How to read tarot

in two easy steps:

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A Summer Solstice ritual to get what you want

Summer Solstice marks a time of abundant, spilling-over-the edges growth. 

As I type this, I can see from my window that it’s already time to drag out the electric lawn mower again, even though it’s been less than a week.

The grass looks like a shaggy explosion of 80s metal hair. It just. Keeps. Growing.

Prefer to listen to the audio version of this post? Scroll to the bottom!

Given that growth is firing on all cylinders right now, it’s useful to do a quick Solstice inventory:

What’s abundantly growing in your life right now?

Is this what you’d like to be growing or does this energy need to be shifted to something else?

Growth energy, like all energy, is neutral, and our experience is determined by how it’s being used, so let’s take a look at what your growth is fueling right now.

You’ll want to have your journal handy before you begin. 

First, take a few minutes to align with the energetic flavor of the Solstice…

…that of rocketing, irrepressible growth, which will make it easier for you to locate this energy within your own system. 

If you have a spot in the sun where you can close your eyes for a few moments, great. If not, simply envision yourself basking in the sun.

See and feel yourself in a lush, natural setting with a profusion of plants. 

Focus on one plant in particular, and just like a time-lapse video, imagine that you can see it growing right before your eyes: stems telescoping upward, blooms unfurling.

Breathe as you watch this explosion of growth, getting a sense of what this energy feels like. 

When you’re ready, open your eyes and grab your journal. Allow yourself to brainstorm what in your life seems to be moving, full speed ahead. 

Are there any areas where things just seem to happen, whether you want them to or not?

Anything that gobbles up more of your focus, perhaps something you find yourself thinking or talking about frequently? 

Ask your intuition to direct your focus, to help you locate where your growth energy is concentrating. 

Pay attention to what arises: Are you suddenly thinking of a person or situation? Or perhaps a dynamic, such as people pleasing or undercharging for your work? 

Let yourself free-write for as long as you need to, capturing the flow of insight. 

Then, take stock. What has your intuition pointed you to? 

Is this something you want to devote your growth energy to right now?

If yes, you might use the following intention:

“I continue to grow [name your focus] for as long as this is correct and good for me on all levels.”

If not, is there something you’d like to channel this energy into instead? 

Get clear on what this new focus is.

Close your eyes and paint a picture of it in your mind—if you were already living this reality, what would it look like, what would it feel like? Put yourself there in your mind. 

Now, look down and see that you’re holding a watering can. Envision your growth energy condensing into this can.

All of the energy you’d like to redirect is easily collected here, as if drawn by a powerful magnet. See and feel this energy streaming into and filling the can to capacity. 

In your mind’s eye, use the watering can to shower your desired outcome with the energy of growth, pouring forth, infusing everything it touches with its magical fertilizer.

See this scene expand and enliven. 

In this place, ask your intuition:

“What can I do to support the growth of [name the new situation]? What’s my next action step?”

When you’re ready, come out of the meditation and jot down this action step in your journal. 

How will you carry out this step?

Is there anything you need to support yourself in taking this action?

Map out your intention and pencil it on your calendar. 

The energy of growth is poised and ready to flow at your command…

…and by taking your next action step, you’re giving it a helpful push in this new direction. Your actions will be amplified, your influence expanded. 

Here’s to your growth.

Happy Summer Solstice!


Prefer an audio version of this post? Listen here:

Summer Solstice Ritual

What’s the right thing to do? [how to decide]

If you want to tie yourself in knots over a decision…

…ask yourself, “What’s the right thing to do?”

I’m not advocating doing whatever we feel like, to hell with the consequences. 

But I’ve learned (the hard way, with a side order of insomnia and nervous indigestion) that…

“What’s the right thing to do?” isn’t the best route to grounded, responsible decision making. 

Why?

Well, because it assumes there is such a thing as a clear-cut right way, and as long as we find it, we’ll be golden. 

That’s a big assumption to make and one that generates a boatload of self-doubt and unnecessary agonizing over stuff that doesn’t actually matter. 

I’ll give you a personal example, one that caused me months of frustration…

…and my husband and friends, too, because I talked about it constantly.

For years, I’d had an intense relationship with someone–let’s call them Dumbledore, because I’ll get to chuckle every time I type it. 

Dumbledore wanted daily contact, multiple times per day, and while they were understanding (most of the time) when I’d say I needed time to myself…

…there was still the hovering expectation that, unless I communicated otherwise, we should be talking every day. 

