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Wellness Wednesday: Breathing and the King of Pentacles

King of Pentacles

 

(Breathing is the second dimension in John W. Travis’s 12 Dimensional Model of wellness, but I found them through Michael Arloski’s book Wellness Coaching for Lasting Lifestyle Change)

One does not have to look far these days to read about the effects both physically and physiologically when it comes to the breath. The action of breathing and finding breath is now used across a wide variety of modalities to center, ground, and come back to self. Breath is the source. It is the lifeline to all that we do, and all that we have done. All of these new breathing techniques may seem like quackery, but there is something very real in coming back to the breath.

When was the last time you counted your breaths? When was the last time you actively breathed? We are all breathing because breath is life, but when was the last time you acknowledged this force? If it has been a while, don’t worry. It is that way for many people. We get so caught up in the responsibilities and hustle of life that we keep going, knowing that our breathing will take us where we need to be, even if we completely forget about it.

But this simple act of connecting down into the breath does not have to be surrounded by the ideal setting of quiet reflection on a grassy hill. We can connect to breath anywhere. I like to connect to my breath while driving. I don’t need to close my eyes, and I don’t need to be completely serene. In fact, driving to school in morning traffic is probably the last place where we might expect to connect to breath, but I have found that is one the places where I need it most.

Feelings and emotions take about 90 seconds to process. That means that for 90 seconds, our physiology is responding to the waves of physical output from emotional input. In these 90 seconds, if we can allow ourselves to honor, hold, and learn about what is triggering us, it usually will drift away without physical consequences.

This is why I love connecting to my breath while I am driving. Anyone who drives in rush hour traffic can probably speak to the collective energy. Everyone is in a rush. Everyone needs to be somewhere. I often feel like there is a cloud of negativity while I drive. Someone is cutting someone off. Someone is being a jerk. Someone is getting pissed off, and people try to vocalize the cause and effect of right and wrong with their vehicle. Obviously this is not the place. It is dangerous and stupid, but road rage is a real thing.

But I ask: what would happen if instead of getting furious at the person who cut us off, we counted to 90? What if we used that 90 second time-frame to recognize we are angry and feel wronged, instead of acting out our feelings? This is not easy. No one is perfect at this, but it has become something of positive importance to me. By using those triggers to connect into my breath instead of lashing out I go deeper into myself, and spare myself from negative energies in trying to scrap with someone else.

Breath is such a powerful force. It can shape and mold how we deal with the hardest of situations. It is the sound we long to hear from just-born babies. It is the echo that we will slowly, but continuously put out there. Our breath is ours, and even when someone has wronged us, even when the unthinkable happens, we have our breath. Breath can help us cope through painful situations, and keep us centered as we attain victory. The King of Pentacles is a perfect example of of physical recognition and physiological mastery. Often the King of Pentacles is associated with ample wealth, but I would argue that having breath at all is more ample wealth that any material thing.

This idea has been surfacing for years, and now it is everywhere. From yoga to public speaking to coping mechanisms, breathing is becoming a real ally for us all. It grounds us down to the source, but expands our consciousness to the energies around us. The King of Pentacles is expansive in his physical abilities, and his physical kingdom. He rules over more than just his body, but it starts with him. The King of Pentacles can always find control over some physical dominion because he has learned how to control the inputs and outputs of life. We don’t have to be the King of Pentacles to start this process. Just start to acknowledge the breath. Count to 30-60-90, and breathe.

(Tarot card shown is from the Ostara Tarot)

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Wellness Wednesday: Self- Responsibility

(This idea of self-responsibility as one of the first steps to wellness comes from Jack Travis and Regina Ryan’s Twelve Dimensional Model of Wellness, but I found it in Michael Arloski’s book Wellness Coaching for Lasting Lifestyle Change)

Chariot

Self-responsibility is a huge step in finding wellness. It is the first or initial submission into the process. Anyone who is seeking wellness, either alone or with the help of another, must first submit to the process and take ownership. They must take the responsibility that in order to find change they must try, and potentially fail. This is a daunting task, but I believe that taking the responsibility for your path means that everything is designed and destined for your greatness. You are in control of your wellness path, but, if needed, there are many people out there who can help you find the skills to take the reins, and drive.

I would like to point out there is a big difference from accepting or asking for help, and complete submission to someone’s orders. There is a very big difference. In seeking wellness, either through fitness, nutrition, or lifestyle, holistic health, or any modality, the client should always be in control. The professionals need to listen and modify the approach to what is workable for the client. They should give suggestions and options so the client can alter the formula down to the decimal to achieve attainable goals. If you are in control this means that you can gauge your triggers, and know when you need to push forward, or when you have had enough.

