Air Traffic Control

This was a relatively pain free birth.

A couple of things differentiated this image from the others in the D.O.

Firstly, this is the only card where I sacked off the original image and went back to the drawing board. At first glance, the fledgling image seemed to capture the vibe I was looking for, but stepping back… Oh dear… I had drawn a figure surrounded by clouds. With a bit more space between my nose and the page, the image took on a new form and the clouds made it look as though the figure, rather than flying, was bouncing across the heavens on some kind of gigantic testicular spacehopper…

I rubbed my eyes, surely not? I shot the image over to C with a short note. “What do you see?”.

“Hmmm… He’s a little bit ballsy?”

“Yeah, I thought as much…”

He was denied access to land and was later replaced by the image above.

The second point of interest was that this card unlike the others told me instantly what it wanted to say… Unedited, this is what it told me.

It matters not what ye call me, I am Mercurial spirit and when I travel I travel beyond the speed of sound and leave your words floating in my wake… I’ve been known by many names by men and Gods alike… I sweep the skies… I catch dreams lost into the ether and bring them back down to ground…Nudged towards their mortal keepers… I keep the flight paths clear for Gods to move unhindered…

I’ll leave that there, as today, I have to fly.

Oyster Spit

“Jabez”

I mentioned this name in my previous post and said I would return. Jabez, a name meaning borne in pain. This image from the D.O. was a dark humoured joke with myself. During fieldtrips with C, I would often find myself sliding into lengthy, often cussed filled Rantras as I clawed at whatever it was that happened to be getting under my skin. I’d eventually run out of steam and weary laugh three words.

Oyster…Grit…Pearl…

I guess I’d swallowed that ridiculous archetype of Artists owning a tortured soul…that you can’t create anything beautiful without visceral churnings… That art must be ‘Jabez’ borne in pain!

What a load of bollox!

At this point in my life, my body had been put into lockdown by physical pain. A back injury, whose source failed to be identified through X-rays, MRI, etc. A pain which refused to budge via remedies medical or mystical and had taken over my life. The only escape I found was through, sitting in fields, making images, and driving my car…(0h and at a slightly later date – swimming).Needless to say, I was pretty prolific during this time but frustratingly so, as away from those pursuits, normal everyday tasks felt insurmountable.

A string of physios were baffled and each one tried a new approach. Every step was a Herculean task made more complicated by the fact that I had lost my sense of balance. Finally a physio realised I couldn’t rather than wouldn’t follow their advice and sent me away to practise standing on one leg as often as possible throughout the day to force my muscles to switch back on their receptors. She told me “You’ve suffered an injury and your body protects the pain but sometimes the mechanisms won’t switch off and your body shields against pain that’s no longer really there.” .

My final physio was a guy who asked me to feedback on the remedial exercises classes I’d been attending. I asked him if he wanted an honest answer? He said he did… So he got it. “They were fucking useless! Like being stuck in a prison yard, nobody wanting to be there, everyone sideways glancing each other, the only conversation “What are you in for?” Ffs! You sent me to knee replacement camp! I’ve got a sodding back problem and you put me in a room with a bouncing neutron fitness freak, who can’t even comprehend that I’m in the wrong place! Yeah, well fuck him! I binned all his homework! ” I paused suddenly realising that I’m on an open ward, everyone can hear and oooh. .. I’m abusing NHS staff and maybe security is on the way.

But no, my physio is smiling “So Karen, I know you’ve been doing some excercise, it’s immediately obvious. What have you been doing?” I revealed that I had started swimming. He told me he was discharging me. I protested that I was not better. He laughed at me ” Ok, this is your problem, you’re comparing yourself with where you want to be and you’re not seeing any results. I’m comparing you to when you first got here and there’s massive progress. But the deciding factors in discharging you are that you’re angry, you know your body, you’re fighting back and you’re getting results. You’re the best type of patient, you’ll get full recovery because you’ve decided you don’t need us. Though of course, if you do happen to relapse, don’t panic, sometimes it happens, but you can get referred back here and we can annoy you again”.

Mobility slowly improved, still much slower than I would have liked, the pain gnawing like a donkey had sunken it’s teeth into my butt and refused to let go. Confidence in my body was low…I just didn’t trust it that much. A hypnotherapist friend had learnt a new technique she was very excited about. She contacted me “Karen, I think I can help you. I’ve been seeing amazing results with this. I think I can get you completely pain free in one session. I’m not charging you for this. This is reciprocating all the wise words you’ve given me over the years”.

