A Black woman with short hair hugs her knees while putting her head on on her knee.

I am a fixed candle failure.

I love fixed candles as a way to set intentions, to bring in people and things I need, and to release those I don’t.

But my goodness, they don’t do shit for me.

I think.

I bought have hundreds of dollars of fixed candles, but it seems like the only one that works is when I have one for my ancestors.

As I type this, I have a prepared candle for an ancestor who requested it. I met her two weeks ago today during an impromptu mediumship reading with a friend. During a Reiki/tarot exchange with another friend, I had lit a white 7-day candle for my ancestors and they came through the Reiki season.

So the ancestors seem to work. I’ll come back to this thought later. I came to bitch about things that seemingly don’t work.

Time To Move On But Feeling Stuck

I’ve been trying to build my business to move to the Seattle area ASAP, because I have outgrown life here in Florida, with the mishandling of COVID along with the copious amounts of hurricanes in the Gulf being some of the main reasons.

Even before COVID started, I started to go balls-to-the-wall with working on myself.

I’ve taken a ton of courses, on copywriting, on energy work, on working with the ancestors, on preparing for the love of my life. I became Reiki attuned. I joined a spiritual selling mastermind. I work with an energy mentor. I’m concluding a mentorship period with a business consultant next month. I took a 30-day journey with Lakshmi. I embarked on a 40-day journey with a subagh kriya. I participated in daily group meditation. I received a lot of energy work and healing. I’ve bought a bunch of astro-magical materials and tools. I read about chaos magic.

And things are moving, slowly but surely.

But my god, why is it taking this much effort?

Whose Blocks Are These?

The conventional toxic positivity approach is to say that I have a ton of blocks. Something is wrong with me. Well, I’ve done a shit ton with that, and that isn’t really true anymore.

Look, I hate to compare but I know of people who aren’t very nice (yes, I have this idea that if you’re a good person, you should be rewarded) who seem to create the lives they want with much more ease.

We can run into blocks like having the wrong mindset, about deservingness, about worthiness, about healthy boundaries, about doing the work of building a business. Those blocks cross all cultures.

As a double Capricorn, of course, I just want to effort my way into things. It gives me a sense of control.

But eventually, you can only do so much, because there are bigger systemic energetic systems delaying my success.

You know, like racism, homophobia, sexism, ableism — any type of discrimination.

And it makes sense that, for example, my parents and their friends who immigrated to the U.S. really relied on their faith to get through the morass of racism in their professional and personal lives. It makes sense that the Civil Rights Movement had support from Black churches. It makes sense that traditional African religions and practices such as voodoo supported and guided Black enslaved folks in the Americas.

Spirituality has been a way to overcome, or to at least endure, all the evil isms.

Even still, I feel like I could order ten million oils and potions and spell work services and it was still sloooooow.

For example, two years ago, I ordered candle service from this lovely practitioner to remove the person I’ve called “the racist shitshow” from the place I currently lived.

She performed the service in January right around when he had a psychotic break. He left in July. Oof.

And still, it took so much effort for me to get him out. He smoked nasty cigarettes inside the house. During one of his psychotic breaks that lasted for hours on end, he repeatedly called me the n-word through my door.

It was a terror-filled time. But, he’s dead now. Liver cancer. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Why did it take so long?

Well, the current owners of this place are slumlords who like money and don’t GAF about me. And well, if I was some white guy, he would have been kicked out long ago.

So yes, racism and possibly sexism had a lot to do with it. And those are also spiritual issues.

In a moment of frustration, I shared with my energy mentor about why I felt things seemed to take longer for me to bring into form. She said that she had seen these isms and phobias as blocks, so the energy sometimes has to move around it, which makes things longer.

At the time, I felt like I had to surrender to just having to put in a lot more effort for things that came much easier for people.

I, kind of, gave up finding some silver bullet train that would take me to Seattle and out of poverty. I acquiesced to the reality that things would just take longer because I am a Black woman.

And then this ancestor coming through a mediumship session with my friend and accountability partner changed my mind.

The Ancestors: The Missing Keys

I had worked with a shaman earlier this year and met another ancestor, and because of COVID, I couldn’t really do much of what was necessary. She’s been helpful, but I still felt the slowness of things coming into being.

