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Celebrating The Old Ways in New Times

April, 2019

April 2019 for Celebrating The Old Ways in New Times

Bright Blessings!

I write this the day before Spring Equinox, and I am pleased to say, although we still get the scattered odd snow, and colds and upper resp is currently rampant in my hometown, Spring is happening anyhow!

My crocus bulbs have started showing purple buds, and the birdsong, and strong light are a very welcome break from the cold, and gloom of winter!

I have all my seeds for the year already, and I’m going to start buying soil a couple of bags at a time this weekend to fill that new planter box I am thrilled to have!

More than that, joint pain, fatigue, and cabin fever are starting to disappear!

The month of April also sees everybody getting outside more, being cooped up indoors less, doing more Spring cleaning, and planning trips out of town to visit loved ones, and hit festivals. It’s a happy, and active time.

For some of us, it means planning the Beltaine gathering. In years past, I have written a lot about our Beltaine gatherings.

My health made it impossible for me to plan that some years recently- but this year, it’s on!!!!!

Rather than rent a site at a natural area- you know, where we could do firepit and camping- I just booked the clubhouse at my condos. NOW, if it rains, we are covered! It’s also on the bus line, and right at my house. Everybody knows where it is, and it cost a small $40 rental. Win-win!

I bring this up to speak about transformation.

We THINK transformation is making EVERYTHIMG we expect happen exactly as we want it.

That isn’t always the case.

Sometimes, sure, but not always.

Sometimes, we have to ADAPT to make something happen at all, as opposed to DEMANDING we 100% control everything down to the most minute detail. Being a micromanager hinders magic sometimes. We may move energy, but we do not OWN energy. We may be the reflection of the god or goddess, but we are ACTING in that role, and are not actually them. We are merely human.

To accept things as they are, and change ourselves or approach to mirror reality is sometimes the most magical transformation there is.

More on this topic, and a working to follow the theme, but first, I’d like to share with you a wonderful book I reviewed, and the amazing author’s interview.

Interview of Nicholas Guillette

Nick Guilette is the author of Magickal Mechanics: The Fundamentals And Functions Of Magick, which I had the opportunity to review!

This 2018 publication is a simple, no nonsense approach to the way magic works. I most appreciate the brevity of the 60 plus page book, which is broken down into 12 simple mechanics. It’s an easy read, and Nick’s writing voice has an easily understandable, poetic flow that draws you right in. I recommend the book.

Rather than provide too much of a spoiler, I decided to discuss one of the 12 mechanics, and Nick chose #12, which is: “Magickal action must be followed by mundane action on the physical world outside of the ritual setting.”

He writes “Magick is not a silver bullet to solve our problems…creating changes in life through magick requires work in two aspects of existence: The energetic, and the physical.” He also writes, “ Magicians must allow their magick to flow from the astral plane to the mental plane and finally to the physical plane through spellwork and follow it up with mundane action to see their will manifest.”

I was fortunate enough to not only review this good book, but also interview the author as well!

The Interview

Saoirse– Let’s discuss the book by highlighting one of the 12 points. Which would you prefer to discuss?

Nick– Probably the biggest thing would be that magick requires physical action to manifest so #12, because a lot of people tend to think that after they do with spell it’s just going to manifest whatever they want without any work.

Saoirse– A gal I once used to know said “We are spiritual beings having a physical experience! “ Magic is just a PART of who we are as magic workers. Your example of trying to find a job is one I always provide. Sure, cast spells, but if you don’t send that resume out, you might not get a job! I will say, though, ONE time, I did spellwork, and it manifested on its own, but that time, I was told to wait by the goddess!

Nick– Yeah sometimes things do come around when we wait but there may have been some elements there of physical manifestation you took part in doing.

Saoirse-To me, spellwork is my last resort, but most of my friends who practice do magic first. Some say it gets you into the “headspace” to make things happen.

