Venus Retrograde Tarot Reflection #5

A good friend of mine thinks that reading with the Gaian deck can be challenging because people can take the vivid imagery too literally. While I agree on some levels, I feel magnetically draw into the beauty and diversity of the cards, and I’ve haven’t been able to “go back” to my other traditional decks since I got this one two years ago…coincidentally with a big wave of awakenings. If it inspires me to have a daily tarot practice, that helps me feel spiritually connected, that’s all that really matters.

Explorer of Air climbs up to gain a higher view of the situation, knowing that you can’t solve anything at face/ground level. As I continue to awaken, I see how intricately everything that happens on the material plane reflects my spiritual alignment.

Guardian of Fire, again, is a protector of creative energy and life force, not letting others diminish our spark. I love the quote, “Don’t let someone dim your light, simply because it’s shining in their eyes.” Obviously, we need to respect each other, but when it comes to creative energy, we can’t expect that everyone is going to be lit up the same way.

Guardian of Earth, more King energy, about becoming sovereign. This is card about creating and sustaining abundance, and having faith in all the seeds we’ve planted.

Explorer of Water, I’m never surfed, but would love to learn. I absolutely love doing everything I can do go with the flow. Water is all about love and emotions, and that’s certainly what I love exploring most.

Four of Fire, this is the third time this card has come up this week, each day progressing through the layout, like it’s telling me that I’m on my spiritual path. Again, the Four of Fire is about creating a foundation for your spiritual rituals and practices. There’s no better time than at the new moon.

2 The Priestess She is no doubt a wise woman. I love the way this card shows both maiden and crone. I felt often like an old woman as a child, and now as a middle aged woman, I love how youthful I feel. Yet, the Priestess shares her wisdom on a much deeper level, with a mysterious connection that spans between her womb and moon. I got this card often as I was trying to decide whether to leave my marriage.

Seven of Air Sevens are all about planning for and taking action the future. This is exactly what I’m working to do, especially here at the new moon in Libra.

8 Strength I’ve always loved how feminine the Strength card is, and here in Venus retrograde, it reminds me of how inevitable the shift toward feminine empowerment, and the collapse of the patriarchy. (Please note that I view patriarchy not simply as masculine energy, but as masculine energy that dominates over the feminine). Here’s a beautiful quote about the Libra new moon: “On this Libra New Moon, may we step into fearless compassion and limitless strength—never weakening ourselves for others. May we feel our confidence as we upend oppressive powers, returning to love, again and again.

Five of Earth Once again the five of earth shows up as my greatest fear. While I am truly proud and relieved to have managed to purchase my new home, it took waaaay more of my reserves than I anticipated. I know that I need to create a new sustainable budget, and I have been avoiding face my finances. Yet, I know that only by facing my fears will I be able to create true freedom for myself.

Six of Fire Admittedly, I found this quote and felt inspired to paste it, but somehow can’t find where to attribute it to now. So, thank you the anonymous writer”  “It’s time to come to terms with all you’ve kept in the shadows, so you can live in accordance with your values and live the life you love. You can only do this when you are being true to yourself.” The truth is that for the most part I’ve kept my rising consciousness and expanding heart chakra mostly to myself and feel lucky people. I’ve spent most of my life happily in the shadows of people I love, but I know my heart  longs to dance and celebrate spirit.

Peace and love,

Darcy Rose

Venus Retrograde Tarot Reflection #4

Another day, another beautiful reading. It’s interesting to note that Fire, creative spiritual energy, has been at the center of every reading so far. As much as any single reading, I love having a daily practice to see/feel the patterns that replay and shift in my life.

The Ace of Fire in the Gaian deck feels like the ultimate symbol of creative rebirth. Like the two aces from my first reading, I’m welcoming this energy into my life. Now that I’m settled into my new home, I feel very ready to write my next chapter.

Four of Fire shifted from the central position yesterday to the supporting position today. Fours are all about building your foundation. While I have a steady practice, I still feeling like I’m still tweaking it daily to see what more inspires and enlivens me.

Two of Water shows such a joyful unconditional love. Water is all about emotion and love, and twos about merging and feeling empowered and strengthened by doubling your growth. For me, being with a lover or friend always feels like an opportunity to grow emotionally and expand my capacity to love.

Seven of Earth is all about sowing seeds of abundance in our lives, and in this position, it’s particularly about doing it with conscious intention. It’s also about having patience to watch what you plant grow. For a while now I’ve enjoyed visualizing myself planting a seed when I call or email someone, or even just do a google search, then the next action is like watering that seed, and then watching it grow…

0 The Seeker was found in the supporting position yesterday and now finds herself reflecting the past. I like to look at the position of the past as a important aspect to learn from before going forward. The Seeker or Fool is all about the Hero’s Journey, a journey of self-discovery and living a fully realized life, or as Campbell says, “Following your bliss.”

Three of Earth “happens” to land in the same exact position as my first reading, and perfect given that over the weekend I had some deep and lovely conversations with three close girlfriends. Looking forward to more of this in the future, as I value my Sister relationship as least as much as with my Lovers/Brothers.

