Monthly Archives: January 2015

Making Things From Scratch – A Work In (Constant) Progress

We are babysitting the pet cockatiel of one of my wife’s other partners. We are also babysitting her car. How conveeeeeeeeenient, as the saying goes.
To that end, we made a trip to a grocery store yesterday evening and dropped over $75, more than 1/5 of which was spent on a big bag of walnut halves (which should do us for a year, even if they were grown in California), and another 1/5 of which was literally spent on flour. Just flour. I now have a 10kg bag of all-purpose polished (white) wheat flour sitting in a plastic storage bin in my kitchen (well, most of it is sitting in there – some of it has been moved to the flour canister in the cupboard, and some of it will, in a few minutes, be moved to a batch of bread dough. The Plan, on that score, is to do another single loaf of bread (or maybe two, if I can get the ratios right) plus a dozen rolls for nibbling with chilies and similar over the course of the week. I’ll make cookies this evening – probably a variation on the peanutbutter kitchen sink cookies I made on Friday night, since those went over well – and maybe some other snacky thing (cranberry-cornmeal muffins?) if I’m feeling ambitious.
I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. Making the bread as-needed, rather than relying on the convenience store ($3.25 for a single loaf isn’t that unusual around here, so we’re not talking Food Desert prices, but it’s a bit ridiculous to buy the stuff when I know I’ve got the time and the skills to make something sturdier, tastier, and more flavourful for $1 or less per loaf). I put a bag of bones into the slow-cooker yesterday, along with water, a single whole mushroom, and a few different herbs, and this morning I decanted just shy of 8 cups of stock[1]. I’ve got a couple of cups of lard (and various other “pork dripping” stuff – like bacon fat and sausage grease) melting very, very slowly on the “keep warm” setting in the slow-cooker right now. I may not quite be at the point where I know what to do with tripe and tongue (and don’t pull a face at the thought of (knowingly[2]) eating them… I mean, really… I eat the rest… still: squeemish, of all the silly things), but I don’t want to waste what I do have on hand. (Besides, so much of a cheap cut of pork is fat and bone. Best to use it all, kiddies). The rendered lard’ll go into a silicone muffin tray (set on top of a metal cookie sheet) and I’ll let it all solidify in the fridge before transferring it to a bag or a box in the deep freeze and using it up, one puck at a time, in mirpoix and veggie-fried rice and similar.
Right now, I’m trying to use up the veggies in the fridge (in spite of yesterday having picked up a bag of not-even-slightly-local granny smiths – at my wife’s request – plus a pound of pre-sliced mushrooms and a big red cabbage, both from much closer to home), and generally give the thing a good clean before I buy up 20lbs of Product Of Canada root veggies & McIntosh apples next time I’m in the Glebe.
Anyway. I need to get that bread started, so I’m going to leave you with my (theoretical – it could change at any time) menu “plan” for this week’s dinners. Be inspired. Scoff. Do as you will.
Dinner tonight: Leftover three-bean chili from the weekend, served with home-made buns.
Tuesday: Apple-red-wine sausages + rotini + frozen broccoli + alfredo sauce… (most likely)
Wednesday: White beans fried with onion, ruby chard stems (diced & frozen last fall), the non-local baby bok choi I bought last week, and maybe some shredded carrot or diced winter squash, served over brown rice (I have so much brown rice, it’s a bit ridiculous… I don’t even LIKE brown rice).
Thursday: Red cabbage[3], black beans, onions, and apples “hot salad” with red quinoa and some kind of creamy dressing (probably yoghurt and mustard, because who are we kidding? This is me we’re talking about here).
Friday: Some kind of animal- probably another Turkey breast – roasted over a heap of veggies (in this case, that means red cabbage, onions, carrots, and potatoes, though I’d love to have some beets to throw in there as well) and possibly served on a bed of mixed pot barley and black lentils[4].
