One week into home

Today marks one week my office has been closed. I can check email and messages. I do hope, at the other end of this, that I have a job. I think the future is very much in Flux and the best advice I can manage is, just do today, if you can.

Slade Roberson, of Shift Your Spirits, came close to what I feel, frazzled AF. That was actually the title of his episode. I am a little overwhelmed by the amount of spiritual healing links I’ve received. Right now, I need to manage this anxiety anxiety and readjust to a loose routine. I don’t want smile, do yoga or meditate, at least not now. Maybe I’ll take a walk. I will definitely take a nap this afternoon, don’t kid yourself, stress creeps up and exhausts you.

So, do what you need to, be you. Take care.

Coked-up Squirrel

Two days into the work week and I feel like a coked-up squirrel.

This is the result of having to manage a continuously evolving situation (COVID-19 protocols for a non-profit) a print deadline, and a very Type-A Executive.

Efforts to stay on top of program and scheduling changes resulted in too many emails, and wasted effort. Tuesday was a wash, rinse repeat day. To my credit, I got on top of this early today.

I apologized to my printer for firing a bunch of questions at him. He kindly blamed the current anxiety over COVID-19. I was afraid to tell him, that it’s business as usual at my office since he’s a new vendor.

My general social habits seem to mirror the social distancing we’re asked to undertake, so staying home, reading, listening to music and eating are pretty much my winter norm. I used to berate myself for not being more outgoing, social and involved, but who knew this would actually come in handy?

Today I felt the oppression of anxiety and fear and I have to admit, I was picking it up off of others. Yes, I’m worried about mom in the nursing home, and want to do my part in my community, but right now, and THIS IS FOR YOU TOO, those of us who have studied metaphysical, spiritual, magical paths, need to practice that self-care we’re always telling others to do.

So drag out your relaxation tapes/CDs/YouTube Videos and breath.

And for something different (It’s St. Patrick’s Day) here is a YouTube video of the Three Irish Tenors singing Too Ra LooRa LooRa

And now, back to our show…

Life took a unexpected turn early in 2019.*

Basically, I’m still stalking the divine and looking for some type of like-minded community. Shout-out to the soul sister who suggested I just start my own, online.

So this is a toe-hold in that direction.

I found a great Tarot spread and courtesy of Lindsay Mack at Tarot for the Wild Soul. Check her podcast and sign up for her newsletter.

Holding ourselves through Fear.

This is a six card spread.

Holding through Fear

  1. A message from my anxiety, worry or fear
  2. How can I sit with this experience?
  3. What are these feelings inviting me to pay attention to?
  4. How might I tend to these feelings and care-take them?
  5. What is the evolutionary invitation under the fear?
  6. What card can help me to simultaneously hold the fear, and leap into soul growth at the same time?

I read the cards left to right, but then PAIRED them: 1 & 4,   2 & 5,   3 & 6.

  1. The Wheel
  2. 21 The World, reversed
  3. 8 Strength, reversed
  4. 2 of Cups, reversed
  5. 8 of Pentacles, reversed
  6. 6 of Pentacles

I used the DruidCraft Deck** for this reading.

Right off the bat, I can see that my fear/anxiety is part of a cycle – it will turn around (but can also come back) But, that’s life, right? I’m looking for a way to navigate this, and I totally hate uncertainty.

So, next card is The World, reversed. No surprise there are so many reversals in this reading, given that my fear is all the changes in life – uncertainty. How can I sit with this? The world seems upside down at this time, am I feeling this? Can my spirituality and practices ground me? What do I see from my upside down perspective? The World reversed reminds me of The Hanged Man. What can I learn from that?

Third card is Strength, reversed. What does this invite me to pay attention to? Maybe…at this time, my strength is drained. Should I invite strength into my life through self-care? something else? Music, relaxation. I have to think about this.

Card four should answer that question – 2 of Cups reversed. well, my cups certainly feel drained and I’m not terribly social to begin with. Maybe…I need to invite in, the energy of the two of Cups.

What is this fear inviting me to do, as an evolutionary step? Eight of Pentacles reversed. This is card of working on my craft, but reversed says….maybe a little too much? Maybe I need to look at this – is it benefiting me?

