Full Moon in Gemini Tarot Spread : astrology, tarot, magic and ritual

Setting up prior to a Full Moon tarot reading

Tonight is a Full Moon in Gemini, which also happens to be my natal Moon. That is to say, I was born on a Full Moon in Gemini.

To mark this occasion, I decided to spend some time creating a custom spread, with a focus on what exactly this lunar placement means for me. This may, of course, be altered to one’s own specific astrological Moon position, sign, etc.

Setting up means: a sleeping toddler, a de-cluttered table, glass of water, cards, journal, candles and incense

First, it is important to have some understanding of what exactly one’s Moon phase, at the time of birth, means. A Full Moon is a position that requires work on integrating two opposing energies, the Sun and the Moon.

“Two types of people born under the Full Moon may be the enlightened and the emotionally troubled. Those who do not use its influence positively suffer from tumultuous emotions similar to all the negative influences attributed to the Full Moon… Rudhyar observed that Full Moon people can have serious or even destructive emotional conflicts or mental dilemmas, since here the solar and lunar urges are polarised into two opposite expressions or ways of life. In such cases, the person is pulled apart by opposing needs”. Donna Cunningham, Moon Signs

The following is my 13 card spread based on my natal Full Moon in Gemini. If you are born on a Full Moon in Gemini, this spread applies to you; for others, the questions will have to be adapted to your own sign and Moon phase.

Screen Shot 2017-12-03 at 5.11.08 pm

I used the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot. Here are the cards I received and my thoughts on them. In a spread of 13 cards, 8 are majors. No biggie, eh ūüėČ I discuss each answer in more detail below.



1-2 What is the significance of being born on a Full Moon?
Page of Cups / Wheel of Fortune


The keywords that sprung to mind were emotional changes, that is emotional ups and downs, reflecting on some of Donna Cunningham’s thoughts above. The Page of Cups brings a sensitivity and awareness of the emotional realm, while the Wheel of Fortune is quite simply change. It is not static, it turns continuously, bringing a churning of the emotions, feelings, and general inner realms that are mostly hidden from others (and from one self, to some extent).

3-4 What gifts does this placement bring?
Strength / The Emperor


Well, anyone with a rich, “tumultuous” inner life needs a good dose of Strength to deal with it. This means allowing it to be, not shying away from it, but also learning some tools or skills so it does not overpower or take over the day-to-day life.

The Emperor represents authority. That is, authority over one self most importantly, and the ability to master life’s challenges. This is a “gift” that has taken me many years to develop: setting up boundaries, that no one is allowed to cross. There is a touch of the shaman in this card, which I love.

5-6 What challenges does this placement bring?
The Star / Ace of Cups


This had me flummoxed for a while. I mean, they’re both such great cards, so having them in a position of “challenges” was rather confusing.

This combination speaks of hope, deep love (inner love as well), a connection with the divine, with the ability to see and receive divine love, which is love that is independent of another human being, love that makes one feel whole and nurtured even if they were not as a child. Love from a higher source or power, if you wish.

It can be a challenge to carry this energy or be aware of it most times, what with the focus on the material world – which is all necessary of course (job, home, finances, relationships, etc).

It is also a challenge for me, when the darkness descends, to feel hope or love, not just for myself but for all of humanity. I am not prone to depression, however I am acutely and deeply sensitive to all the despicable acts of depravity, brutality and senseless violence displayed by so many.

7-8 How do I integrate the Full Moon polarity (opposing needs) in my life?
The Fool / 10 of Swords


With enthusiasm, openness, inquisitive attitude, and a sense for adventure. The Fool: trust your heart (cliché, I know!). I am still mulling over that 10 of Swords, though.

9-10 What do I need to do in order to support an emotionally healthy Moon in Gemini?
The Tower / Justice


Sheesh. I first thought to myself, this makes absolutely no sense, having two completely opposite cards for advice – completely missing the point that astrologically, a Full Moon is, of course, Sun opposite Moon!

The Tower is all about letting go: see the woman in the card, free-falling from the stable, yet oppressing tower. Now this can mean letting go by our own choice, but usually with the Tower, it means letting go when the Universe has dealt some sudden shocks, unexpected events, or generally unsavoury life circumstances. Move on.

