Vulnerability and Trust

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long and… I did it twice.  I was actually trying to fall asleep, as for some reason I was having a lot of difficulty in that area this morning.  I didn’t manage to fall asleep during either of those meditations, although they were very relaxing.  And I did eventually manage to fall asleep for a few hours some time after that.  I’m still feeling a bit sleep deprived, but much better than earlier before the nap.

Cosmos Tarot and OracleToday’s draw is The Magician card of the major arcana, which is traditionally interpreted as (essentially) “the man with all the tools”.   The card is about confidence and resourcefulness. The Magician is about having the tools necessary to do whatever needs done, and the skill to wield them as needed along the way.

I just have to say… I love this card’s imagery.  I love the Satyr helping the little lamb to get out of the tree’s branches.  It shows both gentleness and kinship, but also strength and surety.

The lamb, specifically, caught my eye today.  And the hands of the ram.  There is kindness and capability in those hands, and an aching vulnerability in the visage of the lamb.

The message in this card is to trust in the one you know can help you.  Trust in the one that has the strength and the gentleness and the loving care to help you.

Today’s message is about trust, and about putting yourself into the caring hands of the one you trust when you are feeling vulnerable.


#TarotForGrowthJuly Challenge Prompt
I’m struggling to maintain motivation.
:  What single, small change can I introduce into my routine that would most benefit my goals moving forward?

Star Seeker Tarot

Reading Summary: Despite my fears and anxieties (Nine of Swords) , continue to make a conscious daily choice (Two of Swords) to grow and move forward (Seven of Pentacles).

Take Away: Sometimes it’s not about the things we do, but the thoughts we keep. When feeling vulnerable, it can be hard to stay open and continue to advance on one’s desires and goals. Sometimes the biggest and best thing we can do is make sure we are checking in with ourselves and making sure to stay open… make sure that walls are not coming up and closing you off. The message here is about mindfulness and self awareness.  It is a small change with a huge and important impact on the long term growth you seek.


#DiscordTarotholicsJul2020 Challenge Prompt
Free Day!  Pick a spread you’ve been curious about and try it out.

The Fifth TarotWhat doubts need confronting?

I was raised to always seek perfectionism from myself.  To demand it.  Directing my energy into this idealism has become not just a habit, but a compulsion that creates self doubt concerning my skills and abilities.

What ideal needs releasing?

Let go of the expectations of what your mother could be or should be.  You want a new start and a relationship filled with love and support, but this is not who she is and it never will be.  Expecting this from her is futile.  Her heart is not open, nor is it the bud preparing to bloom… instead, it is the withered bud folding in on itself.

What do I need in order to accept my present self?

Patience, tranquility… and most of all, alone time. This isn’t about self reflection as it is about finding peace and allowing time for all that you have learned and discovered to sink in and settle into calm waters.


#OwlandBonesJuly Challenge by Owl and Bones Tarot
invest:  time // money // love // patience

Wheel of the Year Tarot

Invest TimeAce of Wands – In developing new skills and passionate pursuits. I recently ended up putting the wood burning project I’d been practicing for on the back burner. Perhaps it’s time to pull it back out and play with it a bit more. Some more exploration and experimentation is in order and could be fun.

Invest MoneyQueen of Pentacles – Literally… invest money.  Tuck some of that cash that you’re making right now away to replenish what’s been used over the past few months.

Invest LoveThe Hierophant – Sometimes being a guide to others and teacher requires applying a bit of loving understanding. In this case, I need to take time to make sure I’m investing a bit more love and kindness than is my normal into my client readings.  Someone desperately needs to hear it.

Invest PatienceQueen of Cups – In yourself and others. Compassion is important, and a part of compassion is allowing space for people and providing them with room to speak their truth. Being a good listener is an extremely important part of interacting with others.


#ConnectWithYourDeckChallenge by E Roebuck-Jones
Question:  How can I maintain my creative flow?

Wild Unknown Tarot

Reading Summary: Give less weight to your mothers influence (Mother of Swords Rx), give more weight to Gideon’s influence (Father of Cups)… and have confidence in your hard won skills (Eight of Pentacles).

Take Away:  The crap blocks my creativity most strongly is the shrinking, constricting pain that happens in my stomach whenever my mother’s claws manage to tear a chunk out of my insides.  Your comfort… your influence… your love is the balm to that pain and those wounds.  You lift me up and remind me that I am good and capable and more than just meagerly talented but innovative and skilled in my craft.


Afternoon Bonus Read – The First Harvest

The prompt for this reading came from one of my Discord servers and is as follows:
It’s almost Lammas, the First Harvest! This week, take some time with your divination tools to learn what things in your life you are currently or will soon be harvesting.

