Self Care Saturday (on Sunday)

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Week four of accountability.  And… I think this is working out for me really well.  Even though I am tempted to take the picture and set aside my journal for later, because I know I need to make this post on the day after my Self Care Saturday, I have more discipline to get it done in my journal (and apparently, to catch up on other entries as well such as Thursday’s full moon entry).

As I 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.

I did end up switching out the oracle, as I’d said last week I was planning to do.  I chose the Dixit cards Quest expansion pack for the oracle to go with the Numinous Tarot, and I feel it is a really good fit.

The question is… What do I need to focus on in the week ahead?

BodyExplorer of Vials – It is important to bring into focus the issue of eating your feelings and take an active role in making healthy choices both emotionally and physically in order to stay healthy.

MindAce of Vials – This is about our new play and allowing it to inspire, as well as the closeness and bond created as we explore this new idea.

EmotionsThe Visionary & Seven of Bells – Seek truth and lift the veil on blurry confusion by connecting more deeply within my spiritual practice.  Use what I know to seek out clarity and support my own truths.

Inner SparkThe Moon – This card plays back to that of the two above, with the addition of intuition. Everything is not as clear as it could be… everything is not as it seems.  Be certain to perceive from a place of knowledge blended with intuition to find the path through to clarity.

Moving Away From – Viewing things from an external perspective.  Instead seek inner knowing and inner truth.

Heading Towards – Hidden truths.  PAY ATTENTION!! That which is hidden walks right beside you.  Awareness breeds control.

Decks Used: Numinous Tarot, Dixit Quest Expansion Pack #2

 

A Moment of Realization with the Tarot

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I’m pretty well seated in how I both see and use the tarot, and comfortable in that.   But, just recently I came to a new realization about how I see the tarot and its suits.

Up until just the last few days, I had always thought that I saw the suits as “cups, pentacles, wands, and swords”, regardless of the fact that those names don’t always just “roll off the tongue” for me (so to speak).

Then, I got the Numinous Tarot in the mail and it showed me that this isn’t how I view the suits at all, which is a little odd since I’ve had other decks that rename the suits, but it really stuck out to me with this one.

In the Numinous Tarot, the suits are renamed as vials, tomes, candles, and bells.  And, when trying to sort this out?   My mind never even -went- to the whole “cups, pentacles, wands, and swords” thing, but instead went immediately to the elements.

Yes, all along I’ve known and been intimately aware with the correlations between the suits and the elements.  Cups = Water, Pentacles = Earth, Wands = Fire, Swords = Air…. and yet, never before has it stuck out to me how -much- I see the suits not as their names at all, but the elements themselves and the qualities those elements represent.

I’d guess that I’ve been pairing the suit names to the elements so long that, for the most part, they became synonymous with each other.  And yet, clearly, they are not as when push comes to shove?  It’s not to the suit names I relate, but the elements they (for me) represent.

 

The Witch’s Familiar

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is a “Choose Your Adventure” practice, which means going back through the topics and picking one that you haven’t covered before.  As I’m new to this channel (and responding to it) this was very easy for me as there were many, many topics to choose from.

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My Chosen Topic for the Week of 8/12: Do you have a familiar? What does that mean? How do you know if an animal companion is a familiar or is familiar material?” including “The roll of pets, if any, in your practice?

The definition of a familiar is when a spirit possesses or takes the form of an animal in order to provide spiritual/magickal assistance and guidance. To me, I feel that the primary role of a familiar is to be a guide within the liminal space, astral plane, and spirit world.

Because I feel this way about the role of a familiar, I do not believe that a living being is suited for this task, and so I do not view pets as familiars. They are companions and a deep bond can be created between a person and their pet that transcends the “keeper/pet” dynamic. Pets can even be a part of one’s practice. But, I do not think that the primary role of what a familiar is can be filled by a living animal 99.9% of the time.

That said, I do think that spirits and energy can possess or embody a physical form. So, I suppose it could be possible.  I also, though, think it is extremely rare and that most who call their pets “familiars” are misusing the term.

I do have a cat.

