Taroting Depression: The High Priestess

The High Priestess speaks to us of spirituality. Not necessarily religion, but spirituality. 

The High Priestess Tarot card from the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen

What does spirituality mean to you?

For myself, spirituality is my ongoing work with Lilith, my connection to my spiritual guides, and ancestors, and my constant questioning and refining of my belief in an afterlife. It’s my core being. My soul, if you like.

For you, it might be something different. It could be a specific religion, it could be a love of nature and spending time outdoors, it could even be a fandom of some sort. 

Spirituality is the tool you use that feeds your soul. It’s the thing when you lose all track of time, and when you feel fulfilled, and at peace.

We have food to feed our bodies and we have spirituality to feed our souls.

Why is spirituality so important when you have Depression?

Because your soul is hurting. Depression goes beyond sadness, beyond pain, and beyond thought. However it starts, it results in a chemical imbalance in the brain and until you can get the imbalance “re-balanced,” you need something to believe in.

In the deck I’m using, which is the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen, the High Priestess is holding a scroll with “Tarot” written on it. This suggests that her version of spirituality involves revealing many secrets and mysteries.

She brazenly, and with pride, shows us the way.

Let’s spend some time with the High Priestess.

When you go to bed tonight, place the High Priestess card under your pillow. If you don’t have your own tarot deck you can print one from the internet or even just write the words “The High Priestess” on a piece of paper and put that under your pillow.

When you close your eyes, out loud, or in your head, ask the High Priestess to send you, in dreams or any other form, during the night, a lesson about spirituality, just for you. 

Make sure you have a pen and paper beside you so that you can write down your dreams, insights, or thoughts as they come to you when you wake up. Don’t worry about writing them down word perfect, you just want the general gist of what you were being told.

This doesn’t have to be a one-off thing, you can do this exercise as many times as you like. And don’t forget that once you get the information, you need to use it. Spend some time working with your new insight, do some research, read more about the High Priestess. 

The goal of the High Priestess is to get you to become, and sometimes create, a spiritual life for yourself. Having something other than yourself to believe in is a powerful tool against the demon Depression. It gives you another focus, something outside yourself, while at the same time, something deeply within yourself.

After all, there has to be a higher purpose of some sort, doesn’t there? 

Tarot Deck used is the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen.

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.

A-dress me, Witches

Freepik

As some of you may or may not know, my favourite gothic dress recently disappeared from the shared accommodation in which I live.
And many of you might be asking, why should we care about that?
Well, spiritual seekers, let me spin you a tale of Witchcraft and empowerment, the infusion of heart and soul into fabric, and the absolute violation when something is just… gone.

Before we begin, let us acknowledge that the world of fast fashion is a blight on our world.
In a world which excuses the horrendous actions of companies because they get cheap bargains, we, as those who understand the impact of energetic vibration (and hopefully care about other people in the world), must open our awareness to the suffering selfishness can create. We can shop smarter, locally, from small independent sellers with higher ethical standards.

All that being said… it began with a dress.

A long black gothic maxi dress with white occult symbols all over it, slit up one side, with a caduceus painted up the front.
The caduceus was very special to me – I was born under the month, day, and hour of Mercury, so my attachment to that symbol as a part of my identity was profound – it became one of my Priestess dresses that symbolized healing and divine messages. I wore it to several important events in my priestess training at Glastonbury, and in Goddess circles. I, like one of the snakes on the chest, became intertwined with it, for as with many magical items – the specialness to their owner creates a magical imprint, and that belonging weaves magic into the fabric.

Growing up I had never rebelled, because it was not safe to do so. I grew up in an environment of abuse, and though I adored the gothic styles, I never quite dared to step outside of the box of safety I had created.
Inviting my mother’s attention for any reason was a bad plan.
So later in life, I experimented with the more gothic styles available – anything that I felt celebrated my Witchy self. It was part of the process of undoing the conditioning that had destroyed me with fear as a young woman. I stepped into my power – mine.
Constantly copied by my youngest sister (the golden child to the narcissist,) anything that used to be mine was taken. Given away or stolen. My boundaries were constantly violated.

Moreover, my Priestess dress became a kind of armour.
Later I had gotten myself into a toxic relationship where my looks and weight were under constant attack. The male in question tried to tell me that ‘bad things happened’ whenever I wore my dress.
He knew it was my favourite, and he knew I looked (and felt) good in that fabric – its unusual cut flattering my natural hourglass figure, and he sought to ruin that for me.
But it didn’t work.
My dress helped me rally that ember of resistance, that steely grit that I had forgotten how to access, and inwardly begin to whisper, ‘fuck off.’
My dress was no longer just a part of my spiritual expression, it had become armour.
The occult symbols were no longer just marks on fabric; they were alive, thrumming with purpose and magick – when I wore it, I was protected. I was totally and completely myself like a second skin.

