Matcha Lattes and Giveaways!

You always read about the benefits of green tea and/or matcha green tea. I enjoy both, but for a long time when I wanted to “treat” myself I would get a Matcha Green Tea Latte from Starbucks. I do prefer matcha because you’re consuming the green tea, as opposed to just steeping leaves in hot water.

The thing is, as a chronic pain sufferer, I’m not that physically active. I’m also in my 40’s. What I am getting at is, I need to watch my calories. Even with making all kinds of substitutions, the Starbucks Matcha Green Tea Latte was clocking in at 200 calories. AND, I had to go out and get it.

Now I could make one at home and take it into work with me. I did that for a while, however, it meant I had to drink it as soon as I got to work, and it would be lukewarm. Then I learned about Four Sigmatic, and more specifically I heard that they had an instant Matcha Latte Mix that doesn’t suck. I decided to give it a try.

Life. Changing.

Okay, that’s a little extreme, but what I now have are convenient, individual serving packets of Four Sigmatic instant Matcha Latte Mix. It has matcha, obviously, but also Lion’s Mane (which some believe provides mental health benefits) and Moringa (which Four Sigmatic calls “nutrient dense”). Thanks to the use of dried coconut milk powder and stevia, each serving is Vegan and only 30 calories.


I have never noticed any perceivable health benefits from drinking it, but it tastes good, is convenient, and low calorie. I keep a box in my cubicle at work, and whenever I want a Matcha Latte, I just pour a packet in a coffee mug and then fill it with hot water from our office’s Keurig machine. Stir it up and drink. It would absolutely be better if made with a frother or electric mixer to really work that mix into the water, but I don’t mind doing a stir and sip.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I have a subscription with Four Sigmatic and it is great. It gets you a discount and you can skip a shipment whenever you want. With all the chaos lately, I forgot to tell them to skip my latest shipment. Since it’s warm out, I’ve been drinking it less, so I thought I would giveaway one of the boxes from my order!

It is giveaway time! As usual, I’ll be using Rafflecopter to run it. Contest ends Sunday, June 7, 2020 at 11:59PM eastern. THIS GIVEAWAY IS ONLY OPEN TO RESIDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES. (To make it clear, Four Sigmatic is in no way involved with this article or giveaway. I purchased this product myself and have chosen to giveaway some of the surplus to a lucky winner.)

You can learn more about Four Sigmatic here.
(If you make a purchase through this link, I believe you get $15 off your first order, and I’ll get $15 of credit with them for my own purchases.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Shadowlands Tarot

As time goes on, more and more people view, and use, the tarot as tool for self-discovery as opposed to telling the future. With this progression, we’re seeing more decks that are designed to facilitate with that process. Monica Bodirsky has created just that sort of deck with “The Shadowland Tarot”.

Bodirsky’s “Shadowland Tarot” can operate as a more traditional tarot deck, stemming from its roots in the Rider Waite deck. However, with her focus on the shadow aspects of our psyches, you have the potential to discover things about yourself that perhaps you weren’t ready to acknowledge. Then, you can continue to acclimate and integrate those discoveries.

In another creator’s hands, “The Shadowland Tarot” could be an alarming, or frightening experience. Fortunately, Bodirsky’s (who also illustrated the deck) shadows are playful, charming, and nothing to be feared. Her “Shadowlands” are populated by a colorful cast of characters that you’ll want to get to know better.

If you’re looking for a tarot deck with wonderful art and penchant to encourage introspection, “The Shadowland Tarot” by Monica Bodirsky is for you!

You can learn more here.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Magical Symbols and Alphabets

I’m 99% sure that I’ve stated this repeatedly on my site, and on social media, and in interviews, and I may have grabbed random people on the street to share this, but when it comes to compilation style books (encyclopedia, complete book of, compendium) there are two people I adore for it: Judika Illes and Sandra Kynes. And although it isn’t titled as an encyclopedia or compendium, there was no way I was not going to review “Magical Symbols and Alphabets: A Practitioner’s Guide to Spells, Rites, and History” by Sandra Kynes.

“Magical Symbols and Alphabets” is truth in advertising. This 260ish page book is PACKED, just stuffed, with information. Kynes doesn’t just tell you what a symbol or letter stands for, she puts it into context by providing histories and purpose. She does not just give you the tool, she tells you why it may be right tool for the task. “Magical Symbols and Alphabets” has 6 parts: Astrological Symbols, The Elements, The Fifteen Fixed Stars, The Ogham, The Runes, Sigils, and The Witches’ Alphabet and Other Magical Scripts. It’s everything you could want.

Let me be blunt, if you’re interested in magic, you need this reference book. It won’t be a treasured keepsake; it will be an invaluable resource that you will turn to again and again for as long as it holds together.

You can learn more here.

Want a shot at winning your own copy? Well, thanks to Sandra Kynes you have that chance! She was generous enough to provide a signed copy of “Magical Symbols and Alphabets” for my readers! Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter! The contest is open now until 11:59PM Eastern on 05/29/2020! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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Persephone, Seasons & Tarot

From Stacey B. (aka TarotPugs)

Springtime marks the return of Persephone from the Underworld (Hades) when the flowers and trees begin to blossom again and her descent marks the beginning of autumn, but how can we relate this to the tarot?

The minor arcana is associated with the four elements and the four seasons and depending on your practice, it may look like the following below:

• Wands – Spring / Summer
• Cups – Summer / Spring
• Pentacles – Autumn / Winter
• Swords – Winter / Autumn

For the purpose of this post, we’ll use this method:

• Wands – Spring
• Cups – Summer
• Pentacles – Autumn
• Swords – Winter

So how does this all connect with Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld?

Her return to the upper world (Earth) is around the Spring Equinox and her descent beginning around the Autumn Equinox.

However, when we observe the Earth as a whole, Persephone is always in a duality state.

As Persephone rises to be renewed in one hemisphere to mark the beginning of spring known by her name of Kore, she also begins her descent in the other hemisphere to mark the beginning of autumn.

The back and forth of birth and death, spring/renewal, autumn/decay happens twice a year that even in the flourishment of springtime, there is still a hint of Persephone as the Queen of the Underworld.

Persephone, Springtime & Tarot

When working to understand ourselves, our renewal and what we are reawakening after the long sleep of winter, we can turn to the Ace of Wands in the tarot.

The most iconic image of the Ace of Wands in many tarot decks that are based on the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) tarot system depict a wand with buds and leaves growing from it and sometimes falling from it.

New life and vitality are being created, rejuvenated as the Earth below begins to thaw and awaken.

We can examine simply by gazing at the Ace of Wands or when we see the Ace of Wands in a tarot reading during the springtime and ask:

What is being reawakened?
• What is giving me new life from deep within the depths of my unconsciousness?
• What seeds have I planted that are ready to grow now?

These questions can be elaborated and carried through as if a string of thought all the way in the remainder of the Wands suit.

Find and name what is being reawakened, stirred and sprouted from your unconsciousness and watch it grow and mature through the rest of the Wands – from the 2 of Wands until the 10 of Wands when you are then overwhelmed by what has been created.

That’s when the Cups (Summer) happens, the Ace of Cups, to remind you that what you have created is a blessing and that even though you may feel overwhelmed by your creation, your cup is over flowing with love and abundance.

Carry this love and abundance of what started as a seed in the springtime from the Ace of Wands, the seed that Persephone had given you from the depths within, and it flourishes and grows.

Persephone starts as Kore in the springtime, flourishes to her bounty, and then in the Autumn returns to the Underworld and depths as a cycle of life.

Persephone, Autumn & Tarot

When autumn soon arrives again after enjoying what we have created, gave birth to and flourished, we realise our mortality, our finality, the physicality of it all, that all eventually returns back to the earth from whence it came.

When examining the Ace of Pentacles, it becomes as if a token to enter the depths below into Hades.

Charon, the ferryman, must be paid to cross the River Styx, the Ace of Pentacles coin grants this favour to begin the journey across.

As you go further in the suits of the Pentacles, down into Hades and the world where Persephone rules as Queen, you may ask when you see Pentacles cards in your readings in the autumn:

What do I hope to reap?
• What must I leave behind?
• What will my legacy be?

These questions can be elaborated and carried through as if a string of thought all the way in the remainder of the Pentacles suit.

Find and name what has been manifested, created and matured from the springtime and summer, and observe what will be laid to rest so to give nutrients to what will be recreated in the next springtime.

After this, comes the Swords (Winter) and everything from previously in the year comes to rest and the work is done silently and quietly under the surface.

Reflection on the past, processing thoughts and ideas, coming to terms, even travel in the Underworld until finally reaching the end of the suit of Swords when you can finally release and surrender to all that was and be ready to be renewed again in the springtime.

Seasonal Tarot Journey with Persephone

Working with the minor arcana and Persephone can be done through meditation, ritual or journaling to explore the seasons and your own development through the seasons.

Start with the minor arcana suit that corresponds with the season that you’re in now where you live and begin the journey from the beginning of the suit and ask yourself questions along the way how you feel you’re progressing.

Continue the journey until you reach the next equinox or solstice, then begin the journey again with the next suit corresponding to the season.

To add more spirituality to the process, you can work with Persephone to follow her journey along with the seasons.

“Persephone,
blessed daughter of great Zeus,
sole offspring of Demeter,
come and accept this gracious sacrifice.”

– excerpt from Hymn to Persephone (The Orphic Hymns by Apostolos N. Anthanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow, The John Hopkins University Press ©2013)

About TarotPugs:
Stacey B. is a psychic tarot reader, Usui Reiki Master (Distance Healing Specialist), Animal & Pets Reiki practitioner, crystal healer, chakra energy healer and eclectic witch focusing on dark goddess spirituality and features Rocky & Rosie, a.k.a. the Tarot Pugs which can be found at tarotpugs.com.

A Practical Introduction to Numerology

I’ve been avoiding numerology for an awfully long time. I always talk about how astrology is hard work. I thought numerology was like astrology, but worse because it involved math. And I know it’s cliché, but math is hard. However, Watkins Publishing offered me the opportunity to read “A Practical Introduction to Numerology” by Sonia Ducie and it was a nice, compact little book and I decided, “What the heck!”

I am so glad I did! I feel silly for having avoided numerology for so long. Ducie’s book is so straight forward and well-written. She progresses through the topic in a logical order, making it easy to follow. And as to my concerns about math, I should not have had any! It is simply basic math. Even I can handle it! It is all based on the numbers 1-9.

Ducie explains that her book is based on Esoteric Numerology, which “encourages us to open our minds to intuition so we can contact our inner self or soul and see the bigger picture.” Although she does give a brief description of other forms of numerology such as Chinese Numerology, Vedic Numerology, divinatory, and more.

“A Practical Introduction to Numerology” by Sonia Ducie is the perfect introduction to Esoteric Numerology. This well-written, no nonsense guide, has sparked my excitement for the subject matter.

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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Wizards Tarot

If you’re a regular reader of The Magical Buffet, odds are, you like wizards. You may even identify as one! What I’m getting at is, no one into magic would ever NOT be interested in a wizard themed tarot deck. Which brings us to today’s review of “Wizards Tarot” by Barbara Moore and illustrated by Mieke Janssens.

Moore’s affection for wizards, spellcasters, and magic users is on full display with this deck. As you thumb through the deck you may find some of the cards remind you of characters or scenarios from your favorite magical books, movies, or television series. In reading the “Wizards Tarot Companion” for the deck, it is as much a lover letter to wizards, as it is a guide to how to use the deck. It is, in fact, one of the better tarot companion books that I’ve read. Offering new insights into learning the cards, along side suggested spreads and detailed card meanings. Any ideas on the inspiration for this card?

“The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don’t you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The choice of Mieke Janssens for the illustrations was an excellent one because her style feels like a modernized version of classic fantasy art. The art for the back of the cards screams “classic wizard”! It reminds me of old Dungeons and Dragons and air brushed t-shirts in the best way possible.


It is hard for me to imagine someone not wanting “Wizards Tarot” by Barbara Moore. Honestly, the only reasons I could see someone passing is a shortage of funds or a shortage of storage space for more decks.

You learn more here.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Soup from My Skincare Supplier

It’s been quite a while since I wrote about anything food related, and I recently did a weird batch of food shopping, so I figured I’d share it with you! If you follow me on social media, you probably know that I’m into skincare and makeup, and have a particular affection for Asian brands. I do most of my Korean and Japanese brand shopping on a website called YesStyle. I know you can get better prices on eBay or Amazon, but I trust YesStyle and I’m willing to pay extra for the professionalism they provide.

I recently needed to restock my Japanese cleansing oil and favorite Korean sunscreens (are any of you interested in hearing about that kind of thing?) and while on the YesStyle website I noticed they had food. I couldn’t resist and clicked the tab. I found what I was expecting to see, which is shelf stable items. Lots of powdered instant beverages, some snacks, and lots of instant ramen packs. I know people that order ramen soups online because they can get super spicy flavors, but sadly, my stomach doesn’t handle the spice life like it used to. I did see some flavors that I don’t find in my local grocery store, and since these days finding soup on the grocery shelves is pretty hard, I splurged and ordered a few.

Here are the results.

This is Demae Iccho Classic Series Sesame Oil Flavour from the brand Nissin.


Preparation was slightly different from what I was used to. Like any instant ramen, you boil a couple of cups of water on the stove and let the noodles cook in it for 3 minutes. You take your seasoning pack and put it in the bottom of the bowl you’re serving it in.


When the noodles are done, you pour the hot water into the bowl first to dissolve the base seasoning. Then you add the noodles.

Finally, you pour the sesame seed oil onto it.


I ate two spoonful/forkfuls, and immediately emailed my husband at work to proclaim this was the best tasting instant ramen I had ever had. For reals. The ingredients are not too unexpected for an item like this:

Noodles :Wheat Flour, Palm Oil, Salt, Acidity Regulator (452, 501, 451, 500, 339, 450), Thickener (1400, 401, 412), Antioxidant (307b, 304), Green Tea Powder. Soup Base: Salt, Flavour Enhancer (621, 627, 631), Soya Sauce Powder (Soya Beans, Wheat, Salt), White Sugar, Colour (150a), Yeast Extracts, Hydrolysed Soya Protein, Garlic Powder, Spices, Dehydrated Green Onion, Flavour and Flavouring (Chicken, Pork), Acidity Regulator (330), Rice Oil. Seasoning Oil: Sesame Oil (0.8%), Rice Oil, Flavour and Flavouring, Colour (160b, 160c).

Highly processed. Very salty. Certainly not the healthiest food choice out there. However, for a delicious quick lunch? I’m sold! I’m glad that I bought a couple other flavors from the brand to try! So, if you’re looking for a change of pace, why not?


Want to shop YesStyle? If you use this link, you’ll get a discount and I’ll get a 10% commission in the form of credit that I can use on more skincare and noodles! https://ystyle.co/Vv6L

Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars

Astrology is hard. It’s a heavy lift and doesn’t come with the pretty art that tarot does. That said, I still enjoy reading the occasional book on the subject, and with today’s book I found a great fit. Today we’re discussing “Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars: Astrology, Our Icons, and Our Selves” by Claire Comstock-Gay.

I’m inclined to say Comstock-Gay’s book is written for beginners. She focuses on sun signs, which is the most basic astrological determination. When you read your horoscope in the newspaper (or these days it is more likely on websites or magazines), they are using your sun sign. “Madame Clairevoyant” explains how that is only one piece of your astrological puzzle, but it is a good place to start.

What comes next is a chapter by chapter breakdown of each of the signs, and here is where the book truly shines. Throughout “Madame Clairevoyant’s” Comstock-Gay comes off a bit self-deprecating in the fact that she uses popular culture to describe the astrological signs. However, and the author knows this, her use of people we are familiar with makes each sign more relatable and memorable.

Comstock-Gay adeptly references people and characters ranging from Celine Dion (Aries), Cardi B (Libra), Susan Sontag (Capricorn), Ferdinand the Bull from the children’s story by Munro Leaf and Fezzik from “The Princess Bride (Taurus), Donald Trump (Gemini), Nina Simone (Pisces), Pablo Neruda (Cancer), Christopher Nolan (Leo), David Wojnarowicz (Virgo), Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Scorpio), Miley Cyrus (Sagittarius), Jackson Pollock (Aquarius), and so many more. By giving us an intimate look at the work, and many times their work’s relationship with Comstock-Gay, she offers a nuanced look at each sign’s characteristics.

The new level of understanding I feel I gained by reading this book makes “Madame Clairevoyant’s Guide to the Stars” by Claire Comstock-Gay a must read for anyone interested in astrology. Whether it is your first book on the topic, or your one hundredth, you will want to own it.

