Archive for the ‘Tarot contemplations’ Category

Last Saturday was my birthday. I’ve been treated to a couple of dinners, gifts, a mailbox full of cards, phone calls and a long string of celebrations from Facebook friends. Say what you will about the latter, it certainly lifted my resonance. Thanks to everyone who made my day that much brighter!

photo of Cody - copyright (c)2015KJLoh

I enjoy celebrating my birthday and Summer Solstice with collage or a Tarot reading and this year, the reading was my choice. So, after taking Cody for a long morning romp along the irrigation ditch where he loves to play in the water, I settled on the deck to do a Tarot spread. (I use Tarot of the Spirit)

After grounding myself and doing a little soul searching, I asked my question, drew the cards for the Magna Diamond spread and began taking notes in my journal. Gradually, I became aware that the usual quiet of my neighborhood was being disrupted by planes overhead. I am used to the sound of helicopters in the summer because I live near the river. People get reckless and need to be airlifted due to injuries from broken legs to broken backs. I did hear a helicopter, but I also heard the distinct sound of fire retardant tankers and that meant only one thing, wild fire. They were headed north east as they flew directly overhead.

I checked Yubanet online, our local resource for breaking news, and discovered the fire was 20 min by car from my home; close enough to create concern but far enough to take a wait and see attitude for the moment.

I continued to take notes, discovering that the entire spread indicated I was at the end of a long run of trials and that to move forward, I need to release things, patterns, structures, and identities. I need to be willing to walk in the Mystery unable to see the future., holding to faith by following my heart and inner guidance, one step at a time.

I am aware that I can get very excited about the idea of downsizing and releasing things, but when it comes to action, I tend to go into a stupor, and manipulate myself into an incapacitating spin over HOW to get rid of things: sell, donate, give away, trash. Let’s just say, I am both good and bad at this. I have already downsized several times; halving my possessions in a divorce and moving four times since. Yet, I could easily halve my belongings again. Currently any dream of a tiny house or living in an RV is, shall we say, ludicrous.

Anyway, pumped up on iced-coffee, I was feeling anxious and I decided to check the fire report on Yubanet again. Only six minutes had passed, and only ¾ acre was involved thus far, but these words alarmed me:

“very difficult access, but potential for a major incident.”

Now, I was getting distracted. How long should I wait?  Surrounded by tall trees as I am, there is no vista in any direction. So, I couldn’t see anything.I could barely smell smoke. I continued to take notes and was struck by card in position 9 representing the immediate future: Father Fire. One word in the interpretive text stood out: wildfire.

Every 5 minutes or so, I checked the update. The fire was burning slowly through the retardant and ground crews were having trouble getting to it. An access gate was locked and crews were redirected. I heard sirens and horns as fire trucks took the road near my house to get to the fire. Planes continued to fly overhead.

At some point I decided it made sense to stop taking notes and assess what I will take if I have to evacuate. Nature was giving me a fire drill in letting go of my stuff. I love magic and synchronicity, but couldn’t we do this without making the hair on the back of my neck stand up?

fire photo copyright(c)2011 K J Loh

I’ve taken pictures of my things before, but not recently, so I grabbed my camera and took pictures of everything, even opening the cupboards. The least it would do is prove I had these things and jog my own memory should I be reporting to insurance.

I then got some boxes from the garage. The first decision was that I would take the camper van and leave the RAV4. I threw my journals, that have not yet been taken to storage (which is where I keep journals and photos in case of fire), into a box. I then lined up bubble pack and a box for my crystals and altar items, packed my laptop and iPad, pulled out mom’s and grandmother’s silver. My data from my desktop is stored on the cloud; a step I took after three different backup hard drives crashed on me. So, no need to try to save it.

As I walked through the house assessing what would come with me and what would not, I found it easy to have clarity as to what mattered to me and what could be replaced or forgotten. Truly, I did not have to think much about anything. Of course, it still felt like a drill, albeit with high potential, and not yet a reality.

Some things, like clothes and toiletries (as if traveling) are priority just because you need them every day. If the airlines has ever lost your luggage, you know the misery of wearing the same clothes for a week and the hassle of having to buy every little personal care item.

