I’ve been zoning out a lot lately. Zoning out here means idling about with no focus in mind and all to-do lists ignored for hours and sometimes days. It’s to be expected with all that’s going on so I’m trying to be compassionate with myself and allow the process to morph and move into whatever it wants to be right now.
Unfortunately, it’s not always nourishing. For example I recognize that the times I stay in bed to the point of a headache are probably not as nourishing as the days where I stay outside taking in the sun with no particular aim. So I’ve tried to at least shift that inactivity into something that isn’t actively hurting me but one that doesn’t require me to invest a great deal of my energy. Naturally, I turn to the spiritual side of things when my day to day feels a bit too much.
These are tools and spaces I can easily get into without thinking too hard and allow for both my curiosity and magpie lack of focus to coexist easily. I just grab a cup of tea, some chips, or a tub of ice-cream and pass time allowing my heart to do whatever in the world it’s doing right now with no pressure from my brain. The bonus is, I often gain something in the aftermath (though I’ll admit I’m never particularly bothered to identify what it is every single time).
Here is some of what I’ve been getting into, particularly this last weekend with the Cancer New Moon swirling all my feels in a blender. I’ve ordered them in increasing order of energy investment per sitting ranging from ‘close your eyes and zone out’ to ‘try to get into a sitting position and sort of focus’. I also tried to focus on specific examples as much as possible to give a shoutout to my favorite though they are by no means the only available ones of that particular group out there. I’ll also add that not a single one of these links are affiliate or anything like that, I just really love all of these resources.
Spotify Playlists, ex: Femme Bruja – Magic Making Tunes
Spotify’s Playlist function is the best out there, in my opinion. I’ve tried multiple streaming sites (and I even subscribe to Tidal in a mixture of wanting to give artists more of a share in streaming profits and also not wanting to miss a single Yonce drop, yes I’m that fan) and while they all have their pluses, Spotify’s playlist function has been absolutely divine for assembling my witchy playlist. They even have a recommend algorithm now that through some computer science amazingness figures out the vibe I’m trying to create and offers up suggestions to build my playlist. It works wonders for everyday playlists, but it is really perfect for when I’m feeling like I need a bit of extra magic. The best part is, I can hit play and not have to do anything else energetically but float in the soundwaves.
Woo-centric Podcasts, ex: Listen w/ Forage Botanicals
I’m so happy that more and more folks are doing podcasts focused on their niche interests. One of my absolute favorites is Natasha from Forage Botanicals’ Listen series. In it she and another herbalist chat about a particular herb each episode. It’s not just an audible herbal monograph (which would also be awesome); every episode so far has included winding reflections on herbalist practice, as well as the unique perspective each herbalist has to working with herbs. I’ve consistently come away with a new piece of knowledge about herbs I was familiar with and have also found myself intrigued to get to know the herbs they talk about that I haven’t worked with. I’m also on the lookout for more woo and herb podacsts so drop me a line!
Vlogs, ex: Kelly-Ann Maddox @ YouTube
Saturdays are my do nothing but spirit times. This doesn’t always work out but as much as possible, I reserve the day portion of my Saturdays for spirit work- whatever that looks like. It may look like a midday bath or a chance to play with herbs or do that large tarot spread I’ve been thinking about. Whatever it is, my one requirement is that it nourish me spiritually with no obligation to feed any other part of my life (though it inevitably always does by virtue of keeping me whole and sane).
A constant part of my Saturday activities is getting on Kelly-Ann’s Youtube channel picking a video and just let it play in the background. It’s perfect. It creates a magical mood immediately by virtue of her great and varied content and I can go about doing whatever. Which isn’t to say I’m not paying attention. My favorite part about her vids is that she is so rambly which suits my rambly brain just fine so I hook on to whatever catches my attention as it occurs. This also means I sometimes watch the same videos multiple times and it’s never felt repetitive. Even if I don’t latch on to a particular topic, she’s got such a great voice and energy that closing my eyes and drifting in the mood can be just as lovely and soulfeeding.
Instagram Tarot #s
If I’m feeling up to doing a bit more than just zoning all the way out, I like to browse the Instagram tarot hastags. Beyond my awesome feed, one of my favorite things to do is pick a random card and search it as hashtag. I love looking at all the different ways artists have found to depict particular tarot archetypes. It’s also a great way to keep a lookout for tarot decks that might catch my interest. Indie-published decks are often previewed on Instagram which often gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the artist’s process and progress (for example, #deltaenduringtarot and #mesquitetarot, which are decks you should definitely support). More than just the oooh shiny, I love reading folks’ reaction to the cards. Everyone has unique insight and an original way to see the same card, sometimes even if it is from the same decks I have. And yes, one hashtag leads to another and so my magpie focus gets to have as much fun as the tarot nerd in me.
Woo-centric Blogs, ex: Little Red Tarot
For when I have the energy to allow a bit more focus, I often end up in the Little Red Tarot archives. Beth has created and curated an incredible source of knowledge and reflection around spirituality with a mission of providing accessible and diverse content. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a contributor. Even before I wrote a word for LRT, I would often spend time in the archives or in the Alternative Tarot Network learning new ways to meet not just tarot but how I engaged my spirituality in day to day practice. I love to brew myself some tea and click the Surprise Me! post link and see where I end up (so far never on one of my pieces but I did most recently land on this cool interview with Clementine Morrigan who makes seawitch zines).
E-courses and Woo Communities, ex: Lunar Apothecary
Last but certainly not least on the list is woo-centric cources and my current favorite is Alexis J. Cunningfolk’s Lunar Apothecary. This one requires the most investment of my energy but I never find myself drained or frustrated with it. At the barest of descriptions it’s a magical herbal course. Of course it’s so much more than that with it being a community of learners, herbalism and astrological resource, and a spirit-sparking journaling workshop. I can’t say enough but I also can’t say it better than Alexis does and if you are able, you should definitely consider investing in it for yourself (I promise I’m not being paid to say that). It used to be a year-long course when I signed up for it myself, but I think Alexis figured out that folks like me really take our time to wander around and is now a lifetime-access database of divine knowledge that is so worth it. I love losing myself in the herbal monographs or case study challenges or dive into some work with a journal prompt or ritual offering. Alexis also has an awesome blog at Worts & Cunning full of rich content merging spirituality and herbalism.
And if all of this fails, I either go back to bed and snuggle with my cats or leave the house and sit by some water. I’m only human, after all, and do absolutely nothing is a legitimate grief self-care strategy.