Plastic Bank

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PLASTIC BANK

Okay, since this is supposed to be a feel-good blog post, I’m not going to bury you in plastic statistics the way we are ourselves being buried in the real thing, but I will shed a dash of light on it by repeating a few plastics facts you may already be privy to:

  • In the 70 years since plastics entered the consumer market, almost 9 billion tons have been created, 92% of which was not recycled and still exists on the planet in some form;
  • two million single-use plastic bags are distributed worldwide every minute — that have an average working life of a mere 15 minutes — are distributed worldwide every minute;
  • the straw you got with your drink at lunch will live for hundreds of years in the ocean, and 500 million of them are used everyday in America alone, enough to circle the world twice ;
  • one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute and only about 30% of them will be recycled;
  • at our current rate of production, by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, much of it as microplastics which break down from the original due to photodegradation.

The point of repeating these stats is that we can’t cover our eyes any longer.  The overuse of plastics is a global problem that requires immediate attention.  Yes, yes, every telemarketer that ever calls and every advertisement you read says some version of the same thing — that you need to pay attention now or you’re going to miss out; that the sky is falling but you can avoid the avalanche if you just do this; that everything you ever worked for in your life is going to be wiped out if you don’t follow this — but here’s why this time, this warning is for real, maybe not for you right now, right this instant on this exact day, but definitely for your children and their children, and so on.

Why, you ask?

Because water is finite.  We have all we’re going to get.  And if we keep contaminating what we have with plastics and microplastics, it will eventually be game over for us humans.  Scientists have found that microplastics have crossed the placenta barrier, the beginning of a very slippery slope IMO.

So what’s next for the human race?  Technically, it’s our move.  Enter, the Plastics Bank which is revolutionizing plastics recycling by “build[ing] ethical recycling ecosystems in coastal communities, and reprocess[ing] the materials for reintroduction into the global manufacturing supply chain.”

But wait, there’s more.  “Collectors receive a premium for the materials they collect to better help them provide basic family necessities such as groceries, school tuition, and health insurance.”

And if that wasn’t enough:  “Collected material is reborn as Social Plastic® which is reintegrated into products and packaging. This creates a closed-loop supply chain while helping those who collect it.”

Want to know more about the Plastic Bank?  Go visit their website.

Let’s support that which supports all of us.

It’s the last Friday of the month.  Time to share your good news on the We Are the World Blogfest — #WATWB — a monthly good news trip around the world.  May we all be energized and rejuvenated by such news.  If you’re interested in joining our Blog Hop, the guidelines are as follows:

1. Keep your post to below 500 words;

2. Link to a human news story on the last Friday of each month that demonstrates love, kindness, humanity, support, open-mindedness, all the good stuff, but no proselytizing, preaching or inconsiderateness toward others;

3. Post on the last Friday of the month in sharing the good news.  No story is too big or small;

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar and help spread the word on social media using the #WATWB hashtag;

5. Read and comment on others’ posts, play nice, and make friends;

6. To sign up, add your link to the WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

This month’s cohosts are:

https://ericlahti.wordpress.comEric; https://www.godyears.net; http://shilpaagarg.com/; https://gardenofedenblog.com/; https://professorowlsbookcorner.com/.

If you want to share your good news of an uplifting story, follow this link to sign up here: https://bit.ly/3aSG3qL

Thanks for reading!

pam lazos 2.26.21

Posted in plastics, recycling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Amid Rage

My friend Joel Burcat is back with a new book, Amid Rage, released February 2, 2021, an environmental thriller about a crazy coal mine operator, an application for a mining permit, and the anti-mining neighbors who will fight as long as it takes to make sure the mine doesn’t get it.  Caught in the crossfire is environmental prosecutor, Mike Jacobs who just wants to do the right thing for the environment.  Who will win is anyone’s guess.  Central and Western Pennsylvania struggles mightily with its roots, especially as they relate to coal, and this story could have easily been ripped from the headlines, but Burcat’s character-driven telling is much more.  Drawing on his experience as an environmental lawyer for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Amid Rage is a tale running as deep and wide as acid mine drainage itself.

