Category Archives: tarot

Shuffling the Deck: Your Foolish Ways

Is he simple and a dumbling or is he really, really, quite wise? When she finally takes the leap will she fall on her face or discover that she has wings? And what of the relationship between what the world expects us to think/do/say and what we know, in our hearts to be true?


The Fool in the Ride Waite Smith Tarot Deck.

Now the tom cat was the master of the house, and the hen was mistress, and they always said, “We and the world,” for they believed themselves to be half the world, and the better half too. The duckling thought that others might hold a different opinion on the subject, but the hen would not listen to such doubts. “Can you lay eggs?” she asked. “No.” “Then have the goodness to hold your tongue.” “Can you raise your back, or purr, or throw out sparks?” said the tom cat. “No.”

“Then you have no right to express an opinion when sensible people are speaking.” So the duckling sat in a corner, feeling very low spirited, till the sunshine and the fresh air came into the room through the open door, and then he began to feel such a great longing for a swim on the water, that he could not help telling the hen.

“What an absurd idea,” said the hen. “You have nothing else to do, therefore you have foolish fancies. If you could purr or lay eggs, they would pass away.”

“But it is so delightful to swim about on the water,” said the duckling, “and so refreshing to feel it close over your head, while you dive down to the bottom.”

“Delightful, indeed!” said the hen, “why you must be crazy! Ask the cat, he is the cleverest animal I know, ask him how he would like to swim about on the water, or to dive under it, for I will not speak of my own opinion; ask our mistress, the old woman—there is no one in the world more clever than she is. Do you think she would like to swim, or to let the water close over her head?”

“You don’t understand me,” said the duckling. –From the Ugly Duckling



The Fool from the Wild Unknown Tarot Deck

Card: The Fool
Number: 0
Planetary Ruler: Uranus
Zodiac sign: Aquarius
Season: Spring
The Fool begins the journey into the Tarot. Though he is associated with beginnings it may be better to think of him as a radical revisionist. He has already done some traveling as evidenced by his handy pack–full of tools of his trade and a few essentials for the road. He has seen various paths and ways of being but he is looking for something deeper, something magical and ripe with meaning. But like all aspects of the other world, following intuition can lead to truth or illusion and so the Fool must watch both heaven and earth allowing the practical to intermingle with the more abstract and obscure.


* New Beginnings and Endings
* Foolish behavior, lack of awareness
* Faith and Devotion
* Risk and Reward
* Wisdom

In the beginning there was nothing, only void and in the beginning we have nothing…or so it may seem. Rarely is there a time when an individual says to himself “yes, now is the time and the day that I will go and seek out my deep well of inner knowing., Now is the best time to pursue my dreams” No, no. More often than not life pushes us–through emotional travail, practical circumstance, or shattering revelation to go out on a journey looking for Lord only knows what. This initial step is what the Fool demonstrates and guides us in. For we all begin as fools when we search out and seek towards our deepest sense of knowing and acting.

In most Tarot decks the Fool card is labeled zero and many remark on the tabula rasa nature of the fool, on the fact that zero is equated to the cosmic egg, that the card in a way is a kind of birthing. These observations hold truth in them but I think there is more to the story. Many of us today have experiences in life where we would rightly say that we started not at zero but in the negatives. Perhaps day in, day out circumstance weighed against us or we lost ourselves to ourselves through one bad decision after the other, when the Fool shows up her presence indicates that in some way and to some degree healing and foreknowledge has already begun to take root–for we are not in the negatives-we are at zero and we are ready to set forth.

In literature, myth and story there are different kinds of fools. There is the foolish fool, the wise fool, and the holy fool. There are the Trickster Gods who are the fools’ boon companions, guides, and in some cases challengers all rolled into one black feathered raven or scatter-furred Coyote. But there is one thing that all of these fools have in common, one demand that they make of us no matter what kind of fool we may be-we must be willing to be ridiculous, to embrace the absurd.

Ridiculous, absurd, and hilarious behavior puts us right up close and personal with our pride, ego, and most essential of all concern with what everyone else thinks. The Fool is the right first step for any journey that takes us into our interior, any work that is determined to unearth the deep well of intuition because the first step is a turning away from “what the world thinks” and that is why the Fool shows us his back and not his front. He has by hook or crook turned away from the blathering on of the exterior world…for now. The Fool is, interestingly enough, concerned with knowledge but it is knowledge of the self he seeks out. He is seeking a different voice, one that is carried on the wind and sniffed out in woodsmoke, one that resides in just the right harmony, and in the wind that blows around our deep well of knowing.

