October 31, 2016

Happy Samhain Everyone! 

This is the time at which we celebrate the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest time of the year. It is sometimes called the festival of the Dead and many of our contemporary Halloween traditions are derived from Samhain, a time at which the scrim between the seen and unseen realms is at it's thinnest. 

These cold, dark days ahead are when I tend to get the most work done as my cozy studio is more attractive when the sun is not beckoning me away from the drawing table. I've been working on a new tarot project and have created some fun coloring sheets that I wanted to share with you. This new deck is called the Floribunda (many flowering) and it delves deep into plant and animal correspondences. The first two coloring sheets I'm sharing are the High Priestess and the Hierophant. 

Feel free to download these coloring sheets and share them if you like. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

The High Priestess

Use this link to download a printable coloring sheet: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B162thIb-QQmNmpSVFFqWmt5eDA/view?usp=sharing

Keywords: Intuition, serenity, magic, dreams, secrets, new arrivals, honesty, balance, felinity, spirituality.

The High Priestess card is a link to the subconscious mind through dreams and symbols. Representing wisdom, knowledge, serenity, and understanding, she is the guardian of the unconscious realm. This Tarot card appears at times when you should look to your inner voice, dreams, and intuition for guidance. In a reading the High Priestess may indicate coming change. If you allow her to guide you, your intuitive and creative powers will increase. This is a card that often comes up for artists, poets and writers.

HERBLORE: Peony, verbena, heliotrope

The Hierophant

Use this link to download a printable version: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B162thIb-QQmZjNjM1NhYXh3ZWs/view?usp=sharing

Keywords: Learning, study, intelligence, organizations, community, corporations, rituals, religious affiliations, conventionality, traditions.

The Hierophant card represents tradition, hierarchy, and institutions and their values. The Hierophant is a symbol of the need to conform to rules or fixed ideas. In his focus on sharing knowledge through an institution, the Hierophant represents education, the pursuit of knowledge, and mentorship. He is the masculine counterpart to the High Priestess and is also known as the Pope or the Shaman. 

HERBLORE: Sage, lemon, violet


The Ever Lovely Hawthorn

September 10, 2016

Crataegus, the formal name of the ever lovely Hawthorn comes from the Greek word 'kratos' which means strength 'akis' meaning sharp. I'm going to mull over how that might be turned into a trendy new baby name (Crataegus... Gus for short... it's not actually that bad, eh?). The Hawthorn was one of the plants I tackled this week for my botanical flash card series and I think it's an apt addition to any apothecary or hedge witch collection.

Commonly called Hawthorn, this tree is variously known as the thornapple, May-tree, whitethorn, and hawberry, and it is from a large genus of shrubs and trees in the family Rosaceae. Native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere in Europe, Asia and North America almost anyone reading this will be able to head outdoors and find this awesome plant (my apologies to anyone reading this in the southern hemisphere, I need to get down there and make a botanical set for you guys!). I have a huge Hawthorn in my backyard and she is a beast to clean up after but a good source of reference material for drawing.

The fruit, or berries of this tree are called Haws or Hawberries. They are edible with a flavor some describe as over-ripe apples. The Haws can be used to make a jelly, homemade wine, and various sweets. The young, spring leaves are edible and can be used in salads. The dried berries can be eaten as a digestive aid and can be used to stimulate the heart and cardiac system.

I'm going to go round up a batch of Hawberries from the backyard. I don't think I'll try to make any homebrew - that generally is just a recipe for a stinky mash and a killer headache, but a Hawberry jelly sounds like a good plan!


How to Choose and Use a Focus Card in a Lenormand Reading

September 9, 2016

When reading Lenormand many people choose to use a Significator card. These cards may also be referred to as a focus card, key card, charged card etc.. Essentially, a Significator Card helps guide the reading toward a particular theme or person. So, how do we choose a significator card? What are the best cards for the kind of reading you are hoping to give or receive?

The most commonly chosen Significator or Focus cards are the Man and Woman. The querent can use these cards to represent themselves or someone they have questions about, a love interest for example. The cards that show up around a significator card provide information relating to the Focus card.

For example if the querent has questions about a female love interest in his life he can choose to place the Woman card as the Focus card and then see what turns up. A Woman + Whip could mean an abusive, caustic, or controlling woman is in the picture. A Woman card that shows up next to a Bear card, on the other hand indicates a caring, protective, matriarch type figure. When reading Lenormand I personally prefer to use Focus cards that address the theme of the reading rather than the people involved. For example, I would use the Heart card for a romance reading. There is some debate about which cards best represent particular themes but I like to use Heart for romance, Tree for health, Fox for day job, Fish for money and finance.

Significator cards work really well in a nine card spread. Use your Focus card in the center of the spread and then carefully observe the adjacent cards and their indications. In a nine card spread your column on the left often pertains to the past, the middle to the present (including your Focus card), and the cards on the right to the future. For example in a finance reading Clouds + Fish + Clover could indicate that the querent has had a lot of financial uncertainty in the past. The Clover card in the future can mean a lucky break or general good fortune in financial matters lies ahead. As with any Lenormand spread, its all about the relationships of the cards to one another. Try using a Focus card, it's a fun way to direct a reading and let me know how it goes! Happy Reading!

(The cards shown here are from the Scrying Ink Lenormand deck by yours truly. If you like it, you can get it here: http://bayandwillow.bigcartel.com/)