Finding Your Personal Tarot Card (free correspondence chart)

The tarot practice I’m about to share can be used any time of year, but here’s why I find it particularly potent at the Autumn Equinox:

In Jungian Magic, the interplay between the conscious and unconscious selves is of prime importance. 

It’s what drives everything in your life, especially your magic. 

At either the Spring or the Autumn Equinox, access to this dual nature of your psyche is a bit more accessible. 

The veil between these two realms of your inner world becomes a bit thinner than usual…

and it’s easier, if you know how to look, to see things about yourself and the world that might otherwise remain hidden.

The power of shadow work + the Autumn Equinox

At the Autumn Equinox, this thinning of the veil precedes a phase (in the Northern Hemisphere) of increasing shadow…

…meaning our normally-quite-slippery unconscious energies will be easier to grasp. 

Again…if you know how to look. 

If you don’t, this could mean feeling as if things are happening to you, as if you’re more subject to the whims of fate.

For as Jung famously said,

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will rule your life and you will call it fate.”

Thus, it’s incredibly useful, particularly at this time of year, to understand some of the deeper forces within that, if left unexplored, could exert a heavier hand during these fall and winter months. 

So, that’s the why. Now, let’s look at the technique.

How do you find your personal tarot card?

Many practitioners and schools have linked tarot with astrology, and here, I’ll be using a specific set of correspondences popularized by the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley. 

I prefer to use Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Deck with this technique, but I’ve also experimented with applying it to other decks, and the results are just as useful, so do what feels best to you. 

First, grab a copy of your natal chart, which you can get online for free. 

I love the work of astrologer Chani Nicholas, so I’ll recommend her free charting service here.

Bonus: Nicholas’ charting software was built by “AnnieCannons…a queer-led software development agency that trains all of its engineers from among survivors of human trafficking and gender-based violence and pays these newly trained engineers a living wage to build software.”

Hell yes to that!

Once you have your chart, look at your Sun sign. 

There should be a degree number associated with it. The degree shows the position of a planet—in this case, the Sun—within a particular sign. 

So, if your Sun is in Libra and the little number near your Sun is 18, then your Sun is positioned at 18 degrees in Libra. 

Some charts might show another number with what looks like a single quotation mark—this is called a “minute”, and you can disregard that number for this technique. 

(The chart I provide below will indicate what degree your Sun is in based on your birth date, so you don’t have to download your chart, but I find it useful to understand where these numbers are coming from.)

Now, it’s time to find your decan.

The zodiacal year can be divided into shorter chunks of time known as “decans,” each made up of ten degrees (roughly equivalent to ten days). 

Each decan has a corresponding tarot card associated with it, specifically one of the minor arcana or “pip” cards. 

When you know which decan your Sun is in, you can see which tarot card matches with this decan, and this is known as your “personal card.” 

The chart below will show you how to match up your decan with a specific tarot card.

Click the image to download your free chart.

I see this technique as one way of plumbing the depths of your Sun sign…

…and as we enter this shadowy, post-Equinox phase, the energetic currents really support this form of deeper exploration. 

Once you know your card, it’s time to figure out what it means for you personally. 

I mentioned above that you’re welcome to use this technique with any tarot deck, but here, I’m going to talk specifically about the Thoth deck.

If you’re new to this deck, I highly recommend Lon Milo duQuette’s Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, as it breaks down somewhat complicated topics in a very engaging way…

…and it will give you an excellent place to start meditating and journaling on your personal card.

Here are some points to consider when sussing out the significance of your card.

Consider the card’s title.

If you’re brand new to the Thoth deck, you might find the titles of the cards illuminating or challenging–or both!

When I first started using it, many of the titles seemed to clash with my previous understanding of the cards…

…but in meditating on their meanings, the titles have challenged me to peel back another layer of depth that’s quite exciting. 

Consider the card’s elemental association.

Wands are associated with Fire, which corresponds to life force, the will, ambition, and “I want.”

Cups are associated with Water, which corresponds to understanding, love, the emotions, and “I feel.”

Swords are associated with Air, which corresponds to intellect, the thoughts, discernment, and “I think.”

Disks are associated with Earth, which corresponds to the body, resources, practicalities, and “I need.”

Consider the card’s astrological quality.

Based on the number of your personal card, it’s associated with a different quality: cardinal, fixed, or mutable.

Twos, Threes, and Fours: Cardinal

Fives, Sixes, and Sevens: Fixed

Eights, Nines, and Tens: Mutable

Cardinal signs are associated with initiating, leading, and taking charge, but they might struggle with sustaining energy over the long term.

Fixed signs are associated with endurance, seeing things through, and stability, but they might struggle with stubbornness or inflexibility.

Mutable signs are associated with change, adaptation, and stimulation, but they might struggle with making decisions and being still.

Of course, all of these descriptions are a taste, not the entire picture, but they can give you a place to start your own explorations.

What if I get a shitty personal card?

Well, first off, I understand.

My personal card is the three of swords.

Let me show you how what could have been a monumental bummer ended up leaving me feeling deeply seen and aligned with my life’s purpose.

First, check out the card’s image from the Smith-Waite deck. It’s quite a party, ain’t it?

The Golden Dawn title, which Crowley adopts for the Thoth Tarot, is Sorrow or the Lord of Sorrow.

Fun, eh?

In thinking about it Qabalistically, though (duQuette’s book mentioned above is a great springboard if you want to learn more)…

…a couple of key points emerged:

All of the tarot three cards have connections to the third sephira on the tree of life, Binah…

…and Binah, residing above the Abyss, is beyond the grasp of the finite human mind (see diagram below). 

The suit of Swords, however, is associated with the intellect, so here we have a card that combines human understanding with that which cannot be grasped by human understanding

A bit of a pickle, yes?

adapted from A Kabbalistic Universe by Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi

And then there’s the connection between the tarot suit of Swords and what are known as the Qabalistic Worlds.

While this is too complex to cover in depth, here’s a (delightfully retro-colored) way of viewing the different Qabalistic Worlds, Azilut, Beriah, Yezirah, and Assiyah.

adapted from A Kabbalistic Universe by Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi

The Swords relate specifically to the world of Yezirah, or the World of Formation. 

And this yields another sticky situation, because the three, existing above the Abyss, is beyond the world of forms, so we’re stuck in the paradoxical formation of formlessness. 

In meditating on this card, I felt profoundly seen and understood on a deeper level than I ever have before. 

How?

Well previously, I couldn’t quite put my finger on the exquisite pain-pleasure of never being able to fully articulate the ideas, energies, and living impulses that arose within me.

Essentially, I am drawn like a moth to a flame in trying to express the inexpressible, and the tension this creates fuels all of my creativity. 

In my darker moments, this tension feels overwhelming, bordering on hopelessness…

…but more often than not, I feel energized by the quest to endlessly keep trying to cast temporary forms and shapes onto the ineffable, learning more about myself and the world with every new attempt. 

And when I surrender fully to this desire, I feel enveloped in the divine…

…which Lon Milo duQuette speaks to in his summary of the Three of Swords:

“Without forms or reason, the mind must give way to a consciousness higher than itself. The Three of Swords represents the wondrous trance of sorrow that first enlightened the Buddha.” (243)

Does this give you a sense of how your personal card can illuminate your unique gifts and how you’re seeking to express them in this lifetime?

This is potent stuff.

I hope this brief introduction will give you plenty of juicy material to work with as you uncover how truly dazzling and magical you really are. 

Autumn Equinox blessings!

Working Magic When You’re Overwhelmed + Doubting Yourself

Have you ever reread a book from childhood and discovered secret keys

…that happen to be precisely what Adult You needs right now?

Well, I recently got a hankering for my old John Bellairs books, starting with The House With a Clock In Its Walls

Most of the book was comfortingly familiar, and I was amazed at how even tiny details in the illustrations came back to me…

like it was just yesterday I’d been camped out under my rainbow bedspread, reading by flashlight.

(Man, that was the best.)

But what I had somehow entirely forgotten was the climax of the book…

…specifically, how the main character, Lewis, managed to turn around seemingly unbeatable odds through a very peculiar strategy. 

Without losing ourselves in the plot weeds, the gist is that Lewis and his Uncle Jonathan (a wizard) and their good friend Mrs. Zimmerman (a witch) are faced with an evil genius who wants to end the world.

[Dum, dum, DUM…]

It seems as if all is lost, because the villain appears to be an exceedingly powerful magician who is always two steps ahead of them. 

But then, something happened that adult me didn’t at all remember reading as a kid. 

Mrs. Zimmerman had painted a rather dour picture of their chances…

…saying that the villain’s “magic is logical. It proceeds from A to B to C in nice, neat steps. As logical and neat as the movement of a hand around the face of a clock.”

In a flash of inspiration, Uncle Jonathan replies, “Then there’s no point in our being logical, is there?”

edward gorey house clock walls

The others are totally confused, so he explains…

“We’re no good at that sort of game. Our game is wild swoops, sudden inexplicable discoveries, cloudy thinking. Knights’ jumps instead of files of rooks plowing across the board. So we’d better play our way if we expect to win.”

He continues,

“It all seems clear enough to me. Lewis, what I want you to do is this. Get a pencil and paper, and dream up the silliest set of instructions you can think of…Make it as goofy as you can.”

Lewis runs with the idea, sequestering himself in the study for fifteen minutes…

…before emerging with a list of instructions, the first of which made Jonathan “throw back his head and laugh loudly.”

And here’s the thing:

Those “nonsensical,” laughable instructions ended up winning the day and saving the world.

How? 

Here’s what I noticed while reading the text as if it’s filled with secret magical wisdom (‘cause it is). 

First, the whole group got on board without reservation or sarcasm.

No one was bitching about how stupid the plan was. They were all enthusiastically, whole-heartedly participating as if this were exactly what the situation called for. 

And so it was. 

When they acted as if, they called into being the reality they had imagined. 

Viewed another way, they took the intuition and the messages of the unconscious seriously. 

How often do we dismiss our dreams as merely “random” or “weird,” or our gut instincts as a case of “just being too sensitive”? 

But here, the non-logical (though not, what I would call, illogical) was highly valued.

Second, they trusted that things would become clear after they began engaging with the process. 

After rushing through the house, carrying out the first batch of oddball instructions, the three regrouped in the parlour, and Uncle Jonathan asked Lewis, “What’s next?”

To which Lewis replied that they needed to play a game of poker until the “Ace of Nitwits” appeared.

Jonathan replied, “And what, may I ask, is the Ace of Nitwits?”

“I don’t know. It just came to me. I guess we’ll know when we find it.”

Genius.

And so they proceed to play–again, whole-heartedly–and what do you know? A half hour into the game, Lewis “picked up a card and found that he was staring at the Ace of Nitwits.”

How often do we hem ourselves in, fearful of taking the first step without knowing the fifteenth? 

Trusting that guidance will appear when we engage with life beyond the confines of our mind is a powerful act of magic. 

We’re giving the Universe potent energy and intention to which it can respond with equal gusto and enthusiasm.

Imagine the reverse, a situation we so often find ourselves in: 

We’re hesitant, maybe even a little suspiciously pessimistic about our chances…

…and we become stuck in our heads, trying to micromanage the details before we’ve even begun.

Here, the Universe is offered constricted, circular energy to respond to…and it does.

In these scenarios, it’s easy to start seeing obstacles everywhere we look, and our self-doubt is amplified with every pass around the mental track.

And this isn’t because the Universe is “out to get us.”

It’s simply responding to what we’re broadcasting, magnifying our energy with more of the same.

So, when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck in patterns of self-doubt, take a cue from this magical text:

Listen to the nudges of your intuition,

engage with them whole-heartedly,

and trust that, when you do, guidance will emerge, precisely when and how you need it. 

P.S. Want to amplify your magical power even more?

Check out my free course, How to Alchemically Transmute Difficult Shit Into Electrifying Satisfaction.


The magical key hidden in the movie Labyrinth (part 2)

In yesterday’s post, we talked about the importance of asking the right questions…in magic and in life. 

Today, we’re going to look at three common dead ends and how to get unstuck.

When your questioning is aligned with your true will…

…the universe responds and you experience a flow of positive synchronicity, so it’s well worth honing this magical art. 

Let’s get started!

1. Are you asking a question that’s so big, there’s no way you could answer it (nor would the answer be useful even if you could)?

Prime example:

What am I supposed to be doing with my life?

Woah, nelly, that’s a big question. 

Really, truly, if I were to ask you, “What are you supposed to be doing with today?” 

…as in, on a divine, soul-inspired level, how are you meant to be spending today—would you be able to easily answer that?

Most of us have no problem ticking off the laundry list of things our ego thinks we should be doing from the moment we wake up until our exhausted head hits the pillow…

…but that’s a far cry from knowing what we’re being called to devote our precious life force to on the level of the true will.

This isn’t to say we should never ask these big questions, but if we routinely find ourselves stuck and overwhelmed, it’s time to zoom in and focus on our next step.

In Alcoholics Anonymous, this is known as focusing on the “next indicated thing.” 

If Sarah were to become fixated on, “How do I defeat the Goblin King?” Her eventual task once she reaches the center of the labyrinth, she’d never even get her foot in the door. 

