Thursday, December 30, 2010

My New Year's Wish

I'll be 50 in a few years.


When I hit 60 or so, I want to be Endora.


I want to lounge blithely on bannisers, come and go in a loud clap of thunder and smoke (typically with the drama turned up), get away with indulging my every whim, and fly through the ethers with my daughter, who will be dressed in all black to offset my purple and green (which, by the way,are my signature colors and always have been).


This is my New Year's wish ... make it so!


D♥

Monday, December 27, 2010

Reflecting on 2010

It’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s here in San Francisco, and the streets are so quiet it’s like a Sunday. Seems everybody took this week off. Even the ride into the city was unusually quick and effortless. As usual, I find myself reflecting at this time of year. Maybe it’s the gloss of Christmas just past. But last year at this time, I had to work to relax with the quiet, while now I find it easy and would just as happily curl up in front of a movie as write this blogpost.

Merry Christmas!

2010 has been a powerful year. Definitely not easy, but most powerful. Uncertainty and ambiguity at work has been a source of constant stress, yet I’ve learned more from it than I ever thought possible. Same job, same building, same street in downtown San Francisco, true; however, the experience has been cathartic. I find myself feeling more confident professionally than I did a year ago, and credit it to the realization that it’s not about whether I stay or go. It’s about my professional confidence. So, ironically last year at this time I was wrapping up change around personal worthiness in my relationships, and still pondering what I had to let go, and this year it’s about professional worthiness, which, I’m proud to say, is still intact.

So happy!
On the home front, we’re all doing well. Elizabeth has Leslie and I on our toes as she navigates the perils of teen angst at Middle School. A year ago she fretted about changing school systems, and now as her girlfriends go through their own weirdness, she’s actually looking forward to it. Our daughter is poised, confident, and her grades are outstanding. We had her completely faked out over Christmas. We whined for months that the uncertainty at work meant Christmas would be frugal. Instead, she got everything she wanted and more, so naturally Leslie and I enjoyed it vicariously, as well. Leslie is in good health, and this year has been blessed with an opportunity to deal with past baggage. This is the kind of situation that happens very rarely, and she’s handled it with compassion and strength. I’ve been so proud of how she’s conducted herself. She made a friend in the process, as well, which is bonus. The doggies are great, too. Still spoiled. Jack has successfully avoided major abdominal surgery this year, which is a blessing, and Daizy is still pushing him around.

Daizy is happy in her new sweater and toy,
while Jack mopes because Daizy
isn't sharing.
I’ve been blessed with new friendships this year. Surprisingly, some of the connections I’ve made on Facebook have developed unexpectedly into more substantial friendships. I’ve met and gotten to know such talented artists, and have learned so much from them. I’ve grown closer with cousins from my father’s side of the family, too, after keeping them at an arm’s length for many years. Now, I find we have more in common than our profile. I’m more convinced than ever that Facebook is a spiritual tool of the new age, whose purpose is to provide connectivity to people all over the globe at a time when they need it the most, when the world is changing so quickly and profoundly. In the real world, by the way, I’ve been blessed with a close personal friend. A real person here, near to where we live, and someone we can go to lunch with once in a while. Isn’t that marvelous? I needed a special friend so badly, and this person is a gift direct from the goddess. She listens, doesn’t waste words on useless chatter, appreciates my art, and knows when I’m being ridiculous and doesn’t hold it against me when I am. She’s smart and capable, and an unexpected source of creative inspiration, as well.

My creativity has boomed this year, by the way. I’ve done a lot of work with stickers and collages, a medium that I find most liberating, and I’ve made all kinds of greeting cards. My inner muse, Francine, has been quiet, but I think it’s because so much of my nervous energy has been used up stressing over work.

Sitting here in the office where it’s so quiet, I’m surprised to find myself looking forward to 2011. I am fully aware the axe could fall any day, but I’m not dwelling on it. Sure, I’m a little scared, but rather, I’ve taken my future well in hand, and am focused on all the possibilities.

I believe 2011 will be about love, really, love, family and friendship, which are most important to me.

And as far that goes, I’m already wealthy beyond reckoning.

Love to you and yours on this holiday,
 
D❤

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What Makes A Good Tarot Card Reader


Ask yourself this question: What do you look for in a tarot card reading? Do you seek answers to a specific problem? Do you want confirmation on something? Or is it a relationship? What will happen with your career? What will the future hold? Let’s explore this on an even deeper level, and ask -- Do you seek objective guidance, or would you rather be told what to do? Your honest answer along with a discerning mind, good old fashioned communication, and common sense will lead you to a tarot reader whose capabilities are in perfect synch with the reading you’re looking for.

All divination implies the exchange of personal power. It occurs quite naturally in the tightly woven fabric of the interactive energy inherent in the intuitive process. If a reader’s intentions are good and your mind is open and relaxed, the interaction is smooth, open and informative. It can be mind-blowing! If a reader’s intentions are selfish or ego-based, even unintentionally, you’ll note the interaction may feel controlling, frightening, or intimidating. A reader might express a strong desire to be agreed with, for example; or express their own fear within the context of your reading. It behooves us to remember that even gifted psychics are human, walking their own path, and making their own mistakes. It doesn’t mean that you have to share that journey, however.

Objectivity is the primary quality of a good tarot card reader. An experienced reader might also identify as a healer and compassionately assist with problems of the emotion or intellect insofar as you are willing to allow them to. They will never push their will on you. Within the context of your interaction, a reader’s goal might be to pave the way for the next step on your spiritual journey by offering spiritual tools without making you feel obligated in any way to use them. Essentially, a good tarot card reader, assuming the role of spiritual advisor, will guide you carefully and sensitively to self-empowerment by encouraging you to look for your answers within.

