Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Who Else Wants to Do Oracle or Tarot Readings--Without a Deck?

A lot of us magical folk love using tarot or oracle cards, and I'm no exception. But when your deck of cards is at home or it's just not appropriate to use it at any given  moment, no problem! If you have a deck that you know well and use often, simply clear your mind, consider your question or quandary, and watch your mind's eye for a card image from the deck to rise into your consciousness.

Play with this a bit: you might find that shuffling the deck in your mind's eye and then drawing one helps, or (if you're like me) you'll just like to wait for an image to float to the top of your mind. This technique lends itself well to a single-card reading, although you might also try a simple three-card reading where the first card indicates the past or underlying cause of the issue, the second indicates the present or main aspect of the issue, and the third indicates the future or the recommended course of action regarding the issue.

If you don't have a deck that you know and love, or if you just want to open your mind to even more possibilities, you can do the same technique but allow any image, symbol, or word to float to the top of your mind. Chances are, once you receive an image (and please trust it, whatever it is, even if you think you made it up), you'll understand its significance. If you don't, just apply my boyfriend Ted's famous dream interpretation technique, and ask yourself, "If I had to guess, what would it mean? How would it apply?"

Try it out and let me know how it works for you!

And for more tips like this, please check out my brand new book (from which this post was excerpted), Holistic Energy Magic. Ask for it at your local bookstore or check it out on Amazon here.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

One Simple Trick That Will Help You Break the Cell Phone Addiction for Good

Smart phones are very useful things! They're also fun, and handy, and have become all but indispensable in our modern world. And, it's becoming increasingly obvious that if we're going to feel peaceful, joyful, and connected to the physical world around us, we're going to need to learn some healthy habits when it comes to giving the cell phone compulsion a rest.

That's why some people have started doing digital detoxes and even paying good money for apps that block social media sites for prescribed amounts of time.

Call me old-fashioned, but when I realized I needed some quality time away from my phone, I didn't want to accumulate another digital thing to help me combat my reliance on digital things. It just seemed too cluttery and absurd.

So instead, I pulled out a trusty old deck of Bicycle Playing Cards, and rifled through until I found the Queen of Spades. I turned off my phone, placed the Queen face-up on top of it, and wrote a note with a time of day of my choosing that I could look at my phone again.

And would you believe it worked?

I've actually been doing it for a little while now. I attribute the method's success to the Queen's no-nonsense face, as well as her solidity and physicality. She is not an image on a screen. She is card, like the kind my grandma used to play solitaire with. And most importantly, she reminds me that I have chosen to live in the world without my phone for a certain, digital-distraction-free length of time.

Remember that childhood game, where you would say "jinx!" when you said the same thing at the same time as someone else, and then the "jinxed" person was not allowed to speak until someone said his or her name? Of course, when you were the jinx-ee, you absolutely did not talk. Not because you couldn't, but because it was what made the game fun. There was something neat about not being able to speak because you decided it wasn't allowed.

It's the same sort of thing here. Of course, if you wanted to, you could remove the card and check your phone. There's nothing technically stopping you. But because you've chosen not to, and that queen is staring at you with that serious "thou shalt not pass" look in her eye, the chain of compulsion is broken. And you are free to do things in the world without the distraction of your phone: clean, have a conversation, listen to raindrops, take a walk, or just sit - quiet and alert, in the vast magical brilliance of your own eternal mind.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Attract a Divine Partner with This Extra-Strength Love Drawing Ritual

Having a divine partner in your life is fun, nourishing, and rewarding...and it's no joke. It calls up all your "stuff" so that you have the opportunity to look at it, heal it, let go of it, and become stronger and more yourself than you otherwise could have been. It's a lifelong challenge and a lifelong joy. What I'm getting at here is that you have to be ready - not just for roses and chocolates, but also for looking into the dark places and facing your pain.

...So are you? Does the idea fill you with a joyful thrill, even if it also feels a little intimidating at the same time? Sort of like the idea of skydiving, or traveling to a foreign locale by yourself? If so, it might just be the right time to send out a magical invitation to that special someone, wherever and whoever he or she may be. (Remember, it's important for your magical intentions to be filled with authentic inspiration and enthusiasm.)

This coming Monday is the new moon, so I thought I'd share this ritual (from my new book) now so that you have the weekend to consider, clear your mind, and steady your heart.

Here it is:

Working magic for attracting a partner must be done carefully. While of course we don't want to attract just anyone, I am not a proponent of the old "make a list of every quality you want in a partner" technique, as the  Universe (or the part of us that is one with everything) knows much, much better than our rational mind what partner will be perfect for us at any given time. We're not ordering a pizza, after all; rather, we're attracting a multifaceted, complex human being with an ineffable eternal essence! With that in mind, in this ritual you'll begin by getting your vibration into a very clear and positive space because like attracts like, and then you'll set the clear intention to allow the Universe to find you a partner who is ideal for you in every way.

