Random Musings

Big Changes Can Be Hard

This is more of a personal post.

I’ve had a lot going on lately. Sometimes life throws  the whole book at you. My absence has not been due to negligence. I find blogging very relaxing. It allows me to connect with others with shared interests. I just haven’t had the time to sit down and do a lot of anything lately that I love doing. My husband and I have been doing a top to bottom remodel of a house we bought with the intention of flipping. Ideally we want to knock this out in a few months because we are planning to make a big relocation to Portland.

Why Portland?

There are a number of reasons. My husband is from Oregon. I’ve been out there a few times and I love it. We have been thinking about moving to that area of the country for while now. I’ve lived in Dallas my whole life. Dallas is so metro centric and hot. Its a concrete jungle. Everything is man made, including most of the parks. I crave the ability to get to go out into the wild and meditate and connect with the gods. I’ve been at my job for about 5 years and I’ve gone as far as I can go in my position and there is no room for growth in my department. We have also gone through several staff changes that have been less than ideal. I make pretty good money but I need more than that. I’ve grown tired of the corporate grind. Working in commercial real state is a hard business and working in the legal portion of it is exhausting. I want more time to devout to my spirituality and ritual. I’ve gotten restless. I have the deep desire to start fresh. I don’t really have any family and my mother passed away two years ago in October so I don’t have any anchors here. If you were given the opportunity to start fresh somewhere, to completely pay off all of your debts and start new would you take it? Who wouldn’t? I’m ready for the next chapter in life. New places, new experiences, new people.

With all of the hustle and bustle my practice in itself has been uprooted. Most of my altar items and books at this point are in boxes. I closed my Etsy shop temporarily until I get settled. I even have much of my tarot collection in boxes. I’ve kept out those decks and books that I go for on a daily basis. In my BOTA lessons I’m focusing on the Wheel of Fortune. There is an ebb and flow. I’ve just got to go with the flow. My intentions are set and are being executed. I do a visualization meditation on my goals and am using Tarot as my guide to listening to my inner voice.

So if you see me posting less in the next coming months that is why! I’m going through some major life changes. I hope for the better. Its all very exciting and nerve racking. I have my fears. What if this is a bad idea? What if this doesn’t work? I’m keeping going like the fool filled with dreams and fancies. Isn’t that what makes life exciting though? The unknown. At the end of the day we live in a world of unknowns just creating constructs to make us feel that we have a grasp on reality.

Here I go plunging  into the wild unknown (tarot reference there!) . I hope you all stay with me on my journey.

 

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Deck Review

The Tabula Mundi Deck – Review 

I think I have found one of my top 5 favorite decks of all time.

If your into the Qabalah this deck will sing to the very heart of your soul. The deck itself is based of the Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley so it follows the same attributions (example justice is called adjustment and so forth). Its dripping with Golden Dawn imagery and reference. This is like the Navigators of the Mystic Sea Tarot on crack.  By no means is this a beginners deck. It is hefty and deep. I splurged on the deck and book set. I’m so glad I did because it has personally helped me so much in getting to know this deck to read through some of the interpretations and symbolism. I’ve been able to cross reference this with a lot of my current studies and it has really helped me get a good grasp on the meanings of the cards.

Let me start off by saying this is a deck where no attention to detail has gone to the wayside. The box is gorgeous and sturdy, its down right sexy. Can a Tarot decks packaging be sexy? Its looks good on the altar. The little white book inside is one of the best I’ve come across. I love the attention to detail with the little red ribbon on the binding. Mine came signed and numbered. Even the companion book came with a bookmark. This is well worth the price tag. I paid $70.00 for the book and deck set without the extra cards (there is an option to purchase extra cards with these). I’m so impressed by the presentation. This is the kind of thing you could set out on an entry way table or coffee table as a conversation starter. It just begs for attention.

The cardstock is good and sturdy. Its smooth and shuffles easily. I had no issues with it immediately out of the box. These are larger than a standard playing card size. I would say they are about the same size and the Pagan Otherworld or Mary-El.

