A Spooky Happening

The year is 2020. A green mist of Coronavirus has descended over the skyscrapers of Manchester, and I am BORED. Where do I go to read about cool things? And possibly have to trawl through pages and pages of people claiming to be Satan himself? Why, /x/, of course.

For those of you who haven’t heard of /x/, this is a 4chan board where people (mostly) discuss the paranormal. Some posts on /x/ are ridiculous, but every so often you come across a real gem – I even wrote an article about one of them! So, /x/ draws me back in time and time again, just out of hope that I’ll read something as interesting as that.

Anyway – back to the story. I was happily browsing /x/ one day when I came across a post. The text of the post wasn’t compelling, something about demons etc etc, but I was drawn to the image posted. The image in question was this:

You IRL : YouIRL

I felt some sense of anxiety looking at this image. It reminded me of when Lovecraft refers to something as ‘a picture which drives one insane’. I’d never seen anything which inspired so much dread and a gut-wrenching feeling that something was wrong. I was convinced that I’d never come across this image again, so I saved it onto my phone.

A few days passed, and I couldn’t shake that compulsion to keep looking at it. Part of its weirdness was that I didn’t know where it was from, and the art style was just….uncomfortable. In an attempt to make myself feel better, I reverse Google image searched it, and easily found it.

It was a book cover: a book called Chamiel by Edward Pearson. But that didn’t fully satisfy me. I had to see what it was about, as I’ve learned to pay attention to this weird gut feelings, so I headed to Amazon (boo! hiss!) to see if I could buy it. Yes! I could buy it! It was even on sale.

Bombs Away GIFs | Tenor

It was reduced to £0.01. This felt wrong, I thought, as I added it to my basket. Wasn’t it a coincidence that I had such strange feelings about a book that just happened to be on sale for one pence at the exact same time? I knew the universe wanted me to buy it. So, in true reckless Frankie Synth fashion, I bought it. I felt like there must be something in it that I needed to read.

It came, and I opened it. The dedication page just said ‘dear John.’ That was it. Just that on an empty page. I already had the feeling that this book was cursed somehow, but I couldn’t explain it, it was a gut feeling. The first rule of cursed objects is to cleanse cursed objects (we’ve all seen Annabelle, I aint having chairs flying around my house).

After cleansing the book and the house, I sat down to read. The book was an adventure novel about archangels, but what stood out to me was the ending (I’ll try to keep it spoiler free): the ending of this book provides a new perspective on the canonical Adam and Eve story, and after reading it, it prompted me to look at my own roots with new perspectives.

Had I not looked at my own roots, I wouldn’t have made some difficult decisions and expelled negativity from my life. That is what this book was trying to tell me. So, thanks good guy universe!

However, that picture still remains a mystery as to why it disturbs me so much. It may be symbolic of my reluctance to do shadow work: the picturesque, dreamlike landscape contrasting with the harsh oppressive shadow is pretty evident. Because I’m apparently a masochist, I may even print it out and display it on my desk to remind me to do shadow work!

What do you think? Does this image disturb you the same way it disturbs me? Do you have any images that have spoken to you?

My first shamanic experience & the willing suspension of disbelief

(NB: I originally submitted this piece to a publication in December, but it got lost in the ether and therefore, wasn’t published – so when I say ‘Samhain was ages ago’, yeah, it was ages ago)

Hey everyone! It feels like a million years since I last uploaded, and with the pandemic lockdown happening, it’s near impossible to stay organised *looks sadly at scattered notebook pages and split ends of hair*. So on Samhain (yes I know, Samhain was ages ago- please refer to the above sentence), I attended a Zoom ceremony as a guest to a local pagan circle.

The only experience I’ve had with pagan ceremonies is YouTube videos and conducting my own at home, so I was very excited to experience a /real/ ceremony with /real/ people. I went into it expecting a half-hour, candle lit, intention setting ritual – with maybe a bit of ancestral stuff thrown in – and whoo, boy, was I wrong.

witch gif | Tumblr | Witch gif, Witches dance, Witch aesthetic
Was low key hoping for this but unfortunately not #justquarantinethings

Instead, what I got was a two hour shamanic experience, unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It started with drumming, where the hosts played a recording of a steady drum beat, and put us all into a trance state. After that, it was sort of like I was dreaming, but lucid dreaming in the sense that I could control what was happening. Since the vision, I have tried my best to channel the images I saw and follow the advice it gave me.

