New Moon – Thunder(?) Moon Begins

Well, I’m writing this something like 10 days after the new moon actually turned up, but let’s go with it.
The minor drought we’ve been having in these parts seems to be on the mend, as we’ve ben having big rains (and little rains) and, ah… gentler temperatures the past few days.
 
My lovely wife and I went to Toronto Pride, for reasons that had nothing to do with Pride and everything to do with seeing my ex / her sweetie off to Alberta and their first Real Job In Their Field (I am a weird – or maybe not-so-weird – mix of proud-fam, missing/sadness, and relief (of various types) on this front), but we stuck around for Festivities and visiting our various friends in the area. It was a good time, and it gave us a chance to reconnect with each other, which was much-needed.:-)
 
Came home, however, to the results of the back x-ray I’d had a few days before leaving. A scary-sounding set of results that included words like “disease” and “obliteration”, followed with an “emergency” appointment with a back surgeon a week later (that was three days ago, as of this writing).
 
That was a scary week.
BUT all is well. Or as well as it can be. Basically, I have to do a lot of core-strengthening exercises so that I can rely on muscle (rather than bone and somewhat-non-existant discs) to hold up my torso. More reasons to ride my bike, do non-push-ups, sit up straight, and bounce on a yoga ball.😉
My wife jokes about how she now has “a prescription for a ripped wife”. I’ll take it.😉
 
In other news: My (yellow!) cherry tomatoes are starting to ripen, and they are delicious. I have (so far) one golden zucchini and one eggplant, but may get one or two more… here’s hoping. Still not much luck with the rainbow chard, but I remain hopeful. My cucumbers and butternut squash vines are starting to take off (thank you mamas!), so we’ll see if I get any fruits from them as time goes on. I’m just glad they’re growing and getting bigger!
I’ve been harvesting mustard greens (and dandelions, and lamb’s quarters) for pastas, sandwiches, and putting up in the freezer, too. Not a lot yet, but I’ve made a start.
The nieghbour gave us a bag of some of her spinach-like succulant greens (most of which I put up, but we’ve also had some in a stew and some on our sandwiches) and I got to participate in a “fruit recovery” harvest of a local cherry tree, which was nice. I need to pit and freeze the cherries today, though. It’s time. In theory, they’ll wind up jarred into pie filling or else turned into a cherry salsa (pie cherries, onions, basil, cilantro if my garden’s still got some, coriander, garlic scapes, black pepper, ground cloves, a little salt, some wine-vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and maaaaaybe some candied ginger), though I don’t have very many, so we’ll see if I just kep them frozen.😉
It’s time, too, to pick raspberries in the alley and freeze them for later – I want to make more goblin fruit jam again this year, since last year’s batch was soooooo good, using choke cherry purree and some of these raspberries, plus whatever other odds and sods I can come up with.
 
We are Summer Cleaning the house in an effort to get rid of the mice (unlikely, since the walls are audibly full of them and we live in a row-house which shares walls with other homes) or at least the smell of them. Between the mopped floors and the re-arranged furniture (and bird cages!), our living room is feeling a lot more open, and I’m really liking it!
 
Did a tarot-interpretation for someone the other day – a reader who I respect quite a lot, who did an all-call for help making sense of a reading she did for herself – and just got a note back saying that my interpretation helped a lot and was in line with messages she’d been getting from Elsewhere, too. So I’m feeling (a) moderately amazed, but also (b) kinda chuffed abou tit. Go me?😀
 
My thre singing lessons have come and gone, and I’m feeling more confident about my singing (and that I’ve Still Got It, basically), plus I’ve made a good start at learning Casta Diva. It’s still very-much “on the page”, but it’s somewhat “off the notes” at this point, which is nice.

~*~
 
Motion: Due to the whole Back Diagnosis thing, I’m doing (reallly basic) core-building exercises and making a much bigger point of engaging my core muscles when I’m out walking around town, sitting at a sewing machine, and what-not. Not exactly “motion”, but related and neccessary.
 
Attention: Trying to lavish attention on my wife, and to attend to my duties as a domme in terms of holding her reins as well. Additionally trying to peel back further layers of my emotional onion so that I can be more cognizant of it when I’m playing into my own meta-narratives and that sort of thing.
 
