Star Stitch Tarot Mat

Free crochet pattern, bitches!

This one is for a tarot reading mat, but more power to you if you want to make something bigger like an altar cloth.

This mat is made with the star stitch and features fringe to avoid having to weave in goddamn ends.

This is a great stash-buster because of the striped rows. For the blue and purple mat pictured above, I used all Sugar and Cream cotton yarn. (Mostly because it’s cheap, it’s everywhere, and it comes in an assload of colors.) But for the sample in this tutorial, I’m stash-busting. Which means my yarns are a bit different sizes and I’m probably going to regret it later.

Anyway, here’s what you need:

🐖 at least two different colors of worsted weight yarn

🐖 an H hook

🐖 scissors

🐖 fucking patience

To begin: chain 61. (You can really use any odd number of chains here.)

For my next trick, I will try to explain something to you that’s difficult to explain and I’m also shit at explaining things.

The star stitch is kind of like a cluster stitch. Or a decrease. It requires you to pick up six loops on your hook, then yarn over and pull through all of them.

So at the end of your chain, you have one loop on your hook, right?

That’s one. Now, skipping the very first chain next to your hook (the loop currently on your hook counts as the one you pulled from this first chain), pull up a loop in the next five chains.

You should now have six loops on your hook. If your work doesn’t look like this, you’ve fucked up.

Now, yarn over and pull through all six of these loops.

Chain one LOOSELY to “close” the star.

If you make this chain tight, I promise you’re going to be sad later.

Here comes the bullshit part: you’re about to start pulling up loops for your next star. The first loop is already on your hook. Pull one loop through the loose chain you just did to “close” your star.

The third loop is going to be pulled up from the last “ray” of your completed star.

The fourth loop comes from the chain that last ray of your completed star went in.

It’s almost like this is a pain in the ass or something.

The last two of your six loops come from the next two chains.

Now yarn over and pull through all six loops, then chain 1 LOOSELY to close this star.

It should look something like this.

Continue creating stars across your chain until you have one chain left, then HDC in that last chain. (Make sure you’ve loosely chained 1 to close your last star.) You should have a whole row of half stars.

To begin row 2, chain 2 and turn.

Place two HDC’s in the LOOSE chains you made in the previous row.

Here are two HDC’s in the first chain space and the hook is pointing to the next chain two HDC’s will go.

Finish the row with an HDC in the top of the very first star you made.

Your first color change has arrived. You can either finish off your first color and attach the next color with a slip stitch, or you can pull the new color through the final yarn-over of the last HDC. I’m doing the latter.

When you cut your first color yarn, leave a reasonable tail that will become part of the fringe.

With your new color, LOOSELY chain 3 and turn.

Just like the first star in the first row, the loop on your hook counts as the loop from the first chain, so pull up a loop from the other two chains, and one from the next three HDC’s.

Yarn over and draw through all six loops and chain one loosely foe your first star. The rest of this row is just making stars the same way you did in row one. HDC in the last stitch.

Chain two, turn, and HDC twice in the chain of each star in the row below.

The star stitch is a two-row repeat. Continue the star-stitch, changing colors every two rows, until it’s the size you want. I did 18 rows (9 rows of stars).

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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

I Used to Think People Like my In-laws were a Myth

I guess I was a dumb ass little kid.

The elementary school I went to was less than 10% white. It was also a magnet school for the more seriously disabled students in the district. The foundation on which I built my worldview was that this was the way the world looked. My middle school did nothing to discourage this worldview. My high school had a higher white population and the students tended to somewhat segregate themselves, but it was very liberal and we even had the good ol’ Westboro Baptist Church protest at it for our lgbt acceptance.

Let me tell you: I was not ready for the “real world.”

I was the kind of kid who preferred the company of the ESL kids (English second language). They tended to speak less and what they did have to say was interesting. Sometimes I sat at the “lesbian table.” (Which I didn’t discover that they were all lesbians until my senior year and which did not effect my friendship with them at all.) 

In high school gym class, there was a young man with facial tics. He was very quiet and people tended to talk at him more than to him. We hung out. His name was Tyler. We started dating. Then one day, he brought me to meet his family.

Up until this moment, I thought that people like his family were a myth. A gross exaggeration used as entertainment on tv. As it turns out, they are very real.

As I stepped through the door, his older brother turned and said, “Wow. You brought a Mexican?”

For the record, I am actually not Mexican.

Tyler froze in the doorway in terror. 

Tyler’s mother, noticing that there was a potential problem, interjected, “I think he just means that you’re not really the type of girl these boys usually bring home.”

