Last time I told you all about my sad ride down to the pearly gates of SFO, only to be turned down at the door. By that time I was already pretty tattered internally from all the change happening around me and within me. I didn’t tell you, however, about the spiritual urgings that primed me before that day. Let’s go back to Reader’s Studio for a moment…
After writing my last blog entry I went back and revisited that intention card I told you about. What I wrote was a little different in wording than I thought, yet interesting. My intention for the weekend was to develop “Total self-trust, step fully into myself, completion of self-integration.” Yeah. Much taller order than I even remembered. That’s me though, always looking for the tallest mountain to climb and assuming that no matter what, I can climb it. Leave it to a Capricorn Sun conjunct South Node in the Fifth House…
The thing about Reader’s Studio is that it was good for me, REALLY good for me on a number of levels. Not only did I earn back my costs (which were substantial), get the word out about City Mystic, learn a TON about Tarot, meet my personal Tarot heroine Mary K. Greer (whom I had the tremendous pleasure of being placed next to in the marketplace), make wonderful new friends with many kindred spirits, and get to bring my City Mystic • New York baby home, but I also conquered something within myself that surfaced a long time ago. Something I was not able to reckon with until now.
Let’s take a quick journey further back in time… to when I was 18. I was a hot mess. When I say I was a hot mess I mean that I was a flaming, raging, thrashing burning hot mess. It was a dark time for me. I had given up my dreams of being a fine art photographer to join the droves of lost young women in the booming sex industry of San Francisco. I had every good intention of making art of my sensuality, but I quickly learned the dangers of such a naive pursuit when I entered the world of stripping on my 18th birthday. As with many things in life, the idea and the reality were two vastly different things.
Within a month of stripping I had dropped out of school, moved in with two of my co-workers and become a full time heavy duty cocaine addict. By five months I had all but completely destroyed my life by being arrested with a large amount of drugs in my possession one particularly bad night. An unhappy customer complained to my boss that I would not offer sexual favors, only dances. I was suspended for not making enough money on my shifts… my manager told me I was “too good” of a good girl and needed to start getting creative if I was going to make it as a dancer. My response was to self-destruct with drugs to the brink of overdose. I didn’t care if I lived or died anymore. I didn’t care what happened to me at all. All that mattered was art and drugs. The art I was making became increasingly dark, isolated and difficult to relate to. I couldn’t afford the drugs without the job. The term downward spiral sums it all up nicely.
When I was arrested I was given an option: turn in my drug dealer and work with the police to put him away or go to prison for 5 years on a felony drug possession charge. I chose the former, and for the next two months embarked on a stressful relationship with the San Francisco Presidio Park Police (I was arrested in the Presidio) on building a case against one of the club managers at the time. He was not my drug dealer, but he was involved in a lot of heavy stuff, so I opted to protect my dealer and work with the police on their target. I always felt like a lowlife over the sheer cowardice of my choice to wrongfully accuse the guy. The police made it easier to take on when they told me he had gotten off on a murder charge the year before due to a technicality on their end, and had a long history of extreme violence and drug trafficking behind him. What my conscience still could not live with from there, the drugs helped me to forget.
Like I said, I was a hot mess. When I reflect back on that period of my life now I am amazed that I even made it out alive, let alone free. My plan was to work with the police until his trial and then to move to New York and start my life over. I purchased several books about New York, how to relocate and what one must essentially know in order to make it in the big city. I still have the books. They remind me every time I see them on my bookshelf of just how fortunate I am and what a massive bullet I dodged when the police called me in the middle of the night to tell me they decided to drop the case against the manager and pursue me exclusively instead. I was given three hours to surrender. I chose not to.
The night I received the call was a turning point for me. I did more drugs than I had ever done in one sitting before and then bid farewell to that life forever. The next day I returned to my family home, begged for a chance to start over and move back, and told my dad about all that I had gotten myself into. He graciously let me back in, and from there I rebuilt my life. Soon after detoxing and establishing a clean life I entered massage school, thus embarking on my personal and professional healing journey.
Two years later I was pulled over for a minor traffic violation, and was subsequently arrested for the outstanding bench warrant resulting from my refusal to surrender. Because so much time had passed I was able to make my case in court that I had changed my life by producing my diploma from massage school and proving employment at a respected San Francisco day spa. By the grace of all manner of second chances, the judge dropped the case and the charges. My record was expunged and I was given a clean slate to start my life over in a healthier, better way, both energetically and legally. The word grateful doesn’t even begin to encompass the way I feel about that outcome.
