How to give and receive unconditional love

“If you wish for the light, make yourself ready to receive the light.”

~ Rumi

I grew up in an environment where the tension between love and fear was so strong it could split a room in two. My parents loved me very much, but their fear of something bad happening to me was just as great. Naturally, they did everything they could to protect me from the dangers of the world and to make sure I studied hard and made good grades.

I soon learned that if I wanted their affection and goodwill, I should be cautious, restrained, high-achieving, and amenable. For a very long time, I was mostly all of these things; there were times when the house of cards came crumbling down, but I mainly stuck to the script. Honestly, it served me well in a lot of ways: it kept me out of trouble, in the top ten percent of my class, and it opened the door to many opportunities I genuinely desired.

An unintended consequence of this upbringing, however, was that I began to associate love with the performance of these virtues. Essentially, love was contractual — quid pro quo. As I began building relationships outside of the nuclear family, I found I could agree to the terms of this contract for six months or so. At that point, everything I’d been hiding and suppressing would begin trickling up from my subconscious, making me hip to the coming flood. Rather than be exposed and rejected for who I truly was, I’d leave first, and the other party was often left reeling in the wake of such a swift and baffling decision.

At a certain point, it occurred to me that the price of love was too great: I simply had to give up too much of myself in order to be accepted. Eventually, I stopped giving love away, and when it was offered to me, I turned it down more often than not. I fortified my dam and kept my true self from view. Unbeknownst to me, my fear of love began eating me from the inside out, killing my capacity for pleasure and disconnecting me from everything that was truly important.

One warm, sunny day last August, I was sitting in a park watching my daughter play. It had recently been announced that she still wouldn’t be returning to school, and I was trying to wrap my head around the logistics of balancing virtual learning and work and a happy home environment. I decided to give up my musing and allowed myself to be lulled into quietude by the dulcet tones of Alan Watts. Masked children were buzzing around me like happy bees, and I felt my ego melt away to make room for a deeper, broader, wider consciousness to enter. Suddenly, my dam cracked open: the torrent of who I was came rushing forth, and the universe held space for it. I felt held and accepted and loved and in divine union with everything around me.

I now know the meaning of the phrase “watershed moment”: there is a dividing line between what came before that late summer day in the park and what’s come ever since. And I think it happened because I’d spent so long in the desert of love that I no longer knew “Myself”. Really, there was nothing left to protect, and so love was no longer a danger. And every experience since then (some gentle and expansive, others frightening and challenging) has been a lesson in the art of receiving.

When we release our fears around worthiness and acceptance, we’re welcomed by an endless bounty of goodwill that perpetually gives and asks nothing in return. In order to receive unconditional love, we must stop questioning whether or not we or others deserve it. We must know in our bones that it is ours whenever we choose to let it in. It is ours to give and receive when we’re able to say “I’m enough.”

xoxo Jessi

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How to Stay Committed to Daily Spiritual Practice

Crafting a daily spiritual practice is one thing. Staying committed to that daily practice is another.

If you’re anything like me and every person I know, you have the best intentions when it comes to making self-loving changes in your daily habits. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to develop a daily spiritual/affirmational routine, and despite knowing this, so few of us actually find ourselves consistently showing up to engage in our self-care ritual du jour.

It doesn’t have to be this way, Beauties. You deserve your daily spiritual practice. And if you’re willing to think outside the box and hold yourself accountable, transformative daily moments can be yours.

WRITE IT DOWN

Get out your planner, journal, digital scheduler et. al. and reserve a spot for spiritual practice every day. It may seem totally unnecessary, but I assure you, it’s not.

When we write things down in our planner, we create a visual representation of our intentions. Call me crazy, but planning something is a lot like writing a spell–if you put it out there, you program yourself to go after it.

BE FLEXIBLE

Woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Got up late? Straight-up didn’t feel like it? There’s no reason to throw the baby out with the bath water. Take a mindful moment during your lunch break or reserve ten minutes before you go to bed to chat with your guides.

