Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg Review


This is my review of the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg, which as I'm writing this I still consider my home deck.  You'll notice in the photos and video that my deck is quite worn and that is because I purchased this deck back in 1999 or 2000 and for over a decade it was the sole deck that I read with.  The author of this deck is typically credited as Cynthia Giles and the illustrator is Yury Shakov, though there are sources that credit him as the author as well but I do believe that Giles wrote the little white book that came with the deck. (I've lost mine so I can't check.)  I've also seen different sources cite the deck as being published in different years over a decade apart.  My deck has the date 1992 on the cards and it was published by U.S. Game Systems Inc.

There's actually a little bit of mystery surrounding this deck's creation. The deck features Russian themes done as miniature paintings surrounded by a frame in a Faberge style.  The cards feature Russian people and fairy tales.  They were done as a series of miniature paintings.  Sharkov sketched all 78 cards but he only finished one painting before his death.  The rest of the deck was painted by an unknown Russian artist, which I find a bit odd for a deck that came out in the '90's.  Despite the fact that this is a Russian deck done by Russian artists the deck is completely in English.


The deck is done in the Rider Waite Smith system with 22 cards in the major arcana and 56 in the minor arcana which is broken into four suits (clubs, coins, swords, cups).  While the art is definitely distinctly Russian it does follow the themes and symbols of the RWS very closely and is a good deck for beginners or for those who like the RWS system but want something a little different.  Those who read a little more intuitively from the artwork on their cards will find this rich artwork full of things to trigger their intuition.





There are a couple of trump cards that I like to show in my reviews partly because I just think they are some of the more iconic cards.  The Lovers and The Devil are pretty stunning in this deck and are very similar to the RWS.  Death does not resemble the horseback figure in the RWS deck but it is a powerful image that does convey a definitive ending of something.




This deck is not reversible, the art on the backs is painted to go in one direction.  My one criticism of this deck is that the edges became worn very quickly but the deck has held up over all and the card stock is pretty sturdy to hold up after all these years.


If you'd like to see all 78 of the cards you can check out my flip through video here.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Modern Spellcaster's Tarot Review


I was going to wait to review this deck until I had worked with it some more, but then I decided that I wanted to do the review while the deck was new because I didn't want how I will come to interpret the cards to influence my readers.  This is a deck that you will have to make your own interpretations of, as that seems to be what the creator intends.

The deck comes with a companion book which gives some info for beginners on the author's suggestions of how to read tarot.  The book also talks about her ideas on deck care, cleansing/charging your deck, and some spreads you can try.  Based on what Marquis says about using your intuition to read, the book gives the impression that it is intended that readers find their own meanings for much of the imagery in the cards. There's nothing really wrong with having the intention of readers interpreting the cards in their own way, some of the imagery though is so different from the traditional that I personally would have really liked some explanations as to why certain images were chosen and I'll point some of that out as we go forward in this review.

Modern Spellcaster's Tarot is, in some respects, very close to the Rider Waite Smith system but at the same time there are places where it is very different.  You have a 78 card deck with the usual suspects in the major arcana and in the minors you have the typical four suits (wands, swords, cups, and pentacles).



Many will be happy to see that this deck is progressive in a couple of regards.  First the deck is very multi-racial and two of the cards feature homosexual couples.  There are also a couple of cards in the deck that, in my opinion, could hint at polyamory.



Above you find two ways in which this deck differs from the RWS.  Where the elemental associations are concerned, the creator of this deck switched wands to corresponding with air and the swords with fire.  There are many readers who don't like when a deck switches these and to be honest I'm not thrilled with it but I'll work around it.  While the aces of each suit clearly show the variation in elemental correspondences the rest of the cards in those two suits don't beat me over the head with it.  Also deviating from the norm is which suit has been assigned to which season in this deck.  Yet another thing I wish the author would have discussed, the book doesn't even go into the fact that each suit is set in a different season and that they associated different seasons with different suits than you traditionally see.  I really would have liked if the book would have pointed this out and explained why they choose to do this.




There are several reoccurring symbols in the deck and there is a list with their meanings in the beginning of the book.  You can see some of them in the pictures above.  Some of the symbols are the dot within the circle, the triangle within a square, the square, the eight pointed star, the pentagram, the yin yang, the triquetra, and the six pointed star.



There are several animals that are seen again and again in the deck.  They are the wolf, the dog, the turtle, winged insects, birds, bulls, fish, and squirrels.  Their meanings are listed in the beginning of the book along with the reoccurring symbols.

Next, I'm going to discuss a few cards that I have some questions about or issues with and cards that other readers or clients might have an issue with.


So, she's growing some herb in this card. While I find this more humorous than anything, you may want to keep this little tidbit in mind when deciding if you want to use this deck to read for clients in general or just be mindful of whether or not your client is anti-ganja.


The traditional meaning of movement is very evident in this Chariot, but there is only one horse.  Since one of the meanings I use for the chariot is mastery over conflicting energies I like the image of the charioteer showing control over the black and white horses.  This certainly doesn't break the deck, it just means I will read this card a little differently when I use this deck and you'll find that true of several cards in this deck.


What is up with this Devil card?  We have a deck that really doesn't use any of the Christian symbolism that you find in the RWS and then you have a Devil card that is more literal than its counterpart in the RWS.  What's the deal with the pig person and the fish face?  I can see the logic with the pig, given that we're going with concepts of an evil entity that loves to see people engage in swine-like behavior, but I'm not seeing the connection between fish and a devil.  Maybe she's a Shakespeare buff and is making an allusion to the Shakespearean insult of a fish monger.  Again, the book explaining the choices made in the cards would be very helpful here.  Also, there is no explanation of the symbol above his head.  What description she does give of this card is very much more akin to Satan mythos than how I myself and many other readers interpret this card typically.  While a deck creator doing something different from the traditional is/can be a great thing in this case it really seems to go in a different direction than the rest of the deck.  While I've never thrown a card out of a deck, I am considering removing this card because of how she describes it and what it is intended to invoke in the reader.


