Yesterday, I turned 40.
Quietly, joyfully, and feeling completely at peace with who I am, I decided to take inventory of the past 10 years of my life. What did the 30's mean for me? What did I learn, do, try, realize and participate in? What areas are coming into focus as I shift towards my 40s and what do I still need to work on?
So here, I present my 30s inventory. Taking inventory at regular intervals can be a remarkably helpful technique--looking up from the map long enough to see the road you just completed, stopping to take a breath as you carry forward again.
I learned how to leave an intense and hostile love, even when I thought it would cost me everything.
I learned you can’t fix everything with love.
I got married.
I got divorced.
I learned what it meant to have inlaws, the good and the bad.
I learned that ultimately, I had to stop compromising myself because deep down I thought that maybe I was unlovable and I should just take what I can get.
I learned that it is possible to deeply love someone but know that incompatibilities are real and can shake the foundations of even the strongest union.
I learned how to speak up for myself and communicate my needs.
I realized that I can love in ways that I have no words for, and that English is woefully inadequate to describe nuance and subtlety of feeling.
I learned comfort is a prison.
I bought my own home without any help, I only lived in rentals my entire life and I believe I am the first woman in my family to have done so.
I also learned that buying a house right before a market crashes really sucks and life isn’t fair.
I learned how to be a landlord, and I am no good at it.
I earned my Masters degree while working full time, also the first in my family to do so.
I got completely out of debt.
I bought my first brand new car (and paid it off).
My credit score makes bankers drool, very different from my 20s when I was turned away from opening a checking account. I am not a better person, I just learned how to play the game.
I learned the gift of compound interest.
I quit a career trajectory that was not working for me, it was terrifying and all I knew.
I started a business in a field that is totally unique, calling upon my deepest gifts and oldest ways of being.
I learned how to be a small business owner.
I learned how amazingly, incredibly, difficult owning one’s own business is.
I learned that, without office fetters and politics, I am capable of some amazing things.
I realized just the beginning of my own potential and it is growing.
I found out how strong, hard working, and dedicated I am.
I realized how brave I was.
I learned how to truly be of service, that includes being in service to myself as well as being of service when it is the last thing I actually want to do.
I learned how to suck it up.
I've learned humility and letting go of losses especially when they are unfair.
I suffered from a debilitating chronic health condition that almost ruined my business, but I survived intact.
I learned how to live around my chronic illness and to accept the boundaries that it gives me.
I am working on self care and placing limits for my best interest.
I learned how the medical industry works, and I learned how to advocate for my care in it.
I discovered the sanity inducing long walk.
I realized my body needs more care than I was giving her.
I am totally ok with a double digit dress size.
Investing in good skin care products are worth every penny.
I realized later that skin care should have also included my decollete.
I got my gene’s tested so I now have a good idea of what to keep an out for.
I had a run in with a sociopath who was hell bent on my destruction, but I survived and am much wiser for it.
I learned about the way I interact with people socially and was astounded by some of the realizations, I made. I realized how important it is to keep connections intact. In the past, I had a tendency to run away from difficult conversations. I did not know how to navigate complex friend relationships.
I learned how to fight for friendships and also to work through differences in them instead of walking away.
I made a startling realization on the kinds of friends I have attracted in the past and how I was diminishing myself by being in them.
I also made an astounding realization that these friendship dynamics are tied to older family dynamics in ways I never thought possible before.
I learned how to rebuild burnt bridges and also to forgive people more readily.
I committed to accepting people as is.
I stopped caring about being popular or well liked.
I stopped caring that my biological Father doesn’t want me and never will. Some people just don't deserve your light. I am still a worthy person who is deserving of Being, his abandonment does not influence my worth.
I learned about birds, native plants, and mushrooms-- the woods are more alive to me now.
I learned how to play lots and lots of board games.
I learned how to be a better cook.
I learned how to care for and triage wild animals. I know the species of bird just by the sound the babies make in the nest like a funny kind of superpower.
I learned new systems for readings in my business as well as approaches to clients in them.
I also learned more about my limitations, how my inner critic minimizes me, and I also learned how to manage and control anxiety that sought to cage me.
I learned that I am enough.
The desire for a child finally emerged in the last year, at 39 that stirring finally called, I am also okay with it not happening.
