Sunday, June 25, 2017

Intermediate and Advanced Tarot Classes This Summer!

Hello, everyone...shameless marketing alert! :)

Tradition of the Witches Circle is proud to offer both a six-week Intermediate Tarot and a six-week Advanced Tarot this summer and fall!

I'll be teaching Intermediate tarot starting on Friday, July 7 from 7-9pm; the cost is $120. Advanced Tarot begins in late August and will also be offered on Friday nights for $120. There will be no break between the two, but there will be a few Fridays off here and there to accommodate my own schedule.

To run the class, we need at least five students. So if you're interested, please comment on the post and also call or email 13 Magickal Moons to make sure your place is reserved. I'd like to have a definite number of students by this Friday, June 30. We're also offering the course via Oovoo, so even if you can't make it to the shop, you can still attend!
I look forward to seeing many of you on Friday nights this summer and fall to deepen your study of this incredibly fascinating subject! :)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Tolerance vs. Acceptance: Bill, Ted, and Being Excellent To Each Other

Hello everyone...just wanted to share a disappointing yet enlightening story that happened in my life recently.

Let me be clear on this at the outset: I try very hard to respect everyone's beliefs, even when I personally would not choose to practice them, and I don't lump every practitioner of a religion or spiritual path into the same category because of the actions of one individual. In short, to me, no one person represents an entire group of people. 

Anyway, this is a story of two friends of mine who I will call "Bill" and "Ted."

I used to hang with Bill a lot. We used to discuss many things openly, including religion, and even though he is a Christian and I am Wiccan, we respected each others' beliefs.

Later, I met Ted through Bill, and though we haven't hung out much, we've gotten to know each other recently. And the more Ted and I have talked, the more I've uncovered the true story of Bill and how he operates. 

Ted and I got together for the first time in a long time a while back, and he was brave enough to tell me Bill warned him about my negative influence. My ungodliness, it seems, warranted a two-paragraph email from Bill, ending with "Jesus is the only way." 

To be honest, Bill had pulled away some time ago, and while I had my suspicions, it's sad when you see someone's true colors. Hearing this revelation was not truly a shock because I had suspected it for a while, but I had hoped it wasn't true. The truth disappointed and saddened me.

Looking back, Bill spent a lot of time bad-mouthing Ted behind his back before I had even met Ted. So when I finally did meet Ted, I had a negative impression of him because I listened. I freely admit that I was wrong. 

Thankfully, both Ted and I found out what was really going on: That Bill was poisoning the well, so to speak.

So here's the $64,000 question: What makes me such a negative influence? 

That's the confusing part for me. I try very hard to be a good person and to help people whenever I can without regard to someone's race, sexual orientation/identity, spiritual path, or other stereotypes. I have a solid network of family and friends who I can trust to tell me if I'm out of line. I'm confident, but I strive to be humble and not let my ego drive the bus. I know that I am far from perfect and admit my mistakes and try to change. 

So to repeat, how come I've been labeled "ungodly"?

Well, I strongly suspect it's my life choices--specifically, my religion and other practices-- that have brought out Bill's bigotry. 

I suspect that I've been deemed a negative influence in Bill's eyes because:
  • I am a practicing Witch/Wiccan and lead a Wiccan community;
  • I am a professional tarot reader;
  • I am a professional astrologer;
  • I embrace concepts, beliefs, and ideas that many consider "alternative" or "outside of the mainstream," like crystal balls, gemstones, chakras, etc.; and/or
  • Ted and I share many of the aforementioned interests.

When it comes to any individual person, if you want to find things not to like, it's shooting fish in a barrel. And I know I'm an especially big target; many people do not approve of me on principle because of the bulleted list above without having ever met me. I've experienced this same situation a number of times with people in my life, and it's never easy. 

You know what? Let's take the idea of religion out of the equation because, in the end, it's not about that. We could substitute one religion with "Yankees fan" and one with "Red Sox fan." [And for the record, yes, Yankees fans, I love and respect you, too, and your tremendous passion for your team. How many Red Sox fans will say that? :) ] 

I realized the simple truth: Bill tolerated meWhen you tolerate something, you're judging it as less than acceptable. He has never truly accepted me for who I was and am. And that is what hurts the most. 

It would be very easy at this point in my narrative to make plenty of disparaging remarks about Bill's spiritual choices or about Bill himself and his behavior. But I don't need to waste my time and energy; Bill is already getting too much attention here as it is.

What Bill hasn't yet realized that as a human being, he's a failure. That's what happens when you label "nonbelievers" as a negative or unwholesome influence through their very existence. By choosing to lump people into some arbitrary category of stereotypes and assumptions, Bill is incapable of true acceptance of another person. For that, he doesn't deserve my vitriol, but my pity.

Ted and I are going to be friends for a long time. I know this because he's a very smart man who also had the courage to tell me a very hard truth about someone that I cared for and respected. While I didn't like the news, I needed to hear it, so he has my sincere gratitude.

The best I can hope for is that someday Bill will accept every person instead of judging and stereotyping them. And even knowing what I know today, I respect his beliefs and accept him for who he is. I can't say I like him anymore, and I doubt we'll ever be friends again, but I do accept him and where he is spiritually right now.

I implore you to accept every single person you meet as an individual with unique gifts and needs, whose choices may or may not match your own, for reasons you may never understand. Ted and I will thank you. Hopefully, one day, Bill will thank you, too.

As Bill and Ted famously said, "Be excellent to each other!"

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Mercury vs. Mars: Mercurial Meanderings with a Touch of Martial Mashing

[Mercury knocks on the Sun's office door]

Sun: Come in!

[Mercury opens the door and sees the Sun behind his desk and Mars in front of it in his stretchy body suit]

Mercury: Oh, are you in a meeting, sir?

Sun: Yes, Mercury, but I know YOU never take a long time. [chuckles]. Is it something quick?

Mars: Yeah, because this can wait!

Mercury: I've got a report I'd like to share, sir, but it can wait...

Sun: [gestures] No, please come in and sit down. I'll have to explain this concept to Mars slowly again anyway and we may be here a while. What's on your mind?

Mercury: Well, I wanted to report that two of my peeps are heading to a writing conference this weekend: John's beloved Jen and his sister Amy. 

Sun: That sounds extremely mercurial indeed! I can understand your enthusiasm. Will they be gone long?

Mars: Dumb question! Mercury trips are lucky to last 10 minutes!

Sun: Mars, please let Mercury answer. At least I know he'll fully comprehend the question.

Mars: FINE! [crosses arms]

Mercury: Two Mercury-ruled ladies on a long weekend to write, write, write! And they've even done this before! It's an amazing story.

Mars: Yeah, and John gets to sit at home and do interesting shit like do two-hour workouts like a BOSS! I think HE got the better end of that deal...he won't have two Mercury bitches yammering all the time. 

Sun: [frowns] I don't recall asking for your input, Mars.

Mars: In English, please, sir?

Sun: [smiles] That's a nice way of saying, "Shut your cakehole!"

Mars: But that's not a nice way of sayin' it at all, sir! So I don't know why you said that!

Sun: [shakes head sadly] Is John prepared?

Mercury: Yes, sir. He is planning on purchasing another Steam game and playing [opens his Erin Condren planner] "until his eyeballs fall out," sir.

Sun: I'm happy for John, but please keep that information "limited distro". 

Mercury: Why would we do that, sir?

Sun: Because there are certain planets who would harangue John mercilessly for playing games instead of working. I'm sure you take my meaning. 

Mercury: Yes, sir. Of course. Limited distro it is.

Mars: Why are we talking about gasoline? What the fuck is that about?

Mercury: I...I didn't get that, sir. 

Sun: [sighs and covers face with his hands] It's not important, Merc. Please leave the report for me, and I'll peruse it in greater detail later. If you would be so kind as to close the door and let Lady Moon know to cancel the rest of my appointments this afternoon. My records need to be accurate for my weekly leadership activity inventory. Have her mark it on the calendar as "Mentoring". 

Mercury: Yes, sir. I'll take care of it immediately. 

[Merc closes door and walks to Lady Moon's desk]

Mercury: Lady Moon, the Sun told me to ask you to cancel his afternoon appointments and list it as "Mentoring."

Moon: [looks at computer screen] Oh shit. I'm going to have to bump Venus again. At least she understands. And I hope he doesn't lose it with our bully colleague...

Sun: [muffled sound through door] And if I ever, EVER, see you wearing that bodysuit again in my presence, I'll write you up! If you want to work out it in that's up to you, but I do NOT want to see your penis!

Mercury: How prescient of you, Lady Moon!

Moon: [sadly] I have my moments. 


Mercury: Everyone can see his dong in that suit. It's completely obvious!

Moon: [SIGH] You'd better run along, Merc. It's going to be a long afternoon. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Letters from Saturn: Bedlam, Pure Bedlam

Dear Sir, 

I hope you've received my previous dispatches from down here. I take a lot of time documenting my visitations and expect that my efforts are not going to waste.