It took me years to understand that I was allowed to want less contact–far less contact, even–and this didn’t make me a shitty person, unsupportive, or antisocial.

And the default didn’t have to be, “Unless you tell me otherwise, we’re talking daily.” 

That was their rule, not mine, and it was my reality only because I hadn’t set a boundary. 

One of the primary reasons it took me so long to make healthy changes in this relationship was that I’d been trying to figure out what the “right” decision was. 

I mistakenly believed that because Dumbledore was satisfied with this level of contact, I should be, too. 

I mistakenly believed that because other people liked talking to Dumbledore on a daily basis, I should, too. 

But because I wasn’t happy with this arrangement, my inner conflict raged unabated.

I felt torn between, “This feels like crap,” and “I don’t want to be an asshole!” and “Everyone else seems cool with it…?”

Here’s the thing:

To Dumbledore, or to those other people, maybe daily contact is a good choice. Who knows?

It’s totally irrelevant to my decision-making process, though, because I’m not them. I’m me

You can’t figure out what’s best for you by copying what everyone else is doing. 

Sometimes their choices might inspire your own, but they can’t replace them. 

Only you can decide what works for you…

…and you won’t get there by thinking there’s a universal right way that works for everyone, and you just haven’t figured out what it is yet. 

It always surprises me, in hindsight, how many of my decisions were anxiety producing because I wasn’t allowing myself to need what I need.  

I’d bitch about how confused and conflicted I was, how “I have no idea what I want to do!”

But I did. I knew exactly what I wanted to do all along. It just felt like the wrong answer because other people wanted something different. 

Their right answer wasn’t my right answer.  

So instead of asking yourself, “What’s the right thing to do?”

…check in with how you feel in this situation or around this person.

And then, instead of convincing yourself that it’s not okay to feel that way, ask yourself, “Okay, given that I feel this way, what do I need?”

Not, “What is the other person expecting of me?”

Or, “What if they get mad/don’t like me/etc?”

Just get clear on what you need. 

Next, what boundary can you set in order to meet this need?

Write it down. 

Finally, what would help you feel supported as you set this boundary?

Maybe you don’t want to do it face-to-face, because this person has been highly volatile with you in the past. 

That’s good information to have. Instead of blindly following the rule, “You have to have important conversations in person,” (says who?) allow yourself to choose a format that feels safe and manageable.

Or maybe you need to talk to a therapist first. 

Excellent. Do some Googling, ask friends for a referral, and make an appointment. 

Remember, you’re allowed to need what you need. 

And when you’re not chasing some mythical “right” answer, what you need is often feel-it-in-your bones plain as day.

You’ve got this.

Dear Tarot: Your Questions Answered!

Wow, so many great questions submitted for my new Dear Tarot column–thanks, everyone!

Don’t forget, you can submit your own question here.

I’ve chosen five questions for this first roundup. You’ll find images of the spreads and the complete audio readings below.

So without further ado…let’s get into it!

Reading One: Musing in Marrakech

Here’s our spread from the Light Seer’s Tarot:

Reading Two: Major Change in Mumbai

Here’s our spread from the Prisma Vision’s Tarot:

Reading Three: Wondering in Woodsboro

Here’s our spread from the Hush Tarot:

Reading Four: Checking In from Chesterton

Here’s our spread from the Modern Witch Tarot:

Reading Five: Very Crowded in Vancouver

Here’s our spread from the Witches Tarot:

Do you want to give fantastic tarot readings…

without needing to memorize all 78 cards?

Then my new course is exactly what you need.

It’s called Start Reading Tarot Now.

I’ll have you reading tarot by the end of lesson one. See you in class!

Not feeling good enough? Try this.

I’ve never met a person who doesn’t struggle with feelings of not enough-ness at times. 

And while some of our unworthiness triggers are obvious, others can be trickier to spot. 

Here’s one that, for me, took years to recognize, but now that I see it, I’m better able to press pause before I head down the path of self-doubt and confusion.

Setting the scene:

I’m happily chatting away with friends, and suddenly, I start to get a little quiet…and more quiet still…

…and then I notice I’m feeling all insecure and getting into my head about it.

This predictably leads to nagging, bubbling resentments as I listen to the others talking, until eventually, I feel left out, like everyone but me knows how to do this whole friendship thing. 

