

one I learned. There was a time when I was a lot more Thelemic than I am now, and I still have a soft spot for Uncle Al, even though his glaring flaws are a lot more obvious to me now that I'm older and wiser. 

But, some of his rituals still serve me well. (I'm one of the few people who prefer Liber Samekh over earlier versions of the Headless Rite. It packs a wallop, for sure). 

And lets face it, Lady Frieda Harris' artwork is sublime. 

I no longer use my Thoth deck for readings. For the last some years I've been using the individual cards as sigils. But I still cherish my Thoth deck, and though I've since learned RWS and Marseille, my readings still tend to be influenced by the Thoth system. My brain still loves to insert all those astrological and alphabetic correspondences. Eh, once a Thothie, always a Thothie.

Crow Tarot

8 of Swords

My Crow Tarot was a gift from a dear friend, and it arrived at a difficult time in my life, not long after my life-altering surgery. It was also during a time when I was seeing black animals a lot. Not only plenty of crows, but American black vultures, black slugs, and black rabbits. It all felt very omeny. 

I didn't get to use my Crow Tarot much in the beginning, because the shit really hit the fan soon after, and I was uprooted by Hurricane Ida. Omens, amiright?

Once I did get to sit with the Crow Tarot for a while, I found it not only to be a beautiful deck, but also very expressive and easy to read. It was also one of the first decks that I edged (in a rich brown, to match the backs), and it really feels like one of my decks. 

Lunatic Tarot

High Priestess

I've had many decks in my lifetime that were expensive, or difficult to acquire, but nearly all of those were lost in Hurricane Katrina (Ida was not my first rodeo). The Lunatic Tarot, if I remember correctly, was rather difficult to get my hands on. I got the large version first, which was larger than postcard size and in a book form, so not useable as a deck. Then I finally was able to snag the tarot-sized deck. 

It's an odd deck, to say the least, but I actually found it pretty easy to read with. It seems especially attuned to romantic situations, and does fantastic romance readings. But, as the least romantic person on earth, I have little opportunity these days to reach for it. 

Even though I don't use it as much as I used to, it's still a well-loved deck and I'm glad I still have it. 

Quantum Tarot


This was a gift from the same friend who sent me the Crow Tarot. I seem to remember getting it back when I was caring for my terminally ill mother, but my chronology is all out of whack so don't quote me on that. The edition of the Quantum Tarot I have is definitely the 1st Ed. and I don't know how much the cards have changed since then but I did bust it out recently to play with it and it is just as beautiful as I remember. 

I never used to use it much because I was worried about damaging the edging, but these days, I don't concern myself with such things. The more worn a deck is, the more loved it is. 


01 May 2022

Identity Crisis.

 My entire life, I have always tested as ENTP on the Meyers-Briggs test. And it certainly does fit to a certain extent. I love to hear myself talk, and I'll argue about nearly anything. But today, I took what was meant to be an accurate test, and tested as an ENFP. What?

Brain

Now I'm having an identity crisis. 

Still, I can definitely see myself in an ENFP as well. I like championing the underdog. I love to help people and am great at accomplishing things when I'm supposed to be doing something else. I have myriad interests, I suffer from "the-grass-is-greener" syndrome, and man can I procrastinate. In fact, procrastinating was what I was doing when I took that damn test today. 

I've decided to roll with it. If I strategize as if I am an ENFP, what will happen (experimenting - typical entp trait, ha!). I'm treating myself as an ENFP for a while. I mean, after all, we all both feel and think, and I've always scored right near the line between F and P, so it isn't so far-fetched that I could be an ENFP disguised as an ENTP. 

What personality type are you, and how do you feel about it? 

26 April 2022

Reading for a Rough Night

 I'm having a particularly rough night tonight. I feel like I'm trying to do everything at once: heal the trauma of abuse, recover financially from a hurricane (and surgery, and financial abuse), and grieve my brother, who died recently of complications from long Covid. It feels like too much, and yet I don't have the luxury of taking one thing at a time. I have to do these things, all of them. I have to get back on my feet again. 


My mind is in such turmoil, I don't even know what question to ask the cards. "Dafuq am I meant to do here?" is about all I can come up with. 

