June Community Reading

Summer has already started here in North Texas, though Summer Solstice is still three weeks away. The balmy days of Spring have given way to June heat, and the cooler days of Fall seem an eternity away. But even as the midday sun drives this Priestess to the shade with her book and an iced tea, this season feels full of possibility.  The end May brought us the Full Flower Moon in Sagittarius, which encourages us to bring to all our greatest plans, schemes, and dreams. The power of Uranus in Taurus also reminds us of the power of our words and thoughts, and the Gemini Sun conspires with Sagittarius to help us run as far as we want, as fast as we want, toward what we most desire.

What does June hold for you? I’ve pulled cards from the gorgeous Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Oracle by Kim Krans to give you a little peek at what the month might hold for you and what energies you will be working with. I own several animal oracles, and this is one of my favorite. I love how Krans encourages us to think about animals not just as spiritual messengers, but as physical creatures with places in the ecosystem and the food web. She also avoids cultural appropriation and stereotypical images that are so common to animal oracles. As a white woman, I do not get to have a “spirit animal” — that is reserved for members of indigenous groups — but I can learn from animals and have had many animals who were spiritual teachers in my life. Working with Krans’s stunning deck is one way to bring those energies into our lives.

Take a moment to center yourself, then look at the cards below.

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Ask yourself which card or cards calls to you. When you have made your selection, close your eyes and take three slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then scroll down….

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Keep scrolling and breathing….

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If you chose Card #1, your animal teacher for June is Cobra.  Cobra is the quintessential spiritual teacher. Moreover, Cobra represents the inner teacher that every one of us possesses. Cobra encourages you to listen to the still, quiet voice of wisdom that lies deep inside you. Seek wisdom, both in yourself and in the world outside yourself. Be curious about life. Approach things with Beginner’s Mind, even if you have done the same task or activity a million times before. Cobra reminds you trust your inner wisdom and your own expertise but to also avoid egotism or becoming a know-it-all. We all, always, have more to learn. If you have been wishing to learn more about something or develop a new skill, June is the perfect time to undertake study or seek a teacher.

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If you chose Card #2, your animal teacher for the month is Tiger. The beautiful Tiger, who hunts at night by the light of the moon, reminds you to find time for solitude, contemplation, and silence. Take time to do the things that soothe your soul. Tiger is a sensual, passionate, strong animal — and Tiger never fears its own strength. As you work with Tiger, take the time to be in your body, to revel in being an embodied creature. If you relationship with your body is fraught, June is an excellent time to do work on healing this relationship. Take time to meditate, candle gaze, walk a labyrinth, or simply be outside under the moon in the velvety summer darkness. Seek solitude so that you may revitalize yourself.

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If you chose Card #3, your animal teacher for the month is Snake. Snake represents the untapped magickal potential within each of us, that power that lies coiled the base of the spine. Snake encourages you to get in touch with this power. What untapped or unrealized potential do you have? How can you access this power and use it to change your life? The Snake tells you that it’s time to level up, so to speak. Engaging in embodied practices such as yoga or ecstatic dance can help awaken the sleeping serpent of your power.

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May 2018 New Moon Oracle Reading

Happy New Moon in Taurus, Fellow Travellers!

This New Moon comes at an especially intense time astrologically. It’s been a challenging Spring, to say the least, with the powerful energies of Saturn and Pluto retrograde. Now Uranus is exerting its power over us, encouraging one of the biggest transformations in decades. This New Moon invites us to examine our relationships — with each other, with our work, with money, and with ourselves. What can we heal? What can we release? What can we prepare to welcome in?

While the New Moon itself occurs today, May 15, we will feel its influences until mid-June. I’ve drawn cards from the beautiful Vintage Wisdom Oracle by Victoria Moseley to provide some guidance for this New Moon.

Take a moment to center yourself. Take a few deep breaths and clear your mind. When you’re ready, focus on the cards below.

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Choose the card or cards that call to you. Then scroll down for your New Moon message.

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Keep breathing and scrolling……

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If you chose the card on the left, your card is Wisdom.

Wise Athena and Her owl are here to ask you to trust the wisdom that lies within you. Athena is said to have been blind on one side; the owl helped Her to see the whole truth. This card invites you to reflect on the wisdom you have gained throughout your life, and throughout this challenging cycle, in order to know how to best move forward.  Be honest with yourself about what is True in the ultimate sense of the word. Are there hard truths you have been unwilling to see? Are there untrue stories you tell yourself about yourself, or about others, that are not serving you? How can you balance love and wisdom, which ultimately need one another to exist? In what ways can you tap into your inner Wisdom and trust your own experience, your intution, and your sense of what is True?

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If you chose the center card, your card is Healing.

The apothecary offers healing elixirs to support your journey this New Moon cycle. Each promises new life and new beginnings. This card calls on you to reflect on the areas in your life that need healing and to invite that healing in. If you are resisting this healing, it is important to ask yourself why. This card also calls on you to consider your relationship with your body. How can you treat it with more love and more gentleness? If you are wanting to make lifestyle changes such as starting an exercise routine, modifying your diet, or beginning (or renewing) a spiritual practice, this card indicates that you have the support of the Universe right now. Our culture encourages us to have complicated and even dysfunctional relationships with our bodies. How can you heal your relationship with your body? What other areas of your life need healing? How can you welcome that healing in?

