Tomorrow night I’ll be leaving for a week in New York. I’ll have a few days on my own, then I’ll be attending the Tarot School’s Readers Studio. I’ve been excited about this trip for months!
I’ve read the guidebooks cover to cover, visited the websites, bought the tickets, devoured the maps, prioritized the things I want to see and scoped out the locations of vegan restaurants. I have the home, work and cell phone numbers of an email friend who lives a few blocks from my hotel. I bought a money belt, a security cable for my laptop, and made my list of Stuff to Pack.
I’ve mapped out the distances from place to place on the map of New York City, comparing it to my daily walk on the island. The distance from my hotel to Whole Foods is the same as the distance from my house to the big boathouse. I can walk there for breakfast, no sweat. The Gershwin Theatre (where I will see Wicked Tuesday night) is the same distance from my hotel as it is from my driveway to the little red house with the homemade windmill. A five minute walk. It’s a mile to the Met, the same as to the Point, where I walk each day. Cool. The places I most want to see are all within walking distance.
All that’s left now is the spiritual preparation, getting myself in the right frame of mind for a pilgrimage.
Here’s a few quotes to get me started, from The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau.
“Openness, attentiveness and responsiveness are the essence of pilgrimage . . .” Huston Smith.
How will I stay open, attentive and responsive?
– Through journaling. The art of journaling (writing, sketching and photographing), keeps me mindful and close to center.
– Through prayer & reflection
– Though an attitude of expecting Magic to happen.
“A pilgrimage is a transformative journey to a sacred center . . . It is a journey of risk and renewal . . . . There is something sacred waiting to be discovered in every journey.” Phil Cousineau
What, then, is Sacred to me?
– The female face of the Divine
– Myth & Symbol (most especially the Tarot)
– Spiritual community and friendships
If New York City were a dream symbol, what would it be?
– the “big leagues” i.e. “If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere”
– packed humanity – a zillion people crowded onto a small island the size of mine
– a place to be wary of crime and muggings
– a fabulous playground (a la “Sex and the City”)
– the creme de la creme of art, music and theater
– a hole in the nation’s psyche, the “holy ground” of the World Trade Towers site
Intentions & Objectives for the Journey
(based on an exercise from The Mindful Traveler by Jim Currie)
Basic interest: Adventure
Objective & Deeper Intention: Immersion in Culture (the realm of the Emperor) in contrast to home, where I am immersed in Nature (realm of the Empress).
Basic interest: An extended Artist’s Date in museums and on city streets etc (i.e. Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way)
Objective & Deeper Intention: To be enriched and inspired and to have my creativity stimulated – to become larger, to encompass more that I can then give away.
Basic interest: Visit to Ground Zero
Objective & Deeper Intention: To honor those who died there. To connect with the spirit of Unity that existed in the country for a short time afterwards. To touch Spirit, to be part of something greater than myself.
Basic interest: Tarot Community
Objective & Deeper Intention: To deepen friendships and meet new people, to network and have fun with those of a like mind.
Basic interest: Tarot Conference
Objective & Deeper Intention: To deepen my Tarot reading skills and become a better reader. To have more to offer as a Tarot teacher and as a reader.
More thoughts on the Journey as Pilgrimage to come.