Posted on Leave a comment

Strength as #8 in the Major Arcana

The interchangeability between Strength and Justice

The layers and depths that both novice and experienced readers can use within the Major Arcana, and all of the tarot for that matter, to deepen a reader is too much to explain in one blog post. One of the last episodes on the Tea & Tombstones went in depth on the interchanging nature between Strength and Justice in positions #8 and #11. Depending on the deck that you are using, these two may flipflop from other decks.

In that podcast episode, I explained why I think that Strength makes the most sense as #8. To demonstrate why I hold beliefs, I broke out my Herbcrafter’s Tarot deck (pictured above) to illustrate these points. As always, if you read in another or different way, I honor your relationship to your tarot practice, but these are some of the thoughts I have cultivated from reading tarot for 5+ years.

The 3 Horizontal Lines of the Tarot

We are going to be using this image a lot!

As you can see, once we lay out the Major Arcana starting with the Fool (card 0) as the head, and then line up the rest of the cards in numerical order from 1-21, we get 3 lines of 7. Many readers, myself included, place significance on the 3 lines. Some will place titles on these 3 lines such as: LIFE, DEATH, REBIRTH or EGO, UNCONSCIOUS, SUPEREGO.

I place the titles of CREATION, DESTRUCTION, EVOLUTION. Each of the first 7 cards speak to creation within ourselves. The second line is the destruction that we must go through in order to evolve. In the wild, when a species evolves to survive, they often must lose a characteristic, behavior, or facet of their DNA in order to go through that evolution.

I think that Strength makes sense as #8 because it begins the Destruction line. We need the Strength in order to move through the Destruction processes. We need to be able and willing to get honest, raw, and real about what needs to change so we can shift into higher alignment.

The cards that precede and follow Strength

So, we have our 3 lines of 7 and each line speaks to the Creation, Destruction, and eventual Evolution that will happen when we move through these cards. ** It should be said here, that in real life, we don’t often move through the Major Arcana in such a linear fashion. We bounce around, move forward and back, and skip cards as we jump into others. That is how life works**

Following our 3 lines of 7, it is helpful to see which cards would precede and follow Strength in the 8th position. The 7th card (last in our Creation line) is the Chariot. The Chariot invites us to take the sacred connection formed from the Lovers, and let that move us into even higher alignment and felt sensation with the world around us.

However, the Chariot is more of an initiatory card. The minute that we start to cultivate the energies from the Chariot is the moment that we have to leave it behind. The Chariot cannot go with us on our full evolutionary journey. It literally cannot carry us into some of the spaces that we need to be in.

That is one of our first destructions. The destruction of our assumptions, expectations, or beliefs that the Chariot can carry us through all we experience. Strength follows the Chariot to give us the Strength to step off, and let it go. After we do that, we get to the Hermit. The Hermit asks us to further expand on an unknown spectrum, confront all we are losing and about to lose. The Hermit asks us to see the light and the dark as equal teachers, because the lineage of both is where the Hermit resides. From that knowledge, we can collaborate with all the energies we experience with a sense of reverence. Strength comes before the Hermit to help us fortify ourselves to do the hard work that comes with the Hermit.

The 7 Columns of 3 Cards

I keep adding this picture so you don’t have to keep scrolling forward and back FYI

Another way to look at and read the Majors, once we understand the horizontal lines, is to begin to look at the 7 columns with the 3 cards. The column that has Strength as #8 also has the Magician (the first card of the Creation line) and the Devil begins our Evolution line. The Magician is the awakening of our personal magick with the magick found in every corner and crevice of this magnificent world. The Devil begins our Evolution line because we find both sovereignty and higher interconnection with Spirit. With the Devil, we literally find ourselves home and and in every corner that exists.

Each of these cards act as an initiation into the line we go through. We need the Magician to begin our creation because we need to awaken to our spirit and the Spirit of the world. We need Strength to cultivate the courage and will within our hearts to walk this path. We need the Devil to begin our Evolution by stripping away all that doesn’t serve so we can move into our wild reclamation.

One final note on the columns in relation to this deck and the idea of initiation. The Herbcrafter’s Tarot deck includes a specific herb for each of the cards. If you look at the 3 herbs that make up of the column of Strength as #8, you see that Magician is Sunflower and the Devil is Blackberry. Strength is garlic.

Each of these herbs provide healthy nourishment and key nutrients for the body. Sunflower seeds and oil have heart-healthy fats. Garlic has nutrients beneficial for the immune system. Blackberries have tons of vitamins, fiber, and anti-oxidants. If each of these cards initiate us into the line, it only makes sense that their herbal counterpart would be herbs that provide key health benefits.