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If you chose the card on the right, your card is Playfulness.

The playful Fae on her (highly hallucinogenic!) fly agaric mushroom encourages you to find the joy and playfulness in life this New Moon cycle. Have you gotten too serious? Are you able to find the dark cloud in any otherwise clear sky? Have you been working too hard? This card invites to you find the silly moments in the every day, to appreciate the absurdities of life, and reliquish the need to control everything. Can you find a few  moments to just play and enjoy yourself? What did you like to do as a 10 year old? Can you find ways to bring that into your life now? What does it mean for you to play? If you can’t remember the last time you did something for the sheer joy of it, this card is telling you to get out and do just that. Whether it’s taking a few minutes to swing on a swing at a park, color in a coloring book, or even just laugh with a friend, it’s time to find the play in life — it’s been a serious season, and it’s time to break the tension.

 

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Defining My Terms

Did you know that I am working on a blog-to-book project for Moon Books? I’m so excited about this venture. You can read the first installment of my book, What is Feminist Witchcraft? here.

Vintage Reader

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March 8 is International Working Women’s Day

Sure, you’ll see it called International Women’s Day, but the roots of this observance lie in the labor movement. Women were instrumental in the move to organize labor in the United States, long before we gained the right to the ballot. (And never forget that it was really White women who won the ballot in 1920 — even today, women of color struggle to access the franchise which is rightfully theirs.) The role of women in organized labor is often overlooked — even more so in these anti-union times — and contemporary celebrations of International Women’s Day in the US tend to completely obscure the union and socialist roots of the day.

But we must not forget that many of the basic workplace protections we take for granted now — access to adequate exits, not being locked in our workplace during working hours, a minimum wage, the right to breaks, basic health and safety measures on the job, and so much more — were won by laborers who protested and struck, many of them women. (This is not to say that sweatshop conditions and other labor abuses don’t still exist, because they do — but that the basic protections we expect in our workplaces in the US were not the gifts of capital but hard-won by labor. And labor is still fighting for better working conditions, a living wage, and more.)

What does the role of women in the labor movement, or the labor movement more generally, have to do with Goddess Spirituality?

More than you might think.

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For those of us who practice Goddess Spirituality and/or Feminist Craft, the personal and the political are inextricably tied. The quest for justice and the quest for transcendence are one and the same. Goddess Spirituality offers us an avenue to actualize our power to change not only our own personal lives but to shift the world on a massive scale, if only we commit to doing so. What Goddess Spirituality seeks is not just personal empowerment or healing, but the healing of the planet and all who live upon and with her. We seek to bring about a total paradigm shift, starting first with ourselves and with our communities, and moving out in an ever growing spiral. In this great piece for Feminism and Religion, Jessica Bowman speaks of the ways in which Goddess Spirituality offers an alternative model of leadership. She calls it “women’s leadership”; while I do not think it is solely the purview of women, I do agree that many of the characteristics she writes about are those thought to belong to the domain of “the feminine” and which are part of the socialization of women and girls (and other feminine-of-center folks).

I look at the early labor demonstrations, led by women who did not yet have the ballot in the US but were leading social change in the streets, as essentially magickal rituals. Through ceremony, through public display, through the use of their voices, through drawing on deep anger, deep sorrow, and deep outrage, they helped to catalyze major social change.

Isn’t that what we seek to do with our rituals?

Rose Schneiderman’s impassioned speech in the aftermath of the Triangle Fire, in which 146 laborers (mostly women and girls) died horribly, is to me an invocation to the Goddess of Justice. (Full text here.)

We have tried you citizens; we are trying you now, and you have a couple of dollars for the sorrowing mothers, brothers and sisters by way of a charity gift. But every time the workers come out in the only way they know to protest against conditions which are unbearable the strong hand of the law is allowed to press down heavily upon us.

This International Women’s Day — Working Women’s Day — I honor those women who fought for justice before I was born, those alongside whom I am working for justice now, and those who will fight this good fight long after I am gone.

For they are the faces of the Goddess of Justice.

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Weekly Goddess Inspiration: Berchta

Early March is in in-between time. Back on my native South Dakota prairies, March either marked the very subtle beginnings of spring, or heralded one last round of storms where we’d be in Winter’s icy grip for a few more weeks. Here in Texas, it’s always a toss up as to whether early March will bring chilling rain and wind or high bright days in the 60s. More often than not, it does both in the same week. It’s this magickal time in between, where it’s not really Winter anymore but it’s not yet Spring, and we start to think about planting but hesitate in case one last freeze or flood comes our way. It’s a time to wait, suspended in the liminal space, when things are already heavy with potential. Soon we’ll hurtle headlong into Spring, with all its busyness and activity, but for now, we’re in that twilight period, where one season is not yet gone and another has yet to begin.