Other things have sentimental value to me, like dad’s photo of a snow-covered Chicago street scene by lamplight from 1949 that hangs on my wall, or the silk painting of me as a toddler painted in Japan in 1954. They mean something to me and are irreplaceable. They bring me joy, yes (as Marie Kondo advises in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up), but more importantly, they touch me deeply. Joy is momentary, love is everlasting.

I was also stressing about my friends’ cat, Ashley. They are on vacation. Ashley is alone during the days.. She is a reclusive cat and when I go to keep her company, she is hard enough just to find, not to mention coax to come out and get a few head rubs. How the heck was I going to get her to come out and put her in a carry case? Certainly, I needed to allot a chunk of time for that. I also wondered what else they would want me to grab for them. The giant crystal, for sure, if I can carry it.

If the fire were closer and we were being evacuated, there would not be enough time for all of these questions. I would just toss things in the car and go. This became very clear as I saw how long it actually takes to locate items, pack them in boxes and carry them to the car. I had only been staging so far, staging and planning. I wanted to be ready. I kept one ear open for a reverse call from the Emergency Services advising evacuation.

I checked Yubanet again. They reported that ground resources were staging at Cooper and Lightning Tree roads. Cooper? That’s the road across from mine. I continued saying goodbye to things, by way of deciding they would go in the fire as I continued preparations. Mind you, my goodbyes were perfunctory, as in “you are replaceable” or “I’ll be fine without you.”

Then, just as gradually as I’d become aware of air traffic in the first place, I noticed the quiet. No more tankers. I checked Yubanet.

“Air attack has released the tankers, the forward progress of the fire has been stopped.”


The fire drill was over. The fire awareness remains. Tomorrow, I will move journals and other essentials to storage. We are in a severe drought and fire is an ever present danger in these mountains.

I laughed out loud as I asked my guides, “did you really need to go to that length to show me what matters and how much I can do without?”

That evening, I confess, I noticed some relief creep in, in the form of “Thank goodness, I get to keep all my stuff!” OK, maybe I even experienced a little giddiness. Isn’t that just human nature, the gatekeeper at the threshold of change keeping me detained in the land of comfort…..for now.

FIRE DRILL suggestions – design your own:

When we talk about releasing things, we are not just talking about stuff. We are also talking about structures (the way we do things), self-images, identities and roles we play, thought patterns, beliefs, grudges, fears. You know the drill, right?

When you think of what you want and how you want your life to be:

What are the structures, thoughts, beliefs, roles, self-images and identities, people (yes people) that are obstacles?

What are all the things in your environment that have found a home with you and get to stay, mostly because they fly under the radar of your awareness, not because they are an important part of your desired life?

Take a few moments to assess:

If there were a fire approaching and you had 20 minutes to get out of your house, what would you take? (think fast, see what pops up right away)

If a wildfire of a mystical source were coming and was going to burn everything about your beliefs, thoughts and self-image, what 10 beliefs or thoughts would you keep? What would you want to take forward of your self-image and what would you leave behind? If your answer is you’d completely rebuild, then what would your new self-image be? What would it take for you to build it?

I invite you to entertain these fire drills and spin them out over a week in daily journal entries. See what arises.

If you want help making it real without the drama of a real fire, get in touch with me and we will chat about how my way of coaching may be of service to you and your dreams.

copyright © June 2015, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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6            4           2             1           3            5           7

This is the Flying Bird spread as found in

The Transcendental Game of Zen – Osho Zen Tarot by Osho

I’m not a Tarot expert. I am sharing this with you here, because I was requested to do so after I blogged about it yesterday.

The left side represents feminine or Yin energy (receptive)

The right side represents masculine or Yang energy (active)

The initiator of the flight is card 1. Each successive card takes one deeper into the mystery of the question while at the same time revealing more and leading to greater clarity.

1.       Here and Now – point of departure

2.       Resistance (fear of flying)

3.       Response-ability to the fear

4.       Inner support (intuition)

5.       External support in response to intuition

6.       Relaxation and acceptance

7.       Arrival at a new level of awareness

While the spread can be used to gain clarity on an issue that is more immediate, I use it for an entire year’s spread. Then I can live into the inquiry for 365 days. So my intention, when I do the spread, is to ask what it is I am evolving into, or unfolding, over the coming year. What is the flight I’m taking? The cards in the spread point me toward what might arise from within and the actions I can take to respond to them (and vice-versa).

I use both the Osho Tarot book and the Tarot of the Spirit book to interpret my spreads. I recommend both sources for your enjoyment and potential purchase.

By the way: I highly recommend Pamela Eakins‘ courses which can be taken both in person and online. Check out her sites: Tarot of the Spirit and Lightning Spiral Mystery School.


copyright (c) January 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved (with the exception of material from
quoted sources which are the property of the sources themselves)

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I love New Years Day.

As much as I also love Winter Solstice, it falls too close to the holidays and gets trampled beneath the feet of travel and shopping, for me to completely find rest and peace on that day. But New Years Day falls after all the craziness and I get to be home, me alone, without obligation or interruption of any sort, wandering through the day in any way I choose.

My Winter Solstice ritual is fairly simple. My New Years activities are greater in number.

I begin by spending New Year’s Eve in the way that most suits what my body, mind, spirit and heart ask of me. This year, I had a cold and I decided to, speak with one of my best friends, watch a movie, participate in an East Coast 15 minute meditation with Ping Li for the new year by teleconference (which means I get to do it at 9pm) and then take a bath listening to Hawaiian slack key guitar music.

I decided to get a jump on my New Years divination activities by completing the evening with a Flying Bird spread using Osho Zen Tarot cards. Doing divination is a way for me to co-create with the Divine. So I call it Divine-ing.  I’ve done this for the past few years and last year’s spread spoke to me all year long in the most profound ways, so I wanted to see what might happen this year.

As I lay out the spread, I became disconcerted. I was tired and the quick interpretation I did of it made little sense to me. I decided to sleep on it.

This morning, I reviewed the spread referring to the expanded version of Osho’s book as well as using Pamela Eakins’ Tarot of the Spirit book. I was thrilled with what the cards portend. The cards fell as a continuation of last year’s spread and gave me a peek into an adventurous 2011.

After that, I began my other favorite divinations: pulling a Healing with the Angels card, two Spirit Cards (I AM and I WILL) and sitting in meditation. Near the beginning of my sitting, I heard a hummingbird, but there was none by the window and the sound came from my altar which houses my crystals and animal totems. It dawned on me that I might pull an Animal Medicine Card as the animal guide for the year and then randomly open to a page in the Crystal Bible to find a crystal guide for the year. Not surprisingly, yet delightfully, the two were well connected in essence.

I tell you about the practice without revealing the actual cards, because my meditation practices are for the most part private, unless I choose to reveal them for teachings (as I did in Movin’ On (take 3) Un-boxed and Settling In) I enjoy giving you some ideas for what you might do with divination for the new year. This is a practice aside from vision boards, vision stories, setting goals and choosing words for the year.

Speaking of choosing words, I noticed that a number of my Facebook friends were choosing their words for 2011. Choosing. Great coaching word. At first, I resisted, and then I thought, I will randomly pick a word from the dictionary and see what comes up, for fun.

Floating sculpture in Paris Fountain copyright (c) Sept 2006, Kathy J Loh


You see, I love the random choices. That’s why I do divination. If I choose something, there’s a good chance I will choose from my mind. I will choose something I think should be the word, symbol, focus. I do plenty of that with my business and goal setting. What I want is an infusion from my intuition and I use the divination methods as a way to pop my thinking outside of its well-worn grooves. Sometimes, the cards make no sense, at least not to my logical mind and certainly not to my ego’s goals. The ego’s sense of timing is completely different from the soul, for the most part. Divination or randomness has a way of teaching me, through gradual unfolding of understanding, how these cards, these symbols, play out in my life over the year.

Making sense out of chaos requires creative thinking and maybe the process begins with making chaos out of sense. I take the cards seriously and not seriously at all.

The divination from 2010 revealed treasures that sparkled for me, that reflected a me I could not see at first.  They pulled me back time and again to a spacious way of being with myself and circumstances.