Tarot cards, psychic clairvoyance, and any other form of divination including astrology is rendered mutable by free will or our ability to make choices. Nothing is cast in stone against the time proven resilience and unpredictability of the human spirit. Excellence in tarot guidance by an advanced reader is best offered as an alternative to blind reliance on external forces or influence, even if it means that in doing so, your reader doesn’t promote or benefit his or her own practice. And if this is truly your reader’s intent, eventually, and out of spiritual necessity, your evolving spiritual advisor will exercise discernment in who they read for, consequently choosing where they invest their time and energy. It is part of what might be a natural progression for both of you on your personal spiritual journey and where your individual paths may intersect.

When misused as a function of the ego, reading tarot cards can be a control ploy used for personal gratification or a scam for profit. A spiritually minded reader won’t simply tell you what you want to hear. He or she will approach every reading with an open heart, absolutely no judgment, and will be willing to walk you through a mutually satisfying journey of symbolism that doesn’t use fear or intimidation to control the flow of energy and conversation.

Even tarot card readers walk their own spiritual path. It’s wise to remember that the presence of psychic gifts doesn’t always imply the presence of spiritual integrity. Some readers may eventually straddle the fence between discernment and ego gratification in order to decide once and for all why they are reading cards. Their decision will have an impact on the quality of tarot card reading you receive from them. Take the time to engage your reader in conversation. Discover where they are on the spectrum of their spirituality and then make your own informed decision.

Originally Written on September 2, 2009


This has been editted from it's original version.






Thursday, November 4, 2010

FROM OUR WORKSHOP: Live Love Laugh


"Live Love Laugh"
© October 21, 2010 by Donna L. Faber
A tattoo designed and rendered for my cousin Pam

Over the last year, and through the miracle of Facebook, I've been blessed with the rediscovery of cousins, formerly estranged cousins, from my father's side of the family. There are loads of them, and some I connect with more than others. This tattoo was designed for my cousin, Pam, whom I connect with. She wanted something that would commemorate this good time in her life; a time of rejuvenation, re-emergence and rediscovery. But she wanted to do it while always acknowledging the love she has for her children, Mitch and Jack, and the poignant memory of their father.

So, Pam, this one’s for you!
Love,
D♥

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Three is a Magic Number

If you believe everything that Sesame Street taught you, and for the most part I do, you’ll believe that three is a magic number. You’ll believe that the Crocodile King really did need a worthy son, the lady bugs all attended that picnic, and Gracie Slick really did sing a very clever song about numbers. She did, really. Like me, from the time of early childhood, you’ll know that three heads are better than one. Larry, Moe and Curly proved it. You may even know that two’s company and three’s a crowd. Most of all, three is a magic number to me personally. It’s the number of people in my family … 1, 2, 3. It’s also the magic number that brings us to our next tribute witches.
Witches and other magical women have appeared in threes since the beginning of time. Well, at least since the beginning of half way decent literature, making their first and precedent setting appearance in Shakespeare’s play “MacBeth”. As the official Three Witches or Weird Sisters, these supernatural women were drawn from mythology and legend, and represented rebellion and treason in the worst sense (as Wiki states it). We’re not talking about the Three Graces here, goddesses of charm, beauty and creativity. Or even the very lovely Maiden, Mother, Crone virtues in Wicca. Indeed, these are your more malignant types, representing deceit, betrayal and murder, all nefarious values upon which countless pieces of art and sculpture have been rendered throughout history.
The magic number three doesn’t lose its poignancy moving into modern media. It very simply transmogrifies into something more understandable, something that requires a lesser attention span. There are three sisters, all witches, in the series “Charmed”, which by the way, is set in San Francisco, the city I most adore. There were three vixens in the movie, “The Craft” before the fourth showed up and they all got greedy.

Three.

This leads me directly to my favorite witchy threesome, and the witches to which I give tribute in this installment … The Sanderson Sisters in Disney’s movie, “Hocus Pocus”.

Believe it or not, it was just on television this morning.

These three sisters are my favorite for various reasons, not the least of which include Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy.


“The movie opens in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts where three witch sisters — Winifred, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson — transformed a boy, Thackery Binx, into an immortal black cat as punishment for trying to prevent them from absorbing the life force of his younger sister, Emily. He fails to rescue her and instead is cursed to spend eternity as a black cat. The witches are tried and executed by the locals. However, thanks to a curse created by Winifred's magic spell-book, they vow to return when a virgin lights the Black Flame candle on a Halloween night when the moon is full (wiki).”


Winifred is played by Midler. She is the loud mouth, red-headed, buck-tooth sister, who is the most powerful magically, and the brightest lit of the three dim bulbs. Demonstrating where the lines between real life and television can often blur, it is no strange coincidence that Midler has since become a headliner in the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, Las Vegas, and holds her crowd in a hypnotic trance, just like she did in the movie. Her sister, Sarah, is played by none other than Sarah Jessica Parker, aka Carrie Bradshaw, who reigned supreme in another fabled city known as New York, this time ruling with a a laptop, and an array of unusually hypnotic outfits. The last sister, the chubby one who was most prone to various canine tendencies, and rode on an airborne vacuum cleaner, was played by Kathy Najimy. Najimy also moonlighted as a plus size nun in Whoopie’s movie, “Sister Act”. Since then, she has lost considerable weight, shrinking & growing, shrinking & growing, thus demonstrating her powers of transmogrification. All three Sanderson sisters are undeniably stupid, so much so that they couldn’t outwit the three children who released them from 300 years of hell and then tried to send them back.


So, without further ado, I give you The Sanderson Sisters …

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Witch Tribute: If You Want A Job Done Right, Do It Yourself


There is something inherently pathetic about a witch who won’t do her own dirty work. If you’re going to embrace the devil in your psyche, like those crazy bitches on The O Channel’s television show “Snapped” (which we always seem to end up watching on Saturday mornings), the least you can do is wield the poison apple yourself. This is the lesson learned by the Evil Queen in Disney’s “Snow White”, who is the subject of our Halloween Witch Tribute.
One may argue that The Evil Queen, also known as Queen Grimhilde, is not a witch, but a royal matriarch, and therefore is disqualified from this tribute. I would disagree with that. Any woman who is narcissistic enough to get hung up on her beauty, for example, or riches, or power, and then kill someone to protect it, should be elevated to witch status … um, evil witch status, that is. After all, every woman is a witch, and every witch is wise, right? Walt Disney certainly understood this. Glinda from “TheWizard of Oz”, for example, was incurably annoying, but she was, most certainly, what we might consider a good witch. It is interesting to note that Queen Grimhilde, voiced by Lucille La Verne, was also Disney’s first “serious” villain in a full length feature, and has yet to be surpassed for excellence in sheer malignancy.

