article

MagickalArts

July, 2019

Our Physical and Subtle Anatomy: Part Four

Continuing this series of posts about the Energetic Anatomy and our seat of power that comes from ourselves as a Divine Source of co-c

The Nadis and Meridians: Specific Energetic Pathwaysreation….

The Nadis and Meridians are highly specialized energetic pathways that run in multiple directions throughout our body. It is these pathways that Chinese Medicine, Accupuncture, Accupressure and other healing modalities make use of by way of stimulating the flow of Chi energy to move in a non-restricted and healthful pattern.

The Nadis are highly specialized and localized pathways that align with the Chakras and act upon the energy flow moving up the central column, inclusive of the spine, spinal fluid, and the nerve bundles. In the Eastern Kundalini Yoga practice the Nadis and the rising of the Ida and Pingala coiling up the Sushumna is the serpent fire that opens the awareness of the practitioner to union with his/her Higher Nature.

The Ida is the lunar (Feminine) energetic path and the Pingala is the solar (masculine) energetic path. The union achieved at the Crown chakra is the product of the combined polarities of moon and sun, feminine and masculine giving birth to the Divine Child of your Higher SELF.

The Meridians are the pathways of the body that help to regulate and maintain a balance of flow from organ to organ. Each major Meridian or channel is responsible for a specific organ and their surrounding structures. The Meridians play a major role in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the treatment of dis-ease, thought to be cause by a disruption of the natural flow of the Chi within the body.

There are 12 major meridians in the body:
• Lung meridian
• Large Intestine
• Spleen meridian
• Stomach meridian
• Heart meridian
• Small intestine meridian
• Bladder meridian
• Kidney meridian
• Pericardium (Circulation/Sex) meridian
• Triple Warmer meridian
• Liver meridian
• Gallbladder meridian

Exercise:

Let’s begin with a very simple exercise to run pure energy through the chakras

A Chakra Renewal Meditation

©Robin Fennelly 2002

Turn your focus and attention to your breath. Allow your consciousness to move with the rise and fall of your chest and the filling and release of the lungs. Continue in this manner for several breaths, allowing each to become softer, smoother and slower. Now, shift your awareness to visualize seven clear glass spheres within your energetic self, each aligned with a specific chakra point along the central column. And approx. 7-8 inches above your head is an eighth glass sphere. This is the transpersonal chakra; the gateway between your parts of Self and the Divine.

Beginning at the root chakra, visualize the sphere filling with ruby red energy and light. As it continues to fill it becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with vivid orange energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with sunshine yellow energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with emerald green energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with sky blue energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with indigo blue energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

Visualize this sphere filling with amethyst purple energy and light. As it continues to fill the sphere becomes larger and more brilliant in color and form. When it has reached full capacity, turn your awareness to the sphere just above it.

You have reached the uppermost sphere, that of your transpersonal space. See this sphere fill with brilliant white light. It pulses radiant light and seems brighter than those below it in clarity and intensity. When it has reached capacity, see all the spheres equal in size, perfectly transparent and filled to capacity with colors that are clear and vibrant. Allow this image to permeate your being for several minutes. Feel the strength and power in each of the spheres and connect with this enlivening energy, engaging all of your sensations.

Visualize a line of energy moving upwards from the ruby red sphere of the root chakra. This energetic pathway is the same hue of red as that contained within the sphere itself. It moves, and swirls and as it reaches upwards it blends and mingles with the orange energy within the sphere of the belly chakra. Allow the integration and synthesis of this energy to build and circulate.

Now, extend this energy and visualize it moving upwards towards the yellow of the sacral chakra. Allow it to blend and merge creating an energetic column connecting each of the three spheres in turn. Each, feeding one into the other, merging and unifying into a singular stream of vibrant and pulsing energy. Continue in this manner moving up through each of the chakra points rising all the way up and ending at the transpersonal chakra.

When reaching the transpersonal chakra, allow the brilliant white energy of the transpersonal sphere to pulse, infused with crystalline luminosity. As this energy builds it becomes brighter, fuller and more expansive. Allow this energy to grow and expand until it is overflowing and spilling down, pouring its energy into each of the spheres below it. Each, in turn filling with the brilliance of Light, the vibrancy of their individual colors fading and folding into the density of a brilliance of white. This transformation continues downward through each chakra and when it returns to the root chakra allow this energy to circulate, moving up and cascading down through each of the chakras for as long as is needed.

When you feel energized and have a sense of balance, beginning at the transpersonal chakra, see this energy slowly dissipate as each globe clears and returns to a state of transparent glass. Move downward from one sphere to the next. Each in turn fading in brilliance, returning to its resting state of transparency and size.

When you have returned to the root chakra and the spheres are once again clear pure transparent glass, chant a sustained “ OM “ to complete the working and coalesce the rate of vibration within each of the chakra columns in each of the subtle bodies.

References:

Emmet B. Keefe, Introduction to Know Your Body: The Atlas of Anatomy (Berkley, CA;Ulysses Press, 1999)
Cyndi Dale, The Subtle Body:An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy (Boulder, CO:Sounds True Inc., 2009)

***

About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

The Inner Chamber Volume One on Amazon

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2) on Amazon

Qabalah

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths on Amazon

Qabalah

A Year With Gaia on Amazon

The Eternal Cord

Temple of the Sun and Moon on Amazon

Luminous Devotions

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1) on Amazon

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

The Elemental Year on Amazon

Aligning the Parts of SELF

The Enchanted Gate on Amazon

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

Sleeping with the Goddess on Amazon

Nights of Devotion

A Weekly Reflection on Amazon

Musings for the Year

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

Interview with Reanna of Woodland Wand Creation

July, 2019

Bright Blessings!

Last month, I got to review a great wand by Lady Reanna Shellenbarger of Woodland Wand Creation, and this month, I lucked into an interview!

Here is the link to my review if you did not have a chance to read it yet!

Read on to learn more about this amazing artist and creatrix, and her sacred, beautiful wands!

On their Facebook page, it says:

“Welcome friends to my store called Woodland Wand Creation. A magical place of semiprecious stones & enchanting wood from the magical forest. All to make amazing Wands. All work is unique artwork. No two are the same. I work within the respect to our Ecosystem. Many of my pieces are created with natural and reclaimed supplies. Wood is collected with respect and reverence. All wood is render by the tree naturally after stormy weather. No tree is ever harmed or wood cut from trees. My artwork & Wands are said to be very powerful. Because I work and charge all pieces by the moon light for an extra punch of energy.

Bert is the engine and Reanna is the artist. Together we are Woodland Wand Creation. All items are made by Reanna she is such the artist. We hope you all enjoy them as much as we do.”