Saturday and Sunday are, usually, comfort-food and/or junk-food nights around here. So we’ll have steamed dumplings from a freezer-package, grilled cheese sandwiches + tomato soup-from-a-tin, fried eggs on toast, or some other thing that quick and easy to deal with.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] I saved the big bones, I admit, even though I’ve got something like three other bags of them in the freezer already. My plan is to use them, plus a ribcage, a glug of red wine vinegar, some chard stems, a lot of bay leaves, and some onion skins, and see if I can’t make a second batch in a week or so – I figure, if we’re eating more beans-and-grains based dishes, I’m going to go through stock a whole lot faster, and I’ll be accumulating bones a bit more slowly, so… Waste not want not, and all that jazz.
[2] Okay, so here’s a thing. Someone posted a picture on Facebook detailing what went into the average hotdog. And it was all the “waste” bits – eyelids, tails, entrails, organs, snouts, you know the drill. And all I could think was “Dude, I eat half that stuff on purpose. Oxtail Soup is a thing. So’re liver pate and steak-and-kidney pie. Don’t be such a prude.
And yet, I also get that my eating those things on purpose, knowing what I’m picking up from the butcher-case at the grocery store, isn’t the same as “I can afford these, and I just won’t think about what’s in them” or “Hotdogs! Made from 100% beef!” and glossing over which parts of the actual beeves are going into them. Know what you’re getting into (and what’s getting into you) and all that. Pink Slime is gross, as far as I understand it, because people have been walking through it as much as because it’s made from all the Random Bits that don’t make it into the cellophane packaging. But I’ve made thrice-boiled-chicken-and-duck sandwiches using the boiled-white meat from making stock without totally denuding the bones first, minced up and combined with mayo and chopped onion and grainy mutard and… they’ve been good.
[3] Which, if I’m VERY clever, I’ll dice and then boil, hard but briefly, so that I can save the water and, with the addition of a salt-water mordent (and maybe some cream-of-tartar, since I’ve got some in the cupboard), use it to experiment with home-dying a white cotton tank-top I picked up for just such an experiment. Wish me luck on that one. O.O
[4] I think that’s my favourite “bulk up the non-meat protein” dish, right now. They cook in the same amount of time, are visually interesting (in so far as beans-and-grains are visually interesting on their own), and are chewy enough that it doesn’t feel like you’re eating baby food or something when you chew it.

A is for Alluring, B is for Beguiling – Pagan Experience 2015

Yes, friends, we’re talking about Glamour today!
I know it’s (very) early in the year yet, but this seems to be something I want to tackle in 2015 – for reasons I can’t entirely fathom, it just seems… like the right time to make it heppen? No idea. – But regardless, let’s get into it.
Miss Sugar has a years-old guest-post by ApocalypseGrrl over at Charmed I’m Sure. The post is about “dressing your worst” and how the way we present ourselves has an effect on how people see us (or don’t see us) for good, or for ill. It includes some questions for the readers so, for today’s Pagan Experience post, I’m going to answer those questions and maybe get into the elements of glamour just a little wee bit.
Ready? Here we go. Continue reading

New Moon – Ice Moon Begins

Ye fucking gods, it’s cold out.
Which is not to say that it’s actually that cold – if you’re out of the wind, the sun is beautifully warm – but my 10-minute walk home from the bus has left me shivering and icey on the inside an hour after getting in the door. O.O
That’s Ice Moon for you. The time of killing cold, numb fingers, and dressing very, very carefully against the weather.
Which, in a round-about way, brings me to Glamoury.
Yes, kids, I’m still getting to know my way around the Glamoury tool kit, but deep winter isn’t helping a whole lot. I have been gifted a gorgeous, full-length (almost ankle length on me) black winter coat with a fur collar, which I’m feeling kind of chuffed about. I may toss that one on to run my errands this afternoon, just because I can. Most days, though, I’m wearing my Dad’s old leather coat (the one that needs the button holes tightened up) paired with my zombie boots[1], colourful OTK socks, the lilac insulated vest a friend gave me (and that makes a hell of a difference, warmth-wise[2]), plus whatever warm (ish?) layers I can throw on when I have to leave the house.
Glamourous it is NOT.
I have to ask myself who I want to impress. ‘Cause I don’t think I’m impressing anyone – with the possible exception of the artists for-whom I work as a model (and that’s important, y’all!) since they tend to favour people whose clothing is as paint-spattered as their own – with my three-day-old tank top and messy skirt.
