Ways inside

Divine Guidance, Tarot, Uncategorized, Women's Circle

Cards from the Lumina Tarot and Animal Kin oracle posted to Facebook and Instagram

Why do I use tarot and oracle cards? When I got my first deck in college (thanks sis!) I pulled cards when I was troubled, feeling scared and blue. I wanted an “outside” source to guide me, to help put me on the right track. Even though the first tarot book I got was called “Tarot, Mirror to the Soul,” I really didn’t understand that the cards are not an outside guide but really a way to connect inside – to connect with my inner knowing.

This message was brought home to me this week through a Facebook comment. This month, my 50th birthday month, I decided to post cards daily on Facebook and Instagram (I’d love to connect with you there). I’m pulling from the Lumina Tarot and the Animal Kin Oracle simply because they are beautiful decks that I haven’t used very much. I posted the above cards a few days ago with this message: Day 12: the message is to connect deeply to Spirit, it’s the only thing that will help right now. Also have patience. That is all. One of my friends commented that she found the message helpful but that tarot is so not her thing. The comment made me think about why tarot is my thing, and here’s what I found.

Time to assert your spiritual authority

I believe with all of my being that each one of us holds our own answers inside, that each of us is capable of being our own spiritual authority. And I’m passionate about anything that helps people (me included) connect inside, with our own inner wisdom and knowing. Tarot and oracle cards help me do this, so do intuitive painting, dance, meditation, walking in nature, burning sage and incense, and drumming. Oh goodness, the list can go on and on (journaling, chanting, walking a labyrinth, connecting with animals …). Pulling a card from a deck of cards is easy, portable, and quick – you don’t have to have a book, or know anything about it. Simply look at the card, what is happening? How does it make you feel? What pops into your mind? Simple, right? And not always easy. We aren’t used to listening to the whispers of our hearts, to our gut feelings, to the voice of the Divine as it speaks to us.

Open up to the Divine and the messages from your own heart.

So it’s a practice, one that may take some patience and perseverance. I find it really helps to draw a card regularly (try once a day! Do it with me!) When we practice, our ability to open up to our own inner wise selves expands and the process becomes easier and easier.  Does this mean that it takes years to be able to do this for yourself? Absolutely not! Spirit wants us to succeed. Often with the very first card a lightbulb goes on and we say “Ahh, I get it!”


Circling with women is an incredibly important way for me to connect with my inner knowing and share my truth with others who are also on a spiritual path. I’ve gotten so much out of Vanessa Sage’s Priestess trainings, and I’m now a guest teacher in her upcoming Priestess Certification Program. The program begins on May 26th, and on May 25th there is a free circle so you can experience the magic – click here to join us on May 25th!

Change and Compassion

Compassion, divine feminine, Divine Guidance, Oracle Cards

change-is-here-blossom

I’ve been feeling some of the mid-winter blahs this week. It’s been raining buckets here in Northern California, I’ve been worried about the political situation, and my daughter’s in full blown puberty – so it all feels kinda heavy. Do you ever feel this way? I know that part of the challenge for me is that change is happening, big BIG changes! And I automatically resist change, it’s a habit that I’m working on. I read a great article about change that resonated with me. It points out that it’s basic human nature to resist change, and to be pretty stubborn about it too!

Compassion and Healing cards from the Sassy She Oracle

Compassion and Healing cards from the Sassy She Oracle

As you may have guessed from my last post, I turn to the Divine Feminine in all of her forms to guide me, especially when I hit rough patches. This week I used the Sassy She Oracle cards and asked the question: What can help me through this moment? The cards Compassion and Healing came through – I love the vibrant and sensual energy from these cards. The Healing card made me want to go and stand under a tropical waterfall. As that wasn’t happening anytime soon, I went and took a long hot shower and imagined the water was imbued with divine healing powers (who says it’s not?). Afterwards I stood with my feet planted firmly on the ground, held my hands at my heart, and directed love and compassion for myself into my heart. These actions definitely helped!

