Decks that Intimidate Me – (non) VR to BoyDiviner

The BoyDiviner on YouTube did a video that, although it is not a hashtag, I really enjoyed a lot and decided to do a (non)VR to anyway.

This is about tarot decks that intimidate me in some way or another.  I don’t have many, but there are a few in my collection that fit the bill.  Here is an outline of what these decks are, and how I feel about them.

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Secret Tarot by Dominic Murphy

I absolutely love the artwork in this deck.  I love the concept, the originality, the expressiveness in the cards.  I love it.

But, at the same time?  I find it very intimidating.  I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that after the major arcana, the deck is an entirely different structure.  I’ve had more luck with the Lost Tarot by the same artist, as there seems to be a bit more structure in that one than this one.

Still, I keep it because I love the artwork.  And, at some point, I plan on doing a depth study of this deck to help me (hopefully) become more familiar and comfortable with it and its unusual system.

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Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley

I used to think that it was just the Thoth system that intimidated me, but after working with the Gill Tarot and a few others, I think in this case it’s the artwork, not the system.

Something in the artwork for the original Thoth deck just makes me want to ‘shield and retreat’ in much the same way that I feel when I come across someone radiating abusive vibes.   I bought this deck to delve deeper into the Thoth system, but every time I pick it up, it turns me off.   Not just emotionally or aesthetically, but even my intuition turns away from this deck and will refuse to speak.

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Wild Wood Tarot by Mark Ryan, John Matthews, and Will Worthington

I genuinely adore this deck and its earthiness, although I find the energy of this deck just a but too heavy.   I love the artwork especially.  But, for some reason I have a hard time reading this deck intuitively, and many of the cards do not follow the RWS system, so I then struggle with reading it logically as well.

I did a depth study on this deck for an entire year, but I still find myself unable to read with it confidently, even after a year of serious study.

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Dreams of Gaia Tarot by Ravynne Phelan

It’s the faces.   I mean, yes, it’s an entirely different system from any other deck out there, but I think I would be more inclined to learn that system IF it wasn’t for the FACES.  They just bug me for some reason.  I don’t like them.

That said, I do use this deck, but I use it as an intuitive oracle instead. Usually when harsh truths are required.

SPK

Spirit Keeper’s Tarot by Benebell Wen

This one is purely all about information overload.  I’m kind of wondering if this deck isn’t more suited to the logic-style of readers rather than the intuitive style?  I’m not entirely sure.   I just find there is SO MUCH information in each card that I feel overwhelmed by them when I try to read with them.

I think they’re amazing, and I think Benebell Wen (who drew each of these cards by hand) is brilliant.  I have the study books that go along with this deck and intend on doing a depth study with it at some point.  But, at the moment, I find it a bit too much and the cards make me feel like the crossed wires between my logic and intuition are about to blow a fuse.

 

 

The Happy Squirrel

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long and was a full body scan that started at the top of the head and finished at the tips of the toes, going through each body part individually before then expanding your awareness to the body as a whole, and then eventually to your surroundings and all you can experience in the now of that moment.

I enjoyed it, although my mind kept wandering today.  Not on any one subject in particular, just wandering to wander.  I, of course, brought my focus back each time, although I have to admit sometimes it can get a bit frustrating when that happens.

Today’s draw is another double without a jumper, as they both came out of the deck together.  The cards in today’s draw are the Six of Cups (the Deer) and the Happy Squirrel card, which is an extra card in this deck that has placement just after The World card in the Major Arcana.

Intuitively reading these cards, I hear a warning that if I am not careful, sinking into memories of the past can lead down a treacherous path.

I know you will think “how is this a positive”, but the fact that it is brought to the forefront and I have been given a heads up IS a positive, as it encourages me to mind myself and my self care, as well as to remember to keep my eye on the present instead of getting lost in reminiscing on the past.   The Happy Squirrel says that taking that primrose path at this time is a bad idea, as it will lead to somewhere I don’t want to go.

Traditionally, the Six of Cups is a card that deals with recollections, harmonious reminiscing, and that pleasurable glow that comes from good memories in relation to emotions, relationships, intuition, and creativity.   In the guidebook for this deck, the Deer has the keywords of innocence, compassion, insight, security, love, and wonder.

The Happy Squirrel card does not have a traditional meaning, as it is not a traditional card.   You can read more about the Happy Squirrel card here and here, though.

