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Book review: The Heart of Wicca by Ellen Cannon Reed

I intend to start posting more reviews on my platform: reviews of books, decks (a rare post as I am not a deck collector, but I do still buy the decks that really speak to me), podcasts, music, and more. If you have anything that you would like for me to review, comment below! My first review is going to be on a book that I just finished, The Heart of Wicca: Wise Words from a Crone on the Path by Ellen Cannon Reed.

I would first like to start by saying that I am not a Wiccan, and there may be themes or topics in this book that are over my head or beyond my comprehension because I do not subscribe to the path. I would also like to state that if I write something about this book, or about Wicca in general that is negative or a critique, I am not saying that you are wrong if you are Wiccan, love this book, or anything like that. This is simply a post coming from my personal insight and honesty as a new reader to this book, and these topics.

I picked this book up at a local store some time ago. As much as I know that I will ever become a Wiccan, I do want to learn and understand more about different religions and methodologies, Wicca included. That being said, I did not like this book. I found the tone to be off-putting, condescending, and elitist. The following paragraphs describe specifically what I did and did not like about this book, and why I only gave it a 1 out 5 stars on Goodreads.

First, the book is only 127 pages, which alone is not a problem. What irked me was those 127 pages read like a big condescending rant. The book is title The Heart of Wicca: Wise Words from a Crone on the Path, so I thought that this book was going to discuss some things that are paramount to the Wicca pantheon. Some of this was discussed, but not in any satisfying depth, which is not only disappointing, it is contradictory to the first paragraph. Reed states that other books often only skim the surface of Wicca, which is exactly what I thought of this book. (Reed 1)

One of the first things about this book that put me off was the constant contradiction. Reed would constantly state how other covens, or “new” Wiccans are doing things that irritate her, and then give one small sentence how her covens are not the only ones who do things right. I get the book is from her perspective and will obviously include her opinion, but it got a little tiring to read. From what I could find about the author, she walked this path for a long time before her passing, undoubtedly had a lot of wisdom about the path, and had seen how the path has morphed over time. From what I have heard from others who practice Wicca (how in depth, I do not know), the path is much more formulaic than others it seems. There are certain ways to do things, and ways to not do things. I do not have a problem with traditions, or Wiccans who use tradition in their magick or rituals. It simply read to me that those who don’t hold as much to tradition are doing it wrong, which I disagree with completely.

I was also not aware of how cutthroat the initiation process can be to get into a coven. Reed heavily emphasized that students who wished to be initiated into one of her two covens had to participate for a full year in rituals and traditions, and even then their initiation was not guaranteed. The coven goes off of gut feeling if a person will become an initiate into their coven. I am not saying this is right or wrong. I am simply saying that I did not realize that some covens were so selective. I can see the purpose, but all that did was emphasize why I have never been inclined to join a coven. I am a solitary witch anyway, but I feel like showing up should be organic and honest, a true statement of when and where they can be of service (which no human can always be of service 100% of the time). It should not be for mere attendance.

Again, I see the purpose of wanting a coven to be at its strongest. I can see why coven needs to be more than a social gathering. I can see why covens need to have a certain vulnerability to work through difficulties. Group magick won’t be as effective if some members are holding onto to old gripes, either petty or truly valid. However, I simply could not fathom being accepted or rejected from something I had invested my heart and time into based upon someone’s feeling about me. I also feel that accepting or rejecting someone based on gut feelings leaves room for human error and bias. I find it ironic that during much of the text, Reed makes it clearly known that both students and teachers will at times falter or stumble, as they are human. But, when it comes to the intimate process of bringing in a new and willing participant into the coven, that is left solely to gut feelings and bias.

Maybe that is just me…….

