Category: Tarot

Should Psychics Charge Money?

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It happened again.  I’m scanning my morning Yahoo headlines and see that a Florida psychic is on trial for scamming her clients out of — wait for it — something like 25 MILLION (with a “mill”) American dollars.  She managed to get otherwise intelligent folks to hand over gold, jewelry and cash, all in the interest of “sacrificing” to rid their lives of evil (’cause “money is the root of all evil,” get it?).

This shameless skank insist that her clairvoyant gift had been in the family for 1500 years.  Gee — with all that ancestral weight, you’d think shed’a seen the law coming to shut her down.

Houdini could escape the cuffs; you can't.
Houdini could escape the cuffs; the phony psychic can’t.

I friggin’ hate stories like these, because it tars all legitimate psychic/mediums with a bad brush.   No legit intuitive will EVER ask for more than their standard fee.  Extras like curse-removing, intervening with the gods on your behalf or invisible bitch-slapping should not even enter the discussion.  But this begs another question:  if you have a gift, should you be charging at all?

The answer is: HELL TO THE YES.

No matter how naturally intuitive someone is, using that ability takes energy.  A lot of it.  You don’t want to see me after a long afternoon of reading:  its not pretty and usually requires some serious time on the living room couch.

Most of us devote a lot of effort to keeping our gift sharp, in order to provide the best possible information we can to our clients.  We take classes, buy and read books, travel to sacred sites, meditate.  It’s not just for fun:  its specifically to help us be of service.

Then there’s the fact that a reading requires  time.  Outside of the actual session, there’s preparation involved:  in my case, I spend about a half hour before you even get here to meditate, tune in, clear the space with sage and incense.

Psychics could be using that kind of time for plenty of other things:  car pools, laundry, making flan.  Plus, most of the psychic/mediums I know have full or part-time jobs, families and other things pulling at us.  So, at the very least, you’re paying us for our time.

On the subject of “giving it away,” most every psychic/medium (myself included) has frequently used their gift for someone who’s in need, and not taken dime one.  We want to help, and our hearts are softer than most when it comes to a person who needs to hear a message or get some direction.  The point is, we shouldn’t be “expected” to work pro bono.

Very few of us get rich from this work.  The John Edwards and Theresa Caputos are few and far between.  But our efforts to help and heal others in our own little way should be honored monetarily.  Every reader has their own rate card; like any professional,  I’m up front with mine (which you can see here).  I’m not a fan of those “one free question” types or the ones who only charge you $5.  ‘Cause you KNOW they’re gonna suck you in for a lot more.  This is not a party game; it’s serious endeavor and should be respected as such.

What do you think about psychics and money?  Share your comments with me.

Sorta get what you pay for with this type....
Sorta get what you pay for with this type….

How to Choose A Tarot Deck

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One of my clients asked me the other day about working with the Tarot.  She had taken a class once, but admitted that she felt overwhelmed with the deck she had been given to use and wondered if she should try another.

The answer is “yes.”   Tarot is a very deep subject, but letting the imagery help you along is key, no matter what stage of development you’re at.  There are literally thousands of different decks out there.  One (or more) will really talk to you.

A friend of mine is  a Tarot junkie, collecting hundreds of them over the years.  She has an artistic eye and says the different images really trigger her intuition.  And that’s the point. For a beginner,  letting the pictures “speak” to you can help you enjoy the cards right off the bat.

I began with the Rider-Waite deck, and its still my favorite.  This is sort of the gold standard of Tarot decks.  It was first published back in 1909 and remains one of the most popular decks ever.  This is the deck I teach on, because once you learn it, it makes learning others easier.

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Another deck I like is the Robin Wood Tarot.  Her imagery is very bold and really jumps out at me.

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I was given the Celtic Spiral deck as a gift.  Ick.  This one really skeeves me out.  The people in it look drunk to me.  See what I mean by how the images can “speak” to you?  This deck tells me to run, run far away.  But other people might like it.  Tarot is such a personal thing.

