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Court Card Close-Up: The Queens of Tarot

Original photo by Amanda Wilson | Feat. Queens of The Celtic Tarot by Kristoffer Hughes

Of all the cards of the Tarot deck, I find that it’s hardest for me to understand the court cards: King, Queen, Knight and Page. That’s why I’ve decided to write a series of articles about them. We can learn about them together! We will start with the Queen, as I find myself drawn to the Queens of Tarot. There’s something about Her countenance, Her imagery, that just pulls at me, partly recognition, partly longing.

There are four Queens in the Tarot deck:

  • The Queen of Cups/Cauldrons
  • The Queen of Wands
  • The Queen of Pentacles/Shields
  • The Queen of Swords

The Queen of the Tarot represents a person with a number of attributes, many of which are associated with the Crone, or an older, matured woman. I personally don’t think of the Queens as women- they could be any gender, or no gender – which means people of any gender (or lack thereof) could identify with and seek help from the Queen archetype. This is why I refer to the Queen(s) as they/them. The Queen is a person who has been through a lot in their life – a lot of pain, heartache, tragedy, and has learned their lessons well. The Queen is strong, and tough- they may come across as cold or distant, but really, they love hard. Their whole heart and soul goes into loving. That doesn’t mean they’ll go easy on the people they love, though. The Queen is firm, and fair, and never one to coddle. The Queen teaches the hard lessons, tells the hard truths. They will be blunt, if need be. Their wisdom and intelligence is astounding, as is their creativity. Even more admirable, in my opinion, is that the Queen has what it takes to pursue the ideas they come up with. There’s no procrastination, and no excuses, with the Queen. Each Queen has their own unique style, of course. The Queen of Wands is discernibly different from the Queen of Cups/Cauldrons, as the Queen of Swords is from the Queen of Pentacles/Shields. Let’s take a look at each Queen.

Queen of Wands

The suit of Wands is the fiery, passionate suit of the South. The Queen of Wands is energetic and motivating- they’re the kind of person who somehow manages to complete everything on their to-do list and more. Their courage and confidence is admirable, so it’s no wonder they’re a social butterfly.

The Queen of Wands reminds you that you are upbeat, courageous, and determined. You are here to see through your creative visions and life purpose, even in the face of adversity.

Biddy Tarot

Queen of Cups/Cauldrons

The Cups, or Cauldrons, suit is that of Water, the West, and associated with emotions. Thus, the Queen of Cups/Cauldrons is one who is led by love and compassion. They are honest and trustworthy – you never have to worry about this Queen letting you down. This Queen is artistic, and appreciates the beauty in all things. They are intuitive, following their heart and their ‘gut’, which are usually spot on. Kristoffer Hughes states that the Queen of Cauldrons “emulates the true quality of love” and is the “epitome of love and compassion”. (The Branches of the Celtic Tarot, p. 185)

Turn to this Queen if you are lacking in integrity, if you’re weak-willed, if you find it difficult to allow yourself to love others or yourself. If you need help intuitively detecting truth, honesty, or authenticity, this Queen can help with that as well.

Queen of Pentacles/Shields

The Queen of Pentacles/Shields is that of the North and represents the Earth. The Pentacles/Shields suit represents the material side of life. The Queen of this suit is someone who is deeply connected to the earth and an embodiment of the Mother goddess. There is a slight difference, I found, between the Queen of Pentacles and Queen of Shields. The Pentacles Queen represents someone who is affluent and successful, while the Shields Queen is a more spiritual archetype. Hughes writes in The Branches of the Celtic Tarot:

What can be more magnificent than the very earth itself? The queen represents this, the sovereignty within the land. And in the true nature of a mother, she selflessly gives of herself in order to sustain, support, and feed her children.

Kristoffer Hughes, The Branches of the Celtic Tarot p. 232

While the Queen of Pentacles would be an excellent advisor for that which concerns finances, such as career goals, catching up on your bills, financing a house, or saving for a vacation, the Queen of Shields would make for a powerful magical ally, as she is keenly aware of and in tune with the magic of nature.

Queen of Swords

The Queen of Swords is, well, a bad ass bitch. This is one queen I do associate with those who identify as women, simply because of her strength. I’m sorry fella’s, but only a woman could possess the strength of the Queen of Swords. She’s lived through horrible shit and come out wiser, more powerful, and hell of a lot stronger. She may seem distant or cold, but she loves hard. Maybe even harder than the Queen of Cauldrons.

This is the Queen to go to when you’re struggling to find yourself. When you feel like the world has turned against you. When your heart is broken, your mind is tired, your soul is bleeding…this Queen will see you through. She won’t coddle you, nor will she do anything for you. She’ll give you the tools you need to do it yourself, because this Queen values independence and sovereignty. This Queen will give you hope when you have none, and that, my friends, is the most blessed of all magics.

Who is the Queen to me?

The Queen’s qualities may be found in Dark Goddesses, such as The Morrigan, Hecate, Cerridwen, and the Cailleach. I admire the Queen, and seek to gain Her help with many of my challenging attributes. For example, I’m horrible with procrastinating. I avoid finishing tasks, put off starting projects, inadvertently forget to make important phone calls or write important emails. I don’t know why this is, but I know it’s a problem that I need help with. Help the Queens of the Tarot could provide.

If I channeled the Queen’s energy into myself every day, and became half the person (because who said the Queen had to be a woman?), the Queen represents, my life would be so different. I’d be more successful, my house would be cleaner, my children would be more polite. My life is great, don’t get be wrong, but I’m far from perfect. I love my life, which is why I am willing to put in the work to improve it. My magic is strong, but a little help from the Queens of the Tarot would magnify my magic four fold.


The Queens of Tarot are…

Strong & Resilient

Wise & Intuitive

Firm & Fair

Love hard but do not coddle

Experienced pain, heartbreak, humiliation, and tragedy; have come through stronger, wiser, and more determined

Honest; Not afraid to tell it like it is

Possess the ability to not only come up with endless ideas, but has the gumption to make those ideas a reality


Sources

The Celtic Tarot by Kristoffer Hughes

Biddy Tarot

The Tarot Guide


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Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 19

 

I hope everyone had a great week! Finally the weekend! We are due to get a major snowstorm up here in New Hampshire, so I will be spending the day preparing for that- going shopping to stock up on food, water, batteries, candles, diapers and wipes for my son. The local Walmart has just gone through a make-over, so I cannot find anything in there anymore! I will wander around craning my neck for what seems like forever and when I finally decide to flag down an employee more often than naught I’ve already passed the aisle I’m looking for.
I do get a lot of steps in when I decide to go there though, which is perfect for today’s magical practice! Today is Magical Footsteps – taking 100 thankful steps.

Following in Albert Einstein’s Footsteps

Today’s practice is inspired by Albert Einstein.

You may take any number of steps you’d like at anytime, anywhere you’d like today – so long as you meet the 100 steps total. With every footfall you think “Thank you”. Left foot thank you right foot thank you…you get the idea.
Byrne promises that this practice will make you feel happy, even if you are in a rotten mood before you start. She writes “It doesn’t matter if you can’t get much of a feeling of gratitude while you’re taking them; I promise you will still feel happier afterward. If you’re feeling down, Magic Footsteps will make you feel better, and even if you’re feeling great, Magic Footsteps will lift your spirits even higher!” (p. 177). She also notes that you should spend at least 90 seconds on this – it’s how long it takes the average person to take 100 steps apparently. She goes on to say that the practice isn’t so much about the steps, but it will take at least 100 steps in order for the practice to make a difference.
If Einstein said “thank you” 100 times EVERY DAY, then we can do it at least one day out of our entire lives (and maybe we will start making a habit of it – maybe not 100 but maybe 10, or 30, or 50 times).

As Usual…

Start out your day by writing 10 more blessings on your Thank You list, and then before you go to bed take your rock, hold it tight while thinking of your day, and say Thank you for the best part of the day.
Until tomorrow my lovelies!

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Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 17

Welcome to Day 17! 

