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Insight for the Tower

As a tarot reader and tarot student, I find that I gain more insight from books and articles that have nothing to do with tarot knowledge. Sometimes the connection to completely random characters, or different points in time is what makes the understanding of a card stick. I want to share some insight I gained about the Tower from a beautiful book that I am reading right now.

Right now I am reading Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O’ Donohue. This book is a stunning read, and has a lot of insight towards other cards, but one particular passage really stuck out and gave me a deeper understanding of the Tower as teacher:

Often all the possessions we have, the work we do, the beliefs we hold, are manic attempts to fill this opening, but they never stay in place. They always slip, and we are left more vulnerable and exposed than before. A time comes when you know that you can no longer wallpaper this void. Until you really listen to the call of this void, you will remain an inner fugitive, driven from refuge to refuge, always on the run with no place to call home. (O’ Donohue 101)

When I read this passage, I felt like I had the greatest clarity over this card. I mention in my March Newsletter that I don’t read the Tower as this predictive card of bad luck or omens. Why? Because I think that the Tower is here to show something that may be more troubling, but it is perhaps one of the greatest lessons to learn. The passage above is making a reference to understanding the psyche, and how interconnection to home, to landscape, and to nature are ultimately the best healers.

When we engage in small earthly wonders, or even just engaging in the quiet space where our inner self stirs, we are creating a wholesome understanding of who we are and what gifts we have. When we seek outside of ourselves to fill the void of connection, we will always be left searching. The answers are inside of us, but we are often to scared to turn over those rocks and search of the mysteries of ourselves.

The Tower comes to us when we have strayed far from ourselves, and when we have placed vigorous meaning in possessions and situations that are outside of us. These may feed our ego, but they shrink our souls. They rest on the surface like oil, but they make the metaphorical water undrinkable regardless. When we routinely learned how to please the ego, we also learn how to silence the starving soul.

So, with the Tower being our monthly card, take time this month to shed the possessions and choices and people and places that are egocentric. These fill the ego with meaning, but have nothing to offer in terms of deep connection. This can be unpleasant, so don’t forget to feel through this process and this month with the Sea Serpent, keeper of the Second Chakra. Find intimacy, play, pleasures, and creativity. Let these precious spaces help handle the Tower energy.

If you would like to book a reading with me, click on my OFFERINGS tab to see what spreads are currently available. If you would like to read more into my messages from the Tower and the Sea Serpent, you can download my free newsletter under the FREE OFFERINGS tab. I hope this is helpful for you!

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RiseVibrant-2019

My ebook is now officially available for purchase of $3.99. The purpose of this little manuscript is to open up the dialog on different topics, and go deeper into focus. Each topic opens up something important for 2019, and each topic has some sort of activity or action to-do that encourages integration of that focus.

It can be found in the Offerings section of my website. I am so excited that this project has finally come to this point, and I hope it will provide positivity for you. Much love and stay wild dear ones!

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Card Comparison: Justice

Wolflings,

We now look at the two Justice cards from the two decks I own: The Wild Unknown and the Ostara Tarot. These two decks are very different in style and use of symbolism. In these comparisons, I look to what each image is representing, and how they speak to me in terms of applicable use during a reading. I aim to see the similarities and differences they carry, and how both have a lesson to teach us.

There are some images that will speak to me, or perhaps to you, more. There may even be a favorite. That is okay. They are both still valuable in terms of understanding the deeper connections to be had in applying these cards in real-life scenarios. Let’s jump in. Please remember that these are my interpretations. You may see things differently, which is perfectly fine.

justice comparisons

 

Going from left to right, we have Justice from the Wild Unknown. There are two cats, one black and one white, facing forward with their tails intertwined. Between them is a diamond cut down the middle, representing the color of the other. Above them, a sword points downward, almost touching the diamond. The background has straight lines that come from every corner to the middle.

The two cats represent opposing contrasts, the same outlines, physical being, or metaphor can carry both the light and the dark. There is also an interpretation of how beliefs can be made from simple variations. White is purity. Black is bad luck. These beliefs are not based in anything other than superstition, and superstition does a disservice to actual reality.

The diamond further emphasizes this point. If the color of these cats was so accurate in representation, why does the diamond reflect the color of the other? I believe that this shows that there is no such thing as absolute balance. We carry both the light and the dark within us. We have the options of inflicting either love or fear in all actions and choices. What is important is how we make those choices. How can we, as imbalanced beings, create balance and change? How can we achieve the greater good when we carry the weight of baggage of both energies?

