A TAROT PRACTICE TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE AUGUST 2017

Got a serious case of the Eclipse Season crazies? Fear not, says Melinda Lee Holm. This simple tarot practice will help you navigate August 2017 and pave the way for a brand new era …

With two eclipses sandwiching the start of yet another Mercury retrograde period, August could feel like a bit of a roller coaster month.

But fear not! Leaning into the completion of the lunar eclipse and taking advantage of the slow down of Mercury can ease emotional turmoil and pave the way for the opening of a glorious new era … 

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:: 8/7  Full Moon Lunar Eclipse—10 of Swords ::

Lunar eclipses bring completion, end emotional cycles, and can give us an opportunity for an emotional reset. While endings are not always comfortable, if we focus on acceptance and release, we can integrate the lessons of the challenge, and move forward with love and hope.

The 10 of Swords illustrates this acceptance beautifully. At first, the image appears frightening and brutal—a figure with 10 swords piercing its body. But what we see is the turning point, the moment the figure chooses to see this strife as a blessing (see the formation of the fingers of the right hand), and to integrate the experience to move forward.

At this moment, the dark clouds finally lift and a bright new day appears on the horizon, full of light and promise.

Calling in the 10 of Swords:

  • Carry or wear Black Tourmaline to release energetic sludge and negativity
  • Clean out your closet – the symbolic release of possessions will lead the way for emotional release
  • Burn palo santo
  • Sprinkle bee pollen on yogurt or cereal for a boost of optimism

:: 8/12  Mercury Retrograde—The Hermit :: 

Just 5 days after the big completion of the Lunar Eclipse, Mercury stations retrograde, turning our sights back for new insights into what has occurred since the last retrograde cycle. Many subtle (and not so subtle) messages can come through during this time. In order to best take advantage of the wisdom these messages can offer, it’s time to slow down, open up, and let it all sink in.

The Hermit is the perfect guide for this inner exploration. He goes into solitude by choice, on a mission to gather knowledge and synthesize this knowledge into wisdom he can bring back out into the world for the benefit of others. Let The Hermit teach you how your personal insights and revelations can benefit you as well as those around you.

Calling in The Hermit:

  • Carry or wear Iolite, the stone of shamanic journeying
  • Drink Licorice tea—the root offers powerful protection to keep your insights clear
  • Take a long bath in silence
  • Limit screen time to get in tune with your natural rhythms and intuition

:: 8/21 Total Solar Eclipse—3 of Wands :: 

While we’re still lingering in the psychic cave of The Hermit, we get a major breakthrough with the Total Solar Eclipse. This is the first total solar eclipse to grace the United States in 99 years. Solar eclipses bring new beginnings. Even if you are not in the path of totality (meaning you only see a partial eclipse), this energetic reset is sure to signal a powerful change in direction, particularly following the clearing and reflection of the lunar eclipse and Mercury retrograde.

For inspiration in moving into uncharted territory, we take the wise and gentle hand of the 3 of Wands. The figure in the illustration appears well traveled, standing in loose robes with a headband, looking out over a barren landscape. There is no fear or hesitation here, but rather the considered pause of experience. The past has all been preparation for this moment. The true journey is about to begin … 

Calling in the 3 of Wands:

  • Carry or wear Moss Agate, the stone of new beginnings
  • Wear clothes that are easy to move in
  • Stretch your body to encourage your mind to follow
  • Add flax seeds to your smoothie to heal any old wounds preventing you from braving a new path

:: 8/26  Women’s Equality Day—Strength :: 

Women’s Equality Day commemorates both the signing of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote, and the Women’s Strike for Equality, held on the 50th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in 1970. As we face continuing threats to our autonomy, safety, and equal rights, it is important that we build on the work of our sisters and mothers and ensure that our efforts include and protect all women, especially the most vulnerable among us.

To keep our hearts pure and in the fight, we call on Strength. The Strength card is a perfect portrait of feminine force. The figure is not dressed in armor or bearing any weapons. Her strength lies in her innate ability to co-create with the natural world. When we recognize that we are all one with the world, we can truly change the world for the better.

Calling in Strength:

  • Keep Orange Calcite in your workspace to stimulate playful, co-creative energy
  • Wear animal prints
  • Eat fennel to boost and fortify inner strength
  • Burn Amber incense to invoke the stability and longevity of the fossilized tree sap

Want more tarot magic? Book a session with Melinda here, and make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook. 

