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 ~

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Roll Up Your Sleeves: Summer Solstice CycleCast Part II, now through July 2, 2008

Fellow-travelers, we're still floating on that sunny optimism I wrote about in the previous CycleCast, Summer Solstice Part I. Only now, even as we head into mid-summer's holiday weekend (for the USA), we'll be feeling a bit more serious. It's time to take those lessons we've practiced, and the energies we've been playing with, and use them to serve the world.

This CycleCast has a sixth-house theme of refining what we express, making use of our energy, and the kinds of work and service we perform. This sounds like we have buckle down and put our nose to grindstone (now try to work in that position!), but in fact, there are some laughing stars shining a playful light over the whole Cycle. We get to work , serve, and have fun while doing it. What could be better? Oh yeah - getting paid for it. That may come in the next Cycle. In the meantime, do what you love and know that the money will follow.

The light of the Sun follows us into the Tunnel, fellow-travelers. Come out the other side Bowing before the divine that lies within us all. Wander around for a time, traveler, and Laugh your way into the Key of your heart. Put this realization to good use, serving the greater good for all.

This is no time to waffle, traveler: Just follow your Impulse and do it. Flow with the Water; your open mind and heart will receive the clues you need to follow. If you can't stand the heat, cool your passions with the Snow.

This CycleCast carries us through the coming weekend, culminating with the Virgo moon of July 6-7. Before we break for the Fourth of July weekend, I'll have couple of posts with a red-white-and-blue theme. Be safe.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Battle of the Blog-Alogs has been Resolved

My inner conflict had been going on for some time, and it mentally looked like this:


I don't mind because it gives me an excuse to post this slice from a visual journal exercise, which I've titled Conflict Resolution.

The dilemma is over now and I've found a way to stay in Zimbio. I've had an up & down view of Zimbio, because I didn't think I was getting much visibility from that blog-listing service. But my profile and articles sure look pretty on the Zimbio site. Then I got into Blog Catalog, and was swept away by the discussion boards in which obsessive bloggers (moi included) burn up the 'net by weighing in on everything from favorite ice cream flavors to recent Supreme court decisions. So I let Zimbio go for a while, during which time they started promoting my blog like crazy - and I never noticed.
What to do about Zimbio kept hanging around on my do-list, and I wanted to get it off. There's a wealth of blogging expertise in the BC forum, so I started a discussion on my BC-Z conundrum. Right off the bat, I got a reply from a nice blogger named Shirley who said Zimbio gave her good results. She also went to my Zimbio profile and gave me a kudo, the rat :-) Stroke my ego - that's all I need to keep sticking with something through hell or high water.
Meanwhile, other BC'ers were warning me about Zimbio's policy of claiming the right to use my material in perpetuity. Uuurrk! No way I'm gonna let those corporate creeps claim my work ...
But then I actually read the Zimbio policy, and learned that I do keep the copyright. Whew. It's okay with me if they want to put my blog posts in a future "Best of Zimbio" tome, as I long as I can use my own work when I want to! So now, fellow-travelers, yours truly is proudly displayed and racking up the stars and kudos in not one but two - count 'em - blog listings.
You techno-phobes are probably thinking I've lost my mind. Three whole paragraphs on blogging? Earth to Jan ... But see here, fellow-travelers, there's a lot of things I should have learned in kindergarten that I didn't:
  • Don't jump to conclusions.
  • Always read the "Terms of Service" before you sign the contract ... er, click the "Accept" button.
  • If you get confused, ask for help.
  • If someone pays you a compliment, stick around for more - and figure out a way to make it work.
You can see my profiles by clicking on the "Blog Catalog" and "Zimbio" buttons in this blog's sidebar. And if you are, or are thinking about becoming, a blogger - these are two sites that just might help you out. See ya late some night on the discussion boards.
Bloggers Take Note: Before you sign up on Zimbio or any other blog directory, be sure to check your settings. Make sure your RSS feed is set for a "short" or "truncated" feed. This way the subscribers to your feed will get just the first paragraph or so of each post, and if they want to read the entire post they will have to click to the blog itself. In fact, that's a good idea whether you list in a directory or not. I learned this tip from "polybore" on Blog Catalog - thanks, polybore!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Sun is Up: Summer Solstice CycleCast for June 20, 2008, and Beyond - Part I

Part I:

Here comes the sun, fellow-travelers. As I write, the Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year - is less than eighteen hours away, and appropriately enough, my adopted home town of Albuquerque has been baking under lots of sun. It's always a turning point when this Solstice shifts us from the waxing to the waning half of the year. And that's what the cards tell us; for in this CycleCast, we're getting a fresh start:

We come to this Cycle with our Blocks in hand, travelers. Good news: All that practice in solving problems has transformed our obstacles into building blocks; we've used them to construct a solid foundation and now we can reach for the Crown. At first we built on Sand, and when that felt shaky, we wallowed in the Mud - maybe even made a few mud pies! Now the shining Sun has hardened our resolve into good, earthy adobe. Let's pile up a few bricks so we can journey through the Tunnel to find our true selves.

How do we make that leap into the confident future? Somewhere between Clear Seeing and Focused Reaching, we'll get the Impulse to simply do it. Take a deep breath, because we're going to float freely with the Air, moving across our world in every direction, without limits.

I've been seeing this trend in the CycleCasts for a few months now - a sense of really mastering the lessons and challenges we struggled with earlier in the year. This reading, in particular, contains themes of working for the collective good. The energies expressed here are centered on the Aquarian archetype of expressing our highest hopes, going beyond our own limitations, and striving towards freedom for all. So, fellow-travelers, go forth with radiance, vitality, and optimism - and shine your light like the Sun.

Postscript: The time frame for this CycleCast is now through July 2, with the energies peaking this weekend, June 20-22. Coming soon, Part II of this CycleCast will take us a few more days into July. Keep coming back, as my posts are always changing!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sign Up to Tear It Down

Bloggers Unite

The "it" in the title of this post is Guantanamo prison. Yes, fellow-travelers, I just recently signed an on-line petition for the first time. As a member of Amnesty International (AI) - and concerned citizen who cares about human rights - I've been well aware of the travesties our current government has been inflicting on both the law of our land, and the human beings who are suffering from the Bush administration's callous disregard of that law.

When the summer 2008 issue of Amnesty International offered us a chance for positive action to correct these wrongs, I jumped. And, fellow-travelers, I'm urging you to do likewise. This summer, AI is conducting major initiatives to put pressure on our elected officials to close Guantanamo and "bring an end to practices that facilitate abuse, extraordinary rendition, and illegal detention."

The reasons for opposing Guantanamo and related, illegal practices are many, and have been documented elsewhere. See, for example, the AI news feed in the Get Informed box. But let's get personal: Why would I bother to take action, and urge you to do likewise? Because- >

  • No one is free when others are oppressed.
  • Democracy is not a spectator sport.
  • The practices being protested here make all of us less safe.

The first step, and it's one we all can - and must - do, is to go to this site and sign the petition:

http://www.tearitdown.org/

It takes only a minute, and it could save someone's life. I also have the site linked in the Get Informed box to the right, but the URL is given above so you can copy and send it to your contacts. So, if you have a blog or a website, a Twitter or a YouTube account, or if you have friends you email - please help spread the word.

That was easy, wasn't it? Now that you've had a taste of petition-signing, here's another one, equally vital: http://www.savetheinternet.com/. You know, none of the Amnesty or other actions would be possible without the Internet's openness - the free use of the 'net so I can keep this blog, network with others, learn about these issues, give the petition sites a try, and pass them on to you. Sadly, the free access to the Internet is fragile. Corporations, seeing $$$ to be made, are trying to nibble away at "net neutrality," the founding principle of free and equal access to the Internet. We can stop by speaking up and joining the large movement to preserve a free Internet.

So, fellow-travelers - here are two simple things you can do today to make a difference. What are you waiting for?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Red Robe and Green Frog: Here's my blog's new look!


You fellow-travelers who've been following my posts for a while have noticed my blog's new look, I'm sure. For those who just joined the ride, I formerly had a plain, black, boring background for the title and header. :-/ And now - here's this beautiful lady - her name is Kwan Yin - peeking out from her velvet robe to greet us.;-) Quite an improvement, I'd say, and she hopes you agree with me.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you'll see another image. There's a sweet little green frog saying thank you for visiting.

I've been inspired to update my blog by hanging around the discussion groups of Blog Catalog, an online community of bloggers who network to support each other. It's been tons of fun, and I've learned a lot about blog design, the blogosphere, and life in general. Plus, I've gotten more proficient at clicking on things and dragging icons and all that. Just don't ask me to copy and paste something into my browser - I still haven't mastered that arcane procedure.