It feels like lifetimes have happened since then, but for me New York always felt like a soul-saving measure that was not to be. It was always that ‘what if things had gone the other way’ road. It was always special and scary to me. So when the opportunity to create City Mystic • New York came in 2014, it felt like a full circle of some kind, an evolved alternative to the option I had created for myself when I was too young and tangled to know better.
And so it seems this adventure of creating City Mystic decks has many, many layers to it- some of them terribly personal, and some greater than the scope of my tiny life could ever encompass. Similar to City Mystic • New York, City Mystic • Paris holds a deeply personal core, one that spans lifetimes.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, it was after Reader’s Studio that things really turned sour between my ex and I. Something about my making it through New York without his help broke an unspoken code between us. Chris has always been my hero in many respects. He came into my life in a very uncertain time when I was letting go of many of the status quo choices I had previously made in an attempt to heal my life from the madness of my youth. Our connection has always been intense, overwhelming even.
After things became unfriendly between us I struggled to find my footing. A wonderfully talented and generous friend, Laura Schofield of Sage House here in Sacramento, offered to gift me with an energy healing session to help me through the storm. Laura is a hugely gifted psychic and healer (I don’t say that about many folks), so when she offered I jumped on the opportunity. In our session together she did tremendous work on balancing and clearing my chakras. While she worked on me I was transported to a different time. I saw myself as a priestess in Ancient Egypt. I wore a robe of gauzy white with a golden hood and golden edges. Everything about the vision was extremely vivd. I saw a bowl of fire in the center of a dark, warm room. I saw a man with a mask on, a bird face mask. I saw myself telling him that times had changed for priestesses. I saw myself pouring my heart out to him, telling him that once I could do my work without fear, but that the world, and man especially, had changed. I saw myself asking him for protection. I saw myself making an agreement and performing a sex magick ritual with him to bind our souls. In exchange for his protection I would lend myself as his personal priestess. And so it would be through time. Through lifetimes.
After the session I felt dizzy, woozy, light headed and deeply changed. Over the years I’ve had many a wonderful energetic healing session, but never anything that even came close to what I experienced that day. It was a challenge for me to honor what had surfaced, but in keeping with my Reader’s Studio intention, I took it as a challenge to truly step into my power and honor the parts of me that the world at large tends to reject. I went home and researched the Bird Mask and ancient Egypt and was stricken when I read about Thoth. “But of course, how could I have forgotten!?!” I thought.
I remembered when Chris and I first met in this life, back in 2009 not long after my first Paris trip. We connected deeply over mysticism. We had planned a ritual very early on in our dating to embody Seshat, the Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge and writing and Thoth, the Egyptian god of maintaining the Universe, arbitration of the gods, magickal arts and scientific development.
Seshat came first historically, but as times changed, her duties too were displaced. Her priestesses were demoted and replaced by the priests of Thoth in later canonical writings.. Seshat is known as the scribe and record keeper, and as such is associated with Astrology and surveying aspects of architecture, her priestesses assisting pharaohs to build perfectly aligned cities and monuments to work in tandem with the heavens.
It only strikes me now as I reflect on all of this material that a massive intention of making these City Mystic decks stems from a need to reveal the hidden intentional meanings behind urban structures and symbols. The relationships are too deep and close for me to reasonably tell whether or not I am building on a personal mythos or tapping into an energetic core. Perhaps there are notions of both, or maybe neither. Being that we are humans, it is rather hard to definitively say.
For our personal ritual between Chris and I in 2009, we purchased clay. We each created small emblems in the clay for our corresponding dieties- mine that of Seshat, his that of Thoth. Halfway through preparation for the ritual Chris decided that he did not want to continue. I never quite understood why exactly, but was happy to respect his wishes. We never actually completed it. Its always something I have wondered about.
Now, years later in a seemingly unrelated energetic healing ceremony I was integrating this profound past life memory into my personal narrative for what was happening between us, and ultimately, what was dissolving. I thought of the role Chris has played in my life, what I love most about him, what attracts me to him. Indeed it is the qualities I saw in that memory, or vision. It was the protection. It was the intimate partnering of powers. It was a way to deeply honor my greater self in the context of a world which exactly does not honor or value any of it. My mind was blown and I spent several weeks processing what I had learned in that session. I was sad to be processing it alone, rather than sharing such a mystical adventure with my once partner.
The weeks passed, I raised the funds, worked tirelessly with my own natural magick- with fire, with alchemy, with symbolism, with guides and prayers. I practiced my truths, living my truths, sharing my truths. I practiced vulnerability. I practiced relentless honesty. And magickally, much to my own surprise, I was able to connect with other women who feel the powers of magick awakening within themselves as well. I raised the funds and was able to continue on with my work in Paris.