In case you ever wondered what a hierophant is here ya go...a person, especially a priest in ancient Greece, who interprets sacred mysteries or esoteric principles.  I really have to throw out my traditional meanings for this card when using this deck.  While, again, the book doesn't do much deciphering of the card Marquis does say that this card represents large religious organizations and governments dominating the masses.  Not meanings I've ever seen for this card before.  Given that, the faceless figure with the scourge makes sense.  What does the B B stand for though?  Brightest Blessings?  Blessed Be?  Bouncing Bunnies? She couldn't have thrown the readers a bone here?  Again, for a deck that's supposed to be moving away from the Christian symbology why is the man depicted as a devil?  Why is the woman green?  Is this supposed to depict these organizations trying to control our carnal urges and fertility?


Overall I like this depiction of the Empress.  She is intended to be pregnant in this card but she doesn't really look it to me. Once I read that she's supposed to be pregnant then I could kind of see a baby bump there. The use of Inguz (fertility) seems apt, though I'm not one to work with runes.  My question with this card is, why is she green?  I get that green represents fertility but couldn't we have used some green plant life instead of making her look like a martian?


Why is this card called "Judgement?"  They really should have completely renamed this card in my opinion.  The card represents death and rebirth according to the book and I have to agree the imagery goes along with that.  What does death and rebirth have to do with judgement though?  If you believe in a judgement day then I guess that would make sense but chances are the people this deck is geared towards do not subscribe to a judgement day theory.  Instead of reading this card as I would in other decks I'll be reading it as rebirth, reinvention of self, endings that transform us into something new, transformation, etc.  Like I say elsewhere in this review, it's okay that the creator of the deck is deviating from the RWS meanings but I personally think this card should have been renamed something that makes more sense, like Rebirth perhaps.


I actually do not have an issue with this Hanged Man, but I know that others do.  The biggest issue seems to be that he isn't upside down.  Why does that matter?  Well the book doesn't say that the figure inside there is supposed to be Odin but many people feel that it is.  I showed this card to my husband, who doesn't read tarot but knows a lot about Norse mythos, and his response was, "Is that supposed to be Odin?"  So, definitely an Odin vibe and he too was upset that Odin wasn't upside down as that is how he hung in the story where he discovers the runes.  I've also heard some grumblings about the figure, whether you believe he is Odin or not, being restrained.  I personally like that part of the image and it will slightly alter how I interpret this card when I read with this deck.


Here we have another card that leaves me with more questions.  Why is she faceless?  I can come up with a couple of suggestions and as I work with the deck I'm sure I'll settle on one or two reasons of my own.  I can draw my own conclusions as to why the number three is represented on the pillars, but why is it sideways on the white pillar?  Why is there a black pillar and a white pillar?  We don't have the Hebrew associations with the pillars in this deck so why were all of those associations thrown out and the black and white pillars left?  Why on earth is there a baby?  Even the meanings listed in the book don't give any clue as to why there is a baby.  One thing I do really like is Perth (initiation) being on the pillars.


More black and white pillars, but that's not what really gives me pause about this card.  I mean I can always just use traditional color meanings to explain the pillars.  When I first looked at this card I was in love.  Then I noticed that she was holding a pomegranate and I thought it was odd that justice would be holding the pomegranate instead of the High Priestess but I could see where you could get a justice theme out of Persephone eating the pomegranate seeds.  Then I noticed the hand or lack there of holding the pomegranate.  Why is the flesh of her hand violently severed from her arm and just bones left to hold the pomegranate?  This is really something I would have liked her to explain in the book.


Since the Sun card is associated with joy and positive things it seems a little odd to have a sun-like symbol on this card.  I realize that the sun is producing the fire which in this case is meant to symbolize destruction and pain, but the sun just doesn't jive for me.  The triquetra also doesn't fit to me, even using the author's associations for it.  I think she's going for manifestation but, and I can only speak for myself, I interpret this card as very much being in the midst of the pain and of the event causing it having just happened or even if it happened some time ago the client is not in a place where they are ready to start to rebuild.


Death is a very dark card.  This works for me but others may find things like the flayed face off-putting.  Consider your client when deciding if you want to use this deck to read for someone.

 

I don't have an issue with the Fool but I wanted to show it because there is a leap of faith element, in my opinion, to the Fool in this deck that I quite enjoy.



The cards are not reversible, as you can see from their backs.  These cards have a sort of texture to them that is kind of hard to describe.  Best I can do is to say that the fronts are smooth but the backs are almost like a soft grit.  The texture of the cards felt a little odd at first but the more I handle them the more I like it.  Card stock is on the flimsy side but the deck does shuffle well for me.

If you'd like to see the whole deck you can check out my flip through video.



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Does Tarot Summon Demons Etc.?



Tarot is a powerful spiritual tool, but there are some that are hesitant to give tarot a try because of some misconceptions that are out there.  The organizations that oversee the Abrahamic faiths have spoken out against the use of tools like tarot for a long time, but their claims aren’t necessarily based in fact.  They have made claims that the tarot is evil, black magic, connected to the devil, and some have claimed that the cards summon demons.  Where do these claims come from?  We have to get into a little bit of history in order to answer this and what I’m about to say in the next few sentences is in no way meant to put down the Abrahamic faiths it’s just what happened.  There are some passages in their religious texts that say their adherents are not to engage in any kind of prophecy.  While tarot cards aren’t an ancient practice, they are part of a category of practices that preceded the Abrahamic faiths that the governing organizations of these faiths felt they needed to discourage in their adherents and part of the way they discouraged the practices was through fear.  Let’s face it, fear is a pretty good way to get someone or a group of someones to be compliant.  The Christian church in particular (probably starting with the Catholic Church) started telling their followers that tarot was a gateway to the Devil and demons and that it was a form of black magic.  They also cited the Bible passages that speak against prophecy as proof of this.

What is tarot really and where did it come from?  Again we have to get into a little bit of history to explain this.  First we must acknowledge that the tarot’s history has a bit of mystery to it and we don’t know exactly who or when it was very first created but there are some things we do know.  Romani gypsies have used cards for divination for centuries, but they most likely have nothing really to do with what we know as tarot today.  There have been claims that the tarot originated in Egypt but scholars consider these claims to be baseless and from my reading I have to agree.  Where we find the first historical evidence of something that resembles tarot is in 15th century Italy with the Tarocchi card game.  It is believed that this game and deck was created by adherents of the Christian faith.  There came a point where Tarocchi ruffled the feathers of the church and the organization started to condemn it.

