Revisiting Tarot For Yourself, by Mary K. Greer

cover of Tarot for Your Self
Tarot for Your Self
, by Mary K. Greer, is one of the first books about tarot that I picked up. It’s out in a 25th anniversary edition and I highly recommend it in any edition. Its suggestions can be interpreted equally well from a more spiritual/mystical/intuitive lens or a more psychological lens, and the book has practical tools to help you use the cards for yourself and for others.

I looked back through my old workbook today and realized that photocopied pages from this book form the majority of my notes in my mini-book-of-shadows ( a 3 by 5 size cobbled-together book of notes that I carry around with me). That’s because the pages are so clear and so concise and yet detailed. In addition to card meanings and correspondences, there are meditative exercises to help one form a personal connection to tarot, and practical exercises to help one with tough decisions or issues. If you are interested in things like astrology and crystals, the book has guidance for you, but a more skeptical practitioner might want to focus on exercises like meditations and suggested art exercises.

It’s fascinating to return to this and redo some of the exercises I did fifteen years ago. I’m still the hermit. Not a surprise. That first time around, I didn’t fill out the data for my Hidden Factor/Shadow/Teacher card, and now I’m ready to do so. Time to return to the exercises I didn’t get to before!


Care and Feeding of Newborn Kittens

week old kitten drinking from bottle
I’m helping bottle feed a week old kitten. I have nights. I am tired. The kitten is adorable but honestly to me he’s pretty much a blurry furry thing who gets milk all over me and pees on my shirt. I love him in a passionate but somewhat comatose way. I am REALLY tired.

With this in mind, here’s what to do if you find a newborn – 4 week old kitten:

1. LEAVE IT ALONE. Seriously. Mom is probably coming back. Just chill. The survival rate for newborn kittens separated from mom too early is awful. Just wait for the return of mom.

2.OH WOW MOM DID COME BACK – rejoice and leave it the hell alone for at least 5 weeks – 8 if you can. Then you can scoop them up and get them spayed or neutered and rehomed.

3. BUT WHAT ABOUT PREDATORS? Nature is red in tooth and claw and yet kittens are still better off risking being lunch than being taken away from mom too soon.

4. MOM HASN’T COME BACK. Wash it in warm water. Dawn dish soap helps get fleas off. They are too little for flea meds so let the water do its thing and then pick the rest off by hand, you lucky human.

5. HOW DO I FEED IT? Happily, there are videos to show you how, but basically you will buy kitten formula and fed it to your little infant about every 2 hours. You want their heads to be up, not reclined like a human baby, because if they recline while nursing they can aspirate the milk. If it’s asleep, wake it up. Around the clock. Enjoy.

6. I HAVE TO DO WHAT???? After every feeding you must lick the kitten’s butt. But since you are not a cat you can use a washcloth or tissue instead of your tongue. This stimulates the kitten’s muscles so it can pee and poop. It can’t do these things on its own.

7. Make sure it is warm. Kittens can’t regulate their own temperature.

dog sniffing kitten

Do not feed the kitten to your dog.




Happily, there are a lot of websites with charts and videos that show you all the details: how warm is warm enough, how much the kitten should eat, when you can stop bottle feeding, etc. Just don’t rescue kittens that don’t need rescuing! Here’s a good site:

Look at my little fluffy!

a very tired me with snuggly kitten



Between the Lines Book Club: Bend Not Break by Ping Fu

between the lines book club logoIt’s September, and that means a new Between the Lines Book Club book. This month we are reading the controversial memoir Bend not Break, by Ping Fu with MeiMei Fox. We will be meeting at Arden Dimick Library at 10:30AM on Sept 28, 2019 in person, and you can also leave comments here.

Here are some discussion questions to think about while you read the book. Future posts will address the controversies behind the memoir, so be sure to check in on Fridays. These questions will probably be revised and added to before our meeting.