And Justice is about balance, as indicated by the scales she holds in her right hand. But it is also about exercising a fine mind and mental discrimination, as symbolised by the swords in her left hand. This is, of course, much easier said than done, when talking about the Moon, which governs our instinctive emotions, rather than the rational mind. However, Gemini is a sign that is all about reasoning, intellect, thoughts, and communication, so it makes sense.

11-12 What karmic bonds (ties to the past) does this Moon placement hold (represent) for me?
10 of Wands / The Chariot


I am carrying some heavy karmic burdens (10 of Wands) and it is my turn to break free from them, or learn to control them, or take charge and learn to use these energies to move forward in life. I think I know what this is about, it’s personal so I’ll leave it at that.

13 What magical power or ability does the Full Moon in Gemini bring for me?
4 of Pentacles


A nicely stacked set of pentacles: the ability to build and to manifest in the material form. ¬†I admit I initially felt that this card was as far removed from “magic” as you can get, but upon reflection it all made sense (this is why you have to sit with the cards even when you don’t like what you receive at first).

It tells me that despite past challenges, and the challenges and difficulties inherent in my natal Full Moon, I can make something out of this life. The fact that I have come so far over the past decade does not escape me. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself – for despite the upheavals of my past, I have managed to build, and to manifest, what so many would give their right arm for, and more.

Wishing everyone a blessed Full Moon in Gemini tonight. Until next time,


Dark Days Tarot Review


Lovers of the Moon, rejoice! Here is a deck that honours the dark phase of the Moon, from which its name derives. A deck of Moon magic, of natural rhythms and lunar cycles, women’s spirituality, and a deep infusion of femininity and power (out of 78 cards, I counted three that show a masculine figure).

A black and white deck it may be, however its energy and artistic creativity are anything but. I have been very pleasantly surprised by this deck, although it is not one I would recommend to a beginner for reasons I’ll explain below.

Dark Days Tarot Fool A first in my collection, this is a square deck that follows Tarot structure by having 22 major and 56 minor arcana.

The major arcana are painted on a white background, whereas the minors have a black background. Moon phases feature heavily throughout most cards, starting with the beautiful, innocent Fool.

Dark Days Tarot High Priestess Hermit

It is hard to describe this deck – one has to see each and every card to realise and relish the beautiful and often highly original renditions seen in many of the cards – but overall, I would say it has a gentle, yet powerful, feminine energy, one that hints at incense, smoke, ritual, magic, and a deep love of the natural rhythms of life, of nature itself.

** I only realised after I scanned the cards that my scanner has a few smudges and lines on the plate, so I should clarify that the minors do not actually show these and the background is a flawless black. Blame it on the toddler…

Dark Days Ace Page Wands

Many minor cards have very original or unusual depictions Рsee for example the Ace of Wands above, or the 6 of Cups below, and thus will challenge your intuition and bring in new perspectives Рthis, I feel, is a good thing for the experienced reader, but may prove more challenging for tarot beginners. As a student and acolyte of the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) tradition, I advise beginners to really understand the minors in the RWS deck before exploring more unconventional tarot decks; this, I feel, sets a good foundation of understanding the numerology and element combination in each minor card. That aside, I really do think this is a brilliant deck that has so much to offer a reader Рparticularly one that follows the path of natural magic and witchcraft.

Dark Days 2 and 6 Cups

Dark Days Tarot 6 and Page Swords

Dark Days Tarot 2 and 8 Pentacles

If there is one thing I’d wish to be different, it would be the Queen and King cards, which again, offer a different artistic interpretation that does not show actual people (below). This, of course, is only my view – and while I do love¬†the way these cards were drawn, I still think that Court cards should be true to their essence of having an actual person depicted, at various stages of maturity.

Dark Days Tarot The DevilThe deck comes in a sturdy box with a guidebook by Emily Mundy, which is great for when you are ready to read about card meanings, and offers good explanations for some of the different or more unusual cards. It also gives four card meanings based on the card position: upright, right, left and reversed. Given that I do not read with reversed cards, this is not really something I’ll use, and personally think it’s adding too much complexity in a reading – but that is just me. I am certainly more than happy to shuffle and lay the cards in one position (upright), and this deck has given exceptional¬†readings this way.

Dark Days Tarot WorldThere is plenty of room in the box for you to add a crystal or reading cloth – I like to keep with the colour theme and chose a selenite to keep the cards company.