Oh, and never ever do this or any spell to attract a partner while visualizing or naming a specific person, or prolonged misery for all concerned will certainly ensue. (Was that warning emphatic enough to dissuade you? I hope so! I like to think my magical mistakes of the past were good for something!)

Wake up before sunrise on the morning of a new moon. Go outside and face east. Just as the sun peeks above the horizon, say:

I now invoke the power of the sunlight and the dawn.
Please shine light in the dark spaces.
Empower me, bless me, and steady me for love. 
Thank you.

Feel the light of the sun blessing you with its gentle yet powerful energy.

The next morning, and every morning up until the morning of the full moon, as soon as you open your eyes in the morning (or at least sometime in the morning before you go about your day), feel sunlight shining on you and into your heart as you inwardly say:

Sun shines brightly into my heart.
I am empowered, blessed, and ready for love.

On the night of the full moon, go outside and gaze at the moon, basking in its gentle glow. Say:

Divine partner, I call to you now.

While I don't yet know your identity, the Universe
sees you on my behalf and knows who you are.

Like the moon naturally attracts and receives the light of the sun, I invite you to come to me now.

You, divine partner, who I love and who loves me;
You, who I trust and who is trustworthy;
You, who are beautiful and who see me as beautiful;
You, who are perfect for me and for who I am perfect
in all ways: obvious, subtle, expected, and unexpected;
I call you. I summon you. I invite you. I attract you.

Come to me.
Come to me.
Come to me.

Feel the receptive, mystical light of the moon bathing you and rendering you radiant and irresistibly magnetic. Note that you may attract a number of potential partners after this ritual: don't assume the first one that appears is the one. Instead, keep an open mind, honor the journey, and have fun!

P.S. This is just one of many super-effective, tool-free spells from the new book!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Flower Oracle Message: With a Fresh Perspective, Your Problem Might Not Actually Be a Problem

Yesterday I posted the card at left on my Facebook and Twitter pages (from my forthcoming Magic of Flowers Oracle), along with a one-sentence summary of the card's meaning. After a Facebook friend (hi, Becca!) requested more insight, I decided to post the entire card's description from the companion book. So here it is - I hope it helps!

Fresh Perspective - Forget-Me-Not
Summary of Forget-Me-Not’s Magical Specialties: Clarity and Focus, Health, Love, Memory, Organization and Efficiency, Perspective, Success

Good news! An instant resolution is at hand, and all that it requires is looking at or thinking about the situation in a new way. Sometimes we may feel deeply mired in a particular issue, confused about what to do, or stuck when it comes to moving forward, when in reality the miracle cure is available immediately, and it’s simply a fresh perspective. Once we find this new way of looking at things, all the other pieces naturally fall into place.
Forget-me-not would like to remind you of the potent power of your mind to shape your present moment life experience. It’s truly amazing how a simple inner shift from a negative perspective to a positive one can change things for the better in no time at all. For example, right at this very minute, you can see your challenges as unfortunate burdens or as opportunities to grow. You can think of yourself as a victim or a survivor. You can concentrate on the millions you don’t have or all the fabulously abundant blessings that you do have. You can lament the fact that you’re growing older, or you can celebrate all the phases of your life and all the wisdom that comes with age. You can compare yourself to cookie-cutter standards of beauty, or you can look at yourself as the divine child and priceless work of art that you are.
This card may also signify that major life changes are on the horizon. If you are considering more than one option, bring each possibility into your mind once at a time. Relax, close your eyes, and tune into the feeling that the possibility gives you. When you find the fresh, magical, energized feeling depicted in the image on the card, that is the path to choose.
Ideas that may help with, and messages that may apply to, your present situation (notice any that particularly call out to you as you read):
  • The answer to your question involves looking at the issue in a new way.
  • Your seeming challenge or problem is actually an opportunity. 
  •  An immediate solution is available to you, provided you shift your mindset.
  • There is a creative or unconventional option that you have not yet considered that is the ideal answer to your question.
  • Adopt a more positive and empowering outlook.
  • Release mental patterns or old belief systems that are not authentically in alignment with who you are.
  • Push yourself out of your mental comfort zone, and get creative about the angle at which you approach this issue.
  • Keep your mind clear, focused, and alert.
  • A major, positive life change is on the horizon.
  • Choose the path that fills you with joyful anticipation.

(Does this bring more clarity? Feel free to ask questions in the comment section below!)

Monday, May 11, 2015

3 Reasons to Light a Candle to Florence Nightingale on May 12th

Portrait of Florence Nightingale by Henrietta Rae
The Pope doesn't have a monopoly on deciding who gets to be a saint...Well okay, according to official Catholicism he does. But according to the rest of the world, there are some people who live such amazing lives, perform such courageous deeds, and leave such beautiful legacies, that their sainthood veritably decides itself. Florence Nightingale, whose birthday it is on May 12 (which non-coincidentally coincides with International Nurses Day) is certainly one of these beloved secular saints.

