Blog

2020 Year in Review

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.

Body

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’s favorite spot

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.

Mind

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.

My 2020 Book Montage

Dying with Her Cheer Pants On
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Song for a Whale
They Did Bad Things
The Twisted Ones
Unfuck Your Boundaries: Build Better Relationships Through Consent, Communication, and Expressing Your Needs
Shadowrun: Drawing Destiny: A Sixth World Tarot Anthology
Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life
Dear Writer, Are You In Burnout?
This Is How You Lose the Time War
Taking Up The Runes: A Complete Guide To Using Runes In Spells, Rituals, Divination, And Magic
Shameless: A Sexual Reformation
Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US
The Toll
Thunderhead
Summer of Salt
Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized
Behind the Fortune Teller's Tent: A Complete Business Guide to Fortune Telling at Parties and Events
A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism


Jaymi’s favorite books »

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.
Me as the Page of Wands for the Pocket of Peers tarot

Editing. I edited every issue of The Cartomancer and did a few other book editing projects for friends. 

Spirit

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.

And I walk away…

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.

Blog

December 2020 Advent Draw 14

December 14, 2020 Advent Calendar Draw: The World. Click to embiggen
December 14, 2020 Advent Calendar Draw: The World. Click to embiggen

On the fourteenth day of December, my solstice advent gave to me… The World.

The World is the end of the major arcana cycle. It represents achievements and celebrations. At this time, we honor what we accomplished and prepare to move on to the next chapter in our lives. Ding! We’ve leveled up. We are no longer who we once were. We have grown. We have integrated all the lessons up to this point. 

I went outside for the first time in a long time today. I stepped out into the world and drove… to my dentist appointment. I know, such a big adventure. However, right now, I do see this as a huge thing. It is essential to take care of our health during a global pandemic. And after years of dental work, I do my best to take care of my teeth. So driving across town and seeing the pandemic’s effects (negative, sadly) was a sobering achievement. I hope there’s an end in sight and good news for the world and our society comes soon.

What are you celebrating this time of year? What new cycles are appearing in your life? Send me an email; I’d love to know.

Blog

December 2020 Advent Draw 13

December 13, 2020 Advent Calendar Draw: Justice. Click to embiggen
December 13, 2020 Advent Calendar Draw: Justice. Click to embiggen

On the thirteenth day of December, my solstice advent gave to me… Justice.

Black Lives Matter. 
Black Trans Lives Matter.
Trans Lives Matter.

This is my promise to do better, to stand up for what is right, and be a better person to marginalized communities. 

Blog

December 2020 Advent Draw 12

December 12, 2020 Advent Calendar Draw: Judgment. Click to embiggen
December 12, 2020 Advent Calendar Draw: Judgment. Click to embiggen

On the twelfth day of December, my solstice advent gave to me… Judgment.

Judgment brings me a huge sigh of relief today, especially after yesterday’s Death challenge. Stars pour from the horn, calling me. I step out and answer it. Yesterday has passed away, and the future is now. Judgment is a powerful awakening. We’re learning more about what we are, where we want to go, and taking the active step into the world to make it manifest.

I slept most of today away. The stress and success of yesterday’s transformation demanded it. Today my partner and I celebrated by playing a new game and napping on and off. I’m excited about the steps in our adventure. I can’t wait to see what 2021 brings. Here’s to listening to the messages and meeting the challenge for what’s necessary.

What calls to awaken your soul? How have you put it into motion? Reach out and let me know!

Blog

December 2020 Advent Draw 11

December 11, 2020 Advent Calendar Draw: Death. Click to embiggen
December 11, 2020 Advent Calendar Draw: Death. Click to embiggen

On the eleventh day of December, my solstice advent gave to me… Death.

Death is the most misunderstood card in the whole pack. Too many people take this card literally when it appears. Thanks, Hollywood! Death does represent an ending. Whether it is life or a situation, that all depends on what cards appear around it. Death is change. It can be a challenging transformation that we sometimes don’t want to accept into our reality. When this card appears, we know something big is coming, and it helps us prepare for the transition. This is one reason it appears in the middle of the fool’s journey. Death isn’t an end, but a shift from one state of being to another. It’s the ability that helps us grow as humans and learn.

I love that Death has appeared midway through decorating the tree, just like the major arcana. Change is happening in this household today. It’s exciting, and we’re ready for this journey. I would be more specific, but it’s not my journey to tell. If you follow me on facebooklandia, you’ll know what is going on. 

What change is happening in your world this winter? What lessons have you learned this year? Drop me a line; I’d love to know.