Then, I got to catch up with Reanna, and she told me wonderful things!

Saoirse- How and why did you get into making your beautiful wands? What or who inspired you?

Reanna- A friend of mine purchased a bag of random semiprecious stones and had no idea of what to do with them. so I took some of the stones home and fashioned a Wand, not knowing if it would even work. well, needless to say, it did, and here I am today.

Saoirse- How does this tie in with your personal spiritual path, and what would you like to share about your path with us?

Reanna- I studied Wicca some years ago. I reached High Priestess status. today I’m solitary but very, very social. I found more freedom by dedicating myself to more creative pursuits. As a Libra, I require the freedom to go with what the wind calls to me and what strikes my fancy.

Saoirse- Tell me about your creative process. How do you get an idea that inspires? What types of materials draw you? What colors? How do you begin, and how long does it usually take from start to finish?

Reanna- Each stone or branch tells me their desire to become something more. I then clean them up a bit by removing the bark, to show off the natural beauty of the wood. I work with only naturally rendered woods, like after storms and such. I never cut or hurt a tree. I still go for the random mix of stones to this very day. I meditate while I divide them up into the kinds of stones they are. I can then hear them speak to me about their desire. Some stones want to be a Staff, Smudge fan or a Rattle. I am blessed with a wide range of woods in my area. White Willow is my all time favorite, but I do work with Wise Oak, Red Elm, Sweet Maple, and Driftwood.

Saoirse- Tell about how you run your business and how and why you decided to sell as opposed to just making your own? Talk about your business partners!

Reanna- I work with my longtime partner Bert. Bert is my online Wizard. the engine to my inspiration. We are the perfect team. We have a small shop on Etsy. We also are on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I will provide links below.

Saoirse- Tell about yourself aside from your path and wands.

Reanna- I enjoy cooking and making up my own recipes. I like to sew children’s blankets and quilts that I donate to the local church. I really like to gardening, growing herbs, flowers and playing in my Fairy garden. I dabble in painting. I like to recycle items to keep them out of the landfills so most of my stuff is up-cycled. I also work with many divination tools such as Tarot, Crystal balls, Zodiac- natal charts, Tea leaves, and Pendulums. I write memes about magick for FB as well as some really bad poetry. I teach the basic of Tarot and Wicca in a FB group. well, I guess I’m just your all-around crafty Witch.

Saoirse- My editor noticed your fair pricing. Many merchants charge a lot more for a wand than you do. Why do you charge what you do as opposed to what many of your competitors do?

Reanna- Well, we did our homework on the prices before we set out. We saw that so many are over priced for just the simplest items. We did not want to rip off the Pagan community like this. We feel magick knowledge should not be misused by over pricing. To us, it seemed so unfair and it gives our movement such a bad name in a time when we are rising out of the shadows. Our intention was to sell a good product at a good price. Honest and true is the only way to a secure future. In this simple and humble way, a Wand can be in many hands.

Shared here are some links where you can find Reanna’s amazing goods, and have some for yourself!

This is Reanna’s FB

This is Bert’s FB

This is the Etsy shop

Their Woodland Wand Creation FB

This is their Pinterest link

And Their Twitter Link

***

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.

Perimenopause: A Spiritual Threshold

July, 2019

The special powers and sensibilities of women (especially menstrual powers) are central to the Wise Woman tradition. Men in the Wise Woman tradition find the wise woman within themselves and become her. In the Wise Woman tradition, we nourish. We do not fix or cure or balance…health/wholeness/holiness comes through nourishment. Healing occurs in the ground of woman power, in the ground of heart-centered compassion…Nourishment encourages expansion and growth. Nourishment includes. Nourishment supports each being as unique, holy, individual. Nourishing our problems encourages love for all parts of ourselves.

-Susan S. Weed from “Healing Wise”

(Haida Gwaii Beachcombing Collage by Jennifer Engracio)

Recently, I was talking to a friend who is also at the threshold of perimenopause about the changes she is experiencing as a woman at this age. Neither of us have ever been forty-four before, after all! And it turns out that we are feeling similarly at this point in our development even though we lead quite different lives in many ways. Ellen Besso’s article on menopause being a time for women to go inside in order to heal deeper emotional wounds makes sense to me. I feel my psyche is mature enough now to go there–that I can finally parent myself compassionately through the pieces I discover: pretty and ugly. Recently, I’ve been able to unearth the root cause of many issues that plagued me my whole life. And I have faith that my body will continue to heal as that process completes itself with the support of homeopathic medicines, practicing living aloha, and ceremony. I also feel that there is a deeper level of spiritual fulfillment that I am starting to venture into. I don’t know what this is going to look like and I am curious about how all of this is unfolding.

When these psychological shifts started happening along with the physiological ones, I didn’t put the two together. I initially thought I was losing my zest for life or that there was something wrong with my dreaming and manifesting skills that I’d always been able to lean on. What I see now is that there is a really profound change happening in all of my energy bodies requiring me to rest and introspect more. Gone are the days of rushing through life to get as many things done as possible. I find myself reflecting on what I’ve accomplished in my life so far. Morbid thoughts come and go: If I died tomorrow, would the legacy I leave behind be enough? Somewhere along the way, part of life has become about achieving things as a way to validate my existence somehow. As if taking up space isn’t alright unless I am contributing in ways that the mainstream culture approves of. These thoughts are fleeting though. These false beliefs are what I am letting go of as they arise in my consciousness. This is the transcendence that is presently taking place.

I’ve been going on the long walk to the beach most mornings here on Haida Gwaii in Northwestern Canada. It is late spring and nature is alive and blooming. Most mornings, I walk through the bird sanctuary, the dark and cool rainforest and its ethereal cemetery until I get spat out onto the big open ocean. I breathe in the salty air and thank the Goddess I am here in all this beauty. It is all I can do to keep taking it all in, allowing its magic to fill every cell of my body. This morning, I rode a bike so I could spend more time on the beach looking for agates, shells and beach glass. I haven’t ridden a bike around the ‘hood like that since I was in elementary school; this made my inner kid indescribably happy. I bumped up and down the trails giggling to myself as I went. Ironically, even though I work with children, there are things I forgot about slowing down to kids’ pace–like the details and moments I notice when I am not on a mission to get somewhere. I spend my days wandering and beachcombing for treasures that maybe only I will find beautiful. But then, when I was a kid, I didn’t care if other folks thought these finds had value. I am going back to a time when all there was was me and Spirit. Back then, I was conscious of what was happening in the now and nothing else. I can sense something being rejuvenated inside myself even while I don’t know exactly what it is. And I don’t feel I need to know. I know it’s all as it should be.