I wasn’t entirely sure that I believed her but as recently pointed out to me, I am often overly curious, so I accepted this kind offer. It might work? If it didn’t then the worse that would happen was that I’d touch base with a friend I had not seen face to face for a while. Sat in her office, she put me under… Directing me into focusing into the pain and the point of origin. I dissolved into ugly crying tears and streaming snot… The point of origin, not in my body but in the trapped memory of a conversation… September 2011…

I left her office pain free and with a spring in my step. The first time I’d felt myself bounce along the ground since who knows when…A week later, she gave me a follow up call. The pain was inching itself back in. She gave me advice on how to sit with it and remove it myself and said that if it didn’t budge then come back in and we’d hit it again.

I followed advice and kept it at bay but still trust was not full and I found myself moving gingerly. One evening, I went out to do a tarot reading, leaving the person’s house and heading towards my car, I tripped over thin air. My brain did that slow mo’ thing where time distorts and myriad thoughts all fly at once crammed into a split second. Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! I’m going to lose my teeth! Bollocks! My bag! New glasses! New phone! I’m gonna smash everything! FUCK! This is gonna sting! Heading into what surely must be a monumental faceplant, my arms took on a life of their own. Left hand flinging bag out of harm’s way…Right arm moving into forearm smash, world circling around me and then somehow back upright on my feet?! I looked around the empty street… Ah! No one around… Did that really just happen? I dunno? Hmmm… My bag is over there a good 6 feet away… Something happened? I swooped it up, in one graceful curve as I headed to the car. I drive home feeling a little spacey…

Walking into the house, Mr S looks up at me “Jesus! Karen, what’s happened to you?”

” I’m not sure… I either tripped over or I tripped out… ”

“Well you’ve got blood pouring down your arm. Sit down, let me clean you up.”

I don’t argue and I let him Mommy me. He gently removes all the grit from my arm “How have you done this?” . I describe the scene and he laughs “That’s textbook Ukemi. When did you learn karate?”

” Ukemi? Karate? What are you on about man? I’ve never done karate… Oh… Though I did do maybe a year or so of Judo but I got bored and quit as we only ever seemed to do forward rolls… Forward rolls? When am I ever going to use that? ”

“Forward rolls! UKEMI!!! Idiot! You just used them!”

” Oh God dammit! You mean to say my body just pulled probably the coolest move of my life and no fucker even saw it?! No one will ever believe me… ”

“Sorry, maybe I should have left the grit in so you’d have a nice scar and a story to tell”.

My back pain vanished for good as faith in my body had finally returned.

Returning to my D.O. I realised that one of my many blocks in writing it up was that I just didn’t want to immerse myself in the mire… Getting myself entangled in my Brer rabbit briar patch of oyster…grit…pearl…In earlier years when I’d been writing lots, I could never bear to go back and read. Whilst writing my head would be filled with so many things screaming loudly that even though I edited out 90% I still thought my reader could hear all that shit going on. Recently an old friend directed my attention back to something intensely personal that I had written and I read it back with fresh eyes and without the noise in my head. I read it with distance and I liked what I read… Another block in writing things up was the first time I dug the D.O. out again, I was feeling quite happy and perversely I thought that I was maybe too happy to write… Yeah, well now, myth busted! I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been and words are flowing… Mojo is moving…

My back pain saga taught me that the mind quits before the body does…

‘Jabez’ borne in pain. That’s only a portion of the story. The Biblical Jabez led a blessed life as his faith removed the birth curse of pain.

Oyster…Grit…Pearl… I’m done with that spit. There’s no need to nurse life’s grit when you can gently rinse it out and get back onto your feet.

Blessed is as blessed does.

Kith and Kin

August 2016 found me on a different kind of fieldtrip. At this point in time, the D.O. had kinda slipped off the rails. C and I, whilst still good friends had seen little of each other in the fields as life had taken twists and turns for both of us…One of the phrases I hear a lot in the Tarot community is ”Finding your tribe”. Now, at the risk of sounding boastful, my tarot reading is shit hot, but amongst close friends, I’ve always confessed that I don’t see myself as a tarot reader. It’s always felt more affliction than addiction…

Late 2015, I stumbled across an upcoming event on stallfinder. It looked a very tribal affair and I felt a pull to go even though I strongly suspected I wouldn’t quite fit in…I booked anyway. I decided that I would drag along Mr S. If the event kept me busy then he’d be more than capable of amusing himself amongst Viking shenanigans…If, as it did turn out, I was mostly shunned, then so what? Four days camping sans kiddos. Sounded like a win win to me.

