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, December 28, 2008

A Year of Jan's CycleCast Blog

It's official ~ this blog is one year old today!

image by Jan Burch
Yes, dear readers and fellow-travelers, today marks one year since my very first post on Jan's CycleCast Blog. Here it is, quoted in its entirety:

Hello world here is my first post and I hope to have many more soon!
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And many more we have! Since that humble beginning, I have continued to post regularly, with today's musing being the 95th post since I began. That averages to 7.9 posts per month or 1.8 per week. It's been a steady journey of ideas, musings, CycleCastings, readings, and rantings.
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I started with the most basic blog template, using a public-access computer at my city's public library - no kidding! For three months I made my way to the library several times a week, to blog and write and network ... it truly was like going to work!
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Now, I have my own computer and wireless Internet at my home. My blog has been jazzed up with pictures and widgets and what-not (all hopefully useful or at least amusing to you, my dear readers). I've got a Google page rank of 3/10 (not too shabby in the world of small blogs), and I have total of four main sites... In a word, I've become a nerd/geek/addict of the Internet!
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The best of the best, however, is the people I've been able to meet. From all corners of the globe, all ages, all walks of life, bloggers everywhere find ways to connect. This would not be possible had I not taken the plunge on that winter day one year ago. So, as I sign off and go treat myself to some blog-iversary cookies, I wish to welcome all bloggers and blog-readers, old and new, who find their way to my pages. Happy surfing!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays, and Merry Bleepin' Christmas!

Does the message in this picture offend you in any way?

image by Jan Burch


I thought not ~ my readers tend to be reasonable people who appreciate sincere and inclusive expressions celebrating the archetypal turn of the year at winter time. Unfortunately, there are those regrettably vocal types who somehow get a wild hair up their .bleep. every time they receive a greeting that fails to specify whatever particular (and limited) form of celebration is acceptable to the wild-hair possessor's pea-sized brain.

Many of these vocal ones call themselves "Christians." Now I'm not one, so I may not be the best authority here, but my understanding is that the historical person on whom this following is based was: A man of peace. A radical who embraced all people now matter how unacceptable to prevailing paradigm ~ women, lepers, the poor, Samaritans, etc. A teacher who modeled his actions on love instead of hate.

And he probably wasn't even born on this so-important (if hyped) day; most likely his birth occurred during the summer months. So what's up with this "reason for the season" and btw, if you dare try to share someone else's festivities with my closed world-view, I'll ... I'll ... I'll...

Hold my breath til I turn blue?

Fortunately that's all they're doing right now, although we have court challenges over this and there's always an endless stream of fulminating talk-show hosts stirring the pot for their ditto-heads. But I can't for the life of me see how "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" could be offensive. In fact, since I am spiritual but not religious, I'm offended by overly-religious greetings from a stranger. I get enough from the door-knockers who want to share their bible with me; I don't need a store clerk second-guessing my spiritual leanings. The constant insertion of religion into every aspect of our public sphere is invasive. And I think it's probably making Thomas Jefferson roll over in his grave.

Season's Greetings. Happy Holidays. These expressions are simple, heartfelt, inclusive, and recognize the great winter-celebration archetype. We have Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Ramadan/Eid (depending on its cycle) all landing around this time, when the calendar turns and the sun comes up on Solstice. Which of course is the basis for all the historical interpretations: It's well-known, at least in the Christian sphere, that the good church fathers consolidated their power by usurping pagan holy sites and festivals.

Or, maybe they honed in on the powerful energy of these places and times. I'm aligned with the pagan vision (see the trees in my greeting image) and I think it's a fine thing to celebrate Solstice and New Year. Feel the energy and express it as moves you! Just don't ossify your illumination into a "religion" and take off killing people who disagree with you. Please. Two thousand plus years of Merry bleepin' Christmas is enough for this poor ol' planet.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Notable Quote: about Time

I am trying to create a design, a shape in my mind, that will make these days ... viable. It occurred to me as I was out in the wet grass (rain again), picking a few flowers to replenish the ones in the house, that I might imagine each day as a whole year long. Then it would not seem impossible that only a third or less can go into work at my desk - a third of a year is four months! What this might do is expand my compulsive sense of time passing. So here I am at my desk for four months before [my visitors] arrive at half-past eleven.
~May Sarton, At Seventy: A Journal

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We've Found the Key: CycleCast for December 19, 2008 through January 2, 2009

It's fitting that this year's final CycleCast shows us heading into the home stretch of our annual journey with a sense of resolution and completion. The challenges and lessons of the Old year will be tied up by the first days of the New. All we have to do is season our holiday times with a large dollop of gratitude, and we'll be ripe and ready to get involved with new opportunities. Sounds good, doesn't it, fellow-traveler? Let's take a look at the cards:


The Key to your heart is a heart-felt discovery: What was that realization you had lately, the one that put it all into perspective? Maybe you should write it down, fellow-traveler: keeping a dream or gratitude journal is a fine New Year's resolution. You'll want to have a map - and a record - of your journey when you reach the next Gate on your path. Open it and go through - you'll have to discover what lies ahead; then you can decide to go forward or not. Can you see those Cherry trees alongside the path, traveler? Their fruit is sweet and ripe and ready to be plucked. That's you, my friend: it's time to come out of your shell and get involved. Hermit days are over! But before you can complete this stage of the journey, you'll need to hand over a Token or two. That's no loss - only a gain - once you realize that gratitude is all you really need.

