Patrons, Angels, and Guiding Spirits

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about patrons, angels, and guiding spirits.

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Topic for the Week of 10/14: “I don’t have a succinct question but I’d love to hear people talk about patrons, holy guardian angels, tutelary spirits, head spirits and that sort of thing. Do you think they’re all the same or are they different things with different roles? How many (if any) do you acknowledge and work with?”

Honestly, I am open to the possibility that they all exist.  I am also open to the possibility that they are all the same thing and that people just relate to them differently   I am also open to the possibility that they are NOT all the same thing, and that each is a different thing with a different role.

In my own personal practice, I do not work with angels, demons, patrons, gods, goddesses, spirits of the deceased, and have no idea what a tutelary spirit or head spirit is (although I did consult google briefly before this post, but… it wasn’t clearly defined in what I found).

What I do work with is energy.  I work with (and revere) elemental energies, and I work with what I see as the core energy that is within everyone and everything, which I refer to as the “energies of creation, evolution, and balance”.

I also acknowledge 1) the existence of spirits of the deceased that occasionally linger or stay behind for some reason, and 2) Fae.

With the spirits of the deceased, I do not work with them.  I do not want to work with them and feel that it is not a part of my wheelhouse.  That’s not to say that I haven’t had experiences, but these are acknowledged and not explored.  I have no interest in delving into that area of things, regardless of if I have potential ability to do so.

Concerning the Fae… It is much the same, but with a feeling of kinship and gratitude.  I am familiar with liminal spaces, especially those that are very much connected to raw nature.  I enjoy them immensely and feel very, very much at home within them.

In these spaces, there are Fae energies present and these are welcome in that sense of kinship and gratitude that I’ve mentioned, but I do not work with them in my practice or my spellcraft.  For me, it is much the same as why I don’t work with animals in my practice and spellcraft.  They are living entities with free will, their own motivations, and their own choices to make.  I would never push my will upon them in that way, even if they stepped forward to volunteer for it.  It just doesn’t feel right.

 

Dealing with Intolerance

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about dealing with intolerance not just outside of the pagan community, but inside of the community as well.

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Topic for the Week of 7/29:  As pagans, how do you handle the topic of religious tolerance from both outside and inside the pagan community? How do you operate in spaces that might be intolerant? I have found religious intolerance from both inside and out and I am having a hard time navigating the topic as well as trying to figure out how to react/handle hostility towards my religion and path.

In my day to day life, I run into intolerance all the time.  Due to being mute, this is just a part of my every day, or at least any day where I have to interact with strangers… which is just about every day.

Religious intolerance, on the other hand, really isn’t something I deal with very often.

There had been a time when I was traveling that I visited some places where it would have been potentially dangerous for me to be open about my faith, but I was very aware of this fact and took precautions to make sure this didn’t happen.

Now, in my present life and location?  It’s just not a problem I have to deal with all that often.  Not that it doesn’t present itself, but simply that I very literally chose not to deal with it.  I don’t invite people into my life that are not open-minded and tolerant, and I don’t give my very precious time to the same.

It’s easier (and honestly far more positive to the energy in my own life) to simply step away and detach (mentally, physically, however possible) from the source of the hostility or intolerance. I find those that approach with hostility and intolerance are not generally open to being educated, so it’s not worth my time to engage. I think it helps, though, to be well seated in your own belief system and path. When there is a stable foundation and certainty on where you ‘fit’ into the world, it’s much easier to give others approaching with hostility and intolerance less credence.

My most common response when someone demonstrates religious intolerance and/or religious hostility directed my way is to look at them like they’re an idiot (or an epic disappointment) and then walk away.

My second most common response is very similar, which is simply to smile, shake my head in a (I’m so glad I’m not you) sort of way, and walk away.

These reactions are generally the same regardless if the source of that intolerance/hostility is coming from someone within the pagan community or from outside of it.  I really just don’t have time for that shit, and I feel giving that type of behavior my time and energy feeds that negative energy and may be perceived as a form of encouragement.

