reading

Mindful Meditations

February, 2019

Guided Meditation

This month we have an Imbolc meditation that is meant to help you connect with yourself around the three areas Brigid governs: Hearth, Forge and Inspiration. So light a candle in Brigid’s honor and let’s dive in!

Find yourself in a comfortable position. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, close your eyes and begin to relax into yourself. See yourself walking down a path in a winter forest. Notice the quiet beauty all around you. As you wander through the woods, think about how this winter has been for you so far. Do you have the winter blues or do you love the peaceful quiet of the season? Have you felt isolated or have you been engaging with others? Have you been taking the time to rest? Arrive back in this moment, accepting yourself as you are right now. Notice there is a cozy home up ahead on the path. This is your sanctuary. As you approach the entrance, you notice there is a Brigid Cross hanging on the door, a symbol of safety, denoting this space is blessed by the Goddess Brigid. You enter the space, giving her reverence and thanks.

Brigid is the triple Goddess of Forge, Hearth, and Inspiration. The first thing you notice is the large inviting fireplace in the center of everything. The hearth is the center of your home life, it creates warmth and safety and provides the space to create nourishment. How is the fire burning in your hearth? Gaze into the fire and ask Brigid what can be done to increase the strength of your personal hearth fire. (Pause) Thank her for any insight you gained. Perk up the fire with another log and ask Brigid to bless your hearth and home this coming year. She is also the Goddess of the forge, which is what you create, the things you bring forth into the world. As you look around the cabin, you notice a work station. It is perfectly suited to help you do your craft. What do you see? What is it that you bring into creation? You see a candle on the station, so you take a stick from the hearth to light it. As you light the candle, ask Brigid to bless all you create. Take a moment of quiet with this flame to ask Brigid how you can be of service through your creation. (Pause) Thank her for any new insight.

You see a comfortable chair nearby, and you go to sit in it. The last aspect Brigid rules is the Inspired Heart. You close your eyes and cover your heart with your hands. What song does your heart long to sing? What truth wants to pour from you? See Brigid before you in your minds eye, holding a flame in her hand. Ask her to help you see your heart’s inspiration. (Pause) Brigid approaches you and offers forth her flame to your heart. Let her rekindle the flame within you. Feel the warmth glowing from your heart and spreading though your entire being. Feel the inspiration rising and thank her for her gift. She smiles and gives you a blessing that your heart may stay inspired, blazing and open.

Take a deep breath and feel yourself back in this moment. Feel the ground below you and take a deep breath, making little movements with your fingers and toes. Take these blessings and new insights with gratitude, and have a Blessed Imbolc.

***

About the Author:

Rebecca Coates is a Tarot reader, sound healer, fire dancer, massage therapist and witch who is based in CT but will be traveling around the US soon. Follow her journeys both internal and external on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube @GreenHeartHealingGuidance.

Worth the Witch

February, 2019

Infinite Realms Book Box

Brought to you by Alban Lake Publishing

Infinite Realms is an online bookstore through Alban Lake Publishing House. They are proud supporters of independent authors.
Alban Lake Publishing House covers a variety of genres from action/adventure to poetry & steampunk to mystery. Infinite Realms Book Store even have a young adult section. If you are more into digital books lately, they have you covered! Let’s not forget their incredible magazines.

Infinite Realms Book Store is currently in the midst of changing the format of their boxes but I want to share with you the one I received from their previous style. I want to show the wonderful gifts I received and their great books!

My Boxes Arrival…

I just loved the dragon logo on the box. It sparked my imagination of all the magick that may lay inside.

First Look…

Upon opening the box I am hit with a dramatic first view. The red paper promises luxury and I spy another dragon!!!

Dragon Oil Warmer…

I immediately pick out the first thing to catch my eye from the Infinite Realms Book Store Box, the Dragon Oil Warmer and open it. This is a gorgeous gift for any dragon/fantasy lover! This delicate, resin & glass, oil warmer is stunning. A great, and lovely to look at, substitute for a plain old smelly candle to give warmth and scent to your space.

Lindt Chili Dark Chocolate…

Now this is something new! A Lindt Chile Chocolate Bar! I have never had spicy chocolate before and I have to admit, I was scared to try it. At first it taste like chocolate, but in the end, POW, omg SPICY at the end!!! It gets you with a kick, right in the tasters!! Wowzers!! Was not expecting that. Nor was I expecting being called a wuss by everyone else who had some!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! That was a fun treat! Also, the brand of chocolate they included is a well known chocolate brand. Known for making some yummy chocolates.

Black & Red Mug…

First, I have to admit, the style of this Black & Red Mug is right up my alley. Second, it is HUGE. The perfect giant cup for tea, or coffee, while snuggling up to read a good book. What a brilliant item to include in a Book Box!! Who does not love a cup of tea or coffee with a good book. This is now a fought over mug in my household. I would say it is about 16 ounces.

Castle Statue…

This is so simple and so adorable. It goes wonderful with the fantasy theme of the entire box. I enjoy this statue. It is not so big as to take up so too much room and fits nicely on my bookshelf. I do have a nephew, however, who keeps insisting on painting it…LOL.

Japanese Cherry Blossom Oil…

Very generous 1.86 oz bottle of Japanese Cherry Blossom Oil to go with your new Dragon Oil Burner. They did not cheap out on us. Beautiful, strong scent. Relaxing when burned.

From Their Collection…

Wonderous Web Worlds 7 – The very best science fiction, fantasy, & horror.

Illumen – The mission of Illumen is to publish speculative poetry that even readers who do not care for poetry will want to read.

Sounds of the Night – Short Stories & poetry.

Two of the publications, Sounds of the Night and Wondrous Web Worlds, are a mix of prose fiction and poetry, while Illumen is an anthology of poetry. All three are printed on a satisfying weight of paper with glossy color covers.

Sounds of the Night is magazine-sized in its dimensions, so there is plenty of content to it even at only 43 pages from cover to cover. It is a biannual publication, coming out in February and August. I received the February 2008 issue. I quite literally mean from cover to cover: no space is wasted in those 43 pages, though the poems are used well to create breaks between the prose. Also keeping the rhythm is a couple of pieces of artwork and a few advertisements for the publisher’s other offerings, though these are minimal and not distracting. A story by Lawrence R. Dagstine was quite good and a poem by Aurelio Rico Lopez III was excellent.

Illumen is a small biannual poetry anthology edited by Tyree Campbell, published every April and October. My edition to review was from Autumn 2015. The size of a paperback, Illumen runs around seventy pages, with only a couple of pieces of artwork in the mix. Unexpectedly, it also has almost half-a-dozen advertisement pages for fiction books from the publisher, though I didn’t find this distracting. Annay Sykora and Will H. Blackwell Jr. were featured poets in this particular issue. I was impressed by many of the works in the collection. I especially liked a piece by Anne Babson called “Brunch with Lord Tennyson”. A number of poems by Rizwan Akhtar were excellent as well.

The third book I received for review was Wondrous Web Worlds Volume 7, an anthology from 2006, edited by J Alan Erwine. It runs at 153 pages and features science fiction, fantasy and horror in both prose and poetry. I am still taking my time getting through this book, but not for lack of enjoyment. Even if I haven’t liked every piece it is certainly a fun read, with the generous mix of genres you never really know where each new story is likely to take you. Stories may range from mail brides on Mars, an apocalyptic asteroid encounter that turns out to harbor extra-terrestrial life, to comedians performing for robots – and this is not even getting to the other genres. I find this kind of mix makes a nice change of rhythm from longer prose and helps to reset the mind after a long day at work.

Hard Candies…

Scattered throughout the box are little, clear wrapped, red hard candies. After the box was reviewed, we finally had some of them. Red hot cinnamon candies. Red hot, Like the box!

