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This morning the house was quiet; mine alone for a few hours. I had done my duties: 3 breakfasts delivered, 3 lunchboxes made, spellings practised; surf trip bag packed; and more...

It was time to tune in to me: who I am outside of these responsibilities, who I am within.

I made a cup of tea, put on some toast, and opened my journal. Not to write but to reflect. I flipped back the pages to find my 2023 year ahead spread. I’ve been doing this spread for a while now: on January 1st (or thereabouts), I choose an oracle deck (or two) and pull a card for each month of the upcoming year. To explore themes, energies and archetypes that might present for the journey ahead. I don’t use these as a prediction tool, rather a self-reflection prompt. This year I chose Kim Krans’ archetype deck for my monthly theme, and her alchemy deck as a ‘dive deeper’ prompt.

I laughed at the universe’s humour when I saw the cards I had pulled for July: the theme was VENOM (card LX111) … and I was to go deeper with INCREATUM (card XL111 - note the numbers, more messages). Let me explain.

Life has been confronting recently. Things are coming up. I'm letting them rise to the surface ... but then I'm not quite sure what to do with them. Stuck in old patterns, petrified in place, fighting the fear to do things differently. I've had a lot of reflection time this week. The transition into July (my birth month) started with a bee sting on my head.

I was happily hanging the washing - feeling the joy of seeing clean white linen wafting in the breeze; remembering a meaningful cuppa and conversation with the friend that morning. I was content in my being, relishing this rare moment as a perpetual seeker, when a buzzing around my head broke the reverie. It was only last month that a bee became stuck in my hair and as I tried to get it loose, it stung me on my finger. My finger swelled ... a little more than the bee sting before that.

A wave of panic rushed over me as I tried to (not so calmly) walk away, moving my head from side to side. Alas, venom was fated. The bee stung me on the head. For 48 hours I witnessed the venom moving through my system, and I witnessed my system trying to move the venom. My body ached and my face began to swell. My forehead was rock hard and wrinkle-free; my heavy eyelids held an eternity of encoded water, shutting down sight; the valleys beneath my eyes flooded too; the bridge of my nose broadened. As the contour and structure of my face began to change, I didn't recognise myself in the mirror. It's a strange feeling. For someone who identifies (too much) with her outer shell, I had to go in ... because that felt more familiar. But going within is hard, especially when there is venom there.

So, I ask you and I asked myself:

What people, places and practises are venomous?

Where am I poisoning myself … and why?

To add another layer to the story, I went to a Kinesiologist last week to tackle my migraines and fatigue. Turns out there is quite a lot of toxicity in my body, and I’m on a protocol to purge this; to cleanse and create inner balance; and then repopulate my micro biome with vitality (not venom). And as I physically detox, I can feel my emotions doing the same. A swelling within as the tides begin to change.

Now, enter the alchemy card: INCREATUM. The 'uncreated' is how I go deeper; how I alchemise the venom. It's card number 43 - and this is the month I transition from 43 journeys around the sun, into my 44th year. I like the idea of 44, together they make 8, rotated I see infinity. Increatum: everything was nothing before an idea brought it to life. Desire pulls the uncreated into existence. Unconceived, the seed is not fully imagined, until a profound power pulses it into form.

I desire more, new, different, better, unknown. I know that I'm at a crossroad. The closing of a chapter and writing of a new one. The ending of venom disguised as vitality. The beginning of a birth I can't yet envision. A sacred formula I have already uncovered and now have to simply live, breath by breath, as it comes into being. Flowing in the knowing that all is as it's meant to be, and in perfect timing. And my body is the vessel, not my mind. I'll share more on this in time. Right now it's still sacred, stirring within.

Perhaps this doesn't make sense to you. It does to me, and I'm writing it down to re-member it, both in this moment and to remember in days, months, years to come. I write to make sense of things. Perhaps it's my 6th sense. I don't fully understand until the words come together like sounds of a symphony; a dance between head and heart; truth the harmony I hear. In many ways it's my increatum.

And so I write. And so I share. Working through the poison brings freedom and forgiveness.

While our journey is individual, archetypes are universal. As you read this, perhaps a little alchemy that might be fizzing within you. If nothing else, I ask you again: where / what is the poison in your life?

And to close, I was reminded of this story:

"A shaman was once asked, 'What is poison?' To which s/he replied: 'Anything beyond what we need is poison. It can be power, laziness, food, ego, ambition, vanity, fear, anger or whatever.'


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