Regulation and Administration

             Not only are we layered and complicated beings, but all that we do and where we go is also complicated as well.  These arduous depths and intricate challenges are what I saw this morning.

             The best way to keep order and travel our path smoothly, is to initiate and be aware of:

Good Management.

             It’s like working in a situation where the boss is nicely competent.  Everyone is happy in their positions, there are advancement opportunities, effortless scheduling, plus a heft holiday bonus.

             We are reminded that our own Journey has those same features.  We can  move up, we get time off, our co-workers are pleasant.  Or…. are we in a horrible place?  One of discomfort and no enjoyment?

             Well, the way this life plays out, we need to choose one or the other.  And yes, it absolutely is a choice.  It’s about how we “manage” our adventure.

             But remember, we never have to do any of it alone.  On our card altar right now, back within the regular rotation, we have a messenger who has arrived to help.

animal messages, raven, intuition, robin williams, depression

“Raven  ~

‘Listen to your intuition to receive a message from the world of spirit.’

Black, glossy magician of the feathered world, intelligent denizen of windswept hills, lonely crags, and dark forest, Raven swoops on wings of four-foot span.

He calls to the wolves to tell them that a feast awaits, a deer, a bear; and he calls to you so that you may discover the enchanter within, and give form to the formless.

Listen carefully to his cry, for Raven brings you a message from the realm of spirit.”

Today’s Deck:

Animal Messages – Seek Inspiration From Your Animal Guides by Susie Green

Today’s Personal Message Regarding The Loss of A Gentle and Brilliant Man:

is only to say that until today I never actually felt the need to say “Rest In Peace.”  It has become an overused and trite cliché.  And then, someone very troubled and very beautiful left us.

             Now I know what that phrase truly means.  And I genuinely send him Rest and Peace.  To the very core of my being, I know that he  has found it.  And I’m glad.  Even though, here, we will all miss him so damn much.

"Genie, you're free."

“Genie, you’re free.”

Freedom, Rights, and Privileges.

                Everyone reading this is pretty much already aware of the fact that I am NOT a person who jumps on the proverbial Band Wagon, nor do I follow along well.  (And if you weren’t aware before, you are now.)  I’m not much of a joiner.  I even practice my spiritual beliefs as an individual.  Today’s observance of Martin Luther King Day will be the exception to my general rules.   The reasoning is obvious, but on a more personal level I try very hard to be my own Hate Free Zone, just like JulieLand (the destination).  Although, honestly, I do judge.  Sometimes.  But only when people are stupid

             I want to throw some word definitions out this evening, then move on to our usual mixed bag of ridiculousness and banality. 

Freedom: the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints.

Right: legal, social, or moral freedom.

Privilege: special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit.

            We have the freedom, in this country, to be who we are.  We have the right to live a free life and not be harassed (for any reason).   If we behave nicely and follow the rules, we have the privilege to drive.  Other than that, do we ask for much around here?  Not really.

             What we do NOT have, is the right or freedom to legally marry, on a federal level, the person we chose.  This is wrong.  There should be no restrictions on who we can love.  Just as there are no longer restrictions based on the color of our skin, our freedoms should be complete.  This is the very premise our country was founded upon.  There have been great strides made in the past five decades with regards to freedom, rights, and privileges, that’s the reason we honor this day.  But there is much work to be done. 

             (That’s my soap box speech du jour, but it felt necessary, so I went with it.  It also felt like this should be marked by our Special Occasion Deck, so I went with that too.)

            Ten years ago today my son bought me my Wee Walnut, and I handed over ownership of the family vehicle to him.  It was a worthy trade.  We have both been quite satisfied with the deal.  Today Daniel replaced all blown fuses and figured out how he could get in to replace the dashboard fan.  Much progress, and now I have both headlights working, on low and high beams.  Soon I will also have a functioning (and non-screaming) defrosting system (and hopefully a hell of a lot less moisture INSIDE my damn car).  On a sad note though, yesterday Max dislodged the dashboard penguin and today the purple Teletubby took a tumble.  In the corner of my windshield it is starting to look like a wee character graveyard.  I’ll need to re-affix everyone soon.  Hope we have some glue around here.

            As of today (the 17th) we are out from under Mercury’s thumb Shadow Effect.  But as I went through my new calendars, I saw where the retrograde phases would fall on us in 2011.  I chose to look away, and deal with that when we get there.  I stay happier that way, I’ve found.

              My new Witches’ Datebook has some cool lunar essays, and gives a little bit of back ground on various holidays and traditions.  They call the upcoming event of The Cancer Full Moon the Moon of the Secret Pearl, and talk about it representing the hidden or sequestered, like the tiny grain of sand inside an oyster and how that becomes a pearl.  If you feel like you might want to do some moon work, this is a good time to focus on what you want to create, growing something small and treasured into something larger and valuable.

