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.

Blog, Readings

A Year of Alchemy, Initiation Day

This morning seemed like just any ordinary day: first day of a new month, a new moon AND a solar eclipse. I couldn’t have asked for an more auspicious energetic setting to send me off on a new magical journey. Today I dedicated myself to the element of alchemy and I am in a year long service to both this element and my deity exemplar, Kelsier, a character from Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy novel, Mistborn.

In this essay I go into as much depth as I can about this elemental working as I learned it from Taylor Ellwood and what I hope to accomplish.

Entering a year long study with anything takes a bit of prep work. This elemental working takes quite a bit of preparation before you decided to jump right into doing it. At minimum, you need to know three things:

  • The element you what to work with. I keep a running list of “elements” in one of my books of magical stuff and when it gets close to the next year I look over the list and select one, or add a new one to it. You will want to create a virtual meeting space to work with the deity and have that deity give you a symbol (or agree on one that you have found) so that you can invoke that deity at any time.
  • The deity exemplar you want to work with. This can be a real deity from a standard pantheon, a person you know or admire, an animal totem or spirit guide, or a fictional character. Sometimes it’s good to research a few candidates, and interview each, for this experience to find the one that suits you best. Once you have your deity, you need to research everything you can find on that entity. The more of a complete image of the deity you have, the better the experience becomes.
  • The change, or desired outcome, you want this element to help you achieve. Why is this working important now? What do you hope to achieve by mastering this element? These are good questions to keep in mind as you prep for a year long adventure.

To put this into practice, I’ll use myself as an example:

Obviously I picked “alchemy” as my element. This term came out of having several discussions with my friends Anna, Ember, and Taylor, as well as my partner Kender, about what I wanted to do with my tarot life. Ever since I got home from the Readers Studio, it’s been clear that I want to make tarot a central figure in both my working life and spiritual life. Everything I want to do moving forward joins hand in hand with tarot. The below is how I defined my intent for this alchemical working:

transformation of myself and synthesis of all the knowledge I have learned throughout the years of studying and playing with tarot.

I have a picture in my head of where I want to be in a year or so: published tarot author; successful tarot reader/coach to clients in helping transform their life and giving them a clear set of bullet points to attain their goals and dreams; and a budding tarot coaching practice where I teach others what I know and how to read the cards from no knowledge at all.

With all this in mind, the idea of alchemy… turning lead into gold, pushing myself beyond my limits to become something new…seemed to fit rather well.

The second thing I did was list a few possible deities: Nicholas Flammel, Kelsier, and Vin. The first one is the only “real” alchemist I’ve heard of, while the other two were characters from the fictional world of the Mistborn series. That series uses a creative magical system where the characters imbibe metals to have effects on the world. It’s a form of alchemy and seemed to fit well with my intents. I then interviewed each person to see what they said and how they felt teaching me the principles of alchemy according to the desired transformations. The only one who wholeheartedly wanted to work with me was Kelsier. So I had my deity.

Finally, I took to the interwebs to re-remind me of the metals Kelsier and Vin used in the Mistborn series; I also reread the info about my deity. Since I’m no alchemist, I also thought it important to have a background idea of what this magical process was and where it came from. With Taylor’s help I gathered a list of book titles and purchased a few of them to help give me the basics I needed that were specific to this working’s needs. I also found two symbols to work with Keliser. One is a hand motion that I can use at any time to invoke him to help me with my working. The other is a meditation focus that I’ll use to set my transformation intent.

Dedication Ritual Outline
This is where we fast forward to today. This morning I went into my ritual room and held my dedication ritual. I’ve written a new script to use and share so that I can help others learn this process. Despite this being my 4th year doing the process, I still feel like I am an initiate at it. Another goal of this year’s working is to integrate tarot a bit more strongly into the working from previous years, so I’ve added more tarot bits and integration.

Bring a tarot deck, or two, into your sacred space. If you like candles, incense, or any other implements, gather those too. Prepare yourself however you normally do before performing spells or rituals. Then you can follow this script.

