Mystic Pizza Tarot Fundraiser

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With all of the horrible news lately, my friends and I decided to put together a fundraiser for Howard Brown Health at Roots Pizza in Chicago.  We’re offering free tarot readings and other mystical activities.  Proceeds from all purchased pizzas will go to fund Howard Brown Health.  Hope to see you on July 18th!

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Breaking Curses and Mending the Heart

Back in the middle of April, I had had enough.  Even though I had cut out the guy who showed up as the 5 of Swords in my tarot readings for a year and a half, he still lingered psychically.  And I was angry:

I knew I deserved better.

I still wanted him anyway.

I grew up in a tumultuous household with mentally unbalanced people who were generally good enough to me, but tore at each other like piranha.  I was an embedded journalist in a civil war, trying to make sense of so much destruction among people who were supposed to love each other.  Whenever I complained to get them to stop, they treated me like I was crazy.  “You think this is yelling?”  my grandmother would yell at me.  So I started to keep my mouth shut, keep the truth to myself, and just stew in my anger.

The whole point of bringing this up is that I learned to accept good enough for myself instead of good.  My family yelled at and hated each other, but they lavished me with compliments.  They regularly made me feel crazy for thinking what I thought and wanting what I wanted, but they also respected me and listened whenever I had a problem at school.  The believed in me, but only in terms of the dreams they thought were realistic.  So I learned that love had a lot of strings: sometimes you’d be made to feel uncomfortable, or crazy, or soul-crushingly alone.  And sometimes you’d have to bend yourself to someone else’s expectations in order to get love.  And I accepted it.

But I never really believed it. I always knew there was something fundamentally wrong with the entire arrangement, but I didn’t know how to escape.  I could identify things that were bad for me, but I still wanted them.  And I believed my life was going to follow the pattern of craving something destructive and keeping myself away from it, and that I would live in that middle space of tension and anguish for the rest of my life, at least in terms of relationships.  I’ve moved mountains when it’s come to other things in my life, but I accepted that that was good enough.

But after Five of Swords, I was fed up.  And I was willing to do whatever it took to shake it.

At night, I took two pink rose buds and consecrated them under the stars.  And one I burned on charcoal, and spoke out loud about how I was done with wanting what was bad for me, with being afraid of vulnerability, with the self-destructive behavior.  That I was open to love, and wanted something real.  I said that I was ready, and that I deserved it–no strings, no conditions.  And I kept the other as a guiding light for the new man.

And two weeks later I met a guy, whom I’ve been seeing since.  He is warm and kind and tender, and very much unlike anyone I’ve ever met.  And the other day, I nearly cried with joy because I realized that I had broken whatever curse was looming over me.  I had freed myself by deciding that I wanted something better and believing that it could happen.

Whatever happens with this new man, he is now the standard for what I deserve.  He’s proof that I was finally ready to mend my own heart.

 

 

On Being Stuck

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What I love most about the cards is that they show me what I’m not able to give words to.  I’m in the process of developing a couple new lines of jewelry while preparing to teach out of town in the next couple weeks, and I had a really productive day.  But I was also really stressed out.  I asked the cards for today’s message, and it was good for me to step back and look at what I’m doing.

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The Ancient Egyptian tarot gave me the Nine of Disks, the Prince of Disks, and the Nine of Swords.  The Nine of Disks indicates gifts out of the blue, self-discipline, good luck, and artistic refinement.  The Nine of Swords on the other hand, indicates suffering, not just from external factors, but internal ones.  And sitting between is the Prince of Disks: disciplined but stubborn, thorough but obsessive, and practical but pessimistic.

It was no surprise then, that I pulled “Stuck” from the Soul Trees deck.  I frequently worry that things won’t work out.  I love taking smart risks in my business but I’m also hesitant to put too much energy into something if it won’t have a tangible reward.

The card from the Phoenix Cards deck was the Romani Amulet.  One paragraph in the interpretation stood out to me, “you are versatile and receptive, but you need to be aware that maintaining too many interests can preclude your success in any one.”  It also spoke to a lack of confidence in fleshing out creative ideas.

It was a good reminder that I can continue to torture myself about doing things the “right” way, or I can just do something and adapt as I go.  I believe very firmly that momentum will put you in the place that you should be, and things only stop working when you stop working on them.

Witch Diary: Facing Anxiety

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A friend I haven’t seen in a while asked me if would be willing to do a tarot reading for her over the phone.  I was nervous to do it, because all the readings I’ve done before have been in person.  I like when people hold the cards with their question and shuffle their energy into the deck until it feels done.  This time I had to shuffle the cards on my own.  I had to listen to my instincts when the cards felt done and hope that I was right.

