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.)

Anyway.

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…

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So You Want a Pet Piggy

You know you do.

You want to name it Peaches or Tallulah and dress it up in little outfits and carry that fucker around in a purse with the first letter of its name on it. Right?

Then get a goddamn Chihuahua, because this shit is not for you.

Look up “pet pig” on any social media site and there will be tens of thousands of photos of pint-sized piggies in tutus. But where are the adult pigs?

I’ll tell you where they fucking are: the lucky ones are at pig rescues. Overcrowded, underfunded pig rescues. Know why?

“MINI” PIG BREEDERS ARE FULL OF SHIT.

These people are the scum of the earth. They’ll lie about the size your pig will grow to be. They’ll tell you to starve your pig in an effort to keep it small. If you ask to see the parents to try and see how big they are, they’ll show you another piglet and swear it’s their mother. Then they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank with the $2,000 you just gave them.

But if you dare to say to a new pig owner, “Please feed your pig the amount stated on the bag of pig food,” they’ll flip shit.

“The breeder said Petunia will only grow to be 40 pounds and I’m feeding her three kibbles a day just like they said! I know she’ll stay little because I saw her mom!”

Sure, bitch.

Ah, the reality of pet pigs.

The reality is much less glamorous, I can assure you.

First of all, let’s talk about pig sizes. This seems to be the major reason that pigs end up in rescues or worse. For the most part, females reach 100 lbs or more and males can get up to 250-ish.

“Holy crap I thought you said you had mini pigs!” This is a common response I get from people who see my pigs. Reality: these ARE mini pigs. Regular-sized pigs are 700 lbs, people. Compared to that, this is mini.

But people think that because the babies are all they ever see.

And then there are the tragedies. Malnutritioned pigs show up at sanctuaries with underdeveloped legs they can’t walk on because their owners fed them according to what the breeders told them. There are pigs who, due to bad breeding, end up with skeletons too small to accommodate their internal organs, and they only live a couple of years until their own ribcage suffocates them.

Enraging, right? These are animals that have 20 year lifespans, and some of them only get a couple of disabled years or they get to live for 20 years unable to walk.

So what DOES it take to successfully keep a pet pig?

A lot. If you’re here, you’re already doing the right thing because you’re researching before buying.

Pigs ARE NOT like dogs. I will slap the next person who says that. They’re not any more like a dog than a cat is like a dog. You can keep it as a pet. That’s about as far as their similarities go. Dogs want to please their owners while pigs don’t give a flying fuck how you feel about what they’re doing. They have an emotional warmth about them more like a dog, but their nature is much more cat-like in that it’s all about them.

It takes a while to get to read their body language and oinks too. Is he wagging his tail because he’s happy or because he’s about to rip my calf open with his tusks? Is he head slashing at me because he wants to kill me or because he thinks I have food for him? Is he squealing because he’s scared or is he asking for a bite of my spaghetti?

Have you ever fought a miniature tank with your bare hands? If you haven’t and you’re not willing to, a pig is not for you. Dominance battles fucking suck. You have to be ready to push and shove and stare them down and not flinch when they roar and gnash their tusks at you. You have to growl at them and chase them and they’re fast as shit, but you have to be the alpha pig. Be ready and willing to engage in this fuckery.

Also, people love to say that pigs are clean animals. Hah! Everything about them is a mess. They tear their bed to shreds, they dig huge craters in the yard, they make messes with their food and water on purpose, and their annual loss of their hair is one ungodly fucking disaster.

People like tout their intelligence too. Yes, pigs are very smart. Too damn smart. They can open cabinets and refrigerators and drawers. Their iron strength makes little plastic “baby proofing” things irrelevant. They’ll also learn words you’ll wish they didn’t know, like “goldfish” and “graham crackers” and the names of all the fruits and “Chipotle.”

Lastly, vets are fucking hard to find. Seriously. There are “farm animal” and horse vets who will see them, but they usually do housecalls only and require a billion dollars just to walk through the door. Or you can take them to a regular vet (if you call first and see if they’re willing) who has no fucking idea what they’re doing. I had an emergency where one of my pigs climbed up things to get a bag of fertilizer and ate it. She threw up literally everywhere. Panicked, we had to take her to an emergency vet who had never seen a pig before. These people didn’t even know pigs got as large as she was. They didn’t have needles long enough to give her an IV and she ended up with it in her ear. Never having worked with a pig before, they were shocked when they walked away for 30 seconds and she had eaten the line. Luckily she survived that shit on her own.

This may have seemed like a negative article, but it’s not really meant to be. I love my pigs and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They’re hilarious and I wish more people had them. But the truth really needs to be out there. People need to know exactly what they’re going to have to do when bringing home a piglet.

