Order a Reading

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Magical working

So about my spell. At the London Tarot Festival I attended a Tarot Magic workshop conducted by my friend, Chloe McCracken. Chloe and I have similar ideas about magic, and a similar approach to using tarot cards for spellcasting, so I was on familiar ground in her workshop (which I would highly recommend, by the way). We were asked to think of an area we would like to change, and to work on this layout:

1 - The Situation/Issue                        3 - Energy Needed                     2 - Desired Outcome

I have often used this layout both for tarot readings and for spell work; it is called a 'bridge' layout, because the card in the middle serves as the bridge to get you from where you are (1) to where you want to be (2).

I decided that what I'd like right now is 'motivation to return to exercise and healthy eating.' We then went through our cards selecting what card best represents our situation/issue. I settled on 8 of Swords, because I reasoned that it is my thoughts/attitude that keeps me trapped in this situation, and that I could certainly get myself out of it -- if I could break free of my self-imposed bindings. (I didn't yet realise what those were, but I was soon to find out!)

For desired outcome, I tried drawing for it, but I got a series of discouraging cards that to me were telling me now is not the right time to work a spell on this topic: Hanged Man, 10 of Wands, Death, Emperor. I gave up on drawing and just went through the deck and selected 7 of Pentacles, with the rationale that a good outcome would be the patience to keep going with a program that is progressive. For the middle card, energy needed, I couldn't select a card. If I knew what energy I needed to succeed, I guess I wouldn't need to resort to magic or tarot to solve this problem! So I decided to draw for it.

I shuffled the cards and fanned them out face down, closed my eyes and moved my hand above them slowly, feeling for that small tug of energy that would lead me to the right card. I drew Ace of Wands and laid it in the middle.

Ace of Wands! Oh! I don't need to 'return' to any program, I realised. I need something completely fresh. This clarified the 8 of Swords to me. I am trapped in thinking that what worked for me before is appropriate now. And believing that, I have become disappointed and discouraged with myself that I can't do the workouts that I did ten years ago, and that I have no interest in the kind of eating program I was on ten years ago. The Ace of Wands told me that I don't need to redo what I did before -- in fact, doing that is the exact opposite of what I should be doing. This also clarified all those odd 'desired outcome' cards. If I tried to do what I did before, the outcome would be unsuccessful, a burden, etc.

This of course meant that 7 of Pentacles no longer made sense in my spell. So I decided to draw for it. I repeated my process for drawing a card and drew -- 3 of Wands. This reinforced my belief that the cards were telling me to open myself to new ways of thinking and new ways of eating and new types of exercise. I must let go of the past and look to the future, see what's out there, see what is right for me NOW, rather than trying to repeat what I did before. This might sound obvious, but I actually never thought of it. I had just been telling myself, 'I know how to do this. I've done it before. I just need to do it again. Why can't I do it again?' And I was trapped in this circle, have been trapped here, for quite some time. So I did need the cards to wake me up to the possibility that there is more than one way to do this!

We were then asked to make a few notes on a ritual and to start a to-do list of practical actions to take in support of our spell. We ran out of time fast! But I came to some illuminating conclusions as a result of this simple exercise. My notes from the workshop:

I've been ruminating about this draw and this spell all week. I'm still pondering my approach to the spell, but my altar is now set up, and I am feeling ready this weekend to continue working on my practical actions list and to take the spell forward. 

Today, I thought it would be interesting to draw from the Devas of Creation about this spell. As I shuffled, this card lept from the pack and landed face down on the floor:

 It is the Deva of the Valley (Devas of Creation, Cilla Conway 2013). The card reinforces my softly-softly approach, my need to be gentle with myself and to take my time in this working. 'The Deva of the Valley indicates that we will find a place that nurtures, supports and protects us,' says the companion book. 'The Deva is here to show that everything is possible. It's a soft, fertile place of healing.'

I have a to-do list that begins with clearing away the old to make way for new discoveries. That is why I am not creating a dream board before I start this working. The dream board will be created as I discover each new technique and idea to incorporate into my new program of movement and nutrition. But I do have a central image now -- I will start to collect pictures of rainbows.

(ETA: I just found this old post about this very topic -- from two years ago! Examining Influences.)

(ETA again: Thursday 16 July is the New Moon, and a Blue Moon. The New Moon is in Cancer, and its associated is Chariot and Queen of Cups -- so an auspicious time for a spell about new starts, I should think!)


  1. I love your altar, and thank you for sharing your experience of the workshop and the clarity you gained with this spell. The Deva card is wonderful, and a dreamboard of rainbows sounds very uplifting. And I look forward to hearing about the new ways you find to nurture yourself as you move towards better health through movement and food :)

    1. It was a very useful experience. :)

  2. The workshop sounds wonderful. I can really relate to trying to get in shape using all the "old ways" I've used before. But back and joint injuries (and aging in general) prevent me from doing any high impact exercise. Like you concluded, I'm going to have use a more gentle approach (and send all the extreme workout DVDs to Goodwill!). Good luck with this - I appreciate you sharing all of it with us.

    1. If you discover home workouts that are very low or no impact and easy on the knees, etc, please share! I'm looking for something new.

  3. Thank you for sharing this personal experience and the insights you've received from your cards. I can relate to Bev's comment about how our aging bodies need new ways of caring. I love the Rainbow symbolism. This could become or maybe already is an anchor for your working, like the butterfly is for me.
    Good luck with manifesting your intent and be kind to yourself when you have an "off day". :)

    1. I never thought about rainbows as a symbol. My personal symbol has always been a tree with a huge flock of blackbirds taking flight from it. But maybe it's time for that to change, too.

    2. You might google these and see if you can find some video clips:

      Leslie Sansone's "Three Mile Weight Loss Walk" - her perkiness can grate, but she delivers on a good workout (uses small hand weights).

      Debra Mazda's "Cardio Toning with Weights" - she and her gals don't look like the slim and trim models normally used, which I appreciated. But boy did I feel the weight section in my arms!

      Fit Girl's "Kardo Kick" - this one is really for teen girls, but I enjoyed doing the kickboxing moves even though I couldn't keep up with all of it.

      Extreme Makeover's "The Workout" (with Chris Powell) - this has three workouts that progress in difficulty. I haven't made it past #2. :D But he does give alternative moves, which I like. For instance instead of pretending to jump rope and coming off the ground, leave the balls of your feet down and just lift the heels.

      Maybe this will give you an idea to get you started!

    3. Whoops, replied in the wrong spot! Sorry about that.

  4. "what's right for me NOW." Changes, changes, changes .... something I am not too good at. That little sentence will cause me to rethink certain things in my own life. Thanks, and good luck! You can do it.

  5. I wish you had a Like button. :)