Things down here, to not put too fine a point on it, are bedlam, pure bedlam. Let me assure you that I'm doing my level best, but in addition to being in retrograde right now, I'm also stuck in Sagittarius. I hate belonging to that outgoing, expansive bastard Jupiter; he's just not like me at all. I will, of course, continue to do my duty, but when I'm in this state it seems like it's two steps forward and three steps back. And efficiency and effectiveness are totally foreign concepts as I struggle to be in this sign that can never say no and always wants more. I don't have any idea how he can LIVE like this!

As I sit back and think about it, maybe it's best that I'm in Sagittarius for a while longer, because I don't honestly think I could get much work done at all with all of the chaos. You just can't count on a damn thing these days. 

You asked me about how the world governments are doing, and frankly, on closer inspection, the damage is even worse than I anticipated. There will need to be a long, slow period of improvement so everyone is playing on the same sheet of music. And make sure to tell Lady Venus to continue to work her magic, because people down here don't feel so much with the unity right now...unless you count unity of one group against another. 

I did happen to drop in on John, and it won't surprise you to hear that he's woolgathering again. He was supposed to already have his second tarot book out, and my sources tell me he's not even halfway done. He should plan for a September release at this rate. I may have to ask Mercury to help with another internet outage. That will stop him from playing that stupid Cities: Skylines game during his "free time." And he had to go and get the mass transit expansion pack! Maybe if he used a timer...

And don't even get me started about how few blogs he puts out. Two a month? Sol, you need to talk to him! No one is going to take him seriously. 

Anyway, I think that's about all from here. I should be back in the office around August 25 or so.

Yours Truly,


Saturday, May 13, 2017

First-Time Attendee Discount for the State of the Art (SOTA) Conference in October!

Jupiter: Hello everyone! John's asked us to come do his dirty work again. At least this time they paired me with the King of Misinformation himself, Mercury! We're here to talk about the State of the Art Astrology Conference, October 19-23, 2017, in Buffalo, NY. 

Mercury: Jove, don't think I didn't notice that mistake you made. 

Jupiter: Which was...?

Mercury: King of "Mis-Information"? I think what you meant was "Chief Information Officer of the Zodiac."

Jupiter: Dude, you just got back from retrograde, which was a total cluster fuck, and you want to get all high and mighty? And Saturn is supposed to be the title king. What do you care?

Mercury: As we've stated many times, Jupiter, I don't "care." I just don't want the public to be misinformed.

Jupiter: Whatever. John sent us out here to let people know about SOTA. 

Mercury: Yes, so let me give the people information before you tell them how much they can learn. Sound good?

Jupiter: [SIGH] Sure, Doctor Propaganda. Go for it!

Mercury: You should talk. [PAUSE] Anyway, good people, if you haven't come to the SOTA Astrology Conference, it's a fantastic way to get lots of information in a short time on many astrological and other metaphysical topics. All aspects of astrology, as well as mediumship, tarot, and other divination topics have all made their appearance in years past.

Jupiter: That's right, Mr. Just-The-Facts-Ma'am! Lots and lots of higher learning going on. And our favorite blogger...[to Mercury] do we have to say that? I mean, IS he our favorite blogger? What does that even mean?

Mercury: What my philosophical pillock of a partner is trying particularly poorly to profess is that our favorite blogger, John, has been presenting for the past few years at this conference, and the 2017 meeting is no exception!  He'll be speaking on learning the tarot through pop culture. 

Jupiter: I'm still not convinced he's my favorite blogger, but let's put that aside for now. 

Mercury: If you've never attended SOTA before, ladies and gentlemen, this is the year to give it a shot. We've been authorized to offer first-time attendees a discount! 

Jupiter: That's a great philosophy for bringing new folks into what's already a fantastic event, Merc. 

Mercury: The details about this offer are that if you are a first-time SOTA attendee and register by May 31, by check, your full conference registration will cost only $100. 

Jupiter: Damn, that's cheap! 

Mercury: It is less than the standard conference registration, Jupiter, and while it doesn't include any extras like lunches, it does include all of the general sessions of the three-day event.

Jupiter: [frowns] You're taking all the joy out of this for me, man. Haven't you ever heard of "marketing," Merc? 

Mercury: Not at the expense of facts, Jove. So let me finish, and then you can wax rhapsodic about it. [PAUSE] Anyway, if you're at all interested, here's how to proceed: Send your check for $100 by May 31 to:

Full Circle Seminars
35 Brock St., Suite #1405
Hamilton, ON, L8L 4L7

Mercury: Also, please make sure to tell them John sent you. That's a fact, whether or not he's your favorite blogger. But I'm sure HE hopes that he is. 

Jupiter: Damn straight. Even though I don't know any other bloggers...

