Lessons from the Strength Card

The Strength Card from the Modern Witch Tarot

This month as we move into Leo season, we are presented the opportunity to embody the wisdom of the Strength card.  In the Tarot, the Strength card is the card that carries the energy of Leo season. As a Leo, I find that people often simplify the essence of Leo into someone who is boisterous and overbearing, while overlooking the qualities that make Leos great.

The Strength card represents these qualities well.  With Strength we are confronted by our inner beast and how we react when we feel threatened.  It’s a card of advocacy and using your inner fire for good .  It’s an invitation into taming the reaction that comes up when we feel triggered by something.

The brilliance of this card is that it’s an ongoing process.  We get a little better with every opportunity we are presented to practice.  It’s not about the quick, big success but the progress we make over time.  It’s about the baby steps. And, slow and steady progress that delivers us to deeply understand ourselves.

Strength shows us how to cultivate resilience in confronting our own shortcomings and reactions.  It asks us to be loyal to ourselves above all else.  This can be very challenging as it brings us face-to-face with the conditioning we experienced growing up.  

The Strength card confronts us with how we react when we feel threatened.  It asks us to observe what we think about those reactions and what we were taught about them from the time we were young. What were you taught about showing emotion?  What were you taught about your responsibility to stand up for yourself and other people?  Were you taught to ignore bullies? Were you treated as if you were weak or scared because of that reaction?  Did you feel a need to confront every bully and right all wrongs?  Did you enforce your perspective on others?

Strength asks us to stare into the face of these reactions and try to approach them with gentleness and understanding.  Almost as if you are trying to gentle tame a beast.  It still exists but, in what ways can you learn to cultivate the positive qualities of it and ease the vicious ones?

Strength is one of my favorite cards and one I have worked with for a long time.  I consider it a great ally of those with trauma and a fighting spirit.  In moments when I have felt that overwhelming desire to fight back, I have paused and tuned in to that Strength card and asked myself why I’m feeling that way, and if this is something that needs a big reaction.  Sometimes the answer is yes.  Sometimes the answer is no.  But, it’s allowed me to have a greater sense of agency over my reactions and has allowed me to give up the feeling of helplessness that often frustrates me.

For that reason, I’ve decided to offer a two part Strength Card Embodiment Workshop this month.  This workshop is a celebration of resilience and will dive deep into tempering your reactions and meeting yourself with gentleness when you feel triggered. The point of this and other embodiment workshops I have offered is to bring awareness to the wisdom of the physical body.  When we are feeling these emotions and triggers, they also show up in the body and can act as a powerful signal to let us know to pay attention and take action. For most of us, it’s easier for us to recognize the physical feelings in our body than it is to be aware of our emotions. In part 1 on Wednesday, August 12th at 7 PM ET we will discuss theory of the Strength card, practice some embodiment exercises, light movement, guided meditation and journaling. Then, you will have a week to create an intention for our new moon ceremony.

Part two will solidify lessons learned in part one and give us the opportunity to shed the last bits of extra fire we stirred up in part one and will include a New Moon in Leo Intention Setting and Healing Ceremony live over Zoom on Wednesday, August 19th at 7 PM ET.  (If you’re saying, wait Sheila, the new moon is Tuesday, August 18th – I know, but it’s best to wait until the moon moves out of it’s dark phase to set the clearest intentions.)  This ceremony will be an opportunity to get really clear on what you want to cultivate as we close out the Summer.  You can sign up here.

© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

How to Reflect and Grow with the Tarot

The Wild Unknown Tarot and my Tarot Journal

Tarot is a wonderful tool for reflection is my number one use for it in my own practice.

This week I want to talk about how to reflect and grow with the tarot.  A big part of this is by capturing your readings in a tarot journal.  This will show you different phases of your journey.  We often under-value our progress.  It happens so gradually over time we miss how much we have learned.

That’s why one of my favorite spreads is my tarot for reflection spread.  This spread is designed to bring you face to face with where you are now and what fears might be holding you back.  Often those fears cause contraction that keeps us small and hovering inside of our comfort zone.

