Saturday, May 29, 2021

Shabbat Community Tarot Reading #2

whew!  the energy has been really emotional, chaotic, and electric with the full blood supermoon eclipse leading into the Mercury retrograde we're currently experiencing, so I thought I'd take some time this week to address shadow work - what it is, and why it's important (the abridged version).  shadow work is (very basically) working with the parts of yourself that you don't identify with, or aren't fully conscious of.  your 'dark side', if you will...some say it includes not only one's personal shadow, but society's neglected and repressed values as well.  whatever you refuse to acknowledge about yourself, qualities you're ashamed of, impulses you deny but see clearly in others, takes courage and strength to confront and accept.  this is shadow work, and is a continuous process to engage in throughout life.

eclipse season tends to bring change and upheaval - all the ugly stuff (fear, old wounds, painful memories) comes up for us to reflect on, and release what no longer serves us with gentle kindness.  and Mercury retrograde, which generally gets a bad rap for screwing up communications in all forms, electronics, business deals, and more, adds to the cosmic flux.  mistakes will be made.  double and triple check Everything, and back up your data!  make copies.  make sure your email/fax/message was received.  be extra clear.  because Mercury is retrograde in an air sign (Gemini), assume a great deal of discussion will need take place.  on the other hand, it's a great time to work with the past, and words that start with 're' - reassess, revisit, readdress, redo, redesign, repair, redirect, and repeat.  so while the energy may be frustrating, it's highly useful, and reminds us to slow down, consider where we stand, and take a closer, deeper look at our plans.  it seems we find more time to get things done, too, so maybe work on getting your files and closets reorganized!

with all that in mind, I decided to ask "what neglected and repressed values should we be working to address as a collective?"  we all know the obvious answers - poverty, racism, erasure, climate change, and more, but I'm curious to see what the cards bring up.  from there, I thought I'd ask simply "are we making progress in a direction that will do the most good for the most people?"  which led to the third question, "what is no longer serving us that needs to be released?"  this sort of feels like a repeat of the first question, because while we definitely need to be letting go of all those negative aspects of our current experience, I was once again curious what the cards would bring up.  here's what we got:

image contains three cards from The Living Altar Oracle and Spell Deck:  Generosity, Choice, Emergence.  also quartz crystals, seeds, acorns, a seashell, a geode, and a salt crystal.

"what neglected and repressed values should we be working to address as a collective?" - Generosity - this card is water, and comes to us from the West; from sunset and midlife; it is Autumn, an ancestor, council and initiation.  it is speaking to us of power cultivated through wisdom, an openness, freedom to enjoy the dance of the, reflection, the nurturing of fruit to seed.  the message here is to pay attention to both our hard-earned lessons, and our curiosity.  I'm reading it as a reconnection - to ourselves, to our chosen families, to our communities...recommitting to the success of the larger collective rather than to individual desires.  that we should lean in to the tempered wisdom of our elders, while learning from the wide-eyed wonder of our children.   

"are we making progress in a direction that will do the most good for the most people?" - Choice - this card is air, and comes to us from the East; from sunrise and childhood; it is Spring, a promise, emergence, and rebirth.  it is speaking to us of presence, divine intervention, a path laid out before us like an invitation.  do we accept its offer, or turn away?  we are wild and meant to fly, hopeful, and show others that they can, too.  the message here is to pay attention to the wisdom we gain on our adventures.  I'm reading it as a relearning of how to lead - a new way of spreading our wings, influenced by our collective need for higher goals and purpose...seeing a better way forward, and embarking upon it with intention.   

"what is no longer serving us that needs to be released?" - Emergence - this card is air, and comes to us from the East; from sunrise and rebirth; it is Spring, creativity, inspiration, and intention.  it is speaking to us of the grace of innocence, wholeness, and an abundance of potential.  of being open, sure, and calling back our power with a renewed sense of wonder, purpose, and hope.  the message here is to gather up our knowledge of death and endings, and challenge ourselves to begin again, embracing and anticipating with excitement the wonder of the unknown.  I'm reading it as an indication that we need to give up any fear we have around reimagining our systems, and outdated ways of thinking and being, so that we may fully emerge into the next stage of who we can come to trusting and knowing that we have learned all our lessons from our past, and by accessing our potential to make better choices for our future.  

thank you for coming along, commenting, and sharing - this reading is for anyone who wants/needs it!  as always, I hope there's something in here for you, personally, and feel free to contact me for a private reading.  




Saturday, May 22, 2021

Shabbat Community Tarot Reading

Shabbat Shalom, all!  this week, while lighting my candles and sending out my prayers, there was a lot on my mind.  as the mother of a teenager, I know a few other mothers of teenagers, and it seems a lot of us are stressed to the max.  that's probably because our kids are stressed to the max, given the collective trauma we've all been living through, and even though my relative American poverty pandemic experience might look like paradise on a popsicle stick to someone in India right now, we've all had about enough of isolation and disconnect to last us a good while.  so I thought I'd do a reading for the kids, and by extension, for all the struggling moms (parents).

