When I was 18, back in the year 2000, I went on a 3-month road-trip across the US, an up-and-down zig-zag from San Diego, California, to Bethlehem, Connecticut.
One bright morning as we pulled out of San Francisco, my friend and I followed a sign to a scrappy, brilliant yard sale. Some teenagers were moving out of their rented house, sitting in the sunshine with their unwanted possessions around them. I bought a bright green bag.
Offering her support for the journey ahead, woman there wrote in my diary:
You will never be lost if you pay attention to the signs.
I love that advice and hold it close – when I became a tarot reader years later, it took on an additional significance. Tarot is a language of symbols, and reading tarot cards means paying plenty of attention. Signs – and their significance – are everything.
Here on the Rhu, there are signs by the dozen. Signs by the hundred. Our esteemed matriarch Sandy has made it her mission in life to educate folks on permaculture principles, sustainable living, nature, composting, herbalism, and how we can work with what the planet provides…and she achieves this mostly through making signs. There are so many signs here that according to the advice I received in San Francisco, I should never be lost! Yet I am lost. Delightfully lost. And happy so.
This week I photographed some of my favourites, which I shared on my photo blog, here: Signs at the Rhu.
Meanwhile, here’s a roundup of the best things I’ve seen online in April.
Curl up with a brew and enjoy!
Let’s begin with a song. Hit play! (If you’re reading this by email, you’ll need to click through for the media player)
Why I’m a lesbian in a queer era | Kesiena Boom on the power of the original word for women who love women.
Witch Hunt: Natural Remedies and Altar Essentials | Autostraddle’s brilliant Witch Hunt column continues – my own ideas about Beltane are included, as well as lots of great ideas for your altar!
Supportive essence: A flower remedy for heartbreak | Perfect for Beltane, as spring flowers bloom all around us. My good friend offers her thoughts on flower essences and why she uses them for emotional support, and shares a recipe she created for dealing with heartbreak.
Prince, chronic illness and disability, touring, and living to get old | Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha can relate.
How to get a free birth chart while learning more about astrology | The wonderful Mecca Woods on getting started with your astrological natal chart.
Contemplating Strength | I love this post. Thorn the Witch breaks down the gender dichotomy in this much-loved major card.
It’s not really a woman and a lion (well, of course it is, but it’s also more than that). It’s an entanglement of these two sides: the gender metaphor in action. The woman isn’t just a woman, she’s the embodiment of a particular kind of extreme femininity: the white dress of a virgin, the long hair we culturally associate with beauty, the light coloration we tie to gentility, and the placid features that indicate that desirable, distinctly female serenity. Her body is literally a garden, with flowers waiting to be plucked. She’s not just a woman; she’s the idealized (Western, Victorian) woman.
Readers in Profile: Carrie Mallon | I love it when one favourite tarot blogger interviews another! Here, Marianne at Two Sides Tarot talks to Carrie Mallon about how she got started with her cards and what it’s like running your own tarot business.
To know: The practice of engaged herbalism | My favourite herbalist Alexis J Cunningfolk shares her thoughts on what it is to truly work in partnership with plant allies, to get to know them and to use them intuitively and holistically.
Introducing: Nettle | Is it a weed? Is it a herb? Is it a vegetable? Having spent many hours this month transplanting nettles and creating new patches, I loved this profile of stinging nettles and their uses. (Includes a wonderful recipe for nettle and parsley pesto – get in!!)
Tarot and your handwriting | Kristen at Over the Moon Oracle Cards with a fascinating article on how you can combine handwriting analysis with tarot for more clues about your personality.
Moby Dick tarot spread | YES.
Shock and Care | In this long-form essay artist Harry Giles explores the need for a shift from art that shocks its audience to that which demonstrates care and compassion. This is an amazing read, packed with examples of real care, and lack of, in contemporary art.
Witch Hunt: Natural remedies and altar essentials | Autostraddle’s monthly Witch Hunt column continues with some brilliant remedies, Roald Dhal’s Matilda as a witch, and zodiac-specific ideas for your altar.
Cracking pregnancy stories | If you follow Andi Grace’s column here on Little Red Tarot, you’ll know that their partner Kori is pregnant! Here’s the latest from Kori’s blog, discussing the first 11 weeks of pregnancy – as a human and as a genderqueer person in a society hooked on gender binary.
Gender and tarot: A simple study | Olivia Destrades measures up the representations of male vs female characters in several popular tarot decks (binary, but v interesting!)
Save the date – Multi-Passionate Must-Haves 2016! | The one and only Emilie Wapnick invited me to contribute to a collaborative project that provides tools for folks who have many interests and refuse to be bound to ‘one calling’ in life. I’m really excited to be part of this!
How the myth of productivity impacts your business and your soul | Jeanna Kladec on a culture of burnout and poor self-care in our working lives.
Our obsession with just working more, without purpose, leads to poor work/life balance and recenters our self-worth as our work.
The audience and the outcome | If you’re a freelancer or run your own business, this helpful post from Paul Jarvis guides you through a simple process of designing things that people will want to buy.
Soul Proprietor – I’m with the brand | I know people can get squiffy about the word ‘brand’, but I find it incredibly helpful when I’m focusing on my business and moving it forwards. Here, mystical business moguls Theresa Reed and Jeanna Kladec share a few ideas to help you get your head around this essential element of running a business.
Tarot of the QTPOC and deck review: The Mary-el Tarot | Asali Earthwork’s tarot reviews continue with this powerful deck, encouraging me to dig my own copy out.
Brigid: Walking the line between grace and gumption | An interesting look at the Celtic goddess of fire, blacksmithing and spring.
‘Lemonade’ Is Beyoncé’s Testimony of Being Black, Beautiful & Burdened | Janet Mock shares an incredibly personal response to Beyonce’s latest release.
In Lemonade, one black woman processes her pain and betrayal in the way she knows best — visually and sonically. Testimony is the connective tissue that allows us to be seen and heard in a world that is intent on choking us with silence. Speaking our truth of how we know the world and have processed the burdens of our existence allows black women to go forth with reality openly — with our bats ready to swing.
Looking back after the biggest loss of my life | Liz Worth on losing her dad just a couple of years ago.
Tarot of the Shadows: How to invite the light in | A guest post on The Hoodwitch looking at ‘darker’ tarot cards.
So – how has your April been? What are your plans for May? If you click this link tomorrow, you might get Corina Dross’ awesome May horoscopes to help you into the new month.
Today, it’s Beltane, and the opening day of my neighbour Pam’s little gift shop, Pier Stores! We’ve got live music, Em’s going to be carving spoons, I’ll be helping out with serving up foraged herbal teas and wild garlic pesto. Afterwards, tonight, I hope we’ll celebrate with a bonfire and a few drinks. And tomorrow? Some chill. Perhaps.
The crew, taking a break yesterday.
Have a really wonderful weekend, and a really wonderful May!