A TAROT PRACTICE TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE SEPTEMBER 2017

As we slip into the subtle fall energies of Virgo Season, it’s time to assess our relationship to the earth element and to our core beliefs, says Melinda Lee Holm. Let a tarot practice steer your ship as you navigate September 2017.

A shift in seasons brings profound change this month, as we celebrate personal and community connections, mirror the balance of the cosmos in our earthbound lives, and call in a strong challenge to our beliefs about what is true and eternal.

Let your deck lead the way into fall … 

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:: 9/4 Labor Day- 10 of Pentacles :: 

While many of us associate this day with one last beach weekend, it was created to honor the courageous men and women who organized labor. We owe our weekends, 8-hour work days, overtime laws, and restrictions on work done by children all to the Labor movement and its belief that a healthy and happy workforce is the cornerstone of a properous community.

The Tarot teaches us that the greatest form of earthly abundance is found not in a single wealthy figure, but in a wealthy society. The 10 of Pentacles represents the highest material aspirations of the minor arcana. We see a thriving community represented in three generations of citizens and two white dogs in a well-groomed city.

Only through valuing every member’s role and contribution can the health and wellbeing of all be maintained.

Calling in the 10 of Pentacles: 

  • Eat maple syrup on pancakes, yogurt, or oatmeal – energetically it promotes wealth and longevity
  • Throw a block party or BBQ to connect with your neighbors and community
  • Shop local
  • Give Malachite as a gift – it’s a powerful stone of prosperity

:: 9/10 World Suicide Prevention Day- The Ace of Cups :: 

The world can be a very tough place for many people, unbearably so for some. Today we actively send our love and compassion to those who are struggling and those who have been affected by suicide.

The Ace of Cups is the primal power of Water, the element of emotion. Love is the root of our human experience of emotion, and the centerpiece of the Divine gift of an emotional body. The Aces all represent the pure unadulterated state of their element, the most exalted sense of what they represent.

What could possibly be more exalted in the emotional realm than pure unconditional love for our fellow humans?

Calling in the Ace of Cups:

  • Wear or carry a Rhodonite, the stone of outward-directed love and compassion
  • Drink Rose tea to open and expand the heart
  • Donate gently used clothing to a shelter – or better yet, sign up to volunteer!
  • Check in with those you love and let them know you care

:: 9/22 Autumnal Equinox, Sun Enters Libra- Justice :: 

As the days and nights equalize in length before the night begins to take over, this cosmic event triggers a shift from the productivity of summer to the harvest of fall, in preparation for the winter.

Justice teaches us that just as truth, fairness, and order, in society and law, require careful weighing of information, achieving fairness and order in the Universe requires a constant careful balancing of energies. To enjoy the long days of summer, we must survive the long nights of winter. To have stamina to be active, we must set aside time for rest.

Calling in Justice: 

  • Carry Tiger Eye to promote energetic balance
  • Eat salty/sweet food combinations like prosciutto wrapped melon or potato chips and ice cream
  • Wear mixed metals – Wearing both the silver of the moon and gold of the sun connects us to the balance of the celestial bodies that influence us most
  • Donate to the ACLU
Melinda Lee Holm’s Sigil Collection Suspended Pendant in gold, Ancient Echoes Ring, and Reversible Diamond Band in silver

:: 9/28 Jupiter Opposition Uranus- The Tower :: 

Jupiter opposition Uranus happens only once every 12 years and comes in pairs or trios due to apparent retrograde planetary motion. This is the second opposition in our series of two for 2016/17.

Expansive Jupiter in this aspect to rebellious Uranus brings periods of great change on an individual level, sometimes in sudden and uncomfortable ways. But this does not have to be a traumatic time. If we open ourselves up to radical change, we can make the most of this transit.

The Tower is generally seen as one of the most frightening cards in the deck – visually and energetically. It represents major change and teaches us to let go of ALL preconceived notions of the true nature and identity of ourselves and the world around us.

While it may be hard to see in the moment, these changes will always be in service of our highest good. We don’t usually think of The Tower as something we seek to call in intentionally, but with this transit, it is best to get ahead of the game and go with the flow of this potentially challenging aspect.

Calling in The Tower: 

  • Drink coffee – coffee beans are used in spellwork to clear negative thinking and assist in breaking through internal barriers
  • Carry or wear Herkimer Diamond to connect to Divine wisdom and strength
  • Clean your space with pine-scented cleanser, or bring pine branches into your home to promote a clean break from past beliefs and a strong fresh start
  • Burn a black candle – black candles are very effective for clearing energetic blockages and can be a huge help in loosening your attachment to any of your own personal Towers that are ready to come down
Melinda Lee Holm’s Initiate Necklace in Herkimer Diamond Quartz on gold

 

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

SPIRITUAL SHROOMING: MY UNLIKELY AWAKENING

Strung out on repressed feelings, a health crisis and mental break became an unexpected awakening for Meg Hartley, care of some spiritual shrooming…

“During my four-day break with the mundane, I connected to a bigger part of myself, which also happened to feel like an infinitely more stable part of myself”—Meg Hartley 

When I was 19, I wasn’t in a good place. I had lost my mother to suicide four years prior, and my once-successful “smashing down” of feelings had relentlessly resurfaced into every part of my consciousness.

