Self-Love Tarot Spread

As we moved through Cancer season, the season of self-care, I moved through some shadow work that redefined for me the importance of self-love. Not the narcissistic self-love that cares more about itself than about other people, but the kind of self-love that cares enough about itself that it won’t allow others to hurt, manipulate, shame, or guilt it. This type of self-love has been hard for me all of my life, but is something that Spirit has shown me it is time to work on in a big way. And one of the tools that Spirit gave me to do this is this self-love spread.

Tarot is a natural tool to help ourselves with self-love anyway, because it brings our inner truths out into the open. It puts us in touch with our intuition and our subconscious through the archetypes present on the cards. With this spread, we can work to become clear on specific steps we can take to work on loving ourselves, even those parts that we may not like.

The idea for this spread came when I pulled the Ace of Cups for my daily pull one day. The Aces are generally harder for me to work with or interpret because I have not had as much practice with them, but generally they call our attention to ourselves and our relationship with the energy of the suit. I have always viewed the suit of Cups as having to do with emotions, and my teacher Lindsay Mack teaches that it has to do with the heart and coming back to the heart. So much of our lives happens in our heads, and in order for us to reconnect with ourselves, find ourselves, and take care of ourselves, we need to come back to the heart. That is where our intuition lives, it is really where we live. It can be so hard to come back to that part of ourselves because stress, trauma, and just living our lives in today’s society can cause us to build a wall around our hearts and focus solely on our brains. But we do ourselves a disservice when we live like that. Science is actually proving that our hearts are very robust perceptual organs, and we live better and fuller lives when we put our brain in service of our heart. When we listen to our hearts and connect with our intuition, it causes us to realize that we have placed our needs below those of being productive at our jobs, being available to our families and others who need us, and all of the other ways that we get pushed and pulled in our daily lives. When we slow down and listen to our hearts and really connect, we lead less stressful lives. We can do the things that are required of us better.

They say that you can’t give from an empty cup. The Ace of Cups reminds us of that, to slow down and fill our cup first so that we will be better able to give to others. That is the essence of self-love, making sure that we are taken care of before we try to take care of others. Hopefully this spread will help you in your journey toward self love.

Weekly Tarot Spread for 7/11/21

Well, I can now say I have done weekly spreads two weeks in a row! I’m not sure that I’ve accomplished that before now, and I’m glad I have done it. Last week’s spread really helped me, and I hope that it helped you too. Let’s see what this week’s spread has to offer.

Energy for the Week Ahead: Four of Cups

The astrological correspondence for this card is Moon in Cancer, which, we just went through the New Moon in Cancer so this energy is still very present right now. There is a lot of moving water in the card imagery, waterfalls, suggesting that emotions are moving, changing, in flux. Maybe we don’t know how we feel about what is going on right now, or our emotions are all over the place. We are invited to just sit with that this week, to feel into that, however that shows up for us. It can be uncomfortable, to have all of these emotions just swirling around, but we can anchor in the moon, which invites us to get still and listen to our guides, our bodies, and our intuition. Just listen and connect.

What are we being invited to pay attention to: Six of Wands

Spirit has given you ideas and a sense of purpose. The knight in the card imagery is not worried about what anyone else thinks about his purpose. He is venturing out to accomplish it, complete faith in his ability to do so. We are being invited to pay attention to our own sense of purpose and our views on what others feel about that. Does it matter what others think? Not really, if what spirit has given you is in your highest and best. And really, if you are in alignment with those guides who have your highest and best in mind, then there should be no question about that.

What should we be mindful of: Five of Pentacles

It looks like we are still dealing with some of that scarcity that came in like a wrecking ball last week. Where in your life did it show up? Was it real scarcity, or just a scarcity mindset that you dealt with? Be mindful of where you are feeling scarcity this week and avoid knee-jerk, reactive actions that you might regret later. Scarcity can be hard to deal with, but if you just sit with it a little bit and find something to do to ground yourself, you can move past the discomfort and begin to problem-solve through it.

What should we embrace: Queen of Wands

Embrace that part of you that is the creator, with the ability to change your reality. If these is something we don’t like, we can change it. We can create the reality we want. All of this takes time, but we are invited to embrace that part of ourselves that can make this possible this week.

