Welcome to Jan's Eclectic-Mix Blog

Greetings, dear readers ~ I am excited to present my detailed Intuitive Forecasts (formerly known as CycleCasts) to this blog! Join me for a guided tour of our journey through life's subtle energies, and stay for my musings on arts and crafts, current events, a little of this and that ~

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm Off to the Whole Expo ...

...And that means I won't be able to keep up with my recent burst of blogging activity, fellow-travelers. The posts have been coming thick and fast this week - and, as one of the Peanuts characters (I think it was Linus) said, there's no heavier burden than a great potential. In other words, I won't be able to write at the same pace for the next week or so. Just want to warn you now, so you won't be too sad for missing me.

Tonight starts the pre-WholeExpo countdown: getting ready for this major, annual trade show I've been doing for six years now. I've already packed one box of materials for my display, and started collecting the bits & pieces I need to run my booth "office" - scotch tape, markers, all the essentials. Tomorrow and Friday are going to be all about sorting, packing, last-minute shopping, car care, waiting for my new business cards to arrive at the printer - and if all goes well, I'll still get my eight hours of sleep each night, but we'll see about that. It may be eight hours of sleep over two days. That's show business, folks.

Today a friend asked me what I expect to get out of doing this show (besides sleep-deprived). Good question; it started me thinking. They say that putting your requests to the Universe in writing helps bring them about. So, for the 6th Annual Whole Expo, here is my wish list:

  • Thirty readings over two days. That will pay my booth fee and travel expenses, with some left over for profit. Besides, I like working at that pace. A busy show is a good show!
  • Greetings and hugs from the friends I've made over the years among the show promoters, fellow exhibitors, and returning visitors.
  • More names for my e-mail contact list.
  • Some good lunches. The food service so far has been provided by a caterer that specializes in fresh, healthy meals. Yum!
  • Some nice pictures of me in my show clothes at my colorful booth, decorated by moi. I'll post them here if the pics turn out halfway decent.
  • A nice swim in the fabulous pool at the Lamplighter Inn, where I'll be staying.

That's not too much to ask, is it? If it's in harmony with the will of the Universe, may it be done. And if it's harmony for any of you fellow-travelers to be passing through the City Different this weekend, come enjoy the show - and get a reading from me.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mercury Retrograde CycleCast: May 26 through June 19, 2008

Cut that out, fellow-travelers. I see you, groaning and rolling your eyes when I announce that another Mercury Retrograde period is upon us. It's not my fault, you know - I don't make the stars and the planets do what they do; I just report and interpret. Don't kill the messenger, please.

How appropriate - Mercury, the messenger of the gods, serves as our archetypal symbol for communication in all forms. And when the planet of communication appears to move backward, all things related to communication get fouled up, or seem to: As above, so below. Hence the rolling of eyes and gnashing of teeth. We want our phone calls and emails returned now. If we could just learn to sit with the confusion and trust that it will straighten out in its own time (with maybe a follow-up call or two), we'd all feel much better. And maybe the message you've been waiting for will finally turn up in your inbox.

With that in mind, I smiled when I drew this CycleCast. It doesn't look that bad, folks (said with cautious optimism). Even the added influence of Neptune going retrograde on the same day - and I'll let the real astrologers define that for us - this energy pattern looks hopeful to me:

We begin the Cycle lifting our heads out of the challenge of I Merge: what is this thing about joining with others, anyhow? Like trying to catch the brass Ring on the merry-go-round, we've been searching for the right balance between binding or limiting ourselves and unifying our energies. It could almost make you feel swept away - so, instead, let the cleansing Water wash over you. Before you go with the flow, however, make sure you've got a Handle to grab onto. You'll need this anchor when the Wind of change comes up.

With all this talk of wind and water, it looks like a good time for feng shui - that, in fact, is what the Chinese term "feng shui"means. If you would like more information about my Feng Shui consulting service, please visit my website http://www.GeoGlowConsulting.com/.

