Witchcraft’s unexpected connection to self-love and healing
Avery Nowicki (she/her) // Contributor
Alison Johnstone (she/her) // Illustrator
As Valentine’s Day swiftly approaches, it is almost impossible not to feel love emanating through the air. Couples seem to appear everywhere you look, picturesque pairings popping out of thin air and landing directly into your viewpoint. With this seasonal bursting of love tinting our glasses rose, it can feel difficult to avoid experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out) for these ever-lasting, love-filled romances that capitalist America is sneakily profiting off of until the month’s end. To combat this, most turn to trusted friends, therapy, or suffer without external support. However, the answer for handling these emotions may lie in what gives them their power in the first place, the magic of it all!
Lindsay Braynen (She/Her) of Darklake Tarot, is a Vancouver based tarot reader. She began Darklake Tarot as a way to document her personal journey, as well as her journey with tarot, astrology, and the Black Girl Magic that lives inside of her. She hopes her services and skills help others on their journey toward understanding their own personal magic. She works most often with offering guidance in relationship troubles, helping Vancouverites learn how to mend meaningful love connections without negatively impacting their sense of self and well-being. However, what if the thing you aspire to seek guidance on is not for outer love connections, but to care for yourself?
Lindsay understands the skepticism and cynicism that surrounds magic. However, she wishes the reasons why these negative connotations exist were more widely known. She explains that “many originated from racism against Romani Peoples, who began sharing their spirituality as a way to provide for themselves and express their culture.”
“Those who are skeptical toward magic should explore different modes of spirituality. Like most things, spirituality exists on a spectrum, and the way you incorporate it into your life can be completely different to how someone else does” she recommends. A spiritual journey is long and tedious, demanding plenty of emotional strength from the participant. Self love and healing can absolutely be achieved and improved using tarot, and shadow work. However there are some things to consider when you are first beginning your journey.
“Start slowly, and carefully,” suggests Lindsay. “This is incredibly vulnerable work, and if done incorrectly you could see few or even negative results. It is best to be gentle with yourself, treating this process as you would any other self care ritual.” She also recommends seeing a professional when first beginning. Similarly to seeing a therapist, she says “it can be more helpful to seek an outside and unbiased perspective. When most newcomers attempt tarot on themselves, there is also always a risk that they will lean into a more biased answer than a professional would.”
The main thing to remember during this process is that tarot and shadow work should pull on discomfort. It should push out the unappealing and the many things we bury away during our day to day lives. These must be focused on while you practice shadow work. So much benefit can come just from writing about your experiences and drawing out the discomfort until it fizzles, leaving you with inner peace. As shadow work continues, it should devolve into more of a self check in, maintaining your inner thoughts and caring for the mind that cares for you so much.
Allow this February to be a time to express love toward your brain and body. You deserve it, 2022 has already been exhausting. If tarot and spiritual work don’t seem to be your cup of tea, keep searching. You never know what will work to mend a tempered heart. For more information on Lindsay, you can visit her website www.Darklaketarot.com or her instagram @Darklaketarot.