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Once you get comfortable with a certain deck, you might want to sample the others out there.  Believe me, there are decks for every possible interest:  fairies, Camelot, Kabbalah, Native Americans, even cats (yes, I have that one).  It’s interesting to see what new spin different images can put on a card’s meaning.

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The bottom line is to let the pictures trigger your emotions and intuitive feelings.  You’ll be surprised at what you can pick up, even if you’re still just learning the “official” meanings.  Play with the cards.  Don’t take it too seriously or try too hard.  Like a wonderful picture book, just turn the pages and see what stories come out!

Remember, you can start reading right away with this technique.  And your deck needs some care and feeding, so here’s how.

Never Too Late: How to Fix the (Seemingly) Unfixable

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There’s a house up the street that’s stood vacant for the last 25 years.  I’m told that, on his deathbed, the owner made his wife swear she’d never sell it.  She didn’t.  Instead, she moved to Georgia with her daughter, leaving the house to rot.  The weeds grew up, raccoons were spotted inside.   My neighbors and I complained, and every so often, someone would show up to cut the grass.  But it was a sad little sight, and I figured that one day, the house would just be leveled.

Yeah, it looked kinda like this.  A hot mess.
Yeah, it looked kinda like this. A hot mess.

Last week, some trucks showed up.  They began cutting away the overgrown shrubs.  The roof was repaired, the shingles scrubbed.  I can see painters working away inside.  This poor little house that everyone had given up on is getting a second chance.  It makes me smile.

This Extreme Makeover is a reminder that its never too late for any of us to make some changes.  I have so many clients who feel that the ship has sailed, that their situation — whether its a job they hate or a relationship that’s dead — is a done deal.   Not true.  Maybe our brains have gotten used to covering the same tired tracks, but that’s essentially the only thing holding us back: the way we think about the situation.

I love this particular card:

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The Hanged Man looks pretty pathetic; he seems trapped, but look again:  by hanging upside down, he can see his situation from a different perspective.  That’s why there’s that “glow” around his head — its an “aha” moment that comes from flipping something on its head.  Literally.

Everyone on our street had gotten it into our collective heads that no one would buy that broken down property. But someone else thought differently.  They saw possibility and began taking the steps to turn things around.  Each day, they come closer to realizing that vision.

What part of your life needs a makeover?  Now don’t go to that default impulse that you can’t change it:  take another look.  Then start clearing out the weeds.  If that raccoon camp up the street can be turned back into a home, anything is possible!

Cut down some weeds and see your situation differently.  Get to it!
Cut down some weeds and see your situation differently. Get to it!

Death — It Ain’t What You Think

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My best friend lost her father this week.  I stopped in to give her a hug, and over coffee, she shared her story.  One of the things she was struck by was  how fast he went, shortly after entering the hospital.  She said it was like he had made the decision to leave and had surrendered to that path.   “Surrender” is a good word for death in all its forms.

It put me in mind of this Tarot card:

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Whenever the Death card comes up in a reading, I make it a point to tell the client that its not as scary as it looks.  Death is riding a horse, with people bowing down in front of him.  They are allowing him to ride over them, pushing them back into the earth where they will become part of a new cycle.

The dude in the yellow, however, is trying to stop Death in its tracks.  Guess what? Not gonna happen, and the more he fights it, the harder the process will be.   Don’t be a little bitch, Yellow Guy.  Get with the program.

Anyway, the white rose on the flag represents the purity of the new state they will enter into. The river running nearby symbolizes the endless and enduring stream of Life.  The sun is rising in the background, signifying a new beginning.

I take this card to represent the need to let something “die” in order to move on ( I will also read it as someone who may have died recently, but I don’t take it as a harbinger that someone is about to kick the bucket.  I don’t believe that’s for us to see — just my opinion.)

When someone is hanging on to something that has run its course — a relationship, a job, a habit, an ideology – things get “stuck.”  You feel like you’re covering the same stale ground and getting nowhere, and guess what?  You ain’t.  So maybe you need to surrender to that fact.

