Healing Baths Enjoy this video on how to perform intentional bath magick!!Read More
Natalie is a Tarot reader, Medium, and a student of Astrology. She is a Priestess in several traditions of Witchcraft, and enjoys all variety of plant medicine, sigil magic, and ecstatic ritual. She spends her time traveling between the veils, studying the dark arts and crafts, and creating ritual goods and self care items for her online store Skeleton Key Shop. Her favorite moments are spent making magic with her coven Deam Lux and snuggling with her bunny familiars.
Santeria, also known as Lucumi or La Regla de Ocha is an initiatory religion with origins in West Africa, that was brought to Cuba, Brazil and other regions of the Caribbean during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Centered around deities known as Orishas, that were often syncretized with Catholic Saints in order to preserve the practice in secret.
I am a Priestess of Yemaya in the Lucumi Tradition, more commonly known as a “Santera”. When you come into my home it looks mostly like everyone else’s. You won’t find huge altars full of statues and candles, or chicken feet hanging from the ceiling. In fact my home looks pretty ordinary besides my penchant for crystals, apothecary jars, and the spaces reserved for my Ancestors and other practices which are usually kept out of sight.
You wouldn’t know what I practice unless I specifically told you, or if you too were a practitioner and able to read the subtle signs. A certain charm on my necklace that is only prescribed during ordination as a priest or the bracelets I always wear that match with none of my outfits. My close friends know that certain foods are taboo for me. I also try to avoid getting wet in the rain – also a taboo for me. Sounds strange, but becoming deathly ill twice after getting caught in the rain makes you realize that your Abuela is sometimes right! My point is that the Lucumi religion is a highly personalized practice that is fitted to the individual. What is medicine for one person can be poison for another.
According to the lore of this practice, which is purely oral tradition, we are all born with our ORI. In new age terms, this is our higher self. This higher self is connected to our life’s path and comes with an innate knowledge of certain things. It has its own power, or ASHE. Although we have free will to make our way through life, it is our ORI that repeatedly nudges us in the direction of our best life, whether this is through people that we meet, or a seemingly random chain of events. These moments and people change the entire course of our lives, as it did mine.
“You wouldn’t know what I practice unless I specifically told you, or if you too were a practitioner and able to read the subtle signs.”
I was born into a family that suffers from Bipolar disorder, Depression, and Schizophrenia. Unfortunately, some of my family members committed suicide. My mother attempted suicide when I was just two years old. She had gone off her medication during pregnancy in order to carry me at great risk to herself. As we know, postpartum depression is very serious. It is even more so for people already living with mental illness. Miraculously, she survived what should have been a fatal injury. Still, she was hospitalized with a fractured spine. For the next three years, she would relearn how to walk and perform basic motor functions. During this time, I was cared for by my grandmother. Abuela was a priestess of Vodou, as practiced in the Dominican Republic. She was also a nurse at an elderly care facility. Every day, I would watch her pray, work, and help the streams of people that came for her assistance. She would sit me at her altar – in this case and practice, there were many statues and candles – and taught me how to pray. I prayed every night for my mother to come back to me as she was, although I was warned repeatedly that she may never walk again. Against all odds and prognoses, she made a full recovery. Though I went back to my normal life, I never forgot my introduction to this world. My innocent prayers were heard by these mysteries, as they were called.
Fast forward to my early 20’s. After years of solitary practice, I found a pagan path where I was exploring traditional witchcraft and being offered initiation. Coincidentally, I was presented with an opportunity to read tarot in a famous New York botanica (Nudge.) At this time, I had absolutely zero interest in the religions of my culture. Yet, I was suddenly immersed head first into this world. Instead of crystals, pretty talismans, and perfume oils, I was surrounded by Catholic statues, camphor, cigars, Florida Water, and images of the Orisha.
A close friend and colleague had been seeing someone whom she called “Her Padrino.” She was super secretive about her interactions with this person, which I found rather creepy. Sometimes, she would show up to work dressed completely in white and be eerily silent most of the day. She was my polar opposite, as I was wearing all black and blasting My Chemical Romance each morning. I was the one that customers would gravitate to for hexing and separation work. Looking back, I realize that I was ANGRY with a lot of things in my life and that this was a perfect outlet at the time. Though my tireless work was effective, my aura was dark.
A particularly cool shipment of statues came in one day, and my High Priestess presented me with an extravagant gift, a large statue of the Orisha Yemaya. She was a brown skinned, bare breasted mermaid with a pink tail, a jeweled crown on her head and holding a silver star in her hands (Nudge). This was odd as I was being trained in Initiatory Wicca, which has absolutely nothing to do with Orisha practice, or other African Diasporic religions. (This is the realm of usually ill-informed eclectic witches and a whole separate topic). She said simply, “You should have this. This is you.” I laughed, thanked her and accepted the gift, as alien as it was. Truthfully, this lovely statue stayed in her padded foam box for several years as I had no idea what to do with her.
