By Amber C. Snider
Maybe you really can have it all? We spoke to color magick expert, tarot reader, and medium Sarah Potter on how to visualize your future and manifest your dreams.
Sarah Potter is a woman who knows what she wants, goes after it, and helps others do the same. Whimsical in her fuzzy white winter coat, celestial nails, pink-blonde hair and cherry-red shoes, Sarah is not only a color magick expert, but a friendly force of nature. We get to chatting about how to manifest your dreams – a theme that struck me as apropos for this new decade. (It’s 2020 baby, we have arrived).
“Color is a tool to amplify your intentions. Anything you desire can be manifest – and I feel like people don’t say that enough to each other,” Sarah tells me. She believes we truly can get everything we want in life. But if you don’t know what you want, how do you go after it?
The first step is getting clear about what you truly want. The Universe can’t help you if you’re flipping back and forth between life goals and mindlessly sifting through all the countless options out there. You have to quiet the mind and find that elusive answer within. Defining our desires is half the battle in manifestation – especially because most of us don’t really know what it is we want.
“If you swing really big, you can miss really hard. Taking a risk is challenging. I think the attention that can come from shining so brightly can be uncomfortable,” says Sarah. It becomes even more arduous when we’re energetically blocked in some way (and trust me, most of us are blocked in various ways at different levels). Sarah recommends using color magick and visualizations to release those blocks and raise your vibrations: “It’s such an active energy to get what you want and accept it and feel like you’re the best at something or feel proud of yourself,” she says. You also must believe you’re worthy of the good things to come.
Battling your self-worth
One way to raise vibrations is to stop with the negative self-talk: “A lot of the harshest criticism comes from within. It’s not really the outside world, it’s this striving and pushing ourselves to be better. Right now so much of the wellness industry is about ‘How can I be better?’
But if we’re always pushing ourselves forward, it can also be debilitating. Like, where are we going, what’s the end result? Death? Sometimes you have to stop and enjoy where you’re at right now. Take that moment and appreciate where you’re at instead of ‘Oh there’s so many other places I need to go.’ Constant self-improvement can just be exhausting,” says Sarah.
Ah, the backlash of self-improvement. Plus, there’s the added kickback of comparison with others. There’s always going to be someone out there with more authority, more clout, more glamour, more Insta followers, more money, a seemingly ‘cooler’ life. So how do we get to the core of what we want, rather than what society tells us we should be doing?
“One thing is self-love and self-care,” Sarah says. “A lot of self-care can be read as ‘selfish’, but if we don’t take care of ourselves, no one else will. You have to fill up your cup before you can help others. Raising your self-esteem and your vibrations, and truly loving yourself is a way to do that,” she tells me. “Also just spending time reflecting and mining the depths of yourself to figure [it] out and get to the root of what you want to do, separate from everything else.”
And where does that leave fear? Isn’t there fear associated with actually getting the thing – or things – you’ve always wanted? Sarah agrees: “Everyone talks about fear of failure, but fear of success is just as real. Acceptance, going with the flow, and easing up on ourselves really helps.
Everyone can benefit from reflection and meditation. It might be uncomfortable in the moment, but it’s going to be so much better for my future self. Realize not everything is going to happen overnight.”
Benefits of color magick
As a color advocate, Sarah uses color magick mixed with beauty and self-care rituals to manifest her desires. “Color magick completely changed my life. I live a life that is so beyond my wildest dreams that I never thought was possible. And I did it through the power of color.”
Color is accessible and we deal with it all the time – consciously and subconsciously. “It’s not this intimidating power source that we don’t know how to harness, we’re already using it. For me, the first thing was really amplifying my communication and working a lot with the color blue and activating the throat chakra. That was through a lot of blue visualization.
It was also really figuring out where my blocks were in communication. A lot of these issues we have with love and money, they’re really not about love or money – they’re about communicating our desires. That’s normally where we need to start. I realized my communication skills really needed work and I needed to feel worthy of using this voice,” Sarah adds.
One helpful practice is to “visualize breathing in a blue cloud of air and sending it through your nose and right into your throat and imagining it activating and opening up that chakra point,” she says. “I love lapis, it’s a great crystal to work with when amplifying communication skills.”
It’s okay to take up space
Believing that the Universe will open up to you and support you is radical thinking – but it’s a necessary soul awareness. “I do believe that people want to be helpful and give us what we want, especially in partnerships. Whether it’s a work collaboration or love or friendship or family. People want to be there in the ways we need them, we just have to let them know,” says Sarah.
The Queens of Wands (in the Tarot) makes her way into our conversation on worthiness. “If you look at Pixie Coleman Smith’s depiction of the Queen of Wands in the Rider-Waite deck, she’s taking up a lot of space on her throne. She’s sitting with her legs spread with a fiery, active energy. When she comes up in readings, it offers up this opportunity to [ask]: ‘How do you feel about taking up space? How do you feel about shining really brightly?’ ”
Because the Queen of Wands is the Witch of the tarot and is all about living a creatively fueled life, Sarah says that a lot of people have a hard time with this card. It goes back to this idea of not feeling like they deserve their desires. But you can “follow your passion and make your money through your passions,” she says. “You can take up space, you can ask for what you want, and receive what you want.”
Sarah Potter is available as a tarot reader, medium, and color magic consultant. She also hosts events, workshops, lectures, and facilitates Moon Circles through Spirit House Collective's Brooklyn branch. You can contact her via IG and Twitter @iamsarahpotter.
By Amber C. Snider
Clear away negative energies, purify your space, and relax your mind using sage alternatives.
In her latest book, Sacred Smoke, Amy Blackthorn explores the various ways plants, resins, and flowers form a "connection to the earth under our feet" and how we can use that connection to strengthen our bond with the self, Spirit, and mystical energies around us. In her signature no-nonsense, conversational style, Blackthorn's book opens up new ways of looking at the plant world, while offering practical advice on how to harness their clarifying power.
Smudging has been used as a ritualistic tool for centuries in Indigenous cultures around the world (perhaps even shortly after the discovery of the fire element). But Blackthorn prefers to call the practices within her book "Smoke Cleansing" or "Smoke Bathing" – an important distinction few authors make when discussing this topic – rather than use the blanket term "smudging." She wisely points out that there is "room for respect and growth without appropriation" when using these healing tools.
Here are 10 ways to use plants, resins, and oils to clear out dull, stagnant energy in your home and welcome in abundance – with a few "sage" tips directly from Blackthorn's new book.
Burn Your Own Blends (BYOB)
Making your own incense blends is actually pretty easy. All you need is some colored wood-base (which you can get at Enchantments), a few drops of your favorite essential oils, and herbs. When mixing up your blend, you don't want the incense to be too "wet" or "dry" – so it may take some practice to get the exact measurements down. By using a wood-base incense, you don't need to use charcoal at all – simply touch fire to the incense and stamp out the flame with a spoon.
"When it comes to measuring the results of our intentions, the only yardstick that matters is your own," writes Amy Blackthorn in Sacred Smoke. The power of intention is real – and it makes all the difference in your magickal work.
It's not necessarily about what you use (witches have always used whatever was available to them), but how you use it. And that "how" is primarily rooted in your specific intention and will. As above, so below.
Blackthorn recommends grinding up a bit of clove (yes, you can use the kind you already have in the kitchen) using your mortar and pestle and burning it as a hex breaker. Remember to be specific with your intention.
Pure As Myrrh
Oh, wonderful myrrh. Another fan favorite going way back to ancient times, myrrh is "restorative, attuned to success, happiness, good luck, and increases confidence," according to Blackthorn. It's an uplifting scent that can help restore compassion for yourself and others, too.
"Myrrh is also the guardian of gratitude, so feel free to burn myrrh while journaling a regular gratitude practice to cement those feelings for the long term," Blackthorn says.
One way to enhance your psychic and cleansing/clearing work is to actively utilize your breath. Amy Blackthorn recommends using the sacred "square breathing technique" to help focus your intention and meditation. This basic breath technique involves inhaling in on a four-count – holding for four – and exhaling to the count of four.
"...What we're doing is allowing the brain to relax and find its own rhythm, called a trance state," she writes. By using intentional breathwork while you burn your resins and herbs, you can then use the smoke curls as visual stimuli to invoke a deeper meditative state.
The Power of Scent
There are countless combinations of herbs and plants you can burn to cleanse and clear your space, but of course it helps when the aroma produced is especially delicious. Many people love the scent of lavender and it's often used to calm, soothe, and balance your spirit and body. According to Blackthorn, lavender can also be burned to enhance "divination, clairvoyance, psychic development, and strength." It's associated with "secrets (and their retention), balance, harmony," and more.
Simply add a teaspoon or less of lavender directly onto burning charcoal (in a fire-safe dish or small cauldron) and fill each corner, closet, and cupboard around your home with a touch of smoke. If you're clearing out negative energy (rather than invoking abundance or attracting positivity), keep the windows open and "shoo out" the smoke afterwards.
Ready-Made Magickal Blends
If making your own incense is too much work, you can also pick up ready-made, hand-blended incenses in half or full ounces. Enchantments recipes include everything from House Blessing, Sun, and Happiness to Van Van (a New Orleans blend), Kyphi (and ancient Egyptian formula), Uncrossing, and more.
Burn amber resin for happiness and love, as well as to transform negative energies into positive one. Grind up a bit of resin in your mortar and pestle, and slowly add pieces to your burning charcoal (again, in a fire-safe dish). Amber is particularly good for meditating and enhancing psychic awareness, too.
If resins aren't really your thing, you can also buy amber as an essential or fragrance oil and add a few drops to your soap stone oil burner (remember to purchase separate tea light candles for that) or an essential oil diffuser.
For a chiller mood and little anti-anxiety remedy, burn essential and fragrance oils like bergamot, lavender, and neroli.
Burn some basil to encourage love in the home or as an "offering to Aphrodite and other love goddesses," writes Blackthorn. Mmm, yes, we'll take it – and just in time for Valentine's Day, too.
To purchase Amy Blackthorn's book Sacred Smoke, visit the Enchantments' shop or click here to buy directly from the publisher. Click here for 9 spells to cure the winter blues, and more.