Oh, David Bowie, how I love thee…

First, she needs to focus on the next indicated thing and just find her way into the damn labyrinth. 

Another way to approach this that might trigger some useful insights for you:

Are you focusing on a question that, on some level, you know you can’t answer, as a way to stay hemmed into your comfort zone?

This could be something that you won’t know until you take actions A and B, because…

…those actions will change your trajectory and thus your future awareness and decisions.

…you won’t know how you feel about the situation until you take those actions.

In this case, your soul is urging you to just take the next step, rather than worrying about the entire map. 

2. Are you asking about things you have zero control over, which is another way of staying safely within the comfort zone?

If you’re asking how you can change other people…well, I hate to be the bearer of frustrating news, but this is a sure fire way to stay stuck. 

We can’t force someone else to change, but we sure as hell can evolve ourselves.

And if you think this is a selfishly introverted approach, let me offer this:

The collective consciousness (and unconsciousness) is made up of you and me and everyone else. 

Arguably, if I don’t change, if you don’t change—there’s no hope in changing the collective. 

We have to start with ourselves, as Jung writes:

“Too many still look outwards, some believing in the illusion of victory and of victorious power, others in treaties and laws, and others again in the overthrow of the existing order.

“But still too few look inwards, at their own selves, and still fewer ask themselves whether the ends of human society might not best be served if each man tried to abolish the old order in himself…

“…and to practice in his own person and in his own inward state, those precepts, those victories which he preaches at every street-corner, instead of always expecting these things of his fellow men.”*

(Jung wrote this back in 1918, by the way.)

3. Are you asking what your ego thinks you should want, not what you actually want?

Here’s an example from my own life:

I was in a (long) string of train-wreck relationships throughout my teens and 20s. 

Like, truly soap operatic levels of chaos and dysfunction, and unfortunately, I didn’t know how to change the channel. 

I was really fixated on the question of, “How can I finally enjoy a healthy relationship, for the love of all that is holy???

Here’s the thing, though: Deep down, that wasn’t at all what I was interested in knowing. 

What I was really asking was, “How can I feel worthy of love?”

Now, this deeper question led to an entirely different chain of events than that healthy-relationship question, which didn’t actually have any magnetic oomph in my life at that point.

The deeper question led me to unconsciously seek out partners who were like my parents…

…because if I could figure out how to get my partners to love me…

…then I could figure out how to get my parents to love me…

…which my childhood-imprinted self equated with feeling worthy of love.

Now, I don’t delude myself that I’ve completely worked out these patterns (progress, not perfection!)…

…but I do know that I’m twelve years into my marriage, and I still love and adore my sexy husband and am hoping to have many more decades together. 

A far cry from my crash-and-burn relationship history. 

When I started to shift to authentically asking how to have a healthy relationship, this led to its own entirely different chain of events, like…

…getting my ass in therapy.

…learning how to communicate in a way that truly facilitated intimacy (rather than just mimicking my parents’ communication patterns in an attempt to recreate that situation).

…and a whole host of actions that were radically different from those inspired by the “how to feel worthy of love” line of inquiry. 

Admittedly, it can be a little trickier to suss out the deeper question, but one way that works remarkably well is to do a little reverse engineering. 

In my case, if I were to look at my hot-mess relationships and describe what I was repeatedly experiencing, such as:

Emotionally violent, chronic arguments

Being lied to and gaslighted

Being ignored and rejected

…and I asked myself, if these experiences were exactly what I needed to fulfill a certain belief, what might that belief be?

That I deserve being in situations that feel scary and totally out of control.

That it’s okay to lie to and manipulate me for your own purposes. 

That I’m not worth anyone’s time and love. 

And when I explored where, early in my life, I had felt these beliefs taking shape…

…it didn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to see precisely how I was trying to redeem myself by repeating these childhood situations in the hopes of somehow “getting it right this time.”

But once you know the question you’re actually asking (in my case, “How can I feel worthy of love?”), then you can go about answering/responding to it consciously…

…instead of allowing it to unconsciously drive your life. 

Here’s to your innermost seeking.


*Preface to second edition of the Collected Works 7

The magical key hidden in the movie Labyrinth (part 1)

I don’t know if you’re obsessed with the movie Labyrinth like I was as a kid, but (oh, who am I kidding? I’m still obsessed with that movie)…

…there’s something quite fascinating (and relevant to magic)  in one of the opening scenes.

Sarah, the main character, must figure out her way into the labyrinth (the unconscious) that she’s been tasked with solving if she hopes to save her baby brother. 

There’s a strange little figure, Hoggle, puttering around outside the wall, and Sarah hopes he can help her find the entrance. 

Here, and elsewhere in her journey, Hoggle serves as a sort of guardian at the threshold and a psychopomp, helping Sarah pass from one realm to the next. 

And like all liminal figures, securing his aid isn’t a straightforward matter:

“Excuse me, I have to get through this Labyrinth—can you help me?”

No response as Hoggle busies himself zapping the biting fairies.

“Do you know where the door to the labyrinth is?”

“Oh, maybe…”

Her impatience growing, “Well, where is it?”

Again, Hoggles pointedly ignores her while carrying on with his work.

“I said, where is it?”

“Where is what?”

“The door!”

What door?”

In a huff: “It’s hopeless asking you anything.”

Not if you ask the right questions.”

Finally, in exasperation, “How do I get into the labyrinth?”

“Ahhhh, now that’s more like it. You get in,” he sweeps his finger toward the entrance, “there.”

Interestingly, the doors are huge, and you might wonder how Sarah ever could have missed them…

…but such is the nature of the unconscious (especially coupled with the limiting belief that we cannot possibly know a thing for ourselves and require an external authority). 

But what I find so interesting is what seems, on the surface, like a lack of meaningful distinction between the questions that got her exactly nowhere and the one that finally unlocks the labyrinth.

What gives? 

Notice how, at first, her questions are all about finding the door. 

Which makes sense, right?

Perhaps…but on another level, these questions aren’t quite what she’s really after, indicating that Sarah doesn’t fully know what she wants yet. 

Because, after all, she’s not interested in knowing the location of the door simply for curiosity’s sake, right?

No, what she really wants to know is how to get into the labyrinth.

When she formulates a question that is a true reflection of her desire, the universe responds. 

The same is true in our magic. 

When we cast spells or set intentions that aren’t a reflection of our true will…

…there simply isn’t enough magnetic oomph to these magical expressions to elicit much of a response from the universe.

Thus, it’s so important to craft questions that lead us deeper into our authentic nature, otherwise we’ll remain scratching about on the surface, frustrated by the lackluster results.

How do we ask the questions that really matter, then?

In part two, we look at three ways to do just that. 