This is the first time I’ve given myself a “victory vacation” where I am celebrating all of the accomplishments and challenges I’ve transitioned through in my life. And there have been a lot of them! My inner landscape has completely changed. I am in a space where nothing new has emerged to place my focused energy on. I am in the dreaming of creation. Little wisps of inspiration and interest come my way, yet something has yet to really take hold. Strangely, I am not panicking about this like I would have done in my thirties. My ego keeps telling me I should be worried, but I am really not and this is liberating. I feel more present lately–like I did when I was a kid. Susun S. Weed describes this further in her incredible book “Healing Wise”:

In the Wise Woman tradition, all health…begins with a return to the void. To…become whole, we turn again around the spiral of our life…The void is woman power: simultaneously dynamic and relaxed; empty yet completely full, satiated yet always consuming; creative, abundant, insatiable, unfillable, unquenchable, wild, having nothing to receive, knowing everything is already present, completely calm. Here in the void lives the Crone.

If I had a wish for women my age, it would be to surrender to this process. Fear of the unknown is natural, however, I hope we can remember to celebrate all of the things we’ve accomplished and overcome in our lives and to “nourish” our current challenges. It’s good to acknowledge the enormity of this with all of the responsibilities pulling on women in the world! I recommend that women take time for reflection so they can really be in this new psychological and spiritual landscape they find themselves in as they prepare to enter their crone years. I’ve found solace and insight speaking to fellow sisters who are going through this stage of life and I really encourage you to do the same if you are in the same boat with us! I have a feeling an exciting and edgy new journey is beginning…for all of us if we can find the courage to welcome the elder we are becoming.

Resources:

icle: The Change: Medical Problem or Spiritual Passage? By Ellen Besso

https://www.life.ca/naturallife/0608/spiritual_menopause.htm

Book: “Healing Wise (Wise Woman )” by Susun S. Weed

“Haida Gwaii Beachcombing” collage by Jennifer Engrácio

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’S Shamanic Journey into Healing on Amazon

Gael Song

July, 2019

The Druid Garden, Edible Forest Magic

Because I worry about the overuse of chemicals across the earth, monoculture on huge farms that leave the soil depleted, the clear cutting of trees for building, so soil that has taken 500 years to build up is washed away in the next big storm or two, I am hooked on edible forest gardens! They are meant to be as simple as can be, ending up as a hunter-gatherer’s dream come true. And EASY! All those Monsanto chemicals kill the network of tiny micronutrients in the soil, too, organisms that break down organic matter into forms the plants and trees can absorb. Without micronutrients, plants and trees starve. If you are using herbicides on your grass, stop, now! Overuse of chemicals has killed off most of the honeybees, too, so those massive farms are now in a pollinator crisis. But honeybees think an edible forest garden is heaven on earth and come zooming in to thrive all summer long. If food grows scarce in the future from all those Monsanto misuses, the edible forest garden is my personal hope for a simple and natural solution. Everyone should have one!

This year, I moved into a new home, (one I own as opposed to rentals for many years) so, I could FINALLY have an edible garden of my very own! This has been the most fun part of moving, joy that is only beginning as the apples and blueberries plump up and ripen. I will take you through the whole building process, so you can see how any five year old could do this. Beginning a garden after a move is the best possible time because my gardens always begin with sheet mulching, a permaculture technique in which cardboard is laid down over grass and weighted with a few stones to keep it from blowing away. I recycled very little cardboard from my move. And in 3-4 months, the grass underneath has died and the cardboard disintegrated to become organic matter in the soil, enriching it. Be sure to remove the plastic tape and staples, though (the plastic comes off as easily as can be after the cardboard has been outside through a few rains). Sheet mulching eliminates the need for rototilling or digging to turn grass under, both of which also disturb the micronutrient network beneath the soil for 2 years or more. Sheet mulching is a peaceful, simple way to prepare an area for planting, cardboard best laid down in the fall for spring planting.

Every edible forest garden has three layers, a tall tree canopy, an intermediate height shrubby level, and ground covers. Many druids believe in three realms; above, middle, and below just like this. And a forest garden especially is druid to the core! And once the ground covers fill in, there’s no need for mulching with bark or sawdust on the soil level. I was surprised how many plants will fruit or bear under a thin tree canopy in dappled shade. And plants in edible forest gardens are meant to be perennial. Yes, perennial! This means NO digging once the initial planting is done (with the possible exception of a bit of weeding before those ground covers fill in Such edible forest gardens have the most PEACEFUL undisturbed feeling when they mature, like Eden. And one can walk through and harvest nuts or fruit or greens for years to come with very little care. I only add compost around my forest plants in the spring, for compost is loaded with micronutrients, and all my plants sigh in pleasure when it gets watered in, I can feel it. Then, aside from harvesting, which is pure delight, not work, and a bit of pruning or weeding, and organic spraying on the fruit trees if pests come in (I’ve dusted mine with spinosad only once this year), that’s the only work an edible forest garden needs every year.

Some of the plants can get out of hand, and you’ll have to decide how much of this you want to tolerate when you choose what to put in. Most edible forest gardens look like a jungle when they mature. But I am one of those folks who likes neat drawers, closets, and gardens, so I put my plants in sections, rounded edges (another permaculture principle, no straight lines. Research shows there is much more growth and activity with curved borders between plants.), with a path up through them that is mulched in brown bark. So, it all looks exactly like a tree with branches of plant families and companions, as druid as can be. See the photo above (taken before the chicken wire went up to keep out the very chubby groundhog family living nearby who entertain me every evening now that they are no longer eating my dill and lettuce to the ground!). The mulch in the small beds is sawdust I got free from a nice man who cuts and sells wood for heating a few houses away (You do need to add some nitrogen when using mulches because they deplete it when they break down, a little manure, for instance.). Next year or maybe by fall, all those saw dusted areas should be filled in and green. By spring of next year, I will have zero mulching to do. Only adding some nutrient rich compost here and there and popping yummy produce into my mouth!

