I’ve always been fascinated by graveyards and never considered them a typical haunt place (honestly, I think some of the energy of mourners is what people are picking up on, rather than the spirits of the dead). Strolling through a graveyard tells you much of a place’s history – you can easily see when the early 20th Century flu epidemic hit. Signs and symbols no longer used on headstones speak a special language.

Yet, many are afraid of graveyards, of facing their own mortality, and of natural cycles. Don’t be afraid of an ending (and I’m not just talking physical death here) as it just the beginning of something else.


GRAVEYARD – Unnecessary fear

The stones they mark
The eternal resting place
Yet the spirits they are walking
And they are ready for the chase!

Today’s modern graveyards are restful places – normally highly manicured and very well set out. While they can be places of profound sadness, few are the creepy gothic places of old, yet they still hold an undercurrent of fear and seem frightening places.

Due to countless stories of haunted graveyards, the thought of walking through cemeteries evokes fear in many of us – we imagine zombies and ghosts rising from the graves and bad spirits hiding out, waiting to harm an unsuspecting living person walking by. The idea of being at a graveyard after dark, or worse, at midnight, is the stuff of dares and nightmares.

But this isn’t the way with every culture. On the Mexican Day of the Dead, whole families picnic on the graves of their loved ones who have passed. Children play upon the graves, people play music, drink wine and share food all in the “company of the dead.” Graveyard dust is used as an ingredient in protective spells, not in curses.

Pull this card and know that you fear unnecessarily. Things are not as they seem and you can overcome your obstacles. The anxieties you have, although real, should be put aside before they haunt you long term. Instead, trust that you know the correct next steps and that you will act upon them.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

Good Monday, everyone! This is a pretty serious card, and it’s asking us to look at ourselves with an open eye to find those things that need work to break cycles or the things that make us different in the eyes of others even though it may be what makes you strong. This is a part of shadow work, and it’s not easy stuff. Sometimes we can do it alone but often we need a good friend or a professional counselor.



We may not wish to delve there
The shadows, the darkness
the unknown.
Yet, when we search, we reveal,
And our power, it has grown.

The beautiful and mysterious skull of darkness encourages us to look at the part of ourselves that normally remains hidden or as unseen as possible.

We may not appreciate or like certain aspects of ourselves and yet, sometimes our greatest treasures lie within these areas. How many times have you heard of famous artists or people extremely successful in their fields being bullied for being so different – yet is these very differences from others that make them so powerful.

Additionally, all of us at some stage of life have certain “blind spots” that may cause us grief and trouble. Although we cannot see the issue clearly, it is the repeated patterns of pain that may alert us to them – symptoms, if you will. For example, the same things keep happening over and over again; we may be betrayed repeatedly, fail at something repeatedly, not complete tasks continually. Peace and pattern-breaking can be achieved by doing the work in uncovering our blind spot or even consulting trusted close friends or professionals to assist us to see what we cannot.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

tSo when choosing today’s cards, I had an interesting experience. The Trick-or-Treat card gave me the warm buzzy ball of energy feeling, which usually feels like it pushes up on my hand. I though, OK, it’s probably this one. But when my hand went over the Spider card, it literally pulled my hand down to the card (and no, my arm wasn’t tired LOL). That was a unique thing for me, but it seemed clear that this card wasn’t being ignored either!

Looking at them together, I think we’re being asked to reach out to others and build community through more playful means than what we often use. Whether it’s gathering around a bonfire or playing a board game or projecting a favorite movie on the side of the garage, let’s think of ways to bring joy and fun back into communities this weekend.

Below are the cards’ individual meanings. Wishing you all October blessings!

SPIDER – Community and web weaving

She spins her silk alone
In the dark with hope of collection
Sticky with dreams,
Weaving the worlds
A wide web of connection

Masses of sticky spider webs make any Halloween decorations complete. The idea of a haunted house covered in the “artwork” of a big, hairy spider is classic horror. Even those of us who appreciate our eight-legged friends still hurriedly brush off those stealthy webs if we run into them in the dark!