In a reading: The natural expression of the Fool in our outer life looks different for different people but it often manifests as the individual turning their back–figuratively or literally–on that which no longer serves, takes up space for the sake of taking up space and wastes time.

When the Fool/ess comes into your life you can bet that s/he is going to turn it upside down and inside out-willy nilly. The Fool is not gradual change–there is little that appears to be reasoned or rational about her, she is after all a Fool. The Fool is fast and sudden change. It is the financier who after working 100 hour weeks for eight years decides to quit their job and follow their life long passion of photography. It is the artisan who leaves the big city that never had a place for her and chooses to homestead in the mountains with her partner. It is the mom who chooses to homeschool her children-other people’s opinions be damned, and it is the boyfriend who wakes up and realizes his life will never be the same without his mate…and ask for their hand in marriage.

These are all examples of Fool energy in action. Just as there is nothing gradual about the Fool there is also nothing done without order-although it may not be apparent at the time. The Fool always, always, always initiates a journey. When the Fool shows up he crooks his finger and says-come away with me. The journey need not be physically articulated-though it often is-because it is a journey into the interior realms, into the mountains and valleys of our soul selves-that is why the back is turned.



Sacred Journal Prompt: Where is the Fool in your life? What journey does he invite you take?

Build an Altar: To represent your understand of Faith, Belief, and Inner Wisdom.

Try Something New: the Fool likes journeys and beginnings, try one thing you have never tried before to honor your own Fool/ess.


Shuffling the Deck: The Devil You Know

The Devil is such a compelling figure and one to consider from so many angles. In the Tarot he surprises us by showing up right after the stabilizing force of the Temperance card. Let’s find out what this particular tarot teacher has to say.


Card: The Devil
Number: 15
Planetary Ruler: Pluto/Saturn
Zodiac sign: Capricorn
Season: Late Winter
We have just come through Death and found a place of balance and revivification with the Temperance card. Just as we think we are making some progress, Old Scratch shows up to cause mischief and mayhem…or does he?


* Slavery and Bondage
* Addictive Behaviors and Chronic Negative Thought Patterns
* Love of the Wild
* Rebellion
* Obsessions and Compulsions

In the Tanakh (The Hebrew Bible or what Christians call the “old testament”), the term Satan is almost always accompanied by the definite article “the.” As a result, some translators believe that the term refers to a function as opposed to a specific being. This function of “the Satan” is perhaps best illustrated in the Book of Job where he is described simply as “the adversary.” In Christian contexts Satan becomes the Devil. The word is derived from the ancient Greek diabolos which literally means “to slander” or “the slanderer.”

First and foremost, we see from the Jewish and Christian contexts of the terms Satan and Devil, that the function of the Devil is that of a challenger or adversary. This aspect is carried over into folklore where characters like “Old Scratch” show up to create mischief and mayhem and figures like Krampus-a pre-Christian German figure especially active during the holidays–is the foil to “Good St. Nicholas.” Whereas St. Nick awards children who have been good, Krampus punishes those who have been bad. The image that we see emerging from these depictions is a figure whose job is to exploit us in the areas where we are most weak. Some believe that the Devil does this because he is inherently evil, but others find that we prove our worth and mettle by facing temptation head on and acknowledging where we may be enslaved; enslaved to bad relationships, addictive behaviors, or simply chronic thought patterns that will not subside.

Capricorn, the astrological sign that is affiliated with the Devil card, gives us another aspect to consider. Capricorn and the Devil share the ruling planet of Saturn. In astrology, Saturn is often conceived as a planet dictating discipline, restriction, and a rigid adherence to one’s strict ethical and moral code. In Greek myth, Saturn is Kronos, the God of Time who continually procreates only to devour his children in fear that his throne may be usurped. The Devil is also the Horned Goat associated with Pagan Gods like Pan and Cerrunos–the Celtic Lord of the Animals. In this guise the Devil is viewed as a Christian overlay on a pre-Christian Deity who symbolized wild lands, wild behavior, and protections of and for the wild.

In the RWS version of the card we see a horned figure with the torso of a man and the shaggy, furred legs of a goat. This image is the traditional Satyr image of half man/half goat we see associated with the Devil throughout the Western world. An inverted pentagram rests between the Devil’s horns. The pentagram was first popularized by metaphysical and mathematical teacher Pythagoras and has many mysteries associated with it. Far from a symbol of evil, the pentagram right side up actually connotes adherence to the four cardinal virtues and high esteem for the immortal soul. In it’s inverted position, the pentagram indicates a disdain for these trappings of religion and civilization. At the feet of the Devil are two figures who look familiar to us because we first met them in card #6–The Lovers. In this card, however, our prototypical Adam and Eve have sprouted their own horns and, most alarmingly of all, they are chained to the great beast’s throne. When we look closely at the chains, however, we see that the collars around both the man and the women are large and spacious and easy enough to slip right on out of. This gives us the clue that the Devil is actually a challenge for us–to examine what chains bind us, name them, and then free ourselves of them once and for all.