Final Thoughts…

Infinite Realms Book Store brings fantasy to life and helps you enjoy your time reading by not only making the atmosphere soothing & relaxing, but by giving you enjoyable, great, quality reading material! They fill your room with warm scent, a mug for that hot cuppa, pretty things to stare at while you contemplate the wonderful passage you just read from one of the myriad of topics covered in the three books they have included. Then you can have a nice piece of some spicy chocolate to begin the next poem or chapter! This box is sooo Worth the Witch.

We got to talk to the lovely Karen Otto at Infinite Realms Book Store about their Book Boxes, company, and upcoming changes. Here is what she had to say…

PaganPagesOrg (PPO): What brought the idea of your box to you? 

Karen Otto (KO): I love subscription boxes and in looking through what was available I saw that while there were a few book boxes, they (mostly) all contained popular or classical books. My company is all about helping independent authors and I thought a book box would be a great way to introduce readers to new authors.

PPO: How did you begin them?

KO: I started the boxes at first as a giveaway to grab a little attention for them. I posted a few on eBay before moving on to Cratejoy and now to our bookstore.

PPO: How do you choose what you include inside them?

KO: The very first few boxes were just a mishmash of cool things but after getting that first bit of feedback I started curating more carefully. I gave each type of box a theme. For example, Horror boxes were themed after famous horror writers like Lovecraft. For the fantasy boxes, I themed them after mythical creatures and magic.

PPO: Is your’s a recurring monthly box?

KO: They are not anymore. We ran into a slew of problems on Cratejoy (still love the site but it doesn’t work for us). Now, they are personalizable on our bookstore.

KO: The new book boxes are fully customizable. You can chose the book(s) included or chose a genre, choose a snack type, an item type, make it a gift, send a special message along with the box, we’ve done everything we can to make it fun.

KO: The new boxes are still under construction but will be available by the end of the December.

PPO: What types of interests do you have?

KO: I absolutely love plants and have a whole bunch of them, including a 10-year-old aloe vera plant and six of its off-shoots. I’m also about to try growing black roses for the first time. I am also a writer with two books out at the moment and more to come.

PPO: Did you feel the pagan world was missing something to make you create your Box?

KO: I wasn’t entirely sure what the pagan world needed in the beginning, honestly, but I did use it as inspiration and included things like sage bundles and crystals along with information about their properties in an effort to learn more about paganism myself and to promote the quiet and relaxation the scents and books combined could bring.

PPO: Do you have a site and sell other types of products?  

KO: I run a bookstore – www.infiniterealmsbookstore.com

We’re mainly a publishing company, Alban Lake Publishing, and focus on helping new authors find their footing.

My books are available here:

Bugs in the System by Karen Otto

Shattered: The Story of Ashque by Karen Otto

Our bookstorewww.infiniterealmsbookstore.com

Our publishing website www.albanlakepublishing.com

Social Media Sites:

Twitter – @albanlake

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/albanlakepublishing/

Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz9Fs6i4qMLcf_gozhIKzCQ

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/albanlakepub/

Thank you Karen Otto, for all you do for new and upcoming authors, as well as us readers! Thank you, also, for taking some time out for our readers!!!

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

Beating the January Blues: Excerpts from Every Day Magic Edited by Lucya Starza

January, 2019

January blues refers to that unsettled and unhappy feeling after the holidays are over. The joy and excitement have come and gone, and now there is nothing to look forward to. Of course, Imbolc isn’t so far away, so as a Pagan it’s probably a bit easier to cope with! But winter depression and SAD can affect anyone, so it’s important to keep an eye on your mood at this time of year and try and do something positive if you feel yourself becoming anxious or feeling low.

Here are some excerpts from a book I contributed to which has magical tasks for every day of the year. Every Day Magic: A Pagan Book of Days is a collection of 366 ways to observe the cycle of the year. These ideas can help make a grey and dismal January as magical as you need it to be.

Click Here or Book Cover for Amazon Info

January the First: New Year’s Resolutions

Resolve to enrich your spirit each and every day in many and varied ways. Aim to watch the way the seasons change; meditate a little; whisper prayers; light candles for peace, hope, joy, love and good health; dance and sing; learn about the Gods and Goddesses of the ancient world and celebrate the forces of nature, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon and the stars. Breathe in love and breathe out love. Be open to inspiration. Be blessed. Lucya StarzaI

January the Fourth: Janus

January is named after the Roman God of beginnings and endings, Janus. At the start of the year, cakes made of spelt flour and salt were traditionally burnt on his altar as an offering. Bake spelt bread (there are many traditional recipes online), then make an offering of a little to Janus. Tell him all the things you want to change and ask for his help. Light a candle in his honour. Ravenwings

January the Fifth: Focus and Control Pouch

Braided string, 6 inches in black, blue and yellow

Almond

Cedar

Bay leaf

Nutmeg

Carnelian

Cinnamon oil

Pouch

Purple candle

Before preparing the pouch, apply cinnamon oil to the candle. Light it to aid focus and meditation. Leaving the oil on your hands, continue the work. Affirmation: ‘I am strong. I will focus. I remain calm, and use wisdom.’ Repeat this as you place the rest of the items into the pouch. Tie it with braided string. Laeynarrie Auvresti

January the Sixth

Twelfth Night Wassail

Recite this to an apple tree and offer it cider and toast:

Wassail

Old Apple tree, old apple tree,

We have come to wassail thee.

Thirteen fires we bring to thee,

Ancient Mother apple tree.

Here’s cider-toast to break thy fast,

Now winter lessens here at last.

We wake the spirits with the gun,

Then sing and dance, have lots of fun.

Oh apple tree, oh apple tree,

Do blossom well we beg o’ thee.

To bear and to bow apples enow.

Hats full! Caps full! Three bushel bags full!

Barn floors full,

And a little heap under the stairs. Elen Sentier

What do you do to keep yourself joyful in January? However you spend this first month of the Gregorian year, may you be warm and merry in some small and special way.

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors Click Here for Amazon Info

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways Click Here for Amazon Info

Interview with Author of Everyday Enchantments Maria DeBlassie

January, 2019

Interview with Maria DeBlassie

I loved Maria’s book, Everyday Enchantments. You can find out exactly what I thought of it by reading my review in last month’s PaganPagesOrg. So, imagine my delight when the author agreed to have a chat with me about her writing and the themes within the book, particularly finding the magic in everyday life. Read on to find out more about this fascinating author and her wonderful outlook on life.

Mabh Savage: What inspired the book, Everyday Enchantments?

Maria DeBlassie: This book was inspired by my journey back to a happy, healthy, whole self. I was at a place in my life where I could finally explore what it meant to live, and not just survive. I’d finished school, gotten a job, and was finally setting down roots. Then came discovering what it meant to be a writer and a woman. I committed to a year of daily blogging on simple pleasures, everyday magic, and those quiet mystic moments inherent in our lives…that turned into a lifestyle, an ongoing blog, and this book!

MS: Who would you say it is aimed at?

MD: Everyday Enchantments is a love letter to the simple pleasures and subtle enchantments that make life delicious. I hope readers see my book as an invitation to pause, refresh, and open themselves to the magic inherent in daily life. We all have a little bit of witch in us. My book is for anyone who wants to tap into that magic and conjure their own bliss!

MS: Do you have a favorite chapter?

MD: I love them all as I read them. Sometimes, when I’m needing more introvert time, I’m drawn to the chapters on reading and writing. When I’m ready to go adventuring, I find it’s the chapters on dancing and dreaming that resonate with me more.

MS: What was the biggest challenge about putting the book together?

MD: I wanted to collapse the space between the mystic and the mundane, which had its own challenges. How do you show that synchronicity is an integral part of your everyday? And how do you explain that a good cup of coffee is pure divinity? These are the questions I wrestled with as I wrote the book. I didn’t want the mystic to be something outside ourselves or beyond our daily routines. It’s always there, right within our grasp, if we take the time to look for it. I think, in the end, I was able to illustrate that.

MS: And conversely, what did you enjoy the most about the process?

MD: I love how writing became an act of self-care and spell-crafting, bringing me back to myself when I’d grown too tired of the world. It allowed me to conjure the life I wished to live: one of abundance, grounded mysticism, and happiness!