  1. What did you think of Ping Fu’s writing style? Does she tell a good story? Did you keep turning pages? Was it literary or conversational? What about the flashback structure?
  2. How does this compare to other memoirs we’ve read, esp Lion and Born a Crime? Does it do what it attempts to do?
  3. Do you agree with Ping Fu that “If you don’t believe in the glass ceiling, it ceases to exist.”
  4. Let’s talk about the controversies surrounding the book. How true to life does a memoir have to be to be “valid”? Do you agree that she conveyed her “emotional truth?” Is the memoir worth reading even if it isn’t all true?
  5. Some memoirs are completely fabricated. Others are at least partially true but partially fabricated. Where do you draw the line between a “true” and “untrue” memoir? When are fabrications useful in creating a good story, and when and how are they harmful? 
  6. How did Ping Fu build resilience? How can this apply to our own children and to ourselves, regardless of the magnitude of the challenge?
  7. How did Ping Fu’s experiences help her in business? How did they hinder her?
  8. Did Ping Fu pull herself up by her own bootstraps? What social opportunities and personal connections helped her?
  9. How does Ping Fu’s search for a positive life connect to “The Geography of Bliss?” What things helped her survive emotionally in  both in her childhood and in her adult life?
  10. Would you recommend this book to others?

Between the Lines Book Club: Persepolis, the Movie

between the lines book club logoWelcome to Between the Lines Book Club! This month we will be discussing Persepolis in this space and in person at Arden Dimick Library on August 24, 2019 at 10:30AM. Please join us!

Persepolis is a memoir by Marjane Satrapi in which she discusses growing up during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. In 2007, Satrapi released an animated movie based on the book. She wrote and directed the movie in collaboration with Vincent Paronnaud. The movie is available at Sacramento Public Library as well as Amazon and Itunes. It covers both volumes of Persepolis (the first volume was about Satrapi as a child and the second published volume covered her as a young adult). It was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 80th Academy Awards. Here’s the trailer!





Tarot and the Eight of Wands

8-of-wands-rider-waite-tarot_largeLately I’ve been pulling the same cards for myself over and over again, which is annoying. It’s so rude when a deck won’t stop telling you what you need to know as opposed to what you want to know. I mean, really.

The other day I did a reading with one deck and pulled the Eight of Wands. I couldn’t figure out what it was doing in that position in the reading so I used another deck, shuffled, redid the layout – and pulled the Eight of Wands for the same position, again, from the new deck. FINE. Let’s talk about the Eight of Wands!

My instinctive reaction to this card is to interpret it as all this stuff coming at me. Without other context, just from gut instinct, this card symbolizes projects and deadlines and chores and all the overwhelming things in life. When I see it, I feel tired.

However, the card is more traditionally, and positively interpreted as the arrival of new opportunities or as a depiction of one’s creative potential reaching fulfillment. Time to rethink!

8 of Wands Paulina Tarot

From the Paulina Tarot

Rachel Pollack, in Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, sees this as indicating that completion is near. “When the Fire finds its goal, the projects and situations come to a satisfactory end. The Wands have come to earth.”

The Holistic Tarot, by Benebell Wen, interprets the card in a similar way, and suggests the affirmation: “I won’t slow down, I won’t stop, I aim and shoot for my goal. I see my target and never take my eyes off it.”

Crow Tarot Eight of Wands

Crow Tarot

If one assumes that the wands are going from you or are coming to you, not at you, the card becomes very different. This isn’t an illustration of my burdens. It’s an illustration of  my power. This is my fire, and my efforts, and my determination, and an indicator that they will not be wasted!


Housewives Tarot - brooms and swiffers!

Housewives Tarot

What cards do you fear? How can you reframe them as positive? Leave your comments here!




Between the Lines Book Club: Marjane Satrapi

between the lines book club logoWelcome to Between the Lines Book Club! This month we will be discussing Persepolis in this space and in person at Arden Dimick Library on August 24, 2019 at 10:30AM. Please join us!

Marjane Satrapi was born in Iran in 1969. Her family, afraid that she would be arrested if she remained in Iran, sent her to Vienna in 1983. She studied in Vienna and returned to Iran, where she married, She and her first husband divorced after two years and Marjane moved to France, where she has lived ever since. Currently, she is a film director and activist. She is married to a man from Sweden and speaks multiple languages including Persian, French, English, and Swedish.

Here’s a link to her interview in Vogue!

Here’s her interview in The Guardian.

And here is a video interviews: