Monthly Archives: April 2020

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…

View original post 1,046 more words

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.

Full Moon – Leaf Moon Crests

My perennial bed, still messy with deadfall, but the rhubarb, nettles, and crow garlic are reaching for the sky.

My perennial bed, still messy with deadfall, but the rhubarb, nettles, and crow garlic are reaching for the sky.


 
This picture was taken about ten days shy of a year ago, and the rhubarb and crow garlic are… yep, about ten days shy of where there are in this photo, growth-wise. There are bleeding hearts and day lilies starting to poke through the soil in the front yard. We are, very possibly, in our last few months in this house, which is sad and exciting at the same time.
We may, just maybe, have found a new place to live.
It’s not downtown. Which is sad. And being this house’s last family is sad, too.
But the place we found – other than the “not downtown” part and not having a dish washer – is pretty close to perfect. Perfect enough that we’re excited about it.
 
You may recall that, not too long after my 40th birthday, I did a big ritual with the goal of manifesting abundance, pleasure, and security (as per both The Empress AND the then-recent full moon in Taurus).
The full moon in Libra (also ruled by Venus) was just last night and some of the big stuff seems to be falling into place.
I have two little anchor-income jobs that – while they’re nowhere near enough to live on alone, and they may or may not end up preventing me from accessing Emergency Income Supports (we don’t know yet because Who Is Eligible keeps getting expanded – hopefully at least one of us will be able to access these funds) – are also providing enough cash annually (in theory) to raise our household income by more than $9000. That will make a significant difference in our quality of life.
 
Likewise, a few days ago, a friend in the neighbourhood pointed us to a friend of hers who is looking to move and whose rental will be available in the next month or two.
You guys. It’s a three-bedroom with LOTS of space (and closet space), a yard to garden, a big driveway with lots of parking, and a big kitchen with room for the chest freezer and some extra shelving. And the (shared) basement has a high enough ceiling that we could actually stand up in it. There’s a possibility that there will be washing machines available, but if not, we’ll have to spend some money on laundry machines as there are zero (0) laundromats within even a half-hour walk of the place. But… $200 for a second hand washer-dryer set off kijiji is still going to pay for itself inside of one year, so. Not really upset about it, especially since it means not having to hoard coins, schedule the availability of clean socks based on the weather report, or drag 2-3 loads of laundry around outdoors during the winter (or, y’know, a pandemic…). Plus we have friends in the area already, including one of my wife’s partners (who is Older and my girl is very happy/relieved to be (potentially) moving to within emergency sprinting distance, basically, if something bad happens).
We’ve talked to the landlord on the phone, and we sent our application off earlier today.
So keep your fingers crossed for us on this one.
 
The sourdough bread situation is… going about as well as it usually does. I think I need to remember to – at the very least – only give it one rise before putting it in the loaf pans and prepping it for baking, as that seems to help.
I’m doing a Kitchen Sink stew in the slow-cooker today. Using up odds and sods from the fridge and freezer. It’s making the house smell really nice, which is great since it’s grey and chilly outside.
I finished a pair of slippers – for future use as “house shoes” when visiting other people – and I’m continuing to work on my t-shirt dress. It’s slow going, and we’ll see what the end result is like. But it’s good to have a project on the go. I’m taking it kind of one step at a time and hopefully I won’t mess something up so badly that I have to redo it entirely. We’ll see what happens. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’ve also started hunting through my fabric stash for 100% cotton scraps that I can re-purpose into masks for those rare occasions when we have to be out and about. Lastly, I’m working on a stocking extension. It’s been in progress for years, and is basically something I pick up when I want to knit a thing and don’t have a more pressing project on the go. I’m a long way from done on that one (and there’s definitely a whole other extension to do afterwards), but it’s nice to have something to knit.
 
Yesterday, I went to (virtual) Full Moon Meditation courtesy of Connect DC and Two Rivers Sanctuary again. While I didn’t get any Big Huge Messages this time, I did have an unexpected energetic experience. I’m not sure quite how to talk about it but… it was a thing, and one that’s apparently happened before (though I only knew about it because somebody who can See That Stuff told me about it after the fact).
The meditation was very comforting. Which I gather is kind of Their Deal when they’re doing Full Moon ritual.
New Moon rituals, if they have them, can potentially be focused on stuff like providing a container for catharsis, but Full Moon rituals – based on attending exactly two of them – seem to be very focused on love and receptivity and belonging. Which is pretty great, and something that I find really helpful, especially in stressful situations where I might (maybe, possibly) be telling myself that I shouldn’t be getting my needs met because other people need more and/or I don’t deserve it, or whatever.
This ritual was very actively pushing back against Scarcity Feels, and I appreciate it, and am glad I was able to take part.
 
