Intuitive Tarot: Throw Out the Books?

Thank you to the hundreds (according to YouTube at least, who knows, right?) who showed up to participate this morning in the chatroom when the above video premiered.

By the way, can any of you help me with this? I really thought I had the recorded LiveChat transcript function turned on. I checked it several times before the video premiered and I checked it after. It’s on. However, it seems like the chat transcript from this morning has disappeared.

Does anyone know how I can make the chat transcript from this morning available to all? What everyone shared was so insightful and more valuable to the topic than just what I had to say in this video, so I want that chat transcript to be available to you. However, the function doesn’t seem to be working for me. Any help you’re able to give is welcomed. Thanks!

Elemental Directional Correspondences in Ritual Magic, East vs. West: How Do You Reconcile Conflicts?

One of my favorite personal rewards from launching the Witchcraft Fundamentals course is the Google Group, where all of us are exchanging insights, asking tough questions, trying to answer tough questions, and getting to know each other. To give you a sampling of what that e-mail list-serv group is like, I’m sharing something I wrote on there in one of the threads started by a practitioner of both Eastern and Western metaphysics.

The question presented is, in short, how do you reconcile Eastern elemental-directional correspondences with Western elemental-directional correspondences?

By the way, scroll all the way down for the PDF downloads of this post, which you can then print out and tuck into whatever reference manual for your metaphysical studies you have going on.

IN THIS WESTERN WITCHCRAFT COURSE, you’ll learn fairly soon that there are different systems of elemental-directional correspondences even within the umbrella of Western occult philosophy, and we cover three of them in this course:

Continue reading “Elemental Directional Correspondences in Ritual Magic, East vs. West: How Do You Reconcile Conflicts?”

Getting Mad at Our Reflection in the Mirror: Responding to Ceri Radford’s “I spent a week becoming a witch”

There’s an article in the Independent that has riled up the witchcraft community: Ceri Radford’s “I spent a week becoming a witch and the results were worrying,” where she culled tips and instruction from a book she cites, Luna Bailey’s The Modern Witch’s Guide to Happiness.

The community’s response on Twitter?

  • “vapid anti-witch bullshit”
  • “poor journalism”
  • “This bitch has no clue”
  • “written by an idiot only looking to be trendy through appropriation”
  • “hot mess of an article”
  • “absolutely shameful”
  • “ignorant and frankly disappointing and offensive”
  • “piece of shit”
  • “articles like this just piss me the fuck off”
  • “a smug shithead”
  • “I just read the vomit in question and I am fucking livid”
  • “dipshit sneer piece … 85% dumb jokes”
  • “complete horseshit”
  • “wildly offensive article”
  • “fucking idiot”
  • “hex that bitch”

Love and light, apparently.

The salient takeaway point from the article, however, is the one fueling the anger and animosity: Radford’s conclusion that witchcraft is in “dogged resistance to logic” and requires a “suspension of belief in the scientific underpinnings of the universe.”

And my private response to myself after reading her article? Oh, man…  We as a collective (so clearly I’m not saying we unanimously believe, but the dominating voice after averaging high and low and everything in between together) have put out a particular narrative about modern witchcraft, and then when we see exactly that narrative being reflected back at us tinged with a smidge of snark, we go off our rails because clearly none of the shadow work or meditation we’ve been doing has had any success.

Continue reading “Getting Mad at Our Reflection in the Mirror: Responding to Ceri Radford’s “I spent a week becoming a witch””

The Tarot World 2010 – 2019: Decade in Review

The Fountain Tarot

Reflecting on this last decade, from 2010 to 2019, is on everybody’s minds. And I’ve been thinking about how the tarot world has evolved through these years.

Balancing the paragraphs of text will be photos of decks published in the 2010s that I’ve reviewed in the past. Please know that the placement of images will not relate in any way with the text around it– after having written this piece, I went back and inserted the images at random. (Oh, and click on any of the photos to read my review of the pictured deck.)

Tarot Mucha

While I get into a little social commentary here, I do want to emphasize that I’m speaking from my perspective only, so I can only report what I experienced through the decades (yep, I want to start with the last decade, 2000 to 2009). How old I was, where I was in my life, what my primary interests were at any given time– all of that factors in to my experiences and interactions with the tarot world.

