July’s temple video to Loki Herself

It’s live!

 

I was feeling quiet and contemplative this month and I think this video reflects that. I also finally got the Santa Fe incense to burn nicely. I really love this brand but sometimes I have a hard time keeping the blocks lit.

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My mind has been quite occupied with several projects I have going on here at home (I’m helping out a local temple with some complicated sewing work) in addition to the rapidly-approaching Many Gods West. One session is prepped; the other still needs a bit of tidying up. I’m also preparing to start work at a house reader at a local metaphysical shop, so I’ve been making lots of marketing material for that. Oh, and I’ve been producing the Santa Muerte prayer cards! They’re now in the shop and ready to ship.

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Santa Muerte prayer card pre-order!

I first learned about the Pretty Girl in the mid aughts; I had no idea what a special part of my spiritual life she’d become. In thanks for the many blessings she’s given to me I’ve made a simple prayer card celebrating her.

SM card front redThis card is available for PRE-ORDER on Etsy. It features my own photo on the front and a short prayer on the back. It’s just $1 and until the end of July you’ll get free shipping. Pre-order funds will help me cover the cost of production, Etsy fees, etc. (Patreon supporters at the $5+ level receive these for free; they just have to message me with their mailing address.)

Right now red is the only color available but blue, green, purple, rainbow, and other colors will be available eventually.

Thanks and praise, Pretty Girl.

The Ostara Tarot – new deck walkthrough and review

The new video is live! This one takes a look at the new Ostara Tarot, a lovely deck with storybook images. I’ve become quite fond of it in the short time I’ve owned it and it’s given me some good readings. I look forward to working with it more.

I’ve got a few more videos waiting in the wings and since my Patreon supporters suggested I also work on the narrated conference session videos I’ve been threatening for a while, I’ll be turning my focus on that soon. I have a pretty good idea what the first one will be – but I have no idea how soon it’ll be ready. Soon, I hope!

Sorting gods

A couple days ago a friend of mine on Facebook posted something to the effect of disliking the “dark gods” designation, finding it a category with all kinds of problems and shortcomings. I agreed, expressing my similar dislike. There are lots of reasons I don’t care for the “light/dark” dichotomy, not the least of which is that these are categories that tend to be leveraged in the service of the people using the category. I’m not just saying that categories are only meaningful to the people doing the sorting (although there is that); rather, there’s additional meaning and value-weight given to these categories once the Powers have been sorted into these two crude piles. We would be hard-pressed to talk about “light gods” just in terms of their, um, glowing. There’s immediately a heap of other associations that follow, and these associations end up being what we focus on.

(Of course, this rather leaves out traditions like The Unnamed Path which have very specific light/dark divisions regarding the face(s) of their Power(s). I’m talking really about this dichotomy as an artificial division, not one built into the fundamentals of a tradition.)

Whatever practical purpose the division of light/dark Powers might be, I feel like that end can be reached through other means. What those are I’m actually not sure. So I got to thinking – what other sorting could be done? Lasara Firefox Allen detailed a very nice five-fold model in her book Jailbreaking the Goddess – which I have not personally read but a number of my friends rave about it and I listened to some interviews she did on podcasts about the book and it sounds pretty great. That said, I don’t think it’s necessary to borrow her model and apply it wholesale to a polytheist paradigm in which we are already a little wary of any modality that robs our Powers of their individuality (except when it comes to “light gods/dark gods”, yes?).

Even after a good bit of thinking I couldn’t decide on a really tidy model that would lead to any helpful conclusions about the nature of the Powers based on their similarities and differences among Themselves. So I left the matter alone and wrote about it here instead.

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As someone who has almost exclusively spent time with “dark gods” I really chafe at that categorical designation. It does really nothing to describe any of these Powers in a way that’s helpful to me, to a hypotheical newcomer, or (I wonder) to anyone else. What does “dark” even mean in this sense? That they’re cold or mean or hard to deal with? Although They certainly have facets that are hard to deal with, I see this as something *I* have to work on rather than something that is fundamental to Them. That is, those facets are hard to deal with simply because I have much to learn, not because there is something about my Powers that is inherently difficult. (Although I remain open to the possibility that they are, in fact, inherently difficult.)

