Growing with The Divine…

During the last three years I’ve went through a major spiritual transformation, and it has taken place in different steps or levels.

Around three years ago I was still mainly using tarot from a very psychological base. I didn’t put too much ”woo woo” into my use of the cards, they were more psychological tools, mirrors and reflections of the human psyche. (Quick note: Nothing wrong with this, I still use them in this way very often, just saying that at this time it was the only way I used the cards). The first step in my transformation was to start using the cards in a more spiritual way. To communicate with spirit guides, with Source, and similar. And to open up to the messages not only coming from the psyche. I really started to deepen my work with the cards, slowly but surely.

Then came a big interest for new age theories, mystical and spiritual practices, energy, and to a certain extent witchcraft. In 2016 I did my level 1 and 2 training in Reiki which opened me up to my clairvoyant gifts and energy healing. Actually, it opened me up in all sorts of ways I think, because the year that followed had me digging into A LOT of juicy spiritual subjects! Chakras, crystals, channeling, automatic writing, meditation, yin yoga, etc… I mean, I had read about these things before, but now they started to feel right in my heart and I started to understand how much of a part of my spiritual path they truly were.

In 2017 the peak was around early autumn when I took on Inner Hue’s program The Navigation Map (it was called Secret School back then). I really dove into DEEP work. I went through the wounds of my chakras, memories I was holding onto, stories I was telling myself, and overall I feel like I cleansed myself in major ways. I let myself be focused on myself, my life, my inner realms and my beliefs. It was very illuminating to say the least. I got to know myself from the inside and out.

Slowly this year I’ve felt a shift happening within me. At first vague, and I could not at all put words to it… But now I am starting to sense what this step in my transformation is about:

Stepping back from myself.

Last year I did attempt to communicate with other entities, but I felt I wasn’t completely ready for it, except for my spirit guide that was very supportive and helpful. But I realize that I first had to do the work regarding myself. I had to understand more about my childhood, my past lives, my stories and beliefs, my Soul, my purpose, identity, personality, and so on. And of course I am not at all DONE with that sort of work, it’s lifelong for sure. But what I do feel is that my focus is shifting and it’s nothing I can fight.

Focus is shifting, from ME, to SOURCE.

Actually… From me to her.

I feel so strongly now that the next step on my spiritual path is to open my heart wider to The Goddess. Now, I personally believe that Goddess and God are two roles to one ”being” (Source, The Creator, many names… Most well-known for ”God” but I don’t like the fully masculine idea of that word), but for many reasons the Sacred Feminine (Goddess – the feminine side of Divinity) is calling my attention the strongest. Maybe because I was a Christian for a few years so I’ve already been in communication with the Sacred Masculine AKA Jesus? Hehe nah, maybe not…?

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At this point it’s all still very fresh and new, and I don’t know how this will express itself in my spiritual practice. But I know it feels exciting. I know it feels good to feel loved, held, and blessed by The Goddess. I’ve never felt altars were important to my spirituality, or that any Divine being wanted me to worship them in a traditional way – But maybe that’s about to change? I honestly don’t know, I just know I’m open to anything. Right now I’m just listening, feeling, tuning in…

I wanted to share this to inspire you to not rush anything on your spiritual path. Know that the puzzle pieces will slowly start falling into the right places, and that there is no need to rush the process. Spirituality is a lifelong journey. It’s very common to rush right into choosing a matron or patron deity, do a bunch of spells, buy 50 decks and 100 crystals, do shadow work and inner child work and healing work all at the same time in a month or so… But that is just stressful behavior. Rushed.

Time doesn’t exist among the Divine beings. Learn to flow with them, to go for an enjoyable ride that doesn’t overwhelm or burn you out.

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What I won’t sacrifice – About dream jobs,and jobs that pay the bills

Sometimes I ask myself what the ”top” of the spiritual journey is? How do we reach it? Does it always involve working full time with healing/spiritual guidance?

Sometimes I get the feeling that most resources online suggest that your own (successful) spiritually focused business is always the goal and kind of the end station. Everything you do leads up to that self-employment life, working with clients, and 24/7 be immersed in it. It’s what we strive for in this community, or what we should be striving for it seems…?

I am involved in a (wonderful) group of sorts, where the facilitator posted this week about having an amazing spiritual experience and asking if we’re ready to join her in truly jumping into complete transformation. I hesitated because of one reason. The thought popping into my head was ”No, I don’t want to start my own business so no, I’m not ready for transformation.” And I’ve been sitting with that thought and feeling. Why did I instantly feel that transformation would mean leaving my day job and pursue a career as a self-employed healer or similar?

It made me a bit sad that it was my first thought seeing such an amazing message.

Do I hate my day job so much I always focus on how to leave it? Hell no! I actually quite like my day job even though it has nothing to do with spirituality. It’s very much an office job. But it’s independent, quite flexible, pays alright, and I have lovely co-workers as well a nice boss.

So why did I instantly feel like true transformation should be about leaving my job?

I really think it has to do with how the ultimate dream in our community online is always showcased the same way: A beautiful woman spending hours every day doing yoga and meditating, making A LOT of money every day doing spiritual guidance work, booked up through the whole year or even two years, no worries about clients not asking for her services, getting paid to travel and hold workshops on paradise islands, and really having no limit between work and pleasure. Everything is pleasurable about the work she does.

So the first step for all of us is to open that generic website offering our services for a low price, just to get started. Leaving our day job. Working around the clock to make our business take off. And in a few years we join Ms. Dream Job I just described. She is a colleague now and we hold workshops in Bali together!

Hmmm.

Last week I saw a post by an instagram friend where she shared her frustration of not being able to let her small spiritual business support her financially after years of working hard on it. She still had to go to her dayjob and then tired spend her evening working on her website.

And I was relieved seeing som REALITY on instagram for once! I feel so bombarded with the message of how amazing it is to have your own spiritual business. You can sleep in, then do yoga as a part of your work day, do fun readings for pleased clients, chat with other entreprenurs – important networking you know, and just make money doing what you love! No bitchy boss, no schedule you’re not in control of, no boring job tasks…

I’m sure some days are fantastic like that, for some spiritual entreprenurs, but we all know that is not the case every single day and definitely not for all entreprenurs! We want to believe we can all be Gabrielle Bernstein, but look, I’m sorry: We can’t.

I’ve said it before and I will now repeat: Healing work, readings, spritual counseling are NOT something ”ordinary people” spend money on regularly. Therefore it is a small market, a hard market. This might change in the future, but right now that is the case. Honestly now, how many people do you know in your everyday life that you think would spend 90$ on a tarot reading or similar? And how many of them do you think would choose to purchase that service around four times every year? Compare how many, and then think about how many of them spend that money and time on going to the hairdresser. Yeah, exactly. That’s why it’s harder to succeed in this sort of business – Not impossible, just harder.

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I’ve met countless of readers and healers that have clearly seen my potential as an intuitive/spiritual guide, teacher, and healer. They’ve said ”You’re meant to do this, for sure. Why aren’t you doing it full time?” and there I sit, a bit embarassed trying to explain why.

But I am going to show you full transparency here and my honest explanation of choosing to not go full time as a spiritual entreprenur. A huge part of it is money related, yup sensitive subject, I know… And again, many readers I’vet met have said ”Don’t worry, you’ll get clients!”, without actually knowing my situation.

In my country if you are self-employed selling a service you must pay 50% taxes. If a client pays me 100$ I get to keep 50$ and I have to keep in mind saving for retirement and into a savings account, because we all need that right? So what am I left with from that session to pay my bills with? Maybe 20-30$? During vacation I have to live off saved money, as well as if I am ill and cannot work.

When I am employed, as I am today, I only pay around 32% taxes. The rest I get to keep and pay my bills with. My employer must save money in a retirement fund for me, must cover 80% of my salary if I am home ill for up to 14 days, and also pays me during 5 weeks of vacation (slightly MORE than my usual salary might I add!).

And let’s also keep in mind that I turn 31 this week and have a stable partner since almost 3 years. We’re still not 100% sure IF we want children, and if we do when that would be… But honestly, I do keep that in the back of my mind, that maybe we will want to try having a baby in just a few years.

In my country we have one of the best parental benefits in the world. 480 days of paid parental leave, with three different levels of how much money you get. The first and the most important level is based on the income you have had the year before you give birth. That means that if I have a good income I will get a good maternal benefit to cash in on. Chilling at home, getting paid, for a year with your beloved baby – Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? If I am self-employed I will naturally make less money than I do today. A business doesn’t blossom from the first day, it is built during a couple of years unless you get super lucky and Oprah Winfrey decides to promote you or something.

But wait, what if my partner goes on paternal leave and I work on my business at the same time? Yeah, sure, but remember that parental benefit is not the same amount as your regular salary! Losing his very good income depending on decent parental benefit + a slow healer business isn’t ideal when you’re just starting a family. Depending on his very good full income + a decent maternal benefit, now that works a bit better. Unfortunately we have careers quite traditional to our gender.

And maybe if there is no baby in the stars for us, what about (God forbid) I would get very ill and can’t work for a year or even two? Again, I live in a country with fantastic sickness benefits. The level of paid sick leave is, again, based on the previous year’s income. So again, it’s a problem if I have not made a lot of money in the last year from my own business. And here I also have to take into account that returning clients will forget about me and have to seek up a different healer/reader during the months or years I am unable to work. This is the reality for many hairdressers, massage therapists, and similar that I know. If I am employed they have no right to get rid of me when I am on sick leave.

As a social worker I saw people in poverty go on sick leave and live off almost no money at all. Not a pretty sight…

Hey, talking about when I was a social worker got me thinking… How much do I want to sacrifice for other people? This is going to sound selfish to some of you, but I promised transparency so I welcome you into my thoughts now, wide open…

As a social worker I was a naive 23 year old that wanted to save, help, and guide people. I gave it my fucking ALL! I worked so much overtime, I skipped lunch, I cried in the bathroom during breaks because I was so overwhelmed. I held so much space for the people that needed me. And in the end I sacrificed my own life and joy – That is the simple truth. I had no time nor energy to be social with friends, go on dates, cook, take walks, work on my spiritual practice… Everything revolved around helping my clients. Even in my dreams I was trying to figure out how to help certain clients.

I burned out. And I am not going back. Since then I have given up my social worker career. And everyone that worked with me will tell you that I was damn good at it! But in my heart I felt it was not worth the sacrifice of my own life.

