Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 3: Spirit

This is one of my favourite cards from the Okanagan Oracle. I’ve often come across steps and logs like this in woods. Look at all the colours! Brown and taupe, gold, beige, green, sage green, black, black-greys, everywhere small details of colour.

I had a hard time stopping myself from picking cards for this.

SPIRIT – Okanagan Oracle
SUMMER TO FALL – FLYING WEST – Eartheart Wisdom Cards
COVER FOR SCRIBNER’S FICTION NUMBER AUGUST 1897 – Maxfield Parrish, Pomegranate Postcard
KNIGHT OF WANDS – IRON – Tarot of Gemstones and Crystals
RABBIT – Animal Spirits Knowledge Cards


Autumn leaves, and the end of summer, the quiet tones of earth and rock, the evening of day and seasons. Rabbit is out under the moon, the sacred hare of lunar cycles and seasons of life. Fiction under the trees, the heat of August and iron thrumming under the earth, steps to the Underworld of coming winter. Relieve the tension says Limpet, and what came easily requires hard work says the Xenophora pallidula.

Seasons mean power, you must look harder for it, the Spirit is there under your feet and waiting in the woods, reflected in the sky with the evening star, making way for the moon, the tension of the day becoming a different light.






(Charonia variegata)
Being numb to feelings and in denial of emotions


“Tritons emit a chemical to anesthetize their prey. With the prey effectively numbed and immobilized, it loses any potential to mount a defense.”

I have been back on a strict vegan diet again after some alarming symptoms in my legs and circulation and screaming sciatica and tinnitus. After three days I notice an improvement. I’m definitely an emotional eater, an eater for comfort, but I was numb this week physically and it occurred to me that the mindfulness approach to emotions was the wiser path. Sit there and feel instead of reaching for the easy cover-up of ice cream or chips.

In my case, the cover-up is certainly hampering movement and the potential to protect myself, my health. Denying and turning away from emotions is not the way to a healthy mind and body.

No drama to feelings, just noticing.



Puns in Animalia, the Cowrie Laughs and Shows Teeth

I had this deck out on the weekend, cross-referencing the shells in my book Wildlife of Chile, with those in this deck. In order to cross-check them I had to put all 200 cards from the Ocean Oracle in alphabetical order by Latin name. That was a lot of fun.

There are many cowries in this deck and I was telling my husband this as I put them all in order (Cypraea this and that) and a while later I was blathering on about some other shell and he made a joke about how it might be a Cypraea. I laughed and laughed. My husband has that quiet, wry U.K. sense of humour and manages to zing me subtly. Whenever I get irritated because he hasn’t heard me and won’t admit it because of his hearing loss, he replies “Pardon?” And that makes me laugh and laugh until I cry.

Hey, I don’t get out much.

Idol’s Eye Cowrie
(Cypraea asellus)
“Seeing things that other people don’t; intuition.”


Indiana Jones and I found this on the ocean floor near east Africa while diving. These can grow up to 31 mm but are typically 15 mm. Underneath they have teeth. As a symbol in Africa, the folded vulva-shape of the shell underneath represents female strength and fertility. I thought that might tie nicely into intuition similar to the High Priestess in tarot. Watch out for the teeth of the fertile female.

The more accepted name today is Palmadusta asellus or Palmadusta asellus asellus.

These are commonly called sea snails and are used as jewellery, and were used as currency in Africa, China and probably elsewhere. Interestingly, the Chinese character for money is said to have some from a cowrie shell because of this ancient shell-money.


Obviously the stripes inside the main shape represent the stripes in a cowrie shell. I was a bit puzzled by the little legs on the character until one site I was looking at said if you turn the ancient Chinese symbol for this upside down, it looks like a shell on a rope; they used to drill holes in the shells and hang them on necklaces, so that could be where the stylized dashes at the bottom come from. Another site said the dashes at the bottom represent the feelers of the live cowrie, which is probably more likely—we could say these interpretations are two sides of the coin!

That fits in well with intuition doesn’t it? What you see and what is really there sometimes has to be intuited. I love that extra information about the Chinese character with this.

So, I shall keep my intuitive senses alert today.


Lots of fun today in the Animalia Kingdom.



The Poisonous Cone and the Paper Shell

Daily Draw May 30th, 2013

I didn’t get a chance to post this yesterday. Another terrible night trying to sleep with pain, I eventually had to zonk myself out with two motion sickness tablets.



These are from the wonderful Ocean Oracle by Michelle (Shelley) Hanson. Shelley was so nice to me when I bought her second book with its meditation CD, and she waited until she was coming up to Canada on a trip to mail it to me. This deck is gorgeous with wonderful photography and I don’t see too many people using it. For me it’s a gem and I always learn something new with it.

In this case, I smiled when I read the comment on the Governor’s Cone about thinking for oneself as I just said that yesterday. Cone shells are poisonous, so don’t follow the poisonous ideas of others. It also reminds me of the mayor of Toronto who seems to be a crazy guy, inept and embattled. It will be interesting to see what happens to him. Giving someone the title of governor or mayor does not mean they fit the office, does not mean they have anything beneficial to say or do. A title is just that.

And I expect the Paper Nautilus refers to my health and personal awakening. I wish that to be true as I’ve had a heck of a time this week with pain. It is consuming my life right now.

