Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Shift Happens

When God closes a door, She always opens a window, but sometimes it’s hell in the hallway.
— Anonymous

We are considering the ways that setbacks and “failures” may be opportunities in disguise. To the artist, whose entire viewpoint is about finding creative, out-of-the-box pathways, you would think such detours would be second nature to us.

But as recovering creatives, we are especially vulnerable to deep discouragement from such testing. After all, we have a lifetime habit of denial and negative self-judgment. However, this chapter is all about how such events, which are inevitable, can strengthen us, not daunt us. We can take our trials in stride and use them as traction for even greater creativity.

Now is when we put into practice all our explorations of the previous chapters. Because if we are learning to view our artistic ventures as a co-creative process, then that makes our partner God/dess, Spirit, Source. And if that is true, then, it becomes much easier to trust that perhaps our losses are simply guidance; an opportunity to go in a new direction.

Julia offers pages and pages of examples in just the film industry; times when her colleagues have faced enormous disappointments, but then turned those events around into success. Some were forced to shift from directing to acting; some from acting to writing; some from film to video. Yet when they did, avenues of authentic new work opened in the most surprising, successful ways. The point is, Non illegitimi te carborundum – roughly translated to — Don’t let the bastards get you down!

“Artists who take this to heart survive and often prevail,” she assures us. “The key here is action. Pain that is not used profitably quickly solidifies into a leaden heart, which makes any action difficult.”

So her advice is, “When faced with a loss, immediately take one small action to support your artist. Even if all you are doing is buying a bunch of tulips and a sketch pad, your action says, ‘I acknowledge you and your pain. I promise you a future worth having.’ Like a small child, our artist needs mommying. ‘Ouch. That hurt. Here’s a little treat, a lullaby, a promise …’ ”

One of my other favorite creativity coaches, Sarah Ban Breathnach (author of the wonderful daily meditation book, Simple Abundance) suggests that we create a comfort drawer for ourselves. While times are good (or at least not so bad) we collect little treats and treasures and stow them in a special drawer or other tucked away spot.

A stack of pretty stationery, a little box of expensive chocolates, a note from a dear friend or appreciative client, a funny magazine, a book of beautiful meditations. What might calm or delight your tender soul in times of difficulty? Like saving for a rainy day, these goodies are faithfully waiting for us at those times we might be too tired, sad, or numb to gather such things together.

What setbacks have you endured as a budding creative? Can you envision ways to turn such losses into new opportunities? If one avenue of creative expression becomes blocked, what other directions might you go in? Can you think of ways to mommy (or daddy) your vulnerable artist child? What might you put into your comfort drawer?


This is the last day of the month. On this day, we honor the great Triple Goddess Hecate, Queen of the Night and the Goddess of Witches. Hecate is a protector of women and a mighty advocate for those who live on the forgotten edges of society. It is She who guards the crossroads of our lives. It is She who teaches us the ancient Mysteries.

In ancient times, Her worshippers would leave a “Hecate’s Supper” with specially prepared foods as offerings to Her. These offerings are to be left behind at a crossroads at night, without looking back. As we stand at our own crossroads, as artists, creators, healers and awakeners, let us humbly ask Hecate to both guide us, and help us learn to be guided.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • September 30, 2009, 3:05 pm denise

    I need Hecate's guidance, because the crossroad I'm standing at is in hell!
    Thank you for this timely reminder on who I can turn to.

  • October 1, 2009, 5:02 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Oh, Denise… what is going on? Can you tell us; or tell us how we can maybe support you?

    May Hecate transform your difficulty to joy!
    – Beth

  • October 1, 2009, 6:25 am Anita Joy

    When I've been at the crossroad in Hell, I play 'fetch' with Hecate's three-headed dog. When it gets all a bit too serious, throw the stick. If it is a boomerang, remember to duck or learn how to catch it.

  • October 1, 2009, 8:30 am Alice in Wonderland

    Dear Beth Owl's Wings,
    This is off-topic but I have been lurking at your blog for some time. You honest sharing of your life's moments and journey is so inspiring. As you soar, and as I read you, I feel a part of me also accompanies you on your journeys.
    Thank you.

  • October 1, 2009, 9:44 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Dear Alice!
    You can be off topic to complement me ANYTIME! 🙂

    Seriously, this made my day; thanks so very much. This really is a labor of love and it means the world to me that people find it inspiring or helpful.

    Thank you for your kind words.
    – Beth

  • October 1, 2009, 2:14 pm Rick Loftus, M.D.

    Hi, Beth, I'm part of your established fan club but I, too, want to just say thanks. I am in a Saturn Return level shift right now, and this message came right at the right time. Blessings to you and to all the readers. Hang in there, denise!

  • October 1, 2009, 4:26 pm denise

    Wow, you all are amazing and loving people! Hugs to each one of you ~*~

    I'm afraid that a special person is pulling away from me, cutting off all contact, and I do not know why. It just hurts my heart right now and I have to figure out how to deal with all my emotions with 'dignity and grace'.
    On top of this, my 11 year old just cracked my 16 year old's laptop screen and work sucked viciously today ;(
    Thank goodness for prozac and cupcakes! 😉

    sorry I dragged this off topic, but thanks for letting me vent.

  • October 2, 2009, 6:12 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    No, go off topic anytime you need to. Really. This is the only place and way I know of to give y'all a place to vent. And I KNOW you need to. So please do.

    Denise.. I am so sorry you are going through this..keep sharing with us if you are comfortable doing so. We are a circle of strength for you if you need it. (and that goes for EVERYBODY, of course!).
    – Beth

  • October 2, 2009, 8:19 pm denise


    I'm doing better today…let out some tears that needed to be set free, and I quietly watched as my emotions went from despair to anger and slightly to determination that I'll survive.
    As you've pointed out in an earlier blog, I can use these emotions for my writing, so there is a teeny tiny silver lining,plus i suppose a chance to 'learn and grow'…bleh.

  • October 3, 2009, 7:43 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    plus i suppose a chance to 'learn and grow'…bleh.

    Ha! Really! Don't you just hate that? Ugh!

    But here's something I notice..

    Real writerly people have that gift I am seeing in you, which is to go through what you're going through, but also be able to observe it at a remove.

    The Narrator/Observer that, even in the midst of the most gawdawful suffering, is taking notes and thumbing through an inner thesaurus: "umm..agony.. no, no, more like .. um .. catatonic desolation.. no, feels more like .. prostrate with wretchedness..or maybe.."

    All the while absolutely feeling every miserable, heartbreaking bit of it.. Does this ring true?

    So even as you endure it all, you might celebrate your inner writer, maybe treating Her to some really nice, creamy note paper and thanking Her for the survival gift of creative perspective.

    – B.

  • October 3, 2009, 8:27 am denise

    Beth, that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me in quite awhile! And yes, I have been trying to find the correct wording for what I'm going through…good to know I'm not just some morbid nutjob getting my sick kicks from my own pain…I have enough issues w/o adding that to the list! 😉