New shop listings

I added a few new shop listings this morning. If you’ve picked up new oracle decks or tarot cards lately, you might be looking for nice ways to store them.

These are compact spread cloths that are perfectly sized to wrap up your decks when not in use; tie the cloth securely with the ribbon to keep your deck clean and protected. These wraps are great for packing lightly. I use them lots for festival and shop readings.

croppedIf you prefer more traditional bags and pouches, I’ve got loads of those available, too. I have lightweight cotton bags as well as sturdier velveteen in plain and decorated varieties. The shop is also stocked with altar cloths/spread cloths to help keep your clean and looking nice.

Although my divination sale has ended, you can still send me a reading request. I’ve been reading professionally for 20 years and would be happy to help you find clarity in complicated situations.

Right now I’m busy making a few new things to sell at Salt Lake City Pagan Pride Day; anything that doesn’t sell will be used added to the Etsy shop. I’m hoping to invest in some really great fabric soon to offer some wraps and bags that you haven’t seen before. Let me know if there are patterns or colors that you’d like to see.

Sandwiches and radioactivity

Last night a friend of mine shared a Henry Rollins meme and encouraged us to “Channel your inner punk/apocalypse warrior/metal/level 57 paladin and let’s DO the thing.” Being the eternal pessimist I am, I wondered what to do if I wasn’t a level 57 paladin but merely cannon fodder. See, there are people that don’t live past the first act of any apocalypse story. When people ask me how I’ll survive some catastrophe, I’ll reply, “Sandwiches.” That is, I expect to be made into sandwiches at the first possible moment.

I’m not a resilient person. I’m not the person you want on your team. I’m a liability. I’m the final iteration of a failed genetic experiment. I require too much upkeep to be cost-effective in the long or short run; it’s a quirk of cosmic circumstance that I wasn’t thrown into a bog decades ago.

This is all true, but it’s not all the truth there is. Thinking a while, I remembered the rest.

See, I’m surrounded by people who tend to have fairly obvious types. I know a lot of healers and a lot of war witches. They seemed to know early on what they were; they came along with the basic package of types, as it were. You had a healer, you had a fighter, you had a diviner, etc. etc. I’m not one of the basic types. I come in the deluxe packages. I’m not more special, just not quite so easily described.

**

I have a reputation as a coven breaker – to which I will reply, “They weren’t a coven, and they didn’t need my help.” They were actually a kindred and they were beset by internal bickering long before I showed up. I came to a few events, I taught a few classes, a led a ritual, then I left because I got angry. Next thing I knew they had imploded. It had nothing to do with me.

There was another kindred whose Yule event I attended who later dissolved amid accusations of child porn usage and partner swapping. Yet another kindred fell apart in the face of felony charges. Again, nothing to do with me.

There are other examples of groups I’m marginally associated with coming near to dissolving; they’ve been way more organized than kindreds and this time edged weapons weren’t involved.

I have this radioactive effect that I’ve learned to warn other people about. I can’t ethically join groups without giving a caveat that, hey shit’s gonna get weird. I warned the leader of a group a couple years ago about this and then watched as they had a near total psychological breakdown not long after. A group with a history going back to the 1990s nearly fell apart. It’s not something I do deliberately; it’s something I tend to catalyze. All I can do is warn – and apologize.

Yes, I’ve tried to think about how I can use this radioactivity for good. I’ve tried to think about which groups need a good destroying. I’ve tried to think about which people need a good psychological breakdown or felony charge. I can’t bring a lot to the struggle we’re currently engaged in (the struggle that some of us have been engaged in for generations), but I can stand around being radioactive.

Different devotions

For some of us, the devotional path is the label we place on the thing we’re doing anyway. We fall in love, cultivate relationship, and see the bonds between beings as a primary language, so to speak. It’s a natural way of being. Placing a name on this way of being can feel like a significant homecoming to some, a less noteworthy instance to others. Some people feel motivated to discover what it means to have long walked the devotional path while others are content to allow relational dynamics to unfold as they will, without lots of input from outside commentary.

People who find that relational dynamics are an entirely natural way of organizing the seen and unseen worlds sometimes make the argument that this is a great way of doing things – and it is. It’s one path among many, and it has its distinctive advantages as well as its own potential drawbacks. Some people come to this path because they made a deliberate choice based on these advantages and drawbacks; they felt that organizing the seen and unseen worlds in a relational way was beneficial in some way, or at least beneficial enough to give it a shot.

These two groups aren’t terribly distinct in my mind, and certainly there’s no reason to worry which group you fall into unless you’re really inclined to play along at home. I started thinking about things this way because there’s a slight difference when between these groups when it comes to the practice of devotion. When it comes to refining the techniques of organizing the seen and unseen worlds into relational models, some people choose to fall back on innate patterns while others are willing to experiment; some are willing to commit to a deliberate practice while others are comfortable where they’re at.

It’s probably no secret that I tend to be pretty comfortable where I’m at. I resist change even as I hope for better things; I halt at making difficult choices even as I wish that my life was different. Fortunately(?) I’m surrounded by some very tricky Powers. They’ve helped me develop a bit of a backbone even as I struggle to dissolve it into lethargy. I’m trying some sadhana right now and not doing intensely great at it but I’m doing OK.

