Earth, self-care and a studio

Last week, I finally found a studio.

You can probably hear my sigh of relief on the other side of the world.


It was the gardeners’ storage room till Em and I cleared it last week.

I love my tarot work, and I love that it’s portable, flexible, do-able from anywhere…including my little boat. But after two years the ‘working from home’ novelty (where working from home means the exact same very small space where I eat, sleep, chill, have deep relationship discussions, entertain friends, watch TV and whatever the heck else) has very much worn off.

So, too, has running two online businesses via 3G data from a tethered mobile phone. Bleeeeeeegh!


Cute…but unsustainable.

It was time for some serious earthing.

In terms of the four elements, earth is the *stuff* of life. Our domestic lives, our homes, our bodies, our health. Our environment. Sensuality. Sex. Physical nourishment. (Here’s a recent post about earth and pentacles and how important/awesome it all is.)

Working at home was harming me. I had a constant backache and a shoulder freezing up.  I was stressed out because my phone data would get used up every month. There are always DIY jobs to do, coal to fetch in, a fire to stoke, a water tank to fill when you live on a boat – even through I’m a pretty disciplined, focused person, all of these things wreak havoc on my day and make me feel…unprofessional. On the edge. Like I haven’t got my shit together. Which is no fun at all!

My business has fire aplenty – it’s driven by passion and exciting ideas. And water by the gallon – everything I do I do because it feels right. And as an Aquarius, it’s airy as hell – I spend plenty of time writing, thinking, communicating and planning.

So that’s three out of four elements. But if you’re running a business, you also need plenty of earth.

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Nine of Bones, from The Collective Tarot – a card which, for me, is about self-sufficiency and investing in your environment.

Well. Last week, I well and truly grounded Little Red Tarot.

Here’s my new studio!

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I’ve only just moved in – my bits and bobs are coming over one sack-trolley at a time so it’s still rather bare but my god, sitting here with a little rosemary oil burning and fast wifi and a heater that just, like, emits heat and peace and quiet and space… not to mention a large desk and a chair that supports my back. I’m feeling good.

Yes, it costs money, and yes of course money is tight when your business is small and young. This is a luxury, and a privilege. But it’s a gesture of kindness towards myself and a long-overdue act of self-care.

It’s about valuing my own work and investing in my own health. Taking myself seriously and making space in my life for doing what I love. Understanding that backache and frozen shoulders are not acceptable parts of running a business.

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My friend Kelly – an artist – moves in next month, and she’s having the other half of the space making it affordable for both of us. I’m excited about sharing space with her, too. And meeting the other tenants in the building. Briefly – I’m at Merci,  Manchester’s centre for sustainable living. Also in this beautiful old mill are the local CND, Omega (a human rights and arms trade research group), a natural beeswax soap maker, and loads more. In the few days I’ve been here, the building has hosted a tenants and residents’ association AGM and a ‘reclaim the power’ direct action planning sleepover.

I’m in great company, it’s five minutes from my house and I just got asked if I’d like to add anything to the Suma order. Later, we’re planning a little party to get tenants together and celebrate the fact that some shelves just went up in the kitchen. These are exciting times!

So yeah. Pretty happy. Three cheers for earth.

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    • Beth says:

      Hey – yeah, working in your bedroom or wherever you can is a means to an end, but if it’s not working for you, you’ll eventually reach the point where the investment becomes worth it even if it is a big expense. It was not a decision I made lightly but the time had come for me. I know how lucky I am to be able to do this, though. Sharing with my friend is what has made this affordable – I couldn’t do it alone.

    • Beth says:

      Thank you! Cozy is definitely what I’m going for here (I’m used to small, don’t know what I’d do with a large space quite honestly!)

  1. Congrats! It looks like such a lovely space and to be with a community of folks who share your values is such a gift. I can only imagine what exciting new projects you’ll dream up and how your continuing ones will become stronger and more rooted.

  2. Kelly says:

    Congrats on a beautiful new space, I work from home, both in my full time job and my “starting to grow” tarot and it definitely has its pros and cons, but at least I have a bit more space! I have a small 1 bedroom apartment that now feels huge after seeing your “before” picture 🙂

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