I have another offering for my Capstone- a free workshop inspired by the very heart and soul of Tea and Tombstones. There is so much said about stress management, goal orientation, mindfulness, and self-empowerment. These are incredibly important towards living in a more whole-hearted way, but if there are internal feelings of instability, doubt, or fear, all the stress management in the world means that you are walking an uphill battle.
Cultivating a strong foundation is stress management, mindfulness, self-empowerment, and beyond. It is all of these things because it is a focus on grounding the self to harness prosperity no matter the situation, It is moving through feast and famine grounded and awake.
The topic of grounding is extensive in its own right, but I am happy to host this workshop to start this dialog and create intention around this space. This workshop is free, comes with a booklet that I wrote, and some other goodies to take home. If you are in the Aurora / Denver area, I hope you will join me. Please email me at email@example.com for any additional questions, or to join this workshop.
One of the decks that I have chosen to work with for the monthly cards is the new Archetypes deck from The Wild Unknown. I love this deck (and will be posting a detailed review for you to see this deck in depth), but to be clear, a tarot deck is filled with archetypes. An oracle deck is filled with archetypes. The whole world is filled with archetypes. You do not need this specific deck in order to work with archetypes. Like Kim Krans says in the guidebook, there is no one creator of archetypes.
Archetypes are created for and by the collective; that is precisely what makes them an archetype. This deck merely includes the archetypes that Kim Krans felt most connected to in her artistic rendering. The reason that I chose, and want to work with, this deck for the entire year of 2020 is because archetypes are meant to be opened, shared, understood, and integrated. However, as we begin to open the door to the Desert (the archetype for January) it is important to know and understand what exactly an archetype is.
the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype.
(in Jungian psychology) a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches.
This means that each archetype once started as on original form of itself and took on an identity that transcends the form. Archetypes are steeped in the psyche of the collective, across culture, location, or time. This means that archetypes are therefore steeped in the individual’s psyche as well. Archetypes can take on various layers of form or understanding, but the core identity of the archetype remains the same.
For instance, if I asked you to draw an image in your mind of a witch, what form does it take for you? If I were to mention a female deer, do you see the doe as a victim of the hunt, or as a radiant earth-mother? Both themes exist with the archetype of the doe. The hunt and persecution of a female deer (Bambi anyone?) can then unfold to other archetypes. The gun is often an archetype for male domination and sex (Freud is the most well-known for attributing these phallic archetypes to the idea of male regeneration and women with penis envy). The archetype of the orphan comes in when the Bambi’s mother has been shot down because Bambi is now left alone in this now cruel world.
There is often an overt sexual tone to the archetype of the hunt as well. The pursuer and the pursued match each other in raw visceral energy, opening the door to both themes of violence and sex. I recommend reading the poem Pursuit by Sylvia Plath (a poem written right after she met her future husband, the daunting, charismatic, and unfaithful Ted Hughes) to see how the archetype of the hunt mirrors both themes of violence and sex, predatory and prey.
Archetypes create the way for more archetypes. The archetype of the temple gives way to the archetypes of prayer, candle, healer. The archetype of the ruler brings up the archetype of the crown, the throne, the castle. What this means is that archetypes are fluid, born of the collective perception, but understood through symbols, images and stories. Archetypes arise from the psyche in a way that can show a connection of understanding to the collective narrative. This connection often anchors and comforts us, because it gives us an outline that we can identify within ourselves.
Do you, or do you know people who like to see which Disney, Star Wars, or Superhero character they get on a Facebook quiz? Those are archetypes. They may not be the most accurate, more based on algorithms that honest answers, but it can be comforting to know that your answers reveal an archetype that speaks to you. In fact, while doing some research for this blog post I came across the Jungian Archetype test. You can take it by clicking here.
Another article that really helps to showcase how influencing archetypes are is here. In this article, Jeffrey states that archetypes are patterns of behavior. Archetypes arise during certain situations depending upon predispositions, attitudes, and even perhaps nature versus nurture. These archetypes can, again, be broken down, into smaller categories or other archetypes to explain the complex and multifaceted nature of the human experience or human psyche.
In looking at the archetype of the Desert, we can immediately pull on other archetypes to create a deeper understanding. For me, the Sun (another magnanimous archetype) is present. Many depictions of the Desert also show cacti or even the iconic bull skull. This archetype is one of harsh and fierce, but beautiful energy. The Desert is an archetype that speaks to survival and death. It also speaks to being lost, exposed, and lacking in some way. I have gone in depth to the Desert in my zine which you can access by clicking here.
