Medicine Cards – Snake



Yesterday I told you about trying to understand a recurring dream about snakes. As I said then, I planned to look to another source for insight. So that’s what I did.


My friend Gwendelyn gave me the Medicine Cards shown above about a jillion years ago. I’ve kept them on my shelf, and once in a while I turn to them. I can’t claim to glean deep meaning from them, but I am – at the very least – entertained. And hey – sometimes I do feel like I know a bit more after using the Medicine Cards.


So yesterday I pulled the book and cards from the shelf and turned to the section on Snakes.


Things have been going on in my little world. A while back, my face started to peel. And I do mean peel. Even my eyelids were peeling, y’all. While that was happening, I was navigating friendship hurtles and processing some unease on a professional level. And none of it was going very well. As I am not the boss of anyone else and therefore have no control over how other people choose to behave, I let go of trying to manage the professional and friendship bullshit and instead focused on my peeling face. I made an appointment with a dermatologist.


When I went in, I told the doc I had been guzzling water and moisturizing like crazy. She took one look at me and said, “You’re way past moisturizer.” Okay. I then told her I was going through a lot of life change, and that perhaps my body was behaving like a snake. That I was shedding my skin. She looked at me sideways and said something like, “Okaaaaay. Anywaaaaay…” My hippie-dippie side did not appeal to her and she proceeded to tell me I had a bad case of eczema and needed topical meds. I don’t like meds (as I often tell you), but when your danged eyelids are peeling off, you do what the doctor says.


I’m telling you this back story because of what I learned about Snake medicine during yesterday’s reading. “Snake medicine people are very rare. Their initiation involves experiencing and living through multiple snake bites, which allows them to transmute all poisons, be they mental, physical, spiritual, or emotional.” The section goes on to describe how choosing this card means “…there is a need within you to transmute some thought, action, or desire so that wholeness may be achieved.” I thought about all that’s been going on with me and realized that I do indeed need wholeness. On a lot of levels. I also realized I am the only person who can provide that for myself.


So my takeaway? I think the recurring snake dream is about processing things going on around me in a way that allows me to care for myself. I think there’s a lot of growth taking place, and while that is sometimes uncomfortable, it is growth, just the same. Maybe those snakes in my dreams are just pushing me along my path. I don’t know where it leads, but it’s mine.


I want to share one more thing I read in the Snakes section of the Medicine Cards book: “This is heavy magic, but remember, magic is no more than a change in consciousness.” I like that. And I love magic. I’m even trying to not hate snakes.


I’m trying. All the way around.

The Parts I Hate



I just read this lovely post by Elizabeth Gilbert. I won’t go into its particulars, as she covers the territory so beautifully and sweetly and funnily that I needn’t add a thing.


But can I just say a little something about timing? I happened upon this post yesterday morning. And I had just been going over some thoughts and feelings about myself that were, well, less than love-filled. And while I am constantly in awe of the way the universe brings hope my way (this time in the form of the Gilbert post), I am not surprised. Not anymore. Because once I started paying attention to the magic of this world, it began appearing more regularly. Or maybe it was always there, only I wasn’t. There, I mean.


Today I am present. In my skin and in my mind. And thanks to Elizabeth Gilbert, I get to see myself and the parts I ordinarily hate a little differently. With love.


I’ll take it.

Naughty or Nice?



I’ve been mostly nice this year, though a fair amount of naughty was sprinkled about. If I’m honest, that’s probably how most years go. I’d like to do better, but I am what I am.


Because I believe and – in my heart – know, I won’t wait up for Santa tonight. I’ll just snuggle under the covers, grateful to have a warm bed and a roof over my head. I’ll probably count my blessings before drifting off. Knowing me, my belly will be full and I’ll wear a smile there in the darkness. I like to think those little parts of my personality put me on the Nice List. And that Santa sees it.


Let me be clear about something here: I believe in Santa Claus. Maybe not in the way a child believes, but I believe just the same. It took me many adult years to get here. As a kid, I was a Santa junkie, like all the other children I knew. Then, when I was only 6 or 7, my uncle Scottie told me the most horrible story imaginable: Santa was fake. He told me how our parents get all the presents, then hide them before putting them beneath the Christmas tree each year. He even took me up into the attic of his house, to show me where all his gifts were stashed. As uncle Scottie was a couple of years older than I, he was an authority. And I believed him. Kid Christmas would never be the same.


I was devastated, but I kept it to myself. I had 2 younger sisters and I didn’t want them to find out about Santa. I didn’t want them to feel the heartbreak I was enduring. By the time they no longer believed in Santa, years had passed.


I never told on Scottie for enlightening me about Santa Claus. And to this day, I don’t blame him. He was a kid himself. Like me, he didn’t know any better. We just wanted to grow up. We thought we had to put aside childish things in order to make that happen. We thought a concrete understanding of life would bring maturity. We had no idea what we’d lose in letting go of our magical beliefs.


I am mostly grown now. I watch the children of friends as they marvel at December’s promise. I hear strangers admonishing their children out in the world, “You’d better be good or Santa won’t come to our house!” And I smile at all of it. For I believe in Santa Claus, too. And I believe in Magic. I believe – period. As an adult, I have regained the beauty and possibility of a child’s faith. And if that’s not Magic, I don’t know what is.