One of the great things about the tarot is that it can show us very directly what we think is true and compare that to what is actually true.  Fear often acts as a mask that hides these things from us but in confronting fear head on with this type of spread we can take away it’s power and give ourselves an actionable way forward.

This spread was designed for readers of all levels.  I use it once a quarter just as a check-in for where I am in my life and my business, but I also check in with it if I find myself reading on the same subject over and over. 

I’m sure you’ve been there. Turning a card over, then drawing another, and maybe just one more until you’ve pulled like twenty cards and you’re completely confused.

I get it! We all do it but it can get really confusing if you’re reading on the same exact topic everyday.  

That is why I use my Tarot for Reflection Spread.  I created this spread to help separate fear and anxiety from true intuitive desire. I notice that I have a tendency to get locked into these little anxiety cycles and I struggle to pull apart what is real and true from a story that my anxiety is telling me. I know I am not alone in that and that is what drove me to share this spread.

Using this spread, we start to notice common fears that come up.  This can lead to major breakthroughs.  For example, maybe you notice that every time you approach a new relationship you have a tendency to start comparing it to all of your past romances and sabotage yourself – a real Seven of Swords vibe.  

Maybe you notice that every time you are up for a promotion at work you work you start talking up a peer instead, or deflecting compliments from supervisors because you are afraid moving into a new position will mean failure – a real Moon Card feeling.

This knowledge is power because you will see how you react to fear and what you use as a crutch when you are feeling it.  When we see these behavior patterns, we can interrupt them as they are happening and empower ourselves to embrace the fear as simply more information.  This is the real beauty of the combination of journaling your tarot spreads and regularly using this Tarot for Reflection Spread.

If you would like access to this free offerings, you can find the Tarot for Reflection Spread here.  As always, I would love to hear about your experience, so if you try one of the spreads please, send me an email and let me know how it went (Sheila at starsagespirit dot com) or tag me on instagram (@starsagespirit) and let me know how it went.

© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

Breaking Up With Your Tarot Deck

The Starchild Tarot Deck – My OG Tarot Go To

I’ve been going through a breakup.  No, not with my partner…with my tarot deck.

Since I started reading, I’ve been relying very heavily on my Starchild Tarot Deck.  I pined after it.  I looked at it on instagram longingly and finally bought it three years ago.  It was truly love at first sight.

Although I learned on the Coleman Smith Rider-Waite, the Starchild Tarot became my go-to for both personal practice and with client readings.  It was my first deck that really worked well, for both and during almost every reading I would hear, “Those cards are beautiful.”

So what changed?

It’s not that I’ve lost that loving feeling.  I still resonate with the cards and I think this deck is STUNNING. (There has not been a reading I have given with this deck where people haven’t commented on how beautiful the cards are.)

But I’ve noticed a shift lately.  The deck just isn’t resonating the way it used to.  I find it harder to relate to.  It doesn’t seem to be able to handle this big pandemic energy.

I have heard other readers talk about this but this is the first time I’ve experienced it personally and I think it’s something that is hard to completely comprehend until it starts happening to you. 

Sometimes I find myself just staring at cards that used to easily trigger my intuition in a second or two and feeling a little bit dumbfounded.

So I experimented a little. I tuned into my intuition and asked which deck I should use at that moment. I switched to the deck that came to mind, just to see what would happen. (Sidenote: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a moment when I genuinely thought I was losing my intuition. The struggle is real, even for a pro.)

Sure enough, I was back up to speed right away. Things lit up and stood out the way they always do and I had no problem reading for myself or others with it.

I’ve known for a long time that some decks aren’t meant to go everywhere with us and after reading with this one for three years, it might be time to retire it as my go-to.  It could be temporary, as in “We are on a break.”  Or it might be long term, where we see each other occasionally but don’t connect in the same way we used to.

I’m not sure yet.  All I know is that I’m feeling the pull to try something new.

