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.



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.


  • 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.  


Reading of the Moonth: The call to spiritual leadership

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

This new moon (arriving on Tuesday, the 11th, exact at 3pm ET) echoes and concentrates the celestial influences of the spring season and year as a whole: the pathways of and between the Hierophant—the leader of spiritual institutions and initiate of traditions—and Temperance—the transformer that offers healing after the breakdowns of death.

As well as being associated with this new moon, the Tarot’s 5th Major Arcana, the Hierophant, is the undercurrent of the year because of a numerological connection (2+0+2+1=5) while Temperance comes to offer us a full moon revelation on May 26th. This full moon is also a lunar eclipse.

Eclipses interrupt the usual dance of the sun, moon, and earth. During an eclipse, a shadow is created by blocking the usual flow of light. Stepping out of the ordinary into this strange light compels us to look again, to think anew about what we thought we knew. Shadow exposes shadow. And when we recognize that something we see no longer serves, it’s time to break the pattern, heal the damage, set in motion the transformation.

With eclipses come along the Hierophant-Temperance axis profound transformations related to our spiritual life, how it is organized, and who yields power within this sphere are possible.

Deck creators who have reimaged the Hierophant as Teacher, Messenger, or Singer show us how the Hierophant might be transformed.

  • The Gaian Tarot Teacher may be the humble human figure offering a healing weed you need to tend your body. Or maybe not. The tree, the coyote, the heron are just as likely to offer the teaching that illuminates.
  • In the Next World Tarot, the Messenger questions the status quo and exhorts you to as well. She calls out the policies and practices that seek to control through fear and reminds you already know that this is wrong, that there is a better way. She is the spokesperson not because she alone has the solution, but because she has listened to the many, synthesized their wisdom, and reflected back the truth of the community with eloquence.
  • The Minoan Tarot’s Singer has been taught the traditional songs. She knows that the singers of the songs become the voices of the Goddess. She does not sing alone. She teaches the songs to others. Helps each singer to find their own grace and range. Then guides the disparate voices to join together into a beautiful whole.

These versions of the card emphasize humility and collective wisdom as well as highlight the source of this archetype’s wisdom as flowing from the Greater Than the individual.

This year’s Summer Solstice-hinged retreat-in-everyday life, Walking the Ways of the Summer Light, takes inspiration from this re-envisioned Hierophant and offers practices to attune to the healing offered by Temperance.  We begin with a no cost orientation call for the whole season on Sunday May 23rd at 4pm ET. Element themes with prompts offered through daily emails and/or an overview booklet are containers for spiritual exploring and soul tending. Weekly sharing circles allow us to gather and learn from each other. Yes, we join together as Teachers, Messengers, and Singers! Full details are up and registration is open. Only 11 days until we start!

Even though emergence is beginning in some countries, the pandemic is still with us globally and in our memories of what we have lost. With the needs of a grieving planet so great, many spiritual leaders to help us  through and birth the next becoming will be required. The patterns of the year inspire me to believe that is possible if we will answer the call, and this season is particularly potent for doing this work. We all have a part to play. 

To help you explore the part you have to play, you can use these questions for reflection and card play:

CALL: How can I answer the call to a new kind of spiritual leadership this year?

WISDOM: What spiritual wisdom of mine meets the needs of this time?

NEXT STEP: What is the next step to take in sharing my spiritual wisdom this moonth?  

I do offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative initiative format for $23.  Sign up with Pay Pal or email me about sending a check. When I receive notification, I’ll be in touch to let you know about when to expect to receive your reading by email. I generally have openings to do these readings on Mondays and Saturdays.


Full Moon Revelations: Transforming the Structures of Our Lives

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

The height of this moonth’s cycle comes with the full moon arriving overnight tonight, the 26th to the 27th (exact at 10:26pm ET on the 26th), and offers a revelation about how the lunar energies initiated on the April 11th new moon are developing. The new moon, guided by its association with The Emperor invited us to contemplate issues of power. Out of our full moon revelations about this developing energy, we are issued an invitation to return a gift to the world in the final weeks of the lunar cycle.

The exact moment of the moon’s fullness comes in the sign of Scorpio associated with the Tarot’s Death card.

This meetup of Death and The Emperor reinforces the themes we explored at the new moon where I wrote:

“In this vision of power, our power grows because we are constantly releasing it. In flow, we don’t hold on, but instead open to receive but then let go, passing the power on. Once we’ve let go, we are open to the next wave coming to fill us. In this vision of power, a scarcity mindset and need to control are replaced with a dynamic relationship to the flow of power.”

In this way of working with power, we are constantly letting the power we have built up and given form (the work of the Emperor) die, shape shift, and be renewed (the work of Death).

Power becomes concentrated in the structures of our lives, both personal (daily habits, your place in work’s org chart, family dynamics, ect.) and collective (our institutions of government, education, and policing, for example). This full moon invites us to look with fresh eyes at these structures and then let whatever power we have flow through us to help these structures “die,” which means really to be transformed. Death and its Tarot representation are fearsome in part because we connect them to a hard stop ending, but Death is card number 13, coming basically in the middle of the 22 Major Arcana cards. Death comes in the middle. Death is a step in a continuing journey.