Gratitude: Greateful for the chance to reconnect with my wife. Grateful for back problems that are NOT a disaster and that I can fix (or mitigate significantly) just by getting stronger. (Thank you all the gods!) Grateful for a (small, but legally acquired) harvest of sour cherries from a tree in the next neighbourhood over. Grateful for friends who trust me with their hearts and their fears. Wow.❤
 
Inspiration: Reading More Than Two (a Poly-101 book with lots of useful questions for the readers to ask themselves), partly to ask myself those questions, but also to get a feel for what gaps there are in this kind of literature. I’ve got PLANS, kittens. Let’s see if I can follow through with them.
 
Creation: Continuing to work on my “How to Cook A Heart” manuscript (a poetry collection looking at queer, polyamourous relationships & family-building through the lens of seasonal eating & local food), specifically – and maybe this bit belongs under “inspiration” – by using the Tarot’s suit of Earth (2-10, maybe some others if I’m inclined) as a skeleton upon-which to hang some of the abundance/security/cultivation stories I want to tell. Pleased with how it’s going so far. This suit isn’t the Feelings Suit, I realize, but I find that its material-security and home-life themes twine very well with discussions of compersion, fears around being a third wheel, metamourships & constelationships, and the making of chosen-family from scratch. Tarot being a symbol system (and thus Made Of Metaphor to being with), using it to structure one’s poetry is a tried-and-true method for a reason.:-)

Onwards!

– TTFN,
– Meliad the Birch Maiden.

Full Moon – Flower Moon Crests (Summer Solstice 2016)

Well, there’s a thing you don’t often see. A full moon on Summer Solstice.:-)
Where I am, there’s – gotta hope – a thunder storm brewing. I’m half-way between hoping it hits in the next few minutes and hoping it hits once my lovely wife gets home from work. (I’m sure she’d appreciate the latter).
After a solid week of really chilly (like lows of 8C) weather, the heat has come back with lots of humidity. My zucchini, eggplants, and tomatoes are flowering like Woah, but I’m discovering that my wee new garden bed is badly in need of fertilizer – whether we’re talking Miracle Grow or the more naturally-occuring kind. Either way, most of my starts have kept their roots clining to the little cubes of soil they arrived in, andI’m worried that everything is goign to uproot before long. :-\
 
I’ve sprinkled some fruit-inducing bone meal around the new bed, and I’m wondering where I put last year’s tomato and pea stakes so that I can at least prop things up a little bit. :-\ May resort to unfolding some wire coat-hangers in the mean time.
 
We (finally) hung some of the ancestor photos today. My lovely wife has promised to bring home a drill so that we can do the rest without completely destroying the plaster (not drywall, plaster – it’s an old house) walls in the process. It’ll be nice to have them up again, though one of my foremothers has gone walkabout and I’m not sure where her picture has got to. :-\
We moved a new-to-us book case into the front room, and have unloaded most of the remaining Storage Locker Boxes (mostly books) onto its shelves. There’s still a lot of tidying, sorting, and re-arranging to happen in the front room, but we’re working on it again, which is really great. It feels good to be making progress, y’know?
 
My altars need more candles made for them. I’m going to have a dig around to see if I’ve got any already made (from years ago, when I sold them at craft fairs), so we’ll see how far I get on that front.
 
There was Orlando. And the week that followed it has just been weird and heavy. I have this blog post halfway written to put up on Syrens, and I’m not even sure that I’m going to do it. I may just send people here and here instead. I went to one of the vigils in town, because one friend was singing at it, and another was reading at it (the second piece I just linked to). I wore my leather and my shawl – in 30C heat, no less – because why else did I make it. And that was that.
 
In significantly less wretched news: I started singing lessons today.
This is a big deal, since (a) I haven’t taken a lesson – besides a one-off when I had a solo for a choir concert, a solid decade+ ago – since 2001, and (b) I learned how to run energy through singing. So unblocking a lot of my Energy Blocks – my teacher’s also a yoga instructor, so when I used “the chakras that show up on all the posters” to talk about how my body lights up when I’m singing well, she already knew what I was talking about + wasn’t (visibly) offended that a white chick was talking to her about chakras – particularly in the red and orange areas (I stopped singing within a couple of months of becoming sexually active and, while the two events aren’t related, it means that I’ve never been An Active Singer and someone with an active sex life at the same time BUT, when things are going well for me sexually, I start hitting high notes. As such, I’m aware that they’re connected, and so am wondering (in a fairly positive way) how getting my singing groove back will help in other departments. On a related note, I’m wondering (in a similar fashion) how doing more active singing practice will effect my awareness in ritual situations (whether we’re talking about Pagan stuff or S/M stuff for that matter).
 