Tarot took a leap forward in the 18th century when it was given a boost by French psychics.  Unfortunately, while they were propelling tarot forward it appears that the myth that the deck was of Egyptian origin came from them.  The ceremonial magicians (Masons, The Grand Order of the Rose, The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn) of the 19th century brought the deck even closer to what we know today.  Which is a 78 card deck, consisting of 22 cards in the major arcana and 56 cards in the minor arcana. 

We see the rise of the Marseille tarot in France and other parts of Europe in the mid 1800’s.  This type of deck has full artwork for the trump (major arcana) cards and uses pips for the minors.  I do see Americans that use Marseille decks but I don’t think that they are as widely used as decks done in the next style I will talk about.

After the Marseille, in 1909 we have the first publishing of the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck and it is arguably the most well know tarot deck out there and many modern decks are clones of that deck or at the very least follow its system.  While the RWS deck does utilize a lot of occult symbolism, perhaps picked up from the work that the ceremonial magicians mentioned above did with tarot, it also uses a great deal of Christian symbolism. 

When you boil it all down, what is tarot really?  Really, tarot is a bunch of pieces of paper with symbols artistically portrayed on them that are meant to be a tool to communicate with our unconscious, our higher self, and what Jung called the collective unconscious.  Here is what Arthur Waite had to say himself on tarot, “The Tarot embodies symbolical presentations of universal ideas, behind which lie all the implicits of the human mind, and it is in this sense that they contain secret doctrine, which is the realization by the few of truths embedded in the consciousness of all.”  There are also tarot readers who believe the cards operate on the principal of synchronicity. 

You can never truly make generalizations because there’s always an exception to the rule, but overall tarot readers don’t regard their cards as magic.  Yes, tarot readers do tend to say different decks have different energies about them, but everything has an energy and that isn’t really magic per se.  While most modern tarot decks do contain a trump card called The Devil, the card is not literal just like the Death card isn’t literal.  The card actually speaks of things like the abdication of power, self-esteem issues, drug/alcohol addiction, a person’s downfall or hubris.  While the card does usually contain some Christian symbology, it’s more of a loose reference to the Abrahamic figure and more about a universal archetype that transcends any specific religion.  When tarot readers use the cards they do not summon, call upon, or appeal to the Devil or demons to aid them.  The cards do not by nature attract any negative entities.

Tarot cards are a tool and in and of themselves do not bring any negative forces to you.  Can some crack pot out there get out a deck of tarot cards and call out to the Devil?  Sure, people have the free will to make ill-advised and foolish choices but that’s the cracked nut not the vast majority of those who use tarot.  What about the Bible passages that forbid prophecy?  If you follow the Bible then you are going to have to decide for yourself the validity of those passages.  I can offer this food for thought...there are contradicting passages in the Bible where adherents do engage in prophecy.  Why is it okay for some adherents and not others?  There are also those who follow an Abrahamic faith that just find those passages to be antiquated or not applicable.  Again, if you follow the Bible, or other Abrahamic text (which all have the Old Testament in common) you will have to search within yourself to find the answer if tarot is or is not against your faith.  Just remember that whether you decide tarot is for you or not that it is not about black magic, the Devil, or demons.  There is also something else to consider here, it is possible to read tarot cards without any sort of prophecy going on.  You can keep your readings to the here and now by asking things like, “What should I know about as I make this decision about (fill in the blank)?”  You can ask for insight instead of outcomes.

Since I am a spirit medium who uses tarot cards I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss this.  The cards themselves do not attract or call out to any spirits.  I, and others, do however work with tarot in conjunction with ancestor spirits, spirit guides, and the spirits of departed loved ones.  You may say, “Rin, if the cards don’t attract spirits then how do you use the cards to work with them?”  I attract the spirits, not the cards.  When I begin the reading I let the spirits know that they are permitted to communicate with me through the cards (mostly by guiding me in my interpretations of them) or with me directly as I do the reading.  When I do this I am specific about what types of sprits may do this and that only those with messages that are for the client’s greater good my step forward and communicate with me in this way.  That is kind of a distinction fit for a lawyer but I wanted to explain how I work with tarot and spirits but yet the cards are not what are drawing the spirits in.


The point of this post is not to sway anyone into deciding if tarot is or is not against their religious/spiritual path, but it hopefully will help those with questions to understand that tarot is not evil, black magic, a tool of the Devil, or an attractant for demons.  The tarot cards are pieces of paper containing pleasing images with symbols for the reader to interpret as a spiritual tool.  


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

6 Ways to Use Crystals Daily




6 Ways to Use Crystals Daily



The following are some ways you can use crystals in your everyday life, other than just as beautiful decorations.  Crystals can be used by wearing them, laying them on yourself, holding them,  sitting them in a space near you, or setting them up in a crystal grid.  You can find videos on setting up a crystal grid on Youtube.com.   Clear quartz can be paired with any of the crystals in this article to boost their energies.  The crystals here are just a small sampling of what is out there.  I encourage you to do your own research to find other crystals that speak to you.

1.Harmony in the home.  We all want a happy home.  Cleansing your home is just one step in creating the atmosphere your family will want to live in.  Further enhance the energies of your home by placing around any combination of these crystals.  Amethyst (calming), Carnelian (clears negative emotions and energies), Lapis Lazuli (relationships), Moss Agate (brings balance to those with many obligations, helps with stress), Rose Quartz (the love stone), Smoky Quartz (relieves anger and depression).

2.Cooking.  Placing a piece of clear quartz on your stove is a folk practice that is said to enhance the flavors of all of your cooking.  I swear by this.

3.Writing.  Whether it’s your own blog or a letter to your child’s teacher, keeping some crystals on you or in your writing space can help you better articulate what you want to express.  Improve your writing by keeping around the following stones.  Bloodstone (creativity), Blue Goldstone (communication), Citrine (mental focus), Fluorite (increases concentration), Lapis Lazuli (creative expression), Moonstone (creativity), Sodalite (communication), Turquoise (writing).

4.Stress.  We all have stress in our lives and we could all use a little less.  If you’ve just the normal amount try placing some of these crystals on a bedside stand to help you unwind at night.  A little more stress?  Try wearing or carrying some of these stones with you.  Amethyst (stress reduction), Fluorite (stress reduction), Moonstone (soothes emotions, composure), Moss Agate (stress reduction), Smoky Quartz (relaxation).