The Kuan Yin Compassion card from The Goddess Oracle

The Kuan Yin Compassion card from The Goddess Oracle

Later that evening with some friends I pulled a card from The Goddess Oracle, another Divine Feminine deck I love, and again Compassion was the word. This time Compassion came in the form of Kuan Yin, and She had me pause and really pay attention. I had the sense that this was about me, that I needed to give myself more compassion, and that this was also about the world around me. The message from this card is that I needed to open up and feel all of my feelings, and not try to sweep them away. This resulted in some tears, and also some healing. The cards from the Sassy She Oracle took on new resonance, the tears were another form of water cleansing my soul. I felt so much lighter afterwards, the heaviness was lifted. It’s often the resistance to what is (that stubborn resistance to change) that feels like a heavy weight.

I’m feeling that compassion may be the key to moving through this stressful time in our world – beginning with ourselves. How loving and compassionate and accepting and understanding can we be with ourselves? What would life be like when we move through our feelings instead of resisting them. Can you treat yourself as you would your most beloved friend? Can you accept your perfectly imperfect self? I truly believe that it is from this place that compassion can radiate outwards and be a healing force in the world.

 

Pull Pen Paint class

Pull Pen Paint class

I’d love to work with you and help you tap into the energy of the Divine Feminine! One way to get a taste of this is through the upcoming e-course Pull Pen Paint. I am a guest teacher and will be holding a live circle connecting in with the Divine Feminine energy that is here for each of us. It’s going to be a really fun, deep, and transformative class. I hope you will join us! Click here for more information.

 

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I would love to be connected with you through my newsletter! You would get information about periodic live circles I host, as well as my e-book about how I use tarot and oracle cards called Wild Adventures Through the Decks. Click here to subscribe!

Intuition Rocks!

Art, art journal, creativity, Intuition, journaling, Tarot

 

Playing with the Connected and Free Oracle deck to connect with my intuition

Playing with the Connected and Free Oracle deck to connect with my intuition

A few years ago I was talking to a prospective client about how I work with people. She was wanting to “go with her gut” more often in her life, she noticed that her gut was always right but she more often went with her head instead. I told her that I look at our gut, or intuition, as a muscle – the more we use it and follow it the stronger it becomes. She then said “what you offer is like pilates for our gut-intuition!” I still laugh at that analogy (having never done pilates!), and I will never forget it!

One of the easiest and most fun ways for me to connect with my intuition, that wise voice inside of me, is to play with tarot and oracle cards. Sometimes it’s a five minute process of simply pulling a card and letting its message filter through me during my day. Other days I create more of a ritual around it; I may journal about the card and even use the card as inspiration in my art. In this post I thought I would take you through my ritual from lighting a candle to a finished art journal spread inspired by the card.  I’ll be bringing you along on my own little intuitive journey in the hopes that you will also see that intuition rocks!

  1. 2017-02-08-12-22-46

    Creating ritual with my tea, candle, palo santo, journal and the Dark Goddess Tarot

    The set up – I will be guest teaching about the Divine Feminine in Pull Pen Paint, an online course that begins in a couple of weeks, so I’ve been using my goddess-themed oracle and tarot decks a lot lately. I love the energy of the Divine Feminine in all of its permutations! I chose the Dark Goddess Tarot by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince (now available as an app) on this day. I made sure I had my cup of tea, journal, and candle all ready. I burned a bit of palo santo to begin – I use this to cleanse the energy in my space and to breathe deeply and settle my thoughts. I also love the way it smells. Creating a little ritual and calming the mind help me to hear the inner voice of my intuition. I usually say a little prayer or intention – Help me learn what I need to know right now for my highest good.

2.  Pulling a card – I usually just shuffle and let the card choose me (it 2017-02-08-12-28-06-1almost always falls out of the deck and that’s the one I use). People have lots of ways they like to choose a card, and all of them are good. You can fan them out and choose one, or shuffle and choose the top card (or bottom or from the middle). This is your practice, you get to make the rules.

I got the Priestess card, it’s one of the 22 Major Arcana cards in a tarot deck. It’s also the card most associated with intuition. Whenever I get a major arcana card it’s a sign to pay extra attention. Before I read the book I like to spend a few moments looking at the card and writing down my first impressions. I ask myself: what is the energy of this card? How does it make me feel? What do the images on the card mean to me? Here’s what I wrote: “calm, quiet meditation, looking into her bowl, looking into herself. Dark violets and blues – the Mystery. Surrounded by the serpent – wisdom, knowledge, divine feminine.”

