Connecting with our Ancestors


I created this Tarot Visual Journaling eWorkshop last year and am offering it again for this liminal time of Samhain, Halloween, Day of the Dead and All Souls Day. We all experience the loss of our loved ones and the missed experience of knowing many our ancestors. Where are they, are they indeed behind the veil? Whatever we believe, there is always the opportunity to connect with them whether it is through memory, photo's, shared stories or this particular offering.

This workshop will be a safe and sacred time for you to honor and perhaps receive guidance from those who are on the other side. With great love and respect we will call in the spirit of our forebears to join us in this creative, deep exploration of relationship.  


eWorkshop 2 - Ancestors: Register here (please scroll down on the workshop page)

KNIGHT OF SWORDS

The Knight of Swords is on a Quest of the mind. He cuts through cloudy thinking, to reveal the sun. The Knights cape shows a blue sky with happy little thought clouds floating by.

When I painted this card David and I were going through divorce after twenty years of marriage. It was a heavy, dark time and there was pain, confusion and gloominess. But David cut through the mental anguish and revealed the best in both of us - we both have the Sun as our birth cards. Since then we have become good friends, meeting once a month for tea, mostly to enjoy talking about our beloved sons, but also sharing news and our lives.

Today David is on a new quest; moving to a rehabilitation center in Denver to begin his recovery from a severe stroke. I see David again cutting through the cloudiness of his brain trauma to reveal his brilliance.

FIVE OF CUPS

My Weekly draw is the Five of Cups. I pulled it the morning after hearing that David - beloved father of my sons, had a stroke. I feel like that wailing woman in the card, deeply feeling the sadness of life, of our human struggles, the pain of my sons, the trappedness of David. Eventually I will cross the bridge to the full cups. I dreamt last night that David started talking, he is strong and fit and determined, he will cross that bridge too, back to a full life. So mote it be.

HARVESTING - NINE OF PENTACLES

Today is Lammas, the cross quarter day that falls between the solstice and equinox in the northern hemisphere. Lammas is an old celtic holiday that celebrated the first harvest.

The Nine of Pentacles is about gathering in all the work you have done and harvesting it. Pay attention to your creative output - what can you make of it? Is it time to publish those poems or post your paintings on social media? When we truly love what we do, it gives us pleasure to share it and others are nourished by our positive creation.
 



ACE OF CUPS

I love to hear how people are using my deck. Here is a gem from Denise Kaufman:

I want you to know that our band, Ace of Cups, is recording about 33 songs with a wonderful producer for our record label, High Moon Records. Every day before we start recording we have a prayer circle and then draw a card from your deck. It always has a wisdom teaching for us - sometimes very connect to the lyrics of the songs we’re working on. We bring the card into the control room and keep it facing our producer for the whole day.

Our band, Ace of Cups, got together in San Francisco in 1966. We were the first all-female band in the SF scene and loved being part of those potent and glorious times. We played all the major clubs, ballrooms and outdoor celebrations throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Some of our favorite moments include opening for Jimi Hendrix in Golden Gate Park, touring with Jefferson Airplane and opening at Winterland for The Band's very first concert. Though we arranged and recorded background vocals for various artists (Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Michael Bloomfield and more) we never had the opportunity to properly record our own music at the time. However, some of our vintage live and rehearsal recordings came out on CD in 2003 and have earned us a new network of fans across the globe. We are now in the midst of recording the Ace of Cups debut album for High Moon Records with our producer, Dan Shea (Jennifer Lopez, Santana, Dusty Springfield, Phil Collins, Mariah Carey.)

2016 THE TOWER

The world seems chaotic right now. So much violence and hate, people are polarized; seeing others as the enemy. This is the year of The Tower, number 16 in the tarot. Brace yourself - big changes are coming. Shiva, the God of destruction sits in the tower, illuminating us to what needs to be destroyed. Let the walls fall, it is time. First the lightning bolt of awareness strikes, then the old structures begin to crumble bringing release and freedom from old paradigms. Finally, in the calm after the storm, we will create something new and beautiful from the old blocks. 


SOLSTICE SUN


I find myself filled with creative energy, moving from one project to the next in my studio. Here in the northern hemisphere the sun is reaching it's zenith. The days are long and the garden is flourishing. The warm weather and long evenings bring people to our charming Santa Fe Plaza to meet and dance. Everywhere there is LIFE. 

The Sun card in the tarot expresses all these things: vitality, success, happiness, energy, enthusiasm, fruitfulness, joy.... In Tarot de St. Croix you see the giant sunflowers blooming and a woman with raised arms cradling the sun's rays in her hands.

THE WORLD FOR EARTH DAY

It is my belief that when we identify with the soul of the world and realize that we are all one living entity, we will finally achieve our birthright of peace and prosperity.

The World in Tarot is the culmination of the archetypal journey; it speaks of wholeness and numinous revelation. 

