2021: The Year of Five

This began as an Instagram post and I quickly realized that this called for more than a quippy caption. 

This is more like an in-depth analysis of the year ahead, through the lens of tarot. 

If you are here, you likely know that when I talk tarot, I see the cards as a reference, offering opportunities for reflection and growth. Know then, dear reader, that moving forward I am not predicting any sort of future because of numbers or cards. I am inviting you to look closer at experiences, both personal and collective, to seek a deeper meaning and assign purpose.

Before we dive in, however, I want to be clear that this could be triggering, friends: I’m talking about 2020, therefore the pandemic, police brutality, death, and similar topics will be mentioned. 

Breathe through this content. I’m especially calling on white people for this—being uncomfortable is part of the process and not a reason to opt out. Breathe through it. Welcome it.

We may have exited 2020… but we entered 2021 folks.

Let’s recap a bit of emerging themes from 2020, the Year of 4, represented in the tarot as the Emperor.

2020 Review: The Year of the Emperor

Tarot Card: The Emperor, Rider Waite Smith deck. Background: Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death, Page 42-43, The Flower Garden Display’d

Looking through the lens of The Emperor, we understood that situations involving authority, state, systems, structure, discipline would be deeply prevalent, giving us the opportunity to review the foundations on which our society is built and reveal the cracks, to determine what is working and what is not.

Although healthcare crisis, white supremacy, police brutality, wealth inequality, etc are not new in our world, 2020 intensified our awareness and experience of them.

A global pandemic revealed willful ignorance and inaction of government on federal, state and local levels. Viral videos of police brutality unlocked conversation and realization of white supremacy and its part in all systems we are part of. While people lost ability to earn a living, while people faced evictions, while small businesses closed left and right, and the term “essential workers” became common, the wealthiest members of American society became wealthier and wealthier. Jeff Bezos became the word’s richest person by $90 billion. 

Although many call it a dumpster fire year, valuable and long-overdue realities about our society became apparent, with a high cost, from 2020.

2021: Emergence of The Hierophant

2021 comes to ensure that change persists.

2021 is the year of 5. In Tarot, this the year of the Hierophant. 

Even at a glance, one can notice similarities of energy in these cards. 

Side by side comparison of The Emperor and The Hierophant from The Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck. Background: Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death, Page 42-43, The Flower Garden Display’d

The most powerful evolution from The Emperor to The Hierophant, is that the picture widens the frame to create awareness beyond the rulers, bringing focus to the people.

As your read through the rest of this, and feel any sensations of overwhelm or hopelessness, remember this and call your energy back to you:

If you want change, you must rise. 

After all, the most prevalent message of The Hierophant is to have faith in yourself, in something bigger than yourself, and serve something outside of yourself. 

The belief that you can accomplish hard, scary, big, things is necessary to pursue them, and is what makes change possible.

Because 2021 brings a continuance of 2020 messages, we will need faith to push through.

The following are messages I channeled through the fives of the Tarot, which relate to 2021. These are themes that may emerge. I share this as a collective message about who this energy impacts us as a whole – it is up to you to determine how these themes show up in your life, and how to respond. 

As always, take what works, leave the rest.

5 things you need to know about the year of 5

The Hierophant from The Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck. Background: Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death, Page 42-43, The Flower Garden Display’d

1️⃣ The Hierophant is a heavily loaded card. Although faith and belief are the ultimate messages, a closer gaze reveals another aspect: how authorities abuse and take advantage of that faith to create discrepancies of power. 2020 showed this in wealth, in whiteness, in authority figures, even organized religion. 

We need to become aware of power dynamics at play so we can detach from those systems, and trust there is another way.

BREATHE & CALL YOUR ENERGY BACK TO YOU.

Five of Pentacles from The Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck. Background: Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death, Page 42-43, The Flower Garden Display’d

2️⃣ Five of Coins: With this wealth gap widening, and no real solutions in sight, this year will bring attention to houselessness, and resources. Concepts of shelter, providing places of solace, will be important. Perhaps this is your cause to contribute. This is also an opportunity to think about where your money goes and how to use it to create meaningful impact, as well as learn about ways to divest from big banking and oppressive financial systems.

BREATHE & CALL YOUR ENERGY BACK TO YOU.

The Five of Wands from The Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck. Background: Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death, Page 42-43, The Flower Garden Display’d

3️⃣ Five of Wands: Last year, many set intentions, but this is a year we will be given opportunities to put skin in the game. A card that represents rising intensity, the change, the conflict, it’s getting real. This is not the time to step back, even when there is conflict from different methods of change. Consider where your energy is best spent and where you can be of most use for the greatest good. Collaboration is key.

BREATHE & CALL YOUR ENERGY BACK TO YOU.