I didn't want to ask "how do we best support our children" because the answer to that is always "love them" (I mean, love is the answer to everything, right?).  so I asked "how can we best help our children learn to support themselves?"  and then for us, the moms, why ask what we need to survive, thrive, and lift up our families because the answer to that is also always "love" (and a robot slave).  so I asked "how can we best refill our wells right now as both caregivers, and bodies needing care?"  and finally, to tie the reading together (the way a rug can really tie a room together, lol), "how can we ensure we're doing our best to protect our Earthly legacy for the generations?"  here's what we got:

image shows three tarot cards - The Emperor reversed, The Hermit, 7 of Cups reversed - surrounded by a small metal goddess figure, quartz crystals, polished rose quartz, garnets, magnolia & wisteria seeds, a bear tooth, a large white feather, and a small red and green feather, on a light colored iridescent scarf with fringes, and a dark fuzzy blanket.

"how can we best help our children learn to support themselves?" - The Emperor reversed - well that message is pretty clear...Smash The Patriarchy!  The Emperor is a powerful leader representing authority and structure, who is focused and disciplined.  he's all about setting those firm foundations and boundaries, and standing in our power, but here he's in the reversed position, which speaks to an abuse of those powers...a sure sign that his rules and systems are no longer working.  a loss of focus in a bid to keep his tenuous control finds him failing those he swore to protect.  so the best way to help our children learn to support themselves could be through leaning into their creativity, teaching them to speak up and out when overreaching community leaders/teachers/parents/authority figures/clergy attempt to silence them, let them feel ALL their feelings (boys especially) and then rewrite the rules.  it's their world, now, and they have to live with the messes we leave them, so we should probably just get in the back, learn to trust their wisdom, and let them invent it all anew.

"how can we best refill our wells right now as both caregivers, and bodies needing care?" - The Hermit - I guess we all need some alone time, huh?  a cave to run off to where we can ponder the deeper mystery of ourselves, and plum the shadowed depths of our souls?  I know I've surely been doing this...have you found yourselves retreating from the world a bit to clean up your own head lately?  and doing your best to give those around you space, too?  it seems weird that in an almost-post-pandemic world, what we might feel a need for is more space, but I think it's a different kind of space.  space to do work in, to look at our actions and reflect on who we are and what we do; how we interact in the world, and in what ways we connect to our higher purpose. it's a place of contemplation and meditation, self-reflection and solitude.

"how can we ensure we're doing our best to protect our Earthly legacy for the generations?" - 7 of Cups reversed - this indicates coming back into focus after a period of confusion, or feeling hemmed in by a lack of options.  in the context of the question, I read this as we humans realizing we're at a point of no return with our environment/planet, and making some sound choices to change our behaviors to address those pressing issues rather quickly, out of necessity.  I wonder if many of those solutions will come from the minds and hands of those teenagers we'll be handing the reins to, after our period of retreat and self-reflection?  maybe they'll learn to integrate their various energies in ways that will help them work together, share intelligences, and build more collaborative and sustainable futures?  isn't that always the hope?  well, it's mine anyway, and maybe some of yours, too.

thank you for coming along, commenting, and sharing - this reading is for anyone who wants/needs it!  as always, I hope there's something in here for you, personally, and feel free to contact me for a private reading.  


Sunday, May 9, 2021


sometime after I turned 12, while rummaging around in my mom's little makeshift library in our large, well-lit basement, I came across a story she had written in the late 60's as a pregnant newlywed living on a kibbutz in Israel, while my dad was off fighting in the Six-Day War.  I think of her, painting the light-bulbs black and leaving only a small spot for the light to filter through, to conceal themselves as best they could, as some of the fighting was quite near the kibbutz.  how she must have looked, the anxiety she must have been feeling, and the hope she must have been trying to hold on to through those words.  I wish I had a copy of the story called "Sarah" where she began by recalled the story of the Biblical Sarah, watching her Abraham take her only beloved son Isaac to be sacrificed on the altar of this 'new god' he was communing with, and questioning what kind of god he was to demand such a travesty as tribute.  then there was a page break after which she wrote, "I am Sarah..." (it was her Hebrew name) and wrote about how so many of the women felt, watching their men go off to battle, wondering if they'd come back, and if they did, if they would come back 'whole'.  the story switched back to the Biblical Sarah's perspective - an anxious mother watching for her husband to return from the mountain alone, her heart deeply wounded, only to see two silhouettes on the horizon, and running to them filled with the highest joy and gratitude.  to conclude, she wrote about reading over the lists of names of the deceased, and her relief at not finding her husband there (though many other women did, and I don't wish to diminish the memory of those that we mourned), along with her elation when my father returned to her, safe and sound.


