Another 10 Questions with Deborah Blake

1. What made you decide to write “Everyday Witch Book of Rituals”?
Mostly popular request! I’d begun to think I’d said everything I had to say about the modern witch’s practice, but people kept asking me for rituals. In addition, I’d always wanted to write a follow-up to my first book—Circle, Coven & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice. One of the things I loved about that book is that it made a year of Pagan practice easy by giving you everything you needed to celebrate full moons, new moons, and Sabbats…but it was designed mostly for covens (witches working together) and I wanted to write one that was aimed at both solitaries and group witches, and had a little something added.

2. How do rituals differ from spells?
A spell is simpler—usually a kind of prayer or request or putting intentions out into the world (sometimes rhyming, sometimes not). They’re often fairly short; anywhere from two lines to twenty or forty. A spell is often used at some point during a ritual, although not always.

3. How does “Everyday Witch Book of Rituals” differ from one of your early books, “Circle, Coven, and Grove”?
As I said before, CC&G was a book for coven practice, while Everyday Witch Book of Rituals is aimed at everyone (although lots of solitaries told me they used the earlier book and loved it anyway). There’s also a lot more detail about why and how we do rituals, as well as rituals for special occasions like handfastings, Wiccanings (child blessing), eldering, passing over rites and more. And, of course, some sage advice from Magic the Cat.

4. What was the most difficult part about writing a book of rituals?
Trying to create rituals that would work for witches who were just starting out, while not boring witches who had been practicing for years. (I think I pulled it off. My readers will have to let me know.)

5. What do you hope readers take away from “Everyday Witch Book of Rituals”?
I hope they get a sense for what ritual can add to our lives in a spiritual sense, as well as how useful rituals can be to celebrate the magickal year.

6. What other books would you recommend for readers wanting to learn more about working with rituals?
There are lots of great books out there with rituals in them, and few that are focused entirely on rituals. If you are a beginning solitary, Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner is a good one to start with, if you like more ornate and complicated rituals, you should take a look at Raven Digitalis’s Planetary Spells & Rituals. Another couple of good ones are A Year of Ritual: Sabbats & Esbats for Solitaries and Covens, by Sandra Kynes and Dorothy Morrison’s Everyday Moon Magic: Spells and Rituals for Abundant Living (anything of hers is great, really).

7. Readers may or may not know that your cat, Magic, generally helps with most of your work. How much input did Magic have in this book?
She wrote a section on how to practice rituals with a familiar, which she considers to be the most important part of the book. Other than that, she did her usual fabulous job of sitting on the back of my chair and supervising me as I wrote. It is a well-known fact that I am not, in fact, capable of writing without feline supervision, which is why you will never find me typing away in a coffeehouse.

8. And as long as we have Magic’s attention, who is Magic’s favorite cat: Garfield, Sylvester, or Tom (of “Tom and Jerry” fame)?
Wait, I’ll go ask her. *sound of receding footsteps* *sound of cat sitting down at the laptop* “Don’t be ridiculous. Cats don’t eat lasagna. And they don’t get their butts whupped by teeny tiny birds or mice. None of these are on my favorite cat list. Puss in Boots, now, HE was a clever cat.”

9. Do you have any other projects that my readers can look forward to?
I am currently working on my seventh book for Llewellyn, tentatively titled “A Broom for Every Witch.” It is all about the different kinds of broomstick magick you can do, as well as everything you ever wanted to know about brooms. I’m having a lot of fun writing it, and can’t wait to share it with everyone (probably late in 2014). In the meanwhile, if people haven’t read my fiction, they can find my ebook, Witch Ever Way You Can, at Amazon, B&N, and Itunes. And yes, there’s a witch in it!

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question.
What is your favorite thing to eat at Panera Bread? (And when are you coming to visit and bringing me some?)

I don’t think I can pick a favorite. There is a lot of stuff I like at Panera. When I’m forgetting calories at breakfast I go with a Cinnamon Crunch bagel, and I love when they have the seasonal Trail Mix bagel! Lately I’m in love with their version of the BLT which is bacon, lettuce, and tomato, but also avocado and turkey too! Seriously, you need to keep this girl AWAY from Panera! But when I come to see you, I’ll be sure to have some. Maybe later this month?


Deborah Blake is a Wiccan High Priestess who has been leading her current group, Blue Moon Circle, for many years. She is the author of six books on modern Witchcraft from Llewellyn Worldwide, including The Goddess is in the Details: Wisdom for the Everyday Witch, Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook, Witchcraft on Shoestring and Everyday Witch Book of Rituals.. Deborah was a finalist in the Pagan Fiction Award Contest and her short story, “Dead and (Mostly) Gone” is included in The Pagan Anthology of Short Fiction. She is also the author of Witch Ever Way You Can, a paranormal romance featuring…of course…a witch. She is represented by agent Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency.
When not writing, Deborah runs The Artisans’ Guild, a cooperative shop she founded with a friend. She lives in a 100+ year old farmhouse in rural upstate New York with five cats who supervise all her activities, both magickal and mundane.

