Have you ever had it happen that the Universe sends you important messages from more than one source at the same time? That's what happened to me this week. I have the song "Momentum" by Aimee Mann stuck in my head. It seems that every time I get in the car and turn the radio on, there's Aimee's lovely voice singing about seizing the day. 

"Oh, for the sake of momentum
I've allowed my fears to get larger than life
And it's brought me to my current agenda
Whereupon I deny fulfillment has yet to arrive

And I know life is getting shorter
I can't bring myself to set the scene
Even when it's approaching torture
I've got my routine

Oh, for the sake of momentum
Even though I agree with that stuff about seizing the day
But I hate to think of effort expended
All those minutes and days and hours
I have frittered away.

But I can't confront the doubts I have
I can't admit that maybe the past was bad
And so, for the sake of momentum
I'm condemning the future to death
So it can match the past"

Even with the words and music to Momentum flowing through my brain, I failed to recognize it as a specific, and important, message. Luckily, the Universe is on to me and knows I often need to be nudged more than once.

The second nudge came in the form my sister Teri's blog, in which she wrote about "Overcoming Your Inner Wimp." The opening quote in this post was:

"If we don't create our future,
our past will create it for us"


http://www.keen.com/CommunityServer/UserBlogs/Love_Angel_Tarot/Stardust-Cafe/default.aspx

At that point, I almost got it. But not quite. So the Universe lovingly slapped me upside the head yet again.  The third, and hopefully, final message on this topic came to me in the form of a horoscope  from astrologer Rob Brezsny, who also used the word "wimp".

Yay! The light went on!  The Universe was talking to me about courage, forward movement, and abundance. And it wanted me to share this message with you, as well.  So here, in the words of Rob Brezsny is the final part of the message.

 “I predict that in the next few weeks, you will be happiest, and most aligned with the cosmic rhythms if you open your heart to experimental ideas and open your mind to interesting new feelings. Be alert for discoveries that will excite your lust for life. Be romantic, be idealistic, trust your hunches about where to go to have interesting conversations that awaken you to intriguing and even dramatic changes and possibilities that you may have never considered before. Strive to conjure up highly original solutions to your most long-running problems.

I hope that you can stand this much fertile abundance. Some people can't stand it. Some people run and hide when they are offered the opportunity to change everything in their lives for the better. In order to not run away, in order to not be a coward, or a wimp, you will have to be willing to cast aside your old ways of doing things. Maybe you'll even dismantle and destroy some of the old ways. You will have to invite yourself to be surprised and delighted, and even swept away.”

May we all be brave and conquer our inner wimps. May we be open to new conversations, dramatic changes, and fertile abundance. May our hearts be open to ideas and our minds be open to feelings. May we never, for the sake of momentum, settle for less than the we deserve.

Blessings, Robyn



I was listening to Ani Difranco today (partly for pleasure and partly because her music makes an awesome accompaniment to sorting laundry), and one phrase in particular resonated strongly with me. Ani sings:


"I see you and I'm so perplexed.
What was I thinking?
What will I think of next?"


Most of us have had this experience at least once or twice - something that seemed like a wonderful idea at the time leaves us scratching our heads and worrying about what we might think of next. For sure, I've done it time after time. In fact, the fear of what my next "mistake" might be has often wiped out all confidence in my decision making ability.

Time and experience has taught me, however, that there are very few real mistakes in life - almost every experience, every relationship, every friendship, every chance we take, holds a valuable lesson or two. Especially the ones that had surprise endings. Yes, it's wise to think things through carefully, but not to the point that we hold ourselves back from living life to the utmost.

The universe has an infinite number of things to offer, and I hope to (finally) come to a place where both caution and joyful risk-taking find a magical balance. And I wish the same for you. May we all live every moment to the fullest, explore our options wisely and refuse to let past experiences hold us back!

Blessings,
Robyn

 





Moon cakes! I love them. They're so beautiful and delicious that I named my blog after them. But what  are they, you ask? Moon cakes are a Chinese pastry I used to buy when I was a little girl. They're traditionally eaten during the Festival of the Moon, and each baker has their own unique symbol imprinted on their moon cake molds. There are as many varieties as there are bakers.

