Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Ten Days of Crystals To Rock Your World

We all love crystals, right? We all work with them in a variety of ways: in ritual, as jewellery, decoration in our homes, and in many other ways. And most of us are familiar with the "stock standard crystals" that most people tell you are in their top 5 or 10 crystals. Rose quartz, amethyst, clear quartz, fluorite, and so on. But there are a few crystals that people don't mention that I find are incredible to work with.

I have put together a free ecourse for you to learn about my favourite 10 crystals. Most of these are not mentioned on other "Top 10 Crystal" lists. Each day we'll explore one crystal, how they are formed, where they are found, their metaphysical properties, and how you can use them in your everyday life. On day 11 I'll include a little bonus for you.

Some of the crystals that I discuss include: charoite, moodaite, and seraphinite. There are others, but I don't want to ruin the surprise.

You do not need to purchase anything for this course. You do not need to have any of these crystals to do the course. This course is for your information and to give you some alternatives to the main crystals that everyone recommends.

All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter. I send out a newsletter every Monday. This ecourse starts on Monday 25th July. If you are reading this after that date, you will receive the first installment in your inbox immediately.

If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below and I'll respond as soon as I can.

Sign Up to receive your free crystal ecourse!

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Friday, 15 July 2016

Tarot Myths and an Update

The ether is awash with all sorts of tarot myths. Today I'm looking at just one. There's a myth that it's dangerous to use second hand cards. Not true. Watch the video below for the whole story. I also include an update at the end and share some of my exciting projects.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Steps to Connecting with a Deck

One of the questions that I get the most is how to connect with a deck that you don't feel any connection to. Many people purchase a deck because it's been recommended then find that they don't have a connection to that deck for whatever reason. There are some steps that you can take to try and establish a connection.

Tarot and Oracle decks are funny things. They are simply pieces of card with pictures on them. That's all. But sometimes those pictures speak deeply to our spirit and we feel like we've found a long lost friend. Other times all we hear is crickets. There's no connection at all.

I've had a lot of decks over the years, more than 40 now I think. I have just 20 decks in my collection now. I made a decision to only keep decks that I connect with and can read easily with. Some decks I've had twice, like Shadowscapes Tarot, but they still don't speak to me. This makes me sad because the artwork is beautiful, but the deck isn't for me. Other decks won't shut up, like the Tarot Mucha and the Daniloff Tarot. They are chatty decks and always want to talk to me about a variety of issues.

So, what do you do when you're at the beginning of your journey and have a deck that you just can't connect with?

First let me say this, when you purchase your first deck you do need to work with it for a few months to get to know it. Tarot is an unusual system to learn when you haven't worked with it before. It's different to other types of divination. You need to work with the deck and make an effort to to establish a relationship with it.

The following suggestions are great for those who have just bought their first deck:

  1. Talk to it and welcome it into your home. Ask it to help you to learn how to work with it and how to establish a relationship with it. If you feel confident enough you could do an interview reading with it. I have three spreads available here on the blog. Just use the search box to the right and enter "deck interview".
  2. Some people like to smoke their deck with sage. I don't. I spend time with the deck. I look at each card in turn. I also give it a really really good shuffle.
  3. Some people like to sleep with their new deck under their pillow. I don't. I like to put mine on my altar with a piece of selenite on top of it. Eventually I also make a pouch for it.
  4. Put the book away. Get yourself a notebook to use as a tarot journal. Draw a card every day. Journal it. (Look for a blog post in the future about Tarot Journals).
  5. Don't stress about it. Just be persistent and patient. Don't buy any more decks until you have given this first one at least three months. And remember, everyone does things differently. If something doesn't work for you, then try something else. Don't beat yourself up because some famous Tarot blogger says to do a certain thing. There are no rules here. Work with it as you please and use what works for you.
Usually after doing some of those things something will connect and you'll be off and running. If you're not, then perhaps look at doing the following:
  1. Put your first deck away. Find a deck whose artwork you love and you can't stop thinking about. Aeclectic Tarot have a great list of decks with pictures. Be aware that some of the decks listed are out of print. Purchase that deck.
  2. Go through the steps above to connect with this deck. Spend at least three months with this new deck.
  3. After three months, get the first deck out again. Do an interview spread. Talk to it. Is this deck for you? If you are still unsure then put it away again.
  4. Once again, don't stress or get upset. Sometimes a deck isn't for you. If you are new to Tarot, then I suggest keeping the deck at least 12 months. Take it out periodically and even just shuffle it. See how you feel about it. After 12 months then make a decision. If it's not for you, then consider trading it for a deck that you'd like.
It took me a long time to start to find decks that resonated with me. My oldest deck is 5 years old, the Deviant Moon Tarot (I've been working with Tarot 9 years). I still have this deck only because it is signed by the artist. For me that's special. So I kept it. I get on quite well with this deck. It's not my favourite, but I can read with it fine.

