Posted on Leave a comment

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

Posted on Leave a comment

When wellness doesn’t work……

With all this time in self-isolation and social distancing, so many thoughts and themes have been running like a wild horse in my mind. Although I believe strongly that holistic health practices and wellness techniques can create a strong foundation, I feel the need to talk about, and pull some cards, on what happens when wellness techniques aren’t working. What do you do when the toolbox has been emptied and used, with little to no results? The hard truth is that sometimes, despite all our intentions to tend to our needs, there is a deeper wound that refuses to be well.

All things exist within the Wheel

I sat down to pull a card, and the feeling that kept coming up for me was disappointment. I have been working with my own toolbox of wellness, one that I have been fortifying for years, and yet it has been a true sore spot of me. Turning it over revealed the Wheel of Fortune, a card that speaks to interconnection, nothing is lost or out of place within the wheel. Within the Wheel of Fortune, all moves together or not at all. One strand pulled on the dream catcher could release a knot somewhere else, holding everything in place.

It is also the card of energetic balance and cause and consequence. This brings us back to reality of wellness not always being available, providing a gentle salve of healing. Sometimes, wellness is not available as a healer, not because we are not doing the practices right, or because we don’t care, or are unworthy. Sometimes wellness is not available to us because there is hole deep within the psyche, and the implementation of wellness techniques pokes at that hole, stimulating the trigger that we are not without pain and disappointment and worry and grief.

Sometimes, disappointment festers deep in the unconscious, not stirring or stimulated until we bring forth a practice that should bring us more into alignment. Think of it like an anti-placebo. Being so focused on constantly using wellness techniques to find balance can have an opposite reaction. Hello Wheel of Fortune…..

So much emphasis on one trajectory means that the trajectory we are trying to move away is also turning, and sometimes the dial flips. Now, I am not saying that this means that all wellness practices should be forgotten, or that something is wrong with you if you are finding yourself in this space.

I have been here in some capacity for months. If you find yourself here, you are not alone. If you find yourself feeling disappointment, trying to remedy it, and just rubbing a sore spot…you are not alone. The lesson from the Wheel of Fortune is that all movement, however well intended, often puts the spotlight and what we want keep in the darkness. We cannot move towards wellness without even subliminally or subtly shining a light on from that which we are moving away.

There isn’t a hard or fast answer to remedy this, it may just take some time. One of the only ways I know to confront disappointment or pain or negativity when I have tried other and failed with other factors is journaling. Journaling allows expression over anything-bad good, right, wrong. Journaling is the place to emotionally dump all your shit. It doesn’t always bring an answer, but it can feel good to just get it out. Other ways might be a mantra like: “I am allowed to feel this” or “This too shall pass.”

Other techniques may be watching comedy, reading books, or finding ways to alleviate the brain, and your brain’s chemistry. It may also just need to heal in due time. Disappointment, and a plethora of other emotions, almost have their own brains or personalities, resilient in their attempt to keep us within arm’s length. In the end, the Wheel of Fortune does tell us that this too shall pass, it just may be uncomfortable as hell in the meantime….

Posted on Leave a comment

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot deck review

The Major Arcana

I received the Herbcrafter’s Tarot as a birthday present last year, and I am so glad that this deck has come into my possession. I love this deck, and will take the rest of this blog post to break down all the key details about this deck. If you would like to purchase this deck or learn more about it after this blog post, you can click this link, which will take you straight to the Herbcrafter’s Tarot website (this is not an affiliate or promotional code or link). The deck was written by Latisha Guthrie, an herb / kitchen witch, teacher, and homesteader. The artwork is by Joanna Powel Colbert. She has created the Gaian Tarot, the Pentimento Tarot, and also teaches workshops and retreats related to the craft, the Goddess, and more.

What is immediately clear about this deck is that is created with a true knowledge and love of herb-crafting. You do not need a previous knowledge of herbs in order to use this deck. You will need to be invested in learning about the herbs. Each card in this deck relates to a specific herb (the one exception being the World card, which I will get into here in just a bit), so if you aren’t invested in learning about, or using herbs, this probably isn’t the deck for you.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot is so beautifully made. The cards measure 5″ x 3″ which makes them a decent size. The paper has a nice glossy sheen which makes them easy to shuffle. The illustration for the back of the card has a very different feel than the front of the card. To be honest, I am not in love with the illustration for the back of the card. It feels disconnected from the gorgeous artwork of the cards themselves. The artwork is reversible if your cardback to match your reversal preference. I don’t mind if the image is non-reversible because I still don’t know the particular card chosen until I turn it over, but there many who want card-front and card-back to match.

