Here are the challenges for February 1 through February 5.
- Journal Activity: What is sympathetic magic? Is sympathetic magic something that you use in your practice? What are some examples of sympathetic magic that you’ve used recently? What are some of the positives of sympathetic magic? The negatives?
Sympathetic Magic is “primitive magic or a magical ritual using objects or actions resembling or symbolically associated with the event or person over which influence is sought“. I’ve been known to use sympathetic magic, by use of poppets or images or even just items of the person for whom which the magic is intended. The positive aspects of sympathetic magic (IMO) are the same as for the negatives – you are capable of performing magic on someone from a distance. The reason this is both positive and negative is that it opens up the door for distance healing and work (and in this day and age, our friends and family are often far removed from us), but it also can limit the effectiveness of the magic, depending on a persons willpower and ability.
- Tarot Activity: Go over the properties and associations of the Pages and the Knights of each suit. If you want to go for a challenge, do reversals as well.
- Page of Wands – a youthful free spirit who represents change and new beginnings; the Wands is the suit of creativity and inspiration, and can also lead one to seeing a restlessness in themselves that needs some expression! This card is all about enthusiasm, exploration, and discovery.
- Knight of Wands – this is your pursuit card; you have the initial, creative spark of your idea, now you have to take action and put in a true commitment. The Knight of Wands is about energy, passion, action, and even a bit of impulsiveness.
- Page of Swords – this card reflects you abundance of energy and enthusiasm; you just can’t wait to start that new project or get going with a new idea. This card is all about energy! The Page of Swords indicates curiosity, a mental restlessness, and a desire to “GO FOR IT”.
- Knight of Swords – blinded by desire for the fulfillment of our ideas, we don’t see the bumps and obstacles we may encounter. The Knight of Swords is gung-ho and motivated, but needs to be balanced with compassion and the realisation of responsibility.
- Page of Cups – another card dealing with creativity, the Cups are the emotional suit, and the Page is a messenger of new and creative beginnings (romantic ones as well) – it also symbolizes a need for expression, but on a more emotional level. The Page of Cups can also mean a creative block.
- Knight of Cups – the Knight of Cups is about intuition and being in touch with ones emotions. Ruled by the heart, rather than the head. A deep desire to share warmth and love and friendliness with those around you. This card is about romance, charm, and imagination.
- Page of Pentacles – this card is all about dreams and the desire to manifest them in the “real world” – the Pentacles suit is focused on material and financial matters. This card isn’t about fulfillment, but about initial motivation. It’s about manifestation, opportunity, and beginnings.
- Knight of Pentacles – patience! This card is all about routine, responsibility, truth, and honesty. The Knight of Pentacles meets the tasks he undertakes with rigor, and only sees success.
- Free Day: Take today off – or use today to gather information on something from your research list that you made back in January.
- Tarot Activity: Go over the properties and associations of the Queens and the Kings of each suit. If you want to go for a challenge, do reversals as well.
The Queen of Wands is not afraid to show her power, and she does not shy away from a challenge. She is strong, focused on her desires, and she intends to get what she wants. She is highly energetic and has an inner vibrancy that keeps her going with energy and inspiration. The King of Wands is not about creativity or dreaming up ideas, but more about taking an idea and changing the world to fit his vision. He is a leader, and he is a visionary.
The Queen of Swords has a mature intellect that is not tampered with by emotions; she is stern, composed, and nearly emotionless. The when, where, what, who, why, and how are what concern the Queen of Swords – she connects through intellect, not emotions. The King of Swords is detached, objective, and stern (but fair). He has a clear head and encourages you to use your logic instead of your heart.
The Queen of Cups compassionate and sensitive and calm; she is emotionally secure, fair, and honest. She is like a mirror and will reflect the depths of others back to them in order for them to see the mysteries within themselves. She can pick up on emotional energy and has a highly developed intuition. The King of Cups expression restraint in his emotional state, unlike the other court cards in this suit – he is a master of his emotions, and represents the balance between emotions and intellect.
The Queen of Pentacles is practical and motherly, and strives to create a warm and secure environment for her family. She is strong, capable of doing it all; she is Mother Earth and Super Mom. The King of Pentacles about discipline, control, stability, and trustworthiness. He is the Father who guides, supports, and provides.
- Correspondence Activity: Research and list your local flora.
There are hundreds of species of cacti in this region of Arizona, more than I care to list to research. I am not overly concerned with cacti. We also have many different types of trees and bushes throughout the desert, the most notably being the Mesquite tree, and people often use it for firewood because it has a lovely smell and they like to cook food over it (it is great for smoking meats). Magically, Mesquite is a healing plant. We also have Lavender and Rosemary that seem to grow in abundance here, Juniper bushes, Oleander, Jimson Weed, and Yucca plants.
