Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Experience the Present

My friend Ronda and I decided a long time ago we both have too much stuff. If there’s a contest for too much stuff, I think I won, at least between the two of us. I had a head start, though, since Mom had an antique shop. I’ve made my own contributions of course. At any rate, concluding as we have that we both have entirely too many things and adding to that the notation that our birthdays are less than one month apart, we like to celebrate our days and our friendship with gifts of experience. Experiences take up less room in your garage or closet if you don’t bring home too many souvenirs.

Our present to each other for the last several years has been to go on nature hikes. We both share a love of nature conservation, flora and fauna. And we both go about the same pace, a little faster than a motorized wheelchair, a little slower than 75% off at a bookstore. Nature should be savored and should not result in a trip to the chiropractor. Nature should be ooohed and ahhhed at softly, not screamed at like March Madness. Nature should be generally low technology, since our day jobs land us smack in the middle of technology (we make exceptions for binoculars and digital cameras). Nature should come with a picnic table, a bathroom, pomegranate juice, curried chicken salad sandwiches, trail mix and Girl Scout Thin Mints. Nature should be respected by packing out the trash and watching where you step, including not needing to be rescued or considered under the Stupid Hiker Laws. Within those boundaries, which are in fact loose and flexible in our opinion, we find ample opportunity.

We have explored off-birthday-season adventures and retail rather than nature adventures, usually involving my urging Ronda to purchase the aquamarine ring she’s just discovered that she always wanted. But our favorite outings have been the field trips sponsored by the Point Reyes National Seashore Association http://www.ptreyes.org/. The PRNSA is a non-profit organization working in partnership with the National Park Service to provide education and to raise funding through various programs, like their field seminars, to preserve our connections to nature especially in the Point Reyes area.

The field seminars have offered us a tremendous variety of experiences, including tidepooling at extreme low tides (where I saw this fan-TAS-tic baby octopus lounging in a puddle-sized pool), the earthquake trail (where you can see how the 1906 San Francisco earthquake split a fence so the ends were feet away from each other in a single move), folks uses of plants (which we liked so much that we took the class a second time), a bird-watching cruise up the Napa River, the now-locally-infamous Tule Elk-Whale Watching-Great Horned Owl experience where we nearly ruined our friend Pamela’s really nice car and spring wildflower walks so windy that we almost blew off the Marin cliffs to the beachful of lounging harbor seals below. Talk about the balance of nature! Well, you can’t beat that for adventure!

This year, we went for something a little different and found a gem of an experience. The weather was perfect for our Birding Yolo County field trip led by John Klobas and his daughter Sarah Klobas. Not only did this provide us with a new venue never trekked before, but the magic words “car based excursion” were too tantalizing to resist. What if we went on a full day adventure and didn’t spend the next day laid out flat in bed from being spectacularly out of shape? Think of the possibilities! We would get the nature experience, a bit of a hike without a mountain climb, the picnic, the photos, the whole magilla.

No matter what it must sound like, I am actually not a birder. At least I’m not the kind of birder I associate with bird watchers who keep lifetime statistics on what bird they’ve seen when. But I like to go on birding trips because I tend to see everything else along with the birds. And the people who go on birding trips are usually gentle, quiet, sincere, curious, helpful…well, I’m about to add thrifty and other Scouting traits. But you get the idea. They are calm and they don’t want me to fix anything; it’s a complete contrast to my day job.

We were pleasantly surprised to find John and his daughter Sarah knowledgeable and entertaining. I personally was flabbergasted at the excellent and unobtrusive organization that was part of the trip too. And why I did not expect the enormous variety of birds on this trip I will never know! True to my non-birding status, I gave away my bird counting card to a fellow student who needed one and I do not have a full count of the birds we saw, but briefly: 3 kinds of hawks, an osprey complete with fish in talon, a zillion ducks including a wood duck, at least two types of herons, hummingbirds, a barn owl, a few “introduced” species like peacocks and an ostrich, and a full chorus of songbirds. Of course, there were not just birds, but all kinds of other creatures like a river otter and the usual squirrels. There was even a sleepy little bat in the ladies room at the picnic area who looked like a walnut with ears. We visited Lake Solano made from the creek draining Lake Barryessa, next the home of a generous bird lover named Manfred who let us tramp over his yard to show us hummingbird and oriole nests, and last a wonderful wetlands near Davis and the freeway. Our final show at this wetlands was a huge gathering of yellow-headed blackbirds facing the setting sun for their final warm up before evening.

