The Halloween Arcana

When I think of Halloween, I think of magic, witchcraft, spells, and all sorts of supernatural amazingness. As someone who wanted nothing more than to be a witch when he was growing up, I think this mindset is what always drew me to Halloween. 

Now that I’m older, I adore the holiday even more for it’s association with the Pagan Samhain, the thinning of the veil, and its ability to make my “woo woo” lifestyle seem mainstream, even if it’s only for a month or so. 

While there are no Tarot cards directly associated with the holiday, I went through one of my decks and found a few I thought spoke to the themes above in their own special way. 

The Universal Rider-Waite-Smith

The Universal Rider-Waite-Smith

The High Priestess
The High Priestess is the keeper of secrets; the secrets to esoteric knowledge, magic, and illusion. Halloween is a time when many believe the veils between the living and dead are thinned, and I like to think of The High Priestess as the keeper of the gates between those two worlds. She rules the Moon, and with that power comes the ability to see and understand things that aren’t always obvious by the light of day. I think Halloween does the same, brining forth a mindset of other worldly thoughts and feelings we keep dormant most of the year. She invokes a certain spirt that I think is so prevalent during the time of this autumnal holiday and asks that we honor and celebrate it while we can. 

The Moon
The power of illusion is the name of the game for this card, and under the High Priestess’s rulership, the moon carries with it a power to hide what’s in front of us in an alluring and intoxicating way. If you think about one of the most popular aspects of Halloween, dressing up, you can see how the allure of pretending and illusion are not only commonplace for this holiday, but exciting as well. Who doesn’t love to dress up, to pretend, to cast a veil over who they really are and for at least one night present to the world a version of themselves that’s a little more mischievous and magical? Like with the The Moon, the fun will end when the sun comes back around, but for one glorious night we can bask in the darkness of our shadow side and dance under the light of magic and mystery. 

Death
With Halloween also comes the changing of the seasons, and often by the time trick-or-treating is in full swing, the leaves have all turned color, there’s a noticeable nip in the air, and it’s clear that the Winter is about to cast it’s snowy spell. All that was living and thriving in the Summer is now decaying away, and this couldn’t be more reminiscent to what the Death card speaks to. Fall is a reminder that life cycles are all around us, and death, be it physical or spiritual, symbolic or real, is simply a piece in the great puzzle of life. While there are periods of time we must remain in literal and proverbial darkness in our lives, the light will always come back, and without one there cannot be the other. If we’re able and willing to understand this, we can learn from our experiences instead of trying to fight against them and learn to appreciate the dark times and their ability to renew our love of the light. 

The Devil
With its inherent darkness and atmospheric sense of slowing down, Autumn is a fantastic time for shadow work; examining ourselves on a deep level and working to understand what unhealthy behaviors, patters, relationships, and cycles of thought we need to acknowledge and free ourselves from. The Devil will often ask us these very questions, so this card is a perfect addition to this Halloween quad of arcana. As darkness sets in, the season of Fall lends itself to self-introspection and healing, and even if you don’t agree, you’re at least bound to see a devil costume or two on Halloween night!

What cards remind you of this seasons? Let me know by leaving a comment, or shoot me an e-mail and let me know your thoughts! 

Happy Fall!

xx
Matt

P.S. Are you subscribed to my newsletter? I have something special heading your way on Sunday, so if you're not subscribed head click right here and scroll to the bottom to sign up!

Interested in a reading of your own? I offer Tarot readings worldwide via Skype or in-person throughout the Chicago area. If you're interested in booking a reading, tarot lessons, or my services for an event or party, click right here to fill out the form and I'll get back to you as soon as possible with available times and dates!

Full Moon in Pisces

As someone born with their Moon in Pisces, tonight's Full Moon is packed full of lessons for not only me, but all of us. There are so many layers to tonight’s heavenly happening, and we can all work with it’s inherent power to help cultivate our goals and potential. 

The Fountain Tarot

The Fountain Tarot

As a mutable Water sign ruled by dreamy Neptune, the energy of Pisces exudes the ebb and flow of a bubbling brook, moving with natural grace through whatever twists and turns it encounters and easily taking the shape of whichever vessel it fills. This sign and those born under its influences are often social, fun, adaptable, most comfortable in the realms of psychic prowess, and feel their feelings with upmost conviction and intensity. While grounded Earth signs may find them flighty, indecisive, or too emotional, Piscians are also compassionate, insightful, and appreciate artistic endeavors while usually having at least one foot steeped in mystical or occult undertakings. While most are at home in daydreams, their otherworldly insights always have something to teach us mere mortals. 

