On Deity

I’m enjoying my new foray into video making on YouTube, but this one I could have taken a bit more time on. I thought of the topic in the morning, shot part of the video at that time as soon as the idea came to me, drew the doodles at work, outlined some notes, then recorded the rest of it after I came home. As a result, I don’t think I explained my thought cogently enough. The guideline I set for myself is it has to be under 15 minutes, so quite a bit of cutting had to be done as well. Sigh.

Anyway, the point of the video is I experienced deity as energy first, not realizing that was deity, and then was first taught personification of deity and monotheism through Christianity when I was nine. For most of my life I’ve been fascinated with religion and mythology, passionately inquisitive of what different people believed about deity.

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5 Beginner Tarot Courses for Free

Deck pictured: Giant Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot by AGM Muller

If you go searching for free tarot resources on the interwebs, you’ll go down a deep rabbit hole of content and for the beginner, that itself could be just as daunting as the process of having to learn tarot. Which one do you really start-start with? Isn’t there an easy linked “Lesson 1” and then you can just go from there?

Here I’ve compiled for you a list of five (5) beginner sources that are essentially free online tarot courses. These courses are self-paced, yet guided by a tarot master, structured, and with substantive content I’ve vetted, reviewed and felt, wow, yeah, okay, this is good stuff. Also, in assembling this list, I tried to look for resources that had some nice polish to them, were well-designed, well-produced, aesthetically-pleasing, and not too smarmy with any efforts to sell you something.

So, to be fair, there were several pretty good sites that I’ve left out from this list because ultimately, it was geared toward selling you something. An important criterion was the site had to be, overall, leaning more toward “educational purposes” than toward “promotional purposes.” Another important criterion was that the tarot lessons were well-organized and easy to follow.

Given those parameters, here are my top five for you. Continue reading “5 Beginner Tarot Courses for Free”

Tinkering Bell Series: Architecture of Sacred Space (Part I)

This is the second installment of a video series on my YouTube channel called Tinkering Bell where I showcase my personal esoteric tinkerings.

Episode #2 Description

This is Part 1 of 2 videos on the architecture and design of sacred space. Part 1 (Episode #2 in the series) will cover the first of the five fundamental principles: harmonic resonance.

Whether you are designing the blueprints for a church or temple, seeking out a home and living quarters that will be empowered as sacred space, or setting up your altar, “Architecture of Sacred Space” from the Tinkering Bell series will cover the five fundamental principles for constructing sacred or sanctified space.

There is a common denominator among mystery traditions across the world that instruct on a perfected way for harmonizing human architecture with deity and with nature. In “Architecture of Sacred Space,” I share with you the basic criteria I follow for ensuring a sanctified living space.

Continue reading “Tinkering Bell Series: Architecture of Sacred Space (Part I)”

The Bad Bitches Tarot: A Modern Goddess Deck

The Bad Bitches Tarot by Ethony has my kid sister’s name all over it. Okay, it doesn’t literally, and she’s not exactly a “kid” anymore, but if I were to profile who would fall in love with the Bad Bitches Tarot, it would be the yuppie upper east side Manhattan dwelling Millennial fashionista third-wave feminist who thinks it would be really chic to have a tarot deck out on her coffee table.

I showed the deck to my sister by video chat and she just gasped. “Omigod it’s gorgeous. But I don’t know how to read the tarot.” To demonstrate how she could totally use this deck for herself, I pulled a card for her–the Six of Wands–then read the card’s meaning out of the accompanying Guidebook. The meaning, straight out of the book, fit perfectly with her situation.

We then pulled another card, the Seven of Swords. Again, I read that card’s meaning to her straight from the book. The sis major LOL-ed at how blunt the message was. Ethony’s Bad Bitches Tarot Guidebook has attitude, style, and a modern, punchy tone. Sis totally approves.

“So I can just read that tarot deck for myself? Pull a card like you just did and then read about it from the little Guidebook?” (It’s embarrassing to me as a tarot author how minimal my sisters know about the tarot…)

“Yes.” I said. (Or you could read the card meaning from that giant book your sister wrote but whatevs.)

“I love it,” she beams. And really, you can’t help but to love this deck. It’s a goddess deck for the digital Millennial age. It photographs beautifully for Instagram shots, with rose gold gilded edges and a semi-matte finish that’s got just the perfect relaxing ASMR shuffling sound when you riffle the cards.

Continue reading “The Bad Bitches Tarot: A Modern Goddess Deck”

Tinkering Bell Series: Expelling Malefic Attachments

I’m starting a new video series on my YouTube channel, called Tinkering Bell. I’m Bell (or at least that’s what people who can’t seem to pronounce “Benebell” call me) and throughout these videos, I’ll be showcasing my metaphysical and esoteric…tinkerings. Hence, Tinkering Bell. The videos are going to be practicum-centered tutorials that share my particular idiosyncrasies in the Craft.

This is the first installment of the series, on expelling malefic attachments.

Episode #1 Description

When I say “expelling malefic attachments,” I’m keeping that terminology overbroad to cover a lot of different ground. If you’re feeling energetically weighed down, unduly influenced in a way you intuit yet can’t explain and it’s been detrimental to you, or you’re sensing atrophic, less-than-positive vibes around you that you’d like to get rid of, then consider trying what I do for myself: a fifteen-day integrated self-cleanse.

This total mind, body, and spirit self-cleanse is meant to eradicate any string of bad luck, negativity in your life, remove hexes, exorcise unwanted spirit attachments, neutralize the evil eye, and detox from what Chinese feng shui masters would call poison arrows.

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The Ostara Tarot: A Beautiful Deck for Year-Round Use

I didn’t receive my copy of Ostara Tarot until well after the spring (or vernal) equinox this 2017, but I am looking forward to taking the deck out again in March of 2018 to tap in to the equinox energies through this deck. However, really, this deck is perfect for year-round use. A case can be made that the expressions from this deck can apply to any spoke in the wheel of the year.

For me, the spring equinox is a pivotal moment in the year because my fruit trees are in blossom. Many of our flower plants are also beginning to show signs of reemerging life. It is the time of the year when my yard is a wash of pinks, purples, whites, and yellow. It’s breathtaking to see.

Home photos in the spring.

There is a Seven of Pentacles vibe around my place during the spring equinox. The garden work you put in the past year begins to show and you can count the blossoms to get a sense of the fruit harvest to come this summer and autumn. However, it also is a time to check yourself and remember never to count your chickens before they hatch because I’ve definitely been duped before! I think I’m about to get quite the harvest for the summer and then an icy rain kills all the blossoms overnight, or you just never know what might happen between this moment and the next sabbat.

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Spirituality and Politics: Light Worker, Shadow Worker

“Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals” (2011) by Manuel Marín. Via Flickr.com @manuelmarin. Creative Commons.

Recent social events and divisive politicians have motivated many public figures in the spiritual communities to step forward and comment about politics. Almost every single one will receive a vitriolic remark about staying “within your own lane” and just stick to spirituality; don’t be “low vibe and low energy” by talking politics or social consciousness.

Likewise, there are an equivalent number of public figures in the spiritual communities who have built their branding and image on compassion, love, and lightworking, and yet they have remained eerily silent on issues of social injustice, hate, hate crimes, and, well, quite frankly, political issues that they don’t think personally affects them, but are literally killing others. Which is odd, for someone spiritual who believes as above, so below, as within, so without, and we are all One…

Those who actively seek to walk a spirituality-dominant path for personal development have two options. First, they can develop spirituality inward, and focus on themselves. The goal here is personal transcendence. How can you, you, transcend? The second option is to develop spirituality outward, and focus on the collective. The goal here is collective or social transcendence, to use what Divinity has gifted you with to make a difference in the world around you so that the world can, collectively, transcend, or at least take another positive step toward transcendence. Those are the two core objectives of spirituality. It’s either about your transcendence or it’s about your collective’s transcendence

To talk about which one of the two paths everybody should take is an unproductive conversation. Both paths serve a larger purpose beyond what we are able to understand in our moment. Also, one path is the other, and vice versa. Evolve yourself and you do evolve the collective. Evolve the collective and you will evolve yourself. So both are equally compelling spiritual paths.

That’s why for someone to say to a spiritualist that you should not involve yourself in politics or comment on political matters is, well, short-sighted. It’s in effect asserting that the first path is superior (personal transcendence) and spiritualists need not and should not seek collective or social transcendence.

If you’re seeking self-improvement at the moment and using the vehicle of personal spirituality to do so, which by the way is the definition of shadow work, then yes, perhaps turning inward and detaching from the political and social landscape of your world at the moment is the prudent path. If, however, you are a lightworker, or a self-professed lightworker, well then, lightwork is defined by shining your light out into the world so that you can uplift your community. The lightworker cannot do that effectively by summarily ignoring politics and social issues. Politics and social issues are intertwined with the conditions of your community.

To heal a body, you have to find what is rotting, diagnose the problem, and eradicate the problem area so that the healthy part of the body can begin the healing process. No one disagrees with that or finds such an assertion divisive. Yet when our society is sick and everyone, no matter which side of the aisle you stand on, can acknowledge something is rotting, why aren’t we working toward diagnosing the problem and eradicating the rot? Sure, we can disagree on what the problem is and what the solution ought to be, and that’s common in any area of expertise. But if the team of medical experts are going to heal the patient, then even when they disagree with the diagnosis, they had better do so by working together, collaboratively and in harmony, or else that patient is going to die on the operating table.

Let’s also address how spiritualists take many forms, and serve different roles. Some are rhetoricians, the messengers. Others are warriors, our gladiators. We’ve got those who are physical healers, who heal us mind, body, and soul, one by one. There are those who traverse to other realms or channel entities from other realms, and bring to us important messages so the rest of us can do our jobs better. Then we’ve got the teachers, who preserve the body of wisdom we’ve attained up to this point by passing it on to the next generation of messengers, warriors, healers, and mediums. Understood in that way, it seems silly for the rhetorician to tell the warrior not to fight, or that the healer should take up arms and slay on the battlefront. That being said, if one is a self-proclaimed warrior, then one had better take up the cause and fight the war when called. You can’t call yourself a warrior and then run away from the draft.

To be political and social is part of some of our spiritual paths. Let’s honor that. Likewise, certain defined spiritual paths necessitate its adherents to be political, and yet so many of those who profess to follow such paths are too afraid of their own shadows to do what needs to be done. You cannot be an adequate lightworker if you do not walk out of your own comfort zone in search of the darkness, to find where you most need to shine your light. Do you have to be a lightworker if you are spiritual? No, you don’t. Not all spiritualists are lightworkers. But I am perplexed by those who say they are and yet who refuse to engage in political discourse.

Bonnie’s #WhoAmI Tarot Spread

Tarot OG Bonnie Cehovet and an awesome human being (I know, I met her) shared a really cool tarot spread that I now must re-share. Check out her article here. It’s a ten-card “Who am I” spread where you ask your tarot deck to tell you about you. You’re going to want to try this one out for yourself, too, and when you do, be sure to share it and tag Bonnie Cehovet. (Twitter handle: @bonnie_cehovet).

And you know what? This would be a great spread to try today, during the Total Solar Eclipse. For those of you of a Chinese Taoist bent, Ghost Month also begins today, so you can modify this tarot spread and bring in mediumship. Use tarot to contact someone who has passed on who knew you well. Think of someone you would have gone to for life advice, perhaps a relative you would have had a heart to heart with, who knew you well, and so would have been able to see you more objectively than you see yourself and thus answer these questions for you.

Okay, here are the questions. Set out the cards in any arrangement you like, but with the intention of these ten points:

  1. How do I see myself at this point in time?
  2. What are my passions?
  3. How do my passions sustain me?
  4. What are my fears?
  5. How can I best deal with my fears?
  6. What are my fears here to teach me?
  7. What are my goals?
  8. How can I best support my goals?
  9. What do I fear about my goals?
  10. Where are my goals taking me?

Continue reading “Bonnie’s #WhoAmI Tarot Spread”