The Forgotten Magic

Art by Louise Cox original photo Sandra Stalker

Intro

I do not practice magic, I am magic I was born this way, it’s enmeshed in the very fabric of my being. In essence we are all magic it’s only a question of whether you remember your inherent nature or get caught up in the conformity of the world at large and become conditioned to that reality. To a certain extent we all have to conform to society to survive, I have pandered to society norms. I rarely speak of my beliefs and over the years have blocked the intrusions of the Other.

This has is consequences. Firstly as a teenager and well into my thirties I was plagued with Sleep Paralysis attacks. Back when these attacks first started there was no label for my experiences and very little written. Before the invention of the Internet it was a lot harder to research anything without access to a good library. And who do you talk to when you are afraid to go to sleep in case the demons try to drag you away and devour your soul.

Secondly, after NOT learning my lesson of neglecting my magic this first time, I once again became entangled in the snare of conformity. This time it has affected me physically and I was diagnosed with CFS ten years ago. I have done all I can medically and had a refresher course via the NHS at the beginning of this year. I know deep in the recesses of my mind that if I want to truly be well again I need to reconnect with the source, field, universe whatever you want to call it.

Reaching back into my earliest memories I was living a magical life, only, I had to start hiding it, as I realised not everyone was interacting with the world as I did. Now I wish to rekindle the connection I’ve lost and reconstruct the things I did intuitively as a small child, when there where no boundaries between magic and reality. I need to remember the Forgotten Magic.

Part 1 – Black Horizons

My earliest magical memories from childhood started young, around the ages of three to eight. Once I was put to bed at night, I would make contact with the ‘beings’ (for want of another word). Inducing a trance state to communicate with them. This was not a dream, all the time I was conversing with these other beings, I was fully aware that I was a child in a bed at night and after our meetings were over, I would settle down and go to sleep.

Drawing on these memories what were the mechanics of the trance inducement. I would sit calm and still, feel the energy which flows through all of us. This energy always concentrates in the palm of my hands. When the energy felt strong enough, I would place my hands over my eyes so that the base of my palm was covering the socket of my eyes. Eyes closed I would look into the darkness and wait. At some point there would be a shift and my ears would feel like there had been a change in pressure. In the vast darkness there is an horizon. The beings would come towards me from this horizon. Sometimes one or two, sometimes up to five of them. They appeared to me as coloured luminous energy. The conversations happened telepathically, more emotion than words. Some were more friendly than others, some in different towards me and one seemed to dislike me and the feeling was mutual.

I was very fond of one of the beings in particular, he is the one who visited the most. I painted a picture of him at Sunday School (this would be the one and only time I went to Sunday School). I wasn’t very old, pre-school days. Easels where arranged in a circle and we were painting. The lady looking after us asked me what I was painting. I felt panic, I know I can’t tell her who this is.

“It’s a Horse”, I tell her.

“That’s a funny looking Horse”, she declares, “where’s his eyes”?

“I’ve been making the colour for his eyes”, showing her my paint brush which has a lovely shade of pale blue. I’d spent a long time trying to get the right shade of luminous blue, which was highly frustrating with the low grade poster paints at my disposal.

She promptly snatched the paint brush out of my hand and blobbled a dot, where she thought the ‘Horse’ should have an eye.

“There that’s much better” she declares and walks off. I was furious, how dare she, she has no idea about how the world works and she’s supposed to be teaching me about spirituality! That was not where his eye was supposed to be! I refused to go to Sunday School ever again.

Art work by Louise Cox

When I was much older I read ‘The Tibetan book of the Dead’ and felt a connection to the descriptions of experiences you are to encounter when you die, with the visits of the beings I encountered as a small child. Was this some kind of cross over stage? I was alive but interestingly in the memories I have of conversations with these beings are mostly about the fact that I was not happy to be here. Why was I here? I didn’t want to be here, I wanted to go back home. The people I was with, my family had no understanding of what I was.

They were adamant I had to stay. Am I supposed to be here for a reason. Why now in this place with these people. I do remember in one of the last conversations, one of the beings saying I was here because I ‘meddled’. With what or whom, in my last incarnation here or in the Other place, where I longed to back to. I have no idea and if I am to learn a lesson then it would help it I had some inkling to what it was.

