Tarot Spread of the Week: 7 Chakra Spread

IMG_4977

This is a clever little spread useful for identifying emotional and spiritual imbalances.

You may know that in the Hindu belief system, chakras are points of energy on the body.  The seven main chakras each represent an aspect of spiritual life.   Each of the chakras have richly complex meanings that could be debated at length, but for the sake of this spread, we’ll stick with some very basic definitions.

Here are the card positions—one card for each chakra.  To avoid confusion, the seventh chakra is actually on top (Crown Chakra), and the first chakra on the bottom (Base Chakra), but we read this spread from top to bottom, so I reversed the numbering, labeling the Crown Chakra one, and the Base Chakra seven.

chakra spread chart

1.  Crown Chakra:  Highest point of consciousness.  The soul’s point of communication with the divine.

2. Third Eye Chakra:  “Instinct,” “intuition,” and “psychic awareness” are all words that are loosely associated with this chakra.  You might think of this point of energy as the place where you “see” things that are invisible.

3.  Throat Chakra:  The seat of communication and self-expression.

4.  Heart Chakra:  This chakra rules complex emotions like love, compassion and rejection.  When we talk about our “hearts” in the figurative sense (“he broke my heart” or “I knew in my heart she was telling the truth”) we are talking about this part of ourselves.

5.  Solar Plexis Chakra:  The seat of your intellect.  What we think of as “the mind.”  The essence of your cerebral reasoning.

6.  Sacral Chakra:  This energy point drives your sexuality, creativity and “lust for life.”  Key points here are the need for an individual identity and self-governing behaviors.  An imbalance here may indicate addiction or a loss of self-control.

7.  Base Chakra:  Rules your innate drive for survival and your most primal instincts.

When reading this spread think about how each chakra relates to the card drawn for it.

For example:

-The Hermit (solitude, introspection) on the Crown Chakra position may indicate a need for quiet spiritual reflection.   Consider participating in a retreat, spending a few days in an ashram or taking a camping trip where you can be alone with your thoughts.

-Or, the Page of Swords (usually represents a young, intelligent man) on the Heart Chakra may indicate a new romantic relationship with youthful, bright-minded man.

-The Fool card on the Throat Chakra might be interpreted as oblivious or naive speech, saying things without thinking or giving away a secret without realizing it.

And so on.

I hope you try this spread and enjoy using it—it really is very insightful!

For other tarot posts, check out my Tarot and Divination section.

post sponsered by

Advertisements

Ostara Celebration Ideas: Eggshell Candles and Offering Nests

During the Ostara season, I always end up with an abundance of eggshells, so I wanted to try doing something with them besides tossing them in the garden for fertilizer.

This is a great project to do with crafty older children and teens.

IMG_5079

You can vary this project any way you want to.  You might chose to leave the shell natural—it can look lovely that way.  Or you chose another method of decorating.  Because this project doesn’t need to be food-safe, you can use all kinds of methods to decorate the shell, so be creative.  Spray adhesive plus glitter, spray paint or natural dying are all nice choices, but I decided on acrylic paint in this grape color that I just love.  I didn’t really want it to be a perfect, solid coat, so I let some of the natural coloring show through.

IMG_5088

IMG_5094

We’re going to make some single-serving candles that burn just long enough for an Ostara ritual.  I saw a method like this using seashells, so I decided to give a try with eggs.

First, I lined a frying pan with foil.  Maybe I’m paranoid, but you never know what kind of coating is on those tea candles, or how it reacts to heat, so I like to put a barrier between anything that isn’t food safe and my cooking stuff.

Then I turned the stove on medium-low and waited for the wax to melt.

IMG_5099

This probably goes without saying, but the candles are HOT so use pliers or clamps to remove the wicks and place them in the eggshells.

IMG_5108

IMG_5103

It’s optional, but if you want, now is a nice time to add some essential oils.  Because the wax level is so low, even a few drops will cast a high scent throw.  Personally, I like calming florals like roman chamomile for Ostara.

IMG_5118

Once your finished, what you do with them is up to you!  You can use them in a centerpiece, in your Ostara ritual, or do what I did, and include them in these little offering nests.

IMG_5113

For more ideas, check out my Ostara section.

post sponsered by

Tarot Spread of the Week: Wheel of the Year Spread

Following last week’s more elaborate, conceptualized spread, I thought this week I would show you something a little simpler and easier to remember.

If you know your calender, you know this spread.  It’s that easy.

Begin with the current month (March, for instance).  This is the card at the very top of the circle.  Moving clockwise, draw a card for every month of the year.  Each card represents something significant about its respective month.  This is a popular spread with my clients for New Year’s (both the January version and the October 31st version), but you can use it on any given month.

IMG_5029

For other tarot-related posts, check out my Tarot and Divination section.

post sponsered by

Ostara with a Kitchen Witch

As we move towards the Spring Equinox, I’d like to share with you some of the ways I enjoy celebrating Ostara with my family, and hopefully help you start thinking of ways to celebrate it with yours!