P.S. This idea of crafting powerful questions has been on my mind more than usual lately, as I just finished writing the divination lesson of a new Jungian Magic course, which will be coming out later this year. 🙂

A Lammas Ritual + Guided Meditation

Lammas (also called “Lughnasadh”) is a holiday, or sabbat, on the witch’s Wheel of the Year, typically celebrated on August 1 in the Northern Hemisphere.

This is a time of harvest, and from a Jungian Magic point of view, it’s a potent day to release what no longer serves in order to create space for the newly harvested energy to enter your life. 

Seven of Pentacles from Ellen Dugan’s Witches Tarot

During this time of global upheaval, doing our inner work is more important than ever. The collective healing relies on, and is composed of, our individual healing. 

So, on this sacred day, let’s add to the communal web of wellness with a simple-yet-powerful ritual (with a free guided meditation).

Let’s begin…

You’ll need some quiet time and space to journal undisturbed prior to the meditation. 

Feel free to light a candle or incense to mark the occasion, then take a few breaths to calm and center yourself before using the following incantation:

I call upon my Total Self

On this holy Lammas day.

To healing I surrender, 

My soul will guide the way.

Focus on the intention to receive insights regarding what within you is most in need of healing right now, perhaps using the following prompts to spark your inner wisdom.

Is there a thought that keeps nagging at the corner of my mind, a bit of worry or anger that I can’t seem to set down?

Is there a relationship that feels discordant right now? What, in particular, feels amiss?

Is there something I wish I could say to someone, but it feels impossible to do so?

I strongly encourage you to journal your responses rather than simply thinking about them. This doesn’t need to be polished or epic; even brief bullet points will do.

Committing words to paper creates a dynamic bridge between the conscious and unconscious selves, unearthing nuggets of truth and wisdom that are otherwise easy to overlook.

As you journal, see if you can connect with one thing that is ready to be released, such as:

A belief about yourself

A belief about another person

A belief about “how the world works”

A fear

A self-righteous mental story

Write down what it is you intend to release in the following format:

I am 100% ready and willing to release, fully and completely, [fill in the blank]. 

And now, it’s time for the guided meditation:

Come into a comfortable seated position (you can lie down if you wish, just don’t fall asleep!), cue up the audio, and close your eyes. 

Lammas Guided Meditation

To download the meditation, click on the stacked dots on the right of the controller and select “download.”

Have a blessed Lammas!

How to Work Menstrual Magic

Working intentionally with your menstrual cycle is a powerful way to supercharge your magic through the momentum of your inner tides, while aligning more deeply with the sacredness of your body.

We’ll be exploring the four phases of your cycle and different ways to magically partner with the energies of each phase. 

As with any cycle, where we begin is somewhat of an arbitrary choice, as each phase follows from the one before…

…but we’re going to start with the follicular phase, as this most closely matches that initial spark of an idea, which is a common portal into a new phase of growth. 

Follicular Phase – Building, Focusing, and Winnowing

The follicular phase is initiated by Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), produced by the pituitary gland.

This hormone acts on ova, or unfertilized eggs, within the ovaries. Each ovum is housed in a little follicle, and as its name suggests, FSH stimulates these follicles, causing a select number of them to enlarge.

The ova embark on a race to see who will emerge victorious, with the winner proceeding to ovulation and the rest gradually disintegrating. 

Energetically, this is a time of building potency, increasing focus, and allowing extraneous elements to fall away.

The magic of this phase:

This is an ideal time for selecting a focus for your energy, and initially, you might be trialing a handful of options. 

You could use tarot, runes, a pendulum, or other divination tools to explore the pros and cons. 

You can check in with your body as you contemplate each option, sensing whether your body grows more open and expansive or more closed and constricted, using this to guide which path is best for you right now. 

You can meditate and journal, asking your higher self or any guides and deities you work with for clarity. 

You can pay attention to your dreams, requesting guidance before you go to bed each night.

Once you have a sense of which option your soul wishes to focus on, it’s time to start gathering your energy

…and a big part of this process is consciously acknowledging the alternative options that you won’t be taking right now.

Too often, we have a lingering FOMO (fear of missing out), and this causes us to subtly (or not-so-subtly) cling to every possibility, dissipating our energy and leaving us feeling scattered and confused.

A spell to focus your energy:

I find it helpful to write down on separate slips of paper the options I won’t be pursuing right now.

Sometimes, this can bring up a whole host of emotions, such as fear, grief, anxiety, and so on.

If you can, simply be present with these feelings, honoring them by resisting the urge to reach for distractions, and trusting that even though they might be intensely unpleasant, they are nonetheless valuable. 

You might also write down any additional energies that you sense need to be released so that you can move forward cleanly, recycling any unused energy for future endeavors.

Then, ritualistically release these elements by burning the slips of paper in a bonfire, in a fireproof cauldron, or other safe means.

You might choose to bury the ash in your garden or release it into a body of water with gratitude. (You can simply throw it away, too.)

Acknowledge that this energy hasn’t disappeared; it’s been powerfully returned to a larger cosmic cycle.

Even though you aren’t pursuing these options right now, there’s no telling how this energy might return to your life in new and exciting ways. 

With this release, you are now primed to focus intently on your chosen aim, thereby unifying your will, which is an indispensable magical tool.

Without a cohesive will, your efforts will be scattered and less effective, which, over time, can feel extremely frustrating and discouraging.

Instead, support your efforts by having the courage to prioritize what’s truly important to you rather than trying to “do it all.”

I love journaling on my focus, and if I intend to cast a spell, this is when I would sketch out the details.

If I’m doing a worded spell, I’d draft my intention phrase, such as, “I am in a career that supports and nourishes me financially, creatively, and on all other levels—so mote it be!”

If I’m incorporating other ritual elements, such as candles, crystals, herbs, etc., now is the time to start gathering these magical allies. 

Ovulation Phase – Energizing, Galvanizing, and Releasing

When your body reaches a sufficient estrogen threshold (among other factors), ovulation is triggered, and there are a few bodily signs that indicate this shift.

One of my favorite resources for more detailed instruction in this area is Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, but here, we’ll briefly cover the three signs that signal ovulation and their magical implications. 

The first is an increase in your temperature, which is assessed upon waking in the morning.

Magically, we can think of this additional heat as fuel for our energetic fire—it gets things moving and allows us to burn through resistance and other obstacles.

When I’m paying attention, I notice a palpable shift in my energy during this time, and when I capitalize on it, I find it much easier to get. shit. done. 

This is a wonderful time to schedule necessary tasks related to your aim that might ordinarily meet with inner naysaying.

You’re much more likely to transform resistance into fiery resolve during ovulation, so why not put that to good use? If you’re casting a spell or doing another type of magical working, now is the time to send that energy out into the cosmos!