“Instead of crystals, pretty talismans, and perfume oils, I was surrounded by Catholic statues, camphor, cigars, Florida Water, and images of the Orisha. ”
Around the same time my colleague and fellow Bruja invited me to a drumming. An Orisha drumming is not anything like a pagan drum circle. It is normally reserved for initiates or for members of an Ile, a temple or house of Orisha. I don’t know how this even happened, but I went to the event.I could hear the drums before I even entered and they immediately gave me a faint queasy feeling, like butterflies in my chest. When we entered the large room, the air was surprisingly thick and humid. To the left was a huge altar called a Throne. It was adorned with fabric, fruits, sweets and other items gleaming in shades of gold and pink. Three drums were set up in the front of this room. As the drums were played, my friend and I stayed plastered to the back wall hoping that no one would ask us who invited us, or why we were there, as the girl who had extended the invite in the first place was a no show.
I watched the people dance, their methodical steps giving way to abandon and wild movements at times that frightened me. A woman danced alone in front of the drums, her clothes plastered with sweat and her face beet red. After a time she was ushered away, only to return with a glistening blue and silver shawl around her neck, her hair wrapped up in another lovely fabric, and several younger people escorting her where she wanted to go, as she seemed to move through the room like a butterfly, speaking to some and ignoring others. I could see the people present crying and I did not understand why.
I honestly felt a pang of panic at this time and I wanted to leave. When I told my friend this, she flatly said that it was too late to leave. Once an Orisha had joined the event, possessing an initiate, it would be considered extremely rude to walk out the door, and there was no way of doing it sneakily as they (the Orishas) were capable of seeing and hearing everything in the room at once, including our thoughts. Now I was truly shitting myself and broke out in a cold sweat, when this woman immediately made eye contact with me and walked straight in my direction. At first I returned her gaze, but the closer she drew, the more unsettling it became and I shifted my eyes down towards my feet.
She came right up to me and grabbed my chin upwards. At this moment I was being yelled at by my friend who was trying to show me how to properly greet The Orisha, but I was frozen to the spot and her grip on my face was not soft. As per the woman who appeared by her side to translate, this was the Orisha Yemaya who was speaking to me (Nudge). She proceeded to speak about my mother’s accident (I had never shared this with anyone at that point in my life as I was too ashamed). She said that the spirits of my homeland had heard my prayers saving my mother and myself from living out that tragedy, but that I ultimately belonged to HER, and to all of them. I opened my mouth to ask how and my friend shook her head rapidly at me with bulging eyes. Instead I nodded and crossed my arms, bowing my head a little, as I had seen others do. She passed her beautiful embroidered cloth all over my body, and I felt the crackle of energy like electricity as all the hairs on my arms and head rose. Her last words to me were “Don’t worry, you will see.” I did see.
“Once an Orisha had joined the event, possessing an initiate, it would be considered extremely rude to walk out the door, and there was no way of doing it sneakily as they (the Orishas) were capable of seeing and hearing everything in the room at once, including our thoughts.”
The chain of events to follow were less like nudges and more like blows upside the head! I chose to share this to show something that few share on Social Media. The magic of these Orisha goes way beyond spells and altars, and deep into ancestral healing and realignment with one’s destiny. It’s an experiential religion that creates deep, personal growth and change for each person it touches. To those seeking the Orisha, I advise you to really SEEK them, so that you can have these life-changing and miraculous experiences for yourself.
I was recently moved to tears and brought to my knees in front of an Orisha, Babalu Aye (syncretized with Saint Lazarus, Patron of illness and disease) after hearing that a member of my Ile, an elder and sister to me within this practice, was now Cancer Free. This beautiful and humble Orisha not only alerted her to the unknown illness in her body but also CURED her, through his prescriptions and guidance of her elders, in a time span of only several weeks. These stories and experiences are the truth about this religion and practice. This is why practitioners spend so much time, blood, sweat and tears working ceremonies with our spiritual community as well as with seekers needing help and guidance. If your Orisha practice consists only of spells on an altar, or selfies of your beaded necklaces with cigar in mouth, then I am here to tell you that you are missing out on so much more. There is a whole world out there, just waiting for you to dig a little deeper.
Yemaya N’Agbe O,
Is the white sage used for smudging practices actually endangered? Is using white sage, or palo santo, as a practice, actually engaging in cultural appropriation of spiritual traditions that are not my own? If you run in New Age spiritual or witchy circles, you’ve probably at least encountered the practice of smudging with white sage, if not encountered these two questions.
What if I told you there was a way to embrace smoke cleansing that was rooted in traditional European folk medicine/witchcraft ancestry, that was both sustainable and not appropriative? Wouldn’t that be lovely?! And what if it was as easy as going to your local grocery store? Would you be into that? Who wouldn’t want to jump on this easy, sustainable and conflict free form of spirituality?
So, a few years ago, a trusted witch friend from high school posted on Facebook about her practice of smoke cleanings (smudging, without that label) using traditional European herbs, and I was intrigued. I love the practice of burning sage, but hadn’t thought deeper about the fact that many tribes were criminalized until the 1970’s for these very same spiritual practices.It seemes wrong that my 20-something spiritual white girl body was able to do these practices without a second thought about the bigger picture. The more I sat with my friend’s words, the more I was impacted by the colonial mindset that had permeated my spiritual practice of smudging.