Amid Rage is Burcat’s second novel.  The first, Drink to Every Beast was released in 2019.  Go here to read my previous interview with Joel who has been practicing or thinking about practicing environmental law since 1974 — before it was even cool!

Joel and I had a zoom chat a few days ago before participating in the lunch and learn discussion this past Friday (2/19/21) for the Pennsylvania Bar Association Environmental and Energy Law Section.  The topic?   So you’re thinking about writing that novel? Lots of thoughts, ethical considerations, and practical advice.

I don’t usually get many questions about my writing from own work colleagues, so this was a delightful diversion, a back and forth Q&A where Joel and I asked each other questions about our writing, how we both came to be writers and environmental lawyers, where we would like to go with our writing, and whatever advice we could offer for others looking to get started?  Since Joel has a new book out, I thought I’d share some of his responses with you.

So, here we are again, Joel.  And if you’re like me, the biggest question you always get is – how do you find time to write?

 

Great question, Pam. When I was still practicing law, I only wrote after 8 or 9 pm. Fortunately, I had the stamina after a long day in the office to write until 11 pm or midnight (sometimes later) then get up the next morning and go to work. Because I had a day job I felt I could not work during the time I was supposed to be devoting to my law practice. As a result, I did all of my writing at night.

Now that I am retired (disabled, actually) I write from about 8 a.m. until lunch time (determined by my hunger). Then I work on the business of books in the afternoon. Sometimes I will write in the afternoon, too. Often I will write on Sundays, as well.

You’re busy and determined!  I am still working my writing into the interstices of my day, but aspire to someday have the same kind of writing schedule, Joel.  How do you initially settle on your characters and once you do, how do you come up with plot lines?

When I began writing my Mike Jacobs books, I was already familiar with main characters from many thrillers and legal thrillers. I have often read about main characters who had a superpower. Some are unusually big and strong, some have photographic memories, some have martial arts or military skills. I find such characters interesting, but not relatable. I wanted my main character and all the characters in my books to be relatable. I think readers will have an easier time seeing themselves, possibly, as Mike or one of my other characters. I’d like my readers to think, “I could do that.”

My plots are based on a combination of cases or scenarios I read about (mostly news articles and case law), snippets from my own life, stories people have told me, and pure fiction I make up. Even when a story is “ripped from the headlines” (as the cliché goes) I take huge license with the story and make it my own.

They say a good writing is all about good reading.  What are you reading these days and how does that affect and improve your writing?

I read on a 4-book cycle: 1) a thriller, so I stay current with my genre; 2) a Young Adult (YA) novel, since I am branching out into the world of YA; 3) a debut novel or a book written by one of my friends, so I see the exciting things newer writers are doing; and 4) non-fiction. The last four books I read were: 1) SKIN IN THE GAME, by D.P. Lyle; 2) AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, by Sabaa Tahir; 3) BLACKTOP WASTELAND, by S.A. Cosby; and 4) HOMO DEUS, by Yuval Noah Harari. Currently, I am reading ONE OF US IS LYING, by Karen M. McManus, a young adult thriller. Life is all about learning and growing. This is an enjoyable way of doing that.

That sounds like a great approach.  You found your niche in the legal thriller genre and added the environment which makes it even more specialized. Do you think you’ll ever write outside that genre or is it your superpower — and you thought you didn’t have one –so you’re just going to stick with it?

Since you mentioned it…I have written a third book in the Mike Jacobs series, STRANGE FIRE, an environmental legal thriller about fracking. However, the last book I completed was a gritty, post-pandemic dystopian young adult thriller, called LULLABIES AND OTHER LIES. Currently that books is being evaluated by publishers, so we will see. I am at work on an environmental thriller that is not a legal thriller. It is titled (at this moment), PROJECT ICE. It is set in 1988 and is about a 21-year-old law student who walks into and accidentally attends a secret strategy meeting of the energy industry in Washington DC. (Something like this actually happened to me when I was in law school.) The topic of the strategy meeting is how to put the brakes on all research on climate change and prevent the United States from participating in any international meetings on climate change. She gets caught up in exposing the effort at great personal sacrifice.

