Archive for August, 2008

One Day, Two Circles

Yesterday, I enjoyed the company of like-spirited people in two circles. 

In the afternoon, eleven of us from the Toronto Daré gathered with Mandaza, a wise teacher, medicine man, and peacemaker from Zimbabwe.  It opened my eyes to just how much assistance that country needs, both tangible and spiritual.  We performed a healing ritual for Zimbabwe, for all children in the world who need healing, and for/with Mandaza himself.  Any of us who offer conditions for healing for other people also need time and space for the remembrance of our own wellness. 

In the evening, I took part in Jeannette McCullough’s monthly shamanic journeying circle.  As we often do, we took two journeys.  My first one was a request for self-healing to maintain good health.  The beings offered generous support.  My second journey addressed a question that Jeannette suggested to us: What miracles are possible for me?  What emerged was something along the lines of reminding people that they/we are the consciousness of the earth, or in the words of Brian Swimme, we are the place where the earth dreams itself.  There was also a phrase about renewing the power of the Pythia and reviving the song of the Sybil.  A new mystery calling me/us?  Let’s find out together.

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Innate Divinity Layout

It’s amazing how one tarot consultation can open up a whole new set of issues and topics to explore.  Three weeks ago, one client’s session opened up the topic of expressing her innate divinity.  Wow!  So we scheduled another reading for her today to explore that fresh issue.  It was a joyful and gentle consultation.  Here’s the layout we created and worked with.  Use it to incarnate your own divine nature.


1.      What is the true nature of my innate divinity?

2.      What first step(s) can I take to help me express that innate divinity?

3.      What resources can assist me with that first step?

4.      What are potential blocks to taking that first step?

5.      What beneficial effect(s) on myself will most likely grow out of expressing my innate divinity?

6.      What beneficial effect(s) on others will most likely grow out of expressing my innate divinity?

7.      What is the most important thing(s) for me to remember about expressing my innate divinity?



5            6


3            4






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My Walking in This World task today was to begin to sketch things, to casually draw things that I see whenever I feel like it.  So the big ceramic teapot is now immortalised in my journal, just a hint lopsided but a visual encapsulation of a moment.  When I look at this drawing in the future, I’ll remember the morning that I watered the plants on Bev’s back deck before sitting down with a pot of tea, some astrological texts, and a notebook.

Astro-journalling in the morning was entitled “Prioritize Self-Care – Have a Home!”  In other words, where is my place of self-care (my nest) and who are the people who mean “home” to me and who nourish me?  Moon in Cancer in the 7th House really mirrors how I experience these things.  My self-care places are my home — our dining area, living room, kitchen, balcony, and bathtub, places near or on deep water — Toronto Islands, Lakeside Retreats, the West Coast and its islands, and deep places such as the nearby Don River Valley and its ravines.

My supportive, nourishing web of people includes:

  • those who enjoy food and drink (so many times at rituals, classes, & other gatherings, people have said, “It’s really all about the food, isn’t it?”, then laugh)
  • friends, students, and clients who relish intimacy — one-on-one conversations and small group experiences
  • home-based folks.  People would rather gather in my living room or around my dining table than in some “official” space.
  • trustworthy people who are deeply feeling, psychic, warm, and helpfully mothering.

So many lovely “Moon in Cancer in the 7th House” moments in my life come to mind: weekly post-rehearsal dinners that Steven and I hold in our home, the recent meet Julie Cuccia-Watts pot-luck dinner, the meet Mary Greer party a couple of years ago, monthly tarot gatherings in our space, tea and bikkies for clients and students, afternoon tea with Mary or Clarissa, walks and dinners with Renato, doing tarot consultations at the dining table, our friend Maggie who always returns home to London from our place feeling restored on all levels.

So, as I align my work and destiny, I can take care of myself by enjoying intimate meals, walking in valleys and ravines, spending time beside deep waters, sharing conversation (my Moon is conjunct Mercury) in small groups or one-on-one, enjoying friends at home, snuggling closer to my partner, sipping warm beverages (good old tea!), and experiencing the safety of small spiritual groups.

