On Voice

"A word after a word after a word is power."

~Margaret Atwood~

There is a voice I allow myself in person, sitting across a table from someone, looking into their eyes, the rise & fall & cadence of conversation. There is a voice I allow myself with my children, lit with laughter & fear & confusion & occasional heartbreak, but love & love & love in every syllable. There is a voice I allow myself with my students, louder & more solid than my regular voice, more assured than I often feel. There is a voice I allow myself with my family & closest kindreds, warm & open vowels & what I hope they know is love. There is a voice I allow myself with my lover, the hushed whisper of consonants in the heat & breath between us. 

Then, there is the voice I will only permit myself on the page. The voice that holds shadows & secrets & stories none other can. The voice that dreams in symbolic ink & paper. The voice that is more me & more un-me than anything else. The voice that holds the power. The voice that lets me blossom & open my hands. The voice that dares, sparks & ignites & I am only just trying to keep up with it, giving chase with my pen.

Lately, I've lost that last voice in the clamor of online life & a world & a country & a personal landscape that all look nothing like what I know. So, as is my way, I've pulled back into the shadows to sharpen my voice to a thin silver blade. In my two weeks almost completely "unplugged" from social media a lot has happened here: SEVEN books have been read (in two weeks, yes.), hours & hours of time spent throwing cards, music wildly filling space, emails & to-dos addressed, a ton of grading completed, over thirty pages of my own fiction written & major breakthroughs in my book. I feel the stumbling shock of staggering back into my life again as though I've been held underwater. 

A word after a word after a word is power & I have been reclaiming mine. I only planned to leave Facebook & Instagram for two weeks, but here I am at that mark & I am not yet ready to go back. I miss certain beloveds there, but the taste of this freedom & this mouth full of words are just too damn sweet. Come find me on this website. Subscribe to the newsletter here. I will send my wordtaste to you. Email me. Call me. Come sit down across a table from me & let me sing. Touch my mouth & hear the words spring to my lips. They sound like me again.

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

Daily Dose #5: Tarot as Medicine: Three of Wands

"The Tarot can change and become new every time we pick it up. This is because we can shuffle it. We can take the cards, with all their intense symbols, mix them, and lay them out as a new work."
 ~Rachel Pollack~

The Three of Wands encourages vision & revision. It is a reminder that we simply need to look at things in a different way than what we've been doing. Refocusing. New insights. Sometimes, it means leaving security behind in search of new possibilities.

When a card like this comes up for me, I know that I need to see past the distractions and clear my line of vision for the things that truly matter. It is so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day minutia and the immediate fears and worries I have without seeing the bigger picture. Right now, the truth is, I don't know how it all will work out yet. This card tells me to take a more wide-view of what may yet be. What things truly matter to me? What dreams have I not pursued as much as I should? How willing am I to commit to the process--the journey--as an adventure and not as a chore?

I like to know how things will go. I worry when I don't have all of the answers. The Three of Wands reminds me that the fear is just a guardian I need to push myself past. Yes, maybe my heart will break. Yes, maybe I'll fall short of the goal. Yes, maybe the new territory will be overwhelming. But, courage is a catalyst and I have that in abundance.

Dare. Take risks. Stay determined. Today's card calls me to be focused and to trust in whatever comes. Evolution is in process. The cards are new every day...the story is new every day. My job is to continue to let go of fear. My job is to move on.