Wordless Wednesday

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Card of the Day: Two of Swords

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Today’s card is the Two of Swords from the Happy Tarot.

This is one of the least ‘happy’ cards in the Happy Tarot at first glance.  The card depicts a IMG_0454blindfolded woman in a chair, carrying two crossed swords.  It’s the middle of the night and only a crescent moon casts a dim and hazy light over the scene.  She sits with her back to a rushing river.

Her entire posture seems to be one of a stubborn refusal to acknowledge or accept something.  It could be that she’s trying to keep out of a deeply emotional situation that she’s feeling overwhelmed by (which could be what the river represents).

She holds those swords closely over her chest, almost like she’s struggling to balance them or brandishing them at unseen enemies.  Cats look on with curiosity and perhaps a little wariness.

Looking more closely at the card you can see that she isn’t tied to her spot, she could at any point, set down the swords and remove her own blindfold.  This card isn’t one about being held down by external forces.  It’s talking about being in a situation and choosing not to deal with what’s going on.

The other thing to consider is the way she’s got the swords crossed over her heart.  Literally protecting it with weapons.  I think it’s important to recognize that this card isn’t saying that the woman has made a bad or unreasonable choice here.  Sometimes situations force you to cut yourself off from things or people that are harmful to you, and it’s always okay to take steps to take care of yourself.  The message here is to be careful of closing yourself off completely to everything.  The more we close off from everyone and everything around us, the further away we get from those things that can help us.  It’s kind of (pardon the semi-pun) a double-edged sword (get it, two of swords? Okay, I’m done, I promise).

Ignoring a problem isn’t going to solve it in most cases.  It’s okay to take a break and gather yourself before you try to face down a giant beast, but try not to let it get the best of you so you don’t end up blindfolded on a chair.

Card of the Day: The Moon

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Today’s card is The Moon from the Manga Tarot.

IMG_0627I’ve done The Moon before as a a card of the day, but I decided to do it again, despite the fact that I am nowhere near finished with all the cards.  I’m doing it because when I looked at this Moon card, I had no idea how I would read it.  And when I feel like that about a card it’s a signal that I have some work to do with the card.

Okay, so in the RWS smith card the moon can mean not seeing clearly or believing illusions.  It can also mean imagination too.  Maybe that’s what this Moon is telling me.  Dancing in the moonlight with a polar bear could certainly be a dream.  And, as I looked closer you can see that they’re dancing on the water.  The swans are swimming around their feet on a little pond.

Maybe I picked this card right now because I really need some magical dreamlike escape in my life right now.  These last few weeks have been really difficult.  I’ve been feeling really drained and there’s been a low grade constant anxiety humming in the back of my thoughts.   I could use a little dreamy distraction from the fear and difficulties of life for a queer person in the United States.

I most often read the Moon as a witchy power card, but that’s not the meaning I’m getting from this one.  I think this one is about embracing the imagination and letting it lift you out of whatever you’re mired in.  The song walking in the air sprang to mind as I looked at the sky in the card.  That song is a really nostalgic song for me and it takes me back to my childhood.   I now have the image of the girl and the bear flying through the night sky together.  Maybe with the swans too.  Swans can be fierce protectors and I think that’s their role in this card, the bear, a symbol of strength and power, is inviting the girl to step out of the things that threaten to drag her down.  This card feels to me a little floaty and dreamy.  I think it’s encouraging us to dream freely, especially if we’re feeling dragged down by the harsh realities of daylight.  Take respite in the light of the moon where things aren’t as sharp, and let your mind drift away from everything that’s hard and ugly.

After all, it’s a marvelous night for a moon dance.

Moving to a new URL!

Hello everyone!

I’m moving the blog to a new URL and I hope you’ll come along!

The new address is:  https://woolywitchy.wordpress.com/

Everything from here has moved over, so there will still be everything you’ve come to enjoy here.  I just needed a wee transformation of internet address.

Pretty please follow me over, update your bookmarks and your feed readers!

Much love to you all!

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Card of the Day: Three of Wands

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Today’s card is the Three of Wands from the Wild Unknown Tarot deck (1st edition)

IMG_0626One of the reasons that I really like the Wild Unknown deck is all the watercolor rainbows you can see in the cards.

This card reads like a portal to another world.  The world of the mundane is represented in all those horizontal black lines, almost like static on an old TV.  With the three wands lashed together a window into this amazing new place appears.

The window is a triangle, which engineering wise is the strongest shape.  This is why you always see lots of triangle shapes in bridge architecture.

I see this card talking about having the vision to construct your own future and to be able to see beyond what other people can see.  Some people might have only seen a tangle of sticks and string.  But when they’re all put together they become a focal point showing the way to a limitless possible future.

When you see the this Three of Wands it’s a challenge to take control of your surroundings and to feel empowered to explore and try something new.  Don’t be afraid to strike out on your own and chart new territories.

Be brave.  Be creative.  Build the things you

Why my decks aren’t wrapped in silk

If you’ve done much reading about tarot practices you’ll have undoubtedly read that tarot decks must  be wrapped in silk or else!