The sixth card, finally an UPRIGHT one – is the six of Pentacles, a card of generosity, but also a caution. It’s important to find the balance of giving and receiving – especially in a reading where being drained seems to be a part of the message. But, it’s also important to know when to ask for help.

Pairing cards 1 & 4 = Things change and I can’t let that throw me off the game. Or off the Wheel of life. Isolating myself, while ok for a bit, can ultimately cause more harm than good.

Pairing 2 & 5 = Both are reversals, Getting tied up in knots over work – whatever that “work” may be – causes paralysis. Get out of my head, or step away from the situation and gain some perspective.

Pairing 3 & 6 = Sometimes the answer to anxiety is to reach out to other people, either through service (a giving) if I am able, or in order to just receive the kindness and human interaction that comes from a social event.

I need to sit with this reading for awhile in order to find some actions to take to stem my own anxiety. This reading feels pretty accurate for where I am at the moment. I’ve used this spread twice and so far, it’s read easily and seems to offer a course of action.

 

*My 39 year-old step daughter died unexpectedly.  She lived out-of-state, so the trauma was compounded by police showing up after dark to tell us. There’s a lot to unpack from that and it’s still going on – grieving and questions and pain. That’s overshadowed a good bit of my life. It’s a footnote to this post but not a footnote to my life.

 

** Love this deck. There are three decks that I do not read reversals with: Thoth, Wildwood and Everyday Witch. <– love this Everyday Witch deck for it’s whimsy. The other two are my badass decks that I read for myself with.

Samhain Ancestor Prayer

from thought.co.com

This is the night when the gateway between
our world and the spirit world is thinnest.
Tonight is a night to call out those who came before.
Tonight I 
honor my ancestors.
Spirits of my fathers and mothers, I call to you,
and welcome you to join me for this night.
You watch over me always,
protecting and guiding me,
and tonight I thank you.
Your blood runs in my veins,
your spirit is in my heart,
your memories are in my soul.

With the gift of remembrance.
I remember all of you.
You are dead but never forgotten,
and you live on within me,
and within those who are yet to come.

On the edge of hysteria…

Saturday I felt compelled to (again) work sigil magick. I was focused, the work came to me very easily, and yet while I was composing the sigil, I felt an edge of hysteria.

I left my paper sit overnight.

Was this working in error, I wondered? Was my fear pushing the work? If I waiting till my emotions abated, would I lose the momentum?

I tucked it away under my goddess statue. If I couldn’t figure it out, she surely could.

And this is where I stand lately, on the mental plane of balancing the very real visceral fear/response to the injustice I see – the misogyny, the greed and unfettered cruelty – and adding in magical work to my activism.

Is it my ego or is a need?

Yesterday I felt the focused calmness I expect, and confidently burned my sigil, in the garden, in front of the goddess grotto I created. It may be my last outside working, Ohio weather being quite fickle.

I don’t have a point to this post, except to try and stay with the blogging. The hysteria though, was a new thing. I am giving myself a time-out from the news/social media stuff, but reminding everyone to vote. Call your reps, be heard.

For years, I kept my mouth shut – it’s how I was raised – kids are seen and not heard, good girls do or don’t, that’s not how a lady acts – and I see how easy it is to dismiss people like me. The ones who follow the rules, who step aside, who suck it up, who put others first.

I’m not advocated being a jerk – and there are people in my life who will always be first in my heart.

But I also see how those who have an agenda can use this to pat us on the head, and move on with their cruelty/environmental destruction/control.

So, if you have a magical practice, I encourage you to discover an activist activity.

If you’re an activist and can add your magical practice to help you and your cause, go for it.

This is the time to step up and step out.

We’re not going to take this, anymore.

Is the Otherworld bleeding through?

I was totally jealous when I read John Beckett’s excellent column The Otherworld is Bleeding Through

On Patheos.com. If you’ve followed this blog or my prior attempts at blogging, you know I stalk the divine. Relentlessly.

So hearing about experiences of the otherworld bleeding through more and more often inspired the typical response. “Sh*t. Why not me?”