3. Making meaning – After doing a bit of journaling I then look at the book to glean more information. I was struck in reading about The Pythia (the goddess associated with The Priestess card in this deck), that the name refers to a sisterhood and not a single woman/goddess. I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of the groups of women that I belong to and the unique healing that comes from being loved and accepted in a group. I’ve also been thinking about creating an online group of women to go deeply into goddess energies and archetypes, and this card feels connected with that. I knew I’d be writing this post about intuition and cards before I picked the card, so I was a bit blown away to get the major intuition card in the deck. Here’s a quote from the book: “Believe in your own intuition. You know more than you can explain, so do not let wordlessness get in the way of knowledge. Recognize knowledge may arise through any avenue of your being.”

After I wrote some more, I went later that day to my women’s Transdance circle led by Heather Munro Pierce. We’ve been dancing the chakras, and this week we danced the 6th Chakra – the third eye. Of course, this is the center of intuition, inner vision, inner knowing – all of the things I was journaling about with my card. Even this chakra’s colors are the same, indigos and deep blues.

Laying down some color in my art journal

Laying down some color in my art journal

4. Making art – I pulled out my altered book art journal (that I made with this amazing woman) and began laying down some color with acrylic paint and pearlescent acrylic ink. I had roughly gessoed the page ahead of time and you can see how that made the grey/blue color all uneven – which I really like. I used the colors and images on the card as a starting point, and then I worked intuitively finding images and using colors that spoke to me.

Materials include: journal/altered book, gesso, Golden Fluid acrylics, Daler Rowney FW pearlescent acrylic ink, magazine and book images, Stabilo All pencil, Stencil Girl Stencils, Paper Artsy paints, Uniball white pen, Seth Apter stamps, stamps of unknown origin.

My page with images and words collaged onto it with glue.

My page with images and words collaged onto it with glue.

After adding more colors, stenciling, stamping, some marks, and a border with more acrylic ink my page is done.

After adding more colors, stenciling, stamping, some marks, and a border with more acrylic ink my page is done.

A closer look, I love this weird witchy tree woman

A closer look, I love this weird witchy tree woman

A close up of the word Transform over the swan

A close up of the word Transform over the swan

What I loved about this intuitive process of working in my art journal is that I could really play with image and color and shape. Yes, I am showing this page to you, but really it’s for me. It has brought me deeper into the messages from this card and what my intuition wants me to know.  One of the messages is about my transformation into becoming my own oracle and that my intuition is the perfect guide. I truly did not plan this card, it literally jumped out of the deck as I was shuffling, and it is really so crazy perfect – perfect for this post and perfect for my life right now. Do you see what I mean now? Intuition Rocks!!

Interested in going deeper with the cards, journaling and art with me

Pull Pen Paint class

Pull Pen Paint class

and a host of other awesome teachers? Join us in Pull Pen Paint, it begins February 26th: http://bit.ly/2artjournaltarot

 

I’m giving away a free spot in Pull Pen Paint for those on my newsletter list. Sign up for my newsletter here for a chance to win! You will also receive my tarot and oracle deck primer – Wild Adventures Through the Cards.

Coming back to center in a f’d up world

center, self-care, Uncategorized
Connecting to my center with tarot and oracle cards

Connecting to my center with tarot and oracle cards

This post is about the dance of losing my center, and coming back, losing it, and coming back again. I don’t believe it’s possible to stay in our center, not now and maybe not ever. Just one glimpse of social media and the frenzy around our political situation right now throws me right into fear and anxiety. One tense parenting moment (and with an adolescent there are plenty) or one financial discussion with my husband and there I go again. (Makes sense why Pause was my word of 2016, right?!)

My practice is now to recognize this uncentered and off-kilter state, to hold myself in compassion for being there, and then to do what I need to do to reconnect with my center – that wise place inside of me. Simple, but not easy!

Why do this? What’s so important about being centered? For me, being centered means that the chatter of my mind is quieted down and I can hear the wisdom of my inner knowing. This centered place helps me respond, instead of reacting, to what life throws my way. In this place, fear is not in charge, and anxiety takes a back seat. From here I can parent from a place of love and listening, and move forward in my life in a calm and grounded way.

