three days in


I spent some time really looking at The Fool card before asking it to show me its spirit and tucking it away under my pillow. In my deck it is called The Wanderer and feels very liminal to me. It’s cloudy beneath The Fool’s bare feet.. one which is firm connecting to the earth and one poised to take that step into the unknown. The rainbow shows a path but The Fool cannot see what he is about to cross. His hands are out in surrender or welcome, the forest ahead is both menacing and full of mystery; and his back is to me.. is he willingly going forward or turning away from a situation which no longer serves? It feels like a pause to me. There is a face in the trees and something beckoning in the distance. It reminds me of a recent time when I had to make a choice in path to leave the road I started on, sure this was what I wanted and discovering that in fact it was just a connecting path to new friends and an even newer undertaking.. and again just this past weekend of a leaving behind of some things.

“Your goal is to make the cards an extension of you”.. such was the beginning of the course. I am taking 78 Days of Tarot which so far has been a spirit shaker.. and has found its way to me at the most perfect time.

I actually brushed up against The Fool early in the year, leaving a path that turned out not mine. In between that brush and when I took his hand, I spent some time breathing in the cleansing air rolling off the ocean with Walking Bear. It was the third anniversary of my fathers passing. Already so much had passed in the Wheel’s previous turn.

Soon after came a weekend of truths, giving me a view from the other side.. albeit in a different situation. This plunged me into a deep depression- the kind we are not supposed to talk about. I wanted to walk away from everything in life and spiritual. I was tired.. but then came Walking Bear’s call and slowly things moved back to okay.

The Shaman looks directly at me in challenge.. the answer is there but am I ready to know it? The spirals on his body make me think of cycles and the skulls about him are the knowledge keepers. He is draped in the skin of Bear as if they are one. This is a familiar card to me as it sits opposite the Seer in my deck and not only does he show when I need to hear my brother’s voice in my head, but when I find them together in the same reading then I know it has to do with us both. This card, when I pull it, is almost always Walking Bear.

“There are two sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.”

This morning I drew the five of arrows.. frustration. I had to ask myself once again if I was the archer or if I was the goat.. and again, I was both. Last time I pulled this card I had gotten hurt pretty badly.

One side:
Yes, I am absent. Yes, I am lacking in providing the level of support you seem to expect. Yes, I am not a good friend in your eyes. I see all of your points and I understand where they are coming from. I have things holding my time that you may not deem important.. but I do, and maybe that could have been addressed with me directly. I can only do what I can do.. and I have made my peace.

*snick* I am closing that door, I cannot live up to your expectations, nor will I try to.

The other side:
I put on my big girl panties (by this time very worn and tattered.. I may need a new pair) and opened the discussion. Brutal honesty was given in the hopes of some sort of resolution.. there was not one. I could not truly summon the level of sympathy asked for. In the end, I didn’t like myself very much.. but it is what it is.

*snick* I am closing the door, it is time for me to step away.

The Seer is enveloped in the wisdom of owl, skull suspended from her neck. Her cloak echoes the Shaman’s. There is a carving of a Labyrinth supporting her vessel, filled with the reflective waters.. but her eyes are closed. She does not need it to see. The tree seems to whisper to her from behind as its roots reach out toward her.

Today was my walk with The Seer and I spent it trying to embrace silence.. but silence would not come. All of these things were still floating around in thought. I do not know the truth of the middle, I have only my truths to live by. The Seer stands in that middle, she is the gateway keeper and sometimes that is a painful place to be.

*snick-snick-snick* I close the door on the path not mine, I close the door on expectations that I cannot fulfill, I close the door on relationships that no longer serve; and though I may find myself sometimes in the middle.. I do not fear turning my back and walking off into the unseen. I am three days into this course, and already I have found so much..





of the lost (part 1, the consult)


**as a note, I wrote part 2 before part 1, but part 1 seemed like it needed to be first

Question: Why was I chosen for the lost?