What about Justice

I am not going to mention the associations that then place Justice as #11 because that would be a TON more information to go into. I will post about Justice as #11 at some point, but if you want to hear about Justice, I go into a deeper narrative on that same podcast episode. You can find that, and all my podcast episode, by clicking the link below.

THE TEA & TOMBSTONES PODCAST

I hope that this helps you in your readings and workings with the tarot. Keep howling wild one!

Ashlie

Posted on Leave a comment

Rage Spell Handout for you

A rage spell to meet the bullshit with your fierce and powerful rage

So, if you have followed any part of my platform you will know that I do not aspire to love and light. I do not have time for that toxic narrative, because I am too busy trying to find ways to work my magick into the places that I think need it. These are often the places that fill me with rage and hurt and pain. That is why I bring my magick to these dark corners. My magick is a voice, and my voice is going to reverberate in those places that need a good shakedown.

I believe the same is true with you. I believe that the world needs the voice of your magick to go into the dark corners that enrage you and shake loose the bullshit.

That is why I made this rage spell, for you to take and make your own for whatever is creating rage in your personal life, against your community and loved ones, or the world you wish and dream of being a reality.

The spell

This spell was inspired by different sources (all will be listed below), and I took the sources and worked them into my own narratives. Please do the same again as you need to make it completely and authentically your own.

Click here for the download link

I mentioned this in the document itself, but I think it bears repeating. You can used pieces of paper with the names of the focus of your rage. You can use pictures. You can use items or symbols that represent the focus of your rage. For instance, on TikTok, I wrote down the Supreme Court, the NRA, and a picture of Brett Kavanaugh. If you are going to use an image, please make sure that you are purchasing it or acquiring from a person or corporation whose profits continue to hurt and oppress others.

For instance, if your image is the red MAGA hat, please don’t buy. Use a picture or name. Purchasing of items like these only further benefit those who shouldn’t profit anything from your beautiful magick. Also, make sure that before, during, and after the spell, you are tending to yourself.

This spell can bring up a lot of emotions, as it should, but make sure that you tend and nourish your body and spirit so that you can continue to show up for yourself, community, and the world.

Finally, don’t let ANYONE gaslight your rage. If this spell isn’t for you, that’s completely okay. If this spell needs a lot of work to get it where you need it to be, I love that. If you love this spell, and can’t wait to try, I want to hear about it! But, never let anyone say your rage should be turned down or off to make yourself more appeasable, approachable, amenable to others.

I love you wildling! Keep raging. If you want to see the spell in action, it is pinned on my TikTok

Posted on Leave a comment

4 tips to read tarot cards in weird positions in a spread

Reading the cards when they throw you for a loop

If you are like me, you prefer to use set spreads to read the cards, for you or others. This is because a set spread helps me align the narrative with the cards, and gives me a foundation for reading the cards honestly and clearly.

However, even in specific spreads with specific positions, there can be cards that come forward that throw you for a loop. I know because it has happened to me often.

So, what to do about this surprising card in this position that now has you asking more questions instead of providing clarity. Here are the ways that I read the cards that surprise me, or throw me for a loop.

1.) Focus on the spectrum of the card

The Sun from the Herbcrafter’s Tarot

Let’s use an example:

Let’s say you are doing a simple two-card reading with the spread positions WHAT TO FOCUS ON and WHAT TO RELEASE. For the WHAT TO RELEASE position you turn over the Sun. The Sun is always a welcome sight in any reading, so what to do when it is in this position? I mean, who wants to release the energies of the Sun card? Go to the spectrum of the Sun card.

It isn’t saying you need to release your luminous light. It isn’t a bad omen. The Sun card invites needed illumination, and nourishment to feed your wild spirit and the growth you working through. So, in this position (at least the way I would read it), is to say that you have gained what you needed from the Sun. You have been given the clarity and the nourishment. You have fed your wild appetite. The burial part of the spectrum of the Sun would be to stay in this energy now could merge into complacency, or a comfortability that is no longer serving you.

Simply put, what you are releasing is the inclination to stay. You have gained what you needed. You have the clarity, the resources, and the strength. At some point, comfortability confines you to a space you have outgrown, and your spirit is ready to go forward.

2.) Look to where the card resides within the deck

Let’s go back to our previous example. Another way to read the Sun from the position WHAT TO RELEASE is to look at where the Sun sits within the deck.

The Sun comes after the Moon, and before Judgment. The Moon invites us to call in our wild magick, the Sun gives it nourishment, and Judgment invites us to take that wild magick and move into a position of purpose and interconnection with the world, or the bigger picture.