The Moon, as an astrological body and celestial presence in our lives, speaks to our emotions and very basic instincts. Often representative of where we're most comfortable as humans, the moon is the place of magic, intuition, and our inner workings. It rules the subconscious and drives us forward emotionally and spiritually, offering a cooling, watery yin to the Sun sign’s fiery yang. It’s our ability to nurture, and dependent on which sign it’s influenced by, how we go about expressing those tendencies. 

At a Full Moon the time is ripe for celebration as well as harvesting the fruit of the intentions seeded during the New Moon. Workings of abundance or setting intentions of continued growth are perfect ways to celebrate this lunar phase, using its light to see the potential possibility of all that is hidden and unseen.

Below is a Tarot spread perfect for understanding this Full Moon’s energy and how it’s power in the sign of Pisces can help illuminate the way to personal insight and inner power. Simply shuffle and lay out your cards in the following order:

The Fountain Tarot

The Fountain Tarot

  1. Pisces - What can the energy of Pisces teach me?
  2. Water - How should I adapt the energy of Water more into my life?
  3. Moon - What inner power will this Full Moon illuminate for me?

What came to light? Record your findings in your Tarot journal and revisit them the next Full Moon to examine what has passed and how you've grown and learned! 

Happy Full Moon!

xx
Matt

Interested in a reading of your own? I offer Tarot readings worldwide via Skype or in-person throughout the Chicago area. If you're interested in booking a reading, tarot lessons, or my services for an event or party, click right here to fill out the form and I'll get back to you as soon as possible with available times and dates!

Thinking Outside the Box

In what ways do you allow yourself to think outside the box?

Tarot is a wonderful tool for helping us see things a little bit differently than normal, and it often times gives us a perceptive on a situation we may not have considered before. 

Go ahead and grab your deck, give it a good shuffle, and ask “How can I see things differently?”

What card did you get? How does it speak to taking a step back and reevaluating your current condition?

I pulled the Queen of Cups reversed from the Universal Rider-Waite. 

She sits on a stone throne right on the water’s edge and gazes knowingly into a beautiful chalice. In the background is a grassy hill with a steep cliff, boulders and rocks awaiting at the bottom. The queen is so transfixed on her beautiful treasure that it’s safe to say she wouldn’t notice if someone ventured down the hill and fell right off the cliff, which to me is the message of this card's inquiry. 

How can I see things differently if I’m fixated on just one thing? What good are my talents if all of my energy is poured into just one pursuit? It’s clear that in order for me to look at things differently I need to avert my gaze and open my eyes to the world around me. I should show more appreciation and gratitude for the gifts in my life instead of worrying too much about one particular person, place, or thing. “Spread the love!” If this card could speak, that’s what it would say.

A simple question yields a simple yet meaningful answer. That’s the beauty of the Tarot; it’s power often comes in the form of a message that is both undoubtably profound yet undeniably simple.

Happy Reading!

xx
Matt

Interested in a reading of your own? I offer Tarot readings worldwide via Skype or in-person throughout the Chicago area. If you're interested in booking a reading, tarot lessons, or my services for an event or party, click right here to fill out the form and I'll get back to you as soon as possible with available times and dates!

The Dog Dad Life

Being a dog-dad is hard. 

My boyfriend and I recently adopted quite possibly the world’s most adorable, sweetest, and lovable Border Collie, and our recent days have been filled with laughter, happiness, little to no sleep, stress, frustration, and joy. Our lives have changed in a huge way, and a lot of what I’m feeling is pretty unexpected. 

Meet Lola. 

Meet Lola. 

I grew up with dogs my entire life; my parents, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins friends of the family have all had and have dogs ranging from little black poodles to giant, lovable huskies and pit bulls. I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences with these animals and always knew I wanted to have one to call my own someday. That day has arrived in the form of the sweetest pair of eyes I think I’ve ever been witness to. 

While I knew it would be hard work to take in a dog, what’s surprised me the most is how mentally taxing it’s been. I’m constantly worrying if she’s eating enough, playing enough, sleeping enough, exercising enough, going “potty” enough, if she’s lonely when we’re at work or if she’s happy in her new home. My text message in-box is full of queries to my dog-loving parents and best friend and I’ve already taken about 100 photos of her. Clearly life has changed, and I want to make sure I’m doing everything possible I can to make this transition as positive as possible for all the two and four-legged individuals involved.

Naturally I decided to turn to the Tarot for some insight, and below is the guidance the cards offered.

The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck.

The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck.