How do we notice we are off of center, that we are caught up in the craziness of the outside world? There might be physical symptoms – breathing is shallow, tension builds up in the neck and shoulders – or I may not feel connected with my body at all. My thoughts might be racing, the mantra of “do it, fix it, control it” rushing through my brain. Anxiety is high, and I feel as if time has sped up. I feel like my daughter’s hamster running around his wheel. My practices help me notice when all of this is going on, which is the first step to slowing down.  Having regular places to stop and go inside myself during the week help me monitor when I’m caught up in frenzy and worry. And through those practices I am able to stop the hamster wheel and begin to come back to my breath, my body, and being present here and now.

Here are some of my practices:

  1. Pull a card and journal.
    My daily practice with tarot and oracle cards

    My daily practice with tarot and oracle cards

    You knew I would start here, didn’t you? Taking a few minutes to light a candle, sometimes burn sage or palo santo, breathe deeply and pull a card is a very grounding practice for me. It helps me to slow down, feel my feet on the ground, and then listen in for divine guidance. Spending a few minutes writing in my journal allows me to receive the messages I need to hear.

2.  Play with art supplies! 

Playing with stencils on a piece of scrap copy paper

Playing with stencils on a piece of scrap copy paper

This one is so fun and connects me to my imagination and creativity. The emphasis here is on PLAY. Play and fun are essential to plug into that wellspring of joy that always resides within us. When I am off center it can be tough to dive into play and creativity. In those moments I purposely take a piece of old cardboard, scrap paper or junk mail and use that as my surface for creating. What supplies will I use? Anything I have at hand, I love to cut up an old magazine and slap pieces down with a glue stick. Or I’ll take some stencils and go to town with different colors of paint. Really anything goes, and it really helps me slow down my thoughts and connect with myself. This really works best if I have no agenda for what I’m working on and no plan for it afterwards.

3. Meditation. Now I know that this is a tricky one for a lot of people. Many have told me that it just doesn’t work for them. Yeah, I get it, we’re supposed to be all relaxed and our minds are supposed to be quiet and most of the time they aren’t. Meditation really clicked for me after reading Jack Kornfield’s books “A Path With Heart” and “After the Ecstasy the Laundry.” I got it that the practice of meditation is noticing how busy our minds are and then coming back to the breath, noticing thoughts and coming back to the breath again. Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes excruciatingly challenging. I’ve found though that it’s always worth it and it brings me back to my center and my heart. For those who want to try it and are not sure where to begin, I recommend the app Insight Timer. Not only does it have a handy timer, there are also hundreds of guided meditations available which are helpful for busy minds.

The beauty of nature brings me back to my center

The beauty of nature brings me back to my center

4. Be in nature! This is a big one for me. Every time I can spend some time with redwoods, or gaze out at the ocean I feel the hamster wheel of my mind begin to slow down. Mother Earth is our greatest healer, and I do feel her healing essence when I give myself the time and space to tap into it.

5. Connecting with others in a class or circle. Sometimes we need help,

Connecting in with my fiery broken open heart at Chris Zydel's studio

Connecting in with my fiery broken open heart at Chris Zydel’s studio

sometimes we are so knocked off course that meditating or painting or pulling a card is not enough. I paint regularly at Chris Zydel’s studio. This practice helps me go deeper into myself for connecting and healing, and I am able to do this because of the container of safety that Chris creates. I also dance with a circle of women lead by Heather Munro Pierce. The work I do with Chris and Heather, and with other coaches and therapists and healers throughout my life, is not work I do alone. The power of the circle of women and of the wise guide who holds the space with love and safety is deep medicine. This is also what I do for my clients, hold the space with love and compassion so that they can connect with their inner guidance.

Now more than ever our practices for connecting with our own inner wisdom are essential. For those interested in jumpstarting their own practices to support themselves in moving through these challenging times, there is a wonderful month-long class by Kiala Givehand coming up called Pull Pen Paint.  I will be a guest teacher and will hold a sacred circle for one of the live sessions. The circle will be a beautiful dive into the divine feminine with tarot and oracle cards. I think the best thing about this class is that you will leave with a practice to help connect you with your center: pulling a card, journaling, and creating art. It’s also going to be so much fun!