Finally, the card stock (I’m rather picky on this subject). Overall, it is good and has a laminate feel which should offer the cards some protection against wear and tear (and tea spills, which I am rather prone to). I do think they are a bit too thin through, and wouldn’t mind to see a thicker card stock in future editions – even one with a more paper feel to it, rather than plastic. Again, this is just me. I understand the need to laminate, yet I personally find decks that offer a nice natural tangible feel to them much more enjoyable to use.

Overall though, this is a stunning independent publication, and I love to see such amazing work grace and enrich the tarot world – a heartfelt thank you to Wren for making this happen and adding beauty and magic to our world.




Asking a Tarot question Part 2: Work and business

In Part 1 of this series, I looked at the importance of asking the right question, specifically in the context of relationship tarot readings. I would like to take this further and look at tarot readings for work, career and business.

Before I start though, allow me to share a little personal story.

Tarot of Delphi
Tarot of Delphi

My story starts around 2008, or thereabouts. At the time I felt like I was suffocating in a job I did not enjoy, and was looking at my options outside of my chosen field. There were not many (well, not when you want to retain all the trappings of a comfortable middle class lifestyle, at least). As it happened, a position opened up with a different organisation, which, while more or less the same, was also a senior position with a more environmental focus in a regulatory field (or so I thought!).

At the time I had already ventured into the world of tarot, however my experience and knowledge was limited. Since lack of knowledge and experience do not deter the enthusiastic Sagittarius, off I went and got out my trusty Rider Waite Smith.

I posed the question: Will I get the job?

I received an answer: Yes.

So off I went on my merry way, updated my resume, typed a cover letter, and applied. I was offered an interview, and shortly after was notified, much to my excitement, that I got the position.

So far, so good.

On my first day on the role, I was informed that the person who had been filling in my position until my appointment had gone on leave for a few weeks. There was no formal induction, and the most limited computer training done by other officers who, I felt, were not very friendly towards me, and didn’t offer much beyond basic answers to my questions. I did wonder whether they felt they should have been promoted for the role I was now in. Perhaps that is my perception only, but overall the energy in the office was highly toxic. I don’t know whether other people noticed it or not, but to me, it was very obvious and I could not shake it off. (The guy sitting across from me committed suicide a while later, and while there are lots of factors that contribute to a person taking their own life, it certainly doesn’t help when you spend 8 to 10 hours a day in such a negative atmosphere).

8 of Swords
Worst nightmare: feeling trapped with no way out. Sharman-Caselli Tarot

I realised early on that the “senior” title meant having a very large workload with no prior experience or training, as well as possessing the ability to overlook discrepancies and approve applications that certainly were not meeting stipulated requirements. But worst of all, was the feeling of being left on my own to deal with it all, with no adequate support from other staff, and the realisation that it was not going to get any better.

To make matters even worse, I was tied to a mortgage on a unit I had bought, so it wasn’t like I could just walk out. But I knew I could not stay. So I listed my unit as soon as I could, and miraculously sold it within 2 weeks. At a loss, but no matter. Freedom to Sagittarians is more important than the air we breathe, and losing a 5 figure deposit was a small price to pay, as far as I was concerned.

So, about 3 weeks from the start of my new role, I walked in and handed in my resignation. And I have never looked back.

Now, going back to my original question for the cards: Will I get the job? Clearly, this is not the right question to ask! Yet I come across it so often, and don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I advise clients not to ask it. However, I do suggest first asking other questions that may help them gain a better understanding of their job or work, such as:

  • Is this the right job for me?
  • What opportunities will this role bring?
  • What challenges will this position bring?
  • What do I need to do to make this job work for me?
  • What will my relationship with my boss be like?
  • How will I get along with my co-workers?
  • What will be the outcome of me taking this job?
  • What do I have to offer this role (or offer the organisation)?
  • Will I be able to advance in this role?
  • Are there opportunities for promotion (or leadership)?
  • How stressful will this position be?
  • What do I need to know about applying for this job?
  • Am I capable of doing this job?
  • Is this position in line with my own values and ethics?
  • What compromise(s) will I need to make if I work in this role?

As you can see, there are more important question to ask first, than simply Will I get the job?

Wheel of Fortune
Bohemian Gothic Tarot

The same principles apply if you intend to start a new business or venture. Asking Will I be successful is not as helpful as asking, What do I need to do in order to make this business a success?

After all, it is all up to you.

I hope this gives readers some more insight into what to look for when getting a tarot reading related to career and vocation. It might just save you a lot of heartache and stress at the end of the day – as it would have no doubt helped me avoid a costly exercise, but such is life sometimes.

