You can’t escape it. A new year? It feels … well … new.

Much fuss and fury is made of new year resolutions and expectations. But important soul shifting change never seems to happen overnight. In a world of instant gratification, this can leave us feeling empty or with a sense of failure even when we are making positive strides.

Rather than setting myself up to feel icky or bad in 2016, an idea occurred to me based on an experience I had over the holiday.

I had the pleasure of conducting a fascinating youtube interview with my friend and Reiki Master, Spiritualist Minister, Intuitive Counselor, Seance Conductor and Reader, Willie Rosario. www.psychicwillienyc.com.

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Willie spends much of his time in contact with the other side. I asked him about encountering dark or dangerous beings or energies. And I asked about reading for ourselves. What should we do when we find ourselves being drawn to negativity or something scary?

Willie responded, “Whether dealing with entities, ghosts, spirits, ancestors, guides or energies or even emotions inside myself, I always move toward the highest possible vibration.”

And if anything feels scary or negative? Willie responded, “Simply stop.”

Good advice… for all of us.

As Willie spoke about the “highest vibration,” I believe he was not describing the context of “good” or “bad,” (value judgments), nor was he talking about “dark” or “light” (again, value judgments … in fact, I lean into pregnant/creative/spooky darkness).

Willie spoke of “high” vs. “low.”

For example:

If sadness is the low, then joy is the high, or oppositional experience.

If anger is a low, than acceptance and love is the high or oppositional experience.

If fear is a low then freedom is the high or oppositional experience.

On this first Monday of 2016, I recalled that the biggest changes result from tiny adjustments.

I decided, my resolution is to do the smallest possible thing in 2016.

And in doing so, look for my highest choice.

I will keep checking in.

Is this the highest possible choice I can make?

Will be interesting to see what develops …

Happy New Year and stay tuned for my interview with marvelous Willie Rosario on youtube.

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Tarot sits like an open door.

Will you venture inside?

Every time you step inside a card and root around, you learn something new about yourself, the nature of reality and about Tarot. Life and your readings become richer as a result. 

Poetry is a doorway to the supernatural and the psychic.

Imagine my delight and surprise as I opened E.E Cummings A Selection of Poems and Cummings brought me straight to the heart of the Emperor card.

It is with love and gratitude that I share his poem with you, dear reader.

Happy casting.

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I.

the emperor
sleeps in a palace of porphyry
which was a million years building
he takes the air in a howdah
of jasper beneath saffron
umbrellas
upon an elephant
twelve foot high
behind whose ear
sits always a crowned
king twir-
ling an
ankus of
ebony
the fountains of the emperor’s
palace run sunlight and
moonlight and the emperor’s
elephant is a thousand years old

the harem of
the emperor
is carpeted with
gold cloth
from the
ceiling (one
diamond timid
with nesting incense)
fifty
marble
pillars
slipped from immeasurable
height, fall, fifty, silent

in the incense is tangled a cool moon
there are thrice-three-hundred
doors carven of chalcedony and
before every door a naked
eunuch watches
on their heads turbans of a hundred
colours
in their hands scimitars like windy torches
each
is
blacker than oblivion

the ladies
of the emperor’s
harem are queens
of all the earth and the rings
upon their hands are from mines
a mile deep
but the body of
the queen of queens is
more transparent
than water, she is softer than birds

2.

when the emperor is very
amorous he reclines upon
the couch of couches and
beckons     with
the little
finger of his left
hand
then the
thrice-three-hundredth
door is opened by the tallest
eunuch and the queen
of queens comes
forth
ankles
musical with large pearls
kingdoms in her ears
at the feet of
the emperor a cithern-
player squats with
quiveringgold
body
behind
the emperor ten
elected warriors with
bodies of lazy jade
and twitching
eyelids
finger
their
unquiet
spears

the queen of queens is dancing

her subtle
body weaving
insinuating upon the gold cloth
incessantly creates patterns of sudden
lust
her
stealing body ex-
pending gathering pouring upon itself     stiffenS
to a
white thorn
of desire

the taut neck of the citharede wags
in the dust the ghastly warriors
amber with lust breathe
together      the emperor,exerting
himself among his pillows throws
jewels at the queen of queens and
white money upon her nakedness
he
nods
and all
depart through the bruised air aflutter with pearls

3.

they are
alone
he beckons, she rises she
stands
a moment
in the passion of the fifty
pillars
listening

while the queens of all the
earth writhe upon deep rugs

A Tarot Christmas Tale

December 21, 2015

Christmas Tarot

Listen to Sasha read the story aloud or enjoy the text below.

The farmhouse is filled with the scent of fresh pine . . .

It is well past the witching hour and I’m awake. Again. I creep downstairs and place a vintage record on the turntable. Handel’s music floats to the drafty corners of the room where translucent cobwebs cling. My sleepy eyes turn to the Christmas tree. I bend, brush away the dry scattered pine needles from the power strip and click the tree lights on.

