Sunday, February 19, 2012

What's Your Moon Sign?

When people read their general horoscope, they usually just focus on their Sun Sign- that is the astrological sign where sun was seated at the time of your birth.  However, astrology can become in depth, intricate and detailed once you begin to learn about where different heavenly bodies where at the time of your birth.  For me, the influence of the Moon sign can be as significant as the Sun sign.  Where the Sun Sign expresses your outward personality and how you shine in the outside world and dealings with others, the Moon Sign expresses your inward personality.  The Sun sign is bright and active, while the Moon sign is gentle, passive, and a private matter.  Though the traits of a Moon sign may not be as bold as the Sun, they are felt internally, effecting your moods, intuition, and emotions. The Moon deals with feelings, emotions, internal attitudes, intuition, feminine principles and your private life. 

If you are unsure about your Moon Sign, you can find out at  Please feel free to add more qualities in the comments if you would like!

Moon in Aries
The person who has Moon in Aries is engaging, spontaneous, proactive, original and inventive.  You can be very encouraging and supportive, and are always open to new ideas.  Once you express your feelings, you feel as though you can move onwards and upwards.  In this lifetime, your goal is to develop patience and to avoid unnecessary confrontation.  In relationships, you would benefit from someone who is bold and outspoken.

Moon in Taurus

The person who has Moon in Taurus is charming, proud, sensual, sensitive, and romantic. You like comfort and need to feel like you are going with the flow, all while enjoying the comfort and stability of routine.  Fond of music, art and dance, you may have a great voice.  Even though you are timid, you can be very affectionate.  In this lifetime, your goal is to avoid laziness and jealousy.  In relationships, you are loyal and can benefit from those who teach you to not fear change.

Moon in Gemini

The person who has Moon in Gemini is curious, witty, knowledgeable, impulsive and versatile. You have a great sense of humor and love to play with words.  As a person who loves the written word, you love to read, learn easily, have great focus, and may also be a great communicator.  In this lifetime, you goal is to share your feelings with others and avoid secrecy.  Meditation may ease any tension or nerves you feel.  In relationships, you would benefit from those who teach you how to reach a deeper level of bonding.

Moon in Cancer
The person who has Moon in Cancer is protective, nurturing, thrifty and intuitive.  You are very connected to your imagination and emotions. You can be very expressive, feeling every experience you have in great emotional detail and memory.  In this lifetime, your goal is to better understand yourself and your intuitive abilities. In relationships, you would benefit from those allow you to express yourself and explore your intuitive nature.

Moon in Leo

The person who has Moon in Leo is dramatic, charismatic, generous, inspiring and self sufficient.  You need to feel appreciated, and luckily, you have a dynamic sexual attractiveness that people are drawn to.  In this lifetime, your goal is to learn to be gentler with others.  Although you are able to evaluate others accurately, learn to be sweet and treat others as you would want to be treated.  In relationships, you benefit from those you give you a great deal of attention and positive feedback.

Moon in Virgo

The person who has Moon in Virgo is analytical, helpful, practical and proactive. You are on a path of self development and love to share your experiences with others.  You may come off as humble or shy, yet would make an excellent confidant.  You are methodical, and feel most comfortable when everything is clean and organized around you.  In this lifetime, your goal is to ease off on critical and nagging tendencies, rather turning your attention to your physical health and well being. In relationships, you would benefit from those who teach you not to be so difficult on yourself.

Moon in Libra
The person who has Moon in Libra is fair, charming, sweet, and easy to get along with.  You discover truths about yourself, others, and the universe through trial and error.  You have a love for chivalry and are on a path of balance and peace, which all come in handy seeing as you hope to have everyone like you.  In this lifetime, your goal is to be honest with yourself and others, as well as to better understand your motives and ambitions in life.  In relationships, you would benefit from those you feel comfortable opening up to.

Moon in Scorpio
The person who has Moon in Scorpio is intense, deep, passionate, resourceful and moody.  You see yourself as profound and wise, and are searching for any opportunity to seek deep truths of the universe.  Your goal is to learn how to let out your emotions, and not to bottle them up. When you want something, you can go out and get it.  In this lifetime, your goal is to let go of grudges and forgive and forget. In relationships, you would benefit from someone who teaches you modesty in your words and patience.

Moon in Sagittarius
The person who has Moon in Sagittarius is inspirational, optimistic and adventurous and on a quest for higher knowledge.  You may have wanderlust, and even if you do not physically travel, your mind and spirit may be elsewhere. In this lifetime, your goal is to learn to be less reckless and think before you speak.  In relationships, you would benefit from someone who teaches you the importance of union and commitment.

Moon in Capricorn
The person who has Moon in Capricorn is ambitious, calm, collected, and productive.  You feel the best when you have recognition and achievements under your belt.  As a matter of fact, with dedication, you can receive much popularity and notoriety.  Even though you may seem very calm and cold, under the surface you could be incredibly emotional; however, you just do not expose this to the world. In this lifetime, as you learn how to appropriately express your feelings, your goal is to learn to be gentle and warm.  When you are feeling critical of others, envision others as being as quietly sensitive as you are.  You are incredibly focused, and would do well in relationships where the other person teaches you to relax.