 

 

 

How I Prepare for the New Moon

I was asked this fantastic question on Instagram, and my answer is kind of long, so I figured I would answer it here.

New Moons are my shit. Full Moons are nice, but for me, they just don’t compare to those nights when you just can’t, um…see the moon.

The energy of the New Moon is deep and mysterious. It’s like a note played so low that it’s out of our range of hearing, but you can feel its vibration in your chest. This is the place after death and before birth, making it the perfect time to lay old things to rest and turn that energy to something new and more satisfying.

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So how should one prepare for it?

By “prepare” I mean “start thinking about it.” What do you want to start directing more of your time and/or creativity to? What do you want to pay more attention to?

More time for yourself? A project? A healthier lifestyle? The quiet of the New Moon is the time to begin these things.

I usually take the day or so before the New Moon to start thinking about what I’d like to start working on. Sometimes, I even save shit I think of other times to start at the New Moon.

This is also a great way to procrastinate. Damn, I really need to get on top of these dishes. I know! I’ll start in…16 days.

Working with the New Moon (or really any magick for that matter) doesn’t need to be complicated or stressful. If you try to make too big of a deal of the shit, you’re going to get burned out and end up dreading it.

After I have my intention, I think about ways I can start implimenting it regularly. Am I trying to cut back on soda? Great, let’s scale it down to two sodas a week. Am I trying to have more patience with my kids? At least once a day, I’m going to let something go that I would normally bitch at them about.

Usually, on the day of the New Moon, I set up a little thing on my altar for it. If you have an altar or a sacred space, good. If you don’t, don’t fucking stress about it. By “little thing,” I mean this:

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A black chime candle, my little obsidian sphere, and I like to use the New Moon card from the Arcana of Astrology. It’s not a big deal, so don’t make it one. And if you don’t have an altar or a sacred space, just carry a stone with you to remind you of the New Moon.

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These are some stones I generally associate with the New Moon: black obsidian, labradorite, gray/black moonstone, black tourmaline, tektite, and iolite. Clear Quartz is always perfect too.

Or you could use a stone that corresponds to your intention. A green or golden stone would be great if you want to start saving more money. Or if you want to open the lines of communication a bit more with someone, grab something blue for your Throat Chakra.

Don’t have any stones? Good. You don’t really need them. Honestly, you just need your own thoughts for this shit.

Once I have my intention, how I’m going to go about actually making this change, and some sort of reminder throughout the day that this is the last day for my bullshit, a lot of times I just stop there. That’s it. You don’t have to do any more.

But if you want to…you could do some sort of ritual. I’m not one for fanfare, so if I do a ritual at all, I light some incense and a black candle and think about what I’m wanting to begin at this New Moon.

One thing I really like doing is a tarot spread. I don’t have a specific one, I normally get on Pinterest and search “new Moon tarot spread.” I’m serious. Then I fucking pick one and do that shit.

So…what do you do for the New Moon?

Who the Hell am I to Tell You About Chakras

If you’ve seen or if  you’re doing my Exploring Chakras Through Tarot challenge on Instagram, then the thought has probably crossed your mind: who the hell is she to tell me about chakras?

She’s only 28. She’s barely ventured out of the state of Colorado. She’s a stay-at-home mom. What the hell does she know about this shit?

Well, according to some papers I have, I’m a registered, certified 200 hour yoga teacher. To some, this may seem like a qualification. But the truth is that it’s irrelevant. The process to acquire these certifications revealed the yoga community (in Colorado, at least) to be cliquish, money-hungry, and competitive. Instead of “finding my tribe” I felt alienated. Just like everywhere else.

This was when I went to spend some time at the Shoshoni Yoga Ashram. And by Yoga Ashram, I mean temple at four am, study of the 8 limbs of Yoga (surprise! Physical poses are only 1/8th of yoga), and meditation on those dumbass little pillows.

My first day there, I chose to take a class instructed by the Ashram’s Swami, a white haired woman wearing saffron-dyed robes who had “reached enlightenment.” I could write pages and pages about the way she moved and the way she spoke, but I’ll refrain here.

As soon as I walked in, she gave me a sharp look and tapped on the carpet right in front of her. I unrolled my mat right where she’d directed me. I was embarrassed, worried, all that shit. There were no mirrors in the crooked little hut to check my alignment and, mere months after a c-section that left me with a separation of the muscles in my abdominal wall, my core strength was shit.

The class that she taught had little resemblance to classes that you can go to your local yoga studio and take. The movements were smaller, slower, and she didn’t even have names for the poses she instructed.

I was terrified of fucking up two feet from her, so of course I fucked up constantly. If she noticed, nothing about her showed it.

