Soul & Spirituality

Re-discovered Polaroid Project

Wild and Free Polaroid


Amidst the craziness of 2015, the year my Dad suffered a severe stroke, I found some quiet moments to secretly create a Polaroid Oracle Deck, card by card. That year, through tear-stuffed eyes I needed simple creativity that didn't require me to think too much.  Just polaroids and a label maker, that's all there was to it. Click, print, click, stick.  It was a powerful and profound process of just being. A quiet way of expressing where I was at and what I needed.  Letting go of the trauma and grief for the briefest of moments and whilst there was a chance, before we might have to blue light my Dad to the Emergency Department again.  

In the tangle of days, weeks and months that became the 2 years following Dad's death these cards had got tucked away somewhere in a box, somewhere in the spare bedroom and became lost to my eyes.  During a clutter clear, they re-appeared. Waiting patiently.  A blast from the past.  Multiple mini moments of imagineering suspended in time. Shiny tactile moments of hope, possibility and healing. I felt happysad flipping through them again, remembering that version of me back then, fraught and fractured, clinging to hope, thinking I was responsible for saving my Dad. 


Hibernate Polaroid



I remembered that the idea of creating my own oracle cards had been floating around my head for years before they became enormously popular or you could print your own. I remembered that whilst loafing on my sofa, pondering on how to use up some out of date polaroid films, my highland cow polaroid, propped up on the mantle, caught my eye. I remembered the excitement of having the idea to create a really personal polaroid oracle deck, just for me. 

 I remembered slowly creating my retro collection, the re-assuring punch of letters on label tape, slowly eeking out words. I remembered quickly stuffing polaroids in between book pages before daylight ruined them and waiting 30 minutes until they developed, or maybe not. Such wonder. 21 cards in total. Nothing fancy, nothing special. I loved each and every one of them. I remembered it being such an incredibly heartening and delightful journey. And total escape.

Creating these cards, alongside blogging and other things kept me sane that year. I remembered embarking on a 'calmsoul mission' that year and failing almost immediately - there was nothing calm about 2015, except when my Dad slept. Even then I'd worry that would be the moment he'd fly off - too soon, too soon Dad. Instead, I spent the year mostly angry, inflamed and on the edge. 


Shine Bright Polaroid


I remembered attempting to create interpretations for each card and even blogging it.  Because that's what you do. I think I managed 2, maybe even 3. I remembered finding that bit hard. I don't remember a moment of giving up, maybe I just gave in to everything else around me.  I remembered I must've shared them because I was asked if they could be used as inspiration for a 'create your own oracle cards' e-course. And I remembered that just weeks before Dad died I created a special website page just for that reason. I remembered feeling proud of that little page. 

And then I remembered that Dad, I and the cards turned sideways in to the light and did a disappearing act. Then:

The cards re-appeared.

Dad's still disappeared

and the me that was is no longer.

The longest journey,

a flicker of time.

From hereon these cards shall be known as the Polaroid Prompt Deck formerly known as the Polaroid Oracle Deck.  At least I haven't chosen an unpronounceable symbol for it's new name. But they are an unpronounceable symbol of what was lost and what was found. And what may yet be discovered. 

You can see more of my Polaroid Prompt Cards and how I made them here. 

Winter Solstice 2016

A belated and very warm Winter Solstice to you all. The light is back and the days are getting longer...

As I sit in front of my toasty woodburner, getting high on smudged sage, blinking through Winter Solstice natural incense mistiness, candles lit - think Bollywood Mystic Boudoir meets The Hobbit - I'm reflecting over my Solstice Journey over the last few days. And I feel all warm and lovely inside.

The journey began on Saturday at a workshop 'Endings and Beginnings' with the wonderful Mark Boylan, a 5 rhythms and Movement Medicine Teacher. I avoided 5 rhythms for years thinking it was all floaty tops and new age nonsense. When  I finally got to my local class led by Mark's wife, Sarah Blagg, I felt like I was part of secret Monday night middle-aged rave - the music (ultra cool, Sarah used to be a trance dance DJ in Toronto) just infected my being and my bones had to move.