When it shows up in a reading, this card usually indicates that something is binding you right now. It is your job to figure out what that is and do something to free yourself. It may also indicate that an addiction you have had up to this point and believed you could handle on your own is getting the better of you. It is time to seek out help. In some cases, this card encourages you to never underestimate the person(s) who challenge you most. For others, this card is a clarion cry to rebel against an unjust system and often indicates a “return to nature” or a romanticization of all that is wild, free, and unfettered by man-made civilization.


Sacred Journal Prompt: Is there a Devil in your life right now? Who or what is your own personal adversary? What are the chains that are binding you and how might you go about setting yourself free?

Build an Altar: Depending on what the Devil card says to you, you can create an altar that is meant for banishing work.  Put items on the altar that you wish to be free of–overloaded credit cards, cigarettes, liquor, that abusive friendship–and then take practical steps to let them go. Place this altar in the West and work at it as the sun sets in the sky.

Honor the Wild: If the Devil is not posing as an adversary to you right now then perhaps he is reminding you of what is wild, free, and unfettered. What in your own life is wild? Does something need to be unchained a bit more? Take a walk in the woods and consider these questions.


Optimize your Omens

Faerie Godmother by Brian Froud

I wrote in Christmas 2012 about paying attention to the 12 days after Christmas–also known as Omen Days–but this is a quick reminder to do it! This is a wonderful and fun practice to participate in that leads to an increased awareness you can bring with your throughout the new year!

The Omen Days are an ancient practice around the ecclesiastical celebration of Epiphany. They were popularly known as the 12 days of Christmas and during each day one was encouraged to pay special attention to signs and omens around them in the belief that what they perceived would be a good indicator for their next year.

Begin the process on December 26th which corresponds to January 2014, continue through January 6th which corresponds to December 2014. You can do this in as spontaneous or deliberate manner as you like. Last year I simply paid close attention to what was happening around me and kept a log. But you could also pull a tarot or oracle card or work with another divination device of your choosing to get a more streamlined message. Keeping some sort of written record is obviously useful because you may not remember what your omen for January 6th was by the time you hit December 2014.

Many Branches: Going Bright with Candlesmoke Chapel

Candlesmoke Chapel is a husband and wife collaboration dedicated to crafting high quality magical and spiritual goods. We’ve been crafting our own supplies for years and are proud to offer our products and services to others. Our work and studies include traditional witchcraft, hoodoo, genealogy, folklore, and herb lore. We are always working to better our own lives and are committed to helping others achieve their desires through the use of magical and spiritual practices.


1.) Candlesmoke Chapel fills many different roles, but one of the things that you two do beautifully is create homemade spiritual supplies–how did you get started in this work?

Both of us have been interested in and studied various paths and traditions our whole lives. After many years of learning and practicing, we found ourselves drawn to the principles behind conjure and rootwork. This became a jumping off point for us, so while we don’t practice conjure and rootwork exclusively, we find that the tangible aspects of working with candles, roots, herbs, oils, incense and washes speaks to us. We believe that having these items to physically work with helps to focus one’s intent and purpose.

In working with these types of items, we’ve been in and out of every botanica and occult shop we’ve come across. Even though there seems to be lots of options out there, we weren’t always satisfied with the quality and the general feeling behind most of the products we found. So we decided to make spiritual supplies for our own personal work, and quickly found that they were powerful and effective. We started giving items to friends as gifts and doing work for people we knew for free. The feedback we received was awesome and we’ve just kept growing!

2.) You also offer readings through Candlesmoke Chapel–what is your favorite subject to read on and what question would you like to never be asked again?

We’re going to answer this question separately because we each do different types of readings…

Joseph – I read with the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot and my favorite kind of readings are open-ended, general questions. I love it when the client just says, “tell me what you see.” This gives me the opportunity to really open up to the cards and the client’s energy and look at any and all possibilities. I really enjoy all the readings I do, but if I had to pick I’d say the most difficult readings are the third or fourth go-around on the same issue; when the client doesn’t like the answer they got the first couple of times and they keep wanting another reading to see if something different will present itself. These are difficult because I know they’re unhappy with their situation, but I won’t just tell them what they want to hear.