In the guidebook for this deck, the Happy Squirrel has no keywords, only question marks.

Deck Used: The Animism Tarot

 

Learning from the Past

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about… doing better?

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Topic for the Week of 8/19:  “What can Paganism learn from the history of various (or specific) world religion(s) so we do not repeat the mistakes of the past and become and grow into a better religion in general?”

Like one of the hosts on Pagan Perspective replied, I think the idea behind this question is good.   It’s about how we (as a collective, or as individuals) can learn by example and do better.    I just don’t think that the phrasing is all that great, primarily because “Paganism” is a broad umbrella term instead of a specific religion.

Taken in its broadest term, it really boils down to what can people learn from the history of various religions of the world in order to become better people.

I don’t have a huge amount of knowledge on the history of religions, but I can say that the one thing I see the most that is needed in the religions I have read about and encountered is that an open mind is needed.  So many are so closed off and so closed minded.   You must do this thing, or think this way, or proselytize successfully, or whatever it is that is required of you to be considered a part of that religion.

IF this was about living an inclusive life and being a good person, then that would be great.  But what we see (or what I’ve seen) instead is that these requirements are impossible to achieve or require the smothering or outright cutting out of your inner-self to “serve the collective”.   This damages people and I think learning from this, everyone would benefit from remembering that individuality is a good thing, and very important.

Another lesson that I mentioned briefly above is the proselytization issue.  You recently said that you very much enjoy learning about my faith because I’m not pushing it on you or requiring anything from you.  I’m just sharing to share.

I think more people out there (not just in the pagan community but as a whole in humanity) need to learn this.  Forcing people into a faith that doesn’t fit them doesn’t benefit anyone or the faith as a whole.  This was true back in the Crusades (an extreme example, but it was at its heart an extreme proselytization campaign), and it is equally as true today.

Yes, putting your beliefs out there is a wonderful thing.  But trying to force (or trick) people into an ill-fitting box?  It is simply a bad idea all the way around.

I can’t say that I am much of a fan of today’s question.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s just because my experience with other religions, and the history of religions in general, is a bit limited.  I hope that what I’ve said at least makes sense though.

 

Needing a New Perspective

Today’s meditation was ten minutes and sixteen seconds, and focused on creating space and perspective in times of high stress and emotions.

The message outlined in this guided meditation involved talking a step away and disconnecting with the situation in order to look at it from an observer looking in. During this time you are encouraged to take deep breaths and seek a calm within, so you that you can return to the situation with calm and perspective.

Today’s draw is another double without a jumper as they both emerged together. TWICE prior to this it tried to give me four card readings that I returned to the deck with a request for fewer cards.

The cards in today’s draw are the Four of Pentacles (the Skunk) and the Hanged Man (the Opossum).

My intuitive interpretation of the cards is that they are telling me that in order to feel settled and stable in my life, sometimes it’s important to view the world from a different perspective.

As you know, I spent a HUGE amount of my time in the grip of that fear of losing what I have.  The stability of my home and finances especially.  In a very real way, this is what drives me to work so hard.  Yes, three is some leeway, as I also enjoy my creature comforts, but that just means that I push myself that much harder so that I can have both.

The cards in today’s draw are telling me that if I want that sense of stability, maybe it’s time to start looking for a different perspective (rather than, say, killing myself with work in my current one).

I don’t have a solution for this right now, but I do hear what they’re saying and understand, and it’s something I’m going to have to spend some time thinking about.

Traditionally, the Four of Pentacles is a representation of stability, shelter, structure, taking one’s time to reassess, and in some cases stagnation in the area of one’s resources, creativity, hearth and home, finances, and the physical world.  In the guidebook for this deck, the keywords for the Skunk are confidence, courage, self-esteem, contentment, discretion, and defense.

In the Major Arcana, the Hanged Man is the 12th card, and traditionally represents surrendering and letting go, taking a pause, or finding a new perspective.  Like all Major Arcana cards, this card deals with not one specific aspect of the human experience, but a “bigger picture” aspect.   In the guidebook for this deck, the Opossum’s keywords are patience, introspection, focus, courage, opportunity, and creativity.

Sometimes when I read intuitively, the meanings for the cards will deviate from traditional meanings, but in contemplation of the traditional meanings of the cards drawn to day, as well as the animal meanings provided for this deck, I find that it all is in line with what I’ve already interpreted through my intuitive reading.

