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Transcript of the latest podcast episode

TT 40: I am in communication and guidance with spirit

Introduction to the podcast episode

Hello there wildling! Welcome to the Tea and Tombstones podcast. Here, we discuss topics in relation to the wild spirit, and we are rewriting the themes of wellness to include the spectrum of hallowed ground we claim within ourselves, and the haunted ground we conquer with reverence and honor. My name is Ashlie, the creator and wolf-child of Tea and Tombstones. With tarot cards in my hands and howl in my throat, I welcome you here.

Body of the podcast

Hello there my dear spirit, my dear, dear listener. Wherever you are at today, I hope that you’re well, that you’re moving through this time in a way that feels right, and that is encouraging your spirit in whatever way and shape that takes. We are back with our collective read for August. I just always love doing the podcast episode on our collective read because the collective read that we do for each month, the collective cards that we talk about here on the podcast and that we look at, and that we start to work with and embody, I always view that, find that, and just feel that it is like a connective tissue that connects us to each other. It’ll take different paths. And it’ll look differently and feel differently for each of us because we are unique and sovereign spirits, but it is just a way for us to really connect with each other. At least that’s my goal anyway, whenever I talk about our collective read and our monthly cards.

Our collective cards for August. The 10 of Wands from the Ostara Tarot and the Hummingbird from The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck

So this month, we are working with the 10 of Wands, and the Hummingbird. You may actually be able to hear some hummingbirds. I do put a background track now into my podcast episodes, I just think that that helps kind of create a little bit of a moving energy that only music can do in relation to the narrative that I discuss here on the podcast episode. But you may be able to hear some hummingbirds because they have been flying around like crazy. Really ever since summer started, and they are just the cutest little things. I love hummingbirds. And I think that they’re like adrenaline junkies, because I just watch them, and I could watch them for hours, just the way that they like, will fly, and then they stand still, and then they like kind of go up to the top of the trees, and then they just do like this dive down, and I mean, yeah, they just look like little adrenaline junkies. But they’re so cute, and they’re so little.

So yeah, those are our monthly cards. So let’s just jump right in and start talking about them starting with the 10 of wands. So yeah, our first, our tarot card for this month is the 10 of Wands. Now all of the 10s have a lot of a hinged energy to them. Meaning that we are moving from where we have been, where we are, into something new. This could be external, or it could be internal. This could be external in the form of something that we’re actively working through in an external space. There could be other people involved. There could be different locations externally involved. Or it could be simply internal, where we’re growing as this person. We’re actively kind of trying to move into this person that we want to be or we’re moving through something spiritually, magically, personally, emotionally, and we’re moving through either the external or the internal space, based on where we have been and where we are now.

Now, the 10s invite us some things that make them different than the Aces. So the 10s invite us to bring with us into this new space the wisdom, the knowledge, the lessons, and the beautiful abundance of what we have learned, what we have gained, and what is supportive for us in a very deep space into this new place, whether that’s external or internal, yet they also ask us to relinquish certain things that cannot go with us into this new chapter, into this new space of where we want to be either externally or internally.

So the Tens invite us to actively carry our wisdom, our growth, our evolving self up into this point. It asks us to bring the lessons that we’ve learned, the experiences that have shifted us, have changed our perspectives. If there’s any sort of belief or faith-based support in that, that we know is going to be of help to us, then the 10s ask us to bring things like that. And these could be even physical things. Again, it’s very different how it will look for each and every person. But the Tens ask us to bring in what will support our continued growth in this next space. Yet they also say there are certain things that cannot come with us. Because if we did bring them with us, we wouldn’t be in a new space, we would be in the same space. So Tens actively invite change and invite growth, and yet they do that by asking of us to relinquish, to compost, to return to source, to spirit, whatever it is. Both physically, energetically, whatever it is for you.

They actively invite us to grow and evolve by bringing the nutrients, by bringing what will help us plant ourselves into these new spaces, but they also say that not everything gets to come with us. And with us having a Wand, we’re talking about our spirit, our vital energy, our sovereign seat of self, if you will. So the 10 of Wands, and we see often times, in many books or in many tarot decks that the 10 of Wands is maybe not the most wanted card. If we look at the Rider Waite, we see this person carrying all of these wands, and it looks heavy. It looks burdensome. It looks cumbersome. And so this card has often been portrayed as something is really like moving through one final hardship to gain the abundance through work or through this sense of ingenuity, of creativity, of imagination, but doing hard work to get there.

I see this a little bit, but the way that I teach the 10 of Wands is that the 10 of Wands asks us to take a leap of faith within ourselves, and with what we envision of ourselves being in this new space, and how do we move with that? How do we move through the hardships and the expansion? How do we move through the places of getting from this hinged space of where we are to where we’re trying to get? How do we move through both the bottleneck and the expansive energy around that. Because again, we’re being asked a lot. All of the Tens kind of ask a lot of us. And so when we are in a space of working with this, moving into new spaces, embodying new energies, experiencing new things, and having that be rooted in this in the seat of ourselves, rooted in our sovereign spirits, I have always seen the 10 of Wands to be this leap of faith of what we are envisioning and how we are navigating ourselves through both the bottleneck and the expansion.

And before I move on with the rest of my notes, and my narrative on the 10 of Wands, I just want to share this poem. This comes from the Parables and Portraits book by Stephen Mitchell. I love this book so much, but this poem is titled “Through the Eye of the Needle.”

close up photo of camel

The camel catches his breath, wipes the sweat from his brow. It was a tight squeeze, but he made it.

Lying back on the unbelievably lush grass he remembers: all those years (how excruciating they were!) of fasting and one- pointed concentration, until finally he was thin enough: thaumaturgically thin, thread-thin, almost unrecognizable in his camelness: until the moment in front of the unblinking eye, when he put his front hooves together. Took one long last breath. Aimed. Dived.

The exception may prove the rule, the what proves the exception? “It is not that such things are possible,” the camel thinks smiling, “but such things are possible for me.”

So this poem by Stephen Mitchell is in relation to the parable in the book in the Bible verse, I’m sorry, the book of Matthew 19:24, I believe, where a young man comes to Jesus and asks him, how does he get into heaven? How does he have eternal life, and Jesus basically tells him, and I’m greatly paraphrasing this here because I’m not going to try to go down this rabbit-hole of Bible verses because it is not something that I use in my personal life, professional life. So I’m just really kind of paraphrasing and glazing over the surface, if you will, in reference to the very brief research that I did on this. So Jesus is talking to this young man. This young man is very wealthy and he asks Jesus how does he get into heaven and have eternal life, and and Jesus tells him to follow the commandments. The young man says the he has done that, and then Jesus tells him to sell and give away all of his wealth to the poor, to everyone else, and to then follow him and then he will have eternal life in heaven. The young man is sad because he doesn’t want to get rid of his wealth. And so he leaves and Jesus turns to his disciples and says, “I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than it is for a rich person to get into heaven.”

I’m not going to be comparing the tarot to any of the Bible verses or any sort of books of the Bible, because one, I don’t know enough about it. It’s not my faith, my religion. I merely just mention that so that if you want to go and do your own research, and if that is something that is a part of your faith that you can connect the poem to that in that way, but I just mentioned that that’s where the story through the eye of the needle came from, in relation to this poem. But I love this poem. And I love the fact that it really emphasizes and shows this leap of faith. How there is work involved to prepare for this leap of faith.

That it’s not just something that when we are really moving through something big, and we go through the bottleneck and into the expansion, whether that’s an external thing, again, something that we’re moving through externally, or if it’s an internal thing. What we bring, and when we do the work to get there, we’re gaining wisdom. We’re learning and growing and evolving, and then we are able to know when we are… maybe not ready to take the leap of faith because there have been many leaps of faith that I have had to take within myself, that I did not think I was ready for, but we can at least acknowledge maybe when the time is right, or when it’s if not now, then when kind of situation.

So the 10 of Wands, again, speaks to this leap of faith with what you envision. Moving and hinging from one space into the next. Whether internally, externally, it also invites us to see how we move with it, and through the bottleneck and into this expansive new space. How do we move with it through all of this? Because as much as we don’t want to relinquish anything, in order to go into this new space into this new chapter, as we mentioned, we do have to relinquish some of it. We can’t bring everything with us because then it’s not a new space. It’s just us moving from one space into another with the…. like, we’ve changed the scenery, but not the situation kind of thing, and with all of the Tens, we are being invited to change the situation, if you will.