The Five of Swords from The Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck. Background: Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death, Page 42-43, The Flower Garden Display’d

4️⃣ Five of Swords: Themes of conflict, deceit, colonialism, imperialism come with this card. It is a call to reframe ideas of ruling ideologies like capitalism, organized religion, the state, US history, etc, to uncover who benefits and why. For example, why were we taught lies about Thanksgiving? Why were we told a completely watered down version of slavery? Once we begin to pick at our conditioning, we break open the limiting mental thresholds and realize that more is possible. But it will take mental and physical fortitude. 

BREATHE & CALL YOUR ENERGY BACK TO YOU.

The Five of Cups from The Rider Waite Smith Tarot Deck. Background: Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death, Page 42-43, The Flower Garden Display’d

5️⃣ Five of Cups: first and foremost, give yourself a chance to grieve and honor true loss, to nurture yourself through the flood of emotion. 

There are themes of loss, but not for nothing. This is mostly for white folks. In a system of oppression, when one group is high and one group is low (for lack of better terms), as the low group rises, even if unmoved, the group in power feels a perceived loss of power. That if people have more, then somehow that means we have less. This perceived threat is something that our systems of power, like capitalism, rely upon to maintain status. 

For example, let’s say we come up with the solution to end houselessness: houseless persons are allowed to move into one of the thousands of empty houses that are just sitting unoccupied. This is perceived as a loss by people who own houses: you had work for yours right? This is perceived as a loss by realtors: then who will buy houses if we give them away for free? The people in power suddenly begin to feel like it’s unfair. Forgetting that being cold, hungry, sick, in need of water is unfair and inhumane. Forgetting that even at its simplest, giving people an address can change their likelihood of becoming employed. Giving people shelter doesn’t diminish how hard you worked. It doesn’t change that people will still need to buy new houses.

My point with the five of cups is this: when you begin to feel like you have lost because “normalcy” is gone (can’t get your hair done, or go to a concert, or seem to have any discussion without race coming up), that is the perception of loss coming to take away your drive to keep shifting the dynamic. When people of power and privilege can begin to realize it’s not about the losses, but the very full cups of awareness that are just within reach, that build a bridge to community, that’s when we begin to shift.

BREATHE & CALL YOUR ENERGY BACK TO YOU.

My friends, ultimately, 2021 as a year of faith, is a time to separate from what is misaligned with your spirit. It’s a time to believe in the greatest good, and make contributions toward that energy.

What are your takes on the year of 5?

Getting back to work.

As I sit down with my tea, to prep for my first week of “normal” work since the murder of George Floyd, I realize how important it is, right here and now, to make commitments for long-term change.

Because nothing should go back to normal.

We should not return to our scheduled posts, our services, our sales. 

Many companies are sharing their commitments or their values right now, which is important, but also feels like lip service or marketing, or surface-level support.

Amazon shows a Black Lives Matter banner; yet we know this company refused to offer PPE to employees to protect them from Covid-19 in their facilities, a pandemic impacting black communities disproportionately.

Chase Bank also created a graphic on their web pages to support Black Lives; yet we know who funds massive displacement of Indigenous People on “protected” land. 

So when I express and commit to anti-racism in what I offer, what I need to do, and where my impact is most helpful, I understand the weight and the actions required of me as a business owner, a facilitator, and a white woman.

What I will share today will discuss my commitment to make an impact, to offer support, to share resources, and ultimately, do my part in ending white supremacy.

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When I look at what I am able to do with my skills, my audience, I realize I am in a considerable position to educate. 

A majority of my clients are white women. And it is clear that we have so, so, so much work to do.

Before sharing these values and vows, I feel it is essential to share where I have gone wrong.

To state ways that a company will move forward without reaching deep into the shadows of the people who run these companies — it is not meaningful, it is not real.

It is also imperative that white people get more comfortable with changing behaviors, especially after someone takes the time to offer correction. Whereas the harm of ignorance is significant, knowing better, and not doing better, is wicked. 

Even though I educate and speak often about cultural appropriation, spiritual bypassing, ancestral/generational trauma & inherited beliefs, it does not abstain me from reckoning with my missteps.

It is uncomfortable.

But it is necessary.

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This shows how deep white supremacy runs — I can intelligently know it exists in wrongness, but instinctively perpetuate it. 

During a retreat about Breaking Cycles—habits that have formed in our lives, or that have been inherited from our mothers and fathers—a guest, a Black woman, shared about her experiences with racism, and having severe discomfort around blonde, blue-eyed women. Another guest, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white woman, took this personally, defensively expressed how uncomfortable it made her feel, and began her verbal processing in front of the group, even speaking directly to the Black woman who shared, asking questions and seeking validation.

