April Fools Journey

“If I knew the way, I would take you home.”

Ripple, Grateful Dead – Hunter/Garcia

In 2020, pre-COVID, I found a book hidden in a basement. It was over one hundred years old, and belonged to a family of schoolchildren who lived in Carleton, Michigan. It was a History of the United States for 8th graders, and had the signatures of these kids I assumed had all used it in their studies. This book stayed with me for the last two years. 

I had contemplated trying to find some local relative who might be interested in having it, but I never acted on that impulse. Part of me wanted to hold onto this piece of history; this secret treasure I had uncovered. And I would have probably not have ever found it’s true home had my car not broken down a month ago. 

Since my car was in the shop, I’d been catching a ride with my colleague. She dropped me off from work on Friday, March 11th when I discovered I had no lighter, even though she had given me one at work – which I left behind. I walked over to the corner market and got distracted walking back home. I found myself in front of the entrance to Glenwood Cemetery and felt compelled to go in. After spending a few minutes taking photographs of the headstones I was drawn to, I walked back home. 

I began looking through these photos and trying to discover who the people were, buried beneath these hunks of concrete and granite. After about ten minutes of doing Find a Grave research, I discovered one of these people was from Ash Township, just like the Kramer children had been. He would have lived there around the same time, but I think this particular man would have been older when they were kids. 

Regardless, it piqued my interest in the old book again and it led me to finding a man named Terry Schmelz. As it turns out, Terry was the great-great nephew of Minnie, whose funeral card from 1963 was also on the inside of the book – she was the children’s mother, I learned through my research. I reached out to Terry with the news of what I had for him. As I told him, I only found him because he had done so much work on Find A Grave, helping me to learn about his family. He is local to me, so we agreed to meet at a halfway point. 

2996 W Labo Rd, Carleton, MI 48117 (Date: 3/17/2022, built 1860)

What better place to meet than the church where Minnie and her husband got married in the early 1900’s? Now called something something diocese, the church was originally named for St. Patrick. And what better day to go to St. Patrick’s church than on March 17th?

My car was due out of the shop, so that is exactly what we did. I drove down there to meet Mr. Schmelz and make delivery of the book to him. He was so grateful to have this important piece of family history. I don’t know how the story of that book will end, but I know that my time with it was up. I could not be more grateful for letting go of something that really wasn’t mine to keep to begin with – at the very least it could have gone to a local museum in Carleton, right?

The funniest part of that meeting was that Mr. Schmelz asked me if I read Tarot, unprompted. He said he has a family member who reads cards and is kinda “weird” too. Ha!

The first quarter of the year is over, and I have let many things go. It’s time to start fresh and set off on the path before me, wherever it may lead. May you have the peace and wisdom to let go of the things that are no longer meant for you. May you be set free!

Sixth House of Routine

“In tomorrow I see no promise, and yesterday was like today” – Like Today, Atmosphere

As this year draws to a close, my biggest reminder of what is important is truly “the little things.” It is these little things which add up to big things over time, like money in the bank (or not.) Our everyday efforts, the ones that we do habitually are what make who make us who we are. I see this more now than I ever have in the past. 

When you listen to the same song every day because you like it, that song eventually becomes a part of who you are as a human being. This is true with eating breakfast, or simply skipping it and drinking coffee, or worse yet, an energy drink; whichever you choose, if you do it long enough, it is a part of you and your life. Without it, you might feel confused or distraught over something that is missing. Habits of creature, we are.

Image: Black Moon Astrology Deck – Sixth House Card

The Sixth House in the zodiac represents routine and the need for it. In my previous post, I wrote of the Hermit and his lonely existence. If you were to do a little homework, you might find that Hermit associates with Virgo, which rules the sixth house. Sensing a theme here. 

My routine this year has changed so many times, I honestly cannot keep track of it all; there’s been too many ups and downs and dips and skips. Nothing has remained steady, which can be difficult to deal with. Not knowing which day I will be able to buy groceries, or if I am going to be working, or if I am going to have an(other) episode. Not that those are unpredictable – I usually know when one is coming on, but I can’t always put a roadblock up to keep it from hitting me. 