There is way to much to say about archetypes to be fully contained into one blog post. I would like to end here by saying that archetypes, however you hold to them or not, is something to be open too. Look to where the Desert, or other archetypes, are opening for you. Look to where archetypes are speaking to you, to an idea, or a pattern of behavior and see how the archetype resonates with you. Working with archetypes can be incredibly challenging, highly revealing, or sometimes comical and fun.
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
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.
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.
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…….
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.
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.
One of the biggest blessings in my life has been the blessing of health. I have been blessed with a healthy body and very few major health issues in my 31 years. For this I am incredibly grateful. The worst health issue I have had to deal with was a kidney stone. It was the worst pain of my life. Ever. What was worse was that I knew I needed medical attention, and I was alone. My family was on the other side of town, and I could not wait for them to get to me and then take me to the hospital.
So I drove my car to the nearest Urgent Care that took my insurance in Colorado rush hour traffic. I was in so much pain that I wasn’t sure if I would pass out. I called Grizzly and asked him to just stay on the phone with me. I would tell him the exits I passed so he knew where I was on the road at all times. It was so bad that I almost pulled over and called an ambulance. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that I cannot afford that kind of car ride. I knew if I did call an ambulance I would be looking at an immediate price in the thousands of dollars. I did not have that kind of money, so I drove on.
Other than that horrifying incident, my health has been quite good, which admittedly is something I take for granted. Other than slight allergies or the common cold, the last few years have been incredibly good to me. Even my healing process from getting my wisdom teeth out at the late age of 31 went so well that I was barely swollen, the holes closed quickly, and I wasn’t ever really in bad pain.
However, the last week has been a recall on all that bright, healthy energy that I have taken for granted day after day. It first started with chest pain, nothing major but enough to feel it. I assumed that it was due to poor posture (I slouch a lot. I also hug my shoulders close to my neck a lot, something I didn’t realize I did until I started following Adriene Mishler’s yoga videos on Youtube). I kept going with my lifestyle, living off of hummus and snap peas, yogurt and granola, finding time to cook a few meals during the week. I wasn’t drinking enough water, and stress in many areas of my life has been higher lately.
The pain consisted, but I ignored it. I assumed that my body would take care of it, let me recover without taking any part in the healing process. The pain slowly morphed into a lump in my throat (like when you swallow a pill that doesn’t immediately go down). I kept swallowing and swallowing to see if something was stuck, but the annoying feeling persisted for so long that I knew it wasn’t food or a pill. There was now tightness in the chest, a lump in my throat, and then the worst of it came…..
Yesterday I was sitting at home with Grizzly, looking forward to a slow day of movies and nachos. I was ready to do nothing but relax and enjoy my lazy, Sunday haze. In the late afternoon, I was silently screaming in my body. I was so annoyed and anxious about my health that my body was tensing. I felt jittery and unable to sit still. Worse still, I started to slowly feel like I was losing my breath. I couldn’t get enough air in my lungs, and when I focused on my breathing I kept feeling the grasping strain of trying to get more air in. I ended up calling my mom who had earlier in my life dealt with some similar things. Everything sounded similar to her situation: acid reflux and heartburn.
I did not know that heartburn could feel as serious as it did, and still does. I was almost in shock. Dragging myself up and into pants, Grizzly drove us to the store so I could buy some medication. The whole time I just tried to quiet my mind, but it wasn’t helping and I was starting to get scared. With the medicine purchased, on the way home I was trying again to just calm the fuck down. In my attempts I also broke down in tears. I started quietly apologizing to my body, apologizing for almost a whole lifetime of not taking the adequate time to put better and healthier habits in place. I apologized for making my body carry years of stress. I apologized that I always just assumed that my body would heal me. Now I needed to heal my body.
Today is a better day. I woke up feeling like air was in me. The lump was still there, but I took the OTC medication and started doing some yoga. I have an appointment to see someone for a follow-up, and I started to meal plan healthier meals. What I told myself today while I sat in the shower was that I embrace this path, and my limits. I cannot keep acting like my health is something I can ignore because it has been so good. I cannot keep interrupting symptoms in my body to keep to my daily routines. I need to release an old Ashlie, one that was unwilling to focus on the body and afraid to handle the needs of the body. I am choosing to learn from this experience.
