Category Archives: divination

New Moon – Honey/Rose Moon Begins

“Honey bee approaching a dandelion” – photo by Kreuzschnabel via Wiki Free Images – A hhoney bee, dusted with pollen, approaches a dandelion blossom.


 
Technically there are three harvest-times for honey – in Ontario, anyway. The first is happening right about now. (The second, for those who are wondering, happens around Lammas – for darker honey from goldenrod and fruit blossoms – and the third happens just before Samhain and is when you harvest honey from late-blooming asters and stuff like buckwheat). So I’m calling this the “honey moon”, even though the roses have – just barely – started blooming in the neihbourhood and should be busting out all over the place before Summer Solstice hits.
 
My land-lady’s husband came by this morning and mowed the “lawn” – which, alas, included the tops of most of my yellow seed-mustard plants AND the tops of 2/3 of my ground cherries. I need to put in some kind of a fence or something so that (a) the ground ivy can’t get in and do it’s job (preventing soil erosion) while also disguising my food plants as a weedy patch, and also (b) so that my food plants are properly fenced off from the dandelions and ground ivy that cover the rest of the yard and, ideally, protected by said fence from the whipper snipper.
I’m not hugely worried – it’s early yet – but I would like it if I actually got some fruit off the ground cherries…
 
There are some significant changes happening on the home-front right now. My lovely wife has moved into a new shop space (above ground, and considerably less expensive) which is taking a lot of pressure off me, money-wise (thank you, all the gods) and I’m looking at taking a step further along one of my many career paths, and have an interview to that end coming up next week. It may or may not get me anywhere, but it’s worth a shot and I think it could be good for me in more ways than one.
 
Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - Maya, Queen of Fire, White Galaxy Rose, Queen of Earth

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – Maya, Queen of Fire, White Galaxy Rose, Queen of Earth.


With all this in mind, I decided to do Liz Worth’s suggested tarot spread for folks wanting to connect with the Gemini New Moon:
1. What am I learning at this time?
2. What am I teaching at this time?
3. What am I overthinking at this time?
4. What am I becoming at this time?
 
As is my somewhat lazy tendency, I didn’t so much shuffle the deck as cut it at random to get my first three cards. My fourth card is a jumper which… that’s a nice card to have jump out of the deck at you, I don’t mind saying.
 
What am I learning at this time: Maya / 8½ – one of the Silicon Dawn’s “bonus” cards, and all I could think when I saw it was “Accurate…” Maya is a dominant babe with a couple of submissive playmates, which… . Described as the child of the High Priestess and the Devil, Maya is your own wildness, your willingness to prioritize your own pleasure over whatever Shoulds are squirreling around in your head, your willingness to go on an adventure, your sense of play. It’s an explicitly sexual card that asks you specifically to loosen up in order to get what you want. This is very-much in line with what I’m doing, both in terms of glamoury and in terms of my Empress and Notice Pleasure projects.
 
What am I teaching at this time: Ace of Fire – I… am not sure what to make of this. Like, it’s a wonderful card to pull. Very driven. Very passionate. It’s a card about spiritual growth (believe it or not) and energetic potential. It’s a card about cultivating confidence, optimism, and curiosity. It’s about daring to take risks, expressing yourself, and inspiring others. Egypt Urnash’s own write-up for this card asks “How do you want to transform yourself today” and its explicitly femme rendering of a dancer in the flames, of the destruction that precedes rebirth, reminds me a LOT of the Judgement card from the Mary El deck, of “YOU are the thing that’s burning”. In-so-far as I’m trying to re-learn how to burn, how to literally run energy through my body the way I used to do without even knowing I was doing it, how to re-program the energetic pathways in my own brain, I’m also trying to teach myself to do this. But am I teaching this stuff to anyone else? Kids, I have no idea.
 
