Today is my maternal grandmother’s birthday, 7/11. She was a boss in every sense of the word. She ran the books, the businesses, the households. Wife, mother, partner. Shrewd and with one of the strongest senses of discernment I’ve ever known. While these qualities made her an amazing business owner, they often complicated her relationship with her children and, of course, me (her only grandchild). I learned a lot about people and negotiation watching her. The things she could do with money and a business were amazing. But years of fighting to survive starting at a super young age and then going into television and radio, followed by construction, and then finally the healthcare sector created a toughness that never really went away — not even at home with a four year old.
Though she passed over a decade ago, it has taken some work to process how her parenting decisions impacted my childhood. While I value my independence and disinterest in what my peers think of my hobbies or abilities, I’m still struggling to break free from the isolationism and the harsh black-and-white view I can have of other people’s judgement. As an adult, I’ve come to realize that it is important to have a support system of friends for when times are tough and when you just want to have some fun. There’s still quite a bit unwiring and rewiring to do. However, through my efforts to move past the upset and see her more completely as a woman, I’ve arrived at a place where I can value both her abilities and accomplishments.
Before this reading, I was actually praying and crying to her. I really need those qualities, her super powers, right now. Her drive, her strength, her determination, her business sense, her wisdom about money. That steel to keep me held up cause there’s nobody left to help pick me up anymore. I’m all I’ve got at the minute. Add to it that I’m like most Geminis and I make my best money when I’m happy and energized. If I could just tap into her energy and get supercharged, it could really help me turn a corner I feel. Plus there was always this vibe of unflappability she projected. She was human and I know things got to her. But she always said that there would be a time to cry later. It’s good that I’m learning to access and process my emotions through shadow work, but I still need to be able to put them to the side in order to see a situation clearly and make the best decision.
I asked what Goddesses I should also look to for qualities that I need to accomplish my goals. Shuffling the deck, these are the two Goddesses that came out:
Editor’s Note: I’ve gone back and forth on how deeply I want to dive on this as it involves another family member. While I have gone to great lengths to keep this (online and real life) part of myself quarantined from my family, there is always the possibility that they somehow stumble upon this blog. If they ever read this, to them I would say: I believed you were genuine when you said you wanted to build a relationship and so was I. If you have gotten past these issues enumerated below (or would like help in doing so), I am open to continuing forward.
A few years ago, my father reconnected with a woman he had known overseas and quite quickly married her. There’s a lot of history between this woman and my father, my father and her husband, and my father and my mother. Like my mother, I had no idea about most of it. I’m not sure she even knew all of it before she died as my father had only spilled the beans during their first separation (which happened six months after my mother’s passing). This post is not about my father’s marriage to my mother and their subsequent divorce just as it’s not about the shenanigans he and my (now) stepmother participated in before my mother came along or their eventual surprise reunification and marriage. My mother had remarried (and divorced) in the intervening years so I had already dealt with a stepparent/family situation before. Again, that dynamic isn’t a factor here.
This entry is purely about my stepmother and how she has impacted my journey as a Baby Witch.
This first time I met my stepmother was the Thanksgiving before my mother died. I had no idea what to expect as my father was very stingy with information about her. All I knew was that she was Puerto Rican, had worked overseas at the air force base where he was stationed, and the love they felt then was just as intense as they felt it now nearly forty years later. He was the happiest I had ever known him to be in my life. Seriously.
Was it any surprise that I was going to do a Valentine’s Day reading with The Lovers Path Tarot? It’s such a beautiful deck. And full of wisdom! I keep it in this embroidered burgundy and gold drawstring bag that matches the palette of the deck’s artwork. I had been looking around a bit for a cloth to do readings on for it and happened across this gorgeous vintage Oscar de la Renta scarf with all the reds, pinks, and purples a person could want. My heart!
I have this relative that I’ve mentioned previously, the fire sign. She’s a maternal figure of sorts. She’s my mother’s sister. We have a very complicated relationship and it’s something I’ve really been working to improve. Earlier today, I was trying to help her with something. Unfortunately, it was beyond my ability and she’d have to find someone else to get it sorted. I came back to my desk to do my Valentine’s Day reading and she was sorta floating in and out of my head a bit whilst I was trying to get centered. It wasn’t enough to get me to stop shuffling, so I just went with it. Up come the Six of Swords and the Wheel of Fortune cards.
Queen of Wands is like that creative spark of energy. Your summer bonfire. Fireworks on the Fourth of July. She’s full of passion, energy and sparkle. Warm, friendly, and has the ability to charm her way. She’s also fiercely loyal. Sociable. She’s the best friend you know you can confide in and she will just hug you so tight while making plans in her head to either cheer you up or go after the boy who made you cry.
She is a force to be reckoned with. She is the lioness who will always protect her cubs. She will defend the underdog. She’s like a field of wildflowers and dancing in the rain. She’s like the scent of sweet amber and sandalwood musk; sensual and romantic.
Astrologically speaking, she represents the Fire Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Queen of Cups is like the perfect temperature of pool water. It’s not too hot or too cold, it’s comfortable. She’s like… that like feeling you have when walking into your grandmother’s house and smelling fresh baked cookies. She is the mom of the group. Her friends are her family, and her family is everything. She is homelike and nurturing. She’s like that feeling you get after you walk in the door from a long day at work and you take off your heels and bra. It’s like total comfort. She’s the care package your mom sent when you moved away for college. She’s like a vase of beautiful roses.
She is the sound and tranquility of a quiet babbling brook, but her emotions can be dark and strong like a raging river. She’s beautiful and compassionate.
Astrologically speaking, she represents the Water Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Queen of Swords is like that quick-witted girl you wish you could be more like. Have you ever played a scenario in your head over and over about what you should have said? Or like 3 hours later, you come up with a brilliant comeback? She already thought of those brilliant words, said them, and walked away. She’s like the sharp-tongued Great Aunt who cuts through the BS and won’t put up with it. She’s also quite clever, bit quirky, always thinking, and figuring things out. While the Queen of Wands can put on the charm to get her way, the Queen of Swords uses intellect and reason.
She is a woman of her word. She means what she says, and says what she means. She has a good heart and has the best intentions, but would rather not sugarcoat things. She’s like the cool, crisp air in the early morning.
Astrologically speaking, she represents the Air Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius.
Queen of Pentacles is like walking into an old library and breathing in that familiar scent of books. Or a stack of money. She’s the boss lady. She has great work ethic and incredible dedication. She is seen as the “roots” of the family. The Matriarch. Where the Queen of Cups is the mother, this is the grandmother. The top lady that everyone respects and values. Someone who is grounded, stable. She’s the valedictorian at your high school and voted most likely to succeed. She is practical. She’s the foundation of the strongest building. She can be stubborn and set in her ways, but she can see what others cannot. She is down to earth, wise beyond her years, and very responsible. She is like the root of the strongest oak tree.
It’s possible that she’s not wealthy in a monetary sense, but her wisdom and life experiences make her the richest woman in the world.
Astrologically speaking, she represents the Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.
Had a bit of a rough day, partly because I’m struggling with that one fire sign (a maternal figure in my life) and also experiencing episodes of frustration over seemingly not seeing things opening up for me.
The first row of cards illustrates this ‘on the verge’ of a break through, but kinda stuck. All reversed Page of Cups, Nine of Cups, and the Death card.
Asking about what is preventing me from getting to the next level, reversed Temperance, followed by the Five of Pentacles came up. Seeing the two people in this card with the context of being “distempered”, I had to face that this person, who has caused a lot of pain to me and other relatives, is at an age and with certain health problems that is making them unable to be as independent as they once were. Not as powerful (reversed King of Wands), but they still try to project this image (reversed the Magician).
This reading actually came out as I was shuffling to clean my cards after finishing up the reading I originally sat down to do. The first out were the King of Cups, Ace of Swords reversed, and King of Pentacles. Oh boy.
I asked for clarity on both Kings. To be fair, I was 90% certain who the Cups was though I do have a couple of Pisces in my life. But the Earth Sign could be so many different people. That’s always been an interesting thing: I draw in (or am attracted to?) a lot of Earth Energy from friends to lovers. Big surprise the Scorpio comes up with the Death Card. I so love Nakisha’s Rabbit Tarot for many reasons, but especially this card. Not going to lie, I had a bit of heartache seeing it and the Eight of Cups together. Sigh. I hear you.
When it comes to readings about love and relationships, I look at tarot reversals with cups as an emptying out of emotions — the person can’t be in denial or keep them contained any longer in contrast to say the Ace of Cups which is positive and jubilant and overflowing happily. In a situation like this where it clearly is in reference to a particular person or energy, I look at this and see an Earth sign with either heavy water placements or presenting as if they are very watery, which may be temporary and only in this situation. I have an ex who is a Taurus Sun with a Scorpio Moon and he is notorious for bottling up his emotions and turning them inward. Could it be him? I wouldn’t be surprised.
I was journaling in my Book of Shadows about Soul Fragmentation and trauma when I started to think about fetal development.
From this University of Maine bulletin: When children are faced with physical or emotional stress or trauma, the hormone cortisol is released. High levels of cortisol can cause brain cells to die and reduces the connections between the cells and certain areas of the brain harming vital brain circuits. Two important possibilities here: damaged or miswired. http://bit.ly/298Y4hg
Regarding a baby in the womb:
At 10 weeks, the brain and kidneys are functioning.
At 19 weeks, senses are developing.
At 23 weeks, hearing is developed enough to pick up your voice and heartbeat and the sense of movement has developed enough to feel the mother’s major movement.
At 28 weeks, vision is developed enough that bright continuous light outside the mother’s body may be detected.
That’s mostly second trimester development. This is purely from a physical/anatomical time line, the progression of awareness and sensitivity a baby has inside its mother. If stress can negatively impact an infant’s brain development, what about an unborn baby who has reached these milestones of growth? And what about the potential for injuring the spirit of that baby or at least negatively impacting its energy?
Got into a rather serious row with my Scorpio friend earlier tonight. I took it personal and he followed in kind. We wound up talking it out almost right after it went down.
Though he was right about what we were arguing over, I brought something into it that while related — didn’t have anything to do with what happened.
A couple months ago we had that big row and I got what I thought would be the closest I’d ever get to an apology for what was said from him. Well, he apologized for all of it tonight.
I was floored. That’s a big deal. The things he said just… I love his heart so much.
The weapon we used to hurt each other earlier was the same: how people perceive us. It was so analogous to how people also perceive Scorpio — that hard shell, the pinchers, the poisoned tail. Not very cuddly on the outside. But man, there are so many instances when I just want to hug him when I see his tenderness hiding away in there. His heart is deep. Not just buried under the armour, but deep in its own capacity.
Had a really good couple of days. Hung out with some mates, played video games, and laughed for hours.
Resurrected my car photography account. I would like to eventually link it here, but I’m not certain that’s a good idea right now. See below.
Some excellent news on the family side of things. I got caught cleaning egg shells for Cascarilla powder by a relative. Wound up tripping and falling out of the broom closet. She was very encouraging and asked if she could learn with me.
I very gently reminded her that not everyone is accepting of a path like mine. She reiterated her support and seemed to understand the reference to my father and stepmum.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time the last few days picking up where I left off in terms of researching deity and different pantheons. It’s a really nice way to build trust in your intuition. Just kinda clicked through wiki and flipped through different bios reading, learning, seeing who resonates. Probably going to take the rest of the week before looking to see if there’s any major concentration, which could direct me to a particular tradition.
Forgot to post these calavera themed bottles from my trip to Total Wine last night.
On the left is tequila reposado and on the right is tequila blanco, both by Dona Celia.
I collect all things Dia de Muertos, from plates to figurines to stuffed toys and art. It’s a holiday that I care very much about, but also try to incorporate its values and practices all throughout the year when it comes to those who have passed.
Sadly, I’m not a tequila drinker, but these bottles were beautiful. Wish I could’ve picked up at least the black and yellow one. Interestingly enough, my maternal grandmother collected ornate fragrance bottles and glass figurines. I adore extravagant and artistic packaging. Definitely will keep an eye out closer to my birthday.
I’m such a sucker for packaging. Picked up some vodka today to make some Florida Water and stumbled across this trio.
Going to tweak the recipe: red for love intentions, white for cleansing, and the blue I might do for inner work.
I saw Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Head also had this beautiful large skull with an Aurora Borealis finish that is filled with a vodka made different from the original CHV. But I couldn’t justify shelling out 70 dollars for it right now. Maybe closer to my birthday.
I’m not a vodka drinker and bought this purely for magick work. However, it is supposed to be rather tasty. To make room for the oils and herbs, I’m gonna need to drain some off anyway 👀 and I do have some fresh Cara Cara orange juice in the fridge.
So, this happened: Six of Swords, then both Nine of Swords and King of Pentacles reversed.
And then this happened: The Tower, the Sun, and the Lovers cards make an appearance.
That water sign business at the bottom there, oh boy. Thank God I have a pair of personal flotation devices built in.
I arranged the cards the way I did to highlight the imagery I see, e.g. the change in the couple falling out of the tower to their state in the lovers card, the journey and humbling of the water sign at the bottom.
As an aside, I’m not entirely sold that that King of Pentacles up there is my Taurean ex. I often associate him with the Knight/King. That’s the obvious answer. Moving on from the situation fully, out come the swords, his title/influence in my life taken away. This may be speaking more to a state of mind I’ve been battling, which also relates to Mr. Taurus.
2019 is going to be interesting. I may post the rest of this reading later.