Moon in Aquarius
The person who has Moon in Aquarius is expressive, emotional, and unique.  You are humane, and your desire to help others would be excellent in the field of social work or counseling.  In this life time, your goal is to learn to make yourself happy before you make other people happy.  In relationships, you would benefit from those who are as unique and free spirited as you are.

Moon in Pisces
The person who has Moon in Pisces is sensitive, esoteric, wise and has an open heart.
You are a gentle soul who is compassionate, tender, and intuitive. You may have a great love for poetry, arts, or mystical topics.  You must learn how to clear your energy and aura of other people's negativity.   In this lifetime, your goal is to learn to stay focused on important projects.  In relationships, you would benefit from those who are not only supportive of you, but push you to take action on all your dreams.

Burk, Kevin.  Understanding the Birth Chart: A Comprehensive Guide to Classical Interpretation.    Llewellyn Publications: Woodbury, Minnesota, 2008.
Hering, Amy.  Astrology of the Moon: An Illuminating Journey Through the Signs and
.  Llewellyn Publications: Woodbury, Minnesota, 2010.
Hickey, Isabel M. Astrology: A Cosmic Science. CRCS Publications: Sebastopol,
    California, 1992.
Lewi, Grant.  Astrology for the Millions.  Llewellyn Publications: St. Paul, Minnesota,
March, Marion D. and Joan McEvers.  The Only Way to Learn Astrology, Vol. 1.  ACS
    Publications: San Diego, California, 1981.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Mystic's Britain (part two)

Part II: Further Outskirts of England and Beyond into the Celtic Nations

Here’s the good thing about Cornwall: here you can see castles, hill forts, and learn about pixie lore.  The bad thing, however, is that Cornwall is a bit of a hike from places like London and Avebury.  Located on the furthest southwest corner of Britain, Cornwall has breathtaking coastal towns as well as lush wooded areas.  Its history combines the mystique of Celtic culture and the excitement of pirates (who doesn’t love a Druidic/Pirate mash-up?).  Stone circles, castles, sheep, more sheep, pirates and tea are just a few of the joys that can be savored while visiting Cornwall.  One of the hotspots to visit is Tintagel – here you will find the ruins of Tintagel Castle, which according to Arthurian tales is the scene where Merlin used sorcery and shapeshifting and King Arthur was born.  During the time of Roman occupation in Britain, Tintagel was most likely a Celtic Chieftain stronghold turned monastery, and was probably a place where people were allowed to keep their Celtic ways.  What remains on the site now are the ruins of a Norman castle, which are a stunning site indeed.  The ruins of the castle face the Atlantic coast, and the local village has quaint stops for tea and scones.  Not far from the ruins is Merlin’s Cave, another supposed residence of Merlin’s while Arthur was at Tintagel.  For information on Tintagel and the surrounding areas, you can visit:  I also highly recommend reading through the different sites on, which shows love and devotion to chronologically ordered archeological sites in Cornwall (Neolithic to Medieval).  Not only does it show you where the sites are located, but shares a detailed history and descriptive information about each site.  Amongst my favorites are Men-an-tol and the stone circle “Nine Maidens,” both located near Penzance.  Men-an-tol has quite a history to it, having the reputation for curing illness, fortune telling, and generating nature spirits.  But what is most striking about men-an-tol is that it is a large round stone with a large round hole right through the middle of it.  One can almost imagine using it as a window to the Otherworld, or a telescope into etheric presences in the skies.

Cardiff and Caerleon, Wales

If you were to drive due west from Avebury for about an hour, you would arrive in Wales, where I believe you would encounter some of the finest natural settings in the UK; nay, in the European Continent.  Bright green hills, the lush, beautiful forests of the Brecon Beacons to the South, and the white-capped Snowdonian Mountains to the North, are all just part of the viewing pleasure in Wales.  It is a wonderful, mystical landscape where people interested in everything from camping, to golf, to faerie folklore and Arthurian legend can find themselves fascinated and entertained.  Cardiff, the capital of Wales, has plenty of things to offer – not to mention, it is a great point to get to other travel locations in Wales.  Cardiff has a stunning, ancient castle, rightly named Cardiff Castle, with walls dating back to Roman occupation.  Cardiff truly is a gem in Wales as it effortlessly combines a historical past of castles and chivalry with all the amenities and progression of a modern city.  Not to mention, the thought that Jack from Torchwood may pass you on the street is enough to have you visiting for at least a week.   Only thirty minutes north from Cardiff is the town of Caerleon.  Here is an area commonly associated with Arthurian legend—as medieval scholar and writer Geoffrey of Monmouth sites it as the location where King Arthur sets up Camelot.  Although no evidence exists to support the idea that Arthur truly held court here, the Roman ruins have often been said to resemble the Round Table.

Carreg Cennen, Brecon Beacons, Wales
Before moving northwards through Wales, a stop at the Brecon Beacons is a must.  On the west corner of Brecon Beacons sits an admirable castle from the 12th or 13th century: Carreg Cennen.  Called haunting, fantastical, and mystical by visitors, Carreg Cennen is said to look like a residence of the fey.  However, according to legends, it was actually where King Uriens and his son Owain of Arthurian legend resided.  The location is easy to reach by car or train; and one bed and breakfast named Ty Cefn Tregib offers Mongolian Yurts for accommodation.  Their website is:  If you are looking for something a little more western, try the Cawdor Arms Hotel up the from Tregib.  While at Brecon Beacons, there are plenty of trails to visit as well as many ancient sites on which you can explore and get lost on for weeks.