How can we resolve this? By Bowing to the Infinite, the Divine within ... and being willing to take a few pratfalls on the way. The Jester in each of us sees - and speaks - the truth. Be sure to take time out to regroup; inside that Cave you want to crawl into are loads of inner resources. The Wheel spins us all forward: destiny brought us here, but our attitudes and our choices are ours to command.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pansies and Cactus Flowers


Here are my winter pansies blooming next to a fully-flowering prickly pear cactus, in 92-degree weather on May 18.

And that's not supposed to happen - pansies still blooming when the cactus flowers open, that is. Pansies, you see, are cool weather annuals, and here in New Mexico it gets too darn hot for these hardy little lovelies to keep going. That's why we plant pansies in the fall, enjoying their colors in October and into November, then let them over-winter to bloom again in early spring. But usually they're gone by Mother's Day, as the warming weather turns the little plants into slime. "Cooked spinach" is my term for a heat-wilted pansy.

But that didn't happen this year. I planted four pots of these guys last fall, put them in a sunny spot for the winter, and watered them when I remembered to. When the first flowers started re-appearing in March, I moved the pots into the shade near my front and back doors. These are the pots outside my back door; they got full sun all morning and refreshing shade from about 2 pm on. Maybe that's what kept them going - that, plus my green thumb and my devoted attention to watering. Ha!
  • Or maybe, it's global warming .... of which one of the symptoms is "weird weather." Well, that's a relative term in New Mexico, where we always say, "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." But still, the weather this spring has alternated between record highs and sudden colds. Yesterday was sunny with a high of 95 degrees in Albuquerque - a record, I believe. Last night a huge wind came up as a front moved in. Today has been rainy, high of 57, with a nice noisy hailstorm in the morning. Lovely. Of course, the pattern is not unusual for the high desert, but the extremes are more noticeable. That's what leads me to think, maybe I'm seeing, before my eyes, climate change in action. Or maybe I'm paranoid.
  • I should point out that the cactus flowers are right on time. In fact the yellow prickly pear blossoms are starting fade - though the pansies are still going strong! Today's rain perked them up, and they must love hail. I also have a cow's-tongue cactus with lovely pink blossoms that are just coming out; again, perfectly in season, according to all the books.
  • And here's another succulent that's right on time: my neighbor's century plant, Agave americanensis. I took this photo on Mother's Day, two weeks after the stalk first appeared. Being that it's planted next to my driveway, I could track its growth every time I got in my car. It looked like a 10-foot-high, giant asparagus stalk. Now it's closer to 25 feet. My neighbor, Constance, tells me she's had the plant since 1998, and this is the first stalk to appear.
Of course - that's why it's called a century plant: It grows for about 10 years, sends up a flower stalk, blooms, and dies. Kind of like the life cycle of the mayfly, only longer. After the stalk dies back, little sprouts come up from the root system and the plant lives on and on. Desert plants are real survivors.
(By the way, Constance, if you're reading this - I was wrong when I said this is what tequila is made from. But I was close - tequila really is made from another species of Agave.)

So, we have cactus flowers and century plants keeping to the timetable we humans have assigned for them, and cultivated pansies becoming type-A beings who just go on and on past their assigned season. So which is it? Weird weather? Global catastrophe? My good luck? Or just a gift from nature - flowers in beautiful colors, a bit of serendipity, and a chance to post some groovy pictures to my blog? Guess which one I choose.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

How to Read a CycleCast

Some comments on my latest CycleCast have prompted the need for me to give some clarification. Thanks to all of you commenters for giving me input that helps me improve my blog. Here goes:

A CycleCast is a forecast of the psychic "energy weather" patterns that affect all of us, over a period of time that can range from a day to a year. Break down the term CycleCast into "Cycle" and "Cast." Cycle refers to the passage of time, which in this case is irregular. That is, it does not fit into a defined calendar period. I let the reading for each CycleCast tell me its time frame. Cast, of course, comes from "forecast."