The more you learn about Tarot the more rules you’ll read about what you must or must not do.  Some rules I agree with and others don’t work for me.  As an intuitive Tarot reader I encourage you to experiment with how you work with Tarot.  Don’t just discount the rules right off the bat, give them a try and find out what methods work and what don’t.

That said, one rule that I take umbrage with is the “you must wrap in silk” rule.  I keep my decks in all kinds of wrapping and bags.

IMG_0888Here’s one of my decks, and as you can see, it’s in a simple cotton drawstring bag.  I think I bought it at Target for a dollar.   Aside from a ziplock bag, that’s about as far from silk wrapping as you can get.  Incidentally, don’t use a ziplock bag as a long term storage solution since things kept inside plastic can sweat from condensation and that can physically damage your deck, and that would be bad.

So here’s my issue with the “silk wrap only” rule.  Silk is expensive and can be hard to obtain if income is tight.  Silky is a luxury item and I don’t think working with Tarot should be only for well to do people.  I think anyone can and should feel free to work with Tarot and a lack of expensive wrapping materials shouldn’t keep you from reading the cards.

Now, before you start wrapping your decks up in old newspaper here’s something else to consider.  Just because I said you don’t need silk doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t protect your decks.  When you’re working with your tarot decks (or oracle decks) you’re working with the tools of your craft, and you should treat them with respect and care.  For me, it’s much more about the intention you put into your tools and the level of respect that you give them.  If the best you can afford is to wrap them in a cotton bandana, that’s perfectly okay.  Just make sure the bandana is clean and that you’re not just wadding it up and stuffing it somewhere.

I enjoy sewing and I’ve got a lot of awesome little patterns for bags that are the perfect IMG_0889size for a deck of tarot cards.  So I’ve sewn a bunch and most of the time I store my working decks in them.

The one shown here, holding my Prisma Visions deck, is one of my favorites.  The witch cameo fabric is perfect for a witch like me.  It’s lightly lined so it gives the deck a little bit of padding which protects it when I need to toss it in my bag and take it with me.

Someday I might eventually have a bag that I make out of silk, who knows.  Some Tarot rules make a lot of sense, like clearing your decks of old or carried over energies before you use them and doing your readings in a centered and grounded place.  I’ve done readings without taking time to ground and center and those readings were… okay; but when I take the time to ground and center my readings are 150% better.  But as for the silk thing, as long as you’re treating your decks with care and respect they’ll be powerful tools, it won’t matter if you’ve wrapped them in silk, cotton, wool, or paper.

But trust me on the ziplock bag thing.  😉

Mind, Body, Spirit: a Healing Spread

I wanted a little intuitive advice on Monday about how to help heal after the traumatic news from Orlando.  I looked to my cards.  I used the simplest of spreads because I wanted something simple and easy to understand so I chose a Mind, Body, Spirit spread and I used my Prisma Visions deck.  What I got felt so right and so applicable that I knew I should share it in case it could help anyone else.

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  Emperor | Queen of Pentacles | Three of Swords

Mind: The Emperor

I’d been reading a lot of articles on Monday about the attack in Orlando and there was only so much information available, but that never stops the 24 hour news cycle machine from churning and re-churning information and speculating and just really over saturating us with coverage.  The Emperor card told me that I needed to take back control for myself.  In a situation where everything normal had suddenly been thrown into horrible chaos, this made perfect sense.

I’m taking a media break, only indulging in internet and media in places I know will be safe for me.  For me, instagram is a comforting place and so I’ve been spending some time there.  I’ve also been watching TV shows that are soothing and not upsetting (think cooking shows and How Things Work).

TLDR: control what you’re consuming, if the news coverage makes you too upset, it’s okay to disengage.  You have to take care of yourself or else you can’t take care of anyone else.

Body: Queen of Pentacles

Nurture your physical self.  Make sure you’re eating nutritious and comforting food.  Get a healthy amount of sleep.  If exercise is your thing head to the gym, get outside in the sunlight (where you’ve got it).  Self Care. Self Care. Self Care.  For me this looks like my Zumba class last night, knitting a rainbow shawlette, and an oreo milkshake.

It also meant a little witchy crafting in my house too.  Little rituals and crafts help keep me centered and keep me from feeling completely useless when something terrible happens and I can’t be there to physically help.

Spirit: Three of Swords

Boy, this one looked appropriately dire.  I think what the card is saying is that the hurt we’re all feeling is very real.   People out there hate queer people enough that they want to kill us.  It’s a frightening feeling.  It definitely had me wondering if I should go to the Pride events coming up locally.

The message here in the three of swords is that we need to hold space for the feelings that we’re having.  But the butterfly on the card reminds us not to let our sadness keep us from growing and recovering.  Being queer is about building resilience and not letting hate tear us down.  We must emerge stronger and more determined to live our truth and to keep supporting the most vulnerable parts of our community.

So choose what you take on right now, take care of yourselves,  and give yourself time to grieve and then come back stronger.