Category Archives: Witchy

Daily Draw November 11th

Another Monday! With every day winter gets closer, as well as Thanksgiving (and my personal retail hell of Black Friday). As the world gets closer to the winter solstice and the new year, we should all be thinking about what we want to change in our lives and how we can start changing, day by day.

Because change doesn’t happen overnight.

Unless you’re a superhero.

So let’s see what the cards have in store today.

Justice Reversed

Here we have Justice reversed.

Now, most Major Arcana cards can be scary, but luckily, this is one of the nicer cards, in my book.

Most Major Arcana cards are upfront about what they represent, like the Lovers, Strength, the Sun.

Some like the character cards are harder to interpret because they are usually particular to the question or subject, such as how the High Priestess can be interprettted differently depending on whether the the question is about a person or a situation.

So Justice Reversed means a unbalance or dishonesty.

We can see in the card that the scales are balanced, but reversed can mean that we should be aware of scales that are not balanced. Justice is commonly referred to as being ‘blind’ because Justice acts on the facts and therefore has the scale to weight the facts.

I feel that today I should just be aware of the unfairness or dishonesty in my life, especially with myself and those in my close circle.

Daily Reading November 9th

Oh man, we’re almost a third of the way through November! Better start getting those Yule presents ready! Or at least, start making your list now so you don’t forget anyone by Yule.

So what does the fabulous Santa Muerte hold for us today…

Seven of Swords Reversed

The Seven of Swords Reversed. Ooh, interesting…

I’ve been getting a lot of Swords over the last few days, which is mildly concerning considering I have a very methodical way of shuffling my deck so that it becomes very improbable that all the Swords are still stuck together. Which means…

MY DECK IS CALLING MY ASS OUT FOR CONSTANTLY OVERTHINKING LITERALLY EVERYTHING!

Swords coincide with thoughts. Sevens are linked with those ‘keep going’ attitudes; discipline, faith in the process, working hard.

In the card, we see a man sitting on the edge of his coffin. It’s reminiscent of the coffin from the Four of Swords I drew earlier this week. He seems lost, unsure of where to go. In the top of the coffin, we can see the words Hope and Reflection carved into the fabric/wood.

Considering the Four of Swords I drew earlier, I believe he is getting out of the coffin, instead of going into it. So perhaps he has broken through some kind of thought process that had him trapped or held him back in some way.

But what about the card being reversed? I think it represents that his world has, literally, been turned upside-down. Perhaps with overcoming this thought process, he finds himself lost to what he could now become, what he could’ve been, and what lays in front of him. So what does this mean today?

I think it’s warning, for like the 20th time this week, to quit overthinking, I also think it’s trying to guide me into overcoming my usually ‘worst thing possible’ thought process. Knowing how bad I am at overthinking and leading myself down those thought-rabbitholes, I think this card is trying to get me to stop thinking so much about what might happen and enjoy what I can make happen in today.

So we’ll see how many more times I have to draw a Sword card to get this message across. Place your bets in the comments!


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Daily Draw November 8th

Man, we’re already a week into this month! Before I know it, the year will be over and I still have some much left to do!

Queen of Swords

QUEEN OF SWORDS! I love this card! I love the queen cards in general; a strong female leader, each with her own strengths and values… Who doesn’t love a strong female character that doesn’t reject traditional feminine values to put others down.

Sorry, getting side tracked.

So Swords coincide with thoughts. And Queens coincide, usually with mother figures. But Queens can also women or feminine figures in your life.

I think this card is representing me today; the Queen of Swords is a strong feminine figure, ushering in new thoughts and growing the thought process. Considering I’m in school, trying to grow mentally and intellectually, I think this card is supposed to remind me why I’m doing this. Why I’m going to school, why I’m trying to better myself.


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Daily Draw November 7th

So we’re a bit late today with our drawing, because school and such have kept me busy all morning (yay, group projects!)

So we’ll use today’s draw as a reflection piece and see how it applies to what I have done today.

Ace of Cups

Oh man, let’s jump right into this one!

The Ace of Cups is a great card for a single reading.

Aces mean beginnings, the start of the story. Cups coincide with emotion. If you look at this card, there is so much going on. A rainstorm is filling up the cup, a dragonfly sits on the rim. A little frog sits in the back. If you look closely, you can see a preying mantis in the foreground, near the base of the cup.

So what does this mean? How does this apply to my day?

Well, when you have a full cup, it usually means prosperity or excess. Cups coincide with emotion, so I’m probably full of emotion.

And knowing how my day has gone, yeah I am full of emotion. It’s getting close to the end of the semester, so I’m stressed out and I’m still dealing with a lot on my plate between work, school, maintaining a romantic relationship, and helping my family through some tough times.

When you draw a card for the day and you can’t figure out the meaning, or connect it to a message for the day, save it and reflect on it; maybe something will be revealed to you throughout the day!


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Tarot: What to do when you Break the ‘Cardinal’ Rules…

So you’re brand new to Tarot. You’ve done your research, you’ve memorized this and that for all the rules.

You start practicing, and reading for yourself, maybe a friend or family member… until.

Oh no.

You broke one of the Rules.

What do you do now? Are the Tarot police going to come for you? Are your ancestors and spirit guides going to kick your ass from the spirit plane?

No, probably not, (depending on who your ancestors are).

