Friday Favorites 4/24/2020

Ostara Tarot by Molly Applejohn , Eden Cooke, Krista Gibbard & Julia Iredale

Of all the Tarot decks I own and have used, this one is quite unique.
I had never seen a deck that was a collaboration piece and the moment I laid hands on this deck I KNEW I had to have it.

Each artist has chosen a suit to illustrate in their own style and has done so in stunning detail. It’s amazing how different each set is yet how seamlessly they have allowed the deck to flow together by collaborating on the major arcana.

The deck comes in a gorgeous mint green box with a book included.
The cards are a respectable size with silver gilded sides that make this set even more exquisite.

Final thoughts

This deck is sturdy, absolutely beautiful, the book that is included makes it easy for the most novice of Tarot readers to use and did I mention how absolutely stunning the artwork is?
Honestly, if you don’t already own this deck, I highly recommend adding it to your collection!

Loose Labels

When does one get to call themselves ‘a Witch’?
What about ‘Pagan’? What does it take to be these things? Who gets to decide?
I don’t think it matters.

Something I personally feel that needs work in the Pagan Community is how quick some of us are to label someone else, then immediately tell another that they ‘don’t deserve’ their title.
Does it affect your practice?
Are they hurting anyone?
Then who gives a shit.
If someone has done the work, put in the time, effort, and honestly feels like they are ‘a Witch’ then they’re a Witch. It is not anyone else’s place to tell them they aren’t.
My Craft is different than yours, and much different from the next persons, so who’s right? Who’s the real Witch?
The Woman who has read everything she can, keeps a house full of beautiful plants, worships Goddess and works from an elaborate Altar, she’s a Witch.
The boy who hides his stones in plain sight from his parents, who has friends check out books for him at the local library and obediently bows his head silently for the Blessing at Dinner, he’s a Witch.
The Man who fights every day to beat his addiction, who carries Amethyst in his pocket and does a new Moon cleansing each month to rid himself of the temptation of his addiction, he’s a Witch.
The Mother who shows her children which herbs soothe tummy aches, who sages the room before bed to git rid of ‘the monsters’ so her little ones sleep peacefully, who lovingly takes spiders outside rather than squash them because every soul has purpose, she’s a Witch.
We’re all a part of something bigger than ourselves. This Family we’re all a part of is so beautiful, so amazing, so sacred, and it’s really time we start acting like it.

April Showers

“April showers bring May flowers”… unless you get hit with a gnarly storm that almost wipes out your entire crop… It almost happened to us yesterday.
Much like any time a Spring storm rolls through here in Alabama, we had our eye on the sky incase it got bad. If you’re not familiar with weather trends in our lovely area, let me give you a run down.
Here in the south we have a few more ‘seasons’ than most.

I’d say “It’s funny because it’s true!” but it’s actually terrifying.

Our area was hit 3/3/2019 by an absolutely horrific tornado that killed over 23 victims and as someone who volunteered at the hospital to sit with families in the wake of that storm, that day will forever haunt me.

Yesterday we got hit with an insane amount of rain, there was tornado warning in effect, barn cats hunkered down on the porch, dog refusing to go out to go potty because she’s spoiled rotten and can’t possibly imagine getting her paws wet. I heard the chickens making a racket and peeked out of the kitchen window. That’s when I realized my entire yard was under water.
Here on the farm we have three huge pastures out in the ‘back’ of our property, one large raised bed garden right outside of our front door, a huge garden between our house and my Parents’ house and then MANY raised beds on their side of the property (Nana has really showed out this year!). So when I suddenly realized that my raised beds were spilling over because of all the sudden rain fall, I panicked.
I threw on my boots and ran out into what was quite possibly the most standing water I’ve ever experienced on the farm and that’s saying something considering most of my 28 years has been spent here.
Water almost up to my calves, I started digging out all the mulch and trying to figure out a way to drain this area of the yard in order to save all our peppers and tomatoes.
Orion is a wonderful barn cat. Fluffy as can be and quite possibly the most affectionate cat I’ve ever met, but he isn’t that smart.