So, in releasing the Sun (again, how I would read it), it is saying that your wild magick and wild reclamation are ready to align into your devotion to yourself, and your bigger purpose.

The Sun has given you everything you need to take your wild and beautiful spirit into a position that expands to cosmic reclamation and sacred devotion. There isn’t any bad omen in that, is there?

3.) Look to how the cards interact with each other

From the Hush Tarot

I hate to depart from the example of the Sun, but for this section I have to highlight a real moment that happened to me, because it speaks to this tip perfectly.

For a little backstory, a little over a year ago I was looking at potentially renting office space with another person to do in-persons readings. I knew the person, adore and admire her still, the office was intimate, and was in a location that I loved (downtown Littleton to be exact). This little hamlet was my stomping ground since I was little, and I thought the location was a sure sign that I should sign the contract and get the keys.

I left the meeting with a lot to think about. Much of it seemed great, but I was also dealing with a lot of personal changes that could affect my decision, and before I make any big decisions like this, I consult my cards. So, I sat down when I got home and pulled three cards. These were the positions

Card for renting office space / Card for not renting office space / and a card for myself between these two huge choices.

The card pulled for renting the office space was the Page of Pentacles (not a bad sign). The card pulled for not renting the office space was the Queen of Wands (again, not a bad sign), and the card that represented myself was Strength. Look at how the Strength card is looking clearly at the Queen of Wands.

I had my answer. The Strength card was literally directing her focus, and mine, to the option that would best direct me. The Strength card was also looking away from a card that may have provided a lot of opportunity and growth, and I needed the strength to let an opportunity like that go.

I didn’t take the office space, and moved a few months ago to Conifer. The drive would have been over an hour if I taken the office and was committed to a lease.

So, look at how the cards interact together, or don’t interact. This isn’t about forcing it either. They may not interact, but you have the previous tips to help if there is no interaction to be had. However, if you look close enough, many times you will find interactions that you initially didn’t catch.

4.) Look to the symbolism in the card image

Sun Card from the Ostara Tarot. Perhaps my favorite depiction of this card

The final tip is to look at the symbolism in the card. Symbols speak to the unconscious mind, create depth outside the rudimentary understanding of what the symbol is, and encourage a deeper narrative and connection to occur within us. Most decks are stacked full of symbols.

The beautiful thing about this is that symbols create a very personal dialog within us to help take the invitations of the card and work them into the fabric of our lives. This is also subjective. I don’t connect in any way with the traditional symbol of the baby or the sunflowers in traditional depictions of the Sun card. I do, however, connect deeply with the beautiful warrior in the Sun card from the Ostara tarot.

The symbol of the wings, the armor, the scepter all speak to me on an unconscious level that the Sun invites us to take all we have, use it promote more light, protect what is sacred, and journey to the places that need our light and our fight.

So, use the symbols to create connections that transcend the spread position. Use what you see to create an internal dialog that helps build the foundation for the card energies to move from surprising to clarifying.

Certain cards can throw us for a loop in reading, but these are the tips that I have found to really help for my personal and professional readings. May they do the same for you. Thanks for reading!

If you like the way I work with the tarot, and need some guidance, check out my Store and Services page to see the spreads I offer!

Posted on Leave a comment

I embrace the spectrum of myself, and all my magick

Any purchase made with me by the end of the month will give you a sticker of this affirmation + a few others I have!

Working with the monthly cards and the affirmation

Hello my dear spirits!

Here is the blog post for the monthly cards + energies for October. I am trying to get into a habit of creating blogs, and tracking progress (more on that later….), but it is here.

The Magician

The first card that we are working with for October is the Magician. The Magician is a card that speaks to merging the magick of the self within the infinite magick of the life that abounds here with you. As the first card that initiates all of the Major Arcana, the Magician speaks to merging the self with the collective.

This energy, and this card, speaks to a shift in perspective. It speaks to a deepening of the self into the collective magick, and what a beautiful card to speak for the transition of October. We are moving from summer to fall (in the northern hemisphere). There is a palpable magick that comes with any sort of seasonal shift.

The Magician asks for you to consider the spectrum of life, harvest, and death within this month. We are seeing the slow death of summer green. We are experiencing the increasing cold set in. The Magician asks you to consider what within this seasonal shift is reminiscent within yourself. What is giving way to the transition of winter?

For me, I feel it in my body. I move from experiencing tons of energy in my body, to wanting to do nothing, feeling nothing, creating nothing. As with the Magician, the way that I try (keyword here) to honor that is with my presence. It isn’t always beautiful. It hasn’t been beautiful for a lot of this month, but as I was driving to look at potential house to put an offer on in Conifer, I saw a pasture of horses. The leaves on the trees were golden fire. The horses were grazing. That was a magick that brought me immediately into pure bliss. My magick was lifted from that sweet glimpse into a beautiful scene.