So, let’s talk about plants that will thrive in a part shade, forested space. Of course, this greatly depends on the climate, and you’ll need to check what temperature number your own location is in when you choose what to put in. I’m in southern New England, so a lot of the edible plants in the texts about them won’t work here, heat and jungle type plants mostly. (In the south, you can have a ball with this!). Many edible forest plants I read about in texts also are quite unusual, hard to find, and with acquired tastes and reactions one has to watch out for if they aren’t cooked properly (like sunchokes-cook those babies really well or you will be on the pot all night long!). In my own little garden, I chose trees with leaves and branching patterns that don’t completely block the sun. I have a Butternut tree (sometimes called a white walnut), a white Oak for acorns (just shell them, boil for 10 minutes, changing the water three to four times to get out the tannins, and grind up immediately [they get hard very quickly] and store in the freezer for use in baking, very nutritious, indeed and as druid as trees! A friend of mine suggested putting them in a pillow case and running them through the washing machine to get out the tannins but I haven’t tried that yet, maybe this year. Tannins make the nuts bitter, a taste that is hard to get rid of in your mouth, too. The Native Americans put their acorns in nets and left them in streams for a few days to get the bitterness out. And it’s impossible to get tannins out of black oak acorns, no matter how much rinsing you do. Use fruit only from oaks with rounded tips on their leaves, not the pointed ones, and you’ll be fine. I have Paw-Paw trees in my edible garden, too, which are native to the US, even in the north, fruit well in part shade, and grow large delicious fruit that tastes like vanilla pudding! Yum! And I put in a small fig tree, too, which is hardly native and not truly hardy here. But a friend of mine has figs he’s grown for many years in his orchard. He makes a columnar box of 2” thick, hard insulation, ties the fig branches loosely together in a tall central stalk, and puts the insulation box over them after one or two frosts in early November here. The insulation box needs to go all the way to the ground and be tied or weighted down to survive winter storms, too Then my friend takes the box off just as the weather starts to warm in spring, just before the last frost in early April (protecting the tree if there is a late frost but opening it up to air out as the warmth comes in. Leaving the insulation on too late results in mold all over the tree.) And his figs are leafed out and budded with fruit well ahead of the rest of his orchard and produce really well with this method. I’ve been aching to try this ever since he first showed me. And I put in a semi-dwarf cherry tree and apple here, too, both of which I keep pruned down to a reachable level. (Most fruit trees now are grafted to roots of smaller growing types, so they will not get too large and need far less pruning than the older, full-height varieties.) So, those are my tree canopy plants for my first-year forest garden. I have a feeling my edible forest “tree” will be expanding and growing with new plants every year, but this was enough for me right after a move. I am aching for several more varieties of apples and cherries, a plum, and a native persimmon, though. (Edible forest gardening can be a bit addictive, fair warning!)

My shrub level then has elderberries, raspberries, and half-high blueberry bushes, too (North Country, with fruit that tastes like those wonderful lowbush Maine wild ones). Wild blueberry pie, mmmm! I’ve planted the raspberries in their own section on the side of the yard and will mow the narrow strip in between other “branches” of my forest garden, since raspberries send shoots off into the wild blue yonder and need to be contained a bit if you don’t want them all over your yard. All these are easy care plants, too, only the raspberries needing any canes that have turned brown cut to the ground after summer fruiting (not the fall fruiting or you’ll have no berries next summer!) All plants need regular watering, soil full of humus, and most need good drainage as well.

Of course, the ground cover level is lowbush blueberries! Along with alpine strawberries, both of which fruit well in dappled sun/shade, so are utterly perfect for a forest garden. I have regular strawberries, too, in front, so they get the sun they need, along with herbs like sage and rosemary, etc. I added a very few annual plants in between this year, too, since there’s so much sun under the new little trees and space between baby ground cover plants I could not resist filling in with eggplant, cabbage, lettuces, parsley, nasturtiums for my salads, and dill (These all need full sun). Once my trees grow big enough and the ground covers take over, the veggies will need a sunny spot of their own. And, of course, they have to be planted every year, so are not true edible forest garden plants, taking more work and requiring digging every year. But there are perennial vegetables, too; onions, leeks, broccoli that is mostly like cauliflower, asparagus, spinaches, and many more to choose from that I haven’t listed here. (See the book Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier, the edible garden guru.)

Put on your druid robe as you plant and carry your wizard wand, for this is the happiest, most delightful and druid way of gardening there is in the world. You’ll create your own Avalon. And you’ll have moons of delicious things to eat with little to no work to produce them. There you have it, edible forest gardening, as magic as can be!

***

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

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

The Future is Goddess: An Excerpt from Seven Ages of the Goddess

July, 2019

The Future is Goddess
An Excerpt from Seven Ages of the Goddess

Isis

Astarte

Diana

Hekate

Demeter

Kali

Inanna!

So goes the chant around so many fires at so many gatherings of witches, wiccans and pagans. Each name a chapter in the history-book of goddess worship, and each name still worshiped and revered today. Some believe that these goddesses are all one goddess. Some believe they are all aspects of the sacred feminine that is embodied within all goddess worship. Some believe they are all individual beings, each worthy of their own offerings, sacrifices and reverence. Whatever the practitioner’s relationship with these goddesses, the fact is that these goddesses have survived thousands of years, some possibly since before 3000 BC.

That’s over 5000 years ago, yet a mere 2000 years ago (approximately) a Middle Eastern guy who thought we could probably be much kinder to each other and all get along a little better, started a bit of a cult, which became the spiritual basis for much of the modern, mainstream religion practiced across the globe today.

The largest religion in the world right now is Christianity, closely followed by Islam. Two Abrahamic, patriarchal religions that have been repeatedly regurgitated into ever new and adaptive forms by our modern societies; at times twisted in the name of hatred, at times used for kindness, but always in the name of God; of Yahweh (Jehovah) or Allah. It’s inherently understood that God is male, all powerful, and alone. There are no other gods; to say so is blasphemy. There is also no companion; no counterpart: no goddess.

If you look hard enough at the bible, there are the odd mentions of goddesses, such as Ashtoreth (Astarte), who Solomon followed and was denounced as evil thereafter (1 Kings 11:5 and 11:6). emis is mentioned as a ‘man made god’ who is no god at all, though in the same verse it is written that she was worshiped in Asia and across the whole world. (Acts 19:26 and 19:27). In alternative translations of the bible it is Diana that the Ephesians worshiped. From the brief mentions we see, it’s clear that the goddess was the usurper; to be mocked, derided and forgotten.

To get a better understanding of why this might be, you have to look back beyond Christianity, beyond Judaism even, and spread your scope across the world. Take in the spirituality of the Paleolithic (stone age) humans. Look at the oldest depiction of a human being yet discovered: The Venus of Hohle Fels. This extraordinary item is a female figure carved from a mammoth tusk, and she is possibly 40,000 years old. 40,000 years. That’s approximately 20 times longer than Christianity has been around.

She has a loop which is clearly intended for a thong or similar, which tells us she is a pendant and possibly an amulet, emphasizing that this figure was obviously very important and possibly sacred or protective. She was found near the world’s oldest known musical instrument, a bone flute.