That sounds like something we would all be interested in reading.  How many more books do you think you have in you?

It took me seven weeks to write the first draft of STRANGE FIRE (after I became legally blind!). It took me less than one month to write the first draft of LULLABIES AND OTHER LIES. Granted, writing the second draft and the editing process takes a much longer time, but once I get started, I write quickly. If pressed, I probably could write three or four books a year (not a typo). Realistically, I think two books a year is do-able. I love writing, so I’m going to do this for as long as I am able to do so. Hopefully, that’s a lot of books.

Ambitious, yes, but also doable from your determinedness.  So tell me, how much of your writing depends on audience approval?  After all, no fans, no books sold.  Do you ever get  discouraged that you haven’t yet entered the “millions of copies sold” arena?  What tools do you use to keep going when you don’t get the massive success for which every writer longs?  Do you keep writing regardless?

Writing has to be an obsession. You can’t do it only between the end of football season and beginning of March Madness or after the Christmas season is over on Hallmark (is it every truly over?). You really need to be drawn in by it and want to do that more than any other activity. My training as a lawyer has helped. That allows me to spend nearly endless time at my desk writing when I wouldn’t mind doing something else. Also, I am really goal driven. If I want to write a certain number of words on a certain day or finish writing a chapter, I will force myself to do it. At the least, I will find something else I must do related to writing that is equally important.

Finally, I live by the Winston Churchill quote, “Never Give in. Never, never, never, never.” That is a good motto for writers!

Thanks for the opportunity to talk!

Joel Burcat
Feb. 15, 2021

Additional info should you want to buy a copy of Amid Rage or Drink to Every Beast, or reach out to Joel.

http://www.JoelBurcat.com

@JoelBurcat

https://www.amazon.com/author/joelburcat

717-215-0236

Thanks for reading!

pam lazos 2.21.21

 

Posted in book promotion, book release, books | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Yes or No?

[eddies in ice © pam lazos]

While we wait for the men and women of the U.S. Senate, the world’s greatest deliberative body, to decide today whether the 45th POTUS incited an insurrection in our nation’s capitol on January 6, 2021 or, alternatively, to allow domestic terrorism to be our new normal — because isn’t the failure to impeach a vote for the latter?! — I leave you with this photo of eddies, frozen at the edge of the river while the maelstrom just below the surface, momentarily icebound, keeps time with the season — just like us.

And so we wait … .

pam lazos 1.17.21

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

The Sue Vincent Rodeo Is Live

The Sue Vincent Rodeo is great fun for a great cause — propping up our bloggy friend and cohort, Sue Vincent in her time of need — but don’t take my word for it. I’ll let fellow author and blogger Geoff LePard tell you about it — although not in 99 words or less. Thanks for participating!

TanGental

Yes it’s here. it’s a lovely idea and it’s got a prize attached. Read on…

It’s time to saddle up and get in line, because the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic is happening NOW at the Carrot Ranch! Writers will have the opportunity to support Sue Vincent, a stalwart center of our blogging community, as well as compete for a $100 prize! That’s right – we’re trying to make this the biggest writers’ Rodeo yet and celebrate Sue Vincent’s work and writing in the process. On the Rodeo Classic page, you can find a beautiful photo (from none other than Sue herself) to serve as a prompt. Write a story of 99 words or a poem of 99 syllables – no more, no less – based on the prompt photo on the Rodeo page. Also on the Rodeo page is an entry form where you can put up to two…

View original post 264 more words

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WATWB — Getting Back to Normal?

 

I had hoped, probably somewhat naively, that with President Biden’s win in a free and fair election, we in the U.S. could get back to a more normal, less dramatic way of speaking, transacting, cooperating, and interacting with each other, that hate speech would go by the wayside, and that people would look upon each other fondly again as we all ditched our malicious and spiteful rhetoric for a bright new way, or at least a return to the old, less vitriolic way, a fresh start, as it were.  

As I said —  naive.