Lately though, I feel myself entering a different life stage and I’m starting to sense that this deck and I need a little break.  It’s okay….it’s mutual…even if it does feel a little sad.  I still get nostalgic for my lovely Starchild Tarot.  But I know this is a time for exploration.  I’m entering a new stage as a person and a business owner.  After all, I turn 35 in a month and I hear that’s when you finally get wise (I’m lying. I don’t hear that. I just want it to be true.)

So if you have been finding yourself feeling like you aren’t quite resonating with your favorite deck anymore, it might be time to see what else is out there.  Open yourself up to new tarot horizons.  You don’t have to drop your favorite deck like a bad habit. It just might be time to allow a new deck and energy into your life.

A little space and a little time might bring you right back to where you started but, we all need a little change sometimes.

© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

Virtual Tarot Parties In the Age of COVID-19

I started reading at tarot parties almost two years ago.  It started as a small part of my practice. I did a girls’ night here, a bachelorette party there.  With everyone at home on lockdowns, this has become such a huge part of my business.

People are missing connection and are tired of just drinking and chatting on Zoom.  I’ve been fielding a lot of questions around these parties so I thought it might be a good idea to share a post about what an online tarot party is like.

I do each party over Zoom because there’s a lot of flexibility through that platform and it’s worked amazingly so far.  The party host schedules the time that’s best with me for groups of 4-11.  Once everyone is on the call, I do a little intro about me and what I do.  Many of my clients are first-timers so they sometimes have misconceptions about what happens during a reading or what they can or can’t ask about.  So I use this time to set expectations and explain how the technology works.

Then, I place most of the group into a virtual breakout room and go into a separate breakout room with the person I am reading for.  They get to have privacy for their reading.  

We typically do a brief 15 minute reading before I swap them back into the other room with their friends and bring someone new in with me. You would be surprised how much you can learn in 15 minutes.  Some people come in with specific questions they want answers on or an area of their life where they are looking for guidance.  Others are just looking for a general reading.

I follow the same process until I’ve read for everyone.

I love this option because it still allows me to do a face-to-face reading and it honestly works the same as it does if the person is physically in the room with me.  COVID-19 has forced us all to be creative but it has also allowed me to reduce my pricing for parties a bit because I don’t need to commute and I can read for anyone, anywhere in the world.  I have met so many amazing people all over this country and even a few in Europe.

When we are finished our individual readings, I bring us all back into the main room and the excitement is palpable. Everyone has their own little reading to chat about.  Usually everyone is having cocktails and really excited about what came up.  Sometimes I answer a couple more questions before I hop off and leave the group to hang out as long as they like.

Especially in the age of so much distance, it’s nice to have something even deeper to connect over.  I am still doing bachelorette parties, girls’ nights, birthday parties; any celebration that COVID-19 has put a damper on, I can help brighten up from afar.

Social distancing has really brought me a newfound understanding of the connection that these virtual gatherings provide for people.  I’ve noticed clients open up to their friends more about what struggles or victories are coming up for them because so often, tarot is validating for people.  After the reading, having the time to go back in and sit with friends and talk about what came up, has opened up whole new conversations for friends.

It’s amazing to see and be a part of these connections. And, at a time when things can feel very heavy, it has reinvigorated my passion for my work..  If you have any questions or are interested in a session you can send me an email at sheila at starsagespirit dot com.  I would love to work with you.

© Sheila Masterson 2020 All Rights Reserved

Holiday Gift Ideas for your Woo-Woo Friends

The Holidays are upon us. I feel like I blinked and now it’s December. Time flies when you are having fun.

A friend of mine asked me for some gift ideas for someone who is really into “witchy stuff”.  So I though maybe you could all use some ideas for your favorite witchy friend.

I am so into this really cool hand-printing and reading kit from Hand Full of Stars. (On sale for $29 at amazon right now)

As a Sagittarius rising you know I”m all about a gift that inspire learning. Palmistry is something I don’t know much about but I did hear Helene talk about her journey into Palmistry on a podcast recently and her approach was so down to earth that I just knew I would relate.  This is not only a cool gift, but also a social one. Something the whole family can enjoy or that you can whip out next time your friends are over.