We are again being invited into this evolving space, beginning again, but with wisdom and with a relinquishing, a returning, a composting of energies, situations, things, maybe even people that cannot come with us into this new space because this new space is not meant to hold that. With that, there is work that comes with getting ready to be on, to move on this hinge, if you will. So I’m not trying to negate what some of the other teachings you will see in decks and guidebooks and in tarot books relate to and talk about when in relation to the 10 of Wands. I’m merely saying that I think that there’s more to the work than what is often being talked about. That there’s more, and when we start to look at some of the imagery, the iconography, when we start to really work with the 10 of Wands from a space of what benefit does this provide, I have come to find that the 10 of Wands is in relation to the fact that we are moving in a great space of our spirit.

We are moving from a great space within the very seat of our self from one place into another, from one part of us into a new part of us, from one space of growth, from where we have kind of outgrown the skin like a snake, if you will. That we’ve grown as much as we can in this skin, in this shape, in this body, in the space and time, and we can’t go any further without shedding that skin, and then moving into our new situation. And having the leap of faith that we can do that, that we will do that and to acknowledge and to be mindful and humbled to the fact that it does take work to get there. The 10 of Wands, again, as it’s a Ten, speaks to the fact that there was a lot of work, a lot of energy, a lot of situations, a lot of things went into getting us where we are now on the hinge. Both in our real lives, our physical lives, but also in our magical, our spiritual lives and our spiritual practices, and in connecting with our energy to ourselves, talking to our spirits, talking to our guides, all of these things that we could bring in.

There was a lot of work that went into getting us to this space of hinging to the next space. So the 10 of Wands asks us to be humble to that. To really see and to reflect and to acknowledge all of the hard work, the good work, the easy work, the joyful work, the excruciating work that went into getting us to this hinged point and to be, again, to be humbled to that, to be mindful to that, but to also embrace this leap of faith, to embrace this ingenuity, this imagination, this magic, this possibility that we are now calling in, that we are actually sending out to the universe and saying, I wish to receive this back. I am hinging now on this precipice. I am hinging from one space to the next, and I’m sending that out into the universe so that I can receive it. And we need to then bring the wisdom as we move through that hinging again as we move through that bottleneck to get to the other side.

And so let’s go ahead and start talking about the image of the card because, as I’ve mentioned in previous episodes, that I think that the images give us a lot to work with. Now, we can definitely and obviously have a fingerprint of understanding what each card is, regardless of the card image. We don’t have to rely on the card images in order to build out or to create a narrative of our understanding of each and every tarot card. But once we start to get a base or a foundation of understanding, with each and every tarot card, I think, then we can really start to lean into the image, and let that provide a level, or a layer of nuance, or let it kind of work with us in different ways.

humpback whale underwater

The Whale represents profound compassion, communication, wisdom, and an ability to go deeper into the self in the spiritual, emotional journey.

So looking at this image from the Ostara Tarot, one of the first things that we see is the humpback whale kind of front and center. And whales are a very powerful and profound animal spirit. And when we work with them in these images, I think that there is a lot to gain from working with the whale and not just the card. Again, like once we start to get that fingerprint of understanding between each and every card across decks, or regardless of decks, once we then start to see things like this come up, I think that we should use them in relation to helping develop our understanding even more, or creating that level of nuance in our understanding of the card. So humpback whales, or whales in general, I should say, speak to a sense of profound wisdom, peace, stability, communication. This higher level of connection, if you will. They’re also able to navigate in the darkness, and they’re able to navigate across a very long migratory track. All of the articles that I have used will be linked in the show notes, but one of the ones that I was looking at was saying that they don’t believe that whales, the scientists, they don’t believe that whales use echolocation the same way that like bottlenose dolphins do, or killer whales do. They’re not using them so much as a sense of navigation or for hunting purposes. They’re using it more in the space of connecting to their kin, creating those whale songs, those iconic whale songs, and scientists believe that they have the ability to use, or they think that they’re using the direction through the sun and the magnetic poles in order to move across their very long migratory paths as they go on their migration.

But again, scientists really don’t know how a lot of these animals are able to navigate and to migrate the way that they do, and to do so so proficiently, so consistently generation after generation. Year after year. So when we are working with the 10 of Wands, and again, we’ve been talking about doing the work, building the wisdom, this leap of faith being hinged from one space into the next, the whale makes a very clear connective thread through this, that they’re able to navigate and to hinge themselves in these situations that are very challenging, that are hard to overcome, and yet they’ve overcome so much. And yet they still have this sense of like, childlike play. They have this sense of wonder, this sense of awe that they provoke in us. They have this deep, deep compassion.

When we are moving through these situations again, moving through one chapter into another, from one space into another, what we do, how we work with ourselves and with our surroundings, that is part of that wisdom that we start to gain, and the more wisdom that we start to gain and to use as we hinge ourselves on these precipices from one space into another, the more that we can do so with a level of compassion, with a level of maturity, with the level of love, and a level of tending that we really need, in order to do this, to do the work to hinge and then to keep going into the next chapter, and then to do it again and again and again. And as mentioned, whales have been able to overcome so much and keep this level of compassion, communication, of love, of longevity, of vitality, of protection. They’ve been able to keep all of these things with them in their spirit and how we see and connect to them, despite what they have gone through.

So we immediately have this invitation that calls on us to tend ourselves, to call on our wisdom, to call on how compassion and love, longevity, communication and connection. How do those things deepen our wisdom? If we move through a situation, go through a chapter in our life, and we actively try to forget where we’ve come from, or what we’ve gone through, we’re not creating that sense of wisdom, that sense of compassion, of devotion, or communication because we’re actively working to place ourselves above something and have everything else be beneath us. And that’s not where we get our wisdom. That’s not where wisdom comes through for us. One of the other things we see in relation to the whale are these light rays coming out of the eye. I see this as an ability of not being hindered on something through expectation, or not relying on one thing alone in order to be guided.

And this is again, a level of wisdom and a part of the 10 of Wands that I think is very important when we look at the full picture of this card, and that is that in order to do the work that has gotten us from the Ace to the 10, and to move through and into the next chapter, one of the things we have to do is not only find a sense of humility and a sense of being humble to the situation, but we also have to actively develop a sense of listening and receiving. When we do that, I should say, we’re relinquishing some of the expectations that we have, and that is another form of wisdom gathering, that when we kind of relinquish our expectations on something, we’re not relying on something to look and feel a certain way in order to work with it, to move with it, to use it in relation to our evolution, into our merging, into our moving.

When we relinquish expectations, and we cultivate this relationship and we garner this relationship within the spiritual space that removes or relinquishes expectations, what we are doing is we are being open and vulnerable, but in a very beautiful way. We’re not expecting situations to look or feel a certain way, which means that we’re more in an active sense of receiving, of listening. Again, of being humble, and of taking what comes to us, what is here with us, and using that in ways that we can in order to move into our evolution in order to move into this next chapter. So when we stop trying to force our expectations, force one form or one narrative, or one thought, or one emotion to be the guiding principle, the one way we see things or maybe I should say, our one perspective of seeing things, and we start to open and humble ourselves to the fact that there are so many energies here that can be of support that we may not have you even tapped into yet.

We’ve been doing this work to get to this being in a Ten, and we’ve done all this work. We’ve moved through all these situations to get here, and to now place expectation, to now place one narrative, one perspective on what we expect to see going forward undoes all of the work that we just did. It undoes it because what we are doing when we have expectations, when we are looking at things or expecting to receive things, or placing a hierarchy on things, we are again, removing the wisdom that we’ve gathered. We’re removing the wisdom that we’ve gained, and trying to convince ourselves or trying to control the narrative that we are sending out, as we move on this hinge, to come back and look a very specific way so that we can receive it. And that is something that as anyone who starts to do any sort of spiritual, magical, or energetic work knows, when we start doing the work, what kind of needs to happen is that we need to open our eyes a little bit more and open our heart and our spirits.

All of our senses really to receive those subtle signals, because when we are moving through and energy, we’re moving through a threshold into something new, and we’re sending out all of this stuff into the universe, into this next situation, it doesn’t come back as like this bar-light, neon sign that’s like flashing like “you’ve arrived.” That is not how, like, it just doesn’t look like that. When we start to manifest, when we start to move and hinge ourselves in our evolution, and in our spiritual growth, we are being asked to be more open to the subtle energies, to the subtle messages and to the subtle ways of receiving through intuition that don’t always form, and almost never form, a linear narrative. It’s this collective conglomerate of energy that makes up these narratives that we then kind of have to work with, as we receive them. If we are in a 10, and we place expectations, perspectives and specific narratives on what should happen, what needs to happen, what is going to happen as we hinge ourselves through this space, we’re undoing all of that work.

