The Sturgeon Moon in Aquarius: What does it really mean for us this month?

Tonight marks the Full Moon – this month titled the Sturgeon Moon, a Native American name reflecting the fish most prolific and easily caught at this time of year.

Additionally, the moon is in Aquarius – with the sun in Virgo, the moon is opposite, in Aquarius. Often, during an Aquarius moon, situations arise involving “social networking and humanitarian issues” (Lunarliving.org) that require us to think more critically about our own connections with others and how we are impacting those around us.

With that in mind, I spent some time today doing a reading for us all. What can we expect over this moon cycle? What is coming up that we need to be aware of?

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I chose to use my Myths and Mermaids Oracle Deck for this spread.

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I often set up on the living room floor for my readings, as I am as close to the ground as I can get, and I cherish the connection with the earth and the sky.  For reading, as I shuffled the cards, I focussed on connecting to the universal energy, as opposed to a singular energy signature as I do for most personal readings.

Card 1: Illumination – What do we need to know that will be Illuminated by the Full Moon? 

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40. Shipwreck Siren

We see a mermaid, looking beguilingly out at us. In the background, we can see a shipwreck, in the process of succumbing to the waves.  There is deception approaching, don’t trust everything you see/hear. You need to trust your instincts and your own spirit guides, and not be led astray by the Sirens who are promising something too good to be true.  You have someone in your life who is untrustworthy, and who needs to be removed.  But talk to them first, they may not realize that they are being duplicitious. As always, communication is Key.

Card 2: Release – What can we let go of this Cycle?

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42. Mermaid with Black Sea Serpent

A mermaid is staring out at the reader, holding onto a sea serpent for dear life.

Let go of your emotional crutch. We are all strong enough to stand without relying on something that isn’t allowing us to be our True Selves. Embrace your own abiliities and cultivate your self-love.  Surround yourself, this moon cycle, with people, things, and experiences that will help you rebuild your esteem and worth. Listen to the positive voices that surround you, and don’t listen to the ones which are pulling and dragging you down.

Card 3: Guidance – What is our next step? 

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15. Microcosm: Seascape

The mermaid is holding a glass orb, with a turbulent seascape inside it. A storm is coming, but we are safe on the outside of it. We are in a position to observe and record, and to document for history what is coming next. It may be upsetting to watch, and we may feel helpless, but our duty is to bear witness to these events. Nothing we can do can influence the events, as they are safely contained.




 

Wow! This reading felt very, very powerful. Let me know if you interpreted my reading in a different way – after all, the cards have unique meanings to different readers!  If you do your own reading using this spread, I am excited to see how it turns out!

This spread was created specifically for the August full moon, but there is no reason it can’t be used for other full moons in the future.

Bonus: If you are in the Eastern Hemisphere, you have a good chance at seeing the Lunar Eclipse today/tonight!  Space.com is broadcasting it over here, although it occurred close to noon EST.

If you want more information about the various significances of this Full Moon, check out Cafe Astrology for their weekly This Week in Astrology. I am not normally super into astrological significances (I am too rational minded, I feel sometimes) but they have some amazing information.

 

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Grimoire Files 04

I hope that everyone had an amazing Lammas/Lughnasadh yesterday! I intended on writing a Sabbat Grimoire, but life (and medical issues!) got in the way. Thankfully I am a little better today, so I have been working on ordering business cards for R&tS, as well as getting an etsy shop opened up soon! I have some awesome ideas I am going to be announcing soon (as well as a special deal on readings!) so keep your eyes peeled for that.  I also got my tumblr up and running (http://therowanandthestaff.tumblr.com/) so pop on over there and give me a follow if you aren’t already!

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The Meaning of Lughnasadh for Neo-Pagans – while a bit too late for this year (unless you are choosing to celebrate this upcoming Civic Holiday long weekend!), this is a great article to bookmark for next year. It has practical ideas and rituals to incorporate into your celebrations.

Pay Attention to the Omens: 10 Signs You Might be a Witch – this article sort of strikes me as being off, and deals with only one stereotype – a highly sexualized, black-wearing, darkness-loving witch. If I take those aspects out, the list isn’t horrible but I certainly won’t call it a great or all encompassing list. There are MANY, MANY ways to be a witch!

30 days of Magical Roots Challenge – so my amazing friend, Paige (the Fat Feminist Witch) is doing the 30 Days Magical Roots Challenge.  I am a day late, but I am so excited to start it and try it! I am going to be posting it on Instagram (@therowanandthestaff) , and probably reflecting on each week over here 🙂

Your August Horoscope from Broadly – I am not normally one for horoscopes, and getting too into the movement of the planets through the skies affecting our lives. However, this one feels like it is accurate – I have already gotten some news that falls into line with this horoscope. Give it a read, maybe your horoscope will be accurate as well!

