Council Cards

By Anne Marie Bennett

Old Laughing Woman



This is one of my favorite newer cards! I found the image of the old woman and she seemed to be calling my name. I can just hear her laughing! After I combined two different backgrounds and moved her onto the card, I breathed a sigh of completion, then asked her “Who are you?” and “What is your message for me today?”

I am the one who is very, very old. I am the one who sits on my throne-like chair in my simple black shirt and flowered skirt and white shawl. I am the one who wears prayer beads around my neck continually. I am the one with bare feet.

I am the one who is laughing with delight. I am laughing, unrestrained.

I am the one who laughs in the face of aging.

I am the one whose hands are folded in prayer position.

I am the one whose throne is in front of an archway of barren trees and an autumn sunset. I am the one who laughs at the absurdity of life. My back is turned to the golden sunset in the west. I am the one who knows the sun is setting behind me and my end is coming soon, but I don’t care. I am intent on laughing and enjoying THIS moment.

My gift to you is the ability to laugh out loud whenever you want to. I want you to recognize the HOLINESS of laughter. The prayer in my heart is that you will always feel at ease in your body, and laughter will do that for you, every time!

My message for you today is this- I know you are worried about your aging body. The antidote to this worry is laughter. The antidote also is prayer. The answer is to spend more and more time simply resting in Spirit’s presence and allowing yourself to be held.

Three Wise Women

I made this card intuitively, just feeling drawn to the facial expressions on these three women. They seemed to fit perfectly on this background of light shining through an expansive cave.

When I asked “Who are you?”
this is what they said:

We are the ones who keep you in touch with your own deep wisdom. We are the ones who are ALWAYS with you in your daily life. We are your Guides from Beyond. We are the ones who offer you wisdom and guidance moment to moment.

We are the ones who find you in the cave of your being, and who each you contemplation and joy and trust in your inner knowing.

Our message for you today is this… use this week to slow down, to really look within, to see the beautiful Light that is within you, and to offer yourself the love and compassion that you need, that you deserve.

Keep on standing in the light. It is never far away.


Mystical Child Soothes Me

Mystical Child

Back in 2006, our 12-year-old outdoor cat disappeared for more days than he ever had before.Ā  After a week, I keenly felt his absence, and knew that I had to let him go, and prayed that his angels had been with him the whole time.Ā  I was heartbroken. Scooter was the first beloved animal companion to leave us. Over the years there have been four more: Sasha-Girl, Minne, Suzy, and more recently-Seymour.Ā  Each time I grieve, I remember this SoulCollageĀ® reading I did in 2006.

I went to my deck and asked “Who will help me deal with the loss of our dear cat Scooter?”

My Mystical Child Neter is the card that I drew, and her voice immediately offered me comfort and a subtle blessing of peace:

I am the one who believes in magic and fairies.Ā  I am the one who talks to angels and animals, and hears them talking back to me.Ā  I am the one who believes in prayer and who prayers frequently and fervently, with faith.Ā  I am the one in direct contact with the Divine.Ā 

I am the one who believes in magic and who watches spellbound as rabbits are pulled out of hats and scarves change color in mid-air.

I am the one who acknowledges the Mysteries of the universe, who accepts the Mysteries and loves them as they are. I give you a sense of mystery and awe. I give you the knowledge of other realities and the open mind to accept them. I want you to believe in fairies and angels, and to know that dolphins and cats can talk to you.Ā  I want you to see magic everywhere you turn. I want you to pray and to know that your prayers are ALWAYS answered.Ā  I want you to stay connected to the Divine.Ā 

What I have to say to you today is this: Scooter has been gone for a week now, but from the first moment you met him, youĀ  asked for Angel Protection for him, because you knew he was a wild free spirit– he told you this, and you listened, you heard him.Ā  You honored his deepest heart’s longings by letting him have his freedom, and you always knew that you couldn’t be the one to protect him, as much as you wanted to.Ā  Now, today, in the midst of your aching grief, I want you to know and to believe that he has and has always had the Angel Protection that you continually asked for.Ā  I want you to have faith that the Angels have honored your request.Ā  It really is that simple.Ā  I also want you to know that all of your inner communication with Scooter was real. He felt safe with you and he loved you fiercely. He loves you fiercely still.Ā  Let there be joy and gladness in the midst of your tears and pain, for anytime a wild creature like this is loved so deeply, heaven is full of gratitude and joy.

A God Who Looks Like Me

The radiant light of Hestia, goddess of the hearth. I am the one who guides you in creating sacred space wherever you go.