Now, this doesn’t mean when we’re talking about things like being humble, being wise, this doesn’t mean that we are relinquishing all forms of control. It doesn’t mean that we’re also relinquishing any sort of sense or semblance of ourselves in this path. What it means is that we’ve done the work up to this point, and we’re hinging, we are now in the active space of hinging ourselves into this next space, this next chapter, in our lives. What we are therefore doing, again, coming from a more spiritual space with it being a wand and being of fire, is that we are actively sending out that energy to, maybe to our guides, to ourselves just connecting more deeply to ourselves, to any prayer or faith-based ritual or practice that we do. We’re sending this out, but we’re also proclaiming through our wisdom, through our compassion, through our connection, through our communication, we are proclaiming that we are worth whatever comes next in our higher and better selves. That we are worth experiencing this evolution and growing in ourselves, and having it be beautiful, having it be abundant, having it be safe and supportive, and embracing that because we are worth that.

Every single one of us is worth that every one of us is worth that. But then you know, all of the messy human stuff comes in and can kind of create a different dialogue in relation to who we want to be with us on this journey. Not everyone needs or should come with us on this journey of evolution and of growth. But we are proclaiming that we are worth growing and rising and moving into a new and better space. We don’t obviously want to be going into a worse space. So we are proclaiming our worth. We’re proclaiming, both through the act of hinging ourselves into this next part of our lives, of our space, of ourselves, and through the act of doing the work gaining the wisdom and having a sense of compassion as we move through all of this, we are proclaiming that we are worth it. That we deserve beauty, abundance, safety, support, protection. But we’re also saying that we understand that as we move through this hinge, through this bottleneck and into this other space, that it’s not going to be directed by us. We are in co-creation with it. And that is one of the deepest teachings that comes from the 10 of Wands, is that as we have gained all of this wisdom, where we were in the space where we thought we would be by the time we get to the 10 of Wands, we’re nowhere near this, like we’re nowhere near where we are exactly the same people. We have been changed, even if it’s subtly. Even if it’s a very small thing. Even if it’s one intentional thing that was changed.

As we move through this, things are organically changed and moved. And that is where the 10 of Wands says to us to have that leap of faith, that as we relinquish expectation, as we relinquish that need to kind of control the narrative or to try to control everything, fit it into this little box where everything is pulled out in a linear fashion of step 1,2,3, etc, that as we relinquish those things and anything else that can’t come with us, but we also proclaim our worth, proclaim having a sense of growth of evolution as we move into this new space, and using the wisdom and the compassion to do that, we are doing one of the most important things in the 10 of Wands, which is having both the mindfulness, the humility, and also the love of ourselves, to do this, to go through this, because we believe that at the very base of our spirit that we are already supported. That we are already guided. That we are already in this great space of moving and embracing.

And that leads me to one of the last images in this card, which is, again, the embrace of the human hands around this whale and the whale is moving through the silhouette. And what I see with this is that it’s this level of intimacy and of embrace, of embracing that we’re already supported, that we’re already in a space of wisdom, abundance, beauty, protection, devotion. Because we’re embracing all those things with the whale, so we’re already embracing these things that we’re hoping to get as we move into the next part, or into the next space that we’re going to. And so whatever comes in that next space, as we move from the 10 to this new beginning to, you know, to whatever comes next, next chapter, etc, whatever comes in that, we’re already doing the most important work within the 10, within this hinging of embracing all those things that make the transition, that make each day each moment, beautiful. And that’s what really humbles us. That’s what really, that is what wise humility looks like, for me.

Now, I’m not proclaiming to know all of the ins and outs of philosophical wisdom, but from my own work and doing this, I can say that the moments that I believed in myself, took a leap, and allowed myself to trust that the universe had my back, that I had my own back and that I would bet on myself every single time, that is where some of the most profound teachings came through, for me, in relation to doing spiritual and physical work was that yeah, there were really fucking shitty moments. There were really hard moments. There were hard moments within myself. There were hard moments with other people. There were hard moments just in situations, but the more that I leaned into this embrace of what it is giving me, what it is teaching me: the lessons that it’s going to give that I can use to guide me through this hinge into the next space, and to have the compassion to take time to sit and say, I have compassion for myself in the beautiful spaces and the non beautiful spaces and and the beautiful and non-beautiful moments. To develop that compassion was one of the biggest teachings that I gained when I started to do some of this work was because it showed me that I, that I can take a leap of faith. I can trust, again, in myself and the universe.

And even if things don’t turn out the way I want, which they never do, I can be open, I can be vulnerable, and I can receive that, and that is going to be what I need; it may not always be what I want. So those are some of the biggest lessons that I hope I can impart onto you in working with this card is that the 10 of Wands represents this great moving in ourselves, that is occurring within our spirit. And that when we embrace all that comes with it, and see how we’re already doing that work of hinging ourselves through support and compassion and humility and wisdom, that we are doing what is needed for every sort of hinged or bottlenecked moment in our lives. And that’s only going to allow us to grow even more. When we embrace the ingenuity of spirit, when we embrace the imagination of heart, and we embrace the ability to create invention within the mind and in the body to support us even more, we are going to find a sense of mindfulness and a sense of merging or a flow that naturally comes as we hinge from this space into the next. That we can locate and navigate ourselves through the hardest of moments, through the most beautiful of moments and not lose sight of where, again, if not now but when sort of situation. We’re not going to lose sight of when that chapter closing, the next chapter starting to be written comes in. We may not be ready. We may be kicking and screaming in many, many ways because we want to bring this like a child who wants to bring a toy on a trip. We may be doing that. But deep down, the more that we start to tend and cultivate that embrace of support, of compassion, and of wisdom and humility, the more we are going to be better served in the next space.

We’re going to evolve more, to grow more, and we’re also proclaiming very intimately that we are worth that, by actively doing that. By actively being in a space and an active role of giving that to ourselves, and then letting the universe give that to us as well. So yeah, that is the 10 of Wands, and those are the invitations that I would invite for you And I hope that, um, I hope that you’re workings with this, and, and seeing how you’ve already been doing so much work really kind of cultivates a maybe a little bit of a different love with this card. We just again, always see it as the card of work, of drudgery, of that one last thing that needs to be done. Yes, that stuff is there. Again, we, we do have to do those final steps to hinge ourselves. We have to do those final things to move through the bottleneck or through the eye of the needle, and yet when we believe in ourselves, when we believe that the universe has our back, when we believe that we are being guided in a space that is very deep, that we may not be able to tap into, and we give ourselves the embrace of stability, of imagination, of love, compassion and connection, then we see how we’re already doing the most important work of that hinged process and in all the processes that come after that.

brown hummingbird selective focus photography

The Hummingbird represents positive spiritual resourcing, and an enthusiasm for life’s sweetness.

So yeah, I love the 10 of Wands. I think this is such a beautiful card. Now let’s go ahead and move on and start talking about the Hummingbird. From the guidebook, some of the key words in relation to the Hummingbird are positive, enthusiastic, and spiritually resourceful. And I completely agree with these. I just find, I just get such joy out of watching these little birds that are so cute. They just fly around. Again, they like dive down and do these like death-swoops it almost looks like. They have such energy to them. There’s just this little motor in them that just does not quit and they are spiritually resourceful. I’ve seen them getting nectar out of the, like the bird feeder that I have for them that has like the red kind of sugar juice. But I have also seen them pollinating, my nasturtium flowers, so they, they find their nectar. They find their sweetness.

Some other keywords that I would include, for me personally, are energetic, and unexpected or curious. We wouldn’t think these little birds could have just such a motor that they do where their heart doesn’t even sound like it’s beating, it sounds like it’s humming. Where you have to have these like slow- motion cameras to see their wings flapping. I mean, just the the level of energy and power that these little tiny, little birds have is just, again, it just brings joy and it just makes me happy to see them. I love that this is our animal spirit card in connection to the 10 of Wands. Because I think one of the things, going back to the standard narrative that we often see in relation to the 10 of Wands, like just standard resources, if you will, is that we kind of again, we see a recurring narrative with some of these resources that there’s a level of like, dread or drudgery or weariness or like having to push through, or having this sense of overwhelm, and I hope that through the conversation we just had in relation to the 10 of Wands, that that’s not the case, or if it is the case, it’s not always the case.