MS: Some reviewers have commented on the mindfulness contained within the pages of this book. What does mindfulness mean to you?

MD: Mindfulness is a fancy word for staying connected to ourselves and the universe. It’s about slowing down and letting go of the debris that weighs us down, so we have more room for the euphoric.

MS: Should we all be practicing a little more mindfulness? Why is it so important in today’s world?

MD: We live in a world that asks us to move faster and faster, do more, buy more; in short, overextend ourselves in our addiction to busy. When we practice mindfulness, we can unplug from this ugly addiction and connect to what truly matters. It really is the art of slow living or simple living, where we let go of anything that complicates our lives. Once you unplug, you see how addictive- and unnecessary- all that hustle and bustle is.

MS: Can someone in a thoroughly urban setting, with a high-pressure schedule, still find enchantment in their everyday lives?

MD: Absolutely! I live in the heart of Albuquerque and have a very full teaching and writing life. Both are jobs that never quite end, which makes it easy to get lost in the daily grind- even when you love what you do. I’ve just found ways to put limits on them by carving out self-care time and leaving myself open to the little bits of magic that come my way. It’s amazing how much enchantment you find in your daily life when you decide to let go of negative patterns and unhealthy social norms that say we must always be spinning our wheels.

MS: Each chapter holds a meditative, poetic quality that’s very relaxing to read but I imagine would be potent read aloud. Would you consider doing an audio book?

MD: I would love to! I don’t know quite how it all works, but I am addicted to audiobooks myself in all genres. A few minutes listening to a good story or bit of wisdom on my lunch break or while tending house does my soul a world of good.

MS: What’s on the horizon creatively for you? Are you planning any more books?

MD: My current project is called Tarot Tuesdays, or #TarotTuesdays if you are on social media. It’s a series of 78-word stories based on the 78 cards in the tarot deck and synchronicity. Each week, I draw a new card, learn about its role in the tarot, and, with the help of meaningful coincidences, write my story. I’ll say this about my journey into tarot so far: the magic doesn’t lie. The cards always tell me exactly what I need to hear! I’m so grateful for this new project because it gives me an opportunity to meditate on the magic of these cards.

MS: What are you most optimistic for about the next year?

MD: I look forward to the unexpected adventures and spontaneous synchronicities while delving deeper into the realm of everyday magic. Every year I get a little bit better at welcoming enchantment into my life so I’m excited to see what that manifests.

MS: Do you have a favorite time of the year, festival or season? If so, what makes it special for you?

MD: This is a tough one. I love every season as it unfolds, blooms, then fades into the next. I’m ruled by the season and enjoy experiencing each one in their turn. Right now, I’m loving the long nights of winter and delicate hush that hits around 4pm as the sky begins to fade to dark. It’s the best time for walks; everything is watermelon-kissed before the sun sets.

MS: And finally, as we move deeper into winter, how do you celebrate the holiday period? ?

MD: This is a time for turning inward for me. So much of the mainstream holiday season is about noise, consumerism, and doing more. I like to get away from all that and simply be. I indulge in afternoons reading over mugs of home-made chai tea. I make simple, heartfelt gifts for loved ones. I up my self-care routine and allow myself to rest. This winter solstice season is the perfect time to pause, reflect, and absorb the many ups and downs of your year before slipping into the next. I like to honor that liminal space. There’s plenty of joy in that; I’m all about the twinkle lights and festive holiday cheer. I just like it at a slower, cozier pace, where I can absorb the delights of this more introverted season and recharge with the magic of the solstice.

Thank you so much for speaking to us here at PaganPagesOrg, Maria! You can find Maria’s book on Amazon and all good book stores. You can also follow her fascinating blog, and find her on Facebook. Don’t forget to check out the #TarotTuesdays hashtag to follow Maria’s exploration of the Tarot.

Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic & Daily Conjurings on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestorsand Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.

A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors on Amazon

Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways on Amazon

Gael Song

December, 2018

Midwinter and Christmas Spirit Magic

 

(Image from http://visitstonehenge.com/)

As nearly everyone knows, light seeds of what will manifest during the coming year, are sent by the spirit world down hur’s sword of light to the base of everyone’s spine on Midwinter dawn. I can usually feel a sizzling at the base of my spine that day, when I first step out of my little cottage into the daylight. But there’s much more that follows after, which no one at all seems to recognize. As a light healer, reading energies, it’s easy for me to see these. And so, this month, I want to write about what I’ve observed over many years. Those hurian light seeds of the year ahead settle down into the energetic soil of everyone’s womb (both men and women have inner female and male structures inside in light), where they remain for three days, while the Goddess decides the exact form and timing the new impulses of light will take over the year to come. The dark cosmic sea, keeper of all things unborn, floods every person’s abdomen as well. One could call it the unconscious, for it is.

Always, there’s one central thrust of growth for each person over the year to come, growth that will involve facing specific fears or outer challenges meant to build a brand new part of the self within. This new gift or talent is always divine, a small piece of each person’s self-of-light or highest destiny that will eventually emerge during everyone’s final lifetime on earth. This divine self was seeded into us at the very moment of our creation into light, long, long, ago, on the Creator Sun, the highest light structure in the seventh heaven, so say my druid guides. You could think of this new self-of-light that grows into fulness each year as each person’s own divine child of that cycle, too. That’s how my guides speak of it, anyway. Our own divine qualities always reflect the Creators, too, the White Tara and Oghama, Goddess and God.

So, after three days in the cosmic sea, the first structures of the year’s divine child emerge from everyone’s abdominal unconscious and move into each person’s high heart or thymus. The thymus is the inner child heart, where our divine children anchor in most strongly. This happens on Christmas dawn. This child within looks like an infant-of-light, and I find this time most magical, for I can always feel the soft loving-kindness essence of the divine children filling my spirit on that morning. Even amid the bustle of cooking for visiting relatives, I try to find a few moments of quiet to sense what this impulse of growth for the year ahead may bring for me. And this divine infant is one of twelve parts of our inner spirits that everyone has, all twelve with specific vibrations, regencies of the spirit, and directives in life. You could call these twelve parts of everyone’s spirit their personality, too. These twelve parts of our inner spirits exactly match the twelve gods and goddesses of the Creator Sun as well.

And always this emergence of the divine child inside everyone releases a bright beam of hope, a ray of clear diamond light. It will see that, during this first druid moon of the year, the Birch moon, some memory or long-cherished desire will be brought to each person’s attention. This is the first hint of what will manifest for each of us at the end of the coming year, something we’ve long wished for. And this promise of fulfillment stirs up desire from our depths to face and heal whatever fears may be in its way, so this dream will definitely come to be at the end of the year.

Over the year ahead then, this impulse get fleshed out as we push against the thorns and briars in our paths. On Imbolc, the little girl part of each person’s spirit emerges from this abdominal sea. On the Vernal Equinox, the toddler boy emerges. Then the feminine virgin on Bealtaine, the masculine virgin at Midsummer. The inner god and goddess are active during the Oak (May/June) and Apple (July/August) moons, not the solstice/equinox/cross-quarter-day festivals. The inner mother part of our spirits arises at Lughnasa, the inner father at the Autumnal Equinox, the feminine grandmother at Samhein, and finally, the inner grandfather at Midwinter. This is when our new divine part of self is finally complete, fully born into all twelve parts of our inner selves-of-light. It’s the realization of our sweet dream of the year before.

May your own divine child for the year to come be utterly miraculous, bringing an end to want, perhaps, a special destiny, a love like no other. I always hope for the beginning of real peace, unity between peoples, an end to war and privation in the places of most intense global suffering. But these are dreams that will take us all to achieve. For now, it’s enough to feel that sword of light and let it lead you all year long. Let’s walk this road together into the awakening of everyone’s divinity, all of us a shining star in our own personal areas of endeavor. May this season of magic be the very best you’ve ever had!

