personal, poetry

retrograde

my libra moon makes me a dreamer crucified on a wall, using my upturned palms  to hold all the lives that i’m not living

my capricorn dominance replaced my bones with quartz to match the forests in my eyes and ice in my heart. it replaced the passive river that used to be my mind with clusters of raw ambition, amethyst stones where my gentleness used to be

my gemini rising coated my tongue in shards of silver. i am the dark side of the two faced creature, using words as my armor and fists as my sword – the blood trickling down my chin is from all the times I bruised someone else. it allows me to contain more than one life in a single body (it tears me to shreds, it’s a brutal tug-of-war between all the versions of myself)

my pisces sun that hangs her jacket up in the 10th house wears headphones to jump start the engine that lives in my chest .

she’s anger and memories of late night races and bathtubs filled with books

she’s a tattoo needle, a craving, black hair dye

she’s ethereal, strong; she’s capable of holding all the other signs in her arms and only collapsing when no one is looking.

she’s the two fishes bathed in mercury, a death sentence to everyone she touches

my mars in leo is a molotov cocktail,

rage that bleeds into every other emotion

it’s looking to someone with a snarl instead of a smile, not seeking to destroy anything but myself.

it’s a burnt out match that catches on every exposed vein, collarbone, jawline

my scorpio north node painted everything in black to fight along side my sensitive pisces mercury . it says “this is who you were, who you are, and who you’re going to be” . it helps me rely on adrenaline to keep myself upright , took me from tarot cards and birth charts to ouija boards and bones. i needed a tidal wave to uproot my grief, it helped me become avalanche

(i am a tsunami of cracked knuckles and solitude)
my aquarius venus is why i laugh when others cry.  it’s a cold exterior, lightning in my pulse, a void below my ribs. it makes me concerned with what i’m not and where the red strings are tied . it’s a growl when you get too close to someone i love, it’s hidden intelligence. the human pelt i wear over my wolf’s body is gone, i only care for others who don’t need me to speak – who understand the ache in my howls, the blood of a man who cared too much staining my teeth

i am exhausted from carrying their weight under such decaying bones

 

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personal, Uncategorized

Perks of Being Friends With a Witch

  • We always have sage, palo santo, or Florida water on us at all times. Does your apartment have weird vibes? We got you, bro.
  • Speaking of things we carry with us at all the time, the number of crystals a witch will hoard in their car / house / bra / shoes is fucking insane. The good news is that crystals are great for a multitude of reasons, including throwing them at other humans.
  • You’ll quickly find that urban witches are the tits because we’re fantastically gifted at improvising, you’ll also find that traditional witches are also the tits because they are more than likely to have everything you need on hand.
  • We have a plethora of jars and candles; don’t ask, just accept.
  • Witches are some of the best friends to have since we see magic in the smallest of acts; the bass in a car thumping inside your chest, throwing your head back from laughter, and quiet nights at home are all magical to us. We find magic in everything.
  • Tarot cards, all the tarot cards. I personally carry a deck with me at all times since I never know when I or a loved one is going to need a reading.
  • Edgier witches will fuck someone up for you 24/7, kinder witches will passive aggressively remove them from your life.
  • We’re sentimental as fuck and appreciate homemade gifts more than anything. We know the kind of love it takes to make something for another person. In other words, we’re a cheap date and we don’t expect much for Christmas.
  • In relation to the last bullet point, we celebrate everything. Some of us celebrate in more subtle ways, some of us gather the whole coven and throw a party. Enjoy your new found insanity.
  • We’ll invite you for tea and draw sigils in your cup.
  • Have you been having a weird month? Ask your neighborhood witchcraft practitioner about it! There’s probably a planet in retrograde or a full moon and you bet your sweet ass that we have a crystal for that.
  • We memorize our friends’ and family members’ birth charts. You’ll never have a friend who knows you as thoroughly as a witch.
  • We like to go on unique dates; cemeteries, bodies of water, antique stores, and forests are all places that we thrive in and will invite you to.
  • So many books on so many magical topics. So many, send help.
  • Most witches have a familiar so you get two for the price of one!
  • You’ll get a lot of “I can tell something is going on with you, let’s meet up” text messages
  • Kitchen witches make bomb food with a fucking purpose!
  • If you have a spirit in your home, your witch friend will probably be able to feel something strange upon their first visit and depending on your personal beliefs, they will be happy to communicate with and/or remove it.
  • Random, peculiar gifts. Don’t ask, Sharon, just put the crow’s foot in your pocket.
  • Every witch is different, you’ll never meet one who is exactly like another. Collect them all! The possibilities are endless!

