Monday, 22 December 2014

December reading

Below is the video of the three card reading for the month of December. I'll be doing these at the end of each month on the second last Sunday. If you're interested in winning one in January, you must be a subscriber to my blog or YouTube channel, and comment below that you are interested.


Saturday, 20 December 2014

Krampus - The Forgotten Companion of Santa

Lately there has been a resurgence of interest in a traditional Germanic Yuletide figure - Krampus, a devil like figure who accompanies Santa or Saint Nichloas, in parts of southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland. While Santa gives presents to the good boys and girls, Krampus is responsible for punishing the bad ones.



Depicted as a long tongued beast with horns, covered in brown or black hair, and with one human foot and one cloven foot, he is bound by chains symbolizing the devil being bound by Christianity. He carries birch switches to strike the bad children with, and a basket or tub, in which to potentially carry away the naughty ones.



Many scholars believe that the figure goes back to pagan times, and is a christianized version of the horned god, who was changed into an evil figure. Santa Claus is a variation of other winter figures like Old Man Winter, Odin or the Holly King who's aspects have been morphed with the patron saint of children, Saint Nicholas. In Germanic countries he visits children on Dec.06 and leaves the good children presents in their stockings.
It is interesting to note that Odin in ancient Norse tradition was believed to leave good children presents in their shoes at this same time of year. He would fly to their houses on his eight legged horse Sleipnir and children would leave offerings of ale for him and hay for the horse. But there's no correlation at all between him and Santa right? Lol.



Krampusnacht
Alright - back to Krampus. Krampusnacht (Krampus night) is celebrated on the eve of Dec.06 Saint Nichloas' day. Men dress up as Krampus figures and accompany St Nicholas (who is dressed like a bishop). This tradition can be traced back to mummery parades associated with the winter solstice, where men would dress up in masks and like beasts and dance. This eventually became part of the celebration of Saint Nicholas. They parade about the town with him and visit homes and businesses. While St Nick gives gifts, Krampus distributes coal and birch switches often painted gold. These are put in the house as good luck charms and to remind kids to be good throughout the year. People then give the Krampus offerings of Schnapps to appease him.




Perchta
In some areas women accompany the Krampus figures as well, known as Perchtas. Perchta, also called Berchta, or Frau Holle in Northern Germany, is a goddess associated with winter and the 12 days after the Winter Solstice. She is either shown as a beautiful young lady in white or an old haggard crone. During the parade these women are usually dressed as scary old hags.



Krampuskarten
Since the 1800s Europeans have had cards depicting Krampus, usually with the words "Greetings from Krampus" on them. These were popular in the 19th century and often featured violent imagery. Towards the turn of the last century, the art work became more cartoon like and less violent, like the one below.



Krampus Resurgence
During the 1930s - 50s Krampus celebrations were actively discouraged in areas like Austria because they were considers to be too pagan. However a resurgence in the last few decades means this tradition is being kept alive. There is debate though about wether he is too frightening for children.



This is certainly the predominant sentiment in North America as the Santa Clause tradition carried over well to the new world, but the darker aspects were left behind. The last couple of years have seen a new interest in Krampus.You can now even get Krampus holiday sweaters! Though it had been suggested that some are using the figure to be anti Christmas/Yuletide/Holiday season. Personally I think he can just be included in with everything else.


What do you think of Krampus?

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Friday, 19 December 2014

Update

i thiught I'd just film a quick update letting everyone know what I've been up to especially since I haven't posted a video in a couple of weeks. I got busy as everyone does at this time of year and thought I'd save posts to this week when I started my holidays. Of course I came down with a horrendous flu as soon as I started vacation, and am still recovering.
 I wanted to say a big thank you as well to all of you who followed over to my new blog here. I love our little blogging community, and will be including my blig followers in the future giveaway as well. Thanks to everyone that is following me wether on the vlog or blog. I appreciate all the comments and I  looking forward to another great year of blogging in 2015. :)

Who else thinks this screen shot makes me look like I'm either crazy, or about to eat an enormous piece of pie.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Book Review - The Essential Lenormand

In October I ordered the book "the Essential Lenormand" by Rana George, off of Amazon to help me learn to read my new Lenormand cards. You may have seen the book and cards in my October haul video, where I promised a review when I had read the book. I'm not totally done yet, as I'm still working with the exercises, but I thought I would give my impressions so far.