One nice way to pay tribute to any Sabbat is to cook something from scratch with ingredients that are associated with the holiday.

In the case of Ostara, I chose carrot cake, which contains key ingredients like eggs and carrots that have special symbolism for the Spring Equinox.

This isn’t  a recipe post—you can find a basic recipe for carrot cake anywhere (or better yet, use one that has been passed down to you from your elders).  Instead, I want to focus on how to prepare the food in a spiritual way to honor a Sabbat.

Of course, you don’t need any special rules, but when I make food in the kitchen for spiritual reasons, I try to follow a few basic principles:

1.  Choose ingredients and cooking methods that have special meaning or symbolism to you.
2.  Use ingredients that are as natural and close to the source as possible.
3.  Use cooking methods that are as natural as possible.

To what extreme you take these last two steps is up to you.  During the summer and harvest seasons, I have even gone to a farm to pick my own fruits, flowers and vegetables, which is a nice way to make a day of it.  Some people elect to cook over an open fire instead of in the kitchen.  Using methods like these helps focus you energy and develop a closer, more mindful relationship with food preparation, which is, after all, a life-giving ritual.  The more you put into the food, the more of your energy will be in it and the more you’ll get out of the experience.  But whatever you have time for is good enough.

I started by getting the freshest ingredients available.  The farmer’s market isn’t yet open, so I had to settle for store-bought organic eggs.

IMG_5059

The recipe that I’m using called for applesauce, so I chose to make my own from scratch with apples.  This was fun, and the excess can be frozen or set aside for a snack later.

IMG_5064

The most time-consuming step was hand-grinding the carrots.  This is the part of cooking that you can really harness to infuse the food with your goodwill.  Any time you have to use a lot of focused energy, be sure to focus it on something good!  Treat it as a kind of zen meditation.  Feel the weight of the carrots in you hands, smell the sweetness of them, let yourself fall into the rhythm of repetitive motion.

IMG_5048

Similarly, grinding spices can be used in the same way, and it makes everything smell amazing!!

IMG_5057

The classic moment for a kitchen witch is the stirring of the ingredients, the blending together of all these different spices and good vibes.  Traditionally, this is the time to chant something and “build power.”  But this doesn’t mean it has to be super serious!  Personally, I like silly chants that are light-hearted and fun.   (If you’ve seen it, when I do this I am always reminded of the scene in Practical Magic when the aunts are making midnight margaritas.)

IMG_5071

I’d like to show you a masterful work of art here, but the truth is, I am no Cake Boss.  It came out pretty simple as far as presentation, but it’s delicious, and most importantly, made with love!

IMG_5076

Finally, I try to waste as little as possible and respect the gift of resourcefulness over the consumer mentality, which brings us closer to the earth and to nature.  And that’s kind of the whole point.

There’s all kinds of things you can do with the scraps from scratch cooking.  The skins from the apples can dried or used to brew a lovely natural tea.  Or, you’re as excited about the coming gardening season as I am, you can always use it for composting.  (Egg shells make especially great fertilizer for roses.)  This is a nice way to “spread the magic” and bless your garden.

But we’re going to do some cool things with these eggshells later in the week, so check back for more ideas on how to celebrate Ostara in style!

IMG_5075

For more ideas, check out my Ostara section.

post sponsered by

A Hindu Wedding

One first things that appealed to me about pagan life in general is the way we are encouraged to seek out any and all aspects of other religions and faiths that we find interesting.  This unrestricted exploration is a wonderful, amazing thing and I participate fully whenever I am invited to see another tradition first hand.  I am particularly intrigued by the rich complexity of Hinduism, which is the oldest living religion in the world and the largest surviving form of polytheism.

My beautiful friend, Anjana, recently invited me to be a bridesmaid in her Hindu wedding.  If you’ve never been to one, it is a bright, colorful, festive affair and always an unforgettable experience.

bride portrait

Anjana is Nepali, but my love affair with the Hindu experience began many years ago when I made a month-long trip to India.  It was there that I was first shown how to tie a sari.  Tying a sari is an art form, and one I never really mastered.  Fortunately, there were other, more experienced bridesmaids there to help me!

IMG_4410

Hindu wedding customs are often playful and uniquely charming.  Many of them are specific to the region of the bride and groom.  My favorite one from this wedding involved the groom’s shoes.

So, the groom has to remove his shoes before stepping into the ritual area for the wedding ceremony.  Apparently, the custom is for the bridesmaids to steal his shoes, hide them and then make the groomsmen pay money to get them back, which is given the bride and groom as a blessing.  This is a game that involves serious plotting and shrewd bargaining!  There was a lengthy discussion about who would distract the groomsmen and where we would put the shoes once we had them (we decided on the trunk of one bridesmaid’s car).

“Where are the shoes?  Aren’t we supposed to take them?”
“We took them ten minutes ago, silly.  You have to be quick and sly!”

(I wasn’t “quick or sly” enough to get a picture of them, so these are the bride’s shoes.)