A similar instance happened at a workshop where we all journaled and created vision boards for 2020, sharing about what we learned in the past decade and what we hope the next decade will bring. There was a guest, a white woman, who commented on every single share, offering a new perspective or a solution. This is an obvious cross of boundaries, but it deepened in its impact because most of the women who shared that day were Black Women. 

As a facilitator noticing these microaggressions, I pivoted the conversation. Later, I spoke with these guests privately about the weight of their comments and boundaries that were crossed, and created guidelines for compassionate discourse in future events.

The question I ask myself is why I felt this was a reasonable response. 

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The answer is painfully obvious, but I will break down the thought process for you:

1. Why did I avoid the conversation in front of the group? 

Answer: Because I prioritized comfortability.

2. Why was comfortability on the table?

Answer: Because I promised a safe space.

3. Why was the discomfort of white women the indicator of safety?

Answer: Because I have been raised and conditioned to prioritize the feelings of white women, of myself.

4. Why did white feelings matter?

Answer: Because we live in a world that values white feelings over Black experiences.

5. Why did I uphold this?

Answer: Because I inherently, as a white person who benefits from white supremacy, am supposed to uphold these violations out of fear of consequences.

My nonaction in those moment said loud and clear whose feelings mattered in those spaces.

White supremacy lives, breathes, and breeds in white people, whether in the light of day or in the shadows, and that’s why it’s vital that my work as business owner starts with me, and is ongoing throughout my practice.

Coming to these conclusions is a requirement. 

I have in my past been a fragile white person, infuriated when someone had the nerve to call me out. I have also centered conversations about racism to focus on my experiences growing up in a predominately black neighborhood — both of these examples are times I can look back and see how harmful this behavior is. I know what it’s like to be ignorant and entitled and privileged, and reject each and every one of the notions. And, I can share from experience how instantaneous it is to change your behaviors once you keep listening instead of ignoring or avoiding.

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To hold myself accountable, I offer specific ways I will be active in anti-racism. This is just the start, a non-exhaustive list, not a checklist to complete; my actions will update and evolve as I continue growing and learning. My actions will update and evolve until Black people are free.

Business Actions:

Updating curriculum:
💛Adding cultural context in every Tarot 101 Workshop & Tarot Study
💛Removing culturally appropriative practices from teachings or rituals, such as Smudging

💛Intentionally including topics of anti-racism in retreat programming (for example, the Nourish Your Body retreat did not include a specific time to discuss race, which is a major oversight. I rescheduled it for a later date to research ways to incorporate it into the program)
💛Unpacking white supremacy, white exceptionalism, white privilege, white entitlement in sessions with one-on-one clients
💛Including more resources by Black Women in teachings

Meaningful Collaboration:

💛Vetting potential partners to identify problematic language/behaviors, as well as see their commitment to anti-racism

💛Severing ties and connections with partnerships that do not commit to anti-racist work

💛Purchasing from more Black-owned businesses

💛Inviting and paying more Black experts to speak at retreats and workshops

Offering Resources:
💛Donating to causes on a regular basis to support Black communities

💛Creating free downloads to educate Spiritual White practitioners on culturally inappropriate language/practices and provide appropriate alternatives

Personal actions:

💛Researching my lineage to understand the depth of my inherited racism (what to heal, what to repair)

💛Researching my heritage to learn of my own culture and practices

💛Expanding my understanding of cultural appropriation

💛Continuing education about tarot, spirituality, and cultural context

💛Devoting daily time to learn more about anti-racism, allyship, Queer/Gender issues, and more

💛Speaking openly about my own mistakes and corrections

What this means for White clients: 

In your time working with me, expect to address Anti-Racism. This conversation is not an “if.” There is no spiritual growth, no mental health or healing, while white supremacy flows through us unaddressed. I will not always have the right thing to say and I will often refer to notes or external resources, but I will no longer hold space for microaggressions, spiritual bypassing, or cultural appropriation. You are in a space to be educated on white supremacy and how it starts within, and seeps outward into our communities. Expect to engage in these conversations. They will be different for each person, each client, depending on where you are in your awareness, and it will be difficult for all involved. But these conversations are necessary. If you want to build a better world — start with you.

What this means for Black clients: 

you are held in safety. When we talk about race, when we talk about manifestation, when we talk about abundance, when we talk about anything… your identity is seen and matters.

This is the year of The Emperor. 

It is the year to destroy the systems.

To rebuild the foundation. 

To lift up humanity. 

The world is not ending. A new world is beginning.

Tarot for Lovers

Valentine’s Day has me thinking about how Tarot portrays love.

Any card could relate to love, relationships, sex, and intimacy in the deck, but a few offer messages about love directly. 

The most obvious is, of course, The Lovers. 

The lovers

It speaks of unity, divine intervention, two coming together, open-heartedness, and so much more. At its core it is about love and relationships. 

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The card I want to talk about though? The Devil.

