Samhain: The Last Harvest

Over the years, my Samhain rituals have morphed and evolved over time. Usually I have celebrated with some witchy friends and we’ve done activities like make and share harvest-based foods and make ritual brooms. COVID has put a damper on those activities for us, but it has allowed me to become a lot clearer about what this holiday means to me and how I want to celebrate it.

Last year I felt Persephone calling to me. It really didn’t happen until closer to Yule though, probably because Samhain was less about contemplating the underworld and more about sharing time with friends. This year I am focusing more on Persephone and a couple of other Goddesses during my rituals.

The Story of Persephone

Persephone is part of the Greek pantheon of Gods and Goddesses, although she has counterparts in other cultures. She is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Hades, the God of the underworld, decided that he wanted to get married, and asked Zeus for suggestions on who would make a suitable bride. Zeus suggested that Hades wed Persephone, but also knew that Demeter would never agree. So (in some tellings) Zeus suggested that Hades abduct Persephone. Hades followed the suggestion, abducting her from the forest as she was picking flowers and carrying her off to the underworld.

Once Demeter found out what had happened, she was heartbroken. She searched everywhere on earth for her daughter, aided by Hecate and her torches. Some stories say that she was so consumed by her search that she neglected her duties as queen of agriculture. Others say that she was so enraged at Zeus’ role in her daughter’s abduction that she refused to do her job, leaving the world barren and causing the first winter. Zeus finally relented and ordered Hades to release Persephone. Before he did, he offered her a pomegranate, knowing that if she ate anything from the underworld, she would be obligated to stay with him. Persephone ate six pomegranate seeds. Rather than saying that Persephone had to stay in the underworld forever, Zeus compromised with Hades and said that she only had to stay for half of the year (some stories say one third or one forth of the year). When she returned from the underworld, the land became fertile again and she became the queen of springtime. And when it was time for her to return to the underworld the world became barren again.

Looking Deeper into the Persephone Story

I became fascinated with this story once it hit my radar. I’ve had some weird abduction fantasy since I was a kid (Scorpio rising, remember?) and so I had no trouble imagining the scenario. But I had a hard time with some of the elements of the story. In this version of the story, Persephone is a very passive character in her own story. The active characters are her abductor and her mother, which is hard to come to terms with in a story about the Queen of the Underworld who holds the power of the seasons of earth in her hands. And the more I looked into the story, the more information I found about a movement to rethink the story of Persephone and to give her some agency in her own life.

According to this website (which is chock full of pop culture tie-ins that make me want to do further research) there is a movement to re-examine the Persephone story, in part because of the roots of Persephone’s name. According to the article, Persephone’s name was only Persephone after her abduction. Before that, her name was Kore, which means “maiden.” Demeter was obsessed with keeping Kore’s purity intact, as that was what her name implied. She had even rejected Hermès and Apollo as suitors before the abduction, which puts her in the category as an overprotective mother who does not give Kore a voice. But once Kore is in the underworld, her name becomes Persephone, which means “bringer of destruction” according to the article. She becomes Queen of the Underworld and has power that she never had before when she was being sheltered by her mother. Perhaps she ate the seeds of her own free will rather than being tricked or forced to as some stories tell it. She needs that time away from her overbearing mother. And she comes into her own as Queen of the Underworld, doing what she is meant to do with her life.

Persephone and Samhain

For me, Samhain is a time for contemplating the earth’s place on the Wheel of the Year. There is less daylight in each day that passes, and the earth is turning inward with the approach of cold weather. The leaves are falling off of the trees and life on earth looks as if it is dying. It is a time to contemplate the life/death cycle that all things go through.

But it is also more than that. It is a time to reflect on the cycle of the last year and what had been sown during the year. Agriculturally, it is the time of the last harvest, before the plant life dies with the coming winter. Life is very different now than it was when agriculture and harvest were such a huge piece of everyone’s lives and livelihoods (although a conversation about how this change has affected our connection with the earth could be had, but is not in the scope of this blog post).

Instead of contemplating what we are harvesting agriculturally, we can look at what we are harvesting in our careers or our creative lives. What did we plant during the prior year that is now coming to fruition? What is being harvested now that was sown the year before? What will you prepare to sow in the year to come? This is why Samhain is considered the beginning of the New Year to some witches.

The Cycle of the Year

Honoring Persephone and the Wheel of the Year

This year I have made my Samhain ritual all about Persephone and honoring the processes that I have been through this year.

Samhain Candle

I always make a Samhain candle. It’s herbs and stones correspond to dying, transformation, and introspection.

Persephone’s Journey Candle

This year I made a candle honoring Persephone’s journey into the underworld. It’s herbs and stones correspond to purity, transformation, wisdom, and shadow work.