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Divination Conjure Style

Today we’re talking about “Divination Conjure Style: Reading Cards, Throwing Bones, and Other Forms of Household Fortune-Telling” by Starr Casas. Or as I’ve come to think of it, “a love letter to a deck of playing cards”. Seriously, do you own a deck of playing cards? Then you should already own this book.

It is no secret to anyone that a regular, ordinary deck of playing cards can be used for divination, but not until reading “Divination Conjure Style” did I realize there were so many ways to accomplish it. Casas discusses conjure as the everyman’s tradition of divination, and what does every family have rattling around in a drawer in the house? A deck of cards. The book includes a detailed, card by card, look at playing cards featuring beautiful illustrations from Josef Bailey. Weiser Books would be wise to considering doing a companion deck featuring Bailey’s work. I cannot emphasize enough how this book opened my eyes to the versatility of a deck cards.

Besides playing cards, Casas discusses throwing bones, reading candles, bibliomancy, divination with eggs, and more. All of this is thoroughly explained in a plain-spoken way that reflects the oral tradition in which Casas learned these skills.

“Divination Conjure Style” by Starr Casas is a fascinating look at divination for anyone interested in the topic or looking to branch out in their practice.

You can learn more here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Cleaning – Magical Style

By Deborah J. “DJ” Martin

Spring has officially sprung in the Northern Hemisphere and for many of us, thoughts are turning to spring cleaning. I wouldn’t advise putting forth that kind of effort just yet. Even here in the southern Appalachians, the pines haven’t finished contributing their sticky yellow pollen to the cause (theirs, not ours).

Whether it’s heavy-duty spring cleaning or just everyday tidying up, add a little magical oomph to it. Make up cleaning solutions the same way you’d do a potion, injecting intent into it. Then clean with purpose, reciting your favorite cleaning chant.

Some ideas for you:

Diluted white vinegar is an all-purpose household cleaner. Lemon is considered a purifying herb, not just magically but in the mundane world, too. You can add a few drops of lemon essential oil to a spray bottle filled half-and-half with water and white vinegar and use that in the kitchen and bath. It also works great on windows. Alternatively, fill a quart jar with half water and half white vinegar, then add the rinds of two lemons. Allow it to infuse a couple of weeks, shaking it once a day. Strain, then pour into your spray bottle.

One of my favorite ways to clean is to make an infusion of rosemary, soak my cleaning rags in it and allow them to air dry overnight before using. Rosemary is also one of those herbs that’s considered purifying both magically and mundanely. (Did you know? Hospital used to smudge sick wards with rosemary even as late as World War I.) I add the rest of that tea to the water I use to wash my floors with.

For carpets or rugs, add about ten drops of essential oil to a cup of baking soda. Shake or stir well to distribute the oil through the soda. If you don’t have the essential oil you want, mix about a quarter cup of dried herbs into a cup of baking soda and allow it to sit for a week or two before using. Sprinkle the soda mixture on your rug or carpet and allow it to sit for twenty to thirty minutes before vacuuming. Hint: you can punch holes in the metal lid of a jar with a big nail. This makes sprinkling much easier and more uniform.

Make an infusion of your favorite cleansing herb and spray it on the bristles of your broom before doing a ritual sweeping.

If you change your linens with the seasons, layer either lavender sprigs or bay leaves between them when in storage. This will not only keep them smelling fresh but deter bugs.

With so many of us stuck inside during these times, even more so than the usual winter hibernation, tensions are probably running a little higher than normal. Lavender, German chamomile, and passionflower are all good herbs to relieve stress and calm the air. You can use those essential oils in oil warmers, put the dried herbs out as bowls of potpourri, or infuse them into a cleaning solution.

Other herbs you may want to consider using: cedar, hyssop, bay, peppermint, or thyme. These all smell divine and are great for purification.

Happy Cleaning!

About Deborah Martin:
Deborah J. “DJ” Martin, whom many call the “Herby Lady”, has a lifelong fascination with plants. A witch and Master Herbalist, she is the author of four books on herbs as well as an urban fantasy series. She lives with her husband and several crazy cats in the southern Appalachian Mountains. You can learn more about her and her work at http://www.authordjmartin.com, and find all of her books here.

Shop your local indie bookstore <---This is an affiliate link to IndieBound, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet