Wordsmithing Magic from the Crossroads

Happy 20th Anniversary to Us!

happy computer cheering

An authentic life is the most personal form of worship. Everyday life has become my prayer.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

I hope you don’t mind if I toot my own horn (and flinf some confetti, as my friend Thalassa would say).

My blog turns TWENTY tomorrow. (I am letting you know today because I don’t want to pull an iota of celebratory focus from Juneteenth. Plus, it will be time for my Card of the Week).

I will refrain from saying anything like “it’s been a long, strange trip” (even though it has), but I will say that I am kind of proud of this gift, from my heart to yours.

It has been two decades of faithful service, at no charge to you, just for the pleasure of opening doors and hearts in whatever ways I can.

You see, my blog was, from the beginning, never directly about my Tarot reading services. Yes, it’s always been an electronic business card, with contact info, hours, and other pertinent information if you were interested in working with me or following my work.

But the main thing — the thing that got me motivated to create it in the first place — was to reach out and connect with like-minded souls; to meet together in the aethers, exploring interesting subjects, bouncing ideas and experiences around, and jamming with whoever else might also find a variety of esoteric, diverse ruminations of interest.

It has brought about an extraordinary synergy, because in turn, you have profoundly honored me with your generosity, knowledge, sense of adventure, and constant inspiration.

A Retrospective

[Warning: geeky deets ahead that may not be your cup of tea…]

I was a relatively early blogger because I had been on the internet since its earliest days. First, as a techie working in the IT industry and an active participant in Usenet (anyone remember them?), and then, by making rich, life-long friendships via The Well – the world’s first online community (which I still belong to and highly recommend if you are looking for non-trivial conversations with some of the most fascinating, intelligent people on the planet).

Because The Well offered space for members’ web sites, I met with my good friend Vicky Earp (the brilliant graphic artist who created my owl, Moon, and stars logo), and together we hammered out a site using Adobe GoLive (a tool for building and maintaining sites).

And so, just before Summer Solstice, 2003, my website was born. (Yes, a Gemini!).

Vicky built a template for me that held several pages, and I took it from there, using GoLive to update it, often at an HTML code level.Screen shot of my first website, sample page, my own creation.

Every day (yes, every single day!!) on the Home page, I would post a magical tidbit or a scrap of lore, history, or other observations. This was where I began my Tarot card of the week posts.

Some of you might also remember, it was on this original site that I launched my infamous Mercury retrograde contests (featuring tales of Merc retro woes).

I had to discontinue those when the negative aspects of Mercury retrograde began to amplify and then manifest in my own life. In other words, it appeared that by giving undue attention to the shadow side, it grew and even became contagious. A true lesson for life in general, n’est-ce pas?

However, the happy outcome of those contests was that I made some wonderful friends that I might not have otherwise (looking at you, Tina!).

But technically, it was very challenging. Every time I updated, the old content was lost – there were no archives or any way to save previous posts. Plus, I was eager to interact with my visitors on the site, inviting comments and participation.

I wanted to be a part of this newfangled thing called a “weblog,” which mercifully was shortened to “blog.”

The final straw was when I learned that GoLive was being discontinued and replaced by a new package by Adobe that was cumbersome, very expensive, and far too technical for me. I knew I needed to find an alternative.

Luckily, by that time, there were lots of user-friendly blogging sites like TypePad, LiveJournal, and Blogger (Blogspot). I chose the latter as my new home, and the fun really began!

A screenshot of the art and layout of my former blog

Owl’s Wings: Where You’ll Find a Little Bit of Magic Every Day

Since this was before the siphoning off of everyone and their attention spans to Facebook, Twitter, et al.,  there were countless deep, thoughtful, ongoing discussions. It was marvelous to make so many online friendships, many of which I still treasure today.

Also at this time, I renewed my commitment, which I’d begun on my Well site, to posting daily updates. Yes, daily. That’s why in the 4 years or so that I was there, I wrote over 1,100 posts.

During that time, my intrepid band of readers and I worked our way through The Artists’ Way (by Julia Cameron). Yep, the whole thing — over the course of a year.

I researched and wrote discussions about feng shui, the elements of magic, the sabbats, magical cooking, prosperity practices, prayers, spells, Goddesses, poetry, and lots of Moon lore.

I posted images for “Wordless Wednesdays” and wrote about holidays and spiritual observances for nearly every day of the year, from every culture and age. I started celebrating the Solstice Sun Wheel with you.

And of course, Tarot. Lots of Tarot, focusing primarily on my Card of the Week.

But Blogspot was becoming increasingly unstable and frustrating for the kinds of customization and interactions I wanted.

So, with the help of Joanna Powell Colbert (I lucked out and was one of her very last website building clients!), at Samhain 2009, I moved everything from Blogspot over to my shiny new digs on WordPress, which is now my permanent home (as far as I can imagine).

