Tarot: Questions to ask at a reading…

This is probably the most important step when consulting a deck.

What the hell do I ask?

First things first, are you asking for yourself, or are you reading for someone?

I think the easiest way to determine what questions you can or cannot (more like shouldn’t) ask is based off of what kind of reading is happening?

If you are the one doing the reading, then I would say, you can ask any question TO YOUR OWN DECK THAT YOU ARE READING FROM IF YOU ARE READING FOR YOURSELF.

If you’re the reader and asking for a client or someone else, then ask only questions you are comfortable asking.

Think of Tarot like a spiritual Google. You can ask Google whatever you want. However, there are some things you won’t get any answers for (like winning lotto numbers or when you’ll die). There are some things you don’t want to know from Google (like cheaters and such). So how do you know what kind of questions to ask then?

Easy. Ask questions about…

  • where is my career headed
  • is my life balanced between family and aspirations
  • what needs to happen from me for a certain result
  • what am I not seeing about a situation
  • what aspect am I not seeing in this relationship (can be romantic, familial, or platonic)
  • what do I need to move on from
  • yes or no questions (not in depth answers but easy enough to read)
  • where is my life going
  • what options should I consider
  • out of my options which is better
  • what do I need to focus on in my life
  • is this option a good option for me

The most important thing about a Tarot reading is that you’re not trying to get all the answers to the universe. You’re working on getting answers about yourself.

Remember that some things are left up to chance and shouldn’t be rushed. If you’re worried about meeting someone or if your wife is going to leave you or if you’re going to lose your job, should you really be getting a Tarot reading instead of fixing the problems you already know about?

Student life: Rewriting your notes…

So how do I study and stay on top of my busy schedule?

Most of the time, I don’t.

But what do I do when I try to study between working, commuting, and trying not to lose my shit?

I recopy my lecture notes. My handwriting is absolutely atrocious. So when I find the time, I sit down with a fresh notebook page and copy my notes down and make them readable. Then when I get time to study, I can review everything that the professor went over in lecture.

So how do I rewrite my notes to make sure all the viable content gets copied down?

First, I start with opening the lecture from the day and start writing the notes I copied down. Whenever I hit a snag from where my writing is indecipherable, I can reference the lecture slides and jog my memory.

So how do my reference notes and lecture notes differ?

In my refernce notes, I use different colors to help with memorization. For example…

  • Red is used for vocab words
  • Green is used to key concepts (either underlined or written in green ink)
  • Blue is used for chapter headings and to distinguish what will be on what test
  • Pink/purple (or another bright color) is used for chapter summaries and to summarize what will be on the test

Does this system really work? Maybe. I’ve heard many conflicting things on this way to study or that way to study. Honestly, this method helps me and that’s what counts. Maybe your method you develop involves making flashcards, or watching Crash Course videos or whatever.

There’s no right way to do anything and whatever works for you is what works.

Tarot 101: Two of Swords…

The Two of Swords is an interesting card. In Tarot, twos are used to represent choices and decisions. Swords, for me, represent fire and thoughts.

Two of Swords

So what can we see in the Two of Swords? A woman sits on a bench, blindfolded. Behind her is a sea or a very large lake, maybe. It is night time. She holds two swords upright. These are very large swords, as they extend past the border. She holds these very large swords easily.

So what does it mean? The blindfold reminds me of Lady Justice, who is blind but finds the truth. So she must being trying to find the truth or find an answer. Both swords like similar in size, color, and heft. If this card represents decisions, then the swords are the decisions or choices themselves, and they are similar choices.

But we have to remember that the setting is still night time. So perhaps these choices are not about the easy things in life, maybe these choices are more difficult.

Two of Swords Reversed

So what about when this card comes up reversed? The moon looks like it is just rising at this point, so maybe this is still about difficult choices, but it is the start of difficult choices. Both choices are still equally aloft, so both choices, while difficult, are both viable options.

Depending on the reading and the question asked, this card can mean weighing options carefully and determining whether the choices are equal or whether the choices available are difficult choices.

So when this card is pulled, remember the basics.