The second sign of ovulation is a change in cervical fluid.

As ovulation approaches, this fluid generally takes on a more slippery, lubricative, egg-white texture. 

Magically, we can view this as increased energetic fluidity, allowing us to travel the path of least resistance.

As we tap into the fiery momentum of ovulation, if we meet with potential obstacles, do we have the flexibility and adaptability to navigate them, or do we allow them to derail our efforts?

This speaks to an important principle of magic: While there’s much we can do to encourage a desired outcome, it’s far more difficult (i.e. energy intensive) to control precisely how this outcome is realized. 

Particularly during this more fluid phase, our magic is enhanced when we acknowledge this principle…

…recognizing when we are growing too attached to a particular route and, with gentleness and self-compassion, releasing this attachment to allow the energy to continue flowing toward our goal. 

The third ovulatory sign is cervical position, with the cervix becoming higher, softer, and more open during ovulation.

In a similar fashion, are we putting ourselves in a good position to support our magical aims?

For example, if we’re doing a spell to make more professional connections, but we’re hiding out in hermit mode, this undermines the energy of our working.

Often, when we’re trying to micromanage the process, rather than surrendering into co-creation with the cosmos, this causes us to constrict.

How can you support yourself in gently opening and softening during this time, welcoming the desired outcome into your life?

Luteal Phase – Increasing, Nourishing, and Preparing

If you recall from the follicular stage, the ovum is contained inside a follicle. At ovulation, the ovum bursts free, traveling to the Fallopian tubes and leaving its follicular casing behind.

This leftover follicle becomes a corpus luteum or yellow body, which carries an interesting alchemical correspondence.

In short, the yellow stage of alchemy involves a conjoining of above and below, a union of spirit/potential with matter/manifestation.

Magically, our outcome is materializing. 

During the luteal phase, the lining of the uterus is thickening, in part due to cues from the corpus luteum, which is releasing progesterone.

Are you taking steps to prepare for and nourish the successful outcome of your magical working?

For example, if your goal is to find a romantic partner, and you know that staying up late every night translates into your being a total bear to be around, transitioning to an earlier bedtime is one way of nourishing a successful outcome. 

Progesterone not only causes the uterine lining to thicken, it also suppresses the release of any additional ova that might compete with the ovum that is already traveling down the Fallopian tubes.

Magically, we are being given another opportunity to evaluate what we’re spending our time and energy on.

Are we spread too thin, thereby draining our original focus of its power?

Or can we continue holding space for this goal, allowing it to really take root in our lives, nourishing it through our daily choices, which in turn become self-sustaining habits.

This is a time for deeply instilling the outcome of your magical working into your actual, lived experience.

Menses – Purifying, Releasing, and Resetting

If the ovum has not been fertilized, once the corpus luteum disintegrates and is no longer producing progesterone, the blood vessels supporting the lining of the uterus will constrict…

…and that lining will begin to die off. This initiates a phase of flow and release, and in the background, hormonal players will be readying for a new round of the cycle. 

Magically, I experience this time much like the energetic feel of a dog shaking itself dry after a swim before flopping down in the sun for a well-deserved nap.

It’s time to cast off anything that no longer serves and any unused remnants of energy leftover from the working.

I like to collect some of my menstrual blood and ritually offer it to the earth, acknowledging this process of shedding and release. 

When you reach menstruation, you’ve just completed a cycle of building intensity and focus, and it can be so very delicious to embrace this period of cathartic release, resetting for the next cycle of growth. 

How can you carve out time for rest or play?

Can you loosen expectations and shift into being instead of doing mode, allowing your batteries to recharge?

If we try to sustain unflagging productivity throughout our entire cycle, eventually we become depleted, wrung out like a sponge, and we have less access to our creativity and sources of inspiration.

Relishing this period of rejuvenation and release is so important. 

Tuning into your cycle is a potent way of honoring the sacredness of your body, while connecting with the ever-changing ebbs and flows of energy.

By connecting with your inner tides…

…you will be better equipped to align with the larger, cosmic tides…

…and these, in turn, will add powerful oomph to all of your magical workings. 


The Gnarly Effects of Labeling Ourselves (Part 2)

In yesterday’s post, we looked at how labels can limit our power and our relationship to the deeper self. 

Today, we’re going to explore how labels tend to cluster with sneaky assumptions, which can lead us far astray of our soul’s path.

First, a story…

A few months ago, I was Zooming with a friend. We were chatting about business—she’s wanting to start her own—and she mentioned a woman whom she’d recently met. I’ll call her Sara.

My friend said, “Yeah, well, Sara’s rich, because she has two office locations.”

Now, I happen to know Sara, apparently better than my friend did, and I know very well that Sara does not consider herself to be financially rich.

Taking out the second location was a bit of a gamble, one that hasn’t yet paid off. 

How often do we make these mental shortcuts?

Two office locations = rich

Losing weight = happiness

Troy at the office not taking credit for our ideas = self-confidence

While there are many repercussions of these pervasive assumptions, I want to focus on just one here:

How assumptions affect our choices.

Let’s say my friend allows her assumption to go unchallenged…

It’s very likely that she’ll see reaching the milestone of “two office locations” as a sensible goal in the pursuit of financial success. 

From the outside, it’s probably easy to see how irrelevant this goal is, how there’s no inherent connection between having two offices and being financial successful.

(I mean, does your particular business even require one office? Maybe…but maybe not.)

In fact, pursuing this could have precisely the opposite effect. Two offices equals twice the overhead, which could be enough to run a business into the ground. 

And what about in relationships?

Like all areas of life, relationships are often loaded with assumptions, so we have plenty examples to choose from, like…

Unless Terry stops making passive-aggressive comments, this friendship is in the toilet.

If I don’t go to brunch on Saturday, Kayla will be pissed.

My partner doesn’t listen to me because he doesn’t care/is self-absorbed/thinks I’m boring.

Each of these assumptions leads to a sequence of choices and a narrowing of options. 

They act as blinders that hide any information that doesn’t conform to our current perspective—can you see what a self-defeating cycle this could generate?

Eight of Swords from Ellen Dugan’s Witches Tarot

If we don’t like the way things are…

…yet we’re holding assumptions that make it difficult, if not impossible, to see things in a new way, our ability to creatively problem solve will be severely limited. 

To break the cycle, we have to be willing to risk that our assumptions might be incorrect. 

This might seem simple, but in practice it often triggers feelings of raw vulnerability, and sometimes even shame, so the ego will often go to great lengths to prevent us from taking this road less travelled.

It will try to convince us that our assumptions are facts by seeking evidence everywhere we look. 

If it finds even the slightest hint that our partner isn’t listening, it can magnify this to epic proportions…

…turning it into incontrovertible “truth,” and leading us to believe that the only way for this relationship to work is for our partner to become a better listener. 

