I’ve said before that I am a collector of tarot cards. When it comes to decks, there are two things I can’t resist: unusual art decks and good humorous decks. That’s why on a recent mall trip I could not leave without Food Fortunes by Josh Lafayette.
Food Fortunes follows a standard tarot format of 78 cards… but takes it in its own way. The Trumps are “cornerstones of iconic cuisine.” Then there are its four unique suits: Mains, Sides, Sweets, and Drinks.
The deck has one purpose, and it embraces it with a delightful sense of humor: helping you decide what’s for dinner. Or breakfast. Or a midnight snack. The book is short and simple, and the illustrations clear and colorful with just enough of a hint of mystic imagery.
I tried my first hand for a meal for tomorrow, and here’s the result.
The interpretation of this reading – tomorrow’s meal will not have any salad. In fact, it’s not a healthy meal at all, but clearly a dessert! In fact, it’s a unique drink somewhere between a cola float and an egg cream, with pie added in. Sounds crazy, but I have seen some crazy desserts! On the side, an orange juice.
This deck is more of a novelty image, but it will be a fun addition to my growing collection.
Looking to grow your collection? We have several new decks coming in to the shop at the end of this week, so stop by Saturday to have first pick of what’s new! Or look at our deck section of our Facebook store.
Hello my lovely readers, my regular customers, and fans of Crooked Treehouse!
By now, some of you have heard our “plans” for Crooked Treehouse. And I put that in quotes because they have always been a little loose. This tiny business was almost created as a whim.
There we were, on the honestly sad looking historic Boulevard, living in this could-be adorable tiny yellow old commercial building turned house. We could see, with little effort, that the front of the house could be turned back into a tiny business. So we did. We opened up Crooked Treehouse in October, dressed up the front of the building, and turned this little house back into a living business.
Well, my time living here will soon be coming to an end. Within the next two months or so, I – Cynthia, owner of Crooked Treehouse – will be buying a new place with my husband, and will no longer need to rent this building as my house. That unfortunately makes it no longer cost effective to run the business as we are.
But we love it, and have multiple options on how Crooked Treehouse can continue. Here’s what we would ideally like to have happen:
We buy the building that currently houses Crooked Treehouse
We expand the shop into about twice its current size by opening it up into both front rooms of the building.
We redo the apartment above into an awesome space for the awesome Jac – our amazing friend who helps keep Crooked Treehouse running.
That would take finances we don’t currently have, and that’s why we are turning to you, our regulars and friends, to help.
What can you do?
Contribute to our GoFundMe campaign to help keep our doors open after I move out. If we make our goal, we can buy and renovate the building! If we fall short, we can at least stay open a bit longer.
Stop in and buy! If you’ve been thinking about shopping but haven’t, now would definitely be a good time.
The name of this Saturday’s full moon fits the month so beautifully! A full moon in May is called the “Flower Moon.”
Like the flower, this is the time to blossom! The seeds we have planted burst forth beautifully, embracing the magical energies of the season. This is a great time to focus our energies and magics on rituals involving:
The full moon in general is a great time to embrace feminine energies. The full moon is a time of transition, a time to let go of things from the previous cycle and embrace the new. This is a wonderful time for new beginnings and to truly manifest your personal magic.
This weekend’s Flower Moon is extra special, because it is also a Blue Moon. What makes it a blue moon? Each season usually has three full moons, but this Spring has four. That extra full moon is a “blue moon,” and that is what we have this Saturday! This rare occurrence should bring some extra “oomph” to whatever you choose to accomplish.
Embrace the moonlight however feel right to you! Some good things to do under the moonlight are:
Take a moonlit bath. (One of those few times to be glad for a window in your bathroom!)
Meditate on and charge your crystals with renewed energy.
Spend some time outside and meditate in the moonlight.
Have a lovely Saturday, and we’d love to hear how the extraordinary full moon fulfills you!
Of the decks I collect, I particularly love artist decks, so I was immediately drawn to the Starman Tarot as soon as I saw it in a catalog. The deck is by Davide de Angelis, inspired by artwork he created for David Bowie. The result is stunning, psychedelic collages filled with symbolism and meaning. I could stare at these cards for hours picking out new details.
At the beginning of each year, I try and do a 12 month reading with one card symbolizing each month. I had not yet opened up my Starman Tarot before today, but this seemed like a good day to break it out.
Onward to the reading!
January: Six of Wands. A card of success, a celebration of a well chosen goal or ambition. Celebrate that which you have achieved. This card suggests a well earned position of leadership, and recognition of your hard work. You deserve this success, so embrace it!
February:Ten of Wands. Tens represent the completion of cycles, and the ten of wands has you at the reward and burden of the completion of an epic task. You have made it through to the end (though it may take one last, difficult push), and it is time to lighten your load and admire what is around you. Success has its consequences and there is still hard work ahead.
