Jun
8
2021

Reading of the Moonth: Courage to Love

For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Sanctuary

This moonth we are invited to walk the path of The Lovers, the card associated with this new moon’s arrival on Thursday, June 10 at 6:52 ET in the astrological sign of Gemini.

When we fall in love our heart becomes the blooming rose. A profusion of petals opening wider and wider under the kiss of the sun. We feel the rose in our chest expanding from the inside out to meet our beloveds.

We don’t fall forever. We have to land. Once on earth we grow and change so our love must, too. When we flow with this shifting love, the heart becomes a snake.

The snake is a shapeshifter, moves forward with sinuous motion, sometimes curving its body entirely into nested circles. To grow it sheds its skin, leaves its no longer needed layers behind. Across time and cultures, this behaviour has imbued the snake with symbolic meanings of healing, renewal, transformation, and even eternal life.


The God Hermes’ caduceus, a symbol of healing.

When our hearts are snakes, we are blessed with renewing love. This is a love that changes. A love that has both times of dark and light, but that renews itself over and over again. In renewing love, the beloveds grow and change, letting each expand as they need.

But even as our snake hearts sustain our love, they challenge us as along the Lovers’ path. Because, for many of us, snakes are scary!

They are my own phobia creature. As a little girl I could not even look at a picture of a snake, and they still appear in nightmares. My snake phobia was surely influenced by the snake’s other meanings through time: evil, darkness, deception. Snakes can be death bringers; many are venomous, others could squeeze us to death. But growing up in suburban New England, I rarely encountered snakes at all and certainly not deadly ones. My feelings about snakes were a 9 of Swords experience. I didn’t face any immediate real threat, but my fears were still powerful.

a 1909 card scanned by Holly Voley and retrieved from https://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot

I now attempt to be more accepting of snakes. Garter snakes visit my porch to sun themselves and I welcome them. I know they are good for the garden, eating up pesky critters. I’ve found beauty in the yellow strips along their backs swirling. They still startle, but in my relationships to snakes, I am  working on“feeling the fear and doing it anyway.” Here I am mirroring the Knight of Swords,committed to the quest and ready to move through any fears and negative thoughts.

My story about snakes could also be applied to love. Love is scary!

When we risk love, we make yourself vulnerable to others. Like a snake sheds it skin, we must take off our defenses and show our true selves: the beauty at our center, but also the shadows we’ve been trying to hide.

In mutually loving relationships, we open to the fullness of the other person and also to the fullness of ourselves. All become more Whole. And once we’ve lived and loved in this way, we can’t go back. Even if the relationship ends – by mutual decision, one-sided break up, or death – the skin we had to shed to love no longer fits. Love changes us. And to live, we must change.

This moonth’s astro-Tarot correspondence show us the Lovers’ path passing through the 9 of Swords inviting us to look at the places where love and its demands scare us. Our wayshower through this territory is the Knight of Swords. This Knight supports us to rise about the emotion of fear to better understand its source, and then to poke holes in the weak spots. The Knight may not entirely conquer the fear, but in the commitment to the quest can show us how to feel the fear but find our way to love in all its beauty, in all its forms.

From my just arrived Numinous Tarot by Noel Arthur Heimpel. it’s beautiful and can support expansion of ideas about love’s forms 

The questions of the moonth can support you to be courageous traveling the path of the moonth:

LOVE: How is love calling me to live this moonth?

FEAR: What fears or obstacles might I encounter as I answer love’s call?

FORWARD: How can I “face my fears and do it anyway” to meet love’s call?

I offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative intitituve format for $23. Reading slots open up after I return from a family trip on June 16th. Once you sign up, I will let you know about the time I can do the reading. If it should be too long for you to wait, I’ll refund your money. 

Jun
7
2021

Water Connection – Walking the Ways Week 3

For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Seasonal Observances

This is the first daily email for this water-focused week of Walking the Ways of the Summer Light. Emails the rest of the week support connecting with wisdom guides, contemplating water as an element and from the Tarot tradition, and going out for a wisdom wander. You are welcome to join us on the journey! 

Words to Inspire

The element of water has a message for you. Commune with the puddle, the stream, a dry river bed, the deluge of drops (tears or rain), to learn what wisdom waits. Receive the life-giving gifts that come from water, the source of life and element of our first home, the womb. Let yourself be renewed.

Wisdom Image

Central image from The Elora Tarot

 

Prompts for Practice

Today you are invited to contemplate an image of water: the picture above; your favorite Tarot card from the suit connected to Water (most commonly suits with names like Cups or Rivers); or any sized body of water from the ocean to the water glass you bring to your lips.

Then ponder your connection and understanding of the element of water.  This is the place from which you begin. Use your own current definitions and understandings to contemplate these questions.

  • When you hear the word “water” what does it encompass?
  • What do you already know about the water element (from the Tarot’s earth suit, or connecting physically with water, or from your spiritual tradition’s teachings about water)?
  • Is there a place or an activity that especially connects you to water?
  •  What lessons and gifts might come from connecting with water?
  • What gifts can you offer to water?
May
31
2021

Air Connection – Walking the Ways Week 2

For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Seasonal Observances

This is the 2nd week of the Solstice-hinged e-retreat Walking the Ways of the Summer Light. This is the first of the daily emails that goes this air-inspired week. Emails the rest of the week support connecting with wisdom guides, contemplating air as an element and from the Tarot tradition, and going out for a wisdom wander. You are welcome to join us on the journey! 

Words to Inspire

We are our grandmother’s prayers. We are our grandfather’s dreamings.
We are the breath of our ancestors.

 Dr. Ysaye Barnwell

Wisdom Image

The central image is from The Gaian Tarot

 

Prompts for Practice

Today you are invited to contemplate Air in one or all of these ways:
  • gazing at the image above or your favorite Tarot card from the suit connected to air (most commonly the suit with titles like Swords, Birds, Clouds);
  • looking out your window to see if you can detect the air moving branches, flags, bags, bees; or
  • taking a moment to stand in a quiet part of your yard or on a busy city sidewalk to feel the breeze.
Then ponder your connection to and understanding of the element of air.  This is the place from which you begin. Use your own current definitions and understandings to contemplate these questions.
  • What do you already know about the air element (from the Tarot’s earth suit, or connecting physically with the air, or from your spiritual tradition’s teachings about air)?
  • How have you encountered air before in your life?
  • What lessons might the air offer you?
  • What might you receive from some time spent with air?
  • What gifts can you offer to air?

Just let ideas float through your head. No need to be comprehensive, just open to what comes.

You are welcome to jump in and join us for this retreat-in-everyday life. 

May
24
2021

Walking the Ways 2021 – Earth Connection & Overview Video

For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Seasonal Observances

Today we being the Solstice-hinged e-retreat Walking the Ways of the Summer Light. To give you a taste of Walking the Ways, this is the first of the daily emails that goes out between now and the Solstice to attune to the elements and the wisdom of the season. Emails the rest of the week support connecting with wisdom guides, contemplating earth as an element and from the Tarot tradition, and going out for a wisdom wander. You are welcome to join us on the journey! 

Words to Inspire 

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth

find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.

Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder 

Wisdom Image

Central image is from the Minoan Tarot

Prompts for Practice

Today you are invited to contemplate an image of earth: the image above, your favorite Tarot card from the suit connected to Earth (Pentacles, Disks, Stones, etc.), or the view from your window be it the green of growing things or the concrete of the solid sidewalk.

Then ponder your connection and understanding of the element of earth.  This is the place from which you begin. Use your own current definitions and understandings to contemplate these questions.

  • When you hear the word earth what does it encompass?
  • What do you already know about the earth element (from the Tarot’s earth suit, or connecting physically with the earth, or from your spiritual tradition’s teachings about earth)?
  • Is there a place or an activity that especially connects you to earth?
  •  What lessons and gifts might come from connecting with the earth?
  • What gifts can you offer to earth?

Find Out More about Walking the Ways 2021 Season 

You are most welcome to join us as we travel through earth, air, water, and fire connecting with the elements and gathering questions. Then after the Solstice, we will select one of our questions to find an answer to on a pilgrimage journey.

 

May
17
2021

Wisdom Wanders

For Seekers – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Seasonal Observances – Tarot

Wisdom Wanders support you to attune to elemental wisdom, articulate the questions that are most important to ask right now, and, within Walking the Ways of the Summer Light, offer a seasonal practice to tend your soul. You can, of course, wisdom wander at any time of year. Also the practice can be modified to be a Big Sit where you don’t move your body, but let your eyes and senses wander.

There are no rules for a Wisdom Wander, but this flow is offered as a jumping off point for your own designs. But remember to follow where ever your senses lead you.

Selecting Your Place: You don’t have to go anywhere special for a Wisdom Wander. Your backyard might provide all the wonder you need.  But to vary your views, you might seek out places that put you in touch the weekly elemental focus. A place where you can touch bare ground or stone for Earth. A hill or mountain top to feel the Air and be close to birds, and a windy urban avenue could do the same. If you can, traveling to a large body of water or the ocean for a Water Wisdom Wander would be appropriate, or just wander on a rainy day. The Fire week of the Walking the Ways e-treat comes during the period of longest days so anywhere on a sunny day will do, or build a bonfire to contemplate its flame.

Separating From the Everyday: You may want to enact a small ritual of leaving behind all your responsibilities, worries, and cares. You could visualize putting them into a box. If any critical voices start to speak, just assure them you’ll be back; you are only going for a walk.  Can you leave your cell behind? Or at least put it into airplane mode.

Travel Light But Bring What You Need: Remember to take care of you body: water? sun screen? good shoes?. Remember any ritual or creativity needs: tiny notebook and pen? drawing materials? camera? Cards from a Tarot or oracle deck are excellent companions that we work with in Walking the Ways. Bring it all on one Wander. Bring nothing on another.

Set an Intention: An overall intention of the Walking the Ways Wisdom Wanders is to seek out and be open to the questions that speak to our souls. One of those questions collected will focus the more directed pilgrimage journey that is part of the final week of Walking the Ways. You may have a personal intention for your wander.

Invite / Select / Welcome your Way Showers / Inquisitors / Guides for the Day’s Wandering:  Because the language of nature and the elements is not immediately apparent to us humans, we can ask for help from the Tarot or oracles – or if you know more about natural processes, those observations can you learn more about Tarot or oracles.  You may have a relationship with a wisdom figure(s) represented on a Tarot or oracle card and want to select it.  You may let who ever needs to come emerge from a face-down draw. Spend some time meeting the one(s) who emerge to travel with you. I often work with 4 or so guides / cards in a wander.

Wander:

  • Be open to whatever draws your attention and spend time there. Pause. Look. Listen.
  • If you would like to engage with an area or a plant, greet it, ask its permission to approach and receive its response. If allowed to approach, do so respectfully; engage your sense to receive the messages and questions offered.
  • You might select one of your guides – by chance or choice – to come and be with you in the places of pause and contemplation. Consider how the place and the guide fit together.
  • When you have finished, don’t forget to offer gratitude before you move on.  You might leave a strand of your hair as a gift. Or perhaps you have planned ahead and brought a small natural object to leave as a sign of gratitude.

Be Open to Creative Urges: The earth is busy creating in cooperation with the summer sun.  How might you mimic this creativity to learn its magic? Bring out your notebook or artists tools. Gather loose elements of the earth (rocks, fallen petals, twigs, feathers) and arrange them purposefully. Your guides might like to be placed within your creation. You might want to document with a photo that becomes your memento… and then let all the elements return to lie on the earth as they were. Leave No Trace is a good ethic to follow.

Return:  Notice when and where you are passing from your place of wandering into the more human world. You might pause, offer some gratitude, or say a prayer at this point.

Reflect: You may want to just sit or to journal or draw.  Let the experience seep into you.  Let some insights emerge.  Connect with your guide; have a chat about what you experienced together.

Gathering Questions: While on the Wander or just afterward, you might just blurt out or free writing all the questions that surface.  Spend some time with your guides listening with your imagination to the questions they would ask you if they could speak aloud. Contemplate your memento as if it were a Tarot card and let it offering you questions. Sometime later in the week, you might want to hone and shift through your questions.  This can be like the process of creating questions to take to a Tarot reading. Here are the prompts I send to people ahead of my Tarot consultations to get their questions percolating:

  • Questions that yield the most freedom and possibility most often include HOW and WHAT. For example:  How can I ….?  How have I ….?  In what ways ….?  What do I most need to pay attention to now?  What will support me to …?
  • Questions that can be fruitful in specific circumstances often include WHY, WHERE, and WHO. For example:  Where in my life have I ….?  Who can best support me in doing …?  Who is challenging me ….? [Be open to the answer not being a human that you know!]  Why am I really doing this (i.e. what is underneath the surface)?
  • WHICH limits you to particular options already determined. If you are still in an early stage of decision making, it is probably too early for a WHICH question.  If you have been working seeking an answer for a long time and feel clear that a decision rests between a set number of options, then WHICH may be fruitful.
  • YES / NO questions are not generative. But if you are burnt out on generating ideas and are ready to trust the message that comes through the cards, this just might be the kind of question that you need.

Cultivate Patience: Each Wisdom Wander is an invitation to step out of the demands of time, and the whole flow toward the Solstice extends an invitation to be free of knowing the answers but instead opening to the questions. The words of the poet Rilke cheer us in this work:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved

in your heart and try to love the questions themselves

like locked rooms and like books that are written

in a very foreign tongue.

Acknowledgements:  This process is most directly influenced by my work with Joanna Powell Colbert and her Gaian and Herbcrafter Tarots, and Mellissae Lucia and her Oracle of Initiation James Wells’ wisdom on question generation inspired the question asking prompts. All my work is influenced by Rachel Pollack and her Shining Tribe is a great deck to wander with. 

Registration for the 2021 e-retreat of Walking the Ways of the Summer Light is now open. We begin with an orientation call on Sunday, May 23rd that is open to all; all details are on the registration page.  

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