Loki might be a good example of this. Loki is possibly the brightest guy I know. He’s clever and warm and caring and all the rest. His anger is also incandescent, His lust radiant, and His compassion soothing. I can’t think of Loki without thinking of this brightness but there’s also a lot of darkness. I know Her as an underworld deity, an exiled and lonely mother, a queen whose treasures are formed in the dark hard places under the earth. I’ve known Loki for nearly two decades and can’t put Hir in either category – in this regard and in many others, heh.

The problem gets even thornier when mapped onto other beloved Powers.

If categories and designations break down as we spend time with the Powers, why do we persist in applying categories in the first place? OK, I guess it could be argued that it’s a teaching tool, a framework valuable to learners – but is it? Could we perhaps soften the disasters that come from a later failure of category by simply doing away with the application of categories early on? We don’t need to think hard to come up with multiple examples of the heartache that occurs when our hard polytheism stops giving us the strength we hope it will. The categories get soft, and yes, those categories include names.

On the other hand, starting with soft categories tends to lead to harder distinctions and there is plenty of heartache to be had on this path, too.

Perhaps the problem isn’t that the Powers are inherently hard or inherently fuzzy; perhaps the problem is that our perception is not comfortable holding both sides of a dichotomy at the same time. Maybe learning to hold both/and instead of either/or is what we will be forced to learn regardless of which directly we approach from.

On the other side of the cards

Although I perform divination for others, it might surprise you to learn that I have relatively few readings done for myself. I have a check-up reading that gets done every year or so just to see how I’m doing with the big picture; I had a local reader for minor check-ups but we sorta drifted apart when she moved her practice to another city. Most things I’m stubborn about figuring out on my own, or am uncertain whether or not a concern actually justifies divination. I talk myself out of way more readings than I actually end up getting.

The other night I received a reading as part of a trade. I was admittedly a bad client. I felt argumentative and pissy, wanting to hear something specific but not even being sure what that was. I took away the advice to not be such a goddamned drama queen (among other bits of guidance) and sat with that for a day.

I’ve been depressed – I’ve said as much – and that makes everything harder. I feel like I’m wading against a constant current, like everything is harder than it should be and doing even the most minimal of tasks is monumental. The only reason I’m not just constantly in bed is because I’m also very bored at the moment and keep looking for something to occupy my mind.

I did a small follow-up reading for myself using an oracle deck (the Ceccoli Oracle, if you’re curious) and was told directly that my problem was rooted in a lack of compassion for myself. This came up in a more circumspect manner in the reading I’d had done; seeing it twice made me take it a little more seriously.

See, I’d argue that I do have compassion for myself, but a toxic variety that doesn’t actually have the right results. I’m indulgent, I lack patience or perseverance, I have no discipline or follow-through or accountability. I’m messy and gross and kind of a weirdo, not to mention constantly grumpy and socially anxious. I’m a mess.

Compassion is able to identify shortcomings without transforming them into pathological mental baggage. Since my opinion of myself and assessment of my qualities is nothing but pathological mental baggage, I’m clearly failing to have any actual compassion for myself. This is part of what my single-card reading pointed out to me.

Honestly I have no idea how to turn back the morbid tendency towards self-recrimination and self-loathing. I’ve done it for so many years I don’t know how to stop it; even recognizing it is difficult and not always a sure thing.

It’s uncomfortable being on the other side of the cards. It’s uncomfortable to have severe truths pointed out to you. It’s uncomfortable to have no real tools at hand to address those truths. But I’ve taken the first step and acknowledged the problem, and I’ve taken the second step and expressed a desire to change.This is the work of a lifetime. Sometimes people talk a lot about spiritual advancement and it seems like they have a clear goal in mind, a thing they want to achieve. My goals are much more modest if only because I don’t much imagine that I can get very far. I’d like to stop hating this thing that the gods seem fond of. This seems like an advancement I must might be able to achieve in this lifetime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New divination tools available!