I also feel that people who say a coven always and immediately has stronger magic than a solitary practitioner are honestly just trying to recruit. As a solitary witch, I feel I enter a deeply intimate and magickal experience when I stand in my circle, my guides and the universe the only ones to witness me. I feel free and capable and empowered and deeply loved. No coven, no matter how established, can take that away from me. Reed did say that with the rise in popularity, there is no way that every single Wiccan could join a coven because there are not enough teachers to fulfill the needs of each new practitioner. With how cutthroat the initiation process is, I can see why……

The final point I want to make about snobbish and elitist mentalities come in the chapter about initiation, a chapter I find ripe with contradiction and looking down the proverbial nose on those who don’t follow the same path. Reed states there are two types of initiations: the one that comes from the coven, and the one that comes from spirit. The one that comes from spirit cannot come from a human, or from the self. It can only come from the Gods and Goddesses unveiling the mysteries to you in a process. Putting aside the fact that I disagree with that, I want to focus more on what Reed states about coven initiations. She makes the point that college degrees have fallen in strength, no longer holding the same weight as before, and that she does not want that to happen to her initiates. While I understand her wish for nothing but the best from her initiates, what I took from that is her saying that her coven members are more deserving of the magickal path, and stronger in their magickal creeds. This is simply not true. Credentials are great, but they don’t mean that someone is stronger, more pure of heart, or more deserving of the magickal path than a solitary witch, non-Wiccan witch, or anyone who isn’t in her coven. (Reed 58)

Okay, now on to some things that I agreed with Reed on: working with deities, and certain aspects of training and studying. In working with deities, I agree with her that it is important to treat it like any other relationship. It is not polite to call in a deity simply because you heard a friend or colleague say they did it. It isn’t polite to call them in to fulfill a need without doing some basic research or creating some respectful energy. Some deities will be lifelong influences. Other may be some that you work with on specific occasions. I don’t see a problem with any of that, as long as you approach the relationship with respect, and a willingness to engage in the process with this deity. Take time to read about them, visualize them, give an offering to them, or connect with them before simply asking for things.

I also agree that spiritual work does not, and should not, equal easy. Spiritual bypassing and a refusal to confront the shadow self in the end does more damage, and weakens the spiritual path. There is no race towards the other side of the darkness. There is no hierarchy for who has gone farther, confronted more, or overcome more. Please don’t feel like you taking the time you need to confront the difficult means your spiritual is lesser. In fact, you are doing what others refuse to do. I personally feel that we see this way to much with positivity culture. We need to be willing to share our hurt and pain and fear and dread. Those are just as valuable of spiritual teachers as any mentor or positive moment. I also agree with her that spells are a small section of a big umbrella called magick. I also agree that spell casting should be done wisely, and without vengeance in the heart.

Overall, this book did not pass the mustard for me, which I think I have made clear. Even Reed herself acknowledges on page 127 that the views of her and like-minded individuals may be seen as snobbish, old-fashioned, and elitist. Snobbish and elitist, yes. Old-fashioned, no. I actually wished that her book contained more of her “old-fashioned” views and tenets. I wish that she went more into specifics, and spent less time putting down anyone new to the path, or anyone who may stray from her opinion of how things should be done.

Reed, Ellen Cannon.Β Heart of Wicca: Wise Words from a Crone on the Path. Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC, 2000.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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!**

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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.

wolf

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

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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.Β 

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.

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October Cards: The Fire Ant and Justice

 

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Dearest Wolflings,

We traverse now into some extreme territory, extreme energies, and extreme potentials that could shift the ground. Extreme does not necessarily mean bad, but they do require some intense energy on our part to keep true.Β The two cards this month are the Fire Ant, and Justice. Let’s get into these cards so we can make October one that honors our higher soul selves.

**I would like to mention here that if honoring your higher soul self is simply getting out of bed, making the coffee, or getting out the door, that is honor. Honoring your higher soul self is doing what you need right now, despite where you are. That is enough wolfling**

The Fire Ant is obviously in the element of fire, and the Fire Ant exists at the base of the elemental pyramid. They represent the smallest amount of consciousness because their main goal is only to follow orders. It makes me think of the movie A BUG’S LIFE. At the beginning the ants are carrying foods towards the rock to give to the grasshoppers. They are at the base of a big tree, and a leaf shakes loose and falls to the ground, blocking the line that the ants follow. An ant freaks out, declaring that he is lost, and cannot find the line. When another ant suggests that they go around the leaf, he says that they cannot do that. They must follow the line.

