News & The Kemmyrk Blog

Kemmyrk — Summer Solstice — Bask

(Image courtesy of Giancarlo Piccinato via

Thursday, June 20, 2024
Summer Solstice
Pluto Retrograde
Day Before the Full Moon (or First Day of the Full Moon)

Hello, and Blessed Solstice!

Summer Solstice up here in the Northern Hemisphere, Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

I am in the Northern Hemisphere, so I will be focusing on the Summer Solstice in this post.

A note on my personal practice and how I view the holiday: I’m seeing posts claiming Litha/Midsummer is “the start of summer.” Please take a look at the “mid” in “midsummer.” We are at the center, the peak, the MIDDLE, and we now start to move toward the dark half of the year. It might be the start of Capitalist Summer, but in the Wheel of the Year, I am at MID summer. For me, the “start” of summer is Beltane.

Your practice is yours and you must do what works in your life, but today, for me, is the middle, the peak, of summer.

Since autumn is my favorite season, I am very excited we are moving in that direction.

I am, however, learning to appreciate the warmth.

My apologies for not posting at the dark/new moon. I had to do some serious work to remove something out of my life and move it along a different path at that time. It made more sense to adhere to the adage of “To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent” at that time, especially the “Keep Silent” bit.

That is what I did. My intention manifested in a lovely, creative way I didn’t expect, that is positive for all involved, and I am deeply grateful.

A friend who is heat sensitive talked, yesterday, about telling herself, in the heat wave we experienced, that she was basking in the sun like a lizard, she is lizard, and the word “bask” stood out for me.

I’m dealing with sense memory stress from something that happened around this time three years ago now. It’s much better, and I am in an immensely better situation than I was, but my body and mind revert to the upset. Our bodies hold those memories. A lot of the past weeks has been about healing that, acknowledging it, and layering on positive new memories that are relevant to my current reality.

The fear still pops up and has to be faced.

The cards (both tarot and oracle), people, and situations around me, remind me that I am in a positive place filled with possibilities. I don’t have to rush my choices, but I DO need to choose (7 of Cups, anyone?) and then take action on the choices.

This morning, after meditation and an online ritual with a group of fellow witches, I thought to myself, “I’d like to go back to bed.” I thought about it; I got ahead on all my work, my deadlines are met. The world will not stop if I take a nap. Even if I hadn’t made my deadlines. . .the world WILL NOT STOP if I take a nap. As I ran an errand, I thought, “I really want an ice cold vodka martini and some popcorn” and then realized – my schedule is clear this afternoon. I can do that, if I still crave it at the time –and then, if I want, I can take a nap. My day is clear to enjoy however I want.

Today, this sunny, hot summer day, the peak of summer, I will bask: bask in the sunshine, bask in my friends and family, bask in the spiritual work, bask in all of you. I will enjoy letting the day unfold, connecting to the sun and my own inner light. I will honor the peak of the sun, and the wheel turning back toward autumn for us, and spring for our Southern Hemisphere friends.

Whatever is on your plate today, take a few minutes to bask in the weather, yourself, your family, your friends, and the large community of all of us.

Blessed Solstice, my friends!

Kemmyrk — A Full Moon Spread for Expansion

May 24, 2024
Last Day of the Full Moon in Sagittarius
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Hello! Good thing we have three days of full moon energy in which to work, isn’t it?

I attended a delightful full moon circle on Wednesday (the first day of the full moon) and as the ritual ended, we watched the moon rise over the mountain. It was spectacular.

Since the full moon is In Sagittarius, and it’s about expansion, here’s a full moon spread about expansion. I’m using the Ask the Witch Tarot by Francesca Matteoni, with illustrations by Simone Pace. It’s a fairly new deck for me, and I absolutely love working with it. You can order it here. I don’t get any affiliate monies or anything; I just like giving you links to what I like!

Okay, the spread! I’m sharing what my experiences are with the card. Trust your own instincts as you work with your deck(s). You might have the same cards and get a different message.

The card on the left, in position 1, is Where I Am Now.

That card is the Page of Wands. It’s about a new adventure, fresh ideas, something that’s sprouting and has not yet come to fruition, especially when it comes to a sense of identity. Wands, for me, are connected to identity. I’m forging a new sense of self right now, and it’s in the early, experimental stages. Wands are about the fire in the belly, the fire that makes you uniquely you.

The top card on the right, in position 2, is Where I Need to Expand Mentally.

That card is the 6 of Wands. Again, tied to identity. It’s about gaining recognition for talent, victory, and compensation. Those gains and that recognition gives a sense of satisfaction, not arrogance. Mentally, I need to open up and accept recognition.

The middle card, in position 3, is Where I Am Expanding Physically.

That card is the 8 of Pentacles, which is one of my favorite cards in the deck. To me, the 8 of Pentacles is about showing up and doing the work, without making excuses. Put in the time, effort, craft, and skill, and there are infinite (eight is about the infinite) rewards. It’s about concentration, quality, and loving the work. It’s very relevant to me at this moment.

The bottom card, in position 4, is the Caution card. Where do I need to be careful?

The card that turned up here is the 7 of Swords. It means I have to be cautious, and play some of my cards close to my vest. Don’t reveal everything too fast, because someone around you does not wish you well, may be lying, and could use what you tell them against you. Swords pertain to air and thought. It’s warning me not to reveal too much too soon, or it could hurt the work and get in the way of the recognition. That, too, is relevant to me at this moment.

When a reading feels right, it will resonate, almost like a tuning fork inside you, even if every card doesn’t yet have complete clarity.

Blessings to you on the Flower Moon! We’ll reconvene close to the dark moon!

Resetting the Kemmyrk Blog and the News With a New Moon Spread!

Image courtesy of Mira Cosic, Astrologer  via
New Moon May 7, 2024
May 7, 2024
New Moon in Taurus
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and warm
Hello, and welcome back.

It’s been a long time since I posted anything to do with the blog, and I decided to post it here, on this site, rather than on a separate blog site. There will not be a regular posting schedule – it will be connected to moon cycles, esbats, sabbats, and special days.

I will be adding material all over the website, and some of the posts will be about the new content and things that are separate from the blog posts.

“Kemmyrk” means “shelter” in Manx, and that’s what I want the blog (and the site) to feel like. A safe, cozy shelter where we can work on ourselves, our dreams, and our paths.

If you have a copy of Llewellyn’s 2024 Witches Companion, I have a very personal article in it on  “Untangling Magical Misfires.” I will talk more in detail about that particular article in a different post. This post is about tapping into the magical May energy and using it.

I wanted to do something a little bit different this month, so I did a 3-card tarot spread and then used an Oracle card underneath it. There are hundreds of 3-card spreads out there, and I encourage you to play with your own ideas.

For this one, to work with the unique energies this month, I wanted to find out what I’m planting, what I am integrating, and what I am building on for this lunar cycle.

I decided to do it like this:

Below the spread, I used an oracle card to ask how the Pluto Retrograde influenced the spread.

I could have used more than one card for the oracle question, but I chose not to, in this case. If we had more than one retrograde, I would have used one card for each planet in retrograde.

I used the Midnight City Tarot and the City of Dreams Oracle for this spread. I love both these decks, and I’m a big fan of the artist, Jackie Franco. The decks are inspired by and built around locations in the five boroughs of New York City. Since I spent many years living and working in NYC, these decks speak to me on many levels. I have the mini deck for the tarot, and the full size of the oracle, which is why there’s a size difference in the cards.

Here’s a photo of the spread:


What am I planting?
The Empress. The Empress is a card of fertility, luxury, abundance, and creativity. (This card is set in Park Slope, Brooklyn). It’s about embracing myself in all its facets and using those facets in my creativity. That makes sense, as I am trying to work past some obstacles (both tangible and psychological) that I’ve allowed to hold me back.

What am I integrating?
8 of Coins (pentacles in some decks). Steady work, mastery of craft, keep up the practice in order to get a result. (Location: Your Kitchen).  This makes sense, since I am working to integrate different parts of my life and work (among them the various names under which I publish) to make something more holistic.

What am I building on?
Knight of Coins. Slow, steady work brings results. Don’t rush, don’t skip steps, don’t get distracted, manage the time and the project reliably. (Location: 57th St. Subway entrance in Midtown Manhattan). This makes sense; I recently rewrote a full-length play and sent it off into the world. I finished another full-length play in April; it’s sitting for a few weeks before revision. I’m working steadily on a third full-length play that sometimes feels like it’s stalling, but I show up every day and do the work. Of the three serials I have running (under the Devon Ellington name), one will complete its season next week and be ready to binge; the next two will finish their seasons in the upcoming weeks. I’m putting together a new mailing for the business writing aspect of my work, Fearless Ink. I just wrapped several large freelance projects. None of it is happening fast, but it’s all moving steadily.

What are the influences when Pluto is retrograde? Pluto is the planet of death and transformation. A Pluto Retrograde is also when what is hidden is revealed. If you’re hiding something, it may come to light. If someone is hiding something from you, it may come to light. The retrograde began on May 2, and will run through October 11. Depending on where Pluto sits in your birth chart, there will be individual nuances.

The Oracle card I drew to ask about the influences of this Pluto Retrograde is the card stating Anything Is Possible. This can be very possible – it’s time to turn dreams into something tangible, especially with the Coins in the above reading and the Empress. But don’t get too cocky about it, because ANYTHING is possible, and if I’m not paying attention, I could miss something important, and it might not be positive. Or there could be so many opportunities that I get overwhelmed and don’t take action, which can have negative consequences. This card is as much of a warning as a cheerleader.

There’s potential for a lot of positives – but I have to steadily show up and do the work. I can’t blow it off and think it will turn out well. The reason I’ve been able to earn a living in the arts since it was necessary to earn a living is because I show up and do the work, even on days I don’t feel like it. That doesn’t mean I never take time off. But if I only worked “whenever” I would not have a career.

For me, this reading tells me I’m on the right track for the moment, and to keep going, instead of slacking off. Be aware of opportunities and possibilities. Make ACTIVE choices and build from there.

The same cards might say something quite different to you.

Try doing a reading during this new moon time and see what you come up with, and how the cards speak to you. They can be all tarot cards, all oracle cards, 3 tarot and an oracle card, or 3 oracle cards and a tarot card. Play with it.

And leave a comment about your experience!

We’ll check back in at the full moon on May 23rd!

Witches’ Companion 2024

I have a very personal piece in the 2024 Witches’ Companion, from Llewellyn, about “Unangling Magical Misfires.” It’s out now, and I hope you enjoy it, and that learning from my mistakes saves you from some pain.

I will be doing a major update of this website in Winter 2023-24, and putting together collections of articles that have appeared over the  years. After all, I’ve been writing for Llewellyn since 1994, with a 6 year break in the mid-aughts.

I’m exploring how to import Kemmyrk into this site, so everything is in one place.

Thank you for your time, patience, and continued support!