What should we let go of: The Wheel of the Year

We should let go of our linear concept of time and energy. Our society conditions us that we must be productive and grinding all of the time, go, go, go. But everything in nature works in cycles. The seasons, the moon. Our energy is the same way. Some days it seems like we can move mountains, and other days it seems like we barely have the energy to get out of bed. Embracing these cycles instead of pushing ourselves to be productive through them no matter what the cost can really help us as we move through the next week. Be mindful of your energy and your energy cycle and honor it in whatever ways that you can.

I hope that this spread helps you as you work through the coming week. Let me know how it goes in the comments!

Tarot Reading for Week of 7/4/21

I have not been very consistent with my weekly tarot readings on here. I really want to get better. I am in the process of making some changes in my overall life focus, so maybe that will help. I guess only time will tell!

The energy of this week’s reading is powerful. It really calls on us to change how we are caring for ourselves during this time. But I am going to let the spread speak for itself….

Energy of the Week Ahead: Five of Pentacles

I know what you are thinking right now. When I pulled this card for the energy of the week ahead I thought, “Uh, oh. We are going to be in for a rough week!” When we see the Five of Pentacles we typically think of scarcity, that there is not going to be enough to go around. And this is not surprising since we live in a cultural system that has as a pillar of foundation the proliferation of a scarcity mindset. “Buy more, consume more! Get it now because soon it will be gone!” That kind of energy leads to contraction as we feel like we are competing with everyone else for basic life necessities.

So we might be looking at that this week. We might be looking at a “not enough-ness” of some kind. How are we going to handle that energy this week? When we feel threatened by anything, including not having what we need, our brain can go into a fight-flight-flee response. If we don’t have enough staff coverage at our job our brain might knee-jerk into thinking that we need to get another job. If we run short financially our brains will pick us apart over every little thing we have bought in the last two weeks and foster guilt and shame. These patterns the brain has of fighting or fleeing difficult situations make it hard to be mindful in the heart of the situation. Which is what we need to do. What can we do to foster mindfulness in the heat of a situation of scarcity so that we don’t do something that we might regret? How can we keep ourselves in the present moment and not worry about what happened in the past or what is going to happen in the future? How can we stay in the now so that we can productively work through the situation and come out on the other side with our sanity intact? That is what we need to keep in mind as we look at this energy for the week ahead.

What Are We Being Invited to Pay Attention To: Two of Swords

So we know that the energy of this week is going to be one where we have to practice mindfulness so that our brain does not drive us crazy regarding the scarcity that we are going to face this week. Two of swords builds upon that call for mindfulness by telling us that we need to work self-care into the week. Typically with this card it means stopping and coming back to center whenever we feel that the brain is going to start taking over with its stories. The imagery on the Witches Tarot deck by Ellen Dugan shows a woman who is blindfolded, holding two swords as if to protect herself. Behind her is a lake. Water typically signifies the emotional realm. The blindfold suggests that the woman cannot see her outer reality at this time, so she must be in her inner reality. And the swords suggest that she is doing this to protect herself from what is going on in the outer reality, that she is protecting her emotional state from the circumstances that are happening in her outer reality.

This kind of thing is as simple as setting up a mindfulness reminder on your phone so that every so often you are reminded to just stop, drop in, and check in. We can get so frantic, especially if we are going through tough times, that we can become out of our bodies in a manner of speaking. We can be totally focused on what comes next, putting out fires around us, and not fully present with ourselves or how we are doing emotionally. Two of Swords reminds us how important it is to stop and check in with ourselves, to go within and make sure that we are okay emotionally.

What We Should Be Mindful Of: Six of Swords

Six of Swords asks us to be aware of who is steering our boat. The imagery of the card shows a person in a boat, paddling on the water. Again, the emotional realm is very present here.

We know that if we put someone else in charge of our emotions, in charge of steering our boat, it can come out badly for us. In my training as an early childhood educator, I learned that any time you make statements like “You are driving me crazy,” you are putting someone else in charge of your emotions. Basically, you are making them captain of your ship. You are then subject to any whims and desires that person has, and it can drive you crazy. Six of Swords tells us to take ownership of our own emotional state. When we go from, “You are driving me crazy,” to “I feel crazy when you do ______,” we begin to build a foundation where communication can happen and change can take place. If we don’t like how something is going down, we can problem solve rather than blame someone else for our emotional upset. This is a powerful skill that Six of Swords reminds us that we have. We are the captains of our emotional ship. This week, it is important that we are mindful of that.