The more that you work with a deck, especially in the beginning of your Tarot journey, the more you will find a connection with it. It does take time to learn the meanings of the cards and what they mean for you. Don't rush it. And certainly don't listen to people who tell you that this is the way it should be done, that you must start with a Rider Waite Smith deck. That's rubbish. You start with whatever deck you are drawn too.

Don't be afraid to try a few different decks. Talk to people about their experiences with decks that you are interested in. Watch some unboxing videos on YouTube. Do your research about decks before purchasing and you will be able to save yourself some money.

I hope this is useful for some of you. Please comment and let me know. What suggestions do you have regarding getting to know a deck?

Decks pictured:
  • Morgan-Greer Tarot (mini in a tin) by Bill Greer, used with permission of U.S. Games Systems. c. 2015. All rights reserved. 
  • The Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck by A.E. Waite & Pamela Colman Smith, used with permission of the Estate of A.E. Waite. c. 1993. All rights reserved.
  • Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans, Copyright 2016 Kim Krans.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Shadow Work: Finding Your Issue

Sorry that this post has taken so long to do. Today we're looking at finding the thing that you need to deal with. Sometimes this can be complicated, and sometimes it's easy. Sometimes it's right in our face. It might be problems regarding religion or finding your path in life, which means that you'd need to work with the Hierophant. Or you might have particular issues in your natal chart. Or you might have no clue. If you don't know where to start, then this will help you today.

Finding Your Issue

Often we don't know what it is that we're meant to be working on healing. We just know that something isn't right, something's out of balance, and that we need to fix it.

You can't fix what you don't know isn't working.

I'm going to share with you a spread that I use with my clients. But first, there are three ways to tackle the first card of this spread:

  1. You can seperate all the Major Arcana out of your deck, or use a Major Arcana only deck,
  2. If you have a Major Arcana card showing up a lot in recent readings you can use that for your first card,
  3. Or you can use the whole deck.
I find that the first and third ways are most effective. The card that needs to turn up in that position will. You just have to trust that it will. Feel free to use any method that works for you though.

The positions are as follows:
  1. What shadow needs to be brought into the light?
  2. How is this shadow affecting me?
  3. What strength is hiding in this shadow?
  4. How can I make this shadow my friend?
  5. What will be the end result of integrating this shadow?
If you're following me on social media then you'll know that I've been having some pretty intense conversations with the Devil of late. When I did this spread for myself he showed up in the first position. I used the whole deck and shuffled as normal. He then would turn up periodically in my personal readings. He was not going to leave me a lone. So I spent some time dealing with him yesterday.

And I'll share that story next week.

Deck Featured: The Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck by A.E. Waite & Pamela Colman Smith, used with permission of the Estate of A.E. Waite. c. 1993. All rights reserved.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Black Lives Matter

I'm a white woman living in Australia. I live in a town that's relatively free of violence. But yet I'm heartbroken over the lives that have been lost recently in America. There's not much that I can say that hasn't already been said.

I want to stand in support with my fellow humans the world over and say that there is a better way. We need to come together and support each other regardless of our differences.

Black lives matter.

Many of my friends are African American. They are wonderful friends and contribute in such a huge way to their local communities and to the online community.

I want to stand with my friends in support and solidarity.

Know that you are loved, you are appreciated, and you are celebrated.

Blessed be.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Deck Interview & Review: The Ellis Deck

I have been eyeing off The Ellis Deck for quite a few months now. I bought the app for my iPhone to see how I liked it. I liked it very much. We got on well. I love the artwork. I found the cards easy to read and seemed to draw relevant cards each time I used it, which is a first with apps for me. I usually don't get on so well with card reading apps.

The Ellis Deck was created by Taylor Ellis, a digital artist. You can find his website here. He uses vector graphics for the artwork, which I just love. The printed deck doesn't have the resolution in the images that the app has, but that doesn't detract from this deck in any way.

This deck reminds me a lot of the Deviant Moon Tarot, and I wonder if Patrick Valenza was an artistic influence for Taylor Ellis. There is no indication of artistic influence in the Instruction Booklet.

This deck is the third edition. It is available in both regular card stock and plastic card stock. I bought the regular card stock for two reasons. The first being money. The second is more complicated. As a green witch I can't justify buying products made of plastic. Unfortunately much of the time I can't avoid it. But when I can I do. And this is one case where I can. I will change my stance on this when they are producing plastic made from hemp.

The quality of the card stock is fine. It is like any regular deck. Because I am a card snob, I prefer the card stock a little thicker. I am rough on my cards and I want them to last. These cards will hold up with regular use. They are the regular size of most Tarot cards. They are very slippery and will fly out everywhere if you choose to shuffle quickly and roughly, like I do.

The deck comes with an A5 sized print out of the Instruction Booklet. He is writing a proper guidebook for the deck, and I'm eagerly awaiting this to be completed and released. The guidebook contains some basic information on reading tarot, along with a couple of spreads that I haven't seen before. I do intend to try them out at some stage.