HOW THESE TAROT CARDS EXPLAIN JUNE 2017

Welcome to sweet, sun-kissed summertime! Pack up your beach bag and don’t forget to bring the perfect tarot cards for June 2017, says Melinda Lee Holm.

As we leave the blossoming of Spring behind and head into the cultivation of Summer, June brings the promise of a new era of personal growth and development. We will be challenged to see clearly, to get in touch with our deepest desires, to integrate the lessons of the past so we can expand into the future, and to honor both the yin and yang as indispensible parts of our whole beings.

Let June’s tarot guides lead the way … (to be used in conjunction with the monthly Tarotscopes for your sign by Lindsay Mack!)

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:: 6/09  Jupiter Stations Direct in Libra – The World :: 

This planet of expansion has been retrograde since February 5 of this year, giving us the chance carefully consider the steps we are taking to develop personally and professionally. When she stations direct on the 9th, we are in a great position to use all of that gathered wisdom to grow purposefully and consciously, and Libra’s influence will bring a touch of beauty and partnership to the mix.

The Major Arcana’s final card, The World, represents the birth of a new era built upon the work and completion of a previous cycle. In the card, we see a figure with her legs positioned in the shape of Jupiter’s symbol floating in a womb-like container, surrounded by watchful celestial allies. She pauses now, taking in the greatness of the cycle she has completed so she can fully integrate the wisdom of this phase before she steps into the next, knowing that the Universe will be here to support her continued growth.

Calling in The World:

  • Spend a day alone at the spa (or the beach, or in the tub)—emerge feeling reborn
  • Eat figs—they are associated with Jupiter’s fecundity
  • Give yourself a clean slate by clearing out your desk, your closet, or your whole house
  • Add a drop or 2 of food-grade Frankincense oil to your juice or tea—the strong anti-inflammatory properties of the resin will help calm your body from the inside out

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:: 6/12  School’s Out! – 7 of Cups :: 

Whether you’re in school or not, now is a great time to get into the ‘school’s out’ mentality and focus on following your bliss. Forget about what you think you should be doing or should be desiring, ignore the chatter telling you what success looks like, and explore your heart’s true desires on these long gorgeous days of sun and leisure.

With the 7 of Cups as our guide, we can take a minute to turn on, tune in, and drop out of the rat race and into our own personal paradise. The Rider-Waite illustration shows us that the outer trappings of glory we grasp for —beauty, riches, a big house, a dragon!—are incomparable to the emotional fulfillment that comes from finding that magical something that sets our heart on fire. Symbolized by the draped, glowing figure in the central cup, this intangible light of joy is the source of true bliss.

Calling in the 7 of Cups:

  • Wear or carry raw or cut Ruby—the stone helps ignite the heart’s true passion
  • Volunteer for a cause you are passionate about
  • Go on vacation, even for a day—without your phone and computer
  • Wear loose fitting clothing, allowing your body to move completely without restriction, following its own bliss!
Check out Melinda’s custom pieces of Tarot-inspired jewelry! Pictured above: The Initiate in Ruby.

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:: 6/18  Father’s Day – King of Pentacles :: 

Tradition in the US has pulled the holiday away from its Catholic roots and toward a more personal celebration of the bond between Dads and their kids. It’s an important holiday in a culture that does not tend to reward men for the nurturing, understanding, and caring qualities they need to be great fathers.

The King of Pentacles, the Tarot’s nurturing patriarch, provides us with a wonderful example of the power of gentle masculinity. He leads with a velvet touch, encouraging everything and everyone around him to grow and thrive as best fits their individuality. This laid back, supportive nature combined with his readiness to fight for those around him (note the armor peeking out from beneath his robe) make the King of Pentacles my pick for best Dad of the deck.

Calling in the King of Pentacles:

  • Dress decadently—patterns, colors, fabrics—wear what feels regal!
  • Meditate with Clear Calcite—it promotes unconditional love and helps clear any blockages to giving or receiving it
  • Plant wildflowers or other plants native to your area
  • Commit to only giving advice when it is asked for

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:: 6/20  Summer Solstice – The Sun :: 

Summer Solstice festivals in agrarian societies honored the fire of life and the drive to plant and produce in hopes of a bountiful harvest. Metaphorically, it’s a time to invigorate our personal goals and plans with this renewed fire.

The message of The Sun card is ‘what you see is what you get.’ This can be a challenging energy if what you see is not what you want to believe. But once we push past the loss of the created narrative, we can feel the relief of simply being able to trust what is present rather than obsessing over the past or fantasizing about the future. The Sun calls us to see and believe in the here and now.