This did not solve the problem.

Tyler’s father looked up from the tv and said to me, “It’s not a bad thing necessarily.”

As if I needed his reassurance that I wasn’t a bad thing. As if his graciousness assuaged my fears that, alas, even though I was a lowly, useless not-quite-white person, he would allow me into allow me into his home.

The problem continued from there. From confederate flag belt buckles to lifted trucks with smokestacks to spouted racial slurs and rampant homophobia, they were something straight out of an ugly fairyland. 

When Tyler proposed to me a couple years later, only my mother knew beforehand. His father was furious. His mother was disappointed. I settled in for a lifetime of telling them to fuck off.

I helped Tyler find a psychiatrist who diagnosed his Tourette’s Syndrome and prescribed him medication to help control his tics. His parents didn’t “believe in” things like that.

My in-laws are willing to help us when we need it, but delight in hating everything I do along the way.

A couple weeks ago, my car’s alternator took a shit. It was towed to the nearest place it could stay: my father-in-law’s welding shop. A couple days later it was brought to my in-laws’ house where Tyler fixed it.

When I got it back:

Naturally, I was liks, “Who the fuck wrote on my bumper sticker?”

It was either someone who worked for my father-in-law (which is basically just his sons and nephews) or someone at my in-laws’ house.

But since I pointed it out, of course, I’m the bad guy. I’m “starting a stink and it’s probably about time you take that bumper sticker off now anyway, don’t you think? I mean, he’s not President anymore and you can just peel it off.”

Excuse you, bitch? Maybe your stupid fuck nephew shouldn’t vandalize other people’s shit.

Pop Culture and the Tarot

I once heard someone say that they don’t “do pop culture in their tarot.”

It wasn’t necessarily snooty, but it got me thinking: fucking why?

Is the human condition so much less meaningful now than it used to be? Do our struggles only count if we shit in the gutter and die in our 14th childbirth but we only have eight kids alive? Our hard times and good times have changed as we’ve progressed as a species, but they’re still just as important. 

Old things hold magick, but so do new things. A new, wild idea is just as powerful as a tried and true tradition. 

Popular culture is a great way to make the ideas of magick, and especially tarot, real and relatable. 

Jesus and Odin made sacrifices, but so did Harry Potter and Gansey. 

Here’s an example: According to learntarot.com, the King of Pentacles is, “enterprising, adept, reliable, supporting, and steady.” Okay. Great. But what does that look like? What does a King of Pentacles look like in action?

 

But if I said Julian from Trailer Park Boys, bam. You know the kind of person I’m talking about. 

Or hey, remember that time Donald Trump became the President of the United States?

I drew the Seven of Cups…what does that mean?

There’s just so many options.

Hey, I drew the Seven of Wands, what does that mean?

Iconic.

See?

I will use my Legend of Zelda tarot deck until the day I die, because I see no difference between that and outdated versions of events and people.

Musings on Magick and Money

I’m a naturally suspicious person. Some people mistake it for curiosity, but it’s generally rooted in suspicion for me.

That being said, so you ever get suspicious about why people in the tarot/magick/new age/whatever community are doing what they’re doing?  Do you ever suspect they’re only fucking with you because they want your money?

To be clear: I’m not saying in any way that everyone in these communities are out to gouge you. I, myself, run an etsy shop selling crystals and handmade jewelry. I do this because I like making things. Too many things. More things than I can keep and give away to friends and family. So I decided to sell some of it so that I can keep buying more shit to keep making shit. I love it and I hope it shows. But I’m not just trying to reach into your wallet.

Anyway, it has recently come to my attention that good ol’ Doreen Virtue has become Christian and denounced tarot. People are shocked and hurt and outraged. (I don’t give a fuck because I’m personally of the opinion that her damn angel decks are a slap in the face to serious cartomancers everywhere.) So what the fuck? I’ll tell you:

With the burgeoning tarot community in the last few years, people have been jumping in with all kinds of money-making ideas. Decks of all kinds for readers of all kinds. It’s a wild smorgasbord of decks. And yet, we’re a tumultuous customer base. We ebb and flow. We grow in ways people may not expect. The tarot community is growing away from Doreen Virtue’s work. So, having wrung all the money from this group, she changed tack at the speed of light, pandering to a different demographic, even if it meant denouncing the very people who made her.

But there are others. Many others. Slithering in the underbrush. I look out for things like certifications you pay good money for. I spent almost $3,000 for a yoga instructor certification, and I came out having learned that most yoga people are fucking annoying and very little else. I also look out for sudden appearances in the tarot community when previous products have been completely unrelated. 