I also made a raven candle, which is symbolic of the journey to the underworld, as well as wisdom and rebirth and renewal.

I also made a goddess candle to honor the cycle that the earth is going through, and to respect Persephone’s place as the Goddess that symbolizes the death and rebirth cycle of the earth.

I hope that everyone has a Happy Samhain.

The Blue Moon of Halloween Night – Full Moon in Taurus

The almost full moon traveling through Aries with Mars

October 31st is going to be a busy night for me and most witches as rituals are prepared not just for Halloween night, but also for the Blue Moon that is going to grace the skies tonight.

The new moon in Libra that we had earlier this month asked us to take a look at our energy, how it is balanced, and how our energy usage is affecting our relationship with ourselves. With the full moon in Taurus, we are being asked to revisit these questions and let go of anything that is no longer serving us in these goals. Taurus may be able to give us a clue as to how to do that.

Taurus asks us to reconnect with our Mother Earth. By the astrological calendar, Taurus season is in the middle of spring, when the earth is being reborn after a winter of internal workings, during which the life of the earth is not visible to the people that are on the earth. Currently we are in Scorpio season, where we witness the beginning of the process of the earth turning inward. Taurus energy reminds us that life on earth is full of cycles, and that we should pause and connect with those cycles.

The Linear Nature of Modern Life on Earth

Due to the incredibly busy nature of our lives, we are living life in a very linear fashion. Our clocks tell us what time to be at work or school every day, with every day filled with the same routines over and over again. Our lives look similar from day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year. In some cases people are unable to honor the cycle of the day due to their work schedule (although some people prefer being awake during the night when others are asleep).

When our lives look the same from day to day we run the risk of becoming disconnected from our true nature. This is exacerbated by living in a capitalistic society where the drive for profitability and the fear of losing income means that we have to override our own inner cycles to follow directions from a boss who does not care about those cycles. Our nature as beings of this earth is to live in tune with the cycles of the earth. Taurus energy calls on us to pause and pay attention to the cycles of life around us: the cycles of the day, the cycles of the seasons, and even the lunar cycles.

Paying attention to all of these cycles can be overwhelming, especially when trying to connect with them on top of an already stressful linear life. My advice is to pick one cycle to focus on and try to find ways to incorporate the energies of that cycle into your life. The easiest to incorporate may be the cycle of the seasons, and since this Taurus full moon asks us to pause and reflect on the flow of life on earth turning inward during the fall season, now is a good time to start observing and meditating on this cycle.

The Blue Moon – Second Full Moon of October

This full moon is special in that it is the second full moon of October and therefore is classified as a blue moon. This amplifies the full moon energy that asks us to examine what we need to let go of in order to reach our goals. This is potent magick to work with to empower yourself, What are you going to carry forward with you as you continue through this cycle, and what needs to be left behind?

Liminal Spaces and the Thinning of the Veil

Blue moons also signify a time where the veil between the worlds is thin. This blue moon falls on Halloween, the day before Samhain, when the veil is already incredibly thin. This means that this full moon is an incredibly powerful time for ancestor work or working with spirit guides.

Candle Magick for Full Moon Rituals

Candle magic has quickly become my go-to method for rituals and spells. I have found that making my own candles allows me to infuse them with power and intention, and adding specific herbs and stones to them helps to magnify that intention even further. As the energy from the flame carries the intention out to the universe, I know that my petition has been heard, and results seem to happen fairly quickly.

Full Moon Ritual Candle by Wyndsong Magical Arts

I make a full moon ritual candle that I light to help me meditate and become clear on what I need to release for the rest of the moon cycle. Sometimes I will add other candles depending on what I am trying to manifest. The candle usually includes the herbs blue vervain, motherwort, mullein, and jasmine; and the stones moonstone and bloodstone. All of these work to magnify the intention of the candle and are helpful for releasing and accepting that these things need to be released.

Focus on your intention and let the flame carry it out into the universe.

Journey Into Candle Magick

I’m actually not sure why I haven’t written a post on candle magick before this. I have been making candles to use in candle magick for about a year now, but just in the last few months have I really started wrapping my head around what candle magick actually is and how it is actually done. I’ve done a little bit here and there and I’ve had good results from my spells so far. But something happened a few weeks ago that really made me stop and think about candle magick more from the magick aspect of it and less from the candle aspect. You know, instead of it being an emphasis on pretty things I am making in order to help someone reach a goal, the emphasis being on the magick behind why I am making those pretty things to help people reach goals.