That sometimes when we’re moving through these experiences, these hinged moments, if you will, whether internally or externally, there can be very beautiful emotions through that. There can be pure joy, pure bliss, pure excitement, pure enthusiasm for the situation. And what I love about the Hummingbird coming in and accompanying the 10 of Wands is that it furthers this narrative of connecting to what feels right within you. So that’s what I would say in relation to what feels positive. Because if you were moving through something right now, and you’re not feeling positive about it, you’re not feeling joy and happiness, I would then say, take that, create a different perspective with it and say what feels right? What within you feels right in relation to this experience? And if you can’t find any sort of enthusiasm at all, those are valid emotions, and those are valid things to go through and to process. And then I would ask and invite, well what energy can you bring into this hinged moment if you’re not feeling positive are enthusiastic to help with this hinged moment to help tend yourself through this hinge moment? And to help bring in what we were talking about with the 10 of Wands, that level of compassion, that level of support and stability.

Because this is where the two cards are hinged: when we start to find the spiritual and physical resources, and we continuously go to those resources to help us in the moments that we need, or to elevate what we’re already feeling, so if we’re not feeling joy, we can at least tap into what feels right. Does it feel like a yes in ourselves? Or if we are feeling joy, and we are feeling positive, that kind of puts that battery within us into high gear to move through whatever we’re moving through. And so when we start to have this sense of spiritual resourcing, or physical resourcing that aids that stability and that support for our spirit, we’re doing one of the things that we already talked about the 10 of Wands, which is where we’re already doing the big work, the hard work. We’re doing that last leg of pushing through to get to the other side. Because we can’t go through that and have this sense of not tending to ourselves because if we don’t tend ourselves, if we don’t find the wisdom and the compassion and the resources to help us, we’re not going to make it through this. We’re not going to be able to feel that expansion.

That’s one of the other things I love about the Hummingbird being this card that is aiding us or being in accompaniment to the 10 of Wands. Because one of the things that, that the Hummingbird teaches us or invites of us, calls in for us when we’re working with this card is to consider how when we learn through experience, we evolve in ways that at the time, we can’t name we can’t really verbalize or articulate because we aren’t really able to fully perceive and create a thought process around what’s happening in the moment. So I would ask you, and invite you to think of a moment or an experience that changed you. It could be a really bad experience. It could be a really good experience. It can be interwoven of the two, which normally things are. We’re very rarely, if ever, on one full end of the spectrum. What is a moment that changed you, that provided you with a level of growth? That still sits with you, still resonates even if you’ve grown past and evolves past where you were from that experience? That it still resonates with you in some way?

Think about that experience now. I know, for me, one of the most pivotal experiences of my life was my divorce. Because as much as there were those hard days, those moments where my heart was just open and wounded and raw and I was just complete shell because I had to be because I was so fried inside that I could not be anything else other than a shell and just kind of pack everything away. Those days were a lot less frequent than I thought they would actually be. And it also changed how I receive love now because it taught me what real love feels like. And your situation could be any sort of experience. It doesn’t have to be that huge. It could even be something very, very tiny. It could be something very small that others would say is insignificant, but it’s not insignificant to you, and you don’t have to justify that to anybody. So think about that experience, and the reason that I’m asking you to think about this experience is because when we are in these moments, these pivotal, profound, evolutionary moments, these 10 of Wands moments where we are being actively hinged from one space into the next, and we’re in these hummingbird moments, where we’re learning through the experience.

What is happening is that the energy of ourselves and the energy of the situation is expanding past us in a way that we can’t articulate or describe in the moment. And even if we can describe some things about it, we can’t begin to understand the full ways that we’ve grown, because some of it’s like a ripple effect. It just kind of keeps expanding out and out and out. So we can name some things, but we can’t name all the ways that we’ve evolved from certain situations. And that is Hummingbird energy where all that energy kind of is radiating out from this very, very small space and moving into a very large expansive space. What we can do in those moments is return to spiritual resourcing return to learning and connecting through not only our sovereign, beautiful spirits, but the bigger spirit, the bigger picture, if you will. You could say, the Divine, God, Goddess if that doesn’t work for you, just a higher level of awareness, the bigger picture. When we learn and connect in these deep spaces that again, we can’t really name or articulate or describe in the moment, but we can feel the change start happening within spirit, what we are doing is creating spiritual resourcing that can never be unlearned.

When we start to learn how to nourish and tend and find the sweetness in our life that hinges us or allows us to be supported through those hinged moments, the ones that are beautiful, the ones that are fucking hard as shit, when we find the spiritual resources are we are spiritually resourcing, connecting, and leaning into this merge of learning about ourselves, and also learning how to connect and trust and be in co-creation with bigger spirit, we are learning how to nourish and tend in a way that not only can we not unlearn, but it continues to grow as we evolve. It is a constant part of us that is there until we evolve maybe past the point where those resources can help us. Maybe we grow out of beliefs. We grow into different situations, and again, those things maybe can’t come with us. But what can come with us is knowing that we can find the resources to aid our spirit to evolve. So those resources may change over time, but the act of doing that will not change.

The more that we start to foster relationships from a spiritual space, this could be fostering relationships with things, with physical people, with our guides, it could even be with ourselves, which is the most important relationship of all. The more that we foster that, the more that we tend that and nourish that with the sweetness of resources that provide compassion, support, stability, wisdom, the more that we aid that leap of faith, the more that we aid the leaps of faith that we willingly and have to take in our lives. And I think a Hummingbird is like a beautiful animal outline of what a leap of faith is. Again, when they just do these like full on death drops. They believe and know that their tiny, tiny little wings can pull them out of this plunged gravitational pull to the earth. And they know that they can pull themselves out of it. So they are like this flying metaphor or analogy of having a leap of faith. And through that connection, through that learning through experience, expanding past what we can describe in language and words, what’s happening is we are cultivating something that will always be with us, that transcends us, that connects us to other energies to other people, connects us more deeply to ourselves.

Even in the moments that don’t feel “positive.” Even in the moments where we don’t have enthusiasm for a situation. The more that we have this rooted space of resourced support for us, for our spirits as we move into and out of these situations that are hard or are very beautiful, we start to find that we become pretty rock steady, like we’re not as easily moved from this belief in ourselves, from this belief that things are going to be okay. We move through things with the ability to again, get more support, get more wisdom, use that wisdom, cultivate that wisdom in order to be of service to our higher selves. Going back to the 10 of Wands, when we’re moving on this hinged precipice from one space into the next, we want it to be better. We don’t want to actively go to something that’s worse. Sometimes we may not know if it’s going to be worse. We don’t know all the ins and outs of certain situations. What we do know is that we are striving in our belief and in that support of spirit, for it to be higher and better. And we also know that we can’t control each and every situation or each and every thing in this situation.

What we can control is how we spiritually resource, how we tend and aid in those moments. And that allows our perspective and our knowledge to shift us into gratitude, into growth, into this more wild and sovereign space because we are more rooted in ourself. And that isn’t as easily undone because we are in our own wild ecosystem, fully aware that we are still in co-creation with other people, with other situations. Like we’re still fully aware of the interconnection of ourselves to everything around us, and to the changes that are being made both actively and passively. But with the Hummingbird energy, and the more that we start to cultivate and shift this spiritual resourcing to a place of active support, that shifts our perspective, our knowledge, and our awareness into gratitude into growth, into that wild reclamation. So when something happens: is a hurdle, an obstacle, something to overcome, we can embrace that. Think of the whale and the arms, embracing it. And those ones are all kind of mixed in there, we can find a way to hold that embrace, or not as easily on done.

And that is a wild spirit, that is a wild spirit, wild spirits know that they are going to fall. But they’re going to get back up. Wild spirits know that they are fully in this space of interconnection with the people, situations, energies and things around them. But they also know that they are sovereign in their spirit to act in ways that serve that higher and better space for themselves. So they’re not going to be as easily reactive, they’re not going to be as easily kicked off kilter from their truth from what is right within that what feels right, what is right, what is that yes in them. And that is one of the most beautiful things about the hummingbird is again, this cultivation of learning and guidance, we start to see how every situation provides a lesson, a way to be grateful, or a shift in perspective, or a deepening and connection to spirit.