As you can see above, if I went full time healer/reader I would need to sacrifice a lot of fantastic benefits this country offers. Is it worth it? Fuck. This is hard, but… No. I don’t want to once again spend all my time and energy helping, guiding and saving people, just this time in a different field. I love spending time with my partner, with my friends, going out dining, not thinking about work issues during the weekend. I love going on 5 weeks of paid vacation without a worry in the world how my job is doing. And if I eventually do have a baby I want to give her/him my all; my energy, time, joy and attention, without worrying about clients and business.

I applaud and admire the people that work full time as healers and readers etc. Their work is hard. They deserve to hear that they are doing a fantastic job without the romanticized idea of sleeping in and doing yoga a Tuesday at 10 AM.

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Can I still be a healer, an intuitive reader, a teacher? Oh, absolutely! Because I am today. I am! I just don’t do it every day of the week for 6-10 hours daily. I do around two readings a week for clients, and they take me around 1-2 hours each. So on Saturday or Sunday I sit down for 2-4 hours and help and guide my clients. I love it, and I hope they do too. So I am happy to be of service – Just not every day of the week and just not to depend on it paying my bills.

Right now I feel like I am getting the best of both worlds, without sacrifying all my time and energy for others. I do what I like (my day job), what I love (my ”hobby” job), and then I have time and energy to live life, rest, play, and just be me. I’m just trying to say that I love the choice I’ve made about this, and right now it fits me so well, and I wish others wouldn’t see it as failure that I don’t do spiritual work fulltime. Because that’s not how I see it.

Spiritual titles and labels

For a decade or so I’ve shied away from labels and titles regarding my spirituality, in an intense and stubborn way actually. Why? I was tired of being put in a specific box, it often made me feel like I had to agree 100% with what that box contained.

As a child that struggled to have a strong identity I was in fact very fond of labels, since I wanted to belong and be included. As soon as I started to study a new philosophy or religion I took on that title. Buddhist, Hindu, Wiccan, Atheist, Nihilist… You name it and I probably called myself that at one point in my teenage years!

When I was around 18-20 years I went back to my Polish roots and was a Catholic for a few years (mind you, I still loved and used tarot at this time). It felt safe and comforting to be a Catholic, to belong to a worldwide church, to be a part of a group.
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But slowly the label Catholic started to feel like it didn’t fit me anymore.

Sorry if this is too much information, but when I was 20 I moved away from my parents, I started to drink alcohol, party, lost my virginity, and my beliefs started to shift and also grow. I could no longer agree with some of the things my church was preaching. I went on the pill (thank goodness!), had homosexual friends, and due to an unfortunate and inappropriate relationship I had experienced with a priest in the recent past the church’s hypocrisy was just too obvious to ignore.

I had some friends at this time that liked to make fun of my beliefs as well. They would hand me a drink and go ”Hey, is it really alright that Ms Catholic Girl drinks?” and asked on Sundays ”Why aren’t you in church?”. It was horribly annoying, and I started to feel less like my own person and more like some sort of clone. I was uncomfortable with other’s expectations of my spirituality.

Around 2008 I started to realize that a more solitary and unique path was more right for me. I had started to build an identity of my own and no longer felt any need to belong to a group like I had wanted in the past. I rather felt like I wanted to stay away from groups to avoid too much external influences.

Putting together my own spiritual journey through following my HEART has been very exciting and freeing. I have not felt the need to label my beliefs. I’ve seen myself as simply SPIRITUAL. But hey, aren’t we (humans) all in one way or another spiritual? In a way just calling myself ”a spiritual person” has started to feel too broad and too open! Anyone that is trying to connect with The Divine is spiritual if you ask me, no matter if they’re Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan or whatever…

”New age” is a term I sometimes use to describe a few of my practices, like my belief in astrology and crystal energy. But then again, I feel that new age is more COSMIC than I really am… I don’t necessarily believe in starseeds, Plaedians, the new earth, and advanced alien civilisations communicating with humans. Sorry, I just haven’t found that to be a part of my truth and existential views.

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Paganism is quite popular among other tarot readers I have seen. The definition of what paganism is seems to vary, but it seems like a couple of things stand out:

Polytheism, nature-based, and believing in the sacred feminine.

How does that feel? Hmm. Not too bad. I don’t necessarily believe in polytheism, I think? For me all the different Goddesses and Gods are just aspects of the same main Source/Creator. Sometimes God chooses to communicate with someone through the role of Kali, or Jesus, or Odin, for example, but at its core it is still the same Source. Kind of like I am still the same person, but I have different roles depending on if I am at work or at home, by myself or with strangers, and so on…

I also don’t necessarily find my beliefs to be very nature-based. Nature is important to respect and treat well, of course, and it brings healing and guidance, but my main way of communicating with the Divine is through my Soul and not through nature. It’s by going inwards. It doesn’t matter if I am sitting on the street in the middle of a huge city, or out in the forest, I can still connect with the Divine because all I need is my Heart and Soul to plug into that. So nature is awesome, but not the main way for me to practice my spirituality. Sacred feminine? Now, that I like! I see a lack of balance in the world today, and connecting deeply with the sacred feminine is a way for me to find balance on the inside.