I have a friend who came to me one day and talked to me about a personal journey she is on. She was frustrated because she has a goal but she is having a hard time finding the motivation to reach the goal. She likes dealing with things face-to-face, and the pandemic has made it harder for her because everything is online and virtual now. She wanted to know how I keep my motivation when I am doing things online and virtual. I thought that was funny, actually, because lately I have been the worst at procrastination or finding anything to do but working toward the goal I have set for myself.

I know that this is a problem for me, and it is one that I really want to fix because I do have goals. I want to leave my current line of work to do magickal things full time. I want to sell the candles I have been making, and make more magickal things. I want to learn astrology. I want to do tarot readings. But procrastination has made it hard for me to do any of that. So I decided to do a manifestation spell. I know what I want. I know what I need to do to get there. So lighting a manifestation spell candle with the intent to cut through the procrastination and get some work done seemed like a good idea.

As I was lighting the candles, spirit called to me to send pictures of the candles and the spell to my friend. So I did:

“This candle represents you. The light is the light of your soul that shines for everyone in the world to see.”
“This candle represents your goals that you want to achieve. As you look at the flame, say your goals to yourself. Imagine the smoke and heat from the candle sending your goals and desires up to heaven. There is nothing that can keep you from realizing your goals because your Father hears them and is working with you to help you realize them.”

It was very powerful. I could feel the energy as I sent the words to her. I’m not Christian but I felt the power in relating the spell to her using her own belief system.

She came up to me the next time we saw each other at work and thanked me. She said that she had done what the text said and it really helped her. And then she said that after she completed the spell she received a phone call that she had been hoping for but had not been expecting. She was very excited that she had received the call.

I had not expected so much from the simple spell I sent her. All I had been trying to do was motivate her toward her goals, but a very concrete thing happened afterward that she related to the spell. For me, it was the first time something besides a change of mindset had happened after a spell I did. A concrete thing happened – the universe had answered the call of the spell. Actually, this is not the first time energy I have sent out has been manifested in a concrete powerful way. It is the first time I could relate it to a candle spell and the first time it happened to someone else that I did a spell for. It was amazing.

I imagine that I will be writing more posts about candle magick in the near future. I am learning more about candle magick and looking at different candles that I can make and use for magick. This is an exciting time in my journey.

Have you ever used candle magick? Tell me about your experience in the comments. I would love to hear about it.

Mars, Co-Ruler of Scorpio

Recently I started taking nightly walks with my dog, something we haven’t done in several months. I love being outside when the sky is dark, and my dog will take any opportunity she can to get a walk with me, so it works out well for both of us. One day this past week I was looking at the starts as we walked and noticed one that was a slightly different shade than the rest, with a slightly reddish hue. When I pulled up my astrology chart app, I realized that the star was Mars.

When I was eight or nine years old I was fascinated by space. I obsessively studied each planet. I dreamed about being an astronaut. Despite the obsession I held as a child, the experience I had this week was my first time locating a planet in the sky. Perhaps as a child I was intimidated by the thousands of stars that can be seen in the sky in rural Kansas where I grew up. Whatever held me back as a child, this week I felt a connection to that space-obsessed kid as I gazed at the reddish light in the sky.

As a society, we have been somewhat obsessed with Mars. We question whether there is life on Mars and if Mars was ever inhabitable as a planet. The probes and rovers that have visited Mars recently have given us more information about Mars than we have ever had before.

Back before we had all of this information about Mars, astrologers were mostly fascinated by the planet’s red color. They associated the red color with blood and named the planet after the Roman god of war. For thousands of years astrologers have associated Mars with the warrior – hot, fiery, prone to quick anger, and having a personality that focuses on vengeance when wronged.

While in some cases this assessment is not wrong, in recent years most astrologers have worked to refine the meaning and make it more accessible to every person, since not every person exhibits a quick, hot temper and wants to go to war with every person that has wronged them. Now the meaning is more related to the ability to motivate oneself and take action, as well as having a focused passion in a specific area of one’s life. This definition seems to fit better with warrior energy rather than with the warrior himself, and is more relatable to a larger population. It is interesting to me that this subtle clarification in meaning has come about at nearly the same time as when we are clarifying what we know about the physical planet.

Where is Mars in your chart? In what areas of your life are you extremely passionate? Let me know in the comments. And if you need help finding Mars in your chart, let me know that as well! I can probably help.

Entering Scorpio Season

Today marks the end of Libra season and the beginning of Scorpio season. When I was doing a bit of research for this post, I did an internet search for Scorpio season. Each article I ran across talked about the traditional things related to Scorpios: sinister, dark, sexy, intensity. I even ran across talk of the evil nature of Scorpio.