Wish Spell with Fire, Bay Leaves, and Laurel – I haven’t tried this spell myself, but with August being a fiery month (at least how I see it, with the crisp heat of the air) I think it would be a good spell to help set intentions.

Jesus was a Pagan who worshiped a Male/Female God – I really like this article. It provides some context for the claims that Jesus was a Pagan,  and some really interesting tidbits on new archaeological finds.

The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries – rather than being an article, this is actually the text of a book, written in 1911 by W.Y. Evans-Wentz, about the Celtic belief in Faeries. I have actually had this book in my bookmarks for a long time, waiting to be read, but seeing it come up on my FB feed gave me a stark reminder that I really should be reading it!

Lammas: Let’s Celebrate!

Lammas

August 1st marks Lammas – the start of autumn harvest, and the acknowledgement that summer is beginning to come to an end. The days are already getting shorter (much to my dismay) and while I love the night time, I also love the heat of summer!

That said, this year I am looking at different ways to celebrate Lammas – it is one of the holidays I don’t often celebrate, but this year I am making an effort to at least acknowledge them.

Much like Imbolc reminds us that the spring is coming, Lammas reminds us that autumn is coming. In Celtic traditions, Lammas is also known as Lughnasadh, the celebration of the harvest aspect of the god Lugh.

Grain has held a place of importance in civilization back nearly to the beginning of time. Grain became associated with the cycle of death and rebirth. The Sumerian god Tammuz was slain and his lover Ishtar grieved so heartily that nature stopped producing. Ishtar mourned Tammuz, and followed him to the Underworld to bring him back, similar to the story of Demeter and Persephone.

Grain and harvesting has long been the backbone of our civilization – from the earliest agricultural society to present day, we have celebrated the harvest in one way or another.

I remember as a child making corn husk dolls  with my mother to enter in the local craft fair each year.  This is an amazing, traditional way to celebrate Lammas if you have connections to Native American spirituality.

I view Lammas as a time to give thanks – to the earth, to the land, and most of all to my ancestors, who spent time in the fields, doing the hard work that is the foundation of our society.

I live in an area that is well-known for its farms, and lush, fertile land, thanks to the warm waters of Lake Erie and our southern location in Canada. Every year I am so grateful that we have so many amazing farms that provide us all that we need. I am so thankful for the fact that I have fresh produce and meat that I can purchase locally.

With that in mind, to honour my ancestors, I will be making fresh bread tomorrow to help me celebrate – it will be my daughter’s first time making bread with me, and I believe first time making bread without the assistance of a breadmaker – I am all for easing the process, but I believe that for a loaf of bread to be truly from scratch, you have to use your body and love to do the hard labour!

If you want to cook along, I will be using this recipe from Taste of Home.

If baking isn’t your style (and it totally isn’t for everyone!) perhaps you might want to take a nature walk and absorb the plants that are blooming and growing around you, and listen to the animals that are active. I love the sound of crickets and cicadas outside right now.

Other ideas to celebrate Lammas include:

  • creating a besom from wheat or wild grasses
  • put out some dried grains or flowers in a natural bowl as an offering
  • Cleanse yourself/house- burn a smudge stick or incense made from wildcrafted herbs from your area
  • Recite a prayer or blessing
  • Complete a warrior meditation to honour Lugh
  • a bread sacrifice ritual
  • have a bonfire!

Share with me what you end up doing to celebrate Lammas – I love hearing about the different ways we all celebrate in our different traditions!

The Grimoire Files: 03

I just returned from an amazing week long family vacation with my in-laws up in Tobermory. I think that everyone needs to connect back to the earth once in a while, get out of the city and breathe fresh air and listen to the waves.

There is nothing more relaxing to me than sitting in a hammock, looking out at the waves, and smelling the breeze as it blows in the smell of cedar trees.  I felt so grounded and calm, and centered. My psychic powers were going off the charts, and I could feel calming and benevolent spirits keeping us company.

With all of that in mind, I did my best to stay off the internet. I didn’t succeed, but somedays were better than others!  As a result, this is a lot longer Grimoire File than normal – I love doing these, and collecting things to share with all of you.

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23 Kick Ass Female Goddesses – This is an AMAZING list of goddesses. I am comforted to see three of my favourites on here (Gaea, Freya, Bast) and this is an AMAZING primer of goddesses for beginner Pagans, starting on their own path. Choosing a deity (if you so choose to do so) is an transforming experience, but it isn’t always an easy decision.