And that is such a gorgeous thing to accompany us as we move on this hinge space between where we’ve been where we are and where we’re trying to go. So we are constantly being guided through each experience by learning with it, from it, and about it. We are moving powerfully with a positive belief in the self. And we are growing when we learn to cultivate our ingenuity or imagination, we’re also rooting in to ourselves, when we let humility be an open door for perseverance, when we are humble, and we acknowledge that we are part of this bigger picture, we are part of all these other people in places and things around us as this change is occurring. And we humble ourselves to that. But we actively claim that we are worthy of things that are higher and better. We find that way to persevere. So it’s not just dread and weariness that we’re going through, it’s not just overwhelm, that could be part of it, that emotion could absolutely be there. But we know we will get to the other side, we will make it through the bottleneck. And we will find that space to tend to soften we will find those sweet moments. And in those sweet moments, we will start to be able to shift and describe it, we will start to be able to recall it. And we will start to be able to see how we are more in connection to the self. We are more in a space of connection to to the Divine of how when we do both the big work and the small work, we start to realize that they start to at times not all the time, they start to have similar characteristics based on that spiritual resourcing so that even when we’re moving through very big hinged moments, and we’re doing the big work that comes with that, and we’re doing all the small work that it took to get there, we start to see it how again, that rooted space within us is a constant and persistent leap of faith and that cannot be undone.

And that leads me to the affirmation for this month: I am in communication and guidance with spirit. And so I invite you to see how you are being guided and how you are in communication with yourself. Again, think of the moments that you’ve gone through something quite pivotal, and you grew from it. Think of the moments where you didn’t realize how connected you were to yourself until until afterwards. And you recognized that you were so much more in support of yourself than maybe you thought, think of the moments where the universe has your back. And you have to trust that the universe has your back and how that caused you to shift to grow to evolve, and think about as you are moving through this month, and what that hinge moment is for you. Is it internal? Is it external? Is it something big is it something small, use the affirmation to remind yourself that you can always spiritually resource you can always be in connection, communication, and be guided by your own spirit. And by the spirit of around you, you can always cultivate and connect to that at any moment.

Now, if this is something that is a new practice for you, or if you’re having a hard time, kind of finding the space of communication and guidance within your own spirit and the spirit of the bigger picture and of the Divine, I have a few tips that I will share with you so that you can kind of start to work with them. Now obviously, this is a very personal practice, and it’s going to take time. So first and foremost, be patient, again, find a sense of gratitude, of positivity of ingenuity and embracing because even this can feel like a 10 of Wands moment of hinging yourself into connecting to yourself, your spirit and a magical ritualistic way and doing that as well with the spirit of the Divine. So the first thing I would say is to find a space that is supportive for you. For me, that is nature being outside, so if you can be outside, and that feels right, if you can take a hike somewhere, go walk somewhere, if that’s something not available to you just find a supportive space place that feels right for you, whatever that is, take a few moments just to kind of be in the space, don’t expect anything to come in. But just be in the space and see how it starts to feel and send out the intention of what it is you’re trying to do. If it’s connect to your intuition, if it’s connecting your spirit and being guided by bigger spirit, whatever it is set that intention, you know, just send that out, call that out, name it, say it, whatever you have to do, if you want to write it down, you can burn it, there’s so many ways that you can kind of actively and energetically send that energy out of what your intention is, then be in the space again, as long as you can or as long as feels right.

And then once you get up and you go back to tending both your physical life and maybe your spiritual life a little bit more be in this space of the Hummingbird of, again, spiritually resourcing, seeing what avenues you have, you can use to call and more of that that would serve your intention. Find out what you know, connect to what feels right for you. In moments, if it feels like a yes, then it feels like a yes, it feels like a no, it’s a no. And then to just find that energy to kind of move through the process. And this is not something that once you do it, you’re just going to know everything and be done. All of these things are an evolving journey. They’re a lifelong journey. So there are still things that I’m learning, and I’m constantly learning. And that’s what I love about this practice, I am still always just fascinated and curious by what new things I’m engaging with and what things I’m learning and how I’m growing in this space. So if that is your first time, like send the intention out, and then start to do the work physically and spiritually to bring that back in, in working with the affirmation.

One other invitation that I would give Whether you’re brand new to this, or you’ve been doing this practice and kind of being in this ritualistic space for a long time, I would invite to just at least consider to reflect on or to look at what that communication looks like. Because I think that that is something that we always need to be mindful of. I know that I have to be mindful, because sometimes when I sit down and connect to myself, I find myself being very hard on myself. And then I kind of catch myself and I back out. But I find myself being hard on myself and saying, “Well, I need to, you know, be in meditation more I need to do this more, I need whatever I should, I must whatever.” And that is part of where that overwhelm that burden. And that dread and weariness can come in with the 10 of wands is when we start to place again these expectations through language. So I would just look at that. Whether you’re new experience, whatever look at how you are talking and in communication with your spirit or with bigger spirit.

I really hope that this month and these energies provide for you or what you need them to provide as you consider what moment you’re hinging into from where you’ve been and where you are. I just I really hope that it has that opening and that expansion, and just some of that beauty and that joy that we get with the hummingbird and just that radiating out and that expansion through the bottleneck. You always are worth taking the leap for yourself worth having the belief in yourself and I just really hope that these cards aid you in that and whatever you’re working through big or small, and however it looks internal external. Thank you so much, dear listener.

I want to thank my Wraiths patrons: Lisa Zimmerman, Bobby McDiarmid, Deb Guy, Zack Tate. Thank you for your support in, in me and in Tea & Tombstones as always, it means the world to me. So until next time, I will talk to you connect with you and take care. Bye.

Conclusion of episode

Thank you for listening and for letting me into your day. If you liked this podcast and you enjoy the content of Tea & Tombstones, please like the show, rate it on iTunes, continue to listen to past and future episodes and share with someone who would enjoy these fierce discussions. These are the best ways to show your support and it is greatly appreciated. If you would like to work with me and services of tarot guidance and spiritual ally ship, please click the link in the show notes to be directed to my store and Services page. consider becoming a patron so you get an extra card every month resources for the affirmation and physical products that coincide with that third monthly card. Finally come find me and say hi on Instagram. Keep howling my wild one

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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

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How to Create the Perfect Tarot Spread

Write the spread that guides you home…

If you read tarot cards, chances are you know about the classic spreads. These are the spreads like the Celtic Cross, the Horseshoe Spread, Past / Present/ Future, and so on. These are the spreads that have stood the test of time. They are iconic because they are bring in and cover such a broad base of messages. When I first started reading tarot, I turned to these spreads, and any others that accompanied the beautiful books of my teachings. I felt these spreads would last with me through my whole tarot journey.

And, that hasn’t been entirely incorrect. Every now and again I will turn to one of these tried-and-trues, but to be honest, once I got a handle on how I read tarot, and what I want the messages in the cards to offer me, I stopped relying on most of these well-known spreads. The main reason is that I like spreads with a little more direction. To me, the Celtic Cross started to move me in circles. Like I was driving to a new location that I have never to before. I know the zip code. I know the general location I am in, but the side streets and landmarks are not leading me anywhere helpful.

I started to write my own spreads. It may seem easy to write a tarot spread, and there are days where the needed messages just come flowing forth, from somewhere within me that I cannot name, only feel. Other days, I feel like I am on the right track, but still getting nowhere. So, if you want to write the perfect tarot spreads for yourself, or for your business, keep reading!

Tarot lets you explore your reality, your possibilities, your elusiveness. What do you want your cards to say?

To make it easy, there are three key things that I feel should be considered when writing a tarot spread, so that it includes everything to make your tarot experience beautiful and empowering….

Those three key things are:

  • Knowing the insight or clarity you / your client’s need from the reading
  • Knowing what is reasonable (within your ability to ask)
  • Being mindful of receiving the whole truth

Let’s begin with needed insight or clarity. It is vital to understand and be able to articulate what is being asked of this spread. For a spread like the past, present, future, the insight being gained is an understanding of what has passed, what is coming in, and what is within the present moment. If the spread is stop, start, continue, the spread is giving insight into actions that help or hinder.

So, in writing your spread ask what and where you need insight. Do you want your spread more general or specific? Do you want options or choices in your spread, or are you open to receiving concrete messages from your cards? Are you looking for a more spiritual or a more psychological approach, or do you want both covered in your spread? Your spread can include anything you want, as long as it includes the second part of the key themes.

