Gateway in Your Space

What does the card Gateways mean?

Gateway reminds us that every object is an entry point to another world.

Objects are dense with meaning -- personal history, statements of who we are or what we can become. Whether we are aware of it or not, they contain complete & endless alternative worlds.

When we make a change in our life we often do not know exactly how to get where we want to go. Objects with the quality of Gateway connect us with worlds in which the things we desire feel possible, giving us a beautiful and magical place from which to take action.

I call this card my "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore" card.

It states that objects have the ability to transport us to another world, like Dorothy opening the door into the Land of Oz.

How does this work? Objects contain MEANING. Unconscious or conscious, they're symbols within our space, holding endless, infinite meaning. This meaning works magic on the unconscious, moving our awareness into new configurations.

Let me give you an example. Earlier this year I was in the process of refiguring my office (because it was time). I wanted a space that felt powerful & beautiful, so I asked myself 'what have been powerful office spaces in my life?' Memories of the studies of both my grandfathers appeared -- books and wood and, yes, tobacco. Wonderful images to begin to build a design.

But wait, there's more.

Later that year, I went home to my Mum's to help her clear out the office of my father who died 10 years ago. (A story for another time.) With the help of two marvelous hired organizers, we sorted and separated, dusted and released. And among the stuff, we found my paternal grandfather's engineering seal. (There's a picture of it below.)

It took a moment for us to figure out what it was. And truthfully, even as a write this I still shake a bit with the emotion that I feel for that seal. Why?


I could give it words. I could say it represents 'masculine power that loves me'. I could say it makes me remember my grandfather. I could say all sorts of things, and they are all probably true. But honestly, the meaning contained in that seal exists beyond words.

This is the interesting thing about symbols (object-symbols included). You can try and nail down the meaning in words and in your mind. You can try to be literal, a one to one correlation -- 'This seal means this.' -- and fit all the meaning in.

And perhaps poets can.

But for the rest of us, the meaning contained in an object is endless. There is a world within each of them. These objects unfurl their meaning before us. We chase it, but it's always rolling out in front of us, coloring the landscape as we go.

Moving us into the journey.

Object-symbols contain the non-verbal, the infinite articulation of the space between words. They act on our psyches in ways that are full, whole and mysterious. Transporting us. Feeding us newness and thoughts that slip past the guards of our brains. Between the gateposts, into new realms of our soul that are bubbling up from the ground.

My grandfather's seal does that. I have no idea what it means. It makes me happy to see it. But it also pulses with something that is just beyond my edge. THAT is the adventure.

The card Gateway indicates that right now, in this month, on this planet, we have the capacity to choose the new worlds we want to enter by consciously choosing (or magically receiving) the symbols that are portals to those worlds. Surround yourself with these object-symbols. Find them among your everyday practical tools, or introduce them as talismans to sit on your desk. Become conscious of the endless meaning they hold, even as you have no idea, have no words to convey the bigness of the landscapes that they are. Notice the subtleties of the new world you are stepping into. It is real.

Gateway enters us into a journey of the endless, the uncontainable. So when we create a design in our office and home it is not a museum of memories. It is not a collection of still and silent purposeful intents. Rather it's a poem of objects: complex, elusive, and in movement under our fingers. Always alive and ahead of us. A pulse, a movement, a journey that expands as we move through it and discover its landscape.

So BRING SYMBOLS into your space. Recognize the power of objects to transport and change you, and make the decision about what objects take you where you want to go. Where you want to live.

Whether Oz. Or Kansas. Or Both.

A practice for your workspace (or home).

Look at the objects in your room. Ask yourself: Where do these objects take me? Where do I want to go?

Do we find the objects? Or do they find us? It doesn't matter. Just gather them in, whether they are flowers or furniture, thrift shop finds or gifts from ancestors. Let them change the air of your space and touch you like a breeze from an unknown land.


my grandfather's engineering seal

You are invited to a Fresh Look

If your office or workspace feels funky -- and not in the good way -- you can invite Judith to take a fresh look at your space and get insights on how to bring your office into greater alignment with Who You Really Are. Just ask.

Judith helps you figure out where your desk should go, what color to paint your walls, and all of the little details so you feel more at ease, totally at home, and completely held by your office.

She holds a Masters Degree in Interior Architecture at the University of Oregon and is certified in Design Psychology.

How does this deck work anyway?

I created a deck of cards that ‘reads’ our environments. It's still a little mysterious to me. How, I ask, can the cards 'read' the environment if they can't even 'see" it? However, they have proven again and again to be amazingly helpful in both creating designs for my clients and helping all sorts of people understand their relationship with their workspaces and home spaces in order to feel more spacious, free and alive.

In each newsletter I draw a card for all of us, to help us navigate the month ahead, understand what our collective environment is presenting to us, and suggest small changes we can make to our personal physical space that will support us in the coming month. Would love to hear from you if this card was helpful!

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