Exceptions?  Only one that I can think of.   If the person I perceive as being intolerant indicates in some way that they are not displaying intolerance so much as an ignorance with a openness to learn?   I might try to better explain my views and perspectives.    I run into this sometimes in the pagan community, and occasionally with people of other religions specifically in relation to cartomancy.

 

What is Spell Craft?

“At some point I want you to do a post for me about spell crafting. What it is, what it does, how you do the process. I saw a Lisa and Peggy video on “to love a witch” and the partner had to answer questions about them and I realized this is an area I’m completely blank on.” – Gideon

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Okay, well I should first explain that until recently?  I found spell crafting and spell casting to be synonymous.  But then, I discovered that people actually USE pre-written spells in books and off the internet that are designed by others… sort of like using a recipe when cooking. Not as a foundation to build from and adjust, but literally as-is letter for letter.

Because of the way I was raised, and how I was taught, this actually surprised me quite a bit.  This is because, in my family, you craft your spells either by yourself of with others.  They are then written down for posterity and to be reused and improved on in the future.  BUT, these spells are yours.  They are, by the very nature of having created them yourself, tailored to you and your energies and your particular affinities and abilities.

Until this recent discovery mentioned above, I couldn’t imagine anyone taking one of my spells and using it, letter for letter, to do their own spell casting.  It would be like someone deciding they wanted to wear my decade old, worn and still hanging in there pair of underwear, and  not just wearing them, but trying to make them fit their body in the way they have over time stretched and molded to fit mine.

Spells get passed down, of course, but they are not used letter for letter.  They are altered and adjusted, rewritten and reworked to fit the person using them. Because without personalization, how is it supposed to mesh with your energy and intentions?

So with that said… lets do a little bit of defining of terms.  Keep in mind these are my definitions of these terms.  This is not a general consensus, nor are my views on this spelled out anywhere that I’m aware of where there’s some kind of adopted agreement where others are concerned.  It’s just me and my definitions.

Spell (as a noun) – The gathering of your intention, your will, and energy (yours, ambient energy around you, and/or the blend of energies belong to the tools and supplies you use), and pushing them into a ritual, item, or magickal action of some sort that then projects them toward the goal behind that intention.  You are the microphone, the spell is the speakers.

Spell Craft (as a noun) – Working with spells, including any creation or designing of magickal workings, whether that be ritual spells, free form spells, etc. Spell craft is an “umbrella term” (much like the word “witchcraft”) that is used to encompass the process of creation through to casting of spells, and the practice of magickal workings as a whole.

Ritual Spells (as a noun) – This type of spell is much like a recipe when cooking.  You have an ingredient list (supply list) and a set out series of steps involved, usually with a pre-planned incantation.  They are often planned well in advance to be done on certain powerful days that align with the spell’s intention (such as a full moon ritual).

Free Form Spells (as a noun) – Returning to the analogy of cooking… this is when you “wing it”.  It’s still a spell, as you are directing will, intention, and energy into a magickal working… but it is not as rigid and regimented as ritual spells.

Spell Casting (as a verb) – Very literally, the casting of a spell. Spell casting concentrates and directs energy, and it does not necessarily require tools or supplies (although they can definitely help).  It is, at its core, a projection of intention and energy.   Tools and supplies are simply used to hone, wield, and better direct that energy.

Spell Crafting (as a verb) – This is the literal act of crafting of spells. The work. The research. Spell crafting involves not just the collecting of items wanted or needed to better direct the intention behind a spell and energies involved, but can include anything from writing incantations to creating incense or oils. Making your own supplies for magical workings is also spell crafting, which can involve the designing or making of supplies such as poppets, sachets, teas or food, candles, etc.

In my case, spell crafting and spell casting can often go hand in hand as one, as I do a lot of free-form spell work. When I am using supplies I am familiar with and that I know are safe, there are many times that I will craft as I go, and cast in the moment.  In other words, I might bring together ingredients to create a brand new spell, make the supplies I need in the moment (such as a poppet out of a piece of paper… also spell craft), and cast immediately.

