A Year In - The (Hero's) Journey

26 March 2018

On Sunday March 26th 2017 I woke early and lay in bed... thinking. I'd been writing a (popular) craft blog for six years, and working as a freelance knitting designer, but my heart really wasn't in it. The previous weekend I'd been at the Hay House Ignite event, and I did indeed feel a spark of something new. I didn't really know what it was. 

Looking back on the pages of my journals (written and visual) from that time, they were filled with questions, arrows pointing in different directions, and eyes that were open (and burning up) but unseeing. 

From my art journal, March 2017

Following Ignite, I wrote a blog post called 'On Fear and Callings' (on my craft blog although it was completely off-topic) which concluded with this paragraph: 

Last weekend, Rebecca Campbell talked about creativity and intuition being the voice of our soul and how we must move through fear to align with that, to bring ourselves into balance. As spring begins here in the northern hemisphere, it's the perfect time to ask yourself what (within you) is ready to bloom? She called fears the "gatekeepers of your gifts". I'll leave you with this prompt from Rebecca:

Ask yourself: "If I wasn't afraid, what would I do?" 
The answer is your soul's calling.  

And so it was that on Sunday 26th March, I lay in bed thinking about this very question. I'd been learning to read Tarot for about a month (and an oracle deck for a little bit longer) and it suddenly seemed very obvious that if I wasn't afraid, I'd start writing about that. 

Within a few minutes I came up with a name that no one else was using - The Curious Cardslinger. I registered the domain, started a new email address, an Instagram account, and drafted a post called 'Curious Beginnings' from my phone. All before I got out of bed.

Despite the rush of enthusiasm, I still felt very unsure about the whole thing, still AFRAID - of what I might possibly know that I could write about, how it would be perceived by the people who knew me etc. Since I first came across Eckhart Tolle - also on 26th March (!) 2008 - I've been interested in what might be described as "spiritual" matters, and I've been reading personal development books since the early 1990s, but it had always been quite a private thing. With that in mind, I decided to use a page from my art journal for my profile photos instead of using my own face (her eyes are also closed). I may have been answering my soul, but I was doing so quietly. (Incidentally, she's still my profile picture, but now it's because I've grown fond of her!) 

Sketch for one of the Life Book 2017 exercises, March 23rd 2017

I've been thinking about this a lot today since the 'blogiversary' reminder came up in my calendar. So much has happened in the last year - so much has changed. Maybe not so much on the outside, but inside I feel like a completely different person - in all areas of life, not only those I'm writing about here.

Of course, I'm still writing as The Curious Cardslinger, but not as 'Crafts from the Cwtch' and I'm no longer designing - I'm now a qualified Reiki and Seichem practitioner, something I'd never even heard of this time last year. It's a huge relief. Not because I didn't enjoy the other 'stuff' at the time, but because it was such a distraction from what my instincts were telling me to do.
I think midlife is when the Universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen." - Brené Brown
You may well be wondering what this all has to do with Tarot. Quite simply, it comes down to one basic fact - without it, I'd never have taken the risk of changing things that were ticking along well enough. In my own Hero's Journey, Tarot was the 'Call to Adventure'. The first few readings that proved to me there was more to this than just some pretty pictures on cards, made me start to question everything I thought I understood about life. It's from that point that things really started to change.

Tarot helped me to trust my intuition, and to understand that there is more to life than the things we can see, or understand with logic. It helped me to 'Answer the Call' and 'Enter into the Unknown', to see the synchronicities in every day life which lead to my 'Supernatural Aid', 'Allies' and 'Helpers'. At the moment I'm still going through my 'tests' (and being followed by crows) and I'm really looking forward to the 'Reward'. Perhaps I'll write about all of that another day.

A card from the affirmation deck I made as part of Life Book 2017

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