New Year New You 2020: Week 23 – Mirror Mirror

I’m (once again) doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. It’s a good mix of practical, magical, and thought-based exercises to help accomplish specific and significant change in your own life. If it’s relevant to your interests, give it a try!
 
Instructions: As this is the last week, please take some time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve learned, and where you’re going to go from here.
 

Wildwood Tarot - The Mirror (MA 12) - The Lady of the Lake, with a serpentine lower body, and flowing dark hair, holds the full moon in one hand and a mirror in the other. A heron is in the foreground. In the distance, a boat carries a corpse to a tiny island

Wildwood Tarot – The Mirror (MA 12) – The Lady of the Lake, with a serpentine lower body, and flowing dark hair, holds the full moon in one hand and a mirror in the other. A heron is in the foreground. In the distance, a boat carries a corpse to a tiny island


 
Tarot Card: The Mirror
It was a toss up between this card – more traditionally known as The Hanged Man – and the Six of Swords, itself a card of transition, reflection, and pause.
 
I started writing this roughly a month and a half ago, back when things didn’t feel particularly finished in terms of my Empress Project. A month ago, right at Summer Solstice, I took a crack at it again because things were feeling a little more Done. So maybe third time’s a charm?
There are absolutely Goals that I haven’t entirely achieved yet. Stuff around integrating better habits around self-talk and relationship building, for example. But I do feel like I’ve leveled up in a lot of ways.
Summer Solstice felt like a closing ceremony – literally – for this project because I did the bookend ritual to the Big Magic I did just after I turned forty. A month later, maybe I can do some reflecting on things and see where I’m at.
I have a new place to live, in a neighbourhood that I love – mostly because it’s quiet and right near the river, and has wild fruit trees within easy walking distance, but also because I have friends nearby.
I feel like I’ve got better boundary-skills, and am braver when it comes to talking about what I want and need i my relationships. (There is, I recognize, absolutely a danger of slipping backwards on this front, though, and part of what I’ve been dipping my toes into, recently, is how to make sure that doesn’t happen).
While I (still) haven’t found a publisher for my chapbook, I have received a grant(!!!) to help me complete my Femme Glosa Project, and I have a publishing history that I 100% did not have when I started this project at the end of 2018.
I’ve managed to land a couple of small, flexible, from-home jobs that are helping to keep the bills covered even in These Uncertain Times.
I feel more centered and comfortable in my sexual body (that is not a euphemism for my genitals, I actually mean my whole body as sexual being) – although that continues to be a work in progress.
 
I’ve met a bunch of my goals, and I’m proud of myself.
 
Something I’ve definitely learned about Magic this year – and I mean since January, 2020 – is that having a SMART Goal for your magical working is going to get you more obvious, tangible results than not having one will. If only because the goal, itself, is “measurable” and “time bound” and so-on. The Big Magic I did to get our house? I specified a *when* as well as a what. And it happened. The magic I’ve been doing to secure a couple of anchor incomes? Ditto.
 
So that’s something to keep in mind as I continue to do Magical Stuff for self-improvement purposes. And I do intend to keep right on doing Magical Stuff for self-improvement.
Where do I want to go from here?
 
TBH, I’m feeling kind of split on this one, and wondering how to integrate some things.
 
I did a tarot reading recently and this is what I got:
Me as I am: The Empress (U)
Am I on the correct path: 9 of Water (U)
What’s my main obstacle: 6 of Water (U)
What is helping me: Page of Air (R)
How can progress be made: King of Earth (R)
 
Which is pretty positive. I mean, getting the nine of cups for “am I on the right path” is a pretty solid YES, which is very nice to hear.
Seeing my “Where am I right now” as literally the card this project is named for, is reassuring and encouraging.
My “obstacles” card… tracks. The six of cups is all about nostalgia. Nostalgia in the sense of “wishful thinking or dreaming in technicolor without actually doing the work is… not going to help you here”. But also like “Don’t slip backwards now that your goals are within your reach”.
So: Okay.
 
As-you-know-bob, I read reversed cards specifically as “my relationship with myself” (as opposed to upright, which is “my relationship with literally anyone/anything else”) and when I look at the Page of Air – their logic and structure, their thinking of things through, their self-examination and deep digging – and the King of Earth (who, as a King Card, thrives on structure) and I start to see what needs doing.
So. What is helping me (move through or past that obstacle): Structure, self-awareness, honesty and accurate communication, curiosity, interest in learning and trying new things.
How can progress be made (towards the goals that remain in my Empress Project, towards the next step beyond this): Solidifying my material/financial well-being so that it’s more permanent and reliable. This is a card about achieving success and feeling confident and happy about your home, your finances, and your body. So it ties fairly readily into a “next steps” post Empress Project.
 
And also.
If my Work is to learn through joy and play, and to make deep loving connections with people, how does that fit with what I’ve been interpreting as a “get your finances together” card?
Presumably it can be a Both/And. But, just at the moment, I’m a little at a loss for how to integrate the two of them or pursue them at the same time.
I will be chewing on this for a while, I suspect.
In the mean time, and as I’m chewing, I’ll be doing the following:

Working on my poetry manuscript
Continuing to submit individual poems and smaller manuscripts for publication
Further exploring Sacred Sexuality Stuff
and, well…
Looking for further from-home work, since my modeling career is unlikely to be a thing this year.

 
But yeah! That’s where’s I’m at with this project. I think I’ve made some progress, and I’m proud of what I’ve done. I look forward to taking it further.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Moon – Thunder Moon Begins

A grey sky full of heavy clouds hangs over the equally grey Rideau River. Photo by Leslie Mateus, via Wiki Free Images

A grey sky full of heavy clouds hangs over the equally grey Rideau River. Photo by Leslie Mateus, via Wiki Free Images


 
We live so much closer to the river now, and it is making a BIG difference in terms of how much rain we’re getting.
I’ve spent so many of the past summers watching the heavy clouds and hoping they’ll bring rain to my garden only to drag the hose or the watering can out (and out, and out) in the evening to give my plants enough of a drink to keep going.
Here, we actually get rain.
Or are, so far.
Thunder rumbling directly overhead. Sheet lightning. And, yes, thankfully, the heavy, steady rains that are giving my chard and zucchini (which are just, just starting to have fruit-flowers!) a chance to thrive. Mostly in the hours just before dawn, which is the perfect time for them.
I’m so delighted and so very glad they’re here.
I hope they keep it up through August.
 
This new moon is, appropriately given all the water, in Cancer (the second New Moon in Cancer of the summer, the first one having happened right around Summer Solstice and having involved an eclipse). So I find myself looking back to where I was when the Full moon was in Cancer, just a few days before Imbolg, or about six months ago (and which was an Experience, let me tell you).
Six months ago, I was pushing myself to go a little harder, and a little deeper, magic-wise. I was reaching out to my Godself, actively, for the first time and enjoying the experience of going to “church” with my girlfriend (something we’ve been able to keep doing, since this Horrible Situation has meant that her temple collective is doing their rituals over the internet now).
Now here I am, another half-turn around the wheel, and – having got through this move (even if we are still unpacking and likely will be for the next… ever) – I find myself dipping my feet back in, getting back into practice, and starting (every day, just starting) to, once again, try to Use My Voice to work my will in large and small applications.
If I look back to the last New Moon, when Rose Moon was just starting to swell, I see that I did three rituals in as many days and, while I haven’t kept up that pace (sorry), I did have a really marvelous experience, in a somewhat impromptu fashion, as Rose Moon was cresting. I did (finally) get my printer set up with the goal of doing some sigil-and-candles magic in the very-near future, and I did (finally) made my Bread Offering to all and sundry earlier today.
I’ve been keeping up with my Moon Salutations – and making a point of focusing on and reaching for conneciton with My Lady of Music and the Moon while I’m doing it, and I was able to take in the Connect DC “Dark Moon Message” last night.
 