I did not have to look hard to find the card that went perfectly with this theme of self-responsibility. The Chariot is a true symbol of responsibility to self and ownership. Many themes or tarot books will say that The Chariot is all about discipline, decision-making, victory, and willpower. I would say that these things are wonderful, but they come as side dishes from the main course of accepting self- responsibility.

When you take the reins of your chariot, you are taking ownership. You are accepting that you lead the chariot, it does not lead you. The Chariot is the transportation but you are the driver. You thrust forward or pull back when and where you need to. If you do not step into your chariot, it will not go far. If you never get out of the chariot, you will never find reach your destination. The Chariot is meant to be used when you have a direction, and you have the means to get there. The Chariot is meant to be the physical evidence of your ownership and willingness to keep going until you are where you need to be.

If you are ready to find some wellness, step into the chariot. You do not need to know the whole landscape. You do not need to know how to track and map everything down. These skills are crucial, but they will come later. You must first step into your chariot. If you are having trouble doing this, imagine what your chariot would look like. What is it made of? What color is it? Is your chariot like the horse pictured here? Or is it more elaborate, decorative, embossed, or gilded? However you dream it is meant to be.

Wolfling dear, this acceptance of self-responsibility, but it is a gift. It may feel like a shadow pressing hard and cold on the spine, but it is igniting you. You have such a spectrum held within your heart. Release it. Untame it. Each of our responsibilities to self and to source means that we have more to give each other. Stay wild my wolfling.

**Thank you so much for reading. Do you agree with my card choice? Let me know your thoughts below. If you would like a reading, check out my spreads and my Code of Ethics. Let’s create some magic.**

Tarot card is from The Wild Unknown. Click here to find this deck for purchase. (This is not an affiliate link)

 

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Manifestation Package

manifestation package 2

When you book a reading with me, one of the things that I offer is a Manifestation Package. This is more than just a free gift to say thank you for allowing me to work with you. The Manifestation Package is my attempt to help you channel the reading, long after our session. I want your reading to shake your bones and fill your space with stars. I want your feral, untamed nature to howl and sing forth the new energy that is coming in.

If you choose to accept this package. You get everything you see in the photo. There is a candle to help shed light on any card you are fixated on, or perhaps do not understand in its entirety yet. The candle is also meant to set an intention, and send the light out. Even the flame itself can show energy. If the fire is bright and vibrant, your energy is strong. If the flame is moving, or hard to manifest, this could be where you place your intention, an attempt to make your inner light breathe again.

The little incense stick is to consecrate your space. I fully believe in the energy of a space, and incense has been used for thousands of years to consecrate and channel a sacred feeling. The incense is Jasmine, and this scent has been used for many different purposes. More than anything, I hope it helps you feel intimate with your situation, and not wary. I hope you can stand in the smoke and be knighted in your attempts to deepen the reading into your source.

The Tiger’s Eye is meant to symbolize power. It can help rid anxiety and promote positive action in your endeavors. I believe you are already strong, but a reminder is always nice. You can hold them and help use the intention from the candle to connect further into your reading. You can channel a certain card or image that you want to hold. Stones are the weight of the world. They will keep burdens that you and I cannot bear to carry. Whatever came up in your reading, you can place it or release it with these stones.

The tea is meant to create a needed pause for reflection. As you sit with your reading, I hope in the moments when you know and feel you can sink in a little deeper, the tea is there to help be a catalyst. Allow yourself the time and silence to reflect on your reading, and what feelings and thoughts it brings up. This is the best way, the only way, to deepen your relationship with your cards.

The bag itself can even become a sacred space. You can anoint it with oil, use potpourri, keep written or physical insights from your reading. Bags have long been used as a way to keep close what we hold dear. I wanted the bag to dual purpose for that reason.

What is not shown is the handouts I also send via email. One in particular has spaces for you to write down anything that surfaces from using your manifestation package. I, as a tarot reader, am here to hold the torch for you. I am not here to simply give a reading and then forget the energy in a poof. I want the reading to resonate long after our time together. My card is in each package, and I hope that through our space, you can go deeper in a safe way to what is needed most.

Thank you for all that you give wolf-darlings! If you would like to book a reading with my check out my Policies and Code of Ethics and my available spreads.

Stay wild wolflings!

