Fool and the Blackbird

This song has been looping in my head for the last several days It’s loudest when I first wake up but hits me throughout the day.

“Take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life…you were only waiting for this moment to arise.” —Blackbird by Paul McCartney

Waiting for this moment to arise…just waiting for THIS moment.

Every experience, wanted or not, helps shape who we are and in the process, turns us into more. We cannot live without expanding. Every moment up to now leads to now.

Now is all there ever is. So love it as much as you can. #OnMyRadar Click To Tweet

Our whole life, we’ve been waiting for this moment–this now–to arise. Now is all there ever is. your sole point of power.

You cannot fully love who you are, now, without acknowledging that which shaped who you are for it’s contribution to defining. No matter what it was like, at the time.

In every problem, the instant it’s perceived, a desire for solution begins forming. The larger and louder the problem, the larger and louder the solution. Without need, improvements aren’t called forth so the two are married from inception: polarities, two ends of the same stick.

You cannot curse the problem that gave life to solution without simultaneously cursing solution that couldn’t have been without the initial problem that’s part of its DNA.

You cannot praise a solution without simultaneously giving thanks for it’s mother, the problem.

And the blackbird is still singing, even in the dead of night.

I want to be singing, too.

Fool and the Blackbird 1

Upcoming Week in Tarot

In this rendition of The Fool from the Zombie Tarot, we see the gentleman as Fool archetype going to visit his zombie girlfriend. He knows who she is–in addition to the picnic lunch, he brings her a funeral wreath. Dude does realize she’s a zombie, obviously. And yet, he seems none too worried.

He may not be able to take her home/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_html to mom and they may have a vulture chaperone. But he’s a happy camper regardless.

He’s very firmly in the now…and just loving it the best he can.

Focusing on problems grows them. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s making the solution larger at the same time.

And focusing on the solutions helps shape it, while bringing the experience to the forefront of your attention.

All roads lead home/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_html. So you can’t really get it wrong.

I always shoot for what feels best, myself. Because I want to be singing, even if the dead of night.

Are you singing?

(If you want me, you know where to find me.)

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Signs in Real Life: Goldfinch Mobs & Missed Blessings

So, I’ve got my Birdseed Oracle Cafe going, full swing. Little birds coming and going all day long. And as long as the seed is there, the signs, they come.

Except for one thing.

I suck at identifying birds.

I try to take them one at a time and keep it fun. Who’s obvious? Cannot miss Bluejays or Cardinals, and the black and white and reds give away the flavors of Woodpeckers that come by. Some are distinct enough I can easily identify them. But others can give me trouble.

I posted a picture of the “Warblers” I was getting at the Cafe. What I didn’t mention is that I’d initially been rather disappointed with them.

See, I love the colorful birds best–shhh. Don’t tell the others. It’s not their fault they don’t wow me. I just cannot hold a grudge against a Starling or Grackle, even if the behavior is boorish because they’re so damned beautiful. I thrill at the way those iridescent colors glint in the sun. But the same is true of any beautiful bird. I get excited seeing a boldly-colored Jay or Cardinal swoop in, because of the way they stand out.

Yes, the birds are all lovely, in their own way. And maybe it’s wrong of me to feel the way I do. But I do get more excited seeing more impressive birds.

The birds that were mobbing my feeder? Eh. Not so impressive. But as they continued arriving en masse over the course of days turning into weeks, I thought I’d figure out what they may be saying. I decided they must be Warblers, based on a picture I found someplace.  I looked at Warbler messages. It’s all good stuff.

And I’m looking to line up with this energy. So I make the decision to consciously appreciate them more, as is. I make note of their grace, and what I notice to admire: how politely they got their food and share space, how lovely they are in their own, understated way. How bravely they weathered Thor the Warrior Kitten staredowns from the other side of the window. These birds had spunk! Once you change the energetic channel to appreciation, you can find a lot to see.

I stopped (internally) complaining about who the birds were NOT and began loving them for who they ARE.

I was doing a good job of appreciating my Warblers, I think. I posted a picture of them. That’s when my double Libra friend came to my rescue and SO very politely–like, so politely you could have missed it, if you weren’t paying attention–pointed out that my mob of “Warblers” was actually made up of Goldfinches, not yet turned gold.

Ooops.

Signs in Real Life: Goldfinch Mobs & Missed Blessings 2

Not really Warblers, to someone who has a bird-clue.

The good news is, I could expect a glorious color explosion later this spring of sunny yellow. The even better news is, their color is determined by the quality of their diet. In other words, I’m directly contributing to the show by serving up the seed. That’s cool!

As if on cue, the next day I saw some of the birds starting to molt. The gold is beginning to peek through.

