Welcome to the business and personal website of me, Jan Burch - aka Jan4insight - owner & practitioner of Geo-Glow Consulting. Call me a “Renaissance woman” > My business aims to be your go-to source for holistic energy work and intuitive readings. My creative side makes (and sells!) gorgeous one-of-a-kind handcrafts and fabulously colorful print-on-demand gifts and more. Here at my site, you can find me on the Web, order a reading, learn more about my energy work services, and check in with my occasional musings. Legal stuff: This site uses cookies, and some posts may contain affiliate links. Thank you very much.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Year of Jan's CycleCast Blog

It's official ~ this blog is one year old today!

image by Jan Burch
Yes, dear readers and fellow-travelers, today marks one year since my very first post on Jan's CycleCast Blog. Here it is, quoted in its entirety:

Hello world here is my first post and I hope to have many more soon!
And many more we have! Since that humble beginning, I have continued to post regularly, with today's musing being the 95th post since I began. That averages to 7.9 posts per month or 1.8 per week. It's been a steady journey of ideas, musings, CycleCastings, readings, and rantings.
I started with the most basic blog template, using a public-access computer at my city's public library - no kidding! For three months I made my way to the library several times a week, to blog and write and network ... it truly was like going to work!
Now, I have my own computer and wireless Internet at my home. My blog has been jazzed up with pictures and widgets and what-not (all hopefully useful or at least amusing to you, my dear readers). I've got a Google page rank of 3/10 (not too shabby in the world of small blogs), and I have total of four main sites... In a word, I've become a nerd/geek/addict of the Internet!
The best of the best, however, is the people I've been able to meet. From all corners of the globe, all ages, all walks of life, bloggers everywhere find ways to connect. This would not be possible had I not taken the plunge on that winter day one year ago. So, as I sign off and go treat myself to some blog-iversary cookies, I wish to welcome all bloggers and blog-readers, old and new, who find their way to my pages. Happy surfing!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays, and Merry Bleepin' Christmas!

Does the message in this picture offend you in any way?

image by Jan Burch

I thought not ~ my readers tend to be reasonable people who appreciate sincere and inclusive expressions celebrating the archetypal turn of the year at winter time. Unfortunately, there are those regrettably vocal types who somehow get a wild hair up their .bleep. every time they receive a greeting that fails to specify whatever particular (and limited) form of celebration is acceptable to the wild-hair possessor's pea-sized brain.

Many of these vocal ones call themselves "Christians." Now I'm not one, so I may not be the best authority here, but my understanding is that the historical person on whom this following is based was: A man of peace. A radical who embraced all people now matter how unacceptable to prevailing paradigm ~ women, lepers, the poor, Samaritans, etc. A teacher who modeled his actions on love instead of hate.

And he probably wasn't even born on this so-important (if hyped) day; most likely his birth occurred during the summer months. So what's up with this "reason for the season" and btw, if you dare try to share someone else's festivities with my closed world-view, I'll ... I'll ... I'll...

Hold my breath til I turn blue?

Fortunately that's all they're doing right now, although we have court challenges over this and there's always an endless stream of fulminating talk-show hosts stirring the pot for their ditto-heads. But I can't for the life of me see how "Season's Greetings" or "Happy Holidays" could be offensive. In fact, since I am spiritual but not religious, I'm offended by overly-religious greetings from a stranger. I get enough from the door-knockers who want to share their bible with me; I don't need a store clerk second-guessing my spiritual leanings. The constant insertion of religion into every aspect of our public sphere is invasive. And I think it's probably making Thomas Jefferson roll over in his grave.

Season's Greetings. Happy Holidays. These expressions are simple, heartfelt, inclusive, and recognize the great winter-celebration archetype. We have Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Ramadan/Eid (depending on its cycle) all landing around this time, when the calendar turns and the sun comes up on Solstice. Which of course is the basis for all the historical interpretations: It's well-known, at least in the Christian sphere, that the good church fathers consolidated their power by usurping pagan holy sites and festivals.

Or, maybe they honed in on the powerful energy of these places and times. I'm aligned with the pagan vision (see the trees in my greeting image) and I think it's a fine thing to celebrate Solstice and New Year. Feel the energy and express it as moves you! Just don't ossify your illumination into a "religion" and take off killing people who disagree with you. Please. Two thousand plus years of Merry bleepin' Christmas is enough for this poor ol' planet.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Notable Quote: about Time

I am trying to create a design, a shape in my mind, that will make these days ... viable. It occurred to me as I was out in the wet grass (rain again), picking a few flowers to replenish the ones in the house, that I might imagine each day as a whole year long. Then it would not seem impossible that only a third or less can go into work at my desk - a third of a year is four months! What this might do is expand my compulsive sense of time passing. So here I am at my desk for four months before [my visitors] arrive at half-past eleven.
~May Sarton, At Seventy: A Journal

Thursday, December 18, 2008

We've Found the Key: CycleCast for December 19, 2008 through January 2, 2009

It's fitting that this year's final CycleCast shows us heading into the home stretch of our annual journey with a sense of resolution and completion. The challenges and lessons of the Old year will be tied up by the first days of the New. All we have to do is season our holiday times with a large dollop of gratitude, and we'll be ripe and ready to get involved with new opportunities. Sounds good, doesn't it, fellow-traveler? Let's take a look at the cards:

The Key to your heart is a heart-felt discovery: What was that realization you had lately, the one that put it all into perspective? Maybe you should write it down, fellow-traveler: keeping a dream or gratitude journal is a fine New Year's resolution. You'll want to have a map - and a record - of your journey when you reach the next Gate on your path. Open it and go through - you'll have to discover what lies ahead; then you can decide to go forward or not. Can you see those Cherry trees alongside the path, traveler? Their fruit is sweet and ripe and ready to be plucked. That's you, my friend: it's time to come out of your shell and get involved. Hermit days are over! But before you can complete this stage of the journey, you'll need to hand over a Token or two. That's no loss - only a gain - once you realize that gratitude is all you really need.

Sorry about the last line, oh ghost of John Lennon! But it's true that gratitude is the answer to this riddle, this time. It reminds me of a saying from the 13th-century mystic known as Meister Eckhardt:

If gratitude were the only prayer we ever said, it still would be enough.

And so, fellow-travelers, may this CycleCast take you through a beautiful holiday season and into a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. I will of course be updating this blog with notes and thoughts and quotes in the days ahead. And I'll start the New Year off with a Big Fat CycleCast for the year 2009! See coming come back because there's always more to see and read on Jan' CycleCast Blog.

Would you like to find out what's coming up for you in the New Year? I can help with an intuitive reading to answer your questions and illuminate your path. For information and to request and appointment, send a message to burchjan@gmail.com. Visit my website www.GeoGlowConsulting.com for more information.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My First Custom Order ~ done and shipped!

The excitement began when I checked my email after I returned from Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, I know that sounds obsessive, but I was running a sale for "Black Friday-Cyber Monday" weekend on my Eclectica By Jan etsy shop, and I wanted to keep up with what was happening. I was so thrilled and surprised to get a message requesting a custom afghan!