A strange, uncanny realization hits me as I step back to admire the glow of the tree. We’ve erected our tree in the same spot I’d happened upon a Thanksgiving ghost.

If my ghost was just a glimmer, a wisp of specter smoke, our Christmas tree is bursting, alive and full of energy. Spirits of the season, fiery imps carrying Wands, hop from branch to branch. Pentacled ornaments droop on heaving bows, landing with a soft thud as the tiny creatures crash on each green limb.

17-The-StarThe Star glimmers precariously on top of the tree. The Star reminds me that hope remains, even in my darkest, bleakest hours. The Sun’s infernal warmth radiates through the tree, an evergreen symbol of life. The tree quivers as colored lights sway back and forth. The Hanged Man breaks face, offers me a quick wink and moves back into solemn meditation amidst the soft needles. The World slips from a branch, rolls across the floor and stops at my bare tiptoes. I scoop it up and hold the World in my hands.

The Tower looms high above in clouds responsible for the snow rapidly piling up outside the ancient glass windows. A thumping thunders upon the wooden door. A stranded motorist? I answer, shocked as I see who beckons.

I fall to my hands and knees and offer a tearful prayer of thanks to the Hierophant. He gently pulls me up and plants me on his lap like Santa. He strokes my cheek, tucks my hair behind my ears telling me that we are one and the same. He whispers of the many wonderful lessons to come. I can’t help but giggle. His neck smells like cinnamon and apples.

03-The-EmpressThe Empress’s dewy face glows, flush with excitement and illuminated by embers of the fireplace as she wraps gifts. Her scotch tape and tissue paper create fluffy, colorful wrappings, each gift a jewel too pretty to open. Martha Stewart didn’t make a pact with the Devil but with the Empress! Speaking of the Devil, he’s in the basement scaring off little critters who forage and nest in damp corners and dank crevices. I allow the Devil upstairs now and again – but only in moderation.

I can hear Temperance banging pots in my kitchen. Temperance has moved in with me for the next few months. She wants to make sure I don’t spread myself too thin. Temperance is great to have around but always begs for fast food on road trips.

08-strengthStrength reclines gracefully on the couch and says if I want any, I’d better get back to bed. Heeding her advice, I head up the stairs, stopping at the top to gaze out the window. The snow has stopped. The Moon catches me off guard like a person who I didn’t expect to see standing there. A light burns in the wooden shed. The Hermit’s silhoette is bent over the table where he scribbles. Doesn’t he ever sleep? I need to. My sleepiness weighs on me like a wool blanket.

I peak in on my little Ace of Wands, my girl’s sleeping face. Ah, to be five years old at Christmas! I take solace in her slow, deep breath and watch her burrow deeper into her pillows. Four shiny, beaded eyes glisten approvingly as I tuck her soft fox and scrappy dog closer into her.

01The-MagicianI retire to my room and slip under the blankets next to husband, the Magician, a ball of warmth beside me. He’s sleeping soundly, performed enough miracles this year, pulled a hundred rabbits out of hats and ignited our deck over and over again. Now, he rests.

Visions of this strange, yet wonderful year pass before me. I consider with a thrill of excitement what is to come. I once spent many years and much time predicting and manipulating the future until I realized it was far more effective use of time to simply settle down, focus, and weave the tapestry of the present.

Shadows in the corner of the darkened room move, rearrange themselves. Merging they become one. Blackness becomes deep purple draped over a feminine figure who is white, like the moon. It is the High Priestess come to wish me goodnight!

02the-high-priestess1We gaze at each other, the High Priestess and I, nose to nose, for what seems an eternity. Her eyes are violet. They dissect every fiber of my being. She says nothing. A faint smile graces her lips. As silently as she appeared, she slips back into the shadows.

Morning light sweeps across the floorboards. “Mommy, wake up!!! It’s Christmas.”

Big thanks to Nancy Antenucci who inspired me to repost this tarot tale :)

Happy Holidays!

Indulge your senses and soul with this gorgeous chocolate lava cake for one!

 

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The Nine of Pentacles represents quality time spend alone. She’s one of my all time favorites of the deck, a woman who knows who she is, confident and secure in herself and her surroundings.

Chocolate Lava Cake for One Recipe

Elements:
2 oz. semi sweet baking chocolate, chopped or chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
pinch of salt

Alchemy:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Butter a single 6or 8oz ramekin and dust with sugar.

Melt the chocolate either on a double boiler or in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Cream butter and sugar.

When it looks like a paste, add egg.

Whisk until foamy.

Stir in flour and salt.

Gently fold a bit of chocolate (don’t heat the egg).

Incorporate remaining chocolate.

Pour into prepared ramekin.

Bake approx. 10 minutes.

After it is cool enough to touch, flip ramekin onto a plate.

Gently use a butter knife to ease the cake out and onto the plate.