That was, in itself, an interesting and thought-provoking listen. I’m glad I was able to attend. Katrina talked about air-fire-water-earth as theory, praxis, ritual, and – doesn’t it just figure that I’d forget the word – “the small, daily actions that collectively mean you’re walking your talk”.
As I’ve said something like a zillion times before, I know myself well enough to know that I totally get stuck in the “theory” part. “When in doubt? RESEARCH!” But research, on its own, doesn’t get things done. It doesn’t change your habits and it avoids the risks inherent in actual growth. So having another model (theory – yeah, yeah) of how to NOT get stuck in the theory, is helpful.
I think it’s interesting that a wattery tart like me can look at the land-sea-sky of theory, ritual, and day-to-day concrete actions, and be like “Yeah, obviously” but, when faced with the concept of Praxis… is just like:
 
Confused and uncertain white lady superimposed with math

Confused and uncertain white lady superimposed with math


 
I mean, in the context of The Great Work (if you want to call it that) of boiling off your personal drosse, sure. The “praxis/fire” part is astral work, ordeal work, Will work, and spell-craft. That much I got.
But what else is it?
Something to talk shop about with my girlfriend, I suspect.
 
A mo(o)nth ago, I asked “What Is My Work” and got the answer “Learn through celebration, curiosity, and play. Make deep, loving connections and build family in all directions. Love and play are holy.” (Which I was NOT expecting).
Now here I am, on this second New Moon in Cancer, asking – as Liz Worth suggests – how to build a commitment to that Work.
Earlier today I posted (elsewhere) some thoughts about My Most Empowered Self, thinking in terms of how my fully-integrated triple-self (Godself, Talking Self, and Fetch, all working/playing/thriving together) can come through in my D/s relationships.l And I wrote, briefly, about how My Most Empowered Self is sensual, playful, and joyful.
So I ask myself:
If my Work is to learn through celebration, curiosity, and play, and to build and tend my deep, loving connections, how does that fit into theory, praxis, ritual, and daily action?
Two weeks ago, Chani reminded us Scorpios to attend to our daily rituals because it’s through those spiritual connections that our growth and change will happen. This New Moon, though, she’s reminding us all that change doesn’t come with out putting in the hours, taking the time to unlearn our (personal and societal) crap, and build some solid new habits and behaviours in their place. She offers this affirmation to us Scorpios:

With this New Moon, I seek out the teachers that have found processes that are worth the work they take. I replicate what has worked, innovate what’s out of date, and adjust my expectations from needing immediate gratification to wanting to honor the lineages that seek out collective healing.

 
The theory is a mix of going down rabbit holes that catch my attention, letting myself read all about adding more “Ing” to my life (I guess I’ll find out?), shop-talking, learning new things just because they’re fun.
The praxis is (maybe?) reaching inwards to commune with Fetch, nurture my relationship with her, and help her grow into her fullest Fetchy self… And to give her things that are fun and let her push her (my, our) body in real time (like dancing in my concrete-floored basement, going for a splash in the river, or eating mulberries fresh off the trees). It’s doing sigil magic to bolster and strengthen community ties.
The ritual is a big one here. Not just reaching for my gods and Selves and ancestors through my religious practices (although that too!), but building and maintaining friendships and familyships during a time when getting together for a potluck is less possible. It’s doing the mindfulness exercises, the Moon Salutations, and the emotional (and physical) self-maintenance that let me Show Up for my people. It’s the egregors and the “I’ve been thinking of that, too” conversations that are communion at our tiny hearths in the ether and on the internet.
Which, fairly obviously, flows into the more concrete, day-to-day actions of moving my body, making and sharing art, talking shop, commiserating, checking in, and sharing food that actually make loving, joyful connections lasting and even possible.
Okay.
If this is my Work, then let it be my Work.
 
~*~
 

Osho Zen Tarot - Courage (8 of MA, also known as Strength). A daisy has pushed its way up through the concrete and is blooming, blooming, blooming

Osho Zen Tarot – Courage (8 of MA, also known as Strength). A daisy has pushed its way up through the concrete and is blooming, blooming, blooming


 
For my tarot card meditation for this new-and-waxing moon, I pulled my birth card.
Strength is so often depicted as a calm woman sharing trust with a ferocious beast. I can see myself in that – as both the calm focus and the snarling menace. I can see the balance I need to cultivate in myself. But this classic image is also one where “strength” is not the same as “brute force”. Where dominance – if I can allude to that same D/s post of earlier today – doesn’t require the use of the imperative tense. That there is strength in vulnerability.
The image in the Osho Zen deck, however, is of “strength” being the courage to do what’s difficult. The willingness to take the risk of blooming and being seen (per Anaïs Nin, as it happens).
I’ll try to keep this “strength through vulnerability” in mind over the next two weeks.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Moon salutations, walks through the neighbourhood, a tiny bit of resistance training.
 
Attention: Paying attention to… honestly, mundane and necessary things like “what needs to be eaten in the fridge” and “when does my next bill need to be paid” and “what is next on my to-do list”. But also paying attention to the heaviness of the clouds, and getting myself re-oriented as to where the F the cardinal directions are relative to my new house. (Hint: I am sooooo disoriented right now, I keeping thinking North is literally South…)
 
Gratitude: Grateful for long snuggles with my wife. For video dates with my girlfriend. For a CSA that is almost entirely paid for (and will keep feeding us until late October, not counting all the stuff I’m putting in the freezer). Grateful for friends who bring me raspberry canes and leave seeds on my back steps. Grateful for long talks and quiet evenings. Grateful for bread that seems to be happily rising these past few batches. Grateful for monarch butterfly eggs on our milkweed plants. Grateful for being so close to the river. Grateful for motorcycle rides. Grateful for a back that didn’t hurt as much this morning. Grateful for cool breezes in this hot, hot humidity. Grateful for new sandals. Grateful for a functioning vacuum cleaner. Grateful for a full pantry. Grateful for friends who send me stories. Grateful for this lovely new place to live. Grateful for hugs and kisses and love-letters and time with my People.
 
Inspiration: The poetry of other femmes, the way my garden is settling in and starting to thrive.
 
Creation: I have been writing glosas for my Femme Glosa Project with a solid degree of consistency. Still fretting that the end result is going to be a lot of repetition, but I’m hopeful that I’ll have more than three-to-five things to talk about, so. Have also done a bit of tailoring on a skirt and have started Phase Two of a cropped ballerina cardigan that I’m “up-cycling” from a parrot-bitten cotton item that I haven’t wanted to wear as-is for a long, long while.

Full Moon – Rose Moon Crests (Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn)

“Rosehips and Water Droplets” – Photo by James Petts, via Wiki Free Images – A close-up view of two ripe, red rosehips, surrounded by dripping green foliage, just after the rain.


 
Well, kittens, I went on an Adventure today, but I’ll get to that in a minute. The cherries, service berries, and mulberries are ripe and ready to harvest (and mostly in people’s yards, but some are growing wild!) and that has me very excited! I’ve got a haskap-and-choke-cherry pie in the fridge and have started putting up cooking greens for winter. I’m going to need, like, 20 more gallons to get through the four or five months of No Available Greens, but… we’ll get there.
 