Then one night I was told that they would not be visiting me again, I was to have no further contact. I was devastated, lonely and abandoned in a place I felt I did not belong. I was probably about six or seven. I have tried many times over the years to get back to the Black Horizon where the beings can be contacted. Sometimes I can see it but don’t quite make that final shift. I suppose it’s like phone call but the line at the other end is dead or is blocking my calls.

I experimented again over the last month or so at one point I saw something like a door open on the Horizon but it was abruptly closed. I guess I have to wait until I cross over to the Other side again.

 

Taroting Depression with the Death Card

Probably the most misunderstood card in the deck, Death does not foretell your or anyone else’s demise. Death is about cycles ending. 

In order to have the new beginning that we humans often yearn for, something needs to end. So that we can make room for the new.

A short (I’ll try to keep it short) but necessary sidebar)

We can’t have a discussion about Depression and the Death card without mentioning suicide. Many of us, if not all of us, who have Depression have considered our own deaths in one form or another.

We may have made a plan, we may have just wished we’d die, we may have engaged in risky behaviors in what they’re now calling “passively suicidal.” 

And when we’re at the bottom of the abyss, death seems so peaceful. A way out of all the pain, particularly if you have spiritual or religious beliefs that mean you’ll go somewhere lovely after death. 

However, when you’re well, you know that the cost of Death by Depression is far worse than any benefits. And if, like me, you believe in reincarnation, there’s a very good chance you’d only have to come back and go through it all again.

It’s a much better idea to get it sorted this time around.

In my opinion, nobody should believe that their best option is to be dead. Nobody. (Not talking about euthanasia here, that’s a whole different ballgame). 

And the only way we’re going to stop suicide in this world is if we create a society where we actively talk about how we feel. Even if we think those feelings will be considered to be weird, stupid, or attention-seeking.

We also have a responsibility to treat other people’s feelings as important as our own. Nobody matters more than anyone else, nobody is better, smarter, or more entitled to…whatever…than anyone else.

Nobody has their shit together all the time. And it’s time we started to acknowledge that. Nobody thinks in exactly the same way as anyone else. And nobody should be alone. 

We need to build a world where being “different” in any way, is celebrated, not scorned.

Okay…Alright…Back to the Topic at Hand

The Death Card. Think of it as a bridge. It’s where you go from one place to another. When it appears in a spread, it brings the message that something is about to end so that something new can start.

When we have Depression, endings can be frightening. Beginnings can be frightening too. The Death card can remind us that we are not alone. We have help as we transition, there are others who have walked before us and many who will walk the same route behind us.

Here’s a very simple exercise to help you get a grip on how the Death card can help you manage your Depression.

  • Grab your journal or a pen and paper
  • Place the Death card in front of you and spend some time gazing at it, until you feel your eyes glaze over slightly
  • Then gaze at the card just a few moments more
  • Answer the following questions:

              What new beginning do I want to manifest?

              What will have to end for this to occur?

              What else might happen when this ends?

By this time, you know the drill. Just let your hand flow and see what comes to you. 

Once you’ve finished writing? Write some more. There’s always room to go deeper and it’s usually in those extra minutes when the real insights come to you. 


Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero through her Mental Health Membership Site: Black Orchid Alchemy. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks, and this link to receive new installments of her online vampire novel: The Childless Mother.

Taroting Depression with the Hanged Man

At first glance it may appear as if the Hanged Man has got himself into a tricky situation that he doesn’t know how to get out of. 

On second glance however, we can see that he (or she) is quite happy with his situation. He’s literally “just hanging around.” Suspended as you will, in a bid to suspend time.

He needs to stop. Just for a while. But it is a necessary pause to his life and what’s going on around him.

I’m a big believer in pushing ourselves when we need to. The demon Depression would prefer to keep us stuck in the same spot: never moving forward and never making any progress.

Just stuck in our own misery and despair. 

However, there are times when we shouldn’t push ourselves. Times when we should take a break, sit still, and pause before our next adventure begins.

The Hanged Man turns up for us when we need to stop. To take stock of what’s going on around us. To rest before life becomes busy and tumultuous again. 

No decisions are required here. All you need to do is stop.

Grab a pen and paper and spend some time with the Hanged Man. Let your mind wander wherever it needs to go. This exercise is about recognizing what’s going on around you without making any judgements or forming any opinions. You’re just the observer here.

Here’s some questions to get you going:

  • What colors do you see in the card:
  • Can you see any of those colors anywhere else in the room?
  • What do those colors remind you of?
  • What smells/aromas does the card bring to mind for you?
  • What kind of tree is he hanging from?

