Sharks, Joy & J. Campbell

Sharks, Joy & Joseph Campbell: what do they have in common?

Gaian Tarot Three of Air
Gaian Tarot

Today I live in joy.

I was following sharks on Twitter (no really…see @MaryLeeShark and @Shark_Katherine) when I saw this quote.

Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy. – Joseph Campbell

It spoke beautifully to my own thoughts on this. Sorrow happens. Pain happens. I cannot control those things in my world.

I can control my reaction to it.

I can cry but still seek joy.
I can live with pain but still seek joy.

Is it a Pollyanna mentality? I’ve discussed that before (way back in 2011 in fact). What do you think?

What does it mean to you to live in joy?

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Three of Air, Gaian Tarot

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Cuckoos, Peacocks + NaNoWriMo

When is a cuckoo better than a peacock? Check out this great deck for using w/ #NaNoWriMo.

Chrysalis Tarot Visionary Knight of Scrolls
Chrysalis Tarot

#affirmation Today’s card is from a deck that is making a bit of a stir due to the unorthodox suits and courts and Majors. I happen to really like this deck. Not sure about reading with it in public just yet but I do like the inspiration I get from it.

[Tweet “When is a cuckoo better than a peacock? Check out this great deck for using w/ #NaNoWriMo.”]

I think it would be an excellent deck to work with doing my #NaNoWriMo based workshop that I’ve turned into an eCourse. That’s because it has very evocative images.

Here is the Knight of swords re-imagined as the Visionary, the Knight of Scrolls. The pen may be mightier than the sword here in this Air suit. Our Knight is no young man on a moving animal. Instead, he is a mature man who sits on what looks like a cushion atop a stone pedestal. If I am not mistaken, that’s a cuckoo on his shoulder staring at the peacock feathers.

And it hits me. The cuckoo is not an attractive bird per se. The peacock is admired far and wide for its beauty. Could the cuckoo be longingly dreaming of being a peacock? Or maybe just seen as worthy by the peacock?

The Visionary sits in a position of readiness. You will see this particular pose in many portraits of rulers and leaders. It indicates that he can get up at any time. I think that feeds into the movement part of the Knights that I like.

So we have a man at the ready while he holds a symbol of beauty and a symbol of, what?, less-than?

I think the message that is loudest for me here is that the cuckoo needs to enjoy its own beauty. There is a simplicity to the snow white feathers that the peacock can never achieve. Perhaps we can also point out to the cuckoo that it is alive here while the peacock is only represented by feathers–removed or shed.

When we dream, when we envision our lives, maybe we need to focus on what we have rather than what we lack.

Today’s affirmation:

I have what I need. I am enough. I am beautiful and strong. I desire myself. I dream gorgeous dreams because I am the star of them. I breathe in joy. I exhale gratitude. Loved and loving, I love each of you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Knight of Scrolls, Chrysalis Tarot , U.S. Games Systems, INC

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Queens in Disguise

Queens in Disguise: When queens don’t look like queens, how do we interact with them?

[Tweet “When queens don’t look like queens, how do we interact with them?”]

Mary-El Tarot Queen of Swords
Mary-El Tarot

#affirmation Today’s card is from a deck that pretty much turns traditional Tarot imagery on its head. I doubt many of us would see the Queen of Swords when we look at this image.

Two ravens perch on a tree in what seems to be a war-torn landscape. One raven has an eye on it’s wing that looks out at you. It’s an obviously human eye. The ravens make me think of Odin’s two birds,Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory).

And those are excellent choices for the air queen. Yes, this is the Queen of Swords who rules thoughts and actions based on thoughts. She’s often seen as a widow as well.

I just read my friend Susan Franklin’s newsletter. She mentioned some mindfulness workshops and practices. I hope you read it as well.

Do you do mindfulness work? Do you meditate? I am pretty much hit and miss on that. I need to work on developing this habit. I really liked what she had to say about judgment when it comes to meditation.

So today’s affirmation is this:

I am enough. I am here. This is now. This is what is important for now. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am capable. Prosperity and abundance find me. I am open to the blessings of the Universe. Loved and loving, I love each of you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Queen of Swords, Mary-El Tarot, Schiffer

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Reality, Swords + Self

How the Five of Swords is like a reality tv show.

[Tweet “How the Five of Swords is like a reality tv show. “]

Dreaming Way Tarot Five of Swords
Dreaming Way Tarot

#affirmation Today’s card is one of the mental cards. The Five of Swords can often indicate mental battles. These battles may not be real but we give them power by paying attention.

What are we paying attention to?

Other people’s opinions. They are entitled to their thoughts just as we are entitled to ours. Ours should have no more weight in their world than theirs in ours.

By acknowledging that our thoughts are powerful for ourselves rather than others, maybe we can stop wasting time worrying about what others do with their lives.