You don’t have to do the same thing at the same time every day to get the benefits of spiritual practice; you only have to find a small chunk of time to check in and adjust your mindset. Speaking of variety…

CHANGE THINGS UP

If you feel like you’re going through the motions, your mantra’s outdated, or you’re flat-out uninspired, change things up to get the spark back. Novelty is proven to ignite our curiosity and get us excited again, and there’s no reason why we can’t apply that mentality to what we do on the daily.

And finally…

WRITE IT DOWN (AGAIN)

Keep a record of your spiritual escapades in the form of a book of mirrors or spiritual journal. This can help you process the messages you received, take stock of what works (and what doesn’t), and remember what you worked through. I’ve found my book of mirrors to be an incredible resource on my spiritual journey–whenever I feel a bit “bleh” about my practice, I flip through and find something interesting to try again or improve on.

Much Love, and Happy Witching!

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Conscious Creativity Tarot Spread

When I arrange my altar for readings and ritual, I mentally prepare myself for the work I’m about to do.

Each crystal is chosen according to an intuitive feeling or a particular correspondence. The incense I burn is done so for a specific purpose. I place my tools where I do for practical, magickal, and aesthetic reasons. In other words, nothing is done by accident, and the end product is the result of conscious creativity–making art or artifice with a very specific outcome or intention in mind.

I’ve lately taken to thinking about the relationship between intention and creation, and how well my content reflects what I believe and value. Given that my work and my spirituality are so deeply intertwined, I feel that I have a responsibility to accurately represent who I am and what I do to the people I’m looking to serve–in other words, it would be ethically suspect of me to present a public image of myself that bears no resemblance to who I actually am.

It would be ethically suspect of me to present a public image of myself that bears no resemblance to who I actually am.

Even though I’ve been cogitating on this topic for a fair few weeks, a Facebook post by a witchy sister catalyzed them into cohesion. She mentioned the proliferation of stylized photos in social media and how they sometimes present a false representation of a persons’ lifestyle. Posts accompanied by images of elaborately arranged scenes that infer that little to no effort went into their creation are openly deceptive, and they narrow the scope of what spirituality “looks like.” Her thoughts hit home and led me to reflect on my own approach to stylization and the part it plays in my professional and spiritual life. Through this reflection, I was able to come to some really interesting conclusions about why and wherefore I carefully curate and cultivate my content–something, it turns out, I really needed to explore.

Each of us chooses which parts of ourselves we share with the world whether we’re active on social media or not.

Becoming a genuine expression of who we are is the work of a lifetime, and closing the gap between who we are intrinsically and the image of self we present to the world is noble work. So much of what I do with my clients is in the service of helping them move into their most resonant expression because it isn’t always easy to be transparent, genuine, and authentic. There’s pressure on all sides to do and be all manner of things, and not all of those things resonate with who we truly are. Our spiritual practice is the safe space where we can explore questions of identity and to discover what’s important and meaningful to us. Conscious creation is the active expression of our spirituality and our genuine self, and if we conform to a practice or an image that doesn’t ring true, we’ve lost the plot.

Because slinging cards is what I do, I’ve created a spread to help you stay true to your unique vision and inspiration as a self creator and a creator of beautiful, meaningful things.

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  1. Mind the Gap: insight into the disconnect between who I am intrinsically and who I present to the world.
  2. Discernment: how might I be more attentive when it comes to the choices I make? How can I make more resonant, authentic choices?
  3. Fear Factor: what doubts or fears prevent me from expressing myself in a way that speaks to who I am? In what ways do I compromise the best parts of myself?
  4. The Verve: how can I facilitate a deeper connection with the “why” behind what I do? How might I better serve and reflect my core values and beliefs?

I have a lot of thoughts on this topic, and if you’re interested in the intersection of image and self and how that applies to spirituality and self-expression, check out Conscious Creation as a Sacred Act.