Four of Air is a card that I first started to get when I began planning to leave my marriage, and very much feels like building a new nest from an intellectual place, about nurturing ideas. For my “new” family, it’s about creating new routines that keep us all happy and healthy, able to put our energy toward learning and doing what matters most to us.

Ten of Fire is in the place of “environment” or people in your life, and how they view you or the situation. As soon as I saw this I saw a family member who doesn’t understand/agree with my need to share that intentionally want to live with an open heart and create open relationships. Tens are about the final transformation, and despite not wanting to feel the fire of disappointment or rejection, I feel at peace knowing that this too is part of the process of true self acceptance.

15 Bindweed (The Devil) is rightfully in the position of fears. I’ve felt trapped essence of this card before, but today seeing it as a fear, as an illusion of my mind, it feels very different. In the Gaian deck the subtitle is “Life out of Balance.” Despite loving it on many levels, I’m almost at my personal limit for how many lovers I want in my life. Yet, when a good friend started to flirt with me, I reciprocated and invited him over for the evening. Despite us enjoying our time together, in the morning I very much felt that we need to stay friends. Even though it was hard to express that to him, he understood and was equally gracious. He had his own reservations about whether I could meet his desire to have more of an every day life partner. By reflecting on this reading, and speaking my truth, I feel like I was able to avoid truly feeling the pain that this card can represent, it we avoid listening to our hearts.

21 Gaia, The World Awe. Such a lovely card and beautiful way to end the reading. I do feel like I do everything I can to embrace and create my world and live each day to the fullest. I love the Gaian affirmation “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Indeed.

Sending you peace, love and light during this Venus retrograde.

XXooxxoo

Darcy Rose

PS To understand more about Venus in retrograde, check out this video from one of my favorite astrologers:

Venus Retrograde Tarot Reflection #3

A close friend asked me to share more about “why share during Venus in retrograde?” instead of other planets. Venus is the feminine planet and represents beauty and love. She’s most at home in Taurus (where she is conjunct to Mars in my birth chart), where she can live beautifully. In Scorpio, it’s about going to the “underworld” and diving deep to learn from ourselves how to bring our inner beauty to the surface.

I will also say I’ve read traditional tarot nearly two decades (my favorite other deck in the Mythic Tarot).

Four of Fire is about creating a spiritual practice that connects you to the divine. My daily practice has deepened over time, and for a long time I did a twenty minute Deepak series (I just checked and a new meditation experience for youthful living begins 10/29!). Since moving into my own home, where I have just barely enough space for my yoga mat in my bedroom, I wake up almost every morning to practice an hour and a half of kundalini yoga/meditation online with Ra Ma TV, which I first found through discovering Guru Jagat on Gaia.com. I just found that Guru Jagat has a new Kundalini 101 class. Kundalini is not at all like “normal” yoga, and everyone is going to experience it differently, but for me, I felt a radical shift in just a week of practicing 30 minutes a day.

The Seeker, usually The Fool, is where the journey begins. It’s about living every day and moment with a beginner’s mind, being open minded and open hearted, being ready to intuitively explore what comes before our path.

The Wheel feels very true now, as the seasons change once more. Change is the only constant in life. For the Seeker, it’s about witnessing these changes with a heightened sense of awareness. The shadow side of The Wheel is when you want to cling to the past, and aren’t ready to appreciate inevitable changes.

Two of Air, in the consciousness position, is more on the theme of intuitively sensing, and being quiet enough to listen to what you most need.

The Moon is a another feminine empowerment card, yet instead of the stability and grounding of the The Empress, it’s about creating flow. This feels ideal with the new moon in Libra on Monday. I have been setting intentions with each new moon and practicing gratitude and celebration at the full moon, but I want to do more to live in balance with the moon cycles every 2 1/2 days. I was blown away to learn that women have 11 moon centers of energy in there are ways to activate them, including through sexual intimacy. As delightful as that sounds, the suggestion that most appeals to me is making sure to take more walks in the moon light.

Eight of Air reminds me of my desire to work with others to make the world a better place. As much as I enjoy leading my own life, I know that I get such a boost of energy from working with people. I know that I am a natural leader, in a feminine way, where I want to facilitate rather than dictate.

Likewise, the Six of Air reminds of how much I enjoy feel connected to community. I feel like I’m still just barely resettled, and I look forward to creating my new community. This card is also want of deep gratitude, which I absolutely feel.

The Sun is radiant. Even though I can’t claim that I live in this state all the time, I absolutely love feeling energetically radiant and grateful. I love sharing my light with anyone ready to embrace joyful vibes.

Two of Fire, damn this is a sexy card. It’s about tapping into our creative potential with both hands. The Gaian affirmation is “I am empowered by my passion for life, love and wildness.”

The Empress has shifted since my spread yesterday, which I described already. Given the fact that my kids are away visiting their Dad, it reminds me that I love to give, give, give to them, but I need my space and solitude to reflect and regain my feminine power.

Wishing you a beautiful that reflects your own divine nature.

