Other Updates

Saturn Return: Beginnings

I mentioned on the last dark moon that the Morrigna told me to take a step back so that I could more fully immerse myself in my first Saturn Return. My plate was already close to full, and I needed space.

Well. If I use the outline of one of my favorite local astrologers, Alan O’Connor, and I use +/- 3 degrees of my natal Saturn, this Saturn return started on February 10th and will continue until July 26th before finally moving out of those degrees… Only to come back as it retrogrades in November, and from then until it goes direct and passes completely beyond in mid January 2020. So, I suspect it’s going to be an interesting year.

The first Saturn Return is usually thought of as a time for growing up, for figuring out your priorities in life, for getting into alignment with your Great Work or Soul Purpose, if you believe in that type of thing. (I do, mostly. That is, I believe I’m here for a reason this go ’round, but I’m agnostic as to whether or not that’s a universal experience.)

When Scott went through his first Saturn Return a few years back, he sort of tugged us into place as a family, in our own place, and with a child. And our home life is good, balanced, stable, so I’m grateful to have a pretty decent foundation to start from as I explore further. We’re like that a lot in other things, too – he’s the Land to my Sky, and we both meet in the Sea. Which is not to say that he didn’t do any exploring – Scott was actually the first one to say that we should create Serendipities now, instead of leaving it to be a daydream or maybe a retirement project.

So we’ve both been exploring some already, and that exploration and the work I’ve been doing as I get more deeply involved with the local community (both seen and Unseen) meant that I came to this Saturn Return already pointed in the right direction, already changing and being changed as I seek better alignment. But that doesn’t mean the work ahead of me will be easy. Far from it, I expect. I have already been struggling. Instead of big, sweeping changes, I’m finding myself drawn to smaller details.

I’m finding myself needing to plan more, both because I’m having a hard time remembering things lately, and because I’m juggling too many things in my head to do my usual style of intentional manifestation. I’m cluttered, and it’s exacerbating my anxiety disorder. So, I’m trying a new planner system, and I’m trying to take better notes, and so far it seems to be working fairly well. I did some mind-map planning for where I want Serendipities to be in two, five, and ten years (and, spoilers, we have Big Plans). I have a new anxiety workbook I’m working through that’s based on some of the cognitive behavioral therapy techniques I learned as a teen, because I need to brush up on them.

Also, I’ve started a shadow work tarot prompt challenge, which is designed to be done every day for a whole month, but I’m spacing it out to twice a week or so, and I’m doing art journaling as my integration of each tarot prompt and answer. I try to do shadow work as it comes up, as I realize there are parts of myself that could use integration, but the prompts of this challenge are very broad and it feels like a good way to make sure I’m not missing anywhere. Again, I’m looking at fine details. There are a few larger things I have been working on for some time (most related to trauma processing), but I want to be sure I’m not missing smaller things, lest they cause hiccups along the way. When I started the challenge and the art journaling, my first impulse read to share it, but something made me hesitate, and I realized that if I started sharing, I’d feel compelled to continue, and the expectation of an audience would change the whole tone of my work. So I won’t be sharing it at all, with anyone, and that feels a little odd for someone who’s generally fairly open about all aspects of her practice.

Depending on how things go, I may continue blogging about my Saturn Return experiences every Dark Moon. But for now, it felt fitting to fill the space the Morrigna left for me.

Other Updates

Kemetic Bright Moon 7/27

Here is the message from Bast and Sekhmet, on the last full moon of the year (Wep Ronpet, by the local rising of Sirius in Washington, DC, is August 7th):

“Execrate, execrate, execrate! Destroy the dying year, and prepare the way for the coming of the new. Commit to change, commit to fighting your battles, commit to burning brightly and fiercely! Be, yourself, a tiny blazing Sun! You are needed, you are needed, your role may be small but it is necessary. Victory depends on many small parts joining together to accomplish something much larger than any could do alone. Do not despair. Find solace in our hot breath at the side of your neck, urging you forward. We fight beside you! You are never alone. Honor the five Netjeru on their Epagomenal days, and honor all Netjeru on Wep Ronpet. We will see you again in the New Year.”