~*~
 
MOTION: Took myself out to a couple of dances on Saturday night, during Glow Fair. Danced to spooky-spooky music at Retro Underground – I’d personally have been happier with a Smiths/Cure/Cruxshadows/BellaMorte kind of mix, but whatever they were playing when the doors open was good enough for what I was looking for. Then I bopped over to Oh My Jam (a reoccuring all-kinds-of-queers dance party) and called in my own tiny ocean to dance and splash in while other folks arrived and slowly filled the place up. Usually when I’m dancing, I call in Fire. But I tried for Water this time, and… it was (unsurprisingly, fish that I am) easier to keep my own energy from flagging while dancing on my own for the better part of an hour. That’s something I need to remind myself of all the time. When I do those grounding visualizations, I’m a willow, not an oak. My roots are very much in the water. When I call energy up into myself, I basically have to drink it – like capillary action. When I draw it down, it’s rain, or a shower/sprinkler system, or else it’s plunging into the blue so deep it starts edging towards the black. Mermaids R Us. Energy work involves tentacles, often as not. Scorpio with Cancer Rising (and Moon, for that matter). Pices in the dome of heaven. Water, water everywhere.
 
ATTENTION: Listening to a lot of Chai Chats – which is basically a CR group ft a bunch of kinky, poly femmes (afaik). Paying attention to my wife, trying to do more Quality Time (rather than shared-down-time) things with her, have more dates, that sort of thing. Digging into my Feeeeelings a little bit more and trying to sort out why sadness is such a habit with me (and it is – it’s totally the path of least resistance, if I’m thinking of myself as water. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be) but also trying to tease out the threads of it, so I can tell which bits of a given Sad Feels are born of what I’m thinking/moping about at a given moment, versus which ones are just glomming onto the focus-of-the-moment but are actually rooted elsewhere. It’s like when you have that reoccuring Fight AboutThe Laundry, or whatever, with one of your partners, and it’s never actually about the laundry, it’s about Feeling Taken For Granted or Wondering If You’re Special, or similar. Like, I’m essentially having Fights (well, cry-fests) with myself that are (on the surface) about my ex, but I suspect are really about something much less-specific than that, such as “Am I Loveable?” or “Will I Be Forgotten If I’m Not Constantly Pushing Myself Into People’s Faces?” (Oh, hey, Fear Of Abandonment), and I’d like to be able to “fight” about the actual thing, rather than just wallpapering a grief-focus over top of the actual thing and telling myself I’m crying about that.
 
GRATITUDE: Thankful for being able to use the neighbour’s hose to water the garden. Thankful that my lovely wife is sorting through her Stuff and that we’re making progress on the house again (we’ve been here for almost two years, so it’s kind of a thing). Relieved as fuck that the “suspicious person” in the ski mask at U of T last Monday turned out to be nothing, rather than a copy-cat jumping on the hate wagon. Grateful that my voice hasn’t disappeared on me after all these years of neglect. Grateful for dancing. For a bike that makes my back feel better, not worse. Grateful for hot nights and gusting breezes, for moonlight on the water, and the way my wife shivers when I kiss the back of her neck.
 
INSPIRATION: This Tweet + the Queer Body Love series that’s happening online right now (you probably need to sign up to get (free) access to the content).
 
CREATION: I’ve been feeling really uncreative lately. I was talking to my wife about it last night, over sangria by the local tiny lake, and she pointed out that I’ve been turning that energy inward, diving deep and seeing what I can dredge up to the surface. That said, I have Homework from my singing teacher which, along with running through Casta Diva and doing breath practice while in Supported Fish (Matsyasana), among other things, includes doing noodly improvisations using the sylables of my own name. So maybe I can get creative there.
 
“The sun sees your body, the moon sees your soul” (to quote said inspirational tweet).
Happy Solstice, kittens.
 
 
TTFN,
Melaid the Birch Maiden.

Summer Solstice Tarot Reading (2016) – Searching For Truth, Searching for Connection

So, Worts and Cunning has a tarot spread for Summer Solstice. I decided to give it a go:
 
I did this spread with my Osho Zen deck, but am pairing up the cards I drew with the corresponding cards in my Wildwood deck.
 
