Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance


Self-creation is an art of fire.
M. C. Richards

How are you doing at this point? I would love to know how you are feeling about the pace of this work. Too fast? Too slow? We are about to cross into the half-way point, and I am wondering if you’re still with me. Is this inspiring you, or is it starting to drag? Where do you feel you are in this process for yourself?

This chapter concludes with a number of exercises, including yesterday’s forbidden joys. Of course the whole idea behind them being even remotely forbidden is that our inner Censor kicks in. Sure, we tell ourselves, we might get around to signing up for a serious art class or buying our red cowboy boots… someday.. after the kids’ braces are paid for, the washing machine is replaced, the car payments are finished, the economy gets better.. yadda, yadda, yadda.

Do we ever actually follow-through? This is where, despite our reassurances to ourselves that we are totally on board with giving ourselves generous permission, something always seems to stop us. It may look like “circumstances,” but this is how our blocks actually operate.

Julia reassures us, “One of the best ways we can avoid our Censor is to use the technique of speed writing. Because wishes are just wishes, they are allowed to be frivolous (and frequently should be taken very seriously).”

So when you have a little bit of time (the less, maybe the better!), get out a sheet of paper and fast, fast, fast, fill in the following:

1. I wish
2. I wish

3. I wish

4. I wish

5. I wish

6. I wish

7. I wish

8. I wish

9. I wish

10. I wish

11. I wish

12. I wish

13. I wish

14. I wish

15. I wish

16. I wish

17. I wish

18. I wish

19. I most especially wish

Yes, she ends this on number nineteen. So I invite you to add whatever you might want, if you want a nice, even twenty. And yes, we have some more exploring to do tomorrow, too!

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  • June 24, 2009, 3:49 pm Thalia

    Okay, then, fast fast fast:

    1. I wish I lived alone
    2. I wish I had a million dollars
    3. I wish people would leave me alone and not call me to come rescue them because their car key was stuck in the lock but by the time I get there it's all figured out and how was I supposed to help anyway? Stupid brother
    4. I wish I were free
    5. I wish I lived in a little adorable Gothic revival cottage painted mauve and purple and black with a garden and a bunch of cats and big GO AWAY sign out front
    6. I wish there were less people in this world
    7. I wish I didn't have to be here to keep an eye on my mother
    8. I wish I could just up and go
    9. I wish/I want (for some reason this feels like a want, not a wish) to go on one of those Ariadne Institute pilgrimages to Crete with Carol Christ
    10. I wish to live in England some day, or Scotland maybe. I want that accent
    11. I wish it wasn't falling on me as the daughter to be the one who doesn't get to have a life
    12. I wish my student loan was paid off
    13. I wish I had a really nice coven or somewhere/some like-minded people to spend my holidays with
    14. I wish there were no ailanthus trees in this yard
    15. I wish I could break free of all this stupid hand-me-down it's all impossible Depression-era freaked-out thinking about money that isn't even properly MY problem
    16. I wish I had my own place
    17. I wish I were welcome here
    18. I wish I had more energy
    19. I most especially wish I could get something moving

    and invisible 20. I wish antidepressants didn't both make me gain weight and completely kill my sex drive. Because when it kills my sex drive the daimon disappears because that is what he is, Desire.

  • June 24, 2009, 4:01 pm Thalia

    Wow, bad mood the last couple days. I don't know if it's just still introvert burnout or if it's something to do with where in the process we are with the Artist's Way or if it's something else entirely to do with any of the million other intertwined and entangled spiritual Things I'm working on right now too or what, but the whole usual It's Hopeless crap is rearing its head for some reason right now. I don't know if it's resistance or something working its way out like a splinter or a bit of poison or something but damn I'm grouchy.

    My impulse is to apologize, but in the interest of being true to myself and honoring where I am coming from, which is I think part of what we are working towards, I won't.

    I don't know how to get out of this (the mood, or my general situation) though. I have very little energy right now.

  • June 24, 2009, 5:23 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    Thalia, you are smack dab in the middle of the Virtue Trap. Do you have a copy of the book? I am offering a very, very edited down version of what Julia writes, and perhaps it was unfair of me to characterize some of it as ranting.

    Because I am remembering how it was for me the first time I did these steps, and ranting is absolutely essential. Thank you, I had really forgotten that.

    Although I am sorry you are going through it, in a way, I'm not, because it so starkly points out where we are stuck, trapped in our virtuous obligations and how much pain and grief there really is hiding behind our dutiful mask.

    We are trapped, simultaneously, in intense loneliness, longing for our "peeps," and also desperate, as Julia points out over and over in this chapter, to BE ALONE!!!!