Who is having an amazing week?
So, yesterday I got some news that was really frustrating at first. I was stomping around my house, worrying about the repercussions of the news. Then I realized, I had taken something for granted, and it only makes sense that I was going to be receiving less. I went up to my room, took my Magic rock, and thought about the situation. My first thought was, things will be more difficult, but I will figure a way out. No sooner had the thought crossed my mind did I realize that really, I wasn’t going to lose out at all. I have something else that I will start getting, which will more than compensate for the loss of the other. I’m sure your quite confused, but my point is that this practice helps you see where you are lacking in gratitude. It gives you a perspective that you’ve never had before, and therefore brings more magic into your life because you start appreciating even more. I don’t want to go into exact details, but I will say it has to do with money. It’s funny I had a little panic over money yesterday when today is all about getting more money!

Magic Check

Today we are going to write a check out, to ourselves, for an amount of money we need to do something that we would be incredibly grateful for. We can start small, and then when we reach the amount write a new check, or write it out for the whole amount up front. However you want to do it. As you can see from the photo below, I drew my own check, based on the check in the book. I could have photocopied it, or printed one off the website – http://www.thesecret.tv/magiccheck – but I felt that if I put time into drawing it, I would be able to clearly visualize what I would do with the money, and feel all the more grateful when I finished. 
When you are done writing out the check, hold it in your hands and play out in your mind what you are going. to do with the money. Envision that the check is real, and you are about to leave for the bank to cash it. What are you going to do? Who will you tell? See it as detailed as possible. 
Take the check with you today, or put it somewhere you can see it. You are to take the check into your hands and repeat the exercise two more times today – saying THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU each time. 
At the end of the day, put the check where you will see it daily. Every day look at it and feel grateful for the money to do or get whatever it is you desire. When you truly receive the money, write a new check for a new goal. 

In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen.

William Burroughs

Side note:

So I actually started the challenge on the 31st, so I could write the blog posts ahead of time and then set them to publish the day of. I just realized that for some reason these are publishing the day after, and I apologize for that! I will try to catch up, so they can go live when they are supposed to from now on. As always, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for taking the time to read these posts, and hopefully be skipping along through the month with me with an attitude of gratitude!

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Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 16

Magic & Miracles in Health

Byrne states that “We should feel healthy, energized, and full of happiness most of the time, because that is how it feels to have our birthright of full health.” (p.149). I cannot disagree with her; while I don’t always feel energized, and I often feel the extra weight I carry around my hips and middle (and everywhere else), I am happy most of the time. But, based on the Universal Law of Attraction, if I were truly grateful for my health, then I would be healthier. I have a condition called narcolepsy, which causes me to feel sleepy often. According to my sleep specialist, I have no natural circadian rhythm. If you were to go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up the same time every day, then you would not need an alarm clock because you would just wake up at the normal time. You get hungry at the same times every day, have your second wind at the same time – you get the idea. With me, I could go to bed and wake up at the same time every night and day, but I always need an alarm clock. Some days it is almost painful to wake up at my normal time, despite getting 10 hours of sleep, while other days I wake up 4 hours before my alarm and feel wonderful. Some days I wake up with my stomach rumbling, but other days I don’t even think to eat until I’ve been awake for hours. I have to take a medication to keep me from taking “micro-naps”, which is when you fall asleep without warning for a few seconds. As amusing as it may sound, it has cost me jobs and got me into a car crash. The medication helps me wake up for the day, and helps me stay awake during stressful situations. I do not like having to take pills to function, but I’m grateful for them. Without them, I would not have come this far in the gratitude challenge! I would not get up to bring my son to school, I might get into accidents with my son in the car. Based on Byrne’s theory, if I’m grateful for feeling energized, I will overcome my ailment. I must be honest, I’m not sure if that will work – but I’m willing to try! I will start taking a moment every morning to feel true gratitude that I am awake, that I was able to get my son safely to school, get myself safely home, and stay awake to write when I get home. Gratitude has brought a lot into my life that I thought was not possible, like happiness, so my health could improve!
Saint Augustine said:

Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.”