Arriving in the field, there was a palpable low level hum of tension that felt like accidentally walking in on a bad arguement. Mr S said I was imagining things and I should just chill out…Working a gig last year with the one good friend I did find there, she confirmed there was indeed an underlying shitstorm going down. However, in the field, I took Mr S’s advice and joined a circle of strangers as the opening Blot was performed.

A circle divided into 3 slices of pie to chant galdr comprised of 3 designated runes… Pomp and ceremony prequel leads to the ’conductor’ prompting each section… Pointing to my direction, he shouts out the name of the rune he wants voicing…I’m confused, as left and right, I hear two different noises… To the right, the rune he just named, to the left, the rune ascribed in original instructions…I emit a grumbly noise not knowing which way to intone. The guy to my left turns to look at me. He mouths “follow me, he’s fucked this up!”

I think I’m mouthing back but words come out louder than I planned and caught in wind spread swiftly and quite loudly ”Oh! This is why they make you stand circle bound holding hands, so you can’t put your hand up and say hey you got that wrong!” Oops! The guy to my left stiffles laughter, the chain of hands either side of us falls away. Our leader juts his chin into the air ” Ahem! Let’s start again!”.

That’s my first bumble. The next bumble is unpacking the new, supposedly two man tent and discovering you’d be hard pressed to pack a lone pygmy into it. Mr S shakes his weary head at me ”Oh, you fucking idiot, where are we going to sleep? ” Luckily my Virgo resourcefulness means that in a very short space of time, I’ve managed to divide my gazebo into a reading section with hidden Bedouin boudoir behind. I’m off the hook and promoted to genius.

The gazebo never made it home. Remember that wind I mentioned? It was unseasonably wild and stole all the heat from the blazing August sun. At night, it whipped up a storm…Nestled up with Mr S we laughed as we listened to campsite sounds. Bawdy Bromance Ballards suddenly brought short by howls of ”Loki! Loki! Loki! LOOOOOOOO KIIIIIIIII!” I recently was told that this was when the central campfire raged out of control and caused massive panic. Mr S and I oblivious but amused, mimicked back and forth – Loki Low Key Lo ho ho ki!

I’ve always slept like the dead when outside on the ground so I had no difficulty in nodding off. Mr S woke me in the wee hours. ”Can you hear that wind? We should check we still have a roof? ” I open a bleary eye “Yeah, we still have a roof…oh… But we’re missing a wall…” I clamber out of our pit, find scissors and garden twine and we secure down the sides. Mr S asks me if I’d been asleep. I told him that I had and had been having a weird dream about being tossed around on the sea whilst inside an emergency dinghy. ..I guess the wind sculpted my dreamscape.

Returning swiftly to slumber, I found myself dreaming again… In the orchard, behind Great Aunty Phyl’s house. Standing looking at a tree, my small sister to the right and my towering Grandfather to the left, pointing up into the branches. “Look, it’s a Queen, see how she’s left the hive, see how the other bees follow and form a new hive? ” I awoke with a jolt. This was no dream. This was memory!

Unlike the gazebo which succumbed to complete destruction on the final day just I decided it was time to leave. (The wind gods brought that baby down quicker than I could…) Yeah, unlike the gazebo which faded into memory, the dream that was a memory continued to circle and buzz in my mind… A noisy buzz only finally released when I completed the image shown at the top.

The memory unfolded more memories and also prodded some research. Turns out that there is an archive project for the small village where my grandfather hailed from. Great Aunty Phyl’s farmhouse was the family home, where her, my Grandfather and their two other siblings were raised. The Bond family were well documented. They overlooked the Pig fund. Money was collected amongst villagers and put into the pot to ensure each family had a pig. During long hard winters the pigs were slaughtered and every part made use of. I read about it and remembered the flagstone floors in the cellar at Aunty Phyl’s, I remembered her saying “This is where we butchered pigs.” I don’t think I really grasped it at the time… I also recalled being shown the slats that are inserted into the beehives and her telling me about how honey is made and that you must always tell the bees your news, especially of births and deaths. Suddenly my Grandfather’s oft quoted stern words of ”Waste not want not!” held a wealth of new meanings to me and an understanding of where some of his peculiarities stemmed from…

I also found gravestones and names… One of them ‘ Jabez’. I looked into the meaning of that name but I’ll save my findings to slip into maybe my next post.