So I’ll break down the ins and outs of the Rules.

Someone touched your deck.

If someone else touches your deck, it’s not something to get crazy about. Unless they touched it without permission, it’s a fixable issue. While everyone and their mother will preach about not letting someone touch your deck, it is up to you. I personally don’t mind, especially if it’s a reading for someone because you need their energy in the reading to get a good answer for the question. And shuffling will dispel all the energy from a reading.

If it is an issue where someone handled your deck, maybe unintentionally, such as, your mother-in-law moves your deck in the office to look for some documents, then a heavy shuffle and a moon bathe won’t hurt.

This is also why many preach about crystals in addition to your reading, to help balance energies, as well as storing decks with crystals to help recharge the deck and ward off unwanted energies.

You dropped your deck on the ground

It’s okay, take a second. Now pick up your cards one by one and brush each one off and give each dropped card a quick cleanse. Then shuffle the whole deck together again.

If you drop a couple cards on the ground during a shuffle, it’s no big deal. Some say that those cards that fly out of your hand even have a message for you. And when you’re still learning how to handle the size of a Tarot deck, both in card volume and size of the deck itself, you will inevitably drop a few here and there.

If some of the cards get damaged, then that’s okay too. Things happen, and decks will come and go in your life. If you’re not ready to give up the deck, or can’t afford a new deck yet, use this deck as your home-copy until you can get a new deck. Then you can re-purpose the damaged deck into art work, a show deck (you know, you leave it out on the coffee table for those more conservative relatives to bitch about), or as a reference deck if you get lost in your Tarot studies.

You have to get up in the middle a reading/meditation.

It’s okay. Tarot is a gentle tool; you won’t be penalized if something happens and you have to move away from the reading for a moment.

If you have to get up because the weather suddenly changes (during an outdoor read), an urgent call comes through on your or your client’s phone, an emergency like a fire or earthquake, or your pet/familiar/child is being naughty and you have to step in immediately to prevent loss or injury, then get up.

After the issue is dealt with, if an issue that can be rectified like moving inside from the rain or preventing your baby from eating your crystals, then just take a moment to meditate and reset the energy of the reading. Clear your mind and return to the reading.

If this is an issue where you cannot immediately return to the reading, such as a life emergency you or the client must attend to, a fire destroyed the cards, or another emergency where the reading must be abandoned, then don’t worry. If possible, shuffle the cards together and store properly. If the cards are gone, then meditate for a moment and let go of the energy from the reading.

If there is a client and an emergency occurs, make every effort to help the client let go of the reading energy, then attempt to either reschedule with the client, or send good energy to the client.

You asked a bad question and got a weird answer.

When you’re learning still, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s okay, as long as you’re willing to learn how to do it the right way. Think of all the things you couldn’t do as a child, but can now because you asked questions.

So maybe, you asked a bad question, but didn’t think it was a bad question. And I’m not talking about one of the questions like ‘will I win the lotto’ bs. I’m talking about the ‘what can you tell me about this too-specific topic’ questions.

When you get weird answers, sometimes you need to analyze the question. Think about how many times you asked Google what you thought was a good question, only for Google to give you all sorts of weird and unrelated topics in response.

So take a moment and analyze whether the question is too specific or if you have something else on your mind when you think about the question.

For first-timers, think about writing down your question first to help you focus on it.

Don’t stress so much about if you mix things up when you’re learning. Don’t worry about it too much. You’re learning, and honestly, if you get lost there are so many people out in the witchy community that are willing to help and guide.

Good luck!

Daily Draw November 6th

Oh man, I was so busy yesterday I forgot to post everything! But oh well, onto today!

That’s my advice for the day (without the cards lol): accomplish what you can in one day, and start fresh the next.

Now onto our daily reading!

I’m using my deck Santa Muerte by Fabio Listrani.

Four of Pentacles

Oh man, I have been waiting for this card to show up! It’s been stuck in the back of my mind for awhile now, because it’s just so striking and well-composed.

It honestly just shouts GREED at me, like a toddler screaming.

Pentacles represent material wealth, and Fours are usually a more conservative number; Fours in most decks (regardless of suit) represent things like planning, stability, and reevaluation.

The scene playing out shows a bride, larger than life (almost literally), plucking a man from the town. Other townspeople, all women, continue about their day, unaffected by the giantess taking their neighbor. The bride, in her stark white gown, is at contrast of the green of the roofs and the greenery behind her. She wears an almost angry growl, like she is mad at her groom, but also bitterly victorious in taking her pick.

So does this card really mean greed, or being greedy? Traditonally, it means financial stability, but even looking at the Rider-Waite deck, I feel more draw to it exuding greed or hoarding wealth.

For me, this card represents greed; in the Rider-Waite deck, the Four of Pentacles depicts a man clutching coins tightly to his chest. So I believe my lesson for today is to not be greedy, or to watch myself for signs of greed.

Maybe this card resonates differently for you. Let me know in the comments!


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Daily Tarot Draw November 4th

Today is a special day! It’s a two card day!

During my shuffle, an extra card popped out, so I figured, why not put it to side and see what we can divine.

For our two cards today, the actual draw was the Knight of Swords and our extra card that has some message is the Four of Swords.

Knight of Swords, Four of Swords

Let’s start with the Knight of Swords. Swords coincide with thought and the mind. Knights usually refer to young adults.