Gwynedd and the Snowdonian Mountains
Gwynedd is the northwest region of Wales and embraces a majority of the Snowdonian Mountains as well as touches the Irish Sea.   Gwynned is a massive area to cover, but is worthy of time and exploration, as the Snowdonian Mountain Range is a beautiful landscape where it’s easy to get lost in fantastical thoughts.  Well, it’s actually just easy to get lost there in general.  But what a place to get lost, and in a location where a good majority of the population speak Welsh language as well!  Mountains, and lakes, and beaches, pixies and poets – these are just some of the bounties of Gwynned.  And here, we also come full circle from the Buffy remarks in the introduction as there is a beach in Gwynedd called “Hell’s Mouth.”  Hillfort Dinas Emrys and Lake Llyn Dinas are located near the town of Beddgelert, and here we find a scene connected with Arthurian Legend.  In Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, he tells a tale of the King Vortigern summoning Merlin to his castle at Dinas Emrys, where two sleeping dragons slept underneath the fortification.  Archaeological evidence does show that the fort dates back to about 400AD.  If you are looking for an undertaking in the Snowdonian Mountains, consider staying at Tremeifion Vegetarian Hotel – a small and beautiful bed and breakfast serving vegetarian and vegan dishes from food harvested in their own organic garden and orchard.  They’re only a drive away from the path that will lead you to the summit of Snowdon, the highest peak in all of Wales.   Or, for those seeking inspiration, you can travel south of Snowdon to Cader Idris, another mountain peak in the Snowdonian Mountains.  In past traditions, bards would sleep at Cader Idris, hoping to become inspired by it.  And, today, it is believed that anyone who sleeps on the slopes of Cader Idris alone will wake up either a poet or a madman.  It’s a risk I’m willing to take, as this place is also said to be the residence of faeries.  Additionally, Gwyn ap Nudd from the Welsh tales in the Mabinogion used this region as his hunting grounds and stumbled upon an entrance to the Otherworld here.  A nicely written blog on Snowdonian travel can be found at

In the absolute opposite direction of Cornwall and Wales is the wonderful northern town of York.  York has an extensive, ancient, and diverse history, and having been home to Romans and Vikings, this beautiful town offers many ancient and medieval sites to visit.  Located in the northeastern region of England, a train ride to York from Manchester presents a stunning view of the green Yorkshire Dales.  Seeing the Yorkshire Dales is a lovely and peaceful experience – a landscape of rolling hills of various shades of green dotted with the white poofs of sheep herds, it is unlike anything in America.  I also believe that this is where you can breathe in the sweetest and freshest air in all of England. `York City Wall runs through the city and remains from Roman builders, while the Roman Tower reveals the remnants of a Roman fort.  Jorvik Viking Centre is on the archaeological site of the 10th century Viking settlement in York and offers year-round exhibits on Viking life in York.  They host the annual Viking Festival, where fans of the Scandinavian explorers/pillagers come to enjoy a week of reenactment, archery, storytelling, traditional costume and activities for children and adults alike.  Well worth visiting are the preserved medieval streets called The Shambles, which won Most Picturesque Street in Britain in 2010.  There are also nightly ghost tours where participants walk around to York’s most reputable haunts.  Although it is not the epicenter of party life, the pubs and historical buildings are simply stunning and have Yorkshire Dale charm.  Tea and scones with clotted cream are served at every tea shop; and if you’ve ever wanted to brave tasting blood sausage, it is an easy find in York.

Northumberland National Park and Hadrian’s Wall
The old wall once believed to have kept the wild Picts out of civilized Roman society, Hadrian’s Wall is Britain’s longest monument and spans the length of more than 70 miles across the northern regions of England.  Not only is it a spectacular sight, it also offers a glimpse into the masterful building skills of the Roman Empire which once ruled the land of Britain over 2000 years ago.  Too busy to take off three months to hike the whole lot of the Appalachians but still want to have bragging rights for having succeeded completing lengthy jaunt?  If you are an adventurer, there is a walking path that follows the entire span of the wall, only taking between five to seven days depending on your hiking/distant walking experience.  Known as Hadrian’s Wall Path, you can walk through urban areas, over bogs, and close to the entire wall from coast to coast for 80 miles.  Along the way there are over a dozen Roman ruins; though the ones of Housesteads are considered to be the best preserved, while Vindelanda has a classic for with the highest and most scenic points on the wall.  Another grand stop along the wall is the town of Hexham, a town which was awarded Country Life’s Best Market Town in 2005.  While there, visit the Hexham Abbey which was built over an Anglo-Saxon crypt.  North of Hadrian’s wall lays the great spans of Northumberland National Park, once land to Celtic nations, and now a place of preserved nature and archaeological beauty.   In the northern region of Northumberland National Park lies another hillfort, similar to the fort in South Cadbury, known as Yeavering Bell.  Here, Anglo Saxons and kings of Northumbria presided, and prior to that, Neolithic people had a temple, Bronze Age communities buried their dead.  Although described as having a “stark” landscape, one has to again extend imagination and see that the earth holds many stories and mysteries in this old land.  Also dotting the Northumbrian landscape are various rock carvings dating from Neolithic and Early Bronze Age.  The common motif for the carvings is spiral in design, showing a reverence for the cyclical nature of life in regions that exhibit extraordinary beauty in nature. For more information on the rock art locations, you can visit  For more information on visiting Hadrian’s Wall, go to, or for information on Northumberland National State park, go to