Thoughts returned to pigs and it dawned on me that The Norns, although well hidden, had a wry sense of humour. The first task they gave me… To feed the hedgehogs… This was their way of linking me back to my roots… My Bond… Keeper of Pigs… Guardian of Hogs…How funny!

Blind Sight

BS

This morning my passenger slides into the front seat. I turn and greet her:

“Hey! Good Morning! How are you?”

“To be fair? Pretty puzzled… I can’t stop thinking about that speeding car yesterday. Where did it come from? I looked down that road and it was completely clear…”

“Yeah, that’s a puzzler. I didn’t see it either until it went past.”

“You must have done. How else could you have braked, swerved and moved out of the way before I even saw that lunatic?”

“Dunno? Yesterday was not our day to die?”

“Hmm… Hey? CREATE ART?! Karen? Did you put that note on your dashboard for me?”

“You read it first, it’s yours.”

We sit with silly grins and head off to work. Half way there and my passenger returns to our earlier words:

“I’m still thinking about it… Your reflexes are something else. But I don’t know, you’re a good driver… Hmm… No, that was something else, that was instinct…”

“Maybe so…”

I contemplate and an image from my Discarded Oracle comes to mind… This card was unusual in that I received the name during my fieldtrip with C. The image I dragged down a few days later. Usually the image would be very present and clear to see and well… I’m still panning for names for the bulk of this deck.

Blind Sight

The image arrived and it reminded me of retinal scans. Was this even a divined image or was it merely a memory of sun baking my eyelids whilst I was off world…?

Blind Sight? What a funny choice of words? What could it mean? Was it a pun? A play on words… Maybe Blind Sight was some kind of wisdom at a later date? The benefit if hindsight after you’ve been blindsided?

I asked the Google Oracle and discovered that I hadn’t invented the term. It was out there and existing…

From Chegg.com

Blindsight is the ability to respond to visual information without consciously seeing it. Psychologists study blindsight to learn more about how the brain processes visual information. Conscious vision depends on the primary visual cortex; however, people have demonstrated blindsight when this area of their brain is damaged. This suggests that another area (or areas) of the brain controls unconscious visual perception. Patients who have no conscious awareness of seeing objects have detected them in their path and moved around them. Such patients have also responded to color, emotion expressed by human faces, and motion (for example, supplying correct answers when asked to guess where an object is moving). Blindsight suggests that sometimes acting on information does not require conscious awareness of that information.

Hmm… OK, I guess the image works with this but as an oracle would someone with fresh eyes see that connection?

Life moved on and my thoughts turned to other things… Moving on further and the project shelved, I found myself on a 5 day residential course at Arthur Findlay College. Spiritual art? Drawing with spirit? I dunno… Something like that. Oh boy! Was that a long week… Don’t ask! I’ll save those tales for other days.

A peculiar thing about AFC is that if you ever meet anyone who has been and you tell them you are going, they instantly tell you about the amazing food. It is indeed amazing. What they fail to give you the heads up on is that wherever you sit for your first meal, that’s your seat for the entire week..

If I had known that, then I would maybe have chosen more carefully… Again, stories for other days..

But if I’d been more selective then maybe I would not have this tale to tell. Don’t get me wrong, it was at times a table, I’d sooner not be sat on but inbetween this pot pourri of enforced new (un)stable mates there were a couple of diamonds whose company I did fully enjoy.

One was a lady who hailed from Nordic Lands. Everyday she arrived swathed in colours and serenity. I instantly liked her a lot. We stayed behind one lunchtime and poured another brew. She showed me photos of her paintings, big soulful canvases filled with oil paints and other worldly faces. She asked me what kind of art I made.

I told her I was in stasis.

She raised an eyebrow at me. “Stasis? OK, show me your phone. You must have old things on there? No?”

I dug out my phone and oh… On that old phone,it tunrs out that I had stashed about three quarters of the D.O. She noticed me pause and asked me to hand it over.

She scrolled through my images whilst I tried not to cringe and then it was her turn to pause…

“This image… This reminds me. In Sweden in the Winter time, out in the middle of nowhere, we have very little to do. OK, we sit around and tell the Sagas, that takes up a lot of time but sometimes, we like to just get a few people in a car and go drive. So, we are driving one night and it is dark, it is real dark and the lights on the car fail. We can see nothing and we start to think that we are lost and we worry about how we will find our way home. In the backseat, we hear laughing. It is my friend who is a blind girl. She says “Don’t worry, I know the way”. She guides us all the way home, turn here, turn here. Funny! In the dark, she is the one who can see. What do you call this picture?”