Affirmations, The Power of Words

By Dr. Kathy Gruver

In learning to change our minds, I’ve found one of the simplest and most effective techniques is using affirmations. Some experts estimate that we have around 60,000 thoughts a day and that 50,000 of those are negative. That’s 80% negative thoughts, which translates to me as 80% negative results. It’s so easy, especially with what’s happening in the world today to let our thoughts go to fear, worry and fatalism. And it is important to acknowledge our feelings and note that we do have fear and concern, but when these thoughts start to rule our minds and become repetitive and distorted they can lead to illness and negative changes in our bodies.

Add to this that 60-80% of visits to the doctor are caused by stress. If we look at our life at this exact second, where is the stress? Seriously, look at this moment in time. What is wrong? Our thoughts, and thus our stresses, are often in the future and usually about something that we’re not even sure is going to happen. We talk about it, think about it and dwell on it even if it’s not guaranteed. We can’t often control our emotions, but we can control our thoughts. An easy way to do that is with affirmations, using positive language to program our lives.

I find this especially useful when negative thoughts interfere with our ability to fall asleep. Try repeating the following phrase, “I fall asleep quickly and easily, I wake up feeling refreshed.” These types of short phrases do one of two things. Either they program you to fall asleep quickly and wake up feeling refreshed or, at the very least, it shuts out the other thoughts that are running through your head. There is a physics axiom that states “Two solid objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.” The same principle applies with our thoughts. We can’t be thinking two things at once. That’s what counting sheep is all about; it distracts us from those repetitive thoughts that plague us at bedtime. I’m not saying changing our thoughts and words is easy. On the contrary, it can be quite hard at first. Especially if we have been programmed to think negatively since we were young or are surrounded by negativity in our lives. But it can be done with a little practice and the results are phenomenal.

When working with affirmations there are a few rules of thumb.

Make them short.
Keep them in the present tense.
Make them positive.
And repeat often!

So don’t say, “I’m not sick anymore.” Rephrase your wording to, “I am healthy and well.” Saying, “I want to be rich,” puts the emphasis on the future and focuses on a current state of lack. Saying, “I am wealthy and abundant,” or “Money flows easily to me from unexpected sources,” creates a positive present scenario. I see my friends on Facebook all the time reiterating their illness by saying, “I’m not getting sick, I’m not getting sick.” I always write in and remind them to phrase it differently and say, “I’m healthy and well.” A few days later I see them remind their friends to do that. The power of social media can be healing.

So you can see that affirmations can do more than just attract good health. Here are some more examples.

I am wealthy and prosperous.
I am healthy and well.
My body is strong and resilient.
The universe provides for me.
I am divinely protected.
I have a loving and passionate partner.
I attract love and support.
Supportive, helpful friends surround me.

I could go on and on. The most important thing is to recognize situations where you tend towards negativity and decide to change your mind. Going in to situations with a negative attitude doesn’t benefit anyone and just makes life more unpleasant and more difficult.

Similar to affirmations is setting intentions. My Reiki Master, Diane Vaughn, always set intentions before the Reiki attunements that she provided. I didn’t really understand it back then, but now I am a believer in their importance. Often, when we set an intention for something, it becomes easier to achieve. She used to phrase them this way:

My intention is to co-create with the universe, true and complete healing for my body, mind and spirit. (Or whatever it is you are trying to achieve.)

She always started intentions, no matter what it was, with “co-create with the universe.” Then she wrote them down for me and asked me to repeat them throughout my day.

It only takes a few moments to do the intention process. Take note what areas you would like to change and create (co-create), and write them down. Remember to look at them often and as with affirmations, repeat often. The more we can expand our beliefs and consciousness, the more our worlds will expand with them. Again, affirmations and intention setting might be a new adventure for you but with some practice you’ll discover you have the power within YOU to create your world and your health.

About Dr. Kathy Gruver:
Dr. Kathy Gruver is the author of “Body/Mind Therapies for the Bodyworker” and “The Alternative Medicine Cabinet”. Both book are available on her website www.thealternativemedicinecabinet.com. There you will also find resources, her newsletter signup and health tips. Kathy maintains a health and wellness practice in Santa Barbara, CA.

10 Questions with Alicia Dattner

1. Tell my readers a little bit about the Online Spiritual Comedy Festival.

First of all, I’m thrilled about it. And you must know how much it takes for someone with as much equanimity and peace as me to be thrilled, so that’s saying a lot. It’s an international festival of comedians with a sense of Spirit and spiritual teachers with a sense of Humor who are coming together, online, to share what’s funny to us about being human. The festival is basically a series of shows in which I will interview these folks and they’ll share their humor, insight, and wisdom. It’s a unique concept to make it all online, all audio, and all free, and I am excited to introduce this new idea.