I would say the only label or title that feels a little bit exciting these days is the label WITCH. Which kind of surprises me a bit to be honest… I’ve already had my ”witch time” when I was around 15-16! And for years I heavily associated the word with children’s books and stories, it had a silly and childish tone for me personally. You know, Sabrina the teen witch, Roald Dahl’s Matilda, and so on… It felt weird that a grown up woman would seriously call herself a witch. I look back and I see my judgement there, yes.

But in recent years I have started to follow witches online that I have a huge amount of respect for, and my association with the word has slowly changed. Avalon Cameron, Benebell Wen, Kelly-Ann Maddox are a few witches/practitioners of witchcraft that are extremely far from silly and childish. They are wise, powerful, inspirational women. It has definitely made me feel more positive around the word, and has made me soften and feel that maybe there is a bit of a witch inside of me?

Two years ago in an ancestral reading for myself I found there might be witches in my lineage. It was a fun discovery! And in the last year two different readers have told me the same thing, without me bringing it up myself first.

”Hey, you do know you come from a long line of powerful witches?” beautiful Lauren Aletta told me with a huge smile. And I couldn’t help giggling and say ”Well, I have suspected so.”.

It might just be flowing in my blood…?

But wait…! I don’t own a cauldron, and I am not fond of altars in general, and my knowledge of herbs is quite disastrous… I am yet to fully celebrate a sabbath or esbath, but in my heart I do celebrate them when those times come around. I cast spells not even once a year, because I respect that practice so much and I am aware of karmic consequences…

But I work closely with the four (or five…) elements and with The Moon that has become an important part of my spirituality. And my oracles and tarot, duh… Those things are witchy? Right?

So maybe maybe…?

But really, maybe I am back to where I started when I thought about labels and titles: I truly don’t feel in any way that I NEED or MUST HAVE a label or title. I am fine being just me – being Ania. And I have no interest whatsoever to join a coven or other group…

But I guess, in a way it feels nice to not run in a fearful way from at least one label or title? I don’t like living in fear and perhaps it’s time to deal with my fear of labels. After all, who the hell cares what kind of judgement someone else passes on me because I call myself this or that? I sure don’t. But baby steps it is… I don’t know where I’ll end up with these thoughts, but I’ve enjoyed writing them down.

Let me know if you’ve ever found yourself running from titles/labels or if you perhaps proudy call yourself a pagan or a witch? How does it serve you?

Simplifying the spiritual practice.

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Something that has been on my mind lately is how much BEING spiritual is what truly matters, in a world where we are constantly DOING things. You know how western society works: Constantly pressuring us to be efficient, productive, quick, and focused.

I’ve seen that pressure enter the spiritual community as well. And I can openly share I’ve been guilty of this myself as well! It is easy being sucked into all of that, believe me, and start making lists of things that just have to be done in order to not feel lazy or wrong.

Some focus points of pressure I’ve witnessed:

– Reading the classic spiritual literature, as well as keeping up with the latest books

– Staying with a meditation technique that works for you, but also exploring new methods

– Writing in your personal journal daily, as well as keeping up with your blog

– Journaling a few pages after every single ”spiritual activity” you do

– Watching Gaia TV for enlightenment, as well as making time for Netflix because self-care!

– Cooking, A LOT. It’s not easy being gluten-free, vegan, all things ecological, avoiding dark foods, and chugging down extra minerals and very rare super healing roots from Asia

– Doing yoga for the spiritual experience, and then more yoga to tone the butt

I could go on and on… Doing, doing, doing. Have you ever felt stressed about your spiritual activities? I have, and I hope I never do again. It is the one thing that I intend to make all about HEALING in my life. And stress is the opposite of healing.

It can also be overwhelming to sit down and be like ”Okay, now I want to nourish my Soul, do something to connect me to Spirit… Umm what do I do? 120 minutes yin yoga? Burn 15 different herbs? Paint a mandala on my bedroom wall? Bake a cake and offer it to a goddess tonight under the Full Moon? Create an oracle deck?”.

I’m finding myself going back to basics lately, trying to skip all those complex rituals and activities. Simply becuase if they don’t FEEL fun and rewarding, then they have no purpose and no positive effect on me.

Ask yourself: What do you really want to achieve with your spiritual practice? Why? And then, how?

For me, I want to get to know my Soul and I want to connect with The Divine. How is that best done? Maybe for someone the cake offering under moonlight is needed, but all I need is a semi-quiet space and myself.

In myself I can explore my own Soul as well as Divinity, spirit guides, chakras, past lives, other entities, and so on. When I tune into my inner realms that’s when the real magic kicks in. The real spirituality that isn’t connected to any tools (nope, not even my beloved card decks), any specific physical movement, any particular knowledge of herbs and sacred geometry… It’s just me. It’s just my core self, the one that remains when everything else is gone.

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Defensive tarot collectors and the triggers behind it.

Through the years I have seen many discussions regarding the following similar subjects:

Spending too much money on decks and other spiritual tools

How many decks do we really need?

When does deck collecting become a problem?

I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to go online and comment on blogs, videos, Instagram posts to say “You have too many decks, you spend too much money on decks, and it’s bad/greedy/evil of you!” or similar. I believe that an adult is responsible for her own choices regarding collecting decks, and it’s no one else’s business to decide when she has went overboard. If someone feels triggered by another person’s deck collection they need to unfollow/click off, end of story. You can never know what goes on behind the scenes of a video/blog/photo anyway.

