Yes even tarot readers need time off. From November 19th-December 1st, I will be unavailable for private readings. Starting December 3rd I will be opening my home to you in my brand new location. Stay tuned.
To be neurotypical and to have an autistic person in your life means that you are dealing with someone whose brain is wired entirely differently than yours. Some, like myself, may be intelligent, and therefore assumed to be normal (normal being defined as within two standard deviations from the mean). I have a MENSA qualifying IQ, and a vast vocabulary, but I am still neurologically disabled. Some, especially women with autism, may have developed social masking to better hide their disabilities and function in social situations. But, we may also require accommodations in our friendships and professional relationships.
We have the strength of thinking in systems. We think in evidence. We think in black and white terms. We do not do well when we are expected to read between the lines, or think in abstract terms. If you have an autistic person in your life, you must set out clear expectations. To expect them to guess, to infer, to skip around the subject, or to speak to them in metaphor expecting them to “get it” is to set them up for failure.
We thrive in routine, in the predictable. When we are faced with overwhelming situations, we shut down, we turn inward, we self soothe through repetitive behaviours (also known as stimming), and we seek to get back to something familiar and predictable. Stimming may not be hand flapping or vocalizations. I knit and crack my knuckles to self-soothe. Taking away the familiar or preventing self-soothing will often result in a melt down or acting out behaviours, even in those who are high functioning, because we have no other way to cope. We are allowed to cry. We are allowed to be upset. We do not function “organically”. Many of us have rigid schedules that are essential to our ability to function. It is not okay to throw something on us last minute. We simply cannot process. We like order. Because we understand order.
A large proportion of us have tummy issues, and when we are stressed or overwhelmed, we may experience severe gastrointestinal distress. No, we do not want a tums. No, we do not need a glass of water. No, we do not want your home remedy. We require calm and predictability for our tummy to settle. Many of us have developed unusual or strict food preferences. We know what our tummies can handle, please do not lecture us on nutrition.
Giving clear direction and direct communications is as important to our success as providing a ramp for a person in a wheelchair. We are not asking for a lot, but we do require some basic accommodations, even if we appear to function as neurotypical. We do not know what the boundaries or rules are if you have not directly told us. Please do not punish us when we exhibit symptoms, especially if you have failed to provide accommodations. Being able to socially mask, being intelligent, or being “high functioning” does not erase our diagnosis, nor the severity of our disability. If you are unsure how to accommodate anyone with a disability, be it physical, neurological or psychological, please ask rather than assume.
If you know someone with autism, or if you want to be an ally to those with autism, please share this PSA.
This has been a challenging year, but I am back in London, probably permanently. I am working out of the Attic at The Hive’s big house. It feels good to be back, and to be building a foundation. I am settling into a regular schedule, and have big plans to grow my business. Onwards and outwards.
Last week, a client ask me what I thought about talking boards. My answer to her surprised her. She expected me to say something like “never use them, they only attract dark energy.” or something similar.
There are common misconceptions about talking boards, more commonly known as Ouija boards. Many believe that no good can come of them. Some think that they open a portal and invite in evil. Others think that they attract lower level entities only. My opinions and experiences differ greatly.
We need to first be clear about what a Ouija board is. In it’s most common modern incarnation, it is cardboard and ink with a glossy finish, accompanied by a plastic or wooden planchette. The brand name of Ouija board is currently held by Hasbro Co, maker of many popular games and toys. There is nothing inherently special, magic, spiritual or evil about it. How it is used determines its intention.
Seances with talking boards were a common parlor game in the Victorian Era, especially among the upper class. At that point they were made of wood, and sometimes used a shot glass or pendulum instead of a planchette. But the techniques of trying to contact the dead are much older than that, and can be traced back to ancient China.
Today, Hollywood has made countless horror movies about these boards, increasing their popularity as a spooky, or evil object. It is no wonder then that many people today report frightening and negative experiences. Almost everyone you ask will either have a personal negative experience with them, or know someone who has. These types of stories are often shared late at night, perhaps around a campfire.
Why then, do I have a different belief? My very first experiences with talking board were horrific. I was in my early 20s, had recently left a Christian cult, and was desperate to contact my deceased brother. Though I did reach him, something else came through, threatening to murder me because I looked like the wife he had murdered. I ended the session and never wanted to touch one again. At that point, I had not yet started started delving into magick and spirituality.