And thus, entered my experiment with “returning to my roots.” There are many herbs that were used in ancient and medieval Europe for the same spiritual and practical purpose that white sage and palo santo are used by new age spiritual communities today. And so I began my own practice of tying and burning herbal bundles that my witchy ancestors would have used. Some grocery store versions are:
- Garden or cooking sage
Yes, just like the song! Cheesy, but maybe the hippies were on to something…
Below I’ve outlined a step by step guide for tying your own herbal bundles from ingredients easily found in grocery stores. And for those that are more foraging inclined, herbs like mullein, lavender, or mugwort were also traditionally burned to clear spaces of negative energy.
Step 1: assemble materials. I use cotton twine for “sausage making” found on Amazon, scissors, garden sage, and rosemary.
Step 2: Identify size of herb bundle that you want to make. Remember, it shrinks when it dries!
Step 3: Tie a knot at the bottom of the bundle, begin winding the twine around the bundle, tightly packing the herbs together.
Step 4: Once you’ve wound all the way to the top of the bundle, wind back down and tie off at the end. Leave some room on the string to hang it to dry.
Step 5: Hang to dry in a sunny window. I choose my kitchen window because blinds are so handy for hanging. It take a week or two to get fully dry!
Once they’re dry, they can be burned just like a white sage bundle. Make sure to have a bowl/dish below the bundle to catch any ash, and don’t leave unattended!
There are so many different traditional herbs that can be used for this spiritual smoke cleansing practice, so feel free to experiment (but do your homework and be safe!). I’ve found this practice of connecting with my ancestry, rather than just easily adopting a spiritual practice that comes from a different lineage, to be really rewarding for me. Not only do I feel more connected to my lineage, I also feel more connected to the plants. There’s something amazing about the smell of sage and rosemary lingering on my fingers for hours after I’ve tied my last bundle, and the reward I feel when I take one of my dry bundles and light it to clean my house. Short of growing these herbs myself, I’ve had an intentional hand in the tying, drying, and frying of them, which leaves my house smelling great and feeling light and free.
Rebecca M. Farrar, M.A. (aka Wild Witch of the West) is an archetypal astrologer, revolutionary, lover, and general wackadoo living in San Francisco, California. She offers astrological guidance with a down-to-earth approach utilizing her studies on the evolution of consciousness and psychology. While she considers herself a witch and an intersectional feminist, she also realizes her whiteness, cisgender, and able-bodied privilege is a constant process of uncovering. In 2013, she received her Master’s in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. Her thesis, titled “Stargazing: Re-enchantment Through Language,” combines philology, consciousness studies, and enchantment with the stars. When not staring at her transits, she can be found wandering Ocean Beach, curled up with a good book, or “force” cuddling her kitty, Freyja.
Virgo and the Astrology of Virginity
Recently the Sun has made its annual move into tropical Virgo, the symbol of the woman and refers to the word virgin. While our modern minds think of virginity as referring to sexual experience and specifically valuing chastity in women, this common definition has strayed far from the word’s original meaning.
Virgo comes from Latin meaning “unwedded girl, maiden.” It wasn’t until around 1300 that it was used to denote a lack of sexual experience or imply chastity. In Greek translations the word virgin meant “one unto herself.” Similar to many words in English, the original meaning became lost as our Western culture became more and more patriarchal in nature.
With this evolution of language in mind, virginity then actually indicates freedom, self-sufficiency, and wholeness. One of my favorite authors, Nancy Qualls-Corbett goes on to say a virgin is “untouched by man, or…the laws of man.” In this way, virginity is not something that a person could “take” or “give away.” Virginity instead belongs to each of us as an expression of wholeness and divinity and the stories of the virgin goddesses remind us of the power of our own sovereignty.
In Greek and Roman traditions there were often three main virgin goddesses: Vesta/Hestia, Minerva/Athena, and Diana/Artemis. Regardless of gender or GNC, I believe each of these goddesses speak to an aspect of our own wholeness and virginity. Understanding these archetypes in an astrological context gives us important clues about how their archetypal energies show up in our lives and our soul patterning.
I enjoy working with the asteroids and dwarf planets as they are often named after goddesses and invite a complexity not found with just the more popular planetary bodies in our solar system. While the names are gendered, I don’t think of them as unique aspects to any gender and instead different energies that move through us at different times.
How can we work with these archetypal, virginal energies throughout the next month? For me the answers lie in our natal Vesta, Pallas Athene, and Diana asteroids. Both Greek and Roman, though largest in the solar system, all in these asteroids orbit in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Here’s a rundown of each of their meanings in the collective and personal astrology charts:
Asteroid Vesta // Named after Greek Goddess of Hearth and Home
The second largest asteroid discovered in 1807 and was more recently in the news because the satellite Dawn completed its orbit around the asteroid. Currently at 23 degrees Sagittarius trining Pallas Athene perhaps igniting the sacredness of expanding our horizons both mentally and physically.