 

And if this is something you’ve personally struggled with and you’d like guidance on how to create and live more consciously and genuinely, I can help.

So Much Love and Happy Cardslinging,

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Surviving A Spiritual Slump

Do you live, eat, breathe, and sleep moon phases? Are you able to meditate, perform ritual, do yoga, commune with your deities, and sage that shit on the daily? Are you constantly on your spiritual A-game with no signs of stopping or slipping away from the woo?

If so, I applaud you–you are the Super-Human New-Age Goddess we all revere and aspire to be.

If you’re a professed human being like myself, however, chances are that you fall out of touch with your inner-divine from time to time. In the woo community, this disconnection is generally referred to as a “spiritual slump,” and even though it’s incredibly natural and common, it causes many stress and concern.

So, what should we do if the flatline of spiritual malaise begins to sneak up on us? 

Attitudes vary. Some claim that periods of disconnection are part and parcel to the spiritual journey and that we should just ride them out while enjoying the beauty of the moment. Others recommend going through the motions until you (inevitably) reconnect with your practice. Still others claim that spiritual slumps are an indication that it’s time to move beyond current spiritual practice and experiment with new approaches and ideologies.

 

But what if none of these approaches works for you? What if you can’t shake yourself out of a slump and you can’t release your attachment to spiritual practice?

I was an atheist for the better part of a decade. You could say I “lost my religion” at the ripe age of fourteen–I wasn’t too keen on the patriarchal conception of God and I was far too logical, literal, and green to consider working with an archetypal pantheon. Instead, I took up the banner of nihilism and existentialism, and although it was something to believe in, it left me feeling empty, isolated, and hopeless.

This is no way to be. And I have the sneaking suspicion that these feelings prompt many to experiment with woo even though they don’t consider themselves particularly spiritual.

When I finally reconnected with this aspect of myself and rediscovered my place in the glorious All that is the universe, I was intoxicated by the feeling it gave me. Having lived a life apart for so long, all I desired was to prolong this oneness, this union. But, like so many things, this deep spirituality ebbs and flows, and the first time it ebbed, I have to admit that I was fairly devastated.

Spiritual slumps suck. And however true it may be, “this too shall pass” offers little comfort in the moment.

I feared that I was losing it again and that I would never get it back. I did all the things–performed ritual even though it no longer resonated, experimented with new approaches and ideologies, I consulted the tarot, and I tried to accept my slump period and take advantage of the opportunities it afforded me. Nothing seemed to help–I still felt lost and disconnected. And then, something wonderful happened–I felt my spirituality returning. I tried to pinpoint what had caused the shift, but I eventually realized that everything had caused it.

Ultimately, it was my dedication to being spiritual and living a spiritual life that brought the feeling back to me.

Even when I was sad and despairing, I persevered in living my truth, working my shadowpracticing compassion and forgiveness, spending time at my altar and receiving guidance and counsel from those who’ve been through similar experiences. Each of us works through our spiritual slumps in our own way, and if we truly wish for a deepened connection with the divine, we’ll have it.

So, how do you survive a spiritual slump? Hold space for yourself. Seek guidance and support from those you trust. And never give up hope that you’ll find your way back.

Much Love, Seekers,

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How I Learned to Embrace my “Clair”

I believe in science.

For decades it was the divine masculine to my literary divine feminine. The idea that one can’t legitimately assert something without measurable proof is comforting, humbling, and rewarding–if you want anyone to respect your ideas, you’re going to have to do the work to convince them that you aren’t just pulling this stuff out of your ass. And when you do the research and make your observations, you discover a breathtaking explanation for why the world works the way it does and set your audience up for mind-blowing moments.

I love having my mind blown by science. It happens less and less these days, but when it does, my inner smile comes out. It’s a holy experience and I hit my knees at the altar and revel in the beauteous construction of the cosmos.

