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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Witches, Women and Elderberry Tree

One of my favorite tarot decks, The Deviant Moon deck created by Patrick Valenza. Here is the 7 of Pentacles, with a woman as witch, beneath the branches of  an elderberry tree. Women, witches and the elderberry tree have a relationship in lore:

Image result for deviant moon nine of pentacles

She may provide a potent link with the Mother Goddess and facilitates contact with spirits of other trees. In a sense she acts as a mother figure within the woodland. She carries the wisdom of the Crone, and is mistress of the deepest magic. 

Witches were said to be able to turn themselves into elder trees. Gypsies believe that it is very bad luck to cut down and burn elder wood and that the Elder Mother will take revenge. This superstition arises from an instinctive realization that a lack of respect for Nature is dangerous, ultimately, to the human race. Elder's unruly growth hints at the untamable aspect of Nature, the black heart of the earth to which we owe our being. 
Elder fairy has an aged, feminine wisdom, too long mispriced in our culture, but with a little respect she will act as teacher.

The Fairy Bible, Teresa Moorey/

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Heliotrope Metaphysical Tarot and Oracle Shop

I move to a small touristy town up North. (Northern Oregon? California?) I buy a metaphysical bookstore/shop that has been in business for decades. In this delightful small community, the place has been a real fixture. Tourists love it, the staff has been dedicated and stable, the town considers it a good addition to the local economy and reputation. So everyone is very wary of me -- an outsider, a newcomer -- coming in and taking over. 
I assure everyone that I have no intention of changing anything. I want to keep the staff and let them know how valuable they are. I tell them I will learn from them, and I appreciate them. I only plan to add more, not take away. Become even more involved in local projects and issues, etc. Everyone seems more relaxed and trusting after this. 
During the dream I kept getting a sense of purple, violet, and a word that sounded like "heliotrope." The name of the shop? I think so.
The only real change I make in this shop is setting up a reading spot. At the top of the stairs (the store is in a charming converted two story house, sort of a small Victorian) is a small room with a large window and built-in bookshelves. I set up a table and two chairs, place all my tarot decks and books and pendulums and other divinatory tools on the shelf. A cozy space for doing readings. I start to read for a client, get up to get something to show the client, when I come back, there is a woman giving a reading at a table near mine. I am very upset. I tell her I am the owner, she does not have permission to read, it's distracting to myself and the clients, and a disservice to the clients. So I apologize to the clients, do their readings for free, and kick this woman out. She doesn't even work there, she just showed up.
I looked up the metaphysical aspects of heliotrope. I don't know how much of the following is accurate, but according to Witchipedia: (italics are mine)

Magical Attributes of Heliotrope
Heliotrope is associated with the Sun and the element Fire.
Heliotrope represents devotion, that to lovers as well as to a God or a cause.
To dream of heliotrope means unrequited love. You can place heliotrope flowers under your pillow to encourage prophetic dreams, especially related to finding lost things and people.
The essential oil can be used to anoint candles and other objects used in divination and in spells for wealth.
Heliotrope can can be burned for banishing. (Witchipedia.com)
And finally, while reading Brent Swancer's piece on the Djinn at Mysterious Universe, the reference to David Morehouse's book Psychic Warrior gave me a jolt. Last night, I had a dream I was back in this shop, and someone (unseen, and above) handed me a silver bracelet with the words Psychic Warrior engraved on the silver.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Fortune Teller's Secret - 'Synchronicity'

Interesting article on a bit of history and reader/"fortune teller" Nell St. John Montague (1875-1944)  on reading playing cards from Mark Russell Bell: The Fortune Teller's Secret - 'Synchronicity' | Interesting Articles, Links and Other Media

Friday, March 24, 2017

Kind Words from Skylaire Alfvegren

I am very grateful for the following words and testimonial from a wonderful Fortean writer. (Google her!) Her name is Sklylaire Alfvegren. Many years ago, when I first entered the world of the weird, I came across Skylaire's writing. I was so damn impressed by her skill, her insights and her skewed perspectives and humor. And now, years later, I consider her a friend. We both tumble down that rabbit hole, encountering the strange as we fall.

As a native of Los Angeles who began orbiting “new age” and occult circles years before I could legally drink, I have come to know more than my fair share of psychics, mediums, astrologers, oracles and readers of runes, palms, tarot, and pretty much everything but the contents of the kitchen sink. The glut of “sensitives” hawking their “gifts” has kept me on my guard and somewhat skeptical although as the saying goes, “I want to believe.”  
In this age of 99-cent-a-minute happy horoscopes, many settle for the broad, candy floss generalizations. I can’t do that. I prefer the truth, even if it hurts, and it often does. I trust one astrologer - but I often leave somewhat crushed because he tells it like he sees it. I don’t want lip service but I also want to walk away from a reading with at least a shred of hope! 
During a time when I was more lost and confused than usual, I began reaching out to my various circles to find “the” tarot card reader… I wanted to have my cards read by someone truly gifted, someone capable of great depth as well as an elegant turn of phrase. After numerous recommendations, I reached out to Arianna at Orange Orb Tarot. She was kind and imaginative and in the first reading, saw all kinds of things I had no idea were coming. It was only in the following months that what she saw, actually materialized. My second reading was just as prescient. She referenced my past, the present and future possibilities and it really made my head spin! She was detailed and thoughtful and offered just the right-sized spoonful of sugar to accompany the unpleasant stuff. She touched on some of the same themes in both readings - all extremely relevant to me specifically. She is thoughtful, detailed and full of good magic. She gave me the best readings I have ever had, and I would recommend her to anyone seeking an in-depth, personal, expansive and truly helpful tarot card reading. 