- Claim to fame: Vesta the goddess refused to marry Apollo or Poseidon, though may have taken them as lovers. The Vestal virgins of ancient Rome who kept the sacred fires burning and were honored for their chastity.
- Aspect of virginity: Represents how we channel sexual energy and the blending of both the sacred and profane
- Astrological energy: What we hold sacred, how we connect through spirit with ceremony, routines or personal rituals, sexual potential or sacred sexuality practices such as Tantra
Asteroid Pallas Athene (Athena) // Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Craft, Poetry, and War
The second asteroid discovered, in 1802, and third largest asteroid, goes by Pallas or Pallas Athene named after Athena. Currently it sits at 22 degrees Leo next to the Sun shining a light on our desire to learn or highlighting our unique version of genius.
- Claim to fame: A warrior goddess born from Zeus’ head in full armor she event had an entire city named after her (Athens). She fought with Jason and the Argonauts and wore Medusa’s head on her breastplate.
- Aspect of virginity: The light of the intellect and ability to think for ourselves as well as the internal balance of masculine and feminine energies and head and heart
- Astrological energy: Our ability to perceive and understand patterns, which require the integration of both intuition and intelligence…as wisdom. Can reveal gifts of creativity or identification with the “know-it-all.”
Asteroid Diana // Named after Roman Goddess of Hunt and Nature
Discovered in 1863 by a German astronomer, it is small compared to the other virgin goddess asteroids and isn’t even within the top 20 when it comes to size. Diana currently sits at 21 degrees Aries, creating a grand trine with the other two virgin goddesses. Together, these two asteroids in such a strong fire sign uplift and empower feminine energies.
- Claim to fame: She begged her father Jupiter to liberate her from marriage and motherhood, though in Greek mythology she had 50 daughters with the handsome shepherd Endymion. She also had the power to talk to and control animals in the forest and there is even a branch of Wiccan dedicated to her.
- Aspect of virginity: Freedom and the relationship to our wild nature as well as the connections between women as a part of our unity under patriarchy
- Astrological energy: Where and how we yearn for our own freedom, perpetual “hunt” for something, our ability to nurture “sisterly” relationships, connection to the wildness in ourselves
Virgo and the asteroid virgin goddesses remind us of the power inherent in our own life force energies and self-possession with or without our sexual relationship to others. A facet of self that beckons us into being whole, complete, and unfettered by the man-made laws and expectations of the gods or patriarchy. During this virgin season may we our inward experience and attitude that isn’t dependent on others for definition or happiness…whole unto ourselves. The way Vesta, Athena, and Diana would have wished.
Renee Watt is a Clairvoyent who specializes in energy readings, spirit guides, and chakra assessments. She began reading tarot at age 10 and picked up her first book on witchcraft at 12. Her knowledge ranges from essential oils, crystals, and intuitive magick to energy healing and beginner astrology. When she’s not giving readings and selling jewelry from The Crooked Path in LA, you can find her doing standup comedy. Her podcast “Witch Doctorate” takes the structure of a university with an esoteric twist exploring a new witchy topic each “semester” (season). “Astrology 101” debuted in February of 2018 giving novice listeners a digestible introduction to understanding the cosmos. Find her on Instagram @rainbowglitterstar and @witchdoctorate, or online www.reneewattentertainment.com and www.witchdoctorate.com.
Smudging is an ancient custom that has been practiced for centuries to help clear away negative and harmful energies, acting as an energetic bath for yourself and your home. When one makes the decision to smudge, they’re mentally and energetically stating their intention to release anything that may be weighing them down. Smudging in large concentrations has also been shown to reduce airborne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, pollen, and dander.
To perform a smudging of your own you’ll need the following:
1- A Sage bundle (which can be found at your local witch shop or health food store)
2- A clay pot or bowl to catch any rouge ashes or embers
3- A feather to help direct smoke in the direction of your choosing (optional)
Open a few windows before you begin and unwind with a moment of quiet—a few breathes amongst the fresh air will help center your intention. Once you feel at ease, light the end of your herb bundle, working the smoke in a counter clockwise motion to send any unwanted vibes back from whence they came!
Still unsure of where to start? Here’s a list of places one might not think to sage, but probably should.
Considering all the anxiety, road rage, and rushing around that happens in your four wheeled comrade it’s a good idea to get rid of any lingering energies to make your commute feel more relaxing. It’s especially good to do this after a road trip, travel is taxing on the psyche because there are so many energetic shifts, give your car the tune up it deserves.
Mornings can get a little hectic when we find ourselves running late for work or important commitments. A good smudging will help bring peace back to your morning rituals.
Us witches love our cosmetics, but when you think about all the activity that goes into making them it’s not a bad idea to clear away the energetic unknowns of production. Follow up with a nice charging under a full moon and you’ll be looking like a true daughter of mother Luna.
There’s no shame in taking some time off to zone out on the couch while binge watching our latest idiot box obsessions. The problem is, the relief of watching tv can be slightly addictive and if we don’t watch it we may dull our senses by spending too much time in front of it! You can get caught up in a cycle of abandoning projects in favor of your favorite show and before you know it you’ve gotten caught in a tv rut! Sage away the inviting yet unproductive lure of your couches (make sure you get under them as well), then go do some exploring outside or finally finish the latest entry in your grimoire!