Miss Luna has no interest in my spellcrafting, nor in the tarot. She also has no interest in my altar or hanging out in (or on) any of my sacred spaces. In fact, she is very careful to give me space and observe from a distance during any tarot time, spellcraft time, and ritual time I have.   She often sits right in front of the entrance to the room I am in during these times, and from there she will watch everything very closely.   Then, when I am done, she will return to be closer to me and following me around (which is her usual modus operandi).

Meanie, my previous cat, was much the same in this behavior.

 

 

#TarotTube (non) VR to Inspiring Aliens and Brian Cormack Carr

I was inspired to do this post after seeing Brian Cormack Carr’s YouTube response.  The original tag was from Inspiring Alien’s #TarotTube update video.

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The Questions:

1.What made you start Tarot YouTubing?

Well, I don’t make videos, but I do spend time watching TarotTube. What made me start?  It’s an interest of mine and I’m sure it just showed up in my “suggested videos” at one point and I realized “oh!  they have that on YouTube too?” and from there I was hooked.

2. What is the tarot scene like in your area?

Lots and lots and lots of opportunities to get a reading around where I live from a number of little metaphysical shops to small psychic reading establishments.  I would say you will find some kind of “Woo” within each city block, or possibly every other city block, around where I live.

3. Name an overrated deck and an underrated deck?

Hmmm Overrated just in that I can’t connect to it but it seems -everyone- likes it? The Prisma Visions Tarot.  I just don’t get it.

The Visions of Life Tarot, which is one of my daily draw decks for this month.   I really like the tongue-in-cheek humor that the deck offers up, and when I was looking for information on the deck, the only thing I could find was ONE YouTube channel in Russian that did a walk through.

4. Tarot in one word?

Life  (That is not to say that “tarot is life” in the colloquialism sense of using the word, but rather that it is a representation of life.  All aspects, all stages, all paths.  Life.)

5. Name three small tarot YouTube channels.

I chose to consider “small” as being three channels with under 400 subscribers.

Yarrowen, Ozark Oracle, Crow Quill Tarot

6. Your favourite type of tarot video on YouTube?

I very much enjoy tarot videos that are focused on shadow work. Heather Carter does a lot of these and really stands out as an excellent and enjoyable channel to check out for those kind of videos.  It’s not all she does on her channel, but I really enjoy her depth.

7. What would you a) think b) say c) do, if tarot suddenly didn’t exist?

So the question specifically says “suddenly didn’t exist” which I’m going to take means it did exist and then every tarot deck (and Lenormand and oracle deck) on the planet just… disappeared.

a) “WTF?? Where the hell did my decks go?”, b) “Oh hell no, I’m gonna fix this shit”, c) grab myself a set of playing cards and start drawing on them to make my own divination deck.

8. Do you use tarot apps?

Yes.  Not for readings, but some of the tarot apps out now have guidebooks for decks on them, especially apps made by The Fool’s Dog LLC.  This is useful for decks that I own, but either don’t want to dig out the guidebook for, or don’t have a guidebook for. This makes these tarot apps a spectacular resource.

9. Your favourite thing about the tarot community?

That it’s a community. I like that.  Not everyone always agrees or gets along, but that’s part and parcel of a community, I think.

10. Tarot video ideas?

Actually, I’ve submitted one or two to Modern Metaphysical Man, which he’s been kind enough to do.   Most of the time when ideas come up, I reach out to someone in the community I think the idea would fit well with and pitch it to them.   This means that they are then no longer stored up in my brain so I have NO idea what to write here at the moment.

11. Who do you tag?

I think by “tag” this means doing responses to their tags?  Anything that catches my interest and attention.  Some of those I’ve done responses to include Ethony, The Hermit’s Cave, Brian Cormack Carr, KellyBear, and others.

 

My Most Important Tarot Reading (non) VR to Becca Tarot Night Owl

On YouTube, Becca Tarot Night Owl did a video that spoke of her first tarot reading, which was the most impactful tarot reading of her life.  I found it really interesting and I feel the want to share mine here.