What am I overthinking at this time: White Galaxy Rose – This is another one of the “bonus” cards in the Silicon Dawn deck. I tend to think of these cards – the black and the white galaxy roses – as being Maya’s two playmates. I also tend to think of them as two ways of looking at infinite potential (and, as such, they’re linked to the Ace of Fire, above, and also to the Magician card). The black rose, I tend to understand as “the beginning of everything”, whereas the white one? It’s very “I have no idea what’s going to happen next. It could be anything”. There’s a certain amount of “flying – or maybe creating the cosmos – by the seat of your pants”. That said, thanks to the power of search engines, I found Egypt Urnash’s old LJ, of all things, and she had this to say:

For me, they mostly seem to come up if I’m asking the deck a yes/no question. The black one is NO, the white one is YES. More precisely the black one seems to be DUDE NO, JUST NO, WHY ARE YOU EVEN ASKING ME THIS, YOU TOTALLY KNOW IT’S A NO, and the white one is WELL DUH YES? WHY DID YOU EVEN THINK IT MIGHT BE OTHERWISE?

So… I’m overthinking my YES?
That’s… not unlikely, actually. I do that a lot. Second-guessing myself, questioning if I really want what I want… okay, cards. Duly noted. Will try to be like September and say YES more often.
 
What am I becoming at this time: Queen of Earth – This was the card that jumped out of the deck. Solid, sure of herself, openhearted, “fecund and generous” as Egypt Urnash describes her. She has lots of resources (social connections, financial means, a full larder and a spare bedroom) at her disposal, and is materially & financially secure enough both to share, and revel in, her own abundance. Trustworthy, caring, warm, and reliable, she’s also able to both make good decisions from a place of surety and security (rather than scarcity) and to luxuriate in creature comforts. She heralds abundance and joy. Ye sweet, beloved gods, YES. This is what I want to be becoming.
 
~*~
 

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - Three of Fire (Inward-Facing)

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – Three of Fire (Inward-Facing) – Two kiddos under a tree, watching the lights.


 
So! If I take all of the above, how does it relate to the card I drew (same method) for my tarot card meditation? The card I drew was the Three of Fire which, in the Silicon Dawn deck is the three of pentacles, which she calls “Creation” and describes like this:
 

“Will is in harmony with the world. Here is what you can make, if you dare. All of this is yours. […] Our creation is done; now is the time for you to go play in it.”
[…] Spring comes to all of that vastness at once, and here it is – flowers blossom, bees buzz, and it’s time to get started doing something. So: Go make something to equal the artifact you live in. Dream big and get started.

 
Well. Spring it is, and that couldn’t be clearer.
Wish me luck.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Moon Salutations. Lots of walking. A certain amount of desk-dancing while I write this, wich plans to go Actual Dancing this Saturday night.
 
Attention: Watching this chest congestion like a hawk, because I do NOT want to get sick (at least not for another week – at which point I’ll have the better part of ten days to get myself healthy again, and I’ll deal if that happens). How I catch myself and pull back in situations where I’m about to make a connection (with another person, human or otherwise)… it’s… something to think about, notice, and probably one of the many instances where I’m pulling back from a YES that I do, actually, want to offer. So… Thinky-thinky.
 
Gratitude: A writing date with a friend. My wife’s new shop space and the financial flexibility that’ll give us. My upcoming interview. Continued modeling work. A garden that’s full of radish and mustard greens and, incidentally, a tonne of ground ivy that I can steep into a tea to combat bronchitis. The smell of crab apple and lilac blossoms in the air. Time to take good care of myself when I’m feeling under the weather. Running into a friend while doing groceries. Flirty interactions with my sweethearts. A wife and a girlfriend who love me.
 
Inspiration: Pulling tarot cards for poetry inspo. Listening to my girlfriend’s stories about her religious experiences as I reach out to my own gods.
 
Creation: Most recently? Two (very long) poems, that need whittling down, but are a good place to start.

Full Moon – Flower Moon Crests (and Wanes)

Pear blossoms in bloom. White flowers, green leaves, red brick in the background

Pear blossoms in bloom. White flowers, green leaves, red brick in the background


 
It’s drizzly again, but humid now. The temperature is higher. The tulips, daffodils, and cherries are blooming, and the crab apples and pears – as seen in the above photo – have opened up as well. The service berries have pretty-much finished their flowering. Even the rhubarb is starting to flower. We are deep in Beauty Season already.
It’s lovely out.
Even with the drizzle.
I’ve spent the day watering the garden (possibly unnecessarily) and getting the house back in order after a spending a week with my visiting girlfriend (who left me with copies of Hild – a historical novel set in 7th Century proto-England which includes some really solid research into, and depictions of, early-medieval English life with regards to food and textiles, and the work involved in making same – and Ritual Sex, which is a book of essays and stories, by various authors, about pretty-much what it says on the tin. My wheelhouses, let me show you them).
 
