I wanted to cultivate a closer relationship with Mercury (and myself) this year and I set out to create a set of postcards that I could write and mail to myself, as kind of markers for how the year unfolded.
Covid in June disrupted a lot of things I had ticking away with clockwork precision and among the things which fell after June were my monthly tarot journal and with it, the Mercury postcards I’d committed to making and sending.
This week, in the Tarot Primer, we’re working with the 10 of Pentacles and the “In Action” part of the download for this week is to write out the aspects of the year that made it possible, with the option to write and send yourself a postcard of celebration.
Maybe it’s something you’d like to try also?
Or maybe on the other side of the festive season, you’d like to reach out and connect with people as one year flows into the other. Postcards are a time efficient way to say hello; I was thinking of you.
Below is a repository of downloadable postcard templates. All you need once you’ve printed off the template is some cardboard, scissors and glue. They take less than five minutes to complete.
I’ll be honest, my 40’s have been far from ecstatic.
They have been hard. Fucking hard. All manner of rough comings out — from polyamory to being psychic. Reinventing myself as a writer. Revisioning then rebuilding the kind of experience I wanted in publishing (and I’m still so so so far away from it, but that’s okay.) Fumbling through what it means to be multi-passionate and how to do business when you’re not flying just one kite.
There was the navigation of high school with a chronically ill son, then making my own way through years of chronic illness born from more than a decade of chronic stress and isolation.
For so many years I felt as though I was slow-falling through any sense of solidity or certainty. I tumbled down an endless Alice abyss.
And I hated it.
And I fucking resented everything.
I couldn’t wait to get beyond each fucked up year and get a fresh start. The thing was, I never did. It was like stepping in dog shit and treading it from one year to another.
I wanted to stop feeling trapped and tortured by my years.
That liberation began with changing the relationship I had with the passing year.
Four Quick Hacks I Embraced
1. I quit shitting on the year that had shat on me.
I stopped labelling years bad and just let them be neutral. I mean, you’ve heard it, or even said it yourself:
“Can’t wait for this year to be finished.”
“This year can fuck off.”
Three years of a pandemic has had us collectively saying some version of “Twenty-Fucking-Twenty…”
While this might provide short term rapport with all the other people also pissing on the year, the thing is, if you do this, you take the resentment, animosity, grief, disappointment and whatever else the year stirred up … you take into the new year.
You repeat patterns.
You miss a fresh start.
2. I honoured all of the year by getting curious.
This let me see if there was something, anything, beneath what was going on. Especially the hard-as-shit stuff. Attempting to see if, then how, I was changing: growing and adapting in positive ways to the challenges.
It let me gentler in how I perceived the hardships I’d gone through. It let me make conscious, specific choices about what I wanted to leave behind.
In the beginning it was hard to see them. As the years have gone one they are more apparent.
3. I got discerning
This meant celebrating the peak experiences alongside the obstacles, dead ends, frustrations, the heart breaks and unexpected failures. It allowed me to rehabilitate my focus away from obsessing on everything hard or not going my way.
I started to acknowledge it was like that some of the time, butnot all the time.
4. I let my years be multi-faceted.
I embraced gloriously imperfect years which lead me out of two-dimensional monochromatic shit storms of misery that could be summed up in one or two catchy words.
Few years are all good or all bad.
Even the worst years have a few shiny spots in them if we’re open to search for them.
A Clean Start
Few people can simply wake up with a clean slate by sheer force of will and 8 hours of sleep between Dec 31 and Jan 1.
Spending time with my year, holding it lightly and honouring all parts, let me cut the passing year away cleanly. Itt was a huge relief to enter a new year without the other one hissing and spitting at my heels.
Best of all, I stopped dragging the old year into the new as the forever compare-and-contrast. The new year got to be bold, beautiful and full of potential on its own terms.
I wanted to provide a space for clients to intentionally review the passing year with an open-heart and mind. Through the cards, questions arise to give clients a unique journey through (and perspective on) their year.