For years, that’s all I was aware of: the uncomfortable feelings of insecurity, resentment, and loneliness. 

But then, something shifted.

I’d been working with my inner parts using Internal Family Systems Therapy, something I teach in my courses, and now I was able to witness which inner parts were being activated in these situations.

And what was happening under the surface really surprised me…

Not because it was so shocking, but because it was so simple.

I learned that this particular self-doubt spiral begins when someone is sharing an opinion or idea they feel strongly about.

They might be anywhere from super excited to hair-on-fire outraged, but the common theme is emotional conviction attached to whatever they’re saying. 

This tapped into a prevalent pattern from my childhood, one in which certain family members had extremely definite, rigid views of the world, and they insisted others follow along. 

As a kid, if I didn’t adopt their perspective, I was rejected or mocked or punished, driving home the clear message that not only was my thought process wrong, I, as a person, was all wrong. 

Consequently, I had inner parts who were very practiced at scanning situations and sensing if someone felt strongly about their opinions. 

If my parts detected this, they would begin pressuring me to conform in order to protect me from the rejection I experienced as a kid.

Before I learned how to work with these parts…

…I experienced this pressure solely coming from other people, which would cause me to feel resentful (“God, they’re so friggin’ pushy!”).

And if the other person actually was trying to exert control over how I thought or behaved, I didn’t know how to set boundaries and would just stew in my anxiety and resentment

Until we work with our inner parts, they’re stuck in the past…

…reacting to life with the maturity and skill level we were at when these parts were first created.

And when those parts take over, we can feel and act just like we did back then. 

In my case, an inner five-year-old part would take the wheel, and then I’d become totally overwhelmed by adult conversation (hence getting really quiet) and feel like I’d be punished if I didn’t agree (hence the resentment). 

And because as a kid I was rejected until I agreed (given the silent treatment or a time out, etc.), I would anticipate this and start to feel left out and lonely, even if others were actually including me. 

By witnessing and working with these parts…

I was able to see a gap in my experience: I needed to learn how to check in with my own values and needs even (especially!) when other people felt strongly about theirs. 

In the past, I only saw two choices: try to change the other person or miserably go along. Not the most inspiring of prospects. 

But now, I’m practicing building my adult skills in these situations, so I can take care of my inner five-year-old instead of forcing her to take charge, which she’s ill-equipped to do. 

For me, practicing new skills looks like this:

Noticing when I’m starting to get quiet and checking in: Do I just need some downtime or am I feeling that nagging pressure to conform?

If the latter, I have plenty of options.

For example, I might visualise my inner five-year-old and send her some love, which can feel very calming and grounding.

Or if the other person is asking for my response, I might say that I need some time to think about it

This, by the way, is often a biggie:

Allowing ourselves ample time to think and process. 

As a kid, I was rarely allowed to do this, so it’s been a game changer as an adult to practice creating this space for myself. 

While it can feel otherwise to our inner parts, very seldomly do we actually need to give an instant answer.

Other people might pressure us and/or we might pressure ourselves, but nine times out of ten, the world will continue revolving on its axis if we take 24 hours (or more) to think on something. 

By witnessing your inner state–what am I thinking? What am I feeling? Are there inner parts who need some attention?–you create more internal space, which then makes it possible to

…check in with your values, instead of forcing yourself to adopt another person’s priorities as your own. 

Someone might value x, while you need to prioritize y. In the past, I’d spend vast amounts of energy trying to convince them to value y, too, or I’d resentfully go along with x.

But with practice, it gets much easier to pause and allow for lots of options to arise in the in-between.

For instance:

Maybe Cath wants to co-teach a course on auric clearing but I want to lead one on shadow work, so we decide to host a larger event, and each of our unique classes is on the schedule.

We still get to collaborate and have fun, but neither of us is teaching on something we don’t feel well-informed or excited about.

Or perhaps you would be happy visiting your family if, instead of staying at their place, you get an AirBnB.

That allows you to connect and have fun while still having you-space and downtime. 

The point is, no one is served when we override our needs and values. 

While we live in a world filled with us-against-them messaging and stories where one viewpoint or person holds the “ultimate rightness” over all others, this is an egoic illusion

It might make the world feel more manageable and straightforward at times, but it’s a simplification that forces us to ignore nuance, complexity, and diversity.