***

About the Author:

Jill Rose Frew, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, energy healer, workshop leader, and author. She will be opening a school teaching light healing and the Celtic path of enlightenment in 2019. For information, please see www.CelticHeaven.com

She is author of Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to arthurian Fulfillment (her name was Jill Kelly then), and Alba RebornAlba Reborn, Book One, RevisedAlba Reborn, Book Two, and Alba Reborn, Book Three.

Guardians of the Celtic Way: The Path to hurian Fulfillment on Amazon

Tarot Talk

December, 2018

Four of Wands

(The Four of Wands card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

This month we will complete our exploration of the Fours of the Minor Arcana. Last but certainly not least, we will talk about the Four of Wands, and we will think about how a combination of force (Wands/Fire) and form (the number 4) can interact within the Tarot Minors.

Yes, the Four of Wands is a Minor Arcana card, so as we know, the message offered by this card will most likely be more immediate in nature, or will most likely be connected to more day-to-day issues. As we have discovered during this journey through the cards, the easiest way to get a decent understanding of a Minor Arcana card is to examine its number (or in the case of Court Cards, its rank) and to examine its suit. In this case, we are dealing with the number 4, and the suit of Wands. As we have already discovered, these two ingredients alone could actually give us enough information about this one card to offer a useful interpretation. We have other useful things to consider, too, such as symbolism, astrology, and more.

The traditional image of the Four of Wands is of a scene of celebration. In the foreground are four Wands, two on the right and two on the left, connected by a garland of flowers tied in place by ribbons, all of which form a gateway or frame for what is beyond. Sometimes the Wands themselves are sprouting leaves and flowers. Through this gateway, we see a large castle or mansion with verdant plantings surrounding it; alongside the walls of the castle is a gathering of well-dressed adults and children. In the middle of the gateway, we see a man and a woman dressed splendidly, joyously holding flowers and greenery over their heads. The sky is clear and golden, and the entire atmosphere is one of peace and wealth and security, and celebration of achievements. This sense of achievement and possibility is sometimes created without people in the image; several cards show the gateway of adorned Wands with a castle on a hill in the distance, and a golden road leading us from the foreground, through the gateway and to that castle, seeming to promise that we won’t be sorry if we travel that road.

This month we are talking about the suit of Wands and the element of Fire. Besides the element of Fire, the suit of Wands corresponds with the playing card suit of Clubs, and the cardinal direction of South. In its natural state, the element of Fire is hot and dry. It tends to bring spontaneous change or impulsive, energetic effects. Fire is passionate in nature and it transforms everything it touches, everything in our world. Fire can sanitize or cleanse, and it can destroy everything in its path; Fire can warm us and keep us safe, or it can kill us.

All of the cards of the suit of Wands (including the Four of Wands) teach us about Fiery attributes like creativity, ambition, growth, passion and actions, and how their presence or absence can affect our lives. The suit of Wands represents our ability to experience joy and passion (including sexual passion), and the Wands cards can represent our creativity, our ability to be artistic or to be drawn to beautiful things. Fire often represents Spirit or the Divine Will, and Wands cards also can present the possibility of some interaction with Spirit or the Divine, or actions or passions manifesting in line with Divine Will.

The element of Fire can be seen as kinetic, or even electric. It has the power to create greatness (when we are inspired to be better than we think we can be), or destruction (when we believe we are greater than we actually are). Fire fuels innovation, but an imbalance or lack of Fire can bring austerity.

The number 4 is about solidification, discipline, balance, authority figures, a foundation being created, calmness, caution, being steady or difficult to shake up. There are four points to a compass, so the number 4 can represent everything around us as it is right now. If we remember that the number 3 usually represents the creation of something new, or the making real of concepts or understandings presented by the number 2, then we can see that the number 4 brings depth or solidity to that creation. On the negative side, the number 4 can represent energies that are slow and plodding, too conservative, or suspicious of or averse to change.

Within the Tarot, the Fours represent the concept of the cube, very stable and hard to tip over; here we have the pause that allows us to take a breath after activating the potential of the Ace through the partnership of the Two in order to manifest the creation of the Three. Briefly, we have the potential to experience an unexpected creative force and the confidence to wield it (the Ace of Wands), the personal power and authority that allows us to be a pioneer (the Two of Wands), and the ability to detach from a focus on ourselves in order to see the big picture and make effective plans (the Three of Wands). The Four of Wands offers a sense of excitement and celebration that comes with the completion of a job well done, as well as an anticipation of experiencing new possibilities that should present themselves thanks to past successes.

The astrological correspondence for the Four of Wands offers us a bit more depth of understanding; the Four of Wands represents the planet Venus when it is in the astrological sign of Aries.

In astrology, the planet Venus is seen as representing the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Pleasure. Venus is a feminine planet, which means its energies are inner and receptive in nature. Venus is associated with feelings and well-being and gentleness, friendship and fidelity, relationships of all kinds, youth, lust, fertility, travel, and an appreciation for art, social life, pleasing the senses, and beauty. And yes, sex and sexual pleasure are a part of this too. Venus is often seen as being a twin planet to our Earth; it orbits the Sun in 225 days, and is the second brightest object in the night sky, the Moon being the brightest. Venus guides us regarding relationships, feelings and love, and regarding giving and receiving, and since Venus is the second-most powerful beneficial planet (Jupiter is the first), we need to listen to her.

The astrological sign of Aries is a cardinal Fire sign that is a catalyst, a person that inspires others by being totally committed to his or her own vision. Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, the leader of the pack, first in line to get things going. Those born under this sign prefer to initiate, and they won’t shy away from anything new. Aries people are action oriented, assertive, and competitive. Aries is ruled by Mars, the God of War, bold and aggressive, and able to tap into the focus needed to take on any challenge. The symbol of Aries is the Ram, blunt and to the point, and a sheer force of nature. The great strength of those born under this sign is found in their initiative, courage and determination.

Once again, we are seeing an interaction of opposites: Venus is calm and loving and accepting, and is all about relationships, and Aries is assertive, determined, and self-focused (like any good leader). However if we look past the differences, we will see that this pairing offers us an opportunity to put ourselves first in a manner that is not abusive and selfish, but rather that enables us to learn about ourselves, and to discover what we personally need in order to be able to create and maintain beneficial relationships. It is through understanding our own needs and embracing them as valid and useful that we are able to attract to us what serves us the best.

The Fours have a place on the Tree of Life of the Qabalah; they are found in the sephira of Chesed in the middle of the Pillar of Force/Expansion. This sephira is seen as the place of both expansion and stability; there is that balance of opposites again. Chesed represents Mercy and tells us that love cannot happen without understanding. Chesed also represents the concept of authority, which brings the danger of self-righteousness and at the same time offers us the opportunity to learn humility.

In The Naked Tarot (the awesome book I reviewed last month; check it out!), the Four of Wands is described as representing the group that gathers when we are celebrating an important milestone or the accomplishment of a goal, with that celebration also promoting and encouraging unity. The gift offered by the Four of Wands is kinship: blood kinship, a kinship of heritage, and a kinship of community. This card tells us to bring about connections between the different groups in our lives, celebrate our accomplishments with those groups, and then take a bit of time for ourselves to ground and recharge.

There are subtle yet powerful differences between the Wild Unknown Four of Wands and the Three of Wands of the same deck. The Three give us a glimpse of a possible manifestation, swirling with fertile possibilities, visible through a small portal; the Four of Wands has enlarged and supported that portal so that it is a permanent structure. The foundation has been created, and it is solid. Now, we can not only more easily visualize the goals of the future, but we can also actually see them beginning to manifest in the physical world. The work we have done so far is acting as a lens, focusing our vision and supporting our efforts. A cause to celebrate, for sure!

The image on the Thoth Tarot Four of Wands, called “Completion,” shows a circle or spinning wheel with four Wands creating the spokes. On one end of each Wand is a representation of Aries and on the other end is a representation of Venus; the wheel spins smoothly because these opposing energies are balanced. Here we have the result of a balanced combination of harmony and effort and creativity that is meshed with effort, and we have the valuable conclusions gained through our efforts.