IMG_4138

The red rice paste you often see in various Hindu customs is called tilaka.  I love being annointed with tilaka.  There is something very peaceful and calming about it.

IMG_4342

Most Hindu wedding dresses are red, which is considered a lucky color for brides.  Not the best exposure, but I love the warmth of the bridesmaid for her friend in this image, and the nervousness of the bride that any married lady knows!

IMG_4440

So thanks to the ladies and the family of the lovely Anjana for giving me such an amazing experience I won’t soon forget.

post sponsered by

Tarot Spread of the Week: Advanced Relationship Spread

I’m coming up on almost ten years of tarot reading.   I’d like to share a little bit of what I’ve learned.

Over the next month, I plan to post a tarot spread once a week.

I will to try to avoid spreads you’ve already heard about (the Celtic Cross, 3-Card spread, ect) and focus on spreads that are unique but applicable to common situations.  The most frequent inquiries in the tarot usually fall under one of the following categories:  Relationships, Money or Career.

This week, our focus will be on relationships.  Here is an example draw of this spread:

unnamed
Let’s go over the positions.

The left side represents Person A.
The right side represents Person B.
We’ll go over the ones in middle in just a second.

relationship spread

Position 1:  Represents the feelings, emotions and facts that Person A wants person B to know or be aware of.

Position 2:  Represents the the feelings, emotions and facts that Person A does not want Person B to know about.  These are the underlying issues that may or may not be obvious to Person B, but either way, Person A is doing her best to conceal them.

Position 3:  Same as Position 1, but reversed.  Represents the feelings, emotions and facts that Person B wants person A to know or be aware of.

Position 4:  Same as Position 2, but reversed.  Represents the the feelings, emotions and facts that Person B does not want Person A to know about.  These are the underlying issues that may or may not be obvious to Person B, but either way, Person A is doing her best to conceal them.

Position 5:  Represents the emotional and spiritual point of intersection between these two people.

Position 6:  Represents the emotional and spiritual “block” that is preventing further growth.

This is where it gets interesting.  What I really like about this spread is the way it reads.  In order to reconcile or resolve the underlying issues of the mutual parties involved, they have to “pass through the point of intersection.”
relationship spreadcrossing

Let me give you a (fictional) example.

Position 1:  The Empress (maternal love, grace, beauty, elegance)

Position 2:  Three of Swords (infidelity, heartbreak)

Position 3:  7 of Cups (Wishful thinking)

Position 4:  8 of Cups (A readiness to move on)

Position 5:  Judgement  (Atonement)

Position 6:  Seven of Swords  (Betrayal, “back stabbing” behavior)

In this example, Person A outwardly pretends to be the picture of a graceful, devoted, maternally-minded partner  (The Empress).  She is graceful.  She is lovely.  She is the picture-perfect “Stepford” wife.   But this image she has created for herself is an illusion.

Underneath the surface, Person A is actually miserable in her marriage, and has been involved in a long-term affair (Three of Swords).

Person B has known this for many years.  He is exhausted and has been ready to move on for a very long time (8 of Cups).

But on the surface, Person B maintains a blissful denial (7 of Cups).  He confuses this self-delusion with optimism, and hopes that by ignoring his wife’s infidelity, it will go away.

In order to resolve this situation, the partners must pass through the trial of the two cards in the middle.  So, in order to resolve the underlying issue of Person A’s infidelity (Position 2) with the surface mentality of Person B’s denial  (Position 3), Person A must atone for her wrong (Position 5) and “unblock” their relationship by no longer engaging in backstabbing, deceptive behavior.  Equally, Person A must stop pretending to be a perfect person beyond reproach (Position 1) and atone for her fraudulent persona (Position 5) so that Person B is able to move on (Position 4).

It takes some practice to get the hang of concepts like this in the tarot.  This spread is deep and complex, but so are the nature of relationships.  It is well worth the effort to advance your practice by enriching your technique and expanding your spread vocabulary.

For other tarot-related posts, check out my Tarot and Divination section.

Enjoy!

post sponsered by

 

Ostara Altar

We had a cozy little snow day, so I decided to make up the Ostara altar for the coming holiday.

I opted to forgo the softer, traditional pastels this year and I used this more saturated palette of bolder hues.  So fresh!  Spring is coming!!

IMG_4914

I love how these came out!  It’s just little pots with coffee grounds and then I stuck glitter carrots from the craft store in them.  As an added bonus, the coffee makes my altar room spell “awake” like spring.

IMG_4931

Also a new addition are these tiny mushrooms that I stuck in some cured craft moss.  So cute!

IMG_4920

Bunnies are a symbol of fertility, a key theme in Ostara celebrations.

IMG_4922 IMG_4924

Eggs also represent the returning fertility of the earth.  Ever wonder what eggs and bunnies have to do with each other this time of year?  Bunnies don’t lay eggs!

IMG_4941

Hopefully these ideas will inspire some of your own!

For more ideas, check out my Ostara section.

post sponsered by