 

Be friends with a fucking witch, you won’t be disappointed.

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That’s all there is,

The Book Witch

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poetry

But you, Oh God

You cannot raise a child with spell-books tucked under her arms or superstition carved into her skull and expect her to not wear her pride on her skin. You cannot show her the wilderness inside her and not want her to grow wings. You watched her, with dirt under her fingernails, blood coating her knuckles, as she found magic; you stoked the love inside her until it burnt her to nothing. Now she is here, a cacophony of the people who rebuilt her, a dragon among the men. She has been to the cathedral and learned the words in Latin. She engraved them on her heart and when they rejected her, she found a different god. She wears a crown of thorns and destroys herself so that her flesh can match her blood. You made her, you made her, she made herself the ravens scream at night. You gave her a name that meant “light bringer, light carrier” and forgot that mythology has bestowed those creatures of death the same burden. You gave her compassion and a need for solitude; you raised a wolf in place of a girl. When she laid her soul bare on her skin, you wept for the innocence lost and she wept because it was finally unerringly visible. She is part of the cycle, the thread that runs through the circle of time. The day she was born was a day that signified the end, the beginning, and all the other pieces thrown haphazardly in the dark. Shards of the people before landed on ribs in a way that turned her into a weapon. You tried to contain her in one universe and found that she cannot be restricted to a single space.

She grew up learning tarot cards as an extension of herself. The moon and the carnivores are her companions. She hurdled over her fear of the dark, embracing it in scarred arms. She became a book witch, a bone witch, a water witch. She changed her hair, her blood, her voice. There’s a rage inside her that you wouldn’t believe, a love inside her like you couldn’t imagine. She learned that she felt everything all at once and that it was her ultimate undoing. She understood that it would destroy her, so she tried to destroy herself, instead. She loved so outstandingly hard, with such violent fervor, that she ripped holes in her chest that had to be sewn back together with ice and fire. The people she loved tried to take her wings and forgot she had claws. There’s a restlessness inside her that sings for home home home but she chose to be an ambassador of change – she has no home except herself. Her soul is a haunted house broken, broken, rebuilt. 

Grief and rage carry themselves like matches inside her veins. She turns to words, tries to create poetry, when nothing is left – when everything has been burnt away. She is a piece of stained glass, a religious experience gone wrong.

And when they told her that she would never be able to love someone until she loved herself,

she replied “Bullshit. I have never loved myself. But him, Oh God, I loved him so much I forgot what hating myself felt like”

 

raven tattootarot fingersz 1tarot fingersz 2

 

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personal

Thankful for Youtube Tutorials + Good Highlighter

I’m taking a break from Facebook for a few days; I am one of the millions of human beings who struggles with deep rooted mental illness and sometimes it makes me feel better to just exercise control over very insignificant things – it reminds me that there are so many aspects of my life that will never go the way I want them to, but I can always tackle the world one niche at a time.

Speaking of things to tackle, I have been watching lots of tutorials on YouTube about taking photos! I learned, and don’t judge me (I know that this is super basic rule #1 and I should’ve known already) that lighting is very,  very important. I know, I told you in advance. So, I played around with it today and….

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KODAK Digital Still Camera

ITS SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE KIND OF PICTURES I WAS CONVINCED THAT I WOULD BE TAKING FOREVER.

