Weekly Readings

Weekly Readings from Wooly Witchy

From Offbeat Home: Don’t know what to do next? Here’s what you can do to fight white supremacy.

Fantastic review of Kitchen Table Tarot that I found on Little Red Tarot.  I’m reading my way through that book right now.  Just very slowly!

Converting Hidden Spiritual Racism Into Sacred Activism: An Open Letter To Spiritual White Folks – a good read with some practical steps you can take to help.

 

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Charlottesville: Stand with Communities of Color

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

– Martin Niemöller (German Lutheran Pastor)

I stand with our marginalized communities who are standing up and speaking against Wooly Thoughts updatedWhite Supremacist groups that have now been given space and voice by our president.  Whatever they call themselves, Alt-Right, Nazis, under any name they represent the worst elements in our country.  I’ve been struggling, as I always do, around what I can do to help.  I’m trying to find the right voices to listen to and to amplify.  Here’s what I’ve got right now.

Attend vigils if you’ve got one near you and you’re able to attend.  Here’s a site to find one near you.

Donate some money to one of the organizations working there right now.  Here’s a list.

And this: Talk about it.  Having these conversations can be really hard, but the responsibility of anyone who wants to act as an ally to marginalized communities.  Another friendly reminder:  Ally is not a noun, Ally is a VERB.  It’s a thing you do, not an identity you get to claim.  If you want to say you’re an ally, now is the time to prove it.  Call out racism when you see it.  This is especially true if you’re a white person like me.  It is my responsibility to use my priviledge to help support those people who don’t have access to the spaces that I have.  And it’s HARD, I’m an introvert and I hate confrontation, but if I don’t use the power that I have, it benefits those people who want to hurt our most vulnerable communities.

An in the vein of trying to be a better ally: The Hard Truth that Good White People Need to Hear.

I have just one thought about all the media I’m seeing right now.  I really don’t like the phrase “Silence = Consent”, because that’s SUCH a dangerous thing to imply.  I understand why people are saying it and (I think) what they’re trying to say.  If we don’t speak up when we see shit like this happening in OUR country, we’re giving tacit support.  We NEED to speak up, we need to act up.  And we also need to own up to the fact that this is our problem.   BUT, the word consent here is problematic.  I don’t want an issue of semantics to derail the real discussion going on here, the focus needs to stay on the issue.  But I needed to voice this.  Tone policing is shitty and that’s not what I want to be doing here.  People are justifiably outraged, and they should be.

However, consent.  When a person is raped and they didn’t or couldn’t say no, their silence is not consent.  However, if you witness a crime and you don’t tell someone about it, take the actions that you’re able to take, you are complicit.  You’re letting shit happen and dismissing it by saying ‘it doesn’t affect me, I didn’t participate’.  And that’s not okay.  There’s always exceptions, sometimes you have to keep quiet because it isn’t safe.  And I don’t advocate putting yourself into direct harm if speaking up puts you into an unsafe situation.

Honestly though, most of us “good white folks” aren’t risking our safety when we speak up about racial issues.  Yes, it’s uncomfortable, yes it’s difficult, yes it might be scary, but for the most part, we’re not risking our physical safety in bringing up the issue.  It’s something we really need to do if we want to put our money where our mouths are.  No more empty lip service.  DO SOMETHING.  Don’t foist it off saying ‘it wasn’t me’, or ‘it doesn’t represent my hometown’.  It’s our problem and it’s long past time for us to face it and start fixing it.

I’m going to end with a quote from the Hard Truth article:

The country doesn’t actually need “good white people.” What it needs are actual allies; allies who listen to people of color, allies who don’t speak over people of color, allies who do not need to be told that they are good, allies that do not center their activism around whiteness, allies who are not colorblind. If this is too much to ask, if you grow defensive when challenged, if your first instinct is to lash out, maybe you were never actually truly a good white person to begin with.

Violence is not just a Distraction

I want to open this post by first saying this: to all of you beautiful trans folks in our beloved queer communities, I love you, you are valid, you are perfect and you are wonderful.  I want to know you, I see you.  You are not a burden, you are not a distraction.  The world is a shit show right now and I’m sorry that things are exploding in your faces right now.

That said, I’ve got another thing that I need to say as well, because I’ve heard it twice in my everyday life from ‘well-meaning’ white ladies.  And that’s them saying that Donald Trump’s tweets are just a distraction from what’s going on around us.

And that is BULLSHIT.  Yes, I’m sure our current president is trying to distract people from all the crap he’s pulling, but when he uses violence against queer folks, that’s not just a distraction.  That is VIOLENCE.  And don’t be mistaken or misled, the things he’s saying and doing are causing violence against some of the most marginalized folks in our communities.  This is unacceptable and when you tell me that it’s not a big deal, it’s just a distraction, you’re telling me that my life, and the lives of queer people like me, is a distraction.

Also if you’re saying it’s a distraction you’re implying that queer people, because let’s face it, queers are some of the only people paying attention to this shit right now, can’t focus on more than one issue at once, then fuck you because it’s our entire lives.  Our entire lives are trying to juggle the hundreds of different problems that queers face, and somehow we still manage to do amazing things, despite having the deck stacked against us at every turn.

If you’re looking for a way to be better ally: read this article while you angrily retweet things

Weekly Readings

Weekly Readings from Wooly Witchy

 Liz Worth shares the decks that she works with.  I always love hearing what decks other readers are using and why they love them.  It’s such an enriching experience and gives me great perspective on why I love the decks that I do.

Oh MAN, I REALLY want to see the Wrinkle in Time movie!!!  It features a brown girl as the protagonist in a sci fi movie, YES PLEASE.  A second article: The Reason Publishers Rejected A Wrinkle in Time Is the Same Reason That Ava DuVernay Is Making the Movie.

Ivan Ambrose shared a post about Racism in Tarot, and I agree with Beth from LRT who said that everyone should read it.  Also a note: if your reaction is something along the lines of “I can’t believe that happens, that’s awful.”  I encourage you to follow that thought up with “What can I do to help stop it from continuing?”  Racism in our communities isn’t a problem for people of color to deal with, we’re all responsible to take steps to support the marginalized folks in our communities.  ❤

 

Nosy Witch Questions

Nosy Witch Questions updated

The Hanged Man: Which area of witchcraft are you least familiar with?

I don’t know much about hexing or cursing or binding, beyond what you hear about in pop culture.  I also don’t know much about Bruja or Santeria workings and that kind of thing.  I would love to learn more about it.  I don’t think I would try to work it myself because I wouldn’t feel right about it because it’s not my heritage and I don’t want to be appropriative of something that doesn’t belong to me.  But I think there are definitely things I could learn from witches of color.

I think the best way to do that learning to find other practitioners who you respect and listen to what they’re saying.  I’m not advocating stealing or adopting their practices en masse, but building awareness of the diversity in witchcraft only helps us.  The workings of my sister witches have so much to teach me and I’m always thankful to learn from others, just as I hope that my practice can help other people too.

Also if you’re a witchy person of color and you’ve got a blog where you talk about your practice I would love to read it, share your links in the comments!

Weekly Readings

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I’m back from vacation!  It was tough to go from high 70’s and white sand beaches back to 20 degrees and windy in NH, but such is life.  I went back to work for Friday to get a handle on e-mail and all that rot, and then I had a weekend to get back into step with NH life.  With that, here are some things that caught my eye this week.

11 Crucial Organizations To Donate Your Money Or Your Time To.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese: I love mac and cheese so very much, but being diabetic I shouldn’t indulge quite s0 much, but if there’s a lot of veggie to balance it… 😉

And speaking of things I shouldn’t eat… unicorn hot chocolate.  I actually probably wouldn’t have that one though, I don’t like white chocolate, but with that many sprinkles, marshmallows, and glitter to eat how could I not love it?

An online discussion of the Pink Pussyhat thing is happening.

A little girl and her mother recreate famous images of black women for Black History month.  It’s pretty awesome.  And gave me some new women to learn about.

From Autostraddle: This Is a Nightmare and a Genocide: Jaquarrius Holland is the Sixth Black Trans Woman Murdered This Year.

A Primer on Women and Civil Disobedience.

From Lavender Moon: What I wish people knew about Tarot.  She talks about predictive readings and why she doesn’t love them.  I feel very similarly.  Predictive readings don’t put the power in the hands of the querent.  I feel very strongly that my readings should empower you to take control of your life.  ❤

Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors On Intersectionality In Activism: BUST Interview.

Bringing a little Woo into your workplace.  Love these ideas!!

I think I need to watch this:  When We Rise.

My wife and are participating in this #CreateThisOracleDeck challenge this month.  Are you?

Victorian Ladies Perfume Guide.

The FBI opted not to prosecute any of the Gamergate harrassers.  Shock, they decided it’s fine to threaten and harass women.  I mean, boys will be boys, right?  So funny when they threaten to blow up universities because women are speaking at them.  -_-

Nevertheless She Persisted tattoos.

from LRT: 10 ideas for your Tarot Blog/Journal – you’ll definitely be seeing my take on some of these ideas coming up 🙂

Weekly Readings

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Punch more Nazis.

An article about why it is SO important to make the women’s march more inclusive.  Talking about issues of racial justice is NOT a distraction from the issues the women’s march was trying to raise.  Some thoughts from the black woman who had that viral sign with the white women on their phones.

Five things White People Need to Do right now.

I SO needed this:  On Being and Doing Enough for the Resistance.

From Autostraddle – ways their staffers are keeping themselves sane and active.  Downside – now I want a passion planner and can’t really afford it. 😉

Witches Resistance Action List

On Giving Up Multitasking.

Journalling 101

Cute Gay Mermen – because we could all use more cuteness!

Nine things you need to know about organizing a protest.

It’s a little early, but Imbolc is coming up and it’s a good time to plan:  Growing your own salad garden.

 What it means to be a secular witch.  She mentions that just because this is how she defines herself, it doesn’t mean every witch will.

Boy Scouts allow Trans kids to join.  FINALLY.  Girl scouts has been on that for ages, not without issue, but SERIOUSLY, guys, about time.  And this step isn’t perfect, but it’s progress.

Knitting as a Political Act.

Why Queer Advocates are worried about the Trump Administration.
“Trump talks a big game on his support for LGBTQ people, yet he has filled his cabinet with people who have literally spent their careers working to demonize us and limit our rights,” he said in a statement. “Claiming ally status for not overturning the progress of your predecessor is a rather low bar.”

What I’m knitting: Still socks, always socks 🙂
What I’m writing: intentions into my new journal, also postcards to my elected officials about things that are important to me.
What I’m eating: Soul Soothing African Peanut Stew.  So GOOD.

Deck Review: Rumi Oracle

A Wooly Review updated (1)

Today I’m going to ramble on about the Rumi Oracle by Alana Fairchild with artwork by Rassouli.

When you move beyond consciousness, you caress the beloved.
When you move into the unknown, beyond everything, the beloved caresses you.
-Rumi

I got this deck as a gift from Katie’s mom for Christmas.  I learned about Rumi in a img_0441class called Mysticism and Islam when I was in undergrad.  When I saw that someone had created an oracle deck about him I was so excited.  I knew I had to have it right away.

Rumi, also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, was was a 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic.  He was also queer.  He had a lover named Shams who he loved very dearly.  And in doing a little more refreshing reading about him to write this post it made me really angry to find out that Rumi’s queerness is totally absent from his wikipedia page.  It’s also totally absent from the book that comes with this deck.

img_0440It’s yet another example of queer erasure.  You see it over and over again, this awesome queer figure and the things you read about them talk about everything else, and completely fail to mention that they were queer.

I’m specifically disappointed that this guide book does not mention this.  Fairchild talks a great deal about sensuality and sexuality and awakenings and about Rumi’s great loves.  She speaks about his love for the Divine and his love for all of us, but conspicuously fails to mention his great love for Shams-e Tabrīzī, a man he met in a market and loved fiercely.  Rumi is perhaps most famous for his poetry, including the love poetry he wrote about his relationships both with God and with Shams.

I also found it really weird that there was so much Christianity talked about in a img_0439guidebook for an oracle featuring a Muslim.  While it is true that Islam teaches that Jesus was a prophet, it still felt jarring.  And honestly it felt like pandering to the straight Christian demographic.  Why else spend so much time about Jesus in a book about a queer brown guy if not to ensure that your white christian possible buyers will feel comfortable buying your product.

I was, however, excited to see that in the interpretation for each card included there
is a translation of some of Rumi’s verses.  If I use this deck I think I’m inclined to toss the guidebook and just focus on Rumi’s poetry and the beautiful artistry of these cards.

img_0442Because these cards are really beautiful.  They come in a very sturdy and well made box, it’ll protect them quite well and it holds the book that comes with.  The deck contains forty four cards.  They’re large cards, 3.75 x 5.5 inches.  Each one depicts a different person or idea and each has a beautiful painting.  Some have human figures some don’t.  But they’re all beautifully painted in a rainbow of colors and shades each on inviting you to linger over the images, sometimes you see a woman dancing another time you might see the fins of some mythical sea creature.

I can see myself using these cards as meditation aids because there’s a lot you can mull over in them.

So yes, in summary, I love the art, I don’t love the book, I like the poetry.  I probably won’t use the deck for readings, but it’s not a total loss.

Deck Review: Everyday Witch Tarot

A Wooly Review updated (1)

The Everyday Witch Tarot by Deborah Blake and Elisabeth Alba.

I picked this deck up this weekend (because obviously I needed another deck after IMG_0431.JPGgetting two new tarot decks AND two oracle decks over the holidays ;3 ) at Barnes and Noble because I had some store credit burning a hole in my pocket and they didn’t have the Tarot Coloring book in stock.  I’m going to get the coloring one at some point, but I wanted some instant gratification.

So here’s my thoughts about it:

It comes in a nice sturdy box with a magnetized flip open cover, inside is a 252 page book and the deck itself.  The deck doesn’t come in a separate box or bag, which is kind of a bummer for me, I like my decks to have a box for JUST the cards so I can toss a deck in my bag.  I’ll have to get a drawstring bag or something like to store the cards when I don’t want the big box.

IMG_0430.JPGThe book is pretty nice, it’s full color and has glossy pages.  There’s a short standard introduction to what tarot is and what it does and how to use it.  Nothing revolutionary, but all decent as an introduction for someone who might be picking this up for their first deck.  There was one line about using a card that falls out while shuffling as a signifier which was something I hadn’t heard before, so that was a nice little gem for me.  It also had a little table that spelled out the number pattern thing for minor arcana (aces being new beginnings/opportunities) which I had been meaning to review.  Finding little synchronicities in something like this makes me happy.

As for the cards themselves I quite like them, they’re not perfect, but really I haven’t found The Perfect Deck ™ yet if it even exists.

I’m going to start with the things I didn’t like about this deck.  First of all, as I img_0429mentioned above, no box just for the deck.  Also the card stock that they’re printed on is pretty thin.  The cards aren’t going to hold up as a deck for The Ages, these are going to bend as I work with them.  My last problem with them is a big one, I still like this deck and I anticipate working a lot with it, but it’s got a real problem with lack of racial diversity.  It would have been so easy to add some witches of color into these cards.  There are a handful, I think I counted ten, that could be people of color.  Or they could just be Caucasians with a little bit of a tan.  I find that really disappointing.  Deck creators, please, diversify it up!  I want more people of color in my tarot decks.  Diversity is beautiful and awesome and it’s so important.  Representation is important.  There are a few hints of representation in here, but I don’t think it’s nearly enough.

img_0435This problem aside, there are a lot of things I like about this deck.  It’s witchy, which, spoilers, I’m definitely into.  😉  There’s a cat familiar on almost every single card (cards without cats: Three of Swords, Hanged Man, Six of Wands, Hierophant, and the King of Pentacles, in case you’re interested).  I’m a cat person who has a cat familiar so this scores big points in my book.  One of the first cards I always want to see when I look at a new deck is The Lovers.  I was pleasantly surprised to see two figures that could be easily queered.  There are no gendered markers (aside from possibly the long curly hair, but these days plenty of guys I know have long curly hair) on them.  I looked at a handful of other cards and I saw a handful more semi-androgynous figures.  Then as I was reading the book that came with the cards they said that it was intentionally done “in the hope that everyone will feel included and see themselves somewhere in these cards.”  Not to beat a dead horse, but it’s too bad we couldn’t get some intersectionality here with witches of color!  In other cat related stuff, did you see the cat tails and how they make a little heart!  I loved it!

I also love the way they depict the Hierophant in this deck as well.  This card is oftenimg_0428 shown as a Papal like Christian church man.  This obviously wouldn’t fly in a witchcraft deck so they had to go with something else.  So there’s a yoga instructor with two students.  I love the fact that there’s a woman instructor on this card.  I have often, in the past, struggled with a white Christian male as the authority figure when that’s so far away from my hoped for reality.  Ideally, seeing as the practice of yoga originated in India, I would have loved the teacher to be a woman of color so as not to continue white washing the practice of yoga, but this is progress.  It’s not to say that there isn’t more work to be done, there always is.  I also like that this card shows an ambiguously gendered person.

IMG_0427.JPGThe next card I wanted to share with you is another of my favorites, The Hermit. It shows a witch sitting in front of a crackling campfire.  I adore the change from the dark robed old man with a lantern, even though I really like that traditional imagery too.

Campfires are such wonderful places for recharging for me.  I grew up as  a Girl Scout and so I’ve been to a lot of campfires and I have such strong positive associations with them.  Meditating listening to the crackle and pop of that fire with a cat purring across fro me sounds like a little slice of heaven.  And I always love seeing an owl pop up in readings.  Athena is my matron goddess and seeing her symbol always gives me a little boost.

Overall, I like this deck a great deal.  I think it’s got some great symbolism, I love that it’s witch themed, and I like how easy it is to queer the cards.  I really like that they put those androgynous figures into this deck with intention.  I think this will be a great deck to read with and I’m looking forward to seeing what it has to teach me.