In last weekend's Sage Wind Tarot Circle, we were discussing Shadow Work. While reading The Witch's Eight Paths of Power (also a Sage Wind Temple discussion group) we went over the Iron Pentacle. I really liked the concept. Later one we learned about the Rust and Gilded Pentacles which emerge when fear prevents you from manifesting iron. I made these spreads to help you work through some of the points. I hope you find them useful in your shadow working.
The Iron Pentacle comes from the Feri tradition. It is a tool of transformation that involves reclaiming ideas that we are often taught are negative which diminishes our personal power.
The Rust Pentacle is the decayed and demeaned reflection of the Iron Pentacle. The Iron Pentacle rusts when our flight response is triggered and instead of dealing with issues we run from them.
The Gilded Pentacle is the opposite BUT it is also based in fear (aggressive fear rather than passive). The Gilded Pentacle is more like fool’s gold rather than real gold. It is a false coating that hides the rust beneath. This is the fight response to fear.
I have updated my digital zines in my Etsy Shop. They now include a bit more content and tarot info as well as a bit more cohesiveness across the board. I enjoy making tarot spreads and have more ideas up in the ol' noggin. I have also sent my files off to a local printer to make physical copies which I am excited for.
Like any others, I have a nice collection of different tarot decks. The above photo are the ones that I always have close by for readings. Since studying the cards, I have been using the Rider-Waite-Smith system with traditional symbolism and meanings. Even in my certification we use the RWS method of learning. As a result, these are the decks I am most drawn to and most comfortable using.
The Druidcraft tarot is a recent addition. It is my mentors favourite deck and I love how the images reflect the teaching of Druidry and Wicca. The cards a a bit big for my hands but it has made me learn different methods of shuffling as a result. I will usually only use this deck for people who I feel might relate to the images as a witch, druid or fantasy fan.
* I have a brand new boxed set of the Druidcraft Tarot to give away if you sign up for the Sage Wind Tarot Circle I lead.
You may recognize this deck. It is one of the most famous tarot decks and definitely the most popular. It is often the one you see misused in movies and in pop culture. Originally published in 1909 with images drawn by Pamela Coleman Smith and instructions by mystic and occultist A.E. Waite. This is a vintage deck made before US Games stamped the sides. It is also one of my most used decks.
The Everyday Witch tarot is likely my favourite deck that I use daily. I love it not only for the images but also because each card has at least 1 cat in it. As a crazy cat lady this works for me :) This deck is well worn in and I find it is great for everyday general readings. I also use it alongside the Everyday Witch Oracle.
The Light Seer's deck is absolutely gorgeous and I find it has a very gentle energy to it. I often use this deck if people are asking heavier questions. The images in these cards are comforting and caring.
I am still noticing new things in the cards of the Pagan Otherworlds deck. There is an ancient manuscript feel to them with a lot of hidden messages. This deck seems to hold wisdom that is a bit more to the point than the Light Seer's deck. I often use this deck when looking for answers that involve mental clarity and rationality.
The Modern Witch tarot is very much like the RWS deck but more... modern. It doesn't put people and concepts in a box. For example, the King can be a woman, there are updated clothing styles and people of all sizes and races. It feels very down to earth but still thoughtful. The messages I receive from this deck are like tough love. It is made from a thick cardstock so I find them hard to shuffle as the deck is very thick.
I have booked the upstairs room at The Broom Closet / Jessups's General Store at 1811 Quebec St one Saturday a month for the next 6 months!! I will be booking readings and depending on Covid restrictions going forward I may even have discussions/workshops/classes on tarot every now and then. The dates I will be at the shop are:
I will be there from 1 - 4pm each day. If you would like to book a reading please email me and I will be happy to help! I am charging $30 for half an hour. You will have me for the full 30 minutes to do your reading, answer any questions you may have. I hope to see you soon!
A couple things you should know about the space before coming:
The Broom Closet and Jessup's General Store are the #1 shop for witchy treasures in the city. They have herbs, candles, cauldrons, tarot deck & books and lots of occult inspired clothing & accessories. Karli and Donna are amazingly friendly and will love to help you find anything you are looking for. They are located right beside Fellinger's Meats just off 11th Ave at 1811 Quebec St. Check it you if you haven't been there before.
In a group I am in on Facebook, I saw a post by Saurabh Siddhartha and I asked him if I could share his tips because he had some very good points.
1) Be genuine and approachable.
2) Be solution oriented for a question. Don't just predict like shooting an arrow in dark uncertain future. Rather being judgmental about situation, explain ins and outs of all possible modalities,their cause and effect. LET QUERENTS DECIDE which path they would take. For that, indulge in discussions with client. Tarot Reading is not done to test a reader but to test own potential,for that appreciate and initiate the discussion. Chart the suit best applicable to situation and read in that context only.
