Moon Wisdom

divine feminine, Moon, Tarot

Last week while we were dancing in the temple, the full moon rose over the hills. We who noticed it wandered closer to the windows and bathed in her light. The music got faster, more energized. We spun and gyrated and moved through the room, my movements taking on an almost frenzied pace. I stopped in front of the altar, seeing the moon shining on me, I threw back my head and howled. Answering howls echoed through the room. I started laughing, completely delighted by this moment and these women dancing and howling together.

There is something so elemental about women and the moon. The moon is seen as feminine and there are moon goddesses in many cultures (eg., Diana/Artemis, Cerridwen, Ix Chel, Yemaya). The moon rules the earth’s tides and women’s flow. It’s also seen as scary, shadowy, and crazy (the word lunacy comes from the latin word for moon luna).

Birth of the Moon card from the Triple Goddess Tarot

In the tarot many see the Moon as a dark card indicating that the person receiving the card is going through a hard and confusing time. However, when you use a women-centered deck like the Triple Goddess Tarot (in the above picture) a different take emerges. The light of the moon illuminates things differently, it gives us a changed view of the world around us. In this light the Moon card is about the inward journey, connecting with intuition and the unconscious. This realm is the place of the Divine Feminine, the Moon Goddess who takes compassionate care of the mystery of the soul.

Moon card from the Wild Unknown Tarot

Many moon cards, such as this one from the Wild Unknown Tarot (pictured above) show the moon appearing between two pillars (or trees above). The Moon here is the gate to the unconscious, to willingly pass through is considered an initiation of sorts. I feel that way about my own journey into my own spirituality and how to manifest my gifts in the world. In leaving psychology I felt like I was entering the void, a scary and unknown place. I was terrified and yet I knew I could not go back – I had to learn to trust my gut and go forward. This description by Michelle Tea in her book Modern Tarot fit my journey perfectly:

“The Moon dares us to make friends with what scares us, to get familiar with our bogeymen, shake paws with the monster under the bed, look ourselves in the mirror at our most emotional, and love ourselves. … The Moon requires you to be patient and to trust.”

Today the Moon card came up for me in a spread in the spot indicating the way I was to share my gifts with the world. It’s so fitting really, guiding others into the shadowy realms of intuition, inner wisdom and the Divine Feminine – it is the journey I have undertaken and continue to walk every day. By facing the monsters under my bed I found the Divine Feminine and the moon, I found myself.

 

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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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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!

Tea and Tarot is back!

Tarot, Uncategorized
The Hooded Man from The Wildwood Tarot and The Hermit from the Thoth Tarot

The Hooded Man from The Wildwood Tarot and The Hermit from Thoth Tarot

After a 6-month hiatus, Vanessa Sage and I have recorded another Tea and Tarot. We have so much fun talking about “negative” cards, using tarot in the darkness of winter, and even seeing familiar cards in a new way. See us explore the divine feminine in The Hermit card (pictured above) and make new and exciting connections for ourselves.

I feel so grateful to have such a good friend to geek out with about the tarot, I learn new things from her each time we connect. Come and connect with us!

 

Click here for more info about Intuition Bootcamp January 2016

Click here for more info about Intuition Bootcamp January 2016

Intuition Bootcamp Sacred Circle is running again in the new year! We are taking a deep dive into the Divine Feminine in this 2-week intensive, click here for more information!

Shake, shake, SHAKE!

Dance, Uncategorized
Dance and heal the world

Dance and heal the world

by Jewel Mathieson

We have come to be danced
not the pretty dance
not the pretty pretty, pick me, pick me dance
but the claw our way back into the belly
of the sacred, sensual animal dance
the unhinged, unplugged, cat is out of its box dance
the holding the precious moment in the palms
of our hands and feet dance

We have come to be danced
not the jiffy booby, shake your booty for him dance
but the wring the sadness from our skin dance
the blow the chip off our shoulder dance
the slap the apology from our posture dance

Dance the spiral

Dance the spiral

We have come to be danced
not the monkey see, monkey do dance
one, two dance like you
one two three, dance like me dance
but the grave robber, tomb stalker
tearing scabs & scars open dance
the rub the rhythm raw against our souls dance

WE have come to be danced
not the nice invisible, self conscious shuffle
but the matted hair flying, voodoo mama
shaman shakin’ ancient bones dance
the strip us from our casings, return our wings
sharpen our claws & tongues dance
the shed dead cells and slip into
the luminous skin of love dance

Dance under the full moon

Dance under the full moon

We have come to be danced
not the hold our breath and wallow in the shallow end of the floor dance
but the meeting of the trinity: the body, breath & beat dance
the shout hallelujah from the top of our thighs dance
the mother may I?
yes you may take 10 giant leaps dance
the Olly Olly Oxen Free Free Free dance
the everyone can come to our heaven dance

Dance for pure pleasure

Dance for pure pleasure

We have come to be danced
where the kingdom’s collide
in the cathedral of flesh
to burn back into the light
to unravel, to play, to fly, to pray
to root in skin sanctuary
We have come to be danced
WE HAVE COME