As a Scorpio rising, I feel that it is important to understand why these words are associated with Scorpio, especially since I just learned about my Scorpio rising in the last year and have tried to see how this energy shows up in my life. I recently started studying astrology through the books and courses offered by Steven Forrest, and I have found his explanations of the signs, planets, and houses to be much more in-depth and relatable than the pop astrology that I came across when Googling about Scorpio season. I have also worked to add what I have learned about nature and the earth during my herbal studies. All of this together leads to a well-rounded picture of Scorpio that is more than just the catch phrases and generalizations that rule most talk about astrology.

The first thing to note about Scorpio season is the time of year in which it falls. While the beginning of Virgo season also marks the beginning of fall, where I live the air is still summery and it takes several weeks before the temperature drops and the outward signs of fall show themselves. Now there are leaves falling off of the trees, and the peak fall colors have happened in the mountains – but not quite yet where I live. This week, in fact, the temperatures have been quite summery – summer’s last gasp, I like to say. But the signs of fall are there. While the temperatures have been warmer, the wind is blowing more and the leaves are falling off of the trees. While we haven’t hit peak fall colors where I live, the colors of the leaves are still changing. Life is beginning to shift from big, outward expressions to moving inward, down into the earth. We know from being on this earth for years that the plants are not dying, but someone who had never seen the fall phenomenon before would not be so sure. Scorpio season is the dying time.

This is one of the reasons why Scorpio has a reputation as a sign obsessed with death. Scorpio contemplates death and its own mortality. But it isn’t because Scorpio is obsessed with death, or because Scorpio is inherently evil. Being a water sign, Scorpio experiences the emotional realm very deeply just like other water signs. The difference with Scorpio is that they need to feel emotions so totally that they live by them. Scorpio lives in alignment between feeling and action; if Scorpio feels strongly enough, they will take action. And what better motivator to act than the realization that we are mortal beings that will all die someday. In contemplating their own death, Scorpio is motivated to live life to the fullest and participate in experiences that bring up the strong emotions that Scorpio needs to feel to be alive.

Another pop Scorpio trait is that they are sexy, or that they love sex, or even that they are incredibly kinky. But few experiences in life being up emotions as strongly as sex does, especially sexual experiences that are out of the norm, such as BDSM. For Scorpio, sex is a way to connect with their emotions on an intensely deep level.

I also read during my research that Scorpios are considered very secretive. Perhaps some of them are, but looking at it from a deeper level reveals that Scorpios are very introspective people. They pull back the veil on their mind’s inner workings and seek to understand every nuance of their own thinking. They also do the same to the people around them , working to understand their actions and motivations. To understand the emotions that drive themselves and the people around them.

So pop astrology has Scorpio about a quarter of the way figured out. If you rely simply on the descriptions that pop astrology offers, I’m afraid you will never truly understand a Scorpio. I didn’t really identify that much with my own Scorpio energy until I began understanding Scorpio on a deeper level. Now I can definitively say that I understand that part of my personality better and can work with it on a deeper level because I took the time to move beyond the surface definitions of this sign.

Everyone has Scorpio in their chart. How does Scorpio energy manifest in your life? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Making Tarot Cards Relate to You

I feel weird writing a post about tarot card meanings because I feel like I’m not that far along in my journey with tarot. I guess I’ve been reading for myself pretty inconsistently for couple of years now. One thing I’ve found that makes it easier to be consistent is making the cards relatable.

Now, I feel like I’m probably plunging into an area of tarot that a lot of people disagree about. When I first picked up a pack of tarot cards, I was really big into memorizing the traditional meanings of the cards. After all, the cards have had those meanings for so long for a reason, right? Why mess with something that has remained unchanged for so long? I looked with disdain at decks where the authors did their own thing, jumping out of the mold of Rider-Waite or Thoth.

My thinking about tarot has changed a lot since those days as a baby tarot reader. When I stuck to the traditional meanings I didn’t read cards very much because I had a hard time relating to them. When I took a course that helped me look at the cards in a more relatable way (thank you, Lindsay Mack) I started reading cards a lot more often and using them as a way to connect with my intuition. Not only that, but using tarot in this way has seemed to be a gateway that has allowed my intuition to open up even more. I am feeling energies that I did not before, which I will expound on more in a moment.

Even after I took the Tarot course, I have still been married to the idea of memorizing card meanings. This time, though, it was Lindsay Mack’s card meanings that I was trying to memorize instead of the traditional Rider-Waite meanings. And while I have found that Lindsay Mack’s meanings are not that far off from the traditional meanings, there are some cards where either meaning just doesn’t feel relatable to me.