This Earth’s Elements Crystal Water Bottle is one I use every single day. The crystals are in a separate compartment than the water but they work to infuse your water with the energy of the crystals.  

I actually got this as a gift from friends when I started my business and I was skeptical but I do find that it helps keep me balanced daily. Especially on days when I’m working back to back, it helps keep me clear and grounded.  My bottle is actually the chakra balancing model but I love that I can swap the stones out whenever for a little boost of whatever type of energy I need. So If I’m working with self-love, I might swap in some rose quartz or when I’m looking to open my mind I might put some green aventurine in there.

Another great option is gifting a nice piece of crystal jewelry is also a great option.  I am lucky to have two good friends who both make beautiful pieces. What I really love about these is that they are all custom and one of a kind and you can choose something specifically for the energy of your loved one.

My friend Karen makes some really cool stuff.  You can find her over on Instagram @ Karsjules.  I have a couple pieces from her that I just love and I also love her story.  After her Dad passed away, she needed something to busy her mind and her hands. She turned her hobby into a wonderful little side business with her reiki infused crystal jewelry.

And I can’t talk about crystals without talking about my dear friend and partner in LIVESTREAM crime, The Spirit Stone.  She has some really cool little teeny crystal terrariums and necklaces that juuuust went live in her shop. She and I go way back and we love talking all things spiritual.  We even have a holiday LIVESTREAM coming up on where you can check out all kinds of crystal deals and fun spirit chat. You n find detail over on my instagram @starsagespirit or in my email newsletter by signing up for email.

Of course we can’t forget tarot decks.  All of these decks have been on my wish list for a while.

The Modern Witch Tarot – This deck is a more inclusive deck which I love but I’m also into all the bright colorful imagery.  I’ve had my eye on this one for a few months. Maybe Santa will get me this one.

The Light Seers Tarot – This deck comes out tomorrow and I’ve been drooling over the creator Chris-Anne’s instagram, loving all of the art on these cards. It’s a beautiful deck and I connected with the imagery immediately.

The Tarot de Marseilles – A classic for tarot readers but not one I currently have.  A lot of people learn on this deck and it is one of the most commonly used around the world.  Nothing wrong with a classic.

And it wouldn’t be a gift list from me if it didn’t include a few books.  

Beyond Past Lives by Mira Kelley. This isn’t a new book, but i just read it this year.  I loved the exercises in Mira’s book and her approach to understanding past lives and their connection to our current lives.  As someone who often does past life healing with clients, this book resonated so strongly with me and with things I felt that I struggled to put into words.

The Illusion of Money by Kyle Cease.  This book is one I go back to very often.  It is a great reminder of how backwards we have everything as a society.  Time is limited and money is abundant. This book has been a huge one in shifting my money mindset and embracing a life much more in alignment with my values.

Energy Medicine by Dr. Jill Blakeway – As someone who has a tendency toward the logical I absolutely loved this book.  She explains the science of energy medicine in a way that is clear and expresses how little we know and how much is still out there waiting to be discovered.  This book inspires fascination and wonder.

And last but certainly not least, the gift of Reiki or tarot from yours truly.  Several folks took me up on my 2020 Year Ahead Tarot Special and New Years Release and Intitiation Reiki Tarot Combo but I still have some sessions left. If you would like to have your session in December please book sooner rather than later as I will be taking some time off over the holidays.

I hope this helps you either create your own little holiday wish list or shop for someone you love.  Let me know in the comments what is on your list this year.

Tuning in and Tuning out – The Dance with Intuition

It’s hard to believe it’s been two months since took the leap to go full time with my business.  June was an absolute blur.  I was so busy with reiki session, tarot parties, and new mediumship readings, all while trying to get my business legs under me.

It was stressful but also incredibly energizing.  Learning how to manage my energy and listen to my body has been really important for me.  Towards the end of my time at my corporate job I spent so much time tuning out.  I honestly couldn’t really be tuned it because I knew I was so out of alignment with what I wanted to be doing and I was waiting for the right time to make my move.

