Making Picture Magick

Making Picture Magick

I get asked every now and then for photo taking tips or about my process. I am always happy to answer these questions, but I thought it might also be fun to write a little post about how I transform the objects I love into pleasing photos for either this website or my Instagram. And while that may sound superficial, the fact is that taking photos to me is both a sacred and creative act. The energy and love that goes into the process of taking something I adore and capturing its essence, is every bit as spiritual as sitting with that object in other respects. It is both artistic and expressive, not to mention a satisfying outlet.

Quick Disclaimer: I am not a professional photographer (duh) and I have had no training in this field, so I'm not a subject matter expert. These are simply techniques that I utilize, found through trial and error, that you too may find helpful. However, I did work in a photo lab for a few years, many years ago, and colour correction did become a bit of an obsession. Fun fact: I still have nightmares about it! 

Oh, and one more thing, in case you're wondering, I use my camera phone for all photos. Most were taken with a Google Nexus 6P, but I've recently upgraded to a Google Pixel 2 XL.

Okay, on to the tips!

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New Moon in Aquarius - A Playlist

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The New Moon in Aquarius is upon us tomorrow and so I've put together an inspired playlist. I don't have too much to say about it, so have a listen if you feel like it (below) or follow along! Enjoy!

I've also decided to stop linking individual artists because it just takes too much damn time.

P.S. you can visit previous playlists and other soundtracks here.

P.P.S. I am running a Valentine's Day, self-love themed giveaway on Instagram which ends on Friday. Check it out while it's on for a chance to win!

Embracing The World: A Tarot Spread

Embracing The World: A Tarot Spread

When we arrive at The World, we’re coming full circle. Similar to the card’s traditional imagery, arriving at this state is much like closing the loop on the Major Arcana, encompassing all its lessons and learnings, and reaching a sense of completion orsuccess. It carries sentiments which mimic The Magician in some ways, with the elements present again. But, rather than laying on the table in front of us, they have been assimilated and now take a more lively form; a water bearer (Aquarius) to represent water, an eagle to represent Air, a lion to represent fire and a bull to represent Earth. These essences now all live within the seeker who remains naked, like the 2 cards which precede her, through draped in an elegant scarf and handling two batons. She is both poised and balanced; no longer commanding heaven and Earth, but rather one with them.

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Decision Making With Tarot

Decision Making With Tarot

Tarot is such a versatile tool. My use of the cards is hardly limited to divination and even within the confines of divination as an approach, there are still so many practical applications. Today, I'm going to break down the different ways you can use tarot to help make decisions.

Before we get into techniques, I want to share with you a few instances where I've been able to navigate different life situations to arrive at a desired outcome. One of my first experiences with tarot as a decision making tool, was when I was house hunting. The market was (still is, really) a seller's game and options seemed not only limited, but not ideal. In a series of readings that spanned a couple of hours, we explored many different possibilities, all looking dismal, until we arrived at the one - the one we ultimately went for and couldn't be happier with. I write more about this experience on another blog post, if you want to read more!
While this was a major decision, I've also used tarot to help me make decisions where selling my home was concerned, making changes to my spiritual business and helping me navigate certain dealings with our builder. Yes, tarot has basically helped me navigate every part of buying and selling a home!

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The High Priestess & Justice: Two Side of the Same Coin

The High Priestess & Justice: Two Side of the Same Coin

Full disclaimer: I am of the camp that believes Justice has found it's proper place as the 11th Arcana, though I know there are many who prefer it as the 8th and I am sure there are plenty of valid reasons why that makes sense. However, I'm here to discuss one of the reasons why the latter resonates more with me, and that is because in the 11th spot, based on numerology, it vibrates in line with The High Priestess.

While on the surface, Justice and The High Priestess appear to have little in common, I actually consider these cards to be two sides of the same coin and the secret to reading the tarot. A bit of a bold claim I suppose, but stay with me and we'll get to that...before we do though, let's explore the visual similarities and differences.

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New Moon in Capricorn - A Playlist

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We are back with another moon inspired music mix - yay! I missed last month due to the craziness that is December, but I haven't stopped with this series. It's one of the things I do not because I think anyone cares, but simply because I enjoy it. I guess it could be said that I try to approach all the work I do with this sentiment - but truly the music stuff is especially cathartic.