Other times, especially if working with plant parts that I’m not fully familiar with, or trying something a little outside my familiarity, I will do a lot of research first.  Take notes.  Plan and do more research.  Sometimes spells are complicated and you need to craft different things for them first (again, such as poppets, sachets, oils, sprays, etc), and/or you want to get the wording of your intentions just right and may need to spend time crafting just the right words for the task.   All of this is spell crafting… some of it may also be spell casting if you are instilling your intention into the items as you make them.

I feel like I talked myself in circles here.   But…. maybe it made sense?

I’m sure you have lots of questions after this post, and I’m happy to do a subsequent post on this if there’s anything you’d like for me to go into more detail about, or any curiosities you have.   Just let me know.

 

Ethony’s 10 Questions Every Tarot Reader Should Answer

On Ethony’s website, she has a list of the ten questions every tarot reader should answer.  I don’t think I’ve done this one before, so I thought I’d go ahead and add it into the other tarot quizzes that I’ve done on here.

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1. Were you mentored, or were you self-taught?

Both? I’d say it is both.   Lenormand has been a part of my life throughout my entire childhood and upward.  I did not start working with RWS until my early teens, and I have alternated between help from Z and doing my own research in all the years since then.

2. Are you a psychic or a Tarot reader?

Again… Both?  I don’t really consider it being “a psychic”, but I read the tarot intuitively 96% of the time.  BUT, I have a foundation of book learning behind beneath my feet, and I tap into that in my readings, even when reading intuitively, if for no other reason than to compare what I’m getting intuitively from the cards to the traditional meanings.

3. Are your predictions accurate, and is accuracy important to you?

I don’t usually set out to do predictive readings, although it does happen.   I find that accuracy isn’t something I really concern myself with in predictive reading, though.   Reason being is that even just being -aware- of what might transpire can change the future, and thus what -could- happen that’s read in the reading is averted/diverted due to the knowledge gained IN said reading.   It’s a Catch22.  Is it accurate and you changed your future?  Or was it inaccurate all along?   Unable to know one way or another?  I just don’t worry about it and read what I see.

4. Is there anything you can’t predict in a reading?

Can’t?  Lotto numbers.  Also, absolute certain, set in concrete predictions of events or situations that cannot be changed or diverted.  This is not really how things work in my experience.  Yes, sometimes things happen just as predicted. Sometimes you take action to ensure a different outcome.  The future is fluid until the moment it becomes the past.

5. Do you use only Tarot, or are you multi-disciplinary?

Okay…. so lets see if I can manage a complete list.   Lenormand, Oracle, Playing Cards, Tarot, Charm Casting, Pendulum, Stick & Pebble Casting (which includes not just sticks and pebbles, but also items such as tiny acorns and cones, tree nettles, thorns, etc found in nature), Runes… hm, I think that’s it.   I would also like to try orb scrying, but the only sphere so far I’ve found that speaks to me is a bit out of my price range at the moment.

6. Is the message in the cards, or in your head?

In my…. in my…. hm.   The messages  are in my solar plexus and delve inward and upward to emerge in the hollows of my collar bones to travel just beneath the skin up to the spot just behind my earlobes, then forward into my mouth.  My brain finds them there and translates them into something I can understand and communicate.

7. Are you a priest or a fortune-teller?

Neither.   I’m an intuitive that uses the cards to find the inner voice I just can’t hear well enough without them.

8. Are you a fixer or a looker?

Both.   Sometimes I’m just looking.  Sometimes, I’m looking for a reason.  Sometimes?  That reason is because I want to help, heal, or fix in some way.

9. Do you read for free, or for fee?

In the past I have read for money.  It was a good supplement to my income at the time.   Since my change in ability to communicate, I have only read for myself and for free for loved ones.  I am open to the possibility of trying remote readings using writing as a medium to communicate, although I’m not sure how interested people are in something like that considering how many other options for readings are out there.

(Edit: I did some face to face for-hire readings while away on my recent trip, and it wasn’t too bad, although the communication was definitely a hurdle to work with.)

10. Is there anything you won’t predict in a reading?

Death.  Nor do I do mediumship, as it’s just not in my wheelhouse.  I don’t give readings on shit that the querent should be going to a licensed professional for either.