There’s a reason children are often afraid of what’s lurking in their closets at night, low vibration energies love the dark inactive sanctuary of a closet. Take care to sage away any bad vibe stuff that’s no longer serving you, and while you’re at it take a look at your wardrobe and get rid of anything you haven’t worn in 6 months… Then treat yourself to something new!
The bed is such a sacred and intimate place for witches everywhere… it’s where we connect with mates and our vehicle to dreamland. Our subconscious works out so much stuff for us while we’re astral projecting away, we may as well give it a hand in the dream world. Also, if you’ve had an intimate interaction that you just can’t shake no matter how many times you boil your sheets saging will help banish any lingering regrets you may have.
A few final Witch Tips
Sage is energy bleach, however, you may not always want to completely wipe an area clean. If you don’t feel like getting super hardcore with your cleanse, go with a juniper or mugwort smudge. It won’t get rid of the nice energy you want to keep around, but it’ll have any bad vibe stuff running for the scary woods. After a smudging session your space is totally clean, and you don’t want to leave a blank canvas. Make sure you follow up all sessions with some sort of blessing. Many people are fond of Palo Santo for this, but I’m partial to burning some nice Venus incense and lighting pink candles to bring in all the loving and gentle vibes the planet of harmony provides. Work in a counter clockwise motion while smudging to send bad juju away, then bless your space in a clockwise motion to invite in the lovely energies you seek.
Ariella Upton is a solitary eclectic witch who was raised by a Christian kitchen witch. She has a wealth of knowledge about herbs, crystals, natural remedies, gardening, history, religion and is currently studying astrology. She works as a PA & manager on Maui, and spends her free time with her magickal family in the forests and beaches they call home. Her shop is on Instagram as @the.celestial.rose where she sells jewelry, artesian smudge sticks, antiques, books and more.
I would like to share a few simple ways to cover yourself, home and family in spiritual protection. A large variety of herbs and stones include protection as a quality, so I have listed them first, as they can be mixed and matched (based on availability or preference in your own craft) for the protection spells below.
Angelica, anise, dill, basil, bay, carraway, carnation, sage, rosemary, garlic
Tiger’s eye, hematite, amethyst, smoky quartz, black tourmaline, lava stone, obsidian, onyx, shungite, selenite
- Small jar with lid
- Nails, one for each family member
- Protection herbs
- Sage/Palo Santo/Incense
Light your candle, bless your working space with your chosen method. Add salt, wine, nails and herbs to jar. Ask blessings of protection over your home and family, then tightly close the lid. Use some of the candle wax to seal the jar.
Take the jar outside if you can, and bury it near your front door. If not, place under steps, behind door (where it won’t be smashed!) or anywhere out of sight. Take it with you if you move.
- Small sachets for each entry point of home
- Protection herbs
- A protection stone
- Sage/Palo Santo/Incense
Light your candle and bless your workspace by your chosen method. Mix all protection herbs in a large bowl, then distribute evenly between bags. Add a stone to each, or or at least one in the sachet for the main entrance. Hang the bags above each entry point.
Refresh herbs and recharge stones quarterly, if not monthly.
Binding Someone’s Actions
*NOTE: Doing any magick over a person without their permission is a huge universal consideration. Make sure the person you are binding truly needs to be redirected in their ways. Also, do not perform spells when upset/angry.*
- Ice cube tray
- Slips of paper
- Sage/Palo Santo/Incense
Light your candle and bless your workspace with your chosen method. Cut enough small slips of paper to put one in each well of the ice cube tray. Write the name of the person who causes you fear or has harmed you. Visualize the person choosing to follow a path that allows you freedom from their actions. Forgive them, then fill the ice cube trays with water.
Place in the freezer and leave for 3 months. Bury the cubes off property once this has elapsed.
These are but a small fraction of ways to protect yourself spiritually. All of these methods can be adjusted to suit your craft, availability (ie: use vinegar or oil if you don’t have wine) and preference. What are your favorite herbs and crystals for protection? What protection spells work best for you? Comment below!
Jasmine is a numerologist, tarot reader, artist, and self proclaimed esoteric intellectual. Through her art and spiritual practices she strives to facilitate defiant self love within herself and others.
Are you a novice tarot reader struggling to memorize or rote learn all the card meanings? Maybe you’ve been reading for a few years, but your conversations with the cards have gotten stale and need to be revamped? Heck, maybe you’re a 200 year old witch who has every tarot deck in existence and can channel the Akashic Records, even you can find value in the tarot practice I’m going to explain!
As Dumbledore once said, “Ah music, a magic beyond all we do here!” Music is perhaps one of the oldest forms of magick. It can make us cry, laugh, dance, and even fall in love, but can it help us deepen our understanding of the tarot? Yes, of course!
