Craving Silence as Winter Arrives


Bare branches and a bit of blue sky.

I have definitely been feeling the shift into winter over the past week or so. Most of the leaves have fallen from our trees now, and bare branches are silhouetted against gray clouds—lots of gray clouds. We have entered the rainy season here, where every glimpse of sunshine is something to celebrate. The energy feels quiet, still, slow.

As winter has arrived, I have been drawing into myself more and more, and I have been craving silence. During the election, I got addicted, truly addicted, to checking Facebook and my various news sources throughout the day, over and over again. It was a compulsion I just couldn’t seem to stop. I have managed to cut back since the election, mainly because most of the things I read either make me feel depressed or angry, but I’m still craving more silence, more blank space, and much less input from the outside world.

So I have decided to challenge myself to give up news, podcasts, and Facebook starting with tomorrow’s new moon until the next new moon on December 28. I will also limit my TV watching and cut back on blog reading, but I’m still deciding on the parameters for those. I will continue using Instagram, but will limit it to checking in twice a day, no more than 10 minutes at a time.

Okay, whew, I feel a little anxious just writing all that! Can I do it??? This is how I know I have a problem, because it is frightening to think of letting it go!

Part of me feels guilty about tuning out the news, like I’m being a bad citizen or sticking my head in the sand. But I feel like I need to do this for the sake of my own mental health. I have an anxiety disorder, and am prone to depression, especially this time of year, and nothing in the news right now is helping with either of those conditions. I feel like I’m constantly buzzing with other people’s stories, thoughts, and opinions and I can’t find the quiet space I need to hear my voice or the voice of Goddess. I’m sure if something dramatic happens, I will hear about it one way or another.


Someone will let me know, right?

But, what will I do with all this news and social media-free time I will have on my hands? I have been working my way through the book Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess by Demetra George, and my goal is to finish that by the Winter Solstice. I made a  commitment to myself to really work through the book, not just read it quickly  like I often do, but to dig deep, answer all the journal questions, and really absorb the material.  I also created a Dark Goddess rosary that I have been working with as I read the book.


My Dark Goddess rosary.

The book deals with shadow issues and shadow work, and last week I pulled out my SoulCollage™ book and materials and started working with them again. SoulCollage™ is very helpful for getting to know some of the shadowy aspects of our personalities, so I plan to keep making cards and working with them.


A few of my SoulCollage™ cards.

I also set up my Solstice Advent Wreath yesterday and lit my first candle for the Solstice Sun Wheel Prayer Circle that Beth Owl’s Daughter leads every year. It was beautiful to turn off the lights at dusk last night and light my candle and join my prayers with all the others who are lighting candles for hope and peace this season. I’m looking forward to doing that each Sunday evening until the Winter Solstice.


Solstice advent wreath, first Sunday.

I will also be spending time making plans for 2017 using my Biz & Life Planners from Leonie Dawson. I really enjoy using these workbooks and am excited to start setting some goals for 2017.


Yay for planners!

So that should keep me busy enough, while still leaving plenty of time for the quiet and stillness I crave at this time of year. I love curling up on the couch in the dark evenings with a cup of tea, a book and my journal. This year I’m really trying to flow with the quiet, introspective energy of winter instead of fighting it. Maybe we’ll even get lucky and have a day or two of snow!

May you be blessed by the quiet and stillness of winter!

(Buffy the Vampire screen cap original image source unknown.)

Tea Time! Soothing Recipes for the Holidays


Blending teas.

I love blending and drinking herbal teas. There is something about sipping a hot cup of fragrant herbal tea, sweetened with a touch of local honey, that just makes everything feel right with the world for a moment. As we enter the holiday season, I wanted to share a couple of tea blends I created that I use to soothe holiday stress and the digestive upsets that can occur from over-indulging in pumpkin pie or one too many holiday cookies.

I created these two tea blends several years ago mainly to help with the stress and bloating of PMS, but they’ve become my two favorite teas at any time of the month. The Evening Tea is light and soothing and helps me relax before bed, and it is also somewhat calming to my digestive system. However, if I am really bloated or have an acid tummy, Digestive Delight is the one I turn to. It is both relaxing and really great for helping ease digestive complaints.***

Evening Tea

1 part Lemon Balm
1 part Oatstraw
1 part Chamomile
1 1/2 parts Red Clover
1/2 part Spearmint

Digestive Delight Tea

3 parts Chamomile
2 parts Lemon Balm
1 part Lemon Verbena
1 part Lemongrass
1 part Peppermint
1/4 part Lavender

(Note: These recipes use dried herbs.)

