Magical Spring Cleaning


Just as the body is a vessel for our soul, so our home is a temple for our body.

Happy Ostara! The Spring vibes make me energetic and want to clean everything in sight, so I thought I would post about magical spring cleaning.

Witches and cleaning. I see a lot of people, witches included, posting about their boredom with mundane cleaning. I get it. There are 10,000 other things to do in a day. As a mom of two toddlers, cleaning doesn’t always happen the way that I would like it to in my house. Before my children were born, I’ll admit that I was very lack-luster when it came to housework. Since raising a family of my own, I now see the link between cleaning and health as well as the effects cleaning has on the mind and happiness.

That being said, I think that there are other ways to look at methods of cleaning, time spent cleaning, and expectations of cleaning.

Spirituality and Cleaning

In many cultures and religious practices, cleaning has a close relationship to the divine. Hinduism associates cleaning of the home and of the body to a devotion to the gods. Cleaning is also believed to be a form of spiritual purification because it is a time to tend to the self, family, and the home but not material or worldly pursuits (like shopping, working, money, etc).

Hestia, the greek goddess of the hearth fire, was said to bestow blessings on those who had clean and orderly homes. Eostre, the Germanic goddess of Spring, and her maidens were said to collect water from brooks on Easter morning. This water was sacred and was said to restore youth. The women used the magic water for their skin and clothes washing.

In Japan, Ōsōji, or “the big clean”, is one of the central cultural values and has its origins in Shintoism where cleaning was akin to purity.

Even in witchcraft, cleaning has metaphorical as well as functional purposes. We clean the altar, take ritual baths, and use salt to clean physically and purify our environment energetically. Modern witchcraft also uses crystals, incense, and magical aids to cleanse the home but some of these practices have origins in various shamanic or indigenous traditions.

I consider myself somewhat of a kitchen witch and I believe that the home is sacred. Wherever you may be staying, no matter your feelings about that space, there is something sacred about cleaning your space. It is an extension of you. Just as the body is a vessel for our soul, so our home is a temple for our body.

There are a large range of topics for magical cleaning. I’m going to go through the ones that I personally use most often being a busy mom and career woman:

  • Air Purification
  • Floor Washes
  • Crystals and grids
  • Baking soda and Essential Oils

Air Purification

Air becomes stagnant. My grandmother, who is an Aquarius, always believed in clearing stagnant air. When I was young, she used to put things outside to “air out” and let the sun freshen up pillows, cushions, blankets, etc. She also opened the windows often to let fresh air through. As an air sign, she is definitely a force of nature (she is doing great and is 89 years old!) and unconsciously feels that drive to clear out the stagnant things in life.

I practice her wisdom and open the windows often, run the fans, and clear out the filters in our home. But there are also more energetic ways to purify the air in a magical home.

The burning of plant materials such as sage, lemongrass, palo santo and other herbal smudges and incense not only kills certain bacteria in the air, it also emits positive ions.

I burn one of these plants at least once a week, clearing out my sacred space. I do leave the windows open at least a crack in order to allow the negative energy an exit but also to make sure it doesn’t irritate my sleeping childrens’ lungs. I’ve never seen them react adversely to any incense but I am cautious nonetheless.

For the rest of the time, I burn oil diffusers. I have 2 diffusers currently, one upstairs and one downstairs. The best oils for purifying and energetic cleaning, in my opinion, are rosemary, lemongrass, tea-tree, lemon, and mint. Often I will combine all of the oils and diffuse them (much like thieves oil).

Floor Washes

Floor washes stem from the hoodoo practice of washing with particular potions, herbs, or vinegar in order to produce a desired effect.

Traditional witches often use this practice as well. I am not an expert on floor washes but have used them a few times.

The idea is to make an infusion of an herb with whatever magical properties you are after (lemongrass is the one I have used) and some kind of liquid (some choices are vinegar, herbal tea, water, or alcohol). Even though you will be physically mopping with your floor wash, it is not designed to thoroughly clean your floor. Most instructions for floor washes suggest cleaning the floor first with your normal cleaner. Hoodoo suppliers sell floor washes but you can make your own. Pour boiling over your herb and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Strain out the herb and pour the “tea” into your mop or a bucket. Add a few drops of an essential oil that corresponds to your magical purpose. Mop the floor with the infusion.