But if we were willing to challenge this assumption (something I show you how to do, step-by-step in this free course), we create space.

Space for new ideas to bubble up, space for creative possibilities to reveal themselves.

The Star from Ellen Dugan’s Witches Tarot

We’ll feel more inspired, more curious, more willing to engage with life in different ways. 

And in doing so, we’ll generate insights based on real-world experiences (i.e. not circular, untested thoughts) that will guide us toward wise decisions.

Rather than unconsciously choosing completely arbitrary aims (“I have to open two offices!”), spinning out time and energy on things that will likely leave you feeling flat and frustrated…

…challenge those assumptions to locate your unique North Star, letting your inner guidance light the way to deeper satisfaction.

You’ve got this.

The Gnarly Effects of Labeling Ourselves (Part 1)

Throughout my life, I’ve ascribed countless labels to myself.

When I was younger, I was a…

Student. Anarchist. Atheist. Daughter. Dog walker. Chicagoan. Web designer. Hot mess.

…and dozens of other roles.

Later, I became a…

Jungian Witch. Structural integrator. Yogi. Wife. Nature lover. Writer. 

…and the list goes on. 

While names and categories can certainly be useful, and perhaps even necessary in some cases, they can also distance ourselves from our power and our deeper self.

Let’s look at each effect in turn.

When labels separate us from our power

How often have you heard someone (perhaps even yourself) say:

“That’s just the way I am!”

“That’s just not me.”

“I’m not the kind of person who…”

When we take an aspect of our experience—what we do for work, our relationship status, mental health, physical appearance, opinions and preferences, etc—and we make that synonymous with who we are…

…we risk seeing ourselves through a very narrow lens, and the less of ourselves we can see, the fewer options we have in day-to-day life.

This winnowing down of our options occurs in two ways:

One, if an option isn’t compatible with our current identity, we either can’t see it or we won’t allow ourselves to take advantage of it.

For example, the “light worker” who repeatedly turns down or bungles money-making opportunities, because being financially successful doesn’t compute with their identity. 

(And yes, this same person might bemoan their lack of funds and consciously want precisely the opposite, but identity is a tricky beast…)

The Devil in the Waite-Smith Tarot

Two, if there are parts of ourselves we cannot see because they don’t match with our identity, these parts get pushed into the unconscious. 

And now, these parts, like any unconscious contents, have the ability to heavily influence our choices and actions, but because they’re unconscious, we have no idea what they’re up to. 

The results of these unconscious meddlings simply seem like life events that are happening to us, and we don’t realize that our unseen inner self is playing a central role.

Here again, our options are restricted, this time because our puppet strings are being yanked outside of our awareness. 

As Jung famously said: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

Labeling can separate us from a sense of responsibility for our own lives (“That’s just the way I am!”), and power and responsibility are intimately connected.

We cannot have true power without taking responsibility. 

Or as Peter Griffin sagely remarked, “With great mustache comes great responsibility.”

If we want to feel—and be—empowered, we must take responsibility for our own lives. 

The choices we make, how we spend our time, what we choose to focus on, how we communicate with ourselves and others, and so forth…

…all of these factors are our personal responsibility.

When we try to skirt around this fact, we start compromising who we really are, what we care about, our soul’s yearnings, and all the other things that make us feel truly alive. 

It’s a high price to pay for an identity.

When labels separate us from our deeper self

Humans—and indeed, all beings—are wildly vast and awe inspiring. 

No label can ever capture the totality of a human being. 

So, if we’re summing up our selfhood in a word or two, we can be sure that this is but a sliver of our deeper self. 

Sure, it might be a sliver that’s quite important (or quite important to the ego—only you can know for sure which), but it’s still just a sliver.

You are more fascinating, more wonderful, more infinite than you can ever know. 

Labels help us parse out the immensity of our true nature into more manageable, bite-sized chunks, which can be useful at times…

…but when we confuse these bites with the whole shebang, we’re shortchanging ourselves, and we’re shortchanging the world that we’re here to impact. 

In our attempts to stake out solid territory in the ever-shifting sands of life, we can set our life in stone. 

Everything, your life very much included, is a process, not a static entity. 

When we try to capture a dynamic animation in a single frame, we’re only getting the merest glimpse at what’s really going on. 

And then, when we make decisions based on that still shot—whether that’s a still of ourselves, another person, or the world around us—we’re left speaking to a part of existence that isn’t changing. 

In other words, a fiction. A mental construct.

Let me say this again: 

Nothing in life is still and unchanging…

…so when we are relating to “fixed identities” (e.g. “that’s just the way I am,” “they’re just a selfish a-hole,” “Life doesn’t work that way”), we are relating to fictions.

This leads to frustrating encounters, both inner and outer, because we’re essentially operating in a fun house hall of mirrors, left wondering why our efforts aren’t having the effect we’d like.

To strip away the veils of illusion, we must be willing to challenge what we think we know…

…including ourselves. 

So, who are you, anyway?

I bet you’re far more incredible than you realize. 

How to Stop Ruminating on Triggering Stuff

Something intriguing emerges when I witness my inner process during challenging situations…

First, there’s a flare of emotions, and it can be quite intense.

But if I resist the urge to get overly attached to the emotions, and I simply let them run their course, every single time…they pass. It never fails.

However, that’s rarely the end of the story, though, right? At least, not for anything more significant than, say, getting cut off in the salad bar line. 

When the situation is ongoing and far from resolved, well, it’s really easy to reignite the initial emotional flare up. Again…and again…and again.

And here’s where things get interesting. 

I became super curious as to what, exactly, triggered the subsequent flare ups, because it was often far from obvious.

Frequently, I was alone, I was doing something totally unrelated to the challenging situation, like mowing the lawn, and—boom! 

Suddenly, I’m in the middle of an imaginary argument, and the emotions are coursing through me like lava-spitting scorpions.

What the hell?

Turns out, my unconscious was trying to help me regain a little psychic equilibrium, because I had taken things too far to one extreme or the other.

Temperance from Ellen Dugan’s Witches Tarot

The psyche, you see, has a fundamental governing principle

…baked right into its core, and that is the principle of polarity.

If our conscious mind takes something super duper far to the right (metaphorically speaking), threatening to shift us perilously out of balance…

…the unconscious will step in to help by introducing energy from the left. 

And it’s often those moments when I’m on autopilot (mowing the lawn, for instance) or spacing out, when the barrier between conscious and unconscious thins, and that material more easily spills through.

Typically, we view this unconscious energy as an unwelcome intrusion, because, after all, it directly contradicts our conscious position, which can then trigger all sorts of self-righteous refusal.

What does this look like in practice?