Sara – I read with the Animal Medicine Cards and my favorite kind of readings are about how people can move forward with something in their life. I love questions about feeling stuck in some way and guiding the client to the animal spirits and energies that they can learn from and call upon to bring themselves up to the place they want to be. I love helping people see the connections between other living creatures and themselves and watching that “aha” moment when the client sees how it all comes together. Like Joseph, I enjoy all the readings I do but, due to the nature of the cards I use, the most difficult question I get is “tell me what my spirit animal is.” People are usually asking this question without a real understanding of what that means and they’re typically not interested in doing the inner work necessary to discover this themselves. It can be challenging to explain to someone who doesn’t want to look within themselves that no one can tell you what your spirit animal(s) is/are.

3.) Talk to us about bottle spells–how do they work and what you do guys love about them?

We love bottles spells and especially sugar jars! The idea behind any type of bottle or container spell is to create a magical battery. You’re creating a small space that is super-concentrated with ingredients suited to your purpose. Immersed in that super-concentrated space is a paper with your desire written on it, your handwriting on the paper adding more power to the purpose of the container. Add some personal concerns, like a strand of hair, and this can be some powerful stuff! We create the jar for your purpose, you add your written paper and personal concerns and we provide you with instructions on how to work the Sweetening Jar on your own.

There are tons of different types of bottle spells and we focus on Sweetening Jars, specifically sugar jars. They can be made with many different kinds of sweeteners, but our preference is for sugar because it tends to manifest movement in a situation more quickly than something like honey. There’s also a physicality involved with shaking a sugar jar – seeing the magical ingredients tossing about; hearing the sound it makes and getting into a rhythm like a musical instrument. Our Sweetening Jars currently focus on romantic love situations, but we’ve done custom jars to help create a peaceful home and to help draw more clients to a business. There are lots of situations that can use a little sugar!

4.) You are a married couple doing awesome work together-are there any particular challenges or benefits that you find in working together on all your different projects?

One of the biggest benefits for us is that we’re passionate about the same thing. We’ve seen lots of situations where one person can’t be very open about what they’re doing, or even has to hide it, because their significant other doesn’t get it or isn’t into it. Yes, we’re a married couple, but we’re also best friends – and who doesn’t love hanging out with their best friend! There’s also two sets of eyes on everything we make. It’s invaluable to have someone else that you trust to smell, touch and test a new creation; it’s the in-house quality control department. Luckily, we have a very honest relationship so the quality control department takes no BS! We openly and honestly give each other our feedback without worry of hurting any feelings. The best benefit is getting to collaborate; we love putting our minds together to develop new products and services. Even though we’re walking this path together, we each have differing sets of knowledge and our own ways of looking at things. If one of us doesn’t know something or can’t figure something out, the other one can almost always find the solution. The only real challenge for us is arguing over who gets to use the big work table and who has to clean up!

5.) If you could give one piece of wisdom to my readers today, what would it be?

Trust yourself. Completely block out what anyone else thinks and do what you feel called to do. Keep doing what you feel passionate about and practicing what you believe in because it will shine through in everything you do. Not only have we learned this lesson in our own work, we also run into these issues with our clients. This advice is not just for someone following a path in life, but also for those who are working to change a situation. It’s not just about big-picture, life-choice questions and even applies to the little things. After you get a reading, or use a product, trust yourself. Block out all the extraneous stuff and do what you feel called to do. Practice what you believe in and the right path will appear.

Find them on the World Wide Web:

What I’m Loving Right Now

Just in time for the Holidays–because I am good to you that way–a little list of what I love right now…

Covering my (Legal) Ass with Small Business Bodyguard-I invested in this program on the recommendation of my dear Tarot Compadre Theresa Reed and I am so glad that I did. In fact I liked it so much I affiliated with them too. I actually like reading legalese but this program is made for people who cringe at the thought. It is also made for YOU if you do any kind of business on or off line and have not (yet, right?) made the time to consult with an actual, you know, lawyer. Small Business Bodyguard is so worth it because of all the Kevin Costner references the amazing legal orientation it provides and because of the excellent forms and templates that would cost thousands in legal fees if you chose to have a lawyer draft them up. I think this program really speaks for itself but because many of my friends work in the Sacred Arts/Metaphysical Industry it is EVEN MORE ESSENTIAL to have it on hand. And if you buy today, on Cyber Monday you save some serious coinage. Click here for the deets-you are welcome.


The fact that Free People’s Blog is talking about Tarot and that Tarot made a Vogue gift list–we are coming out of the shadows my friends!


The Wild Unknown Tarot–I continue to fall in deeper love with these cards every day!


Goodies from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab-anything, everything.


Spiritual Swag from Candlesmoke Chapel-because Joe and Sara know what they are about.