 

The legend behind the moon cakes begins thousands of years ago. Back then the earth had nine or ten suns circling it (depending on whom you talked to), taking turns shining down on the planet. One day all of the suns shown together and began to bake the earth, so a young archer stepped forward and shot down all of the suns but one. This archer Hou Yi. was, accordingly, made King. For a time he ruled justly and honorably, but that doesn’t make a very good legend, so he grew arrogant and unpleasant and old.

As it turns out, Hou Yi was an immortal who had become mortal, making him deathly afraid of dying. He began searching for the elixir of life, driving his doctors and scientists to do the same. When at last the elixir was discovered, his wife Chang E snatched it and drank it down to prevent him from continuing his evil  rule for all eternity. The outraged King ordered her execution, but suddenly she rose up into the sky, floating up to the moon, where she now lives with her pet Jade Rabbit. Her former subjects were so moved by her sacrifice that today, eating Moon Cakes is a way of commemorating Chang E’s sacrifice.

 

Easy Moon Cakes Recipe

    4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    6-7 tablespoons cold water

    1/2 cup chopped dates
    1/2 cup orange marmalade
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
    1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
    1/4 cup coarsely chopped raisins

    1 egg
    1 tablespoon milk

    1. Preheat oven to 180°c.

    2. Combine dates, marmalade, walnuts, coconut and raisins in a medium bowl; set aside.

    3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and sugar.

    4. Slowly beat in corn syrup and oil. Then add eggs, one at a time. Add a little of the cold water, use just enough to hold dough together.

    5. Roll out dough between two pieces of wax paper.

    6. Carefully remove the top sheet of wax paper.

    7. Cut out rounds. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each round. Gather the edges of dough, pinch together to seal in the filling. Form pastry into a ball shape and place on an un-greased cookie sheet, seam side down. Slightly flatten balls to flatten tops.

    8. Make the glaze by whisking together the egg and milk. Brush tops and sides of the pastry with the glaze.

    9. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden browned, don't over bake.

    10. Let cool on cookie sheet 1 minute then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.


 


COSMIC SPREAD


This spread is awesome because it not only sheds light on the past and present, but it also reveals events which will help to bring about resolution of the the current situation. It provides insight into both helping and distracting influences, acknowledges the old focus, and provides you with a new focus on the issue at hand. I've always found it to be extremely enlightening, and I hope you will, too.

The Cosmic spread uses ten cards, which are laid out in the following order. More cards can be drawn for clarification or for in-depth exploration if desired.

  9 6 10
1 2 3 4 5
    8 7

1. Distant Past

2. Recent Past

3. The Current Issue

4. Possible Future Influences

5. Events to bring Resolution

6. Present Attitude

7. Helping Influences

8. Distracting Influences

9. Old Focus

10. New Focus

I've always been a big fan of tea. Tea is soothing, relaxing, warming, and delicious. For a while now, I've been toying with the idea of incorporating tea in my magic, and my daughter provided the perfect catalyst when she gave me an assortment of five teas packaged by the Ten Ren Tea Company. 

Each of the teas comes in a shiny little box, and each variety has a certain quality attached to it. For instance,  The Oolong is supposed to bring blessings, the To Kuan Yin brings good fortune, the Shou Mei Tea promotes health, the Jasmine brings happiness, and the Shui Sin encourages wealth. 

After some reflection, I decided to take this concept one step farther and assign magical qualities to the herbal teas I make from herbs grown in my own garden, as well as those I buy in the store. I'm including my current list below. It's very unfinished, but you're welcome to copy it as a basis for your own experiments with tea magic.

  • Peppermint: Spice of life, invigoration, zest and a sense of fun.
  • Rose hip: Romance and love
  • Chamomile: Dream work, astral traveling, creativity
  • Lavender: Money, success, beauty, youthening.
  • Yarrow: Magic, divination, dream work
  • Rue: Banishes negativity and regret, heals sorrow.
  • Rosemary: Physical energy, psychic energy, purification.
  • Thyme: Banishes nightmares.
  • Clove - Friendship, granting wishes, healing.
  • Dandelion - Helps to improve clairvoyance, purification.
  • Ginger Root - Love, money, success, power. 
  • Lemon Verbena - Protection from harm, attraction of love.
  • Nutmeg - Luck, love, prosperity (and yummy cookies!) 
My tea ritual/spell is a very simple one. The teapot I chose is short and fat and painted with pictures of cats drinking tea. The matching cup that goes with it is also short and very fat. I love it! It's very important to make sure that everything you choose as part of this ritual be pleasing to you. Here's how it goes:

1. Choose a teapot and cup that are visually pleasing to you. It doesn't matter if they match or not.

2. Assign a specific meaning to the tea you are going to brew.

3. Write down on a piece of white paper exactly what you hope to accomplish with this spell.

4. Fold the paper into a pleasing shape, whether it's a geometric shape or an origami flower - anything that looks pretty to you works. Place the paper in your empty tea cup.

