In my third article on trees in Venice, I highlight the Red Flowering Gum. I was particularly excited about being to photograph this vibrant tree at the height of its blooming this year. Here is a link to the article:
Recently, I found out that one of the original, Bodhi Tree Readers died. Her name is Linda Hart Michaels. She died of emphysema on February 27, 2014. According to her friend, Anna, her last two days were peaceful.
I met Linda when I first approached Phil Thompson to let me and my husband, Michael, work as tarot readers at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore. It was November, 1997. We had recently arrived from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Linda told me she had been asking them to add psychic readers for years — but no luck. The two owners were still not budging when I also asked. Why they changed their minds less than a year later is another story, for another day. Today, I simply want to share a story about Linda.
One day, not long after we started up the Bodhi Tree Readings, I went to ask Linda a question. I noticed a beautiful angel card deck on her table. Now, most people who know me, know that I am not easily impressed by angel decks, largely because of their poorly conceived artwork. I had never seen this particular deck, so I asked her what it was. She told me it was called, “Angel Blessings” created by Kimberly Marooney. She then told me that she did not exactly read with them. Rather, she turned over one card and placed it on her table for each reading. She did this because she found the image comforted people. I liked that idea, for some reason. I also could see how the images could be comforting. Each one is an actual reproduction of a fine art masterpiece.
So, in memorium, today I decided to take out my own copy and pull a card for Linda. Above is the card I pulled: “Sandalphon” with the keyword”Power.” According to Marooney, Sandalphon “oversees the many powers given to the Seraphin including strength, abundance, beauty, and joy of living.” The power, however, this great Seraphin is connected with is the power of emotions. Sandalphon helps to identify ones fears and imbalances and take actions to work through them. Marooney says that by expressing ones true feelings and releasing emotional scars, ones power flows through.
I believe when we die that the journey continues. Linda, may your spirit path be one of joy, magic and illumination. Thank you for sharing in an important crossroads in my life. I will remember your laughter, your beautiful hair, and your gentle soul. Blessed be.
by Krista Schwimmer
We left New York State at 8:00 am on November 10th, driving a southern route with the hopes of catching the best weather. As we drove, we watched out for wildlife. There were largely deer. We decided to stop at Fish Eddy’s, off Route 17. We took one glance, felt it was an inbreed crowd, and got right back on the road.
Our first campsite was a bit before Roanoke, Virginia. It cost $23 for the night. We slept well, though, only a bit cold because we left the fly to our tent door open.
Morning brought a wonderful surprise. I was standing by our Sidekick, getting my toiletries out, when Michael called, “Quick, Krista! Look over here!” I was half expecting a friendly crow that we had heard earlier. I walked around to the front of the car. There was a little, black bunny. Tame as can be, sitting right at Michael’s feet. The only food I had was a granola bar. I held it out to the black bunny who eagerly grabbed it, almost toppling over because of the weight of the bar. I laughed, broke the bar up for the bunny, and stroked him while he ate. There were many more bunnies in the surrounding field; but he was the only one brave enough to beg.
In the Medicine Cards, Jamie Sams talks about how rabbit was once a brave warrior, but became paranoid by his fears. At the time, I thought, I do have fears about our journey across country. I was afraid of lack of sleep, running out of money, and oddly, getting pregnant. I was still on the fence about having children. After feeding the black bunny, however, I decided these were not such large fears. The journey would go well.
Laurie Cabot, Samhain in Salem, and Hunting Pheasant
by Krista Schwimmer
We drove and drove in the dark, rain falling lightly. We drove past New Brunswick “Elvis”, a male dummy bicycling by a gas station that once scared Michael when he was taking a whiz beside the road. We reached the border around 2 am, and managed to get through without too much of a problem, largely due to my husband’s “Bat Hearing.” He said he has always had this ability, to hear conversations clearly that normal people cannot hear. When the immigration officers were in the back, he could hear them conversing about whether or not they should search our car, largely because we did not have a fixed time-frame for our return. When I told Michael I was worried they would make us take everything out of our car, he said he knew they wouldn’t. He could hear them talking about it and deciding against it. Sure enough, when the officers returned, they told us we were free to go. We had nothing to hide — I was simply tired and wanted to be on our way.
After 16 hours of driving, we arrived in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. We were planning on staying there with Don and Kathy,a married couple Michael had known for some time. From Sturbridge, it was only an hour and a half from Salem. We planned on visiting there, so it was perfect.
Lost & Found in the Faery Realm of Nova Scotia
by Krista Schwimmer
In the mid 90’s, I found myself traveling to one of the most magical places in the world: Nova Scotia, Canada. Heart broken and lost at the time, I simply felt a deep desire to be near wild and rocky coast lines. A dear friend of mine, Ken Friedman, who I had met through Tibetan Buddhism, invited me to stay with him in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He told me later he laughed to himself when he saw how I had packed all my belongings in my car to “visit” him. He knew, even if I didn’t, that I was there to stay a while!
As soon as I arrived in Nova Scotia, I fell madly in love with the terrain. Once I settled my things with Ken, I traveled around on my own for a bit, heading up to the spectacular Cape Breton for a brief stay at Gampo Abbey. When I returned to Ken’s apartment in Halifax, I decided to go back to school and study marine biology at Dalhousie University. Although I went back to the United States one more time, I soon returned after checking with a relocation astrologer who confirmed that Nova Scotia was indeed the ideal place for me to pursue and obtain my dreams.