What Should We Embrace: Knight of Wands

Knight of Wands is about moving in a way that feels good to you. Sometimes the pace of the people around us can be fast, especially in our society where productivity and grind culture are major focuses for a lot of people. Knight of Wands asks us to be aware of what pace feels good to us and move at that pace. Stop worrying about the way everyone around us moves.

Sometimes it can be hard to feel what pace will work best for us. We are so busy seeing the paths that other people are on and we think that we should be doing what they do as fast as they seem to be doing it. We push ourselves into burnout because we are trying to go someone else’s pace instead of our own.

In order to find our own pace, it is important that we drop in and feel what works best for us. We keep in touch with our inner emotional realm and take care of our nervous system. And then we move, we flow, we dance, we do in ways that feel the best to us.

What We Should Let Go Of: Death

We need to let go of old ways of doing things. The cards in this spread ask us to change how we are dealing with the energies that we are going through at this time. COVID has change a lot about the way the world works, the way business works, and we have to take care of ourselves. We have to remember that the economic system that we are living in right now does not put our needs first, and the staffing shortages, sickness, separation, and other factors brought about by COVID, the political climate, systemic inequality, and other factors require us to rethink how we are living and working in the world. No one else is going to put our needs first, except maybe our families. It is so important that we take care of ourselves during this time, and the death card is here to tell us that the way that we used to do things needs to go. We need to take care of ourselves, guard our nervous systems, take charge of our emotional health, and move in ways that benefit us, not the capitalist system that has burnt us out.

Good luck in the coming week! Let me know in the comments section how it goes!

Full Moon in Capricorn

Full moon ritual candle

I am so late on this one. Technically the full moon in Capricorn was yesterday, but I was not able to put together anything about it until today. But hey, so much has happened that I have not blogged about at all (crazy work hours) that I kind of count getting anything out there a win!

I love talking about the moon cycle because it is so helpful when it comes to manifesting things out into the world. I am not working with many phases yet beyond the full moon and the new moon, but I know that as I work on divesting myself from the crazy system that I am a part of now and get to a place where I can honor these cycles better, I will be working with more phases than just those two. Checking in at the new moon to see where I want to focus my intention when it comes to my goals, seeing how the sign that the moon is in plays a part in that – that has actually been huge for my manifestation process this past year. Then following up on that intention with the full moon phase and seeing what needs to be let go of in order to make it to the end of the manifestation cycle, using the sign of the moon as a guide once again – really helpful for the process. A lot of times we have a goal in mind and we are working toward it but we don’t stop to think about whether or not we are doing something that might be hurting our chances of getting to the finish line. Reflecting back on that goal during the full moon phase and figuring out what is working and what is not is a great tool to help you meet your goals.

So what about the Capricorn part?

So we know we should be reflecting on our goals during this full moon, but what about the Capricorn part? How does that help us to reach our goals?

Capricorn energy has several aspects to it that can help with refining your goals and your pathway to realizing them. First is integrity: being true to your own nature and making sure that your public identity matches that nature. Basically, it means being true to yourself. Are you doing that through your process of meeting your goals? I know that sometimes I have a hard time hearing other people’s suggestions for what they are – just suggestions. I take them very much to heart and sometimes that makes me veer off of my path and into another lane. It can take me weeks to get myself back on track when that happens. Capricorn energy helps me realize that I have to stay true to myself with what I am doing.

The second part of Capricorn energy that helps us to meet our goals is not worrying about the approval of others. That concept is practically married to what I mentioned above, because sometimes if I ponder a suggestion from someone, I might try to implement it in order to gain their approval even though it does not fit with what I am trying to achieve. If we are worried about what others think about us we will be tossed around in the wind of other people’s suggestions and opinions. That is not a very comfortable place to be! A better idea is to consider the suggestion and the check in to see if implementing the idea would be in alignment with your highest and best – something that I am getting better about doing! If it is, then you should implement it. If it is not, then don’t feel guilty about not doing anything with the suggestion. It just doesn’t fit with what you are trying to accomplish.

A Tarot Spread for Full Moon in Capricorn

I love using tarot as a method to check in with myself or to bring something to light that I am not realizing is going on in my subconscious. Here are some spread questions to help you reflect on Capricorn energy during this full moon:

  1. What am I being invited to pay attention to during this full moon?
  2. What do I need to do in order to stay true to my nature and my path forward?
  3. What can I do to maximize my self-approval?
  4. What should I do to let go of depending on the approval of others?
  5. What is this full moon here to teach me?