To encourage revelation about the structures of our lives transforming, you are invited to one, some, or all of these practices:

  • Moon bathe by sitting or lying under a window or outside on the ground. Let go of your thoughts and soak in the light.
  • Take out any reading or your reflections from the new moon and look at them in a new light. How does your understanding of the cards shift now that time has passed and light has shifted? (If you haven’t done a reading yet, no problem, just do it now under the light of the full moon. You can try the one from the new moon.)
  • Bring out your Emperor and Death cards from your Tarot deck and connect them to your new moon reading / reflections. You could place/imagine these cards on either side of your reading or above and below, and then look at how they add meaning into the story your original cards offered you.
  • Reflect on questions such as: What structures in my life need to be reshaped? How could I do that? Where can I most beneficially release my power? What transformation can this make possible? How can I be an agent of change transforming structures that no longer serve? You could, of course, pull cards as responses to any of these questions. You may want to engage in Visio Divina to find the layers of wisdom within the cards.

When you are done, remember to offer gratitude for what you have received. Consider what gift you now want to return to the world. Pulling a card for guidance on the gift is always a fine thing to do. In the coming weeks and before the moon returns to dark around May 9th offer your gift to the world.

Program Note: The Summer Solstice-hinged e-retreat, Walking the Ways of the Summer Light, is coming up in May. We begin with wisdom wanders to loosen what binds us and seek the questions we most need to be asking. 


Reading of the Moonth: Conduits of Power

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

Each year the first moonth of spring—its initiating moment is the new moon’s arrival overnight from the 11th to the 12th, exact at 10:30pm ET on the 11th— invites us to contemplate power as we walk the path of the Emperor, the 4th card of the Major Arcana. Also known as the Chief, Builder, or Sovereignty, for example, this wisdom figure when working from their greatest potential recognizes the source of their power and yields to it in service of the Whole.

This year’s path of power is shaped by its passage through the landscape and symbols of the 4 of Wands. In the iconic Rider Waite Smith image, two festive figures ahead of a crowd—perhaps it’s a parade—approach the four wands arranged to hint at a structure, but there are no walls. The “ceiling” is indicated by a garland of leaves and flowers, but creates little separation between the earth and sky. This structure is temporary, making its existence fleeting, but also easy to move and re-create.

a 1909 card scanned by Holly Voley and retrieved from Sacred Texts.
Deck available from US Games

The 4 of Wands’ open walls, temporary nature, and maneuverability reflect an understanding of power different from what I have experienced in mainstream culture. The messages I’ve received—how ‘bout you?—are that power is limited so to be grabbed, held on to, and defended in the form you receive it. If you let go, you’ll lose it.

As I’ve been contemplating this 4 of Wands power, I’ve also been reading Grieving While Black by Breeshia Wade (Especially for USAers, I highly recommend this book for opening your heart up to our current reality in this country. It’s only 165 pages, but it is the kind of book that you ponder and meditate on rather than speed through.) In chapter 6, she explores power, and writes:

Though we have perverted the use of power into something that we own and wield over and against other beings, power cannot be possessed any more than life can. We are conduits of power, not owners of it. Power is a force that flows through us in any given moment. It wields us, and through it, we respond to what is in front of us. 

In this vision of power, our power grows because we are constantly releasing it. In flow, we don’t hold on, but instead open to receive but then let go, passing the power on. Once we’ve let go, we are open to the next wave coming to fill us. In this vision of power, a scarcity mindset and need to control are replaced with a dynamic relationship to the flow of power.

Flowing power contains everything so to swim in it we must receive and pass power to our fellow human beings but also to nature and even the celestial bodies. Yes, I think, opening to new moon energies, developing them through the full, and releasing into the dark can be a beneficial practice for cultivating 4 of Wands power. Just think of what it would be like if every 28 days, politicians, or white folks, for example, consciously passed something of their power on to another. Ah, I can dream; we are in the realm of the moon after all.

This moonth we are invited to give extra attention to how power flows between us and the earthly, natural forces by our posture card associated with the new moon moment: the King of Pentacles or, as this wisdom figure is known in the Herbcrafter Tarot, the Curandera of Earth.

Deck creators Latisha Gutherie and Joanna Powell Colbert describe the work of this wise one and suggest how we can walk in her footsteps: The Curandera of Earth knows that when we share the sweetness of life with another, all may thrive. She brings attention to the rich bounty that nature provides. She instructs us: Braid together love, health, and wealth—then give it away.

This moonth’s questions for reflection / reading are offered to support your being a conduit of power:

POWER: What power desires to flow through me?

RECEIVING: How can I open to receive this power?

RELEASING: How can I let it go?

I do offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative initiative format for $23.  Sign up with Pay Pal or email me about sending a check. When I receive notification, I’ll be in touch to let you know about when to expect to receive your reading by email. I generally have openings to do these readings on Mondays and Saturdays.

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