Friends, Sticky & Centers

How do you connect? How do you fit in? Where is your place in the web of joy that we are creating?

Today’s card is not a card but one of my Zentangles. It reminds me that differences can make a whole ‘nother story. There are four elements here. None of them were planned. I just picked a doodle and did it. The one I wanted to learn was the one in the upper left corner.

How often have you met someone and become friends with them only to expand your world even more by the people they know? Who is in your life now because of someone else? Sometimes that someone else has moved on or faded away for whatever reason.

Look at the pieces of your world as represented by the people you know. Celebrate what brought you together. Even “bad” times can create good friends.

How do you connect? How do you fit in? Where is your place in the web of joy that we are creating?

Why it’s at the center of course! And everyone around you is a the center of theirs. We mesh and merge and mingle to make one ginormous interconnected mass of joy.

Stay sticky, my friends. Stay sticky.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

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Abundance, Webs & Fear

Not to worry about what I don’t have but to appreciate what I do. One of my very favorite representations of the Empress, the Gaian Tarot’s Empress is a perfect card for today.

Today’s card is a reminder to me to celebrate the abundance of life as it is. Not to worry about what I don’t have but to appreciate what I do. One of my very favorite representations of the Empress, the Gaian Tarot’s Empress is a perfect card for today.

Some of us celebrate Thanksgiving. Some of us celebrate the First Harvest. Some of us celebrate a chance to gather with friends and family. Some of us celebrate a chance to be alone. Whatever and however you choose to spend this day, I hope you will carry this one thought with you.

I love each of you. I struggled a long time with the concept of unconditional love. Today, right now, I get it. I understand that it is not about you. It is not about me. It is about allowing the Universe to channel joy and love and a simple appreciation for life through me and through you.

We are a web lit up with joy and happiness. Even if your first response is a sarcastic one that rejects your place, you are here as well. I understand fear, darlings. It kept me out of my own place in this web for years.

Seek joy, y’all. We are waiting for you. Pass it on.

Gardener, Gaian Tarot, Llewellyn 2011

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Burning, Changing & Power

That’s a heavy challenge. I’m not even certain I know where to begin with this much less how to begin.

Today’s card is not a card but a reading. Joanna Powell Colbert, creatrix of the Gaian Tarot, has a spread for Samhain. I did it last year and here it is again. This spread is one that I find hits in a very personal way.

I offer this so you can see a new spread as well as see how a reading can make you dig into yourself a bit

 

1. Offering: What or who is dead or dying, that you need to honor? 6 of Earth

This seems interesting since this card has been showing up over and over lately. Even when I’m just shuffling the deck, it will pop out. What is the message the 6 of Earth is saying to me? Is this about being more involved? Is it about giving more? Giving less? I admit to being very confused. Then I looked more. The two things that pop out are the sunflowers and the banner. Alma Tierra. Well Tierra is land, isn’t it? But what is Alma? Off to research. I’ll be right back.

And I got chills. Alma de Tierra means soul of the earth. So does this mean Earth Soul. Is that what I need to honor? The earth is in dying mode right now so this may be the Gaian’s propensity towards being spot-on literal. I need to honor the dying earth. So how do I do that? Good things to think about in this time of turning inward.

2. Challenge: What task does the Elder of Fire ask of you? Moon

Priestess. My first thought is that I am being asked to return to the place of being a priestess. I admit that I’ve moved away from that. There are so many reasons why. But here are the changes being honored–dark, waxing, full, waning. Repeat. The fish (is that a trout or a salmon?), the owl and the howl. Yes, I like to rhyme sometimes. The owl and the howler are messengers while the fish is wisdom but also a messenger. It is like earth (howl), air (owl) and water (fish) have joined together and I am the woman catching the changes representing fire.

That’s a heavy challenge. I’m not even certain I know where to begin with this much less how to begin.

3. Center: Where do you find your center of power? 2 of Water

Sweet joy. In the simple companionship of two souls who know one another on a cellular level. I think this speaks to the challenge. To meet that challenge I must reconnect with this idea that companionship is where it’s at. I lead a fairly physically solo life. Not so much here on the interwebz, but my day-to-day is not filled with soul-filling companionship. Perhaps I need to figure out how to sustain myself with what I have or reach out to make what I lack less?

