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.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Tarot of the Zirkus Magi Review

I’m finally sitting my ass down to write up my review of the Tarot of the Zirkus Magi by Doug Thornsjo of Duck Soup Productions.

0602161515

This is a deck unlike any other I’ve encountered. It’s got a slightly sinister vintage circus theme and I love it. There’s just something unsettling about those old-timey photos that lends itself well to the Tarot.

The suits have been renamed. Cups are Buckets, Wands became Batons, Swords are Blades, and Pentacles/Coins are Rings.

0602161516

As you can see, keywords are on the bottom of the cards, which is nice, unless you don’t agree with its interpretation. I happen to be just fine with them, personally.

While the change of the traditional suits to something a little more circus-y is cool, it weirds me out a little when everything is renamed in a deck. And I mean everything.

The Court cards have gone from Page, Knight, Queen, and King to Billposter, Rider, Duchess, and Governor.

0602161518

Now just because I have complaints about a deck doesn’t mean that I don’t fucking love it. The following four cards are really the reason I bought this deck. I just love them:

0602161519a

I think The Solitarian might be my very favorite.

Which brings me right back to the renaming thing. The Majors have all been renamed and are not numbered.

0602161519c

Here are the three most what-the-fuck renamed majors. The Leading Lady is the High Priestess, The Clown is The Fool, and I don’t remember what The Aeon even is. When I say it, it makes sense, but when you’re in the middle of a reading it’s a weird stumbling block. Especially considering that this deck doesn’t come with a booklet. There’s a guidebook you can purchase separately but…

Now I really fucking hate to bring this up, but I feel I must. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to tell an artist what their work is worth, but this was a damn expensive deck. While most other independently published decks seem to go for around $40, I paid $70 for this one. Seriously, that’s 75% more than other comparable decks. And then it doesn’t even come with a tuck box, just the cards wrapped in cellophane. And then the guidebook is additional.

The cardstock is okay. It’s a bit on the thin side but nice and springy. They almost have a waxy coating that makes them stay where you put them but somehow doesn’t make them stick to each other.

Unfortunately, again, I have a complaint. I take painstaking good care of my decks, yet look at it:

0602161521

I can understand the cards having a nice worn look after years of use, but considering I’ve only owned this deck for 5 months and only used it a handful of times, it’s a bit excessive.

To recap.

Pros: unique style, great theme, creepy.

Cons: price doesn’t equal quality, having to “translate” every card.

Final note:

It’s always important to me to see the Sun, Moon, and Star cards in a deck, so here you go.

0602161517

Do you need this deck? Depends on how much money is in your tarot deck fund.

Where can you get it? Right here.

 

 

 

How I Made My Frame Loom

I’ve got people asking me left and right how I made the simple frame loom I posted on my Instagram account, and I’m happy to share.

This is not an original idea. I’m about 90% positive that other people have done this too.

Also, this is not a tutorial on actual weaving. I don’t know nearly enough about it to tell other people how to do that. Here’s what you’ll need:

A wooden picture frame

Small nails

A hammer

Ruler or tape measure

 

The loom I made:

0514161453a

This bitch cost me $6.99. Mind you I already had nails and a hammer, but you get the idea. First, I went to a thrift store and looked for a wooden picture frame. I went with a larger one, but it’s up to you. Too small and it’ll be a bitch to work on though.

Here it is from the “front” side of the frame.

0514161454b

The “front” of the picture frame is the “back”of my loom. Know why? Because the back side was lighter and flat and easier for me to fucking measure and write on. This shit doesn’t have to be complicated.

I took the glass and shit out of the frame (obviously).

I measured and marked the places for my nails on the shorter sides of the frame. I did mine 3/8ths of an inch apart because I’m a pain in the ass. If you do 1/4″ you’ll probably have to stagger the nails, and I felt like 1/2” was too far apart.

0514161454

That’s it.

Now as far as actual weaving and the tools you need for it, I’m not the person to ask. Google that shit.

Harry Potter and the Court Cards

Help, help, I fucking hate the tarot’s court cards! Sincerely, everyone.