Until next time,


Asking a Tarot question, Part 1: Relationships

This blog post has been sitting with me for a while, slowly brewing in the background. This is the first of 3 posts in this series, looking at what and how to ask a Tarot question, specifically those exploring the minefield territory that is a relationship. (Part 2 will look at the more pragmatic side of life such as work and business, and in Part 3 I’ll focus on the divinatory, or fortune-telling aspect – more to come later).

The High Priestess from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot

So here’s a hypothetical scenario:

You meet someone you rather fancy. Perhaps you really, really like them, though you are not quite sure how to proceed, or whether you should in the first instance. Perhaps past experiences have scarred you a little, and doubt and hesitation hold you back. Should you, shouldn’t you…. Or maybe, you are already in a relationship, but not really sure where it¬†is heading.

At some point you decide to see a Tarot reader, and after explaining the scenario, you ask the question: Will this relationship work out? Sometimes, this gets rephrased as, Is he/she the one?

And this is where I have to pause and do a delicate dance around this question. It is not that I avoid the question – and I’ll look into the fortune telling aspect of readings in Part 3 of the series. I understand all too well that sometimes, there is a fated element to a relationship (or work, business, and life in general), and there is no avoiding this.

Two of Cups RWS
2 of Cups – Rider Waite Smith Tarot

However, my experience, as both a reader and a client, is that in most cases, these are not the right questions to ask. For starters, one is placing a tremendous amount of power in the hands of the Tarot reader Рand equally, one is disempowering themselves by doing so. The repercussions of this are vast, but essentially can be summed up in one word: responsibility, or lack of should I say.


Taking responsibility for your own actions, rather than laying the blame somewhere else (our parents, society, or the Tarot reader), if one of the hallmarks of maturity and empowerment. So, you may wonder, what should one ask instead?

This largely depends on each person and what stage the relationship is at, and also on the ethics of the reader, however here are some suggestions:

  • What does he/she need from me?
  • What does he/she want from me?
  • If you are in an existing relationship, you can go a step further and ask, What does he/she need (or want) from me that I am not offering (or not able to offer)?
  • What do I need from a relationship?
  • What does he/she think of me?
  • What are his/her feelings for me?
  • How do we emotionally relate? Or mentally?
  • How sexually compatible are we?
  • What does he/she hope for in this relationship?
  • What are his/her fears in this relationship?
  • What is our relationship based on?
  • How do we communicate?
  • What are my strengths (weaknesses) in this relationship?
  • How does he/she deal with conflict?
  • What do we need to do in order to overcome this issue/obstacle?
  • What am I not able to see clearly about our relationship?
  • What are his/her intentions for our relationship?
  • What do I need to do in order to make this relationship work?
Two of Cups Haindl Tarot
2 of Cups – Haindl Tarot

The last one in particular is relevant to my earlier point about taking responsibility – for it’s really up to two people whether their relationship will work out or not, rather than the reader. Again, there are always exceptions to the rule, and I certainly do not mean to diminish or ignore the role that certain karmic energies play in our lives. This post, however, is more about the destiny we create when we actively and consciously work on our own issues, rather than lay the blame at the feet of some divine intervention or the Tarot reader.

If you are exploring the more psychological aspects and complexities in a relationship, here’s a good one: What was his relationship like with his mother? (or her relationship with her father?). Or, what am I projecting onto my partner? etc.

Finally, for those who are dealing with infidelity, a good question might be, what can my wife/husband be (or express) with the other person that they are not able to be with me (rather than, what do they see in the other person). 

As you can see, the options are endless. In writing the above, I must articulate that I am not a counsellor or psychologist. I am a Tarot reader who shuffles the cards to help clients to the best of my ability, and that ability has largely been coloured by both life experience and experience as a reader.

In Part 2 I’ll be looking at questions pertaining to work, business, career, and the like.

Until next time,


Experiencing The Tower

Universal Rider Waite Smith

I have entered The Tower year, rather reluctantly. In fact, after last year’s dance with the Devil, I’m not too sure I can handle any more intensity, but here we are. So welcome to my visual journey through The Tower, a card that conjures much fear and anxiety when it turns up, yet the energy that unfolds when we meet the Tower scenario is one we need to experience so we can be free and no longer imprisoned by our own fears or desires.