2. Why do spirituality and comedy mix?

Essentially, they come from the same place. I decided to call it The Spiritual Comedy Festival because no other set of words described it better. How I see spirituality is that it’s a contemplation of and awe at the great mystery of our existence. And when we truly contemplate this mystery, we can come into communion with its beauty, its absurdity, its “suchness”, and its divine perfection. At its purest, human spirituality is a communion with truth and spontaneity and the unexpected. And that’s what humor at its purest is also. They mix because when we leave behind our concepts and beliefs about what they are, they are actually very similar.

3. What do you hope the festival accomplishes?

I hope to bring more people into contact with these brilliant-hearted souls who weave humor and spirituality together and for this contact to make space for our audience to experience more love, joy, playfulness, laughter, and peace in their lives. And I hope that these qualities ripple out to everyone who meets the people affected by the festival, and to everyone they meet. I hope it adds more peace to the world. I also believe that it’s important for us to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable—again bringing seemingly opposite ideas together—and that for those of us who are suffering, we bring some laughter and ease to the pain. For those of us who are hovering safely inside our comfort zone, we give a healthy nudge outside. Even within our own beings, we have comfortable and afflicted parts, and we can address those inward parts with both nurturing and nudging.

This festival is about speaking truths that happen to be funny. So I hope we make some people uncomfortable, if it means they’ll grow through more telling of truth. And I hope we do it in such a funny way that even difficult truths feel good to hear.

4. There are over 15 performers lined up for the Online Spiritual Comedy Festival. Did you have any difficulty finding participants that were in sync with your idea?

Yes and no. There were several people who, in my mind, express the idea of spiritual comedy beautifully, but when invited, they declined. I have the sense that most people in the world of comedy just don’t see themselves as spiritual—or wouldn’t want their audiences to see them quite in that light because it makes them feel less funny. Soft. Serious. It might not be good for a comedy career. And the same for spiritual teachers who might worry that their sacred spiritual ideas could be made fun of. This could feel dangerous if they didn’t trust that this festival is coming from a loving place. But there were actually a whole bunch of people—those who decided to participate—who are playing this same exact game of bringing funny and sacred together. They all said yes. And I feel this festival has been divinely guided from the moment it started. Everyone who is supposed to participate has shown up, and I feel so grateful to be the conduit for this particular event to occur!

5. Do you think it will be difficult to do comedy online where you won’t receive that immediate feedback of laughter from the audience?

Yes—that’s why, with most of the shows, we’re going to open up some of the phone lines so that the guests will be able to hear their laughter. That was a really important piece for me to figure out—who wants to do comedy with no audience?

6. Can you describe how you discovered the comedy-spirituality connection?

I’ve been a comedian for, like, 15 years – and a spiritual being for, like, 15 million years. After a number of years of doing comedy, I went into addiction recovery (I couldn’t stop telling jokes. Kidding. I went into actual recovery.) When I tried going back to the comedy club after doing all of that spiritual, emotional, and psychological work on myself, it felt kind of… oogie. I don’t ever want to stop doing edgy and irreverent comedy, but the smell of beer bitterness in the club just didn’t fit for me anymore. I figured there had to be a better way, so I started creating one-woman shows and filling theaters with audience members who wanted to hear what I had to say. And eventually I discovered there were other people doing this same kind of thing.

7. You’re a certified laughter yoga instructor. What’s a Laughter Yoga session with you like?

A lot of Laughter Yoga happens in libraries and senior centers. It’s beautiful to bring that playfulness to people there. But sometimes I get the sense that the teachers are trying really, really hard to get people to laugh, and it can feel a little fake, or just uncomfortable. That’s the last thing I want people to feel in my class. So we begin with lots of meditation and relaxation. I believe joy is our natural state, and when we release the tension, our life force just flows and we feel it again. I like to rub people’s feet or neck to help them really let go, and sometimes even tickle them a little. As we relax more and more, releasing the tension through breath and sound work, we begin to make that “ha” sound… and eventually, somebody just “pops”, and suddenly we’re all giggling uncontrollably. It’s such a beautiful sight to watch people lose themselves in hysterical laughter, and to laugh even harder when they hear someone next to them laughing. Eventually, we gather together in the center of the room, and get to interact too. Sometimes we’ll do improvisational exercises in dyads that also encourage spontaneous laughter. My favorite part is watching people leave looking younger, lighter, happier, and re-filled with love. We underestimate how incredibly powerful an experience like this can be—and imagine if we could have something this nourishing in our lives on a regular basis!

8. What’s next for you? After the Online Spiritual Comedy Festival is over do you have any other projects my readers can be on the look out for?

Yes, I’ll be jumping back on stage with my new show The Oy of Sex, which is a comedic one-woman show about love and sex addiction and recovery. It’s a bit more edgy than the festival itself, but every bit as spiritual. I’m excited to premiere the show in San Francisco as well as touring The Oy and also my previous show, Eat, Pray, Laugh! around the country.

I’m also excited to be offering both online and offline workshops teaching people how to cultivate their own inner spiritual comedian!

9. Here’s a last chance to leave us with some parting Alicia Dattner comedic spiritual insight!

Many people think that enlightenment is an unreachable goal reserved for monks in the Himalayas. Many other people still believe enlightenment is a myth and that the present moment is as bright as it gets. And in my experience having traveled through India in search of the great truths, I agree with that. The big secret that nobody tells you about enlightenment: it’s not that hard, it’s for everybody… I was enlightened yesterday. For, like, a minute. The hard part is being enlightened around other people. Like roommates! “Ooooooommmm… Damn, you guys can’t wait ten minutes to turn on the blender?”

10. Parting shot! Ask us here at The Magical Buffet any one question.

What’s your favorite laughter-delivery mechanism for deep belly laughs? Comedy? Unintentional comedy? Tickling? Contemplating the absurdity of the universe? Puns?

Usually, it’s being a snarky, catty bitch amongst my friends. I also love cartoons for laughs. There’s obvious adult oriented ones like “Archer” or “Family Guy”, but I also get solid laughs out of some children’s cartoons like “Codename: Kids Next Door” or “Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil”.

About Alicia Dattner:
Spiritual Comedian Alicia Dattner has been touring the world, selling out her one-woman shows, Eat, Pray, Laugh!, The Oy of Sex, and The Punchline, and winning awards, including “Best Storyteller” in the NY United Solo Festival, “Best of the Fringe” in the SF Fringe Festival, and “Best Comedian 2011″ in the East Bay Express. Now she’s bringing together comedians with a sense of spirituality and spiritual teachers with a sense of humor in the world’s first Online Spiritual Comedy Festival Jan. 29-March 21, 2013.

Moonlight Tarot’s Question Corner: Mystical Answers to Mundane Inquiries

By Angela Kaufman, Moonlight Tarot LLC

This column is intended to provide messages from the Tarot to address modern problems experienced by everyday people. Questioners, also known as “Querents” submit requests to have their issue addressed in a complimentary three card Tarot Reading published as part of the Magical Buffet. The reading not only addresses the Querent’s issue but also provides education about the role of Tarot as a tool for exploration and empowerment.

The year 2012 ended with a number of intense national crises, from the devastation brought to the East Coast by Hurricane Sandy, to a number of violent tragedies in America’s schools, and malls. Americans also faced anxieties over the uncertainties of the economy with constant debate over the approaching “fiscal cliff”. Such times of intense stress amplify the sensitivity of human beings to their environments, and the delicate but important balance of mental and emotional health. This months’ Querent, a man we will call Jermain, writes in the midst of battling feelings of hopelessness and disappointment which he has not been able to shake after a series of crises affected him over the past few years. He asks how he can find serenity and emotional well being after numerous personal changes and crises over the past few years, and what do aside from medication therapy to find healing.

To Jermain, and anyone out there affected by the weight of depression or anxiety, it is important to emphasize that readings are not substitute for therapeutic interventions, medication, or medical advice. Working with supports in your community is of utmost importance in helping to find closure and healing in the midst of difficult times. While Jermain writes that he is working on these issues with the help of a medical provider, he has yet to find full closure and is hoping to get a different perspective from a more spiritual approach. This reading is intended to complement Jermain’s current efforts and not as substitution for professional or medical advice.

It is worth noting in Jermain’s reading that while shuffling a “Leaper” emerges, this is a card that both signifies the readiness of the deck to “speak” and also will usually pertain to the issue being asked about. It is the Six of Swords, right side up, while the rest of the cards are reversed. This clearly validates Jermain’s feelings of being stuck after a loss. What is interesting to note is that the Leaper, the card which is right side up, is a card of resolution and compromise. The Six of Swords shows a man rowing a boat with a woman and child. There are a number of swords standing on the back of the boat and where the water had been rocky with waves it becomes clear as new horizons approach. This suggests change, loss, compromise, and redirecting thoughts and energy toward new ground. It suggests some defeat, but not of ending. Rather this is a card of cutting losses and moving on- but still being surrounded by loved ones. Whether Jermain faced the loss of property, job, relationship, or the need to take charge in a difficult situation (after all in this card the man is steering, the family are not) it is ultimately a card of moving away from the conflict, the trouble is in the past and the burden is one of readjustment. Numerous changes that likely centered on a few major events were likely to have caused a loss or change of will and some movement on or away from a source of stress, but this would likely have felt like defeat. It was not, it was actually having the wisdom to know when to leave a bad scene and start over. It is the starting over under duress that is often felt as the defeat.

The next three cards are reversed, but two are Major Arcana cards suggesting significance to Jermain’s personal growth. Before responding to the individual card meanings, it is noteworthy that both Major Arcana cards are the cards of light and life force- the Sun and Moon. The Sun is the projective power of will and expression of the self within the visible world. The Moon is the subtle card of the subconscious, of what is repressed, esoteric or secret. Both indicate patterns of relating to the world around Jermain and suggest through their reversal that Jermain has not been able to express himself in his surroundings, that his growth and ability to give and take in relationships have been stunted or blocked. He has been stalled from both projecting light into the world and also from receiving it. A closer look at the first card- the Sun, reversed, suggests that Jermain has been disconnected from a vital source of hope and faith and that while he is surrounded by fortunate resolutions and positive opportunities, there seems to be a dark cloud following him blocking his ability to relish the joy of these occasions.

The Sun is a very positive card of success, health, vitality, growth, creativity and assertion of one’s unique individual energy into the world, brightening the lives of others and radiating with life. Even reversed The Sun is a beneficial force. In Jermain’s case however, the disconnection from faith and hope have the effect of blocking the Sun’s benevolent rays. So Jermain, it looks like in many ways you have been fortunate, things have often turned in your favor or in promotion of your success, health, advancement and well being, but disconnection from your previously strong source of creativity, hope, faith and vitality have diminished the ability to be open to receiving the blessings around you.

The Sun appearing in a reading is a good omen. It portends success, vitality, health and strong spirit. Even its reversal need not deplete the vibrant energy of the sun. It suggests blockage, perhaps even depression or a setback that while decreasing vitality and joy does not destroy its original source. Remember, the Sun remains powerful even when blocked by clouds. The challenge for Jermain is to overcome the residue of his recent difficulties and seek out the sunshine. When powerful cards appear reversed it often suggests stagnation or blockage. One of the best ways to bring energy back into flow is through action-particularly different action. The Sun is a card of projected force and action as well which further calls forth the need to express energy. It is a call to act, to choose, to seek and to unburden his spirit from past disappointments through action. In recovery circles the saying “easy does it” is often followed up by “but do it”. The inertia or depression that has recently plagued Jermain can begin to dissipate if he takes measures to recall the “but do it” portion of this saying. Any action, any change in routine, any venture or risk to call forth the creative expression is one more step in the direction of breaking the powerful bonds of negativity, self doubt, self pity, disappointment and depression. Jermain is being called upon to work with what he has, which may fall short of his expectations but actually still contains a number of significant blessings. Seeking out the joy, becoming more physically active, emphasizing the successes he has achieved all will help immensely to restore the spiritual connection to a source of hope and faith from which Jermain has become disconnected.

The Moon appears next and is also reversed. This suggests details unknown and mysteries at work. It also deals with receptivity or the need to be more receptive. It goes hand in hand with the Sun card in this reading in some ways as Jermain has not only cut himself off from sources of joy, hope and positivity, retreating within himself instead, but has also put up barriers to receiving from others. He may not even realize it but may have tuned out the feedback of others and disconnected from his intuition as well. When the Moon appears it calls for the need to open awareness on intuitive levels. When it is reversed however it is quite common that intuition has become confused with knee jerk emotional reactions. Jermain may be acting on what he believes are intuitive urges but which may in fact are the immediate and primal response to fear and mistrust. The Moon reversed suggests a tendency to act without being fully informed. The Moon is a reflector of light and can also carry the trickster energy of illusion. Jermain’s suffering and perceptions may be colored by external cues that are not fully factual but trigger strong emotional responses. It will be very important for Jermain to question urges to react to his environment.

It will be important for him to spend time contemplating and reflecting on his emotions and continually work to discern the difference between his immediate emotional reaction and the objective information he does have. It is likely that Jermain is experiencing a drive to continually react to situational or environmental triggers without allowing time to reveal the full story. He may be acting without having the full picture. It is important to not rush to judgment. In some ways it may seem paradoxical, but as important as movement, activity and change will be to stimulate Jermain’s energy and harness the energy of the Sun’s creativity and vitality, it is equally important to refrain from impulsive reactions to emotional cues. The emotional cues at this time may not be serving Jermain and are likely contributing to anxiety and fear that could easily be taken out of context. Changes, action and spontaneity should be based in positive creativity. Physical exercise, pursuit of hobbies that are creative but involve movement, investing time and energy in new projects, and spiritually grounding practices that reconnect Jermain to higher creative sources are going to be very helpful. Outright reaction or anxiety based action is not the point and will be detrimental. Just as Jermain will need to seek out hope through connection with the Sun card, it will also be important for him to spend time in contemplation and reflection to recognize his intuition- not the same as fear or emotional reaction- but his deeper connection to his environment and subconscious.

There is a deeper purpose to Jermain’s recent trials and patience and faith will be called upon to make use of these challenges, while action and stimulation are needed to not get stuck in them. Do not confuse contemplation with brooding however. It seems that stagnation has occurred in part because of too much time in isolation or too much focus on what the mind may pass as fact which is merely illusion or individual perspective. Another adage from recovery circles speaks to the definition of “fear” “false emotions appearing real”. The Moon reversed may have brought an emphasis on this brand of fear which now must be put into perspective in the larger context of Jermain’s present life and even his perceptions. Contemplation should be gradual and involve processes such as prayer, journaling, meditation and reflection as at this time Jermain’s immediate inner landscape- his superficial thoughts and interpretations may be disconnected, confused or fueled by illusions based in fear or anxiety. He will need to reach beyond the initial fear based landscape to harness deeper meaning in these trials. Jermain’s strengths in this regard are his creativity, imagination and sensitivity, but these talents are working against him. At this time the distortion may be self perpetuating rather than a response to actual threat.

The final card is from the Minor Arcana. It is the Four of Pentacles, also reversed in this reading. It suggests a need to let go. The card of Pentacles usually connects to one’s finances, work, material wealth or physical, tangible assets. Since Jermain is concerned with his emotional state it is likely that external tangible markers are being held onto tightly in order to try to preserve emotional security. In other words, in the absence of emotional grounding and security, Jermain may be seeking validation through outside markers. He may have sought status, money, career growth or acquisition of material goods to mask the inner turmoil he has been feeling, but this will not soothe his feelings, nor will clinging to these material sources of stability bear fruit. It will be important for Jermain to let go, release the souvenirs of his suffering. A commitment is required at this time- letting go of the comfort and certainty of the negativity which may have manifested in Jermain’s life in routines or patterns that he does not like but has come to recognize as comfortable. It is possible that some of these routines, or markers of security have provided a barrier to “safely” disconnect from others, keeping the attention on maintaining the status quo at the sacrifice of greater personal growth. This card is promising a return to real stability and harmony on numerous levels but especially manifesting in the physical sense of security and stable routines if Jermain will take the risk and let go of the mental and in some ways physical burden he has been carrying. This is easier said than done as Jermain may have built walls around himself to protect against seemingly overwhelming circumstances and stressors, but these barriers are not only no longer needed, they are posing a distraction and obstacle to accessing a truer and more sustainable source of faith.

Jermain will be able to enact changes to his reactions, his routines and his perspective that will allow light to re-emerge in his daily life. In fact a big part of this process will be finding the balance between taking downtime to reflect and contemplate before acting and taking the risk to enact small consistent changes that will foster growth, creativity and spiritual connection. Caution should be exercised in not confusing assumption or emotions for fact but remaining open to intuition. Jermain should also begin to actively seek out confirmation of blessings in his life, giving less focus to past negativity and disappointments. He is standing on the threshold of new beginnings and at this point it is inner doubt, negative self evaluation and preconceived evaluations of others that pose the largest obstacles. It will be essential for Jermain to find constructive ways to begin to let go of the past. By recognizing that which he has held on to too tightly, he can begin the healing process of releasing the energy of hurt, expectations, emotion and stress that have been weighing on him. Creative and active routines such as exercise, Tai Chi, walking, writing etc can be useful in rediscovering joyful routines and breaking out of the stagnation he has faced. It is very important that he clear himself of past patterns however as he is stifling his true potential by focusing intently on the past and ignoring opportunities that surround him.

Remember that no matter where you are when you read this post, in NYS all readings are for entertainment only and are not substitution for legal, medical, or professional advice. Best of luck to you and enjoy the excitement of your growing relationship!

Interested in being the Querent in next month’s column? Contact Angela at Trionfi78@gmail.com.

About Angela:
Angela Kaufman has been exploring divination through Tarot cards over a decade. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and formed Moonlight Tarot in 2009 which would become Moonlight Tarot LLC in 2010. Angela uses the Tarot to assist clients in exploring personal growth and development, and in accordance with New York State Law offers readings for entertainment purposes. Angela began providing readings on a professional, “Moonlighting” basis in order to provide affordable readings to those seeking guidance, inspiration and fun. Angela is also co-author of the new book “Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions.” (Schiffer Publishing, 2011). In 2006 she joined ISIS Paranormal Investigations and has accompanied the team on numerous investigations in private residences and businesses throughout the capital region, Adirondacks, Vermont and Massachusetts.

For more information on services offered by Moonlight Tarot LLC, visit http://www.moonlighttarotllc.com

Check out Moonlight Tarot on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MoonlightTarotLlc

For more related to Tarot and Wicca, check out: Wicca, What’s the Real Deal? At www.wwtrd.webs.com

For more related to the Rider Waite Tarot visit http://www.usgamesinc.com/pages.php?pageid=5

For updates on live readings at Café Nola, visit www.cafenolany.com

Learn How To Be In The Flow: 7 Observations And Suggestions

By Richard Moat

(Hey Folks, it’s me, Rebecca. Here’s the deal, the nice folks over at Masters Channel asked if I would be interested in publishing any of their contributor’s work. I thought this was a good start of the year post that could still be relevant despite the year being a little less new now. So the timing being off is my fault, not his. Now start reading!)