These may look like pointless, almost silly, questions to be journaling about, but there’s a method to the madness here. 

When we have Depression we often get stuck right where we are. We’re not able to see what’s going on around us because we have to concentrate so hard on getting through the next moment.

When we stop, really stop, not just pause for a moment, we can take a good look at what’s going on around us. When we deliberately look for small details it shifts our heads and our focus away from what pains us and gets us to focus on minor things that might just make us smile.

But, it takes practice. Particularly if the demon has a strong hold on us. Working with the Hanged Man card regularly will help you to retrain yourself to stop and take stock of your surroundings.

It’s another effective tool that lessens the power that the demon has over us.

Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero through her Mental Health Membership Site: Black Orchid Alchemy. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks, and this link to receive new installments of her online vampire novel: The Childless Mother.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Kali Rising: Holy Rage

Cover Art by Kat Shaw


Girl God Books is accepting submissions for our upcoming Anthology of writing:  Kali Rising: Holy Rage.

Personal essays or accounts (up to 2,000 words), academic papers, poetry, prayers, and art are welcome.We want to hear about your insight into this Goddess – and how you have used Her story, myth and dance of destruction to transform your life, take back your power and realize Sovereignty is a Human Right. How has Her justified rage empowered you?

Edited by C. Ara Campbell, Jaclyn Cherie, Pat Daly, and Trista Hendren

Scheduled publication: TBA

Submission Guidelines:

-Please send your finished piece in a Word document. Calibri size 12 font is preferred.

-Please do not use any fancy formatting or fonts as it creates a lot more work on our end. Make sure to spell check before you submit.

-Art should be sent in high resolution as a JPG.

You may submit more than one piece for consideration, but due to the volume of submissions, please only send your best work and keep it on topic.

We plan to do three anthologies dedicated to Kali – details to follow. 

Please also include a bio in the third person under 150 words. Please send your submissions to:

submissions@girlgod.org  

by August 30, 2022 with the book title in your subject line.

Please note that we can not accommodate any late submissions or corrections.

Basics of Botanicals: FENNEL SEED

photo taken by H.W.’s Botanicals & Emporium

 

Fennel Seed

(Foeniculum vulgare)

OCCULT/METAPHYSICAL/CURIO:

  • Release
  • Fertility
  • Love
  • Confidence
  • Psychic Ability
  • Divination
  • Repel negativity
  • Hex breaker

TYPICAL USES IN HISTORIC ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES:

  • may suppress appetite
  • Possibly aid in heart health
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • May benefit issues menopausal symptoms
  • Colic

More info: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fennel-and-fennel-seed-benefits#710.-Other-potential-benefits

INTERACTIONS:

  • strong estrogenic properties; POTENTIAL TO DISRUPT FETAL DEVELOPMENT
  • Contraceptives
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Tamoxifen (Nolvadex)
  • Anticoagulents
  • Antiplatelet
  • Meds changed or metabolized by liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 CYP3A4 substrates) and certain beta blockers (fennel has high potassium content)

More info:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fennel-and-fennel-seed-benefits#710.-Other-potential-benefits https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-311/fennel

 

DISCLAIMER:

I AM NOT A DOCTOR

I AM NOT A PHARMACIST

Please seek the appropriate healthcare professionals to answer medical/drug-related questions. This information is for knowledge purposes only and not meant to replace any advice or care provided to you by your Health Care Team Providers. ANY INFORMATION WITHIN ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ LITERARY WORKS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE NOR SHOULD IT REPLACE ANY MEDICAL SERVICES. ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE COMPILATION; It is meant to be a spring-board type guide to getting individuals into searching in-depth further on their own. If any information is incorrect/missing, please email hwsbotanicalsemporium@gmail.com with the following:

  • Citations missing or incomplete
  • Inaccurate information
  • The specific post/article in question

INSTAGRAM

FACEBOOK link to H.W.’s Botanicals & Emporium

Taroting Depression with the Justice card

The Justice card from the Tarot of the Vampyres by Ian DanielsThe Justice card is about balance and fairness, karma, and legal decisions. It can often turn up in a reading when you’re in the middle of a legal debate of some sort and it assures you that the outcome will be a fair and just one.

Now, there ain’t nothing fair and just about Depression.

It hits people randomly, for no good reason and often without warning. 

Some people believe that there’s a karmic aspect to Depression: something we’ve done in a past life has come back to haunt us.

I call bullshit on that one. I firmly believe that some of us brave souls have some lessons to learn that only Depression can teach us and that we decide to take on Depression before we incarnate.

I don’t know about you, but my Depression has certainly taught me one or two things that I don’t think I would have learned any other way.

It’s best to work with the Justice card when you need to find the balance in your life. I don’t think it’s a card you should work with if you’re unwell and particularly if you believe in karma.

However, when you’re well, when the demon has left you alone for a while, the Justice card can help you to understand how to achieve a balance in your life. How to balance the scales so that when the demon does hit, you have some tools to fight it off. 

Here’s an exercise that will help you get the most from working with Justice.

Sit yourself down with a paper and pen, light a candle, burn some incense or oil, dim the lights, spend a few moments meditating if that helps you relax and access your inner voice (whatever you call it).

Place the Justice card in front of you while you do this, so that you’ll have some inspiration.

On one side of your piece of paper, I want you to write down all the things that are unfair about your Depression. Here’s a few to get you started:

  • I often have to cancel plans I’ve made for social gatherings
  • I can’t hold down a job
  • I can’t maintain friendships

Once you think you’ve finished your list, ask yourself “What else?” and keep going for a few more minutes. Longer, if you feel the need.

Now, on the opposite side of the page, I want you to write the facts about your unfair list. But write them in an affirming way. Like this:

  • I often have to cancel plans I’ve made for social gatherings  – I sometimes have to cancel plans I’ve made for social gatherings but sometimes I get to party.
  • I can’t hold down a job – I haven’t kept a job longer than…but it’s certainly possible that I will in the future.
  • I can’t maintain friendships – People come in and out of my life as they need to and I will develop long-term friendships when I’m able.

Your affirming list doesn’t have to be something you necessarily believe in, it just has to be based on the facts, Ma’am.  If you’re struggling to come up with your affirming list, send me an email and I’ll help you sort it.

Once you’ve finished your list I want you to take that piece of paper and place it beside your bed so that it’s in front of you when you need it. The next time the demon gets you and you find your thoughts are leaning towards the unfairness of it all, grab your list and read through the affirming side of your paper.

And you can read it as many times as you need to. That’s what it’s for.

Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero through her Mental Health Membership Site: Black Orchid Alchemy. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks, and this link to receive new installments of her online vampire novel: The Childless Mother.

Something a bit different this week: Black Orchid Alchemy

I’ll be back next week with the Justice card but today I wanted to talk about something I’ve developed that also uses Tarot Therapy to help with mental health issues, especially Depression.

But first, a brief backstory. I was around 9 years old when I first experienced Depression. Of course, back then, we didn’t know children could have Depression so my Doctor decided that the stomach pain I was experiencing was psychosomatic.

Now we know that psychosomatic stomach pain in children is a symptom of clinical Depression. I’d also experienced sexual abuse by then, and the loss of a parent when I was 6 years old. Plus, the Depression gene was present in my family. All 3 of these are indicators that childhood Depression can develop.

Yup. I’m a textbook case. Boring really.

I grew up being told I was too emotional, that I had no sense of humor and that I “had to do everything the hard way.” 

But, the Depression didn’t really hit me hard until my early 20’s when I sobered up for a while and realized that things were really not right.

Long story short, I’m now 52 years old, at the time of writing, I have a BA in Psychology and I’ve worked in mental health, alcohol and other addiction services for over 25 years.

And I’ve spent every one of those days living with the demon Depression.

But, it wasn’t until my early to mid 40’s that I began to make a real change. That was when I shifted from coping and living with Depression to thriving with Depression and living a fulfilled life.

Like many life-changing experiences, it started with a major drama. I won’t go into details here but I reached a point when I had to face something that was absolutely devastating for me. 

And through that, I had to make a conscious decision about whether or not I was going to give in to my Depression or create a meaningful life in spite of it.

Obviously I chose the latter. And I continue to choose it. And yes, it really does need to be an active decision.

I began with writing. I knew I had to get rid of the massive emotions I was experiencing  before they turned inward and ate me up. There was a lot of misery in me, and anger, and I knew that shit didn’t mix well with mental illness such as Depression.

So, I started writing. I wasn’t ready to write specifically about my situation yet, so I wrote a novel. A vampire novel. About childless women. Within a chapter or two, I had rediscovered my love for writing.