While at the wetlands, we were surrounded by birdsong. I mused to Ronda, “If birds are the nearest descendants of dinosaurs, I wonder if dinosaur song was as lovely as this?” Watching the pelicans, cinnamon teals, coots, white-faced ibis and blackbirds, I was glad for the advantage of scale suddenly. Birdsong is pretty. Dinosaur song perhaps might not be so restful. This is another good reason to enjoy the present.

No matter what kind of life you have, it’s important to do something like this to balance out your life. Maybe you don’t have a nature-buddy like my friend Ronda, but it’s important to balance your own nature. If you do, maybe those dinosaurs you work with all day will remind you of birdsong. And with that little bit of balance, like the Two of Pentacles, you can keep your life going, stay in the game, make a little progress and stay in touch with the present.

Best wishes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Molly the Owl is a Mom

Molly the Owl is the sometimes-quiet sensation on the internet right now. Carlos, a bird lover in southern California, built an owl box two years ago. Molly the Owl and her mate, Magee, have set up housekeeping as the first tenants. Real estate has been in a slump for a while, so I’m hoping this means recovery, even if it’s just owl real estate.

Like thousands of other folks, I’ve been following Molly’s progress since I discovered the web cam covering this little barn owl with the big fan club. Molly apparently is a first time mom, having laid six egg and consumed one that was not viable. To a thrilled audience of over 10,000 viewers at once, Molly’s first owlet hatched yesterday and we welcomed pink, bald, bobbling Max to the Owl Box. And no, no one knows if Max is actually a male owlet; he’s a "he" for now and he’s Max for now. If he turns out to be Maxine, that’s wonderful too.

Later in the evening, I watched Molly, who usually bolts her food down, nibble daintily at the rodent brought to her by Magee and offer the first little meal to still blind but now feather-fuzzy Max. Molly clucked. Max peeped a baby screech and took his first little nibble from Molly-Mom’s beak. After you get past the “ewww” factor of the dead rodent being eaten by a raptor, watching Molly follow instructions provided to her only by instinct is something just short of miraculous in our eyes. And there are still four eggs yet to be hatched.

I’ve learned a lot about owls in the few days I’ve been glued to the Owl Box. First, there are a lot of people who didn’t realize that owls poop. I’m sorry to go all Dr. Oz on you, but everybody does. Owls, however, also cough up “owl pellets,” a sort of owlish hairball that has the fur and bones that haven’t been digested initially. Molly and other mom owls take the pellet apart in the nest and make a fluffy down bedding covering the floor as a soft bed and insulation for the eggs and later owlets. Molly also munches on the bones to break them up and get calcium. Barn owls live only a couple of years and contrary to stereotyping they don’t hoot. They make a noise something like pulling the cat’s tail plus a brief auto accident plus ripping cloth. When my cat Tony heard it for the first time, he dove under the wardrobe. Things that make big noises probably eat overweight, under-clever stripy tabby cats, at least as far as Tony knows. He’s more of a finch cat than an owl cat.

A lot of the chat messages at the Owl Box broadcast focus on our perception that Molly is a good mommy. We attribute human feelings to Molly, especially the kids on the chat and the ol’ softies like me who think anything soft and fluffy must be also cuddly and sweet. As long as we don’t mix up stuffed toys with real owls, honestly I don’t see harm in this.

Watching Molly though does evoke empathy for her situation that perhaps Molly isn’t terribly aware of herself. She’s been in the Owl Box since at least February 16 when she laid the first egg. The moderators reported that she greeted that first egg with what appeared to be shock, surprise and curiosity. If we put ourselves in the Owl Box for over a month without cell phone, DVR, internet access, cable television or even a decent book, we immediately assume that Molly is bored out of her little owly skull. We look at her lovely pale heart-shaped face and her deep dark eyes and think, “Awww.” But I’m not really sure owls get bored; again that’s closer to the human experience than the owl experience. But we do see the significant changes in behavior from Molly’s being a free-wheeling owl-about-the-neighborhood to a Mommy Owl with a purpose.

