Category Archives: Better Living Through Radical Magical Transformation

New Year New You 2021 – Week 2: Goals

Crystal Visions Tarot - King of Pentalces - A woman with long, brown hair and an antler crown, green greeves, and a staff topped with a big crystal, sits enthroned under a spreading oak. Crystal points poke out of the ground at her feet.

Crystal Visions Tarot – King of Pentacles – A woman with long, brown hair and an antler crown, green greaves, and a staff topped with a big crystal, sits enthroned under a spreading oak. Crystal points poke out of the ground at her feet.

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 do you want to accomplish using both magical and mundane means? Figure out your SMART Goal and the magical and mundane actions you need to take to achieve them.

Tarot Card: The King of Coins. I mean, obviously.

Next World Tarot - King of Pentacles - Someone with blue and black hair, motorcycle boots, and a pink mini-dress scatters jewels on a Hollywood Walk of Fame star labeled "Daddy".

Next World Tarot – King of Pentacles – Someone with blue and black hair, motorcycle boots, and a pink mini-dress scatters jewels on a Hollywood Walk of Fame star labeled “Daddy”.

Okay. I know. It’s been three months. I still feel really uncertain. Like I don’t really know what I’m doing. Like this project was done before I even got it started – I’ve been working one new job for, y’know, about three months, and have signed the contract for a second new job, even if I’m not going to see work from them (I’m VERY okay with this) until my current UU contract wraps up.

That’s what I wanted, right?

So I find myself… kind of flailing. What are my goals beyond the immediate one of “be able to pay the bills”?

And that’s a REALLY relevant question to be asking when you’re focusing on the King of Coins. This King is a character who (a) is a Navigator – she knows how to work, and how to make money work for her. But she’s also (b) someone who knows her own worth and doesn’t succumb to workaholism or forget about pleasure. Pentacles are the suit of embodiment and that’s important to remember.

So. Beyond the basics of the Four (tenuous shelter) or the Six (I’m okay, but someone has power over me), where do I want to go?

  1. I want to get out of debt – This is kind of a no-brainer, and being able to throw those monthly payments into a savings account is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more appealing that shoving money at a credit card company. This goal is pretty-much entirely a Mundane Means goal and, knowing that I’ve got at least six more months of reliable, more-than-survival income, it actually looks… fairly achievable if I just stick with it.
  2. I want to change up where my “baseline” sits so that I don’t feel… weirdly exposed(??) when I’m not in a pile of debt. You guys, I’m not even sure where to start with this, but it’s going to involve what my lovely wife terms “Cognitive Behavioural Witchcraft”.
  3. I want to ride the Hedonic Escalator up a level or two. I guess the best way to explain this one is that I want to re-program my brain to stop thinking that I’m going to be punished for having nice things, or for things going well, or – if I stretch this a bit – for recognizing my own skills and, qua the King of Pentacles, Knowing My Worth. I don’t particularly want to hit that point on the income scale where money stops “buying happiness” (more accurately: increasing emotional well-being) but I would like to continue this New Experience of being able to buy whatever I feel like at the grocery store, and being able to buy a few New Things (think: earrings, a book, a bra) in any given month without having to stress about it. It’s a hedonic adaptation – perceiving this as Normal rather than novel – that I really, REALLY like and would like to hang onto!

So let’s chew on this a little bit. For Goal #1: Easy peasy. Pay cash for all the things (which I’ve been doing for… roughly a year already – bless you, online retailers who accept paypal) and throw as much money as I can at my credit card debt in order to reduce it as quickly as possible. Super basic. Very straight-forward. Though admittedly not that interesting if I’m trying to write a post for my witchcraft blog.

Goals #2 and #3 however have some magical elements involved. Like, yeah, yeah, there’s mundane stuff – like throttling my panic and talking to my most-recent employer and asking for a better starting wage (which I GOT!) – and there’s mind stuff like journaling on questions like Why do I think a hammer of retribution is going to slam down on me if I have an RRSP instead of debt, or a CSA instead of a mental map of where I can most easily dumpster for produce? or Why is my relationship with money and/or employment so very much like anxious-avoidant attachment? But… there’s also a lot of room for ritual and spell-craft. Things like:

Using the Iron Pentacle meditation – maybe including, or building on, some of the ritual suggestions outlined in the “Power” chapter in the book of the same name by Jane Meredith and Gede Parma – to call back and reclaim my power.

Doing energy work with my three lower chakras (security, exchange/connection, and power/will), possibly in connection with my fifth chakra as well.

Continuing to feed and praise my Little Helpers at my tiny desk altar, and to light my offering candles and otherwise make offerings to my Gods and Ancestors at the big main altar in the living room (there’s whiskey on the altar right now, but I sure do owe them some fire. And probably a tidy-up.

Visiting my Fetch and my Godself in my enchanted astral sea cave / forest. This matters because: Building and Nurturing the relationships between your talking-self (The I Behind Your Eyes where we spend a LOT of our time) and the other parts of your magical/spiritual body is important just generally. But for my specific goals here, there are some pretty real actions that have to happen. (Which: Just a quick word about those…)

Fetch is your embodied, non-wordy, physical, sensual self. Fetch is the twig of YOU that’s part of a family tree two-hundred and thirty thousand years old, or older. She’s my skin-hunger. She’s my Trust Issues. She’s the stomach cramps, nausea, and persistent chills that show up when my anxiety gets bad. She’s connected hard to my lower chakras and showing up consistently for her – in magical as well as mundane ways – is going to go a long way towards convincing my physical body, my limbic and nervous systems, that I’m not going to die, frozen and alone, in the snow.

Likewise, Godself is the spark of YOU that is part of the unimaginably vast, wholly divine, thinking, feeling universe, the chaos-butterfly flutter that can make big changes way beyond your vulnerable, human body. Within the realm of this project’s specific goals: I can call on her help – or work magically inside the luxury astral sea cave where we communicate most directly – to rewire my own neural pathways. I can call on her help to send jobs, grants, and publishers swimming towards my nets. Heck, I can stock my astral fridge with smoked salmon and tuna sashimi to feed (and treat) my own divinity well.

So. Those are some areas where I can focus magical work in order to further my goals for this project. What are some bite-sized action I can take to further my goals this week?

Mundane: Update my spending spreadsheet, make a (small-but-additional) credit card payment, take some meat out of the freezer to thaw so that dinners for the next few days can be easier to deal with, and stay on top of my paid work.

Mind: Do the exercises at the end of Chapter One of my “money mindset” book. Spend some actual time on this, but don’t over-think it.

Magical: Light candles on my altar. Feed my tiny charms with breath and spit and whiskey. Take five minutes to run my chakras, put on my astral jewelry, and do some Listening. Make a soup for dinner and enchant it for prosperity (seaweed), security (carbs – in the form of rice noodles), and luxury (leftovder roast duck).

Wish me luck!

New Year New You 2021 – Week 1: Making Way

At least seven cardboard boxes, some open, some taped shut with masking tape, stacked in a jumble. Photo by Racool Studio, via freepik.com

Cardboard boxes on a white background

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 can’t start putting all this awesome new crap into your life and body until you get rid of the old crap. Old crap here is defined as many things such as relationships that are no longer working, old crutches, clutter of the mind and of the house.

Someone with teal and brown hair, in a green tank top, tries to juggle two pentacles without dropping them

Two of Pentacles – This Might Hurt tarot – Someone with teal and brown hair, in a green tank top, tries to juggle two pentacles without dropping them

Tarot Card: I picked Two of Pentacles for this prompt because of its associations with disorganization and time-management, as well as with priorities and prioritization.
It feels appropriate, okay?

Look. If there’s anything that’ll highlight how much crap you’ve got, it’s Moving. Our move happened a solid seven months ago, but we moved everything. Just threw it all into boxes and shifted it across town in a borrowed van. It took us a month. But I don’t think we could have done it in a day the way I did at 28 when I was moving downtown (with a lot less stuff, and a lot more help). Pandemics, amirite?
But it means that what my Making Way looks like is finally getting ALL the boxes unpacked plus some re-organizing of the office-space in The Library so that I can add my latest job’s desktop computer to the mix.
O.O
Time management, indeed. O.O

Do I like cleaning? Heck no!
(…If that wasn’t abundantly obvious by now) BUT…
It also has to be done. My lovely wife said to me, yesterday, that houses – in addition to wanting to be filled with people, wanting to be lived in – want to be taken care of. Which, really, is a no-brainer. Especially for an animist. And, yeah, much the same way that I skip meals and avoid showering because “I have too much to do” (in reality, or when I’m just wound up and anxious, which is a lot of the time), I also neglect my house. The body that shelters my body.
What Ms Sugar says about the energy in a clean, organized house flowing very differently from how it does in a dirty or untidy house is… true. Even for all of us who resent cleaning, who go But Nature Isn’t Tidy(!!!), who view the whole “cleanliness is next to godliness” thing as an ugly hold-over from puritan christianity that feels like one more shaming thing that we have to deal with in our respective days. The energy does flow more easily. It feels more like fresh air. (Which: It’s winter: We’ve been cooped up for nine months. We all need fresh air). So it’s worth doing. And… this house is a person. If I care about this person who is taking care of me, I should be caring for them too.

