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August 2019 Planning Spread

To recap, in 2019 I’m using these decks: Awakened Soul Oracle, the Luminous Tarot, and Mudras for Awakening: The Energy Body Deck. I chose them because they fit in with the idea of giving me a theme, a means to apply the theme, and a physical hand position to guide me into the lesson. This last card sits at my desk and helps remind me of my goals and gives me support when I need it.

Theme: Surrender
How: The Hierophant
Helper: 36. Higher Knowledge

August 2019 Planning Spread.

The theme for August is Surrender. This card asks me to loosen my grip and allow flow into my life and projects. Ethony says, “Surrender is allowing yourself to be totally present in the moment. To be open to feeling powerful emotions, to being in awe of the majesty and magic around you.” Acceptance of the self in the present moment is also a key aspect to the work of surrender. With this year being the year I work on the element of Self-love, it only makes sense that I allow myself to surrender into my body, the world around me, and accept the gifts I have and what others see in me.

The Hierophant becomes my guide in this month’s theme. I liken the Hierophant as a spiritual teacher, one who shows us the path and helps us uncover the mysteries of the world. A student surrenders their opinions to the teacher to gain insight and that’s how I see this card helping me with Surrender work. I’ll loosen my grip on what I know, return to a beginner’s mind, and allow the world, my friends, and the messages from spirit teach me how to be more accepting of life.

The mudra I’ll be using this month is Higher Knowledge. This position is good for meditation, concentration, and wisdom. Letting go and allowing one to relax in the flow of things isn’t easy. It takes concentration and insight. This mudra will help me during meditation sessions to let go and be present with the moment. From the messages I receive from various guided mediations, I can see what surrendering can do to change me. I’ll also incorporate this mudra into my morning and evening rituals.

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July 2019 Planning Spread

To recap, in 2019 I’m using these decks: Awakened Soul Oracle, the Luminous Tarot, and Mudras for Awakening: The Energy Body Deck. I chose them because they fit in with the idea of giving me a theme, a means to apply the theme, and a physical hand position to guide me into the lesson. This last card sits at my desk and helps remind me of my goals and gives me support when I need it.

Theme: Family
How: 9 of Wands
Helper: 10. Fearlessness

July 2019 Planning Spread

July is here and I’m being asked to contemplate the concept of Family. This is a hard concept for me to deal with due to my past. Needless to say, I do have a close knit of people I do consider family. This month, Ethony says, “you are being asked to see things, situations and people with unconditional love.” She suggests this would be a good time to let those in my family know I love them and to thank them for being there. It also would be a good time to connect with my ancestors. I am adopted and don’t know my blood ancestors…however, I have been playing with tarot and ways to understand what my lineage could be telling me through my blood. Guess I have my marching orders this month. 

The 9 of Wands reminds me that while this work is deep, hard, and will stir up many hornets nests, it is also a good endeavor to do and I shouldn’t give up. I may feel beat up and wounded; but I have the stamina and resilience to see this theme through to the end. In this image we have a figure kneeling down and holding onto a trunk of a nearby tree. Trunks are the most stable part of a tree, they are rigid and they anchor the tree to the ground. The person has found a strong way to keep their balance, to stay standing despite being tired. I need to remember who I can rely on as my trunks and lean on them as I process the thoughts around family.

This month’s mudra is Fearlessness. I find it oddly comforting to see this gesture arrive for the work this month. Facing hard concepts takes a lot of courage and fearlessness is a perfect companion. It aids in bringing safety and steadfastness. Two items I’ll need as I work through my ideas of Family. Once again, I will attempt to incorporate this mudra in my morning and evening rituals.

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June 2019 Planning Spread

To recap, in 2019 I’m using these decks: Awakened Soul Oracle, the Luminous Tarot, and Mudras for Awakening: The Energy Body Deck. I chose them because they fit in with the idea of giving me a theme, a means to apply the theme, and a physical hand position to guide me into the lesson. This last card sits at my desk and helps remind me of my goals and gives me support when I need it.

Theme: Dream
How: Queen of Cups
Helper: 30. Breath

June 2019 Planning Spread.

Dream is the name of the game this month. In the booklet Ethony says, “Pay attention to your dreams. Tap into your intuition daily, to practice and stretch those psychic muscles.” She also recommends to find places, people, and experiences which inspire. Sounds like a good deal for me. Now we’re halfway through the year, it’s time to daydream and let my mind wander and be inspired. With the weather getting warmer in PDX, it’s the perfect time to take hikes and continue exploring the amazing pacific northwest. My land inspires me. It’s like living in a forest retreat year around.

The Queen of Cups is a perfect companion to the dream-like state this month. She’s all water, so she’s overflowing with emotions and connections. Some say she’s the perfect court card to tap into psychic visions and dreams. As long as she doesn’t allow the flow to overwhelm her, she’ll be a wonderful dreaming companion. I’ll use her to tap into my dreams, to explore the rich inner landscape of my mind and see what’s developing there. 