Peace,

Darcy Rose

Venus Retrograde Reflection #2

It’s incredible to see the Six of Fire in the same exact central position (the odds of which are very very small), supporting where I am, as the Explorer of Fire. On my drive home from a dear girlfriend’s home, I listened to Ben Harper’s Dance Like Fire, which is such a beautiful expression of this card.

Below is the Five of Earth, which comes up for me often, reflecting my struggle with believing that I’ll be able to create an abundant lifestyle doing work I love. Thankfully, I’ve recently gotten a few interviews and one part time opportunity, which feels like a real shift compared to self-doubt I’ve experienced as I’ve tried to transform my career. This card is still very hopeful, showing that even in a storm, I am still surviving and I have the skills to thrive.

The Guardian of Fire in this position of the consciousness makes me think of how I am the only one who can stoke my own creative fire. I can’t ask or expect anyone else to do it for me. This would normally be called the King, and this represents empowering oneness and having sovereignty, which is absolutely the path I’m on (while simultaneously celebrating my interconnected oneness).

Awe. The Lovers, once again. I’ve got about fifteen minutes before one comes to visit, so I had better make this quick. 😉 But all kidding aside, I got a pretty predictable response, lacking of understanding and feeling somehow fearful for me, from my family about me sharing my desire to live with an open heart. It’s not really something that I can justify or explain, but a truth that I feel. I’ve processed so much in the past two years about how or why, and it just comes down to feeling that this is who I am.

Six of Water, like the Three of Earth from yesterday’s spread, this feels like an exulted vision of celebrating sisterhood. In the past day, I’ve have three amazing conversations/visits with three amazing girlfriends. I find such joy from the ways that we can authentically sharing our lives. Being authentic and vulnerable with each other, and serving as a mirror for our inner beauty, is such a amazing way to relate. Namaste, my Sisters.

Child of Earth feels so perfect, as I am creating my new budget with my new mortgage and starting fresh on creating a home for my children.

Child of Fire, as in the spread yesterday, I know that once I tap into my true voice and feminine power that I will be able to truly inspire and transform, myself if no one else.

The Empress, or in the Gaia deck, The Gardener, was my first favorite card that I got in my first coffee shop reading in college. Often empress cards have her foot resting on a crescent moon, and that night was a crescent moon, and I felt like I was seeing it for the time. She’s obviously so feminine and so powerful.

Five of Fire has come up again again for me, as I debate with myself how to speak my truth, and really become myself. The affirmation in the Gaian Tarot guide is “I courageously face my fears.” In my astrology chart Saturn is in Leo in the 11th house, and whether Saturn is where you have your greatest fear, with Leo in the 11th, it means that I’m fearful of sharing myself and stepping onto stage as a community leader. Even though I have public speaking experience, I am always fearful. I know that it’s my “job” in this lifetime to overcome my fear, but I feel viscerally like I want to heave at the thought of being truly famous, and even though I don’t expect more than a hundred people to ever read this post, I tell myself the mantra of “courage in action” every time I push publish on a post.

Peace,

Darcy Rose

Venus Retrograde 2018: Tarot Reflection #1

Gaia tarot spread on eve of Venus retrograde 10/4/2018

Today Venus goes into retrograde for the next forty days, currently in Libra and about to go back into Scorpio. Whenever any planet goes into retrograde, it’s a time for inner reflection.

I still consider myself a novice when it comes to explaining evolutionary astrology, yet when it comes to feeling the energy of the planets, I often feel very much in alignment. It’s felt uncanny how much my whole transformation process has mirrored the planets.

Since moving into my new home this summer, I’ve used my almost daily tarot practice to make sense of the Mars in retrograde. On most days I’ve done a page of journaling along with the reading (after my 1 1/2 kundalini yoga practice…and yes I do get up at 5 to have my “me” time before my kids wake up). Honestly, my readings in September, after having had some real breakthroughs in August, have felt really incredible. I’ve been feeling really called to share them publicly (even though another voice always wants me to keep them private, but I know it’s just my ego and I have nothing to fear and anyone who is offended by what I have to say just isn’t yet willing to look at their own shadow).

Before/after turning 40, I had really wanted to challenge myself to writing every day for forty days, but the truth was that I knew my marriage was about to end, and I was trying to figure out how to do so with the least collateral damage, so as much as I wanted to speak my truth, I didn’t have the heart to break up in that way (I was public enough as it was, and got major push back from some family/friends for it).

Now, I feel as though the Death card is really the key for me. It feels like I need to simply write and share my story, however that ends up coming out, to be able to rebirth myself.

So, even as I begin this whole reflection process, I don’t know exactly how to share both what’s shown in the cards and what it brings up in relation to my life, but I’ll take it one day at a time and do my best. Don’t expect a full explanation of each of the cards, and I simply want to share in the context of what feels true for me in the context of my life/story.

On the above tarot spread, I felt a deep peace seeing the Ace of Air and the Ace of Earth. I love new beginnings, and get such a burst of creative energy. I’m also a Gemini, air sign, and with all the transformation, this “year of the butterfly meditation” has been one of my very favorites.