This is a particularly unique time of year, a sort of void that exists between the excesses of Christmas – whether that be excessive spending, stress, eating, socializing, planning etc – and the re-start of the calendar year. Whatever your state during this time, here’s something for you to think about in any quiet moments or down time you may find yourself with.

Many aspects of your life are experiencing renewal regardless of date, time of year, or occasion. Some renewals are consciously experienced and others less so. The miracle that is your body and the intelligence that is weaved into every thread of the universe you are part of both step to an unfaltering beat. This beat is known as “FLOW”.

The term “in the flow” is commonly used when all is going well, all is working and our personal experience of life is generally all good.It is this flow that, when we learn how to recognize and tap into it, can bring us the happiness, fulfillment, success, health and meaningfulness we so often covet.

With this in mind, here are SEVEN observations as to why getting into the natural flow of life can be a challenge, followed by SEVEN suggestions as to how to experience a greater sense of flow from moment to moment:

Observations
1. Your life is like a river– it flows easily in only one direction if allowed, with pressure building in light of any attempts to block its natural course.

2. You are likely to have become accustomed to paddling upstream as your default direction – this will be confirmed by any perception you may have that life or any of its important aspects is a struggle.

3. Paddling upstream requires constant effort and attention, often with head down and little respite. Downstream requires simply a steady hand on oar or rudder and allows for greater enjoyment and appreciation of the scenery.

4. The majority of people seem to be heading upstream, often creating a sense of separateness for those choosing to go in the opposite direction.

5. It takes both courage and skill to turn your vessel around amidst the synchronized upstream regatta we are mostly born into – an absence of skill, support or appropriate coaching can add to that challenge, as can criticism or the threat of rejection.

6. It can be easier to go with the majority, to not rock any boat and to put up with the status quo – chances are you’ll then be settling for what others believe is possible and not making your own decisions about what you can experience, enjoy or be.

7. Putting yourself first is often condemned as an undesirable, unattractive behavior, leading you to want to be seen more as selfless and giving so as to incur the approval and validation – rather than the disapproval and unfavorable judgment – of others.
 
Suggestions
1. Take time to work out if you are upstream or downstream. This awareness is a critical first step in any change process. Keyword: AWARENESS

2. Whatever your experience to this point in your life, the future can only be a replay of the past if you change nothing. A decision to change is an important next step. Keyword: DECISION

3. It is easy to decide to change, for all that is required is an idea or a notion. Key to any change becoming a reality is a commitment to do what it takes to bring about that change… and then to act. Keyword: COMMITMENT

4. Explore and discover what skills, abilities, qualities and beliefs will make your quest for change a successful one. Resources are always required, many of which we already have but have perhaps allowed to fade over time through lack of use. Keyword: RESOURCEFULNESS

5. Explore with equal gusto what might have prevented you from experiencing a life of happiness, fulfillment, success, health and meaningfulness to this point. If you drill down far enough you will always arrive at the same core issue, namely, FEAR. Addressing your conscious and not-so-conscious fears in the number one critical success factor. Keyword: COURAGE

6. Trust yourself and the intuitive sense you have about what is appropriate and possible for you. Allow this “inner tutor” at least the same amount of air time and volume strength as the internal and external critical or doubting voices that may be all too familiar. Keyword: TRUST

7. Selfishness and selflessness are traits that can and must co-exist. Both have their time and their place. The skill is to be selfish when you know that something is right for you regardless of what others might think, say or do to persuade you to the contrary. Keyword: SELFISHNESS

If you are willing to allow the above OBSERVATIONS and SUGGESTIONS space and time to take their place within the internal matrix that drives you, you can look forward to greater results in all aspects of your life, which is the New Year wish that is wrapped up for you in these words.

In coming editions look out for the ‘how’ in how to create, experience and enjoy a happy, fulfilled, successful, healthy, meaningful and purpose-driven life. For now though, enjoy the void and know that in any given moment you are free to decide to make downstream your default course. It’s your life. You decide.

Warmest New Year wishes,
Richard & Masters Channel

What are the biggest fears that you want to overcome this year? My biggest fear is the fear of change… phew, glad I got that out of my system. It’s your time to be sincere with yourself. Share that with your sisters in the comment section below.
 
About Richard Moat:
Master Richard Moat is an acclaimed life, performance and health coach with over 30 years of experience. Richard combines time-honored principles from the realms of positive psychology together with spirituality to help individuals from all walks of life experience and enjoy an authentic, rewarding, and purpose-driven life. With his work, Richard aims to help people find new and positive ways to embrace and solve problems that they face on a daily basis.