These 90-minute readings are super-charged and provide insights into the themes, peak experiences and growth points of ‘22, with guidance and suggestions for celebrating and cutting lose the year that was.
Places are limited.
Bookings are recommended sooner rather than later to get the best date for the farewell you and your year deserve.
I wanted to hold space for clients to unpack their year open-heartedly, with potential to gain a new perspective on how the year had unfolded. To see with uncommon clarity the highs that might have been missed and the gifts in the difficulties. To pattern-check in a unique way and leave the reading with a concrete path out of one year and into the next.
I tested the new reading with a friend and we dived into unexpected places, even though we’d talked and drawn cards for a whole year together. We found richly glorious and horrific stories. I pulled up questions which illuminated themes and patterns she hadn’t considered, leaving her with clear stepping stones out of ’21 into ’22.
But 2021 found me in a strange between place — still birthing pregnant babies (ie. timing all wrong so what I created could not be effectively nurtured once it was released).
I still had a permanent residence in the liminal and hadn’t yet considered a bigger life for myself. Much less what it might mean or look like, personally and professionally. All that has changed over the course of ‘22
This means I’m ready to bring all of me (this powerful New Me who is recently qualified and full of enthusiasm ) to meet all of you at the table for the 2022 round of Thresholds Reading.
I’m making sure the offering goes out into the world with plenty of time for everyone to book a slot before ‘22 slides out the door.
These 90-minute readings are super-charged and provide insights into the themes, peak experiences and growth points of ‘22, with guidance and suggestions for celebrating and cutting lose the year that was.
Places are limited.
Book now to get the best date for the farewell you and your year deserve.
PS: I’m also offering Year Opening readings in January and February, to help future map 2023 with you.
P.P.S: If you are in the Brisbane area I love to share readings at my kitchen table over tea and cake. If you are in the surrounds (Gold or Sunshine Coast, Ipswich etc) and would like to host several readings, I’m more than willing to travel for 2 or more in-person readings. I’ll also consider opening Sundays for readings if the demand is there in December.
The Tarot Primer is a text-based, espresso-strength infusion of tarot, channeled wisdom, journal prompts, poetry, life hacks and music delivered straight to your phone via Signal four times a week.
See below for download and join links.
Tarot Primer (1.1)
THE HIGH PRIESTESS
🔮 We have made habits of turning outward for advice and outsourcing our wisdom to others. The High Priestess reminds us we are the first and most powerful experts on our lives.
🙋🏻♀️She invites us into our inner knowing and gently encourages us to trust the answers we find when we turn inward. We are our Wise Self, even in the moments when we fear we know nothing.
🫀She is the holy aspect that everyday life can force to the sidelines from sheer busyness and the need to keep our heads above the water.
🍎 She is the pause and the sweetness that greets us in those moments when return to ourselves, even if that’s just sixty seconds stolen in the toilet or the stairwell at work.
🧚♀️ She is the conduit of feminine blessing and magick in all we touch if we dare to let that be.
🌕 She is a beautiful energy to be with, however feels congruent and joy-filled, to celebrate this week’s full moon in Capricorn.
Image: The High Priestess by Charlie Claire Burgess (The Fifth Spirit Tarot, first edition)
📓 JOURNAL PROMPTS
🔑 What are you ready to unlock?
🪄 What magic calls to you?
🛤 What is the middle place between spaces of black and white?
🪧 How do you lay equal claim to the light and the darkness? And how it feels in each?
☀️ What do you create from starlight? From sunlight?
Tarot Primer (1.2)
🎯 THE HIGH PRIESTESS IN THE ACTION
“At the centre of your being you have the answer, you know who you are and you know what you want.” ~ Lao Tzu
Honour your High Priestess by tuning into, and practising, your sacred yes and sacred no.
💫What is your sacred yes and no?
It’s the answer to a any question which rises up from within. It’s quiet at the start. Felt in the body. Often held in the heart.
It’s the knowing the logic brain will loudly shout over the top with rationality and social programming.