Well, that was two weeks ago, and now - here it is:

I call this piece "Wristie's Afghan" because it was made for a wonderful buyer with the user name of wristie. The colors were based on the buyer's decor, and I think it made a striking and distinctive piece. I received the order on Thanksgiving Day, and had it finished and mailed within two weeks. That was pushing it a bit (I had a few late nights) but I really wanted to finish in time to mail for Christmas delivery - and it required international shipping! Now it's finished, done and shipped on time - and now I wait to see how my customer likes it :-)

I learned several things while doing this project. One has to do with pricing - I just about gave this away: after I subtracted the cost of materials and postage, I made about $11 profit. I truly don't mind because this experience has given me a real boost in terms of my rating on etsy, filling out my portfolio, and so forth. I will look at more realistic pricing in the future - but that's another story.
Best of all, I affirmed how much I really like custom work! It brought me back to my years as a freelance writer/editor: This project was very similar to my editing gigs where I was given someone's ideas to put into good form, and then give back to them. What a joy - and I'm good at it! So it works in crochet as well as with words, and I'd be very happy to do more (crochet that is - I don't do the wordsmithing any more).
So, with the New Year coming, I'll be looking at where I want to go with this. Right now I feel very drawn to working on big, higher-end pieces. I really like making these afghans, almost more than anything! And when the holiday rush is over, I can focus on a big work while keeping smaller pieces - scarves, shawls, and such - going "on the side." That's my favorite way of working, and the same goes for art/collage work. And, of course, having more custom orders to add to the mix would be ideal!

I can't leave this post without letting Luvlee have her say! She likes to get her self into the photo, and I must say she's very good about not getting her cat hairs on the project. Note to finicky customers: I always launder my washable products before I ship them, so you don't have to worry about cooties coming along with your order:-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Notable Quote: about Time

I am trying to create a design, a shape in my mind, that will make these days devoured ... viable. It occurred to me as I was out in the wet grass (rain again!), picking a flowers to replenish the bunches in the house, that I might imagine each day as a whole year long. Then it would not seem impossible that only a third or less can go into work at my desk - a third of a year is four months! What this might do is expand my compulsive sense of time passing. So here I am at my desk for four months before [visitors] arrive at half-past eleven.

~May Sarton, At Seventy: A Journal

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Butterfly for December: the energy of the month

Greetings, dear readers and fellow-travelers ~ Starting this month I will supplement my CycleCasts with an "energy of the month" reading: I will pull one card from my trusty Star+Gate Deck and expound on it. The energy for the month of December 2008 is

The Butterfly

The Butterfly is a mode of self-expression that comes from having new energy emerging within us. It has lighthearted feel, but don't try to pin it down or you'll kill it. This new way of being is elusive and delicate, even fickle, but if you can just stop and enjoy the beauty as it flutters by, you'll grow stronger in the art of letting go and feeling carefree. Spread your wings!

The Butterfly's nearest neighbors on the Star+Gate pattern are:

  • Thunder ~ a state of power that gives us lessons in humility.
  • Letter ~ A gift of being able to put our ideas into form and communicate through symbols.
  • Wind ~ The challenge of adapting to change.

The Butterfly is borne of the energies of Indecision and Hope. That's right: now may not be the time to make major decisions. Rather, it's wisest to Trust in a higher and wiser source while Weighing the options. Enjoy the dance between polarities, traveler

How nice to have such an easy energy during this typically stressful month of the holiday seasons! And, as I reflect on what's happening in the larger community - at least for the U.S. - I feel its appropriateness. Tonight, as I was driving from one errand to another while listening to All Things Considered in my car, I felt the elusive stirrings of a new day dawning. Out of crisis and despair a new energy is emerging. We all know there is so much work ahead to repair our country and our planet, but for now we can glimpse the joyous possibilities that lie ahead. So, fellow-travelers, take time out to plant the seeds of manifestation, and enjoy the Butterfly in all her delicate beauty.

Would you like to find out how the prevailing energies are personally influencing you? I can help with an intuitive reading to answer your questions and illuminate your path. For information and to request and appointment, send a message to burchjan@gmail.com. Visit my website www.GeoGlowConsulting.com for more information.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Bell-Ringing Knight Sails the Wide Sea: CycleCast through December 20, 2008

As we move into the final weeks of 2008, dear readers, we're seeing some of the energies we've worked with over the past year cycle back around, perhaps giving us one more chance to learn the lessons Or practice the moves. Or savor the moments. Choose the metaphor that gives you the most comfort!

This CycleCast is rather straightforward, and it looks like an easy flow for the next few weeks. The themes identified in the previous CycleCast, of building relationships and seeking truth, are repeated, but with a bit more focus on the inner journey and being in touch with the soul:

Finally, travelers, we're ready to go out and rescue that which is worth preserving. But before you charge off on your steed, remember that the Knight whose archetype you follow is a noble image, not a grasping one. Be sure to have a reliable map, so you don't fall into a Hole ~ or, make the grail you seek into an Empty Vessel and receive your guidance moment by moment. Feeling lost? Ring your Bell and draw in everything that you need: It all lies within. Knowing this, you can feel secure within your own soul's boundaries. Once your innermost needs are satisfied, you can take to the warm, nurturing Sea and bask in the knowledge that here, fellow-traveler, you truly belong.

This CycleCast goes into effect two days from now, on November 26-28. We'll have much to be grateful for on the Thanksgiving weekend. By December 12-13, the inner-journey phase of this Cycle will peak, and as the lessons coalesce by December-19-20, the energies of mixing with others with prevail. Looks like we'll be having some mellow parties this holiday season!

Are you seeking guidance for your inner journey? My intuitive readings are just the thing! You can visit my website www.GeoGlowConsulting.com for information about my intutive services and prices; or write to burchjan@gmail.com with your request. Namaste.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Notable Quote: Barbara Ehrenreich on Magical Thinking

Maybe, too, our critical faculties have been dimmed by the habit, endemic in the early 2000s, of magical thinking. The biggest self-help best seller of the last year tells you how you can have anything you want, simply by willing it .... Girls are forsaking feminism for a princess fantasy that culminates in weddings lavish enough to bankrupt a young couple before they can take out a car loan. Karl Rove derided the press for its membership in the "reality-based community," and the fastest-growing brand of religion is of the magical "name it and claim it" variety, in which the deity exists only to meet one's immediate, self-identified needs. It would be shortsighted to whine about rising debts and falling incomes, when, with a little spiritual effort, the miraculous could happen to you.

~Barbara Ehrenreich, from This Land is Their Land

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Your Reaction is Very Important to Me. Please press "1" ...

Here's a fun post, dear readers. No, seriously, your reaction to my blog's posts and pics IS very important to me ~ and our geeky friends at Google have just come up with a FUN way to capture your reactions on the fly!

No, I'm not talking about anything that would require you to register or other give away your soul. Look at the bottom of this (and every other) post and you'll find a line called Reactions. It's followed by some boxes you can check to show how you've reacted to the post. That's it - you don't even need a #2 pencil, and you definitely don't have to worry about completely filling in the box or your vote will not be counted, or whatever. Just move your cursor over the box of your choice, and click. That's called "clicking on the box" in tech-speak.

This new Reactions feature allows each individual blogger (and boy are we a bunch of individuals) to set up their own categories. After much thought, I decided to Keep It Simple and use those universally-recognized thingies known as emoticons. Of course, I wanted to offer your, my dear readers, a full range of emotions to select from. I'm not going to skew the reactions by not giving a "negative choice, no sir, I can take it!

So, in the interest of clarity, here are the official definitions of Jan's emoticons which the elves hidden in the Inter-tubes will be tabulating, as soon as you guys start clicking away:

  • :-D = Totally, screaming awesome!
  • :-) = Neat-o, cool!
  • :-] = Works for me!
  • :-P = Phhhttttttbbbtttt. Try again, Jan!

Disclaimer: This new process is completely non-scientific, just for fun, and subject to change or disappearance without notice at any time. And if you don't like them apples, well, phhhtttttbbbtt.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Have an Award!

My Lemonade Award ~ bestowed by Kat of Kat's Candles

~ Thank you, Kat!

One of the neat things about the blogosphere is the way bloggers help each other out, pat each other on the back, and give awards. Yes, given the power of the Internet, we can create and give awards to whomever we want, whenever we ~ how cool is that!