You can follow along on my tumblr e-shrine as I celebrate the Epagomenal Days and Wep Ronpet, or wait for my recap blog here.

Divination, Other Updates, Tarot Spread

Relationship 5-card Spread

I started a series a while back of the tarot spreads I use in my Etsy Shop, but never finished it (whoops).  So here’s another installment: the 5-card version of my Relationship Tarot Spread.

Relationship 5 top
Yeah the “spread by” is my tumblr and not this blog, but I’m trying to head off reposts over there.
  1. This card is you.  Your wants, your needs, your concerns.  It encompasses your view of the relationship, and your influence on it.
  2. This card is the other person. Their wants, needs, concerns.  It represents their view, and their influence.
  3. This card is what uplifts you: what is going right, what is keeping you together. This represents the strengths of the relationship.
  4. This card is what pulls you down: what is going wrong, and what is pulling you apart. This represents the issues and weaknesses in the relationship.
  5. This is the general overview of the relationship: how are you doing on the whole?  It may also contain advice for the future.  If the querent had a specific concern or issue they wished to focus on, this card will focus on that aspect.

Pretty straightforward, right?  And applicable to any number of relationships, not just romantic ones.  I could just as easily use it to look at a friendship, or a parent-child relationship – anything between two people! I do have spreads that work for more than two people, but that tends to require more cards.  The smallest spread to look at a three-way relationship adds just one more card along the lines of card #2.

Stay tuned for the 9-card relationship spread, which is the next spread in my queue!

Etsy Shop Update, Other Updates, SALE!

Valentine’s Day Sale!

I have two things on sale in the Etsy Shop for Valentine’s Day!

First, these reiki-attuned bracelets, featuring rose quartz, lilac amethyst, and blue lace agate with glass pearls:

pearl vday
Link Here!

 

And second, the 5-card and 9-card Love and Relationship Tarot and Oracle Card Readings!

love
Link Here!

They’ll be back to their regular price after Valentine’s Day, but right now they’re 15-20% off!!!

Other Updates

Updates!

SO, I have finally added two backdated posts for August:

 

We also have a “Buy me a Coffee” button at the bottom of the page, which directs to our brand new ko-fi.com page, where interested persons can send us tips or donations via credit/debit or PayPal!  Of course, if interested persons already have PayPal, they can always send us tips or donations directly through PayPal to our email, 7serendipities at gmail dot com.

We do most of our reiki business through PayPal already, and although I normally direct people who want divination, jewelry, or spellwork to our Etsy shop, I’m more than happy to do direct sales through PayPal (or Ko-Fi) as well, though please email first to discuss pricing!

And hey, with the holidays coming up, if you’re feeling extra generous, we also have an Amazon List.  Buy a deck, and after we get acquainted it’ll show up in the Etsy shop! 😉

 

Hopefully everyone is having a great start to the holiday season, and let us know if there’s anything on your shopping list that we can provide!

Event, Holiday Celebration, Other Updates

Blessed Samhain!

Well,

Baby Land is going well, but Serendipities Land is still taking a backseat – sorry for that.  Every time I think I’ve hit my stride something else happens and I end up not managing to achieve my grand plans.  I still owe you a full length post each for both Wep Ronpet and working our first Grand Healing Ceremony in August, and those I’ll probably backdate (and then link) once I post them, but for now, as the wheel turns to a new year, let’s do a little looking back and looking forward…

Looking Back…

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Beltaine was good but we didn’t do much – because baby was born on May 3rd, right on schedule.  Generally speaking, Beltaine is Aine’s day for us, and we lit her a candle and gave a few small offerings, but mostly I just had a baby!

midsummer applesWe had grand plans for Midsummer, of going away to the beach for the weekend, but as you may have guessed, those didn’t quite pan out!  Baby was just over a month old and honestly I didn’t want to do much more than sleep.  We went to the closest body of water that empties into the ocean (a canal that empties into the Potomac River and then the Chesapeake Bay and then the Atlantic), and tossed in two apples, for Manannan and Fand.

Lughnasadh and Wep Ronpet happened the same week as my brother’s wedding, so that whole time is a bit mixed up and I don’t think we took any Lughnasadh pictures… that was Lugh’s day (and Tailtiu’s) for us, and it was probably very informal.  I’ll make a post later for Wep Ronpet, because that caused a major shift in my work with Bast and Sekhmet.

mabonWe did a lot more for the Autumnal Equinox this year, though, and combined it with our secular celebration of Rosh Hashanah.  I made bread (and DIDN’T KILL THE YEAST – kitchen witch level up!!!) and a honey apple cake that will probably be our new tradition for this holiday celebration.  (Recipe and write up available here on tumblr!)  The Autumnal Equinox is Freyr and Freyja’s day, for us, and by association the rest of the Vanir as well.

That brings us up to the present – Samhain!  Though we haven’t yet finished all of our pagan celebration (we did dress up for secular Halloween, though – as Wendy, Smee, and a tiny Captain Hook!) 23004766_10159607608085525_3095417493482045595_o

Looking Forward…

So, my plan (which may well “gang agley”, mind) is to post a short thing every High Day so you all know what we’ve been up to, and also to post a bit more about my own witchcraft and paganism, as well as shop updates and whatnot.  Hopefully at least one post a month, towards the beginning.

Speaking of the shop… I do have a number of decks I need to photograph still (lighting! I need good lighting at the same time that I have time, agh) and hopefully I can get those up soon.  At some point I really ought to get around to writing those deck reviews, and honestly there are a couple of book reviews I could write up, too, maybe starting with the book I’m reading for the Fellowship Beyond the Star book club in January: T. Thorn Coyle’s Evolutionary Witchcraft.  I also have an ogham set now and I’m just now beginning to study that, but hey, maybe I can offer readings with that some time next year!

I have a couple of devotional bracelets I’m still working on the patterns for, but once I finish those (and photograph them), those should be up… at some point.

I’m also thinking of offering tiny wearable spell jars, and I’ve started crocheting granny squares as a physical manifestation of my spellwork – those could be sellable too.  Thoughts?  Any interest?

Anyways, sorry for my long absence, sorry in advance for any upcoming hiatuses, thank you so much for sticking around, and gold star for reading this far.

 

All My Very Best,

Reáltán

Healing, Other Updates, Reiki

My Reiki Classes: A Reflection

As you probably know, I taught two Reiki classes in February: a I and II class on the 19th, and a III (Master) class on the 25th.  Both classes were small: 3 students for the first, 2 for the second, but I think that was a good thing for me, where I am right now.

It was the second time I’d taught a I/II class and I think it went just as well if not better than the first time, despite me no longer having the backup of other Reiki Masters (besides my husband, Glasreo).  I streamlined the notes last time, and this time I added a few things but mostly stuck to the outline from before.  Both classes together plus the attunements and several breaks took about four hours, and I think that’s probably just going to be how long it takes to do that class.  We had a little bit of practice time at the end and I think everyone went home satisfied with the progress they’d made.  The only thing I think I’d want to do differently is to have posters of the Reiki II symbols made so that they can be up on the wall.  And I may want to put page numbers in my notes so I can tell my students which page to find things like the hand positions on without having to look myself, or telling them to read the whole book.  I’m using William Rand’s manuals, the same as I was given when I was taught, and I do like them, but I don’t follow the flow of the book exactly in my class.  I did forget to print the certificates ahead of time (whoops!) and will now have to mail them, but that’s not the end of the world.

My first time teaching the Reiki III class was a bit stressful, because I was unable to finish my preparations the day before due to an emergency personal matter, but I think I made the best of it and my students were very understanding when I occasionally lost the thread and had to find it again.  Those notes will need some more streamlining, but I am confident that I gave my students enough information to succeed, and I will of course always be available to them for mentoring or further study.  The III class also took about 4 hours, because I included a review of I and II to make sure everyone was on the same page.  I think including a review was a good idea, because it allowed us to talk about our personal strengths and weaknesses when using Reiki. I may also want to expand my ethics section a bit, after having an amazing ethical discussion at the Soul Retrieval Workshop. Afterward we had another short practice section (one of the students brought their spouse to be a guinea pig). For this class I also used but did not exactly follow William Rand’s manual, and I think another poster of symbols would be useful.  I also need to take a closer look at the manuals – it seems the new edition has changed a few things, which I found out as I was teaching!  I didn’t give the Master students their certificates yet – I’ll mail those once they finish their “homework” and pass an attunement on someone else!

So far I’ve been keeping my classes to friends and acquaintances.  In the future I’d like to expand by word of mouth some before I go fully public, and if I continue teaching at my house the classes are going to have to stay small for now.  My goal is going to be to have one of each level each quarter, but as I am currently pregnant and due to give birth at the beginning of May, I think next quarter is probably out!

As always, if you’re interested in a Reiki class or a Reiki treatment (or even Reiki attuned healing jewelry) please contact us (or browse the Etsy shop)!

Divination, Other Updates

Divination for Beginners

As per usual, this is all just my opinion, based on my experiences, and your mileage may vary. I don’t claim to know everything about divination (how could I?) but I thought making a post discussing various methods might be helpful for beginners, so here you are!  I’ve also tried to include options for discreet or low-budget alternatives in every section below, and I’ve made comments about the suitability for various kinds of disabilities where they came to mind, but this is not meant to be exhaustive, and I welcome input from others!

1. If you are a beginner in everything, I recommend starting with Cartomancy or a Symbol Draw System.

Cartomancy is divination with the use of cards, such as Tarot, Lenormand, or Oracle cards.  The general idea is that you take the deck of cards, shuffle them, and pull a few (often a set number) and lay them on a flat surface like a desk (often in a pre-determined layout).  Most decks come with a booklet of interpretations and meanings, and for Tarot and Lenormand there are also many more books on various methods of interpretation, or layouts.  Playing cards are a good tool if you’re not open about your practice, but unfortunately you need to find interpretations for them online or elsewhere, unlike most decks made specifically for Cartomancy.  There are a lot of cards, usually, which means there are a lot of meanings to remember, but you can get good readings using the booklet and a little bit of intuition – memorization isn’t really necessary. Another good discreet method if you have a smartphone is by using a tarot app, like the ones by The Fool’s Dog. I’ve used their free one and gotten good results, but I can’t swear to the efficacy of any other online system or app. (This is also a great option for technowitches!)

Symbol Draw Systems consist of symbols written on small objects, that are then pulled without looking at them, like out of a pouch.  The most popular form of symbol draw is probably Runes – there are plenty of books and websites with images of the Runes and their meanings.  Ogham is also fairly popular, but there are fewer primary sources on Ogham, so you’ll find that meanings vary from book to book.  Symbol Draw systems are easy to make yourself, which makes them very budget friendly.  Simply look up the symbols, and draw or scratch them into whatever you have lying around – bottle caps work well, or small pebbles, or pennies.  It’s somewhat important to make sure they’re all about the same size and shape, however, so that you can’t tell them apart by touch.  It’s a little harder to do these discreetly, as the symbols have to be written on the objects, but you might try writing in pencil or something eraseable, so you can remove the markings once you’re done. This may result in you having to “calibrate” your set each time, however, if you aren’t writing the symbols on the same pieces every time.  Otherwise the objects might accidentally “remember” their old symbol instead of the correct one.  Symbol draw systems are pretty good for people with fine motor skill issues, because you can make the objects however big or light that you need to, and mixing them up will be easier than shuffling cards.  As a note, however, I don’t recommend using Ogham symbols for people with really severe dyslexia (because the symbols are frequently mirrors of each other) but you could get around it by writing the names of trees, instead, or using pictures of trees!  Symbol Draw systems can be a good option for the visually impaired, as well, because the symbols are usually very simple drawings.  If you have some sight you can make the symbols very large and bold, or the blind can have them etched into something, to read by touch.