1. SUNRISE. What is your source of abundant growth?
Control / Kingfisher (King of Swords), R

Ugh!
I’ve pretty-much always read Control as Lord Domly Dom, so preoccupied with How Things Are Supposed To Go that he can’t (or won’t) bend to the realities of a given situation.
I have a hard time reading anything good into air cards, to begin with, so seeing three of them in this spread kind of made my heart sink a little.
A broader reading of the King of Swords – partially via the Wildwood’s Kingfisher rendering – points towards a preoccupation with truth, with knowing right from wrong, doing the actually right thing in a given situation, as opposed to an obsession with, say, knowing the Right Jargon to make it look like I know what I’m doing (at all costs).
I’m not sure how this can be read as a “source of abundant growth”, but it makes me think of that Thing that all the astrologers say about Scorpios: That we tend to swim in the deep end of the pond all the time (the way those kingfisher can dive so deep, with so much accuracy), tend to be so (impatiently) hungry to Understand Everything Intimately, understand everyone intimately, understand every part of ourselves intimately.
My wife says that she looks at my dedication to understanding my own Issues, figure them out, know them well so that I can live with (and mitigate) them, rather than be ruled by them, and that it impresses the socks off of her. (Bonus!) So, in terms of “source of abundant growth”… yeah. The thing that keeps me growing is my willingness to shine a light into my own often-icky, murky depths and sort out what’s really going on in there.
 
2. BONFIRE. Where do you shine brightest? How do you illuminate the world? Adversely, what do you fear to show the world? What holds you back from exposing your greatness?
Beyond Illusion / The Great Bear (Judgement, 20 of MA), R

When Beyond Illusion shows up in a reading, I tend to understand it as a “cut through the bullshit” card – so it relates a bit to the King of Air in my Sunrise position.
That said, I feel like that’s almost too easy?
I know I’m afraid to be Big – not stature-wise, because that’s been the case for 20+ years and is kind of just how things are, but Big like “visible”, like “noticeable”. Because people who get noticed, get hurt, get slammed back into the place where they’ll stay small and cringing.
Which is… frequently true. But is also clearly just something that my Jerk Brain is telling me (See: all of Miss Sugar’s posts about Glamour, basically). I could read this as just “Stop hiding your big light, lady”. But… I don’t know?
The write-up for The Great Bear says “Be honest, be patient, be forgiving”, and touches on the way that initiation strips us bare and then rebuilds us wiser and stronger than we were… Maybe this is still about illuminating the truth after all. (Suggetions are totally welcome here, y’all…)
 
3. SUNSET. What is it that you have to give?
Postponement / Rest (4 of Swords), R

Well, I knew that… People have been telling me I’m a “natural ground” for 10+ years. I can help people process their trauma. Or feed them. Or give them a couch to fall apart on. I give really good hugs. That’s what I’ve got.
 
4. SUMMER SUN. Overview of the strengths of your relationships between friends, family, and lovers.
Silence / The Pole Star (The Star, 17 of MA), U

I get this card confused with The Moon all the time, but this card isn’t about all the unconcious Stuff repeating in one’s life. Silence corresponds to The Star (or The Pole Star, as the case may be), and is all about guidance when you’re feeling lost (there we are with Truth again…).
In a different context, this card asks you to name & recognize your personal Inner Truth, but in the context of interpersonal relationships, it’s hope and holding fast – my sometimes foolish refusal to give up on people and believe (or tell myself again and again) that the Hard Stuff is mostly circumstantial and that we can get through the rest. It can touch on letting go of insecurities. It can touch on loving through changes, growing together, being generous with each other (be patient, be forgiving…). These are good strengths to bring to the way I relate to the people I care about.
 
5. SUMMER SHADOW. Overview of the weaknesses of your relationships between friends, family, and lovers.
The Dream / Reunion (6 of Cups), U

Ha! Yeah. What I said about telling myself that “everything is circumstantial”? The Dream (which could just as easily be named “wishful thinking”) is all about that: Longing for what could be, what might have been, for what you don’t have anymore, for the grass that could be greener elsewhere (for us poly folks, that probably looks like NRE on steroids or something – I did a reading the other day that reminded me not to forget how good things are at home). I totally do all of that. Reunion is a much more charitable way of reading the 6 of Cups, but it still touches on ruminating about The Past (what went wrong? how did I screw this up?), even if it’s coming at it from the perspective of taking responsibility, and the potential (maybe? wishful thinking?) for forgiveness that could come.
Accurate.
 