Siblings become incredibly important, and more so, as the years go on.
Parents begin to age and you worry about and for them, and seeing them gives you perspective about your own life choices.
It’s ok to ditch family members who have nothing positive to say or offer anything healthy to you.
That money you loaned, you know you ain’t getting it back, and that’s ok.
I still miss my Grandma every day.
Family dynamics are real and enduring.
I do not need to be understood to be loved.
Just when you think you have processed something and are over it, it will come up again for reexamination. I realize that I work on lifetime themes of which there are seasons rather than concrete exercises.
My connections only got deeper with the source of all things over time and I have a feeling it is in my 40s where this aspect really begins to take the center stage as I always knew it would.
I am learning to be less angry, more tolerant, more forgiving (especially of myself).
I no longer need to drive so fast anymore, I take my time, I let people in, it’s ok; I’ll get there.
I do not need to prove my competence, worth, or intelligence to anyone.
I make conscious decisions to step out of internet and social media--intentional slowdowns that have a remarkably positive effect on my spiritual life and outlook.
I learned to listen better to my intuition and also for signs that I am tracking the right course. I also have a much more nuanced view of spirituality and the dual nature of things it brings. I am on the hunt for lessons more than reasons why.
I no longer see things in black and white as often.
I am more compassionate and forgiving of others’ journeys.
I intentionally seek out the feeling of interconnectedness with nature.
I am an enduring expression of the Divine in physical form, so are you.
You do not need to be a Shaman, Lightworker, Medium, or Ghost Buster in most cases when house clearing. For most cases, you can easily clear your own home of negative energy whenever you feel like you need to do so. I personally think that House Clearing is a wonderful thing to do with every season change, and especially for any major occasion.
House Clearing is the simple removal of negative, stagnant, or even hostile energy and replacing it with beneficial, positive, flowing, and protective energy within and around your home.
Have you ever entered a room or a building and felt a sudden sense of uneasiness? Conversely, have you entered a space that just felt...well, good? Often you had no real reason for why you felt the way you did but this is in fact you being affected by the energy of the place.
Negative energy can happen when there has been negativity in that place. Depression, divorce, loss, arguments and so on can get trapped in a place and continue to infect the people who come in contact with that place. Just like cleaning the house and changing the sheets after you have been ill, you also have to clear the energy of a place to invite a healthy vibration in.
The start of a new year is a perfect time to clear your house of unwanted energy and replace it with good. For the purposes of this practice, this is NOT covering homes which are haunted. I am only talking about the living energy, or qi, that effects our spaces and is also generated by us.
When clearing a home I follow these basic tenants:
Declutter, Organize, and Clean
The first step to house clearing is actually cleaning and organizing your home! Energy gets stuck in places that have too many things, dirt, or too much clutter. Additionally, the emotional energy of things no longer used, needed or valued leave a kind of negative vacuum pull on a place. So the first part is to clean your space from top to bottom, get rid of all the things no longer needful, useful, or important. Qi likes a lot of open space to move around in. It is no coincidence that cultures who value the work of Qi have homes and spaces spare and clean. This alone will have a HUGE impact, even if you do nothing else.
Clean You—At this point, you need to clean yourself. I recommend a salt scrub or Epsom salt bath as part of your personal clean up. Wear something simple, that you can move in. No makeup, no jewelry, and go about your home barefoot. Have a ‘come as you are’ frame of mind. At this point, only you (and anyone also actively involved in your house clearing) should be in the house. Your husband who looks at you questioningly, your darling 13 year old daughter who is too cool for school need to go out for the day. It is important that everyone in the house is crafting the intention or setting, or out. Pets and babies are okay, their energy does not disrupt even if their noises do.
There are many, many ways to clear energy from the home. One of the most popular is to burn sage and smudge your home. If you burn sage to smudge your home, do so in a thoughtful fashion; begin on the top floor and follow the lines of the walls in a clockwise fashion, making sure to cover every space but not needing to go over it again. While you do this, open your windows so the negative qi has a place to escape. Yes, I know, it’s cold in January so bundle up while you do this part!
