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My Black History

One of the things I remember as a child growing up was the occasions when my mother and grandmother would dress up in immaculate white dresses and caps and attend what seemed to me to be secret meetings.  I knew the name was The Household of Ruth and the women did wonderful things in the community and the churches.  I didn’t think much about it then but as I look back I remember that I was impressed, even as a child by the bearing of the women, their dedication to a cause and their work in tandem with the men who had a similar role in the community.

I hadn’t given it much thought over the years but every February during Black History Month, I take out the old albums and review memories.  Because my parents took prolific pictures there was always lots to look at.  Mostly I just like to remember stories which my grandparents and parents would share with us but as time has passed and throwback Thursdays are becoming more and more popular, I thought I would do a little of both this year.

One of the first pictures I found was an older photo taken perhaps in the late ’50’s or early ’60’s.  With internet accessibility, I was able to find out a little more about the Household of Ruth and the Grand Order of Odd Fellows.  Both my grandmother and mother appear in this picture.  I hope it will bring back some memories for others as well.  More information about the two organizations can be found at http://guoofamerica.com/oddfellows_natl/Household_Of_Ruth.html.

Scan000HHR

The Spiritual Compass

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                   @womenzpace

Evolution

I love to cast astrology charts for folks I meet. I also love to read Tarot cards.  I have studied both, in detail, with professionals and amateurs alike.  What I know about both astrology and tarot is that they function, for me, like a black mirror, a bottomless pool, allowing me to see beyond chart circle, beyond the myriad of designs on a card, into the heart of any issue.  The result will always remain subjective, after all I am the reader, but the fodder for the reading is directed from person who was curious about a personal failing or success, a puzzling issue, or unfolding event which is troubling.

What I know after years of reading is that I can only see what the person wishes me to see, because we are all in control, whether consciously or not, of our destiny. At the outset of any reading, I inform my clients that I am not a fortune-teller.  If an opportunity to gain money is part of the reading then so be it, but the term is outdated and misleading.  What I most hope to do is explore the individual strengths  and focus points which can help the client choose a path that will bring about the most happiness or success and the least pain and suffering, because we have an abundance of all of those things in life.

Just to be clear, reading charts and cards is not my profession. They are tools I have used over the years to help others, which is my true calling. Reading charts and cards while working as a professional in health care are not mutually exclusive actions any more than being an interfaith minister prevents me from counselling troubled and abused women to terminate unwanted pregnancies or walk away from abusive relationships.  Learning to be non-judgemental and open to all options are a necessities.  The opportunity to read for others has been as rewarding as it is challenging.  There is a need to strive to do better, learn more, understand the fine details of any reading, but after so many years, this is a fruitless exercise.All that is needed is a willing, open heart and mind, then listening to the inner voice which always tells the truth. When I was able to separate that inner voice from my own need to do everything right, the process was more rewarding for my clients.  At the end of the day, something was absent from the process which I could not identify.  So for the past little while, I have had to backtrack a bit because I needed answers.

For years, I have led or supported women’s wellness groups. In those group settings, I always brought some idea, which I read about or researched and introduced the concept into the group.  Vision boards, puzzles, music, tarot cards with different themes (the homemaker got it when I brought the Housewives Tarot deck for her).  Out of those experiences, the women evolved and grew and so did I.

One of the most interesting activities which became part of our open chat time was the introduction of the mandala from any one of numerous patterns that I have collected over the years. Talking while colouring allows the mind to work unconsciously filling in details to suit our own taste. Everyone had the same pattern but each individual used a wide array of colours to decorate the spaces.  Each design yielded a range of responses. The beauty of each and the creativity of the women stuck with me over the years since the initial group activity.

At the back of all my efforts over the years has been the need to study. The wonderful AIHT (American Institute of Holistic Theology) has been a constant prop at my back prodding me to continue to learn, partly for my own good and partly for opening my consciousness to the idea of limitless possibilities.  I have been blessed to receive my degree in Divinity, complete the requirements for Ordination, complete my requirements for entry into the Masters program even if it has taken me years, because learning is a journey which has no destination other than those self-imposed limits.

This year, I am determined to finish the Masters course in Holistic Theology. One of my electives is a study of the Mandala, a gift I gave myself unknowingly. While I draw my lovely Mandala as part of the course assignment, I remember and realize how beautiful is this ancient tool for individualizing and opening the doors to my own inner voice and healing journey.  Mandala meditation is not separate and apart from astrology or even tarot cards because elements of both are included in all modalities. Creating a personal mandala goes beyond the restrictions of charts and the formulae of tarot cards to open the individual unconscious to a spiritual compass. The words, spiritual compass came to me as I stared at one of the interesting icons gracing the Sanctuary which is the home of my hearth ministry.

No thought is ever original. I would like to lay claim to the idea but others have also seen the directional light. Google says so. However, I choose to use my compass in a way that honours my astrology and tarot and leaves much of its interpretation to the individual. More about this journey next post.

I love Mrs. Obama!

Mrs. Obama at the State Dinner for President Hollande

50 And Fabulous!

Another beautiful tribute page, this time to FLOTUS on her 50th, and created by those amazing bloggers at The Obama Diary.

The team at The Obama Diary has a wonderful way of presenting events without the commentary which makes the media coverage tiresome. I salute Chips and UT and Co for allowing us to enjoy these once in a lifetime events at our own pace and with like minded folks.

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