Carta Bellica Renaissance Playing Cards

In what area of my life am I harvesting results?
King of Spades, Two of Diamonds

I am making progress in the area of balancing my obligations and responsibilities in a more controlled and conscientious manner.  This includes leading others into helping me to get what needs done finished, and finding time to sit down and rest when needed instead of constantly pushing for more.  The results of this effort are starting to actually show results in my life at this time.

In what area of my life will I soon be harvesting results?
Ace of Hearts

All that emotional growth that you’ve been starting down the path of over the past handful of months is moving into a point of rest now, and you will begin to see the results of the work you’ve put in and the effort made to protect that budding new growth from being snuffed out.

What is something that I currently need to be storing up or preparing for the future?
Seven of Hearts, Seven of Spades, Jack of Spades

There are a lot of things that I need to work at preparing right now in the business.  This takes a lot of planning, and a lot of juggling, including making some choices on how things are prioritized.  At this time you are still in the learning phase in some ways when it comes to plotting this new course, and it’s important to make sure that each step on this path at his time is measured and well thought out.


Gideon’s Challenge


Come in close
among mossy fronds
and fiddleheads
to touch noses
with his cheery face.
Mushroom tops
wobble and dance
as the little bell inside
Sniff out the thimble
of sweet sweet honey
go ahead and take a sip.

My garden and my home are both open to the Fae.  I welcome them in, I leave them offerings, and I have baubles traps for entertainment.  They are a part of the wards and protections of my home… not because I’ve asked them to, but because this is a safe place for them and they like it here. Bits of whimsy and fun touches are scattered throughout my home and garden in welcome to them… this little gnome and the tinkling bell mushrooms are simply one of many of those small touches.

Photo © ZenStatePhotography

#31DaysofWitchcraft Prompt 18 (non)VR to Heather Carter

Heather Carter on YouTube put together a series of prompts titled #31DaysofWitchcraft that she’s been working her way through since the beginning of May. I really like this idea, but I can’t handle the responsibility of any more daily posts, so I thought that for the next little while I would do one (or a few at a time) for the end of week “My Pagan Perspective” posts and work through them a bit at a time.


18. Do you use herbs and/or crystals in your personal practice? Is so, which are your favourites? And why?

I already wrote about the most commonly used crystals in my practice, so I figured that I would use this prompt to now focus on the most commonly used herbs and plants in my practice.

I would like to focus first on the why part of this question, though.  I use herbs and plants in my practice in much the same way I use crystals. To enhance my intentions, enhance the energies I’m working with, or guide those energies to strengthen their purpose.

Spellwork is like any task.  Say you want to hammer in a nail.   You can use a rock…. or you can use a hammer.  Both will work, but the hammer will be much more efficient and much easier to use.  In this analogy, the nail is spellwork… and the hammer is the crystals and herbs used in that spellwork.

Here is my “short list” of the “herbs” I use on a regular basis in my path and practice. Not an exhaustive list, but my go-to herbs most of the time.  I have included what I most often use these herbs and plants for, but keep in mind this is my personal most common uses for each plant and in no way is anywhere near the full scope of that plant’s uses in in spellwork and ritual.


The following herbs and plants are those most commonly used in my practice as a whole (and are non-edible either because of toxicity or personal allergies)

Alder – Strength, Protection, Self Confidence, Bravery
Aloe – Peaceful Energy, Soothing, Home Protection, Luck, Lunar Magic, Silencing Rumors
Birch – Energies of Potential and Renewal, Psychic Protection, Purification
Buttercups – Reminiscence, Self Worth, Innocence, Self Love, Inner Child Work
Cascara – Releasing Spiritual or Emotional Constipation, Money Spells, Legal Matters
Cedar – Perseverance, Fortitude, Protection, Cleansing Negative Energy, Warding
Columbine – Love Magic, Life Path Work, Inner Truth Work
Douglas fir – Healing Magic, Ancestral Work, Grounding, Grounded Progress
Fern & Fiddle-heads (various) – Protection, Invisibility, Good Fortune, Exorcising Evil Spirits
Fireweed – Easing Anger, Restoration, New Beginnings, Breaking Up Spiritual Blocks
Foxglove – Protection, Love and Sex, Fertility, Psychic Warfare
Hemlock (various) – Fostering Sexual Impotence, Purification Rituals, Protection During Astral Travel
Hoya – Wealth, Protection, Inward Exploration, Future Sight
Ivy (various) – Self-Love, Cleansing Negative Energies, Abundance
Juniper – Clear Sight, Warmth, Hope, Love and Sex
Maple – Spiritual Healing, Intellectual Pursuits, Bindings, Abundance, Communication
Marigold – Healing Depression, Cleansing, Good Health Spells
Nasturtium – Encouraging Tolerance, Creativity, Independence, Free Thought
Oak – Longevity and Immortality, Wisdom, Personal Power, Protection, Doorways
Peace Lily – Harmony, Comfort, Platonic Love
Pine – Wisdom, Longevity, Healing, Protection, Purification, Banishings
Poison Ivy – Protection, Defense, Repellent Magic
Rhododendron – Intellectual Pursuits, Sussing Out Enemies
Slippery Elm – Silencing Rumors and Lies
Spruce – Resilience, Rebound Defense Spells, Spirit Communication
Stinging Nettles – Uncrossing, Dispelling Negative Energy, Purification, Willpower
Sweetgrass – Attracting Positive Energy, Purification, Cleansing Out Negativity, Spiritual Healing
Tansy – Longevity, Intention Setting, Invisibility, Curse Protection, Safe Travels
Thistle – Protection, Ancestor Magic, Boldness, Self Growth, Uncrossing
Various mosses, lichens, and liverworts – Attentive Understanding, Clarity, Abundance, Harmony