The sacred yes and no honour what’s most important to you (not necessarily others) when expressed aloud. This sacred practise is intrinsically linked to establishing and maintaining boundaries.
Listen to to what rises up inside you, intuitively, when you need to make a decision. Some people like to close their eyes. Get still. Silent. Or to place their hand on their heart.
If you’re unsure — program a necklace as a pendulum and let it help you hone your inner hearing/knowing of the sacred yes and no.
Tarot Primer (1.3)
🖊THE HIGH PRIESTESS IN POETRY
You were lost to yourself
for lifetimes, for centuries
A half-formed echo
A skeleton missing bones
Compulsively course correcting but
having forgotten where you were
In a moment of revelation
you saw light
you saw love
and you knew you had a home
though it had fallen from your consciousness
The course correcting that had once
tried to steer you back there
took you away
until you lost the memory
of where you were going
through a thousand wayward turns
Now fair winds whistle joyfully
across the axis of light
carrying you forward
and you navigate from the constellation
in your heart
across the seas of the unknown-once-known
Following the siren call of home
Coming back to yourself
She has been patiently waiting on the shores
to see the dance of your sails on the horizon
She holds your light
She holds your love
She is you
and you are her
together on the shores
of a new be-ing
Written March 20th, 2019
Tarot Primer (1.4)
🪞THE HIGH PRIESTESS IN REFLECTION
It has been an interesting week, observing the intersection/interplay/tension of magick, ritual and creation.
It feels very much The High Priestess sandwiched between The Magician and The Empress (energies I feel far more comfortable in!)
Three things from my week with The High Priestess:
🕯 I built an altar and surrendered into the magickal guidance of Anna Bellissima in creating myself a HyperSigil. This is my latest depth year foray — deepening into creating a future of my desire and designs.
🦴 This was an extension of me trying to spend more time in the light side of things, because I feel very comfortable in the shadows, excavating bones and wounds, but do very little then with the space I’ve made for myself. I feel the right kind of tingly after my first entry in my hypersigil and excited about the next one.
🔮 This! The tarot primer. I’m certain a different card would not have inspired me to experiment with leaning into my wisdom and sharing it this way. Thank you for all the fabulous and encouraging feedback.
🎈 Message me and share your three reflections for the week, any time over the weekend. I’d love to hear from you.
Apologies to any fans of the Steve Winwood classic. I found this version by pure accident following the thread of a lyric.
Or ramp up the beat…
🙏🏻 Thank you for being here. Have a fabulous weekend.
I’ll see you next week.
Written and shared, for the week 11th – 17th July, 2022
I am multi-passionate word witch who liberates people from self-limiting stories so they can redefine themselves and their lives.
Leveraging a combination of fiction, poetry, tarot and coaching, I offer guidance and practical support for people ready to excavate their shadows, meet their brightest ideas and shape present/future realties on their own terms.
I embolden souls to live their best lives now, utilising the quantum field of potential while holding the vulnerability of the human experience.
You can find more about working with me here or book here.
Come play where the sunlight meets the moonlight.
The Tarot Primer is a free text-based, espresso-strength infusion of tarot, channeled wisdom, journal prompts, poetry, life hacks and music delivered straight to your phone via Signal four times a week.
Years ago I sat in a Greek Restaurant in West End with a multi-passionate friend who was telling me all about a new idea she had for the salsa studio where she danced. I ate and drank heartily, as much in the sharing of her idea, as the food and wine.
When the night came to a close, I jokingly said my dream job would be to sit and listen to people share their ideas. I’d do it in exchange for dinner.
It lit me up, the notion I could be a first-time sounding board for something new. To support a fledgling idea, in a grassroots way, where just being there and listening, energisesd and shaped the idea.
Where I could see myself asking the right question, at the right time, and something shifted in a powerful way. Or I offered a unique perspective that threw a hidden door wide open and the idea appeared on the other side, transformed, and one step closer to tangible reality.
