Card of the week: The 6 of Pentacles
Song of the week: Bebel Gilberto - Samba da Benção
As we move in to the Summer Solstice, we move in to a season that asks that we be present in our power as well of our needs. The Summer, like the 6 of Pentacles,shows us the fruits of our labor. It also asks that we observe the progress of the investments we made in spring. This week, check on all of the seeds you’ve planted. What relationships have shown themselves to be symbiotic? Where has your energy not been repaid? Now is the time to cut your losses and re-strategize.
Card of the week: The World
Song of the week: ‘Requiem Aeternam’ - Jocelyn Pook
The first week of may we make The World’s acquaintance. The World asks us to let go, let live, and find peace in the cycle of life. Allow opportunities for closure and rest. What chapters of life are coming to their conclusion right now? What have you learned? How can you gracefully bid adeiu? And where will you adventure to now? Whenever I see the wise world pop up in a reading, I think he’s also giving us permission to explore ourselves - both within and without. Most often for me, it comes as a physical journey - don’t be afraid to get out and adventure and plan a trip. Where would you like to explore? Although it can be counter-intuitive, it can give you the insight you need right now to move ahead.
Card of the week: Ace of Pentacles
Song of the week: ‘Treasure Hunt’ - Howling Bells
I don’t know about you, but this full moon brought a massive cleansing to my doorstep - the unquenchable crying, can’t-leave-the-house, massive realizations, and catharsis sort. I think this last week was a strange cleansing period for us all, so it makes sense that the Ace of Pentacles appears as our tarot card this week. The Ace of Pentacles brings new opportunities for growth in the material world. What goals have you set for yourself over the last few months? New job? Promotions? Financial opportunity? The Ace of Pentacles as us to open ourselves up to wealth. - which also includes emotional fulfillment. The Ace of Pentacles asks that you tend to the seeds you planted and take the first step toward growing them. What step (yes, even small!) can you take this week to bring you closer to your goals? Don’t get intimidated by the task at hand - try to break it up in to digestible pieces. Small wins! This is the time to get down and dirty and dig in. Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.
Card of the week: Ten of Cups
The spring holiday season is upon us as is more opportunities for large family gatherings and celebrations. The 10 of cups encourages us to find seek loving support and comfort within our own created families. This is a great week to give and receive love, exchange encouraging words and nurture ourselves and loved ones. If we’ve fallen out of alignment with those we love, this week is an opportunity to heal those connections as well. Be honest with any feelings of discomfort and create space if needed. Communicate your needs with strength and love. We’ve planted our seeds this spring, now it’s time to care for them as they grow and make their way to the surface.
Card of the week: Ace of Swords
Song of the week: Formation - Beyonce
This week is a time for rest and healing. This month, in honor of Women’s History Month, I’ll be using Our Tarot for all of my weekly readings. This deck, created by Sarah Shipman, connects each card to a historical woman. The Ace of Swords is Mae Jemison, an engineer, physician, businesswoman, and the first black woman to travel in space. Mae is a trailblazer in every sense and has lived a life of adventure and service, always moving forward.
The Ace of Swords, like Mae Jemison, is all about breakthroughs. The Ace of Swords challenges us to find clarity, be bold, and move ahead. This card paired with this week’s full moon and vernal equinox gives a clear message - start dreaming and planning now for the coming season! This week is a great time for strategy and to conceptualize new projects and goals. This is a new beginning. And with all that creative energy, the Ace of Swords asks us to not just dream, but to outline clear, concrete steps to bringing those dreams in to reality. What is sparking your passion? What new projects do you want to start? What does your roadmap look like?