This is precisely why I’m feeling a bit uneasy these days. As I’ve completely opened myself up to the “woo,” my experiences are less and less rooted in the rational world. Things are beginning to happen that I can’t quite explain, and even stranger, I don’t want to try to explain them. 

Blasphemous, but true.

As a tarot reader, I pride myself on my groundedness: my readings are firmly centered within psychological tradition, I read to provide insight on the present circumstance and not the future, and I don’t channel spirits in my readings. Honestly, I didn’t even believe in the existence of spirits until a dear friend told me he saw them all the time. 

The strange thing is, the more open I’ve become about my profession and spiritual leanings, the more open others have become about the role woo plays in their lives.

These are folks who’ve hidden this side of themselves from me for our entire relationship, and it’s led me to the following questions: “Are we more woo than we commonly let on? How many of us adhere to beliefs that defy nature and science? How many of us experience things we can’t possibly explain? What does that mean for who we are and how we view the world?”

I’ve been feeling my claircognizance, y’all. I just had to come out and say it before I rambled on for another half page as a stalling tactic. It’s something that I’ve been dabbling with since I worked with Tarot as a Tool for Craft and it’s become far more prevalent in my tarot readings than I anticipated. There are things I simply know about a situation without any definitive information to support it, and I can’t adequately explain where the knowledge is coming from. I don’t hear voices other than my inner voice, but sometimes it says things that seem random and unprompted given the card and the position.

Sometimes, it seems, I feel my clients–I latch on to their energy and perspective and gain greater insight as far as their obstacles and options are concerned. 

Considering that I do a majority of my readings online and that some of my clients are hundreds of miles away, this is weird to me, but I’m learning to question it less and embrace it more in the service of my clients.

Honestly, it’s a question of integrity: “Should I silence these messages simply because I don’t know where they’re coming from?” To work around this problem, I attach a disclaimer to these insights: “I’m no medium, but this came through pretty strong, so I thought that I’d include it here.” I never make a guarantee that any predictions will come up in a reading because I pride myself on the legitimacy of my business and in no way do I want to promise anything I don’t feel confident I can deliver.

Yet, I don’t want to limit myself in terms of the guidance I provide, nor do I want to silence my intuition because I can’t figure out a way for it to “make sense.”

Even so, my left brain tells me that I’m fabricating it, that the incense is going to my head, that I’m projecting my own experience onto that of my clients’, that something in the tone of the question tipped me off, that I’m so familiar with the dynamic interplay of human relationships that I unconsciously manifested the message as a result of the information given to me…the list is endless. And no matter how often I try to convince myself that there’s nothing mystical going on here, I just don’t feel like any explanation measures up.

Feeling. That’s the precise sense that’s throwing me for a loop, that’s asserting that all logical explanations are falling short.

It’s always been there, this intuition, and I’ve always been fighting its existence.

It never made me feel comfortable. It made me feel more terror than humility. And it felt much more ominous and foreboding than any reward I ever received. But its mystery, its attraction, its thoughtless knowledge never ceased to intrigue me. Even now as I pen these words, I feel uncomfortable–have I revealed to much? Have I delegitimized my practice? Have I allowed my inner witch too much leeway? I think not. And as I continue on this path of spirit and in my practice of tarot, I secretly wish for more of this unknown, more of what can’t be explained. I wish to revel in the beauteous mystery–not construction–of the cosmos.

Much Love Fellow Seekers and Cardslingers,

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Transitional Healing Tarot Spread

I’ve been a witch for three years now. Before that, I was a proud atheist, but I was still trying to discover the meaning of life and find my place in the vast web of existence. And way back in space and time when I was a child who maybe/probably believed in god, I wondered what eternity would feel like when I arrived. Honestly, I doubted its “promised land” branding. In short, I’ve always been the sort that struggles with the fundamental questions, and this trait has made me…”sensitive.” “Difficult.” “Deep.” “Overreactive.”