There are always a million red flags in retrospect. The magickal tarot community draws new opportunities for businesses every day, just make sure you’re giving your money to legitimate situations.

Harry Potter and the Major Arcana, pt 1

Remember when I used characters from Harry Potter to describe court cards? Yeah, I’m doing that shit again. But this time, we’re doing the majors. 

THERE ARE A MILLION WAYS TO DO THIS. For this series of posts, I’m going to use Harry’s entire journey through all seven books. 

THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD.
0. The Fool

Ready? I’m skipping the first book entirely. Harry’s not comfortable enough to even venture forth confidently until the Chamber of Secrets, so that’s where I’m going to put him for the Fool. The Fool thinks he’s got shit figured out. He doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know. Harry sets out with his faithful little dog (sorry, Ron) with his eyes trained so confidently on his success that he just might step off a cliff. I can guarantee you that Harry never once thought, “Wow, I sure hope there aren’t any enormous fucking snakes rampaging around the school petrifying people this year!” He didn’t even know this was a problem one could have. This isn’t, of course, to say that it will lead to his downfall (it didn’t), but that he simply wasn’t prepared for the kinds of shit he might run into. He thought he was ready with his books and quills and wand, but wizardy bullshit was waiting just around the corner to pry his world right the fuck open. 

1. The Magician

If I were to give Harry a significator out of the majors, I would give him The Magician. And no, not because of the whole magic thing, but because the Magician is about taking action and knowing how to use what’s available to you. Harry’s fantastic at scraping and scrambling and stabbing possessed journals with fangs ripped from a dead snake’s head because that’s all he had at the moment. But even before that, he had decided that he wasn’t going to stand by and wait for someone else to save Ginny when she had been taken to the chamber. Something needed to be done, right fucking now, so he gathered his little resources and set out to fix this shit himself.

2. The High Priestess

The High Priestess generally represents a kind of self-awareness. Often times, self-awareness involves realizing that shit is much bigger than you originally thought, and that your part in it may be smaller than you had been thinking. Remember in the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry is crouching under a table in the Three Broomsticks listening to Fudge tell Madam Rosmerta about how Sirius Black betrayed Harry’s parents and that’s what led to their deaths? His day had just gone from cheerfully sneaking out of the school to go to a candy shop to suddenly wanting to kill a man. The High Priestess had just revealed to Harry the scope of the problem, and leaned in to whisper, “You ain’t shit.”

Why I Don’t Seek the Light

If you follow me on Instagram or have read pretty much any of my other posts, you’ll know that I’m not your typical New Age mystic. 

I have unpopular opinions and harsh words and little patience for fake bullshit.

I do not walk a lightworker’s path. 

I once attended a Reiki circle. It may have just been this specific circle of people, but I have to say that it was the most awful, steaming pile of horse shit I’ve ever found myself in the middle of. I was told to hold their hands and “visualize a warm, pink, fuzzy healing light around the earth.” Um…no. Get your filthy, fuzzy-ass pink hands away from me.

The darkness is the work. It’s Kali and Baba Yaga and all those who came before and after, who toil away in the absence of light. It’s the place where the dead go, where things are mended, where new things begin. This is the place to be. The place where shit is going down.

There are people who say to acknowledge the shadow but walk in the light, but it doesn’t work like that. Shadows spill and press in, they grow and stretch and creep. 

If you went to a friend’s house and they insisted that their house was clean, yet you walk in and they’re standing in a two-foot square of clean floor with shit heaped all around them, that’s not a clean house just because they’re standing in a clean spot, right? It’s the same thing with darkness. I can see that shit. It leaks under closet doors.

Sitting down with the worst version of yourself is imperative. Serve that bitch a cup of tea and look her right in the eye. You cannot be too afraid to look at horrors full on. Do not leave monsters to run through your woods unchecked.

Your eyes will adjust to the darkness. You’ll find yourself organizing, discarding, sweeping up dust, setting out a saucer of milk for the monsters. You’ll hear the dead and the not-yet-living whispering through the groan of black tree branches overhead. Don’t be fearful. Listen. 

Establish your kingdom in the light, if you must, but your dark garden requires daily attention. If you walk out far enough, you’ll find that everyone’s darkness eventually converges in a clearing. This is the hollow of human nature, and there is no worse place than this. I’ve been visiting this place often lately.

Go there. See things you can’t unsee. Witness. Grieve. And go back home. 

There is nothing to be gained by hiding in the light.