The cards say:

The Lovers, The Wheel Of Fortune, The Magician: You were chosen by blind chance and you went along with it. The ultimate choice is yours, but there is a pull that you haven’t been able to resist; as the wheel spins, you get lost in the ride. And then there is the fact that you are just so damn alluring that seekers can’t seem to help but be drawn to you and your magic. But remember you are the magician and you can do whatever you damn well please. Do you see which side the handle of the wheel is on? It’s on the side of the magician…which means the magician controls it.

“Blind chance” came from the angel hovering above your head in the lovers. The divine winged being wears a blindfold while shooting arrows. How does he know what he aims at? It’s all chance.

The Lovers is the crossroad. People think it’s about romance and true, passionate love. It’s not…at all. It’s about choice…to stay or go, to choose this or that, etc. Do I go this way or that way? The crossroad.

Such was my consult from Batelevr (henceforth to be known the Keeper of Batelevr, or “B” for short.. she has turned in her path, my fellow hedger, much like the wheel.. her path moving through the mists she now peers through and the provider of the above photo). It brought forth a great many thoughts.. foremost of Fortuna, the Fates, and that pledge I made at the crossroads summers ago.

The wheel belongs to her, Fortuna, to spin at random. It is said that she is insane and blind.. and wherever that wheel lands is where fortune falls. She will never still because to do so she would cease to be fortune. The wheel is cosmic law, nothing remains static.. from chaos turns order turns chaos.. the cycle of all things.

“The wheel of fortune is an ancient image, depicting man bound to the wheel of destiny, helpless before blind chance or the impartial hands of the Fates; who spin, measure, and then finally cut the threads of his life. Even then, as we attain the quiet centre, we understand that before too long it will be time to move on to the next cycle.” – The Intuitive Tarot by Cilla Conway.

Oh the fates (or as I refer to them, those twisted bitches).. in Greek mythology they were the Moirai, white robed incarnations of destiny. Their number became fixed at three (I so love threes) – the spinner, the drawer of lots, and the unturnable.. or so I read. They watched over the fate assigned by eternal laws to be sure it took the proper course. I tend to prefer the Norns and the mythology of Yggdrasil..

In blinding and chance woven into the threads of destiny, I thought of the Justice card in the Wildwood deck.. the image of her blindfolded before the scales. I also thought of an old convo with Walking Bear on caring for the fallen or the fallout. That is neither here nor there and I am rambling again.. but then the magician is the equivalent of the Shaman in the Wildwood deck and in it the bringer of insight. He also brings understanding of your true place in the world. The Lovers in this Wildwood are in part representative of balance, an exchange of respect and the burning away of the waste of greed.

Choice and balance.  Chance and the weavers of fate. Control and insight. And an old pledge that still seems to be bringing me the lost.



what to do


I was constantly running a little late or a little early this season. The season itself just didn’t feel like the season and I seem to be completely thrown off. I made it to the altar quite past the Yuletide but then again, as you know, I never seem to be good at keeping schedules. I finally just snuck off to sit in some quiet one off day of no particular consequence amongst all the goings on. My brain was full and I’d had a sense of being under fire but no sense of where it was coming from.. I just wanted to take a breath.

Hello my lovelies.. yes, I know it has been awhile and I find myself heavy of mind..

I lit the room full of candles, making my amends for the long absence, and then I laid out my many offerings – whiskey, herbs, Florida water. Then I just sat in the silence for a bit.. what to do, what to do. I needed to sort out my thoughts and this odd unexplained feeling of the impending before I formed the question. I idly stroked Mother Bear, blowing the incense smoke in her direction. I had the random thought that owl had slipped me again.

Something is being put to my direction, I can feel it.. like a quiet stabbing. I just don’t know,  or maybe I’d just had enough festivities and was too tired to sort it. I felt a stirring, and so I lay the cards..

From the Wildwood Tarot..