One of the first things I learned was that after my breathing got under control, I almost felt silly for being so afraid. I felt silly, like I had been overly dramatic. I couldn’t believe what I was saying to myself. I was telling myself that I was silly for getting so anxious over the feeling of NOT BEING ABLE TO BREATHE! When did I become so harsh towards myself? When I tell my body to shut up and never have a problem, and if it does then I am stupid for following along? The Daughter of Pentacles is double-earth and all about the body and the sense. The Bat reversed is all about releasing to begin again. I had been ignoring some of these messages within my body for a while, but I cannot avoid them any longer. This process is not really about healing some acid reflux, although I would love for that to go away. More than anything, this is a healing process of learning my limits, and letting my body be loved, completely and with attentive intention.
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.
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.**
In my studies, I have had the privilege of learning and working with many people on many topics. One that rings out to me is Aromatherapy in particular. I love using this oils in all ways that I can, and I have found that many oils in working with the tarot has heightened and intensified my practice.
I am particularly into Basil right now because it is the oil that reminds me of the Mother of Cups. I will be doing a blog soon about the different ways I have been using Basil oil. But I want to talk about an event that I want to celebrate and share with you all.
Michele and Loretta are two women I know, and they are hosting a beginner’s class all about essentials oils, the uses, benefits, and knowledge of where to get good oils, and it ends with everyone making their own dream pillow.
This class is only $17.00, and you are getting some great knowledge about the topic. I want to share and celebrate others in this world who are helping to promote these topics that promote our higher well-being.
Check out the picture below for all the details. Stay Wild Wolflings!
We have passed through a harsh month, full of dichotomies and conflicting energies. I am happy to say that November is going to be a time of reflection, tapping into mindful directions, and listening to the rolling waves of our hearts. We move into the month of the Dragonfly and the Mother of Cups. Both cards tap into ancient wisdom of mindful intentions and actions. These cards harness a need to go deeper into the psyche, to heal wounds and learn more about our power.
Starting with the Dragonfly, this spirit animal has been seen in symbols across almost every culture. They have been around in some form for millions of years. They have seen the changes of the Earth, the rivers, the mountains, and the seasons through eyes that make the bulk of their head. They must keep moving, and they can move in all directions. These ancient ones call on us to see, to be still, and to move with direction. They call on us to quiet the mind and listen to the wisdom that come from being a part of this world. Acting with direction is key. Thinking before speaking is key. Creating powerful intentions and visualizations are key. The first step is to come into rhythm of silence by quieting the mind. Sit alone and meditate. Journal your thoughts and feelings. Create something for the simple sake of creation. The mind is able to move with purpose when we create buffers to safeguard the positive thoughts we are starting to manifest with this animal energy.
All the mothers are the Healers. They are the Keepers of knowledge, lineage, and ritual. They safeguard the treasures of history and heritage. The Mother of Cups is double-water. Everything about her flows from the well of creation and intuition. In some ways she is like the Empress, endless in her capacities of love for the sake of love. They both radiate the light of inner acceptance, inner bloom. Where they depart is the Empress is the bridge between the High Priestess and the Emperor. She understands the messages of this world, but she is creative and channels her gifts towards the dawn of new possibilities which the Emperor enforces.
The Mother of Cups is more internal, spending more time in ritual and in sacred space. She is highly intuitive and spiritual, but she is less public, less out in the open. Her gifts are born and brought from a place that she cannot share with others. Because she is a Swan, she is of two worlds. One of the land, and one of dark water. Because she is of two worlds she is also a bridge, a bridge between the tangible manifestation and the deep, pulsating quiet of the heart. She is a Keeper of the heart, of relationships, and selfless love, and a Healer to the world when she comes to the surface.
If there is one line I could write to describe what messages I am receiving from these cards, it would be: Quiet the mind. Channel the heart. Going deeper into the subconscious, into wishes and dreams, and manifesting positivity, ritual, heritage, our inner lineage is a tall order. How can we keep things out of our minds when so much is happening that is trying to force its way in? By creating boundaries. Like the Mother, we need to be of almost two worlds. The visible one on land where we bond and love and speak about how that love is never going to go away. But we also must go deeper to heal and learn and channel that love into ourselves for manifestation. Last month saw intense energy, now we must quiet the mind, and channel the heart for change.
**Thank you for reading. Please let me know your thoughts on these cards for November. Much love. Stay wild, wolfling!**