Molly used to bolt her mice with gusto after Magee left from his evening visits. Now, as I mentioned, she nibbles and offers bits to baby Max. She has more reason than ever to protect her clutch of eggs and her little hatchling from the world and less reason to leave the Owl Box for stretch of the wings. Her expectations of Magee seem to have changed to more specific demands to bring the food on time and just a little extra food because there’s more than Molly to feed now. I can see her also making sure that Magee doesn’t make a misstep onto Max or one of the eggs too. With her shift in focus to the babies warmed by her fluffy reddish and grey feathers, she is, in our eyes making the same kinds of sacrifices that human mommies make for their “hatchlings.”

Owls are wonderful creatures in their own right. The barn owl’s head turns nearly all around while their eyes stay fixed and focused in binocular vision, providing excellent depth perception during prime awake hours in the night. Their flight is nearly soundless because of the shape of their feathers and wings. Their landings, if you watch the Owl Box, are not so silent, but by the time they land, they already have the mouse, vole, gopher, rabbit or rat and the need for silence has passed.

Those bright, gleaming dark eyes of the owl are actually the connection to mythology where owls are associated with Minerva (Roman) a/k/a Athena (Greek). One of the qualities of Athena is “bright eyed” and depictions of Athena often have an owl perched on her head. Because Athena is associated with wisdom, so are owls. The root of the word Athena is attributed to words meaning, “the mind of God,” and the myth about Athena is that she was born from the head of Zeus, giving him a mighty headache. Smart daughters can do that to a dad, so I’m not surprised about this. In tarot, wisdom and thought and even conflict are associated with air and the suit of swords. Athena is shown in armor, the mental qualities of logic and wisdom ever on the front lines of the best battles and arguments over ideas. So the owl’s sharp beak and talons are also the representations of the swords that can make for sharp thinking and sharp words.

If you are a beginner or more advanced student of tarot, I recommend you check out Wald and Ruth Ann Amberstone’s teleclasses on The Cards Complete. Their wonderful classes and information on their Readers Studio can be found at http://tarotschool.com/index.html and at The Tarot School on Facebook.

In last week’s class, one of the cards we studied was the Three of Swords. The Three of Swords can seem a bit shockingly negative on this joyous occasion of actually capturing the nesting and hatching of a barn owl broadcast live at http://www.ustream.tv/theowlbox. And, true, the Three of Swords can mean “sorrow but not destruction.” The swords of thought and conflict come to rest in the heart, a heart which is still intact in the card. With understanding, we adjust and resolve ourselves to realities, to the truth. Our ideas come to rest, like the beautiful, fluffy, ferocious raptor rests in her Owl Box, tenderly lined with the fur of rodents past. The mouse dies to feed the owl and her children. The egg that didn’t hatch was eaten. There is something sorrowful about endings and that’s the reality of it. Molly’s life will never be the same now that she’s a mother. The Three of Swords is a “Mom” card, the mom who endures pain, sorrow, boredom, insult, shocks, and sacrifice, whose love endures beyond thought and logic and conflict. Mom is the soft place to land.

So, for all of you Moms out there, whether your babies are new or grown, human or critter, born to you or adopted by choice, you know the love and pain and sorrow of the Three of Swords. And you’d do it all over again. Be ferocious, fluffy, loud, attentive, tender, proud. Be something like Molly the Owl.

For more information on Athena/Minerva, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athena. And, yes, the Wise Owls are going to The Readers Studio 2010!

Best wishes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Balancing the Scales

My husband just handed me a brownie. This is probably the last thing I need to eat. Alas, brownies are not the same when made with celery or other healthy things. They really are the best with chocolate and, in my opinion, nuts. I’m not picky though. I’ll eat brownies without nuts. I’ll eat them with whipped cream. I’ll eat them with ice cream. I’ll eat them with powdered sugar or chocolate icing. I’m an egalitarian brownie eater. And brownies are seldom a matter of need. If they were, I’m sure I would be deemed to have already eaten my lifetime quota.

And I was just thinking about weights and scales when he walked in too. Now I’m thinking about the one you step on. I don’t mind that scale so much except when they have it programmed to laugh or groan when you step on it. I think mine would make strangled little squeaks right now. I’m going to have to do something about that. Soon. After I finish this brownie anyway.

Several cards talk about aspects of balance, like the 2 of Coins being juggled in a day-to-day balance of your checkbook or keeping all the balls in the air sort of way. Or Temperance calmly pouring one cup into another, blending, mixing, balancing, evening, smoothing, soothing. But Justice has the scales on it that I had in mind today.