             It was NOT raining today!  Dan went outside and swept around the place, tidying the fallen leaves and I think he even scooped out some gutters (either that or he just felt like walking around on the roof).     Here’s how our View looked.   

             And here’s what he and Empress found when they stopped to get some dinner, after picking up a dead mouse for Coco.   (Not in the same place, the reptile store just happened to be down the block from the market/restaurant.)                 We are up to over a hundred cranes now, combined, that the three of us have made.  I will finish up with the paper I have tonight, and get back to cross stitching subversively, then we’ll send these off to Glynis.  With all the well wishes we can pack in to the box.  (Unless I buy some more paper later, in which case I will continue to fold and maybe send off a second box, hard to say, I don’t know yet.)

           As with cats and snakes, there are some totems that just don’t ring true with every person.  I am not huge fan of insects, but I do understand their purpose (I just don’t want them in my house).  The stories and history of all native peoples focus on what they found around them, and ancient tales utilized all of nature.  So when we draw one that may not speak to us personally, it is worth seeing what the message is, and perhaps (like with the dated illustrations of fairies) it is best to overlook the image, going directly to the meaning.

“Spider  ~  Weaver of Dreams.

   Spider, as the Weaver of Dreams, reminds us that we are the creators of our own lives and that we alone choose the directions we take.

Every night the Spider weaves her web and every morning she pulls it apart, fully prepared to reweave it later that night.  Her web is symbolic of life.  We are all essential strands in the Web of Life.  Each of us is imbued with strength and wisdom to make a vital contribution to the planet.

Spider encourages us to explore life and to investigate the strands that lead out from the centre of her web.  Some will offer reward and others won’t.  As we journey the positive strands, life seems abundant.  A wrong turn though, will present a strand that offers nothing.  Life becomes difficult with all attempts to free ourselves proving futile.  The Web of Life is riddled with pitfalls, but it also promises greatness to those prepared to take risks and work hard.

As the Weaver of Dreams, Spider urges us to explore life and to reweave our web when our path becomes barren.  She helps us reclaim our power and bring our dreams to fruition.  She warns, however, that in order to open new doors we must first close old ones by facing our fears and making choices that promise new beginnings.

If Spider has woven her way into your cards today, you are being reminded of your role as a vital strand in the Web of Life.  We all yearn to take control of our lives and to make a difference to the world.  We all yearn to believe in ourselves, to have faith in our ability to heal and to realise our true potential.  Well, you are being reminded that Spider nurtures the wisdom in you to make your healing possible and your life more abundant and fulfilling.  Now is the time to acknowledge your vulnerabilities, face your fears, and strive to achieve your dreams.  So, embrace you Purpose and your Personal Power.

Spider is calling to you to reconnect with Spirit and to remember that you are not apart from the world in which you live, but rather a vital thread in the Universal tapestry.  Without your input, the tapestry will fray and eventually fall apart.”

Reading and Doing, plus Power Retrieval.

     I know that my children believe I am more insane now than ever before.  But, I don’t care.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  To me, it feels as though I am learning more than ever before, and connecting more than I ever dreamed possible.  London, Georgia, BC, Australia, New Hampshire, Texas, Calgary, NYC, the list seems endless now.  Yesterday Kris put up a new Cake Day post, which means I had to fly right over there and see it.  What I also saw was a comment from a beautiful young mother in Italy.  She recently started a food blog, in English.  We are now linked to her because I reached across the vast miles via the interwebs and asked her if I could share the joy, and food.  She agreed. 

       For a really long time I bought quilting magazines, hoping it would help me to be a better quilter.  They really didn’t make much difference in my skills, but I enjoyed them.  I do this with food too.  I read recipes and practically drool over the impossibly glamorous photos, but my cooking is no better than before (in fact, now that Daniel and I inhabit our empty nest, it has gotten much worse).   My intentions are good though!

      In Human Rights news, Dan Savage wrote yesterday about a new project that I think JulieLanders can totally get on board with.  It’s called Write Your Principal and it was started by a woman named Jacquie Shine, who lives in San Francisco, with her “wife, our dog, a lesbian-riffic number of cats, 3 bicycles, and a million books.”  Sounds like our kinda people doesn’t she?!

         My good friend Cherie told me about a sort of holiday bazaar thingie that was being held at the fairgrounds this weekend.  I corralled Empress and Jade to join me.  Message to my First Born Child:  thank you, more than you know, for your generosity and patience.  Emmy, thanks to you as well, but ya know, maybe a teensy bit less.  Because you haven’t given me back my belt!         Don’t they look happy and excited?!   And see all the treasures we found?  Thank you both so much for today!   Really!                   

