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 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.