The Llewllyn Welsh Four of Wands shows four Wands, topped with flowers and ribbons, around and in the middle of a stream frothing around rocks. Behind and above the stream is a beautiful walled castle surrounded by verdant growth and topped by a merrily-fluttering banner. There are several bridges crossing the stream, giving access to the open gateway offering entry into the castle. This is one of the cards that offers a message without having a single person in the image. The keywords for this card are repose after difficulty, unexpected celebration, alliances and friendships, sharing of bounty, and achieving a state of balance after an ordeal.

The Legacy of the Divine Four of Wands shows four Wands topped with glowing crystals, each emitting a beam of light that meets in the center to form a protective canopy over the image. Within the archway created by those four Wands is a beautiful scene of green trees and green grass, with a rainbow arching over distant mountains and a stream flowing toward the viewer and falling out of the image into darkness. Along the outside of the wands, the tree branches are nude, the ground is brown and the skies are filled with gray clouds. Is the image under the canopy a reality being protected by the four Wands? Or is it a dream of possibility, the goal we are working so very hard to attain? The card brings us optimism and hope for the future.

The Four of Wands offers a clear message: opposing forces can work together in order to create security and safety without blocking or misdirecting creativity and potential. The Four of Wands tells us that if we have been working hard and using our talents and skills to achieve a goal, and that goal or achievement has arrived, we deserve to celebrate. Taking the time to share our success with those we love and including them in our celebration builds community. After all, important milestones require a commitment in order to be achieved, and sharing the benefits of those milestones once they are achieved builds a community that supports its members.

Celebrating the achievements of others brings even more joy, strength of community, and kinship into our lives. Through this kind of sharing, we create a strong foundation that promises growth, stability, security and well-being for the future . . . for everyone!

** We Feature the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk. You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/.

The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set) on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

Book Review: The Lunar Gospel – The Complete Guide to Your Astrological Moon by Cal Garrison

December, 2018

Book Review

The Lunar Gospel – The Complete Guide to Your Astrological Moon

by Cal Garrison

Another astrology cookbook, sigh, I thought as I opened this book. How wrong I can be! Cal Garrison is an astrologer of maturity and subtlety and brings her experience and discernment to this very useful, well written guide. As Garrison herself points out in the introduction,

To answer the question of whether we need another astrology book, I am here to say, ‘Yes, we do.’ We need a book that takes the basic information to a place that actually shows the aspiring astrologer how to translate the sings and symbols into a language that helps people identify their soul’s purpose clearly enough to open the pathway to the higher self…that lifts the Veil on…a subject that has been hidden in darkness for over 500 years and that was originally given to humanity as a gift from the gods to help us make sense of ourselves and of our connection to the greater whole.”

And Garrison does exactly that. As she tells it, she used to rely on Pluto to get to the heart of the soul-based and life-purpose horoscope, then the lunar nodes. Now she uses the Moon’s sign and house position as the direct route to the core of the chart because: “The Moon is the timekeeper here on Earth. Like the second-hand on a clock, her movements define our relationship to the past, the present and the future. The Moon’s sign…gives us insight into what an individual has learned during the ‘Time’ that they have already spent on this Earth. The Moon’s house…tells us where and in what ‘Space’ or department of Earthly experience a person will apply those gifts in life.” Garrison uses Saturn to point to big changes and the Moon to point to the smaller shifts. I really appreciated this insight!

Her discussion of the Moon and its role in the natal horoscope walks us through her process of chart reading. She has studied astrology since 1964, so this is deep trove of treasure she dispenses to us. In the first chapter we learn that the Moon is about growth, (waxing and waning!), our past lives, the areas we’ve mastered and how we tend to repeat these patterns in the first half of our lives. I have approached the Moon in the natal chart from a somewhat different perspective, but find Garrison’s direction to be useful and practical. For example, she makes an excellent observation when she tells us that the Moon, not Mercury, rules memory. She parses this beautifully – Mercury rules the mind and neural functioning, but the moon governs memory because it governs the past. And –“[s]he is responsible for the mechanism in us that knows how to remember, because she is the master of repetition.” Of course! Her discussion of all of the Moon’s rulerships and correspondence is so well-done: thoughtful, well-explained and very well written, in simple, easy to understand language that is not astro-speak. It works beautifully for the beginner and for a more seasoned astrologer as well, providing us with her insight gained from reading many charts.

For the true newbie, there is a quick and easy to understand explanation of how the astrological wheel is laid out. There are also chapters on the moon in the signs and the houses, replete with insight and practical ways to apply it to both natal and horary charts (these are charts cast to answer specific questions, like, “Where will I find my keys?”). Garrison provides chapters on North and South lunar node house and sign placements to demonstrate how the Moon’s orbit is anchored to the soul’s purpose in this lifetime. There is helpful diagram to illustrate how the nodes interact with the orbits of the Sun and the Earth. She ends with a chapter on synthesizing and blending these various layers. For the astrology initiate, she provides short, well-written descriptions of the flavor, tone and influence of each inner and outer planet in the chart and how each operates.

I truly appreciate Cal Garrison’s insights and advice on chart reading in this book, especially this: “The ability to read a chart is something that grows over time and develops, not through books alone, but rather through the direct experience of talking to one person after another about their lives.” Yes! If you are interested in dipping into the vast body of available astrological writing or like me, adding to your library of astrology books, get this one. You, too, will appreciate Garrison’s experience, her insight and her ability to convey her craft so well.

The Lunar Gospel: The Complete Guide to Your Astrological Moon on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Susan Rossi is a Practitioner and Teacher of Shamanism. She is a long-time explorer of The Mysteries – the connections between mind, body, spirit and how to live in right relationship to all of the energies streaming through the cosmos. She works with clients as an astrologer, coach, ceremonialist and guide to the wisdom that each of us has the capacity to access. Her focus is on guiding clients to unblock and rediscover their inner wisdom. , exploration of the birth chart, ceremony, legacy writing, hypnotherapy, energetic healing practice and creation of sacred tools are integral pieces of her practice.

Susan trained in Soul Level Astrology with master astrologer Mark Borax. She delights in exploring with individuals the planetary pattern under which their soul choose to incarnate.

Flying to the Heart www.flyingtotheheart.com

Open Channel Astrology: openchannelastrology.com

 

 

 

Tarot Talk

November, 2018

Four of Coins

(The Four of Coins card is from the artist Ciro Marchetti http://www.ciromarchetti.com/)**

We haven’t spoken about the Fours of the Minor Arcana in a while. This month we will talk about the Four of Pentacles, and remind ourselves of what happens when we have begun to find success within the physical world.

The Four of Pentacles is a Minor Arcana card, so as we know, the message offered by this card will most likely be more immediate in nature, or will most likely be connected to more day-to-day issues. The easiest way to get a decent understanding of a Minor Arcana card is to examine its number, or in the case of Court Cards, its rank, and to examine its suit. In this case, we are dealing with the number 4, and the suit of Pentacles. As we have already discovered, these two ingredients alone could actually give us enough information about this one card to offer a useful interpretation. We have other useful things to consider, too, such as symbolism, astrology, and more.

The traditional image of the Four of Pentacles is of a well-dressed person wearing a crown and sitting on a throne, with a pentacle under each foot, a pentacle above the crown, and a pentacle held firmly with both arms. Behind the seated person is the skyline of what appears to be a well-organized and prosperous city; above is a blue and cloud-free sky. Most versions of the Four of Pentacles are similar: four Pentacles being guarded, although there is no indication exactly what they are being guarded from.

The suit of Pentacles (or Coins, Stones or Disks) corresponds with the element of Earth, and of the physical body, physical manifestation, and wealth. Many Tarot decks use images of pentagrams or coins or disks on their Minor Arcana Pentacles cards as well as trees, flowers and green, verdant growth, all of which will make it easy to connect with the symbolism of this suit. A nice place to begin is with the element of Earth itself.