2010’s Flying Bird spread unfolded miraculously. I kept it on the wall in my mediation room and referred to it from time to time. I could see how all cards were dynamically active all year long and at the same time guiding me down my evolutionary pathway.

My angel cards from last year, Divine Timing and Manifestation, were a constant reminder to be patient whenever I got upset with the timing of things.

Anyway – back to the word. I pulled a dictionary off the shelf and flipped back and forth until the moment felt right and I stabbed a page with my finger, but the page I struck was blank. I thought the pages had flipped, but they hadn’t.

I decided to try it again with a thesaurus as if a different book might be the key. My finger landed in between entries, pointing to a completely blank spot.

“OK” I said to no one in particular and someone watching over me. “I guess you don’t want me to have a word.”  (I knew there were plenty of other interpretations, but I chose to be disinterested.)

I headed upstairs to unpack from my trip and create a laundry pile. There on the floor, previously unnoticed was a Spirit Card that said:


I laughed, just as I had squealed with delight when I pulled some of my other cards today. I like the way the Mystery plays with me.

That’s my word for 2011. Passion.  If you knew the other cards I pulled, you’d know there could not be a more suitable word.  There is plenty to explore when contemplating passion. There is so much more for me to know about this word and all it symbolizes, not to mention so much to embody.

So there you have it. I’ve revealed my word. The rest will remain a mystery for now.

I’m heading off to play with structures:

  • What are the structures and practices, what is the scaffolding that will support dancing in the Mystery?
  • What is the framework that will bend and flex with me as I explore the frontier of my own thinking?
  • What is the calendar of the heart, the timepiece of the soul?

I’ll be writing about this over the coming months.

I’m deeply grateful for each and every one of you dear readers. Your comments and email notes mean a lot to me and I love our connection.

Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Coming up: my first ever “predictions” post. Stay tuned!

words and images copyright (c) January 2011, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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This year, Winter Solstice (in the northern hemisphere) is on Tuesday December 21st. As always, I have left the day open so that I can create an intentional ritual that honors my growth this year and the vision that is unfolding for the next. If you would like some ideas about creating your own ritual, check out my 2009 Winter Solstice post.

For those of us who like to play with astrological, astronomic and symbolic events, there are some exciting things coming.

  • On the day of the Solstice we will also have a full moon with total lunar eclipse.
  • Mercury Turns Direct Dec 30th
  • For a period of about three weeks in early January, nothing in the sky will appear retrograde.
  • The Tarot guardian card for 2011 (which is a 4 year) is IV or The Emperor

Solstice, full moon, lunar eclipse

Here’s what my friend and personal astrologer, Nicki Michaels has to say about the solstice and lunar eclipse:

“The Winter Solstice, at the moment the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn, is the time of deepest darkness in the northern hemisphere.  It is when many traditions honor the rebirth of the Sun and renewal of the life force.  In our culture, many gravitate towards family and friends around an illuminated evergreen tree or a menorah celebrating the miracle of light.

One meaning of the sign of Capricorn is community cohesiveness, and so in this dimly lit season, we find illumination through connection to others rather than by the Sun’s light. We naturally renew our social connections and hopefully feel strengthened by them.

This year the Winter Solstice combines with the powerful energy of a Full Moon eclipse, intensifying and deepening the experience.  Both occur on Tuesday December  21st, the Full Moon at 12:13 AM PT, and the Solstice at 3:39 PM PT.

So at this powerful and sacred Solstice moment, rejoice at the rebirth of the Sun out of the darkness and experience the open-heartedness that this season ignites. Notice where you find light in your life and move towards it. Ask what you wish to illuminate in the coming year, and allow your light to shine.”  [see note (1) below]

Allowing our light to shine may also entail facing our shadows. Facing our shadows reveals our light and releases us from the darkness.


“If you bring forth that which you have within you, it will save you. If you do not, it will destroy you.”

– The Gospel of Thomas

Planetary movement

When Mercury goes direct on the 30th, there will be no planets in retrograde until Saturn turns retrograde on January 27th.  Yes, Mercury’s retrograde energy lingers, but this all-planets-direct in the sky period is a window of opportunity.  According to some astrologers I’ve read, it will be a powerful time for getting things done. There will be less energetic resistance to our forward movement. If you’ve felt like you’ve been making slow progress or steady progress with lots of relapses, you will likely find the energy shifting in your favor the first few weeks of January.

