Keep Rising Up

Do you hang out with crows? Do you have a continual stream of negativity from others? Do you condone it by staying? Do you encourage it by commenting on it?

Shadowscapes Tarot Six of Swords
Shadowscapes Tarot

Today’s card reminds me to rise above. There will always be those who demean others to make themselves feel better. Sadly, this seems to be part of the current human nature. And it truly makes me sad because it is just as easy to praise others as to condemn them.

This Six of Swords is from the gorgeous Shadowscapes Tarot. She rises above the five crows. She’s chosen to take the swan’s flight up and over the naysayers.

Choices. It’s all about choices. She could have chosen to stay there with the crows. Even with her beautiful swan companion, she still would have been surrounded by crows. Instead of staying there, she took herself away.

Sometimes, it seems safe to stay with the crows. At least then you know you aren’t the target of their attack. At least then you feel protected from the incessant peck peck peck of their negativity, right?

It wears a soul down. Rubs it thin. Like cloth that is constantly abraded by wind, it becomes tattered on the edges. We can mend the holes, mind the frayed threads, but eventually we are worn down. Eventually we either become shadows of ourselves or, worse, crows ourselves.

(Please note that I happen to like crows but in this card the symbol of the crow is a negative one.)

Crows gather in flocks. We call them murders.

Do you hang out with crows? Do you have a continual stream of negativity from others? Do you condone it by staying? Do you encourage it by commenting on it?

I have requirements. I require that seek joy. I require that I acknowledge the pissed off moments, the sad moments, the moments of sheer heinous what-the-fuckery. I have them. We all have them. But my requirements are that I let them pass on through. I don’t hold on to them. I have to let them go.

[Tweet “Sometimes I have to KEEP letting them go.”]

I won’t stay with crows. I won’t allow my negative feelings to drive my life. They happen. I move on.

Because my life has changed so much since I started actively seeking joy, I won’t stop. The day I first named myself a professional joy seeker truly galvanized (word of 2013, y’all) my world.

So don’t let life’s crows take over. Ride that swan up and out. Keep riding. Keep moving up and out. Don’t sweat the slumps, the slips, the slides. Keep moving up and out.

I’m right here with you doing the same thing.

Six of Swords, Shadowscapes Tarot, Llewellyn, 2010

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Six days left to get your free reading. Buy any downloadable version of this AMAZING workbook from that link. Then tell me you did it. I’ll get you set up for your free reading.

I’m getting asked truly amazing questions like “What was I born to do?” “How can I accomplish my goals this year?” Big questions and I’m loving the answers the Universe is giving out.

What question would you ask if you had the chance?

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Cookies, Horns + Thank You

Hell, you resist a 7 year old with green eyes, curly hair and a box of sugar. Not. Happening.

EfflorescentTarot_6CoinsToday’s card makes me stop and think about how difficult it is to give me a compliment. I invariably insult the person trying to be nice to me. I blow it off. I ask them if they are meaning to talk to someone else.

[Tweet “In a nutshell, I’m graceless when it comes to saying, “thank you.””]

Why is that?

Is it because a lot of our raising is based on humility? On not tooting your own horn?

I still feel weird when I tell y’all about stuff I have for you. Even the free stuff weirds me out some days.

And I’m a pretty damned good sales person all in all. In fact, when I was a little girl, I got in a lot of trouble for my Girl Scout cookie sales.

Why?

Well, they told me the sales were to help us go camping more. Y’all, I loved (and still do) camping. So I humped those cookies from door to door selling them for .30 a box. I did a great job too.

Hell, you resist a 7 year old with green eyes, curly hair and a box of sugar. Not. Happening.

Then the boom came down. Neighbor lady asked my mama why her niece was selling the same cookies for .25 a box.

BUSTED.

I had to go return every nickel. lol

But now, when I know I have a super product with a great price point and folks raving about it, I cringe and have to make myself remember to tell you about it.

I cringe in the same way when someone tells me I look nice or did good or whatever. I want to ask them who they really meant to say that to or what they really want from me.

When did we lose our ability to just say, “thank you, I worked very hard on it so I appreciate your kindness” or just, you know, “thank you.”

Journal prompt for today is, “What’s the hardest compliment for you to hear? Why?”

6 of Coins, Efflorescent Tarot, Katie Rose Pipkin, self-published

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

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Chickens, Mama + Joy

When I came in, I’d decided that I wanted eggs but I wanted them a specific way. I wanted them the way Mama made them.