Allow me to explain. One day I was walking to work, listening to my alternative music playlist, and the song Things I’ll Never Say by Avril Lavigne came on shuffle. Besides being instantly taken back to the year 2002 as an angsty middle schooler with a tattoo chocker on, I couldn’t help but feel like the song reminded me of something else. I opened up a note on my phone and wrote, “Things I’ll Never Say-reversed 2 of Cups.”
Lo and behold, I had just created my new favorite past time! I started with just the Cups suit but quickly felt inspired to do so with each of the 78 cards in the deck. I mean, what song really tells the story of the Ace of Pentacles better than Marry the Night by Lady Gaga? And what better way to spend my morning walk to work every day than listening to music while deepening my understanding of the tarot?
I was elated to find that this practice allowed me to grow and build on my knowledge of each of the cards, something I am always striving to do. And that’s what is so beautiful about the tarot, they aren’t rigid archetypes, but instead are more like fluid, living stories. When we expand and seek new ways to speak with the cards we grow as readers and story tellers.
Here are some ways you can incorporate this practice into your life:
- Daily Draw
If a daily draw is already in your practice, great! If not, let this be a sign to start doing so. Now put on your favorite playlist and press shuffle. Listen to each song closely seeing if you can find similar themes to the ones in the card you pulled this morning. Once you’ve found the perfect song, you’ll know! It’ll be your jam for the day. Write it down in your grimoire or book of shadows, if that is in your practice. It’s totally fine if your grimoire is a note in your phone and not a notebook made from the skin of demons, it’s 2018 Witches!
- The Organizer
If you’re like me you love lists (shoutout to my fellow Earth signs). First pick a suit, then make a new note in your phone, or jot one down by hand if that feels right, listing ace through 10. Spend as long as you need, a week or more, listening to your music trying to piece together which songs work best for each card. Do all the suits, then the court cards, ending with the Major Arcana. Note any trends like “Cups are all Oldies” or “All the Knights are punk rockers,” and see what new insights these trends can give you about the cards.
This is a fun way for a more advanced reader to play this musical game. Make a playlist with 78(ish) of the songs near and dear to your heart, songs that you understand more than yourself, songs that have lived in your soul for years. Then, as you listen to this awesome playlist, start to imagine that the songs are about the cards. You’ll find that, as you assign a card to each of the songs, new ideas will sprout and give birth to new insights that you can use in your readings.
At the end of the day, all of this should be fun! So whether you’re looking for a more exciting way to learn the card meanings, or if you just love tarot and music, I hope you all enjoy this little exercise.
Happy reading and happy story telling!
Analisa is an intuitive Tarot Reader, Beginner Astrologer, and practicing Witch who studied under Vicki Noble, co-creator of the Mother Peace Tarot deck, and author of Shakti Woman.
Analisa combines her knowledge of Tarot, Numerology, and Astrology into her sessions and provides an enlightening experience on seeing how you can best use the energy in your life, and the energies of the celestial forces to expand and grow on your own spiritual path. You can follow her on IG @cosmicladysix and stay up to date with the celestial forecast by reading her weekly blog on her website cosmicladysix.com
Blessings WitchyWisdoms Readers! My name is Analisa and I am here to give a quick intro on how to discover your past life Karma using the birth chart.
A lot of us have different reasons for being interested in astrology. It can be fun to see trends in how we relate to one another, as well as how we perceive people through their astrological archetype. But the birth chart holds a key so much larger than just our personality traits; your personal life purpose in relation to your Karmic mission on planet Earth.
The birth chart in astrology I like to refer to as your “cosmic birthmark.” It is a celestial stamp imprinted into you at your time of birth, mapping out themes and potential challenges one will face in their personal development.
The birth chart is also believed to hold the answers to past lives, and shows us what past Karma we have come here to work out.
Many western people have a general understanding of Karma. “What goes around comes around.” This is true, but there are many layers to this understanding that go beyond.
The Story of Rahu and Ketu
In astrology the way we determine our past life Karma, is by looking at the placements of two energetic points located within the chart. These points are called Rahu and Ketu, and are also known as your North and South Node. These points are not planets, but are energetic points determined by the magnetic pull between the Moon and the Earth.
In Vedic mythology Rahu and Ketu was originally one god, a dragon god who disguised itself and in turn betrayed Lord Vishnu,the god who was responsible for protecting the universe. The dragon drank a special nectar meant for other deities that in turn made the dragon god immortal.
Upset, Lord Vishnu severed the head of the dragon, Rahu became the head, and Ketu became the severed body, or tail of the dragon.
This dismemberment is symbolic in representing the disconnection between the head- knowledge- and the body/heart- spirit, that we enter into our lives as humans.
How to Find Your Past Life Karma
In astrology whatever house and sign your South Node falls in, is the past life Karma you are required to heal in this life. Whatever house and sign your North Node falls in is what direction in life you are supposed to be moving towards.
In order to do this you will need to have your birth chart generated for you either by an Astrologer or using a website like astro.com to generate a free chart.
Using David Bowie’s chart, we can locate his South and North Node placements finding the above symbols, although in the astro.com generated charts, they do not include the glyph of the South Node but it would be exact opposite of the North Node in the chart.
