Come, gather round and render tales Of sunlit skies and rugged flames Of hands outstretched towards the sky Of crafted wheels and bales of fire Of beating drums and crowing men Of lyrics hollered towards the glen Of ancient stones and weathered walls A hallowed sunrise praised by all A time to mark the longest […]
While most agree with Carl Jung’s idea that the Shadow Self is the part of ourselves that we wish to hide from—I would have to wholly disagree.
To me, my Shadow Self is the person I wish to become––if only I wasn’t facing a lifetime of conditioning telling me my worth is in my lightness.
My Shadow Self is nimble, contorting, effortlessly sensual, powerful, and cunning. She’s my inner temptress. She’s Kali, she’s Lilith, she’s Hekate. She’s my supreme darkness. She’s seductive and intoxicating. She demands full attention, takes space, is sacred—she is fully and wildly present.
I climb into her not to escape my reality, but to become more like my Self.
Meeting our shadow is exactly what it sounds like. It is deep, it is dark and it is uncomfortable. But it’s incredibly important.
A few months ago I was put in a situation that forced me to face her head on. I didn’t ask her to come out—but after a few hours of total presence with my body, she was quick to reveal herself.
That’s an important thing to remember, you can run from your shadow, but you cannot escape.
So you might as well ask her to dance.
Being present with your shadow is like holding up a mirror and witnessing your reflection blurt out all of your deepest trauma and insecurities.
You aren’t good enough. You aren’t pretty enough. You’re ugly. You’re dark. You’re distant. You’re wicked.
She demands that you are honest with yourself. She demands that you acknowledge that these parts of yourself exist. Like a zen meditation she asks you to let these thoughts have a voice and then let them pass through you.
She asks that you be neither a judge, jury, or prosecutor but instead a witness to your truth. To see her. To bring her to existence.
You don’t have to stay with your shadow forever, but if you invite her to dance just once in a while you’ll be surprised at how much truth and authenticity she reveals. How much rawness she invites into your life.
Dark and chaotic, writhing and shaking in pain and pleasure. Passionately honest. A dark, brutal force. The fiery Goddess manifested. Her hips swing powerfully. Her arms, long and boundless. Her legs take root and make home in the present moment.
She is dressed in black. Her lips are painted in dark lipstick. She smells of pomegranate. She is a scorpio. She is unafraid. Unapologetic. She owns her trauma, she transforms it. Like a tornado she spins and takes the rest of the room with her.
She is the creator and destroyer. Her dance commands the room. Her radiance manifests in her movements. She transcends Good vs Bad, Right vs Wrong.
She just is.
She is the darkness that gives depth to my lightness—and in opening myself to her mystery I become more Me.
The tale of Blue Beard is one that terrifyingly enough, all women will come to understand in our lives. Particularly as we begin to recognize the difference between our higher consciousness and our Ego. Their separateness. And as we start to see the “predator” within our own psyches that seeks to keep us Ego-bound and unenlightened. As Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls it, this predator seeks to turn all crossroads into dead ends. It does so by convincing us to dismiss our wildish nature.
In the this tale, from Women Who Run with the Wolves, Blue Beard was a particularly strange man with a bright blue beard who had his eyes on three sisters. He wanted to marry them. But the two oldest sisters had their doubts. Something about him just didn’t sit right.
In an effort to win them over, he took the three sisters to his castle where he showed off his lavish lifestyle…his acres of meadow and forest, his horses, his enormous estate, and so much more. He fed them, charmed them, and gave his all trying to win the sisters over. Showing them what he believed they wanted to see.
After the trip to his castle the two older sister discussed their experience and agreed that despite all of his efforts, something was still off. So they declined his proposal.
The younger sister, however, was enchanted by him. She saw him to be nice enough, so she agreed to marry him.
I’m not quite ready to let go of The Love Monster.
I was just going through my old blog, The Love Monster, and I’m realizing how much I missed blogging. Having a “themed” blog makes writing seem harder to keep up with– and with the love monster, writing about sexuality, love, and relationships just came naturally.
Writing about magick and spirituality is something entirely different. Am I really equipped to give advice about spirit? About magick? The Goddess?
In reality though, spirituality, magic and relationships are deeply interconnected in my life. There’s no need to separate them, and this blog is a place where I can discuss both.
To me, being a witch is about both surrendering (to) and empowering yourself. Surrendering to death and the cyclical nature of existence, surrendering to your higher Self, to that voice of authenticity deep inside– while also becoming empowered enough to listen to and understand what you’re hearing. Learning how to use the tools of the universe to make real change in your life. To give your human experience real meaning.