  • Twos represent decisions
  • Swords represent fire (air in conventional interpretation) and thoughts
  • In reference to time ,Swords refer to days (fire) or weeks (air)

Tarot Reading – 1 Card

A one card Tarot reading. Answers yes/no questions.

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Witchcraft 101: Incense…

God I love incense.

I feel like incense is one of those things that every witch loves passionately and lately, it’s been getting a bad wrap from those moms. You know, the ‘Gregory doesn’t need vaccinations, I have essential oils and gluten-free pasta’ moms.

But for witches, incense is like… my jam.

Incense is used to bring fire into a spell or ritual, safely (cause you can’t logistically have a bonfire in your living room). Then, the fact that each scent has it’s own alignments.

Like, every one secretly loves incense and lighting shit on fire. It’s something in our primal caveman brain.

So what do you need to get started with incense?

Nowadays, most stores are carrying incense (for those Karens out there).

So you can trek down to local grocery and pick up some sticks and light up.

Here are some of my go-to flavors I love to have around the house.

  • Lavender – I mean, duh. Any witch worth their salt keeps some lavender around the house in one form or another. Incense is one of the easiest form to keep around and light up when you need it. Lavender is used for promoting peace and calming, whether through aromatherapy or through potions (i.e. some Celestial Seasonings Lemon Lavender Lane tea, which is also my jam).
  • Sage – While not a traditional sage bundle, I keep a couple sticks around to help with quick, on-the-go cleanings. Like, when I need to sequester myself away and recharge, I can sit in my office space and light up some sage, and create a space just for me to recharge my energy.
  • Lemon – I just really love citrus. Citrus, especially lemon and orange, always makes me feel like something is clean and fresh and bright. Lemon incense is good for luck and success.

Now a few things you have to know about incense.

You can’t just light it up like a blunt and start smoking.

Okay, you can, but you need a little something extra.

Just like with candles, you have to watch incense around small children and animals, and you should never leave it unattended for extended periods of time (if you have to leave for a moment to get your cup of coffee, then cool, but don’t light it then go out partying with your friends all night).

If you do have to leave (emergencies happen, no biggie) then make sure to put out your incense. You can put it out by dunking the tip in water, wetting your fingertips and squeezing the tip (like an old-timey candle), or mashing the tip, like a cigarette butt, into an ash tray or the incense holder ash groove.

Lavender and cats don’t mix. If you have cats and want to burn some lavender incense, just be aware they cannot breakdown certain aspects of lavender and it can cause moderate health issues, like nausea and vomiting. When I want to burn lavender incense, I seclude myself in my office away from my cats and my cats’ food with an open window and the fan on. I make sure the room is completely clear of smoke before allowing them back into the room.

There’s no right way to pick incense. Of course, there’s some traditional flavors everybody swears by, but honestly, if a certain scent gives you a headache or brings bad memories to mind (cinnamon is my bane, if you know what I mean), then don’t try to make it work. There are always alternatives you can use, and you can always tweak a spell to work for you. Maybe lemon doesn’t bring to mind wealth, but pine does (you know, pine trees are green, money is green), then focus on the intent instead of the community.

So here’s a quick breakdown of the most common incense flavors.

FlavorAlignmentUses (rituals, rites, and spells)
AmberFire and Airwisdom, truth, love and desire
Cinnamonpersonal power, protection,
inflaming passion,
countering love spells
CitrusLemon for confidence, good luck and
goal accomplishment
Orange for joy, good fortune, prosperity,
and marriage happiness
Dragon’s
Blood
FireThe coffee of incense: because of the
rarity and power, it adds a kick
to any spell work, esp. useful in love
magic, protection, and oath-making
Evergreenwisdom, cleansing,
protection, money magic
FrankincenseThe stand -in: because of the commonality
works for most spell work, including
setting sacred space, offerings, and
purification
HoneyIdeal for works for drawing prosperity
wealth, and luxury
JasmineThe MoonFor New moon and Full Moon rituals,
encourages prophetic dreams and
spiritual magic
Lavendercleansing for the home, body and mind
useful for healing and meditation
Patchouliattraction magic, like money spells
Raincleansing, healing, relaxation,
esp. good for ‘clean slates/fresh starts’
and calming anger
(Fresh Linen scent can be used in a pinch)
RoseVenuslove incense: attracting and keeping love, usher in romance and self-love,
can also open the heart
Sandalwoodonly for benevolent works; cannot be used
to curse or compel, used to consecrate, heal,
removing negativity, , bringing peace,
wishes, bless altars and ritual spaces
Vanillacalming an area, promoting mental and
physical arousal, stimulate good luck
happiness, prosperity, and knowledge-seeking