Listening to it again now, I am struck by how powerful this reading feels. The center card, Six of Fire, has a special meaning. On the awful night that I told my ex about my affair, he tossed my tarot cards and books on the front porch, in an attempt to kick me out. Two cards flew all the way into the hydrangea, the Six of Fire and The Hermit, as soon as I found them, I knew they were the perfect reflection of myself and him. He would have been happy to stay a hermit of sorts (with me mothering/serving him), but he couldn’t stand the idea of me dancing in my own light. That’s really what it came down to…plus me wanting an open relationship.

At the base, where the subconscious lies, is The Lovers. When I first started reading tarot in college, I only ever thought of having one lover (even though I briefly dated a few guys at the same time, which felt exhilarating!). Now, two years after first and feeling divinely inspired to stop closing my heart and mind, I adore the connections that I feel with all of my lovers. I’ve wondered how/when to “come out” and say that for a long time, wondering if I would regret sharing my new passion publicly. While I do still want to keep my kindred connections sacred and private, it feels right to share that I am in love and love living with an open heart. I cherish the contrast I experience, but most of all I love feeling authentically myself, like I no longer need to hide who I am at heart. It’s all still so new that I don’t know what each day or week will bring, and best of all, I no longer feel attached to controlling and putting conditions on my relationships. It truly has made me feel free and in awe at how magical life and love can be…certainly a topic to be continued…

Three of Water, in the placement of consciousness, always reminds me of my happy childhood, especially summers. I was truly like an otter child, loving playing in the river. Just thinking of water lifts my spirits, and water simply bring me into a state of bliss, even just a shower or bath (perfect for today, as I went to the Carson Hot springs with a dear friend, and my broker who wanted to celebrate my new home…she definitely knows me!!).

Eight of Fire, in the near past, makes me think of the flashes of insight and awakening that I so love to experience, but find challenging to share with others and to truly take action of every great idea that I fall in love with.

With the Three of Earth, reflecting the near future, I always feel grateful for my Sister relationships, and recognize how much I need/love having deeply connected female friendship. My Soul Sisters know who they are, but I still love feeling open to be becoming lifelong Sisters with someone I’ve just met, either way, I know we are in each others’ lives for divine reasons. My sisters give me guidance and help me reflect my values, and by admiring them, I always get a boost of confidence to be in the presence (or virtually) with women I admire. This card feels perfect.

Again, the Ace of Earth in “my” place in the spread (which is called a Celtic cross) feels perfect as well, as I have just finished purchasing my home this week and am still finishing off some settling in projects, and planting perennials, before planning my housewarming. While I’ve been renting my home since May, it feels altogether different to know that I own it (and am technically committed to buying it for the next thirty years…even though I plan to pay it off much faster…). I love the freshness of living in a home that settled enough to not feel chaotic, but new enough to still want to play with things enough to try out different ways until it feels like it suits me and family.

Child of Fire, I get this card often (along with the Child of Water), and it represents new creative energy and feeling inspired, which is absolutely my natural norm, when I’m fully in alignment with my calling and consciously caring for my needs and desires.

Death is a card that I’ve come to love this year. I’ve known on a deep level that death and letting go of who I was is necessary to becoming who I know I am inside. I also just love this image and how peaceful it feels, as though simply accepting death can bring peace.

The Hermit in this deck feels very literal, and always reminds me of how much I crave leaving the busy world, and writing, especially in nature. I know that I learn through my writing and regardless of however my words may impact anyone, they undoubtedly inspire and transform me. I know that with my desire to be social and needing to care for my kids that it takes a lot of discipline to carve out time.

OK, wow, well after having started this reflection in the midmorning, it’s now at 1:40, and I’m hoping that I don’t catch any errors when I reread in the morning. I am also sending out positive vibes that only who is meant to read this will (I thought today, after writing the Lovers piece that I wish there was an easy way to filter from my kids…I’ve known for a while that I need to be brave enough to talk with them about my life choices, and I even just got a new book at the library about how and when to talk with kids about sex. I’m sure that I’m simply part of new wave of souls who choose to experience relationships in diverse ways, and by the time they are my age it will be as casually normal as having tow moms or dads, but that doesn’t make it any easier to explain now…).

If you are a rare online reader who actually makes it to the final lines, I give you my sincere appreciation. I know there’s a gazillion ways you could entertain/enlighten/distract yourself, and I am grateful that you chose to spend this moment reading my story.