I finished the cotton skirt (which has a draw-string and no zipper required). I still have a dozen things to mend or alter or create from whole cloth (literally), but I’m a little bit closer to what I want my “summer wardrobe” to look like (shrugs and boleros, flowy maxi skirts, cute sun dresses, and fitted tank tops, maybe the odd shawl, as needed).
I’m thinking about glamour – as in the active practice of doing personal authenticity in a way that is also fascinating to others – and about how I want to present myself when I’m out in the world.
 
A long time ago, I was 30lbs under weight[1] due to stress, recently separated and in the midst of an actually very easy divorce, and trying to figure out how the heck I wanted to dress myself when I’d spent the last seven years working in a retail environment where we were expected to wear what we sold, and where the clientele was about 30 years my senior and employed full-time by the government. I was trying to figure out how to dress myself, yes. But I was also trying to figure out what I wanted people to see when they looked at me. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to be “as a grown up”, when “grown up” had rather suddenly stopped meaning “suburban home-ownership + husband + hypothetical impending children”. I feel like I’ve been trying to sort that out for the past 12 years.
 
More recently – as in this past week – I’ve been “on vacation” living an on-going power exchange with my girlfriend in a way that’s really only possible when you’re on vacation (as in: in the same city, yeah, but more importantly: enjoying limited stress, deliberately limited distractions, tonnes of sleep, and abundant time for long walks by the river or otherwise going on dates). Under these circumstances, it’s easier to dress with clearly-defined intent, focus deeply on your Other Person, and to both plan, and follow through on, shared activities.
Whether the “vacation” in question is a once-a-season get-together with a loved one, or a once-a-year cheap fare to an all-inclusive beach locale or a saved-up-for major subcultural event, it’s a situation where glamour is easy. As Ms Sugar might put it, vacation, like Pinterest, is seductive “because everything is beautiful and nothing hurts there”.
 
So I find myself asking: How do I bring that glamour – that focused intention, that follow-through, that action of being interesting and interested – to my day-to-day life? How, too, do I invite that attention and sensuality in as well?
 
Next World Tarot - Two of Wands - A Black femme in a blue skirt and a leopard print top, with close-cut hair, holds a mace in her left hand and regards the reader through cat-eye glasses.

Next World Tarot – Two of Wands – A Black femme in a blue skirt and a leopard print top, with close-cut hair, holds a mace in her left hand and regards the reader through cat-eye glasses.


 
This conveniently relates to my Tarot Meditation card, which is a reminder that I have power here, and can make choices that will help make these things happen.
I initially drew this card from the Silicon Dawn deck, where it’s called “Will” (the two of pentacles) and is described by the artist as something like “The confidence to dance with the lightning” and the balancing of the ever-moving energies that one exists between. (Egypt Urnash also says, in her write-up of this card, “If you’re asking whether you should have some kind of tantric ceremony soon, the answer is ‘Yes'”, so… relevant to my interests, tbh).
 
I generally understand the Two of Fire – regardless of how the suit is named – as a card about “Make a Decision”. A card about setting your intention and then putting in the work – and the Will – to follow-through and go get it.
I see this reflected in the way Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha describes this card, as it appears in the Next World Tarot (the image is a portrait of a specific person), in their piece “3 crazy queens” (in Tonguebreaker”):

She stands there, asking you What is your deepest truth and desire, your deepest wound to heal? Only facing those things in a world on fire will give you what you need to live.

 
If I look at this card in the context of the “present” situation in the three-card draw I did at New Moon (and, yes, the moon is waning right now, but I’m still working with this), I have to ask myself:
In the face of infinite potential, what choices am I making that will point me towards that open-hearted future I want so much? Where can I say “Yes” more? Where can I choose the lens of curiosity and adventure over the lens of anxiety and catastrophizing?
Reader? There are definitely some situations in my life where this choice is very obviously before me, and I will try to say “Yes” and be adventurous.
Wish me luck!
 
~*~
 
Movement: Walking all over town. Moon Salutations. Weeding the garden. Modeling gigs with short poses.
 
