Spirit Guides: Connecting With Our Allies On The Other Side

What if I told you that you were never really alone? That even in your darkest moments, you had a whole team in your corner, rooting for you and your success. Well, I'm here to tell you that you do - whether you know it, sense it or even desire it. We all have spirit guides. In fact, I don't know a soul who would sign up to come here without them.

But, what does any of that mean if you can't know who they are, feel their presence or even communicate with them? Another surprise - you can. And, the process of connecting with our guides doesn't have to be elusive or elite. No matter your level of "natural" intuitive ability, if you have an open mind and a willing heart, you're well on your way. 

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TED Talks For The Soul

TED Talks For The Soul

Yesterday I posted on Instagram a quote about letting your intuition lead, and wrote about a recent TED Talk I'd listened to before going to sleep. It's become a bit of a ritual to queue up a talk and let it glide me into sleepytime. If I do this, I am guaranteed to catch at least one in full, and then I generally end up falling asleep part way through the second.

Part of the reason I love TED talks is because they are so bite sized and succinct. They also make my mission to consciously consume my entertainment super easy. What I mean by consciously consume is to pursue entertainment in a very intentional way. That doesn't mean I never watch fluff, because yes, I like to let go of consciousness every once and slip into fantasy land. I'm human. But, the purpose of this post isn't to talk about ways to shut off - it's about leaning into entertainment in a way that can intellectually and or spiritually...turn you on.

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Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Chariot

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Chariot

After plowing through the first 7 cards of this series in almost no time, I finally stalled a bit with this installment for the Chariot, which is quite unchariot-like, actually. But it's not a race, and like this Major Arcana may suggest, the journey forward can have all kinds of distractions and pit stops along the way. I don't always see that as a bad thing and actually, something can be said for stopping and smelling the roses along the way. As long as we don't lose sight of the ultimate goal - and that really is the role of the Chariot - to keep your sights aligned with the path you've committed to.

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#tarotthursdaythree for 05/25/2017 & 06/01/2017

I am officially behind on two #tarotthursdaythrees and so I'm combining the last two into one super quickie post. I'm also going to make the announcement in this entry that I'll be moving #tarotthursdaythree to a monthly exercise. It's a lot to maintain weekly and I need to focus my energy on other endeavors at this time. I'll explain more about the new format on Instagram this week.

05/25/2017

1. How do oracle cards fit into your practice (if at all)?

Oracle absolutely fits into my practice, but it took me awhile to warm up to it, truth be told. I still much prefer tarot, but I will often use oracle to compliment a reading, add an extra layer or provide an inspiring or hopeful message at the end. I basically never do oracle-only readings. To me, oracle is a way to add to a tarot reading, but tarot is always the main component.

2. What is your most used oracle deck (if applicable)?

I've experimented with a few but by far, Wisdom of the Oracle is my most used deck. I find that it is so versatile and always provides really straightforward responses no matter what the question.

3. For those who do work with oracle, how do you select which oracle deck you’ll use for any given reading?

I go with my gut. This is why I don't allow my clients to select the deck I work with. I wait until I'm "in the zone" and then I use the decks that call to me in that moment. I approach both tarot and oracle in this way.

06/01/2017

1. What was the first tarot book you read or owned?

The first book I had was the guidebook that came with my first deck, the Servants of the Light. It was a bit over my head as a 10 year old and so I quickly picked up a second book called Tarot in 10 Minutes. I used this to learn as much as I could at that time. It was friendly enough for a young child and I wish I still had it!

2. What is your most referenced tarot book currently?

Holistic Tarot is basically the only tarot book I reference at the moment. It's not that I need a reminder on what the card's mean, but I do enjoy Benebell's perspective and general philosophy and so I will go back to it and reread portions now and again.

3. If you could recommend one tarot book for beginners, what would it be?

See above. I'd recommend Holistic Tarot to any beginner because it is a straight shooting approach to tarot that leaves just about no stone unturned. 

Boom. Done. I promise never to fall this behind again.

Love & Magick & Crystals & Glitter
Julia

Everyday Magick: An Afternoon At Centennial Park

My son had been bugging me all weekend to go on a picnic so on Sunday, we packed up our basket and headed down to Centennial Park in Grimsby (Niagara region of Ontario, Canada). It was a beautiful day and I expected it would be quite scenic, but aesthetically it was beyond. I had expectations of soggy peanut butter sandwiches and rocks in my sandals, but what I got was rainbows, crystals and all sorts of incredible elemental energy. Seriously, it was that good! Don't believe me? Take a peek at my photo series after the cut (hopefully the energy translates!)

