Monthly Archives: January 2019

Full Moon – Cold Moon Crests

December 10, 2011 Lunar Eclipse from Laguna, Philippines - Via Wiki Free Images

December 10, 2011 Lunar Eclipse from Laguna, Philippines – Via Wiki Free Images


 
I gave my wife a book on backyard astronomy for Solstice. You can imagine that she’s slightly disappointed at the 36+ hours of steady snowfall (and -35C with-wind-chill temperatures) that we’re currently in the middle of, uh, “enjoying”, given that tonight is the night of the Super Blood Wolf Moon lunar eclipse.
 
Sounds fancy, right? The “blood” part of Blood Moon is about how the edge of Earth’s shadow makes the moon look rust-red. The “super” parts happens because the moon is at (or close to) its perigee – the point in its orbit that brings it closest to the earth. Astrologically speaking, the moon being both full and at perigee means that its influence is going to be that much stronger. Astronomically speaking, it means that the moon is going to look that much huger on the horizon due to being that little bit closer to the planet. The “wolf” part just means it’s happening in January. (I don’t know why, but hey, that’s why I call this one Cold Moon instead of naming it after an animal whose habits I know very close to nothing about).
 
Lisa Stardust, over at Hoodwitch, says that Scorpios (meaning me, among others) need to pay attention to root chakra stuff right now. The root chakra – located at the perineum – pertains to stuff like security, safety, survival, grounding & being in your body, and pretty-much everything under the “Basics” section at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If your root chakra is kind of messed up, it can show up as being ruled by either fear or greed (or, y’know, both[1]).
I’m over here going, basically, “No kidding”, since I’m waiting for a cheque to come in and hoping that I’ll be able to pay the rent on time this coming month. >.>
Over at Elite Daily, Valerie Mesa is telling me that this particular eclipse is all about listening to, and celebrating, your soul’s truth. She says:
 

Where were you on Aug. 21, 2016? (If you can’t remember, take a moment to browse through your social media, and if not, no worries. Eclipse effects usually occur up to six months before, and after.) Secondly, how have you been sharing your unique gifts and creativity with the rest of the world throughout these two and a half years? The reason I ask is because this total lunar eclipse, aka Wolf Moon, is your grand finale.

 
Whelp. Part of why I do these new/full moon posts is so that I have both some kind of a micro-bioregional almanac and some kind of a record of my (attempts at) personal magico-spiritual & psychological development. So I looked it up. In late August, I had just started my life-coaching sessions, was (a) still reeling from a painful breakup that had happened about six months earlier, (b) looking into sacral (2nd) chakra care as part of my then-ongoing Queen of Cups project AND (c) I was starting to understand the the Queen of Swords is a card about boundaries and hard lessons rather than one about – as I had previously understood – being a Huge Disappointment to the people around you. I was, in short, trying to get the hang of boundaries and interpersonal connection, and to stop feeling so awful about my sexual desires.
 
Where am I now? Well… I’d say I’m definitely doing better. Better boundaries. Actively stopping myself from chasing after people who will be bad for me (and noticing that earlier). Taking romantic chances on people who have already got a track record of showing up for me and whose interests and desires actually dovetail with mine in significant ways. Backing off with better grace and a (marginally) shorter recovery time when people say they’re not interested in what I’ve suggested we could get up to. Feeling better showing sexual interest in people and negotiating the kinds of sexual relationships I have. Understanding what my anxiety feels like. Recognizing when I’m getting capital-A Anxious and/or when I’m dissociating/leaving-my-body, and mitigating that stuff with more success.
I don’t know that this is any kind of a “grand finale”. I certainly hope not. But there has been a solid evolution in terms of personal growth and interpersonal connections, so I’m calling it a win. Job well done, Me.
 

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - Six of Fire - A triumphant fox in a crown and a fancy frock with the planet Jupiter in the background. Below her, a couple of people (who might be acolytes?) ooo and aah.

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – Six of Fire – A triumphant fox in a crown and a fancy frock with the planet Jupiter in the background. Below her, a couple of people (who might be acolytes?) ooo and aah.


 
Considering the above chatter about calling my personal growth a win? I’d say this card (which I got by shuffling until something jumped out of the deck) is pretty apt. Thanks, deck! 😀
This is totally a card of “Ride that tiger!” Of “Go you!” and “Keep doing what you’re doing!”
Which is a nice message to get in the days leading up to things like impending, romance-related travel. (The next New Moon happens the day before I fly back home, so I’m going to try to remember “Keep doing what you’re doing” as I get ready to cross an international border, meet my new metamours, travel without my wife for the first time in years (ha, since 2016, actually), and see my new girlfriend in person for the first time since we officially started dating).
 