I’ve updated the list of decks on my Divination Services page to reflect some new acquisitions. You can now choose to receive readings from any of the following, or let me choose which one is best suited for your inquiry:

  • Tarot of the Sweet Twilight
  • Rider-Waite-Smith tarot
  • Dame Darcy’s Mermaid Tarot
  • The Ostara Tarot
  • Fenestra Tarot
  • Welcome to Night Vale Tarot
  • The Slutist Tarot
  • Ceccoli Oracle
  • The Earthbound Oracle
  • Arcane Bullshit Oracle

Tarot and oracle card readings are $40 and take typically 45 – 60 minutes to complete. You receive a report with a detailed analysis of your reading along with photographs of the spread so you can reflect on the reading for additional meaning.

I’ve been reading tarot professionally for 18 years and enjoy helping people dig deeply into complex spiritual concerns. I read frequently for spirit workers, witches, and others who interact with spirits on a regular basis; I’m equally comfortable reading about matters of love, career, relationships, and personal development. FOR JULY ONLY I’m offering a $10 reading special for confirmations and other small questions. You get a report and photos, and the satisfaction of helping me travel to Many Gods West. 🙂 My turn around time is usually less than three days; if more than 72 hours is required to complete your reading I’ll let you know.

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Slutist Tarot review and walkthrough

 

Hey, I forgot to announce this here! I’m finally dipping my toes into the world of online divination videos and I’m starting with deck walkthroughs and mini reviews. Truth be told, I own relatively few cartomancy decks; my collection has nearly doubled in the few weeks since I took a position as house reader at a local metaphysical shop (more about that in a second). I realized that my collection was rather inadequate to the needs of a professional so the number of decks owned has risen where for many years it had stayed nearly static.

I’m reviewing the Slutist Tarot first of all, a brightly colored deck celebrating sex-positivity, love, and lust. It’s a deck that goes right to my sweet spot – colorful, dynamic, and novel. Although I have some minor critiques regarding things like layout and shortcomings in the achievement of the deck’s diversity goals, overall I feel very positively about the deck. In many ways it takes tarot somewhere it hasn’t comfortably gone before – the Manara Erotic Tarot, beautiful as it is, is a very different animal – and for that reason alone it deserves attention. I hope that other people are inspired to use this project as a springboard towards even greater inclusion and diversity.

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As I was saying: I’ve got a gig as a house reader! This isn’t the first time I’ve been a house reader (someone who reads primarily in a storefront rather than in their own shop, their own home, just at parties, etc.) but it’s been more than a decade since I did this kind of work; the last time I read with a store was in…2006? Maybe even 2005. Anyway, it’s been a while. All the professional reading I’ve done in the meantime has been for parties, one-time gigs, via email, for friends, that kind of thing. This has been fun and I’ve learned a lot about who I am as a reader and about how this work, well, works but it’s time to make a change. I want to get better, which means that more practice is needed and specifically I need practice that is different from what I’ve been doing – it seemed natural to go back to house reading.

08e18e68297f132446bdab5760793958Instead of focusing on tarot or even oracle cards (both of which are thoroughly represented in the market) I decided to emphasize my tea leaf reading. Scrying was a skill I fell backwards into. I never thought I had the knack until I started working with coffee grounds and tea leaves. Tasseomancy, it seems, is something that works for me. So I’m marketing myself primarily as a tea leaf reader with cartomancy as a secondary offering. I’m excited! I like scrying. (I can also use mirrors and black reflective surfaces too but it gets intense and I don’t want to haul that in front of the public; cups of tea are more approachable. That said, it would be good to have an actual crystal ball to work with! Maybe someday.)

If you’re in the Salt Lake City area and would like to schedule a session with me, just email salinespirit at gmail dot com and let me know! I’ll be working in the Sugarhouse neighborhood at a location just off the S line (parking available too).