Masters Channel offers life-changing classes on spirituality, self-help and personal empowerment. Whether it’s a tool that can transform your life, a message that can uplift your day, or an idea that can empower your future, they work hard to help you create a life that’s truly your own. Everything they do is designed to empower and inspire you to make your life even better, and most importantly, a life you just love to live. Click for more:www.MastersChannel.com!

Geek Month in Review: December 2012

By JB Sanders

Now with more glowing lights!

Crappy Science or Awesome Gaming Resource?
You decide! Article over at Ars Technica pokes fun at a series of newspaper (web?) articles declaring the location of a Yeti cave, a Unicorn lair and a rogue Serbian vampire. The articles are serious, the “science” is not so much. Whether you’re reading for the sarcastic slap-down, or just so you have some great real-world resources for your modern urban fantasy campaign, it works either way.

Why Not Nuke a Hurricane?
Because according to NOAA, it just doesn’t work. First off, no bomb we have is big enough. Second, fallout. Third, you idiot.

Full-Sized Replica Millenium Falcon
And you’ve already clicked on the link, haven’t you? It’s a fan-made full-sized replica. Well, it will be. Right now it’s two laser cannons and a console. However, the guy has a big plot of land to build it on and a plan.

Warning: auto-playing video about it at the link.

Dr Who Timeline Chart
It’s extremely cool, although the creators follow the television show, not the Doctor’s personal timeline, which one imagines would be … difficult. See which incarnation of the Doctor battled the Daleks the most (you’ll be surprised), who fought the Master more than anyone else, and how long those companions lasted.

Scale of the Universe
From the subatomic to the Entire Universe. Zoom as far in or out as you want. Be sure to try the Sequel!, it’s animated.

Why So Slow?
Find out why the Pioneer spacecraft (both 10 and 11) are slowing down as they zip to the edge of the solar system and beyond. It’s a long science-laden tale of epic proportions, and has a nice moral: don’t throw out even the boring data.

Saved the Bridge
Meet the folks who saved the bridge set from the Next Generation Star Trek and turned it into a museum. Ok, not the original bridge, which was destroyed for the Generations movie, but one of the replicas built for a Vegas theme park. But it sure LOOKS like the original.

Internal Dressing
The US military is funding research into a foam that gets injected into the thoracic cavity (chest) of those with internal bleeding, to act as a sort of internal bandage. Neat, huh?

Package for Dr Henry Walton Jones, Jr.
So the University of Chicago gets a package addressed to a member of faculty they don’t recognize, but one of the students who works in the mail room realizes that the package is for Dr Jones. Yes, otherwise known as Indiana Jones. Inside was a hand-made replica of the Abner Ravenwood journal, from the first movie, including photos of Marion, some fake old-fashioned money, postcards, etc. No one is entirely sure who made it or exactly why (except, perhaps, for this reaction).

Update: They did figure out who made it and why. Link to the reveal at the end of the first article.

Watch Iceberg Form
The largest iceberg ever filmed breaking off from the big ice sheet that is the arctic. How big? It’s measured in cubic kilometers. The thing is practically the size of Manhattan.

Opening of Tut’s Tomb
Pictures from the opening in 1922. Handy game reference photos, if you want to do some alternate history supernatural story set in Egypt.

Follow-up: Code Broken
That mummified pidgeon mentioned in the last Geek Review? The one with the message capsule on its leg, and a “indecipherable” coded message inside? The one found in a blocked-up chimney? Yeah, probably deciphered.

Ice Flowers
Yup, they really exist. They’re weirdo ice formations that only form in the wild under really specific conditions, i.e. no wind and temps around -2 C. They sure look cool, though.

An Invented Language, A Bizarre Hate Group, and A Treatise on Created Languages
All in the New Yorker. Although it’s a “news” piece, it feels like a text book entry on artificially created languages. Plus a Heinlein reference. Come take a look at what might be the most precise language ever created (or hell, just plain old most precise language ever, period).

Warning: long article, but worth it if you’re a language freak (er, geek).

Feats of Memory Anyone Can Do
A TED talk by Joshua Foer on feats of memory and tricks anyone can use to improve their memory. Yes, it’s all about the memory palace.

What Happens to Boiling Water When Tossed Out a Window in -41C Weather?
This wonderful video thanks to our Russian friends, that’s what.

Oldest Christmas Recordings Made Available Online
The Museum of London got 26 wax cylinders of the Wall family’s Christmas party, recorded between 1901 and 1917. They were too fragile to play (go figure, wax over 100 years old) and so went unheard until recently transferred to digital. Now anyone with web access can hear them.

Screw Cardboard, Give the Gift of Recycled Electronics
In a new entry for Geek Dad of the Year (according to fark.com), here’s a cool present for a 5-year-old.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog: http://glenandtyler.blogspot.com