HerbalTarot_6Cups001Today’s card is because of my breakfast. Strange, I know, but oh so true. I have today off due to swapping shifts with someone at work. Instead of my mad dash out the door, I made myself breakfast after walking the dogs and after a soak in the hot tub.

I know, right? Decadent.

When I came in, I’d decided that I wanted eggs but I wanted them a specific way. I wanted them the way Mama made them.

Now, I have to confess that my mother was no amazing cook when I was growing up. She was a single mother who worked her ass off so breakfast was haphazard some days. I tended to want rice and soy sauce for breakfast.

I’ll pause while you mull that one over.

Done?

But on those rare days when the three of us didn’t have to dashing off hither and yon, she might ask if we wanted hens in a basket. That was pretty much always a yes from me.

I’ve found myself missing my mama lately. Strange since she’s been gone 11.5 years. I’ll always know how long she’s been gone since my niece was nine months old when she passed. I’m happy she got to have those precious few months with AM.

So I decided to indulge my nostalgia and my belly by making hens in a basket. This is such an easy dish and has many different names. But because it is tied so tightly to a memory of my mama, I’m assigning it to the nostalgic Six of Cups.

I should also point out that this was my first working deck. The first one that I truly studied. Did my first paid for reading with this deck. So yeah, nostalgia all around.

Six of Cups Hens In A Basket

1 Sandwich Round
2 Eggs
2 TBS butter
salt
pepper

Take a wine glass and cut out the center of each side of the sandwich round. If you like more bread, use regular slices.

Melt the butter in a skillet. I prefer cast iron. Just make sure you don’t burn the butter.

Put the bread in the skillet. Don’t forget the centers you cut out. What do you mean you already ate one? LOL

Let that cook just a minute or so–not too long. Then crack an egg into the center of each piece of bread.

Salt/pepper to taste.

When the edges of the eggs start curling up a bit, carefully turn the egg and bread over. Let it cook to your preference. I’m an over-easy gal (HEY! I heard that snicker. RUDE!) so I don’t let it sit for very long.

Serve it up and dig in!

I told you it was super easy. And there are dozens if not hundreds of variations on this one.

Six of Cups, Herbal Tarot, U.S. Games

Your journal prompt today is, “What food makes me nostalgic? Who does it make me nostalgic for? How can I best remember them today?”

See the index for this ongoing Tarot&Food project here.

[Tweet “Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.”]

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Which Is Better?

EfflorescentTarot_6CoinsToday’s card makes me a bit sad. It’s generally a card I like in decks, but here there is such a sense of despair. The giver holds a scale with such small bowls that you wonder if she or he can fit even one coin in. Both the receivers are blindfolded so they can’t see what they are getting.And look at the mouths on all three. Turned down.

I wonder if any of them will get anything out of this exchange. The giver almost looks as if it is a duty or a chore that he’s been sent to do. The claw like hands of the receivers seem almost grasping.

Have you ever been on either side of an exchange like this? Where giving to the less fortunate felt like an obligation? Where receiving wasn’t satisfying?

How would this story change if the blindfolds came off and the scales went away. How would all the characters here react then? If the giver could give as it pleased him and not as it balanced the scale. If the receivers could receive with joy rather than sad expectation.

I’ve been on both sides. I know that for me I give better than I receive. It’s easier because our society teaches us to be self-reliant. We chastise and rail against the less fortunate. We mock those who are perceived as less than us.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Until you’ve been in the shoes of the person who only has ill-fitting pants and a dirty shirt and just enough money to buy the cheapest foods at Wal-Mart, only then can you understand that feeling of helplessness–of deadened resignation to your place in the world.

Have I been there? No, I haven’t, but I’ve been close. But I have seen the death of hope in someone else’s face. The understanding that they can’t get out of where they are because others keep them there.

Yes, there are shelters. Yes, there are programs. But until we as a world look at one another with love and understanding and acceptance, we diminish ourselves.

I’m no better than most. There are times I am disgusted by the homeless I see. I wonder why they aren’t letting someone else take care of them.

And I’m wrenched back to that thought…that thing we are all taught.

Don’t take handouts.
Do it yourself.

I wonder how much we’ve wounded ourselves by not including other teachings.

Ask for help when you need it.
Receive with gratitude so you can give with joy.

How would our world be different then?

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Don’t forget that May Tarotscopes are out.