But what I have noticed is that some people seem to be quick wanting to defend their deck purchases when the discussion is not even about them – which makes me wonder why? What’s the trigger?

I recently saw a post where someone said they intend to slow down on purchasing decks, because looking at how much money had went into that interest/passion of theirs in the last years, it just felt a bit too much. There were no severe financial problems, just simply someone wanting to not mindlessly spend money on decks anymore. We can assume this person already has quite a few decks right? So to me it makes sense they could easily save some money while still having tons of fun with plenty of decks in their collection. Saving money when you can isn’t a bad idea, is it?

But it’s obvious some are provoked by this choice, which in no way really affects them. Quite a few people responded in a defensive way, something along the lines of:

“I don’t go to restaurants or smoke so I don’t see why I could not spend my money on my only interest that makes me happy!”

“Other people are addicted to drugs or buying shoes or taking huge loans to buy cars so my tarot collection is pretty harmless really!”

“Well at least I am not an alcoholic!”

”No way, treat yo’self! I won’t feel guilty  for spending MY hard earned cash!”

Nowhere in the post had the original poster stated that it was wrong to spend tons of money on decks, or that everyone should follow along with the same choice, but still the defensive comments kept coming in. Interesting, isn’t it?

I am wondering if “spiritual people” (for lack of a better word!) are more inclined to defend their consumerism and materialism because their interest/passion is not as “shallow” as having a collection of shoes? Most of us see tarot as a tool to become better people, grow, connect with Source or similar, while a shoe is an accessory that makes your feet and legs look pretty.

Many people in the community are vegans and buy second hand clothes because they believe it will help the climate changes that are ruining Mama Earth right now. But talking about less consumerism regarding decks and crystals seems to be a sensitive subject these days.

Are we in a bit of denial?

A deck is made of trees (cardboard) and has chemicals on it (ink) and will have to be shipped from the printer to the seller and then to the buyer (fuel). OF COURSE tarot decks are in no way the biggest threat to our environment lol but at the same time it isn’t fair to completely ignore the effects of any kind of materialism and consumerism, in this day and age when the environmental threat is seriously no joke.

Is it time for us tarot addicts to get off our high horse and admit we aren’t that much better, or worse, than those people going out to restaurants or loving their shoes?

{Additional notes:
–Having the audacity to pick on people with a disease (addiction) is a post on its own, so I won’t even go there today…
–In the last year I have myself slowed down on purchasing new decks, and I intend to continue doing so. Not because I am ashamed or feel guilty or have financial problems, simply because I want to be mindful when purchasing anything new, and really savor the moment when I get a new deck. I do not judge others that intend to buy 1500 decks this year. This post is just my reflection on why some tarot collectors get so defensive about their purchases, and often seem to want to look superior to someone that spends money on X or Y.}

You don’t need a guru who lets you down. Your Soul alone will do.

Oh my, the tarot/spiritual community is buzzing about Doreen Virtue and her latest announcement of not using those evil tarot cards anymore, now that she is an Episcopalian Christian. I’ve written a little something about DV before by the way, click here if you missed it.

But I’m actually going to take this moment and stay positive and let myself be inspired by her. Now, you all know I don’t give a shit what DV does or does not do, I wouldn’t touch her products with a 10 feet pole, and I have on several occasions said “Thanks, but no thanks” when someone has tried to give me her decks… So I have zero feelings about her recent announcement.

But I understand and honor that her fans are sad, disappointed, angry, hurt…

And I want to take this moment for us to find inspiration in DC and her new path. When reading what I am saying below we need to assume that DV is sincere, honest, and for real this time around when finding the right path… I can’t read her mind so I don’t know, but let’s assume this is actually what is true and right for her, okay?

What she is showing us is the importance of dancing to the beat of your OWN drum. She’s listening to what is going on within her, what deity is guiding her to do, and she’s decided that no matter how many fans she loses she will follow her heart and truth.

Isn’t that what we all should be doing?

In this community we see so many teachers, gurus, mentors and leaders selling expensive (often over-priced) courses to others, promising them a new life, to let them in on “the truth”, and teach them how to communicate with their Soul, guides, angels, Source, how to manifest, on and on and on…

Sometimes I can see a bit of “fast food mindset” there. Instead of doing research online, reading books, going into meditation to see for yourself if your Soul says yes or no to a new teaching, we take the easy way out with an 8 week course where everything is served up and we just have to swallow it.

I’ve myself been a bit of a course junkie every now and then, but I am really realizing that my truth is only to be found in me. If I want to “level up” spiritually I need to DO THE WORK. I can’t sit back just eating up everything some guru says, we can’t be spoon-fed wisdom, inner peace, and deeper spiritual connection. This is not like studying chemistry or mathematics in school – it’s so much bigger, it’s a lifestyle and a journey into the Soul and things that really cannot be explained.

(Quick note: I am not against courses per se, there are amazing ones out there, and I mention some in this post. But some moderation is needed, right?)

People have spent hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of dollars on courses that DV now deems “bad” and “untrue”. She has certified people as ”angelologists” and ”faeryologists” as if she is the all-knowing queen of angels and faeries… Of course fans are now sad and upset! Their certifications aren’t worth anything when the queen no longer approves of them.

Now imagine if those people had sat down at the library instead, and for free researched angels, and spirit guides, whatever DV teaches… Then went home, with new knowledge, sat down and meditated and tried out for themselves how to communicate with angels, how to be guided by them, and taught things by them. Cheaper for sure! And their new-found spiritual practice wouldn’t rely on what one woman says is true or untrue, it would be their own truth and their own journey.

In the long run it would’ve saved them more than their money, right?

Let’s go within. Let’s listen to what is going on in the inner realms of the Heart and Soul. Let’s meditate in nature. Let’s listen to what is being said when no human is talking to us.

Find your path, and don’t let it rely on another human being anymore. You will enjoy it so much more, I am sure of it.

Trading, buying, selling… 12 years later.

In 2005 I started to trade decks over at the wonderful Aeclectic forum. A new world opened, since a lot of decks were hard to get a hold of in Sweden during that time. As an example: Llewellyn decks were not sold in esoteric shops or online book shops! And on the other side of it, the Jolanda/Swedish Witch Tarot was very sought after in the US, while I could get it anywhere for under 20 USD.

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The beauty of trading is that our unloved and unused decks can once again be loved by someone else, instead of put in a basement or even in the trash. For a while I was going to throw away my Universal Waite, because I do not like it anymore, and it was quite worn with scruffy edges. But I figured, hey, maybe someone wants it for free? And someone did! And I am super happy I could give her a deck I was almost about to throw in the trash can. I’m sure she’s happy with it too because hey, she didn’t pay anything.

But you know that I don’t like to just stick to the happy, pretty, unicorn stuff… And recently I’ve experienced quite a few problematic trades and sales (quite odd, because before this year I only had great experiences!). I do not want to throw crap at anyone specific, seriously, but I do want to give you some examples (I have changed details for privacy reasons of course) of how a trade can become a headache, instead of something fun and pleasant.

I have noticed that shipping times can really vary! One time it took 8 weeks before a deck arrived in the US! It usually takes maybe 10 days… After like 4 weeks I offered to pay the girl for the deck she had sent me, thinking it was lost, but this lovely person just said ”I trust you, it’s not your fault, we’ll just let it be.”. And yeah, 8 freaking weeks later she had her deck!

Someone else decided to send me daily (!) messages like ”No deck here yet… Oh I wonder if it is gone…”. I kept saying that it can take like 2-3 weeks sometimes, but still the person kept messaging me, and then of course after like 2-3 weeks the deck had arrived in the US. Lots of energy and time wasted there…

I bought a very expensive deck from someone in a group, that arrived smelling pretty bad. After a few weeks the smell was gone, but I felt a bit annoyed having paid soo much for something that was not mint condition…

My biggest disappointment was a trade where I traded an OOP, mint condition, deck for an OOP deck I had looked desperately for for months. And when it arrived – It was not the right deck! It was a deck I already owned! My heart sank so low after unboxing it. And I did not have the heart to complain, since I really think it was an honest mistake mixing up deck titles, that would’ve not happened if I had just asked for photos. Sigh… Headache, eh?

I also had someone write the wrong address which has lead to me waiting more than 5 weeks for a deck that would’ve arrived in less than a week from Book Depository. But again, I have not complained, because honest mistake so what good does that do?

Most recently I sold a deck half priced because it was modified, otherwise hardly used. I sent photos, put the deck in order, and didn’t notice anything wonky about it really. The person chose to ruin my weekend by messaging me about being unhappy about some, to her, uneven blackened edges. Seriously? That’s why it was half off and obviously would not look like a brand new copy of it!

DUH?

Maybe I’m a bitch that did not refund this person (I was never asked too), but to be honest I don’t feel bad. If someone is picky about a deck looking brand new, maybe a second hand/used deck is not the best idea? In the last 2-3 years I have gifted (to strangers online) perhaps 5 or more different decks, not accepting any payment for shipping costs. So I am not really a greedy person making money from trading and selling decks! I could’ve sold my Servants of the Light, Jolanda first edition, or Golden Rider for 100 USD each, but I chose to trade them for decks worth perhaps 50-60 USD.

Plenty of people have messaged me offering to pay for shipping when I have gifted decks, or sold them very cheap (which I often do), and plenty of people have said ”Omg you should not have charged so little, this one is not even used, it’s like brand new!?”.

But I am happy about this beautiful community and gifting decks or selling them for only the shipping cost is something I enjoy doing as a big thank you.

I’m a bit bummed having had these problems lately, and someone making me feel as if I tried to trick them for money. As an empath and HSP that sort of complaint really stings.

When it comes to decks I don’t want anymore in my collection I think I will simply be gifting them now, it seems less problematic and it’s always nice to see someone happy with a gift, right? But right now there is a bit of bitterness in me, to be frank, and I can say I wouldn’t be surprised if someone would message me complaining about a deck I sent them for free sigh…

I feel a really long break coming up when it comes to selling/buying/trading used decks now. I’ve sold/gifted a few decks I have been trying to get off my hands for a long time now, and I am very happy with my collection. I think I’ll just do what Avalon’s Apothecary does – Keep all the decks! 😉 Haha! I mean, I don’t really lack the space so might as well save myself the headache of dealing with people.