But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up hope for that sparkly future for America.  This is, after all, one of the greatest experiments in self-rule ever conducted and sometimes people lose faith in the political creed or fall into despair when the pendulum swings too far right or left and no longer makes sense to them.

Yet one thing we should all be able to agree on is that we will make no forward motion unless we all tone down the hate speech.  To that end, I offer you this brief by Madiha Afzal, a David M. Rubenstein Fellow — Foreign Policy, Center for Middle East Policy, Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology at Brookings.  The Brookings Institution is a non-profit think tank dedicated to independent research which addresses some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Twenty years after terrorists carried out the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. seems to be winning the war on terror abroad, but our own soil is a wholly different headache.  Like Ireland in the last third of the 20th century, America suddenly has homegrown terrorists of its own, something that many of us never saw coming, and it’s terrifying, especially when members of Congress are spewing their own hate speech.

Afzal argues that we need to restructure how we think about extremism and employ a top-down approach to combating it through education and the transferring of critical-thinking skills to combat the cultism that accompanies terrorism.  If the events of the last few months, culminating in the January 6, 2021 raid on the U.S. capitol, a raid spurred on by fake news and alternative facts — such as the totally erroneous claim that President Biden stole the election — have demonstrated anything, it’s that we have much more work to do at home.  

Reading Afzal’s brief is a start in that direction.  She proposes a global U.N. agreement, led by the U.S., in which countries design and roll out educational systems geared to fight extremism.  According to Afzal, “[t]he positive externalities of focusing on education would extend beyond their effect on extremism: This would also counter disinformation campaigns and the phenomenon of fake news, and the effect on attitudes could in turn have far-reaching effects on various forms of violence.”

For the sake of all, not just the U.S., but the world, we can’t push this any farther under the rug than we already have, otherwise, we’ll have to climb over the mountain of our own failures just to cross the living room.  Time to get smarter.

It’s the last Friday of the month.  Time to share your good news on the We Are the World Blogfest — #WATWB — a monthly good news trip around the world.  May we all be energized and rejuvenated by such news.  If you’re interested in joining our Blog Hop, the guidelines are as follows:

1. Keep your post to below 500 words;

2. Link to a human news story on the last Friday of each month that demonstrates love, kindness, humanity, support, open-mindedness, all the good stuff, but no proselytizing, preaching or inconsiderateness toward others;

3. Post on the last Friday of the month in sharing the good news.  No story is too big or small;

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar and help spread the word on social media using the #WATWB hashtag;

5. Read and comment on others’ posts, play nice, and make friends;

6. To sign up, add your link to the WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list.  https://www.linkytools.com/basic_link_entry_form.aspx?id=277138

This month’s cohosts are:

SylviaMcGrath https://www.professorowlsbookcorner.wordpress.com/

Simon Falk https://simonfalk28.wordpress.com/

Shilpa Garg http://shilpaagarg.com/

Mary Giese https://maryjmelange.wordpress.com/

Belinda Witzenhausen https://bwitzenhausen.wordpress.com/

As always, thanks for reading.

pam lazos 1.29.21

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Toilet: A Love Story

Toilet:  A Love Story

As comedies go, the lowly toilet has long been the brunt of many a comedic trope, potty humor being the universal go-to language when you need a sure thing.  We laugh at bathroom humor the same way we laugh when someone unexpectedly slips and falls.  We can’t help ourselves, chortling, snickering, and sinking into paroxysms of laughter if someone is clumsy enough to miss a step or a stair.  Perhaps it’s a universal acknowledgement of the collective embarrassment we all feel when publicly caught doing something stupid so we laugh because it feels better than crying.  The reaction starts from an early age when just whispering the word “fart” to a kindergartener can reduce them to giggles.  Flatulence is something everyone experiences from time-to-time, yet because we just don’t like to admit these things out loud the universal response is to laugh, and that’s for 5 and 50-year olds alike . 

Yet the cultural differences surrounding one’s toilette couldn’t be more divergent between the developed and developing worlds, and if you want to watch a comedic testament to this issue from the developing world, then watch Toilet, A Love Story, a 2017 comedic/drama directed by Shree Narayan Singh.  

India has a population of 1.37 billion people, approximately 71% of which have access to a toilet, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-46400678 yet despite the governments massive toilet building campaign which began in 2014, approximately 30% of the country still practices open defecation.  Approximately 90 million toilets have been built since the Indian government began this work, yet the  country still struggles, and not always for the reasons you may think.  

While India has been working hard to improve its water, sanitation and hygiene, or WASH, track record by eradicating open defecation, it has also received pushback from an unlikely place:  the religious sector.  As Toilet, A Love Story points out, many conservative religious groups believe that having a toilet in the house renders their home unclean, yet these same groups think nothing of having women arise before the sun, walk to the open fields to defecate as that’s how it’s always been done.  And it’s not just the men who think this way; the women do, too, even though there is much evidence that open defecation leads to increased violence against women.

Toilet, A Love Story takes a light-hearted approach to the intractable problem of lack of access to WASH and offers real solutions.  The movie is long, about 2.5 hours, and it’s in Hindi — a language spoken about twice as fast as a typical New Yorker — so the subtitles fly across the screen and sometimes it’s a little hard to keep up, but invest the time and you’ll be delighted you did, plus you’ll learn something in the process.

Toilet is available for streaming on Netflix and Youtube. 

pam lazos 1.17.21

Posted in access to sanitation, toilets, WASH | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Are you an EcoPreneur?

FAQs and Resources to Help You Become a Successful EcoPreneur

Here at Green Life Blue Water, I’m dedicated to promoting sustainable living and respect for the environment. That is why from time to time, I post information and services from like-minded folks, like this one from Mark Harris who is so very excited to help you on your way to becoming a successful EcoPreneur. Of course, you may have some questions before getting started and Mark has prepared a FAQ list that can help answer them and provide valuable resources in the process. 

Take it away, Mark:

What Is an EcoPreneur

You’ve heard of being an entrepreneur, but perhaps you’ve never heard the term “EcoPreneur.” Let the following resources and information explain this catchy label to you.

  • Successful EcoPreneurs look to establish businesses that help solve some of the most pressing issues impacting the environment. 
  • This is just one example of the different types of entrepreneurs who exist in business. 
  • Both Tesla and Lenovo are examples of corporations that promote this sustainability. 
  • If you need inspiration, check out Entrepreneur’s list of sustainable small business ideas. 

How Can I Start an EcoBusiness?

Now that you understand what makes an EcoPreneur different from other small business owners, let’s talk about ways to get your green business up and running.

  • You should always start with planning. Having a business plan will help keep you organized and can also help you secure funds for your startup. 
  • Think about ways your startup can solve pressing issues when writing your plan. 
  • Once you have a plan, you can set up an LLC for your business online. 
  • Depending on your business, you may want to look into green certification labels. 
  • Special funds may be available to help your eco-friendly business get started. 

How Do I Market a New Green Business? 

Marketing is critical for any new startup. This is what will connect you with those first customers and help grow your reputation as a leader in sustainability. These tips will help guide you. 

  • First of all, be aware of greenwashing. If you haven’t figured out sustainable practices for your new business, do not make this the focus of your branding and marketing efforts. 
  • You should create a strategic marketing plan to promote legitimate green practices.
  • Social media is going to be your safest bet for growing an audience for your business.  
  • Sustainability should also be highlighted on your website. Yes, you need a website. 

EcoPreneurship is such a responsible way to start a small business. Not only will you be empowering yourself with this new startup, but you will also be helping to resolve problems that are contributing to climate change and other environmental issues. In short, you will be helping to leave behind a better world for future generations. What a worthy pursuit! 

For more enlightening articles like this one, check in often with the Green Life Blue Water blog. 

