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 ~

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Float like a Butterfly ... or maybe a Duck: CycleCast for now through Summer Solstice

It's May 1st - Beltane or May Day to those who follow the great wheel of the year. As promised, I've prepared a new CycleCast to take us up to the Summer Solstice, which occurs this year on June 20 at 11:46 pm Mountain Time. Let's what the energies have to tell us:
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We want to spread our wings and fly, don't we, fellow-travelers? Wouldn't it be nice to flit about like the carefree Butterfly ~
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But is that who we really are? The reading states that our central energy in this CycleCast is that of the Duck ~
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so we really should be waddling happily along, not taking things too seriously, and going with the flow of life... ahhhh. But just when life seems to be floating by, along comes the Universe and slams down that big Looking Glass in our face, forcing us to take a look at ourselves and See Clearly. What to do? Roll up the sleeves, put on the Gloves and get to the real work of give and take. Oh yes, it is okay - even necessary- to accept assistance with the task ahead

Looking back, have we paid enough attention to the Earth - our resources, stability, and structure? If not, the times of neglect will be catching up with us. If so, then we have a firm foundation to build upon. It's the nourishing soil that grows sweet flowers and attracts the Butterfly. This lets us rise up, as if on a Ladder, all the while Bowing to the great mystery that surrounds us. Sit for a while in prayer or meditation, dear traveler, and when Hope is restored, take up your Sword and go forth once more.

A major theme of this reading is: how do we respond to the universal forces that are acting upon us? We're not so much in the driver's seat during this Cycle, although a well-chosen attitude can get us through in a pinch. Even as we refine how we express our selves, we are are also searching deeply for the truth. When this tension becomes too great, we must learn to simply sit with the contradictions. It's called unifying duality, and it's a major lesson to be learned in this Cycle.

Peak days in this reading fall during during the first weeks of both May and June. These are the times when the lessons will click, and we'll really be able to claim our own power. Then we'll have a couple of weeks to consolidate the energy, as the sun rises up to the zenith of Solstice, before we turn into the waning half of the year. Sounds like a good time to take a summer vacation!

A final note before I sign off ... The next Mercury Retrograde period begins May 6 and ends on May 30, so instead of the an "energy of the month" post for May, I'll prepare a Mercury Retrograde CycleCast. Come back by May 6 and learn how to align with the energies of that somewhat challenging period. Actually, come back sooner and read my interim posts on eclectica, notable quotes, tutorials, and everything else - because there's always more to read and see here at Jan's CycleCast Blog!

Would you like to have a forecast of your personal energy cycles? My intuitive readings will help answer your questions and illuminate your path - and are now available by e-mail!. For information and to request a reading, click here, or send a message to burchjan@gmail.com. Visit my website www.GeoGlowConsulting.com/ for more information about my intuitive services.
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Feeling Like I Gave a Party, and No One Came!

In the previous post, I proudly - if somewhat nervously - described the sale I held during the weekend in my Etsy shop. Well, last night I took it down - with a very heavy heart. No sales. Not many views of the sale items, no hearts, no comments except on the blog post. And these flower scarves have consistently been a popular item in my shop, so you'd think folks would jump at the chance to get them at a discount, right? Wrong? WTF?

Before I try to answer that, let me tell you how I feel, without ranting (I ranted on my Facebook page last night). Have you ever given a party, and no one came???? I actually have, and it's the same awful, soul-wrenching feeling of utter rejection. This is no ordinary day spent at home not waiting for the phone to not ring - I can handle that. I mean, I prepared for you! Whether it's a party or a sale, it takes effort - and I made the effort: sent out the invitations, cleaned up the house or the shop, put my best foot forward when I might rather have spent the day crocheting on the couch in my pajamas. I did all of this, and you ignored me? I can understand the everyday sort of rejection, but when even my best is doesn't appeal, where does that leave me?

Okay, I know I'm not alone. I just read in Mary Pipher's new book, Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World, a story of how she started a book club when she was in high school, and no one came. It's the same exact, utter loneliness and bafflement. Her conclusion is what I know in my rational mind: It's just part of life, and there's not necessarily any explanation for it. So we just have to move on to the next thing.

Which leaves me pondering, from a business standpoint, what is the next thing? Is there an underlying message from the Universe here? Well, I'll cut to the chase and tell you what I think: No more weekend sales! In truth, I've only sold a couple of things on any kind of sale. The majority of my 20 (official) sales to date have been at full price. Could it be as simple as, the Universe doesn't want me to devalue my work by discounting my prices? Suits me; I'd rather sell the scarf at $16 instead of $12, thank you very much. I just thought I was doing something nice for my prospective customers, and giving all those who've admired the scarves a chance to get one and keep a few bucks in their pocket at the same time. But, apparently my kind gesture wasn't wanted. I will take my sales sign and go home.