In a very Luna Lovegood sort of way, she spoke quietly and had meandering conversations with the spaces in between students. This was where it got weird. She was prattling about “enlightenment.” Different cultures have different names for it, but it’s all the same thing.

“What you’re doing right now,” she had said, “Has nothing to do with enlightenment.  Maybe that’s why you’re here. Maybe it’s not. Maybe you haven’t thought about it. Maybe you’re working to attain it. Maybe,” and here she gave me a very slow wink, “You’ve already encountered it.”

I remember the next thing she told us to do was to put out arms above our heads, shoulders down and back, and motion like we were climbing a rope. I felt like the teacher had just caught me passing a note and she’d intercepted it and read it to the class. I knew exactly what she was talking about.

I went on to fuck up the last pair of half-lotus chaturanga of the class and I ran to put my blocks and straps away. But I was farthest from the bins in the back of the room and everyone was bigger than I was, and I was one of the last people to toss my props in the bin.

My escape foiled, I walked back to the Swami’s mat. “When you were talking about enlightenment,” I said, “How did you know?”

She didn’t smile, but she wasn’t unpleasant when she said, “There’s just a stillness.”

Satisfied, I left.

So what the fuck was she talking about?

Let’s take a moment to talk about enlightenment. Enlightened people aren’t walking around in an enlightened state all the time. You can’t. Your physical body is unconscious. People who have reached enlightenment can meditate themselves into this state at will.

I didn’t do mine on purpose. At all.

From my research afterward, I accidentally reached an enlightened stage one evening through a Kundalini Awakening. This is a Hindu theory that a snake waits coiled at the base of the spine and, if everything energetically aligns just right, it travels up the spine, opening each chakra by blasting through it, and results in an “enlightenment.”

At the time that I achieved this, I knew practically nothing about chakras. I knew that they existed and that was it. I started linking the chakras to my “moment” during my chakra classes during yoga teacher training.

I’ve since realized that I should be very excited about it, because this shit is the kind of shit I must have been working on for fucking lifetimes.

Although I had no “training” in this life, I was obviously doing something right.

So, how did I do it?

I unthought myself.

Sometimes, the tapestry of reality has little frays. When you think too hard about reality, you’ll notice them. One evening, lying in bed, I found one. So I grabbed that sucker and pulled it. Most people, I think, notice that they’re unravelling the sweater and stop pulling, but this one time, I decided not to. I pulled until the whole sweater came apart. I pulled until it was the sheep’s wool, and I pulled some more until it was an egg in a sheep’s ovary. I pulled until the sheep weren’t sheep yet. I pulled until the planet was lifeless and then until the planet hadn’t existed yet. And then I pulled some more.

What was at the end of it?

Nothing.

And I was the nothing.

I can’t really describe the nothing. People talk about interconnectedness and all of that. People know it makes sense. People know it’s true. But this was like KNOWING vs knowing. It’s not even something to be talked about because IT JUST IS. I can’t convey it to you and I wish I could. The words I’m trying to use have been cheapened by excessive use from parroting lips.

But I haven’t been the same since.

That was a long story. But I offer you this: I’m doing something right.

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome and Some FAQ Bullshit

Welcome to the Tarot Readings from a Bitch blog!

IF YOU CLUTCH YOUR CHEST IN HORROR EVERY TIME SOMEONE UTTERS “FUCK,” I RECOMMEND YOU LEAVE THIS BLOG NOW.

Here are some answers to some questions you might have about me, the blog, and Tarot Readings from a Bitch:

Why do you approach the tarot this way?

Because I’m an asshole. Also, because too much of this “love and light” crap is causing…just weirdness. When people ask for a reading, or even when I read for myself, I’m not looking for some flimsy comfort. If everything is always just sunshine and baby hedgehogs, what the hell is the point of a tarot reading at all? I’m not afraid of dishing out some bad fucking news.

Will you do a reading for me?

Yes. I’m currently in the process of setting up a lil’ shop to do just that. I really don’t want to have to do goddamn videos, though.

Are there any books you recommend for learning the tarot?

Whatever guidebook comes with your deck.Other than that, none of them. Scan through some tarot-learning sites for free on Google. Look at several different site’s descriptions for each card. Get a general feel for the card’s meaning and then put that shit away. I’m serious. There’s no fucking point in learning to read tarot cards if all you are going to do is regurgitate what you’ve read somewhere.

Who are you to have a blog to talk about and interpret tarot cards?

Nobody. I’m not “certified” or any of that bullshit. Certification for intuition is ridiculous. I practice. I observe. I listen. I absorb. I contemplate.

If you have another question you think I should answer here, comment that shit.