So, my goals for physically Making Way are:
Finish unpacking the boxes in the Spare Room – at a rate of one box per day, it will probably take two weeks, but that’s very manageable so that’s how it’s being done.
Do dishes more frequently than I have been – which isn’t hard. I’d say “do dishes once a day” but that’s very unlikely and I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot. But every other day could be done.
Get the second computer set up in the office, and do what needs doing to transfer the files (hard-copy and digital) to where they need to be.

In terms of psychically/mentally/emotionally Making Way:
Making a point of visiting my Occult Barbie Dream House (yes, that’s also a Ms Sugar term) and re-stocking the Astral Fridge with tasty things for me and June to snack on. Maybe also brining my Fetch a healthy snack in her gym/forest house.
I’d like to include doing some of the journalling prompts from my “dealing with your money hangups” book, because those are definitely some big rocks I’m carrying around. So, I ask myself: How am I going to MAKE the time to do that? Answer: …This one might be a Boxing Day activity. I think I can make time for it then.

Wish me luck!

Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Year New You 2020: Week 23 – Mirror Mirror

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: As this is the last week, please take some time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve learned, and where you’re going to go from here.
 

Wildwood Tarot - The Mirror (MA 12) - The Lady of the Lake, with a serpentine lower body, and flowing dark hair, holds the full moon in one hand and a mirror in the other. A heron is in the foreground. In the distance, a boat carries a corpse to a tiny island

Wildwood Tarot – The Mirror (MA 12) – The Lady of the Lake, with a serpentine lower body, and flowing dark hair, holds the full moon in one hand and a mirror in the other. A heron is in the foreground. In the distance, a boat carries a corpse to a tiny island


 
Tarot Card: The Mirror
It was a toss up between this card – more traditionally known as The Hanged Man – and the Six of Swords, itself a card of transition, reflection, and pause.
 
I started writing this roughly a month and a half ago, back when things didn’t feel particularly finished in terms of my Empress Project. A month ago, right at Summer Solstice, I took a crack at it again because things were feeling a little more Done. So maybe third time’s a charm?
There are absolutely Goals that I haven’t entirely achieved yet. Stuff around integrating better habits around self-talk and relationship building, for example. But I do feel like I’ve leveled up in a lot of ways.
Summer Solstice felt like a closing ceremony – literally – for this project because I did the bookend ritual to the Big Magic I did just after I turned forty. A month later, maybe I can do some reflecting on things and see where I’m at.
I have a new place to live, in a neighbourhood that I love – mostly because it’s quiet and right near the river, and has wild fruit trees within easy walking distance, but also because I have friends nearby.
I feel like I’ve got better boundary-skills, and am braver when it comes to talking about what I want and need i my relationships. (There is, I recognize, absolutely a danger of slipping backwards on this front, though, and part of what I’ve been dipping my toes into, recently, is how to make sure that doesn’t happen).
While I (still) haven’t found a publisher for my chapbook, I have received a grant(!!!) to help me complete my Femme Glosa Project, and I have a publishing history that I 100% did not have when I started this project at the end of 2018.
I’ve managed to land a couple of small, flexible, from-home jobs that are helping to keep the bills covered even in These Uncertain Times.
I feel more centered and comfortable in my sexual body (that is not a euphemism for my genitals, I actually mean my whole body as sexual being) – although that continues to be a work in progress.
 
I’ve met a bunch of my goals, and I’m proud of myself.
 
Something I’ve definitely learned about Magic this year – and I mean since January, 2020 – is that having a SMART Goal for your magical working is going to get you more obvious, tangible results than not having one will. If only because the goal, itself, is “measurable” and “time bound” and so-on. The Big Magic I did to get our house? I specified a *when* as well as a what. And it happened. The magic I’ve been doing to secure a couple of anchor incomes? Ditto.
 
So that’s something to keep in mind as I continue to do Magical Stuff for self-improvement purposes. And I do intend to keep right on doing Magical Stuff for self-improvement.
Where do I want to go from here?
 