Considering that you can easily read her Wikipedia page if you want to know the historical details of her life and work, I am not going to get encyclopedic here. But what I am going to do is give you three reasons why, this May 12, lighting a candle to this early advocate for women and founder of modern nursing is a really, really good idea.

(I'm thinking a print out of the image at left in a small frame with a white pillar or votive candle nearby would be perfect.)

1.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a poem about her in which she was poetically synonymous with the beloved, formerly official (now unofficial) Saint Philomena. It's called Santa Filomena, and includes the lines,

A lady with a lamp shall stand
In the great history of the land,
A noble type of good,
Heroic womanhood.

(According to Judika Illes in The Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints, & Sages, "Philomena is matron saint of desperate, lost, impossible, hopeless, and forgotten causes. She is credited with miracles including healing cancer, heart conditions, infertility, and festering wounds...Philomena is venerated in several African Diaspora spiritual traditions. She...is recognized as a miracle worker.")

2. In a letter, she once wrote this about religion: "Can the 'word' be pinned down to either one period or one church? All churches are, of course, only more or less unsuccessful attempts to represent the unseen to the mind." The granddaughter of a famous abolitionist who happened to be Unitarian, she expressed interest and respect toward many different mythologies and spiritual traditions. Ahead of her time much?

3. In Notes on Nursing, she wrote: "I use the word nursing for want of a better. It has been limited to signify little more than the administration of medicines and the application of poultices. It ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light, warmth, cleanliness, quiet, and the proper selection and administration of diet — all at the least expense of vital power to the patient." Clearly, she was talking about a holistic approach to healing, and even mentioned "vital power," which sounds identical to that life force energy that is known variously in Eastern healing modalities as "prana," "chi," and "qi." 

In conclusion, if it's your intention to align with and express your power, employ your healing abilities bravely, connect with the Divine in your own personal way, empower women, heal yourself or another, or support the study of any type of ancient or modern healing practice, lighting a candle to Florence Nightingale on her birthday (May 12) would be an excellent idea.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

To Everyone with Serious Mother Issues on Mother's Day

To those of us who are mother-challenged, few cultural traditions are as obnoxious as Mother's Day. Somehow it feels like there's something wrong with us when we find ourselves recoiling at statements like, "Mothers are angels on earth," and "Why do mothers get only one day?" Indeed, even though it isn't our fault, having a mom who doesn't approve of us or seems to want nothing to do with us, for example (**points to self**), or experiencing any other sort of painful mother issue, can cause us to feel considerably bitter and left out.

That's why I thought I'd share some hints and tips about how to traverse this day with grace, and even to use it as fuel for our ever-expanding joy, contentment, and well-being.

Receive Nourishment from the Earth Mother
Spending time outside and connecting with the Earth Mother regularly have been vital aspects of my ongoing personal healing journey. Truly, in very real ways, the living planet all around us can be an even more loving and sustaining presence than any human mother could ever be. Consider how we're made from Her and shall return to Her. Consider Her immense beauty that nourishes our spirit and all the miraculous plants and herbs that heal us and nourish our body, mind, and soul. There is not a single moment that She is not cradling us and feeding us. Before each meal, as you gaze at the sky, drink water, breathe the air, and drift off to sleep, you can express gratitude for the Mother who endlessly provides.

deviantart / DarkMoon-Priestess
Recognize and Honor the Mother Within Yourself and Others
Regardless of your relationship with your human mother, and even if you never experience the joys of human parenting for yourself, the role of "mother" is present in your life, and it is a beautiful thing. When we adopt a kitten and feel the fierceness of our desire to protect her, or when we rescue a lost dog from a busy road, or when we hold a loved one as he cries, we are drawing upon our natural instinct to mother. The mother archetype also appears when a cat mother who has lost her young adopts other kittens. Or when an octopus mother follows her instinct to give her very life so that her babies may live. Or when a loved one calls to check on us as we're healing from an illness. All beautiful, and all ways to honor the mother archetype on Mother's Day.

Rise from the Ashes
After years of writing, teaching, and consulting, I've learned that the word "forgiveness" might just be a little too loaded for everyone to work with effectively. For many, it brings up guilt and the belief that we're just supposed to put on a happy face and pretend like the challenges and heartbreak never happened. And this might be particularly true with such a fundamental and culturally exalted relationship as the one we have with our mother. That's why it can be more effective to work with the concept of "rising from the ashes." For you - not for your mother or for anyone else - it can be a wonderful thing to feel the feelings fully, find the blessing within the challenge, let everything else go, and emerge stronger than you otherwise could have. No need to act like everything's fine around your mom, or to go get a pedicure with her, or to even hang out with her at all if you don't feel like it. But if we can choose, for our own sakes, to be strong rather than defeated, and empowered rather than victimized, we'll find peace and our lives will blossom...and Mother's Day might not be quite as annoying to us anymore.

For more inspiration on living an empowered life, please check out my brand new book,
Holistic Energy Magic. Ask for it at your local bookstore, or check it out on Amazon here.


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