Let’s acknowledge the presence of OCD, or obsessive compulsive disorder, in most all of these evil women, as well. Cruella had to have a Dalmatian puppy coat. Trying to realize that desire in a number of nefarious ways finally did her in. The evil queen, Narcissa (what a name!) in Disney’s “Enchanted” had a thing for her stepson. I’d rather not analyze that too closely, thank you, and not just because he was a completely self-centered dolt whose teeth were way too big for his face. Yet, despite calling on her powers as a shape shifter and turning into a dragon just like Malificent (from “Sleeping Beauty”), who by all counts was an evil feary and not really a witch, she managed to be outdone by Love’s First Kiss, which is about as pathetic as it gets … truly.

Disney’s Evil Queen is a regal bitch who probably started out as a scullery maid. She happened to be graced with good looks. Perhaps she got lucky enough to find the King alone in his office when, after a difficult day on the stock market, he needed a good blow job. She was happy to oblige, after which one might speculate it was her good looks that found him enamored of her, so much that he had his first wife tossed unceremoniously from a parapet. The king neglected to reveal that he had a daughter by his first wife, who was also lovely, although very young. She, of course, was quickly banished to the Kingdom’s projects, where she shacked up with seven little people, because, after all, there can be only one good looking bitch in the castle. Descendants of the Roloffs, these little people took advantage of Snow White for house cleaning services and singing with woodland creatures when they weren’t in the diamond mines slaving for the precious gems upon which the Kingdom’s failing economy was based. Before too long, the Kingdom would be forced to purchase those precious gems from other countries such as Far, Far Away, and the seven little homeys would have no choice but to work at Kingdom-Mart, where they would be fired if they were caught whistling on the job. In fact, it was this crash in the market that drove the King to his own death shortly after being married.

Grimhilde & Her Mirror
What made Grimhilde, now the reigning matriarch in the kingdom, so darn special was that she could read crystal balls. Some women are just born gifted, I guess. Soon, scrying became her chosen tool of divination, and she used it to find and promptly dispose of other young, lovely and nubile ladies in the realm. Nobody knows why she ended up with that annoying Magic Mirror, but it was he who couldn’t keep his big trap shut when the banished princess got old enough to be competition. Maybe one of the little people, thrust into a personal alcoholic hell after losing his job, couldn’t keep HIS big trap shut in the local pub. After all, he couldn’t get any insurance at Kingdom-Mart and so his addiction was never treated.

Bring Her Heart to Me
Anyhow, The Evil Queen sent some fucktard Huntsman to kill the princess, and demanded her heart be returned in a pretty little box. I just love little boxes. She threatened the Huntsman with death if he failed. Naturally, he did, and if that wasn’t enough, he tried to deceive her, as well, because he needed his job desperately. Jesus, you just can’t find good help these days. The Evil Queen, an alchemist at heart, descended into her dungeon laboratory, where she drank polyjuice to look like the old woman who worked in the Castle’s laundry.

The rest is history.
The fact that the Evil Queen sacrificed the very thing she coveted to get what she wanted is what perplexes me the most. It is, however, a testament to the severity of her OCD, which is undoubtedly what she would blame the entire mess on if she were arrested for premeditated murder and put on trial. She wasn’t, of course. People in true power, no matter what time in history, can get away with raping the country they live in, and having others killed for the sake of convenience. This, after all, is fact and can be seen time and time again by watching cable television and YouTube.

The moral of this story, if there is such a thing, is two-fold. First, let’s acknowledge that the Kingdom did not have a decent plastic surgeon. If it did, the Evil Queen would never have bothered with the Magic Mirror and the whole crises could’ve been averted. Second is the age old axiom, if you want a job done well, you have to do it yourself.

Pretty box or no, if Grimhilde wanted Snow White killed, she should’ve put aside her class bigotry and racism and ventured into the projects to do it herself to begin with.

*********************************
Note: This posting was originally published in October of 2008.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Emerging Art: SO MUCH LOVE

My cousin, Pam, in Tennessee has reached a new place in her life and wants to commemorate it with a tattoo.  She asked me to design it for her, and she and I have been working on it over the last few days.  Tonight, it's name emerged.


It's almost done ...

Version 1
Version 2
SO MUCH LOVE (Incomplete)
© October 18, 2010 by Donna L. Faber

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MY FIRST MEDIUM READING

I am fascinated by mediums, people who are able to speak with the spirits of our deceased. John Edwards, Lisa Williams, and the ever debated Sylvia Browne march across my lens from time to time on television; and there is a medium by the name of Felix Lee Lerma living right here on the Castro in San Francisco. My friend, Jen, who passed away last January, went to see Felix in 2008 and raved about the reading she received. If you’re plugged in, you can’t miss television shows like “Medium” and “Ghost Whisperer”, which is produced by the famed James Von Praagh. If we consider the overwhelming emergence, the intense visibility, of such a talent at this particular point in Earth’s spiritual history, our natural curiosity about bridging the gap between this world and the next won’t be such a surprise or nearly as shocking.

I’ve entertained the possibility of being read by a medium on many occasions, but something always came up as I pursued it. Okay well … maybe it was part skepticism and part nerves, too. But then, one year ago, SpiritCaat, a woman who I am connected to on Facebook, was looking for new opportunities to practice her skill, so I volunteered.  I’m so glad that I did.