To blend the teas, just choose a measuring device to act as your “part” for the recipe. This could be anything from a tablespoon to a cup. I usually use a quarter cup as my “part.” Combine the herbs in a bowl and then transfer to a jar for storage, or just add them to the jar you will store them in and shake it to mix the herbs.

To brew the teas, add a couple of spoonfuls of tea to a mesh tea ball or other tea steeping device, put it in your mug, and pour on boiling water. Steep the Digestive Delight tea about 5-10 minutes (it can get pretty strong, so start on the low end, and add extra hot water if it tastes too strong after steeping). Steep the Evening Tea 10-20 minutes. Digestive Delight is also really wonderful iced—I make a big pot of it and keep it in the fridge to drink in the evenings during the summer.

Now, light a candle, sit back, relax, and indulge in a few moments of peace and quiet as you sip your tea. Ahhhh…doesn’t that feel better?

Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating tomorrow!


Mountain Rose Herbs — a great source for high-quality bulk herbs if you don’t have access to a local herb shop.

Herbal Teas: 101 Nourishing Blends for Daily Health & Vitality — my favorite book of herbal tea blend recipes. It also has a great section in the back listing many herbs and their uses.

Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health — a great herbal reference book!

***I am not a trained herbalist and share these recipes simply as teas that I personally use and the results I have experienced, but I make no claims regarding their safety or efficacy. Please consult your doctor before using if you are taking any medications, or are pregnant or nursing, or if you may be allergic to any of the ingredients.

Goddess Rosaries and Prayer Beads, Part 3: Prayers

(This is the third post of a three-part series. See Part 1 for information on rosary styles and Part 2 for rosary design ideas.)

Once you have purchased or made a Goddess rosary, it is time to use it! But how? The true answer is—any way you want to, really! There is no one right way to use your prayer beads, so please use the information below as a starting point, but allow your own creativity and intuition to guide you to find the best way for you to work with your beads.

First, let’s look at the anatomy of a traditional-style rosary. I have made up some names for the sections of the rosary to make this explanation easier, but you can call them whatever you’d like.


Anatomy of a traditional-style rosary.

Starting on the pendant, you can say a prayer that you’ve created to begin your rosary prayers, or you could dedicate your prayer session to a particular goal or purpose, which is what I usually do. You might say, “I dedicate these prayers to creating peace and understanding between people in our country,” or “I dedicate these prayers to healing my anxiety.” Your purpose can be different each time. I usually choose something intuitively that seems most important to me at that moment.

On the introductory beads, you can pray the same prayer that you will use on the main beads, such as the “Gracious Goddess” prayer below. You could also invoke earth, sea and sky, or Maiden, Mother, and Crone. I like to use what I call “presence prayers” on these beads, which I first discovered on Lunaea Weatherstone’s website, and I believe were originally inspired by a prayer to Mary in the Carmina Gadelica. Basically, you say, “I come into your presence, thou…” and fill in the blank with whatever inspires you. For example you might use: Mistress of Magic, Foundation of All, Bright Lady, Goddess of Wisdom, She Who Binds Up Broken Hearts, etc. If “thou” doesn’t work for you, feel free to leave it out.

On the center bead, you can use the same prayer you will use on the transition beads, such as the “Our Mother” or the “Glory Be” prayers below. I usually use the “Glory Be” prayer on this bead.

On the main beads you have two options. Traditionally you would repeat the same prayer, such as the “Gracious Goddess” prayer below, on each bead. I find this works best for creating a meditative, trance-like state. However, if I really want to focus on the words of the prayer, I will say one line of the prayer slowly on each bead. You’ll notice that the “Gracious Goddess” prayer has nine lines and my rosary has nine main beads in each section, so I say one line on each bead. My Sophia rosary has seven main beads in each section, and my “Sophia Prayer” has seven lines.


Sophia rosary.

On the transition beads, you can use a prayer like “Our Mother” or “Glory Be” or you can do another presence prayer, which is what I have been doing most often lately.

You continue in this pattern until you reach the center bead again. This is usually when I say the “Our Mother” prayer, and then I honor the Maiden, Mother, and Crone on the introductory beads, give thanks to Goddess on the pendant and then I’m finished.

If you are just starting out and this all seems confusing, you might want to sketch your rosary and indicate which prayers you want to pray on each bead.

