When I was in middle school, high school, and–let’s face it–college, I anticipated Valentine’s Day the way I would a root canal.
Even when I was partnered, the holiday seemed false–buy chocolates and tchotchkes to show someone you truly love them. Granted, I was a bit jaded, but it seemed to me that if you were doing it right, you wouldn’t need a holiday like Valentine’s Day to show someone that you care.
Fast forward ten years and I find myself embracing the holiday again. Amidst running a business, weathering my partner’s career change, and raising a daughter, I find I’m not romantic as I once was. Not to mention that five years of marriage can put a bit of tarnish on a relationship–it’s harder to be sweet and selfless when you’ve weathered a storm or two and have seen sides of your partner that aren’t quite as rosy as the first impression they gave you.
The True Love Waits Spreadfrom Tarot Spreads for the Brave and Curious, then, is designed both for those who are seeking a partner and those who’d like to find greater openness and intimacy within their current relationship. Consider it my Valentine’s gift to you (and believe me–I’ll be throwing this spread sometime in the coming week):
And if you’d like a little soundtrack to your reading, check out my favorite cover of the Radiohead that inspired the name of this spread. I was listening to it when I wrote the spread just as I’m listening to it as I write this post <3
We’ve officially launched into the last Mercury RX period of 2017, and its timing couldn’t be more perfect.
So many dread Merc Rx like they would a trip to the gynecologist. Woo-folk of all stripes mark it in their planners along with a list of what not to do: “Don’t buy a car. Don’t enter into a contract with anyone. Don’t start any new projects. Don’t get married etc etc etc.”
But as this year gives way to the next, one of the best things we could do is enter into a state of receptivity to prepare for the awesome energy of 2018. We’re so worried about potential hazards or missteps that we often miss the boon of Mercury Retrograde–a call to step back, engage in a heavy helping of self-care, and enter into a period of deep self-reflection and soul-searching. Because I feel that Merc Rx has the potential to unveil some hidden gems, I wanted to create a spread that endeavors to connect with its fruitfulness. Without further ado, The Mercury Retrograde Spread:
How can I embrace a slower pace to connect with the messages of my intuition?
What do I need to bring my attention to?
How can I best integrate the lessons I’m currently learning?
How might I make the most of this energy to reinvigorate my self care practice?
How can I let go of that which is outside of my control?
How might I use this time to prepare so I can roll out of Merc Rx ready for action?
Make yourself a cup of tea, get into your comfiest clothes (if that means swaddling yourself in your favorite blanket, go for it), and open yourself to the receptivity of this period. Use your softer energy in the service of planning and preparing so you’re ready to hit the ground running when Mercury goes direct.
We all know how trying the holidays can be—the constant stream of events, visits, and gatherings can leave us feeling completely exhausted. The pressures of gifting coupled with our unreasonably high expectations of how our holidays should play out often causes us to feel a hell of a lot less jolly than we’d like. Not to mention the family dynamics that replay themselves when everyone’s under the same roof—it’s enough to make a gal want to jump a ship to the Alaskan wilderness.
Because of this, it’s so important that we bring awareness to what we’re struggling with and serve up our feasts with an extra helping of self-care. I created this spread to help you navigate these choppy waters so you can spend more time focusing on the bounty that the holiday season brings: quality time spent with loved ones, the joy of giving as well as receiving, and the opportunity to connect with your inner delight!
Giving from the heart: how you can connect with your deepest reserves of joy and gratitude this season.
Gathering around the hearth: advice for working through the challenges and triggers of family dynamics.
Keeping up with the Jones’s: releasing unrealistic expectations and embracing the beauty of the present.
Changing things up: advice for shifting perspectives when you’re feeling low.
Speaking Up: how to stand in your power and to put your needs first.
Treat Yourself: Advice for self-love and self-care.
Remember: you’re allowed to withdraw when you need some time. You’re allowed to feel how you feel despite the pressure to feel any other way. Owning who you are and taking care of yourself is the first step to a great holiday season.
When it comes down to it, being a heart-centered, soul-based entrepreneur is all about reaching out and making contact.