5. Concentrate all your energy on what it is you want while you prepare the tea.

6. Remove the folded paper from your cup and discard it with the used tea leaves.

7. Enjoy your tea and relax, secure in the knowledge that what you asked for will be granted to you.

Blessings,
Robyn



Relationships - we all want them, but we all find them puzzling from time to time. (Okay, maybe a lot more often than that.) This is the card I pulled today from the "Soulmate Oracle" by Dr. John Grey Ph.D.  Clues! It's always fun to puzzle things out, to figure out mysteries and find hidden answers, and this card shows us how to apply the art of puzzle solving to our relationships. Here's what Dr Grey has to say about clues:

"A detective uses clues to solve a mystery. In relationships, many of our actions and reactions can be seen as clues. They point to the mystery of what's going on beneath the surface - within us. They are pieces to the puzzle of what is really in our hearts. The card CLUES invites you to take a deeper look at the actions, thoughts, or reactions that affect your relationship. If you look below their surface, you may find deeper feelings, needs, or wants - important things in your heart that you are not really expressing to your partner.

Healthy relating involves knowing - and saying - what you truly feel, need, or want. If you don't do this, you multiply problems and never deal with the real issues. Simply put, you won't get your real needs met in your relationship until you recognize them - and constructively voice what they are.

This card asks you to develop your skills as a detective. Be alert for the clues that can help you solve the puzzle of what's really going on inside of you - and inside your partner. Clues come in a variety of forms: frustrations, irritations, anger, fights, escape fantasies, withdrawal, hurt feelings, judgments, complaints, criticism. All of these reactions are big clues. Each points to something that your heart needs but is not getting at that moment.

Consider the last time you criticized a partner or reacted to them negatively. This card challenges you to uncover the positive message within any negative reaction you are having. Find the positive thing, deep in your heart, that you truly want or need in that situation.

Often the message is that you need something rather basic, like acceptance, appreciation, respect, trust, understanding, caring, or connecting. But this can be very hard to recognize or state to your partner. Even though we all share such basic human needs, we may feel shy about admitting we have them. Nonetheless, directly revealing a true want or need is the healthiest, clearest way to go about getting it met!

The card CLUES encourages you to act with gentleness and courage. Learn to pursue clues in yourself by getting in touch with the deeper desires of your heart. In troubling moments, during difficult times, or whenever you start to react, stop for a while, and breathe deeply. Quietly contact your heart and ask, "What basic human need am I experiencing? What do I really want? What is my deeper, positive intention here?"

Wait for an answer - one that voices a clear and positive message. Then communicate about this with your partner in a respectful, constructive way. Also ask your partner, "What do you truly want or need at this moment?" Allow them to find, and voice, their own answer to that question.

You may be pleasantly surprised if you earnestly - and compassionately - pursue such clues. You may discover pieces to the puzzle of relating that have long eluded you. Instead of losing yourself in fruitless reactions, you can come to know the deeper yearnings of your heart. By respectfully sharing these depths with your partner - in a positive way that they can hear and respond to - you will open new doors. Moving through these doors, you can find the fulfilling, satisfying relationship that you truly want - and deserve - to share!"



Here is Part 2 of the list of keywords I recently posted. Hope you find it helpful. :)

This half of the list is for the cards of the Minor Arcana. It doesn't include every single meaning for every single card, but it does list the three words I consider to be the primary meaning of each card.