To access the energies of these readings, I use my pendulum dowsing together with the original Star+Gate cards. These cards were developed in the late 60's - early 70's, and are long out of print. They are not Tarot cards; in fact, the designer of the Star+Gate system specifically rejected Tarot. However, Star+Gate does have a component of western astrology. I also find a great deal of feng shui wisdom in the cards. I use them for all my professional readings, and I think they're marvelous. In writing the CycleCasts, I use boldface terms to refer to cards from the Star+Gate deck.

We are talking about archetypes here, and speaking in metaphors. It is best not to try for a literal interpretation; rather let the energies unfold as the Cycle progresses. Each reader will be able to uniquely relate to a Cycle at it applies to their own life.

Hope this helps. I realize some readers will think this all a bunch of new age woo-woo stuff. So be it; it works for a lot of us. Take what you like, and leave the rest.

Sorrow for Senator Kennedy

The latest news is that Senator Edward Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, the cause of the seizures he experienced over the past weekend. The report said that he is presently energetic and in good spirits, but doctors have so far issued a grim prognosis.

Kennedy is second-longest serving member of the Senate. No matter what one thinks of this man - and I acknowledge he has feet of clay like everyone else - he has been a bulwark against the forces of repression, and regression, that have been subverting the principles of this country for the past three or four decades. The only response I can make right now, and I ask all like-minded fellow-travelers to join me, is this: hold the light for Ted Kennedy, and prepare to pass the progressive torch.

Think about who you're voting for in the fall. New Mexicans: Tom Udall for Senate is my choice.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

CycleCast for May 19 through June 22, 2008

I hope you enjoyed that last Cycle, fellow-travelers, because we're moving into a completely new, big Cycle that begins with Monday's just-past-full moon moving into Sagittarius. We've mastered the old energies, and it's time to try out some new expressions of who we are. We're dancing through all the levels of energy in this month-long Cycle, going right through the coming Mercury Retrograde and past the Summer Solstice. Yes, there's a lot going on but never fear - we have Universal light shining on us to support our journey.

Behind us, we used the Lover's passion to seek the Crown of right guidance, all the while focusing on the Eye's ability to see clearly. We got to practice sitting with Indecision, and that's okay, as long as we let out the Child that wants to play. Still, we keep the Candle burning - this calls for our adult to step forward, to keep the child safe and shield the candle's flame from the Wind that brings Change.

That plucky Child toddles on ahead, bringing us a place of expressing even more Independence. We'll want to wear the Sword of self-expression as we rise to the challenge of who we really are. Use discretion, travelers; it's only a role we're playing. No blame; the Robe we wear has many colors for the many facets of our personalities. Don't try to do all this the dark, however. You have a Lamp that shines forth wisdom's bright light. Use it for understanding.


Right now, we can go anywhere. We're free as the Air to move up, down, or sideways. You might feel a little giddy with all this freedom; if you wish to sprout Wings, keep it light. Float like a Wandering feather, because this is not the time laser-in on your dreams of righteousness. Basic principles, beliefs, and values are
spot-lighted now, but this quest can distract us if ideals are held too dearly. We know what needs to be done; let's roll up our sleeves and get at it!


The biggest lesson, travelers, will be about how we use our energy for and service in the world. This is not a me-first time; it's meeting our challenges together, with Sunny optimism while sharing the key to one's heart. You might need to get out your trusty pocket-Knife and cut away what doesn't suit you. Know, too, that it's all subject to Change. Detachment with compassion - that's what will help us cross the shifting Sand.

Friday, May 16, 2008

CycleCast Blogger Launches New Wikizine

(CYB/Albuquerque) The meta-blog site Zimbio.com has a new wikizine created by Albuquerque blogger and Feng Shui consultant Jan Burch. Titled "Welcome to My Blogosphere" and featuring a gorgeous header photo uploaded by Jan herself, the zine is an outgrowth of Jan's fabulous CycleCast Blog.

