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 ~

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pray for me ~ I'm selling a baby blanket!

??? Should I go to jail for selling this baby blanket ???

(sorry for the wacky font sizes - Blogger is moody today) Isn't Bentley the Bear a cute model for my new blankie? And doesn't the picture look adorable and innocent? So why the shock factor? It's a bit of shameless self-promotion - this is a new item I have for sale at Eclectica By Jan. And I'm hoping it's actually legal to sell this blanket now, under the implementation stay of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which was announced on January 30 and is the day I began crocheting the blankie. To update you on the developments since I blogged on the topic last month, here is the quoted statement from the Acting Chair of the CPSC, Nancy Nord:

Many of you have heard of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and its far-reaching effects on American consumers and businesses. We are working hard to implement the CPSIA to further our goal of protecting American families. From manufacturers of children’s products to the kids that use them, everyone is affected in some way– even those who make and donate products to hospitals and charities.

In these difficult economic times, thousands of small producers, home-crafters, thrift shops, and small retailers have told us of the startling effects the testing and certification requirements of the CPSIA will have on their livelihoods. These are not big faceless companies–these are real people who are the backbone of our economy. To provide some much-needed relief, the Commission passed a one-year delay (or "stay") of the enforcement of certain testing and certification provisions of the CPSIA (that were scheduled to go into effect on February 10, 2009). This gives limited relief to small manufacturers and others who cannot comply with the law without incurring substantial testing costs.

CPSC is committed to implementing the CPSIA as fairly and as efficiently as possible, but we are limited in the scope of our authorities under the law. Including testing and certification, there are new rules to be understood and adopted by everyone from the largest global manufacturer to the crafter working in the family workshop, to the mom-and-pop shop on the corner. Indeed, all children’s products including toys, books, child care articles and clothing are covered in different ways by this law; there are different rules for different products. To reduce some of the confusion and to simplify the complex elements of the new law, the staff at CPSC has addressed some of the more frequently asked questions that you have asked.

Nancy Nord, Acting Chairman

This is one of the clearest, most succinct explanations of the CPSIA flap that I've read. I must say that, even though she's a Republican, Nancy Nord seems like a pretty cool lady. Which brings me to the topic of Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows. Yes, here I am - a longtime, true-blue Democrat - in league with the Republicans who are trying to amend this bill to save the handmade industry I'm part of. I have squirmed more than once to be supporting a measure spearheaded by the likes of John Boehner and Saxby-Chambliss. The major airtime on this is coming from Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. (I'm going to have wash off my keyboard from writing this!) And I've yet to see any Democrats stepping forward on the reform of this well-intentioned but very poorly-written law.

I'm hoping for some genuine moderation and wisdom on this issue. Using this issue as a poster child for the right-wing "all regulation is bad" mantra is not a good idea. I'm especially concerned about the person-on-the-street "we're too concerned about safety" talking point I've encountered. There are real, alarming threats from the toxins (lead and phthalates) this law attempts to regulate. I am not in favor of letting these poisons loose on our planet!

Unfortunately, the CPSIA attempts to solve the problem in highly bass-ackwards fashion: it puts the burden on the end manufacturer, not the source. One devastating result among many is the law punishes the very people who've been at the forefront of the safe-toy movement - small manufacturers and crafters.

We need to cut the industrial poisons off at the source! Especially with phthalates, these poisons should be banned outright and strong measures taken to develop safe alternatives. We need follow the European model, and use the precautionary principle - new compounds must be proven safe before they are launched on the market place. The policy in the U.S. has been to ineffectively attempt to shut the barn door long after the horse has escaped.