The mudra for June is Breath. This position helps create boundaries and ease tension. I hold a lot of tension in my body, especially when I’m working. So, I can see myself using this mudra to frame the space before dreamtime, to create a boundary and ease the tension in my body to inspire quality dreams. It’ll help remind me to breathe more often and deeper (as an asthmatic, I tend to inhale shallow and am prone to holding my breath). An added bonus to this mudra is that it’ll help allergies and nasal congestion. Once again, I will attempt to incorporate this mudra in my morning and evening rituals.

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2019 Readers Studio Wrapup

I’m at a write-in at a West Massachusetts library attempting to put all the things we did this weekend into words. These write ups seem hard to process, especially when it feels like the event isn’t over. I won’t really feel reintegrated into “normal” reality until May 6, when I board a plane back home to Portland, OR.

Official poster for Readers Studio 2019. Art by Callie French.

Another successful Readers Studio has come and gone and I sit in the liminal space which comes with having a most wonderful time. This year’s conference was transformational for me on so many levels. 

I reconnected to my tribe on a deeper level. I opened myself up to many individuals and went very deep. Told them about the various changes in my life, why I left Facebook (and may return with limiting plugins), and where I want to go next in my work. I had a wonderful talk with someone I want to continue chatting with on the conference off-seasons. My best friend and I have grown closer due to some of our discussions. I even connected to a new member of our Readers Studio family.  I feel a renewed sense of belonging.

The material presented in both Divination Day (Thursday’s pre-studio conference) and in the Readers Studio classes gave me information which I will be putting into my practice immediately. I feel like I have leveled up with some skills, and can grow my practice in ways I didn’t think about.

A collage of all the instructors from the classes I took. This includes Divination Day, Readers Studio proper, a study group, and an incubator.
A collage of all the instructors from the classes I took. This includes Divination Day, Readers Studio proper, a study group, and an incubator.

Readers Studio classes tend to lie between giving new techniques or having an experience. I felt this year brought a lovely mix of both. Ethony Dawn shared her 13 divination muses with us. A wonderful system, which I will bring to my practice immediately. George Koury showed us just how deep a 3-card reading could be with his “Peter Pan” spread. And Sasha Graham brought us deep into the fertile ground with magic and transformation drawn from a single card’s imagery. Really powerful stuff. Their experiences and knowledge transformed me to my core and I feel ready to tackle on the new challenges and changes life brings.

My RS 2019 loot. Four books, three crystals, and a lovely purification spray.

I didn’t plan on buying goodies from the vendors this year. However, the stones have been calling me and I purchased a labradorite stone and a selenite wand, both to integrate in my tarot travels. I bought Paula Scardamalia’s wonderful Fiction for Tarot Writers, and got it signed. I received a copy of Ethony’s Your Tarot Court, which is out this month! She honored me by using examples from the Triple Goddess Tarot. Liz Worth, handed me a copy of her latest book, The Power of Tarot, which covers topics we normally don’t think about in our practices. Last, and definitely not least, Lisa Freinkel Tishman gifted me with a copy of her Mindful Tarot, a book I’ve been chomping at the bit to get. So, for once I will be leaving with more printed books than ever. I look forward to spending time with all my new treasures and seeing what information they offer me. Oh, and I also won a wonderful raffle prize: a Purifying Spray from crones and stones. It’s been a helpful companion as I reintegrate.

As I stated above, I’m not back in my “reality” yet. I’m hanging with my friend Carolyn Cushing, who has opened up her house, her town, and her practice for me this week. We’re doing a poetry oracle event, I’ll be teaching Pop Culture Tarot with the Mass. Tarot group on Saturday, and then we cohost a tarot and writing retreat on Sunday. I look forward to the experiences this week brings to me.

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May 2019 Planning Spread

To recap, in 2019 I’m using these decks: Awakened Soul Oracle, the Luminous Tarot, and Mudras for Awakening: The Energy Body Deck. I chose them because they fit in with the idea of giving me a theme, a means to apply the theme, and a physical hand position to guide me into the lesson. This last card sits at my desk and helps remind me of my goals and gives me support when I need it.

Theme: Silence
How: 6 of Pentacles
Helper: 31. Inner Truth

May 2019 Planning Spread.

Ah, May… the time of the year in which most of my conferences end. It seems fitting to see Silence as a theme for this month. I’ve spent a lot of time in the past months talking, promoting, and sharing ideas. This month, I’m being called to still the sounds, and listen. Listen to my body, listen to my mind, listen to the world and what others have to offer. Ethony says, “I know when silence is all that is needed” and I agree. Let the words and sounds of what is around me guide me this month.

Showing me how to still my mouth is the 6 of Pentacles. I’ve always liked the balance this card brings. Reciprocity, or balanced give and take is the key of this card. I’ll reset the balance of noise by stilling my own voice and allowing others a chance to speak and be heard. I love how the image in this card seems to radiate out from a figure’s mouth. I’ll honor the spheres of sound around me and let the reflection teach and guide me.

The mudra for this month is Inner Truth. It’s form assists in communication and integrity. It also benefits the vocal cords by bringing them balance. I see this mudra being an important one for this month as I attempt to bring silence into my world. I envision myself using the mudra as I sit and witness the words of others. I hold space for others and allow their voice to shine. Once again, I will attempt to incorporate this hand position in my morning and evening rituals.