I especially wanted to witness ideas where I had no background knowledge. They were the ideas that excited me the most and where I felt I could be of greatest assistance, in the very early stages.
This all flashed through my head in the time it took to stand up, gather my stuff and say good-bye to my friend. As I walked off, I filed the idea away as a pipe dream, until last week.
Grow Your Ideas Sessions
On the 5th Day of Simone Seoul’s Summer Camp and my insomnia-riddled, over-wrought central nervous system finally calmed enough (thank you Jaime Durso) to get excited about something in the playbook of activities.
As I read about the play dates activity, the bright shiny idea I’d never have had the gumption to consider as part of my business, shimmied across my path and sang: me me me!!
You know the endearing but relentless way small children do it.
See, the thing is, I rock the shadows. I’m so fucking good there; as a soul having a human experience that’s my default place of comfort. And I’m exceptional as a word witch shepherding clients through those same dark spaces. But I’ve been summonsed in the last fortnight to honour the light in the same way I do the dark. And to step up, right up, and into it.
What do you create in the starlight and what do you create in the sunlight?
~ Chris-Anne on The High Priestess (The Muse Tarot)
It’s been something I’ve been sitting with and gently exploring in my own soul work. With the sun frolicking in Leo it’s time to step forward with something sun-drenched for the world.
That thing that’s been nagging you and no matter what, won’t go away.
Your heart’s yearning.
What you promised yourself you’d make time for this year.
It can be related to work. It can be related to pleasure. Maybe it’s a side hustle. Maybe it’s a dream. It doesn’t have to be serious. And actually, the less Big and Important it is, perhaps the better?
All ideas start as an energetic spark of something simple before our humanness complicates them.
In a Grow Your Idea session you’ll get 45 minutes with me to chat.
If you want, I can walk you through the compass points of collaboration, joy, heart break and direction to help you know your idea better.
Or we can just let the idea guide the conversation—after all, it is the main event and it’s what I want to hear all about.
And if you’re in the Brisbane area, and you know a brilliant establishment that supports winter al fresco dining, we can honour my original idea of dinner in exchange for idea incubation. Drop me a message via the contact form.
Because you said the world would be an easier place if it could be simplified to a list of dot points. Words, more often than not, confused you in their random collisions and duplicitous nature. You read silence like I read Calvino.
Because we danced for hours beneath the sway of hundreds of delicate paper lanterns before you spoke to me. My heart beat in your chest as we sat side-by-side on the ancient breakwater and watched the sunrise. The briny dawn was more than a new day beginning.
Because the salt of your skin was the same salt in the sea air, heavy on my tongue. And your absence tasted the same as your presence. It amplified an unquenchable thirst I carried half the time as longing, the other half as ecstasy. I ignored warnings that too much salt was bad for the heart.
Because what you lacked in books, you made up for in music; a citadel of vinyl we adventured through, with you as my guide, until I almost knew the byways and hidden alleyways as well as you. So the right song, at the right time, became our most devastating weapon against each other.
Because you forgot anniversaries and birthdays, never arrived on time and sometimes not at all. Then appeared with oriental lilies, for no reason other than you liked to watch them open beside my bed. Over the years, I came to imagine you around the corner every time I caught a hint of their perfume or the promise of coffee. My order was the first thing you learned and the perfect coffee became the great equaliser, olive branch, and space in silence, which never required days to bloom ‘I’m sorry’.
Because you pushed too hard and I pulled too hard and somehow, in the disastrous pas de deux of dissatisfaction and disaffection we thrived. The disequilibrium energised the current of our love. We always found our way back to the safe harbour of music and dancing, sheltering there from the worst tides we inflicted on each other.
Because it is impossible to tether the sun. We did not need others’ conformity and certainty. We bound ourselves to each other in our own way, because I already had a ring, and paper and ink burn. We believed love transcended all if we needed it to.
Because for all your faults, your ‘hello’ and ‘good night’ arrived without fail every day, at the right time, no matter where you were in the world. And every time we ended it, those texts kept arriving. Now I send myself ‘hello’ and ‘good night’ from your phone and pretend nothing has changed.
