Happiness Allowance 

 It’s difficult to trust things when they are good, isn’t it? 

I find myself asking when the other shoe will drop quite often, and in order to protect myself from disappointment, I’ll allot myself a happiness allowance. 

If I’m only so happy, I can only be so disappointed. 

But why would you limit your ability to be happy? Sure, there is always the possibility of a low to counter the high, but don’t you think you’re deserving of happiness, fleeting or not?

In the Nine of Cups, we see wishes fulfilled. We see a celebration of comfort and happiness. We see true bliss. This is something we need to relish an appreciate, not something we block out because of fear. 

When we do that, we become the Ace of Cupes reversed, which denotes repressed emotions. Any emotion that isn’t felt fully, good OR bad, is like a loaded gun. And to diminish the amount of joy we feel is just plain unfair. 

Treating happiness with skepticism is cheating yourself. Only allowing a bit of it so you don’t over sell your true emotions is a cop out. I know that disappointment is scary, but to live fully and authentically we must live in the moment and cherish our feelings as is right now. Anxiety surrounding the future and paranoia regarding the past should not keep you from experiencing the natural highs of the present. Feel authentically and stay witchy ( *)

It’s Not “Fine”

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I’m sure you’ve either done this or have had a friend do this before: when something truly upsets them they shrug it off and go “it’s fine.”

Well that is total bullshit.

As the Ace of Cups signifies blocked or repressed emotions, it is IMPERATIVE that we address what is wrong instead of shrugging our shoulders. Saying things are fine when they are not are a huge sign of pushing down feelings and being dismissive.

When someone asks you if you are OK and you aren’t, but you really don’t want to talk about it (with this person or at all) it’s perfectly reasonable to say you aren’t ready. But when you shrug your shoulders to YOURSELF and bottle your emotions, baby, you’re in real trouble.

I used to be the best at this. I would pretend I was fine (in fabulously dramatic fashion) and then drink to feel my feelings. I know, most people drink to numb, I drank to be a hot crying mess.

I would bottle up this whirlwind of sadness, and unfortunately, it cannot be contained. Emotions are energy. They never die. And to ignore them is a pretty fatal mistake. They will manifest in one way or another. Whether its emotional or physical, they will find a way to come out of hiding.

The best thing to do is find support. Whether your tribe/ coven lies in group meetings, family, friends, or coworkers, you need to talk to someone when something is bothering you. It could be as silly as a boy not texting you back, to as extreme as a loved one passing away. But whatever the emotional freakout is about, you can’t keep it living inside your head. That little monster will end up taking the wheel, and you want to be in control of your life and your emotions. Give yourself a chance to cry and feel. Be vulnerable with who you trust. This will give you the strength to move forward, rather than in a downward spiral. Get real and stay witchy ( *)

 

The Rocking Chair Epidemic

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I heard this saying a while back: Worrying is like a rocking chair, it passes the time but doesn’t get you anywhere.

I personally find this poignant because worrying has always been my go-to. With lots of practice, it is a fraction of the size of the problem it used to be, but, we are all a work in progress.

The Five of Pentacles is a major indicator of worry and desolation. But here’s the thing, going through a tough time is not going to be made easier by worrying about the future. The most important thing to do in times of hardship is to pick yourself up from your boot straps and do whatever necessary to get you back to a comfortable situation.

If you lost your job, instead of worrying about money, get on Craigslist and find a temp job until you can get something you love. Boyfriend broke up with you? Go out with your girlfriends to get your mind off of what he’s doing. Worrying about how you performed on the job interview? Get back out there to get more interviews, even if it was a slam dunk. Being proactive is going to help you get your mind off of things that are completely out of your hands at this point. You do not control them now, the universe does.

Another thing that helps is the repetition of mantras. I have had many upsets with dating, as you may have read, and when things start to go good, or bad, or hell even the same, I’m quick to worry. So to keep my head on straight and to put up a safety net in the rabbit hole, I repeat to myself a couple key mantras that work for me. Mostly they are reminders to have faith, go with the flow, and continue to be proud of how I show up. This is how I stay proactive in my mental health.