Scholars look at her oversized breasts and genitalia and immediately rush to the conclusion that she is all about sex; reproduction; fertility. Because that’s what women are all about, right? When you can see the breasts and the vulva, they must be advertising something sexual. At least that’s the current societal viewpoint, based on patriarchal morality and the lack of understanding regarding the divine feminine.

I think it’s much more likely this figurine comes from a culture where it wasn’t considered pornographic to bare breasts or expose vaginas. Stone-age artifacts like this one show an understanding of the sacred nature of a woman’s body: the legs and arms are missing because those are not unique. All humans have arms, legs and faces. Only women have breasts and a vulva. These differences are being revered, not mocked, and this is what makes these figures sacred. Only the woman has the power to bear a child into the world, and subsequently feed it. This was once seen as a powerful magic indeed.

In today’s world, under the thumb of a predominately male-led religion and society, women are told that their bodies are shameful. Menstruation is seen as disgusting, and even a weakness, despite it being a natural, biological cycle. Sex is seen as something done to women, rather than something they participate in. Breasts have become sexual objects, to be ogled in push up bras, and hidden away when feeding our babies. The voice of women is constantly shushed, muted, mocked and disbelieved. Yet the evidence above shows that when our species was at its most basic, women were the key to the sacred and the divine.

It is no wonder then, that so many people in the modern world are turning to goddess worship as an alternative to the dry, dusty and now outdated religions that have popped up in the last several thousand years. Paganism is marked currently as one of the fastest growing religions in the world, and while not all Pagans are sole goddess worshipers, most have a great reverence for the divine feminine in some form. The most recent census figures show that over 100000 people in the UK identify as Pagan, and approximately 1.25M people in the U.S.A., and that figure is growing exponentially as more people draw away from the religions they grew up with. About half of these recorded people name themselves as Wiccans, with the rest being druids, heathens and those who walk a veritable road map of other spiritual paths.

Disillusioned with destruction, people want a religion that teaches how to nurture and grow oneself spiritually. Tired of hate, people look to a source of love; not only for those around them, but for themselves. Catholics are told they are born with sin in their very essence. Goddess worshipers are told they are sacred, divine and connected to the universe. Christians are told their god forgives sin; the goddess teaches you to forgive yourself, and to make your own morals based on what is right and good; not what you are told.

It’s important to understand that the goddess is not just for women. Men have it just as hard in our gender unbalanced society. Western culture in particular states that men should be strong and bread winners, and women should be kind and motherly. But what happens when the man becomes a father and wants to stay at home with his child? In the UK, they can do this for two weeks, and only within the first 56 days of the baby’s birth. Mothers in the UK can take up to a year, depending on their employer. When it is built into our very government that fathers are not as important as mothers, you can understand why men as well as women are looking for alternatives. The Goddess smiles on all her children, male and female alike, and is likely baffled at the notion that a man would be considered weak for crying, being emotional or, as above, wanting to spend time with their child; time you can never get back.

Faults like these in our political system is exactly why Goddess worship is the future. So many of our policies and procedures in western politics come from men; male religion, male leaders of church and male leaders. It is the ever-present belief that man is superior, which stems from the relatively new belief that God is a man, that has spun our world into turmoil. Yet we can still hear the voice of the Goddess, even via the deeds of those that may not consider themselves worshipers.

This excerpt is by Mabh Savage and is from Seven Ages of the Goddess, published by Moon and available via Amazon and all good books stores. Various pagan and spiritual authors explore the journey of Goddess worship throughout the ages and into the future.

Seven Ages of the Goddess on Amazon

St. Louis Pagan Picnic

July, 2019

Every year for the past 27 years in Tower Grove Park in early June you will find a gathering of Pagans. This picnic is a fantastic start to the festival season in Missouri. 2019 was the first year that my husband and I were able to go for both days of the picnic. This year the picnic was able to boast that they had nearly 100 vendors. The vendors are in the middle of the picnic. The picnic coordinators are hoping to welcome even more next year.

On Saturday at 10 AM, there was an opening ritual. Ritual is on the south side of the vendor’s row. The Ritual takes place in an area that is marked by flags for each compass point. It is always open to all who want to participate.

Speakers start their presentations at 11 AM and go until 3 PM both days. The lectures take place on the north side of the vendors’ row. There were so many speakers this year, but I could only pick a few because there are four presentations every hour. Speakers only took an hour for a lecture; many also-ran vendor stalls while at the festival too.

Celia was there her talk was titled “Adventures of an Everyday Goddess,” and we could hear her singing during her lecture too. Reverend Don Lewis-Highcorrell was there talking about Cornellian Soul. Mickie Mueller taught about “Magical Self-Care During Hard Times. Reverend Bill Duvendack was there teaching about “Astrological Timing of Rituals.” And Sunday started with Oberon Zell giving a presentation on “Awakening into Quantum Consciousness.” (there were so many more that I didn’t get to hear this time around.)

At the St. Louis Pagan Picnic, there are a lot of local artists, writers, and teachers that give lectures. If there is a time that you don’t want to go to hear a speaker, you can sit on the south side of the vendors’ row at the Bardic Circle. At the Bardic Circle, they have some great singers and Dancers. Celia also was at the Bardic Circle. At another time, you could catch Mama Gina or watch Sugar Cyanide dance.

My husband and I purchased a Tarot deck and a refillable book from artist Karen Swartz, who has a shop on Etsy, Talenshistudios. The Tarot deck is called “A Darisa Tarot.” I found that the Tarot deck is genderless to be a unique aspect that makes reading with it more accessible in so many ways.

Another vendor I adore is “Chaos Emporium.” She has a shop in South County Mall in St. Louis. Her shop and her vendor space deal with corsets, hats, gloves, and some beautiful Parasols. (I had to get a purple one to go with the primary color I wear daily.)

I also found a new vendor that I hope is there again next year, Obsidian Sithin. They have amazing wooden puzzles. (I purchased a Unicorn from them. I want to get more of their puzzles.)

***

About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become a Reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page. If you are interested in a reading you can reach her on Facebook @eagleandunicorn.

Learning Lenormand

July, 2019

Dreaming Lenormand

I remember when I started learning reading Tarot cards over thirty years ago. I had a deck of Rider-Waite cards and I would lay out one of several spreads on a daily basis – usually a Celtic Cross – but sometimes a Horoscope Spread or a Tree of Life Spread or some other spread I had just read about in a book I had just gotten out from the library. My diary is filled with these readings – some are ridiculously lame – since I obviously had no idea what the cards truly “meant” and I was simply quoting what the “little book” said, trying to fit the “meaning” of the card into the position it landed in the spread and what I wanted to know. This often required some agile mental gymnastics on my part and often, when I am reading these works of psychological analysis today, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry! But even though I was more confused than not, some of the readings are quite astute. Right from the beginning, I can see that I had a knack for reading the cards. I gave the cards nicknames and saw personalities in the cards – a lover of mine was the King of Cups and my best girlfriend was the Queen of Wands, for instance – the cards became profoundly close to my life quite quickly.

