In my last post, I talked about how I use Tarot to aid with my memory and constructing my personal narrative. All of this is work is done in the context of my ordinary life. During social isolation, I have allotted myself more time for my spiritual practice in the mornings, while taking a lunch break, and in the evenings. This has allowed me to increase my knowledge and comfort with some of the tools I use, as well as deepen my comfort with some of the practices I have been using for a long time to self-soothe and re-center.
The spiritual habit that I engage in the most is by far writing. At the moment, I keep a vegan leather bound journal by Magic of I. My other go-to is squared Moleskine paper cover journals in dark blue. I have a stash of those ready since I write a significant amount. Every morning, I begin my day with at least a paragraph. I have very vivid dreams each night, so I try to write them down before I forget them. Then throughout the day, I return to my journal and make addition entries when I feel that there is something worthy of noting, when I feel anxious, or when I have a bit of extra time.
I write about anything that is happening in my day and how I feel about it. I will also jot down any triggers or sudden memories that arise. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I have been having a lot of memories flood in recently about my past, and it’s important that I record them so I can acknowledge the memory and perhaps dig into it a bit more.
In addition to writing in my journal in the morning, I also make it a habit to work with Tarot. I generally am drawn to the Angel Tarot, the Rider Waite, or the Herbal Tarot for these readings. My questions are loose and I generally just try to get a feel for the day, including anything what I should pay attention to or watch out for. These readings serve two purposes – deepening my knowledge of Tarot and working on my self-awareness.
I pick three cards (and sometimes clarifiers), write them down in my journal, and then work on a short narrative about how the cards tie in together. After my morning reading, I often revisit Tarot at least one other time during the day or night. With my second reading, I may draw some accompanying oracle cards to draw out a more robust message. Oracle cards also help me to soften up a reading. Tarot can be a harsh truth-teller at times, so it’s not a bad idea to work with oracle in the same reading. This is especially if you haven’t been working with Tarot for long, like me.
Planetary Positions and Moon Phases
I work with the Magic of I 2020 planner to determine if there are any astrological events that I should be paying attention to. For example, we have currently entered Taurus season. I take this into account when I interact with people at work and in my personal life. During this time of the year, I am reminded to focus on comforts at home and enjoy the pleasure of food. Since LA doesn’t have drastically contrasting seasons, it is easier for me to work with the astrological periods for rebalancing and shifting my focus.
One way that I work with planetary positions is by consulting readings in correspondence with my own astrological birth chart. With this, I can highlight parts of my life that I should be paying special attention to. If anything these readings, which I obtain through the app Co-Star, are points that I can think about. I can choose whether the message is applicable or not, and this helps to ground me. Seeing myself as impacted by gravitational circumstance really helps to differentiate and remind me that I must let go of what I cannot control.
Maintaining a Home
There is something profoundly healing to me in maintaining my own apartment. I grew up moving a lot, and never feeling like I had a home. I never felt grounded. So I am working this year on creating a feeling of home in my apartment, regardless of how long I will actually be living here. This means that I light candles, burn incense, care for my plants, make delicious meals and baked goods, and put artwork I’ve created on the walls.
It is remarkable how much of a difference in mentality I have now that I feel more settled in my apartment. To show my thankfulness for all that I have, I take care of what I have. I don’t neglect it. I make my home into a living space. My two cats help me immensely with that feeling. They instantly make me feel like I’m home, but those extra items of comfort add to it all. And I’ve learned that feeling like you have a home is not a luxury, but a necessity. Home can look like a lot of different things, and for me, I’m still figuring a lot of that out.
I play music a lot of the day; it’s very healing. If I’m particularly stressed, I will even have some nature sounds on during a conference call when I’m muted. Throughout the day, I listen to a variety of music, from Classical to R&B to pop to alternative. I have a variety of different playlists of Spotify, each with a different sound for a different mood and time of day. When I am not listening to music, I like to have speaking as background noise. I don’t have a TV, but I put on YouTube videos of people talking about things that interest them. That’s been a big saver during social isolation since I live alone. It’s nice to hear another human voice speaking.
Music is spiritual to me because I use it to obtain slightly altered states of consciousness. If I want to get into a deep mode of writing, I have a playlist for that. I crank up the volume and put on my noise cancelling headphones. I know just those songs that are going to push me into that state of creativity. I’m not sure if I’ve managed to train my brain to respond that way to the playlist, or if they inspire creativity on their own merit. I expect that it’s a combination of both.