CrystalCast 16-23 January ’23

The adage “you never know until you try” is scientific experimentation in a nutshell. Don’t forget what Adam Savage said “Remember kids, the only between screwing around and science is writing it down.”

Hi and welcome to Sage’s Short Sip Tarot. This isn’t Tarot, and it isn’t exactly science, but this is me trying something new and this blog is me writing it down so it counts.

It is a bit of an experiment in progress, but CrystalCasts are back. CrystalCasts are pretty basic and simple. It’s based on a combination of scrying, old school charm casting psychic readings, Crystal Vaults style crystal chip readings, rune stones (I’m particularly inspired by Thom Pham‘s Rune Cards of Mannaz) and some good old fashioned pareidolia. I’ve put together a bag of crystals and rune stones, grab a handful at random, chuck them on my favorite Tarot reading cloth and see what happens.

I wanted to show you the part where I mix the bag to show that it is random. Didn’t expect the reading to spew out of the top like this, but I’m thinking it might be an improvement to keep doing it this way. That removes any unconscious psychomotor element from scattering the things by hand. You don’t know until you try, so let’s try. We’ll certainly be writing it down.

A picture is worth a thousand words of writing down, so if you are listening on the podcast, you might want to check out the photo of the crystals for this week over on the blog. If you put in your email, you’ll get all of the crystalcast post – all of the any kind of posts really – in your email inbox to make it easy for you to see.

The large rectangle thing in the middle is a rough cut, largely raw and uncut, clear quartz bead. As I’ve done more of these readings, that bead is taking on the role of significator, a stand in for self. It’s you. It’s me. It’s the anyone who is reading or listening to this if the reading resonates with you at all.

The dark crystal chips are obsidian, and carry a protective energy. See how they circle the big quartz significator? That gives me a “relax, the universe has your back” feeling. What you focus on is what you draw in. You know how when you are learning to drive they tell you to keep your eyes on the road because where you look is where you go? The same is true for esoteric energies and this is something to pay attention to this week. What you energize is what you call to you. Thinking about something energizes it. Worrying about something can energize it. Don’t call your fears to you. Energize the idea that your protective energies are high this week.

It is a good week for qigong and Reiki and other energy boosting practices if you are into that.

By the same token, see how many of the clear quartz chips are outside of the circle of obsidian chips but – importantly – the clear ones also spiral in toward the large significator bead? This is the opposite side of the same coin. If you can beware of energizing your fears and worries, by the same token you can be aware of energizing positive energies and drawing beneficial things toward you.

In short, this week the energies are protective with an influx of good things if you let it. You go where you look, just like driving a car.

Thanks for reading and listening! There is a ton of free Tarot content including all of the old posts written under the TaoCraft Tarot name on the blog website. Use the search bar in the right hand column to look for Tarot cards or topics. While you are in the right hand column, please consider clicking that white coffee mug and supporting this non-monetized, free to access blog and podcast.

Thanks again! See you at the next sip!

Kittenwiskers: The Great Poopgoo Experiment

Over the past few years, between the pandemic and weird schedules, our family has become world champion at-home staycationers. I’m not complaining. I like it because it usually is a good excuse to treat ourselves to our favorite local restaurants, but that’s another story.

Believe it or not, I have a doctorate degree that relates to this. Not a doctor of vacationing. I have an online remote study Ph.D. in Natural Health from back in the day before online colleges were a common thing. Move over Doctor Doofenshmirtz. Summer hiatus is a good time to put that information into actual practice and take the time to tinker with new things. Call it experimental research.

Genuinely natural alternatives (as opposed to unregulated marketing claims of “natual”) are just as effective as their mainstream counterparts, but they are also more time intensive. Natural things work, but they takes more time and effort than most of us are willing to put into them – myself included.

This year’s experiment might be my new pinnacle of whacky in my alternative tinkering – at least so far. Being middle aged and freshouttafucks, I’m usually not much for hair and beauty stuff. I am, however, getting ruthless about cutting our single use plastic consumption and using more eco-friendly products in general.

I don’t totally like my natural hair color and inherited a forehead adjacent early gray patch a la Bride of Frankenstein, thus Miss Clairol and I have been friends for a loooong time. But it is time for a change because chemicals, plastic, and thinning old lady hair. Enter plant based hair color. No more little non-recyclable plastic bottles and no more slap you in the nose chemical smells. With plant powders, the little plastic bottles are replaced with a bowl from the kitchen (or washed up from last night’s take out.) The eye watering smell (or the gag inducing froofroo fragrance they add to try and cover it up) is replaced by – you guessed it – the smell of plants. Think mowing the lawn or a day in the garden. Or, in this case, freshly mown hay on a sunny day with a giant pot of creamed spinach dumped on top.