A great way to gain full clarity of what you need from your spread is to do a freewrite journal exercise. Write down whatever you are feeling, thinking, experiencing, or considering. Just write. After you feel you have written down everything that honors and captures your point of view or your needs, put it aside for a day. Let the words sit for a moment. Return to your writing and highlight what you feel the key words or key themes are within your words. These highlighted passages are the bare bones of what you can explore in your spread.

Use journaling as a way to see what themes, feelings, or thoughts keep coming up. This could become the structure of your spread.

Once you have decided what you need your spread to speak to, it is time to move on to the second key theme: what is reasonable to ask of the cards. This theme is open to interpretation, as everyone has a different style of reading. Your style of reading will dictate and determine what is reasonable to ask. For example: my way of reading is intuitive, but not predictive. Therefore, while I have spreads that speak to possible outcomes, I do not in any way instruct or inform my clients that a certain circumstance or series of events will unfold. If you read from a purely spiritual point of view, your spread positions will speak to spirituality.

Once you know your reading style, consider what is reasonable to ask the spread. It is reasonable for you to ask about 3rd party readings? Is it reasonable to ask about financial matters or health issues? Only you can answer what is right for you and your reading style. Once you have decided what is reasonable, your spread will reflect that truth. If you find it reasonable to read for others, include in your spread questions that speak to this. If you feel it unreasonable, keep all questions in relation to you, or whomever is the seeker.

After you have decided what is reasonable, or unreasonable to ascertain from your spread, we move on to the final key theme: honesty, brutal honesty. If we think about it a tarot spread as a dinner plate, the insight and clarity is the main course. It is what is going to probably benefit you the most because you are getting to the bedrock to what has been elusive. The ability to discern what is reasonable to ask is the side dish, which makes honesty the bill.

A needed exchange…

The bill (brutal honesty) is the exchange so you can have this glorious plate of energetic beauty. It is needed, but it may be hard at times to recognize that this exchange is paramount. Just as you could not have a lovely dinner at a restaraunt with paying the bill, you cannot have a truly profound spread that is of service unless there is an exchange. In all tarot spreads it is useful to have specific position that highlight the positives, the love and light if you will. These positions can include: strengths, resources, gifts and offerings to the world, lasting energy, and more. These positions are beautiful, and can highlight the beautiful nature of your / your client’s unique self.

However, it is also important to be willing to have a thorough exchange with the card and include positions that speak to the shadows. These can include: fears, weaknesses, obstacles, things to change, things to let go, and more. It is important to include spread positions like this because your tarot cards are your ally, and the spread is the conversation it is having with you / your client. It is important to go into not just the love and light, but also the shadows and the blockages, because that is how we grow. We don’t grow within the comfortable, we grow with the full spaciousness of possibility, which needs to include that which we may not want to hear.

Obviously, these three focuses are, in my opinion, needed to create a badass tarot spread. You may have a different take, and that is totally fine. You need to find what works for you. If willing, I invite you to utilize these focuses while writing your own tarot spreads. They have never led me astray, and I am confident it will be of service for you as well.

**One side note that I wanted to mention was writing a spread with a specific deck in mind. All tarot / oracle decks can be of service no matter the reading (unless there is an energetic block that has nothing to do with the spread), but sometimes it might be useful to write a spread with the focus through one certain deck. I love using my Mystical Dream Tarot deck for a more psychological, symbolic feel. If I want tangible and of this earth, the Herbcrafter’s Tarot has been it for me. For all things relating to spirit and wild reclamation, The Wild Unknown decks have never done me wrong. Again, all decks can be interchanged, no matter the spread, but if you are really struggling, or really wanting to connect to a certain deck, try writing a spread specifically for the artwork and themes of one particular deck.**

Many Blessings XOXOXO

Ashlie

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Deck Forecast – 2020 (Wild Unknown Archetypes and Tarot)

The deck forecast begins at the very top of the table, with the Desert and the Hanged Man

For 2020, I am going to switch up the decks that I use. The Wild Unknown Archetypes decks is STUNNING. I cannot get over these cards. Plus, archetypes are meant to explored, discovered, understood, and utilized. This makes them the perfect deck for doing a monthly deep dive. The

Wild Unknown Tarot is the companion card, creating a layered message of what archetypal energy is present, and how to invite this potent energy into your life. Patrons will still receive a third card in their monthly card forecast. If you would like to become a patron, click the badge on the right hand side and join the dwelling!

For reference on how to tell upright vs. inverted, I pull every card with my right hand, and then turn each card over pulling from the left side. If I were to take these cards out of the circle, and place them in a straight line, I would then grab from the right side and move left if it’s on its side (horizontal). I hope that makes sense! It can be hard to tell when it is this kind of formation.

I tried to get a picture that did justice to the imags, while keeping the names visible. For clarity, here is the monthly forecast:

January: The Desert and The Hanged Man

February: The Shadow and the 8 of Swords inverted

March: The Eternal Child and the Tower inverted

April: The Poet and the Devil

May: The Castle and the 9 of Wands

June: Eros and the World

July: The Crone and the Mother (Queen) of Swords inverted

August: The Creator and the Ace of Cups

September: The Queen and Temperance inverted

October: Thanatos and Judgement

November: Aletheia and the 10 of Cups inverted

December: The Mirror and the Son (Knight) of Wands

So, that is the forecast for 2020. I am not going to lie, when I say the card pairings for January through April, I said to myself, “Here, we go….” That is not to say that the cards are bad or that I don’t like them. Cards like the Tower and the Devil have some of the most profound blessings, but they are not easy cards to grasp and hold. Those cards, and many others, can be incredibly daunting, and speak to growth in ways that are often uncomfortable or hard to bear at times.

Some things to note about the complete forecast: the year is divided into 6 major arcana cards, 4 pip cards, and 2 court cards. Major Arcana cards speak to great forces, forceful momentum, and encompassing shifts. When a spread, or here a forecast, is dominated by Major Arcana cards, that means that the year forecast is going to see a lot of transformation that is effective more on a grand scale of life, rather than dealing with the more minute details of the day to day. The Majors are archetypes unto themselves. They represent the macrocosm. Their energies are so large that, at times, it can be harder to feel their presence.

We have the 8 of Swords inverted, 9 of Wands, Ace of Cups, and the 10 of Pentacles inverted. With the majority of the pips and court cards falling to the Swords, we can safely say that the majority of the microcosm will be focused on the threshold of thoughts, communication, brainstorming, ideas, and narration. We will be looking into the mental faculties that gauge the energies, and how that logical clarifying accompanies the larger forces at play. The Court cards are the cards that speak to us between the microcosm and the macrocosm. Side note: I do not read Court cards as other people. I read them as the threshold between the majors and the minors. That means that July and December present invitations for a more intimate conversation about how to bridge yourself between the energetic forces and shifts available, and how to make energies available.

What are your thoughts on these card pairings? If you would like to download my free monthly ezines from 2019, do so by the end of the year. After that they will be getting deleted to make room for 2020 ezines. Much love to you!

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Approaching the end of the year

The end of the year is finally coming to a close. I feel the need to create a little time capsule of my year, and what better place than my blog? For me, this year was a rough one, but also an insanely beautiful one. There were so many things that happened, and many things I really had to confront and face. This was also the year that I really had to admit and confront where I was hurting myself, and my business.

Here were some of the major points of my year:

+My schoolwork consisted mostly of science classes (which is not my strong suit) to finish the requirements for my Associates in the Integrative Health program. Next year, I get to enjoy the Capstone, all about transitioning into the professional world.

+I got to see some whales and experience the beauty of Mexico.

+My cat was on and off sick for months. He was so sick that, at one point, Grizzly and I really thought we were going to lose him. However, my little Zombie survived, and I feel that experience in many ways brought Grizzly and I closer together.

+Some of the other classes that I got to take this year were amazing, including Medicinal Herbs in the Wild, where I met a dear friend, and fell more in love with herbs, and Colorado.

Towards the end of this year, my own health started to take a turn. What first started out as acid reflux, has turned into breathing issues that have persisted for about a month now. The shadow part of me isolated even farther, less willing to do things like see friends, run errands, or get motivation for the things I needed to complete. However, it also brought me closer to spirit, and to myself.

My year card was Strength, and I feel that after this year (I haven’t even mentioned the social injustices and headlines that have impacted and changed me), I have a better appreciation for that card. I also have had to take some time and reconcile with myself the fact that I have had to put myself on ice in regards to my business. I have had bitter moments where I have feel like I’m hitting a wall. I have had moments where it seems like I have been wasting my time. I had had moments where it has felt like no matter what I do for my business, it wasn’t good enough.