As eight SoulCollage Facilitators and I make preparations for
The Great Big Gathering of Goddesses Celebration of 2022, I am feeling led to share my own sweet journey toward the Divine Feminine.

I grew up in the fifties and early sixties, and our family was Roman Catholic. We went to church weekly until my Confirmation at age 13. By then, my two older brothers were grown and on their own, and my parents had various reasons for no longer attending. However, I went by myself! I was drawn to the liturgy, the ceremony, the music, the prayers, and to God.

As I grew up, and even into my late thirties, my concept of God was male-oriented. Patriarchal. Whatever you’d like to call it, that’s what it was. I am glad of it, though, and here is why:

My father was a warm, loving, living example of unconditional love. My mother, although she tried her best, was not. I had two big brothers, no sisters. I had positive and powerful relationships with male priests along my journey: Father Alagna, who sat with me several times in college as I wrestled with the tension between Catholic dogma and my own deeply personal journey with Jesus. Reverend Dunn (well, okay, he was only five years older than me, so I called him Donald!), whose passion for bringing Christ out into the world was contagious. Father Randy (He was my age, so I didn’t call him Father, either!) who acted as my spiritual director for several years.

I am so grateful for all of this positive male influence in my life because it fed and nurtured my soul in ways that were perfect for what I needed at the time.

It wasn’t until 1995 that I realized there was another way of looking at and experiencing God. That year, I came across the book, A God Who Looks Like Me, by Patricia Lynn Reilly. The subtitle was Discovering a Woman-Affirming Spirituality. My whole inner world changed, with the reading of this one book!

The following year, Dance of the Dissident Daughter found its way into my hands, and my spiritual journey took another turn. This book was written by Sue Monk Kidd, and I had previously read (and loved!) several of her books on Christian spirituality. This book, however, told of her “Journey from Christian Tradition to

Divine Feminine

the Sacred Feminine.” I devoured each page as I discovered that her words, her research and her personal story, was quenching a thirst that I hadn’t even known was a part of me.Ā 

One sentence in particular rang truth throughout my whole body, mind and spirit:

To embrace Goddess is simply to discover the Divine in yourself as powerfully and vividly feminine.

I have been re-reading these books as I prepare to facilitate and moderate the Gathering of the Goddesses series, and I am touched all over again by the balance that these truths continue to bring to my own life and journey. It’s not like I discovered the feminine side of God and suddenly discarded the masculine. I still feel close to Father God, and now I hold the energy of Divine Mother as well. I still sometimes converse with Jesus in my inner meditations and I have delightful conversations with various feminine energies. I honor male priests/ministers and female priests/ministers. For me, the real revelation is not that Goddess replaces God, but rather that they complement and balance one another.

What is your experience of the divine feminine? How is She active in your life? Have you read either of the above two books? Please share your thoughts!

Just Do It!

Creativity is an archetype that isā€”and always has beenā€”VERY strong in my life. Once I started learning about SoulCollageĀ®, I became very aware of how capital-C Creativity has been a major theme in my life since I was a little girl making sandcastles, a young girl writing novels longhand in spiral notebooks, a teenager creating poems and collages for friends, a teacher creating lesson plans and bulletin boards, an educational consultant creating workshops for the teachers in my district…

…and on and on, right up until today where I find myself creating SoulCollageĀ® cards and retreats and websites and embroidered hearts and art journals and novels and greeting cards and affirmation cards…. and… well, let’s hope there’s never any limit to my creativity!

So it didn’t come as much of a surprise to me when I found the image of the woman that would become my Creative Muse card (see left). Once I started doing some I Am The One Who… statements from the card, really heard her voice telling me to “just do it.”Ā  “IT” being whatever creative path I’m being called to at any given time.
I am particularly moved by the expression on the woman’s face. She says to me:

I am the one who says Just Do It. Get out the paints or the crayons or the markers or the colored pencils and sit down at your art table and do it. You don’t need to think about it. You just need to do it. Look at the light coming through the open window. Let your imagination soar. Write that short story. Plot out your new novel. Stop thinking about doing it and just do it.

I offer you this message from my Creative Muse, at the beginning of this new season of Autumn. Whatever creative thing you are yearning to bring into your life this year, just do it! Even if it’s as simple as making a new SoulCollageĀ® card or dreaming up a new way to cook chicken or planning a winter garden.Ā  Just. Do. It.Ā  I bet you’ll be glad you did!

Do you have a card for your own Creative Muse who urges you to let your creativity flourish? Go ahead and browse through some magazines or some online copyright-free image sites like Pixabay or Unsplash until you find the one(s) that call to you.Ā  Share with our Kindred Spirits community on Facebook so we can all be inspired!