Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I'm a lazy tarot reader. It would be one thing if I did readings for others on a regular basis, but I don't. I don't charge money for a reading as it isn't my goal to make people pay me to tell them what their cards say. Not that there's anything wrong with doing readings for a living provided you're really paying attention to what the cards are saying. I've been to quite a few people who I could guarantee had no knowledge of the tarot and this was painfully obvious when they told me the usual schtick: you're coming into money, you're going on a trip, anything positive they thought I wanted to hear for my dollar. In fact, in all the years that I have been reading tarot, which is now approaching 28 years, I don't think I've ever once seen these things in my own spreads. While the cards can be pretty issue specific, they aren't that specific. I do read for friends when they ask me, which I very much enjoy doing. But when it comes to myself, most of the time it just seems like too much bother to get out the cards, shuffle them and throw down a spread. It doesn't get more lazy than that.

Every once in a while I'll go through a brief spell of reading a card a day, to see what that day holds for me, but again, that requires the effort of the process and when I am first hitting the floor in the morning, the last thing I usually remember to do is pop out a deck and pick a card, any card. I'm more focused on the trillion and one things I have to do that day and how there isn't ever enough time to get everything done that needs to be done, let alone sit down and spend some time quietly contemplating the card(s). Reading tarot takes concentration, it takes relaxation and a bit of meditation and first thing in the morning that's impossible for me, especially given the fact that I am not even remotely a morning person. I'm lucky to even be ambulatory and recognize my own name before lunchtime.

I do however do a yearly spread on New Year's Day. Many witches who do divination of some sort like to do it on Samhain, a traditional day for that sort of thing, but I started out many years ago doing this on New Year's day and thus it's remained. The witch's New Year is not only a beautiful time for this but an especially potent time for this, but when that calendar ticks over into a fresh new year, it just seems to me that that's the perfect time to see what the coming months have in store for me, not in October. I have kept a journal of these spreads through the years, too. It's not only nice to see what has transpired during this year, but in years past as well. It's a lovely way to mark the changes within me and the passage of my life from year to year. My hopes, my fears, my personal journey all laid out courtesy of the cards that fell on that particular winter afternoon. I was once telling someone how accurate this is, that most of what I read for myself on January 1 actually does come to fruition throughout the year and I was asked how many times I checked during the year to see whether my reading was spot-on or not. I hadn't actually thought about this before and I would guess to a skeptic the idea that I could be reading my own journal periodically throughout the year and subconsciously manipulating the events of my daily life to coincide with what the cards told me on New Year's is a possibility. But I don't do that. In fact, I seldom even read my journal until the following New Year's day when I sit and do my reading for the new year. I admit I will occasionally, if things in my life are especially trying or difficult, take a look at what I predicted and see if this was something that the cards had foretold, but otherwise I never think to check.

Still I wish I had the time, the discipline and the dedication to do regular readings for myself and for those closest to me. It's a beautiful art that I'm thankful to know. And even after nearly three decades, I never cease to be amazed at how intimate and accurate this divination can be in knowledgeable hands.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Simple Herbal Protection Charm for the Home

Tonight I'll be hanging protective herbs in my house. It's a simple way to keep your house protected and safe from negativity of any sort: irritating and annoying people, bad vibes that occasionally work their energy through any house with more than one person living in it, negative outside influences, evil energy. There are quite a few herbs whose properties are perfect for this use, but it's best to limit the number used. Three is traditional, but I prefer to use four to represent the quarters, the four elements: earth, water, air and fire.

BASIL (witches herb): evil cannot manifest where basil rests. It is used in exorcisms and purification rituals, and when placed within windows or over doors brings protection.

DILL (dill weed): when hung above a door, no one with a negative attitude can enter your home.

FENNEL (sweet fennel): fennel brings protection when placed in the home. When hung in windows or over doors, it wards off evil spirits.

ROSEMARY (compass weed): this herb emits powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations, especially when burned as an incense. Hung in the home it serves to protect those within from thieves, negativity and guards good health.

Gently wash the herbs in cool, clean water and pat them dry. Using your consecrated and purified utility knife, trim the herbs and cut their stalks to a manageable length. I don't use a traditional white-handled knife, but a knife that belonged to my father who was a chef, who passed away when I was 16 years old. Using it in a sacred way, feeling his grip in the old wooden handle, knowing that he used this knife for what was his love and what stirred his soul adds an element to my craft that no knife bought from a shop could ever bring to it. Meditate on your intentions for the herbs while you clean and prepare them. See their protective qualities clearly working for you, your house and family.

Using red string or very thin ribbon, tie a tight knot around the stems and say, "I bind these herbs to protect this house and all within it." Make twelve more tiny tight knots and repeat the mantra with each knot. When you have finished say "May these herbs I have bound this night serve to protect this home and all who dwell within it from evil and negative influences. May they work their magic."

Hang the herbs up over and just inside the front door. I put up two bundles, one over the front door and a second over the back door as I tend to like things symmetrical. It's the anal part of me that can't help it. Don't forget to replace the herbs every three months or so to maintain their powers as with time this will weaken.

I do this on a Saturday night as Saturday is ruled by the planet Saturn who rules those issues concerning boundaries, restrictions and even buildings so it's the perfect day to perform protection spell magic for your home. And it should be done during the waxing moon to enhance the protective shield of the herbs and to draw the safe and healthy vibrations to you.

It's a lovely little spell and one that smells nice each time you pass through the doorway to boot.