Set up circle.

Bring in elements to preside over the working. Light candles, incense, or whatever helps you focus.

Ground and meditate.

Say: Today I dedicate myself to the element of . I call upon my mentor exemplar who will guide me through the next 12 months of learning about the element and how I can effectively use it in my life.

Say: Welcome deity. I call upon you today to dedicate myself to you and your teachings of (insert what you want here). Please guide me through the process of working with this element that will bring me clarity and insight into my life during the next 12 months. I promise to listen to you and do the internal work necessary to improve my life.

Meditate and see if the deity has insight to offer. Pull first tarot card and ask the question, “What aspect of should I focus on this month?”

When finished thank the deity and elements by putting out candles and focus.

Write down experiences and thoughts gleaned from the working and then begin to do any activities that you or your deity feel useful to learning about this element.

This outline is flexible enough that it doesn’t take a whole lot of time. It also allows you to perform other workings that you may want your deity and the elements to oversee. The next section gives you what I did at my ritual.

Alchemical Dedication
I lit a yellow candle for air, then lit a dragon’s blood incense stick. Using the incense stick I proceeded to light a red candle for fire, and a blue candle for water. I don’t light candles for earth, preferring to use that time to ground myself and open a connection to earth.

When I felt stable and grounded, I then began the above script, dedicating myself to alchemy and Kelsier. I spent some time talking to him in the space I created for him. I was looking for his approval as well as any words he wanted to tell me. His first request of me was to “know my metals.” Before you can work to combine any two metals together, or in his terms, burn a metal effectively, you need to know each individual item by heart and what it does to you. Therefore, I will be taking a 78 day, one card a day, study of my “metals” or my tarot cards. I will try to fully imbibe each essence and craft my own LWB of meanings for each one. At the end, I hope that I have a good base foundation for which to burn and combine these elements.

I then deviated from the script for a bit. I had two side workings:

  • Perform a new moon/eclipse ritual reading for today.
  • Cleansed and initiate 4 new tarot decks into my service. One of the decks was my new Gaian Tarot and I wanted Kelsier watching over this process since I’m using this deck in this working.
20-awakening from the Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert.

So I performed these workings and then refocused my attention to the script. The final thing I did was to pull a single card from the deck to focus my energies for the next 30 days. The card I drew was “20-Awakening.” While I have not read the information Joanna added to her book, I can already tell you that I feel like this is an auspicious start to this year’s working. I am awakening from an old perspective, an old way of doing things, and magics and working on the wonder that is transformational alchemy and the serious study of tarot and integration of it into my life as a whole.

I set this card on my altar where I will visit it daily and meditate on the concepts of awakening and “knowing my metals” for the next 30 days.

I closed the down my ritual and then wrote down notes of the experience in my book of shadows stuff.

This post contains a heck of a lot to digest, I know this. Unfortunately, there’s no real short cut way to explain the transformation and processes that go into a year long working. That would take a whole book or more to elaborate on. It is my hope that you all have gotten an idea of this year long element working can go. The effects of working with an element in this way are powerful. Three years later I am still working with, and honing my power, with the element of movement. The weight I’ve lost under that element’s guide and help makes me proud.

What’s Next?
Now I start my year long journey with alchemy. I’ll start working on my card a day experience tomorrow. I plan to focus on just the Shadowscapes deck as that’s my go-to deck. And I’ll also do any other assignments or workings as Kelsier, or I, deem worthy of fully integrating the processes of alchemy into my life.

I won’t be posting experiences every day. However, I will be posting a 30-day summary of my experiences, which should give you a idea of what it’s like to undertake this experience. You can also visit Taylor’s blog, Magical Experiments, to get his perspective of how he uses his own technique in his life.

I hope you have questions. Really, I do. So please, feel free to contact me in any way, here, Facebook, email and I will do my best to help you understand what this is and what I get out of doing it every year? Yes, there have been “failures” but even then I have learned a lot from those experiences.