I didn’t realize this but the Paper Nautilus doesn’t really have a shell, the female creates this paper-like shell material from paddles on two of her eight arms. Isn’t nature marvelous? I think of protection, for she uses this parchment shell to cradle her eggs, and how even the flimsiest looking protection can be much stronger than it looks, as can a person be strong despite feelings of frailty.


Shells On Parade

Daily Draw January 6th, 2012

I wrote quite a few notes for this but it seemed too personal to put on the blog so I’ll give you the short form.

Shelley has an interesting way to do draws where you look at the foldout colour sheets with photographs of all the shells and pick the ones you like and dislike and then pull those particular cards for that reading. I often just draw cards randomly but today I thought to take her advice and pick the ones that leaped out at me from the sheets. My cards look are a bit skewy because the images of the layout are from my camera.

After drawing, I made notes of my own impressions and words in response to these, which I usually do with cards. The other thing she says to do is to lay the cards out in whatever arrangement appeals to you, so I did that too.



13 – Scorpion Conch – maturity responsibility
100 – Elongated Tridaena clam – being misunderstood, undeserving of a reputation
54 – Green Tree Snail – willingness to change one’s comfort zone
171 – Angara Delphinula – argument, anger



134 – Sieve Cowrie – being forgetful, not retaining information, concern about appearing unintelligent
79 – Marble Cone – ruin, disappointment
65 – West Indian Worm Shell – something completely out of one’s control

Lots of things to ponder with this, particularly with additional notes from the book and my own impressions which I am keeping to myself. This gives you a good idea of the meatiness of forming your own card relationships and layout though. The polarity of like/dislike and how that changes depending on your mind is fascinating.



The Lightworker of the Abalone

Daily Draw January 5th, 2011

I had every intention of drawing a card from the Ocean Oracle by Michelle Hanson, but I got involved in re-reading some of her second book Ocean Wisdom: Lessons from the Seashell Kingdom.

When I ordered the book in June 2007, there was some problem with the shipping but Shelley was coming up to Canada for a conference and she went to all the trouble to mail it to me from Canada while she was on this trip. I thought how nice she must be to perform such a kind service, and she autographed the book for me too. I read the book and listened to the guided meditation CD that was included and haven’t worked with it much since then because the book is shelved on a lower shelf that usually has something in front of it.

Today when I was browsing Ocean Wisdom, I noticed she has a whole section on abalone shells and how the holes in them correspond to the chakras. Abalone shells have several holes along the edge which the animal makes to excrete its waste. As the animal grows, it seals off the earliest hole and makes a new one to replace it. The strange thing is that each animal uses the same number of holes throughout its life and the number of holes is not related to its size.

I don’t remember this at all from my previous read of the book, so I figure it is a “pay attention” moment. Here are two samples from the book of these holes. You can see where the older holes have been closed up and new ones made. She has samples of abalone shells with up to ten holes and discusses extra connections above the seven conventional chakras. She also has some charming stories about people working with abalones and chakra energy for healing or making sense of their lives, and many, many more beautiful photographs.

While I was reading this book my cat Stitch came and sat on my lap. He likes an extra snack in the afternoon while my other cat sleeps and won’t leave me be until I give it to him. We adopted him at the age of six months just after his eye had been removed because of an infection he had as a baby. We were told he had a “happy-go-lucky” personality and I liked him before I even met him.

Today after reading about abalones he has decided he is a Lightworker. I’m not quite sure what that is, perhaps a conduit of light into people’s lives, but that was the word I got today.

Here is Stitch with his friend Tosca on the right (whose real name is Betty Plodgett), digesting after his extra afternoon snack and the revelation of his Lightworker status.

So, that’s today for me and my friend the Lightworker, and if you are looking for some nice cards and an interesting book, I can recommend these two and a visit to Shelley’s web site.




The Carrier of Bursts of Sun

I just haven’t felt like using my cards, aaagh!!! This is very rare for me but I’ve been doing a commission for tarot bags, and then I started a group read of Ulysses by James Joyce, and also grabbed some unfinished quilting things so I’m pushing to finish those up over the next few months. I then picked up a Robert Charles Wilson book I’ve had TBR for years called The Harvest and I’m enjoying that. It’s nice to get a break from life with a good fiction book.

So, here we are, still waiting for Spring, and I pick a deck from my relevant decks for Spring and come up with. . . how about the Ocean Oracle? This is such a great deck, and I bought her follow-up book too with a recorded meditation and fabulous photographs.

SUNBURST CARRIER – Stellaria solaris

“Preferring to be alone; avoiding attachments”

Just so, that’s me at the minute, happily spending time alone and enjoying life’s small pleasures and delights all alone. In our society, it has almost become a crime to be alone. I have a different attitude: people would be happier if they spent more time alone in reflection and peacefully doing things they like, not rushing around shopping and eating out and screaming around in cars or with a television blaring in every room.

I once felt lonely and anxious, but then I started consciously spending time alone and feeling what alone really was. It’s not a bad thing, it is actually a friendly window to the Self. I became interested in art and art history again, I taught myself to make jewellery, I read and read and read, and went out to the garden and sat listening. Over a couple of years, the worry about being alone disappeared and I learned to rely on my Self.

It can’t be explained, it has to be experienced. So the next time you feel like frantically shopping for something you don’t need, or feel left out by other people, have a sit with your Self and see what happens over time as you get used to it.

Being alone is a true sunburst carrier.