- Tarot Activity: There are many variations of a three card spread. List as many as you like and then complete one from your list. Reflect on the results of the spread. Are there positives in your reading? Negatives? What patterns can you see in the spread?
- Past, Present, Future
- Mind, Body, Spirit
- Head, Heart, Soul
- Idea, Obstacle, Solution
- Situation, Action, Outcome
I chose to do the Situation, Action, Outcome spread.
- Situation – The Lovers: Our relationship and our trust. It is our connection, both sexually and emotionally, and our desire and passion for one another. I broke his trust (financially) and he is taking it really hard. I made some choices and did not consult him about them – I decided to make life easier and possibly eliminate some excess expenditure, but he does not see it that way. We are hashing it out currently, but that isn’t the only problem. Our entire relationship is the problem, the fact that he is so far away and cannot handle his emotions or think clearly at this time. Neither of us are entirely right, or entirely wrong – we both have our issues and our problems. I owned up to my mistakes, and I don’t ask for his forgiveness, just his understanding.
- Action – The Fool: We need to start over, have a new beginning. We had a lot of potential, but we have hit a serious obstacle in our path and we really need to make some choices and rethink everything. We need to start over.
- Outcome – Strength: If we take the necessary Action, we will have an inner strength that will help us get through the obstacles we will likely face in the future. We will develop a perseverance that we currently lack, but definitely need.
I don’t know how I feel about this right now. I know that I am scared, but of what? Of it all not working out? Of a split between us? Of problems that will never be reconciled, for one reason or another? This is painful, and I can feel that I really need to process this spread.
- Spell Activity: Choose an herb that you have in your pantry. Write a blessing spell that features that herb.
I chose Cayenne Pepper, which is one of my favorite herbs/spices to cook with. Cayenne is a tough one to use in a blessing spell, as it is a Banishing herb, but here it is:
Spell to Bless a House using Cayenne Pepper
- A broom
- Cayenne Pepper (enough to spread in front of all of the doors leading into/out of the house – front and back, side, garage, etc)
Sprinkle the Cayenne across the thresholds; say the following at each threshold as you sprinkle:
I banish all negativity within these walls. I protect this home from negative and harmful people, items, and behaviors.
Starting at the threshold you sprinkled first, take the broom and sweep the Cayenne away from the doors. As you sweep, say at each threshold:
I bless this home with positive thoughts, actions, and items. Let nothing enter that may cause harm to the inhabitants.
- Tarot Activity: Create a spread of your own. Give it significance to your life – maybe you create it to use on the full moon, or you use it to see how your week will go, maybe you use it to connect with your higher power – and do a reading with your spread. Commit to repeating it in the future and journaling about your experiences with it. We will be using it again in the challenge.
I chose not to do this exercise.
- Research Activity: What is the Law of Similarity and the Law of Contact with regards to sympathetic magic? How can these inform your practice?
“……..The former principle may be called the Law of Similarity, the latter the Law of Contact or Contagion. From the first of these principles, namely the Law of Similarity, the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely by imitating it: from the second he infers that whatever he does to a material object will affect equally the person with whom the object was once in contact, whether it formed part of his body or not. Charms based on the Law of Similarity may be called Homoeopathic or Imitative Magic. Charms based on the Law of Contact or Contagion may be called Contagious Magic. To denote the first of these branches of magic the term Homoeopathic is perhaps preferable, for the alternative term Imitative or Mimetic suggests, if it does not imply, a conscious agent who imitates, thereby limiting the scope of magic too narrowly………..“
From the above description of the Law of Similarity, I’m not really sure what to take away from it – does it mean that someone can produce the same effect merely by imitating it?
Now, that definition makes complete sense. So, the concept of Voodoo Dolls is Homeopathic Magic. Rain dances are homeopathic magic. I get it now. I wonder if imitating the motion of sweeping could, essentially, be considered Homeopathic Magic?
In regards to the Law of Contact, Dictionary.Com defines it as:
- Tarot Activity: Today is the time to wrap up anything you haven’t done with regards to the Major and Minor Arcana. Are all your card descriptions complete? Do you have information that is helpful to you? Is there any extraneous information that you can get rid of? Do you have a few spreads in your arsenal now? Use this time to reflect on your tarot usage – do you feel better acquainted with tarot now than you did at the beginning? What are some things you can do to become more familiar with it?
I’ve always been a reader of the Tarot, this challenge has not caused my level of comfort to rise or fall, it has only solidified my knowledge. I am still finding that I have trouble with a Daily Practice (even though a Daily Draw is one of my 2016 Spiritual Goals). I have had a good amount of spreads in my arsenal already, and from there Pinterest has a plethora of information and spreads to inspire.