Let me share an example (one of many) from my own life.

I have a friend who rarely initiates contact. If I reach out, they always respond, and we have a great time when we hang out, but I wouldn’t bet on them being the one to get in touch.

We talked about it once, and there was a short burst of change before things returned to the status quo. 

Well, every so often, this would suddenly bother the shit out of me. 

“Why am I always the one to reach out? Who do they think they are?! Okay, fine—if you don’t want to reach out, then we can’t be friends!”

And on and on the mental stories went.

So, why did this only happen every once in a while, and what triggered it?

In meditating and journaling on this, I noticed that I had an inner rule, largely unconscious, running in the background. 

(Side note: So far, I’ve never been in a resentment-triggering situation that, upon further exploration, wasn’t being fueled by a hidden inner rule.)

That rule was: Good people are always communicative and responsive.

And my ego was very, very attached to my identity as a “good person.” 

To maintain that identity, I had to see myself as being 100% communicative and responsive.

It didn’t matter if I was tired, on vacation, needing alone time, etc—if someone wanted to get in touch with me, as a “good person” I had to respond. 

So, if I wasn’t in the mood to talk, this could only mean one thing (assuming I wanted to maintain my ego’s good-person identity):

The other person was “bad.” 

“God, they’re always so needy! Why are they calling me after I’ve had such a long day!”

“I shouldn’t have to tell them not to email me while I’m on vacation!”

And on and on my indignant “logic” went. 

Because my ego was deathly allergic to being a “bad person” (i.e. someone whose communication style differed from my inner rule), this meant I had to project those qualities onto someone else. 

And the universe, in its wonderfully endless diversity, makes it incredibly easy for us to find people and situations on which to project our unwanted stuff. 

(Aw…thanks, universe!)

You need someone who has a more nonchalant approach to responding onto which you can project your baggage? Or someone who loves avoiding communication entirely, just to spice things up? Coming right up!

The Shadow Side (traditionally labeled the Devil) in Ellen Dugan’s Witches Tarot

Let’s return to the sudden outbursts of anger and their hidden source…

So, here I am, with my “good person” identity intact.

In order to maintain this shaky identity, I have to reject any information that might suggest that I am not 100% perfect when it comes to responsiveness and communication. 

And since every single thing in life is inherently imperfect, it’s inevitable that I am not, actually, 100% perfect in this, or any other area. 

Meaning, I’m going to encounter a lot of information that needs rejecting in order to maintain this identity. 

Day after day, a little more rejected information gets thrown into my shadow. A little here, a little there, and pretty soon, the shadow’s gettin’ pretty crowded. 

Something’s gotta give. 

Balance must be regained, because things are getting mighty lopsided in my psyche. 

On the one hand, I have my shining self-image of the perfect communicator, and in my shadow, I have a giant knapsack of crud that contradicts this image. 

Suddenly, the bag splits open, and out spews the unwanted information. 

My ego finds this information extremely threatening, so it’s once again projected onto the other person, at which point I find myself having imaginary arguments with them (or actual arguments) in an attempt to convince myself that I am still the “good person” and they’re the villain. 

Whew. Identity protected—victory!

Until the bag gets too full of crud again…aaaand I’m right back where I started, angrily ruminating and brimming with resentment. 

So, the only way off this hamster wheel is to acknowledge the shadow bag. 

In my scenario, this would involve a more honest look at my own communication habits and their human imperfection.

But even more importantly, I need to compassionately challenge my inner rule of “Good people are always communicative and responsive.”

As long as I allow this rule to run unchecked, I will act like a tyrant with myself, ignoring what I want, need, and feel in order to satisfy the demands of the rule. 

And if I fail to meet the rule, I will often repress the evidence and, instead, see it existing only in other people.

Thus, I need to be willing to sit with the discomfort that arises when I confront this rule and allow myself to make different choices. 

Often, this can trigger guilt or even shame. 

Can I be present with myself when those feelings arise, instead of shoving them into the shadow bag by, say, grabbing my phone and seeking a distraction? 

Here’s the thing:

When we engage this practice, the ego, which was once incredibly brittle and prone to flying off the handle at the slightest hint that its identity was being threatened…

well, it becomes more resilient

When confronted with information that contradicts its self-image (aka, life), with practice, the ego is better able to be with this. 

It becomes less reactionary. More curious. 

Less indignant. And more compassionate—to self and others. 

Does this mean you’ll someday reach a level of perfect peace in the face of all triggers?

Nope. But you don’t have to in order to live a deeply satisfying life. 

Simply expanding the ego’s resilience and flexibility even a little bit amounts to big dividends in your level of inner peace.

We can do this.

One day, one choice, one moment at a time. 

Are you with me?


P.S. Want more guidance on working with projections and building a more resilient sense of self?

Check out my free course: How to Alchemically Transmute Difficult Sh*t Into Electrifying Satisfaction

A freaky truth about your magical power

One of the cornerstones of Jungian Magic is intentional partnership with the unconscious self through specific tools and techniques. 

The unconscious is seen as the source of your magic, an interface between your personal creative powers and the vast creative powers of the cosmos. 

In other words, not only is it the portal to your individual change-making capacities, it allows you to tap into much larger forces, helping you to create profound transformation with less a drain on your personal energy.

Unintentional Magic

Of course, we can (and do) tap into these energies all the time without understanding how, but this often leads to a deep misunderstanding of the direct connection between our inner world and our external experiences. 

Rather than seeing how we are actively creating what we experience, particularly situations that seem to crop up repeatedly (unhappy relationships, feelings of low self-worth, an unsatisfying career or financial hardships, etc.), we feel like victims of annoying circumstances.

We are confronted with a situation Jung describes in one of his most well-known quotes:

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. 

Said magically, we’re casting spells and performing magical operations all the time, but we perceive them as situations and forces that are happening to us, not through us.

This leads us to feel confused and disempowered, wondering why things aren’t working out the way we’d hoped, and we can spend years (our whole life, even) chasing after symptoms like a game of whack-a-mole, never really getting to the root cause. 

Divine Powers

In perhaps his most controversial work, Answer to Job, Jung analyzes God’s behavior in a manner that speaks to this whole conundrum in a fascinating way. 

The Old Testament Yahweh (God) was a bit contradictory, to put it mildly. Loving and beneficent one minute, rageful and smiting the next. 

Isolating one incident of many, Jung examines a particularly volatile interaction Yahweh had with one of his human followers, Job, and to make a long story short, Yahweh’s scathing attack on this poor man demonstrates some of our very human tendencies when we are operating largely from the unconscious. 

Among other “energizing” effects, we can be subjected to bouts of strong emotions and inflamed, frequently self-righteous ideas that compel us to speak and act in such a way that, later, might cause us to feel a wee bit regretful, not to mention baffled at our own behavior.