The knight is a soldier, sitting on his horse. He is pulling his sword from his own throat, or maybe he’s sheathing the sword in his throat? However, there doesn’t seem to be anything volatile or provoking, so he, must be sheathing his sword. The background is actually bright and cheery, with bright yellow flowers and a bright background.

So what is he trying to say, or maybe convey, since there’s a sword hindering his mouth?

Knowing myself, and how sharp-tounged I can be, I think this is saying I need to quit being so quick to anger and snap at others and ‘sheathe’ the sword I usually wield. And maybe this is a warning to not speak to myself so harshly.

But what about our second card, the Four of Swords?

Fours can represent stability. For this card, we can see a figure with a coffin, carving away with a chisel. Nails rest on the top of the coffin. It is dark, as though it was late at night, the scene illuminated by a single lit candle, the other three waiting to be used.

So what does this mean?

Coffins usually refer to the final resting spot, to being dead and resting after a long life. I’m drawn to the nails, like the phrase, ‘the last nail in the coffin’, which usually refers to the fact that ends an argument or a piece of evidence which disproves or proves something.

Traditionally, the Four of Swords also represents resting and recuperation.

So maybe this card is trying to urge me to rest, considering the stress load I’m putting on myself between working and school. But I also feel a strong pull towards the coffin and the final rest; I feel that this card is urging me to take the time and acknowledge a recent passing in my family, and acknowledge they are resting, peaceful now.


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Daily Draw November 3rd

Already the third day of the month! What does this day hold in store me?

This is my Santa Muerte deck, by Fabio Listrani.

King of Wands

Finally, an upright card! After the last two days, I was getting worried my deck was messing with me (or I shuffled like an idiot).

The King of Wands. Wands coincide with actions.

The king is a formal figure, with his large mustache, and mysterious sack of things. He’s cloaked in red and stands in a field of roses. He points to something unseen, in the sky maybe.

What can we draw from this card? What do we need to know about today?

Well, it looks like the king is hard at work, carrying his sack and standing in a field. With Wands being tied to action, perhaps this is urging us to do the work we need to do today. Maybe that means the prep work for our upcoming week, homework we’ve been putting off, or those dishes we let pile up this week.

This card could also be urging me to seek out some of the male figures in my life. Kings can represent father figures sometimes. I think in this case, it might be referring to a boss or supervisor, since this King is hard at work, or maybe some of the male figures I know who work hard.

This card could be urging me to keep working hard, and not give up hope yet. You don’t get to be the ‘king’ of your kingdom without hard work.


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Daily Draw November 2nd

Today, for those who are in a part of the world that is not North, Central, or South America, today is Dia de los Muertos.

Growing up in a region of the US where it’s not uncommon to see or hear about Dia do los Muertos, it makes the spooky season stretch just a little bit longer and provides a nice contrast to the usual spooky. For those unfamiliar with this holiday, it’s a holiday that revolves around honoring your dead relatives and ancestors by leaving gifts and offerings, reminiscing about their time on this plane with you, and celebrating life.

This deck is the Santa Muerte deck by Fabio Listrani.

So what card do we have today?

Page of Wands Reversed

The Page of Wands Reversed. This one is a bit of a doozy. Wands coincide with action. The Page card relates to youth, or a young person.

However, the thing sticking with me right this second, and I will probably get too stuck on it, is the Page is holding a scroll. To me, it looks like it could be a diploma, but that’s probably me just projecting, being a college student.

The Page is dressed in red, sitting on a swing. He is barefoot. There is something almost carefree about how he is sitting on the swing, barefoot like a child, while also holding this scroll or diploma. He is gazing right at you.

Maybe this card is trying to tell me to balance my life better, the balance between my goals and my youth. To enjoy life and slow down. That could be the reason why the card is reversed; you can’t really swing upside down.

But what does this have to do with actions? Red coincides with power, courage, and health in witchcraft. The action I feel I need to take based off what is hitting me is that I need to take the time to analyze my own actions and decide what will be more beneficial for my health, youth, and goals.


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Daily Tarot Draw November 1st

To showcase my absolutely beautiful deck, I’m going to start doing a daily Tarot draw. Once I get my camera set up properly, I’ll start posting little daily videos of the draw. Until then…

This deck is Santa Muerte by Fabio Listrani.

November 1st: 9 of Swords Reversed

It looks like today’s draw is going to be the 9 of Swords Reversed.

I zoomed in a little there so you can get a peek at the wonderful colors and details.

So let’s break this down.

A man is standing in the boat, loaded with other figures and swords. The man is aged, with a long grey beard and hunched shoulders. The boat is moving towards the horizon, without a clear destination in mind. The wind is blowing leaves and petals around. None of the figures are looking at a clear target. The blue and yellow colors are distinct against the dark clothes of the man.

So what can this all mean?

Swords coincide with the mind and thought. The feel of card is very lost, very hopeless. There is no clear target, no clear destination in mind for the boat and its passengers. The man steering the boat is reminiscent of the Ferryman, ferrying souls across the River Styx.

But this isn’t a card saying ‘abandon hope, all who enter…”. I feel this card is more of a warning to stay out of my head. Since Swords are connected to thoughts, I feel that the Ferryman figure is warning that going down certain paths of thought can be detrimental.