~*~
 
Movement: Mostly just walking, and dressing for the weather. I have definitely NOT being doing ten minutes of yoga/weights per day. Not even close. >.> Woops.
 
Attention: Paying attention to things like the rat tracks in the back yard (they still live under the neighbour’s shed, but… I have Concerns), the weather (I have an early morning tomorrow, and the amount of snow we’ve got is suggesting I should head out the door a solid 20 minutes earlier than I hypothetically need to… Yeeg…), and the mail box (has my next paycheque arrived yet, or not?) Not great things to be directing my attention towards, per se, but relevant none the less.
 
Gratitude: Grateful, in particular, for a metamour who was able to defend my computer from malware and get it working again. Also grateful for a wife who adores me, and a girlfriend who’s excited to see me in person soon. Grateful for a Productivity Date with a writer friend and for a number of social get-togethers with friends (impending and recent, planned and impromptu). Grateful for partners who like it when I read to them. Grateful for a poem finally arriving after several hours of essentially doing “morning pages” in the afternoon.
 
Inspiration: Astronomy. Bisexuality. Lipstick. Compost. NRE. (You know, the usual).
 
Creation: I finally wrote a fucking poem! AND I applied to present selections from my Femme Glosa Project at a women-and-non-binary-people arts festival happening in town, this August. I won’t know if I’m in (or not – but fingers crossed) for another few months, but I threw my hat in the ring, so there’s that!
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Like “White Culture has a Root Chakra Problem” is such a meme waiting to happen, not the least of why being that I – a white lady – have happily just absconded with the word “chakra” (Sanskrit) and the concept of “Muladhara” (from Hinduism) to point out that Western Culture’s heavy hook on both fear (mongering) and greed (and the environmental degradation and shitty labour rights that come with it) are probably all the same problem.

Brined Cherries, for a Change

Oh, colour me fascinated! 😀

A Gardener's Table

brined cherriesPickled fruit? People often ask me that two-word question with a look of mixed astonishment and horror. But in the Anglo-American tradition fruits have commonly been preserved in strong vinegar, along with plenty of sugar, to make sour, sweet, and long-keeping accompaniments for meats. These pickles are similar to English-style fruit chutneys, though not as heavily spiced. Less common but also traditional in North America are lightly sweetened vinegar-picked fruits, such as cherry olives—that is, vinegar-pickled dark cherries that resemble olives more in appearance than taste.

These pickles all have their place. I love sweet pickled figs or plums on the Thanksgiving table, sour pickled grapes on a salad dressed with olive oil alone, and cherry olives with pâté. But for a milder-tasting fruit pickle that complements a wider range of foods and drinks, it’s worth considering leaving out vinegar altogether. Pickling fruits in brine, in the same way…

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New Moon – Cold Moon Begins

Winter Exercise in Light and Shadow - Via Wiki Free Images - A frost-covered shrub casts a shadow over the snow.

Winter Exercise in Light and Shadow – Via Wiki Free Images – A frost-covered shrub casts a shadow over the snow.


 
New Moon was yesterday – and a Solar Eclipse with it, although it happened a solid four hours after sunset in my part of the world. New Moon. And a solar eclipse, which Lisa Stardust (over at The Hoodwitch) says is rather like a new moon, energy-wise, with regards to new beginnings and new life-chapters kicking off.
 
I finally – ha, I usually do this as soon as it arrives in the mail – looked up my 2019 year-at-a-glance horoscope in my date book. It literally starts out with the following:
 

In the beginning of 2019, you may be feeling anxious and riled up.

 
Ha. No kidding. I’m due to get on a plan in 25 days (yes, I’m counting days) to go visit my girlfriend, and my anxiety-brain is chittering away in the background about how “I’ve done something bad” (I haven’t) and “Someone is going to be mad at me” (highly unlikely).
Look, I’m just going to say a thing: My anxiety isn’t bad. I don’t have panic attacks – or whatever high-anxiety freak-out thing I have that I’m currently labeling as “panic attacks” – very often, and I can manage this stuff with breathing patterns and other non-meds-based ways of calming myself the heck down when I do start getting wound up.
But there’s a pretty constant attention-dribble, if I can call it that, that goes to keeping track of why my brain is telling my adrenal glands, and what-not, so that I can catch that stuff when it’s still in the “low-volume high-pitch note played on a violin” level of anxious background noise, before I’m irritably snapping at my wife, seething under my skin, or jumping at every unexpected noise. But it still gets ahead of me sometimes and I feel my chest getting tight and all the rest of it.
And, since it all seems to be stepping up a little right now, I’m noticing it. It’s tiring. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s tiring.
 