I got another book about DSLR tricks so that’s on my list of tasks to conquer this weekend. I’ve mostly been teaching myself by playing with buttons and watching YouTube tutorials. I love YouTube, it’s surprisingly educational and I’m fairly certain there’s a video for everything. If you’re angry because there’s not a video for something and you think there should be, make one. I watched some videos about flat-lays, which is the primary kind of pictures that I’ve been posting here and to my Bookstagram (@_bookwitchblog, I know you were wondering). Inspired, I grabbed my paperback copy of Raven Boys and some props (I say props because I don’t know how to explain the coyote bones that I collect or the massive amounts of crystals that I own).

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I think it turned out cute, look what Chandler did! I’m gonna go to Michaels when I can and get some new paper for the background – marbles, water, and whatnot. I also need to collect things to supplement my books. Books are friends and thus, need friends.

Also, are you guys makeup collectors like me? Incidentally, my love of makeup started through books. The first reason is that I had a couple thrift store books growing up that were all about the history of makeup and makeup artists. I adored those books. Secondly, I love book-character inspired makeup. I used to play around with Katniss themed smokey eyes when I was younger. I really think that makeup is either really loved or really hated; I think the creativity that people employ when applying their makeup is amazing. I have seen some of the most mind-blowing expressions of talent on Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook. Let me know if you’ve ever done a book-themed makeup, hair, or fashion look – I would love to see it.

Anyway, thanks for looking! I have a feeling that I will love experimenting with this project.

Carry on,

The Book Witch

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personal

A Prayer for 2017

We’ve talked about this, I’m not much of a religious person. I do, however, sometimes say things aloud to the universe in hopes that they catch something. I say riddles, odd descriptions, things like: Hello, I enjoy coffee and baths and books. I have been told that I have a calming presence but that can mean a cup of chamomile tea or a shot of whiskey in the dark. My friend once said that I’m one of the only people who understand the way she speaks, in tongues and metaphors. I thought that was such an astounding sentence because who couldn’t use a bit of understanding in their lives? Especially right now. We’re so busy screaming at each other to be heard that we forgot how to listen. We forgot how to lend a copy of our favorite book in hopes that people could see glimmers of our souls tucked inside the pages. We forgot to observe the people around us in hopes of memorizing who they are when they think that no one is looking. We’re too busy trying to fit each other into little boxes and then attempting to change our loved ones when we don’t like the boxes that they fit in. We’re so full of anger and we’re so lost. Anger can be a beautiful component of our existence and so is being perfectly off the beaten path. It’s important to stop and remember why we’re so angry. This is a lot, coming from a tiny ball of rage and a walking storm, to be looking out amongst a sea of people and thinking “Why are they so hateful?” 

I throw this to the universe in the hopes that it’s caught by someone or something. I pray that we remember to feel anger for the right reasons. Stop being angry because your neighbor is different than you, start being angry because your soul is being chained. Stop being angry because you have all this time, an unknown variable, that you’ve chosen to live in a way you’re not proud of. Start being angry because there are people who were taken before they reaized where the numbers stopped. It’s taken me a long time to learn that we have our own hearts and lungs and minds – that we can not decide how much someone is hurting because we assume they are like us, with identical atriums and lobes. 

Teach your kids to be happy over a well-loved novel; a book is not the same without folded pages and pencil marks and we are not the same without the constellations of scars on our bodies. Share a cup of coffee with a friend, be silent, and remember. Acknowledge their hurt, be angry because someone broke them, not because you will never understand their pain.

Enjoy your time, I pray that everyone who reads this can stop and enjoy five minutes – to relive the moments that made them feel alive again. 

Carry on,

The Book Witch 

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Uncategorized

the cards, the cards

Quick Personal Update / Well – Wishes

Before we dive into the world of tarot reading, I wanted to wish you guys a very happy December. I’m half Buddy-the-Elf, half neurotic mess when it comes to Christmas. I have all my presents purchased except one thing for my niece & all my presents wrapped except what is still en route to my house. I even made a trip to the post office to get my packages started on their holiday pilgrimage. Normally, I adore the post office. Weird, I know… but who doesn’t get the warm-fuzzies from sending or receiving happy mail? During the holidays, the post office makes me moderately homicidal. Jason gives me a ton of crap because I spend an unusual amount of time in post offices and library for someone my age.