(If you would like to know your year card is, add up your birth month and day with the current year. If yours equals something like this (29), you would then add those two together, which equals 11. In the Wild Unknown deck, which is the one I use most often, the 11th card is Strength.)

It was like constantly hitting a wall. It took me a while to realize that I was the wall. My ego was needing certain boxes checked off to feel validated. My spirit just wants to express the tarot, and other modalities, with passion and authenticity. Going forward, I have recognized where I was placing expectations on the outside world, but I really need boundaries with myself. I also needed new projects.

So, come next year I am going to start a podcast. This is something that I am really excited for, and I have been toying with the idea for a while now. I am ready to try something new. I am also going to start putting up physical products, expanding my services, and establishing my platform a little bit more. I was not giving myself was the belief that I deserved a thriving business. I was not allowing myself to feel the confidence needed to thrive. That stops now. It is not welcome in 2020.

If you are feeling overdrawn, overburdened, or anything that does not register with your higher being, I ask to you to see where your beliefs or confidence or compassion for yourself is at. I am not saying that I found the formula for growth. That is a process that I look forward to learning more about as I discover more about myself. I simply ask you to confront and face. You can do it. You are strong. You are worthy. You are gorgeous. If you would like to go deeper into some energy, we can work together, and use the tarot to unleash some needed energy. Next post will be about the deck forecast for 2020.

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My Spread Pricing and Why I Don’t Charge Per Hour

I wanted to do and write something a little bit differently today. More specifically, my intention is to show a little bit of my process behind certain aspects of my business. Many, if not most, tarot readers charge based on time spent for the reading. There is nothing wrong with this, but I personally have never liked to charge that way. A big reason why is because of my first reading as the client, not the reader.

I like to charge based on number of cards pulled as opposed to a set price per hour. Time can be a good factor to set the value, but I don’t personally like to be controlled by a timely starting and stopping point.

I went to see a tarot reader long before I knew how to read tarot. To be fair, I had not done my research into the type or reading, or reader, I wanted. I simply had some cash and showed up at a store in Denver. I also had not taken the time to consider what I wanted, and more importantly needed, from my reading. What was the underlying purpose? What would I do with the information given to me? How could I be vulnerable and hear both the good and bad the cards may bring forth? I asked myself none of these question. (I would like to spend a whole post on the etiquette between reader and client, but I digress….)

So I show up at a store, cash in hand, ready for my reading. I asked if anyone was available to read for me. A woman was, and although I do not expect or want an overly fluffy or lovey-dovey reader (that is not my style), this woman was cold and not very friendly. We went to a section of the store, that was separated by nothing more than a divider. This made my walls go up. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted or needed from my reader, but I knew I didn’t want every customer walking by to overhear what I considered, and still do, a sacred conversation.

I told her a little bit about what was going on with me, and she started to pull the cards. And she kept pulling… and pulling…. and pulling. She must have pulled over thirty cards from her deck. I say this not because I question or despise the way another reader works with her cards. (I also want to make it clear that many, if not most readers do not read this way. They are inviting, informative, and value the shared energetic experience.) I did not feel like this reader valued my presence. I say this because the majority of the reading was spent shuffling and looking and shuffling and looking. I could not tell you a single card that was pulled because she didn’t talk very much. The last five minutes of a fifteen-minute reading was spent with her asking a few more questions, and then giving some small suggestions, and that was it.

Those fifteen minutes cost me $20.00, and although I recognize that is not the most expensive reading ever, it was still a lot for me at that time financially. I left feeling overwhelmed, annoyed, and more confused than before. I would have preferred it if she had pulled one card for me and had deeply gone into the meaning of that card, and how it could relate to me and my situation. As a reader, I don’t not believe more is more when it comes to number of cards. As a client, I know it’s not. A couple of years later, when I started developing my website, writing spreads, and determining my prices, I knew that I didn’t want to make anyone as my blessed client feel like they had been overcharged and under-served.

My pricing starts at $10.00 for one card, and goes up in $5.00 increments for each additional card.

But, I wrestled with the way to price my services and my spreads. What was fair to the clients, but still honored and valued the heart and soul I put into my work? I finally decided that I wanted to charge based on cards that I pulled. This means that my one-card readings (still thorough and written with love) are not charged the same way that my five-card reading does. Here are some of the main reasons I decided to charge this way (I feel the need to preface here that this is what works for me and the way I operate as a tarot reader. I am not saying that others who price or charge differently than me are doing it wrong. Different strokes for different folks):

1.) I don’t like being rushed for / by time and numbers: By removing the constraint of time, I personally feel more free to spend as much time as needed going into the messages that I download from each card. By removing the layer of time from my readings, I feel less confined by time.

2.) Discussing the cards from intuition: I could take one hour to discuss one card if my intuition keeps downloading meaningful content. I could take less time with more cards. With no time limit, I feel able to discuss each download clearly and without rush.

3.) Gives you financial options: Because my spreads are based upon the amount of cards I pull, I have many different spread options available on my website. You can choose the spread that works for you and for your budget. As mentioned, I have been in the place where $20.00 was my grocery limit for the week. I believe tarot is medicine, but I also believe it shouldn’t put you in the red. No matter the spread you choose, you will get my soulful intention to provide the best tarot reading I can.

4.) Telecommute makes time commitment harder: Because I do readings exclusively out of my home right now, time commitment to readings is not so black and white. Often, during a reading I pull the cards, write down initial notes by hand, and then take some time (outside, in meditation, or by journaling) to really let my intuition start downloading. It doesn’t always get channeled so immediately. So, I don’t have to start a timer or take note when I started or stopped. This again makes me feel less pressured by time, and more able to just read the cards and write.

5.) Quality over quantity: More cards does not mean a better reading. More time does not mean a better reading. Say it with me: more does not mean better. As I said in my story above, I would have preferred a $20.00 with only one or two cards, as opposed to a reading that had half the deck, and little to no detailed insight from particular cards. One card can really anchor you into clarification, or speak to your needed questions. Throwing down card after card after card may not always provide the most insight.

No matter as a reader, or a client, the main focus is in the value of each energetic experience. If you do not see what you want or need on my website, reach out to me. My prices are set by the cards I pull, but we can collaborate to create something of utility that honors both energy and budgets.
Photo by Ikhsan Sugiarto from Pexels

Hopefully, this provides some clarity to the way my pricing is set on my website. If you have any questions, or if you have a certain price point but don’t see a spread that fully covers your needs, no worries, shoot me an email at teaandtombstones@gmail.com and we can get a spread that fits your price point and your needs. Thanks for reading. Much love to you!

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The Law of Creation

Law 2: The Law of Creation

The second karmic law is the Law of Creation. This law states that life does not merely happen by chance or coincidence. Life is formed in the forges of ourselves; we are the creators. This means that as creators for our own lives, it is imperative that we hold to our truth, and honor that which makes each of us who we are. If you hide your truth or refuse to be an active participant in the daily makings of your own life, it can be of no surprise then, when your life does not hold the glittering riches of what you value.

One of the things that is important to be an active creator of your life, is to be present and aware of what is around you. Why? Because what is around you can be a direct message about your internal self. If your external world, and the way it moves and flows daily is peaceful (for the most part), inclusive (of yourself and others), creative (sacred expression), your internal self probably feels secure and sound. If your external world moves and flows daily from a place of fear, anger, or isolation, your internal world probably feels like a struggle or energy drain.

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels

The Law of Creation, with each person as the creator, means that if your world and external self are not in alignment with your higher potential, your internal self is most likely out of alignment with your truth. When or if this happens, look to what is within you that needs to be present and seen. Look to what your truth is, and that which you seek. If you look for answers and solutions outside yourself, your internal self is constantly left to adapt to themes, ideas, and situations that are not in alignment with your core.

5 of Pentacles from the Ostara Tarot

I think this sentiment applies nicely to the 5 of Pentacles, the tarot card of the month. This image shows a girl standing outside of a cathedral, and she is clearly destitute at the moment. Her wrap is in rags, her skin is exposed, and the night is bleak and snowy. With her is a snake, wrapped around her closely. Together they attempt to move and protect themselves from the elements. What she does not realize is that right next to her, shining through the cathedral window, is a stained-glass portrait of a snake wrapped around a tree of five pentacles.