The awful drive happened, and the extremely disappointing denial of flight happened. And that was when more deep soul work happened too.
As I said in my last post, the first thing I did was call my best friend, Marina Shamashevich. She is always such a grounded voice, even when she thinks she isn’t. She’s just entered the professional coaching world and I honestly can’t think of a better suited job for her. I’ve known her since around the time of my second arrest, and through all these many wild years she has been such an important rock for me time and again. When I called her I was beyond upset. I could barely speak. I was in that “what if Chris is going to die” dialogue and I was panicking.
She took me through a process she does with clients to release past agreements and connections which o longer serve us. After were finished I felt immesurably better. I also remembered a past life vision Chris had shared with me once. He said he saw us in the French Revolution. He was fighting and was killed. As my protector, his death meant a life or horrible servitude and suffering for me. I had all but forgotten about it until Marina took me through the process. She and I both remarked on how powerful it was that Paris coincided so deeply with my relationship timeline with Chris. Something about climbing so high in perspective freed up my personal energy to continue on with the necessary tasks to get myself across the world.
I felt I could conquer the challenge ahead of me to replace my passport and get my mystical butt on one of those international flights come hell or high water. She helped me to reclaim my calm, and my sense of power. I decided to make the most of the night and headed to my favorite restaurant in SF for their most affordable meal and glass of wine. I savored each and every bite. I thanked my guides, Marina’s guides and the whole Universe for my lifted spirits. I made friends with a gentleman who owns several restaurants in San Francisco and showed him City Mystic • New York, which he loved. I made friends with another gentleman who inspired me tremendously by telling me about his grandson who was playing soccer in Spain in preparation for college scholarship applications. Meeting folks doing interesting things always inspires me. I was glad for the inspiration.
I headed down the street to my favorite dance party in San Francisco, Motown On Mondays, where I’ve been gifted with so many wonderful connections and friendships over the last two years. At the end of the night I slept in Chris’ car. I had nightmares of being robbed, attacked, preyed upon. More of those old agreements surfaced in my dreams. I let them pass and did my best to rest as much as possible for the difficult day ahead.
In the morning I awoke, drove to Walgreens, got new passport photos, and headed straight for the Passport office. When I arrived I was met with a long line out the door and around the block, but I kept praying. I posted on Facebook and asked my friends, family and supporters of the project to send good vibes that I could get a same-day passport. After making it in to the office eventually, I rode a long wild roller coaster of emotions. I saw numerous people turned down in front of me for same-day passports but I kept praying. I returned to my personal magick. I drew my favorite sigils for success, travel, peace, prosperity, good vibes and smooth sailing on the back of my passport paperwork. I prayed some more.
While I waited I went to the coffee shop next door. As I meandered the cafe looking for a seat I was just about to pull out a chair when I looked down to see what I thought was a giant dead cockroach. I looked again and noticed that it wasn’t a dead cockroach, it was a gigantic dead moth. “What does THAT mean?” I wondered. I found another seat and stared at the moth all through my cup of coffee before returning to the office without any real answer.
By the time my number was called I had all but let go of any hope for a specific outcome. I was tired. I was disheartened, and I still had the matter of booking a new flight to address. Imagine my surprise when the woman told me my new passport would be ready by 3:30 pm! I could have cried with excitement. So much crying in that 24 hour period…
As soon as I got the good news I rushed back to Chris’ car to begin the process of arranging another flight. The roller coaster dipped again. The agent on the phone told me there was no record that I had even been at the airport to attempt to check into my flight the day before, and as such, I would be charged full fare difference totaling $920. My dad generously loaned me $500 to rebook the flight. There was simply no way I was going to be able to afford the additional $420 as that was a little less than I had to eat for the entire trip.
After an hour of negotiating, crying, pleading, bargaining and refusing to accept, I was put on hold for a long wait. I pulled out my page of sigils and prayed while I stared at them. I asked the guides to please be with me. I asked Paris to please assist me. I asked the Universe to please help me. When the agent finally returned to the line she said I could get on that night’s flight at 5:25 pm for a rebooking fee of $210. I told her I wouldn’t get my passport until 3:30, and so I wouldn’t be to the airport until an hour before the flight left. She said as long as I could do that I would be fine. So I booked it, and then I got out of the car and did a happy dance to end all happy dances.
Up, down, up, down the roller coaster went.
But that wasn’t all, oh no, that wasn’t all. So much more still had to go into getting myself to Paris.
I’ll tell you more next time. Until then, take the very best care of your spirit, and thanks for reading.