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Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Lovers

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Lovers

The New Moon in Gemini was just a couple days ago, and Gemini also happens to correspond to The Lovers in the Major Arcana, so now seems an appropriate time to introduce our 7th segment of this series.

The Lovers is about love, passion and relationships (as the name implies), but it's also about larger issues surrounding morality, choices and dilemmas. Love songs are easy to come by, and I've selected one today, but it was important to chose something that also carried with it some of the essence of those deeper aspects. And while I think this track does beg for some consideration between the head and the. heart, it's also fantastically upbeat!

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Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Hierophant

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Hierophant

We're now 6 cards in and I'm happy to say that today's entry didn't take much thought at all. In fact, this particular selection comes from one of my all time favourite bands, Depeche Mode. Do you know what song I'm talking about? It's basically their biggest hit so I'm sure this one isn't too difficult to put together if you're a fan or even if you're not. Anyway, if you want to find out what song I've chosen to represent The Hierophant, keep reading!

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#tarotthursdaythree for 05/18/2017

It's time for another #tarotthursdaythree! I think I set myself up here kinda poorly and created questions that I wanted to see answered by others, but which I didn't know how I'd answer myself. 

Because the first two questions are basically impossible in this moment, I’m going to deliver these out of order. Bare with me.

3. Is your tarot practice something you openly share with those around you? Are there some people in your life who would be surprised by your use of it?

At this stage, my close friends and family know what I do. Because I maintain a full time career outside of this world, it’s easy for me to not have to put this side of my life on full display, especially when I first meet someone. I mean, when I’m asked what I do for a living, I have two answers and depending on who is asking, I could give you either or both. And it’s not me being secretive (well, maybe it is), but it’s more that I do like to have a separation between those worlds, at least for the time being.

Now, even though everyone I know well knows what I do in this respect, it wasn’t always that way. Yes, anyone who has known me through the years knew about my interest for such things, but when I decided I wanted to go bigger with my passion, I kept that to myself for some time. When I started my Instagram and website, I didn’t even tell my husband. It was just something I did for a few weeks while I tested the waters and really figured out where my voice fit into all of this. Was it a hobby? Was it something more? I needed some space and privacy to play.

1. If you could read for anyone in the world (living or dead but not fictional) who would it be?

Okay, back to the first question. This one is almost too big. I mean, I’d love to read for all my pop culture faves and artists who've inspired me through the years. Oprah, you listening girl, I wanna read your cards! Ya okay, but seriously, I’d probably keel over from anxiety at the prospect of any of that. Just as I’m typing this though, my kid is popping his head up at the window and giggling at me from outside while he compares fidget spinners with the neighbours. So okay, I one day hope that I can show my son what I do and read for him. And even if it doesn’t end up being his thing, I hope he can at least humour me once in a while and sit down and let his mom pull some damn cards for him like a good boy.

2. On the flip side, if you could have your cards read by anyone who would you choose (assuming money, time and location are no issue)?

Okay, I don't know. I don't know who I would want to be read by, but I'm going to answer this another way. What I want is some dedicated time with a skilled medium, because this is not my skillset and it's not something I've sought from others either. However, I do have a few individuals I've love to connect with again and so ya, I'm going more for specific skill here than specific person. I hope that makes sense.

I would LOVE to know how you'd answer these. Feel free to comment below or copy and paste these questions into your own social media or blog!

See you next week!


 

Inspired! A Q&A With Grace Duong of Mystic Mondays Tarot

I am so struck by those who have the courage to express their creativity and put their beautiful work out in the world for all eyes to see, no matter what shape or form it takes. And with their hard angels, bright colours and vivid design - The Mystic Mondays tarot deck is a beautiful sight indeed. That’s why when Grace Duong (designer extraordinaire and creatress of the upcoming Mystic Mondays tarot deck) and I connected, I felt like it would be the perfect opportunity to learn more about the process of creating a deck and using Kickstarter as a launch pad to jumpstart the project.