Working at the plant in January

I started the year off as a janitor in a brazing plant. Over the summer, I tried my hand at professional tarot readings, but discovered rather quickly that path was not meant for me. By November, I was hired to work in a law firm – right after coming out of waiting tables at a crappy restaurant. I don’t want to make assumptions, but I believe it’s safe to say that COVID work shortages may have assisted in my ability to retain the position. 

It took me over ten years of work and effort to finally “make it” into a firm. Sure, I may have been able to get in without a legal degree. I probably didn’t need to do a lot of things I did in order to get the position. Those positions I had in the past weren’t required for me to do this job. But perhaps I’m wrong. 

Maybe I am only successful at it now after all the experience I received while working in logistics, moving, funerals/cemetery, and tarot reading. By learning how to talk to people in a way that makes them feel like you care and understand what they are experiencing (to the best one can) you can be better at customer service. And best of all, you can become a better human. 

My job is to interview prospective clients and discover what is wrong with them, and how it relates to their time in the military. We work with veterans who are trying to win a disability claim against the VA. Some of these vets have been through the most horrifying experiences a person could imagine and they suffer from it for life. It can be difficult to work with mentally ill people sometimes, especially PTSD claims because they get stressed very easily. Same with traumatic brain injuries. I might not be a doctor – in fact, I’m fairly certain I’m not – but I know that the brain-damaged (physically or mentally) folks out there struggle probably more than most others. My brother pictured below is fortunately quite healthy and I am grateful for that.

My younger brother, currently overseas, pictured here with his son (2021). He sacrifices a lot, too – more than I ever will know.

I’ve been doing my “routine” at the firm now for almost two months. It has been difficult for me to develop a real schedule yet, what with the holidays and other challenges. Plus, I’m still trying to get a good rhythm that works with my pets needs and kid’s schedule. It has required a lot of sacrifices on my part. 

What has maintained steady since I started there is my coffee drinking routine – because it is a part of me. I still continue to do Tarot regularly and I am getting better about my pets’ routine. As someone who also lives with mental illness, it can be difficult to make everything all work together at times.

Yet, it’s important that I make myself do these things because having a real career is important to me. I’ve waited so long for this opportunity to come into my life that I am not willing to give it up for damn near anything. Most importantly of all, the work means something. I finally get to help people, just as I have wanted to do for so very long. 

Because there is a New Year around the corner, many people will start thinking of the resolutions they want to make to see changes in their lives. If you have a resolution already, I salute you. The best I have come up with is my desire to read my book by Melody Beattie, “Fifty-Two Weeks of Conscious Contact” every day. Maybe that’s all I need for now. 

Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watson

Once that becomes a habit, I can add on new changes incrementally. Make it part of the routine. As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous: “Easy Does It.”

Much Love, and Happy New Year!

Heather Defresne

122121 – The Hermit

Two years and two days ago, I lost three family members to a house fire. These people were not my family per se, but rather my daughter’s family – her dad’s side. The Porter-O’Shea pile. Grandma, Grandpa, and Irie all left us that day, and nothing has been the same since. 

The only person in the entire family who lost both a parent and a child was my daughter’s father, who lives in Alaska. He chose not to come to the funerals that were held in Indiana for his eldest daughter, or for his parents. Several people were angry at him for this decision, including our daughter, who was Irie’s half-sister. It was Christmas and the losses were hard enough. Having him reject the offers of family to fly him down was simply too much for some of the fam. 

I wasn’t angry at him, though. Somehow, I had compassion for him. Despite the fact that he has provided only a single payment of child support since our daughter was a baby. Despite the fact that he refuses to have contact with our child, or his family previously (before the fire), nor currently. I choose to look past the hurt his behavior causes, and try to understand that it is the only way he can cope. He is the true concept of the Prodigal son, whom everyone prays will return eventually back home. I don’t know if that will happen with him. I hope it does, some day. 

I was thinking of him tonight, wanting to write about his story. I didn’t know which was the correct card to choose for him – Page of Pentacles, reversed? Nah. So I calculated the numbers of today’s date that I’d been typing all day in mmddyy format:

122121 = 1+2+2+1+2+2+1 = 9

Now mind you, if you were to use the yyyy format, it would be 11 total, which is a different story altogether. I came up with 9 – The Hermit, which is perfectly fitting for this man.

