Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Magician, Trauma, and Change

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how The Fool can represent us before life steps in an starts to mold us. We are not born good or bad - we are born totally neutral and it is our life experience that makes us feel unlovable, or unworthy.

When we look at the Magician, the next card in the progression of the Major Arcana, we see a figure with a variety of tools. Tools that they are learning to master. When we are children trying to navigate through trauma we often develop tools (aka coping mechanisms) to help us deal with it.

Unfortunately when we carry these tools into adulthood our mastery of them can actually cause us harm. But the good news is...we don't have keep using them. We can create new tools now...

Please note that I am not a therapist. The tarot is a tool like any other and can be a very healing one, but if you are working on deep rooted traumatic issues I don't recommend navigating through them alone. The help of a trained therapist is often needed.

If you would like to support my art and my healing work 
please consider making a pledge on my Patreon Page.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Video tarot readings make great gifts!

Are you looking for a fun gift to give this holiday season?  How about a video tarot reading with Joie?

I have been reading tarot for over 30 years.  I love that it allows me to help people to connect with the hidden parts of themselves and to recognize the patterns that flow through their lives.  Readings can be general such as an overview of a current situation or the coming year, or they can be question specific, such as whether a relationship or new job might work out.

Scheduling a reading in person was not always easy, but with advances in technology I am able to offer readings to even more people, at more convenient times, and offer a few other benefits too!

A gift certificate for a one hour online reading includes:
  • A one hour long reading via Zoom video call which allows the recipient to schedule the reading when it is convenient for them, and in the privacy of their own home while still having personal, face to face interaction. 
  • They will receive a photo of the card layout from their reading.
  • A written summary of the reading along with some suggested meditations or affirmations that will help them move through the issues raised in the reading. 
  • A coupon for $10 off their next reading. 
And, in thanks for your generosity I'll also give each person who buys a gift certificate by  December 15th a free 15 minute online reading!**

Please be sure to include your name and email address for your free 15 minute reading!

2018 Tarot Gift Certificate
Your Name
Your Email Address

**Purchase must be made by December 15th.  One free 15-minute reading per purchaser.  Free reading is good for one year from date of gift certificate purchase. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

2019 Contemplative Dance & Authentic Movement

When:  Sundays, 4:00 – 5:30 (Next introductory session February 24th)

Where: Bright Star World Dance, 108 High Street, 3rd Flr, Portland, Maine

Cost:  $15 Intro session*/$20 drop in/$80 five session card**

We gather in circle.  Pause.  Take a breath together.  Step back with open arms to honor the space in which we move.  The chime rings and we begin. Each finding our place in the room.  Eyes closed, waiting to move or be moved. 

I’d like to invite you to the practice of Contemplative Dance and Authentic Movement -  a kind of moving meditation -  an exploration of yourself, your body, and space done in the presence of a witness.  It is used by some as a spiritual practice to create a connection between the body and spirit.   It can also be a creative fountain that removes your creative blocks and unearths new creative material.  And it can be a healing tool that helps you bridge the gap between the conscious and unconscious.

Each 90-minute session includes a guided movement warmup, a movement session, plus time for creative forming/journaling and sharing of experience.  

For those unfamiliar with the practice or who would like to reconnect with it, there will be an introductory session on  February 24th which will include an overview of the history of the practice, the role  of mover and witness, and of course, movement sessions to begin to experience the practice yourself. This introductory session is $15.

Those who attend regular sessions should have attended an introductory session or have experience with the practice of Contemplative Dance/Authentic Movement

You will want to wear comfortable clothing that allows for freedom of movement.  You may also want to bring a notebook or journal, and a water bottle.  

Students of all movement backgrounds are welcome. 

In order to facilitate free exploration, we seek to create a safe space for all types of dancers and movement artists to explore creative expression.  The class is open to all genders 18 or older. 

*$15 price is for the introductory session only. 
**Five session cards are good for one year from date of issue.  

This venue is not mobility accessible.

Contemplative Dance & Authentic Movement

Heretica: Dance Foundations

When: Thursdays, 5:30 - 6:30PM, January 10 – February 21 (Seven Weeks)

Cost: $70 Advanced Registration/$90 Day Of (full session only – no dropins)

Where:  Bright Star World Dance, 108 High Street, 3rd Flr, Portland, ME

 Are you seeking a dance class that strengthens your spirit as well as your body?

Heretica: Dance Foundations is a class that provides the structure of an ongoing dance class, with the freedom to explore how your body wants to move. Drawing from a variety of contemporary dance styles, authentic movement, and deep improvisation this class is a seven-week movement exploration.

With class warmups that improve strength and flexibility; exploratory dance exercises to help you foster a seamless connection between mind and body; and cool downs that leave you centered and grounded, this class is your bridge between inspiration and movement.

Plus, each week you will be offered optional out of class exercises that will help you build your movement practice at home.

You will want to wear comfortable clothing that allows for freedom of movement. You may also want to bring a notebook or journal, and a water bottle.

Students of all movement backgrounds and levels are welcome to join the class.

In order to facilitate free exploration we seek to create a safe space for all types of dancers and movement artists to explore creative expression. The class is open to all genders and movement forms.