As sometimes gets brought up in Astrology-Land, full moons and new moons are good times to check back and see what you were doing six months ago and how it relates to where you’re at now.
In this case, six months ago was the New Moon (and solar eclipse) in Capricorn, just after Winter Solstice. While my 2020 goal of finding a publisher for my chapbook has yet to be achieved, I have landed An Actual Grant to help cover living expenses while I finish my Femme Glosa Project, which is pretty fucking amazing. And I’m still sending my chapbook (and a bonus micro-chap) out to various potential publishers, so. We’re only halfway through the year. It could still happen. 😉
 
On a related note: Chani’s Horoscopes for this lunar eclipse / full moon in Capricorn (yesterday), are pinging some of the notes she brought up six months ago (Scorpios need to attend to their daily rituals because our growth is going to come through there this year) as well as the same buttons that my tarot pulls did, two weeks ago during the dark moon ritual with Connect DC. Specifically Gemini Rising’s call to recognize that joy is abundant and BOTH my Scorpio Sun’ and Cancer Moon’s reminder that withholding things from myself is not going to help me or anyone else. Both of these hit me squarely in the “Love and play are holy” message I got at New Moon.
 
Six months ago was ALSO (…sort of) the January full moon that I spent doing ritual (for the first time) with Connect DC. Where I got the message “Use your voice” over and over. So the fact that I’m getting messages about using my words AND support for my creative writing, right now, feels like it’s connected to that, too.
 
But I said that I’d been on an Adventure.
Folks, I went sailing for the first time today! 😀
It was great, and I’m looking forward to doing it again!
Back in December, my wife got a little sail boat. Which, not gonna lie, I had some mixed feelings about like (a) YAY, COOL! But also (b) uh… where are we going to put this??
Fast forward to six months later, and we’re living in a new house with a very long, just-for-us driveway, about a 10 minute walk from a boat-launch right into the river.
So that worked out.
 
This wasn’t my first time in/with/on that river. I grew up here. Swimming in, and eating the fish from, this river. It wasn’t even my first time in the water since we moved. I went and stood in it – only up to my ankles – about a week ago.
But here’s the thing.
Water-creature me has been avoiding the bath.
Which is to say, more accurately, that I’ve been avoiding June, aka my GodSelf.
Which I feel guilty about.
Which, because I’m a genius, means that I’m avoiding her Even More.
So getting out on the water felt like a Thing because, even though the river isn’t June – she’s her own entity – she IS a huge, ancient body of water that remembers being an inland sea 10,000 years ago when everything between the Gatineau Hills (then mountains) and upstate NY was underwater and inhabited by seals and beluga whales (when I say I’m a sea witch, that’s the sea I’m talking about) and, as such, is a good place through-which to connect to my GodSelf.
 
So out we went and, while we were out, I let my right hand trail in the water, let some of my energy trickle out into the waves, and just generally said Hi.
And I think she said Hi back?
In addition to getting a flash of whale-song, I felt my heart-ring, the green peridot of my Self[1] show up on my right ring finger.
Which felt really good.
Joyful.
I sang for/to her, just a little bit.
It was really nice.
 
So that was my Big Day Out. We got back five hours ago and, while I’m still tired, I’m at least not totally wiped out. (Hahaaa… I’ve got ritual in 15 minutes. We’ll see how that goes!)
I’ve been noticing that I tend to be a little light-headed or queasy after doing work that involves opening up my chakras or otherwise moving energy around a lot, and that feels new. I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m doing it more frequently, so the correlation is more noticeable, or if it’s because I’m not setting up the container with enough care (likely) or shutting things down properly after the fact (also possible). But it’s something I need to pay attention to, and do something about, I think.
 
Temperance - Wooden Tarot (A.L. Swartz) - An otter, with an open third eye, floats comfortable in the water, between two blooming lilies. They reguard you with vague interest.

Temperance – Wooden Tarot (A.L. Swartz) – An otter, with an open third eye, floats comfortable in the water, between two blooming lilies. They reguard you with vague interest.


 
For my tarot card meditation, I’ve chosen Temprerance, because it’s shown up in a couple of draws and has also jumped out at me on instagram.
Obviously, this is a card about finding the balance. About “what do I need to do” and “what do I want to do”; about “what is the next right step” and “what do I need to keep myself physically safe while I take it”. It’s also a card that asks “What did you learn while you were leveling up, just then?” And that, in particular, is on my mind right now. What have I learned since late 2018? And how do I implement those lessons instead of falling back into old habits?
I’ll be chewing on this between now and the next New Moon, for sure.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Well, I hauled a boat to and from the river today, and spent a lot of time putting my weight on my arms due to trying to avoid being hit by the boom. So that’s something. Have also started do (reverse) leg-lifts while lying on my stomach in the interests of helping to build some more core/lower-back strength and – hopefully – help my back to hurt less.
 
Attention: Definitely paying attention my dizziness/etc after being in trance- or trance-adjacent states. Also paying attention to how I manage my time. Balancing the stuff I want to do (cook, sew, write poetry, read novels) with the stuff I need to do (dishes, admin work, writing letters to politicians, invoicing) to maintain my new home.
 
Gratitude: For so much! For my girlfriend who encourages me and gives me pep-talks. For my wife who wakes up and snuggles the daylights out of me in the morning. For outdoor cooking. For running water. For rain. For going sailing. For friends who want to hang out and chat across the room from one-another. For video dates. For robins who start singing at 4:30am, just when I’m wide awake and having All The Anxiety. For chocolate-peanut-butter ice cream cones. For our CSA. For sunshine and sweat. For hibiscus iced tea. For wild mulberries and baby geese and the river who said Hello. For so very, very much. ❤ ❤ ❤
 
Inspiration: My experiences during the boat ride today, for SURE. I think I need to write me some poetry about that! 😀 Also just… my fabric stash, tbh. I’ve been sewing up a storm, making, finishing, and mending clothes for myself and my wife, as well as starting a few sets of curtains for the house.
 
Creation: Well, see above, re: sewing all the things. I’ve also been baking a lot (when the temperature allows) and had a really successful bread batch the other day. Beyond that, since it’s July, I’ve started my twice-a-week poetry dates with the goal of finishing my Femme Glosa manuscript (or finishing all the various individual-poem drafts that will become said manuscript, more accurately) by… Autumn Equinox, if not earlier. Wish me luck!
 
~*~
 
Anyway. Onwards to Ritual!
Happy Full Moon!
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Uh… also about six months ago, I did the Iron Pentacle meditation, and wound up getting Astral Jewelry for my trouble, which was pretty cool.

New Moon – Rose Moon Begins (Summer Solstice 2020)

Tiny white climbing roses with simple, five-petal blossoms and yellow centers

Tiny white climbing roses with simple, five-petal blossoms and yellow centers. These grow against the deeply shaded north wall of our new house, and they are beautiful.


 
There are thunderheads gathering further west, but I don’t know if we’ll be getting any rain.
I hope we do. We could use it. The tiny roses are blooming on the climbing vine outside our front window, and the milkweed is getting ready to flower in the sunny part of our yard. It’s hot and sunny, even with the clouds rolling in, and I’m hoping for a thunderstorm once dinner’s off the grill and we’re in for the night.
 
I’ve done three rituals in as many days.
I set up my altar on the day of the Dark Moon (last Friday), washed the altar cloth in the tub and let it dry in the summer sun. Melted the wax off the protective piece of glass (something out of our former fridge, which has only ever been on our altar, but which makes me smile because of who it came from) that sits on top of the altar cloth to protect it, and the wood of the cabinet underneath it, from the heat of all those candles. Unpacked all the candle holders, pictures, and tiny statues that make up my altar, and laid them out where they’re supposed to go. (I moved a few things around before landing on the right spots).
I haven’t lit the altar candles yet.
But yesterday – the official longest day of the year – I like the House Candle during our Solstice dinner. The House Candle is… it’s one of my home-made coconut-oil-and-beeswax votive candles. I lit it on Beltane and burned it halfway down, with the intention of using it as a coal from our former hearth. I finally re-lit it yesterday and, when I did, it felt a bit like I’d sent up a Location Signal?
Like, I know my gods can find me. I know my Fetch and my Godself are part of me, and so can find me. I know my ancestors, who are in my blood and my bones and the shape of my face, can find me. And yet it still felt like an “Oh there you are” was going on once I’d lit that candle.
Not sure quite what was going on there, but that’s what it felt like.
 