Writing was something I’d forgotten about since the demon grabbed hold of me. I was still well known for having a thing for writing lists, but that was about it. I’d forgotten the sheer joy of telling a story.

I had a reason for getting out of bed in the morning.

Something I was passionate about, a place I could share all the things that Depression and the rest of my life had taught me. Something that could maybe help other people as well. 

Sidenote: As of now, (another long story short) I’m writing my novel again from scratch. It’s the same novel but a better read now that I’ve had some experience. Anyhoo, if you’re keen to follow the progress, I’m releasing it as I write it, so one or two pages every week and you can follow along with it here.

Anyhoo, from that experience, of going from complete and utter despair to thriving and purposeful, came the first seeds of Black Orchid Alchemy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cured. Not by a long shot. I still experience shit days, I still take my antidepressants, and I am still militant about sticking to my self-care. But nowadays, I’m living WELL with my Depression rather than waiting for it to disappear. Like the miraculous “recovery” my medical team kept talking about.

I know my Depression isn’t going away, but now I also know that I’m the fucking boss of it! It’s not the boss of me. Not anymore.

 

Black Orchid Alchemy is the membership I created that contains information, tips and tutorials on all the elements that helped me get to now, the point where I see my Depression as a gift.

Tarot therapy, shadow work, dream work, essential oils, crystals, meditation and so much more are contained within the membership site. We also do live zoom calls, every week, I email journal prompts to each member every morning (7 days a week) and we have a chat forum so that we can share ideas and ask questions.

You can use the site simply as an information library: I add to it every week. Or you can go one step further and create your own novel. Or a piece of art, a garden, a sculpture, a meal, an outfit, whatever you want really. I call this “Creating a Creature of Fucking Beauty.” (CFB)

A CFB is anything that you create that uses your Depression as a muse. It’s the thing that excites you, your passion, your reason for getting out of bed and in many cases, your reason for staying alive.

I can’t tell you what your CFB is, but I can help you to find it. That’s one of the other reasons for Black Orchid Alchemy’s existence. 

And look, I didn’t believe it was possible either.

I didn’t believe I could ever have a happy life AND have Depression. But I did. I do. And so can you.

My 3rd and perhaps most important reason for creating Black Orchid Alchemy is my mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero.

I’m offended by our suicide rate.  Globally and in my country, NZ, it’s far too high. And by that I mean, even 1 suicide is too many. It’s unnecessary. It doesn’t need to happen.

I believe that we can stop people wanting to die by celebrating our differences. By embracing those things that are unique about us, which are usually the things that other people judge us for. 

I believe that we can stop suicide by creating humans that live in a society where expressing their own feelings is normal, even celebrated, rather than forcing people to hide what’s really going on for them.

I believe that we can stop suicide, we can eliminate the need for it, by educating others on how to feel better about themselves while educating the (getting smaller) group of people who have never experienced Depression about what it’s really like. Not just sadness but all the other symptoms and consequences as well. 

I believe with all my being that this is possible. 

Black Orchid Alchemy is looking for members. We have two tiers and two financial options available. You can check it out here.

And please, if you know anyone who might benefit from Black Orchid Alchemy and what we do in there, share this post and/or the link.

Black Orchid Alchemy Logo
Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero through her Mental Health Membership Site: Black Orchid Alchemy. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks. You can also sign up to receive new installments of her online vampire novel: The Childless Mother.

Taroting Depression with The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is a reminder that all life flows in circles. This is a reminder that most of us with Depression need. Badly. And often.

When we’re in the throes of a bout of Depression, it can be easy to think that this is the way that things will always be. The Wheel of Fortune reminds us that it’s not.

Things will get better and things might get worse. That is the nature of life. The one thing you can guarantee is that things will always be changing. 

Yes. Even when you have Depression. 

An episode of Depression may lead you to believe that each day is the same. It seems that way when you’re stuck in the bottom of the abyss. Only things aren’t the same. There are always small shifts, sometimes so small that you don’t recognize them.

It’s not until afterwards that we can look back and see where those shifts occurred.

The Wheel of Fortune isn’t a quick fix. That’s the point. It’s a reminder that “this too shall pass.” A glimmer of hope when it all seems too much. 