Peace, Love & Light,

Darcy Rose

Oregon Country Fairness: Future of Fair

I was going to write something before casting my vote for the new Oregon Country Fair Board of Directors, now with the current Board about to fully endorse the recommendations of an outside consultant, it feels like there is even more at stake.
Before I jump into my perspective, I want to share a quote from a lovely book with many spiritual truths, recently published by a dear astrologer friend of one, Patrice Felton. This quote inspires me to dive deeper into my desire to help shift Fair:
“We can learn from history. The Baby Boomer generation of the late 60’s and 70’s had it partially correct, in that they explored their creativity as artists, screenwriters, authors, promoting love and peace. However, they failed to connect their individual talents to group mindedness and community.”
The existence of the Oregon Country Fair is perhaps one of the only exceptions. Yet, for all our highly organized revelry, I can’t help but feel that we, as a community and family, have not yet reached our true and full potential, and at the political level are missing the mark altogether.
Despite common values of equality and respect for our collective diversity, Fair has never functioned as a democracy. In hindsight, it feels more patriarchal that I ever realized until recently. It feels like we are at a crossroads of “growing up” as an organization/community.
Here “we” are, on the eve of an election for a new Board of Directors, and the word is that the Board of Directors is eager to push through systemic organizational restructuring at the recommendation of an outside consultant.
My biggest question is WHY rush such a huge decision? Why dive, when we are treading in murky water? One of the wisest words of advice from Yogi Bhajan is that you must clean the cup before you add fresh water, otherwise the water will always be dirty.
I understand the fear of the status quo, but acting out of fear will only bring us more of the same systemic failures (while perhaps even thinking that everything is going swimmingly).
It may seem like a pipe dream to radically shift our organization toward a social democracy, but I believe that we need to patiently and proactively question our own assumptions, especially the ones that are no longer benefiting everyone.
When I shared who I plan to vote for, I opted not to give my reasoning, not wanting to further the divide, be disrespectful or hurt anyone’s feelings. But I now think that it would be helpful to explain my thinking. While I appreciate the deep and lifelong commitment of current and past board members, I believe that it is essential that we allow new leaders to emerge in our community. We can’t expect to get different results by electing the same people/political dynamics. My hardest decision was about whether to write in Chewy. I admire Chewy, but I felt that he was running more from fear than hope. Thankfully, he’s assured me that that’s not the case, which I am grateful for.
I’ve honestly tried to stay on the periphery of fair politics, but after witnessing the sad story pole debate from afar, and then the firing of a dedicated caretaker, and now a deep divide between rushing forward with “expert” recommendations versus the fear of the spiraling status quo; I felt like I had to do something. So, I threw my sparkly pink hat in the ring, only to listen to my intuition to know that now is not the time for me to help lead from the board level. Aside from my own fear of getting sucked into the drama, I honestly don’t think that Fair is ready to bring my/our vision of hope and freedom into reality, just yet. We have a lot of work left to do to ensure our communal democracy, before we can truly focus on generational sustainability and celebrating our spiritual sovereignty/oneness.
So, for now, I encourage more reflection, and focus on taking baby steps (like hiring a new ED/GM, restructure personnel committee, and take a look at BUMs/Coordinators roles and authority…to begin). I also truly hope that the newly elected Board of Directors will seriously inquire into how we can create a balanced organizational structure that will actually work for our very unique purpose create a culture that honors our past, present and future.
Peace,
Darcy Rose

Changing Seasons

I am ready to write my story and speak my truth.

I’ve grown spiritually in so many ways over the past three seasons. Here at the harvest the moon, I am feeling truly grateful. I am feeling connected to my eternal nature, and peaceful in my body and breath. I have this deep knowing that I’ve always known was there, but was shadowed by self doubt and judgement.

Since the winter solstice, I have transformed my life. After having worked for years to stay in a marriage that I felt spiritually trapped in, I took the bravest leap I could imagine. I left my dream home, which I loved and felt was a miraculous reflection of my inner beauty. I left my career, which even though I struggled with limiting factors, I felt as though I was still destined to create radical social change that would impact generations.

For awhile I truly felt like I had to take my life one day at a time, which for me was a foreign concept, as someone who used to get a great sense of accomplishment from my planning my life months and years in advance. I’ve now come to enjoy whatever spontaneity and true free time I can create space for, having faith that divine timing will allow what I most need. I know that I do still gain clarity and peace from making my home beautiful, even though as a single mom without a neat freak hubby, I’m still learning to balance the work load.

Speaking of work, that’s been the biggest conundrum during this transitional phase. I started off excited to see the abundance job listings (compared to Astoria, where I was lucky to see one a week that could be a marginal fit when I was searching…), and I envisioned myself working in City Hall for Commissioner Chloe and feeling truly engaged in local progressive politics, then I pondered other possibilities of city bureaus, then I started to wonder whether I would be a better fit with an environmental nonprofit, and I longed to feel the same passion I did early in my career. Most of all, I wanted and still want to feel connected to larger movement of social change.

In my process of looking for meaningful work, I’ve hit up against all sorts of belief systems. Most of all, I realize how entitled I am, but how I still somehow have lacked the confidence to create my own path, and have faith that I’ll be able to create the lifestyle that I desire. I’ve been legitimately overworked, despite being unemployed. I’ve also spent more time on my own healing and self care than I would want to admit to anyone who might judge me.

I’ve come to see how my own inner critic has a deep intolerance for selfish righteousness and judgement. Yet, I know that I have attracted people into my life to help me see, feel and understand the need for true acceptance and sharing of unconditional love. My children teach this to me every day, especially lately with all the Kindergarten tantrums, and back-to-school bumps. Giving grace, and learning from teachable moments is the best any of us can do.