Although most spiders are not venomous, humans have an innate fear of them. Perhaps it’s the fangs or the poison. Perhaps it’s all those legs and the way they move. Perhaps it’s where they live – often in dark, hidden places – or the way our Western, popular culture has demonized them by making the giant, fierce, and man-eating! Some cultures though revere the spider in very positive ways. In many Native American traditions, for example, the spider is the creature that gives birth to all other animals and sustains the web of life. The Goddess Spider Grandmother (and there is also a Spider Woman) is a key deity that brings wisdom, safety, and communication to all the tribes. She created and wove all the stars in the sky and makes soft webs for those that are troubled to rest upon and be supported by.

Spiders’ webs can be seen as a symbol of connection, not necessarily entrapment. There is a fine line sometimes between a family or community supporting us and controlling is. This card looks at this discernment. It also suggests you review the way you communicate with the wider community, at work, or generally with others and take steps to improve this or do it slightly differently. It also indicates that there needs to be a balance between what you do for yourself and what you do for others . . . if we give too much to the outside, our strength diminishes and we cannot weave the supporting web for ourselves.

TRICK-OR-TREAT – Mischief and play

Stalking and stomping
Eyes shining and begging baskets
Faces and bodies
that are no longer ours
Laughing, skeletons and candy caskets

Trick-or-treating is such a fun thing to do, is it not? Yet, why do we trick-or-treat?

Ancient peoples understood that there were both mischievous and perhaps nasty spirits wandering around at nightfall at Halloween as well as happier, more benevolent spirits. They thought that if they dressed as spirits themselves (or other frightening creatures) then they would not be recognized as human and attacked. The idea of causing a little chaos as one of these “spirits” was part of the imitation (and the enjoyment) of thenight. The practice in medieval Britain was aptly called “souling.”

Today, trick-or-treating is a huge event. We spend much time, money, and effort dressing up as our scariest creatures and this has even extended to dressing up as our favorite celebrities and other pop culture idols. Instead of traditional candy apples and barmbrack, we give out a mind-boggling variety of candy. It matters not – the idea of frightening away death and darkness still stands.

I believe that the modern trick-or-treating also unites communities by introducing our families and friends to those around us in a non-threatening and joyful way. Many of us do not know our neighbors – even those who live next door – and Halloween gives us an excuse not to be so reserved and extend our boundaries.

Should you receive the Trick-or-Treat card in your divination, it may well be a time to examine your own life. You don’t have to be a child to let go and have some playtime and you can extend the fun to others. Sometimes we are afraid to make mistakes and play is one way to alleviate the pressure that we sometimes place on ourselves to get everything perfect every time. Alternatively, it is worth knowing that there is a balance between manipulation and mischief – the former is not pleasant and the other has at its core a sense of irreverent fun.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

To nonherbalists, this card’s description with so much emphasis on fire cider may seem odd. It is not. A few years ago, four herbalists went to federal court to prevent a company from trademarking the term “fire cider,” which is a loose recipe that has been around since the 1970s. I make this brew every autumn in preparation for cold and flu season – and let me tell you that the suggestion to boost your boldness with a shot of this stuff every morning is on point! It’s a strong and spicy concoction that will open up the sinuses and boost the circulation. But this is just one example of how we have and can reclaim traditions for our modern lives. How will you defend the grandmothers’ teachings? Just a quick note that tomorrow begins my tradition of using the Halloween Oracle all through October, though this year I might occasionally reach for the Tarot Familiars.


Adelita of Fire – Cayenne

Dare to take a risk – be bold; defend the integrity of the grandmothers’ teachings; heat erupts, then heals

A young woman makes a spice vinegar called fire cider. She gathers ingredients: garlic, onion, horseradish, ginger, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, and vinegar. She grips the side of a molcajete with one hand while crushing peppers with the other. The golden winters sun casts a divine glow on her workspace.

Meaning: The Adelita of Fire fiercely defends her passion and her rights. Like the warm, stimulating medicine of cayenne pepper, she is bold and relentless in her advocacy. She vows to protect folk traditions. She know that access to this ancient remedy may be threatened. She is determined to honor the ancestors by keeping the people’s medicine available to all. She is inspired by countless teachers who have freely shared information with her as she has learned about herbal medicine. She fights for the integrity of the community by passing on what has been given to her. She inspires others to follow her lead.

Crafting with the Adelita of Fire

• Stand up to corporate greed: craft your own fire cider.