(With that said I gotta say that I am OF COURSE over the Moon and super happy about the beautiful trades that have been successful for both persons involved! I am so grateful for the people making it possible for me to own the Serpentfire, Fallen Angel Oracle, Hoi Polloi, early print Golden Tarot, Prisma Visions, vintage Aquarian, Medicine Woman Tarot + book, Silhouettes Tarot, and many more…)

Are we really manifesting or running errands for the capitalists?

A while back I wrote this blog post about not wanting to be involved with the hardcore Law of Attraction crowd. But I notice I keep going back to discussing this subject time and time again, because I am not afraid to speak up about my own beliefs on the matter, and I notice others are also passionate about it.

The other day I posted an excerpt on Instagram from a fantastic book I have just finished reading: The Medicine Woman Inner Guidebook:

“I know we can make a good world. I trust in the divine plan. Yet, I see too, that people can pick up from writings such as these which emphasize a positive ’you can have it all’ attitude that this means they can and should have every frivolous fantasy and wordly tinket. This is not the case. For every thing you take without thought of the giver whether that be person or planet, you perform an act of greed. Greed destroys you and this planet.”

So eloquently put and so needed in this capitalistic world. I think a lot of people enjoyed the quote, but some questioned it a bit (in a respectful way, thankfully!), so I thought, perhaps it’s time to bring this up again?

First of all I must say I personally don’t believe that anything and everything is possible. People keep saying that, that your mind can achieve ANYTHING. Okay, so there’s no limit? At all? Can I manifest Michael Jackson to come back to life and create new music? Can I manifest all weapons in the world disappearing into thin air? Can I manifest pregnancy without any involvement from a man and his semen?

I just honestly wonder if people think that is the case, because I personally think there are limits, otherwise we’d see a lot more crazy stuff going on in the world, wouldn’t we?

I’ve said it before; you can manifest a new you, but as soon as other people get involved (which they are in this global era!) things get tricky.

What I can’t shake when it comes to the “you can manifest anything!” is the victim blaming that naturally shows its face. Why are you poor? Homeless? Raped and beaten? Why aren’t you manifesting a better life for yourself? That’s when it gets ugly if you ask me.

I was shown this fantastic article by a lovely woman on Instagram: Why White Lady Sisterhood Needs to Evolve. Here is one of my favorite parts:

”There’s also a military fuckton of Law of Attraction stuff that’s basically repackaged Christian Prosperity Theology for new agers without critical thinking skills. […] It’s an entitled orientation towards the extraction of resources because ‘I deserve it and the Universe is waiting to bestow wealth upon me’ with little regard for how those resources were accumulated and are distributed. Wealth is de facto proof of being ‘in alignment with your soul’s purpose’ irrespective of how grossly stratified wealth actually is.”

The spiritual/new age community has by tradition always been anti-capitalistic in the past. The hippie movement in the 60’s was about minimalism, enjoying life instead of working your ass off for a big corporation, living in tune with nature, taking care of Mother Earth, and so on…

But where have we landed today? White privileged people preaching about being in alignment with The Universe since they have a “6 figure soulpreneur business”, looking down on anyone with a “regular soul-killing office job”.

To simplify both the Christian Prosperity Theology and the new age Law of Attraction cult, this is what they are saying:

New age privileged person: If you are successful, meaning that you have a lot of money, you are in alignment with your Soul’s purpose, and manifesting this with the help of the Universe that wants you to be happy (rich…). If you’re not successful then you’re doing it wrong – you have psychological blockages, you are lacking faith, you have self-doubt and self-hate.

Christian: If you are a good Christian – going to church, praying a lot, and truly believe in and love God then God rewards you with wealth and success (money). If you’re not successful then you’re not doing it right and you need to pray more, love God more, etc etc…

It’s the same thing, just a different package. Privileged people patting each other on the back, without feeling guilty for how they’re abusing Mother Earth’s resources, since after all, “God/Universe gave me this, so you can’t question it!”.

I ask you to go search your own heart for answers when it comes to these money matters. Do you think you deserve more wealth than others? Why? Why are you desiring a mansion, two cards, and a crazy fat pay check? Do you really think your happiness will overflow once you’re rich and have a “6 figure heart-centered soulful business”? Do you think if everyone just subscribes to the Law of Attraction that everyone worldwide will be rich? And Mother Earth can then magically handle everyone living the same luxury life as rich Western people do today?

I strongly recommend you sit down and read the before mentioned article. I will end with some wise words from it:

“Can we look hard at how our magic has been colonized, how our hearts beat for the sensation of owning things that have not been freely given but have been stolen from others and from the land — crystals, ceremonies, superfoods, words…that the very land we stand on was stolen? Can we imagine doing more with less?”

Tarot Thursday Three – Round 23!

Julia brings on the deeper questions this week for Tarot Thursday Three and I fell even more in love with tarot answering these!

What is the greatest lesson tarot has so far taught you?

Oooh… Hard to answer! Especially since I’ve worked with tarot for more than a decade.

But two important lessons come to mind:

Balance: In the tarot there is a lot of symbolism showing us the balance between light and dark, masculine and feminine, doing and being etc. And that is definitely something I have struggled with through life, as have many of us! As humans we tend to be success-driven and we tend to get obsessed with DOING, and I have received countless messages from the cards (both in readings and during studies) showing why (and how) this needs to be balanced to live a harmonious life.