Mercury: Jove, wait for the fine print. There are only 20 of these things. And when they're gone, this offer will end. 

Jupiter: It's time to get your learn on! Haul ass to Buffalo this October 19-23 for the SOTA Astrology Conference. Click the link for more details. 

Mercury: I think that's it, Jove. I'm off to another appointment. [leaves]

Jupiter: That little motherfucker has no soul whatsoever! He didn't even talk about all the astrologers that you can meet in such a small setting. That's the best part and Mr. Clinical didn't say a word about it! I'm going to have to talk with John about who he partners me up with...

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mercury Retrograde and Shameless Marketing

Hello, everyone! Hope you're having a fantastic Mercury retrograde. Actually, I take that back...I hope you're surviving Mercury retrograde. This one has been a real bitch kitty for me and it's not over yet. 

I think the icing on the cake for me was the 12 fucking hour internet outage on Friday night and Saturday morning, thanks to my service provider. And in true Mercury form, the resolution did not come at the promised time, but four hours later. Good thing I didn't sit up waiting for it!

Anyway, I have some shameless marketing to do here, so let's get right to it because obviously, I can't count on Mercury to do it for me!

My astrology practice is evolving, folks. I've given up written reports in favor of 90-minute consultations for $100. These are done over your favorite video conferencing tool (Skype, Google, FaceTime, etc.). There's a lot of information in these consults, so I'm recording them and sending them to you once the session is over. That should help you focus on the reading instead of having to scribble tons of notes. 

Anyway, I'm interested in getting some more charts on my calendar, so please let me know if you're interested. To do a chart, I need your date, time and place of birth. If you're not sure on the time, check with your mom or your birth certificate. I can do a chart without a birth time, however; I'll try to narrow that time down for you.

Also, since I'm now recording charts, I'm going to extend that policy to phone and internet tarot readings as well. I record the reading on my end and send you a recording of it; I send a link to the MP3 when it's over. If you have a distance reading with me, and you'd like to take advantage of that service, it's $10 more, and that's the price no matter how long your reading is. It's optional, however. 

While I can't offer the recording service for readings at 13 Magickal Moons, you can record your own reading on your cell phone for no extra charge at the shop! Many have you have asked if you can, and my response is "Certainly!" provided it's for private use and isn't posted online anywhere.

Next, I've been asked for many years why I don't participate in local Pagan Pride events as a reader. I've never had a good answer, folks, so I decided that now is the time for me to step up. I'm happy to report that I'll be reading tarot at NoVA Pagan Pride on September 30, 2017, at George Mason University. I don't have a confirmed reservation yet, but I'll let you know once the paperwork has been processed. I look forward to seeing many of you there!

One other interesting tidbit: At Pagan Pride, I'll be offering astrology mini-readings for the first time. A mini-reading is a quick look at the essentials of your astrology chart in 20 minutes. All you do is walk up to the booth with your birth information and I take it from there. This is a great option if you don't have the time or money for a full chart reading but want a small taste of what's going on.

Finally, by popular demand, I'm offering the Intermediate and Advanced Tarot classes back to back this summer at 13 Magickal Moons on Friday nights, beginning on July 7! The classes will occur on most Friday nights through the end of September. All of you folks who said you were interested, now's the time; I need at least five students registered to run them, so don't miss out! Watch for the 13MM schedule to announce them, and then sign up. You've got a few months to get your calendars in order.

The intermediate course is an in-depth look at the major arcana, all four suits, and reading practice, especially toward the end. The advanced course is really a class that I gear toward whoever is in the room. In other words, if there's a topic in tarot you want me to teach, it's on the table--delivery, spreads, ethics, etc.

Anyway, I think that's it. 

Wait a minute...I guess not. I'm getting questions about the next installment of In Their Own Words, and I will say that the Wands book is in progress. If you want more information than that, maybe Jupiter will spill, but I won't. 

Thanks as always for your patronage and your attention. An early blessed Beltane to all, and I look forward to seeing you across my table soon. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Meeting of the Astrological Minds: Retrogrades Triple Play

Sun: Good morning, everyone! [looks around] We've got a few seats empty today. Lady Moon, who are we missing?

Pluto: Thankfully the Old Man's gone! [Mimics old person talking with New England accent] "Back in my day when we called it "making whoopee" and your grandmothah was givin' me a hummah..."

Moon: [blushes and chuckles] As Pluto has astutely pointed out, sir, Saturn is on his business trip.

Pluto: [continues, but now mimicking Saturn] "How dare you say such a thing in front of a lady, Pluto. [SIGH] We were seven planets once!"  HAHAHAHAHA! What a fucking asshole.