Heidi Rose Robbins’ glorious new book.


Lotus Wei–gorgeous site! Magical work! I’m in!


Jewels from Sapna Mehra, because every lady needs a little sparkle!


Subscriptions to Mystic Medusa-she is just a phenom when it comes to the Stars and Celestial bodies.


Joanna Powell Colbert’s new book A Crown of Candles


The Miracles, Magic, and Mojo Telesummit-which is FREE!


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Shuffling the Deck: Temperance

Hello loves! Many of you have asked for MORE! of the Shuffling the Deck tarot posts. Today’s card is Temperance.

Card: Temperance
Number: 14
Planetary Ruler: Jupiter
Zodiac sign: Sagittarius
Season: Early Winter, Winter Solstice, Yule and Christmas

After the loss, deprivation, and underworld adventures we experience with Death, the Angel in the Temperance card encourages us to find a new balancing point, to recognize that light is present even in the darkest nights, and to (re)embrace the possibility of birth and rebirth.


  • Finding a point of peace+equilibrium
  • Prudence, wisdom, and self-restraint
  • Reciprocity, especially in nourishment and love
  • Discovering how opposites can work together
  • Pregnancy–metaphorical or literal


Temperance is one of the core classical virtues. The word temperance in English is a translation of the Greek word sophrosune which is also translated as moderation or prudence. Interestingly, in Greek Tragedy sophrosune is often invoked and this is important because of the Temperance card’s placement in the deck between Death and the Devil. We might say that it is by treading the path of Temperance that one can successfully navigate between such harsh extremes.

Sagittarius, the sign that rules subjects like religion and philosophy is an appropriate representative of this card with its focus on classical ideals like wisdom and moderation as well as the spiritual theme of being “tempered” or tested. Appropriately enough when the card comes up it can indicate a new or renewed interest in learning-especially learning about philosophical and/or religious subjects.

There is little agreement on which Angel is depicted on the Temperance card or what it represents, but I was taught that the figure is the Angel Gabriel, the messenger–one of the four archangels who was responsible for letting both Sarah and Mary know that they had conceived special children. Some sources believe that the Angel Gabriel is actually a more recent incarnation of an ancient fertility Goddess. As a result the Temperance card-amid all its moderation and, in some cases, recommendations of sexual abstinence-can also indicate pregnancy and children.

Temperance is one of the Major Arcana cards that I find many people have a more difficult time understanding. I see the card as a moment of pause, a breath of renewal that comes on the heels of Death, the first step on one’s own underworld adventure when we stand at a sort of crossroads and decide to take the path that leads to greater spiritual awakening…or not.

This card indicates that a major choice will be made and that as transformation is occurring within, the outer world relationships one has should be supportive and balanced. It’s also interesting to note that the Temperance card coincides with one of the biggest festivals of the year-the Winter Solstice or return of the light. Why such a constrained card for a major time of festivity? Temperance does not mean no fun…temperance means gauging your behavior so that you have maximum fun!


Ask yourself what kind of relationship you have to virtues like moderation, temperance, and prudence :: I recommend you do this during the New Moon, preferably when it is in the sign of Sagittarius. A lot of people today feel like these old virtues are stuffy and limiting but vibrant Pagan societies developed around them–so take a deeper look at them.

Work with Archangels, especially Archangel Gabriel :: What messages does this celestial being have to give you? Create an altar for Archangel Gabriel or write a petition invoking his aid.

Create a Symbol :: to honor your own spiritual journey and the alchemical changes that are taking place within you. Alchemists of old used symbols to designate the elements they worked with as well as the philosophical ideals they sought out and were guided by. Create your own symbol that speaks to where you are and perhaps where you are headed.


Want more? One of the best ways to get a feel for a specific card is to look at different visual interpretations of it. Head over to my Temperance Board on Pinterest and feast your eyes!

Reclaiming the word “Psychic”

It seems that these days everyone is reclaiming something. There are reclaimed wooden tables for your dining room, reclaimed houses, and even a magical tradition called reclaiming!


I guess its time to throw my tiara into the ring. I have something I would like to reclaim too–the word “psychic”.


When most people think of a psychic they think of a gussied-up lady with heavy black eyeliner and lots of jewelry; a performer who works off a set script taking money from the gullible (never mind that I know many costumed readers who are actually damn good at their work!) OR they think of a figure with bad hair, always shot through vaseline-coated camera lenses, who makes the rounds on daytime t.v.



As it turns out, the word psychic has only been in use since the 19th century. Camille Flammarion is credited with first using it in french. Shortly thereafter, a fellow named Edward William Cox brought its use into English. It’s likely that both Camille and Edward were well-educated in the old-school classical tradition and that they knew that the root of the word psychic was the Greek psuke or psyke, which means soul.


