End of April Wrap-up

Welcome to April’s end of the month wrap-up post. In this post, we discover how the planning spread got implemented and where I ended up. 

Theme: Resolve
How: Queen of Wands
Helper: Snow Leopard (be sheltering)

April 2020 Planning Spread. Click to embiggen.

At the beginning of this month, I set the definition of Resolve as “letting your will be stronger than your self-doubt.” I think I did okay. Life did give me its ups and downs, so there were times where my will was NOT stronger than my doubt. I fretted. I slacked off. I napped. Doing these things was okay because they were things I could do in my sphere of control to help me bounce back and be better towards the end of this month.

I tried to focus more during April. I tried to push my creativity a bit more, and boy howdy did that backlash. The Queen was NOT focused this month. She was present, and she allowed me some space to design some items and do some things. But she wanted me to shine in areas outside of writing and reading. So we compromised. I indulged her with fabrics, and she let me play in graphic design land. I didn’t do small steps daily. Instead, I waited until the last minute and got it all done. I hope to correct this in the days and months to come. For now, however, I’m going against my usual designs.

I miss our kitty, Imoen. She’s been gone for over a month now. Any cats or kitten images make me long for hearing her purr or prance around. Snow Leopard has helped shape my shelter-in-place awareness. My empathy has expanded to being aware of others and their situations. I am glad I don’t have kids while this is all going down, and I feel for my friends and their kids as they figure out new schedules and tricks to staying busy while going through all of this. We’ve hit a good balance of going out and staying in at home, so that’s some progress. I am SO ready to have some stable sense of ritual: daily, weekly, and monthly come back into play.

How are all you doing? Any news coming in from your corner of the world?


A Shadow Reading

The cover of the Dark Wood Tarot book by Sasha Graham and Abigal Larson.

Earlier today I hopped onto the good, ole video chat to gather in a circle with ladies from the Cascadia Tarot Society. We’re a bunch of cartomancers spread out across the Portland-metro area. We meet every month or so, around people’s houses. Today was the first time we’ve seen one another since the NorthWest Tarot Symposium. We chatted about how we were holding up over the week. Then, Janet Brayson gave us a fantastic two-card spread, which she learned from Monica Bodirsky.

Card one represents an aspect of our shadow side, something we need to learn during this time. Card two provides a solution to the first card. We ended up doing two pairs of readings—one for ourselves and one for the world. I used my copy of the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larson which Llewellyn sent out to me. This is my first reading with the deck and it was such a delight.

The 6 of Wands and Five of Pentacles from the Dark Wood tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larson.
The 6 of Wands and Five of Pentacles from the Dark Wood tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larson. Click to embiggen.

My shadow card reminds me to understand that I am greater than I am. I don’t always acknowledge and honor my achievements. I have done so much in my life. It’s time to bring the grand poo-bah into my self.

Providing a solution to my shadow is the Five of Pentacles. This card reminds me to use the resources I’ve stocked up to remove the scripts and stories that family and society installed in my heads. These resources include peer counseling and real counseling, using tarot to help stir my path and to acknowledge and honor the words my friends and fans tell me.

The 2 of Cups and Six of Swords from the Dark Wood tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larson.
The 2 of Cups and Six of Swords from the Dark Wood tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larson. Click to embiggen.

The collective’s shadow card is the Two of Cups. This pandemic is teaching us a big lesson in empathy. The world seems to have gotten a bit colder; we stopped leaning in and trusting one another. Now that we aren’t free to head out and connect in person with one another, we crave connections. This situation is bringing life and connectivity and heart to the forefront of our minds.

The solution to the collective’s shadow is the Six of Swords. We are crossing this sticky situation and heading out to calmer and better times ahead. We will use this time to understand what we want and where we want to end up ultimately. We will get through this.

Overall, a fun read and a fun gathering. Test out this reading and tell me what cards you got?


April 2020 Planning Spread

To recap, in 2020 I’m using these decks: The Sovereign Oracle, the mini Ceccoli Tarot, and the Animantras deck. I chose them because I wanted to play with mini decks this year. They give me a theme, a means to apply the theme, and a cute animal to act as the guide for the lesson. This whole spread sits on my desk where I can see it, work with the energies, and integrate them into my day.

Theme: Resolve
How: Queen of Wands
Helper: Snow Leopard (be sheltering)

April 2020 Planning Spread. Click to embiggen.

The theme for April is Resolve. I’m always curious as to how these monthly posts are going to manifest when I draw them back in January. I feel like this month’s draw nails what we’re all going through during this pandemic. Resolve is all about “letting your will be stronger than your self-doubt.” And this month, resolve is all we can do as we shelter-in-place and continue to isolate to keep healthy. The vibe I draw for resolve is akin to resilience and as such I feel the two go hand in hand. I want to build my capacity to bounce back from adversity. To keep hope alive and to not wallow in despair.

