Mother of Cups in the Dark

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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?

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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

November cards: Dragonfly and the Mother of Cups

Dearest 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.

Dragonfly and the Mother of Cups

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.

Free stock photo of nature, blue, eyes, grass

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.

Swan on Body of Water

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!**

How to Work with Justice When We Feel it isn’t Serving Us

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We knew the Justice card would be hard. We knew this wouldn’t be an easy month. Justice is something that when it doesn’t come, can hit you across the palpitating heart. This month, I am not going to lie, it seemed to keep coming. At first, my instincts were to dig in harder, to learn more and know more so I could more in the search for Justice, and being an ally for those who need it most. I thought that through my good intentions of constantly seeking the truth of what was going, I could be better prepared.

That is not what happened……

I became overwhelmed by everything that was going on. The news was enough to make turn my good intentions into stone. I couldn’t carry all the emotions that I felt around these injustices. So I pulled back. I set boundaries. I created timelines of when I would have the TV on, and when I would enjoy a stupid funny movie. I needed this boundary because for a few days I was so inundated with horrific headlines that I forgot to laugh.

Justice is something that will push us to the limits. We need to act and search for the things in this world that will balance the corruption, the hatred, the violence. We need to use our words to say clearly where we wish to see Justice manifest. With the midterms coming up, this is another way to actively seek what we see is fair settlement for ourselves and others.

There are a lot of things to be positive about. I do not want to say that tumultuous times purge all the beauty in this world. There is still much to be grateful for, and much to love. But Justice is a balancing act, and I am not going to lie, today was a hard one. The new shooting in Pittsburgh, the bombs sent in the mail, it all felt like “Here we go again.” And then I read the news that two wolves were killed in Washington State.

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Wolves are killed everywhere. I know this. I can’t always read it because it hurts, but I know it happens. Today I just spilled over in emotion. I cried hard. Harder than I have in probably a year. It was just too much. I kept thinking this is unfair for everyone. This is unfair. The shadow of Justice was coming in, and I didn’t know how to handle it. So I sat with it. I kept sitting with the pain of everything going on. I finally realized that no matter how bad the news gets, no matter how much I want to give in, I need to keep speaking about the causes I am invested in.

So if you are working with Justice, and you feel the way I do, here are some things to do to work with Justice when it doesn’t feel it is working with us. These are things that have worked for me. If something else works for you great! Share it. I would love to know how others work with this card when it feels it isn’t working with us:

1.) Create boundaries. No one can hold all of their pain and rage all the time. Be informed. Learn. But take time to laugh, to find happiness. Take breaks. It is okay to do so.

2.) Sit with the emotions. What do they have to say. If we suppress our pain when something bad happens, when something is unjust happens, we also suppress our empathy and desire to see things done right for all.

3.) Use what resources or words you can, when you can. We are all in this together, and I hope that we can all share the load towards love and inclusion.

4.) Keep believing. Empathy and love are not always going to win the battle, but I believe in my bones that it will win the war. Fighting for Justice is not always an act of love. Sometimes, it is an act of pain and heartbreak to still be fighting for equality in many topics. But, if no one fights for Justice, it won’t happen.

**Thank you for reading. I hope this small blog helps in creating ways to work with Justice, even when it feels like a mountain. It is a hard month, but I would rather feel the pain and the love than apathy and detachment any day of the week. Much love to you. Stay wild wolflings!!** #alwayshowling

Duality Cards: Justice and The Empress

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There are some cards in the tarot that seem to foster a good kinship with each other, however unlikely they may seem to fit. Others are antagonists of each other, representing energies that conflict the core essence of either card as an individual message. Both are important, and both need to be expanded upon. It should also be stated, that one card can have multiple benefactor cards.

One such alliance I see in relation to the Justice card is the Empress. I think that the message of the Empress can help show the sweetness of the fruit born from Justice. Justice, as we have mentioned, is a card about mental clarity to follow the truth. The Justice card seen here (from the Ostara Tarot) shows Justice as blind, unaided in the potential distractions and biases that naturally exist in this world.

However, what starts out as a quest for Justice, for the fair and right course of punishment or action, can quickly become a search for vengeance. When one person or creature is wronged, there are those who are quick to say that the same should be done to the offender. I am not here to argue that this point in and of itself is meaningless, but I do think that it should stated that vengeance is not justice. Vengeance attaches an emotion of revenge or rage to an action. This does not apply to self-defense. Self-defense is in a whole other category. These messages are bigger picture and do not apply to immediate physical or bodily threats of harm. 

