Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Feeling Stressed? Try a Little Bathtub Magic

This is one of my favorite magic rituals: the bathtub and shower litany. It's the perfect antidote for anyone who feels stressed, tired, frustrated, angry, or sore. Basically, it's a magical ritual that alleviates any excess Fire energy.

Excess Fire energy can take the form of bodily inflammation and soreness, emotional frustration and anger, and repetitive mental thoughts that won't stop. If you feel any of these types of symptoms, especially at the end of a long tiring day, try some bathtub magic.

Bathtub Magic to Remove Excess Fire Energy
The bathtub and shower litany is a little magic ritual that helps you get rid of excess Fire energy in the bathtub. It works because, from a magical viewpoint, water carries Fire energy. When you are in the shower, the water flowing from the shower can pull any excess Fire energy from your body, mind, and Spirit, and flow it down the drain. For this ritual to work, you combine your intention with some visualization and the magic litany.

Here's how you do the bathtub and shower litany:

Shower Instructions
Set the showerhead so the water hits you at the base of the skull and the water runs as evenly as possible over the back and front of your body. Let the shower hit the back of the neck, where we tend to develop a lot of tension (in the shoulders), and run your hands down your body to bring the fire down to your feet. The water temperature should be cool (just below body temperature). If the water is too cold it will create tension, and if the water is too hot it won't carry much fire.

As the water is running over your body and down the drain, picture your body as a glowing heating coil. Radiate any flame band energies outward in any direction. The tension will follow natural body flows. Picture these energy bands mixing with the water and flowing down the drain while simultaneously repeating the following litany aloud. Say it out loud. Keep saying it until you feel that the flame is gone. Speak the litany with authority and power.

All the tension, all the strain,
All the pain with excess flame,
Flow with water, down the drain!

Bathtub Instructions
Fill the tub as full as possible with cool (just below body temperature) water, but not cold water! Lie back with your feet at the drain end and as much of your body as possible under the water. Using the glowing heating coil idea, radiate the excess Fire energy into the water, warming the water next to your skin. Stir the water each time this seems successful. After 3 or 4 "stirrings", open the tub drain and continue to lay back and radiate the Fire energy as the water level drops around you. Begin using the above litany as the water drains from the tub. Continue the process until all the water is gone from the tub.

Learn more simple magic rituals like this with the Daily Rituals Ebook.

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Photo credit: two types of street bath

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why Magic Protection Symbols are More Important Than Ever

Have we reached the "End Times"? Are we approaching them? Are we in danger of a pole shift or some other form of catastrophe?

No, no, and no. I get asked these questions all the time by people who are concerned with the approaching "deadline" of 2012, when the Mayan calendar supposedly "ends." In truth, according Tony Shearer, who dedicated his life to studying the Mayan calendar, the calendar doesn't end in 2012, but instead simply starts over.

There are plenty of books and articles on the Mayan calendar, so I won't go into a detailed explanation of this predictive tool, but I will say that each time the calendar prepares to shift into a new cycle, our world does experience major energetic shifts.

What Energetic Changes Are Happening Now?
One major energetic shift I notice occurring with this change of cycle, which will happen around 2012, is that energy moves much more quickly than it has in the past. Specifically, the energy of our thoughts and feelings are manifesting much more quickly into physical events and occurrences. For instance, a negative thought like "I hope I don't lose my job!" is translating much more quickly into a lost job than it did about a decade ago. At the same time, a positive thought such as "I really feel soul mate is on her way to me" now manifests as a meeting between soul mates very quickly. It's a fast-changing world that is much more reactive to our thoughts and feelings than ever before. This is both good and bad--the usual double-edged sword.

Another major energetic change has to do with the Law of Contagion. The Law of Contagion deals with how easily we are affected by other people's thoughts and feelings. In the past, when energy moved much slower, it was easier to maintain our own sacred space, and not be affected by other people's energy. These days, not only does energy move faster, but the whole stream of energy pulsing around the globe is much larger. This means that not only are we more affected by the energy of another person, but we are also much more affected by global energy.

Every nation in the world is currently being affected by the economic downturn, and this is creating a large stream of energy filled with doubt, fear, and paralysis. You may have noticed that it is more difficult for you to be positive and proactive in your life. You may feel it is more difficult to take action or make choices. This feeling of oppression doesn't mean you are becoming a lazy slob or that you are losing your motivation. You may simply be affected the current global energy.

You may have also discovered that you are easily affected by the energy of another person. For instance, suppose you talk on the phone who is feeling down in the dumps. Do you notice that you also feel down in the dumps, or anxious about your own situation, after getting off the phone with that person? That's the Law of Contagion at work. You are simply more easily affected by any energy you come in contact with.

What to Do About the Law of Contagion
So what can you do about the Law of Contagion? How to preserve your sacred space? From a magic point of view, I would suggest cleansing your space (your home, office, car) with sage and pine resin, or other cleansing herbs. That's a good start.

Next, look around your environment and decide whether protection symbols would be useful, both to wear on your person or to put up around your environment. For instance, I recently re-shielded our property and added some protection symbols, like the Eye of Horus and pantacles. Other people have reported useful shielding results by wearing the psychic shield amulet, which is in the design of the seven-pointed faery star. Finally, others like introducing the energy of animal totems to gain the protection of Wolf, Buffalo, and so on.

Finally, on a mundane level, you may want to become far choosier about the people you contact. In a wonderful mixing of technology and magic, the prudent use of caller-ID to help you decide whether to pick up the phone can mean the difference between feeling down in the dumps and accessing a more positive flow of energy. In this day and age, you have the very real possibility of manifesting what you want in life faster than ever, but only if you take the time to create true sacred space around yourself. Cleanse your space, protect it, and choose your contact with other people in the world carefully!

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Photo credit: Mayan Sun Calendar

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Which Magic Rituals Should You Do Now?

It's amazing how, during this economic downturn, people are suddenly confused about what kind of magic spells and rituals they should do now. Sure, more people are unemployed, the economy is pretty rocky, and times seem uncertain, but in actuality nothing has changed.

Here's the deal: we are all students in the Earth school and there are a limited number of problems we need to learn to solve while we're in school. The basic lessons are health; wealth and career; and relationships and sex. Sound familiar? Just about everything else can be put under these basic categories. And, here's the real kicker: we get happy and graduate when we solve these problems.

Your Big Life Lesson
Each person usually has one main lesson to learn in Earth school. If you look back on your life, you can probably easily figure out which lesson you signed up for. You can look at your friends, and do the same. For instance, you probably have one friend who has never had relationship issues but can't seem to get healthy. Then there is your friend who has money problems like crazy, but is as healthy as a horse, which is good because he can't afford to go to the doctor.

No matter which life lesson you have, chances are that the world economic situation hasn't really changed it, right? Maybe the lesson or "problem" has intensified, but it's still the same old problem. In the worst-case scenario, you might still have your major life lesson, but now you have a minor in some other life lesson, too. If health has been your main lesson, maybe the economic crunch has now made it more difficult for you to get the healing you need. But the bottom line is that health is still the main issue.

In short, nothing has really changed.

Magic and Your Big Life Lesson
So what kind of magic rituals or spells should you do now to help you learn about your life lesson? Your first magical act should be to meditate on the fact that, magically, size doesn't really matter when it comes to problems, or their solutions. As our teacher Abraham-Hicks is fond of saying, "It's just as easy to manifest a button as a castle." By the token, it is just as easy (or difficult) to magically solve the problem of unemployment today as it was when the economy was going strong. Your big life lesson is the same as it always has been. So, if you are feeling depressed, fearful, or pitiful, stop it. Get off the pity pot. Nothing, regardless of the gloom-and-doom of predictions of economists, is any worse than before.

The Sun Candle: A Magic Ritual for Today
Now that you've discovered that you are no worse than before, it's time to start using a magic ritual that will help you stay positive, and make forward progress toward learning your big life lesson.

One of the simplest magic rituals you can do to help you stay positive is to use the Sun Candle. Burning the Sun Candle with the appropriate litany on a daily basis will not only nourish your spirit, but give you tangible magical act to do, so you feel like you "doing something" about your situation.

Here's how you use the Sun Candle.

You will need a pure yellow candle (a bright yellow that is not too orange) and wooden or paper matches. You can find pure yellow candles at most grocery stores in the section with the religious candles (in glass containers).

You will also need to know which direction is South. To create sacred space with the Sun Candle, you will need to "charge" it, or program it to do so. Here's how:
  • Stand or sit in the South facing North with the Sun Candle in front of you
  • Light the candle using wooden or paper matches (do NOT use a lighter)
  • Wait until the candle flame is steady and tall
  • Hold your hands up to and around the flame, focusing your attention on the candle and flame.
  • Say the charge verse below in a voice of command (a strong, powerful voice)
Child of Wonder,
Child of Flame,
Nourish My Spirit,
And Protect My Aim!

If there are other people in the room with you, you can change the "My" to "Our" and the word "Spirit" to "Spirits." Leave the candle burning in the room for at least 30 minutes (be sure the candle is on a protected surface such as a plate and is not a fire hazard).

At the end of 30 minutes or when you feel ready, blow out the flame (don't snuff it). Spend a moment or two in the area to see if you can detect a difference in the level and quality of energy. The area should feel lighter, more harmonious and/or more peaceful to you.

Have fun using this daily magic ritual to regain balance!

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Photo credit: Scent of a Candle Sunflower

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Daily Magic Ritual for the Times

Monday morning blues. Lack of motivation. Confusion. Depression. Anger. The "Why me?" syndrome. Fear.

These are all topics that people are emailing us about. People are experiencing these states because they have lost their jobs, are affected by health issues, or are simply "waiting for the other shoe to drop." They all want to know what kind of magical rituals and spells can help them get back to feeling happy, positive, radiant, balanced, and peaceful.

In magic, there is no "cure-all" that will fix all problems for all people, but one the simplest magical rituals that anyone can do to feel more balanced during these turbulent times is the Beauty Way.

The Beauty Way Magic Ritual
This ritual is a non-denominational set of exercises from very ancient times, which has many magical purposes, including:
  • Restore personal power
  • Develop a practical working relationship with higher powers and beings or natural forces and laws
  • Be safe and protected without the need to build walls or hide behind masks.
  • Maintain spiritual integrity for individuals or groups during times of high external change and stress.
How to Do the Beauty Way Magic Exit Ritual
One of the most common forms of the Beauty Way is called the Exit Ritual. You do the Exit Ritual every time you leave an enclosed space, like your car or your house. Here's how you do the ritual.

1. Put your focus up into the sky and say aloud, "Sky Above" or "Sky Father." (Note: the reason we extend our focus first is that the exit ritual is a form of asking favor from powers and beings, so it is appropriate that we go to them rather than asking them to come to us. In ritual, when we have carefully prepared sacred space, we can then invite them in and then bid them farewell).

2. Keeping the awareness up above, extend your focus into the earth and say aloud, "And Earth Below" or "And Earth Mother."

3. Then, keeping awareness of both above and below, say aloud, "I Greet You."

4. Wait a moment and see what happens. Be alert for acknowledgement or response in one of these three ways:
  • From within you, such as a realization, a change of attitude or belief, a new awareness.
  • Changes in your environment, such as a sudden breeze, a change in the color of the sky, a bird or animal suddenly appearing, or a tree or shrub suddenly becoming vividly visible.
  • A response from Sky and/or Earth: a special message for you, an answer to a question, or guidance and new directions.
5. What happens may happen in just that moment, or it may happen throughout the day. It may change the quality of our day, our awareness … whatever we notice.

6. You may also want to use hand gestures. Arms raised in a upward facing V for "Sky Father" and arms down in a downward facing V for "Earth Mother."

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Photo credit: jazzers

Friday, June 12, 2009

Big Nasty Problems: What Do You Do Magically?

Picture this ordinary scenario: you're cruising merrily through your day when all of sudden a big unexpected problem pops up on your radar screen. What do you do?

How you respond to a problem situation has a lot to do with the outcome that you get. In problem panic situations most of us don't have enough presence of mind to be "able to respond" appropriately--in other words, we can't be responsible. Here are three typical (but not effective!) ways that we respond to problem situations and their natural outcomes:

Take Action!
For those of us who don't feel comfortable unless we're doing something, the natural response is to dive in and do something! Unfortunately this doesn't give us much time think through the situation and plan a response. We end up "doing" as fast as we can--often in completely the wrong direction! Result? Lots of action and not much positive achievement.

Obsess and Complain
The obsessive-compulsive ones among us will start running on the hamster-wheel of worry, complaining all the while. The problem will be on our minds while we work, eat, sleep and have sex (what a time to worry!). And not only will we worry obsessively, we'll talk compulsively about it too. But we won't take any action--we'd rather talk and fret. Result? Smoke pouring out of our ears and hot air coming out of our mouths. Not much else!

Ignore It
Finally, there's the classic ostrich response of ignoring the problem altogether. We think that if we don't look at the problem it will eventually go away on its own. In fact, we might even try to keep ourselves otherwise occupied with slightly obsessive eating, drinking, or playing. The problem with this response is that we keep peeking at the problem subconsciously so we're continually aware of it anyway. Result? Possibly some weight gain or hangovers but no progress in solving the problem.

These three responses all share the common characteristic of avoidance. All three responses take us out of the present moment and into action, obsession, or ignorance. The truly odd part is that if we can manage to stay in the present and really look at the problem, we're liable to find that the problem isn't as big or nasty as we originally thought.

From a shaman's perspective, the appropriate response to a potential problem would be:

1. Stop Everything
To prevent initial reactions from blowing the problem out of proportion, the shaman practices what's called the "cortothalamic pause," in which she stops all internal thoughts, feelings, and associations so she can take in the present situation without any prior ideas or emotions.

2. Research
Before taking action the shaman uses various tools of divination, such as pendulums or tarot cards, and consults with her guides to research the situation. Although she may be very thorough, this step often takes no more than a few hours.

3. Plan and Take Action
Based on the information she's gathered, the shaman then makes a plan and takes action. At this point there is no hesitation or doubt. The course has been plotted, contingency plans have been made, and it's all about moving forward with strength.

While the shaman has many tools and guides available to her, the most important step in the above process is the first one--the Stop. What gets most of us in trouble in that we dive headlong into our usual reaction to any problem situation without taking the time to stop and clear our minds. If we can train ourselves to take a cortothalamic pause when a problem rears its ugly head, we'll find that solutions are much easier to find and implement. It's such a simple step and so very effective!

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Photo credit: Crossing

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How to Open a Channel to the Universe

What do you do when you've absolutely got to "be in the know," but you don't seem to be able to access the information you need? Open a channel to the Universe! The Universe is filled with every piece of information we'll ever need, and is simply waiting to communicate with us. Sometimes we're just blocked and not able to hear what the Universe is saying.

The good news is that there are hundreds of channels of communication that you can easily open to get the information you need. Here are four simple ones:

MEDICINE CARDS: If you need to know what quality you most need to handle a situation in your life, draw an animal card from the Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson. Sams and Carson use animal totems to exemplify characteristics such as persistence, courage, use of magic, and more ...

PENDULUM: Dowsing can be a simple way to get the answers you need. All you need is a pendulum and some questions to ask.

SMOKE SIGNALS: Whether you're lighting a smudge stick, burning botanicals in a firebowl, or smoking sacred tobacco in a pipe, smoke is a way for you to communicate your desires to the Universe, and for the Universe to answer you. Send your wishes up with the smoke, then look into the smoke as a form of divination. Images, ideas, feelings, and answers will come to you.

PICK UP A BOOK: If you desperately need answers but you don't have time to use any of the tools mentioned above, just ask the Universe your question, pick up a book (use your intuition to pick the book), and open it to any page. The first word, phrase or picture is your answer!

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Photo credit: Destiny Calls

Monday, June 8, 2009

How To Control People Without Controlling People

If you've bumped up against the facts of life a few times, you've probably discovered that you can't really control people, places, or things. You may have even discovered that there is a spiritual principle that says you can't control other people. This can be irritating since other people are unpredictable, messy, and certainly don't act the way you want them to, right?

If you're frustrated by the fact that you can't control other people, you'll be pleased to discover that there is a spiritual loophole to that principle. The loophole is that while we can't necessarily control other people, we can control how they show up in our lives.

We can't reach out and create in anyone's life, but we can control many aspects of what appears in our lives. Consider this: everything that comes in contact with you (including other people) is part of your sacred space, and as a Spirit you have the right to control what happens in your sacred space.

The key, then, is to intentionally direct what appears in your sacred space. One of the easiest ways to use your intention is create "future memories." To create future memories, imagine yourself in the future encountering a particular person, especially a person you dread seeing. Now imagine the encounter exactly as you want it to happen.

The more detailed your imagining, the more effect it will have on the actual encounter. How will the person react? What will she say? What will you do? How will you feel? Color your future memory with as much feeling and specific details as possible. If at first your mind wants to imagine the encounter negatively, keep replaying the encounter over and over until you can create the scenario you want.

Then, wait to be surprised at what happens in your next encounter with this person. It might not be exactly as you imagined, but the tone and outcome are likely to match very closely. It's amazingly pleasing when that happens!

So control freaks, start your engines. This is one place you can control people without breaking any universal laws!

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Thwack! The Magic of a Rubberband Around Your Wrist

"How do I stay present to the here and now during the day?"

This is the question a client recently asked me. She asked because she works a high-pressure job yet is a trained magical practitioner, and she has trouble bringing the two worlds together. She has difficulty bringing the quiet of her morning meditation and magic rituals into the high-stress environs of her work.

Walking both the magical and mundane paths at the same time is a difficulty many magical practitioners have. It can seem impossible to keep one foot in each world.
A Simple Magical Solution to Stay Present
One of the simplest solutions to this problem combines modern technology with an everyday object. All you need is a cell phone or pager and a rubber band. Set your cell phone or pager to buzz you at preset times during the day, perhaps every couple of hours, and wear the rubber band around your wrist. When your alarm goes off, simply snap the rubber band around your wrist.

As silly as this seems, it works to bring your attention back to the "here and now." This is because physical sensation always exists in the present, never the past or future. The rubber band snapping against your wrist gives you a physical sensation, and to experience that sensation you have to come back to present time.

Putting a Little More Magic Into the Ritual
When I suggested this simple solution to my client, she found it interesting but she wanted a ritual with a little more pizzazz to it, a little more magic. I understand that. I asked her is she had a specific spiritual guide or angel to whom she felt a specific attachment. She favored the angel Gabriel, so I suggested she create a ritual that included him.

She found a charming but subtle pendant representing the angel Gabriel, and she wears it on a necklace. When her pager buzzes her, instead of snapping a rubber band around her wrist, she reaches up and fingers the pendant, a gesture which looks natural and doesn't seem out of place, even in a boardroom. Lots of people fidget or have nervous habits, and when she reaches up to hold her pendant, it looks just like any other subconscious fidget. The ritual has worked, literally "like a charm," and brings her back to the here and now several times a day. She reports feeling more relaxed and at ease during the work day, and less tired at the end of the day.

What "Rubber Band" Works for You?
If you're a "down to basics" kind of person, using a rubber band will probably work really well for you. On the other, if you want something a little more special, a little more magical, consider choosing an animal totem or angel symbol to bring you back to the present.

Animal Totems
Angel and Fairy Symbols
Other Symbols

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Photo credit: 97/365 Rubber band ball

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Which Tarot Deck Should I Use?

I get asked this question all the time, which is not surprising since there are hundreds of versions of the Tarot in existence. My key criteria for choosing a Tarot deck is that it should form a complete working system of symbology.

Magically, when we use the Tarot, it represents a microcosm, a smaller version of the Universe. Therefore, everything in the Universe has to be able to be represented by the cards in the deck.

There are three major magical uses for the Tarot:

1. Straight divination
2. Spell work (these decks are especially designed for spell work)
3. Working the Tree of Life (for doing a great work)

Very few Tarot decks can fulfill all three of these requirements. There are only three modern Tarot decks that I know of: the Waite-Rider, Morgan-Greer and Thoth decks. The other decks are incomplete for these endeavors. For instance the Aquarian deck is a beautiful tool for divination if you are used to working with Zen or Hindu concepts, but it's virtually useless for spell work and has no relationship at all to the Tree of Life.

Who Created These Modern Tarot Decks?

