Today, a behind the scenes peek from the pen (ok, the laptop) of Two Sides Tarot. What's been shakin' round these parts?
Books, as ever - I've just started Mark Nepo's extraordinary Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, and it's knocking my socks off! I go through phases with spiritual literature; sometimes I can't get enough and I love filling myself up with it, and other times I feel bloated on well-meaning advice from all those gurus and I need to take a step back and read something else for a while. After having stuck mostly to novels and memoirs for the past couple of months, I picked up Nepo's book and found myself ripe for his way of thinking. If you're looking for some inspiration or a reminder to engage with the numinous, I recommend it (and as ever, if you can, consider purchasing it from your local independent bookseller)! Other excellent recent reads include Michelle Tea's How to Grow Up and Jesmyn Ward's Men We Reaped. I do love a good (if harrowing) memoir! Any recommendations welcome!
I've never been much of an oracle card reader - for some reason (Capricorn, hello), I prefer to have the structure of the tarot as a foundation for my readings. I am beginning to open up my cold, hard little heart to one oracle deck in particular though. The Journey of Love oracle deck is a really warm and thoughtful piece of work, with rich and mostly abstract illustrations. I'm not sure yet if this will ever make its way into my client offerings, but I am enjoying incorporating it into my personal practice. It's a good one!
Since returning from my American holiday a couple of weeks ago, I've been having a total incense moment. I've always been a fan of some casual Nag Champa, and after weeks of being afraid of setting off hotel fire alarms, I must've really been craving it because when I unpacked, I realised I bought a WHOLE lot of incense on my travels! My haul included a variety of aromatic magics from House of Intuition in LA, two truly special blends from The Sword and Rose (thank you to everyone who encouraged me to go there, it really is a special corner of the world!), a variety of stick incenses, and that pinon pine brick incense pictured above. Needless to say, I've been burning up a storm since I returned! Life smells good!
Finally, I'm just enjoying the shifting of the seasons. I missed most of the first month of Spring, since I was away in the US, but now that I'm back I can definitely feel that change in the air. We've had some very warm days, the light is shifting, daylight savings has begun, and the pollen count is off the charts (achooo). Meanwhile, most of my tarot community, online as you are, are getting ready for Halloween, mainlining the pumpkin spice, and embracing the shorter, cooler days. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, about how I would like to incorporate more observance of the Wheel of the Year into my personal practice. It does feel challenging, as a citizen of the Southern Hemisphere, when most of the information and observance on offer on the internet comes from the opposite season to what one is actually experiencing. Even before I was actively witchy, I'd always experience a sort of cognitive dissonance, as the bloggers I read and the tumblrs I followed got me all in the mood for hot chocolates when I was moving into summer, and for lazy summer afternoons by the pool when I should've been drinking hot chocolate under the doona!
So, to that end, I'm considering doing a series of posts for the Southern Hemisphere practitioner, to get those of us down here who are sneezing and shedding our cardigans in the mood, considering that we've just had our Vernal Equinox and we're heading towards Beltane. Can you dance around the maypole in November? I guess you can in Australia! With all of that said, I'm not an expert on the Wheel of the Year, and I don't identify as a Pagan or Wiccan or really with any other earth-based religion. In some ways, I think it's sort of odd to want to adopt these festivals in the Southern Hemisphere, since they grew from the spiritual traditions of Europe. I do think, though, that we owe it to whatever land we live on to pay attention, and observing the turning of the year is the best way I can think of to do that. So, more to come on this! And a shoutout to any other fellow Southern Hemispherans - is this something you also feel a lack of? Is someone already doing this (no doubt better than me!) and I just haven't found their website yet? Is this something you're interested in? Let's talk about it!
That's what's been stewing in my mind. What have you been up to? Got a great book recommendation or favourite incense blend to share? Let me know in the comments! Oh and remember, you can subscribe by email so you never miss a post!