5.Meditation.  Science has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt how beneficial it is to meditate.  Need some help getting started or just want a boost to your meditative practice?  Try some of these stones.  Either hold them while you meditate or place them about your meditation area.  Aragonite (meditation), Bloodstone (emotional centering), Blue Goldstone (meditation), Fluorite (meditation), Smoky Quartz (meditation).


6.Tarot reading.  I keep a piece of smoky quartz with my deck to keep it cleansed.  When I read I keep a piece of amethyst near me to increase my psychic abilities.  I also keep a piece of selenite near me.  Selenite is good for communicating with spirit guides and spirits because it has a very high vibrational rate that allows it to be a link between this world and the spirit world.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mini Reading for the Week of April 16, 2017



Card 1 represents what situation Spirit is trying to draw your attention to.  This week Spirit is nudging you to focus on your ability to aid those around you.  Give a loved one a boost by giving them some creative suggestions for overcoming the obstacles in their life.  You don't need to do the work for them but you can help them immensely by giving some creative yet sound suggestions.

Card 2 represents the advice that Spirit has for you regarding the situation.  Teamwork is very important this week.  No person is an island unto themselves.  Helping others achieve their goals can be rewarding and while we shouldn't expect reward for aiding others, lending some guidance to those around you this week is sure to enrich your own situation in some way.

Card 3 represents the most likely outcome this week if you follow Spirit's advice.  We often don't realize how big of an impact a small kindness can have on another person.  Your guidance and help this week can keep others from hitting a dramatic emotional downturn.  Sometimes we become myopic in trying to work things out for ourselves and just a thoughtful suggestion of a new possible course of action can catch us as we are falling, this week you have the chance to catch someone.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Using a Pendulum



One of the tools of divination that one may want to use is a pendulum.  Using a pendulum is often referred to as dowsing, though if you look up the definition of dowsing on Wikipedia (which isn’t always correct) it does not list the use of a pendulum as a form of dowsing.  The use of a pendulum in divination can also be called radiesthesia.

In the case of radiesthesia it is believed that all bodies and objects give off a different radiation.  This radiation is called an “aura.”  The pendulum reacts to this aura and we interpret that reaction.  Radiesthesia is particularly concerned with detecting health problems but its beliefs can extend beyond that.

The use of pendulums for divination can be traced back about 5,000 years to the orient.  Europeans began to find it popular during the middle ages and it remained a favored form of divination through the nineteenth century.  It fell out of favor for a while but in the early twentieth century there was a resurgence of its popularity with the British Society of Dowsers being founded in 1933 and remaining active to this day.

How a Pendulum Works
There are different schools of thought here.  As in the case of radiesthesia, it is believed that the pendulum is reacting to the “aura” of radiation that a body or object emits.  Others believe that it is one’s spirit guides that communicate to us through the pendulum.  There are others that say it is not our spirit guides but whatever spirits/ghosts are present at the time.  There is a school of thought that the pendulum is reacting with the more traditional definition of an aura.  Some say it is the divine who guides the pendulum and there are those that say our subconscious minds are controlling the pendulum revealing information we already know but are not conscious of.  It is possible that all of these are true and the mode by which the pendulum works is determined by the one using the pendulum.

What to Use as a Pendulum
The most obvious choice is to buy a premade pendulum.  They are often made out of crystals but can be made out of metal as well.  What if you don’t have the money or just don’t want to buy a premade pendulum?  Buying one ready-made is not necessary.  You can use a favorite ring, charm, or pendant that is attached to a chain or string.  It is best to use something with a little bit of weight to it.

How to Use a Pendulum
Some say that pendulums are “living” things in their own right.  This being the case you and your pendulum are going to have to develop a language for your pendulum to communicate with you.  Before you do any divination work with your pendulum you’re going to have to ask it a few questions.  Hold the chain or string in your dominant hand with the pendulum just above the palm of your non-dominant hand.  Ask your pendulum to show you what “yes” is.  Your pendulum may begin to swing clockwise, counterclockwise, from fingertip to wrist, or from side to side across your palm.  Whatever it does, this is your pendulum’s “yes” for you.  Now ask it to show you “no.”  Note how the pendulum swings, this is your pendulum’s “no” answer for you.  You can also ask it for an “I don’t know” or a “maybe.”  Some say that you must do this before each time that you use the pendulum, but others find their pendulums to be consistent and do not feel this needs to be done every time.

In the case of using the pendulum for health issues you will have to experiment to find what your pendulum does when reacting to a person’s aura.  It may remain still over healthy areas of the body and swing wildly over areas where there is an issue.  It may swing clockwise over healthy areas and counterclockwise over unhealthy areas.  Just like above you will have to develop a language with your pendulum.  The use of a pendulum never replaces a doctor and you should encourage anyone who comes to you with health problems to see a qualified physician. 

Do you need to find a missing item?  Make a “map” or diagram of the place where you lost your item.  Let’s say you lost a ring somewhere in your house.  For the sake of this explanation let’s say you are sure you lost it somewhere on the first floor of your house.  Sketch a map of your first floor, it doesn’t need to be detailed just draw an outline and label the rooms.  Hold the pendulum over each room.  Which room does it react to?  Now you have two choices; you can either go ahead and search that room or you can draw a slightly more detailed map of that room to narrow down where to look in that room.

Pendulums can also be used to find water, a practice often referred to here in the States as Water Witching.  As always you will have to become familiar with your pendulums language in this case in order to interpret what your pendulum is trying to tell you.  Your pendulum may remain still and then begin to move in any direction when water is present or your pendulum may move one way in the absence of water and another way when it detects water.

By now I’m sure you get the basic idea.  Your pendulum will behave one way in certain conditions and a different way under different conditions.  You just have to spend time working with your pendulum to learn its language.

What to Use a Pendulum for
Here are a few things that you can use your pendulum for.
-Answering Yes/No questions
-Finding lost items
-As a compliment to western medicine for detecting health problems
-Determining the sex of a baby
-Finding water
-Detecting the presence of spirits

-There are also pendulum mats that you can purchase (or make) that will allow your pendulum to answer a variety of questions.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Tarotscopes for the Week of April 2, 2017



Aquarius - Three of Cups - Take some time to work on healing any open wounds this week.  Declare these next few days a self-care week.  Meditate, take a walk in the woods, forgive someone, take a relaxing bath...do whatever helps you to replenish yourself.  Resolve to let yourself heal what you can.