I usually avoided the pain by staying busy all day, then intoxicated into the evening via copious amounts of marijuana or whatever else was floating around the dorms: ‘shrooms, ecstasy, and lots and lots of cheap alcohol.

But late at night, when I’d try my hardest to sleep and fail miserably, I couldn’t hide from the pain. I had taken to scratching at my skin until it bled because it hurt less than the storm that wailed inside. It was like there was so much unprocessed pain my mind didn’t know where to start. Agonizing thoughts just whipped around in my head, out of control and going nowhere.

I’d soon learn about meditation and mindfulness, which gave me a life raft to embrace during these times. But before then, I’d go home to Alaska for summer break and have a four-day experience a psychologist called a “mental break” and a philosophy teacher called “a preview to awakening.”

But to me, it simply felt like a very long dream that showed me true happiness was a real possibility … even for me, which seemed impossible at the time. This set the scene for my subsequent spiritual exploration and gave me a reason to commit to my emotional healing.

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The year was 2002. My first year of philosophy classes in college had finally given form and texture to vague spiritual ideas I’d always had intuitive knowings about. The ideas that this life is an illusion, that humanity is currently experiencing a shift in consciousness, and that we’re each here to learn specific things, were presented by different religions and philosophers from all over the world.

This deja vu sense of remembering (that my teacher said was normal, but which sure felt like magic to me!) combined with all the partying left me ungrounded, spacey, and generally disinterested in “mundane” everyday life. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I also had a B12 deficiency that was hitting mental health symptom levels. In addition to this, there was a cyst growing on my pineal gland, which is known to augment spiritual experiences.

And so, not yet privy to the drawbacks of being ungrounded, and unaware of this explosive combination brewing in my brain, I celebrated my return home by eating yet more ‘shrooms with a dear friend.

The experience of taking psilocybin is different for everyone, but in my experimental days it was something that I regarded with reverence––like a really fun church. During every trip, the idea of “God” or a benevolent bigger something, seemed obvious and present to me. There was silliness and hilarity, but also times where I would leave my friends to go sit with my favorite tree for hours, my head filled with streaming thoughts that were ontological in nature- the answers to all of life’s big questions, more ideas I’d later study in ancient texts.

And this time, for four days after the mushroom trip ought to have ended, my thoughts remained consistently in the ontological realm––a far cry from my daily headscape at the time, which was mostly centered around losing my v-card and being “too fat.” 

In stark contrast, everything I encountered had meaning on top of meaning, and life felt so beautiful that I cried happy tears. From the inside, the experience felt like a blissful and meditative state where therapeutic dreams met real life. Colors became more vibrant as I released dark twisted pains from deep within like a long and satisfying belch.

Meg with a handmade lithograph about her experience

Of course, it’s not “normal” to weep from joy at the sight of a mountain that’s there every damn day, or to stare at everyday items babbling about “the language of the Universe” and “signs.”

Everyone in my world thought I had lost my marbles. When I finally noticed this reaction in others, I very suddenly snapped out of it, shocked at their concern and upset about making an ass of myself. That clouded my vision of the experience, as social acceptance was the form of surrender I was most familiar with at the time. But I now look back on it as being as helpful as it was hugely bizarre: the juice was totally worth the squeeze (it can be freeing sometimes to have people think you’re a little nuts, anyhoo!) 

I was immediately changed, and the depression didn’t return for many years (not until my B12 levels hit a fantastic new low and a whole new set of challenges revealed themselves). It was like I had been dusted from the inside out, I felt clear and centered in a way that I had never experienced. I carried on with the drug experimentation for a couple more years and nothing like that happened again- something that brought both great relief and a fleeting sense of disappointment.

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During my four-day break with the mundane, I connected to a bigger part of myself, which also happened to feel like an infinitely more stable part of myself.

And that connection––and many times just the memory of that connection—brought a cherished light into the darkest nights of my soul. It also provided the motivation for my subsequent spiritual and emotional journeys: remembering that mental landscape, and knowing that if I stayed on the spiritual path then that sense of peace and connectedness would eventually feel like home.

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Meg Hartley is an Alaskan artist and writer happily replanted in wonderfully weird Portland, Oregon. She loves really great trees, cashew ice “cream”, mysticism, and is totally obsessed with mindfulness. Her new book is called How I Lost All My Fucksa one-month experience that will have you losing all yours! Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.