So you can sit in that miserable rocking chair all night and obsess over every detail you’ve made up in your head, or you can put all of that excess energy into something productive. Have some faith, and stay witchy ( *)

 

Vanity’s Power

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Often described as a “shrinking violet,” the reversed Queen of Wands conveys the lack of confidence I think all women feel at some point in their life. With the age of selfies and social media upon us, expensive makeup and contouring, and ,of course, photo-shop, it becomes reasonable to have a compare-complex.

When vanity steps in, it isn’t because you have so much confidence and you pride yourself on looking your best. Quite the contrary. When one exhibits vanity, it is because of the obsession with looking good from fear of being ridiculed. Unfortunately, as women, it’s a fear we are all too familiar with.

I heard a comedian the other day saying that, on a night out, “at that moment, it was like reapplying my lip liner was my key to eternal happiness.” And isn’t that so poignant? That when we have an unflattering cow lick right over our bad eyebrow, we obsess on it and flatten it down so much that our hand looks permanently glued to our head? Because that is way more attractive, right? And because being attractive hinges on our right to happiness?

I am going to be 100% honest. Not only was I extremely into my looks (hair extensions, lip injections, fake nails) but I still am. I love looking like a Barbie doll because it makes me feel good. But what has switched in me, because I found the ability to love myself the way I am, is that I can go to the grocery store after a work out and not hide in shame because my eyebrows aren’t penciled in. In fact, the other day my cat scratched me on my face, and instead of cowering and crying in my room for days because I looked like a Disney villain, I shrugged it off and held my head high because life is life and shit happens.

To be completely and utterly a victim of vanity is not just wanting to look good. It’s another obsession. It takes you from being confident enough to wear a bright shade of lipstick to contouring your face to look like a different person. It takes you from trying out the new lip plumper in Sephora to suction cupping your lips a la Kylie Jenner. It takes you from eating healthy to starving yourself while wearing a waist trainer. It takes you from a few hours of yoga a week to purging your lunch.

Its a slippery slope, and I did ALL OF THESE.

Girls, we have it hard. We are held to a ridiculous beauty standard that is only attainable when one doesn’t have a normal life, but a life where money is available only to make you look better. When you are equipped with a personal trainer, plastic surgery, juice cleanses, facials, and a beauty squad of 20 to contour the fuck out of your face and blow out your hair miles high, it’s pretty easy to look like a bombshell. But more importantly, our beauty should come from strength and intuition, because ladies, we have that in spades.

So check your vanity. Does it have a stranglehold on you? Instead of giving you the key to happiness, does it actually get in the way because you’re so obsessed with it? Ask yourself these questions and do a little digging. Stay beautiful and stay witchy ( * )

 

Why Pity Parties Don’t Work

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In the Five of Cups, we see a man cloaked in despair. He is focusing on three spilled cups in front of him, and is unaware of the two cups,still full, behind him.

And that is Lame Ass, amiright?

Pity parties can be fun for a hot second, like when you really just need to be dramatic and let it out. But there is a clear and evident time for when to end that shit, get back on the horse, and be thankful you still have those two full cups behind you.I know that it is hard not to feel bad and sorry for yourself, but when you do, you are wasting precious, valuable time you could be using to bounce back.

Grief is real and should be felt. Sadness is a true emotion and should be treated with care. But to sit around and whine about how bad things only happen to you and that you’ll never heal from this setback and that life is too hard is just plain annoying. None of that is true and to lower yourself to that level is insulting to your insides. You should get real with yourself and realize that no matter how bad your situation is, there is someone out there with it ten times worse who has already shaped up and is on the road to recovery.

When my little dog, my best friend in the world, passed away, I was the Queen of Pity Parties. Not only had I been reigning royalty in the court for years beforehand, but once we had to put little Max down, my title was stronger than ever. I walked around mopey, convinced that no one had it as hard as I did (a privileged, attractive, white female growing up in one of the biggest cities in the world.)