The Dragonfae of Rebirth (Whole Again)

This oracle card is an invitation to go into the darkness of the self. This could be going into the underworld of shadows, bravely embracing back in what has been rejected. It could be needed rest. It could be seed time, rooting into the darkness so that growth is not only a dream, but physically possible.

This card asks you to engage with this opening, and see what is calling you in. It could be all three things, but it is important to know the whens and wheres of these invitations. It would be incredibly hard to rest, work on the shadow-self, and nurture your planted seeds all at once. There is a need for discretion so that you don’t burn out, but you burn brightly.

Ways to work with these energies

One of the most immediate ways that I would encourage working with these energies is through tracking your habits. By tracking your habits, you begin to get a deeper perspective of what is working, and what isn’t working. You can see if you are avoiding needed collaboration with the magick around. You can see if you aren’t getting the rest, food, or water you need. You can also see if the daily journal pull, meditative walk outdoors, or working on your goals is finally starting to come to fruition.

Another way to work with these cards is through body movement. Whether you are an active person, or more sedentary, getting the body in motion is a great indicator of where stagnation, tension, or resistance lies. It can also connect to you the present moment, which is what both cards ask of you.

Finally, keep a dream journal. Both of these cards speak to the light and the darkness within. Both are valid voices of what is happening on the subconscious level that needs to come to the forefront. I can think of no better way that through dreams. Dreams are the invites that come forward when the brain is in a state of unbiased receiving. Track any major dreams, connect with the symbolism, and see what is trying to be heard.


I hope that these energies open you more to your magick, both in the darkness and in the light. If you want even more check out these offerings below.

Check out the podcast of these cards by clicking here.

My METAMORPHISIS spread goes into these energies in depth. Shop it here.

Become a patron here and receive more magickal resources for these cards + an additional card for the month.

All of my social media platforms encourage a more intimate connection between us. Don’t believe me, come say hi.

Finally, subscribing to my newsletter keeps you in the loop of these discussions. Join in the footer!

Posted on Leave a comment

The Monthly Cards for September 2021

Are you ready to be called in?

Introduction to the cards

As September unfolds and sweetly leads us into autumn, the transitional energies are palpable. Coupled with the specific cards that were randomly chosen for this month, September is ushering you into a space of expansive embodiment and movement.

The monthly cards are the Chariot and the Green Lady of Y Draig Goch. From these cards, the tarot affirmation came forward immediately. It dropped into me like a stone in a river. The affirmation for September is: The universe calls me in, and I answer.

Both the tarot cards, and the affirmation that grew out of those two, are opening many themes and energies that you can use to bloom what your spirit needs, and to bury what needs to be released. Some of the key themes that come with these chosen cards are:

The Chariot

What a beautiful card to represent the transitional phases, both figuratively and literally. The Chariot follows the Lovers, and this is an important invitation of its own.

Why?

The Lovers speaks to sacred connection. I am not talking about romantic relationships. I am talking about the chemical alchemy that is love. Love is the chemical pull on each of us in some form. Love is a form of gravity because it holds us in a way that no other force can. This could show up as a romantic relationship, but as I mentioned in the podcast (which you can find and listen to here), the Lovers is the card that show up when something is pulling on our spirit to engage and connect with on the most intimate of levels.

What does that have to do with the Chariot?

It has everything to do with the Chariot because once you feel the pull on your spirit from the Lovers, you can then see and lean into the pull of the Universe. This is a pull that is still wrapped in love, intimate and heartfelt, but it is a little different. The Chariot is the card that speaks to intimate devotion to those feelings and pulls. The Chariot is the card that comes forward when you are being asked to move with that sacred connection into a deeper understanding, a more cosmic connection, or a higher form of alignment.

The Chariot from all my decks (from top left to bottom right): Herbcrafter’s Tarot, Hush Tarot, Ostara Tarot, The Wild Unknown, The Dragon Tarot, The Mystical Dream Tarot

The Green Lady of Y Draig Goch

Y Draig Goch translates into the Welsh words for “red dragon.” The red dragon is a powerful symbol to the history, culture, and people of Wales. Flown over government buildings since the decree by Queen Elizabeth in 1959, the Red Dragon has become a symbol of lasting power, and sovereign rule after the Romans withdrew from Britain. You can read more about the history of the red dragon by clicking the links at the end of the blog under the Research Heading.