Also, as a lot of my practice is focused on and included in food, here is a go-to list of the herbs and plants that I commonly use in my general practice as well as my kitchen witchery.

Basil – Peace, Happiness, Protection, Prosperity
Bay – Uncrossing, Employment, Protection, Prosperity, Psychic Boost
Blackberry – Protection, Prosperity, Healing
Chamomile – Healing, Gentle Energy, Harmony, Breaking Curses, Unraveling Unfamiliar Spells
Chili Pepper – Uncrossing, Banishing, Love, Protection
Cinnamon – Energy Boosting, Intention Boosting, Abundance, Prosperity
Cloves – Silencing Rumors and Lies
Dandelion – Healing, Divination Boost, Protection, Encouraging Smooth Cycles
Garden Sage – Protection, Purification, Healing, Cleansing, Luck, Wisdom
Garlic – Healing, Luck, Dispel Negative Energy, Thief Warding, Repel Harmful Spirits
Ginger – Protection, Sex Magic, Prosperity
Lavender – Cleansing, Clarity, Relaxation, Healing Relationships, Releasing Negative Emotion
Lilac – Energy Boost, Balance, Romance, Metaphysical Doorways
Mint – Resolving Misunderstandings, Prosperity, Lessen Accident Proneness
Mugwort – Dreams, Psychic Boost, Protection, Purification
Orange Peel – Prosperity, Success, Positivity
Oregano – Comforting Warmth, Protection, Purification, Vitality, Peace
Pansy – Gentle Energy, Love, Kindness, Self Love, Bright Ideas, Happiness
Raspberry – Protection, Love, Kindness, Youthfulness, Creativity
Rose (incl hips) – Health, Love, Anticipation of Love, Abundance, Emotional Healing, Secrecy
Rosemary – Warding, Purification, Protection, Psychic Cleansing, Repels Negative Energy
Shepherd’s Purse – Healing, Protection, Healing, Renewal Magic
Thyme – Loyalty, Luck, and Dispelling of Grief, Nightmares, Depression, and Negativity

As mentioned previously, these are far from the only herbs and plants that I use in my practice, but they are the ones that I use most often. Nor have I listed all of the possible uses for each plant, just the what I most commonly use them for.

Herbs and plants have a wide variety of different uses to boost spellwork, divination, intention setting, and other purposes.  I use plants and herbs, as well as crystals, daily in a variety of different ways.

I think it’s important to stress, though, that I have training as a botanist that allows me to handle a lot of dangerous plants much more safely than the average person, and that there are a handful of dangerous and even deadly plants on the list shared above that I do not recommend being used by those without the training and knowledge to do so safely.  Without the proper training and care, one could very easily end up not just hurting themselves, but possibly killing themselves, a loved one, or a beloved pet by accident.  It’s always important to research plants used in any magical working thoroughly before jumping in with both feet.

Gratitude Is An Offering

Today’s meditation was fifteen minutes long and attached to the end of my extended yoga / physio practice that I did this morning.  It was a good idea to give it a day between sessions of the new routine in order to let my muscles ease a bit.  I’ll continue the on-again off-again schedule for the next few weeks.   I don’t plan on making the added routine permanent, but I think that until I can get back to the chiropractor on a regular schedule it’d be a good idea to continue on with it.

Herbcrafter's TarotToday’s draw is the Madre of Earth (Queen of Pentacles) which is traditionally a representation of a receptive alpha energy, personality, or person in the area of one’s finances, resources, health, manifestations, and the physical world. This often translates into a theme of nurturing energy that is both strong and supportive.