Pisces - Knight of Cups - This week may invite you to experience something new in your life.  Be on your toes though because you'll need to act fast if you're going to embrace this opportunity.  It's important to be open to spontaneity.

Aries - Ace of Pentacles - This will be a pretty choice week for you.  Looks like smooth sailing and the good times seem to far out weigh any minor bumps in the road.  You won't have to try hard to be happy this week but that doesn't mean you can't do a little planning to make it ecstatic.

Taurus - Temperance - Do things in moderation this week and don't over extend yourself.  Seek to find a balance between doing/feeling too much or too little.  Take a moment to evaluate your current situation and become aware of any extremes.  Once you've found them, resolve to bring those areas more into balance.

Gemini - Chains - Work on your self-image and in identifying what unhealthy limitations you place on yourself.  What beliefs are you holding onto that are keeping you from achieving who you are meant to be?  Identify these self-limiting beliefs and begin the hard work of chipping away at them.

Cancer - Two of Wands - Take the high road this week.  Others may not behave admirably or ethically but that is their energy to work out.  Choose wisely how to react in situations where you have to deal with these people.  Don't let them determine the rules, play by your own and design them with integrity.

Leo - The Star - Looks like maybe you are in need of some inspiration this week.  Sometimes inspiration just comes to us but sometimes we have to sort of put ourselves in the way of inspiration.  Put yourself in places or situations that have the potential to inspire you.  Listen to music, view some art, read a book, walk in the woods, meditate, basically go with wherever you usually find your muse and don't be afraid to look for it in unusual places too.

Virgo - The Moon - The moon just seems to be a weekly card for my tarotscopes, seems like someone gets it every week no matter what deck I use.  We like to think the best of people but not everyone who presents themselves as being on your side is truly your friend.  It might be time to examine some of your relationships more closely to evaluate who really has your back.  Don't let these people bring you down though, give thanks for the true friends you have in your life.

Libra - The Hermit - This week may be a good time to retreat into your shell a little.  You won't want to stay there forever but it is nice to have a little solitude once in a while.  Spend some quality time with yourself and disconnect from the daily grind for a little while.

Scorpio - The Magician - What hobby or skill have you been toiling at?  This week is a great time to work towards getting closer to mastering what you've been working on.  Spend some quality time on your pursuits this week and you will see yourself making progress at increasing your skills.

Sagittarius - The Hanged Man - This week is just kind of hanging there for you.  It's just a week with nothing particular to write home about.  Just try to go along with it and chill because things will start moving forward soon enough.

Capricorn - The Emperor - Confidence is key for you this week.  If you are not naturally confident then for this week subscribe to the old saying, "Fake it 'til you make it."  In other words, act as if you are confident and eventually you'll start to truly align with that state of being.  Just keep in mind that to achieve the things you want this week you need to project confidence.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Smudging



Smudging has been used by many cultures, not just Native Americans, for thousands of years as far as we know.  Historians are not quite sure when exactly humans began the practice of smudging.  Smudging is the use of a sacred smoke used to rid people and places of negative energies.  This sacred smoke can be from incense or from sacred herbs such as white sage.  Other herbs can be used but they each have their own purpose and they can be used with the white sage, on their own, or in a mix of sacred herbs.  This post will cover two types of smudging.

What most people think of when they hear smudging is the technique using white sage.  For this you can use a smudging stick, a tight bundle of the herb tied with thread, or you can use loose leaves of the sage in an abalone shell.  My preference is to use loose leaves in an abalone shell and I direct the smoke with a fan made of a duck wing.  To smudge a person light the sage and direct the smoke around the person’s entire body from head to toe.  My personal preference is to start at the head and work my way down the body.  Make sure you work the smoke the whole way around the body.  While directing the smoke you can say a little chant or envision love and light surrounding the person, or both.  The following chant is one I like to use when smudging a person.  I found it online with no attribution so I do not know where it comes from or who wrote it.

“May your hands be cleansed,
that they create beautiful things.
May your feet be cleansed,
that they might take you
where you most need to be.
May your heart be cleansed,
that you might hear
its messages clearly.
May your throat be cleansed,
that you might speak rightly
when words are needed.
May your eyes be cleansed,
that you might see the signs
and wonders of this world.
May this person and space be
washed clean by the smoke of
these fragrant plants.
And may that same smoke
carry our prayers, spiraling,
to the heavens.”

Smudging a place isn’t that much different than smudging a person.  Again light your sage and begin to direct the smoke around the space.  If smudging a whole home I like to start in the heart of the home.  This is usually the kitchen or living room.  Wherever the family does the most connecting.  Negative energy is just like most pests, it likes to hide in corners and dark spaces.  Make sure you direct some of the smoke into these areas.  Just like with smudging a person you can say a chant as you go, envision light and love filling the space, or both.  I have a very simple chant that I use for most cases of smudging spaces.

“By my will and by this smoke,
No evil can enter where these words are spoke.”

I have no attribution for this chant either.  This one is good for your basic clearing out but if there is some real nasty energy or some persistent unwanted spirits involved you may want to use a heavier duty chant.

The next technique I have for smudging is very unorthodox.  My husband can’t stand the smoke from sage or incense and because of that I’m generally limited to smudging while he’s at work.  I have to smudge as soon as he leaves and air out the house when I’m done so that the smell is gone by the time he gets home from work.  That’s not always convenient.  I was discussing this with a friend who told me that she could sympathize with my husband.  She would love to smudge but she’s allergic to smoke.  The two of us put our heads together and came up with this technique.  My children do enjoy traditional smudging but they think this method is a blast.  Welcome to smudging with bubbles. 


For this technique all you need is a bottle of bubbles.  Walk around the space where you want to clear the energy, blowing bubbles as you go.  As you blow into the bubbles picture them being filled with positive energy and love.  When each bubble pops picture it releasing that energy into the space.  This method is good for just a routine clearing of energy.  For more serious matters I recommend going with traditional smudging.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tarotscopes for the Week of March 26, 2017


This week's tarotscopes are laden with major arcana and court cards.  While in this spread the cards do not relate to each other because they are each for an individual zodiac sign, the trend for most folks this week seems to be one of major energies of great significance being present during this time.  I will warn you that this deck is a heavy hitter that doesn't pull any punches.

