Use bold colors, and speak to those who have passed. They hear you.

From the guidebook for my upcoming oracle card deck, The Forgotten Words Oracle. Preorder at http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheForgottenWord

Use bold colors

In tandem with “Let Your Colors Run Together”, keep in mind that it’s often best to use bold, brilliant colors that perhaps you’re not used to experiencing. In our professional lives, we are often confined in subdued colors – gray cubicles, black desks, chairs, and technology, an overall sterile environment. Our children’s classrooms are becoming more drab in hopes of minimizing distractions – so kids can keep their eyes on their electronic screens? Makes a lot of sense (note sarcasm).  

Our homes are often adorned with decor television shows tell us is stylish or appropriate. In general, our little worlds often lack variety, excitement, and bold colors. This card is about cutting out the mundane. It may be time to find ways to bring more color and vibrancy into your life. Look into gathering some flowering plants that grow indoors and in the shade no matter the season. Replace some achromatic winter clothing with more “out-of-season” colors. Dozens of shopping outlets have redesigned their winter clothing lines with more vivid hues. Maybe add some boldness of color to your home decor with vibrant throw pillows, blankets, tapestries, artwork, even a new coat of paint that rids your space of the emptiness of white walls.  If you’re feeling more adventurous, stop at a craft store and get yourself a set of acrylic or watercolor paints and a variety of painting tools (you can use objects from your home as painting tools that would make cool designs). Don’t worry about being an artist. A“full-fledged” artist (me) didn’t paint this picture. Just have fun with the swirls of color that represent who you are and where you want to be.   

On a more internal level, you may find that it’s time to let your voice be heard. Part of making positive changes in your daily life is standing your ground and accepting your right to say “no”. Make someone wonder what lit up your rainbow. 

Writing Prompt – Grab a set of multi-colored pens, pencils, or markers. Complete these mini prompts in the corresponding color. 

Red – If I could change the color of the blood in these veins, it would be _________________ because…

Orange – I need to learn to create ____________________ so I may….

Yellow – If life gives me lemons, I’m going to make ___________________ instead of lemonade, so…

Green – How would the trees around your home, job, and/or favorite getaway spot, narrate your life? 

Blue – You have the power to manipulate the shape of the clouds above someone’s head, who would it be and what shapes would you make and why? You cannot make words. 

Violet – Chloris, the Greek goddess of flowers, comes down to Earth and declares violets can no longer be violet. Why? Get to know her better at Theoi Greek Mythology at theoi.com.

Speak to those who have passed. They hear you. 

I came across what appeared to be a makeshift grave marker in the same cemetery where my mother’s ashes are interred. This one stone wasn’t simply lying against a traditional gravestone. It was one of many large stones and heavy sticks compiled to make a shape similar to a pyramid. This was an actual gravesite of a departed loved one whose family may have not been able to afford a marble stone at that time. 

My heart ached at the sight of this. I sat on the grass in front of it for a moment and took this photo of the simple yet beautiful black writing against the gray. I thought about how loved this person was. I wondered if the family couldn’t afford a headstone or did they choose not to use a monument carved by a stranger’s hands. The possible reasons behind this gravemarker were pretty much endless. But one thing is for certain, this memorial was honest, meaningful, and well-kept. If any pieces from the wood and stone structure fell, they were put back in place. Someone placed red flowers in the dirt. Someone made crosses out of palm leaves. Someone felt closer to their departed loved one by using nature to honor the soul that has passed. 

This card reminds us to speak to our lost loved ones as if they are still here, and then be mindful of the signs that may be responses. These answers may be communicated with a cool or warm draft, a shadow that appears for a split second from the corner of your eye, or with a minute too early or too late needed for you to avoid catastrophe. 

Sometimes this connection can be much more subtle or completely unnoticeable, but if we remind ourselves to let go of our fear or shame over speaking with the other side, we could start to pick up on its presence. Whether you are a believer or not, you never have to lose someone completely because they carry on within you and around you. They are never really gone. 

Sometimes the best time to let out all that’s weighing you down is with someone who will not say anything in return. Why should speaking with a lost loved one be any different? 

Writing Prompt – Create your own picture perfect version of heaven. But make sure in the center there is a small pond, and through the ripples of the water, you hear your closest friends and family speaking to you. What are they saying to you, and how are you trying to get them to notice your response? 

Sylvia Plath once wrote, 

“Dying is an art.

I do it exceptionally well. 

I do it so it feels like hell.” 

We live as we die, 

and we die as we live. 

Are we going to know 

the difference when it’s time? 

Maybe we’re dead now, 

and the ones in the ground 

are living,

singing, 

praying, 

dancing,  

the way us above-grounders 

used to do. 

Maybe we are actually alive

and the ones we say goodbye to 

leave for new circles of aliveness. 

Labyrinths of grape trees. 

Oceans without waves we can’t control. 

They are the whispers in daydreams. 

They are the cries we won’t let others see.

