Energetically Cleansing Animal Parts

Yesterday, I picked up a small animal hide from a second-hand shop. It was sitting on a scratched-up end table in the furniture area, and it had a hideous cowboy boot lamp sitting on top of it. After flinging aside the lamp, purchasing it, and bringing it home, I began to work on clearing it, and that’s when it occurred to me that I do a lot of energetic cleansing of things that were once living creatures.

Anyway, I decided to do a little blog post about how I cleanse animal parts in the off chance that it might help someone else.

(When I was ten and eleven, my mother and grandmother loved to spend hours strolling through antique stores, and I would scour each booth for skins. Whenever I found one, I was afraid the rabbits had died in horrible ways, and I wanted to comfort them. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was listening to them, and energetically cleansing them. I had invented an entire days-long process to transition the animal skins from trauma to my bedroom. For this reason, my current process still has some weird steps that I feel like I have to do.)


Here’s my skin. I suspect it’s a small rabbit skin, because it’s the same color as the millions of rabbits that populate the area, but it’s coarseness makes me unsure.

The first, and probably the most important step, is to listen to whatever shit you’ve picked up. And it’s not just one listen, you have to listen the whole time.

At the store, I asked the cashier to bag it separately so it didn’t touch other things.

When I got home, I didn’t put it straight on my altar. Practically, it might be disgusting. Depending on what it is and where you got it, an animal part might have bugs, rotting flesh, mold, all sorts of gross shit. Physically clean it a bit if it needs it. Beat out dust, brush off dirt, you know.

Energetically, I like to give pieces like this some time to acclimate to its new environment. Some pieces feel like they need more time than others for this.

Last summer, when I found most of an elk carcass that was pretty much just bones with terrifying teeth marks, I piled that shit in a laundry basket and left it outside in the sun for weeks. Its death was no doubt horrific, and I felt like it needed to calm down. The rabbit skin, however, has already been placed on my altar only a few hours after I got it. It feels almost domesticated, as if the pelt itself is used to being inside a house and it knows how it should behave when sitting on a table.

Once it’s been placed somewhere special, it may just want to sit there, unperturbed. If not, may the cleansing commence.

I wish I had something cooler to report that I did for this skin, but all I did was placed some little obsidian shards around the edges. It’s what I felt like I should do.

For larger pieces, I generally place cleansing items on top of it. Obsidian, selenite, clear quartz, you know. The raw-er the better as far as crystals.

For smaller pieces, like vertebrae, I usually like to incorporate the piece into a cleansing grid. My advice to you here is to give the piece a prominent position, but do not make it the sole generator.

Here’s an example of my grid for an elk vertabra.

Aside from just cleansing, gridding a piece can be a great time to program it. Although I despise the word “programming” in witchcraft. Especially for animal parts. This is a collaboration and I’ve showed it how I’d like it to help me. It may not wish to help me in this way.

With the pictured grid, I sort of gave this bone instructions. It’s my “Lense of Truth,” (yes, like on fucking Zelda). It has clear quartz, amethyst, and sodalite (because I like to torture myself).

However, if your piece feels particularly vicious, save the “programming” for a later time.

For my rabbit skin, I’m going to let it sit on my altar with the obsidian shards overnight.

At risk of making myself sound like a lunatic, you have to “listen” to your piece at each step. You might feel like your piece requires more or less than what I’m doing. Also, always consider your source, and this source is questionable at best.

Okay, it’s the next morning and I’m back at this damn rabbit skin. Today, I’m going to waft this fucker through some smoke.

I chose to use palo santo for the rabbit skin.

I pretty much always use smoke to clear and cleanse these kinds of things, because water and fire don’t mix well with a lot of shit. Animal parts are irreplacable, and I’m not willing to risk scorches or water damage.

This is another important time to listen to your piece. Does it have a fearful or frightened energy? If so, it probably needs more time. Set it back up with some obsidian or selenite. If it feels uncooperative, that’s probably just the energy of your piece. Good luck, bitch.