When I restarted counseling again, I figured that it would help with the ongoing stress of moving and divorcing, which both required more energy and stamina than I ever thought possible. I knew it would be helpful to talk through my frustrations with setting new co-parenting boundaries. Yet, what I didn’t expect was how much I would grow through talking about my relationship with my identical twin sister, Miel and our Mom.

The end result was coming to a full awareness of just how much I have sought her/their approval to live my life. I now just how comfortable and safe I’ve made myself. First living in her shadow, and my mom’s, then Kevin’s, and now my kids’. Don’t get me wrong, my life has been brilliant and beautiful on so many levels, and I’ve enjoyed sharing our light. I’ve blossomed when I’ve felt praised, but I’ve also shrunk with every little moment of perceived judgment or shame.

I’ve also had a deep feeling of not being good enough, of feeling less than. Growing up, Miel and I were constantly compared. I understand the natural tendency, and with the exception of feeling bullied for being accident prone, I know no one ever intentionally wanted me to feel inferior. It just happened to be that the most notable differences between us made Miel more aligned with our Mom’s positive attributes, and I was decidedly more like my father, who our Mom rejected. While she tired to hide her disdain, we still knew that she didn’t want to be with him, which was enough to make me feel much less than.

For better and worse, I was good at overcompensating, trying to prove myself. On the surface I was successful, and for the most part I was even happy, earning satisfaction from their praise. Yet, as I as finally grown up, here at middle age. I can see clearly just how much Miel and Kevin have the same qualities that I admire, but that I am indeed not them.

On the night that Miel gave birth to her second son, Ellis, who is named after our grandfather and born on Teagan’s fifth birthday, I cried and cried. They were mostly tears of joy and wonder at the mystery of life. They were also tears of deep surrender and acceptance. Knowing that I need to let go of my attachment to her, my soul mate, in order to gain my sovereignty. I need to shine my own light, before we will be able to be truly shine together.

Now nearing a thousand words, which is my own self-imposed word count, my story is to-be-continued. I will simply leave with the cliffhanger…I know my destiny is to inspire and heal through my words, and I am forever grateful for this journey together.

Peace,

Darcy Rose

Oregon Country Fair: I’m not ready to “run” after all

I learned to read from Connie Bender in 2000. Reading from the day of the Portland mini forum.

Dear Fair Family,

It’s with mixed feelings that I have decided that I’m not ready to “run” after all (see backstory below…). At the candidates’ forum I shared the obvious fact that my kids (now nearly 13, 10 and 5) require too much of my energy to have enough to truly be able to serve. Yet, upon deeper reflection, my decision comes just as much my need to live my dharma, and not get swept up into the drama of Fair politics.

The current management and governance are clearly a clusterfuck that reflects the flailing patriarchy. Despite the best intentions, the Fair does not currently have leadership that can ensure the organization, and our unique/diverse family values, will be able to thrive for the next 50 years. While I have a passionate vision for what kind of Fair I want my grandchildren to be able to experience, the truth is that the organization needs to focus on creating a thriving egalitarian structure for our community, before we can really focus on sustainability for our beloved environment.

With that conclusion, I still want to do whatever I can to positively influence this critical vote and to stay engaged. So, I would like to use my “platform” to publicly share who I will vote for, and why.  At the mini forum the point was also made that by so many people on the ballot that it would be most helpful for candidates to collectively recommend a slate of board members to vote for (and why), so that once “we” were elected “we’d” be able to actually work together. So, when I woke up in the middle of the night wondering why I somehow had thought that serving on the board was a good idea, I decided to write to my fellow board candidates to ask them who/why they plan to vote for, and why they should get my undecided votes. Based on their responses, and five days of reflection, I’ve finally decided who I’m going to vote for. With 17 candidates and six open positions, it hasn’t been an easy decision process, and in the end, it’s a personal choice based on gut instinct. I believe there are no “right” answers, but given recent controversy, it is imperative that this new board be able to truly lead the Fair out of the past patriarchal politics, and into a bright and sustainable new age.

Before I share who I am going to vote for (and who I hope you will give real consideration), I want to recognize that it does take a lot to put yourself “out there” as a candidates, and I deeply appreciate the volunteer work that everyone has and will contribute to Fair. So, I’m going to share my favorite quotes from their candidate statements, and I loved the fact that every one of these quotes genuinely resonate with me. Regardless of whether I can vote for everyone, I am happy to be Fair Family. 