Let me know how this spread has helped you as you move forward with your goals!

Celebrating the Summer Solstice

A picture of me and a green man at a past Solstice event

Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. The day where light can truly say that it has won over the darkness, as this is the day where there will be more light than any other day this year.

This has to be one of my favorite holidays of the Wheel of the Year. It’s not because it is the first day of summer. I am not a person who spends all year waiting for summer to come so that they can go to the beach and soak up the rays. No, I love this day because it is the last day that the light rules over the darkness. I am celebrating the darkness to come. I am truly a fall and winter person, reveling in the dark side of the seasonal cycle. Does that make me a dark witch? I don’t think so, but I also think that you can’t have darkness without light, and vice versa. But I digress…

Solstice is also a time where nature is showing off everything that it has accomplished since Beltane on May 1st. Beltane celebrated the fertility of the land, and now at the Solstice that fertility has paid off with lush green all around us, and the beginnings of the fruits of the year. Baby animals are everywhere around us if we know where to look. I imagine that our ancestors felt that they were making a good start toward being able to survive that coming darkness if they could see the fruits of the fertile ground by this time. But the ultimate outward expressions of nature will come later, during Lughnasadh on August 1st. That will be the middle of Leo season, the season of outward expression.

Summer Solstice is a perfect time to plan intentions related to creativity and things that you want to show off during the season of outward expression that is approaching. It is a time to meditate on the expressions of nature that are all around us during this time. It is a time to reflect on the cycle of light and darkness and how the abundance of light is connected to the expressions of nature. And because the axiom goes “As above, so below; as within, so without,” it is a time to reflect on that cycle within ourselves and how abundance of light shows up in our lives.

Take a moment and let me know how you celebrated the Solstice this year. I am doing a candle ritual myself – I will likely post pictures in another blog post. But I did change out my alter cloth to the one I use during the lighter part of the year that is full of oranges and yellows and has a sun on it.

Happy Solstice to everyone.

Becoming of One Mind Tarot Spread

Recently I had a situation where there were two paths in front of me. Each one looked like a good path. Each one had its pros and cons. I have spent a lot of time dipping my foot into each path. But I understood that I could not keep doing that forever. I had to choose a way forward or I would endure consequences of not being able to make up my mind.

We have all been there. Indecision can drive you crazy. I know it was doing that to me. Before I went too crazy, though, I was able to pull out my deck and come up with this spread that helped me more than I can possibly explain to you. So I decided to share it here so that it could help someone else if they were having issues with indecision.

Also, this is the first time I have used my tablet to draw a spread layout. Please be gentle with your judgements!

The Spread

Spread Layout for Becoming of One Mind Spread

Sometimes it is hard to hear what your heart wants when your mind is going a mile a minute. This spread can help cut through the noise and put you on the path of what you really want.

Let me know in the comments how this spread has helped you!

New Moon in Taurus

New Moon energy is building and starting energy…

It’s been a while since I posted anything about the moon cycles, but for me this has been a time of really going deeper with these cycles and building a connection with them. It is one thing to write about moon cycles but it is another thing to integrate the cycles into your life in a meaningful way. That has meant re-assessing a lot of habits and routines. The pandemic has brought about changes in the job market that has made my job more stressful than it has ever been. For a year I have felt every bit of the stress. New and existing concerns about my health made it clear that I needed to do something different, and quickly. But I was not sure about what that something was.

I began studying Taurus as part of a Tarot Deep Dive I was preparing. Most of my astrology study is from Steven Forrest’s amazing book The Inner Sky, and his evolutionary astrology method. In my paraphrased notes from The Inner Sky, I noted that Taurus is about getting in touch with Mother Earth. It is about slowing down and listening to the earth, which is Taurus’ primary teacher. Through getting in touch with Mother Earth, we encounter Taurus’ second teacher, silence. “Silence breeds simplicity and simplicity breeds peace,” (Forrest, 45). This played out in real life for me recently at work. Usually I am rushing around, trying to do all of the things. I have a habit of putting onto myself tasks that could easily be done by someone else. With the staffing issues we have had, scheduling has been difficult. One day I found myself in a classroom teaching, and I was worried about staffing in other parts of the school. I worked to ground and quiet my very loud mind. Soon the silence helped to reveal the truth of the moment – that my only job at that moment was to take care of the kids in that classroom. Nothing else mattered because there was nothing else that I could do in that moment. I still remember how freeing that moment of truth was because it really was that simple. It was like “the peace that surpasses all understanding” in Philippines in the Bible. While I am not a Christian, I grew up in a Christian household and there are so many things about Christianity that make more sense to me as a Pagan Witch than they ever did when I was a practicing Christian. Ever since that experience, I have worked to bring the truth of the present moment forward so that anything that is not part of that truth takes a back seat. This helps me to prioritize and keeps my life simple.