Today’s Exercise

We are going to take a three-pronged approach to “accelerate the results”, as today’s exercises are “designed to dramatically increase your health and happiness”. (p.151)

  1. Health you’ve received in the past: Think about 3 ties you have felt on top of the world, and say the magic words THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !
  2. Health you’re continuing to receive in the present: Feel grateful for every organ, system, and physical sense that is currently working well in your body. Think about your arms, legs, brain…Choose 5 functions of your body that are well, and one by one, mentally say the magic words: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !
  3. Health you want to receive in the future: choose one thing you want to improve about your body. Think about the ideal state of what you want to improve, and give thanks for the ideal state.

Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease

~Hippocrates 
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Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 14

Wow, we are half way through the challenge! Who else has noticed a change since the magick of gratitude has been growing in your life? Isn’t it incredible? I’ve noticed that I’m cheery, even in the mornings when I have to get my son up and ready for school after he woke up in the middle of the night or didn’t go to sleep at his normal bed time (I follow a routine and he’s in bed at the same time every night, but there are a few nights a month when he is just a spaz and spends have the night thrashing around playing in the blankets). I’m noticing my blessings much more, like having a great heater in my car – again especially in the morning when I take my son to school! It has been 5-10 degrees most mornings this winter, and I am so grateful my car warms up quickly! I’m grateful to have a car too! I see parents walking with their kids and 1. feel awful for them, and 2. feel so blessed that I not only have a car, but a reliable car that runs well, gets good gas mileage, and is even kinda cute! (I have a Toyota Matrix)

Have a Magical Day

So, you may have noticed I posted this article the night before instead of the day of. That’s because we are going to start our gratitude exercise FIRST thing in the morning. When you’re getting dressed or taking a shower, go through your plans in your mind from the moment you are done getting ready for the day to the moment you get into bed. After you think about each event, think about how grateful you are that it went to plan – you’re in the mindset that the day has already happened, and you’re not imagining but you’re remembering. I hope that makes sense lol, but you have the book I’m sure, so, you can read through the chapter if you need clarification.

Being grateful for your day beforehand creates a magical day through the law of attraction. 

The Magic, p.133

By the time you imagine yourself getting into bed, you are feeling immensely grateful that you had the perfect day! Have you ever noticed that when you wake up cranky, it’s Murphy’s law – you stub your toe, get soap in your eye, you lose your keys, your kid spills their breakfast all over themselves and the floor, you can’t find your favorite earrings and this is all before 9 am. But when you wake up cheerful, everything seems to fall into place. The light goes green the moment you drive up to the intersection, your co-worker surprises you with a coffee or a bagel. Your kid gives you a big hug when you drop them off at school (my son LOVES school, so I usually have to chase him around the classroom to get half a hug and plant a kiss on his head). So, you’re feeling awesome about the day. Before you move onto the next step of your morning routine, conclude your magical exercise by saying “And thank you for the great news coming to me today!”.

Don’t forget!

Make sure to add another 10 items to your Thank you list, and before going to bed you hold your Magic Rock and say thank you for the best thing that happened during the day!

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Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 12

Day 12: Magical People Who Made a Difference

I’m sure by now you have your copy of The Magic, so you would know that she starts by saying:

Every one of us has received help, support, or guidance from other people at particular times in our life when we needed it most…And then life goes on, and we tend to forget those times when one person touched us or changed our life. Sometimes you don’t even realize the impact a person had until well into the future, when you look back on your life and realize that a particular person was pivotal in magically changing the direction of your life for the better. 

(page 117-118)
We are not going to do this, though, we are not going to forget the people who touched our lives and magically changed it for the better. We are not going to live on with blinders, only the feel gratitude when it’s too late. At some point today, carve out time for you to sit and think of three extraordinary people in your life. You will address each one in turn – either by talking aloud, imagining their presence, or by writing a letter to them. You should do this in one sitting, Byrne says, because splitting it up into three separate occasions will result in you not feeling the same depth of gratitude, nor will you receive the same magical results. “Tell” each person what they did, how it affected your life, and why you are grateful to them. Say thank you three times, out loud, for each person. 
Byrne states that when you’re done, you will feel the magic in the air. 