I was relieved when she told me how the cards not only resonated with her, but were completely in line with things that her astrologer and her spiritual teacher told her about her life and the next steps she needs to take.  Moreover, she told me that she really needed some inspiration since she had been feeling weepy and closed off today and that the reading gave her some much needed hope for the future.

It got me thinking about how we limit ourselves due to fear and a sense of unworthiness.  My friend has known for years that she needs to leave her job since she’s not challenged and feels miserable, but she hasn’t done it because she’s scared of taking the next step in her life.  I’ve been afraid to expand my tarot practice because I didn’t feel experienced enough to do phone readings or emailed readings.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to hear my intuition, or follow it.  But my friend had faith in me, and that gave me the confidence to do it.  And while I’d like to do a few more low-pressure phone readings before I start offering it, it was a boost to my confidence and my ability to let the cards tell people what they need to hear.

The more I reconnect with a spiritual practice, the more confidence I have that there is real magic in this world.  I might not know how it works, but I know it does.

Full Moon Power Reading

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Yesterday was the full moon in Sagitarrius.  The Elephant Journal wrote a great article about how this full moon is all about limitless possibilities.  And so I asked the cards what my full moon message was.

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Strength shows up first, and paired with Queen of Swords gives the message of being direct, bold, honest.  And the Soul Trees message for this pair amplifies this.  Exuberance: excitement about the possibilities for the future.

The Queen of Disks and the Princess of Cups appear together and are paired with “Heal Your Heart”.  The Queen of Disks shows warmth, generosity, kindness, and nurturance.  And the Princess of Cups shows up promising love.  Being open is the message of the day, being honest and receptive to the possibilities of love and healing all of the old hurt.  But Queen of Swords and Strength are a reminder that if you see an opportunity, you have to take it.  Now is not a time to sit back and wait, but move forward with an open and ready heart.

Doing the Work

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I’ve been reading through Wishcraft by Barbara Sher.  I like the book so far because it offers practical advice for achieving one’s goals.  In fact, she does a really great job of showing how to break down seemingly impossible goals into actionable steps.

I asked the tarot what message it had for the week ahead.  And it ties into what Barbara Sher writes about.choosingjoy.JPG

The Ace of Wands is flanked by the 9 of Cups and the 3 of Swords.  The clarification card is the 3 of Disks.  Whenever I see two cards with opposite meanings, I look to the center card in order to see the interpretation.  And here, I think it illustrates the struggle between wishes being fulfilled (9 of Cups), and feelings of betrayal and disappointment (3 of Swords).  What makes the difference?  The Ace of Wands: creativity, courage, and confidence.

In Wishcraft, Barbara Sher also talks about the importance of support–of finding your people and working with the right network to make your dreams a reality.  And here the fourth pull is the 3 of Disks, which focuses on planning, teamwork, and building the foundations for real success.  Here’s hoping we’re all on the path of finding our people and working towards fulfillment and happiness.

Raw energy

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I’ve felt like a raw nerve since Sunday.  To the point that last afternoon, when I walked past a dead sparrow on the sidewalk, my entire body seized as if I had sneezed.  And then last night I had a dream that I walked passed several different dead animals on my way home.

So I asked the cards why on earth I felt so raw and exposed now when I’ve been feeling so good about all the changes in my life.

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The 8 of Swords is juxtaposed with the Two of Cups and the Three of Cups.  And I had my answer.

I’m right on the cusp of a shift in my personal life.  I have all but excised a seemingly kind, but actually very toxic group of friends, and I’m taking steps to spend time with healthier people and open myself up to the world around me.  The 8 of Swords represents what I experienced with that friend group–self-victimization.  The 8 of Swords is an awful place to be in, but a safe one.  If you see yourself as victim to powers outside your control, it’s really easy not to do anything about your circumstances in life.  And when you’re surrounded by people who see themselves as victims in situations they’ve created, you feel more comfortable not helping yourself as well.

Being open to new people and situations means that I’m going to take ownership of my actions, how I help and hurt myself.  And that means that all of the feelings I had buried under non-confrontation are coming to the surface.  There’s an energetic shift, one that will be rewarded with the 2 of Cups and 3 of Cups (Hooray!  My favorite cards!), but in the meantime I might still feel like my heart has been flayed by eight swords.

I also happened upon an article in Elephant Journal on change, love, and creativity.  There’s an energetic shift happening this week, and if we walk with open hearts and open minds, we’ll be rewarded with a lot of positive change.  So I will keep this in mind and try to take deep, calming breaths to be open to all of the good changes ahead.