This Taurus energy not only helps me to prioritize at work minute by minute, but it has also helped me prioritize my life. It has called on me to look at my life and define those things in my life that are non-negotiable and should therefore receive more of my attention. On these non-negotiable I build the foundation on which everything else in my life rests. That means that I have to work to change the habits that I have formed that elevate other parts of my life above my non-negotiable. It can be hard work, but after doing this I have found that I enjoy my life more and I have more balance in it.

We think of Taurus as a laid-back song, but in this time of rushing to be productive, technology everywhere, and a culture that increasingly views humans as a commodity, , Taurus work is hard work. It calls on us to pull back from technology and reconnect with our Mother Earth. It calls on us to be present and continually be grounded in the present moment. And it calls on us to remember what is important to us in this life. The new moon is an excellent time to build new habits in these areas.

Tarot Spread for New Moon in Taurus

As we work with the energy of Taurus and the new moon, we should be thinking about those things that we can build up during this time. Spending time defining those things in your life that are non-negotiable for you is a great start, as it builds a foundation that the rest of your life can be built around. Finding ways to ground yourself in the present moment, especially during stressful times is another good Taurus practice. Spending time in nature is helpful to.

Here are some questions to ask your deck:

  • What am I being called to pay attention to during this Taurus New Moon?
  • How can I work to cultivate silence and stillness in my life that will lead to simplicity?
  • What is the lesson that I am being called to learn during this Taurus New Moon?

How are these energies playing out in your life? What did your cards tell you about how to move forward in this energy? Share in the comments if you feel called to.

Tarot Deep Dive: Justice (XI)

Justice Card from the Smith-Rider-Waite Tarot deck

Ever since the Full Moon in Libra on March 28th, I have been called to explore the Justice card and the idea of balance. Traditionally this card has been used to bring attention to legal matters or court hearings. After all, when we think about justice, we think about judges and courts and justice being served. But I have been drawing this card pretty regularly lately, and I don’t have any court dates coming up or legal battles to worry about. When we look at the larger social sphere right now, we see a lot of justice issues coming up in different areas, and meditating on the Justice card can be a good way to help us figure out what our part is in bringing about the change needed to move closer to a just society. But for the purposes of this blog, we are going to look at what the Justice card can mean to us on a personal level and how to utilize it in our personal lives.

The Justice card is ruled by Libra, which is the sign of balance, harmony, and equilibrium. The figure in the picture is shown holding a scale in one hand and a sword in the other. The Justice card is actually at the center of the 22 major arcana cards, indicating a balance point within the major arcana, and within our lives as well.

Now, I have been exploring the idea of balance for a few years now, believing that balance is what I needed in order to overcome and heal from the effects of the burnout I have been experiencing. But I came to realize that I was thinking about balance all wrong. I was thinking about balance in a linear way: once balance is achieved, you simply need to keep doing what you were doing in order to get in balance so that you can keep balance. Homeostasis: maintaining inner stability.

The problem with this way of looking at equilibrium is that life happens. Sure, we can maintain inner stability – as long as every day is exactly the same with the same triggers, the same food sources, the same schedule, the same interactions, etc. But life does not work that way. Life throws us curveballs every chance it gets. One day we are super motivated to eat healthy, take walks, exercise. The next day we are tired and want to eat junk food and watch TV. One day things go smoothly at work. The next day three people call out and we are stretched to our limits. Achieving and maintaining homeostasis is nearly impossible because life happens. It is nearly impossible to expect to sit in the middle of the scale see-saw and have it remain in balance with everything that life throws at us.

This is also true when it comes to meeting our goals. When it comes to goals, I have always been an “all in” type of person. That actually has made it very hard to meet my goals because my brain and body have been used to doing things a specific way. If I go “all in,” I’m going against the grain of what my body and mind have been used to and they typically throw a tantrum of some sort before everything falls apart. By swinging the scale from a state of balance to a state of imbalance quickly, I am pretty much ensuring that the scale is going to over correct in the opposite direction.