Just before drawing a card, I heard the word "Pray" in my head. Then from the LightSeer's Tarot, I drew the Ace of Wands, the Ace of Swords, and the 4 of Swords. Both those Aces look like prayers to me, Wands being contemplative, and Swords beaming thoughts into the sky in a manifesty kind of way. These two cards also remind me that I have an opportunity here for growth, and that I actually do have a great many ideas, some of which I've begun to put into motion. 

And that 4 of Swords just screams "Get some damn rest". I think I'll take the advice of the cards, say some prayers, and get some sleep. Maybe things will look different in the morning. 

23 April 2022

This is Not a Tarot Blog

 I know at this point it sure looks like it's a tarot blog, and tarot is a huge part of my life, so there was definitely going to be a lot of tarot in here anyway. I engage, or rather, engaged, in a wide variety of mystical and occult practices, but that was kind of interrupted by Hurricane Ida. I lost nearly everything I owned to that storm and its aftermath


, but I did manage to salvage my tarot decks, and some of my magical accoutrements. But where I am now, space is limited so I turn to tarot a lot as my spiritual touchstone. 

I also do a lot of meditation, contemplation, and prayer, but I'm not sure anyone would want to read about another person's meditation. 

So for now, there is likely to be a lot of tarot content. But hey, who doesn't love tarot. 

21 April 2022

Lately: the Bad

Time to get  honest, despite being hesitant. Today's card is the 3 of Wands, all about moving forward. But if I'm going to move forward, I need to come to terms with the past. Life has not been kind to any of us the past few years. Unless you are a billionaire. And because I know how much we've all suffered, it's hard for me to talk about my own suffering. But I would like to get things out in the open, to give you all the context from which I am working, writing and striving. 


It's hard to know where to start. My struggles go back a long way. It seems like hurricane Katrina was the beginning, but after losing everything in that storm, I did manage to eek my way back to almost normal, though it took a very, very long time. 

I think I'll begin with that thing that sank us all. The pandemic. Now, 2020 was not a horrible year for me. As years go, it wasn't bad. I had a decent job, and I had a bit of padding in my savings account. When a (then) friend suggested I come back to Louisiana, well, I figured it was time. I didn't go back to New Orleans, but I landed instead in Thibodaux. I had a little duplex that I loved, my cats were happy, I could work from home, and I felt like life was looking up. 

Then in early 2021 I got sick, really sick, and needed a major emergency surgery. I woke up with a body that had changed entirely, and recovery was long and difficult. My friend that had suggested I move back to Louisiana skedaddled out of my life, and I developed complications from doing physical labor that I had no business doing. 

Then in August Hurricane Ida hit. I managed to get into a hurricane shelter with my cats at the last minute, and I won't go into detail what it's like in a shelter with no electricity and four cats that are being cooped up in kennels. But at least they were allowed to be with me. In Katrina I wouldn't go to a shelter because pets were not allowed. I was ready to die with my cat, and would have, had my neighbor not taken me along when she evacuated. 

A friend got me out of the shelter some days later and took me to Alabama. I will never not be grateful for the rescue, but they turned out to be alcoholic, narcissistic, and increasingly abusive. It reached the point where I was very afraid. I did not mind paying rent, but they made sure I wasn't able to work enough to make extra for savings - they took everything. I had no door on my room and no privacy. I was expected to cook but constantly accused of adulterating food. I wasn't even allowed to take a shower. I have a colostomy, and access to hygiene is extremely important for my health. But there were times I was even accused of faking my ostomy (I guess I wear this bag for show). What I'm saying it, it got bad. I was only able to escape because they got covid and quarantined elsewhere, giving me time to arrange a quick and very frantic exit. 

Now I'm safe, but I'm nowhere near stable. My situation is temporary. The cats are with me and we're trying to rebuild our lives in one of the worst economies I've seen in this lifetime. But I'm going to move forward, and maybe chronicling my forward motion well help me maintain clarity and perspective. 

A dear friend created a GFM for me if you want to read it. (the part about the abusive rescuer was left out because they knew the location of the GFM and we feared it might trigger another narcissistic rage and put me in further danger). I'm not asking for donations - it just includes some details from another perspective if you're interested in knowing more about me and my situation. 

