Meeting the Solstice with Four of Swords Restwork

I’m finally about to have a few days of rest coming my way- and as the winter solstice meets us, it would be a shame to waste the chance to take this moment and tune in.

I’ve been hitting a block with my shadow work and too long after I just now realize that the blockage begins in my dreamspace, where the work is supposed to start. How can I actualize in the physical realm, if my spirit cannot access the knowledge in the first place?!


The Four of Swords is probably one of the most well-received cards in the Swords’ suit. While all the other cards seem to be cutting at some internal battle raging inside you, this card is unique in that it asks you to step back from the battle, take shelter and recover. In the past, this card and I have always had a positive relationship. After intense periods of personal growth and overcoming, seeing this card always felt like a reward. A sigh of relief and an allowance of guilt-free rest. I was always happy to take the time to soften the edges that had grown sharp and reflect on work well done without worrying just then about the next steps that needed to be taken.

However, there’s a reason that this card belongs in the Swords suit. Continue reading

#taroteveryday: lay down your sword and take up your shield 

We all need reminders to talk ourselves away from the cliff. I was working through some deep anxiety today and I had to give myself a break from going full force at whatever was coming at me- I had to give the Knight of Swords in myself the permission to back off and take stock before moving forward.

Today’s reading from the Ostara Tarot

It’s okay to rest and retreat for a moment in order to come back stronger and rejuvenated. You deserve that moment to breathe, protected, and safe. Put down your sword and take up your shield.

It’s not about falling into seclusion or accepting defeat, more like storing up energy for the next big step you’ll take. Ask for help where you can (you can).

Learn and practice self-compassion. You deserve that kindness.


Hi, I’m Asali! I’m a Black queer femme earthworker passionate about tarot, tea, and healing work. Schedule a card reading with me for a deeply clarifying intuitive tarot session. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, drop me a line!

Altar Building Ritual for Celebrating Self-Love

I’ve been dancing in water these past few days.

Earlier this week, September 7th and 8th, along with tens of thousands around the world, I celebrated Yemaya and Oshun’s feast days. Deities of the Ifa tradition, Yemaya is the all-Mother and her sister Oshun shares the sweetness that makes life worth living.  The Two Waters, Yemaya (salt water) and Oshun (sweet water) teach their children lessons of self-love learned from their own often painful experience.


Yemoja y Oshun by Miguel Ordoqui

Traditionally, members of our community gather in our elders’ home and bring in the feast days in much style, music, and pomp. We all dress in blues, whites, silvers, and golds and share laughter and food to honor the orishas. This was unavailable to me as I live alone in a city quite far from my elder’s home and far enough from most of my community that a commute is out of the question. It was true of my situation last year as well, the difference this year being that I’ve learned that abundance is available to me wherever I am.

As such, this year I joyfully chose to build an altar of celebration in my home, set it up in pride of place for just little old me to enjoy- and trusted that it would be worth the time and energy. As I dressed the altar I soon realized that the offering was not just for Yemaya and Oshun, it was also for me, my own full and at times pained heart and joy, honoring the love that I have carefully tended for myself.

Ritual and healing is always available to you.
Your magic is always available to you.

Watermelon, papaya, lemons, oranges, mint, honey, and a breathtaking bouquet of sunflowers. A trip to the thrift store will yield a vase tall and strong enough to hold your sunflowers and some gorgeous scarves in gold and blue to dress your Two Waters altar. Add candles and tarot and your favorite crystals and sweet herbs. Be sure to dance and sing and cry and smile and laugh and jump to joyful song as you create.

Celebrate Yemaya who invites us to the shores of her ocean and asks us to dive in. In her sacred waters she takes us on, all of our light and shadow, washes us and sanctifies us. Yemaya knows salt and she welcomes our tears knowing well the release that comes with them. At the bottom of the ocean we leave our trauma, pain, and old bones. Mother bears us back to shore.

Celebrate Oshun who meets us at the shore and offers to fill up the space left empty by our release. Instead of pain she offers laughter, a siren calling us up the river and inviting us to fall in. We drink thirstily of the sweet water and call in love, call in joy, call in pleasure, call in desire, call in abundance, call back our smiles to us. At the river’s edge we emerge, and she holds up her very own mirror so that we may see our own brilliance, dressed in gold of our own making. Oshun gifts us honey kisses dropped on our tongues so that we may always keep her sweetness with us.