Justice is sometimes shown as Anubis weighing the heart against a feather. That tells part of a story, the part that presumes that the heart’s owner has a conscience that would actually weigh the heart down if it felt “heavy-hearted” with grief, remorse, guilt, or sorrow. But we are aware that there are those who perhaps ought to feel weighed down with remorse, in need of atonement, who do not feel the slightest burden of guilt. If you are so burdened, however, it will do you a world of good to do something to make up for it. If you aren’t, please turn yourself in to the nearest authorities so they can assist you.

It’s not an easy thing to do, to live without guilt over something, if blessed with a conscience at all. The decisions we make every day are not always easy. Paper or plastic? Was the paper bag made of trees that we need to stop cutting down so we can still have life forms that take our carbon dioxide and give off oxygen? Was the plastic made of oil that is limited by the number of little sea critters squashed between layers of rocks? Accept one, does an owl die? Accept another, does an oil spill kill a shoreline? Accept one or the other, who gets to keep their jobs? Being mindful is no easy task. Giving up on being mindful is cowardly.

Even the little hummingbird nesting among the thorns of a rosebush, sitting on the two eggs about to hatch has to make choices, to weigh the dangers against the benefits. A few minutes ago, the hummingbird chose to stay on the nest of two eggs while someone walked by, got into a car, started it and drove away. If you want to see the eggs hatching, better check this out fast: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hummingbird-nest-cam

*Note:  link updated because someone rude hacked the original link.

Even the nest itself is an example of balance. Leftover twigs, feathers, spider webs and leaves have to go somewhere. It sits perched in the new growth of the rose, anchored on thorns and stems, dappled in sunlight, swaying in the breeze. It is a balance of the softest of beds for new life and a sturdy foundation for the sometimes sudden landing of the parent bird, a fortress of string and feathers to protect and cushion new life.

One of the more satisfying aspects of Justice is that karma kickback that we hope our oppressors will get and we say, “Ah, what goes around comes around!” This is anything from rewards and punishments in an afterlife to my pagan buddies Kathy and Jeani saying that what you send out comes back at you many times the intensity. Both ideas are meant to say, “Please think about it and be mindful.”

So right now, Paul Brewer, wherever you are, I need to tell you that I’m really, really sorry I spit water clear across the classroom in 5th grade and hit you in the ear while Sister Goretti had her back turned. At the time, I confess, I got immense satisfaction out of the beauty of the arc of that stream of water as it went from the south wall to the north wall where you sat by the windows. I reveled in how you clapped your hand to your ear and the look of complete surprise on your face. I wriggled in satisfaction that I may have been the least likely candidate to have done such a thing. And I promise I’ll never do it again. Just so you know, while I was trying to qualify as a lifeguard in high school, I suffered my own water-borne affront that you never knew about. Three distinctly separate bathing suits fell apart while I wore them, one by one, in a single day in front of the local town lifeguard-god. Dive. Rip. Dive. Rip. Dive. And, you guessed it. Rip. I left the public pool in humiliation and never qualified for that lifeguard status.

The truth is that we don’t always get to see what’s on the other half of the scale or the timing of its landing there. And doesn’t it leave you hanging? Well, Paul, you need to know that karma kicked back.

So often we may consider ourselves the recipient of Justice, or not, that we forget about its other aspects. In the RWS tarot, unlike our model for the legal system, Justice is not blindfolded but sits above with scales and sword to achieve balance. The sword says the process of achieving that balance is a logical one, one that may or may not be in your subjective favor. The scales say that there is a corresponding side to everything. The scales are empty because, in my opinion, we don’t always know the whole story and probably aren’t meant to. Justice, on its throne of power and in its robes of authority, is a power greater than us, longer than our time frames, more important in the scheme of things than our needs and wants as individuals. And yet, Justice also echoes the Magician’s stance, with the sword of logic pointing upwards instead of the magic wand and the scales held in the downward hand. Justice’s “as above, so below” says we may send our thoughts and logic quickly, especially in a conflict, but the effect will always be a balancing out. Are we prepared to face the sword of truth and logic and let the scales balance objectively?