Pull Pen Paint class

Pull Pen Paint class

I would love to hear from you, what are some of your practices? What helps you get back to your center?  I will be giving away a free spot to Pull Pen Paint later in February to my newsletter subscribers so make sure you are signed up if you are interested. Click here to sign up!

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Word of the Year – oh sh*t!

Art, word of the year

My word of the year has chosen me, and it’s a doozy – the kind of word that had me saying “really?!” “Oh shit!” and “here we go again!” You see, when a word of the year chooses me, it’s usually to push me in a direction of growth (ahem, big crazy challenges). Because really, for me, change is challenging, and also wonderful and necessary. So I have a love/hate relationship with my word of the year, and I’m always grateful (eventually).

2015:

My 2015 Word of the Year - Design by Jo Klima of The Darling Tree

My 2015 Word of the Year – Design by Jo Klima of The Darling Tree

This was the first time I chose a Word of the Year, and I thought it was relatively innocuous, but good. It sounded virtuous – I want to listen more to others. Once I committed to it, however, the Divine took hold and said “now you have to listen to ME, and your BODY, and your own INNER GUIDANCE.” Well crap, that’s a whole lot harder than what I had in mind. This word took me on a journey, helped me to dive into tarot and oracle cards more fully, pushed me to develop my meditation practice (and other woo-woo things) – all in the service of learning to listen deeply. As someone who had fought all things woo-woo for many years (12 years in academic/research psychology), this word turned out to be WAY more challenging than I anticipated. Of course this challenging word has led me down a path that has been the truest and most authentic of my life so far. So there’s that.

2016:

2016 Word of the Year - Pause

2016 Word of the Year – Pause

Ah, a simple one, right? Pause to stop and appreciate beauty all around you. Pause before committing yourself to too many things to avoid burnout. Pause so you can respond thoughtfully instead of (over)reacting – a parenting practice I aspire to. Mmm, so nice and zen, so mindful! As usual simple is not necessarily easy. Pause turned out to be one huge freaking pause in so many unexpected ways – menopause, pause the business completely for health reasons – actually pause just about everything for health reasons. 2016 was the year that my body finally told me – well you really didn’t learn the lesson of listening to me in 2015, you keep pushing me beyond what’s good for me, so I’m gonna make you listen to me now. (See how that sneaky word “listen” from 2015 just came along for 2016 too?)

Here’s where I’m supposed to tell you about all of the gifts of this pause year: how I developed a deeper and more intimate relationship with my own body (true), how pause helped me with my boundaries and my energy level (also true). But the coolest thing about my pause year was that I got off of my computer and did art. I feel my artist self blossoming and emerging in ways I never expected.

Lots more intuitive painting (even began Teacher Training with Chris Zydel!): intuitive-painting-collage

Participated in a postcard swap and a 52 card deck swap (twice!):

swaps-collage

Even started art journaling!

art-journaling-collage-3

Now it’s 2017 and my word of the year is:  surrender.  Yikes! For me this is a big deal because I really like the feeling of being in control (no, really, I LOVE it). Surrender feels like the opposite of control which is why I resisted it when it popped into my head on New Year’s Day. I have no illusions, like I did for 2015 and 2016, that this word will be easy or fun or enjoyable. Here’s the interesting thing though – it could be easy, fun and enjoyable if I get out of my own way. What might it be like to surrender to what truly is happening instead of trying to bend things to my own will (or to some version of how I think things “should” be?) What would it be like to float along down the river with the current instead of always trying to swim upstream? I guess that 2017 is the year I will be trying that out. Wish me luck!

What’s your word of the year and how do you feel about it? I’d love to know!

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Get your art on!

Art, creativity, Inspiration

 

Creating cards for a loved one helped heal me

Creating cards for a loved one helped heal me

I’ve been pretty silent here on the blog and in other venues.  I’ve been dealing with some ongoing health issues, and it’s been challenging to blog through this time.  As I’ve taken this time out to rest and heal, one thing has kept some of my spark alive and that is playing with art.  Art has sustained me, kept my spirits up, and given me many moments of pure pleasure.  Now that I’m beginning to feel more myself again, I thought I’d share with you some of the wonderful offerings out there by women I love who have inspired and sustained me (in case you are also in need of some healing, some pleasure, some arty play).