Attention: What information is coming my way? Where can I see opportunities arising? How did those squash seedlings wind up sprouting in the compost? (Okay, I strongly suspect the squirrels for that one…)
 
Gratitude: Grateful for partners who love me and think the best of each other. For friends who show up when one of us needs help with groceries. For hot, humid weather (even if there’s not a lot of it, yet). For modeling work. For fresh bread from the oven. For squirrels who, apparently, think the compost heap is an excellent place to bury purloined squash seeds (I actually agree with them on this, thence the gratitude). For books from the library and gifted books from my sweetie. For being able to being able to be in the same room with my girlfriend for a whole week, after months of being apart. For my wife, who gave us the space to do so, and who was happy to come home to me. For my family.
 
Inspiration: Patrick Califia’s “Shiny Sharp Things” essay in Ritual Sex.
 
Creation: I’m mid-way through altering a turquoise leather jacket (the plan is to do the sewing over the weekend, as I’ll be hanging out with my lovely wife as she sews back patches and similar at the Ride For Dad after-party and will, thus, have access to her sewing machine, contact cement, and leather-compatible needles. Also wrote up a new recipe for Rhubarb-Banana muffins, which I’m testing out (they’re baking right now) today.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Let’s just say I have a pretty solid idea of what my bones and organs weigh because there really wasn’t much else left of me at that point.

New Year New You 2018 (2019) – Week Fourteen: Spiritual Consultation

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: Now would be a good time to check in with your personal Powers That Be (PTB) about your goals“.
 

Wild Unknown Tarot - Temperance - A blue heron + the mingling of water and fire against a rainbow background

Wild Unknown Tarot – Temperance – A blue heron + the mingling of water and fire against a rainbow background


 
Tarot Cards: I picked Temperance for this one, because of how it relates to both “union of opposites” endeavors and, more broadly, to cooperation and compromise.
 
See, the whole “check in with your deities (etc)” prompt… I took a “radiomancy” approach to my tarot cards today and just… shuffled the deck until something fell out.
What fell out was this:
 
Empress crossed with the King of Air. Related Influences: Seven of Air vs Seven of Fire.

Empress crossed with the King of Air. Related Influences: Seven of Air vs Seven of Fire.


 
The Empress (which is what my whole project is about) crossed with – or is that brought about through? – the King of Air. The two other cards – both sevens, which means they relate to the Chariot and its “Get Up / Wake Up, and GO” energy – read as “obstacles” vs “helpers” or a case of “what do I need to let go of” vs “what do I need to act on/with”. Influences to be taken into account, if you will.
 
As far as messages from My Ladies go? This is… very relevant, nothing unusual, and… basically confirming stuff I’m aware of already? Unless I’m missing something?
The diametrically opposed sevens: The seven of air vs the seven of fire. Shame & avoidance vs Courage & conviction.
This has been my problem for ever. I push towards the thing, I get stuck, I regress, I push further, wash, rinse, repeat. Part of me reads this as just, like, “The struggle is real” with a side order of “Also, healing works in spirals and is not in any way linear, and there’s going to be points where you’re making a lot of progress very fast and there’s going to be points where you’re seriously feeling stuck and like nothing is changing”.
But, with this specific project in mind, I can also read it as the overthinking stuckness and “freezing” that I experience literally butting heads with the vitality and bravery that it’s going to take to navigate those Stuck/Lost feelings.
 
The one card I’m not sure what to make of is the King of Swords.
This card could be a reference to my tendency to over-think things and to how researching The Thing is not the same as doing it. But – while I don’t usually read upright cards like this – the fact that the King of Swords is upright suggests that maybe this is something about, well, what my wife called “Cognitive Behavioural Witchcraft”. The way I use magic and ritual to kind of reroute my neural pathways and get myself to, hopefully, stop believing the old tapes and, hopefully, stop making the same set of mistakes.
 
Heh. There’s this meme that’s going around right now:
 

 
And… it’s not inaccurate. Sometimes my readings look more like “Yep… that is definitely an accurate description of my situation…” rather than “Wow! That’s some useful advice as to next steps to get where I’m going!”
That said, I’m choosing to interpret this as a “Yes, keep using your Very Smart Brain and your magical skills to unblock your sexual blocks and further develop your shame resilience! It’s going in fits and starts, but it’s working!”
With any luck, I’ll be correct in this.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Moon – Harvest Moon Begins

The new moon in Libra was technically yesterday. The weekend kicked off with Venus moving into retrograde (through Scorpio until mid-November) and Mercury joined her there as of yesterday (October 10th).
 
