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My Experience at the 2018 Hoodoo Queen Conjure Fete

This past weekend I traveled down south to Mobile, Alabama for the first annual Hoodoo Queen Conjure Fete hosted by Co Meadows. This entire trip was spiritually arranged and supported, from finding the right plane tickets at an affordable price, to the constant affirmations I was receiving from the world around me. My friends and family were a mix of supportive and uncertain about the trip and what it would mean for me.

As I approached the Carnival Museum where the Fete was hosted I was greeted and accepted into a wonderful group of individuals from all over America. Though I wasn’t the only person of European descent, I knew that in some ways I would be an outsider due to my lineage- though outsider isn’t really the right word- I was a witness. I witnessed Co empowering men and women to step into their power. I was empowered as well. I witnessed the beautiful history of how Africans kept their religion and magic alive after they were forcibly taken from there homes and brought to America.

I witnessed the power of Hoodoo when we began this day with a ritual cleansing and uncrossing. All of us in a circle, dancing and clapping as Co cleansed and uncrossed us one at a time, and each time a cleansing and uncrossing was completed the sun would come out and shine success down on us. It was supposed to rain all day that day, but the rain held off until well into the evening. When Co cleansed an elder and spoke of her wisdom, and when Co cleansed the children and spoke of the future, there was healing and connection and deepening. When Co cleansed and uncrossed me he had words for me that I keep close to my heart. I felt a lightness that revived me from the inside out.

(Conversing after the cleansing and uncrossing)

In some ways, I was jealous of the knowledge passed down to Co through familial generations. What a gift to have had this knowledge and wisdom kept alive through the family lineage. This experience highlighted again to me the way that our ancestors coming to America stripped us of our histories- or at least tried to do so, not just to the Africans and Haitians but to all of us. As a whole, as Americans, I don’t think we consider our roots often. So many people don’t even know why they celebrate the holidays the way that they do or what their traditions really symbolize.

Co also spoke about how Catholic saints were fronts for African gods and goddesses. I felt the connection of our lineages through that, as this is also true of my Celtic heritage and the gods of my ancestors. I have a deep understanding of how the Catholic Church incorporated much of my ancestral practices, and what these practices originally meant, and the magic behind them. So many of the saints were originally gods and goddesses in my lineage.

Co taught us about working with ancestors and spirits, and the spirits of plants, and the proper way to set an ancestral altar, and the importance of getting to the truth of things. Though Co is absolutely hilarious and an incredibly captivating teacher, he is also grounded and true. The truth that real magic is dirty and simple and symbolic and not at all what many think it is was beyond refreshing to hear from a spiritual leader. I got more from this event than I did from most of the books I have read throughout my lifetime- and quite honestly, that’s no small wonder, especially considering that many books on magic today are not historically rooted in practices that work.

(Co getting ready to teach us some hoodoo workings)

We learned about spiritual tools like divining with fire (which was not for me) and with water (this worked for me). We also made divination mats while Co spoke to us about spiritual development, and understanding that not everyone has every kind of spiritual gift. Even though many are waking up to spiritual reality and their spiritual nature, it doesn’t mean they are seers or workers or healers just because they want to be. He spoke truth above all, and it’s what we all needed to hear.

(Co showing us his divination mat as an example for the ones we made)

As a spiritual worker serving within community and working through my own lineage, I came out of this experience better for having attended and with greater confidence. For anyone who isn’t a spiritual worker, it’s just as beneficial. If you look at the core of what Co teaches, you’ll understand that it doesn’t matter what your lineage is: you still have roots, you still have ancestors to honor, and you still have spiritual experiences to understand.

Don’t misunderstand me, though. This was about African American Hoodoo and Conjure. I could extrapolate and apply much of what I learned within my own magical system because of some commonalities, but this was an event that I was blessed to attend and be part of due to what I learned about African American magic and religion. I was blessed to witness this beautiful, deep, powerful culture which isn’t mine but which enhances the greater American culture.

Not only did Co put together a fabulous, welcoming and truly worthwhile event for all of us, he also made himself available to answer our questions and go over the things we learned after the event. And I absolutely cannot leave out the immense generosity and thoughtfulness that Co displayed by having delicious cupcakes brought in for a couple who was there celebrating their ten year anniversary- and not just cupcakes, but cupcakes with the couples’ initials in the frosting.

I loved every minute of this experience. I have great love for everyone I met. And I’ve got my sights set on Co’s exclusive tarot deck not only because of its unique system but oh my goddess, the artwork is gorgeous!

(Co Meadows and me ❤️)

Love Your Spirits

This article was originally written for and published in Witch Way Magazine -another publication for which I write. 