This installment has us exploring this New Moon in Capricorn (which occurs on January 16), and even though Capricorn is my Sun sign (and also occupies my Mercury and Venus) I had a bit of a hard time bringing a sense of cohesion to this mix. The truth is, I more or less just felt it out. I tried to go for earthy, yet dark vibes - and you'll find some tracks/artist's names pay some homage to our dear goat and the sign of Capricorn. Have a listen below and feel free to follow along! Enjoy!

Artist's Featured: Beck, Tori Amos, The Soft Moon, Black Marble, Cat Power, The Decemberists, The Mountain Goats, Ghostland Observatory, FKA Twigs, Iron & Wine, Grimes, James McAlister, James Blake, Maggie Rogers, Pearl Jam, Majical Cloudz, R.E.M., Mazzy Star, Rasputina,

Learning To Read Tarot

Learning To Read Tarot

I recently watched a video by the ever fascinating Kelly Ann Maddox around the ways in which people approach their learning of tarot. There has been some contention in the community, which I've opted not to comment on, regarding certification and whether or not it's necessary or whatever. I'm not here to tell you how to learn tarot. But if you're asking me, no, I don't think certification is necessary. No, I don't plan on ever being certified to read cards. But, I also don't care what other people do with their money and am happy for those who chose this route and those who chose to supply it as an option. It's not necessary, but it may be the right thing for some and there is nothing wrong with that.

And this all made me think back to my own journey with the cards. How did I come into it? What were my struggles? And how did I ultimately come to understand them in the way I do today? The truth is, I don't remember how tarot specifically landed on my radar, but I grew up in a home that was very open to these sorts of things and so when I requested a deck, around the age of 10, it was met with a swift visit to the book store to peruse what was available.

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Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Devil

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - The Devil

Happy Capricorn season! To honour the day (also my Birthday!!) I'm diving into the next installment of Soundtrack Through The Arcana with The Devil - which just happens to correspond with the sign Capricorn, so it seemed extra fitting.

There are some of these entries that I've struggled with. And I know there will be more in the future that will have me scouring my collection and beyond to find a song that fits to my liking. The Devil, however, is not one of those cards. I knew since I began this series what song would occupy this spot, and I've never once wavered on that decision.

So, what song holds the honour? Keep reading to find out...

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2018 By The Numbers: Personal Year vs. The Collective

2018 By The Numbers: Personal Year vs. The Collective

My introduction to personal year numbers was a few years ago at a psychic fair. I sat with a skilled intuitive for a reading, and the first thing she did was very matter-of-factually inform me that I'd be heading into a personal year 7. While I was familiar with life path numbers and other facets of numerology, I had no idea what a 7 meant in the context of my year ahead. She went on to explain: The coming year for me would be less about the stuff and more about solidifying my connection with myself and the divine. It was a time for introspection, reflection and receptivity. Man, was she ever right...

Since that introduction to the personal year number, it's become a bit of a ritual to spend some time in December calculating my year ahead on both a personal and collective level. And that's what this post is really all about. Calculating your year ahead number, embracing the collective shift, and providing a brief overview of what it all means.

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In-Depth with the 3 of Swords

In-Depth with the 3 of Swords
Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing. -Elizabeth Gilbert

Last month's In-Depth had us exploring the Page of Pentacles, and when I posted about the article on Instagram, I received a request to cover the 3 of Swords next. Since I have just about zero agenda as it comes to these pieces, expect for the hope that I can produce them at a rate of one a month, I was open to the suggestion.

So here we are, my third In-Depth and in it we'll be taking a deep dive with that sometimes dreaded and often difficult 3 of Swords. I say sometimes dreaded and often difficult, because rarely do you pull this card to a rave reaction or sigh of relief. No, 3 swords piecing a heart doesn't exactly conjure up those warm and fuzzys. But, that's not to say there is nothing positive to be gleaned from its presence, but we'll talk more on that later.

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Upcoming Event - Magical Holiday Market

Hey Friends,

Just an FYI to let you know that I'll be slinging cards at the next Moonlit Path event - Magical Holiday Market. It's located at Women on the Move at 2111 Dundas Street West in Toronto, so if you're in the area (or not) and want a reading, swing on by! It's free admission and I'll be there 1-5 offering 15 minute reads for just $20. There will be loads of other readers, practitioners and vendors on site - see flyer below for more details! Oh, and if you want to reserve a 15 minute slot with me before hand, get in touch and I'll pencil you in.

