Weekend reading + other people’s words


I’ve been putting off publishing this post for weeks, because I didn’t have the words for an introduction. Times are a little strange right now – I wasn’t sure what to write.

So what? Weekend reading is about other folks’ writing, other people’s art, not mine. As I put off publishing this post, the list grew longer. I love reading blogs and drinking coffee. I love it that there are so many diverse brilliant people out there putting their art and their ideas and their politics on the internet where all of us can see. Reading the web helps me feel connected to a life beyond my own.

I hope you have a super lazy weekend planned my friends, for there’s a lot of good stuff here.

Enjoy 🙂

Let’s begin with a song. Hit play! (If you’re reading this via email, click through to use the media player.) This song (sung in Scottish Gaelic) is a Hebridean ‘waulking song’ – a rhythmic song whilst making tweed and cloth. The name means ‘Melodious Sorrow’.

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Photo diary: North, south and in-between | I don’t have many words, but I did share a few photos of recent weeks.

Feeling grief + dreaming another world | Coming at such a difficult time for so many people, I find Asia’s words profound, healing and helpful. She also shares a beautiful ritual for helping to move through grief, and encourages us to dream of a better world.

The Scottish Radical Herbal Gathering programme is shaping up nicely! I’ve got my ticket. Who’s coming?

Wildcrafting in the Scottish lowlands | A beautiful walk through the wildflowers of June.

Is tarot necessarily spiritual? | Thorn the Witch is one of my favourite bloggers. Here’s an intelligent, plainly-written article on how we view and use tarot.

Thea's Tarot

Thea’s Tarot, by Ruth West

8 ways white witches can support #BlackLivesMatter | Andi Grace has some practical and thought-provoking tips for witchy allies.

For allies who feel like everything they do is wrong | Whether we’re white folks showing solidarity with Black people, straights supporting queers, or anyone wanting to be an ally to a marginalised group, it’s easy to get despondent, defensive or disillusioned by fears of ‘getting it wrong. Written to answer men who struggle to show feminist allyship with women, this post provides advice to allies of all kinds.

7 tips for white parents to talk to their kids about police murders of Black people.

Where does a healer’s anger go? Beyond love and light | Healer and earthworker Asali on how rage and anger are valid and healing responses to injustice.

When you ask someone to look away from the darkness they feel without acknowledging it you are responsible for taking their power. When healers with marginalized identities are asked to focus on light when their hearts are breaking you are sucking up the air around them and ensuring that it is always hard to breathe.

My love and light is precious and powerful. Today and everyday I choose to reserve my magic for those who want me to live. I am also angry.

Removing the last thin veil | Mary K Greer muses on the idea of wholeness as embracing our imperfections and ‘brokenness’ rather than seeing it as a state of perfection.

Here’s a tarot deck created using imagery from the Weimar Republic – an avant-garde, counter-culture, boundary-pushing art movement in 1920s Berlin.

Morning thoughts on Mercury | Our very own Tango ain’t just an editor, she also has her own blog. Here are her poetic musings on her ruling planet, Mercury.

A self-esteem tarot spread


Via The Hoodwitch

Jhumpa Lahiri, learning new things, and defining tarot | I loved this thoughtful post from Cassandra Snow about how her favourite author’s commitment to learning Italian drew parallels with her own tarot journey.

On flying ointments as medicine | Have I already shared this? Well, you can have it again. Sarah Anne Lawless shares her thoughts on the interesting history of these most witchy of concoctions.

A granny witch’s cookbook | Anna Wess of Appalachian Ink (whose every post is a work of art) shares memories of her kitchen-witch grandmother.

Oh, magic, indeed. Now Granny would have never proclaimed herself to have ever been more than a mountain sister, a daughter of the Highlands, or one of the heirs to the Appalachian throne of mystery and the craft of her foremothers and the wild blue.

I said, “Granny, what you got in that book?”

“Nothin’ I don’t know already,” she said.

Doing that forgiveness thing: A video and some journal prompts | Kelly-Ann Maddox is the absolute mistress of doing tricky internal work, and she shares the whole messy beautiful journey – with pro-active advice – on her blog and YouTube channel. This video is all about the real and raw practice of forgiveness.

Headline versus backstory | Career coach Ellen Fondiler reminds us of the lean times and hard graft behind those successful online business stories.

Read this if: you are anxiously searching for your life purpose | Alexandra Franzen so often puts into words a feeling I struggle to articulate. This post does just that, turning the much-lauded idea of a ‘life purpose’ on its head and starting from action instead.

Become a shaman of your own life

The business of creativity | If you want to make a living from your art, you have to learn to sell it – and make peace with that selling. Paul Jarvis always has straightforward, encouraging words on this topic. (That was part 1. Here is part 2.)

A birth chart workbook for your business | Genuis! From Jeanna Kadlec.

Mokosh | Meet a Slavic goddess of water and weaving, painted by Thalia Took.

So many feelings: exploring the suit of cups | Ideas and interpretations for tarot’s cups cards. (It was while taking these photos for Autostraddle that I accidentally dropped my Thea’s tarot in the sea – noooo! Miraculously, she dried out great.)


4 ways white people can process their emotions without bringing the white tears | Practical, sensitive, informative.

Cissexist BS Translator | (Content note: transphobia) Rory Midhani’s helpful cartoon guide helps you translate some of the bullshit cis people say to/about trans people.