Treating Depression in a Pagan Context – It is no secret that I suffer from depression. I struggle with it on a daily basis – some days are better, and some aren’t.  This is an awesome article with tips from Selena Fox, from Circle Sanctuary. I had the privilege of attending a Brigid Ritual with her at ConVocation 2016, and while I didn’t get as much from the ritual as I expected to (I think because of the location), it was beautiful and moving.  Reading through these strategies, and the perspective of this article, I found a lot of good advice to take away from it!  I love that that there are a lot of anecdotal tidbits from different pagans of various practices, and what works for them.

Scrying: How to Practice – I have difficulty with scrying. I think it is because my abilities work as a result of knowledge, rather than sight (claircognizant vs clairvoyant). Regardless, this is an AMAZING guide, and well worth being in the Grimoire!

A Brief History of Feri – I stumbled upon this website during the monthly Fat Feminist Witch book club. We have been reading Evolutionary Witchcraft by T. Thorn Coyle, and oh my god, it is amazing! This website is a great introduction to the history of their tradition, and has a lot of amazing rituals you can incorporate into your own spiritual practice.

Fat Mermaids!!!<3<3<3 – while not magical per-say, I am a fat woman. I am also a woman who LOVES the water, and loves mermaids.  This post is filled with so many magical, amazing, beautiful mermaids.

The Others – What do you put when they ask for your religions denomination? Generally, I put “Other”, but what does that REALLY mean? I applaud this author for taking a stand and asking some tough questions.

Slavic-Pagan Photography – these images are SO gorgeous, and just amazing portraiture.

The Call of the Morrigan – Morrigan is a goddess I don’t quite understand yet, but she is someone I have a desire to understand. This is the first in a series of posts (An Oath to the Morrigan is another) that I plan on delving into further. I am greatly interested myself in examining this author’s insights!

I think I will end this File there – I have a lot rattling around inside right now, feelings and emotions and energies. I am in the process of setting up my altar after travelling (I made a gorgeous little travel altar, which I will be showcasing later this week!) and doing some necessary cleansing.

For those that celebrate, blessed Lammas on Tuesday. I would love to see your Lammas celebrations! Share them with me on my FB page, The Rowan and the Staff, if you feel so inclined!

The Grimoire Files: 02

Hi all!

I am back today, feeling sort of invigorated, and sort of disheartened. I did my first paid tarot readings last night (woot!) but I am still learning how to run a successful business.  I have to adjust my pricing, and figure out how to best sell things at a craft fair.

I have another opportunity to sell at a booth soon in August, and I am thinking about setting up an Etsy store. I need to order some business cards! That’s on the agenda for the next few weeks.

First of all, another Grimoire Files!

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Tough Tarot Topics: Racism  Oh my goddess, this blog is PHENOMENAL! Ivan, the author, is a queer person of colour, and recounts some of their experiences dealing with racism in the tarot community.

Shocker: There is no Universal Threefold Law in Wicca  First of all, I dislike how many people presume that Wiccan rules/greetings are the standard amongst pagans, even amongst groups of pagans! There seems to be an assumption that every Pagan celebrates the Wheel of the Year, follows the Threefold Law, and finishes every spell or blessing with “So Mote It Be”. I see it at conventions and festivals.  When I saw this blog post, I felt drawn to it!  Her literary analysis of the original Gardner novel is incredibly interesting!

“The idea is that the witch returns things triple, not the universe. The witch is herself the agent of a threefold response, not the universe. “

On Tarot Reading Ethics: Part 1: Health, Legal, and Financial Readings The first of two articles about the Ethics of tarot reading.  Totally worth checking out, she has some amazing links and resources to check out for tarot readers. She addresses some legal and moral issues facing spiritual readers, mostly seeming to address issues in the United States.

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The World by Tayler Smith

Recreating the Tarot Deck for the 21st Century These are SO GORGEOUS!  This was a short show featuring over 70 different artists at a show in London. I, for one, am really hoping that they make a tarot deck of these, because I am really digging it!

I’m sure I’ll be coming at you with some more links and resources soon.  If you have a link you want to share with us, please feel free to send me a message here on on my FB page, which is newly set up!  Come check it out, and follow along.  I’ll be announcing the winners of the free readings over there shortly!

Facebook: The Rowan and the Staff

The Grimoire Files: 01

Introducing

The last few weeks, I have been collecting links in my saved files on Facebook – to revisit, to look at again, to save to remember for later. I almost feel like these links are things I would put in a Grimoire, if I kept a grimoire.

Then I realized, that is basically what The Rowan & the Staff is. This is my Grimoire, and this is where I am collecting my knowledge to share with others.

This will be the first Grimoire File: A collection of interesting articles I have found over the past while, and what my reaction is to them.  Sort of like my notes in the margins of my old university articles!

So, without further ado, here is a (kinda long) list of some links I have been gathering and collected!

Go and Reclaim Your Tools: Meet the woman behind Black Witch University – from Vice, this woman seems AWESOME! “We’re coming out of the kitchen and into the garden, then branching out into the universe,” Harris says. “Where did all those herbs and spices come from? Where is that sacred energy, that goddess worship?”

Five things you can learn from a pagan – Keep in mind while reading this, if you are new to Paganism, that there are SO MANY different types of pagans, and not one belief system is more correct than others. That said, I felt like these are great things to keep in mind when interacting with other pagans, and exploring paganism yourself!.  “Paganism is defined by its earth-centered ethos. While our collective humanity has lost sight of the ways of the green world, pagans hunger to touch and be touched by the powers and splendor of Nature. And in this sensual, embodied exchange, we awaken to the living world.”  

The Ghetto Tarot: Transforming Classic Tarot in Haiti – So an artist is reinterpreting the classic Rider-Waite tarot deck for Haitian culture. For me, the most powerful images were the nine of swords and the Sun.

Nine Rules for being Human handed down from Ancient Sanskrit – Rule Four: The Lesson is Repeated Until You Learn.  God, this is something that I KNOW. I kept getting the same freaking message sent to me until I started on this path in earnest.

Witchy Feminism in Modern Music Videos This totally is an older article, but it still feels SO relevant. Watch some of the music videos referenced (my favourite is the Grimes video), and let me know what you think.

11 Signs you might be experiencing a Spiritual Awakening When I read this for the first time a few weeks back, I had one of those HOLY SHIT moments. All of these signs/things have been happening to me the last 6-8 months. The video at the end is also really powerful, and is totally worth watching.

Handcrafted Herbalism Course This is a free herbalism course I signed up for – herbalism is a HUGE part of my craft, and of my beliefs.

On a Wonderful, Beautiful, almost failed sentence by Virginia Woolf This isn’t pagan specific, but it resonated with me on SO MANY different levels! “it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love, battle, and jealousy among the prime themes of literature.” 

The Fat Feminist Witch: I’m completely Obsessed with #wiccanchat The FFW is amazing, and she wrote up an awesome guide and roundup about #wiccanchat on twitter! I don’t use twitter that much, but I am contemplating it just for this reason.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out my Giveback – I am giving away 5 free readings, just leave a comment on the entry!

It’s my Birthday – let’s celebrate!

So tomorrow, July 4th (today, or yesterday I am sure by the time you are reading this), is my birthday. I struggle a lot with my birthdays, but not for the reasons you might presume – I am not afraid of getting older (instead, I embrace it), I am not afraid of death. Rather, the reasons are totally superficial and first world.

I am constantly let down on my birthday – sometimes it is the fault of my partner, or my parents, or most often, just the circumstances of life – and I have never had the birthday of my “dreams”.  It is TOTALLY lame to want that, but I feel like it should be a day completely about ME sometimes.

I hate that I feel this way – I feel selfish and irrational and like a Diva. That isn’t me the rest of the 364 days of the year! I am trying to find a way to be okay with a low-key birthday, to embrace what I do have instead of what I (perceive) to be missing.

As a result, I have decided to give back. I don’t have a lot to give, but I have my talents, and my gifts. I also have time! I decided I am going to start with one quick give back – I am sure more will be coming in the future (I have a few ideas of different regular features for the blog, which I will be rolling out in the future!)

In honour of my birthday, in the spirit of giving to others, I will be giving away 5 free intuitive tarot readings! Now, be forewarned, I am still learning. I am still memorizing the cards, I am still working on honing my powers. But I do promise that I am real, I am the genuine thing – I know shit that I normally shouldn’t pick up just from the cards, but am pulling from the energy of the universe to give to my recipients.

I am offering my intuitive tarot reading services to 5 people. You can be local to me (Windsor) or I can do a video reading for you where I record as I go.

The giveaway runs until Saturday, July 8th at noon. You can enter by commenting on this blog entry with something about yourself!  I want to get to know the people who read my blog, and start to meet some more like-minded folks,

As well, If you comment on any other blog post, you’ll get another entry into the contest.  Let’s get some dialogue started!

I will contact each person who wins, and I will be announcing the winners in a new blog post on the 8th. They will have until the 30th to claim their readings! I will be at GrrlFest here in Windsor on July 15th, which should be a total blast! If you are in the area, you are free to redeem your reading there.

If you want to check out my reviews on Simbi, the link is on the side panel of the blog!  If you aren’t familiar with what an intuitive tarot reader is, stick around, I’m posting on this topic later this week!

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Good luck everyone! And Happy Birthday to all of us – I wouldn’t be Me without the people I have in my life to interact with. So thanks!