When you acknowledge that something is done, finished, kaput, you clear a space for new energy.  It’s like a big cosmic garage sale.

I’m not saying that letting go  is easy.  But get the ball rolling by recognizing that something is played out and is serving no purpose other than to make you frustrated, bored and unhappy.

By  focusing on the idea of letting go to make room for the new, you’ll facilitate the process.  It may happen in stages, it may happen all at once.  That may create some anxiety (after all, its familiar), but breathe through each moment.  Always remember that you’re not “losing” something so much as gaining a new opportunity to move forward in your life.  To me, this is the big lesson of the Death card.

Surrender.

How to Do An Instant Tarot Reading

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The Tarot has been around for centuries; judging from the amount of info about it, no shocker there.  For that reason, learning this ancient art can be off-putting to the newbie.  So much to take in:  meanings, reversals, context, spreads.  It’s enough to send you running for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a Law and Order: SVU marathon.

I’ve put plenty of time in to the Tarot, and I do believe it’s worth it to learn the traditional meanings of each card.   The study of Tarot packs its own enlightening punch. However,  learning the card meanings is not a rule: there are some  readers who just don’t bother. My friend Sandy never cracked a Tarot book or took a class, but the girl could throw a spread and be dead-on.   What she did was let the cards “talk” to her.  She paid attention to the images and impressions that flowed to her, and put them together in her own way.

My other friend, Janet, says she “falls into” the cards, not worrying so much about “book larnin'” and simply letting them tell their own story.

No matter how well-versed you are in Tarot language, the ability  to let the cards do the talking is what every reader must master.  Many times, I throw the  traditional meaning of a card out the window and just go with what I’m seeing.  And it’s this angle that works just as well for someone just starting out.

Below is a fun exercise that will help you start working with the cards, even if you just picked them up 20 minutes ago.  It does a couple things:  1) helps you get familiar with each card itself while 2) honing your instincts.  So its a two-fer.

Try this exercise every day for a week and see how much more ‘familiar’ your Tarot deck feels at the end of it.  And how much more tuned in you are to your own intuitive style.  Got questions?   Leave them in the Comments.

Psychic Health & Protection

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Being a psychic is humbling, exciting, eye-opening, cool and inspiring.  It can also kick your ass.

They don’t call us “sensitives” for nothing: psychic or mediumistic work requires a shift in your personal energy that leaves you “open” to both the good vibes and the bad.  When I read, I can feel my client’s joy, angst and heartbreak.  It’s a fascinating experience, and it’s a huge lesson in empathy – but it can take its toll on the physical body.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few things for taking care of my psychic self and preventing burnout.

1)  White Light.  Before I read, I make a practice of visualizing an “egg” of protective white light around both my reading space and myself.  Because I’m about to open myself up, this keeps any janky energies or entities from getting in.

Better than a bulletproof vest and a bottle of Purell.
Better than a bulletproof vest and a bottle of Purell.

Here’s what I say before starting a session:  “I surround myself with the white light of love and protection.  I ask that only positive energies be present as I do this work, and help me to be a clear channel for the information which my client seeks.  I ask that they help me receive, discern and relay that information in the kindest and gentlest of ways, for the highest good and the good of all.  I accept nothing less.”

I don’t recall where I learned this prayer, and it’s evolved over the years, but it sets up a safe, healthy space to work in.

2)   Washing hands.  I do this both before and after a session, visualizing any stale energies leaving my body (in the TMI category, I also pee beforehand just in case – so I def need to hand wash!).  It’s also a sign of respect and honor for the tools I’m about to handle (cards, crystals, etc.).  Washing my hands after a session also brings me back to earth.

Not an OCD thing -- just good psychic hygiene.
Not an OCD thing — just good psychic hygiene.