Winter often feels like the time where you Just Get Through It and don’t think too hard about doing it with flair. None the less… worth it to give it a try.
Last Lunar Cycle, I wrote about sorting out what’s firming up versus what’s not quite holding its shape.
Now, as Ice Moon kicks off, I’m happy to say that one of my projects is also getting off the ground – we’ll see if it works out as a paid gig, BUT I think I’ve managed to get over the worst part of the learning curve (go me) – or at least the worst part of the first learning curve, which is probably more accurate – and have some idea of how to keep the momentum building, which is good.
I’ve taken the next step on my Summer Project, which is good (that particular corner of it is now a waiting game). I still haven’t done much Kundalini yoga, though I think I will have the opportunity to do so tomorrow – thank goodness. I’m slowly getting over the bronchial crud that had me laid out two weeks ago, but it’s still lingering. Between that and (thank goodness) the modeling work that’s been coming my way, most of my physical activity has consisted of holding poses, or else making my way up the stairs (to blow my nose) or down the stairs (to boil the kettle again).
I’m getting a better handle on What I Want, even if it’s not totally firmed up yet.
That thing that Gordon does, the exercise where you come up with your Perfect Day and then work magic (and action) to make it real? I’ve started thinking of my Perfect Day in fairly broad terms like:
Make good food
Make good art
Keep good company
Do something sensual
Do something physical, preferably outdoors, ideally in the Garden (when weather allows)
Do something crafty/Crafty
Get paid for something
It’s still pretty fumbly.
Today, I’ve modeled (something physical and part of making good art, even if it isn’t exactly mine) and have errands to run (also physical, since I’ll be walking them). Submitted my time sheets for the past three modeling engagements (get paid for something), and I’ll be hosting a couple of people for a yack about Power Exchange stuff later this evening. (After I make bread and, most likely, pizza – AKA Good Food). Tomorrow I’ll be making earrings (do something crafty + get paid for something), hitting up a Kundalini class (something physical, something sensual), and working on a couple of pervy performance art projects. My “something sensual” will probably be a hot bath scented and charged with ylang ylang, cloves, and cocoa absolut. Because who doesn’t love that?
In the meantime, though, I need to get myself sorted. I’ve still got errands to run and sigils to redraw.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] What am I saying? They’re pretty much ALL zombie boots at this point.
[2] I never thought I’d wear one of these. Seriously. We’d get the ultra-puffy version in, every October, at the store I used to work at, and it was just “Eugh. This year’s Hideous Vest for Fall…” But they’re actually really helpful, if you can keep them out of sight. I find myself wondering if I could make myself something similar, but cut a little more appropriately, and using a tone-on-tone black fabric – like a herringbone or a brocade or something – for the world-facing side, just to make it look a little more sophisticated and a little less “ski camp escapee”. It could happen. Maybe. I’ve got enough sewing projects on the go (and languishing, unfinished, more to the point) right now that taking up another one might be a bad idea. But we’ll see. Keep it in mind for next year.

Deities and the Divine – Pagan Experience 2015

So last week, I wrote about my particular pagan practice and what it looks like on any given day. I mentioned that I have an altar in my living room.
This is a new thing.
Between September 2008 and September 2014, I had little altars in most of the rooms in my apartment. Every one of my small spirits had a shrine to call her own. And that was important to me. However, over the course of that time, I moved from a one-bedroom apartment that I had all to myself to a two-bedroom apartment and, most recently, a two-and-a-half-bedroom rental house, that I share with my wife. It’s easy to keep track of multiple burning objects in a one-bedroom apartment. Even when the altars aren’t all in the same room. But when they’re on two different floors? Well, things get a little harder to keep track of. So, in the interests of (a) safety, and (b) match conservation, I opted to put everybody in the same space now that we’ve moved into the new house. Consequently, my five wee goddesses, plus my ancestors, plus my… I don’t know… “prayer candle”[1](?) all get their devotional offerings done in the same place[2].
My personal deities (all start with M, and) include:
Mattaer: A Lady who handles the earth and the hearth, who handles parenting and pregnancy, who handles the garden (because she’s the ground out-of-which everything grows), and who handles all the Mommy/Nurturing stuff that I’m occasionally called upon to provide.