New WordPress banner created for me by Joanna Powell Colbert

Still more time passed, and in 2016, you may recall, I did a big renovation. This time it was thanks to the expert guidance of my “Web Goddess,” Shari Smith.

My makeover was launched on April Fool’s Day, 2016, which, by the way, I am still committed to making some sort of an international Tarot holiday.

My new theme was Enchantment and Illumination, and each was then organized in accordance with The Witch’s Pyramid: To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Hold Silence.

But later that year, I entered a testing period when, in the space of three years, I was clobbered not once, not twice, but with three different, potentially life-threatening kinds of cancer. Plus all the excruciating treatments and challenges that come along with that.

To top it off, just as I was starting to get my mojo back, Covid shattered the world. That’s when I decided it was high time to transition from my beloved career as a Tarot reader, to my dream since childhood – writing books.

So, Shari helped me re-invent my entire website yet again to accommodate this new direction in my life. She also worked her magic to ensure that it is much more mobile friendly and meets all the latest standards and requirements for a streamlined, professional performance.

And Here We Are

I have to say I am pretty proud of the fact that I have almost never missed a Card of the Week, not even at the very worst parts of my cancer treatments. It has only been in the past month, due to the traumatic family situation around my dad’s final days, that I had to miss.

With that behind, I intend to keep things going for a long, long time to come.

Because this is a labor of love, y’all.

I love visiting with you, sharing the cards, listening to the Mystery, and invoking the magic together.  We are the witnesses and midwives to a tremendous time of change, and I believe with my whole heart that together, we can be the tipping point for Good.

And as I find my way in this new phase of my life and move forward, I am more determined than ever to finish my Tarot book that is a compilation of my Cards of the Week.

After that, several other books are tapping their feet, hands on hips, rolling their eyes, and waiting their turn.

On this 20th Blogiversary, I am profoundly grateful to you for being on this journey with me.

Now, it’s your turn! In the Luminous Sparks comments section (remember: the blog post ones don’t get removed!), I’d love to know:

  • How long have you been visiting my site(s)?
  • Do you remember how you first found about me?
  • What are some of your favorite topics from the past?
  • What might you like to see going forward?

And in the meantime, may our everyday lives be a prayer.

Blessings!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Niamh June 18, 2023, 5:41 am

????????????????CONGRATULATIONS on 20 YEARS!????????????????

You just keep doing you, Owly Beth, and I’ll be more than happy. Please know how grateful I feel for all you give and do.

Wishing you the BRIGHTEST OF BLESSINGS.
????????????

Niamh June 18, 2023, 5:45 am

Uh, oh. I forgot about the ? instead of emojis. Sorry about that. They included a green heart, a shining star, fireworks, and the triple moon symbol.

Beth June 18, 2023, 10:47 am

I SOOOO hate that we can’t figure out what happened to the emojis! But thank you so much beloved Niamh! I can sure feel the love! You have been such a wise and loyal friend these many years. Thank you!

Bebe E (aka Jane) June 18, 2023, 8:05 am

Hi Beth, I’m not sure when I started subscribing to your blog, but I know that it’s been years. I suspect I found you through many mutual friends on Facebook as I live very near TwinOaks and know some of the lovely ladies who are part of that community.

I’m a huge fan of tarot and look forward to the weekly tarot cards. Thank you for being a positive part of my life for so many years, I look forward to many more years to come!

Beth June 18, 2023, 10:50 am

Bebe! Thanks for posting!!! Ah yes, my beloved Twin Oaks friends.. One more reason for me to love them and be grateful. Blessings to you, and gratitude. May there indeed be many more years of our lovely connectedness to come.

Nofixedstars June 18, 2023, 8:37 am

Bless! What a lovely gift to us all from your heart. I know my life is richer for the wisdom and discussion you have shared here over the years. I honestly don’t know how long I have been reading and commenting on your posts…it’s been some years, and I am sure it goes back a while prior to your migrating the blog to Wordpress.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all your posts, and am happy to read whatever you care to share here. You have made my engagement with Tarot deeper and more valuable by offering your meditations on the cards here; I have thought more about card meanings and been inspired to draft my own interpretations, personally interacting with the cards as well as researching their actual history and earlier interpretations.

Over the last rather horrid years since 2016, this has felt like a safe, comforting yet bracing space in which a community of caring people share their thoughts. I truly treasure this blog. Thank you, and congratulations on 20 YEARS of valuable content and community crafting! ????????

Beth June 18, 2023, 10:56 am

Wow. Thanks for this beautiful assessment. “Community crafting…” I guess maybe so.. I do know that I have {{ knocking LOTS of wood! }} been incredibly fortunate that my visitors here are exceptionally wise, caring, and inspiring. Truly Luminous Sparks.