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Saturday Reflections: Scorpion and the 3 of Pentacles

Saturday 3.17.2018

“I saw the sun disappear / into mist as it reached / the horizon. And an egret / airborne, circling all / this time” ~ Running by Leslie Ullman

I don’t know about you, but much of my week is spent doing so many things, that I hardly get the time to take a look inward, to reflect on needed remnants from my inner low-tide. If I do get the time, I am hardly useful, except to remind my cats with a good scratch under the chin that they are why I do what I do. The weekends however, are when that silent wind sings out strong in me and I can say the words, much like singing to a forgotten, but beloved song.

I chose two cards to be the catalyst towards my introspection. The cards are the Scorpion and the 3 of Pentacles. One of the first things I look for in cards drawn is comparisons, or differences. The first thing I see in these cards is the difference in elements. The Scorpion card resembles the fire element. Pentacles are of the earth. In the real world, fire and earth do not mix. My stomping ground (Colorado) is constantly besieged with fire warnings in the summer because it is so dry. But fire does fertilize the soil, churns dormant seeds to sprout with the help of sun-fire and needed rain. This tells me that much of the energy will be a trial of fire. New growth can come, but it requires a sacrifice.

The Scorpion is the embodiment of the free-spirit. When this card is pulled it is a reminder to walk our path but hold some defenses. Not all those will admire the strength to walk your line, to live accordingly to your surroundings and spirit. The ones that do admire and hold to this are passionate in their own ways. They see the strength in individuality because they also walk their own fire. A scorpion can live in almost desolate climates, they can survive without food for periods of time, only as long as they have water. As long you have that which nourishes your source, you can survive.

However, the spirit of the Scorpion is one that also brings baggage. Scorpion souls carry the venom of the past, the pain of toxic situations and circumstances. In order to stand in our fire, we must only use that baggage when needed. We must use negative feelings with the attempt to try to heal, and forgive. Is there anything you are carrying that is no longer serving you? How could you turn this into growth? How can you forgive even those words were never mentioned by someone? This is not easy. I know I still struggle with this sometimes. I look to the past to learn, but in true honesty, I am looking to the past because I haven’t found my own healing. This is human. If you can relate, know that you are not alone. And if all I can do here with my business and these words is to state that I believe in you wolf-darling, then I can go to bed fulfilled.

The act of forgiveness and skillfully growing bleeds beautifully into the meaning of the 3 of Pentacles. The 3 of Pentacles brings many things to my mind. One is that of collaboration. The three pentacles from the rudimentary shape of something majestic. Another is the act of starting in different places, but all paths lead to a similar destination. Another is knowing which energy you can honestly give at that point in time. There are times where we do not have to hold the whole spectrum of color. We just have to put our energy out there in a way that contributes to the whole spectrum.

Find your inner free-spirit by surrounding yourself with those who will help bring out the positive or best in you. Become engaged with anything that helps you stand in your fire truthfully. For me, this is often found by just being in my home. When I am home I am reminded of where my growth has gotten me. I try to relieve the baggage by standing naked, surrounding myself with my words of love for my family and my creations. We cannot always start or hold the same energy as the day previously, but we can be honest and say that this is what we have to give today. We cannot retell the past. It is what it is. And even if we cannot start where we wish we could, we can be honest and say that. We do not have to reinvent the wheel of all our situations because of the baggage we carry. But we can be honest, walk our path, and move towards growth.

**Thank you so much for reading. Please let me know your thoughts. If you would like a reading, please check out my Policies and Code of Ethics, and my spread options. Thank you for being awesome, wolfling. My wolf-pack is where I am my honest and true free-spirit. Stay wild.**

The decks that I have used are The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit and The Wild Unknown Tarot. Click here to find them for purchase. (This is not an affiliate link).

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0- The Fool Poem

fool

 

 

The Fool

 

Heart racing like when a flame hits the wind, I stand on the precipice.

The air is perfumed with fresh flowers, softening my start. Here I could stay,

but why would I when the alchemy of my yolk gave me wings?

My beginning is a golden beam meeting the sky. Only an errand so important

could give the horizon such context, such conquest that I must leap if only to feel

the gust of cool air. Perhaps I should be worried. The threats keep longer hours

then I. But I was not made of hinges shrugging into a forced opening. Those sighs

are for a changing season, and a heavy door. I am made from the music of the Sun,

each note carving the wind whose cold hands I must warm. If this perfume can permeate

the sky, then so can I. Like that orange bullet lofting towards heaven, I can also become

fire on the other side of light. – Ashlie McDiarmid

 

**A poem I wrote honoring the Fool. Do you write poetry? How does the tarot come into your words? Much love wolf-darlings!

Tarot card is from The Wild Unknown. Click here to find this tarot deck for purchase. (This is not an affiliate link)

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The Pros and Cons of Different Forms of a Tarot Reading.

