The Queen of Disks, painted by Lady Frieda Harris for the Thoth-Crowley Tarot. For more on this archetyle, see the link at the end of this blog post.
The Queen of Disks, painted by Lady Frieda Harris for the Thoth-Crowley Tarot.

With gratitude and appreciation to Linda at LiteBeing for the invitation to participate in this 2014 end-of-year ritual.

As part of this blog ritual, Linda invited us to reflect on our experiences during and the gifts of this past year using these five questions (why not join in and journal them yourself?), and then share our responses via the blog-o-sphere.

So here goes …

Linda: Which lessons did you learn?

Jamie: Two biggies include additional clarity about certain long-ago-conditioned patterns and the ability, in seeing them, to begin a sort of disentangling and non-cooperation with them.

That big pattern-reveal really started in the few years leading up to, and then through, an extended Chiron Return (thank you, retrogrades!).

Another lesson taken to new depths in the last year was around a greater and healthier degree of what I’ll call ‘self containment’. The ancients called this sovereignty or virgin, to be whole unto one’s self.

The Priestess, by Lady Frieda Harris for the Crowley-Thoth Tarot.
The Priestess, by Lady Frieda Harris for the Crowley-Thoth Tarot.

One element, maybe the element, is learning to be much more discerning about where my energy and focus goes, what I share with others (and with whom I share certain things) and what I keep close and incubate.

With attention goes energy, so part of this is becoming aware of those ingrained energy siphons and leaks that we’ve been conditioned to see as ‘normal’, and making more conscious choices about gathering my energy back or intentionally giving it to what has heart, joy, and meaning.

This isn’t something I’ve mastered, by far, but progress made this last year? Yes. And I’ll be practicing on this one in the coming year and beyond. It’s an ongoing project!

And I learned about ‘wild abundance‘ or ‘wild bounty’ – see more in the how did you serve answer, about the ‘wild plant allies’.

Linda: How did you serve others?

Jamie: Often, it seems to me, in very simple, humble, quiet ways — those random acts of kindness, listening (often to perfect strangers), cleaning up (the proverbial sweeping of the hearth and washing many, many rice bowls), more freely letting inspiration pour through me into my writings and client work, tending my beloved felines and a neighborhood feral as well, becoming more devoted to the practice and super-power-magic of blessing and being a Believing Mirror rather than the opposite.

Those kind of Virgo-Vesta Mysteries of everyday acts of services that often go unnoticed but are important; they add up and can have an alchemical, if not necessarily recognized, positive or healing effect. There’s something just … satisfying about those little yet not-so-little things. Hearth-tending, like the Vestal Priestessesย  of old, and our ancestor-women.

The Empress, painted by Lady Freda Harris for the Crowley-Thoth Tarot.
The Empress, painted by Lady Frieda Harris for the Crowley-Thoth Tarot.

But also there was an Earth-serving component, not just in doing the ‘reuse, repurpose, recycle’ and that sort of thing, but in learning much more about the wild plant allies and doing spontaneous blessings for the spirits of place, this place where I dwell. This is very much a deepening of the Wise Woman Way.

That was so amazingly awe-inspiring! For the first time since I was a wee girl, when I just knew these things, I really had a sense of the wild abundance we’re surrounded by — gifts from Mother Earth — and I was in awe … and it was really fun.

Linda: What blessings did you receive?

Jamie: The things I’ve just mentioned are blessings, to be sure. Plus, the friendship of my anam cara is such a blessing — our ongoing conversations and believing mirror practice. I can say that’s been a lesson, too, about believing mirrors and diminishing mirrors and taking much more care about which I wanted to be, because I know just how deflating and disheartening it can be to be surrounded by diminishing mirrors who seem to find glee in … well … diminishing others!

Plus, ongoing conversations with friends at a distance, thanks to technology (and occasional, telepathy!). Inspiration from fellow bloggers and walkers of The Way. The blessings from the wild plant allies. Much more time with my niece and god-daughter. There are so many, really; despite some stiff challenges, blessings were plentiful, too.

A wee, green oasis in Death Valley, CA [Photo courtesy of PD Photo via Creative Commons]
A wee, green oasis in Death Valley, CA [Photo courtesy of PD Photo via Creative Commons]

Linda: Was there something you lost that turned out to be a blessing in disguise?

Jamie: Well, honestly, 2012-2013 completed 7 and 9 year cycle, and a larger Jupiter cycle as well. A lot of deconstruction (aka Pluto as ring leader) in that cycle, peppered with loss. That relentless ‘on your knees and picked clean to the bone’ kind of Inanna-Persephone Initiation cycle.

It was also really rich, with treasure too, but very much the via negativa path — an ’emptying’ cycle whose aim is to uncover what’s true and authentic, because it sure does get covered up and paved over!

A real blessing this past 15 months or so is that that degree and velocity of loss calmed itself over this past year and a half, allowing the dust to settle a bit.

So this past year-plus, in that field of smoldering wreckage that had been ‘life as I’d known it’, I noticed fresh, green shoots emerging from the ashes and compost — a new greening, as I’ve called it before. Very phoenix, right? From late 2013 and through 2014, I noticed a sense of actual progress building. That’s pretty woo-hoo-hoot-worthy.

There is also a new receptivity that can come when we’ve been emptied out of all that clinging and striving, but oof! I wouldn’t wish that level of deconstruction on anyone!

Also, getting scrubbed clean of some seriously unhealthy conditioning — those things we come to believe early on are normal but they’re a toxic normal, including in family dynamics. Having those particular rose-colored-glasses shattered can feel brutal, but what starts growing out of it is a sort of clarity and liberation. Very Uranian-Pluto!

The Priestess of Bacchus (1889), by John Collier.
The Priestess of Bacchus (1889), by John Collier.

Linda: Did you receive any โ€œgiftsโ€ in terms of powers or skills?

Hmmm. I guess I’d say the answer to this is in the above, but they all add up to a very Saturnine gravitas and resilience that come out of persistent initiation experiences, and that really does feel like a gift, albeit a costly one. Saturn is surely a Master Magi teacher and gatekeeper for Wisdom, Sophia.

It’s very much like the counsel of a medicine elder, who said, “The false foundations erode again and again, until the abyss itself becomes your foundation.”

Or as Hafiz wrote, “Love turns you upside down and shakes the nonsense out of you!”

I can’t say that I’m there yet, but I’ve felt an incoming tide of that gravitas … a hint or sense of real foundation that isn’t rooted on externals which can, and often do, shift in a moment’s notice. That’ll be continued learning and practice, too.

Many thanks for the invitation to share these blessings and lessons and gifts from this past year, Linda at LiteBeing!

To see more of these lovely end-of-year interviews:

To read the previous Blog Challenge 2014 Reflections post, head to Pearl Girl’s blog.

For the next one, follow Glorialana’s musings. For the whole fabulous roster of shared musings (from wonderful people keeping inspiring blogs), head to Linda’s LiteBeing blog.

For the scoop on the Queen of Disks and to see why I chose that image to start this post, see the Sophia’s Children archive post, When My Life Came to a Standstill.

And to all of you, a magical, joy-filled Season of Lights and Christmastide, and a blessing-full year ahead.

Big Love,

Jamie