One thing that Lindsay Mack said over and over again in the course I took (Tarot for the Wild Soul) was that you should create your own meanings to make tarot relatable to you. Don’t count on her meanings or the traditional meanings, or the meanings in the little book that comes with the deck, or anyone else’s interpretation of the tarot. Tarot is only useful when it is relatable to you. And she’s right. How many more times have I pulled my deck out since taking her course and having the cards relate more to my life? I’m trying to do weekly spreads on this blog because I feel like I can now because the cards make more sense to me.

But this week I ran into a card that even Lindsay Mack’s meaning did not feel relatable to me:

The Three of Cups from the Witch’s Tarot by Ellen Dugan

The suit of Cups has always been hard for me to relate to because a lot of times I feel cut off from my feelings. But the tarot is actually helping me out with that by reminding me that the thinking brain is not all that there is, and that heart perception is actually even more important when it comes to life’s journey than the brain. You can disagree with me about this point if you want to. That is just my opinion in this stage of my journey. But moving back to the three of cups, when I got this card the other day I looked at the traditional meaning first:

“A gathering of friends, family, or coven members to celebrate. The power of three and the magick of manifestation. Observing the sabbats, sharing experiences,” (Dugan). Well, with the pandemic going on there is no gathering going on with me. I haven’t gotten together with friends or family members since March, and I’m not a member of a coven. Even before the pandemic I didn’t gather much. I don’t have a lot of friends (by choice) and am pretty solitary and eclectic in my magickal workings. So this definition did not work for me on any level.

Then I looked at Lindsay Mack’s interpretation:

“An invitation to come together with ourselves and our invisible community in a kind of ritual celebration,” (Lindsay Mack, Tarot for the Wild Soul, 2020). Her definition continued with an appeal to including well ancestors and how we can free ancestors who were able to come along but could not.

I am not criticizing ancestor work. Let me make that clear up front. I believe that our ancestors watch over us and help us along our way. But ancestor work is not something that I have done much of yet in my spiritual journey. It is something that I know that I am moving toward slowly in different ways, but is not something that is really happening in my practice yet. So this interpretation did not really resonate with me either.

However, I began to piece something together that does resonate with me. In Dugan’s book, the interpretation also mentions creativity and growth. And Lindsay Mack has helped me connect in a deeper way to spirit and my spirit guides. So to me the obvious interpretation would be:

“Connecting with Spirit in order to create. To be a channel for Spirit so that creations are in alignment with what is in our highest and best.”

Earlier in this post I mentioned being more connected to the energies that are out there, and this is actually an example of that. This year, according to the Tarot, is an Emperor year. It is a year for finding our voice, stepping into our truth, and knowing ourselves in a deep and meaningful way. Being able to stop relying so much on the Tarot meanings that others have come up with and make the Tarot something that you truly resonate with is a manifestation of that Emperor energy. Sometimes it is hard to do, to think outside the box that has been in place for so long, but as you work to make your practice your own, and make the tools of your practice work for you, you come into your own as a true practitioner of Magick.

New Moon in Gemini

Tomorrow we will celebrate a new moon in Gemini. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the exact time for the dark moon will be at 12:39 pm EST. My mind immediately started trying to figure out how to pull off a small ritual while I am at work, but I suppose just an acknowledgement until I can get home to do a real ritual will have to do.

I love new moons because they are all about beginning a new cycle. Whether it is starting something new such as a new business or new hobby, or beginning to learn about something new, a new moon is a time to reflect on something new for your soul. It can even be a new phase of something that you are already working on. During this new moon, take a moment to take stock of where you are and what you are doing, and figure out if there is a new way to work on it, or a new angle to focus on. Even if you are stuck in quarantine because of the pandemic, now could be a time to look into a new hobby or read about something new.

Gemini adds an interesting spin to this energy, in that it is about communication, travel, education, and knowledge. Because we are in the middle of a pandemic, communication and travel have been hard for a lot of people. I haven’t been around friends in quite a while. My Piscean daughter keeps up with her friends on the phone or Roblox, and she definitely misses seeing them. Even education has had a different spin with the pandemic, with schools moving everything online.

New Moon in Gemini and the Tarot

I have really been getting into how the Tarot adds more flavor and depth to astrology, and I have been enjoying not only melding the

two, but learning about them in tandem.