Change has always been a challenge. Letting things go? A damn-near impossibility. Sometimes, it feels like the pop psychology term “baggage”was created with me in mind. The adrenaline rushes that overwhelmed me in times of fear, pain, and crisis burned those experiences into my brain, and try as I might, I could never quite erase them. This is still something I must address on a continual basis; my awareness makes it possible to introduce the coping mechanisms I’ve developed to stop the “wheel of darkness” from careening down the side of the mountain. It’s safe to say that at this point in the journey, I’m a master at psycho-spiritual damage control, and I couldn’t be more grateful that I’ve reached a level of awareness that makes it possible for me to attend to the needs of my unique, beautiful mind. And as I write this, I meditate on the Wheel of Fortune and express this triumph with the utmost humility and reverence for the unknown path ahead and all that it may bring.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, I salute you, fellow shadow walker. I hold space for you and all that you’ve encountered and endured. To have a sensitive heart and a metaphysical mind is a wonderful gift, but it’s also a great burden. Everything means something. Nothing goes unnoticed. And through a boundless curiosity the sheer will of contemplation, not much stays hidden either. Harmful words flippantly expressed tend to stick to you like nuclear melted cheese–no matter how hard you shake, it ain’t coming off until it’s good and ready. And even so, it takes a huge effort to make sure every last bit has been accounted for and removed. Years may pass without thought or mention of a traumatic experience only for a random trigger to rear its ugly head and send you careening back into the mouth of the beast. What do you do? How do you prepare for something you can’t anticipate? And once you’ve relapsed, how do you dig yourself out again?

I crafted a spread this morning. It came from the depths of my soul, from my heart and my head’s best intentions. That may sound hyperbolic, but it’s true. I took this spread for a spin and the reading was absolutely amazing–clear, purgative, intuitive, revealing, comforting. I want to share this with you because I’m fairly confident it will help. It’s no pony ride (but let’s be real–when have I ever written “pony ride” spreads?), but most honest things aren’t. But if you’re ready, it’s waiting.

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1. What is the primal source of my deepest pain and suffering?

2. What must I release as I prepare to re-establish agency and sovereignty?

3. How do I let go of the pain of the past, once and for all?

4. What does my inner child need to feel safe and cared for?

5. What boundaries do I need to draw in order to feel happy and healthy?

6. What can I do to hold space for others’ unique personalities and needs? How can I be more understanding?

7. How can I address triggers that cause me pain, but I cannot avoid or control?

8. Oracle message of love and support.

I wish you the best in each and every one of your journeys towards healing.

Much Love,

Jessi

If you’d like guidance and support from a lady who’s been on the front lines, book this reading with me.

Exploring the Mind/Body Connection in Tarot

My husband got sick five days ago. It didn’t worry me–I don’t automatically get sick just because he does, and I felt absolutely fine. A few evenings later, however, my nose began to run. About a half-second later, I felt my body slacken and weaken. Goddammit, I thought. I don’t have time to be sick right now. I poured myself a cup of respiratory health tea, threw a blanket over my head and breathed in the goodness. I’ll be fine by tomorrow.

At precisely 3:40 AM, I awoke to an unbearable pounding in my sinuses. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t sleep. I dampened a towel with water and some Lavender essential oil and threw it in the microwave. Once I had the compress on my face, I began thinking. And thinking. It wasn’t the good kind of thinking, mind you, but the freakin’ nine of swords kind of thinking. By 4 AM, I’d convinced myself that I was dying of skin cancer. I picked up my phone and began scrolling through photos online, trying to find one that confirmed my diagnosis. I knew that it was completely useless to act this way and that all I was doing was fueling anxiety that would keep me from sleeping. I couldn’t seem to stop, however. I continued compulsively surfing the web until I’d given up on answers and was so exhausted I didn’t have a choice.