Justice is not always an easy fight. Read any history book to see how justice came to many groups of people way to late. I was recently watching the movie 42. This movie is about Jackie Robinson, and the racism he faced as he became the first black man to play in professional baseball. This movie is a beautiful story, but one scene spoke to me in particular. One white player went to Branch Rickie, nervous and concerned from a death threat he had received by small-minded bigots. Branch, unconcerned with this player’s fear, showed him a whole file of death threats sent for Robinson. He said that all this hatred was actually promoting empathy for Robinson.

Obviously, segregation in itself is unjust, but the unintended consequence from many peoples’ hatred was an ability to see how wrong it was. Empathy goes a long way. That is why I chose the Empress today. There are other cards that could be paired with Justice, and have great messages to give. But empathy, led by an unconditional duty to promote understanding and truth, can keep justice away from vengeance. Vengeance and revenge do not promote a higher integrity even though they are natural feelings. It is natural to be angry at the wrong-doings of others. It is natural to wish at times that others felt the pain we feel. But empathy opens a door that revenge cannot close.

We do not have to agree with others to show them compassion or empathy. We do not have to believe all the same things in order to break bread with another person. We can be empathetic towards people who are different. But if that other person promotes violence, speaks with racist or misogynistic words, or condemns others as inferior we can use justice to fight for correct actions to remove these people from power, the podium, or our communities. It goes both ways. We do not have to listen to someone spewing hate, but we do not have to respond with hate either.

9 of Cups

9 of Cups and the Bear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Much love,

Ashlie

August Tarot Card: 2 of Swords

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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!

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!

 

 

Card Profile: The High Priestess

 

Card 2 – The High Priestess

Perhaps one of the most mysterious cards, the High Priestess here is depicted as a white tiger (which is meant to denote a rarity because they are hardly seen in nature. The white tiger is seen as a high status commodity in the private and public eye due to the Captive Wildlife Crisis but I digress….). She sits in the darkness of night, with a crescent moon in the background. In between her paws is a crystal ball, an illumination of the veil between the worlds. She is in a state of BE-ing, and it acts to radiate her light outward, reaching up to the Moon. Both entities promise a bringing forth, and new creation.

Although the elemental nature of the High Priestess is highly feminine, it can be hard to describe in physical language what her nature is. This is because the High Priestess is extremely internal. She is constantly sensing, observing, and feeling. She harnesses everything around her without judgement, because there is always something to learn, to understand, or to use as a form of growth. To and through the High Priestess, everything is sacred. Everything serves a role. Even the bad, the minuscule, or misunderstood. When one of these elements surfaces in our lives, it is the High Priestess who urges us to go deeper, to not be afraid, and to comfort in our sacred selves within the good, the bad, the ugly. When we can find the sacred in these forms, we find more sacredness in our very bones.

Intuition is the vein that taps into the pay-dirt of this card. Intuition is something we are all given, which strengthens the notion that we and everything are sacred. Intuition is the ability to understand something, without having the physical proof, or need for proof. Intuition is the pull on us when something or someone is not as they seem. Intuition is the voice that urges us to do or act on something because it feels right. The High Priestess is the embodiment of this gift because there is a sense of ownership with her. She is not relying on the crystal ball, the cosmos, or the veil to channel her ability of understanding. Those messages are, and have always been there. But because she is able to harness those messages uniquely to her through intuition, she is equipped to utilize both the messages and the tools.

As mentioned, all of us have intuition. We all have the ability to go deeper into the shadows. She did not just attain this ability, and that is not what is portrayed when this card is pulled. The use of practice, process, or ritual is paramount with this card and her energy. Because the High Priestess is in the balance between internal recognition and external sources, it takes times to really go deep. One does not sit down for one meditation and suddenly become enlightened. It takes practice, process, or ritual to really start building the links between the internal and the external.

As beautiful, rare, or exotic the High Priestess looks, she is not portrayed in a world of glitz, fortune, or fame. Everything in her energy is very subtle. Her rarity comes from the fact that she can alter the energy around her. She can take in messages from the Universe and write her narrative of intention. She is present for the energy of the Universe. This is her presence. She is present. She is sensing the the subtle fingers of all the creatures that share this globe. She is creating a river of energy from the messages around her. Her intuition guides her forward.

How does your intuition guide you? When you have you stopped for a few moments and just held your form? Do you remember the sound of trees, the smell of Earth, the light of the Moon? Take time to connect deep into the skeleton of your sacred self, and into the skeleton of the Earth. The High Priestess reminds us that everything is a river that flows into the ocean of our mind.

 

**Tarot card pictured is from The Wild Unknown deck, and can be found at www.thewildunknown.com. This is not an affiliate link**

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!