SpiritCaat, whose given name is Lisa, approached our reading with open attentiveness and honest communication. She was looking for repetitive symbols in her work, clues as to common themes, and how they compared to true messages from beyond. I was impressed with how pragmatically she approached the very lofty topic, and how she tied past readings to mine (confidentially, of course) in order to learn more about her gift. I had no expectations as to the reading’s outcome and considered myself an open book, so my overall experience was very positive.

My great aunt Phyllis spoke to me through SpiritCaat’s otherworldly and intuitive connection. She is my grandmother’s long lost and deceased sister, and confirmed who she was by offering up her mother’s name directly. There is no way Lisa could know that my great grandmother’s name was Grace.

My grandmother, Thelma, is in her late 80’s, suffers from dementia, and hangs on to this life ferociously for many reasons. She’s been in a rest home for over10 years, and has been at death’s door regularly, only to pull back at the last minute as though reluctant to depart. In fact, she is anchored to this world by some very strong emotions and a lack of faith that I learned to recognize when I was in Connecticut with her for two years in 2007 and 2008.

Phyllis offered reassurances as to Thelma’s passing, but then it became apparent her multi-dimensional message was specifically for Tootsie, my grandmother’s youngest living sister. Tootsie is in her early 80’s, is very together (despite having bad knees), is very chipper, and very aware of and a little freaked out by all the death around her, no matter that it’s age appropriate. She grapples with unresolved issues regarding my grandmother, who was like a mother to her, and whose unsolicited and inappropriate opinions often caused familial friction.

She and I discussed SpiritCaat’s reading, and she asked many questions. She walked me through all the biggest issues she has with my grandmother, helping me to understand. Finally, with the knowledge that Phyllis and their mother were there to help her cross over, we agreed it was appropriate to prepare for Thelma’s departure (which has yet to occur, by the way). Tootsie was so relieved and reassured that she cried.

I have one last tidbit on this reading. In the beginning, when SpiritCaat was “warming up”, I was doodling around on my notepad (determined as I was to take notes), clearing my thoughts, and opening my mind. I wrote “ding dong” on the pad, which meant nothing to me at the time. It turns out, as my Aunt Tootsie confessed; she hears a door bell ring just before receiving big news about a family member. Nobody else hears it. Only she does.

Even when other people are in the room.

Of course, Tootsie’s doorbell rang only just prior to receiving my call.

This fascinating tidbit was further confirmation of the genuine nature of SpiritCaat’s gift. What greater gift than healing could a medium offer.

Read more about SpiritCaat’s offerings by visiting her New Age Encyclopedia here , and her primary website here.


Originally posted one year ago on September 1, 2009, this article has been editted.  Both photos in this article were swiped from SpiritCaat's Facebook page.

Monday, September 27, 2010

CHANGE IS AFOOT

There are some changes o’er my creative horizon. As this summer drew to a close, I found myself rethinking web-based creative outlets and realized I’ve outgrown a few of my blogs. Yeah, I’ve thought it over for a week or two, and I’m convinced this is the right thing to do.

Here are changes to look for:
  • I shut down my spirituality blog called “When Isis Rises”. Spirituality was something I needed to talk separately about a few years ago. Since then, I've integrated it. I’ve even gone back to old blogposts wondering what could be republished, and I find the way they were written are all a part of my past. I just don’t see things in precisely the same way, and I don’t express myself the same way. Now, my spirituality has become a part of how I navigate life, and when it comes up, it comes up. When I need to express myself about it specifically, I’ll do so right here on Sapphokinesis.
  • I also shut down my other blog called “Every Woman is a Witch”. While I still firmly believe there is a little witch in all women, I don’t feel the need to write about it any longer. That blog was a return to my spiritual roots done at a time when I needed to reclaim those roots. Since then, I’ve integrated my inner witch and, believe me, I ride my broomstick when I feel the need. I still see the ebb and flow of magic in the world, particularly now when the world is changing so much, so quickly. However, I’m not a practicing Wiccan, Pagan, or Witch, and I don’t write spells any longer. I’ve become something different and that is perfectly and uniquely me. I still read the tarot, however, and I hope to be involved in my tarot project for a long time. The cards will always be a big part of who I am, broomstick and all.
  • For a short time, I had a companion blog to my art site … that was a waste of time.
  • I still have an art site called http://www.donnalouisefaber.com/ where folks can purchase prints and link to my stores on Redbubble and Cafepress. All of my art and their companion blogs will go there. It is also where you can find my completed tarot cards and their meanings.
  • I’ve expanded things here at Sapphokinesis and created pages to support my tarot, my fictional book project, and to tell folks about myself. I will also create an art page, and whatever else I think is pertinent. 

I'm still on Facebook a lot and have a Fan Page there.  I'm not on Twitter very often, however.  I guess I got bored with it.

In a nutshell, I continue to change and grow and my creativity is changing and growing with me. However, one thing is for certain, just as it says at the top of this blog … “I am a work-in-progress, in rapid forward motion, growing and transforming. I’m on a voyage of self-discovery, always creating, and I thrive in defiance of a changing and challenging world.”

So, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be here on Sapphokinesis babbling or over on my art site drawing pictures.

I hope you visit me often.

Love,

D♥

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nine Hawks

When Elizabeth, Leslie and I left the house this morning, there were nine enormous hawks riding the drafts over our heads. We stood there, looking up, and Elizabeth danced around a bit to avoid getting pooped on.

Smart kid.

I was thoughtful.

Time is fleeting.

As I get closer to the 50 year mark, this becomes more and more apparent. Time doesn’t slow down for any one, and the world continues to change around me in ways that remind me of my mortality.

Elizabeth will be in high school before we know it. Already, she’s thinking about a car. Leslie’s head is full of a significant ex who was just diagnosed with lung cancer. How do you process that kind of information? I’ll tell you how. You do it carefully, and you keep it in the right perspective. You also forgive yourself for feeling relieved it isn’t you or someone very close to you who is sick.