Deck Used: The Animism Tarot

 

 

#7philosophicalreadings (non) VR to Benebell Wen

Recently, Benebell Wen did a video on YouTube that involved a challenge of doing 7 card readings for 7 classical philosophical questions.  I really liked this idea, and so I decided to give it a go.   Most of these questions I already have definitive opinions concerning, but the purpose of this exercise is to set the intention that the cards will know how you would respond deep down on a soul deep level, and thus communicate this in the readings.

I decided to do single card pulls for each question, but as you will see, I ended up with a few jumpers along the way.

The Seven Philosophical Questions:

1. The Trolley Dilemma: (I have linked the title to an outline of what this is if you are not familiar.)  Do you divert the course of nature and kill one to save five, or let nature take its course and let the five die.

IMG_9364The bell indicates I would try to warn all of them involved.  Although this is not something I could do verbally, I would definitely give my all to get the warning out there.  In the end, though, a difficult choice would have to be made.

This is where the spikes on the inside of the bell come in.  Either way, one or many will die.  I would choose the one, and my insides would be torn apart by this choice, probably forever after, just as those spikes are sure to scratch and score the inside of the bell.

I am that son-of-a-bitch that would kill five for someone I care about, though.  Just sayin’.

2. What difficult truth(s) about the human condition are you ignoring?

IMG_9365Sometimes I forget just how vulnerable people can feel.  Like so many, I go through life distracted by my own thoughts and issues and forget that others are dragging their own anchors behind them.  Some people’s anchors are heavier than others, but everyone thinks their own anchor is the heaviest.

In other words?  Everyone has burdens, and those burdens are entirely subjective.  That subjectivity makes it difficult to acknowledge other’s burdens, and impossible to see them in the same light as the one carrying them does.

3. What does it mean to live a good life?

IMG_9366Defeating your demons and protecting the security of your home, friends, and family (or your village of towers) from those demons hidden in the dark.

This boils down to valuing your personal “village”, and working on your shadows and demons so that they do not  crawl out of the dark and destroy everything you hold dear.  We all have deep dark shadows where monsters lie in wait, emotional demons and the creeping shadows of our darker selves linger there.

Unchecked and unacknowledged, these dark entities within ourselves surface and wreak havoc.  To protect what you hold dear, it is important to deal with these demons rather than trying to bury them into a hole they will then try to climb back out of again and again.

4. Where does your self-worth come from?

IMG_9367This card came with a twofold answer for me.   From within… and from the earth.  This is very fitting.

a) From within… I have never really been able to explain where my conviction of self comes from.  My father tried throughout my entire childhood to break me down and build me up into something different.  And yet it never worked.  No matter how hard he tried, I knew who I was and what I wanted, I knew what felt right and where my values resided.  From within, while not really speaking of “why”, does speak of where quite eloquently.

b) From the earth… I have always had a very strong reaction to the earth.  An instant communion with soil and sand, with trees and the green.  It is the balm of my soul in the way water is the balm of my emotions.  Being in nature among the trees and the soil, especially here in the rainforests where things are dark and moist and filled with green, has always been extremely restorative to me.  It lifts me up and centers me into myself. My self worth greatly ties into this, as it is a part of how I identify with my inner self (and the world at large, for that matter) on a very base level.

5. What had existed before our universe was created?

IMG_9368Okay, so this one totally made me laugh, and I think that was the entire point.

No, I don’t think that the card is saying that before the universe was created, angels resided on high.  But, I believe that before our universe was created there was still something greater at work.  An energy of creation, evolution, and balance that in the end gave birth to what we have today, much in the same way that melody is created by the creation, evolution, and balance of notes blending on the air.

6. Are you ethically obligated to improve yourself?

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OOph… man.  The short answer?  Yes.  Look at those cards tho.  Wow.   They are so self explanatory, at least to me.

What I see here is the unpacking of one’s inner self (as life tends to do whether we want it to or not) develops into the discovery of one’s inner demons, and those demons being set loose out into the world.  And, when they are set loose, the world feels dark, and all those carefully erected pieces of your life that you value so much start to topple.

So yes. We are.  Because without self improvement, you are not just at risk of screwing over your own life, but the lives of everyone and everything around you (alllll those dominoes).