The festive feelings are abundant in my tiny family because we did our first Christmas cards this year! Jason has no idea why we had to go to the forest and take turn taking family photos with my boss’ family but I think they turned out super cute and I love them so much. When I was picking up my photos from Walgreens (the holy land of 2-hour photos), I noticed there were templates for Halloween family photos, so now we’re going to do that EVERY YEAR.

Otherwise, we’re busy looking for houses or apartments! I’m one of those people who needs my own space to feel content. I don’t mind sharing with family but I want my name on lease and the power to make it mine. I’m also still in the process of switching my majors and I’m taking an even bigger academic leap and switching from the University to the local community college. There’s too many stipulations and surplus charges to going to a University and I’m getting too old to be dealing with people telling me what classes I can and cannot take, within reason. Jason was offered a position at his dream career which is very exciting for both of us. I hope everyone is experiencing some sort of holiday magic and is enjoying the love that comes with this time of year.

In other bookish news, it completely escaped my goldfish brain to tell you guys that I make biblio-playlists on my Spotify; if you don’t have Spotify, I strongly recommend getting one. I’m not sponsored to say that but I am the kind of person who gets very testy if I don’t have something to listen to and I have found Spotify to be the best platform to avoiding conversation with strangers. I have a ACOMAF / Wicked Lovely playlist that I’m decently proud of so here’s the link to that: aislinn / feyre playlist

Thank you for sticking with me through that word vomit – let’s get onto the topic of the day – tarot cards!

The History of Tarot 

Contrary to what the uninitiated might think, the meaning of divination cards changes over time, shaped by each era’s culture and the needs of individual users. This is partly why these decks can be so puzzling to outsiders, as most of them reference allegories or events familiar to people many centuries ago. Caitlín Matthews, who teaches courses on cartomancy, or divination with cards, says that before the 18th century, the imagery on these cards was accessible to a much broader population. But in contrast to these historic decks, Matthews finds most modern decks harder to engage with. (Collector’s Weekly)

I learned recently on the Just A Story Podcast: Ouija Board Episode that tarot cards were actually one of the very first spin offs of the infamous spirit board. These cards are dated way back to early Christianity, as the first hand drawn cards had imagery that was strongly linked to biblical messages. Today, we most often see tarot cards being used by gypsies in movies and TV shows. Sometimes, its a scraggly old witch who says that her cards are telling the main character that he/she is about to encounter daaanngerrr… ohhh nooo!

Tarot cards have often been used to contact the other side – specifically, dead relatives or resident spirits. Cards are one of the earliest methods of divination and have been a multipurpose tool for occult members for centuries.

I don’t want to bore ya’ll with the schematic origins of tarot cards, so I’ll give a short little blurb about why tarot cards are important to me. 

The Book Witch & her Tarot Cards

tarot

I was introduced to tarot cards shortly after my introduction to the occult, witchcraft, and astrology. I know almost as much about tarot cards as I do birth charts, so that’s quite a lot. I was given my first spell-book when I was five; if my memory serves correct, I started reading cards at six. My first deck was a Rider- Waite, which most of you have probably seen, whether you know it or not. It was a mini-deck and was actually pretty hard to read since the text was so small. My family, on my mom’s side, is Native American and Romany. Romany (often pronounced Rum-knee) is the politically saavy term for “gypsy”. My family is the side of Romany that deals with horse racing, rather than caravans. Yes, there is a side of gypsy culture that deals entirely with horse-racing. My great-aunt and great-uncle were actually Queen & King of the Gypsies during their lifetime. My mom and my Papa are Triple-Crown fanatics and I got the mysticism. To say superstition and strange hobbies run in my family is the understatement of the century. Long story short, if you’ve ever seen the show “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”, you’ve probably seen one of my relatives.

Since my first deck, I’ve had at least fifteen other decks. I have the Zombie tarot, Fairy tarot, Astrological tarot, Karma tarot, Mermaid tarot.. you get the idea. My current right-hand deck is the Starchild Tarot and it goes everywhere with me. Why do I carry a tarot deck with me at all times? Well, in addition to being the Harry Potter friend, the witch friend, the book worm friend, and the caffeine dependent friend – I am also, the Tarot friend. I cannot count how many times I’ve run into someone at a coffee shop and they’ve asked for a reading. There are not enough fingers and toes on my body to mark the occasions that I’ve gotten a text message from a friend who’s panicking about some circumstance and needs me to read their cards immediately. I carry them with me because I’m afraid that if I don’t have a deck on hand, the world might explode with uncertainty and mass confusion.