Soul connection: Again, as humans we are so busy with the external world because it’s so tangible, and we’re taught to ignore “woo woo” stuff like meditation and journaling. But listening to, and connecting with, our inner world is key for a joyful life. We can do hundreds of pros/cons lists and listen to hundreds of teachers/gurus/therapists – But what truly is needed for us is to listen to our own Soul. Going inwards, tuning in with the inner truth, with our TRUE desires, wants, needs, dreams, dislikes, yearnings… So important if we want to feel “whole”. And tarot has always encouraged me to tune in and listen to myself. Not that I have always followed that piece of advice hehe… But overall I find tarot to be a tool that brings us closer to the Soul and further from outside pressure, influence, and chaos.

What is the biggest way tarot has so far changed your life or added to it?

It has definitely brought me closer to my spirituality. And what I mean by spirituality is belief in a higher power, that there is meaning to being on Earth, that my life and my Soul matter and are really meant to be here. It has helped me explore healing practices/tools/methods and thus explore myself and my Soul further. It has helped me get to know myself and that is a huge deal.

I grew up in an environment that wanted to change me drastically from a very young age. At the age of 5 I was told I had to be thinner, I was too fat, and forced to go on a diet. At the age of 6 I was told I had to be more social, I was too introverted, and was forced out of the house to talk to other kids. I was often laughed at and made fun of and you can imagine what that does to a natural empath! Around the age of 20 I started to realize that I for years had tried to cover up my true self, had forgotten my true self, and had become whatever they wanted me to be. Tarot has helped me remember my identity and personality. I can’t say how grateful I am that I came across such a deep and healing tool.

On a lighter note I also feel tarot is so much fun to have in my life since I rarely can make hobbies and interests stick. I often grow tired of it all and stop doing it, but tarot has now been around for many years and I can’t see myself ever getting rid of all my decks. It’s a fun and important part of life now.

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What keeps tarot interesting and fresh through the years (or months if you’re a newer reader)?

I have gone through months when I have not touched my cards, I can admit that! And it’s okay, it’s important to remember that tarot is only ONE tool for healing, self-development, etc. There are many more ways we can connect with Source or our Soul. It can even be healthy to try other methods and take a break from the cards sometimes. So I don’t fear those times I find tarot redundant or boring.

But of course, I have to say as a bit of a tarot shopping addict, that sometimes a new deck can really spice up your tarot interest again! I had a bit of a longer tarot break a couple of years back, and when I wanted to come back to tarot my decks felt a bit “outdated” and boring to me. I ordered the Ceccoli Tarot and Ludy Lescot and it was exactly what I needed to feel passionate about card reading again!

It’s also important to keep in mind that the card meanings are NOT static. They change with every question, situation, life stage, person… With every reading basically. And that for sure keeps it fresh and interesting.

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Tarot Thursday Three – Round 22!

Another round of fun tarot questions from Julia, and this time we’re talking books!

What was the first tarot book you read or owned?

Gerd Ziegler’s Mirror of the Soul in Swedish! It makes me giggle… It’s a book that for some weird reason is translanted into many languages, so it’s sold everywhere. Since it was kind of cheap I bought it together with my first tarot deck in a small esoteric shop – but quickly discovered that it did not go with my deck, which was the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr. The Goddess Tarot is heavily based on the RWS and Ziegler’s book is about the Thoth deck. So yeah, that was a mistake… I read a couple of pages and then I tossed it. I can’t remember which one I purchased after that, but probably 78 Degrees of Wisdom or Tarot for Yourself. To be honest I never liked 78 Degrees of Wisdom. It felt dry and boring to me. Quite rambly, she just goes on and ooon… Tarot for Yourself is wonderful though, it taught me a lot! I was quite good at looking up information online and participating in Aeclectic Tarot Forum, so I’m grateful for learning from those sources also!

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What is your most referenced tarot book currently?

Hmm. Honestly? I would say – none? I go back and forth with my tarot studies. Sometimes I read tons of tarot books and soak up new information like a sponge, but other times I don’t touch the books. For a while now I’ve been very much into spiritual books, but not really tarot books. With tarot I’ve been more focused on developing my intuitive connection with the cards.

If I were to look up a card right now I would probably go to Benebell Wen’s Holistic Tarot or Tarot for Life by Paul Quinn. The last one is quite an underrated book in the community! I love his writing and he actually connects the cards very well to more self-developing aspects, and doesn’t ramble about history and esoteric symbols.

If I wanted to work with a card in a deeper way I’d go look it up in Tarot 101, she gives great prompts and exercises.

If you could recommend one tarot book for beginners, what would it be?

First I would ask what kind of student the person is. In short what I want to know is if they’re the type A, very organized, student that loves to plan and make to-do lists and deadlines, or the more go-with-the-flow, bohemian, pathworking with the cards and then journal freely with them, intuitive typ of student. Left-brained versus right-brained so to speak.

For the first strict student type I’d recommend Holistic Tarot by Benebell Wen. It contains so much good stuff! And the thing is that Benebell is actually a really good writer (which cannot be said of many tarot book authors unfortunately) and knows how to explain things.

For the more bohemian flow type I’d recommend Tarot 101 by Kim Huggens or Psychic Tarot by Antenucci. Huggens’ has great exercises in her book that really make you tune into what each cards means for you, and helps you build personal bonds with tarot. Psychic Tarot is even more free so to speak, it will help you with exercises on how to develop your intuition.