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Nocte Libri’s A Lost Heart – a live chapter reading from the Dragonfly Temple Chronicles

I am really excited to have finally produced this first of my free eBook chapter readings in video and audio format! This has been a thought swirling around in my head for a few months now, it just took getting the proper attire together in its full splendor.

It is my sincere hope that you enjoy the video and will go on to read the chapter this is taken from – A Lost Heart.

A Lost Heart is the first of a double chapter that tells this mini-story of two lovers in the Temple of Whocate. The sequel Bittersweet is available to read to all my Patreon supporters at the lockdown price of only $1.00, but beware. You might just fall in love with the handsome cameraman Zach Frack if you’re not careful…

Blessings,

)O( Luna

The Not-So-Subtle Signs of the Universe

rather be writing on whocateThis has been happening for a long time now…so long I should have a bumper sticker on my car that says, “I’d rather be writing”.

Every time I am away from my desk – practically without fail – I desperately want to be writing, or I get ideas for my current story series or both.

And it isn’t just me that wants me there.

Back when I would take nightly walks around our apartment complex with my husband (we did that for a few years), I would see the names of my characters on cars. Not just on their cars, but on their license plates. You wouldn’t think this a big deal or unusual unless the names were themselves unusual. I mean, how many people have the name, “Tora” as a personalized plate? It just happens to be the name of an evil character in Book III of my series and as it turns out, I kept seeing this name on a car in another parking space a lot. We laughed about it, I said, “Okay Universe, I get it. I need to be writing right now.” and would go on about my business.

One day I saw that plate and TWO OTHERS with my character’s names.

At first it was spiders. Spiders are one of my totems. They are the writers of the insect world, the storytellers. Every time I saw one and told my husband, he would say, “Yep, better get back to work or they’re going to send the Godzilla of all spiders to send you a message you can’t ignore!” So, I kept doing other things – working, shopping, sleeping, everything else and cramming writing in when I could. So, the Universe sent “The Godfather” of spiders – a big one, just to make sure I got the message. I did, but still wasn’t writing as much as I longed to. Then the Universe sent the Godfather’s Wife – another one almost as big!

Sometimes they showed up near my desk, sometimes on my desk. One lives here right now – a teeny, tiny one, between the bottom of my monitor and the stand – a constant reminder to get to writing.

I write a lot more these days, so the reminders haven’t been as big. Literally.

So back to today’s reminder from the Universe.

I have been excited all week about this next section of my story I am now penning. It’s an idea I had back as far as February of this year – two months after I had conceived of the idea of the Plainsville story arc. Funny, it seems longer that this character’s been haunting me, first as a minor antagonist in a past life of one of the main characters in Book II. Now he’s taken on a life all of his own – demanding a major role that will span not one but two books. And the more I have thought about him, jotted down notes on his character and written snippets of his escapades, the more evil, sadistic and crazy he gets.

He’s absolutely fabulous!

So what does he have to do with the Universe sending me reminders to get to work? Well, this weekend is going to be the mother of all heatwaves – soaring to 107 today, so I was determined to do all my errands in the morning and hide out in our air-conditioned apartment the rest of the weekend, doing as much writing as I can. Coming back from Walmart, I saw this car:

McLaren car on whocateI know you can’t see the name of the car, but I caught it. It’s one of those super-expensive, $300,000 cars that seriously has no business being around the neighborhood I was driving in, but there it was, on my way home.

If I told you the name of my character had something to do with the name of the car, would you be surprised at this point? I hope not. Well, the name of the car is McLaren.

The name of my character is “Spooky” McLaren.

Yup, okay, Universe, I get it.

Get back to work!

“I’d rather be writing” bumper sticker available on Etsy here.

The Signs of Change

The week following the passing of my client was busy and strange. I thought I would have bounced back faster than I did from nearly four years of full-time work, much of it fraught with long periods of stress. As it turned out, it took me two weeks to come down from the experience enough I could feel the changes in my feet and shoulders for the better.

My husband and I were invited during this week to my client’s memorial. The day of the memorial, I found a dead bird on our front porch. This happened a couple of times at our old house and then it was never a good sign. Concerned, I looked it up and was relieved to see that it mostly means “change”, but whether that be for good or bad was a flexible variable not set in stone. Here is what it says,

“A dead bird does not necessarily mean disappointment or misfortune through loss while it most likely always means the end of something – and the beginning of something. Perhaps you have reached the close or end of some term and it’s time for you to prepare for another.”RichardAlois.com

While one might argue that this is screamingly obvious (and, of course, it is!), I have been taught to be open to what the universe is telling me and interpret its signs for meanings applying to me personally that I might have otherwise missed. Yes, there is big change occurring in my life and now the Universe was reminding me it would be to my benefit to keep that in mind as to new paths and options that will be opening up to me as a result.