Continue reading “The Tarot World 2010 – 2019: Decade in Review”

Preexisting Disadvantages and Reacting to Failure

This is an excerpt chapter from the 2020 Metaphysician’s Guidebook, a 400-page companion guidebook that is included with your custom order of the 2020 Metaphysician’s Day Planner.

If you want to get inspired by someone’s success story to see what tips you might be able to pick up from that individual’s path to success, do not look at the positive steps that led to the success–

Look to how people respond to failure.

When experiencing failure, most people treat it as a personal injury. They attribute their failure to something inadequate in themselves. They take the failure as a sign that they truly aren’t good enough, aren’t worthy.

When I experience failure, I never assume it’s due to my own inadequacy. Instead, I view it rather objectively.

Clearly I did something wrong. I made a misstep. I didn’t exert enough force. I underestimated my opponent. All I have to do is try again but next time, without that misstep.

I don’t experience shame or a reduction of self-worth when I’ve failed. Instead, I think rather matter-of-factly, “Well, I won’t do it that way again!”

I attribute it entirely to an error in judgment—and never to any form of personal lacking.

Maybe that’s egotistical and presumptuous of me, but all through my life that has helped me create my own reality. There’s this tacit doesn’t-need-to-be-said-aloud given in my life—I deserve the best. So I am never fearful, nervous, or insecure about pursuing the best. I have never shortchanged myself in terms of what I feel entitled to, because at that unspoken innate root of me, I just know I’m destined for the best.

In no way am I saying that I actually am destined for the best, or that I always get the best, or that I am anywhere close to being the best. But the subjective, totally personal reality I’ve created for myself positions me positively, in a way that allows me to be fearless, and to shoot for the stars.

Overcoming nurture can be the biggest challenge for many, however.

Maybe all throughout your life you were told you aren’t good enough, that you’re inadequate, or that you’re less-than.

Maybe you were born from a place of disadvantage, so you’ve always had to run twice as fast as everyone around you just to catch up, and if you aren’t running twice as fast as everyone around you, then you’ll never catch up.

No, that’s not fair. But it’s life. It’s what you were handed and you can either deal with it and therefore overcome those disadvantages or you can dwell on the disadvantages and let that slow you down. Remember: you have to run twice as fast as everyone else just to catch up, so dwelling on the injustice is not going to help matters.

Continue reading “Preexisting Disadvantages and Reacting to Failure”

#seasonofthewitch 11 Questions via The Woodland Hag

I’m loving the 11 questions for the #seasonofthewitch tag thing that’s been going around the pagan/witchy YouTube circuits, first started (I believe) by The Woodland Hag, so check that out first before proceeding. I’ve also binge-watched many of the video responses so use the hashtag #seasonofthewitch to find them all.

Here are my responses to the 11 questions, but instead of video form, here they are in blog form.

Divination with seashells.

“1. In what way (Witch, Pagan, Wise Woman, etc.) do you choose to identify and why?”

Although I don’t self-identify as witch (because in my native tongue, within the cultural context of my motherland and native traditions, it doesn’t actually make sense), the way I present, my practices, my interests, and point of view are very witchy as “witch” would get defined in the culture and region I am in right now. So when others identify or label me as witch, I’m perfectly happy with it.

I don’t formally self-identify as pagan because I’ve been told by pagans that I’m not pagan and I’m not all that interested in debating that point. Sometimes I might casually use the reference “pagan” just for convenience of terms.

Empath? Psychic? Highly Sensitive Person? Even if I happen to qualify for any of those identity markers, I wouldn’t use them for myself anyway because I’m not so sure I belong or feel like I belong in the communities that currently hold up those identity markers.

have heard at times that what my mother does is a form of shamanistic practice, but I like to mimic her– she repudiates all labels and just talks matter-of-factly about her interactive relationship, her experiences, and her perspective of Spirit, of spirit worlds, and that’s that. I’ve adopted a similar approach.

I do call myself a tarot reader, however. Because I read tarot cards. I also call myself an astrologer. I’m a feng shui… I refuse to use the word “master.” Consultant sounds a little clinical and dry. I guess I don’t mind occultist.

Stuff you’ll find on the bookshelf in my home office.

“2. What does my daily practice look like?”