Florida Water—A favorite of Santeria, voodoo, and hoodoo practitioners. You can get a bottle for $5. It is often used for clearing energy. You can sprinkle it like you would smudge your space. I use Florida water when I am on travel and reading at festivals, it is easy to carry, smells nice and has no clean up. It has a long history of good uses. Another thing you can do is add Florida to all your house cleaning preparations!
Broom—If burning sage or smelling up your place with Florida water is not your thing another handy way you can do this is to buy a broom. It should be all wood and corn husk, nothing synthetic. It does not have to be a long handled one, but a hand one could do. I have a special broom that I use just for this purpose. Just like with smudging, you should start at the top and work your way down through the house (yes, with windows open) sweeping the air, the walls, the corners—imagine that you are pulling dust up and sending it out through the windows. When you are done, leave your broom against the wall outside the front door of your home. This also acts as a powerful protection aid (you might not have noticed, but next time you see me you will notice a nondescript broom laying right outside my reading room.)
Now that you have cleaned and cleared your space, you are ready to invite beneficial energies to your home.
The blessing part is tricky because your blessing should reflect your own spiritual beliefs. It does not do to say the Lord’s Prayer if you’re Buddhist. It has to be something you have faith in, something YOU believe. If you are a follower of a religion, simply look up what they do and follow that. For those of you who are nondenominational of heart, yet spiritual, I offer these words below:
Jenna’s House Blessing
I adapted this from the more traditional Navajo House blessing. I really like the inclusive family and community aspect of this blessing. I light a white candle and carry it with me from room to room wherein I read this prayer in every room or large transit space like the hallway or stairs. If you want to include other people who live in the home, having them come with you and recite this prayer with you as you move from room to room only increases the goodness.
This home, my home, shall be surrounded with light, love, goodness, and prosperity.
This fire shall be for the good of the family. And the children that are born in this house will all be in good health. Any plans we make in this house will be for the good of the family.
May this be a good place for us to live, may our lives be long and happy in this home.
May I live in this home happily and peacefully and with respect.
May I have a happy life in this house. Myself, my spouse, my children, my relatives, whomever may come into this home, may they relax peacefully and rest. May all of us have no sickness, no misfortunes.
May my house be in harmony; From my head, may it be happy;
To my feet, may it be happy; Where I lie, may it be happy;
All above me, may it be happy; All around me, may it be happy;
May my fire be well made and happy;
May the sun, my mother's ancestor, be happy for this gift;
May it be happy as I walk around my house; May this road of light,
my mother's ancestor, be happy.
I bet by this time, your house is feeling pretty amazing right now. You have cleaned it, cleared it, blessed it and now we need to seal in that goodness. There are many, many ways to protect your home. When I think of protection, I think about protecting space from both the outside and the inside. We want to protect our space both from things that filter in from the outside, as well as things that may erupt on the inside.
Things to be placed inside the home.
Salt—I buy kosher salt from the Jewish section of my local grocery store because I like the texture but any salt will do. Salt has long been used for protection rituals and perhaps that came from its ancient use, salting meat, literally protecting meat from putrefaction and disease. Sprinkle your salt inside every entrance or window to the outside. It does not have to be a lot. As you do so just recite the following, “Encase all negativity inside your crystalline structure. Gift of the Earth, protect this home.” Leave the salt as long as you can, but if you later vacuum or sweep it up as part of your house cleaning that is okay, it will have done its job.
Candles—I like to use those white 7 day candles in the long glass jars you can get at the dollar store. Instead of salt, you can light one and leave it burning at each window sill and near the outside doors. Of course, be mindful of any fire risk. Lighting each one, you can say a prayer over them such as, “Light of the World, repel all darkness with your glow. Gift of Fire, protect this home.” I usually let the candles keep burning for days until they are done. But, you can decide whether that is a safe choice for you.
Mirrors, Crystals, and Lights—Notice any areas that have darkness to them, an underused corner? A room that is not well-trafficked? These are areas where negativity can collect within a home. Say you get into a fight with your loved one, that energy can linger and get stuck in places. Spot the dark areas and place things there that increase the qi vibration such as mirrors to reflect light, crystals that raise vibrations, and actual lights in those areas.
Plants—Things that are living also bring raise vibrations to spaces that may be underused. (If you have noticed, I have a lot of plants in my reading room. Since I spend time in my office only when reading and that energy can often be lo, I have worked hard to incorporate things that will purify and raise the vibration of the space.)
Things that help to stop unwanted energy from coming inside your home. Again, use any or all as you feel comfortable with. There is no one right way, just the way that feels right to you.
Bagua Mirror—This 8 sided mirror should be placed outside the home, facing out. It is a great repellent for outside misfortune being directed at you.
Funny story, last year I was dealing with someone who was a real nasty character, she tried to turn a whole community of folks against me with lies. I came home one day to find that my bagua mirror that had been sitting outside my bedroom window for the last 3 years was on the ground and broken. But how it fell was really strange, it had somehow fallen from my second floor window hen doubled back to land on my porch below. That means it would have had to fall in an arc, I don’t know how that happened. But I learned days later that this very same person hired someone to come to my home to hurt me. It never happened. I am a big believer in the Bagua.
Nazar—The blue eye that is meant to ward off jealousy, evil eye, negative thoughts directed at you and so on. You can have these in the house, but I find that placing one right at the entrance to my home stops any bad energy in its tracks.
Mezuzah—Mezuzah are a Jewish tradition of placing a scroll in a lovely container nailed to the doorframe of the entryway to a home. You can also place one at the doorway of every room. There are so many Mezuzah of all different kinds, all truly beautiful.
Bowl of Stones—A pagan aspect of this (and one I have used in the past) is to get a terracotta bowl and fill it with stones. As you place each stone in the bowl, recite this small spell, “By Rock, By Granite, By Stone, By Earth—Capture hex, Capture Crime, Capture bain, Capture hurt. So Mote it Be.” Then, place the bowl of stones at the foot of your front door. This will sink any bad energies before they enter your home. You can also make one for other entrances to your home like the back door or the door to a garage, for example.
Finally, after all this good work you have put into clearing and making your home (or any personal space) feel amazing, it is time to fill it with happiness and good cheer to truly lock in all the blessings of the new year.
Family Time—Having a nice dinner with your loved ones who all live in the space would be great. Have a candlelit dinner and spread good cheer and affection for each other. Reaffirm your feelings, tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, snuggle with your pup. A home stays positive because YOU are also building the good energy. Make your home a place of love.
Invite Others—Have a nice get together with friends and family who spread positivity and love. Don’t invite bitter Aunt Melba for this, or anyone you have friction with. Just your besties and those who feel really good to you. Allow their love of you to also fill your home.
Get Freaky—Sex with someone you truly love is a beautiful thing. It is opening, and intimate and it has powerful energy. Use it to your advantage.
It is a lot of work to fully clear a home and make it as energetically healthy as possible, but the effects are so worth it. Please see above as a general guideline to get your started and know that there are many ways to clear a home. Follow your heart and your instinct to create something that works for you. If you are in the Philadelphia area and would like me to conduct a House Clearing for you, please contact me for a quote (I’ll do everything except for the cleaning!)
You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Its highfalutin time for me to write ye olde "professional tarot reader' rite of passage called the "Blog about How to Become a Professional Reader'. Google that term and I am sure you will find pages of worthy information for your eager eyes and searching heart.
Here, in this 3 part series, I offer my own sagely advice based on my own business and also in helping others achieve their own. May it contain something to sustain you on your journey, colleague!
Tarot is a Passionate Calling
To be a full time tarot practitioner is to undertake some of the hardest, most exhausting, most rewarding work you have ever attempted. The burn out rate for readers is extraordinarily high, and even the best of us need regular breaks from reading.
It is not uncommon for readers to even take a break for a few years if they over extended themselves reading tarot.
The people who don't make it are people who just thought it would be an easy source of side income, or just something to do in retirement; these folks do not last long because the act of reading tarot and running a business needs everything you got. People come to tarot because they feel lost, or scared, or anxious, or empty and from an emotional standpoint it can take a toll on a reader; just like any social service. The people who stick around for longer than a hot minute are passionate about the tool of tarot, are in love with the process of reading, cannot see themselves doing anything as exhilarating and amazing as bringing the art of tarot to everyone.
Tarot cannot be about making money (though I did enjoy making my tongue in cheek pic above). You MUST love tarot enough to allow the work of tarot to transform and support your life. People who come into it to make money end up leaving, or outsourcing their readings to other people. Tarot is about finding your calling, and if you are brave and a very good reader, you will be able to make a living. Tarot comes first, however. There are so many people who need and want a tarot reading, the demand is there, and they deserve a reader who loves helping them, and loves the magic that is tarot.
