How’s your summer going? Mine’s a right mishmash – a bit of hill-walking, a bit of herb-gathering, a bit of work and plenty of play. A party, a netflix binge, a barbecue, and time on the beach.
And croft-sitting, too. Like last year, I’m getting to look after friends’ beautiful rural homes, feed their animals, water their polytunnels, and generally pretend like I’ve made it in life. It’s fun! In this particular house where I’ve been hanging for two weeks, there are three dogs, one of whom howls like a truly wild beast every time the answerphone picks up a call, or I play music. Yes, music. I can’t even hum without Scout setting up some kind of chorus of terror. So – quiet time it is.
I treat these opportunities as welcome writing or business retreats. I love living in a shared house, but I also love being alone. I need regular time to focus only on my work, on Little Red Tarot, on getting folks answered and planning ahead, writing blog posts, working on bigger projects, or doing admin like cleaning up my website or welcoming six (six!!) new writers to the LRT team. (look out for an announcement on Monday.)
You know what, that reminds me – are you on my Bits & Bobs list? It’s fun, friendly, personal, and full of tarot news, magical practice, social justice talk and everything in-between. You can sign up right here!
My Big Personal Announcement is that Emma and I are moving house. I know, I know, we’re always moving house. This time, though, it really is a big deal. Rather than a short-term insecure let, a caravan, a work-exchange, a workshop or a mate’s spare room, though, we’re moving in to a home of our own. We actually bought a house. In Machynlleth – a town in mid-Wales we both know and love.
It’s happening. And I just can’t believe it. I feel like I’ve been moving towards this moment for years. Two and a half, to be precise. I’ve saved and saved, searched and searched, really been on a rollercoaster journey through many landscapes, before finally being led to this magical-seeming house. We move next month, just in time for the Aquarius full moon eclipse. Expect photos!
In other news, here’s the view from Beinn na Caillich (hill of the crone) last weekend:
Skye’s full of tourists right now (apparently, the population is six times the resident 10k – yikes). Beinn na Caillich is not the most glamorous mountain on the island – most folks head for the magnificent Cuillin (the foreboding skyline on that second photo), so it’s nice to find walks and climbs where we can still feel like we have space, peace and quiet. Em and I walked a three peak ridge that day, and didn’t meet a single soul. Bliss.
Meanwhile, here’s what I’ve been reading this summer.
(I haven’t done one of these for a while, so yeah. It’s a long one! Best get the kettle on…)
Let’s begin with a song. Like Grimes? How about if she sung in Welsh? Hit play!
If you’re reading this via email, click through for the media player.
Witchcraft + Weeds: Healing + magical practices for summer // Alexis J Cunningfolk has so many interesting, inspiring and healing ideas to help you work with herbs and magic before the summer ends.
Tough Tarot Topics: Racism // I hope everybody will read this post, in which Ivan Ambrose details their experiences of racism within the community, and shares some ways we can do better. If you think the tarot community is a welcoming space for all, that might just be because you don’t see what happens to folks who aren’t white. We got work to do.
You probably already know this, but the Numinous Tarot is Kickstarting now! (And yes, when it comes out, I’ll be stocking it in my shop :)
Same card, different decks // How comparing cards from different tarot decks can deepen your understanding.
Benebell Wen’s new course: I Ching for the Practitioner: A course on the book of changes (and since Benebell is quite possibly the most witty and intelligent person in the tarot community, this is bound to be both enlightening and enjoyable.)
My Black Femme Magical Crazy // Asali’s blog is a treasure-trove of healing words and deep-dive emotional voyages. In this post she explores the intersections of her Blackness, her femme-ness, her magic and her mental health:
I lived through those years not because I stopped being crazy but because of the femmes who recognized my crazy and chose not to throw me away. Femmes believed me and saved me and gave me bloodstone necklaces and coconut head rogations and rosemary tea and spat gin on the back of my neck and weaved amethyst crystals into my waist beads and weaved hawthorn rose wreathes around me and pulled me back from the brink and showed me how to work the shadow for my light. […] I learned that my intuition and my crazy came from the same place inside me. I just needed to learn how to trust both.
In the UK? Reclaim the Power aims to shut down fracking work in Blackpool every day of July. You can help by going along for one day or more (remember, Blackpool is noted for fresh air and fun!) Here’s the programme. There’s a mass demo each Friday.
Unapologetically radical: The Urban Tarot review // Cassandra Snow explores Robin Scott’s colourful, political, city-based tarot.
The challenge of living with a bi-gender partner // Jane is an out and proud trans woman, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t also experience her own challenges when it comes to her partner’s bi-gender identity.
A modest proposal for a fair trade emotional labor economy // This is such an interesting, important read, from Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. What if emotional labour – especially that done by women and femmes of colour, disabled people and poor people – was recognised for the vital work that it is? What if it could be valued and traded so that these labourers also received support and had their needs met?
Y’know, when I read something amazing in Bitch magazine (which is literally every time I open it), I’m always waiting impatiently for it to appear on the website so I can share it – like the post above. You can help me out of this tragic situation by subscribing to Bitch magazine here!
Also from Bitch: Meet your Mystics: Multihyphenate Healer Dori Midnight on magic for the resistance // I bloody love Dori Midnight! And I love her comments about capitalism getting its hands on witchy, magical practice. I have so much to say about this – I’m so grateful to Dori for opening up that conversation in this interview.
Yet more from Bitch: A Q&A with Kirsten Sollee about Witches, Sluts and Feminists
RELATED: The Slutist Tarot is available in the Little Red Tarot Shop, shipping next week!
Before you can be with others, first learn to be alone // Jennifer Stitt draws on the research of Hanna Erendt to discuss the importance of time with our own thoughts.
7 things that p*ss me off as an astrologer // Janelle Belgrave lets rip.
What kind of tarot deck do you use? // Liz Worth introduces us to her small collection.
Finding love that doesn’t hurt: Keeping yourself safe in the aftermath of abuse // Artemisia Solstice shares her own story, along with some tips for embracing healthy, loving relationships.
Little gloves for the foxes and the fey // Terri Windling explores some of the folklore of foxgloves.
Ask a Feelings Witch: Boner/Boundaries // If you haven’t discovered Carly Boyce’s brilliant tarot advice column for Guts magazine, you need to check it out. This month offers advice for honouring both your lust and your boundaries.
Emotional labour is magic. It’s the lube that keeps social groups, workplaces, relationships, families, and organizing groups running. I know in my own life, being explicitly paid for emotional labour has had mind-melting impacts in my ability to recognize and value my own skills. The labour itself is not the problem, I think. The problem is when that work is assumed to be available (especially from femmes, even more especially from femmes of colour, moreso even from femmes of colour with disabilities) at will, to anyone, for free, and is unseen, unacknowledged, or underappreciated.
Carly Boyce via Guts Magazine
Multi-Passion Diary: Well I RAN an art gallery // Our very own Cassandra Snow does a lot more than just queering the tarot! I love this reflective peek into a recent arts space project.
Have we reached peak inspirational quote? // YES. (IMHO we reached peak inspirational quote the first time someone posted one on Instagram, but that’s just me.) Anyway this post from Sas Petherick is about a lot more than just that.
Facets of the Ace of Wands // Brittany on the ‘sprouting branch’.
Current Crush: Alok Viad-Menon // Meet a gender-nonconforming writer, performance artist, activist and educator, and queer fashion icon. And then buy their brilliant Femme In Public poetry chapbook.
Rose petal medicine // Lots of ideas from Kiva Rose!
May you experience this fully // Roses prompting mindful, joyful reflection.
I can’t believe I’ve only JUST bought Andi Grace’s phenomenal zine, we believe you: femmes surviving toxic masculinity. Femme or no, we all should read this collection of powerful personal testimonies.
Did you also read Andi’s recent post, What #vanlife has taught me about grief, boundaries, Saturn, and letting go? Because you really, really must.
Tarot spread test drive: Theresa Reed tries out Jessi Huntenburg’s Avoid Burnout Spread // This is a neat spread!
I worked through these 10 questions for mid-year reflection the other night. It was fun – and illuminating!
Speaking of mid-year check-ins, Chani Nicholas’ brilliant 2017 astrological forecasts are half price just now. Look back on your year so far, and plan for a stellar future!
Oh wait… before I go I *have* to share a photo from our fancy-dress party last week. The theme was ‘green’. So, as suggested by a helpful Twitter pal, I went as a bunch of grapes.
Have a wonderful weekend, friends!