Now don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t ask for a better cat. He’s loving, devoted and very inquisitive but that’s what always gets him into trouble. If anyone is working out in the pastures, he’s right by their side. He will follow any of us anywhere. One time when he was a kitten he actually followed me into the chicken coop and got attacked by a very upset hen! Thankfully he doesn’t go near the chickens anymore.
For whatever reason yesterday though, Orion decided I needed assistance and tried to come out into the fast flowing river that was now our yard and immediately regretted his decision. I had to catch the poor yowling and wide eyed little guy with a rake. *facepalm*
He’s fine, has recovered from his brush with death and has probably already forgotten about the whole ordeal. I managed to drain the yard after about 30 mintues of digging and hopefully the plants will recover.

The point of all this is, here on the farm, we get no days off.
Sick, tired, terrible weather, it doesn’t matter. There’s work to do here every single day and just when you think you can relax, something goes awry. April Showers can bring May flowers, but they can also wash away everything you worked for.

That goes for all of us no matter our situation.

Don’t get complacent and think that everything is fine and doesn’t require upkeep. Take care of the things you love, the relationships you’ve nurtured, the seeds you’ve planted, or you won’t experience the blooms later.

New Moon Ritual; April 2020

The New Moon or ‘Dark Moon’ in Taurus brings us energies of new starts, a time for things to begin again with a fresh slate and manifest new ideas and relationships with real substance.
In order for us to start anew, we must clear away negative and stagnant energies of the past cycle.
This ritual will walk you through cleansing and opening yourself up for positive change in our new season.

Gather Materials and Prepare your space

You will need:
Sage/Palo Santo or other cleansing herb of choice
White candle
Plate / dish with some water to extinguish paper

The Ritual

Start by gathering all of your needed materials and preparing your space. Place all the materials in front of you.

Once you have found somewhere quiet to sit with all your materials, smudge yourself and your space with your Palo Santo, Sage or whatever herb you prefer.

My go-to cleansing chant is “May light and love fill this space, and the hearts and minds of all those who enter here. Negative energy is not welcome.”

Set aside your smudging herbs and light the white candle.
As you do so, focus on your intention for the ritual: To cleanse yourself of the past energies and make room for the new.

Look into the flame and say aloud “I release all that no longer serves me” and let those emotions flow. Think of all the things you’re currently holding on to that no longer serve your Higher Self.
This process can be emotional and it’s important to allow those feelings to surface and be addressed in order for the process to work.
Let these things go, continue to say “I release all that no longer serves me” until you feel that you have released all these negative energies and feelings.

Tear your paper into a small piece and write down what you plan to accomplish this lunar cycle. (A whole sheet of paper will be a FIRE HAZARD)
These intentions can be as simple as “I will clean out my closet this week” or as important as “I will learn to love myself”

Hold your paper with your intention over the water dish, close your eyes and say aloud your intention, really feel it rise in you and commit yourself to the intent.

Light the paper on fire with the lighter or matches, imagine your intention rising to the Universe in the smoke that comes from it, and drop it in the dish to extinguish the flame.

Once you have completed these steps, take a few moments to reflect on the process and how you feel now that it is over. When you are ready, thank the Universe, blow out the candle and rise.

New Moon April 2020

Buckle up everyone, we’re in for one hell of a ride!
The New Moon (April 22 2020) is not only in the Sign Taurus, but conjunct with Uranus which means we are in for unexpected changes, excitement, rebellion and loss.
Great right? *crickets chirp* Yeah I know.
Given the current political climate and total shutdown of the planet thanks to Covid19, I think it’s safe to assume that this isn’t going to be a fun ride. The good news is we can remain safe at home, or take extra precautions to ensure we’re safe when we can’t be home. It’s also a good time to work on being better grounded and secure in our spirituality and mental state. Family and other close relationships will help keep us on the right path during these trying times, so reach out to those you care about. We all need to work together now more than ever.
The most important thing you can do during this phase is to work on personal goals in realistic ways and reevaluate your relationship with money and physical pleasures. Find Joy in the simplicity of life!

What can you do to make the most out of this shift and maximize your growth during this time?

  • Do a New Moon Ritual to manifest great things for this cycle.
    If you’re unfamiliar with how to do one I will be creating a seperate post walking you through the process soon!