Sun in clouds copyright (c) Dec 2009, Kathy J Loh

This informs my ritual in this way

I’m looking to complete anything that still feels incomplete and release the energy so that I can rest in a beautiful space of silence and integration. I am also germinating seeds that I sowed this year, trusting that they are growing under the best of conditions.  I am setting an intention to make myself more available to community and to make community more available to me.

I was at a book-signing last night for Transforming in 2012 by Debra Giusti, et al.  Two authors, Marilyn Schlitz and Steve Bhaerman (aka Swami Beyondananda) spoke. Both spoke to the necessity of creating community as we make the shift from our old-consciousness story to the new story. We are in the process of creating that story now (or it is creating us, which is to say it is a co-creative process).

This delighted me since I have considered posting my very first ever predictions blog post and one of the predictions is the new level of meaning community will have for us. Here you get a preview:

Stop trying to do everything yourself. It’s not going to work anymore. Create community. ‘nuff said.

And what about the Emperor?

He is a symbol of the divine masculine. He is about creating structures that will sustain and nurture that which is birthed. I’m thinking of it as stakes, trellises and netting that will support the seedlings as they grow taller. As Pamela Eakins says in her book The Tarot of Spirit :

“Build a firm base of clear knowledge; do not become too rigid; remain open and lucid to retain control, know and serve a higher force; build your world in beauty and light; do not forget that the Emperor remains Emperor because he has a global sense of things that others do not necessarily possess, yet he will be overthrown if he does not serve his constituents; to remain in power, use your insight and serve those around you.”

Whereas last year’s guardian, The Empress, is the creator of all form, the Emperor illuminates the structure of all form.

Forms will be birthed and there needs to be an ongoing nurturing and sustaining of those forms for them to thrive. In 2011, the energy of the Emperor assists us with that. Whether we are creating a home, a product, a business, an organization, or a new world, the Emperor is with us and offers us wisdom.  Perhaps the most profound message is to serve, from the perspective of what the soul knows and sees.

When we look at our own structures in life, we may think of the word discipline. I remind myself that discipline means to be a “disciple to.” To what will I be a disciple in 2011? We are all disciples to many things simply by way of auto-pilot. What wants, invites and requires our conscious, intentional devotion now? Let’s be discerning about that.

The window and the calling:

Taking this back to the solstice (the time when we shift from ever shorter days to ever longer ones), the full moon – lunar eclipse, the direction of the planets, and the turning of the year, we can use this time as a powerful energetic surge, a kind of wave, to carry us powerfully toward all that we generate.  We are always generating something. Let’s be conscious in our co-creating.


It is my belief that all that calls to be created is calling from the new story.

Are we listening? How will we respond?

It is this new story that we are serving.

What is our degree of willingness?

As the days of increasing light return, let’s generate and inspire hope for ourselves, for our world.

We are called forth by our hearts to form community to nurture and sustain this new story. Each member of the community, you being one of them, contributes a vital and unique role. You are needed.

As Nicki advises:  “Ask what you wish to illuminate in the coming year, and allow your light to shine.”

Wishing you all an enchanted holiday season!

(1) For a deeper understanding of the Winter Solstice, read what Dane Rudhyar says about the the sign of Capricorn and Winter Solstice. Learn more about Nicki Michaels and her astrology services. Please note that the paragraphs contributed by Nicki are also copyrighted material and used here by permission.

Copyright© December 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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My Tarot of the Spirit meditation this week is on birthing. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, with the new moon and the Lunar New Year introducing the Year of the Tiger.

As I sat in the quiet of contemplation (well, ok, the quiet with some mind-chatter), I pondered my first birthing; that entry into this physical world from the cosmic void, the cosmic everything, from one-ness into a singular me. I wondered when we start to forget who we really are.

I wondered what it is I am birthing now, for surely I’ve had the pangs. I wondered about my resistance.

I revisited the birthing that took place when I left my family and went out on my own. I considered my birth into the world from the womb of the ivory towers and the brief independence before I birthed myself into marriage.