My daily practice isn’t about certain forms of devotions I have to do and it doesn’t always necessarily even appear “spiritual” (or maybe more accurately, ritualistic, ceremonial…). It’s not about burning incense, lighting candles, reciting prayers or mantras, meditating, going into ritual space, going before my altar, or my favorite– Instagramming my witchcraft. =)

Continue reading “#seasonofthewitch 11 Questions via The Woodland Hag”

Halloween Mood Decks

Does any tarot reader not end up having to sling a ton of cards around Halloween season? =)

Halloween seems to be that time of the year when everyone wants a tarot reading. Pro readers are getting booked for spooky parties and local festivities. When the mood is light and celebratory and the veil is thinning, here are some of my favorite decks to tinker with in late October. Even when the crowd you’re reading for are teenagers, I think these decks are age-appropriate and sure to enthrall.

Each of the hyperlinked headings with the deck name will take you to my review of that deck.

Continue reading “Halloween Mood Decks”

Tarot Fortune-Telling, Divination, and Life Coaching (Part II)

This is a continuation from Part I.

So what do we mean when we make the distinctions between tarot as fortune-telling, or as divination, or psychology-based tarot, or even the popular notion now– tarot as a form of life coaching?

I have a free 30-minute audio presentation plus 12-page handout, “A Comparative Analysis of Fortune-Telling and Divination,” which you can check out here. The 12-page pdf handout includes a compilation of quotes from various renowned Western occultists and cartomancers on the issue of fortune-telling and divination, some who don’t seem to make a distinction between the two and others who make a very clear distinction.

In other words, I don’t think we can say in any absolute terms what constitutes fortune-telling and divination, and whether there should be any distinction made between the two.

It boils down to a matter of subjective opinion and perspective. Maybe your perspective is that the two are totally different, and maybe your perspective is that fortune-telling and divination are one and the same, with no distinction of note. Either way, it’s just a personal opinion.

We each have to discern for ourselves what the implications of fortune-telling and divination are for us, and with all the chatter about psychology-based approaches to the cards and life coaching, we need to figure out what those terms mean as applied to the tarot.

Whether you bask proudly in the appellation of “fortune-teller” or you shirk from it and go out of your way to disown that label says more about you than it does anything about the tarot, and that’s okay.

Here are my own approaches to these terms and the distinctions I make for myself. What are yours?

Fortune-Telling

“I will tell you something you don’t know.”

Or as it’s more often phrased, from the querent’s point of view: Tell me something I don’t know. If you’re a fortune-teller, I would say you must be prepared to take up that challenge.

Fortune-telling is premised on the notion that some among us possess an ability for precognition and therefore can see beyond our ordinary constraints of space-time. Psychic ability and the four clairs– clairvoyance, claircognizance, clairaudience, and clairsentience– will be presumed. There is the potential for omniscience, but more realistically, the accuracy and the scope of information that can be provided is based entirely on the skill of the fortune-teller.

Continue reading “Tarot Fortune-Telling, Divination, and Life Coaching (Part II)”

Tarot Fortune-Telling, Divination, and Life Coaching (Part I)

Whether fortune-telling with the tarot is okay or not okay is this weird hill that people are hell-bent on dying on. At the end of the day, whether a tarot reading is fortune-telling, divination, psychology-based, or some form of life coaching is just a difference in style, I think. We’re all doing the same thing. We just prefer different terminology because we’re trying to craft a particular image of ourselves.

Recently in online tarot social media, the topic of fortune-telling and whether this is something we want to encourage or discourage came up in discussion. It reminded me of a recent personal event.

Back in July I was visiting my parents in upstate New York. Mom, Dad, me, and the Hubby walked into a Chinese restaurant where my parents are friends with the owner. The owner came over to chat and asked us how we’ve been, and in particular, what I’ve been up to. They’re all speaking Mandarin Chinese.

Mom said to the owner, “My daughter is a fortune-teller.” (For those who speak Mandarin, she said, Ta hui bang ni suan ming. And yeah, I get it, my pin yin is probably all wrong there.)

I’m sure my face scrunched up into a grimace. “Ma, no, that is not what I do,” I replied in English.

“All right. Fine. Then you tell Auntie what it is that you do,” said Mom.

Continue reading “Tarot Fortune-Telling, Divination, and Life Coaching (Part I)”