I know that in the guidebook for this deck, it says that the hands holding the bowl are making an offering to deity, but when I look at the imagery on this card today, I do not see an offering…. I see an expression of gratitude as those hands accept a gift from nature.

Larrea tridentata (Creosote bush) is definitely one of those things to be grateful for in nature.  It is an extremely useful plant that survives in places and climates that most plants can’t.  It is antimicrobial, fever reducing, and useful in treating a vast array of different physical ills from diarrhea and sinusitis, to general pain complaints and arthritis, anemia, and even stomach cramps.

The message in today’s card is about gratitude and respect.  You don’t take what is not sustainable, and you always show gratitude for what is given and used. This form of respect is something that seems to be lost by so many these days, and forgotten by society at large.  The message here today is to not allow yourself to be one of those that forget. Practice gratitude, be mindful of what you take and what you use, and always show respect for what has been given and where it comes from.


#TarotForGrowthJuly Challenge Prompt
I’m struggling to maintain motivation.
:  How can I accept that willpower is a limited resource?

Dixit Cards v4 Origins Expansion Pack

Reading Summary: Remember all the times that you have intrepidly move yourself forward (Left Card) even when you were out of your comfort zone (Center Card), and how it is so anxiety ridden to be there (Big Eye… Worried Fish). And how refreshed you feel after taking a rest and some time in Gideon’s care (Right Card).

Take Away:  This is about knowing when to yield.  You can push on and push and push and push yourself until you’re a mess of anxiety and tied up in knots, but sooner or later you -have to- let go.  That makes willpower not a personality trait, but a skill or ability.  And like all skills and abilities?  They require times of rest and recharging.


#DiscordTarotholicsJul2020 Challenge Prompt
Write something free form inspired by the cards.

Tarot MaddonniThere was once a young king named Keern, who ran his kingdom with great love (King of Cups). Sometimes he felt overburdened (Ten of Wands), but he chose to push through these feelings and direct them into providing strength (La Force) to his kingdom by protecting all within his realm (Nine of Wands).

And yet even then, he felt disenchanted (Four of Cups) and alone (Nine of Coins)

Although he was a very picky man (Judgement), he decided it was time to take a wife. And so King Keern began to seek out someone with similar ideals to his own they could help him foster and nurture his people (The Empress).

He met with many women, and there were so many more to choose from! There were so many, in fact, that his search became a burden in and of itself (Seven of Cups).

Then one day on his search, Keern met a poor man down on his luck (Five of Coins) named Heste, who encouraged him to sit down and discuss his problems. The king had love in his heart for all his subjects, and did so.  At the end of the discussion this man helped him to see that he was going after what was expected of him rather than what he really wanted (The Pope).

This conversation helped the king to realize that the heart wants what the heart wants… no matter what others think. Seeing things from this new perspective, Keern then changed his tactics and purpose (Hanged Man).   He opened himself up to more options, and in the end he found his true love among not the women of his kingdom at all.   Instead, it was the wise peasant with whom he’d spoken to that day he found his mind and heart drawn to, and so Keern brought Heste home to the castle to take on their future… together (The Lovers).


#OwlandBonesJuly Challenge by Owl and Bones Tarot
dream // plan // manifest

Women of Science Tarot

DreamTen of Nano – Emotional fulfillment is something that I can’t even imagine, but I do hope for.  I think that perhaps once I have gotten to a point where I’m more comfortable with my emotions that this dream will be more easily realized… rather than a concept that “sounds good”.

PlanKnight of Nano – Moving forward emotionally is often just like moving forward in any capacity.  Sometimes?  You have to factor in a bit of planning.  I’m in the process of finding “comfortable” with the new emotional levels I’ve grown into over the past few months.  Having a plan in place to allow that growth to settle in might be a good idea to consider.

ManifestTwo of Macro and Eight of Astro – Allow yourself to see the blockages that are self created and standing in the way to getting your new balance of responsibilities set into place.  If you want to make this new balance a reality, you need to be open to those self restricting beliefs and behaviors that are still holding you back.


#ConnectWithYourDeckChallenge by E Roebuck-Jones
Question:  How will I know if I have achieved my creative calling?

Psychopomp Tarot

Reading Summary: Elements that will be present include inspiration to move forward (Two of Wands), a sense of connectivity with myself and the universe (The Star) and  And a feeling of balance and rightness in my direction (Justice).

Take Away:  When it all comes together and feels right?  That’s when you’re in your element and have hit that mark.  This is about how it feels in the moment and like the two hands that paint each other in the Two of Wands card, this calling is not stagnant or permanent, but ever changing and cyclical. What is my creative calling ten years ago may not be my creative calling ten years from now… and that’s okay.  As long as it feels right.