This particular plant, cassia obovata, or “neutral henna” as it is marketed, comes from the Ayurvedic tradition and is actually healthy for hair and scalp. It’s been used for centuries for dandruff and the like. Lots of plants have dyes in them. That’s where dyes for cloth and inks originally came from, not chemicals. Thankfully the old recipes and what-plant-makes-what-color knowledge is still around. It is a day long project, but I wanted to give the old school plant based hair color a try.

It’s true that cassia is mainly a conditioner and won’t touch the color of darker hair. Not. One. Bit. I was genuinely surprised that it did anything for my lighter hair, but it really does end up with a nice, warm toned golden blonde, including the grays. Another tidbit I had read proved true…pure cassia obovata is not a good choice for anyone who wants or needs cool or neutral blonde tones. I actually dig the end color because I was aiming for warm tones. I’ve been paying for warm tones for years. This ended up being about the same price as a decent box color at Walmart or something. Certainly it costs WAY less than a salon visit.

The other thing that proved true: it’s volumizing. The old-lady thin texture is normal again. I’ve read that cassia can relax curl, and that adding amla (Indian gooseberry) power does two things: It preserves the curl plus provids the acid that releases the dye molecules from the cassia. If you don’t use amla in the mix, add a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. I don’t think it takes much acid, but as I understand the chemistry, it is necessary. I used amla 15 gms to 50 gms of cassia powder. I also added a splash of aloe, which was suggested to enhance the conditioning effect.

For this project I used 100% pure Cassia Obovata powder (if you use lawsonia aka true henna, indigo aka black henna or anything combination other than pure cassia, it’s a whole different kettle of hair goo. Do your research!! ) Pure cassia is the only way to get the color I was aiming for, so I didn’t really research the other stuff.

To start, measure & mix the powder(s) in your chosen bowl. Add hot water and and about a Tbs of aloe until it is the consistency of pancake batter or a runny yogurt. Let the now brown & disturbingly baby poop looking mixture sit for 4 hours. Yes, hours. This is natural and plastic-free (the powders came in foil pouches) not modern and convenient. You don’t have to stand there and watch it. Just mix it and leave it. If it goes longer, no worries. For a dye effect and not just conditioning, word is that you have to use it within a 4 – 12 hour window after adding the water. Beyond that, and it supposedly works as conditioner but the dye degrades so much it isn’t useful even on light hair.

When it comes time to apply the poopgoo you might want gloves, or you might not. Lawsonnia, the real-deal red hair henna is also used for mehndi, the temporary (and gorgeous!) skin art that originated in India and will obviously stain. But like I said, this is about a pure cassia conditioner / gold-blonde spinach smelling poopgoo hair color experiment. I didn’t have any problem with staining at all.

I coated my hair with this deeply weird muddy stuff, covered it with a shower cap, wrapped that in a towel, and warmed the whole thing with the hair dryer.

Did I mention it felt deeply weird, like mud-clay wrapped in plastic wrapped in a towel, part ceramics class, part Laura Palmer Twin Peaks reference?

I tooled around the house with the spinach smelling poopgoo contraption for four hours. Yes, hours. I didn’t want to do much wearing a big wobbly towel turban, so instead I spent some quality time with my knitting needles and a copy of Matt Auryn’s excellent book, Psychic Witch. The final step is to rinse out the drying-clay-feeling abstract sculpture on my head with warm water and no shampoo, followed by air-drying. For the first evening, it felt like hair that had been caked in mud, but look at the mirror! Good color and better gray coverage than the store bought semi-permanent color. This is temporary too, which is why I was expecting the big fat nothing I’d gotten before from another instinctively “natural” store brand I’d tried in the past. By the next day, the recently caked-in-mud feeling was gone with soft and volumeized texture left in its place.

And look! Color! It worked! Cassia obovata spooged out its crysophanic acid and coated my gnarly looking Lily Munster streak with pretty blonde-ness. This poopgoo is the real deal!

via Giphy.com

Kitten Whiskers is a series of posts about some of my favorite things, even if they are a little off-topic. I hope they spark a little delight for you the way they have for me.


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Today’s Tarot: Logical make

The Ace of Wands is picking up a thread of energy from yesterday’s Page of Swords. There is still a sense of thinking and an intellectual process of some kind. The Ace of Wands is all about creativity, but in this case is a practical creativity and the logic of making that steps forward. Adam Savage’s excellent book Every Tool’s a Hammer comes to mind. He talks about the problem solving aspects of art, making and creativity in general. Flights of fancy are one thing. In imagination, anything is possible. It takes some serious problem solving and logical making to bring that imagination to tactile, usable life. Creativity combined with making an idea into a real thing is a whole-brain process. It requires us to connect disparate dots, plan, use logic, organize and experiment.

Just because something has never been done before doesn’t mean that you can’t do it now. Just because no one has done something before doesn’t mean that you can’t be the first. Just be ready for some industrial strength problem solving. Dream the dream, then create the logical make.