Solstice dinner, btw, was sausages-onna-bun done on the tiny, table-top gas grill my wife got us off kijiji, plus a salad (bagged salad mix from our CSA + diced black olives and some baby red onion, also from our CSA) in a creamy dressing I did up with plain yoghurt, dijon mustard, soy sauce, black pepper, and a little vegetable oil.
So nothing fancy. But I made white wine offerings with an Ontario wine my wife picked out, and we’re doing haskap short cake tonight, ft vanilla yoghurt + lemon ice cream, in lieu of whipped cream, because we’ve got a little thing of haskaps from the CSA, and I think it’ll be good.
We may also be doing some grilled chicken and some more salad – though that may be a tomorrow meal – and my wife, as you have no doubt guessed, is threatening/promising to teach me how to set up and light the gas grill so I can use it myself.
Part of me is excited about this, and part of me is… mildly dismayed at the prospect of doing All the Dinner Cooking again, rather than being able to take a sizable chunk of the summer “off”.
None the less: Grilled meat is amazing, and I look forward to having significantly more of it. 😀
 
On Friday night, I did ritual with Connect DC. That night was more like a sermon minus the rest of the service. No ceremonial workings, that kind of thing. But I pulled tarot cards for a couple of questions, and this is what I got:
What is my Work? – Heirophant, Page of Wands, Three of Cups
How do I do this [work for sweeping social change] – Five of Cups, The Sun
The second one was easy: Keep slogging, and don’t lose sight of joy.
The first one… I am here to love and to play. Learn through celebration, curiosity, and play. Make deep, loving connections and build family in all directions. Love and play are holy.
Which… was not at all what I was expecting, but I’ll take it!
 
Today, Sunday, I did two rituals over the course of about four hours.
The first was the Connect DC’s online summer Solstice ritual.
Unsurprisingly, I cried a lot – this seems to be a bit of a thing when I circle with this group. Not sure why, but here we are.
A couple of things:
(1) I think my Dad showed up? And possibly my grandmothers? (And maybe one grandfather and the great grandmother I knew… but I’m not entirely sure about those two).
(2) The Amazons showed up. I didn’t get much through/from Helios – possibly because I was talking to my own sun deity about that – but the Amazons came in strong enough that even bunker-ass me could feel them. I felt them at my shoulders, sister-moms. And I felt armor, too. I didn’t expect that. Like, it feels really weird to put it this way given how long I’ve been calling myself an amazon, but I didn’t actually expect them to accept me? So that was more than a little amazing.
(3) I am getting the hang of moving energy around. Trying to charge sigils on/through a computer screen is… it’s a situation where it’s a lot harder for me to discern whether I’m doing The Thing or not. But I think I managed to do something, which is good.
(4) The visualization that led up to the Working was very very Fetch Energy, from my perspective. I hope she enjoyed it and got to feel strong
 
The last ritual I did was the bookend to the big ritual I did back in November. It was a relatively small working. The follow-up and thank you to my gods and ancestors for bringing us this house, among other things, in the timeline I asked for. I included a lot of physical items from the original ritual – discovering just how disoriented I am regarding where the actual compass points are in my new neighbourhood, in the process, whoops – and kept it short.
I’m a little worried it was… not fancy enough?
But the significant bit – the blood on the altar – got done, so I’m okay with it. I need to finish burning the last of the House Candle, but the rest is complete and I’m glad I (finally) did The Thing.
 
~*~
 
Osho Zen Tarot - Innoncence (The Sun) - An old man with a long beard and flowing robes marvels at the grasshopper on his hand.

Osho Zen Tarot – Innoncence (The Sun) – An old man with a long beard and flowing robes marvels at the grasshopper on his hand.


 
It will surprise absolutely nobody to know that I’ve been pulling The Sun, repeatedly, for the past couple of days. As is so often the case, my cards tend to tell me what’s up in the literal sense. Yes, my cards, it’s MidSummer.
However.
I’ll be trying to hold onto the optimism, success, growth, and joy built into this card as we turn into the fullness of summer, the heat, the humidity, the fruit that has already started to ripen on the trees.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Since everything is From Home these days, and I’m not getting regular walks to a job where I’m taking and holding poses for three hours (some days it’s a lot like power yoga), it’s finally dawned on me that going out for a walk is something I should do on a fairly frequent basis, without having to do so for Reasons (like “I have to run an errand” reasons). So I’ve taken a couple of walks around the neighbourhood to try and help keep my Hip/Back Issue from totally seizing up my left leg. It’s helping, so onwards we go!
 
Attention: Paying attention to the cardinals who stop by our window sill most mornings. The chipmunks in the cedar shrub in the front yard. The crows calling to each other. Paying attention to which fruit trees grow where in my new neighbourhood. Trying to sort out which direction is where now that my living room is facing a substantially different direction than it has for the past three houses / twelve years.
 
Gratitude: Grateful for sex dates with both my partners. For hot, sunny days. For running water. For the opportunity to go to “church” with my girlfriend. For the mist setting on our shower head. For lemon ice cream. For coffee on the front steps before the cool of the morning burns away. For my gods finding me again. For being able to feel it. For the amazons. For the loan of a car and a long drive in the countryside. For magic that works. For my loves.
 
Inspiration: My wife’s bravery and the contents of our CSA (in very different contexts, to be clear).
 
Creation: Mostly I’ve been doing sewing. Nothing fancy, but trying to get the mending/WiP pile whittled down just a little while adding to my stash of summer-weight clothes. It’s slow, but it’s happening. I’ll probably have a new skirt finished before the end of June. That’s the plan, at any rate.

Full Moon – Honey Moon Crests

We are officially moved.
I have transplanted my garden, added a couple of starts (yarrow and winter savoury) and seeds (dill, golden chard, anise hyssop, poppies, zucchini) out front, and planted frozen service berries (and dried hawthorn berries) around the perimeter of the back yard.
My brother got married on Friday.
That, more than anything, is why I’m referring to this full moon as a Honey Moon. The weather hasn’t exactly been conducive to happy bees investigating the flowers. This time last week, it was 36C and we were all wilting with the heat. I landed myself a sun burn while transplanting the rhubarb, lovage, and sorrel, and we subsisted on pasta salad and ice cream as much as we could.
This week, we’ve seen temperatures drop into the danger-of-frost zone over night, and – while that’s been really helpful for getting the transplants to root comfortably – the salad greens and cucumbers in our weekly CSA box have been languishing in the crisper while I’ve been making pasta with hot cheese sauce and sauteed frozen veggies, and baking box lasagna, bread, and pie in the name of hot meals and an excuse to have the oven on (because our heat is well and truly off).
 
So, yes. I’ve made our first batch of bread in the new house, which is pretty great. Rhubarb-cherry pie (And rhubarb-service-berry pie) are absolutely lovely and, yes, we have a CSA.
 
I am definitely excited about the CSA.
I’ve wanted to get one for YEARS, and between all the various repercussions of travel bans during a pandemic, the fact that we know we’re going to be in this house for the foreseeable, and the extra help from the CERB, we were able to do it this year.
I hope we can do it again next year, as I quite like this Thing where we have a bunch of veggies delivered to our doorstep once a week.
It feels very fancy.
That said: You guys, there is definitely a learning curve to this, and I am finding that I’m wasting more food than I might otherwise.
I put up two weeks worth of spinach and beet greens earlier today – so I have five little pucks of cooking greens in the freezer for after our CSA finishes its last delivery about 10 days before Samhain – and I sliced up some radishes and teeny-tiny beets to start making fermented pickles with them (I am expecting further radishes tomorrow, so I’ll add more then). But I haven’t been cooking the radish greens, even though radish greens have been our main cooking vegetable (alongside dandelions) for most of the past five years.
 
