Monthly Archives: August 2019

New Year New You 2019: Week Sixteen – Little Magics Everywhere (A Retrospective on a Magical Visit)

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: This is a good week to work on shoaling[…]. Make all your tiny magic fish into one big magic fish.

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - The Magician - A busty, long-haired individual in a traditional witch's hat and with a wand at her side, sits at a computer keyboard and points to the space above her head, where knives, a pentacle, a mug of coffee, a mask, and what look like a few chocolates(?) float and dance to her Will.

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – The Magician – A busty, long-haired individual in a traditional witch’s hat and with a wand at her side, sits at a computer keyboard and points to the space above her head, where knives, a pentacle, a mug of coffee, a mask, and what look like a few chocolates(?) float and dance to her Will.

Tarot Card: The Magician
When I sat down to write this, I was debating going with the High Priestess. Partly because the High Priestess is frequently coded as “passive” and a lot of these little/”little” magics happened because I was presented with the opportunity to Do A Thing by someone else. But I wanted to emphasize the role of choice here, in so far as it comes to what I chose to do with the opportunities presented.
Ms Sugar talks about shoaling – about doing a bunch of little spells, for little things, that happen to all aim (more or less) towards the same goal.
That’s… not exactly what happened here.
Rather, over a month ago, I went to visit my girlfriend in DC, and it felt like a very magical (in the literal, although also just the romantic, sense of the word). So this post is going to be a bit of a retrospective on that one.
At my girlfriend’s birthday party (where there was also live music, fire spinning, and poetry), one of her housemates ran an impromptu ritual – strengthening group connections through the Emerald Heart – that included all of us pouring our wills and heart-and-community-related goals into these little fuel-cube things that we fed into the fire to activate them.
I used the opportunity to do some magic about making poetry that serves myself while also finding the right audience for it – people who would also be served by the poetry, would see their own reflections more clearly by reading the ways I’ve written myself down.
It seemed appropriate, given that I’d been performing some of it earlier to a backyard full of exactly the kinds of people that I think of as My Audience. (Queers, kinky folks, trauma survivors, art freaks, sex workers, magic makers, dirt-worshipers, polytheists. Y’know. Us).
I practiced energy working a little bit, in a way that let me see if it was having any effect. Which it was! Amazing! 😀
We did a Museum Day where we went around and played tourist/tour-guide, and a couple of things happened:
We went to the Air & Space Museum – specifically to find Moon Landing goodies for my wife / her metamour – and, while we were there, we got to touch the moon rock. Which… I don’t know if the energy in that big chip of rock (about the size of the cuttlefish bones we get for our little birds to chew on) was due to me having A Religious Experience with one of my gods, or if this very hematite-like bit of rock – the moon has a lot of iron in her make-up – had just picked up and held onto the very human energy of thousands and thousands of people brushing their hands over it every day for decades. But either way, there was Something There that was strong enough for me to pick up on it. O.O
We also went to the Renwick Gallery, and the Temple Installation – “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man”, an installation by David Best and the rest of the temple crew – was unexpectedly still running. So I got to spend some time in a temporary – and made to be burned on the Playa – temple to grief and loss. What struck me so much about it was that in the writing that people had done all over the walls, the messages they’d left, the photos they’d brought to leave behind and be destroyed, the words that I saw repeated over and over were “I love you”.
And I left something there.
There were little wooden “cards” that you could write on – could take away and bring back with other items if you wanted to – and then tuck into the niches between the various layers of woodcut that made up the temple walls. So I wrote something.
Not long before I went to DC, someone on Twitter was doing single-card tarot readings – on the theme of “What you need for your love life” – for anyone who happened to ask for one during a specific time period, just because they were having a good day. And I was like “Sure, hit me up!” and the card this individual drew was Death. What they said about it was “Let the buried memories stay buried. You don’t need to carry them anymore”.