 

pros and cons 2.jpg

There are different ways to receive a tarot reading. Before, the list was limited to mostly face-to-face readings, calling a hotline, or knowing someone personally. These are all great ways to receive readings, but the internet has now offered the ability to communicate with someone you connect with, even if they live across the country, or globe.

There are pros and cons to different styles of readings. These numerous options allow you to find someone that will match the reading style, or attitude you share with tarot (predictive, intuitive, counseling, etc.).

Please keep in mind that these are my opinions, and many other readers will differ. This is a great thing, because it means that different readers are suited towards different seekers. Please also note that I have not done fairs, telephone, or Skype readings for clients, so in the spirit of honesty, I will only be listing in-person, and email readings.

Reading in person: Pros

  • Being in person allows a great freedom for energy transfer, dialog, and safety. I love when I get to sit with my clients because I get to share that space with them. Having the space to just sit, communicate, cry, laugh, and question without any judgment amplifies how worthwhile a reading can be.
  • Another positive aspect is the commitment. If you commit, either through appointment, or walk-in, you have already made a huge step in loving and empowering yourself.
  • If weather and trust permit, you can take tarot on a walk or to the park. You can step out of the walls of buildings. Spaces have energy, and if the energy is good, it can enhance the reading. Buildings can also hold so much love, so there is no hierarchy.
  • The atmosphere can be multi-layered. It can be casual, but also serious in the attempts to reach the bedrock of a problem or question.

Reading in person: Cons

  • Space is often an issue. I read at White Wolf Medicine, which is a beautiful holistic pharmacy in Elizabeth, Colorado, but it is not close for many people. If people want to book with me, but cannot justify the long drive, space becomes limited.
  • I personally do not like to do readings in coffee shops, book stores, or restaurants. Tarot brings MANY emotions up. The subconscious is brimming with held-in feelings and thoughts, and a tarot is a easy drive to release that energy. I don’t want my clients to feel like they have to suppress needed emotions because we are in a loud Starbucks. I don’t want to feel like I have to hold back things that the tarot surfaces. Many spaces are much more forgiving, but it still feels like an intrusion to me.
  • Many tarot readers love to read in these places. I like private settings. I like a more intimate space where it is just me and my client, and the tarot. The other con is that sadly, many people still look on and judge tarot as artificial or cheap. I would not want that energy to permeate a beautiful space.
  • Finding time is hard these days. Everyone is working, or on the go. Face-to-face readings, while beneficial in many ways, promotes one more deadline or appointment to keep.

Email reading: Pros

  • Tarot does not have to be done face to face anymore. In fact, many tarot readers have websites where spreads are listed, prices are enclosed, and other information is given. Social media accounts can help determine if a certain reader will suit your needs. If they do, but they are in a different state, you can still connect with them for a reading.
  • Email readings are often written as word documents, so you have the reading at your disposal. You can print it out, hang it up, make notes, and come back to it as you need.
  • Another positive is sometimes distance makes the difference. When there is the distance of an email, some people may actually respond and connect with it better. They may feel insecure with face-to-face reading. They may feel too raw to meet in person. An email reading allows them the full energy of a reading, without the worry.
  • Finally, time is hard to come by these days. Cars are not always reliable. Family needs are a priority. An email reading takes a lot of the hassle of keeping an appointment away.
  • Email readings do not cheapen the quality. Many readers prefer email style because it allows them to devote that time to the seeker uninterrupted by outside noise or neighbors.

Email Reading Cons:

  • Things can get lost in translation, and it is not as easy as simply asking a question. There must be detailed follow-through from the reader, and detailed notes from the client.
  • For those who prefer readings in real-time, emails can sometimes lack personal connection. It is doable, but it does not give the shared energy of the person sitting there with you.
  • The wait time is often a standard 7 days. Often the reading comes before that 7-day deadline, but 7 days is a standard time. With booking a real-time reading, you receive the reading that day.

These are some of the pros and cons to in-person vs. email readings. Thank you for reading. Please let me know what your preferred tarot reading styles are and why. Stay wild wolf-pack!

Much love darlings,

Ashlie

 

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When is it inappropriate to read the tarot cards?

 

sky

The tarot is a beautiful, binding, helpful, and honest tool that can reach into our skeletons and place the truth inside our ribs. It can give it a heartbeat, a quickened pace in our search to find our highest potentials. However, there are times when tarot is inappropriate. There are times when it is out of place to do a reading or seek a reading. This may seem counterproductive. Any tarot reader should surely be able to read on any topic, at any time, right? No. Above anything, a reading should be helpful. Some of these topics will just muddle the path. Some can get you in a whole heap of shit.