4. Opening: What new sweetness is wafting in on the scent of burning herbs? 9 of Earth

I have to admit my inner self gave a fist pump along with a “can I get a WHOOP WHOOP?” shout of happiness. Who doesn’t want the 9 of Earth as their new sweetness? And this is an interesting harkening back to that very first card of honoring the soul of the Earth. This is the promise that all things cycle (hello Moon). All things die. All things are reborn. None of this is useless. It all feeds something or someone somewhere somehow. I look forward to this prosperity of community and of self.

5. Wisdom: What secrets do the ancestors whisper to you this All Hallows Eve? Child of Fire

I hear them say that I need to take the risk. I need to burn. I need to let my passion out even when I fear others will see me as a foolish child who doesn’t know the dangers that wait. The Ancestors say to me, “Arwen, touch that passion. Feel that fire. Show others how to be passionate joy seekers like the child of Fire.”

See his face? Pure sweet unadulterated joy for the beauty that is the fire. He’ll be okay. I think even if he plunged his hand into the hot center that he would be okay. Faith and joy. I am told to carry on with faith and joy.

See Joanna’s original post here. I did this spread last year. I was very interested to see what my Center of Power card told me then.

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Nests, Growth & Stretching

Today’s card reminds me that growth happens. Sometimes you have to move to spread your wings. Sometimes you have to take that scary first step. Otherwise you never get to stretch out and see the world.

This is a picture I took. Mockingbirds build a nest in a hibiscus tree on the front porch. I was taller than this tree. It was very easy to take a lot of pictures of them even though mamma and daddy weren’t impressed.

Look how tight they are. The day after I took this shot there were three then the next day there were two and the next day all of them were out of the nest.

What crowds you right now? Do you hem yourself in with too many projects? Are you overwhelming your own growth by stuffing in too many other babies?

Time to stretch your wings. Decide which baby you are and then put your feet on the edge and push off. Launch yourself, your project, your idea. Spread those wings. Sure you may flutter to the ground at first, but you’ll be fine. Hop up in the low branches and work your way up.

Growth happens if you get out of the huddled masses. Stretch, darling, stretch.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Baby Mockingbirds In The Nest, 2009, Arwen’s personal collection

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Onesies, T-Rex & PBJ

Today’s card is not a Tarot card. It’s a T-Rex in a onesie. I’ll wait while you wrap your brains around this statement.

Done?

Now?

Look, I have to get going so I can’t wait for you to adjust to the concept. I admit that it is a weird one, but if you will stick with me, I’ll show you where I’m going with this.

I have an alter-ego (one of many actually) that one of my friends jokingly (I hope) named Teh Toddler Arwen. When TTA comes out, I am in whiney, me-me-me mode. I joke about needing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich STAT. That’s a comfort food to me.

I know. T-rex in a onesie. I’ll get to that.

I think it’s vitally important that we focus on ourselves every now and again. Give in to that whiny, bratty, MiMi princess (or prince) that lives in each of us. You know…those times when the world doesn’t go your way and you just want to stomp your precious little footsie and ask WHY in your loudest voice? Yeah, those moments. Not all of them because the Universe knows we get plenty. But let your inner toddler out once in a blue moon. I don’t recommend letting him or her out where others can see (at least others you don’t trust). But it’s okay to decide that you need buttered crackers and ginger ale or a peanut butter & jelly sammich. Sometimes we need to hug ourselves and pat our own backs as we have temper tantrums of toddler proportions.

Of course, then we have to knock that chit off and move on. But emotional self-indulgence every once in a while won’t hurt you…as long as you remember that no one else really cares about your foot stomping so you might want to keep it in your own hula hoop. LOL

What about Cornelius? He’s the traveling companion of the woman who named me Teh Toddler Arwen. Another friend and I decided he needed PJ’s for a PJ party we had. In a way, he’s a perfect representation of what we all turn into when we have those toddler meltdowns. Tiny green monsters waving itty bitty ineffective arms as we roar.