              And Han, I am still curious about this new eye doctor of yours?  Kurt Russel?  Seriously?    

     In our travels around the card altar, we have landed back amidst Doreen’s Archangels.     “Take Back Your Power!

Archangel Raziel:  Use your God-given power and intention to manifest blessings in your life.

You are a luminary, a sage, a wise one, a high priestess/high priest, a wizard, and a supreme manifestor.  Now is the time to summon up your spiritual strength and power and put your authority into action.  Lovingly and firmly transform your intentions into reality.  Say prayers/meditate about your intentions, and ask for guidance and signs to shape your manifestations to the highest possible level, and for the highest possible good.”

Boys and Girls and Children of All Ages.

      No, I have not suddenly turned completely around and taken up with the circus.  I have simply stolen borrowed part of this title from Lora.   Instead I am going to talk a little bit about how, because I was the first-born child to a baby-of-the-family mother, that made me into the Mom To All I Encounter.

      When the witchlings started school I was a volunteer (the kind who came in after lunch), and I got to know a ton of very cool young people.  When they moved on to Middle School age I met some more.  One of my tasks was a thing I called Teen Aged Time Out.  It was really a sort of study hall session slash detention.  In that class room I met a fine variety of misfits, so much like my own wee self elf.  As my kids gathered friends I got to know most of them.  Some better than others.  (An example would be Whitney who often comments here, not to be confused with Fictional Friend Whitney, who we have now heard from and so should no longer be considered Fictional.)  I was the Late Night Ride Mom (duh).  As such, I hauled a vast assortment of teenagers around in the Wee Walnut.  (Remember the back seat fire incident?  Well who do you think the back seat had been filled with, if not teenagers?)

      They have all grown up, and some have grown away (as in distance, not as in, no longer close to our hearts).  One such Daughter By Association is in Korea right now, and yesterday I found out that she has a Tumblr blog.  Her name is Melissa, and I still adore this young woman as if she were my own.

       Last night was our staff meeting.  For the Job.  It went well.  Mostly.  (I am the world’s most ridiculous boss, seriously.)  Patty left before we could get her picture, and Em was running the camera, so here is a shot of me and Cleo.     (Holy crap I look way too much like my own mother in this one.  Eeek.)       She is a fabulous friend, our Cleo, who started out with just Emma, but has pretty much been adopted by the entire tribe now.  Isn’t she gorgeous?  All my girls are.  And then there are the boys.          When I first me Josh (he’s the one wearing the maroon hood) he was my pool instructor.  We clicked immediately.  He was like the son I should have had.  (And yes, my actual son-by-birth sort of agrees with us on this one, he’s met Joshy and he knows why we say this.)  I’ve been feeding him ever since.  Matt (the one next to Samantha, with the long-sleeved grey sweatshirt on) is now my all-time pool instructor (Josh quit, moved on to other gigs).  He and I weren’t as close at first, but now that we see each other three days a week (and some times it is JUST he and I, three days a week) we have really connected.  He can take my bullshit and fling it right back as quickly as any kid I’ve grown to love.  Chris (in grey short sleeves) I have only just met.  But he’s a friend of Matt’s, so I am pretty sure he’ll be adopted any day now.  Samantha lives with Matt, so obviously I will adore her too.

  (None of them were very excited when I told them that reading this blog daily was going to be a job requirement.   I may have to institute pop quizzes or something to keep them all on task.)

       Over at Dan Savage these days things just keep looking up.  The It Gets Better Project  now has its own website, selling T-shirts as a fund-raiser.  I have ordered mine.  (But I will never tell you what you should do, so vote with your dollar, and obviously do whatever you think is best.)  I can’t tell you how happy this makes me that Dan and Terry have finally made national news, and that this worthwhile idea of theirs has really taken off.  It just fills me with hope every time I think about it (and every time I wear my new shirt, as soon as it arrives).

       I saw three separate young women today all wearing super fun tights.  Two North Dakota plates, one had a Vermont sticker on the trunk lid.  Mixed home town messages anyone?  Yesterday I saw one from Maryland.

    Our card today is from Doreen’s Archangel Oracle Deck.         Before I get on to giving you what the book says about this one, I want to steal  borrow from someone else.  I added Aunt BeaN’s Third Blog the other day, and I’ve just finished reading her archives (yes, in order, of course).  She is a highly spiritual woman (not to mention a really smart one), and she talks about What I Think Of As God, which I believe is a pretty cool way of putting it.  So I’m going to use it too.   I tend to struggle with that term, the one with the Capital G, so this is quite refreshing, and really rings true for me.   (Thank you BN.)