“Blind Sight”

“Oh, yes, see you do paint!”

Isn’t it funny how you can overlook things that other can see blindingly clearly?

Though more nosily…When have you acted on information that did not require conscious awareness of that information?

 

 

 

Let Sleeping Gods Lie.

TSG

This is one of my favourite images in my Discarded Oracle. C, my partner in crime showed me a photograph she’d taken whilst walking (I think in the Lake Districts but I may be wrong). She’d stumbled across an old bath and felt drawn to it. Plant life had grown around it and filled with water, it took on the guise of a magical well. Or was it a well? Was it a mirror? Was it a portal?

I stored the conversation in my mind and later turned to encaustic waxing lyrical to birth The Sea King. I just realised his name this morning!

Before knowing his name, much advice was given…

This card should be approached with extreme caution…

When you step into this card, you are stirring the old Gods… This is not for the feint hearted. Neither frivolity nor casual nosiness are welcome here. Before you ask a question, you should be sure that you’ve already tried your best to answer it on your own. Check the Internet, consult a friend, meditate, exhaust all avenues before you knock here. And if you feel that you must knock then make sure you ask the right question…

Old Gods are weary… They like to rest their old bones… They’ve been neglected and left to their own devices for years so if you drag your mundane modern matters into their domain, you may well find yourself dashed upon the rocks…

So how do you approach?

Well you need to either be blessed with a very pure heart… Or you need a well anchored, warts and all, awareness of Self.

This Well is both portal and mirror…

If allowed passage through the portal be assured that there is a long journey ahead. Your mettle will be tested. 

Approaching the mirror? Then be aware that you’re about to be stripped down to your raw nakedness and your flaws will be lit with the harshness of the worst kind of changing room lights that magnify your form.

If you metaphorically ask if your bum looks big then you’ll be told of course your bum looks big, you ate too many cakes!

If you have the temerity to blame the mirror – Hey! You’ve made me look bad!

Ooops!

Now you’ve done it! Those kind of projections just don’t stick here, they’ll be bounced right back. Throw these tantrums around and you will not crack the mirror but you may explode your mind…

TLDR: Seeking the Sea King? Think twice!

And then some more…

In fact, it’s probably best to wait until invited. This card may be borderless but it still has boundaries. 

 

 

The Golden Exhale…

TGE

Amongst the images in my Discarded Oracle, this is one of the very few that does have a name.

The Golden Exhale

Although it has a name, I am unsure as to whether or not this oracle is its permanent home. At this point it’s hard to say. I flick through my cast of cards and wonder how coherently they hang together… Some days they seem to vibe, other days they feel like a disparate band of misfits…

Whatev’! Right here, right now it’s taking up a place so I will speak of it. I guess one of the reasons as to why I question its belonging is that it wasn’t derived during a field trip in the same way that most of the other cards were…

Rather than astrally travelling to other worlds, this one came from plumbing the depths of my own personal mythology… In October 2011, on the 14th I think, was that a Friday? Oh, I really should know this, for this was the day that I metaphorically murdered my mother. This was the day of my rebirth anew…

I know over recent years, the malignancy of motherhood has seeped out into the open… More people are willing to break silence and speak out about their experiences and explode the myth of the sacred mother-daughter bond that must be observed and respected at all costs…

But what when that cost becomes an actual and very real threat to your life?

On that October morning, my XX DNA donor gave me a precious gift.

I’m sure she had no idea that she was giving me such a precious gift as her disproportionate explosion of vitriolic rage culminated in her taking an action that left me no other option than to cut this creature out of my life once and for all. Growing up under this maternal kosh, I now know, left me with very many difficulties in discerning healthy boundaries. But when face to face events escalate to such extent that you’re amazed to still be alive then you know things have to change.

Walking away from the scene that exploded outside of my house, I felt the adrenalin coursing through my veins and I felt different… A difference that wasn’t coming from the flood of biochemicals. My whole body was trembling… The word that looped through my mind was “breathe”. I gulped at air like a fish in a too hot and deoxygenated tank gasps near the surface. I managed to sink a lung full of air and then it came… The Golden Exhale!