  • Let go of what no longer serves you.
    I always recommend doing this at every New Moon because it helps to give us closure to things we no longer wish to carry with us into the next chapter. Stagnant energies, grudges and weights on our shoulders don’t serve us any purpose being carried on through life and it’s healthy and necessary to let these things go.

  • Light a candle and set an intention.
    This seems so little and insignificant but I promise it can bring real change to your life. Sitting and reflecting on your intention for the new cycle allows you to focus our energy on creating something positive.
    When you do this, light the candle and ask The Universe, or God(s) & Goddess(es) to shine light on you during this New Moon and illuminate the path forward to your intention.

Remember that we’re all in this together. We will move forward stronger, more intune with our Higher Selves and on to greater things!
Take care of yourself. Relax and try to find peace in your everyday.
Light and Love to you,
Mother Moon

When the Balefire burns out

My home has been The Covenstead (gathering place for a Coven) for over two years. We have had more people in and out of my doors, more plates of food shared, more laughter and more earth shattering moments of acceptance and healing on my patch of the Farm than I can confidently count… and now it’s still. No buzzing Witches popping in with arms full of wine and crockpots full of buffalo dip (Skye, I miss you dearly… and I really REALLY miss your buffalo dip). No shuffling of chairs so we can all scoot close together and laugh deeply on the porch after eating our huge buffet that covers both table and counter space of my kitchen. No Coven husbands gathering firewood while our kids squeal and play in the grass by the chicken coop. There’s no Balefire in the firepit to light the night sky and carry our worries away with it’s ashes drifting through the sky like shooting stars. Silent are the woods that surround our Sacred Circle, no candles lit to guide our way through the leaf covered darkness to our meeting place where we share our most profound moments, our deepest magicks bursting forward to dance in the candle light; and for this, I weep.

Sacred Space In Scary Times

Quarantine Day 34, well at least for my house.
It may be different where you are. You may have started Quarantine earlier because you live in a more populated area, you may have started later because you’re an essential worker or maybe your job didn’t take the threat serious enough and gambled their employees health over profits (yes, I’m looking at you Hobby Lobby). Whatever your current status is, one thing is certainly the same for all of us… Shit is scary.
I’ll be the first one to admit I didn’t think I would ever see the ENTIRE PLANET at a total standstill and it’s frightening. We don’t know what the future holds, we don’t know when this will be over and when we can get back to ‘normal’. We don’t even know what the new normal will look like, but what we do know is that we’re worried, bored out of our minds and nearly out of things to watch on Netflix. So I say we take some time to create a space for ourselves to recenter, gather our thoughts and focus on the things we are thankful for. Trust me, you’ll feel a lot better.

  • Find somewhere quiet to sit or lie down
  • Close your eyes and place your arms by your sides, palms facing up.
  • Take several deep breaths in and out, as you do so focus on relaxing your body starting at your head and working down to your toes.
    Inhale deeply, relax the muscles in your face
    Exhale deeply
    Inhale deeply, relax the muscles in your jaw
    Exhale deeply
    Inhale deeply, relax the muscles in your shoulders…
    and so on until your entire body is completely relaxed.
  • Now that you are relaxed physically, relax your mind.
    Continue your steady deep breaths.
    Let go of all of your anxious energy and worries, imagine them leaving your body with each deep exhale.
  • Your body is relaxed and your mind is clear of all negative energies, so now is the time to fill them back up with positive intention.
  • As you draw in each deep inhale, think of something you are thankful for, let it fill you with its warmth and exhale gratitude.
  • Continue to fill yourself with 10 good things, or until you are ready to slowly open your eyes.
  • Now stand, stretch, and say ‘Thank You’ to YOURSELF for allowing the time in your day for self care.

It’s important to take care of our physical, mental and spiritual health and I’m so thankful that you took the time today to do a little self care!
Try doing this at least once a week, you can even pair it with some soft music, a nice cup of tea (or wine, no judgement here) and make this your own special time of reflection and Sacred Space, you deserve it.

May your days be Blessed & full of light and love,
Mother Moon