My vision

In my ‘dream’, I wandered into a dank, moist forest, the smell of soil and rotting leaves around me. I ducked under a few branches, noticing the first sprouts of fungi near my feet. There wasn’t a path, but somehow I knew exactly where to go. The sight in front of me confirmed this was where I should be. There was a toad, about seven feet high and eight feet wide, sitting comfortably under the trees. It’s mottled skin heaved under its gentle breath, and it seemed totally at peace. As I approached, it seemed to welcome me somehow, and in a raspy, deep voice it greeted me. ‘What do you need, small thing?’ The toad rasped. ‘Guidance,’ I replied, ‘and reassurance.’ ‘I am at rest. But I am growing still, despite being at rest. That is my guidance to you. Learn to rest and you will grow.’ Its eyes closed with a booming sigh, and at that point, I knew it was time to leave.

Common European Toad, Bufo bufo | Europeana
I searched for forever to find as accurate an image as possible

End of vision

So what have I taken from this? It sort of confirmed what I already knew: chill out Frank!

But, to bring us to the second part of this title, this totally would not have worked had I not willingly suspended my belief in order to see this vision. All the time I was in the forest, I was totally aware that I was sitting at home in Manchester in my armchair, but it was as if I shifted planes of existence. To be honest I’ve always been a skeptic of shamanic experiences, but now I completely understand both sides. If your heart isn’t open to the lucid dream, you won’t experience it.

Willing suspension of disbelief is by far the most important aspect (to me, anyway) of any shamanic experience. Have you had any shamanic visions? If so, what were they like? Did they foresee anything or just reassure you that you were on the right path?

Blessed be!

Reflections of the week 27/4/2020

So it’s currently ten minutes past eleven pm….on Tuesday 5th May, and I’ve only just got around to writing this post which should have been written on Saturday! But the situation actually illustrates my point, so I feel like I have a bit of an excuse (tarot cards told me to procrastinate).

So this (last) week I got the Wheel of Fortune, and it set my mind reeling – wheeling, if you will, hehe – about the passage of time.

See the source image

If you overthink everything and worry a lot like me, 2020 seems to be a waste of time. We only have about 90 years on this earth, and half of this year has already gone and we’ve been stuck in a global pandemic.

What relevance does this have to the Wheel of Fortune? Well, the Wheel of Fortune, to me, represents the cyclical nature of life, and also makes me think of the Pagan wheel of the year – see below:

Time is going to pass us by, whether we are annoyed about it or not. We can make the most of this time by learning, introspection or simply just doing what we enjoy. This is actually quite a traumatic time for the world – even though it doesn’t really seem like that because it isn’t like that film Independence Day.

The Wheel also symbolises the concept of ‘what goes around. comes around,’ which brings me back to what I said in the first paragraph. Personally, I read this for my week as ‘if you put effort in, it will pay off in the end, or, in Wayne’s World terms:

The lesson that we can take from this card is that yes, this is a good time to work hard and you’ll eventually see the rewards – for example, me working on my qualifications and my day job and my languages every day – and now you have an opportunity to do things that you might not get again.

Time will pass us by, and this pandemic will pass us by, and what we choose to do with this time is our choice.

Reflections of the week: 20/4/2020

What a busy week! I’ve been working towards my little witchy quals and self improvement, as well as writing for my new blogging collective (go check them out here.

I’m going to keep these reflections on my own platform, however, as these are deeply personal to me and also I do them so regularly that I’m not sure if they’d fit with the aims of that site. However, you can follow me on there (I am Frankie) for extra content that I won’t be posting here.

Due to the money I’ve been saving, I also caved and bought this tarot deck – and I’m probably going to get a couple of others too…..

Im Rich Bitch GIFs | Tenor
(Disclaimer: I am not.)