  • Aaron Kenton – “We need transparency in and knowledge of the skills represented by our governing body.”
  • Ann Bennett Rogers – “We need to support recycling and ”pack-it-in/pack-it-out” for all our activities. We need to look at food vouchers and volunteer appreciation considerations.”
  • Cynthia Peachey – “I hold the core values of collaborative relationship, radical tolerance and pragmatic idealism. In this chaotic world, treating each other with compassionate excellence is a revolutionary act. We are needed to shine this light for those around us.”
  • Ellen Singer – “I consider the Fair’s role as a loving and mutually supportive community at least as important as our main event. I’m committed to environmental awareness and stewardship.”
  • Etienne M. Smith – “We are an alternative progressive community who knows that change starts with the individual to the greater community/nation. If energy is an issue, then lets work on reducing ‘our’ footprint.”
  • Jack Makarchuk – “Let’s focus on what makes us strong: reverence for the land, celebrating artfully, and working together to provide an educational experience for our patrons. Outward looking and knowledgeable leadership as well as new voices willing to serve are both critical. Our future is in the hands of all generations working together. We are all teachers and can learn from each other.”
  • Jon Steinhart – “The Fair needs a Board of Directors, not a collection of micromanagers. The Board needs to provide vision, direction, and oversight; it shouldn’t just delegate its responsibilities. A good General Manager is needed, and needs to be supported. We need to model the behavior that we want to see in the outside world. This includes treating our volunteers well; they make this event possible.”
  • Komo F. D. Gustafson III – “These issues, and others, make it abundantly clear that now is the time, more than ever, to focus on solutions and healing. Something I feel we can accomplish, as a family.”
  • Lily Harmon-Gross – “Accountability and integrity are crucial to ensuring our vision lives on for 50 more years. I believe in the Oregon Country Fair and its values. We are family – a dynamic group of people who can work together to resolve our differences and preserve our ideals.”
  • Lisa Parker – “Priority areas include what we want our leadership structure to look like, how best to function as transparently and equitably as possible, how best to manage our growth, and how we will sustain our longevity, as well as things like amplified sound and quiet zones, providing optimal infrastructure to support the work of our volunteers, dealing with our garbage, promoting inclusion and diversity, taking care of the land, being good neighbors, and retaining the core values that we were founded upon while simultaneously embracing change and looking forward into the future.”
  • Lucy Kingsley – “At its heart, the Oregon Country Fair is a philanthropic organization dedicated to fundraising for local community programs supporting basic needs, the arts and social change. We raise these funds by throwing a world class 3 day artisan, food and performance festival. A prime directive for this market place is that the seller of the craft is the maker of the craft. This is an economic as well as a political act.”
  • Shelley Devine – “ It is time to come home to our roots, our family tree, while simultaneously blazing the trail ahead into the future. We are at the crossroads. It serves us to look back and remember that which honors the original and radical impulse that started this. It is imperative that we look forward and envision where we are headed.”
  • Spirit Leatherwood – “Our community is the heart of who we are and what makes us unique. We should hold this close; relying on our core values as our strength. During this political climate, we need to model change, holding inclusiveness and transparency as the cornerstones of trust.”
  • Sue Theolass – “There is a sustaining, transformative, magical energy inherent in what we do far beyond the three-day event. It manifests all through the year in our philanthropy and our programs. What we do together can change the world for the better for us and future generations.”
  • Chewie Burgess – (Write in Candidate) “Now, as we continue our journey forward, yet again we need to facilitate significant change….I feel that with your support and constructive input together we can take back control of OUR Fair through not only implementing but following functional policy for the positive change WE want and need.”

Lastly, I want to say that I respect the commitment and unpaid volunteer work that is required to serve on the Board of Directors, I want to give my sincere appreciation for all the candidates, and our entire Fair Family. 🙂

Peace and Love Always,

Darcy Rose

Reading from the day of the Candidate’s Forum

Backstory

I had given a lot of thought to serving on the Oregon Country Fair Board of Directors, and how, after more organizational strife than I’m even aware of, the Board could use some new and younger blood to help us transform into the sustainable and benevolent organization that I believe we all desire.

Yet, I now realize that I was too hasty to offer my service. Mostly because my kids are too young still, especially as a newly single mom. I started having serious second thoughts when the first mini forum in Portland was scheduled for after school on a Friday afternoon. My Kindergartener, Teagan, had an epic screaming meltdown when she found out we were going to an adult happy hour instead of the park to see the swifts, as we had planned. Usually my kids are game for hanging out in pubs, but her fit made me wonder whether she would even pull it together to be able to go (thankfully, once her brain starts to function again, she’s always very sweet and apologetic, even if it leaves me feeling depleted). But once we got there, after about fifteen minutes of coloring, I started to get “love notes” asking how long we would be talking and WHY? So, I plied them with cookies and chips. The whole scene brought back childhood memories of our father, Wally, dragging us to Hoedad meetings, and a few Fair board meetings (he ran one year when politics were maybe even more contentious), and us wondering how they could possibly talk so much. On occasion I wondered if he cared as much about us. I know now that he absolutely did, and as an adult I can see how you can feel torn between important causes and impatient kids. It turned out that I let the girls have my laptop until the battery drained and then my phone, hoping that it would last until the end of the very engaging conversation. By the end of the three hour conversation, I was drained, and barely had enough energy to get soup/salad at the deli and tuck the girls into bed. I felt guilty for not wanting to read, which I usually love, and that’s when I seriously started to question myself. My kids LOVE the Fair, and I wouldn’t want them to resent the time/energy that serving on the Board would require. So, even though it means missing out serving during this critical phase, I am choosing to have faith that the new board will be able to serve with as much passion, integrity and creativity as I would have hoped to give. 