 

Self Care Saturday… On a Sunday

As I’ve mentioned before, these readings are (not usually) bearing in on any one thing or event in my life, as the question used is asking for a more general outlook. This is a self care exercise, and are not meant as a predictive reading.

The question is… What do I need to focus for self-care through the week ahead?

Earth King of Cups – Take some time to project for myself some compassion and forgiveness, especially concerning any limitations that might arise in the week ahead.

AirThe Devil – Am drowning myself with the weight of all the “stuff”. Take a step back and evaluate mental clutter. Search for any obsessions that are not serving me and let them go.

WaterQueen of Pentacles – Going to need some alone time and to take some time to lose myself in fantasy and flights of fancy in order to nurture my emotional side.

FirePage of Rods – This week is a time for exploration and discovery. Try something new instead of the same old thing.

Waning – The need to carry my home with me is going to ease. This is not surprising, and is in direct relation to going home tomorrow.

Waxing – A new journey and crossing from the known into the unknown. This card feels like it is connected to the Fire cards in this spread.

Moral of the Story – New adventures ahead, but from home rather than abroad. Keep an eye out for what may be adding unnecessary stress or “weight”. Be sure to make some space and time for myself to breathe.

Deck Used: Morgan Greer Tarot

Permaculture and Our Environment

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is a “Choose Your Adventure”, which means going back through the topics and picking one that you haven’t covered before.

My chosen topic for the week of 9/23 is a two part question that one of the substitute hosts also addressed this week and is about permaculture.

Note: This is a very long post, and done completely on my phone, so I’m sorry if it’s a little disjointed. I would normally write out something of this size from my computer instead, but as I’m out of town that’s not a possibility right now.

Part 1 : “Are you familiar with permaculture? Does it influence your beliefs?”

As someone that, at one time, was well into academic studies and a career path in botany and horticulture, I am very familiar with permaculture. In the present, in one of my part-time jobs, I work on a farm. At that job, I work with my boss on a regular basis to strategize towards a number of the goals and principles that are a part of permaculture. I will do some layman’s explanations here in my post to help foster understanding while answering.

Definition of Permaculture – “the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient”

There are twelve principles to permaculture, and I will list them below with a short explanation, as well as how each principle is applied to my life, spirituality, and practice.

Principle 1 – Observe and Interact

In permaculture this principle deals with observing the world around you, and responding to it in a way that aligns with your goals towards a more sustainable action plan. This also includes observing not just your environment, but others within your environment and how they interact with the world around them, as well as learning from them better methods to sustainably do the same.

In my life and spirituality, this principle is much the same in that I am looking for ways in which to sustainably incorporate my environment into my spirituality, both through observation of my environment as well as through the observation of others around me that have successfully managed this balance.

Principle 2 – Catch and Store Energy

In permaculture this can incorporate anything from solar power to hydropower and any other method in which you safely (safe for yourself and for the environment) generate power and store it for later use.

In my life and spirituality, this can be as simple as growing my own food, which harnesses is the power of the sun within the food to then be transferred to myself and others when that food is eaten. This is also seen in the charging of crystals in moonlight or sunlight, the drawing in of energy from the earth to expand outwards into spellcraft, etc.

Principle 3 – Obtain a Yield

In agriculture, this is about a physical yield of crops or other resources. If you follow steps one and two, then you will have a yield as a result.

In my life and spirituality, it works the same way. When charging crystals by moonlight or sunlight, there is then a yield of energy within the stones. If growing food there is then a yield of food to feed myself and others. If drawing energy from the earth for spell work, then there will be a yield of energy to then direct outward toward the intended goals.

It is important to note, I think, that sometimes a yield is not a tangible thing. When you plant flowers, your yield is not an edible or an energy… but is in the joy and enjoyment you find in the blooms.

Principle 4 – Self-Regulate / Accept Feedback

In agriculture, this principle is about evaluating how things have gone, and searching for answers to those things that did not work as expected.

In my life and spirituality, this is the principle that deals with finding more sustainable ways of using resources and reusing rather than wasting what I have.

