The start of something good

 

* This is an excerpt from my most recent Love Letter. There’s still plenty of time to download the Unravel Your Year 2017 workbook and join the Find Your Word course. Let’s start this year as we mean to go on!

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For the third time this week my corner of London is shrouded in heavy fog — it’s like being in a cloud which is exactly what this week’s felt like. I love the liminal space between Christmas and New Year. I love how everyone is a little slower, a little smilier, a little more reflective. Even though it’s been a hard year for so many of us I’m feeling at peace with 2016. There have been political shocks and terrible things happening in the world; much-loved celebrities have passed on and people continue to do unspeakable things to each other. And yet, now I am on the other side of my baby nephew’s month in hospital, I am slouching towards 2017 with gratitude in my heart. Thankful that Sammy is still here, with his very first tooth and on the verge of crawling just like any other baby, unaware of what he has been through and what is still to come. Thankful that his big brother, Noah, wanted to spend Christmas Eve sleeping in my room so I got to have the first cuddles when he woke up on Christmas morning. Thankful that I was able to pay my corporation tax in a timely manner and that my business continues to support me as a single and very independent woman. Thankful that I have fresh food my fridge. The big and little things of life.

It’s been a deeply emotional year, much more than I’d expected. I’d known for a while that my word for 2016 would be LOVE but it did not manifest in the ways I’d initially hoped — and with hindsight I’m glad. LOVE was falling for Elizabeth’s dog, Ollie, and deciding to move house so I could find my own. LOVE was being my sister’s birthing partner. LOVE was feathering my new nest. LOVE was looking after Noah full-time while my sister and her precious baby son were in hospital without a diagnosis. LOVE was putting my life on hold for six weeks while we waited and hoped and prayed. LOVE was being selfless. LOVE has taught me so much about HOW to love this year. I’m not sure I could have made it through without it.

And so I am here on December 31st cracked wide open. I’m sick, of course — I always get sick at this time of year — but it almost feels like a clearing out of the old to make space for the new. My word for 2017 is SEEN. After a year of devoting my energy to my family I’m ready to step back out into the world and be SEEN: in my work, in my relationships, in this next iteration of my life. Have you chosen a word yet? I am so wildly in love (there’s that word again) with this practice and I cannot recommend it highly enough. There’s been some really deep and insightful sharing in the Find Your Word Facebook group so if you’d like to join us you can sign-up for the mini course over here.

This time last year I was in Providence, Rhode Island, curled up on Elizabeth’s chair by the window, laying out a few tarot cards as I journaled my hopes for the coming year. This year I’m in a new home but back in my NYE ritual of cards, journaling, a long bath and clean sheets, my favourite way to welcome a new year.

I feel ready for this next chapter. Whatever you’re doing for New Year’s Eve, I hope you do too xo

 

A month of remembering

December Reflections: A Month of Remembering | SusannahConway.com

 

I’ve been running community photo projects for quite a while now and I love each of them for different reasons. The August Break started it all in 2010 and I love how it gives me permission to slow down in August and enjoy taking photos just for the sheer pleasure of looking and seeing. April Love is my newest baby and for the last two years it’s been filling my heart to overflowing, both from the tender sharing in the commmunity and the generosity of the invited contributors (whose words have been gathered into ebooks in the Inspiration Library if you’d like to download them).

But if I had to pick a favourite I would choose December Reflections. There’s something extra cosy about the community that gathers around this one. Perhaps it’s because we’re all in that end-of-year headspace and feeling reflective. The holiday season can often feel overwhelming so DR gives us a chance to weave some mindfulness and calm into our days in the run up to 2017.

The idea behind December Reflections is simple: you take a photograph (and share it if you wish) every day in December while reflecting back over the year. I’ve provided a list of daily prompts with a mix of things to photograph — for example: light, circles, “on the table” — and things to ponder. The “ponder prompts” are an extra invitation to pause for a moment and consider some of your favourite bits of 2016. Share your treasured photos from the year alongside your thoughts. Dig further into the prompts privately in your journal. You may feel moved to create paintings or doodles, collages or poems. December Reflections started as a photo project but feel free to take it in any direction that calls to you!

 

A Month of Remembering with December Reflections | SusannahConway.com

 

There are several ways we can gather together as a community:

1. Share your photos on Instagram using the #DecemberReflections2016 hashtag

2. Add your photos to the December Reflections 2016 Facebook group

3. Add your blog to our blog roll on this page so we can all find new blogs to read

We officially start on December 1st but feel free to join in at any time! You can use any camera to take your photos. You could shoot every day or every other day or just on weekends. You can share your photos or simply enjoy taking them without sharing. You can follow along with the prompts or just do your own thing. You can do the prompts that appeal to you and ignore the rest.

Anything goes, loves! Enjoy! xo

Save

The August Break returns!

The August Break, 2016 | SusannahConway.com

 

It’s that time of year again! Back in August 2010 I realised I needed a break from blogging so decided to only post photos on my blog that month. I don’t remember if I kept this up, but I invited my readers to join in and just like that, the yearly August Break was born.

This is a community project that has no real rules –  the idea is to simply take a photograph every day for the whole of August. That’s it. Pause, look around you and shoot what you see. Live inside each moment. Pay attention to what’s there. If it’s the summer where you are it’s a lovely way to be present to the moments that will be gone before you know it. If it’s the winter, what better way to liven up your day than with a creative project to play with? :-)

You can use any camera. You could shoot every day or every other day or just on weekends. You can share your photos or just enjoy taking them without sharing. You can start and not finish. You can join in at the end.

Anything goes, loves!

 

Daily prompts for the August Break 2016 | SusannahConway.com

 

Once again I’ve created a list of photo prompts you can follow – or not, anything goes, remember? —  you could even use them as daily writing prompts with or without photos.

This year we can share our photos and gather as a community in several places: Instagram with the hashtag #augustbreak2016, Facebook and Flickr. Plus we have a blog roll so we can find new blogs to visit — head over to the main August Break page to add your blog.

Here’s to a delicious month of slowing down! xo

Why I love the cards (and a giveaway!)

Why I love the cards (and a giveaway!) | SusannahConway.com

 

I bought my first deck of tarot cards in my late teens. The mists of time have blurred the facts but I do know it was the Aquarian Tarot because I still have it in my possession. My star sign is Aquarius and that seemed a good enough reason to claim the deck as mine; even back then I didn’t feel an affinity to the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith deck but there weren’t as many decks to choose from as there are today. Next came the Tarot of a Moon Garden, which was first published in 1993, providing more clues for my tarot timeline. That deck has since been lost so on a whim I bought another copy last week. Leafing through the cards I’m immediately transported back to that 20-year-old art student sitting on my bedroom floor trying to Figure It All Out. It’s like slipping into that younger skin, remembering her confusions and questions, and the pain of my first big relationship ending.

More than twenty years later my passion for divination cards has only grown stronger. They are creative and illuminating companions to my journaling and a constant friend in harder times. Funnily enough, it’s never once occurred to me to do readings for others. My relationship with the cards is extremely personal but while some of my decks are very precious to me, I don’t believe the cards themselves have inherent magical powers — they are simply pieces of cardboard after all — but my decks are special like my old journals are special: familiar, worn and loved. I treasure them like I treasure my books — and buy as many, too :)

As you can probably tell, I’m not big with the crystal balls and fortune telling. For example, I wouldn’t use the cards to make a decision, I’d use them to help me uncover how I FEEL about a decision. For me it’s less about “what’s going to happen?” and more “what am I really feeling? What do I need right now?” The cards are like mirrors reflecting me back to myself, an inspiring collection of clues and prompts that help me connect to the wisdom inside and around me.

 

Why I love the cards (and a giveaway!) | SusannahConway.com

 

I’ve wanted to create a course that explores using the cards for our own creative and personal growth for some time so I’m thrilled to announce the arrival of the Daily Guidance class! Eventually I’ll have my own deck of cards you’ll be able to use with the lessons (can you imagine?) but for now we’ll make do with the extraordinary array of decks that are currently available… Prepare to get addicted, my friends.

There’s an old wives tale floating around that your first tarot deck should be gifted to you, which I think is hilarious, because a) you’ll probably be waiting for a long time and b) it’s much more meaningful to take the time to find a deck that really sings to your soul. I’ll be sharing lots of my favourite in the class — I’m a huge fan of independently produced decks — as well as breaking down the different types of cards and styles of art to help you find decks you’re excited to get to know.

For now, here are some recommendations for a potential first (or fifth!) deck:

 

TAROT

The Universal Waite — this modern version of the traditional Rider Waite Smith deck is easier on the eye, with softer colouring and lots more detail. As the majority of tarot books refer to this system it’s worth investing in a RWS deck (or clone, like the Anna K and Dreaming Way decks below) so you learn the basics — it will stand you in good stead.