3) The problem is sticking with known keywords and not taking blended approach. As in my previous post I have explained about how 5 of pentacles is depicted or The Tower, think in line,create some practical observations. A change can still be very positive in negative appearing card.
4) Spreads are nothing but maps. You are neither doing it all right or all wrong. Map the spread as per question.
5) There are no fixed complicated rules in Tarot Reading. If you don't wish to do cleansing rituals like candles,crystals..You can simply tap on the deck thrice and imagine bad vibes coming out and continue. Remember, It is all about intentions, set it right and you are good to go anywhere anytime.
6) Buy decks.. yes, of varieties. They improve your insight one way or another. Not many, but you can try different styles..For example, Haindl Deck explained me The Fool about its empathetic nature,of not able to know language, while Marseille Decks made me attached to pip cards, still the lenormand's story telling is amazing.
7) Don't hesitate to connect cords. I use Lenormands
angel oracles together with my regular TDM decks even in Celtic and believe me, they resonate with each other really well.
8) Keep a thick journal of whatever reading you do, you need to jot it down. One separate journal to note what you read for querents (keep them really anonymous and safe. You cannot progress if you don't journal it. In my 16 yrs. of reading, I have done that and saying it with experience.
9) If same cards appear in the spread most of the time, it is not a bad shuffle. It has to appear.
10) NEVER GIVE NEGATIVE READINGS EVEN IF CARDS ARE NEGATIVE. Your duty for client is to make his/her life better by effective counseling. Choose your words very wisely. You can risk querent's life,marriage with what you say. If you are not getting path of answers, try few more spreads, calculate again and again. There will be ray of hope. A querent's problem is your problem now.
- Saurabh Siddhartha
Got a new deck last week - The Tarot of Unknown Shadows made by Dark Synevr. I have been following them on Instagram for a while as I am interested in the Victorian Freak Show tarot that I believe they are currently printing. The cards above are a couple of my favourites.
Initially, I was quite impressed as the packaging looked really good and the deck is gilded on both the top and sides. The guidebook has that rose petal feel and is gilded as well., a bit more on it later.
The cards feel a bit think but they are a good size and easy to shuffle. A few cards were stuck together but no biggie. I really like the back design, a bit distorted looking yet also a nostalgic feel to them.
The suits are coins, swords, cups and wands like usual but the wands are umbrellas which make me think more of air than fire. The suits in each card are outlined in gold which is pretty and the card name is written in a beautiful handwritten font in gold at the bottom. I really like the gold detailing, it makes the deck a bit more magickal. The aesthetic of the deck is kinda haunting and vintage which is what drew me to it. It is made using collage with old photographs. I like the faded colours and frozen in time feel the images display. If you like traditional symbolism and images then this deck doesn't really touch on those at all. There are some small hints here and there but overall not traditional.
The Major Arcana is also beautiful. These are a few of my favourites. The Magician's eye glitters at you and it just looks so cool. There are gold details on all the cards - the other one that really stood out is the Devil card with the gold horns. Strength is #8 and Justice is #11.
There are 2 extra cards in this deck - Light & Shadows. They are a nice addition and I will incorporate them into my readings with the deck as oracle cards.
Back to the guidebook. The writing id very small but that's to be expected. Half is in English and the other half in Russian. I haven't read through it all yet but there have been a few sentences that have been lost in translation.
The tuck box has the same rose petal feel with gold detailing. It is nice and sturdy and the cards inside were cello wrapped to protect them. Again the writing on the back of the box is a bit disjointed but no big deal.
My main disappointment is that the gilding from the back of the cards has transferred to the front edges as if they were stacked when not fully dry. It bugs me because it is really noticeable because it is shiny. Like the writing on the cards, there is a chance it will fade with use but it is still something that irks me as I spent $65 on this deck.
I don't normally keep my decks in their tuck boxes and this cosmetic bag works good as one side is black and the other side is a nice shiny gold. I will still likely get the Victorian Freak Show Tarot once it is released because Victorian and Dark Circus are 2 of my fav things. I had more hopes for this deck but overall it is a nice looking deck, just some of the quality is lacking.
I did a 3 card reading with this deck and this is what I interpreted.
I used the Fairy tale spread by @TarotontheMoon.
Card#1: A wish: 5 of Coins = A change in life to help with health or the home. I need to start making my house feel like a home rather than just a shell that I am trapped in. Cooking more at home and organizing the chaos is a good starting point. It will also in turn help with anxiety and general mental health.
Card#2: An obstacle: The Sun - I should try and look for the positives in life as I am not letting much light in and as a result, things are getting darker and darker.
