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October New Moon 2019

Wow! I had so much fun presenting at the Women and Spirituality conference in Rochester, MN. I was there for the weekend, and had the chance to meet up with people from all over the area, and to attend other presentations about a wide variety of topics. But the most. Fun, I thought, was presenting my own workshop on Personal Journaling and the Tarot. I got to open us a space and time for 20 plus participants to play and invent, create and document their own interactions with tarot cards, imagery, and energies. In the space of 1 and 1/2 hours, we talked about personal journaling ( and most of us in the room were dedicated journalese, so this was a fun conversation) tarot structure, archetypes, images and uses. 
Materials were laid out for everyone to explore a bit, and between the tarot decks thatI had brought, and the decks that many of the others had (some just bought new in the conference venders’s room), there were more than enough tarot decks to go around. I had also made small blank books so we all had a journal to start working in immediately. I also shared a spread of art supplies for our first activity. After quite contemplation of the archetype of the High Priestess (often considered to be the “patron saint” of Tarot readers), all of used a blank tarot card and created a version of their High Priestess, or Wise Self with stickers, washi tape and markers of all sorts. Then, propping these cards up in front of us, we wrote quickly, in stream of consciousness style, what our Wise Self had to say to us. It is always remarkable to me how white we can be when we write without thinking, editing, or censoring ourselves.


The next exercise we moved onto had to do with drawing cards randomly to inform us about ourselves in that moment and place using this spread:

And the last activity that we had time for (after sharing after each exercise) was to frame questions, 2 of which we answered by drawing cards face down from our decks, the 3rd and 4th we answered by turning the cards face up, and choosing cards intentionally, either through the meanings (if we knew them) and/or responding to the images on the individual cards, and then writing more about these answers in our journals.

My secret wish is _________________________ (draw a card randomly to finish this sentence, name the card and then write a sentence or two about what it means to you).

My fear is ____________________________________ (draw a card randomly and finish the sentence).

My goal is ____________________________________ (with the cards facing up, choose a card to use to finish this sentence. Choose by meaning, if you wish, or use an unfamiliar deck, and choose solely by the image and what you read from it).

My superpower is ____________________________ (again, choose a card from the deck with the cards facing you. Use it and what it says to you to finish this sentence for yourself).

Play around with these ideas if you wish, and watch for the new classes that I am currently developing to use tarot in connection with journaling, writing, and other creative activities.

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August 2019 Full Moon

I am excited to announce that I will be presenting again this year at the Women & Spirituality Conference September 20, 21 & 22, 2019 in Rochester, Minnesota.
This year I will be leading a session on Personal Journaling with the Tarot which combines two of my favorite activities! We will be using written and visual journaling techniques and tarot cards and images in variety of different ways to explore and play with these two distinct paths to self-reflection.
There are so many other exciting workshops and other opportunities at this conference, I hope that you have the chance to look over the schedule and consider joining us over the Fall Equinox weekend.

For more information:
https://womenandspirituality.org

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April 2019 Full Moon

Such wonderful promise outside my windows, and inside my heart as well. After several years of taking a break from teaching through Beltane Studio, I am re-opening the door and offering classes again. It has been a time of retreat after the closing of Evenstar Bookstore and Sacred Paths Center. I have continued reading tarot for my loyal clients, and playing with lots of ideas for what and how I might be interested in teaching going forward. The world is a different place than it was back in the late 1970s when I first began reading tarot and teaching. There were fewer books available, and of course no internet. And the topics that I was interested in exploring were considered “spooky” and something on the fringe of ordinary lives.

But this is decades later, many of us have come to be more comfortable with the multiplicity of energies and experiences open to us, and understand that there are more ways of knowing and interacting with the world than just our intellect and rational selves. Drawn to mysteries, to the mythic and archetypal layers of how we process our experiences, I have continued to study, and to play in these realms always following my own interests through new and ancient ideas. Now, I am most interested in pursuing not simply the answers, but the questions that lead into new territories and toward intersections of ideas and action. 

I am developing a schedule of classes again, tarot, creativity, writing, arts, and delving into our own lives to find the treasures hidden that could inform us of our path, purpose, and meaning. I am following my own whims – being of a “certain age” and knowing that I have things I want to do, and limited time to get to them – and I invite you to join me if any of these adventures call to you. I intend to break out materials, throw my studio door open, and hope for kindred souls and like minds to gather with me.

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Meet the Family: Introduction to the Tarot Court Cards

Saturday January 12th 1 – 5 pm $25

The 16 court cards in the tarot deck present a unique way of thinking and talking about human personalities. They carry a history of elemental and astrological associations, but have also changed and evolved over the years reflecting many of the changes in both our understanding of psychology, and societal changes in our cultures.