Spider made her way into one of my recent paintings in Chris Zydel's intuitive painting session

Spider made her way into one of my recent paintings in Chris Zydel’s intuitive painting session

  1. If you’ve read other of my blog posts (check them out here and here), you know how much I adore Chris Zydel and her workshops, retreats, classes – anything really.  Working with her has opened me up to art and to myself in a deep and powerful way, so much so that next month I’m embarking on a year-long expressive arts teacher training with her!  Take a little tour of her website where there’s all sorts of great retreats on offer (Oaxaca in December!).  Her online course Painting with Fire begins on October 3rd, so check it out – you will be blown away!

2. I have been part of this year-long art journaling course The Journey Within, and have had so much fun playing with new ideas and techniques.  I have made my first art journals and expanded my skills (and art supplies!) so much!  Kiala Givehand is a wonderful teacher and she really helps you give yourself permission to try new things, mess up, and have fun!  You can still sign up for the year-long class and get all of the videos, or take this last quarter only.  It’s really worth it!!  Check it out here. Below is a flip through of one of the art journals she created in the class.

3.  In my last blog post I mentioned Jessica Brogan‘s International Card Deck Swap.  I loved it so much, I signed up immediately for the next one.  It was so interesting to create a whole deck of cards, trying out new techniques (Jessica provides a series of video tutorials to make it easy and enjoyable).  The next theme is travel, and I’ve found it a super fun challenge to create these cards.  If you want to get in on it, you need to hurry (click here) – cards are due October 15th!  Here’s a preview of some of my travel cards:

Some of my travel themed cards for the International Card Deck Swap.

Some of my travel themed cards for the International Card Deck Swap.

4. My last artsy recommendation is a free doodle-along with my friend Lisa DeYoung of Mountain Mermaid Studios.  Her doodle days musings adventure is a month-long doodle journey with her Daily Musings Journal (I have the undated version, it’s so fun!).  You get a printout of the pages for October, plus emails for inspiration on your adventure.  What I love about the Daily Musings Journal is that you have a small space to pop in some words and little drawings to document your day, a completely different take on journaling that is creative, easy, and fun!  The doodle days musings adventure runs in the month of October, so click here to sign up soon!  Take a look at the video below for a flip through of Lisa’s 2015 journal and you can see some of the fun and inspiring ways she uses it.

I hope you find something fun and inspiring from these wonderful offerings.  I really do believe that getting messy and playing with art heals the mind, body and soul.

 

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The Creativity Bug

Art, creativity, Inspiration, Uncategorized

I’ve been bitten by the creativity bug today, and all I can do is drool over others’ creative work and plan my own. It’s like a sickness that takes over my mind and body and makes me completely incapable of doing anything else. So I made a deal with myself: if I blogged about it, I could then let go of my other “to do” list and indulge in creative messiness.

One of the journals I made for The Journey Within class

One of the journals I made for The Journey Within class

ihanna_diypostcard2016I have been participating in a super fun year-long creative book making/art journaling class called The Journey Within with Kiala Givehand. This class has already elevated my creativity, and now I have several handmade journals and some wonderful new techniques and art journal pages. I come home last night from my intuitive painting session with Chris Zydel (so my creative juices were already flowing!!) and Kiala had posted in our group that one of the teachers in The Journey Within, Hanna Andersson (ihanna), is hosting a handmade postcard swap over on her blog. Now I am feeling obsessed with making (and receiving) handmade postcards!! And I’d better get on it, it’s all happening in the next two weeks!

inspcarddeckswap-980x1024Within minutes of this new obsession, I checked in on Facebook quickly and saw a notification from my friend Alexandra who has participated in a card swap (playing card size) and has received 52 (!!!) gorgeous handmade cards from people all over the world. Alexandra and I share a love for all things cards, especially tarot and oracle cards and so she tagged me and sent me the information to join in for the next Inspirational and International Card Deck Swap hosted by Jessica Brogan. This one I have a little more time to dream about, the last swap recently closed and the next one will hopefully be this summer. That didn’t stop me from going down the rabbit hole of watching video tutorials and drooling over the beautiful creations.