3)  Food.  I try to eat something light about 45 minutes before reading.  I need the energy.  After reading, I also have a snack.  Food helps ground me.  In that same vein, many psychics are vegetarian.  Good for them, but this girl needs her Big Mac.

As a matter of fact, I DO want fries with that....
As a matter of fact, I DO want fries with that….

4)  Where I read.  Early in my development, one of my teachers warned that psychics should never read in bars.  Besides the noise and the random assholes, you’re dealing with some crazy energy.  People go to bars for a reason, and their problems or pain is amplified.  I made the mistake of doing a few quickie reads when I was out with some friends one night; they went fine, but the next morning, yours truly was absolutely knackered.  And it wasn’t from the chardonnay.  I felt like I had holes punched in me, and it took days for me to feel normal again. So now when I go to a bar – white light or not – my shingle reads “Closed.”

Seriously.  Jello shots and readings do NOT mix.
Seriously. Jello shots and readings do NOT mix.

5)  A Process.  Intuitive energy or the energy surrounding a mediumistic session kind of has a life of its own.  Learning to control it is a little like learning how to ride a bucking bronco; there’s a rhythm and unpredictabiltity.  A routine for opening up and closing down puts a framework around that energy and makes it easier to handle.  The bronco may still buck, but at least its in the corral versus hauling ass across the painted desert.

Just call me the Psychic Cowgirl.
Just call me the Psychic Cowgirl.

When I begin, I’ve put the white light around myself; when I complete a session, I envision a little curtain being pulled across my crown chakra, as a way to terminate the link.

"Thank you!  And good night!"
“Thank you! And good night!”

Then I wash my hands and eat, and I feel like I’ve come back to earth.  Doing something grounding – gardening, petting my cat, taking a shower – also works.

Having a process for your psychic work is vital.  I’ve seen too many of my students go a little nuts with their blossoming abilities.  They walk around with their channel wide open, reading anyone and anything that comes across their path.  I think they like the attention. One woman was thrilled to tell me about the two people she’d read while standing in the Express Checkout Line; no mention of how her unwitting subjects felt about it.

Does an inadvertent reading count as item #16?
Does an inadvertent reading count as item #16?

Not only is that just crazy intrusive, its not healthy for the reader.  When your energy isn’t controlled, its like an ungrounded power line.  Sooner or later, you will get burned but good.

So use these tips to stay healthy and focused both in and out of the intuitive realm.  And I’d love to hear what you do for yourself to stay sane and centered.  Hit me up in the comments.

5 Must-Have Spiritual Stones

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I first got turned on to crystals back in the 80s (didn’t we all?).  At one point,  they were everywhere in my tiny apartment.  My roommate would just roll his eyes when he saw another added to the collection.  I was about 4 stones away from officially being declared a hoarder.

All these years later, I still have plenty of beautiful little stones, but there are a few in particular that I work with the most.  They’re my go-to crystals when I do any psychic work.

QUARTZ  CRYSTAL;  Like a Chanel suit, this stone goes with everything.  It’s the kind of crystal that can serve any purpose you assign it.  Yup, you can “program” it so that it’s electromagnetic properties help attract whatever your intention is.  Just hold it in your non-dominant hand, envisioning your goal uploading into it.  When you feel a “click,” you’re done.  You can re-program it for something else, by envisioning that you’re clearing it, then repeating the upload process.

I keep these on my reading table, simply because of the positive energy that seems to flow from the little buggers.

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ROSE QUARTZ:  The soft pink color aligns with the heart chakra.  I love the gentle vibe surrounding rose quartz.  It’s not throwing off hot monkey-love vibes, more of a gentle, patient energy.  It’s the kind of love vibe you have for your pet, or your grandma has for you.  Unconditional, sweet, giving.  It’s the Aunt Bee of crystals.

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This is a good stone to work with when any sort of grief or loss is going on.  It heals the heart, which makes it great to carry after a breakup, a death or anything that makes you feel like you’re walking around with a giant hole in your chest.