Sorry about the last line, oh ghost of John Lennon! But it's true that gratitude is the answer to this riddle, this time. It reminds me of a saying from the 13th-century mystic known as Meister Eckhardt:

If gratitude were the only prayer we ever said, it still would be enough.

And so, fellow-travelers, may this CycleCast take you through a beautiful holiday season and into a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. I will of course be updating this blog with notes and thoughts and quotes in the days ahead. And I'll start the New Year off with a Big Fat CycleCast for the year 2009! See coming come back because there's always more to see and read on Jan' CycleCast Blog.

Would you like to find out what's coming up for you in the New Year? I can help with an intuitive reading to answer your questions and illuminate your path. For information and to request and appointment, send a message to burchjan@gmail.com. Visit my website www.GeoGlowConsulting.com for more information.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My First Custom Order ~ done and shipped!

The excitement began when I checked my email after I returned from Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, I know that sounds obsessive, but I was running a sale for "Black Friday-Cyber Monday" weekend on my Eclectica By Jan etsy shop, and I wanted to keep up with what was happening. I was so thrilled and surprised to get a message requesting a custom afghan!

Well, that was two weeks ago, and now - here it is:



I call this piece "Wristie's Afghan" because it was made for a wonderful buyer with the user name of wristie. The colors were based on the buyer's decor, and I think it made a striking and distinctive piece. I received the order on Thanksgiving Day, and had it finished and mailed within two weeks. That was pushing it a bit (I had a few late nights) but I really wanted to finish in time to mail for Christmas delivery - and it required international shipping! Now it's finished, done and shipped on time - and now I wait to see how my customer likes it :-)


I learned several things while doing this project. One has to do with pricing - I just about gave this away: after I subtracted the cost of materials and postage, I made about $11 profit. I truly don't mind because this experience has given me a real boost in terms of my rating on etsy, filling out my portfolio, and so forth. I will look at more realistic pricing in the future - but that's another story.
Best of all, I affirmed how much I really like custom work! It brought me back to my years as a freelance writer/editor: This project was very similar to my editing gigs where I was given someone's ideas to put into good form, and then give back to them. What a joy - and I'm good at it! So it works in crochet as well as with words, and I'd be very happy to do more (crochet that is - I don't do the wordsmithing any more).
So, with the New Year coming, I'll be looking at where I want to go with this. Right now I feel very drawn to working on big, higher-end pieces. I really like making these afghans, almost more than anything! And when the holiday rush is over, I can focus on a big work while keeping smaller pieces - scarves, shawls, and such - going "on the side." That's my favorite way of working, and the same goes for art/collage work. And, of course, having more custom orders to add to the mix would be ideal!

I can't leave this post without letting Luvlee have her say! She likes to get her self into the photo, and I must say she's very good about not getting her cat hairs on the project. Note to finicky customers: I always launder my washable products before I ship them, so you don't have to worry about cooties coming along with your order:-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Notable Quote: about Time

I am trying to create a design, a shape in my mind, that will make these days devoured ... viable. It occurred to me as I was out in the wet grass (rain again!), picking a flowers to replenish the bunches in the house, that I might imagine each day as a whole year long. Then it would not seem impossible that only a third or less can go into work at my desk - a third of a year is four months! What this might do is expand my compulsive sense of time passing. So here I am at my desk for four months before [visitors] arrive at half-past eleven.

~May Sarton, At Seventy: A Journal

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Butterfly for December: the energy of the month

Greetings, dear readers and fellow-travelers ~ Starting this month I will supplement my CycleCasts with an "energy of the month" reading: I will pull one card from my trusty Star+Gate Deck and expound on it. The energy for the month of December 2008 is

The Butterfly


The Butterfly is a mode of self-expression that comes from having new energy emerging within us. It has lighthearted feel, but don't try to pin it down or you'll kill it. This new way of being is elusive and delicate, even fickle, but if you can just stop and enjoy the beauty as it flutters by, you'll grow stronger in the art of letting go and feeling carefree. Spread your wings!

The Butterfly's nearest neighbors on the Star+Gate pattern are:


  • Thunder ~ a state of power that gives us lessons in humility.
  • Letter ~ A gift of being able to put our ideas into form and communicate through symbols.
  • Wind ~ The challenge of adapting to change.


The Butterfly is borne of the energies of Indecision and Hope. That's right: now may not be the time to make major decisions. Rather, it's wisest to Trust in a higher and wiser source while Weighing the options. Enjoy the dance between polarities, traveler

How nice to have such an easy energy during this typically stressful month of the holiday seasons! And, as I reflect on what's happening in the larger community - at least for the U.S. - I feel its appropriateness. Tonight, as I was driving from one errand to another while listening to All Things Considered in my car, I felt the elusive stirrings of a new day dawning. Out of crisis and despair a new energy is emerging. We all know there is so much work ahead to repair our country and our planet, but for now we can glimpse the joyous possibilities that lie ahead. So, fellow-travelers, take time out to plant the seeds of manifestation, and enjoy the Butterfly in all her delicate beauty.


Would you like to find out how the prevailing energies are personally influencing you? I can help with an intuitive reading to answer your questions and illuminate your path. For information and to request and appointment, send a message to burchjan@gmail.com. Visit my website www.GeoGlowConsulting.com for more information.

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