2. If you want answers to a Yes or No question, I recommend using a Pendulum, or Cartomancy.

Pendulums are basically made of a weight at the end of a string or chain.  As such, they can be made out of jewelry or almost anything you have lying around – there are plenty of tutorials on what makes a good pendulum on the internet.  Prettier ones can be found online or in most metaphysical shops, but that’s not usually your best bet if you’re on a budget or you’re not open about your practice.  Learning to use a pendulum is fairly easy – but mastering it can be hard.  The basic idea is that one direction of an X or + is “yes”, while the other is “no”, and spirals in either direction mean some kind of uncertainty. It can be difficult, however, to make sure that a pendulum is working properly (you can try to calibrate it by checking the motion against questions you already know the answers to), and it can also be difficult to prevent yourself from influencing the answer.  If you ask a question and you really, really, want the answer to be yes, the “yes” in your head might be louder than the question, which can cause the pendulum to swing yes not in response to the question, but in parallel with your thought.  Also, pendulums can be tricky for people with shaky hands or fine motor issues.

Cartomancy isn’t the best option for Yes or No questions, but if it’s what you have on hand you can use a pretty simple spread to get a binary answer.  First, shuffle the cards well, allowing for reversals: you will need to flip some of the cards upside-down as you shuffle if you don’t usually use reversals when you read.  Then, lay out four cards.  All four upright is a “Yes”.  All four reversed is a “No”.  Three upright is “Yes, but”.  Three reversed is “No, but”.  Two upright and two reversed is “Uncertain” or “Maybe”.  For a deck with symmetrical art such as a regular deck of playing cards, assign “yes” to red and “no” to black (or vice versa, if that sounds better to you), and pull four cards, interpreting the same way as above.  I don’t recommend doing a single card pull for a yes or no question from any Cartomancy deck. But after you’ve done the four card draw, you can look at the meanings of the cards to get a little more information on your question.

 

3. If you are already fairly knowledgeable about magical correspondences and want to expand that knowledge, I recommend augury or lithomancy.

Augury is frequently described as divination by the movement of birds, but it can also involve observing other animals and natural phenomena.  The main drawback to this method of divination is that everyone basically has their own list of meanings and correspondences.  If you’ve already figured out some of your personal correspondences for spellwork or dream interpretation you’re well on your way, however.  As this doesn’t require much of anything but a willingness to observe nature (even out you window in a city – you don’t have to be in the wilderness), and your own notes, it’s incredibly budget friendly, and easy to do discreetly.  It does, however, take a lot more work to learn, and taking notes along the way is imperative!  It’s also best to start by focusing on one kind of natural phenomenon, like movements of animals, or the shape of clouds.

Lithomancy is divination using stones, and like aurgury, every practitioner seems to have their own system.  If you already use a lot of crystals for healing or spellwork, you can begin with that knowledge as you build your own system.  Easier systems pretty much depend on the color of the stone for meaning, and those are probably the most budget-friendly, because you can pick up a few pretty dyed agates at a gift shop somewhere for $5 or so.  Also, if you’re using color correspondences, there’s really nothing that says they *have* to be stones, either – you can adapt the system to work for casting small plastic beads or anything else small and colorful, as long as you have a full set of colors.  More complicated systems usually require specific stones and more of them, and that can get pretty expensive pretty quickly if you don’t already have an appropriate collection.  As stones in lithomancy are typically cast onto a cloth or mat, it’s best to use small tumbled stones, stone chips, or beads, so that you can hold them comfortably in your hands to toss them.  Some people like to use mats with symbols on them to help with interpretation, but it’s not necessary, and if you’re not open about your practice it might be best to have a small “rock collection” and simply cast them onto a flat surface covered in a cloth (like a scarf) to prevent chipping and to dull the clattering sound.  The basics of lithomancy are the same as the basics for osteomancy (bone throwing), too, if bones are your thing, instead.  You could also use any collection of small objects that has meaning to you, like DnD minifigures, or monopoly pieces, or sea shells.  The important thing is that the pieces have to have meanings that make sense to you, and you need to be able to interpret them in relation to each other and how they fall on the mat.

