Walking with Mary – September Edition

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I can’t believe it was only this past February that I first did the Walking with Mary Journey with Hettienne Grobler, The French Maddona. It feels like it was many more years ago that I first did it. Nonetheless, I am so excited to do this journey and join the others who are also walking with Mary.

You can read more about my experience in February here.

I am joining this journey again because I had a great experience last time. I loved the community that was built around the Walking with Mary Journey. I loved learning from Hettienne. And most of all, I loved the relationship that I developed with Mary.

I remember feeling hesitant to join last time. I made a lot of excuses about why I could not join. Then everything fell into place, I realized that I had all the materials I needed. I have many of the items leftover from last time, like my prayer shawl and the image of Mary I used las time. I have also gotten a few new items that I will use like my rosewood prayer mala and a handbound book my sister gifted me earlier this year.

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Please visit Hettienne’s blog to read about what this next Walking with Mary experience will bring.

If this is the first time you are considering joining this journey and you feel apprehensive about the preparations, please don’t let that keep you from joining. The most important altar that needs to be set up is the one that is inside your heart.

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My Journey with Tarot

It’s been about four years since Tarot found me.

Since then, I have developed an intimate relationship with this divination system. For me, Tarot is a trusted confidant and friend. It’s that type of friend that doesn’t give you the answers and tells you what to do, but instead helps you figure out what YOU really want to do and helps you find YOUR own answers.

Tarot can be used for many different things, from weighing different decisions, dealing with issues about work and personal life, finding your gifts and strengths, meeting your challenges, to jump-start your creative writing/art-making and of course, it can be a great tool for your spiritual development.

I am fortunate that Tarot is very popular right now and easily accessible. You can search for decks to purchase on Amazon, or even print your own at home. You can meet people online and in real life who are interested in Tarot. You can learn how to read Tarot on YouTube! It’s a wonderful time to be alive and interested in this stuff :).

There is a thriving community of Tarot peeps on Instagram. There are monthly challenges that you can join to develop your reading skills. Tarot challenges were wonderful for me as a beginner. It’s been a few months since I joined a challenge, but that is mostly due to lack of time and not lack of interest.

I have used Tarot to get a reading of the energies for the month ahead and also to help me reflect on the month that just ended. I read Tarot for dark moons, new moons, and full moons. I will also sometimes pull a daily card just to help me center and ground when I am feeling overwhelmed and anxious.  I have used Tarot to communicate with my house. That was one of the most interesting and unusual things I’ve used Tarot for.

If you read Tarot, what is the most interesting/unusual reading you have done?

Depth Year Update

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Photo from pexels.com. Also, writer life goals 🙂

In December of 2018 I heard about the Depth Year and thought that was a great idea to continue on what I had started doing some months prior to December, which was to reduce my consumption of spiritual tools (tarot and oracle decks, crystals, etc.) and use the many tools I have acquired throughout the years. You can see my initial ideas and plans for my Depth Year here.

When I decided to embark on a Depth Year, I made some goals for myself:

  1. Use 12 tarot decks that I have not used
  2. Work with one or two crystals I already own per month
  3. Finish reading Holistic Tarot
  4. Finish the coaching class I purchased
  5. Spend more time writing
  6. Read a book once a month
  7. Read the books/articles I have on the chakras
  8. Use my Desire Map Planner
  9. Do the Desire Map Workbooks
  10. Spend more time creating offline

I can say that I have been successful in making progress in most of my goals. I have been using decks I owned and previously did not use. I usually chose one or two decks per month and this allows me to really get to know the energy of the cards and infuse them with my energy. I am not going to lie, I have bought/traded more decks since starting the Depth Year. But they have been decks in my wishlist and not just random and impulsive buys. In comparison to how much I bought before, I am doing really good!

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Amethyst seer stone I carry with me all the time

I have also been limiting myself to working with one crystal per month and have not bought a new crystal for a long time. This working with one crystal per month started many months ago for me. In the beginning, I remember really struggling to stick to one crystal, it has become so much easier now. I will usually pick the crystal that attracts me the most from my collection, this month it is amethyst. Then I will set an intention for what I hope to accomplish during the month. This month’s work with amethyst I am being intentional about developing my psychic and intuitive abilities, strengthening my third eye chakra, and I am also using amethyst to keep my cool at work :).

 

I have also been dedicating more time to my writing. I set up a calendar reminder on my phone for Dianna’s writing time every Saturday and Sunday morning. Sometimes it’s not easy waking up, but my hubby is supportive and will usually encourage me to wake up and write before the girls wake up. I have also been creating often and it has really helped me keep my mental and emotional sanity.