I didn’t actually grieve. I was sad, of course, but the sadness was just stagnant because I didn’t know what to do with it. I used that sadness as a crutch, because I was already just unhappy altogether. My dog passing away, which, in a vacuum, is sad as hell to begin with, was compounded with all of my other “stuff” and blown out of proportion. Because I was looking for any excuse to feel bad for myself, I took it to a whole other level and basically demanded attention from people through it. Which is super fucked up (R.I.P. Maxy Boy.)

So the point is, there is a stark difference between grief and feeling sorry for yourself. Feeling sorry for yourself takes away from the actual incident and inhibits your ability to heal. Grief and sadness are normal human reactions and are necessary for growth. Self-pity is a crutch. Clarity through healing is an open door.

So get up off that floor and dry your tears. There’s always a way out, and it starts with you taking the focus off of your pain and putting it onto your healing and the resources your still have. Those are your two full cups. Remember that, and stay witchy ( *)

 

 

Why Couple Tarot and Self Help?

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The Page of Cups symbolizes the realization of a new part of yourself; the start of your journey in listening to your intuition.

And isn’t that what the journey of self help is in a nut shell?

I’ve recently gotten many questions about this. What does tarot have to do with psychology and personal development? One seems to negate the other. Behavioral science versus “magic” and psychic abilities? Don’t they work against each other?

Well the short answer is no.

Tarot cards are just cards with pictures on them. It is our intuition and interpretation of them that give these cards any meaning. They are not dark forces that cast a shadow on our future. They are merely the vehicle from our subconscious to our conscious explanation.

Think of the Rorschach test, or word association. These are common tools psychologists use to gain deeper insight into their clients. Similarly, the cards work for your clients through pictures and symbols.

If I were to turn the Lovers card over to two different people with two different experiences and two different current romantic standings, it would mean two different things. Same with the Death card, or the Devil.

And those cards have very powerful meanings. If we take something like the above card, the Page of Cups, which loosely represents new beginnings in a creative and emotional sense, it could mean many things for anyone! The real magic comes from our intuition, and what frame of mind we place these cards in.

If you are going through a breakup, or another emotional time in your life, your world will be clouded with thoughts of this event. Everything you see you will relate to your pain. Similarly, if things are going well, you will relate certain cards to your successes.

I truly believe in tarot, but not that the cards are magic. I believe in the transference of energy and the intuition of the reader to the querent. But I also believe that we make our own destiny, and that is when we take the cards meanings and match them up to what we envision our lives to look like. Whether that is positive or negative is all up to you.

So, when looking for an answer, be it with tarot or self help (or both) use your gut as your guide. We inherently know when things are wrong, but sometimes we go through the motions because pain seems normal to us. Trust that initial intuition and you will pull through. Just remember to stay witchy ( *)

Emotional Intelligence

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The Queen of Cups is a Queen of emotions. She is introspective and compassionate. She understands herself and listens to others. She is emotionally intelligent.

Emotional intelligence is of high importance for many reasons. The basal reason being that most every aspect of our lives is founded on human interaction. Be it at work, in a relationship, or just crossing the street, emotional intelligence can help you interact better with your fellow people.

Emotional intelligence, however, starts from within. If you are not able to identify your strengths and weaknesses, your emotional ups and downs, and your triggers, it is that much harder to read other people. If you can’t identify the emotions closest to you, how can you understand and connect with the emotions outside of you?

This is where compassion comes in.

Compassion, in this instance, I am defining as the concern for others and the ability to listen.

If you are compassionate to others, you can be compassionate to yourself, and vice versa. Lending an active listening ear to those around you will tell you a lot about who you are dealing with, on the surface and underneath. If you do the same to yourself, and actively listen to your own patterns, you can start to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Connecting with people on this level builds foundations of trust. And connecting with yourself builds confidence on the trust of your patterns and intuition.

So in order to become more emotionally intelligent, I suggest to take a step back from being so inside yourself to taking the role of an observer. Not so much that you create harsh distance, but enough so that you can see things from another perspective.