Calling in The Sun:

  • Go outside and bask in the rays! (don’t forget your sunblock)
  • Decorate your space with fresh sunflowers
  • Wear or carry Fluorite—the mental clarity it provides help tap into the psychic illumination The Sun card offers
  • Eat citrus fruits—the cleansing properties of citrus will help you to stay clear and present

Want more tarot magic? Book a session with Melinda here, and make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook. 

WHY THESE ARE THE PERFECT TAROT CARDS FOR MAY 2017

Stressing out about scheduling the month ahead? Put your planner aside & lay out the perfect tarot cards for May 2017, says Melinda Lee Holm.

May is a fertile season for embracing your power and exploring duality! Throughout this month, we will be asked to examine what kind of power we value, how we can expand our vision of our own power, and how to embrace, honor, and cherish aspects of ourselves that seem in opposition to one another.

Meet this month’s guides for creating, manifesting, and coming into balanced relationship with all that is …  

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:: 5/01  International Workers Day—7 of Pentacles :: 

The month kicks off with May Day or Beltane- a traditional northern European holiday celebrating the coming of Spring with rituals of fertility, abundance, and heaps of flowers and foliage. In 1904, it was also designated as a day to demonstrate for laborers’ rights.

The Rider-Waite image of a worker tending the vines is a perfect guide for honoring both the abundance of nature and the beauty of labor. Pentacles are the suit of Earth- that wonderful grounding element that connects us to the physical world and our animal natures. In the 7, the work has been done, the soil turned, the vines tended, and the result is a healthy crop of pentacles. Clad in marigold and sky blue, the figure revels in his power of creation in partnership with the Earth and the intuition that led his hand.

Calling in the 7 of Pentacles: 

  • Get your hands dirty! Gardening connects us to the fecundity of the Earth and to labor. 
  • Work hard, but don’t overdo it – end your work day at a reasonable time. 
  • Light a candle in an earthy scent like tomato vine or moss. 
  • Eat fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. 

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:: 5/03  Mercury Stations Direct- The Magician :: 

Rejoice! Mercury stations direct on the 3rd, bringing to a close 3.5 weeks of (often unexpected) insights about the recent past (and a lot of panic about glitches in technology). Now, armed with all of the new information we’ve dredged up, we can get start pressing forward with newly laid plans by calling on the Tarot’s great manifestor- The Magician.

In Golden Dawn teachings, The Magician is associated with the planet Mercury, so there is a natural alignment here that can really help push things along if we listen closely to the messages received during retrograde. Drawing on the power of the Earth and the Heavens, The Magician taps into his natural attunement with the Universe to vibrate his vision into existence, opening infinite possibilities. With a little guidance, you can step into his enchanted shoes!

Calling in The Magician: 

  • Use your magic words! Write down goals in the present tense as if they have already been achieved.  
  • Wear Pyrite jewelry – the stone is a master of manifestation. 
  • Dress for your dream life.
  • Eat foods seasoned with cinnamon – the spice accelerates mastery and magical abilities. 
Check out Melinda’s custom pieces of Tarot-inspired jewelry ! Pictured above: The Initiate in Pyrite.

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:: 5/14  Mother’s Day- 6 of Cups :: 

Whether you are a mom or share a connection with a biological or chosen maternal figure, this is a day for honoring and appreciating the feminine nurturers around and within us. We can often get stuck in a role of mothering or being mothered, and have trouble balancing our giving and receiving. This Mother’s Day, we call on the 6 of Cups to remind us to care for our care givers, and to take in the love we need to replenish ourselves as caregivers.

The 6 of Cups carries the energy of emotional harmony and balance. The figures in the card are out of balance proportionally, but the larger figure seeks to restore harmony by giving a flower-filled cup to the smaller figure. All of the cups bear a single white flower, which strongly resembles an enlarged jasmine blossom- the flower of purity and sensuality. The lesson here is that true and pure beauty is found through actively balancing the relationships in our lives.

Calling in the 6 of Cups: 

  • Perform random acts of kindness – and receive them gracefully from others!
  • Carry a Chrysocolla, the Goddess stone, to replenish the energy of the Divine Feminine. 
  • Wear jasmine perfume. 
  • Care for your mom or moms, biological, legal, or chosen. 

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:: 5/21  Sun Enters Gemini- The Lovers :: 

Twin season! The Sun’s entry into Gemini brings openness and flexibility to any stale routines, and teaches us to see all sides of an issue and not to press too hard for a solution that isn’t working.