It’s also a poignant reminder for those of us who live with Depression but are in a “well” phase. Although you feel good right now, there’s a mighty good chance that tomorrow will be a reminder of just how devastating the demon Depression can be.

So, how do we work with the Wheel of Fortune?

If you’ve been following this series, you’ll be aware that I usually include a guided meditation for you to follow, but I don’t feel that’s appropriate with this card. To me, wheels are for flowing and not structure, so I think it’s a better idea to grab a pen and paper and follow your thoughts.

Place the card in front of you and see what parts of the image capture your attention. It doesn’t really matter which tarot deck you’re using. 

Here are some questions you can use to kick off your journaling.

  • What attracts my attention in this image?
  • What do I dislike in this image? Why?
  • What part of this image makes me feel hopeful?
  • What part of this image makes me feel sad?
  • What does the phrase “wheel of fortune” mean for me?

These are just some points to get you started, make sure you allow your thoughts, and your pen, to wander off wherever they want to go. 

Another tip: sleep with the Wheel of Fortune under your pillow when you need a reminder that things will get better. 

This is only THIS moment. 

Black Orchid Alchemy Logo

Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She helps people with Depression use it as a superpower and turn it into a Creature of Fucking beauty. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks and join the waitlist to hear more about Black Orchid Alchemy: The alternative way to manage Depression.

Taroting Depression with the Hermit

The Hermit speaks to us of solitude, of going inwards to find the answers we need. Of spending time alone with the self as a way to hear what our soul is trying to tell us.
The Hermit carries a lamp in front of them: they know that all things will be made clear after some time of isolation and reflection. There is nothing to fear in the dark. Unless we’re scared of the truth.

And who isn’t?

When we have Depression we’re used to the dark, but that doesn’t mean we like it. And when we’re stuck there, we certainly don’t learn from it. It’s only when we begin to think clearly again that we can understand the lessons the dark has for us.
When we’re stuck in the dark, there are no lessons there, only pain.
That’s one of the reasons why the Hermit has so much to teach us. He’s able to see through the dark. He’s not frightened because he understands that the dark is as necessary as the light. But, true dark, the dark of Depression. The dark of the demon.
When you go into the dark voluntarily, you get to keep your own power. You take it with you as you journey. You can see your power as your lamp, it will light your way and keep you safe.
Before you do this particular meditation, make sure that you’re feeling as well as possible. This one may be triggering for some people as the idea of deliberately going dark is scary. But, remember this is not Depression darkness, this is the darkness that holds secrets that can change your life.

Or are you happy to stay where you are?

Make sure you’re sitting or lying down comfortably.
Sit, or lie down comfortably and take a few moments to wriggle about and settle yourself.
Begin with some box breathing. Make sure that when you breathe in, it’s the deepest breath you can manage.
Now, breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, release for a count of four, hold for a count of four.
Once more, breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, release for a count of four, and hold for a count of four.
One more time, breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, release for a count of four, and hold for a count of four.
Continue to breathe deeply as you imagine yourself standing at the mouth of a large cave. It’s dark inside but you’re holding a lit lamp and you know that there’s nothing to be frightened of inside.
As you take a few steps in, you can see that the cave is dark but wide, and you have plenty of room to walk freely. You relax your mind, and slow your breathing as you take a few more steps inside the cave.
As you continue to walk further inside the cave, you notice that you can hear a pleasant humming, almost as if someone is calling you inwards.
You take another few steps and your breathing deepens again. You are calm, relaxed, and curious about who, or what, is producing the humming.
As you take another few steps, you come to a small rockpool. You stop to dip your toes in it and you realize that there’s a figure sitting on the other side of the pool.
The Hermit smiles at you and gestures for you to sit down. They have a secret to reveal to you.
The Hermit begins to speak and he tells you a secret that is meant only for you. It’s your truth. And it’s something that will help you grow and manage one of the major issues you have going on in your life right now.
Once you’ve heard your secret, you thank the Hermit and rise to begin walking back to the mouth of the cave.
As you leave, the Hermit begins to hum again and as you take a few more steps, the humming begins to get quieter.
Another few steps and you can see the light of day way off in the distance. You continue walking towards it.
Another few steps and you’re at the mouth of the cave. You feel relaxed, calm, and eager to begin using the new knowledge you were given by the Hermit.
Wiggle your fingers and toes and when you’re ready, open your eyes.