The Green Lady holds her own historical story. Legend goes a green lady (princess Alice of Agouleme) haunts the largest castle in Wales, Caerphilly Castle. Married to Gilbert de Clare (also known as the Red Earl), she fell in love with another prince, and soon the affair was found, and both died. Since then, Alice green ghost haunts the castle halls, seeking the love she briefly had that was true.

I mention these historical and mythological narratives in relation to this card, because the affirmation that comes with this card is You are the chosen one.

I will not say that everything in this world relates to fate, but when I work with this card, I feel a sense of awakening. There are certain things in life that show up and speak to us, call on our energy because it is part of our spirit’s purpose. This card says that everything is connected, including you to the very world you move through.

There are callings that choose us, need our help, and when we invite those callings in, we can feel a alignment clicking in, like a key that unlocks a door. We are all chosen for something. We are all a part of energies that we cannot fully explain in, or away. They are with us, the mystery leading us further into both our own myths, and our own truths.

File:Welsh Dragon (Y Ddraig Goch).svg - Wikimedia Commons
The Red Dragon of Wales / Y Ddraig Goch

Energies for September

With a brief introduction to the cards, the invitations are speaking to a narrative of spirit purpose, being called in by the universe, and moving from sacred devotion into what is past the known, the comfortable, or the immediate.

These cards show that the bridge between what you hold divine, and what is here with you are often the same things. You forge that bridge through your intentions, your magick, and your calls to act both from a place of purpose, and of power.

For the rest of this month, see how certain energies pull on your spirit to do, to be, to embody, and much more. These are the keys that, once clicked in the locked door, can lead you towards things you may have dreamed of, or not, but they are profound shifters and change-makers for you and the Universe.

What connects you into a place of symbiosis? What magick naturally unfolds when your presence and awareness is elevated?

Tarot affirmation for September based on the monthly cards

The affirmation for this month was drawn from these two cards, again speaking to the way connection and purpose walk hand-in-hand when we move with intention and magick. Once you unlock the first door, another will appear. The quest to connect with the Universe, all the cosmic energies, and all on this earthly plane is never-ending.

In this body, in this lifetime, you can and are being invited for this month to really see where those doors lead. After we leave one form of matter, the cycle begins again.

In closing this blog, I wish to say that there is so much more that I can write and say about this. That is part of my purpose with my spirit and my body in this lifetime: to speak to these energies in the ways that I can. The universe is calling you in, asking you to take the rest of the month and see what speaks to your spirit, your soul, your most intimate and divine nature?

It won’t be heard all at once, but over time, you will almost feel a sense of wind at your back and your spirit the soft sail. This is that dear whispering of cosmic forces, asking you to take at least one step away from the shore. Use these cards as a way to channel this force forward. XOXO

Further work with these cards

If this post spoke to your wild spirit, I invite to take in the other offerings in relation to the monthly cards that I have created.

If you want to listen to the podcast episode, click here to be directed to the episode.

Patrons get even more of the fierce magick every month, including spells and additional podcast content. Become a patron and take in these exclusive offerings.

https://www.patreon.com/tandtombstones?fan_landing=true

Research

https://www.visitwales.com/info/history-heritage-and-traditions/dragon-spirit-legend-welsh-dragon

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofWales/The-Red-Dragon-of-Wales/

https://great-castles.com/caerphillyghost.html

Posted on Leave a comment

Journaling is the Initiation

Journaling is the Initiation

Now that we have discussed the pull-reflex

the next step in making sure that your tarot readings are unbiased is journaling your initial thoughts, feelings, and responses to the cards.

There is no wrong way to do this. Seriously…….

The only wrong way to engage with the tarot is through not engaging. It is important, especially in making sure that you are giving yourself an unbiased reading, that you are taking notes or documenting the way you work and interact with you cards.

This doesn’t have to be some long poetic diatribe on each and every card. It can be a list, bullet points, pictures, connections to things like colors, songs, or memories.

Why is journaling the initiation?

Journaling is the initiation between you and the cards because it shows the natural and free-flowing thoughts and emotions that come through in that moment. It shows the nuance.

Each day that you engage with the tarot there is a difference in energy, and in connection. It may not be exactly “correct”, but as a tarot reader I believe that correctness should not come before perfection. That is why every reader, no matter how many books, courses, or workshops they attend will have those slight differences in their own interpretation and understanding of the cards.

If you journal in the morning, at night, during a moon ritual, return to your latest journal entries and then write down how the card came forward in actuality. This is why I think it is important not to strive for complete correctness. That can create expectations of the ways that the cards are going to flow in your life, and when they don’t adhere to that expectation (and they never will), you find yourself questioning even more.