Check out the interview after the cut where Grace talks about her love of all things mystic and her inspirations for this project. It also includes a little mini reading for Grace about her campaign, because what Tarot interview is complete with a consult of the cards? Also, be sure to check out the Kickstarter to support Grace and help bring this vibrant deck to life!

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Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Emperor

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Emperor

I feel like I'm just whipping through these, eh? i'm actually having a blast going through my playlists and revisiting playlists of the past and coming up with these selections. I have quite a few chosen for future spots that I'm excited about, but for now, gotta stay the course.

For the Emperor, I went with a hometown hero (heh) and truthfully, half of the reason I choose a song by this artist was so that I could make the observation (that's been made before) that the Emperor in the Fountain Tarot kinda looks just like him. Take a look at the image after the cut and tell me you disagee!

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For The Lovers of Learning

Hey Friends,

It's occurred to me that if you're new to my blog, you may have a difficult time pinpointing articles that are specifically for the learner in mind. While there are plenty of those posts, there are also a ton of series regulars and those take up lots of space. So, I've compiled all the articles I've produced on this page and posted them to the Freebies section (third item down). There you'll find information on my personal practices, tips for beginners, tarot spreads I love and loads of other material to get you growing in your practice. I hope this helps simplify finding what you're looking for around here!

With love,
Julia

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Empress

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Empress

I waited until Mother's Day (HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!) to drop this one since The Empress is a bit like the quintessential mother figure of the tarot deck. For this track, I went back to an EP from 2001 called November by the duo Azure Ray. I discovered them around that same year, as they were (are?) a part of Saddle Creek records among some of our other indie/folk favourites of the era (think Bright Eyes). 

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#tarotthursdaythree for 05/11/2017

This week's #tarotthursdaythree question set was contributed by the lovely Ania who's come up with a sort of theme, we'll say. This one is all about our collection and what it means to acquire or even over acquire in some instances. With the prevalence of images online and the ease of which we can share our never ending deck collection, it's so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to keep up with the Jones'. I'd love to know your thoughts on this one and keep reading to see my responses!

1. What feelings and thoughts does the concept of a "tarot deck collection" evoke in you?

My first feeling is excitement. I love looking at my collection, even just leafing through cards. It's so easy to have an appreciation for each one on a purely artist and aesthetic basis - let alone the joy that comes with actually reading with it. Yeah, I'd say I have mostly positive feelings; comfort, excitement and joy.

2. Is there such a thing as owning too many decks, or not enough decks?

This is for everyone to suss out for themselves. Universally speaking and regardless of circumstance, I'd say that there is definitely such a thing as owning too many if it becomes problematic. Meaning, if more importance is being placed on keeping your collection growing than say, paying the bills or achieving other goals and dreams that are linked to finances, then perhaps something needs to be questioned. At the end of the day, I think we all need to make these choices consciously and for ourselves.

3. Do you think the  prevalence of deck images and sharing online creates a desire for  more decks? Are you affected? How do you handle it?

I think with anything, things are basically neutral until they're not. Meaning, things can be either negative or positive based on many factors including our own perceptions and circumstances. By in large, I'm a big supporter of the internet and believe it has shown the ability to do remarkable things culturally and socially. For this reason, I totally support people sharing their collection and buys in whatever ways they feel called to do this. There will always be an audience for that.

With that being said, no, I don't get impacted by it. Well, not overcome by it anyway. I have made purchases based on what I have seen online and I'm grateful that I had this forum to access those images to make those decisions. But that's the key - they are my decisions and they are made only after I've asked myself the important questions. But, I rarely buy new decks. I actually have a pretty small collection relatively speaking and haven't purchased a new deck in months. I have to ask myself: will this deck add to my collection? Is it going to do something for me that my other ones do not? The answer is probably "no". I also quite simply CAN'T purchase every deck I want because I have made choices to pour my resources into my home. So basically, if i'm to achieve other goals in my life right now, I can't act counter intuitively by spending money on things I don't need. I've got pretty good willpower and even when I'm being coexed and prodded to purchase the latest and greatest, I'm fine to look away. 

How about you? Can you stand the pressure to keep up? Do you have a growing (and then some) collection? Or do you got this under control (lol)? Let me know in the comments OR grab these questions and answer in your own blog!