The card meanings section of the booklet is well done. It's concise but leaves plenty of room for your intuition to work. The Minor Arcana is not done according to suit but starts with the four Aces and finishes with the 16 court cards.

The other thing I like to look at with a deck is what card is placed at Key 8 and at Key 11. He has followed Aliester Crowley in this regard and has Strength at Key 8 and Justice at Key 11. This is the way I prefer it, but it certainly doesn't stop me purchasing a deck if it is the other way around.

I have to admit, I love the images on this deck very much. They remind me of computer game graphics. I could easily live in this deck of cards, especially the suit of Wands, which he has renamed Rods.

The Deck Interview

1. What are you here to teach me? Four of Cups: Sometimes it's okay to not care about something, to feel bored and incomplete. But then you have to get over it. You have to shake yourself up and change your focus onto something that you do care about. Go do that. Wallowing in self-pity is not a good thing to do.

2. What is your first impression of me? Knight of Pentacles: You are thorough, taking your time to make sure things are just so before moving forward. This card is associated with Virgo, and so perfectionism comes to mind here. Yep, it's true.

3. What card depicts or captures the essence of you most closely? Eight of Cups: I'm happy to leave behind what no longer serves me so that I can go deeper into the mysteries of life. I want to teach you to do the same.

4. What type of readings are your forte? Seven of Rods: Standing your ground, standing firm in your convictions. Helping shed light on situations that seem hopeless but where the Querent feels they have to stand their ground.

5. What type of readings would you prefer I consult a different deck for? Five of Rods: Readings that involve confusion and conflict, especially within the Querent.

6. What do you need from me to create a deep and thriving relationship with you? Ace of Swords: be open to new ideas and new possibilities.

7. What Shadow of mine will you bring or try to bring to the surface? Two of Rods: Development of my intuition (says I as I consult the guidebook).

8. Shadow Card (card on bottom of deck): Page of Rods: This is a beginning of a journey. Both the deck and I are adventurers, traveling into unknown realms to bring back sacred knowledge and healing.

My Thoughts

This is going to be a well loved deck. The artwork is unique and the cards are easy to read. You won't see me using this deck in my Etsy shop any time soon though. I'm going to make sure I really get to know this deck well before I consider reading for clients with it.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Tarot: Getting Back to Basics

I have been going through a big internal struggle with The Devil at the moment. This is my current healing work. He has come up a few times now and he certainly needs dealing with. The problem is that each deck I use depicts the Devil differently. None of them are wrong, but the Rider Waite Tarot (RWS) does depict him the best. But this deck has always caused me problems.

This deck was my first deck. I couldn't get over all the Christian imagery. I saw the images as gaudy. Still do. I got rid of my original deck not long after I got it. This one I bought recently. I haven't even done a deck interview with it yet. I bought it purely for study. It is a required deck for a Tarot course that I'm going to do.

But I'm feeling the need to work with it on a personal level. WTF!?!

Going back to the Devil

In the photo above is the Devil card from four of my decks: top left is from the Original Rider Waite, the top right is from the Morgan-Greer mini, the bottom left is from the Wicked Tarot, and the bottom right is from the Bohemian Gothic.

I didn't include the Tarot de Marseille or the Thoth because I didn't want to confuse things and I'm trying to explain why I need to work with the Rider Waite.

All these cards are good depictions of the concept of the Devil. But only the RWS shows the Devil as he really is. The Devil is our shadow selves. He is a part of us. Most of us don't want to admit that. The man and the woman have loose chains around their necks. They are not bound in any other way. It would be a simple thing for them to lift the chains from around their necks, but they choose not to.

What has this got to do with me needing to work with this deck but not wanting to? Everything actually. This card especially draws on a lot of Christian imagery. The Devil is a Christian image. In fact, they invented him to scare everyone into converting to Christianity. Christianity itself is the chains around society's collective neck. For me, there are two cards that represent the church. The Devil and the Hierophant. There are other cards that allude to Christianity, such as The Lovers and Judgement.

It comes back to how I currently see the Devil. I can work with him or get past him if my view of him is wrong. Right now, I see him as the Christian devil. When you've had 35 years of of teaching that the Devil is evil and by leaving the church you are selling your soul to the Devil and going to hell, it's a big ask to have someone tell you that you MUST learn with the RWS Tarot.

I need to reframe how I see the archetypes. And to be honest, I'm not quite sure how to do that.

My current thinking on the matter is that as I work with the cards and study them that they'll show me a different way of viewing them.

Decks featured:

  • Bohemian Gothic Tarot by Alex Ukolov & Karen Mahony, Copyright 2013 Magic Realist Press.
  • Morgan-Greer Tarot (mini in a tin) by Bill Greer, used with permission of U.S. Games Systems. c. 2015. All rights reserved. 
  • The Original Rider Waite Tarot Deck by A.E. Waite & Pamela Colman Smith, used with permission of the Estate of A.E. Waite. c. 1993. All rights reserved.
  • Wicked Tarot by Pamelina H. & Marshall Rossi, © 2016 Wicked Playing Cards