So I'm part of a monthly Journaling Group through SisterSpirit. SS is a local nonprofit whose focus is on providing safe space for women to practice their personal spirituality, with an emphasis on Paganism. And they offer a lot of donation-based monthly workshops.
So the one I'm personally most at home in is the Journaling Workshop. We usually have a set theme for so many months in a row, and then a new set theme. Our last theme was so amazing and powerful-- we journaled our way through the seven primary chakras. Now, we are creating our own Tarot decks. For me, these two topics have become entwined in a really wonderful way.
I find myself working more and more with the concepts of Chakra energies in the body. And while my special Tarot Deck, the Medicine Woman Cards, are truly a gift to work with... There are more symbols that hold various personal meanings to me. And I wanted to find a way to access those symbols as I do the messages in the Tarot. So I started by making lists of symbols I find important in my spiritual journey-- symbols found either in my reading and research into various existing sets of symbols (like the Trees or the Chakras), or in my personal life story.
And I promptly got very overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the list. Our world is FULL of meaningful symbology. So I decided to start with something simple and central. I decided to start with the Chakras. With the first Chakra-- Root Chakra. I made two cards that to me hold so much power and meaning that they have become precious and beautiful. Then I bogged down. And right about that time, SS Journaling took up the "make your own Tarot Deck" mission. I got inspired all over again. And I've done the preliminary work on any number of cards since then. I'm not done, either. There are a lot of workshops left to Journal my way through, and I'm staying open to inspiration as those meetings of spirit and pen emerge.
What I find is that the cards I've made that I am most drawn to-- their power and their intuitive meaning-- are the ones most specifically geared to my personal awareness of symbols in my life. For example, I find Universal Wisdom most clearly represented in two forms-- the Guide in the Forest, and the Wise Old Fish. And I've combined those two forms over a background of stars. I just love that card. I could spend a long time sitting and meditating on Universal Wisdom, with that card in my hand as a focal point.
There are other cards that hold a more general meaning-- the symbols are ones easily identified by more than just me. For example, I have an intricate glittery silver fabric, and inset over it is a moon with horns and wings. The Goddess, in a somewhat traditional form. Silver. The Moon. Wings. Cow Horns. And while I think it's important to have a Goddess card in my deck... I am not particularly drawn to the one I've created.
I may need to try again. To look with a more specific eye to my personal intuitive and internal representations of the concept of Goddess. A fiery mountain, a woman standing with her feet in the water, a lit candle, a windy night. A sense of Her strong will and Her power-- filtered by Her love for all living things, and the elements that are Her tools.
Maybe that would draw me to contemplation of deeper things like the fish and the trees. Maybe She is already sprinkled throughout other meaningful cards in my deck. The footprint in the ocean. The heart-shaped leaves on a bed of menstrual blood. The hearth fire of Hestia, the apple and the carafe of herbs, marked with a star for healing.
And with this energy and strength to CREATE flowing through me so strongly, it is harder still to buckle down to my work of applying for mundane paying day jobs. Jobs I need in order to keep body and soul together. Sigh. It is so tempting to live fully in the light of Spirit, and forget the shadow of the Mountain in whose caves grain must be stored for the winter.
In fact, I've tapped so strongly into my creative strength of late that I dream of being pregnant. Of creating something vital and dependent on me for its health and well-being in the world-- something physical and precious. An embodiment of what I have to give the world that is good. But the day job has not emerged, even while the life work has been clear for months. And so I dream over and over of being pregnant, and of lacking the resources and the strength to take charge of my (and my baby's) destiny.
In every dream, I am never the one who drives my car. I am too busy trying to make safe spaces in the car for the baby that represents my pregnant potential, and for any other living being in the car who is dependent on me for their safety-- and I lose my chance to be the one driving and determining where we will all end up. Me and my creativity and my life work. Maybe it is time I trust it to take care of itself, while I take charge of my own car, and drive directly and sturdily to where I really want to go. I'm tired of being forced (by my fear of failure to birth/protect this wondrous thing I hold inside) to take a back seat in my own life.