Hypochondria is certainly a condition that I’m known to exhibit, but only under severe duress. If my health is in good working order, I’m not carried away by compulsions or irrational thought. As soon as I’m in an overwhelming physical or psychological state, however, it’s as if the levee breaks and all hell rushes forth. This got me thinking about the mind/body connection, and how important it is for us to nurture both systems if we want to maintain a general sense of health and wellbeing. And this got me thinking about…tarot, of course!

The pip cards do an awesome job of illustrating this mind/body connection, which is why we need to give these cards their due in terms of attention. Now, don’t get me wrong–a lot of majors in a reading certainly does indicate that something huge is afoot, but it’s the pips that help us break it down into single serving portions of understanding. When the six of wands appears in a reading, for example, I’m likely to interpret it as an indication of stress in the most physical sense of the term–a prolonged adrenaline reaction that causes anxiousness, sensitivity, clamminess…the list goes on. Determining the stressor is a great first step, but taking some viable action is necessary in terms of getting your stress back under control. How do you do that? It’s easy for a tarot reader to say, “Do work that makes you feel empowered, not stressed.” “Your relationship with your mother triggers you? Maybe you should stay away from her for a while.””The cards indicate that this relationship isn’t working out. Perhaps you should consider moving on.” These are all amazing suggestions, and given the situation, may be exactly what the doctor ordered. However, many of these are likely to increase stress, especially in the short-term. In the interim, treating the body may be your best bet in terms of stress reduction. Meditation is a statistically proven way of relieving stress regardless of the existence of stressors in a person’s life. Likewise, exercise is known to lessen the effects of depression by half. And yoga…don’t even get me started on yoga.

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As a metaphysical practitioner, I help others navigate the landscape of their subconscious so they can reach clarity in terms of what’s happening (and in rare cases, what may happen) in their lives. But the truth of the matter is that there’s so much more in terms of wellness that must be addressed in order to make major headway. Therefore, when cards like the six of wands come up, I may suggest a more physical stress relief technique (of course, only those I practice and have greatly benefitted from). Likewise, when a card such as the nine of wands appears, it’s an indication of physical exhaustion, and prioritization of responsibilities and activities is in order (read: your body need some rest).

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On the flip side of the coin, the King, nine, and ten of pentacles are indicative of comfort and vibrant health. I mean, they’re practically wearing blankets–these lords and ladies know how to take care of themselves. Given the question, their appearance in a spread may mean that the querent would greatly benefit from a spa day. Literally. Physical relaxation breeds psycho-spiritual contentment and vice-versa. One rarely exists without the other.

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Now, I’m no doctor (as my ethics very clearly state!), but I’ve been around for thirty two years and in that time, I’ve learned a thing or two about the body. And given that I draw from both my personal experience and scientific research, I find know qualms with suggesting a meditation session within a tarot reading. If a client mentions that he/she has recently stopped exercising and my reading indicates that this is an issue, my interpretation will most likely include actionable advice about getting moving again. Why? Because it’s good advice. And I have enough practice and experience in tarot reading to know how to do this lovingly, gently, and productively, and how to connect it to the psycho-spiritual issues that led her to consult me in the first place. I figure that if one client in ten is inspired to view her situation more holistically, the suggestions are well worth it. Sometimes, all it takes is the right combination of word choice and context to make something real to a person. And if that word choice and context comes through one of my readings, more the better.

Much Love,

Jessi

Tarot and the Craft: How I Use the Cards in My Spiritual Practice

Hello, Beautiful People.

For those who don’t know (although my blog is positively dripping with evidence), I’m a witch. Generally speaking, it means I’m a crystal-loving, goddess-worshipping, intention-manifesting practitioner of the craft. For me, it also means that I’m a yoga-practicing, mantra-chanting meditator. Anyone who identifies as a witch knows that there are as many forms of witchcraft as there are witches, and that the collective elements of an individual’s unique practice are vast and varied enough that you could write a book on it. Thankfully for all of us, I’m not quite that ambitious today. What I would like to share with you, however, are the ways in which I incorporate tarot into my spiritual practice. Feel free to try and share as you see fit!