And finally, instead of being the recipients of Justice with a good outcome on our side, we have to think of ourselves as the dispensers of Justice too. How do we make the best decision when we know we don’t have all the facts? We must do so with all the responsibilities of a ruler, knowing the effects of the decision may set a precedent for things to come, knowing that the decision may be viewed by all. We may not see all the outcomes but we take our actions as fairly as possible. The scales, once balanced, are never fixed in place. Why? Because what’s behind the curtain draped between the pillars may someday reveal more evidence. And that could change everything.

I can’t help but think there is a Divine Sense of Humor that has made it possible for me to get a million well-meant but annoying chain emails in exchange for one overly optimistic greeting sent out. Have a SUPER nice day! Really. And now, I have a brownie to atone for.

Best wishes.

Monday, March 8, 2010

When Two Become Three

Baby Lulu made her first grand entrance on January 28. While I can’t possibly be as thrilled as her proud parents, I am so excited to see such a lovely little creature enter our lives. Lulu has intelligent eyes, a rosebud mouth, strong hands, capable lungs and the cutest little almost-eyebrows. What great fortune she has to be born to parents who want her, love her, can afford her and welcome her as much as any child can be. So many children are not so warmly greeted.

Her maternal family members are dear friends of ours and her paternal family members are warm and generous. For years we have been treated like family, invited to family functions happy and sad. I couldn’t feel closer if I had been legally adopted instead of our own mutual agreement of informal adoption of friendship and love.

Lulu is the luckiest baby I know right now. She has great-grandmas. One of them is one of my best friends. Even though Gerry is closer to my mom’s age than mine, we are more like co-conspirators than mother-daughter. We have been known to dash off to the department store to purchase a refrigerator on a whim, try our luck at the slot machines and even get into trouble giggling in the back row in church. Gerry cooks a fabulous stuffed flank steak and treats us to major holiday dinners to die for and in some cases from but only from quantity. The quality has always been dreamy. Her mock ravioli and “green slime” jello salad are legendary. If it’s a holiday, Gerry’s house is where the action is.

Gerry and I have a lot in common. We both can talk a blue streak and have a million crazy stories from our lives. Gerry writes a daily letter to God and I, well, I blog of course. We both think St Therese The Little Flower is the bee’s knees and are admirers of the Little Way. We both like to try new ideas out and try new things. We both like the idea of “spontaneous.” We both like our extraordinary ordinary lives and the amazing things and people in it. We both like chocolate, although I have never felt the need to confess that as a sin and therefore differ from Gerry on that topic. And we both think my husband is a saint in the making. Basically, he has to be to put up with both of us.

Gerry’s daughters who are the new Grandma and Great Aunt are also dear to us. Maureen is like the eye of the storm. Nancy will make sure that storm is a work of art. And the new Great Uncle Bob is a gentle, peaceful artist and artisan, a lover of dachshunds and deserts, wise counselor and handyman. The in-laws are unique and interesting too. I’m sure the new Grandpa will be bursting with pride when we see him in a couple of weeks, another lovely lady to adore the former surfer and former mayor. And if Facebook posts are any indication, the new Aunt is utterly smitten too.

Almost as wonderful as seeing this new little princess today was watching her parents. I’ve watched her mother grow from high school “Broadway” performer to capable professional to giddy bride to fiercely protective and graciously tender mother. While cradling her firstborn, she can still speak out on the issue of health care in our modern world. And Lulu’s stunned and entranced father is a wonder to behold. As I watched him hold his own miracle in his arms, I saw suddenly he is now a man with a purpose, awed by the perfection, in love with his wife and his daughter, vital in his life.

Watching these new parents who just a few short weeks ago had been two and are now three, I could almost see the glow around them of light and love, of history and future, of stories and adventures, of life. In the tarot, when we move from the 2 of Cups to the 3 of Cups, the two entwined become a celebration of life. Love moves beyond intimate one-on-one bonding to a dance of joy in everyone’s life touched by that love. And today, that love is Lulu. Welcome, Baby.

Best wishes!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

At the Magician’s Table

I like doing new things. It could be the Aries in me. My new thing this past weekend was teaching a class in beginning tarot. And, “Oh, me of little faith!” I was prepared to cancel the class the day before since there were no advance registrations. I knew it might happen that way because people who take tarot classes may not want to start at the very beginning, just getting to know the 78 cards. I figured there might be more interest in my fourth class scheduled this year on beginning reading or perhaps the 3rd one on creativity and tarot.