And likewise.

How much time do we waste watching shows about other people’s lives? Reading articles about other people’s lives? Discussing what other people are doing with their lives?

Me? I’d rather eat bugs than talk about housewives of any town or spoiled children or (fill in the reality show of your choice).

So turn your thoughts to your own doings. Focus on you. Bring your attention back to the one person you do have control over. Make changes. Celebrate differences. Explore your own wonderful self.

Here is your affirmation for today:

I carry my own thoughts. I release others to theirs. My world is made better by focusing on what I can do. I embrace others then release them to their own work. I am a strong, capable human being. My work is good. My life is good. My place in the web is good. Loved and loving, I love each of you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Five of Swords, Dreaming Way Tarot, USGame

#dailyaffirmation
#affirmations
#tarot
#seekjoy

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How Hard Is It To Listen?

What does it mean to really listen? To shut up?

[Tweet “What does it mean to really listen? To just shut up? #affirmation”]

Gaian Tarot Two of Air
Gaian Tarot

#affirmation Some days you just have to shut up. I’m a talker, you see. I tend to fill conversational spaces with anything. I’m learning to stop that. It’s a bad habit. How much have I missed in this world by doing that? I shudder to think!

Here is the Two of Air. A woman listens. It’s just that simple. She closes her eyes, tilts her head then listens. Those are cedar waxwings in the branches. I’ve seen them but couldn’t identify their song. I can identify some birdsong though easily.

Sometimes I think I would like to go back to the land as they say. Go off the grid. Get back to nature. Return to my roots.

Then I laugh. My roots? My roots are in Monroe, Louisiana in the middle of urban living. Well, it wasn’t a big city but it certainly wasn’t a small town either. We had four public high schools plus two private. Monroe is a great town but it’s not a “back to nature” situation.

I love to read books about people who have done that though. Do you? My friend, Joanna Powell Colbert, mentioned a book that I wanted to share with you as well. It is called Becoming Wild: Living the Primitive Life on a West Coast Island: Nikki van Schyndel. I’m going to get it for myself then it may also end up under the Christmas tree for someone else.

Here is a video interview of Nikki. It’s fascinating.

It’s not available on the Kindle (darn it), but it comes highly recommended.

Today’s card is the Two of Air from the Gaian Tarot which is by Joanna Powell Colbert. I’m using that image for today’s affirmation.

Today I shut up. Today I get quiet. Today I listen. I listen for and I listen to. For the messages in silence, I listen. To the song of nature, I listen. By embracing the quiet, I grow and I learn. Loved and loving, I love each of you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

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Unicorns, Rosaries + Time-Outs

Time-outs or time-pouts? Which do you indulge in?

[Tweet “Time-outs or time-pouts? Which do you indulge in? #tarot #affirmation”]

Chrysalis Tarot Two of Scrolls
Chrysalis Tarot

#affirmation I know today is late and I apologize. ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s been a week today. You know what I mean? Where enough things have to get done that it should take a full week but you have to do them TODAY?

LOL! So that’s why this is late. And I pulled a card on my iPhone app for the Chrysalis Tarot. This deck is making some noise in the Tarot world. Folks either love it or are just not that into it. I’m one of the “love it” group.

Here we have the Two of Scrolls. I love that the scrolls are on top of one another with obvious stairs coming down. A flying unicorn, or is that a horned Pegasus, seems to be launching from the scrolls. Or is it trying to regain its balance?

For me, this card captures the indecision and the balance aspect of the twos of the Tarot. In this deck, Scrolls are Swords. Since this is the suit of Air, Scrolls are a perfect choice for me.

Decisions have to be made. Balance has to be maintained. Not as easy as it sounds some days. We need tools to maintain our equilibrium. Yoga, meditation, alcohol (no Arwen), exercise, all of those (most of those) help us get that equilibrium back.

I have a new tool coming to me. It is a rosary made by a dear friend. I’ll wait while you compute that.

Yes, a rosary.

It won’t be the Catholic version. Here’s a great article on the praying of the rosary: http://www.catholicity.com/prayer/rosary.html It will be my own version. I will share mine once I’ve finished it. I need the rosary so I can get to work on that.

I need to calm my mind. Yesterday I took a nap simply because my mind wouldn’t stop bouncing from thing to thing to thing. I needed to put myself in a time out. ๐Ÿ˜€ So I did!

Do you ever put yourself in time-outs? I’m hoping that with my rosary and meditation, I will have self-imposed time-outs every day. Not timed pouts–although I am sure that is what they were when I was three and put in a corner. ha!

Today’s affirmation:

My thoughts are focused. My intentions are well thought out. I am a child of the Universe. I am giving opportunities to seek joy and experience happiness. I am balanced and ready. Loved and loving, I love each of you. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Two of Scrolls, Chrysalis Tarot, U.S. Games Systems Inc, 2014

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Are Ghosts Really Invisible?