The Forgotten Words Oracle deck project

Today is the last day for my Kickstarter to bring the printing of my oracle deck to life. Please see http://kck.st/2E8O5h5 for “The Forgotten Words Oracle and other goodies”if you would like to support the project and get some great handmade stuff! #kickstarter #kickstarterproject #oraclecards

Breathe

$124 and the first printing of The Forgotten Words Oracle will be in the works! Deadline is Wednesday. Fingers crossed 🤞🏻🤗 In the meantime, here is another excerpt from the guidebook. st/2E8O5h5http://kck.st/2E8O5h5

Breathe

Photo taken near the rocky cliffs of Newport, Rhode Island

Some little, out of the ordinary things
happen when you take the time
to stand under a tree and look up
no matter the season.
A memory of a tall, heavenward entity
that came from a miniscule seed,
a curiosity about how old the tree may be,
a wish to see its insides and count its rings,
or an acceptance of the shelter and perspective
its arms provide.

Stop where you are, look up, and take a replenishing breath. This is not so much a “stop and smell the roses,” type of message. That implies you have to wait for the right moment or place to breathe in and out and take in your surroundings. This photo was taken on a clayish kind of day when the air was heavy with an early Spring dampness. The trees were perhaps not much to look at yet. But no matter where you are and what surrounds you, take a moment to acknowledge and admire the fact that any environment can be made beautiful in your eyes.

There is no right or wrong moment or place for repose. When we think we don’t have the time for peace and reflection, that’s when we need to breathe, reset, and find an ascending light, even under the grey barrenness.

Writing Prompt – Visit a favorite park, walking trail, or a massive tree in your own backyard. Stand, but preferably sit or lie, under your chosen tree and look up. After each deep breath you take, repeat, “Bring me back and shelter me,” as many times as you need to before answering this question. What inside me do I need to continue to feed and let grow, and what do I need to starve and let die?

Let your colors run together, and That other person might be thinking about you too.

New material for my oracle deck guidebook! Not too bad for a Monday night teacher oatmeal brain. 😉

Let your colors run together

Mixed media on watercolor paper

Take this body rolled in ash
and splattered in pewter.
Hold this brush and paint
with orchid and lemon,
right where I know a heart
still races at the sight of caramel eyes.
Coat this abalone face in prussian blue,
then add thulian and cerise pinks.
Cover these legs and hands in jade and mint.
Remind me what it tastes like to love
the sea and the glass that’s found there.
I’ll remind you there’s deeper violet
in byzantine grapes and the soul
you think you lost…

You may have noticed my love for colors based on the artwork on some of these cards. I have a bigger love for lesser known names for colors like independence blue and artichoke green. There is a whole psychology behind the emotional and mental influence of colors. Every color is rich with symbolism and purpose, and sometimes we have to wildly mix our colors together when we may be feeling creatively lost or stagnant.
This card is about release, curiosity, and creative experimentation. There might be some sort of skill or practice you want to dive into such as learning a new language or taking up a new hobby. This might be a good time for, “out with the old, in with the new,” – maybe some redecorating, a purging of unwanted stuff sitting in your house, a new hair color, or a new wardrobe? It could be time to replace old, hindering habits with new ones that trigger growth and an escape from the everyday. This may be an indicator for even bigger changes such as a new job or a return to school – anything that’s going to make your colors mix together into something extraordinary. No matter how those shades blend together, you won’t be left with gray, so let them run together.

Writing Prompt – Look up unusual names for different shades of primary and secondary colors. Now imagine you are a sky god or goddess who is responsible for changing the colors of the rainbow. What different colors would you use and why? Relate your colors to significant people, places, or objects.

That other person could be thinking about you too.

Photograph taken at Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ

…I’d rather hold the statue of you that exists in my mind
than touch the gloss of your photograph,
or capture the little bodies and wings of your words in my hands…

Writing Prompt: Write what you really need and want to say to your person. Be brutally carefree, raw, and honest. Scan it or take a picture of it if you’d like. It may or may not be something you want to hold onto so be prepared. But no matter what, make sure you burn the paper.

A Japanese legend tells us that if we cannot sleep, that means we are awake in someone else’s dreams. Some may say that if you dream of someone, that means he or she is thinking of you. No matter how you look at it, you are always on someone’s mind. Perhaps it’s not the person you would like to be thinking of you. Perhaps you’re on the mind of exactly who you want. Either way, you are loved and you are wanted by someone. It’s up to us to be aware and move our feet towards the ones who truly love and want us for who we are. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
I captured these statues because I felt like they were an incredible representation of true connection. This image and these words are about reciprocity, partnership, and perfectly accepting an imperfect human. This can be applied to all relationships since love relationships also need to thrive on a foundation of partnership and trust. Perhaps you don’t feel like you’ll ever find that level of connection seen in this photograph. Maybe you do have a strong relationship, but something seems off. Or perhaps you’re convinced that one person is your person and they either know it or they don’t. No matter where you are in your relationship, it might be time to decide – take a chance, keep moving forward together, or walk away on your own.