Spend the next few minutes recording your secret in your journal. Whatever the Hermit told you is what you should keep in mind for the next few days or even weeks. Somewhere in the message is the way for you to manage a current situation.
And don’t forget that you can always visit the Hermit and learn new secrets. Visit him when you feel the need for self-reflection and the answer to a problem, particularly an emotional one.

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Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She helps people with Depression use it as a superpower and turn it into a Creature of Fucking beauty. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks and join the waitlist to hear more about Black Orchid Alchemy: The alternative way to manage Depression.

Taroting Depression with the Justice Card

Our next card in this journey through the tarot is Justice. Unsurprisingly, the Justice card is about fairness. It’s the promise that a fair decision will be made in legal proceedings, and that the decision won’t be swayed by such things as pretty words or pretty images.

When we look closer at the Justice card we can see he has a sword in one hand and is holding scales in the other. She, and perhaps only she, has the power to ensure that those scales are always balanced and that all parties are treated fairly.

Depression isn’t fair. We did not do anything to deserve it and we are not being punished. 

When we live with the Depression demon we can easily become entrenched in the unfairness of it all. That’s what the demon wants us to do. It wants us to focus on how unfair it all is so that we can’t see, and can’t find the energy to look for, a way out.

We can’t allow that to happen. We can’t allow the demon to take control.

Justice reminds us that we can’t control other people’s actions but we can ensure that we treat others with fairness. What we often need reminding of, is that we should treat ourselves with fairness.

We often expect too much from ourselves, are too hard on ourselves, and if we have depression, we get really good at blaming ourselves.

Spending some time with the Justice card can help us understand that we need to be fair to ourselves as well as others. 

Journeying with the Justice Card.

Sit or lie down comfortably, and take 3 deep breaths in.

Continue to breathe deeply and slowly as you imagine that you’re lying on your back on a beautiful, sandy beach, with your feet on the edge of the water. Your arms and hands are lying flat by your sides and your eyes are closed.

Take a breath in as the water gently flows over your toes and covers your heels. As you breathe out, the water flows gently back into the sea.

Breathe in again, as the water flows gently up your shins and covers your knees. As you breathe out the water gently rolls back into the sea.

Breathe in again, and the water flows gently up to the top of your thighs. As you breathe out the water gently rolls back into the sea.

Breathe in again, and the water gently flows up past your pelvis to your belly button and covers your hands and arms to your elbows. As you breathe out the water gently rolls back into the sea.

Breathe in again, and the water gently flows up to your chest and upper arms. As you breathe out the water gently rolls back into the sea.

Breathe in again, and the water gently flows up over your shoulders and neck and reaches your chin. As you breathe out the water gently rolls back into the sea.

Breathe in again, and the water comes up past your mouth, nose, eyes and covers the top of your head. As you breathe out the water gently rolls back into the sea.

Spend a few moments here, enjoying the feeling of being fully relaxed. 

As you lie there, you become aware that you have something in each of your hands.

Your left hand feels heavier than your right so you look at it first. 

What’s in your left hand?

What’s in your right hand?

Are you able to hold your hands in a way that means both objects seem to weigh the same?

The object in your left hand holds your depression and the object in your right hand holds your joy.

Play with these weights for a while, move them up and down, get a feel for how they naturally weigh. 

Now. Move your Depression up and your joy down until your joy lays gently on the sand. Your joy is grounded.

Look at your left hand, gently blow the object into the air until you see it catch flight, move through the clouds, and disappear. 

Spend some time quietly sitting with your joy in both hands. What message does the object have for you? Who are you now that you have experienced joy?

When you’re ready, place your joy in your pocket and know that you carry it within you.

Take 3 deep breaths and come back into your body.

Wriggle your toes, your fingers, roll your neck, and when you’re ready open your eyes.

Write down your experiences in your journal. 

You are the boss, not your Depression

Although it often feels like Depression has the upper hand, that only occurs when we’re unwell. And when we’re unwell, we need to rest and heal.

When we are well, and there’s no denying that sometimes our well periods can be very small, we’re able to make choices and that’s when we work with the Tarot to help strengthen the chances of us making good choices.

Once you’ve completed the above exercise, pop the Justice card under your pillow and sleep with it for a few nights. It’s there to remind you to be fair and just with yourself.

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Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She helps people with Depression use it as a superpower and turn it into a Creature of Fucking beauty. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks and join the waitlist to hear more about Black Orchid Alchemy: The alternative way to manage Depression.