After a year of unexpected epic-ness, this was just what I needed. We danced 5 rhythms to embrace each of the last 12 months and all it's happenings, emotions and learnings, to dance away any sticky bits still clinging and to say thank you 2015 for E V E R Y T H I N G. It was joyful, releasing, emotional, healing, empowering and so much more. We shook out, we danced in. No floaty tops or new age beliefs required - just an intention to consciously let go. When we let go we give others permission to let go. Pebble in the pond kind of thing.

Next we used Movement Medicine to dance in Beginnings for 2016. We chose newly emerging 'roles' which we wanted to grow in our lives. Our roles to self, others and community. My role for self was Vision Keeper - to keep hold of the visions that have been on hold this past year and to keep my eyes open for beyond what IS. We gave each role a posture.

After dancing in all three new roles, we put the role names together as an incantation. Reciting this incantation aloud with the posture sequence = movement medicine. An example could be 'Vision Keeper, Enlightened Helper, Grateful Server'. A little intentional personalised practice that takes less than a minute but embodies and strengthens what is emerging for us. By the end, I felt so blissfully alive. A sense of completion. Powerful stuff.

Onwards to the incredibly magical Avebury, with a fellow mischief maker via Uffington White Horse. We walked amongst sacred stones, bought rattles from Peru (so much fun) and a beautiful horse journal, met a friendly tour leader who drove us to The Avenue, a long line of stones where we witnessed gobsmacking swallow murmurations, tied ribbons to a wishing tree and then stumbled  across The Barge Inn, famous for crop circle and UFO lovers. We were not disappointed...we met a well known ufologist who shared some fantastical stories with us.  Wiltshire is where it is at. Whether you believe in it or not.

The next day we hit Glastonbury. Love love love it here. The amazing shops with big unicorns, the feel good street art, the anything goes vibe just lit us both up. Top shops on my list were Dilliwalli, stocking all sorts of Indian goodies and Starchild, a herb and incense shop that I would like to move in to and inhabit forever. We put impulse purchases on hold and to walk up Glastonbury Tor, the clouds parting yet again creating a magical angel wing in the sky. I can't put it in to words but there is something so awe inspiring to be atop this wonderful hill that once used to be an island. Big Sigh.

Back to the shops and yep, my friend bought the huge unicorn and it is now happily living at the end of her bed. I wish her many mystical happenings. I couldn't resist buying something for a blog gift away too.

And the grand finale...Stonehenge for Winter Solstice Sunrise. and the sun did rise and did shine. All I can say is that being here at this time is utter joy. Beautiful - peaceful - uplifting - sacred - communal - earthy. I could go on and on. Yes, there rattles came out. I felt immense bliss jigging around a circle of fur clad drummers who looked like they'd just escaped from Lord of the Rings. Very otherworldly. Winter Solstice just gets me in every cell of my body. I love it.

Happy reflections indeed. A sense of BEING, of COMPLETION and that everything is OK. Tonight, I'll do more pondering and mystic wonderfulness with my Unravelling the Year Ahead workbook by the delicious Susannah Conway. I so recommend this workbook. I'm not much of a planner or goal setter as my life doesn't seem to work like that but there are some great bits for reflecting back and gently wishing forwards. I can go for that.

Ok, I'm now at risk of becoming a well-baked Dal with the heat of the woodburner so I'll finish with my slightly late Winter Solstice Giftaway  - the lovely horse journal from Avebury, Winter Solstice Natural incense from Star Child (it'll keep you going all winter and I've some charcoal discs for you too) and a white sage smudge stick. Yep, you need goodies and I need to give them to One Gorgeous Being.  And it can go anywhere in the world. Hoy hoy hoy!   Just let me know what Winter Solstice means for you in the comments below and I'll know you're in.

Super big furry LOVE to you all and I wish you so much of everything and more for the coming 12 months. xox

(and it's unconditional, you'll not be added to any mailing lists or anything - the gift away ends midnight Sun 27th Dec)