Orkney, Scotland
If you thought York and Hadrian’s Wall were a hike north, the archipelago of Orkney in the North Sea,  Scotland  is so far north, you’ll feel like you’ve left Europe altogether.   Since it is so far away, one would think that the only people who visit include academic scholars, Viking aficionados, and pagan nomads who may potentially have gotten on the wrong ferry.  But in reality, the Orkney Islands are a very popular tourist location, and although a bit of a trek from London or Edinburgh, the sites and activities available there are distinctive only to the Orkney Islands.   And, in all reality, it is an easy and brief flight from most British airports to the main island in Orkney on the budget airline FlyBe.  A place for the adventurous, a place for the nomad and the hermit alike, a place for those who have a passion for Viking history and monolithic stone circles, iron age hill mounds and stunning coastal towns, the Orkney Islands is a true treasure of the north. I have always found that the Orkney Islands a place that truly satisfies the desire and dream for an actual Avalonian location.  The journey alone could have been considered a shamanic trial for ancient peoples, who would have had to travel to it by boat as well as deal with difficult weather in the northern regions of Scotland.  Additionally, the immense number of sacred sites on the islands, combined with the fact that both ancient Celts and Scandinavians resided here, truly exhibit the culmination of a mystical and magical past.  Kirkland is the central city in Orkney, and from there, four fascinating ancient monuments can easily be reached: Maeshowe, Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar, and the Standing Stones of Stenness. 

Maeshowe has been called the Egypt of the north and an architectural achievement of prehistoric peoples in Scotland.  It is a chambered cairn that is dated to approximately 2700 BCE, and appears as a large, grassy mound.  No bodies were found in here, but Vikings did indeed break into Maeshowe 3000 years after its creation, leaving behind so much graffiti on the walls that it is the largest collection of runic inscriptions outside of Scandinavia.  For the visitor with the ability to interpret the runes, you may blush at the language that these Vikings left behind, or get a good chuckle depending on your sense of humor. The entrance to Maeshowe is low and long, leading into a rounder, open room that then has three side chambers.  One can be creative and liken the four chambers to those of the heart, while others enjoy focusing on the incredible brilliance of the arrangement of the opening to the chamber.  Each winter solstice, the light of the sun is aligned with the entrance of Maeshowe, thus illuminating the back wall of the main chamber.  It is as though the constructors of Maeshowe were able to recreate a shamanic birthing process, and like the birth of the Sun King on the Winter Solstice, those who exit the womb-like chamber can liken the experience to that of rebirth as well.  Pretty deep.  The Ring of Brodgar is the third largest stone circle in the British Isles.  Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally), the Brodgar Ring is the same exact size as Avebury’s two inner rings.  Although only 24 stones of the original 60 remain, the Ring of Brodgar exhibits cryptic runic inscriptions known as twig runes, which still are up to interpretation by scholars.  Legend has it that the Ring of Brodgar was known as the “Temple of the Sun,” while the Standing Stones of Stenness were known as the “Temple of the Moon.”  Skara Brae is a large, stone built Neolithic settlement, which was occupied between 3180 BCE and 2500 BCE.  Due to its proximity to the ocean, time covered it with coastal sand, leading the eight dwellings of Skara Brae some of the best preserved relics of a faraway past. Archaeological finds include pottery, bone pins, and even fungi which were most likely used for medicine.  Some have even reported seeing ghostly balls of light, or will’o’wisps appear at Skara Brae.  Fortunately, these four sites all happen to be in close proximity to each other, and renting a vehicle out of Kirkland will get you to the sites in less than thirty minutes.
Since this article has focused on visiting castles, how about staying in one while in the Orkney Islands?  Balfour Castle is in Shapinsay, and they will even arrange a helicopter for your travels to the tiny island that the castle sits on:   A very insightful website chock full of information about Orkney is:  It is a wonderful place to feel inspired by the tales, legend and culture of an island that has had inhabitants for thousands and thousands of years.  For further assistance with traveling to the Orkney Islands, visit:

Although I find some sort of twisted pleasure in recommending you to take a ferry to the far northern Islands of Orkney and the snowy peaks of the Snowdonian Mountains, I hope you consider making the effort to see some of the places I’ve recalled here.  Most of these places are just a simple excursion from major cities in Britain and can be a pleasurable and short journey.  I feel these places are some of the most intriguing and fulfilling for your mystical journey through the wonderful land of Britain.  My hope is that you are inspired to ramble further, to dig deeper, and to be willing to take that journey on the back of a sheep truck to see a specific spiral stone carving or sleep in a bed and breakfast that purportedly sits on a ley line.  Whether or not you can make it to all the locations is up to you: each location offers such a magnificent sense of magic and myth, that my hope is you return from your voyages feeling like you’ve gone on a pilgrimage, similar to the ones those who would’ve visited Avalon for.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Mystic's Britain (part one)