I care about deepening my relationships and about going further in my practice; I’m greedy and I want more experiences, which means that I have to commit to doing something different than I’ve done. I can’t just relax into the status quo even though I want to. Sometimes it’s very hard to keep my highest ideals in mind, but They’re always right there, ready for me to remember Them.

Three more days in divination sale – ends May 25th

The clock’s running down on my first divination services sale. I’ve never offered a discount on readings before, and until March 25th you can take advantage of 25% off the normal rate of $40. (Sale ends March 25th at midnight.)

To schedule a reading, visit my divination services page and fill out the request form. I’ll get back to you promptly, and schedule the reading once payment is received. Thanks for all the support you’ve shown to this sale. I won’t be offering these very frequently, so this is a great chance to get a reading done.

Identifying obstacles

I’ve been reading through Six Ways by A. Wachter (a very helpful book), and he’s talking about how important it is to identify the thinking that arrests our magic. After some years of feeling at a serious low tide point magically speaking, I finally feel like I’ve turned a corner; the current is flowing again, just a little, and I’m feeling a bit like my old self. Still, there’s lots of work to be done. So I got to thinking, what kind of mental obstacles am I putting in the way of my magic?

To start with, I have deep-seated ideas about my own capabilities. I don’t think I’m capable of success. With regards to art, I don’t think I’m capable of making things that people like. With regards to my life, I don’t think I’m capable of crafting the kind of life I want to have. I expect that I must always settle for less because the systems of power that mete out resources are flawed and unfair. I expect that I will always have less than I need, or want, or desire, or deserve. I expect no satisfaction or fulfillment in life. I expect that I will always wrestle with these desires and never really experience peace because desire is a problem with no lasting solution. Basically, I expect failure in every aspect of my life, in some way, eventually.

Laying it out like this, this is a pretty bleak perspective on the world and embodied existence, but it’s one that many people are no doubt familiar with. Life has not given us the experiences upon which we can base a hopeful outlook. Even though I draw strength from spiritual traditions that teach that hopefulness is an essentially necessary trait, I have never cultivated that kind of optimism for very long. I look around me at people who have as little as or even less than I have and wonder why I should expect my life to be any different than theirs – or any different than my life has been thus far. What evidence is there to base hope upon?

Needless to say, none of this is a very good foundation for building magical success on – or success of any variety. Wachter says that a change in thinking is required for magical success, and that magic can help accomplish this change. Now that I’m feeling like I have some numinous potency happening again, perhaps I can actually do some of this work.

But of course, all this thinking is highly recursive and the first thing that comes to mind when considering making this change is, “why should I? why should things be different? shouldn’t I simply adjust my expectations to something matching the current evidence?”

I’m not a believer in abundant thinking or whatever the hell it’s being called now. The one time I managed to get it to work for me I got what I wanted – and was then ripped off for several hundred dollars’ worth of my labor. I can perhaps be forgiven for feeling that the whole business is a big of a monkey’s paw situation.

Still, I’m not satisfied with things as they are now. Since losing one of my part time jobs I’m earning less than half of what I need to really support myself; although there are opportunities on the horizon, they are far enough away that the day-to-day grind really pinches. Even if the practical pieces of this puzzle remain as they are, my thinking needs to change, if only for the sake of my mental well-being.

So I’ll try working some magic and see if I can’t get a few things to fall into place. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to expanding my divination skills to include crystal gazing. I’m pretty decent at scrying already but never thought about trying the traditional crystal ball. That is, not until I finished a massive half-yard embroidery project that is the perfect tablecloth for a crystal ball. Now it seems that will be the next major tool I invest in. A friend is passing along an obsidian sphere that she no longer needs, so I’m anticipating giving that a happy new home. I’m also hoping to find what I want at an upcoming rock and gem fair taking place near me next month. I’m also drinking loads of tea lately in an effort to reduce and eventually eliminate caffeine consumption for the next few months (we’ll see how well that goes!). I’m enjoying lots of great tisanes that I might have never gotten around to otherwise, so that’s actually pretty cool.

Just a reminder, I’ve got a divination sale happening right now to help me raise funds to go on pilgrimage to India later this year. Readings are usually $40 for a 45 minute reading, and are 25% off right now – just $30! Send me a message if you’d like to schedule a reading. My turn-around time right now is less than 24 hours.

 

 

New tarot review/walkthrough – The Numinous Tarot

I received my copy of the Numinous Tarot this week! This colorful deck was a Kickstarter project; it was created with diverse and inclusive artwork.

 

I’m happy to have backed this campaign, and I hope the artist’s work reaches many people. I’m looking forward to reading for clients and for myself with this deck. If you’re interested in buying it, visit the artist’s website; once Kickstarter rewards are mailed out, additional decks and sets will be available for purchase.

If you’d like a reading with this deck – or any of my other great decks – visit my Divination Services page and send me a request. Remember, I’m offering a 25% off special right now to help me raise money to go on pilgrimage to India. Readings are normally $40 but until May 25th they’re just $30.