Blog, Essays, Tarot Blog Hop

Tarot Blog Hop: Mabon

photo 2007 by me. Portland Japanese Gardens
Autumn Leaves at the Japanese Gardens (photo from 2007 by me)

Blessed Mabon. I’d like to welcome all the visitors from Donna Faber’s lovely website. Mabon, also known as the Fall Equinox, is a time of rebalancing our energies. We thank the world and summer for giving us a hearty bounty. We also acknowledge the time to rediscover and balance the light and darkness that can be within us. And apparently… it’s a good time to make mead.

In this blog hop, Aisling the Bard, charged us to discover:

Of all the cards in the Tarot, of all the spreads you may use, of all the meanings and significances of relationships between cards, which to you most truly bespeaks the Power of Transformation? What is the crux of your Search for the Hidden God, your Mabon Mystery, that power which makes you able to transform your Self, your circumstances, and produce something better than that with which you began? It is this which I ask of you as a focus for your Blog Hop posting. Show us your Mabon Gift, your Transformation. Make Mead with us, and we will all rejoice!

This year has been a very transformative year for me. Last year, at this time, I was invited into a goddess project. I wrote a little bit about this project for the Ostara blog hop. Last weekend was the culmination of the year long journey with this mask. We made magic during our ritual using song and theater. Afterwords, I reaped the stories attendees told to me. Here I sit, a week later, still processing the festival moments and stories.

Which leads me to this blog hop topic Mead Making (or incense making). Carl Neal held a Incense Making 101 workshop and I got to make two types of incense. And I’m using the components he talked about to frame the idea of making and transformation as my post. He taught us that incense is composed of three ingredients: a base, aromatic, and a binder. Separated these three ingredients don’t look like much, but when combined in just the right amounts, they transform into olefactory heaven.

Will all this said, here’s my recipe for transformation using tarot cards for ingredients.

The Devil from The Shadowscapes Tarot
The Tower from The Shadowscapes Tarot

The Tower: The base is used to assist in burning and it can mellow out strong scents. The Tower is my base because it’s Lilith’s card. As a Goddess, she is ever present, blunt and stands to assist others in their spiritual searches. Goddesses also form the base of many spiritual practices, so this also seemed fitting because I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate her into my own daily tarot/spirituality practices. The Tower is a card of strong and immediate transformations. If you are not living your life with authenticity and integrity, Lilith will invoke the powers of the Tower to strip yourself bare and look deep within.

The Magician from The Shadowscapes Tarot
The Magician from The Shadowscapes Tarot

The Magician: The aromatic part is the stuff you smell when incense is burned. And for my aromatic, I’ve chosen the Magician. This card represents me, who I see myself, and my passion for inspiring magic in everything I do. Magic, and tarot, is the scent of my life. The Magician is the intent, the beginning and the I. Without the I, we cannot work any magic in our life.

Temperance from The Shadowscapes Tarot
Temperance from The Shadowscapes Tarot

Temperance: The binder is the glue that holds this all together. Temperance represents my binder for it’s the card of alchemy, of art, and balance. It’s the act of transformation in motion. Temperance is also the card I associate with the Equinox. Temperance is the key to balancing all the light and shadow aspects around us. When we use the power of this card, we blend the high notes of light, in with the dark, musty notes of our shadow selves to create a blend that is unique and truly our own calling.

In the recipe of my own mead, these are the ingredients that help spur on my transformation. They contain the lighter notes of flowers I enjoy (like daffodils and roses) and the musky shadow scents (like vetivert and patchuli) that get blended together through the power of adding just the right amount of binder (glue or alcohol) to create the person I am at any given moment. Of course, the other 75 cards of tarot blend their scents to occasionally alter the scent when burned but lately… these three cards form the basis of any core transforming I have in my life.

What grapes of the harvest will you pull to make your blend of mead? What light and shadow sides will you include to pour into the pot of transformation? I’d love to know, so please comment below. Thank you for stopping by Tarot Inspired Life. To continue the blog hop, please click here to visit Christiane’s blog.

Blog, Essays

House Ritual: Wrap-up and Afterthoughts

It’s been one month since we moved into our new forest retreat. I’m happy to say that almost a week after the rituals were set up that we had 3 buyers who wanted the house. We took the middle bid and put in a contingency that allowed us to stay there until we were able to find our new home.

Our New Home
Our New Home

We also figured out just exactly where we wanted to set our new roots down. We decided that the SW Portland area held the best potential for us in all that we wanted. We put bids on 2 homes before finding the right one. And when we found it, I asked for Lilith, and our house spirit, to help us secure the place. When we found out that our bid was selected out of all the ones they had on it, we were elated.

It took us two weeks to pack everything up. We moved via PODS and by the end of June, we were moved into the new home. I can honestly say, I love being here. It really is a forest retreat with trees and birds, and animals. Our cats have calmed down and the territory has been reset so that everyone is on equal footing.

I’ve never done tarot magick on this magnitude before and I’m excited to report that everything came out as I hoped. Things didn’t go 100% smoothly. We lost two bids before this house, and getting all utilities transitioned over did cause a bit of grief. But in the end, we have a beautiful new home.

Some of the things I’ve learned about doing this is that it takes a LOT of energy to keep up these workings. I mean a lot. I got really tired and had to ask for additional energy support from entities I’m currently working with. I was very emotional but I also knew that what I was doing was for the good of all.

Another thing I noticed came when I started doing some numerology on the street addresses for the homes we selected. The first house we bid on, had a interesting pair of tarot numbers. But it wasn’t an idea pairing for us. The second house was a bit better. But on the house we got, the 5528 pair was perfect. The numbers 20 and 2 equate to Judgement and The High Priestess. Judgement herlds a new beginning and a transition to a higher plane. The High Priestess, on the other hand, represents deeper spiritual knowledge and has connections to the moon. As I’ve been looking for a retreat to help settle down and dive back deeper into my tarot studies, seeing those numbers reaffirmed that we selected the right place to call home.

I’m also learning just how powerful the manifestation ritual spread is and how well it worked for me. I look forward to continuing to integrate it into my tarot and magical practices. I also hope that if you try it in any capacity, that you have fun with it, modify it to make it your own, and let me know how it goes for you.
That said, if you have any comments or questions on how to use tarot in conjunction with magic, please feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to help you achieve your goals.

Blog, Essays

House Ritual: Making a Smooth Transition

In this post I’ll describe how I used the Ritual Manifestation spread to attempt the final goal of making a smooth transition for us in this move. This was done on the last night of the full moon. The last night I have to make sure that the energies go into making our swift move into Portland come together.

This ritual layout was a bit trickier for me than the other two. In this one, I wanted something called a smooth transition. I didn’t know exactly what that looked like except that I didn’t want a lot of stress to hit us as we packed everything up, signed documents, and moved from our old house to the new home.

Layout for a Smooth Transition to a New Home
Layout for a Smooth Transition to a New Home

I could have selected one focus card, however, due to the nature and ambiguity of this goal, I looked through another Rider Waite deck and ended up pulling 3 cards that fit the bill. So, for this ritual’s focus, we have The Sun, the 8 of Wands, and the 2 of Pentacles.

I choose The Sun because I associate happiness with this card. It’s about being in the moment, enjoying the here and now, and allowing things to happen as they will. I choose the 8 of Wands because I wanted a swift resolution and transaction and the card represents swiftness. Finally, I choose the 2 of Pentacles because I wanted the transition to be balanced.

Around the focus, I have the 9 of Wands, The High Priestess, the 3 of Cups, and then the 10 of Swords. Collectively, I read these as finding my center, holding my ground, know and understand that the time for celebration was at hand as everything will go as I could use it, and finally… and ending. The 10 of Swords is a tricky card. For it does mean endings. It’s not the happiest card in the deck but in this case, I choose to see it at face value… that all this will end and end in the way I want it. However, I couldn’t help but keep that card in mind. Just in case something may have cropped up.

As I did with the first ritual, I moved this one’s layout to a safe and hidden location. When I have to hide my layouts, I just move the cards as they appear in their positions. Putting them in a book, or a box, is easiest but all that matters is that their positions remain undisturbed.

And now that these rituals are running, I try and forget about them. I let them work their mojo on getting the house sold, finding us the perfect new home to move into, and making a swift and painless transition that would get us into the new place within 30 days of finding the house. I’ll write a final wrap-up post once we find the new place and have had time to settle ourselves into it.

Blog, Essays

House Ritual: Locating the Perfect House

In this post, I describe how I used the Ritual Manifestation Spread to locate and secure our new house. The morning of May 8th just also happened to coincide with our first house exploration with our Realtor.

Now for this ritual layout, I went high-tech. I love my iPhone and have a few tarot decks loaded on it. One of my favorite tarot apps is called Beautiful Tarot and it uses the Rider Waite deck. As we travelled to meet our realtor I loaded up the app and started laying out my elemental cards. I didn’t use a focus card because I had no real image of what our new house would like. I figured that I’d leave it open to the fates and to our realtor to guide our hands into discovering “the perfect portland home”.

Locating the New Home Spread
Locating the New Home Spread

As you can see from the image, the layout is the same. I chose the 6 of Wands due to the Victory aspect. I then shuffled the deck and drew 4 cards and placed them into position.

Starting with the Air card, I selected The Fool. For me, this card is almost an exact opposite of logic but it does give me a fertile ground for new ideas. In searching for a new home, I need to keep an open mentality. The Fool is all about new beginnings and trusting in the universe to deliver and that’s exactly what we’ll do with our search.

Moving on with the Water card, I drew the 7 of Swords. Feeling a bit hesitant, I read this card in two ways. I needed to go with my gut and trust in what I wanted for a house; but I also needed to be cautious about being deceived from the shiny factor of what is new.

I drew the Page of Cups for the Fire position. Another interesting card to have for this passion position, I saw this card as the love and having fun with it. I needed to keep an open mind but use my imagination to picture all our items in each space.

Finally, in the Earth position I drew the 10 of Cups. I find it funny that I drew this card as the thing I desired for my last house. It seemed only fitting that it appear for us as this is also sort of what we wanted for our new home too. To be happy, loving and have all the things that are associated with a new home.

Another benefit to having this spread on my phone is that it comes with me as I search for the house. It’s a perfect travel-sized version of a layout. I slip my iPhone into my pocket and then just keep the app running. And when we find the perfect home, I can just hit the shuffle button in the app and erase it.

With the first two core spreads of this ritual accomplished and running, that left one more aspect to fall into place… making sure that we had a smooth transition. To find out what happened in that layout, read the next post.

Blog, Essays

House Ritual: Selling the house

In this post, I’ll describe the process I used to help our house sell. In fact, the house sold in just 7 days and I really think that I have this ritual to thank for this.

Selling the House Ritual Spread
Selling the House Ritual Spread

The Ritual Manifestation spread uses 5 cards. It’s set up so that a card is placed in a center. This center card is the focus, or the purpose of the spread. You can draw a random card, pick one to suit your needs, or you can place a description or image of what you want in the center.

As this is a ritual about selling a house, I wanted the focus card to show the energies of those who purchase the house. I wanted the new owners to feel serene, happy, and joyous in owning our house. So, I took out my Tiny Tarot deck and searched for a card that fit this. I used the Tiny Tarot deck because I knew that these energies needed to stay in the house as people wandered around. I wanted the spread and the cards to connect to those in the house. The Tiny Tarot is also a small deck that can be easily hidden out of sight so that it wouldn’t scare potential buyers.

I settled on the 10 of Cups as my focus. This card shows a happy family overlooking a field with a house in the background. It is light and airy, and shares the perfect feelings that I want people to use. Feeling confident, I placed it into the center.

The remaining cards, are drawn at random. They give you an idea of the 4 elemental energies that go into achieving the dreams. You can put the cards down in any order, but I like to start with the top position (which I see as air).

The element of air corresponds to the energies of thoughts and logic. Air sustains us and gives us ideas. When used as a position in this spread, it can show you ideas to use to attain your goal, or it can share troubles or unconscious desires. It goes in the North because I see air as being above us. It surrounds us and shares space with the sky.

For this process, I pulled the 9 of Cups. Here we see a person sitting confidently in front of a collection of cups. When I saw this, I interpreted it as needing to put my best foot forward on displaying the house. That I needed to show off the good things (and reveal the not-so-good things) that the house had to offer. I also needed to show confidence in that this house was awesome and was ready to accept a new family.

The next card I placed down is the card to the right of the focus. This card represents the element of water which corresponds to the energies of emotions and feelings. Water ebbs and flows just as the tides of the oceans and our inwardly watery landscape. In the Ritual Manifestation spread, it shows you the emotional mindset you need to have in order to attain the goal.

For this process, I pulled The Empress. The Empress is a creative, nurturing card. The energies from this card suggest that I take a creative approach in selling the house. I used this energy to stage the house. I created fun place settings at the table, and we even had Jazz playing in the background to help boost a fun and lively atmosphere.

The next card is placed to the left of the the focus. This card represents the element of fire. Fire is my favorite element. It’s constantly moving and changing form. Fire fuels us to live and survive. It motivates us, keeps us warm, and gives us light. In this spread, this fire in this position comes from below (or our core). It shows us the things that motivate us and can show us areas where we may lack energies in.

In this ritual, I pulled the 10 of Wands. This card shows a person carrying a bundle of sticks. The way they’re carrying them suggests that this is a burden and affects the person carrying it mind, body, and soul. For me, I saw this card as being a warning to not do everything myself. Yes, the house was mine to begin with, but I am married with a partner who loves me and is there to help me. So, going into selling this house I need to remind myself not to carry the whole thing on my back.

Finally, the last card, placed under the focus, represents the element of Earth. Like the solid ground beneath our feet, the element of Earth corresponds to physical things, and stability, and abundance. In this spread, it can show you how to keep your feet on the ground, rooted in this reality.

For my house selling ritual, I pulled the 7 of Wands. It shows a person defending their territory as 6 people below raise wands in arms. Normally, I’d tell someone to be less defensive or even more defensive when this card shows up. However, as this card is in the Earth position, I read this card in a more tangible light. I saw this card as being showed many different offers for our house. The Pacific Northwest is in a very competitive house buying/selling spree and this card reminded me to be vigilant with what offers we were to get and to select the right one.

With this layout now in place, I put it into a hidden area where it would work it’s magic on selling the house. I then adjusted my tactics for how I wanted to sell the house and put those practices into place. Excited about the prospects of selling my place, I then turned my focus to the next spread.

To continue reading about how I used tarot magic to find a new house, click here for part two.