Remember that disengaging isn’t running away–it can be a safety valve.

[Tweet “Remember that disengaging isn’t running away–it can be a safety valve.”]

Ghosts and Spirits Tarot Four of Swords
Ghosts and Spirits

#affirmation Sometimes the Tarot is scary. That’s just all there is to it. Today’s blog challenge was to discuss invisible illnesses. I picked up my phone to look at my Tarot apps.

Using the simply gorgeous Ghosts & Spirits Tarot, I tapped it open. The app is set up so that you get a card right away. I got the Four of Swords. Scary, Tarot. Scary!

A more perfect card for this subject I cannot imagine. Here we see a figure who has vines and branches growing from her head to create what looks like a briar hedge.

One sword is a beam of energy that comes from the one spot of light to pierce her. The other three swords lay beneath her but she can’t seem to reach them.

I have an invisible illness. One that isn’t always so invisible when I have to use walls to walk. That’s my back. I joke about it. I keep it light. I tell people that my back has taken a vacation without me. But it hurts. Oh it hurts.

I am exercising now to lose weight. That will help my back in the long run. I am also doing Reiki with a dear friend, Michelle. Her business is Happy, Healthy Life. I recommend her!

One of the main things about the Four of Swords is that it can be a reminder to let our minds rest. That disengaging isn’t running away–it can be a safety valve.

When I am mentally stressed and in physical pain, like most people, I turn into a grouchy bear. I used to lash out because it made me focus less on my own pain. I’ve curtailed that now because I honestly didn’t like that woman I’d become.

I like me now though. I really really do. I’m still in pain. It’s a rare day that i don’t have some pain. So I exercise. I’m going to be adding in yoga to my routine. I’m going to continue to learn to live with chronic pain.

So here is today’s affirmation.

Today I embrace my need to withdraw. I honor the solitude that brings me relief. I open up to the opportunities to disengage more. I create space for my own needs. Loved and loving, I love each of you. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on, please.

Four of Swords, Ghosts And Spirits Tarot, U.S. Games

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What Should Religion Remind Us Of?

So I decided I would share a recipe post. Luckily I have an index of them. I also have an index for my Tarot poetry project. This recipe has a lot of sentimental energy for me. Enjoy!

[Tweet “What should religion remind us of? Cabbage? Rain? Strength? #seekjoy”]

For today’s Magic Up Your Blog challenge, our leader, Amethyst, has asked us to recycle an old blog post. This was harder for me than you might think. I am pretty vain about my writing if the truth be told. Writing as Marilu Mann or writing as Arwen, I put a lot of work into things.

So I decided I would share a recipe post. Luckily I have an index of them. I also have an index for my Tarot poetry project. This recipe has a lot of sentimental energy for me. Enjoy!

“Our religion keeps reminding us that we aren’t just will and thoughts. We are also sand and wind and thunder. Rain. The seasons. You learn to respect everything because you are everything.” ~ William Least Heat Moon 1939-

Marilu Johnston Lynch Paschall
Mama

I was blessed with a mother who wasn’t overly religious although she was a faithful woman. She grew up Catholic, then raised my sister and I in the Episcopal faith. She attended the Methodist church with her second husband while beginning her drift back to her childhood faith of Catholicism. She allowed me, albeit regretfully, to leave the Christian path without making it hard on me.

She didn’t like it. I know this. I also know that she wanted me to be happy and secure. So she didn’t make my religious choice a bone of contention. And she certainly could have. She was a strong woman from some very strong women. In my family, the matriarchs have always stood out.

Chrysalis_13SwordsSpirals
Chrysalis Tarot

My Mama had a German-Scot Mama and a Scot-Irish Papa. While her mama, my Grannilu, was not someone I remember as a good cook, Mama said there were good cooks in her family. She passed her love of starchy potatoes and stinky cabbage on to me with this dish. It’s one she found later in life.

Like her, I’m a collector or recipes. I even cook some of them. ๐Ÿ˜€ She made this for me for one of my homecoming meals and I loved it then as I love it now. Even die-hard cabbage haters will fall for this treat!

Because it’s something I closely identify with Mama, I knew this one had to be a Queen (the Empress was already taken, sorry Mama!). The Queen of Cups might seem like the perfect choice but my Mama was a sharp edged Scorpio. She was funny–brilliantly so at times and almost always pointed and sharp insightful humor. I knew her as a widow most of my life (she remarried when I was in my early 20’s).

Her friends were classy, stylish women (when they weren’t being redneck haints). She was a a classy, stylish woman and I adored her. She wasn’t the cookie-baking, soccer mom but she was the take-you-to-the-library, defend-you-tooth-and-nail mom. I’m lucky to have had the time I did with her. So she is the Queen of Swords to me.