Have you ever noticed how close the word ‘mother’ is to ‘smother’? No longer was I drowning in that drip drop venom from reptilian S turning mother to smother…

I could breathe! Breathe freely! That Golden Exhale, life affirming and expunging all that I had swallowed…

I metaphorically murdered my mother by cutting myself free!

What’s in a Web…

Now the Discarded Oracle (working title) has been liberated from my bookshelf, I’ve decided to stroll through one by one and see what comes to mind…

Still, I haven’t made my way to retrieve my original notebook from the cupboard all the way yonder over there… At least 3 whole feet away… So if memory serves me well, this was one of the earlier images that I worked on.

It was not an image from my mind but from my travelling companion C’s. She’d said something to me along the lines of “I saw a foetus in a web with 3 figures standing by… Can you draw that?”

“I don’t know… Leave it with me…”

I didn’t know, but we both knew who these 3 figures were, so I figured if they’d shown up once, then they must have had something to say, so I’d ask them to return and describe to me how to bring their image from their world into ours…

The Norns, as I’ve discovered along the way, don’t give away their secrets for free. There is always a task to be completed… The first task they gave me was to put food out in the garden to feed the hedgehogs… Ack! My maths brain just went into slow-mo. I moved into this house in 1992, never seeing a single hog, then 2015 (you do the maths) as instructed, I invite them in… The first one arrives, within days I’m overrun with 6 or maybe 8 frequent foragers. Mr S is very happy as his Buddha boy disposition is adverse to killing any creature and now miraculously his plants being scrompfed by slugs is a problem of the past. The hogs return each year and today was this year’s first sighting.

Hedgehogs fed and then the Norns fed me. In encaustic wax, I drew out the the foetus in the web… I remember that being laborious and finger achingly fiddly… Summoning the Norns into the foreground was a much faster result.

“Close your eyes child, feel for the colours… A colour for each of us… Keep those eyes shut…”

3 colours found…

“Listen child, 3 strokes total, one stroke each… Slide your wax across the flat iron, call our names as you sweep the page”.

I wondered if it was some kind of joke but Norns are very earnest and not to be argued with… Three passes of the iron and they appeared…

They speak to me of many things… Of wyrd and orlog and fate… Of time and cycles… Of interactions and interconnections…

Turns out they appeared exactly as C had seen them. I asked them how that happened… They gave me hints that I’m still piecing together… Today I asked them to describe time…

They showed me this…

Seems I have much more work to do…

 

 

 

 

Bunking Off

Yesterday came 7 of Pentacle nudgings followed by photos reappearing that reminded me that 5 years ago, along with a friend, I set off on a series of grand adventures.

To a muggle’s eye, it may have looked like a couple of women of a certain age sat in a field… Yet while our bodies sat still, we were away on far-flung travels…

Yesterday, I found myself rumagging through my bookcase… Where’s my discarded oracle? The series of postcards brought back from astral travels?

I found them under gathered dust. Discarded may be too strong a word as I’ve never completely dumped them. Occasionally I will read for myself or someone else if I hear them call, but certainly they’ve been out of action for quite some time and often feel like a guilty secret as life and laziness meant that I never got around to writing them up in any orderly fashion… In fact, the majority of my 22 cards are as yet untitled.

Today I pull a card and recall how I was never quite content with this image. At the time of pulling this image down from the ether, one of the magnets used to pull was the rune “Ehwaz” – horse.

I’m still lazy, too lazy to go dig out original notes from where I think they most probably are so instead I’ll do what I probably do best and tell you a tale about my day.

Today, the sun burns brightly over fields of green and I finish my rounds and realise I’ve forgotten to fill in my time sheet for this month. Due to the unfathomable way the company I work for organises things, the collection point for my time sheet is just about the furthest point away from the place I have to return the wagon to…

This is my lucky day! Roads as clear as the sky and me with a full tank. I’m heading out into the sticks… Oh! Shit! I’m lost! How did that happen? Ah… I got caught up in noticing all the blossom filled trees… No worries! SatNav on! Yeah… I’m still lost as now I’m watching birds flying and swooping and the la la la isn’t nature beautiful song in my head has drowned out the ding ding turn alerts.

I bring my attention back to direction long enough to arrive and collect my paperwork. Back in the driving seat and I’m soon lost again as I’ve gone off track wondering hmmm what’s down this road… Sod the SatNav! This time I steer with the compass on my dashboard… North is the way to go…

I’m laughing away to myself that I get paid to joy ride, then I offer up a prayer that my mileage log doesn’t rat me out. The phone rings – it’s my Area Manager. BUSTED!

