Permanent Location!

As of August 1st, my business will be located at 1350 Wharncliffe Road S.  This is just south of Southdale road, in the smaller, classic house of The Hive London.  This was the sign that I was waiting for to stay in London.  I am sharing the space with Sarah Fenix of Rebel Rags.  I feel so blessed and thankful to be a part of this collective.  Please look forward to private readings, workshops, classes and other services performed from my new location.

Got an idea about a workshop you would like me to teach?  Drop me a line!  I’d love to hear from you.

Temporary location

I am in the middle of a move, and not entirely sure where I will be moving to, or whether or not I will be renting office space.  I have a lot of big decisions ahead.

However, from now until September 10th, I can meet you at the Hive, which is located at 1352 Wharncliffe Rd. South.   This location is not on a bus route, so if you require public transportation, I can pick you up at Wharncliffe and Southdale.  Or if the weather is really nice, it’s only a short walk.

I will need to reserve space ahead of time, so I do require at least 48 hours notice, instead of the usual 24.

As always, skype and email readings are also available.

Please click on “book a reading” to reserve your time.

Back to the ol’ drawing board

There have been several plot twists in the past three months.  When I don’t know where to begin, the best way seems to be chronologically.  This story starts 50 years ago.  Bear with me.  It will all make sense.  This entry does contain a little salty language to express my frustrations.

1960s-70s- 612 Dundas Street is a convenience store owned by Harold and Margaret Beattie, my great grandparents.  My mother lived in the apartment above for a while when she was a teenager.  Harry would go down to the Western fair racetracks and bet on the horses.  They were a part of the community.

1980s- Mark Emery (yes, that one) opens Mystic Book Shop a few doors down.

late 90s- Mystic Books is taken over by Jody Trevail.  This is the same time I move a few blocks away.   I walk by the store every day on my way to school.

early 00s- Mystic Books moves into 612 Dundas.  Though I had been practicing magick since I was, well, as long as I can remember, I buy my very first magick book from Jody.  I ask her advice on celebrating Yule.  Over the years, we become friends.  I buy many, many tarot decks from her.  My daughter draws a picture of her cat that Jody proudly hangs.  She has no room for me to read tarot, but she keeps my business cards on hand and gives them out regularly to those who are looking for a consult.

April 2018- Jody passes away suddenly.  The store remains closed for several months.  This is the first time in 40 years that there has been no Mystic Books in OEV.

June 5th- I have a dream about taking over Mystic Books.  Jody’s spirit wants me to have it.  But her family, including an older gentleman (who I assumed to be her father) stand in the way.

June 7th- I have a tarot gig at a local brewery and pub.  One of the managers informs me that there is a regular group meeting there during that time and asks if it’s okay.  I discover that the group is a networking group of which I have been a member of for a year.  It’s a perfect fit.  I read tarot and network with several people in between, including Ariel, who is managing a cooperative retail place across the road from Mystic Books.  She informs me that the store is for sale, and the owner of the building is the manager of the tea shop next door.  I know him from several tea leaf reading gigs that I had done there.

June 8th- I pop over to talk to the landlord, have a tour of the store.

June-July- I pop in 2-3 times a week talking to the land lord, keeping him updated.  It all feels so meant to be.  Everything is falling into place perfectly.  I visualize myself behind the counter.  I develop a business plan that is stellar.    Jody was a little technophobic. It took me years to convince her to get a Facebook page, where she posted maybe 2-3 times a year.  There was no website.  She was frequently closed and it was hard to get into the store to shop because she was rarely opened it seemed.  Jody was a pack rat, and the entire shop was brimming with stock.  The back rooms and dirt floor basement are just full!  My plan is to keep Jody’s legacy alive, but to expand.  I had picked out a shelf that would be a shrine to her, where I would have battery operated candles, and people could come and pay respects.  I would also have photos of my great grandparents, and their storefront.  I was going to have online shopping, renovate the basement with my own money, read tarot on site, be open 40 hours a week, have classes and workshops, guest practitioners, and decorate to be warm and welcoming.  I deeply felt that Jody was happy with this, and that my ancestors were behind me.  I start telling a few people about my plans.  Everyone is so excited for me.  I hire two staff and an interior designer to help me.