As a Medievalist and former resident of England, there is nothing more enjoyable than being able to share memories of travels throughout Britain.  Below I have compiled a list of places I recommend traveling to within Britain, all of which are associated with what I studied through my Master’s Degree: Arthurian Legend.  But, additionally, these locations are personal places I love for their mystical qualities and their supernatural ambiance.  I have divided this article into two parts since it is fairly lengthy.   Part one will cover "fairly central England" while part two will cover "the outskirts" of Britain and Celtic Nations.  If you wish to learn more about Arthurian Legend, there are still two classes left in my Arthurian Workshop Series at the Goddess and the Moon.  And, if you have any locations or stories you would like to share, please do so in the comments section.  I hope you enjoy the humor, the images, and the tips for a truly unique travel experience in one of my favorite places in the world! 

The nice thing about visiting Britain is that there is a sense of familiarity there.  Beyond speaking the same language (although one could argue barely in some locations), the commodities and customs are much like Americans. Both of our countries rule the world with celebrities and musicians, and actor Anthony Head links us diplomatically through his acting skills in the American Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the British Merlin television series.  And, although I expose my love for fantasy by citing Buffy and Merlin, I believe Mr. Head embodies all that we love about Britain.  He is fantastical, sings songs by the Who, understands the joy of California as well as the culture of the Welsh castle.  He comes off as serious and a bit uptight, yet is cheeky enough to play Frankenfurter in Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Prime Minister in Little Britain.  So, when experiencing doubt about whether or not you can easily assimilate into the life of Britain, think, “What would Anthony Head do?”

Simply put: Britain is one of my favorite places in the universe.  Where else can you stuff yourself silly at a noon-time breakfast with strange meats and then wash it down with a warm pint of beer?  And, where else could you enjoy this late breakfast in a bar that is older than any building in America?  Where else would they name their most credible transportation “The Tube”?  This is the land that gave us Absolutely Fabulous, The Young Ones, Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, all of Brit Pop, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, wine gummies, fried fish in newspaper, Boots Pharmacy, and eccentric looking sterling coins.  But, more than anything else, Britain has given us a vast array of fantastical legends—everything from the intriguing pre-Christian faery tales associated with the Druids and Celts, to Arthurian legend, to paranormal oddities.  Every town you go in will have its own unique legends of magical hill mounds, or ley lines, or paranormal activity dating back as far to the time of Roman and Saxon rule.  So, keeping in the theme with the fantastic mystique and legends that fill Britain, I have picked some towns and cities that I believe exemplify the history and lore of the land (and that probably serve warm beer).

Part I: Fairly Central England 

London is a great starting point for a trip, as London Heathrow is a hub for transatlantic flights.  Flights usually arrive into London during the morning hours from the US, so you will be on a red eye the evening prior.  While foggy London Towne has many different activities to keep you occupied for weeks, I will suggest a couple which would go along well with the fantastical theme of this trip.  Many claim that the Tower of London is one of the most haunted locations in all of the UK.  With sightings of inhabitants from another time and age, the likelihood of getting spooked at the tower is probably.  Additionally, ravens perch in the yards of the Tower, watching over its safely and happily ignoring on-looking tourists.  Beside the spooky and enchanting, Tower of London has some great things to see while you are there.  The Yeoman Warders will (hesitantly) pose with you for the cheesiest of tourist photos, and if you have heavy metal on your iPod, be sure to turn it on while viewing the impress weapons collection in the Fortress.  If you like a little bling in your life, the Crown Jewels are on display.  And, if you are easily amused, you will enjoy the conveyor belt that takes you past the encased jewels.  And, if you are anything like me, you’ll take a couple trips on it for a personal chuckle.  The British Museum is also a wonderful place to spend a day.  The massive museum holds artifacts from antiquity to modernism.  My personal favorite is the Sutton Hoo collection.  The Sutton Hoo room highlights the finds of a Saxon settler’s ship burial.  Treasures include his incredible mask, weapons, and jewelry.  And, if you are a fan of Celtic and Norse myth, runic relics and cauldrons abound are held within the same area of the Sutton Hoo exhibit.  Finally, be sure to visit the deer headdress from Star Carr in Yorkshire, as it is an incredible treasure, exhibiting the shamanic and magical culture of the early Mesolithic inhabitants of Northern England.