In the aftermath, we might cringingly promise ourselves, “I have no idea what came over me, but it’ll never happen again.” 

We might also be convinced, though, that external circumstances more or less forced our hand: “Well, if so-and-so hadn’t put me in this position by cheating on me/making that rude comment on Facebook/showing up late again/etc…”.

Apparently, even Yawheh wasn’t immune to this sort of thing, and in Answer to Job, God essentially blames the outburst on Job. 

Jung presents us with the compelling idea that, in this scenario, Yahweh was failing to consult Their omniscience.

What on earth does this mean (and why should we care)?

Well, Yahweh is God, and God knows everything, right?

If that’s the case, then God knows exactly the why, when, where, and how of these unfortunate situations. And if that’s true, then why didn’t They make a different choice, thereby avoiding such a regrettable (and foreseen) outcome?

Well, because God had forgotten Their omniscience. 

And in that state of forgetfulness, They blamed external circumstances for Their inner battle: If only Job had acted more faithfully, then God wouldn’t have been so angry.

Said another way (and this has big implications for our magic), God had forgotten how powerful They really are, that They are vastly creative and possessing great wisdom. 

That, rather than being a helpless victim of life, They are a creator of life:

Yahweh was so fascinated by his successive acts of creation, so taken up with them, that he forgot about his omniscience altogether.

Answer to Job (par. 634)

When we become “so fascinated” by how crappy our job is, or how our partner never listens, by the “state of the world” (an especially compelling fascination during this global pandemic), and on and on–we forget how magically potent we truly are.

This forgetting often takes the form of endlessly tackling external factors or “fascinations” while ignoring their inner source. 

Now, this isn’t to say that external events aren’t actually happening. 

Jungian Magic, and indeed, life itself, requires us to get up close and personal with paradox. The more we deny that things are this-and and not this-or, the more we’re stuck whacking away at never-ending moles. 

So yes, your boss might act like a monster, and yes, you are bringing your own stuff to the table, causing you to perceive them as monstrous. (And if we wanna get really trippy, you are unconsciously helping them behave even more monstrously toward you.) 

Yes, your partner might be pretty crappy at listening, and yes, you are bringing your own stuff to the table, causing you to feel unheard. (And helping them display their crappy listening “skills” in conversations with you.)

Bizarre Ripple Effects

This is a contentious idea, to say the least–one that can be construed as blaming the victim.

All I can say in the constraints of a blog post is that it is simultaneously true that other people are fully responsible for their own behavior and we are fully responsible for what we are experiencing. 

(If this is something that intrigues you–or perhaps enrages you–I cover it at length in my courses.)

Going back to the magical implications of this, when we perceive what we are experiencing as merely external circumstances happening to us, we forget that we have played a major role in creating them. 

We forget to consult our omniscience. 

In other words, we fall for the pervasive illusion that we are only who we consciously believe ourselves to be, and we forget that we are also a vast, divine being, wielding powerful energies through our unconscious self. 

What do we do, then?

Well, the short answer is: We learn how to partner with our unconscious self, rather than being perpetually surprised by its activities and blaming them on our surroundings. 

Granted, this isn’t the easiest of tasks, but because the power of the unconscious is so mind-bogglingly immense compared to our conscious awareness, even a little bit of intentional partnership can yield massively useful results. 

A Magical Exercise

This week, start by choosing one situation that feels less than awesome. 

One important caveat: I do not recommend choosing something as ginormous as, say, a global pandemic. (With events of this magnitude, collective unconscious factors play a large role that is beyond our scope to discuss here.)

Once you’ve got your situation, without censoring yourself, write out what you wish someone else in this situation were doing differently. 

For example, if you’re angry with your partner, describe exactly how you wish they would change without getting distracted by analyzing the likelihood of that actually happening. 

You might use these prompts:

What do I wish they would start doing?

What do I wish they would never do again?

What do I wish they would say to me?

Spend no more than 20-30 minutes on this, journaling anything that arises. Then, set your writing aside for a full 24 hours. 

Come back to it, and this time, I want you to pretend that all of these wishes directed at your partner are actually inner requests directed at yourself, journaling whatever comes up for you. 

This can feel super-duper challenging, and we often have knee-jerk reactions like, “I never do that!” or “I always do that!” 

Breathe, accept that the ego is simply trying to be helpful by preserving your current self-perception, and continue returning to a place of gentle curiosity. 

Again, I would limit this session to 20 or 30 minutes, max. 

Then, set it aside for 24 hours, and repeat. Do this for a total of three times. (Meaning, you’ll do the initial round directed at your partner, then three rounds directed at yourself.)

Know that, in between sessions, your unconscious is still brewing its magic, weaving together threads that would entirely elude the ego were it working on its own, generating potent insights and healing. 

By doing this practice, you’ve issued an invitation to that vast, unconscious part of yourself, availing you of its uncanny ability to know things that, to the ego, seem completely mysterious and unknowable, including information that transcends the ego’s limitations of time and space. 

In other words, you’re remembering your omniscience. 

Jung called this bizarre ability of the unconscious “absolute knowing.”

By the end of the final round, you should have a sense of something your larger self wants you to know and/or do. 

Perhaps when you feel that your partner isn’t listening, your larger self wants you to pause, and deeply listen inwardly to yourself. What are you experiencing in that moment? 

Can you stay present with any thoughts, feelings, and sensations, and resist, even just for a few breaths, the urge to jump into a storyline about what your partner is or isn’t doing? 

Perhaps a part of you feels lonely in these moments. 

Can you be with this part of yourself, comforting them with your presence, rather than abandoning them, exacerbating that feeling of loneliness as you leap into the partner-focused storyline?

Or perhaps you get a sense that your larger self wants you to listen with more presence to your partner. 

Can you experiment with this, even if part of you is feeling resentful that your partner is the one who “started it” and by all rights should have to change first? Can you be gently present with your feelings of resentment, without judging yourself?  

These practices, while they might seem mild, are, in truth, incredibly potent. 

In my own life (and witnessing the experiences of hundreds of clients), this self-inquiry paired with experimental changes to my own thoughts and actions, has been extraordinarily effective at creating change, not only in my inner world but in my outer circumstances as well.

On the flip-side, my attempts at avoiding these practices, which typically take the form of trying to change someone else, have, without exception, resulted in crappier outcomes, including more stress and far less positive change. (I have decades’ worth of examples if you’re at all in doubt.) 

By bringing your focus back to your inner landscape, you invite your unconscious to bestow gems of wisdom and other powerful energies, such as healing and inspiration, from the storehouse of your divine omniscience. 

One moment, one choice at a time, you will remember how powerful and creative you truly are.