Our efforts don’t exist in a vacuum, folks, and if it’s starting to feel a little lonely in your neck of the woods, it may be time to re-assess how you’re engaging with your people. Our tribe is the backbone of our business, and everything we lovingly create (and often provide for free) is done in an effort to speak to them. To reach them. To let them know that they’re not alone in this crazy world. So many of us got into the biz so we could help and guide others, and if we’ve lost sight of them and their needs, we’ve kind of lost the plot.
It’s difficult to consistently speak to your people, especially if you’re a human person with your own struggles, needs, and dreams. If you’ve hit a bit of a rough patch and you’re having a hard time connecting, give this spread a go and see if it can provide some insight on how to strengthen those bonds once more.
How can I connect and engage more deeply?
What am I missing?
Where do I go to expand my tribe?
What value can I give to others?
What’s the most useful focus area for me at this time?
How do I honor my heart and my authenticity and still emerge successful?
In the spirit of full disclosure, I wrote this spread for myself yesterday. I felt that I’d somehow drifted from my heart-space in an effort to be everywhere at once. I wanted guidance and advice on how I could connect more meaningfully with my people. I did a proper reading for myself (which I don’t always do) and managed to boil the messages down into a potent paragraph that I plan to read every morning through the new moon in Leo. And here is that guidance:
Promote more meaningful and inspired dialogue in the community. Extend your current reach. Put what you know and love out there, and they will come. Share the most valuable parts of yourself with your tribe. Focus on generating fresh ideas. Give more weight and attention to your strengths rather than your weaknesses.
I’m currently packing my bags for a long weekend trip to Cape May, NJ. For those of you familiar with the Jersey Shore, I assure you–this is nothing like it. Think Victorian village on a narrow spit of land. Basically, this town is my personal witchy dream.
Cape May Beach
Victorian Villa in Downtown Cape May
Because I’m preparing to get down and dirty with some R&R, I’m posting a spread that I wrote quite a bit ago called the Free Your Mind Spread. I know I shared it on Insta, but I’m fairly certain I have yet to share it here. So, here’s a six card shadow work spread for those who are serious about moving through the blocks.
1. Where are the seeds of my doubt? What do they reveal about my insecurities?
2. Where do I sustain the greatest losses when I allow my fears to take control?
3. What is the core of my disbelief? What prevents me from holding space for my intuition?
4. What actionable steps can I take to move beyond negative feedback loops and into the seat of my power?
5. What actionable steps can I take to nurture self-love and self-belief? What can I do to convince myself that I’m worthy of the life I desire?
6. Kick-ass oracle to make you feel like a rockstar.
I use this spread when I’m reconsidering a shadow I’ve already addressed, or when I know that I’m acting a fool but have no idea why. It’s helped me gain clarity so I could stop the self-sabotage and get back on track with who I am and what I want. It seems to attract cosmic presents of understanding, so if you’re confused and you want to work through it, give it a try!
Full disclosure: I went through a pretty rough time recently.
I was exhausted, overworked, and frustrated. I felt that both my personal and professional efforts weren’t being rewarded in the way that they should be, and instead of stepping back and taking a breather, I pumped more and more energy into things that weren’t working. I became convinced that I needed to work at a pace and in a style that rubbed me the wrong way, and both myself and my family suffered as a result.
As a) a woman, b) a mother, and c) a small business owner, I have a tendency to put way too much on my plate.
I can see so much potential and want so badly to manifest it that I carry on long after my body and my soul say stop. And I know I’m not the only one–I routinely see members of my tarot and spiritual communities suffering from burnout and general exhaustion. Everyone wants to do so well that they work themselves into fatigue, ill-health, or worse.
There seems to be a bit of a conflicting message in the metaphysical/biz communities I frequent–hold space, slow down, and practice self-care, but work harder, stronger, and faster to manifest what you desire.