If I am using a more simple rosary that does not have transition beads, etc., I usually just pray the same prayer on each bead all the way around. So on my Brigid rosary I would choose a Brigid prayer below and repeat it on each bead. On my amethyst rosary I often say the “Evening Prayer” on each bead.

Below are some of the prayers I use most often, but I can’t encourage you enough to write your own prayers, because then you will be praying what is in your heart. Your prayers don’t have to be poetic masterpieces. My “Evening Prayer” was written spontaneously one evening and isn’t particularly beautiful or grammatical, but it works for me because it came from my heart.

If you do use prayers that other people have written, feel free to edit and change them as much as you need to for them to feel right for you. If you feel silly saying a certain phrase, or a part of the prayer doesn’t ring true for you, change it! There are very few prayers that I use just as they were written, I almost always end up editing a line or two to make them work for me.


Gracious Goddess
Gracious Goddess,
Your presence blesses us,
Your love surrounds us,
Your power sustains us,
All of creation sings your praises.
Holy Mother, Creator of All,
Thank you for walking with us,
Today and always.
Blessed be.

Glory Be
Glory be to the Great Mother, to the Mystery, to the Oneness of All,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
Love without end.
And so it is.
(This was inspired by the Christian Doxology prayer, which I always loved the rhythm of.)

Our Mother
Our Mother, in whom we live, move, and have our being,
Blessed be your many names.
From you all things emerge, and unto you all things return.
Open our hearts, that we may be filled with compassion.
Guide us, that we may walk with wisdom.
Help us to know our connection to all things.
For you dwell among us, within us, around us,
And we are blessed by your grace, your power, and your love.
And so it is.
(The first and third lines of this prayer come from a traditional Feri prayer, but the third line is also part of the Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente, and I also discovered that both these lines are found in the Bible, too—well, except for the “Mother” part!)

Evening Prayer
Mother, please hold me, soothe me, calm me,
For in you I find my center, and in you I find peace.
May all who suffer find solace in you this night.
Blessed be.

Sophia Prayer
Hail Sophia, Lady of Wisdom,
Blessed are you and all your works.
Illuminate our minds with your wisdom,
Kindle our hearts with your love,
Help us to walk in peace and unity
With you, with each other, and with all of creation.
Blessed be.

Brigid Prayer One
Excellent, exalted One,
Bright, golden, quickening flame
Shine your blessing upon us
From your eternal lands,
You, radiant fire of the sun,
You, healing waters of the well.
(By Erin Johnson, from Brigit: Sun of Womanhood, edited by Patricia Monaghan. I added the last line.)

Brigid Prayer Two
The mantle of Brigid about me,
The memory of Brigid within me,
The protection of Brigid keeping me
From harm, from ignorance, from heartlessness,
This day and always.
Blessed be.
(By Caitlin Matthews, adapted from her poem “Blessing for Hearth-Keepers”)

May your prayers always be heard, and may the presence of the Divine dwell with you always. Blessed be!

Goddess Rosaries and Prayer Beads, Part 2: Design Ideas

(This is the second post of a three-part series. See Part 1 for information on rosary styles and Part 3 for prayers to use with your rosary.)

When designing your own Goddess rosary or prayer beads, the options are truly endless! But there are a few things you can consider to help narrow down your options and decide what materials to use and how to design your rosary.

Rosary Purpose

First, decide what you want to use your rosary for. You can make one to honor a specific deity, to honor an element, or all of the elements, to pray for world peace, to pray for healing, or to honor a particular aspect of the Goddess such as the Maiden, Mother, or Crone. If you are currently focusing on an aspect of personal growth, such as overcoming an addiction, healing depression or anxiety, or working on self-love, you could make prayer beads to assist with that work.

You can also make a general set of prayer beads with no particular focus. My set of amethyst prayer beads serve this purpose for me, and I have used them with a variety of prayers and for many different purposes over the years.


My amethyst rosary made with amethyst and agate beads and silver spacer beads.

Design Choices

Once you’ve decided on your focus, you can choose your design. Do you want to make a more traditional style of rosary with a dangling pendant and several sections of beads (called “decades” on a Catholic rosary) divided from each other by larger transition beads? My Guadalupe rosary follows this pattern.


My Guadalupe rosary, made with glass beads and citrine transition beads.

You can also make a simple string of beads, separated by smaller spacer beads, with a single pendant, like my Yemaya rosary, or my amethyst rosary above. You don’t really need spacer beads if you are making a wire-strung rosary, but for other types of rosaries they help separate the larger beads, which are the ones you will be using for your prayers. They are also a nice way to add other colors or contrast to your rosary rather than having one long string of all the same kind of beads.