July 5th- I’m viewing apartment in the area and find the perfect home.  I pop in to the shop to finalize details.  The landlord informs me that he has already rented the store to someone else.  She has already paid, signed a lease, and has the keys.  She is a semi-retired lady who wants to be open 3 or 4 days a week and dreams of being surrounded by books.   She has zero magic experience, but because she has a masters degree, believes she can teach herself so that she can help clients.  He said “it’s not personal, she just had a better business plan”.  Um, what?  My plan to have a practitioner space, workshops, classrooms, online shopping, while having two decades of experience in magick is an inferior business plan to “I just want to work 20 hours a week and be surrounded by books while learning magic from reading”?  Are you fucking kidding me?  My business plan is solid.  Her business will sink within a few years, but she has retirement savings so it doesn’t matter.  Not only that, but her lack of magic experience will get someone hurt!  You can’t just dabble and teach yourself this stuff without rigorous discipline and practice, which I have been doing most of my life.  Magick is my life!  Tarot is my life!  And she wants to be surrounded by books?  In this day and age, when Payless Shoes and Toys ‘R Us are filing for bankruptcy, straight retail is not the way to go.  Especially for books, when someone could just go on Amazon and get what they want.  Opening up an independent book store with a focus on selling mostly new books is a terrible idea.  You MUST diversify!  I get this.  But she has a better business plan?  Puleese!

However, the dream is still alive.  There are plenty of empty storefronts along that street, including the original storefront opened in the 80s.  I have spoken to the retail collective about renting some space from them.  I plan on approaching the new owner and asking her if she will part with the magick related stock and books.   I can still open, possibly under the same name, just a few doors down.  I know that the business will work, and be even more successful than it has for the past 40 years.   Why?  Because I am skilled and talented at what I do, because I am a hard worker, and because I am willing to adapt to the changing economy.

Essentially, in downsizing from my 4 bedroom house to a 1 bedroom apartment, I need a space to read tarot.  And if I have a commercial rental space, I might as well have a retail space.  And with having that space comes the opportunity for education and community.

I’m also not stuck in that area.  I am moving anyways, and there are many places with apartments in the city.  OEV has its challenges.  In the 80s and 90s, the city funnelled the at risk/ homeless population into that area.  Though there have been efforts and much progress to bring arts, activism, community and culture into the neighbourhood, there are still lingering issues, especially as the opioid and meth crises worsen.  There’s no reason that I can’t make the shop work in other areas of the city- like Wortley Village (a progressive and funky area of the city).  The owner of the only metaphysical shop in that area has burned a lot of bridges, and there’s certainly plenty of the right demographic in the area.  It’s just a thought.  At this point, there’s really not much keeping me in London.  It’s like U2 said- “freedom is like having too many choices.  All I know is that my gods and ancestors better have something epic in store for me after pulling this shit.

Super Awesome Secret Stuff

I wish I could tell you all the super exciting thing that is happening, but I am waiting for deposits to be paid and contracts to be signed before making the announcement. A formal handshake has taken place though. When you all here about it, and how the story is unfolding, it’ll blow your mind!

I feel so truly blessed by the way this is all unfolding.  It could not be more perfect.  My gods and ancestors have my back.

Fundraiser for Spirit’s Vet Bills

If you’ve had a reading in my home, you have no doubt met the intensely sweet Wondermutt- Spirit.  Spirit was a rescue, being left in a crate to starve on a Michigan farm many years ago.  However, she came to my home and was tucked into our lives.

Spirit is now 16, and has been, for the most part, blessed with good health.  However, as happens in old age, her mouth became badly infected, and she needed to have some teeth removed with emergency surgery.  The vet described her mouth as “a horror show”.  I could not put this off any longer.

At first, the vet was talking about a full mouth extraction, but said that she wouldn’t know until she actually got inside her mouth to have a look.  The estimated bill for the surgery was over $600.

Spirit had her surgery yesterday.  Luckily, she was able to retain some of her teeth.  She is resting for the most part today, but is eating and drinking, and going outside to do her business and sniff.  She is on three different medications and soft food for the next two weeks.

