I don’t ever reveal specifics about…

…anyone’s readings other than my own, even anonymously, but today I did an extraordinary number of readings that focused on people reaching the time when planning and dreaming and hoping need to be taken into action, especially in material-realm things like getting a better job, buying a home, or starting a business.  It came up so often that I switched decks for a while, thinking the one I was using was stuck in a rut.  The new one picked right up where it left off.  It seems that’s a prevailing energy for the year generally:  If you’re going to do these things, this is the time.  It wasn’t entirely ‘go-go-go you wonderbunny’ energy, though; more of  ‘if you don’t do it now, the opportunity will pass and you’ll have to wait for the next one, so get moving’.

On the other hand, my personal reading focused on other things — though it did decide to be contrary by nixing my buying a house this year, which I’ve been thinking about.  The take-action energy focused on my creative life, and on taking everything that Chiron and croning have unearthed in the past year and putting it to use.  I pulled three of the four aces in my reading, which I can’t recall ever happening in the many years I’ve been doing this.

New Year’s Day is the busiest day of my work year by far.

Halloween is a distant second, but today is the only day I have to take appointments.  It’s a reminder, too, of Maman’s sense of humor even as she counsels; the Temperance card shows up a *lot* in readings for the hung-over and still-drunk.

This card is a good example of why I’m so fond of the Santa Muerte Tarot.  It connects me to Maman for obvious reasons, but it’s also richly detailed and overflowing with symbolism all on its own.  I wish the image were larger here, but if you look by her feet, a pool has formed, and some of the water she pours is spilling into it.  This is intentional; look at how she holds the lower cup.  In the oasis the spillage creates, flowers grow and butterflies are massing around this gift of water, and around its giver, giving her a gift of beauty in return. (Butterflies are often, especially in this deck, a symbol of blessings, rebirth, and renewal.) Temperance is, thanks to a movement that said it meant not ever drinking alcohol at all, often taken to mean asceticism or strict self-denial.  That’s not what the word really ever meant; “temperate” is from the same immediate family.  Maman herself is far from a teetotaler!  The message here is that you have to be temperate about temperance, too; iron-fisted insistence on perfection can be as damaging as unrestrained indulgence.  Spill no water and there is no oasis; splash it carelessly everywhere and there still isn’t, because the blazing sun behind her head will immediately dry it up.

Tonight when work is over, I’ll do a reading for myself (and one for The Beekeeper, but that’s another story entirely 🙂 ). I expect it to be an interesting one; the past year has rung enormous changes in my life, most of which are bearing fruit now.

Stitchku #1

You cross paths with an astonishing variety of people in New Orleans. I fell into a conversation in a bar a couple of months ago with an Irish beekeeper. I went to see his apiary last week. I was always under the vague impression that bees hibernate in winter. They don’t; they stay awake and huddle in a ball inside the hive and shiver to keep warm. The honey they store is food to keep them going until spring. A hive in winter is still very much a living thing, and touching one was an extraordinary experience.

Once framed, this will be a thank-you gift to the beekeeper, whose invitation to see his apiary turned into a memorable and creatively energizing day for me. I’m delighted with how it came out, and I’ll be hoping he likes it, and taking comfort in knowing that if he doesn’t, he’s too polite to say so. 🙂

There were bees flying around on the original chart; I left them off since this is about a visit in winter. I thought about closing the entrance, as well, but it didn’t look as good that way.

I’m feeling really inspired by this project. I plan to do another for myself, and there are several haiku and other short forms among my work that would lend themselves to this treatment, combining my favorite creative outlets. Stitchku!

The chart is from Charles Craft; the poem is my own work.

Written: December 2018

Meet my 5-7-5 first aid kit.

These books, alone and in tandem, have pulled me out of everything from sporadic low-inspiration funks to multi-year crushing writer’s blocks. They’ve illuminated the haiku form for me in ways nothing else has, and encouraged me to explore brevity as depth. To say they come highly recommended doesn’t even touch the surface of how strongly I feel about them and how honored a place on my bookshelves they hold.

The Basho collection is marvelous in every way — brilliantly translated, richly annotated, beautifully designed. Even the structure is inspired, with Basho’s biography broken into sections that are paired with haiku from each period of his life. The notes have even inspired haiku for me.

The Strand book is pure, concentrated inspiration, not so much in the how of haiku as in the why of it. It’s designed to be read in small bits and contemplated, always with writing haiku in mind. I’ve opened it multiple times when I was in a stuck space, and it’s always helped work me free.