Dear Fair Family,

Dear Fair Family,

As I shared briefly in my 300 word candidate statement, I’m a country fair baby whose father played music with friends in 1969. Now each July, I water the sapling at main stage where I scattered his ashes, while noticing how much all of the trees have grown. I am still in awe of Wally’s Way, of the beautiful family he helped co-create, and I want to do more to honor his playful spirit for kids of all ages.

Fair isn’t just in my blood, it’s in my spirit. I started volunteering the year before the teen crew began, advocating for our right to volunteer. Now my eldest babe will serve on the teen crew next summer (after four years of baking cookies at Phoenix Rising :-).

This summer I’ve felt like a phoenix who is about to rise, after leaving a marriage that didn’t support my involvement in Fair or any real form of self care/expression. During the whole intense eclipse season, I’ve mediated on the question, “How can I best serve my family, the Fair Family/community, and Mama Earth?”

Growing up I always thought that I would someday be part of Fair’s community leadership, even though both parents warned me of the politics. Yet, I felt that someday my skills would be needed. I believe that time is now, especially after the last eclipse made me realize that I have nothing to loose and everything to gain.

I have three main inspirations for running/serving on the Oregon Country Fair board:

  1. Radically shift the leadership toward feminine empowerment – As I first began to question how I could serve the Fair Family, I dwelled a great deal on the shadow issue of entitlement. I don’t want you to vote for me because of who my father was or who my mother wants me to be. For better and worse, the Oregon Country Fair is a severely nepotistic organization, and I don’t want to perpetuate that norm. Despite our best intentions, the patriarchy is engrained in our organizational politics. I don’t know how exactly I can be part of this radical, but necessary shift, but I do know that I care more about fellow volunteers, and benefiting future generations, than about my own ego. I want to lead with an open heart and find creative new ways to live our ethos, collaborate and share our family values.
  2. Work to become a carbon neutral gathering by 2022 – (It’s now or never, people…we don’t have a decade to wait). I initially wanted to set the goal of 2020, but even I know that would be way too hard to accomplish. The truth is that for as much as we have done to focus on sustainability, we still need to do more. It’s likely that we’ll need to offset some of our impacts, but wouldn’t it be amazing to have forests and solar fields inspired by our family all over the state?! More than anything, we need to demonstrate to the rest of the world that it’s possible.

  3. Share our collective story and create a sustaining vision for the next 50 years – I don’t know about you, but I don’t live in a Fair bubble year round. While I do have new neighbors and friends who share a mutual love of our gathering, I’m still surprised by how many otherwise progressive Oregonians have never even heard of the Oregon Country Fair, or perhaps how outdated their impression may be. I truly believe that this next summer, celebrating our 50th, we have a huge opportunity to share our story with the world. Regardless of whether I have the opportunity to serve on the board, I want to be an integral part of creating an amazing celebration that will honor our first generations, while planting seeds of hope for future Fair Family.

Lastly, purely from reading the Fair Family News, I know that behind all the magic there’s been struggle and strife. I’m not going to say or pretend that simply getting some fresh blood on the board is going to fix everything, but I do believe that it would give us a chance to move beyond engrained politics. If given the chance, I would like to lead with laughter and compassion, while being aware of the legacy we are all leaving.

Beyond anything, I hope that publicly sharing my “platform” will help connect me with fellow Fair Family who have similar vision and passion for our eclectic celebration. As the Hopi Nation prayer says, it’s time to gather ourselves and have a good time. 🙂

Peace and Love,

Darcy Rose

Credit to the 2018 Photo Booth team

Vote for Darcy Rose ;-)

Dear Fair Family,

I am a “Fair Baby,” daughter of Wally’s Way, aka “The Twins.” I’ve served on staff since the first TEEN crew and have volunteered two decades as an InSecurity Pathrover. I am continually in awe of the amazing peaceful energy we create together and simply want to amplify the positive ripples.

I began this letter before Fair, not with the intention of running for the board, but simply to re-introduce myself as Darcy Rose. My original letter began with a long meandering musing about who I am, how culturally significant Fair is for my three generations, and why I feel called to contribute year round. Yet, with 300 words max, I need to condense my expansive desire to be part of our natural evolution, radically shifting from the patriarchy.

Here are some ideas:

  • Allow, enable and encourage board members to participate virtually (We are in a new century that connects us virtually, plus it is the Oregon Country Fair).
  • Make the bold and essential goal of becoming a carbon neutral gathering by 2022 (It’s now or never, people…we don’t have a decade to wait).
  • Strategically and creatively reduce our collective dependence on fossil fuels to host our essential event.
  • Plant trees and native plants on the land to sequester carbon where there are no plans to expand our human footprint. (Hoedads 2.0!!)
  • Calculate the carbon footprint per fairgoer and encourage ways to offset.
  • Work in partnership with Fair vendors and partners to offset our carbon impact by creating and funding statewide projects.
  • Continue to support inspiring environmental art and performances.
  • Celebrate the 50th by collaborating with filmmakers to create a documentary to capture Fair Magic, past, present and future…

Peace and love,

Darcy Rose

PS For the longer version, visit DarcysUtopia.com