The imagery is deep like I said before, this deck is not for beginners. If your familiar with certain Qabalistic concepts and Golden Dawn imagery some of the symbolism will click right away. Since I’ve been doing lesson through the Builders of the Adytum I didn’t have a lot of trouble diving into the deck. The companion book really helped me decode and got some things to “click”. Even the backs of the cards have deep symbolism relating to the tree of life.  The holographic design is stunning. Though some might find it a bit busy. Its a lot for the eyes to take in. There is not a piece of this deck that isn’t without some deep meaning or focus.

The artwork is gorgeous. Your going to want to take time to get to know this deck. These cards demand to be studied. To me the artwork seems almost retro. Its in the same vein as the Thoth deck. I’ve found myself going through each card several times and seeing little details I didn’t see before. This deck lends itself to so many uses. I haven’t seen a deck more perfect for the magicians use. For the ceremonial magician this deck is a gold mine. It could be used for focused meditations, vision work, all manner of ritual and magic. It is begging to be used for magical purposes. I’ve started using it has a starting point in focused meditations and I’ve had a lot of success so far. You can really see yourself within the images of these cards. This deck may be intimidating for some not ready to take the leap beyond the Rider-Waite deck. It definitely isn’t for everyone’s taste. You will not find traditional Rider-Waite imagery here. This is going to force you to look outside of the box of conventional meanings and dig deeper.

Overall I can’t pick out a single negative with this deck. I’m super pumped to have this one in my wheelhouse and I can see this being a permanent fixture on my altar.

In other news the house renovation is coming along. So far we have the front and side yard done. Its on to the back yard and then to the inside. I would say at this point were about 95% sure we are moving to Oregon after the sale of the house. I miss being close to nature. Dallas is so busy. It is a fantastic metropolitan area but there is a disconnect from nature. I need to get back somewhere where I can put my feet in the dirt and listen to nature and meditate.  I’m ready for the next chapter and that might include a very long distance move. Life is short and I’m ready for a bit of adventure.

 

 

 

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The Weekly Round-Up

The Weekly Magical Roundup – Vol III

Below is the weekly round up. Ive been so busy lately with house renovations that I haven’t had much time to devout to social media. I’m currently trying to totally renovate my house to sell. I bought a fixer upper with the intention of flipping it. I can tell you my next house will be move in ready. I’m not doing this again. I don’t have the stamina to make a career out of it. Ive been very displaced. If you have been following my Instagram you can see that my altar has been temporarily moved to a corner of my bedroom. I still have find some really interesting articles that I hope you enjoy!

Benebell Wen’s review of the Tabula Mundi Tarot

I just got this deck yesterday.  I was inspired to buy it after this review. How had I not heard of this deck before? This is gorgeous. Her review gives a very good look at the cards. I’ll probably be posting my own after I use it for awhile. This deck is deep. I really want to work with it a bit before I give a review.

U.K Diocese tells Catholics how to Venerate Pagan Deities

I thought this was an interesting article. I think its important to respect other peoples religions. Its refreshing seeing the Catholic church take a more open and progressive approach to the acceptance non-Catholics. At work during our Thanksgiving luncheon they have a christian prayer before eating. I still bow my head out of respect as I know I’m the only non-Christian there. I just make a point to thank my own gods instead. At the end of the day I believe we all worship the same source, we just believe in different images and symbols.

Welcome to the Twin Peaks Tarot Deck

I’m a huge David Lynch fan. I’m currently watching the new Twin Peaks and its blowing my mind. I’ll admit I have no clue what is going on. I really hope this gets made into a full 78 card deck. Right now this is a majors only deck that you could only get by backing the kickstarter campaign. I love the artwork. I’ll be keeping my eye out for any news on this one.

Rochelle from he Craft is doing Tarot Reading

I love the Craft. It has always been one of my favorite movies. How cool is it that Rachel True is actually doing Tarot readings in real life? I thought this was a really cool article on what she is doing with her life now. For me it makes the movie even more awesome. Many people who were in this movie fell off the map after the 90’s. Its good to see some are still doing pretty well.