So today, we’re going to try to be more optimistic, more forgiving, and more understanding, not only with myself but with my coworkers and classmates.

And with Mercury in retrograde again for the next few weeks, this is also probably a warning to be forgiving with myself and not to be too rash in making decisions.

My advice for the day? TGIF, so don’t beat yourself up too hard over a late project today or because dinner got burned. Just make it through today and have a cold drink tonight (or a hot one, if you’re in a warmer region of the world) and maybe order takeout as a reward for making it through the week.

Santa Muerte Little (White) Book

As a little extra, here’s a picture of the book written for the deck, just to see how beautiful not only the book is, but the writing itself is. I absolutely love this deck and the effort and artistry that has gone into it.


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Witchcraft: palm reading…

Palm reading is literally the coolest thing I can imagine when it comes to secret witchcraft.

It’s like no one knows you’re a witch until bam! You look at their palm and tell their future. Then they’re shaken, they’re like, whoa you were a witch this whole time. Then you slip into the shadows with an eerie cackle, never to be seen again.

But what is palm reading exactly? What do witches see on the palms?

Well, buckle up kiddos, cause this is about to get spooky.

Palm reading is the art of looking at someone’s palm and reading the lines. Which lines you ask? Well, every palm is different, of course, just like everyone has unique fingerprints. But we all have some things in common, exactly like how fingerprints can be classified by shape even though we’re all unique.

Each palm, while unique, has certain lines that can be ‘read’ so to speak. These lines cross the palm in certain ways and are read in specific ways.

Just Google palmistry (the art of palm reading) and look at the image results. SO many results pop up and honestly, I won’t try to find one for you to look at because, depending on how in depth you want to get, that will depend on how detailed of an image you want.

So what’s the point of palm reading then? Why bother to learn it besides it being a cool party trick?

Well, you can tell a lot about a person from their palms and it doesn’t even have to be anything about their future.

Use palmistry as a way to determine if someone is a good vibe. Check their palms for callouses, scars, burns, and healing wounds. These things can tell you all about a person; their career, their work ethic, their carefulness or carelessness… And this doesn’t even cover the lines in their palms.

When you do get to their palms, take a look at how the lines cross over their palms. Take into account if the lines are long or short, continuous or broken.

The Life line runs from the heel of the hand across towards the thumb.

The Heart line runs from the edge of the palm, by the pinkie, just under the fingers.

The Head line is the longest line between the Heart (on top) and the Life (bottom).

The Fate line runs perpendicular to the Head and Life line, creating a triangle-like shape in the middle of the palm.

These four lines can help you divine someone’s destiny.

The length can tell you how long their life may be, when they may meet their love, how their fate and their life are intertwined.

Don’t be afraid to look up all the crazy posts out there telling you how to read a palm. Most of these posts go in depth about their character based on hand shape, how the shape of their fingers can influence their destiny, how the lines interacting can mean different things, what it means if the lines are broken, what it means if the lines are present…

Because after all…

Your destiny is in your hands.

Witchcraft: full moon spellwork…

With the full moon, so much should be done. As a new witch, it’s overwhelming how much you hear about what needs to be done on the night of the full moon. Crystals this, moon water that, charging this, spellwork that…

So how do you actually get anything done on the night of a full moon? Especially if you’re a closeted witch?

When I know a full moon is coming, I set a reminder in my phone. If you’re following a couple witchy accounts on any form of social media, they will definitely remind you as well when a full moon is coming.

So, now that a full moon is coming, what are you supposed to do? There’s so much that everyone else is telling you to do and you’re honestly a little lost. Take a deep breath. Depending on what kind of witch you’ve aligned yourself to be, that can help narrow down what you’ll want to do a full moon night.

Three things you’ll want to do, no matter what kind of witchcraft you practice are…

  1. Leave things out to charge. Anything you can’t leave in sunlight, like certain crystals, or tools, sigils,Tarot cards, etc.
  2. Leave out water to charge for some moon water.
  3. Appreciate the full moon and meditate underneath it’s light (outside is recommended but not required, if conditions are not feasible)

See? You’ve already done three things of what everyone is freaking out about. Personally, I leave what I can out all night. However, my cats do like to cause mischief, so if I’m charging water, Tarot, or crystals (if I had any), I leave them out for just a few hours under the moonlight on a windowsill where the cats can’t bother them, then pack them up before I go to bed so I don’t end up with a pool of water on my kitchen floor in the morning or playing 78-Tarot-card pick-up.

So what else can you do on a full moon night? Well, look into what other kinds of witches in your field of witchiness do.

If you perform mostly fire magic, maybe you’ll anoint and light some candles to supercharge a spell under the full moon.

If you do divination, maybe tonight is a good night to just charge your crystals in advance for a new moon divination spell.

Maybe you’re a kitchen witch, so you can do something special like make a moon-themed dish or recharge your cooking tools, or charge oils (cooking kind, not essential) for future recipes. I know there are a couple awesome moon cookie recipes out there and I’m if you ask, someone will share.

Maybe you’re so new you don’t know what you are witch-wise, or maybe you’re an eclectic/grey/hedge witch and have no idea what else you can do on a full moon night.