The World
This card was a surprise as it often speaks to endings. However, here it shows that this is where we’re all meant to be, and while things may not easy, ultimately life has lead us all to this moment and now our story can truly begin. It’s a satisfying, comforting card, as it shows that no matter how stressful or uncertain dog-ownership can be, at the end of the day it’s a celebration of life that speaks to wholeness and completion. While many questions and answers are unknown, joy is at the root of this next step. 

Two of Pentacles
Finding balance will be key in keeping this transition on its feet. Juggling work, daily routines, social engagements, and life in general will all now need to coincide with the dog and that may mean a sacrifice or two. Keeping her happy will need to come first, and while it make take some adjusting, will need to be done if we want to ensure her and our happiness. However, this card also indicates that your get what you put in, and as long as patience, kindness, and love are at the center of this furry partnership, we’re sure to be able to do what’s best for every human and animal involved.

Page of Wands
This card is a reminder to keep things fun! There’s so much opportunity for growth in this furry endeavor, and there’s a lot that each human and dog can teach each other. We must be able and willing to recognize the chance to learn from one another while at the same time keeping things playful and interesting. As long as there’s a firm foundation of love and trust, there’s no limit to where this exciting chapter can take us. We must remember to find the spark of divinity in all that we do to help make the most out of the lives that are now permanently connected. 

It’s also interesting that after The World, the last card of The Fool’s Journey, we encounter a Two and a Page, cards of beginnings and youthful energies. This shows that we’re at the beginning stages of this processes and there is much room for growth and learning. It’s clear that that this story is just beginning, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us!

Have a furry friend of your own? Leave a comment and let me know your story! Want to work me me? I offer Tarot readings worldwide via Skype or in-person throughout the Chicago area. If you're interested in booking a reading, tarot lessons, or my services for an event or party, click right here to fill out the form and I'll get back to you as soon as possible with available times and dates.

Thoughts, Tips, and a Tarot Spread for the Spring Equinox

I'm biased towers the Spring Equinox. Not only does it mean that the days are longer and warm weather is eminent (which is something to cerebrate for those of us who dislike the dark and cold of Winter), but it also means that my April 5th birthday is right around the corner. While my natal chart is ruled by Pisces/Neptune, I’m an Aries through and through and my sign and it’s ruling planet of Mars begin their command of the skies starting today.

As Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, it’s often considered the “baby” of the other eleven signs. Winter and the rule of Pisces has ended, and as the Northern Hemisphere begins to awaken again, birth and rebirth are the themes that accompany the reign of the Ram. 

This time of the year, as the ice begins to thaw, birds return from their southern sojourn, and greenery begins to show it’s welcomed visage, is the perfect time to declutter and refresh your physical, mental, and spiritual spaces of the literal and proverbial dust they may have collected over the Winter. It’s also a time to look ahead and see where and how you plan on taking advantage of the longer days so you can use them to create abundance and growth that matches the blossoming flowers and greenery soon to surround you. 

To begin, clean up and refreshen your physical space. Take your room, your office, your sacred niche, or even your whole house and dust, vacuum, wipe, and reorganize to help create a clean slate for the new season. “Spring cleaning” is a popular notion for a reason and helps you rid yourself of that which no longer serves you. Be pragmatic as you clean and remove and ask yourself if that pile of old magazines or stack of unworn Winter sweaters are things you need to carry over into Spring. Lighten the physical area around so that you’re able to make room for the abundance you plan to create in the coming seasons.

Once your area is clean, burn some sage or other sacred herbs and cleanse the space with the smoke of the dried plant to ward off heavy, stale energy left over from the Winter. Not only does this practice have spiritual significance celebrated for thousands of years, the scientific, medicinal properties of burning sage are more then enough to give this ancient ritual a try in your Springtime cleanse

Next, pull out your Tarot cards and give them a good shuffle. Once you feel you’ve got them good and mixed up, lay out three of them as such:

Card 1: Seed
What seeds should you plant this Spring to help draw in abundance?

Card 2: Growth
Where should the focus of that growth lay? The Earthly realm? The creative? The spiritual? What area in your life could benefit from literal and metaphorical expansion?

Card 3: Fruition
How can you see this growth through to it’s fullest potential? What actions or advice do you need to heed to fully blossom over the next few months?

What themes do you see? Is there something unexpected showing up, or do the cards help shed light on what you already know? Keep track of the reading in your Tarot Journal and revisit it every few weeks to see where this course of action has taken you.