It’s, uh… it’s been a weekend. O.O
And a follow-up week – I keep thinking of this song,the line “friends and lovers help me put my armour back together” and how there are a LOT of check-ins and support calls going back and forth across a number of provinces and at least one international border right now.
It was Unholy Harvest last weekend and, along with having a house full of queers (which is, in and of itself, so completely wonderful), there were also a whole bunch of lovely things that went down at the actual event.
I can’t help looking at this part of Liz Worth’s Venus-in-retrograde horoscope for Scorpio:

Sexual healing can also be particularly prominent right now. Venus retrograde can also help to cut through any assumptions we might have about what we think sex is supposed to be. It can help to challenge shame and taboos, and to heal traumas.

 
…and thinking: Oh.
OH.
 
So I have a whole bunch of stuff to chew on about that.
I’m feeling a bit like my Glamour Game was pretty on point, E.G.: I gave a different kind of D/s dynamic a try, one that just happens to involve some solid integration of those “easy to render likeable and charming” and “not-so-easy to render likeable and charming” elements of myself, and it feels like a really good fit (and is now on-going). I did some pick-up play with a near-stranger and it was fun and light and also marvelously intimate, and it was neat to do something like that and feel solidly good about it at the end. I got to re-confirm some stuff with my wife/voluntary-property. So there have been some solid Empress Project achievements going on there.
I’m rather pleased with the whole situation.
 
Garden-wise and Kitchen-wise… things are a bit of a different story.
My house was full of wonderful people for most of the past week. Which is great. But it means that I got home from Thanks Giving with my mom only to realize that those two cloth bags of pears that a friend of mine invited me to harvest from her pear tree a while back… they were well on their way PAST ripe and into liquefying. And so were most of the red peppers in the plastic bag on top of my chest freezer.
So I spent a frantic and flailing late-evening dealing with sticky everything while I made more-impromptu-than-I-wanted-it-to-be cider out of these already-fermenting pears and otherwise cleaned up the worst of the fruit-fly farm in the kitchen.
This morning, I finished pressing the pears, put them through a food mill, and did the same with the saved apples (about 1/3 of which were not so useable, but the rest were fine), and so now I have recently-pasteurized cider cooling on the stove and balsamic-vanilla pear butter (with some apple mash thrown in) slow-cooking in the instant pot, and I am feeling a LOT better about the whole situation.
I also roasted two turkeys and have successfully stripped them for parts, so my freezer has a LOT of already cooked and diced meat in it for me to pull out as needed AND an out-of-town friend passed along a couple of bags of really lovely groceries before heading back home on Monday, so, like… we’re really well-set-up over here right now. (Thanks!)
 
Weather-wise: Things are weird. I want to take note of this because it seems very strange. The temperature is fluctuating up and down in a way that doesn’t feel like typical “dogwood summer” weather. Too humid, for a start, and rather than a week or two of hot, dry weather, it’s more like a couple of days at 18C-25C then a substantial drop in temperature, down to single-digit temperatures and frost warning territory, and then a sudden swing back up again.
I don’t remember (and will have to check) if this happened at this time last year. But it’s concerning, right now, and I’m not sure what to do about that other than to make fermented green tomato pickles and freeze a lot of chard.
 
~*~
 

Next World Tarot (Cristy C Road) - Arsenal (4 of Earth), Connection (2 of Water), Self Sufficiency (9 of Earth), and Safety (10 of Water).

Next World Tarot (Cristy C Road) – Arsenal (4 of Earth), Connection (2 of Water), Self Sufficiency (9 of Earth), and Safety (10 of Water).


 
Onwards! When I do my tarot meditation pulls, I don’t stick to any one type of draw. Sometimes I do a spread, sometimes I shuffle until a card jumps out of the deck. Sometimes I split the deck and draw the two cards in the middle.
This time, I did a bit of a twist on a face-up tarot spread. I pulled four cards, more or less at random, after shuffling my Next World deck and then I went and found a spread that worked with the cards I’d drawn and what I wanted to get out of them.
Liz Worth has a spread for the New Moon in Libra that seems pretty appropriate:

1. What needs to be honoured in my relationships?
2. What new beginning can I create with those I love?
3. What can I do to be heard?
4. What or who do I need to listen to now?