In its natural state, Earth is cool and dry, and it binds or shapes the other elements. Earth is of the physical or physically formed or manifested world, and of nurturing, health, finances and security, and the wisdom associated with living simply and being well-grounded. Earth is the element of form and substance; it is connected to material world security (and even wealth), and to our physical bodies and physical senses, and the pleasures and pains they bring. Earth represents the nurturing and serene side of Nature, and it represents the tangible end result of our labors. Earth is about security and stillness, and knowing what to expect; it is about strength, discipline, and physical manifestation of all kinds, and about enjoying the fruits of our labors. Earthy energies are fertile, practical, and slow to change.

You can see just by examining the paragraph above just how easy it is to connect the element of Earth to our daily lives, our physical bodies, our careers and our finances, our families, and the natural world around us. These things are all the main correspondences of the element of Earth, the suit of Pentacles, and of course, our Four of Pentacles.

The number 4 is about solidification, discipline, balance, authority figures, a foundation being created, calmness, caution, being steady or difficult to shake up. There are four points to a compass, so the number 4 can represent everything around us as it is right now. If we remember that the number 3 usually represents the creation of something new, or the making real of concepts or understandings presented by the number 2, then we can see that the number 4 brings depth or solidity to that creation. On the negative side, the number 4 can represent energies that are slow and plodding, too conservative, or suspicious of or averse to change.

Within the Tarot, the Fours represent the concept of the cube, very stable and hard to tip over; here we have the pause that allows us to take a breath after activating the potential of the Ace through the partnership of the Two in order to manifest the creation of the Three. Briefly, we have the potential to experience abundance, good luck and comfort (the Ace of Pentacles), the power to deal with change in a balanced and beneficial manner (the Two of Pentacles), and the ability to practice our skills with talent, dedication and a focus on details (the Three of Pentacles). The Four of Pentacles offers a glimpse of the success that comes with a long-term application of luck, skill and dedication, and an awareness of just how much we have to lose once that success begins to manifest.

The astrological correspondence for the Four of Pentacles offers us a bit more depth of understanding; the Four of Pentacles represents our Sun when it is in the astrological sign of Capricorn.

In astrology, The Sun corresponds with our sun, the star at the center of our solar system around which the planets revolve. The sun provides our Earth with the heat and light necessary for life as we know it. The arc that the sun travels in every year, rising and setting in a slightly different place each day, is a reflection of the Earth’s orbit around the sun, which is particularly applicable with our Four of Pentacles and the astrological sign of Capricorn (an Earth sign). The sun is thought to represent the conscious ego, the self and its expression, personal power, pride and authority, leadership qualities and the principles of creativity, spontaneity, health and vitality, or simply the “life force.” In Chinese astrology, the sun represents Yang, the active, assertive masculine life principle. In Indian astrology, the sun is called Surya and represents the soul, ego, vitality kingship, highly placed persons, government and the archetype of The Father.

Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac, is a Cardinal Earth sign ruled by Saturn. Capricorn people are stable, hard-working, practical, methodical, and ambitious, never losing sight of goals regardless of how many obstacles or distractions are in the way. They are a bit stoic and rigid, and they will stick to their beliefs despite convincing evidence to the contrary. More than anything else they enjoy power, respect, and authority, and they are willing to toe the line for as long as it takes to achieve those goals. The Capricorn personality is one that is firmly grounded in reality, the voice of reason in a chaotic world. A Capricorn person may seem unfriendly, but remember the image of this astrological sign has a fish’s tail. The emotions are there, just hidden within that inhibited exterior. As far as material wealth is concerned, Capricorn approaches finances with prudence, planning, and discipline, and thus, there are not many Capricorns who are lacking in physical-world resources.

If the Sun is about the Self, and Capricorn, an Earth sign ruled by Saturn, is about resources and reality, then when our Sun is in Capricorn, there can be a strong focus to deal with and master the more tangible aspects of life and living. We are talking about ambition here, but also responsibility. These energies are not about going forth into the unknown, but rather they are about working hard and making the most out of the resources at hand, solving challenges through focus and endurance. The Sun in Capricorn is about being admired for accomplishments, as well as dependability, creativity, discipline and a sense of humor.

The Fours have a place on the Tree of Life of the Qabalah; they are found in the sephira of Chesed in the middle of the Pillar of Force/Expansion. This sephira is seen as the place of both expansion and stability. Chesed represents Mercy and tells us that love cannot happen without understanding. Chesed also represents the concept of authority, which brings the danger of self-righteousness and at the same time offers us the opportunity to learn humility.

In The Naked Tarot (the awesome book I reviewed this month; check it out!), the Four of Coins is described as someone who is poor-minded rather than someone who is actually deprived, a perfect description of the personality of this card. Janet Boyer’s description of the Four of Coins as actually about withholding and stockpiling to the point of being paralyzed by what we have accumulated, is spot-on. The personifications of King Midas and Ebenezer Scrooge fit well with the message of the Four of Coins, as does the health issue of constipation.

The Wild Unknown Four of Pentacles shows four Pentacles, each connected to the others by belts or straps. We can almost hear the hum of those belts as they turn, creating lots of energy but only allowing each Pentacle to turn in one direction, in only certain ways. The image shows the benefits of the energy of this card, as well as the restrictive nature of the devices which not allow things to grow or evolve in new ways. This card is about valuing the things we have right now and protecting them to the point that they are stifled. Keeping things as they are, holding tightly to those possessions we value, prevents us from using them to create new things. But the support offered by structure and a strong foundation can just as easily grow into a prison.

The image on the Thoth Tarot Four of Disks, called “Power,” looks like a fortress with four square watchtowers, surrounded by a moat that can only be crossed at one place. The Four of Disks represents assured material gain in the form of dominion, rank, and earthly power that have been obtained but are leading to no further growth. After all, a fortress offers useful protection but if our enemies surround us with strength and focus of their own, a siege becomes a long and painful process.

The Llewllyn Welsh Four of Pentacles shows the traditional image for this card, and tells of a need to focus on growth opportunities closer to home, and of acquiring new possessions and guarding them, maybe to the point of over identifying with them. The card hints at a tendency to parade our wealth in front of others and warns of the danger of ostentation.

The Legacy of the Divine Four of Coins shows a man dressed in a manner that indicates material wealth and success achieved through effort. Despite his outward appearance of power and security, the man grasps four golden coins to his chest in a very insecure way, and looks at us out of the side of his eyes as if saying “these are not the Coins you are looking for; move on!” Saving for a rainy day is a prudent thing to do, however the fear of losing our physical possessions can easily overcome our ability to enjoy them.

The message here is pretty clear: yes, managing our resources in order to make certain that our physical-world needs are seen to is smart. The ability to provide for oneself takes training, effort and perseverance, but constantly questioning ourselves as to whether or not we have enough ends up blinding us to the true pleasure of personal satisfaction and comfort, and the joy of sharing our own bounty with our loved-ones. These kinds of connections are valuable too, and they are also necessary for our sense of worth and our joy of living.

This process of holding tightly is well and good for a little bit; it allows us to gather ourselves in order to take the next leap. However, realizing that eventually the process of holding tightly will begin to prevent the very leap for which we are preparing is a necessary realization for that leap to actually happen.

** We Feature the art of Ciro Marchetti as part of Tarot Talk. You can view his work and Decks at http://www.ciromarchetti.com/.

The Gilded Tarot Deck on Amazon

***

About the Author:

Raushanna is a lifetime resident of New Jersey. As well as a professional Tarot Reader and Teacher, she is a practicing Wiccan (Third Degree, Sacred Mists Coven), a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Massage Bodyworker, a 500-hr RYT Yoga Teacher specializing in chair assisted Yoga for movement disorders, and a Middle Eastern dance performer, choreographer and teacher.  Raushanna bought her first Tarot deck in 2005, and was instantly captivated by the images on the cards and the vast, deep and textured messages to be gleaned from their symbols. She loves reading about, writing about, and talking about the Tarot, and anything occult, mystical, or spiritual, as well as anything connected to the human subtle body. She has published a book, “The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding,” and is currently working on a book about the Tarot, pathworking and the Tree of Life. Raushanna documents her experiences and her daily card throws in her blog, DancingSparkles.blogspot.com, which has been in existence since 2009. She and her husband, her son and step son, and her numerous friends and large extended family can often be found on the beaches, bike paths and hiking trails of the Cape May, NJ area.