This brings to mind the stories of Selkie Women and something I wrote about them for one of my Songs of Shades books:

Selkie

“I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

I have learnt

From my mistakes,

It took a life time or two,

I swam to shore,

Gave it my all,

The reason being you.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

I was burnt

My actions blurred

Naked and alone

I gave up to much

Against the rocks

My nimble body thrown.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

The tears I wept

The blood I spilt

My essence rough and dry

I longed for love,

And scaled the depths

Reaching for the sky.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.

Now I steal away

In the dead of night

My skin clasped, oh so tight,

I leap the cliff

Into my waves, knowing,

I will be alright.

I am no longer inviting in,

Those who wish to wear my skin.”

Much like the tales of the Selkie women, my second skin was suddenly gone. Missing. I knew it had not left the house by my hand, and I rummaged through my wardrobe, under the bed, anywhere and everywhere for days and days on end.
It was nowhere. It was just… gone.

Freepik

The emotions that I cycled through because of this (and continue to do so) are very real. That dress was a part of me. My life. I had earnt the money to buy it, I had worked magic in it. I had honoured the Goddesses of my spiral walking in it. I had stood discussing sisterhood and what it meant. It was a part of my magical self. Infused down to the stitch. The violation in it being simply gone (without rhyme or reason,) was a cold stab in the heart.
At the time I had also thought it irreplaceable because this dress was a few years old and no longer sold – but the universe sent me a beautiful soul who found a second hand one online, and I cried as I purchased it.
Many other beautiful shining examples of sisterhood rallied around me and told me that they understood why I felt such pain.
This touched my heart, and opened up further understanding.

Throughout history, the creation of clothes has, historically, fallen to the women. Our ancestors weaved and dyed and created magic into their clothing, sewing protective symbols and chanting songs into their stitches. The skill and the witchcraft there was profound – and that memory still reverberates within us through the spiritual ecosystem.
We are connected to that practice. It is a part of sisterhood throughout history, and so when something we value so deeply is gone, it betrays what sisterhood stands for in our hearts, or our connection to the matriarchal spirits who watch over us.
Something precious that mattered to us is simply absent – and the heartbreak that follows is very real.
When people copy or steal from us, they are infringing on our personal sovereignty, our essence, our expression of self.
This is not the same by the way as taking elements of inspiration and weaving it into our stories – for that is a thread, not a garment.
Weaving together is respectful, the energy has a reverence instead of blatant disregard and self-centred violation.

And so we weave a spell, Starlets.
We remind that which was our second skin of our love for it, and how it belongs to us, a beautiful rose with which we adorned our body, and how too it may have thorns should such a violation of its purpose have taken place.

Travel well through the Otherworlds, Starlets

Joey Morris

Musings of a Spider Witch: Rekindling Our Magick

As the waxing moon radiates brilliance over my veiled head, The Badb beckons me into her moss painted woodland.

“Walk with me, Witch. Follow me through this spider laced thicket. Let your spider allies fuse their silken mastery with your lifeblood once more. Let them remind you of what you are, and of that which you have forgotten. Remember the powerful alchemy they bring to you. For they are of you, and you are of them.”

I follow carefully behind her, my beloved Goddess Badb, allowing the Araneus Quadratus weavers to burst into life and devour my dulled senses.

They chitter eerily as they scurry across every goosebump on my skin, swarming in unison to discard the banal detritus that has consumed me for too long.

They cover me in silk, and I slowly feel my soul change shape.
My eight feet bejewelled with lichen and labyrinth.
My eight eyes glistening with fate and prediction.

“You’ve allowed too much, Witch.” Badb scowls at me. “Too much has been taken by the mundane. Too much witchery has been extinguished. Too much vision blinded. Now you will feel again! Now you will see again! For you are Weaver, and you must never lose your magic!”

“Now, reborn and renewed, bring your dreams to me, little on.
We shall weave them like no other.
For you are a tapestry,
And we must spin your greatest yarn.”

This Spider Witch has been revived!

But after she releases me from my purge. I wonder…..

How many of us reach this point? How many of us sacrifice our magic because we are forced into societal prisons full of conditions and stress. How many of us slowly lose our light as we become more and more filtered down?
And it’s hard, right! It’s hard to keep your craft fully charged when your battery is constantly drained by forced routine. So very hard!

So today, make time for your spirit and your spiritual. Don’t allow your flame to be extinguished.

We are torches! We are healers! We are witches!
And we are needed!

Lyndsey x

©Badb’s Cauldron

Of Garbage and Rebirth

All my life I’ve known some form of magick. Even though I had no idea what that meant. Things I overheard while at the kitchen table helping the adults make Puerto Rican dishes every weekend. From family involved in Santeria; a Shaman maternal great grandfather, a powerful paternal grandmother (who tried to kill me at the age of 5), my Mami who read people from toe-to-head, never the other way around. My childhood was filled with magick. And yet I struggled from early on for the recognition of Elders in Santeria. I wanted that moment of acknowledgement to confirm for myself and others that I was indeed, gifted in ways I couldn’t even begin to explain. There are memories that live inside me that are such a mystery, I’ve given up trying to figure them out and simply accepted them.

I was never initiated into anything my family was a part of. Mami wouldn’t allow it, telling me I had plenty of time to decide my path. So it was to her that I would tell my prophetic dreams to, but not the endless nightmares. It was her that I would tell who would be dying soon when the acrid smell and taste of death permeated the air and my food. It was her that I would tell the secrets the Orisha statues would tell me. But I would also listen to the advice she would tell those who came to her and kept a mental Book of Shadows written in my Mami’s voice, which I still hear even now, five years after her passing.

I would write things down in pencil on small pieces of brown paper torn from the bodega paper bags and stuff them in my shoes. Forgetting about them for as long as I had the shoes. I played with candles, I created spells, I played with fire – a lot of fire; called to the wind and the birds. I watched my Mami do workings for others, always listening intently to her warnings and instructions. I read all of my Papi’s books on symbolism and numbers in dreams, my Mami’s books on numerology, palmistry, even her book on Nostradamus. She taught me to read the Spanish tarot cards. And yet, I still longed for what would make me different but mostly, accepted. Truthfully and perhaps selfishly, I wanted to be honored, heard, and loved.

I often look back on my life, especially after learning about past lives and how they can affect our current life, and I’ve seen some patterns repeat over and over but none so much as suffering and loneliness. I’ve searched for the remedy to both to no avail. It was only after meeting the man I decided would become my Godfather in Santeria, that I learned of my path; I’m a daughter of Oshun, which surprised me, and one of the avatars of her path is called, Oshun Ibu Kole. He told me it was the path of the vulture goddess and to research it. He explained how this particular avatar was one of a beautiful Oshun who had the ear of Olodumare and other Orishas and yet fell so far down that she was often seen rolling around in the mud; dirty and in misery. She sacrificed herself for humanity and was left to pick up what she could to survive. He compared it to what I’d been through in life; I gave and gave and was always the one left behind to suffer and pick from what was leftover. This Oshun was powerful and honored because of her sacrifice. The vultures were her messengers. There’s also a story I’ve heard since finding out about this path, that says if one is ever out and gets lost in the wilderness or the desert and sees vultures looming and gathering overhead ready to pick at the carcass, they are to shake their arms or dance so that the vultures know they aren’t dead yet.

No one wants suffering and loneliness.

No one wants to struggle and feel as though they are alone in this world and on this path.

And yet I see the path of where I’ve been so clearly now.

The cycle of garbage and rebirth.

And maybe that’s why I’ve always danced.

Babalon Temple Meditation Vision

vision submerged

I entered the temple quietly and slowly. Each step with purpose. Slow as to feel each step with my feet,  cold stone and dirt ground,  and watch the quality of light change as I entered. I hear the water in the pool and give offerings.

A large statue of her stands erect in the middle arms up and open. I sit and empty myself as usual. I ask why I have been feeling so off. I’ve never felt shame in her presence but I have felt inadequate in some way.

She spoke to me and showed me that it’s not a deity I’ve ever felt shame in or inadequacy. It’s amongst other humans Don’t you recognize how at ease you are in meditation and spellwork? That this work and other work I’m doing although it seems separate will come together and make sense in the end…

She was a vision as always, tonight her body was marble white immersed in black liquid.

‘My joy is in your joy’… So simple, it seems. But what for the girl who has forgotten how? Who’s joy gets trampled by the eyes sick souls of others that cannot see the inherent beauty or is made meaningless by feelings of her own inadequacy.

What for the girl who haunts her own space?

Yet you call and beckon and writhe so she will remember. My joy is in your joy, my joy is in your joy, my joy is in your joy…

 

Nova

Walking with the Morrigan in Twilight Groves

Freepik

I have awoken to the cawing of Crows again, against the barely lit white-washed walls that slump inward unto themselves.
The world shudders with an ice in its heart, and the crows are all stirred up, for the spiritual ecosystem is charged as a broken system lets out its death throes.
Archaic old dictators vie for control, but it slips under their fingernails as the ashes kiss the wind, and I hear Her, ushering in change, tempestuous and unyielding, stalking the grounds like a phantom seeking blood.
Every mirror reflects these cracks, the old and wearied that clings and breaks, the brittle notion of conformity.
The Dark Goddess rises.
The Morrigan rises from deep in the Earth, splitting it twain with a revelation of quaking, emerging beautiful and terrible, her blade slipping from its sheath to deliver the final blow.
I see Her, glorious, those dark raven eyes peering into the bones of my soul, knowing who I am, who I have been, and who I am becoming.
I follow the long shadow of her cape that scatters ink soot feathers across the dirt-trod path, weaving in and out of the liminal spaces between trees and Earth.
Shifting, ever shifting, I follow the path of my Goddess, my Mother, She who saved my life and gave it back to me, over and over.
The Morrigan who has split me in twain and sewn me up, over, and over again, who knows my breaking, my bleeding.
But above all my rising.
My consciousness flits in and out with every breath, visible in the cold that pierces my skin, as we journey ever on.
The chorus of the Corvids peaks, a chatter that drowns out all others, as we reach the threshold once more.