Although you will not find the Leaky Cauldron at Charring Cross, it seems that this neighborhood convincingly inspired JK Rowling’s descriptions of Diagon Alley.  Dotted with bookstores and lined with cobblestone streets, the sense of mystery and magic will inspire you in this historical neighborhood of London.  Treadwell’s certainly has one of the most captivating of esoteric book collections, including rare and collectible books from authors such as     A.E. White.  Additionally, they have tarot readings and events on all topics that surely have grazed the works of Harry Potter.  To see Treadwell’s collection, visit   Another shop worth mentioning is The Atlantis Bookshop, an old haunt of Gerald Gardner’s.  Located in Camden Town, you can learn more about their collection and history at

Warwick Castle
Even though this place is a little on the touristy side, it still offers one of the best castle experiences in all of England.  Warwick has a rich history, beginning around the 11th century when William the Conqueror established a stockade at the site.  To this day, you can still visit this portion of the castle – though merely ruins, the stones and hill mound contain stories that changed the history of England.  During Medieval times, the castle began to take shape into what we now see when we visit – timber was replaced with stone, towers and dungeons were constructed.  The castle was inhabited through the Victorian Era, and touring the castle allows you to visit different periods of time.  There are rooms set up as it was during medieval times, an impressive hall of arms,  a Tutor dining hall, and a creepy dungeon complete with chambers that’ll make the hair rise on your  Warwick Castle has a reputation for being haunted, and was even featured in the melodrama, er, paranormal show Most Haunted.  The heaviest presence is most certainly in the dungeons, where an eerie and heavy feeling is commonly felt by its visitors.  Many will say that in recent years, conversely, the tours in the dungeon take way from its genuinely paranormal ambiance and turned it into a production complete with screaming children.  However, one can escape from the horror of misbehaving minors into the vast grounds and gardens of the castle, which offer a splendid view of the land around the castle and also feature pretty and proud peacocks casually strolling the yard.  Warwick castle is northwest of London, and could be reached via train in less than two hours.  If you wanted to make a connection in Birmingham, the train station in Birmingham drops you off in one of the best shopping centers in England: the Bull Ring.  It’s just something to keep on the backburner, if you are interested in shopping at chic Euro-shops which also reside on the Champs Elysees.  The webpage for Warwick Castle is, which is worth checking out to read about their events.  They had a Merlin event last May, which I was about to pawn my boyfriend’s guitars off for the funds for a quick red eye to Birmingham.

Avebury is located in the southwest area of England near Swindon.  Though Swindon is not much to be inspired by, its neighboring Wiltshire Village of Avebury is a must see.  When you see the stone circle of Avebury, a sense of peace and mysticism takes over you.  Perhaps it’s the fact that the sites here were created over 3500 years ago, or that it’s the modern day druids performing peaceful rituals on site for the equinoxes, or perhaps its Silbury Hill looming in the distance that brings out a feeling of stepping backwards into a time of rural and natural enchantment.  Either way, Avebury stone circle is the largest in Britain; and unlike its cousin Stonehenge, you can still move around the circle freely.  If you felt like hugging one of the monolithic stones, you are able to.  If you can find a volunteer at the site, they would be happy to share stories, history, and legends about the area with sincere enthusiasm.  Best of all, you can stay at Manor Farm, a bed and breakfast within the circle or drink at Red Lion Inn within the circle.  Imagine coming home from your holiday being able to say you had a pint within a stone circle?  Only a walk away from the stone circle is Silbury Hill, an enchanting hill mound that still baffles archeologists to this day.  A small distance further is West Kennett Long Barrow, a stone chamber.  For all information related to Avalon, please visit:  For information on Manor Farm, you can visit:

The Roman Baths of the appropriately named town Bath are a time machine view into the public bathing customs of Rome and the worship of mythological heroes and gods.  The springs within the Roman Baths are still generating warm water, and temples and courtyards honor the goddess Minerva.  After experiencing the Roman Empire, you can experience a literary empire at the Jane Austen Center.  After honoring the goddess of British Literature (this lady deserves a shrine for creating Mr. Darcy), enjoy a proper English tea time at the museum’s tea room.  There is a wonderful website to visit on Bath at which has some incredible inside accounts of life at the Roman Baths.

New Age hippies of America have Sedona; New Age hippies of England have Glastonbury.  Ley lines, faeries, crystals, and a place where Arthurian legend flourish, Glastonbury tends to be a shamanic pilgrimage for New Agers.  There are three sites of great significance worth checking out in Glastonbury: the Tor, the Abbey, and the Chalice Well.  Glastonbury Tor is located atop the 500 foot high Glastonbury Hill, which is speculated by some to have been the location of the Isle of Avalon, the land of legend in Arthurian tales.  Avalon was a mystical island where priestesses learned their magical craft and Arthur took haven in after his final battle.  It is said that the priestesses took him to Avalon where they could heal him; and there he waits, until he is ready to return as king again.  Archeologists have suggested that at one time floods from marshes in surround lands of Glastonbury would have risen around the hill, giving it the appearance of an island in the mist.  Many enjoy the hike up the hill, and see it as a shamanic experience in itself due to the spiral path towards the summit.  At the top of the hill are the remains of a Norman stronghold –turned monastery.  According to Welsh legend, Gwyn, lord of the Underworld, would use the Tor as the entranceway to his otherworldly kingdom.  Glastonbury Abbey is the final resting place of “King Arthur” and “Queen Guinevere,” and although archeologists have ruled this out as credible due to dating of their gravestones.  However, if you totally geek out over anything associated with King Arthur, a feeling of giddiness will overwhelm you while exploring the ruins of the Abbey and seeing the stones with inscriptions for England’s legendary royal couple.  Chalice Well contains the remnants of a natural spring that one ran between Glastonbury Hill and Chalice Hill (a lesser hill in Glastonbury).  Many legends center around the well, but the most famous is the one about Joseph of Arimathea hiding the Holy Grail within the well.  The well itself is within a peaceful garden, and many enjoy its calm and quiet atmosphere.  For those who wish to bring home water from the well, there is a station where you can take as much water as you’d like.  Beyond the major tourist sites of Glastonbury, there are plenty of new age shops, yoga centers, retreats and holistic healing services throughout the town to satisfy all of your crystal and tarot needs.  To read a wonderful, nerdy article on the magical aspects of Glastonbury, please see, which is a phenomenal article by my favorite Arthurian scholar and enthusiast, Geoffrey Ashe.