Celebrate Yourself.

Your love is always available to you.


As always, the ritual is for your own healing, so feel free to add, leave out, or substitute whatever you like, in exactly the way it works for you.

Hi, I’m Asali! I’m a Black queer femme earthworker passionate about tarot, tea, and healing work. Schedule a card reading with me for a deeply clarifying intuitive tarot session. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, drop me a line!

What are your support systems? A spread from the Full Moon in Capricorn.

The Full Moons have been hitting me hard lately. This one in Capricorn is vibing with Cancer in a way that transforms its usual concerns for structure into deeper ones about support. What are your support systems? How do you feel supported? Where do you feel most supported? Paying attention to the shadow of those answers as well, because the reality is that for some of us, support is scarce if available. Be gentle with yourself in this work, this is some of the hardest work, acknowledging what is present and what is missing- who is missing. That being said, check in often. I hope this spread can help with that work.

1. You, upright.
2. You, when in need of support.
3, 4, 5. Support System Inventory.
6, 7. Further guidance.


Continue reading

Tarot of the QTPOC: Asian American Tarot

You should absolutely support the Asian American Tarot. I believe my first words when I saw the Kickstarter for this deck was “Oh wow.” breathed with awe as I rushed to add it to my Tarot of the QTPOC list. I don’t know that I have seen a tarot project like this before, and I have to say it is a stunning idea for such an important vision.


from the Asian American Tarot: Art by Simi Kang, Monica Ramos, and Camille Chew

Continue reading

walking through fire, a gathering of survival strategies by community and allies

Here is a link round up of healers writing as community and allies visioning strategies for healing.



Where does a healer’s anger go? Beyond love and light. I wrote a piece for the Little Red Tarot on holding space for anger that bleeds through my identity as a black queer femme healer in the world we live in now.

My spiritual elders have always taught me that to be a master healer is to have the capacity for both the light and the shadow. A crone’s wisdom comes not from her living a life of ease and positivity, but the hard knowledge and intimate experience of the dark and the understanding of how to wield it. The smirk in the medicine woman’s smile is the knowledge that the division of medicine and poison is arbitrary and often entirely up to her. As a healer with marginalized identities I claim that I am due more than just sadness; I tire of it. I am due the full breadth of my anger and rage.

Read the whole piece at Little Red Tarot here!

Coming Back to Life: Healing Through Crisis with Ritual + Action at the Hoodwitch provides multiple great ideas for healing and working through grief.

The Zen Poet Thich Nhat Hanh asked “What do we need to do to save our world?” his questioners expected him to identify the best strategies to peruse in social and environmental action, but Thich Nhat Hanh’s answer was this: “What we most need to do is to hear within us the sound of the Earth crying. “Healing starts within each and every one of us.”In despair work, we learn to uncover our pain for the world and we honor it.” Says Author’s Joanna Macy & Molly Young Of “Coming Back to life: practices to reconnect our lives, Our world” How can we do this?

– We Need You To Show Up To The Riot Well Rested, a love reminder to activists on the front lines.

Dreams are the work we do to build resistance and the dreamer is society, the collective people galvanized to take part in changing their condition. I believe dreams and imagination are knowledge projects that require our interrogation to make sense of the world. Dreams enter our bodies and stir up the subject in spite of our age, ability, class position, nationality, sexual orientation or health status. They perform their duties in delivering us information regardless of our opinions of them. Dreams do not ask for their power; they simply are powerful. We cannot forget in social justice work to be dream–like.

7 Questions for Earnest Allies from Siobhan’s Mirror that we should all ask ourselves for all the spaces we hold privilege. I love that they can be used as a tarot spread because sometimes we don’t know where to begin and these questions are great sign posts for the journey.

Use the questions below to journal. Use them as a tarot spread. Use them as a conversation starter but make sure your conversation partner has the energy or interest in engaging these kinds of questions. Use these questions to know yourself better. Use them how you will. Or don’t and save them for later. Take a healing bath instead. May your inquiry be led by love. Even when it burns white hot and lives in you as anger. May your inquiry be a prayer for hope or a precursor for action. May your own truth lead you.