TBH, I’m feeling kind of split on this one, and wondering how to integrate some things.
 
I did a tarot reading recently and this is what I got:
Me as I am: The Empress (U)
Am I on the correct path: 9 of Water (U)
What’s my main obstacle: 6 of Water (U)
What is helping me: Page of Air (R)
How can progress be made: King of Earth (R)
 
Which is pretty positive. I mean, getting the nine of cups for “am I on the right path” is a pretty solid YES, which is very nice to hear.
Seeing my “Where am I right now” as literally the card this project is named for, is reassuring and encouraging.
My “obstacles” card… tracks. The six of cups is all about nostalgia. Nostalgia in the sense of “wishful thinking or dreaming in technicolor without actually doing the work is… not going to help you here”. But also like “Don’t slip backwards now that your goals are within your reach”.
So: Okay.
 
As-you-know-bob, I read reversed cards specifically as “my relationship with myself” (as opposed to upright, which is “my relationship with literally anyone/anything else”) and when I look at the Page of Air – their logic and structure, their thinking of things through, their self-examination and deep digging – and the King of Earth (who, as a King Card, thrives on structure) and I start to see what needs doing.
So. What is helping me (move through or past that obstacle): Structure, self-awareness, honesty and accurate communication, curiosity, interest in learning and trying new things.
How can progress be made (towards the goals that remain in my Empress Project, towards the next step beyond this): Solidifying my material/financial well-being so that it’s more permanent and reliable. This is a card about achieving success and feeling confident and happy about your home, your finances, and your body. So it ties fairly readily into a “next steps” post Empress Project.
 
And also.
If my Work is to learn through joy and play, and to make deep loving connections with people, how does that fit with what I’ve been interpreting as a “get your finances together” card?
Presumably it can be a Both/And. But, just at the moment, I’m a little at a loss for how to integrate the two of them or pursue them at the same time.
I will be chewing on this for a while, I suspect.
In the mean time, and as I’m chewing, I’ll be doing the following:

Working on my poetry manuscript
Continuing to submit individual poems and smaller manuscripts for publication
Further exploring Sacred Sexuality Stuff
and, well…
Looking for further from-home work, since my modeling career is unlikely to be a thing this year.

 
But yeah! That’s where’s I’m at with this project. I think I’ve made some progress, and I’m proud of what I’ve done. I look forward to taking it further.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Year New You 2020: Week 22 – Last Push (Make All the Work Worth It)

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: I do this because I have to believe that this has all been worth it. All this work, all this stress, all these sleepless nights, all this anxiety, everything!So, let’s make sure it is! Push harder than you ever have this week. Push harder than you ever thought you could and then just a little bit more. I believe in all of you. Let’s make magic this week, kids.
 

Wild Unknown Tarot - Wheel of Fortune - A ring of birch branches bound together with wild, colourful loops of ribbon. The sun, a crescent moon, and an own are all present.

Wild Unknown Tarot – Wheel of Fortune – A ring of birch branches bound together with wild, colourful loops of ribbon. The sun, a crescent moon, and an own are all present.


 
Tarot Card: The Wheel of Fortune
I chose this card because… it feels like this is a big, leveling-up level Change. That’s why.
 
Okay. As last pushes go, this is a pretty literal one. We’re ten days into our move to the house I did A Big Ritual to be able to secure. The big push is to get the house entirely cleared out this weekend, with the garden being rescued and transplanted during the last week of May, when it’s had a chance to come up from underground.
 
And, yes, I absolutely decided, part-way through this two+ year cycle of NYNY, that I needed to focus specifically (or at least a lot MORE) on the material elements of The Empress, in order to get myself some secure housing plus a reliable income to supplement my gig-based career as an art model. So. Mission (somewhat?) Accomplished?
Go me!
But I also find myself looking at my original goals.
See, a long time ago, I said:

This project is about opening myself up, rooting myself solid, and becoming my fullest, most integrated, femme self.

 
And I know I have further to go on that front. I mean, yes, sure, There’s A Pandemic and, yes, I’m still in my second month of my new (year-long contract) job, and, yes, I’ve been moving for the past three weeks, so maybe it’s not that odd that I haven’t been churning out a new poem every week or staying on top of my January-era (pre-pandemic era?) goal of submitting poems to three+ paid markets every other month. But I look back at my goals, and I can see how well I’m doing with them. I have an idea of what my next steps are – even got confirmation of them via A Dream, which was pretty cool.
 