Let’s start by having a good look at the more undesirable effects of this card.

Pagan Otherworlds tarot

The historical imagery of the Tower, starting with the earliest Marseille decks (above, from 1650 and 1713, France), shows two people falling from a tower. The structure is usually shown being struck by lightning, or some other intervention that is now outside of their control. Modern renditions of this card more or less stick with this imagery. The underlying atmosphere is one of sudden, unexpected changes.

How scary must it be, to fall from the safety and security of a man-made Tower? To have your¬†rock solid structure, the foundation of your life, crumbling, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You have to let go. For you are in free fall.


Our protagonists in the Tower card are facing a situation that, sooner or later, most people are faced with in life. Some go through this experience a few times, until the lessons are finally learned. What might these lessons be?

My experiences, and those of my clients when faced with this card, essentially describe a situation of our own making, yet one that, once created, imprisons us. We are no longer free, when we are living in the Tower. The lovely house that we so eagerly bought, now chains us down with a big mortgage and all the responsibilities that come with maintaining it. The career that we so badly wanted when young, with its allure of power and money, is now one big vortex of long hours, stress, and a lack of free time to pursue that which truly makes our heart sing, rather than that which our ego desires.

And let’s not even start on relationships…

Actually, let’s have a talk about relationships and the Tower – for it comes up rather regularly where a relationship question is asked, and particularly where the two people in the card have found¬†themselves in an oppressive, restricting relationship – and then the Tower situation comes along, and the structure breaks. This could be a sudden realisation – such as that they are, after all free to break up and pursue a different path, or perhaps one discovers an affair, or maybe, simply, they have changed. They have changed to a point where they can no longer deny that they are a different person, and they have different needs and wants, and the other half no longer meets these.

Bohemian Gothic Tarot

My experience is that people who value the longevity of their relationship, or its financial trappings, above their own core needs, really struggle to break free Рfor a while. Ultimately, and unexpectedly, a situation, or someone, comes along, and they can no longer deny that which becomes all too obvious. To be fulfilled we need to be honest Рnot just with others, but be honest with ourselves.

You might think after all of the above, that this is the card of doom. Far from it. It’s only an unpleasant experience because we’ve created this Tower, and for far too long, have refused to acknowledge that we have become trapped and oppressed.

Thus, the experience of the Tower is one that ultimately, for all its pain, sets us free. Some artists have chosen to show the more positive aspects of this card, such as in the Fey Tarot below, where the Tower disintegrates to allow its occupant to fly free. Of course, our little fey has wings and is already able to escape the Tower – again, this conveys the message that ultimately we are free to break away from that which no longer serves us.

The Fey Tarot
Sensual Wicca Tarot

Or the sexually charged Eruption card from the Sensual Wicca Tarot, where the energy is concentrated and channelled towards the ultimate act of release, the orgasm. In a healthy relationship, the Tower experience enables two people to let go of control, and enjoy each other without shame, guilt, or the need to manipulate each other.

I should also note that this is the ultimate card for the passionate start of a new relationship – is there a more apt image to show two people falling for each other and falling in love? Particularly when you see it next to the Lovers card, or other positive relationship cards such as Ace of Cups, 2 of Cups etc. I think there is an almost fated quality when this card comes up next to the Lovers card – someone can’t really ignore, or walk away from, what they feel for someone else. It’s a bit like the astrological transit of Pluto over natal Venus, for the astro fans out there: there’s no denying it, no matter how hard one tries. It only grows bigger with time, and fighting what one feels¬†is a futile exercise…

A number of artists have chosen a tree to be the focal image in the Tower card, such as the Wooden Tarot and the Wild Unknown Tarot, below. A tree may have strong roots, but it is no match for the forces of nature outside its control. We may not want to acknowledge it, but us humans are also subject to these forces, despite our best technological pursuits to dominate the natural world around us. It is a humbling, yet necessary, insight to recognise our place in the wider cosmos.

Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot

I recall one day when nice and early I drew my morning card, and shock horror, it was the Tower. Immediately I started running through every conceivable scenario of doom that could possibly befall me – until I came across the day’s news of the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand (I was living in Auckland at that time). Talk about natural forces beyond our control!

In a positive way, the Tower allows us to gain sudden insights and breakthroughs for situations where we could not perceive these before.