7. What is Divinity?

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Divinity is the unlikely vessel that lifts you up and carries you when you are feeling vulnerable and small.  It is the light in the darkness that we must choose to accept or turn away from, and yet even when you turn away from it, it still glows to light the way.  It is the duality of right and wrong, good and bad, man and beast, feminine and masculine, yin and yang… always together, always in motion, always side by side.

Deck Used:  Dixit Expansion Pack #2 Quest

 

Let Go

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long, and focused on a recurring theme in these guided meditations, which is the ‘pause’ or ‘the gap’.

Essentially, it encouraged taking a moment in your day from time to time to “mind the gap”, which is to say to find that moment of stillness and quiet between bouts of chaos and cacophony.  These small gaps are moments of peace that can be used as a balm on one’s nerves and soothe the soul.

I like this recurring theme in my guided meditations, because they work as a reminder to something that I don’t always remember to do on my own.

Today’s draw is the Three of Swords (the Dove), and I will speak to the traditional meanings of this card after I provide my intuitive take.    When I saw the imagery on this card, the immediate response was “Let Go”.

The card’s appearance has to do with my hesitations in stepping forward with the new project that I’ve been working on.  I’ve had everything ready to begin for some time, but I’ve been hesitating to take that last step forward and begin.

Today’s card is telling me to let go of my doubts and fears and hesitancy, and step forward into  what I have been working toward.  To that end, I have done just that with a portion of my morning, and officially put the wheels into motion.

Traditionally, the Three of Swords is a representation of negative self talk, lack of optimism, sorrow or grief, inner pains, and (of course) heartbreak. Numerologically speaking, the Three of Swords indicates growing pains and small gains, communication among the group, and the “third wheel” mentality within the area of thoughts, logic, communication, instinct, and education.

In the guidebook for this deck, the is associated with the keywords of communication, sacrifice, truth, hope, release, and renewal.

Deck Used: The Animism Tarot

 

What is a Deck Swaddle?

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So today I thought I’d share how swaddle my decks that don’t have a box to call home.  This happens a lot, as I am NOT a fan of the too-big boxes that a lot of decks come in.  If a deck comes in a tuck box, that’s great and I’m okay with that (until it eventually falls apart), but those great big oversized boxes are just a waste of space in my opinion.

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I’m also not a big fan of deck bags, because I feel they are not secure enough to protect the deck from damage.   So instead, I swaddle my decks using a piece of cloth called a “fat square”.    A fat square is a piece of cloth usually sold for quilting purposes.  It usually measures anywhere from 18″ x 18″ to up to 22″ x 22″.   Most of those I have are 18″ x 22″, which is not square, and yet it’s still called a “fat square” for some reason.

I always use 100% cotton, and choose fabrics that I feel will fit the deck in question.  In the following example, I am wrapping my trimmed Everyday Enchantment deck.

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1. Lie the fabric out flat and place the deck in the lower left hand corner.  Leave enough room on the left side and bottom so that both edges can fold up over the deck when the time comes.

2. Fold up the bottom part of the fabric over the deck.

3. Roll the deck up one flip, keeping it snug as you roll it into the cloth.

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4. Fold the right edge of the cloth up and over the deck.

5. Roll the deck one flip to the left, making sure to keep the fabric snug around the deck as you do so.

6. Fold the right side up over the deck.  You can then fold back excess or wrap excess fabric around again if there is extra fabric to deal with.

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7. Fold in both sides of the remaining cloth.  This is so that it doesn’t stick out and become messy when finished.

8. Roll the deck over into the remaining cloth so that there is only a little flap left to deal with.

9.  You can see in this photo where that little flap is going to go.  You want to tuck it into the pocket that is created by the cloth.

Swaddle04

10. You can see here how it looks once that remaining piece of fabric is tucked in place.

And there you have a swaddled deck, wrapped up nice and neat.  It’s safe, secure and snug, and is easily able to store and stack, as well as safe to toss in a bag without worrying it’s going to get bent or dinged or damaged.

It takes a little practice to get it nice and snug, but I’ve found that most decks (other than some of the really large ones) fit in the ‘fat squares’ of fabric really well.

 

Just Wait

Today’s meditation was eleven minutes and sixteen seconds, and focused on the three types of learning.  These styles of learning are through the word of others, through your own research, and through actually doing.  It discussed how each type has its place in the process of one’s development of new skills, but it is the last of the three that really cements home changes in one’s skills and abilities.