I chose to get us a full CSA, rather than a “lite” CSA, because I knew I wanted to have those extra veggies – tomatoes, cooking greens, summer squash, root veggies, and winter squash – in order to can them or freeze them for later use. Between the cucumbers (so many cucumbers) and herbs in the CSA, and the lovage that seems to be making itself at home in its new bed, I managed to put together a really good couscous salad, and we’ve been enjoying it with and/or as our last few meals. But I have to learn to use things up more quickly than I have been, or I’m going to have a lot of rotten lettuce on my hands.
 
I’m excited that there are not one but TWO high-bush cranberry (cramp bark) trees on my corner, because, while they take a WHILE to sprout and grow, they DO grow well from seed AND the berries make really good jelly. (Allegedly it also makes good pie, but I’m getting mixed information on how safe it is to eat in large quantities, so I may stick with jelly. It’s part of the elder family – and you need to cook elder berries for them to be safe to eat – so I’m thinking of it in similar terms).
Anyway. My plan is to harvest a couple of handfuls of ripe berries in… August/September (apparently?) to use in lieu of cranberry sauce, come October AND to plant around the yard because they’re also a really pretty flowering shrub that’s native to the province, and that I’d like to plant as part of the under-story of our foresty back yard.
 
A friend – with-whom I now share a neighbourhood! – has been donating spare plants to me, most recently a big pot full of a BUNCH of ostrich ferns. I’m loving the thought of, next year, being able to pick a few fiddleheads – not many, not this early – to throw into spring stir-fries or pastas, and hoping that they’ll quietly take over from the gout weed that’s currently eating most of my front yard. I gather there are black eyed susans, rose campion, white wild geraniums, sweet woodroffe, and lily of the valley coming my way in the next little while, and I’m very excited.
 

Nine of Pentacles - The Wild Unknown Tarot (left) AND the Prisma Visions Tarot (right) - On the left, four feathers surround nine pentacles in a protective border. On the right, a tree trunk is lit up with colourful life-force, flowers blooming at its base and a house with lit windows in the distance.

Nine of Pentacles – The Wild Unknown Tarot (left) AND the Prisma Visions Tarot (right) – On the left, four feathers surround nine pentacles in a protective border. On the right, a tree trunk is lit up with colourful life-force, flowers blooming at its base and a house with lit windows in the distance.


 
The card I pulled on the day of the full moon (yesterday), for my tarot card meditation was the nine of stones. I pulled it from my Wildwood deck and, given that I pulled it maybe a scant hour before my brother’s wedding went live, part of me couldn’t help but read it as “Almost there!”
But this card – while definitely meaning “almost there” – has a lot to do with where my wife and I are right now.
We are Officially Moved into the house for-which I did Big Magic to get. (And need to make good on some further Big Magic as a follow-up).
We are feeling unusually financially stable (not that it won’t take some work to keep it that way) and are excited to have more space, to have a home with laundry machines of our own, and “grown up bedrooms” (as my wife puts it) and a whole room to dedicate to my wife’s workshop so that she’s no-longer dependent on anyone else for shop space.
I have two really solid romantic relationships that I’ve done a LOT of self-work to keep and find, AND two tiny, remote jobs that are helping to keep our heads above water when all of my usual (in person) work is on hold until, realistically, there’s a vaccine available for COVID-19.
I just signed a contract for the sale of one (1) short story, to a paid market and sent out another poetry submission today.
We are right down the street from some of our closest friends and chosen family, with plans to bring a portable BBQ grill to a local park – now that we can do so – and have a meal together (ish) in short order.
Things feel really good!
And that’s what the Nine of Stones is generally about. Not just about “almost there” but about “all the hard work you’ve done is paying off”. It’s the ripeness of All The Things coming to fruition. It’s the reminder I’ve murmured to myself, in Child’s Pose, every night for months: “You are worthy of commitment, you are worthy of devotion, you are worthy of thriving. And you do”.
 
It felt really, really good to pull this card.
 
~*~
 
Movement: A little bit of walking. Yoga every night. A lot of lifting and carrying boxes and a LOT of digging and transplanting. There’s still a lot of unpacking to do, and it won’t suck to get back to doing some (small amounts of) resistance training again. But it WILL be nice to get into the more leisurely, non-furniture-related part of moving where I spend an hour emptying one box and then go read for a while, you know?
 
Attention: Black Lives Matter peaceful protests, what various levels of my own governments are doing and/or not doing at this time, what I can do to help (sign petitions, send letters, send money).
 
Gratitude: Grateful for this house. Grateful for a wife who encourages me to say something when I’m upset about a thing, and actually has a discussion with me rather than a defensive mess. Grateful for our CSA and the money it takes to pay for it. Grateful for automatic deposits and other ways to get my paycheques into my bank account without actually having to take a bus to a bank branch with an on-street entrance (that is one thing I don’t utterly love about my new neighbourhood. Everything else is great, but that’s mildly inconvenient). Grateful for a second-hand BBQ grill that actually works. Grateful for being close to some of my best friends, even though it meant moving away from some of the other ones. Grateful for a cool June (so far) that’s given my transplanted garden some time to recover. Grateful for a new sister-in-law who seems pretty cool. Grateful for video chats with my girlfriend (who – along with her whole household – is still safe and sound, thank all the gods). Grateful for “bougie welfare” keeping us safely housed and in groceries while my in-person work is canceled/postponed. Grateful for Bonus Free Books. Grateful that Magic Works. Grateful for so many good people in my life. ❤
 
Inspiration: This almost feels like the question “What is giving you hope right now?” There’s a LOT of awful going on. And a LOT of the awful has been here the whole time, while I’ve had the luxury of pretending it wasn’t going on at all. What is giving me hope right now? My brother getting married. The fact that there are fewer than five cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia right now. The number of people who, before March 2020, wouldn’t have really given Universal Basic Income any thought, or would have though it was a bad idea, actually going “This… is good, actually. I don’t want people to starve or not be able to get their medication, or lose their homes. Tell me more about this UBI thing?” and, likewise, people who couldn’t, here-to-fore, imagine a world without police in it are now going “Okay, but do they really need 10% of our city’s entire budget? Surely that money could go somewhere more appropriate, like, say, low-bar-for-entry trauma-informed mental health supports or, perhaps, a universal basic income?” That gives me hope. I hope this makes for real, lasting change.
 
Creation: Okay, truth be told, I haven’t been feeling super creative lately. Mostly, I’ve been wanting to escape into novels (to the point that I actually ordered new books off the internet yesterday) and have been avoiding Hard Stuff on the literary front for weeks. I’ve created a bunch of letters to politicians. I’ve created some really delicious pies and an excellent salad and the beginnings of a pretty, trans-planted garden. I’ve created a possibly-useful twitter thread for Cdn people who want to (try to) make a difference when it comes to unjust laws outside of our own provinces and (allegedly) made a “useful contribution” to the local Defund The Police conversation that’s starting to happen at the municipal-political level (I am… not sure how that happened, but I’ll take it? I don’t even know). I technically edited some poetry today, mostly to the tune of “Whelp, I can see why this microchap didn’t get accepted…” and sent off one (1) submission. But it feels like a very long time since I’ve written anything new. Hoping that, once things settle down (in the next couple of days), I’ll be able to start devoting time to writing on the regular again. That’s the plan, anyway.

New Year New You 2020: Week 22 – Last Push (Make All the Work Worth It)

I’m (once again) doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. It’s a good mix of practical, magical, and thought-based exercises to help accomplish specific and significant change in your own life. If it’s relevant to your interests, give it a try!
 