 

 

 

 

 

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Random Musings

Finding the Will Within

Life is filled with forks in the road. That is undeniable. Everyday we are faced with decisions – from the most mundane to life changing. How can we know that we are making the right choices? How do we know that our intuition is leading us in the right direction? I suppose ultimately we can’t know. We may have an absolute certainty that we are making the right choices, but what if that is the wrong decision? Perhaps it was the right decision. Maybe you had to make the wrong decision in order to learn a certain lesson.

The will and purpose of each person can be a funny thing. If you just go online to various message boards and google the will there is heated debate on what that exactly means and how a person finds and follows it.

For me the will in magical terms is the desire or destiny of a person. Its your drive.  Its at its very essence your mission, what you want to do with your life. By looking inside ourselves we can find our true will. We are not born knowing. We come into this world kicking and screaming concerned of only our most basic needs. As we age and become older and wiser the will reveals itself to us. Sometimes it may be hard to face. There is a struggle between the spirit and the flesh. What we know we need to do or want to do at the very core of our soul can be hindered by human emotion. Fear can be a great motivator or a hindrance. It is a survival instinct that can stifle us.

How can we combat this? I don’t think there is an easy answer. We must dig in deep and examine ourselves and our demons. We must face them and look into the abyss head on. Magic can not only help us discover our will but face our fears. Each persons approach will be different. Remember, no one can tell you your will or how to get there. Its a personal path unique to the individual.

The utmost goal of the magician is to work magic in order to make the reality confirm with the will. It is also important to remember that by magic alone you can’t achieve what you want. It works in harmony with your actions and drive. I won’t go into the ethics of achieving the will. That can be a sticky subject in and of itself.

The bottom line is life is short and you only get one shot in this incarnation. Get out there and do your will. Follow your dreams and your passion. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and say fuck it lets do this universe.

 

 

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The Weekly Round-Up

The Budding Magicians Book List

This week I’m going to do something a little bit different. Ive been reading a lot of good books lately and wanted to put together a list of my top book picks. These are not necessarily new books. Many are what I consider staples for any magician. All of these books get a lot of use and are probably the most pulled things off my bookshelf. I think this list may be helpful as there is so much rubbish out there. Ive spent a lot of time wasted reading books that Ive only gotten partially through because the information was incorrect or written so poorly. It can be so overwhelming starting out and looking for good source material. This does not encompass everything, there are so many gems out there. This may call for a sequel because I don’t think I can list all of the essentials in one post. This list is mostly geared towards the Qabalah and tarot.

Next week I will be in Portland on vacation so there will be no blog posts or much activity on my end. I will be posting onto my Instagram! So if your not following me yet go do so.

Modern Magick – Donald Michael Kraig

This is an absolute classic and staple. This book touches upon pretty much anything that one needs to know to get started as a ceremonial magician. This book does not necessarily go deeply into any one topic, but touches upon a plethora to get you started on your own research and exploration. I still go to this book as a reference when I’m looking for a quick table reference on correspondences. This book is currently in its third edition. If you find a cheap copy of the second edition it is just as good. This book is structured as a progression of various lessons. It was really the first book I bought and used as a guide on my path. It is very easy to read and breaks down some more abstract concepts into plain English.

Mystical Qabalah – Dion Fortune

If your planning on studying the Qabalah you need this book. Each chapter is devoted to a different sphere. This book is in depth and fantastic for pathworking. This really is one of the top books in my opinion on the tree. I’m a huge fan of Dion Fortune. She has a particular way of explaining magical concepts that I agree with. I think she often gets overlooked. Ive heard people say they actually dismissed her because she was a woman. Her work really stands up to with the greats of the western esoteric tradition.

Tarot and the Tree of Life – Isabel Radow Kliegman

I bought this book on a whim off Amazon not too long ago. It goes through each card in the minor arcana and explains how each card related to the corresponding sphere on the tree of life. It really brings a fresh modern perspective. I still go back to this if I’m going over a spread I’m doing and I’m exploring different interpretations. There are not a lot of books out there – and this may be the only one I can think of that goes into the minor arcana in relation to the tree. So much emphasis is put on the major arcana. I enjoy seeing more things focused on the minor arcana as this is what we experience in day to day life. My copy is so worn it has pages falling out of it as this point.

Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages – Paul Foster Case

I highly recommend everyone joins Builders of the Adytum to receive the monthly tarot lessons they provide. If you go through the entire course it will take you 15 years! This book takes some of the wisdom from the lessons themselves and packs it up into a more compact version. I use this in conjunction with the lessons or I grab it if I need a quick refresher. There is a lot of esoteric wisdom in this book. Paul Foster Case is another person that I find easier to read and understand. After going through this book you will really start to understand just how much symbolism and wisdom are in those little cards.

A Garden of Pomegranates – Israel Regardie

This book offers a crash course on the entirety of the tree of life. If you buy this I recommend purchasing the copy that has been annotated and edited by Chic and Sandra Cicero. The Second half of the book contains exercises that puts all of this knowledge you have been acquiring to use. It contains a lot of practical exercised and a really good explanation of using the tarot to pathwork through the tree. Israel Regardie was one of the leading sources of information on the Qabalah and how to put it to use in a practical way. He worked under Aleister Crowley for a period of time and personally knew the Ciceros. His works are a staple.

Cabalistic Encyclopedia – David Godwin

This is a must have companion to your studies. It is a complete encyclopedia of everything under the sun.  This has every possible Hebrew and gematria association you could want. I frequently use it as a cross reference for my work. It is fantastic for coming up with mantras or sigils using Hebrew. Everything is meticulously cross referenced and laid out in a easy to read format. I had been studying for a few years before I purchased this book and couldn’t believe the wealth of information. It can be very difficult to sift through information if your looking for something very specific, if you have this book then you will not need to do that anymore!

All of these titles are available on amazon. I usually buy used either online or my local half-price books. Some of these can even be a little pricey used (I think I still paid $20.00 for the Cabalistic Encyclopedia used). In the long run I think you will actually save money buying knowledge filled titles instead of filling your bookshelf with fluff. Do you have any book recommendations?

 

 

 

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Random Musings

Finding Time for Magic

I have returned from my business trip. It feels so good to be back home. I hate traveling for business. I was in San Diego and did not have a single opportunity to see anything other than the hotel I was staying in. My whole routine gets disturbed. I’m a homebody and creature of habit. I packed my travel kit for ritual and did not get to pull it out once.

Modern day living can leave little room for magic. If your married, have children and work a full time job then there is very little if any room for solitary time. I do not have children but I am married with a full time job. I have two large dogs and my mother and law lives with me. I have to keep my time for ritual very structured. Sometimes this requires me getting up before anyone else very early in the morning just to have some quiet time undisturbed for meditation. Even though it can take a little juggling and sometimes almost inconvenient for me to find time for my practice I can tell a definite difference if I don’t stay close to my spirituality. It keeps me grounded and centered. I am able to handle challenges better and keep a level head. Below are some tips from personal experience on keeping a practice going in our busy world today.

You can center yourself anywhere I am very fortunate to have a separate room for my practice. I can go and lock myself up in it whenever I want. Sometimes it may not be the quietest of locations depending on who is home. Many people don’t have a designated space for meditation and magic. Centering oneself and meditation are mental activities which means they can be done really anywhere. If your in the car on the way to work and stuck in traffic instead of being angry about sitting on the freeway take advantage of that time to meditate and set your intention for the day. The point is to get creative! Ive used my lunch break at work to go to my car and meditate, pray or center myself. I’m actually a big fan of using the car as sometimes its the only place where we can achieve privacy.

Meditation is about quality not quantityIve written about meditation before. It isn’t about spending an hour trying to remain totally motionless with a blank mind. Certainly you can do that if that’s your form but you do not need to. If all you have time for is a quick ten minute session and your getting benefit from it, that’s great! Form a meditative practice around your wants and needs – and availability. Even five minutes a day can be beneficial than nothing at all. In the long run your sanity will thank you. Even when I was on my business trip I would wake up a little before my meetings started and did a quick meditation and mainly focused on my breath and daily intention. Even that small amount of time helped me stay calm and focused about 4 hours in my marathon meetings.