This refreshing Lemonade Award comes to me from Kat of Kat's Candles, a friend from Blog Catalog. Kat is also executive editor and art director of Angelz Ezine, to which I am now a contributing writer.

But this award doesn't just let me toot my horn and rest on my laurels. No, it comes with responsibilities! Because what goes around comes around, I am obligated to pass it on! Here are the rules of this award:

  • Put the logo on your blog or post. (In Blogger, paste the logo's html into to "insert picture from the Web" tab)
  • Nominate at least 3 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
  • Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
  • Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
  • Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

So here are the blogs I nominate for this award:




{Note to Reader & Friends ~ there are many more blogs that are worthy of award. However, the process of copying & pasting & linking is beyond my capabilities, so I will stop and here refer you to the "Jan Loves These Blogs" box in the sidebar. You're all my awardees ~ so drink up, folks, the Lemonade's on me!}

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Economy Stinks, and the Autumn Colors are Beautiful

Okay, I admit it, I am a bona-fide current-events and political-news junkie. And one of the ways I like to get my political-news fix is in my car, listening to public radio as I'm driving around doing errands. I mean, the rock-oldies station gets old after a while, but the news is always new!

So I'm driving around on this beautiful day, today, listening to all the bad news on the news: Bailing out the automakers. Or not. Highest unemployment since whenever. Ripple effects spreading through the economy. You know, the usual stuff. And I'm looking out my window, noticing: Wow, this is one super-beautiful fall season:

Which puts me right square into this universal paradox I've pondered for a long time: Why, when times are so difficult on the human scale, does Nature give us her best, most beautiful show? Is it just to break our hearts even more, or is there some other reason?

I can remember one springtime, when I was particularly devastated over the loss of a significant relationship, and the lilac bushes by my front door were glorious with fragrant blossoms. Even in the depths of my heartbreak, I noticed. And, I've seen it reported that areas across which have been bloody with battle and mass murder, after a few years of Nature's recovery, become green with new growth and flowers.

No, the picture above has never been a battle scene, at least not as far as I know. I'm using it to break up my text :-) and also to illustrate the beautiful western autumns I've fallen in love with, since I migrated from the east coast in search of the geographic cure many years ago. This picture is from the Emigrant Wilderness, in the Sierra Nevada just north of Yosemite.

You have to agree, battle or not, Nature has given us an abundance of beauty, nurturance, and uplifting vistas. And She is still doing so, despite humanity's sad lack of care for her or for each other. Which helps answer my question: Why all this beauty in the center of humanity's turmoil? I believe it is Nature's way of offering us consolation, like when we give flowers to someone who has faced bereavement or personal tragedy. And it's an visible symbol of endurance and perpetuity.

Some folks like to use affirmations to get themselves out of a bad space. With all due respect, affirmations have never worked that well for me. Instead, I look to Nature and her vistas of tranquility, beauty, and persistence. That is affirmation enough for me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dive into Life notable quote

Consider the constant cycling of death and rebirth; the endless going and return. Everything you experience has a beginning, a middle, and an end, and is followed by a new beginning. Therefore, do not draw back from the passage into darkness. When in deep water, become a diver.

~Ralph H. Blum, The Book of Runes

Sunday, November 9, 2008

All My Relations: CycleCast for Most of November 2008

Now that the week of the U.S. election is over, fellow-travelers, it's time to get back to the so-damn-dailiness of life. Today I actually got caught up on laundry and housework! And, I sat down and did a CycleCast to guide us through this November's psychic-energy weather:

It's time to come out of your shell, traveler, and look at your relationship with the larger world. The selfish-Self wants to cry, "Me, me, me," while the Universe is saying, "WE." On top of that, we're being challenged to use our abilities! What's a poor ego to do? No worries; we have the freedom to cut away what doesn't suit us, just be careful not to turn the Knife against oneself. If you're tempted to cut off your nose to spite your face, wait - there is Hope. You might turn to a higher or wiser source, and ask if that's a good idea.

It's in the WE that we can speak the clearest truth: the Tongue in this reading is collective. We began this Cycle giving out the Token of intent and appreciation, then went and hid behind the Mask to keep our identities safe. Now the Letter is waiting in the inbox ~ open it, travelers, and know what your dreams are really telling you. Ahead of us is the Field where we can shine in our skills, and explore like happy children, newly-freed for recess. The test is over! And when opportunity calls, don't reject it out of hand. The Gate swings both ways, and you just might like what's on the other side.

This CycleCast is loaded with themes of relationship, truth-seeking, and the power that comes from combining with others. We'll be comfortable seeking out harmony and exercising independent judgment. Above, we'll be supported in rising above fear. This is no time to let False Evidence Appearing Real get you out of balance. It is, however, a long forecast. We won't really feel the benefits of this journey until the energies peak during the last week of the month, from November 22 through 28.

So, I asked my guides to show us how to get through the short term. There are two significant energies. The Cup (November 9 and 10) challenges us to accept - even better, embrace - that which the Universe gives us. And the Stone (November 15 and 16) grounds us in our integrity. Staying the course and going with what feels right within is a good guideline to follow.

A Lovely New Mexico Autumn

I took a break from the election-week online frenzy (not to mention my post-election news junkie withdrawal) to notice that my part of New Mexico is having a beautiful fall! And I captured some pictures of it, right in my own backyard. Enjoy~

Bright blue sky, and a brilliant pear tree (no partridge, though):

My cat Luvlee enjoys the view ~

A sparkling curtain frames it all ~
Sparkle is Good! and a good way to end this post. Have a sparking autumn, everyone!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes, We Did It! Post-Election CycleCast Reflections

I woke up this morning knowing that it really is the dawn of a new day, fellow-travelers. The world had a big, blow-out party last night, and we all went to bed knowing that the power structure of the U.S. has changed dramatically with the election of our 44th President, Barack Obama.

Since it's no secret who I've been supporting in this election, I'll say that I was thrilled, overjoyed, teary-eyed, and pinching myself when the news came in. I shared this historic moment with a joyous crowd of fellow supporters in the convention-center ballroom in Albuquerque, and with crowds of thousands around the world.

Much has been written and said in the 24-hours since the announcement. I won't add to the general volume, although impressions and reflections are still swirling around in my head. Instead, I'm thinking about how the CycleCasts I've been doing have reflected the energies as they manifest in our reality. (And it's not my intention to toot my own horn with this - but sometimes the forecasts I've written seem so eerily right-on, even I get spooked!)

The energy that stands out for me on this new day is the Ring, which was noted in my last CycleCast dated October 31. The Ring represents our challenge of how we join our energies together. Do we see this joining as limiting, or does it allow us to deepen and unify our bonds - to be able to accomplish more together than we ever could alone. Now, that's a real challenge for Americans, with all our cultural emphasis on individualism (and I'm an individualist if there ever was one.)

And wasn't that what it's all about: Are we going to work together to face our real-world challenges of the economics, international relations, environment and global warming, health care and education for all? Are we going to be an inclusive society, or one that slices and dices among ever-finer divisions of "real" Americans? Are we going to step forward and do what is needed, or are we going to be self-interested consumers who want we want, and don't want to pay for it?

As John F. Kennedy said on that bright, snowy day of his inauguration, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask instead what you can do for your country." And so we did. This was not only an election with record-breaking turnout - we're talking about folks who stood in line up to seven hours to vote - this was an election that saw enormous participation in getting out the vote, and making sure the vote was fair. I know of so many people who've phone-banked, canvassed, blogged, e-mailed, forum-posted, provided transportation, poll-watched, and more, to help even one more person cast that precious ballot. And let's not forget to give kudos to those who overcame their long-standing difficulties with "politics" to do their own research and make their voices heard through the ballot.