If she would just turn and look at the light shining and the portrait on the stained-glass window, she would realize that she is where she needs to be to heal and be whole again. She would realize she is welcome beyond the doors of her current situation. Only she can make the choice to look and see that world is giving her an opportunity to regroup and grow through her personal truth. She is being given an opportunity by the universe to seek that which is seeking her, and to be part of the oneness of life.

The Law of Creation, since it applies to each person, means that you connecting to your life, forged from your own daily creation, means that when you meet another person, animal, or personified spirit, you are connecting to the oneness of the universe. Your life creation is a creation of energy. This energy is elevated through choice to be part of the wholesome universe as one energetic force.

There are certain things that are obvious outliers for the Law of Creation (in my humble opinion). Freak accidents happen. Bad things happen to good people. Life is often a painful experience. What is not an outlier that you, and each person, create your life through your choices, actions, relationships, intentions, spirit, and so much more. When looking to use the Law of Creation to connect more deeply to the oneness of yourself and beyond, look to the current energy within and around you. Ask yourself if you are happy. Ask yourself if you are okay. Ask the universe to help reveal the opportunity you need to grow, and then look up and choose…….

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Know Your Limits: All About health

One of the biggest blessings in my life has been the blessing of health. I have been blessed with a healthy body and very few major health issues in my 31 years. For this I am incredibly grateful. The worst health issue I have had to deal with was a kidney stone. It was the worst pain of my life. Ever. What was worse was that I knew I needed medical attention, and I was alone. My family was on the other side of town, and I could not wait for them to get to me and then take me to the hospital.

So I drove my car to the nearest Urgent Care that took my insurance in Colorado rush hour traffic. I was in so much pain that I wasn’t sure if I would pass out. I called Grizzly and asked him to just stay on the phone with me. I would tell him the exits I passed so he knew where I was on the road at all times. It was so bad that I almost pulled over and called an ambulance. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that I cannot afford that kind of car ride. I knew if I did call an ambulance I would be looking at an immediate price in the thousands of dollars. I did not have that kind of money, so I drove on.

Other than that horrifying incident, my health has been quite good, which admittedly is something I take for granted. Other than slight allergies or the common cold, the last few years have been incredibly good to me. Even my healing process from getting my wisdom teeth out at the late age of 31 went so well that I was barely swollen, the holes closed quickly, and I wasn’t ever really in bad pain.

However, the last week has been a recall on all that bright, healthy energy that I have taken for granted day after day. It first started with chest pain, nothing major but enough to feel it. I assumed that it was due to poor posture (I slouch a lot. I also hug my shoulders close to my neck a lot, something I didn’t realize I did until I started following Adriene Mishler’s yoga videos on Youtube). I kept going with my lifestyle, living off of hummus and snap peas, yogurt and granola, finding time to cook a few meals during the week. I wasn’t drinking enough water, and stress in many areas of my life has been higher lately.

The pain consisted, but I ignored it. I assumed that my body would take care of it, let me recover without taking any part in the healing process. The pain slowly morphed into a lump in my throat (like when you swallow a pill that doesn’t immediately go down). I kept swallowing and swallowing to see if something was stuck, but the annoying feeling persisted for so long that I knew it wasn’t food or a pill. There was now tightness in the chest, a lump in my throat, and then the worst of it came…..

Yesterday I was sitting at home with Grizzly, looking forward to a slow day of movies and nachos. I was ready to do nothing but relax and enjoy my lazy, Sunday haze. In the late afternoon, I was silently screaming in my body. I was so annoyed and anxious about my health that my body was tensing. I felt jittery and unable to sit still. Worse still, I started to slowly feel like I was losing my breath. I couldn’t get enough air in my lungs, and when I focused on my breathing I kept feeling the grasping strain of trying to get more air in. I ended up calling my mom who had earlier in my life dealt with some similar things. Everything sounded similar to her situation: acid reflux and heartburn.

I did not know that heartburn could feel as serious as it did, and still does. I was almost in shock. Dragging myself up and into pants, Grizzly drove us to the store so I could buy some medication. The whole time I just tried to quiet my mind, but it wasn’t helping and I was starting to get scared. With the medicine purchased, on the way home I was trying again to just calm the fuck down. In my attempts I also broke down in tears. I started quietly apologizing to my body, apologizing for almost a whole lifetime of not taking the adequate time to put better and healthier habits in place. I apologized for making my body carry years of stress. I apologized that I always just assumed that my body would heal me. Now I needed to heal my body.

Today is a better day. I woke up feeling like air was in me. The lump was still there, but I took the OTC medication and started doing some yoga. I have an appointment to see someone for a follow-up, and I started to meal plan healthier meals. What I told myself today while I sat in the shower was that I embrace this path, and my limits. I cannot keep acting like my health is something I can ignore because it has been so good. I cannot keep interrupting symptoms in my body to keep to my daily routines. I need to release an old Ashlie, one that was unwilling to focus on the body and afraid to handle the needs of the body. I am choosing to learn from this experience.

One of the first things I learned was that after my breathing got under control, I almost felt silly for being so afraid. I felt silly, like I had been overly dramatic. I couldn’t believe what I was saying to myself. I was telling myself that I was silly for getting so anxious over the feeling of NOT BEING ABLE TO BREATHE! When did I become so harsh towards myself? When I tell my body to shut up and never have a problem, and if it does then I am stupid for following along? The Daughter of Pentacles is double-earth and all about the body and the sense. The Bat reversed is all about releasing to begin again. I had been ignoring some of these messages within my body for a while, but I cannot avoid them any longer. This process is not really about healing some acid reflux, although I would love for that to go away. More than anything, this is a healing process of learning my limits, and letting my body be loved, completely and with attentive intention.

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Redefining with Whale Energy

I never knew how my space needed nuance until I sat under a full moon in Puerto Vallerta for Imbolc. The ocean, and all its treasures, pulled me into a new framework. It felt like my state of mind had been completely shifted by holding presence for myself next to the ocean. It felt like something in me had grounded and magnified when I saw the whales that move to the warm waters of Mexico to mate and give birth to new calves.

I had seen whales on my first trip to Mexico. The whales of Cabo were beautiful, yet completely foreign to me. I didn’t grow up with the ocean. The fabric of that part of nature had not blended into my culture. I have always been a mountain child. The terrain of trees and forests have held my heart for so long. Yet, the first time I sat on that water, rocking to the waves, and seeing the whales breach the water was overwhelming.

The whales and dolphins I saw in Puerto Vallerta were much more visible than in Cabo. The whales kept breaching, kept showing themselves, making everyone on the boat cheer and applaud such sights. For me, the experience of the whales and the oceans was more than just a wonderful day. It was profoundly spiritual. To see something that before had been resigned to documentaries and videos from others suddenly became something that was mine to cherish, to hold, and create space for.

When I pulled the Whale card for May (actually, when I pull the Whale regardless), I still feel a deep shift in me. The scale of energy that comes with the whale is both completely huge and surprisingly straightforward. When I pulled the Whale card for May, I tapped into the messages of the whale energy being a great mover. This means that when whale energy is present, we are being invited to move and navigate ourselves, keeping in mind that as we move, we should be moving with intuition. We should move and navigate ourselves with an understanding that the energies around us may not seem familiar, or may even make us feel completely out of our depths. But we need to keep moving anyway.

When we move and navigate ourselves from a place of sacred trust, we are letting the universe open to us in a way that shifts our soul purpose into focus, and mutes the ego. We are not being moved from a bullet list of places we must find or see. We are being moved into a state of deeper being, by letting the journey morph in the way that it needs to until we find our warmer waters. This requires a sense of trust, surrender, faith, and emotional honesty. It is okay to say that we feel out of our depths despite the fact that we need to keep going. It is okay to recognize that this energy is going to shape us and redefine us as we seek to create shape for our manifestations.

As this month is nearing a close, I urge you to tap into what has been moving you this month. What have you had to surrender and be fluid to in this monthly journey? How did it make you feel? Embrace whale energy by closing the final days of this month with a direction to move with intuition towards warmer waters without needing a sign that says: turn here, go here, do this, destination up ahead. Let your intuition shape your actions and help awaken your emotional honesty. Communicate that to others if needed, and continue to let the situation, the day, the space unfold. Whale energy is going to redefine us, but through self-care and check-ins, we won’t need a map. We will only need our unaltered truth and presence.

**Thank you for reading. You can find the May Newsletter by going to my free offerings tab. The newsletter is free and is available for download. Thank you so much!**