Nourishing Hope

Art, astrology, Events, Mundane Magic, Services, Tarot

Well… we’re in it, folx. We have speculated, wondered, had concerns, prophesied, read the theories and waited for THE event that would begin The Unraveling of structures and societies as a whole: but now it’s here.

We have already endured so much trauma: continents on fire, unarmed citizens of color being murdered in the streets by police, super-storms destroying entire islands, the election of a sociopathic rapist in a prime leadership role, countless wars, multiple economic travesties, immigrant children being locked in cages and more. Being alive has felt bleak for so long.

However, we are now enduring the fall out of a very contagious disease that threatens every single human on this planet. This is the moment where we look back and say to ourselves “that’s when everything really fell apart.”

Image: 9 of Swords tarot card with rolls of toilet paper

I know it’s a lot. I know we’ve all been inside for too long: nervously coping as best we can. I have found myself sitting a lot, packing my guts with sugar to get myself through this mass-trauma. I stay as informed as I’m able and open my heart just as often. It. Is. Rough. Right. Now. And the future? After I stop wearing slippers more than shoes and (hopefully) get back to work after being laid off? It’s taken two months of being quarantined to my home to even begin considering what the next month, three months, year and even few years might look like after Covid-19.

Right now, I’m grateful for the ability to detach enough from my chronic fight-flight-freeze-fold responses to look to the astrology of our situation: checking in with the stars and cycles of things. I wish I could say that this is the worst of it… That we’ll just have to make sure to wear a mask in public places, wash our hands more than we’re used to and get on with living like we aren’t confined to our homes. But this is the beginning of a mass-transition of power, ideals, community-living, and sustainability that is coming in a rough package.

Image: Judgement tarot card among outdoor debris next to a human skull wearing a mask

One of the current transits that I have been thinking about lately is the shift of the Nodes from Cancer and Capricorn to Gemini and Sagittarius. If you aren’t familiar with the Lunar Nodes of astrology, I like to think of them as our collective invitation to evolve based on poles of archetypal energy. These are the arenas of life that are ripe and ready for us to change: and if we really dive into the signs of the zodiac, we find that the way to remedy these situations is almost laughably obvious. Like caricatures that emphasize what we love and hate about ourselves, the South Node (our collective baggage) and North Node (how we can heal this baggage, together) are key to growing as human beings on earth at this time.

We have been experiencing the karma of Capricorn/Cancer nodes since November 6, 2018. Since then, the south node (baggage) of Capricorn has unearthed cold-heartedness, overly prioritizing work, and abuses of power: revealing the shadow nature of this sign that can only be remedied with the care, prioritization of home-life and commitment to doing everything we can to take care of each other: all things that a North Node (healing) in Cancer brings to the table. Now, since the signs shifted on May 5th, we get to explore the space between a South Node in Sagittarius and North Node in Gemini.

Image: 7 of Swords tarot card in the center of an opened Bible

What is the baggage of Sagittarius (The Storyteller)?

Beliefs super-ceding reality. Propaganda. Limits of education and religion. “Teachers” and cult-leaders telling irresponsible and dangerous stories.

How can we heal with Gemini (The Researcher)?

Doing accurate research. Informing ourselves and each other. Thinking things all the way through. Paying attention to and embracing facts.

That’s right: Plandemic came out right as soon as we entered this healing cycle and there is a lot more of that coming in the next year and a half. These “theories” are coming when we are most vulnerable and their impact could be devastating if we are not prepared to verify their accuracy and ground ourselves in reality. Is the spectrum coming alive yet?

The thing about Gemini is that Gemini is THE most anxious personality of the zodiac. This mutable energy is restless, impulsive, relentless, quite chatty and constantly changing on a good day…. And we are supposed to savor this flavor of healing at this time? How can we possibly take on MORE anxiety? Choices? Thoughts? Current-event conversations? Reading? Possibilities? Politely informing our misinformed neighbors? Over and over?

Image: 3 of Swords tarot card surrounded by broken glass

Like it or not, Gemini is here to nurse our collective belief systems in the coming year. Serving as:

1. a North Node of evolutionary potential
2. the source of vital energy in June when the sun cycles out of Taurus
3. our experience of art, beauty and relationships when Venus does an extended residency in this sign come May 13th

If we are to steward the change that is truly needed at this time, we must adapt our lifestyles to Gemini’s reality-checks.

We need to earn our knowledge and learn from each other, which means giving our brains as much support as possible.

Anyone interested in a super power readily at our disposal for this work? THE INTERNET. Our ability to check Snopes, assess the validity of Facebook “news” stories, or even do a quick type-click-and-search to get instant results (another vice of Gemini: immediacy) is one tool that often gets taken for granted.