Instructions: I do this because I have to believe that this has all been worth it. All this work, all this stress, all these sleepless nights, all this anxiety, everything!So, let’s make sure it is! Push harder than you ever have this week. Push harder than you ever thought you could and then just a little bit more. I believe in all of you. Let’s make magic this week, kids.
 

Wild Unknown Tarot - Wheel of Fortune - A ring of birch branches bound together with wild, colourful loops of ribbon. The sun, a crescent moon, and an own are all present.

Wild Unknown Tarot – Wheel of Fortune – A ring of birch branches bound together with wild, colourful loops of ribbon. The sun, a crescent moon, and an own are all present.


 
Tarot Card: The Wheel of Fortune
I chose this card because… it feels like this is a big, leveling-up level Change. That’s why.
 
Okay. As last pushes go, this is a pretty literal one. We’re ten days into our move to the house I did A Big Ritual to be able to secure. The big push is to get the house entirely cleared out this weekend, with the garden being rescued and transplanted during the last week of May, when it’s had a chance to come up from underground.
 
And, yes, I absolutely decided, part-way through this two+ year cycle of NYNY, that I needed to focus specifically (or at least a lot MORE) on the material elements of The Empress, in order to get myself some secure housing plus a reliable income to supplement my gig-based career as an art model. So. Mission (somewhat?) Accomplished?
Go me!
But I also find myself looking at my original goals.
See, a long time ago, I said:

This project is about opening myself up, rooting myself solid, and becoming my fullest, most integrated, femme self.

 
And I know I have further to go on that front. I mean, yes, sure, There’s A Pandemic and, yes, I’m still in my second month of my new (year-long contract) job, and, yes, I’ve been moving for the past three weeks, so maybe it’s not that odd that I haven’t been churning out a new poem every week or staying on top of my January-era (pre-pandemic era?) goal of submitting poems to three+ paid markets every other month. But I look back at my goals, and I can see how well I’m doing with them. I have an idea of what my next steps are – even got confirmation of them via A Dream, which was pretty cool.
 
My wife said to me, last night, that she feels like this isn’t just moving into a new house, it’s moving into a new life.
We’re both experienced enough to know that “new life” doesn’t just happen. That you don’t change your behaviours without putting some work into it. But I have to agree that this feels a bit like that’s what’s happening.
 
In my recent Full Moon post, I wrote a little about wanting to do a Closing Up the House ritual once the garden is potted up and the house, itself, is empty. I think this is a good idea, and I have the symbolic items that will be involved in the ritual itself.
But, magically speaking, I’m still a little blurry on what I’m trying to accomplish.
The Cheat Codes Course I took with Ms Sugar (registration for the quite affordable second cycle closes TODAY, so you’ve got a couple of hours to still get in on it – RECOMMENDED) actually brought home how important that bit is. Most of my magic, over the course of ~25 years of doing the work, has been about changing things inside myself (Changing Consciousness At Will, to quote ye olde Starhawk), so when it took a LONG time for my magic to get anywhere, I thought it was because it was Slow Magic, rather than, say, me doing the physical/psychological work without getting the spellcraft to actually be effective.
But I would seriously prefer to not be closing up a condemned house (because: bought by a developer, it’s actually perfectly sturdy and good), with magic afoot, without knowing what I want to accomplish.
 
Because that’s part of the Last Big Push.
 
Am I giving the spirit of my condemned house permission to go, to let its body die early?
Am I asking its spirit to come and be the spirit of a birdhouse hung up in the big cedar tree in our new yard?
Am I offering it some bit of vestigial life in this fleece, these petals and feathers, this bone and hoping it can hang on a little longer?
What am I doing?
 
And, depending on what I’m doing, what else am I doing?
Am I asking for a last favour from the place that sheltered me for more than five years?
Or am I burying old habits with this handful of other dead material, and hoping they die with the house that deserves so much better?
What am I doing?
 
I have until Saturday to figure it out.

Full Moon – Flower Moon Crests and Wanes

Service Berry Blossoms - Photo courtesy of Amos Oliver Doyle, via Wiki Free Images - Delicate white five-petal blossoms at the very end of a service berry branch.

Service Berry Blossoms – Photo courtesy of Amos Oliver Doyle, via Wiki Free Images – Delicate white five-petal blossoms at the very end of a service berry branch.


 
I’m writing this as the full moon wanes. We’ve been enduring an unseasonal cold front for most of the past week, but the service berries are still blooming their hearts out all over my (soon-to-be-former) neighbourhood. The scilla, crocuses, daffodils, and narcissus are blooming, too.
I watched the full moon in Scorpio come up, rose-gold, over the highway on-ramp for the last time.
My wife woke up at 3am and she knew. She knew that the house knew we were leaving.
Houses want to be lived in. It’s what they’re for in the sense of “This is my life’s purpose”. And we’re leaving it and, in 5-6 months, it’ll most likely be rubble.
As you know, I have some Feelings about this.
 
I can’t help thinking about the way (paleo-anthropologists and archeologists theorize that) my long-ago ancestors would ritually(?) destroy a house after living in it for generations.
What is a fit offering for a house that its spirits might be phoenixes and rise to fill the houses built on their former bones?
A broken dish coupled with the charred remains of a very, VERY over-cooked chicken heart crushed and scattered in the basement?
A wishbone tied to one of the spare house keys with a scrap of yarn and left in the hollow under the front steps?
Puddles of vodka sploshed across the linoleum tile in every room?
 
I’ve made a start of it by burning one of my coconut-beeswax votives and offering a chocolate truffle, but I think there needs to be more.
I’m trying to think of adequate ways to say goodbye.
 
We started moving things into the new place… about ten days ago. Art and furniture and a million books. There’s a long way to go yet, but we’re getting there.
Sunday was our last night in the Old House. We’ve moved our bed, a lot of our living room, and at least some of our kitchen, and have the internet and phone lines hooked up at the New House. Mail Forwarding and various utilities transfers have been accomplished.
We are so, SO exhausted. All. The. Time.
But we’re getting it done.
 

Osho Zen Tarot – Ten of Rainbows – “We Are the World” – Stylized human figures in a rainbow of colours hold hands around an image of Planet Earth


 
Perhaps it won’t come as a surprise that the card I pulled on the night of the full moon in Scorpio was the Ten of Earth. The card that means “Home, Safe, and Secure”.
I’ve been keeping that card in mind with every box I pack, and unpack, and re-pack; with every 5:30am anxiety spike that sends me spinning out with overwhelm; with every meal we cook in a kitchen whose layout we’re still learning.
Home. Safe and Secure.
I’m starting to get it through my head that there’s no such thing as a Forever Home – at least not in the sense of a single building. But I hope that this place we’re moving into, with its big windows and colourful walls and lack of stairs, will be the place we put our home for a very, very, very long time.
 
~*~
 
Movement: I am (barely) remembering to do my yoga every night. This has involved, at least once, getting up in the middle of the night and doing it then. But I’m still doing it. The vast majority of my “movement” at the moment, though, is packing, lifting, and carrying boxes and furniture to and from the van we’re using to move everything from one house to another. My back and hips are SO deeply unimpressed right now. O.O
 
Attention: Learning the layout of my new house. Listening for signs of unease from our old house. Paying attention to how much sun our north-facing front yard actually gets and to which trees are growing in our (heavily shaded) back yard – hawthorn and maybe a choke cherry? And a LOT of cedar and Norwegian maple.
 