I started dreaming “in terms of the tarot” after I had been reading the Tarot for about six months or so. It’s hard to say how I knew I was dreaming about the tarot but I always knew that I was dreaming about this card or that – my diary is filled with descriptions of these dreams. Many of these dreams became poems. I can confidently say that this is where my current Tarot poetry project was generated. Anyone who follows my silverapplequeen or no commas blogs on WordPress knows these poems.

I got my first Lenormand deck around a year ago and now own four Lenormand decks. Although the language of the Lenormand doesn’t come as easily to me as the language of the Tarot, I am beginning to speak it with more fluency. I’ll be honest – I don’t practice with the cards as often as I should – certainly not as often as I did when I first started learning the Tarot. There are reasons for this – my life isn’t as dramatic as it was thirty years ago – I am not trying to figure out the motives and movements of husbands and lovers – I am not constantly changing jobs or homes or trying to become pregnant. I am now retired and my son is a grown man. I don’t have any lovers anymore nor do I desire any. Life is boring! And I like it that way!

But I love the cards and I love collecting them. Lenormand, Tarot, playing cards – I am a card person. I love the feel of them in my hands. I have certain sets I actively look for. I think the Chelsea Lenormand is beautiful and if I ever see it, I am jumping on it like a duck on a June bug. I would also love to own the Blue Bird Lenormand. Right now, I am working with the Fairy Tale Lenormand and the Gaelic Lenormand. I also like the Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards, with the little verse instead of the playing card insert. But I love all of them. My main question with the Lenormand is this: why is there no cat? There’s a dog and a fox – that’s two canines. But no feline energy. That’s a big omission IMHO.

I had my first Lenormand dream a few weeks ago. I didn’t know it was a Lenormand dream until I was awake and thinking about the dream. I was dreaming that I was in a giant mansion by the sea – if you have ever seen the HBO drama “Boardwalk Empire”, it was just like the Commodore’s mansion – only darker and more gothic. There was a coffin in the entrance – a green coffin – I remember the color vividly. I walked around the coffin and then out to the beach. There was a maple tree on the beach.

When I woke up, I thought I had just been dreaming about “Boardwalk Empire” – my son and I had been watching it for several days – I had even been dressed in 1920’s formal wear in the dream. But after thinking about the dream more closely, I realized that it was a Lenormand dream. There were definite Lenormand images in the dream – the coffin, the house, the tree, and the woman. Although it can be argued that I didn’t see the house – I was inside the house – it was still present in the dream.

At the time I had this dream, I was suffering from a terrible eye infection. I looked like a deformed monster. I was in horrible pain and I was horrendously depressed.

(The Fairy Tale Lenormand)

The images of the dream – read in Lenormand cards – Lady, House, Coffin – say no more than “The Lady of the house is ill” – which made me laugh. No shit, sherlock! The tree told me that healing would be coming – after all, in the dream, I am walking to the tree – three weeks after this dream, my eye is healing, although very slowly.

(The Gaelic Lenormand)

A few nights ago, I had a very restless night with dreams that were unclear but very emotional. I know I dreamed of a man I loved passionately but who is now dead and gone. I also dreamed of a close friend who betrayed me. Maybe they were the same person. It was the night of the last full moon but it was a stormy night and with the cloud cover, the moon was hidden. Even so, her power was felt.

I woke up and thought about the dreams I had that night – even though I could barely see them – I could feel them. The Gaelic Lenormand seemed to be the best deck for the dreams I had that night. I used a “Line of Five” spread with the 29 Woman card to signify myself in the middle. The 10 Scythe card paired with the 28 Man card was the lover who was dead and gone. The 18 Dog card paired with the 6 Clouds card was the faithless friend.

(Lenormand Fortune Telling Cards)

Last night, I went to bed thinking about my novel. I have not written a word on this novel in two years but in the last few weeks, I have been thinking about starting work on it again. I woke up this morning knowing that I had been dreaming about writing the novel – that I had found the perfect form for the story – that I was writing easily and happily – that I had found the key. I woke up thinking those words exactly – the key. But I also felt really happy.

So writing is 26 Book and finding the key is 33 Key and feeling happy is 24 The Heart and I’m not even sure why I picked out 4 House except that to me – writing a book means a certain amount of success and that means obtaining the home of my dreams. It all ties together – with me, 29 Woman, in the middle of it all.

Anyway – these dreams have pushed my Lenormand practice into another level – which is really a good thing, because I needed something – my own life was too boring! Now, every morning, I wake up and think – where was I last night? Where did my dreams take me? What did I do in them? Who did I meet? And how does that correspond to the Lenormand? Then I get the cards out and try to make a story out of the dream using the cards. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s sure fun trying!

Until next month, Brightest Blessings!

Decks Featured

Fairy Tale Lenormand on Amazon by Lisa Hunt. US Games Systems, Inc. 2016.

The Gaelic Lenormand on Amazon by Diana Clark. http://amzn.to/212x2ij

The Lenormand Fortune-telling Cards on Amazon Sterling Ethos. 2006.

All photographs by Polly MacDavid.

***

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.

Lughnasadh Correspondences

July, 2019

(Lughnasadh Handmade All Occasion Card available for purchase, with many other beautiful items, at HappyKarmaStore on Etsy. You can also visit their other sites KandyHurley, Grimalkin Stuido, & RedBubble.)

(Loo-nas-ah) Major Sabbat (High Holiday) – Fire Festival August 1, 2

Other Names: Lunasa (meaning August), Lughnasaad, Lughnasa Celtic), First Harvest, August Eve, Feast of Cardenas, Feast of Bread, Tailltean Games(Irish), Teltain Cornucopia (Strega), Ceresalia (Ancient Roman) Harvest Home, Thingtide (Teutonic), Lammas (Christian). Laa Luanys, Elembious, Festival of Green Corn (Native American)

Animals and Mythical beings: Griffins, Basilisks, Roosters, Calves, Centaurs, Phoenix

Gemstones: aventurine, citrine, peridot, sardonyx, yellow diamonds, citrine

Incense and Oils: wood aloes, rose, rose hips, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, safflower, corn, passionflower, frankincense, sandalwood

Colors: red, orange, golden yellow, green, light brown, gold, bronze, gray

Tools, Symbols, and Decorations: corn, cornucopias, red, yellow flowers, sheaves of grain (wheat, barley, oats), first fruits/vegetables of garden labor, corn dollies, baskets of bread, spear, cauldron, sickle, scythe, threshing tools, sacred loaf of bread, harvested herbs, bonfires, bilberries, God figures made of bread or cookie dough, phallic symbols