    The very theme of this chapter could be Leave Me ALONE!*
    * but please send the RIGHT people instead, in tiny, manageable amounts, if you would be so kind.

    So rage, and yes, feel what you feel, because it is HEALTHY and GOOD FOR YOU. If you have the book, read pp. 96-100 very slowly and closely.

    Sending you hugs, but not courage, because it is so clear to me how shining and true your real courage is!

    – Beth

  • June 24, 2009, 7:35 pm freak22

    so lets see if i can do this fast I like to think to much most days

    1. I wish I had more money
    2. I wish my true family lived closer
    3. I wish I didn't have to see my blood relatives kill them selves slowly with drugs and hate
    4. I wish I could get my property cleaned up (it was left a mess by my dad when my grandfather told me to come live at it and kicked my dad out)
    5. I wish my horse were still young
    6. I wish my dog had not died this year
    7. I wish my job were better
    8. I wish i could go back to school
    9. I wish travel the world
    10. I wish I had more hours in a day
    11. I wish my chosen family had more time we could spend together
    12. I wish that people could accept each other. I'm not asking for every one to love one another I just want them to leave each other alone if they cant get along
    13. I wish more people could see how beautiful the world out side really is.
    14. I wish my house were a bit bigger
    15. I wish/want to be less of a procrastinator in all aspects of my life
    16. I wish sometimes that I could live in a world were my family and I live off the land and only really need each other, sometimes i fear most of the human race.
    17. I wish the world could just slow down and take a deep breath collectively just for a minute
    18. I wish that I could make a difference in this world
    19. I most especially wish that my husband will find a job so that my life can get out of this dark and depressing rut its been in for the last year of just trying to survive.

    wow i did it and i didn't think to hard on it.

  • June 24, 2009, 8:14 pm Star

    First of 3 posts needed to cover all the items.

    <<“How are you doing at this point?” Answer: I feel like I am on a tidal wave moving too fast, exhilarating and terrifying, energizing and exhausting, high highs and low lows, I have not found the balance point on the wave yet.

    <<“How you are feeling about the pace of this work. Too fast? Too slow?” Answer: Just right. I had actually worked 2 chapters ahead and done today’s exercise in early May, but now, circumstances in my life are breaking so quickly, I can barely keep up with the exercises, morning pages and artist dates. I have an art fair this Sat., which has kept me up late getting everything ready. At the same time, my partner has gone on a business trip and I must mow the grass, and do the household chores along. The I go away for a fun week of drumming, dancing, singing and splashing at Four Quarter, then I am home for 2 weeks and then I go to witchcamp for 2 weeks, as I am part of the unrelenting support team and will be there early. My artist way path will be taking a vacation during that time, since I am one of the work study scholarships and my time will not be my own. By the time the smoke clears and I return home to have a vacation from my ‘vacation’, I should be just a little behind the group and will look forward to catching up.

    <<“…(are)you still with me?” Answer: OH yes! And glad to be here.

    <<“Is this inspiring you, or is it starting to drag?” Answer: It is all just perfect and happening in it’s proper time. I am more inspired than I have ever been about almost anything.. There is nothing I would call dragging happening for me, except maybe me being dragged into the vortex of energy and activity that must have been swirling inside me all these years and has now been set in motion!

    <<“Where do you feel you are in this process for yourself?” Answer: see above answers. I feel like I am in the middle of my process and timing, as I committed to do this for the entire year, ending next Brighid. It all seems to be paced just right for me this way. There are so many good exercises to do, I try to do as many of them as I can.


  • June 24, 2009, 8:15 pm Star

    Forbidden Joys (I spent some time on these…not written fast like the ‘I wish,,,’ exercise)

    1. Taking a cruise (but I get motion sickness)
    2. Walking alone and naked in the woods without being a target for weirdos.
    3. Purchasing everything artistic that I love and creating a gallery…
    4. Establishing the LifeAlign Healing Arts Center with a café, classroom, shop, craft room, storefront, acoustic music venue & small stage, art studio…
    5. A sunny, spacious, airy art studio in my home or yard…fully equipped and furnished.
    6. Sunbathing naked in my yard when I feel like it (previous skin cancers and local ordinances prohibit this for me).
    7. Personal assistance and household help for all the mundane tasks and personal care (i.e. daily massage, organic personnel chef, housekeeper, business manager, landscaper, personal shopper, fitness trainer, healer, travel companion, bookkeeper…
    8. Communicating my authentic witchy, artsy, ecclectic, tantric, humanist, dreamer, progressive, socialistic, communitarian, compassionate self to all others all the time and being accepted unconditionally
    9. Having all my body parts working as they are supposed to without need for medication or special maintenance ( I am way past that possibility now…)
    10. Being part of a community of like minded souls that all know how to communicate, get along, co-create, reciprocate, nurture, and resolve issues without baggage, hidden agendas, self centeredness, greed, and dysfunctional or addictive behaviors.