I think this answer lies in the sword. A sword is mute unless wielded. We can stay silent to the things that we find unsettling, disturbing even. We can refuse to create action, hoping instead that the divinity and supreme karma of nature will even the score, but as we all have seen, that is not always the case. We must pick up our sword, and be a warrior for truth, including our own. We must recognize that Justice is not a prophecy. It is a fight for greater understanding and possibility of being in service to all.

Moving to the right card, we have a woman blindfolded. This is a traditional representation of Justice, as it should be blind. She is human in every way, except for the long wing on her right arm. She carries the scales, weighing both a heart and a feather. She stands in an exotic land with trees and mountains behind her. This interpretation is both more on the nose, and more obscure.

First thing that is noticeable is her one wing. This in no way can a representation of balance. She cannot fly with one wing, and she has lost the use of her other arm. I think that this further drives the point home that Justice is not so simply to attain. She could be representing the balance between the human form and wild nature, but in this circumstance it seems to be more crippling. Which I think is the point. We have the need of both our modern human form, and a need for the wild drive in us. We are messy creatures, seeking the authenticity of our wild selves, but we also need the rule of law to guide us.

The scales and her blindfold are seen often. The scales are meant to represent how we weigh cause and consequence, right and wrong. Here we have a heart and a feather, and they seem to be the same weight. How so? Is the heart light because of a choice to be unburdened by judgement and ridicule, or is it so because it has never experienced the weight of the world? The feather is going to light, so how do feathers carry the biggest birds? This may show that what is right for one is not for another, but Justice supposed to indiscriminate, able to fit all? Not necessarily. Justice for one may be seen as a loss for another. Justice is not so easy to identify. Just take a look around to see how much discourse is being spent on what is truth.

What is true is that actions have consequences. The land she is surrounded by is beautiful, lush, full of resources. If we wanted to claim and harness this land for profit or self-service, we would harm and hinder growth. But if we work with the land, if we work with what is provided, we can use what we need without stripping or depleting the needs of communal enterprise.

Based on both cards, I would say that the Wild Unknown Justice speaks more directly to me. It makes a more lasting impression on how I work with the card meaning. That is not to say that the Ostara Tarot Justice is one I don’t like. I actually really like this card, and it presents a lot of things to go deeper on. I personally do not like analogy of Justice as a blindfolded woman. I understand the reference, but I think in order to engage and make decisions about this world, for this world, we need to have our eyes open to highlights and the horrors. We need to see how things are to decide how we want them to be.

**I hope you will comment and let me know what you think of these, or your own cards. This card is a hard one, but it so applicable right now. Much love Wolflings!

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9 of Cups

9 of Cups and the Bear

Wolflings, let us deep dive now into the 9 of Cups (I will be discussing the Bear card at a later time). This card is often considered the “wish” card, implying that when this card shows up in a spread the things we wish for will come to pass. I think this notion is a little overindulged personally, and I think there are other aspects of this card that are much more potent than a wish. Wishes, dreams, and hopes are incredibly powerful, and I do not wish to dumb these needed aspects of life down. But I think that when it comes to this card, the message is more accessible in achieving the wishes of emotional integrity, and following the dreams of living in emotional wellness.

So let us go in deeper within the boundaries of this card…..

From the deck the Wild Unknown we see 9 cups arranged, almost in the way we would see at a dinner table or gathering. A crescent moon is found at the top, completely the circle. This shows that although the arrangement is almost complete, there is still room for collective creativity and growth that stems from personal possibility and accountability.

One of the biggest things I see with this card is the effect of community, strength in numbers, or support system. No one in this world makes their life ring without having the chorus of others. We all need someone or more to help us achieve what we wish. We need to be part of the table, the conversation, the collective integrity of whole growth. When we have those who are loyal, who help us lead our best and whole selves, we find comfort, security, or safety.

This card also shows that it is never to late to find emotional wellness. Even when the cards are stacked against us. Even when we face loss, grief, or trauma. When we let the spectrum of light, uplifting emotions down to deep, troubling emotions flow and open our hearts, we can actually find more emotional wisdom to become wholesome and honest. This is also greatly served by having a support system who will nourish and walk by our sides.

When we become conscious of our deep wishes and dreams, we can become more poised and capable of finding gratitude. If our deep wish is to connect with lost friend, a family member who we haven’t spoken to, or to achieve a great and emotionally fulfilling success, we tap into what we have to help us, and what we potentially still need. When we are honest that what we want isn’t always in our higher self-interest we can go deeper into what would help our self-interest in the most effective way.