It’s a shortcut with a high price tag.

When we practice tuning in to what’s truly important to us, this paves the way for genuine collaboration over blind conformity or embittered antagonism. 

Getting clear on our values helps us get clear on what we have to offer.

Far from being selfish, tuning into what we need and value is a powerful act of honoring our unique gifts and offering them in such a way that we’re not depleted

Which–guess what?–means that we can continue to make these offerings over the long haul, as opposed to living by other people’s values, draining ourselves dry, and retreating into burn out.

So next time you’re feeling that you’re not enough, press pause. 

Ask yourself: Am I pressuring myself to go along with someone else’s values or needs?

And then: What actually feels important to me here?

Create some space. Give yourself some time. 

Your needs are just as valuable as everybody else’s. 

And when you honor them, you heal the inner parts who fear that you’re not enough.

Living Reiki Digital Expansion

I don’t know about you…

…but I can’t even count how many times I’ve read a book, looked at the exercises and thought, “Man, I would feel soooooo great if I did this meditation/journaling/whatever!”

And then I don’t do sh#t.

If you can relate, I’ve created this digital expansion just for you. 🙂

(Psst…scroll down for a $10 off coupon)

You’ll get all of the meditation exercises from the book, Living Reiki: Heal Yourself and Transform Your Life as guided audios

…so all you have to do is pop on some headphones and follow along.

And for the journal-based exercises, I’ve created simple fill-in-the-blank worksheets so you can dive right in.

Plus, bonus tarot content…

In chapter 3 of Living Reiki, I mention something called the Worldly Sequence of the tarot’s major arcana.

I didn’t have space in the book to dive deeper, so in this bonus guide I show you why the Worldly Sequence is important and how to work with it.

And–here’s the part I’m really excited about–I also show you how to read tarot cards energetically.

This is something I love doing in readings, because it yields a whole new layer of insights, and it’s something you can do even if you’re brand new to the cards–no memorizing dozens of card meanings required!

You’ll also get a guide on working with the Ten Divine Powers, which I talk about in chapters 6 + 7 of the book.

You’ll learn how to spot which powers are your go-tos (we usually have one or two we’re most comfortable with and ignore the rest) and how to expand your energetic palette to the full range of powers.

This leads to more confident, soul-led decision making and a fuller expression of your unique gifts in the world.

Want to get $10 off the Living Reiki digital expansion?

Here’s what you do:

Post an image of the book, Living Reiki: Heal Yourself and Transform Your Life, on Instagram or Facebook and tag me.

This can be an image of the book on your altar, you reading the book with your cat–whatever you’d like!

I’ll DM you a coupon code within 24 hours.

Remember to tag me so I see your post:

@realmagicmysteryschool on Instagram or @realMagicSchool on Facebook

Walpurgis Night + Beltane Ritual for Power

The night before Beltane is known as Walpurgis Night, Hexennacht, or Witch’s Night

…a time when witches ride upon broomsticks and black cats, meeting in secret to celebrate the thinning of the veil between worlds and the concomitant rise in their witchy powers. 

In paintings of Walpurgis Night and Beltane, women are often shown dancing round a fire with ecstatic abandon, released from an ever-watchful patriarchal gaze, if only for one night.

It’s a time to remember what it feels like to be utterly free within oneself, to come into the fullness of your being, not whittling it down to a societally acceptable sliver. 

If there’s one thing all Beltane imagery has in common it’s the vividness of the emotional energy, practically dripping off the canvas.

Nymphs Dancing to Pan’s Flute, Joseph Tomanek

This isn’t a night of steely, rational restraint.

It’s a time to feel, deeply and with every cell of your body.

In our daily lives, when we come to fear and avoid our emotional experience, the ego becomes brittle, ever watchful for potential outbursts.

This emotional energy doesn’t simply disappear, though; it bottles and builds, fueling an eventual, predictable explosion. 

Sometimes that explosion takes the form of an argument, but it can just as easily erupt as:

binge shopping

a bout of ravaging self-doubt

compulsive exercising (or compulsive anything)

devouring news stories that outrage us

…and other ways of blowing off steam without having to really feel the original feeling. 

This can further the ego’s fear of emotions, and it tightens down its control even more, not realizing that this rigid control is precisely what perpetuates the inevitable backlash. 