South Cadbury Hill
Please recognize that even though it seems I am listing a mere hill as a location, there is so much more to this location than presently meets the eye.  This location has seen the presence of civilization dating back to 3500BC.  Bracelets, rings, and pottery excavated from the site also suggest that earlier inhabitants used South Cadbury as a place for religious ritual.  By examining archeological evidence, it is apparent that it was a place of significant political importance during the “Arthurian Age,” when timber and cobblestone roads were used to build up the fort.  More curious, the people who occupied this fort followed the Celtic ways of masonry, as opposed to the Roman, showing a devotion to their own land’s building style, courageously during a time of Roman dominance in the land.  Perhaps a patriotic chieftain of Britain resided here?  Or, a wealthy political leader of the Celts?  No one is truly sure, but many speculate this as a place where Camelot may have resided.  Those who visit, yes even muggles, say that there is a heightened energy at the site.  Some envision that within the surrounding forests are spirits of knights riding on horseback or that one could witness faeries sing as etheric balls of light playfully float through the air.  In one documentary, Geoffrey Ashe said of South Cadbury noted that there was a feeling that something mysterious presided in the surrounding forests.   In June 1995, a witness said he saw an armored knight on horse disappear around a corner.  Some say this occurs every June 20th, when a door opens every seven years within the hills, so Arthur and his company can leave Camelot to feed their horses.  Coincidentally, the date of June 20th is synonymous with Midsummer, a time when legends say that the veil between our world and the world of fairies is said to be open.   Certainly not a tourist attraction, nor a place where much meets the eye, it is here where visitors must connect with an invisible yet very present Otherworldly Britain: one of Camelot, faery tales and hidden secrets from ancient civilizations.   For more information from Geoffrey Ashe on Cadbury, please read:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Manifest Destiny Tarot Spread

I have always had trouble reading cards for myself. I don't think I'm alone on this- I've heard other readers, from beginner to professional, say that they have felt uncomfortable interpreting the cards for themselves. Although I don't think it applies to everyone, I do feel this spread is a lot of fun for practice, inspiration, and application. It is an easy spread to try on yourself, especially if you find self-readings a challenge. If you try it, please feel free to share your results and feelings about it. I also believe you can read it for other people as well, though I haven't tried it yet.


First, begin by going through your deck of cards, and pulling 13 cards you are drawn to. These are ones you may like the interpretation of or perhaps the image resonates with you.

Once you've picked your 13 cards, turn them upside down so you cannot see the card. Mix them around in front of you and pull the cards for the following positions:

1 ***** 3 ***** 5 ***** 7

2 ***** 4 ***** 6 ***** 8

***** 9 ***** 10 *****

Card 1: Where you are currently with spirituality & advice concerning spirituality
Card 2: Future events and manifestations of spirituality

Card 3: Where you are currently with finances & advice concerning finances
Card 4: Future events and manifestations of finances

Card 5: Where you are currently with love & advice concerning love
Card 6: Future events and manifestations of love

Card 7: Where you are currently with issues of health & advice concerning health
Card 8: Future events and manifestations of health

Card 9: A card about yourself
Card 10: A card about someone important in your life

Remaining cards: Things you can let go of currently

This spread is meant to create a feeling of inspiration and hope. It should allow you to see what is going well, and where you can enhance these areas in your life. Again, if you happen to try this for yourself or for someone else, please let me know how it turns out!

Friday, November 5, 2010

A little off topic... Kiki's Top 10 favorite Led Zeppelin songs

As I sit in a coffee shop, catching up on work while I wait for internet to arrive back at my house, I am stuck listening to Radiohead. Don't get me wrong- I grew up with Radiohead and have many fond memories of my first encounters with OK Computer and Kid A. However, it's not the kind of music that inspires me. On the contrary, it kind of makes me feel a little sulky. If only this coffee shop could play something high energy, full of magick, and mythology. So, what band fits that bill? Led Zeppelin- there's a band I can rock to.

Not only does Jimmy Page have a fondness for all things related to the occult, Led Zeppelin's lyrics are brimming with Norse mythology and Tolkien lore. I could write another blog entry just about Led Zeppelin IV's artwork, which was inspired by the Rider Waite Hermit (although I would also compare the front cover's image to be inspired by Ten of Wands). As a matter of fact, I may revisit Led Zeppelin art and its associations with Tarot. Either way, this entry is my homage to one of my all time favorite bands. I'm taking a detour from my common posts to share with you my favorite Led Zeppelin songs.

10. The Song Remains The Same (Houses of the Holy): Incredible introduction to a flawless album. I associate this song with my travels through the Yorkshire Dales, where I listened to Houses of the Holy exclusively. There is something about Houses of the Holy that makes for the perfect soundtrack to the rolling green hills and ancient feeling of the northern areas of England. However, this is a standout track for me.

