January 1, 2018 
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

Happy & Blessed New Year! I really believe 2018 is going to be a PHENOMENAL year!
So this was an interesting holiday season that just passed, in that for the first time since I opened Talisman (2007) I had many people in the shop talking about NOT being willing to overlook or play down their spirituality in the spirit of "keeping peace" within the family - they had no desire to hide anything "different" or make concessions. And it was not about being disrespectful or rebellious - or "in your face" - but rather, about being authentic and expecting their loved ones to be respectful and considerate (as they had always been for them). Coincidentally, I have had a dozen people (so far) tell me that they received a DNA test kit as a present. What a great gift, as these tests are wonderful on so many levels. I think we ALL should do one - how hard will it be for many folks to be racist once they learn the truth of their DNA and continent(s) their ancestors hail from? And from a spiritual standpoint, this has real value too.
It is a rare day when I do not have at least ONE new person in the shop looking for spiritual guidance, in terms of finding a starting point or direction. And honestly, very often the best place to begin is by looking at the spiritual practices of your ancestors in terms of location. Not always (but usually) those practices that were in place prior to Christianity where your family comes from geographically will resonate at some level for you. But it is not enough to just say "I am Italian" but what part of Italy do you come from? And many of us pull from several places - so this will take some research (Google IS your friend) and reading before embarking on a new spiritual path. Already I am hearing from people who hail from Eastern Europe investigating the Norse traditions, and coming to realize that their families were in fact "practicing" traditional elements all along, if only through family recipes/traditional foods. The African Traditional Religions (ATR) are diverse and form the foundation of other spiritual paths such as Santeria, Palo, Vodou, African-American Hoodoo, Gulla Gulla, Candomble and many others. In addition, other spiritualities are "sister" paths and may transition well (or integrate, in some form) one into the other - such as Christianity/Buddhism, American Wicca/Native American Shamanism, Stregha/Santeria. This last combination (Strega/Santeria) may not seem to have much in common but in fact, they both had to "hide" from the Church (for different reasons) by incorporating Catholic elements into their practices and both work heavily with candles, the saints, and Catholic icons.
I want to back up a little and talk about why a person might be looking for spiritual direction or a new spiritual path. First, we have at least one or two generations of young people raised by parents who lapsed or left the faith THEY were raised with and chose to allow their kids to find their own way spiritually. Others were "forced" into a faith that never resonated with them, but want a Divine presence to be part of their daily life. There are some who are happy with elements of their current path (say, a belief in Jesus and Mary and angels) but unwilling to remain part of what they might see as spiritual bureaucracy - preferring to call themselves Mystic Christians or Spiritualists. The Gnostic Bible and its teachings may beckon strongly in this case.
The longer I study Theology, the more I've come to recognize the common threads interwoven throughout spiritualities and I am clear there is no ONE way - only the way that might be right for you - and as you grow and change and expand your mind, that path which fit perfectly may be subject to change at a later date. Now obviously, fundamentalists DO believe there is only one way - fortunately, I rarely cross paths with them. There is rarely a good reason to try and explain yourself or try to change the mind of another person, and I usually just smile and wish them peace and good day. I don't quite understand why a "spiritual" person would go out of their way to be defensive or combative and frankly, I don't have the time or energy for either.
One hot-button topic that always gets a heated response is whether or not our animal companions/pets join us in the afterlife - the idea of whether or not animals have souls. I tell you, I had a very interesting experience a few years back, while scrying with a black mirror. When working with a mirror, it is a little different than using a crystal ball in that you hold it in front of you and look across it - sort of like an infinity pool. You do this in a darkened room, with a candle or light behind you with nothing reflected onto the mirror itself. It can take many attempts to actually "see" something but these mirrors are great for doing inner personal work, as they delve deep into your psyche. So this experience, I was looking for insight into a situation but instead, I saw my own mother's face in the mirror. As I watched, almost like a slideshow, she brought out every single childhood pet - dogs, cats, hamsters, lizards, you name it! - and I felt so elated I called out their names as each appeared, my mom making it clear to me that she had all of these safely with her. And no, this really had NOTHING to do with the issue I had hoped to resolve - which I felt made it an even more genuine experience.
On the topic of beloved animal companions, please know we have a very talented animal intuitive, Rachel, who is at our Saturday faires usually once or twice each month.  While she can work with pictures, animals are VERY welcome to come in person (if they want a reading or not, we are happily child and pet-friendly at Talisman). 
As far as to whether or not we reunite with our beloved animal companions, I would have to side with those who say it can't be a "heaven" if they are not there too!

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