today is that dreaded stupid holiday I know I've written about on here before, though I couldn't find any of those posts in a quick search.  as a single mom, Mother's Day is just another day for me to do all the mom things, and get little to no appreciation for my efforts.  when my Teen was little, I'd get some cute paper projects that his teacher made all the kids do in school, and there was that one year when he drew me breakfast in bed - so cute!  there might have even been some cheap gifts that the wealthy school district donated for the poor kids to bring home, but that might have just been for Hannukah, I don't remember.  either way, my point is, today is a day for me to stay off of social media because seeing all the 'proper' families doing all the culturally acceptable things for the moms in their lives makes me feel inadequate on a good day, which is to say nothing of how it makes me feel on a day like today, when I'm missing my own mom, who passed away 6 weeks ago.  my day so far has consisted of the horrid odor of the septic tank being pumped, followed by the horrible smell of the bleach I used to clean the backed-up excrement out of my bathtub - though I am grateful that there's no longer human waste bubbling up from the drain, and that my toilet is once again flushing properly.  then I sat down to honor my mom by writing about her, and began to cry.  just now, my Teen woke up and emerged from his bedroom, mumbled 'good morning', made himself a bowl of cereal, and went back into his room to commence the day's video gaming.  yup.  that's it.  stuff that in your Mother's Day pipe and smoke it, because I have laundry to do, dishes to wash, paperwork to sort and file, etc, brunch and mani/pedi's here.  no champagne or flowers, massages, chocolates, what-have-you.


but the point here was to talk about my mom.  she was the ideal mother up until I hit puberty, and things went downhill for us from there.  even though we had a rocky relationship, she was my mom, and I always loved her, even when I hated her.  she drove 4 1/2 hours to the hospital in February - even though she hated Winter, and I lived in Vermont - when I went into labor, because she desperately wanted to see her youngest grandchild being born (she wasn't allowed in the room for my sister-in-law's three births, which I understand from my sister-in-law's point of view, though I can also understand my mom's disappointment).  she adored my son from the get-go (as she did all her grandchildren), even though she couldn't restrain herself from making some pointed comments about...ahem, the other half of his dna...when he was very little, which I immediately nipped in the bud.  we spent years on the outs, with a few good times here and there, but all in all, now that she's gone, those bad times hardly matter at all, and I just wish we had had more time to be friends, and keep making the good memories.  she spent two weeks with me before she passed, and I'm SO grateful we had that time together, for myriad reasons.  her death was unexpected, to say the least...and the hurdles that needed to be cleared in order to lay her to rest on our kibbutz in Israel, next to her beloved husband, during a global pandemic, were many - but it did happen.  


so yeah - I'm a big emotional mess today.  how to honor her memory?  she didn't like cut flowers, "because they were dead".  I do, so maybe I'll buy myself some.  she enjoyed being taken out for brunch by her grandkids, but I'm still estranged from the rest of my family, so that's not going to happen...perhaps I can cook up one of her recipes?  that's a possibility.  I can't visit her grave, as it's in another country...I'm not financially solvent enough to donate to a good cause like Miry's List, which helps welcome refugee families into new communities, or the National Bail Out fund, specifically for Black moms, but I can share the link, and maybe someone else who is, can.  I can visit the waterfall in Parksville where she spent childhood summers, and liked to go to honor her ancestors, watch a movie that she loved, or listen to music she enjoyed.  maybe I can even work on one of the several knitting projects I'm sure I have tucked away among my craft hoard.  I'm planning to do a tarot card pull and see if she wants to offer me any advice through that medium.  and - and this is big - I can mother myself.  that's right, I still need mothering, too (don't we all?  no matter how old we get?), and even though I've been working on that for years, I still need the reminder that I'm worthy of my own best mothering techniques, which include wrapping myself up in comfort, and making sure I feel nourished, whatever that might look like for me in the moment.  today, I guess that looks like doing dishes/laundry/paperwork and avoidance, but I may also take some time to lay up on the couch, and demand that the Teen cook me dinner - he's fully capable, and it's the least I deserve out of respect for all I do for him.  we'll see...(he made cheeseburgers and frozen French fries, yum!)

and not only that, let's take more than a moment to remember the Great Mother who gives life to us all, this amazing planet we live on!  here's a link to help find some ways to do that, if you don't (or even if you do) make caring for our Earth a part of your daily life.  



in honor of the mothers I've known, and the ancestors I didn't, today I remember Sue (Sarah), Ayala, Sapta, Sapta Liza, Grandma Mirjam, Little Grandma, Regina, and Estar.  thank you for everything ~ πŸ’–