Each of these later births was a grand adventure full of hope and promise.  Each was a full on commitment.

There have been, since then, births that have not felt so good. These hold the key to my reluctance to leave the womb of my half-way home.

“Sometimes a wind comes out of nowhere and knocks you off your feet.” Bruce Cockburn

… a really big wind, a punch to the gut, a canon-ball  hole to the heart. I got that about 10 years into my marriage. I can make up that I stood at the threshold of the call to adventure and refused the call, but the truth is I will never know for sure what the greater undertaking was; stay or go.

Finally, 23 years into my marriage, big winds blew relentlessly and it was time to answer another call. I’ve seen the Hero’s Journey diagrammed as a kind of curve; one that leads downward into an abyss and eventually returns upward. I’ve heard Joseph Campbell say that once you cross the threshold, there is no turning back.

I was in a seminar discussing the Hero’s Journey when someone asked the leader how long the abyss part lasts. That caught my interest, because at that point in time, I had been sitting on the bottom for quite awhile, having lost my love, my home, my pet and having waved goodbye to 16 years of teaching piano  while my new business seemed to be going nowhere fast.

A wave in the dark

Dark Seas (c) K J Loh

How long would I remain lost at sea battling demons and looking for my allies?

The seminar leader said it varies; for some it is a matter of months and for others it can be years.  When I heard that I made the decision to begin my journey home. I had no interest in remaining lost at sea forever. Whatever it took, I would keep myself navigating toward the return and celebration part of my adventure.

I will not live an interrupted hero’s journey.

My heart, spirit and mind have returned. My body is still wandering; probably because I’m just now learning how to really be in it.

So, I asked myself in my meditation, “Why have I stagnated? What’s the reluctance about?” I did not have to think any thoughts. The pain in my heart set off a minor temblor that culminated in a wave of tears. It’s the fear of more pain.

All I ever wanted, was just to come in from the cold.”Joni Mitchell

I’m like Sleeping Beauty. I’ve pricked my finger on a spindle and now I am asleep, awaiting my magical awakening. I await everyone and everything like I wait for good news to arrive in the mailbox.  This home that is a bit too cramped, this life that is a bit too safe is, at least, very comfortable. This home, this “me,” this ennui, is familiar and I really am reticent to leave and risk being caught out in another big storm. My heart may not be soaring, but at least it’s warm and dry.

There is this last push I need to complete the birthing of the new beginning to which I committed myself a few years ago.  I see the shore, but I let myself drift with the currents of social media networking, errands and menial tasks. It’s a kind of sacrosanct busyness with which many of us are all too familiar.

In the weariest of moments I complain that I didn’t want this birth. It wasn’t supposed to be this way and it’s only because it is this way that I pick myself up and move on.

Still, the promise of a full return and celebration twinkle like the lights on some distant shore. I’ve seen them. My visions and maps fill me with hope. Getting there is going to take some effort.  I will keep my eye on my North Star, pick up that oar and paddle. That’s all there is to it really, that and dumping a few items off this skiff to lighten the load.

What I realize is that this broken heart has done all the mending it can with just being. It’s time now for some action. The time of waiting is over. To surrender to the fear being hurt again will, ironically, only leave me broken-hearted.

I wrote about this before in “(Don’t) Rescue me from Creativity.” At that point I was releasing control and surrendering to creative chaos. The hurricane has passed. Seas are calm. It’s time to make some sort of landing.

Someone recently told me I put wings on their feet. That’s wonderful! You can have mine for awhile, because, as soon as I hit shore, I’ve got some earth to feel and some walking to do.

The Bruce Cockburn quote is from his song “The Whole Night Sky” on the CD The Charity of Night
The Joni Mitchell lyric quote is from her song “Come in From the Cold” on the CD Night Ride Home
Copyright (c) February 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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I can’t even remember if I was sitting at my computer desk or walking toward it when this happened.  What I do remember is hearing a very loud sound, looking out the window and seeing  a 100+ foot oak tree falling toward me. It hit the ground, branches bouncing around, and ultimately came to rest pressed into my window like an impetuous “please don’t leave me” lover’s embrace. The canopy was so wide it completely darkened a second window at the other end of the room.