My Yemaya rosary, made with pearls and blue glass pearl spacer beads.

A pendant acts as a signal of the beginning and end of your prayers as you use your rosary, but you don’t have to use a pendant at all. I made the Brigid rosary below from instructions in Lunaea Weatherstone’s book Tending Brigid’s Flame, and she designed it with no beginning or end. You simply start praying and stop when you feel finished, which can give a meditative, trance-like quality to your prayers.


Brigid rosary, made with glass and metal beads.


The beads you use can add another layer of symbolism to your rosary. You can use crystal or gemstone beads that correspond with the qualities of the deity you are honoring, or represent the purpose for which you are creating the rosary. I used lapis lazuli beads for my Sophia rosary, as lapis lazuli is associated with wisdom, and pearls for my Yemaya rosary since Yemaya is associated with water. If you were making a rosary for self-love, you could use rose quartz beads, or an elemental rosary could use four different stones each associated with one of the elements.


My Sophia rosary, made with lapis lazuli and faceted clear glass transition beads.

Glass beads are also a good choice, as they have a neutral energy, and you can choose colors that are symbolic to the purpose of your rosary. For example, I added blue glass pearls to my Yemaya rosary since her traditional colors are blue and white. You could use fiery red or gold glass beads for Brigid, or green and brown glass beads to honor Gaia. Wooden or clay beads might also be a nice choice depending on the purpose of your rosary.

When choosing beads, if you plan to make a rosary with different sections (like my Guadalupe or Sophia rosaries), be sure the transition beads that divide the sections are different enough in size, shape, and/or texture that you can feel the transition when you are praying with your eyes closed. Another option is to add extra spacer beads between the main beads and the transition beads so you can feel the change.

Number of Beads

The number of beads you use can also be symbolic. I consider three to be a Goddess number, and I often use multiples of three in my rosaries. My Guadalupe rosary uses nine beads, three times three, in each section. Seven is a number sacred to Yemaya, so I used 21 pearls for her rosary, seven times three. Seven is also sacred to Sophia, so I created her rosary using three sections of seven beads each. I’m sure you get the idea!


As for pendants, you can use charms that you find at bead stores, or large gemstone beads. Etsy is a great source for pendants and charms. Don’t limit yourself just to charms sold for jewelry-making, also take a look at pendants sold as necklaces, or use a pendant from a necklace you already own but never wear. Many bead and craft stores sell pendant-making kits in which you can place your own printed image, which might be a good choice if you have an image of your deity that you would really like to use.

You can also sculpt your own pendant, like I did for my Sophia rosary. I used Activa Premier air-dry clay. I have had great success with it—it hasn’t shrunk or cracked, and it is incredibly lightweight and strong once dry. I often carry my rosary in my pocket and it is still in great shape. The clay can be painted with acrylic paints once dry. It’s a bit hard to tell from the picture, but I painted my dove with white pearlescent paint.

Final Thoughts

Making your prayer beads with a design, materials, and other symbolism that is important to you makes them very special, but don’t get overwhelmed. A simple string of beads is just as meaningful and useful as the most elaborate rosary. For many years my simple set of amethyst prayer beads was all I used, and though it is worn and the silver spacer beads are tarnished, it is still very special to me.

In the Part 3 of this series, I will share the ways that I use my prayer beads and some of the prayers that I use.

Happy rosary-making if you decide to give it a try! If you do, please share pictures with me here, or tag me on Instagram—I’d love to see them!

Wise Words (Not Mine) for Challenging Times

So, the election is over. I had planned to post my next Goddess rosary post today, but it felt weird to just blithely do my next post without acknowledging that many of us may be feeling like our worlds have been rocked. Many of us are grieving. Yesterday, people in my Facebook feed seemed stunned. Today, they seem angry.

I’m grieving and angry, too, and there is a part of me that was beating myself up for it yesterday, feeling like I was being self-indulgent and that I just needed to get over it. Then someone shared this article by Joann Macy, and this quote in particular stood out to me:

“This is a dark time filled with suffering, as old systems and previous certainties come apart. Like living cells in a larger body, we feel the trauma of our world. It is natural and even healthy that we do, for it shows we are still vitally linked in the web of life. So don’t be afraid of the grief you may feel, or of the anger or fear: these responses arise, not from some private pathology, but from the depths of our mutual belonging. Bow to your pain for the world when it makes itself felt, and honour it as testimony to our interconnectedness.”