We were the fortunate recipients of a $100 donation from a local dog owner’s charity.  This helped a lot!  The total bill for the check up and the surgery came to $504, which was not budgeted for.  Therefore, I am having a tarot fundraiser to cover her bills.  Should any extra money be made above and beyond the cost of the vet bill, it will be donated back to the East Village Animal Hospital, so that other pet owners can access necessary funds.

Already, I have received one prepayment on a reading, and two other bookings this weekend.  This means that I still need to cover $294 in readings.  That would be more than covered by 4 1 hour readings, or 6 half hour readings.  If tarot is not your thing, please forward this blog entry on to others who may be interested.  Donations are also accepted.

Art in Her Honour

On Friday, I had to say good bye to a very special lady.  She was a private PSW client whom I had cared for for years.  I hadn’t seen her in two years.  In the 6 weeks before her passing, she and her husband were on my mind a lot.  I was actually planning on contacting her daughter to set up a visit as soon as my schedule settled down.

Then one night the week before, I had a dream about her.  I was driving her to a funeral, in a snow storm.  There was almost no visibility, accidents littering the road, and two foot high snow drifts on Richmond street.  We were running late, and neither of us had dressed or put make up on.  She needed me to get her to a funeral on time.  We got there just in time, frantically dressed, and I was quickly trying on her clothes to try to find something that fit.  I walked her towards the casket, noticing that we had forgot her walker, and she thanked me, became light, and disappeared into the casket.

The next morning, I saw her obituary in the paper.  I knew that she was having trouble navigating herself to the next world, and came to me to take her there.  Even in my dream state, I took her home.

She was a kind, creative woman.  She was quick witted, and never complained.  When I first met her, a copy of my favourite book, the Celestine Prophecy, was on her book shelf.  The book is all about synchronicity, fortunate interlocking events.  And I knew that we were supposed to be in each others lives.  I regretted quitting.  At the time, I was burnt out, and felt that she and her husband needed more care than I was able to provide.  But they were often on my mind.

It was my honour to attend her funeral.  I had bought some jujubes to put in her casket.  She was diabetic, and she loved her sweets.  I was always giving her heck about her sugar levels.  I was a bit surprised to see an urn instead of a casket, so I was unable to sneak her the little gift.  But I’m sure she appreciated the sentiment.

The service was beautiful.  Her family and friends were able to laugh and share memories through their tears.  I know it sounds strange, but my favourite thing to hear at a funeral is laughter.  I can only hope that I am remembered as fondly as she was when I pass.  Her daughter had put together photo collages that were displayed around the visitation room.  They each represented a different era in her life, from early years, meeting her husband at a resort carribean resort, to life with her young family, and then life after her car accident where her grandchildren became her greatest pride.  She spoke often of her grandchildren.

In one of the collages was her high school diploma.  She had graduated from BealArt, the same art school that I went to, and the school that my daughter currently attends.  I had wished that some of her art would have been displayed as well.  She had suffered a horrific car accident in mid life, one that had damaged her brain and taken most of her vision.  She and her husband once had a business making and designing t-shirts.  She was the main designer.  Her husband boasted about how she taught herself “half tones” and could do them perfectly.  All of the things that she loved to do before the accident- read, knit, draw, paint- all were taken from her.  I would have loved to have known her when she was whole.

I suffer from something I call “Schrodinger’s Art”.  When I was growing up, drawing became something shameful.  My father emphasized that cleaning should come first.  I had to hide when I was doing something creative.  As mentioned, I went to art school.  My daughter was conceived shortly after (like within three weeks) of graduating.  I stopped making art.  Because the house was never clean enough.  Because there were always more chores.  Somehow, TV was an acceptable thing to do, so I could knit and watch TV.  I knit every day, and I sometimes forget that knitting is art too.  Just because it’s “woman’s handicrafts”, does not mean that it’s not legitimate art.  But I don’t draw.  At all.  It’s that thing about practice.  the more you do something, the better you get, right?  And if you don’t use it, you lose it.  I’m afraid that, if I tried, I’d discover that I’d lost it.  So it’s Schrodinger’s Art.  If it exists only as a potential, then it simultaneously sucks and is magnificent at the same time.  I’ve been stuck with Schrodinger’s Art for almost 20 years.