 

A Year to Clear

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I recently signed up for an online course called “A Year to Clear What is Holding You Back.”  I’m only a week in, but I like the slow-drip approach.  Not only do I want to clear out the emotional clutter I’ve accumulated over the past couple years, I also want to clear out the physical clutter.  I have so many craft supplies, knick-knacks and collectables, and it’s time to let go of the things that don’t serve me anymore.

I also want to set good habits.  I know that I’m attached to things that don’t serve me–expectations, things, other people’s stories–and doing daily work will help build better habits–and new neural pathways–for slowing down and letting go.

I asked for today’s message and it reflects what’s been going on for me for the past couple weeks.

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I might see one chakra card in every third reading, but here were three: 1st, 4th, and 7th.  It’s a perfect reminder that real, significant change requires a holistic approach.  I’m trying to build a good foundation for the rest of my life in terms of my business and my personal life, and that’s going to take time.

Release, Just Be, Surrender–just in case I didn’t get the message, the cards were telling me that I need to slow down, let go of frustration for where I currently am, and have faith that the work I’m doing is helping me build the good, solid foundation for myself.

I constantly struggle with feeling like I’m not doing enough, and this was a nice reminder than I’m doing what I need to right now.

 

 

Learning to listen

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I rarely feel like I’m doing enough.  I hold myself to unreasonable standards.  I know that intellectually, but I’m only starting to get it emotionally.

I spoke with an old friend of mine about how I feel like failure and that I’m not doing enough.  She said that she was willing to kick my ass if I needed it.  So she asked me if I was avoiding work (no), if I was taking care of myself (yes, daily exercise and eating better), and then she finally said: “Do you need an ass kicking or are you just being too hard on yourself?”

And I couldn’t stop laughing because she was right.  I’m currently in the process of designing two new jewelry lines based on astrology and tarot, adding products to my websites, planning two major teaching events out of town, and working out the logistics for my tarot/coaching business.  And somehow I thought this was not enough.

So I asked for my message for the day, and the Soul Trees tarot gave me a message I keep hearing: Allow and Honor Yourself.  The bright colors encourage me to be joyful and not judgmental about the path I’m on in life.  Change is coming, and for the better, and it’ll be a lot easier if I enjoy this time of new possibilities instead of worrying about it.soultrees

Letting go to grow

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After my reading for the Scorpio Moon, I decided to ask the cards what I needed to release in order to grow.  I assumed some self-pitying swords cards would pop up.  I have a moon in Scorpio myself, with deep, roiling emotions that can get away from me.  So I figured the cards would tell me to cut out the dramatics–easy peasy, just point me in a direction.  But this reading really threw me for a loop.

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This seemed really good.  Princess of Cups, Strength, The Chariot.  What did I need to release from this?  I was sure that maybe I wasn’t listening to myself and pulled the wrong cards.  I figured I’d let them breathe before shuffling and pulling again.

And then with my morning green (Yogi) tea, I got this message:

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And I decided that the cards might need a second look.

I love pulling the Soul Trees in tandem with my Ancient Egyptian deck because the Egyptian deck gives more a concrete, intellectual reading while the Soul Trees get to the emotional, intuitive heart of the matter.  And I feel like the three pairs were telling me that I needed to get rid of three things:

  • Love without compassion
  • Discipline without exuberance
  • Momentum without purpose

As a screwball Aquarius with a moon in Scorpio, well, I can be cutting to say the least.  My mom once said to me that I was like a sharp sword, ready to cut people from my life at a moment’s notice.  I can understand intellectually how a person’s hurt allows them to hurt others, but I get so offended emotionally that I lash out or shut down.  Well, this is a good reminder that if I want love in my life, I actually need to open myself up to love.  Have some compassion and kindness rather than judgment and fear.

The last two, I’m sure, are about my business.  I love making jewelry and teaching, but I’ve been running on autopilot.  A few years ago, I had a year-long battle with scarlet fever that made me fear for my life and worry about my future. And I went through it alone for months before telling anyone (that secretive, secretive Scorpio moon again).

Aside from the toll on my health, it took a toll on my creative life.  I stopped being visionary, and started being reactionary.  I stopped looking for new venues, testing out new designs.  I lost myself.  I kept applying to the same juried art fairs and teaching at the same places.  Looking back now, I think I was shell-shocked after being so rattled about my health.  I kept moving forward without any real sense of an end goal.  I stopped dreaming about my shop in LA, making custom pieces, and I just kept treading water.

I have to get back to why I started this business in the first place.  I have to be excited about what I want to do.  And I have to have an end goal.  Which are all things that have been rattling around my brain, but now it’s right in front of my face.

Thinking back to that first pair about love and compassion–maybe it’s about time I forgive myself for being human and experiencing a setback after a huge health scare.  If I can’t be compassionate towards myself, there’s no way I can get back to feeling as powerful as the avatar of Kali Ma herself.