Aquarius - Page of Clubs - Be mindful of who you let into your inner circle this week.  We should always be mindful of who we let in our inner circle as the negative energies and intents of others can bring us down, but this week it is particularly important to make sure those you're allowing in are trustworthy and loyal to you.  If you feel there is someone in your circle that doesn't fit this bill then perhaps it is time to start distancing yourself from them.

Pisces - Seven of Coins - If you've been working hard say at work or on some project in your life, this week you may begin to see advancement in those areas.  Your hard work is starting to bring growth to what you've been applying yourself to.  Keep up the hard work and in time you will see this growth bear fruit.

Aries - The Moon - You may want to wear a crash helmet and other protective gear this week.  The energies this week are sketchy and and there is danger around.  Proceed with great cation this week and make sure all of your decisions have been weighed and carefully planned to avoid negative repercussions.

Taurus - Knight of Coins - Things may not always move as swiftly as you like.  This week calls for you to have patience and if you do it will be rewarded.  If you are impatient you my spoil things that would have come your way.  So, try to relax this week and wait for things to come to you.

Gemini - Two of Clubs - This week has an air of completion to it.  This card speaks to you seeing the finishing and attainment of goals you have been working toward.  Take the time to tie up any loose ends and then enjoy whatever you have been working towards, no matter how small or large that goal was.

Cancer - Knight of Clubs - This week seems right for you to take a little journey.  You could take a physical journey, take a day or two and actually go explore somewhere new or an old place that you love.  The journey doesn't have to be a physical one though, it could be time to take a journey inside yourself and explore inner areas you haven't been paying attention to.

Leo - The Sun - Looks like there is a lot to be happy about this week.  Remember to take the time to give thanks for all of your blessings.  There may be new things coming into your life or new beginnings to rejoice about.  Whatever form happiness takes in your life this week embrace it and remember that you do deserve it.

Virgo - Queen of Swords - This card shows you experiencing separation or loss this week.  It appears that a door is closing for you this week, it may not remain closed forever you may at some time be reunited with what you are being separated from or are losing but for now the door is closed and you are cut off.  Allow yourself time to mourn whether it is a situation or a person that you are being disconnected from.

Libra - The Hierophant - This week is about seeking forgiveness.  You may need to seek forgiveness from someone that you have wronged.  You may also need to seek forgiveness from yourself.  This is a necessary step on your path.

Scorpio - The Tower - Looks like some changes are in the air for you this week.  These will be sudden changes and even if you were kind of expecting these changes you weren't expecting them right now.  Things may seem a little sudden but go with the flow.  Change can be intimidating, even good change, but go with it and in the long run you'll wind up better from the change.

Sagittarius - Ten of Clubs - The pressure is on this week.  You can collapse under it or you can use it for motivation to propel you forward.  You'll get the best outcome if you don't give in and instead use all the pressure coming down as fuel to drive you.  The feeling won't be pleasant as you're going through it but if you can keep it together you'll be rewarded in the end.

Capricorn - The Fool - It looks like this week is the first few steps of a new chapter for you.  If you've been thinking about doing something new this week is the time to get the ball rolling.  What new journey or chapter of your life have you been wanting to start?  Take advantage of the energies this week and get off the couch and get to it.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Equinox Spread for the Week of March 19, 2017



Since tomorrow is the first day of spring I thought I'd do a spread for this week that is specifically for the spring equinox instead of my usual tarotscopes.

1. Balance - What do you need to balance or what needs balance in your life?  Page of Cups.  Make sure that you give and take as equally as possible.  We are social creatures, even the introverts amongst us, and as such we all need things from others and we all need to give of ourselves as well.  It's okay to take what others give willingly.  Just make sure that you do your best to make sure that you balance your levels of giving and taking.  There are dangers in living a life with an extreme of one or the other.

2. Growth - What do you need to grow, where do you need to spend your time and energy?  Four of Cups.  Spend your time on letting go of the disappointments you've had in your life.  Acknowledge these situations and ask yourself what positive lessons you can learn from them.  Take the less and throw the rest away, cast off your disappointments instead of carrying them like an albatross around your neck.  Holding on to old disappointments holds you back from doing things in the present that could bring you joy because those old experiences make you too cautious about becoming disappointed in people and situations again.  Used what you've learned to take calculated risks.

3. Regeneration - What is coming back to you soon?  Eight of Swords.  An old inner conflict is stirring within you and will soon bubble to the surface.  These are issues that you may have pushed down but they are going to come to your conscious world and trying to resist will only make this inner conflict more emotional.  Face whatever this issue is head on.  Acknowledge it and work to resolve it.  Taking the advice of the other cards in this spread can help and if you are open to it you may also benefit from doing some shadow work around this inner conflict.

4. Fertility - What energies are in abundance around you right now?  The Moon.  Right now is a prime time to work with and on your intuition.  For those that are complete beginners, the energies around this spring equinox will help you to open up your intuition.  Set your intention to start working with your intuition and allow it to flow.  The biggest thing to remember is to trust yourself.  For those that already work with their intuition or the "clairs" now would be a great time to work on expanding and enhancing what you already do.  Spend some time in meditation or find some new exercises to try.

5. Potential - How can you harness the equinox's energy to your benefit?  Seven of Cups.  Honestly, this is a perfect card to draw for the spring equinox.  Spring is a time of beginnings and this card is speaking of taking some time to contemplate what you'd like to see grow and bloom for your future.  Where I live it may be the first day of spring but it is still a while until planting season.  Right now folks like myself are planning what we'd like to plant and grow in our gardens.  Like us take some time to plan out what seeds you'd like to plant and grow in the garden of your life.

The suit of cups features heavily in this spread, indicating that emotions will be strong during this time and during the energies of this equinox it's a good time to work on healing the self.  They also tie in with The Moon that was drawn in the fourth position since they also promote the use of intuition.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Crystals for Depression



Crystals for Depression


More than 15 million American adults suffer from depression.  It’s normal for everyone to feel depressed at some point in their life but for many what should be a passing phase becomes a chronic condition.  Crystals can help to ease the symptoms of depression whether it is a temporary event due to environmental factors or a chronic condition, though they are not a substitute for professional help.  Symptoms of depression include; sadness, anxiety, apathy, discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest in things that were once enjoyable, mood swings, sleep disturbances (hypersomnia or insomnia), fatigue, loss of appetite or excessive hunger, irritability, excessive crying, withdrawal, difficulty concentrating, weight gain or loss, obsessive thoughts, or thoughts of suicide.  If you are experiencing these symptoms seek the help of a professional and use crystals in addition to their treatment plan for you.  The following is a list of some crystals that can be effective in minimizing depressive symptoms.  As a note, when you are using crystals to help with depression they should be cleansed regularly.