That's my story, and I'm sticking with it. Oh, and if you're looking for a beautiful, unique, and handmade baby blanket - please buy mine while it's still legal to sell it :-)



Monday, February 23, 2009

R.I.P Socks

Cat lovers the world over were saddened to learn that Socks Clinton, the White House cat during the Clinton years, passed away recently at the ripe old cat age of 18. Like many, I paused and observed this moment, wishing Socks well on his journey to the Rainbow Bridge. Then I went to one of my favorite Internets-time-wasting sites, http://www.icanhazcheezburger.com/, and made this LOL for him:


And I'm not alone - Socks LOL's appeared all over the site. Here's one of my favorites, made by another cheezburger fan:



I was always impressed that the Clintons had a First Cat in the White House. I think it's important for public leaders to keep a cat, because cats keep you humble. The Dalai Lama shares his Dharamsala home with a cat - Q.E.D. Here's an LOL that summarizes Socks' career in public service (made by another cheezburger head):

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Finally, a schedule for this year's CycleCasts

I'm scheduling up a storm, dear readers. A few months ago I began writing for an online zine put together by the women of BlogCatalog. This evolved into my Energy of the Month readings, which are now posted to my blog. It soon became obvious that it wasn't possible to keep doing the monthly readings and the CycleCasts at my previous frenetic pace. As a result, I'm now doing longer-term CycleCasts on the quarter and cross-quarter days of the year. Here's how it's going to be, at least through 2009 or until spirit moves me to change again ~

Energy of Month will be posted to this blog the first week of every month.

CycleCasts will be posted 8 times a year:
Spring Equinox; Beltane (May Day or May 1); Summer Solstice; Lammas (August 2); Autumn Equinox; All Hallows (October 31); Winter Solstice; Candelmas (February 2).

If the names of these days sound vaguely familiar (or not), it's because I'm using terms from the archetypal calendar - some call it Pagan or Druid (by the way, you now have a fun fact to know and tell). I like being able to tap into these ancient cyclical energies. Whenever I need to put some structure in my otherwise fluid life, I find these eight time spans are a good way to go. And why not use a concept that's stood the test of time - it's only been around for several thousand years!

This scheduling also means I'll have lots of space in between for posts on my ventures into the world of art and creativity; scenes from my crazy; musings on current events; and all manner of things related to life, the universe, and all that. There's always more coming to Jan's CycleCast Blog, so you know what to do - bookmark, RSS, or Follow - and keep coming back!
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Notable Quote: from Mary Burmeister on Harmony

By revitalizing one's energy, all disharmony, imbalance, fears, and attitudes disappear. The rhythm with the universal energy takes place. In this state of harmony there is no imperfection.

~Mary Burmeister, founder of Jin Shin Jyutsu in the West

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Notable Quote: Carl Jung on Talent

Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off.
~Carl Jung


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Accidental Calendar

So I was playing around with RedBubble's calendar maker the other day, and I accidentally made a calendar! This is one of those (rare) happy computer accidents - you know, when you create something without even knowing you did it. When I looked back in my RedBubble file a few days later, there it was ~
My calendar! All saved, and with a different picture for every month:
I suppose this is like selling ice to Eskimos, since we all have our 2009 calendars by now, right? But if you want to see a sample of my visual creations, or if you need some cool art for your wall, click over to Jan's calendar on Red Bubble and take a look. You can browse through each of the pages, which might even convince you to buy one. Purchasing is easy on the RedBubble site, and I've found their shipping fees and delivery times to be very reasonable. I'd really like it if my calendar helped brighten up that blank spot on your wall!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Change is in the Air: CycleCast for now through the Spring Equinox

Greetings, fellow-travelers ~ my guidance is directing me to write CycleCasts for longer time periods, so I've prepared one that will take us all the way through the Spring Equinox on March 20. Yes, there's six more weeks of winter, like the groundhog said. Let's review where we've been and look at where we're going:

Behind Us: The Swan floats serenely over our troubles, though maybe some of us withdrew a bit too much. The last gasp of the zealot was present in our world; better to lean the Ladder up against the Block and use our common faith to solve our problems. These times of Austerity remind us to take a cold, clear look. If all else fails, throw off the Mask and get involved. Like the Cherry, we're complete inside and ripe for the plucking.

Now: We're ready to cut the cords - or at least, clean out a closet or two. Using the correct Knife helps us to cut away what doesn't suit. If only we knew what we're Reaching for! Energy channeled in a specific direction is an issue, especially for us scatterbrains. It helps to go within our own heart's Cave and tap our inner resources, but now is not the time to flit around like the Butterfly. That new energy has an equinox to go through before it can emerge.