Some things I do that no body talks about…

  1. Write in my Book of Shadows/Grimoire about upcoming works or things I tried earlier that week that I’m waiting for it to manifest
  2. Shuffle through all my Tarot decks and shift their energy to release the old energy and take in the full moon energy
  3. Clean up my space; the full moon works wonders for my energy and I use that energy to clean all the weird nooks and crannies that I normally ignore, like the old cobwebs in the corner of my laundry room, or scrubbing that weird stain in the bottom of my sink in my bathroom.
  4. Sometimes I dye my hair or just try a new makeup look, just to see what it looks like.
  5. Self-care bitches! Do a face mask, take a bath (with or without moon water), treat yourself to a special treat for making it through the month, paint your nails, moisturize, pop that back pimple, knock over your ex’s mailbox, watch a rom-com, get laid… Just treat yourself.
  6. Dance naked under the moon light. Can’t go wrong there. Not only are you honoring those who came before but damn, who doesn’t want to be a stereotypical witch every now and then.
  7. Go gather some supplies. Full moon light is great for nightly excursions. Find some cool rocks or sticks, or gather stuff from your garden.
  8. Have a cup of tea. Whether made with moon water or not, just relax with a cup of tea (or a glass of iced tea if its too hot outside).
  9. Prepare things you need to get rid up in the coming waning moon, like old clothes and documents that need to be shredded.
  10. Prepare anything coming in your life like laundry, dishes, finances, appointments. Use the full moon energy to make sure you have everything on track.

Don’t be afraid to look into all the neat stuff you can do during the full moon. If nothing else, just chill in the moon light for 10 minutes and appreciate your place in the world.

If you are new at witchcraft and wickedry, then don’t sweat trying to do a big spell or whatever. You have time to get there and right now, you just need to work on yourself before diving into a prosperity spell for your aunt’s coworker’s niece.

Full moons are meant to be a time to recharge and be thankful for all around you. So charge yourself and your charms and your sigils and your spells to make it through the month.

If you still feel overwhelmed, then remember to use this time to chill. Soak in some moonlight and breathe. You’ll figure it all out before you know it.

Intro to Witchcraft: balancing science and witchcraft….

Are you just starting out in witchcraft and freaking out about how science fits into all of it?

Are you worried that you’ll have to give up your belief in evolution and physics just to fit in with all the other witches?

I struggled myself with this; as a biological science major in school, with aspirations of being a veterinarian, how could I ever justify, even to myself, my belief in witchcraft and magic. How was I supposed to explain to my (eventual) children that I was a doctor and a witch (ha, a witch doctor)?

Well fear no more fellow witchling. Because I have some great news for you.

You can do whatever you want.

Witchcraft is literally without rules. There’s no one way of doing anything.

But how do you reconcile your scientific beliefs with your newfound spiritual beliefs?

Well…

Witchcraft and science overlap in multitudinous ways.

For both disciplines, you have to conduct research. You should look deeper at every claim you come across, whether it’s crystals or the use of new pesticides on corn crops.

Both disciplines rely on building on the knowledge that came before. For example, we’ve been building on how solar energy can be used for decades now. Similarly, witches have been building on the knowledge of the past in areas of horticulture, psychology, and spirituality. Both use claims from the past and investigate how to either dispel or improve on previous research.

Both disciplines keep records in some way. Most sciences rely on mathematics for their record keeping, whereas witchcraft journals about personal experiences. However, both are necessary to understand fully whether something was repeatable and testable.

So it should be easy to reconcile scientific beliefs with witchcraft because both have the same underlying purpose; understanding the universe and our place in it.

But I can hear you saying, ‘how can these make sense? How do these fit together?’

So think of witchcraft as a new form of science. Think of it as a melding of psychology and biology in an attempt to understand things we have yet to fully study. Think of spells and spell work as testing psychological boundaries and you are the Guinea pig, testing how best to help yourself and others. Think of the aspects of appreciating nature as biology and geology and you are simply documenting your experience in the world for future scientists/witches to use and grow from. Think of studying the celestial bodies as what it is, astrology, a real discipline of science.

There’s no real reason to segregate witchcraft and science, especially since witchcraft was a precursor to science.

So moral of my story is, that sometimes you have to put all the questions into a different science machine to get some kind of answer. While we as a society may have a vast understanding of how the planets work and how rain falls and why the sky is blue and why trees grow, there are still so many questions we as a species have about our world; like, how can I find happiness in the darkest times? Where can I find peace with the passing of a loved one? What can I do to help someone when I feel utterly lost and powerless?

And if you look at witchcraft with a critical eye, you can see that many aspects of witchcraft are even currently being studied by science to see why it works; things like mindfulness, meditation, manifesting (fake it till you make it), homeopathic options for illness treatment (lavender anyone?), and even just the psychology behind putting your belief that something will work (commonly called the placebo in an experiment, where you believe in something to a degree where your brain actually believes it can work). And that’s not even counting all the disciplines that have grown from witchcraft practice; baking, home-brewing (what hipsters every where are going crazy over), horticulture, astronomy, psychology, midwifery, natural medicine techinques that actually have some scientific proofs (cold-compression on swelling, the effects a cup of tea can have on your mood, aromatherapy to help calm and relax, color psychology, the effects of the outdoors and sunlight on your mood) (not you, anti-vaxxing bullshit.).