The myth of Gemini follows a pair of twins with the same mother, but different fathers. Since one has been fathered by the god Zeus, he is immortal. When his mortal brother dies, he begs his father to keep them together and Zeus obliges, making both twins immortal, living together for eternity in the constellation Gemini, separate but perfectly paired. In our mortal lives, Gemini teaches us to allow conflicting sides of ourselves to co-exist in harmony. We can be a business mogul AND a dreamy poet, a driven creator AND a grounded homemaker. To find how to live in this duality, we look to The Lovers.

The Lovers shows two figures standing beneath a bright angel. Early interpretations positioned this card as indicative of romantic love, but modern Tarot scholars view the card’s energy as one of perfect pairing and ideal relationship- whether romantic, professional, or creative.  The core of the wisdom here is to see that excellence – in relationship or in ourselves – can only be achieved when each part is celebrated for its individuality and not consumed by the whole.

Calling in The Lovers:

  • Wear contrasting colors. 
  • Make an exquisite corpse drawing or poem with a friend.  
  • Explore foods with savory/sweet combinations. You can start with cayenne spiced chocolate or prosciutto wrapped melon and go wild from there! 
  • Include others in activities you would normally do alone like reading with a friend, or walking with a group … 

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Want more tarot magic? Book a session with Melinda here, and make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook. 

WHY THESE ARE THE PERFECT TAROT CARDS FOR APRIL 2017

Want to map out a magical month? Swap your iCal for a tarot deck. Melinda Lee Holm helps us navigate the wild ride ahead with the key tarot cards for April 2017…

This April, it’s all about letting go of control and riding the emotional waves to abundant new shores. With Mercury going retro just before Venus stations direct, April has some wildly shifting energies in store for us. Fortunately, the Tarot is here to help us navigate the vibes!

Meet this month’s guides for cultivating presence, serenity, self-love, and nurturing …

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:: 04/01  April Fool’s Day – The Fool :: 
As adults, we’re expected to be experts in our work and pragmatic in our personal lives. The lack of control that comes with April Fool’s day tricks is not something we’re always comfortable experiencing. Yet embracing this carefree energy can be exactly what we need to reinvigorate our beings.

The Fool is the zero point of the Major Arcana. Having no experience, he moves freely through life with a pure and open heart until he builds enough wisdom to know that wandering through life with a pure and open heart is the soul’s highest aspiration! With all of the turmoil in the world, we can allow him to guide us to moments of grace and love that are suspended in the present moment—and to learn to laugh at ourselves!

Calling in The Fool: 

  • Take a class where you’re a complete beginner.
  • Practice conscious breathing to stay in the present moment.
  • Drink Earl Grey tea—the bergamot in it promotes joy and soothes stress.
  • Wear that wild dress you got for a special occasion that hasn’t yet come.

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:: 04/09  Mercury Retrograde – The King of Cups :: 
Mercury retrograde periods have a bad reputation for causing trouble with communication and travel. But there is another level to thi energy that can allow us to sink deeply into emotional and intellectual reflection, and the King of Cups is a great ally in both cases.

In the Smith-Waite deck, the King of Cups is seen seated on a throne made of stone, floating on the waves of the sea. The King is undisturbed by the waves of emotion passing beneath him. He remains calm and alert, gazing out over the open sea. During Mercury Retrograde, call on the King of Cups to help you to stay calm, flexible, and aware.

Calling in the King of Cups: 

  • Practice loving communication in all interactions.
  • Maintain a sharp awareness of the external world, even when internal reflection gets deep.
  • Wear lavender oil—the smell can calm and soothe you and those around you.
  • Carry a relic of the sea with you—a small shell, a pebble—to remind you of your ability to ride the waves with grace.

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:: 04/15  Venus Direct in Pisces – 8 of Cups :: 
The past 6 weeks of Venus retrograde have been ripe for insights into our old romantic patterns. Now with Venus resuming direct motion in her exalted sign, we’re pushed to realign with our hearts and dream big for the future. The 8 of Cups is the perfect guide for us as we review info gathered during the retro period, get clear about our passions, and adjust our emotional patterns.

The card shows a figure dressed in red walking into the wilderness away from a set of carefully stacked cups. This movement away from an established, known emotional pattern into the wild unknown—by a figure clad in the color of passion—is a wonderful inspiration for our realignment. Let go of attachments based on habit and forge a new path forward.