Intention-Setting

Part and parcel of being a witch is defining what you want and using physical and metaphysical means to bring it into being. When I’m having trouble defining my intentions (read: I’m confused af), I bring my tarot deck to my altar and throw down some cards. Sometimes, I create sacred space with a spread in mind (this one’s great for intention-setting). Others, I shuffle until I feel ready and I pull cards one by one, taking note of what they seem to be telling me in light of my circumstances. I mention that I do this in ritual because it’s instrumental for me in terms of finding clarity when I’m confused–a more casual tarot environment failed to provide answers, and I need to get into an alpha head-space so I’m more receptive to messages from my subconscious.

Spell-Crafting

Tarot spells are some of the most fun and unique spells that I cast. Rather than imagine specific intentions coming to pass within the context of my actual life, I internalize the imagery, tone, and symbolism of a chosen archetype to help me embody the change I wish to see manifested. The primary way that I do this is through pathworking–projecting myself into the landscape of the card and imbibing everything that it has to offer. If I wanted to cast a spell to help me strengthen my work ethic, for example, I’d place the eight of pentacles on my altar. Given time (and guided meditation practice), I’d imagine myself hunched over the work bench, hammer in hand striking the metal of the pentacles to fashion them exactly as I saw fit. I’d imagine the jarring I’d feel when metal met metal, the sweat that would sprout from my brow and the callouses forming on my palms. I’d watch a droplet of sweat hit the finished pentacle, and I’d breathe deeply, both exhausted and proud. This way, I internalize the effort before I even begin the project, helping me push through when things become challenging and obstacles arise.

Meditation

Whether I plan to use them or not, a deck of tarot cards is ever present on my altar. When I sit to meditate, I place a cleansing crystal (usually clear quartz or selenite) over my deck and “share” some of my meditative energy with it. It’s as if I’m making myself a conduit of cleansing, and am connecting myself to my deck so that it can benefit from the energy. When I’ve finished my practice, I perceive my deck to have a fresh, new energy–one that prepares it for my next round of readings.

Communing with Deities

I’m one of those witches who has a matron, and I’m one of those witches who chats with her matron. I often go through periods where each time I’m sat at the altar, the goddess whose guidance I need almost instantly appears to me and begins sharing her wisdom. I also go through deity “dry-spells”: periods where the goddesses are speaking only in the form of synchronicity. During these periods, I often ask the goddess questions and allow her to answer through the wisdom of the 78 cards. Is this any different than traditional divination? Honestly, it is for me, because I interpret the cards in relation to the tradition and tone of the goddess I’m working with. For example, Brigit would interpret The Emperor very differently than the Morrighan would.

Affirmation of Intended Magickal Working

Casting a spell takes a fairly heavy amount of concentration and focus. Some days, I’m not sure whether or not I succeeded in “charging” the spell. If I’m having that feeling, I’ll shuffle my deck and pull a card and interpret it as either affirmative or negative given the nature of the intended spell. If affirmative, I leave the working knowing that the universe received the message. If negative, I go back to the drawing board and try again later.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the witchy tarot-ness I’ve shared here today! If you try anything out, I’d love to hear about it! Likewise, I’d love to hear how you use tarot in your spiritual/magickal practice!

Much Love,

Jessi

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Closing the Door on Bad Habits

The pathway of healing is not a wild, untamed path. It is a manicured path, a watered path,  a tended path. The sweet bloom of integration can only unfurl under certain conditions; as Miles of Sideways puts it, “Pinot is very temperamental. Only the most nurturing of growers can bring it into its fullest expression.” If the soil is barren and the ivy has strangled the yarrow and the birds have no seed to feed on, we won’t be sustained. The wild, untamed path is that of epiphany and revelation. The tended path is that of returning to wholeness.