This means a lot for all of my relationships, friendships and family included.
So, I suppose this is a re-introduction to my blog, Lipstick Witch. I haven’t entirely given up on my love monster side, and hope my readers (if there’s anyone actually out there) are excited to hear more of my voice.
If you have anything you’d like me to write about, feel free to leave a comment.
I found this incredible deck while shopping online for tarot cards to gift to my beautiful sister, a woman of color who is new to the world of tarot. Most often when choosing decks for beginners, the Rider Waite deck is the first suggestion. And it’s true, the Rider Waite deck is great for new readers, but it’s exclusively white and doesn’t give any representation to black people.
This deck though…This deck is incredible! It’s dark, somber and rich archetypal symbolism gives readers new context for understanding their own story. I’d say this deck is a must have for any witch-of-color. This 26 card deck features important cultural influencers from black history, including Tupac as the Hanged Man and Tina Turner as Strength.
The Black Power tarot deck was born from the visionary mind of musician King Khan, who sought to celebrate black power using the mystic language of the Tarot. The characters featured in this deck are African American people whom he felt followed a path of illumination despite being born in a country that is vehemently corrupt against them.
Khan studied tarot for a decade, after being gifted the Tarot de Marseilles by Alejandro Jodorowsky. Jodorowsky personally taught Khan how to read and understand the tarot–giving him a much deeper and profound understanding of the craft and it’s ability to give context and meaning to cultural stories.
They worked together for years to put together a deck that they both felt was spiritually authentic and spoke to the truth of the African American archetypal story.
The mission of the black power tarot was to “add a heavy dose of surrealistic mythos to American history by replacing the archetypes of the major arcana with the chosen people thus giving the world a new deck.”
And the black power tarot was born!
If you are a white tarot reader, I would encourage you to take a second and think before you rush to buy this deck for yourself. It’s extremely limited edition (like, down to the last batch of 30 decks). With the tarot and occult scene being so whitewashed already, and with most decks pretty exclusively catering to white characters, i’d take a second to think about leaving accessibility to this deck to the people it uplifts and represents…black people.
If you’re interested in this deck or want to gift it to someone you know, you can find it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/228723122/the-black-power-tarot
Another great interpretation of The Devil card by Anne Duthers!
Notice how the Devil looks as if he wears a mask? And although his right hand reads “live long and prosper” (!?!) his left holds a torch to the man’s tail. Be careful to review the whole picture, before making a deal with this guy.
The couple seems to have wandered into a wild party that looked like fun before they ended up in this room, chained to a block (material obsession). The man pushes the torch away from his backside even as his tail is lit (with flames of desire). Her tail is a grapevine (drunkenness/lineage/luxury).
It looks as if they are just about to regain their senses, clasp hands and finally make their way home. No doubt those tails will fall off…
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Interpretation: Despite the fear that the Devil card often invokes in people, it’s truly not a frightening card at all. The Devil card is about bondage– a deep, metaphorical and internal bondage. When this card is pulled, you are being asked to look beyond superficial appearances and go deeper into the Truth of a situation. Look beyond how you WANT to feel, beyond what you wish was happening, beyond all layers of inauthenticity and fantasy. What is actually going on? You are asked to remember that when you are feeling stuck or restrained, you almost always have the keys to your own freedom. You CAN make change and free yourself.
At its core, this card is about negative relationships that you might have with someone or something. Whether it’s a lover, a boss, alcohol, or some other vice. Perhaps there is a friend who you know is bad for you, yet you continue to involve them in your life. Perhaps it is a bad habit that you can’t let go of. Are you drinking too much? Spending too much time on the internet and letting it harm other parts of your life? Perhaps there is a lover you know you need to let go of for your own greater good, but cannot seem to leave.
This card brings addiction and codependency to light. Toxic substances, relationships with things and people, and deep denial about the truth of your current situation are things to consider.
The Devil card says that you, and only you, can abandon your current state of hopelessness and suffering. So what are you going to do about it?
Questions to ask: When you listen to your intuition, what does it tell you about the truth of your situation? Where are you feeling stuck or restricted in your life? Who or what is in charge of our lives? What are you obsessing over? Are you letting your ego control your life? How can you lift yourself out of these lower levels of thoughts and feelings?
What are your interpretations of The Devil card? Feel free to share photos and interpretations in the comments section, or share with me on Facebook!