How to Learn Tarot

I’ve been reading cards from the time that most kids learned to ride a bike and I’ve taught quite a few people about tarot, as well. There are so many ways to read someone’s cards; essentially, there’s infinite possibilities and more are created every day. I use a traditional three-card spread that focuses on past, present, and future. However, I follow a lot of great blogs with very unique tarot spread ideas and of course, I have books. Most decks come with a small guide book that translates each card and gives some basic spread ideas for novices. Once you get familiar with the meanings of each individual card, reading mostly becomes about intuition. To get started, here are some books that I strongly recommend. Side-note: Most books go off of the traditional deck (ie Rider-Waite) so it’s best to get familiar with a deck that has the standard Cups, Swords, Pentacles, and Wands and the original Major Arcana (The Sun, Moon, Chariot etc). My precious Star Child deck deviates from the norm – I’m personally very happy that I learned on a traditional deck before trying to read something that is a stand-alone. For those interested in learning about tarot, check out Tarot for a New Generation, The Intuitive Tarot, and The Thinking Tarot. Once the basics have been covered and you’re familiar with the meanings, Tarot Spreads is my holy grail and I highly recommend it. There’s a plethora of other books that cover fortune-telling as a whole which can be really helpful for beginners to decide whether they prefer cartomancy or other forms of divination.

Tarot Themed YA 

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Hi, I’m Chandler and I take a lot of pictures with my books in baths. Why? Because I need more cute props for book photos, there’s no good lighting anywhere else in my house, and baths are fucking awesome, that’s why.

I couldn’t write a tarot-themed post without mentioning this series. Actually, the whole reason I wrote this post was to talk about Kresley Cole! So now that you’re here, let’s sit and chat for a minute about the beauty that is The Arcana Chronicles. Mama didn’t raise no Slytherin for nothin’!

Normally, I am not a fan of books written from the perspective of the stereotypical high school cheerleader because I identify more with the quirky-but-not-emo (think Cath from Fangirl or Rory from Gilmore Girls) character. Except Stephanie Meyer’s Bella Swan; fuck Bella Swan. I’m sorry, I’m sorry – I know there are fans who can argue the genius of Twilight but like, how do you do it? Anyway, at first I hated Evie (back to Arcana Chronicles, oops) but Cole starts the story off from the perspective of another character, who you can already tell is a deranged psychopath… which was great because the entire time I was thinking “Oh cool, is Evie gonna die?” I wanted desperately to finish the book so I can find out if she lives or not. Then… she evolved. She became this super interesting, powerful character who really should’ve been a quirky girl but happened to fall on higher on the social ladder. Even Jack, the stereotypical bad boy, had some good qualities to him.

For the record, I ship Evie and another very intricate character- who also has stolen a bit of my heart, its very problematic. You meet him in the second book so I’m not going to delve into him, it would be a very mean spoiler. In addition to me switching from “Oh boy, when does she get killed off?” to “YEAH BUDDY, GIRL POWER”, I have to say that the plot of the entire book is amazing. And its an apocalyptic wasteland and that is my shit. Kresley Cole embodies the tarot cards so well. Their traits and nuances are so unique and subtle that it’s hard to catch onto at first. Like the Judgement card, who happens to be an archangel who acts like a 1930’s gentleman.

I love this series, I have absolutely devoured it. I will even admit to loving Evie, she’s too much of a bad-ass to not appreciate. If you have any knowledge (or no knowledge) of tarot cards, I would tell you to go read this series. GO READ THIS SERIES. Then come back & tell me who your favorite card is.

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Current Reads

Dead of Winter – Kresley Cole & Ghostland: An American History of Haunted Places – Colin Dickey

See you all very soon; best wishes,

The Book Witch

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