6. SACRED HERBS. Overview of your relationship to the green world including the food you eat.
Transformation / The Journey (13 of MA)

Uh… I don’t know what to make of this one. O.O
In terms of Transformation, I’m inclined to take the word literally and draw on the words from Starhawk’s Earth Path, wherein she says that the land told her that, when she grows, forages, and eats the food that grows where she lives, she becomes the land, the land becomes the literal makeup of her body. Which is very much why I aim for local, “micro-bio-reeeeeeeeeeegional”, food when I get my groceries (whether at a shop, at a farmer’s market, or by foraging for greens and fruit in my neighbourhood and growing veggies, herbs, even fruit in my back yard), and why I try to Know The Neighbours, the non-humans, in my nieghbourhood so that I can recognize them as food, as medicine, as poison, as bee-lovers, on sight.
The Journey, with its carion imagery makes me think of compost, of the cycle of decomposition that feeds new life, and also of the way I have a somewhat “food not bombs” approach to left-overs + a focus on eating the whole animal (and eating animals at all), in my cooking. Which, granted, is slightly less about the plant kingdom, but there it is.
 
7. LAND SPIRITS. Overview of your relationship to the land spirits.
The Rebel / The Greenman (The Emperor, 4 of MA), R
I’m Bossy? Gosh, I hope not…
I like the Collective Tarot’s interpretation of The Emperor, the way flags tradition and rules of engagement (and even “daddy”) without hitting the Patriarchy buttons that often come with this card. The Rebel is similar, in that it’s a “master of your own domain / go your own way” card of self-definition. How that relates to the way I interact with the local spirits of place… I’m really not sure. Unless it’s because I put out a call, have a small pantheon of my own People, make offerings… inconsistently? But still make a point of making them?
The Green Man of the Wildwood reminds me of the Magician card, all the represented elements, a sense of control. But… I’d really rather be “working with”, or “part of”, than the “power over” stuff that comes up in Reclaiming as a thing to avoid.😉 If I were to try to read this as how I relate to the local spirits of place… I would be inclined to talk about being a hearth witch rather than a hedge witch. I like to make things on the stove. I like to cultivate the plants I want in my garden rather than heading into the forest to try and find them amidst the poison ivy and potential for bears. Yes?
 
8. STIRRINGS. What part of you is awakening as the wheel turns towards the first harvest?
Schizophrenia / Injustice (2 of Swords), R

Great…?
Schizophrenia has consistently shown up as a feeling of being pulled (apart!) in two directions. The two of swords can sometimes mean “hiding from the truth” (truth again…) or “willful ignorance”. Injustice definitely touches on the “willful ignorance” aspect of this card. But this is all about the personal as personal (not so much political?), so I need to think about balancing introspection (air cards, searching for truth) with actual action. Making decisions in spite of fear (O, hai, life coach…), shuffling forward one tiny step at a time. Then again, maybe I’m just going to have a summer of “Eugh! So unfair!” about All The Things. I mean, I hope not, but it could happen. Better that (in theory) than blocking emotions (as if), Playing It Cool, or staying stuck while feeling confused about Feeeeelings. Wish me luck on that front. Life coaching, ahoy!
 
Added to this spread, I drew the following cards (two from the top, one from the bottom):
 
ADVISOR: Completion / The World Tree (The World, 21 of MA)
+
OVER-ARCHING INFLUENCES: The Lovers / The Forest Lovers (6 of MA)
+
UNDER-LYING INFLUENCES: We Are The World / Home (10 of Earth)

Yeah, well, that’s no surprise…
I mean, it is a spread about relationships, right? Of course The Lovers (even in the annoyingly heteronormative Wildwood depiction) are going to be all over it. Of course the Ten of Earth, the card that mean Home and Safe and Family, is going to be all over it.
I think it’s really neat how The World Tree and Home reflect each other so well, how that relates to the way my personal sense of Completion is the “We Are Family” security of We Are The World.
 
While I appreciate that this spread includes relationships with spirits of place and the green kingdom in general, my particular spread is very, very much about the human-interpersonal. I’ve seen the 10 of Earth intrepreted as “second chances” or “trying again, trying something different, now that you know better or have new/deeper understanding about X”. It makes me lookat that 2 of Air card, that “What’s waking up for you” card, with its calls to not hide your feelings, to nothold yourself back through willful ignorance or Pretending Everything’s Fine, to keep moving and be honest rather than telling yourself untruths that keep you stuck.
 
Onwards into summer. I’ve got some (more) digging to do.

New Year New You 2016: Reflections So Far + Week 10: What Motivates You?

I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!
 
Reflection Instructions: “[…]Reflect on the last nine weeks and talk about what you’ve learned” about yourself, your practice, your project, and where you want to be.
+
Week 10 Instructions: Do some navel gazing: What are your reasons for working on your goals? What makes you eager to work on them?
 
I’m combining these two prompts… for no real reason, except that I can? We’ll see if they wind up having common themes or not.
 
Tarot CardS:
Reflection: Ha, I’m half-inclined to suggest the Hanged Man because of it’s “pause” and (in particular) “mirror” or aspects, or even its “seeing things from a new angle” elements. We’ll see if I stick with that, though.
Motivation: Part of me wants to choose The Chariot (AKA: The Archer, Awareness) because it’s very much about “get up / wake up, and go!”, about finding and directing your energy. It’s a card about being motivated in general. But… In reality, a lot of my motivation – for this project, and also in life more broadly – is the 4 of cups + the 6 of cups. Dissatisfaction, self-isolation, the search for self-knowledge, sadness (all Four of Cups traits) combined with the Six of Cups’ yearning for something better, and re/connected to others (sometimes obtainable, sometimes… no so much, but either way)… that’s what tends to push me into action. A sense of “gotta fix this” combined (more frequently) with “I am sick of feeling this way”.
(Heh… actually, the “Turning In” aspect of the Four of Cups would work well for the Reflections part of this post, too…)
 
Anyway.
So, yeah. Via tarot cards, I’ve already talked about what motivates me, but let’s dig into that a little more with specific respect for this NYNY Project.
 
Strictly speaking, I started my Queen of Cups Project because I was sick of feeling miserable all the time and wanted to get better at welcoming good things/people/feelings into my life. All the Brené Brown stuff (that I would end up reading in February 2016) about Preemptive Tragedy and Camping Out in the Swamp of Disappointment? I didn’t have words for it yet, but I knew it was a major problem. So my motivation was definitely about wanting to lift/shake myself out of my perpetual Four of Cups funk.
 
The dirty little secret, though, is that I also started this project because I was afraid my partner would leave me (…and she did) if I didn’t shape up and stop freaking out all the time. Lots and lots of stuff about “Is this in my head? I don’t know what to think” facing off against “This love is dificult, but it’s real…” and not knowing how much of my anxiety and spun-ness was due to my own self-inflicted meta-naratives (meaning stuff I could fix by myself) versus how much of it… wasn’t. A lot of yearing for the loving, second-chance, taking-care-of-each-other energy of the Six of Cups. Not a great reason to start a self-improvement project (although probably not an uncommon one, either).
 
Negative reinforcement can go a long way towards pushing me to do something.
But my other major motivator is success.
 
Which brings me to the “reflection” part of this post.
 
I think it’s going well.
 
I’ve been doing these prompts in order, but I haven’t been pushing myself to do them week-by-week. As such, it’s been a solid six months – rather than 10 weeks – since I started this project. There was a break-up in there, with a bonus sharp reminder that “fixing myself” is only going to work if I’m doing it for my own sake, rather than because I’m doing the desperate worthiness/shame dance and trying to “become someone worth loving” (yeah, I know. I know). But there’s also been time.
 
Listening to all the Slow Down messages I was getting meant giving my magic the chance to actually game the odds with enough time to get a run-up at things. It meant giving myself time enough to learn Handy Truths from Leah Horlick’s and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s poetry, from Brené Brown’s work, from Ms Sugar’s glamour guide blog posts, and from numerous queer, almost exclusively) femme, tarot readers (go give them some love), as well as time to let things fix a bit better in my marrow than they might have if I’d pushed myself to keep to the “Just Keep Pushing” time-frame established by the course. (Which doesn’t mean that the time-frame is bad, just that this is a deeper project than “change where my money comes from” or get this book finished”… or at least it is in my case).
 
Heading into “phase two” of NYNY (prompts 10 – 23), I’m going to keep the pace I’ve set for myself, keep working on glamour and self-glamouring, keep working on tarot, keep working on me and all of my Feeeeelings Stuff. (P.S.: The Help that arrived in Week Nine? I am having a preliminary consultation on Sunday. woohoo!)
 
And,with all that in mind, off we go.:-)
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Moon – Flower Moon Begins

I let my sage go to flower, because it’s just so pretty. Like: “I want to cut a big bunch of it and set it in a jam jar as a bouquet” levels of pretty. Purple-blue flowers (like all the ornamental, lemony sages people grow in partially-shaded gardens) that are almost neon in their brightness.
 
The weather is super-warm, even super-hot these days. Hotter than I was expecting. I’m absolutely loving it. We’re dog-sitting my inlaws’ Jack Russel (until Monday), so I’m out and about less than I would be otherwise – I know. You’d think that walking the dog would mean I got out more, not less, but when I go out, it’s usually to run errands or take myself on writing dates, and I can’t bring Himself into every grocery store and cafe I encounter, so… But I’m still finding time to get out on my own and enjoy the sun and the summer breezes and even the sudden cloud-bursts while he’s here.
 