That’s right: SOUL.


About as far from bad t.v. and phony stage names as you can get, right?


For a long time, I eschewed the word psychic. I touched on the reasons why I avoided its use in this article I wrote regarding Sylvia Browne’s recent misstep. Ever since writing that piece I have been like the princess in the fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea. No matter how many awesome cushions I have, there is this tiny, irritating pebble that I can’t ignore.


So…I’m not beating, I’m not joining, I am re-framing: A psychic is a consultant on and for the soul and soul matters. We may also think of her as a midwife for the Spirit-like the ancient Oracle at Delphi, the Pythia: Priestess of Apollo who illuminated the intellect of no one less than Socrates.


Say it with me loud and proud: psychic.

So my loves…what word do you need to reclaim today?

What does it currently mean and how do you wanna change it?

Tell me on FB or Tweet it out!


Saturday Round Up!


It’s time to bust out the first Saturday Round Up! What is happening in the Bri-verse?

For those of you who want to know, here it is:


What+Who I am loving:

Theresa Reed+Joanna Powell Colbert totally rock. You can listen to us jam on magic making and community building right here.

Pixie Campbell was the featured artist for the August Prayers and Poems series–if you need some prettiness to behold check it out. Pixie also has a fantastic course coming up on women and money. I know it will rock!

School has started! My love is back in school and the kidlet is also back in his half day of school. In honor of my boys (and all of you who are hankering for academic success this year) I posted my top 10 fave herbs+curios for Academic Awesomeness.


What I am reading

The Wild Unknown Tarot deck is my deck for the Autumn. I liked it, then I loved it, and now…I’m kinda obsessed with it.

The Golem and the Jinni. The fantastic Midori Snyder turned me onto this book with her post on it. I devoured it in a week–a rather busy week if I do say so myself.

Mystic Medusa’s Bitchcraft. Excellent and muy affordable e-book on Dark Moon Lilith mojo.

Religion and the Decline of Magic-very good, a bit dry and scholarly but I like that sometimes.


What I am making

Awesome free stuff for all of you…’twill be revealed around my birthday…which is in October so you just have to wait.


That’s it loves! Have a brilliant weekend. Go forth and conquer!






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Many Branches: Beth Owl’s Daughter

So one of the things that I really do love about the web is how it has allowed me to connect to people that I would not have encountered otherwise and Beth Owl’s Daughter falls into that category. I LOVE her! We have been in some of the same social circles because we are both tarot readers but we really hit it off when I wrote an article about the Sylvia Brown episode and Beth graciously posted it at her very popular blog. From then on I knew I had found a kindred spirit in Beth Owl’s Daughter-even though we live far apart, and even though our busy schedules do not allow us to connect that often, we wave to each other through social media and I know that she stands with several other gifted intuitives as an example of what our field can be if we are willing to work with honesty and integrity! 


In her own words: 

For over four decades, Beth Owl’s Daughter has been a mystic, seer, and spiritual guide in the non-ordinary realms.  A trained Priestess and intuitive, she devotes her life to sharing her gifts with thousands of clients worldwide. Her lifelong passion has been working with the Tarot–an art she has been practicing since 1972.

Beth is…

* a master level Tarotist. She is a member of several organizations that promote and set guidelines for ethical Tarot practice.

* an internationally respected reader, teacher, writer, and leader in the professional Tarot community.  She has published hundreds of articles, reviews, and columns about the Tarot both in print and online. She has been featured in many radio interviews and podcasts and  her blog and newsletter have received numerous awards.

* a former officer on the Board of Directors for Cherry Hill Seminary, the world’s first and only graduate-level educational institution for Pagan clergy.

* the founder and organizer of one of the world’s largest, oldest, and most successful Tarot social groups (the Triangle Tarot and Friends Meetup).

Beth Owl’s Daughter is also an ordained interdenominational minister, an Usui Reiki healer, and she practices the Craft with deep roots in the Reclaiming and Faery traditions.  She lives in a little cottage in the woods of northern Durham County, NC with her husband John, their cat, and countless spirit allies.

These days, having completed her second Saturn return, she is deepening her magical practice, and doing more teaching and writing.


You can find Beth on the World Wide Web at the following hot spots!

Her awesome website!




1.) So, everyone probably asks you about your name, and I was reading about your name on your site. One of the features pointed out about owls is that they form a “Link between the dark, unseen world and the world of light” and I LOVE this idea. How does this resonate with your own work–do you form a link yourself, do you illuminate links that are already there?

Oh, what a fun, insightful question!  Thank you!