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LAPIS:  I can get lost staring at this gorgeous blue-gold stone.  It’s powerfully spiritual, used to help connect with higher realms and energies.  th

Lapis throws off a really strong metaphysical energy and really helps open up my channel.  It turns up the volume in a major way.  Nigel Tufnel (all hail, Tap!) breaks it down for ya….

AMETHYST:  Like lapis, this is a spiritual stone.  The energy of amethyst, however, isn’t quite as macho.  Amethyst resonates with the crown chakra, helping us connect with the channel of enlightenment and awareness.  It just makes me feel good to have around, ’cause its so purty.

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OBSIDIAN:  Of course, when I’m having trouble staying spiritual, this repels/absorbs any negative energies.  When a client requires some seriously heavy work, obsidian is like an anchor in turbulent waters.  The dark color works like a super-magnet for grounding me when my head is all over the place.

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Not for nothing, obsidian is helpful for blocking someone’s icky vibe from affecting you.  I had a boss who was, shall we say, an idiot with a heaping side of Pain in the Ass.  I hated going to work, but once I put a giant chunk of obsidian on my desk, he didn’t come around as much — and I   stopped wanting to punch him in the throat.

This was what I wanted to do all damn day....
This was what I wanted to do all damn day….

At any rate, these particular crystals are must-haves for the spiritual life.  As Bob Dylan once sang, “Everybody must get stoned.”  In a good way.

3.5 Reasons You Need A Psychic

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The way I see it, you need these on speed-dial: a plumber, mechanic, lawyer, and in my house, a chicken place that delivers.

I would add to that, a good psychic.

I’m not talking about hitting up Madame Lasagna at the boardwalk. I’m talking about those of us who are truly, sharply tuned in to the intuitive side.  That kind of information gives you a new (and sometimes better) way to deal with modern challenges.

For the record, this is NOT me.
For the record, this is NOT me.

Ever since the first human wondered if the person in the next cave over liked them or not, humans have sought ways to see what couldn’t be determined by other means.   Psychic ability lets us pull back from what’s in front of us, and sense other things at play.  The psychic’s brain downloads on a completely different channel and offers another source of information.

Intuition is a nice counterbalance to the super-tech, pointy-headed vibe of this 21st century life.  It’s more organic. Your iPhone can do a lot of things, but picking up psychic info ain’t on the list.

Can find you a restaurant, can't solve your relationship crisis.
Can find you a restaurant, can’t solve your relationship crisis.

Maybe that’s why I’ve seen such a huge increase in people coming for a reading whom you might not expect: a tough Irish cop, a psychoanalyst, a surgeon, for starters.  They’re finding a new way around their problems, by tapping into this age-old data stream.

If you’re still kicking the idea around, here are my 3.5 reasons to consider a psychic.

Reason #1:  WE SEE THE BIG PICTURE – THE REALLY BIIIIIG PICTURE

As a psychic, I’m focused on the particular issue you bring me, but I’m also “pulling back” to see what else is going on around its edges.  It’s kind of like Google Earth.  Many times, I pick up on things affecting it that you weren’t aware of:  past-life influences, karma, what’s up with the other people involved.  That kind of intel gives you a new perspective on why and where you’re stuck.  (Even if you’re not sold on the idea of past lives or karma, admit it – it sounds interesting, doesn’t it?)

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Can this help me find where I parked at the mall?

Reason #2 WE GIVE YOU A DETOUR AROUND THE ROADBLOCKS

When the same annoying situation/person keeps showing up in your life, there’s a reason.  Yes, really.   The Universe is trying to get your attention, or to provide a lesson.  What is that lesson?  An intuitive can give you the crib sheet and show you how to finally move forward.

Even around this....
Even around this….

Reason #3   A READING GETS YOU OUT OF YOUR HEAD

Check the frownlines on your face: we spend so much time grinding our mental gears, trying to work out a solution to a problem.

A reading might save you on some Botox. Just sayin.
A reading might save you on some Botox. Just sayin.