One thing that I see with this card is the combined and mutual efforts between self and the universe. When we send out our best wishes, coupled with the gratitude of what we have here and now, the Universe receives that information, but the Universe is not responsible for us. We are responsible for ourselves, and the Universe. That does not mean that Universe does not hear us. She hears everything in our hearts, but we must take the initiative and start to enact the changes that we wish to see. We must start the process of attainment within our own ways.

When we follow our heart minds, and what they are really asking, we can unfold new possibilities. We can create a new emotional chapter, one that is more honest about our personal and communal evolutions. We can seek greater things. We can feel the conviction of new or awoken integrity to heart truth. These are medicines that will keep when the other things in the world are a struggle. When we can look to the hardships in life, and see them as a way to prosper and grow in a new way, we open the new chapter with much strength and intelligence.

 

**This is one of my favorite cards, and a beautiful look into the month of September, and how we can achieve what we desire emotionally. Please let me know what you think of this card. Stay wild wolflings!

Much love,

Ashlie

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Finding Gratitude and Journal Prompts

Journal

We often hear that saying “Gratitude is attitude,” and we know the connotation. When we are grateful, it shapes our attitude. When we recognize what we have, what is working for us, or what is a true blessing in our lives we restructure our foundation. We become a little more untouchable to the horrors of the world because we don’t lose sight of what we have.

This all sounds well and good, but it is not an easy practice. When we are told repeatedly that we should just be happy, that our suffering is trite because someone out there is worse off,  this diminishes our emotional barometer. Just because someone out there is worse off doesn’t mean that your emotions or your circumstance are meaningless.

What should be spoken more is finding the balance between the two. We need to be able to express our emotions, and take time to sit in our darkness. Forgiveness and release are great emotional healers, but they need to come when called. Each one of us decides when that day comes. We need to be able to be angry, sad, frustrated (place your emotion here), but it must be kept in perspective.

We need to take time to recognize the good, the blessings, the light that has been shining us. One easy way to do that is take time to write everyday in a gratitude journal. These writings do not have to be paragraphs or pages. They can be a few sentences. They can be short and sweet, and they can be anything.

The other night I was grateful for a TV show. This morning I was grateful for coffee. Right now I am grateful you are reading this. You have no idea how much it means to me that you are taking the time to digest my words, these words that I pray find and serve you well. Take a few minutes each day to recognize the blessings you have. These tiny little blurbs will be of service. They are like little fortune cookies that you wrote for yourself.

Try starting a few times a week. Try these prompts that I have listed below. Gratitude can be found in anything because everything is sacred. Enjoy Wolflings!

  • What in the natural world are you grateful for?
  • What was something you went through that felt excruciating, but now you are grateful it happened?
  • What is a material object you are grateful for?
  • What is something small/ insignificant that you are grateful for?
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August Tarot Card: 2 of Swords

2 of swords

One of the things that I love most about tarot cards is the layers of relativity. There is so much to unpack with each picture and message that it is no wonder that those who learn tarot are often lifelong students. I am always looking for ways to go deeper into the cards, because that is how the meaning of each card manifests. When it takes the physical form of numerous situations in our lives is when it becomes more than just one interpretation.

To be honest, I am not sure how I want to tackle each month. There is so much that I want to discuss with each card. Scents, flowers, people, fictional characters, actions, cause and consequence, light and shadow. All of these could come forth in Tarot card of the month. There could be relevant articles, pictures, art, movies, or unknown connections that I have yet to see. What I do know is that this is the exciting part of tarot. I have always loved to see how tarot cards reveal themselves each day.

For the month of August, the 2 of Swords will be a major focus card. Others will be pulled, discussed, and shared, but I am being called by my guides to really dig deep right now. Maybe it is just a backlash from such an exhausting summer school semester that I feel detached in my own way from the cards. Maybe it is just a new revelation that came in the subconscious river up the cord and into the mind. Whatever the source, I am being called to go deeper into the cards, to really unpack them, and to go slow.

I hope you will join me, and let me know how the 2 of Swords surfaces for you over the next month. My hope is to post something everyday on at least one of my platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or here. My hope for this is to keep the flow of the card moving and growing, so that every day reveals another breadcrumb on this trail. Also, please understand that this is not the only way to learn the cards. In fact, this is not how I initially learned. I pulled all the cards that I could all the time. I was so intensely invested in learning and discovering each card that I may have missed some messages that were coming from an individual archetype.

This isn’t a huge project, but it is a endeavor that I am finally realizing in manifestation. I would love to hear how the 2 of Swords comes around in your life. Stay wild wolflings!

