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.

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.

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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. 

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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 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.

Taroting Depression with the Chariot

The Chariot from the Dark Wood Tarot from Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen

The Chariot is all about movement. It’s about clearing the path in front of you and taking the direct route to where you want to go. The decision has been made, you know what you’re doing, now get it done.

The demon Depression is really good at taking away our ability to make decisions and pursue our dreams. It wants to keep us buried under the fog and incapable of movement.

Fuck that.

The Chariot can help us to find our motivation again, but it’s not given as a gift. We still have to put our own effort into it. Fortunately, the Chariot can also help with that.

Journeying with the Chariot

The imagery on this card is usually one of a chariot with a rider standing tall and driving the charge towards his goal. However, the deck I use has an Eagle rather than the traditional chariot. Feel free to adapt this meditation to fit with your card if you choose.

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 picture yourself standing in the middle of a dense forest. You are warm and safe here. You can hear all the sounds of the forest and it soothes your mind and soul.

You notice a path towards your right and you head towards it. As you walk through the trees you feel yourself beginning to relax even more.

Your steps are sure and even as you continue down the path through the trees. Here and there, you stop to check out a tree, a leaf, a forest creature.

You take a few more steps and find yourself in a small clearing within the forest.There’s a tree stump in front of you and a huge Eagle is perched on top of it.

The Eagle nods in greeting and you know that he is offering to take you on a journey, so you nod back in agreement. The Eagle flies towards you and you feel his talons gently land on your shoulders and begin to lift you up.

Where does the eagle take you? Do you land somewhere, or continue to fly? Does the Eagle talk to you as you fly? Do you talk to him?

Spend as much time as you need to, flying with the eagle.

When you’re ready, the Eagle returns you to the clearing in the forest. You gently land on the ground and he returns to his tree stump.

You thank the Eagle for its help and turn, and walk back through the path you came down. 

Continue walking the path until you reach the middle, where you first began. 

Spend a few minutes coming back into your body, give your toes and fingers a wiggle and then come fully back into the room.

Spend some time journaling about your journey with the Chariot. Wherever the Eagle took you, will have a clue to how you can regain our motivation and purpose, in order to move forward with your life.

If you have any problems interpreting your journey, please send me an email to drusilla@depressionmuse.com and I’ll help you figure it out.

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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 Lovers

The Lovers Tarot Card from the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen

The Lovers speak to us of partnerships, relationships and balance. It brings the promise of romantic relationships and successful duos. It’s the card of attraction.

Depression is not experienced alone, even though it feels like it. Our loved ones go through their own special time of hell, just as we do. And although we can feel guilt for what we feel we’re doing to our families and friends, we don’t know their experience any more than they know ours.

Often, we’ll isolate ourselves from our loved ones, either in fear of being rejected, or simply not having enough energy to interact with others. Sometimes this is absolutely necessary for our own healing and to be able to maintain relationships long-term.

But, we humans are not meant to be solo creatures, and nowadays even if you don’t like to socialize you can still interact with people online. This is often a more manageable approach for people with anxiety. Yes, it does carry the risk of trolls and negative interactions but it can also be a lifesaver for some.

I’m particularly fond of the Lovers in the above depiction as I believe it reminds us that pairings, and other relationships, can be made of many different molds. 

There are some people who simply enjoy their own company, and there is nothing wrong with that. But when you’re deliberately avoiding people because the demon Depression has hold of you, there’s a lot you’re missing out on.

Depression has already robbed you of so much.

Taking a journey with The Lovers can remind you of the joy that can be found in relationships. 

And yes, that includes relationships with pets. 

Dog and cat friends

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 bottom of a huge marble staircase. You’re dressed to attend a ball and you feel as fabulous as you look.

You start to climb the stairs, slowly and carefully, and with each step you breathe just a little bit slower and you relax just a little bit deeper. Although you’re excited about attending the ball, you want to be as calm as you possibly can.

As you take a few more steps you can see the Lovers standing at the top of the stairs, waiting to welcome you. You continue to climb towards them, feeling just a little more relaxed.

A few more steps and you reach the top where the Lovers open their arms to envelop you in a huge hug. Stay with this embrace for as long as you need to, to feel completely relaxed and calm.

After a few moments, the Lovers lead you into a beautiful reception hall. There’s red carpet, velvet drapes and gorgeous flowers in gold and silver vases. You can see a row of people, lined up to your left, waiting to greet you.