Signs in Real Life: Goldfinch Mobs & Missed Blessings 3

Not-yet-Goldfinch suspiciously eyes Becoming-Goldfinch

Now, I associate Goldfinches with joy and blessings, among other things. So the whole mistaken identity episode gave me a good laugh. Because I was surrounded by these birds, day after day after day. I had multitudes of blessings all around me, but I wasn’t recognizing them. Point taken.

Well played, Universe. Well-played.

Over the coming days, I’ll be watching them molt, a witness to the transformational process. Some look a little sick, or at the very least unkempt as the actual process of change is messy. Not any different from us. And I’m sure they’ll have more to say to me, as I watch them change and apply what I observe metaphorically, in my own life. My transformation process can be a little messy sometimes, too. But it doesn’t mean it’s not going exactly as it should.

Are you able to appreciate what you’ve got, even if it doesn’t look just like what you’ve wanted? 

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Robin Spirit Totem: Talk it Out

I’ve been seeing robins lately. For a while now…long enough for me to take notice. They are not subtle birds. They stand out. They stop. They look at me, clear and direct. I like that directness about them.

The first ones became prominent right after I’d set the intention of communicating from my heart. Does that seem like a trivial intention? It’s not trivial to me. Because sometimes it’s hard, to communicate from the heart. Harder than you’d think.

“The male American robin, as with many thrushes, has a complex and almost continuous song. Its song is commonly described as a cheerily carol, made up of discrete units, often repeated, and spliced together into a string with brief pauses in between. The song varies regionally, and its style varies by time of day….The robin also sings when storms approach and again when storms have passed. In addition to its song, the American robin has a number of calls used for communicating specific information such as when a ground predator approaches, and when a nest or robin is being directly threatened.” – Wikipedia

The robin’s song is often said to sound like, “Cheerily, cheer up, cheer up, cheer up.” This upbeat song, along with the Robin’s tendency to be one of the first birds to announce the arrival of spring, I’m seeing as encouragement to remain optimistic.

Singing is very important to the robin. In fact, territorial battles between robins are generally carried out in song. Physical confrontations are unusual and largely symbolic. Sort of like when I smack my husband for being difficult. Largely symbolic–but unlike the robin’s gestures, not too unusual and utterly ineffective.

Robin's Eggs Spirit TotemThe Robin’s eggs are a beautiful powdery blue, a color associated with the throat chakra. It’s interesting that their song is reserved for the spring, mating season, although warning calls when threatened are year round. And the poor female robins are both lighter in color and cannot sing the spring song, but do make the warning call.

There is no mistake to be made however: robins are communicators! Robins make excellent totems for writers, public speakers, and others who need to communicate with special effectiveness, or who make their living in the public eye (or ear).

Robins have notable hunting methods, too. They often hunt on the ground, with a run-and-stop pattern. Run, stop, cock their head a bit, and nab! Different sources attribute their success to visual cues of prey, listening, or using other skills. Personally, I like to think the robin is tuning in to intuition before a nab.

Robin Spirit AnimalIn mythology, Robins are frequently associated with service, sacrifice and spirituality–as when earning the red breast via injury when trying to remove the thorn crown of Jesus. Some Native American tribes considered robins to be connected to the sun because of their red breast or their brightly colored beaks, a reminder to speak only the highest truth. The white around the eyes indicated clarity of vision and prophetic ability. Robins were called upon when wisdom, understanding and clarity were required.

Robin tells me it’s time for new growth–spring IS here, and all sorts of new life is emerging. His pretty, upbeat song encourages me to remain optimistic. His emphasis on clear communication and speaking the highest truth reminds me to fearlessly do so as well. Actually, his timing is pretty much perfect. I can use both the encouragement and advice right now and am very grateful for his prescence.

Do you see robins? What do they say to you?


Zodiac Tarot Spread

Zodiac spread, 1 card for each house and an overview in the middle.

P.S. I’m still doing those Zodiac readings and have been really pleased with the results. So I probably will be adding them to the regular fare soon. They are just very, very practical and fun to do, too. If you’d like to get one while it’s still discounted, though, get on it!

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Spirit Animals: Grackles

I recently retired from tech work, after…I dunno. Eighteen years? A long damn time.

When I first started, the web was still pretty new to the mainstream, and the potential got me fired up. I could help people connect, share their stories and ideas! The whole notion of global access was an utter game-changer. And I could offer this incredible opportunity to everyday people. How powerful is that?! I was excited enough I struggled through endless hours obsessively poring over code and reading technical tutorials in between waxing poetic about how cool it all was.

I was going to learn to do this and do it well.  And do it well I did.