If you’re not feeling the three-card deal above, simply ask the cards what you should focus on this Spring and pull a single card. What does it tell you? How can you draw advice and action from what you see? Remember that there’s no wrong way to read; follow your gut and you’ll get the answers you need!

To accompany the theme of growth, I’m happy to announce I’m bringing e-mail readings back! If you’d like to receive a thoughtful, empowering, heartfelt reading via PDF that you can revisit as often as needed, book one today and let’s make some e-mail magic!

There are also a few spots left in next week’s online workshop, The Fool’s School: Tarot 101. Visit the workshops tab of my site and sign up today!

Until next time! Happy Spring!

Matt

New Years Magic: A Four Card Spread

The New Year is always a time of transition and new beginnings, so why should 2016 be any different? 

I feel like both personally and collectively, 2015 was a huge year, and it only makes me more excited to see what the next twelve months will bring. To help ring them in, I devised a little Tarot spread to help us look at the biggest lesson of the past year, how we can move forward with it, and what we can do to help manifest some pretty awesome magic in 2016.

1. What major lesson did you learn in 2015?

2. How can you carry that lesson over into 2016?

3. What major opportunity or chance will you encounter in 2016?

4. How can you best take advantage of it to make 2016 empowering and magical?

Have a safe, amazing, and wonderful New Year!

Matt 

Hello...?

How are you? It's so typical of me to talk about myself...

Sorry, I couldn't resist; that song is EVERYWHERE and has been stuck in my head the past two weeks. I also felt like it's a pretty appropriate greeting since I've been a little MIA in the blogosphere lately.

I don't really have an excuse except that life has been exceptionally busy and my time in front of the computer has been limited. I have, however, been working really hard behind the scenes both in my personal and professional lives and I wanted to give you all a quick update about what's ahead for myself, my cards, and Ashes and Wine!

Yoga Teacher Training
On the personal front, I took a huge Fool-like leap of faith and started Yoga Teacher Training at Zen Yoga Garage here in Chicago. It's been a life-altering experience in the best way possible, and I'm not only excited about the personal transformation I'm seeing, but can't wait to see what I can bring to the table professionally to help my practices and business further enrich and empower YOU guys! It's amazing how many parallels I'm seeing between Yoga and Tarot as journeys to Oneness, and I can't wait to explore them further! 

KickAss Interview
While I've been off the blog for a bit, I've still been hustling those who inspire me most to join me for a Tarot-view on their Tarot practices, creative businesses, and over-all magical lives. My next Tarot-view is with the KickAss Witch herself, Joanna DeVoe, and I can't WAIT to share all of her incredible insights with you guys! 

Fountain Tarot interview
Another interview I'm dying to share with you guys is with the creators of my beloved Fountain Tarot. This one will be up shortly for reading AND listening, along with a very special surprise heading your way ;-)

Tarot T-Shirts
While on the subject of interviews (don't you just love 'em? Glad to see that Journalism degree is finding some use!), I was recently interviewed by the creators of Tarot T-shirts about Ashes and Wine, my Tarot practice, and some other fun little bits and bobs. I'm honored and excited to have taken part, and as soon as it's up I'll share it across the social media board!

Webinar
Last but most certainly not least, I've decided to host a FREE webinar via Google Hangouts to discuss utilizing Tarot to find your own personal MAGIC! I'm SO EXCITED to do this and have already had some amazing feedback. Click here to find out more info and I hope that you'll join me!

That's all for now. Much love and gratitude to you all.

Until next time!

Matt

New Moon Spread

The New Moon is one of my favorite times of the month. It’s the perfect opportunity to reflect over the past four weeks, and gives us all permission to wipe the slate clean emotionally, physically, and spiritually in order to begin any actions, thoughts, or emotions anew. 

While the Full Moon is about the fullness of your potential, the New Moon and its dark presence in the sky gives us permission to go within and examine ourselves. We’re able to look at what’s working in our lives, what’s not, and then can take what we’ve learned and set intentions to improve on our challenges as well as to help continue our successes.

With the New Moon in Virgo, the emphasis is on grounding ourselves; taking a look at our resources, family, and health with a fine-toothed comb and checking in on any problems that need addressing. Virgos love details, so taking a cue from their book will help ensure that you get the most out of this next Lunar Cycle. 

As the New Moon is the perfect time for release and intention setting, I came up with a little new moon spread for you all!

1. What needs to be released
2. What needs to be the focus
3. Best way to move forward

Give it a try and use #awnewmoon so that I can see your photos! ✨🌑

Interested in an e-mail reading yourself? Visit my shop and let’s make some magic!

Until next time,

Matt