This gift is something we need to responsibly embrace as individuals with agency during this era of karmic healing: access to limitless information at our fingertips. Does anyone remember the energy it once required to ask a question, use a card catalogue, open more than one book, compare sources and devote an entire afternoon to a trip to the library?

Image: Queen of Swords alongside many non-fiction books

Gemini is STIMULATING, which means as we do this work, we must also remember that spending so much time in our heads takes a toll on our physical bodies: figuring out ways to diffuse this often intense energy is crucial… especially when reading often invokes trauma to our nervous systems as we figure out how to move forward with our lives right now.

I am not sure about anyone else, but I have noticed an almost Pavlovian response when I read the news: with each word, I brace myself. I hold my breath. I skim ahead, hoping that reading just some of the data will give me less emotional responses, but enough information to get the jist of what the writer is trying to say (big no-no’s with Sagittarius baggage ripening before our very eyes.) I need to figure out how to take care of myself while also doing The Big Work.

I have decided that if I am going to even pretend to have hope, courage, joy, faith and a willingness to undergo these changes, I need to also feed myself sensory pleasures that fuel my body and soul.

I need embodied practices that bring me back to my physical-self, give me mental-breaks when I become exhausted, initiate the energetic boosts that are necessary to get back to the facts of life and even enjoy myself every once in a while. I cannot expect myself to perform at my highest potential without rest, relaxation and reminders that this work is only a part of the importance of being alive right now.

Image: Strength tarot card resting gently on my sweet sleeping cat

If any of the above has resonated for you and you’re interested in joining me in this work, here are a few options:

#venusretrogradechallenge2020 : on Monday, May 11th, I will reveal on Instagram my challenge to myself (and you!) for the 40 days that Venus dances backwards through Gemini for the purposes of rest, release and reflection. This endeavor will use this social media platform to call back the creative energy that we have already put out into the Universe that no longer serves us or the world. We will reclaim the threads of ourselves that we so desperately need at a perpetually exhausting time. The best part? It’s free. More details to come! Be sure to follow me for further instructions and guidelines: auroradawning

Queering the Planets : beginning on May 22, Tere Parsley Starnes and I will co-facilitate our second online course on the planets of astrology. My section will focus on the embodiment of each Planetary Godd within our lives as they are now, using methods and practices that titillate our senses: music, digital art, and daily contemplation that embraces both the traditional foundations of astrology AND fresh, queer associations that have been overlooked. This class is three months long, takes place on Discord and is $liding $cale. We would love to taste the visceral flavors of Mars, catch a whiff of uplifting Jupiter and feel the tendrils of Mercury’s wisdom tingling our scalp with you! Registration is open until May 21.

Readings : as always, I am available for tarot and natal chart readings at a safe, convenient distance over the internet. Check out my tarot and astrology pages for more info!

Image: The Star tarot card in the center of a chalk-drawn seven pointed star on concrete

I’ll admit my heightened interest in this cycle of healing: my Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Uranus are in Sagittarius, all of which oppose my moon in Gemini. I simultaneously understand the need to trust people at their word (Gemini) and also love a good theory that illuminates “The Greater Meaning” of things (Sagittarius).

I know that Change beyond what I can even comprehend is on the way, but right now: tending to my needs means nourishing hope for the future. I need this change to be worth the devastation that it’s causing and I intend to do my best to serve the dawn of that vision.

Invocation Preparation

astrology, Events, Mundane Magic

I am finding myself thinking about preparedness more than usual. With the sun and half of the planets above in Capricorn right now (the sign of structure, long-term planning, responsibility and preparation) it feels like a worthy theme to explore.

In a world that is rapidly shifting shape: as a magician, what are my strategies to prepare for whatever comes next?

In the short-term, my magic is based on the moment: I notice what’s happening in my body without judgement so that I can feed it with what is actually needed (Do I need an extra hour of rest? A vegetable-centered meal? A treat that pleases my senses?) I reflect back on my actions from where I am now to make sure that I am living in line with my Truth (Am I taking care of my emotional needs? Do I need to make amends with someone? Have I been working too hard?) I choose to make authentic decisions that serve as reflections of my values (chatting with stranger to cultivate a friendly neighborhood, regularly showing up on time to maintain the trust of my employer, allowing my friend to vent without trying to manage their situation.) The only true power we have is in the moment, which is where the most potent magic is available to us.

Long-term strategies are more difficult. Our social, political and environmental landscapes are changing form: my five-year goals may not be options within the next six months, cause and effect seem less predictable, the practical planning that I was taught and have become used to might not be enough… I am a witch and my power is real but attempting to tailor the outcome of the future to my liking as one human being is not only unreasonable, but unmanageable. However, techniques are available to those who choose to utilize them.

There is invigorating magic that can be done to help prepare us for What’s Coming.