Sun:  [smirks] I'd like everyone in this room to know that I'm not condoning that sort of commentary about anyone, even if he is kind of an asshole. It's his claim to fame, and he does it well. Lady Moon, please write the following into the record: "Pluto's disparaging remarks about other members were condemned by the Sun and all present and were stricken from the record."

Moon: Sir, this is an official record of our proceedings. Are you sure you don't want to discuss this offline?

Sun: Dear Lady, please let the records reflect my earlier statement. Let's just consider what I said "alternative facts" since they seem to be so popular these days. Anyone who might dispute that assertion is out, so there it is. And speaking of absences, who else is out?

Moon: Venus has not yet returned to direct motion. And Mercury just left. 

Mars: Dude, people are PISSED about what's happening. Merc is really fucking some shit up!

Sun: I suspect you have something to share, Mars?

Mars: Yeah! Our favorite blogger has been struggling all week. First, he had people cancel on him for lunch four separate times. Honestly, it's just as well because he still needs to drop some weight! Merc was doing him a favor!

Sun: Just the facts, please, Mars, and no commentary on John's fitness level. 

Mars: Then his printer shit the wall, and after struggling with it all evening he had to buy a new one. And THEN his new printer didn't want to connect to the network until he FINALLY got it working. That's John's fault, though, for buying new computer stuff during Merc retro. Fat bastard ought to know better!

Sun: Wow. Sounds like standard Mercury retrograde stuff to me. [looks are Uranus] Urnie, did you have something?

Uranus: Yes, sir. One of John's FaceBook friends, Leslie, reported that she's having a lot of trouble getting through to people this week. I think her quote was, "It's as if all communications are GARBLED! I say one thing, people hear something else. I am trying to be careful to be clear and neutral." Sounds like that Scorpio lady knows what she's doing!

Neptune: It's really awful when people don't understand. Mercury is one of us, and he gets constantly dumped on. And all this negativity is sort of bringing me down.

Mars: No, that's just the Jaegermeister, Nep!

Neptune: Dude, I resent that remark. There's no way I'd drink that stuff...without proper shot glasses.

Jupiter: Amen to that, Nep. 

Sun: Jupiter, you're our publishing expert. Do we have an update on John's next book?

Jupiter: No, sir. He's not answering my texts. 

Sun: How many have you sent?

Jupiter: In the last day, one every half an hour. 

Moon: I know how I'd feel, Jupiter. Why don't you give the poor man a day or so to answer you before you drown him in text messages?

Pluto: And it's another tarot book. Do we give a fuck?

Sun: I'm sitting in John's 9th house, Pluto. I'd say we care. But is there anything else that needs to be discussed before we adjourn?

Moon: It's a little early, sir. But we should start getting the August eclipses on the calendar nonetheless. They're going to be doozies. 

Sun: I concur, Lady Moon. Please prepare information sheets on them for the group for our next meeting. And I do have one other thing to bring up. [PAUSE] I've noticed that there are a lot of original outfits that people are wearing these days, but I'm going to ask you to consider how...appropriate they might be for meetings. We can be casual without being, well, inappropriate. [glances over at Mars]. I'll make sure the others are appropriately informed when they return. 

Pluto: I told you to stop wearing that stretchy body suit where people can see your dong, Mars. And now likely I'll have to stop wearing my Vault 111 and Vault-Tek gear to meetings because of you!

Mars: [to Pluto] Listen, asshole. You CAN NOT SEE MY DONG! [looks down] Well OK maybe you can! SHIT. FUCK. GODDAMMIT. 

Moon: [chuckles] I'll make sure the new policy goes to everyone, sir. Our folks on retrograde will get it in their emails when they get back to the office. 

Sun: Sounds good, Lady Moon. Thanks, everyone. We're adjourned. 

Mars: This is fucking discrimination!

Pluto: Good luck, Mars. I'll be laughing again when you lose this one, too. HAHAHAHA!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

YouTube Video from Stories of Lore!

Hello everyone! If you haven't seen it yet, here's a link to an interview I did on the Stories of Lore YouTube channel by Justin Sisk. He presents videos on occult and supernatural topics. 

Justin interviewed me about the tarot in general and tarot reading. It's a great primer for anyone who has never had a reading before or curious about how the tarot works. 

Thanks in advance for your time! Please take a look and share it wherever you like. :)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Update: Kenny Klein Convicted of Child Pornography Charges

Hello everyone...

Back in 2014, I wrote this blog about Kenny Klein, a Wiccan minister accused of child pornography. 

Please read the article, but here's the bottom line: Kenny Klein was found guilty of 20 counts of child pornography and could face an incredible amount of jail time. 

I am thrilled to see justice in this case, and I really hope he never sees the light of day again for what he's done.

There is no place in any spiritual path for a leader like this. Not now. Not ever. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mercurial Message Makes Mars Morbidly Mad

Mars: So what the fuck, Merc? Why did you want to see me? [gestures toward Neptune] And why'd you bring this pussy along?

Neptune: [gently] In many parts of the world, conversations among polite folks usually begin with "Hello," Mars. And in some cases, it continues with "Is it me you're looking for?" I LOVE that song!

Mercury: He's right, Mars. So hello!

Mars: Fine. Hell-the-fuck-lo. Now, what the fuck do you want? March Madness is on, and I'm a little busy! 

Mercury: This won't take too much of your time. If I had feelings, I'd be a little embarrassed.

Neptune: He would be, Mars. But he doesn't know how.

Mars: And how would you know, Mr. Hippy? Or is it Ms. Hippy this week?

Neptune: I'm cool with whatever. 

Mars: [To Mercury] You know for someone who is supposed to be specific and clear, Merc, you're fucking it up.

Mercury: I came to tell you about a young lady who's starting her own blog. 

Mars: Oh yeah? Someone I know? Because you know I don't read.  

Mercury: I'd say so. She rides with you most of the time. Lots of Mars intensity in a small package, someone you don't want to underestimate. Goes by the name of...[consults Erin Condren planner]...Ren? Do you know anyone by that name by chance?

Mars: Oh hell yeah! Why didn't you say so? Ren's my girl! We've had some good times. What's the problem?

Mercury: Well, she's starting her own blog, and we thought she might need a little...push. Some incentive!

Neptune: You know, perhaps some positive reinforcement that this is a good idea...

Mars: She's awesome! She was even packing heat last weekend! What do you need me to do?

Mercury: I'm going to be dropping in on her. Is there something inspiring you'd like to say?

Mars: America fuck yeah! She should SO do this. Then everyone can MOVE BITCH GET OUT THE WAY!

Mercury: How about a comprehensible message that doesn't involve copyright infringement?

Mars: FUCK! Here you go again, brainiac. Repeat in English for those of us who like things "on the real".

Mercury: [whispers] Nep, I told you this was a bad idea. 

Neptune: No, not at all! Just take his words and come up with something more...appropriate. 

Mercury: We went down that road a while back, and the Sun got sort of pissed at me for it. I'd rather not have that situation again. 

Neptune: No one else has to know, Merc. And if the Sun comes after you, blame me. I can just say I was drunk. 

Mercury: [shouts] AH HA! The "I was drunk" defense. That's brilliant! The Japanese have been using that one for YEARS!

Mars: I can't hear the game over you two motherfuckers! So decide what I need to say to her and get out!

Mercury: I think I've got it. "The blessings of Mars be upon you, Ren, as you embark on this wonderful new blogging adventure. I will gladly come visit your blog anytime, and bring many of my astrological planetary friends."

Neptune: That's beautiful. You think she'd let me come, too? 

Mercury: Dude, you have to come. She actually writes creative shit people will want to read, not this astrology crap that John does. She's an honest to goodness creative writer. I mean, John's stuff is informative, and yes it's nonfiction, kind of, but evaluated against others, I'd say his prose lacks a bit of...

Mars: Dickheads! There's the fucking door. John's one of mine, too. So unless you want to be speaking out of your assholes, I suggest you fuck right off. 

Mercury: A pleasant evening to you, Mars. We'll take our leave of you now. 

Neptune: Embrace your inner Goddess, Mars. 

Mars: Go fuck yourself, Nep! Same to you, Merc, whatever you just said. And don't take a damn thing from my house. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Lady Luna's Lunation Lecture: What is a Lunation?

Good evening, everyone. My name is Luna, and I'm the Moon. I asked John if I could start doing some more work on the blog, and he was very understanding and said yes without hesitating. So here I am. 

I hope you'll be nice as this is the first time I've been up here by myself. Oh no...I wasn't supposed to say that, was I? [blush]

Anyway, you've probably seen me...I'm that orb that floats around in the night sky that can sometimes seem incredibly close to the earth. I exert a certain...force, shall we say, that moves the tides around. 

People have written songs and poems to me for centuries, and would you believe that vast majority of these...well, admirers, I guess is what you'd call them, even though the term makes me dreadfully uncomfortable...have no idea about my astrological functions?

I rule the ebb and flow of a person's emotional body. The astrological sign I'm in at your birth can tell you a lot about how you react to things. Think of me as "mom": When life gets tough, you come running to me, and I receive you warmly and make you feel safe and secure.