Garnish with your choice of tasty toppings: powdered sugar, whipped cream, berries or ice cream.

That’s magic!!

Helpful hints:

Normally you’d cream the butter and sugar in a mixer. This recipe is so small, just use a whisk and spatula until its fluffy.

When you add the chocolate, add a small amount first so you don’t cook your raw egg, {{blech}}!

You can make this flourless!

I accidentally made a version of this recipe without the flour when we made the video. Guess what? The flourless version was still tasty :)

Love chocolate? 

Visit my chocolate page at sashagraham.com

Roasted Garlic, Warm Brie and Tomato Chutney on a Toasted Baguette

Just in time for the holidays, draw on the Strength card for your health, dealing with in-laws or for a little inspiration in your magical kitchen.

The Strength card represents the gentle touch over a forceful one, yet strong power and influence is yielded.

In this recipe, strong, pungent garlic is roasted for an hour. The strength is there, yet mellowed and soft. Serve with olives, a gorgeous wine, tons of candle light and let everyone help themselves. Heaven!

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GarlicBread

Brie

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Ingredients

4 whole bunches of garlic

olive oil

Salt and pepper

Triangle of brie

1 loaf fresh baguette

1 jar chutney (your choice of flavor, I prefer tomato)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Take whole head of garlic (keeping garlic and skins intact) and carefully slice off pointy top side.

Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place in covered baking dish or closed tin foil.

Roast for 1 hour.

10 minutes before garlic is ready, wrap the brie in foil and bake alongside garlic.

Slice baguette, place on cookie sheet and pop in the oven to toast.

Arrange all item on a cutting board and serve with chutney.

Scoop out creamy garlic, spread on toasted baguette, smear some warm brie and top with a dollop of chutney.

Yum!

This recipe was inspired by a meal my family had at Mars 2112 in New York City.

Tarot Diva has partnered with Mouth.com for the holidays.

Save some dough, get inspired and do some gift(or personal) shopping from Brooklyn’s #1 indie food shop.

Receive 15% all orders through 12/31/15 by using “tarotdiva” at checkout.

Here’s a short list of my favorite, small batch, indie made, magical foodstuffs from Mouth.

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Beans to rid a poltergeist?!

That’s right. In ancient Rome, the head of the household tossed black beans over their shoulder to rid the home of ghosts and poltergeists. Use them for wicked good Southwestern and Mexican inspired meals.

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HEIRLOOM MIDNIGHT BLACK BEANS

Made by Rancho Gordo, Napa, California

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Pomegranates for seduction and fertility.

Pomegranates decorate the Empress’s gown in the tarot deck. Greek mythology credits Aphrodite, Goddess of love for planting the first pomegranate tree. The fruit is associated with fertility due to its many seeds.

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POMEGRANATE ROSE GRENADINE

Made by City of Daughters in Madison County, New York

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Honey to make a situation stick.

Honey is naturally sticky and can be used for attraction magic. It was prescribed by Hippocrates to increase sexual vigor. Honey in a squeeze bottle (like Mike’s Hot Honey) can be used for writing your magical intention across toast, cheese or your even lover’s bare skin …

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HOT HONEY

Made by Mike’s Hot Honey, Brooklyn, New York

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Karmic awesomeness and Law of Return ~ What you put out (positive or negative) comes back to you three times as strong.

Purchase a gift that gives back. Lauren Bush founded FEED in 2007. Every product purchased has a number stamped on it signifying the amount of meals or micronutrient packets delivered to a school child in countries such as Cambodia, Chad and Guatemala.

That’s simply amazing.

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FEED SWEET AND SAVORY GIFT BAG

Made by FEED

~~~

Don’t forget to subscribe to my magical cooking youtube channel:

Sasha

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCADq_MlFk2h_bD9r2dQrUlw

Hierophant Parmesan Wafers

November 17, 2015

Hierophant Parmesan Wafers

It’s my favorite time of year to tuck into the kitchen and work wicked alchemy. I’m ready for amazing food, delicious wine and all the comforts of home. Won’t you join me?

Here’s a gorgeous and easy recipe connecting to the Hierophant Tarot card.

Watch the video to discover how Parmesan Wafers connect to the Hierophant.

This recipe comes from my book Tarot Diva:

Tarot Diva authcmyk

Hierophant Parmesan Wafers

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Ingredients

1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, hand grated

Waxed papered cookie sheet

Make

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place cheese cookies on sheets in small piles about the size of a quarter.

Bake for 10 minutes or until crispy.

Cool and enjoy.

What do you think?

This was a contemplation instead of a cooking spell.

Do you find the kitchen to be a meditational space?

Would you prepare these?

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Tarot Diva Coupon Code

Just in time for the holidays!

Shop for Parmesan and other artisanal food products at Mouth.com and receive 15% off all orders when you enter coupon code “tarotdiva” through 12/31/15.


 

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