 
…And I’ll probably make use of it to give these cards a second interpretation. BUT that spread I chose for this is a different one. One that feels like a “permission” spread, which is what I’m looking for right now.
The RAIN Spread lays out four cards and asks us to Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Nurture the results in turn. To that end, a spread that I think is really quite lovely:
 
Recognize: Arsenal (4 of Earth)
I have long understood the Four of Earth to be a card about fear and miserliness, a mix of “can’t share” and “can’t trust”, a card of tenuous shelter that says “Nobody will take care of me, so I must (only) take care of myself!” And that’s relevant here, in the “recognize” position. But the Four of Earth is also a card about structure, a card about getting the hang of Adulting, if you will, about having that Room Of One’s Own in-which to rest and create.
…And that’s relevant, too.
Cristy C Road’s interpretation of her own card touches on the “first tools” of survival that we learn as children, and asks “Is home a sanctuary or a suffocation”.
I think, in this position, the Four of Earth is saying “Recognize the tools you have, but also question whether or not they are the appropriate tools for this particular job”. Recognize that you have an anxious-preoccupied attachment style, recognize that the structure of schedules and routines and Expectations and consistency can help manage those anxieties, but can also feel restrictive or cause problems when life happens and you, or someone else, needs those structures to be flexible and changeable.
 
Allow: Connection (2 of Water)
This is what I mean by “permission”. I’m definitely feeling a significant degree of NRE over here, so… that’s a whole thing.
But, in addition to allowing the connection between my new sweetie and me to grow as it will, rather than holding it at arm’s length, I think this is also a reminder to continue REconnecting and reinforcing the connections I share with my wife, and (on top of this, even) to remember that making short-term intimate connections with near-strangers doesn’t have to be emotionally dangerous if I keep my boundaries appropriately set (a thing that I am getting better at recognizing and managing).
 
Investigate: Self Sufficiency (9 of Earth)
The Nine of Earth is one that I recognize as ripeness, as a card about gratitude and trust, but also about competence and accomplishment. In the “recognize” position, this would be an invitation to notice all the good, all the connections, all the ways of making family, all the potential for trust and mutuality, to acknowledge the ways I’ve helped myself take care of myself. But in the “investigate” position, I think the Nine of Earth is telling me to look into ways to (a) look after myself, (b) show up for My People, and (c) be open/welcoming to the good people and things that are present/developing in my life.
 
Nurture: Safety (10 of Water)
The Ten of Water. It’s not the bliss/wish-fulfillment of the Nine of this suit but, rather, the solid, steady joy that underpins family-connections you know in your bones you can trust and rely on.
The ten of water is my marriage. The ten of water is my closest friends, the ones who have rooms in my heart. This is a call (related to the “allow” card, I’m sure) to nurture, cultivate, and celebrate both the new, and the long-standing, relationships that matter so deeply to me. Dear Gods… Thank you for all of them. ❤
 
If I were to set an intention for this New Moon, based on the cards I've drawn, I would say: Let me welcome what wants to grow with me, let me cultivate what I want to grow.
 
 
~*~
 
Movement: Lots of short-pose modeling and walking. I think swimming would be a good one for my joints though. I’m being reminded that dancing – even a 15-minute private dance party in my living room – is really good for my body and also my brain. More of that needed, I think.
 
Attention: Paying attention to my now-multiple power exchanges, and checking in with a lot of friends to see how they’re doing.
 
Gratitude: Thankful for, ha, the edit option, since I hit post without even filling this in… Additionally thankful for: Reconnecting with my wife. Being able to talk about heavy things with people near and dear to me. Friends who trust me. The new romantic(?) person in my life (in general, but also) being willing to be very vulnerable with me while giving me the chance to catch up with her a little bit. Friends who give us food. Random messages from people I love telling me they miss me or that they’re glad I’m part of their lives. Quiet days. Cold FX. A freezer full of turkey. A garden still full of rainbow chard. