Deck Unveiling: Dark Days Tarot

Favorite month = favorite deck! Dark Days Tarot, a small-run independent deck, came rather recently. The deck is square, and instead of being read in just upright or reversed positions, the cards are meant to be read 4 ways (don’t worry, the guidebook covers each directional reading). It’s a really great concept that lets you dive in much deeper than many other decks.

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The deck, inspired by the dark moon, lets us delve into our shadow selves, exploring our dreams, desires, and the unexplored crevices of our subconscious. And it’s is queer as hell, and full of mermaids.

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Plus, Wren has one of the most extensive websites I’ve seen devoted to a single deck, and sends out a tarot newsletter with every dark moon. Go get lost in the magic at DarkDaysTarot.com

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“Fuck That Noise” blend

I’ve been wearing a raw black tourmaline pendant, pretty much exclusively, since November, and upped protective magic in my overall practice. I think a lot of us have, tbh. And there’s this thing that I’ve noticed, that when my focus is solely on protective work, with fists raised, I harden so quickly. Because I forget to add a little something to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.* What good is protective magic if we’re not protecting ourselves from shutting down emotionally?

So here’s a simple blend for oil or a spell jar that doubles up on protection from all the hateful noise around us (and within us), while keeping our emotional health at the forefront.

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In a 1/2 oz. jar (oil) or 1/4 oz. jar (dry)

1/8 tsp. Dragons blood* resin chips and powder (may replace with 6-9 drops of oil if making an oil)
1/16 tsp. ground Palo Santo wood (may replace with 3 drops of oil if you are making an oil)
3 black whole peppercorns
9 straight pins
Pinch of coarse sea salt
Carrier oil if making an oil

A suggested incantation to say while making the blend:

Dragons blood and peppercorn,
keep me safe and keep me strong.
Palo Santo, for head and heart,
sooth me as I go along.
3 pins help self-doubt decay,
3 pins make others words wash away,
and 3 pins keep the worlds shit at bay.

Happy crafting!

Notes: if you use raw materials for oil, let sit for 3 days before draining, and remember to keep the straight pins in the bottle. Also, as this blend contains black peppercorn, be careful if using it as an oil for candle work. As always, be safe, smart, and sensible.

*I use Dragons blood very sparingly given that it’s habitat is shrinking and it’s not always harvested in environmentally friendly ways. Some suggest a substitution of equal parts red sandalwood and frankincense, though I tend to substitute rosemary or a piece of black tourmaline if they balance in the spell.

 

Welcome, October

Whoooo hooo!! Time for my (and many others) favorite month! Outwardly, it means getting less side-eye when wearing spirit-board leggings and or my resin quail skull necklace. It also, a little weirdly, means I get a little nicer. I find myself saying shit like “Oh, you want a free 3-hour tarot reading? sure, why not!” or “Here’s the perfect combination or crystals and herbs, I think, for you… what’s that, you want me to make you a charm bag? no problem!” Or, in other words, the outward emotional labor of witching in October verges on, well, fun. Also! Halloween parties! Costumes! Old classic witchy movies! Silly B-grade horror movies! Down right terrifying movies! So. Many. Movies!

But October is so much more than the outward display and fun. For me, it’s a time to make a concerted effort to focus inward by refocusing on pursuits like knitting, weaving, writing or drawing left ignored under the summer sun, to get the last of the household duties tied up and put to rest as the earth seems to go to rest, and to (re)connect with and step my game on honoring ancestors (by blood or choice or respect). It’s a chance to make a concerted effort to honor them, in some way, every day (and it’s, of course, also the month where they are most likely to answer back). My dreams get wild in the fall.

Since moving I still haven’t fully gotten all my little altars up everywhere, but I wanted to make sure my house altar was cleaned and pretty close to finished by October 1st. My house altar is literally a house (thanks, Ikea!) and I love it! It includes photos of my blood ancestors, trinkets from dead relatives and friends, and, in one room, trinkets and photos of my living family. There are many schools of thought on mixing altars to the dead with altars to the living, and I sit in the camp that it’s just fine, and more powerful, in some ways, to have the ones we love(d) in close proximity watching over us. Even so, our little family household is in a room to it’s own, connected, yet disconnected.

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It still needs a little work, but some photos and trinkets need to be tracked down, and as they pop up they’ll be added. One of the aspects I wanted to honor in my house alter was hard truths–there’s a lot of history of mental illness and substance abuse throughout my blood lines. There’s also extreme resilience (and stubbornness) and grit. The blue of the candle is to bring some peace and harmony, and the raw amethyst and rose quartz (both which I haven’t used on a regular basis in a long time, but am trying to soften myself to and be more open to using) is to bring some healing, balance, and clarity to all of us, living and dead. Whiskey in my great grandmothers teacup is for all us femme spitfires. And fresh water because it’s the least I can do. My core family space also houses lavender from our wedding, a peach pit (love and protection), and tiger iron (protection and clarity).

What does October mean to you, and how are some ways you honor that?