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Creative Kickstart

Saturday December 1st 1 – 4 pm $20

For artists, crafters, and all creative types, whether you’re feeling burned out, overwhelmed, stuck in a rut, blocked or just underproductive, we will explore strategies to revive your inspiration and motivation, map your energy and time so that you can make decisions about how to use these precious resources, and empower your creative goals.

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Full Moon Blog for October

One of the things on my mind this fall is darkness and shadow, within our own psyches, reflected in the events we are witnessing in the world around us. Working with the symbols and imagery in the tarot deck, shadow and the unknown are both fully present, and on a regular basis I have the opportunity to talk to my clients and students about the ways in which shadow shows up in readings, and our lives. And yet, taking on the uncomfortable job of self examination can be challenging. How do we deal with the parts of ourselves that we do not normally take time to consider? How do we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to fully dive into our own darkness and less than heroic aspects of our own personality? How do we forgive ourselves for these human faults, and work to change our behaviors, however unpleasant the motivations or actual behaviors? And even more difficult, how do we cope when our worst fears are playing out in the world arena? 

I do not have the answers to any of these questions, but I am interested in exploring them in my own life, and in the lives of those in my community. What questions are you interested in now? What areas of your life are you taking the time to explore this fall as the days shorten and the nights grow longer?

Blessed be,

Nell 

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Full Moon Blog for September

24 September 2018

The apples are ripened and the school has begun for many of us. Fall Equinox has tumbled us into cooler days, and even cooler nights. I find myself torn between soaking up whatever warm sunny days we still experience before winter weather sets in, or breaking open the books, and diving into new areas of exploration. 

Community tends to be on my mind this time of years, and I have had some wonderful opportunities to gather with a wide range of interesting people and groups recently. One experience that stood out for me was this past weekend spent in Rochester, Minnesota at the Women & Spirituality conference. It’s an event that I have been to a few times during it’s multi-decade history, but this was the first time I have been since it moved from Mankato and the University of Minnesota, Mankato’s auspices.

I admit that I wasn’t at my best when I arrived at the conference with a well developed head cold, but it was an exciting, engaging couple of days rubbing shoulders. Sharing tables, and conversation with many, many women (and men) who are exploring the territory between women and spirituality.  I presented a short tarot session (365 Tarot) and had a delightful time talking tarot with a lovely attendees, great questions, tarot talk, and lots of laughter and learning all the way around.

Take the time to find some good company, old friends, and new, talk about what matters to you, and build some community. I think we can always use more authentic conversation and warm community in our lives.

Blessed be,

Nell

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Full Moon Blog for August

From Thought Catalog by Leena Sanders

There is a full moon in Pisces on August 26th, 2018. This is a very intense time as we have seven different planets in Retrograde, as well as have had three eclipses this year compared to two like we typically do. Not only do we have so much conjoining energies, but the sun during this full moon will be in the sign of Virgo.

When planets are in Retrograde it is said to be a time of going back and analyzing our life, which is also part of Virgo nature. Retrogrades are for reflection, it’s a time to really look at yourself and your life and make sure everything is how you want and need it to be. However, the energy that a full moon brings is energy pushing forward. Full moons are a time for change. This energy may seem conflicting, but not if you engage with it appropriately.

Now is a time to shed your layers. Get rid of absolutely everything that does not serve you and your greater good.

Now is a time for questioning every area of your life, especially your spirituality, relationships, creativity, and work.

This is a time where you are being asked to take a leap of faith, to welcome transitions, and to let go and allow things to fall into place.

What’s meant to stay, will. What’s meant to leave, will.

You are being called to your new chapter. You are being encouraged to fully mold into you who are truly meant to be. This is a time to set down your fear, your anxiety, the people who hold you back from your own evolution, and any belief system about yourself or your life that doesn’t serve you.

This is the prelude to your next chapter.

This moon is a time to ask yourself some questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Who do I want to be?
  • How can I be more open?
  • What do I need to release?
  • What’s holding me back?
  • What are some positive changes I can make to really step into my dream life?
  • How can I protect my space better, how can I create healthier boundaries?

This energy is intense, so be easy on yourself.

This is the time to become the person you want to be, to ask questions and receive answers, to be spiritually curious, to end and begin relationships from a wholehearted space, and to really reflect on the things you need and want in your space.

The Virgo nature will assist you on your quest to realization and the Pisces nature will help bring forth your truest visions for yourself, the Truth you need in your life.

Welcome to your next chapter, the beginning of the self you’ve been longing for. Welcome to the space of new knowledge, new answers, and new meaning. This is your next chapter.

Blessed be,

Nell