I am currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, and in it she talks about creative inspiration as if it is an entity unto itself. When it comes to you, it won’t stay around unless you give it attention. Well, two calls to participate in making handmade cards to swap with others – within minutes of each other to me sounds like creative inspiration paying me a visit. Instead of trying to squash this bug, I’m paying attention.

I used to fight against the creativity bug, try and stop those creative juices flowing through my veins because my to-do list was too long (or because I’m “not really creative”). I honestly thought that creativity for pure pleasure was kind of wasting time – I didn’t realize that following the bursts of creative inspiration would actually give me more energy for everything in my life. That playing around and getting messy would nurture my inner little girl, opening me up to more creative thinking in my business and my relationships. Delving into my own creativity makes me happy, and when I am happy everything else seems to go more smoothly and I get more productive in other areas of my life.

My old collection of European stamps - great for making handmade postcards!

My old collection of European stamps – great for making handmade postcards!

I recently found a stash of old stamps that my grandparents (who lived in England) saved for me when I was a kid. These 1970’s European stamps would be great on handmade postcards, don’t you think? I’m gonna indulge my creativity today and see where it leads me. Creativity bugs are welcome in my house.

 

2016-03-24 11.45.55

Monica Garcia PhD

What do you do when the creativity bug bites you? I would love to hear about your creative endeavors! Leave a comment!

 

 

I would love to connect with you more! Sign up for my newsletter and receive my e-book Wild Adventures Through the Decks about how I use tarot and oracle cards. You will also receive a short 4 email series walking you through more techniques for working with the cards.

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Be where you are

Divine Guidance, Intuition, Tarot, Uncategorized
Setting intentions for the new moon

Setting intentions for the new moon

Last week there was a new moon in Aries and if you are following any astrology or energy workers posts you will hear that now is a great time to seed your intentions so that they can sprout and grow throughout the year. Yay! Yes! Awesome! AND what if you are not in the space of seeds, what if you are still clearing away the old stuff to make room for the seeds? What if you still need to fertilize the soil and make ready for seeds? What if (gasp?) you are still harvesting, gleaning and gathering from last year’s seeds?

 

My new deck Spirit de la Lune for lunar guidance

My new deck Spirit de la Lune for lunar guidance

The truth is, we each have our own personal rhythms, which may or may not coincide with everyone else’s. On the morning of the new moon I pulled out my new and beautiful Spirit de la Lune lunar guidance cards. This is an oracle deck that uses the moon and her phases as a way to connect in to intuition and inner knowing. I thought it would be a perfect deck to use on this new moon day. One group of the cards are what they are calling Moondalas and represent the moon at different times of the year with a special card spread to try. So being that this is an Aries new moon, I thought I “should” do the Seed Moon spread. I could feel my thoughts bossing me around – it’s Aries new moon dummy, do what the book is saying goes with Aries new moon! (I’ve got some parts of me that feel strongly that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things.)

 

My cards for the new moon in Aries

My cards for the new moon in Aries

Luckily because of some years of practice (with mindfulness and meditation and all sorts of others ways of becoming aware of myself), I stopped and asked myself, “What do I really want to do? What feels right?” The Seed Moon spread didn’t feel right to me on this morning, I decided to simply shuffle the cards and see what happened. What happened was that four cards fell out of the deck. These cards resonated with me deeply and helped me frame my intentions for this new moon: to be where I am, and to accept where I am with love and compassion.

 

 

Now this example is pretty small and insignificant. Of course nothing bad would have happened if I had listened to my bossy thoughts and done the Seed Moon spread (except perhaps a card reading that didn’t make a lot of sense). But this felt significant because it made me think of the many times in my life where I have ignored my own needs and rhythms and pushed forward with what I thought “should” happen (usually according to some kind of expert or even simply my own bossy thoughts). Uniformly, these experiences have left me exhausted, burned out, or wondering why I wasn’t getting the results that others said I should be getting. I never regret listening in to my intuition. The messages that come from the core of my being never steer me wrong. So I did use the new moon energy this week to craft some kick ass intentions – the strongest of these is to be where I am, to be present with myself.  When I take into account where I actually am and what I need with the rhythms and energy cycles of our natural world – I get the best of both.