February is the month when we celebrate all forms of love, from the romantic to the friendly, from the familial to the spiritual. I find this to be a time to express gratitude and give little gifts to the people and spirits who make my life better. When working with spirits it’s not uncommon to develop strong bonds.There are some special things you can do this month to honor your spiritual friends, whether they are the underground fey folk, animal spirits, spirits of passed loved ones, or other entities.

Often our passed loved ones will visit us in our dreams. One way to connect with and honor them is to actually invite them to visit you in your dreams. You can brew a cup of mugwort tea and set the intention that you are open to your passed loved one coming to visit to commune with you during your dreamtime. It can be a lovely, no pressure way to connect if they are interested in coming around to chat. Don’t be offended if they don’t stop by- after all, they’ve got lives to live too!

Set up an altar that honors your animal guides. Choose candles that reflect their coloring, items that reflect their unique personalities, incense that you associate with them. Write them a note of gratitude with a food offering that is appropriate to them (seeds for birds, for example) and leave your altar up over Valentine’s day.

Enter a deep meditation to connect with faery friends out in nature in a “between” time (like twilight) and leave an offering under an oak tree of fresh cut flowers, or a beautiful stone. If February is usually bitter cold and filled with snow like it is where I live, you could build a faery house instead. Use a mini terra cotta planter and make a faery home that fits your unique faery friends.

My rules of thumb for honoring the special connection between me and the many spirits that grace my life are love and thoughtfulness. A little extra effort to show that you appreciate someone (in whatever form they are in) goes a long way in growing and strengthening the bond.

January 2018 New Moon Tarot Reading

Our first new moon of the new year occurs Tuesday, January 16th at 9:18PM in the sign of Capricorn. New moons are lunar new beginnings and a special time of spiritual planting to increase our overall enjoyment and fulfillment in life. Your guidance for this new moon is given with the Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy and the cards I pulled for you are The Nine of Coins, The Fool, & The Four of Cups.

With the Nine of Coins we see a woman riding a beautiful bird (carrying pearls in its beak) over her field of growing flowers and coins. We begin this reading with the guidance that you should take a look at all of your accomplishments so far and give yourself credit where credit is due. Look at the life you have created for yourself, and look at your abundance in all its forms. Remain unattached but observant to all that you have in your life, including your material rewards.

The bird in this card symbolizes that spiritual perspective that keeps you on a healthy track when you’re working toward worldly goals, and the pearls in the mouth of the bird represent the spiritual wisdom you have gained from all of your toils in this world as well. Ideally, you will experience a sense of satisfaction when you look at your life and how far you have come. If you don’t gather at least some satisfaction, this is a cue to look at your perspective on things and address any internal poverty of spirit.

You are encouraged, true to earthy Capricorn, to develop your sense of healthy ambition that feeds the heart and soul as well as body and supports your autonomy. This is also a time to develop a plan for your future security and for reaching your goals. The coins along with the flowers in this card show that true accomplishment leads to contentment, not to vying for more.

With The Fool a new journey begins, auspiciously supported by the phase of the moon. This is a time when myriad possibilities and potentials present themselves to you and you will find you have choices to make. Make sure you are grounded in reality so that you can confidently trust your intuition about the right direction to go. The little bat holding on to the cloth of the Fool’s waistband symbolizes the need to pay attention the signs around you and encouragement to follow the unfamiliar path, but also- to watch where you are going. Sleepwalking through life is unadvised. This is a time for you to keep your eyes open, drink from the cup of courage, and follow your heart.

The Four of Cups draws attention to any sense of emotional dissatisfaction you may be prone to experiencing at this time, as it is a sign of what needs to change. It can also be a sign of a faulty or narrow perspective. Sometimes, we create our own heartache by fixating on one thing we feel we don’t have. This is an invitation to look deeper. What does this loss you feel you are experiencing actually represent?

The Four of Cups is a bit of the shadow side of lovely Capricorn. Fear can be paralyzing, and we can become inflexible and joyless. Be careful not to isolate or cut yourself off from all of the blessings around you due to a limiting pattern of thinking or perspective. Don’t cut yourself off at the knees by refusing to believe you can have what you want or by being unwilling to be open to the many roads to get there. Don’t lose heart before the gods have the chance to deliver. Instead, guard your heart with gratitude and adopt an optimistic view.

This new moon is a time for you to go your own way and to remain open to the good that will undoubtedly unfold for you. The world really is your oyster.

