September 1, 2017 
Greetings from Talisman and Cauldron's new home in Derby!
New Shop Hours:
Tues-Thurs 11am-7pm
Fri-Sat 11am-8pm
Sunday 12-5pm
Monday Closed
Before I begin, I want to remind everyone that parking is available in the City Hall parking lot (which is diagonally across from Talisman) after their business hours during the week and on the weekends. The hours vary, but you'll know because the lot will be empty!
Well, Well, Well ... August was quite a month there, eh? Quick Tip: DO NOT ENGAGE if provoked through this weekend - it is still pretty amped up but energies should begin to calm down starting September 5th. More astrological information can be found at the end of this newsletter, so check out Alethea's monthly astrological posting (and click the link to sign up for her blog, too).
Those of you who are loyal readers of this newsletter (ahem. I should be speaking to ALL of you) will remember that I have raised the issue of "false gurus" being exposed as part of the Saturn-in-Sagittarius time period. Saturn is spending 12/23/14-12/19/17in Sagittarius, where he has been working to uncover spiritual deceptions. Sagittarius rules the 9th House of philosophy, higher education, religion, esoteric thought, foreign matters, and the unending search for meaning and truth. Quote by AstroGeek ( “Saturn in Sagittarius will be testing you, specifically on your most deeply held ideals. He will push and prod you, having your back pressed further and further up against the wall, to see what guns you will stick to, and what you will sacrifice in the name of self-preservation. He will not be kind”. But Saturn will not allow us to serve two masters comfortably. Yes, I have always said it is good to examine other faiths and extract elements that enhance your own spiritual practice (such as Buddhist meditation and Zen) but that is NOT what I am talking about here! I am referring to spiritual hypocrisy – the sort of mentality that demands school prayer but only if those prayers are directed to the Diety THEY hold sacred. Or going into the Confessional before attending Mass to confess the same sins that will be repeated the following week. In other words, we are being forced to “Walk Our Talk.” And hey, I’M not judging you … I am just saying that under this transit, this sort of mindset will be self-defeating at best and see you exposed as a hypocrite at worst. If you are following a guru – you may become disenchanted.
Two names spring immediately to mind: Joel Osteen, who is currently being publicly criticized (and castigated) for claims that his megachurch in Texas didn't immediately take in evacuees from Hurricane Harvey; and Doreen Virtue whose recent conversion from Pagan to Christian has led to her declare that tarot is evil (despite having earned millions from her decks). Rather than go into detail, read this blog post on the topic. 
Personally, I have no concern with someone wanting to change their path, or coming to realize a different "truth". I do, however, have a HUGE problem with someone taking a poop on that path which others are trying to walk. Ever hear me criticize Catholicism? Ever hear me try to change someone's mind about their spiritual path? I don't think so. It's funny, but I have noticed an interesting reaction at my shop when I am asked the question "What is your spiritual path, Laura?". My simple answer: I am a Witch, and my religion is Wicca. Now, when I say this out loud, I see some of you smile and I can tell by the look in your eyes that, like me, you love the word "Witch" and all its lovely connotations. But then, others will get uneasy ... some even saying "But not a REAL witch, right?" and I just want to say, um, no. I am a plastic imitation, a "Barbie Witch" if you will.
Oh my gosh of COURSE I am real! And people who know me, know me. I have walked my path for well over 20 years, I have no hidden agenda. What you see is what you get. But NOT being a Christian, Buddhist or Pacifist and also having worked for the Dept. of Mental Health for seven years - I can assure you that narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths will most CERTAINLY slap your face (either literally or metaphorically) and when you offer the other cheek - delightedly smack that one too. In my sizable experience - as I sit in readings with between 10-30 people each day - eventually, everyone gets tired of being slapped. And, to let you know, I am not a big fan of being hit. I raised my kids with the mantra "We do not put our hands on each other or anyone else". Also, boys do not hit girls. Period.
So when someone comes into the shop with an abusive partner (especially when there are kids involved) or toxic co-worker, I will not be suggesting a "forgive and forget" mentality. You know why? Because abusers and bullies will always see our kindness as weakness. Any kindness or empathy we may feel for their ruined childhoods or former bad relationships DOES NOT mean we have to serve as human teething rings for them to gnaw on.
And empathy? Let's talk about that too.
A few years back, I had people coming to the shop in droves, excitedly telling me of being informed they were meant to be "a healer" or "write a book" or "open a spiritual center" (sometimes, all three) during the course of a random reading elsewhere. No direction provided, no reasoning as to why or how that would happen ... but there you go. Fun! However, the past couple years that has changed to a rather dramatic declaration of "You ... Are an EMPATH" and frankly I think that is great because the only people who are NOT capable of empathy are narcissists, psychopaths and sociopaths!
Let's get this straight: Empathy is NOT a super power. The ability (whether conscious or not) to immerse yourself in the emotions of another is not necessarily a great thing, especially when it leaves you feeling drained, depressed or ill. I discussed this in detail in my March 2015 newsletter. In a nutshell, if your empathy is affecting you to the point you are uncomfortable, then wear a protective amulet over your heart chakra (that's the spot your hand covers when you say the flag salute) using a stone, symbol, or something which shields this very vulnerable area where we take our psychic "hits". Use your empathy judiciously - to determine whether someone is being authentic (how DO they really "feel" about you?); if you suspect someone is seriously ill even as they keep assuring you they are "okay" or you have reason to believe a person wants something they are not comfortable asking for (can you "feel" what is lacking?). These are only three potential ways to utilize empathy. Just remember to treat it like you're testing spaghetti for doneness. You do NOT plunge your entire hand and arm into a boiling pot of water - no, you use a fork or something to carefully tease out a single piece and give it a pinch. Keep that image in mind, as there is no need to immerse yourself in another person's emotions in order to read them - and it is rarely considered good form to read someone without permission anyway!
Mabon, September 22, is a major celebration of the second harvest. It is a time when day and night are in balance, being of equal length. Regardless of your spiritual path, we are all moving into the autumn - and as we prepare to hunker down for winter it's a great time to cleanse our home, maybe even set some wards at the doorways or property corners to not only protect but also repel negative energies. I remember suggesting this to a patron who was being badgered by her ex, that she set a ward by her front door, and she just couldn't wrap her head around the idea of WHAT she would place there? In talking, she pulled up a picture of the front of her house on her phone - and right there, she had a huge stone lion on her front stoop! I asked her "So, how does that lion make you feel?" and she said "Oh we all LOVE him! The kids and I pat him and always say hi when we come and go ..." and as she realized what she was saying, we both just burst out laughing!

Namaste, my friends -
"The Divinity within me perceives and adores
the Divinity within you"
* Laura *

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