All the astrological activity over the summer, the mercury retrograde, weirdness in Virgo, cosmic this and that … all the energy that has kept things either in stasis or compressed with great efficiency has been a mixed blessing. It’s mixed only because I spent time railing against it. It is my nature to be restless, but I have to admit this summer has slowed me down enough to reflect. Craziness at work had me so worked up, I wasn’t thinking at all. I created attachments and expectations to circumstances I have no control over, and then I reacted to them. Ironically, it turns out these are circumstances I don’t want control over, and once I realized why I reacted, I was surprised at how easy they were to let go. As a German friend of mine says after a good work out, “I got over it”.

This summer has given me time to listen, which is something I work on continuously. Good listening skills are easy to put aside when you’re in the thick of things. I’ve focused on listening more effectively to my daughter, to Leslie, to special friends, and to people at work. I’m listening to the silence between the words. I’m listening to my head, my heart, my thoughts, and my internal muse, Francine, who I sense is undergoing a transformation of sorts.

Overall, the muse had been quiet. I’ve started a few small art projects, only to put them aside, bored or suddenly uninterested. On the same note, I’m thinking about writing a book, and I’m jotting down notes. “Make it sellable,” Leslie advises, ever the pragmatic Taurean, and I listen. I wonder if Stephanie Meier kept that in mind as she pounded out the Twilight Saga on a laptop in her kitchen.

“I will write a novel about vampires, and IT WILL SELL!”

Nine hawks. Drifting.

The number 9 portends the highest level of change. It carries all the potential, preparation, and energy of the 8 numbers before it. It indicates that we’ve assimilated what we should have in a situation, and that appropriate change is occurring either in circumstance, perception or expectation. It indicates we have accomplished what we should have. Spiritually, the hawk is a symbol of air or the intellect. It has excellent vision, encouraging us to truly see what we are getting into. It’s a powerful hunter, as well, encouraging us to go after what we want, once we’re sure that we want it. Visually, it is a sight to behold, and as it effortlessly rides the air drafts, it reminds me to go with the flow.

Change is coming. Keep the eyes open. Pay attention. And chill out.

So, does this mean things will start to move along at work?

Or shall I write that book?

Perhaps something entirely unexpected will happen.

Either way, I’m ready.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

NEW MOON IN VIRGO: Banishing Uncertainty at Work

Sunflowers from a dear friend
remind me to seek the sunny side!


I had the hardest time getting my derriere in gear to go to work Tuesday morning. I wanted to stay home just one more day. The new moon in Virgo finds me unusually and purposefully thoughtful, so an extra day to ponder would’ve been just right. But this Virgo energy is about efficiency not luxury, so I got myself out of bed and went to work.
I’m pondering my art, and thinking about writing a book. I’m reassessing my blogs and the possibility of combining them. I’m reaffirming my commitment to family and friendship and using my love to make those closest to me stronger and happier. I’m reaffirming the commitment to my health, as well, by continuing to eat better, eat less, and move more. These affirmations are all part of the tapestry of my life.

More than anything, judgment is on my mind. Not so much how others judge me, but how I judge myself. My spiritual compass is an internal one, and I am content with the choices I’ve made around family, friends, lifestyle, and my art and other areas of creativity. I’ve focused specifically on confidence in these areas in the past, and worked through a number of very difficult and enduring life lessons, all of which where about judgment, but are topics for another blogpost. Now, I’m in the middle of another life lesson, the delicate fibers of which I can see at last. Clearly, this is about my career, and I’m ready to get beyond it.

Last week, I finished defining the Judgment card in my pending pop-culture tarot deck. The same day, someone on Facebook pulled Judgment as the “card of the day”. Last Wednesday, a taste of workplace neurosis from the recent past re-emerged, and its bitterness seemed fresh and new. Then, I had nightmares all weekend about things and people I most value being in danger. It’s funny how those synchronicities line up, isn’t it? It’s like my subconscious pushed rewind until I got the message.

Like everyone, I live with a few demons tucked away deep in the recesses of my psyche. They are private, custom made by my life experiences, and locked up in tiny little cages made of unbreakable steel called “restraint”. Only the Great Mother and I can open the locks. They are held closed by combinations called “self-esteem” and “worthiness”, both of which I worked very hard to reclaim after my precarious childhood. The first demon is a prickly little bastard called “Measuring Up” and the other is a bleak fellow called “Failure”. After making appearances (and being dealt with) in my personal relationships some time ago, apparently they have settled in the “Career/Professional” subsection of my brain.

Alright, I give. I get it. I’m here to learn a lesson, right? The last time something this intense and job related happened in 2003. When the cycle of change was over three years later in 2006, my family and I were jettisoned into a whole new set of lessons on the opposite side of the country. So, I know I won’t be released from this until I learn what I’m supposed to learn.

Before the firm I’m working for announced its merger over a year ago, I enjoyed a nice, mellow, make-sense kind of job. There was a clear line of report, workplace respect, and good leadership. I’ve worked in a merging firm before, and there are very sound reasons why the word “merger” has people looking for new jobs. The announcement alone had me worried. Two different cultures coming together causes company-wide disruption. The competitive and uncertain atmosphere has people acting like teenagers. Change is the name of the day, and everything that could make me feel uncertain in my job has occurred. I’ve been job searching since April, and while I’ve had a few good nibbles, it seems companies have lowered their base salary for what I do. The economy being what it is offers few alternatives and consequently leaves no escape. This uncertainty and the unprofessional and disrespectful way I was being treated by key people unhinged the locks on my professional confidence, releasing both my fear of failure and not measuring up. Soon, I felt hesitant. My confidence seemed to leak away. I judged everything I wanted to say, everything I wanted to do, from a place of fear. And those two demons sat atop my shoulders enjoying their success. Fear is such a cancerous thing. It gives over so much of our personal power to others.

The only way to banish demons like this is to let them all the way out to show themselves. Then, as though you are working a magic spell, whip out your magic wand, call upon your resources of courage and self-respect and recognize them for what they are and what they have done to you. Call them out by name, forgive yourself for being swayed and the way you may have acted, and cast them away! Learn from your mistake!

This dissolves their power and so they disappear.