From the Tarot of the Spirit by Pam Eakins

Gemini rules the Lovers card, which is not so much about love between two people. It can be, but there are people out there that do not want to be in a relationship with someone else, or maybe can’t for some reason. My teacher, Lindsay Mack, says that if a card’s meaning doesn’t apply to everyone, then it is time to revisit the meaning. The Lovers card is about soul love and reconnecting to your soul. So many of us walk around disconnected from ourselves, and I have been one of those people for so long. I can’t say that I am completely connected with myself – I think that might not be entirely possible because we are all humans living in the world. There are all kinds of things out there that can send our focus flying away from ourselves. Other people may say something to us that make us start wondering about them instead of ourselves, or our job gets us hyper-focused on what it takes to do give 110% of ourselves, leaving nothing for us to focus on when it comes to our soul. So for the new moon what can you do or create that can help you reconnect with yourself on a soul level? This is all about deep self care and self discovery. And some of us may not have the time to go all that deep because we are required to work super hard right now as essential workers, and that can mean putting other people before ourselves in a big way. But even doing something as simple as stopping for a moment to take a deep breath, or paying attention to ourselves long enough to discern our own heart beat – simple practices like this can go a long way in helping us reconnect to ourselves even when we don’t have a lot of time to go deep with it.

The current Venus Retrograde in Gemini brings an added focus to our relationship with ourselves and others. Venus retrograde asks us to turn inward and look at our role in our relationships, and the basic foundations of our relationship with ourselves. This double focus on our relationships means that old relationship stuff may come up, or we may be asked to examine dynamics of old relationships in order to be able to learn from them and apply the lessons to new relationships moving forward.

Gemini is ruled by Mercury, which is the planet of communication and travel. Physically, Gemini rules the lungs and hands. The lungs help us communicate as well, so we can also explore what ways we can communicate with our soul self. What expressions of communication resonate most with you? Are you a dancer, communicating through movement? Are you a musician who communicates through music? Do you communicate through speaking or writing? Think about what you can do to communicate with your soul self and perhaps build that into a new moon ritual.

Also, this is a good time to think about the ways we communicate with the people around us. This is something that I have to do constantly since I am an administrator. I communicate with the staff where I work, and I have to keep in mind that different people have different communication styles. I really have to tune in to my spirit guides when I talk to other people. One good thing about my Aquarius Sun and Moon is that I am good at intuiting what people are saying between the lines. It is something that I didn’t even recognize that I was all that good at until recently, and it is a skill that I have tried to get better at the more I work as an administrator. Is the way you are communicating with others in the highest and best of everyone involved? (I have to give major credit to Lindsay Mack for my wording here – checking in to make sure that something is in our highest and best is a habit that Lindsay teaches on her podcast and courses.) Is the way you communicate in alignment with your purpose?

The Magician from Tarot of the Spirit by Pamela Eakins

Mercury rules the Magician, which is all about the tools we use in our practice. One tool you have is the way you communicate, but there are so many tools we use in so many areas of our lives that we can explore. What tools do you use in your spiritual practice? Are they in alignment with your purpose? Are they getting you to where you need to go?

If you are going to begin a new creation or new hobby during this new moon cycle, what are the tools that you need for that process? Are they something that you need to learn how to use – how can you go about doing that?

I am truly excited about this new moon and the energy behind it. I hope that this post has inspired you to look within and explore some aspects of Gemini as we move through the season and this new moon. Let me know in the comments how you have been inspired!

Weekly Tarot Spread: May 18-22nd

I have not been keeping up my habit of doing Tarot spreads, or even pulling cards for the day. I started back to work last week since my employer was able to get a Payroll Protection loan. It has been an interesting experience, since I had become used to living my more magickal life and infusing more of what I did with my own magickal work. But I had done some introspection of what that would look like when I went back to work. I’m glad I did. I have been using my Tarot as a way to recenter myself throughout the day. It is easier since I have an app that goes along with the deck I regularly use on my phone. I’m not sure what my coworkers would think of me whipping out a deck at work. I’m pretty sure my bosses would not appreciate it much. At work, at least, I’m a closet witch. With my toe sticking out the door, anyway.

I thought it would be a good idea to do a spread tonight, the night before I go to work for another week. Hopefully it will help me align myself in my spirituality and help carry it over into my work, something that has helped a lot with me being aware of my energy level throughout the day and making sure I don’t totally burn myself out before the day is over. I have definitely seen a difference. I have been able to work on some of my witchy studies in the evening after I get home, although my allergies did knock me out two different evenings. They also knocked me out for an entire day this weekend, which was a shame because I really want to get back into my candle making. I haven’t made any candles in well over a month, and that is a shame. Soon it will be summer, and if I want to start a ritual candle shop, summer is not a great time to do it since candles and heat do not mix.

Anyway, this is a really simple spread. The first card is what I am being invited to pay attention to for the week. The second card is what I need to let go of, and the third card is the anchor card that will help me get through the week. These are the cards I drew:

Tarot of the Spirit by Pamela and Joyce Eakins. This is my first time using this deck.