Justice (11) could be relevant because there are some child support issues in the balance, as I mentioned – but she is not why I’m writing tonight. The Hermit is the person whose story needs to be told on this cold Winter Solstice evening. 

“The Hermit” – Dreaming Way Tarot by Rome Choi, Copyright US Games

To me, the Hermit and the Hierophant are similar cards in a lot of ways. If the Hierophant were to step down from his spot on the pulpit and go on a journey of self-discovery, he would be The Hermit. Not that my kid’s father is on some highly spiritual path, but who am I to know? I’ve not spoken with him in nearly seven years. His mom told me it’d been three since she’d talked to him; that was a month before she died. I could not understand why, but it is not my job to. 

The Hermit needs his independence – it is what sustains him. He cannot be tied down to the requirements of others’ demands, no matter how seemingly small they are to the other person. If the Hermit wants his alone time, he will cross deserted fields and journey deep into the forest to find solitude. It is not necessary for him to have contact with others, as he lights his own way. Occasionally, there will be a need to connect for food or other necessities, but he finds the most comfort in his aloneness. He wants nothing more. Sometimes, this can harm him – if he refuses to be willing to hear the words of others – he may tread onto paths which might lead him astray. 

I hope that one day he will find his way home. But until then, I wish him wellness, joy, light, and kind thoughts across the miles. Most of all, I forgive him for needing to be gone; because I too, have the need for independence. Stay safe, Hermit. Happy Solstice to you. 

Lovers Reversed – Fare Thee Well


Blinded By Noises
Seeking Fertility In Decadence
Eating Cheese With A Spoon
Playing Chess With The Moon

Plucking The Days Off
Neglecting Your Divine Ice Bucket
Pretense Of Ignorance Through Bliss
Juxtaposition Of Sadness Amiss

The Swords Are Real Sharp
Butter Melts On Burnt Blueberry Waffles
Mouth Is As Dry As a Bone
Parched As You Sit Here Alone

Capitulation
Accepting The Loss Of One’s Limb Or Life
Does Not Mean There Is No Fire Within
Looking Glass Mirror Reflects The Chagrin

Yellow Ledbetter
Provides Some Solace And Incoherence
While Gratitude Stands By Cast Aside
Waiting For The Right Time To Turn The Tide

Painting Our Own Reality

Walk on, walk on

With hope in your heart

And you’ll never walk alone.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” Rodgers and Hammerstein (1945)

It happened again – my painting came true. I never cease to be amazed when this happens because although I believe in my psychic ability, it’s still incredible! How is the human brain capable of predicting future occurrences? Synchronicities aside: I mean, real life predictions. If you’ve read Stephen King’s Duma Key, you know what I’m talking about.

Having dreams which prophesied the future is how I started to realize my ability to tap into the psychic realm. These first arose over a decade ago, back when I was in Alaska. The first one I ever had was in 2008, but would not come true for nearly four years. When I realized that I had predicted this very event, I knew something special had happened. I was starting to see.

How It Started

I began painting as a therapeutic outlet for my bipolar disorder shortly after I became homeless in 2014, while living in a shelter in Indiana. While there, I painted a self-portrait which has yet to come to fruition – but I believe this painting is an image of my eventual death, which explains why it has yet to be realized. 

My next painting was of a man who had a guitar strapped to his back, hitchhiking towards the desert. He was blue and his hair was purple. He was obviously alien to the landscape. I met him three years later – an undocumented, guitar-playing Belgian man – and eventually married him. He left me and went West only six months after our wedding day in March 2019. He grabbed his guitar and bailed on our home only six weeks after we married. He wasn’t meant to stay – the painting had told me so. Despite, or maybe because of, my grief caused by yet another abandonment issue, I started painting again after he left me. I never did any art while we were together – I wonder if that is symbolic of something? 

Two of the paintings I created shortly after had mass death themes, which ultimately predicted the large numbers of deaths in the world due to Covid-19 only a matter of months later. There were other (private to my family) deaths as well, which caused me a heck of a lot of emotional distress when I found several truths to them in my paintings. 