My wife said to me, last night, that she feels like this isn’t just moving into a new house, it’s moving into a new life.
We’re both experienced enough to know that “new life” doesn’t just happen. That you don’t change your behaviours without putting some work into it. But I have to agree that this feels a bit like that’s what’s happening.
 
In my recent Full Moon post, I wrote a little about wanting to do a Closing Up the House ritual once the garden is potted up and the house, itself, is empty. I think this is a good idea, and I have the symbolic items that will be involved in the ritual itself.
But, magically speaking, I’m still a little blurry on what I’m trying to accomplish.
The Cheat Codes Course I took with Ms Sugar (registration for the quite affordable second cycle closes TODAY, so you’ve got a couple of hours to still get in on it – RECOMMENDED) actually brought home how important that bit is. Most of my magic, over the course of ~25 years of doing the work, has been about changing things inside myself (Changing Consciousness At Will, to quote ye olde Starhawk), so when it took a LONG time for my magic to get anywhere, I thought it was because it was Slow Magic, rather than, say, me doing the physical/psychological work without getting the spellcraft to actually be effective.
But I would seriously prefer to not be closing up a condemned house (because: bought by a developer, it’s actually perfectly sturdy and good), with magic afoot, without knowing what I want to accomplish.
 
Because that’s part of the Last Big Push.
 
Am I giving the spirit of my condemned house permission to go, to let its body die early?
Am I asking its spirit to come and be the spirit of a birdhouse hung up in the big cedar tree in our new yard?
Am I offering it some bit of vestigial life in this fleece, these petals and feathers, this bone and hoping it can hang on a little longer?
What am I doing?
 
And, depending on what I’m doing, what else am I doing?
Am I asking for a last favour from the place that sheltered me for more than five years?
Or am I burying old habits with this handful of other dead material, and hoping they die with the house that deserves so much better?
What am I doing?
 
I have until Saturday to figure it out.

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.

New Moon – Meltwater Moon Begins (#PiscesNewMoon)

Whelp. It’s almost the end of February, it was 11C on Monday (wtf…), we’re due to get snow, freezing rain AND a sudden return to very sub-zero temperatures in the next 48 hours, and Mercury is backstroking through Pisces as I type.
 
I keep getting the suspicion that planetary retrogrades can function a lot like reversed cards in tarot readings. By-which I mean that rather than (or in addition to) being about the “disfunctional” or “negative” or just “difficult” aspects of a thing, reversed/retrograde can point you in a particular direction.
I tend to read upright cards as “this is about the relationship you have with the outside world” and reversed cards as “this is about the relationship you have with yourself”.
And planetary retrogrades can be an opportunity to ask a similar question.
In the case of Mercury – planet of communication and, mythologically speaking, messenger between the various worlds – this retrograde is an opportunity for me to ask myself “What stories am I telling myself? Where I am lying to myself? Where – as Liz Worth suggests – are my actions, commitments, and habits NOT syncing up with the true nature of my most integrated self?
Which is to say, it’s a good time for Shadow Work.
 
So I’m doing some Shadow Work!
Trying to triangulate between (assumptions I make about the nature of) other people’s Stories so that I can uncover some more of my own.
If any of you have ever read Starhawk’s Truth or Dare – and it has a been a looooong time since I read it – you may remember her concept of The Unbreakable Vow. The terrible bargain we strike with ourselves – and, according to our imaginations, with someone else who generally has no idea we’re doing this but upon-whom we are dependent for life-and-death because: attachment bonds – to give up something, or take on something, in order to maintain access to love-and-belonging and therefore to survival.
 
A lot of my stories – a LOT of my stories – are about dropping everything to take care of other people (Who will SURELY reject/abandon me and Leave Me To Die, Frozen and Alone in the Snow if I fail to do this). BUT… I think there’s a flip-side to it. Something that dovetails with my expectations around “Being taken advantage of” or “being used” but isn’t that.
I told myself a story about my mom. About what I suspect her own Story is. That if someone has to be Helpful in order to be Good AKA Safe-and-Loved (which is definitely one of MY stories, too), then on some level that person needs others – attachment-bound others – to be help-LESS.
And so I asked myself if it was possible that I have made some kind of a deal With Myself, the aforementioned Unbreakable Vow, that says:
In order for ME to be safe – to be loved by my mom, instead of punished by her; to be rewarded by an employer instead of punished by them (or fired or whatever); stuff like that – I must remain on some level both compliant (accepting of someone else’s controlling behavior, direction, demands/requests, etc) AND… kind of… at the mercy of the other party in some way that involves “not being able to succeed by myself”.
Like I think there’s another angle to the “giving up my autonomy” thing that shows up under the heading of Compliance, and I’m wondering if this is it.
So that’s something I’m chewing on right now.
 