In David Bowie’s chart we can see that his North Node is located in his 4th house of home and family in the sign of Gemini. This means his South Node is in the 10th house of occupation in the sign of Sagittarius.
If we were to look at David Bowie’s life in its entirety we could see that by the end of his life he began to work more in the direction of his North Node.
In the first half of his life David Bowie was much more focused on the path of his South Node, which was career and public recognition. Being in the 10th house and in the sign of Sagittarius means that he potentially in a past life was a teacher or did some kind of worldly travel for work revolved around enlightening others or educating people around broader philosophical ideas. He also very well could have been a musician in a past life as well having the South Node in the sign of Sagittarius- a common dominant sign in the charts of musicians. He also could have been some kind of religious leader. He was obviously attracted to that life in his younger years- bringing that karma with him into this life.
But in David Bowie’s later part of his life he developed severe health issues that prevented him from touring the world.On his last world tour, he had to cancel in the middle of it and return home due to unforeseen illness. He then spent the remainder of his life living very privately with his family (4th house.) And no longer was as focused on fame or recognition in the same way as when he was younger. This was his karma to fulfill in this life, and in one way or another, his fate pushed him along into that direction.
With this simplified and generic break down of the North and South Node you can see how it is beneficial to understand your North and South Nodes in your birth chart and the influence of the energy within the personal path of your own life.
I always feel when I am doing a chart, the most important piece to guide the client to is unlocking the key to your Karma through the Lunar Nodes as it is showing you the path you are meant to be leading in this life, and the karma you are meant to be healing.
I hope this article helps you to want to discover your personal karmic life path and help you to see the many layers in which the birth chart can help guide us in our lives.
Suggested reading for beginners on the Lunar Nodes and Karma in the birth chart:
Lunar Nodes: Discover your Soul’s Karmic Mission by Celeste Teal
Astrology, Karma, and Transformation by Steve Arroyo
As your planetary ruler Mars swoops backwards, through August 27th, you may feel like you’re not getting a big enough paycheck, especially on the 6th through the 9th. This motivates you to get creative on how to expand your net worth during the solar eclipse on August 11th. The 19th presents an opportunity to raise your prices, which may leave you waiting on pins and needles for the next several days. August ends with a chance for your clients to see how amazing you are and how much more credit you deserve, by way of money.
A fortuitous opportunity presents itself on the 6th, giving you the chance to collaborate on a profitable new project. Be careful to outline the partnership through a contract, which will save you time and money in the end, as the slowdown of Mercury, Mars, and Uranus retrograde can leave you with a reversal of fortune if you do not use the 6th to your full advantage. The 7th will make you feel as though you are giving up too much authority in this alliance, heightened by financial stresses on the 9th, as well as the solar eclipse August 11th, but dig your heels in, as the 19th allows you to reap serious financial benefits.
Uncertainty regarding finances may leave you with persistent worries for the first half of the month, as your planetary ruler, Mercury, is causing you to feel more mentally restless than usual. Try to focus your abundant energy on innovative ways to save and maybe even make an extra buck. The Solar eclipse on August 11th brings info to light surrounding raises or money owed to you, whereas the 12th may have you hiding under a rock dodging people you’ve borrowed money from. Relief is on the way on the 19th, lasting the last 12 days of August, allowing you to enter September on solid financial ground.
August pushes you to take stock of your personal net worth, giving you the opportunity to reassess your finances during the Solar eclipse on August 11th. Mercury’s moonwalk through the financial sector of your chart, which lasts until August 19th, urges you to decide if luxury items you crave for comfort are truly necessary or if you can wait to make the purchase. Stresses are alleviated on the 12th, as Mars, who is retrograde as well, offers you an opportunity to consolidate debt or save money.
With Mercury moonwalking and the solar eclipse heating up your already hot sun, August is a month full of change for you, as long as you access your ferocious Lion energy and fight for what’s yours! August 8th causes some ambiguity about your debts. You may have recently taken on too many creative projects, leaving you with fresh debt, which will really bug you on the solar eclipse. You may get upset about your inability to treat yourself to nice treats on your solar return. The 18th allows you to shine amongst your friends and the 19th gives you the vigor to treat yourself again, as you’ve paid some or all of your debts.
You’re finally getting that long lost paycheck on August 6th, which you’ve been waiting for since since July 26th when Mercury started to slow down. The retrograde caused delays in receiving mail, and, therefore, money. With some extra cash in your pocket, you may decide to relax this month and take a rest-cation from work, opting to use all those personal days you earned through the year to center yourself, especially during the eclipse on August 11th. Be sure to deposit the check right away and to keep your bank statements up to date, as things may get tricky to manage around the 21st.
August 6th serves as your time to pamper yourself with luxurious gifts, as your planetary ruler, Venus, links up with your sun. With champagne wishes and caviar dreams, August is a lovely time to shower yourself with gifts, mostly because your personal wealth is being expanded all month. With that in mind, you may decide to give back for all your good fortune this month by donating money to a charity during the solar eclipse on August 11th. Just be sure everything is legit about the organization you choose so you don’t feel scammed!