I am well aware this is not always the case for some of my colleagues, especially some of the more famous ones.

I am so deeply grateful for your friendship, your insights, and your steadfast engagement, Ann. You are a treasure. xoxo

Maria June 18, 2023, 8:50 am

Happy Anniversary, and best wishes for many more years! I found you sometime around the journey through The Artist’s Way, I think. I had been Googling the Goddess Brigid and owls, and there you were! I took a couple of your classes, which I greatly enjoyed and grew from. I’ve learned so much about Tarot from your weekly card posts, and have really loved it when I participated in the Solstice ritual. I think in those days you had links to other blogs, and through the journey of reading here and there, and then following links on those blogs, I found the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, which has been my spiritual home ever since. It is no overstatement to say that I found you at a time in my life that was a turning point in many ways, and you have been a light on my path. Thank you for that, from the bottom of my heart.

Beth June 18, 2023, 11:03 am

Oh my goodness! Wow. Maria…

What a profound honor. I am so humbled to know this. Tears in my eyes…

I am sure you would have one way or another found your way to OBOD, because the calling there is so true and beautiful, but I am deeply touched to know that I had a hand in helping you on your way.

Thank you for being a beautiful part of my own life for such a long time.

And thank you for your faithful quest for the realization of your own soul’s need, for that expands into the world in great ripples of Goodness. xoxo

Emily June 18, 2023, 9:18 am

Hi there blessed Beth! I found you about 5 years ago through the Winter Solstice candle celebration. Your words of encouragement provided a safe place for me to honor the spiritual stirrings of my heart. While participating in that first candle lighting, I felt the connection with other spiritual centered beings around the world. Your workshops always boost my spirituality more than I could have ever imagined. I have been reading your weekly tarot readings for several years now, and appreciate all that you share there. Blessed Be.

Beth June 18, 2023, 11:07 am

Emily! Hello dearest! I am so glad to know the Solstice ceremony brought us together, and has been a blessing in your life. And thank you for the encouragement that my workshops have been valuable. I hope to start them up again in the not-too-distant future.

Blessings to you and thank you for posting today.

Wolf June 18, 2023, 10:34 am

Congratulations! Keep up the good work.

Beth June 18, 2023, 11:07 am

Beloved Wolf! Thank you. I really love knowing you are here, and that you value what I am doing. Big hugs!

Miki June 18, 2023, 10:51 am

Congratulations!!!!!!
I have no idea how long ago I joined your blog or tarot meetup…it’s been THAT long! I’m so happy to be part of your tribe and to have been a recipient of your well of knowledge. Your guidance has gotten me through so much of…well…life, to be honest. Here’s to 20 more years and good times to be had.

Beth June 18, 2023, 11:10 am

Dearest, dearest Miki!!! Thanks for stopping by and cheering me on. I treasure our friendship, and I hope you know how much I cherish you. Humongous hugs sweet wonderful woman!

Robin June 18, 2023, 11:42 am

I found you just last year and loved participating in the Advent wreath rituals, as well as reading your blog. Today’s email about this 20th anniversary blog held the most important thing for me so far-the invitation to watch/listen to your eulogy to your dad. I realized as I wept as I listened that I never was able to prepare and deliver such a eulogy for my Dad who died when I was 26 (I’m 63 now). So after listening to you, I sat down and wrote the eulogy for him and read it to the picture of him sort of sitting on my first bike with the traiing wheels off and wearing a pink mask that was part of my princess costume when I was 5. It was certainly not on my “to do” list when I started the day, but probably is the most important thing I have done in a long time. Thank you.

Beth June 18, 2023, 3:16 pm

Oh my goodness, Robin. Thank you for telling me this. Tears in my eyes.

I’ll confess that I stressed a lot over whether or not to send that link.

Whether it was too intimate, or could be triggering for someone, or just inappropriate. And maybe it was for someone (if so, I apologize)..

But if it helped bring you a moment of gentle remembrance and the ability to, so many years later, speak from your heart the things you never got to say, then truly… I am deeply humbled and honored.

Holding you in my heart as we share this bittersweet day. May the sweet always be the stronger.

Teresa Bacon June 18, 2023, 12:07 pm

I have been visiting your site ever since Joanna Powell Colbert recommended it. I love your card of the week; it’s truly a touchstone for me. Congratulations on your 20 year Anniversary and thank you for your wisdom and insight.

Beth June 18, 2023, 3:03 pm

Beloved one .. it is so lovely to see you, and to know that my work has been meaningful for you – a true wise woman in your own right. Thank you so much. xoxo

Kat June 18, 2023, 2:03 pm

I remember your site from 2003! So I guess I have been around, somewhere or other, since the Early Times.
That said, congratulations! May you be happy and free from suffering (my condolences on your Dad’s passing).