Lunatic. Lunacy. Looney. They all come from me. And did you know that the word month comes from moon? I go through all 12 signs of the zodiac in about 28.5 days, or almost one month. I'm often the timer for astrological events, too. Fascinating, isn't it? 

I don't like to talk about myself much, but it's safe to say that astrologers like the one who writes this blog think I'm pretty important. In some forms of astrology, I'm even more essential than my consort, the Sun. I don't make a big deal out of it, though...Sol would get upset if I tried to grab ALL of his light for myself and that's just NOT who I am. In truth, in western astrology, he's in charge, but I definitely do my share of the work. 

Anyway, speaking of words, the word lunation is not well-known, but it's one of the things I do often, twice a month to be exact. A lunation is a new moon or a full moon, both important parts of my monthly cycle through the signs. 

The new moon cannot be seen because the moon and the sun are conjunct; in other words, I'm too close to the sun for you to see anything but a ring. A new moon lunation is a "download" of energy at a particular point astrological degree, while the full moon lunation is a "culmination" at a particular place.

If you've got planets or sensitive points close to each, then you may take a hit, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, either. 

If this stuff is all too geeky for you, feel free to ask our astrologer friend John. Otherwise, my next lunation will be in a few weeks!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

In Their Own Words: Song Suggestions, Anyone?

Hello, everyone! I had a very cool thing happen today. One of my readers, my friend Holly, was going through In Their Own Words: The Major Arcana of the Tarot and suggested a song for the World: "Closing Time" by SemiSonic.

Here are the lyrics that made her think of the World:

Closing time/Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

Pretty amazing, huh? A great choice for the World!

Do you have other suggestions for songs for the cards of the Major Arcana? Share them with me and I will share them with the world!

Feel free to comment here or send me an email to chime in. Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Random Meanderings

Greetings dear readers! I hope you had an amazing weekend. In no particular order, here are few random meanderings for you.

  1) You may have noticed some changes to the blog page. There is now a calendar on the links to the right on the main page; look under "Events". It will give you my schedule a couple of months ahead. I promise to do my best to keep it updated with the appropriate details for each event. It will include readings at 13 Magickal Moons and will have private events blocked off, so if you're interested in scheduling something you can start there!

  2) For those of you who are Civilization 6 players, I've managed to win as the Aztecs and the Germans this week on Warlord level. I think I also got in one win on Prince level as the Americans, but the AI civilizations gang up on you. Jerks.

3) I'm off to Cincinnati this coming weekend for a seminar at the Midwest School of Astrology, featuring America's premier classical astrologer, Dr. Lee Lehman. Horary and medical astrology are both on the agenda. I know I'm going to come home happy, tired, and with a very full brain.

  4) On my way out west, I'll be stopping for the evening in Wheeling, WV, and if you live in the area I hope you'll stop into Centre Cup Coffee...I'll be there reading cards and signing books starting at 6:00pm. It's this Thursday, March 2.

  5) This warm weather has been like the spring that we won't actually have here in northern Virginia. If you were saying "It's felt like spring," I suspect you just experienced it.  Hope you had a great time.

6) The next book in my In Their Own Words tarot series is in progress. I hope that the Wands installment will be available soon. My beloved, Virgo that she is, cracks a mean whip. 

  7) I had a great time last Sunday at the NCGR Conference in Baltimore, MD, where many of the brightest astrological stars--pun intended--came out to present. I was only able to be there Sunday, but saw some fantastic presentations and met up with a few old friends, and also met a few new ones. 

  8) A sincere "thank you" to everyone who has purchased In Their Own Words: The Major Arcana of the Tarot. If you're of a mind and haven't done so, please consider putting up a review on Amazon or Goodreads. The reviews will eventually allow Amazon to recommend my book to others, but I need 50 of them. Thanks in advance for helping me out!

  9) My post on binding earlier this week came from a reader suggestion, and I hope that if you have an idea for a blog, you'll let me know. That one seemed particularly timely. 

  10) Venus goes retrograde on Friday, and I'm hoping to coax her to do a blog installment before I leave on Thursday morning. She's usually pretty amenable to things like this, but I know she wants to get out of dodge for a while.

  I think that's it for the time being. Thanks as always for all of your support. Watch me on Facebook during my trip; I tend to be more active on social media when I travel or attend events because no one really cares generally what I'm eating for lunch or how many hours I've spent playing Civ (67). 

  I look forward to seeing you across my table soon!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Binding: What is Your True Intent?

One of my readers asked me to clarify the ideas behind binding spells. And it's a great topic to look at! Whole movies and books have revolved around it, so there's a lot of interest out there. 

