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.

DECK USED:  COSMOS TAROT AND ORACLE

#TarotForGrowthJuly Challenge Prompt
Topic: 
I’m struggling to maintain motivation.
Question
:  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.

DECK USED:  STAR SEEKER TAROT

#DiscordTarotholicsJul2020 Challenge Prompt
Topic: 
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.

DECK USED:  THE FIFTH TAROT

#OwlandBonesJuly Challenge by Owl and Bones Tarot
Topic: 
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.

DECK USED:  WHEEL OF THE YEAR TAROT

#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.

DECK USED:  WILD UNKNOWN TAROT

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.

DECK USED: CARTA BELLICA RENAISSANCE PLAYING CARDS

Gideon’s Challenge

IMG_6146Whimsy

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
sings.
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.

Herbs03

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.

Herbs01

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

Herbs02

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.