I love that deck because it’s the exact opposite of my Hermetic one (my other favourite).

For example, this is the Emperor card from the Dark Exact:

dark-exact - The Emperor

…and this is the Emperor card from the Hermetic deck:

See the source image

Whoo boy, there’s a lot to get through in the Hermetic, but somehow we know exactly what the Dark Exact card means, despite it’s lack of detail.

Anyway, back to the reflection:

This week’s card is the Hanged Man from the Rider Waite Tarot.

It looks like this:

See the source image

Now, to me, this has always had one meaning, and that meaning is:

Do not ignore your intuition. You know what you want, you know what your intuition is telling you, so what is stopping you?

Personally, this week has been about struggling with important life decisions. We are thinking about getting a pet, and whilst I know that’s what I want deep down, the little anxious voice of doubt is making my decision hell, when actually it should be really easy. Basically my brain looks like this:

Here's the Episode Where That Mr. Krabs Meme Is From | Complex

But I know it’s what I want, and it’s what feels right, and we have so much love to give.

The same goes for personal development: I am at a weird point in my life where I have a good job, but I feel like I could be doing something more spiritually fulfilling, and my intuition is telling me to go for it.

What is the lesson for this week?

If your heart is telling you to do something, and you ignore it, then it’s going to come back to bite you. The Hanged Man is upside down even though he is enlightened. Whether you choose to read this as you putting him there and he is your soul, or he is you and you’ve only just realised now that your intuition was actually right all along (d’oh). He is hanging in limbo, unsure of where to go from here because he has sacrificed his intuition for logic.

Listen to yourself. Only you can decide what to do. Don’t wait until you’ve missed opportunities, or wait for ‘the right time’ to do something you’ve been meaning to do. The right time is today, and today begins whatever time you want.

Reflections of the week 20/04/2020, The Wanderer

Hey everyone!

This last week has been so much like the card I drew, it’s unbelievable. Normally there needs to be some sort of insight into the card to relate it but nope, not this week!

This week I drew The Wanderer from The Wildwood Tarot, which in most decks is The Fool.

At first glance, The Fool seems like a negative card just from its name, but in the Wildwood Tarot, the spin on the fool is that he is a wanderer which puts more emphasis on happy new beginnings rather than car crashing into new things haphazardly.

Here is a picture of the Wildwood Wanderer:

See the source image

Note how he’s stepping off the safety of the woodland road onto a narrow rainbow path. The wanderer’s arm gestures imply that this road has just appeared before him (NB: this is just my interpretation! Feel free to comment if you disagree!). This differs from the Rider Waite version (see below). The Rider Waite version implies stepping forward into nothingness, and the whimsical look suggests that the fool is blind to what is in front of him, rather, viewing the sky with blind optimism.

See the source image

In regard to me personally, this week has indeed been a week of happy new beginnings: I started focusing more on my languages, developed some new routines for self care, and overall just had a fresh new look at everything.

This is the lesson that we need to take from this card at the moment. Use your free time to examine what you have and figure out if it builds part of that rainbow that the wanderer is stepping onto, or if it’s part of the gushing river below. The river, to me, reminds me of fleeting issues, as does the mist: these things will either run their course with or without your intervention or dissipate. Do you want to waste your time focusing on either trivial things that ultimately don’t matter, or things you can’t change? I didn’t think so.

What is your rainbow of life made of? What do you need in your heart of hearts to be fulfilled? Now is the perfect time to take that leap of faith and step onto that rainbow.

See the source image
(who we’re all trying to be, lets be honest)

This is a fairly simplistic reading as the words were pretty much written on the card! Do you have any other interpretations for this card? Do you think the reading would have been different (thinking about the world this week) if I’d drawn The Fool from the Rider Waite deck?

Please feel free to comment below or just private message me! I love nerding out about this stuff.

Reflections of the week 06/04/2020

It’s week 5 of lock down and we are going insane. Today we discussed in great detail the origin of the place name ‘Swansea’, and also are composing a full length West End show entitled: Corona: The Musical.

This past week has been filled with emotional difficulty: tensions were high in our house, and doubtlessly in many other houses – I read somewhere that predicted divorce rates will skyrocket when the quarantine is over.