• Empower others: host a community fire cider-making party in your home.

• Boost your boldness: begin each day with a shot of fire cider.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by author Latisha Guthrie and artist Joanna Colbert Powell

Such a powerful card. When we tell our stories, we help ourselves and often help others. Don’t fear the stories that are from difficult times – they are often the best lessons.

Have a lovely day, everyone.


MEANING: Live larger than life. Make the most of every experience. You can choose the meaning that you give events. Find interpretations that empower you, rather than diminish you. Be the storyteller and the hero of your own life. Give your personal story empowering meanings.

NATIVE SPIRIT WISDOM: Around the evening campfire, clan members always looked forward to the storyteller recounting events of the daily happenings of the tribe. Even the most mundane event took on a vibrancy in the expert hands of an experienced storyteller. The Storyteller card chose you to remind you to be the champion of your own personal myth; be the central character. Don’t live life according to the needs and expectations of others. Don’t be a bit player in your own story.

THE JOURNEY: Take an event in your life that you gave a disempowering meaning and find a way to rescript it so that the interpretation of this same story is one in which you are the hero.

Native Spirit Oracle by author Denise Linn and artist Charles McStravick

This card indicates kindness and wisdom but also a quiet and contemplative time. In Celtic myth, Herons are associated with the gods. This card tends to be very open to interpretation, so feel free to share your perspective!




MEANING: Greeting the dawn, often alone, the Heron is reputed to be gifted with psychic perception and reflection. The guardian of many esoteric secrets, it is said to stand at the gateway between life and death and to act as mediator on the soul’s journey to the Celtic otherworld and reincarnation.

TRACKS & PATHWAYS: Artistic ability, honesty and integrity, purposeful equality, responsibility, consideration of others, affection, support and companionship.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

The love part of this description is important: True power isn’t wild, aggressive and angry – it is controlled and effective. It is easy to confuse angry action with power, but there’s more love in power than anger.

Blessings and have a good Monday!

Panther Spirit – Reclaim Your Power

Message: It takes courage to face challenges and right now, Panther Spirit is here to say that you are braver than you think. Now is the time to take a risk and step into a different aspect of your being. Speak as you have never spoken before, act as you have always dreamed you might have the courage to act, love fearlessly and fully, and expect to feel the adrenaline rush as you are initiated into a new, braver, bolder self. Panther Spirit says the time for dreaming about what you want to do is giving way to that first courageous act toward reclaiming your Panther Spirit and power. Your new identity may feel strange at first, but you have what it takes and your soul wants to be bold!

Protection Message: Are you feeling shaky because you have made a bold move and have not yet seen confirmation that everything is going to work out? Or is fear holding you back? Are you afraid to act until the risk of failure has been removed? The moment when there is no risk whatsoever will never come, so follow the urging of your Panther Spirit within and look your fear in the eye. Have you ever heard the famous line “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”? Stare down your fear, and it will retreat and make way for your courage to fill you from head to toe.

Perhaps you are afraid you can’t trust the power that is rising in you, and you fear the qualities you will find within when you look deeply at what you resist in the challenge before you. Every part of you, no matter how dark it may seem, has a light quality, so be bold and face it; own the light and make peace with your shadow. Spirit trusts you, so be brave and true yourself.

Spirit Animal Oracle by author Colette Baron-Reid and artist Jenna DellaGrottaglia

Happy Friday to you all! My work schedule was switched, so I have the day off and am looking forward to a nice, long walk with a dog and working on some projects. Hope your weekend is off to a good start.

As for the card today, this is good but sometimes hard stuff to face. We don’t like to face certain emotions, though it is healthy and healing to do so.

Spirit of Water

Meaning: Trust your intuition. Know that you’re on the right path. Take time to nurture yourself. Allow your inner child free rein. Believe in your dreams. Don’t stifle your emotions; trust the messages they’re giving you. Purify and cleanse yourself and your home. Healing is on its way. Emotional healing energy is expanding within you.

Native Spirit Wisdom: The Spirit of Water invites an emotional richness to your life. Communicate from your heart. Embrace your childlike wonder. This card also represents purification, cleansing, and healing. It reminds you to clean your personal space and embrace your emotions – all of them, even the ones that you don’t usually like. Additionally, trust your hunches. Push off from the shore of safety, and enter the flow of life. All is well.