The images in this blog-redecorating project were made by me; they are crops from my stash of collage and visual journal pages. I made this post to show you the full image, and share my thoughts on creating it. So here goes:

The Kwan Yin picture dates from January 4, 2006. It was part of a series I made during that holiday season. For twelve nights, beginning December 24, 2005, I recorded my dreams each night. The following day I made a collage based on the previous night's dream. Yes, I have a collection of 12 awesome collages, and one of these days I'll figure out what to do with, besides posting them to my blog. To further add to the motive behind this work, I was guided by a lesson given to me by a friend who's a follower of Rudolph Steiner. According to his theory, by doing this exercise you invoke the archetypal seasonal energies that cycle through the year. This picture invokes energy of Taurus, the Cosmic Spirit, and is the guiding energy for right now: May 16 through June 16. That's all I've ever done with Steiner and anthroposophy, but I'm happy with the collage collection that came from it.

Turning now to the green collage below, this is one of my more recent pieces. It was made when I was recovering from the rotten cold-and-flu I came down with this spring. After a couple weeks of staying in bed with a cough, one day I felt a smidge better! Wondering what to do with my newfound (and still fragile) energy, I surveyed my options: do laundry - pay bills - clean up the kitchen - all things that had been left hanging while I was sick. Knowing I had just enough energy for just one task, I chucked the "do" list and fed my soul instead. I went to my work area and made this collage.

It was quick and easy: I pulled some pages from my "messy" book (loose-leaf sheets of artist paper for quick collage warm-ups), grabbed some images and embellishments from my stash, and took a random prompt from a guidebook in my collection. The prompt read, "Where is your true home?" and it came from a workshop booklet by Juliana Coles. Mix all these ingredients together, add some paint, and voila: a new collage. I can't tell you what it means, but I find it soothing to look at, and it makes me happy.



Now where's the green frog? He's sitting on the gold leaf that comes in from the middle left of the picture. You may be able to see him better in the enlargement at the bottom of the page.

Like any publisher, I'm always eager for feedback on the revisions I've made. The pictures are the splashiest change, but also notice I've got some new features on the right-hand column. You techno-types will be most familiar with the blog links, badges, and so on, but everyone take a look. My blog won't bite (pun intended). And this is as fancy as I get. I'll leave the video clips and such to my blogging comrades who are braver than I. As always, I love your feedback, especially posted to the Comments button right below here. And that's enough about me; what are you fellow-travelers up to these days?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

It's Good to be Back Home: Post-Expo CycleCast for Right Now

A big thank-you to Anne, Nick, Krista and the rest of the Whole Expo staff for their continued great work in producing these shows !

I'm been back from the Whole Expo for some time now, and I've nearly finished the usual post-show regrouping (it can take a couple weeks, for me), so I'm "back in the saddle" and ready to carry on. My last post listed some goals for this show. I confess now I had great trepidation in making that last, because a) what if I come back with a less-than-glowing report for you? and b) sometimes there's a fine line between intention and expectation. As I understand it, intention helps but expectation kiboshes. And then, there are always circumstances beyond one's control.

How did the past weekend go? Compared to my list of goals, some were met but not others:

  • On the Up Side: Hugs: I got plenty of hugs and greetings, for sure, and made some great new contacts. About 20 people signed up for my e-mail list, so I'm thrilled to be expanding my online community. Welcome, all! Lunch: The Greek salad I had for Sunday's lunch was delicious. Dress-up: And my booth, which I decorated in a purple-pink-blue theme complete with colored lights, looked gorgeous. I didn't look half-bad either, in my royal-purple silk burnout duster one day, and glittery royal-purple top the next. Expositions are the only place I get to dress up, and it's fun!
  • On the Down Side: Splish-splash: I didn't take my swim; I brought my gear but was just too tired :-( Income: And, I didn't make my financial goals. With about 25 readings, I took in enough to pay for my booth, but not enough to cover my hotel bill and other expenses. In other words, I lost money.
If you add it up, that's three out of five - not bad! Except, the financial goal outweighs the others. In the business world you can't keep on losing dough...

So what do the cards say? I made this CycleCast for right now; in other words, what's going on this first week of June?

We've been through the Tunnel, fellow-travelers, and now we're ready to put that gift of inner connection to use. Reach out to others with accessibility; then the Siphon will exchange energies, not drain them. See Clearly and stay solid as Stone within your own integrity. You'll go Within for a time, traveler, and find out that the most obvious path is not the correct path. So shine the Lamp of wisdom and look for the Crown to guide you. It's all about finding that one gift you have to share, and using it with attitude.

....no, I can't keep going places and losing dough. I can't keep physically traveling and draining my energy. I've adopted the attitude of giving myself six months to a year at home, and aaaahhhh does that feel good. I'll keep writing this blog, helping my clients bring balance into their lives, and pursuing some new ventures I have in mind. But when the Whole Expo returns to Santa Fe, I'll be there if it's in harmony to do so. I gotta get those hugs!

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