In both cases this principle involves not just self-evaluation, but getting feedback from outside sources on what is working, what needs to be changed, and what can be done better.

Principle 5 – Value and Use Renewables

In permaculture this deals with not having to depend on finite sources of energy such as fossil feels, but instead using renewable resources and choosing greener energy sources and consumption methods.

In my life and spirituality, this principle is about finding those cleaner energy sources and consumption methods, as well as choosing to use renewable resources instead of going for single-use consumer products.

Principle 6 – Produce No Waste

Nature does this naturally. An example of this is the recycling of death and decay within the forest by animals and other creatures who then use that death and decay as home, and other plants who use it as fertilizer.

In an agricultural setting, this can include things such as using excess crops and waste from crops as fertilizer or fuel, agricultural farms having animals on the farm and using animal waste as fertilizer, collecting rainwater for irrigation or watering animals, etc. All waste goes towards another purpose, rather than being tossed out. Sometimes this can include negotiating trades, bartering, and/or bargaining with other local businesses or farms in order to fill the needs of both parties.

In my personal life and spirituality, I am a big advocate of the reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle method. I feel that it is important to be a conscientious consumer, buy wisely, and have a plan for things you buy that goes beyond their initial purpose. Can the packaging be repurposed? Do you dump perfectly good water or coffee dregs down the drain that could be used to water plants?

If I lived somewhere that composting was an option? I would do that as well. I often bring my compostable waste to the farm where I work, as most of it can be given to the pigs or other animals, and what can’t is usually ok to add to their compost. I choose products with minimal packaging. I use reusable shopping bags. These are just a few of the many ways I incorporate this principle into my life.

Principle 7 – Design from Pattern to Detail

There are a lot of small details that work together in permaculture. This principle deals with looking at the big picture, and make sure that everything is going to work together. By looking over the big picture and how all of the small details fit together, you can create a more cohesive plan.

In my life and spirituality, sometimes I forget about this step. I find that I often get lost in the little things, or stuck in a rut. By looking at the big picture, such as I am doing in this post, I realize just how much I actually do, as well as where I can improve.

Principle 8 – Integrate

In agriculture, some plants work very well together. This is why you sometimes see the cultivation of several different types of crops being grown on one farm (or in one field, for that matter). This type of farming (called polyculture) can often help control pests, weeds, and diseases without use of chemicals. It can also assist in keeping the land nutrient rich and fertile, improve soil’s water retention, and assist in preventing erosion.

In my life and spirituality this principle has to do with cooperating with those around me to do better. This includes activities such as educating my employer and other farmers in the area about beneficial changes they could (often easily) make to their methods and modalities. Education and cooperation with the other members of my condo building to do a better job with recycling for the building as a whole would also fall under this principle.

Principle 9 – Use Small Slow Solutions

Whether in agriculture, or within my life and spirituality, this principle has to do with taking things one step at a time.

As I mentioned before, there are many, many details that come along with structuring a farm (or life) around the principles of permaculture.

Taking on too much too soon can be overwhelming. It’s better to take things one step at a time, a little at a time, and get there eventually, rather than leaping in with both feet and giving up due to feeling overwhelmed. You’d be amazed how those tiny steps add up over time.

Principle 10 – Value and Use Diversity

Ecosystems thrive on biodiversity, and permaculture is about an agricultural ecosystem that is self-sustaining. If there is not enough diversity, then the ecosystem will not thrive. Like an engine has many diverse parts that all work together to make the motor run, and ecosystem needs biodiversity in order for it to function properly and survive.

In my personal life and spirituality, I think that diversity is an extremely important quality to encourage. It is only through the diversity of ideas and an open mind to learn new things that we can grow and become better. It is only through exposure to diversity in our lives and through the lives of others that our world view is able to be broadened and we learn new and better methods and ideas that enrich our lives.

Principle 11 – Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Along with thinking outside the box (which is always a good thing), in agriculture this can also include things such as using that extra strip of land along the side of a field to grow feed for the horses, or converting an unused stall in the barn into a tack room or office. It’s about finding that space that’s going to waste, and finding a use for it.

If you are cutting off the crust of your sandwich and throwing them in the trash, then you are wasting food (and not valuing the marginal). Use the edges… value the marginal. Just because that crust is something you don’t want to eat doesn’t mean it’s useless or doesn’t have value. Maybe someone else would like to eat it… Maybe you could dry it and use it as breadcrumbs in a casserole… Maybe you could compost them and they will become fertilizer. Could you be growing food or herbs or flowers on your balcony? Do you have an unused corner of your property where you could be composting?

Principle 12 – Creatively Use and Respond to Change

Change is an inevitable part of life. Finding ways to adapt is an important part of thriving in an ever changing world.

Both in agriculture, as well as in my life and spirituality, the changing of seasons is an example of this. Farmers adapt to each season, and plan ahead for the changes in the weather and their workload. I also plan ahead for the seasons and incorporate the change of the seasons into my spiritual practice.

Many changes can be stressful and overwhelming, but sometimes when you think outside the box you can find interesting uses for them, or creative ways of adapting to them. In my experience, when you dig in your heels too hard and refuse to adapt, life moves on without you or knocks you down and drags you through the mud.

All in all (LS:Sh)? Permaculture influences my beliefs and my life because I value the planet. My belief system is earth based, and it would be ridiculous to abuse that which I love and is the foundation of my spirituality.

Now, on to the second part of the question…

Part 2: “What ecosystems and climate do you live in? How does this influence your path? How might someone incorporate their local environment into their practice?”

I live in Seattle, in the middle of the city. We have four seasons. We also have a lot more green in the city than most places because we get a great deal of rain. This means that there is a lot of growth of not just plants but also moss, mold, mushrooms, lichens, etc.

That said, for my spiritual practice, I often like to go outside of the city and into the nearby rainforests. There is a lot of water here through the inlets, canals, and eddies of the peninsula, as well as through rivers streams, lakes, and ponds. There is a lot of green here. Evergreen trees, mosses, and ferns abound in the rainforests. The soil is moist and ridged with the knobby knees and long stretch of tree roots. Hard stone monolithic cliffs, wet and slick, dot the uneven landscape, hidden by dense foliage to the point you could walk right off one without realizing it until it’s too late.

I feel a deep connection to this environment and spend a lot of time there. I do ritual and spell work there, and often bring home bits of the rainforest that are environmentally safe to take (usually when foraging for spellcrafting supplies).

If you want to incorporate your environment into your practice it is important to become in touch with your environment and what your environment can sustainably offer. To do this requires spending time in that environment, and paying attention to your surroundings. Seek out and consciously notice nature. Even in the cities, there is nature, it’s just harder to find.

Take time just to familiarize yourself with the plants, the soil, the animals, the history, and the environment as a whole. Learn the symbolism and the uses for what the environment around you has to offer. Educate yourself.

With this education under your belt, it then becomes much easier to creatively find ways to incorporate bits of that environment into your practice.

Where My Perspectives Have Changed

So, last month on  YouTube, MIRTHandREVERENCE did a video answering a subscriber’s question about how her practices and perspectives have changed over the 40+ years she’s been on her path.    I really like this question, and decided I wanted to share my own experiences concerning the differences between how I was raised, and what I practice now.

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I think that the biggest difference is the use of deity.   In my parent’s home, we had the God and Goddess of the Pagan’s wheel of the year.  We also had Buddha, Sanshin, and Quan Yin.   My father had a shrine, my mother had an altar, and there were small statues set out in reverence to these deities throughout the house.

I never really felt comfortable worshiping deities, and once I had left my parents home soon after I turned sixteen, I stopped.  That isn’t to say that I stopped my faith, only that my faith changed.  I did not personify my faith, but rather reach beyond the faces and “deities” to the elements and the energy of creation, evolution, and balance itself.   This is where my focus lies in my devotionals, petitions, and invocations.

Along that same line is the difference in how much worship and prayer is involved as a whole.   I spend less time on my knees in front of a shrine or altar, and more time within nature, bonding and appreciating it all.  I also do a good deal of my worship standing or active within nature.

