The Songbook

– a cartomancy journal to tend your sacred flame –


As we step into a new year and a new decade, there is an undeniable tug into something different to what we have experienced to date. I created the first month of The Lyrical Songbook in the final days of December 2017 after the most catastrophic period of contraction I had experienced. I spent days in my room (which unhelpfully straddled Christmas) in a dark pit that functioned like a revolving door of thoughts that went from suicide to my general unworthiness and how everything was basically fucked so why was I bothering at all.

It was the most miserable I had been and there didn’t seem to be an obvious reason for it. I had fallen, and kept falling. Then on the 30th the ideas I had been playing with for a tarot and soul journal (which I’d been dancing with for almost two years ) coalesced into a single clear vision out of the darkness.

I got up. Had a shower. Packed my laptop, drove to my friend’s to do a few hours of ‘cat sitting’ and began to experiment with the ideas in Indesign. In a perfect storm of clarity, I worked obsessively on it, until I finally gave in to sleep about midnight only to be prodded awake a few hours later to keep working. On the 31st December 2017 I shared the first Lyrical Songbook. Most of the core Songbook hasn’t changed from those very early beginnings. When The Universe flows through you – it mostly gets it right.

The Songbook was my monthly structure, support, safe space and ultimately my rhythm for doing the serious deep diving work of the following two years. I subtitled it: A cartomancy journal for self-reflection and deep soul enquiry because that’s exactly what I needed. I was unapologetic in saying I made it first and foremost for myself, and would keep doing so as long as it gave me the joy and support I desired. While I knew I wasn’t ready for The Songbook to end, and neither were the founding users, I knew around September equinox it wasn’t a good fit any more. I just didn’t know where or how to evolve it.

I had been given information that my next great journey was ‘to live beyond the horizon’ and as I picked my way out of the obvious renderings of that, I returned to the fabulous work of Janette Dalgliesh and Jacqueline Gates. Jacqui gave a life-changing talk on Vesta over the Taurus full moon in November and around the same time Janette sent an email out asking what would you do if you no longer had to do the healing work, if you could just be? And I knew the days of committed and focused shadow-work were over for me. I was yearning for something more. I knew after listening to Jacqui’s talk that in previous lives I had tended the sacred flame. The whole concept of tending made perfect sense to me.

Tending asks us to show up with gentleness, persistence, focus and with heart. Tending asks us to be mindful and honest about our resources. Tending walks the (imagined) line between the magickal and everyday with grace and sass: it says quite simply, why not have both? And why not simultaneously? Tending invites presence rather than perfection. It acknowledges joyful consciousness of the whole self.

A flame throws both light and shadow. Tending the sacred flame isn’t about denying shadow-work, it is embracing it when it arrives but always choosing, where we can, to invest in that essential part of ourselves yearning to grow, strengthen, expand and shine. The part of us ready to thrive.

What is your sacred flame? And how do you tend it? Only you can know that. I have an inkling of what it means for me, but I know in the coming years I’ll experience it in a multiude of ways. What I do know is this resource will help you navigate and explore this new energy. This is a burning coal offered from the Temple of the Horizon to fuel your Hermit’s lantern.

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