When I created this tarot card I was inspired by a 14th century alchemical engraving of Anima Mundi. The ancient philosophers and alchemists described the world as a living spiritual being and referred to it as Anima Mundi; the soul of the world. Here Anima Mundi is surrounded by the constellations of Leo, Aquila and Taurus. The angel represents the great mystery. Anima Mundi stands with one foot on earth, one on water with her head in the stars. She wears a wreath of triumph. Anima Mundi is a woman who might come from any continent. She represents the origin of life with the sun radiating from her womb. Her breasts are the full and new moons. 

The World shows you that you are connected to all that is.

THE FOOL

This Fool is inspired by the Pueblo Indian sacred clown Koshare. He wears the mask of Coyote, the trickster. He represents a playful way to look at a situation. The Fool makes a shadow puppet scene of danger. The message is to look beyond our fears to see what really lies behind it. The path leads towards the full moon, which symbolizes the cyclical nature of life. The boat represents a journey into the mystery. The fool’s knapsack lays open in front of him, what will he take with him? The aspen stick with eyes symbolizes the wisdom gained on his journey.

I lived for a number of years on the Zuni Indian Reservation where I was fortunate to see their ceremonial dances. One evening as I stood on the rooftop watching the dances below, a Koshare, the sacred clown climbed up the ladder and tricked me into buying a plastic turquoise necklace for twenty dollars, the crowd roared with laughter. I felt embarrassed but also delighted to play the fool in their ceremony. I treasure that necklace; it reminds me to laugh at myself. 

Meaning: Whenever we begin a new endeavor or journey in life we have no idea of the actual outcome. The Fool is here to tell you to trust the journey, to realize our fears are fantasies and to enter the mystery with a playful sense of adventure.


THREE OF WANDS

It is my mother's birthday, she died thirty years ago but I still celebrate this day in my own quiet remembrance of her. When I pulled the Three of Wands as my weekly tarot card, I got that tingly feeling of synchronicity. It is my mother who stands in the spirit world watching over my spirit boat. The three flowering wands signify the promise of fulfillment. I completed a new painting this week of that same spirit boat but now empty, reflecting my feelings of aloneness. How soothing to be reminded that my spirit is indeed full of loved ones, whether they are here or there.




SIX OF WANDS - Inspiration

Imbolc is the holiday celebrating the cross quarter day that falls half way between winter solstice and spring equinox. I'mbolg is an old Gaelic word meaning in the belly. This day is also sacred to Brigid - the Celtic Triple Goddess of creativity who ignites the flames of inspiration. Candlemas is the catholic version of this holiday where the year's candles are blessed. 

In my Six of Wands tarot card Brigid is portrayed as a mother with a babe in the belly, a maiden and crone holding lit candles. Three people of different ages light their own candles from those of the triple Goddess. The candles become wands and the flame is the symbol for creative inspiration. 

The meaning of Six of Wands: Through the ability to inspire others; there is a mutual opening to the divine essence of creativity.

Many years ago I participated in a ceremony conducted on Imbolc where we lit a candle from one which had been charged in Kildaire - the convent in Ireland that is dedicated to Brigid, where her sacred fire has burnt for thousands of years predating christianity. I have relit several other candles from the charged ones - each time a new wave of inspiration ignites in my life. 

On this Imbolc eve - two blank canvases stand waiting for the first brush of inspiration. A mass mailing of my eWorkshop will be sent out soon after midnight with the intention of inspiring creativity and igniting relationships. Divine inspiration will come through the tarot spread I offer. But first I will light a new candle from Brigid's sacred flame. Blessed Be.



JUSTICE

I am in my Justice year according to tarot numerology. The way you work it out is to add your birthday and birth month to the year we are in. Then add each of those numbers until you reach a number, 22 or less (22 would be the Fool).  Each number corresponds to a card in the Major Arcana. My numbers add up to 11 which is the Justice card. So when I was called up to do Jury duty and was selected for a civil trial I was not surprised.

Being a free-spirit with no boss, time constraints or rules to follow, it came as a rude shock. I felt conscripted - told it was my duty as a citizen to serve and if I did not I could serve time in jail!

The trial was litigious. One party suing the other for damages for $5 to $8,000,000. About fifteen people testified all swearing to tell the truth and yet there were several obvious lies. Tears and sobbing broke my heart and the lawyers disgusted me with their manipulations, mockery and attempts at mind control.

We, the jury were shuffled back and forth to a windowless room where we were fed donuts, coke and coffee. During our break I listened to my fellow jurors talk about hunting (bagging 4 Elk) football, car mechanics, rodent control and ice fishing.

As is my way I pulled tarot cards: 3 of Pentacles at the beginning of the trial, the Devil for the Plaintiffs, Ace of Pentacles for the Defendants and Five of Cups at the deliberation. Well, there was a betrayal, the three Plaintiffs certainly had a lot of shadow stuff, the two Defendants won.