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I know this logically. I think most of us do. But to know it in our bones and to have the strength to trim back the vines and cut back the shade is harder to summon than a thought. It takes willpower, self-control, and dedication. It also takes a leap of faith.

As of today, I have gone a week without smoking cigarettes. This habit, so taboo in contemporary society and even more so in the witchy/metaphysical/new age community, was the vestige in a string of bad habits I’ve managed to break over the years.  I felt shame over the fact that I smoked, but I smoked anyway. A dear friend’s mother died of lung cancer, and still I smoked. Neighbors would slam their windows shut in reaction to my morning smokestack behavior, but still, I smoked. I justified it based on the fact that I had rid myself of all other vices; indeed, that marriage and motherhood were largely incompatible with the word “vice”. As I spoke from my righteous soapbox, however, my convictions felt hollow. I knew that I was harming myself. I knew that my values and beliefs violently clashed with the habit, but I simply didn’t stop. I was the modern day St. Augustine; “give me chastity and continence, but not yet.”

But a week ago, it was time. How could I possibly dedicate an entire month to healing without considering the dire effects that smoking was having on my body? How could I ask others to bravely move through their suffering if I wasn’t willing to let go of my own self-harming behavior? Smoking hadn’t made sense for a long time, but I clung to it like a well-loved, ill-fitting jacket. I’d long outgrown it, and it was time to finally bite the bullet and move on.

I’ve had cravings. I’ve been irritable. I’m experiencing insomnia the likes of which I haven’t seen since I spent the summer of 2008 in Norway (ever wonder what it’s like to live and work in a country/season where it doesn’t get dark?) But my energy seems boundless. I’m happier, lighter. Everything seems clearer, somehow. And my muse has flown from her tower to perch comfortably on my shoulder, and oh, how happy I am that she’s here. Sometimes taking care of yourself means letting go of things you love because you know that you’ll be better off without them. Sometimes healing means trimming back the overgrowth to make room for a new, beautiful direction.

Much Love Seekers,

Jessi

Summer Lovin’

Every year, it’s the same–I wake up one morning, step outside, and just know that midsummer has arrived. The heat rises from the earth and the pavement, the mayflies hatch and glint in the sunlight, the tree-branches buckle beneath the weight of fully grown leaves, and the echo of drum circles heightens my focus like meditation chimes. I love to honor the season’s transitions, to wake up to the shifting of the elements and resonate with the world as it is in the moment. In the summer, this is effortless for me. I feel at home in the cotton caress of shifts and scarves, delight in the way the breeze lovingly plays with my skirt hem and tickles my calves. The well-being and balance I feel is unparalleled, and I spread my arms wide and drink it in while it lasts.

Summer is the season of love, of suspended inhibitions, of ersatz gatherings and weekend bazaars. This energy practically begs us to open ourselves, to set aside duty and expectation and seize the opportunity for universal communication. I find my rituals become more spontaneous and my tarot readings more intuitive–it’s almost as if the collective unconscious is speaking through me, offering primal and cosmic insights that speak to the wellspring of human consciousness itself. Gorgeous literary quotations worm their way into my mind and present themselves through my interpretations, connecting me to my deep love of literature and resurrecting the ghosts of the novel prophets of yore. Their messages are broad and profound like the gentle rolling of placid seas, and just as welcome.

The core is communion and compassion. Self-love. Channelling the wave of emotion outwards like a beacon of hope. Here and abroad, there is a strong opposition to opening, to accepting, to being in peace with the world as it is and striving to create safe spaces for everyone.  I imagine an open heart as a giant bubble that expands and welcomes the world in its embrace. I imagine, and as a witch, I believe my imaginings hold weight. They will not stop the hate. They will not stop the suffering. But they will not feed into it. They will not perpetuate it. And so I whisper my wishes of love into the soft summer breeze and hope that they fall on the ears of someone who needs it the most. I hope, and I dream.

Love, and Love, and Love,

Jessi