I am fascinated with archetypes and symbols as they are expressed through the group of images known as the Tarot. I have been studying Tarot since I encountered my first Tarot reader over 20 years ago in a tiny bar on the southern coast of France. I was immediately entranced. What are these symbols? What do they mean? How can they give insight into my life?
I have since used Tarot for myself as a guide for personal awareness and transformation. As I have deepened my understanding and experience of life and the challenges it may hold, I have become more intimate with the cards. They seem to have a way of pointing us towards a deeper understanding of ourselves and our unconscious motivations.
My greatest teacher has been nature and wilderness. During youth and adolescence, I was privileged to attended a canoe expeditioning summer camp. My first canoe trip at age 10 was the beginning of a deep soul encounter that I would return to as often as I could for the rest of my life. I still remember the joy of paddling into my first headwind. After 2 long trips in my early teens, I became a canoe trip guide at camps for kids in the social services system.
I attended McGill University in Montreal, and studied comparative Religions, mainly Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. I longed to find meaning and an explanation for what seemed to be painfully wrong with our culture. Although University satisfied my intellectual curiosity, it did not satisfy my soul searching. After graduation, I traveled to Thailand where I entered a monastery for a month to learn and study meditation and Theravada Buddhism. Once I had a basic understanding of meditation and satisfied my curiosity about the spiritual path, I moved into a Buddhist commune where I got to be part of social projects that coupled the inherent power of Buddhist Monks with social projects that needed leadership.
I returned home to Montreal to explore my desire to create and share music as a singer and musician. I worked as a waitress and pursued musical projects during most of my spare time. During this time, I entered what I now know was my first major episode of adult wandering. I spiraled into a darkness, in which I relentlessly questioned myself, my life and my future.
When an old friend from canoe expedition days invited me to Montana to become a Whitewater Rafting Guide, I jumped at the opportunity. I had little understanding of what that meant or required, but I knew I had to get back to Nature and try something new. I was immediately drawn by the power, intensity and beauty of the rivers, as well as their potential to be my greatest teacher. I partnered with my old friend and together, we paddled rivers all over the West, and in 1997 and 1998, we traveled to Mongolia for some major canoe expeditioning.
I married him and we dedicated all of our time and energy into growing our whitewater rafting company. I also created 2 children to add to the crew. Our raft company was a magical community of nature loving people and business was solid. There were many happy productive years spent nurturing that entity.
In late 2012, I made a commitment to connect to my spirit guides and follow their guidance. They had been telling me for a while that it was time to leave my marriage and business partnership, but I was terrified of losing my identity, my community and negatively affecting my children. I was also terrified of how my leaving would upset my former partner, who relied on me heavily, both personally and professionally.
Listening to intuition is one thing. Following it is another. I understand how powerful our fear can be when it comes to entering the unknown and following the guidance of spirit. I am seeking a deeper encounter with my own soul and the soul of the world.