I spent the next 15 years studying and practising magick. I learned about proper cleansing and banishing techniques. I learned how to place wards and protection. Most importantly, I learned the cardinal rule of magick- Don’t summon what you can’t banish. I learned that use of a talking board is far from a 101 activity. This is for advanced practitioners. Talking boards are a tool, like any other. Yes, they can be risky to the newbie. But, now that I know what I’m doing, I have had beautiful experiences with talking boards, that have lead to my own personal healing and growth. Think about it like a car. You wouldn’t let a 14 year old go on a joyride when they’ve never been behind the wheel before. Talking boards, though do not require a license, do require training, skill, discipline and practice.
If you watch any ghost hunting show, you will see a variety of other toold used to communicate with the dead. There are EVP (Electro Voice Phenomenon) recorders, Spirit boxes that flip through radio bands to pick up words, any other new technologies. Heck, I have an EVP app on my phone which I’ve had neat results with. The talking board is nothing more than a low tech version of these newer communication devices. The same precautions should be used with an EVP recorder as with a talking board. If you think that one is safer than the other, you’ve been watching too many Hollywood movies.
Here is a list of ways to use a talking board safely. As I stated earlier, this is not a 101 activity. I can’t necessarily teach you these skills in a blog entry if you haven’t learned them already. If you are interested in using a talking board, I would suggest studying and acquiring these skills before using one.
1.) Have good banishing chops. Like I said earlier, the cardinal rule is “Don’t summon what you can’t banish”. You should have a regular (like daily, or twice daily) personal banishing and cleansing practice. You should know how to get rid of an unwanted entity, or cleanse a space of negative energy.
2.) Know how to control the energy of a room.
3.) Be able to control your mood. Ideally, you want to go into a session with a neutral and calm mood, or perhaps a pleasant mood. If you have uncontrolled anxiety or depression, have had a rotten day and can’t get it together, or are actively grieving, this is not a good time to use the board.
4.) Know your protectors and be able to call on them.
5.) Be able too set up wards and protections.
6.) Know the “tell” when a spirit is lying. This will be different for everyone.
7.) Be able to close a portal.
Those basic skills should be the bare minimum to get started. Here is the process for using a talking board that I would employ.
1.) Have a purpose for using the board. If you are using it just to get scared, because you’re bored, or for fun, you will probably not have a good time. You should have a reason for going into the session, and perhaps a list of questions ahead of time. I once had a woman who was adopted ask me to help her get information about her biological family.
2.) Absolutely no alcohol or substance use before or during the session.
3.) This is best done as a three person activity, minimum, with all participants having the bare minimum skills. Two people move the planchette, and one person records with a notepad. The person with the strongest energy will act as the conduit. They need to be able to see the board and be touching the planchette. No one else should be asking questions except the two people touching the planchette.
4.) Ensure that any animals or children are secured and will not disrupt the session. All cell phones should be off. Not vibrate. Not silent. Off.
5.) Spend at least an hour preparing. You will probably want to divide that equally between preparing yourself and preparing your space. Set up wards and protections, call on your guardians, fully banish yourself and the space.
6.) Leave an outsider offering. Stout beer works. Place this outside of your work area, outdoors is best. Let otherfolk, mischievous or malignant entities know that they can have the offering if they leave you alone.
7.) Commence your session. Do not start with “Is there anyone here?” State your purpose for your session, and call on those you wanted to speak to. If there is no one in particular, you can ask for those who are have your highest and best interests in mind. You can take turns if the note taker wants to touch the planchette as well. This should be decided ahead of time. Commentary about the session should be saved for after.
8.) Close your session. Yes, saying goodbye is important, but more than that, make sure that the portal is closed. This is one of those more advanced techniques that you should know how to do before you start.
9.) Thoroughly banish both yourself and your space.
10.) Properly dispose of your offering.
11.) Eat something. This is a good time to discuss your findings with your group.
Following these directions should ensure that you have a positive experience. If something does go wrong, banish quickly and don’t play around. Remain in control and set the standard of conduct expected of the spirits participating.
It is with bittersweetness that I announce that I am leaving London. I have known for more than a decade that I was meant to move to the greater Hamilton area. But, I always found an excuse to stay, mostly rooted in a fear of the unknown. But, I have worked up the gumption, and June 1st, I am taking the leap, and trusting that a net will appear.
Events have become my bread and butter,and many of my events are in the GTA, which typically means that I need to rent a hotel room, find a dog sitter, etc. It will be far easier to attend events and drive home at the end of the day.
That being said, I am still available for private tarot, tea leaf, and palm readings until May 31st at The Hive, 1350 Wharncliffe Road South, in the attic of the big white building. You may book your session through my website, www.carolineironwill.com
May you pray with a good fire,
Today’s deck is the Victorian Art Tarot, given to me by my wonderful friend Elissa years ago.