Then I remembered this weird thing from last summer.

John and I were sitting in the backyard last summer. It was a Sunday morning, early enough that the sun was up, but still a lot of shadows cast from our house and trees. I saw this brilliant red/orange thing in one of the maples. We were maybe 10 feet away. I thought it was a kid’s balloon stuck there till I saw it move. John saw it too, wondering if someone’s exotic bird escaped. The plumage was so brilliant – was the sun catching the feathers at some angle that made it…glow? Both of us remarked on how big this bird was.

We didn’t want to scare it into flight, so we moved slowly under the tree’s canopy, maneuvering around to get a better look. And what we saw was….a cardinal. A regular size cardinal.

Sounds like we were drinking, right? We weren’t. We genuinely saw a big(ger than a cardinal) red/orange bird. Yet here we were faced with a common but lovely dark red cardinal.
We laughed of course, sort of anyway.

And now I wonder if this was my own experience of the Otherworld bleeding through. It reminds me how subtle spirit energy is, and how often I have dismissed coincidences.  If I *saw* a large orange/red bird, does that explain how people have *seen* other mythical beings? I will be on the look out for more of these bleed throughs.

 

Candles or Crystals? Candles AND Crystals

(It’s been forever since I’ve written: mom was hospitalized for two weeks then moved to a nursing home, where she’s doing much better. I had a filling and ended up with double vision and visit to the ER. Husband had prostate issues. And then there’s the ongoing political situation in the USA, I am doing my part in calling, fundraising and taking action for a better future in line with the ideals of Liberty, Justice for all and compassion over cruelty and greed. )

I love to light candles. They’re my go-to for honoring deity or spirit, for magick, for meditating and for setting the mood.

more candles

I’ve used votives, pillars, and the kind that come in jars.

The downside for me, is that I normally do my woo woo before I get ready for work, then halfway to work I worry I left a lit candle in the house. This probably speaks to my need to be fully present at all times as well as trusting myself that I did indeed, extinguish the flame.

Soooooooooo many times I’ve turned around and gone home and the candles weren’t lit.

Do you trust lit 7 day candles when you leave the house? This is not a problem outside and it’s obviously summer here in Ohio. I can’t wrap my head around leaving a lit candle in the house while I’m gone.

My current solution is to exchange candles for appropriately colored stones. Fortunately, my husband has gifted me with several wands and pillars that stand upright and serve as taper candles.

minerals
Not my stash, but pretty close.

But I’m not picky – I have bowls of stones that can serve in place of candles. Thanks to Melody’s epic “Love is in the Earth” I have a ready reference for qualities that I may want to incorporate into my intentions as I work.

Love is in the earth

I currently have a pie plate of small candles for a special intention – it’s outside for now- but I want to keep this work going for a year. It may end up in my basement as the most safe spot for it, even though it’s lit for less than 30 minutes at time. As long as I don’t set off the fire alarm. I probably won’t….

Best case on these workings (for me) is to use both outside when I can, for as long as I can, as well as the garden and mother nature. But come winter I may move exclusively to candles unless the working is on the weekend when I can be present the entire burn.

19095310_10156305947368275_5939865369246228343_o

Mystical Cruise: August 3, 2018

Pittsburgh peeps! Ronda is reading on this cruise. Plus what a great evening!

Modern Oracle Archives

The popular Mystical Cruise is back….

They say any place where three rivers meet is sacred and spiritual. Come explore the beauty of the river and the beauty of your inner world with some of Pittsburgh’s leading pyschics, tarot readers and palm readers.

Hosted by Pittsburgh Luxury Cruises, the evening starts with a cocktail hour at 7:00 pm followed by cruise on the water from 8:00 to 10:00 pm. Your evening includes two psychic gallery readings, cash bar, finger foods, and individual sessions with the mystical guides as time permits

Tickets are $39.99 and available at https://fareharbor.com/pittsburghwaterlimo/items/76125/

Mystical Guides for August 3 include:

Psychic Mike, Rev. Margorie Kain, Erika Taylor, Ronda Snow, Cara and Micael, and Madame Truska

I hope to see you there!