Calling in the 8 of Cups: 

  • Wear comfortable clothing made of soft fabrics like silk or bamboo—in red whenever possible!
  • Take a walk alone in the wilderness to reflect on your true passion.
  • Carry Rhodochrosite for self-love and Black Obsidian for letting go.
  • Eat foods made with basil—the heart shaped leaves will emit gentle love energy from within.

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:: 04/22  Earth Day – The Empress :: 
With the EPA and our environment under great threat from the current administration, celebrating this day is more important than ever. The Empress is the perfect patron saint to keep you sane and tapped into the earth’s power.

The Empress corresponds to the Goddess Demeter, the Great Mother of the Greek pantheon. She is loving and nurturing, creating abundance all around her through the force of her glorious heart. And like most mothers, she is also fiercely protective. Even if you can’t attend a march or other Earth Day event, you can call on The Empress to empower you to care for our planet with love, and to protect her with a ferocious heart.

Calling in The Empress: 

  • Plant a tree.
  • Bring a trash bag on a walk through nature, cleaning up what others have left behind.
  • Carry Rose Quartz or Aventurine, stones of love and abundance.
  • Wear bright floral print or jewel tones to celebrate the glory of the natural world.

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Want more tarot magic? Book a session with Melinda here, and make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook. 

YOGI SAYS: ”HOW CAN I BE OF SERVICE?”

In a new column, yogi and philosopher Eddie Stern offers advice from a yogic perspective—with additional guidance from the tarot. This month’s question: “How can I be of service?” Artwork: Lucy Dyer 

QUESTION: “All the recent socio-political unrest has left me feeling equal parts vulnerable and impotent. Alongside feelings of fear about what the future holds (environmental issues obviously play into this also), there is a huge sense of compassion for communities who’ve been affected directly and a newfound depth of empathy for all the displaced and marginalized people in the world. This has stirred up a desire to want to help in some tangible way, but it’s so hard to know where to start—and to not feel hopeless about the impact one individual can possibly have on such monumental global issues. How can I be of service?”

SUGGESTION: Knowing where to start is often the hardest part of service—the same way you might look at your kitchen sink after preparing a huge feast. Your sink will be overflowing with dirty dishes, pots and pans, fragile glassware and sharp knives, all covered in gook, and the thought of washing them, while you are tired and overfed, is overwhelming. Your initial thought might be to leave them for the morning, and perhaps you secretly hope that one of your guests or your partner will do it for you. However, while the whole mess is indeed completely overwhelming, washing just one single cup, or one plate, is not. If you start by washing just one dirty dish at a time, before you know it, the whole kitchen sink will be clean.

We can look at the world in the same way. For one person to clean up the whole mess of global warming, geopolitical conflict, poverty and hunger is not only impossible, it’s completely overwhelming to even think about. But taking personal responsibility for trying to do one thing better, and inspire others to do something better, is totally doable. In yoga, Sun Salutations—breathing slowly, and connecting each movement with one breath—teach us to embody a step-by-step approach to our lives. Further, if you can choose that one thing that you are going to work on or perfect about your behavior and attitude while here on our small, green and blue planet, you’ll also find that you are re-inspired, and will become filled with energy, inspiration and creativity.

In the Tarot, the Eight of Pentacles might be a good card for you to meditate on. This card shows a young man absorbed in his work; he is an apprentice, meaning that he is learning and perfecting a new skill, and has committed himself to hammering out the details that will lead to mastery. He works on one coin at a time, without stress, only moving on to the next coin when the one he is working on has been completed. The Pentacles are the suit of physical work, and are representative of the Earth energy. This is essentially what your question was regarding. Our planet Earth is a mess, what work can I do to help?

The first thing is to be grounded, stable, and practical, like the Earth; and then to take it one step at a time. Come up with a simple strategy that you can stick with, like the washing of one dish at a time. This is how a big job gets done. Your commitment to being of service to the world will strengthen and blossom when the job before you feels like it is attainable. The Eight of Pentacles also teaches us that we should not isolate ourselves for too long, for the kind of work you wish to do is not the work of one person.

We need spiritual friends to work with, and communities to develop who share our ideals, values and desire to be of service. Cleaning up the world is not the job of one person, it’s the job everyone! If you take it all on your shoulders, it will just be depressing. So look around, see what is close by that you can take participate in, or what you can create from scratch. After you have taken small steps, you can build bigger teams if you wish to, delegate more, and fulfill your vision of creating a more loving, compassionate world.

Discover more about Eddie Stern and his work here. Do you have a question for “Yogi Says”? Email: [email protected]