“Karen, are still on the road?”

“Errr… Yup! I nipped to pickup time sheets. I’m on my way back now.”

“Oh OK, any chance you can nip into A and collect some PPE to drop into B?”

“Not a problem at all. I’m practically on A’s doorstep and heading to B anyway.”

“What? You’re near A?”

“Yeah, turning in there right now.”

I hear stumble starts of sentences and slightly confused laughter until the words come out “How do you do that?”

I laugh and inform her that I have no idea…

As if I’ve going to tell her that somewhere buried in my brain is a time-bending, psychic SatNav…

I look back to my refound card and my day seems to ride out well with it…

Being lost does not equate to lacking sense of direction…

One of my gifts in life is that I’m never bored. I’m an opportunist adventurer flitting between mundane and magical worlds…

Now is a time more than ever when our butts are in the chair (yeah, I appropriated bitc from an old friend). But our minds are not clipped.

Where will you travel today?

 

 

 

 

Retrospective Prediction


It seems on odd time to be writing this but hey ho, here I am… 


The last few years, it’s been my habit during the 12 days of Christmas to ask for  omens for the year ahead. I don’t use tools or pull cards… I start the day with a few minutes silence, set the intention that I will receive a message at some point throughout the day and then at the end of the day, I note down anything that I felt to be out of the ordinary… 


2018-19, I accidentally tossed away my notes as they were stashed in the back of a diary. However I do recall there being something noteworthy on each and every one of the 12 days. The most memorable being the black fox that crossed my path, stopped, staring me squarely in the eyes. I held his gaze and wondered what message he had for me. I heard the words “Magick’s not done with you yet!”. I wryly laughed to myself “Oh, really… I’m not even sure black foxes exist, I must consult the Google oracle…” 

Apparently they do and despite driving that road a few hundred times since and looking each time I pass the spot, I’ve never seen the black fox again. 


2019-20, I repeated the experiment and nothing… Each day, blank… Nothing… Or so I thought until I just rediscovered the only 2 notes I made during those 12 days. 


On Dec 30th, I wrote a short note to someone and they commented that it sounded like a great start to a magical story. I read it back and thought hmm maybe it does? Is this my omen? Who knows? Let’s keep it, maybe I will one day use it. I edited it slightly and cut it down to read:

I’ve spent 3 hours driving through fog and mist this morning and feeling as though I’m floating between worlds, drifting in the weird space between one year and the next. I arrive home. It feels like the perfect time to turn up…  

The other note I wrote was on Jan 1st.

Oh Ffs! Here come the joggers! 


Oh Ffs! Here come the joggers became my bidaily mantra? rant? Rantra over the following weeks. 
Driving my rounds, I’d ask my passengers where the hell all these joggers were coming from? They never used to answer me, just sit and grin whilst I spurled out monologues about wonky posture, joint problems waiting to happen, Jesus fucking Christ what’s going on with that moose knuckle?! Or my pondering ramble about how I just don’t get it… They all look so bloody miserable, is this some bizarre cult of elaborate self harming going on…I consoled myself that it was New Year’s madness and the good intentions would all soon fade and I’ve have the road back to myself… But they were much slower than usual to budge… And then it happened – lockdown and bam!

Joggers, joggers everywhere! Lumbering, foot dragging, earphone wearing, frayed faces, pounding pavements every bloody hour of the day and night… Socially distancing themselves from pedestrians by leaping into the middle of the road, right into my flight path. My attempts at understanding what makes joggers tick gave way to cartoon daydreams of me seeing them as lycraed lemmings. I wondered how long until the daily covid death count was followed up by announcements of today’s Darwin Awards going to 36 joggers in LE2. As I passed (with caution) this new pestilence, I found myself gently singing “If corona don’t kill ya, Karen will”. Never a second line as I’d mentally slap myself for being a git!

Anyway… My crossings with urban hedgejogs, as I now affectionately referred to them, began to dwindle… At last the New Year’s brigade and the second wave of lockdown escapees was emptying away out of my way…I went a whole day without seeing one! A whole day! This time last year, I wouldn’t even have considered that… 

Then it happened! I’m just about to come off the main road, to hit the last leg windy country lane that leads to my most frequently visited carehome and there on the corner is a jogger. I anticipate a lemming manoeuvre but instead he stops to let me pass. I’m pleasantly surprised and I raise my hand in thanks. My passenger gasps “Oh my! Did you see that amazing smile?” “Why, yes! Yes I did! What’s going on? A happy jogger?!” 