Until next time :)
Julia

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The High Priestess

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The High Priestess

Happy Full Moon in Scorpio, friends! What a perfect time to also launch into the next card in this series - The High Priestess. Also, this is a record breaking first for moi - three blog posts in three days! Jeez, what am I amped up on, eh?

This selection was much easier than the first two. I kind of had it narrowed down to a few key artists that represent the mysterious and intuitive High Priestess and it was simply a matter of then figuring out who had the song to go with it. I'm not so secretly elated that it landed with one of my faves - a true Queen and forever icon, Kate Bush. I've been a fan since birth as I grew up listening to her albums, which were on frequent rotation in my home growing up. She has quite the discography, so selecting a song you'd think would prove challenging, but when I found the one, I knew that was it. 

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Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Magician

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Magician

I think I'm a bit anxious/eager about this series because I’m already posting my next entry despite the fact that I feel like I should have a post in between these. But, sometimes my #tarotthursdaythree's run back to back and so, at the same time, when motivation and inspiration strikes, maybe I should just go with it, ya?

Being that this is post #2, we’re tackling The Magician. I thought The Fool was hard, but this had me even more racked for some reason. I think I’m thinking about it too much. I also think I’m trying too hard to create a soundtrack that flows in some ways, so that if someone were to listen to it as it were designed, as a set, it wouldn’t be too disjointed.

But these are my fanatic issues to sort though and as far is it concerns anyone else, I’m simply here to name songs that I feel, in some way, capture the energy and essence of each of the 78 cards.

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Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Fool

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Fool

I've been mulling this one over for awhile, and though admittedly it's not an original idea, I really want to take a crack at/challenge myself to complete a soundtrack for all 78 cards of the tarot. Why? I love music, I love tarot and I love the way in which lyrics combined with melody can create layers of meaning and emotion in a way that other forms of expression cannot. I also think it would be a really interesting way to understand each card on a new level. So I hope this series will help those just starting out with tarot to build upon their current understanding of the cards. And I hope for those who have been doing this awhile, that it will at least be interesting and get you thinking about other songs that also capture the essence and energy of each card. It also gives me an opportunity to discover new music, which is something I used to devote hours, days and weeks too, but rarely find that dedicated time to anymore. 

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#tarotthursdaythree for 05/04/2017

This marks the first #tarotthursdaythree for May and like the last 3 editions, I'm late to the party! This time, I think I have a good excuse though. This week has been a total whirlwind - first in the frenzy that was putting final touches on Manifestation Magick and launching it to the public. Second was being overcome by some terrible, I don't know, food poisoning or bug. whatever it was, it wasn't nice, but I'm over it now and everything finally feels a bit slower, so I guess it's time to post!

This week, the question set has a bit of a different flavour. Instructions are as such: For the following questions, either answer by consciously selecting your cards or shuffling and then drawing. Don't feel limited to court cards or Majors either! The minors could make for very legitimate and relevant selections here!

1. Who were you three years ago?

4 of Cups. What a downer, eh? The truth is, I was bored and without direction; feeling less than bad - nothing at all. I knew something was missing, but I didn't have the energy nor drive to look up long enough to see what it was. It took a Iot of soul searching and non stop inner movement to find a new way of being and living in the world. It's a constant work in progress, but even in my worst moments, I'm no longer the 4 of Cups.

2. Who are you now?

3 of Wands. Facing forward and constantly seeking the next thing, still in line with the ultimate thing, of course. I'm less afraid to go for it. Not just plan (a la 2 of Wands), but actually make something of the plan. My one challenge with this card is that there is a lot of focus on "what's next?" so I do need to still ground myself in the present, honour the now and allow myself space to breath in between moves.

3. Who are you striving to be?

Queen of Pentacles. Comfort, confidence, ease. I feel like this bitch really has it all together and makes it look stupid easy, at that. 

So, who were you 3 years ago, who are you now and who are you striving to be? Comment below or make your own blog post and share your answers! I'd love to hear them!

Julia

#tarotthursdaythree for 04/27/2017

This weekend has been non-stop. Among many other things, I spent a number of hours finishing up the videos for my Magick Manifestation course, which is available May 3rd.  I've learned a lot through this process, one thing being that making videos is HARD and also, exhausting! Phew! So, now I'm taking a big deep breath in the form of a time out while these videos upload, and finally allowing myself to get around to answering this week's #tarotthursdaythree.