The evidence of gratitude’s power working is always that first and foremost it makes you happy. The secondary evidence of gratitude’s power is that you attract wonderful things. And as if all of that wasn’t enough, the happiness you feel after practicing gratitude also attracts more wonderful things, which will make you even happier. That’s the magic of life, and that’s the magical power of gratitude!

(p.120) 

Day 12 Recap

So, you will start the day by counting your blessings – writing a list of ten things you’re grateful for, followed by saying thank you, thank you, thank you, after reading each item on the list. Then at some point throughout the day, find some time to be alone, where you can think of three people who have made a difference in your life. Work through the list one person at a time, and while talking aloud (or writing), tell each person the reason why you’re grateful to them and how they affected the course of your life. (Byrne doesn’t say this, but I think it would add to the magic by actually expressing to each person how you appreciate them. Don’t tell them why you’re doing it, as one of the rules of magic is to never tell anyone of a working until after it has come to fruition. The energy becomes less condensed, and if the person you told has any doubts it could negate your spell). Before you go to bed tonight, take your gratitude rock into your hand, think of the best part of the day and say thank you for it, really feeling that gratitude and filling the stone with the emotion. 
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Magical Gratitude 28-Day Challenge: Day 9

Welcome to Day 9! 

So, we have been adding 10 items to our gratitude list every morning, and each night we hold our gratitude rock thinking about the day and saying THANK YOU for the best part of the day. 
Today we are going to be practicing an exercise designed to bring us more money! (again!) Byrne has dubbed the chapter “The Money Magnet”.

Day 9 Exercise: Gratitude for your bills…

If you don’t have enough money, the last thing you would normally do is feel grateful for your bills, but if fact that’s exactly what you have to do to receive more money in your life.

The Magic, p.96
Get your bills together and separate them into 2 piles – paid and unpaid. Get at least 10 paid bills, and all of your unpaid bills. On all of your unpaid bills, write THANK YOU FOR THE MONEY and feel grateful for the money to pay them (even if you don’t have the money). Feel grateful for the services provided to you, feel grateful that you were able to get electricity or cable or phone time without paying up front. Imagine you have the money to pay them all in full and appreciate that money to your bones. 
Now, for your last 10 bills you’ve paid, write THANK YOU – PAID and feel truly grateful you had the money to pay the bills!
 I know I’m grateful when I pay my bills every month! When I was with my abusive ex, if I wasn’t quick enough he would take the money and blow it before I had the chance to pay the bill. He’d get so mad whenever I paid the electric or for the phone bill. I still pay my bills the day I get paid, and it feels so great to have my bills paid in full, and to not worry about any negative consequences for paying my bills. I am so grateful to see zero’s on my electric bill, phone bill, and I’m even ahead with rent! Life is an amazing thing when you feel gratitude!

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Thoughtful Thursdays: Finding the Magical in the Mundane

✨✨There is magic all around, no matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing… you just have to be open to it. There are many realms within this world – little worlds within this world: Forests, Fields, Beaches, Backyards even. Today I will tell you how to transform a mundane walk through the woods into a Spellcrafting Stroll through a Magical Woodland. ✨✨


When you have the chance, go for a walk through the woods. When you step onto the path, you are entering a different world. Instead of a vast blue sky and all-encompassing light, the air is cool, the breeze is gentle, the Sun only meeting the ground in sparse rays of light. Continue forward, following the splashes of light – these are your guides to the perfect space in which you will perform your working. Walk slowly, so your eyes can thoroughly observe the scene. What colors do you see – shapes, shadows, take as much of it in as possible. Your goal is to immerse yourself in this world and learn how you fit into it. You are not on the path, you are a part of it..you are a part of the woods. 

As you stroll listen to the wind… what is it saying? Pause for a moment and breathe in through your nose. Close your eyes and focus on the scents. What do you smell? You can better understand your surroundings by using your sense of smell to identify the things your eyes don’t detect. 


Your hearing can further define the world around you. What can you hear? As a breeze glides through the branches imagine the leaves dancing about when you hear them rustling. Can you identify the bird calling nearby? What do you think the squirrels are chattering about?

Go to the nearest tree and place your hand on its’ body- observe the sturdiness of the trunk… the refreshing coolness of the bark. Stand in the presence of this tree and feel the energy radiating from it- how does it feel against your body? Does it carefully nudge your aura? Or is it a strong force enveloping you in a hug?