Astrologers are like meteorologists of the Higher Skies. For the same reasons that we might check a weather app before choosing an outfit or making plans for a picnic, astrology allows us to forecast how the interaction of the planets Above might impact our conversations, creativity, mood (or weather) of our day, week, month or year.

I use the sacred science of astrology as a mapping system. Each year on my birthday I treat myself to a transit reading with Tere Parsley Starnes, which helps me identify how the movements of the stars in the coming year might impact me personally based on my birth chart. An act of divination, counseling and numerical calculations of geometry, this reading reveals: when the best dates to start a new health-centered routine will occur, time periods that support radical self-expression, opportunities to heal old wounds, events that strive to inspire courage within us and so much more.

After the reading, I use the information discussed to influence my doings each month: observing each movement that was recorded then figuring out the best way to physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually approach it. These considerations (grounded by my short-term preparation magic of self care) help me to march my Capricorn hooves up the mountain toward my goals while remaining true to my Self and my needs. Even if the exact location of that goal changes or the parameters of the goal shifts, I know that I did my best to achieve it and have faith that it’s evolution is in unison with the pulse of our galaxy’s heartbeat.

Forecasts show me how I can make the most of the energy that Our Universe is providing for me to grow. It also serves as a reminder to release the temptation for me to try and dominate the happenings of my life or assert control over The Mysteries of being alive.

Many astrologers can help create customized calendars for their clients and translate the symbols into an arc of energy for the year. Good astrologers use these same skills to show their clients how they might make the most of the energy that’s on the way. Great astrologers empower their clients to explore what these transits might mean for them before they occur and inspire them to conjure the magic that works best for their lifestyle, while still surfing those same waves of energy.

I will be co-hosting a forecast webinar for 2020 with Tere Parsley Starnes this Sunday, January 5th from 5:00pm – 7:00pm EST. While this event will not serve as a custom made guide of how this year’s astro-weather will impact each attendee, it will serve as a general guide to the significant planetary movements in 2020, what those movements might mean for us and ideas for magic that support our individual and collective endeavors.

If this approach and evening appeals to you, make sure to register to save your spot!

We are being challenged to change as an initiation into the next era of life on this planet: how will you answer that call this year?

The Art of Reclaiming

Events, Mundane Magic

It has been my experience that most (if not all) people have opinions about Valentines Day. To some, it’s a frantic search for a date and a gift: the pressure to perform when expectations are high. To others, it’s a spotlight on their loneliness or a ploy of Capitalist society to suckle the bank accounts of romantic souls. Whether reservations are made or heads are low, this day carries a charge.

Witches Know that energy is a real thing and use it for channeling purposes to produce desired results: the more potent the charge, the more dynamic the results. There are countless sources of energy, but a common one is holidays and it’s safe to say that there will be many people participating in various types of “ritual” today.

Reclaiming witches recognize and honor the power of names/sacred days/life on this planet that is often taken for granted. This is the reason we call ourselves “witches”: there is a charge to this word that ranges from “scary, old, green hag” to “wise woman with plant-knowledge” to “the devil who will rid your body of an unwanted child” to “a person that will do the forbidden.” We reclaim the word “witch” for it contains a rich legacy of Wisdom and doing what Must Be Done. In calling that word ours, we give back to it with our thoughts and actions: knowing that both are enriched by the energetic current also known as “meaning.”

I believe that we have the right to reclaim words from toxic roots, so long as we have true knowledge of the source, integrity supporting our intention of its use and full awareness of the communities that have been impacted by said word (and whether or not it’s ours to claim.) I also believe that Valentines Day is an opportunity to practice the Art of Reclaiming: from consumerism, from gas-lighting and guilt-trips, from sexual violence as well as from hopelessness.

This tradition began during the Roman Empire when marriage was banned by Emperor Claudius II because he believed it made soldiers reluctant to leave for battle. A priest known as Saint Valentine married couples in secret and was later put to death for violating this law, though the lore reveals that he valued empathy and connection more than domination and obedience… An act, some might say, of True Love.

A wise witch once said “Don’t deny the gift just because you don’t like the package it came in.” There is an allegory present in Valentines Day, and humans have been feeding energy into it for centuries. While there is use in creating new words and philosophies to represent something important, why not use something that is already available? Does Valentines Day (or a pre-planned, widely known occasion to dedicated to expressing Love) deserve to remain hijacked by consumer culture or a bitter attitude?

So today, I challenge the willing: tap into the currents of love in whatever way feels right to you. Maybe it’s choosing to cook a nice meal for a beloved. Maybe it’s being clear with an employer about what you need as an act of self-care. Maybe it’s scheduling time to have coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe it’s something that isn’t listed here, but feels right for this day. Regardless of what it is (as long as there is consent if another person is involved!) I hope everyone chooses to have a wonderful Valentines Day. I know that’s my intention.