If you have unwanted (human) visitors in your home, you can ensure that they do not return anytime soon by mopping your floor from the back of the house to the front door. This act energetically “pushes” their footprints back out of the door so that they do not easily return. It also helps to clear the space of their unwanted energies.

Florida water is another great cleaner that can be used as a floor wash but I will post a recipe for this soon in another post.

Crystals and Grids

Crystals may not physically clean anything but energetically, they certainly do tidy up the negative vibes. I have never met a crystal that I didn’t like. To some degree, all crystals charge their environment with energy and assist in transmuting energy. My personal favorites are selenite, citrine, amethyst, smoky quartz, and quartz. I have large specimens of these crystals which fill my sacred space with a beautiful, spiritual light. I have a large flat selenite wand which I place beside me at night and it is glorious for that purpose. The large specimens of amethyst create a mystic healing vibe that I adore. Amethyst is not my birthstone but so far, it is my favorite crystal. It is so alive and has so much depth.

For serious clearing of negative energy, an absorbing stone (usually a black stone like jet, smoky quartz, obsidian, or black tourmaline) and a purifying stone (selenite, amethyst, citrine, or clear quartz) create the balance you need. The black stone will draw the negative energy into itself and the purifying stone will fill the space with positive vibes and healing.

Crystal grids are basically mandalas made from crystals. You arrange your crystals into a design. You can base this design on a layout that you find online, on sacred geometry, or you can use your intuition. Crystal grids help to amplify the energy of the crystals by allowing the crystals to interact in such a way that their energy is focused into the task you have charged them to do.

Baking Soda and Essential Oils

Baking soda is excellent. I love myself some baking soda. There is a look of concern on my loved ones faces when they see the size of the bag of baking soda that I buy. My toddler actually tries to eat my baking soda because he sees how much I adore it and use it for all of my cleaning purposes. Baking soda is so amazing because it absorbs a lot of nasties. The gross stuff sticks to it until it is vacuumed or swept away. I use it to repel bugs, freshen furniture and carpets, take baths with it, create homemade cleaners, etc. Anyway, enough of that gushing.

Magically, baking soda assists in removing the negativity in the environment. Infusing the baking soda with cleaning oils like lemongrass, lemon, mint, etc, will make any blankets, furniture, or carpets smell delicious (thus the reason why my son thinks it is dessert). The lovely smell of the oils and the super-clean feeling of the fabrics is bliss. Once you vacuum or wash the fabrics infused with the baking soda, the negativity sticks to the baking soda and is then disposed of.

Alright, well, I think this post has been long enough, perhaps too long! Drop a comment below on if you enjoyed this post or about your magical cleaning tips and tricks.

Blessings,

Ambyr

Deck Review: Spiritsong Tarot

At last I am posting a review for this gorgeous Tarot Deck!

As I sit typing, trying to ignore my migraine (due to the pressure changes in the weather), I still have my window open and am appreciating the cool spring air.

While searching online for a new Tarot deck, I stumbled upon the Spiritsong and could not get over the beauty of the artwork. The images are quite spiritual yet soft on the eyes and deceptively simplistic. This is the perfect deck for spring.

When I first began taking Tarot seriously, I told myself I would not own more than one deck and would not switch them for the seasons. Now that I am reading Tarot daily, I choose the deck by intuition (when reading for others) and mood (when reading for myself).

Back of the cards (left) and guidebook

This deck has an uplifting and encouraging mood. Even the most negative cards from the Rider-Waite deck (10 of swords, I’m looking at you) are represented in a positive light. This deck is fantastic for when you are feeling low-vibe, tired, or anxious.

The 3 of feathers (3 of swords) and the 10 of feathers (10 of swords)

An interesting note about this deck is that it works very well as an oracle. All Tarot can be used as an oracle deck but I find that the Spiritsong can stand alone because the individual cards do not seem to connect to each other as much as some decks…they lack the interconnected story of cards with figures on them.

Card Quality

The cards are not overly thick but have a stiffness to them which allows for frequent and thorough shuffling. The seem as though they will hold up reasonably well through time. They are of a medium (normal) size like most Rider Waite based decks, allowing for easy handling for those who do not have large hands. The sheen is slight-they are neither matte nor overly glossy.

Color and Aesthetics

The shading used on the cards has a watercolor effect. Most colors are light and use a gradient in the images to create a dream-like quality. Words that I would use to describe the aesthetic are: New Age, spiritual, dreamy, green-witch. The pastel colors that are used the most throughout the deck are green, blue, yellow, and brown.

Despite the softness of the colors, the animals depicted are realistic but embellished with symbols and intricate designs which create patterns that are unique in each card. The pattern of the background really makes the cards feel “alive” and “growing”.

Suits-Minor Arcana

Even though the deck is based on Rider Waite, the suits have different names: cups are represented as shells, pentacles are represented as crystals, swords are represented as feathers, and wands are represented as acorns. Each minor arcana card incorporates the images of their suit in the background art.

Major Arcana

Most of the major arcana are the same as the traditional cards except those listed below:

The Lovers and Judgement

Hierophant-Shaman

Death- Transformation

Judgement-Awakening

The Devil-The Shadow

The Lovers-Love

In conclusion

This is a gorgeous deck which views negative situations in a healing vibe and growth-mindset perspective. It works extremely well as an Oracle but not as well as a shadow working deck or when you need blunt answers.

Let me know if you have any questions about this deck or if you have worked with it.

Blessings,

Ambyr

Ostara altar and two new tarot decks!

The birds are chirping, the weather is warming, and our senses are tingling- It’s Spring! Join me as I show you my new altar and a sneak peek at my 2 new decks!

It seems I cannot escape dark altar colors. I really tried! I work with dark goddess energies so the deep purple is fitting.

Who Is Ostara?

Ostara is the goddess of Spring. Her exact origins are unclear but she seems to have Germanic and Anglo Saxon origins. Spring festivals were held in her honor and it was a common ritual to gather water from brooks or the moisture of dew to wash up with to add beauty and youthfulness to the skin. Because of the eggs in birds nests and chickens during this season, Ostara (or Easter as it was later called) has always been associated with colorful eggs and new life.

Planning My Altar

When thinking about my altar, I knew that I wanted to brighten it up for this season. Throughout the winter, I did not have an altar cloth on the table and the wood beneath is black. The purple tapestry with the gold embroidery and tassels really liven up the altar. Purple is the color I associate with Hekate (sometimes black and red but purple seems more fitting), my matron goddess, so I chose to set my altar in this color rather than the whites, robin egg blues, and Tiffany greens associated with Ostara and spring.

I added an offering bowl filled with flowers that I have collected over the years as a touch of florals since I do not currently have fresh flowers.

The glass ball is symbolic of the dew which was collected by folklore traditions and also symbolizes divination which is a large part of my life. I love the way the reflected colors sparkle inside of the ball!

Sneak Peek of the SpiritSong Tarot Cards!

I chose small, colorful crystals to represent the eggs of Ostara. The blue lace agate (the pale blue stone) is just beautiful and really captures the energy of this Sabbat. Many of the crystals had a natural egg shape. As April approaches I will put some dyed eggs on the altar as well.

The dried rose petals add a pop of color and softness to the altar and also continue this month’s theme of self-love.

There are few things more exciting than opening up new tarot decks!

Wiccan or Witch?

Even though I do not exactly classify myself as Wiccan (I use the term solitary witch), my first experiences with witchcraft were through a form of solitary Wicca. I have stopped certain practices from my original rituals that were inherently Wiccan and chose to keep others which I feel are still important to my practice. I celebrate Ostara because of its connections to Spring Pagan festivals. I am a child of spring myself, so I feel compelled to honor this season.

Sneak Peek at the 2 new decks!

An Ostara gift that I gave to myself are two new decks. What better way to welcome new beginnings than with Tarot! The SpiritSong deck captures Spring perfectly and The Universe Has Your Back Oracle provides loving messages with each card. If you follow me on Instagram, @Higherselftarot, you may have seen a card or two from SpiritSong. I will be reviewing each of these decks in full detail very soon!

What does your Ostara Altar look like? What inspired you in your design choices?

Blessings,

Ambyr

*Contact me at HighestSelfTarot@yahoo.com or send me a PM to book a heart centered email reading!

*Follow me on Instagram @HighestSelfTarot

*Tumblr-TarotandTorch

Waxing Moon Self Care Ritual- Taurus moon energy

Self-care rituals are a form of magic. This ritual reveals our inner beauty and light.

Firstly, let me begin by saying that I’m a mom of 2 little ones with a full-time teaching career and a card-slinging life on the side. Self-care rituals are not a monthly occurrence for me. My children are the core of my life and after them, my students and tarot querants. My eldest will be four in May and I have *just now* started coming back to treating myself to nice things. I think it is the empath in me.

