Generational Fuckery

My grandmother fucked around with the same ley lines that I did.

There is a place on the old west side of Colorado Springs where the air feels old and slow, and everything outside the area seems dull and muffled, as if on the other side of a window. I used to think this weird energy was produced by the cemetery there, but it is not. Ley lines intersect there, and this is why the weird shit happens.

My great-great grandmother lived a block from the cemetery and she spoke with the dead. They would rock in her wooden rocking chair at night and roll plates across the floor. Other family members feared her for it, and they still whisper about it four generations later.

I do not know if this interest skipped my great grandmother or not. As a child we went to see her once a week, but I spent my visits there outside, feeling, even at the time, that I was absorbing the air’s weird vibrations. My great grandmother died before my adulthood, and I never asked her things I should have.

Just yesterday, my mother told me that my grandmother had mentioned, in passing, the ley lines that cross by the house where she grew up. The fact that my grandma even has any idea what a ley line is blows my mind, not to mention that she knows exactly where they are. Even more importantly, she and her friend, Rosie, fucked around with their energy.

If we skip to about ten years ago, not knowing any of this, my dumb ass insisted that my boyfriend and I rent a place near “this weird old cemetery.” I waited months for a place to open up, and we moved into a duplex about two blocks away from this same cemetery. As I mentioned before, I thought the bizarre energy of the area came from the cemetery. Like any self-respecting human being would, I spent my time there fucking around with this energy.

There were shadow people here. There were ghosts. I had strangely prophetic dreams. Here, I learned to channel the land. I learned how to truly listen. I met a young man who had been 17 when he’d died in 1911 who couldn’t remember his name, but he suggested that I pick up the fallen sticks from the tree right next to his grave that had been recently hit by lightning.

My boyfriend and I got married and, when I found out I was pregnant some time later, we moved. It had been my idea, but I still cried for a month.

Two years ago, I took my kids to this cemetery under the pretense of making grave rubbings. My daughter, however, did not make any. Instead, she sat on top of some of the grave markers and just stared at the sky. Absorbing.

Recently, she’s started asking me when we’re going to go back to the cemetery. She was four when we went and she still has a very vivid memory of it at six and wants to return.

Meanwhile, the ley lines at the cemetery roll their eyes. Jesus Christ, another one of these bitches.

Advertisements

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?

Yes.

Grab The Rota Tarot on Etsy.

The Mountain Path Tarot Spread

Here’s another tarot spread I created and have been using for a while.

The Mountain Path Spread
1. To Find a Trail or Forge One: follow others’ examples or not?

2. Machete: How to move obstacles on your journey.

3. Shelter: What to remember when times are tough.

4. Forked Road: Which way to go

5. Summit: What you need to remember when you succeed.

6. Descent: What’s next

The Magick You Get

Once, my brother said to me, “I’m pretty sure the sound of the universe is just mom saying: you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”

And I’m pretty sure he’s right.

While this applies to every aspect of life, I was thinking about it concerning the “types” of witchcraft available to a person.

When I first started on the “left hand path,” I was eleven. (This isn’t really when I started, but when I found words to apply to what I did and believed.) I imagined my basement bedroom as a dungeon, and I decorated everything in sun, moon and stars shit. My mother bought me A Witch’s Book of Divination (because my mom is cool like that), and I propped that bitch open on my music stand and lit candles and felt witchy as all hell. 

I would see photos of old-fashioned kitchens cluttered with bottles and jars and hanging herbs and I would think: that’s what real witchcraft looks like. I decided that, when I grew up and got my own kitchen, then I could be a real witch.

Fast forward 7 years and I surveyed the kitchen in my duplex. The light wasn’t warm enough and the floor was white tiles and the table I had was glass, not wood, and I knew this just wouldn’t work for being witchy. 

A year later,  I moved to another duplex that was a block from the cemetery where generations of my maternal family are buried. Ley lines converge there and the whole area is weird as fuck. By this time, I had decided that maybe “real” witchcraft was more of the Celtic variety. I needed lush greenery and damp abundance for witchcraft. Unfortunately, the Colorado ground was hard and dry and wasn’t good for growing shit. So I still couldn’t do “real” witchcraft.

During this time, the dead made constant contact. I had a very strange couple years there that were NOT GOOD for my mental health. When I found out I was pregnant, I decided that we needed to move. 

We moved to a house right in the middle of the city. Sirens blared down the street at all hours, shootings at the apartment building at the end of the street, neighbors that couldn’t mind their fucking business. Well, this shit wouldn’t do for “real” witchcraft. The chaos outside became chaos inside the house and my own head as I had two children two years apart, and then discovered I was pregnant AGAIN about a year after having had my second.

My husband lost his job and we ended up desperately renting out our house and moving into my inlaws’ basement.

At the time, I thought my Magick had died.

Moving in with the kind of people they are and just having discovered I was yet again pregnant, my magick reawakened. I was mean and vengeful with it. In an attempt to get a handle on it, after I had the baby, I enrolled in yoga teacher training to try and find a better outlet. I tried here. I really did. But the culture surrounding the yoga was not conducive to magick in any way. I decided I must have been doing something wrong because I wasn’t like them at all, and yoga people are magickal, right? Right? Maybe “real” witchcraft wasn’t even witchcraft as much as it was rose quartz and dreamcatchers.

I call this time the Dark Time. My magick had become something to be feared rather than something I celebrated. I never left the windowless basement and a suicide hotline was called and it was just overall a bad fucking time.

Then one night, it unravelled. It was like an ego death, except that I’ve never used any drugs besides weed in my life. It was a Kundalini Awakening and an instant of Enlightenment and all of those other names used for the same thing. None of this exists and this is all that exists.

The next morning, I told my husband that I was leaving with or without him. We moved back into our house (which had been all but destroyed by the tenants). 

Cramming together the pieces of my life and taking stock of what I now had, I discovered that I still had my magick. “Real” witchcraft was something that was going to have to wait because I had small children. We celebrated seasonal changes and started little traditions which, of course, wasn’t “real” witchcraft.
Finally, a few months ago, we bought a house in a rural area on an acre of land. I’m not going to lie: the kitchen’s witchy capabilities were what really sealed the deal. 

Right away, I started to notice things about the house and land that would prevent me from doing “real” witchcraft. This shit is straight-up desert. Where’s the magick in that? And the animals and kids take up a lot of my time. How will I have time for witchcraft? 

And then I realized:

It’s been witchcraft the whole time. 

“Real” witchcraft is working with what you have and the land you’re on right this instant. 

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.”

So How DO You Work with Shadow?

I’m always on here bitching about when people only focus on the light, but someone recently asked how to work with shadow then. That’s a damn good question.

As with all shit like this, I can only tell you how I do it, and I’m sure there are a million different ways and they’re all equally effective. 

Firstly, you’ll have to go out in the dark. Metaphorically. Leave your flashlight behind in the warmth of the kitchen. If you bring it, your eyes won’t adjust. Grab the shovel from the porch on the way. When you reach the edge of the woods, you’ll realize you’re not there alone.

It might look like a monster. But it might look like a friend, a family member, a teacher. They will make an attempt to stop you from entering the woods. You may have even come this far before, but decided to take the advice of what looked like your mother warning you not to enter. 

This is not your mother. Nor is it a friend. Smash its fucking face in with your shovel. These are woods you have to enter.

After this, leave your shovel there. Any digging you do will be with your bare hands.

In the dark, you’ll trip. You’ll trip a hundred times over a hundred different things. Now is that part that takes time: stop and find out exactly what you tripped over. Examine it in detail. It will be gross and sticky and all manner of terrible, but look at it anyway. Dissect.

Once you’ve discovered how it works, leave it there. It belongs in the dark. These are not the kinds of things you display proudly on your mantlepiece. 

Often, I trip over people I want to punch in the face. 

In middle school, I was strolling along and fell hard. Soil in my mouth, I sat up to see what was in my path. It was a stone statuette of a girl who had been in my history class. I spat out most of the dirt in my mouth and had to swallow some. It had been my fifth day at the new school, and a boy had loudly pointed out the fact that I had a Harry Potter book in my arms along with my world history book. His mocking tone had dared the rest of the class to disagree, and none of them did. But one girl in particular had stood out because I knew for a fact that she had a notebook that said Gryffindor on it. But she went along and laughed at me with everyone else, like it wasn’t right there in her fucking backpack. 

At first, it was easy to try and dismiss as hurt that the class had made fun of me, but the next night, it was there in my woods again. It wasn’t until I had tripped over the goddamn statuette several times that I realized it was more than that. It was deeper than that. There was a girl who obviously liked Harry Potter too, but she had been perfectly willing to denounce it to fit in. Her weakness bothered me. She didn’t do what I would have done.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Once I realized the underlying issue, the statuette lost its power. I buried it among the roots of a tree in the dark. 

Find. Dismantle. Understand. Repeat.

Every person you hate, every idea you revolt against, every irritation: look at it long and hard. It’s uncomfortable as fuck. But you have to do it. You have to.

Ask why over and over until you hit the very foundation. And then move into the next question. This is how you maintain your shadow. 

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.