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I don’t remember my first tarot reading, so I can’t really share much about that.  Because I come from a home where tarot (or rather, Lenormand) was a part of life and our faith, readings and card pulls have always just “been there”.   BUT, I do have a most impactful/important reading.

That would be a reading done by Z (with Tarot) when I was ten years old.  It was a Life Path reading, which involves thirty nine cards (plus any jumpers or clarifying cards that enter into the mix).   She does this reading for me every ten years, meaning that I’ve had it done again twice since then.

In this first reading, there was a great deal of information on the past, the present, and the future.  But, what really stuck out to me was the overall message that came at the end.

This was delivered gently, and with great empathy and understanding as she explained that the “moral of the story” for my life would be one of struggle, strife, and woe… BUT, that it’s okay to have this kind of life.  It’s okay to find your life filled with struggles and hurdles, strife and discord, woe and adversity.  These things are lessons in life that teach you how to become better.  Better at the things you want to do… Better at the way you find your joy… And, just an all around better person as a whole.

She told me that my life would have many, many things to overcome and work through, and that these things are there not to drag me down and make me miserable.  Instead, they are there to create strength and foster deeper roots within myself and my life with which to anchor me through the hardest parts, like a tree standing strong in a storm is anchored deep within the soil.

She was far more eloquent, and that moral of the story stuck with me in a way that the reading itself didn’t.   Ten years later at the age of 20, she did the reading again, with much the same result…. as was the case last year when I turned 30 and she did the reading for me again.

Most people would consider this reading  to be a bad one, but I don’t.  Not at all.  Because it prepared me for what was to come, and helped me to understand that I’m not a victim.  Not of people, or of circumstance.  I’m a survivor, and each hurdle I come upon (of which there have been many, and will surely be many more) is an opportunity for betterment in some way, not a road block.

 

Self Care Saturday (on Sunday)

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Week three of accountability on my Self Care Saturday spread in order to foster the motivation to write it down instead of just reading the spread, taking a picture, and moving on.

As I 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.

Usually, I use the same deck for a full month, but I switched out decks.  I love the Anna K and it’s colors and imagery and funny little faces.   BUT, I just received the Numinous Tarot and I was really feeling the urge to use it.   I think I will be keeping it for the rest of the month, although I might change the oracle for something that feels like a better pairing.

The question is… What do I need to focus on in the week ahead?

BodyAce of Tomes – “The actions you are taking now, the plans you are creating, have the potential to become important future traditions.” (quoted from the deck’s guidebook) Plan Carefully!

MindNine of Candles – Persistence and Resilience. Strength gained through experience. Now is a time to utilize what life’s lessons have taught you.

EmotionsTwo of Candles – (Intuitive Hit) It’s okay to be vulnerable. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

Inner Spark Ten of Candles – Do not weigh yourself down with too much at once.  There is nothing wrong with taking your time and doing one thing at a time.

Moving Away FromDuality – Less multi-tasking… better focus? (the latter part is more wishful thinking than anything read in the cards)

Heading TowardBurden – Here is why it is time to slow down, do careful planning, stay strong, and take good care of self.  Easing up on the multitasking, and being sure to bolster my confidence and take care of myself, will assist in lessening the sense of overwhelm that appears when my responsibilities are feeling like a burden.

From the fact that nearly this entire reading was in the Candles suit (aka Wands suit), the message is primarily concerning my ambitions, passions, and drive.

Moral of the Story – Be Kind to Yourself…. and make good choices!

Decks Used: Numinous Tarot, Shamanic Healing Oracle

 

Spellcrafting vs Spell Casting

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This post was inspired by a video by the HearthWitch on YouTube.  I was watching this video when, somewhere near the beginning, she mentioned that a lot of people cast spells by using spells from books and following them to the letter.

This was a really new concept to me.  And… odd concept to me.   But then I started thinking about it.

L and I were taught spellcraft by our mother from a very young age, and a part of that was creating our own spells.  This was further encouraged when Z came into our lives, as she also does this kind of spellcraft.