Sometimes I don’t feel much like an adult. Sometimes I don’t feel like a kid, either. During those times, I feel a bit like I’m stuck in limbo. And I don’t quite know what to do.


I’m not a gal who thinks “stuff” will cure all ills. I’m well-versed in that approach, as I was raised in that culture. But I don’t buy it – figuratively or literally (not even during this season of excess). I also don’t believe in putting my head in the sand, as if ignoring life will lead to everything working out. I’ve witnessed more than a few friends choosing this non-action, but it isn’t for me.


There have been times when I’ve faced challenges and I’ve chosen poorly. (Many times, actually.) I wish I knew why I continue to fail myself and others, but I haven’t a clue. I could blame my less-than-I’d-like-to-be moments on my humanness, but that well has been tapped so many times it’s nearly dry.


The truth is – while I may have my moments of feeling steady in living this life thing, I’m really just a novice, and a farkakte novice at that. I’ve done a lot of work to overcome the ugliness of my youth and I’ve accomplished a great deal. But the mountain before me looms as large as ever and it doesn’t matter how much ground I’ve covered. There’s still a lot of climbing to be done.


I share this because I’m in the middle of trying to figure out how to be a better person while not sacrificing my Mikki-ness. I mean, how do I interact with other souls and maintain my own? How do I communicate with folks in a positive manner, and still project honesty? In short – how do I speak my truth, encourage others to do the same and not get hurt or hurt anyone else in the process?


I am mortified the answer may be “I don’t.” It frightens me to no end to think that life means constantly being hurt and hurting those we love. I don’t like the idea of any of that pain. Thinking there’s no way around it is almost more darkness than I can handle.


I suppose these sorts of feelings are what lead some of us to quit. To give in. To file for divorce or terminate a friendship.  Don’t get me wrong – I know those tough choices are often made for very legitimate reasons, but don’t we sometimes choose to walk away from muddy ground instead of doing the harrowing work of getting through the muck and mire? Who could blame us? Muddy trenches suck. And even if a gal is wearing hip-waders, she still needs strength to pull herself through – one sticky step at a time.


Still, I’m not giving up. For even when it breaks my heart, I love life. And I love my nearest and dearest more than words can convey. So I’ll keep showing up, and showing up, and showing up. I’ll keep trying to toughen my skin while softening my words. I’ll endeavor to let things roll off my shoulders and to not add weight to the shoulders of those I love. I’ll keep trying.


And maybe some hot cocoa wouldn’t hurt. There’s magic in a cup of cocoa, you know. I’ll take all the magic I can get.

Rock Camp – Day 4



I thought Hump-day would hold as the challenge. But Thursday, Day 4, ended up draining me even more.


I got home late on Day 3, so Thursday’s 5 am alarm was not welcomed. But there it was, so there I went. Mister and I P90-X-ed, I grabbed a super-quick shower, then I hit the road. In the rain. That’s right. L.A. decided to rain. Traffic was snarled, but for some reason I still made it downtown on time. As I neared the Camp location, I was thinking how much I would enjoy that first burst of morning caffeine. And though my mind was thinking coffee, my arms were steering toward Burger King. Before I knew it, I was ordering a jumbo-sized Dr. Pepper. I walked back to my car, carrying a mondo D.P. and dodging rain drops. I drank the whole thing while greeting the campers in the parking lot. And then the day began.




Vocals class was amazing. Instructors broke off with individual students and helped them work on their lyrics. I had such fun helping them! The lyrics these girls have written are astounding. Helping them figure it all out was just a blast. And an honor. Big time.



Then came lunch. Since it was raining, all the day’s activities were moved indoors. That included the lunchtime concert: King. I’ve seen this amazing group of women before, and they floored me then. This show was no different. Their harmonies, their rhythms, their grooves – all are beautiful. Powerful. Moving. The campers were so into it, and asked King such emotional questions, we Volunteers couldn’t help but get misty-eyed a few times.


The afternoon brought band practice and DIY silk-screening. (I’ll have to share a photo soon, as the band I’m working with did an amazing job on their logo.) I went around and checked in with the various vocalists in each band, and I got to hear so many of the band’s songs. Exciting! Then I attended band practice with our band and they must have run through the song about a jillion times. As tomorrow’s the last chance to practice before Saturday’s showcase, repetition is vital. And it’s a confidence-builder.



By the end of the day, I was beat. It wasn’t as if there was a lot of drama or anything, the day just seemed to take it out of me. Maybe I’m starting to dread the end of it all. I’m not sure. But no matter why, I didn’t have a lot of go-go left. I hit the highway just after the end-of-the-day staff meeting. The rain had stopped, and the sun was barely peeping through the clouds. Traffic wasn’t nearly as jammed as in the morning. I got home at a reasonable hour, had time to do a few things around the house and even relaxed. It had been a draining day. And I had survived. Intact. Whole. Maybe even more so than before the day began.


That’s part of the magic of Rock Camp. I love magic.

Magic Wonder



I was at a thrift store yesterday, looking for old bowling balls (yes), when I caught sight of this. For some reason it made me happy. I even managed to overlook the spelling mistake. I don’t know if “Maya” came up with this idea or if it was presented to her. Either way, it made me want to have a little place where I can store my own Magic Wonder.


Do you have such a place for yourself? If so, what vessel do you use?