Mitzu: A Lady who handles the sun and heat and fine, but who also handles courage, sexuality, dancing, sexwork, money, and a significant degree of activism. She’s fierce, as the saying goes[3].
Maia: My very first Goddess, and one who demanded my attention until she got it. My lady of the moon, of queerness and dykedom, of midwifery, of auntihood[4], of writing and music and creative output, of lasting love, of every kind of water (which is my element). For years I heard her name, over and over and over again, any time I looked at the moon… until I realized – and said out loud – “Oh, that’s your name!” at which point, it stopped. Like: “Okay finally. You got it.” She’s an alto. I think she finds me deeply ammusing in my fumblings, but there you have it. I miss her when I can’t feel her around, but Im not sure how well I’ll do at wooing her home again. :-\
Misha: A lady of the meadow. She’s very much a May Queen / Maiden type of young woman and, as I get older, I wonder what kind of shape she’ll take in my life. She was the first goddess I had in my panthon who is actively poly, I do know that (she’s got two boyfriends and they all see to get along quite nicely), and – as her mother is the Earth – she’s all the green and growing things but, in particular, winter squash, raspberries, wild flowering chicory, meadow-flowers/scrub-flowers in general, lilacs, and birch trees. A lady of liminal spaces, of adventure, of joyfully plunging in to try new things. She is, I suspect, someone whom I need more of in my life. I have no idea whether she’s into women or not. Meh? But I know am fairly confident that she likes the colour blue.
Makaa: My lady of the dead, of the compost, of the cross-roads and the thresholds. Her liminality is much more pronounced, and includes margins of all kinds (the thin line between getting by and being screwed, the edge between water and ice on the surface of a puddle, the person sleeping in a doorway, genders and bodies that aren’t easily recognized/described with binary language, the difference between rotton and good enough to still eat. The emptiness at the bottom of every breath, as they say). She has sucked the air out of my lungs. Only once. But once is enough to know that she’s there and she’s powerful.
My Ancestors: In large part, when I talk about my ancestors, I’m talking about my actual biological ancestors through-whom I came, who gave me pieces of their faces, their bodies, to carry with me through my life. But I also mean my non-biological ancestors – people like Xanthra MacKay and Wendy Babcock and Leslie Feinberg, the people who are part of my socio-sexual cultural lineage. They’re included, and I hope all of my People aren’t stuck jostling for position around the flame. :-\ (Seems to be working out, so… we’ll go with it?)
My lovely wife has a relationship with a particular, much bigger, goddess. I tend to only hint at what that’s about, but she seems a good lady to have in your corner. We’ll see how this continues to go.
One particular deity who has turned up in the past year (and I have no idea if she’s sticking around or if it was just some random check-in kind of thing), is Freja. This kind of surprised me, and I’m not sure if she’s here (if she’s still here) for me or for my wife, but… I keep her in my thoughts, just in case.
Anyway, beyond that and your basic bioregional animism, there’s not a whole lot to my pantheon. They’re good people and I’m glad they’re in my life. I hope that I do well by them in my wee, haphazard, way.
Melaid the Birch Maiden.
[1] I got a bunch of those glass tea-light holders than have an uplifting message written on them. A bunch of them are in my office – which has an altar of its own, of sorts, that gets lit up when I’m doing Actual Work in there (ahahaha) – but one of them, which says “Bless this home with family and friends” is on my Main Altar and is basically a hope/wish/blessing to fill our witchy house with chosen family and dear friends (all of us kinky, witchy, poly, spooky dykes and our various nearest and dearest, too). I doubt that’s what the people who mass-produced those candle-holders had in mind, but… that was part of the appeal, as it happens.
[2] I also invested in two dozen LED “tea-lights” so that I could do things like outdoor vigils or jack-o-lanters without the wind putting them out, and also so that I could light up my candle wreath (once a year) without having to worry about whether or not I’ll have neough tea-lights on hand to do it. I’ve used them 2-3 times in the past month and a half, so I think it was probably a good investment.