If you choose to keep the deck in its box, the material has some heft, and will keep your decks well-protected. The green string allows for easy access of the cards, and the guidebook fits snug at the top, making a substantial tarot set. If you choose to put your cards in some other container or bag, I would recommend keeping the guidebook. Normally, I tend to forget the guidebook for my tarot decks, but this deck brings in so much more information, that I find it worthwhile to keep the guidebook on hand.

The guidebook is packed full of information that speaks to the formation of this deck, the intention of the herbs used for each card, and how those herbs are handled or grown in nature. These intentionally chosen herbs also relate heavily to a more numerology-based system of reading. As you can see in the picture below, the herbs chosen do not merely reflect the identity of their corresponding tarot card. They correspond to the numerology and to the herb in nature, and how it is used. Working with this deck and this guidebook will give you a good understanding of herbology, numerology, and tarot, all within one tarot deck!

The perimeters for the tarot, herb, and numerical correspondence in nature.

One of the other main differences is the titles for the Minor Arcana. Instead of staying with the elemental object (swords, pentacles, etc.) for each suit, the Minor Arcana are named in relation to the elements themselves: earth, fire, water, and air. The elemental token that is featured in the minors are:

Air/ bolines

Fire / mortars and pestles

Water / kettles

Earth / baskets.

Three of Earth / Raspberry, Eight of Fire / Ginger, Four of Air / Lavender, Two of Water / Mallow

Each of these tools are needed to participate fully in herb-crafting. The elements also take on an additional layer of understanding to help with learning and skill acquisition.

Air = learning, fire = creating, water = nourishing, and earth = giving.

This is somewhat similar to a more traditional understanding of the tarot and the elements.

Air / Swords = the mind: thoughts, brainstorming, ideas, and communication.

Fire / Wands= the spirit: creativity, ingenuity, perseverance, and ambition.

Water / Cups= the heart: connection, understanding, compassion, emotions.

Earth / Pentacles= the body: production, tangible, sensory, and environmental.

One of the final differences is the court card titles have also changed. Instead of Page, Knight, Queen, King, the court cards are now named Hija (daughter), Adelita (Warrior), Madre (mother), and Curandera (healer). Each of these titles bring similar energy to the more traditional court cards, but also represent the transformation of energy that comes from the different thresholds of the herb path. Each court card shows an image with outstretched hands, and shows how the herbs are handled differently as you progress through the court rankings.

Hija of Fire / California Poppy, Adelita of Fire / Cayenne, Madre of Fire / Thyme, Curandera of Fire / Damiana

The picture above has the four court ranks for the element of Fire. The Hija of Fire may be my personal favorite card of the deck. The Hija sits on her blanket, adorned with incense, costume jewelry, California Poppies, and she is both witnessed and protected by her stuffed tiger. She is undertaking the path in a way that is both playful and imaginative. The Adelita of Fire carries the tradition of her people’s medicine by crushing cayenne to make fire cider. The Madre of Fire keeps a whole-hearted and fierce spirit to create and use ingredients that fill her hearth and home. Finally, the Curandera of Fire teaches the power of love and intimacy, healers in their own way.

Speaking of the imagery, Joanna Powell Colbert’s artistic rendering of each card is simply stunning. Her images are so detailed and intimate, that it really feels like a part of time was captured, not just the herb. Each image feels so heavenly, that you can almost smell what’s on the stove, feel the sunshine, or test the nearby water. The artwork is so beautiful and important, but one of the other reasons I really recommend keeping the guidebook is because Latisha Guthrie’s description for each card is informative and easy to understand. Her writings detail how you can either begin or reinforce your herbal path with each herb, and benefit from each card you turn over. It is not a mere guidebook; it is an informative text for the herbal path.

If you have a decent understanding of herbs or numerology, this may be a decent deck to learn the tarot on. If new to all practices, I personally would not recommend learning on this deck, only because there is so much information that comes with this deck. By fully learning tarot through a more standard or straightforward deck, there isn’t a need to learn both herbs and tarot at the same time. However, that is merely my personal opinion, and I am sure that for many people, this deck would create full expansion in their beginning practice.

This deck has been a recent go-to for bringing in an understanding of garden magic and kitchen medicine. I would give this deck a 5/5, it is simply that beautiful, and that useful. I am getting loads of ideas for teas and tincture I want to create. I am gaining a deeper respect for the earth under my feet, and all that comes forth from its foundation. If you want to learn more about herbs, numerology, or gain more knowledge from the expertise of two powerful women who have walked this path for decades, this is a great deck to invest in.

The World begins a new chapter: awakened, alive, vibrant and gazing forward. There is a palpable readiness.
Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

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!

Posted on Leave a comment

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…….