The sun peering through the trees is more than streams of light illuminating the forest path…it is the Goddess, sending you energy that, when accepted through your Crown Chakra (the top of your head) merges with yours, making your magic determined and fierce.

Let your intuition guide you to The Spot – the place where you will conjure and cast. When you find this place, stand there for a moment and slowly rotate, taking in your surroundings. The techniques you were practicing along the way will have you all warmed up for this task. Once you have etched the area into your mind, stand comfortably with your feet shoulder width apart. Feel your power start to warm and rise in your belly, and send it down your legs, through your feet. Push it from the bottom of your feet into the ground, in the form of roots if that helps. Send those roots deep as you can, allowing them to stop naturally. Now breath deeply, into your belly and then your lungs and hold that breath with the muscles of your belly and chest- don’t close your throat. Hold for the count of 2 or 4, whichever you are more comfortable with, and then release. Let the air out of your lungs and then your belly, and again hold by flexing the muscles in your middle. The next deep breath you take, envision you are absorbing the power of the earth, drawing it up with your breath. Continue this breathing technique until the energy has traveled up the roots, entered your feet, then up your legs, into your belly, rising up until your body has fully absorbed the powers of the Earth. How does it feel as it merges with your personal power? With the power of the sun?

Now comes the fun part! You may cast a circle if you wish, or set a protective barrier around you. In Wicca, the circle is cast in order to keep the energy raised in a contained space. It condenses as it increases, and so when you finally open the circle it is sent into the world like a stone shot into a field with a slingshot. In Celtic magic, the circle does the opposite in a way, whereas instead of creating a pressure cooker for magic, it establishes a sacred space with no veil so the deities or spirits you call to may communicate with you. Depending on the working I may use the Wiccan circle or I may use the Celtic. Whichever you use, if any, is totally up to you.

This working will be sent into the Universe, to tweak and shake the delicate strands of the Web of Life encouraging the series of events necessary to ensure that what you desire will come to pass. The power of Speech was believed to be immensely powerful by the Celts, so begin by stating your desire out loud. See the destination in your minds’ eye – if you are casting for a new career, imagine your daily routine from the moment you wake up until the time you lay down to sleep. How has your life changed with this new career? Do you drive a different car? Does your house have any new furniture? What is your range of emotions through the day? Do you have a peaceful commute? Or do you start your day by taking your laptop out to the chair on your back porch to check emails in your pajamas while you sip on coffee? What was the busiest part of the day? How did you feel when the rush was over? See these things clearly as possible. When you get home from work or when you decide your work day is over,  are you tired?…feel a sense of accomplishment?…giddy because you landed a new client? When you are getting ready for bed, what thoughts are going through your mind?

When your journey self drifts to sleep, bring your awareness back to your body. Ground the energy speeding through your body and with it send your intent. Once the energy charged with your Will is pushed into the earth the soil will nurture it, help it grow sturdy and strong.  The power of the Sky is of the element Fire, so it is the spark that will bring change to your life that will lead you to your goal. Feel that spark traveling with the power of Sky through your body, and when it comes up your midsection to your head let the power shoot out of the Crown chakra and rain down around you. Feel the strength and stability and potential merge with the earth energy and send it back down your roots. This energy is now a part of the Woodland floor, the soil in which these trees have taken root. The trees will absorb the energy, and the sunlight that caresses their leaves will ignite the intent into motion.

You should pour a bit of water onto the earth as an offering and a sign of gratitude for accepting your presence and for contributing to your magic.

✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

Your body, mind, and soul are the only tools you need to make magic. Sure, an athame or wand helps to focus magic but your finger is just as efficient- maybe even more powerful, at casting a circle.  Your Will, Determination, and your Imagination- your Inner Sight are essential to magic as they are the catalysts which bring your desires to life.  Your bodily senses will define the world around you, help you understand how you fit into it. Your intuition will guide you towards the location both safe and sacred -perfect for making magic- and your Inner Sight will set into motion that which you are determined to accomplish…what you Will.