Becoming Unbound

Mundane Magic

Last night I had a vivid dream that I was laying in my childhood bed. The lights were dim and the room felt quiet, but there was a bustling around me. People I knew were interacting as they normally would. The atmosphere was not threatening. The bed I occupied turned into a warm bath and my body was completely submerged. I felt comfort. But then the moment came for me to rise up and out of the water and I began to wail. It was a loud siren of a howl that was filled with such despair and mourning. I kept screaming and moaning with tear-soaked cheeks…. it continued until I awoke.

This dream is the best description of what life feels like to me right now, minus the sobs and shrieks. I find myself coiled within my Self, repeating old feedback loops that don’t really *seem* to be relevant or useful anymore.

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

I feel bound up and immobile. The joy that life still kindly offers me does not have the same impact. Sometimes eating overwhelms me and all I want to do is sleep the day away. Panic attacks have begun to pop up at random times. People around me (even those that I wouldn’t consider close friends) notice that I am “not myself” and ask what is wrong, which leads to shame for not being able to hold up my wall with a smile. On top of everything, my mind scolds me for taking the wonderful life I have created for granted: “there’s nothing actually wrong,” it taunts. “You need to get it together.”

As a rational person, I understand that these sorts of things happen to most human beings. As a witch, I recognize that I have many tools at my disposal. I can do a tarot reading to see what’s actually going on energetically. I can do Kala to heal the parts of my Self that are in distress. I can use the skills that I have learned to willfully change my circumstances (MAGIC!)

The energy to do these things exists within me, but it’s caught up in the battle of just trying to stay above the surface. So while I do have options, I am not able to shift my situation into anything “useful.”

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

In the past, this would be the point where I curl into a ball and hide out under my duvet until I feel the storm pass or numb myself to a point where life feels tolerable. This time however, I managed to do one of the most radical, magical acts of self care to date:

I asked for help.

I asked a close friend to listen to me when I was in a lot of pain. It was this conversation that helped me to realize that it’s time to go back to therapy. I asked another good friend to refer me to a trusted therapist, which (two weeks in) has felt like exactly the right choice. We have a plan in place to work through what’s going on and her insight is a gift that I could not have given myself at this time.

It can be easy to let the Ego to get in the way when we have already learned so much from life and done a tremendous amount of personal Work. There was a point not too long ago that I would have perceived the act of asking someone outside of myself to help me with my emotional state as weakness. The Self-hater within me would aggressively ask: Can I really call myself an experienced witch if I am unable to take on the intense difficulties of life on my own? How can I be of service to the world if I can’t even handle my own shit?

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

A powerful witch is a channel for Universal energy, not a permanent storehouse. I still think back to my intention for 2016: “I surrender to the flow” and realize that I can surrender to the Universe, while also refusing to let what is happening steamroll my spirit into submission. I can choose to notice my experience, decide whether or not I want to feel it at it’s full potency and do my best to direct the energy where it needs to go. I can also thank the Gods for the resources I have around me that help me when they are able and willing to do so.

We don’t get to escape being a human through witchcraft, but we can use our heightened awareness to do our best to live a life we can enjoy. What if one way to do begin doing just that is to release the expectation that we have to do everything all on our own?

Taking Care

Mundane Magic

It’s about that time for a post. My life continues on and the magic of the mundane weaves it’s way through my experience. Things are happening. There are shifts. I witness my experience and have many things that I could share with my community of witches…

But here’s the thing: I honestly just don’t feel up to it.

I’m a multi-tasker with a to-do list fetish. The feeling of accomplishment feeds me and I enjoy hard work. I’m a Capricorn; I really do. However, this month has been a tough one for me and the thing that makes it feel worse is that it isn’t stemming from anything specific. I just don’t feel engaged with the things that I usually enjoy doing.

This happens to me sometimes. It might have something to do with the energy that declared itself through my monthly reading:

 

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

 

Probably not the energy that I would have chosen for this time of year. Alas, it is here. I’m being pierced by those swords in my mind… they pin me down from my own vitality. And so it is.

Believe it or not though, there is mundane magic that can be shared to the world from this place of pain and despair that strikes from absolutely nowhere. Perhaps even one of the most potent messages of magic that I have shared thus far:

If you feel like shit, take care of yourself.

Self-care varies from person to person. For me right now, it is sleeping “more than I need to.” It is allowing some of my tasks to slide off to the side for a while without guilt. It’s making the choice to honor what I’m feeling and adjusting my life accordingly.

There is a saying in my community: you are your own greatest magical tool. If that is the case, then it makes sense that “it” (the Self) needs to be tended to when it isn’t working as desired. How do you care for your Self?