I've never been more awestruck and proud of my country. I think we more than met the challenge of the Ring. Good on you, America!

Friday, October 31, 2008

What's the Grand Plan? Final CycleCast for the U.S. Election, November 4, 2008

As I mailed in my ballot this week, fellow-travelers, I reflected on how much these final days before the election are like the lead-up to some big event: a long-awaited birthday party combined with finals week. The good, the bad, and the ugly ~ all mixed in together with hoopla, rallies (I saw my candidate speak in Albuquerque last weekend, along with 44,999 other joyful citizens), news breaks, coffee conversations, and the ever-annoying robocalls. It all goes with the territory, dear readers, and if I never have another reason to be proud of my country, at this moment I am filled pride to know that Americans are enduring all of this - and turning out in droves - to exercise their right to vote.

What's more, as I talk to my friends about this, it seems clear that we each have a path to follow, a part to play, in turning out this historic vote. Part of my part, it seems, is to write this blog and do these CycleCasts. And so, it pleases me to present this updated Election CycleCast:

It's time for a brand-new Cycle, fellow-travelers, with two universal-star energies shining on us: We are Bowing to the highest Aspiration, the best within each of us. That includes you, traveler - bow to your own highest and wisest self. First, though, we must wait for the limiting Fog to lift, then know that this Mud we seem to be stuck in really is ripe for the nurturing of new growth. Our challenge is to grasp the golden Ring and join our energies together - unity is the call of the day. There's a Robe to be bestowed; this time we'll hand it off with refined perception that sees the truth. We are no longer so easily fooled. Our gift is the Harp, which gives us the ability to create a much-welcomed harmony out of all the dying-down discord. As we find our ability to access light everywhere, we reach the kind of fulfillment and completion that let's us dream the next new beginning.

This CycleCast is in effect now. I see the Fog lifting by early evening of Election Day, and the culmination will be in view by November 7-8. Definitely, the resolution will be in place well before the end of November.

So breathe easy, dear readers and fellow-travelers. Despite all the concerns about the voting process (and bringing them out is definitely in alignment with the energies), this election will have a clear outcome. Remember to do your part: keep sending Light, speak your truth, vote, help others get the polls, and find a safe and sane place to watch the election returns!

I'll have a new CycleCast for our personal energy-weather by the end of this week. In the meantime Keep Smiling ~ One Day at a Time!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Jin Shin Jyutsu has done for me ~

Lately I've been getting a lot of hits to this blog from folks searching for information about Jin Shin Jyutsu. Most of these have come from other countries - and I love expanding my international readership, so welcome! However, since Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ) is still relatively unknown in parts of the U.S. (and since it's been a week since my last post - ulp, my bad), I thought I'd share with you some of the benefits I've gotten from JSJ, and why I'm so passionate about it. After all, it's great resource that may be closer to you than you think~

Jin Shin Jyutsu (it's a registered trademark but I don't know how to put the (R) symbol in my text) is described in many ways: a physio-philosophy - a way of life. The kanji characters translate variously as Body - Mind - Art, or the Harmonizing Art of the Creator through the Compassionate Being. That last is an expanded translation that I love. However, I refer to JSJ as an energy-balance form of bodywork, so that people will know it involves a hands-on session that harmonizes the subtle energy fields of the body. And by the way, it feels great!

When I first met Jin Shin Jyutsu - and how I met JSJ is another story - I was working in a highly demanding management position, while coping with chronic health issues. This was challenging to say the least. There had been times in my younger days when I'd be bedridden for five to eight weeks at a time - and that was in my 20s and 30s. By the time I met JSJ, the long bedridden times were not so evident, but it was still a daily struggle to muster up enough vital energy to do what had to be done. With my first JSJ session, I felt great and I rode on the energy wave it me gave for the next several weeks of demanding travel and work schedules. It was like nothing I'd ever experienced before - I felt strong, collected, and balanced.
It took me eight years after that to find JSJ again, and when I did there was no going back. My body loves JSJ. At first I had no ideas or expectations of "curing" any of my conditions; I just knew that it felt good. But after a few years of daily practice with self-help applications, plus receiving practitioner sessions whenever I could get them, I noticed I was feeling better and better. more often and for longer time periods:

~My levels of physical energy balanced and stabilized.
~Migraine headaches, a condition I've lived with since childhood, became milder, less frequent, and more manageable.
~I stopped getting every cold that came around, and the colds I did get were less severe and cleared up more quickly.
~When I faced the challenge of periodontal surgery some years ago, Jin Shin Jyutsu helped me breeze through it with speedy recovery and almost no post-operative pain.
~I became much less of a worrier, and even lost a little cellulite!

Those are just some of the benefits I've had from Jin Shin Jyutsu in my own life. Practicing self-help and seeing the results compelled me to take the Five-Day Seminars which are a basic part of training for practitioners:

Before I knew it, I became a practitioner and was able to extend this beautiful form of energy work to others. I love all the types of work that I do, but giving Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions is a special favorite of mine. To see people get up off the table after an hour of blissful harmonizing, with fresh color and a smile on their face, is truly a blessing. And it does me good to spend that peaceful hour with my client.
Wouldn't you like to experience this bliss for yourself? If you live in or are traveling through the beautiful high-desert of Albuquerque, NM, I'm here for you! You can visit my website http://www.geoglowconsulting.com/ for more information about my services and fee schedules, or just write to burchjan@gmail.com with your request. For my many readers out of state and overseas - sorry, Jin Shin Jyutsu is a hands-on practice and I can't really get my hands through the phone line (but I can do a reading for you:-) ~ But, JSJ is available world-wide, so you can go to http://www.jinshinjyutsu.com/ and use the JSJ Locator to find a practitioner near you.
As we say in Jin Shin Jytusu, be the smile. Until next time, happy balancing!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Phone # for the National Campaign for Fair Elections

A word to the wise:

The National Campaign for Fair Elections' hotline is (866.OUR.VOTE / 866.687.8683). This is the number to call if you are having any kind of trouble getting your vote cast the way you want it.

Also, some voters have reported their votes on electronic machines being "flipped" ~ in two counties in West Virginia, voters reported votes for 'Obama' showing on the screen as 'McCain.' Because of this, word from the blogosphere is: Take your cell phone or video camera in the booth with you and document your vote!

As for me ~ I am so glad New Mexico went totally to paper ballots two years ago!

My sources: the phone number is in an editorial currently running on The Nation's website. The idea of using cameras to document your vote is from several discussion thread on the Huffington Post.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Getting Ready for the Winter/Holidays at Eclectica By Jan

Greetings, All ~ The crisp fall weather is showing us the best of October. I have enjoyed being outside on some of our sunnier days - and Luvlee the cat likes to curl up by the stove on these cooler nights:

The cooler nights remind us that winter, and the holiday season, are around the corner. Normally I wouldn't be thinking of such things right now, but my participation in Etsy.com has changed all of that. It's time for all good artisans and crafters to be working on holiday and winter collections! So let me tempt you with some advance pictures of Eclectica By Jan's winter works in progress:

Here we have some warm winter scarves to keep the chills away. There's nothing like a colorful, hand-made scarf to brighten up the gray days of winter. And they're practical, too - easy care, soft and comfortable - these scarves will make great gifts!

Speaking of gifts, that makes us think of the Yuletide season. Who do you know who needs to get fired up with the Christmas spirit? I'm making some items to help with that project:

These pictures show my soon-to-be-available, one of a kind, holiday afghan! The colors alone will get you into the Christmas spirit faster than Scrooge can say, "Bah, humbug!" The scarves, afghan, and other goodies will soon be coming to my Eclectica By Jan etsy shop. In the meantime, you can follow the link and see my many giftable items for sale. Prices and shipping charges have been reduced in most cases. Why not get started early on your holiday shopping?

One last helpful hint before I sign off ~ I've been looking for an easy way to manage the endless flow of catalogs that land in my mailbox every day. Now I've found it, and if you , too, want to reduce your mailbox clutter and save some trips to the recycling drop-off, go to this site: CatalogChoice.org. It's free and super-easy to use. I signed up and in minutes and I had knocked my name off the mailing lists of half a dozen catalogs. Sure beats cutting out those silly labels and mailing them back to the company - plus I've saved over $2.00 on postage!

Until next time, dear readers ~ enjoy the beauty of autumn; stay warm; and above all be sure to get out and vote! Jan B

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Changing OUT of Mercury Retrograde: CycleCast for now through November 6, 2008

If you're as tired of this last Mercury Retrograde period as I am, fellow-travelers, breath easy: As I write this, we have less than 24 hours to go! The period ends at 2:06 pm, Mountain Time, and so we're beginning a new Cycle even as we speak. If you want to review the previous Cycle, scroll down to the post dated September 23, or use the "CycleCast" link in the sidebar. And, in keeping with my electoral-season promise, I've done two readings - one for our personal Cycle and one for the energies surrounding the much-awaited U.S. election. Let's see what the cards have to say to us now:

On the personal front, we're starting a brand-new Cycle and feeling like youngsters while we do so. We have about as much concern for how we appear to the world as the average pre-teen on the first day at a new school. It's all good, traveler; the star of Change is birthing our newness. Once we take up the Knife and cut the umbilical cord, we'll climb the sheltering Tree that nurtures our mature selves, and at the same time be able to splash like kids in a free-running Fountain. Traveler, it's time to declare your Independence! The lovely Rose reminds us that perfection blooms of its own accord, while a little Ice is always good for cooling things down.

Moving to the political arena ~ If the politicos, pundits, and talking heads have seemed a little headstrong lately, you're not imagining things! Grin and bear it, traveler; we have a couple more days of the I want's and I have's. By this weekend (October 17-18), the energy elevates to support thinking and relating. It's time to inquire, not judge, within. The energies of Change and Hope overlight this reading, which puts us in the driver's seat if we can only ride herd on our attitudes. After climbing the Tower to get a big picture and reflect on what's coming ahead, we'll extend the Glove of give-and-take while showing the Sword that expands our identity. The Arrow guides us to our mark - all we have to do is make up our minds and go for it! Plant the Rose, and allow its blooms to unfold. If you can see the Cup as half-full, you've mastered the challenge. Kudos to the one who truly is outstanding in his or her Field. By October 28-29, we'll start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, as issues of truth and authority are finally confronted.

One caution about the election: November 4 unfortunately is clouded by moon-void-of-course (lasting until 5:01 pm Mountain Time), which is like a mini-mercury retrograde. Snarls, snafus, and confusion may reign that day - the one day of all when we want to see clear results. Oh, no! The good news is, beginning the evening of November 4 and going through November 6, the prevailing energies support clarity, transcendence, and choosing freedom for self and all.

What to do? Here's as good a reason as any take advantage of early-voting opportunities! And, those of you who have been holding this election season, process, and outcome in the light ~ please continue to do all the way through, until the last ballot is counted and the official choices are clear and confirmed. The world thanks you for your dedication. {{{hearts}}}.

Both of these readings are in effect now and extend into the first week of November. I'll be back before then with a final wrap-up as we head into the culmination of all our election day hopes and fears. Err - cancel that thought and make it: hopes and dreams for the better!

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's the Economy, Silly: CycleCast for the World Economy and Better Days Ahead

Fellow-travelers, it's been almost a week since I last posted (sorry, my bad), and I was writing a post on another topic when I paused to turn on the news. Once again the stock market took a tumble and we've ended up with one of Wall Street's worst weeks ever. As pundits on the news cuss and discuss what could have - should have - would have been done, the rest of us think about the cold winter ahead and how we'll finance our heating bills, among other necessities of life.

Yes, it's affecting me, too. As a self-employed person, I depend on the willingness of prospective clients to exchange a portion of their discretionary income for my goods and services. (Sorry if that sounds technical, but I had 25 units in Economics in grad school:-) And I, like nearly all small business owners that I know, am finding that the willingness drying up. Or maybe it's the income. Which means, I, too am feeling the effects of "The Economy" on my life. So I pray a lot, and I watch my spending very closely. And than I sat down to do this CycleCast, asking the Universe to reveal what cycles we'll being riding in the future ~

Behind us, the Field was wide open and explore it we did. Giving it away and treasuring our possessions, we acted like the Lover in thrall to glitter and gold. Even the Lamp with all its brightness couldn't shine enough light to wisely guide us. Keep your Candle burning, traveler; and follow your Reaching because it's all about growth.

Ahead of us is the proverbial light at the end of the Tunnel - which is a gift, so keep on moving forward. Once we've gotten our energies collected, then we can start climbing out of the pit: the Ladder takes us upward, step by step. Don't let indecisiveness hinder you, traveler; walk through the beckoning Gate and find your opportunity.

Right now, traveler, the Lightning is crashing all about us. This is the critical energy that shakes things up, and it's given us an exquisite chance to own the fire and create quality in our lives. You have a Tongue, traveler: speak your truth and say it clearly so that others may hear. The Bell is calling our helpers to come to us; how many more wake-up calls do we need? And quit obsessively weighing that Cup to see if it's half empty or full - that merely distracts from the real work of manifesting a fair share, and sharing it with all. Cast your worries into the Sea and know that you can be Aspiring to the higher plane that lies beyond this one.

Let's look at the time frame of this unfolding Cycle: We're concerned now with resources at any level, but even as we speak, the energies support moving back into balance; we'll start seeing this in world trends by October 25-27. And then, with our sense of balance restored, we'll begin to grasp the lesson by the final days of October. Further unfolding will take place in the six weeks or so following the U.S. election. By the time of the next Summer Solstice, we'll find that our sense of security has a lot more substance to it.

Our self-image has been deeply challenged by this financial crisis, and outer forces are eclipsing our petty little attitudes. Don't let fear put you out of balance. This is bigger than any one of us, and yet individually we have what it takes to rise to the task.

So carry on, dear readers, and don't let the world's news get you down. Remember, we're still wading through the bass-ackwardness of Mercury Retrograde (hasn't it been a booger?) and that makes everything look even more topsy-turvy than it is. The good news, the retrograde ends by October 15, and I'll have a new CycleCast for your personal journeys over the next several weeks. So smile!

Want to know what's in your economic future? I can help ~ with my intuitive readings to illuminate your path. Email your request for a phone appointment to burchjan@gmail.com, or visit my website www.GeoGlowConsulting.com for more information.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Notable Quote: Barbara Ehrenreich on Power and Wealth

How many "wake-up calls" do we need, people - how many broken levees, drowned cities, depleted food pantries, people dead for lack of ordinary health care? We approach the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century in a bleak landscape cluttered with boarded-up homes and littered with broken dreams. ... Why don't we dare say it? the looting of America has gone on too long, and the average American is too maxed out, overworked, and overspent to have anything left to take. We'll need a new deal, a new distribution of power and wealth, if we want to restore the beautiful idea that was "America."

We could let this nation continue to fall apart, of course - dividing ever more clearly into the gated communities on the one hand and trailer parks and tenements on the other - until we eventually become one of those areas of the world prefixed by the mournful word former.