March:Four of Pentacles*. Life is constantly in flux, no matter how much we want it to remain stable. This is a time to reinvent yourself and let go of false identities. You have a huge confidence that you can leverage what you want out of life, but beware becoming complacent in success. Hard won successes and working for a noble cause helps us grow.
April:The Sacred Clown**. Called “The Fool” in most tarot decks, instead of the naivete of most designs this one depicts a trickster. No belief is fixed, so it’s time to take a leap of faith. Take a risk, a big one. Embrace your potential and your freedom.
May:Justice. Now is a time to face consequences and seek inner balance. Take an honest inventory and acknowledge your successes and defeats. Don’t blame others, but look to yourself and the balance between heart and mind. Reclaim your own power.
June:Queen of Swords. Court cards are interesting and challenging in any reading, because they can mean certain ideals or people in your life to exemplify them. This card encourages you to use the power of nature around you and approach things with intelligence. Or it could mean someone with a brilliant mind, strong and principled.
July:Queen of Wands. Step into your creative power. Be resolute and confident as you break out of the mold. Trust yourself. Or a bold, courageous, fiery individual.
August:Princess of Cups. Don’t let the hurts and challenges of life sour you, but instead let them drive your creativity and growth. Look at negative things from a different angle and let them transform you. Or, a creative and sensitive individual, a dreamer with a unique perspective.
September:The Hanged Man. No matter how much you try to push ahead, sometimes things are out of your control. Now is a time to surrender. Take some time to look at your life from a different perspective. Even if you lose things in the process, take this moment to turn inward and reflect on yourself. Power can arise through sacrifice.
October:The Hierophant. Take the time to teach others what you know and through that gain a greater understanding. Pay attention to details. Could also depict a strong religious male, a guru and giver of greater spiritual or religious knowledge. An authoritative and structured card.
November: Two of Wands. Twos are cards of choices and decisions to be made. This is a time to make the effort to gain a greater perspective. You are caught up in your creativity, and if you don’t pause to look around you might fly right off the precipice. Take a moment and look ahead before you begin something new. See how the moment fits into the bigger picture.
December:Ace of Cups. This is my favorite tarot card, and the one I take extra time to look at in decks when evaluating them. This one does not disappoint. This card shows such an abundance of growth that the cup overflows. Offer up your bounty, your creative brilliance and love. What has been barren can now bear fruit. Open yourself up to it and end the year replenished and reinvigorated.
Some additional notes on my reading…
*Experienced tarot card readers may notice that I often ignore reversals. The truth is, I’ve learned to trust in my intuition for when the apply and when they don’t. As this was a reading for the year, the upright cards tended to speak more to situations and the reversed to internal problems. For that reason, I felt the upright meanings in this reading would be more viable. But we can always go back and look a year from now and see if I was right or not!
**The appearance of the Major Arcana in a reading are always places of greater importance. Interestingly, in this reading they came in two clumps, almost six months apart. I particularly found the juxtaposition of The Sacred Clown and The Hanged Man to be interesting – both are cards of surrender, but one is one of action and one of inaction. One to take a leap of faith, and one to pause and reconsider. I look forward to looking back (hah! Appropriate, since that’s almost exactly what these do…) on this in a year.
From herbs to crystals, I’m continuing our magical materials highlights! I decided to start the crystals off with quartz. It is common, comes in many varieties, and is useful in so many variations.
I am not going to get into every type of quartz here, nor am I going to get into the meaning of every crystal shape. Citrine and Amethyst are also quartz, but they will get their own entries at a later date. This is a broad overview of some of the many quartz variants and their magical and healing uses.
Quartz is a common crystal, forming in long points. The inclusion of different minerals and formation at different temperatures lends to its many varieties.
Clear Quartz: Powerful healing and energy amplifier. Can amplify energy for body and thoughts, and assist with mental clarity. Because it is an amplifier, it is a great addition to many workings and a stand in when you do not have other crystals available.
Blue Quartz: Formed by the inclusion of rutile, tourmaline, or ziosite inclusions. Assists in reaching out to others, releases introversion and calms fears. Calms the mind and inspires hope.
Green Quartz: Transmutes negative energy into positive without releasing it. Inspires creativity. Attracts success and prosperity.
Rainbow Quartz: Look for a natural rainbow inside the quartz crystal. Stimulates awareness or universal love, draws off negativity.
Tangerine Quartz: Has a natural transparent orange coating. Excellent healer after shock or trauma. Helps heal after psychic attack.
Tibetan Quartz: Aids in meditation and connecting with esoteric knowledge. Enhances healing.