Amethyst – calming, insomnia, mental balance
Carnelian – depression, clears negative emotions
Citrine – depression, suicidal ideation, self-mutilation
Lapis Lazuli – depression, insomnia
Lepidolite – absorbs negative/obsessive thoughts
Moss Agate – balances emotions, anxiety
Rose Quartz – clears stored guilt, anxiety, self-love, diffuse negative memories
Smoky Quartz - anger
Sodalite – mental health

There are a few ways you can use these crystals to help you lessen your depressive symptoms.  You can wear them, but generally the pieces in jewelry are small and many crystal enthusiasts say that size does matter.  You could keep them in a medicine bag around your neck or in a pouch in your pocket.  I like to lay with them on their corresponding chakra while meditating on their properties.  It’s also possible to hold one or two in your hands while you sit and meditate with them.  Keep them in spaces you regularly inhabit, ex. on your desk if you spend a lot of time there or on your bedside stand.  Another option is to make crystal elixirs (essences, gem waters) with them.  This last suggestion takes some research as NOT all crystals are safe to use in this manner.  Selenite should never be used in an elixir because it dissolves in water.  Lapis Lazuli should never be used in an elixir because it contains pyrite.  These are just two examples.  A good resource to check before you make an elixir is http://hibiscusmooncrystalacademy.com/resources/toxic-crystals-stones/.  If you aren’t certain that a crystal is safe to use in an elixir then DON’T use it.

If you are having suicidal thoughts and are not sure who to reach out to you can find help here…

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Tarotscopes for the Week of March 12, 2017



Aquarius - Eight of Wands - Be ready for sudden progress this week.  The energies around you will help to move things forward, especially things you think may have stalled out completely.  You'll need to be able to think on your feet to be able to take full advantage of the situation.

Pisces - The Emperor - This should be a comforting week.  Things should appear to be rather stable and predictable, in a good way.  Take some time to enjoy the comforting vibes.  It is also very important that you take time this week to give thanks for all you have.

Aries - Five of Wands - Be prepared to work hard at things this week.  You will be met with obstacles but if you prepare yourself for the challenges ahead you can overcome what is thrown in your path with determination and a fair amount of elbow grease.

Taurus - Four of Swords - Take some time for yourself this week.  It's time to take a break and make sure you've been keeping up with your self-care.  Remember it's not selfish to take a moment to check in with yourself and make sure you're meeting your own needs.

Gemini - Nine of Swords - This week it looks like you're going to devote a good bit of energy worrying about someone close to you.  Try not to let it overwhelm you and try to focus that energy into something constructive.  Call them, offer to run errands for them, or anything else that you can do that might help ease there situation.

Cancer - The Moon - It may be time to do some pruning of your social tree.  It happens to all of us, we attract some people to us that are false friends.  This week may be a good time to examine some of your friendships and consider cutting ties with those who are bringing you down.

Leo - Knight of Cups - The chance for a new opportunity is in the air.  It may come knocking but remember that opportunity doesn't always knock we may have to take initiative and seek it out.  What for opportunities to come to you but don't be afraid to make your own if they aren't laying themselves at your feet.

Virgo - Nine of Pentacles - Look before you leap and think things through before you speak or act.  This week calls for caution or you run the risk of having something you say or do cause you a lot of hassle. Prevent any drama in your life by planning what you say and do and thinking about how these things will be perceived by others.

Libra - Temperance - Don't take things to the extreme or let things get out of hand this week.  Moderation is your keyword.  You don't have to abstain from things but avoid too much of anything.  You know what your limits are so be sure to stick to them.

Scorpio - Knight of Pentacles - Patience is your keyword for this week.  It can be very difficult but things will go the best for you if you force yourself to be patient.  Allow situations and people to work on their timeline not yours.  In the end you'll get the best results if you're willing to step back and be patient.

Sagittarius - Ten of Swords - Put on your safety padding this week, the road looks bumpy.  Chances are things are not going to work out the way you want them to this week.  It's okay to be a bit disappointed but remember sometimes things go awry to lead us instead to what is right for us.

Capricorn - The Star - The universe wants to inspire you this week, so look around and see what the world has to offer.  Inspiration can be found anywhere so make sure your open to receive whatever the universe choosing to offer you inspiration with.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wish Boards



Wish Boards


Wish boards can be a powerful magical tool to help you manifest positive things in your life.  Constructing your wish board is relatively easy.  Start by taking a few moments to write down the things you want to manifest in your life.  These could be material objects or intangible things like feelings or experiences.  Here are a few examples; new car, money, joy, ski trip, or peace of mind.  The possibilities are endless, think of the world as your amazon.com and you’ve been given an unlimited gift card.  What would you order?

What you need to construct your wish board:
~You need either a piece of construction paper, poster board, or a corkboard.  In a pinch you can even use a piece of regular notebook paper.
~You’ll need either a glue stick, glue of your choice, or pushpins if you are using a corkboard.
~Then you’ll need pictures of the things you wish to order from the universe’s amazon.com.  These can be literal such as a picture of a car if that’s what you’re wishing for or they can represent a feeling such as happiness.  You can take pictures of the things you are wishing for and use those or you can scour old magazines.  Most libraries either sell off old magazines for really cheap or even sometimes give them away.  You can also draw pictures.