Anyway. So, yes, Rhea Wolf, I’m definitely starting 2019 feeling anxious and a bit riled up.
That said, I’m hoping she’s not wrong about the hypothetical influx of (Jupiter-related) greater security that’s coming my way. I admit, I’ve started listening to Gabby Dunn’s podcast with that in mind.
I’m still doing glamour work, still doing Miss Sugar’s NYNY cycle (even if we’re into the second year of this particular project). Keeping my fingers crossed for more transcription to follow the work I’m doing right now. A little bit of on-going steady-ish income would be really good, and this work is interesting and well-paid, too. So… it would be nice to keep that going. 🙂
 
Egregors being what they are, and Miss Sugar’s long-ago NYNY thoughts about resolutions being on my mind, I’m actively trying not to make long-term plans or year-based goals right now. But that doesn’t mean they’re not in there. Not-so-vague plans to finish my third chapbook (finally), write another dozen or more glosas (and get myself that much closer to a finished first draft of a full-length manuscript), keep sending my poetry out, ideally to more paid markets this year… They’re all in there, stewing around and percolating away, along with all those good intentions about more physical activity, more vegetables, and less social media that, tbh, I just want to keep a damn lid on for now lest I start thinking of them as things I can just abandon as soon as Imbolg turns up.
 
ANYWAY.
 

Knight of Cups - Mary El Deck - A person with long blond hair, a red skirt, and silvery armour with an eye over their heart, holds a chalice of blood out-of-which a lotus blooms.

Knight of Cups – Mary El Deck – A person with long blond hair, a red skirt, and silvery armour with an eye over their heart, holds a chalice of blood out-of-which a lotus blooms.


 
I thought I might shuffle my Mary El deck until four cards fell out, just to see what chance might bring to my attention with regards to the New Moon spread suggested by Liz Worth. But, no surprises here, I had three fall out, one at a time, and then got three all at once, then two more, then one. Which is not what I had in mind – even if I did, in theory, get the three of cups in the “what can stabilize for me this year” slot, which is definitely not a bad thing.
So I said “screw it” and decided to call the first card that fell out of the deck my meditation card for this half of the lunar cycle.
It’s not a bad card to have drawn. In the Next World deck, the Knight of Cups is “The Love Song” and wears their heart on their sleeve. (The is the card of NRE, or so it would seem). Michelle Tea – who, like everybody, interprets tarot through her own experiences – has a lot of (negative) stuff to say about the swept-away feelings that the Knight of Cups can bring but she also says that, if the Knight of Cups shows up as a situation, then it means “something glamourous” is on its way, and you should go for it – use that burst of artistic inspiration to churn out a LOT of rough drafts for new things, or say Yes to that invitation from a pal to attend an event you might otherwise have skipped. Take some chances. Explore some new things. Julia Cameron would call this “refilling the well”, creativity-wise, and Michelle suggests a “be the knight of cups” activity/ritual that sounds a lot like the Ideal Day exercise, but with added mood-lighting, in order to get an idea of where the wells are that need refilling and where to direct all the intense, passionate energy you (in theory) have available.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Nowhere near enough. I’ve got some modeling work tomorrow, which will mean a good solid 1.5-2hrs walking, plus three hours of modeling, but I don’t know if this will be short or long poses or what, so we’ll see. None the less, getting back on the “ten minutes a day of yoga/weights” train would probably do me a lot of good.
 
Attention: Cat paw-prints in my back yard. Where the icy spots are on the steps and the sidewalk. What we have in the fridge that needs to be eaten up (we’ve been eating Solstice leftovers for a while now, and I’m starting to forget what we’ve got, beyond that.
 
Gratitude: Thankful for a warm day that let me chip the ice off my steps. For a haul of library books that are, so far, proving to be a tonne of fun. For having a few modeling gigs and a few days of temp work already lined up for the next four months (fingers crossed for lots more, but here we are). Thankful for a girlfriend who’s looking forward to seeing me, for a wife who misses me when she’s visiting her partners, for morning snuggles and date nights.
 
Inspiration: I just read The Black God’s Drums, a novella that I wish had been a full-length novel. It’s been a reminder that you can sketch out a whole story in just a few thousand words and, from there, see where the fleshing out needs to happen.
 
Creation: I drafted one poem. It’s a terrible draft, but it’s got some usable lines, so I’m calling it a start. Sock-extension continues apace, and seems to be doing what I want it to do, so that’s something. Unlikely to be done by the time I get on that plane, though. Oh well.