 
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New Moon in Scorpio - A Playlist

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The other day, my friend was sharing her horoscope with me and in that forecast, it asked her this question: If you could be any other sun sign, which would you be? She didn't have a response, but when she flipped the tables on me, I answered swiftly and with certainty; I would be a Scorpio. I have a little bit of Scorpio in my chart, granted. Both my Jupiter and Saturn are in Scorpio - so, that's something, I guess. And my rationale isn't completely fleshed out but essentially, I think the sign is badass and I'd like a little more edge in my profile - lol.

Anywho, while I skipped the Full Moon in Taurus when it comes to these playlists, I couldn't pass up diving into the upcoming New Moon in Scorpio, which will be active in the sky November 18th. The truth is, this was the quickest selection of songs I've ever whipped together and the only challenge I had was narrowing it down to the standard 20 tracks that I like to keep these things to.

In terms of the mix of music, I tried to make it sexy and intense - though I fear even saying that out loud makes it markedly less sexy and intense. Regardless...I do hope I've done the sign justice, but if not, I'm sure you Scorpios won't hesitate to let me know.

Artists Featured: The Normal, Depeche Mode, Bjork, Beach House, alt-J, GarbageDuran Duran, Einstürzende Neubauten, FKA Twigs, Frank Ocean, Ghost Poet, Kavinsky, Miss Kitten, Portishead, Tricky, Weaves, The Weeknd, Desire, Majical Cloudz, The Doors

Full playlist below - Happy New Moon!

In-Depth With The Page of Pentacles

In-Depth With The Page of Pentacles
"Never stop dreaming, never stop believing, never give up, never stop trying, and never stop learning." -Roy T. Bennett

It's been over a year since I've done an in-depth, but today I felt compelled to pull together another. I'd love to eventually have a full section on this site devoted to card meanings - but this will be a slow process and I'm not setting any tangible deadlines.

For today's selection, I threw it to spirit and asked what card I should focus on. Spirit responded with the Page of Pentacles and so, that is the card we'll be tackling! So, who is the Page of Pentacles and what may his presence indicate in the context of a tarot reading? Pages are typically considered one of three things. 1) An actual physical person in the seeker's life (or the seeker themselves) 2) Attributes that are symbolically relevant to the reading or 3) A messenger (more on that one later).

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Soundtrack Through The Arcana - Temperance

Soundtrack Through The Arcana - Temperance

We are now at the 15th installment in this series and you know what that means? Only 63 cards left to go! Haha - that's so many...but I am somewhat determined to see it through. Even if it takes me until 2037.

Anyway, today we're having a listen to Temperance. This Arcana is all about the themes of moderation, balance and harmony. It speaks to the various lessons in our lives that play out over and over which tell us to not over- or under do anything. In order to achieve health of body, mind and spirit - we must act in moderation.

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Delivering A Memorable Email Reading Part 2 - The Reader's Perspective

Delivering A Memorable Email Reading Part 2 - The Reader's Perspective

The last time we broached this topic, it was from the perspective of how to ensure your client (or seeker) will get the most out of a reading delivered to them via email. This time, I’m turning the tables to provide you, the reader, some key points to consider to ensure that you too will get the most out of the readings you perform. Why? Because if you want to do this, with any frequency and with the goal of sustainability - you better freakin’ enjoy what you’re doing!

I learned through trial and error for myself what worked for me and what didn’t. I also learned what I could and should expect from myself and what I could reasonably do given the time and resources available to me. This, of course, is entirely personal and so rather than tell you how to structure things, I’m simply going to raise some points for your own consideration. These are things that I learned the hard or long way and so now as I reflect back, I think, “yeah, I should have thought about that from the start!".

But alas, I live and learn and today, I take those livings and learnings and I present you with Delivering A Memorable Email Reading Part 2: The Reader’s Perspective. (I need a more succinct title!)

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Trick or Treat: Halloween Roundup

The spookiest day of the year is upon us and it's always a little bitter sweet because on one hand, many of us look forward to this day but just as quickly, not only is it over, it's November! Ugh, let's not even talk about it. 

Many years ago, Halloween was an all out affair of elaborate parties and dressup for me, but these days it's much more calm. I'll be spending the evening out with my son collecting candy from around our neighbourhood and then when he's not looking, I'll take some of the less favourable stuff because listen, I need some sugar too.

Whether or not you have big plans or none at all, I hope you thoroughly enjoy your day. It's the perfect time for silent reflection, ritual and meditation as much as it is for getting out and socializing.