How It’s Going

It’s only been a few months since I was able to finally accept that I did not manifest those deaths by painting them. Nor was I responsible for not warning the people who had died because I did not know A) who it was going to be or B) that it was actually going to come true!

What I discovered instead is that I am not only capable of painting my own reality through visualization. I am also capable of seeing what is going to happen if I allow Spirit to intervene through my works. This is not always easy to do because I have to be willing to let go of control. 

There are many more stories I can tell about my paintings that have come true, but the one that surfaced yesterday was “The Sun.” Last summer, I painted The Sun in support of the George Floyd protests and the BLM movement. It had started as simply the Tarot card, but after his death, I embellished it with some anti-racist sentiment, including a crossed-out Nazi symbol. My Sun has the Eye of Ra on his face with the symbol of Hathor on the forehead, to make it specific to my spirit guide energy. After all, Hathor was the first spirit guide to make her presence known to me.  Eye of Ra and Hathor are both protective.

Summer 2020

My intention behind adding this imagery was to tap into all of the strength of light (The Sun) to help towards the highest good. To me, that was fighting back against racism and social injustice. Because I don’t always do well in large groups, protesting was not in my playbook. I was fighting back in my own way, by giving my energy to this painting and demonstrating my devotion to the cause outside of my home. That was my contribution.

I am grateful, however, because I was recently able to make a more practical contribution to the cause. Yesterday I was called to assist someone in need. His car had broken down in Detroit and he needed a tow truck to get him home. I have AAA, so I heeded the call and went to the city.

To be clear, this person didn’t ask for my help, specifically. He was a stranger I knew via social media; a man who runs an anti-racist, non-profit organization which directly benefits local homeless people, called Woke Ltd. After I sent my kid to school in the morning, I saw that he had posted something online about being stranded in Detroit. I offered to come. Joe helps so many people – it was his turn to be helped.

Synchronicities Abound

While we were waiting for the tow truck, I looked at the back of his truck – which has an enormous Eye of Horus on the back. I began telling him about my painting and how I am drawn to Egyptian symbolism as well. I mentioned the crossed-out Nazi symbol and said I believed the painting is meant for him; he told me he has that very same symbol tattooed on his arm. And the Sun tattooed on his back. And he is a Leo, which corresponds with the Sun in the Zodiac. The painting was him. I just didn’t know it until we met. 

“The Sun” May 2020

Halfway through our wait, we began talking about hope. I told him I’ve been feeling directionless since I quit my job (and before.) I told him that I sometimes get doubtful about trying anymore – what does it matter? – but then I’ll see one of his posts and it gives me a little spark of hope. He replied and said that I was giving him a spark of hope by being there with him to help in his time of need. Just then we both looked up and saw a truck with the words, “Hope for Humanity” printed on the side. We laughed and noted the synchronicity of it all.  That moment meant something important. It means that hope is with us if we continue to allow ourselves to believe in it. 

Denouement

After the vehicle was delivered to its destination, we finished our conversation. Joe said he wants to help me…is there something he can do to make me happy? I don’t know how he can. I told him I am done chasing the sun, i.e. happiness. “To me,” I said, “happiness is fleeting. I want to seek peace. This is why I want to give you the painting.” Equanimity is the key. He understood. 

I told him I had to go home and write in order to discover what it is I really want. Here’s the funny thing. The more I wrote yesterday, the more I realized that the answer is right in front of me.

I want to write. More than performing Tarot for money, or being out in The World, I want to write. My mental health issues prevent me from doing a lot of things, but rarely do they stop me from writing.

Besides, I’ve found that when I perform Tarot as a transaction, it doesn’t feel right. I don’t know how to explain it, but I am starting to believe that perhaps I have been going about this all wrong. And that is okay. Because it is through our failures that we learn and become better people. I am still learning every single day, even when I don’t want to.

Now, how to become a professional writer…I know, I will paint myself as one. That’s precisely how my works manifest – through visualization and intent. 

“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” -Rumi (P.S. This one was a spirit message.)

Much love,

Heather XO

*Header photo taken at the Out of the Darkness walk on October 16, 2021 in Ferndale, Michigan