World Spirit Tarot Sibyl of Swords
World Spirit Tarot

Queen of Swords Cabbage Au Gratin

1 head cabbage, shredded
4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs (divided)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 beaten egg
1-1/2 cup grated cheese (divided)
1-1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 pound bacon

Brown bacon, set aside

Cook cabbage in water 10 minutes. Drain.

Beat egg, cream and seasonings together.

Layer cabbage in casserole pan with egg mixture and remaining ingredients,except bacon. Reserve some of the bread crumbs and cheese for topping.

Place chopped bacon on top of casserole, dot with butter and bake in a preheated 350ยฐ F. oven for 30 minutes.

6 servings

Arwen says: Mama didn’t do the bacon and I donโ€™t either. Just a sodium overload!

I hope you will let me know if you try this. I think I’ll make some this week. If you are Catholic, maybe you’d like to light a candle at Mary’s altar for my mama. Her name was Marilu. I’ll light a candle on my own altar. Don’t let religion come between you and those you love. It’s really not worth it. Instead, share a meal and a blessing that you have friends and family who care about you enough to worry about you.

Here’s to all of us. We are blessed to have the ability to choose who we call family. “You learn to respect everything because you are everything.” Thanks to William Least Heat Moon for that.

Today’s affirmation:

Today I understand my self. I accept me for all of who I am, past, present and future. I celebrate the tears, the laughter, the good times, the bad times. I acknowledge how my family forged me. Loved and loving, I love each of you. Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Decks used:

World Spirit Tarot (OOP) Llewellyn

Chrysalis Tarot, US Games Systems Inc.

Speaking of writing, my alter-ego Marilu Mann is launching a book 8/22. Want to help out? Check out how.

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Hiss, Criticism & Buttons

#affirmation Today I understand that what I feel is good. What I believe is right. What I need is joy.

Cat's Eye Five of Swords
Cat’s Eye Tarot

#affirmation Today I understand that what I feel is good. What I believe is right. What I need is joy.

I am struggling today. I’ve received some rather repetitive criticism with no offers of help. This isn’t something unusual. I’m quite guilty of it myself. I can see what’s wrong and how to fix it, but more often than not, it’s so much easier to point out where the porch is sagging rather than just grabbing a post to shove under the sag.

And it is a huge button for me, I admit. Tell me what I’m doing wrong, where there are flaws? Fine. But then don’t step back as if you have no ability to help effect change.

Running a group as a collective often fails because only a handful will actually do the work. Then those in the collective get unhappy because their voices aren’t being heard.

If you are in a group, speak up. Speak up to support. Speak up to volunteer. Speak up to point out where things could be better AND volunteer to be one of the ones fixing things.

[Tweet “Don’t just offer an opinion without your energy as well.”]

Sigh. Sorry, y’all. This situation really has me quite riled up.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Five of Swords, Cat’s Eye Tarot, U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

#dailyaffirmation
#seekjoy

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TarotBlogHop: Joy & Solstice

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Welcome to the Solstice 2014 Tarot Blog Hop.

What’s a Blog Hop? Well, it’s when several bloggers (in our case twenty-one) all connect to one another to create a chain. Every six weeks, one of us takes on the role of wrangler. Their job is to give us a topic.

Our wrangler is Olivia from First Earth Tarot. I love love love her topic because it is simply joy. Yep, joy. Y’all know I love that message.

[Tweet “Olivia asked, “How do you spread joy?“”]

zentangle_seekjoyAffirmations. It was the first word out of my mouth. I do affirmations nearly every day on my Facebook page. I do them for me because it helps me stay on track with what I do.

I am a professional joy seeker. I take that very seriously. You might even say that I hold it as a sacred geas I’ve put upon myself.

So what do you do with affirmations? I find that they work best when I read them out loud several times during the day.

ZentangleTherapyJoyOne way I come up with my daily affirmations is to randomly draw a Tarot card. Then I use that message to craft my affirmation. A key to creating an affirmation is to word it in the present tense. You want to foster the energy of it already being here.

Another thing is to avoid the negative. So rather than “I will not smack the people who make me angry” you would perhaps phrase it “I am stronger than those who annoy me.”

So try if you like. Pull a card then write your affirmation. Share it below. Here’s mine including the card I pulled.

WakingTheWildSpirit_1AirToday I am a joy seeker. Today I am a joy magnet. Today joy covers me. I open my arms, my heart, my mind to the beauty of living a joyful life. Loved and loving, I love each of you. Seek joy, y’all.

Quotangle, Arwen Lynch, 2013

P. to the S. My alter-ego, Marilu Mann, is giving away $100 in Amazon gift cards. Today is the very last day to enter!

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Zentangles by Stephanie Arwen Lynch-Poe

Card featured: Ace of Air from the Waking The Wild Spirit Tarot (OOP)

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