Today is the new moon in Virgo, and I harness its energy to put a close on this challenge. Artemis, the Virgin Goddess of the Hunt, shoots her arrow across the heavens to strike down this needless fear. I will no longer struggle with it, and I won’t let it jeopardize upcoming career opportunities. I’m tired of the stress eating up so many good days and ruining evenings with my family. As of right now, and aided and blessed by the Virgo New Moon and the Great Mother residing within, I release these two demons from their cages forever, and I transform them with my magic.

*Poof*

“Am I good enough?” becomes “I am good enough!”


*Poof*

“Failure” becomes “Success”.

I am confident.

I am me.

And this is how it should be.

~as above, so below~

Thursday, September 2, 2010

EIGHTH GRADE TIME MACHINE

Back to School


Our daughter started her first day of eighth grade last Monday. She got up super early to be at her girlfriend’s house so they could walk up the hill to school together.

Elizabeth, or Liz as she calls herself, is at the top of the heap now in middle school, no longer a Taylor Tot or suspended someplace in the middle of seventh grade. She’s one of those girls she found herself looking up to not even a year ago, poised to enjoy a year full of special events that no one else gets -- a trip to Great America, a special graduation dance, a yearbook with her name embossed on it, and of course the sacred ceremony itself. Eighth grade girls are spoken of in hushed tones, like “He’s dating an eighth grade girl,” or “I’ve been friended on Facebook by an eighth grader!” Elizabeth will have braces by December, too. Maybe even green ones, although when I was a kid we didn’t get to pick cool colors. The fact that she’s actually looking forward to getting them, like they’re a right of passage, blows my mind.

Elizabeth has so much to look forward to, so much to be … so much pressure.

I knew we were approaching a rocky spot this past weekend when by Thursday Elizabeth juggled both her computer and iPhone almost religiously to connect with her best friend, Jessica. Their need to reaffirm their friendship before school started seemed manic. Friday morning, she announced a “Stay at Home Day”, the last of the summer, and she simply refused to go anywhere. Liz glued herself to her technology, as she and Jessica shared an obsession over a gaming site called OMGpop, and their constantly competitive interaction increased their tension. At one point, Elizabeth exclaimed with glee that they were addicted! Yay!

Time For An Intervention

Despite Elizabeth wanting to spend time with Jessica in person over the weekend, Leslie and I gently declared a no friend zone and instead intended to bask our daughter in the healing, inner warmth of our tight family. Saturday would be about shopping, one of Elizabeth’s favorite activities, and the list of errands to complete and prepare for Monday. We shopped for clothes, shoes, and school supplies (which, by the way, cost a fortune no matter where you get them).

While we were out, Elizabeth maintained the link with Jessica over her iPhone. In real time, she vacillated between reluctant cooperation, exasperated impatience, and then downright irritation with Leslie and I. Each time she got too snippy, she heard about it, and soon it became obvious we were cramping her style.

After a slightly tense dinner of chinese food, we ended up at a brand new Van’s shoe store on Burlingame Avenue. It had just opened the day before, was fully stocked, and the sales boy seemed eager to please. That was a good thing because Elizabeth is notoriously difficult to fit. After being a size eight and a half for the last year and a half, Elizabeth declared that she was only seven and a half, and thus began a tug ‘o war around shoe size.

While Elizabeth and Leslie negotiated, I captured a few private and precious moments with Elizabeth’s iPhone to look at the latest string of text messages. I’m not concerned with violating her privacy. It wasn’t her diary, and I didn’t find it under the mattress. Elizabeth knows we claim the right to review her activity on the internet, although she refers to it as stalking. These are children using futuristic communication devices that encourage and enable disrespectful attitudes by eliminating the need for personal contact. Reports of internet bashing, bullying, and inappropriate teenage behavior whirled through my head, as some of the comments I’d previously read written by Jessica when she was irritated with her mother flashed before my eyes. Indeed, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst, I was enormously relieved to see that Leslie and I had been however irritatingly, but still only, referred to as “those people”.

I heaved an enormous sigh.

We were not “those jerks” or worse as some other children have called their parents. No. Elizabeth referred to us as “my moms” (which we are) and “those people”, as in, “I can’t get away from those people” (which I don’t mind). She complained we were finding fault with everything she did, and, I suppose, from her limited perspective, we were.

Eighth Grade Time Machine

Eighth grade was a blur for me. My brothers and I lived with my mother in a pretty little rental in Milford, Connecticut, but the front door revolved in a long series of freaks and weirdo’s. These were people my mother considered friends, but who, at any point in my life, I would consider a roster of the lowest form of barely vegetative life forms available on the Milford bar scene. The all night parties complete with band, open use of drugs and alcohol, people asleep on the couch, floors and showing up in bedrooms, punctuated by the occasional conflict between inebriated scumbags was a frightening parade of on-going craziness. You wouldn’t believe the completely inappropriate scenes I walked in on, and god only knows what my brothers were exposed to. I was frequently stunned, to say the least. My immediate family was no safe haven, and my mother’s behavior became a source of confusion. While there was a guardian angel that kept me focused on constructive activities, my mother showed no interest in what I was doing, and so at this point I started leaning heavily on my friends for emotional support and got out of the house every chance I could get.

Leslie, on the other hand, was a different kind of kid. She was in seventh grade in 1964, and her mother had gone away for a long medical convalescence. Leslie was left with her father, who worked in show business, to fend for herself. Her older sister had long since flown the coup. Leslie was a private child who didn’t share her problems and never strayed from her family.

* * * * *

For us, Sunday was, quite deliberately, a lovely, peaceful day. Elizabeth and I organized her dresser, her closet, and all her school supplies, and the process made her very happy. She spent only one hour on the computer at the very end of the day, which found Leslie and I speculative.