The Lovers and The Devil have striking similarities, don’t you think? Think about how often you go for delicious, devilish dessert when your body is craving something hearty and nutritious. 

When thinking of love, also comes the topics of obsession, desperation. To me, it’s just as important to talk about. Because there’s a fine line between feeling swept off your feet and completely carried away in chaos. It teaches us to be aware of what draws us close to a partner. The Devil as it relates to relationships typically means caution, that old patterns may be repeating, give us the clue that the partner is unhealthy. Sometimes, depending on the situation, it could mean a pleasure, romance or fetish.  

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The Two of Cups also represents coming together; we can come from different places, but with the reach of just one hand, we can unite. There is a sense of healing and nourishment that this bond brings. It fills our cups without depletion. 

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The evolution of this card is the Ten of Cups, which represents fulfillment and completion with your ideal family. There is peace and harmony here. Messages of happiness and joy are possible.

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The Three of Swords is unmistakeable for its commentary on love. We’ve heard the saying: love is pain and pain is love. The pain of love pierces our heart. Those wounds don’t heal, they change us. So we go into love knowing the risk, and we love hard anyway. In readings this could mean to acknowledge past pains, become aware of the hurts in your current relationship, or accept the painful truths.

 

 

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We will end with The Four of Wands. This card is about beginnings, about commitment, and about sacred bonds. Unlike our cups cards, this card implies the work, the activity, that goes into building the relationship you want. It implies there is passion, but it needs to have direction. There is magic, but it needs to be useful. And it also nods that it takes a village to maintain a healthy outlook on yourself and the success of your relationship. In readings, this would indicate to me a triumph in love, a need to create a strong foundation, or a need to come together through passion, creativity.

These tarot cards can apply to so many situations outside of a romantic relationship; still, when these cards come up in readings, a component of love and relationships is trying to be heard.

Three Beliefs About Love That Keep Us from Actually Feeling It

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Very few of us take a moment to deepen our understanding of love. To explore what we want, how it feels. We believe certain concepts as facts. And it’s no surprise.

[Peek through RaDonna’s Looking at Love RetreatSelf-Love Retreat if you want in-depth, in-person exploration about this topic]

We are sold, shown, and taught about love from an early age. 

In the way it was given, or withheld.
In the way we heard people say it, or sat in the silence of the unsaid.
In the way we saw it in a Hollywood kiss, heard it in a lyric or melody, learned about how it feels from a thin-papered magazine quiz we may or may not have thrown across the room when it so matter-of-factly revealed… they don’t like us back.

The lessons of our worthiness, our language for love, weaves throughout every story of our lives. 

Each lesson differs, depending on who’s learning it: your upbringing, your sense of belonging, your culture, your self-esteem, your personality, your birth chart — your messages of love are completely unique.

In some cultures love is about courtship, in other cultures it is about survival. 

It makes complete sense that we all

Have
A
Different
Understanding
Of
Love

There are common beliefs that influence how we, as individuals, experience it, even when there is no personal connection to that belief. I’ve rounded up a few that come up in sessions or consultations regularly.

Editor’s Note: Notice I call these statements “beliefs” rather than “myths.” I’m not here to debunk someone’s philosophy on love, or life, or anything. There is nothing wrong if you believe any of the following statements. This writing encourages you to recognize that you have a choice in how you give, receive, understand, define, experience, and desire love, and challenges you to explore those beliefs.

 

Belief #1 “But they’re my soulmate…”

soulmate is a word

I know, I know. I’m spiritual so you’d think I believe in love that lasts lifetimes, bringing people together over and over for eternity.

Maybe this is true. Who knows? 

All I know for sure is RIGHT NOW. 

If you found someone that makes you feel like all the stars aligned and brought you to them, fucking bathe in that babe! Whether it’s a lover, a friend, your family. Enjoy it. 

But if you found someone who said “you’re my soulmate,” yet makes you feel awful, abuses you, drains your energy, do not stay because of a fucking word. Generally, I tend to believe soulmates wouldn’t make you feel unsafe and it’s not your soul journey to endure.

When looking for a soulmate connection, I think what we are describing is the need 

to feel energetically, spiritually, aligned with someone;
to feel seen down to our bones, our tangled skeleton;
to trust this person to witness our shape with unconditional love.

It is possible to find this deep connection with people, to feel like we’ve known them for lifetimes.

But remember. 

Soulmate

Is Simply

A Word

It doesn’t immortalize pain.

Belief #2 “You complete me” 

-3286580399604559549_IMG_6218Many of us crave that Mal Cobb passion, “do you know what it is to be a lover? To be a half of a whole?” Or perhaps you’ve dreamt of creating a family for-fucking-ever.

Feeling balanced from union with another makes complete sense.

Feeling completed by it raises a red flag for me.