Posted on Leave a comment

Breakdown of the 12 Karmic Laws – The Great Law, The Law of Cause and Effect

We all know about the understood universal energy of Karma, even making memes and jokes that Karma is a bigger bitch than any of us ever could be (and there may be some actual truth to that statement). I have been thinking a lot about karma ever since the beginning of August. The Phoenix reversed is sending a message that it is time to really look at the karmic cycles we moving through, and the ones we are stagnant in. August is presenting an opportunity for each of us to really look at what in our actions, choices, or surroundings is holding us back from ascending on our hierarchical ladder of self.

The Phoenix is an invitation to provide for yourself and rise past Root Chakra

There are 12 Karmic Laws, and I want to devote a blog post to each of them. There is to much to say about each law for one post. So, we will start with the first law: The Great Law, also known as the Law of Cause and Effect. This is perhaps the most well-known law. This law basically means what is says. The energy you put out into the universe (including sub and unconscious energy) comes back to you.

Because of cause and effect, because the energy includes sub and unconscious energy, this law is often defined and perceived as a message of: if you are positive, positivity comes back you. If you are negative, negativity comes back to you. I respectfully disagree with this statement. Yes, there is something to be said about constantly looking at the world through a dark lens. There is something to be said about those people who constantly choose to exist in the darkness, and never wish to be honest about themselves so they can move into the light. We all know someone like this, and they are perpetuating a karmic cycle because they keep choosing a dark path, and then complain there is no light.

Where I take issue with this blanket statement of positive versus negative is 3-fold

1.) The Universe does not work or flow in only black or white: The Universe, the collective unconscious, Goddess and Gods do not exist in a state of either good or bad. There are layers of perception, action, emotion, and process. Sometimes the hardest things to do are scary to us. Sometimes the worst things for us, about us, are easy. Cause and Consequence is not a simple singularity that keeps a tally of every positive or negative aspect of ourselves. Cause and effect is more based in patterns, and a willingness to try and be courageous for change.

2.) It is impossible to be positive all the time: There is no way that we can have only good days, hold only good vibes. Why? Because that is not normal. If you can have a good day and have only good vibes during tragedy, that is not living and feeling into the dynamics of expression and emotion. Loss, death, heartbreak, rejection, insults, grief and more are going to bring out negativity, and that’s okay. It means you are human. The patterns come in how you handle it, and how you choose to let it define you.

3.) I believe it comes down to where this energy resides on your inner spectrum: Simply put, the life experience is going to move us on the spectrum with each day. It is going to move us further towards love, or further towards fear. I believe this is where the karmic cycle takes root. You can have a negative emotion, but still come from a place of love. You can keep perpetuating a smile to avoid having to deal with deep fear or sadness. In the end, I believe karma comes down to where the life experience consistently moves you on the spectrum.

Posted on Leave a comment

Honest analysis of the first 12 days of July

July has been crazy from the get-go, and it hasn’t let up. In fact, it feels like it is growing stronger in its tumultuous ways. I cannot tell if it is Mercury Retrograde, the monthly cards, or the fact that it is just July, but this month is starting to feel crowded and cramped with all that energy spiraling in all directions. After writing my monthly ezine, I tried to really contemplate the cards message, decipher what was keeping my stagnant in my current space. I did not have to wait long for an answer…..

Within these fluttering 12 days, I have tried to power on and keep it business as usual. That is where I started to overdraw my energetic savings, depleting me of my ethereal riches. To start with some things a little less serious, I have tried to keep my business output the same, despite the fact that I work from home, and my home is currently an active construction site. The constant noise of whirring power tools, hammers banging their heads, and people shouting has left me short-tempered and exhausted, actually.

I finally had to throw in the towel and wait a few days for the crews to move to the other side of the complex before I could start my creations again. I do not write this with the presumption that this is a unique or extraordinary situation. It isn’t. Because of that fact, I couldn’t help but wonder why I felt so rushed, like I was failure because I couldn’t power through the circumstance.

This toxic mindset made me feel even worse, heightening already heightened energy. Some of this energy came from other, deeper sources too. One of my cats has been dealing with some health issues with no clear cause (despite some serious and expensive tests). Each trip to the vet, each dose of medication, made me feel more depleted. I didn’t know what to do, or sometimes how to handle this experience. All I knew was that I would do everything I could, and some days that didn’t feel like enough. Again, heightened energy left me feeling depleted and unable to honestly handle many things. Top that off with a flat tire this (thankfully discovered while at home), and these first 12 days have been a mountain.