Today’s cards are
7 of Wands
3 of Swords (R)
10 of Wands (R)
I typically see the 7 of wands as a card about being sneaky, but in this case, I think it means “behind the scenes”. When I moved to Burlington in December, the issue was that I had nowhere to read tarot, had no clients, and for a period of time, no website. I’ve been on the fence. Do I continue to market in London even though I won’t be here soon? Do I start advertising in Hamilton even though I can’t do readings there yet? Then I start asking myself what the point is, get discouraged, and go watch Netflix. Since I have 6 weeks before I move again, now is the time to get the behind the scenes stuff in place for summer, start booking summer festivals, summer parties etc.
Now is also a time of healing. I’ve been through a lot in the past year and it’s not over. As I’m working behind the scenes in my business, I also need to be doing behind the scenes in my life, to dig deep and be ready for the next wave of upheaval.
I need to not take my burdens with me to a new city. This isn’t just about a new physical location, because if I take the same person to a new physical location, I’ll get the same results. This is the time to start getting new habits in place, so I am ready to rock once I unpack. I have unburdened myself of most of my physical belongings. I went from a 4 bedroom house, now going to a one bedroom apartment. That’s hard. But what has remained has made me freer.
So far this challenge, I haven’t pulled a single major arcana. This means that the stuff I am doing is the little stuff. The getting my ducks in a row stuff. The big stuff is on it’s way.
(Phone in the car, so photo will be posted later)
Today I am using my Penny Dreadful deck for the first time. It is the same one used in the Emmy winning TV show. Last summer I saw this for $5 at a pop up shop, and had a “shut up and take my money” moment. I don’t know why I’ve never used this deck before today.
2 of wands
10 of pents (reversed)
7 of pents (reversed)
I am at a crossroads in my life. If I want a different result, I need a different method. If I want a better harvest, I need to shake up the status quo and plant different seeds. Not just better seeds, different seeds. What I have been doing my whole life, what my family has done their whole lives. I have an incredible amount of power to have a better outcome, but it starts with doing things differently now.
I love my family. My parents were hard workers who sacrificed everything for their kids. We didn’t have a lot of excess as kids, but we had enough to always have a roof over our heads, food on the table, clothes on our back, and gas in the car. But they always played it safe. And when you have young kids, sometimes you have to. But I want a different outcome. I don’t want to work a job I hate for decades to earn a meager paycheque and end up with a broken body and no savings. I want to do what I love, and have wealth, and not be so damned worried all the time about numbers. I need to do things differently. I like money, but my life was never meant to be about just chasing pieces of green paper. I will do what I love, and make a very good living doing it.
But working hard is the cost of entry to live that life. It’s just a matter of working hard at the right thing. I can take those lessons of hard work from my parents, and apply that to my business.
Things need to be shaken up, and I need to take risks. Which is why I am leaving London.
Warning! I am using my Decameron deck today. This deck contains highly sexually explicit content. And that’s why I like it. It’s a hoot at bachelorette parties.
High Priestess reversed
6 of wands
The correct path has been revealed to me. I have a wall of post its of full of potential gigs and business ideas. But… I just can’t get my ass in gear. I go to bed every night excited for the next day, ready to wake up early and rock the day. But I use poor judgement and oversleep. And then half the day is gone. And then I wake up and feel like garbage. I get consumed with guilt and that guilt turns to shame. And then the rest of my day is taken up with errands not related to my business (going to the pharmacy, getting my license renewed, getting an oil change, etc). And I have to get my steps in. And I have to meditate. And I have to blog. And I have to stretch. And I have to journal. When am I supposed to actually work on my business? No one on the planet has as many stupid errands as I do. I should hire an assistant. Or I should get my ass out of bed in the morning and actually get shit done. Fuck, I feel so lazy. I hate myself when I’m lazy. But, I need to celebrate the accomplishments and not be overrun with shame when I do accidentally sleep in. I need to reward myself with praise when I accomplish goals.
Andrieh Vitimus’s 30 day challenge for this month is one that I can really sink my teeth into- divination. Divination can probably be easiest summed up as fortune telling. This is what I do for a living. Awesome! So I will be asking the question every day “What can I do today to grow my business?”. I will pull 3 cards and interpret them as to the question.
So today… I am using the Wildwood Tarot by Will Worthington. I collect tarot decks, so I am going to use a different one every day.
