Happy halloween and happy Samhain! Are you doing anything spooky? Or maybe something cosy? I think I’m doing both, tonight, with a halloween feast at some friends’ and then it’s Lydia Lunch’s Halloween Seance over at Islington Mill. Freakin’ Maxine Peake is DJing guys!
Anyway, I know you’re on tenterhooks waiting to hear: Yes, my slipped disk slipped…back. Oh my goodness, you should see me doing happy star jumps. Thank you Pilates you fixed me.
As I said last week, I’m making Corina Dross’ new astrology website (and it’s 100% gorgeous). And at the 11th hour that fun old thing happened where you do something late at night with a glass of wine in hand and half an eye on Parks and Recreation and suddenly…no. No! NO! Where has it gone? The entire website has vanished! Nooooooo! (It’s fixed now btw, and it launches tomorrow…)
Making Corina’s lovely site inspired me to finally redesign the Alternative Tarot Course website – something I’ve been meaning to do for months. It looks a lot classier now! (If you’re a member, don’t worry – the contents are exactly the same.)
Meanwhile autumn rolls on just being so so gorgeous and bright and cold. I really get this thing about ‘the veil’ being thinner at this time of year, about being able to peek behind the scenes of everyday life and see something deeper and more magical. This autumnal light – it’s something else.
Here’s some weekend reading for your witching pleasure…
>> Honouring our Ancestors – a Samhain ritual | Last year, some friends and I held a feast for Samhain, partly to honour our ancestors, partly simply to gather and create warmth and togetherness in the face of a world growing colder and darker.
>> When you dance with the devil | Siobhan Renee on when the Devil shows up in your tarot reading…and a social media fast.
It might be during an otherwise perfectly safe reading. The cards show that you do your best. They tell a story with options and hint at future possibility, but at a pivotal point in the reading you (or your tarot reader) pulls The Devil. And it’s in a really suggestive position too like: “your greatest current struggle.”
>> The Haunted Apothecary | Recipes for witches, wizards and the pursuit of wellbeing. Alexis J Cunningfolk’s awesome 34-page e-book packed with witchy remedies which you will most certainly enjoy!
>> This is how we do it: Making herbal tinctures | A simple tutorial from yours truly!
>> Demystifying Samhain | Samhain marks the end of the year in Celtic and Pagan tradition – the word means ‘summer’s end’. So the first of November is a new year of sorts.
Enjoy the End of Summer, dear ones. Don’t fear this time of year – celebrate it. Dance with the dead and learn from them. They only come this close once a year. Let the darkness and their presence be a source of comfort and magical awareness that feeds and replenishes you all year long.
>> The Elements of the Year | My own approach to the changing seasons and wheel of the year traditions is based on the four elements and how they shift through the year. I created a hand-drawn poster to illustrate these seasonal changes and relate them to my tarot cards which you can buy in my shop, or download for free!
>> Bloody Hell | Soofiya Andry made this wonderful crowd-funded zine about menstruation and it is hilarious, touching, informative and brilliant and you should all go buy a copy! My favourite page is of course the one with the Moon tarot card:
>> Samhain lore and celebration ideas | From the Domestic Witch
>> The biology of giant pumpkins | Here, have some science!
Specifically, the hyper-gigantic pumpkins entered into international competitions today are all part of one lineage, called the Atlantic Giant; the family farm where this strain originates can still be visited in Windsor, Nova Scotia. A recent analysis of the physiology of Atlantic Giants attempted to understand the physiological basis of their giant size.
>> Don’t forget it’s spring down under! | Marianne is pondering her connection to the lengthening days and early signs of summer as the northern-hemisphere-dominated interwebs proclaim that the opposite is happening.
Less hallowing but still exceedingly interesting IMHO…
>> The first 15 seconds | As a web designer, this provides some helpful insight about how long you have to draw visitors into your website (or whatever experience you happen to be designing).
>> Adding meditation to my life | Reader SJ on how you don’t just *start meditating*. It’s hard. Here’s how they approached it.
>> We create out loud | I’m a long-time fan of Sarah J Bray’s writing on approaches to creative digital work, which can sometimes be so lonely, so obscure and so much like feeling your way through a dark tunnel (or is it just me?) This post made me think about the way that I tend to just *boom* launch things, without really thinking about how I engage my readers in the process. I also love her description of all the work we tend to create around the work…that isn’t the work itself.
Creating out loud involves sharing our work before it is finished…starting with when it is still just an idea in our heads and continuing through each phase of its development. It involves making it very clear that “hey, this is the thing I’m making right now; here’s why it matters to me and to you; here’s what I hope it will accomplish; do you want to try this with me?”
>> This Business of Art: One day late and $30 million short | Riese Bernard, HBIC of Autostraddle, shared this lament on how it feels to be a truly independent, DIY queer-feminist media organisation, looking around at the the funding and opportunities available to seemingly everyone else.
>> I’ve redesigned my shop, since so many wonderful new goodies have appeared lately, including the Laughing Eye, Weeping Eye Tarot, Thea’s Tarot (this is a super special limited edition guys!), the Earthbound Oracle, Portable Fortitude and more.
Well, this was supposed to be the weekend Emma returned. She’s been living in Scotland since early summer, as part one of a timber frame building apprenticeship. Well, as building projects tend to, this one has seen some delays and it won’t be Tuesday till my love is back in my arms. I am beyond excited, but sad she won’t be with me for tonight’s witchery.
Meanwhile, I do have Cally-dog for the week! Which is *almost* as good.
Whatever you’re up to this weekend, be sure to hug someone you love.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.