August proves to be a fruitful time for you financially! Even while your planetary ruler, Mars, moves backwards, you are still on fire, as you know how to manage your money. The solar eclipse on August 11th can offer you a chance to get a raise, which is something you have been eyeing at work for a while now. Show your audience you are the top Scorpion for the job by subtly reminding them of all your hard efforts from the past. This will propel you to monetary bliss by the beginning of September, when you can afford to treat yourself.
This August, you may be the recipient of some sweet charity from your friends. While you may be too proud to ask for a loan, your friends may offer it or take up a collection to help you on August 6th. You are generous and deserve a helping hand! The eclipse on the 11th gives you a moment to feel grateful for the kindness of others. Just be sure to make an agreement with them about a repayment plan by the 19th, as your friends may grow impatient if you don’t make an agreement by then. Assuring them you will return their generosity will avoid strife on the 27th.
Your personal finances may be a mess until the 12th, as action planet Mars shifts backwards from the financial sector of your chart making you take action and accountability for your spending habits. The solar eclipse and Mercury’s retrograde journey allow you to understand you can ask for help, whether it be financial aid, assistance, a loan, or even guidance on how to invest your money. Don’t be too proud to ask for help and take the advice. It will leave you more clear about how to manage your assets.
You are best served by heading into this month ready to do some hardcore adulting! You may feel like a bit of a shut-in and you will probably get bored in a week, but saving money will prevent issues for you in September. This includes making a monthly budget, coming to truly understand the costs of your expenses, and not going out to party whenever you feel like it unless you can truly afford to. While you may feel financially stressed on the 9th, the solar eclipse on 11th and then the helpful vibe of the 18th bring you time to spend some hard-earned cash on a fun evening out with your friends.
It’s high time to get your monetary ducks in a row this month! The 6th brings a little quiet time for you to patiently tally up all your expenditures just in time for the eclipse on the 11th, which will help you understand what you should be spending your hard-earned money on… and where you can save a little for a rainy day. It’s time to take action and forego the fancy lattes this month. If you save now, an investment or return on your savings will make a once in a lifetime dream vacation possible in the coming months. Start saving now and you will be thankful later on.
Monthly Tarot Forecast
The Atmosphere: August brings with it a host of intense cosmic energies that we can all use to fuel the fires of our passions and ambitions. While we are in the midst of multiple retrogrades, Leo season is bound to keep us motivated to achieve our career goals. With the planets turning on their heels, hitting points we recently experienced all over again, we are given a chance to dig in deeper so that to we can aim higher when Mercury and Mars go direct again a few weeks.
The Draw: The cards that represent the energy this month are the Ace of Wands, the 2 of Wands, and the 4 of Swords, with the Fool holding us steady to the promise of bliss at the bottom of the deck. We have low number (below 5) fire cards (wands), which indicate that we will start the month off with lots of energy. The Ace of Wands gives us a surge of inspiration surrounding our career goals, no matter the retrograde vibes! We will probably return with renewed energy to a project we dropped earlier in the summer and work at it with all our might through the first half of the month.
The 2 of Wands signifies the commitment to the idea, with the figure in the card taking the first step towards manifesting his vision. We will prepare to plant the seed of our inspiration in the fertile ground of the outside world. Use this energy well, for the 4 of Swords at the end of the month shows an abrupt slowdown. We may feel that we’ve overexerted ourselves as Mercury moves direct in the 3rd week of August. At this time, we may be prone to burn-out if we don’t slow down when we first start to feel tired, sluggish, or simply uninspired. You will have done enough work where a restorative break won’t put you back! Plan on rewarding yourself with a weekend of quiet self-care towards the end of the month. The Fool at the bottom of the deck (the “end of the book”) reminds us that the work we do with integrity will lead us to our bliss in time.
The Bottomline: Trust that whatever calls to you from the past in the beginning of the month is worth the work to either accomplish or resolve, and know when to take time for yourself to prevent burn-out.
Happy Super New Moon babes!!
This cycle the New Moon falls in the sign of Gemini, the sign of the Twins. This sector of the zodiac represents duality; our subconscious shadow vs our conscious ego.
For today, it’s important to set an intention to carry for the next 29.5 days, where halfway through it will manifest, and for the continuation of the cycle you will sit with your magick, revise, and revisit.
And that’s what Co-Creation is all about! It’s half trust, half commitment. What can you be committed to changing or improving for this cycle? And what kind of magick will support you?
For example, for this moon cycle I’m going to be committed to healthy eating and intentional nourishment. I recently moved my scale back into my bathroom and since I’ve had creepy negative ED whispers from my shadow!
So part of my ritual was to move the scale back under my cabinet and remove my trigger. And purchasing gorgeous raw fruits and veggies to replenish my body from a place of love. I’m committing to replacing bad eating habits with better ones, and leaving the rest up to Universe!
So what’s your intention, and what’s your portion of the work? How can you symbolize this in a ritual setting? What part of your truest desires can you take responsibility for?
Stay committed, and stay witchy ( *)