And remember! That’s okay on the rare occasion. I think I can seek joy better when I’ve had a good laugh at my own toddler moments. How about you?

Cornelius, personal photo collection, all rights reserved.

Get a T-Rex of your very own.

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Mistakes, Asses & Flames

Today’s card is not a Tarot card (shocker, I know.) It is my own doodling using a pattern created by Erin over at The Bright Owl blog. She puts out challenges every week. And once a month she throws in a twist. This time it was to do the whole thing with just one pattern.

EEP! I’d never even tangled one of her patterns so what was I thinking?

Well, I was thinking that the beauty of the Zentangle method is that you don’t worry about the mistakes. You just improve on them.

How often have you made a mistake? No, don’t count. We don’t have that much time. If I counted mine, I’d be here a while. LOL But consider the times when you took the “mistake” and turned it into something more? When you learned from the error and grew.

It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? To look back and say, “Yep, I screwed up on that one but I got better.”

We all have meltdowns and hissy fits and show our ass in public. Grin, you can find mine embedded in the annals of the internet if you look carefully. And I am STILL embarrassed by many of them.

One of my best things was to verbally shred someone for being stupid. I was really quite good at it. I’m not as proud of that as I sound. Now when I see someone else doing what I did, I think about what a heinous bitch I was. How could I take pride in being mean?

It was a long road for me but I’ve learned how not to do that. I’ve learned how to let joy replace the bitter ugliness of that life.

I’m still struggling with not attacking someone when they attack me or someone I consider part of my tribe. That’s a tough one. Sometimes I vent in private to friends (and a shout out to my friend who wrote to me asking me if I needed support…that’s what friends do!). Sometimes I try to go the other route by working on the positive things that need to be worked on . Like building community.

What do you do? When someone attacks you or someone you care about, how do you respond? Do you throw fire on the wood (yes I meant it that way)? Do you try to douse your flames by swallowing them? Do you go to a private, members-only campground where you can toast marshmallows while you vent?

What’s your most productive response?

Remember that when someone shows their ass, they are often sad, scared and/or sick. Compassion is hard to maintain sometimes, but it is the most humane response to some. I also advocate the avoidance technique.

So? What’s your method?

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Zentangle, Arwen Lynch, all rights reserved

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Harsh, Fierce & Growly

Today’s card is a reminder that you are being judged. And rather harshly at that. I’m going to be controversial today. I’m going to call your judge, your harshest critic out. I’m going to tell you what to say to them to get them to stop.

Now it’s not easy to do. You have to be more than brave. You have to be FIERCE, my darlings. FIERCE, I say. I want you to get your best growly, mean, “I’m a drill sergeant/Dominant/boss” voice on.

Now you need to practice first. Go to your mirror and look yourself in the eye. Don’t look away. Don’t blink. Don’t flinch.

Say (using that FIERCE) voice, “I love you. I love you no matter what. You are a good person. You are a beautiful soul. You are LOVE and I love you. Nothing you can say or do will ever make me think less of you. I see the real you and I love you.”

Say it nine times. That’s a sacred number for a reason. When you are done practicing, admit that you knew all along that this wasn’t a drill. That you knew this was the real thing.

Make a date with your inner critical self to have the conversation every morning until he or she GETS IT.

I love you. I love you no matter what. You are a good person. You are a beautiful soul. You are LOVE and I love you. Nothing you can say or do will ever make me think less of you. I see the real you and I love you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Aeon, Haindl Tarot, U.S. Games (rereleased 2011)

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Lizards, Joanna & Serenity

I’ve been thinking a lot about all that I do and all that I think I need to do. I wear a lot of hats these days. And sometimes I am not wearing them all to the best of my ability. Is it that I am filling my bowl to the brim so that things are spilling out? Am I oversharpening my knife of self?

So I was out wandering the web. Well, actually, Joanna Powell Colbert’s Freya’s Friday Links is to blame. I went to one of the links she shared. Okay. I went to all. On one of them I saw this intriguing user picture only I couldn’t make it out. So I went to that person’s profile and found their blog.

Then I saw the bigger picture which was the blogger stroking Continue reading “Lizards, Joanna & Serenity”

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