This afternoon’s astro-journalling time was devoted to “Identify Your Power, Your Passion”.  Another way to say this is to ask, “What are the deep reservoirs of primal life energy and renewal that bring me the passion and power to support my dream?”  Both Pluto and Uranus in Virgo in the 8th House inspire these ideas:

  • I’m renewed through regular sex with reliable sexual partners.
  • I get a charge of life force from shared spiritual systems.
  • The “battery pack” for my dream is my service to the unseen Whole, my dedication to the unconscious or shamanic realms.
  • My deep reservoir of power is the liberation of the psyche through expressing truths about how I see the nature of the Whole/gestalt.
  • Being a transformative bigmouth for the liberation of spirit, psyche, earth, health, and sex (and how they’re all one) gives me the supportive rush I need.

I can certainly see and sense the truth of these statements.  Expressing sexuality and spirituality in my own way is freeing and exciting!

My tarot card for the day is the Queen of Swords, uprightIt tells me that I have this retreat routine down pat and that this experience of learning and writing comes to its fullness.  A peak experience with regard to learning.  Being a top-notch student (and/or teacher).  Communicating with expertise and competence.  A more thorough understanding of certain ideas and of my own mind.  The trip comes to a culmination.

Tomorrow, I’ll head home to Toronto.  This getaway has been extremely beneficial to me.  There’s more to do yet; the eighth chapter of Intuitive Astrology still has five more activities for me to accomplish.  When I reflect on all that has been discovered, expanded upon, affirmed, and yet to come, I wonder if it could perhaps be summed up in the words of Rumi:  Let the beauty we love be what we do.

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Astro-Journalling Retreat, Day Three

Last night, I casually picked up a book in Bev’s living room.  It’s called Stolen Life and the authors are Randy Wiebe and Yvonne Johnson.  Shades of bibliomancy as I opened the book at random and my eyes fell on these words: “… a medicine person is meant for the people, and not for themselves.”  A good reminder to me as I explore my work in alignment with my destiny.

Little did I realise how relevant yesterday’s Strength card’s message of relating to animals would be, but I certainly found out when I had a 2:34 a.m. visit from a mouse.  As I was turning over in a half-sleep, my senses awoke to another presence in the bedroom.  Scurry, thump.  “What the hell was that?”  Sense of motion in the dark.  Again, “What the hell was that?”  Lights on.  There went a mouse into safe hiding somewhere behind the desk.  So I slept in later this morning.  According to Ted Andrews, Mouse is about attention to detail, how to attain big things by working on the little details.  No kidding!

Somehow, I ended up on schedule by mid-day.  Grace, I guess.  And I’m starting to streamline the way I look at my chart and consult written materials.  The mélange of planet, sign, house, and topic is flowing together with greater ease, so what previously took four pages to write about now takes only two pages. 

Today’s Walking in This World task was “Mapping Your Interests”.  Mine sugars down to two things I’d like to pursue more, astrology and sound healing.  The resources and people are certainly in my sphere, but there’s no rush.  Just enjoy.

This morning’s astro-journalling session explored reserves of energy or resources that support my dream in the present.  The combination of Saturn in Aries in the 3rd House, Venus in Leo in the 7th House, and North Node in Taurus in the 3rd House inspired this list of what supports my work, or could support it, here and now:

1. Morning pages as a consistent practice, even after completing the Walking in This World programme.

2. Regularly scheduled book-writing time.

3. Periodic one-on-one feedback with a peer/buddy.

4. The monthly Readers Studio teleconferences.

5. Set up my own regular teleconferences (scary!).

6. Seasonal networking circles.

7. A mastermind group made up of playful, creative, innovative leaders.

8. Continue the monthly tarot gatherings in my home.

9. Teach longer-term programmes that bring large universal concepts down to earth in practical bite-size pieces, both in private mentoring and in small groups.

10. Receive slow and steady personal mentoring in astrology as a counselling tool/process, and only from the best of the best.

An afternoon with natal chart and journal in hand yielded potential financial resources that I hadn’t really considered or that I had previously brushed aside:

1.  Keep leading small groups, both in and close to Toronto.

2.  Co-lead with people whose audience and mine would click.

3.  More self-published writings.

4.  Spiritual music of a transformative nature that creates a sense of connection with the Whole.  Printed music?  CDs?  Circles of healing sound?  Other(s)?