[3] When I first started looking for Sun Goddess, I found it a little surprising which elements of life/womanhood accumulated under her purview. After a while though – nameley after I separated from my not-so-great-for-me husband – I realized that Mitzu had jurisdiction of pretty much all the elements of my own life (money, sex – to site two in particular) that I was deathly afraid of and thought of as things that happened to me or were done to me by other people rather than things over-which I had any control or autonomy. Hrm. Which was quite the realization. I’m still in the (long, loooooooong) process of unraveling that stuff and getting those situations/activities/whatever back under my own control and back into (or at all into) my own comfort zones.
[4] Auntie-hood. Being a good Auntie in the sense of “not just for your siblings’ kids”. Being a good Auntie is like being a good Witch. It means being available to take care of people when their parents (or what-have-you) aren’t necessarily the best people for the job. Sometimes that means teaching tenuously-housed queer-and/or-trans kids how to darn the holes in their socks. Sometimes it means knowing how to cook food that is vegan and gluten-free and paleo and also avoids nuts, eggplant and quinoa… even though I, personally, need none of those things. Sometimes it means letting people-in-your-community who are in crisis know that the front door’s open and that they can come on over for tea/hugs/listening/food or whatever else it is that they need. Sometimes it means being a teacher. Frequently, it means listening up and helping people get what they need. My wife is far better at this than I am, to be sure, but I’m learning. Always learning. 😉

Personal Practice – Pagan Experience 2015

So my personal practice is somewhat lacadaisical at best.
I have an altar/shrine in my living room that I (ostensibly) light candles at every Friday – a practice that developed partially in conjunction with setting aside time to write three years worth of PBP posts, but also because it gave me an opportunity to almost-meditatively focus on My Hearth and the holiness there-in[1]. I do New Moon Pizza (more or less – I admit the past four months have NOT involved me making pizza dough in ANY way) that features home preserves plus whatever left-over critter (frequently pork shoulder roast, sometimes rabbit or chicken or some kind of cured meat) I have in the fridge and any veggies I can haul out of the garden/freezer/fridge/etc at the time. I do little magics – enchanted baths & makeup, candle spells and honey pots, sigils (lately, at least), and Writing Things Into Being (which works surprisingly… at all, really. Go me?). I try to practice Good Witching in the Terry Pratchett sense of the word – activities that are more in line with grassroots activism than with religious ritual per se, but which still fall under the heading of “village witch” when your village has rainbow flags and homeless kids all over it.
In spite of that, I think within my worldview pretty consistently. I’m not a “holy days pagan” in that particular regard, even if my rituals and devotions don’t look like much. I get to know The Neighbours – the non-human (and human) people in the neighbourhood where I live. Learning which local plants I can eat (and where I can harvest them so that I’m not also eating a heap of lead – this is key), which ones make a good dye, and which ones are good for which magics. It also means paying attention to who gets my attention (like how naturalized Catnip kept calling to my sight all last spring and summer, until I went and found out what it was) and trying to figure out why this or that plant is calling to me. It means eating what grows here and growing – now that I have the opportunity to do so – at least some of what we eat. It means greeting the bees, the crows, the spiers, the pigeons, and whoever else happens to be around (like the homeless people, the nieghbourhood friends, and the folks I used to share a building with… just as a for-instance).
So that’s a start for what my particular practice looks like. Next week, I’ll (re-)introduce my particular pantheon and talk a little about some of the specific Spirits in my life.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] I do a thing called Fabulous Friday Dinner that, in significant part, is meant to signal The Weekend to my work-from-hom brain, but which is also a way to nicely usher it in for my works-two-jobs wife AND a means for me to learn how to cook leftovers-producing pot-dishes that will keep us fed for 2-3 meals in a row (not counting extras for lunches, which is part for the course). But this is also a time to water the house plants, do a little home-maintenance, make the bread for the following week, read (or listen) up on other Pagan Stuff via the interwebs, and generally give myself a day to study and focus when the rest of thew eek needs to be focuses somewhat elsewhere (like on my erswhile novel, or on hustling for modeling gigs).