In my Justice card Themis holds the scales and a sword. The sword symbolizes wisdom and intellect and the scales; balance. I had to use my rational mind, paying attention to every word and detail to make my decision. Yet, the balance was that my tarot cards spoke the truth and nothing but the truth.

Wheel of the Year eWorkshop

How many of us make resolutions every New Year and by spring they no longer have our attention? I am offering an eWorkshop which will arrive by email on Solstice - December 21st or after. Using tarot, art and journaling we will plant the seed for the goals we want to achieve next year and see how we can nurture them into reality. There is a Wheel of the Year tarot spread, a video demonstration, an easy watercolor technique and journaling promps. We have an active Facebook group for sharing. This workshop is fun, meaningful and will help deliver your dreams into existence. Priced affordably at $14US. Sign up here: http://lisadestcroix.com/tarot-journaling-workshop/

Feast of Guadalupe

A beautiful serene statue of Guadalupe stands outside the oldest church in the US dedicated to her; the Sanctuario de Gaudalupe in Santa Fe. This Guadalupe was the inspiration for my Five of Pentacles. The message of the card is to balance struggle with hope. The day laborers that stand outside Her sanctuary, waiting to be hired, believe in that message. She watches over them and all who believe in her loving gaze.

Four of Cups and Death



I had planned to write a blog on the Death tarot card for the Day of the Dead, but I found myself grieving instead for my beloved brother Jean Pierre who passed away on October 25th. I had painted Pierre in my Four of Cups, depicting how he had chosen a different life, knowing he had, had enough of the rat race as he called it. He was a surfer, a nature lover and gardener. In the card you see him sitting on Sunset Cliffs in San Diego. It was his evening ritual to go there and smoke a bowl, have a beer or two and watch the sunset. He had landscaped the wild area, making it beautiful by clearing away debris. He also could not manage very well taking care of himself and threatened suicide when things became too desperate. Last year on several occasions he talked about blowing his brains out, and then six months ago he was diagnosed with CJD - a rare brain disease that literally creates holes in the brain. His birthcard was the Magician - he was a powerful manifester. As I am also a Magician, I wanted to create magic, manifest a positive world view for him. It is only now when I look at this card that I see a man who had enough of life. The Four of Cups is about not wanting any more. 

The Death Card is the number 13. If you add the two digits you arrive at 4. These cards are in the same constellation. I think in some ways my brother longed for the release of Death. I painted a happy skeleton with a key in his hand symbolising unlocking the big mystery. As my brother was dying he saw my deceased parents and would smile. Death can be the end of something no longer wanted. I see Pierre dancing in the light. Free.

Connecting with our Ancestors through Tarot Visual Journaling



It has been eight months since my father died. I made this visual journal piece for my online workshop "Connecting with our Ancestors". It was a deeply moving experience and I felt so close to him while creating it. New insights and healing happened between us on these pages. I invite anyone who wants to try this sweet and powerful exercise to visit my workshop page and register.  

The Moon

Every month we see the cycle of the Moon waning and waxing. Like the tides of the oceans we too are affected by the push and pull of the Moon in our watery emotional selves. If we dive deep into those feelings, we can resurface and see that sliver of a new paradigm offering itself. On this New Moon I release all old emotional baggage that no longer serves me, and open myself to new feelings of hope, gratitude and excitement.

Check out Tarot de St. Croix Moon on this great site:
http://www.asktheastrologers.com/free-daily-tarotscope-oct-13-2015/

Tarot Visual Journaling e-workshop

I am excited to be offering my Tarot Visual Journaling workshop on line as an e-course. I have taught many of these workshops over the past couple of years in my studio and at several Tarot conferences around the world. Tarot is a visual tool that may be used to understand the inner workings of the psyche. By creating art and journaling about the archetypes that dwell within us and are expressed through the tarot we reach new levels of personal insight. These workshops are designed so both the beginner and the advanced students can delve into creativity and meaningful expression while learning tarot. To find out more information and to register, please visit: Tarot Journaling Workshop


The Portal of Eight

The lesson of Eight is balance and flow, like the infinity sign. When we give up being either the victim or having power over others we are in a place of pure strength. The lesson that comes to me on this auspicious August 8th 2015,  8.8.8 (2+0+1+5 =8) day is to not take anything personally. To be fully in charge of our own integrity and to operate from that with courage/heart.

TAROT VISUAL JOURNALING

I am excited to be teaching a workshop at TarotCon in Denver this weekend on how to create a Tarot Visual Journal. I have been keeping visual journals since I was a child, combining diary entries with art making. As tarot is such a visual language, it lends itself perfectly to this medium. Visit this link to receive some practical advice and ideas on how to begin and enjoy this profound practice.
http://denvertarotconvention.com/how-to-keep-a-tarot-visual-journal/