Ace of Wands
beginnings
energy
vision

Two of Wands
balance
partnerships
inspiration

Three of Wands
success
plans
opportunity

Four of Wands
happy home
self-esteem
real estate

Five of Wands
competition
arguments
strife

Six of Wands
triumph
victory
welcome news

Seven of Wands
last battle
bravery

Eight of Wands
rapid movement
expansion
journey

Nine of Wands
completion
strength
caution

Ten of Wands
burdens
ambition
obsession

Page of Wands
creativity
activity
stability

Knight of Wands

sociability
communication
conflict

Queen of Wands
loyalty
warmth
happiness
rainbows

King of Wands
trustworthy
passionate
loyalty

Ace of Pentacles
prosperity
monetary beginnings

Two of Pentacles
juggling resources
balance
union

Three of Pentacles
comfort
praise
material gains

Four of Pentacles
improved finances
security
foundation

Five of Pentacles
loneliness
loss
outcast

Six of Pentacles
gifts
generosity
inheritance

Seven of Pentacles
future harvest
possibilities
potential

Eight of Pentacles

caution
education & training
promotion/new job

Nine of Pentacles
material success
pleasures
increase

Ten of Pentacles
prosperity
home and family
comfort

Page of Pentacles
happiness
comfort
messages

Knight of Pentacles
ambitious
trustworthy
enduring

Queen of Pentacles
practical
nurturing
pleasure-loving

King of Pentacles
sensual
loyal
productive

Ace of Swords
karma
justice
new beginnings

Two of Swords
tension
self-protection
temporary truce

Three of Swords
sorrow
catalyst for change
painful truth revealed

Four of Swords
forced retreat
rest
search for divine intervention

Five of Swords
separation
conflict
envy

Six of Swords
progress
restoration
travel
moving house

Seven of Swords
theft
restlessness
agitation
unstoppable change

Eight of Swords
eternal restriction
bondage
internal confusion

Nine of Swords
regret
despair
sleeplessness

Ten of Swords
darkness before the dawn
betrayal
endings and transcendence

Page of Swords
news
gossip
inspiration

Knight of Swords
intelligence
restlessness
honesty

Queen of Swords
graceful
sorrowful
perceptive
honest

King of Swords
intelligence
logic
reason
truth

Ace of Cups
renewal
love
artistic beginnings

Two of Cups
loving union
creativity
chemistry

Three of Cups
celebration
engagement
happiness
socializing

Four of Cups

ambivalence
taking for granted
mild depression

Five of Cups
hidden treasures
loss of hope
exploring possibilities

Six of Cups
return of a friend or lover
nostalgia
joy of childhood

Seven of Cups
options
abundance
day dreams
scattered energy

Eight of Cups
search for fulfillment
disappointment
return

Nine of Cups

satisfaction
wishes granted
happiness

Ten of Cups
full heart
love
peace

Page of Cups
message of love
imagination
tenderness

Knight of Cups
romance
mission of love
gifts

Queen of Cups
loving
feminine
expressive
empathic

King of Cups
kind
faithful
sensual
sensitive



















Here is the first half of a list that was begun years ago when I was preparing to begin reading professionally. Over the years, this list has proven itself to be a wonderful tool! Time is of the essence when people are paying for a reading, and the little list of keywords was invaluable when it came to adjusting to the fast pace of readings here on Keen.

It's important to keep in mind that this is a very basic list because the meaning of each card is affected by it's placement in the spread, as well as by the neighboring cards. The artwork on each deck also adds new layers of meaning, depending on how well it resonates with the person doing the reading.

Here's a list of the Major Arcana and their keywords.


The Fool
adventure
faith
positive change

The Magician
balance
creativity
communication

High Priestess
insight
mystery
dreams

The Empress
abundance
fertility
marriage

The Emperor
worldly success
structure
control

Hierophant
tradition
knowledge
ceremony

The Lovers
love
choice
romance

The Chariot
victory
success
courage

Justice
fairness
logic
reason

The Hermit
wisdom
advice
solitude

The Wheel of Fortune
fate & destiny
lucky chance

Strength
unconditional love
bravery
success

The Hanged Man
sacrifice
contemplation
preparation

Death
rebirth
transformation
growth

Temperance
healing
harmony
adaptability

The Devil
passion
materialism
obsession

The Tower
abrupt change
drama
chaos

The Star
hope
love
optimism

The Moon
dreams
visions
deception

The Sun
joy
success
marriage

Judgement
rebirth
a turn for the better
karma

The World
completion
love
travel
fulfillment












Candle magic (also known as candle meditation) has been a strong interest of mine for quite some time. I've read many books on the subject, scoured the internet for information, talked to other practitioners, and conducted my own experiments. If you search my blog, you will find many spells which incorporate candles of various colors, sizes, and scents; as well as articles on herbs and oils, etc. And I haven't even touched on the subjects of candle shape, quality of wax, homemade vs store bought, etc. etc.