Resolutions – Pagan Experience 2015

Hi-ho, folks, this is my first promp for The Pagan Experience 2015 blogging challenge. Welcome to any new people who may have turned up and hello again to the rest of you. 🙂
So “Resolutions” can actually find some echos in my final Pagan Blog Project post for 2014, and ties nicely to the whole concept outlined in Miss Sugar’s New Year New You ongoing project as well.
Personally, I tend not to make Resolutions. They seem like a generally bad idea – like making a promise when you’re not sure you can actually keep it[1] – BUT I do occasionally set goals for myself in the interests of taking small, manageable steps towards some sort of free-form “end-goal” that may or may not matter in and of itself[2].
Magically/Religiously speaking, my goals as a bioregional animist, a musician, a sacred-sexuality Perv, and a kitchen witch include:
(A) Grow a garden.
As-(many-of)-you-know-bob, my lovely wife and I moved into a rental house in our neighbourhood (and the heck OUT of our former roach-tastic apartment building – thank you ALL of our gods for that fantastic opportunity!) which has given us the GLORIOUS luxury of a yard. My wife now has a back patio upon-which to do motorcycle maintenance, and I have 1/3 of a shared pack garden in-which to grow All The Veggies (our neighbour has the other 2/3 under cultivation already – I’m okay with this. It’s a containers-required space anyway, since we’re talking a century of lead-poisoning in the soil at the this point, so I’m Just Fine with growing potatoes in a barel, and setting my squash, greens, and tomato plants in second-hand horse troughs (we are in the market for same, fyi, and one of my wife’s girlfriends is looking for them amongst her rural neighbours – wish us luck!). As a bioregional animist, my particular Path is linked with a certain amound of land-guardianship but also with the idea that, when you eat the food that grows where you live, your body becomes more literally and mindfully part of where you live. As in: I’m part of this urban ecosystem already. I shed hair and fingernail clippings here. I breathe here. I shit here. I’m part of this place. But when I make a point of finding/growing/eating food that grew in this province, in this microclimate/valley, in this neighbourhood, in this yard… I’m making a point of acknoweldging and strengthening those ties. And that’s important to me. Likewise… I come from farmers. More recently on my mom’s side than on my dad’s side, but on both sides: Farmers. The last time I had a yard, my farming grandparents were both still alive and both well enough to travel (all of my grandparents are dead at this point, so it’s nice that my ancestors can see what I’m up to and maybe give me some pointers when it comes to growing and harvesting the good stuff)… and I remember my Nana being really happy that I was growing food in my back yard. Like “It’s nice to see this continuing”. That kind of thing. So there’s also a pretty big tie to my herritage to my ancestors, including ancestor that I was able to meet in life, there too. I love the idea of growing the pumpkins that become my pumpkin butter, growing the tomatoes that become my salsa and bruschetta (among numerous other things), the cukes that become my garlic-dill pickles, and – eventually – the rhubarb, sea berries, and currants that become my jams, chutneys, and barbicue sauces. I love the opportunity to sit at the (yet-to-be-scrounged) patio table, drinking iced tea made from my peppermint and dried red currants, watching the bees zip and zoom among the squash and bean and tomato vines, knowing that my own roots in this place are growing deeper and stronger along with them.
(B) Keep Writing
I could say “finish the novel” or “finish the poetry manuscript” but… Okay, see above RE: making promises you’re not sure you can keep. I don’t actually trust myself to finish a book-length piece of writing, in spite of having got through nanowrimo successfully at least twice. BUT if I just Keep Writing – do that thing that Neil Gaiman says to do and simply keep putting one word after the other – I will eventually get to the point where I’ve finished the entirety of Draft One. Which hopefully won’t suck completely (my plan is to get a friend to edit the first 1/3 of it – what I’ve got don so far – and see what needs fixing/clarfying/etc… and then go from there). The plan is also to hit up a coffee shop once a week or so and hand-write some poetry, with the plan being to get enough loosely-food-themed poems FINISHED that I can start putting them into place and trying to polish them up. Wish me luck on that one.