    “Gifts from God  ~  Archangel Sandalphon: We angels bring you gifts from your Creator.  Open your arms to receive.

   Heaven is expansive and ever-increasing.  One of the ways in which Heaven expands is through giving and sending love continuously.  This love is sent your way in many forms, and your only task is to be willing to receive.  Right now, the answers to your prayers await your willing receptivity.  Open your arms to these gifts.  Your Creator wills that you be happy, healthy, secure, and that all of your needs will be provided.  Release any fears of receiving, they do not apply to this joyous life you are/can be living.”

Unconventional Foundation of Establishment

  Yesterday when Dan and my parents went North to J.D.’s graduation, I had set out my little camera on the kitchen table with a Post It note, so there would be photos to share.  My plan worked perfectly, we DID have pictures yesterday.  Although, in the ridiculous marriage I inhabit, this was the first shot I saw, upon its return.  


    I’m actually having some difficulty concentrating on tonight’s post, and here’s why, no it’s not just that shirt.        He’s texting with Fictional Friend Whitney, and watching a ball game with his dad.  I don’t multi-task well (at all) and they keep talking.

   Where was I?  Oh right, so you know I am (eventually) going to write up the story of me, or I Was Born A Lower-Middle Class Beige Child.  I’m thinking there should be something about “I laughed, I cried, I cheered” on the cover too.  There will be teary parts, I did lose my baby sister to cancer (hey, make sure you’ve read Han’s post about this) but there will be happy parts too.  Like how I have three amazing Sisters-By-Marriage.  Dan’s sisters have been a loving part of my existence since the minute the entire family welcomed me into their lives.

   My brother’s wife, well the Sainted Teresa has been with us since they started dating in the 8th grade.  This girl would put Wonder Woman to shame.  She constantly has like 19 jobs at a time, her own kids at home plus bonus and fosters on hand, she’s like an orphan magnet.  And it’s because she is amazing.  She is smart and gorgeous and hysterically down to earth.  Last night I sent her a quick e-mail, just to up-date her on the impending festivities, fully expecting them to have plans or to be working or any number of other very important engagements (they really are that busy), and to let her know it wasn’t a big deal if they couldn’t come by.  This is what I got in return, “…we are all coming to the shindig…. I read your blog every morning like it’s the news… you drove your car to our house that day it caught fire and we witnessed the burned seat.”   I laughed so hard when I read this.  It never dawns on me that so many of you are checking in and remembering some of these adventures along with me.

   I just wanted to say, Barb, Mick, and T… I adore all three of you more than you know.  And thanks for being here, and for putting up with me for all these years.  If any of our JulieLanders ever wonder about my stories, or tales of the absurd, you can verify my validity.  I truthfully am like this in real life!  And my beloved Sisters-In-Law can say “yep, she is.”


When I was warming up the little squirrels that live inside my desk top dinosaur of a computer today I noticed that the It Gets Better project of Dan Savage’s had made the opening page of WordPress announcements.  Again, very good news, the more press this gets the happier I’ll be.

I don’t know if you all can check the tweets these days, there’s a new feature that makes my Stitchin’ Witch photo move, and give some kind of background/bio thing.  This will also be fixed when we do our update next week.  Not sure how it will affect your subscriptions, if you have clicked on that option down at the bottom.  (If not, don’t miss a single day of my worldly wisdom.  [LOL, or talking out my ass, whatever.]  Be sure to put a check mark in the box and you get these sent automatically.  At least, that’ s how it’s supposed to work, let me know if it doesn’t.)

    We have come to my working deck once more in our travels around the card altar.   This one is not a favorite of mine, for many reasons, all of which will be blatantly clear when he see and read about it.     

The Hierophant 

   This is the 5th card in the journey of the major arcana, and it deals with structure, tradition, and ritual.   It has to do with learning things within the confines of society and being able to adapt to changes (ah ha ha, like I can do this without effort).  The warning is that we need to not get caught up in the way things are, but allow ourselves to be flexible.  This can also be a message in regards to timidity, staying in a safe zone because it is easy, the simple path that others expect you to follow, when really the best way to learn is to step out of the those restrictive norms and blaze our own trail, taking all the risks this implies.

   We all learn at our own pace, but we cannot learn at all if we think we already have all the answers.  We won’t have that until it is time for us to go Home, so while we are here, be the student, but be that student with an inquisitive mind open to all possibilities,   then share what you are learning and become the teacher, freely giving as you have been given.