So while witchcraft may seem scary and mystical, just remember that so much of what is revered in witchcraft has become sciences and disciplines of their own and have scientific backing. So there’s no reason to ditch one set of beliefs for another.

Witchcraft: Meditation for those who have never mediated…

Have you ever tried to meditate and you just can’t seem to get the hang of it? Maybe you took a yoga class or two and at the end you just can’t seem to listen to the teacher and turn your brain off. Maybe you were recommended it by your friend Stacy who went gluten-free by choice last year and only eats vegan bacon even though she’s not vegan.

Or maybe, you’re like me, who just jumped head first into witchcraft and now, you’re stuck trying to figure out how to meditate since it seems like EVERYTHING runs off meditation (and intention, but whatever.).

But you’re sitting in your dark room, struggling to grasp this concept and you just can’t.

So how do you meditate?

Extended meditation, which is what a lot of these mediation gurus and yoga teachers are talking about, takes practice. Like a lot of practice.

So don’t expect to just slip into this trance as soon as you start saying gibberish words you think someone says while meditating.

My favorite way I’ve seen to help facilitate mediation is to sit and begin to image a color growing in your center (where ever your center is, whether bellybutton, heart, head, or ass). The color can be whatever color you like. Some advise white light or a warm color, but I say just pick your favorite or whatever you feel like today.

With each breath, let the color grow, like a flickering flame. Let the color extended through your body slowly. When it finally reaches the tips of your fingers and toes, imagine gathering up the color.

With an exhale, release the color into the world. Imagine it floating through your space, over you, covering everything. Then just breath for a bit in your space. When you feel like the color has faded, leave the space.

Now, I know that meditation is supposed to be clearing your mind and thinking of nothing in that moment, but sometimes you need something to get your brain started on the right track. And especially when you’re so stressed and overwhelmed, you can’t always just quit thinking or acting to just sit for a minute and breath.

Why is meditation so important for witchcraft?

Well, if we power the spell by setting intentions, think of meditation as a way to process the intention before hand. You don’t dump straight crude oil into your car. You have to refine it first to get the best product for the spell. Just like you don’t just eat a tea bag when you want some tea. You have to make sure the water is boiled and safe to drink.

So we meditate to make sure that what we bring to the table for a spell is what we want to go into a spell. If we mix up our thoughts and feelings with spell, we may have something that can go awry or just fizzle out completely. So we clear out mind and heart of everything that isn’t pertinent in that moment, so that the spell knows exactly what’s what.

So meditation and intention go hand in hand. You need both to work big spells and to make sure that you’re not letting your own feelings get in the way of the spell.

Tarot 101: Two of Pentacles…

As we move right along through the Tarot, the Two of Pentacles is our card of the day to take a deeper look at. The Pentacles represent materialism, or material wealth. The Pentacles are often used to represent money. Twos in Tarot represent balance and relationships. Pentacles also represent Earth and, in reference to time, represent years.

Two of pentacles

When we look at the card, we see a young man in bright colors juggling two coins. The coins appear to be attached by the rope. Behind him, a rough sea with two ships, but the sky is clear.

From here, we can divine that if the card comes up, maybe someone is weighing the options available to them. Maybe these decisions are difficult, judging by the rough seas behind the man, but maybe which ever decision is picked, the outcome will be positive because the skies are clear.

Two of pentacles, reversed

When the card is reversed, we can see the young man, seemingly unsteady as he juggles his decisions. He is still weighing his decisions carefully, but seems to be contemplating the heavier of the two.

When this card pops up in a reading, we should take into account that allow the Two of Pentacles is strongly aligned with finances, it can also be in reference to a business relationship or decisions in relation to work.

So when this card pops up, we should keep a few things in mind:

  • Twos represent relationships and decisions
  • Pentacles represent material wealth
  • Pentacles are aligned with Earth
  • Pentacles in reference to time align with years

Witchcraft: altars and sacred spaces…

Do you need an altar? Why would you need an altar? What is an altar? So-and-so said I need one? What do I even put on an altar? What do you mean I need to dedicate my altar? What does that even mean? How do I-

Take a deep breath. Good? Okay, here’s the dirty truth of altars…

They’re completely optional and really only necessary if you decide to pursue paganism and/or Wicca in addition to witchcraft.

So why are altars pushed for so hard in the community? Well, many witches are practicing pagans or Wiccans. So for them, an altar is completely practical. But what about those that aren’t pagan or follow more mainstream religions or have no gods?

Well, that’s the cool part about witchcraft. If you want to make an altar, go for it. Make it in your dining room, in a sunny corner of your office, or your bedroom closet. Hell, there’s a shit ton of ideas on Pinterest for shoe box and mint tin altars.

So what’s the purpose of an altar?

For those who practice in accordance to the old religions or in correlation to deities, an altar is a sacred space to honor those deities and spirits. For many of the old religions, there are no longer any physical sacred spaces, like churches, for people to worship at, so many create small scared spaces for their own private practice. Cultures across teh world have kept shrines and altars in their homes for their gods; Ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Japanese families kept shrines to various gods in their houses and pertaining to their professions (i.e. gods devoted to harvest for farmers. and gods devoted to fair seas for fishermen).

So what about if you follow mainstream religions or have no religion?

For those following more monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc), there’s no rules against having a shrine to your god in your house is there? Many people have things already, like crucifixes, or holy texts. An altar in your house could just be a safe and honored space to store your holy texts or to meditate.