The rest of the general story is fairly predictable. My landlords were quick to respond and the details that are generally left up to those who own property were in their hands; assessing damage, contacting tree services, etc. All around there was gratitude for the limited damage and the fact that no one was hurt.

This left me with the freedom to explore and play with it as a sign of some sort; to imbue the event with meaning, as is my nature.  I’m aware that some people prefer to see it as: a tree fell, end of story, move on. I can see it that way too. I choose not to. I choose to live in a more enchanting world. I have been deepening my relationship with Nature for a long time and animals in particular have become lively and important messengers for me. I go to stands of trees to find healing and comfort. We have “conversations.”

Old Vista with Oak (K Loh)

When the oak stood tall (K Loh)

Fallen Oak (K Loh)

Fallen Oak (K Loh)

The lease on another oak’s life is up as a result of the threat it poses by being so close to the house. It will be taken down because of its potential. I could not help but cry about that during my evening meditation; grieving the trees. At the same time, two pines, about 10 and 20 feet, are about to get a break as they no longer stand in the shade of the oaks.

I thought too of how the squirrels have been working so hard to collect their winter’s stash. I didn’t see them yesterday, but today I noticed they’ve already determined their new commuter route. They don’t pause for a moment to complain about the loss or the inconvenience (unless they do). They simply do what must be done and continue “squirreling away” for the cold months to come.

As I waited for the tree “morticians” to show up and improvise a requiem from chain saws and chippers, I wondered what happens when Cosmos decides that it has outgrown the form of an oak tree? Where does the energy go? What will be the new form? Chipper shred or something else? We see the tree, we see the chips and firewood, but there is something else we don’t see. Cosmos is always unfolding and moving and re-forming.

This week, the Tarot of the Spirit card upon which I’m meditating (as part of my class with Lightning Spiral Mystery School) is Seven of Wind – Many Tongues. There is change afoot. Articulation eludes us as we move into a new consciousness. Old structures need to give way as they, fashioned from an old perspective, no longer serve. It makes me ask: how can my mind, having created those structures as a mirror of itself, fathom a new one? What’s coming?

I am in that place between knowing and knowing anew. I have a sense, I have intuition, but I don’t yet have the words. The energy that was the oak tree and outgrew it is moving on and showing up in some new form, but I don’t know what. All I see is the fallen oak.

What comes with the fallen tree is the opening of a new vista. I can now see the previously hidden stands of redwoods and there is more sky which means more light, fuller sunsets, more moon and more stars.  The birds and squirrels will be farther from my view having moved to the trees further down the hill.

A friend and colleague drew an angel card for me, regarding this event. She drew Aspiration which indicated it was time to set my sights higher.  Now I have the vista and sky to do so and it may require the toppling of some structures.

This tree fell directly at me and if I crawled out my window, I could crawl directly down its branches to its main trunk and straight on down to the unearthed root ball. I can make up that a great groan of “done-ness” has arisen from its roots and shot straight up the trunk to me, entered into my field of awareness and left me with that same energy. All the things I am reticent to release, from beliefs to old stories to the stuff of clutter, are gathering, energetically, in me into a full surrender roar of enough!

It’s edgy business, this being done with no sense of what’s to come. There is no new structure already built and in place for me to inhabit and by which to live. I’ve purposefully invoked the unknown, the Mystery and here it is; a big gaping hole in the space where once a mighty oak stood; a hole where the light can now shine and from which the stars can be viewed.

I am setting my sights higher, wider, deeper,  broader. I’m setting my sights and getting insights; familiarizing myself with the lay of this new terrain and feeling incredible gratitude for the Beauty we call Nature. In these ways and so many others, I allow myself to be enchanted an  in-formed by a fallen oak.

Copyright (c) October 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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“Is the life I’m living the life that wants to live in me?” – Parker Palmer

(I’ve not been posting very regularly. That’s not new for me. I don’t subscribe to the “rule” that one must post to their blog at least four times a week. After a full morning of journaling, meditation and a hike, there’s not often time for me to write the kind of posts I like to write. And, this month something more is up for me.)