But I like to think we could find in our hearts some true ground for unity, some awareness of a common condition and collective aspiration. Maybe we could find it in an effort to restore America's lost glory - the beauty of our land before all the fences and sprawl, the respect we once enjoyed from people around the world. Or maybe we need to find it in the common threats we face, not only from the human enemies that our foreign policy has been breeding so prolifically but from the global challenge of climate change and shrinking supplies of water and oil. And maybe, someday, we would even regain the confidence to extend that sense of unity and connectedness to all of our fellow human beings, wherever they may reside on the planet.

~ Barbara Ehrenreich, from the introduction to This Land is Their Land, 2008.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Those Red Bubble Products are Great!

From Red Bubble, I had a nice package arrive last week, bringing me the samples of my cards and prints that I ordered recently. This is a different site, from which anyone can purchase MY images on high-quality cards and prints - but I don't have to do the printing, packing, and shipping (which is nice:-) Now, knowing that my readers are smart shoppers and they won't buy unless they know what they're getting, I placed an order myself so that I could tell you how it works. I also wanted to see my work in these beautiful formats! Here's what I got:

These are the cards made from the four images I currently have posted. They're each slightly bigger than 4.5" x 6.5" and are printed on the thickest, brightest card stock you can imagine. At $3.85 per card if you order directly from the site, plus very reasonable shipping, I think it's a great buy. Plus, you can say you know the artist (me!).

Then, I had to see at least one of my images on my wall, so I ordered a laminated print of Our Lady of Abundance:

This beauty is about 14" by 17.5" and is ready for framing. Next time, I'll order a mounted print and receive a very reasonably-priced art piece that is ready to hang. This being my first order with Red Bubble, I was extremely pleased at how fast and easy the whole thing worked. Shipping costs for the total order were under $11, which is really good considering the cards came from Australia ~ and the whole thing arrived in 10 days from the time I placed my order. That's 10 calendar days, mind you! As a long-time catalog shopper, I've spent more $ and waited longer to have stuff arrive from two states over. You can see why I'm pleased and impressed with Red Bubble.

With the holiday season coming up, here's a source for unique and well-priced gifts. I have more images that I will be adding over the next few weeks, including one that will make a fine Yuletide card. You can preview and purchase them all at Jan's Cards and Prints.
So, I'd better get working at post those new images. They're not doing any good staying in my computer, eh?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Notable Quote: from FDR

Yes, the money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of that restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy, the moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. There dark days, my friends, will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves, to our fellow men.

Recognition of that falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callow and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, and on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.

Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation is asking for action, and action now. Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. ...

And finally, in our progress towards a resumption of work, we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order. There must be an end to speculation with other people's money. And there must be provision for adequate but sound currency. ...Through this program of action we address ourselves to putting our own national house in order and making income balance outgo....

~Franklin Delano Roosevelt, first inaugural address, delivered March 4, 1933. Emphasis mine.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Interesting Times: CycleCast for Mercury Retrograde, September 24 through October 15, 2008

We're living in interesting times, fellow-travelers. I'm sure you've been following the news reports of all the turmoil in the political arena and the stock market. I hate to say I told you so, but my last CycleCast did predict a strong impulse to seek out and tell the truth ... I just didn't know it would be the ladies of The View who'd serve as front-runners in the truth brigade. Go, Barbara, Whoopi, and all!

Since the last CycleCast, there's also been the devastation of Hurricane Ike. Even though it's moved off the front page, we know the survivors have a long job ahead of them. Please hold our sisters and brothers in the hurricane zone in your thoughts and prayers. I know they didn't have the easy, peaceful personal time the last Cycle foretold (I don't think any of us had that!), but when I looked at the photos of the hurricane from space - it was a Circle. (See the September 4 CycleCast post if this reference escapes you.)

Now we're on the eve of Mercury Retrograde, fellow travelers. It begins in the early hours of September 24, at 1:17 am Mountain Time. And you all know what that means:-) Be prepared for communication foul-ups, electronic snafus, bugs in your interpersonal communications, and delays in the mail. Those are standard glitches that abound when Mercury travels backwards (from our viewpoint) on its journey around our Sun. I'll end this post by telling you some good things about this time.

Now, though, let me move on to the current CycleCast. I started forecasting in the previous Cycle for both the personal and the political weather, this being a significant election year. This time, when I turned over the cards, I saw immediately that, for now, the personal is political. I have one card reading which I'll interpret two ways:

The election weather finds us climbing the Tower, fellow-travelers, so we can get the big picture. The change that's coming is a good thing, and we are focusing our attention on the tasks ahead, at the same time as we reflect on what's gone behind. The Lamp shines bright, bringing wisdom to our truth-telling. Pay attention to the executive Chair and who is going to occupy it for the next four years. The Chest is not yet empty; some things still lie hidden from our gaze. The challenge now is to rip off the Mask, or at least integrate the essence behind it. We're still feeling the Indecision of the times; perhaps the Fire of passion will warm us up to taking a stand.

On the personal front, the same energies apply: It's a good time to reflect on where we've and where we hope to go. Know, traveler, that you have a wealth of understanding and wisdom - use it! It may be time to find your place, or at least clean up your desk and organize your files! What do you keep hidden, traveler? Maybe it's time to take out your treasure and show it to the world. Bring your passion into play, just for fun. And if you can't make up your mind about those big decisions that are staring you in the face, that's okay. Let it go until this Cycle ends and you'll know what you need to do when the time is right.

The energy pattern of this reading shows that we're being involved on all levels, fellow-travelers, so it's going to feel like there's a lot going on. And there is - you're not making it up! Strong involve the I Analyze - refined perception and seeing the truth - along with I Realize - enhanced perception along with being able to hold the subtleties of the truth we perceive. We won't be so easily fooled this time.

So, how can you make the most of this Cycle? You know Mercury Retrograde is not an auspicious time for starting new ventures or signing contracts. But life goes on - continue with your pre-arranged plans, and double-check all your communications. And, I love now to do the things that start with re- ... Reflect. Regroup. Revise. Research. And get ready, when the Cycle ends, to Renew!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Here's a chance to do some good...

Greetings, fellow-travelers ~ I'm using this post to pass on to you an email I received today from my friend Shirley Scott, a very fine animal psychic whom I've gotten to know through the Whole Expo and online. Shirley has a request that I thought deserved a wider audience than my little inbox, so here it is:

None of us like long drawn out emails, so I’ll make this quick. I need your help to open a new kind of Animal Shelter. It’s going to be a Rescue Ranch. Click here to see the whole vision http://www.animalrescueranch.com/main/vision.cfm.

The Ranch will be about rescuing and saving animals and trying to re-adopt them, education, spirituality, communication, living and dying in love and grace and helping heal animals as well as people. The shelters will be powered by wind, solar or water. It will become self-sufficient shelter with pet workshops, weddings, funerals, a cemetery, birthday and anniversary celebrations and more. Click here to see the whole vision http://www.animalrescueranch.com/main/vision.cfm.

This is going to be a place that gives back to you, when you give. Please join me in giving what you can to make this Ranch a reality and help save animals from every walk of life. Please click here http://www.animalrescueranch.com/main/vision.cfm
and then hit the donate button to give. Check out what the sponsors get too!

Please pass this email on to everyone you know. I have my non-profit status from the state of Washington and now I'm working on getting the one from the IRS, which takes months, but there are a lot of reasons to give now. Visit our donation page at http://www.animalrescueranch.com/main/donate.cfm to see them all. Thank you for reading this email, for passing it on and for giving to the animals so they will have a home and a voice in the future.

Blessings, Shirley Scott

Friday, September 19, 2008

Blue Lace Afghan is DONE and Listed for Sale!

A few weeks ago, I tempted you with pictures of my Blue Lace Afghan in progress. At that time I only had four squares sewn together, and a few more in half-completed. Now I'm happy to announce ~ Blue Lace Afghan is DONE and she's available for purchase at my Zibbet shop!