But this is not a blog post meant to harbor resentment or throw a pity party. Some wonderful things have happened too. My cat is doing much better now. I decided to get fully back on board with yoga, opting to do my routine through youtube videos (Yoga with Adriene is amazing by the way) to save money, and I have been feeling great. I have also started baking more again, and eating better. I have also noticed that my energy has either been incredibly high or low and lazy. When I am feeling that brightness in myself, I have been working to declutter and reorganize my home.

I am also being more cognizant of how much news I take in. It is important to be mindful of what is going on in the world (when babies are being held captive, we cannot turn away from the truth), but it is also important to keep the head up, the eyes forward, and the heart open. Sometimes stepping away may feel privileged (and it completely is), but is necessary to breathe and not overwhelm the heart with such repulsive news.

So there have been many wonderful things coming from this heightened energy. But all of it made me wonder, why I am judging myself so harshly in moments, and then loving myself fiercely in other moments. Coming back to the Daughter of Pentacles and the Bat reversed (for the full description of the monthly cards, head over to my free offerings for the July ezine), I realized the first thing I have to release is judgement. There are times where I need to let myself stoop into laziness or frustration. Not the most pleasant of feelings, but it has a lot to teach. We cannot exceed our limits, although it is almost ingrained in us to just go, go, go. By taking a step back and letting myself feel a little triggered, I recognize that my sensitivity is proof of my existence. It is part of the spiral of life that I wouldn’t trade for anything, even in these times.

Posted on Leave a comment

Mother of Cups in the Dark

20181116_103013

There have been numerous words given to the Mother of Cups, full of praise and light, justly deserved. But there needs to be time given to the dark mother, the one in the corner, carrying wounds and weapons that haven’t been seen.

There are many reasons why it is important to go into the dark side of the tarot:

1.) There is no card in the deck that is strictly good or bad. They all carry the cosmos of light and trouble.

2.) There is no one way to “define” good or bad. Is a good card good because it makes us feel positive? Is a “bad” card the good one because it challenges us to grow and learn so we can honor our highest potential?

*********************************************************************************

The Mother of Cups promotes self-love, self-discovery, the need for boundaries, and a self-actualized encouragement to go deeper into what we love and cherish in this moment. However, despite these nuisances of deeper love and celebration, the Mother of Cups (just like any other card) has a dark side that reveals obstacles, troubles, or a need for change.

The Mother of Cups shows the beauty of self-love and love to others, but that doesn’t mean that everyone we are around is someone who will bring us joy. We are often required to be around others who we do not hold the best feelings for. This is not a shadow element, but how we deal with this can become a shadow element if we are unchecked in certain behaviors.

One behavior is shit-talking. This behavior does nothing but breed hostility. We are vocalizing our negative feelings,  but not in a way that reaches any conclusion or solution for growth. I want to be clear that shit-talking is not the same as venting. When we vent to someone, we are also not looking for any conclusion to be met, nor are we trying to make a point. We are simply letting out our emotions to someone we trust, or venting in a journal. When someone is trash-talking someone else, we are not trying to reach a solution, but we ARE trying to make a point of how bad this other person is.

When someone trash-talks another it is often because they would never express their feelings in a constructive way to the person involved. Obviously, this is problematic behavior. The Mother of Cup teaches self-love. If we are hurt or upset with someone that is okay, but it becomes problematic when we refuse to address the issue, and resort to bad-mouthing someone behind their back.

 

Another dark side to the Mother of Cups is the need for validation from others. If there is a need to be validated or approved by others, it can often be because of deep-rooted insecurities. The problem here is that the gratification for validation never promotes self-love because it didn’t through us or for us. It came out of a need to be enriched by the words of others, to be seen or in the spotlight. When we practice self-love, we are validating our own vulnerable nature, complete with gifts and flaws.

The urge to be validated can be seen in many ways. It can be seen in jealousy, that we want more validation that someone else. It can be seen in toxic comparisons, or in the need to be competitive with another person, to outdo them and shine brighter. Obviously, all of these are problematic because it fosters a negative outlook. It preaches that we don’t have enough, but it never encourages a healthy way to express our emotions.

Finally, the Mother of Cups is highly intuitive and nurturing. Because of these qualities, she is also prone to burn-out, creative dismantling, or emotionally worn. If the Mother of Cups does not take time to spend alone or with others who fuel her creative or emotional passions, if she is constantly fulfilling the needs of others while neglecting herself, she will burn out. Boundaries and the Sacred No are incredibly important for the Mother of Cups. She needs to be able to take care of herself so that she can serve others.

**Please note that I am not saying that these traits equal a bad person. We all hold and often can act on this dark elements at times. What is important to be mindful, and work to foster an environment where we are self-loving, and promoting love and honesty to others.**

Let me know your thoughts!

Much love Wolflings,

Ashlie