So, yet another journey begins here. 

I'll also be writing a post about the good soon. Most of it touches on my spiritual journey, but I want to remember the good in the spirit of gratitude. It hasn't been all bad, and there have been many spiritual blessings along the way. And I am especially grateful for the kind and supportive friends who have helped me through this difficult time. I love y'all. 

30 March 2022

My Deep-divers (and maybe a couple of Double-dippers)

A deep diver seems to be different things to different people. Some people see it as a deck that contains a lot of symbolism and requires a great deal of study. Others see it as a deck that assists in uncovering layers of complexity in the psyche, or decks that are used for spiritual or emotional development. I'm firmly in the "all of the above" category. 

Deep-Divers

Hierophant
First up has just got to be my Spirit Keeper's Tarot by Benebell Wen, and I apologize for listing a deck that is currently unavailable. This deck has so, so many uses for me. It is a support deck for my mystical practices, a deck I use for evocation and invocation, a tool for communication with ancestors, spirit guides, angels and the divine, as well as a divination oracle. I don't allow others to touch it, and it is mostly used for myself, though I do make exceptions. I've been known to use it when reading for one of my Plutonic partners. 

I do have 2 editions, the original, which I have actually altered a bit to make it my own (I can hear the gasps now), and the Revelations edition. I did have the Vitruvian but sadly I had to sell it, due to some dire financial circumstances after my surgery. 

10 of Disks

Second on this list is the Tarot of the Holy Light by Christine L Payne-Towler and Michael R Dowers. I think I have the 1st Ed, but I really haven't paid much attention to release dates since I first acquired my copy, which was ages ago. This one took a while for me to warm up to, because it utilizes the continental system, which never fails to throw me off. But I have found if I focus on the symbolism contained within the images (and just not look at the astrological correspondences), I go much further with this deck. 

I'm glad I've stuck with it. I'm a Gnostic and there aren't many decks with a strong Gnostic theme, designed by a Gnostic, so I really appreciate this deck. I use it primarily for spiritual guidance and for pathworking and contemplation. 

Hermit

The Mary El Tarot  by Marie White is another of my Deep Divers, mainly due to the learning curve. It's a gorgeous deck full of lush and often dark imagery, and the overall sense of the deck can only be described as "otherworldly". All that said, it has taken me a minute to find my footing with this deck. It doesn't, as far as I can tell, follow the Thoth or the RWS systems. I have heard some readers call it a Marseilles deck but I strive to find that reflected in the deck's imagery. I do find it to be a great deck to read intuitively, focusing solely on the images, but I also feel a lot can be gained from more intense work with the deck. 

I have both the 1st and 2nd editions. The card stock of the 1st was very troublesome for me, and since I don't trust myself with trimming, I didn't use it so much. I know some of the illustrations were changed for the 2nd edition, but I just never got familiar enough with the first edition to be bothered by the changes. I'm very pleased with my 2nd edition.

Double-Dippers


ace of cups

My first Double-dipper has got to be the Tabula Mundi by MM Meleen. From the moment I laid eyes on this deck I knew it was for me. Bold colors, plenty of symbolism and correspondences, beautifully detailed artwork. And it is a deep-diver for me. I use it a lot for spiritual work and occult guidance, but I can just as easily pick it up and give myself a nice, clear and concise reading. 

It's a Thoth-based deck and I learned tarot using the Thoth system, and so reading with the Tabula Mundi deck was a breeze, right out of the box. I can't say enough good things about this deck, it's truly magnificent. 


Hierophant

Well, it had to happen. You all knew the Alchemical Tarot by Robert M Place would be on this list somewhere. It is genuinely my hardest-working deck. If I want to go deep, I have lots of alchemical symbolism to work with, but the images are so expressive and insightful, that it offers a great deal of clarity. This deck is never very far from me. I can use it for client readings just as easily as I can for spiritual guidance for myself. 

I have the second edition and I've often considered getting one of the later editions but I just adore the rose on the backs. And I'm not sure if the card stock will have changed in later editions (I just love the size and flexibility of the 2nd edition). This is my deck. 