Aqua Aura: This is a man-made coating that bonds gold to the quartz and results in a blue color. Has an intense energy, encouraging freedom from limitations. Heals, cleanses, and calms the aura.
Phantom Quartz: These crystals look like they have the shadow of another point inside the crystal point. Symbolizes universal awareness. Enhances meditation.
Rose Quartz: Unconditional love and peace. Purifies and opens the heart, this stone of romance is used to attract love.
Rutilated Quartz: Integrates energy across all levels. Stimulates awareness of connections. Breaks down barriers to spiritual progress.
Smoky Quartz: Effective for grounding and anchoring during meditation. Protective stone has a strong link to the earth. Grounds spiritual energy and gently neutralizes negative energies.
Snow Quartz: Also called Quartzite, this stone has a lot of the same properties as clear quartz but in a calmer, less focused manner. Supports you while learning lessons and letting go of responsibility. Enhances tact and cooperation.
Tourmelinated Quartz: Grounding stone, it assists in realizing ones own strength. Helps eliminate destructive patterns.
Golden Healer Quartz: Has a natural, transparent yellow coating. Facilitates spiritual communication over long distances. Excellent for all healing situations and helps recognize what is needed for further recovery.
Red Quartz: Aids in positive action and encourages physical energy and vitality.
Strawberry Quartz: Rare variant, so be careful of a lot of fake out there. Fills a person with a feeling of love.
I chose to do a more complicated reading since today is a quiet day with lots of free time. Concerned about my own business issues, I pulled out what was either the first or second deck I ever purchased: The Enchanted Tarot by Amy Zerner. The card images are lovely quilts, and this deck has always served me well for questions of relationships or money.
For the spread, I used the “Spiritual Guidance” spread from Tarot Made Easy by Nancy Garen.
I did this reading focused on current financial concerns, and my concerns for the coming year. Running multiple small businesses is hard, and I needed some outside, uninvolved perspective! So, let’s get to the reading!
Where you are now/That which concerns you: Five of Hearts. This card shows three broken hearts and two whole ones. It is a card of disappointment. Though some has been lost, we must remember that which remains. To dwell too much on that which we don’t have is to risk being depressed and despondent. Take the time to be kind to yourself as you would be to another person. This does sum up my current frustrations nicely. I’m not failing, but I am also not facing the end of the year as well as I would like.
What is the force or motivation behind your desire: Two of Swords. Frequently this is a card of indecision, or teetering between two things. This deck points out that you must be on guard that a time of contemplation doesn’t become a time of procrastination. In other words, don’t over think it! It is a time for considering other viewpoints and finding compromise. I have felt stuck lately, and working equally with someone else has its own set of challenges, so this fits well.
What is the underlying problem: Three of Pentacles. This is a card all about sharing the work. (Yeah, so about that working with someone…) Though obstacles may stand in the way, look forward to achieving a distant goal. Work shared is work halved. Satisfaction is the reward of consistent work with a partner. Don’t try to work by yourself – find a partner who is willing to work steadily and consistently with you. As for me interpreting it, this could either me not feeling like things are shared equally, or not being able to let go of some concerns and let things be shared.
What you need to understand that you’re not aware of: Seven of Pentacles. Fear of failing or indulging in worry about the future will not determine a favorable outcome. You must maintain a strong desire to achieve even in the face of defeat. Roots have dug deep and flowers will bloom again in their own time. It is neither profitable or necessary to constantly measure the growth of your project. Perhaps I have been worrying too much. This card is a good thing for me to remember as I head into the slow season for my businesses.
What you need to do to come to terms with your problem: Eight of Swords. Don’t concentrate on unimportant details. Try to see the whole picture. In times of doubt and confusion, don’t act immediately but wait for illumination. Don’t over-analyze. Your own lack of perspective has imprisoned you. Okay, overthinking it has now become a theme. Taking a step back, looking for outside perspective, and not being too hasty. Winter is a good time for patience – with myself and others.
What’s the best way to proceed in order to carry out the advice given: Strength. This card is not about physical strength, but spiritual and emotional strength. Balance courage and perseverance in the face of fear. Gentleness can accomplish what brute force cannot. As the only Major Arcana card in this reading, this one takes on extra meaning. Mental strength and perseverance are definitely good things to focus on. This is kind of the “don’t give up” card of this reading, but also a relax and don’t force it card.
Spiritual Guidance concerning your future: Eight of Pentacles. If you are prepared to learn as you work carefully, attending to all details lovingly, you will achieve great results. Doing work for its own sake and not for speedy self gain or other’s profit. Serene contentment follows a job well done. This is a great reminder card for anyone who works as an artist, or in something they love. I did not start my creative business as a means to get rich. While money is needed to survive and thrive, sometimes I forget that I do this because I love this. Winter is a great time to make amazing things just because I want to.
Your ultimate attainment: Three of Wands. Adopt an attitude that lets you see as a child and look for playmates or soulmates for collaboration in a happy enterprise. This moment of openness will be joined with practicality. Find others who in union will each add specific skills for a successful conclusion to a shared venture. Now is the time to sow the seeds of future harvests. There is a reason I chose to go into business with a friend, and I should remember that! We have some amazing things we still have not gotten to make together, things that we love, and we have the opportunity to do that. I love that this reading ends with messages about happy partnership!
Thanks everyone for reading along! I hope you are all having a happy holiday and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it.
Next week – the first of the year is Tuesday, so I’ll be doing a wheel of the year reading that I try to start off every year with. Here’s to a good 2019!
In honor of the season, the first herb I’ve decided to highlight is mistletoe! If there is anything you want to add on magic, medicine, or folklore associated with this herb, please do so in the comments.
We’ve just about all heard or seen the tradition of hanging mistletoe around Christmas. This tradition may date back to the Roman holiday of Saturnalia. In the more recent history that brings us to our Christmas tradition, kissing under the mistletoe was supposed to grant lasting love. For each kiss, one of the berries was supposed to be removed. When no more berries were left, the kissing magic was done.
Here are some additional uses:
Carry or place the leaves and berries for protection from lightning, disease, and general misfortune. Also can be carried for good luck in hunting.
Wearing a ring carved of mistletoe will ward off sickness.
Laid near the bedroom door, mistletoe grants restful sleep.
Mistletoe burned banishes evil.
Mistletoe raises and then lowers blood pressure below the initial level. It has been used to help the heart and circulatory system.
It is toxic and should be used with care, preferably under medical supervision. There are multiple types of mistletoe, so be sure to check the scientific names before use!
Hello and welcome! It’s been an amazing couple of months since I opened up the Crooked Treehouse. I’ve loved talking with my new customers – you guys are amazing – and wonderful old friends. I get asked lots of questions, so I’m going to try and answer some of the more common ones here. So I hope my witchy advice helps!
A lot of us have had a tough 2018, and are feeling like the world is set against us one way or another. When we’re stuck in patterns where nothing seems to go right, we look for ways to start things new. A great way to start is with cleansing. Remove those negative energies and start fresh!
Here are 5 really easy ways to cleanse negative energies!
Take a bath
It might sound silly, but the best place to start is always with yourself. You can cleanse energies from your home all day and night long, but if you don’t cleanse what you carry with you you’ll just bring it back in again.
Make sure you can take a nice, uninterrupted soak as long as you might need it.
Add some salt to the water to absorb negative energies. Add a couple of drops of a cleansing essential oil that you like the scent of, such as lavender, lemon, frankincense, or sage.
Take a nice hot soak. Clear your mind as you cleanse your body. When you’re done, rinse off the salt and oil with clean water.
Sweep Your House
This is one of the things I do regularly for a quick house cleansing. Start at the farthest part of your home. Focus on sweeping away the negative energies along with sweeping the dirt away. It’s a 2 for 1 cleansing!
Sweep it all the way out your door. Make sure you don’t just leave it right on your doorstep where it will get tracked back in. Or, for a quick cleansing, just sweep away the area at your front stoop, encouraging those energies not to enter!
Burn Sage or Incense
Sage smudging for cleansing is an ancient tradition with its roots in indigenous cultures. The use of fragrant smoke in ritual is common in many cultures worldwide. While the themes are old, this particular use is much newer. Sage, and sometimes other herbs, are tied together in a fragrant bundle. This is lit so that it smolders, its smoke cleansing the negative energies in that place.
You can also similarly use incense to cleanse a space. Either way, carry it with you from room to room to bring the smoke into your whole home. Open your windows so that the smoke is carried away, taking the negative energies with it.
Are you like me and have someone in your life allergic to sage or smoke? There are also lovely smokeless smudging sprays out there. Spray where you need it and let the scent cleanse your space!
Salt the Corners of Your Home
Salt absorbs negative energies, so placing it in the corners of your home or by your windows and doors can help absorb what is there and keep new negative energies from coming in.
If you don’t want to sprinkle salt or have granular salt in bowls where it might make a mess, try a salt lamp! Plus, they look pretty. Why not have your space cleansing also be decorative?
Light White Candles
Think about the energies you want removed as you light your candles. Then visualize their warm light clearing away those negative energies. They don’t have to be special or scented… though don’t forget about the power of scent discussed above.
These all stand alone, or combine as needed for a deep cleanse!
Have a favorite thing to cleanse negative energies? Let me know in the comments! And please feel free to share this article with the image below.