La nuit de Walpurgis, Constantin Nepo

If we learn how to welcome our emotions as they arise, we learn to trust the psyche’s innate intelligence, which knows how to return us to equilibrium without repressing our life force.

Rather than trying to achieve the ego’s illusion of remaining consistently even keel, no matter what, we allow ourselves to feel what we feel, when we feel it. 

The energy not spent trying to ward off our emotions can now be channelled into having the strength to stay present with them.

That thinning of the veil I mentioned earlier?

We can think of this as the blurring of the boundary between conscious and unconscious, which is what our emotions usher us into relationship with.

Far from sapping our power, the emotions bring us up close and personal with it. 

The following practice is one that you can initiate during the powerful energetic current of Walpurgis Night and Beltane, when the cosmic veils are thinning, with the hopes that it will feel so liberating, so intoxicatingly alive, you’ll want to continue it well beyond this night. 

The practice centers around one of the most common resistances to feeling our emotions: the false belief that if we feel a certain way, we must need to do something about it. 

One way this shows up for me is finding myself missing someone who is no longer in my life, and for very good reasons, reasons that support my mental health.

It’s easy to mistake these feelings as a sign that I need to rekindle the relationship…but this then brings a flood of anxiety at the remembrance of all the unhealthy patterns that I don’t wish to revisit, and around and around it goes. 

Eventually, it occurred to me to just feel the emotion of missing. 

In one instance, I actually sat down on my home office floor and let myself sob for a few minutes, and then, unexpectedly, the emotions began to ebb of their own accord, leaving behind a sense of clarity and calm.

The letter that just moments before I was anxiously debating whether or not to write–it now felt like a non-issue. 

I didn’t need a letter, I didn’t need to rekindle things; I just needed to feel. 

So this Beltane, when your power is at its height, can you practice feeling what you feel, gently detaching from any ego narratives about what you “should” do? 

Trust that, if you stay present, letting emotional energy course through you, it will naturally ebb, leaving behind, like the tide revealing shells and other deep-sea treasures, the gifts of clarity and insight. 

Your emotions are a throughway to intuitive wisdom…

…but we need to dance around their fire until the heat dissipates, suspending the linear, patriarchal agenda to hurry up and “figure it all out,” just for tonight.

Just long enough to experience that thinning of the veil, where all is made clear, and we feel whole unto ourselves. 

Beltane blessings!

(Featured image by Luis Ricardo Falero.)

Archetypal Dream Interpretation (part two)

Archetypal time travel

In my last post, I laid the groundwork for today’s discussion, and we left off by talking about how a complex gets triggered in daily life…

…and when this happens, it can flood the ego with archetypal energy.

A common experience of this is finding our thoughts or feelings suddenly imbued with the energy of ABSOLUTE RIGHTNESS or ABSOLUTE WRONGNESS.

“This is just how things are done!”

“I’ll never be good enough.”

“Everybody knows x.”

“This will never change–it’s pointless to try.”

Because archetypes are so damn massive compared to our finite egos, their presence carries an overwhelming sense of THIS IS SO…

…and whatever is influenced by their energy can feel like THE ONE RING TO RULE THEM ALL.

(And for examples, see just about every political battle throughout history.)  

So in daily life, perhaps what begins as a mildly cringy feeling of embarrassment, one we could easily manage and laugh off, activates a complex

…flooding us with archetypal energy. And now, suddenly that cringy feeling starts to grow…and linger…

…and then here we are, still replaying the embarrassing thing we said at 2 in the morning.

And over breakfast the next day… 

And now there’s a nagging, building suspicion that maybe we’re just shit and no one will ever let us move past this for as long as we live.

We find ourselves recounting all of the other times we’ve embarrassed ourselves, and completely shutting down and bottling up our authenticity seems like probably the only logical way forward…

…and down and down the spiral we go. 

By the way, this can easily travel the other way, too, where we start out with something we feel passionate about…

…only to find archetypal energy flooding us into a state of grandiose inflation where we feel immune to risk and accountability, and we careen off into the sun like Icarus with his rapidly melting wings. 

Okay, let’s bring this back to dreams and our two-faced guide, Janus. 

In modern chemistry, there’s something known as a Janus molecule, which is a compound that can be toxic or beneficial–it’s all about proper dosage. 

Archetypes, too, can be “toxic” (i.e. splintering) to the ego due to their vastness, but they can also be extraordinarily beneficial. 

One archetypal gift is being filled with inspiration. Great art of any kind is a channeling of the archetypal into tangible form. 

Archetypes can also show us our future.

The reasons are complex, but here’s the nutshell version: 

First:

The collective unconscious is a realm of creation, as in, things coming into existence.

Archetypes are the framework of the collective unconscious, so they’re intimately tied with things that are coming into being, i.e. the future. 

Second:

Archetypes appear in our lives in response to an as-yet-unconscious need.

In other words, we conjure them up from the depths when, deep in our unconscious, a compelling need arises.

Thus, if we pay attention to the archetype, we can deduce the unconscious need that will soon be bursting into conscious awareness, influencing our waking life.

Quick example:

Before I consciously realized I needed to make a dramatic shift in a family relationship, archetypes connected to this relationship’s themes began populating my dreams, indicating that big change was approaching in this area. 

When archetypes appear, we can be certain that elements within us are preparing to mobilize in that direction.

We might not know the specifics at first, but the more we pay attention, the clearer things will become.

(And if we ignore these signs, they’ll start showing up with increasing intensity–and sometimes downright destructiveness–in our waking life.)

And third:

Archetypes unfold in patterns.

Fairy tales are a great example of this. Not only are they populated by archetypal characters, such as the Witch and the Helpful Animal, but the events occur in an archetypal order

For example, a colleague of Jung’s, Marie-Louise von Franz, recognized that whenever helpful animals appear in a fairy tale, if the heroine accepts their aid, she is assured of success. 

In more ordinary terms, when the “helpful animals” of our instincts gift us with guidance, if we know how to honor these messages, we are assured success in our endeavors.

But if we ignore them and rely solely on intellect, we get eaten by the troll.

So in dreams (and waking synchronicity), when an archetype appears, it gives you a potent clue as to what theme of occurrences you’ll be experiencing next…

…and by looking at the context of the dream, you’re given further clues as to how you’re being called to respond. (More on this below.)

For fellow tarot nerds:

Check out the Major Arcana, which is a map of archetypes.

Does one of these figures relate to the archetypes showing up in your dreams? If so, what cards come before and after it? These are clues as to where you’ve been and where you’re headed. 

In my case, Janus is ushering in a period where I need to pay extra attention to where I tend toward “ego splitting”…

…refusing paradox in myself and others, grasping for either/or certainties at the expense of psychic integration. 

And the context in which Janus appeared in my dream gives me additional clues.

For instance, he manifested in relation to food and nourishment and also to seeing what others around me cannot or will not see.

It’s beyond this post to sketch out the particulars of my dream, but based on my journaling, meditation, therapy, and other tools of self-inquiry over the past few months, these clues make sense to me. 

In the same way, you can interpret elements in your dreams…

…that carry a known mythological significance, like Janus (this is where reading myths and fairy tales is a very useful witchy habit, indeed)…

or things that feel numinous to you, personally. These are the dreams that carry a higher-than-usual emotional charge; perhaps they’re harder to wake or disentangle yourself from the next morning, or you find yourself thinking about them at “random” times.

You might also experience daytime synchronicity: meaningful coincidences related to the dream’s theme. 

Pay close attention.

Start journaling these things and any personal associations that come to mind so you can recognize the developing picture. 

Our primary task when archetypes appear…

…is finding a way to personalize them, to translate their collective energy into something useful in human, lived experience.

You aren’t integrating them into your psyche (archetypes are simply too massive and collective for the ego to integrate and stay sane)…

…instead, you’re being called to learn new ways of productively channelling their energy into your life. 

For example, my dreams are not calling me to become Janus, as this would lead to a psychotic break.

But I can answer his invitation to embrace paradox and duality, to see both sides while remaining whole, to cross into new ways of thinking and being by holding multiple truths.

Thus, it will be useful for me to get curious when I’m feeling the urge to create tidy categories of right/wrong, and treat them not as finalities but as thresholds to an expanded reality.

Now, interpret your dreams:

What are the prominent archetypes in your more emotionally charged dreams right now?

What personal associations come to mind when you think about or research these archetypes?

What contextual clues does the dream offer regarding how or in what life areas these energies are influencing you?

What are you feeling called to learn or embrace as you move into this next archetypal phase?

By working with your dreams in this way, you’re opening up to unconscious messaging while it’s still a guiding whisper…

…rather than forcing it to reach a yelling crescendo in waking life in the form of unwanted circumstances and chronic patterns.