Our role as herbalists, healers, + magick-makers within #BlackLivesMatter at Worts + Cunning asks healers in solidarity to move beyond lip service where they can.

Here’s the deal. Love does not need to be sent somewhere right now. It needs to be embodied and lived. Imagine what you would do for any member of your family or your closest friends or your romantic partner that you deeply love if you knew that their life was at risk, in large part because of your disinterest and inaction. You would do more than “send love” via a comment on someone’s instagram feed. If you’re praying for peace, be that prayer embodied. Peace is not going to happen without justice. Justice is not going to happen if folks beyond the Black community don’t demand it relentlessly and tirelessly.

– Lettie at High Moon Femme Tarot is asking us to Support Black Femmes & Black Lives and is also participating in a knowledge and service share for Black Femmes and Black folx seeking healing.

I AM ASKING FOR $200 (so far) so I can send it to DEER BLACK FEMME FRIENDS who NEED SUPPORT today. You can send your part–$5, $10, $20, $60! Whatever you’ve got, we’ll take! Please communicate with me via private message to work out details etc. I’m gonna ask over & over because I want them to stay alive. I, too, am overwhelmed & heartbroken over the anti-Black state sanctioned violence, & this is something I want to do / believe we can do. I will be so happy to let you know when donations start coming in & I can start pushing them on through to these lovable simply because they exist Black femmes!

– Build your own Herbal Crisis/Trauma Kit with guidance from Berenice Dimas

Herbs and Resources to help support your body~mind~spirit as you participate in protest, marches, demonstrations, and actions.

Self Care For People of Color After Psychological Trauma by Just Jasmine.

When people of color are exposed to repetitive acts of racism (racism has been shown to be processed in our brains as trauma) a kind of post traumatic stress syndrome can develop.

How to Be a Black Empath in America by Deandra Fells

As empaths, we often feel selfish for not being there for others during times of need. We know that others who lack the emotional bandwidth during a time like this need us and we feel as though we have a duty to be there for them. Stop and think: how can you really do that if you know in your heart of hearts that you yourself are suffering from the same lack? It’s okay to not be capable at times. Put up your “Be back soon” sign.

Fiona Benjamin’s entire twitter feed these past few days has been lit up with truth and a call to action that goes beyond silence and quiet solidarity.


– For white and other non-black allies who want to do better. Jeanna at Girlboss Woo wrote An Open Letter to My Fellow White Business Owners that has points applicable to more than the business realm.

Hundreds of black men and women – straight and LGBTQIA+ – have been murdered this year alone, the result of systemic racism and xenophobia that manifests in police brutality, in the ad-hoc life-and-death, jury and executioner position to which too many police officers appoint themselves. And to this, white business owners send out their newsletter, as scheduled, with no acknowledgement of the systemic trauma their POC readers, clients, and customers are going through. White business owners keep their social media automated and on schedule. White business owners promote their latest e-course or workshop. White business owners act like nothing has happened – leaving the tragic impression that perhaps, for them, nothing did. This is white supremacy in action, friends.

Converting Hidden Spiritual Racism into Sacred Activism: An Open Letter to Spiritual White Folks by Virginia Rosenberg

In times like these, our identity and our hearts need to be challenged and broken. Our foundations need to rumble and shake. For this is the path of breaking open. This is the way to true awakening. It is through direct, willing engagement that we heal into unity within ourselves and the world. Let us look to our shadow, our greatest teacher. Let us look to what underlies the formation of this nation. The United States of America was built upon slavery, and the structure of modern society still draws from those roots. Those roots have become parts of ourselves that subtly operate beneath the surface. Let us move through our darkness, feel it, and learn from it in order to emerge on the other side

I Stand With Black Lives Matter by Cassandra Snow provides a useful link roundup, particularly for non-black folks looking to be in solidarity including How to Process Your Emotions but Skip the White Tears.