To hold on to this belief as the only truth—without those things we are not whole—can be a dangerous foundation to build upon if we’re not paying attention. Not just for the relationships we’re creating.

Know this: when someone special enters your life, they add to your awesome–they were not the architect of it.

The empty feeling that we are not enough without a partner snowballs into feeling like we are not enough period. It affects our money, our friendships, our mental health.

No need to stop craving these things, or to avoid fully putting your heart into something. Instead, become aware of your center of gravity–you, the only and absolute constant in your life.

“Are you enough for you is the only question you need to answer”
–L.E. Bowman, The Evolution of a Girl

Belief #3 We must love ourselves before we love another.

Loving yourself
is a practice,
not a prerequisite.

The truth is: loving yourself is hard.

Especially when we are told not to… 

all. of. the. fucking. time.

Add in depression, anxiety, lack of self-awareness, uncertainty,  imposter syndrome… many of us would never feel ready or worthy of love.

I whole-heartedly promote self-love. To me, however, it’s an action, rather than an accomplishment. There is no finish line. Self-love is a ritual that infuses every part of our routine: what we eat and drink, how we get ready for the day, how we get ready for sleep, who we spend time with, the work we produce, the media we consume, sometimes even the purchases we make. If love looks differently for everyone, SELF-LOVE is even more unique.

And it changes all of the time.

If we waited until the day we fully loved all of ourselves, we could be waiting a while. 

While you work on loving yourself, it’s okay to let people in who love you, too. 

Love is a practice not a prerequisite

When we give ourselves a chance to observe our beliefs, we break down some of walls that keep us from experiencing it. Whether we nurture the relationship with ourselves, allow ourselves to feel love, or simply understand it a little better, breaking down our limiting beliefs about love opens us up for more of it.

Self-determine your own ideas about love–with others and with yourself–please join me to explore these topics at upcoming retreats:

Looking at Love Retreat February 9
💗Define love in your own words
💗Describe and understand how love feels for you
💗Unpack concepts like “soulmate” and “twin flame”
💗Learn the basics of boundaries: Safe Words for Life
💗Communicate your needs, wants, desires
💗Deepen your relationship with yourself and the people in your life
💗Feel stronger, better, about where you are right. now.

Self-Love Retreat February 23
💗Get to know yourself a little better
💗Create your Personal Hierarchy of Needs
💗Identify ways to show yourself love without spending money (and give yourself permission to splurge when you need to)
💗Create rituals for self-care
💗Gain confidence and self-acceptance
💗Examine topics of body image, body positivity,
💗Acknowledge the inner critic and limiting beliefs

Sign up individually, or, if you sign up by Friday, January 31, you can attend both for $249, just email me!

Loving the Unlikeable

Last summer I found a photo of little RaDonna, and promised to love her.

This one, to be exact. She’s so adorable.

little radonna

That practice was so healing and meaningful to me, like a breeze to adopt. Of course I would protect the most innocent version of myself.

What feels less easy, however, is to love this version of myself.

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And it’s not for the obvious reasons.

I have a hard time loving her, because every single day, someone yelled at her. 

Whether it was the girls yelling at me, loud and in unison while I dug books from my locker after lunch— “BITCH,” “SLUT,” “POSER”— or my dad in the confines of the car on short, but very long, daily drives to school, or both, it was engrained into me that I deserved to be tormented.

I thought, for sure, that something was wrong with me. So I became my biggest bully. This phase in my life taught me toxic ways to treat myself. It normalized abusive behaviors. It instilled a belief system that I was unlikeable. So when I see images of her, I feel shame and embarrassment. I find it harder to protect her, because I believed all the things people said.

In a lot of ways, if I’m being honest, I still do.

So I’m challenging myself to love the girl who needs it the most.

To start this practice, I want to see myself from a new vantage point. When I clear the initial haze of pain from my view of her, I see someone completely different.

This girl was fearless.

Ft. LauderdaleAlways adorned in studs, she romped around in high-top Converse Chuck Taylors with flames roaring up the side—she even changed the laces to a thick, neon orange. If it could be personalized, it was. She rocked a wallet chain and about a dozen bracelets at a time.

She coated layers and layers of eyeliner around her eyes. If she was feeling adventurous, she drew black lines all the way down her face. This in particular repulsed her homeroom teacher; every time, the math teacher told her to wipe it off or go to the principal’s office. Of course we know Rae chose the principal’s office. But here’s where it gets good. THIS GIRL RIGHT HERE. She did her research. She read all of the district’s rules and policies about attire and makeup. So when she was sent to the principal’s office for the nth time, she had a case. On that fateful day, studs and all, a 13-year-old eighth grader negotiated terms with the principal. They comprised to keep the lines drawn to just one-inch down her face.

Only studying once, the night before, she won the school spelling bee on a word she’d never heard before: efflorescence. 