This afghan is truly a beautiful way to keep warm this winter! The velvety-soft, excruciatingly-thick texture just begs to be touched. Best of all - for all its beauty - Blue Lace Afghan is a trooper that can be machine washed and dried, and will last a lifetime looking as beautiful as the day she was finished!
In the pictures below, you can see how the yarn's delicate shades of frosty blue drift pleasingly across the afghan. Now, if blue is not your color - talk to me! This pattern can be made in your choice of a HUGE range of colors. The size can be adjusted, and the border can be changed to give a more unisex appearance. This is a piece that can be customized to your specification! Just end an email to burchjan@gmail.com with your request, and we'll take it from there!

In this picture, you can see the fine stitch pattern with the varying shades of blue. Remember, you can choose your color on custom orders And don't let the "holes" in the pattern make you think it's drafty. This super-thick and soft, afghan-friendly yarn will keep you cozy on those chilly winter nights!
I hope you will love the Blue Lace Afghan, and that she finds her new home soon. Now, on to the next projects ~ I can't wait to show them to you, but you'll have to be a little bit patient to find out what they are, heh heh:-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"I, Avatar" - my first appearance (with many others) on YouTube!

What's an avatar? It's an icon-picture used by folks who participate in social networking sites to identify their profile, posts, and so on. A lot of thought and creativity goes into selecting an avatar, because it becomes and expression of identity. This is (for now, avatars can be changed any time) my avatar:

And now, my avatar has become part of a video showing on YouTube! The story is, I've been part of the BlogCatalog (BC) social networking site for bloggers for some months now. When I joined, I had now idea how much it would change my life ~ my blog readership has increased and continues to grow, my blogging and general web-surfing skills have improved, and I've joined a worldwide worldwide community of interesting and outspoken folks that has become like an online family. Who knew?

Well, a few weeks ago, a BlogCatalog friend called polybore took it upon himself to create a video collage of avatars from the BC community. Interested folks gave their permission and submitted avatars, and we watched as the various drafts developed. The final version was released yesterday and here is the link:


(Notes to the video-phobic: the video run time is under 4 minutes, and it plays automatically. There is a pause button in the lower left corner of the video frame, so you can stop it if you wish. But give it a try - it won't hurt you!)

Whenever I watch this creation, I swear I get tears in my eyes! I mean, I know these folks: we have shared our triumphs and pratfalls in blogging and in life; played silly Internet games and shared the results; given support to those who've gone through traumatic events like the recent hurricanes; and debated politics ad infinitem. And since most of these discussions take place late at night no matter what the time zone, I've found a community of night owls like myself - bloggers do tend to be an obsessive bunch, after all.

So, take a few minutes out of your web-surfing to sit back and enjoy the video. If you are a blogger, or are thinking about becoming one, why not hop on over to BlogCatalog and sign up to join us. And for those who would like to comment but aren't part of YouTube, leave your comments here and I will forward them on to polybore and the BC folks.

Thank you, polybore!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jan's Cards and Prints are Ready on RedBubble!

Greetings, friends and readers - Fall is in the air and the first days of September have given us some marvelous sunsets in Albuquerque. Fortunately I was out walking with my camera and I captured some of them. You'll see part of last Sunday's sunset as the new header on Jan's CycleCast Blog! That's a great thing about blogging - you can change your look any time you want. Keeping things fresh is a good idea, I always say.

What's more, I've made the sunset photo available for purchase as high-quality cards and prints!

Yes, I've completed another creative venture goal and established my art site at RedBubble! This is a marvelous enterprise for creative types to put their images on file, making them available to anyone who wants to purchase cards or prints - on demand! Here's how it works:

~Go to Jan's Cards and Prints, or click on the slide show that's near the top of my blog. I currently have two photos and two collage works available.

~At the site, you can see my gallery, and view a larger image (plus my comments) of each individual work.

~When you click on the *buy* button - it's safe, and you can close the window ithout ordering (but I hope you do order:-) - you can preview the work in various formats, such as cards, laminated prints, framed prints, etc. You can even see different matting and framing options. It's fun - try it!

~If you wish to order, just follow the instructions. Prices start at $3.85 for cards, and $19.25 for prints, which is great for work of this quality. I'm telling you, their prints are breath-taking! This is a secure site with a fine track record, and it's easy to use. Plus, I get a commission on each sale, so buying even a few cards helps me out.

~All products are printed on-demand and shipped from Australia, so it may take three weeks to receive your order. If you're ordering for gifts or special occasions (and these products would make great gifts!), be sure to order early. Note: I recently placed an order, and I was amazed at the reasonable shipping cost. As a long-time catalog shopper, I've usually paid the same or more to ship similar orders within the U.S.

One final note: I know there are many creative people reading this UpDate. If you'd like to use RedBubble to get your art or photos *out there* I say go for it! Sign-up is fairly easy, and they will ask if anyone referred you to the RedBubble site. Be sure to give my user name janburch - it helps me out, and one good turn deserves another!

I hope you'll enjoy seeing my pictures in full size and reading about them. Maybe a few will even find their way onto your walls, no? And be sure to keep following this blog, because I'm always working on stuff, so you can read all about it right here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Notable Quote: Barbara Ehrenreich on Shame

But shame is a verb as well as a noun. Almost nobody arrives at shame on their own; there are shamers and shamees. Hester Prynne didn't pin that scarlet A on her own chest. In fact, it may be wiser to think of shame as a relationship rather than just a feeling - a relationship in which the mocking judgments of the dominant are internalized by the dominated.

--This Land is Their Land, 2008, by Barbara Eherenreich

Thursday, September 4, 2008

CycleCast for Now through September 27, with a Special Election 08 Casting

We get to take a break, fellow-travelers, unless you happen to be one of the political animals like myself who are following the Election 08 spectaculars that are happening here in the U.S.A. If that's the case, fasten your seat belts and get ready for some startling revelations. Life's going to be happening on two tracks for a while, so first I will give the generalized CycleCast to apply in your personal life, and then I will take a first look at the Election weather:

On the personal front, the next several weeks have a lighten-up feeling to them - much welcomed after the last Cycle's intensity!

We begin now by chasing the Butterfly, but please be careful - our new visions are delicate and not to be pinned down. By the middle of next week, we'll have that refreshing Morning feeling of waking up from a good sleep to the dawn of a new day. Put to use your gift of drawing the Circle, travelers; participation in worthwhile endeavors brings unity. You might need to Ring around the rosie and face up to how joining your energy with others challenges you. Practicing a Monk's discipline will help you recharge and renew, while the fluid openness of Water helps wash away the old.

Now let's look at the Election 08 weather for the next three weeks. (Keep in mind, I am not trying to predict the outcome of the election, only to describe and forecast the energy weather surrounding this election season.) ~

We leave the convention weeks with emotions running high; both the Water and Fountain are present and can indicate an excessive exuberance; we need a strong, resistant Cup to contain these fluids. But almost immediately (September 6 at 1:11 am Mountain time, to be precise) comes a strong urge to seek out and apply the truth: citizens, get involved! You've suffered on the sidelines long enough; now you are ripe like a Cherry that is mature, complete inside, and you know how to make your voice heard. And remember, while the Magician may spin the smoke and mirrors, it takes a Jester to see - and speak - the truth. I'm predicting that some startling revelations will come to light, if they haven't already, by around the middle of this month.
While these two Cycles - the personal and the political - have different feelings, they both end around the same time, taking us past the beginning of our next Mercury Retrograde period on September 24. Never fear, I will have a new CycleCast to guide you through it!