The ant eventually gives in, but this rigid belief system in order above all else means that little is left for contemplation or discovery. Fire Ants are incredibly thoughtful because they are sensitive and serve the colony, but when triggered they move into mob mentality. Mob Mentality is incredibly dangerous. We need to be able to sense for ourselves what is right, fair, or realistic. It is hard in this time to not get tribal. It is hard to not simply take sides, and we will eventually take sides when we step into the Justice card. But we need to make that choice based on our individual quest for soul evolution and soul honoring, and not based on what those close to us say.

For October, use the sensitive and thoughtful nature of the Fire Ant to sense and feel the warm of others, or the burning of others from opposition or oppression. Use this sensitivity to fuse yourself into life for the greater good and balance of the world.

The Justice card is (in my opinion) one of the hardest cards in the Major Arcana. Yes, even more the Tower. This is because Justice is constantly thought to be a search or a quest for balance. It is this to some extent, but this card is more than just seeking what is right or fair. This card is about how we as stewards for the Earth, the animals, and each other can seek balance and fair settlement even though we as humans are so incredibly flawed. We are messy, and are often outside of the spiritual ecosystem that will feed us, but we must continue to weigh what is fair and true based on our sensitivity that does ebb and flow.

We also must learn and work with the ebbing and flowing of the world. Justice of what is right and fair means that we must often accept loss and heartbreak for the ultimate balance of the cycle. Some people are roaming this earth, enjoying all the nourishment when they do not deserve that freedom. Some people have had every form of loss or opposition thrown at them, despite their good character. Justice is a life-long pursuit towards the empowering rationale of reality and public force and service.

**I will spend the next month pulling images, stories, lyrics, art, and anything that reminds me of these cards. If you think of anything, please share. These cards manifest in so many different ways for people. **

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The Bear: New Spiritual Awakening

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The Bear is the first animal in the Earth element. The Bear represents awakening from a deep slumber, arising from a deep chasm into the light. Once the Bear walks out of the depths of darkness and into the fragrant air, a new spiritual opportunity awaits. There is for us, if we dare to think and belief so, a chance for new breath, new nourishment, new cleansing from the streams, new sounds of the trees to vibrate within us. When the Bear walks out into the warm light of Spring, everything can begin again.

The energy of the Bear is slow. They are shaking off months of darkness and spiritual repression. They have cut themselves off from experiencing winter, and instead tuck themselves into the wombs of the Earth to drift into the polarizing world of the subconscious and creature comforts. In this space there is no higher calling. There is no call to action, or need of something to be done. In this space, there is only the immediate needs.

If you feel that you are worn out, unable to follow through on your spiritual path, perhaps seek the energy of the Bear. Remember that it is okay to step into spiritual darkness for a time to rebirth your divine center in time. We are always spiritual beings, but we do not always have to be acting through spirit or engaging with spirit to be wholesome. It is okay to place a dark distance between the future and the spirit. It is okay to step into the body and fulfill creature comforts. It is okay to not produce anything of spiritual substance for a time.

The key is to be mindful of when these changes occur. The Bear does not need to be told when to awaken for spring. The Bear does not need to be told to hibernate through the Winter. The Bear does so through the ancient line of instinctual knowing. We have the same blood in us. Know when to start and begin with Bear energy. When the presence of new growth and spiritual highs are invigorating you to the bone, it is time to step into the light, and begin again.

Be mindful that the body and the spirit are intertwined, but can move at different paces. The divine center in you may be rushing to reach the drinking water, to taste the sweetness of berries again, or to see the sparkle of fish. Do not overwhelm yourself, or place a burden on your spirit. Come back into the body and into your space through movement and intention. Intentionally push yourself a little more each day. Intentionally write down your goals and validate why you can absolutely achieve them. Intentionally move things out that do not serve you. Breathe. Begin again and again.

 

Much love to you wolfling! Stay wild.

 

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9 of Cups

9 of Cups and the Bear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Much love,

Ashlie

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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!