Group gatherings.  Meh.

Growing up, my parents attended many group gatherings with like-minded folks.  They had circles and they had munches.   They sought out a pagan parenting mentor (who you know as Z) to assist them in guiding my sister and I along a similar path.

Other than with my sister?  I don’t worship with others.  I have no interest in sitting in a coffee shop talking about deity and ritual.  I don’t need others energies and intentions and motivations screwing with my spellcraft.  Just… not for me, I guess.  I suppose you could say that I just don’t “play well with others” in that way.

There is much that has remained the same in the separation of those fifteen-ish years, but above are the most notable differences that have developed over time to transition my faith from that of my parents into something that works for me alone.

 

#GrumpyWitchTag (non) VR to Yarrowen and Heather Carter

I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a “grumpy witch”, but I think the questions are more about the things you either don’t like or don’t connect with, rather than really being grumpy. This tag first came to my attention in Heather Carter’s channel, and then I forgot about it a bit until the other day Yarrowen also did a response to it.

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So here’s the questions and my answers to them…

1. Do you have a least favorite time of the year magically?

The second half of Summer.  I’m just not a fan.  It’s all about the heat, the lack of rain, the HEAT…. and, well, everything drying out and becoming crunchy.

2. Is there an herb that you don’t like working with or never seems to work in your practice?

No, although there are herbs and other plants that I avoid working with due to allergy issues.   Some of these include, but are far from limited to, juniper, alder, tobacco, marigold, linden flower (and lemon tree in general), and hibiscus flowers.   IF I work with these, I have to be extremely careful not to allow them to touch my skin or get near my face.  A flu mask, long sleeves, and doubled up latex gloves are a must, and sometimes eye protection as well.

3. Is there a stone or crystal that you don’t like working with or never seems to add anything to your practice?

Ugh.  I can’t work with nuummite.  It’s energy is too “heavy” and just drags me down when I come in contact with it.   That said?  My sister uses nuummite as a paperweight (with intention spellcasting) on her stack of little paper thin girl pad things?  WTF are they called?  Liners?   She uses them with those and swears by it.

Aside from that, I’ve learned a few lessons about where not to use certain stones because they are not suited to it (or I am not suited to their influence in that way of using them), but I it isn’t that I don’t like to work with them or don’t find them useful in other ways.

4. Is there anything that “bothers” you about your deity or your practice?

Um… well, honestly?   The shit that bugs me is that I just don’t have enough time to commit to it as I’d like.   That really doesn’t have anything to do with my practice though, and more to do with just being busy and overworked. I don’t work with specific deity, tho.

5. What do you do when a spell doesn’t work?

Review, reflect, revise, and try again.  OR…. evaluate if it’s something I really want or need in the first place, as sometimes when shit doesn’t work, it’s telling you that whatever it is is just not meant to be.

6. Have you ever done a meditation or astral work that did nothing for you?

I don’t do astral work, but I do meditate regularly.  And yes.   There are times when I just cannot manage to settle and focus for my meditation.  I wouldn’t say it does nothing for me, just that it doesn’t have the amount of a desired effect as I’d like.

7. Is there an element that just doesn’t work for you?

I don’t connect as strongly to fire or air as I do to earth and water.  I don’t really consider any of them not working for me though.

8. How do you get out of a witchy rut?

Usually?  I take a break and wait it out.   If I’m not “feeling it” I don’t do it.  I figure that it’s the universe’s way of telling me I need to take some time to let up and just relax for a bit.

9. How do you deal with life getting in the way of your practice?

The best I can?   I mean everyone has responsibilities and obligations to deal with.  Everyone has people that need our time and things that require looking after that have nothing to do with your practice.  It’s a part of life.   Like other parts of my life, I strive for balance.  Sometimes I mange it… other times, not so much.

Some of the ways I strive for balance is by trying to carve out specific time for different things, setting up methods of accountability (like this blog for my daily draw and Saturday check ins), and pre-planning/pre-working some of the things needed to prep for upcoming busy times.