10 March 2022

My Sharp-shooters

     

I'm a little late with this one, but I do like the prompt. I think it was Mags Black who started this particular tag. I plan to do a future post on Deep-Divers, and I think I'll do a third post on decks that can fill both those rolls. I guess I'll call those Double Dippers. 

Sharp-Shooters

The Wheel

I take sharp-shooter to mean a deck that is always to the point and on the money, and my first deck in that category can only be The Journey of the Sacred Bee Tarot. I kind of expected it to be more of a deep-diver but when I began using it, the messages were clear and concise - not to mention brutally honest. It is frequently the kick in the pants I need. However when I use it in conjunction with it's companion oracle, the Wisdom of the Sacred Bee, it tends to take me a lot deeper with the layers of meaning. 

And speaking of sacred bees, just as a side note I'll mention that Kelly of Sacred Soul productions is working on a 3rd Sacred Bee tarot. This one seems to be RWS-based, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of it. 

8 of Swords

Second sharp-shooter is the Crow Tarot, by MJ Cullinane. This one was a gift from a friend, and it is gorgeous. I love crows, and you wouldn't think that a tarot deck featuring a single animal would be so expressive, but it is. Overall the images reflect the RWS system, and readings tend to be very clear and on-point. I mean, seriously, just look at that 8 of swords. 

Crow Tarot was one of the first decks I edged - I was really driven to kind of make it my own. I edged it in a deep brown to match the backs and love it. I do hope one day, when my budget allows, to grab the companion deck, the Urban Crow Oracle (and the expansion pack). 

Emperor

I reckon I'll have to add the Light Seer's Tarot by Chris-Anne to this list. I will admit, I didn't think I would like the Light Seer's tarot. I know it is extremely popular with the cool kids over at YouTube, but it felt a little too modern for an old fogey like me. Then I saw it on sale and thought it would be an inexpensive way to scratch my itch for a new deck. Turns out I like it a lot. It's more timeless than modern, and the images are really engaging. It's a really concise reader that packs a punch. I frequently reach for it for morning reads, and I would feel very comfortable using it for client readings as well. I'm glad I gave it a chance. 

Next up, you had to know this one would be on here. It's the Modern Spellcaster's Tarot. This deck is just so comfortable, so pretty, and so evocative that it reads like
Strength

a dream. I know a lot of people don't like how they've switch the elements on the swords and wands, and to be honest, that elemental attribution doesn't appeal to me either, but in this deck it's not really noticable except on the Aces. Everything else in the deck more or less follows the RWS system, and the meanings are so evident from the pictures. It's also very inclusive with regards to race and sexual orientation. The 2 of Cups is two fellas, the 4 of Wands is two women celebrating a hand-fasting, and the Lovers card features two people so heavily robed and cowled you can project any gender you like onto it. The cards are flexible, they shuffle beautifully and fit my hands perfectly. I just enjoy using this deck, and it's a frequent flyer when I do client readings.

I actually need a new Modern Spellcasters Tarot. Something sticky got on the death card and it's missing some ink, so I'm putting it back on my wishlist. 

3 of cups

This list wouldn't be complete without mentioning a RWS deck. Now I came pretty late to the RWS system. I learned how to read tarot with the Thoth system, and it was decades before I began learning the RWS system. I don't think I even ever owned an RWS deck until I broke down and got the Borderless Centennial Edition. And it is definitely a sharp-shooter for me. Took me a long time before I even picked it up and started working with it, but it has superb clarity and is super easy to read. I know a lot of people have some nitpicks with the Borderless Edition, but I really love it. 

And two runners up for this list are my Pixie's Lenormand and the Trionfi Della Luna.   The former is, of course, a Lenormand deck, and the latter is a Marseille-style deck. I've only recently begun learning both those systems, but I do find both these decks to be very on-point and easy to read. 

31 January 2022

Seven Decks for Seven Heavenly Virtues



I believe this tag began with the Antonia's Bliss Youtube channel, and is a follow-up to the Deadly Sins tag. Again, I thought it was a fun idea, so I rolled with it.

The Prompts for this tag is as follows:
Prudence- Your most practical/all-purpose deck
Justice- A deck you use to make decisions
Fortitude - A deck that doesn't pull punches
Temperance - A deck pairing you love
Faith - A deck you use for spiritual guidance
Hope - A deck for dark times/a hug deck
Charity - A deck you would give to someone.