That being said, there’s a fine line between having an animal part that’s cleansed versus having an animal part that may as well be substituted for a blank sheet of printer paper. It should still feel like it’s retained its animalness. This is an ally, not a tool.

If you feel you’ve over-cleansed your piece, leave it alone for a while. Like a moon cycle at least. A season maybe. This is not a place you want to end up, and under-cleansing is preferable to over-cleansing.

Having held and “felt” and “listened to” your piece, it might be ready now. If you skipped giving your piece a job description (or “programming”) earlier, and you want to, do that now.

My rabbit skin is ready.

Close the cleansing period with a bell or chime or drum or tambourine or some shit. This is like sealing it from energies coming in or going out.

Lastly, try out your piece.

You may discover that it has different ideas than what you’ve asked it to do, in which case you’d best shut up, sit down, and listen, because it’s got a lesson for you. You may also discover that it’s more than happy to assist you in the way you’ve asked.

So anyway.

That’s how I cleanse my animal pieces.

Now, I get to start over on these pieces of deerskin leather I was gifted…


Ooh, Yeah, Baby, Touch My Decks


Sometimes I get a tarot deck and I don’t cleanse it.


I have a couple of decks that I haven’t cleansed that no one else is allowed to touch either.

If I acquire a deck that’s been physically touched by its creator, I don’t cleanse it. At all. This is because I’m a goddamn creep. This is also because I’m like an opportunistic scavenger and I like to weirdly retain their energy in the cards. Um, which I suppose still falls under the “being a goddamn creep” category.

I have a deck that came straight to me from its printing company, but I have something else that I know its creator touched, so that item is used in every reading I do with that deck.

I have a deck that came with a pin that I know the creator of both touched, so it accompanies my readings.

I have a deck that I’m not sure if the creator touched or not, but I do know that he had to have touched the thank-you note slipped inside the guidebook, so this piece of folded-up printer paper joins me in my readings with this deck.

I have a deck that was hand-cut by its creator, so I know she touched every single card, making it super-duper-extra magickal. I made a bag for this deck and touched the deck to it to transfer the energy so the bag would be good enough for the deck.

Do I have a problem?


But the real problem is if anyone starts to reach out a hand toward my Paradoxical Trionfi della Luna that was sigNED AND TOUCHED BY PATRICK FUCKING VALENZA HIMSELF WITH HIS OWN GODDAMN HANDS.

The Tarot Restless Review

“It is by the first sword that each universe is brought into being, and all the numberless stars are scattered across the expanse in their shimmering spirals.” (Restless Meditations guidebook, by Winslow Dumaine)

The Tarot Restless, by Winslow Dumaine, is like walking into your first appointment with a new psychologist and finding that it’s Osiris. He already knows the things you’ve done, the things you’ve thought, and the things that have happened to you. He also knows roughly how much they weigh, but he didn’t bring his scale and anyway, he’s not here to judge you. Yet. He’s here to watch you to judge yourself.

This deck is the Judgement card shattered into 78 pieces, and The Tower card that refuses to be ignored for the possibility of The Star coming next.

The Tarot Restless spends its days trying to help humans sort through their suffering. Suffering needs to be learned from, not shoved in a closet and ignored.

As fantastic as the cards are, the guidebook is my very favorite part. You know I love stories, guys, and each card has its own little short story. But all of the short stories are linked by the curse of infertility and immortality laid upon the people of this alternate universe.

It pains me to classify this as a “not for everyone” deck, because everyone does need it, many people just don’t think they do.

The Tarot Restless defies the traditional Rider-Waite system, leaving the reader to treat it more as an oracle deck. Here are a few of the majors:

This is an emotionally heavy deck. I, personally, wouldn’t use it to read for someone besides myself. And that has nothing to do with the artwork and everything to do with the deeply personal nature of how this deck conducts its business.

Not to say that it doesn’t have a sense of humor.

Energetically, it seems to be a veey focused yet weirdly balanced deck. It doesn’t skew masculine or feminine, and there are numerous fantastical beasts throughout a people-populated deck.