My garden is planted, and seems to be getting on with growing. A few of my (old) bean seeds have germinated (YAY!) and, hopefully, some of my squash seeds will do the same in short order.
 
I need to feed my altars, clean my house (again – it’s never-ending), decommission a honey-pot (the recipient is moving, and the spell was location-specific) and make a vat of rotini florentine. But what do I want to be doing? Eating ice cream and lounging in a warm spot of dappled shade. Dancing my ass off at a day-time party (fingers crossed for another Morning Jam, and hopes for a – months away – couple of such parties at Pride in August. I know there won’t be another Early To Bed dance for at least a few months yet).
 
The plan for this evening is to go dancing with my wife. Tomorrow, talking gardens (among other things) with a neighbourhood friend. The air smells like roses and lilacs right now – partly because everything is blooming, and partly because it’s super humid and so the scent carries really well.
 
Tonight: Dancing up a storm (hopefully not literally) with the lovely wife.:-)
 
~*~
 
MOTION: Riding a bicycle! My wife got a new bike a month or so ago, and so her “little bike” (a white, single-speed bike with a smaller-than-us, so probably pretty standard-sized, frame) has been sitting idle. I finally started riding it a couple of weeks ago and, now that I’m comfortable enough to ride it on the (QUIET, frequently one-way) street, I’m having a great time riding it out and about with her, and on my own. I’m getting better at hills (still not making it all the way to the top of that one at CU, but I get closer every time, and feel less like I’m going to be sick after doing it, so hey!) and was able to ride home with a shoulder-bag full of groceries yesterday, so I’m feeling pretty good. Also: Developing arm-muscle definition! How awesome is that?? (Seriously, a significant motivator for riding this wee beasty is vanity, pure and simple. It doesn’t feel like I’m doing an arm work-out, but I’m getting one anyway. One day, I will actually look like Xena and/or Wonder Woman.
 
ATTENTION: I have totally jumped on the fan-wagon for Tegan and Sara. Ten years later than, like, everyone I know, but there it is. Blame it on “Hearthrob”. Beyond that? I’m paying attention to my wife, and trying to attend to my own social life, make myself reach out to new acquaintances and solid friends, both. Also trying to up my glamour game (at least a little bit).
 
GRATITUDE: Okay, in all honestly, I’m grateful that this wee dog is going home on Monday. He’s a charming little fellow, but I’m SO not a Dog Person. I’m looking forward to having my time-to-myself actually be to myself again. On a more positive note, I’m grateful as fuck that my (old) seeds seem to be germinating, and that my make-shift, un-structured 3rd garden bed (it’s literally a heap of dirt on top of a lot of newspapers) hasn’t washed away in a heavy rain (yet). The plants seem to be getting their roots in and putting out new growth, though, so I think I’m edging towards being in the clear on that front.
 
INSPIRATION: Reading the poetry of other femmes. makes me happy, and reminds me that my intensity is part of who and what I am, and not something to be smothered or down-played.
 
CREATION: Still in garden-garden-garden mode over here. Would like to be writing more than I have been – by-which I mean writing poetry more than I have been. Would also like to create An Oasis Of Calm inside my house, rather than this chaotic mess of books and papers and dog stuff and shed feathers… it’ll happen. It’s two steps forward, one step back (and sometimes vice versa…), but it’ll happen.

New Year New You 2016: Week Nine – Asking For Help

I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!
 
Instructions: “Asking for help feels almost like admitting defeat. And by defeat, I mean admitting that you’re not invincible. Well. You’re not. Sorry.“… So ask for the help that you need.
 
Tarot Card: I…honestly have no idea. Part of me wants to choose a Six card. The six of fire (abundance, success) or the six of earth (for its elements of checking in and touching base)… but neither of those is quite right. Part of me wants to name the Nine of Cups (for its “wishes coming true” aspect) and part of me wants to suggest the Wheel of Fortune, if only because of how much this seems to have relied on good luck and random chance. Lemme explain…
 
Thoughts:
I’ve been sitting on this prompt for a while, because I looked at it and thought “Who the hell do I ask for help on this one??” and then, this morning, help asked for ME.
As if by magic. >.>

That’s what I mean by “good luck and random chance”.
 
Turns out, a friend of a friend is getting her Life Coach certification, and needs to practice on people (for free!). So I asked my friend to put me in touch with her friend, and have since sent off a note asking if said friend can help me with some specifics around my Receptivity.
At this point, I have no idea whether this is going to go anywhere. I mean, I hope it does, and I’ve given my possible Life Coach as much information as I can without just running on at the mouth, and we’re going to have A Conversation to see if my Stuff can be molded into something that her school of coaching can help with.
 
Fingers crossed. (I may or may not update this to tell you all how it goes, if it goes. Again: Fingers crossed!)

Full Moon – Leaf Moon Crests

So, in theory, this full moon is going to teach me something about Relationships. I’m not even sure where I got that, but it might have something to do with what Chani Nicholas has to say about this week. Or it might have to do with dinner + a possible drive to Montreal with my wife and my ex (aka: her partner) tomorrow night and just how that’s gonna go, given it’s the last time I’m going to see said ex for, well, a very long time. (They’re moving to Alberta in six weeks). I’m trying not to over-think it or get all worked up about it, or whatever.
 
ANYWAY.
 
I feel kind of like I had a penny-drop moment the other night, which was kind of a big deal and is something I’m hoping I can build on. The plan to see more people and do more social stuff (in a sustainable way) seems to be working out so far. I mean, it’s only been two weeks, but I’m still getting to socialize and also have down-time, so that’s a good thing. Dancing at Morning Jam last weekend was great (and I met a couple of people who remembered me and my poetry(!) from the Reading Out Loud show I took part in last year – awesome bonus!). I have Plans in the works for how to promote my chapbooks around town, and a birthday party to attend on Sunday.
 
I finally (FINALLY) made candles – beeswax ones, no less – for the altar (which – sorry, Gods – has been sorely neglected of late), and got a package in the mail, the contents of which will be put to use in various magical fashions. I’ve been poking at the tarot course I’m taking (slowly, but surely), thinking a lot about the 2 and 3 of cups, but also the Queen of Swords (of all things) – she has more to do with Death (both the Major Arcana card and its meanings, and the literal thing) than I was expecting. Who knew?
 
The seeds I planted (er – literal seeds in this case) in the Cold Weather Bed are starting to come up, and I’ve transplanted some self-seeded greens (mustard or rappini, not sure) into that bed as well. I’ve harvested sage and vietnamese garlic greens (and rhubarb) from the perenial/self-seeding bed and have a vase (well, jam-jar) of water on the kitchen counter, full of dandelion greens for dinner tomorrow. The plan is to spend a significant chunk of this weekend setting up the Squash Bed (which will have cherry-tomato plants and maaaaaaaaaybe eggplants and/or ground cherries in addition to cucumber, yellow zucchini/crookneck, Musquee de Provence or Sugar-Pie pumpkin, and Butternut squash) and maybe, if I can swing it, adding some showy-but-cheap annual flowers (and some Spiderwort and/or spearmint, if I can find them) to the front flower bed.
 
~*~
 
MOTION: Walking all over town. Still haven’t made it to a pool, but have started working one day per week (soon to be two days) at my wife’s shop, which involves a lot of being on my feet. Learning how to do that without screwing up my back/hip/knee… face?? (No, seriously, I’m having facial spasms again – that doctor’s appointment in early June can’t come soon enough) is… going to take a bit, but a good pair of insoles is probably a requirement. Hoping to get to another not-late-at-night dance in the next few weeks, but I have to find out when it’s happening first. (Turns out, I follow the organizer on twitter, so this shouldn’t be too hard).
 
ATTENTION: Looking for moments of sychronicity & good luck; watching the leaves opening, the (slow, due to lots of shade) flowers in my front yard start to bloom, and the cotlydons (?) poke through the soil in my vegetable beds. Trying to be an attentive wife.❤
 
GRATITUDE: HOT WEATHER! I went out in flip-flops and only a sweater this morning, and felt great! Also, apparently wishes do come true. It may not be houndstooth, but I am now the delighted owner of a rich purple straight-skirt (not quite a pencil skirt, but close enough) that I got for free when my Mom cleaned out her closet (thanks, Mom). Also, tremendously grateful for realizing what That Feeling was, the other day, and being able to stay emotionally open in a situation where I might otherwise have shut down. Definitely a win, and one I hope to repeat.😀
 
INSPIRATION: My wife, who is riding about 150km/week on her bicycle! Also: The Two of Cups, in its various incarnations.
 
CREATION: Right now, it’s all about the garden. Well, that, and writing Glosas. I’m slowly working through a bunch of self-sellected poetry excerpts by various femme poets and glossing all of them. It’s a bit of a break-up album, so far, but the plan is that it will eventually be chapbook #3, which will be awesome.