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Card Comparison: The Emperor

The Two Emperors: Ostara tarot and the Wild Unknown

There are many things that move across the cards, particularly the Major Arcana, like a wave, no matter the image. This bloodline of understanding, symbolism, or definition comes from the archetype, the held knowledge of numbers and namesakes.

The Emperor is no different. When the word EMPEROR is said, each one of us can visualize something. He or she may look different. The kingdom may hold different colors and material grandeur. But, the general understanding of an Emperor is a ruler who stands alone. He is the beacon of order for all that he rules.

It is because of this general understanding that the Emperor is often given a fierce and authoritative connotation. In this post, we will not be looking so much at the card definition and attributes. If you would like to read my interpretation of the Emperor please click here to go to my interpretations of the Wild Unknown card meanings. You will find the Emperor, as well as all the cards that I have thus far written a personal interpretation for.

In this post, we will be taking time to look at the Emperor across the two decks that I own: the Wild Unknown tarot and the Ostara tarot. These two cards will be examined and shed light on the nuance that they bring to the interpretations of the Emperor.

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Starting from left to right, we have the Emperor from the Ostara tarot. Unlike many other decks that depict the Emperor as a wise or authoritative older man, here the Emperor is young. He wears not a crown of gold or jewels, but two horns that symbolize his dominion over the natural earth. He is of both worlds, showing that he can understand the rule of law and the laws of nature.

These combined together can create balance in the physical fabric of the world. His youth means that he has vigor, and he does not rely on others to to uphold or protect those whom he serves. His gaze is off in the distance, showing that his vision is on the horizon, far off in the distance. The symbols on his body show that he is also mysterious, something seen hardly at all in other decks. In fact, the directness of other decks (which we will see in the Wild Unknown) is the antithesis of mystery. But these symbols as part of his physical body means that he is learned in other languages, ones that may unlock other mysteries that can serve and protect. He has taken the time and embodied the learning the different languages that are part of his world.

He also does not depict a foreboding or fierce figure. He seems gentle, a little wild or mischievous perhaps, but his face is beautiful and soft. As a counterpart to the Empress, he also holds the a childlike whimsy to create and protect the world that he is a part of.

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The Emperor in the Wild Unknown is depicted as a large tree. The size of the tree emphasizes age and time. A tree that big has been around for a long time. This sticks with the more traditional definition of Emperor as one with the benefit of experience because of age and time. Behind the Emperor is a brilliant, fiery sun, which may be the crown of the natural world.

With this brilliance comes clarity of vision, and fire for action. In this deck, the Emperor as a tree speaks to action in terms of giving. At this size, he acts like one of many lungs for the planet, taking in loads of carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Trees this size create a canopy for the sky, and a network for the soil. They are a home for the fauna, shade for the weary, and a beacon for the lost.

The Emperor is depicted in only one color. He is stark black, resembling his stark nature, perhaps a little harsh and direct, but beautiful and giving nonetheless. There is also a notion of simplicity with this card, which is very different from the other Emperor. The symbols that adorned the Emperor’s body speak to a complicated understanding of different languages and symbolism in this world. Here, the Emperor is much more simplistic. He is there, front and center. He is visible, giving, nurturing, but also abrupt in palate to some.

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There you have two different images for the Emperor. I hope these comparisons help show how the image brings nuance and layers to the knowledge of the cards. Please let me know how these, or other images of the Emperor resonate with you. Much love.

Ashlie

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August Tarot Card: 2 of Swords

2 of swords

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

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

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

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

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

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The first book I learned to read tarot with, and how a glossy page can make all the difference.

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Do you ever stand in a bookstore, your eyes darting back and forth between the titles, unsure of which one is the right keeper of knowledge? When I first started to read tarot, it was out of necessity. I needed to put a pulse back in my chest, and a roar back in my throat if I was to brave another year. I went to the bookstore, knowing that I wanted a book worthy of this step. But all the titles professed the same action. They all held promise of expansion and depth, spirit making strides.

