Sunday, March 22, 2009

Announcing our new Cafepress store ...


After hemming, hawing, and grappling with my confidence, I'm finally willing to put it on the line in a Cafepress store.
I'm starting slow and easy with one image to see what happens.
Visit our store at
Be welcome. Shop. Be happy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

TAROT SYMBOLISM AS A SIGNPOST FOR CHANGE: My Tarot Card Reading by Avia Venifica


The World Wide Web has become an inner world, like another dimension, running parallel to the mundane. Aided by super-powered search engines and social programs like Facebook, it facilitates folks of a like mind gravitating toward one another. Symbolism, ever present on the web, has been a significant part of my life for as long as I can remember. I wore my very first pentacle in high school, was somehow aware of its protective qualities then, and continue to wear it (and other symbols) in sterling silver around my neck every day. In our mundane lives, symbolism works on an intuitive basis, coming from the same place as dreams and creativity. It helps unlock the secrets of our higher selves, as well, releasing them from where they are tucked away for safe keeping in the subconscious mind. The magic of symbolism is present and working whether we are spiritually awake or not. Just what do you think advertising is? On the Web, our interest is awakened spontaneously by pictures and words, aka symbols, appearing briefly before us. It’s no wonder these symbols are like bread crumbs leading us to kindred spirits.

The bloggers we run into repeatedly become like friends, accept they are … well, internet friends. We leave messages for one another, one blogger to another, and at times exchange email. Rarely do those friends cross over into our real life. When they do, it implies a significant level of trust, and it’s usually for a good reason.

Avia Venifica has been in my internet orbit, and I in hers, for almost three years. She has two wonderful websites and a weblog. I visit What's-Your-Sign.com regularly, particularly when my path is crossed by a specific animal bearing messages, which is frequently. I never hesitate to refer to Avia’s work in my spiritually minded blogs on Sapphokinesis because she and I share one very important belief – that all spiritual seekers have the right to be where they are on their path. This isn’t something she told me, but something I’ve intuited from her work, made more obvious in one of her recent postings. Tarot Teachings is entirely dedicated to its namesake, including card meanings and specific symbols within the cards. Symbolic Meanings takes symbolism to the next level, including places where it crosses into Celtic mythology, dream symbolism, as well as alchemy, astrology, and native american and chinese symbolism. Something Avia calls symbol scopes appear on her weblog. They are an unexpected and unusual but tasty tidbit spun happily from your average horoscope and issued on a monthly basis.

I signed up for Avia’s email newsletter and was lucky enough to have my name pulled from a hat for a free card reading. This happened when I find myself in the midst of a personal review, brought upon by the upcoming visit of my spiritual mother, Sri Karunamayi Ma, who’ll be in the Bay Area in just three short weeks. I’ve been working, writing, and doing my art, all the while rifling through the file cabinet that is my life experiences and mind. Avia and I also decided to do the reading over the phone, which we accomplished by engaging in a tentative communication exercise on scheduling. Happily, our exercise yielded only positive results!

I didn’t go into this looking for specifics, so I asked no specific question. In fact, I had no focus and no expectations. Nor did I harbor skepticism. My motto was go with the flow, keep an open heart and mind, knowing full well that my life is an open book and all over my websites. Anybody with a computer and half a brain can discover I’ve got past issues with my mother, a strong dedication to my family and career, and a habit of biting off more than I can chew. What can’t be premeditated, however, is the ebb and flow of a reading, and which cards show up where. This is where I found Avia’s deepest intuitive currents ran true.

Avia laid out the cards in a modified Celtic Cross formation, with no auxiliary cards on the right. She used the Gilded Tarot Deck, which is very beautiful. Right away the focus was on home and hearth in a transition, which I have not blogged about. Avia noted that Leslie and I are not entirely comfortable with transitions (although we’ve been through many) and encouraged us to avoid making decisions prematurely. This was on the mark, as though she lifted it right from my head. There is no way she could know we are in the buyer’s market for a home. No one knows it. Not even people at work.