Our family approached a nuclear meltdown more than once over the weekend. Elizabeth teetered on a high wire of tension, brought on by eighth grade expectations, and Leslie and I were her safety net, guiding her. I found myself wondering what would happen if that safety net disappeared? How would our daughter fare if we weren’t there to guide her? Would she be like I was, needful of people and activities? Or would she be like Leslie who was private and self-sufficient? I’m happy that her biggest worry revolves around when she can visit with her friends after school instead of focusing so intently on homework.

Elizabeth is an uncanny combination of both Leslie and I, and if you’re familiar with how she was conceived, you’ll see the irony in this. She can be flighty and forgetful one moment, and then incredibly focused, attentive, and connected the next. At school, she manages to juggle a complex social network of friends, which extends across the internet, and still she gets good grades. We just received the results of last year’s California STAR testing, and her marks were outstanding.

All speculation aside, I got the reassurance I needed from Elizabeth’s text messages. Yes, she is poised however precariously on the brink of being a teenager, like most kids her age, and believe me, Leslie and I get on her nerves regularly.

But we're confident she’s holding her own.

Note: Photography by ellSNAP Designs (aka Elizabeth Leslie Faber).

Saturday, July 31, 2010

FROM OUR WORKSHOP: Elizabeth on a roll

For the longest time, Elizabeth (my 13 year old daughter) was preoccupied with a digital drawing tablet.  She did a few pieces of art with it, but kept getting hung up on the technology of it.  She'd get so frustrated becuase she couldn't what she wanted out of it in her drawings.  Well, she finally got tired of it, and went back to good old pen & ink!  And this what she's been up to ...

One day, Lizii decided she wanted to be a Pokemon
© July 27, 2010 by Elizabeth Faber

A close up of my favorite bit of the previous piece.

Plus Music © July 27, 2010 by Elizabeth Faber ... so sweet.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

FAMILY PORTRAIT

This Faber family portrait was done by artist, norn cutson, of New York City. norn and I met on da interwebs, and we've been in one another's orbit now for a few years.  He is a delightful human being who wants to do his art and make people happy.  I hope you take a moment to get to know norn.  He's awesome!


Love,
D♥

Saturday, July 17, 2010

FROM OUR WORKSHOP: PMS Sucks ...

"You've been on my back all day, SEE??!?"
© July 15, 2010 by Liz Faber.
And so, perimenopause begins and I become a MOMster.
Why is it that our children have such clear vision? D♥

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ios: A Personal Love Affair



By Guest Author, Lambi Lentakis

The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,
Where Delos rose, and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set ...
Lord Byron

The Greek islands have held so many people in their thrall over the ages. Many have roamed their shores and written about their beauty and the special light of the skies and the colors of the sea. I grew up in London, and because my parents were Greek, we visited Greece a lot as a family and made many trips around numerous islands. Later I traveled farer a field, but I felt myself constantly drawn back to Greece and her islands. Deciding that the Cycladic group of islands appealed to me most, I island-hopped extensively, discovering many beautiful places, until I came upon Ios. Here, I had found my dream island and the source of my inspiration, so I decided to stay.



What makes Ios special?


What is so special about Ios? When I first arrived in the early 1970s, I was looking for sun, sea and fun (much like people are nowadays). These I found in abundance. Along the road, I discovered stunningly beautiful landscapes, a graphic traditional village, stupendous beaches and a sense of timelessness. Yes, Ios has changed over the years, but somehow it has remained basically the same. The old traditions of the locals are entwined with modern technologies and the influx of visitors only really changes the rhythm of the island during the few summer months.


One of the reasons I love Ios so much are the beaches: most islands have one or two lovely beaches – Ios has over 30, some of them spectacular. There’s a beach to suit all tastes – sandy, rocky, pebbled, busy or remote. If you want to participate in water sports activities or poolside fun, you can – and there’s even a scuba diving school. On the other hand, if you want a beach to yourself, you can also find one. The waters are crystal clear which make swimming and snorkeling very enjoyable.


If you get tired of the beaches, there is always the picturesque village to explore with its little white houses with doors and shutters of varying shades of blue and its winding narrow alleyways – some of them partly covered. The little back streets have a charm of their own with beautiful little patches of color of bougainvillea and other plants. Lining the main lanes are shops, little bars and places to eat. No cars are allowed into the traditional part of the village which is built on a snail-shaped hill, with many steps to reach the higher parts. It is well worth the climb as when you reach the top with the 4 churches, the views over the sea are incredible.


The nightlife is vibrant with a vast choice of places to drink, socialize and dance the night away. The main square of the village is a great meeting place and people of all nationalities and ages congregate in the evenings to meet up and have fun. In the bottom square you can listen to live Greek music in the summer evenings. Both squares are great for people-watching and having a catch up with your friends and can get quite busy at night, while in the mornings they are peaceful places to linger over coffee with friends. Here, I made the best friends of my life and also met my future husband.


If you are a lover of nature, there are various treks through the hills and mountains which show you a different aspect of the island and some very strange rock formations. In springtime, if there has been enough rain, the mountains are covered in a carpet of wild flowers and wherever you tread the scent of thyme & other herbs perfumes the air around you. My husband has found 16 different varieties of wild orchids on his walks and well as many other flowers.


Village life


Maybe it is village life itself which is the main draw of Ios for me. Here, I know so many people – the locals, the workers, the visitors who come back at set times every year – and I also get to know new people every time I’m here. Not only do I know the people, I know their pets too. A walk through the village involves many stops to chat to the butcher, the baker, the boutique owner and also pat their dogs & talk to their cats. This feeling of community & lack of anonymity is common to most villages, but Ios offers something else as well. Because of the tourist nature of the island, there is a metropolitan flavor and a break down of barriers. Visitors are mainly cheerful as they are on holiday & this creates an open, joyful atmosphere. One day I may meet an artist or musician, another day a bricklayer or a carpenter. The millionaire rubs shoulders with the back-backer. The young mingle with the old and nobody looks askance at the 83 year old artist who comes every year to drink her retsina and dance the night away.