Setting New Moon Intentions

The New Moon in earthy Capricorn is a fabulous time to consider Setting New Moon Intentions – and Capricorn especially supports intentions revolving around:

-Achieving Goals and Accomplishments

-Self Discipline

-Commitments

-Decision Making

– Using Opportunities

-Respect

-Letting go of an excessively controlling nature, which produces a lack of joy, inflexibility and fear.

Wolf Moon Tarot Reading 2018

The full moon occurs on January 1st in the sign of cancer. Clear your mind, make a wish, and fall in love! For the Wolf Moon and first full moon tarot reading for January, I am using the Prisma Visions Tarot to share with you a message from the spirit realm. Our cards for this reading are the King of Swords, Nine of Chalices, and The Lovers.

We see here a progression: clarity of mind, followed by gratitude and hope, resulting in an exuberant love for life and a shedding of inhibition.

Well, there is no space for muddled thinking this full moon. Clear the air of your mind and let your thoughts transform like water in its many states, becoming clearer with each change. The King of Swords is regal with this nest of swans- more than a little aware of his ability to manifest and change things through the power of his thoughts and words. He encourages you to recognize that power within yourself and to behold your own life with a new clarity, and then proceed from there.

If ever there were a magical time, this full moon is it. Make a wish and enjoy with gratitude the abundance all around and within you. The Nine of Chalices shows a person relaxing and enjoying the natural world. Feel that true contentedness within yourself. Enjoy the moment and count all that you have accomplished, all the ways you have grown over the past year, and all that you are now as a result of living your life thus far. Keep your heart open for what is to come in this new year.

Romance is at hand and not just the romance between lovers, but the romance of life. Engage in your emotions, let others see your true self. The Lovers depict dancers in masks, uninhibited in their self-expression. Let this scene become you. Express yourself: your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions, your needs, wants, desires. In the world of faery there is the logic that sometimes you have to put on a mask first in order to reveal your truth, then take off your mask to inhabit your truth. The question becomes: what will it take for you to feel free? Break down barriers and throw yourself into life with all that you are. There is still so much to experience!

Brightest Blessings & A Happy New Year🌙✨

Gratitude for 2017

2017 is winding down, and what a year it has been. True to form, this year has seen many rapid, unexpected and fateful changes on a global level. Victories and defeats. It was truly a Wheel of Fortune year (according to tarot) and we influenced our own luck by how we handled the things with which we were presented. This has been a year where it’s been easy to feel out of control because of what has been happening in our world around us. Did we learn that we get to control how we respond, and to look for solutions instead of covering ourselves in ashes and wailing?

2017 was for me personally, the year of The Hermit. On a macro level my life has been influenced by the Wheel of Fortune energy, on a micro, or personal level my being and growth has been influenced by Hermit energy.

I’m an introvert by nature, so lessons of solitude weren’t the focus, though I have indeed spent quite a bit of time alone this year combing through my subconscious. No, this year, my lessons had more to do with living according to my inner wisdom above the ruckus of the world’s opinions.

It was a year of developing greater inner strength, of remaining impartial and holding up a light for others, and it was a year filled with much confusion and turmoil (along with some really fantastic times), as I did my best to listen to my inner wisdom and follow it.

I’m grateful for the difficult lessons because they have shaped me for the better, bringing about a stronger resolve and prying my metaphorical hands off of viewpoints and opinions and ways of being that weren’t conducive to my growth or highest good. As Mary Oliver wrote:

“someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

That sums up my year pretty well.

Some of the things I learned this year:

  • Other peoples’ opinions of me are none of my business. Much as I might have wished I fully believed that in the past, now I finally do.
  • Creating a sacred space at home is worthy work. Everyone who came into my home this year told me they felt immediately grounded, safe, and at ease. Being able to provide a haven for others has been one of the greatest gifts this year.
  • Generosity of spirit is a welcoming beacon.
  • I can collaborate with others without compromising myself or my integrity. It just takes finding the right people to collaborate with. This one was a difficult lesson indeed. I am more apt to entirely avoid collaboration because group projects have never been kind to me.
  • It’s possible to be both spiritual and petty. We can’t slice ourselves into pieces and then call ourselves whole. The light and the darkness must coexist for a true sense of unity.
  • It may be a good use of my gifts to begin teaching courses.