So, return to your latest journal entry, and check in. Write down how the card(s) actually came forward. Document how your initiation contained similarities, differences, complete out-of-the-blue surprises with the cards. This is the connection forming in real time. What a beautiful thing!

Some things to consider when journaling about the cards:

  • It is important to date each entry. That way you have a roadmap of your personal path with the tarot. How beautiful is that?
  • No matter the format (handwritten, electronic, art-inspired), keep your entries. Return to them, read them again, see the similarities and the differences between you and the cards from that space now in the past, and the present moment.
  • You can use your journal entries to compile a set of notes that form a clear-running connection with the cards.

After you have engaged with your latest entry, and some of your earliest ones, you will start to see the threads forming that encourage a deeper understanding of how the cards come forward for you. You will see the ways in which your free-flowing initiation was spot-on. These are the times when your intuition (whether felt or not) was speaking to you. Other times, you will see that your entries are completely out of alignment. This could be a time when ego was present, when a feeling was not fully worked through, or any other situation that could have altered the understanding.

Don’t get discouraged at these moments. These are the ways you really learn the tarot. It isn’t in some book or course. It is in the precious and intimate unfolding each day, seeing where you are truly in alignment, and where you need to connect more deeply to intuition.

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for the next blog post in creating an unbiased connection to your cards. Don’t forget to sign up for the Trust the Tarot booklet which is designed specifically to help you engage with the tarot in this way.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to remain unbiased when reading your own cards

The cards provide beautiful invitations and considerations, and also accountability to truth.

It is true that reading your cards is one of the best ways to tune into yourself, your situation, your life to gain a deeper understanding. It is also true that the tarot can be used both creatively and analytically to engage this understanding. The tarot provides an outlook that, while scoffed at by many, can create an intimate moment of connection. All of these things are true, and yet, it is also true that reading your own cards, objectively and without bias, can pose an obstacle to an honest analysis.

I have been reading the cards for five years now, for myself, friends and family, and clients. There are still days that I have to really sit in my reading and make sure that I am not pulling a meaning out of ego, need for comfort, or an effort to assuage some deep feeling I haven’t fully worked through completely.

Over the years, I have found some tips and techniques that have helped me reach for an unbiased and honest understanding, no matter how uncomfortable or called out I may feel. I would like to make this a bit of a series, otherwise this would be a hella long blog post because your girl can write and talk about this until the cows come home.

Tip #1: Don’t keep pulling cards, clarifying or otherwise

The Wild Unknown tarot deck

This first tip comes with an asterisk. If your intuition is clearly saying that you should pull another card, honor that voice. Your intuition is paramount to any reading, and comes first. The reason that I place this tip at number is that it can be really easy to get sucked into what I call the pull-reflex (where something isn’t clear initially, or may present an edge, and another card is used to assuage the message, but it’s wrapped up in the context of clarity).

I have always said that more cards doesn’t mean a better, more clear reading. Some of the most profound readings are single cards. If you’re in a reading for yourself, pulling with a spread or intuitively, one of the most profound ways to have an unbiased reading is to the let cards chosen speak for themselves. It can feel easy when pulling the Tower or the 10 of Swords to reflexively pull another card for clarification, but that may diminish the biasness of the reading. Let the Tower talk to you. Let the cards that come forward be heard.

The reason I place this technique at number one is because it is important to get a connection with the cards that isn’t about what you want to hear. If that is what you are searching for, the tarot is not for you. Sorry, it just isn’t. Even cards like the Star, the 2 of Cups, the 4 of Wands can present an edge or challenge in reading. There are no good or bad cards. Some cards feel better than others, but that doesn’t diminish the nourishment that comes with each and every card.

Every card is of benefit, even when it feels heavy and hard to bear.

Going into the pull-reflex is honestly like fishing for compliments. It is an impulse reaction to ease the ego, or seek to gain comfort in some way. Again, if your intuition is knocking on the door, telling you to pull another card, than do so, but that presents the need to clarify if it is ego or intuition talking. This speaks to another tip that I will discuss at a later time.

The main point here is that no matter how you read, that you create a container, or a boundary around the reading. This means that your reading may go slower, may have fewer cards, or may take some time to really let the messages sink in. That is perfectly fine. I would wager that no one, myself included, always knows the deeper underbelly of a tarot analysis on every reading.