Card#3: A lesson: 9 of Coins - When I work with others who are supportive and want to lift others up, we all succeed. Look for these people and they will also help me learn my worth.
I've started a mailing list for the Sage Wind Tarot Circle I do monthly online. If you would like to be notified when each workbook comes out just click on the image above to sign up.
You will get a free tarot cheat sheet just for doing it.
With 78 cards in a tarot deck, there is definitely something for everyone. When I choose a card to define me I usually look to the 8 of Pentacles - the craftsperson or apprentice card. For those that may not know, my craft is fibre arts. I have been working with fibre since I was very young.
If my Unraveled Oracle deck didn't give it away, I am a spinner, knitter, crocheter, I've woven, dyed, stitched etc. I was a member of the Sask Craft Council for years as a professional craftsperson and belonged to the Regina Weavers & Spinners Guild. My favourite thing out of them all is wool judging. I got my wool judging certification from Olds College in 2012 and have been judging wool shows across the prairies and teaching workshops about wool since. With hundreds of sheep breeds I never stop learning and helping producers see the value in their fibre makes me feel like I've done a good job.
I've also had knitwear in Sask Fashion Week twice; once with Riley Lawson (2013) who won Best Emerging Artist and THE Dean Renwick (2015).
I also have a popular knitted hat pattern (was the most popular unisex hat for some time) with over 110.4k unique downloads.
And have had patterns and mentions in several magazines and books as far away as the UK.
I have been a team leader with the Etsy SK team for the past 7 years promoting Saskatchewan makers and vintage sellers.
I was also a nominee in CBC's Future 40 under 40
Many of these milestones are within my Unraveled Oracle Deck... and hey, what does all this have to do about my favourite tarot card? Well as much as all this seems like bragging, I am pretty damn proud of myself of all the things I have accomplished within my fibre career and I feel I embody the craftsman card. Hard work, quality and education are important aspects in my work and continue with my tarot practice as well.
Here are a few different examples of the 8 of Pentacles cards.
Keywords for the suit of pentacles are: craftsmanship, skill, work, determination, integrity, focus and sincerity. This card heralds success and skilled effort and using these to a high level. This card stands for professionalism & perfectionism and holding yourself to high standards. It also means obtaining qualifications and a sense of liberation as a reward for talent and skill. 8's hold the history of our experience and they also signify reflection, transformation and finding inner strength. In numerology, the number 8 is linked with honour, respect, awards, public recognition and abundance.
8 is also the lemniscate that appears in the Strength and Magician cards in the major arcana hinting at wholeness and development in the physical, mental and spiritual planes which I'm sure creatives can relate to! On a spiritual level, 8 symbolizes cosmic consciousness.
As you can see, this is why I relate myself to the 8 of Pentacles. I believe in working with my hands and getting better and growing and always learning new techniques. When working with raw fibre from sheep to shawl, I have not only been keeping environmentally responsible but also stay true to time honoured traditions that connect me to the past and my ancestors. This is also why I call myself Woolly Witch on instagram.
As part of the release of my Unraveled Oracle Deck I had planned to release a small collection of patterns that included a tarot/crystal bag (Intuition) , a shawl/altar cloth (Incantation) and a necklace (Intention). These patterns have been created but I need to finish the samples and covid kinda put a wrench into the situation but I have plans set in action now. I also have a few knitting patterns for crystal grids I plan on typing up so keep an eye out if you are a knitter.
This past weekend I was initiated into the Awakened Soul Coven. It was a very special day for me. Ethony, our High Priestess made the lead up to the event exciting and sent us items in the mail to open on certain days. I dyed my cords red for my Matron Goddess Aine using madder root and onion skins, green for my Celtic ancestors and the purple for the Awakened Soul Coven.
I started in the coven in 2018 and have completed the Maiden Circle and am currently in the Mother Circle. If you are looking for an amazing group you should definitely look into the Awakened Soul Coven.
I even wrote a testimonial:
The Awakened Soul Coven is just what I have been needing in my life…
Since being a member I have felt my practice grow exponentially. The monthly meetings have helped me meet other like-minded people in a super inclusive space. Even though we are all around the globe I feel a wonderful connection to everyone. I so enjoy the full moon rituals as they allow me to make space and take time doing work and connecting with the moon cycles. The exercises done during both the ritual and the Witches Workshops are relevant and a lot of fun! Ethony is really amazing. She’s friendly, easy going and really passionate about her craft. I really appreciate all the work she puts into each and every month, it has really helped me come out of my shell. I also love how she incorporates tarot into each month, the Awakened Soul Coven is just what I have been needing in my life and I am proud to be a part of it.
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