Nick– It can be done either way because you can use magic as a way of your efforts were supporting you in finding the right way from point A to point B, or you can use it as that last connective power after doing everything that you can in the physical world. I do tend to rely on the idea of doing everything in the physical world possible first before relying on Magic because that puts a level of effort behind the intention, and things that you are trying to manifest. It’s like filling a gas tank before going on a trip kind of. The energy is like, “ Oh that’s what you’re aiming towards! Let me help you with that’”

Saoirse– Tell me about a time you used magic, and THEN did mundane work, and how it manifested?

Nick– When I was trying to get one of my jobs I charged a sigil that I kept in the pocket of my dress shirt to help get the job. Then I did research on company policies and what their goals are and talked with people who worked there previously, practiced some lines for interview questions. At the interview I was filled with confidence and the right words seemed to flow through me, and I got the job easily. The interviewer during the group interview even paused at one point to ask me a follow-up question. I was the only one he did that for. I got the job easily.

Saoirse– Let’s discuss having a magical mindset as opposed to wishful thinking. What are the differences?

Nick– A magickal mindset is a way of thinking that knows cause and effect are connected in a way that you can manipulate. On the opposite, wishful thinking relies purely on hopes, chances and luck. Those that work with magick know they can change the dice roll in their favor with their manipulation of reality.

Saoirse– What about when the magic does not work? What does that mean, and what do you recommend to people when they get to a place where that have tried everything, and there are ZERO results towards their goal?

Nick– Sometimes magick doesn’t work because our deep-down beliefs don’t want it to work. Like when I would do spells for teaching jobs simply because of the money, but wasn’t ready, or really excited about actually getting the job. Subconsciously I didn’t want the job so I didn’t get it. It could also mean there is some other option they overlooked, or haven’t thought of that would be even better for them. Or during spellwork, their intention wasn’t focused enough, or their spell wasn’t that powerful due to lack of energy. Many different factors could account for such results.

Saoirse– I have noticed a lot of healing magic tends to go awry. I am pretty sure these folks want it , and have done all they feel is necessary. I know a lot of cases where folks do what the doctors tell them on the mundane levels also, as well as ascribed magical workings. Still no healing. In a situation where somebody does “all the right things” and still no results, for something necessary, and for something that it would SEEM like it would be done, what are the causes perhaps?

Nick– Meddles intention, unclear focus, unclear energy. Like doing everything right when you’re tired, Your words can still come out funny.

Saoirse– So, it sounds like you are from the school of thought that a true magician can manifest anything her or she wants if only the magic is good enough. Yes?

Nick– The magick being their intention, planning, execution and follow-through. Yes. Although there are limits to what magick can and cannot do, which my book outlines.

Saoirse– Yes, there are limits, I agree.

Nick– Magick’s limits are mostly aligned with what can be created in reality, magick is a different way of manifesting, sort of. It’s like a detour. You still use a road, but a different one. Or a different type of fuel, per-se. Magick is akin to having a GPS when driving rather than relying on road signs.

Saoirse-Next I’d like to know about you! Tell me about yourself as both a writer and a magical practitioner!

Nick– I fell into magick because a girl I dated in college had 3 books on it and didn’t want me to read them or try anything on my own for fear of getting hurt. When we broke up I bought them and spent a whole summer reading Occult books from the bookstore and at my university library. I spent the whole summer alone doing rituals every night. That was back in 2008, so I’ve had a daily passion with it. And I started my magickology YouTube channel back in 2015. I wrote an entire book elaborating on how to work with the Simon Necronomicon, basically building around the text explaining everything but Avon would not grant me permission to publish it. So, I came up with the idea of writing my own books. And one night my fiancee gave me the idea for my first when she asked about the psychology of ritual. And I started writing my first book which was Magickal Theater. It took me 3 months. I wrote Magickal Mechanics shortly after.

Saoirse– That is amazing! What projects are in the works next?

Nick– Well I am working on an update of sorts to my book Handy Sigil Magick which is my own personal system for activating sigils through visualization and physical movement. Going to make it more complex and involved than it is.