 All of this can seem overwhelming to someone who is new to candle work. However, it's really very simple once you understand the secret.

Are you ready? The secret is that it's the intention of the person lighting the candle that matters most. All of the rest is merely a tool to help you focus your intention.  The shape of the candle doesn't matter - neither does the color or the scent or whatever you might choose to rub on it - just as long as you, yourself, are focused and clear on what it is you wish to achieve! 

Some people will tell you that it's necessary to purchase an expensive candle, but it's not. It's fun to have special shapes, which is why I sometimes buy them. And it's fun to have a lot of different colors, which is why I often buy colored candles. I love growing herbs and buying special oils with which to anoint candles, but, again, that's not necessary. My basic working candle is nothing more than a small white votive that I buy in bags of 50 from the discount store. For a really big project or spell, I might go all out and purchase a 7-day candle from the Mexican foods section of the grocery store at the cost of $2 per candle.

People may offer to light a candle for you for a high price -  up to $500 or more - but this isn't necessary, either. You can take them up on this if you like, but the chances are that you're quite capable of lighting your own candles and performing your own meditation. After all, who understands the desires of your heart better than you do? And who is more capable of accurately visualizing those desires than you are? No one!

Here is how you go about candle magic in the most basic and effective manner:

  • Decide on the candle(s) you wish to use.
  • Take a few moments to spell out in your own mind exactly what it is you are trying to achieve.
  • Write this down on a piece of paper. Fold the paper and place it next to the candle(s).
  • Light your candle(s) and sit or stand where you can clearly see the flame.
  • Meditate on your goal while focusing on the flame.
  • When you feel you have made your wishes and intentions clear, go listen to some music, take a nap, go for a walk, etc.
  • Wait for the candle(s) to burn down.
  • Dispose of your piece of paper and any remaining candle wax.
That's all there is to it. And if for any reason, you still feel you would like someone to help you with a candle meditation please ask when you call me. I would be happy to do it for you for free.

Bright Blessings,
Robyn


This is the riddle of the ages. How do you make love stay? Tom Robbins says in Still Life With Woodpecker:

"Who knows how to make love stay?
  1. Tell love you are going to the Junior's Deli on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to pick up a cheesecake, and if love stays, it can have half. It will stay.
  2. Tell love you want a memento of it and obtain a lock of its hair. Burn the hair in a dime-store incense burner with yin/yang symbols on three sides. Face southwest. Talk fast over the burning hair in a convincingly exotic language. Remove the ashes of the burnt hair and use them to paint a mustache on your face. Find love. Tell it you are someone new. It will stay.
  3. Wake love up in the middle of the night. Tell it the world is on fire. Dash to the bedroom window and *** out of it. Casually return to bed and assure love that everything is going to be all right. Fall asleep. Love will be there in the morning."

And if all that doesn't work, you can always try this simple and very powerful  charm.  First, find one ripe, juicy pear. Slice the pear in half long ways and scoop out the seeds in both halves and cut into slices. Arrange these slices on a plate and drizzle them with sweet honey. Light a red or pink candle, and hold the plate of pears and honey above the flame while you recite the following three times:

"I call upon the energy of the West, direction of Water, birthplace of Venus, to permeate this offering of love.  Grant me a love that grows and endures."

Pour a goblet full of pomegranate juice, hold it above the candle flame and again recite the following three times:

"I call upon the energy of the West, direction of Water, birthplace of Venus, to permeate this offering of love and devotion. Grant me a love that grows and endures."

Share the fruit, honey and pomegranate juice with the one you love to complete the spell.


P.S. Remember that all the magic in the world can't take the place of loving kindness, support, and acceptance.





Magical, cleansing salt baths are a wonderful way to dispel negative energy and infuse your mind, body (even your aura) with shining, positive energy!  And they're great for washing worries down the drain, too. If you don't have a bathtub, don't despair - it's simple to adapt this concept to showers, as well.