This is actually one of my favorite topics to talk about.  Tuning in and tuning out of intuition.

As a person who spent a lot of her life tuning out, it’s really been a journey for me to learn when to listen and how to listen.

When I was young I used a crutch that many of us use – busy-ness. I was always active playing for multiple softball teams, singing in every choir possible, participating in hours of rehearsals for plays.  All of that was stuff i enjoyed doing yes but I had a relentless need to keep my mind busy or I would get too focused on all the things I was hearing or picking up from people.

I can remember coming home from grade school (I went to Catholic grade school so I’m talking Kindergarten through 8th grade) every day with a headache.  As a kid I was very empathic and intuitive and I spent all day picking up things about other students and my teachers.  I spent a lot of energy trying to block things out.

As an adult, and especially now that I have embraced some of these skills I still notice that I go through periods of needing to tune out.

I put a lot of pressure on myself not to do that but I am only human. I notice a lot of my intuitive friends do the same things.
So how does it look to tune out as an adult?

Well for me sometimes it looks like drinking more often. This isn’t a matter of getting drunk to forget but just consistently having a glass of wine during that quiet after dinner time.  
It also looks like constantly having some sort of noise going, could be mindlessly watching something on netflix or streaming podcast after podcast.bits the mindless noise that we busy our minds with.

I had to stop and sit and be honest with myself this week and realize how I started to tune out a bit again.  This happens for me sometimes when there’s some new sort of gift or skill coming in.  
Like everyone else I get anxious about change.  Being intuitive doesn’t mean being fearless.  This past week I had to really sit with myself and listen.  I went back to yoga.  I did my best to not busy myself every hour of the day so I wouldn’t have to think.

I even started a new tradition of sitting or laying in bed in the morning for an extra 30 minutes or so to give myself some time to think, meditate and listen.  Slowly everything starts to balance back out when I do this.  

Actually opening up to intituion is not nearly as scary as the anxiety of blocking it will lead you to believe.  Whatever it is that I’m avoiding will always come through either in my allowing it to or by force.

It’s like the expression goes “Jump, or be thrown in”.

Before I quit my corporate job I was getting so many signs that it was time.  Beyond my deep dread of feeling the rut I was in, I was getting very specific signs.  In one week three different people told me “I guess it’s time to hang your shingle”. The exact same phrase over and over from three different people in totally different areas of my life using the same old timey phrase about being public about my business.

Messages were coming through stronger, new reiki abilities started coming.  I was totally overwhelmed by the obvious but i couldn’t not look at it.
One of my teachers was listening to me describe how I knew it was coming I was just trying to logically figure out how to make it happen.  

He looked at me dead in the face and said “I think you’re going to have to jump before you can see where you’re going to land.”

And I did the thing I always do when someone or my intuition tells me that.  I moaned and groaned and asked “why” and avoided tuning in.

I busied myself as much as possible so I wouldn’t have to deal with it until I absolutely couldn’t take it any more.
So many people recently have made comments to me about how if they could just see what’s coming they would have a much easier time.  As someone who does see it, I can tell you it’s not true.  It can be hard to look at.  It is hard to know especially when other people aren’t ready to know.

There’s also this idea that because I can see things or because I’m more connected I am good at this stuff. The truth is that I am a normal person and I struggle with most of the same things everyone else does.  

The fact is that no one can be tuned in 100% all the time. It would be so exhausting and overwhelming and we are here to enjoy the human experience.  

So often I find that the community of intuitives and Yogi’s want to smash the ego. But my experience is that the ego is a major part of keeping us present in the more human parts of our experience in this lifetime. Being too connected and out of the body isn’t good all of the time.
This fall I have a series of workshops planned combining my love of talking about intuition with yoga and the archetypes of the tarot.  I am so excited to share my experience and learn from others.  

So far I have sign ups for one course up live at Nectar Yoga Studio owned by the lovely and talented, Kate Goodyear (link to sign up) but I will have several others popping up over the next few weeks.  I will be sure to share the the details as I have them.

Thank you for keeping up with my journey.