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.
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!
When does one get to call themselves ‘a Witch’? What about ‘Pagan’? What does it take to be these things? Who gets to decide? You? Me? ‘Them’? 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.
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 Paper Pen/pencil White candle Lighter/matches Plate / dish with some water to extinguish paper
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.
I have always believed in The Old Gods. For as long as I can remember I have known that Paganism (although not knowing it had a name) was my Faith. My tender childhood days were spent talking to the trees, making little houses for fairies, braiding dandelion crowns and pretending Dragons lived in my backyard. At some point in my youth I recognized the difference between my mythical ‘friends’ and the overwhelming feminine power that had woken within me.
I have practiced Witchcraft in some capacity for as long as I can remember and I am so very blessed to have been raised in a family where this wasn’t cause for alarm or anger. My parent’s have always been very aware of the fact that I was cut from a different cloth than most, and when you factor in that my Grandmother is also a Witch…well… let’s just say nobody was surprised when my sister and I started our own little ‘coven’ at the grand old age of 5 & 7. I continued my practice into adulthood and more or less focused on The Craft and not so much on my Faith, not for any particular reason really, just that my Craft was enough for me at the time and I didn’t feel especially connected to any Gods or Goddesses. Then in 2017 I hit my lowest point in life and everything I knew got turned completely inside out. I had to walk away from a situation that was no longer safe for my children or myself, giving up my home, stability and everything I had spent the last 5 years of my sobriety building.
That’s when Goddess found me.
Alone, broken, empty and lost, Hekate reached out to me. Goddess of the Crossroads, Torch Bearer, Light Bringer, World Soul, Keeper of Keys, Goddess of the Sky, Sea and Earth, Mother of Witches The Many Faced One she found me and she saved me
For three years I have honoured her and have received so many amazing blessings. I have thanked her for all that I have been given, and asked her to lead me through the difficult times. Our Great Mother has always listened, always showed her face to me in my time of need, and always taken what I have freely offered. In our home we have two main Altars, one for the home, decorated according to lunar phase, ritual needed, season or Sabbat. The other is Hekate’s.
She is not the type of Deity who softly nudges you back on track, anyone who works with her can attest to this. She sees our Souls, tends to the fires that burn within us to bring forth great and amazing things, the same way she will snuff that flame out if you don’t do the right thing. Much like any other Mother, she loves fiercely and expects you to act like you have some sense. She is a Healer as much as she is a Destroyer and to call upon her in half measure is never recommended. It pleases me to see that Hekate has received more attention lately, be it in Movies (If you haven’t seen the Hekate scene in Season 3 of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, google it right now, it moved me to tears) or within the Pagan Community, she has had a sudden resurgence and I know that it’s only getting started. Goddess, in all her terrifying glory is awake and she is here. Her Witches hear her call, we bask in her golden light and know that we are sacred. We have joined together in prayer, in love and in trust to heal those with broken hearts, ease the suffering of those less fortunate, and raise up anyone who will take Her hand. She is here. She always has been and she always will be.
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.