But when we look at balance as a spiralic concept, it changes how the scale works in our lives. For example, let’s say that I want to change my habits when it comes to what I am eating. I want to eat healthier. If I go to my kitchen and throw out all of the junk food and replace it with vegetables and healthier options, I have definitely done myself a favor. But by only giving myself those options when my body and brain are used to junk food, I have tipped the scale really far. Anyone who has been on a diet knows how difficult it is to stay on it when you first start. Your body and brain scream at you because you have tipped the scale really far in one direction and have messed up the balance. Instead of doing that, I can add vegetables to a meal. Not change the meal at first, but simply add vegetables to it. Then when my body and brain get used to that and equilibrium has been established, I change something about another meal, add vegetables or substitute an unhealthy ingredient. I work toward the goal of healthy eating using baby steps instead of tipping the entire scale out of balance. Doing this ensures that the whole scale moves in the direction that I want instead of just tipping one end of the scale in the direction that I want.

It’s kind of like the above, very elementary drawing I made. At the top, in the linear section, the little figure wants to eat healthier. Before they do anything to achieve this goal, they have a sense of balance because they are used to their habits. But then they decide to throw out all the junk food and the scale is tipped. It won’t be long before it tips back the other way as the brain and body try to get their sense of balance back.

But in the spiralic section, the little figure only changes one thing. They move a little bit closer to the healthy side. The scale is only a little out of balance. But if this small change is made consistently, the entire scale will move closer to the healthy side, as I tried to illustrate in the third part of spiralic balance.

We as a culture are good at looking at our starting point, and then at our end goal, and then doing everything we can to make our starting point look like our end goal. The problem with that is that we don’t stop to look at everything in between those two points – the journey. It is hard to appreciate where we are on our journey when we constantly have social media showing us where everyone is on theirs. As a competitive culture we wonder why we aren’t where they are and what we are doing wrong.

The Justice card invites us to stop looking at everyone else and look – really look – at our life. It invites us to see and acknowledge where we are on our journey. Balance comes when we stop looking at everything around us and start paying attention to our own path, start making steps in our own lane. Life becomes so simple when we stop looking at what other people are doing. It invites us to take stock of where we are and look at what is not serving us any more. And rather than throwing it all out, take small steps toward our goals so that balance can be maintained.

So far we have spent a lot of time talking about the scale side of the Justice card and not so much about the sword side. But this side is just as important as the scale side. Because when we work on making changes in our life, our brain can give us a hard time. Since the brain’s job is to keep us safe, it looks at any movement of the scale as a threat. Then it starts talking to us, saying “I don’t like this. This isn’t what we are supposed to be doing. You are going to fail. You aren’t good enough to pull this off. Who are you to think you can make a change like this? Who are you to think you can learn this new skill?” And on and on and around and around until we go back to what our brain views as normal.

This is where fear and anxiety live. Life is about change. It is about everything that we do in order to be happier and live better lives. But the brain does not like change. It puts us in a state of fear and anxiety so that we will be scared to move in the direction that we want to go. The sword in the justice card is about cutting through the brain’s bullshit so that we can move toward our goals with courage.

So how do we do that? It is all about grounding ourselves, taking a moment when the brain starts talking to pause, ground, and acknowledge what the brain is communicating. Acknowledge the fear, but let your brain know that you are safe and you have got this.

This happened to me recently when there was a ritual that I needed to perform. I felt like I was at a place where I needed to do the ritual in order to progress on my spiritual path. But I kept putting it off. Weeks went by. When I thought about doing the ritual something always “came up.” I finally sat down and mapped the whole ritual out, thinking that if I knew what was going to happen, I would be more prepared to do it. But I still didn’t do it. I finally realized what was happening. My brain was not using words to instill the fear, but it was coming up with things to do that were more fun or more “pressing” than the ritual. I realized that I was just going to have to move beyond the fear that had taken hold and perform the ritual. And I did. And it was amazing.

Even though my brain does not speak fear to me in words, it finds ways to hold me back. It seems to manifest in me as a feeling, a somewhat lazy feeling, feeling like its not that important so it is okay if I do something else right now. With the sword of the Justice card, we are invited to cut through that feeling or the words and move forward with our goals. Justice is about truth, and when our brains lie to us about where we really are or what we need to do, it is important for us to cut through that and be honest with ourselves about where we are in our journey and what we need to do to move forward.

