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October 4, 2015

And so I have been living in this new city, in this new life, for just over three weeks. Already I feel totally immersed in this place, in what I’m doing. Already I have been through some major ups and downs. But I am settling in, I am happy and content with the new trajectory of my life. Here are some thoughts and some clips of my life and surroundings in the past three weeks.


August 30, 2015

Who is the Horned God?

The Horned God is an unusual deity, in that he’s not really a deity at all. He is an archetype, a category of deity, or a name for the God of the Wicca, the God who contains all gods. We see him depicted in Celtic art, sometimes called Cernunnos – but know little of his history or worship. We see him as Pan, one specific Greek deity, a god of the forest, of nature, of all things wild and untame.

Cards Chosen

king of wands ShadowscapesCourt Card: The King of Wands

The Horned God is associated with the forest, the natural world, and in this way he taps into the energy of the King of Pentacles – which is a card I chose when talking about the Green Man, a figure closely related to the Horned God. But the King of Wands also reflects the wildness of the Horned God, his primal energy, and his association with the sun and the animal kingdom.

The creative-destructive nature of the fiery King of Wands reflects the cycle of life and death that the Horned God represents. Connected to the hunt, and depicted in Wiccan myth as dying every year in sacrifice to the Goddess, this god embodies the life-death-life cycle and reminds us of the ferocity and finite energy of the blazing flame. His association with the sun links him to life-giving force, but there is a strong underlying sense of death and sacrifice.

five of wands shadowscapesMinor Arcana: Five of Wands

One of the primary images associated with the Horned God is that of two stags clashing antlers. The Horned God is an archetype not only of wildness and virility, but of challenge and combat. In Wicca, the life-death-life cycle is depicted as being set in motion by an annual battle between two faces of the God. While the Horned God is a slightly different archetype, this battle is highly reminiscent of stags fighting over their mates, and the usually stag-shaped antlers of the Horned God suggest a link between these myths.
This card challenges you to take up those challenges that life presents you with strength and grace. While violence is never to be lauded, it is important to acknowledge that life is a cycle of give and take, and we must roll with the ups and downs and seasonal shifts and tides.

the devil shadowscapesMajor Arcana: The Devil

The conflation of the Devil or Satan with Pan is likely a relatively recent phenomenon, and I am not of the belief that the figure of Satan was based on Pan in order to convert Pagans in early Christendom. But modern images of the Devil are certainly highly reminiscent of Pan, and it is from this trend that the concept of the Horned God likely arose.

But there is an undeniable relationship between the Devil, Pan, and the Horned God – and much of this lies in their associations with debauchery and excess. Pan is a god of the wild and of fertility – as is the Horned God. The Devil in many ways represents the shadow of a society obsessed with the control and restriction of all things natural.

the lovers shadowscapesMajor Arcana: The Lovers

As the primary depiction of the God of the Wicca, the Horned God is the consort of the Goddess. Here we see him as fertile Pan, in all the virile glory of his untamed sexuality. But this card also reminds us of the connectivity of everything, the reliance of each particle of cosmos on the next, and our own vulnerability and reliance on the All and each other.

Where the Devil warns of excess or relishes in the primal intoxication of sex, the Lovers speaks of the deep bond between the Horned God and his consort, and the sacrifice he makes as an innate part of that connectivity. This reminds us of our place as part of the web, and how we celebrate the wonder of our existence even as we gradually decline and return to the All. With our understanding of our oneness comes a knowledge of our inevitable return to the chaos of cosmos – and our celebration and our sacrifice are inextricably intertwined.


All images from the Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui Mun Law.

August 8, 2015

A peek at my deck collection, which includes eight Tarot decks and two oracle decks. I talk a little bit about my experience with each deck, but I will be making more reviews in future, and feel free to request a review of any of these, too.

August 7, 2015


Something has returned to me in the last few days.

Every year, I forget just how much more potent and joyful I feel in the autumn months. Especially when we’re blessed with some glorious sunny weather in the summer, as we were this June, I can forget that a greater joy awaits. I bask in that summer sun and feel the joy at revelling in the garden in all its glory. The sunshine lifts me, and I start to believe that is the pinnacle of my emotional being. But then… as soon as August arrives, something else quietly slips into being with it.

I feel it as a small flame deep within. And I’m not quite sure what it is that coaxes it back into life. Perhaps it’s the later dawn, and being out for my morning walk closer to sunrise. Perhaps it’s the lower position of the sun in the sky, nowhere near reaching overhead anymore. Perhaps there is something hopeful in the wilting ready bounty of the vegetation – burst past ripeness, starting to golden at the edges.

Whatever it is, it tends to arrive sometime in early August. My heart flutters. And I remember again what it is to be me, fully me; joyful and content.

August 6, 2015

My Lughnasadh celebration this year turned out to be very simple and understated… and the first time I haven’t done a ritual for a Sabbat in nearly three years. And yet, it was exactly what I needed. Throughout the two days surrounding the Sabbat, I shared some of my thoughts and experiences.

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Thank you again Áine. I very much enjoyed receiving the much needed direction and ideas you put forward in this 4-part reading. This has helped me think more deeply and and become more focused on what is important to me on my spiritual journey. Now for some action on my part and then I will be back to experience and enjoy some of your other spiritual mentoring :)
Áine's reading was insightful and meaningful. I could feel the love coming through in each carefully chosen word. What she had to say was true and real for my life and my situation, and I have made good use of her very concrete and helpful suggestions in moving forward in this situation. Sensitivity and a loving spirit know no physical distance or boundaries. I will surely be contacting Áine in the future. If you are thinking about having a reading done by her...please do not hesitate. A profound experience.
This reading was amazing! I absolutely love this format of tarot reading - this is a really unique service! I asked a question and then she did the initial reading which was very thorough. After I processed the first part of the reading, I emailed her back with thoughts and questions. This went on for 3 days! This reading really helped me with the issue because I was able to participate with the reading and bring my higher self into it as well. Áine really knows her stuff and offers a heartfelt reading that really helps you move back blockages and resistance. I highly recommend this reading for anyone for any issue or question!
This participatory reading has been incredibly helpful and inspiring. Áine has a true gift and she does indeed write for the heart, from the heart. She is also quite gracious when her querent is a bit forgetful. :) Thanks so much.
This is great! Nice readings, a lot of empathy and she really listens to your replies!
Áine's thoughts and interpretations were wonderfully apt, often spine-tinglingly so. And all her ideas and suggestions were extremely thought-provoking. ...But the best part of all was the ability to respond and continue the "conversation" process. It encouraged me to think more deeply about the cards drawn and to consider how this impacted on my original question. My thinking grew and evolved wonderfully over the three days and it was fantastic to be able to "talk" my ideas through with someone.
That is the kind of reading I like. Very down-to-earth advice. Thank you very much for the reading, Áine!