Here are links to Nicks author pages and available publications:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=B07GXXNV9L&i=stripbooks&_encoding=UTF8&shoppingPortalEnabled=true

Here is the link to his You Tube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV0QFgXDuLeRL8CX0wI2rxA?fbclid=IwAR1aSPM8flLRuoxdMuYfqeQCD7iJ-xEbSW92xjq6R5v3Pa20p9r7CgV_Pp0

He can be reached at priestofthenecro@gmail.com. He always accepts emails from people wanting to suggest video topics or want to learn from him.

He says “ The most important thing is sharing knowledge so everyone can grow in their practice.”

I could not agree more.

Magickal Mechanics: The Fundamentals And Functions Of Magick on Amazon

April’s Working

As magic is often used to create change, one of the most important things we, as magic workers have to accept is that sometimes, we are trying for things that are not ours to try for.

A lot of people think we can have ANYTHING we want if only we do all the right things to get it.

Tell that to somebody who did a lot of healing work, and the person they tried to heal; never got better. Tell that to somebody who tried all they could to save their marriage, and the spouse left them anyhow. Tell that to somebody who worked for YEARS at a certain career, only to discover they belonged elsewhere.

We are sometimes have to adapt. That might mean abandoning something altogether, or just changing our approach.

Going along with Nick’s talk about action plus magic, my working will focus just as much on the mundane as the magic.

The Working

Take a serious look. What isn’t working as expected in your life that you would like to improve? Do you need to completely walk away, or just change something?

Like I had to change how I do my Beltaines, as opposed to completely giving them up, what can you adapt to?

The first step is to identify that which you must simply abandon, or adapt to.

Next, we will do spellwork first.

The Spell

You are doing a spell on yourself!

Make a poppet representing you, or use a photograph of yourself for this.

If you make a poppet, use something that is easy to burn.

YES, you will burn a poppet of yourself, and the flames will IGNITE you to action, not destroy you!

Next write all over your photo or poppet the things you want to change or transform.

For example- say you are trying to lose weight, and your focus has been on cutting calories- and you are literally starving yourself. Not good. You could write something like this “I want to lose weight, but not starve myself! I am making myself sick, and that is NOT the goal. From now on, my focus will be on losing weight for my health, and starvation completely defeats that purpose. I don’t KNOW yet how to eat healthy and also lose weight, so my goal is to research every day for the next month, or longer ,and get help from a doctor or nutritionist if needs be. “

Burn the poppet to ignite you to impassioned action- and then go out and do what you wrote on the poppet you would.

The spellwork is easy, as it should be a small part of the act. I am not one to “put it out there to the Universe”, and WAIT for the Universe to grant a wish! There will be times you have done absolutely everything, and all there is left to do is hope and pray, but for this working, it’s 10% spellwork, and 90% action.

This is a surefire way to make changes happen!

Blessed Be!

***

About the Author:

Saoirse is a recovered Catholic.  I was called to the Old Ways at age 11, but I thought I was just fascinated with folklore. At age 19, I was called again, but I thought I was just a history buff, and could not explain the soul yearnings I got when I saw images of the Standing Stones in the Motherland. At age 29, I crossed over into New Age studies, and finally Wicca a couple years later. My name is Saoirse, pronounced like (Sare) and (Shah) Gaelic for freedom. The gods I serve are Odin and Nerthus. I speak with Freyja , Norder, and Thunor as well. The Bawon has been with me since I was a small child, and Rangda has been with me since the days I was still Catholic. I received my 0 and 1 Degree in an Eclectic Wiccan tradition, and my Elder is Lord Shadow. We practice in Columbus, Ohio. I am currently focusing more on my personal growth, and working towards a Second and Third Degree with Shadow. I received a writing degree from Otterbein University back in 2000. I have written arts columns for the s Council in Westerville. I give private tarot readings and can be reached through my Facebook page Tarot with Saoirse. You can, also, join me on my Youtube Channel.

Tarot Talk

March, 2019

The King of Pentacles

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

We have one more King to talk about, the King of Pentacles. Let’s get busy!