So how has the Justice card shown up in your life? Does any of this resonate with you? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

The Lessons of 2020 and the Emperor Year

I think we can all agree that 2020 was a difficult year. I have already watched, read, and listened to multiple videos, articles, and podcasts that have outlined some of the more life-changing events that happened during the past year. 2020 brought death, destruction, separation, and violence in many different aspects. From other perspectives, however, it brought awareness and reflection. It was definitely a complex year.

I’ve spent some time during the past couple of weeks reflecting on the year and the lessons that it brought to me. I remember how excited I was about 2020 being an Emperor year, from the perspective of the Tarot: when you add the digits of 2020 together, they equal 4, and Emperor is the fourth card of the Major Arcana. I don’t prescribe to the interpretation of the Emperor as the imperialistic, patriarchal male figure, which is a common interpretation of the card. Because the Emperor card is associated with Aries, I interpret it as having to do with assertiveness, being okay with taking up your space in the world, and movement associated with your life calling. On the zodiacal wheel, Aries is the first sign and has to do with the essence of who we are on a soul level. The Emperor asks us to step into the truth of our identity as soul beings. Stepping into my truth has been hard for me for most of my life, so I was excited about the lessons that this year would bring.

Fours are all about structures. In the case of 2020, with all of the changes that we have faced and the disruption those changes have caused to existing structures, the Emperor seems to have signaled that disruption or destruction of existing societal structures and the beginnings of the building of new structures in our society. As a collective, we have experienced more awareness of systemic oppression in multiple facets of our society, including racial inequalities, police brutality, and marginalization of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC folx. This awareness has led to a rising up of voices in the form of protests and other forms of activism. We have also seen more awareness around the effects related to capitalism. We have seen people changing the way they live and work related to that awareness. There has been dialogue about how the structures that were put into place when this country was founded caused real harm and trauma and continues to cause harm and trauma to this day.

Emperor themes arise on a personal level as well. I was recently gifted an experience that summed up Emperor energy for me. A friend of mine was leaving a job that she liked for a better opportunity. When she told me about the environment of the place she was going, I thought about how awesome it would be to work in a place like that. If I had indulged in the fantasy that my mind created, my whole job would have been different than it is now. It would have been the same as the job I was doing before I ended up where I am now. It would have been the same as the job that landed me in burnout. But I have often fantasized about going back into that aspect of my field because it was fun and I was good at it. The temptation to send in my resume for another opening that was available was strong, but then I thought about everything that my current job offers me. It allows me the opportunity to build on the skills I have already acquired. It has allowed me the opportunity to heal from my burnout. It is a place of support and growth, and the skills that I am learning will help me as I move forward with what my guides are calling me to do. If I had indulged in my brain fantasy, I would have been taking a huge step backward, a step that could have potentially taken years to right. In the moment that I came to the conclusion that I was in the right place doing what I was meant to be doing, I gained a newfound confidence in my current position. True to my Emperor interpretation, I had found the confidence to step into my place and take up space. It also gave me more confidence in my candle magick abilities as I work to build a future for myself in this completely new field (new for me, anyway). It seems that completely letting go of the past and embracing the present really does lead to more confidence in one’s abilities.

Social media did not help me in this personal journey. Constantly seeing what other people are doing on their journeys brings forward a lot of anxiety and stress about what I am doing, whether or not I am doing it right, if I should be doing it differently. Stepping away from social media has given me the presence of mind to realize that my journey is my own and that it doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s. My brain and nervous system have been a lot healthier without social media in my life, and my confidence in my own journey has grown the longer I have been without it.

However, when social awareness exploded over police brutality of BIPOC folx, social media help me see, hear, and understand the points of view of marginalized people and voice my support. It also helped me find ways to financially support organizations committed to change.

Emperor energy also helped me to examine my relationship with the capitalistic structures in our society, from the way our society weight-shames to the way the structure instills an unhealthy work ethic in the bottom tier of the workforce. Rest and grounding became constant themes of the year for me as I worked to heal from the damage that years in a burnout state had caused. I developed many self-care rituals to help me in this process and to help me manage every day stress (which is much different since the pandemic hit), from herbal teas to essential oil blends.

2020 was definitely a difficult year, but it did build a foundation for the work that 2021 will bring. The job now is to take the knowledge and skills that we gained and build a new, brighter future with them.

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.