I’m very grateful for these lessons. Other things I’m super grateful for from this year are as follows:

  • Cats! Snow! Summer nights!
  • Full moon celebrations
  • Diversity in friendship
  • Meeting one of my pen pals of 18 years
  • Seeing San Diego
  • Traveling
  • Game nights with friends
  • The Rochester community
  • The tarot community
  • All the people I’ve met
  • All the clients I’ve given readings and have had the privilege to get to know
  • Officiating a wedding for two people who had to struggle against the world to finally be married to each other
  • Soulmates
  • Books
  • Small Kindnesses
  • Beauty
  • Reconciliations
  • Healing
  • Sleeping in
  • Magic

I had the privilege of reading tarot at the Kutzky Pop-up market, the Olmsted County Fair, the UU Handcrafted Bazaar, and the Healer’s Holiday Open House, among other events. Hosting my Grand Opening at Café Steam was total blast! Being on the Faith Talk Show was so much fun!

It has been a year of growth for me and for Owl in the Oak Tarot. I’m excited to continue to serve the Rochester community (and those who live outside of MN who I have the privilege of reading tarot for) and to see what the new year brings.

Thank you to everyone who has been in my life in big and small ways. Thank you to all who have been instrumental in my growth, and who have allowed me to be instrumental in yours. Thank you for being you!

💚🙏🏻🌙✨🔮

P.S. If you would like to know what tarot card represents your personal year for 2018, and if you’d like a forecast to help you navigate the year ahead, click here.

Yuletide Celebrations

What a year it’s been! I’m already reflecting on everything that has happened and all the wonderful people I’ve met and gotten to know better. There’s so much to be grateful for, and as of now I’m also still holding out hope for a real snowfall in the next two days. Meanwhile, tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, or Yule. This is the holiday I observe for spiritual reasons, and there are many ways I celebrate.

One of the things I decided to do this year was the advent wreath. Advent simple means “arrival” and in my case, this would be the arrival of the sun. After the longest night of the year the sun is reborn and the days begin to grow longer again. So I will light all my advent candles tomorrow (I have been lighting one every Sunday for the past four weeks) as a symbol of hope for the light’s return in all its forms. Especially the light of peace in the world.

I gave handmade witch ball ornaments to a few friends and colleagues this year. They can be programmed for any purpose and it’s important to choose ingredients that match your intention. The ones I gave away were for prosperity or faery blessings.

My boyfriend and I will also exchange gifts tomorrow, and I’m making a bacon-red pepper-asparagus strata (which I love for the Yuletide color correspondence of red/green veggies) in the morning and a roast in the evening. Friends will stop by throughout the day, we’ll watch holiday movies and chat and probably do a puzzle. I’ll light some incense pertinent to the holiday (in my case, frankincense) and snuggle up with tea and hot cocoa throughout the day.

Magical work that focuses on transformation, renewal, or divination is especially potent during the Winter Solstice. You could do a simple fire ceremony or candle magic during this day.

If you’re looking to celebrate Yule and enjoy incorporating many natural elements, or are looking to do something a little out of the ordinary, here are some different correspondences you can use to add depth to your celebrations and/or magic work:

Yule Incense/scents

  • Frankincense
  • Cedar
  • Rosemary
  • Evergreen
  • Bay
  • Bayberry
  • Chamomile
  • Holly
  • Juniper
  • Mistletoe
  • Sage
  • Myrrh

Colors

  • Gold
  • Green
  • Red
  • Silver
  • White

Animals/birds

  • Bear
  • Deer
  • Pig
  • Squirrel
  • Owl
  • Wren
  • Eagle

Gemstones

  • Ruby
  • Garnet
  • Bloodstone

Yuletide Blessings to You! 💚❤️🎄❄️✨

Your Tarot Forecast for the Year

I’m excited to announce a new, limited service that I’ve put a lot of care and effort into designing for you to help you go into 2018 with great confidence.

Are you wondering what the upcoming year has in store for you? With the tarot forecast you can get a jump on the year ahead and receive valuable information to help you make plans and achieve your goals. In this comprehensive forecast you will receive:

  1. Your karmic message for the year along with karma specific strengths you can use to your advantage, and karma specific obstacles you may face. Your karmic message is essentially your theme for the year- an ongoing backdrop to all of your experiences for the year. This theme will have distinct advantages and weaknesses to it. Knowledge of this will help you navigate the year ahead with confidence. I’ll need your birthdate for this aspect of the forecast.
  2. A breakdown forecast for each month of the year.  You’ll see what to look forward to and pitfalls to avoid on a month-by-month basis.
  3. A forecast for love, work, and finance for your year.

The yearly forecast is of limited availability. I’m only offering 10 of these readings through January 31st, and all of these readings will be completed by February 1st (at the latest. Usually it takes 1-2 days after you order). You’ll receive your forecast in PDF format in your email. It will be an excellent reference packet full of of predictions and advice for you.

Yearly Tarot Forecast

$300.00

New Moon Tarot Reading for December 2017

Below is your New Moon Tarot Reading for December, 2017. I’m using the Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy.