Goddesses: The Mother, Dana (Lugh’s wife & queen ), Tailltiu (Welsh-Scottish), Demeter (Greek), Ceres (Roman grain goddess .. honored at Ceresalia), the Barley Mother, Seelu (Cherokee), Corn Mother, Isis (Her birthday is celebrated about this time), Luna (Roman Moon Goddess), other agricultural Goddesses, the waxing Goddess

Gods: Lugh (Celtic, one of the Tuatha De Danaan), John Barley Corn, Arianrhod’s golden haired son Lleu (Welsh God of the Sun & Corn where corn includes all grains, not just maize), Dagon (Phoenician Grain God), Tammuz/ Dummuzi (Sumerian), Dionysus, plus all sacrificial Gods who willingly shed blood/give their life that their people/lands may prosper, all vegetation Gods & Tanus (Gaulish Thunder God), Taranis (Romano-Celtic Thunder God), Tina, (Etruscan-Thunder God), the waning God

Essence: fruitfulness, reaping, prosperity, reverence, purification, transformation, change, The Bread of Life, The Chalice of Plenty , The Ever-flowing Cup , the Groaning Board (Table of Plenty)

Meaning: Lugh’s wedding to Mother Earth, Birth of Lugh; Death of Lugh, Celtic Grain Festival

Purpose: Honoring the parent Deities, first harvest festival, first fruits grains & drink to the Goddess in appreciation of Her bounty, offering loaves of sacred bread in the form of the God (this is where the Gingerbread Man originated)

Magicks & rituals: astrology, prosperity, generosity, continued success, good fortune, abundance, magickal picnic, meditate & visualize yourself completing a project you’ve started

Customs and Activities: games, the traditional riding of poles/staves, country fairs, breaking bread with friends, making corn dollys, harvesting herbs for charms/rituals, Lughnasadh fire with sacred wood & dried herbs, feasting, competitions, lammas towers (fire-building team competitions), spear tossing, gathering flowers for crowns, fencing/swordplay, games of skill, martial sports, chariot races, hand-fastings, trial marriages, dancing ’round a corn mother (doll)

Foods: loaves of homemade wheat, oat, & corn bread, barley cakes, corn, potatoes, summer squash, nuts, acorns, wild berries (any type), apples, rice, pears, berry pies, elderberry wine, crab apples, mead, crab, blackberries, meadowsweet tea, grapes, cider, beer

herbs: grain, acacia, heather, ginseng, sloe, cornstalks, cyclamen, fenugreek, aloes, frankincense, sunflower, hollyhock, oak leaf, wheat, myrtle

Element: Fire

Gender: Female

Tarot Talk

July, 2019

The Nine of Pentacles

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

This month we will go back to the 9’s of the Minor Arcana and talk about the Nine of Pentacles. This is a Minor Arcana card so we know right away that 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. We can also find useful information within the image on the card.

The traditional image of the Nine of Pentacles shows a well-dressed woman wearing a beautiful yellow robe decorated with sunflowers, a ring on her finger and earrings in her ears. She is standing in a garden that is overflowing with vines heavily laden with grapes, and is surrounded by nine golden Pentacles. Her left hand is gloved, and on her hand sits a bird of prey wearing a hood, a wild thing that is calm and completely tamed. In the background are green trees, hills, and a glimpse of a large mansion or castle. They sky is clear and golden, as if it is a mid-summer day. The woman’s head is tilted to the side, as if she is looking at her bird. Most versions of the Nine of Pentacles are similar: a well-dressed woman surrounded by the bounty of nature and a rich harvest holding either a bird of prey or a brightly-colored bird.

Let’s look at the number 9. I see the number 9 as representing the fullness or completeness of effect or manifestation. We are talking about completeNESS here, not compleTION or the winding up of a cycle. The number 9 represents our perceptions as we reach the limit of our understanding of or experience of a situation, just before we wind up the process and take another step up the ladder in order to begin the whole process again. In our spoken language, we say that we are going to “go the whole nine yards” when we intend to experience something to the fullest, and that is what the number 9 can tell us in the Tarot.

So just by looking at the number of our card, we already know that the Nine of Pentacles is going to present an intense experience. This will not necessarily indicate that we are done with the experience, but rather that we are at the “peak of the wave” just before the wave tips over and disseminates its energy onto the shore. Now, we narrow down our interpretation by looking at the suit of the card: the suit of Pentacles.

The suit of Pentacles (or Coins, Stones or Disks) corresponds with the element of Earth, and of the physical body, physical manifestation, career, health 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, care of the body, 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 to our physical bodies and physical senses, and the pleasures and pains they bring. Earth represents the fertile, nurturing and serene side of Nature, and it represents the tangible end result of our labors. Earth is about stillness and about knowing what to expect; it is about strength, discipline, and physical manifestation of all kinds, and about enjoying what we’ve achieved. 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 Nine of Pentacles, as shown within its image.

The astrological correspondence for the Nine of Pentacles is Venus in the astrological sign of Sagittarius.

Venus is the second-closest planet to the Sun, and is the brightest natural object in the night sky besides the Moon. Venus reaches its maximum brightness shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset, for which reason it is often called the Morning Star or the Evening Star. Venus is similar in size, gravity, and bulk composition to our Earth, however, the surface of the planet is very different from our planet. Venus, or the Greek Aphrodite, is the Goddess of love, beauty, and relationships. Venus is a feminine planet and thus is in-taking, rather than out-going. Venus is the bringer of pleasure, happiness, wealth, good fortune, and love. Venus is also associated with the principles of attraction, persuasion, and getting along. Venus represents sociability, friendliness, harmony, balance, values, art, beauty, and romantic love (as opposed to sexual love which is Mars’ domain).

Sagittarius, the 9th sign of the zodiac, is often seen as the wanderer, but remember, not all those who wander are lost. Sagittarius is the truth-seeker, the enthusiastic consumer of information who loves knowledge achieved by traveling the world and talking to everyone. The life quest of a Sagittarian is to understand the meaning of life, using both spiritual and philosophical disciplines to digest what they learn. This is a mutable Fire sign, and thus while exploration and adventure are a necessary part of life, procrastination is also a danger. Sagittarius corresponds with Jupiter, and is expansive in all things, is an effective healer, and can be a bridge between humans and animals.