I drop her off and have to double back the same way. I remeet the jogger half way along the lane. He’s still smiling, we wave at each other and laugh.
The next day, he’s there again, I drive alongside him for a few seconds. Again he’s smiling and we exchange waves. My passenger laughs “Oh! He remembers you! Blimey, imagine if lockdown goes on forever, this is what the future of dating looks like! Do you think you’ll see him again?””Oh yeah, as soon as I’ve slung you out, we’ve got a hot date…” 

I head homewards and sure enough there he is, this time I get a big ole 2 handed wave like an olympian crossing the finishing line… I’m laughing away to myself and I’m still laughing when I pass a second jogger, we make eye contact, he too starts to laugh and wave…

I’m full of warm and fuzzy thoughts about how smiles are infectious… I think to myself how funny! Two happy joggers on one day? What are the odds of that? That’s got to be pretty special… Then I’m besides myself with glee as I realise it’s on the very same patch that I spied the Black Fox and the words once again come to me… Magick’s not done with you yet!

How is Magick showing up for you?

Spinning Coins

I’ve never been very mindful of money and it’s often slipped through my fingers to the sigh of oh well… Easy come… Easy go…

I’ve never been affluent but always I’ve managed to keep a roof over my head and food on the table. Currently it’s not so easy to be so blasé about currency. Businesses are going to the wall and the gig economy where many of my friends reside has never been a harsher environment. Money is on everyone’s one mind. Even if you try to avoid the news, the message finds a way to tap tap tap out the directive that you should only shop for essentials.

So what do people do? They panic buy bog roll, chest freezers, dried pasta, flour, tinned tomatoes… Food shelves are emptied as dustbins bulge with 30% more food waste. I wonder why it is that on my street, everyone is in all day yet you can’t smell cooking? Are my neighbours eating toilet paper…

Who knows? What I do know is that I’m more mindful of my money and more discerning in where I place it. Whittling down my day to day spending leaves me with a little that I can afford to forward to support friends in the Arts/self-employed sector. Is that essential shopping? I think SO.

When this is all over, will I continue to support them? Yes, I know so.

They call this nouveau plague the great leveller. I call bullshit on that.

It’s a great cleaver clearly cutting through to show the best and the worst in people.

I stepped out of the tarot industry a couple or so years ago. I say stepped out, it’s not entirely, I still have a toe dipped in there as gigging is an itch that needs to be scratched occasionally and it’s good to be open to fun stuff. I left the roller-coaster of feast or famine finances for the mundane stability of a regular clock-in, clock-out job. This means I can pick and chose card slinging activities.

As I felt lockdown looming I opted completely out. My agent sends emails about bookings much further down the time line and I bounce them back telling her to send them to folks who rely on readings for their sole source of income. Ethically, now is not a time to take more than you need, now is not a time for second income side gigs…

I understand that it’s desperate times and people roll out desperate measures but I see something happening that really boils my piss. OK, there’s the highly visible big companies who are confirming beyond all measure levels of greed we all knew where there but maybe turned more of a blind eye to than we should have for the sake of consumer convenience…

But the heat that causes my piss to boil is the hot air coming from industries that could be considered parallel to the tarot world… People who are expert in their own now barren fields, hopping over the fence to dole out freebies of tarot/astrology when they are not only not experts but also have failed to nail down even the most basic of principles. Oh sweet Jesus! What’s the word? I think the Germans have a word for it but I’m buggered if I can recall what it is… That word for when you see somebody doing something so badly, that you find yourself blushing and becoming painfully embarrassed on their behalf…

Just stop it already!

Firstly, you offering freebies outside of your own sector is making it much harder for people who have been in that sector for years to earn a crust. Though I’m guessing that will be shortlived as people don’t want freebies, they want results…

Secondly, oh my! Posing as a pro in something you clearly don’t know, undermines your plausibility as a whole. When all this is over, even if I need your kind of services, I ain’t coming to you…

Money is energy… I’ve heard it and I suspect you’ve heard it a million times…

Yeah, well anyway… A rant was not my intention here when I sat down to write…

Back on track…

Think about who/what has brought joy into your life (in whatever form) and think about how you can reciprocate that.

And for my silent friends who are struggling but unwilling to raise their hand. Put your hands up! Remind us you’re still here! It’s not charity. We most probably owe you anyway.