You have relationships with each and every one of these people. Not all of these people are human, there are also spirits and animals there, and you know them all. 

You leave the Lovers where they are and greet each person, spirit, or animal in the line by turn. Each one has something to say to you. When they give you their message, you thank them, and then move down the line. (You can stop to write down each message as you go, or wait until you finish).

Once you reach the end of the line, you discover the Lovers are there waiting for you. They each take your arm and walk you to the top of the marble stairs, You thank them both for escorting you and looking out for you and you begin to descend the stairs on your own.

After the first few steps, you begin to come back to yourself. 

After another few steps, you start to move your fingers and toes, and wriggle slightly on your seat.

Continue descending and once you reach the bottom of the stairs, you come fully back into the room, feeling grateful, happy, and alive.

You can return to this meditation any time you choose and it’s a good one to do when you’re feeling lonely. A word of warning though, if you find the demon is creeping in and the messages you’re getting are negative, then your head’s not really in the space to do this, for now. So,  make sure that you are well enough to go through this journey with the lovers.

As always, if you have any confusion or need anything clarified about your messages, please feel free to message me.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.

LESSONS IN MAGICK: How Do I Do Shadow Work?

A lot of people talk about doing Shadow Work but they don’t explain how to do that. I’ve been doing Shadow Work since I was a teen, never realizing that’s what I was doing. I simply wanted to deconstruct things that I saw in myself that I knew weren’t healthy for me overall. Some I held onto longer than others as a crutch to protect myself until I was in a good place. Some I simply chose to never let go for whatever reason.

If you’re struggling with how to do Shadow Work, here are some prompts to start delving into yourself. Be 100% honest with yourself. It’s ok, no one will see this but you. But it’s important to really call yourself out on things. It’s the only way to get to where and who you want to be.

This is something I’m doing in order to be mentally and emotionally stronger to continue my path in La Regla de Ocha or as it’s commonly known, Santeria / Lukumi / IFA. I don’t want any internal things holding me back from where I will eventually be. External influence is one thing, internal influence is one you can work on intensely.

So here are the prompts. I wish you luck and healthy behaviors. Don’t be afraid of what you find within yourself. This is how to crack yourself open and remove that which doesn’t serve you well.

Shadow Work Prompts

* What are your triggers and what caused them?
* Is there anyone you hold a grudge against? If so, what is holding you back from letting go and moving on?
* Do you feel misunderstood? If yes, what misconceptions do people have of you?
* What do you dislike about yourself most?
* What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done and why did you do it?
* Are you happy with where you are in your life? Is there anything that you can do to improve it?
* Was your childhood negative or positive? Outline the most prominent memories that you have of your younger years.
* What is your relationship like with your family? Has your connection strengthened since you were a child or has it gotten worse?
* What are your parent’s best and worst personality traits? Do you see any of them within yourself?
* Who are you closest to in your life and do they positively reflect who you are? Are you holding on to people that don’t deserve your time and affections? Are you honestly happy in your relationships?
* Are you comfortable in your skin? If there is something that you would like to change about yourself, what is it and why?
* Do you lie to yourself to avoid addressing your fears?
* What characteristics and traits do you dislike in others?
* When are you hardest on yourself and why?
* What emotions do you tend to avoid?
* Do you enforce boundaries with others or are you the type to let people cross lines?
* How did you deal with trauma in the past and what do you do to combat it in the present?
* Are you 100% yourself around others? Do you put on a persona or mask to blend into the crowd? Do you know who you are?
* Do you forgive yourself when you have done something wrong? When you make mistakes can you move on from them or do they continue to hurt you?
* What are your toxic traits?
* Are you happy to be alone in your own company? Do you use other people to fill a void?
* Do you respond well to constructive criticism? Are you over-sensitive to any form of feedback?
* Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable in your romantic relationships? Do you put up walls around yourself and your partner or are you completely open?
* Do you accept yourself as you are?
* What is your deepest, darkest fear?
* Is there anyone in your life that you are competitive with? If yes, what caused this rivalry?
* Do you feel as though people respect you?
* What is your biggest regret and why?
* Do you have any unhealthy attachments or habits? What are you doing to curb them and why have you continued to entertain them?
* Do you practice self-care? Is there more that you could be doing for your wellbeing?

Source:

30 Shadow Work Prompts