Vocal declaration may be necessary Sometimes in my home I’ll have to tell my husband I need some time alone. If you have the ability to tell everyone to scram do it! Have open communication with the people in your household. Ask your husband to take the kids out for a couple hours (which he should be doing for mom anyway). I am open with my husband about my practice and I feel that this has given me more ability to do it freely. I think this is especially important if you have a spouse that is not pagan or spiritual in any way.

Money is not an obstacle for spiritual success I love online window shopping for new tarot decks and supplies. I think its important to remember these are wants not needs. You need essentially nothing to have a flourishing spiritual practice. All of your shiny bits and bobs are tools for the mind. I am currently renovating my home to sell and sometimes have to take a step back and ask “do I really need this?”. The needs of the family come before my wants. I believe in our modern world where we are all so connected via internet there can be pressure to have the best altar space or largest tarot collection. Live within your means. Remember, one aspect of your spiritual practice (at least for me) is to try to live with less. Your power lies within your mind, not in the amount of material things you accumulate.

Above all I am guilty of my last point. I inherited the shopping gene from my grandmother. This applies to tarot as well. I love to receive new decks in the mail. Its so exciting opening one for the first time. I’m still working through this one myself.

Do you have any creative tactics for your spiritual practice?

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The Weekly Round-Up

The Weekly Magical Round Up – Vol II

Next Week I’ll be out of the state on a business trip so there will be no blog posts or the weekly round up. I will return the following week! With that being said below is the weekly round up of news and articles that caught my eye. Discussion is welcome.

Kelly-Ann Maddox’s New Altar Setup

Kelly-Ann Maddox YouTube Channel

I’m in love with this altar. Every time I see a new altar video I get inspired to change everything on mine. This video has a ton of eye candy. Kelly-Ann Maddox is one of the leading YouTube bloggers in the magical arena. She is very knowledgeable but manages not to take herself too seriously. Ive been a long time subscriber and I hope that I can get up the courage one day to start a YouTube channel and speak with the same gusto she does.

When Science and the Occult Went Head-to-Head on a Germain Mountaintop

Atlas Obscura – Science Experiment Failed to Change a Goat into a Boy

Though magic can give you an edge on this plane there are still rules to the universe that must be followed. I think now if you asked any serious magician if they were able to turn a goat into a boy they would think you were joking and may take slight offense. This experiment was seen as absolute proof that magic does not exist. The whole thing is humorous to me when I imagine all of these people gathered set out to prove the existence of something so abstract by doing something so…what is the word….comical? ridiculous? This was a very entertaining read.

Psychedelic Qabalah for the Modern Psychonaut

Omni Future – a Blog by Bryan Alvarez

This is a very long and and in depth article on the use of psychedelic drugs and how the psychedelic experience relates to the Qabalah and tree of life. Be warned -this article is some heavy reading. If your someone who does mix drugs with their practice then this article might be of interest.

The Key to the Subconscious: Imagination

The Grand Infinity YouTube Channel

I recently stumbled upon this YouTube channel just meandering for new occult channels. The channel is run by Joseph March formally known as Psycho Sorcerer. He has a lot of really good videos on ceremonial magic.  His videos do not have the eye candy that Kelly-Ann’s do but they are packed with really good information. I usually listen to them in the background when I’m working on jewelry. This is a good video on the different modes of utilizing the imagination to bring about your will. Though not totally encompassing this is a good starting off point for practice and discussion.

Indigo Speaker is back on YouTube

May Q&A 2017

Indigo Speaker has been absent from YouTube for several months. His videos focus mainly also on ceremonial magic. If you have been wondering what he has been up to he addresses those questions in this YouTube video. Apparently he has been working on forming his own magical order – I think that might take up a little bit of your time.

 

 

 

 

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