(C) Wake up my Bone Snake
Which sounds way cooler than “practice culturally appropraited Kundalini Yoga-as-taught-by-white-people”, doesn’t it? Basically, the plan here is to use tantric type breathing techniques and Kundalini movements/poses (as taught by white people, both down the street from me and/or in videos like this one) to free up my own energy in ways that facilitate both my sexuality and my musicianship[3]. Tied to this, of course, are the desires to (a) take further steps into active polyamoury; (b) get my musical self back to pre-University levels of confidence, shiny ability, & performanceship; and (c) Get more magically-delicious from a leather-woo/woo-sexual perspective. I’d love to throw in a Con like Dark Oddyssey (the one in DC), as well, but that’ll have to wait until there’s a good deal more money in the bank.
There are other things – like getting physcially stronger, getting better at sewing, getting comfortable wearing more stylish[4] clothes when I’m just plain-old out-and-about, incorporating (functional!) sigils into my magical workings, and having more people over on a casual basis – but those are the big ones, I think.
Anyway. That’s where things are at.
Wish me luck, and do stick with me for the rest of 2015.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
[1] Like… You can Resolve to Loose Fifteen Pounds – to pick a really common one that turns up at this time of year – but you actually have very little control over whether or not that happens. Dropping five pounds is easy. Any more than that, and it basically becomes some sort of herculean effort full of deprivation for… no results what-so-ever. Just as one example.
[2] Like… I want to get stronger, physically speaking. But I don’t set goals like “I can dead-lift X pounds by Y date” because… that seems like setting myself up for failure in no uncertain terms. Instead, I set goals like “Do something physical – lift small weights for X repetitions; do hatha yoga poses for X minutes; go for a walk into the next neighbourhood over and back; work in the garden; go swimming; run up and down the stairs X times; etc – every day”… and, one way or another, I can make that happen most days – even if it’s just because I have to get groceries (walking into the next neighbourhood and back + wieght-lifting (sort of) on the way home) or do laundry (same again) outside the house. They’re tiny, and easy to accomplish in a “Just get up and do it” kind of way (like going up and down the stairs when it’s -32 out and I Just Don’t Wanna), and they add up over time to me being able to take hills more easily or carry heavier groceries home all at once, or other things that effectively add up to more strength and endurance on my part… without making some kind of Resolution for what that’s going to look like 12 months from now. Does that make sense?
[3] I’m a singer – meaning that my instrument is my body – and I’ve found (to my surprise, but not exactly) that the energy points that get called Chakras (the big ones that line up along the spine, at any rate) all light up as I’m getting ready to sing. My teacher didn’t teach me how to do this on purpose, this is just what my body does when I’m prepping (properly) to sing. Perhaps unusrprisingly, there’s a HUGE tie-in between my magical ability my musical ability, my creative ability, and my sexuality… and I find that if I do this kind of physical-energetic work (breath of fire, being one, but far from the only one), I open the chanels to do all of that so much better and more freely. So it’s kind of a Thing to make happen this year and – chances are good – all foreseable years into the future.
[4] For a given value of “stylish”. Bascially, I have a very nebulous idea of what “my style” actually is… and it does grow and change with time… but I also know that I get a lot of attention when I’m being my fully fabulous Femme Self, and… in spite of being Internationally Tall, it takes a fair amount of practice to be able to handle that degree of attention all the time. I’ve started with charging my mascara (magically-speaking) and one of my perfumes (“Blood Kiss” by BPAL, if you’re wondering), and by routinely weeding my wardrobe in order to get rid of stuff that doesn’t fit or doesn’t suit… But working my way up to 100% Glamazon Baddass in casual situations is going to take some work. :-\

Full Moon – Snow Moon Crests (What’s Starting to Flow? What’s Freezing Up?)

I live in the House Of Plague. The idea that Snow Moon is a “hunker down” kind of period couldn’t feel more true right now. Outside, the temperature is shifting between above and below freezing, giving us a mix of deep snow, ice crust, and puddles of water on top of the ice. The only thing I need to get moving/flowing right now is the congestion that’s sitting like concrete in my lungs and lymph glands.