Alchemical Tarot


One of the more positive portents of the Tower is the possibility that you’ll be cut loose from a situation that you really aren’t happy with (for example, being laid off from a job that you really hate.) Although this can leave you disoriented and confused, it can open your life to new opportunities. Many Tarot readers feel that when the Tarot card appears, something in your life is not as it should be, and that the disruptions are therefore needed to put you back on your rightful life path.” Janina Renee, Tarot for a New Generation

Well, I’m all for new opportunities and walking the right path, so I shall aim to embrace rather than dread the Tower.

Until next time,


Housewives Tarot: breaking free from the mould!



Ancestral Lineage Tarot Spread


This is a spread I did on the last New Moon, coinciding with Samhain and also Day of the Dead. I considered this to be an auspicious time to honour my ancestors, but also to ask the cards for a message, or information, on my ancestral lineage.

There are many different ways of doing such a spread, and equally different ways of asking questions – these variables are up to each practitioner to choose and alter as they see fit. You might also want to think what the word “ancestor” means to you. When I did this spread, I wasn’t just thinking about family relatives I’ve known that have passed away – I was also thinking about those that I never met, such as great great grand-parents, and their parents before that, and their parents before that, and on and on along the karmic thread. Their names I’ll never know, yet collectively they hold a rich body of knowledge and wisdom that I wish to both honour and learn from.

Here is the 10 card spread below:

Cards 1, 2 and 3: What is my ancestral lineage?
Cards 4, 5 and 6: What gifts do my ancestors offer?
Cards 7, 8 and 9: What lessons do they need me to learn?
Card 10: What do they help me to develop and become in this lifetime?

dscn2114Naturally one may adapt this any way they see fit. When I asked the first question, What is my ancestral lineage, my intent was solely to distil the core essence of the main life lessons or karmic energy handed down over the bloodline. Here is what I received, using the Haindl Tarot:



Cards 1, 2 and 3: What is my ancestral lineage?

Strength – The Emperor – The Tower


Whoa, 3 majors, no big deal (deep breaths). The keywords here are strength, power, and breakthrough. Haindl’s version of the Strength card in particular is powerful and arresting: the woman in this card has strength over the snake, symbolic of one’s kundalini energy but also shamanic, transformative power. More than just having strength over it, to me she raises it as if to honour this power, and use it in a ritual.

Then there is the Emperor, speaking of authority. Both the woman in Strength, and the Emperor are naked: they are part of nature, not dominating it.

The Tower, the last card, is the only one in the trio showing a man-made structure falling apart. The Tower is freedom and illumination at the same time, breaking the rules and gaining insights, experiencing a release from that which imprisons us in our own, man-made world. So far, so good.

Cards 4, 5 and 6: What gifts do my ancestors offer?

2 of Cups (Love) – Isis (Princess of Swords) – 2 of Swords (Peace)


This was a lovely and supportive 3 card spread. I literally felt my ancestors say, we are here for you, with you. Call upon us when you need to feel loved, when you need peace. Number 2 showing up twice, symmetrically on either side of Isis, speaks of relationship: one Рto Рone.  

Isis (the equivalent of Knight of Swords in the more traditional RWS deck) is associated with, among other things, the after-life, and in one way, this card stands for my ancestors, but in another way, it also stands for the gift of such knowledge offered by them, alongside that of wisdom and prophecy. 

Cards 7, 8 and 9: What lessons do they need me to learn?

7 of Cups (Illusions of Success) – The Devil – 9 of Wands (Power)


Sheesh, they don’t mince their words, do they?! This was basically a warning to not take my power and misuse it, but also to not get caught up in the ego-driven quest for power and self-importance, particularly when working in the world of magic. Because it is so, so magnetic, and utterly irresistible at times, and it a world where, should one misuse their power, they can get lost and lose themselves eternally in the fog.¬†

But equally, and paradoxically, it is also about knowing my own power, and my fears, and channelling that in a healthy way. Having the ability to separate what is real from what is not can be a challenge when working in the realm of magic, for, as someone noted, the universe speaks in a symbolic language, but not everything that happens is symbolic. Knowing the difference between the two is what separates the shaman from the insane.

Finally let me just say that having the Devil turn out in this line, made me smile just a little. For as I’ve written before, I am currently in a Devil year (ending in December), and as such I’ve been slowly learning a bit about this much misunderstood¬†energy, for lack of a better word.

Card 10: What do they help me to develop and become in this lifetime?