Tomorrow’s new moon in Sagittarius (occurring at 1:30AM) encourages you to put an end to all internal and external conflicts for this year. The Five of Wands is a reminder that although we may have issues within ourselves and with others, if we are creative we can find a solution that is respectful all around. This is the time to find the core of what really sets you spinning for better or for worse, and to make some necessary changes. Sagittarius will give an added boost to all conflict resolution and all wishes for peace of mind.

All new moons are opportunities for fresh starts, and we have the added energy of the Ace of Cups for fresh starts and new beginnings in love, all kinds of relationships, and spirituality. The Ace of Cups indicates a great opportunity for a heart-centered new beginning and a deeper rooted sense of self-love. If you have been struggling with loving yourself and others, and with forgiveness of yourself and others, this could be a breakthrough time for you.

Between the Ace of Cups and the Seven of Cups we have a unique window for finding real inner truth as well. If you’ve been toiling outside of your integrity, now is the time to hone in on who you are and what you really want- look not just to your ambitions, but to what they represent and what need you think they will fill. This reflection will encourage you to see clearly and to make better choices from your new understanding.

Overall between the three cards we have a theme of finding inner peace and deep, abiding love after solving and releasing conflict within ourselves and with others, bringing a new sense of clarity that will allow us to make better choices in the future for which we may be continuously fulfilled.

May you all take advantage of the opportunities presented to you, and be blessed! ✨🔮✨

December 2017 Full Moon Tarot Reading

We’ve come upon our last full moon of the year, occurring in Gemini, and the focus has much to do with how we are using our energy particular in the areas that Gemini rules: communication skills, social ease, and positive daily interactions. For this month’s full moon tarot reading I’m using the Paulina Tarot by Paulina Cassidy.

Despite the pressures that come with the holiday season, you are being reminded to focus on joy and fun. Relax and trust that you are abundantly cared for, and that all your needs will be met. Go out to parties and other events with people who can help bring you out of your shell. An important aspect of the Sun card is the literal sun: the days are getting shorter still, so continue to seek out vitamin D and sunshine as much as you can to keep your spirits lifted. You are being reminded that the things you love to do are important to your overall well-being, and that this aspect of life is not to be neglected.

The Ten of Wands cautions you about the perils of taking on too much. So during this full moon, consider how you can simplify your life and what can be delegated to others. Burnout is so easy especially when you’re focusing more on what you feel must be done, instead of on what your own body, mind, and spirit needs. You don’t have to do it all. Put down your burdens and refocus on what is most important to you. If you’ve been carrying around old emotional burdens, now is also the time to forgive, let go, and resolve these issues.

A lot of emotional energy can be spent on fighting, or refusing to talk about what’s bothering you, or even on other peoples’ issues that don’t concern you. The Nine of Wands asks: how do you deal with conflict and confrontation? In what ways can you improve in how you handle these things? Conflict is a normal part of life, and how you handle it can either bring you closer to others, or drive a wedge deeper between you and others. Be courageous in speaking what’s in your mind and heart, and be courageous in allowing yourself to truly hear what others are saying to you as well. Be proactive with conflict resolution. Tie up loose ends with people in your life you may have wronged or left things unsaid with, and prepare to move forward.

Brightest Blessings! ✨🌙✨

November 2017 New Moon Tarot Reading

The new moon in Scorpio occurs at 6:43AM tomorrow, bringing up deep emotions and shining a light on relationships, needs, and goals. For this month’s new moon tarot reading, I’m using the Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy.

If you have any lingering disappointments about opportunities or relationships that didn’t pan out, take some time to work through your grief. When you’re ready you’ll see that there are still so many good things waiting for you to turn around and recognize them. It’s also an important time to address attitudes about what you don’t have. Too much focus on what you wish you had but didn’t, or did have but lost, blinds you to the many wonderful aspects of your life and all that you *do* have. You can correct this view by listing off what you’re grateful for on a regular basis, and soon enough you’ll see that things to be grateful for continue to come into your life as a steady stream.

This new moon is also an auspicious time for partnerships of all kinds. Whether you’re thinking about committing romantically or in business, the right people will present themselves. Take the time to make sure that any new partner will be a good and balanced fit. This is a time to step it up and not accept unbalanced relationships in your life.

Take some time to have some fun as well: maybe go out with friends or have a day just for you. Set some new goals in motion or take the next steps toward goals you’re working toward. Make sure the people you surround yourself with are supportive and want to see you succeed. You need people in your life who will celebrate your success and encourage you to go after what you want. Nurture those relationships.

Bright Blessings! 🔮🖤🌑🌜

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