 

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Dive into the Divine Feminine

Divine Guidance, Uncategorized, Women's Circle

 

The divine feminine has many faces

The divine feminine has many faces

It’s hard to believe that Intuition Bootcamp Sacred Circle January 2016 begins next week! This time there is a theme – Dive into the Divine Feminine.  During this two-week immersion into the sacred inside of us, we will be focusing on the goddess messages that are here to guide us in this new year.  The Divine Feminine can mean lots of different things to different people. Compassion, wisdom, birth, death, motherhood, sensuality, anger, destruction, the sun, the moon, and cycles are just a few of the qualities embodied in the divine feminine.

many faces divine fem

This divine feminine energy is always available to us for guidance. When we pause and check in with our intuition, we open to receive insight and inspiration from the Divine Feminine: we can be strengthened by Sekhmet’s holy “hell no!” when our boundaries are being violated; we can be healed by Kuan Yin’s deep compassion; we can channel Tara when we need to find our center after being knocked off of it. The Divine Feminine is here for us, to challenge and strengthen us, to soothe and comfort us, to engage and inspire us.

Images of the Divine Feminine from the Wildwood Tarot

Images of the Divine Feminine from the Wildwood Tarot

Will you join us to receive your guidance from the goddess inside? Will you let the Divine Feminine within you emerge to transform your life?

Click here to read more about Intuition Bootcamp Sacred Circle – Dive into the Divine Feminine.  Early bird pricing ends Thursday, January 7!!

Would you like a taste of an online sacred circle of women? Join me Thursday, January 7 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern (in just a few hours!) for a live tarot and oracle card party. We gather, draw cards together and hear what our intuitions want us to know. It’s a free preview of what you would experience in Intuition Bootcamp, so come and experience the magic, spark and synchronicity yourself!

Click the link below to join the card party on 1/7/16 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern (if you have never been on Zoom before, you will be prompted to download the app). You can join from your computer, tablet or smart phone:

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/8361257246

 

2015-10-29 13.39.43-1 I hope you will join us!

Slowing down to rest

Divine Guidance, Rest, Tarot, Uncategorized
2015-12-21 08.06.37

My Monday morning card spread from the Wildwood Tarot

Monday morning before a full week of holiday prep and launch activities for my upcoming Intuition Bootcamp Sacred Circle I decided to take some deep breaths and do a card spread for myself. I was still in my bed, cozy in my pajamas and the sun had yet to make an appearance. I was beginning to feel a tickle in the back of my throat, the sign that a cold might be coming on.

The "Rest" card from the Wildwood Tarot on my resting pup

The “Rest” card from the Wildwood Tarot on my resting pup

I felt such profound relief when the first card in the spread was the Four of Arrows – Rest. In it the arrows are in the ground outlining the sleeping figure, while a butterfly watches over. It almost didn’t matter what the other cards were in the Celtic Cross spread I used, this was the message I needed to hear. I completely shifted the plan for the week, opened myself up to a quieter launch of the circle, and really asked my body what it needed from me to be healthy. And of course my body’s answer was – REST.

Some of the work I’ve been doing these past months has been around my own natural rhythms and cycles. I have had the loving guidance of my friend Ruth McCants and her Walking the Wheel series on astrology. It’s all beginning to make sense to me why certain times of the year I have more energy for being out in the world, and other times it feels impossible (and how my cycles are different from those of others!). Hop on over to her website here if you want some downloadable PDFs to explore this for yourself.

From the Cosmos Tarot

From the Cosmos Tarot

When I tune into myself and my own cycles and rhythms I begin to feel into times when I need to slow down and rest, and how that affects all areas of my life. When I am rested I have more access to my inner wisdom, I am able to better balance work and family, and I’m able to be more present and enjoy this busy life. Now, during the holidays, it’s especially important for me to balance my need for solitude and inner reflection with the gatherings and celebrations. Only then can I truly connect with others, rather than feeling like it’s all a huge and stressful chore. So I’m choosing a little less shopping, cooking, baking, and launching and a little more naps and meditation this season.

How about you?

 

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