I’m reading The Secret of the Shadow which… has both useful information (albeit sometimes hard to parse, particularly when navigating the amount of ableism, fatphobia, whorephobia, and other crap that this book is definitely written with – reader beware) AND has… a lot of stuff that feels like work I’ve already done. Which isn’t to say it’s not work I still need to keep doing – when I’m feeling resentful and frustrated about cleaning my house and telling myself “I can’t do XYZ because someone else hasn’t done QRV yet” I need to catch what I’m doing and say “Okay, but is this really about “can’t” or is this about “annoyed because I have do to QRV as well as XYZ”? Like can you actually, in reality, do the thing, and you’re just pissed off?” Because frequently the answer is Yes.
But it’s not a new concept, if you will.
 
I have to tell you: Shadow Work is hard because It’s Annoying. It’s hard to do by yourself without someone to be like “Have you considered this other angle that is NOT just digging down into stuff you already know?” because it’s harder to catch that when it’s YOU doing it. It’s a bit of a slog – and maybe a LOT of a slog – because it’s hard (for me, at least) to tell when I’m making progress vs when I’m kind of maybe going backwards?
But I’m noticing that my throat chakra talks to me when I’m in my shadow-place.
Situations where I have a heap of shame – like Eight of Swords stuff – or am freaking out about a Thing that’s (probably) connected to my Shadow Beliefs (like a few days ago when I was in a work situation where my brain was screaming “No! Don’t tell Them that I don’t Need them! They’ll punish/abandon me!” about a third-party communication and my larynx swelled right the heck up immediately.
It didn’t calm down until that night, when I did my Moon Salutations while singing and consciously using good vocal technique to do so.
 
I think it’s interesting that I have some sort of built in “shut-up-shut-up-shut-up” THING going on that’s so physical and, in retrospect, so recognizable.
I think it’s interesting that my own body has these ways of talking to the words-using part of my brain, and I’m really glad that I’m starting to understand what I’m saying to myself, and under-which circumstances I find myself saying which things. Learning how to recognize where my fears are flaring up, learning how to Not Hide while that’s happening… it’s A Process, I tell you, but it feels good to be doing.
 
In other news, and for the first time in any sort of official capacity, I’m undertaking an Austerity.
This is a thing that comes up in Ms Sugar’s writing with a fair degree of frequency, and which I consistently dislike. But I’m giving it a shot right now because… why the hell not, basically. There are things I need to do anyway, so why not do them with some magical Intention behind them.
My annual Eat From the Larder Challenge has started early this year, and will be running for about ten weeks rather than about four. It is, as usual, somewhat modified. I can restock on food – milk, eggs, coffee, a few other things – that we go through frequently (in part because this is a LONG version of what I’m used to, and in part because this is MY Austerity, not my wife’s), but only if I pay cash, and there’s a limit to how much I can spend in a given week.
It’s a sacrifice of time and energy and easiness, basically, as coming up with tasty dinners and speedy lunches when I can’t decide to Just Buy Something is… tiring, to say the least.
 
I have bread rising right now. I’ll be making another batch of Hippie Muffins (think: lots of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds plus fruit butter standing in for the majority of the sweetener) later today. I need to put a bowl of chick peas on to soak, and another one of green lentils. I may or may not set up some mung beans to sprout while I’m at it.
I have plans for a lentils-and-kale soup with dried tomatoes and spicy sausages thrown in for this evening (with home-made bread) and for a zucchini-and-tomato bread pudding for tomorrow night. Pan-fried fish with rice (or maybe quinoa) and frozen veggies on Friday.
Which all sounds great (and will be).
AND
I’ve been grateful that my wife has had more than her usual number of evenings out with partners since I started this thing just over ten days ago because it’s meant that I could content myself with tea and toast and/or tinned herring “snacks” (which, ha, I am entirely out of now, and which I’ll likely be kicking myself about for the next eight weeks) rather than having to think of Actual Meals after a day of work. Because – thankfully – I’ve also been getting a fair amount of work (and also a fair amount of social events) in the past two weeks that have had me away from the house, and/or working on paid stuff instead of household stuff (like keeping the kitchen clean-and-functional or taking stock of what I have in the pantry and the freezer to work with), and… I’m getting to the point where that’s not so much of an option anymore.
I can still make tuna sandwiches, provided I’ve made bread recently, but I don’t have a LOT of tinned tuna left, which means making hummus – possibly with some frozen mashed pumpkin thrown in – from scratch so that I can make hummus-and-sour-kraut sandwiches as an alternative to tuna. It means making tasty, protein-heavy muffins from scratch AND watching how much flour I have available. It means recognizing that I have two one-person servings of (different kinds of) noodles left, and considering how many varied dishes I can make with rice, barley, and quinoa.
 