The grief I wrote about did not involve the words “I love you”. We’ll see if writing it down and leaving it there has any effect, but it was basically setting an intention, or maybe making a goal, around not defining my sexual and romantic self by my trauma(s?).
We’ll see what happens.
One other thing that happened on Museum Day happened when we stopped for lunch in a specific museum cafeteria. We sat by the window and looked out at the water feature, and we saw that there were four playing cards just… stuck to one of the rocks in the water feature, right were we could see them.
It felt a bit like radiomancy. Just this random chance that happened to include a message via the Language Of Metaphor:
The three of clubs (wands)
The ace of hearts (cups)
And, layered over each other, the eight of hearts and the joker (which can be either the Fool, specifically, or the sum-total of all the major arcana taken together).
And, I mean, there’s a lot of stuff in here about experiencing and fulfillment and expanding possibilities (3 of wands) around big-hearted love-intimacy-connection feels (the various cups cards) and I think that’s an accurate interpretation. BUT… I sort of see this as The Locals kind of just checking in, and I find that the land, in particular, tends to be very, very literal. So, given how ¾ of those cards have ties to traveling and journeys? Like, I’m inclined to read this as basically “Oh, hey, we see that you’re in a long-distance relationship together. Got it!” Which reminded me – in a really positive way – of that meme about how sometimes your tarot cards are just like “Wow, girl… you’ve been going through some really hard stuff” and you’re like “Yeah! Any suggestions on what I can do?” and they’re like “Just, wow… this has been really hard. Are you okay?”
Like, sometimes, it’s just The Family going “I see you and acknowledge what’s going on in your life”.
It was kind of delightful. 🙂
(That said, given that tarot draw, and the temple at the Renwick, I can read that 8 of Cups as relating to that, too, if I want to do a me-specific, rather than us-specific, reading).
So those were the little magics that I got to do/experience while in DC.
My girlfriend – who described me as being “all food, sex, poetry, blood, magic and religion”, which is not inaccurate – sent me home with T. Thorn Coyle’s book on sigil magic, which I started reading on the plane home (while hanging out on the runway for 45 minutes due to weather conditions, actually). A lot of it (so far) is about meditation and getting into the right headspace – for magic or creative writing work, either way – rather than being about making and working with sigils. But I’m finding it useful anyway.
My visits with my girlfriend – in significant part because we live far enough away from each other that we can’t do “every other weekend” type visits – tend to feel a little bit Time Outside Of Time anyway, because we’re both effectively on vacation when we get to see each other. Also, being both really woo, that tends to be a factor as well. But those periods where I have the time and the company that really, really allow for me to have religious experiences and long shop-talk about spirituality and our respective practices… they’re a reminder of how important this stuff is for me, how good it feels to be able to have these conversations and these experiences.
So it means that I’ve been pushing myself (just a little bit) to do that stuff more often. To do my Moon Salutations, with at least a little bit of vocalizations, every day. To finally make new beeswax candles for my altar. To light up some incense and do a little bit of energetico-spiritual tidying (and also some literal tidying, tbh). To follow Thorn’s directions and approach my writing as something akin to meditation (which, turns out, really helps me access the poetry-writing part of my brain). To take the time to put on my Crown of Light and write “worthy” on my leg in perfume oil. To start a couple of new poetry projects, one of-which is (so far) devotional in nature. To make a point of shifting my focus lower, to the permanent Ground that I always have going on, to actively try to run energy from those deep-set roots up to the crown of my head, to try to open up the top of my head when I’m reaching for connection with my Ladies.
And it feels good to be doing those things. Sometimes nervous-making, but still good.
I feel like this post connects pretty directly to the one I did for Week Five, almost a year-and-a-half ago, about making little magics in my life, every day. Re-enchanting my daily tasks in order to help me keep at them.
Because the challenge, for me, often is to keep at them, without feeling silly or just “tired” (but I did it yesteday…) or whatever, and deciding I can skip X, Y, or Z or “just one day” and then having “one day” turn into a week or a month or more than a month.
But even Granny Weatherwax was just starting, “every day, just starting”, so coming back and starting over every day is still worthy, you know? But it’s easier if I’m doing it all the time.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