Avia encouraged me to search for my nuts, as well (a priceless way of putting it, really), intuiting squirrel symbolism, which she’s written about, and without knowing that we have a plethora of the little critters in our backyard. This refers to the number of things I’d placed on the back burner eight months ago to focus on my job. What Avia didn’t know is that I’ve established a groove at work and now have more time for the activities that nurture my spirit. She also indicated there would be support for these endeavors. How could she know that I worry? If I put my art on Cafepress, will people buy? The presence of Grandmother Spider, one of my most significant earthbound totems in the eight of pentacles, confirmed the need to “weave a web of creative design into daily matters”. Message signed, sealed and delivered!

The appearance of the Queen of Cups in a key position had me squealing with delight. Signifying past challenges with maternal energy, and the resolution of those conflicts with even greater maternal healing and reformation, couldn’t have been more poignant. Minor Arcana Queens appear in readings I do for myself, so her appearance was somewhat expected, and happily received.

The reading’s final card was the Moon, the only Major Arcana card amidst a preponderance of Pentacles. It held court in a summarizing position heralding significance and encouragement to pay heed. I’ve always loved this card, and consider it a marker for the Divine Mother. While respecting it’s cautionary warding (which Avia didn’t dwell on), I take great comfort from it. The Goddess resides in the moon, and so I see her there each time I look at it. Our dogs were there, as well, reminding me to heed the messages of animal guides. Not knowing I needed this affirmation, particularly at a time of personal inventory, Avia confirmed my intuitive impulses are a guiding light. The card also had significance for Avia herself, which she didn’t elaborate on, but which may indicate she and I have more work to do in the future.

The last tarot card reading I had was eight years ago. I’d just finished a grueling project at work and was exhausted as my family and I stole away on a Fourth of July holiday to refuel. We ran away to Malibu, California, which is one of my favorite West Coast retreats. The Goddess exists in Her full majesty in the Pacific Ocean, which is very natural sacred space. It felt so right. I could hear the ocean waves crashing against the shore from where I slept. Halfway into our trip, I was leaving offerings on the motel room’s deck.

There was a new age shop not far from our beachside motel. Rumor had it that spiritual folks from the business, like Richard Gere, shopped there. It had a curtained booth in the back where two separate readers did their thing daily. I was barely awake spiritually back then. True, I was perched on the precipice of great change, but still I lived from a place of fear, and was absolutely overwhelmed with life in general. I had a few readings, but the one which most impressed me offered excellent advice in a single word. That word was delegate, implying a surrender of control, in this case, at work.

Since then, my spiritual awakening has been steady, an on-going process I’ve written volumes on. The reading I enjoyed eight years ago marked a time of change in my life, and the overall message in Avia’s reading is essentially the same, yet it's timing cannot be overlooked. Astrologically, the March to April 2009 Venus retrograde has us all rifling through our mental file cabinets with an evolved point of view. As we release old baggage into the ethers, we are graced with the time and energy needed to crack the nuts we once stowed away for safe keeping. In synch with the stars and moon above, and the subtle undercurrents they portend, Avia’s reading addressed my hidden concerns yet encouraged me to release my creative spark into the world without fear.

Avia Venifica, a kindred spirit and gifted intuitive, races along the superhighway that is the World Wide Web, undoubtedly astride a dragon guide of her own. She poses the most timely question “will you let go?”

Having faith in her intuition, I do believe I will.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dragon Musing


It’s late at night. The house is quiet. The dogs are quiet. The little one who reins over my existence has long since gone to bed, and Leslie is on the couch with Jack’s head in her lap. Her eyes are closed, and so are his, as well.
Peace.

I close my eyes. Gregor and I walk the shore of Gulf Beach. It’s dark outside, and the stars twinkle above us, almost as bright as the red, multi-faceted crystal on his chest, and the shining, colored scales all over his immense body. Looking at him with my inner eye is almost too much to bear, as he seems made entirely of light. The moon is full, as it always is in this timeless place I visit from time to time. My old, white Catalina is parked above the sand, behind the retaining wall, a token of days gone by. I’ve tucked the keys atop the front left wheel as always. Dolly Parton dangles from the keychain where she has since I was old enough to drive. I’ve had a million adventures in that car, and the sight of it makes me smile.