Part of me – the part that wants to cook with butter rather than oil+salt, the part that wants to have a gallon of milk in the fridge AND a pound of butter AND rotini within easy reach AND wine on the table (and, okay, the altar) this Friday – is annoyed with myself for creating “artificial scarcity” in my home, in the name of creating more abundance in the long-run. The rest of me… The rest of me is noticing how readily the paid work is coming in, including bookings from unexpected places, and is taking this as a good omen that suggests my sacrifice is being accepted. And that part wants to see how this all works out.
So we’ll see how it goes.
 
~*~
 

Silicon Dawn - Fortitude (8 of Major Arcana) - A six-armed babe in a body-suit, a striped corset, and a collar chooses to act as a pillar, holding up the ceiling at a kink party.

Silicon Dawn – Fortitude (8 of Major Arcana) – A six-armed babe in a body-suit, a striped corset, and a collar chooses to act as a pillar, holding up the ceiling at a kink party.


 
The card I pulled – from my Silicon Dawn deck – as my tarot card meditation for this waxing moon, is Fortitude. The Strength card.
Strength is my birth card, so it’s always a little bit significant when it pops into my hands at a random cutting of the deck.
In the Osho Zen deck, Strength shows up as the Courage to push through the hard thing and bloom. In the Next World deck, it’s about “accessing your higher self through compassion and listening”. Which are both relevant to my current endeavors.
In the Silicon Dawn deck, it’s also a card that talks about choosing to take on a burden or a difficult thing.
During a period when I’m both choosing to take on the extra work of this Austerity AND digging into the Shadow Beliefs that (in my particular case) have me choosing, on some level, to remain in some specific kinds of bondage? I’d call that relevant to my interests.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Yoga almost (almost) every day. Go me. Six hours of modelling work, yesterday, that involved pushing some limits and discovering that my body is stronger and more flexible than it was the last time I tried poses like that. (Oh, hey! Take note, self! Sometimes you outgrow your own limits without noticing and you don’t find out you’re capable of more until you try! It’s A Sign!) Walking my errands and commutes – although I have taken the bus home from work a few times in the past week, which I think was the right decision. Chipping and chiselling the ice dams away from my steps – we’re going to get a big dump of snow and/or freezing rain in the next few days, but I wanted to use the (unusually) warm weather to help make the impending shoveling easier for myself.
 
Attention: Listening to my body/chakras when it/they/I talk to my word-using brain. Striving to notice when I’m Up In My Narratives so that I can step outside outside of them, little by little, more easily and readily. Also taking note of what I do and don’t have in my pantry to put towards tasty meals. Also keeping track of which Tiny Magical Workings I’m remembering to do / making a point of keeping my commitments to, and which ones get pushed to the side on any given day (and trying not to beat myself up about that, in the noticing, because I built redundancies into this stuff for a reason).
 
Gratitude: For work that pays in cash. For modelling jobs. For a free poetry workshop and an opportunity to perform (open mic) that I actually took instead of bailing (Good Job, Me). For tinned soup and tinned fish and pumpkin-and-sunflower seeds that I can use to make quick, snack-like meals to keep me going when I’m tired, distracted, or prioritizing something else (whether or not that’s a good idea). Grateful for a wife who thinks I’m gorgeous and awesome. Grateful for a girlfriend who listens to me talking about my Shadow Stuff and tells me the Divine things she can see underlying them. Grateful for this blessed day off, almost entirely free of paid-work-commitments, so I can focus on home-work and homework, on writing and self-work and the magic of making food. Grateful for a body that talks to me and and brain that is starting to understand my physical language.
 
Inspiration: The specifics of everyday life, as used pretty directly during last night’s poetry workshop. Tarot Cards (because: always, apparently). My fellow poets and fellow witches. My sweethearts, working hard at what they do.
 