This newest ancestor came 12 generations back to tell me what my mission was on earth, and that Seattle was an integral part of fulfilling that mission.

That put some batteries in my back, let me tell you! I finally felt the grounded support that I had been seeking for years.

I believe petitioning my ancestors on Halloween evening, revering and thanking them (using materials for contacting the dead) for their support and guidance, was the catalyst for bringing this latest ancestor in my life.

Since then (and probably a bit before), it seems like things have gotten easier for me. It’s easier to connect with more aligned potential clients. I was able to sign with a new client with another on the way.

In his book, The Chaos Protocols, chaos magician Gordon White devotes a whole chapter to venerating your ancestors and the dead. Working with the dead seems essential to success. It’s something that most cultures do, such as pouring libations to ancestors or deities in reverence. And yes, that’s like “pouring one out” for someone who has passed — same thing.

I have an ancestor altar where I offer gifts. And this latest ancestor has her own area with gifts I give her.

In my opinion and experience, your ancestors have a vested interest in your success. Sometimes, they want to see their line carried on. But it’s also that you’re a part of them/they’re a part of you. All their struggles and efforts are embodied in you.

The Bigger Picture

I don’t think all of my work was in vain. Mindset is such a hard, hard thing to change, especially when you live in a society who doesn’t embrace or even acknowledge your full humanity.

At least on twitter, there’s been an obsession with manifestation (so much so, I muted the word), and to me that points to a broken society.

Why should I be manifesting food to eat or proper transportation or rent, or even a decent vacation?

Why aren’t we sharing more of what we have? 

These are the things that a capitalistic society causes us to focus on, on our very survival vis a vis how much money we have, to the point that we think being broke is worse than possibly dying of COVID.

Rise and grind, though? No thanks.

These are the bigger blocks, that we didn’t create, that can be in our way to pursue our dreams. It’s why a horoscope for you seems to not relate.

A lot of spiritual teachings out there are from a cis straight white perspective, where a white supremacist is already supporting folks to get what they need and want. A popular saying on Twitter sums this up well: “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s white privilege.”

Ultimately, I am very wary if I hear spiritual teaching that haven’t disseminated and have yet to be proven true by people of color, by queer folks, by disabled folks…by basically the rest of us. Otherwise, I just assume that the energy flowing to you is unencumbered by all those nasty isms made by white supremacy.

S,o what are we supposed to do? Do we just give up? Is the good life just for the privileged few?


I believe that by working with your healed ancestors (you know, the kind, not racist or full of the isms and phobias ancestors), you can find the bigger picture that frames your life. You can find deeper meaning, greater communion, and lasting support and guidance.

Not only do I feel more supported after this ancestor revealed herself two weeks ago, I feel more inspired to make this place a more just and equitable world. I want to be able to support myself better so I can support more causes. Replanting myself in Seattle is key to that.

And I thought this was my practical idea. To move to a place with better opportunities, friends, and family.

It’s not just about me. It was never just about me.

It’s not just about you. It was never just about you.

A Noticeable Difference

Yesterday, I was dealing with some major anger issues because of someone mansplaining some stuff to me. It enraged me because I had been dealing with this sort of mess for years but never spoke back in defense of myself.

It set off a slow-burning wildfire of rage and I couldn’t seem to let go. I was going to rage journal and learn about “anger inoculation” from The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook. But I felt lead to use prayer flypaper and just write down all the people who had offended me lately.

Now usually, I do these things and nothing really happens. I would have gone back to journaling and doing those relaxation exercises. Just gut my way through these awful feelings.

Miraculously, my anger instantly left me!

And last week, I did energy work with my mentor about this guy I was close to and felt vibes with but ghosted months ago (typical story). She did her energetic magic and I instantly felt better and disconnected from him.

Things I had been struggling with months and years have seemingly vaporized into the ether with ease.

And sure, there’s probably a larger energetic shift going on in the collective. But I never seemed to be a part of those shifts. They seemed to skip over me as I stayed stuck in my miserable circumstances.

It seems like I can now point to the ancestors helping me.

And why now? Why, after all this time, are the ancestors now helping me out?