Gregor speaks using words when we converse because I am not yet used to telepathy. In this he indulges me because we share our thoughts, as well, even though we are completely transparent to one another psychically. He is walking beside me and despite his size, his feet make no prints in the sand. My feet are in cowboy boots. That is, until I remove all my astral clothing, and sprout fins to take to the sea.

Under the water, we glide like dolphins. I am a mermaid, and Gregor is a sea serpent. We go through caves that are so tight, I outreach my hands and can feel the sides, and yet he fits as formless as ever. It is quite serendipitous, our being here together; after all, he’s been with me since birth. First, he was the heart of my grandfather. And now, that red crystal is the essence of my grandfather’s heart, watching over me.
I couldn’t see this. I couldn’t see Gregor until I was ready.

It doesn’t matter, really, he tells me in his deep, lumbering voice. All things are as they should be. You are precisely where you should be on your path.

I am quiet.

Gregor and I visit the old temple on Charles Island. I’ve visited countless times during meditation, but not recently. I show him how lovely it is, and I walk the familiar spiral staircase slowly, running my hand along the iron railing, surrendering to it's call for psychic expansion. The temple is a glass front sanctuary, nestled in a hillside, a place I knew as a child. Where once it was only me, now it is we. I feel it all there on the staircase.

How appropriate and timely it is that Gregor joins me as my body begins it’s changes, and low grade hot flashes, of which I’ve had two already, begin. How strange it is that I get these hot flashes around the same time my daughter comes of age, that I muddle through weeks of mental mist before the mist is lifted, and I can think again.

Mist.

Gregor likes the mist.

During the rain, when we drive up the hill after dropping off Elizabeth at school, I hear his wings beating and cracking above the van. I feel the power of his flight, and it’s like standing close to a train's engine as it fires up to pull out of the station. When the van jolts to a stop, it’s his razor sharp claws resting atop the roof. Along Highway 280, he playfully pivots and races through the mountains, where the clouds and the land become one. I watch him with sleepy eyes from the passenger’s side, content that he is happy, my spirit soaring with him. Leslie is between us, and she senses him, senses the change within me, but cannot yet see him.
It won’t be long before she does.

I ask him why he enjoys the mist so much, telepathically this time, and he answers with a chuckle. It gives him form in an otherwise veiled countenance, he says, and he longs to be seen by everyone. He longs for the sleepers to awaken.

Ah, I answer. How appropriate.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

FROM OUR WORKSHOP: Creative Space

As creative impulses rock our tiny little rental, it is a challenge to find space to go with the flow. Where once there was a workshop, now we contend with the dining room table. And you know what? It's working just fine. Here is the latest creativity from the Faber Girls ...



Tiny Art

Tiny Easels by Elizabeth on February 28, 2009

Elizabeth just finished plowing through all four books in the latest Twilight Series by Stephanie Meier. Have you seen those things? Each one is two inches thick, making a total of eight inches of the written word that Elizabeth has absorbed between early January and now. Naturally, most of her artwork as of late is inspired thereon.


Creative Space

The Dining Room Table

There's plenty going on here, not the least of which includes Elizabeth's incomplete portrait of Bella from Twilight (lower left hand side), my matted picture of Gregor which is going to Jen (far right), cards in the making, and essentials (pens, glue, etc.). In the upper right hand, next to the cd's, you'll note the ever-present and oh-so-important doggie cookies. Can't do squat without those.

Last, but certainly not least, I've been goofing around a lot recently with the Photoshop program on Elizabeth's laptop. I really like what it does, and even though I've given thought to painting these (I mean, they look like paint-by-numbers pieces, don't they?), I think they're kinda cool standing on their own merit.


Jack Boy

Jack Boy 2006

Baby Daizy Cut Out

Baby Daizy 2006

Daizy Close up cut out

Daizy inna Car 2007

Dark Liz fresco

Elizabeth Fresco'd 2004

Liz cut out

Cheeky Girl 2004



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