The Morrigan in sacred places.
In time worn groves long forgotten, set to the torch or knife by man, a forest now only of ghosts and memory. Their ancient wisdom held in this place, a testament to when the world was wilder, before this vicious cycle had taken full root and plagued the Earth.

She sits, perched in the centre against a stump covered in moss, and the light bends around Her, defusing through the thick branches that gnarl around one another in greeting.
The very trees speak; a rustle of leaves, a groaning of bark. What secrets they held and hold still, here in the most sacred of places.
Long talons tap against Her blade, screeching in the most uncomfortable of ways, beckoning approach or else retreat.
Knowing this dance, how could I ever call myself Hers if I fled? Never once have I ran from Her, nor denied Her.
I have screamed in rage, in pain, in desperation as Her lessons have broken my spine and stretched my ragged breath thin – but I have never deserted.
Which is why I am here.
Again.
It is time for the last breath of this cycle, a rebirthing, a cleansing from the stagnancy of the outdated, and so, surrounded by feathers and roots, I walk forth, to the waiting eyes of The Morrigan.

Would the talons rake my skin again, I wondered, how deeply would the lesson splinter?
“The world is changing,” She croaks, in that voice outside of time, it mists in and outside of my head, “There is death all around, and the drums are howling, men will try to devastate this Earth once more.”

I cannot deny it has been in my waking thoughts, wondering about the shape of things to come. Knowing that we have all been staring out into the unknown abyss for some time, scuttling for safety like rats on a sinking ship. Chaos has been reigning, and it is not done yet.
The Morrigan simply shifts Her shape within the red mist, collecting the broken, ciphering souls to the Otherworld and on.
Holding the memories within Her, always. Honouring the Dead.

Her hand is on my head, and She weaves Her fingers across my body, forming a sort of armour, all gold and shifting, parts blacker than volcanic soil, glinting with a temporal shift. “There is much to come. Much to do. Much to defend,” She croaks, and I wonder at that.

As the world falls apart and reknits itself, as ever it has done, I wonder about the guiding hand of The Morrigan, and She smiles in that way I know, all red lipped and fanged, where Her Will is undeniable.
None can withstand it. She will come in ferocious as a tide of change, and all will be scattered to the wind.

When it is not safe, who will love me still?” She asks.
My heart aches at that, a single tear falls, for I will.
And to that I shall always hold – and She knows.

In the deepest recesses of those eyes that shimmer with deathlessness, She Knows.

Fashion woman posing near the sea. Dark Queen.

There are so many arguments swirling around as to who deserves to discuss the Morrigan, so many would-be dictators that attack as soon as they feel power slipping from their grasp.
Mirroring the world at large by seeking to dominate, and crush others under their heel, in the name of a Goddess who was never about cruelty.
Only the Christianizing hand sought to paint her thus.
For Morrigan is ancient, primal, powerful – the ever-shifting shape of Sovereignty and Evolution.
You cannot control change, for it seeps in at the corners when you’re dreaming and before you know it takes root in the ground.
The Crow wings bring gusts together and the old system falls, the new Sovereign is crowned, and only the Land remembers.
Humans forget quickly, and with purpose, but the Spiritual Ecosystem holds every truth that ever was, reflecting the course of human memory.
A thousand people believing that they were the one to whom power belonged, and the shadows grew under each of their eyes as they poisoned themselves inside out.
You cannot hold onto power, for that is merely borrowed, and the day comes when it will be returned.
All things fall.
Power instead lies in the resolute conquering only of oneself, to embody the Sacred grove within your soul, and know that to all things there is a cycle. We are nature reflected unto itself, and that makes the disconnect from it all the more painful.
The need to control the narrative is born from a complete lack of understanding that we are all the narrative, memory, and the stories we weave, are all sacred in the Spirit realm.
The Morrigan holds them in her throat, and utters forth prophecy and regales battle worn spirits with tales remembered.
She is in the Land, and the Sea, and the Sky. She walks between all the realms of existence, and ushers in change at every meeting.

You can no more control Her than the shifting wind, or the depths of the Ocean.
It is folly to try.

Move well through the Otherworlds, Starlets
Joey Morris