When I’m really working my thang and doing all of the tarot-ness all the time (which I love, btw), taking time out for self-care is difficult. Usually, I have to sacrifice a blog post or a video or a reading, each of which takes away from the strength and consistency of my business. For those of you glorious tarot and witchy folk reading out there, I’d hazard a guess that it’s also difficult for you to go to work, take care of the kids, cook the foods, exercise, meditate, take ritual baths, run a side-hustle, spend quality time with family and friends, feed a garden, fight racism, go to yoga, clean house, nurture your primary relationship…
We’re told from a very young age that we can have it all, but what if we can’t?
What if we don’t have enough time or resources to do and be all the things we desire? What if it’s simply too much for us to handle? When do we finally accept that our body, soul, and mind have limitations, and that if we don’t respect those limitations, we’ll continue to suffer exhaustion and burnout?
The key here is prioritization–defining what’s most important to you and putting it before those things that aren’t quite as important. If you’re like me and you have A LOT of things that are important to you, this can be pretty difficult. If I had it my way, I’d write blog posts, do tarot readings, meditate, do yoga, and perform ritual every day. Yet, the biggest portion of my day is spent cleaning, cooking, and teaching/playing with my daughter. These are all things that must get done–if I don’t do them, my place becomes inhabitable and my daughter is an absolute wreck from lack of care and attention. The environment this creates makes it nearly impossible for me to get any work done let alone stretch out on my floor and do yoga, so prioritizing these things actually makes it possible for me to do more in the long run.
If you’re having trouble prioritizing, here’s a tarot spread to help you out.
What must be done in order for me to be healthy and thrive?
Which pursuit or spiritual practice helps me to be the best version of myself?
What prevents me from doing what I need to do in order to be happy, healthy, and balanced?
What goal/pursuit can I release to help me feel more energetic and renewed?
Lately, I’ve taken the proverbial “killing two birds with one stone” method to heart when it comes to cutting-back and chilling out (while still feeling like I’m not selling myself short). This is no new method to me, but I’m finding it much easier to do now that I’m deeply attuned with what’s at stake–my marriage, my sanity, my relationship with my daughter, and my relationship with self. When I take my daughter outside to play, I make sure to take the pictures I’m called to take. I savor the breeze as it plays over my body and connect with spirit. If I’m feeling tight or sluggish (because I couldn’t manage to get a yoga session in) I pick up the pace or I pick her up. When I play pretend with her, I act our common human conflicts and compassion, helping me to connect more deeply with the themes that arise in the readings I give to others. I make sure and speak with the people I meet to see if we have any common threads and to see if they might be interested in a meeting with me. In other words, I try and hold fast to the holistic approach to living by valuing everything I do as part of something bigger. And guess what? It really helps.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
Simply put, we’re not going to be the best versions of ourselves all the time. We’ll have a week or two where we simply feel demotivated and we don’t make any strides or progress in a certain direction. We’ll experience death, loss, emotional upset, and frustration that consumes all of our energy and leaves little for little else. There will be times when we question the very nature of existence and so won’t be all about making cheerful or motivational Instagram and Facebook posts.
And this is totally okay.
FOMO shouldn’t prevent you from grieving your Aunt when she passes, nor should it pull you away from addressing important conflicts or realizations. Sometimes, taking a break is the absolute best thing you can do for yourself even if it doesn’t seem like it. Sometimes, you need a period of deep and uninterrupted processing before you can rebound to where you were. Give yourself permission to take this time when you need it, and know that doing so is a natural part of being human.
You don’t have to be perfect–all you have to be is you. And if that means taking a break to heal, rest, or recalculate, do it. You deserve it.
We’ve all had those days, folks–no matter how hard you try to get it together, it ain’t happening. You’re in the middle of a project and things aren’t going the way you’d like and you want to throw your hands up in defeat. You keep trying to start something, but lose interest, take a different tack, and lose interest again. Then you try to go do something else, but you find yourself in the same place of general indecision/lack of will. It becomes so frustrating that you just can’t even, and you either want to scream or crawl into your bed and hibernate. If you’d like to avoid both of those options, try throwing the “I Just Can’t Even” tarot spread I just wrote because I just can’t even right now. Seriously.
This is a tarot spread to help you get clear on your next move–be it regroup and restart or take a long, pensive, self-loving time out.