My prior week had been difficult. My dear friend and boss at my day job had had an accident much more spectacular than my bathtub halfpipe and had sadly not stuck the landing. She “landed” instead in the hospital and out on disability for at least a couple of weeks. We got the word out, sent flowers and presents, kept up with her situation and made sure the team was still running smoothly.

Add to that business travel to the “Mothership” for meetings and software releases,  plus the fact that the software release lasted much longer than anyone had predicted.  Well, by 2 pm on Sunday, an hour before my class was due to start, I was, I thought, drained of energy and intelligence. I had been up at 6 am working each day all week and all weekend and somewhere in there, I flew to southern California and back to northern California.

Then Sunday afternoon I got the call from Angel Heart 4 You (501 First Street, Benicia, CA, 707-745-2024). There were two people who had come in for my class! There’s nothing like mild panic for that extra power boost to get you through the day. Phone Call gives you wings, too!

Quickly I dressed, did what I could to make myself presentable, grabbed decks, printed my bibliography and took off to teach Beginning Tarot – Air: An Introduction to the 78 cards. I spread my own Celtic sarong (now there’s a mixture of cultures!) onto the plastic topped table. I set my course materials and decks of cards down. I grabbed a cold bottle of water from the little refrigerator in the back of the shop. I took my deep breath of fresh air and settled in. I was ready. Since I had brought several versions of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, a glance at the box of each of these showed me the familiar cover picture of The Magician.

Pamela Colman Smith’s depiction of The Magician shows him at his table. By the way, “him” is ambiguous in the RWS deck for The Magician. I learned at the BATS tarot symposium that Pamela’s model for the Magician was her friend and then-famous stage actress Ellen Terry, as celebrated and idolized in her own time as any star today. In my opinion, the best cards contain ambiguity. It is that doorway where intuition and spirit can enter. Otherwise, we’re reciting from a book.

The Magician’s table is set with his tools of alchemy: a sword for air, a wand for fire, a pentacle or coin for earth and a cup for water. The ancients believed that these things in proper combination could create anything. We remember them mostly for the pursuit of turning these basic ingredients into gold. The Magician is ready, in his robe of red and tunic of white, with roses and lilies in front of the table, magic wand (or is it a scroll?) in one hand pointed to the heavens and his other hand poised to the ground. As above, so below. The Magician says, “I WILL.”

This isn’t the child’s defiant, “I will, TOO,” but the statement that the all-important fifth element, the one we can’t touch, of spirit and intent work at the table to combine, tinker, analyze, demonstrate, distill, translate and otherwise affect inanimate objects and unseen forces of nature to make, well, magic of a sort. For a fun take on the fifth element, see the movie by the same name with Bruce Willis, a personal fav.

Sure, the accidental mixture of water and earth is mud, but add the spirit of intent and will, and man can make these into clay, or better still, find naturally occurring clay. Add fire and/or air and the clay becomes hard and the object becomes useful to man, a brick, a vessel, a tile, or artistry. We have the will to manipulate, in that word’s most neutral sense, the world to suit our purposes. The Magician doesn’t tell whether the purposes are worthy or not. He does have the tools and knowledge at his disposal and he calls upon higher power to assist in his efforts. He is ready.

I must confess one of my favorite depictions of The Magician isn’t in tarot at all, but in the Walt Disney movie Fantasia. Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice decides he’s ready for some real action in the magic department while the Sorcerer is out. Soon the castle is flooding and the mops and brooms are in a frenzy to clean up before the boss gets home. It is somewhat reminiscent of my childhood. Sometimes, the apprentice is ready, sometimes not. Naturally, I was hoping my magician moment wasn’t going to flood the castle.

And there I sat at my table with my Magician’s tools, hoping to call upon the alchemy of translating pictures, words and ideas into understanding for my two students. I loved the fact that this first class was intimate. Lynn and Janet were fun, interested and not afraid to ask questions. Only time will tell if my efforts and theirs will be successful. It’s a lot of information to absorb. Carol, the shop owner, said they expressed enjoyment and enthusiasm at the end of the class. Whew, no flood! I never cease to wonder at the magic of learning.

The next class in Tarot Basics – Earth: History, Myth and the Tarot will be on June 6, 2010, from 3 pm to 5 pm (or longer if we all agree) at Angel Heart 4 You, 501 First Street, Benicia, California. To sign up in advance (very much appreciated), please contact AH4Y at 707-745-2024. You need not pay in advance to enroll.

Best wishes.