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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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Cards of the Week: Lady Luna’s Magick and the Hanged Man

IMG_20170904_211040

“Slow in my darkness, I explore /  the hollow gloom with my hesitant stick, / I, that used to figure Paradise / in such a library’s guise.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges Poem About Gifts

Hello and Happy Labor Day. The labor is constant, a never-ending cycle of its own. Much like the moon, the work we put in goes from virgin ideas, to maiden voyages, to crone knowledge. This coming week will continue to reflect that cycle.

We return again to Lady Luna’s Magick, to the cycles that unfold like clockwork, petal-woven into everything around us. These cycles take time and effort. Although each week these cards are picked at random, it seems there is still energy that needs to pass. For this week, these cycles will be helped by the Hanged Man.

The Hanged Man, shown here as a bat, is completely comfortable and at ease in his awkward posture. The darkness holds the wall, placing a veil over the Hanged Man’s footing. Beneath him the darkness breaks into light. The bat is comfortable in the deep darkness. He does not rely on light to help him see. Obviously, we are not bats. We have not evolved to use echolocation, but the metaphor is still powerful.

As we look at our personal cycles, our inner tendencies or tricks, it is important to remember that this focus cannot always come from a place of comfort. Sometimes, in order to fully understand the layers of both science and magic in us, we must succumb to the vision, and not the sight.

Max Ernst. Cover for Repetitions (1922). *eye is open but it can't see*

In the light, the Hanged Man and his unorthodox approach, will test us. When we are shoved into a dark corner, we must rely on other tools and knowledge. We can feel the surroundings. We can hear the echos, uninhibited by wall or structure. His ability to adapt, and thrive is what is needed to help find the strike that started the fire. These cycles, good or bad, are part of our inner tapestries. This approach does require us to surrender into the voyage. But there is one cycle that, despite the blows it can bring, can always be used as a guide: memory.

Be careful not to let this surrender diminish the faith you have in yourself. In the dark, The Hanged Man can reveal our insecurities and our flaws. The weaknesses in some of our cycles will be revealed. By itself, this knowledge is not bad. It is just a truth. The truth can become a shadow if we fixate on our flaws, and we do not put forth an action or forgiveness.

Reminiscent of Max Ernst’s Une Semaine de Bonté, Japanese collage artist Q-TA incorporates Victorian and Renaissance characters into surreal, and sometimes exceedingly strange, situations and metamorphosis.

For this week, look to your cycles and your inner gravity in a new light. One of the most beautiful things about Lady Luna’s Magick is her almost unbearably strong feminine energy. She is the positive charge. Her own physical makeup is what gives us the light of the Sun again. She gives us the tides, and helps keeps this tender planet held on its axis. Look to your own inner charges. Look at them in a new way, from a new angle, in a new setting. This is how we will learn what light we are reflecting out.

 

**Thank you for reading. Please comment and let me know how either of these cards are manifesting for you. Please follow if you like what you read, and you would like to become part of my wolf pack. If you would like a reading, please email me at teaandtombstones@gmail.com.

 

Decks used are the Wild Unknown tarot deck and the Oracle of the Dragonfae oracle deck. Click here to find the Wild Unknown tarot deck for purchase, and here to find the Oracle of the Dragonfae for purchase. (These are not affiliate links)

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Coulrophobia

WIN_20170314_20_57_19_ProHello. This is the first Creepy and Tea Tuesday!! For my pilot post, I think it made the most sense to post my biggest fear. Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. Yes, clowns scare the shit out of me. They have scared me ever since I was a little girl. There is nothing more terrifying than a clown.

clownsAll clowns creep me out, but the two that are the most memorable are Pennywise and the Clown with the Tearaway Face from Nightmare Before Christmas. These two wackos have haunted me for years. Now, I love the Nightmare Before Christmas; it is easily in my top 3 favorite movies. In fact, if you look closely in the bottom left picture you can see Sally in the corner 🙂 But that damn clown is the worst thing ever created. He is a clown, he can rip his face off, and can disappear in a puff of smoke. No. No thank you.

I recently acquired a bunch of NBC merchandise, and some of this stuff included plush characters from the movie. One of them was the clown. I both love and despise him. He is this fat and soft version of his movie likeness. His face is also held on by Velcro. He is a treasure that I hate looking at.

 

He is positively horrendous, and I love it. I am so happy that I was able to get the merchandise that I did. I took the pictures this afternoon when I had better light. He is also the only clown I own. I would love to find some Pennywise stuff that would give me goosebumps at night. There isn’t an official percentage of how many people are scared of clowns, but it is becoming a shared fear by many people. When all the clown sightings were seen on streets, in the woods, and on people’s porches I did not want to leave the house. Clowns are creepy and have earned the #1 spot for terrifying!!