Burch started the new zine after observing that many of her friends who wanted to follow her blog were, in fact, afraid to do so. "This Fear of Blogs was not something I'd expected to find when I started my Internet venture," said Jan. "After all, most people I know have been online far longer than me." Burch did not have a computer when she first signed on to the Internet with an email account on September 2007. She created her website and blog using public computers provided by Albuquerque's Rio Grande Valley Library system.

Motivated to increase the readership of her blog, Burch realized she had to make it as easy as possible for her audience. "I was sending out emails twice a month to my contact list, and that's where I started getting feedback that people were unsure or hesitant about this whole blogosphere thing - which is sad, because I've found the blogs to be the most exciting part of the Internet," said Burch. "I thought, well, I've figured a few things out - I can share what I know with my fellow techno-phobes."

Another revelation since she has been posting on this subject, is that it's not an age-related issue. "I'm a baby-boomer, and so are many of my contacts," said Burch. "That's always a convenient excuse for computer illiteracy, but I'm finding that people of all generations are having the same problem. And, I don't claim to be an expert. I'll leave the really technical stuff to those who know (okay, the geeks). I'm just offering a place where ordinary folks can find or share a new insight or two into what makes this Internet thing work."

Jan has since given up the colorful ambiance of the public library's computer stations, "except when I need to print something," she said. Now the proud owner of a Dell laptop with a wireless home connection, Jan plans on blogging more frequently. "At least once a week, maybe more, and please keep those comments coming, because I love 'em," she said. For this reason, Jan suggests bookmarking her site (that means adding it to your favorites list - click the little star on the upper left side of the screen). She also plans to keep sending out her approximately twice-monthly updates, so click on Jan's email link in her complete profile if you would like to receive them.
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What's going on here, fellow-travelers? I hope you picked up the tongue-in-cheek tone of this post. Sure is interesting writing a third-person interview with myself in press-release style! But all good satire contains a grain of truth, and this is absolutely, 100% real - I've joined some meta-blogs, and I have created a wikizine. If you don't believe me, or if you want to see a real, live wikizine (and you can even post to it), just click on the blue "My Zimbio" button to the right, and it'll take you straight there.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Welcome to My Blogosphere

I've officially been a blogger since my first post to this blog on December 28, 2007 - that makes it four months plus a week or so. In that time, fellow-travelers, I've discovered (and become somewhat addicted to) the amazing world of blogs - the blogosphere, as the "mainstream" calls it. I've also discovered, initially to my dismay, that many of you haven't yet waded into this stream. In fact, I've talked to a number of potential readers who are hesitant or even afraid of something called .... The Blog.

Well, the name does remind one of that old sci-fi movie from way back when. Anyone old enough to remember The Blob is also too old to be 100% fluent in the world of cyberspace, so that may have something to do with blogophobia. Myself, I'm firmly in the gray-haired baby boomer generation. Even though I was doing Fortran programming on punch cards back in the 60's, and I worked for several years in the 90's as a freelance writer-editor, I managed to avoid the Internet until just this past year. I've had a lot of catching up to do, so to my delight and amazement, one of the easiest things I've used on the Internet is ... this blog.

With that reflection, I decided to do a few posts on the topic of My Blogosphere, to give some aid and comfort to those of you who are still unsure about how to use this blog, or any other, for your benefit. You techno-savvy types will find this elementary in the extreme, so feel free to scroll down to the next post. Okay, here goes:

  • What's a blog? The word is a shortening of web log. My take is that it's like an Internet diary. Blog authors can write their posts daily, weekly, or any time they have something to say. The blog program automatically puts the most recent writing first, so all the entries, or "posts," come out in reverse chronological order.
  • Why write a blog? Because it's amazingly easy and rewarding to push a button and see your words and pictures come out on the screen in pretty colors and nice formats for the whole world to view. Also, blog authors usually have egos that like a little stroking :-)
  • Why not keep it in a website or a private file? Blogs are "push-button publishing" and I'm going to emphasize publishing. Here, publishing means making public and inviting comments from readers, all of which are supported by the blog format. Or, as I always say when I'm feeling snotty: if I wanted to keep a private diary, I could use a pen and spiral notebook - not a $1K computer!
So now you know a little bit more about what a blog is and where it fits in the Worldwide Web. Most of the blogs I like, including mine, are by themselves a tiny corner of the Internet, but collectively they add up to a fascinating and diverse look at the Real World we live in. For example, I just surfed a blog that described a visit to a horse farm in Siberia - in the winter. The photos showed absolutely beautiful scenery, and I'm glad I didn't have to make that journey to see it.