Treating yourself to a salt bath couldn't be easier. All you absolutely have to have is a handful of salt. I prefer either Mediterranean sea salt or scented bath salts, but table salt works just as well. Once you have the salt handy, the next step is to run your bath water and add the salt. Immerse yourself as much as possible in the salted water and concentrate your will upon the cleansing properties of your magical bath.  When you're feeling completely cleansed and relaxed, pull the plug and watch the water carry away all the negative energy and worries.

If you're using a shower instead of a tub, simply turn it on and wait until the shower begins to steam. Throw the salt into the spray of water and immediately step into the steam to receive the full benefits of a salt bath. This works wonderfully well with scented bath salts as well. I love stepping into a shower that smells of eucalyptus and ginger.

Although it isn't necessary, I love making bath salts that serve certain purposes.  Here, for example, is a recipe designed to help you attract love:

Materials:

  • Glass jar - one with a glass lid is ideal
  • Spoon for mixing
  • Epson Salts & kosher, sea salt, or table salt (all available at the grocery store)
  • Rose or Ylang Ylang oil
  • Orange oil
  • Ginger oil
Directions:

Measure out approximately 1/4 cup Epson salts and 1/4 cup of whichever other salt you choose. Add them to the jar and stir to mix them well.  Add four drops of each oil to the jar. Immediately cover the jar and shake well to mix the salt and oils. You can use this mixture immediately, but it's even better to wait until the the oils have had time to completely permeate the salt.

To attract money, use the same procedure, but substitute almond and allspice for the rose and orange oils! 

Enjoy!

Bright Blessings,
Robyn








 photo oracletarot2_zpssyioio7u.jpg


The Oracle Tarot is a colorful, lively, and very positive deck. Mine was a Christmas gift a few years ago, and I'm having a wonderful time becoming reacquainted with it. The images are much more modern than those found in traditional decks, and the cards themselves are sturdy and have a shiny finish.  The key words that accompany the images are subtly different from those I'm used to and have introduced me to new layers of meaning for each card.

I was a bit skeptical at first because there are only 64 cards in the Oracle Tarot - the court cards have been omitted. Surprisingly, the lack of court cards hasn't been a problem, and I'm finding that this particular deck is great for tuning into the present time and the near future. As a matter of fact, this is one of only two decks that I can comfortably use when reading for myself.

While I don't feel this deck is right for every single reading, primarily because there are no male figures in the illustrations, I find myself turning to it more and more as the days go by. The Oracle Tarot makes a great accompaniment to my standard working deck, and I recommend it to anyone interested in cards that are both inspirational and fun.




This ancient and popular tarot spread is one of the most widely used, perhaps because it is suitable for almost any type of reading, from a general, life reading to an in-depth reading on a specific question.


The Celtic Cross is divided into two sections, the Circle/Cross (six cards) on the left and the Staff (four cards) on the right.



The Circle/Cross is meant to represent the Celtic cross found throughout Ireland. This cross has a circle linking the four perpendicular spokes. The circle and cross symbolize the joining of spirit and physical matter and the unity of all events in time.


Listed below is a description of what the position of each card in the Celtic Cross Spread represents.


SIGNIFICATOR: This card is chosen, either by the reader or by the caller, and is used to represent the caller. Some people choose a significator based on the birth date of the person they are reading, some on physical or personality traits. I use different significators to represent myself at different times. For instance, in matters of the home, or to do with tarot, I use the Empress, for spiritual questions, the High Priestess, and for other things, the Queen of Pentacles (chosen because I'm an earth sign.) The Significator is the first card to be laid out and is placed in directly front of the reader.

CARD ONE: This is the card that covers you. This card is laid out face-up on top of the Significator. It represents the basis of the matter, or that which brought you to the present circumstances.

CARD TWO: This crosses you. This card is laid sideways across card one. This represents influences working for or against you at this time. This card will either weaken or strengthen the other cards.

CARD THREE: The third card is placed directly above the Significator. This is the card that crowns you. It shows the near future will evolve if left to it's own devices. This position reveals the way in which you’ve responded to the near future and how and in what way the future is evolving.

CARD FOUR: This card is beneath you. It is placed directly below the Significator. It demonstrates the present condition in your life which motivated you or caused you concern. That which caused you to seek this reading.

CARD FIVE: This card is behind you. The Fourth card is placed to the right of the Significator. It represents the present or passing influences. Not only the recent past, but long-term blocks or influences as well.