And as you’re doing the work this week, remember Mae’s quote, “Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”
Card of the week: 6 of Swords
Song of the week: Ashes to Ashes - David Bowie
This week is a time for rest and healing. This month, in honor of Women’s History Month, I’ll be using Our Tarot for all of my weekly readings. This deck, created by Sarah Shipman, connects each card to a historical woman. The 6 of Swords is Lucy Hicks Anderson a chef, socialite, business owner, and black trans woman who was charged for perjury and imprisoned in the 1940s for fraud for claiming her husbands GI benefits as a trans woman. The court argued that her marriage wasn’t legal, and she fought the courts, but was forced to serve time with her husband in prison. After prison, she and her husband eventually settled in to a quiet life in Los Angeles
The 6 of Swords asks us to reflect on our battles and distance ourselves from past traumas if we can. It’s also a sign to be gentle with ourselves and give time for recovery and healing. What battles can you distance yourself from? What hurts can you let go? As we approach spring and think about planting our garden, it’s a great time to ask ourselves what we can part with. What pain is taking up space that could be given to new growth?
Card of the week: 3 of Wands
Song of the week: I’m Every Woman - Chaka Khan
This week is a time of action and reflection. This month, in honor of Women’s History Month, I’ll be using Our Tarot for all of my weekly readings. This deck, created by Sarah Shipman, connects each card to a historical woman. The 3 of Wands is Henriette Delille, a black woman of French Créole ancestry from New Orleans who founded the Roman Catholic order of the Sisters of the Holy Family, an organization of free women of color that provided nursing care, homes, and a school for orphans and education to enslaved children, even though it was illegal at the time.
As the spring approaches, the 3 of Wands asks us to spend time to reflect - and give ourselves credit for - all that we’ve accomplished in preparation for the coming season change. How have you moved forward this winter? Where do you want to go from here? Spend some serious time reflecting on it this week and start to plan your next moves. What is your big mission? How do you want to move the world and make it better? Make sure that you are grounded in your vision this week. Henriette challenges to have vision - not only for our own individual wants and needs, but those of the community and society at large.
Card of the week: Temperance
Song of the week: River Song - Bebel Gilberto
Were you all feeling that Judgement card energy last week? I know I was. It seemed like a intense week of confrontation, reconciling values, and having challenging encounters and realizations. And now Temperance has arrived, as a poetic follow up and gentle respite. Temperance asks us to take a step back, cool down, and find balance. She asks us to have a clear head before moving forward and to allow for time and space to heal that which was brought up last week. How can you find balance this week? Is there a healthy way to keep moving forward while keeping your cool? How can you take care of your needs this week so that you feel at ease? Want more insight? Book an email or in person reading!
Card of the week: Justice
Song of the week: Sleep to Dream - Fiona Apple
The Justice card is a great follow up to last week’s 7 of Swords: The 7 of Swords asked that you awaken yourself to reality and that you become aware of uncomfortable truths, and Justice asks that you act on that new awareness. It’s important this week that you make decisions that are aligned with your highest good and that you’re able to confront people and situations that don’t have your best interest. Where are you feeling uncomfortable? How can you speak up for yourself and others this week? Where things are wrong, make them right. Be an advocate and don’t be afraid of confrontation. Consider how you can invest this energy in the bigger picture as well this week. Are there community issues or movements around justice you could become involved with? See how you can balance the scales. Want more insight? Book an email or in person reading!
Card of the week: 7 of Swords
Song of the week: Your Dog - Soccer Mommy
OOOOO the 7 of swords can be a daunting card, especially during Valentine week. The 7 of swords is like that girlfriend that sugarcoats nothing and shows her love through always telling you to deal with your bullshit. DUMP that person! Leave that job! Get over that negativity! The 7 of swords asks that you be real - that you see things clearly. In what ways are you deceiving yourself right now? Does everyone surrounding you have good intentions? Trust your intuition this week, and clean house if necessary. To accomplish what you’re meant to this year, you need to surrounding yourself with trustworthy and supportive people. This is a week of healing and cultivating nurturing and loving relationships. Want more insight? Book an email or in person reading!
Card of the week: The Magician
Song of the week: Starman - David Bowie
This week’s tarot card asks that you get to work on your 2019 goals and give yourself over to your manifestation mojo. We started the year setting our goals and have begun to step in to our power - the Magician asks that we shift in to high gear and begin to see our dreams and goals through. This week’s song is ‘Starman’ by Bowie - and I really think Bowie is a great example of the Magician archetype. He’s somebody who has radically transformed himself and the music scene over the decades, was comfortable being unabashedly himself, helped lead others to personal liberation and magical discovery within themselves, and used music and art as his own sort of high magic that will touch and transform lives for generations to come. So this week, channel your Starman power. Are you ready to take responsibility for your dreams? Are you ready to take the first steps? Are you ready to get what you ask for? Are you ready to be seen? It can be really uncomfortable to step in to your power and commit yourself to action. Some of us don’t feel capable or deserving of our dreams. Don’t be afraid of your potential. Start making headway on your goals this week. Want more insight? Book your reading today - 15% off email readings until February 1st!
Card of the week: The High Priestess
Song of the week: Lady Grinning Soul - David Bowie
This week’s tarot card asks that you enter 2019 full cognizant of your inherent wisdom, beauty, and power. I like to think of The High Priestess as the woman Bowie sings about it Lady Grinning Soul - she’s elegant, graceful, mysterious, rooted in her sense of self, utterly feminine and in possession of her own sensuality. I ask that you meditate on that vision and think of how you can bring those elements to yourself - not only this week, but this year. What does taking on that sort of power look like to you? The New Moon paired with this card brings us a great question - how can you honor your own divinity? Your own beauty? Your own wisdom? See if there are opportunities to cultivate those elements this week and don’t be afraid to take on your role as counselor, confidant, and advisor as well. Want more insight? Book your reading today
Card of the week: Page of Swords
Song of the week: Thunderball - Tom Jones
Happy New Year!!!
This week’s tarot card of the week is the Page of Swords. Now that we’ve gone through a clearing process the last few weeks of the year, the Page of Swords asks us to jump in to the new year with enthusiasm and a plan. The new year brings lots of energy and encouragement to cut through and forge a new path, but make sure your plans are realistic so you aren’t disappointed in the following months. Who can you rely on as an accountability partner? Find someone in your world to communicate your plans and intentions to and will be an ongoing source of encouragement. Break down any plans you have in to incremental steps so you can have small wins over time. Go forth and conquer the new year! Book your reading today
Today marks the vernal equinox, or the first day of spring, an occasion that has signaled a rebirth and new beginnings for millennia. In the northern US, the last few weeks of winter have had many of us feeling tired, worn out, and overwhelmed what seemed like a never ending onslaught of cold temperatures, bare trees, and frozen ground. All over the world many of us have been feeling a metaphorical winter--we've felt stuck in old patterns, isolated, and exhausted. These last few weeks of transitions before spring have made us completely and painfully aware of the fledgling, cold, and dead areas of our life--people, situations, and habits that once were fertile and beautiful but now have no place in our world. As we enter spring, tune in to that awareness and honor your insights. Don't be afraid to clear away that which no longer has a place in your garden--it's essential for you to bloom. The spring is a time to plant new seeds. Tend to your joy. Let it flourish this season.
Recommended Listening: Cocteau Twins--Four-Calendar Café
Here's a new offering in honor of the equinox--a ritual candle to use as you plant seeds this season. 25% of the proceeds go to the Ruth Ellis Center, an organization in Highland Park, Michigan that provides short and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth. Learn more at: http://www.ruthelliscenter.org
Purchase the candle HERE
The New Year is a great symbolic marker for fresh starts and change and a fantastic time to reflect and focus your energy on ridding yourself of negative habits and people, while creating a vision for what you want. As January 1st draws near, many people will be spending the hours before midnight setting goals, reflecting on the year, and conducting a variety of rituals in hopes of bringing positive developments. Over the last 5 years I’ve consciously used ritual to facilitate my own personal healing, empowerment, and manifestation work. I’ve found the practice to be incredibly helpful in my life — in fact, one of the reasons I started The Pentacle Path was to be able to share some of my personal tools and practices with the general public. The New Year is a symbolic and powerful time to practice ritual. And ritual — science is confirming — can help us process, heal, and accomplish goals.
What is a Ritual?
Although widely used and valued by the theistic religious community, ritual is often relegated to the world of ‘woo’ in non-religious and secular communities. Interestingly, there’s a growing body of academic work that explores the power of ritual in psychological and emotional well-being that points to its efficacy regardless of religion or lack thereof. The literature points to a number of benefits of ritual including strengthening social connections, reducing grief, reducing performance-related anxiety, and re-establishing a sense of control to those who perform.
I think much of the misconception about ritual stems from its definition. For the purposes of this article I look to Norton and Gino, some of the foremost modern scholars on ritual, who define the practice as ‘a symbolic activity that is performed before, during, or after a meaningful event in order to achieve some desired outcome’. Contrary to popular belief, there doesn’t have to be an associate with a deity or religion — ritual is just a mindful, symbolic activity performed to create a particular result. Examples include religious rites like prayer and baptisms, but can also include secular rituals like commitment ceremonies, manifestation work like vision boarding, performance rituals like athletes wearing a particular charm or piece of clothing before a game, meditation and affirmation practice.
Ritual can help us process grief
Throughout the ages, humans have used ritual to cope with grief. Funeral practices, for instance, are a ubiquitous phenomenon that range from a jazz procession in New Orleans to sky burials in Yazd. Whether it’s mourning the loss of a lover, a job, or a home, people develop personal an unending assortment of rituals to cope with grief and process the complex feelings that accompany it.
In 2013, Norton and Gino conducted three experiments to explore the impact of mourning rituals — after losses of loved ones, lovers, and lotteries — on mitigating grief. The authors found that participants who were directed to think about past rituals or were told to complete rituals after experiencing losses reported lower levels of grief than those who did not.
Rituals can lower anxiety and help improve performance
Anxiety is a terrible beast that can stunt personal growth, create misery, and cripple performance. In 2015, Brooks et al investigated ritual’s effects on anxiety and performance by asking study participants in the experimental group to complete a ritual before singing publicly. They then measured self-reported emotional experience and singing quality (which was assessed by voice recognition software). Through the study, they found that having participants complete a ritual before an anxiety- inducing performance task reduced self-reported anxiety and improved subsequent singing performance. In 2017, Hobson et al expanded on this work, finding that ritual dulls neural response to performance failure and can then guide goal-directed performance.
Ritual can help us establish control
The underlying mechanism of ritual appears to be the establishment or restoration of feelings of control in those who practice. Norton and Gino discuss,
“Despite the variance in the form that rituals take, we propose that a common psychological mechanism underlies their effectiveness: a restoration of feelings of control that losses impair. Indeed, people who suffer losses often report feeling “out of control” (Low, 1994) and actively try to regain control when they feel it slipping away (Brehm, 1966); feeling in control in turn is associated with increased well-being, physical health, and coping ability (Glass & Singer, 1972; Klein, Fencil-Morse, & Seligman, 1976; Rodin & Langer, 1977). Some qualitative data offer initial evidence for the link between rituals and control; for example, the extent to which athletes and fisherman engage in rituals is related to the unpredictability of their jobs (Gmelch, 1971; Malinowski & Redfield, 1948; see Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). We suggest that the use of rituals serves as a compensatory mechanism designed to restore feelings of control after losses, and that this increased feeling of control contributes to reduced grief.”
It’s this restored sense of control that ritual provides that makes the practice so powerful. In my own practice, I’ve found that this sense of control I gain through ritual coupled with the targeted time for reflection and action ritual provides to be incredibly empowering. What could be more liberating than a reminder that you are in control of your destiny?
Ritual as a Tool for Inner Revolution
As this year draws to a close, it’s the perfect opportunity to make time for ritual. Whether it’s a destruction or banishing ritual, a healing ritual, a rebirth ritual, a resolution or commitment ceremony, or a visioning or manifestation session, the time is ripe to set yourself in motion for the next year. This is the first article in the Ritual as a Tool for Inner Revolution series where I’ll discuss topics ranging from the nature of ritual to specific practices readers can use. This coming year I’ll be writing about a wide-variety of ritual practices that you can incorporate into your daily life. So until then, Happy New Year!