Today’s newsletter is arriving a bit later than usual! I’ve gotten slightly behind on Shadow Femme duties this month because of a couple of new developments: I now have two new part-time gigs to help support myself.

One of them has already started: I’m working a few days a week at a fancy bookstore. (In fact, I’m composing part of this email on my lunch break—in between telling people that $6000 is totes reasonable for a collectible art book because the fancier $60,000 one already sold out.)

And the other gig is one that I’m really excited to announce: I’m going to be working as a guest tarot reader at the Mystic Museum in Burbank, CA!

If you live around the LA area, stop by and say hi! Readings are $30, walk-in only, and my dates for August are:

  • Sunday, August 21st — 11am-5pm
  • Sunday, August 28th — 11am-5pm

(FYI: most of the store is horror-focused and so the vibe inside can be sorta intense, but I'm gonna be working in a corner of the shop that is more low-key and I'll create a lil energy bubble around my table to make it nice and peaceful.)


Tarot is something that has quietly crept into my life. I remember I used to say years ago that I was avoiding learning it because I knew that once I did, I’d fall down the rabbit hole and become obsessed.

Surprisingly, despite my all-or-nothing nature, that has not happened.

Instead, I think that I’ve approached tarot sideways, cautiously.

Initially, when it came to tarot, I was intimidated by all there was to know, and I thought I couldn’t use it until I knew all the “correct” meanings—which I felt resistance towards learning. Eventually I realized that I could approach it more playfully, that I didn’t always have to adhere to textbook meanings, and that I could simply see it as another tool to speak with Spirit.

I think that reintroducing playfulness into my practice is a continual lesson for me.

I'm grateful for the words that Mercury transmitted to us last month on the sacred value of play:

There is a sincerity and an irreverence that arises from the combination of knowing that everything is to be played with, and nothing is below your respect. This is a sweet spot, an intersection, a crossroads, that not many people know how to inhabit. But once you find yourself at the corner of respect and irreverence, it is a liberating thing. It is something that is delightful to behold, both by yourself—your Big I—your inner knowing—your soul awareness—and also by those around you: the other people which bump around this Earth with you in this existence, this blinking in and out of existence—this short life that you are all gifted.

In the spirit of that playfulness, I was so excited this week to get the Spread Crafter’s Oracle deck by Fables Den (recommended by Kaitlyn of Spirit Garden Tarot), a deck that opens up realms of possibility and play when it comes to creating card spreads.

I’ve been thinking of using it in my in-person tarot readings in order to craft quick custom spreads for each person, and I figured I’d give it a test run today and share a spread with you that you can try at home, if you’d like.

I asked my spirits for help in pulling from the deck and together we created this:

A Spread for Compassionate Self-Talk

  1. A card to describe your current state of wellbeing
  2. An opinion you hold about what it means to care for yourself (“care” in every sense of the word, including being *kind* to yourself)
  3. How you can introduce compassion into your self-talk
  4. What triggers “negative” self-talk (aka protective shadow parts piping up and taking the wheel)
  5. How you can lovingly assert a boundary with these shadow parts. How you can be the “parent” so that they don’t have to be. (Shadow parts often act like parentified children with earnest but maladaptive coping mechanisms.) How you can allow more space for the underlying Self that is calm, compassionate, and confident.

Bonus card: I pulled an additional card for myself and placed it underneath the “trigger” card to represent the root cause of this particular trigger.

(Working in retail + dealing with a stressful LA commute has definitely triggered me in various ways this past week—and especially today—so this spread is highly relevant to my life right now. I could definitely use some inner kindness to help temper my road rage / stress / anxiety!)

All in all, I hope this spread helps introduce more compassion into your life. Have fun with it, and let me know if it resonates with you!

All the best,
Sarah


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