The Anna K Tarot — this sweet deck gives super clear readings, by which I mean it’s easy to understand what the cards are saying! I love the whimsical figures and friendly vibe and found I could read with this deck straight out of the box. Great for beginners. (artist’s website)

Dreaming Way Tarot — modern and yet oddly nostalgic, this is another RWS clone that breathes life into the cards. I find the art exquisite and since cutting off the borders (I’ll talk about making your decks your own in class!) it’s fast becoming a favourite.

Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot  — never in a million years did I think I’d love this deck as much as I do. Quirky, unkempt, fun and utterly charming, this self-published deck gives the traditional RWS imagery a nautical-themed new spin. I simply adore it.

The Wild Unknown Tarot (above) — this is the deck I pull out most frequently and always find new ways to appreciate its simple beauty. Possibly not the best choice for your first deck as some of the cards might leave you scratching your head; on the other hand, if the art speaks loudly to you it will find its way into your heart. There’s a reason why it’s so popular! (UK stockist)

Shadowscapes Tarot — Stephanie Pui-Mun Law’s ethereal paintings take you into a new land, one filled with magical beings that have their own stories to tell. Gentle and intuition-enhancing, this deck loosely follow the RWS system and dreams up new fantastical ways to envision the cards. (artist’s website)

 

ORACLE CARDS

Mother Mary Oracle — this is such a nurturing deck of cards, it’s my favourite Alana Fairchild deck (and I have them all). Her words are as beautiful as the paintings on the cards themselves and I love to draw a single card when I’m looking for a word-hug.

Magdalene Oracle — this is a deeply feminine sultry oracle that always inspires me to dig deeper into my desires. You’ll often find one of these cards on my altar.

The Goddess Oracle — this beautiful deck showcases goddesses from cultures around the world. It’s supportive and illuminating with a sizeable guidebook filled with mythological meanings, interpretations, poems and rituals.

Earthbound Oracle — a new favourite that I like to read with alongside a tarot spread. So simple and clear, I love how they eloquently add another layer of insight to any cards I’ve pulled.

Vintage Wisdom Oracle — there’s a quietness to this deck I find very soothing. The artwork is gorgeous (how a deck looks is as important as how it reads to me) — I love this one especially. Definitely one to add to your collection.

Soul Cards — this deck doesn’t have any words or even interpretations in the booklet. Instead, you meditate on the image to find your own meaning. Excellent journaling material and deeply intuitive, I’ve had some profound readings with this deck.

 

The giveaway

To celebrate the launch of the new class I have six decks up for grabs — The Wild Unknown Tarot, The Shadowscapes Tarot, The Dame Darcy Mermaid Tarot, The Mother Mary Oracle, The Magdalene Oracle and a set of Soulcards.

There will be 12 winners in total — 6 peeps get a deck of cards and a place in class PLUS! another six peeps will also get a place in class.

** If you win and you’ve already enrolled in class I will send you a refund! **

I’m happy to mail the decks anywhere in the world, so this giveaway is open to all.

 

How to play

You can enter up to five times in the following ways:

1. Leave a comment on this post sharing something that has already made you smile in 2016

2. Pinterest: Pin the first image below with a link to this post (then leave a comment saying you’ve pinned it)

3. Instagram: Share the second image below including a link to my IG profile @SusannahConway and the hashtag #dailyguidancecourse (then leave a comment saying you’ve shared the pic)

4. Facebook: Share this post on Facebook (then leave a comment saying you’ve Facebooked it)

5. Twitter or Google+: Tweet/share this post with your peeps (then leave a comment saying you’ve tweeted/shared the post)

 

Comments will close on Friday January 22nd at 11pm GMT comments are now closed and I’ll contact the 12 winners on Saturday 23rd (please make sure you type your email address carefully when leaving a comment)

Good luck and thanks for helping me spread the word about Daily Guidance! xo

* UPDATE: All the winners have now been notified :)

 

TO SHARE ON PINTEREST:

The Daily Guidance giveaway! Win one of these six decks + a place in class | SusannahConway.com

 

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The Daily Guidance giveaway! Win one of these six decks + a place in class | SusannahConway.com

 

TO SHARE WHEREVER YOU LIKE :)

Daily Guidance: Using the cards as creative tools | a new class on SusannahConway.com
Daily Guidance: Using the cards as creative tools | a new class on SusannahConway.com