Sometimes, you need to take the brain out of it – and see what instinct and the heart has to say.  That’s the specialty of a psychic.  Add that info to the intellectual mix, your own knowledge of the situation and you’ve got something you can really work with in solving a problem.

Reason #3.5  YOUR DEAD GRANNY WANTS TO SAY “’SUP?”

Not all psychics are mediums – meaning, possessing the ability to connect with those on the Other Side.  But for those who do have that particular channel on their radio, it can be a powerful experience for the client.  My motto is, “It’s not a reading ‘til someone’s crying.”

Tools of the trade.
Tools of the trade.

Connecting with someone you’ve lost  is incredibly therapeutic.  I’ve had clients finally be able to drop all kinds of baggage after getting a message from someone who’s crossed over.  It’s not only intensely liberating, it’s a big comfort, as well.   The right psychic-medium can hook you up on that channel.

When it comes to finding an intuitive, I strongly believe in personal recommendations.  You want a good fit – and a truly professional intuitive won’t mind if he/she isn’t the right one for you.

Let me just add that a responsible psychic will only ask for his/her standard fee (and not hit you up for “extras,” like “removing curses”); and if someone’s issues are above their paygrade, they’ll suggest a qualified mental health professional.

At any rate, if you’ve ever rolled your eyes at the thought of consulting a psychic, open your mind.  This ancient art is more 21st century than you think.

Taking Care of Tarot Cards

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My first Tarot deck is celebrating a birthday:  27 years ago this month I got them and spent a happy summer learning all about this wonderful art.

This deck — a Rider-Waite, for those who are interested — has been through a lot –A LOOOOOTTTTT — of readings since then.  I’ve picked up other decks along the way, but I always come back to Old Faithful.  Here are some things I’ve learned about setting up your deck to get the best experience possible out of them.

Happy birthday, old girl.

Give It Up! Your Invisible Helpers

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During my meditation this morning, I got a message that went something like, “You don’t have to do it all yourself.”  This is pretty much spot on, being the perky little control freak that I am.  It put me in mind of this card:

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When this card comes up in a reading, it indicates someone who’s taking on way too much or doing most of the work in the situation. And you can see that he’s in danger of tripping and dropping his bundle — which means, he has to pick them up again and he’s probably in a hurry and his back is hurting and he’s feeling like he has to do it all and wah wah wah….you get the idea.

The advice behind the 10 of Wands is to share the load — but for control freaks (like me), that can be tough.  However, each of us has a team we can call on to help.

They’re always awake (even at 3:20 am).  Their phone is always on and never goes to voicemail.  They never get tired of hearing your problems.  They don’t judge the size of your ass.  They are assigned to you from the time you’re born and stay with you until you cross over.  They’re not allowed to leave you, no matter how big a pain you may become.

They are your Spirit Team, made up of your spirit guides and a guardian angel.  I wrote about spirit guides here –but one of the questions I repeatedly get asked is, “How do I work with them?”  It’s really not that complicated:  just tell them what you need.   That’s it.

I’ll give you a way to meet your guide(s) later — but in the meantime, even if you don’t know their name or anything about them,  just reach out.  I suggest taking a moment before you go to sleep to send up your message, but you can do it anytime.  They don’t stand on ceremony. Something like, “Hi Spirit Team– I could really use your help in knowing how I should handle the situation with Mark.  Please send me a sign or some information.  Thanks.”

Then keep your radar up.  Your Team will always deliver, but it may be subtle and it may not show up the way you expect.  The point is to offload some of your burdens on to them.  They live for this stuff, so put them to work on your behalf.

There have been a number of great “teams.”  Like these guys….

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Or this crew, boldly going where no man has gone before….

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But YOUR “team” has ’em all licked.  And they are at your beck and call, ready to take some of the weight for you.  Remember the message I got this morning?  “You don’t have to do it all yourself.”  You don’t!

Let the late, great Levon Helm and The Band sing us out….