There were no blogs back then. It was a different world. Eventually, the bar lowered dramatically for self-publishing (a good thing–usually). The work I did wasn’t as pivotal. But still, I kept learning and coding and consulting. I kept looking to serve as Virgos do, and I was good at it.

But somewhere along the way, so gradually I did not even notice, my once-mission morphed into obligation. The work became weight. I still considered myself blessed to be free the confines of a traditional office job. But I wasn’t excited about the work itself anymore. Gifted an opportunity to begin work in the Woo-Woo world, the difference became palpable.

I was enthusiastically building my spiritual practice while quietly planning my pixel-pushing escape. But even as I got close enough to sensibly make the full switch, I didn’t. Even the thought was terrifying.

What the Hell, Dixie?

It wasn’t until I actually took that leap of faith that I finally got it: web work was my last cloak of mainstream respectability. That’s perhaps an ironic admission for a pink-haired chick decked out in tie-dye. That business was what stood between me and the judgement of the mail man, the bank teller, the world at large–and yeah, the family.

Funny thing. My cloak of respectability was incredibly sheer. Three seconds plugging my name in a search engine is all it would take to see right through it…still, I spent an excruciatingly draining week to broker the hand-off of my web business. My “sanity breaks” out on the front-porch garden were well-populated by Grackles.

Hello, Grackles!

Grackles seem like they’d be related to crows or blackbirds, but they are not. They’re actually part of the meadowlark and oriole family of birds. From a distance, you can easily miss the gorgeous iridescent coloring. People often don’t see these birds for who they are. Grackle’s bright yellow eye with the tiny black pupil seemed like it could eerily pierce even intricate illusion.

Are you looking past superficial appearances to see what really is? 

Grackles are known as very intelligent, playful and happy birds. Their colors show  us emotion, the color of life. For many grackles, the lovely coloring is especially pronounced around the head.

Spirit Animals: Grackles 4

photo by ibm4381

Are you conscious of your emotions and how much emotions color your thinking?

Grackles often congregate in large numbers before dawn or after sunset on tree branches, wires or roofs, in groups sometimes known as “annoyances.”  They may sing and caw for a long time with their distinctive calls before moving on to a new congregation. Their call is often compared to a rusty gate. But you know, even a rusty gate cannot be heard unless it’s being opened.

Are you all talk, so much that it may be annoying? Are you talking or doing?

They are known for bravery and resourcefulness, not being afraid to approach humans for food.  They may follow plows to catch  mice or wade into water to fish. They forage expertly and thrive because they have adapted to cities and humanity’s changing habits.

Are you active in solving problems and seeking what you need?

Grackles have a hard palate that helps them crack open acorns and other tough food. Even so, they have the unusual habit of dipping hard pieces of some types of food in water to soften it up before eating. They also teach their offspring to do this.

Do you attack tough problems, consciously guiding emotional states to “soften up” life’s challenges? Do you provide an example to others in doing so?

Grackles like to nest in pine trees–and the scent of pine calms emotional states. Their nests are hidden, providing safety.

Do you maintain a safe space for working through emotions?

Grackles remind us to take stock of our feelings, and question whether or not those feeling are blinding us to truth. They point out areas where we may be pointlessly rehashing woes instead of acting on opportunities for resolution. They remind us to be brave and go after what we need, while maintaining a safe, home base to process.

Grackles emphasize the impact of our own choices on joyfulness–and those who may follow our lead. They encourage us to actively take care of ourselves while adapting to changing circumstance.

They remind us–okay, they remind ME–to look for the shine and cherish with gratitude all the beauty life holds.

Thank you, Grackles.

 Do you see Grackles?

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Squirrel Put in a Good Word for Me

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“Hey, Mister Squirrel. Make sure you let the Nature Spirits know, that I’ve been looking out for you and your friends, okay?” I asked politely.

I think it’s the least they could do, after they chewed through my hose snacking on the birds’ Sunflower seeds, and dug holes in some of my potted plans. The chow down daily on the fancy, fruit and nut bird seed, and never clean up after themselves. They kind of owe me, as they are not always polite guests! But I remain a good natured host.

Truth is, I have a soft spot for squirrels, even if they are occasionally obnoxious.

“And the fairies,” I added, on afterthought. I’ve heard, fairy-types can be cranky if you offend them. Don’t need any of that. Plus, I don’t know if they and the other Nature Spirits always get along. They may not be talking. Who knows? Maybe too many Divas or Diva-wannabes.

Well, he must have done what I asked. A couple days later, what did I find but a feather, inserted into a flower pot. The positioning struck me, like a little flag planted.

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And firmly planted it was! You can see how far down in the dirt it was by by comparing the photos. The dirt wasn’t in the least bit squishy. But there it was, planted in the Cockscomb pot, big as day.

It isn’t a perfect feather, but who am I to criticize? It’s better than I could produce. I still like it.

Maybe they’ll help my plants bloom, or keep those pesky bees and wasps that have been hanging about from stinging me. Maybe they’ll send special bird visitors. Or maybe, they just won’t let the squirrels act up quite so much any more! Wouldn’t that be ironic? Ha!

Anybody else talk to squirrels?

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Old People and a Bird in the Grocery Store

Old People and a Bird in the Grocery Store 5I’m walking in the grocery store, remedying an coffee-creamer emergency. As I shop, I keep seeing this elderly couple ambling around, probably because I’m much, much faster than they are.

The husband is slower, pushing the cart that holds his cane. The wife is more mobile, and I notice her walking to the freezer case so he doesn’t have to. It always squeezes my heart a little, when I notice a tiny act of love like that. They’ve clearly been together forever.

In fact, it always makes me happy to see old couple anyway. Maybe I project myself and my husband onto that paradigm. (Well, okay, I’m sure I do.) Or maybe it’s that my grandparents are long gone. The ones I met, and the ones I didn’t meet, they’ve all been passed for years now. Maybe it’s the sometimes uneasy relationship I have with my own parents as I’m becoming more and more aware of their aging. But no matter why, I just love to see old, married people.

I end up behind them in line, but I don’t mind. I watch them interact. There are groceries and cards and cakes–they must be shopping for something, a celebration. I imagine them with family around the table, having a little party of some kind. It makes me happy.

The man seems a bit off in his own world, carefully, ever-so-slowly, going through his wallet and coin purse to count out the money. I wonder if he has trouble with counting. It looks like he might.

Oh no…they’re short. Not a few cents, either, but something like $15. The store is so over-priced! The husband kept going through his money, looking for more, a little confused that what he had didn’t seem to be enough to cover the purchases.

I was utterly horrified.

“I can get the difference,” I say to the cashier. She heard me, but also clearly didn’t want to embarrass the couple. They are going through their purchases, looking for what to put back. I don’t have a $20 bill, not enough cash in my wallet to cover the difference for them.

“I could put it on my card,” I said a little desperately. The cashier heard me, but was waiting it out. I could not watch this, these old people putting back their groceries. I looked around for an ATM that I knew wasn’t there.

I know this is part of being a cashier. She was kind and did what she could to minimize embarrassment, remain bright, asking if there was anything they didn’t really want. She couldn’t just charge them less, it wasn’t her money to give away. But the thought of these old people putting back some of their groceries was just beyond horrifying to me. They are somebody’s parents, somebody’s grandparents, and I didn’t want them to have to put back their groceries.

The pulled out a frozen cake to leave behind. I think they bought two, but I wasn’t sure. There still wasn’t enough to make up the difference. God, I hope they had two.

I threw down $10 while they were still looking through their stuff. After a minute that seemed like forever, the cashier slid it in with the rest of the cash laid out in front of her.

“Oh, look!” she said brightly, casting me a sideways glance. “Here’s another $10 that was mixed in with the rest of your money. There’s enough now,” The husband was too focused on his counting to catch it, but I wasn’t sure about the wife. They finished checking out, and she lagged behind a little.

“It’s hard to get over the embarrassment,” she said.

The cashier and I waved it off. “Don’t think anything of it! It’s happened to all of us, myself included.” I smiled–reassuringly, I hope.

“He’s retired now,” she says of her husband.

Lord, I hope so! The man looked at least 95. Instead of saying so, though, I nod and smile. She joins her husband.

I focus everything I’ve got on holding it together while I check out, because I’m one word away from major waterworks and I know it.

“Don’t say anything, don’t, don’t, don’t say anything,” I mentally will to the cashier. If she says two words about this, I’ll be a blubbering mess. It must have worked, because she didn’t mentioned anything.

As I cash out through watery eyes, I notice for the first time a small bird figurine sitting atop cash register.

Oh. Hello, birdie. You must be here for me…

I have no idea if the bird was trying to say something in particular, or just showing up for comfort. But as soon as I got home/dixiblog/domains/afoolsjourney.com/public_html, before I took my groceries in, I got out the birdseed out I’d just bought. I refilled the now empty feeder and made another large birdseed heart on the sidewalk. I sent some love to those old people and hope their family is looking out for them.

I don’t know why putting out a bunch of birdseed felt like the right thing to do, really, the only helpful think I could do at that point, but it did. So I did it. I’m declaring it, “Be kind to old people and birds” Memorial Day.

How’s your holiday?

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