10. When you have all of these negative feelings about your practice, what do you do?

I think I pretty much answered this in the eighth question.  I take a break and wait it out, or I may reach out to others for a different perspective to help me find balance a little faster if I think it will help.

 

#5FaveSummerDecks2019 (non) VR to Sophquest Synergy

This tag was brought to my attention by Simon over at the Hermit’s Cave, but originated from Sophquest Synergy.

In my mind (and on my excel spreadsheet), I very much sort my decks (not all of them, but many of them) by seasons.  It’s not that I won’t use these decks outside of those seasons if it feels right for the situation, but I’m so strongly connected to the seasons that I suppose it’s not a surprise I would associate many of my decks with one season or another.

I’ve limited the decks in this post, though, to the decks that I actually used during this summer of 2019.  Out of the “summery” decks that I’ve used this summer, these are the five that have really stood out for me….

Sum05

Stolen Child Tarot – Okay, so this one quickly stole the show for me this summer.  Or, should I say this September.   The thing is, though, that it rapidly has climbed to my #2 spot for all time favorite decks, right beneath the Tarot of the Hidden Realm.  I love the combination of whimsy and seriousness, the expressive complexity of the cards.  I just really connected with this deck, and the cardstock is just amazing.  It feels great to shuffle.

Sum04

Hanson Roberts Tarot – This has been a long time favorite of mine.  Mary Hanson Roberts does lovely work and I really like her depictions in this deck.  Of all RWS clones out there, this one is at the top of the list for me.  Like all the decks on this list, my “summer feel” is about color correlations, and crispness in artistic depiction.

SUM03

Luna Sol Tarot – You know those super hot days where the world feels baked crispy and white washed by the sun’s rays?  That’s what this deck reminds me of.  In my opinion, it makes a great end-of-summer deck for this reason.

Sum01

Linestrider Tarot (with the Hedgewitch Oracle) – When it comes to these two decks, I just can’t seem to have one without the other.  In my mind, they go together as one.  I know that they both really pair lovely with other decks, but I just can’t seem to separate them in my mind.  When I read with the Linestrider Tarot, I often shuffle the Hedgewitch Oracle directly into the deck.  I do it so often that I might end up leaving them some way at some point.

Sum02

Luminous Void Tarot – For me, this deck is the epitome of sticky summer heat and the melty smudge of cosmetics on women roasting as they go about their days in the oppressive heat of summer.  It’s all about dripping sweat, cloying humidity, and the sweltering of the sun beating down upon the world at the peak of summer.

Like I mentioned earlier.  Seasonal decks, to me, are all about color and the texture within the artwork  (as opposed to the texture of the cardstock).  For me, all of the decks above very much speak summer, and I’ve tried to explain why in each one that I see them that way.

Self Care Saturday (on Sunday)

SCS

As I’ve mentioned before, these readings are (not usually) bearing in on any one thing or event in my life, as the question used is asking for a more general outlook. This is a self care exercise, and are not meant as a predictive reading.

The question is… What do I need to focus for self-care through the week ahead?

Earth Seven of Cups – There will be a variety of paths and choices opening up before you. Be conscious of those that offer the potential for manifestation and growth.

AirFour of Swords – If you don’t allow yourself the time and space to vent, you will not get the rest and restoration that is need out of this week.

WaterKnight of Pentacles – Don’t bottle up emotions or run from the unpleasantness.  Instead, stand tall and strong.  Tend to your own values with focus and steadfast resolve.

FireSix of Cups – Time spent revising the past will not serve you well this week.  It’s time for a new perspective, as the old one is only weighing you down.

WaningThe Sorcerer – Self destruction through self centered behavior.  Beliefs and ideas that foster separation, conflict, and scarcity.

WaxingThe Owl – Catching sight of what has been hidden that others cannot see. Truth seeking. Intuition.

Moral of the Story – It’s time to seek out new perspectives. Keep an eye out for what has changed and what is different.  Seek your outlet to let things out when needed so that you can get the rest and restoration you need out of this week ahead, and stay true to your values.

Decks Used: Crow Tarot, Dixit Pack #6 Memories, Mystical Shaman Oracle