5.  Teach continuing education courses in journal writing, tarot, etc. in colleges or other places of “higher” learning.

6.  Offer an intuitive development course.

7.  Teach healing to spiritual groups.

8.  Recycle more!  Find new uses for old items, trade things with other people, and sell what I no longer need.

9.  Slowly investigate innovative, unusual investments that are health-friendly and eco-friendly.

I need to weigh the pros and cons of some of these more thoroughly before committing to them, but what a great set of ideas.

Today’s tarot card: Page of Swords, uprightAdventures in writing.  Recommitting to my journal writing (moment by moment).  Bold ideas.  Daring to actively pursue a routine or that of values that carry deep meaning for me.  Leaping into a learning experience.  Taking communication risks, such as posting my personal material on this blog.

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Went for a longer walk this morning.  Glorious to see the flowers, butterflies, crabapples, and the almost-ready grapes and pears on their respective vines and trees.  Last night’s rain rendered everything clean and fresh.

glistening cobwebs

crabapples over the stream

riotous garden

Today’s Walking in This World activity was to make a collage about something on my mind, then to write about it.  So out came the magazines, scissors, and tape, followed by the pen.  The resulting image and written piece tell a tale of my need for recognition, yet being most recognised when my ego gets out of the way and allows Life to flow through me and through those who are with me.

The morning astro-journalling activity was about engaging my will in the process of making my dream a reality — discovering through Mars, Aries, and First House material in my natal chart what I want, what will energise me, where I’m gifted at finding a clear yes, and where I’m gifted at finding a clear no.  Hints of asserting myself and taking action while respecting feedback and alternatives, getting what I want through communication, writing, teaching, and catalysing structures that encourage community and communication, amongst other similar things.

 The afternoon session unearthed (unstarred?) support for my dream in stabilising around a specific role and looking after its details in a focused manner.  This role is creative, rhythmic, story-filled, and peer-centred.  It’s work in offering practical inspiration that is to be widely seen, reminding many people that love is the greatest power of all.  The core that shines forth from me as I do so is my capacity to listen deeply in order to speak wisely, linking people’s personal stories and well-being to those of the community.  The personal power that allows me to do so is rooted in service to the deep ecosystem of the unseen, unconscious world.

bumblebee dances

on a yellow marigold –

stormcloud approaches


Today’s tarot card for me is Strength, upright: displaying conviction and determination to pursue goals and take certain actions; demonstrating my coping skills — how well I can look after myself and stay alive; and experiencing kinship with Nature — all the beings around here who buzz, bloom, bark, and boom.  This card’s Leo aspect mirrors that need for recognition or attention I mentioned earlier.

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Astro-Journalling Retreat, Day One

First night of my self-created retreat.  Breeze from the lake and lightning over the water.  Beautiful.

I’m house-sitting for a friend in the Niagara Region here in Southern Ontario and utilising the time as a personal self-discovery retreat by employing these tools:

1. My journal.

2. Walking in This World by Julia Cameron.

3. My astrological natal chart.

4. Intuitive Astrology by Elizabeth Rose Campbell.

5. Choice Centered Astrology by Gail Fairfield.

6. Astrology for Yourself by Demetra George and Douglas Bloch.

7. A tarot deck (the Inspiration Tarot).

Each morning is made up of morning pages, a walk, my tarot card for the day, a journal writing task from Walking in This World, and journalling based on Chapter 8 of Intuitive Astrology (“Putting It All Together to Ground Your Dreams”).  Each afternoon consists of a traditional reiki meditation and more journalling based on Chapter 8 of Campbell’s astrology book.  I’ve built in free time for sitting by the lake, looking after email and the blog, listening to music, and just being.

The essence of this retreat is to respond to the questions, “What good things would I like to grow in the garden of my life?” and, “How can I ensure that my work and my destiny are in perfect alignment?” using the powerful final section of Elizabeth Rose Campbell’s exquisite astrology text and my own chart, enhanced by the supportive writings of Fairfield and George.  The journey involves identifying my dream, identifying the spiritual support for my dream, identifying my talent for making the dream real, engaging my will, dedicating my discipline to the task and investing lots of time, investing in my dream in the present, identifying tangible financial resources, prioritizing my self-care, identifying my power and passion, identifying my voice, allowing for imperfection, upping the joy level, and linking to community and honouring allies.  Whew!  Lots to explore, but a worthy process.

Some themes are beginning to emerge.  I can’t wait to implement these insights which will help me, and those who come to me, penetrate the deeper realms and come back with grounded, soul-liberating personal truths.