I finally settled on this book: The Key to Tarot: From Suits to Symbolism; Advice and Exercises to Unlock your Mystical Potential by Sarah Bartlett. Why did I settle on this book, because it felt beautiful in my hands. The hard, chocolate brown cover felt appropriate. The pages were colored. The pages were glossy. There was something about the shine, the texture, the lift of reds and blues from the page that made me settle on this one.

This book is a great beginner’s book because it goes into each card well for a beginner level. It includes exercises and meditations to connect more deeply into yourself and the craft. It also has some good spreads that I still use today. I must admit that I no longer reach for this book that much, but as my very first tarot book, it was a star-find. Other books that I have purchased since then have not fully compared to this book. Perhaps it is my nostalgia. Perhaps it is glossy pages and way the spine creases into the skin of my folded legs. I don’t know, but I love this little book.

I had placed this book on a shelf after I read it, and moved on to other titles. I came across some journal posts from when I first started reading, and I realized how much writing I did when I was travelling through this book. I wrote in my journal constantly. Everything was somehow related to the meanings of the cards that I was slowly absorbing with this book. I din’t think too much of it. I read the journal posts, smiled at how far I have come, and went about my day.

That was about a week ago. Since then I have gone through many books on my shelves, packing the one that I know I want to keep, but will not read for some time. Others, given away as donations. I pulled this book down off the shelf I was going through and again felt that tinge of nostalgia, like looking at an old picture of myself. I really wanted to go through some of the meditations and exercises again to really see how my tarot interpretations have become layered.

If you are new to tarot, document everything! Write it down, film it, take pictures, draw it. However you do it, just do it. Document your travels because it will become a map. It will show you how to rejoin an old part of yourself that perhaps has slithered deep into the dusky layer of the subconscious. Document so you can look back and see what your gut thoughts were. Don’t take the interpretations in the pages (no matter how glossy) as gospel. Make your own choices and see what is right for you. For example, the book mentioned here reads Court Cards as other people. I have never found Court Cards to be representative messages of other people. Never. Do what feels right, and keep it documented so you can come back with a seasoned heart later for reconnection.

You can find Sarah’s book here, along with many other books that she has written. This is not an affiliate code. I think this is a great little book if you are a tarot novice, or looking for your first book. I would love to hear the books that guided your path, tarot or otherwise. Much love wolflings!

 

 

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Wellness Wednesday: Breathing and the King of Pentacles

King of Pentacles

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Tarot card shown is from the Ostara Tarot)

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Manifestation Package

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay wild wolflings!

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

 

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

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

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

Reading in person: Pros

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

Reading in person: Cons

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

Email reading: Pros

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

Email Reading Cons:

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

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

Much love darlings,

Ashlie

 

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Card of the week: Reversed Father of Cups

 

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“In the mountains, where the pines bend and sigh like my swans. / At the table, where the teapot presides like my swans, over all lesser things. / My swans were sharp and hungry as desire, and I fed and forgave  /  them too.” ~ Veronica Patterson Where are My Swans?

 

Last week, we were standing on our edge, puncturing the flat surface of our internal lakes to unleash the flowing ripples. Now that the waters have been stirred, now that we have started to form that link between the oceans we endure and the shores we wait on, we need to focus on what that means for our emotions. Letting the creatures surface empowers us to hear that wild call and let our emotions start to shake. This comes with responsibilities. We need to rule with a thick skin, but a warm heart.

The father swan swims alone, black like obsidian. He is apart from the rest. This does not bother him. Behind him is a deluge. Again, he is undeterred. He gracefully floats, comfortable and at ease. He is completely folded in proper corners of awareness and insight. Because the Father of Cups is reversed here, his energy is on the internal level, not quite ready to breach the surface.

In this space, we need to be accountable for the emotions we hold. These emotions could manifest and leave the skin, or they could stay covered, continuing to ride the unseen currents. Wherever they end, these emotions carry weight. Our emotions are part of our cosmic canyons, heavy in consequences and rewards.

James Roper

In the light, the reversed Father of Cups speaks to gaining a grip on our emotions, and how it helps us conquer ground. We can internally process and grow, We can ignite the tinder of our circumstances and relationships. Here, we choose what we carry, and let what is important be known to others when the time is right. In this sacred space, there isn’t a need to fight others in pursuit to wave our emotional flags. We can bear the storm of circumstance, take what is given, and melt it down to be reborn again, soft as gold or hard as a diamond. We can be adorned in black feathers in a sea of white, and never feel out of place.