As a white ally, the number one thing you can besides getting out and putting your body and yourself on the line is donating either supplies or money for bail and protest needs or to help victim’s families get or stay on their feet. To donate supplies, see where a protest is happening near you. Ask what they need. I know in the Twin Cities bug spray, blankets, and extension cords so the revolution can continue to be broadcast from someone other than mainstream media, so start there if you have no ideas. Otherwise, here are the funds for bail or victim’s families:

Black Lives Matter: A Spell for Visioning Justice by Northern Lights Witch created to “regenerate your inner strength, and define your vision of peace and justice”

I invite you to use this spell or ritual for your own community, for the injustices you seek to right. I hope this can bring you personal strength, and I hope you can bring light and strength to your communities.

– Story by Tarot performed and shared A Spell for Black Lives Matter. I invite non-black magic workers especially to participate in their own way. Let your magic stand with your values.

The High Priestess, lending her calm, spiritual peace. Allowing her to open the healing gate for this community that is hurting.  Strength, lending her greatest weapon: compassion. Allowing her to gently and firmly guide us to this community that is hurting.   Justice, lending her sword and scales. Allowing her to show that we must demand for Justice to happen.  Temperance, lending her acknowledgement and encouragement of our healing process at our own pace. Allowing her to see ourselves in this moment. Say their names.


source: A Spell for Black Lives Matter from Story by Tarot


Hi, I’m Asali! I’m a Black queer femme earthworker passionate about tarot, tea, and healing work. Schedule a card reading with me for a deeply clarifying intuitive tarot session. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, drop me a line!

finding pockets of air, spaces to breathe

Heart is still weighed down but here is some of what has been helping. I share it with you and hope you find some heart ease. Take care. Self-care is resistance.

– Alexis Pauline Gumbs, poethealer and spinner of love webs, offers up a poem for the family we never got to meet: ‘pulse’

but now i am pulse

and now you
are flame.

a love spell for our grieving queer hearts. A ritual whose energy I returned to by brewing the herbs I cast into a heart heal tea this morning.

I cast Lemon Balm for broken hearts,
I cast Motherwort to hold us,
I cast Sage for those risen to ancestor,
I cast Rosemary as we remember,
I cast Rose for love, always.

In praise of Latin Night at the Queer Club, and the ways we made it sacred ground (or an ode to that one time you and that hard femme shared lipstick and then shared lipstick and broke apart as Selena came on and you rushed the dancefloor)

Outside, tomorrow, hangovers, regrets, the grind. Outside, tomorrow, the struggle to effect change. But inside, tonight, none of that matters. Inside, tonight, the only imperative is to love.

– Alexis J. Cunningfolk has a few suggestions for more herbs that heal in times of tragedy

While the following is only a short list of suggestions, I am working on a much larger resource on herbs and trauma that I’ll be sharing freely with folks in the coming weeks. I’ll post about it on my blog and the various social media outlets where I can be found. 

– Chani offers her starlit insight to guide us through this week

Saturn square Neptune (especially in this highly mutable astrological moment) can lend to feelings of confusion, disassociation and disenfranchisement. This is the point in the cycle at which we can no longer deny what is falling down, what is failing completely and what needs to be dealt with and dissolved…When we honestly look at how the structures that we are up against (Saturn) clash with the dreams we have for our lives (Neptune), we stand at the cross section of what needs to be done and what could be created.

6 O’clock Blues, a song by Solange Knowles eased my heart and reminded me of the shelter we have been and will continue to be for each other. I dedicate this to my queer and trans family.

They can sell me a story
And tell me we’re in danger
But our love will never die..
Cause people don’t make the world go round like they used to
But I know if I got one thing
Baby I know got you
You keep me sheltered from the six o’clock blues
Yeah, you keep me sheltered
From the six o’clock blues
And if I know one thing is gonna be alright
Then I know that’s it’s me and you

love is shadowmagic and it reaches out to those we lost and loved so deeply even without knowing

No, it won’t fix everything, but love has often been the chosen tool/weapon/magic chosen by those of us who find ourselves at the bottom of the food chain because of its potential, for power, for release, for a freedom of our own making, for a possibility of loving ourselves so deeply that anything less is unacceptable.

Love is shadowmagic.


love survives; Three of Swords from The Morgan-Greer Tarot


Hi, I’m Asali! I’m a Black queer femme earthworker passionate about tarot, tea, and healing work. Schedule a card reading with me for a deeply clarifying intuitive tarot session. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, drop me a line!