Today’s tarot card certainly fits nicely.  The Four of Swords, upright, can indicate ideas made manifest, the act of writing or communication, creating a body of written material, solidifying my ideas, and taking visible steps to live my truth in the real world.  Gotta love the cards!

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Sounding Ariadne’s Thread

Yesterday, I was one of 20 singers who performed Sounding Ariadne’s Thread, a new composition by Wende Bartley for recorded sounds combined with choir performed in a Chartres-style labyrinth.  How cool is THAT?!  The pre-recorded sounds on CD were made in sacred sites in Greece, Crete, and Malta.  The text for the sung parts of the piece are in celebration of the Goddess and made up of Greek combined with a language of Wende’s own.  The composition is based on sacred geometry found in the 11-circuit labyrinth and involves the singers moving into various configurations that honour those concepts.  Sounding Ariadne’s Thread is part of a larger cycle called the Temple Project.  Here’s a photo of us performing, courtesy of my friend Lorna Young.  I’m the one near the middle wearing a cap and holding a green music folder.

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She lives!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been working/playing my way through Walking in This World, the second book in Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way series.  It’s been fun, insightful, and revealing to do morning pages again and to take myself on artist’s dates and long leisurely strolls in nearby Craigleigh Gardens and the valley.

One thing that has re-emerged is the Vespers of the Black Madonna project that began to gestate in me about three years ago.  This is a reflective evening liturgy I’m creating to honour the Dark Feminine.  Since my journey through the Walking in this World activities, the Black Madonna project’s requirements have been falling into place.  WonderWorks asked me to offer something in the autumn as part of their Juicy Fridays series, so I suggested the Vespers.  A date was set — Friday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m.  At last Thursday’s rehearsal for Wende Bartley’s Sounding Ariadne’s Thread, nine people volunteered to help with the music for October 24.  The transformative dark goddess truly wants to be in our midst.  She lives!

Here’s a short reading about this project, using the 1JJ Swiss Tarot:

1.  What does the Black Madonna ask of us at this time3 of Wands, reversed.  She asks us to prepare to experience ourselves deeply.

2,  How can we do thisQueen of Cups, upright.  Look at our longest-standing relationships (of all kinds).  Ask ourselves which ones are most mature and healthy and why they are so.

3.  What do we need from the Black Madonna at this time4 of Pentacles, reversed.  The ability to be the spirit of the earth and the capacity to demonstrate this in a grounded manner.

4.  How can we receive this from Her6 of Cups, reversed.  Use our intuition regularly, maintain a deep one-on-one relationship with Her, and routinely check in with our innermost feelings.

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Exciting news arrived today!  The tarot documentary with which I helped and in which I’m one of many featured interviewees is now for sale from the people who made it.  Simply click here:  http://www.reeltimeimages.ca/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=31 .  The producer, Daniel Zuckerbrot, and his crew were respectful, helpful, and created a good product.  Please do watch it.

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Lammas Ritual

This afternoon, six of us gathered in my home to perform a simple ritual for Lammas, or Lughnasad, the first harvest.  Our theme was gratitude.  The altar was the round coffee table in my living room that has a Chartres-style labyrinth inlaid in it.  Each of us added adornments — a Corn Maiden statue, Amulets of the Goddess, cards from the Daughters of the Moon Tarot and the Black Angel Cards, a doll made of wheat shafts, and much more. 

We smudged ourselves, then Jeannette smudged the altar, with burning desert sage before singing a short song/chant that I composed for the occasion.  Then Clarissa read a poem by Alice Walker, We Have a Beautiful Mother.  The body of the ritual was passing a loaf of bread around the circle.  One at a time, we spoke of something for which we were grateful, broke off a piece of bread, then passed it to the next person who did the same.  This continued until the bread was entirely consumed.  Next, we passed around a chalice of juice, each of us in turn naming something beautiful that we can see blossoming for us over the next year.  We sang the chant once more and concluded by ringing the bells. 

Everyone brought simple, delicious food which we shared over conversation and laughter afterwards.  Some people spent time looking over oracles such as the Amulets of the Goddess, the Black Angel Cards, and the Maat Tarot.  Marvellous!  Thank you to those who came and added their beautiful energy to today’s ritual.

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