6 of Coins, Efflorescent Tarot, Katie Rose Pipkin

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Bayous, Drifting + Dreaming

She’s moved so I won’t ever see this particular scene again. But it’s okay. I’ll always have the memory and there are other spots just like this one on so many bayous.

BlackBayou2011_WaterColor1352x1015Today’s card is not from any particular deck. It is from my childhood memories. This was taken just a few years ago (2011) from my sister’s home on the bayou. She’s moved so I won’t ever see this particular scene again. But it’s okay. I’ll always have the memory and there are other spots just like this one on so many bayous.

I grew up in Louisiana. When I as in my teens, my mother’s boyfriend made a two-wheeled cart so I could get our 17′ Delhi aluminum canoe down to the bayou. That bayou was about a block from our home at that time. I spent so many days paddling back to a quiet area where I could read and dream. While I had good friends, I was a fairly solitary human being.

Still am actually. I yearn for quiet times filled with nothing more than a breeze and the sounds of birds. Maybe a fish hitting the surface or turtles plop plop plopping into the water. Where I paddled to then is now a subdivision of stately homes and old money. Back then, it was a young girl’s fairy land where animals and trees alike spoke to me.

I still like to go out in nature now although I don’t do it quite as much. When I do, I take pictures. I want to have these reminders.

Because this reminds me of my childhood, if I were going to do a Bayou Tarot this would be the Six of Cups. No regrets, just fond reminiscences of days I drifted down a north Louisiana bayou dreaming.

What will you allow yourself to dream today? Can you commit to 180 seconds today to do nothing but dream?

Seek Joy, Y’all. Pass it on.

Black Bayou Cypress & Knees, 2011, photo by Stephanie Arwen Lynch, all rights reserved.

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Crows, Swans & Carrion

Today’s card is a terrific expression of this minor Arcana. Traditionally it shows someone being ferried away from somewhere. You are left to believe it’s a Bad Place ™. But in today’s drawing, we see someone rising above it all.

Carried away by a helpful swan, the elfin redhead looks back at what she leaves behind. I see the six swords here as representative of the sorrows of her life. But the crows? The crows are her naysayers. They are the ones who held her back out of fear. They refused to let her rise above her troubles.

Who in your life doesn’t lift you up? Who in your world is a naysayer to every dream you have? I’m not talking about the voices of reason who yank ugly shirts out of our hands when we are shopping. I’m talking about those who mock or laugh at us when we tell those secret hopes and wishes.

Sure! Maybe they have a snowflake’s chance in hell of coming to fruition, but we all need dreams. We all need hope.

So today, I want you to count your crows. Identify which ones are the useful kind who help you see reality. Then identify the ones who are the carrion eating type who are just waiting for you to fall so they can squawk, “I told you so.”

Those? Those that are waiting to squawk? Stop feeding them. You know what I mean. They are in your life because you allow it. Tell them you need supportive friends. Tell them your energy is reserved for those who want to see you succeed.

Tell them.

Shoo them off your sorrows. Quit letting them feed from that old dead part of you. Cut it out of you. And maybe, just maybe, one or three of them will reveal that they really are swans who forgot how to be swans.

No crows, darlings! And really, don’t be one either.

Seek joy,y’all. Pass it on.

Brag about your professional joy seeking! Grab a bumper sticker here.

6 of Swords, Shadowscapes Tarot, Llewellyn, 2010

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Losers, Troubles, Gratitude & American Idol

Traditionally this card shows someone leaving somewhere. They’ve obviously been on a long journey to get to this point. Often I see sadness in this card because of the fact that even when you leave troubled times, there is still emotional attachment.

So I just watched last night’s American Idol. So disappointed to see two of my favorites go. I know this is where it starts hurting more because I’ve invested emotions in these singers. I was heartbroken over one and understood the other. Here is what I said in my original post about both of them. Continue reading “Losers, Troubles, Gratitude & American Idol”

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Musings: 6 Of Coins – Generosity

I failed my own test. I did not give to help him. I gave to make myself feel better. I handed him money to give myself a leg up emotionally. I felt so sleazy when I realized what I’d done. I mean a bad taste in my mouth.

Six of coins. Generosity. Hand outs. Charity. Strings.

There are so many things wrapped up in this card for me. I give to the homeless when I can. I do my best not to judge if they are “real” or not. That’s not my place.

There is a gentleman Continue reading “Musings: 6 Of Coins – Generosity”

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