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My Desire Map monthly overview

I’m trying to get back into the habit of reading a book at least once a month. I recently finished Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell. I am now reading The Book of Goddess by Kris Waldherr.  I am using my Desire Map Planner almost daily. I’m slowly working my way through Holistic Tarot.

 

Overall my Depth Year is going well. I can say that “narrowing” my focus has been very beneficial as it allows me to get more out of whatever I am learning and doing. This narrowing of focus is really contrary to how I usually work. I love to have a wide focus because I want to see everything and find the connections between things. But, I think it’s a good idea for me to learn to use a narrow focus when I need it. That’s it for my Depth Year update. Are you also doing a Depth Year or would like to do a Depth Year? I’d love to read your opinion and thoughts in the comments!

Amazonite And The Journey To Your Self

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This is the amazonite stone that I had with me for the whole month of February. 

In February, I devoted my crystal connection to a pretty potent stone known as amazonite. If you research the metaphysical properties of amazonite online, you will read that it helps you connect with your authentic self. I can say that each time I have pick up amazonite to work with, this has been true for me.

Connecting with the energy of amazonite always leads me in the direction of finding my self. It sounds very easy doesn’t it? “Carry some amazonite around, it will help you connect to your real authentic self!” But what the instructions don’t tell you is that in order to connect to your real authentic self, the other self (the fake self) you have been living with, building up, and introducing to your friends and acquaintances has to go.

This “side effect” of working with amazonite is not as glamorous as connecting to your authentic self, but it’s a non-negociable part of the journey. For me this journey to my authentic self always begins with the question: what am I doing with my life? Followed by these other equally imposing questions: Am I doing what I am meant to be doing? Am I sharing my gifts for the benefit of the word? Am I following my passion and living my life purpose?

I’m not going to lie, when these questions become alive in my heart and my mind it causes me a lot anxiety and emotional distress. I journal a lot. I talk to my loved ones. I begin planning and writing in detail where I think I want to go and how I can get there as quickly as possible.  I am forced to face the reality of my life. I have to look at myself as objectively as I can. If I am not careful, I will start berating myself for not being where I think I am meant to be.

This time around my journey to myself did not end with me beating myself up for not living my dream life. This time, I rested in the knowledge that I am in just the right place, doing the right thing, talking to the right people who need me in their life at this moment. But in order to arrive at this conclusion I had to answer all the above questions and be uncomfortable for some time while the process of re-discovery was taking place.

If you feel that your life is not going in the right direction or you feel stuck, or you feel like a fake, I highly recommend working with the energy of amazonite to help you along. If you have worked with amazonite, I’d love to read about your experience in the comments!

#SRAOC – The Way Home

Over on Instagram, I am participating on Small Rebellious Acts of Creativity (#SRAOC) by The Jar Writer’s Collective, a weekly invitation to engage in small rebellious acts of creativity, as the name implies. I will be doing a combination of poetry, short story, art, digital collage, and photo editing.  This week’s prompt is ‘the way home’.

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The Way Home. (Photo from pexels.com, edited by me using Pixlr.)

The Way Home

Strolling in the shop, I came upon a dainty sign that read “The Way Home”. It had an arrow pointing towards a bloated red heart adorned by angel feathers.  “So cliche”, I shrugged. Damn these saccharine Valentine’s-Day-Capitalist-Slaps-On-The-Face. But inside my chest it would not go unnoticed that my heart truly ached.

I knew I had lost my way home a long time ago. I frankly didn’t know what or where home was for me. Maybe I read too much into that sign. “Home is where the heart is. What the hell does that even mean? Who even needs a home or a heart anyway.” I soothed myself as I exit the seasonal aisle.

The damage was done. My mind would betray me by playing seemingly innocent scenes from my childhood. My well trained mind knew just which scenarios to skip over or fast forward to. How long had it been? I’ve lost count of the years since I’ve felt at home anywhere.  

Walking with Mary

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A soul collage I made during the 30 days practice. 

A few weeks ago marked the end of the #30dayswithMary practice. I hesitate to even write that sentence, because I feel that my walking with Mary will never really end.

Many of us who were walking together felt sadness about the conclusion of the 30 days. While I felt sad, I also felt comforted in knowing that the connections I made with my fellow travelers in the last thirty days are long-lasting and will continue even after the hashtag is no longer present in my feed.