Gratitude: Thankful for this house. For a month of overlap between one lease beginning the other ending. For a van, on loan, for as long as we need it. For being eligible for the Emergency Benefit. For a metamour nearby who takes such good care of us. For a new neighbourhood with friends already close by. For living on a hill just above the river. For an internet connection that lets me talk to my girlfriend even though she’s very far away. For healthy loved ones who’ve made it through or else haven’t got it (yet). So very much so. Grateful for extra space. Grateful for magic, and for magic working. Grateful for my two, tiny work-from-home jobs that still exists, even on drastically reduced hours. Grateful that my wife and I make a really great team – even when we’re frustrated, hangry, exhausted, and sore. Grateful for all the love in my life. ❤
 
Inspiration: Uh… does spite count? Because I found a couple of books that I thought I’d literally thrown away, and now I’m using them to make transformative art.
 
Creation: I did an erasure poem! HaHAAA! 😀 Not gonna lie, it’s a little heavy-handed, BUT. I’ve done one. And, with any luck, I’ll be able to do a whole bunch more!

Reclaiming Dianic Wicca

Not Wiccan myself, but I do appreciate this article.

The Techno Wytch

people holding rainbow hand fans Photo by Rosemary Ketchum on Pexels.com

Recently, even though I have not written a Dianic article in a hot minute, I came across some TERFS (Trans Exclusive Radical Feminists; they hate trans people and exclude them.) on both my Twitter and my Tumblr. Not sure how they finally noticed me. Don’t care. (It took along time though!) Tired of the political bullshit. The personal attacks. So I made a Facebook group for Inclusive Dianic Wicca. The mentality TERFs have, is the same as the Christian Right Wing evangelicals, that God is exclusive and hates trans, homosexuals, and so forth for some reason.

Here’s the run down… The Goddess (IN her many forms) is for EVERYONE. No exceptions! No one can tell you who to worship. If the Great Mother calls to you, she calls to you. And no TERF should stop you from that. I have a lot…

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New Year New You 2020: Week 21 – Glamour In the Apocalypse

I’m (once again) doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. It’s a good mix of practical, magical, and thought-based exercises to help accomplish specific and significant change in your own life. If it’s relevant to your interests, give it a try!
 
Instructions: You laid down the groundwork for the goals you wanted to accomplish. Do you still feel like they’re just out of your reach? It’s time to start faking it ’til you make it, kids. In other words, start acting like you’ve achieved your goals now to help you actually achieve them.
 

Next World Tarot - Nine of Cups - A femme in a one-shouldered mini dress and studded ankle bracelets noshes on grapes while siting on a big cushion amongst the ruins of capitalism

Next World Tarot – Nine of Cups – A femme in a one-shouldered mini dress and studded ankle bracelets noshes on grapes while siting on a big cushion amongst the ruins of capitalism


 
Tarot Card: The Nine of Water
I chose this card because (1) it’s aaaaall about Wishes Coming True, but also (2) this card, in this specific deck is literally a reminder to Stay Glamourous which, in these days of “business-casual on top, pajamas on the bottom” (why, yes, my new remote job does involve weekly zoom meetings, how did you know?) and avoiding leaving the house unless you’re out of milk and toilet paper, can be a very helpful reminder. Perhaps you, too, have joined the Plague Couture facebook group or are posting Hawt Apocalyptic Lewks on Instagram.
 
As-you-know-bob, I’ve been having a LOT of wishes come true of late. A LOT of big magic that I did earlier this year, or late last year, has started coming to fruition which is as exciting as it is validating, let me tell you.
I had originally expected to write this post much earlier in the year, while Ms Sugar’s latest course was still running. The Plan had been to save up enough toonies to march into Sephora and buy a fancy lipstick that reflected my goals in more than one capacity, and was a colour I would actually wear on the regular (this is key), and then enchant it towards those goals.
But, HEY! We got a global pandemic, all my outside of the house gigs got canceled, and I hadn’t landed that second remote job yet, so I did an Austerity instead, and here we are, nine days before Beltane, and the question of “What do you see yourself doing in your picture of success?” …doesn’t look different, but a lot of things feel more concrete.
 
I imagined wading into the Atlantic while at my brother’s (now zoom-based, yes actually) wedding and, instead, I jumped off a curb and felt the asphalt ripple like water when I landed.
I imagined walking to various different jobs most days and, instead, I’m doing very-part-time remote work (Woo-hoo! Success!) and anticipating taking the bus – or maybe riding a bicycle? – to get to my modeling and (occasional) reception gigs once things eventually (fingers crossed) re-open and we’ve all been vaccinated against the Rona.
I imagined wearing Fancy Lipstick to signal The Universe that I’m ready to receive and, instead, I’m using my sewing and mending skills to turn donated t-shirts into a modern-day palla and scrap cotton into four-layer face masks, while rejoicing that I – with my remaining remote income – am finally eligible to apply for the Emergency Benefit (and tithing 10% of it to various local emergency funds and charities, because I’m miraculously able to do so) and prepping to move into a house that arrived via a friend of a friend and is miraculously actually within our price range.
 
Right now, “dressing for my future” looks like wearing protective clothing when I go outside, because I want us to have a future. But it also means recognizing (again) how much I love being able to spend all day in my bathrobe and so deciding ( reminding myself) that my “outside clothes” need to include more wrap-dresses, flowing gowns, shifts, shawls, and flannel.
Right now, imagining what I’m doing in my Fabulous Art-Sex-Magic Life means planning what to pack, when, and where to put it in the new place. It means saying YES PLEASE when friends offer us packing boxes or big, garden-moving flower pots, even though we have nowhere to comfortably put them yet, because we’re going to need them nine days from now. But it also means dreaming the sewing corner in the future Spare Bedroom where my dress-maker’s dummy and Janice (the domestic sewing machine) will have a permanent set-up, and how the extra book cases and basement storage unit that we’re getting with our new place can be used to give all of our stuff a proper home to go to that’s Away.
It means finishing my Austerity so that, when Beltane comes, I can look into a home-delivered CSA to help keep us in veggies while I figure out how to food-garden in the shade. It means dreaming the dry goods I’ll be restocking on and imagining the kitchen of our new home as one that features home-made yoghurt, half a pig in our chest freezer, jars of dried and tinctured herbs from our garden, jars of choke cherry jam from the trees I plan to stealth-plant in our shady back yard and fruit butter from the wild apple tree that multiple people have already told me is growing in my soon-to-be-neighbourhood, bags of seasonal baby greens augmented with sorrel and nasturtiums from the front yard, bags of flour and barley, lentils and rice noodles, lining our pantry shelves, and both a nicely stocked wine shelf and a fridge-&-freezer featuring good cheese, smoked fish, and trout fillets, mackerel steaks, home-frozen local veggies, good quality ice cream and wild-harvested berries.
It means showing up for my remote jobs and checking in with my modeling clients, and using as much of that Emergency Benefit money as I can manage to pay down credit card debt so that, when I’m dressing for my future, that future doesn’t involve three-figure minimum payments and money anxiety.
 
A long time ago, Ms Sugar wrote about Glamour in the Apocalypse and how it only works if you’re bringing your whole self to the table. The Scorpio Sun that needs intensity and sensuality and Go Deep or Don’t Bother Me, that’s been driving for this weird art-sex-magic life for the last twelve years and the Cancer Moon that needs safety and stability and a reliable home base to return to and hole up in.
Right now, my Empress Project goals – that I laid out more than two years ago – as well as the more material/finance-specific elements of the Empress that I started focusing on (relatively) more recently, feel very-much within my reach. Some of them are being achieved right now, others are… okay, still a work in progress, but there IS noticeable progress, and others are solidly on their way (my two remote jobs are contract jobs – one might end at the end of May – though that seems unlikely – and the other is covering someone’s parental leave and so is temporary, even if it’s a long version of temporary. So I’m not out of the woods. But I’ve got some reprieve and a chance to develop some extra bonus skills while I’m at it, so).
Even sitting here, surrounded by moving boxes, wearing a fluffy (but jewel-tone turquoise) robe, and with a half-finished sewing project taking up the other side of the couch, it feels really good to be where I’m at right now. It feels SO good to see this stuff coming to fruition.