In future posts on this topic, I'll tell you more about the world of blogs and how to feel comfortable as you navigate through it. Any of you technorati who have read this far, if you have any additions or corrections to what I've said, please post a comment here and share the wealth with the rest of us.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Rumbling Thunder: Cyclecast for May 8 to May 19, 2008

I could literally hear the thunder rolling, fellow-travelers, when I laid out the cards for this Cycle. Of course, that's because there was a weather front moving across beautiful uptown Albuquerque, where I live and forecast. Now that's not a bad thing: here in the high desert, thunder usually heralds a refreshing change when the rains finally come after a long hot, dry spell.

This cycle is all about starting over, in a new - and refreshing - way. We'll find a new way to project our identities to the world, keeping in mind that it's really about how we can serve. Think about what you can bring to your situations, not only what you can get from them.

The Thunder lets us know something's coming, and if we can reframe our fear of that into excitement, and remember that we're only a small but essential part of the whole, then we'll be ready for the growth to come. Like a tender seedling planted in the springtime, we'll put out a new Leaf and reach for the sun. Going Within helps us to know what we're all about as we climb the Ladder (or maybe it's a stairway to heaven) upward, step by step.

A big old belly Laugh helps us resolve any dilemmas about which way to to go. We have a choice of guides; The warm light of the Fire reminds us to follow our passion,
while the Moon's cool glow lets us quietly draw to us all that is needed.


This Cycle begins with the dawn of May 8, and continues to the full moon in Sagittarius on May 19. If you have comments or questions for me, you can post them here by clicking on the "comment" line just below. Until next time, fellow-travelers, happy growing.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

AfghanOMania

This is my "Blueberries & Cream" afghan, which I made many years ago and still have in my possession. It's double-thick and large enough to be a bedspread. The warmth it gives is great for the coldest part of winter, but it's almost too warm for the rest of the year. Still, I love the soothing colors so much I haven't wanted to part with it - yet.

I'm taking a break from CycleCasting to bring you some more photos of my creativity. Many of you have heard me talk, sometimes endlessly, about my crochet habit. One of my favorite things to crochet is the endlessly-useful afghan. Not only are they warm and cozy, but they offer endless opportunities for color and pattern, and best of all - require no measuring. I just crochet until the afghan gets big enough to wrap up in, or until I run out of yarn, whichever comes first. I took these pictures a few months ago, and just posted them to my digital files.

I made this afghan last year, to play with color. I designed it myself, using some favorite stitch patterns. Joining the blocks together is not usually my thing, but this one went well, I think because I was jazzed by the colors. It's nearly large enough to be a twin bedspread.


The coral-colored afghan to the right, below, is one of my first log cabin afghans. It's made in the classic log cabin quilt pattern, and the crochet process is almost identical to the quilting way. When I get ambitious I like to make crochet-quilts. I made this afghan over ten years ago, and it's still in good shape.

That's all for now, fellow-travelers. This has been a good chance for me to practice playing around with all the picture-management and editing files I've got that I still don't fully know how to use. But I'm getting a little better at it, one day at a time.
The gorgeous colors in these photos are there thanks to my neighborhood Walgreens! I took the pictures with an inexpensive Walgreens film camera, then had the store develop the prints and put them on a picture CD at at the same time. Since this is the only kind of day-to-day photography my budget will allow, I'm really happy to have such great results.
There's another CycleCast coming soon, so stay tuned.

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