All these things contribute to why I’m in love with Ios and I hope I have managed to convey the “Hotel California nature” of the island – I am not the only one who keeps returning. Even those who do not visit the island for years, often come back with their families to show their partners & offspring the magic of Ios. It gained its reputation as a party island in the 1980s, but in truth, it is much more than that. Ios caters not only for the party animals, but also for those who seek peace & serenity. It may be an island for youth, but older people also appreciate its charm. The locals have seen various tribes of visitors pass through their land – from the hippies to the Goths, rockers, punks – you name it. Many eccentrics have graced its shores. The Niotes (people of Ios) have looked on with acceptance (and amusement) at the various antics that people get up to. They embraced us with hospitality and love, although our customs are so different to theirs. They allowed us to be ourselves and to act out our dreams. On Ios I can be as silly as I like & find people to join me in my silliness – it is the only place in the world that I feel I have the freedom to be me – and I think that is the real reason for its magic.


About the Author


Lambi is a bohemian artist who finds her spiritual solace on the Greek island of Ios, although she spends the winter months in Athens. Her work is inspired by the people she knows and the places she goes, and of course, by the island she so loves, which manifests regularly in her paintings. You can see more of Lambi's work on her blog and follow her on Twitter
 
Read my blogpost Kaleidoscope which features Lambi's art.  Also, Lambi inspired the piece of art to the left here, which is a page from my Art Journal.  She loved it and uses it as her profile pic on FB.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Those Lips, Those Eyes (Francine 3)

~lo sono il segreto della nostra Regina~

Those Lips, Those Eyes (Francine 3) © June 9, 2010 by Donna L. Faber as Jupiter enters the sign of Aries for the first time since the year 2000, and I feel more myself than I have in six months. This piece is done on Strathmore Bristol Vellum, 100 lb. paper, with Prismacolor markers, a Sharpie, and Pips. The original is 11’ x 17”, and she’s four separate, assembled pieces. This portrait has been 6 months in the making. I started it in January, was stricken with an enduring case of artistic ADD, and got side tracked by work and work related stress. I filled the artistic void with short-term projects like my art journal, tarot cards, and the occasional blogpost.

I often wonder what women would do with their lives if they had more choices.  What makes them submit to unhappy or toxic domestic situations?


Francine is forever the eternal and relentless lover. She seeks love in all places, without boundary, without rest, and in defiance of convention and standard morality. She is also the embodiment of my internal creative muse; she who will not be quieted.

In this piece, she is from another life, another time, but she is still Francine. She states, “I am yours forever,” and explores love through submission.

This is her story.

***************************

I live here.


In these chambers.


I know nothing but these ornate walls and the plush gardens outside them. Born into servitude, and gifted with beauty, I was hand picked for this purpose. I am hand-maiden to the Queen. She is my soul purpose and my reason for living. This is what I was put on the earth for, and in being here in service to her I fulfill my destiny. She is the Queen of the realm, and the Queen of my heart, and I am her tiny secret.


It seems I am always waiting. Even though I was born to do so, at times I find myself wanting. I live for the moments when my Queen expresses her satisfaction. To me, her smile is akin to the rays of the sun, shining approval down on me, or the radiance of the full moon. Those moments are not easily won, but I strive for them readily. I wait for them constantly.

She is not a young Queen, and speaking of age is anathema to her. She is a fully bloomed flower, ripe and colorful, and while it is by force of will or in defiance of nature, her bloom has not wilted where others surely have. She is strong. Soft, pliable skin covers muscle and bones made of steel. I’ve learned she relies on this physical strength and endurance. Her grip is tight.  It is as tight as the back of her hand is hard and as sharp as the ascerbic cut of her tongue. Her moods are mercurial and her needs undefined, but when those needs are not met she is quick to punish either corporally, which is not intolerable or unpleasant, or by leaving me alone here in this place for days on end. No matter how empty I am rendered, when I am left without her, by days’ end, I pine. Within two days, I weep. After that ...



And then she appears again, and I am resurrected.


When she is present, I am at my most content. I am completely fulfilled in that particularly delicious service, the tasting, feeling, emotional whirlwind which is indeed the truest focus of my singular existence. Every inch of her is like nectar, and I drink deeply, memorizing every curve, fold, and hidden valley. She smells like fragrant lilacs.  Her body is a map forever burned in my memory, and I travel it’s byways in my dreams, my imagination, when she isn’t present.  Her voice ... ah her voice. When she whispers in passion, I am transported. It is the lock set on my captivation. It is why I surrender to her persistent demands.  All this and love.  All mundane details fade against the persistence of this desire, when my skin becomes alive with a million hungry mouths aching to be kissed, fed, and filled.


Only she can feed this hunger.


When she leaves, I begin to wilt.

I wait for her return, dangling on the string of our psychic rapport. I feel her each and every moment of each and every day and night no matter if she is here or not. That silver cord transmits every feeling, every concern, every fleeting moment of unhappiness, and every triumph. It reveals to me when she is in the arms of another.


This connection is my salvation as much as it is my eternal torment.


I am left only with the sureness of my intuition, and the hope that she will open the door to my chamber and enter in all her glory, thus releasing me from this suspension and into her service, delicious as it is, once again.


Until she does, I remain here wrapped in a sheet, rifling through memories of the last time I saw her.


Waiting.


I am her secret, and I am content.

***************************

Francine
Francine 2

See more of my art at




 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Words to live by ...

I found this in a box recently. 

It was written by the mentor I had when I was growing up.  It has to be over 35 years ago.  Her name was Contance M. Sullivan aka Connie Moore, and she was my dance and theater arts instructor in Milford, Connecticut.  A long time friend of the family, Connie, or Miss Connie as we all called her, was larger than life.  She was six feet tall in her high heels, had flaming red hair that she swore wasn't colored (the jury is still out on that).  She also wore hats and scarves, beige leather gloves, and was well known for her false eye lashes.  I came out of my childhood, in spite of what happened, with some confidence and daring because of Miss Connie's influence in my life. 

She's been dead for almost 10 years, but I still dream about her.

It's like she's still there, in my internal landscape, keeping me on my toes.

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