In the shadows, these emotions can turn toxic if we let them. Instead of using our emotions to buoy us, we can make them an anchor to take us down, believing we made a difference. It is normal to want our emotions to carry us across the waves, but we need to take point. We need to harbor ourselves ashore and safeguard the provisions we have. Emotions can be a beast to bear, becoming overwhelmed is an incredibly normal feeling, especially in the time and social climate we are in. But instead of trying to bargain our emotions for a physical reward, we should assume the role of beast and stand firm in the darkest nights. It could be easy to become a victim of our emotions, but where would we be if we let that happen?

This is a BEAUTIFUL piece of art!

For this week, turn inward. Observe what emotions you carry or consume. Seek control and lead yourself through each day. If there is an obstacle, find a way through it. If there is someone or a situation that stands against you, clearly decide if your emotional fight is worth the battle scar. Let the emotions be fluid and reside in your internal house. The reversed Father of Cups shows us that we can maintain dominion, and fill ourselves to the ribs with good and bad emotions. They are a catalyst for beauty and war, and all the rolling thunder in between. What we take and give is a choice.

 

**Thanks for reading. Please let me know how the reversed Father of Cups manifests for you. Hit FOLLOW and become part of my tribe. If you would like a personal reading, please email me at teaandtombstones@gmail.com.**

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

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Card of the Week: The Emperor

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“The Buck stops here.”

The Emperor is steeped in reason and rationality. In the Wild Unknown deck (my deck), illustrated by Kim Krans, he stands a giant tree, a looming figure in domain over his canopy. When I look at this picture, I think of the beautiful redwood trees. Their presence and power is unmatched. Those around them can only look upwards, humbled by size. The Sun shines in the background, a symbol of the fiery power of the conscious mind. The Emperor’s commanding presence places a stronghold on himself, yet he safeguards the space because he knows that he was not randomly placed into power. He exercised power with the logistics of his experiences.

The Emperor can either be a positive force, or a formidable foe. He emulates authority, an energy that I sometimes struggle with. When he comes for me, I can hear his voice calling me to see my surroundings, and reminds that my mind is precise. It is a stronger weapon than I know, yet I carry it always. I have learned that through this card, the trust is being placed on me to wield my mental power. It alone has already helped to this precious space that I hold.

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In the light, the Emperor shows us that reason and logic allow for the bigger picture to be palpable. The experiences of the world are a test. Conquering each one is a victory, and proof that we are in control of our own destinies. Our lives do not happen to, or in spite of us. Our lives happen through us, by us, and because of us. Our choices, when made with reason and intent, unfold the world like a desert flower. Despite of the conditions, we can bloom into favor and good fortune.

In the shadow, he forces us to place an uncomfortable distance with our emotions. Emotions are not logical. They are not meant to be. One of the beautiful, but harsh truths about being human is that we are messy creatures, prone to fear and doubt. But our emotions allow us another way to cope with this imperfect place. To find meaning despite a shitty circumstance is poetic; it is a testament that our emotions lead us beyond our spaces. The Emperor doesn’t leave a lot of room for that. He, instead, requires a removal of this process. This has its benefits, but it is not easy.

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For this week, seek to find how you can lead your life with authority. Things are attainable if you apply your force of will. You will need to find the balance, and not over exert yourself. The Emperor did not claim his throne by always exerting his will. He knew when and where to do it. The political backlash of the United States, and treasonous Trump, shows just what can happen when one leads power-drunk. For this week, seek a logical and reasonable balance. Do not lay blame towards others. Hold yourself accountable. Good things come when the fire of the mind takes its grip.

**Thank you for reading. Please comment about how the Emperor affects you. He can be a hard one to come to terms with. Please hit follow if you would like more. I would love to have you as part of my tribe. If you would like a personal tarot reading email me at teaandtombstones@gmail.com**

Tarot card is from The Wild Unknown tarot deck. Click here to go the website for this deck, and the whole collection from The Wild Unknown. (This is not an affiliate link)