#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.

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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.

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Revisiting Why There Is a Closed Circuit

It’s been two years since I came up with the password-protected Closed Circuit idea, which in hindsight I don’t know if it was a good or bad idea.

Good, because it succeeded in the sense that I really got to know some of you better and it achieved what I hoped it would– actually getting to know you, you who reads these blog posts. =)

Bad, because no one reads or does due diligence so I end up feeling like a broken record, repeating myself over and over on the spirit behind the Closed Circuit, that it isn’t meant to be exclusionary, but the opposite–it’s intended to be more interactive, so these blog posts aren’t one-way but rather, become two-way exchanges where not only do you get to know me, but I get to know you in return.

If I’m going to get personal and real with you, I don’t want to feel like I’m talking into an empty void. I want to feel like I’m actually talking with someone. This is just you agreeing to step forward and saying yes, yep, I’m here, this is me, I hear you, I won’t judge, I’ll just listen and be present.

What is the Closed Circuit?

Here’s my original blog post on what the Closed Circuit is. Please click here to read about it.

You can also access all past Closed Circuit blog posts by clicking on the category tag “Closed Circuit,” linked here.

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Cultivate Qi and How to Strengthen Your Life Force: Essential Guide to All Metaphysicians

This is the supplemental post for Bell Chimes In #39, which you’ll find on my YouTube channel. Check out all previous Bell Chimes In episodes here.

Most Eastern esoteric paths espouse that a practitioner of any esoteric art should proactively cultivate and strengthen the personal Qi, or life force, because when you do any form of intense metaphysical work, you’re drawing from that pool of personal Qi. If you’re not mindful of replenishing that Qi, then the constant weakening of your life force from the occult work that you do (this includes divination) can cause physical and mental health concerns. So to maintain optimal wellbeing–and that’s physical, mental, and psychic-spiritual wellbeing–cultivation practices are necessary.

Image source: pxhere.com

The Metaphysician’s Qi

Divination, ceremonial ritual, mediumship, channeling, pathworking, spell-crafting, astral journeying—these practices are believed to exhaust a lot of your personal life force, and so as a metaphysician, you want to establish a routine practice of cultivating and strengthening your Qi, or life force, to maintain your wellbeing. Otherwise, you can become more susceptible to illness, both of the physical and mental variety.

Taking measures to cultivate and strengthen personal Qi is a practice everyone and anyone can benefit from, much like how everyone and anyone should be mindful of nutrition and physical exercise. However, the nutritional needs of your everyday office worker is very different from the nutritional needs of an Olympic swimmer. So we can make the comparison here of an occultist to the Olympic swimmer, because it’s considered an out-of-the-ordinary lifestyle, and so your nutritional needs– in this case psychic-spiritual nutritional needs– will be different from the average person.

Let’s cover six ways a metaphysician can cultivate Qi:

  1. Qi Gong
  2. Basic Meditation
  3. Diet, Herbology, and Traditional Chinese Medicine
  4. Warding Your Living Space
  5. Ancestor Veneration
  6. Beneficence

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Work Productivity and the Great Work

Online communities have these fun little unintentional trends, like for a while, you just had this concentrated uptick of people posting about shadow work, and then it was the depth year, and although this post is coming at the tail end, the concept of work productivity and personal validation through productivity has been a recurring topic of discussion.

If you’re not subscribed to Thorn Mooney on YouTube, then check out this video she posted on Productivity, Work, and Divine Will. Headology and the Witch also posted on the subject, Funks, Reward & The Cult of Productivity. And then not too long ago, I posted a walk-through of a weekday in my life, which was also an implied commentary on productivity.

A remark I receive on repeat– and this has been recurring throughout my life, since my adolescent years among high school peers– is how productive I appear to be. What’s my secret? Do I have more hours in the day than everybody else? Should I be patenting a business method for my secret sauce to productivity? No, really, what is it that keeps my engines going?

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