How magic helps me live with pain and trauma | Maranda Elizabeth’s beautiful and brilliant essay on the intersections of disability, queerness and magic.

I’ve been told again and again that neither magic nor illness nor my gender are real, or real enough. They are irrational and crazy, exaggerated and fake. Yet they form the foundation of who I am, and feel both crucial to my survival and sometimes simply mundane. I may not have become so committed to magic if it weren’t for being traumatized, and I may not have survived my past and ongoing trauma if it weren’t for my daily magical practice.

My cane becomes a part of my rituals, an ongoing presence, a wand and a sword all at once. It is a sword because I am angry about injustice and inaccessibility; it is a wand because I care about healing and liberation.

The illustrations in that post, by Clara Bee Lavery, are also wonderful:


By Clara Bee Lavery, for The Establishment

Sisters Uncut occupy empty home to demand action on domestic violence | Domestic violence kills 2 women per week in the UK, and is a leading cause of homelessness – yet government cuts are eating away at refuges and other vital services. Sisters Uncut is a grassroots group campaigning against these cuts.

Why Corbyn so terrifies the Guardian | The Guardian, beloved newspaper of the middle-class left, has been undermining socialist Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Why?

Living the dream at 250 pounds or “why diet culture is full of shit and can suck my lady dick” | Amen, Virgie Tovar. Important reading for women of any shape or size.

In the rules of dieting lives the centuries-old legacy of the second-class citizenship of women. These are the same rules that have kept women from achieving amazing things for too long. The truth is that a woman who is singularly obsessed with how she looks will never be an independent woman.

We deserve more than that. You deserve more than that.

Nine of Wands: Protect yourself (podcast) | Edyss of Stay Woke Tarot drew a card to work through her feelings after the recent shooting of two Black men in the US and all that came after.

The Asian American Tarot: A mental health project | Back this Kickstarter, which is creating a major arcana tarot deck drawing attention to mental health issues within communities. And Andi Grace interviewed one of the editors, Mimi Khuc.



Here’s a call to artists to make political art to counter systematic racism:

51 of the most important things you’ve ever fought about | “I woke her up at 2 AM to ask if she thought toasters have souls.” Insights into queer women’s relationships, from a recent Autostraddle survey.

Internet love letters | Mother and Crone longs for the days when we simply wrote what we felt.

Self-love stew | Thanks Jack Monroe.

This weekend, Marylou and Ed return from their time away. A house full of family, children, people, again. That will be good after such quiet. Em and I made a big decision this week. I’m sitting with it. I’m looking forward to sharing it with my housemates.

And next week – oh boy – I’m starting two weeks of intensive Gaelic classes. Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the world’s only Gaelic college (which happens to be 15 minutes from where I live), favours the ‘total immersion’ approach. As in, no English is spoken. We begin Sunday night with wine and nibbles and meeting the tutor. Wish me luck!

Hope you have a nourishing, restful and/or super-fun weekend!

Beth x

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  1. raggedpoet says:

    Hey Beth… Just wanted to send you guys some love from the other end of the planet…and thank you for all your sharing and your very realness… love the song… envy you the Gaelic course… my roots are calling so strongly to me the past few months.. (My Mum is a highlander, and it is so strong in my blood…)… lots of love…go well, kia kaha…and gur math a thèid leat! xox Bobby

  2. Rebecca says:

    That song is lovely, but it doesn’t sound right without the women beating the cloth on the long table to full it! Waulking songs need the pounding! Now I want to go find the video I’ve seen, taken in the 50s or something by a musicologist, with all the old women singing while actually doing it.

    Gotta to something to take your mind off the stink of stale piss, the way the pounding gets into your bones, and the mind-numbing boredom of it.

    • Beth says:

      Ha!! Right. Thank you for setting the salubrious atmosphere 😉

      It’s not my favourite from the Barluath album that I have (At Dawn of Day), but the only one I could find online for free so as to embed it in this blog post. The opening track is Am Bron Binn (‘the melodious sorrow’), an intense song about the strange dream of a king…

  3. HOLY CRAP this took me so long to get through because absolutely everything sounded (and was) amazing. You are so magickal and I am so sorry things are so weird. We’ve talked some and you know I’m in a strange, unsettled, actually not great place but please know I am here if you need to chat or bounce ideas off of.

    And thanks for featuring my article on Lahiri. I love her and am pretty proud of that piece. XO.

  4. Beth, I just love your spirit! I identify, on so many levels with your passion for social justice (I’m a sociology major currently taking a time out from school), tarot (I always have a deck with me), and healing. I am the Dreamer who dreams a world…and I am the dreamed…a vision and a hope in the heart of the Great Spirit, God, Goodess…whatever term you use for All That Is,

    It sounds like we enjoy the same kinds of weekends. I love immersing myself in blogs, taking in the thoughts and teaching of others and learning where I resonate and where there is discord. Every single thing leads us to a greater knowledge of ourselves, our world. I relish sacred time with the people I love and I learn powerful lessons from those times when my loves and I don’t see eye to eye. We can agree to disagree…and still love. We are shadow and we are light and all of these things serve to form and shape our lives, our world…the Dreamer and the Dreamed.

    I love these links! So many amazing treasures! Yet another reason for me to remind my daughter to sign up for the email list so she can get an invite to the community here. This is a place of healing, a place of truth.

    Thank you so much for all of the dedicated effort you have put into making LittleRedTarot the wonderful place that it is. Have a glorious, lazy weekend. (I’m going to jump back under the covers now. 🙂


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