What this means to me is also expressed beautifully by the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, when he said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

Mainly, I think I am a seer of patterns, which is why I love the Tarot, since it is a symbolic pattern language.  With Tarot, and my other ways of knowing, I can see how patterns of behavior, thought, and habits act like engines in the subterranean realms in our consciousness. They can drive unhappy choices, self-sabotage, and other distortions that bring suffering.  Until they are recognized, they can seem like forces beyond our control or even understanding.

I do feel that at times, I am just helping show what is already there.  Other times, I experience that healing and transformation moves through me coming straight from Mystery.  So I guess the answer to your question is I am honored to do both.

2.) Your tagline is: practical wisdom for extraordinary living–can you talk a little bit about how arts like tarot reading and magic can lead to practical wisdom? 

I don’t know if I can talk a little about this. I can, however, talk on, and on, and on about it!

But attempting to be brief, I think that Tarot has gotten a bad rap as being only for gullible cloud cuckoo-land woo-woos.  While I do use the cards in mystical and esoteric ways, I also see Tarot as an instant, intimate kind of personal Google.

The Tarot can be an instant, truth-telling tool any time you need help on your creative projects, understanding relationships, working through life passages, when you need support for healing – just about anything.  It can especially help us get clarity and perspective when making choices, even in the most everyday situations.

For instance, I love to consult the cards when I am writing and get stuck.

The first time I tried this was about thirty years ago.  I was writing a short story and couldn’t decide which way the plot ought to go. I got the bright idea of doing a reading to ask.

Surprise!  I got everything I needed and more!  The court cards told me about the dynamics of the characters in ways I had not considered; a couple of Major Arcana cards revealed huge insights about their motivations; and the pips offered a much better story arc than the one I’d planned.

Looking back, it seems so obvious, but at the time, it was jaw-dropping to me. Since then, of course, my fabulous Tarot colleague, Corrine Kenner, has written the ultimate book about using the Tarot as a writer’s tool, Tarot for Writers.

After that epiphany, I began exploring the most mundane questions about my work projects, vacation plans, and so on. I don’t recommend becoming dependent on the Tarot for every single decision in your life, but I also think that we have only just begun to discover the many pragmatic ways it can help us live on a bigger, more empowered, and joyful level.

3.) You are a tarot reader like myself–what is one thing about the work of tarot reading you wish more people understood or were exposed to?

Please don’t ask me to tell you what will happen.  “Will he ask me to marry him?” “Will I get the job?” “Will my house sell? And when?”  “How soon before my daughter moves out?”

These are typical questions and I absolutely do understand our very human desire to wish we knew all the answers in advance. But that is not how the Tarot works, because that is not how life works.

Tarot tells the truth. And the truth is, there is not some immutable destination called “the future,” that we are all just passively riding towards.  This is not a movie and we are not following a preordained script.

Yes, there are some readers who offer predictive readings, but even they will remind you (if they are ethical readers, that is), nothing is carved in stone – your free will to choose is always an option.

Other than our mortality, we can change just about anything. I just can’t buy that we are stuck on some conveyor belt of time heading into one fated event after another.

So my approach is to encourage questions that bring us clarity and understanding about the underlying relationships, perspectives, assumptions, and choices that are currently at work in our lives. The better we can see those, the better we can anticipate and shape the experiences that we actually want.

The closest thing to any correct answer about what will happen is another question: “What do you want to have happen?”

Knowing and naming your heart’s desire is true north and the Tarot is a compass.

4.) Tell me about the Tarot Boutiques–they sound amazing!

Oh Bri – they really are! We are having so much fun with these!

As you may know, I have been teaching introductory Tarot classes for many years and also leading our Raleigh-Durham Meetup, where we’ve had lots of study programs taught by myself and our other members.

But I have wanted to offer something more advanced, intimate, and even experimental.  My home is the ideal place, because it has a very peaceful, magical vibe that I love to share.

Since January, once a month, I have been facilitating tiny “boutique” workshops that appeal to the “discerning Tarot connoisseur.” Each workshop is designed to focus on one specialty topic that can add sparkle to your personal or professional practice.

We have played dress-up, embodying the Tarot Soul Cards; we have gone on guided meditations; we have investigated how to create spreads and how to ask questions, and much more. And all with tasty snacks, lol!

Upcoming classes include working with Valerie Sim’s “Comp Tarot” method of comparing answers from different decks; creating and using a Tarot journal to boost your knowledge; Tarot as Muse (for writers, yes, but all kinds of creative pursuits); the use of herbal magic in association with the Tarot; and a mini-series about going pro.