The book is quite large and filled with great information about this particular oracle system. It is divided into three parts - the first about the authors journey and a bit about the oracle, the second part goes through each of the 36 cards, and the third part has exercises to develop your reading skills.
The first part was interesting as the author describes growing up in Lebanon and how she learnt to read the cards at a young age and
to rely on their guidance, particularly during the difficult years of war. She tells some excellent stories about her experiences and how the cards helped predict events in her and her family's life.
The second part is the biggest section of the book, and goes through the meanings of each card. It clearly lists all the meanings for each card in various contexts - like work, health, romance etc. She then gives a story or two as an example of readings involving that particular card, as well as some card combinations.



The third part is the one I'm currently working through. It involves exercises to help one learn to read the cards. It starts with journaling card combinations and the gradually leads to working on more complex spreads like the box spread - a classic 3x3 Lenormand spread. The exercises all lead up to reading the grand tablaeu, the biggest and most challenging spread involving all 36 cards.



Personally I found the book very informative and not ponderous to read despite it's size. The information is laid out clearly, and the exercises all build on each other. I enjoyed her storytelling and the examples she gave.
I also found the design of the book to be quite visually appealing, especially the second part which lays out the interpretations for each card.
I would recommend this book for anyone else looking to learn Lenornand cards.
If you have read this book or other Lenormand books, let me know your thoughts or recommendations. I'd love to hear them.

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Saturday, 6 December 2014

Sweater Season

Unless you are lucky enough to be living in a warm sunny climate, or down under where it's summer, it's probably getting chilly out there. Here it is a delightful -7C, so it's time to bring out cozy sweaters and sit in front of a fire. This time of year there are loads of sweaters to be had in the shops but not all of them suit my gothic taste. I'm not into the whole ugly sweater thing either - funny as it is. So I decided to look for inspiration online for gothic style sweaters.
First I came across these two sweaters from Fantasmagoria.eu






The first has a lovely distressed look, while the second has a more elegant and feminine design. I love the faux fur and buckles on the front.
I then found this delightfully batty cardigan by Sour Puss.



The following two I found on Tumblr and I enjoy the simplicity of the large graphic on black.







The next pair I saw on Polyvore. They both have a pastel goth vibe, but I still enjoy them.






And finally if you are really into the traditional Christmas sweater, you can always go for some Christmas Krampus knitted ones.






What are your thoughts on winter sweaters?

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Monday, 1 December 2014

Review - Angel Tarot Cards

This past month I picked up a deck of Angel Tarot cards by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine, with Steve Roberts as the illustrator. I recently have gotten interested in working with more angelic energy and saw these in a bookstore, so decided to purchase them. They aren't my usual style of cards, but the more I work with them, the more I am enjoying their gentle, positive energy. I think they will be especially good for clients that are maybe a little spooked by traditional tarot, are more religious, or are drawn to Angels in particular.



Artwork and Design
The artwork is digital which I'm usually not into, but it works for this deck. The images are fantastical, ethereal and brightly coloured. This is not a dark deck in any way. The major arcana feature various archangels, and the suits are divided into the elements air, water, fire and earth. The art on the air cards feature unicorns, water is mermaids, fire is dragons and earth is fairies. Personally I would of used fairies for air and unicorns for earth, but I can see why she did this as the unicorn horns can be a sort of sword like stand in.
There are different coloured borders for the suits which can be helpful, but if you don't like borders, this deck does have large ones, so you may not want that. A brief description is also written on the top and bottom of each card. This may be helpful for beginners, but might annoy some more experienced folks. Personally I don't mind them, but can take it or leave it.



Companion Book
The instruction book that comes with it is small but informative. It has a page or two per each card and gives the meaning for each card. There are no reversals with this deck, so each one is given an upright and generally positive meaning. Even more challenging cards like the 5 of swords (air in this case), you are asked to examine how you might of contributed to a negative situation, and how you can change it, rather than just blaming others. The author has also changed some of the names of the more challenging cards. For example Death is Release and the Devil is Ego. The card's meaning does not change, she just rephrased it in a more positive light. This may not sit well with everyone, but I can see that some would get a lot out of this approach.
There is also a larger companion book toucan but separately which I will review later.



Size and Weight
The deck is on the large side, so might be difficult for some to shuffle. They are the usual size for most Hay House decks. The weight is very sturdy, which I am pleased about and each card has a silver gilded edge, which is a nice touch.

Packaging
The box is sturdy and fits both the deck and companion book easily. It is great for storing and is easy to open as most Hay House decks are.


Overall
If you like darker decks or are more if a tarot purest, then this deck may not be for you. If you are into Angels, unicorns or fairies, or would like a more uplifting type of oracle, then you will probably enjoy this deck.
Personally I am loving working with this deck for daily card draws and will continue to work with its gentle energy.

What are your thoughts?
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Saturday, 29 November 2014

November Update

First dear readers I want to thank you all for following me over to the new blog. I know it has taken a slightly different turn towards more spiritual topics, but I still plan to do some gothy fashion and topics, it will just be a mix of the two.
My Etsy Shop


In September I opened up my Etsy shop offering various card readings. See my shop here. I have been reading cards for 20 years and decided I should take my gifts more seriously. I got my first tarot deck when I was 20 and have been reading for others and collecting tarot and oracle decks since. Like most people I started out reading for family and friends for free. Over the years I've been told by others that I should do this for a living, but did not take them seriously at first. I started doing tarot parties last year and reading for people in person at events and enjoyed it immensely. I thought why not do it more seriously? Like everyone else I would love to be able to earn money doing something I actually like doing, and that helps people as well. I feel great when I'm able to help someone and give them guidance.
For now I'm offering readings on my Etsy shop but was thinking of putting my art up as well. I make icons, of saints, pagan gods and Angels. Below is a picture of a painting of Horus that I made, it is half finished here.



Angels
Last month I won a spot at a weekend workshop for IET (Integrated Energy Therapy). Without going into a huge explanation, it is about working with Angels for healing and manifesting. I'd never given tons of thought to working with angelic energies but have been getting more interested in it since this workshop. I bought a couple of books and an angel tarot deck and absolutely love them! I think the deck is very positive and gentle and I look forward to learning more about working with angelic energy.
I will review the deck on the blog and show you the deck on my vlog in the next few days.

Facebook Cleanup
Lately it has seemed that my Facebook news feed has been overwhelmed with posts about bad news. Not just news articles that people are re-posting but upsetting and negative/sexist/racist/homophobic comments to these articles as well. I missed people's actual statuses and positive or funny reposts. Then a friend at work told me that there is a handy arrow button where you can hide posts from your feed. I was so happy to find this. Since then I have been cleaning up my feed by hiding negative stories and unfollowing those with consistently negative posts. I'm not talking about the odd rant here and there (we are all guilty of this from time to time), but people that are consistently posting about how horrible/unfair/awful life is.
I have also found positive and spiritual people and pages to follow, which has helped make my news feed a happier place.
In addition, I've been making a point to only post upbeat statuses and repost positive or funny stories. I have been trying to avoid the temptation to click on negative stories I see and get upset about the contents or comments. I don't always succeed, but I have been 90% succesful I think.

What about you? How do you avoid negative energy on the Internet?



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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Free November Reading

Every month I give away a free three card reading. If you would like to win a reading of your own, please comment below. You must be a subscriber to win. :)


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Witchy Videos

kast week I forgot to post my Wicca 101 video, so I will do it this week. The subject is the Sabbats, a very brief overview. As always I encourage those starting out to do their own research. I was thinking as each sabbat comes up, that maybe I should focus on each one at a time? What do you think?


This week I just did a fun video - the 7 Witchy Questions Tag. Feel free to do one yourself. Comment below and I will go to your channel/blog and check it out. :)


Saturday, 15 November 2014

Recent Tarot Purchases




Recently I purchased the Angel Tarot and companion book by Doreen Virtue. I felt called to this tarot deck as I recently started working in my spiritual practice with another angel deck by this same author - The Life Purpose angel cards. I then saw the tarot deck and thought I would give it a try. I'll write a full review in the future when I've worked a little longer with it, but so far I am very pleased. I find this deck has a very gentle and welcoming energy to it, and I think it will be great for clients who are afraid of the tarot for religious reasons or those who are easily put off by darker imagery.



The companion book is very informative and it has a wealth of info, not just on Angels, but the numerological and astrological correspondences of the cards.
I think this is a great deck for the Yuletide season. Maybe because of the childhood associations of angels with Christmas? But I also think the lovely jewel like colours and the fantastical creatures make me think of the colour and magic of this season.



I also ordered the Nicoletta Cicconi tarot, which has been on my wish list since I first saw it being touted on the various tarot youtubers and bloggers. It just came out recently and looks amazing. I love her art work and think it has a distinct surreal and Alice in Wonderland vibe to it. This looks like an excellent deck for shadow work and perhaps for the fall? I will write a full review when this baby lands in my hands in a couple of weeks!



Finally I also pre-ordered Jasmine Beckett-Griffiths upcoming release The Beautiful Creatures tarot. The deck is coming out in December sometime, and I'm very excited as I'm a fan of her work. I have two of her oracle decks The Oracle of Shadows and Light and the Shapeshifters Oracle. I thought it was about time she did a tarot deck, so was pretty pleased to see this would be coming out. Again I will do a full review when I get the deck in my hands.


What are your thoughts on these decks?

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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Gods and Titans and Goddesses and Sirens Review

Last month, I was excited to finally get my hands on two oracle decks by Stacey DeMarco, and illustrated by JimmyManton - the Gods and Titans deck and the Goddesses and Sirens deck. I was particularly interested in the Gods deck as I have many goddess decks, and wanted something that represented the divine masculine to balance things out. I de used to order the Goddess deck as well, and have been combining the two decks to create a super oracle balancing both aspects of the divine.



Artwork
If you like superheroes you'll love this deck. That's one word I would use to describe the style of these two decks. The men are buff and muscular as are the women. Everything is very idealized in a heroic sense. Personally some of the gods and goddesses are not at all the way I pictured them, but that comes down to personal taste. I also thought there could of been a variety of ages too as they are almost all pictures as being quite youthful by this artist. That being said, the art is very well done, and I enjoy the overall feel of the deck.



Companion Book
The book that comes with deck is very sturdy and contains a fair amount of info. Each card is covered with information on the deity and meanings. There is also suggestions for invoking and working with each God or Goddess. The only thing I wished they had done was separate the divinatory meaning from the info as you sometimes have to search in the card information for specifics.



Size and Weight
The cards are quite large, being more long than wide, so might be a little difficult for some people to handle. Personally I don't mind the size as I use them not just for divination, but also on my altar for devotion, so the large size is a plus for me.
The weight of the card stock is a bit flimsy for my taste. I would of preferred something slightly thicker.



Packaging
While the card stock may not be the sturdiest, the box sure is. Typical of Blue Angel decks, the box is excellent for continuing to store the deck in. It is thick cardboard and fits both the book and deck well.



Overall
I give these decks 4 out of 5 overall. I love the choices of gods and goddesses, and that it can be both an oracle and devotional tool. I also like that you can combine the two decks together for one awesome super deck! The guide books are great and the packaging is sturdy. While the card stock leaves something to be desired, it's not the worst. I recommend these decks to anyone looking for a pagan oriented oracle deck.


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Thursday, 30 October 2014

The Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment - Halloween at Home



This month our professor has assigned us the homework of discussing how we celebrate Halloween at home. For me it has two sides - the secular trick or treating side, and the religious holiday of Samhain.



Halloween
My step kids are still young enough to enjoy Halloween, dressing up and trick or treating. Last week they informed me that the house was "not spooky enough", so we let them decorate outside (grandma helped). They made ghosts out of tablecloths, glueing faces on, put spiderwebs around the trees and drew faces on the leaf bags. The star though is the milk jug skeleton made by my step daughter (with help from Dad of course). The kids loved doing it and I must admit it does make things "spookier".