Incense is a great way to jump feet-first into witchcraft. It’s pretty affordable, and even if you spend too much at first, there’s no way you’ll burn through 50 sticks of incense super fast.

Witchcraft: learning about the zodiac…

The zodiac has been really popular in meme culture of late. So your friends probably already forced you into looking into your sun sign.

But now you’re getting deeper down the witchcraft rabbit-hole, and you are getting left, right, and center about rising signs, your venus, houses, mars, ascendant…

Honestly, it really is a lot to take in. So take a deep breath.

First thing first, ask yourself if the zodiac is something you really want to learn about. If you don’t feel you’re a celestial witch, then don’t really bother. It’s like knowing your Hogwarts house. If you’re not a die-hard Harry Potter fan (and honestly, we all love the series but we’re not all die-hard), then you don’t need to know all the ins and outs of your Hogwarts house. Same goes for the zodiac. Maybe just pick up just enough to know yourself, but you don’t need to go in depth and learn something you have no passion about.

So let’s say you do want to learn anything and everything about the zodiac.

Then you need to decide what you want to start with. Which zodiac are you going to go with? The traditional zodiac (Aries-Capricorn), or maybe you want to learn more about the Chinese zodiac, or maybe your culture has some aspect of the zodiac you want to learn about.

Once you decide your focus, my only advice is start small.

Ignore all the memes you’ve seen floating around and dive deep into the internet for research. Learn about the differences between the signs, then learn about what moon signs are, then move on to the rising/ascendant signs, then the houses, until you can understand what a whole birth chart means.

So what do the basics mean?

Sun sign is the position the sun was in when you were born. It’s mostly described as the You of your self. Which makes no sense. I think of the sun sign as the canvas your entire personality is painted on. Each canvas is a little different, but each canvas has unique characteristics.

Moon sign is the position the moon was in when you were born. It’s been described as the emotional side of your personality. Keeping with our painting allegory, the moon sign is the middle ground of the painting. It’s what helps set up the painting and gives it some character . Like the landscape.

Then your rising sign (also called the ascendant) is the way you make a first impression on others. To me, it’s the detail in the foreground that draws your attention for the first time in someone else’s painting.

So what are the rest of the signs in your birth chart? Honestly, I never bothered to learn. They’re the little background details that fill out the painting and give it life. Sometimes it’s better to just better to appreciate the picture than dissect it.

So each sign corresponds to certain elements, fixtures, and colors. Out of teh twelve signs, each correspond into different categories.

Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are Fire signs.

Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are Air signs.

Scorpio, Pisces, and Cancer are Water signs.

Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo are Earth signs.

Each sign corresponds to different colors and characteristics.

So go forth and learn. Figure out who you are first if you’re interested in this.

Let me know in the comments what your zodiac sign(s) are. Personally, I’m a Leo sun, Sagittarius moon, and Aries rising,

Witchcraft: 5 things every new witch needs…

As a new witch, sometimes called a witchling or in the new hip kid phrases, a noob, I get to ingest all the good advice I get from everyone who’s been doing this a whole lot longer than me.

But if I had to give some advice myself?

There’s seriously only a couple items you need to really start practicing witchcraft.

  1. A couple of good playlists
  2. A good pair of shoes for walking in
  3. Passion
  4. A notebook
  5. Access to the internet

You don’t really need any of the fancy crystals or incense or candles to start practicing witchcraft.

Part of being a witch is learning about those who came before you and what they learned. It’s about teaching and growing and learning about yourself.

So let’s break this down.

1. Playlists

So why are playlists important? Music is incredibly important in every aspect of life; movies alone need soundtracks, let alone every aspect of life that needs music. Weddings, graduations, parties, funerals… Not to mention the pychology behind music and the way it helps your brain work.