These personal and political cycles also conclude with the same energy of rolling-up-our-sleeves-and-getting-to-work. So enjoy your break while you have it, fellow-travelers! In fact, now might be a good time for you to get a reading, balance your personal energies, and make sure your home's Feng Shui supports your success! Need help with any of these? I can provide you with holistic energy balancing, one clearing at a time. Go to my website GeoGlowConsulting.com for more information about my services. I stand ready to serve!

Monday, September 1, 2008

On Labor Day, I Celebrate the "Party of the Common Man"

Let me take you back in time a few days, to the evening of Thursday, August 28, 2008, when millions watched their TVs (or, as in my case, computers) as history was being made. On that day, we watched as an accomplished man who does not "fit the profile" of a U.S. President, stood before the world and accepted his nomination as Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party.

I, like so many, was thrilled to participate in the reception and viewing of Senator Barack Obama's acceptance speech. (I'm referring to "back in time" because, with all the hoopla that's been in the news recently from the other side, it's easy to forget what a stirring moment this was. ) There was so much I loved about this address, I will likely spread my reaction over several blog posts.

But above all, I was so cheered and relieved to see Obama's vision bringing us back to the roots of the Democratic Party. It is, indeed, the Party of the Common Man (and Woman), as the party's unofficial slogan has it. On this Labor Day, I celebrate the beauty I see in the synergy of common men and women across this country, from all backgrounds and walks of life, supporting each other as we return to our progressive values, take back our country, and shoulder the difficult but necessary job of repairing the damage done by the neo-con "revolution."

Here is an excerpt from Senator Obama's acceptance speech that highlights this celebration:

  • The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives—on healthcare and education and the economy—Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made great progress under this president. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisers, the man who wrote his economic plan, was talking about the anxieties that Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a mental recession and that we’ve become—and I quote—“a nation of whiners.”

  • A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families, who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard, and they give back, and they keep going without complaint. These are the Americans I know.

And the responses from the Americans we know were equally thrilling, to me. I have tried to link several news pages to give you these views, but I'm having trouble with my copy-and-paste function (something that's never easy for me), so I will just ask you to go to http://www.democracynow.org/ , specifically the August 29 headlines. There's a regular feast of man-on-the-street comments; it's a treasure to enjoy.

Coming soon to this blog: I'm getting ready to do another CycleCast for me and my fellow-travelers. it will give us a fresh look at the energy-weather patterns we'll walk through into early fall. And I'll also include a first casting of my Election CycleCast. I'm interested in seeing which candidates are most in alignment with the "energy weather." So far, the weather has been all about change - and we know who is aligned with that!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Notable Quote: About Change

I'm starting a new post category called Notable Quotes. For years I've jotted down in my journal, or on index cards, pieces of prose that struck a chord with me, from whatever I happen to be reading at the time. I didn't know until recently that a) I'm not the only person who does this, and b) there's actually a name for this habit - commonplacing - and it's a practice that's been done for hundreds of years.

So I'm going through my file of quotes, and I'll be sharing them with you once or twice a week. And since I'm always adding to my commonplace file, they'll never run out. Wheee - instant blog updating, heh heh. ~Enjoy~

Since the current CycleCast is all about change, I'll start with a quote that speaks about
  • CHANGE ~~~~~~
  • To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse.
  • To the hopeful it is reassuring because it means things may get better.
  • To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.

This quote is from King Whitney, Jr., in the Wall Street Journal, 1967.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Treasure Map for Me, and for You

The winds of change* have been a little hard on me this past week, fellow-travelers. I've been down so long, it feels like up to me. What's a traveler to do during those times? The best thing is to turn one's attention to what works. So I sat down at my collage table, and made this colorful Treasure Map:

A Treasure Map is a special type of collage that is like a visual affirmation. The map-maker collects images that reflect the fulfillment of a goal, vision, or dream, then arranges the pictures on a backing-board and pastes everything down. Lots of old magazines (I scavenge at the public library) and glue sticks have been used in this process! And I can't resist embellishing everything with glitter, stickers, and metallics.

Looking at the picture above, do the images mean anything? Yes, they do. When I'm down and out, I also do card readings for myself. Even professional intuitives need to hear some guiding wisdom from the Universe! I used a special card deck called the Russian Gypsy Cards, which I only use for my personal readings. I took the most positive energies from the reading, and translated them into the visuals. Here is what they told me:

  • The Bouquet means receiving $$$$$.
  • The Ship means success in trade or ventures.
  • The Lady means gentle support from friends.
  • The House means success in projects.
  • The Angel means divine guidance.
  • The Bridge shows a path to a happy future.
  • The Heart means troubles aren't as serious as they fear.
  • The Star means a guiding star, and that worthwhile ideas and efforts will bring success if pursued.

My first ventures at Treasure Mapping really took off when I began doing it with a group. We'd spread our picture stash on a big table, hand out the scissors, cardboard, and glue, and get going. It was amazing how silence reigned in this otherwise talkative group during the construction of the Treasure Maps. After about an hour, we'd finish our creations, and show and discuss them with each other. I always felt so much better about my journey after this process.

The group, sadly, is no longer active though we still keep in touch. Looking back, I can that these gatherings were the springboard for my collage career. Taking classes refined my skills, but the old Treasure Map nights gave me the "Aha" that said I can do this.

The Treasure Map I did for this post tells me that, even though I'm not getting immediate strokes for my efforts, I'm on the right path. That is very reassuring, and I need constant reminders because I'm someone who thrives on immediate gratification! Which reminds me of another feature of the Treasure Maps: you have to see them every day. Many a Treasure Map has been posted in someone's bathroom, or hung over the bedroom dresser. I still have maps from three or four years agog this Treasure Map as a gift to anyone who needs a guiding star to follow right now. posted around my house. And now that I have a digital file of this image, it's brilliantly displayed on my computer's desktop background.

If this image speaks to you, feel free to use it for a similar purpose. I am giving you permission to download and use this, and only this, image, for personal, uplifting purposes. (But don't sell it, please - that's tacky - however, if you do find a way to make $ from it, let me know:-) I'm offering this Treasure Map as a gift to anyone who needs a guiding star to follow right now. Enjoy, and please let me know how you've let it help you.


*Winds of change: see the Empty Vessel CycleCast dated August 17.

Friday, August 22, 2008

New stuff at Eclectica By Jan

Here's a cute little fish, ready to swim into your heart, or that of a friend. This is my own creation, an ACEO gift card. ACEO stands for Art Cards Editions and Originals - it's like a trading and collectible card for artists.

Did you know that in Feng Shui, fish are symbols of luck and success? You can use this card as a feng shui enhancement to bring good energy flowing your way. My fish card folds to 2.5" by 3.5", which is the standard size for ACEO. It comes with an envelope and a piece of vellum for writing your message.

The charm of ACEO's is that they are an affordable way to own an original piece of artwork. Many people collect them; I've even heard them called addictive! Well, I wouldn't want to call myself a pusher, but I'd be happy for you to take a look and maybe even buy one or two:-) Prices are currently $6 for the gift-card ACEO, and $5 for the standard ACEO (see the sun-face card illustrated below), plus shipping. You can see them all at EclecticaByJan.etsy.com.

Now, let me tempt you with some advance pictures of a work in progress. I'm crocheting a beautiful, lacy afghan in the most gorgeous tones of frosty blue. It's being made out of a Lion Brand yarn called Homespun - a thick and scrumptiously soft yarn that's just perfect for keeping you cozy. Don't you just want this for winter nights with a good book and a fire? Never fear, I'll post a big announcement right here when I get the Blue Lace Afghan listed for sale.

I do think the blue shades in this yarn are so soothing, but if this isn't the right color for you, talk to me! This afghan, and most of my crocheted work, can be made to custom order so you'll have the colors that are right for you. You can email me, or use the "contact" feature on the Etsy site. I'm always happy to hear from you!


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