"Don’t let other people’s ideas govern what you make of the cards. This is your reading and you are interpreting those cards, in your own way."
- Beth Maiden, The Alternative Tarot Course
I just went out and picked three little flowers from my front yard so I could put them in my "vanilla vase" to have next to me while I type this blog post. The flowers won't last long. Maybe a couple days at best, but there is only so much going out my front door and staring at the flowers I can do in a day. It's nice to have a bit of the front yard inside with me as I write.
The vanilla was given to me as a gift from my mother-in-law and her mother. They had brought me a care package of some unique spices and seasonings they had found and this little glass bottle was included. After using all the vanilla I saved the cute little bottle for a special occasion, putting it on a shelf in my kitchen.
The label says the vanilla plantation is situated in one of the most spectacular places on earth, on an island. It also says they handpick and dry the vanilla. So much care had been taken to get that deep brown elixir to me here in the states. Why, I couldn't just get rid of it.
The first time I used this vanilla extract bottle as a vase was when I noticed an outcropping of flowers along the foundation of my home. Since the flowers were tiny, the vanilla bottle came to mind. The flowers were a surprise. When was it that I had tossed those seeds on the ground? Fall? Winter? They were a gift from my friend Janae who said "just scatter" them.
I like the nuance of this. We use the term scatterbrained to mean something negative, but I scatter a little of this and a little of that into my life all the time. Some of my love over here. Some of my determination over here. Some of my goodwill over here. Some of my laughter over here. Some of my creativity over here. This way I don't sit and fret over whether something is going to come up or not. It's a "keep moving forward" sort of mentality, and it really is a wonder to come back to that thing you scattered love over and see some green has pushed up through the dirt.
Many times in my zine, I don't go into all the meaning behind the secret messages I find. The meaning for me is often implied in the the little bit I do share. Or the drawings, like this "vanilla vase" with the "just scatter" seed babies which serve as a symbol for what I experienced in that moment of my life.
I started this blog post with a quote from Beth. What she says of reading tarot cards is also true of reading your own secret messages. It is true of any meaning you wish to find in your life - YOU have to do the interpreting. YOU have to decide if use of the word "scatter" is going to be a negative or a positive. You have to decide if the vanilla bottle is trash or treasure. In the Secret Message Society we believe in our OWN interpretations of our living, and expressing that through our art.
The question I like to ask myself when faced with a secret message or a potentially rich metaphor or what some people would call "a sign" is: What do I want it to mean?
If you want an idea of what this looks like in action, I'd love for you to subscribe to my zine. Additionally I am on Twitter, Instagram, and (newly) Snapchat: messycanvas and Facebook sharing in real-time the meaning I am finding in my days. We will make the meaning together.
Have you ever noticed I call the Secret Message Society's Monthly Artist Interviews The LUCKY 13? That's because I decided I want 13 to be the luckiest number of all. That's what I want it to mean. Because I said so.
Find a secret message in the cards of your life today and ask yourself:
What do I want it to mean?
Let your art pour forth from here.