So set up some playlists to help you get in the witchy mood. Playlists for meditating, happy playlists to help you manifest, hardcore playlist to help you banish, sad playlists to help you do shadow work, playlists for anything in between. Whatever pumps you up, or fills you with some emotion, put it in a playlist.

And the best part, playlists are basically free. Depending on what streaming service you use, it’s a relatively cheap option to help get started with your witchy journey.

2. A good pair of shoes

Why do you need a good pair of walking shoes? What could possibly be the point in a pair of shoes? Well, you need to ground yourself.

You’re thinking, okay sure, ‘ground’ myself. Haha. But seriously.

A good pair of shoes will take you on your journey, whether it’s a walkabout cross-country to find yourself, or a walk to the park to enjoy the sunshine before a thunderstorm.

Grounding is the simplest witchcraft you can do. I’ll post about grounding later.

3. Passion

This one is actually free. It takes just yourself. You need passion, in some way, for witchcraft. Maybe its a passion to learn about everything you can. Maybe its a passion to find a group of like-minded individuals. Maybe its just a passion to discover yourself. Maybe its passion to heal yourself in ways that modern medicine hasn’t quite discovered yet (I wholey endorse medical professionals for fixing physical illnesses, but we just haven’t found a cure for things like PTSD and depression).

Passion is what drives you down this path. If your passion is just to learn about this aspect of your culture, and find out why women were victimized for this lifestyle, then there you go, there’s your drive.

But take heed, this path isn’t for the fainthearted. It’s a path that will push you to see yourself and your place in the universe. But that’s why passion is important. You can turn away from this path at anytime, after you’ve found your answers. But your passion will keep you moving, keep you growing.

4. A notebook

This one is a gimme. I mean, come on. Why else do you keep notebooks around? That’s right, FOR NOTES!

Modern witches use notebooks all the time for their grimoires (aka the Book of Shadows or BOS). And as soon as you start taking notes, bam, you started your own Book of Shadows.

Witches take notes about their deities, their practice, their spells, and all sorts of information they find. They use their BOS for journaling, notes, sigil drawing practice, planners, etc.

A notebook of your choosing is the prefect way to get started. Just grab a $1 notebook from the local store, maybe a pack of pens (if you’re anything like me and lose yours all the damn time), and get started.

Take notes on cryptids from your area and culture, deities you follow or are fascinated with, colors and candles, sigils you find interesting, playlists you’ll make someday when you quit forgetting to actually make them, moon phases, notes on spellwork, etc, etc.

5. Internet access

This one also is a gimme. If you can access the internet, you can access the entire world of witchcraft (as well as World of Warcraft, which is completely different but also available online). You have access to all of the information available from different bloggers, different cultures, even actual books that have been digitized in archives.

The internet is your garden you can harvest information from. Back in the olden days, witches would form their covens to exchange information with one another about spellwork, sigils, and spiritwork (ya know, the whole dancing naked in the woods bullshit the pilgrims demonized, literally). But today, with the amazing interconnectedness of the world, you can log on to any social media platform and see people who have been doing this for years and people, like me, who are brand new and sharing their own journey. You can get the information you need from all across the world and learn everything.

You can still form a coven or join one if you want, and the internet has created such a wonderful platform for exchanging information with one another. Of course, you have to be careful about that information; sometimes people purposefully mislead or misrepresent information. So do your research and make up your mind about what information is relevant and what doesn’t apply to you.

For example, one area of debate within witchcraft is hexing. Some witches disagree with hexing, while some agree with the practice. So do your research, hear both sides of the argument, then decide what you believe in.

Witchcraft is a complex system. So don’t feel disheartened if you don’t know which way to go. There’s so much to unpack and learn about. That’s why it’s a learning process. Everyone out there will give advice and opinions galore about how to practice and what to learn about.

Maybe you feel a little late to this party and you didn’t bring any chips or dip. It’s okay. The party has been going on for years now and half the party goers will be happy you showed up (even if the half are mad you showed up without more salsa). And by years, I mean like hundreds of years.

So find your groove, your niche, and live.