Get compassionate, and stay witchy ( *)

Crying is Therapeutic

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When this card is reversed, it signifies the releasing of pain. And what better way to do that than have a good, old fashioned cry fest?

For many of us, we see tears as a sign of weakness. We spent the better part of our lives trying to mask any emotion that would trigger crying. We feel embarrassed when we cry. But why is that? Why do we steer clear of a natural response to pain?

In my opinion, the bravest thing a person can do is to feel their emotions truly. Rather than shove them deep down into the depths of their soul and try to hide them forever, or mask them with alcohol or any sort of addiction, to be able to feel your feelings in a raw way is an amazing thing. To step up and face these emotions with courage and acceptance is heroic, and we have the opportunity to do this every day.

I have definitely felt the repercussions of masking and hiding my feelings. It doesn’t work. Those feelings are tricky little bastards and they will manifest in many ways. Be it eating disorders, addictions, reckless behavior, or just plain snapping at people you are close to. If you don’t deal with your feelings, they’ll find a way to cry for help. Not until you learn how to address your emotions will you truly find balance.

And honestly, what feels better than having a good cry? Sometimes I feel like I need a purge of emotions so I play some sad songs or turn on a sad movie and just ball my eyes out. Its healthy. And although you may need to freeze some spoons to avoid puffy eyes, your emotional burden will be lightened.

So go on Netflix, watch The Notebook (I’m only half kidding) and have a cry fest. Stay true and stay witchy ( *)

Love and Vulnerability

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Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

– Rumi
Being vulnerable is terrifying. But it only becomes terrifying once you’ve been hurt or rejected. When you were a child, you were bold and unabashed. Shameless. Unafraid. But over time, we become more and more sensitive to peoples reactions, and when those reactions are geared towards us, they have an impact on our being. Especially if they are negative.
Through our interactions with people, we take on a lot of their emotions as sensitive animals. If someone says something to us that we perceive as offensive, we start looking as our past actions to think of why they would say such a thing. We dissect OURSELVES instead of thinking of what might happened in their head to yield such a response. We create these stories to support our pain and embarrassment and they become our truth.
Similarly, in relationships, if our partner doesn’t respond to our vulnerabilities they way we want them to, we shrink up and create walls. We think “Well that wasn’t the desired reaction, so I should stop doing what I did so I can control the situation.”
Instead of being proud of showing up in a vulnerable way and creating a dialogue, we shrink up out of trauma and create barriers that inhibit us from true intimacy.
Barriers are a natural response. They signify what we need for survival. They protect us. Unfortunately, though, in order to have a truly deep connection with someone, we have to take emotional risks. Which is so scary. But its necessary.
Relationships exist in a give and take environment. You will only gain what you can give out. You will only inspire vulnerability in someone if you can offer some to the table. And sometimes it won’t work in your favor, which is the huge risk. But when it does, it is highly rewarding. Stay risky and stay witchy ( *)

Yoga’s Healing Powers

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As I get ready for my afternoon class, I feel compelled to share the absolute healing power of yoga. While the Ace of Swords represents mental clarity in tarot, yoga represents it in my life.

After my break up with a manipulative heroin addict, I came to the realization that I had issues with co-dependency. Going through not only the regular ups and downs of a break up, but also dealing with emotional trauma and a sobering reality is a lot for one person to sort out in their head. So I sought help in three different ways: therapy, support groups, and yoga.

Yoga is a sacred practice. It forces you to live in your body free of thought and live with your motions in that moment. Focusing on only your breath and the abilities of your muscles, your mind becomes distracted for that full hour.

It was the only time I felt unburdened, and this helped to save my sanity.

If you live in NYC and feel that you can’t afford yoga, you’re wrong. Yoga to the People has chapters all over the city and they are donation based. They are for all levels of practice and happen a number of times every day of the week. If you are familiar with the poses, they also have podcasts that you can download. I practice these at home.

If you are struggling with something, be it health-wise or mentally, give yoga a shot. It isn’t for everyone, but it really helped me through tough times. Stay stretchy and stay witchy ( *)