Heretica: Dance Foundations
Student Name

2019 Beginner Belly Dance at Flourish Arts As Sacred Healing

Date: Wednesdays - 6:30 - 7:30PM  (beginning May 7th, , 2019)

Cost: $15 drop in/$60 for six class card

Location:  Flourish-Arts, 140 Main Street, Biddeford, Maine

Learn the expressive and beautiful art of belly dance in this ongoing beginner belly dance class. You'll learn the foundational movements of the dance, how to combine the movements to create improvised, flowing dances, and be introduced to the music and rhythms that surround this beautiful dance form.

Joie teaches dance from an embodiment perspective, students will learn not only how a movement should look, but how it feels in the body. She seeks to create a safe and welcoming space for student to explore movement and dance. Classes are conducted to live music.

Belly dance is suitable for all body types and the class is open to all genders. No prior dance experience is required.

You will want to bring clothing that is comfortable to move in (layers are wonderful), a water bottle, and a willingness to learn!

Class Card

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pondering my lady parts

I have often struggled with being female. It isn't that I necessarily wanted to be something else,  though that might be simply because at the time I didn't think being anything else was an option. Growing up I was always fascinated by stories of women who dressed as men to hide, learn, fight in wars, to learn to fly, to be free. I also thought at times of becoming a nun - unsexing myself to serve some higher power (I was a bit of a mystic too).  And I have always been a bit disappointed that because of my sex I would never grow a beard. I guess if I'd had a choice in the matter I'd have been an ambiguous other - not boy or girl.  

I remember the arrival of my period as being a momentous non-event.  I was very educated on what it was all about and mostly knew what to expect.  Part of me was excited; it did feel like a right of passage of some kind even if I didn't quite understand why.  And the following summer at Rites of Spring I was excited to take my turn in the moon hut that the women's circle built.  I was intrigued by my menstrual blood and my spiritual tradition considered it something sacred.  I dutifully tracked my cycle by the moon and felt a bit special that it too followed a 28 day cycle. 

It was the arrival of my breasts that disturbed me.  Every thing else was internal...breasts were something visible, seen.  With the arrival of my breasts my body seemed to no longer be mine.  It was now open to rude comments, uncomfortable stares, and unasked for groping.  A few years later I discovered sex, and that I mostly liked it.  From them on I felt stuck in a physical contradiction of pleasure and loathing; fear and desire.  I was torn between hiding my body and showing it off.  One day it was heavy, bulky sweaters, the next a tight fitting leopard dress.  Both served to help me hide myself (a whole other blog post there...).

As a younger women I looked forward to aging, to menopause, and the safety of non-operational ovaries and no longer having the hassle of monthly periods.  Yet, when the first signs showed up a year or so ago I found myself fearful of becoming invisible in other ways.  

So I am still full of contradictions.  I fear the invisibility of aging but I welcome the feeling of once again owning my body.

Contemplating my Lady Parts

Today I am thinking of my uterus.
I am pondering my ovaries, my hips, my breasts.
And how many days did I detest them?
I did not ask for these things - this female body.
When my breasts appeared, it seemed my power was stolen away.
I was no longer seen.
When my uterus came awake
My safety vanished.
17 in the back of a van (please, no, please, no)
On guard for a lifetime.
21 a period missed (oh shit, not now, not with him)
27 again, this time for real.
I stared into the faces of goddesses and asked,
“Why? Is there some magic I am missing here?”
But most days I was indifferent to them.
I managed them with bras,
an IUD.
39 there was the scare - the day the test came back ambiguous.
Every six months...did I pass this time?
Two years before a yes.
Deep breaths.
A period skipped at 45
Fear…and curiosity
These things I loathed.
Why do I now fear losing them?
I imagine them shrinking, shriveling, becoming
wrinkled sweet little prunes.
Sweet prunes.
Sweet little prunes.
My little prunes.
Today I ponder my uterus, my breasts, my hips, my ovaries
And I am counting down until the day
When my body once again becomes
only mine.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

A hundred epiphanies...

Soul shrine...
Healing is a process. It is a thousand rites of passage, and a handful of soft awakenings. It feels easy in concept, is often difficult in execution, and I am rarely forgiving of myself. It is on going, shifting. It is painful, joyful, shattering, and uplifting. 

But all of this work that we do to make ourselves whole, it is always worth it. Because it is in the illuminated moments that I find my magic.


There have been a hundred epiphanies. 
Accompanied by trumpets, lightning, avalanches, and whimpers.
Each illuminating a piece of personal darkness.
Casting more shadows.
Showing the way.
There were times I crawled on my belly.
Moving forward blind; feeling my way with fingers and knees.
There were times I ran on new limbs. 

(Hey, World…here I am! No longer small.)

And I fell.
Again. Again. Again. 

(God dammit…why do I bother?)

Crawl away to hide.  To lick wounds.
And wait inside the quiet chaos I know. 

There have been a hundred epiphanies.
Each one a spade, a rake, a shovel…a spoon.
How deep do the roots go?
How did there come to be so many rocks here?
I pray for a pickaxe.
And my soul delivers an ice pick.
We dig with the tools we are given.
Or we make new ones.
Soft soil scooped with tender hands.
I look back at the heap of weeds, stones, and dust.
I look down at new soil.
I plant precious new seeds chosen by me. 

There will be a hundred more epiphanies.
And the rain will come.
And the sun will warm.
And I will grow.