And that got me to thinking.   Perhaps that’s why it was always called “spellcraft”.  My mother calls it spellcraft.  Z calls it spellcraft.  In our house, it was never “spell casting”, it was (and is) spellcraft.

I had always thought that the terms “spell casting” and “spellcraft” were interchangeable… but maybe they aren’t.

Maybe (and I think that for me this is more than a maybe, but realization of the truth of something) spellcrafting is crafting a spell.  Whether that is taking a pre-existing spell and crafting it into something that fits you and your needs, or making spells from scratch.

Whereas spell casting would be more of an umbrella term that includes spellcraft, but also includes ANY kind of casting spells.  Whether there is personal crafting involved in the spell or not.

I guess it’s kind of like cooking. Some people use a recipe and follow it strictly. Some use a recipe, but customize it how they wish. And others just go from scratch and make up their recipes on their own, whether that be before they get started, or on the go.

Just some musings, I guess, as I wrap my mind around this new realization.

 

Bauble Traps

Ok, so it’s not really a trap in the strictest sense, but more of a distraction. Still…

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If you’ve ever lived somewhere that you have a constant issue with things inexplicably disappearing and then reappearing on you, and especially shiny things, then this post might make sense.

In my family this disappearing act is believed to be most often caused by house sprites.  That is to say, by the Fae (including fairies, sprites, elves, brownies, and all the like).   The theory of a Bauble Trap is to distract them.  Although, often if you just ask for your items back and say thank you when they show up, it’s rare that these things become an issue in the first place.

If they do become an issue, though, or if someone just wants to set up a “just in case” then a “Bauble Trap” is the way to go.  I’m sure there are other names for this, but this is the name I know it by.

Essentially, what the Bauble Trap boils down to is a bunch of shiny stuff (bits of jewelry, etc) that you hang decoratively near a mirror.  Preferably near the front door or a window (but not in view of the door or window) and where light will shine off of the shiny baubles and the mirror’s surface.

As many of the little mischief makers are drawn to shiny bits, the combination of the shiny baubles and the mirror’s surface becomes a huge entertainment for them, and with this trap in place you may find that your other items are then left alone.

Be sure, though, as I mentioned, that you don’t put the Baubles Trap in view of your front door or window in question.  This would be seen as an invitation to outside Fae to come in and visit (or stay).  Although many of the Fae can be fun to have about, inviting more in is NOT something you want to do if you’re trying to resolve a mischief issue.

The #gettoknowyourwitches Questions

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On June 2nd, I stumbled across a new quiz on Ethony’s YouTube channel. I don’t think that this one originated with her, but she was kind enough to post the questions in the video information, and I decided to play along.

To be fair, I do not necessarily consider myself a “witch”, per se. I consider myself a Buddhist Pagan. Buddhist first like an adjective, Pagan second like a noun.

But the terminology is really semantics at its best, because I do spellcraft, which is pretty much the defining characteristic of being a “witch”. So… a witch is a witch is a witch, I suppose. Regardless of the terminology used. Right?

