“Nature pulls us up when we feel down, worked up, and vulnerable. It takes us out of our neurosis, shakes off the cobwebs, and helps us to mentally refresh. Nature shows us the way of the cycles and impermanence of all things and awakens the heart.” ~Dr. Michelle Kambolis
"Personal rituals are powerful for drawing us quickly and deeply into sacred space. They invite us to use clear intention with our senses, movements, feelings, visualization and focus to create meaning and purpose."
As we round the corner into 2024, we continue seeking ways to bring meaning and intentionality into our daily lives. Here are a couple of inspirations for setting out on the right foot, and beginning the year beautifully...
A practice of observing and recording or sketching what we see in nature is a way to slow down and feel into our humanity, to bring ourselves back to the present, the real world of nature, our true home. Begin your notebook, journal, or sketchbook by inscribing it a verse or saying, something that will inspire you every time you open it. Here are a couple of ideas...
“When we write, we are showing a deep appreciation for the world around us and for our opportunity to journey through it as human beings. The stories and poems we create are offerings of gratitude for those gifts."
“Nature pulls us up when we feel down, worked up, and vulnerable. It takes us out of our neurosis, shakes off the cobwebs, and helps us to mentally refresh. Nature shows us the way of the cycles and impermanence of all things and awakens the heart.”
“A walk through the woods probably won’t change what’s wrong, but it can change how we respond to it.”
Before pulling your cards, find a quiet place where you can sit in silence, or your choice of relaxing music. Light a candle or incense, and take a few deep breaths...Have a pencil and paper with you, or your tarot journal, and your favorite tarot deck.
Pull your twelve cards, one for each month of the year. Arrange them in a circle like the numbers on a clock, face down, and then one at a time (starting with the first card you pulled, for January) turn them over and jot down your first associations with each card.
~"Focusing on keywords and the symbols that jump out at you, quickly write down the very first meanings that come to mind for each card. Write fast. Don’t critique this."
~"Next, pay attention to what the card literally suggests. For negative cards, look at them as soul tasks, for instance, the 5 of Cups might suggest looking at your failures, mistakes and losses (the three spilled cups) and then considering what remains for you to pick up and do (the two upright cups behind). The Tower might suggest throwing things out or letting yourself explode or get angry. So, even negative cards can suggest areas of focus."
~"Note also certain themes that are repeated by more than one card. For instance, I had several cards that spoke of finishing and completing things. Flesh out your thoughts relating to each card and to the connections among them."
~"Keep what you've written about these cards accessible and review it frequently." During the year create new spreads to help you as you move through the various themes and guidance suggested by the cards. "This is when spreads about overcoming obstacles and setting concrete objectives can come in handy."
In addition to Greer's books, 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card and Tarot for Your Self, another helpful resource is the Motherpeace guide book - Motherpeace: A Way to the Goddess Through Myth, Art, and Tarot (Revised) by Vicki Noble.
Flip the familiar To-Do list on its head! Required materials include: pencil and paper, a moment of peace and calm, and an open mind. Now...Instead of setting up a series of obstacles to be conquered, or boxes to check off, tasks to accomplish...Instead cast your mind forward and imagine some of the moments, places, experiences, objects, and people that you anticipate encountering in the near future. Then, picture yourself coming to meet those situations with love and grace...Write down 3 things you can do with love, 3 places you can visit with loving energy, and 3 people you can meet with loving focused awareness.
Be as specific as you can. Some To-Love list items may be:
"I will make my morning coffee with love and gratitude," "I will drive my car (or ride my bicycle) with love and care"
"I will bring loving energy with me when I visit the library...or the post office...or the grocery store"
"I will bring my best, most loving self to the next interactions with my neighbor...my coworker...my friend"
The more we can connect with love and joy, and set out with the intention to bring love to everything we do, the more we can set ourselves up for a good day, and foster strong loving energy to meet any challenges.
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy;
They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”