Five of arrows, frustration..a goat with long curving horns and a wildly tangled coat leaps upward into the sky.. around it are four arrows, none of which strike it.. unfocused energy leads to the archer releasing inaccurate arrows or lashing out in an uncontrolled manner and missing the target.. if others are attempting to cause distractions, you will only feed their ego and help their cause by reacting and acknowledging their efforts.. take a deep breath and steady your mind.. see the futility of games played against you and go about your business.. frustration is ungrounded energy..

Am I the goat or the archer.. or maybe I am both??

King of stones, wolf.. comfortable in the dark and cold of winter, it was seen as the guardian of the dead on their journey through the night to the otherworld.. love of the natural world guides much of what you do.. security brings pleasure.. cocoon yourself away from outside influences..

I was getting distracted again.. falsely greener grass and somethings shiny.. but they are not true, or not my true I should say..

The Ancestor, placed at the nexus point between the passing winter and the coming spring.. the mornng is clear and frosty with the first glimmer of dawn shimmering on the horizon where the new moon hangs with the morning star, representing a new day and a reawakened soul.. the trees act as a reminder to follow the path..

I know what I need to do.. Bear has been whispering it all this time..

And in shadow, the Ace of Stones.. the labyrinth..

This card reminds me so much of a specific person that it is hard to keep it separate in my mind.. is it representative of them or am I just making that association from a snapshot in time.. the spirits seen that day and what potential could be or could be lost.. I am not the one to say.. that path is not mine to choose..


the whisperings of time passing


I kept cycling back to the dream of the exploding bombs.. this dream I had before all the momentum of what was to be became realized. So much had passed now during those following months.. loves lost and loves found, the ripping apart of hearts, and the constant change that chaos brings once the shadows are revealed.. the whisperings of time passing.

I rarely read the cards for others, all except for the fiery one.. hers I’ve read quite regularly over the years. Hers are always so clear due to the unnatural bond.. the upside to years upon years. Also, she is better able to withstand my brutal death blow.. I am not always the gentle reader. My girls would be the first to tell you that I am great at asking the difficult questions.

We never made it to that big goodbye but I did sit down on the day of her leaving to do what may be the final read.. there are whisperings, you see. I set the incense to smoke, lit a candle, and shuffled three times three.. out came boredom and the wheel. Well, no surprises there my love.. blessed journey and he will understand in time.

the long and rambly – fate, free will, and destiny


Three factors shape our lives: fate, destiny, and free will. Fate is that which we cannot altar. Destiny is the unique gift that lies potentially within each of us. Free will is about the choices we make for ourselves. –pulled in bits from The Wildwood Tarot Book

Puzzling pieces.. this is how I’ve felt about my workings and such this past year-ish. It has been sometimes confusing, sometimes ill fitting, sometimes falling perfect, and sometimes just a bit of wtf is this supposed to be? A few days past setting the altar I did a long reading, choosing a new layout – Fate, Free Will, and Destiny, found in the Wildwood book. I put forth one single word which I choose not to share. In the first instant of looking at this reading, I had the feeling of things falling into place.. some of which I instantly recognized, some reassuring, and one that made me a bit hesitant. All together they gave me a feeling of place and the next morning I woke up feeling I was finally over some things and ready to move on. The healing had started.

The issue – the journey, placed at Samhain, associated with the waning moon and the elements of Water and Earth. It is the time of the dead.

..hello there stag who insisted to be moved to my altar, even though I wasn’t ready to work with you yet.. this card felt like a big thing.. a big thing that’s niggling me.. I know where I want to start, I know it’s tied to many things.. the path chosen, the feeling of being stripped down, the ancestors.. but still.. niggling.. in the “roots and branches” of the  book’s description it lists “the washer at the ford and the dark mother”.. one day when WB was over and while pulling bits out, I had two misplaced cards found – the lady of shadows and the crone.. I immediately thought of these.

The solitary horned skull of a reindeer lies in the forest, picked clean to the bone by a circling flock of ravens.. one great raven sits beside it, the flesh of the reindeer in its beak. As both guardian and guide, it’s unblinking eye is all-seeing and unafraid.. on one level, death does translate a simple expression of change but, however profound, extreme and cleansing that change may be, that reading simply does not deal with the core experience and meaning.. once the dead were not feared. They were seen as guardians.. holders of wisdom.. as a metaphor for cyclic change, the Journey is a required experience on the passage around the Wheel..

Reaction – the Shaman, at the hub of the wheel, opposite the seer, located in the quarter representing Air and embodies aspects of magic, protection, and insight

The Shaman looks from the card with eyes that are both clear and open and yet there is something ancient and profound within his steady gaze. He is wrapped in bearskin that is adorned with Paleolithic paintings of animal spirits.. on the ground before him are laid objects that represent the four elements of the world.. representing energies and levels of consciousness that defy human rationalization.. this is a gateway card.. a new spiritual chapter emerges.

What is inescapable – seven of vessels, mourning

..I saw the lines in the mirror long ago.. what I saw there prompted my pledge that summer.. letting go and being at peace with that past.. I am working on it..

A human skull painted with an array of designs including spirals, zigzags, and wavy lines, lies at the foot of a tree. Around it are scattered typical grave goods.. this is a time to honor what is dead and mourn for what has gone. Learn the lesson of letting go by offering thanks for cherished memories and being at peace with the past..

The changes – the sun of life, connected to the green man and green woman, associated with the element of fire, the period of noon, and the gateway of the mind

..for some reason this felt very halfway point, and then I read..

Viewed as if from the center of the summer Wildwood, the Sun of Life is surrounded by fecundity and growth.. the promise of the sun’s return after its sojourn below the horizon during the winter months.. the next step in the awareness of the universal mind.. beckons you to see beyond the noise and clatter of human reality and become aware of the vastness..

The choice – the pole star, placed at Imbolc, associated with the new moon and universal lore and stands between the elements of Earth and Air

..this sung for me because of the airy altar which I had planned to take down at Imbolc, although it fell earlier, just one of those funny things I guess considering this Imbolc fell around the new moon and the new altar reads of Earth..

The blessing of the Pole Star radiates to the Earth across the abyss and reminds us that the same stuff of creation that fuels and binds these mighty sentinels of the night sky burns within us.. symbolizes universal law, higher spiritual knowledge, and power.. the power of universal lore is at work here, either within the individual or permeating a web of circumstance that will bring profound change and a new spiritual hope.. of prophetic guidance and inspirational knowledge has rising and will guide you on your forthcoming journey through the forest..

Wildcard – queen of stones, bear, approaching midwinter

.. bear feels very feminine to me, maybe because the one called that rests on my altar now feels very feminine.. like a great mother/elder presence.. so much of this one speaks..

The ancient ancestor of the modern bear, the cave bear hibernated in caves during the cold northern winter. Neanderthals buried their skulls here and even shared their caves during some periods.. learning to manage things wisely, putting the family first, refusing to nurture.. if you practice a craft or design, be expansive and liberal..

.. and so there, the long and wordy.. all of those which moved about me and of those who came to rest on my altar made their way to speak through the cards.. the niggling of the journey awaits but quite frankly, I am just ready to get to the warmth of that halfway point waiting right around the bend.

tranquil fox


I woke up that morning filled with the whispering of spirit and no time.. the fiery one’s advice to get my feet back in the dirt ringing in my thoughts as I went to collect my bit of fox for the trek. I had not felt the urge to work with her before but I had been feeling the call of her calming presence all morning. With the image of the hawk brought by Baba so long ago finally figured and all this emotion filtering through this turn of the wheel urging me forward, I made my way to one of my favorite hiding places.


It was time to talk to the spirits. Logically, I already had a grasp on the outcome but still I was curious at what they would bring to me. I settled down among the cypress, cards in hand with fox by my side, and started the shuffle of threes.. the ancestor, the world tree, the great bear (yep, bears love me); and the seven of stones in the shadows. It was as it should be, but oh, the journey.. quite a showing of big picture cards and lots of things to ponder. I found a little grey feather waiting for me on my way out.


Later in the week, the fiery one and I met for an equinox picnic. I drew out the barriers for the red meal, lit the incense, and called to those who would come. We lit our candles, spoke out words needed, and left an offering in thanks and anticipation of  what this turn of the wheel was to bring. We then settled down into catching up on our lives and our own feast.


baby bear’s reading


My new loves Gomi has been taking quite an interest in my spiritual. He’s been rearranging the altar as he sees fit, trimming the workroom plants, and running off with bones he doesn’t think I need to work with at that particular time. . very helpful. Most recently, he’s taken up the cards. He spent an entire afternoon pondering their mysteries, shuffling them around on the floor until just the right one called to him. I know this because he was particularly adamant about that one, having carried it off to the side of the others to contemplate it and mark it as his own.. thoroughly chewing the corner to be sure he could find it again. He insistently refused to give it up when I tried to retrieve it from him, laying full body on it and swiping at me whenever I tried to see what it was. Originally we gave him the spirit name Little Big Head but now he has a second.. Baby Bear. Apparently, at least in his sphere, he is the great polar bear.



The Great Bear

The Great Bear is placed at the Winter Solstice on 21 December. It’s element is Earth and it is associated with the dark sun, the gateway of the dead and their rebirth, and the still point of renewal and healing.

Between two yew trees lies an ancient burial mound of the kind known as a passage grave. Upon this a polar bear crouches, keeping watch. The initiate has been laid to rest, covered by earth and stone, and now waits to be reborn, guarded by the shamanic sentinel of the mound.

Roots and Branches

renewal, universal mind, inescapable truth, the even hand, cosmic law, reincarnation, the sleep of the just, karma, nothing is forgotten, the cage of guilt, reaping what has been sown, the divinity of forgiving

the maiden, the mother, and, you know– the other one

Walking Bear and I have been having many conversations here recently on the other one and how she has been so present in my life of late. He has brought me great wisdom on the matter of initiations, changes, and so much other. I tend to be lax in my movement at times, even when it so obviously pushes at me.

I was cleaning about the house, doing all those non-witchy things one must do in the here, when I found the notes. I had taken them sometime after Yule of last and somehow they had slipped away. I have mentioned my dreams of Baba and how she was to help me in the knowledge of the wildwood amongst such other things… and so she has, so she has.

I had fallen short of my workings with her for this or that reason and never did make it back… which brings me to these found notes of threes– I immediately thought of the bloody lady. Is there to be another, a third? I think so. Also, much like the bloody lady’s task, my notes of Baba were missing the last…


blue moon 8/31 (past or future date?)

the man

fish, snake, bird (i keep seeing triads)

       –possibly representative of the boundaries

fae lights, fires & a rustling in the green… growling

       –a warning?

       –drawing travelers from a safe path

dark waters & the night sky

eyes, the windows of her hut, moving hut on chicken legs

Baba Yaga humming to the spider, anxiety

       –she rules over the elements, grandmother spider? imagery of a wise woman

       –guardian of the waters of life & death, bone mother, nature spirit, bringing wisdom & death of ego & through death, rebirth

       –bringer of the knowledge of the wildwood, the plants will tell you what you need to know

And later:

I ask the cards, three times three, what does Baba want?

Rustling in the brush, it was there in the mirror. Knight of arrows, hawk falls out, he is watching– this is the man?

Arrows– the intuitive mind, departing the spring equinox is the hawk, master of air element & messenger of fate. Can help you through doubt at the heart of the matter. Use your common sense.

What does Baba want?

Seven of vessels, mourning… the bowls & the skull symbols stand out. Feeling of oppression & darkness overshadows.

Vessels– emotions, relationships, of the heart, wavy lines on the skull (saw these lines at the first as well). Through to autumn–Samhain. Recovery after failure, being at peace with the past.

… And the third is missing.