So who better to guide us through this time than the Germanic Goddess Berchta? Berchta has visited us via the Oracle before, a few summers ago. But her message — that the seeds of our future lie within us, ready to be planted and nurtured — seems so appropriate to the time we find ourselves in now. As we think forward to the Spring, we are reminded that the things we will nurture over this next cycle are already deep within us. They are things we nurtured and kept alive through the dark and introspective days of Winter. Our destiny is already within our power, if only we recognize it, fertilize it, honor it, tend to it.

 

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Berchta, from The Goddess Inspiration Oracle  by Kris Waldherr

As you work with Berchta this week, ask yourself the following questions:

What seeds lie within me, ready to be planted?

What will I do to nurture these seeds?

How can I find serenity and trust the process? In what ways is this difficult for me?

What do I feel is my destiny? How do I feel about this?

This entry is mirrored from my PaganSquare blog, Third Wave Witch

 

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March Full Moon Oracle Card Reading

March brings us not one by two Full Moons — the second month in 2018 to offer us this phenomenon, known as a Blue Moon. The first of March’s full moons occurs on March 1. Known as the Worm Moon, this moon asks us to focus on what we need to fertilize or prepare in order to get ready to plant our dreams, goals, and projects for the Spring. Occurring midway between the Imbolc Sabbat and the Spring Equinox (March 21), this moon is ideal for reflection on what it is we want to bring forth and what we need to do to prepare the soil to nourish those things we plant. This year’s Worm Moon is in Virgo, which amplifies the focus on work, on practical and direction action, and on attention to detail.

We have spent the Winter in quiet reflection, doing deep work in the dark and cold. The Worm Moon reminds us that Spring is coming — we must decide what we want to bring forth out of the deep dark soil of Winter into the bright sunlight of Spring.

This Full Moon’s Oracle reading is designed to help you gather your resources and focus your energies as the earth begins to warm and we begin to till the soil and plant new seeds. This month I’m using The Gaia Oracle by Toni Carmine Salerno. This beautiful, gentle oracle is wonderful for doing work that needs a gentle but honest and supportive voice.

Take a deep breath and center yourself. Ask that you be given the message that will serve your highest good.

Take a moment to look at the cards below, and choose the ones that call to you.

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From left to right: Card #1 (Gold Quartz), Card #2 (Rose Quartz heart), and Card #3 (Cherry Quartz)

Then scroll down to see the reveal….

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Breathe and keep scrolling…..

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If you have chosen Card #1,  your card is the Tree of Life.

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This card invites you to reflect on the way that all your past experiences — good and bad, joyful and painful — have shaped you. You have put down roots, grown and matured like the tree on the card. It is time for a new cycle to begin! This card also reminds you that you are the creator of your own life and the master of your own destiny. Anything you would love to create is absolutely possible, as long as you remain mindful that what you create is for the good of all beings. Take time to be grateful for all that you have, both materially and nonmaterially. Blessings surround you, and are in limitless supply.

If you chose Card #2, your card is The Hidden Path.

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This card reminds you that even when the path forward is unclear, we must always keep moving forward. You may have come to a fork in the road in your spiritual journey, or even a place where the path seems to have ended. Trust your inner guidance — you will know how to move forward into the unknown with grace and courage. It is time to bring your mind and heart into alignment — this is the way forward, though the path seems unclear. Being willing to forge ahead with only your own inner light to guide you will take you to unexpected places and on adventures you never imagined. Your own inner light illuminates your path.

If you chose Card #3, your card is Purification (Water)

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This card invites you to give yourself time to cleanse, purify, and rejuvenate. The coming days may be highly emotional and even tumultuous, but do not let this make you anxious or afraid. You are in the midst of a cycle of profound healing. You have dived deep into your emotions and confronted many things that have been holding you back. This card heralds a new cycle in which you can let go of old emotional baggage and things that do not serve you, and move forward into a new day refreshed, rejuvenated, and free.

 

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Weekly Goddess Inspiration: Hathor

This entry is mirrored from my PaganSquare blog, Third Wave Witch.

This week, beautiful and fertile Hathor comes into our reading to encourage us to see the bounty all around us. For many in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s the tail end of Winter — things are brown and dreary, or even still covered with a blanket of snow, and it seems as though the blossoms and sprouts of Spring are a million years away. This Winter has been hard for many of us, this Priestess included, with depression and even despair creeping in around the edges as a seemingly endless string of tragedies, scandals, and losses unfurl in the news every day. It can be hard to remember to count our blessings, to revel in the love and bounty around us, and to keep the faith that spring will come. But Hathor is here to remind us.

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Hathor, from The Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr

Often viewed as the Egyptian equivalent to Aphrodite or Venus, Hathor is thought of principally as a love or fertility Goddess in some circles. And certainly this is part of her domain — the beautiful, the sensual, the romantic. But she also asks us to think about fertility more broadly — as prosperity, as all the things that bloom and burgeon and burst forth into life. Hathor, the beautiful Golden Cow, reminds us that prosperity and abundance are everywhere, in countless forms, if only we choose to see them.

As you work with Hathor this week, reflect on these questions:

What does prosperity mean to me?

What does fertility mean to me?

Where do I see prosperity in my life?

Where do I feel my prosperity is lacking?

In what ways can I foster prosperity in my life?

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