Creation: Three new poems! A bunch of (currently untested, but go with it) non-boozy cocktail recipes. The beginnings of (a) a new porn story, and (b) a possible memoire-related book outline? We’ll see where these ones go.

New Year New You 2019: Week 20 – Hearth Appreciation Week

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 week, let’s focus on what is likely your disaster of a hearth.
 
Tarot Card: Ten of Pentacles
 

Wildwood Tarot – Ten of Stones: “Home” – A traditional wattle-and-daub Round House, visible through a stone arch. The house is in good repair, and there is a great tree growing through the center of its thatched roof.


 
Well… She’s not wrong. My house/hearth is often a disaster, and now is no exception, especially having effectively gone from the dazed-and-full-of-cheese headspace of the Midwinter-to-New-Years period directly into a week in a different country, visiting my Young Lady.
So this prompt is coming at a convenient time for a bunch of reasons but primarily… it’s just Time, and having multiple Reasons that aren’t connected to the feeling of “Ew, my home is gross and I want to avoid it” or similar… really helps to get me to Do The Thing.
 
Shame is not a good motivator for me.
“Elevate your daily work to the level of spiritual Work” (to quote Katrina, from Two Rivers Sanctuary in DC) is a good motivator for me.
“You’re an animist, so treat all the people who make up your living space WELL” is a good motivator for me.
“It’s EASIER to Entertain At Home when the dishes are reliably clean and the fridge isn’t crowded with suspicious tupperware” is a good motivator for me.
“You will have better sleep AND better sex in your bedroom if the sheets are clean, the sex toys are readily available, and the room doesn’t smell ever-so-faintly of the eight million dirty socks in the hamper”… is a good motivator for me!
So having Ms Sugar telling me – in stereo – to tidy up my physical living space is… working well for me on a number of levels.
 
While I know this is going to take more than a week, even with me having a fair bit of time available to dedicate to it, this where I’m at so far (having started two days ago):
I’ve given the living room bookshelves their first once-over, weeding out books that I want to rehome, and am starting the (more difficult but not Actually Difficult) task of gathering up all the Random Objects currently blocking access to the books I want to keep, so that I can re-organize the book shelves in such a way that all the photos and pretty rocks and similar look like they’re there on purpose, rather than because they had nowhere else to go.
I have a PLN for how to get my Sacred Writing Area actually tidy (it leans heavily on putting a set of stacking trays in one corner, tbh, and is pretty easy to do once I get ahold of some stacking trays).
I’m about 1/3 of the way through dealing with “my corner” of the bedroom, having gone through the side table and removed the expired safer sex supplies, and having unearth the deacon’s bench – and, in the process, having discovered that MOST of the clothing that’s been heaped on top of it for months is actually CLEAN, folded laundry that just needs to be put away – cleaned it out, and put away (or re-put-away) all the kink equipment. There’s still lots to do – finish sweeping the floor, tidy the surface of my side table, do about four loads of laundry at the laundromat, and hang the giant mirror above the deacon’s bench so that I can dangle various floggers, crops, and cute hats off the hooks that grace the frame’s corners.
My wife and I have a “date” this weekend to organize the part of the kitchen that will most help get the rest of the place tidy and easy to use – we were gifted a second-hand, needs-some-work washer and dryer, and we’ve finally determined that we are never going to clandestinely do the plumbing it would take to make the washer a usable item, so they are going out to the scrap yard and we are putting a couple of industrial shelving units + a small drop-leaf table (the latter is less relevant, but will probably be involved) in their place so that heavy things like 10kg bags of flour, flats of mason jars, small appliances (and the cider press my wife got my as a Midwinter Surprise), containers of dry goods, and baskets of root veggies – BUT ALSO buckets of mechanics equipment, jugs of cleaning vinegar, and various garbage and recycling bins – can be shelved in an orderly and accessible fashion, freeing up the Tall Zone on top of the cupboards for less-frequently-used and much lighter-weight items as the dehydrator and the canning pots.
The floors have been swept and vacuumed (this is a weekly/biweekly thing already, at least), the bathroom has been scrubbed, and will be getting graced with a cute art piece once it arrives from New Zealand in… anywhere from two weeks to two months, and I have an appointment with myself to Magically Scrubbing Bubbles my home in order to sweep insomnia, apathy, irritability, and avoidance right of the place.
Time to keep some appointments!
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

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 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.