Vanilla bean macaron tea, candles, and an aromatic bath with rose petals
The Universe Has Your Back Oracle Deck-It is brand new so I gave it a whirl and this was the card 🙂

This month’s goal is self-love so I decided, under the waxing Taurus moon (my sun is under Taurus) to let myself enjoy the evening at my own pace and treat myself to a luxurious bath and all the self-care treasures that I can.

The Spirituality of Earthy Taurus:

Taurus is an earth sign symbolized by the bull and born in the months April 20-May 21. This sign loves to experience the pleasures of the senses. Soft fabric, spicy and floral scents, and foods that are aromatic and flavorful. Taurus also has a spiritual side, but it is about finding the spiritual in the material and natural things in the world. A unique and well-prepared dinner can be a spiritual experience to a Taurus because it allows them to tap into their creativity and intuition. Sex can be a spiritual experience to a Taurus because of the energy passed between the flesh and the connection to the highest-self. (Buy us chocolate).

Using the Energy of the Waxing Moon

The waxing moon is when the moon’s luminosity increases after the new moon. The moon is building its light back to the full moon phase. During this time, our mind and spirit experiences a little lift as our energy picks up and we feel less sluggish. The new moon that just passed was the time of making our goals, the waxing moon is planning and beginning to implement those goals into fruition.

Steps For A Waxing Moon Self-Care Ritual:

If your goal is self-love or self-care, (or you just want to treat yourself) then please read on for inspiration!

Step 1: Limit distractions. Yessss! Silence! Make sure the kids are in bed, pets are out of the room, lights are dimmed, other family members are busy or out (if possible).

Step 2: Ambiance. Set the mood with candles, music (I used celtic harp music), and incense or a diffuser with a delightful scent.

Step 3-Prepare a bath your favorite way. Add oils, flower petals, sea salts, etc. If you just prefer plain water or if you like bubbles, go for it! I used a blend of frankincense, rose, and cypress oils in my bath along with baking soda, dried rose petals, and sea salt.

Step 4- Enjoy. Put your phone down for a distraction free bath. Listen to your body and quiet your mind. I sipped Vanilla Macaroon tea (so good).

Step 5- Connect to the spirit or higher-self. Meditate, pray, talk to the ancestors, read tarot…participate in something that allows you to become one with the spiritual plane. This connects your body to your soul in a very earthy way. Even reflective practices such as journaling can help you connect to your higher-self. I did all of these things!

How do you celebrate your self-care and self-love rituals? Write a comment in the box below!

Coming soon- 2 Tarot deck reviews and my Ostara altar set up!

Using Tarot Responsibly- Truth and Ownership

The tarot. Many people see this system of cartomancy only as a way to read fortunes or as a game to play with. But the tarot can do many other amazing things…like tap into our subconscious mind where we can grow as people and find our role in the world. It can also be an aid to magic and a focal point on manifesting the life you want.

Use the page of swords to find the illusions in your life and remove them.

Whether tarot readers or tarot learners, we have a responsibility to be honest with ourselves. If you were given a magical sword which could cut through lies and illusions, would you use it? What would happen after you removed the lie? Would another fill that space? How can you heal from the lie you told to yourself or the illusion which someone made you believe?

If you seek the tarot in any form, you are a truth seeker. As truth seekers, it is a responsibility to unveil the truth, encourage truth, speak our truth, and act on this truth. Sure, there are times when I see the cards and I feel my stomach flip. We often know the truth in the pit of our belly and when that truth is confirmed, it is not easy to swallow. We like to hope for things to improve, for the job to be more enjoyable, for our family to be more understanding, for our spouse or children to be more agreeable…but are we doing all we can to do to improve those situations? When you find the truth, what will you do with it? Will you quit your job, move to another environment, break up with a toxic boyfriend/girlfriend?

There are times when we cannot act. There are times when we must wait and endure the undesirable situation. There are also times when we tell ourselves that we are trapped and in reality, there is an easy exit.

When we are forced to go through challenging times, the best thing we can do is to look inward and start examining how we got there. There are often patterns of behavior like low self-esteem, poor boundaries, dishonesty, lack of motivation, lack of self-love, etc. which attract the wrong people and situations into our life. Tarot gives us our power back to face that truth about ourselves and make empowered choices going forward. If you are healed on the inside, you will attract more of what you want.