For what I am being invited to pay attention to, I drew the Nine of Water. I am absolutely loving the imagery on this card, with the Qabbalah Tree of Life and the rainbow pillar going through the middle of it. This card speaks to my internal sense of integrity and self-esteem, as well as my sense of joy. What brings me joy throughout the day? How can I infuse each moment of my day with the magick that I had cultivated during my time off? What can I do throughout the day to remember who I am and what I stand for, and how that fits into the work I do every day? This card is also a call to remember how we are connected to all things, and how “happiness results from true alignment with the cosmic will,” (Eakins, 263). In other words, live my day in alignment with what is in my highest and best according to spirit. Which also means that I need to check in often, something that I am still working on.

For what I need to let go of, I drew the Two of Water. This card is equally stunning, with two chalices in the foreground, one with the symbol of Venus and the other with Cancer. There are two figures, yin and yang, light and dark, high on the wave of water, holding onto an infinity symbol. This card is telling me to let go of my sense of separation and realize that I am at one with Spirit. Because of this, Spirit is a part of everything that I do. I have a purpose in this world, a continuing of the work that Spirit has had me do. At the center of that purpose is love. A sacred cord attaches me to that purpose, and to everything around me. I need to remember this as I go through my week.

For my anchor card, I drew the One of Fire. This card has the six sided star with an empty eye socket. Part of the star is yin energy and part is yang. Spirals surround the card, spirals that Eakins calls “spirals of purpose, will, and lifeforce.” This card speaks to restlessness and a desire for meaning that will only come by opening up to the receptive energy of the yin force. The yang force is here and present, action and movement, ideas and schemes. But there is no focus and manifestation without the yin energy. This is a time to turn within and find that well of receptivity to Spirit and Source, the things that will bring the ideas and movement into powerful manifestation.

I have to say, I have never used this deck before. I bought it a few months ago because of its imagery and because that imagery holds connections to astrology and the Qabbalah. I am blown away by the messages of these cards, and I will probably be using this deck more often. This was a much richer reading than the ones I have been having with my other deck, although there is nothing wrong with my other deck. Perhaps this was just what I needed in this time.

Full Moon in Scorpio: May 7th, 2020 – And a Ritual!

Tomorrow morning (EST) brings us the full moon in Scorpio. Full moon energy typically asks us to reflect on where we have been and look at what we need to let go of in order to move forward. Scorpio energy is similar in that it is about death and rebirth, looking at what needs to be shed in order to move forward, but Scorpio energy is much deeper. It says to us, “I know you are saying that you need to let go of this thing, but do you truly understand why letting go of it will help you be your most authentic self? Do you understand the truth of who you are on a soul level, and why that thing is not in alignment with that person?”

Scorpio energy is deep. I live with a Scorpio sun and I am a Scorpio rising, so I understand first hand how deep Scorpios are willing to go to get to the truth. They embrace the shadow because that is where the truth lies, and the full moon brings light to the shadow so that it can be fully examined to determine where the truth resides. The full moon in Scorpio is a time to really examine what is true for us in our authenticity and let go of those things that don’t fit the bill.

Candle Ritual for Full Moon in Scorpio

For this ritual, you will need a candle. If you want to get down to the truth of a situation, a dark blue candle would be best. You can use a brown or magenta candle to connect with Scorpio energy. Black candles are used for ending a situation or closing a door, which is a type of letting go. Of course, white candles are universal and can be used for any type of energy.

If you wish, you can anoint your candle with essential oils. Make sure that you only anoint the sides of the candle, no where close to the wick. If the flame from the wick comes into contact with any oil, the oil will catch on fire and you run the risk of burning your house down. Safety first! Frankincense is a good oil for getting to the truth of the matter, bergamot is a good oil for gaining self-acceptance, perhaps for accepting what needs to be let go of. Kumquat oil is good for authenticity and connecting with your authentic self. Concentrate on your intention while applying the oil to the candle.

You can also dress your candle in herbs. You could use hawthorn or peppermint, which are ruled by Mars – Scorpio’s planetary ruler. Sage or valerian work well for getting to the truth of a matter; Solomon’s Seal is good for supporting you in deciding what things need to be let go; clover, comfrey, lavender, marjoram, or rue are good for releasing and letting go. To dress the candle, use a mortar and pestle to crush the herbs you choose to use until they are in very small pieces, or even powder. Roll the candle in the herbs, which should stick to the oil that you applied to the candle. While you are applying the herbs to the candle, concentrate on your intention.

Make sure that you place your candle on a non-flammable surface, and that it cannot tip over. Before you light the candle, call on your spirit guides to be with you. Set your intention to be an open vessel to receiving messages around the deep truth of what needs to be let go of in order for you to be your most authentic self. Light the candle, then sit in meditation, gazing at the flame, as you listen for messages from within and from your spirit guides. It might be helpful to keep a journal or a piece of paper nearby to write down the messages that you receive. You could then journal about how letting these things go can help you on your path forward.

You can end the ritual there by ending the meditation when you stop receiving messages, or you can continue the ritual by writing down the specific items that you need to let go of on bay leaves and then burning the leaves in the candle flame. As you burn the leaves, feel the things that you are letting go of leave you and dissipate just as the smoke from the burning bay leaves dissipates into the air.

I hope that this ritual serves you. If you try it, or do a different ritual for the Full Moon in Scorpio, comment below and let us know how it went!

Grounding Myself

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been super-anxious with all of the Coronavirus information swirling around, the uncertainty of what will happen from day to day making it hard for me to concentrate on anything but the news. After five days of feeling my nerves stretching thin from all of that frenetic energy, I knew I needed to do something to help ground myself. Last week all of my energy was focused on getting paperwork situated for our new apartment, and I haven’t had to focus on that since the weekend. At first it seemed like that was just going to be one more thing to add to the stress that I was already feeling, but after I got off the phone with the new apartment complex, I realized that the shift in my attention actually helped me to calm down a little. My nerves did not feel quite so shot.

It was definitely a relief, and I thought, “What else can I focus on that can help calm my nerves even more?” I started looking at my list of the manifestation candles I am currently trying to make, to figure out what supplies I need to order. After all, if I’m going to be practicing social distancing over the weekend, there’s no better activity to do than make candles. And as I made lists and researched correspondences, I felt myself calm even more. I really need to remember that making these candles is a grounding activity for me, taking me out of my head and into my body through doing and feeling.

Then, as I left work and saw that the sun was still pretty high in the sky, I decided to take my dog to the park and walk in nature. This has been something that has helped me a lot in the past, as I’ve gone through my burn-out. Being in nature is incredibly grounding. When I got to the park I found that my EarPods were dead, which was great because it gave me a chance to focus on the birds singing in the otherwise silent forest. We took our time walking, which is easy when you have a beagle that likes to sniff all of the things.

And then, toward the end of our walk, a deer literally crossed our path when there was no one else around. It was odd for a couple of reasons: first, there were a lot of people in the park that day and there was no one around me for the first time during our walk; and second, it was traveling alone. Most of the time when I see deer in the park, they are traveling in groups.

After the deer crossed our path, s/he stopped on the other side of the path and looked at me, watching me walk with my dog. As my dog stopped to sniff, I looked back at the deer and we just stood there, frozen in time, looking at each other as if passing telepathic messages. Suddenly, a small group of people made noise near the tree line to the south, and the deer moved away.

As I kept walking, I kept my eyes open for the deer. I had a feeling that it had not moved far, that it had not finished giving me its full message. As my sniffing beagle moved slowly forward, I saw the deer through the trees again, looking right at me. We must have stood there looking at each other for a full two minutes, the deer unconcerned, standing with its tail down, and me with my beagle who was oblivious to the two animals passing heart messages to each other in the forest. Eventually a family came walking on the path behind me and the deer bounded off.

I have had several awesome encounters with deer on hikes and walks, as I’m sure most people who hike and walk have. My favorite time to walk is very early in the morning, when it is more likely that I will see deer. Sometimes I’m walking in the park and there are deer and someone else comes walking by and acts like it is no big deal. I always wonder about those people, that maybe they have lost their sense of wonder about the world around them to the point that seeing deer in the park is not a magical, wondrous thing.

It is never no big deal. It is always a magical, wondrous thing.

I showed a friend of mine pictures of different deer encounters I have had, the amazing pictures that you can see in this post. She exclaimed, “Maybe the deer is your spirit animal!” I kind of shrugged her off at the time because I have been hell bent on having the owl be my spirit animal. But I have only had maybe one owl encounter, where I have deer encounters all the time. The deer encounters I have are meaningful every single time. I mean, what kind of ego do I have anyway, where I shrug off the animal that appears to me the most in favor of one that rarely does?

When I got home, I looked into meanings for different spirit animals. Here is what I found out about deer:

  • Gentleness
  • Ability to move through life and obstacles with grace
  • Being in touch with inner child, innocence
  • Being sensitive and intuitive
  • Vigilance, ability to change directions quickly
  • Magical ability to regenerate, being in touch with life’s mysteries

In this time of so much uncertainty, isn’t this what we need right now? I know that after that encounter I was the calmest I have been all week. There was a sense of peace within me that had not been there before. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to slow down and have this experience, and that I have the opportunity to reflect on it in this post.