9. What Is and What Should Never Be (II): The perfect combination of mellow, sexy, gritty, bluesy, and heavy all wrapped into a psychadelic classic.

8. Immigrant Song (III): I feel like I’ve come from the land of the ice and stone when I hear this. Plant sings amazing lyrics, which awakens the Northern gods which reside in Valhalla.

7. Kashmir (Physical Graffiti): Dear Mr. Page and Mr. Plant, thank you for visiting Morocco and taking loads of narcotics. You made a nice song about it and were kind enough to add a symphony to it. Love, Kiki. PS: I wish I had a time machine to go back to 1970 and see you live at the Yale Bowl.

6. Custard Pie (Physical Graffit): This song is sexpot rock heaven. Raw and fantastic.

5. Traveling Riverside Blues (BBC Sessions): One word for you: Classic. Dirty blues, slide guitar, complete with the filthy lyrics from Lemon.

4. Going to California (IV): Every time I hear this song, I’m transported into a happy universe and away from the troubles and stresses of my day. For the three and a half minutes of this song, I am able to envision myself peacefully resting in a sunny vineyard somewhere in California. Very sentimental and dreamy.

3. The Battle of Evermore (IV): Someone told me that all chicks love this song. Fair enough: I’m a chick and I love this song. It’s gorgeous, features the mandolin, and has lyrics about Avalon. Beautiful and romantic.

2. Ramble On (II): Note to rockers: making reference to Gollum (or anything Tolkien for that matter) in a song makes for a rock classic. Not to mention, Page’s guitar licks surmount mostly everything else the 70s had to offer. Bless them for every bit of this song: the soft drumming, the heady bass, and the storyline about moving along.

1. No Quarter (Houses of the Holy): The haunting organ sets the ambiance of dreary travels and the occult. Plant sings, “Winds of Thor are blowing cold,” musing on Norse mythology. I’m fairly sure this is the most essential Led Zeppelin track, surpassing Stairway to Heaven as the one of the most epic songs they’ve written. I remember hearing this for the first time when I was younger: maybe about 12 or 13, and how I’d walk through the woods listening to this, wishing I was at the Boleskine House. If I could consume this song, I would. It’s perfect.

Honorable Mentions: The Ocean, Houses of the Holy, All of My Love, Trampled Under Foot, Over the Hills and Far Away, When the Levee Breaks, Thank You, Moby Dick, That’s The Way, In The Light, The Wanton Song and Whole Lotta Love…

So, my question to you: What is your favorite Led Zeppelin song? Thanks again to everyone who stops by, leaves comments, and reads my posts. Your support makes me glow and shine- writing is a tough craft to succeed at, and readers make it all worth it. So thank you!

I would also like to mention that I received "A Clucking Great Blog" award from Moonshine over at The Diary of a Witch. I will be posting my top ten blogs shortly as well, but just wanted to say thank you for thinking of me! Many blessings, Kiki

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Some of my favorite paranormal sites on the internet

I thought I would share with everyone some of my favorite internet sources for news on all things paranormal. I hope you enjoy the list, and if you have any more to share, please let me know!

Professor Hex Every afternoon I go onto Professor Hex for highlights on paranormal news. It’s a great source, and you will find yourself going back daily.

Cabinet of Wonders Another great site for information on strange and unusual news, ranging from unique encounters with ghosts to unusual photographs.

Cryptomundo Be sure to stop by Cryptomundo to catch up on the world of cryptozoology and Loren Coleman.

The Paranormalist Absolutely fantastic articles on paranormal subjects, written by the kind and talented John Carlson. Mr. Carlson does a great job responding to your posts, so you will feel like it is a truly interactive experience.

Esoteric Archives For the history-lovers, this site contains many exotic and bizarre grimoires and texts on esoteric topics. It’s chock-full of amazing, century-old texts on occultism and esotericism.

Coast to Coast AM You’ve gotta love George Noory, and his paranormal radio show, which airs from Los Angeles nightly at 10 p.m. pacific time. I have a-many memories of listening to the AM radio early in the morning, stunned by the tales his intriguing guests share with him.

Daily Grail This is another site I like to visit daily, as it is a resource for daily news in all things paranormal. There are plenty of articles on UFO sightings, as well as innovations in science.

MUFON Mutual U.F.O. Network is an amazing group where people go to report UFO sightings. On this page, you can search through thousands and thousands of reports on UFO sightings. If you are as curious as I am, use their search engine to see what reports have been made in your home state. You can also become a MUFON member here, and learn how to become an investigator for them.

Fortean Times A power house of strange and paranormal stories. There is a daily round up of weird news and feature articles well worth taking a look at.

Mysterious Universe Podcast I really enjoy listening to this podcast, which airs weekly. They read paranormal stories, give their input, and will occasionally have guest interviews.

The Paranormal Report with Clayton Morris and Jim Harold Podcast A fun little weekly 30-minute video featuring video clips and photographs from paranormal news in the week. Jim Harold, the host of the Paranormal Podcast, and Clayton Morris, Fox News correspondent, love to give their insight into some of the odd videos that pop up on youtube.