 Prudence

Hierophant

I hate to keep putting this deck in every post but it is what it is. The Alchemical Tarot by Robert M Place is my primary workhorse deck. I never fail to receive a clear reading from it. When I hold it in my hands it feels like it belongs there. I know a lot of people find the alchemical symbolism a bit obscure, but for some reason, the images are just so evocative to me. I have the 2nd Edition (the one with the rose on the back) and it's a bit worn from being handled so much but that just improves the energy for me. The illustrations are detailed without being cluttered, and are very... orderly, if that makes any sense. Yes, there's a very firm structure to the deck, and for a chaotic person like myself, having that solid structure makes an enormous impact on my readings. 

Justice

Emperor

I'm not big on having decks designated for specific types of readings, with some exceptions. There are decks I use primarily for magic or for mystical practices, and I have one deck that just loves to be used for romance readings. (I don't do a lot of romance readings, but should I ever need to, I have a deck for that). Usually I just grab whatever deck I'm drawn to for a specific reading. And when I have a decision to make, I check my astrological transits, then draw a few cards in relation to the transits.

The last deck I used to make a decision was the Light Seer's tarot. It's a deck I was on the fence about getting, because it felt a little too modern for me, but once I got it, I found it felt more timeless than modern, and it gives very accurate readings. 

Fortitude

3 of Swords

I do have quite a few brutally honest decks, but I think the one that surprised me the most with it's no-holds-barred truthfulness was my Journey of the Sacred Bee tarot. I kind of expected it to be a soft, huggy, fluffy deck, like a bumble-bee's butt. Instead it has punched me in the face repeatedly, and that's okay too. Sometimes we need a kick in the pants. 

And combined with it's companion oracle, it really hits home, harder than I care to mention. I love both decks and I can see myself using them for many years to come. 


Temperance


It would be cheap of me to place the Sacred Bee decks into this category after using them for Fortitude, but I do kind of feel like they belong here. But I'll switch it up, though I'll be cheating a bit. A pairing I love is the Radiant Sun Oracle paired with anything. The astrological aspect of the cards just seem to add an extra layer of oomph to my readings and I find myself reaching for it pretty often. I know a lot of people like to pair their decks aesthetically, and that is awesome, but I can barely be bothered to find a t-shirt that matches my sweat pants, so don't expect me to be all aesthetic when it comes to deck pairings. I like Radiant Sun because it works and it works well, with just about any other deck, or on its own. It's small, easy to handle, with engaging images and varied keywords. 

Faith

The Priestess

I've mentioned in past posts that I use my SKT for spirit communication, invocation, angel work and more. It is definitely one of my go-to decks for spiritual work. But not my only one. I used the Angel Tarot to work with the Shem Angels last year but my work was interrupted by Hurricane Ida, and I also felt like I resonate more deeply with Enochian angel work than with the Shem Angels. I still got a lot out of the experience, even if it was truncated by a natural disaster, and am happy to recommend the deck to anyone interested in the serious pursuit of angel communication. 

Another deck I love for spiritual guidance is my Tabula Mundi Tarot by MM Meleen. It's a Thoth based tarot, so the symbolism is right up my alley. The artwork is beautiful and engaging, and it is suitable for more occulty work. 

Hope

Death

I had to think about this one for a minute. Do I even have a huggy tarot deck? But yes, I do, or at least one that makes me smile, and that's the Naked Heart Tarot. It's a gorgeous tarot that features mostly animals, some objects, and a few humanoid figures. The detailed images really pop off the white backgrounds of the cards. Not every card is fluffy and positive - there's some challenging images on some of the cards. But for me it's a reassuring deck. It's also very easy to read - the illustrations are very intuitive and clear. 

Charity

I'm probably not going to answer this one. I like to give decks to people based on what I think they'll enjoy and use. I can't pick one deck that I want to give everyone so I'll just bow out of this last category gracefully. 

19 January 2022

So I did a thing

 


I went back through some old - very old - posts and re-published a few of them. A few of them are hard for me to read, but they also remind me that I have gotten through some truly awful times. If I did it once (or twice, or five times) I can do it again. 

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