So let’s talk about my card pull for last week: the Six of Pentacles. I was particularly drawn to the Hermetic tarot deck, and sometimes if I have a strong intuitive feeling for a deck then it puts a new spin on the card’s meaning.

The Six of Pentacles, in the Hermetic Tarot, is titled Lord of Material Success. There is a hand at the bottom, holding a bouquet of flowers which snake around the six pentacles, which bear symbols relating to the card’s alignments. The planetary alignment of this card in the Hermetic tarot is the moon, and its sign is Taurus.

Generally speaking, the Six of Pentacles represents the idea of giving and receiving: sometimes you are the giver of coins, sometimes you are the receiver. This can be in a literal, financial sense, or in the sense of emotions. Are you a giver or a receiver of emotion right now? Are you doing enough to balance those scales so that everyone is being treated fairly?

The moon is a symbol of your inner self (remember those pesky Sun Signs and Moon Signs? I ‘member). The moon also represents waxing and waning, and in this sense, could symbolise the waxes and wanes of a relationship, friendship or just generally life. Therefore, I read this card to suggest that you may be feeling how you really feel right now. You have no distractions from your thoughts, and you’re tired of putting up this facade, a mask to wear on the outside.

But uhoh spaghettio, we’ve got a bit of conflict: Taurus is an Earth sign, who represents stability and practicality.

Six of Pentacles + Moon + Taurus = lets be honest, not the best combo.

So how does it all mesh together, and what lessons can we learn?

  1. Relationships are a two way street. Don’t expect people to reach out to you if you aren’t reaching out to them.
  2. If you’re harbouring any ill feelings towards a spouse, friend or a housemate, that Taurus energy is going to make you feel like you either need to stand your ground, or cut and run for a simple practical solution (or a conflict of both). Use the moon’s gentleness to approach this in a way that covers both sides of the relationship. Compromise is key.
  3. If you seek harmony with those around you, that harmony will carry you through this uncertainty.

Reflections of the week 30/03/2020

Dydd Sul da! (That was probably totally wrong apologies to any Welsh speaking people). Just here to write my usual weekly stream of consciousness/reflection on my card of the week.

This week, I got The Emperor – not once but twice, as in, I woke up that day and thought of The Emperor, and then I got it in the reading. Nice one.

What did The Emperor’s influence have on the last week?

Well, to start with, my mental health is on the up. The week before this I was manically depressed and low, probably to do with having to stay inside.

I felt that this card was universe’s way of telling me ‘you got this’. You can’t control everything, but you can control how you spend your time during this isolation.

I think we can probably all learn something from The Emperor in these uncertain times: you can control and be lord over yourself. Did you ever want to learn something in great detail? Now is the time to do it. Ever wanted to shave your head? You got this. The things you do in this time will directly affect your well being (as I learned last week, constant video games and junk food do not make for a happy me!).

The Emperor speaks to me as the light at the end of the tunnel. We must accept that we can’t control external forces but if we maintain confidence and discipline, we will look back on this time in a positive light.

Be your own Emperor. Be the morning sun after the stormy night. You have it in you, it just needs to be found.

Reflections of the week 23/03/2020

Now, I don’t know how you guys are faring during this isolation, but I am having such a hard time right now. So much so that I actually forgot/was too depressed to do a reading last Sunday, and so I’m just going to talk about a card that is standing out to me right now.

The Four of Cups

This card is often read to mean someone is oblivious to the negatives of a situation, but to me at the moment this card reads as the opposite. In one of my poems (from my new book), the Four of Cups is portrayed in this way:

He is trapped in a glass cage –

Unseen but felt like frostbite.

The bird taps at the window 

With a rosemary sprig of redemption,

But he still focuses on the wells before him. 

If you look at the Rider Waite portrayal of the Four of Cups, you might be able to see what I mean here: someone is focusing on three cups in ront of him, whilst ignoring another one being handed to him.

In my (and countless others’) state of mind, this stands out. We are so focused on things that ultimately don’t matter; we are depriving ourselves of the opportunity to grow and reflect inwardly. An example of this would be my own personal intrusive thought: ‘I can use this time to finally lose some weight’. For those of you who know me, I’ve been a yo yo dieter for the last few years, and my whole life I’ve been obsessed with losing weight. On the surface, this seems like a structured and oriented goal.

But there’s a catch

So say you’re trying to put all your time and effort into losing this weight, right? What about all your other basic human needs: interaction, self expression, self worth. When you talk yourself into using this time to achieve something, anything you do otherwise makes you feel guilty, especially if you experience guilt for relaxing anyway *which I do*.

I guess my point here is: don’t see this isolation as ‘time you can use’ with a fixed end point. Yes, you will have more time to do things, start that vlogging! write that novel! But remember, if you see the time as a finite source, you’ll stress yourself out and make yourself poorly (which ironically is what this is all about avoiding).

So maybe look behind you and see what you really need to get out of this time.

Aros yn bositif ❤

Reflections of the week 16/3/2020

Happy Saturday! I had to work out what day it was, as I’m sure lots of other people are with working from home. It hasn’t actually been too bad so far: I’ve managed to get lots of housework done and actually slow down a bit from hectic commuting life. I miss the gym and seeing my friends, though.

This week, I pulled a reversed Seven of Cups, and then I clarified it with Judgement. I’ve been getting the Seven of Cups quite a bit recently in my readings and it’s not become clear yet why this is, although this reversed one has definitely predicted my week: limited choice, difficult choices. At the time though I thought ‘oh stuff this, I need a clarifier’, mainly because I’ve got the Seven of Cups sooo much recently. So I pulled Judgement. Judgement, in this context, spoke to me about consequences of actions: be that good or bad.

This was actually accurate: I made a choice not to see my mam last week, and to work from home way before everyone else did because I had a gut feeling that this was a bad situation. I also made a choice to open up more at work, and made some difficult choices regarding work priorities. Today I made a choice to use my boredom in doing the housework, and now I am enjoying the fruits of it!

workplace safety – Warehouseflow

On a wider scale, I think that society and the earth are experiencing difficult choices and inner conflict right now. The shelves of shops are empty with people panic-buying, and on the other side are people who genuinely need supplies and can’t get them because there’s nothing left. People are having to decide whether or not to leave the house, and most importantly, whether or not to be self-preserving or selfless in this chaos.

It was the Spring Equinox this week, the equal parts of light and dark, and this represents the earth and society right now – do we choose the light, selfless path, risking our own health and security to help others? Or do we choose the self-preserving, some might call it ‘selfish’ path, bulk buying so we have the security of being able to survive the quarantine, however long it may be. The Spring Equinox signifies that the light will grow, and I can only hope that society will begin to look after itself. After all, the human race is ultimately one big community, and there’s no need to step on other people to get what you want, or deprive others just for your own security.

The ultimate lesson here is that being kind seems like sacrificing your own security, but if we all look after each other, there will be enough of everything for everyone.

Stay safe and blessed be ❤

Reflections of the week 9/3/20

Card of the week: King of Cups

Prynhawn da gwrachod ❤ Today is my first post on this new blog (welp) and I just wanted to share some reflections on this week.

The world is a bit chaotic at the moment: the threat of the Covid-19 virus is spreading, everyone’s panic buying groceries, and it’s difficult to tell if this is really a global crisis or if the media have blown it completely out of proportion. Either way, it’s a good idea to keep grounded through these difficult times. I’ve bought in a lot of tinned and boxed groceries, not because I think there will be an apocalypse, but because it makes me feel just that little bit safer (in general) if I have a safety net of food & supplies.

Anyway, this week’s card was the King of Cups. I tend to pull a card every Sunday to arm me with the energy of that card for the following week, and oh my LORD did I need the grand ol’ King of Cups energy this week. I have been trying to recover emotional bonds that have frayed during this Mercury retrograde, and also have tried to be a diplomat with controlled emotions. This, to me, is what the King of Cups represents: to be an empath, yet maintain emotional stability and diplomacy.

How have you all felt this week? Has the King of Cups’ energy entered you at all?