I need to take care of my psyche. This has done something to my head, and taken me to a place where I don't want to be. Of course I'll keep selling - I'm not all that fragile - if for no other reason than that I must make all these crafts that are in my head to be made! And I must earn income, too; the business aspect of it is as vital as the artistic. But I can't afford the black gloomies that hit me when I give a sale (or a party) and no one comes.

So, no more weekend sales from me. At least not for a long, long while. I will continue marking down items for clearance, or for special introductory prices. Since these run continuously for a time, without special promotional efforts, it's a little different. And I will continue making and listing new stuff! That's what I should be doing this past weekend, instead of flogging sales. And I've made progress in that regard, too: Despite it all, I have NEW STUFF to list during this coming week! Wooo hooo! Two new lines - crystals and crocheted necklaces - coming soon to Eclectica By Jan! Come back and check 'em out :-)
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beltane is coming, and I have flowers for you!

May Day is coming, dear readers, and that means wearing flowers! It's also known as Beltane ~ one of the traditional cross-quarter days in the archetypal wheel of the year. Pagans and Wiccans know this day well. In honor of this day, I'm having a fabulous sale on flower scarves at Eclectica By Jan! Here's a sample ~


Aren't they beautiful? And look at the many ways you can wear them! For this weekend only, they're all marked down by 25% - such a deal! These scarves also make great Mother's Day gifts, so if you haven't decided yet what to get Mom for her day, just click here and your problems are solved. You'll need an Etsy account to purchase this way, but it's really easy to set up. If you're having trouble with the purchase, follow this tutorial.

Wearing an accessory like this is a perfect way to celebrate Beltane and all it represents ~ spring, rebirth, new growth, initiation, and creativity at all levels. It also symbolizes commitment, for with the planting of the spring crops we're committing to their care and nurturing all the way through the harvest. Hmmm, I wonder if this is why spring is such a traditional month for weddings? On that note, wouldn't these scarves make terrific bridesmaids gifts? Maybe you'd need a custom order for that - just let me know through the Etsy convo. I love to do custom orders!

The approach of Beltane means a little more work for me, because I promised you another CycleCast by then, to take us from Beltane into the summer solstice. No worries; I love moving through the year's seasons this way. I'll have your promised CycleCast posted by the end of April. For sure! So bookmark this blog and keep coming back, because there's always more to see and read here at Jan's CycleCast Blog.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Notable Quote: Who Tortures

The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.

~ Carl Jung
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

What can a Tabletop Labyrinth do for you?

True or False: A labyrinth is like a puzzle - it gets you lost.
Right?


Wrong!
Not my labyrinths! Mine are healing designs, based on ancient formulas of sacred geometry, and I just added a listing for them to my Eclectica By Jan etsy shop. See them below, and see more pictures by clicking on the link ~


Labyrinths like these come in all sizes. I once led a workshop in constructing an outdoor labyrinth that measured 55 feet across! Walking through these labyrinths can balance your chakras and auric field. It can help you manifest your intentions into reality (so be careful what you ask for :-) Many other spiritual and magical effects have been attributed to labyrinths - but it's a little hard to keep 55 feet of sacred earth in your city apartment, or carry it around in your briefcase.

Enter the tabletop labyrinth. Tracing the pathway - there is just one pathway, it goes in and out, and contrary to popular belief you can't get lost in a sacred labyrinth - with your fingers has the same harmonizing effects as walking it, and it's a lot more convenient! This version is my own design, using a basic Cretan or 7-circuit labyrinth shape, and assigning colors to each circuit so that you move through the spectrum as you go. Remember ROY G. BIV? Yep those same colors you learned in school - red, orange, yellow, green. blue, indigo, violet - that form the spectrum also form a harmonic structure for your energy field. Working with these labyrinths is simple and inexpensive, and can be very healing for sensitive people.

This labyrinth set can also be used for clearing small objects, such as crystals and gemstones, and as a meditation focus. The set is presented as laminated folder with complete, easy-to-follow instructions. At only $12 plus (very reasonable) shipping, it's a great buy - a perfect gift for you or another!

What else can you do with labyrinths? I couldn't resist using my labyrinth scan to play with the library of effects at http://photofunia.com/. At the top of the post you'll see my labyrinth "funia'd" as a picture puzzle. Below is a collage of some other "uses" ~ Decorate a wall ... entertain your kittehs ... cover a magazine ... and ~

make a dress! Gotta have something in here for the guys who've patiently read this far! Namaste, and get a labyrinth :-)
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Tea Party Fallout: Independents Turned Off, Some GOPers Worried

Dear Readers: Like many of you, I've watched this week's events with amusement turning to nausea. I'm as much ashamed of my "side" as theirs. Here's the comment I wrote in reply to the article published by Sam Stein in today's Huffington Post:



Okay, fellow liberals and progressives: I'm feeling like I need a shower after this week of crazy. The Tea-party protests are abhorrent in many ways. But the response from a large segment of our kind has not been much better.