I think this is especially true and very clear to see in when people are learning the tarot (or any divinitory system).   Books can only take you so far, watching others can only take you so far… research and study can only take you so far.  It is only once you begin actually reading with the cards (or other system) that you begin to cement into place your knowledge and methods and find the confidence and strength that only hands on experience can lend.

Today’s draw is the Five of Swords (the Mako Shark), which is a representation of trials, tests, hardship, conflict, and struggles in the area of one’s thoughts, logic, communication, instincts, intellect, and challenges.

In the guidebook for this deck, the Mako Shark’s keywords are dominance, power, fearlessness, drive, cunning, and endurance.

This card is really good for today, and I would like to share a quote from the Journey into the Hidden Realms book that demonstrates perfectly how I see the appearance of the Five of Swords in today’s draw.

“… while things look chaotic and dangerous, they aren’t as bad as you are making them out to be…. just let the situation play out naturally, it’ll blow over soon. Trying to take action now will only bring regrets.”

This is exactly right for today as I learned yesterday (along with multitudes of other sellers on the site) that Etsy has decided to completely revamp their advertising platform.  This is a platform that has worked VERY good for me over the years, and what they are incorporating into the new platform involves LESS control as well as the inclusion of a venue that has never worked well for me at all.  Because there are less controls, this means there’s no way to opt out of that advertising venue without curtailing advertising through them entirely.

I’ve been mulling over what I want to do about this, as I definitely have issue with a number of the changes.  I needed guidance, although I had not yet chosen to turn to the cards for it.   The cards, though, stepped up to provide that guidance regardless.

For the time being, I will take the “wait and see” route.  Once the dust has settled, then I will go back and review my options and make a more educated decision.

Deck Used: The Animism Tarot

 

A Breath of Fresh Air

Today’s meditation was eleven minutes and thirty-seven seconds, and involved a full body scan from head to feet and then back up again.

These are, hands down, one of my favorite types of meditations.  I enjoy the process of moving from body part to body part, and it is mentally engaging enough to keep my mind from straying all over the place.

It also gives me a chance to touch in on what it is my body needs, where I am sore and need more stretching, what needs more attention to function dependably through the day.

Today’s draw is the Page of Wands (the Chinchilla) which is a representation of a receptive omega energy in the area of one’s passions, drive, willpower, and aspirations.  The Page of Wands is a learner, but a learner that is up for exploration and filled with curiosity, inspiration, and potential for discovery.

In the guidebook for this deck, the Chinchilla’s keywords are specified as discovery, curiosity, communication, awareness, innocence, and enthusiasm.

This is the mentality that I brought with me into my day today, and as a result we visited a LOT of places along the way back home including craft stores, grocery store (I made a new and absolutely SPECTACULAR dish tonight that I’d made up in my head in the grocery store), and even the park for a short visit.   This energy was like a breath of fresh air, and one that was greatly needed at that.

Sacred Spaces – A #whatsyourspace (non) VR to Intuition Tarot

Why I have sacred spaces is pretty easy to answer for me. My sacred spaces are places for spellcraft and worship that are spread throughout my home. This incorporates spirituality into my everyday life instead of “designating it to a corner”.  This is going to be a MASSIVE post with lots of text and lots of pictures, so fair warning… it’s probably going to take quite a while to get through. (And, as a side note… in this post, all of the pics will be clickable for larger images.)

That said, I thought you might like a tour of my sacred spaces. This post will be a sort of combination of a ‘what’s on my altar” tour, as well as a general tour of the sacred spaces in my home.  I’ve been planning this post for some time, but Becca over at Intuition Tarot recently did a video that inspired me to get my ass in gear and get it done.

We’ll start with my altar, which is set up in the bedroom.

001

I want to say that the stuff on my altar are self explanatory, but they might not be, so I will go through them starting with the Gaia statue.   I do not worship the goddess Gaia, but I use this statue as a representation of the energies of creation, evolution, and balance.  Draped over her lap is a mala that has been placed there as an offering to those energies.

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Beneath her is the little altar table you gave me at one point, and beneath that is a small jade offering cup with a tree of life bracelet that you also gifted me at some point.  Just forward from there is my altar candle, with four spheres of elemental representations and clear quartz pieces in front of each one.