The struggle to adjust to that change can be overwhelming at times. There is the physical and emotional shock of it to consider, that being the first thing that hits one when a friend, loved one or, in this case – a client, has died. While I had known since the first week in May that it was now inevitable there would be a change in his condition, it was not apparent until about two weeks before his actual passing that he would not survive to see a nursing home. And while it is true that I could have prepared better by reapplying to my caregiving agencies for the next job – or even have quit this one and taken another position, I had made a promise to him to stay until the end and see it through. 

We all need our grieving or mourning time. It isn’t appropriate or emotionally healthy to rush through it, ignore it and plow ahead to the next thing, whatever that may be. Even if it is financially necessary, humans need time to adjust and adapt before moving on. We need that time to take a breather and start fresh. I was fortunate enough to have been given a small severance bonus that allowed me to take that adjustment time at my own pace, it allowing for just enough time to accept the situation and move on. The Universe was watching out for me and for that, I am very grateful.

)O( Luna

 

Dark Wood Tarot: Delving into your Shadow Self

dark wood tarot box

Back in the beginning of May, I blogged about a wonderful Kickstarter tarot deck project called, “Botanica: A Tarot Deck about the Language of Flowers”. I supported the project, which

was wildly successful, and am expecting its delivery in November when they go to print.

I ran across yet another amazing deck on a livecast during LlewellynCon 2020 last week. It was so breathtakingly beautiful, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was like love at first sight! I hunted it down the next day, lucked out when a bookstore I was near had it and immediately bought it.

The deck, called, “DARK WOOD TAROT” by Sasha Graham, is illustrated by the Hugo award-winning artist Abigail Larson and was just printed this month. The timing couldn’t be better, the deck couldn’t be more beautiful!

There is a Summer Solstice sale going on at Llewellyn books with up to 50% off through June 27th. One of the decks on sale is this one I ran out and bought this week.

I am currently reading through the booklet that came with the tarot deck, spending each night before going to sleep to familiarize myself with each card and their individual meanings. With 78 cards, it could be a daunting task if I sat down and tried to learn them all at once, so taking them a small step at a time like this seemed the best approach until I started working with them on a day-to-day basis.

So why did I procure this new deck and what does it have to do with The Dragonfly Temple Chronicles? All is explained in my latest YouTube video here:

I am Free

the witch

I am free.

It was to be my 4th year August 1st with the man I did caregiving for. That’s the longest I have ever taken care of someone.

He never made it.

Saturday started out as it always does at home – my husband made a wonderful breakfast and we had planned on a relaxing day. Knowing my client was close to the end of his life, I went out on an interview with a local business to talk social media and see how I could help the owner get more business. It was a good meeting and we are planning on working together as soon as his Instagram person calls me the coming week.

I had woken up to the unfortunate sight of my feet being swollen like two misshapen balloons. I don’t know what’s going on with them, but I have the feeling it has to do with my back being out because of what was going on at work.

Like I said, my client never made it, and this ties in to that.

For the past two weeks, my client was bedridden. Backtrack to the beginning of May and that’s when the real trouble began. We would struggle to lift him out of the wheelchair to get him to the bathroom, and for me, this was already physically impossible alone because of my osteoarthritis. At first he could help me with getting himself up. That was at first, but then, because of his Alzheimers, he was understanding my requests less and less. Every time he tried to get up, his severely arthritic knees were in agony and all he would do was push himself backward in the chair.

So we started overlapping shifts – the person coming in and the one going out would work together to lift and change him. Or so that was the plan. It worked well with all but one caregiver who was pushy and aggressive and actually endangered him by not cooperating with us. You see, it takes a coordination of effort to lift someone physically impaired. Any sane caregiver, EMT or hospital worker who has done this kind of work will tell you that.

Our poor client ended up falling to the floor because of her – one time TWICE when she was helping me, even more times on other shifts. Because of her abusive bullying, I hurt both my lower back and reinjured my shoulders to the point I had to take days off and extra trips to the chiropractor.

So Friday I knew I had thrown my pelvis off and was certain by Saturday late morning that it was responsible at least in part for the excessive swelling in my feet. So, I was soaking my feet when the call came through that my client had died.

