Monday, November 20, 2017

Simple Ways to Weave Green Magick in an Apartment (Guest Post by Sarah Fawn Empey)

Hello, my fine Pagan kinfolk! Hopefully you can sense my gusto through your computer, because that was quite emphatic. Strange, really, because I haven't even had caffeine today. Guess hot water and lemon does a body good?
*awkward silence*
ANYWAY, I'd like to introduce a wonderful blogger, tarot reader, and witch named Sarah. She's the fantastic mind behind SarahFawnEmpey.com. If you haven't checked her out, you shoooould! She's wonderfully grounded, practical, and insightful! She also runs a lovely Etsy store where she offers some beautiful items that'll make you the envy of the coven. 
Take it away, Sarah!
~*~*~*~*~*~
Hey there! I suppose I best introduce myself before I just launch into writing :)
My name is Sarah and I am a witchy blogger over at sarahfawnempey.com, and I am simply delighted to be visiting the Penniless Pagan as a guest author today.
Green witching in apartments is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. This is quite possibly because I live in one. :D
An apartment is a home just as much as a house is. So it can be woven with just as much hearth magick.
Still, when you live up in the sky and just want to dig your hands into the soil, it can be challenging too. That doesn't mean it's impossible though ;) Even though you might not be able to garden directly in the earth you can still weave green magick with potting mix and some nifty window sill or balcony pots!
In this post, I’ve included a few of my favourite ways to green witch in an apartment as well as some tips on how to dry and store your magickal herbs when you have limited storage space.
Indoor Green Witching - Apartment Style
Depending on your apartment you may or may not have a balcony.
If you have a balcony, this presents a perfect opportunity for creating a mini green space. In warmer weather, you can line your balcony with planters or pots and plant to your heart’s content.
This past spring we moved to an apartment with a balcony and I found that basil, sage, green onions and rosemary all thrived quite well - despite being 15 stories up!
In magickal terms that means I grew:
  • protection (basil)
  • an energy cleanser (sage)
  • kitchen witchery (green onions)
  • hearthy goodness and protection (rosemary)
If you don’t have a balcony don’t sweat it. The previous home we lived in was a cosy basement apartment with minimal natural lighting and we still managed to grow magickal green babies.
You can find plants that will thrive just about anywhere. Snake plants, for instance, do quite well in minimal lighting - though they do need some lighting so don't go popping them in a room without any windows.
Now that the season has begun to cool and the plants can't stay outdoors anymore I've brought all my magickal green babies indoors. To maximise light for them and still have space we placed a side table in a corner by the balcony where they can soak up plenty of rays. Then, we put the smaller green babies in window sills.
If your window sills are packed Pinterest has some pretty cool hacks for indoor gardening or green witching ;) Think small stepping ladders converted into tiered gardens or potted plants hung from pieces of driftwood attached to the wall. I don't know about you but I think that those would be delightful projects to check out.
Not sure which herbs to plant? Follow your intuition. Consider which magickal energies call to you. Then do a dash of research to find which plants will thrive in the lighting in your home.
Drying Herbs
When your plants are ready to harvest or prune, you can easily dry them in your home. Then you can store them for magickal workings later.
For the basil, rosemary and sage I used a bit of twine wrapped around their stems and hung them upside down on an artsy sort of stick arrangement we have in our home.
If you happen to have some twigs lying around in your witchy closet arrange them in a vase and then hang your herbs on them for a similar effect.
For the green onions a different approach was needed so for these I prune back as needed. After a rinse to wash off any dust I use scissors to cut them into 1cm sections and lay these out on a plate in the kitchen to dry for a day or two.
Storing Magickal Herbs
When your herbs are all dried out then it's time to store them.
Have a spice rack? This can easily convert into a witchy storage space for your magickal herbs.
Then, uniquely shaped glass bottles from a craft shop like Michael's are another fun way to store your magickal herbs. These bottles also come in a variety of enchanting colours and are perfect for infusing a witchy cupboard with colour magick.
If you don't have a spice rack or space for glass bottles - place your herbs, once fully dry, in small plastic baggies from the dollar store. Then store all the wee bags of your herbs in a drawer or transparent plastic container. This is especially handy if you’re running short on space in your kitchen.
I personally use a combination of all of the above to store my herbs :)
No matter which herbs you choose to plant, with love and care you will soon be weaving green magick throughout your home )O(

Do you keep a magickal garden? What are your favorite magickal plants?

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NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Cleanse Your Tarot Cards, Ya Filthy Animal!


It's happened to all of us. We get a little bored sometimes. Same route to work. Same daily routine. Laundry on Sundays. Dishes... well, those are flipping non-stop. Sure, taco night really spiced up the ol' schedule...a year ago. Now not even mango salsa can brighten your mood.

So you do what every Pagan has done, you peruse Amazon or Etsy until you find that special something-something deck that makes your heart flutter. Yes, this is the tarot deck of serious witches. This is the deck that will reveal those secret numbers that will win me the jackpot and get me the hell out of suburbia.

Okay, that might be a little embellished for theatrical effect.

A few weeks ago I was feeling the ho-hum of relentless desert sun (allow me to duck while you northerns throw rotten fruit at the screen.) The summer had yet to break from those 90* days...in late October... and I was going a bit stir crazy. So I did what any self-respecting witch would do: I decided to treat myself to a new tarot deck. 

I actually got the idea from a blog reader (Hello, Angel!) who said she rotates decks depending on the season. This never occurred to me, but makes perfect sense! After all, I feel introspective in the fall, enlivened in spring, and homicidal restless in the blistering summer. If my vibrations are changing, does my connection to a specific deck also adapt?

Evidently the answer is yes, because I treated myself to the Everyday Witch Tarot deck by Deborah Blake, and boy did my readings perk right up! But as I tore the cellophane off my new treasure, I got to thinking about something I hadn't pondered in a while: how to cleanse a new deck.

It's something that should be done periodically, especially if you perform readings for others. But as someone who royally sucks at reading tarot for other people (I finally discovered why this is the case after reading the book included with the deck. Not a pamphlet, a downright book!), I'd gotten lazy with keeping my previous deck clean and tidy.

Yes, I get lazy. I'm human, okay? Half the time I just ball up my kitchen towels and shove them in a drawer. No one sees in there anyway. And if they do, they should probably stay the hell out of my kitchen drawers. What kind of person does that?!

=P

Below you will find three easy ways to cleanse your tarot with items you probably already have on hand. And you can trust they're easy-peasey because, well, I'm lazy. 

Break out the sage
When you open a new deck of tarot cards, each minor and major arcana crisp and untouched, the smell of fresh ink permeating the air, the last thing you want to do is wait to use them. Smudging your cards is a great way to get an immediate and thorough cleaning while familiarizing yourself with a new deck.

I like to keep a bowl beside me when smudging tarot so I can tap off the ash without damaging the cards or my carpet.

...Yes, I'm 32 and still sit on the floor like a toddler. I'm sort of an overgrown child with bills and an acerbic sense of humor. Not sure what to tell you.

Anyway, grab yourself a bowl and a smudge stick. Then simply waft the smoldering sage bundle over each individual card—front and back— allowing the smoke to cleanse the deck. This will take anywhere from fifteen minutes to a half hour, during which time you can visually explore your new deck and note any impressions or intuitive feelings you experience upon first look. It's a great way to bond with your deck while cleansing. 

Crystal cleansing
This method is similar to the smudging except you'll use a crystal as your medium. I recommend clear quartz, which is excellent for cleansing and purifying. Amethyst or rose quartz are also useful. These will not only cleanse your tarot but help you connect with your new deck through your crown and heart chakra, respectively.

Using a stone that has been purified from previous use, touch the crystal to your card and drag the stone across the front and back of each card. When you're done, place the stone in the sunlight to cleanse and recharge for your next use. Many tarot readers choose to keep a gemstone or two with their decks when not in use to help amplify their psychic connection.  Any of the above suggestions as well as moonstone, labradorite, and azurite are all wonderful options.

Random tip: keep your gemstones in a bowl of dirt or sand on a windowsill so they are always ready for use!

Sun and Moon
If you're looking for the easiest way to charge your cards, cleansing in the sun and moonlight is the way to go! The sun will purify with it's strong, masculine energy while the soft luminescence of the moon will balance your deck with feminine energy as well as heighten intuition. 

Lay your cards on a windowsill, taking care to ensure a portion of each card is exposed to the light. Allow the cards to sit for a full 24 hours, and you're ready to read! I would recommend doing this on a full moon night, but any night is fine, though I would advise against doing so on a new moon. There's nothing disastrous about doing so, I just personally feel you'll get a deeper cleansing when at least part of the moon is visible. 


There you have it, my friends! Three simple ways to get your decks cleansed, charged, and ready for some insightful readings. If you're looking for a little indulgence, I highly recommend the Everyday Witch Tarot deck. I find the deck to be very intuitive, due in large part to the talented Elisabeth Alba's breathtaking illustrations. See?



Alba did such a remarkable job of painting the cards that it's quite easy to decipher their meanings without even opening the book. But I suggest you do, because Blake has a lot of helpful information in the 250 page book included with the deck. 

Now if only I could divine those darn Powerball numbers!


Do you keep crystals with your tarot cards? What's your favorite deck?



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I was NOT asked to review this deck. I am recommending this product simply because I enjoy it and hope you do too!
NOTE: As with any recommendation found on this blog, consult your doctor or naturopath before use.

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