No one’s perfect, and sometimes we need to take a step back to discover the best way forward. Since I’m currently feeling these vibes, I’m going to throw this spread, take a picture, and share the positions and my personal reading with you. Wish me luck!
What’s tripping me up?
How do I effectively address this obstacle?
Do I need to double down or take a time out?
A “pat on the back.”
A well deserved reward.
This spread is dominant in pentacles energy and includes two cards from the major arcana. I’m looking at a blockage in the mundane, practical sphere, so that’s where I should direct my attention and efforts in the coming days. The Ace of Pentacles and The Fool point to an opportunity for new beginnings, so trying to force something that’s not working wouldn’t be in my best interest right now. Instead, I should “wipe my slate clean,” so to speak, and begin approaching things from a completely different angle.
1. The Hanged Man suggests that I’m either unable or unwilling to accept the current state of things. I’m trying to push a concept or and idea that simply isn’t workable given the circumstances, and I’d do best to take a look at what’s happening organically as opposed to what isn’t. For the curious, I threw this spread to help me gain clarity about changing things up biz-wise, and it appears that I need to spend some time at my altar in meditation. The Hanged Man is all about surrender–about succumbing to the reality of a situation so that you can direct your energy down channels that may prove fruitful. To me, this shows that the changes I was considering making today aren’t the right changes. My body knew it, and thus resisted. Good thing I stopped to reflect when I did!
2. The Ace of Pentacles is the cosmic thought of a seed that eventually grows into a towering sycamore. In order for the tree to mature, it must be lovingly fed by the rains, the sun, and the rich soil that houses its roots. I’m invited to consider a new idea, a new way forward, one that’s more practical in terms of output and yield. The self-loving choice here is to hold space for change, to create an incubator for new ideas and projects to grow and thrive in.
3. The Seven of Pentacles could be interpreted in one of two ways here. On the one hand, this card could be encouraging me to be steadfast in my efforts and be patient–the yield will come. On the other hand, it could be letting me know that I’ve done what I can in terms of this particular approach, so I should simply collect the more modest yield and move on. In the RWS deck, the figure in this card looks exhausted and disappointed– true portrait of “burn-out.” It could very well be that I’m experiencing a burnout moment, so I’d do best to ease my foot off of the gas a bit and take a look at the roadmap before I proceed (it happens to be rainy and gross where I am today, so this is totally a tempting option).
4. The Fool is upbeat, lighthearted, and hopeful. In this position, he suggests that maybe I should set aside a bit of “adventuring” time for myself–hiking, walking the earth, taking a day trip, or even just taking a day off from the hustle so I can experience things in a refreshing, novel way. The Fool is one of my favorite cards in tarot, and its appearance never ceases to excite me. I harbor a fair bit of wanderlust and a desire for new experiences, so maybe this is just the message I need to help me begin a new chapter in terms of my biz.
5. The Eight of Pentacles seems to stress the axiom that hard work is its own reward. Given the overwhelming message that I need to look at what isn’t working and take things in an entirely new direction (and given how much work it is to start over!), I’ll find a heavy yield once I embrace my new process and approach. Honestly, this reading is affirming the presence of what I’ve been avoiding (isn’t that what tarot’s supposed to do, after all?) and is telling me that my gut instinct to switch things around is something I should definitely be listening to.
You heard it here first, folks–change is on the horizon, but not until I’ve quit being hard-headed and accepted what’s not panning out.
Now, I feel like I have a way forward. And that’s precisely what a tarot reading is supposed to do for you.
If you happen to use this spread, feel free to comment below and let me know how it worked out for you! I would love to hear all about it and to have confirmation that I’m not the only one who just can’t even from time to time.
Waking up is hard to do, even for some of the most seasoned AM risers. Given this, it’s no surprise that practicing a morning ritual is hailed by woo-woo and new-agers everywhere as a great way to set yourself up for success.
Many morning rituals involve lighting incense, meditation, mantra recitation, and prayer. The cardslingers among us are known to throw a few cards to get a handle on what the day might bring. In response to a prompt from the #mayjorchallenge, I decided to create a spread that invites us to focus on mindfulness, compassion, and self-reflection as we go about our day. Thus, the Morning Ritual Spread was born.