All of above-mentioned Tarot decks were created by members of the Golden Dawn. Arthur Edward Waite created the Waite-Rider deck (Rider was the name of the publisher) and Pamela Smith, also of the Golden Dawn, did the artwork for the cards.

Lloyd Morgan and William Greer disagreed with Waite's approach, arguing that the Waite-Rider deck was too austere, too mental and too intellectual. They created the Morgan/Greer deck by adding fancy symbols, such as vines, to the top half of all the cards in the Waite-Rider deck.

Aleister Crowley created the third deck, the Thoth deck, which has some notable differences. For instance, there are no Kings in the Thoth deck because Crowley felt that men never reached maturity, but were always stuck at the level of the Prince, or adolescence.

Learn More About the Tarot

Although the teachings of the Tarot were originally given orally, in more modern times people have written down some guidelines as to the meaning of the cards. However, the true use of the Tarot is to allow the cards to represent something different and specific in each reading. There is a magical ritual to "key" your deck to your energies, so that the cards will do this. To learn how to key a Tarot deck and use it so it actually does act as a microcosm of the Universe, check out our Tarot Home Study Course or join our upcoming Basic Magic Class.

Basic Magic
Home Study Tarot Course
Recommended Tarot Decks

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Monday, June 1, 2009

The Tower Card in Tarot Readings - What It Means

Recently I did a Tarot reading for a client who has been having a lot of trouble with accidents, like fender benders and such. This client was so banged-up and bruised from all of his recent misfortunes that he asked for a reading to find out what was going on.

Not surprisingly, in both the present-time and progressed Tarot readings for this client, the Tower card showed up, both times upright. A lot of practitioners of magic shudder when they see the Tower card because they think it automatically means chaos. It does, sort of, but it means something more specific than that.

The Tower card talks about complete material disorganization or chaos, caused by spiritual forces beyond one's control. The world is obviously experiencing a lot of chaos and change right now, as we approach the end of a cycle on the Mayan calendar and prepare to enter the next. The Tower card talks about chaos coming into people's life from the outer world. As you can see on the card itself, the lightning comes into the picture from the outside world.

The Tower Card Upright in a Tarot Reading
These days, when the Tower card appears upright in a reading, it means that a big change is coming that you should be prepared for. Sometimes this means a natural disaster, and sometimes death, but in most cases it is just a warning to be prepared for a major change in your environment.

In the case of my client for whom I was doing the Tarot reading, the Tower card indicated that he wasn't being aware of his surroundings. He needs to be more conscious of the Law of Accident at work around him. The Law of Accident says that if we don't have a strong intention and focus, then we fall prey to "accidental and coincidental" occurrences, like fender-benders. The Law of Accident is more at work during these times of extreme change than at other times. Luckily, nothing serious had happened to him, and he is going use some daily rituals to focus his intent and be more aware of his surroundings.

The Tower Card Reversed in a Tarot Reading
If the Tower appears as a reversed card in a Tarot reading, then the implications are different. If it's reversed, then you need to start looking at whether you have broken any Rules of the Road (the laws that govern magical practice) or whether there is something karmic going on. Maybe you've gotten crosswise with a deity.

If you see a reversed Tower card, do some exploration, through divination or possibly a blow-up Tarot reading, to find out what the situation is about. During this time of world upheaval, it's important to correct situations like this as quickly as possible. Luckily, the world is also much more plastic or flexible right now, so correcting situations may be easier than you think.

A Few Additional Notes About the Tower Card
The severity of the change or chaos indicated by the Tower isn't necessarily related to whether the Tower card is upright or reversed. Whether the card is upright or reversed merely tells you what kind of change you are dealing with. Remember that that Tower card represents changes appearing in the outer world, and often reflects deity-level changes. This card has shown up a lot in recent years, tying in with world and galactic changes. Changes indicated by the Tower card can be violent or drastic, and are simply a warning for us to be prepared. The Tower card isn't bad, it's just a warning to be aware.

Want to Learn More About the Tarot?
The Tarot is an infinitely deep study of magic. The Tarot can be used for divination, spells, spell take-downs, and many other forms of magic. If you would like to learn more about how to use the Tarot, consider joining our upcoming Basic Magic class or learning with our home-study Tarot Course.

Basic Magic
Home Study Tarot Course
Recommended Tarot Decks

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