Alright, let's get to it then, shall we?

1. Do you have certain decks that you only use for specific purposes?

Most of my decks are fair game, however, I do have a couple that are in some ways, "reversed". My most reserved deck is the Radiant Rider Waite Smith. I use this deck solely for communication with spirit guides - whether I'm reading for myself or others. I actually made this decision before ever owning the deck. It was around the time I was devising my Meet Your Spirit Guide system and I felt called to select a deck to use just for this purpose. For some reason, I decided that the Radiant Rider Waite would be it (the bright colours really spoke to me), so I zipped over to Amazon and it was at my door just a couple days later. I love it for this purpose and the colours to me represent the vibrant and vivid world that our spirit guides occupy; more colourful and full of life than this particular dimension.

Other than that example, I don't have any decks that are quite as reserved. With that being said, I only use my Halloween Oracle around Halloween or the month of October. As well, I find my Cosmic Tarot to be wonderful for addressing relationship queries so I tend to use it for this when the need arises. Oh, and my Archangel Power Tarot I use specifically for Angel readings. But those examples I'm a lot more flexible with.

2. When reading for another, in person, do you have them shuffle the deck at any point? why or why not?

I used to, but not anymore. I don't have any superstitions about people touching my deck or handling them, but I have a fairly specific shuffling procedure and so I just like to handle it. I'm a bit of a control freak in that regard. Also, I do the majority of my readings remotely so I've gotten pretty used to the fact that in those cases, I don't even have the option of having the querent shuffle.

3. As a reader, what would make  you (or why do you) seek intuitive services of another?

I rarely get readings done for myself these days. Even when I have friends offer to read for me, I tend to struggle with a question. With that being said, if there was a specific skill that someone had that was beyond what my skill-set includes, that would definitely make me reach out. For example, mediumship readings or Akashic Record readings. Also, if I felt very bias toward an issue and couldn't trust myself to interpret beyond that bias, I'd definitely seek the services of another reader.

I'd love to hear how you would respond to these questions. If you feel called to have a crack at them, just copy and paste into your own forum and answer away!

See you next week!
-Julia

#tarotthursdaythree for 04/20/2017

Another installment of #tarotthursdaythree is upon us and this week's question set is all about dreams and their involvement in our tarot practices. Personally, my dream life has always been very immersive and vivid, so any chance to discuss this aspect of my spirituality is totally welcome.

1. Do you/have you ever used tarot for dream interpretation and if so, do you have a go-to spread?

Yes! I like to keep my dream readings simple and to the point, so I generally follow the "What, Why, How" formula. What is the dream about? Why am I receiving this message now? How can I apply this message practically? In November, Nisha and myself hosted a dreams & tarot challenge on social media, and if you want to learn more about techniques to recall your dreams and apply tarot in other ways, you can download our dreams & tarot guidebook available in the freebies section.

2. Have you ever had a strange dream about the cards? Share your wildest/weirdest one!

I don't know that I've had a strange dream, per say. I dream about the cards quite a bit, but it's usually fairly mundane and involves me reading or getting messages from the cards for myself. My most interesting experience was when I was really focusing on my tarot learning, and there was this period of about a week where all I remember was dreaming about the cards. But, it was as if I was learning via sleep because the dreams were just like, beings showing me the cards flash-card style. And I would wake up just so full of insight and information. It was a really weird time, but I credit it to finally clicking with all 78 cards in a really meaningful way.

3. Do you keep cards or other tools close to your bed? If so, do you believe they have any impact to your sleep experience?

My night stand consists of a couple tarot books, decks in the drawers and crystals - selenite and amethyst. I was playing with "sleeping with crystals" for awhile, but the only one that I experimented with that yielded any seeming results was amethyst. If I sleep with it under my pillow, I'm usually in for some really vivid and revealing dreams. I'm not sure if my nightstand does much for my dreaming though. It seems only effective if the stone is very very close to me. I've also always had really weird sleep experiences so it's also hard to know what effects that, since it seems to just happen on its own. I experience hypnagogia a lot, especially auditory hallucinations. So basically, I hear voices when I'm falling asleep. They say really boring things most of the time, but once it told me I would die and I've never fucking forgot that one. I was 19 at the time. Okay, I'm getting way off base...

I don't feel like wrapping this up all nice and neat so see ya'll next week!

-Julia