As for my relationship with Mary, I can say that Mary will be my companion for many years to come. In this post, I’m just going to share some highlights of the 30 days and explore how I might continue my journey with Mary.

I remember at the beginning of the 30 days, during the mantra recitation, I felt a change in the energy outside of myself, in the area where I had set up the altar. I am not used to feeling energies or presences so my fear quickly took over and the presence disappeared. I didn’t feel any energies outside of myself after that, because I understood that the presence I was seeking was always inside of me and every night when I went to meet Mary, I was actually meeting Mary within myself.

At some point in the 30 days I began to sing the mantra. The first time I sang the mantra I unlocked something inside myself. I opened a door that I didn’t even realize was there. I felt feelings I had not allowed myself to feel and realize what healing I needed to work on. Most of my feelings involved my role as mother and daughter. I am still working through those feelings and I might be brave enough to share them in the future.

Life-Size-Virgin-Mary-Marble-Statue-StoneOne of my favorite parts of the practice was the opportunity to make soul collage cards, like the one in the photos above. I’ve always had a love of photo editing and this love was reawakened thanks to the #30dayswithMary practice.

During the final days of the #30dayswithMary practice I began working on a set of 10 personal oracle cards. I used photo editing/collage to create them. I will do a separate blog post to share that project, but I feel that the cards were influenced by my experience in the walking with Mary days, so they hold a special place for that reason.

Through this practice and thanks to Hettienne’s wonderful guidance, I learned how to set up an altar and conduct a ritual. We also met many representations of Mary, but there is still so much more to explore.

In summary, I am thankful for having the opportunity to participate in this 30 days journey and for sharing the experience with other like-minded people from the tarot community on Instagram. I am hoping that Hettienne hosts this practice again next year.

 

Women’s (Needle) Work

20190130_081305Over on Instagram, I am sharing my experience as I participate in a journey of walking with Mother Mary. This opportunity was made possible by Hettienne Grobler, you can find her blog here. Hettienne shares wonderful information and guidance to help get you started.

There is a lovely community developing around this journey on Instagram, you can find them by searching for #walkingwithmary, #30dayswithmary, #thirtydayswithmary.

I guess I should give some background on why I decided to join this journey. I am not a religious person, and I don’t subscribe to Christian beliefs, I am especially not interested in Catholicism, and yet here we are. I took my time to discern whether this experience was something I was interested in. I resisted joining and found many excuses not to, but the pull was strong. What allowed me to justify this practice for myself is my view of Mary as a representation of the Goddess, and as an archetype that has much to teach us. So with an open mind and open heart, I joined the others.

We are currently on Week Three and are exploring The Veils of Mary and Mary as Sophia,  Our Lady of Wisdom, Shekinah. One of the activities this week involves doing some needle work, whether it be sewing, weaving, knitting. These activities are considered traditionally women’s work.

As a child, I grew up around a lot of women, my mom and sisters, my aunts, cousins, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and their friends. Doing needlework was a common “fun” activity for the girls, while the boys were out playing in the mud. I don’t remember how young I was when I decided that those traditional women activities were not for me. I didn’t really feel interested in sewing, learning to cook, clean, etc. I was more interested in reading, writing, playing outside.

I don’t remember if I ever made a servilleta (a hand embroidered towel) for my mom, which is something that daughters usually make for their moms. I do have vague memories of one of my aunts teaching me how to embroider with a special needle, but I don’t think I finished that project.

Fast forward to many years later, when I began preparing to become a mom, I started to feel a pull towards the women’s work that I had rejected in my youth. I asked my mom to send me some embroidery hoops, thread and fabric.

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I found it very meditative and relaxing. My thread collection grew. I didn’t become a pro, but I began to see this type of work through a different lens.

It’s been about five years since I picked up my needle and thread. I have also changed a lot in those five years, and I am seeing a deeper layer/meaning in this kind of women’s work.

I think it’s magical. It is creative. It can become a magical, creative and spiritual experience. It can be compared to meditating, writing, praying the rosary, doing ritual. Done individually, in the privacy of your home, you can infuse your materials with intention, you can recite a mantra while filling in the patterns and shapes. You can be very intentional with your colors. You can use it to work magic. You can create sacred items for your rituals and sacred spaces.

Just as this journey with Mary has taught me that the Goddess is alive in all of us, this reflection on needlework and women’s work has made me realize that o

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ur grandmothers have been working magick for a very long time, even if they didn’t see it through that lens.

I’m excited to create something beautiful for my journey with Mary.

What has been your experience with women’s work? I’d love to read your comments so please share!