Court cards suck. There’s no getting around that shit. Is it an actual person? Does it just mean traits I need to have to endure whatever’s going on? I don’t know how to help you with that shit. But what I can do is help you (and myself) remember what their traits are by describing them as Harry Potter characters.

IF YOU HAVEN’T READ/FINISHED THE HARRY POTTER SERIES, BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD.

Let’s start with Cups. Cups are all about emotions.

The Page of Cups: Ron Weasley

What? Ron? Ron embodies the Page of Cups shortly in the beginning of the series. On their first train ride to Hogwarts, Ron discovers that Harry doesn’t have anything to eat, and promptly shares his sandwich. Ron and the Page of Cups happily start their journey by following their feelings. From his kindness to his anger, his pride to his feelings of inadequecy, Ron is driven by his emotions.

The Knight of Cups: Also Ron

What? Ron is evolving!

Ron takes the natural step from the Page to the Knight throughout the series. Driven by his emotions, he eventually lets his feelings get away from him, causing him to make downright shitty decisions. He shows this very clearly in the Deathly Hallows when he allows his stress to make him snap and leave the other two in the woods.

The Queen of Cups: Hagrid

(Gender is irrelevant) Always kind and caring, sympathetic and loyal, Hagrid is the dad Harry never had and never really gets a credit for being. But he didn’t do it for credit, he did it because he gave a shit.

King of Cups: Severus Snape

Master of potions as well as his emotions, yet fiercely driven by them, Snape embodies both light and shadow aspects of the King of Cups. His love for Harry’s mother guides his bravery and sacrifice, yet his hatred for Harry’s father causes him to be unnecessarily cruel.

 

Next, we’ll look at the suit of Swords. Swords are all about intellect and conflict.

The Page of Swords: Hermione Granger

Hermione’s not here to fuck around, she’s here to learn. With sharp wit and an adventurous spirit, she’s just like the Page of Swords.

The Knight of Swords: Sirius Black

Bold and intelligent and always looking for the next conflict, Sirius Black serially makes rash decisions until one literally gets him killed.

The Queen of Swords: Luna Lovegood

She might be strange, but she’s generally right. Luna is fantastic at stating the stark, uncomfortable truth, even if it makes those around her cringe. But, as Luna said herself, “Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”

The King of Swords: Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort

Duality at its finest…or is it? Both cold, calculating, and logical, Dumbledore and Voldemort command respect and make great leaders. They are both highly intelligent and ruthless in their attempts to succeed.

 

Now we’re onto Wands. Wands represent passion, fire, and creativity.

The Page of Wands: Harry Potter

You knew he’d show up somewhere. Harry begins his journey wide-eyed and curious. In fact, he’s so curious that it constantly leads him into harm’s way. Fluffy, the basilisk, trips into the pensieve… And yet he always comes up with something to get through it. His resourcefulness is astounding.

The Knight of Wands: Tom Riddle

With too many ideas for his own good, Tom Riddle is a great example of creativity gone wrong. In his haste to be the best, he failed to pause and get a little perspective on his path.

The Queen of Wands: Ginny Weasley

Confident and daring, Ginny takes the role of the Queen of Wands. She’s passionate and creative in pursuing her goals.

The King of Wands: Professor McGonagall

If ever there was a woman to be assigned the role of king, it’s Minerva McGonagall. Her power may have been quiet and smoldering for most of the series, but by the end there’s no denying her fiery might. Warm and stable, she waits for the right time to give her wise council.

Lastly, the suit of Pentacles, which deals with the material world.

The Page of Pentacles: Dobby

Innocent and loyal, Dobby knows what having nothing feels like, and his big-hearted quest to make sure that others don’t suffer the way he did is a true Page of Pentacles journey.

The Knight of Pentacles: Fred and George

Fantastic businessmen with a flair for extravagance and a bad habit of questionable decisions, they know what they want, but their plan to get there was a bit rough.

The Queen of Pentacles: Molly Weasley

The ultimate mother archetype, Mrs. Weasley is kind and loving, providing everyone she can with her warmth and care. She’s a master of sharing whatever she can, even though what she has is little. She’s wonderfully nurturing and fierce as fuck.

The King of Pentacles: Narcissa Malfoy

Yep, Malfoy’s mother. She doesn’t get nearly enough credit. She has a background of wealth, and the ability to do what she needs to do to get what she wants. But at the end of the series, when she lies to Voldemort and says that Harry is dead, she shows that she truly knows the value of things, and not just their monetary cost.

 

Got ideas of your own? Toss ’em out there in the comments.

The Fountain Tarot Review

This deck feels like a breezy, blue-skied day with freezing temperatures. It’s cold in that pure, clean way. Do you know what I mean?

I’ve been working with this deck for a while and the best word I have for its energy is “spacious.” Not like big echoing hallways, but like light years between planets. Fucking expansive.

I love this deck.

0416161457a

The first thing I’d like to talk about is this deck’s extra card: The Fountain.

Unnumbered but for an infinity symbol, it’s the 22nd card in its Major Arcana.

0416161502

I’ll admit I was offended at first. I mean, who the fuck just adds a major? Who do these people think they are?

But then I read its description in the guidebook. It’s under and behind everything, that breath between The World and The Fool, the escape from the cycle, and now I wish all decks had it.

The artwork has a great style, combining organic human forms with hard geometrical shapes. It has a nice balance between light colored and dark colored cards.

There are too many decks out there populated by skinny blonde hipster humans, and thankfully, this is not one of them.

1460843194907705137366

Here are some of my favorite majors:

0416161503

While the images on the cards are very emotive, I would never use this deck for a relationship or “love” reading. Why? It doesn’t really give a fuck. It’s just so big and ancient that it’s not even that it doesn’t have time for your little bullshit, it’s that it doesn’t even notice it. This shit is a direct line to the Source, and you had better have one hell of an important question of you’re going to interrupt its work. It’s not pompous, it’s just busy.

Here are some of my favorite minors:

0416161505

The cardstock is good. Not too flimsy, not too hard, and the size is…normal. I don’t really know what to say about cardstock unless I have something to bitch about. The silver edges on the deck are a great touch.

So…do you need this deck? Yep.

Where can you get it? Right here.

0416161506-1

But your question had better be fucking important.

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.

IMG_20160406_130143-1

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:

1459972074855915124575

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.

0406161324a-1

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?

A Real Life Example of the Empress and Emperor

Tarot card explanations can be shitty. They’re hard to learn and then, even once you learn them, they’re hard to explain to someone else. After a very long time of pondering this problem, I resolved to keep a look out for real, actual situations that embody the cards. As I come across them, I’ll share them under the “Tarot Cards in Real Life” tab here on my blog. In no particular order other than how I come across them.

This requires a short backstory: my husband is a Virgo and I am a Sagittarius. The more he insists I do things his way, the more I refuse, and it goes on and on.

The particular day that I had a clear vision of a real, relatable example of the Empress and Emperor, we were arguing over laundry. It usually starts out that way. He wants me to hang his shit in his closet organized by style and within that style properly colorized. So just to piss him off extra, I leave his clean clothes in laundry baskets. As well as my own. The shit’s clean, okay?

My husband tends toward drama, so he has to make a scene and say things like, “I go to work every day to put food on our table and all I ask you to do is take care of the kids and the house.”

(All he asks me to do. That’s a good one. He must think there’s a magical fairy that sneaks in at night and does fucking everything, because he’s under the impression that I sit on my ass all day.)

But this day, I thought of a comeback that’s actually ended the argument for the past few months, which is just stunning.

“You might bring home the money,” I said, “But who makes the grocery list with meals for every single day? Who goes to the store and buys the shit? Who cooks it? Who literally sits it on the table in front of you? Who cleans up the mess so it can happen all over again the next day? Fucking me.”

Silence.

Then he said, “Let’s go watch TV and order pizza.” His fury over laundry abruptly ended.

Stunned, I stood in the bedroom for a minute thinking about tarot cards (because obviously nothing gets through to me).

In this instance, the genders may be swapped, but this, right here, is the Empress and the Emperor.

My husband is the Empress. His paycheck is potential. It could be spent on anything. He spends all day working to build up this possibility.

I am the Emperor. I take that potential and focus it, funnel it into something concrete. Spaghetti tonight, tacos tomorrow, some rice shit for lunch.