These spheres are amazonite for earth, citrine for air, banded carnelian agate for fire, and amethyst for water.   Clockwise from there, in the top right corner there is my suspended goblet filled with lots and lots of different (mostly tumbled) gemstones and gemstone chips.  Hanging off the arm of the goblet’s support is the very first pendulum that I’d ever owned, and beneath that at the base where the flower resides is a small dark green jade Buddha.

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Clockwise from there, in the bottom right corner is an intention box decorated in art nouveau style, which contains a mala made of kyanite and labradorite for connecting to emotion and calm combined, and a small trinket heart for gratitude.

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Continuing clockwise from there is my father’s Kila (here’s a link with info on this tool if you’re interested), which is a ceremonial tool that is usually used in Vajrayana Buddhism.  I’m not 100% sure if they use it in the traditional version of the path he was on, but HE used it, and I keep it on my altar as a representation of him and his spirit.  The mirror beside it is something that my mother has said belonged to our grandmother (Lins has the matching hairbrush somewhere). The hand mirror is a representation of my ancestors.  And, of course, the favorite thing on my altar?  My beautiful Lil’Phil plant that sits up in the left hand corner.

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On the wall above my alter is a framed picture of The Dash that I’ve shared before with you, and a small tree of life sun catcher in amethyst and peridot.  Above that to the left is a new addition.  That is my beautiful moth woman, which I was given recently by Z and matches the intention box on the altar.

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Then, on the shelf below the altar, you can find usually a collection of larger gemstones, my agate offering bowl, a painted rock with spiral design that I found in a post office parking lot, the tarot deck I’m using for my daily pulls, etc.  To the left of that on a plant stand is a planter filled with (currently very colorful) sand where my burning incense is safely used.

OK… so that is my main altar.  But, I also have a handful of other sacred spaces in my home.

014Beside my altar, I have a large mirror with a bauble trap set up there for mischief makers to busy themselves with (so that they aren’t playing with the stuff on my altar). I’ve added a picture, but I’ve found that I had a hell of a time figuring out how to get it to show the simmer on the baubles, so they look a little dark.  You can click the picture to get a better view though.

Also in this picture, you can see my new teardrop shaped salt lamp, which I purchased from a shop near Z’s that was going out of business. It’s located on the far side of the room and is hooked up to a timer that turns it on and off on a schedule, and also allows me to turn it on and off with my phone so that I have a little light in the room when I’m heading to bed (so I don’t trip over Miss Luna’s toys).  It’s such a deep pink that when it’s turned on at night it glows red.  It also sits in a small dish that you can’t quite see, because salt lamps always run the risk of drawing moisture and I don’t want to drown my Bose speaker sitting there or the books tucked in the book-stand beneath it.

013There is also my concrete Buddha (holding a piece of green calcite) on the other nightstand beside the bed, along with a moon box which holds a couple of malas in it, and a stack of a few decks I use monthly.

There are also the stones I use regularly in meditation, which includes a large piece of labradorite and smaller palm stones in amethyst and smoky quartz.  My pill box usually sits here as well, along with whatever book(s) I’m reading from just before bed at the time (which at the moment is “I See You, I Am You” by Casey Jo Loos).  At the time I took this picture, I was re-reading the Journey Into the Hidden Realm. (Sorry for all the dust in my pics btw.  The close ups really show it and I just didn’t feel like dusting before I took the photos.)

That little pill bottle hiding in the back is Advil Nighttime, which I use now and then when I can’t sleep and don’t have to be up early.  The coasters on the left usually hold a water bottle that I keep filled in the bedroom.

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Then there is this little altar beside the bath tub in the bathroom.  I spend a good deal of time in my bathtub.  Ok, so not THAT much time, but at least an hour and a half each week at the minimum, not counting my daily showering.  It’s not just for soaking, but also for first aid (thank you Epson salts) and ritual bathing.

This little space contains a bin that holds two waterproof tarot decks and one waterproof lenormand deck.  There is also a large pillar candle (that made myself at Ms B’s house), a wheat-straw teddy bear mug holding a collection of essential oil bottles, and a few books for when I feel like doing a little reading while I marinate in the tub.