  1. Does your Sun Sign (Zodiac Sign) portray you correctly? If not, do your other planetary signs?
    It does! I mentioned this in a previous post…. well, two posts really. Here and Here
  2. What songs bring you the most magickal vibes?
    Songs with magical vibes… I really had to think about this one. I’d probably have to say Gayatri Mantra by Deva Premal. There’s another that one of my yoga instructors used to play in her studio, but it was a compilation disk that she’d lost the info on, and neither of us could figure out what it was.
  3. Which one of your deities/guides/ancestors is most sarcastic with you? If this doesn’t apply to you, which of your tarot/oracle decks is?
    The first part of this question doesn’t really apply to me. The second part… just recently the answer to this has become the Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot. Very tongue-in-cheek in the way it answers questions and communicates with me as a whole.
  4. Biggest witchy mess up or misinterpretation?
    I once set the front yard on fire during a ritual with my sister when we were young. I think we were probably about… twelve? It’s surprisingly difficult to put out a grass fire in daylight.
  5. Would you write a book on your craft/spirituality? Why? If you already have, what were your challenges in doing so?
    No. I think I would find the approach to feel too impersonal. I don’t mind writing about it here on the blog, or answering questions when they’re asked. But a book feels different than all of that. It’s a very detached sort of energy, I guess, would be the best way to put it. I wouldn’t want to bring that energy into my practice, even on the periphery.
  6. If someone wanted to summon you to their circle, what 5 items would they need?
    Living, growing plants. A deck of playing cards. Labradorite. Capt’n Crunch cereal. Pluto (as in the stuffed dog in my bed, not the planet).
  7. If you were a ghost, what place would you haunt?
    I’d much rather haunt a person. But, if I had to haunt a place, I’d love to haunt either an area of rainforest where hikers occasionally pass through, or a library. A library would be awesome.
  8. What is the funniest way someone has reacted to finding out you are a witch?
    I once had these “Welcome Wagon” people come to my house to welcome me into the neighborhood, then go from very relaxed to hastily evacuating the premises when they saw my pentagram.
  9. Do you have any superstitions?
    In my opinion, the line between magic and superstition is a very thin one. Because of this, I would have to say that I have many, although the only two I can think of off-hand are the salt over the shoulder thing, and the shiny baubles and mirror trap near (but not in sight of) the front door.
  10. If you could possess any fantasy magic, what would your power be?
    Teleportation. I need teleportation in my life so f’ing bad.
  11. What is something random on your altar(s)?
    I have a painted rock on my altar that I found in the parking lot at the post office. It’s aqua colored with a spiral of little white dots.
  12. If one of the youtubers you watched was a genie and they could grant you 3 wishes within their power, who would it be and what wishes? (Can’t be for more wishes)
    LOL… I’m going to pick Simon over at The Hermit’s Cave, because my wish would be to go cherry-picking through his deck collection and take home whatever I want. That’s my wish. Just one wish, that’s all I need.
  13. If you could instantly become an expert in any part of your craft/spirituality, what would it be?
    None… Nothing… My spirituality is about the journey, and that includes the learning part of things. Sure, there are things I would like to be better at, and will become better at with time, but there’s nothing I want to just suddenly become a master at.
  14. When you die, what do you think will happen to you/your soul?
    I will either linger to haunt for a time, or move on to be reincarnated.
  15. Where do you see yourself spiritually in the next 5 years?
    I don’t see my spirituality changing all that much. I suppose I’ll be a little older, a little wiser, and a little more experienced. I don’t foresee any major changes or leaps happening though.

And there we go. Done.

 

New Age vs. Neo-Paganism

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about the differences between “New Age” and “Neo-Paganism”.

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Topic for the Week of 8/5: I’d love to hear your thoughts on the New Age community! I know that Neopagans get lumped in with that community a lot, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on what makes you different and where you think the line is drawn between the two communities, but also what you share in common.

I want to precursor my response to this one with a bit of a disclaimer. You’re going to find that there’s avast array of different opinions on this particular topic. These are my personal opinions.

Ok, so here we go…

To me, the term “New Age” is an umbrella term that deals with what is very popularly called “Woo“. New Age is essentially ALL the Woo.

That is to say it deals with crystals, tarot, sacred geometry, astrology, light work, energy work, etc. Pretty much a massive conglomeration of “alternative” thought.

I sort of see this in the perspective of a library or a bookstore. When you walk into a library or a bookstore, all the “Woo” is gathered together in a section called “New Age”.

Neo-Paganism is an umbrella term as well, but deals specifically with religion. It doesn’t have to include a deity to be a religion, but it does involve faith, belief, and often also worship.

In the library or bookstore analogy, Neo-Paganism would be a shelf included within the New Age section.

Many New Age things are incorporated INTO Neo-Paganism beliefs and practices, and so understandably there is a hint of blurring between the two. I think that creates a bit of confusion, but I don’t think that blurring is necessarily a bad thing, as it creates an interest and understanding within the larger community of a religious choice that would otherwise be far more of a mysterious secret.

And we all know how uncomfortable society is with what they don’t and/or can’t understand.