At some point in every Witch's development, the question of performing a binding spell occurs. When should you do one? What's a good enough reason? And what are the karmic implications?

Let's start with what a binding is: A spell to keep someone--the caster or someone else--from doing a specific action or actions. And yes, it does involve hindering someone's free will; consequently, I take binding as a practice very seriously indeed.

Before we start down this path, I want to remind everyone that my stance on "harm none" is pretty simple: It's not possible. You are harming things every day, from the grass you walk on to the environment you live in. That's not to say that you shouldn't go out of your way to avoid harming people, but let's be realistic. Any spell you perform to enhance something in your life is going to "harm" directly or indirectly someone or something else. Fluffy-bunny Wiccans might say otherwise, but as a practicing Witch, that's where I stand. 

With that said, on the surface, taking away someone's free will is most definitely not "white magick"; you're definitely harming someone. But there is one question that should be central to your understanding of binding, or of any magickal working for that matter: What is your intent? To be clear, it's not what you SAY your intent is, but it's what you INTEND to do with your spell. This will also determine the karmic backlash you receive if any.

For example, did you know that love spells are actually binding spells in disguise? That's one of the reasons I never recommend using them. When you bind someone to love only you, you're taking away their free will to love or be with someone else. At that point, it's pure selfishness and ego driving you, and you can expect a pretty severe karmic bitch-slap for that.

But let's use another scenario. Let's say that you are concerned that a co-worker is gossiping about you or causing trouble for you deliberately at work. Before I even considered binding that person or "freezing" them in water--another great variant on the binding with the same impact!--I'd recommend protection spells. You can perform spells to protect "you and yours"--significant other, friends, pets, etc.--from harm with no concern about karmic repercussions. So I usually recommend starting there unless the danger is imminent. 

If there's no change in the situation in 3-4 weeks--and YES, you do have to wait that long--then a binding is something you could consider. 

Once again, let's go back to INTENT. If you intend to keep this person from gossiping about you and causing trouble at work, then that's essentially protecting "you and yours" and karmically you should be OK.

My concern is bindings that also cause harm to the target. If you want the person to stop causing trouble and gossiping and you also want them to perform poorly at the office, then you've crossed a line. Your INTENT must be crystal clear and not intend to cause any harm to your target. 

This last point is exceptionally important, folks. I'm a Scorpio, and we could practically write the "Don't get mad...get even!" book. If your spell involves the target receiving worse than they've given you, then once again you've crossed a line. With "I hope his dick falls off!" you risk having problems with your own genitalia, for example, when the target was unfaithful to you.

To be clear, revenge and justice are two different things. You don't bind someone as a punishment or to mete out justice in your own way; you bind them to protect yourself and those you hold dear. If you want the Universe to deal out something worse for your target than you yourself received, you're asking for trouble. But you don't bind someone for justice, either. 

Before I forget, you can also bind yourself, and this is a great way of helping yourself spiritually if you're trying to keep from doing something that harms you--smoking, overeating, etc. Of course, you won't get any bad karma from using it this way.

Finally, a binding to me is a serious spell done in serious circumstances. In other words, once you have tried to accomplish your goals on the mundane level without success, and you've worked some protection magick, then you can start to consider working a binding. But not before. I take a more conservative approach than others and I'll freely admit that point.

If we go back to our earlier gossipy co-worker, you should start by addressing the problem. You gather your evidence and you talk to this person, your supervisor, or their supervisor, or a neutral third party, like a human resources person or peer counselor. These are mundane--earthly, material--ways of dealing with this problem, and they should not be ignored. 

In other words, your first thought should not be to go home, make a poppet to look like your colleague, and bind them from ever receiving a promotion. Start in the mundane world, and work toward magickal solutions as necessary. If you don't need to use magick to solve this problem, then great! You can use the energy to fuel that prosperity spell with tax season upon us, right?

Bottom line: Binding is serious business, and it's a great tool to have in your Witch's toolbox. But Abraham Maslow once said, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you'll see every problem as a nail." Simply put, binding--and magick as a whole-- is NOT the answer to all of life's problems. It's used to help things along when necessary. And the Universe will often handle the problem for you; granted you might not be around to see a person receive their karmic just desserts, but that's just your ego talking. With a little time and some effort, you can swallow your pride. And sometimes, that's the best course of action. 

I'll just end by re-stating what I hope you take away from this blog. Binding someone else requires a thorough, honest look at your true intent. If the need is clear, and your intent is pure, then have at it! If you realize that you may be risking some karmic repercussions, back off and make sure you've done everything else you can in the mundane world before making a mistake that could lead to disastrous consquences.