Mary El Tarot - Five of Cups - A white unicorn lounges on the lip of a well. Behind it is a waterfall. Water cascades out of the sides of the well in four directions.

Mary El Tarot – Five of Cups – A white unicorn lounges on the lip of a well. Behind it is a waterfall. Water cascades out of the sides of the well in four directions.


 
For my tarot card meditation I used a random one-card generator and got the Five of Water.
I know this card best as the Osho Zen deck’s “Clinging to the Past” but, with the occasional exception, it is reliably a card about grief regardless of which deck you’re using.
The Next World Tarot describes this card as one where “hope is nebulous” and grief (disaster, abandonment, failure) feels familiar, reliable and navigable. I know a lot of people who don’t know how to handle it when success comes calling. Right now, I’m personally in a situation where it looks like, maybe, some Big Magic of mine is about to get results, and I’m trying not to get too confident about it Just In Case things don’t work out as well as it (currently) looks like they might. Using the Conditional Tense when I talk about our (potential) new house. Continuing to ask all and sundry to think good thoughts for us. Putting all of this stuff in brackets to essentially keep saying “this is still a big IF and I don’t want to jinx it by Hoping”.
But I AM hoping!
And I’m aware of the grief (and stress, because moving is not a fun time) that will come with a Yes, too. Like I said, further up the post, we will be this house’s last family before it’s demolished, and our beloved shelter deserves better than that. We’ll be leaving this neighbourhood – that we both love – in order to receive/accept this house that is otherwise utterly perfect for us, and there’s going to be some sadness around moving away from so many of our friends.
…And I’m still hoping. I think this will be good.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Continuing to do my Moon Salutations. Which is nice. Going for very short walks. Dancing in the street when the street is marvelously empty at 10am on a Monday morning. The up-coming Stay Homo and Dance video dance party scheduled for this Friday. Pulling last year’s dead stalks out of the garden to make room for this year’s new growth.
 
Attention: I’m kind of glued to the CRA website right now, in the interests of finding out whether we’re either Completely Fucked or actually Probably Fine with regards to income supports (Bougie Welfare, basically) from the government. Beyond that? Paying attention to the plants waking up and the baby squirrels and the amorous, courting birds of all kinds flitting about the neighbourhood.
 
Gratitude: For a metamour who turns up with a care package that includes chocolate and wine. For postcards from my neighbours. For the rhubarb and the crow garlic and the sorrel waking up and growing again. For the grape hyacinths starting to just barely hint at flowering. For the friend who’s offered to bring us pizza. For the people (mostly relatives) who have reached out to ask if we need money, explicitly. For the friend who pointed us towards this house. For video chats. For video dates with my girlfriend. For my DC metamour getting safely through COVID19 without having to go to a hospital(!). For stay-in-your-house shows done via live stream. For remote work that means we have a little bit of income. For my sewing and cooking skills. For my wife’s Official Layoff that will make it easier for us to access government supports. For a (potential) summer move that will let me rescue my garden and bring it with me. For the borrowed-for-the-duration work truck that will let us move without help, if that’s how this goes. For my over-stuffed pantry that’s been feeding us, with limited inputs, since mid-February. For Beltane (and the option of restocking said paintry) on its way. For my wife having time off to rest her body and tinker on her projects.
 
Inspiration: SPRING! The whole ideal of “Make do and mend”. The culinary experiments of #IronChefCOVID19 and everyone who is trying their hand at sour dough bread (it’s such a thing right now, and I totally get it, and also I can’t blame the people who are looking at this and going “Okay, but why THIS specific food? Why now?” Answers: Because yeast is surprisingly hard to come by right now. Because making sourdough bread (successfully) can help stave off feelings of helplessness and/or scarcity. Because, hey, maybe nurturing a starter along will help some people remember that Not All Microbes and we can actually have relationships with same that don’t involve us actively and desperately trying to murder one another, so there’s that, too).
 
Creation: Working on a sonnet. Lots of sewing. Lots of cooking. A very small amount of prose (like maybe 650 words in a two-week period). I’m doing. But I’m not doing much.