Venus in Sagittarius can bring adventure, because they combine Venus, the lover, under the rule of Jupiter, the planet of freedom, luck, and breathless risks. There’s a defiant edge to Venus Sagittarius, as you move freely and seek variety in love and among friends. Freedom is valued and limitations are uncomfortable; experiencing everything firsthand, preferably with like-minded people, brings joy and fulfillment. Both Venus and Sagittarius love to make connections to others, love to have fun, love to meet people from diverse cultures and explore new places.

Each of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck also has a home on the Tree of Life of the Qabalah; all of the Nines correspond to the sephira (or sphere) of Yesod. Yesod is the first sphere out of (and the last sphere into) the sephira that represents the physical world, Malkuth. Yesod is about things such as emotions and feelings, which are directly connected to our physical existence, but not actually physical themselves. Yesod is also the home of our life force, our personality, and the Self. It is only above Yesod that the Tree begins to branch out. This reminds us that emotions and feelings and an awareness of our life force and our personality are natural processes, and that exploring them and understanding them is an important part of our own evolutionary process.

The Llewellyn Welsh Tarot Nine of Pentacles shows the traditional well-dressed woman holding a falcon and standing in a ripe field. Behind her is a figure who appears to be tallying or taking notes regarding the harvest The keywords for this card are prudence, assessment, planning and diplomacy; choosing friends and confidants carefully; successful handling of a multi-faceted venture; compassion, patience and effort to understand others.

The Nine of Disks of the Thoth Tarot is named “Gain,” and Crowley sees this card as representing good luck and good management. Here we have a big payoff on the material plane, free from concerns, worries and anxieties. This card represents material gains, an inheritance, riches, and treasures.

The Shadowscapes Tarot Nine of Pentacles tells of the balance of the material world with the spiritual world. The image on the card shows a woman playing a piano that is entwined with trees, a part of the moss and leaves and bark of the trees. She sits on a snail shell, its spirals echoing the spirals of the tree branches, hinting at the golden mean ratio. She smiles as she plays, not looking at her fingers but rather, gazing up at the sun shining through the leaves. This card tells of material well-being and refinement, and the discipline needed in order to obtain them. We are told to rely on our self and trust our abilities, and understand and appreciate the wealth that we already possess.

The Legacy of the Divine Tarot Nine of Coins shows a beautiful woman in a flowing gown with a bird of paradise perched on her arm. She stands on a balcony filled with healthy flowering potted plants, and above her is a brilliant arch of nine golden Coins. In the distance we see a storm, but the storm has passed and now all is calm and brilliantly lit. The image is lush and opulent, almost surreal in its loveliness, telling of accomplishments that look easy on the surface but are actually attained through long and hard work. This card encourages us to retreat from the real world into an environment that is harmonious and comfortable so we can focus on intellectual and spiritual pursuits.

The Nine of Pentacles is seen by many as one of the most fortunate cards in the entire deck. Yes, this card often tells of good luck, but it also tells us that hard work over time can bring wealth, pleasure and an easy life. The Nine of Pentacles tells us that we have strength of character; we are self-sufficient and efficient. Best of all, we can enjoy the company of others and yet still enjoy alone time. As long as we don’t expect too much from others or allow others to demand too much from us, we will succeed.

We do need to remember that success can mean worldly achievement, but the best end result is to succeed in creating ourselves, the best we can be, out of the material given to us by the circumstances and conditions of our life. The Nine of Pentacles represents quality and an awareness of the value of the gifts we have been given, and is the emblem of a truly evolved person.

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

Legacy of the Divine Tarot 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 – Tarot and the Archetypal Journey: The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light by Sallie Nichols

July, 2019

Book Review
Tarot and the Archetypal Journey
The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light
by Sallie Nichols

Tarot and the Archetypal Journey: The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light by Sallie Nichols. Originally published as “Jung and the Tarot” with a 1980 copyright, and republished in 2019 by Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC, 65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950. This is a 6 inch by 9 inch soft cover book with a matte color illustration on the front cover and a book description on the back cover. There are 398 pages with somewhat small black typeface printed on white paper; the quality of the printing is somewhat inferior, which could be why the images are not very clear and appear to be reprinted rather than original images. Tarot and the Archetypal Journey follows the Journey of the Fool through the Major Arcana and explores the connection between Tarot imagery and Jung’s archetypes.

We begin with a forward by Mary K. Greer and an introduction by Laurens van der Post. Then we dive right into one of those amazing rabbit holes one encounters whenever we delve a bit deeper into the Tarot. If you read nothing else in this book, the first two chapters, “Introduction to the Tarot” and “Map of the Journey” will bring powerful insight into the Tarot Majors/archetypes connection. But definitely don’t stop there or you will miss the meat of the book.

Nichols has chosen the Marseilles Tarot (one of the oldest designs) as her focus for this book, and that makes sense if we are exploring traditional Tarot imagery and symbolism. What makes the Marseilles Tarot a particularly valuable teaching tool for exploring the subconscious is this deck does not come with a traditional LWB or companion book; thus we can’t fall back on explanations conveniently provided by others but must find our own.

Despite the fact that Jung himself did not write much about the Tarot, Nichols has been able to offer an average of 7 to 15 pages dedicated to each of the 22 Major Arcana cards, offering images, symbolism, history, connections to other cards, and an in-depth explanation of the effects of the card’s corresponding archetype. That is a total of 345 pages of information! For example, there are 12 pages and two images in the section dedicated to the 16th card of the Majors, titled The Tower of Destruction: The Stroke of Liberation. Nichols speaks of the Biblical associations with this card, the association between lightning and a spiritual message, possible psychological interpretations for the figures falling from the tower, comparisons to contemplate with the images in The Magician, The Emperor, The Pope, The Popess (The High Priestess), The Hermit, The Hanged Man and The Devil.

After the detailed descriptions of the Major Arcana cards there is a chapter offering information about using the cards, an explanation of a Nine-Card Tarot Oracle Spread, some definitions, and references identifying the many images and direct quotes presented within this book.

This is not a how-to-read-the Tarot book, not necessarily a beginner’s book. It is a way to understand the power of Jungian archetypes in combination with the symbolism of the Major Arcana, how to understand them and use their power for personal evolution, and how to identify their effects in order to lessen their hold upon our lives. Nichols explains that once we begin to pay attention in this way to the characters inhabiting the Major Arcana, they will begin to pop up with regularity in our lives, offering us opportunities to get in touch in a more personal way with our cards and our psyche.

I am happy to have this book on my Tarot bookshelf; not that it will spend much time there. I’ll be reading it, often. I will be anticipating the effects of the cards and the archetypes on my daily life. After all, according to Sallie Nichols, “Strange things can happen when one confronts an archetype.”

Tarot and the Archetypal Journey: The Jungian Path from Darkness to Light 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

Next »