Cut out the pictures and glue or pin them to the poster board/corkboard etc. you are using.  You may want to cluster corresponding pictures together.  While I personally prefer to keep my wish boards images only, you can attach meaningful words and phrases to yours if you like.  Try to find a variety of pictures that represent your goal, lots of smiling people for happiness or several shots of the vehicle you want.  It is up to you how many different “orders” you have on your wish board, but if you are new to the practice of Witchcraft I’d keep it simple with just one or two orders.  The more orders you place the more focus and energy you will have to put into making them manifest, set yourself up for success by not over extending yourself.  Make this a happy project thinking about the joy you’ll feel when these wishes manifest.  Hang the wish board somewhere that you will look at it every day.  If using a piece of construction paper or note paper you may want to place it inside the cover of a notebook, journal, or binder that you use every day.  Another way to set yourself up for success is to start small if this is totally new to you.  Largely this project is fueled by belief so if you have a hard time believing that you can manifest a Porsche then you’re going to have a hard time manifesting it.  Instead choose to start with something you believe you can have and deserve to have, a book or good day at work would be reasonable starting points.

How a wish board works....
The wish board works based on “the law of attraction.”  You may have seen this featured in the book The Secret but I argue that the concept is not so secret.  Witches, mystics, psychologists, and motivational speakers have been using and teaching this concept for far longer than many of us realize.  The law of attraction, simply put, says that we attract what we think/feel about, you attract what is foremost on your mind.  The more passion/feeling/emotion/intensity behind your thought the faster the law of attraction works.  Think of yourself as a cell phone, you’re trying to call the universe to put in an order.   You’d kind of maybe like to get a new job but you’re kind of afraid of starting over at a new company.  With this kind of mind set you’ve got maybe one bar of signal which is more than likely fading in and out, chances of your call connecting are minimal.  On the other hand if your thoughts are, “I really want another job, I’m ready for something new, just thinking about a new job gives me an instant sense of happiness, and I’m really excited about doing ______ line of work!” then your chances of connecting increase. 

We are, minute by minute, shaping our own reality.  What we are thinking and feeling today is our tomorrow.  There’s good news and perhaps some painful news here.  This means we have to take personal responsibility for the state our lives are in right now.  For many of us this can be a bit of an ouch when we realize that our life, in its current state, is as we attracted it with yesterday’s thoughts and feelings.  Our day-to-day lives often see us float by on a “thought autopilot.”  We don’t give much attention to what we’re thinking and feeling about so we attract things to us on a sort of default.  We might think all morning on the way to work, “don’t let me have another bad day,” and that loop plays over and over again.  What happens when we get to work?  We have a bad day, why?  You were thinking about having a “bad day” and that thought was charged with emotion (fear, anger, anxiety, sadness).  While in that state you were a smart phone with amazing signal that logged onto the universe amazon.com and placed an order for a “bad day” all of the strong emotions you had about your order made it express ship to you.

With practice we can train ourselves to think differently today to create a better tomorrow for ourselves.  What it takes is personal responsibility, focus, practice, and belief in ourselves.  Changing our thought patterns can seem daunting but you’d be surprised at how fast you can achieve true positive change.  You don’t have to act like a watchdog over every single vapid thought in your brain, which could potentially drive you crazy.  Start by paying attention any time you have a thought that begins “I want” or “I don’t want.”  Also, pay attention to what you are thinking whenever you are feeling a strong emotion.  Remember that the universe doesn’t hear the “don’t,” basically it picks out the verbs, nouns, adverbs, and adjectives.  Any time that you are thinking about something you “don’t” want change the thought around so that instead you are focusing on what you DO want.  Where you place your focus is where you place your future.  Remember to focus on what you DO want because the universe doesn’t hear “I don’t.” 

What if yesterday’s stinking thinking has you in a right dreadful state today?  You’ve got mountains of debt, poor health, depression, and little to no income.  The beauty about this is that all you need to change your circumstances is a new focus in your thinking.  Don’t focus on the debt and all the other negatives; focus on health and prosperity and fuel that focus with feeling.  This can be tricky when you’re at rock bottom, often you think you have nothing to feel happy about, that you may never feel joy again. Not to go all Peter Pan on you but, “Think of a happy thought.  Any happy little thought.”  Even when we think we have nothing we ALWAYS have something to be grateful for.  Start by making a gratitude list, write down everything you are thankful for.  Any time you start feeling negative rewrite it or go through it in your head, gratitude is a powerful attitude and will put you into a positive state.  Next is the “fake it ‘til you make it” technique.  Life right now sucks, that’s all well and good but despite that you can make yourself feel happy right this moment and making yourself feel happy right now puts you in a state to attract more happiness to yourself.  You’re not being disingenuous; you are being your own creator.  Think of something that does or has made you happy and hold that thought in your mind and really focus on the feeling of happiness it brings.  That spark of happiness will attract more happiness and on and on.  You are the creator of your future make it a positive one; shape it to your dreams.

Let’s apply the law of attraction to our wish board.  Let’s say we want a book and we cut out pictures of books maybe print a picture of the cover of said book off of the Internet and we’ve placed the images on our wish board.  The wish board acts as a focal point and a trigger.  When we begin working with it we use it as a focal point to remind us what it is that we are trying to manifest and to help us have clarity in our focus.  The clearer we are about what we want the easier it is for us to attract it.  Think of the very old commercial where someone asks, “What time is it?” and the elderly gentleman responds, “What do you need a dime for?”  If we aren’t clear about what we want how is the universe supposed to know? 

With repeated use it becomes a trigger automatically sparking in us the thoughts and feelings that are going to help us manifest our desire.  Sit in front of your wish board and focus on the pictures, think about actually having what is pictured there, in this case a book.  How would you feel if you had that book right now?  Take the time to actually feel the emotions.  Close your eyes and see the book in your hands, feel the book in your hands.   Does it have a distinctive smell?  What do the pages sound like as you flip through it?  Again focus on how the book makes you feel.  Send those feelings outward and allow the universe to make it happen.  Don’t get caught up in the hows.  No matter what you are wishing for never think about how it’s going to manifest just believe that it will manifest.  Believe that the universe has heard you and that a way will be made.  Believe in it as if you already have it and believe that you deserve it.  You can go through all of this but if you feel that you’re not worthy then that’s what the universe is going to hear.

Believe that it is yours.  Believe that you deserve it.


You’ll want to do this anytime you look at your wish board and if you catch yourself thinking about whatever it is that you’re wishing for during the day take a moment to go through the exercise again.  If you feel negativity or doubts remember that it’s okay.  Don’t get down on yourself or think that you are failing just shift your focus back to the positive.  “I believe this will work so it will work.  I believe I deserve ____.  I believe I am happy.”  To bring more positive things in your life, practice being positive.  Your positive feelings will attract more positive things.