We grieve because we have opened ourselves up to acknowledging, to feeling, our connection with each other, and with the earth and all her creatures. Right now we don’t know what is going to happen next to those people and places that we love, and we are afraid.

I’m afraid for the further unregulated damage that may occur to our precious land and water, and to the creatures that share them with us. I’m afraid for everyone who is not male, straight, white, and Christian. I’m hoping for the best, but that doesn’t alleviate the fear and grief.

Yesterday, while drawing my cards for the day, two cards fell out of the deck together while I was shuffling:


Cards from the Gaian Tarot.

I felt like this was a challenge; to claim my power like the Elder of Fire and work for healing, or to give in to despair. My cards of the day gave further guidance: to work for justice, seek community, and be sure to listen to others.


Cards from Womanrunes and Gaian Tarot.

Last night I was reading Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess by Demetra George. Some passages about our shadows really spoke to where we are in our country right now:

“When we project our shadow, we externalize these inner distorted images and then cast them onto others, thus undermining our capacity to form safe and honest relationships.

We then perceive the outer world through the inner filter of our negative emotions and thoughts. When our minds are full of fear and hatred, we then see others as the personification of what is most frightening and hateful to us…

This becomes especially dangerous when society collectively projects a shadow onto a group and fantasizes that it is the enemy. Societal prejudices against blacks, Jews, homosexuals, witches, aliens [by this I think she means immigrants], Communists, or the Devil have led to mass intolerance, and even to persecutions, inquisitions, and other manifestations of hatred…”

I know I need to examine my own tendency to “other” people. What of my own shadow am I projecting onto “those Trump supporters”? Adding more fear and hatred to this cauldron is not going to help, but how do we even begin healing this? I don’t know.

For now, though, I’m still just processing everything, allowing myself to grieve, and not beating myself up for it anymore.

I highly recommend reading the whole Joanna Macy article that I quoted above. I also found comfort and inspiration yesterday from two other wise women:

Elizabeth Gilbert asking “Who do I want to be in this situation?”

Hecate Demeter sharing one of my favorite poems and some pertinent questions from Wendell Berry.

We’re all in this together. Somehow, that brings me great comfort.

Blessings to you, however you are processing this election.

Goddess Rosaries and Prayer Beads, Part 1: Rosary Styles


A collection of some of my rosaries.

(This is the first post of a three-part series. See Part 2 for ideas for designing a rosary and Part 3 for prayers to use with your rosary.)

I have been fascinated by rosaries since I was a child. I grew up Protestant, but had several Catholic friends and was drawn to the lovely statues, artwork, and rosaries that they had in their homes. I was taught that these things were “idolatry,” but they looked like fun to me!

As a young adult I considered converting to Catholicism, and one of the first things I did was purchase a rosary and learn how to use it. At first, praying to Mary felt wrong, and yet it was so comforting to have a Blessed Mother to turn to. As the beads slid through my fingers and I repeated the prayers, I became still and calm, and I loved it. But I never could fully commit to Catholicism, or Christianity—I was still searching.

Eventually I discovered Paganism, and the Goddess, and in the Goddess I found what I had been searching for—it was the Blessed Mother all along!

About nine years ago I found a book that drew my love of Goddess and my love of rosaries together: Pagan Prayer Beads: Magic and Meditation with Pagan Rosaries by Clare Vaughn and John Michael Greer. The book offers complete instructions for making rosaries using flexible beading wire. They also include ideas for a variety of rosaries made for different purposes as well as prayers to use with them. This book started me on my journey with Goddess rosaries and prayer beads, and I’ve been making and using them ever since.

If you are interested in working with rosaries and prayer beads, I have a selection available in my Etsy shop. However, as with all magical items, making your own makes it extra special and powerful.

The easiest type of rosary to make is strung on flexible bead stringing wire. Full instructions for making this type of rosary are given in the Pagan Prayer Beads book mentioned above, and you can also find tutorials for stringing beads on YouTube or in beading books from the library. If you have a local bead shop, they may also offer basic bead stringing classes. Bead stringing requires an initial investment in a couple of specialized pliers, but once you have them you are set for a lifetime of bead stringing.


One of the first rosaries I made, strung on flexible wire using amethyst and silver beads.

One of my favorite types of rosaries are knotted rosaries. They have a lovely, flowing feel as they move through your fingers. These are pretty simple to make, too, and are strung on silk or polyester beading cord. I learned to make this style by taking a pearl knotting class at my local bead shop.

