Monthly Archives: December 2019

New Year New You 2019: Week 19 – Small Steps Towards Changing My Baseline

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: What can you do this week to change your life?
 
Tarot Card: Ace of Earth
 

Ace of Discs - Mary El - A winged woman contemplates the ground beneath her feet. A green labyrinth blooms from her solar plexus. The alchemical sign for Earth is in the position of her third eye. Her head is that of a white cow (symbolizing Taurus, the sign of material comfort)

Ace of Discs – Mary El – A winged woman contemplates the ground beneath her feet. A green labyrinth blooms from her solar plexus. The alchemical sign for Earth is in the position of her third eye. Her head is that of a white cow (symbolizing Taurus, the sign of material comfort).


 
Oh, readers, this is where I witter.
I don’t know what’s going to change my life for the better.
I mean, I know: Getting a publisher for my chapbook (not 100% under my control, already under way, but waaaaay too early to follow up with my first – and first-choice – local indie imprint that’s already got the manuscript), submitting my work to paid markets, applying for PT jobs and landing myself an anchor income, booking more shoots in Renfrew[1].
 
But none of that is a new thing. That’s just the next step in a thing I’ve been doing for two years.
I’m looking at this writing prompt, reading it as “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”, and wondering what DIFFERENT thing I can do that will SIGNIFICANTLY change my life for the better.
And… I’m not sure?
But.
I have a friend who’s offered me a free “therapy practice-session” (she’s training to be a therapist, and wants some practice hours before she starts her actual Practicum).
So my “concrete thing I can do this week” is to schedule that hour-long session.
My plan is to use it to talk through some of my Weirdo Money Feels which, I hope, will help me reset my “baseline” without feeling gross and ugly.
Seriously, I look up Suze Orman books at the library and I have a literal disgust reaction to titles like “The Courage To Be Rich”[2].
But, in the spirit of trying to change up my “money mind-set”, I’ve put a few of her books, along with a couple of similar “psychology of personal finance” books, on hold at the library which, in theory, I should be able to pick up before the week is out, too.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad.
 
 
[1] Seriously. So much of what will change my life for the better boils down to “An extra $1000 per month in reliable income”, it’s not even funny.
 
[2] My reaction: “Oh, yes, because it takes such bravery to be a parasite“. So… clearly I’m having some feelings over here.

New Moon – Long Nights Moon Begins (Winter Solstice 2019)

“A new moon setting over Gåseberg, Lysekil Municipality, Sweden”. Photo by W. Carter via Wiki Free Images. A thin sliver of a waxing cresccent hanging high over the western horizon, with a December forest, in silhouette, below.


 
Technically, we are already turning back towards longer days and shorter nights, although we won’t see the reality of that for another six weeks or so. Winter Solstice – and my seventh wedding anniversary – have come and gone, and I’m due to fly out to visit my girlfriend in just under two weeks. I have a bag of socks to bring to Centre 507 between now and then and a few pairs of slippers to (try and) knit.
 
It’s been a long time since I wrote one of these. There’s snow on the ground and, thanks to weirdo fluctuating temperatures, also lots of ice. I’ve spotted raccoon tracks in the back yard, and ran into the rabbit – the one who spent all summer growing up in our back yard – out back again (it’s nice to see they’re still alive!) the other night. I put out the last of a chicken carcass, last Saturday, and explicitly invited a nearby crow to come and have at, and they did – along with a second crow who they may or may not have known. It’s nice to see my neighbours, you know?
 
Right now, I’m enjoying a little bit of quiet time at home while my wife and her partner are out for a walk together. But I keep thinking about the impending New Year. About how I keep seeing people – magically-inclined people in particular, although that’s probably just my sample selection – talking about how 2020 is Go Time, and yet I’m still not sure where exactly I’m supposed to be Going. I think about how the dark end of the year, where we are now, is time for contemplation, time for Shadow Work, and how I have some shadowy stuff around my ideas about “comfortable” = “rich” but “rich” = “bad”.
 
Chani’s one-sentence year-ahead horoscope for Scorpio says “Growth through communications, writing projects, and your daily life and rituals” (obviously I also looked a Gemini for my Rising and Cancer for my Moon, but still) and pairs that up with this: “2020 is a year that is dedicated to making sure that your messages reach a much wider audience”.
Which lines up nicely with my goals of (a) find a publisher for my latest chapbook, (b) submit my poetry to more paid markets, and (c) continue to make time for poetry-writing on the regular. I may or may not seek out a couple of poetry workshops through Tree or Little Birds or one of the other local poetry get-togethers.
 