The Journey: Be aware of water in your life: humidity, mists, clouds, rain, water in food (fruit, vegetables, and so forth), the ocean, the rivers, the bath, and the shower. Drink extra water; energize it by placing your hand over each glass and sending love into the water. Cleanse and purify yourself and your living space using water. Imagine how it would feel to be a still pool, a mountain stream, a mist, the great sea, or a summer shower. Notice any emotions or feelings that emerge as you do this. Watch your dreams. 

Native Spirit Oracle by author Denise Linn and artist Charles McStravick

This deck doesn’t appear here much because, well, I find the pips to be uninspired (I am an intuitive reader based on the art, so bland pips are not my favorite). Yet the magical feel to this deck fits well with the coming of autumn, and I’m not ready to delve into the Halloween deck as I will use it for most of October. Plus, we have a new black cat amongst our animals, so I’m introducing Mojo!

Have a great day, everyone!

Knave of Wands

Meaning: A faithful and loyal person or emissary, a stranger with good intentions, a consistent person, or good news on the way. It could also mean indecision in preceding, resistance, instability, a gossip, displeasure, or rushing into something.

Thistle’s Note: When I got over the fact that this cat looks like a friend’s cat, I think we see a lot of hints in the artwork here. The Wands suit is of the Air element, thus intellect, communication, and inspiration are part and parcel for it. We see here a young feline balancing between the intellect (the books), intuition (the crystal ball), and understanding that time is wasting away if you become stuck in indecision (the watch). The knave (aka page) represents a young person or one that is young at heart, full of energy, playfulness, and optimism. The flip side of that youthfulness is sometimes rash behavior and a lack of experience. This deck’s book is basic, leaving room for personal interpretation. Are you stuck making a decision? Are you making a well-considered decision? Sometimes it is easy to become bogged down in researching something that you never act on it – or worse, not consider your gut instinct before acting. Be sure not to waste too much time and end up with the regret of not having lived fully in fear of going down the wrong path.


Tarot Familiars by Lisa Parker

First of all, blessed Autumn Equinox (or Spring Equinox, for those in the Southern Hem)! Here in southeast Kansas, it finally began to feel like fall yesterday. Today promised to be another gorgeous day and crisp night. I hope everyone has a chance to enjoy their harvest, whatever that may be.

Energy seems to be a thing right now – so many are tired and worn out by the changes we’ve had to make to keep people safe, especially when some people refuse to do their part. Workplaces are changing and some are not adapting well to employee’s state of minds and spirits. Guard your energy carefully, and use your energy wisely.


Fire Dragon – Transmutation, Mastery, Energy

This card shows the flaming Dragon of King Uther’s vision. In the distance we see Glastonbury Tor. Legend tells of a secret cave with in the Tor, used perhaps for initiation. Flaming Dragons often guard such caverns to prevent their desecration by the greedy and to offer their treasure to those who are worthy. In the foreground, laying on the rock, is a golden torc – Celtic neck ring indicating high status, rulership, and mastery.

Meaning: Fire dragon brings vitality, enthusiasm, encourage, and an increased ability to overcome obstacles and to find the energy needed to cope with life‘s problems. Having the powerful fire dragon as an ally will align you with the qualities of leadership and mastery. With care, he will fuel your inner fire which can be directed and channeled with laser-like precision to help you accomplish tasks and achieve objectives.

This card can also mean that you may be repressing a good deal of anger. This may make you feel that you are not in control of your life energy. Either you experience energy as out of control – erupting without warning or constantly bubbling near the surface – or you may sense it has scattered or dissipated. Are you often lacking in energy and vitality? Do you find it hard to get excited or motivated? Or do you find you have too much nervous energy, making you over excited, unable to sleep, concentrate, or relax?

Whether you have too much or too little energy, developing a harmonious relationship with the fire dragon will help you. If you were lacking in energy, you may need to ask the dragon to give you a little more of the treasure he is guarding. If you find your energy level is too high, you may need to do the reverse – to ask the dragon to take charge of some of your energy, guarding it fiercely, sure in the knowledge that you will be given access when you really need it.

Druid Animal Oracle by authors Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

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