Be that person, and you will not thirst.
Trust your Calling.
You Do Not Have to be Perfect
In fact, your broken places make you a better reader. Being a professional tarot reader means to be supremely compassionate and understanding of the person’s journey for whom you are reading. You are not a guru, you do not need to have a perfect life in order to give advice. This is because a tarot reading is not about you, and you should not be projecting your life, agenda, needs, or hungers onto your client. You need to read the cards, hold space for your client, and be a bridge rather than a guide; be the book binding rather than its letters. The information is what you share, not who you are. Reading for others though, will have the effect of granting profound wisdom onto you own life and about the spirit of humanity as a whole. Being witness to suffering, helps you understand your own. Truly the gift you get from tarot and from clients is far, far greater than the one you bestow.
Trust your Gift.
Always Run the Numbers
If you are running a business, run it as a business. The container of your business is what allows you to read professionally. It protects you and allows you to do more than you could ever do without it. Before you say yes to that house party, reading out of that New Age Store, or starting an Etsy shop, my friend, RUN THE NUMBERS. Look at other readers doing similar, how much are they making? Is this really worth your time? It can be so exciting to make something look like a business on the outside but if you are not bringing home the bacon, it’s not really a business; it is your hobby.
Do your research before you say yes. YES, your time is worth this, YES, your business deserves this. Running the numbers does not mean you are some evil capitalist bourgeoisie pig. Running the numbers has nothing to do with your spiritual feelings or your tarot practice. Running the numbers ensures that you are taking care of yourself, and a well-taken cared of you means a reader who can serve more people, better serve people. If you find yourself having a hard time with this, look deeply, it might mean that part of you is attempting to sabotage your dream. The biggest saboteur is you. Your ability to show your inner saboteur that YOU are the boss of you is the GREATEST factor in your success.
Trust the Numbers.
Mind Your Mind
This is by far the biggest determiner of your success as a tarot practitioner. Inside each of us is an inner guide and inner saboteur. The saboteur runs on fear, he resists change, he wants to keep your vibration low and he is tricky, no one knows you as well as he does and he will create all kinds of ‘problems’ to derail your success. Expect to feel fear, anxiety, sudden physical problems, relationship problems, every 1,001 reason why you cannot, should not, please don’t, do not– it is ridiculous anyway.
Listen, you are the boss of you. You are the grown up in this equation and the better you can learn to first, identify when the saboteur is talking (he amazingly will sound just like you but when he says things it’s to make you small, rather than big.) Once you can identify him that is half the battle, the next step is to move forward despite him. Cause, you also have an inner Guide, and he wants you to live your calling.
This topic alone requires so much more than I can give in this blog post; to start read
The War of Art. When you are finished, start in the beginning and read it again. Highlight it, dog– ear its pages, rail and scream and pump your fist to the heavens. Fight, baby, fight! You are so worth it. You know it’s true, feel that part of you that says yes? That’s your Guide.
Trust Your Guide.
Be a Professional
Don’t feel like giving a reading? Too bad. Scared of reading at that party you booked? Get over it. Have a client who isn’t ‘playing along’? Sorry, Charley, but you are a professional and as a professional you need to suck it up, show up, and hang it up. This is kind of part two of the saboteur above, that Saboteur will give you every single reason under the sun as to why you can’t. Don’t give him any power. You do that by being a professional. Treat yourself as the professional you are by taking good care of yourself (boundaries) and also by how you treat your clients. This also extends to your social media, how you email people, how well you respect them and yourself. Be kind. Be generous. Take an extra minute to say thank you, even if you aren’t getting what you want. Build relationships, not transactions. Stay for the long haul, the world needs your professionalism, it is in critically short supply. Even if they are mean, suck it up, you know it’s not about you anyway.
Trust your Ability to Show Up.
Did that resonate, sugar plum? If so, there is more where that came from! Keep your eyes peeled over the next few days as I drop part II and part III. You can always subscribe to my blog, and email me with any questions and yes, I do mentor tarot practitioners. Here's to the rising tide, and the wonderful Spirit of Tarot that makes it so...
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