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned the Tarot Pilgrimage I attended in January. It’s a day-long event with Pamela Eakins of Lightning Spiral Mystery School where we go through an intuitive process and draw one card for each month of the upcoming year. My card for October is a very special card called The Secret Card.

I’m also studying the Tarot seven cards this month. So, I asked Pamela for guidance in working with both of these at the same time. She advised me to create a vision quest for myself.

Then I met with friend and colleague, Robin Jones of Success Becomes You who is assisting me with my marketing plan development. His first assignment was to review the vision story I wrote for my original plan in early 2004.

OK – I get the message: Vision Quest!

Visioning and imagination are gifts of mine. It’s not hard for me to imagine a wide range of possibilities and fill in each and every one of them with a finely focused vision.  Where I have trouble making distinctions is between what I can see and what I really want.  After a day of working on a vision story, I will find myself crawling into bed with the thought, “Do I really want that? Wait…what about…?”

I pulled out my old vision story from 2004. It was delightful and tough to read. The people included in it have completely disappeared from my life. While I’ve grieved the loss, I also know that it was meant to be. I’ve achieved some of my goals and dropped others entirely.  I have changed and so has my focus.

What surprised me most was the wording; how small I was holding myself while supposedly “dreaming big.”

For example I wrote: “I have achieved a balance of working for enough income to support my lifestyle, which is comfortable and not extravagant and time to work on my own creative projects, some of which produce income and some of which do not have to produce anything other than satisfaction of self-expression.”

You might ask, “What’s wrong with that?” Here’s what I notice.

  • It implies work and living my life are separate entities to be put upon a scale so as to get equal attention.
  • It assumes work is less pleasurable than and something other than living.
  • It assumes there is no freedom in working.
  • It exposes a belief that I can only expect to make so much money as a payoff for this balance and puts an unspoken ceiling on the amount.
  • It also strives to protect my creative output from being work or anything other than self-expression.
  • It exposes my belief that my creative activities cannot support me on their own (starving artist with a day-job syndrome).

Bottom line: it says, “Don’t expect too much.”  It’s a hedge against disappointment and, I suspect, since we did this in a group workshop, a hedge against looking like a failure if I don’t achieve my goals or looking like an idiot for thinking I could achieve more; that I might have that much to offer.

A place to contemplate (Kathy Loh)

A place to contemplate (Kathy Loh)

Writing a vision story is a brave and vulnerable act. We are saying to ourselves and the world, out loud and in print what we really, really want from the bottom of our all too often scarred and hurting heart.

We are saying, “This is what I love to do, the passion that calls to me and the beauty, the love, the joy, the fulfillment I want to experience every day. Here’s the meaning, the inspiration, the laughter I want to bring to others and my life and I want to be paid for it. I get to have full faith that I will have a roof over my head and food on the table.  I dare to dream that doing what I love is not a sacrificial act upon the altar of food stamps and welfare.  I am declaring out loud that what means the most to me is valuable and that the pursuit of that life I’m dreaming is not only possible; it is a birthright. I dare to believe that following my bliss is my greatest legacy.”

In other words, we are saying:  I matter.

When I can say I matter, then I have to own responsibility for my impact.

When I own responsibility for my impact, I can stop reaching for control or a sense of false power with manipulation. I can stop blaming others and circumstances for my reality.

I get to start PLAYING.

This is huge …read it again.

I get to start PLAYING in the mystery, because everything now is just feedback. It’s not about me being worthy or unworthy, good or bad, better than less than.

When I become responsible for my impact and I am playing in the mystery and everything is just feedback, then I am ever more consciously creating my reality. I say consciously because we are creating our reality all the time and a lot of it unconsciously.

So here’s the jist of my vision story. It’s called evolution, because it changes as I grow. I don’t know what the end looks like. I only get this picture of doorway after doorway opening up and the hallway I’m traversing is in the midst of some huge galaxy in the middle of an ever expanding universe.

The balance I am looking for is mindfulness and checking in with myself now and now and now each step of the way.  What matters to me as I travel is whether or not I am in alignment with my bliss and how I am relating to my fellow travelers; am I honoring, loving and valuing myself and extending that same generosity and compassion to all living creatures?

That’s the starting point for my vision quest and my vision story.

What’s yours?

copyright(c) October 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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