Her evenings were the best. For hours upon hours, she immersed herself in the world of emo songs, lyrics and album art. She lit incense [she wasn’t allowed to have], stapled torn magazine pages of her heroes onto her walls [and eventually the ceiling], and she wrote in her green composition notebook.

notebook
This notebook is so, so special. Permanent marker scribbles and cheeky artwork transformed the cover, and its pages were filled with misunderstood-girl anthems, I-love/hate-boys anthems, and fuck-the-world anthems. She poured over the songs, sometimes in tears, sometimes with a laugh, writing and scribbling. Crossing out and filling in. And at some miraculous point, to a select few songs, she wrote in all caps “FINISHED” at the top. That assurance is admirable.

There are few things she committed to like expressing herself. This girl felt her feelings.

She dreamed of becoming a rockstar. She formed a band, “Spinning Jenny” and created the album art. The only problem was the lack of musical ability. She orchestrated–not songs, no–but the band practice room and where everything would set up and tear down. She tried to write tabs, without actually knowing how the play the guitar. You try telling that girl she would be better suited for behind the scenes and management… just try. 

She could never make it down the half pipe. But she at least got up there.

Kissing boys was literally one of her favorite things. There was actually one boy who was seriously the sweetest little boyfriend. Her pick-up line? Doing something clumsy, then when she saw he caught it, pointing at him and saying “I’m cool.” [pretty sure this is still my go-to]

ygmvyoycsbg59iwlfduqkg-e1547674660696.jpgShe couldn’t afford a wardrobe full of brand names like most of the students at school. One day, tired of being bullied relentlessly, she took permanent marker to an unassuming gray T-shirt. On the front she scribed, “Abercrombie & Fitch.” And on the back, “Am I Popular Now?” MIC DROP.

It was her favorite shirt to wear, with a close second being the yellow shirt with a cartoon cow saying “please don’t eat me.” It didn’t stop any bullying, clearly, but to her it communicated a disinterest in normal. And that was enough.

Still, no matter how wondrous I was, the obstacles I ran day in and day out trained me to hate myself. The only reason I am, was, or have been, ashamed of myself at this age is because I was conditioned to be.

Almost 30, I’m done hating such a significant part of my story. And it starts with unapologetically loving the hell out of her.

She knew so much that I think I’m still figuring out. She stood up for herself, unafraid of consequences. She was wicked witty and smart. She actually finished poems. She treated her evenings, her creativity, as sacred. She took her art seriously.

Now, as I sit and write poems and light incense and express myself again, I feel like I’m sending signals back in time, or maybe we’re sending signals to each other. That it’s okay. We’re all good. I’m validating how awesome she is. She’s reminding me of exactly the same thing.

This will take practice and intention to reframe my experiences of this time and heal the wiring in my mind. But I’m committed to it and will be putting this picture on my altar. What version of yourself is hardest to love? I challenge you to dig out that image of yourself, clear the fog, and see her with new eyes.

middle school radonna 

In true emo fashion, I will leave you with lyrics:

“And I am flawed, but I am cleaning up so well,
I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself…

Slight hope,
It dangles on a string,
Like slow spinning redemption.”

Vindicated, Dashboard Confessional

 

What the Winds Carried

Last night, I felt the atmosphere shift. 

It started with a sunshower, rain sprinkling during sunshine. Several minutes later, a thunderstorm burst open from the sky, pouring heavy, hard rain. It left as quickly as it came. But the wind stayed, strong enough to send us sideways. All around, leaves rolled in the air, dancing in the same direction, like they knew it was time. Finally, three flocks of sparrows pulled together and apart like taffy in effortless orchestration, right overhead as my partner and I crossed a bridge. 

We were both in mouth-open amazement. He said what I was thinking: “the veil is definitely thinning.”

This week, Halloween, Samhain, and Dia de los Muertos occur in the same time period. It is a time when we more palpably share space with spirit. 

The winds carried it in. 

There could be two sides of this, separate or simultaneous. It could be experienced as ominous—chills, getting the creeps, feeling a little scared, nervous, or even depressed. It could also be experienced as heightened intuition, feeling warmth for no explicable reason, connectivity with your loved ones.

I don’t know what your house is like. I don’t know how this will impact you. I’m just saying—be aware of yourself, and don’t dismiss a gut feeling. 

If you get a bad vibe from someone, trust it. If you feel like you got a sign from a loved one in spirit, trust it. If you feel like you need to protect yourself, trust it. If you know you need to pull yourself from a spiral, trust it.