 

4. If you are already good at meditation and trancework, I recommend scrying.

Scrying is a term for a bunch of divination methods that all pretty much amount to sinking into trance and gazing at something until you either see symbols (which you can then interpret) or you suddenly have an answer by other means.  Common scrying methods include gazing into crystals, black mirrors, water, flame, or smoke.  Obviously some methods are cheaper and more discreet than others, but in my experience the results don’t depend on the tool.  They do somewhat depend on your ability to use the tool well – for instance, I do better with fire and water scrying than I do with crystal or black mirror scrying – so I recommend trying a few different tools before giving up on the method entirely.  While most of what’s written on scrying talks about interpreting symbols, I sometimes find that while scrying I end up so deep in my trance that I end up seeing through to the astral or godphoning directly, so that’s a possibility if your talents lie in that direction.  That comes with a HUGE ymmv disclaimer, though.

 

There are a lot of other methods of divination (tea leaf reading, automatic writing, bibliomancy, coin flip, divination by musical shuffle…) but these ones above are methods I’ve had success with, and would recommend to various kinds of divination beginners.  Hopefully you found this helpful!

 

[[The original version of this post is from my personal tumblr.]]

Other Updates

What Happens When You Are Reiki Attuned?

While scheduling my upcoming Reiki classes, one of my prospective students asked a question I think I ought to answer for a wider audience.  She wanted to know what to expect from her Reiki attunement, as she had heard that the experience could be intense.  When answering, I started with the basics.

Learning Reiki has two parts: the theory, and the attunement.  (Well, three parts if you include practice, which any good Reiki class will include.)  The theory is pretty normal stuff, easy enough to read out of a book, but will probably take up the majority of the time in any class.  It certainly does in mine.  The attunement is what lets a student use the energy we call Reiki – or, depending on one’s perspective, lets it flow through the practitioner.  The founder, Mikao Usui, believed Reiki exists in ambient form all over the universe, and that he was given the ability to harness it, and to let others harness it as well.  You can read more about the story of Master Usui on my About Reiki page.  Reiki is now usually taught as three levels.

The first level attunement is the one that connects students to the Reiki energy itself, and helps them become vessels, so that the energy will find them and respond to their intent to use it for healing.  If you think about it in terms of vibrations, getting a first level Reiki attunement allows a student’s etheric bodies to process the Reiki energy and change slightly so that their vibrations are closer to the energy of the Reiki, allowing the student to work with the energy more easily.

When I am doing attunements, I first perform a short Reiki healing on my students, to make sure that their energy pathways are reasonably clear, and their energy centers are reasonably able to open.  Then I connect them to the Reiki flowing through me, and I use the symbols to connect them to the Reiki source.  I can do this because I’ve been attuned at the Master Level, and I have been given the ability to attune others and the correct symbols for that process. I make sure that the Reiki energy is firmly connected to the energy centers at the crown of the head, the third eye, and the heart.  That is why it’s important that the energy pathways are clear – once the student is connected to the Reiki source, it will clear out any blockages in its path, and it will open up those energy centers.  This is the part my student had heard about: the intensity of suddenly open energy centers, and the purging that comes with being connected to the Reiki source.

Although being connected to the source of Reiki won’t harm you, it can be uncomfortable at first.  Many people haven’t ever had their energy centers fully open before, and they may find that they feel overwhelmed, or vulnerable.  And as the Reiki clears out blockages in their bodies and lives, they may find themselves having physical, mental, or emotional symptoms to go along with that.  Physical symptoms can include things like an upset stomach, headaches, mild aches and pains, or increased hunger.  Mental symptoms can include difficulty focusing on mundane matters, or forgetfulness.  Emotional symptoms can include irritability, anxiety, or being easily overwhelmed.  For most students, the symptoms, if there are any, are very mild and last no longer than a week or two.  Some people with major blockages in their lives, however, may find that practicing Reiki changes their goals and direction in life for the better, whether it helps them get out of a bad relationship, or out of a job that doesn’t fit!

 All in all, though a Reiki attunement might change your life, you’ll be the one guiding the changes, and heading towards the best self you can be.  It might be scary, but it won’t hurt you, and I’m available to my students during the process in case anyone has any questions or concerns – all my students will be given a variety of contact information and I’ll be sure to respond promptly!