Almost October

The Autumn Wind is blowing, whooshing through dry leaves, and stirring up the dust. It is a warm wind tonight, strange for almost-October. It is a relief from the unmoving oppression of the summer sun that we continue to experience during the day.

I recently read Tarot for a good friend, someone who speaks the Pagan language of Earth and Energy and Elements and Change. She told me that the "homework" I had given her-- just hearing about the ceremony I described for her to do-- it had shifted the energy in her body. It had created the opportunity for the healing of a wound that she's slowly cleaned of all it's filth over the course of many decades. She was exhausted. She was excited. She was surprised that the ceremony I described, and the pieces of it that I suggested for her to perform or work into the whole, fit so perfectly her need.

It was a gift, her description. I give all of my Tarot clients "homework." It is always unique to them and their personal path to healing and positive change. It is always about moving energy and about communication and intentional connection-- with a partner, with our own bodies, with our feelings or fears, even with ancestors or animals. I hadn't thought too closely about these "homework assignments" other than to know that if the person could find the energy and the courage to do these things, however small they might be, a shift would occur.

Sometimes the work is as simple as picking a special scented candle, and lighting it for five minutes every night, at a time when that person knew she was safe. The bigger goal was to help her associate that smell with safety, so that she could eventually use that scent as a tool for managing her panic attacks. The first step was becoming conscious of the times that she did feel safe. Learning to recognize the good feelings, and finding a positive trigger to balance out the many negative triggers she holds in her subconscious.

Sometimes the work is harder. Asking the person you love to give you what you need. Just something small-- a hug, or to be left alone-- one thing every night, for a week. Learning that it is okay to ask. That it is okay to receive. That love is a two-way street, and being able to give is in equal importance to being able to receive. Or watching for the tell-tale gut-clench that always happens when you feel helpless and out of control. Learning to identify that physical feeling so that you can stop, and recognize the emotions underneath.

Or even intentionally giving up control of a project or activity to someone who may not do the job you would do on it, but will free you up to do other more important jobs. Yes, you could make that call and get the exact info you need in ten minutes. Yes, it'll take five to tell your assistant what you need, and it'll take her another 20 to get all the information-- 30 minutes of work for the ten minutes it'll take if you do it yourself. But that 30 minutes of work mean she can do the same thing for you in ten minutes next time around-- and you have five free minutes to spend somewhere else on your over-crowded work schedule.

Anyway, having these "homework assignments" explained as ceremonies that shift embodied energy was a really affirming thing. It clarified and increased the way that I value and offer these projects for my clients. It added to my resume. I offer personally tailored ceremonies to shift my clients' embodied energy into alignment with their higher purpose or goal. I offer opportunities to create space for the best self to develop. Truly, I offer healing when I Read Tarot, and my empathic listening skills are a central key to my work.

I thank the Goddess who set me on this path for the gift I now wield of embodying connection between injury and healing, between desperation and intention, self-exploration and universal knowledge. Wisdom and Intuition. Isolation and Acceptance. Loss and Love. Living and Growing/Changing/Improving.

May my blessings continue in the winter, and the new year that follows the old.
May my words and understandings continue to heal.
May all that is needed be known.


Hearth Friends

When we were little (especially if we were little in the '50's), we often immortalized our friendships by carving everybody's initials with a heart between-- S.B. -heart- R.O. or I heart Johnny, for example. It was a way of saying we loved someone-- they were a friend of our hearts. It was a hope that we would always have that loving connection in our life.

I have just returned from a Fall Festival. I went there with a friend, I came back from there with many friends. Friends of my heart. It was a very intense event, and yet also very restful. I learned so much from the experiences that others shared with me while I was there-- and I was also able to facilitate the learning of others. My favorite times were sitting at my booth, working through some big self-realizations with a Tarot client... and the evening bonfires.

For me, those bonfires were a gathering of family around the sacred fire-- the hearth fire that represents both home and safety, blessings given and received. We beat drums, we danced, and we cemented friendships new and old. These were our offerings around the hearth altar of our sacred gathering. These were the times of true community.

Our blood relatives and our "parents" are often chosen by biology or by someone else's decisions about marriage or responsibility. As children, we rarely have the opportunity to choose our family. Many of us are lucky. We have a parent, or maybe two, who really love us and wish the best for us and work hard to help us grow. Many of us cope instead with adults who hurt us, or who are hurt. As we mature, regardless of what came before, we learn to find folks we can trust outside of our original family.

Often, these people begin as friends, and then we realize that our bond is deeper than mere friendship. We share a connection that is truly special, truly magical. These people become our chosen family-- our "spiritual family," if you will. The folks who love us and who we love as if they have always been a part of our lives, as if they always will be. Understanding that we can create a support network that is stronger (and often stranger) than the family we were born into brings a special kind of freedom with it. Particularly when this is a community in which we can truly be ourselves-- fully reveling in the release of our unique and healing energy into the universe. A community of individuals. A community of acceptance.

I deeply enjoyed the friendships and experiences of this past Festival weekend. I look forward to our next meeting, whether at an organized retreat or at a local coffee shop. And I know that just because I don't hear from someone I really felt a moment of connection with-- it doesn't mean that I can't appreciate what that moment held. The time I spend with this special community-- with these friends-- is carved into my heart. Each meeting is a gift, and all the distance in between visits can never take that gift away from me.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again.