Photo Credit: Pexels

Thanks so much, Mark, for sharing your wisdom.  Sound like good advice for all business, not just the sustainable ones, or perhaps it’s a way for all businesses to become sustainable!

pam lazos 1.10.21

Posted in Sustainability, sustainable business practices, sustainable cities | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Niente di Grave

 

[Manciano, Italy circa 1995]

Niente di Grave

While 2020 will go down as one of the toughest years on record for many of us, I would like to posit that some aspects of it were successful, at least for me, over the course of the year.  Because the pandemic grounded us, I spent more time with family; got off the train with my two-hour, one-way commute to work; got to work in my home office, most always with a cat or dog at my feet; and met a lot of like-minded people as a result of my work with the Global Water Alliance that I feel will lead to some great WASH projects — water, sanitation and hygiene — sometime in the future.  Maybe not the rousingly successful output of years passed, but a quietly successful one that I’m grateful to have had given the alternatives available.

In the like-minded people category, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Joanne Spigonardo, author of the blog, Hidden Treasures of Italy, as well as a Business Development Consultant Specializing in Sustainability, Higher Education, Career Management, and Public Relations.  Joanne formerly served as Senior Associate Director at the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) at Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.  She’s also the author of the book, White Widow, about the wives and families left behind by Italian men who emigrated to the United States in the early 20th century.  Our interests are aligned on many levels.

So when Joanne asked me to write a post for her Italy blog, of course I said yes.  I offer it here for your review — Niente di Grave — a trip down memory lane which left me longing for the day we will all be able to travel again.  I dug through old photo albums to find the two photos above then took a digital picture them, printed on film over 25 years ago.

The photos have yellowed some but I’m sure the landscape in Manciano hasn’t changed much in the last two and a half decades.  I couldn’t find any photos of Trastevere, not because I don’t have them, but I got tired of looking, although it sure would have been nice to have a picture of that arched doorway.  Read about it here.

Until next time — wherein I will try not to take myself too seriously for the good of everyone around me — ciao for now.

pam lazos 1.3.21

Posted in blog, Sustainability, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Divining 2021

Divining 2021

If prostitution is the oldest profession and priesthood the second, what is the third?  I’m going to guess divination.  

People are a lot like cats. We’re curious and we’ve just got to know:  what’s going on; what’s coming next, what’s around the bend, what’s the ending to the story; what, what, what?  We can’t help ourselves, and for that, there’s the age old ritual of prophesy — the ability to foresee the future.  For some it’s a parlor trick; for others, before any big life decisions can be made, they must consult the experts.  

No one can really see the future, especially someone else’s, but sometimes the longings of your Soul are hard to differentiate from all the ruckus around you, and while you can make an educated guess as to your own future, the ancient form of divination known as tarot might give you an assist in deciphering the signs.  

Famous people throughout history have consulted soothsayers, but few admit to it.  Nancy Reagan, Princess Diana and Megan Markle, King Henry II and anyone who ever sought out Nostradamus or Sir Isaac Newton for their insight.  

Even the Washington Post reported an uptick in the general populace seeking out psychics in order to get a handle on what’s coming in 2021, probably due to the overall general suckiness of 2020. 

Admittedly, I am a tarot neophyte despite my more than 25-year dalliance with the cards, but I have always been fascinated by it.  Once a year, somewhere between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, my friend Bob returns from his home in California to visit family still living in Pennsylvania.  The trip includes a couple-day layover at my house, a tradition as much a part of the holiday for me as putting up the Christmas tree, and for a couple days we gab, eat, catch up, make general merriment, and do our cards.  The custom started when Bob and I lived on the same block in South Philadelphia a thousand moons ago and has continued pretty consistently since then although we missed this year because of Covid.

 

I’ve always been interested in the paranormal and to indulge me, my mother bought me a book called The ESP Reader when I was about 10 or 11.  I still have the book.  It’s still in print and a new copy sells on Amazon for $768.57!

Maybe that same Christmas, my mother bought my sister and I an Ouija board not really understanding what its purpose was until after The Exorcist released and then she made us throw it out.  We Catholics take things such as possession by the devil seriously and she didn’t want to take any chances even if the general consensus was that it was simply a silly game.  Frankly, my sis and I only used it a couple times because it creeped us out so much.  We probably intuited even as kids that there are some things in life you just shouldn’t mess with.

But the cards, oh the cards — now these are fun.  I’ve had a couple different decks, some more scary than others, but my favorite is the Thoth deck, brainchild of renowned psychic and crackpot, Aleister Crowley, and beautifully illustrated by Lady Freida Harris.  The cards took five years to create and both Crowley and Harris died before they were published in 1969.  When combined with The Tarot Handbook by Angeles Arrien the deck becomes accessible to everyone, not just people who have studied tarot, offering a window into your deepest desires, the ones you sometimes can’t hear amidst the cacophony of the outside world — a GPS for the Soul.

Since Bob and I missed our usual 10-card life review this year, I did a quick three-card spread for this blog post to represent past, present, future. 

 

Here’s what I got:

Past:  Ten of swords represents mental despair, helplessness, and hopelessness about an emotional relationship or finances. Well, that’s spot on, and sounds pretty much like most of 2020 for many people, not just me.  Thank goodness that state of mind is on its way out! 

Present:  Queen of Swords represents intellectual thinking and a desire to cut away all false masks and superficiality to figure out who the true me really is.  Perfect — a great card to have in my present space as I’ve been diligently cutting away all that no longer suits me for some months now, including giving away all that I no longer find useful so it can find a better home somewhere else.

Future:  Princess of Swords represents the mood-fighter, as in practical, common-sense thinking to dispel moods that cloud mental clarity.  What a welcome tool for figuring out exactly what my future should look like without the fugue that surrounded 2020.

Crazy?  Maybe.  Or perhaps another tool in my proverbial toolbox to figure out what life is asking of me and to give me a glimpse into what my Soul needs to flourish.  If so, I’m game.

We are entering the Age of Aquarius, come round again after 2,150 years, so it’s time for us all to bring our A game because this next period is about building the foundation and connecting — to one another and the planet for starters.  

A most divine 2021 to you all.  May you find and use the tools that suit your journey.

I will leave you with one of my fav songs from my childhood.  I distinctly remember my sister and I dancing around the living room to this one.  Time to let that sun shine in.

pam lazos 1.1.21

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Now Returns the Light

And here we are again, coming to the close of a six-month slide into darkness, culminating in the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and one that signifies the return of the coveted light of the sun.  It will be another six-month trip back around until we get to the summer solstice and the longest day of the year, spring, summer, fall, winter, and on into infinity, or at least what infinity feels like to humans who only have a hundred years, give or take, to watch it unfold.  

The fall season of the harvest gives way to a winter of introspection.  Covid has driven us away from each other this year, but rather than curse our luck, let’s use the time to go within, analyze our lives and see where our spiritual health lies.  What is working?  What brings us joy?  While the earth sleeps under a blanket of snow, we count our blessings, joys, and sorrows, and give thanks for that which sustains us, polishing up those parts we still adore and Marie Kondo-ing the rest.  

If Covid-19 has taught me anything, it’s that I just don’t need the superfluous anymore.

You can get a little celestial help from Jupiter and Saturn.  They’ll be visible in the night sky on the winter solstice, forming a great conjunction as scientists call it, a possible explanation for the Star of Bethlehem.  While Jupiter passes Saturn about every 20 years or so, the last time these two planets had such a close encounter was almost 400 years ago, and the last time the conjunction appeared in the night sky was in 1226 during the Middle Ages!

Could this conjunction be the Star of Bethlehem?  NASA scientist Henry Throop says it’s possible there was a conjunction like this during the 6th or 7th century, but thinks said Star could also be attributed to comets, novas, supernovas and planets aligning with other stars in our solar system. 

Maybe we’ll never know, but I prefer to look at such a momentous alignment as an auspicious beginning, one where men (used in the generic sense) are led from darkness into the light, much like the Medieval times led to the Renaissance. 

Let us use this time of introspection, peace, and solitude to set our finest intentions for the coming decade(s). 

The stars are aligning.  A Great Conjunction is upon us.  Darkness falls away and light returns.  Decide who it is you want to be and bring the best of you forward into the new light. 

If not now, when? 

Happy Winter Solstice.

pam lazos 12.21.20

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