Interview with Rachel Howe of Small Spells

Photo credit: Zohn Mandel. 

Rachel Howe is a person of many talents. She teaches, draws, tattoos, reads tarot, created a tarot deck, and writes, mostly under the name Small Spells. Rachel also just opened a shop in LA. I was first drawn to Rachel's writings about astrology— they are of an evolutionary nature, not traditional, and are not limiting or stereotypical. Rachel contributed to the upcoming Many Moons workbook by writing about the Pisces Full Moon in August. Below, she talks about intuition, channeling tarot spreads, and her favorite phase of the moon.

Hi Rachel! You are an artist, a business owner, a tattooer, a tarot reader, and a teacher. Did you consciously decide to live a life that consists of so many different aspects? How do they all compliment one another? 

I don’t know how conscious it was in the beginning, I just got in the habit of following my interests, and my interests kept growing. But it definitely works well with my brain and temperament. I tend to get bored doing just one thing, and I like being able to have multiple forms of expression for my thoughts and ideas. They do compliment each other, and inform and influence each other. It can be a lot to handle on a day-to-day basis, and it takes a lot of effort to do many things while keeping in-depth focus on each one, and working towards mastery of so many things without putting one thing at the expense of another. But I think we’re here to learn how to grow and so I feel lucky that I have a chance to grow in so many different ways.

You teach workshops on intuition. In your own life, what was one recent decision you made, as a result of listening to you intuition, and what did that look like? 

When I was planning to move to LA (that move itself was intuitively based—I wanted to move for a while but it didn’t feel like the right time, until one day it did, and so I moved), I had thought that I might be able to afford a storefront here, something out of my reach in NYC. I sat on the idea for a while until, again, it felt right. So I started looking, immediately saw something I could afford, on like my second day scouting out places, got accepted, and just went for it. It’s a risk for an emerging & developing business, but I felt like it would be good for me on many levels. I’ve found that it’s easier for me to follow my intuition if I think of it as allowing myself to be a vessel in the best way for the world, which has the side effect of being the best way for me as an individual. So taking personal risks morphs from being something scary, with its success or failure being all on my shoulders, into something that I’m participating in, but I’m doing it for more than just me. I’m doing it for my higher self, for my community, for my ancestors, for all of the energies who are involved in my existence, and so the success of anything I do is also in their hands. And success in the energetic realm is not just about money and status, it’s about engaging in life in a healthy and loving way, which is totally accessible and possible no matter what.

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For your piece in Many Moons, you wrote about the Pisces Full Moon. You covered topics like the paradox of living as a spiritual person in a physical body, death, and much more. You channelled a truly original tarot spread— I've never seen anything like it, and can't wait to try it out. How did the channelling process go for this piece?

When I meditate, I sometimes connect strongly with presences; sometimes they come with a sort of visual context—for this spread it felt like some older women teaching me—but it can also just be a feeling. I can sense how information I receive or thoughts that I conceptualize during these moments are coming somewhat from outside of me, coming through me. So they come with that trust that we put on outside information—we tend to trust the words of others over our own thoughts sometimes. But since this is coming through a spiritual or energetic connection, I trust this information completely. They showed me this spread and told me what the cards positions meant. I did do a spread for myself with it, and it was totally applicable to myself at that time.

What is your current favorite Moon phase? 

I think I like new moons the best—full moons can be super intense, the energy is really high, so it can be very overwhelming.  It’s nice when the moon is on the same page as the sun, during a new moon, instead of adding more tension to the general atmosphere.

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What are a couple of things (anything, a record, something you are learning, a new item in your store) that you are excited about? Why? 

I’m excited that each day I’m able to let more things act as healing tools for me, and those around me. Literally everything can be done with healing intention, and it makes a difference in our lives. Learning how to use plants for their full physical and emotional medicines, learning how to exercise in a way that gives my body what it’s asking for instead of forcing anything on it, learning how to access messages and healing within dreams, even learning how to have healing conversations instead of harmful or wasted ones—using words more intentionally so that they have a positive effect, and learning how to send love to my entire self so that it functions at a higher vibration.

Visit Rachel's site here.

Visit her Instagram here.

Buy Many Moons here.