None the less, I’m trying to martial a manageable to-do list that will see me through January with more Kundalini Yoga, more modeling work, and more creative production, albeit on a fairly small scale. I have the beginnings of a project/deadline in place for early July, and someone told me that he thought I had a lovely singing voice, which he remembered from hearing me singing around the neighbourhood, years ago. Which was a really lovely thing to hear. 🙂
The past two weeks have been basically a blur of social activities – visiting various family members (chosen and otherwise) for various events from Solstice gatherings to birthday parties to secular xmas to NYE and beyond – so I feel like I’ve been living in an extended time-outside-of-time kind of temporal space. Having my wife home, sick, for a few days hasn’t helped with that, since her work schedule (to some extent) is what keeps me aware of what day of the week it actually is (I, on the other hand, pretty much work when work is available, so…). Like I said, it’s a liminal time. Tomorrow (Monday) marks the begonning of “back to normal” but here I am, sick as a dog and with my wife still on the mend, wondering what that’s even going to look like.
If I had to take the questions I posed back at the New Moon, this is (for the moment) what I come up with as answers:
What parts of your life are seizing/freezing up?
This bit is basically my “usual” as far as problems are concerned. I have a friend who talks about how her gentlemanfriend needs to be pushed out of his comfort zone because, otherwise, he’ll never ever leave it. I can be entirely the same way (ye gods, that is not an invitation… ack!) I’m glamouring up to spot opportunities with the definite intention to say YES when they show up, BUT… having said YES, already, to one… the brain weasels are definitely pulling out the big guns to get me to “stay small” rather than let myself be big. (And I am big. Physically. Psychically. I know it. But I’m scared that if I unapologetically just let it ALL OUT… then people won’t like me, and they’ll be scared of me and get mad at me. There you go. That’s my big fear. I don’t want people to get mad at me. Eugh). So I’m currently in a bit of a battle with my own brain to keep from self-sabotaging before I’m even out of my shell, and if that’s not fighting a seize-up, I don’t know what is.
Which parts are getting more stable and solid?
This? I couldn’t even tell you. I’d love to be able to say that I have a better idea of What I Want – beyond the basics of “Enough? Is my rent paid? Can I afford food? Am I not being a burden to my wife?” – but… I’m still in “survival mode” on that front. Wanting, in any kind of concrete terms, seems like asking for too much; like if I put out my hand it’ll just get slapped for the audacity of asking in the first place. Everything still feels nebulous. Like… I know a big shift is coming but… How? When? What? Where? Why? (The who, at least, is likely to be me…). That said, things that have felt reliably solid already (mainly my primary/only romantic relationship) are continuing to feel solid and strong without feeling like they’re getting stuck in any kind of way. (Thank goodness). More chances to travel together would be nice (see below re: Money, there isn’t much, um) because time out of the house is time to reconnect without All The Things getting in the way but… otherwise, we’re doing quite nicely, thank you. 🙂
Where are things getting more fluid and flowing?
I think this might be my willingness to maybe attempt to go on a date. You know, at some nebulous, undecided time in the future. With someone other than my lovely wife, I mean. Trying to get the Poly blood flowing, as it were. We’ll see how (if, where) this goes, but it seems to be a thing, so hey.
What’s loosening up and moving?
My voice. I mean, not right this second, since I’m managed to catch the bug my lovely wife brought home. But more generally? I’ve caught myself singing – well, even – at random moments during the day. I’ve done warm-ups in conjunction with Kundalini physical stuff. It’s been 14 years. I think it’s time to come home again. 🙂
What’s struggling to take/keep its shape?
Urgh. See above re: What do I actually WANT. I don’t even know where to start looking to figure that one out and, when I try, I usually run smack up against things like “But there is no money, um” which, I’m increasingly understanding, is always about more than money. Always. (This is the trick with things that are symbols already…). I’d like to believe that What I Want involves a metric heap of sensuality, that it’s a good mix of pervy performance art (er… whatever that means – there are a lot of options), crafty-hippy-home-making, good food, good ethics, and good dates… but that there’s also enough money coming in from the perfy performance art – and, ideally, the crafty-hippy stuff, too – that I know where my next project’s funding is coming from, and also where our next meal and next month’s rent/mortgage is coming from, too. If I can boil that down to a susinct mental image, then great. I’ll have something I can magically work with. Until then… it still feels like I’m fumbling around in the dark.
Melaid the Birch Maiden.