And for those of us who are not dedicated to a god or religion, well, an altar is just optional really.

Do I have an altar?

Not really. But I do have a space reserved just for my witchy needs in my office. I can push it back into the closet and out of sight if my in-laws decide to drop by unannounced (like they always do). I don’t consider it an altar or a sacred space, but I do consider it a reserved area.

Like, that area is only for witchy supplies and storing my cards and journals and incense (no crystals yet).

What tips do I have for little newbies to set up their own altar/sacred space/witchy corner?

Once again, as with all witchcraft, first make sure this space has the intention of being your corner, your altar, your sacred space. If you’re closeted and setting up in a shoe box or in the closet itself (lol cause you’re in the closet already, get it?), then reserve that space just for that. Meaning, your shoebox holds nothing but your witchcraft supplies, your deitiy dedication, your Book of Shadows/ Grimoire. Don’t use your space for anything but your craft and worship.

Now, I understand working and living in a small space so maybe some area has to be multipurpose. So maybe make your altar travel-sized or easily collapsible if it’s in the spare room so you can pull out the Murphy bed for guests staying the night, or make it easy to move if floor space is limited, like in a dorm room.

What are things I have on my sacred space?

For me personally, I have just a little space on the top of a steamer trunk/coffee table in my office. I use it to hold my incense, journal, and Tarot cards. I also use the space as a writing table to write here, do school work, and meditate. But the corner remains as only used for witchcraft. The rest of the tabletop I cleanse with smoke to create a space when I do large readings (or with a Lysol wipe if my cats have decided to walk all over it).

Now, I understand multipurpose, so when I do need to get into the trunk itself (I keep blankets in there for easy access), I store all my stuff in a basket and slide it into the closet.

All my herbs stay in a kitchen cabinet, because the last thing I want to explain to my mother-in-law is why I have black pepper and basil leaves just hanging out in my office. There’s just no way to explain that away, considering the kitchen is a good 4 doors down from the office.

What if I am practicing paganism/Wicca/religion?

Then start looking at Pinterest my friend! There are so many ideas and absolutely gorgeous pictures of other witch’s altars and how they dedicate their altars. There are so many ideas of how to fit an altar into a shoebox or how to dedicate to your deities or how to even just construct a space that fits with your preferred style, like minimalism or traditional (read: hoarder-style old timey) witchy.

There’s no wrong way to do an altar. Just so long as it works for you and you feel like it’s a space where you can meditate, grow and worship as needed.

Witchcraft: moon phases…

Oh the moon. Probably the most popular celestial body. (unlike the sun, which can’t catch a damn break). She controls the seas, protects us from asteroids, and illuminates the nights. What would we do without the moon?

For witches in almost every domain of practice, the moon is a sacred body and we do our best to honor her. So the phases of the moon are a big deal. But for little beginner witchlings, like myself, diving into the use and worship of the moon is daunting. There’s just so MUCH.

So where do you even begin?

The easiest thing to understand about the moon is the phases.

You know what the moon phases are. We’ve all grown up watching the moon transition like clockwork; waxing, full, waning, new. We’ve all stayed up late on summer nights and seen the full moon illuminate the landscape.

So breaking down the moon phases is an easy enough task.

New moons are when the moon is turned away from us (you all know your science class lectures about how the moon reflects the sun, blah, blah, blah.)

Waxing is the moon growing from new into full.

Full moon is self-explanatory.

Waning is the moon transition from full to new.

In witchcraft, we attribute the moon phases to not only the 3, but to certain times.

The major phases of the moon coincide with the Maiden, Mother, Crone. In witchcraft, this woman/women are the representation of the witch and the witch’s journey. Waxing crescent is the Maiden, Full is Mother, and Waning crescent is the Crone.

The phases of the moon coincide with timing as well.

The new moon is used as a time for beginning spells revolving around new projects, as well as focusing on the self and recouping your own strength and energy.

The waxing moon is for attraction spells, usually money or love spells. The waxing moon is used for attraction because the moon itself is getting bigger and bigger and more. Therefore, attracting.

The full moon is the prime time for witches. Not only does each full coincide with something pertaining to the month it occurs in (Corn moon for August, e.g.) but the full moon itself is a revered as being as much of a power source as the sun. Full moons can be used for charging decks and crystals (especially those sensitive to extended sunlight), as well as making moon water, an energy charged water used for most everything in witchcraft from light cleansings, to even making tea or bath water. The Full moon is used for so much in the craft, including cleansing yourself and restoring your own energy. (moonbathing anyone? You know, instead of sunbathing?)

The waning moon is used for banishing. It’s the opposite of the waxing moon. As the moon shrinks, it is losing. Therefore, banishing.

No matter what the moon is doing, you can always sit and meditate under her light. The moon is as steady as the sun and is a great place to jump into witchcraft if you’re already lost.

And the best part about the moon and her energy? You don’t even need an actual spell to just sit and appreciate her beauty and energy. You can just sit and relax, meditate, and enjoy the gentle, loving light.

Witchcraft: intention…

Intention is everything. No matter what you start in witchcraft, you read ‘intention this’ and ‘intention that’ or even just ‘setting intention’.

What is intention?

It’s exactly like what it sounds like.