Because of allergies, I have to be extremely careful what I put in my baths.  For this reason, I don’t use herbals in my bath. What I use most often is a mix of Epson salts, apple cider vinegar (with the mother), and bentonite clay combined with a single drop of one of a few essential oils that I know for sure will not set off my allergies in some way.  These supplies are lined up along the wall beside the little stool I show in the pictures.

007In the living room, I then have a few spots as well.

Here is my shelf where I keep my pentacle tile and my mother’s bell. Lots of candles as well obviously, and you’ll see a handful of things that you have purchased for me over the years.

There is the mantle above my fireplace, where I also have a handful of the gifts you have given me over the years, as well as candles and crystals, a fairy door, and a parade of turtles that always remind me of you. There is also my goose, the newest gift you gave me of the holding hands, and a few other small items (including a blown glass turtle pendant that matches the one I sent you hanging from the vase on the left that is for some reason currently facing the wall).

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Also on the mantle is an heirloom piece (that you can see in the middle picture above on the left), which is the green Fenton glass owl candle holder that was my mother’s.  I’ve been enamored with this candle holder since I was a little kid, and I was seriously -choked- when my mother told me that I could take it home with me recently.  It is very cherished.

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Here you can see our bauble tree, gifted by you, which my sister and I also use to hang things upon (charms, notes on strings, etc) as a way of setting intentions prior to spellcrafting.  This tree works spectacularly as a bauble trap as the shell leaves really shimmer and reflect light beautifully, and the tree branch mirrors you gave me go really well as “expanding” the reach of the branches of the central tree in my opinion.

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Here is the entry to my home, or rather, what resides above the entry.  On the left, you have my sage and cedar poppet for protection and a besom pentagram, both of which came in last month’s Witches Box subscription.  The rest of the stuff up there has been there for years and includes broom (besom) that Z made for me when I moved into this space, and two plaques that my sister and I set with intentions each year.

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Here is the last of the bauble traps currently in my home, and I’ve mentioned this one on the blog in the past.  This is near the front door at the other end of the short entry hall. It is not visible from the front door, but catches light from windows across the room.  Like the one in the bedroom, I didn’t manage to get a really good shot of the items reflecting the light due to the time of day I took these photos.

Like the plaques above the front door, the sign above this mirror is imbibed with spellcrafting, which because I am using this as a bauble trap right next to the entrance to my home, I feel is extremely important as my belief is that mirrors can also be a sort of doorway.

012On the other side of the main living area near the sliding glass door, here is my Quan Yin statue.

Quan Yin (aka Guanyin) is the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion.  In my parents home growing up, we had a number of Quan Yin statues, which holds a certain amount of irony considering my father and his behavior throughout my childhood.  BUT, I love Quan Yin. I think she is beautiful.

I don’t worship her as a goddess, but I love everything she represents and everything she is about.  Like the Buddha, I bring her into my home not to worship, but because I feel it creates space for the energies that they represent.

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I can’t really say that I have sacred spaces set up in either my kitchen or the office, although I included a few items imbibed with intentions from my kitchen above, as well as a peek of some of my books on my kitchen bookshelf.

I consider the whole of my kitchen a sacred space, as this is where a lot of my spellcrafting takes place, and where much of my intention setting also is done concerning health matters and the like.

In the office I have a lot of greenery, but nothing that’s particularly sacred aside from the plants themselves.  I do have a few things hung on the wall near where I package orders to remind me of my center and assist in keeping me from sinking too deeply into that “work mindset” and losing track of everything else.

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As a side note about the kitchen… In many traditions there is a superstition that tools used in worship and spellcraft can never again return to being used for mundane tasks. I personally do not subscribe to this belief. My home is a sacred space, my life aligns with my faith in not just that I do in a daily devotional or occasional rituals, but is sprinkled throughout my life (and home) in all sorts of small ways. It is not something put in a box only to be pulled out for certain things or occasions, but instead is a part of everyday life, and integrated into every nook and cranny.

Because of this integration, though, I’m sure I’ve missed a few of the smaller spots and things that make up the smaller sacred spots.  When something is so integrated into your life, sometimes it just becomes so everyday that you no longer manage to pick it out.  So I think that’s it!

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A bonus picture of my balcony because it is where I go to center when I’m upset, or just to feel a little more connected to the earth when I can’t get out to go hiking. Out here is also where I sit to smudge new decks when they come into my collection.  I didn’t include a picture of that process, though, cuz I’ve already made a post about it.