On Deck: Mystic Mondays Tarot

Indie tarot and oracle decks are having a renaissance at the moment, allowing new interpretations of classic cards to crop up in such variety that it seems impossible not to find one that strikes your fancy. The most recent to cross my path is the Mystic Mondays Tarot by Grace Duong, which is on Kickstarter until June 30, 2017.

This version of the tarot deck is focused on reinterpreting the cards, favoring intuitive readings that are still based on the Rider Waite tarot. From the Kickstarter: “Since the Mystic Mondays deck is based on the Rider Waite, it maintains the integrity of the meanings, while keeping the illustrations simple to get to the heart of the matter.” It’s worth noting that the image she shows as an example is the Quick and Easy Tarot that is illustrated using the Universal Waite. Duong explains that her own experience with tarot fell a little flat because of the way the meanings were written, and I completely agree, as I am not a fan of the Quick and Easy Tarot either.

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How to Make and Use Cascarilla Powder

Cascarilla (kas-kuh-ree-uh) is powered eggshell that can be used in a wide variety of spells and charms. It is especially useful cleansing and protection magick; however, don’t confuse it with the plant of the same name. This wonderfully useful substance is easy to make and use. In fact, it’s so easy to make at home that I don’t see any point in buying it from someone else, though plenty of places sell it. Chicken egg cascarilla is the most common, by far, but theoretically any egg could be used.

Cascarilla is made from eggshells, so it’s not vegan, but with a little effort you can easily make sure it’s cruelty free. Another reason that I simply will not buy cascarilla is that there’s no way to know how the eggs were obtained and how the chickens that created those eggs were treated. If a chicken is tormented in a factory farm, how could that misery not infuse its egg? What energy does that then transfer to your space or magickal workings?

How to Make Cascarilla Powder

Supplies:

  • Airtight bottle or container
  • Eggshells
  • Mortar and pestle

Directions:

Begin by removing the membrane from the egg shells. Place the eggshells into a mortar and grind with the pestle using circular motions in a sunwise (clockwise) direction. Continue to grind until the egg shells are the desired texture. Store in airtight bottle or container.

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New Moon May 25th 2017 in Gemini

May’s New Moon in Gemini occurs at 3:44 PM EST on Thursday the 25th, and you can do your New Moon ritual on either the night of Thursday the 25th or Friday the 26th at any time. I’m very happy that this New Moon has more time in which to observe it than some of the previous ones this year. The only hiccup is if you try to observe the New Moon early on Wednesday the 24th, the Moon will be void-of-course from 3:08 PM until 8:15 AM on Thursday the 25th when it enters Gemini.

The two week manifestation point for this New Moon is June 9th with the Full Moon in Sagittarius. Its six month Full Moon will happen on December 3rd 2017 with the Full Moon in Gemini.

My guide, Witch’s Guide to New Moon Magick, can be found on the site here; this post is a companion to that guide. If you’re new to Moon magick that’s a great place to begin.

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Eight Beltane Season Celebration Ideas

The Beltane season is upon us! Whether you celebrate on May Day Eve (April 30th) or May Day (May 1st) the light half of the year has officially begun. Beltane is generally treated as a fertility festival with a heavy emphasis on sexuality. That’s not my interest in this Sabbat, however. In fact, fertility in the traditional sense is about the last thing that this Pagan couple wants. Additionally, I wanted to come up with a list that works for families with kids and LGBTQ folks who (must) feel excluded from traditionally hetero/Wiccan celebrations, especially Beltane. Witchcraft and paganism is for everyone folks, not just heterosexuals. I know a lot of people celebrate Beltane without the kids, as well, but we try to include them in some type of seasonal activity for every Sabbat.

Regardless of how you choose to observe the Sabbats, below are eight ideas for Beltane celebrations to add to your seasonal activities, be they solitary, in pairs, with kids, in a coven, or conducted from inside the “broom closet.” Remember that Beltane is a season and not just one day; these activities can be done any time in the six weeks between Beltane and Midsummer.

1. Ancestor Work: When you think of ancestor work you are probably going to think of Samhain. However, in the southern hemisphere, Beltane is Samhain. The veil is just as thin on Beltane as it is on Samhain, and each kicks off their respective halves of the year (Beltane for light and Samhain for dark). Because of this you can still communicate with the departed, ask for their blessing, or give them an offering. It’s a nice time to check in and update your ancestors on how you’ve been doing over the last six months. One way to do this is to write them a letter, address the envelope with their name(s), and then burn it in your cauldron or a fire safe container. Offerings to the deceased are traditionally burned as burning items releases it into the ether.

2. Aromatherapy: When you live in a place where the seasons don’t change much, using seasonal fragrances can make it feel like the Wheel of the Year is still turning. We aren’t super strict about it, but generally lavender is a spring/Imbolc scent whereas patchouli is used in the fall/Samhain season. Some suggested scents for Beltane include gardenia, honeysuckle, jasmine, lilac, lily, rose, and any other floral that you enjoy.

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Full Moon May 10th 2017 in Scorpio

Many of the Full and New Moon dates for 2017 are tricky this year, with a lot of them occurring very early or late at night, and switching signs by the following evening. May’s Full Moon is one of those. While a lot of people will surely report that it’s on the 10th, which it technically is, by the evening of the 10th it’s in another sign.

I highly recommend doing your Full Moon ritual either on the evening of Tuesday the 9th or before sunset on Wednesday the 10th while the Moon is in Scorpio, the correct sign to end this six month cycle that started with the New Moon in Scorpio on October 30th 2016. The Full Moon is technically at 5:42 PM EST on the 10th, but the Moon goes void-of-course at precisely the same time and stays void until 12:59 PM EST on the 11th when it moves into Sagittarius. If you wait until the evening of the 11th to charge your items and/or perform your ritual you will have Sagittarius energy and if you wait until after sunset on the 10th you’ll have void energy. The evening of Tuesday May 9th will work because the Moon has moved into Scorpio by that point. Basically, you can do May 2017’s Full Moon either on the evening of Tuesday the 9th or before 5:42 PM EST on Wednesday the 10th.

About May’s Full Moon

There are multiple names for May’s Full Moon, but the most common by far is the Flower Moon. Other names are the Corn Planting Moon and Milk Moon. The Flower Moon has fairly obvious origins; after all, April showers bring May flowers! May is the season of flowers and it only makes sense that May’s Moon would bear that name. Additionally, May is the month of Beltane, the pagan Sabbat honoring the goddess Flora. It was also called the Milk Moon as this was the time that cows would be giving milk. The message of this Full Moon is one of fertility and coaxing your projects into bloom.

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Simple Kitchen Witch Coffee Spell

Kitchen witchery is the art of infusing home life with magick. Generally speaking, kitchen witches concern themselves with their families’ lives and use magick to make the home more harmonious and prosperous.

This simple coffee spell can be done daily. I use this spell almost every day and it works wonders. It can also adjusted for tea if you’re British and make black tea every day like my gran did.

Supplies:

  • Coffee (or tea)
  • Cup
  • Milk (cow or plant)
  • Spoon
  • Sugar

Directions:

Pour the coffee or tea into the cup and say, “Coffee for energy.” Then add the sugar and say, “Sugar to make the day sweet.” Finally add the milk and say, “Milk for productivity.” Stir the coffee 9 times sunwise (clockwise) and say, “By the power of three times three, as I will so mote it be!” Drink the coffee and have a productive day. Note: You can also think the words instead of saying them, it works just as well.

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