Full Moon – Thunder Moon Waxes and Crests

Thick, purple thunder clouds over a probably city-scape that has been largely cropped out of the frame. Photo by “Rubbish Computer” via Wiki Free Images.

Berry Moon has come and gone – my freezer has a big bag of service berries and a smaller bag of red currants to show for it – and it was very hot and very dry. My garden staggered by on 14 gallons of water roughly every other day, but I’m sure it’s as relieved as I am to be getting heavier waterings than my watering can and I have been providing.
Thunder Moon started a little over 10 days ago (at the time of this writing), in Leo, just before Lammas, and right around when I was getting home and settled after a week-long visit to my girlfriend’s place and the last of Mercury Retrograde kicking my ass on the way home. It’ll be full, in Aquarius, later this week, but I’ve got some time, so I’m doing the scribbling now.
You guys, my squash are not doing so well.
Technically, I’m not sure ANYTHING is doing well – my chard is okay, and my two tomato plants are doing their thing, but they’re giving me maybe 2-3 cherry tomatoes per day, put together, which is… not a lot. My beans have started flowering, and they look like they’re doing just fine. But the cilantro and dill have gone to seed (fine – I’ll use the coriander and the dill seed just as happily) and the basil and anise hyssop are… struggling. The ground cherries kind of just aren’t. And the squirrels ate about 1/5 of my one and only pumpkin and seem to be going after any fertilized squash bebes they can get their hands on.
I’m kind of like “Fuck it. The clover I sow won’t germinate. I dig a heap of manure compost into the ground and plant a compost-loving-plant like squash in it and… not a whole lot happens. Like, yes, I totally let the ground cover cover the ground. It’s what it’s for. But is it actually that bad? Is the apple mint a problem? Because it’s supposed to deter squash bugs but didn’t deter them much (the bottom of my shoe, however…) and maybe they are crowding the squash? Should I just yank out the smallest of them and give the rest some extra room?
So that might be a thing that I do with the squash, in the hopes of having the remaining ones get bigger and start producing Actual Food.
Beyond that? Beyond that, I have a basket of zucchini on my counter, half-of-which will go into my freezer, and plans to do similar with as many peppers, nectarines, and roma tomatoes as I can swing. Sweet peppers and greens, too.
Also, I’m starting to watch the apples and crab apples that grow near my laundromat and on my way to various libraries, because they’re ripe or ripening and, while I have a LOT of apple butter still lying around after last year’s bonanza, I’m pretty much not someone who say No to free food, so I will probably at least make some pies, you know?
I’ve been reading T. Thorn Coyle’s Sigil Magic and, in line with that, have been asking myself “What do I want???”
Those three question marks are intentional.
Sometimes “what I want” is simple, if not necessarily easy. I want my old, kind of broken, computer to keep working for another few years. Or I want the shredded comfrey leaves with-which I mulched my squash and beans, to translate into a lot of squash and beans for my kitchen (I think I need a lot more comfrey, and a couple of years of adding this kind of mulch frequently and regularly, to really get that, though). Or I want a machine that will wash three racks of dishes all at the same time, just by turning a dial and pressing a button. Easy. Specific.
And sometimes they’re not that.
Sometimes “what I want” is nebulous and fearful and teary and basically boils down to “I want this not to be happening. Please make this not be happening”. And I don’t even know what to do about those. The things I can do to mitigate them, I do, but most of what I can do is so negligible they seem utterly useless, utterly hopeless.
And sometimes they’re not that, either.
Sometimes they’re big – no less specific for being big, but big none the less – and require a lot of trust and a willingness to let a lot of it be out of my own hands as to whether or not I get what I hope for. Sometimes I feel guilty for wanting these things. Not because they’re “bad” or even “selfish”, necessarily. But because they’re just so substantial.
Sometimes I’m afraid to look at them. Mostly, I think, because I’m afraid if I make some kind of definitive statement about “This is what I want. I want XYZ”… and then I’m wrong…
And, yeah… Like, I just had to literally ask myself “Okay, so… what’s the problem? You want a thing, you try it, and it doesn’t fit as well as you thought, and…?” and the answer is some wordless jumble of “sunk costs” and “wasting other people’s time/energy/patience” wherein “other people” includes both human being who share my life with me and also various deities who showed up and helped with the opening of doors and so-on.
…Which is maybe a silly thing to feel?
Chani’s horoscope (for Scorpio) for the recent New Moon says:

With this new moon, I know that good things flow towards me all the time, but it’s my job to remember to flow with them. To prepare a space for them to land. Take root. Grow tall and wide.
I am an excited host for the arrival of all blessings. I know that nothing squashes good fortune like an expectation of what it should look, be, or act like. I remind myself that cosmic gifts come it all kinds of bizarre forms. The more I trust what shows up, the more I am able to work with it for as long as it is with me.


Osho Zen Tarot - Playfulness (the Page of Fire) - A joyful clown dances in a cloud of sparkles.

Osho Zen Tarot – Playfulness (the Page of Fire) – A joyful clown dances in a cloud of sparkles.

Osho Zen Tarot - Awareness (the Chariot) - A silhouette on a veil is burned through by the cold blue fire of enlightenment, a bodhisattva emerges.

Osho Zen Tarot – Awareness (the Chariot) – A silhouette on a veil is burned through by the cold blue fire of enlightenment, a bodhisattva emerges.

Following that, I pulled two cards (from my Osho Zen deck) for this upcoming Full Moon’s tarot card meditation: Playfulness (the Page of Fire, upright) and Awareness (the Chariot, reversed).
I can’t help but boil them down to “Be open to play, to trying new things just to try them. Send the shambling zombies of your poetry off into submission land and then forget about them. Scribble porn just to remember that you can, in fact, write porn. Proposition your sweeties as though you were doing pick-up play at a party. Don’t take everything so seriously because it’s not all life and death… and also, be ready for the ride when it comes, because it’s going to come and it’s going to come from inside”.
Movement: Moon Salutations on the dock of a metamour’s cottage + climbing those 69 steps up and down repeatedly over last weekend. Walking to and from my week-long temp job. Walking all over DC’s downtown checking out galleries and museums with my girlfriend + dancing in her back yard. Hauling home 30+ lbs of groceries before the cottage trip. Taking a long, rambling walk to, and then through, the Experimental Farm and then circling back via the arboretum. Sex that, while wonderful, also reminded me just how little stamina I actually have.
Nothing super heavy, but lots of good moving around.
Attention: Listening to The Shondes (uplifting tunes for the win!), trying to identify trees in on the Experimental Farm and in the Arboretum.
Gratitude: Thankful for being able to pay for plane tickets to DC twice a year. For a long, easy date with my wife, yesterday. For grilled cheese sandwiches. For cherry tomatoes off the vine. For unexpected temples and magical group rituals (uh… more on those later). For full-day modeling gigs. For thunder storms that rattle the windows. For a break in the heat. For breezy sunshine. For dinner with my sister and drinks with my brother-in-law in the same week, even though they both live out west. For sex. For poly-family photos and vacations.
Inspiration: Brian Eno’ and Peter Schmidt’s “Oblique Strategies” deck, as performed by this random prompt provider website. I like “remember those quiet evenings” and “a line has two sides”, so far, and find “Once the search is in progress, something will be found” to be kind of comforting, tbh.
Creation: Remarkably little, but I did write a scrap of something that might turn into A Real Poem.