In Praise of the Summer Afternoon

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~Henry James~

And, just like that, it is over. The summer of full hearts & long walks. Of late nights & a million fireflies. Ice cream & sleeping in. Books & daydreaming & laughing & stories. Storms & deer in the wide field. Foxes crossing our path & sun on our skin. All of us together. It is hard to let it go. To let them go.

Now, the routines shift with the season. I find myself thinking of harvest, of all that I grew this summer & all that I want to remember to let die off. The way I could spend a whole summer afternoon lost in a book or on a green trail in the woods & what a gift that was to my weary heart. I found something this past season that I didn't realized I'd lost. Reconnecting. Rediscovering. Finding my way home.  

Remnant XIX: Scenes of Summer

Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.
~James Wright~

Officially, summer solstice doesn't happen until June 20th, the day of the full strawberry moon--but, my heart has other plans. Heat, flowers blooming, school coming to a close. My heart has already decided.  Summer starts now.

I can feel it in the way the humidity rises above the treeline in the morning like a ghost of the night before. Birds, busy with the business of finding mates, nesting down, outsmarting lean neighborhood cats with quick claws. Everything is blooming--the scent of honesuckle enough to make me drunk. I walk along the edge of the wide green field, waist-high with wheat, watching for deer & foxes who keep visiting. Frogs tremble across the pavement, rising up from the creek in search of higher ground.   

Summer is closing in & summer is dramatic, flashy, naked, & real. Summer doesn't play small or worry about being too much for anyone else. Summer shows color & perfume. Shows sex & heat & light that lasts. Shows sunsets that exaggerate everything & flowers that don't care if others see their beauty--they are damn determined to blossom wide open anyway.

Summer doesn't hide itself.

There are some lessons here in this shameless display for any of us who have struggled with our self-doubt.

This particular summer for me, especially, isn't one to play small. It isn't one that will go as planned or as per the normal routines. It isn't one to doubt my instincts or my ability to bloom wild. I am trusting the lessons this summer will bring me about being connected, being a strong advocate, carving out creative time & space, and standing in my full power as a mother & a woman. I am trusting my body to lead me. Getting close to the Earth. Working magic. Throwing cards. Finishing what I've started. This is the summer of the feral moon. All that is instinct & green & wild. All that is unknown. All that cycles & returns to me. All that lights up the night sky.

Daily Dose #6: Tarot as Medicine: Mirror, Mirror

"Mirror, mirror on the wall...who, in this land, is fairest of all?"

~The Brothers Grimm~

That is the question, isn't it? The one that an aging wicked queen berates a magic mirror about time & again, desperate for validation & to be seen as the most beautiful. This story, originally told in Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's fairy tales in 1812, has become part of Snow White, Disney, cinematic history, pop culture & more princess merchandise than anyone can even begin to imagine.

Personally, I feel like what the wicked queen really needed was to break the mirror to pieces or to gift it to young Snow White to let her worry about her crows feet or laugh lines & then go out on the adventures she was finally in the position to take as a rich widow. But, that wasn't her fate. In the Grimm version, she was danced to death in iron shoes heated with burning coals. Not exactly worth it--this obsessive worry over how she looked to others.

It's a worry I understand--a worry I think most of us understand. We have been asking the mirror the same question for years. Are we pretty enough? How do we look to others? What lies beneath our carefully curated surface? These questions are among the ones I recently have taken beyond the mirror to my tarot cards instead. There is clarity that can be gleaned by asking unusual questions of the tarot & I have created a 7 card tarot spread around issues of beauty, perception, fairy tales & transcendence. I will be at the Oddporium: the Gallery of the Peculiar & Bizarre on Sunday, April 24th from 2-6pm to offer readings that illuminate & offer clarity & focus on just these topics. I hope any of you local women & men (because issues of image & identity cross gender territory) interested in my Mirror, Mirror reading will come out to see me on the 24th, first come first served. These special readings are just $20 for seven cards, as my contribution to my dedicated clients & curious newcomers alike. 

As an extra offering, I am willing to do a total of 7 of these Mirror, Mirror readings for my online community at the same cost as well. Please comment or reach out to me via email to set this up through Paypal & to schedule a session. I am not normally called to do online readings but was fortunate enough to do several Full Moon readings a few months ago & it was such a rewarding process for me that I want to open the Mirror, Mirror readings up to online readers again, too. My online sessions have both a written transcript & an audio or video discussion of the cards as I see them sent directly to you. Once the 7 spots are reserved, I won't be taking any more this round so that I can give each person a full & concentrated reading.

W.H. Auden said, "The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in." The same is true of the way to read tarot. I hope to see you here inside of this story with me.

My Guest Post at Little Red Tarot

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables~

The website Little Red Tarot has been a favorite tarot resource of mine for a very, very long time. So, today, to have my first guest post publish there is a dream come true! The community that Beth Maiden has created around tarot, activism, and storytelling has inspired me and made me feel connected to like-minded souls from all over the world.

As my own public tarot journey has evolved over this past year, I wanted to make my writing around tarot, more specifically, my writing around tarot and motherhood available to others. I am over the moon to say that my guest post series Divining Motherhood will be publishing over at Little Red Tarot over the course of the next several months.

Divining Motherhood is truly a labor of love, combining my lifelong passion for tarot, my experiences as a single mother, and the journey through motherhood as a parallel to the Fool's Journey through the major arcana. In my series, I will talk about the cards and how they connect to my mothering and also about how I have raised my three teenagers in a house full of tarot. It will be one part storytelling, one part practical usage--and completely exciting for me. Thank you SO much to the LRT community for allowing me space to share in this way! If you are finding your way here for the first time from Little Red Tarot, welcome. Please reach out and connect with me! I am so very happy meet you.  And, if you'd like to read my first entry in Divining Motherhood, you can find it HERE