The tarot asks that you look within yourself for the truth. What is your relationship to truth? Are you being honest to yourself? Are you being honest with others? Are you taking credit for the work or thoughts of others? How can you repair your relationship with truth?

Be careful to give credit where credit is due.

Sometimes we think that little lies will help other people. It is a band-aid. It is like putting a band-aid over a gushing wound and expecting that wound will close on its own. If you are trying to help someone, tell them the hard truth. The truth will allow them to face their issue with full power and clarity and then make the choice themselves whether they want to act or not. If you tell little lies, you are stealing someone else’s power without them even knowing it. It is destructive. Yes the truth is hard, painful even, and yes people will become angry with you for telling it. But guess what? They get over it. And there are some who could use a little pain and suffering at times in order to become better or stronger. If you are a tarot reader, this is especially important. People come to you and are waiting for your guidance. Querants put much faith in our ability to read the cards correctly and truthfully. Some do expect lies and placation but will that help them?

It is only through the lack of deceit and lies that we can rebuild ourselves and thus, our society and the world around us. Fix yourself and it will have a trickle down effect to your family, friends, and others who you meet. Become truth. Empower others.

Blessings,

Ambyr

(If you would like a heart-centered tarot reading from me, email or private message me on wordpress. Email: highestselftarot@yahoo.com )

New Moon in Pisces, Making Incense, and having chocolate

There is nothing like drinking a cup of hot turmeric tea, having Godiva chocolate, and listening to the wind chimes outside while sitting in my sacred space. Tomorrow is the New Moon in Pisces.

New moons are the time when we, like the light of the moon, retreat back into ourselves and reflect on how our month has unfolded. The New Moon is all about intention-setting, planning, and reflecting. During this quiet darkness, our intuition is sparked. Divination comes more easily (though many witches prefer the full moon for this, I work with the Hekate and the dark goddess energy) because we are apart from others and can quiet our mind.

The Pisces Dark Moon aids us in psychic and healing energies due to the element of water and the enlightened energy that this sign brings to the dark moon.

I made some divination incense and thought I would share the recipe. A note about homemade incense: it is simply not the same as store bought unless you have serious time on your hands. The incense I make has a magical function more than an aromatic experience. This incense is for clairvoyance specifically, but you can adjust the ingredients to match your intentions (or whatever herbs are in your pantry).

Divination Incense

You will need:

A Mortar and Pestle

Self Igniting incense

Jasmine

Mugwort

Sweet Orange Oil

1 Clove (or clove oil)

Calendula petals

The Process:

Note: your amounts will vary based on your intention and how much incense you want. A small pinch of each ingredient makes 2 cones for me.

Begin with the clove. Grind the clove with your mortar and pestle until it is in small pieces (it does not have to be a fine powder). Next, add the mugwort. Grind the two together until a thick powder forms. Next, add the flowers and grind them into the same consistency. Add the sweet orange oil and any other oils you wish at this time. Only add up to 4 drops. Add the self-igniting incense.
You only need a pinch or two but if you add more, it will create a larger amount of your homemade incense.

If you are using this as a loose powder incense or on top of a charcoal block, you do not want to add any water. You The nice thing about the self igniting incense is that you can burn loosely in a cauldron or fire-safe bowl.

If making cones:

If you are making cones, add a few drops of water. You want the incense to remain just a little dry so that it keeps its form and also burns later. Shape the powder into cone-like shapes with your hands. I like to form a ball and then press the sides together and flatten the bottom to make the cone-shape. Allow the cones to dry and harden for at least a few days. The longer they sit, the more firm they will become. It is normal for them to be a little crumbly and misshapen because they are hand-made. The intention is what matters!

I hope you enjoyed this little piece of my evening and were able to take some ideas with you about your own New Moon Intention Ritual.

Blessings,

~Ambyr

The Fool Is…dead?

The Fool Card…in Tarot he is depicted as young, full of life, passionate about his adventure… and blissfully unobservant.

In the typical interpretation of The Fool’s Journey, the Fool encounters many archetypes (major Arcana) and grows from each new experience of living vicariously through them and the knowledge they possess. But the image on the card displays the Fool walking close to the edge of a cliff; what if he did indeed fall from the cliff? What if the Fool’s Journey is really a descent into the afterlife or reincarnation?

Perhaps the purpose of the micro-lessons in the Tarot card meanings are actually to show us that complete self mastery is impossible to accomplish in a single lifetime.