I thought about my client.  How she so badly wished that she could draw and paint again, but no longer had vision.  And here I am, fairly good vision, working hands, and I’m afraid of what, making bad art?  She would have been grateful to make any art.  And she’d probably be pissed at me for squandering my gift.  I mean, if I lost my gift, and I worked at it, I could theoretically get it back.  I mean, if my house was clean enough, and every single email was returned and every single i was dotted and t was crossed, right?  No.  I need to just make art.  I need to set aside an hour in my schedule, set a timer, sit down, and draw.  She may not be able to make art, so I need to make it for her.

Safe Journey

S.M.S. 1950-2018

You Can’t Take My Ostara

I love springtime.  I enjoy summer.  Autumn is beautiful.  Winter… well, winter is this waiting time, this period of blankness.  I don’t like the cold, or the wind, or the damp.  I basically stay inside unless I absolutely must go out.  The worst thing for me is that the land is achromatic.  Everything is grey and brown.

But then, something magical happens!  Grey clouds open up to blue skies.  Purple and yellow crocuses poke up between patches of dirty snow.  Sidewalks dry and children draw with rainbow chalk.  Robins return with their red breasts.  Maple syrup starts to flow- the first crop after a winter of canned food and potatoes.  The days are noticeably longer so we can actually take a walk after dinner in daylight.  Though it still could snow, the worst of it is behind us.  Life has returned to our little corner of the world.  For me, spring is like The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy goes from the black and white dusty farm in Kansas into the technocolour world of Oz.  When such a special day happens once a year, of course I want to celebrate.  And luckily, neopagans have a day for that- Ostara.

I am leaning into a Celtic Reconstructionist path.  Many purists poo poo the idea of a Celt celebrating Ostara.  The Solstices and Equinoxes are a Norse and Saxon tradition, not Irish Celtic.  Some would say that I have no business painting eggs or hiding chocolates this time of year.  But, when this day is so moving and meaningful to me, how can I not?

My daughter and I used to have an annual celebration.  We would have our egg hunt Ostara morning.  I would include lots of little outside toys with her candy, like skipping ropes, sidewalk chalk and the like.  Then we would to a local sugar bush.  They have horse drawn wagons, and an outdoor museum about the history of maple syrup.  After our tour, we would enjoy pancakes in the lodge.  She claims she is too old for this, but I cherish these memories.  My nephew comes sometimes, but even he’s getting a little bored of it.  

But the first day of spring has become marred in my life.  Some really crappy things have happened to me on this day.  When I was 15, I came home late from debating team to find that my beloved pet bunny had died.  I was devastated!  Many years later, I see the irony of a rabbit dying on Ostara.  5 years ago, on Ostara, my daughter didn’t come home from school.  There was a court date and a bogus investigation of which I was not informed, and I had lost custody.  And then last year, after spending the day celebrating with my ex, he went for an afternoon visit with his kids, came home, and dumped me.  He said that he forgot that it was Ostara, but it was still a selfish thing to do.  And then this year, on Ostara, crap hit the fan at my muggle job.  I can’t go into detail, but it’s not fun.

This year, I was mopey.  I cancelled my tarot meet up and sank into a bottle of wine.  But then, I thought, that I am giving up something important to me because of unrelated things in my past.  This is something that I look forward to.  Why should I give that up?  People who did crappy things to me on Ostara were selfish.  You wouldn’t do these things to a Jewish person on Passover, or a Christian on Easter.  Being crappy to a pagan on Ostara is a douche move.  Also, just because bad things have happened on the past on this day, does not mean that future Ostaras are going to be full of such events.  I need to reclaim this day for my own spiritual wellbeing.  I need to be vocal that this is a special day for me, and that I deserve my High Days to be respected.  Though I am a fan of celebrating things on the actual day, I did allow myself to have a late Ostara celebration.  I went for a hike with my dog and breathed in springtime.  I gave an offering of my labour by picking up garbage that had collected over the winter and been hidden by snow.  I had some pancakes with fresh, local syrup.  And I painted my living room a pretty green, so that I can have spring inside all year round.

As every year, Ostara represents a fresh start.  I choose to embrace spring.

House Cleansings and Blessings

It’s finally springtime, which for many means spring cleaning.  We clean out our closets, our attics and our clutter, but how much do we focus on spiritual cleaning?  When we think of the mind/ body/ spirit triad, practicing good spiritual hygiene is essential to our health.  

What is a house cleansing?

A house cleansing is a removal or old, stale or unwanted energy.  It leaves the home in a spiritually blank slate.  After cleansing, a blessing and protection is done to keep your home free of the unwanted energy returning, and allow your personal growth.

What methods do I use?

The methods that I use depend on the needs of the client.  I try my best to be aware of cultural preferences and allergies or sensitivities.  I start off the session with a client interview to see what your intention and needs are for your space.  Some clients may be having paranormal activities.  Some may feel a heaviness or “bad vibes”.  Others may have just moved into a new space and be wanting a fresh start.  Each situation calls for a different solution.  If I deem sage is appropriate, it is more than just waving smoke around with intention.  Sage can leave a sterile vacuum, so the house then needs to be blessed.  I go through the house, room by room, changing the overall energy as I go.  In the case of paranormal activity, I can successfully remove the entity/ energy and set up protection barriers to keep your home and family safe.  I may place a Brighid’s Cross above your door to ward off fire, evil and hunger.

Sage is not always the appropriate method, especially if clients have allergies, or if the client or myself is on their “moon” cycle.  Other alternatives are Florida water, holy spring water, frankincense, sound, light, chanting, and several other techniques.

How often should a house be cleansed?

Many clients wish their home to be cleansed and blessed before they move in.  This is always a good idea, to clear away the old tenants, and make room for you to have a fresh start.  At minimum, a house should be cleansed annually.  It is also recommended to do a cleansing and blessing after any traumatic event, like a break up, death in the family, illness, job loss, or argument.  Such events can leave lingering energies in the house, and a good cleansing or blessing clears out the old and welcomes new, fresh, positive energy into your home.

That #domagick thing

Hey Pumpkins!

So, Andrieh Vitimus’s December #domagick challenge was an incredible experience.  I got so much out of it and feel that I grew as a person and did a lot of healing.  In life, there are many areas that we strive to effect change in, both in the magickal and the mundane.  But, when we do work that is based on healing our souls, on growing and becoming a more evolved person, everything else seems a tad meaningless.  It is the magnus opus- the great work.

December’s challenge was to do one meditative act, every day, for 20-30 minutes, and then blog about our experience.  In all of the areas of my life, it seemed that my love life was the area that needed the most attention.  We accept the love that we think we deserve, and in the past, I didn’t think I deserved much.  So, every day for a month, I looked myself in the mirror, sipped a “potion” of flowers and fruit, and said “I love you, Caroline.”  It was really hard!

What was harder though was the vulnerability that came with blogging my experiences.  This blog is also used for my business website.  Posting my imperfections would lead to a decline in page “likes”, as well as a decline in business.  Not only that, but I started becoming very ashamed that the gentleman that I have been seeing would find it, read it, and run away screaming. We’re both adults.  And adults have baggage.  I am okay being honest and open, but I also want to have more control over what I reveal and when.  Just as we are savouring getting to know each other, I don’t want to vomit all of my issues in his lap.   I believe that there is bravery in vulnerability, but there is also a time and place, sometimes safer than others.

I am not doing the #domagick challenge for January and February.  Because I started the December challenge so late, and needed a bit of time to recover, it didn’t make sense to start.  The February challenge is tied to the January challenge, and I am doing another personal challenge for February.   I am not sure if he has announced one for March, but most likely, I will start participating again.

However, when I do start participating again, I will not be using this website/ blog.  I will have another one set up, and will move all of the entries regarding December’s challenge over there.  I will be sharing those entries only where I feel confident to do so, which will be in two magick related groups, and on my Facebook “safe list”.

I also gained something else very valuable from this challenge.  I learned that yes, in fact, I CAN do ritual AND blog every day, all while working a full time job and running a business.

I would like to thank those of you who did follow me on this journey, and hope that you have equal interest in my next challenge.  And M, if you did in fact read those entries, thank you for not running away screaming.  Although you are literally on the other side of the world right now.  If you didn’t read them, and don’t know what I’m talking about, please disregard 🙂