― Carolyn MacCullough, Once a Witch
What is this alchemy that is the journal? I’ve kept a journal my whole life, pages and pages written, and when I am practicing the art consistently something happens. Something deliciously ephemeral. This morning, with the winds and snow raging outside, I delighted in using the early winter as an excuse to stay in bed, to write in the last pages of my handmade journal, and play with my Tarot deck.*
Here is my new journal, which I made with a velvety-textured cork paper cover. As I was writing yesterday I thought about how we were so close to All Hallow’s Eve, the ancient Celts New Year. I leafed through the pages of my book, nearly full now with Summer’s travels, doodles and drawings, and lots and lots of words. It occurred to me that I would be starting my new journal with that ancient and holy day of transition, the oldest new year.
I decided to set an intention at the beginning of the journal, and to remind myself of this intention, I doodled threads weaving through the pages. Some of the pages have celtic weavings, some just simple doodled embroidery. I’m hoping this new journal carries me to Imbolc, in early February, when the first stirrings of Spring tremble upon the earth.
I haven’t set my intention yet. I’m holding off for November first. I’ll light a candle and ask my ancestors for their guidance and support. I’m hoping this new journal carries me to Imbolc, in early February, when the first stirrings of Spring tremble upon the earth. For now, the season of Winter approaches, and my contemplative nature looks forward to the gray and emptiness, the spread of the night sky and brilliant moonlight.
*I was raised to consider Tarot a device of evil, and so my sweet mama is probably not happy to see one here. But I was also taught to embrace serendipity as a way to receive affirmation or guidance from spiritual beings, whatever name you might give them. Alas, dear mama, some things we are taught as a child stick to us, and some things do not. And for me Tarot is a way to engage serendipity and receive guidance. And the Beautiful God that made you also made me. I trust the inclinations of my heart.