Yes, they've been an easy target. Schadenfreude feels good after our long years of exile. I admit to joining in the fun: After hearing "love America or leave it" since my college days in the 60s, I couldn't resist my "Send them to Somalia" posts. (It's a perfect fit - no government and plenty of guns.)

But have we won any hearts or minds with our merciless mocking? Granted, most of those minds are not open to change - the biggest change they can't stomach is an African-American in the White House, as Janeane Garofalo recently observed on Countdown. Yet we're losing an opportunity: as this article so clearly states, moderates are turned off! Will they be turned on by the outpouring of shame we've dumped on what's left of their party? I think not.

So come on, it's time to grow up. We've praised President Obama for bringing adulthood to the White House; let's follow his model. Let's reclaim our liberal values of peace, tolerance, and inclusiveness from the poor showing we've made this week. How about reaching out now to a turned-off moderate? They might find some ideas worth considering, and we might find some more support for the direction we want our country to follow.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Notable Quote: words of wisdom from Peace Pilgrim

When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others. Inner peace is not found by staying on the surface of life, or by attempting to escape through life by any means. Inner peace is found by facing life squarely, solving its problems, delving as far beneath its surface as possible to discovers its verities and realities.

~ Peace Pilgrim, Her Life and Works in Her Own Words, pg. 132

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ending the Dry Spell - of Sales

It's nice, rainy weekend here in Albuquerque, dear readers, but that's not the type of dry-spell-ending I'm talking about. In truth, it had been over 30 days since my last Etsy sale :( until yesterday, when my Little Fishy ACEOs finally found a home ~


image and ACEOs by Jan Burch

I was posting around in the Etsy promo forums yesterday, when a very nice seller called stonetotem wrote that she had bought one of my items - the little fish shown above. I was so surprised, I had to fumble through all the back-clicks to get my own shop pages and find out that it was true - w00t! Ding ding ding! Happy Dance - I made a sale!

Fellow Etsians will know what I'm talking about: There's something about getting that sale notification that brings out the Happy Dance like nothing else. This is especially true for us newbies - wait, did I just call myself a newbie, when I've been selling since August, and have (ahem) 17 sales currently under my belt?

Yes, I still feel like a newbie, and that's what I really want to talk about. I'm not writing this just to brag about myself, you know, although that's certainly part of the agenda. No, I want to explore the underlying neuroses that accompany my journey through selling v. not selling. I'm sure I'm not alone in my thoughts, and I hope this will ring a bell with some of you.

The awful truth is, when I go into those dry spells between sales, the Itty Bitty Bleepit Committee in my head takes over, and they start making me think I've never made a sale in my life and I never will again!!!!! I'm a total impostor, I'm a kid playing around with the big boys, and how dare I call myself an artist. (Actually, I think of myself more as an artisan or craftsperson than an artist, but never mind.) Then I lose my confidence, and I start doing rash things like planning to pack all of my shop goods in plastic trash bags for the next charity drive in my neighborhood. Fortunately, good sense prevails and I refrain, and then fortunately another sale comes along and I regain my equilibrium.

With that in mind, I find it helpful to go through my list of what I've actually sold since I began my Etsy venture:
  • Five ACEOs - all of which are original collage art pieces. (That means people are actually buying my art, I say as I pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.)
  • Three afghans, all of my own design (ditto with the pinch).
  • Five scarves, three winter and two summer.
  • One shawl, a vintage dress pattern, a crocheted Christmas stocking, and a reading!
  • Add to that the things I've sold outside of Etsy - two labyrinths, three scarves, and several note cards. Since these don't show up on Esty, I tend to forget about them. That's why I've started posting all my sales to my Facebook profile.
Btw, some of this stuff had been in my shop for several months before selling - another reminder to hang in there and not give up. Again, this is not bragging - this is to remind myself that I actually can sell my stuff. I have sold, I can sell, and I will sell again!