Quite a while ago, when I turned forty (just after Samhain), I did a quick tarot reading that included “Your deepest desire” as the Seven of Air. Which I had to chew on for a WHILE – and talk to my girlfriend and Ms Sugar about for a bit – before I sorted out what the heck that was supposed to be about.
My deepest desire is the “get away with it” – to keep my weird, heavy-on-unstructured-time, art life and yet also have enough income to be comfortable-and-safe long term in the time and place that I live.
A desire which, apparently, is being blocked by my own metaphorical fear of flying and dread of stepping into my own power (I was using the Silicon Dawn deck, and the “block” card I drew was Aleph Yin November, AKA The Fool Who Flew).
The rest of the reading was “What I might lose” (the solitude of the Six of Air), “What I might gain” (the literal success of the Six of Fire), and “How to get there” (The Magician, which kind of confirms the whole “Your… issues around claiming/wielding your own power are what’s holding you back” situation).
During my two weeks of WTF about the Seven of Air, though, I pulled a “What’s this about?” card, which was the Ace of Fire. More stuff about the fire chakras – about Sex-and-Money stuff, and Will stuff too – and about power.
So. That’s a thing right there.
 
Anyway. Earlier today, I did a quick “tarot grab” – just yank a handful of cards out of the middle of the Mary El deck because they were sticking out slightly as a group – and was like “So… What do I need to do about this?”
Upright: Knight of Earth
Upright: The Empress
Reversed: Queer of Earth
Reversed: Queen of Wands
 
So. Stuff to work on Out In The World, where I interact with other people?
Keep taking those (baby) steps, one after another, to physically do the things to ensure your material stability, rather than settling for the smallest, safest gains. Be prudent, don’t be risk-averse.
Welcome abundance, connect to the material/physical world in concrete ways, accept and enjoy the Nice Things that come your way, rather than rejecting/avoiding them due to the belief that you don’t “deserve” them.
AND
Stuff to work on Internally, where I interact with my Self, and with my own beliefs, stories, shadows, and assumptions:
Cultivate resourcefulness, practice self-kindness and self-forgiveness; Cultivate trust in yourself by showing up for yourself in real, tangible ways.
Cultivage optimism, enthusiasm, and grace amid chaos; practice my glamoury and my self-confidence, treat myself luxuriously.
 
I shall take these as my marching orders for the coming year and, hopefully, they’ll help me unblock myself so I can Get Away With It as I’m inclined.
Fingers crossed. 😉
 
~*~
 
Judgement - Mary El Tarot - A phoenix in flames, shrieking, her tongue unfurling around a pentacle. Magic, fire, transformation.

Judgement – Mary El Tarot – A phoenix in flames, shrieking, her tongue unfurling around a pentacle. Magic, fire, transformation.


 
As for my Tarot Card Meditation, I pulled another card from the Mary El deck, and got Judgement.
This remains the “You Are The Things That’s Burning” card for me. A card that says “time to make big changes on the inside,” that says “time to transform”.
I’ll be thinking about how it relates to that Ace of Fire, and keeping it in mind as the year turns over and I get ready to start the Magical Refresher Course I signed up for a few months ago.
 
~*~
 
Movement: My wife and I went dancing on our anniversary! 😀 😀 😀 (That was a week ago, and the rest has been a lot of lounging around the house eating Solstice leftovers, so… not tonnes. Time, I suspect, to re-start the Yoga Practice in a daily way, so that I don’t go to rust before January).
 
Attention: Watching the weather, mostly. Lots of ice on the ground and freezing rain in the forecast, but the weather in DC looks pretty balmy from where I’m standing, so I’m looking froward to my impending visit down south. Also paying attention to the porcelain doll pumpkin that is in need of Attention on my kitchen floor. I need to cut that open (and cut out the soft bits, and save some of the seeds) and bake it, and then freeze the result, since I have a tonne of pumpkin butter on the shelves already.
 
Gratitude: Grateful for my wife, who is wonderful. Grateful for my yarn stash and my skills with the sticks and the strings. Grateful for friends who turned up in force for the Solstice party. Grateful that my friend’s dog made it home safe and sound after running away for a few days. Grateful for my girlfriend and her girlfriend being able to get to a garage when the clutch blew on their car. Grateful for pals with vehicles who helped us bring a little 12-foot blue dinghy home with us last week. Grateful for how-to videos on youtube. Grateful for a full larder, for fancy cheese and snazzy sausages, for wine and mulled cider and cranberry juice in abundance. Grateful for vacation time with my wife right now, and for being able to fly down to visit my girlfriend in only Ten More Sleeps. Grateful for my Mom making a point of inviting my metamour to come to New Year’s Dinner at her place, without any prompting at all. Grateful for a new-to-me oak-and-iron cider press from my wife. Grateful for four seasons and the spring that will get here eventually. Grateful for crafternoons and writing dates with my friends. My life is pretty great.
 