Some ideas to help you spend time with your spirituality this week:

Bless your space

Send healing to others

Heal yourself (with therapy, bodywork, meditation, reiki, whatever works for you)

Protect your energy, your spirit, your space

Call in your loved ones

Pay attention to signs

Ask for guidance 

Trust your gut

Personally, I am excited about this time. I feel more sensitive, more intuitive, more connected. So I am fully trusting myself, knowing that my decisions and actions will be meaningful for me. It doesn’t mean I didn’t get a sense of unease as well. Before bed last night, I smudged my room with the Holy Wood, Palo Santo, for protection and clearing. I asked my guides to be with me. This morning I lit candles in gratitude and thanks.

Tell me… did you feel this shift too?

Everything is Full Circle

In elementary school, my friends and I would pretend to make potions and spells at recess (Practical Magic probably just came out 😸). Each of us would bring supplies from home, and sit in a circle under a tree and mix up pretty things.

I searched my house for items we could use. I climbed on the countertops and dug into the kitchen cabinets, squirming back into the cavern of spices as far as my little arms would reach. I chose cinnamon sticks, and snatched as many as I could without being too suspicious 😹 (which means I left one in the jar… haha). 

My friends brought fragrant, glittery beauty products—lotions, sprays, gels, all the goop from Bath & Body works—that made everything sparkle and smell good. I brought the cinnamon sticks. At the time, I felt embarrassed about it—I felt like it wasn’t as magical as something that sparkled in the sunlight.

Today, I giggle to myself as I purchase cinnamon sticks to place on my Autumn altar during this Saturday’s equinox.

I knew more than I realized. Even then, I was drawn to the earthly wonders that help us feel warm and whole, even if in comparison it seemed off-base. Now I know that just because something glitters, doesn’t mean it’s gold. All the bells and whistles mean nothing without substance. And cinnamon is a miracle worker.

During my Autumn Equinox ritual this Saturday, I’m adding cinnamon to my Autumn altar for grounding, warm energy, among other autumn totems.

What do you plan to do to welcome autumn and set the tone for the season?

At this moment, I’m writing my ritual to share with people in the Autumn Soul Care Cycle this Saturday. If you are curious about an autumn equinox ritual, or lunar rituals, this is a safe space to learn and explore.

Energetic Awakening

Reiki Level II Certificate

A year ago, Reiki entered my life.

For a year, it has changed it.

Learning Reiki opened a pathway for me to better understand energy, to self-soothe, and to help others heal. I don’t use Reiki as often as I could, but it truly is one of the most powerful skills I know.

Spiritually guided life energy, Reiki allows practitioners to draw energy from a higher power,  and channel it. It’s like sending good vibes. Or using the force. But for real.

When a Reiki Master attunes a student, they clear energetic blocks in the chakras and open an energetic pathway so the student is better able to channel energy. 

Everyone experiences an attunement differently, but during mine, I deeply meditated. During this meditation I visualized something significant — and began to see my face, eyes closed, at peace. Slowly, a layer of clear crystal lifted from from my skin, what looked like a glass mask, and when it got far enough away from my face, it shattered into sparkling, iridescent shards.

IMG_3389

I didn’t know I was wearing that.

It felt like a barrier had been removed. Something that was keeping me from showing my true self, from experiencing the fullness of life. It felt like I woke up, and my true self could take a long awaited breath.

From that moment on, my gifts have been more present, my pain more palpable, my love deeper, my guard more easily taken down.

I’ve been my true self more than ever.

With knowledge of the chakras, I’ve been able to check in with myself and recognize where my anxiety manifests, and spend time working through that with Reiki. I fell out of the habit, but for a while, I was clearing my chakras with reiki before bed, and getting the soundest sleep. Reiki has also helped me chip away at and break free of weights I’ve carried my whole life.

I also have absolutely loved practicing Reiki to serve others. Before each retreat begins; I clear every door, every room, every bed with Reiki so the guests feel safe and comforted. I’ve offered one-on-one Reiki sessions, and I’ve blessed and protected new homes with Reiki. Now Reiki will be part of healing journeys I offer to clients. It has been an honor to witnessing the shifts, the relaxation, the connection to spirit, the clarity, and all other sensations they feel after experiencing Reiki.

Gaining the ability to practice Reiki has been one of the greatest gifts in this life. Today I will celebrate my anniversary with a float and let the Reiki Magic do its thing.

Friday the 13th Tarot Spread

With last night’s new moon in Cancer and a solar eclipse leading us into Friday the 13th, it seemed appropriate to harness the mystical energy in the air.

I’ve always appreciated Friday the 13th, even before I began exploring my spirituality. As a child, the day felt special and the air felt different. Recently I learned that originally, Friday the 13th celebrated the divine feminine, the Goddess. Centuries of patriarchal leadership, fear of woman, and pop culture have turned 13 into the unlucky number we understand it as today.

Today I celebrate as a holiday; I took the day off after a successful Tarot 101 Workshop to do my New Moon rituals: take an energy cleansing bath, organize my space, set intentions for the month ahead, and of course, read some tarot.

Witch Way Magazine created this Friday the 13th Tarot Spread, which of course uses 13 cards to offer messages on this sacred day of the Goddess.

Witch Way Magazine Friday the 13th Spread

  1. Black Cat: An event crossing your path or an omen
  2. Walking Under a Ladder: Something you are avoiding in your life
  3. Broken Mirror: Something you aren’t seeing clearly, something confusing
  4. Knock on Wood: Where you are protected, how to protect yourself
  5. Cold Hands, Warm Heart: Romantic experiences, how to warm your heart
  6. Find a Penny Pick It Up: Where you can prosper, financial advice
  7. Wish Bone: A wish you made that will come true or a wish to focus on
  8. Thirteen Witches Coven: Your sacred tribe, valuable people in your life
  9. Thirteen Moons: Magic or a project to pay attention to on Friday 13th
  10. Thirteenth Floor: Something to skip, something you don’t need in your life
  11. Bad Luck: Something to prepare for going poorly
  12. Good Luck: Something to prepare for going well
  13. Changing Luck: Surprise events, something exciting

This morning, with coffee in hand, I asked the Universe for messages that would serve my greatest good today.

Friday the 13th Spread

This was so fun. I loved that each card referenced a well-known phenomenon dealing with luck and magic, such as the black cat or broken mirror. I love that it went a little further into the depth of what that could mean. The Black Cat represented an omen, while the Broken Mirror represents something you aren’t seeing clearly.

For my inquiry, I noticed right away that I received six Wands and three Major Arcana cards. I feel that means that the actions I take today have the potential to create shifts in my life as it relates to my work and spirituality. With the World Reversed, I know that it’s possible that I could get distracted easily.

The Heirophant in the Knock on Wood position felt so meaningful and powerful. I love that building a spiritual practice will protect me–and it was just something I thought about last night.

At first I thought this spread would be silly and just for fun, and I’m sure it could be, I was surprised to see some really spot on messages come through. I was surprised at some of what it showed me and gained a lot from it.

I recommend this spread to anyone who is interested in embracing the Friday the 13th energy, especially if you’re feeling like you’re in a funk today.

Since there were so many cards to remember, I suggest shuffling between each individual tarot card so you know you are drawing for the specific meaning of the card.

Let me know how this goes for you!

Tarot Spread Review: The Empress

Lately, I feel disconnected. 

My heart is in the right place and I can visualize where I want to be, but I can’t seem to materialize or manifest what I feel called to do.

I know I’m not alone—there are six retrograde planets (though Jupiter stationed direct today) and we just entered eclipse season. The energy around us is at intense extremes. My belief and understanding of retrogrades, however, is not that they’re here to mess us up—they are here to illuminate ways we can grow and change for the better. I love this take on all of the retrograde energy.

For me, this is a time to go deeper, ask for guidance and try to gain insight on the the areas I need to evolve. I usually meditate or read tarot for myself in times like this.

That’s probably why I was drawn to this tarot spread I found by Seeds of Shakti on Pinterest called The Empress: Unleash Your Inner Goddess. As an archetype and Major Arcana card, The Empress reflects generative, sensual, and creative power, and my hope was that this spread would help me tap into my own.

Empress Spread

This spread consists of five cards:

  1. How can I create & birth what I need in my life?
  2. What do I need to nurture within myself?
  3. What can I do to allow abundance flow with ease into my life?
  4. How can I embrace the Goddess with me?
  5. Message from The Empress

I closed my eyes, shuffled the deck, and asked my guides to give me insight that serves my greatest good to get out of this funk.

The Empress

I must admit, this spread blows me away.

Each card felt energetic and connective. Every card I turned was like “OH. Yes. This.”

Including the very first card I pulled, which to my amazement, was The Empress herself. In so many ways, this felt like a good omen. It affirmed my notion to bring more of this energy into my life, and that I was right to crave it. It makes me wonder if I’ve been living in a fearful mindset, afraid of my power, my potential, my perpetuity. 

It offered clear messages about why I’ve been feeling stuck, and certainly illuminated areas that I’ve been ignoring or overlooking as it relates to creating and manifesting what I want in this life.

The appearance of the swords and wands shows that action is now required —like I have all of the tools, the pillars, the foundations built—the time is now to act on my visions and allow room for the successes and failures alike. It’s time to work smarter not harder.

To free myself from the steel trap of my own negative or fearful thoughts will allow me to embrace who I am fully, completely.

I gained so much insight and energy from this spread, and I feel the momentum restoring back inside of me. I could see The Empress Spread helping anyone who feels detached from their femininity, in a funk, creatively blocked, feeling malnourished or uninspired.

I will definitely be using The Empress Tarot Spread again in readings!