The Emerald Tablet: My 24-Day Journal to Understanding on Amazon

Learning Lenormand

November, 2018

A Portrait of the Morning

My sun is in Taurus and I most definitely a creature of habit. My morning routine is a good example of this. I generally wake around 4 a.m. I stay in bed for a half-hour or so, cuddling with a kitty – usually Radar, who sleeps with his head on my pillow – and praying. Then I get up, put on my flannels and go into the kitchen, where I start the coffee. I feed the cats. I have my oatmeal and coffee while reading and replying to emails and then it’s in the shower. I’m in and out of the shower by 6 a.m., generally. After I’m all clean and dressed, I make my bed and straighten up my room. While I do this, I listen to classical music on the radio. I like peace and quiet in the mornings.

This is when I meditate. My son James is still sleeping and the cats are fed and back to sleep so it’s a nice serene environment.

I used to do Tarot readings after meditation. When I got my Lenormand cards, I started doing both – but with James living here, I usually don’t have time to sit and read cards for over an hour anymore. Honestly, I barely have enough time to do anything I want to do anymore but that’s a whole ’nother issue!

I don’t have to read the Tarot everyday to learn it – my life is immersed in the Tarot whether I am reading the cards or not. My poetry and my artwork are both mostly about the Tarot and uses Tarot themes. I am not so arrogant to suggest that I don’t need to learn anymore about the Tarot – there’s always more to learn! I’m just saying that my Tarot journal is now essentially a Lenormand journal.

I decided to stop doing daily readings of any cards except the Lenormand because – like learning a new language – I just wasn’t getting it. That’s the honest truth. If you are only using the cards once in a while – or if you are only using them after you have already done a reading with your favorite Tarot deck – how are you supposed to actually learn anything? I had to get in a schedule where I was sitting and only using the Lenormand. I also had to use the same format everyday – like I had with the Tarot thirty years ago, when I was using the Celtic Cross predominantly. So – after working with several different Lenormand spreads I found in Caitlín Matthew’s The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards – I decided upon Spread 6 “The Portrait”, which you can find on page 132, if you own this fundamental book – and I highly recommend the purchasing of this text! – I cannot stress that enough!

The Portrait Spread is a 9-card spread that is the basis for many of the spreads that follow in subsequent chapters. Therefore, it’s perfect for a daily spread – it’s a quick and easy look on what is going on in your life. Nine is such a great number on so many levels – as the saying goes, “Three times three, so mote it be”. Matthew writes that, “Nine is a powerful number in that it replicates itself in all its multiples.” (Matthews, 131). There’s ten cards in a Celtic Cross but when you consider that the first two cards are “crossed” over the same position, it can be argued that there are actually only nine positions in the spread, which gives it a different dynamic.

The Portrait Spread is laid out with three cards along the top, three in the middle, and three along the bottom.

(Matthews, 132)

Card 5 – the middle card – is the focus of the reading. I can’t tell you how many times that card is absolutely dead on. Sometimes I can’t get heads or tails out of the cards around it – especially when I try to blend meanings of cards – but usually that one card tells me everything I need to know.

Cards 1+4+7 = the past.

Cards 2+5+8 = the present.

Cards 3+6+9 = the future.

Card 1 tells me what “provoked or instigated the issue” (Matthews, 133). On a daily basis, there might not be an ongoing “issue” but then again, there might be stuff going on that you are not yet aware! The corners 1+9+3+7 shows what that basic issue is. The diamond cards of 2+4+6+8 (who do we appreciate, sorry couldn’t help it) show the inner aspects of the issue.

After this, read the rows 1+2+3, 4+5+6, 7+8+9 as well as 1+8+3 and 7+2+9 to get all the aspects of the portrait. If this seems like a lot – well, it is! But like learning any new language, doing your daily homework is the key and that’s the only way to learn. And I’ll be honest with you – quite often, I lay out the cards and start writing my analysis in my journal and have to stop because life intrudes. So now I have started setting aside time after lunch to finish up any unfinished Lenormand “homework”. Since it is my habit to take a nap after lunch, it’s nice to drift off to sleep with Lenormand images and concepts floating through my head.

Here’s today’s portrait:

I usually shuffle the cards as part of my morning meditation. I don’t focus on a question or anything at all. I just let the cards slide through my fingers and back through between my hands as I drift through consciousness. I’ve found that I get better readings when I don’t have a specific question then when I try to get the cards to “tell me something” – I just let them talk to me.

32 Moon 8 Hearts is Card 5 – the middle card – the focus of the reading. After months of being artistically blocked, I am once again working at my poetry and my artwork and other writing projects – I am getting up before dawn to work. I am also baking bread and thinking of other creative things to cook. My life seems to be bursting with creativity and I am working harder than ever. And I am loving my work!

30 Lily + 11 Whip + 28 Man is my past – I always read this as resent past, within the last twenty-four to forty-eight hours. At first glance, I really can’t make any sense of these cards together but I will take a guess – I’m always guessing! – and say that these three cards refer to the maturing man in the house – my son, James – and how he is increasingly in charge of things.

20 Garden + 32 Moon + 23 Mice is my future – I read this as “what’s happening today” – and this tell me that having to go out into the world (running errands) will cut into my ability to work today, since getting around Buffalo on public transportation takes up so much time.

16 Stars + 5 Tree + 4 House is my future – which I take to mean as the near future, tomorrow or the next day – I will be focusing on my health and well-being and doing things at home.

That seems really straight-forward and to the point, doesn’t it? When I first started reading Lenormand cards, I was obsessed with getting the perfect reading, the correct reading of the cards and the most precise reading but now I realize that I could read these cards today and get a certain reading and then read these same cards tomorrow and see something different. There is no true correct reading. There’s only the reading that resonates for you.

After I read all aspects of the Portrait Spread and make notations in my Lenormand Journal, I put the cards and the journal away for the day. Later in the evening, I get the journal out and see how closely the cards predicted the day and remind myself of tomorrow’s prediction.

When you have been doing a spread like this for say – two or three weeks – a month, tops – look through your readings and see what cards have been showing up most often. This past month, I have been seeing 32 Moon 8 Hearts, 26 Book 10 Diamonds, 5 Tree 7 Hearts, 6 Clouds King Clubs, and 33 Key 8 Diamonds more than any of the other cards. Given that my focus has been on creativity and writing and just how to get going on my novel again, I think these cards really show my struggles with those issues.

I really like this spread. It takes a bit of time to do but the more I do it, the easier it gets to read the cards. For me, I think the trick is to read the cards quickly
“First thought, best thought,” as Allen Ginsburg famously said – put the concepts together into a coherent thought and go with that. The more I ponder the “meaning” of the cards, the less meaning they actually have. I get lost in layers of implication and nuance and end up confused and frustrated. So I have found that the first thought that pops into my head when I am looking at a group of cards is generally the one that I should listen to.

And like I said before, there is no true correct reading. I haven’t been keeping a Lenormand journal long enough to see this in action, but I can tell you that when I look through Tarot journals from ten, twenty, thirty years ago, I can see where I made rookie mistakes but also where I was spot on – even as a beginner! Your journals are a great learning resource, even years after the reading. And it’s fun to relive whatever drama was going on at the time! And be grateful for the happy serenity I enjoy right now.

Until next month, Brightest Blessings!

References

Matthews, Caitlín. The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards. Rochester, VT: Destiny , 2014.