New Moon – Flower Moon Begins

Siberian Squill Flowers - Tiny, blue lilies that are among the first flowers to bloom in my area - Image courtesy of Wiki Media Commons and Rosendahl

Siberian Squill Flowers – Tiny, blue lilies that are among the first flowers to bloom in my area – Image courtesy of Wiki Media Commons and Rosendahl


 
As-you-know-bob, I’m a Scorpio sun. Which means that the lunar cycle we’re in right now is happening about six months into my own annual cycle. You may recall that I did some big magic back around my 40th birthday but, even if I hadn’t, new moons in a given sign are a good time to plant long-term goals that might only come to fruition when the moon is full in that same sign – e.g.: about six months later.
Liz Worth – whose post about the Taurus new moon is going to be informing at least some of this post right here – routinely reminds me (and/or all her other readers) that the full moon in a given sign is a good time to check up on how goals made during the new moon in that same sign are shaping up, but I think it goes both ways.
 
So how are things going on that front, you ask?
I have a couple of super-part-time jobs that I’m settling into.
My romantic relationships remain solid and wonderful.
My wife and I have a lease on a new place, and we start our move on Beltane.
So I would say that things are solidly coming to fruition.
I’m looking forward to being finished The Austerity, so that we can properly feast the house we’re leaving AND properly feast the one we’re moving into, and make some good offerings while we’re at it. I’m thinking pickled herring, smoked fish (candied salmon or smoked oysters, both if I can swing it), maybe some kind of shortcake featuring last year’s frozen service berries plus some fancy ice cream from a store. And some Hidden Temple gin. This all being subject to what’s available in the grocery store at the time.
 
Liz Worth points out that New Moons are seeds, and asks what we want to plant in our (metaphorical) garden this lunar cycle, but I have to answer that question literally. I have a friend (who lives in my new neighbourhood!) scrounging her own yard for big flower pots to send my way, so that I can literally (re-)plant my garden at our new home. I have a friend (who lives in my current neighbourhood) who is willing to take my compost heap and bring its contents to her own house.
When Liz Worth asks “Where do you want to create a stronger sense of security or stability for yourself now, and in the future?” that process is happening right now.
When she asks “Where do you feel lost right now?”… I don’t. I’m not sure how to handle one or two specific things, and I strongly suspect that the actual process of moving is going to feel overwhelming and very stressful, but I don’t feel lost. I feel like I actually know what my Next Steps are, on a grander scale than I’ve been able to see for quite some time. It’s kind of a relief.
When she asks – because this is the new moon in Taurus – “What kind of nourishment, rest, or care does your body need right now?” Okay, now that’s a question. Because of the physical distancing situation, we’re actually getting TONNES of rest. I’m reminding myself to move my body more than I might normally do while at home because I’m not walking for an hour or more most days of the week, and I’m not doing “three hours of power yoga” a few times a week at my (now-canceled) modeling gigs. On a related note, the Explore More Summit (free online conference) started earlier this week, and I’m once again attending and seeing what there is for me to learn and dig into in terms of my own embodiment. I’m also making a commitment to myself to let myself just be in my embodied experiences, whatever that happens to be.
 
Unsurprisingly, ritual plays a role in this. My nightly Moon Salutation practice remains an opportunity to connect with my Lady of Music and the Moon, but it’s also (and began as) a way to strengthen my lower back and lumbar-area muscles in a way that didn’t risk exacerbating my back injury. Running energy through my chakras when I prepare myself for magic and connection with the gods, with my Fetch, with my Godself, it’s also an opportunity to notice where that energy gets stuck, what might be prompting/triggeirng that to happen. Singing as a way to allow energy to move freely through/in myself. Somatic bodymind work as ritual work as holy work. It’s consistently good for me so it’s something I need to continue to engage in and to dig into.
 
On a side note, I visited my Fetch the other day, and she now has a little bronze boar figure – much like this one, minus its rider – hanging out in her nest area in the equipment room of her gym. She also, by the looks of things, has a few more cozy blankets. Both of which are nice to see, and to be invited to see.
 

Wildwood Tarot – Six of Stones “Exploitation” – Two figures surrounded by torn open bee hives, while wild fire rages in the distance.


 
For my tarot card meditation while this moon in Taurus waxes, I pulled (twice!) the Six of Stones.
This is a card about sharing (and failing to share), it’s a card about wealth redistribution, and it’s a card about mutuality. In the Osho Zen deck, it’s called “compromise” and it’s a promise to have each others’ backs. In the Next World deck, it’s called “redistribution” and – along with, ha, being located in space-and-time as “Moon in Taurus” so the Wildwood deck continues to be seriously literal with me over here – it’s about showing up with what you have to share.
Michelle Tea, in Modern Tarot, talks about how this card can indicate an incoming positive change in your finances – which… I have finally been able to apply for income supports, thank all the gods, so that’s actually in the works right now plus, see above re: Big Magic coming to fruition – but it’s also a reminder to share when you’re able to share. Give gifts not loans. Recognize that when you give something to someone, it’s theirs now and you’re not the boss of what they do with it.
Given the stuff I’ve been working on – magically and psychologically – around Money and Energetic Exchanges of all kinds, this is relevant to me more broadly as a reminder that “Having financial/material security – all that Empress Stuff – doesn’t automatically make you bad. It makes you responsible for how you behave towards people who are less secure than you are, and it makes you responsible for what you do with your improved situation”.
I take it as a reminder to, when that Emergency Benefit money comes in [UPDATE: It came in the day I was writing this], use some of it to help people who aren’t eligible for the same supports. If you’re wondering, I’ve opted to do a standard tithe – 10% – and donated to my local food bank, an emergency fund for local sex workers, and an emergency relief fund for minimum-wage workers. There’s one more donation to make, which I’ll figure out when I have an extra ten minutes to get it sorted.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Dancing and doing squats because I’m not getting much other exercise and moving around helps keep my joints from getting stiff. Doing my nightly Moon Salutations. Body check-ins (not movement, exactly, but within that realm) with my girlfriend. Fooling around with my wife.
 
Attention: Perhaps understandably, a lot of my attention has been on my bank account lately. Soon, it’ll be on our move and how it’s coming along, how many boxes we were able to pack and/or unpack on a given day. Also trying to connect with my body, and its desires and pleasures, more since I seem to be needing a boost in that area.
 
Gratitude: For the freaking Emergency Benefit coming in, OMG. For a new, bigger place to start moving into in just over ten days. For polyfamily who help us out with the bills. For small part-time jobs that I’m still able to do from home. For shade-tolerant and shade-loving plants that I can bring with me to the new garden. For friends offering us packing boxes and flower pots to help with the move. For bread in the oven and how good it smells. For bright, clear, blue skies and sunshine. For moments of connection with my wife. For video dates with my girlfriend. For online hangouts with my friends. For my introversion that makes Social Distancing easier to deal with. For borrowed books. For gods who listen and decide to help. For kitchen experiments that work out (and the ones that don’t, because at least I get to learn from those). For poetry that still comes when I call.
 
Inspiration: The major arcana, because when is that not the case? Essays about power exchange. The videos that make up the Explore More Summit. People helping each other out and being generally kind to each other.
 
Creation: I wrote a poem based on a ritual I did back in… February, maybe? And have been continuing with the sewing. Also some experimental baking (though what I have in the oven right now is super-basic yeast bread with a little rye and oat flour kneeded in for flavour and colour). Planning a berries-and-roses style tea cake, I think, as well.