Queen of Stones (Spider Woman)

Finally, here I am ūüôā I had a mixed reaction when I saw this card. Mainly, I was elated, for I felt it an honour to have such a strong shamanic woman as a model to develop and grow into. I also felt a tad intimidated, and the usual doubts crept up. On the whole though, out of all the mature (Queen) cards, I find her exceptionally magnetic, intensely powerful, and equally formidable. This is the equivalent of the Queen of Pentacles in the traditional RWS deck, and is thus contains a very¬†pragmatic, down-to-earth energy. This is someone rooted in the real world, yet aware of the other dimensions symbolised in the labyrinth.

dscn2116It would be an understatement to say that this spread left me a little speechless, albeit in a good way. ¬†There are many more layers in this spread than what I’ve written about in this short post, I feel. I am still processing it, I guess ūüôā

I’d love to read if anyone else tries this and something similar, and what their experiences are. Many blessings and wishing everyone a magical week ahead,

Honouring our ancestors

Flower offerings on the altar, alongside Maman Brigitte from the Dark Goddess Tarot and an icon of Mary

Today is Samhain. Today is the Day of the Dead. Today is a New Moon in Scorpio. It is a time of potency, and a time of magic. It is also, a time to honour our ancestral lineage.

Our modern world, with its constant future-driven deadlines and technological advances, has little time to spare for our collective past. Yet, as a practitioner of natural magic, as a pagan, tarot reader and astrologer, knowing my past, where I come from and what sustains my roots in this physical and psychic world, is as imperative as the air I breathe. And I find myself, a Romanian born kiwi now living in tropical Australia, at a cross-roads in my magical practice.

It’s more of a conundrum, I suppose, and it essentially boils down to this: what traditional practices do I make use of, what do I apply from the rich lore handed down over generations (and what do I discard), now that I live in a place that is so foreign to my cultural background, but also that is essentially uncharted territory from the perspective of modern magic and witchcraft, most of which is based on English or American traditions.

As a simple example, take Samhain, an autumn festival, which is now being celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere – however, down south, most of the pagans, witches and those immersed in the rhythm of our natural world, are celebrating Beltane, which is a spring festival, in line with the climatic (seasonal) changes that apply “down under”. But let me take even this one step further, and note that to be honest, in this part of Australia (north Queensland), there are only two seasons: winter (dry) and summer (wet). You can see it’s starting to get murky, for to me, the practice of natural magic is a practice rooted in your own current environment, and a knowledge and awareness of that environment is critical to your success – particularly when you start to work with herbs, with the crystals and stones of your own ground, with the waters that flow in your region.

Flowers and Frankincense (Star of Bethlehem) on my altar prior to craft work

And so, I found myself pondering these matters yesterday in preparation for my ritual work today, and came to the conclusion that I need to do what feels right for me (versus what a book dictates). In line with this, the New Moon in Scorpio confirmed this to be an auspicious time to honour the dead, specifically my ancestral lineage.

With this in mind, I collected a mix of flowers as an offer to the dead. These were all collected on the morning immediately prior to the ritual, and grow easily in my garden: nasturtiums, dill, marigolds and Mimosa pudica (sensitive weed).

Burning incense: frankincense, myrrh, sage and lemon myrtle

I also offered fresh water and incense, and burned a variety of herbs for protection and magic. I acknowledged my ancestors, and thanked them for their guidance and blessings. There is no set ritual wording I use for this – it is a fluid, flexible dedication that comes from the heart, in the spirit of connection and reverence.

Once done, I spent some time shuffling the cards and doing an Ancestral Lineage tarot spread, which I will share with you next time for it’s too long to go into detail here. Suffice to say, it left me a little stunned to read (in a good way!). I literally felt the magic envelop my room as I was dealing the cards, always a good omen that my dedication was acknowledged.

Ancestral Lineage Tarot Spread using the Haindl Tarot (to be posted in the next instalment)

Finally, I went for a walk and collected sensitive weed. I will also post about this in a later post, but essentially, I am trying to work with what I’ve got, for both medicinal and magical purposes. It’s a thorny plant, so I figured it goes well with that Scorpio Moon energy ūüôā

Collecting sensitive weed (Mimosa pudica). This is, as the name suggests, labelled a “weed”, and yet its medicinal uses have long been recorded and recently proven by science.

Wishing everyone all over the world a safe and magical Samhain / Beltane / Halloween / Day of the Dead, and New Moon in Scorpio.