So like I said, I am free. And if feels so weird I cannot begin to explain it. If you have never been a caregiver who has lost someone, you would never understand until it happens to you. So many things go through our minds – relief they are no longer suffering, fear now that we have to look for another client and all the little “what ifs” of the entire time you were with them –

  • if you had gotten that knee replacement surgery, you wouldn’t have suffered the last 30 years of your life (and made our jobs that much harder)
  • if you had loved your son more, you wouldn’t have yelled at him in those restaurants, causing a scene in front of strangers and the owners who had known you for forty years.
  • if you had gotten psychiatric help during your life, you wouldn’t have suffered the last two weeks of your life in bed, alone except for your caregivers, no one rushing to be with you because you hated them and treated them like dirt your entire life

There will be so many things I take away from this past assignment; the fact it wasn’t an assignment as much as it was comforting an old man whose days were numbered, witnessing all the ways dementia and Alzheimer’s can destroy your brain, your life and hurts the lives of everyone that cares about you and how I will vow to never do things or be the way he was that led him to his end.

We made each other’s lives better in the end and the good news is that for me, it isn’t too late.

Next – The Signs of Change coming soon

Blessings,

)O( Luna

 

 

Dragonfly as Messenger, Totem, Spirit Animal

Shadowscapes dragonfly by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law 2Their Meaning

Dragonflies (and their close cousins – damselflies) are masters of change, adaptability, and metamorphosis. Those not familiar with dragonfly’s deeper meanings often associate them with these traits and those of illusion – the latter usually in a negative connotation. Illusion could mean anything from you are under a self-illusion/delusion and unwilling to see what is going on around you, to the need to look through your circumstances and yours and/or others’ actions to discern the hidden intent beneath.

They can represent spiritual growth through change and transformation, especially to those undergoing such challenges at the time of their sighting of dragonfly. Those who identify with the dragonfly often possess many unique abilities, and thus the skill to bring change to their immediate world and those in their flight “path”.

The Physical Imitates The Message

Dragonfly’s delicate wings are an illusion in of themselves, hiding their skill as flyers unparalleled in the insect world, able to hover in place and maneuver in any direction, possessing the ability to even fly backwards! If you lack the ability to adapt and transform with changing circumstances, perhaps this is your wake-up call when you see this impressive creature. Or perhaps you are or will soon be in a position that will test and stretch your ability to adapt and change in order to shine, like the iridescent beauty possessed of these beautiful, winged messengers.

As a side note, their association with illusion stems in part from their seemingly delicate-looking wings and bodies. They are in fact, the perfect insect predator. It has been said that if they were still around in their prehistoric form – one 3 feet in length, they, not us, would be the dominant species and we would be the hunted in their world. They have voracious appetites – even eating spiders, other dragonflies and damselflies, and can easily consume as many as 30 mosquitoes and more per day! They have a lot of living to do in a very short time – just a few months in their flying form and that is sometimes their message to us – to be as dazzling, as beautiful as we can with the limited time we have in this world.

Most of their life is spent in water before they shed their skin and go forth to become masters of another element – the air. This can mean many different things to different people. Do you need to adapt to new surroundings? One radically different than where you have already been in your life?

Shadowscapes dragonflies by Stephanie Pui-Mun LawA Cultural Perspective on Dragonfly

Different cultures view dragonfly differently – they are the national symbol of Japan, appearing in much of their art and poetry. They are a positive symbol and omen, traditionally connected to happiness, courage and associated with the autumn season.  To Native North American tribes they are a medicine animal able to heal and transform. The Hopi have at least one myth about how the dragonfly came about and how it was a mediator between man and the gods of the Hopi, diving through the lake of death to carry messages between worlds. They are seen on ceremonial rattles used to petition for rain and used for cleansing and purification.

European cultures view them less favorably – even with death. They are said to sting cattle (not true), yet when a fisherman spots one hovering over a lake or near a boat, it bodes good fishing. In North America as of late, they have begun to symbolize spirit messengers from the Great Beyond (beyond death) or are thought of as the deceased themselves.

There are as many ways to interpret the message of the dragonfly as there are dragonfly and damselflies themselves. The right interpretation is the one that means something to you personally. Don’t let anyone tell you what their visitations mean – as with any spirit animal presence in your life, that is for you to decide. Just remember to keep your eyes as open as those of the dragonfly and pierce through the veil of illusion around you to see what is hidden from your sight.

Blessings,

)O( Luna

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