Well, it helps that I actually paid attention to them. They have wanted to help me this whole time.

I had a mediumship reading out in Cassadaga a few years ago and the medium said that they had been looking out for me this whole time.

I didn’t really feel supported when I heard this.

I thought, well, that’s nice, but why didn’t you do more with my terrible family, with the awful people I met in church and work, with my odious grad school experience, with being kinda homeless for a month, with living in this dump of a house with icky randos?

Where have you been?

The Butterflies — The Ancestors?

I’ve written about this on another blog, but when I moved into where I currently live, there were two butterflies that seemed to hang out by the mailbox. Granted, there are plenty of butterfly attracting plants near the mailbox.

And maybe butterflies are territorial and I don’t know it, but these two seemed to escort me from the mailbox back to the porch.

They’re hella aggressive. It’s hilarious to me.

And recently, every day, a butterfly visits my west-facing window.

I felt that one of the butterflies with is my grandmother. The other is a friend who has passed who looked out for me when we were in college.

It’s good to have those humorous moments with the spiritual world, but they were most likely trying to get my attention to talk to them more, to revere them, as humans have done with the dead for thousands of years.

Final Thoughts

When I was going to write this post, I didn’t really have any answers. It was going to be a lament, that as long as privileged people didn’t tear down this terrible world they created, we would be beholden to them, that our magical efforts would be in vain.

But now, I feel like revering the ancestors is so important to breaking free from the systemic bonds that try to keep us down. The ancestors can also give us the energy to imagine a different world, where we don’t need magic to meet our basic needs, where we better recognize that our spiritual evolutions are tied to each other.

Where we realize what unity consciousness is really about.

I don’t have all the answers to this conundrum. I wrote this mainly out of frustration, as well as in commiseration of those of you who feel like no matter what you do, no matter what favorable astrological transit that comes through, you haven’t moved. You’re in the same place.

I say to you, there are people who came before you who are looking after you, right now. Call out to them. Call out to the ancestors for aid, for guidance, for support.

They’re eagerly waiting to help you. And, they love you.


Note: I’d love to learn of other resources of working with the ancestors offered by Black folks and other people of color. So list them in the comments if you know of any.

I’m moving to Seattle ASAP (because the ancestors said I need to!). So if you want to contribute to my cross-country move, book a special tarot or astro reading with me on Thursdays for a special price.

A white men cast in red light is yelling with a chain around his mouth

So, it took I don’t know how many weeks to come here and write this post that I wanted to write even before Mars retrograde started.

Mars went retrograde in Aries in three weeks ago, and I am just finding the energy and headspace to write about it, even though I have Mars retrograde natally (in Leo).

I made a joke about writing this post on Twitter here.

Mars Retrograde in Summer 2018

In astrology, the planet Mars, representing drive and energy, goes retrograde about every couple of years. In the summer of 2018, Mars went retrograde in Aquarius and its exalted sign of Capricorn. If you remember the summer of 2018, in the U.S. we had some protests about federal immigration policies.

And this makes sense Aquarius is concerned about the collective in a more egalitarian worldview and going against the status quo, a status quo that Capricorn typically likes to uphold.

If you want to know more about how Mars retrograde affects you personally, I have an astrological reading sale — $40! Go to my services page and follow the same instructions for the natal chart reading.

Mars Retrograde in 2020

It is unusual to have Mars be in a sign for this long as it transits. So one theme that may be coming up, especially during Libra season, is how much you’re giving and how much you’re receiving. Aries embodies that “I AM” energy (it’s the sign the Sun is exalted in).

When Mars is retrograde in Aries, then you can see martial themes come up, not just individually, but around literal armies, wars, and the police. The police in the U.S., and its bloody history of the extrajudicial murders of Black people, has been a focal point of protests since the murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day.

A picture of two protest signs. One has the trans rights flag which says in black letters, BLACK TRANS LIVES MATTER. The other sign has a picture of of the Pope giving the middle finger. Written in read is Fuck tha POLICE - God, 2020. And in black, AND FUCK TRUMP.
Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

We’ve also seen some historic fires on the West Coast that looked like Earth had been transformed to the planet Mars.

How You May Be Feeling

With Mars battling three planets in Capricorn while also giving Mercury in Scorpio less oomph (Mars traditionally rules both Aries and Scorpio), you yourself may feel embattled and weary from the battle.

Or, you may find rage and anger bubbling up that you haven’t felt safe to express, especially if you’ve been socialized to not express your anger.  That may feel scary or wrong. Especially if you’re like me, Mars retrograde may feel enlivening, that you’re able to be in touch with your anger in ways that you’re normally unable to access.

You may also have found that this month, you’ve hit a wall with your energy and drive. That’s partially Mars, but it’s also partially that we’ve hit this six-month mark of physical distancing with the COVID pandemic.

It’s a wall that you can climb over.

Transits for 2020

And it’s the same for Mars retrograde. It is temporary, even though we have been dealing with the driving energy of Mars in Aries since June 27, 2020 and Mars will enter sleeping bull Taurus on January 6, 2021! So six months of this go go go vibe, and about a few weeks of it feeling stalled and frustrated.

On top of that Mars has to contend with some planets in Capricorn that can make it either more frustrated or volatile. Yesterday, Mars squared a newly direct Saturn in Capricorn. Did you feel like you were spinning your wheels yesterday?

Mars will square Pluto in Capricorn on October 9, 2020 and December 23, 2020, and then Jupiter on October 19, 2020. During those days you may find things get more explosive or expansive in ways that may not be all that productive.

How to Cope

Here are some tips on how to deal with this relentless energy drain and the possible flare-ups of anger that may arise for the next few weeks until Mars goes direct on November 13th.

The goal is to get this energy out of your body. Of course, please use common sense physical distancing with any of these techniques.

  1. Journal. Get yourself a burn book and just write all the things that are pissing you off. Be unfiltered. And then tear up what you’ve written and flush it, or burn it.
  2. Go to a rage room. Rage rooms, where you can just break shit up with bats, are becoming popular. It’s way better than beating someone else or yourself up! Take friends and family and go to town.
  3. Exercise. Go for a walk or a run by yourself or with a loved one. Sex applies, too. Get a punching bag or dummy and pummel your way to salvation.
  4. Scream. Into a pillow, into the ocean, into the woods. Let that primal rage out.
  5. Listen to angry music. Rage Against the Machine became more popular during this spring for a reason. I highly recommend their music.
  6. Create. We need art that speak to these times. Express your personal I AM energy into song, into writing, into knitting, into a sculpture.
  7. Nap. After all this processing of your energy, you’ll need to rest. If you’re feeling tired, don’t fight the feeling. Go to sleepyti.me and see when you should wake up from your nap or sleep so you don’t become a zombie when you wake up.
  8. Mobilize. A lot has been politically activated lately, and if you are pissed about how the world is, use this frustration to effect change. Find local orgs and mutual aid groups to start making a difference. Aries can be that champion and gladiator. Find your cause and fight.
  9. Be patient, but not complacent. Along with Mercury retrograde coming along soon, on October 13th, things will get more confusing and sluggish. Wires will be crossed and it will be a lot easier to get angry and annoyed at others and yourself. Exercising grace and patience will go far. Use that Scorpio energy to dig deeper into issues that arise and when Mercury falls back into Libra, be diplomatic and fair. Where do you need to dig in your heels and where do you need to be more gracious and allowing? Give yourself time to discern the differences.
  10. Be strategic. If your plans are starting to stall out, use this time to review where your energy should be going. Maybe it is a time to rest, or maybe it is time to focus on an outstanding issue. Or both! See yourself as a slingshot being pulled back. Where will you aim all this energy building up? When Mars goes direct, where do you see yourself in mid-November? Mercury retrograde can help you with reviewing the details, too.

There is a lot uncertain both here in the U.S. and everywhere else, and you may be feeling disempowered and helpless. So I’ll leave you with this song from Sia, “Courage to Change.”

From the YouTube video description:

“The only thing that remains constant is change.” Now more than ever we need to pull together to fight for humanity, social justice, equality & so much more. It’s time for real change.

Let Mars retrograde help you find the right fights to fight — for yourself and for the greater good.

If you want to know more about how Mars retrograde affects you personally, I have an astrological reading sale — $40! Go to my services page and follow the same instructions for the natal chart reading.