Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Buckle Your Seatbelt and Get Ready

The Star – © Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, Tarot of the Crone

And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

— Wendell Berry

And now, we must take a big, deep breath. It’s time to prepare for Reading Deprivation Week. Did you know this was coming? I’ve maybe mentioned it. It was the hardest part of the whole journey for me, the first time I did this. Every fiber of my being was horrified, stubbornly sure I would just skip this part, thanks very much.

But the more I read what Julia wrote about it, and the more I considered the deep ways that trusting her guidance had already created tsunamis of change for me, the more I realized I needed to at least try this.

So, yes.. I know. And I am going to give us all a bit of leeway, and not begin until after Memorial Day on Monday. That way, we can have our holiday, and read to our hearts’ content before going cold turkey. And that way, too, I can bring you my Card of the Week, as well as find out who is going to be wanting a reading for my World Tarot Day offer.

Still, you might be tempted to slam out of the room, never to come back here again. So let me explain what Reading Deprivation is about. You know those six exercises we just did? Did any of those activities seriously tempt you, if only you had a little more time?

Julia reveals, “This [exercise] will teach you enormous amounts about yourself – as well as giving you some free time in which to pursue the interests you just listed.”

But besides giving you the gift of time, reading deprivation is a powerful break from the words, thoughts, and views of others speaking into your head via reading. If you will take the plunge and do this, in the name of your holy growth and magical rebirth, I promise you, you will be blessed with astonishing clarity and a quantum leap in your creativity. The absolute rock-bottom point of this is that you will hear, maybe for the first time in your adult life, the clear, true voice of your Being.

Julia explains, “For most artists, words are like tiny tranquillizers. We have a daily quota of media chat that we swallow up. Like greasy food, it clogs our system. Too much of it and we feel, yes, fried.

“It is a paradox that by emptying our lives of distractions we are actually filling [the creative] well. Without distractions, we are once again thrust into the sensory world. With no newspaper to shield us, a train becomes a viewing gallery. With no novel to sink into (and no television to numb us out) an evening becomes a vast savannah in which furniture – and other assumptions – get rearranged.

“Reading deprivation casts us into our inner silence… we will be rewarded for our reading deprivation with embarrassing speed. Our reward will be a new outflow. Our own art, our own thoughts and feelings, will begin to nudge aside the sludge of blockage, to loosen it and move it upward and outward until once again our well is running freely…

“Reading deprivation is a very powerful tool – and a very frightening one. Even thinking about it can bring up enormous rage. For most blocked creatives, reading is an addiction. We gobble the words of others rather than digest our own thoughts and feelings, rather than cook up something of our own.”

So please, go ahead and ask. Rant. Let’s discuss. I’ll have more to say tomorrow, but then, on Tuesday, I am offline, books closed, Twitter silent. Frankly, it is giving me the shakes to think about it.

But I can tell you from experience, it is worth every precious moment.

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  • May 21, 2009, 8:41 am freak22

    I must say that from your first brief mention of this idea I have been dreading this time. As a book worm of epic proportions I almost don’t know what it’s like not to read. I was considering just walking away and ignoring this part.
    Then I used me brain a bit. I read what you wrote today and started to see past what I would miss by not reading. I am starting to see just a bit in my minds eye what I might find with all that time. I am looking forward to what you have to say over the next few days before we start this trial.
    I have already seen the good that this journey has done for me and I will not give up now just because it looks a little uncomfortable.

  • May 21, 2009, 2:24 pm pilgrim

    i’ve been anticipating this week, knowing it was coming, having done julia’s artist’s way journey before. i’m catching up just a bit, having joined you just at the start of week four, and not reading ahead to see what’s coming.

    it’s not easy to keep that commitment to the journey for a week, and willfully transfer the love of words away from the constant gobbling of other people’s delicious confections of writing.

    but when you stop feeding yourself other people’s words by the handful, your own voice comes through so clearly, your inner voice. you may even realize that you like it that way.

    thank you for the heads up that reading deprivation week was coming, though. i knew it was coming and that it would be hard, i love to read sooo much, so many different things. leaving my kindle powered down, blank and untouched, for a week; walking around bookless is something that will take strong discipline for me.

    thank you for the heads up and for gracefully delaying the start of the week until tuesday! i’ll have time to finish the novel i’m reading (the help; i highly recommend it!) and the vanity fair with the bernie madoff expose, the ted kennedy story, etc etc.

    then- it’s just me and my pen for a week. i know that part is going to be great. thank you julia, thank you beth!

  • May 21, 2009, 2:26 pm pilgrim

    beth- what are you going to do about email? are you going to set an away message? i think that is what i will do.

  • May 21, 2009, 5:22 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    Yes! Yes! I know! I know! I am trying so hard not to freak out myself! I have not done this since creating blogs, websites, and getting countless emails every day.

    I honestly don’t know what to do about emails.. I have a prior commitment that I really want and need to honor, re: World Tarot Day. Otherwise..I like the idea of the away message..

    In all these years, when I’ve gone out of town, even for weeks at a time, I’ve pre-written my blog, and gotten my husband to FTP it over every single day. I am not going to do that this time (because YOU’RE not supposed to be here reading anyway, right?)..

    So that alone is going to be really, really, really weird for me. But Pilgrim.. you said it absolutely beautifully:

    when you stop feeding yourself other people’s words by the handful, your own voice comes through so clearly, your inner voice. you may even realize that you like it that way.This is the absolute truth. I would never, ever consider doing this, if I didn’t know it is amazing and so worth it, if you can be strong and brave!

    So, yes, I admit, I am still trying to figure this out myself.

    Thanks for letting me vent, too! 😉

    – Beth

  • May 22, 2009, 8:31 am Lily Wyte

    Does that include not writing?

  • May 22, 2009, 8:52 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    No, writing is a fantastic, VERY important thing to do, Lily! More about this in today’s post coming up!
    – Beth