As a reminder, the 78 cards of a Tarot deck consist of 22 Major Arcana cards (dealing with broader and more far-reaching life experience issues, and archetypes that are easy for us to identify with and connect with at some point in our lives) and 56 Minor Arcana cards (customarily grouped into four categories or suits that represent the four elements and dealing with day-to-day issues).

The Court Cards are a part of the Minor Arcana, acting as a representation of the family unit (“families” of all kinds) and individually representing particular personality traits of people, places and events in our lives. These cards can also tell us about our own personality and how it is perceived by others. Thinking of Tarot cards as people, with each card having an individual personality, is particularly appropriate for the Court Cards, as they are the most human of all the cards in a Tarot deck. Even the illustrations for the Court Cards show humans in the majority of Tarot decks.

Instead of numbers, Court Cards have rank. The lowest ranking Court Card is usually called the Page, the messenger or intern or apprentice who is still learning of life and living, but who is also good at dealing with the unexpected. Next comes the Knight, the representation of strong, focused and even excessive manifestations of his suit.

Both the Queen and the King represent mature adults. The Queen manifests her suit in a feminine or yin or inner way, and the King manifests his suit in a masculine or yang or outer way. This manifestation does not necessarily correspond to gender; a man can be represented by a Tarot Queen if he has a strong inner focus, and a woman can be represented by a Tarot King if she projects a strong sense of authority. Some decks change the names around, but the meanings in the hierarchy of the Tarot Court are pretty standard. Since we are talking about the King of Pentacles today, we already know that our King will manifest his suit in an outer yet mature manner. Our King is concerned with results; he exhibits outer, public expertise in his field, and he is an authority figure. In many ways, the Kings of the Tarot Court can be seen as four facets of The Emperor of the Major Arcana.

Our King’s suit this month is Pentacles. 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 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, are connected to the realm of our King of Pentacles.

In the Tarot Court, the suit of the card has an elemental correspondence (in this case, the element of Earth), and the rank of the card has an elemental correspondence. Pages correspond with Earth, Knights correspond with either Air or Fire (depending on the deck), Queens correspond with Water, and Kings correspond with either Air or Fire (depending on the deck). Since we are talking about a King today, we are also talking about the element of Air, or the element of Fire, depending on the deck. For our purposes today, we will see the King of Pentacles as Air of Earth.

The element of Air corresponds with truth, clarity, and our capacity to analyze or apply logic. It is hot and wet, and separates and adapts. Air also represents the intelligence that clears away the fog of ignorance so we can clearly see and understand, and it supports communications and sounds of all kinds. Air allows both expression (out from within us) and hearing (in from outside of us) to happen. If you see the rank of King as representing the element of Air, this information applies to the Kings of your deck, including the King of Pentacles. Elementally, the King of Pentacles would represent resolute force, where intellect overrides the senses, and since Air and Earth are unfriendly (they share no qualities), they weaken each other.

Like the other cards of the Tarot, Court Cards have astrological correspondences. Our King of Wands corresponds with the cusp or joining point of the signs of Aries and Taurus.

Aries is a cardinal Fire sign that acts as 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 and passion, 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.

Taurus, the second sign of the zodiac, is all about reward. Physical pleasures, material goods, and soothing surroundings are all important to a Taurus. The good life in all its guises is heaven on Earth to those born under this sign. Taurus is a fixed sign, and it represents steady persistence sometimes seen as stubbornness. Taurus is symbolized by the Bull, and Bulls are among the most practical and reliable members of the zodiac, happy to plod along slowly but surely toward a goal. Taurus is ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Love, Beauty and Pleasure, which is why harmony and beauty are a huge part of this sign’s personality. Taurus is a true-blue, loyal sign as well, and slow to anger; like the element of Earth, Taurus is about strength of body as well as strength of heart.