Because at the end of the day, it's all about having confidence. Let me modify that - a balanced sense of confidence. I know very well the pitfalls of hubris and thinking I'm better than I ought to be, but I also know well the dangers of the Itty Bitty Committee and the voices that would tell me to hang it up. Confidence wins, and I have to keep lists of stuff I've done successfully (and post them to my blog now and then) to remind myself that I CAN DO THIS - well, so be it. And so it may be for you, dear readers and fellow Etsians. Look back at your successes and remind yourself that you can do this. It helps, it really does.
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Notable Quote: Loose Attachment

Develop the habit of loose attachment. Whenever you are looking forward to something and the possibility of not getting what you want occurs to you, stay with that possibility and fully explore it in your mind. Look at the unwanted outcome as one with value and promise in itself, not total failure. Pursue in your mind its opportunities, and see where they lead you. If nothing else, this will be a good exercise for your imagination. You will stumble upon ideas that you may want to put to use regardless of the outcome of the issue at hand. The ability to believe that something good can follow even from something unwanted will help you reduce your anxiety and accept any outcome more serenely. Not all outcomes are equally desirable. They all have, however, the potential to produce desirable results. If you make your attachment to your desired outcomes loose rather than rigid, your life will doubtless become more balanced.

~P.M. Forni, The Civility Solution

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Friday, April 3, 2009

This Is Just Me, But I Think Spring is Overrated

Heads up, fellow-travelers, it's been a while since I've let loose with a good rant, so here goes ~ my rant of today concerns that vastly overrated season called Spring :-P

Those who know me well are accustomed to my less-than-enthusiastic responses to the state of the year conversations that always come around at this time: "Oh, it's so nice that spring is coming!" Big effing deal. "Isn't it great that the days are getting longer!!" I like the darkness. "Oh, look, the flowers are blooming!!!" Yeah, so is the juniper ....

Which brings me to the events that prompted this rant. Today was an utterly awful spring day in Albuquerque. It was halfway between warm and cold, so you couldn't dress comfortably. The afternoon was gray and overcast. And, all day long, we had the WIND. The spring wind that prevails in the high desert is legendary - not only does it make you want to crawl out your skin, it also stirs up dust and pollen from far and wide. The allergy section in my favorite pharmacies are decimated at this time of year, so I always have to make sure I stock up ahead. But today, even with double-doses and a homeopathic on top of the OTC, I was still sneezing. And Albuquerque pollen allergies are no ordinary sneezes - it feels like you have multiple acupuncture needles drilling up the inside of your nose. Normal life is impossible until the meds take hold and the stinging subsides to a somewhat ignorable itch.

So is there anything good about spring? I'll grant you the flowers. In fact, I even took some pictures of the apple blossoms in my back yard a few days ago ~






And it's a good thing I took these pictures when I did, because siince then the days have been cloudy, blustery, and cold as the proverbial witch's teat (no offense to proper witches intended). And there's still one more thing to not love about overrated spring - it's the prelude to my least favorite season of all ~ Summer. Stay tuned for future rant in about three months!
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Cherry: Energy of the Month for April 2009

Spring has sprung, fellow-travelers, and April has dawned. It's time to rise up from our soul's winter cocoon, and bring the lessons we've learned out into the world. The energy for this month is

THE CHERRY


This ripe and luscious energy represents the attitude of Getting Involved - in life, in work, in family, community, or perhaps even in that relationship you've been dancing around. We are Complete - for now - and we've got something to offer. So it's time to get out there and put your new understanding out into the world!
On the Star+Gate pattern, the Cherry's nearest neighbors are:
  • Mask ~ the challenge of embracing that which has been hidden within the self, integrating our personal aspects, and developing self-esteem.
  • Block ~ the challenge of dealing with obstacles, knowing that as we turn them into roblems and solve them, they become our foundation for the next phase.
  • Coffin ~ The fulfillment shamanic death, transformation, and rebirth (don't be scared; it's a metaphor not a literal interpretation).
  • Field ~ The fulfillment of seeking, exploring, discovering - and likewise being truly willing to be seen.
  • Rod ~ the attitude of taking command of the self and being in charge of one's life.
  • Arrow ~ the attitude of making up your mind and going for it!
These energies share certain themes that will add a flavor to our experiences as we go through the month ~
    • Illumination, Perception, and Realization: Searching for truth amid our deeply-held values and beliefs, while being willing to sit with the contradictions and paradoxes of life.
    • Perfection, Utilization, Application: While confronting limitations and dealing with authority - both within self and in others - we find ways to access light within the darkest situations.
These themes will peak around the middle of the month - from April 12 through April 16. This will be a time of strong manifesting energy, so remember the wise adage "Be careful what you ask for." Hey, why not ask for what life is really all about - a bowl of cherries :-)



Images courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Station

Would you like to have a forecast of your personal energy cycles? My intuitive readings will help answer your questions and illuminate your path - and are now available by e-mail!. For information and to request a reading, click here, or send a message to burchjan@gmail.com. Visit my website GeoGlowConsulting.com for more information about my intuitive services.
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