Skylaire Alfvegren, Los Angeles

Sunday, August 21, 2016

From Alley Valkyrie: "my polytheism"

Alley Valkyrie is an artist, activist and an excellent writer. She's written a wonderful piece on polytheism. Her perspective reflects my own views on this. Visit her blog The Scallop and the Dusk for more personal and poetic posts. Below is a passage from her article on polytheism:

 I don’t think anyone has the right to gate-keep or dictate what polytheism is. Polytheism is not a new concept. Those who are attempting to control the meaning of ‘polytheism’ seem to have forgotten that this is a concept that goes back thousands of years and spans across cultures all over the world. To define it in a way that excludes more ideas than it embraces is a form of cultural erasure. It is colonialist, and it is abusive. My polytheism begins and ends with “there are many gods and they are real”. [Alley Valkyrie,my polytheism – the scallop and the dusk]

Friday, August 5, 2016

In the Biz, What to do When You Mess Up

Doing readings for clients is simply an amazing thing! I love it. Sometimes it's frustrating for me, the reader. Those of us that do readings professionally sometimes get stuck. It happens. Sometimes the client is the, er, issue. They're a skeptic/debunker and are out to "prove" you're a fraud, they're under the influence, they want to argue, etc.

But sometimes, it's you, the reader, who just, simply, messes up with a client. I am embarrassed and sorry to say this happened to me recently.

I had a returning client who left me a not so hot rating because I had not responded to her request for a reading, nor refunded her money, which she had paid for back in April! I have NO idea what happened, none, but for whatever reason, I had no idea this order was pending.

Naturally I felt awful. And the client --who could blame her for never coming to me again? All I could do was apologize profusely, refund her money, AND, here's the thing, offer her three readings using any decks, any type of reading, for free. That's the least I could do.

It's important to be honest with clients, and do what it takes to make things right. This is not the same as letting clients take advantage, that's a different scene. But in this case, I was dismayed to find I had let things get spacey and took this as a message to stay focused on my goals. Which, by the way, a recent reading I had done for me pointed out! Hmmm…

Tarot readers, psychics, etc. are human, just like everyone else. We make mistakes, goof up, -- we're not pure and magic and above making errors. But if and when we do, it's important to own it and do what we can to make it right.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Animal Spirit Oracle: Susan Boulet

Animal Spirit Oracle, Susan Boulet
A friend of mine did a mini-reading for me using the beautiful Animal Spirit Knowledge Cards Oracle, created by Susan Boulet. (Boulet died in 1997.) I fell in love with the deck and ordered one as soon as I returned home. They arrived the other day, and I've been enjoying exploring this deck.

Crow, Susan Boulet
Some readers feel  that the deck is not used for "divinatory" purposes but  more for personal use. I haven't tried using them in a reading for another, but I will try that just to see. I've had good readings using other animal decks, the Medicine Cards in particular. I'm also curious about using these cards in a multi-deck reading, maybe with the Angel Dreams oracle. (Doreen Virtue.)

The cards are on the smaller side, with full picture on the front, and the meaning on the back. I like the fact that there isn't any text on the front. Just the image, there for you to meditate on without words. The slightly smaller than usual size for tarot or oracle cards doesn't detract from the artwork. There are 48 cards in the deck.

Back: Animal Spirit Knowledge Oracle
Source: Aeclectic Tarot

One slight criticism: I would have liked more diversity in the key words with the descriptions, and some of the images are sideways or "landscape" while the majority are vertical. I found that to be a little distracting.

Reading at Eugene, Oregon Pagan Pride Day

Eugene is having a Pagan Pride Day! I'm honored and excited to know I'll be one of the tarot readers at the fair. If you're in the area, please come! Contact eugenepaganpride.org for info.  Here's their poster:

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Witches: Make Your Beds

WITCH: "Over my last decade of both intentionally and unintentionally studying energy, I’ve realized how the organization of space has a huge effect on a person’s creativity, mood, and ability toaffect reality. This is especially important for those who are sensitive to that which exists beyond the mundane." (Carolyn Elliott, WITCH)

image source: pixabay.com

As someone who is -- I am dejected that I need to acknowledge this -- a slob, this article makes perfect sense to me, and clicks in that place where other similar philosophies have failed.  The stagnation I've felt in my own life, that stuck feeling, has much to do with my external environment. As a witch, (fumbling and learning on my twisty path) this article from WITCH speaks to me. One example: we have what we call the "room of doom." Every now and then I go in there to clean it up. I just can't seem to work in there for more than half an hour. My husband doesn't even try. One time I literally passed out in there, just looking at all the chaos and trying to decide where to start. I've placed black stones, mainly obsidian, in corners of the room and that helped for awhile. Granted, there is a weird energy in there -- we felt it when we moved here. Some energy, some residual spirit, is hanging around keeping the creepy chaos intact. Well, off to practice mindful, intention focused, straightening up.