The energies of Aries and Taurus together tend to mesh nicely because what one sign is lacking, the other sign supplies. Aries keeps our King from being boring, and Taurus keeps him from being too independent. Aries is ruled by Mars and passion, and Taurus is ruled by Venus and sensuality and love. Aries will push for growth, progress and new developments, and Taurus will keep to the budget, make sure the resources are in place, and keep everyone safe. While there is always the danger of conflict within this King, he also has the ability to lead and inspire all of his subjects, no matter who they are.

Because they are Minor Arcana cards, Court Cards also correspond with a sephira on the Tree of Life. The Kings correspond with the sephira of Chokmah, along with all of the Twos of the Minor Arcana and the element of Fire. The Kings sit at the top of the Pillar of Force in the sephira of Chokmah, representing the Sacred Masculine and the Catalyst of Life. Chokmah is seen as dynamic thrust, the Ultimate Positive, the Great Stimulator and the Great Fertilizer (one of the symbols of Chokmah is the penis), and thus is connected to the Wheel of the Year. The energies of this sephira represent dynamic male energy and are the origin of vital force and polarity.

The Shadowscapes Tarot King of Pentacles is shown as a strong tree laden with ripe and juicy fruit. His roots grasp the earth with strength as they reach and absorb the resources of the soil, allowing a powerful trunk and wide-spreading branches to reach for the stars. He holds a seed in the palm of one hand, and around the base of the trunk a beautiful dragon is coiled, guarding all. This King is an enterprising individual who has the Midas touch; he turns everything he touches into brilliant success. His branches shield those around him, his trunk offers sturdy support to lean upon, and his fruits are shared with everyone. From the seed, new sprouts will grow, spreading the wealth.

The Tarot of Bones King of Pentacles is represented by a bison skull. The bison was the ultimate provider for the natives living on the American plains; from the bison they received meat for food, hides for clothes, and bones and horns for art and tools. Non-humans benefited from the bison as well, from wolves and other predators to vultures and other scavengers, to insects and bacteria. The grazing of the bison helped to keep the grasses in check, lessening the impacts of wildfires, and their hooves churned and aerated the soil and buried seeds, ensuring the continuation of the grasses in the next season. This card reminds us to examine our resources and prosperity, and to remember those upon whom we rely for sustenance and well-being. It also reminds us that at times we must be the backbone, and offer our own skills and resources to assist others.

The Thoth Tarot Knight (King) of Disks stands next to his grazing horse, gazing at the surrounding hills and fertile fields lit by the afternoon sun. He seems to be contemplating a harvest rather than a battle; he tends to keep his nose to the grindstone without indulging in intellectual musings. He tells of being materially focused, clever and patient regarding those material matters but can also be a bit dull.

The image on the Wild Unknown Tarot Father of Pentacles shows a Stag’s head, regal and in his prime. The feeling evoked while looking at the image on the Father of Pentacles is one of respect, honor, the ability to protect, and prime masculine creativity. The Stag gets to reach this stage of life because he is able to defeat all that challenge him; he is in a sense the fittest of his species that has survived to breed. This card is about having a mighty presence in the physical world; it is about not only the thrill of competition, but it is also about turning a win into both honor and status, and the continuance of a fertile lineage, to the benefit of all.

The Legacy of the Divine King of Coins stands on a richly appointed balcony decorated with golden leafy vines, clothed in green and gold robes and holding a large golden coin. He does not wear a crown, showing his connection to the common man and indicating his purpose: regulating the energies of heaven and earth and balancing the forces of nature. He oversees growth, wealth and resources, and manages them for the benefit of all.

The King of Pentacles is the embodiment of his element. He is realistic, dependable, values possessions and tangible things, and is a good provider. He prefers steady progress and is loyal and honorable. This King attracts opportunities and knows how to take advantage of them. He is good at managing others because he inspires them to succeed. He is a philanthropist who gives generously of his time and attention because he knows that the more he gives, the more he receives in return. Others rely on the King of Pentacles because he is always there for them and he never fails to support them.

When the King of Pentacles shows up, you can be confident that you have the ability to recognize opportunities and the skill to take advantage of them. He tells you that now is the time to manifest your vision of success and translate your ideas into reality!

** 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

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

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