This allows you to work with, not against, your inner tides, which naturally seek to balance and support you in all things.

Not only does this make life a helluva lot easier…

…it gifts you with a deeply embodied knowing that your Wise Self, in every moment, has your back.

You’re never alone.

You are guided, you are loved, and the wisdom is always within you.

Archetypal Dream Interpretation (part one)

Last night, I dreamt of Janus…

…odd, because I don’t really work with this deity, and significant because the dream had clear signs of “archetypal numinosity.”

Recognizing when your own dreams indicate that powerful archetypes are afoot is a vital magical skill, because it serves as an omen of your future. 

Janus, due to his rulership of time and liminal spaces, one face focused on the future, is connected to auspicious signs such as these.

In this and my next post, I’ll break down how to recognize and interpret these archetypal dream encounters for yourself…

…and how doing so will integrate your psyche and supercharge your power and magic in waking life.

First things first:

We can think of our psyche as existing on a gradient from conscious to unconscious with infinite shades in between

The more something (a thought, feeling, image, what have you) travels from consciousness toward the unconscious, the more archaic, mythical, and larger-than-life it becomes. 

An example…

We’re seven years old, and dad is taking us out for ice cream as a special treat. 

We’re extra grown up today, because we’ve been allowed to order for ourselves, and we even get to reach up and take our chocolate-dipped cone directly from the server. 

The air just beyond the sliding window is arctic-ly AC, giving us a trippy sensation of reaching into another realm while the rest of our body is firmly planted in sweltering summer. 

And then…we drop it. The cone catches the counter’s edge, leaving a chocolate-y smear before it splops on the concrete. 

The kids waiting in line snicker and whisper, and dad, exasperated, with a sneer of contempt: “Are you serious? Jeee-sus…”

Our face burning as we realize how utterly, hopelessly un-grown up we are–it’s only fitting we’re not getting ice cream today because we’re clearly undeserving.

Okay, so what just happened here?

Well, this is an example of an emotionally charged, formative situation. 

We could pick out any number of “slices” to focus on from this one memory, but let’s choose the high of feeling capable, confident, and grown-up…

…followed by the crash of humiliating failure and helplessness.

If this little slice stays conscious, it can change and adapt over time. We might gain perspective as we mature, seeing that we were just a child, it was purely a mistake, this sort of thing happens to everyone, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.  

But if all or parts of this slice sink into the unconscious, it can form what’s known as a complex…

…drawing to it other associations, like the sound of dad’s voice, the experience of being laughed at, the weird hot-cold sensation as we reached from summertime into ice-cream frigidity, etc.

If any of these elements are activated in daily life…

…we might experience the original wash of humiliation and shame, ranging from mild to intense.

When this happens and we’re not conscious of the underlying complex, we’re temporarily thrown back in time to our seven-year-old skills and maturity, without realizing what’s happening.

Complexes are a topic too…well, complex to fully go into here, but suffice it to say that when complexes get activated, our responses are less conscious and more compulsive.

These are the moments, if we remember them at all, that we might ask ourselves, “What the hell came over me?”

In Jung’s word association tests, where participants offered whatever word came to mind in response to a cue word, when a complex was triggered, people would take longer to respond and they might not have a clear memory of their response later.

In short, complexes can overtake the ego, sometimes for a mere blip of a second, other times longer, and we’re temporarily ousted from the driver’s seat, even though the car is still moving. 

To connect this to archetypes…

All of the complex’s associations orbiting around the original ice cream memory are now also related to an archetype. (The short version: This is because all complexes have an archetypal core.)

Let’s say this particular complex gathered around the Father archetype.

Archetypes are ANCIENT. They’re primordial and they’re collective, meaning, they do not live on an ordinary, individual human scale. 

The archetype of Father is the grand totality of ALL energies related to the concept of Father throughout all time.

If we compared this to an actual, human father, the difference in scale is truly beyond comprehension. 

Due to this complex, we now have a massive, archetypal conduit plugged into a personal memory…

…and when something triggers this memory, consciously or unconsciously, it can potentially release larger-than-life levels of energy. 

The more unconscious this memory becomes, the more our human father’s contemptuous tone of voice takes on epic proportions…

…potentially shapeshifting into an unconscious soundtrack, lurking in judgment of our every move.