Intention, or intent, is what you want the spell to do for you. Each spell requires an intention to work. It’s like the battery for a toy. If you don’t put the right battery into the toy, it won’t work.

So how do you set intention? Well, that’s the hard part sometimes.

You have to know exactly what you want when you set an intention. If you’re working a spell for say, attracting money, then you have to be clear with what you want.

But this doesn’t answer the question, of what intention is. I know when I first starting diving in, every time intention came up in a spell, I would scratch my head and wonder what they were talking about.

From what I can gleam, intention is the energy you put into the spell itself. Of course, some spells need other energy to work, like celestial lighting or fire. But you have to put your own energy into the spell so that the universe knows who’s putting that energy out there.

So intention is just basically the energy you assign to a spell to make it work.

How do you actually set intention?

Depending on the spell, it’s easy enough to set intention. Most spells have incantations to set the intention (or the incantation is the spell itself).

Other times, when you cast the circle (which I’ll get to in a later post), you meditate and cast the energy from yourself for the spell. Which is the hard part. Because you really have to focus

Why is intention so important for witchcraft?

Intention is important because it’s the force behind an action. If you’ve taken a mindfulness course or have even just heard about mindfulness (the new craze), then you’ve heard about how just acting a certain way and putting certain thoughts into those actions can help you be more productive, more capable at handling stress, etc.

Witchcraft is the exact same thing as mindfulness but with a little more oomph behind it. Mindfulness itself has only been around for a couple years now, but witchcraft is eons old. Witchcraft intention is setting your thoughts and emotions on one track and using that energy to drive a reaction.

So how does the intention in a spell work?

Remember how I said intention is like the battery of a spell? The intention is the direction you move the spell. It’s the battery that moves the spell along.

And I can hear you, just like I myself said not long ago “that doesn’t make any sense! how does intention work! Like work-work!”

So hears the breakdown. Imagine that the spell is a train. The destination is the reason for the spell. For this example lets use a common money spell to attract wealth. The train is set towards Wealth. But the train can’t move down the track without fuel. Your intentions are the coal for the train to move (or steam or gas or whatever). You meditate on the feeling on wanting wealth, of attracting wealth, of being wealthy. You figuratively put that emotion on the train. The train now has fuel for the journey down the track. So how do you get the train moving? You do something like charge the spell with something else, like crystals or fire. Those are the engine to process the intention-fuel. Now the train can move down the track and take you to Wealth.

I know this is confusing and a strange topic. Believe me. As much as I love science, physics is not my forte and intention is reminiscent of physics. Just because you cannot see or measure the force, the force is still present. Like gravity. You may not have tools readily available to measure the force of gravity, but gravity is still a force acting on you, whether or not you can see or measure it. Same thing goes for intentions.

Just because you can’t see or actively feel the energy in intentions, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Witchcraft: horticulture for the black thumb…

Are you like me and kill every plant you come in contact with?

Tried literally everything from fake plants to cacti?

I am honestly the worst at plants. I think it’s because for most of us that grew up with pets of some sort, it’s easier to care for pets than it is plants. Pets move and will engage with you when they are hungry. Plants just sit there, converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.

So of course, I’m trying out growing plants once again to see if maybe as I’ve aged, I’ve gotten more proficient at caring for plants.

I can already see some of you going, ‘what does this have to do with witchcraft?’

So let me explain. Many parts of spell work rely on plants in one form or another. Some call for specifically grown plants that you ‘should’ have in your garden. So what do I do since I am 1) a poor college kid and 2) a minimum retail worker and 3) closeted witch?

I of course buy all my herbs dried from the seasoning section at the grocery store. Not only would I know that herb plants would die in my care, but I also know that the region I live in is very harsh on many nonnative plant species and those plants require a lot of dedication and attention. So if you’re a stay at home parent or retired, then go for the multitudes of plants all around your house.

Another issue I have is space and funds. I can’t afford to buy the things I need for plants and I have even more limited space for plants. Not to mention that any plants I bring into my house have to be both cat and dog friendly.

So what about my other witchlings out there with blackthumbs like yours truly? What advice would I give you, one beginner to another?

If you want to give growing your own plants a go, just take a few things into consideration; pets, plants, place and space. As in…

  • Do you have any pets that may have an adverse reaction to certain plants?
  • What plants are you specifically trying to grow yourself and do you have the skill needed to care for them?
  • Does the place you live have special requirements for growing season (how dry is it, how wet is it, will the plants need to be potted, is it too sunny, is it not sunny enough…)
  • Do you have enough space for that plant, whether in your apartment window box or your garden or your dorm room desk?

And for those like me who know that plants would be a bit of a waste of money and energy, what should you do?

I buy my herbs when I have some spare change, and if I have to, I’ll get the fresh stuff from the produce section. But honestly, most spell work is about intention alone. So if you can’t afford fresh cinnamon sticks harvested straight from the garden, then just use some off brand ground cinnamon you have in your spice rack.

Witchcraft is all about finding what works for you. If this means that maybe you have to cut corners to work within your limited budget (like me) then make sure you’re just not shortchanging yourself. Be thrifty with your spices but not your intention. And above all, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

And if you want to give indoor plants a go, there are tons of websites and blogs out there that have listed hearty houseplants that can stand up to a shitty plant parent.

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?