Because I've been really busy working on upcoming content, I haven't come up with any new or innovative offerings for you all to mark the day, so I hope just a couple links and discounts will do!

For starters, with the veil nicely thinned, it would be a perfect time to connect with your guides or crossed loved ones. To help make this just a tad bit easier, I'm offering a discount on my Spirit Guides course for a limited time at just $15. Learn more about what it entails or purchase if it calls to you!

Speaking of the thinning of the veil, I recently wrote a post about connecting with spirit using tarot. It touches briefly on concepts that we explore much more thoroughly in the course outlined above, and while it's only a primer, it's enough to get communicating today!

Last year I made a High Priestess Halloween Music Mix. I swore I would update it sometime between now and then, but unfortunately it's been gathering cobwebs instead. That doesn't mean it rocks any less though! Check it out if you need 66 spooky tunes to carry you through the day!

And finally, here is a Monster Movie inspired spread I'm also pulling out of last year's truck! Picture of layout is below followed by what each position means.

 
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1. Main character (The seeker)
2. Setting/season (This card indicates what season the movie is filmed and also the area of your life your monster is occupying. Pentacles = Winter/Earthly matters, Swords = Spring/Matters of the mind or communication, Wands = Summer/creative or ambitious matters, Cups = Autumn/emotional matters. If you pull a Major Arcana, the issue may be taking up multiple areas and span many seasons)
3. Cast (Friends, family or foes - this is the other player (or players) in this drama)
4. Big Bad (The monster at large i.e. lurking shadow, overarching challenge or conflict in your life)
5. The Confrontation (How you can overcome or tame the beast)
6. Moral of the Story (The lesson(s) you stand to learn)
7. Final Scene (You at the end of the movie and any potential growth that may occur as a result)

I hope you enjoyed the spread and if you give it a whirl, I'd love to know how your movie unfolded!

Have an hauntingly happy Halloween!
Julia

Dream States: The Space Between Sleep

Dream States: The Space Between Sleep

Sleep is a funny thing. We all do it and yet, we never really regularly compare notes. Growing up, I assumed my experiences with sleep and dreams were the same as everyone else's. I'm not saying they weren't, for the most part, but it's hard to distinguish what is common with what is perhaps more unusual if the experience is everyday (or, every night as this topic would have it).

Dreams for me have forever been a spiritual experience. I was always curious about this state and thought a lot about my adventures upon waking. Even as a kid, I'd wonder what they meant and dig for hidden context. In this post, I'm going to highlight various dream states that I personally experience, and provide my thoughts both on what they mean, how they can be achieved (if desired) and what to do with them once you're there.

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New Moon in Libra - A Playlist

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Today, October 19th, signals the new moon in Libra and I've crafted a very special playlist as homage to some of my favourite 80's tracks. I've been deeply involved in a love affair with a certain brand of music from that era for many years, and so with Libra being ruled by Venus - the planet of love, this is my love letter to the tracks that have gotten me through the best and worst times. While I'm always selecting music that I personally enjoy, I've also tried to keep to the themes of balance and relationships, particularly working through those often times complex interpersonal dynamics. But it's still all very danceable - so that's a plus!

Feel free to have a listen, dance along or let the tunes carry you trough any ritual you plan to embark on. 

Artists Featured: Depeche Mode, Simple Minds, Peter Murphy, The Psychedelic Furs, Visage, Tears For Fears, When In Rome, Erasure, The Cure, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Duran Duran, David Bowie, General Public, New Order, 'Til Tuesday, Fiction Factory, A-Ha, The Tear Garden, Q Lazzarus

Full playlist below - Happy New Moon!

Deck Impression: The Enchanted Tarot 25th Anniversary Edition

Deck Impression: The Enchanted Tarot 25th Anniversary Edition

If you've been in the tarot world for awhile, and unless you've been living under a rock, you've undoubtedly stumbled upon a widely known and regarded deck called The Enchanted Tarot, illustrated by Amy Zerner and written by Monte Farber. Now I don't mean you've owned it or even worked with it, but you've probably come across some of its images in your travels at one point or another. 

It's now been 25 years since its initial release and to commemorate, the deck has been repackaged with a few tweaks to breath it new life. I'm in the camp that certainly knew of this deck and had seen it through the years, but never actually worked with it. So when I came into the opportunity to receive it for prospective review, I was thrilled to dive into without any prior knowledge and to provide, truly, my first impressions of this modern classic.

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