Inspiration: Mary Oliver. Bernadette Banner. My copy of Her Words poetry about various goddesses. The crows rooting through my compost heap. The raccoon and rabbit tracks I spot in my back yard. The religious lives of my romantic partners. The quiet stillness, that isn’t really stillness, of the back garden under the ice.
 
Creation: Okay, while I’ve been reminding myself how to write a freaking poem, and my work is getting better as I ease myself into a new theme (that I’m a little nervous about exploring through poetry, tbh, but that I think wants doing), but the main thing I’ve been Creating over the past two weeks is knitwear. A sweater for my wife as a seventh anniversary present (it will, as of tomorrow, be a week late, and I need to get another ball of yarn before I can finish it, but I’m so close, you guys, so close!) as well as coordinating bedroom slippers for my brother and his shiny new fiancee.

New Year New You 2019: Week 18 – The Sun Inside

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: She mentioned that she knew someone who took a moment in her cube every morning to empty her brain of the old crap so she had room to let new crap in. That made sense to me! So that’s what I am going to do. Why don’t you try it. too?
 
Tarot Card: The Sun (and The Chariot) – I chose these cards for their overlapping connections with confidence and success. The Sun touches on things like “knowing your worth”, “trusting your abilities”, “and believing you can succeed”, as well as “getting noticed” and “experiencing greatness”, while The Chariot pertains to “being successful”, “achieving goals”, and “getting your way”, as well as “using your will” and “feeling self-confident”.
 

The Sun - The Slutist Tarot - A witchy babe in a bell-sleeved mini dress, a broad-brimmed black hat, and sunglasses lounges on a red blanket with a book

The Sun – The Slutist Tarot – A witchy babe in a bell-sleeved mini dress, a broad-brimmed black hat, and sunglasses lounges on a red blanket with a book


 
The Chariot - The Next World Tarot - A femme in a pink cocktail dress, fur collar, turquoise boots, and with a crescent moon in her hair, takes her pet miniature elephants for a walk

The Chariot – The Next World Tarot – A femme in a pink cocktail dress, fur collar, turquoise boots, and with a crescent moon in her hair, takes her pet miniature elephants for a walk


 
Maybe there’s something kismet-y about deciding to do this right around Winter Solstice, but my attempt to breathe out the old stuff to let the new stuff in looks like trying to unblock my 3rd chakra.
A while back – six months ago, maybe? – I was at a party, talking to a druid (as one does), who commented that I was very connected to the world around me via my first and second chakras, but had some kind of blockage or stuckness going on that was preventing those connections from happening any higher up.
Like, no kidding. A significant chunk of this whole project has been doing root-chakra and sacral-chakra energy work (and yoga and dancing and listening to the related binaural soundscapes on youtube) to try to balance those areas in order to make it easier for me to bring material stability and (further) sensuality and eroticism into my life.
 
I know this particular prompt was about “let yourself be still for a while” but… I hold still all the time. Literally, for my job, but also in terms of being frozen with indecision – like “Oh no, what if I apply for this job, AND this other job, and one of them hires me and then so does the other one, and I have to say No to somebody” and similar.
It’s a tad ridiculous, you might say.
 
I’ve been talking with Ms Sugar, she who created this whole Experiment in the first place, about “jumping and living to tell the tale” and about how I’m simultaneously scared to death of taking any risks ever at all AND feeling like I’ve been taking (admittedly tiny) calculated risks every other week for the past eight years.
But even knowing that. Even recognizing that my poetry is coming along, and I’m getting requests for contributions (I mean, they’re paid with contributor copies, but still) and occasionally getting my work accepted in paid publications. Even recognizing that I’ve built a solid modeling career over the past 10 years. Even recognizing that I’m getting better at small magics (like charmed objects and honey pots) and energy work. Even recognizing that I’m a LOT more comfortable in sexual situations than I was when I started my Empress Project… Even recognizing all of that, I can see myself keeping myself small.
I can see myself going “Okay, but if I step into My Power and actually Take Up Space, and people not going to come after me with literal baseball bats to make sure I never do that again??”
Which… is at least somewhat unlikely to happen?
I can see that there’s some kind of a disconnect between my Wanting and my Will.
So my current attempt at breathing out the old crap to let new, less-crappy crap come in, is this:
 
I am visualizing a sunflower and/or a solar flare and/or this hypothetical Pictish tattoo in my abdominal region, while repeating “I am powerful and I am comfortable with my power” and imagining the flower/flare getting brighter every time I breath in, as though I were stoking a fire.
I hope this will help me develop the internal fortitude for sustained acts of Will and for putting myself out there and Getting Noticed in bigger ways.