Lockwall One Marina, #2 23rd Street, Pittsburgh

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House of Cray-Cray

 

Astrology fascinates me, but I am intimated by it too. Years ago, I had a couple charts done by ARE (Edgar Cayce Foundation) and poured over them. A friend with astrology interests told me that a natal chart can show you what your potential is, and went on to talk about the different schools of astrology. I tried to read about it, but got lost in the trines and sextiles and gave up.

So of course now this astrology  interest resurfaces through a new podcast I’m obsessed with, WitchDoctorate by Renee Watts. (shout out to Ryan Singer’s mindcast “Me and Paranormal You” where I found Renee.) Both pods are on iTunes.

I was sharing astrology stuff this with a friend, about signs and the twelve houses, and she said “well, things are just crazy AF right now, where is that?”

And so the House of Cray-Cray was discovered.

Losing your perspective? You’re in a Cray-Cray Transit. Feeling in a funk and things aren’t going well? It’s a Cray-Cray Retrograde.

No more “House of the Rising Sun.” Make House of the Rising Cray-Cray” your go-to astrology sign.

 

Cultural Appropriation

Michael Harner, who trailblazed core shamanism, recently crossed over. This sparked a flurry of debate online over the benefit of core shamanism vs shamanism within its cultural settings, and hey, what about all those weekend workshops?

Almost five years ago, I took a workshop with a semi-local teacher, which grew into a monthly study group, led by another woman who studied with a non-local teacher. We started as a group of twelve, then over time, we each would lead a class. And last year, down to five people, I gave it up. If it sounds like the teachings were watered-down, well, that’s something I wondered about too.

My reasons for leaving were clear to me. I was bringing poor energy to the group and getting little out of it. If you’ve been part of any kind of circle, you know these things tend to wane over time, or atrophy.  But the bigger picture for me, became that without some kind of cultural framework, the study had become pretty dry, or in some cases, pretty ego-driven.

And so I watched the Michael Harner tributes/dismissals with interest because it was mirroring a discussion on cultural appropriation taking place in many spiritual circles and if you follow sports, in the area of logos and team names.

Can we draw from other cultures respectfully, if we don’t have any cultural underpinnings to frame our spirituality? I struggle here. Most of my family emigrated from Ireland in the 19th Century and were Catholic. But one of dad’s ancestors was born in Massachusetts in 1790. I perceive the land spirits as Native American. I honor my ancestors as they asked, by saying a rosary and lighting candles in the monastery for them. But I’ve never connected with the angelic realm (that I know of). I have connected with animal spirits, thanks to the techniques of core shamanism (journeying).  I practice witchcraft. I blend what works for me, but make no claims of any special lineage, so it did not sit too well when someone said drumming was cultural appropriation from NA and no one else may use it.

Honestly, I rarely talk about how I come to my spirituality. There have been some really derisive comments about who can practice what kind of spirituality. Maybe this is why the Mystery Schools were just that – selective and secretive. And maybe there shouldn’t be weekend workshops that award certificates, with the expectation the graduate will be able to charge money and claim a certain skill.

What do you do, in America, when your ancestors came here and were so eager for their kids to blend into their new society? You study what you can, and ask your ancestors for guidance, I guess. Yet, isn’t there something to be said for working with the land you are living on? If I connect to the trees and indigenous spirits in my town, am I appropriating what is not mine?

That’s rhetorical, because I’m going to do what works for me as I am guided (at nearly 60) yet it’s a fair question when people spin the wheel of spiritual paths and seek to connect to a culture that they may or may not be a (blood-related) part of. Who is their elder, who is able to kindly direct them to a proper and respectful study of something? Unless a seeker is very discerning they either shunned and derided for inquiring, or sucked into a marketing pyramid scheme.

My opinion, as a kindness, is if you feel someone is out of line, take them aside and explain what their transgression is, and how they can remedy it. Don’t shame and deride them, or worse, talk about it behind their backs as they continue to err. Online, use that DM feature and set the record straight, for all concerned. If your path is important to you, and it should be, show it, and yourself, some respect.