So, to sum up, the first tip that I can give you is to create a boundary so that you don’t get sucked into the pull-reflex. It is very hard, I know. However, the pull-reflex can diminish the capacity of the guidance of a card because it has been taken over by others. Let the cards pulled guide you towards creative and analytical observation and connection. Check back in for the next blog installment of tarot tips for an unbiased reading.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to respond to the Hermit when you feel aren’t getting what you want or need from the card

black and gray lantern

As we close out the month of March, I wanted to share some thoughts about working with the Hermit, showing up to this invited space even when we feel that we aren’t immediately getting what we want or need from this card. What I know today about this card is this: this month has been extremely profound in helping me work with this card, and I hope that my words share and spread the completeness of this card to you.

In this blog post, my goal is to show and share some ways to respond when the Hermit comes up for you in reading, or if you are working with it in depth. I find this to be a needed discussion in all of the tarot. We pull the cards, and we want the instant epiphany, the lighting bolt of clarity. Often, our work with these cards is much more obscure, two steps forward and one step back. I have written a detailed bio of this card, which you can access by clicking here, or by heading to the The Wild Unknown Card Meanings tab in my menu to see all the written insights I have uploaded thus far.

In working with the Hermit, it is important to ask yourself what you really want to gain. What you do wish the Hermit to do for you? What is needed when this card comes forward? By gaining clarity on what is lacking in the intimate workings with this card, you can better gauge where you need to sit with the energies. As I have mentioned before, the Hermit is not merely about retreating into stillness. This card, ruled by Virgo, is a card of internal working and tending. If you have felt unwilling to confront the darkness, that may be the first place to sit with this card. If you are still stuck, the Hermit is a card of collaboration. How can you initiate collaboration with this card?

The Hermit from the Hush Tarot deck shows an owl sitting on a branch, surrounded by external man-made things, architecture and barbed wire and nails. The Owl is not disturbed. He is of the whole earth. The internal mechanism within is revealed, speaking to the tending and adapting of nature and artifact in order to repair and rebuild as needed.

One of the best ways to respond to the Hermit when you feel like you aren’t getting what you want or need is to work with the seasons. The seasons are cycles that embody natural law. The seasons turn and change subtly even from wet to dry, from cold to warm. The seasons in relation to the Hermit can help us drop in to internal manifestations. We are different between winter summer. Our bodies respond differently to these changing currents. What energies are you feeling within the season of your landscape? What kind of work, action, or choice does the season inspire in you?

If you do not want to work with the seasons, work with the Moon. The Moon is another cycle of natural order, and can have a profound effect on the shuffling of our own energies. These larger cycles and turns of our world are great ways to embody the Hermit, and really sit with the invitations, because that is what the Hermit is exactly about, collaborating with the energies that are here and present in order to gain wisdom and emerge into the interconnective fabric with a willingness to create change.

Moon cycles and season cycles speak to moving, breathing life of the natural world. Each of us are one piece of this living thing, but the Hermit shows us that the importance we carry in being a steward for these cycles is beyond compare. When we realize how interconnected we are in the totality of ourselves, we can see how we can be the bringers of wisdom and light.

Apart from working with seasons and Moon cycles, I highly encourage you when working with the Hermit to write your narrative down. Write down or document what is needing expression within. Journal. Create art. Write a song or poem. Write your name again and again. This form of working with the Hermit is vital because one key element with Virgo is a sense of organization and detail. For me, I cannot overly organize my life or I start to feel restricted. However, when I organize my thoughts and feelings in to organized language and expression, I feel I am embodying the most beautiful part of the Hermit.

Write or document your thoughts and feelings, and return to them at a later time. See how much even in a week can change or develop your understanding of any given situation. This is Hermit work, to commit to the self as to commit to any other relationship or interconnective thread. See where your feast and famine sit within you, and feed the hungry wolves that lie in wait. It isn’t about retreating. It is about connecting your whole self to larger forces to be influential to the cycles of the community, and the world.

Through writing and documenting your thoughts and feelings, you are connecting with yourself in fullness. You may not get every little word out or thought down, but you create the space to engage and understand. You create the space to acknowledge and adapt. This is some of the hardest work to be done on the self. Many avoid this confrontation, and it is obvious.

One final thing that I want to say on the Hermit, and responding to this cards appearance is to not rush. There is no rush to understanding, to gaining wisdom, to being a bringer of light. There is no destination to wokeness, to change, to enlightenment. We are always changing and turning, just as the world does the same. That means we are always teachers and students to the darkness and the light. We are ever evolving. Do not rush this work. Root into your sacred center and breathe. That is all you can ever do, for yourself, or for the world.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Work with the 6 of Pentacles


As each day begins to bring us closer to March, distancing us from the shortest month of the year, it is therapeutic, dare I write it…….even cathartic to write my workings with this card onto the public page of my platform. In working with the 6 of Pentacles, and as I mentioned in the podcast episode (click here to listen), it is important to see and work with the 6 of Pentacles beyond an act of charity. I don’t like to work with the 6 of Pentacles based on a capitalistic narrative that puts money in the form of hierarchy between people. Instead, I am going to discuss how the themes within this card open the space for sharing for the bigger picture, and what that means. I am also going to discuss how abundance and generosity make magick and reality a fluid cycle, ending within the metaphor of pollination- and how it relates to this card.

