Did anyone get the license plate of the truck 2020 was driving? Holy heck, what a year. I began 2020 feeling refreshed and excited for all the days to write, promote, and get clarity around who I wanted to be and do in this world. It started alright but then took a severe detour. We all had things to learn and adjust.
The amazing news for 2020 was that Tarot Inspired Life got nominated for Best Book of the Year by CARTA International. It was such an honor to be recognized for my work on TIL.
In the spirit of the Body Mind Spirit spread, here’s my recap of one crazy year.
Conventions. Went to only two this year. The last PantheaCon and the NorthWest Tarot Symposium. I taught two classes, one to a full house at PantheaCon, reconnected with many friends from the larger community and made a new close friend. I spent more time learning about the business aspect of being a Llewellyn author and received cool ideas for my plans. At NWTS, I attended (no teaching or staff duties) and enjoyed connecting to my tarot family.
Exercise. This was a hard one to pivot as the world transformed. My gym shut down. An with my health being as it is, cardio outside is a challenging option. I miss my exercise machines. Thankfully, my trainer was open to the idea of a garage, or park, program, and so we’ve been doing once a week full body maintenance sessions.
Transitions. 2020 was a big year for transitions of all types. My partner got on the schedule for gender-affirming surgeries. From August to December, Kendra had three surgeries. It has been amazing to see how far she has come on her journey. And because we’re partners, this is also my journey. We’ve strengthened our bond, dealt with the changes of being two at-home workers with opposing needs and handling some hard recovery issues from the surgery.
Imoen. The most significant hurt for this year was losing our last kitty Imoen to cancer. She had been doing well through 2019, but in early 2020 she developed some notable complications. Her health deteriorated. We made the hard decision to let her go in March, just before the first lockdown. I don’t think I’ve gone this long without an animal companion before. It’s been challenging not to have our monster running around or snuggled in my hoodies. We miss her and look forward to a time when we can adopt, and raise, two more monsters.
As a fire sign, keeping my mind busy and focused helps me deal with the changing world. While I feel like I did little this year, this list disproves that feeling.
Books. I read 22 books this year. It was not a good year for reading anything. I was too anxious and distracted by the events unfolding in the united states and the world to delve deep. I did discover and add about 10 new podcasts to my list this year, topics ranging from metaphysical to horror tales. The best book I read was The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.
Creative Pivot. Going from a world where I had solitude and freedom to write wherever I wanted to stay in one spot was hard. I planned to finish book two’s first draft, and that didn’t happen. I did enter the world of videos. I recorded my first video blog, back in April, with messages of hope and plans for how I would deal with 2020. While most of what I said in those early months didn’t happen, I did continue to record videos and podcasts. I may even be addicted to doing Instagram live events. You can view all of the 2020 content at:
- YouTube Pivot Post — written at the beginning of the U.S. lockdown, I outlined my ideas for staying sane. I achieved some of the work and failed hard at others. Life became a delicate balance between survival and creative desires.
- Jenna Matlin, Instagram Live — It was fun. We talked about our connections to animals, and we did a few animal-based deck readings for members of the chat. I loved the interaction with the chat. This cooperation inspired me, and I may be doing some live tarot things of my own.
- Live From Maui with Johnathan Dailey — My friend Jonathan Dailey invited me onto his show. We talk about the Heaven and Earth Tarot I wrote the book for and did some readings for others. One of the rare times I do free readings for the public.
- STAARCon Podcast — both a podcast and a live video session, I chat with Christiana Gaudet about fire spinning, tarot, my work, and the Mix and Match class I’ll be teaching for this online conference on January 22-24. I’ve linked this to the youtube video. However, you can hear the podcast from most of your favorite podcatchers. You can still purchase tickets for the conference. Get a 10% off discount using promo code Staar2021.
Writing. Despite the challenges of my situation, I did accomplish the following:
- The Cartomancer Magazine. I returned as line editor to this fine magazine. I also wrote a feature article and have a column exploring the intersection between technology and tarot.
- Vox Arcana by Lo Scarabeo. This collaborative tarot deck features over 80 art pieces from various artists. I got the opportunity to write the booklet with my friend, Sally Rose Robinson. It was a fun project to do.
- Heaven and Earth Tarot by Lo Scarabeo. My massive project for 2020. I wrote three parallel booklets for this deck: a book-length companion and two smaller documents for future editions, for this fantastic deck featuring art by Jack Sephiroth. There are strong esoteric and qabalistic connections with this deck. I am proud of the writing I did here, and it got me added to a few “authors to watch” lists.
- Dreamscapes Oracle by Matt Hughes. A companion oracle to the Ethereal Visions Tarot. Matt and Hope did a fantastic job in their Kickstarter, and I was surprised that they needed assistance on the deck’s booklet. I wrote material for both the Kickstarter and US Games editions.
- Spirit of Cats Oracle by Tarot Arcana. I got referred to Tarot Arcana, a Chinese tarot publisher, who needed an author on another oracle deck featuring cats. I was pleased to create and write a fun world where spirit cats help us see qualities and meanings to empower and manifest our desires. It should come out sometime in 2021.
Collaborations. Lots of collaborations happened this year:
- Tarot Off the Cuff. As part of my pivot from writing to video stuff, I got asked to be on this YouTube show. In it, various tarot readers from around the world draw a single card, then give a short, up to 15 minute reading with the card. This is not an ordinary recap of what cards mean show. We teach techniques, share info on the card’s creation, and give homework for gaining more insight into the cards. I used my Triple Goddess deck, so there’s a lot of useful info on how we made each card and ways you can integrate it into your life.
- Pocket of Peers Tarot. My friend Jamie Sawyer is the bomb. She’s a creative spirit who is always drawing and designing awesome tools for your tarot lifestyle. The Pocket of Peers tarot is a deck filled with her friends and peers. She reached out to me to be on one of the cards. Of course, I said yes. I took some pictures of my poses, and the artwork blew me away— speechless! You’ll find me as the fire dancing Page of Wands. You can buy a copy of the deck later in 2021, once the Kickstarter goes live.
Editing. I edited every issue of The Cartomancer and did a few other book editing projects for friends.
Daily Draws. I continued pursuing daily tarot draws, and I filled the last of my printed tarot journal. I created and started the plans for a digital tarot journal system for 2021.
Shadow-work. 2020 was a challenging year for therapy. Everything moved online, and with it, I felt the need to go deep with my two therapists. I have received a lot of clarity around what is going on and a few new diagnostic tools for understanding the trauma I went through. We also adjusted the levels of Cymbalta for my head, and I’ve never felt more “normal and stable” in this realm. I have a long way to go with the trauma, chronic shame, and C-PTSD areas, but I have an excellent support team.
Ritual. Creating and maintaining ritual became ultra-important this year. I updated my decor for each fall and winter sabbat. I even made a Tarot Solstice Advent calendar and put it to use. I took pictures of it daily and was able to get through half of the posts before dropping the daily draw records on the site due to caretaking heck with one of Kendra’s surgeries. I reset my sleep schedule with the help of a therapist and some meds. I also learned the importance of other rituals throughout the day.
Readings. I continued offering tarot sessions and mentorship this year. I picked up a few new clients and one new mentee interested in going deep into esoterica of tarot, based on their purchase of the Heaven and Earth Tarot. I even did two psychic galleries online. While I do miss event-style readings, I have a fantastic zoom setup and still enjoy helping others.