  • No reading should EVER predict or speak to a physical death. First of all, you don’t have to be psychic to say that someone is going to die. We are all going to leave our physical forms and diminish back to matter and energy. But, even though death is a certainty, it should never be predicted through the cards. The role of a tarot reader is to help, never harm. Telling someone they will die in 6 months because of a card pull is going to leave them shaken, scared, or ready to sue. Readings should leave everyone feeling empowered, not looking over their shoulder to see when something is coming.

 

  • It is illegal to medically diagnose, to give legal counsel, or financially advise someone if you are not an authority in that topic. A card cannot tell you if someone has cancer. It cannot tell you how to beat cancer. These topics are serious, and should be directed to the people who can give adequate help. It is better to risk losing a client than to take money for something that you have no experience in. Being honest, and directing the client to the proper channels will leave a better impact. The client will not see you as money hungry, or here to take their hard-earned dollars. They will see that you were more invested in helping them than in making a profit.

 

  • Tarot cannot replace real life experiences. It can shed some light on those experiences, but it cannot be a substitute for experiencing and learning. Think of it this way: card 7 in the Major Arcana is the Chariot. The Chariot speaks to action through discipline, freedom to move based on choice, an alignment between the body and the spirit through physical moves, and many more meanings. If you pull the Chariot in a reading, you hold a bright and beautiful card in front of you. The metaphor of the Chariot is stunning to be sure, but guess what, you still must drive the chariot to go anywhere. That’s right. You. The seeker. You are the driver; the Chariot is the transportation. If you are not in the driver’s seat, holding the reins and ready to run with that metaphor, you will not go anywhere.

 

  • The tarot is not meant to do the work for you. This even includes engaging with others. Many tarot readers will not even read 3rd party readings because they find it obtrusive in energy. I am one of these readers. My cards are not spies. Asking a question such as, “how can I help my boyfriend this week because he is stressed at work?” is not a 3rd party question. In fact, it is a beautiful question. A 3rd party question would be “My boyfriend has been acting weird. Is there someone else in his life, and what is he doing with her?” Nothing in this question points to the seeker. All of the energy is directed at the absent boyfriend. Some don’t find this to be a wrong question to ask. The opinions in this blog post are my own. I am not saying I am better reader than those who perform 3rd party questions. I am saying I believe this question to fall into the scope of when tarot readings can fringe on the boundaries of ethics.

 

  • Another time that a tarot reading can become inappropriate is when you feel like you cannot get through any struggle or conflict without turning to the cards. If the routine is always: conflict, tarot, conflict, tarot, this is not helping. This falls back into the scope of asking the tarot to do all the work. The tarot can help with many conflicts, but before you engage in any reading or discussion, you should be relaxed and at least at peace in the moment. Journaling, walking, exercising, and any number of activities are great ways to relax, refocus, and become mindful of what exactly you want to ask. Then you are receptive, and ready to be challenged or charged. If you have a huge fight with a friend and then immediately turn to the tarot to figure out what to do, you are not investing first in finding mindfulness. And if there truly is an energy transfer, your cards are getting a whole heap of angry and bitterness if they are your immediate go-to.

 

  • Another common inappropriate practice is picking new cards till you get the ones you want. That would be like someone dating you till their first choice came along. That’s a serious party foul, right? It is similar in tarot. There are no “good” or “bad” cards. If you do a reading, or ask for one, and receive the Tower, Death, the Devil, and the 10 of Swords than you do have a lot going on right now. But if you keep pulling until you get the Sun, you are not putting the focus into dealing with what is in front of you. You are looking for the salve when you should be looking for the armor to adorn you for the warrior you are and will need to be. Let the cards speak and say what they need to say. If they say you still have a battle to fight, put on your war paint and howl.

 

This are just my opinions; these are some of the values that I follow when I read for myself and others. I do not believe that my tarot cards are the crystal ball to all my answers. They are a unique and powerful friend. They will say what is meant to be said, and allow me to think about questions and possible actions. Just like any healthy relationship, boundaries are key. Boundaries do not diminish love. I love my boyfriend, but I don’t want him around for ladies’ night. There are times when tarot will not provide what is needed. That is okay, and not unexpected. We cannot get all of our knowledge or growth in one place.

**If you think that I could be a good match for you as reader, please email me at teaandtombstones@gmail.com. Please let me know any comments or questions you have about this, or anything with the tarot. Respect is key, and I love to hear other opinions. I don’t want to live in an echo chamber. Stay wild!**