Let me introduce myself. Not to sound conceited or anything, but I am a person of many talents and successes. I have postgraduate degrees out the yin-yang, I passed my licensing test to become a psychologist in the upper 1% of all examinees, I am an active member of my church, Unity Church of Peace in South Bend, Indiana, and have served on the Church Board three times, currently as the vice president, I was salutatorian of my high school class (that's reaching back, but I was smart even then, LOL!), I am an amusing and engaging public speaker and story-teller (so my audience tells me), and am married to an amazing man for forty years this summer and have been graced by the Universe to be able to adopt two wonderful children, both of whom were infants at the time (now aged 20 and 24). Our 24-year-old daughter is now expecting her second child, a boy. She and her husband already have a son approaching two years old, but he's not "terrible," but adorable! I have three wonderful dogs, including "Clifford the Big Red Dog," an Irish Setter, and a new puppy from a small rescue organization, half schnauzer and half poodle, whose name is "Withew" (as in the movie the Wizard of Oz, ...."and take your little dog with you!") Our third dog is "Bandit," an elderly dog that we adopted from the Humane Society twelve years ago when we sent our older daughter to Humane Society Camp (I should have seen that one coming! LOL!) I have taught at the elementary school level, and have also taught in several colleges.
You might wonder, "What's her problem?!" With all the joys and successes in my life, I have failed to consistently and permanently achieve a healthy and attractive weight. When I was younger, in my thirties and forties let's say, I managed to stay within the bounds of a "liveable" weight; that is, I was able to live life "normally"--defined by doing what I needed and wanted to do without being significantly impaired by my weight, even though I was not happy with it and always struggled with my weight and my body. As I have gotten older, just having turned 64, I find that this is no longer true. Even putting vanity aside, I am troubled by several health conditions, most with excess weight at their root in one way or another. I have tried many "healthy" ways to lose weight on my journey, and have even been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers twice! I had to retire from my job early, when I had been planning to work until age 66, because I could not keep up with the workload at a community mental health center, as a psychologist, where I had worked for 15 years. Certainly, I saw that my heavy 24/7 work schedule, with time "out of my own hide" on weekends, would not allow me to care for my own health in any significant way.
So, when Janet invited me to blog on this site, bringing the perspectives of Psychology together with those of the Tarot, I was so excited and I knew exactly what I wanted the focus of my writing to be. I wanted to create my own way to use both Tarot and Psychology to make peace with this mind/body issue, once and for all! I want to use what I know from my profession of Psychologist, blended with ideas from the Tarot, as a spiritual practice to guide me, and to focus me daily, in creating a process that I would NOT fight against, or that I would NOT find myself in a constant state of rebellion against as something that I "had" to do.
So far, the idea was coming together nicely. One question which I did have, however, was whether I would pick one deck to use for all posts, or whether I would pick and choose among decks, as I planned to work my way through all 78 cards, exploring how they could become a "super powered" weight loss tool. Then, within two days, synchronicity struck! I was surfing the Internet, long after I "should" have been in bed, and came upon The Cook's Tarot created by Judith Mackay Stirt, and published by Schiffer Publishing. I knew I had found the missing piece! I immediately fell in love with the deck, and convinced our younger son, still living at home with us, to order it for me for Mother's Day!
The deck is, indeed, a visual feast, with bold and bright illustrations. Judith uses a lot of red, which is my favorite color. Not only are the cards strikingly beautiful, but the book she has written which comes with the cards, presents ideas that are new and which speak to me in unique and memorable ways. I have been reading the Tarot for about ten years, and I own 80+ decks, so I do not say this lightly! Of The Cook's Tarot, Judith Mackay Stirt said that she wanted to make a set of cards that she could personally relate to. She chose "cooking" as her theme, saying that once she understood the inherent meaning of the card, she could transpose the Tarot images into a culinary theme. Lest you think that the deck, with its vibrant images, deals "only" with matters of cooking in an obvious way, I soon came to see how the cards resonated for me on so many "deeper" and complex levels, addressing life on so many planes. I found card after card which illuminated so many issues in my life.
Now, perhaps this is because I am addicted to food, and cooking, but I think the power goes beyond this. "Cooking," while being a process applied to food, could be thought of in a wider venue, as in "cooking one's own life." That's what I want to do: I just got it! That's really why I love writing so much. The process of writing leads me to understanding issues not immediately visible on the surface of an issue--as does the tarot. I want to cook my "life" first, with the cooking of "food" being lower on the list. Then, I will be led and supported by the Tarot in being healthy with food and body issues.
That's the plan for my blog here! I hope you will join me as I explore this, and please offer your comments and your own experiences. I encourage you to visit Judith Mackay Stirt on her Facebook page, to learn more about her and about this deck.