Because death is simple and you are not. You hollowed to a husk in days, not over months or years. Your light faded like the sunset before me and now you sit in the flesh of a doppelganger. The endless night is a pool of tears I bathe in alone.
Because I believe if I write a thousand letters, fold words like cranes into missives of hope, there will be a moment when you can read them and recognise me. All I have left are my time capsule words and the memories they protect.
Because I want to believe I will once again feel the rush of you through me. Because I refuse to accept I have felt it for the last time.
Because I am willing to bet against tomorrow, knowing I loved you then and I love you now.
Because you have not gone and I cannot leave.
The girl of your heart
Published here for the first time.
(And for anyone with a sharp eye, yes, that’s Adam Byatt’s handwriting, and an old photo from the writing of Postmarked Piper’s Reach in 2012!)
These 21 tips are as relevant now as they were when I first compiled them in 2010.
They are road map for all writers: journalists, novelists, songwriters, essayists, academics, film makers, poets and anyone who shares their creative vision and heart via words.
1. Arrive late and leave early: get straight to the heart of the narrative.
2. Defend your work and keep your creative dignity: learn to say no/no way/go f*ck yourself – because no one else will stand up for your work. Remember you cannot write someone else’s vision.
3. Don’t show your work to family and friends: you will erroneously become attached to what they think is brilliant, which in fact is likely to be absolute crap.
4. Go out and live your life: do not allow yourself to become stuck in a hole of your own creativity – especially when you’re creatively blocked – being in the real world is the best antidote.
5. Make up the rules for what you want to produce: in a global market there are an infinite number of possible niches with people willing to pay for your work.
6. Build an audience online: utilise a website or a blog to connect with readers – capture them through a mailing list. Don’t be afraid to give away free stuff.
7. Back yourself: don’t ask others for permission to do what you want to do.
8. Know you can do it yourself: you do not need the backing of major publishing houses/production companies – the rules are changing. Look for those you know, who want to work with you, and your idea.
9. Persevere: your yell is someone else’s whisper and whispers are pervasive, it will get heard – work on several projects – this keeps you energised and working creatively even when one project isn’t firing.
10. Utilise a multi-media approach: there are audio books, podcasts, youtube as well as thinking further afield such as combining/selling photos and music with writing. (Jessica Bell’s String Bridge–novel and soundtrack–is an excellent example of this)
11. Embrace festivals: nothing is ever to small to be part of.
12. Look after yourself: writing will ruin your health – so take care – consider writing standing up (apparently Hemmingway did this) and making use of pen and paper rather than chaining yourself to a computer.
13. Get to know your process: work out when and where you work best and do it your own way – try to write every day, even if just for a few minutes and carry a note book with you so ideas don’t escape you.
14. Trust the intuition of your readers to know where something doesn’t work: but don’t trust their advice on how to change/fix it.
15. Don’t write to a presumed audience: there is no point in second guessing your niche market – just write!
16. Promote yourself in public: but allow space to doubt yourself in private.
17. Write simply and vividly: specifics paint the best pictures on the page.
18. Don’t hold back and don’t protect yourself: say things no one else has said before – turn off the inner critic/editor
19. Collaborate: work with new people and don’t be afraid to change circles of friends – there are always new opportunities out there.
20. Be professional: submit on time, to the required word length, to the brief agreed on – editors like writers who they can rely on.
21. Cultivate a community of writers: writing can be a lonely enterprise, but it doesn’t need to be – other writers understand where you are, what you’re thinking and feeling.
First published May 2010 at Pursuing Parallels.
*This list was curated from a session given at the 2010 Emerging Writers Festival, distilled from the 35 ‘best writing tips’ shared by the Festival’s ambassadors Guy Blackman, Natasha Campo, Jill Jones, Sean Riley and Julian Shaw. Fast forward 12 years, it is amazing how little the basics change!