Really, the possibilities are infinite, especially with my participants also adding their suggestions.  One afternoon a month, geeking out on Tarot in a kaleidoscope of ways – what could be better?

5.) If you could give one piece of wisdom to my readers today, what would it be?

I believe we are living in a time when it is crucial for every one of us to find our gifts and get involved. We no longer have the luxury of playing small, or hiding out behind our petty dramas. Find your vast underground pool of courage and step up!

Each person reading this has powerful intuitive wisdom, and has the ability to make vastly important changes in a world that is in desperate need. Those changes may look small, but we never know which small action will be the tipping point that makes all the difference in the end.

Whether it is the Tarot, or runes, or healing, or simply cultivating more enlightenment and love – now is the time we were born for.  Keep asking questions, dare to peek behind the curtain of consensual reality.  You are so much more powerful than you might have thought, and our world is far more mysterious, aware, and divine than we’ve been led to believe.

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Encounters with AIRR: Auntie Sindy Todo

 Auntie Sindy is one of the founding members of AIRR and I have been blessed to call her colleague and friend for several years. There are so many things I love about Sindy including her spicy, Southern inspired, approach to all life issues and her keen discernment–this is one worker who will tell you when and where the practical met the magical! She has the ability to conjure up serious prosperity work–no doubt helped by the fact that she is also an accountant. When you need to get the balance sheet of your life in order, Auntie Sindy is the lady to see!

In her own words

Born and raised on the Texas-Louisiana gulf coast and a true Southern Rootworker, my Cajun/Louisiana ancestral gumbo is fully reflected in my conjure and is representative of the blend of cultures found there. I am a conjurer, spiritual coach, energy worker, healer, intuitive, and card & bone reader.

I also serve as a Spiritual Bridge between realms. My gifts are ancestral and passed down to me from my Cajun and Lebanese Grandmothers. An art major in college, and then a motivated manager, I have always been in service to people in every career I’ve ever had from food and beverage to antiques and chocolate. I moved to Seattle, Washington in 1986 to reunite with my beloved and was tapped by Spirit to hone my professional Rootwork shortly thereafter. Through my business, Todomojo, I am honored to work with individuals from around the world. Blessed with a knack for creativity, my specialties include petition and altar work, as well as fashioning a beautiful line of conjure art pieces that I custom design for various types of spell work. I engage daily with my ancestors and frequently receive guidance in dreams and meditation when working and praying for my clients.

In addition to my magical business affiliations, for 14 years in the mundane world I have owned a unique management coaching and accounting business that specializes in working with creative entrepreneurs. My diverse clients include a film editor, documentary director and producer, natural pet food manufacturer, vacation rental property manager, user experience web designer, graphic design firm, and a fabulously successful retail sex shop. I am a partner-member in Conjure Crossroads LLC, which is a collaboration of skilled conjure workers that annually sponsors two workshop-filled events: Conjure Con in Santa Cruz, CA and The Folk Magic Festival in New Orleans. In addition, I am a founding member and organizer of AIRR – Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers, the board treasurer for Missionary Independent Spiritual Church, and the bookkeeper for


On the Web you can find Sindy at:

her official AIRR Page

Todo Mojo

Contact:Auntie Sindy Todo – – 206-898-7820 PST


What is your philosophy on magic and rootwork?

I’m a practical gal and a creative whirlwind that listens and lives in spirit. From there I am guided in my work. I love to activate and connect people to what they are seeking and the direction they are taking. I am rooted in positivity and believe that one should humbly approach life’s situations with generosity and gratitude. I believe magic and rootwork when balanced with the mundane can create momentum and movement.



What are your favorite types of cases and why?

My rootwork practice focuses predominately on prosperity, love, health, protection, reconciliation, court cases, and real estate. I am especially moved by cleansings and clearing out dead energy, protecting an environment, and watching things shift afterward. It’s some of the most fundamental rootwork one can do and what I believe to be the very first work to learn to perfection.


My successful approach is to seed a new love, job, location or negotiation, then work its root and watch it grow and blossom! I’m an experienced manager of prosperity; working with numbers and helping folks reach milestones in their careers. I am known for my annual St. Joseph Day petition altar and charity fund raising event. I’m an older worker with a world of experience that I draw upon and apply to all my cases. Stimulated by all types of Rootwork, Spirit guides me on what to do.



If you could give prospective clients one piece of advice, what would it be?

My holy trinity of advice is:

1. Let go of Fear… it’ll take you out every time!

2. Before going to sleep say this mantra: “I Forgive, I Forgive, I Forgive!” First thing in the morning: “Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you!”

3. Always: Dance when you’re broken open. Dance if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.Rumi