The Vision Quest Tarot, AGM/Urania, 1998
Good Manna: what do I need to incorporate to improve my outlook today?
Heart Center: what do I need to hold space for today?
Breathe + Release: what do I need to let go of to think, act, and feel more positively?
Conscious Action: What can I do today to benefit my highest good?
Om: What should I be mindful of today?
Five cards are quite a few in terms of a daily draw, but if you take each at face value, you can come up with a fairly useful little mantra to guide you through your day. Here’s one I drafted using the following cards as an example:
“I welcome today with a clear and open mind. I honor my need for a nurturing and rejuvenating practice of self-love and promise to listen to the needs of my body and soul as I move through the day. I release my desire to have more and choose to value what I already have. I will bring my knowledge and experience to all that I do today, and I’ll be mindful of bringing my enthusiastic thoughts and ideas into being.”
Write your mantra in the notes function of your phone (or, if you’re old school like me, in a journal or in your planner) and pull it out and read it each time things get a little too rough or overwhelming.
It was roughly seven months ago that I self-initiated into the worldwide cult of paper planning. Though I’d always proudly described myself as a free-spirit and a lovable scatterbrain, missing dates and forgetting deadlines was getting really old. I bit the bullet and bought myself a planner, but it regrettably stayed blank for weeks. Determined not to waste my investment (and to get my shit together, by hook or by crook), I turned to my beloved tarot cards for guidance. The answer was clear: “Use me to plan. Design spreads with planning in mind. If you ever stray from the path, consult me again, and I’ll get you back on track.”
I heeded the advice and created a series of spreads that I use to keep me excited and organized, and today is the glorious day where I share these spreads with you. It’s my intention that they serve you well in your quest to plan like a boss.
The Week Spread
Every Sunday night I grab a cup of tea, my planner, and a tarot deck and head into my bedroom to do this mammoth “bed spread.” I draw two cards for each day of the week. The first (bottom) position indicates my focus, and the second (top) position indicates the obstacle I’ll face on that day. The layout looks a little something like this:
The Wild Unknown Tarot, HarperElixir 2016
I find this spread helpful in terms of deciding where to put what–which day’s best to write a blog post, to make a video, to do readings, to clean and go grocery shopping…you get the idea. Likewise, I become mindful of the potential roadblocks I’ll face as I work through my week–this awareness helps me to remain calm and centered when they inevitably arise.
The Daily Draw
Many of us in the tarot community are committed to the daily draw–a card pulled every day to give us a message or affirmation we can use to help guide us through our day. I rather like to draw three cards–morning, noon, and night–to help me decide which tasks I’m going to do when. If I receive the High Priestess in the morning, I’ll use that time to meditate and do some self-reflection. The appearance of a Wands card at noon let’s me know it’s time to get some serious shit done, and Pentacles in the evening point to finance or family life. The goal here isn’t necessarily to force oneself to do certain tasks at certain times (Not all of us have the luxury to arrange our days in this way), but rather to get us thinking about our priorities, remind us of our responsibilities, and attune us to things we didn’t consider.
The Reboot Spread
We’ve all been there–plans fall apart, we get sick, we encounter resistance, we run out of time. One of the worst things we can do in this situation is toss our planner aside in hopelessness and frustration. When you’re feeling like you just can’t even in terms of what you wanted to do, grab your deck and give The Reboot Spread a shot. It’s designed to help you make concessions and alterations so you allow yourself the proper self-care without letting your intentions fall by the wayside.
1. What’s the most important task to prioritize this week?
2, Which task can I drop or put off until I’m feeling more up to it?
3. What self-care practice do I need to engage with to help me get back to center?
Planning can be daunting and overwhelming, especially if you’re exactly like me someone for whom “organization” is a dirty word. But if you have a deck of cards, a passion for tarot, and a willingness to try, these spreads should help you transition from mess to success in two shakes of a lamb’s tail (bonus points if you get the reference)!
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.
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.