In tomorrow’s post, we’ll look at how this shows up in daily life (trust me, you’ll be able to recognize how often this happens as soon as you read this)…

…and how spotting it allows you to see your future in your dreams.

Stay tuned.

Scorpio Full Moon Ritual

As a Scorpio Moon myself, I know all too well the emotional, er, intensity this sign can bring. 

But it also reveals insight-rich pathways to our shadow side…

…helping us identify where and how we’re being called to cut ties with the shit that drains us dry.

Fear of missing out can be a toxic magnetic charge…

…compelling us to stick around for things that have long overstayed their welcome. 

Whether it’s relationship patterns that leave your energy feeling like a wrung-out sponge,

money stressors that make it hard to think about much else,

or anything that no longer serves you…

…the Scorpio Full Moon provides an energetic boost to do what I like to call quitting cleanly.

When we’re stuck in a loop, chasing all the things we think we should be doing…

…it’s hard to have the clarity or energy to truly devote ourselves to our soul’s calling. 

And this, in turn, results in our efforts not having anywhere near the impact we’d like.

We’ll feel as if our wheels are spinning as we dabble in this or that, never really sure how to create inspired, forward-moving traction. 

To shift this, we need to get clear on what we’re not choosing to do. 

Think of this like a powerful energetic pruning.

When we have a dozen options simmering on the back burner, our stove ends up looking like a hot mess, and this can manifest as:

Having loads of ideas but little clarity on where to start

Insufficient energy to see projects through to completion

Ending every day feeling like we barely scratched the surface of our to-do list

Struggling with envy towards people who appear to be living the life we want

The Scorpio Moon Ritual

On this Scorpio Full Moon, grab a sheet of paper and do something to mark the occasion:

Light some incense or a candle, cast a witch’s circle, ring a bell–whatever works best for you. 

Center yourself with a few rounds of slow, steady breaths, feeling yourself coming more fully into your body.

Now, list on your paper all of the things hanging over your head in an amorphous cloud of options…

…all the things that you could do, maybe, someday, you just don’t seem to have the time or money or whatever for them right now.

If there’s anything you’ve been trying to “should” yourself into doing, but you just can’t seem to start (or finish), add it to your list. 

As you write, you might notice areas in your body where this tangled up, constricted energy has been stored, perhaps a clenching in your jaw or a gripping in your belly.

Simply notice these areas with gentle curiosity and send a little breath there.

When your list feels complete, close your eyes, and take a few moments to connect inward. Then, thank all of these options for existing, expressing gratitude that they’ve inspired desire and passion. 

And now, it’s time to say goodbye. 

If you’re already feeling separation anxiety, know this:

You are not cutting these things out of your life forever and ever. You’re simply releasing them for now, freeing stagnant energy so it can return to your life in new, more relevant ways.

Gently open your eyes and read each item on your list with a farewell. 

“Thank you and goodbye, videography class.” 

“Thank you and goodbye, guilt over not wanting to be friends with Zane anymore.”

“Thank you and goodbye, community coalition position.”

You can burn the paper if you have a means to do so safely, or tear it into tiny shreds and flush it down the toilet or put it in the recycling bin.

Then, close your eyes once more and feel the Scorpio Full Moon bathing you in its energy, dissolving any energetic cords and attachments to things that no longer serve. 

I sometimes receive a vision of Scorpion deftly severing energetic ties as it moves, 360-degrees, around my aura. 

When the experience feels complete, intend that your energy returns to a state that is correct and good for you. Thank the Moon and Scorpion for their power and guidance. 

Following this ritual, pay attention to + journal insights that arise regarding follow-up actions you need to take. 

For example, you might receive guidance for your community coalition resignation email/call, or suddenly see how to exit your friendship with Zane in a way that is emotionally clear and kind to both of you. 

It’s important to take these actions in order to maintain your newly clarified + balanced energy…

…and don’t be afraid to ask for help–from the Moon, Scorpion, your Wise Self, any guides you work with, or the other humans in your life! 

There’s no need to walk this path alone, dear witch. You are supported in every moment by forces seen and unseen, and you have only to ask. 

Saying goodbye to what no longer serves is a radical act, communicating to your entire being: “I am worthy of care and love.”

The more you adopt this inner stance of self-care:

the more clear your next steps will be,

the more energy you’ll have to take them,

and the greater your impact will be.

Happy Scorpio Moon!