CARD SIX: This card is before you and is placed to the left of the Significator. It signifies the near future. This card will indicate how you’ve emerged from your recent past, as well as other factors coming into play.

CARD SEVEN: The seventh card is placed to the right of the fifth card, and on a level with the fourth card. This represents You in your future environment. The card in this position is very revealing because it represents your future self and tells us how you will react and think in times to come.

CARD EIGHT: Card eight is placed directly above card seven. This is your house. It represents a new turn of events and/or the effects of others on you. This card indicates new developments or perhaps unexpected changes that will alter your course or shed new light on existing situations.

CARD NINE: Placed directly above card eight, this card represents your hopes and fears - the inner workings of your mind as a result of the past and present. This card does not necessarily reflect what is, but how you perceive things to be.

CARD TEN:The final card, card ten, is placed directly above card nine. This is the final outcome - the summation of the nine previous cards. This is the answer you have been seeking.

Once all of the cards have been laid out in the proper order, it is time to interpret and summarize the information revealed by the cards. The relationship various cards and various suits have to each other, as well as their position in the spread, all play a part in the final interpretation. Because there are 78 cards in the tarot deck - the possible combinations offered by this particular spread offers a wealth of information regarding your situation.

I love using this spread and would be happy to offer it to you if when you call. Please keep in mind, however, that this spread takes more time to lay out and interpret than the spread I normally use.




I'd use my treadmill more often, really I would.......if only the kitty didn't want to use it, too! As you can see, my cat (Triangle) uses the treadmill way more than I do. At the time this photo was taken, I was relaxing in the rocking chair, eating Whoppers and waiting for my turn to exercise. Before I knew it, we were both sound asleep, and the treadmill's only workout was as a kitty bed.

Obviously, Mr Triangle and I are both in need of some serious motivation! So we're going to set off a positive, motivating, energy spell tonight. If you'd like to try it, too, here's what to do:

Materials

3 small, brightly colored candles. (I plan to use red, orange, and yellow)
3 raisins
1 energy bar, cut into 3 pieces
1 golden apple, cut into 3 pieces
1 goblet (or glass) filled with wine or sparkling cider
Cinnamon (or some other spicy flavor) incense
Motivating music - anything with a strong, powerful beat will do.

Place each candle on a fireproof candle holder or plate and place them on your altar. If you don't have an altar, use a counter or a table. The darkest color candle goes in the center with the other two on either side of it. Turn on the music. In front of each candle, place a raisin, one slice of the energy bar and one piece of apple. Now, take a sip of the wine or cider and light the left candle while repeating this phrase:

"As this candle is lit, I draw energy and motivation from these gifts of the earth. My mind is clear, my body is ready, and my heart desires to achieve my goals."

Light the candle on the right and repeat the words above.

Now, light the middle candle while repeating the words above for the third time.

Drink the rest of the wine and let the candles burn down. It's okay to dance while you're waiting. When the candles are gone, wrap up the food and offer it to the earth by burying it in the garden or in a container on your patio.


There was a time when almost everyone had to make their own incense, and I was lucky enough to have a great grandmother teach me this almost forgotten art when I was little. My great  grandfather was very old fashioned and insisted that the household be run without the use of electricity or running water. This made every visit to their house an adventure. On one of my visits, Great Grandma Anna let me help her make the pebble incense she loved to throw on the coals of her wood stove. It's very simple and tons of fun to do, and I'd like to share the recipe with you.

Materials
  • Mortar and pestle (you could also use a rolling pin or an old coffee grinder to crush the ingredients)
  • Bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Waxed paper
  • Charcoal (this is to use for burning the finished incense)
Ingredients
  • Dried herbs, flower petals, cedar chips, frankincense, or other scented materials
  • One or more essential oils
  • The white of an egg (two eggs, if you plan to make a lot at once)
Method

Grind the dry ingredients until they are powdered. Place this powder into the bowl and add one or two drops of each essential oil. Slowly add enough egg white to make a thick paste. Roll the paste into small balls (approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter) and drop them onto the waxed paper to dry. If you do this on a damp day, it's best to let them dry in a warm oven for a couple of hours.

That's all there is to it!  As soon as your pebbles are dry, they're ready to use. Simply place them on hot charcoal to fill your home with a lovely scent.