  • June 24, 2009, 8:17 pm Star

    I wish:

    1. All my body parts functioned perfectly without need for medications.
    2. I could spend less time on daily self care without loss of my wellness.
    3. I had private land on which to be free to walk naked.
    4. I could sunbathe naked without any health issues.
    5. To visit New Zealand and Alaska and other destinations without hassles of public airports or motion sickness.
    6. I had a fully operational large estate in a lovely location for vacations.
    7. To be part of a live-in, co-creative, community of others like me.
    8. I could sing harmony with others every day and not have to go anywhere to do it.
    9. I was at my perfect weight and body size and my love was also.
    10. I was pretty, with smooth, clear skin, without make-up.
    11. I was already a master musician and singer.
    12. I could spend most of my daily life outdoors in 50 – 75 degrees, sunshine, no bugs, no poisonous plants, no threats to my safety.
    13. I had a large, sunlit, spacious, fully equipped art, healing and music studio at home.
    14. I had a personal driver and an RV to attend creative events in comfort.
    15. I had unlimited resources to manifest all my good ideas as quickly as possible.
    16. I was naturally gifted in design, style, color combining, …
    17. I had no dysfunctional behaviors.
    18. To never experience depression symptoms again.
    19. I most especially wish to feel joy, bliss, peace and balance most of the time and share this with others.

    Star* (whew, that was a lot!)

  • June 24, 2009, 8:21 pm Star

    I don't remember if I posted this poem in a prior comment, but it was written at the time I did these exercises, so I will offer it here.

    Creative Duty?

    Sleepy morning rain draws me back from life.
    Dozing cat, I crave his restful pose.
    Yet, duty calls, mundane tasks await, commitments promised ‘yore
    Stillness and empty spacetime seem illusive, out of reach.

    New creation hides therein freed through silence.
    I must make space for time to ponder, craft and weave.
    Creating is calling lest my soul take flight
    Joy and beauty sing out loud unfolding only in quiet.


  • June 25, 2009, 10:31 am Beth Owl's Daughter



    Speechless, overflowing.

    I am so there with all of you.
    – B.

  • June 25, 2009, 10:37 am Anonymous

    From Catherine BTW
    1. I wish I had more hours in the day!
    2. I wish I could just read & write & think & create & garden for as long as I need.
    3. I wish I had a bright sunlit quiet place to do all this in.
    4. I wish I could afford to make 2 &3 a reality, which leads to….
    5. I wish I had a sugar daddy! 😉 , which might happen if
    6. (I wish) I had a Jennifer Lopez butt! 😉 these all make me realize,
    7. I wish for peace & self-acceptance for where I am and how I am in life RIGHT NOW.
    8. I wish for peace & acceptance for where the world is & how the world is RIGHT NOW.
    9. I wish others peace and self-determination also.
    10. I wish I could live at the beach.
    11. I wish I was more organized! 😉 (back to #7)
    12. I wish my dream life would come back to me. (back to #7 again)
    13. I wish I had more clarity about my creative path.
    14. I wish I spent more time on self-care.
    15. I wish to radiate love and share kindness today in whatever I do.
    16. I wish to truly practice living one day at a time.
    17. I wish I could share myself as well in person as I do in writing. (back to #7 again)
    18. I wish for more courage to take action when I feel led to.
    19. I wish I didn’t have to go back to work—but I do!!!
    20. I especially wish to find my way to laughing and finding joy every day!

  • July 5, 2009, 7:07 am Jen

    1. I wish unicorns were real.
    2. I wish I had a million dollars.
    3. I wish my nose were straighter.
    4. I wish I could break the block and finish writing the damn novel.
    5. I wish I could forgive and forget.
    6. I wish I had more time for myself.
    7. I wish my daughter didn't have GERD
    8. I wish I could find my soul tribe.
    9. I wish I lived in the mountains.
    10. I wish I could be a hermit.
    11. I wish I had a bigger butt.
    12. I wish I were more comfortable with sex.
    13. I wish I were psychic.
    14. I wish I could get in the car and just go.
    15. I wish I remembered my dreams.
    16. I wish I could go to Thailand and lay on the beach and eat mangos and drink coconut water.
    17. I wish I knew who I was.
    18. I wish things were easier.
    19. I most especially wish that God/dess would speak to me–literally speak, with an audible voice–and tell me what to do.
    And I echo Thalia's invisible 20 about the antidepressants. Damn post-partum depression. Damn Zoloft.