The Bone Collector: Honouring the Dead, Grounding Myself in Truth and Reinstalling My Creative Engines
In this blog post, I want to share with you some of my reflections on my business journey thus far, spurred by "The Bone Collector" card from Enchanted Map Oracle. Just so you know, I get pretty raw and personal in this blog post. Some highlights: grieving, creativity, energetic attachments, and realigning using the compass in my heart...then I end up with some poetic chants and somewhat "meditative" imagery, releasing myself to the process, and hopefully releasing you in some way during the process, too. ❤
WHEN YOU KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING AND THEN SUDDENLY YOU DON’T
You may have noticed that I haven't been very present on my social media or that I haven't been actively creating content lately. But maybe that's just me, feeling every inch of my absence, condemning myself for not being organized enough or competent enough to sort through my creative trajectories and find a focus. The truth is, I thought I knew what I was going to accomplish this year with Fables Den--I had everything mapped out and I knew what I wanted to bring to the table.
Earlier this week, however, I was all of a sudden slammed in the face with--blankness. Empty space--for lack of a better word. All of a sudden I didn't know what I wanted to create for Fables Den. All of a sudden my current mode of organizing and approaching my business didn't resonate anymore. I'm sure for those of us who run a creative business of any kind, or just anything we do in life really, would experience a temporary loss of direction despite having been so certain just moments ago. It's funny because I knew things like this happen on a regular basis--logically, I know that challenges like this are bound to happen.
Still got spooked pretty hard, though.
ALWAYS KEEPING CALM AND CARRYING ON
Thinking back, throughout the course of my business journey, I don't think I've ever allowed myself to feel disappointed, or to give Fables Den the space and room to breathe, or to really pause and thinking: am I just diving head-in, creating blindly, capitalizing on my workaholic impulses, feeling important for producing something--anything--
Am I just in love with the sound of my own creative engines--am I just pushing forward and living for that mechanical roar? Where does my heart lie? What do I really want to create? Am I being genuine? Am I an imposter? Am I just caught up with the wrong flow, trapped in the wrong vibe?
All of a sudden, there is an empty space before me--a void that I don't know how to fill. It doesn't make sense. It's like I know where I want to go but I also don't. Have you ever felt that way before? What do I want to do with Fables Den again? Yes. I want to teach tarot in a creative way. I like these topics: authenticity, creative expression, productivity, gamification...generally leveling up in life. I'm good at creating study and planning resources such as tarot worksheets, charts/organizers, and planner printables. I'm also good at coming up with creative tarot exercises. I also like drawing and doodling. I like to express the concepts of tarot with my art. But like--what's my "brand"? What's Fables Den's "spirit statement"? It's not completely a study den (my little business "tag line" used to be "spiritual wayfaring through tarot & creative storytelling") and it's not completely a wellness or personal development site either. What's my punchline? "Level up with tarot?" (That's a good one, actually, I actually might go with that)
REACHING FOR THE BIG “WHY”…AGAIN
Why am I doing this again? Of course I'm doing this because I love it. And there are so many things I want to try. A few months ago, I was struck by the idea of starting an alternative lifestyle and vlog channel called "Spirit Map", because the idea of mapping your life in a way that is aligned with your spiritual needs seems like a fitting theme. And I have lots to talk about there. But is it going to exist outside of my "tarot realm"? Can't it be both tarot and spirit map?
As you can see I'm having quite a bit of a "business identity" crisis and a complete loss of direction. So I did what all cardslingers would do when they are experiencing a business identity crisis and a complete loss of direction. I pulled some cards. I grabbed the Enchanted Map Oracle, because it seems like the perfect deck for losing your sense of direction. It's got a badass mystical compass on its box and card back, for goddess' sakes. And I got an unexpected card: The Bone Collector.
RUNNING AWAY FROM GRIEF THROUGH CREATIVITY
So I have a story to tell you.
The first thing that this card reminds me of is ancestry. The hanging skulls and the imagery of bones and stones that surround the old woman in a circle makes me think of family, and also honouring the dead. My father (both family and dead) is one of the reasons why I worked so goddamn hard for the past year, pumping out content after content and never feeling satiated by my efforts. I loved that man to bits. I still do. He was reticent, hardworking and goofy and he was the best. He passed from cancer in 2016 and became a free spirit on the Other Side. I didn't want to lose him and it was so sudden and unexpected...and watching him get sick and going through treatment with him was the hardest months of my life, and during those moments I buried myself in Fables Den. I didn't let myself breathe and I worked, I created, I wrote, I filmed Youtube videos, and I worked. I worked non-stop after he drew his last breath and I worked non-stop still throughout 2017. I suppose that was my way of coping with my heartache. I also suppose that I can no longer run my business with this creative autopilot fueled by sadness and grief.
Of course, there was plenty of "me" in there. I created the things I created because they were what I loved. There was nothing fake about the things I created, but I suppose I used my creative practice as a way to cope and escape and occupy myself. I needed something to create, so that my emotional and mental energies had somewhere to go. I needed a positive outlet and Fables Den had been that--to which I am grateful. I am glad that as I treaded on a path of chaos and trauma I was able to give, to create something genuine.
I suppose that as I honour this part of my history, I also need to put it behind me. Buried. Safe. Kept in a secure place in my memory, never forgotten, still a part of me, but no longer controlling me.
THE BARE BONES: THE TRUTH
The second thing the Bone Collector reminds me of is truth. Bones represent truth to me because they are the most naked part of us. We can deceive with how we dress and appear to others, and we can deceive and manipulate using our voice, our expressions and our words. But the bone is the truest form of all. It cannot lie because it just is. The old Bone Collector sits in a sacred circle surrounded by bones and stones--now this is a relief to see because I feel that she is telling me: You know the truth already. The truth is you want to keep giving and giving so that you'll feel a sense of importance. You want to be of service to others. You want to appear to be a creative powerhouse. The truth is you can no longer sustain this kind of giving because your Spirit wants to soar higher and do bigger and grander things. It cannot advance on its journey if you're constantly weighing down its wings with your distracted creative shenanigans.
The Bone Collector is telling me...and asking me...how much do you want this? How much do you want to succeed? How much do you want to see Fables Den soar and become what it wishes to become? And how can you do that if you're constantly exhausting yourself and losing sight to what's important--which is the manifestation of your dreams? How much more time are you going to waste on half-assing your commitment to your long term goals? How much more can you lie to yourself?
Sit with your truths.
What are the truths that you stand on to reach higher?
What are the energetic wires that you have cast, far and wide, in which you stay plugged in to the world, giving and giving and giving?
Pull those wires back. Retrieve your energy. Strengthen your heart-space. Seek not the approval of your audience or the people around you, but the beating of your heart and the warmth of its glow. Where is your heart at? Install your engines there. Propel yourself forward from a genuine space of desire. Achieve true movement and lasting momentum.
When flesh melts away, when thoughts cease, when your voice dim and when your experiences fade in colour--the bones remain, naked in truth and wisdom.
COLLECT YOUR BONES
So collect your bones, Bone Collector. Soon, you'll have a glorious display, a museum of the histories that you have made.
Have you experienced something similar in your business (or really just life in general) in which you feel like you don't know where you want to go, even though you do? (This question is starting to seem like a complete no-brainer, isn't it...) How would you interpret the Bone Collector? How would you power through this challenge, recentre yourself and reestablish direction? Share in the comments below!
I was going to say "I plan to share more stories like this from now on", but you know what? Screw that. I am not "planning" to give anymore. I don't "plan" to give anything. I don't need to let you know how much I'm able to give. I give because my heart calls me to do so at any given moment. I give because I want to.