Beth June 18, 2023, 3:06 pm

Kat! Wow.. if you were around for that first website, and have stuck with it, well… I just can’t even express to you how much that means to me. Thank you SO much for your good wishes and your abiding presence here. Blessings always!

Shari June 18, 2023, 2:57 pm

Happy Blogiversary!

I’ve been around since 2005 I think LOL but so happy to have been a part of the last two rounds of renovation. I look forward to many more wonderful words from you Dear Beth <3

Beth June 18, 2023, 3:08 pm

Shari! There truly are not enough words (or dollars!!!) to adequately thank you for all the support, PATIENCE, talent, genius, and wisdom with which you have blessed me all these years.

Gratitude to the Moon and back, my beloved friend.

Linda Pace June 18, 2023, 6:37 pm

Happy Anniversary! It seems like you and the blog have always been with me but there had to be a starting point. I believe that Lynn Hayes was the first reference to you. I graduated, reluctant o leave Chapel Hill, from UNC in the 70’s. Lynn Hayes was my astrologer of choice not too long after our 10th reunion. The Birthday “boxes?” were a favorite, replaced by the Card of the Week. So many times it hits me where my path has forked. I am a fan of the Tarot and faery classes, too. Tomorrow is our hike to Stein Butte, one of the more famous and strenuous hikes in Southern Oregon. I will send you greetings and best wishes from the top, or at least as close as I get to it!
Peace and love, always, L

Beth June 18, 2023, 7:47 pm

Dearest Linda –
I love how our paths have intertwined. Plus all the serendipitous goodies that also appeared, like having my mom’s antiques store right next door (almost) to y’all’s Saluda hardware store… Truly magical connections.

Thank you for your long and lovely years of friendship. And I hope you have a marvelous time tomorrow!

Kate June 19, 2023, 9:03 am

Congratulations, Beth! Thank you for your twenty years of community and commitment to your extraordinary website. I found you probably not long after you started writing your daily missives when I was looking for some kind of magical connections and community. And I found it…and have not looked back. I have been following you a long time. I participate in the Winter Solstice practice every year, which has brought me such peace during one of the most beautiful times of year for everyone on the planet. Your Tarot of the Week is amazing and so current and meaningful. Your explanations and offerings of the Tarot and so many other subjects has helped me understand the Tarot more deeply and enhanced my own readings. I look forward to your book! Have a beautiful celebration with all of your loved ones as we move into the Summer Season, Beth. Many blessings to you and love. Kate

Beth June 19, 2023, 2:07 pm

Dearest Kate!
Thank you for stopping by and saying hello. That is awesome to hear you’ve been traveling my side for such a long time. I am so grateful.

I love that I have helped to deepen your practice and friendship with the Tarot, and hope that our friendship (all three of us!) continues for many, many years to come.

Blessed Summer to you, and thank you with all my heart.

Shari Smith June 19, 2023, 2:56 pm

Testing a fix… 💜 🌷

Shari Smith June 19, 2023, 2:59 pm

Emoji’s are or should now be working. 😇

Beth June 19, 2023, 4:26 pm

Hooray! Thanks, Shari!!! 🎉💃🌟

Tricia June 19, 2023, 4:39 pm

I found you when you were Owl’s Wings. My animal medicine for that year was Owl and I was searching for different meanings for the animal. I found you during the season of Imbolc. I just remembered seeing the graphic of the owl on your page and wanted to know what your work was all about. I was working with Tarot but finding you truly helped me to see and understand the cards in a very different and personal way. Happy Anniversary! And congratulations on such an amazing journey of grace, strength, passion, commitment, insight, and wisdom.

Beth June 20, 2023, 11:36 am

Oh, golly, Tricia… your kind words bring tears to my eyes. Thank you for being my long-time companion. I am so honored to have been of some help on your own Tarot journey. Blessings to you.
🙏🏻💚🙏🏻

Ambermoggie June 20, 2023, 4:26 pm

Congratulations are most definitely in order and confetti . An amazing achievement Beth. I can’t remember when I first started following? But I always read. I’m guilty of not often responding sorry

Beth June 20, 2023, 8:08 pm

Hey, thank you SOOOO much! I am just delighted to know you are here. Thanks for the cheers and confetti! 🎉

Athena Noctua Bubo June 26, 2023, 9:37 pm

Hello Beth Owl-

Wow! It has been a long, strange trip and so appreciate the weekly blessing you give us with your weekly card drawing.

I think I found you via Lynn Hayes? I recall starting to read you shortly after my daughter was born so between 2004 or 2005? I believe you were still on another platform. Blogspots?

I was reading you for a couple of years when you were doing the artist way for a year, and I still journal my dreams every AM. Not exactly morning papers, but close to it.

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

Imperfect
is the new sexy.

~ Andrea Owen

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