Creating knotted rosaries is a meditation in itself, as you string each bead and tie each knot. They are a pleasure to make and to use.


A knotted rosary made for Brigid, using green glass, carnelian, and quartz beads.


A knotted rosary made for Yemaya, using freshwater and glass pearls.

The third style of rosary, wire-strung, is probably the most challenging to make, but they are very beautiful and have a unique feel as you use them.

I started making wire rosaries this past year after getting the basic instructions from Lunaea Weatherstone’s book Tending Brigid’s Flame (which I highly recommended!). I already had experience working with beads and wire, so I was able to make these relatively easily, but if you are completely new to beading taking a basic wire working class at a bead store would definitely help you get started. There are also quite a few websites and YouTube tutorials for making wire-strung rosaries as it is one of the most common styles for Catholic rosaries.


A wire-strung rosary made using glass beads (that look like turquoise) and citrine beads. The Our Lady of Guadalupe charm is from ClarissaCallesen on Etsy, whom I discovered when Joanna Powell Colbert shared her own beautiful rosary made with this charm.


A wire-strung rosary to honor Sophia, made with lapis lazuli beads, faceted glass beads, and a dove charm that I sculpted from air-dry clay.

In Part 2 of this series, I’ll share some things you’ll want to consider as you design your prayer beads, and in Part 3 I’ll cover how to use your prayer beads as well as some of the prayers I use with mine.

Note: I use the words rosary and prayer beads interchangeably. Some people prefer “prayer beads” because “rosary” sounds too Catholic. Choose whichever word works best for you!


Hallowmas Blessings, Ancestor Cards & My Tarot Reading

I hope everyone had a blessed Hallowmas/Samhain yesterday! I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend working on my ancestor prayer cards for the class I’m taking with Joanna Powell Colbert so they would be ready to put on my altar for Hallowmas. It was moving to work on cards for my great-grandmothers who I never knew, but have always felt drawn to.


My two paternal great-grandmothers, AnnaBelle and Margaret, and my maternal grandmother Alice.

Last night during my ritual I spoke to and blessed all the ancestors whose images I had on my altar (including my cat Priscilla who you can see in the picture of my altar). It was really lovely to spend time thinking about their lives and thanking them for gifts they’ve given me, and asking for their help to do the healing work in our family line that still needs to be done.


My Hallowmas Altar

I also used my Samhain tarot spread during my ritual to do a reading for the next turn of the wheel. Thankfully, it looks a lot less intense than the reading I did on Autumn Equinox, but it still offers a nice kick in the pants to get going with things I’ve been putting off for too long.


My Samhain reading. Cards from the Gaian Tarot, Goddess figure from Brigid’s Grove.

Overall Theme—Three of Earth: The theme of this turn of the wheel will be bringing ideas into manifestation, taking practical actions to bring healing into my life, and seeking a community who shares my values. Basically getting to work and getting out into the world.

Key Opportunity—Ten of Fire: This is a call towards true transformation and renewal, to calling in the cleansing fire and letting it do its purifying work. I have the opportunity to really and truly let go of what no longer serves me. Burn it down, clear the decks, and find renewal as new growth begins to emerge from the ashes.

Key Challenge—Guardian of Air: The challenge of this time period will be to find clarity and the perspective I need to see the big picture. I will need to make sure to take time for meditation and prayer, to take time to listen to my inner voice so I can find clarity within. Without this inner clarity, it will be challenging to communicate my truth to others.

What can I do to ease my descent into the dark time of the year?—12, The Tree: This card made me laugh! What do I need to do? Surrender! Stop fighting it, just let go. Accept the darkness and make peace with it. This card also indicates finding a new perspective and finding my center in order to maintain peace in the midst of change, echoing the themes of the Guardian of Air.

What gifts does the darkness offer me?—Six of Earth: The gifts of getting to work, putting my work out into the world and creating an exchange of energy with others as we mutually support each other. Basically, it continues the theme of the Three of Earth—get to work and start manifesting all the ideas floating around in my head into practical, earthy action.

What message does the Wise Crone have for me?—Seven of Water: This one made me laugh, too—I could almost hear a Crone-ish voice saying, “Make a choice and commit to it, damn it!” It is time to listen to my heart, taken action, and do the work. No more messing around!

So, take a deep breath, here we go! Welcome the darkness, welcome the Crone! What gifts are waiting for you in this dark time of the year?