When talking about sharing for the picture, I cannot help but reflect back on 2020, and the beginning of this year. I know…I know, we have discussed about the last year to the point that it has become a trope of itself. However, when I look back on the last year, I see that our lives are communally based. We may not be the most social of people (I am definitely not overly social) but the good of the individual enhances and elevates the good of the community. The good of the community leads to the good of a society.

This is not merely related to health, although 2020 showed how health is not a individual issue. When discussing the theme of sharing for the bigger picture, it is about all of that, and more. Sharing for the bigger picture means that we do not seek to shut ourselves off or away from the world. Instead, we open ourselves to the goods that abound with gratitude and companionship. We share with the community, with our spirit guides and ancestors, with our friends and family, so that the layered energies become enriched with stability and support.

From the Herbcrafter’s Tarot, the 6 of Pentacles is shown as Pine. Pine offers it’s medicine, resources, and support all year. This consistence supports all living things.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot deck shows the layered meaning of this card. When we share for the bigger picture, it is not merely monetary or based on someone’s altruistic acts. This card speaks to sharing in ritual and magick and community because that is how the bigger energies change for the better. When working with this card, we are being asked to commit to sharing in the ways that we can, so that the community, society, and the very Earth experiences more stability, more support.

Building on this narrative, when we look to generosity and abundance, we are being asked with this card to be generous with all the layers and faculties of ourselves. We can use our hearts, our minds, our bodies, and our spirits to direct the bigger picture towards more support and stability. By offering out and being generous with ourselves, we charge the Universe to send back to us what we have put out. We merge into the large and small cycles of what is, was, and will be with more direction being paid towards wider description of abundance.

From the Hush Tarot deck, the Meadowlark is the only bird that sings while flying, indicating joy and bounty. Meadowlarks are a symbol of abundance and good harvest.

When we look to generosity, prosperity, and sharing it is important to find the space to really sit with what abundance means to us. Abundance and prosperity are not terms and themes that exist in a vacuum. They are around us all the time. It requires that we take notice, be part of the collaboration for prosperity’s own sake. Being part of the abundance for the bigger picture means that we actively choose the ways we are fulfilled continuously, constantly.

When abundance and prosperity move and guide us, we are freer to offer out our internal truth more. We are freer to find the small and subtle layers that bring abundance into our days. With all of this glorious energy, it can be easy to see this card as all love and light, sunshine and rainbows shit. Not true.

This card is a positive card, and indicates quite beautiful themes, but this card also points to work that needs to be done. It points to what is out of alignment with prosperity. It can also indicate our attention to money, the privilege that many (me included) hold and how that privilege has created deep, systemic imbalances. This card indicates and guides us toward move and bring abundance into spirit, but it also shines a light on where the balances of power are tilted.

When we work with this card, it is important to look at how we build and collaborate from a space of prosperity. When we take abundance and prosperity into our spirit, and then give it out to the world along with our truths, it is vital to see and reflect on how these systems, resources, and guiding forces can be called on and cultivated in times of hardship. In short, this card encourages us to not see and work with abundance as some fleeting, charitable influence. Rather, it is a form of stabilizing and ensuring that all things have a seat at the table of abundance.

From the Wild Unknown, we see the 6 of Pentacles as a form of growth, symbolized by the seed. Through pollination, more and more living things thrive.

Finally, we can work with the 6 of Pentacles by calling to mind the role of pollination, both metaphorically and physically. If you really want to be share in the totality of abundance for the bigger picture, go thank a pollinator! metaphorically, we can use pollination as an analogy for the 6 of Pentacles. Through the act of pollination the plant can grow and thrive, and others plants can grow and thrive. Pollination contributes to the whole ecosystem, with each living thing benefitting and offering their own abundance to keep all things in equilibrium. For us, on a spiritual scale, we can see pollination as a way to encourage our spiritual thriving, as well as the thriving spiritual ecosystem for all things.

I would love to hear how the 6 of Pentacles has benefitted you. I really love this card, and see the prosperous blooming in all things. In you, in me, in all things, we bloom together or we wither together. Thank you so much for reading.

Many blessings and much love,

Ashlie