The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards on Amazon

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About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Worth the Witch

November, 2018

The Magickal Earth

 

Nature’s Miracles”

 

This month we are diving into a box that is deceivingly small by The Magickal Earth. Their Premium Subscription Box is packed to the gills with items “curated to offer guidance through the months astrological phase. The box will always feature a monthly astrological overview, a brief monthly horoscope, a tarot card chosen for you by the universe, crystals and gems to match the months energy, along with a variation of surprises including items such as, candles, essential oils, soap and, smudge sticks.”

All of this is included in the Premium Subscription Box for only $49.99 a month. This is just one of the Subscription Boxes that The Magickal Earth has to offer. They range in price from a mere $14.99 to $49.99 and cover a variety of wants and needs, from Crystal Boxes to Bath Boxes.

 

Now, let’s get into the box!


The smell emanating from the box is delicious and enticing. It makes me want to tear it open in a rush, but I must be methodical! So I open it carefully and peek inside.

First things first…what do we pull out???

 

Astrology Reading

When you are ordering your box you are asked to give your birth date. This is because The Magickal Earth includes a personal monthly astrology reading with this subscription box. I’m a Libra as you can see. You also get a pamphlet with planetary influences & energies for the month of the sign of the box.

 

One Card Pull

A one card Tarot pull is done for you. My card chosen was Temperance. They send you the card that is pulled for you along with another sheet that explains the Tarot card. It is up to you to read how this card plays in your life.

 

Abalone Smudge Shell

I am in love with this Abalone Shell. It’s large and very iridescent inside, delicate seeming, but sturdy, and gorgeous. The picture only sort of catches a bit of rainbow on the inside.

The iridescence is carried over the outside over a silver finish. There are a few “portholes” along the side that just add to the beauty. On the “mound side” there is a slight rusty patina on some of the holes giving it a real sea feeling.

 

BloodStone

Now this is an awesome piece of Blood stone that The Magickal Earth sends you. It is a big, smooth, tumbled piece. It is the size of the palm of your hand. It feels delicate, you don’t want to drop it. The color play in the stone is mesmerizing. A small card with some facts about Bloodstone accompanies the stone.

 

Quartz & Green Aventurine Stones

Two pieces of Quartz. They are both points. One is unique as it has a two points connected, one off shoot from the side. The larger one is a decent size, and the tinier one is on a small-scale but the uniqueness of it makes up for that.

The Green Aventurine is marbled with two shades of a light and dark green. It is smooth, tumbled, and medium-sized. A beautiful specimen.

 

Citrine

This is my favorite piece of Citrine that I have ever seen. I am amazed at the generous size. It is simply gorgeous! This picture does not do it justice. I could not get one that did. A huge piece of rough Citrine. A cloudy white base that rises to a deep yellow top that is flecked with almost rust colored specs. The vibrations coming from this stone are amazing.

 

Lip Care

Lip care by Night Bloom Apothecary is included in the Subscription Box. It feels very moisturizing on the lips. The scent is natural. It leaves a fresh feeling behind. When you rub your lips together it blends in nicely. It’s not overly oily feeling on your mouth or gooky.

 

Bar of Soap

Minty Magic is the name of the bar. The sticker on the back of the packaging tells you all the ingredients. It has a true mint scent, not a sweet mint, but a fresh mint scent. It lathers nicely and leaves behind a clean feeling, not dry.

 

 

Crystal Infused Energy Cleansing Mist


This blend is by NightBloom Apothecary. You can see the herbs & stones in this mixture. More so than I have seen in other’s that I have reviewed. You shake it and hear the many crystals chime against each other. When reading the ingredients you see they are pure de-stressers; lavender, clary sage, etc… The scent is amazing and it leaves you feeling soothed.

 

Stand and Smudge Stick to Complete Smudge Set

Now I am on the bottom of the box and what do I find? The Magickal Earth truly meant for this to be a Smudge Set. They have included a Stand. I thought the gorgeous Abalone Shell was just a stand alone. This is a great surprise. It’s a very nice wooden stand accompanied by a large smudge stick. This is a most wonderful Smudge Set.

 

My Overall Opinion…

I found The Magickal Earth to have a very impressive box. I really enjoyed their theme of cleansing in the box and think they kept it on target with great products made of wonderful quality. The portions in their Subscription Box were very generous. I have found my new citrine for working with. The Smudge Kit is a great gift for those new to smudging as well as those who have been smudging for years. The Energy Cleansing Mist impressed me the most with it’s quality. I also, really appreciated their personal attention with the astrology reading & one card drawing.  It really personalizes your box, you know no one else is getting a box like yours.  They spent time thinking about just you for the moment.  This box is most definitely Worth the Witch!

 

We got to speak with the woman behind The Magickal Earth boxes, Janet Barto, and ask her the usual from Worth the Witch. Here is what Janet had to say…

PaganPagesOrg (PPO): What brought the idea of your box to you?

Janet Barto(JB): When we started the Magickal Earth we started not with the subscription box in mind. I wanted to do what I loved most and that was crystals and rocks. The subscription box idea just came. We looked at the different boxes being offered and wanted to be unique. Thus, we came up with combining Astrology, Tarot and Crystals together.

PPO: How did you begin them?

JB: I won’t lie, it was a huge process. So much research went into every aspect. From Designing the box to how the contents would be included. I must say it is very hard work to start a subscription box. Especially ours and other like ours. So much attention to every detail. When you start you want every single piece to be absolutely perfect.

PPO: How do you choose what you include inside of them?

JB: First, we look at the Astrological calendar, then we look at the season, and from there I let my intuition take it home. Every item is hand chosen. Every item has a meaning of some kind to make it all part of the whole.

PPO: Is yours a recurring monthly box?

JB: Yes, we offer our box in many forms. We have a recurring box on Cratejoy and on our website. We then also off 3 or 6 month subscriptions at a discounted rate. Costing ranges from $14.99 delivered to $49.99 delivered.

PPO: Are you, yourself pagan?

JB: I am a second degree priestess within Chalice Hart in Washington. I am also a medium and I have trained in Shaman work.

PPO: Tell us about your interests.

JB: I have 2 business I now run full-time. But when I get to play we go on Jeep Runs. We do a lot of off roading in the mountains. I also love Football and Baseball.

PPO: Did you feel the pagan world was missing something to make you create your Box?

JB: This is a good question. I believe the answer is that I wanted ordinary people who had interests in Astrology and in Tarot to be able to order a box that was not just about witchcraft or spells. Kind of a middle ground. I wanted to really try to express that we are all part of the universe no matter what religion or craft you follow.

PPO: Do you have a site and sell other products?

JB: Our website is still a work in progress. As we are doing the boxes we are meeting people with many wonderful handmade items. Magickal Earth is about anything that comes from the Earth.

Our goal at The Magickal Earth is about personal attention. When you order from us we think hard about exactly the right stone or item to pick out for you. We understand how difficult it is for people to order crystals online. It is hard to not be able to see or feel. So when we are choosing for you, we are thinking hard about you and letting the universe help us chose the right one.

The Magickal Earth is growing everyday. And we believe that those who order from us become part of our family. It is all about our connection to them through the universe.

 

I think they really understood and connected with me. From my readings…to the crystals that really rang a note with me…this was an incredible box. Thank you Janet Barto for taking the time to chat with us. You really have an incredible box on your hands.

 

If you would like to get The Magickal Earth’s Boxes in your hands, Here’s their links:

The Magickal Earth’s Website:

https://themagickalearth.com/

 

The Magickal Earth on CrateJoy:

https://www.cratejoy.com/subscription-box/magickal-provisions/

 

The Magickal Earth Bath Box on CrateJoy:

https://www.cratejoy.com/subscription-box/magickal-earth/

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themagickalearth

 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themagickalearth/

 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/barto1866/

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About the Author:

Jennifer Wright is a witch on a path of change that is always winding. She founded PaganPagesOrg in the hopes of giving those a platform to share and learn without judgment. There are too many important things to her and not enough room to mention them. You are one of them.

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