To get through all of this now-ness, we only have to float on the back of the Swan - so use the foundation you've already built. It's either that our wrestle down the Serpent with the Stone of our integrity.

Ahead: A true, new beginning is just ahead of us. Move to the Change that swirls around you; be free and unbounded like the limitless Air. The energies support our practice of Patience, but no need to pray for it - simply dream and imagine during the quiet times. We'll know by the Sun's warm radiance when the new Morning comes.

I won't lie to you, dear readers - this is a challenging Cycle. We can release the tension by flowing with supportive energies while letting go of the ego's demands. Or maybe that itself is the essential challenge, so practice, practice, practice! The overlighting themes for this period will involve thinking & relating information; perception, illumination, and realization; and finally applying - actually making use of - what we have learned. Helpful attitudes to keep in mind are: ~inquire, do not judge. ~learn to sit with the contradiction. ~remember that light is always borne in the darkest of situations.

By the end of this Cycle, I think we'll have graduated to a higher level on our path. Remember all those years ago when metaphysical seekers were saying the planet is raising her vibration, and the time of transformation is coming? Well, travelers, this is what it looks like. Welcome to the New Age - we are the people we've been waiting for!

Parting note: As I said above, I will be writing fewer but more intensive CycleCasts, timed around the cross-quarter days of the archetypical calender. This one is for Candlemas (Groundhog Day), the next will come around the Spring Equinox, then Beltane (May Day), and so on. This is to allow me to focus on serving more clients with individual readings and forecasts. But I'm not leaving you - I will continue with the Energy of the Month posts the first week of each month, and of course there's my ever-flowing stream of quotes, crafty updates, current event reflections, and more. There's always more to see at Jan's CycleCast Blog, so mark this site and keep coming back!

Would you like to have a forecast of your personal energy cycles? 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 http://www.geoglowconsulting.com/ for more information.




Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Notable Quote: from Margaret Mead

"One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don't come home at night."
~ Margaret Mead

So true  ~ and very nicely illustrated with an LOLcat & LOLdog, courtesy of the wonderful ICanHasCheeezburger site!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Know Your Fears: The Energy for February 2009 is "The Serpent"

Remember the book that came out in the '90s called something like Face Your Fears and Do It Anyway? You may want to dig out your old copy, because the energy for this month of February 2009 is THE SERPENT:
image by Jan Burch
There's no doubt that spending a month with this energy will be challenging, but that's how we grow, right? The Serpent represents the challenge of confronting what we know by instinct, and facing our fears. This is the month to pay attention to your gut feelings. Listen to them. Dialog with them. Discern their message, and know that fear is simply Forgetting Everything is All Right.
The Serpent also carries deep archetypal meanings: The feminine. The creative. The primal, instinctual nature. Above all, it represents the kundalini energy that rises up the spine through the chakras as enlightenment awakens us. It can literally rock your world. It is the power of the life force itself. Fasten your seat belt, dear readers - we're in for a ride!
In the Star+Gate pattern, the Serpent's nearest neighbors are:
The Maiden ~ the side of us which seeks the best for everyone - gentle yet uncompromised.
The Looking Glass, or Mirror ~ Reflection and self-examination, clarifying motives and inner drives. Know thyself!
The Harp ~ The gift of being able to create harmony. See, there is a bright side to going through this challenge. And when you need a break, listen to some soothing (harp?) music.
The Stone ~ Stay your course, and go with what feels right inside.
The Hole, or The Vase ~ Being open to all the possibilities. Remember, a vase has firm outer boundaries yet is ready to receive.
The Sea ~ At the end of the day, this is our reward: to be rocked in the cradle of the Cosmos, knowing that just as the Sea nurtures all of her creatures, so are we accepted and understood by our universe.
It's all about feelings, my friends. We are looking to satisfy our inmost needs: feeling secure and mastering our emotions in general. The energy moves within so we can get in touch with our self and our boundaries. The prize is a deeper awareness of the Soul.
Would you like to have a forecast of your personal energy cycles? 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 http://www.geoglowconsulting.com/ for more information.




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