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:
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.
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.
“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.
I 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.
“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. =)
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.
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.
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:
Readers Studio 2019 was the first time I’ve ever attended a conference as an attendee only, with no presentation obligations. And it was fantastic. I’m not sure I ever want to go back to presenting. It was that fantastic.
Maybe other presenters are different, and less vain, but when I’m scheduled to present, I spend a lot of time focusing on me. How do I look. Do I know my stuff. Will my PowerPoint slides work. Will there be a tech malfunction. Pray to gods there are no wardrobe malfunctions. How do I look. Do I know my stuff. What do people think of me. Is my presentation good enough. They’re gonna realize I’m a total fraud. How do I look. Also, how do I look.
This time, I didn’t think about me at all. I dressed comfortably, didn’t even bring more than the pair of shoes I wore onto the plane, and 100% of my attention was on learning and mingling. I had a blast.
For day job work reasons, I couldn’t make it to Thursday’s Divination Day, and boy do I regret it! I heard it was phenomenal and I’m really kicking myself for not having the chance to attend.
For the Foundation Reading on Friday, my partner was my good friend Ethony. She gave me the reading I totally needed and since we’re close, I asked a legit question, meaning you know, you don’t skimp on the truth, the facts, and how you’re really feeling. And Ethony’s reading was amazing!
It was really cool to get to observe her reading style. I don’t know if she realizes it (I think she does) but she channels most of her readings. You can literally see her change state. Something Ethony-but-not-just-Ethony comes through, and when she’s done, something leaves her eyes, something returns, and she’s chattering like good ole’ Ethony again. It’s so fascinating.
Her master class was early Friday evening. She channeled and shared with us the Thirteen Muses of Tarot, but I’ll just share the one I felt an immediate connection to as the muses were being revealed to us: Brujula, the Muse of Transition Readings, who is a compass and guide at our crossroads. Ethony also showcased thirteen beautiful card images depicting the muses. The reading I did during Ethony’s master class was really powerful.
At the breakfast roundtable on Saturday morning, Al Juarez talked to us about telling time with the tarot. A roundtable discussion is when the moderator, in this case Al, moderates everyone n the room to share their insights into the given topic.
Some of the really cool things I learned at that roundtable about telling time with tarot:
Charge a tarot card based on the question at hand. That charged card becomes your significator. Shuffle the deck and proceed to distribute the cards into 12 card piles representing the twelve months. The card pile you find the significator in will indicate the month that the queried event will happen.
Gina Thies shared a really cool point: develop a system for tarot divination that covers the who, what, where, when, and why of a matter. The card or cards you pull for the “when” will help you with telling time.
Saturday morning was George Koury’s master class on the Peter Pan method of reading, which reveals your life purpose. George is a psychic, medium, and angel communicator who descends from a family line of psychics and mediums. He commands a powerful, yet nurturing, gentle, compassionate presence.
So, How do you deduce your own life purpose? Start by asking the question: What did you love to do as a child? The answers you brainstorm in response to that question can help point you toward your life purpose. I loved that!
Next was a master class with Sasha Graham. Her presentation was titled, “The Magician’s Secret and Seven Sacred Cornerstones of Constant Magic.”
Sasha is the real deal. We had such a powerful, magical, but also impressively informative master class with her. In one of her writing prompts: “My heart’s work is…” I can’t even believe what I blurted out onto paper. Even now, reading it back to myself, I giggle nervously.
Should I share it? Bah. You know and I know I want to. Why front. Okay here it goes:
The prompt was: “My heart’s work is…” and as soon as she said go, you had to write. Your pen could not leave paper so if you just didn’t know what exactly to write, you were supposed to write “I have more to say” and just keep writing that until you actually have something original to put down.
So, funny enough, most of journaled my page was “I have more to say.” But then every so often, I’d blurt something out. By the way, just so you know, I totally took these master class prompts and sessions seriously, and when she said go, I went. I entered a trance state and did my thang.
On Sunday morning, we revisited our Friday Foundation Readings and this time, applied the techniques we learned during the three master classes. That meant identifying which of the 13 tarot muses came through in my reading (Ethony’s master class), what the cards might reveal about my life purpose (George Koury’s), and how to see the unseen in this reading spread (Sasha Graham’s).
I came home with lots of goodies! Liz Westwater of West Star Health & Healing gifted me with her Angels Sing spray, which is a magical blend of angelica root, gemstone-infused water, and so much more. It smells divine!
By the way, next year’s lineup of master class presenters is going to be so much fantastic. I’ve already marked it in my 2020 calendar to attend. Will I see you there?
Learn more about Readers Studio at the Tarot School.
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.
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?