I pulled the 7 of Arrows, 9 of Stones and King of Vessels
1.) Put up some better spiritual protection. There are those out there trying to get ahead by malicious spell work. I am certain that I know who. I make an effort to be super supportive of my colleagues, especially when they are starting out. I believe there is room for everyone, and that when we support each other, we end the stigma against tarot. But there’s one individual who has been nasty to me since day 1. She copied my pricing structure, and has even mirrored my advertising word for word. She clearly sees me as a threat. But really, she takes the gigs I turn down and she still has to rely on per minute hotlines, so yeah, not a threat to me. I can’t be bothered getting involved in power struggles. I rise above. But this woman’s jealousy has gone too far. She is a gnat who needs to be squashed. Or maybe I should just get better repellent. Yeah, I’ll do some magick tonight to repel any crap thrown my way.
2.) Focus on what you want. Put serious effort into what you want your goals to be. Write them down. If it is not inline with the life you want one year from now, pay it no mind. Go into detail.
3.) Seek advice from an older gentleman who is caring and wise. This means book a reading. My first thought was with Andrieh, though he’s far more a fiery type than a gentle vessel type. But I’ll book it. I need a little direction and clarity right now.
So my homework tonight is to
-do some protection/ bug repellent type magick
-make my goals clear by writing them down
-book a reading with Andrieh.
This is a question that I get from time to time, or rather, this is an assumption that I get from time to time. There seems to be this fear or tarot from those who know nothing about it. I would like to clear this misconception up, as well as create a resource to point those to when they make judgments that come from a place of fear and ignorance.
This fear seems to be common among those who follow imperialist monotheistic religions. And I kinda get it. In my teen years, I was involved in a fundamentalist Christian cult. I suffered a great deal of brainwashing. As much as I was told that we were all about love and acceptance, the behaviour that we were to exhibit was all about hate and judgement. They assume that tarot is witchcraft, and that witchcraft is evil, therefore tarot is evil. In retrospect, this belief is shocking. The bible is chock full of examples of prophets, those who have been gifted knowledge that is used to help their god’s people. I’m not saying that I, or anyone else who reads tarot, is a prophet, but I am saying that even withing their own beliefs, there are instances that are good and pure, where someone has knowledge and wisdom that cannot otherwise be explained.
Tarot is not synonymous with witchcraft, though tarot tends to be popular within neo-pagan culture. In fact, the roots of what we know as tarot are most likely within the renaissance church (though some like to believe it’s much older, there is not much evidence to support that). Tarot is brimming with religious iconography. It’s far more associated with Christianity than it ever was with witchcraft.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I don’t force anyone to believe in tarot. But the problem comes, when someone uses their religion affiliation as a block to enlightenment. In a professional setting, this becomes blatant discrimination. I am practicing something based in Jungian psychology, and they are saying that because of their religion, that I can’t. This has happened with online merchant services, being blocked from having a booth at certain events, or being made to feel unwelcome at networking events.
Let me tell you a story- a local woman runs a networking group. She has quite a reputation with other local entrepreneurs of being untrustworthy from her past behaviour with an MLM. I was warned about her several times about her, with others using the words snake, swindler and sneaky. But, I believe that everyone is capable of redemption. I judge people based on how they treat me, not on gossip. I asked several times to meet with her to find out about her networking group, which has quite high membership fees. She kept brushing me off- she was too busy. She was just overall rude and disrespectful to me… until I sold my house. Then, I had money, and she started courting me to pay her highest membership fee of almost $150 a month. Now she had time for me. But, I found it weird that she had never booked any of my services, or even liked my facebook page. She was all about supporting members of her group, and women sticking together, and giving patronage to members. I offered her a free reading so that she could get an idea of what I do and what I was about. She stuttered and stammered. She all the sudden was too busy again. Then, I found out that she was telling others that my work was “of the devil”, and that she was talking to lawyers to get my entire industry blocked from her group… because of her religion. I believe her intent was to get me to pay a year’s worth of membership, and then ban me because she didn’t understand what I did. That’s low. It’s too bad, because I could use my skills to do so much good with the other members of her group. It’s discrimination. It’s ignorance. It is illegal, according to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Everyone who reads tarot does so differently. For me, there are no angels or spirits or demons. Tarot is a way for me to connect with my client through the collective unconscious. When I have a client in front of me, I see them- the true and higher self of my client. I see them as beautiful with unlimited potential. The cards I pull are archetypes to help them grow into an expression of their destiny. There is an energy that flows between myself and my client which I can only describe as love. When I am finished reading for a tarot for a client, I have this euphoric beautiful high. It is the strongest connection that I can ever have with another human being. It is the greatest gift that I can ever give. It is Jungian psychology, not occult. There is nothing bout evil or anti Christian about it.
Then what is tarot? It’s ink on card stock. It’s a language. It’s beautiful artwork. I would encourage you to do, is think independently and stop watching so many Hollywood movies.