Samhain
For the pagan holiday of Samhain I keep it pretty simple. After the trick or treating is done, I light candles to honour the dead and do some oracle card readings for the year. I light one for my brother, and one for my ancestors, another for lost friends, and another for pets. This year my pet rabbit of 11 years Pippin passed on, so there will be a special focus on him.




I can't wait to read about everyone else's celebrations. :)

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Wicca 101 - Pantheons

My latest Wicca 101 instalment - getting to know your pantheons.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

October Witchy Haul

Just an assortment of oracle cards and pagan books I got this month. Looks like I'll be busy over the winter months. :)


Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Mysterious Ouija Board




Since it's debut on the market in 1891, the ouija board has captured the public's imagination. It was based on various talking boards being used in the 1890s by spiritualists. The movement had been around since the 1840s and was gaining popularity in America and England. They wanted a more efficient device to connect with the dead, so started using various alphabetic boards to try to get more precise answers. In 1890 Charles Kennard, and some other investors invented the device which was a board with letters, numbers and yes, no and goodbye written on it as well as a teardrop shaped planchette. They actually took it to the patent office to get a patent and to prove it worked. The story is that the skeptical patent officer was spooked when the device spelled out his first name, not known to the inventor. After that The Kennard Novelty Company received their patent.



First marketed as an mysterious and entertaining device, it was sold in novelty shops along side games, just as it is today. It did not have the reputation it does now, as many people saw it as either harmless fun or as a tool for spiritualism, which was seen as compatible with mainstream Christianity. It was not unusual to attend a seance one night and a bible meeting the next. As such, the ouija board was not seen as cause for alarm.



Contrary to popular belief the name is not a combination of the French oui and German ja, but rather the result of Kennard and friends asking the device what it should be called. During a session they were told that was the name and that it was an ancient word for good luck.



The Ouija board has peaked in popularity during times of war and uncertainty. During the first and second World Wars and during the depression, it was very popular. And during the Veitnam war it became so popular, that in 1967 it out sold Monopoly. It was seen as a very normal, if slightly odd, past time. Norman Rockwell even painted a picture of people playing Ouija in May of 1920. so why all the fuss today?



The mostly harmless reputation of the Ouija board changed in 1973 when the movie The Exorcist came out. In it, a young girl plays with a ouija board alone and is possessed by a demon. The terrifying movie was enough to instil in some people's minds that the game was not harmless. Almost overnight, people were decrying it as a tool of the devil and horror writers had a hay day playing on people's fears. It has taken on a new and sinister reputation over the last 40 years.



These days its popularity is back. You can find it on mint tins, t shirts and phone cases (my cell phone case is a ouija board). But it's sinister reputation is as strong as ever. I watched a Ghost Adventures episode last week where it was claimed a demon could come out of a board and haunt people. There is also the new horror flick "Ouija" out in theatres for Halloween.



This is my Spirit Board which is not a ouija board but another kind of talking board. I use it on Samhain/Halloween night and have recieved excellent results. I also find it doesn't frighten people as it is a very positive looking board without the negative association now attached to Ouija.

So what is your take on it? Harmless fun, or tool for demonic possession?


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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

October Free Tarot Reading

Each month I will be giving away a free short three card tarot reading. If you would like one, please comment on the video letting me know you are interested. You must be a subscriber to my YouTube channel and like my facebook page. Www.facebook.com/enchantedparlour

Have an enchanted day!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wicca 101 - The Lord

Here's my latest Wicca 101 post about the male half of divinity. If your not interested in Wicca - that's okay, just feel free to skip. :)


Corp Goth Mid Month Status Report - Office Friendly Skulls



This is the first time I've participated in the mid month report brought to you by the lovely Corpgoth. I thought this might be a great one to start with as I love incorporating touches of gothic iconography into my corp wear.




As you can see my outfit is not obviously skull related, but look closer.






This bracelet I bought at Le Chateau a couple of months ago.
They had a whole line of jewelry with scorpions, snakes, cats and skulls on them. How could I resist?



But that's not the only touch. The scarf I'm wearing has a skull pattern on it. I got it at Arden, a cheap accessory store along with another skull patterned scarf.
While neither of these is overly obvious, I like having these little touches in my work wardrobe, especially so close to Halloween!

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