The Queen of Wands shows me how I will do this. She is my creative center, the motivator, and an orchestrator who helps me accomplish big items. While this is not the best time to focus on those big picture items, it IS a time to plan and set goals for the future. So I am moving slowly towards the new goals and projects. I fit small steps into each day to keep some momentum going while listening to the energetic cues my body send me.

My helper this month is Snow Leopard who has the message of Be Sheltered. Don’t think I didn’t laugh when I re-read the message and tied it back into what we’re all doing this month. hahah… very funny. Ah, divination. This stuff works, folks. Ahem. Snow leopard belongs to the heart chakra group of this deck, which is empathy and compassion for self and others. As snow leopards live in colder climates they know when to shelter away from the cold. It’s time to stay away from harm, and nestle in for the long haul. Which is what we’re doing, with the resources we gained from last month. So while the laws for staying at home continue on, I’ll be giving myself extra care, extra compassion— and it goes double for people I work with as well.


March 2020 Wrap-up

Welcome to March’s end of the month wrap-up series. In this post, we discover how the planning spread got implemented and where I ended up.

Theme: Resources
How: 6 of Wands
Helper: Unicorn (be unique)

March 2020 Planning Spread. Click to embiggen.

COVID-10 took this month into a tailspin for us all. Events canceled all across the board. Friends got sick with the virus (local and in the tarot community), and we are all eagerly waiting for the time when we can resume a “normal” schedule. At the beginning of the month, I discussed plans for using my resources to get me out and in the community more. As we can see between the last post and this one, my original ideas got paused.

Yes, I took stock of my resources. However, the types of resources I counted and purchased moved away from tarot and writing-related and more into personal survival items. I keep saying this and will repeat it, who knew we’d be in a global pandemic in 2020? Not me. I’ve been sheltered-in-place since the end of NWTS. My partner and I have gone out a few times for food and other supplies. The only time I leave home is to deal with health appointments like shots.

I had been making plans to visit metaphysical stores in the last half of 2002. To host classes, book signings, and tarot readings. All that is now on hold.

Instead, I found lots around the house to keep me motivated. These are the resources I’ve used to keep me motivated through the past weeks. I’m finishing online classes (slowly), writing articles and blog posts, and using zoom and other online tools to keep in touch with my friends. While I have a large backlog of books to read, it’s been hard for me to read. Instead, I’m listening to podcasts (tarot, writing, and folklore related) and watching gamers play stuff online. I may also get back into crocheting some tarot bags, which can be done quickly and while watching TV.

How are all you doing? I’ve been reaching out to friends on Facebook, Twitter, and texts.


A Message to My Friends

I’m not even sure what to write about current events. Who knew that in 2020 we’d be living in a pandemic? Not me. A lot of good things are coming from staying at home and being stuck inside.

Last Tuesday, Sasha Graham asked me and other members of the tarot community to create videos filled with messages of hope and how we’re surviving this time. This video contains my thoughts and rough ideas of how I’m dealing with all this. It’s okay to be scared. I am. It’s okay to do nothing (I’ve done a little bit off this list each day so far…). Stay safe, stay healthy, and please, stay inside.

All my love to the community, near and far. And to those who dealing with the virus, stay strong! We love you. We need you. We’re sending you all our love and energy.

Video composed on 24/MAR/2020. Thanks to Kendra for processing this message.

Hi everyone, I hope this video finds you healthy and safe indoors. Can you believe this is happening? Crazy, huh?

In any case, I wanted to let you all know that I am safe and inside my home here in Portland. And I want you all to be safe as well. My plan for surviving this time is 3-fold:

1. I’m listening to my body. I’m staying inside. With asthma and allergies, and the pollen going crazy outside, I can’t do daily runs or walks. So I’m doing other things. I nap. I meditate and I try and keep the house cleaned. It’s amazing how many calories get burned by doing some cleaning.

2. Keeping my mind active. I’m using this time to study up. I’m watching a lot of video classes on business or crafts. I’m writing new material: for books and articles. I’m keeping up with the podcast schedule. And I’m taking this time to delve deeper into my deck collection. I’m examining each deck, learning the strengths and weaknesses of each one, and trying to figure out how to integrate them into my personal and private practices. It’s fun and a good reminder of what I have in my collection.

3. Finally, I’m staying connected. I’m talking to friends. Whether it’s text chat or video chats on zoom, I’m trying to stay connected to my friends and neighbors. Staying home is fine but staying home and inside for an extended amount of time is rough on this extrovert. So I’m doing my best to connect with others.

I miss you all. Please take this seriously and stay safe. I look forward to seeing you all at the next gathering, whether it’s online or in person. Big hugs and feel free to reach out to me, I’m here to listen.