You know I never really have shit to say about cardstock unless I’m bitching. The size is…regular? It’s got a glossy finish and the edges are silver. The box (pictured up there a ways with the severed finger) is nice and sturdy, although I do believe that the box’s art has been slightly changed from what I have.

This deck contains some of my favorite shit: offensive art, short stories, and shadow work.

As scary as this deck might seem, the scariest part is that it forces you to look inside yourself.

Do you need this deck?


Get it right here: http://www.winslowdumaine.com/shop/

Rota Tarot Review

I’m finally getting my review of the Rota Tarot up, mainly because it feels weirdly familiar like I’ve had it forever. I forget it’s not part of me or some shit. This is my travel deck and I take it most places with me which, shittily, makes it one of my most used and least photographed decks. For that I apologize.

The Rota Tarot, by Soror Tzadkiel, is a unique blend of several different approaches to the tarot. From Golden Dawn to the Qabalistic Tarot, there is a shit-ton of stuff to unpack from each card. This is a deck made by someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.

Even despite the expanse if its inspiration and teachings, this is a cheerful and approachable little deck. Well, I say “little” because I have the mini version.

There’s also a more standard-sized version, but I love this one’s size.

This is one of those decks that can be as easy or difficult to use as you choose to make it.

The illustrations are simple, but manage to convey an ass-load of symbolism.

(Also, The Magician is Ronan Lynch creating Cabeswater and nothing will ever convince me otherwise.)

I would recommend this deck to everyone. The titles at the base of each card make it beginner-friendly, but a more experienced reader could dig into these cards for years on end and still find new things.

Don’t let the pip-style minors scare you. Like I said: titles.

Do you need this deck?


Grab The Rota Tarot on Etsy.

78 Tarot Astral Review

You know the deal with the 78 Tarot decks, right? Each card is made by a different artist, and they’re all put together into one amazing, slightly eclectic deck.

There are several different decks under the “78 Tarot” name, but the one that I have is Astral. The illustrations on the cards are loosely held together by the theme of “space shit.”

I also got the Luna Moth Case and Cloth, which is 100% worth getting because they are beautiful and you can get them in a nice little fucking set with the deck.

(Please excuse the hair on the case, my cats are assholes.)

Overall, the deck has a somewhat cluttered feeling. Like an old lady’s house crammed with tables filled with knick knacks. It’s a cozy feeling, though, rather than overwhelming, if that makes sense.

This deck’s strength, as well as its weakness, is the sheer number of makers. Each card can vary wildly from the next.

For me, personally, this has made me use it predominantly for one-card pulls. It’s like asking a single person for advice versus asking a whole room full of people shouting over each other.

This is a very powerful deck and I’ve pulled out the High Priestess to use in spellwork several times. (There’s a photo of her up there with The Chariot.) Each card is rich with symbolism.

The guidebook is amazing. Not only does it contain a story about each card by the artist, but then it also has a suggested reading for the card.

The cardstock is pretty thick, making me feel like it’s durable enough to lug around with me places. The cards are also pretty large, but not too large to work with.

It also has three extra cards, Barrier, Meditation, and Event Horizon.

Do you need this deck?


This shit is a fucking gift.

How to be Spiritual as Holy Fuck

Level One

Smoke weed once

Listen to a podcast about positivity

Purchase a tie-dye Lord Ganesha bedspread

Take one yoga class

Stop sweeping/vacuuming so you can “ground” inside your own house

Look at a rock

Purchase only clothing with “ethnic” prints, but make sure they’re never made by the people whose ethnicities they’re from

Google images of mountains and look at them

Constantly bitch about gluten

Remind yourself every morning that you have nothing to work on changing ever because you’re perfect
Level Two

Purchase yoga pants made out of old water bottles and never stop talking about it so everyone knows how spiritual you are

Eat Mediterranean food but don’t actually go to a restaurant owned and operated by people who have immigrated from any Mediterranean countries because they’re weird and foreign

Purchase all of the positive affirmation books available on Amazon

Insist that every natural consequence is karma

Light candles when something bad happens to other people
Never shut the fuck up about your heart chakra

Maybe take a second yoga class

Get white girl dreads

Keep a journal of how you’re better than everyone else

Start listening to Bob Marley
Level Three

Purchase your entire wardrobe from Free People

Purchase “grounding sheets” for your bed

Purchase a Llewellyn Witch’s Calendar

Purchase 40 different malas but only use them as accessories

Purchase a bunch of shit Gweneth Paltrow is hawking

Throw your tv in the trash

Purchase a dreamcatcher made by white people

Go to the ER to have a yoni egg removed

Set up a blog and make the whole thing purple

Write fucking lists telling other people how to be spiritual

Tarot Mat with Pocket Crochet Pattern

Free pattern, bitches.

This is more of a recipe than a pattern, mostly because decks are all different sizes and people’s preferences and all that shit.

Anyway, this pattern is for a tarot case that rolls out into a little mat for a three-card reading. 

Now for this bullshit: This pattern is written using US terms. Do not try to sell this pattern, as I am posting it here FOR FREE on purpose.

Here’s what I have:

The deck I want my case to fit

Needle for weaving in ends

Worsted yarn

An H 5mm crochet hook

I recommend an H hook for this pattern, unless your yarn is a particularly thin worsted, then go down to a G. We want this nice and tight. (The ball band is long gone, but I’m pretty sure the yarn I have is Paton’s Classic Worsted.) 

The texture of this pattern is created by the sedge stitch.

Create a slip knot, leaving an 8 to 10 inch tail (for sewing up one side later).

Chain a multiple of three. (You want to have this be a bit longer than the long side of your deck.) Here, I chained 21.

HDC in the SECOND CHAIN from the hook. This one:

The chain you skipped counts as the first SC of the first cluster here and throughout.

DC in the same stitch.

*Skip 2 CH, SC HDC DC all in the same stitch.* Repeat until you have one chain left. SC in the final chain.

Your first row will kind of look like shit, as first rows often do.

CH 1 and turn. (This chain counts as your SC for the first cluster.) Then HDC and DC in the very first SC from the previous row.

*Skip two stitches and SC, HDC, DC in the same stitch.* Each cluster should be in the SC’s from the previous row. If not, you fucked up somewhere. Finish the row with a SC in the turning chain from the previous row. This is kind of a bitch to find, so I just stab it in there somewhere.

It will probably be 4 or 5 rows in until you really start to see the pattern.

Now just keep going, the sedge stitch is a one row repeat. 

Test it every once in a while to see how it’s coming along. Once it’s long enough to wrap comfortably around your deck once, you’re about half way finished with this part.

Continue until you can wrap your deck once in your piece and lay out three cards on it like this:

Just for reference, my piece is 17″ at this point. Now we’ll begin decreasing.

CH 2 and turn. Skip the first SC and next two stitches, then put your SC, HDC, DC in the next SC. Like this:

I basically skipped the first cluster of the row. We’ll be decreasing one cluster on each side each row. So continue with your clusters until you have two clusters left.

SC in the next SC, leaving the last cluster of the previous row unworked.

CH 2 and turn. Skip the first SC and the next two stitches. SC, HDC, DC cluster in the next SC. Put clusters in each SC until there are two clusters left, then place a SC in the next SC, leaving the last cluster of the previous row unworked.

Repeat decreasing rows until you’re down to either one or two clusters (this depends on how many you chained to begin with). Finish off.

Now, bust out your needle and attach it to that 8 to 10″ tail you left at the beginning. Fold up the bottom edge of your piece, using your deck to measure, and whip stitch along one side to form the pocket that your deck goes in.

Attach a length of yarn to the other side and whip stitch the other side of the pocket. Weave in all your ends. 

It should look something like this. From here, it’s just a matter of finishing touches. You could add a button closure, a long chain to wrap around it, beads, fringe, patches, appliques, whatever shit you want on it.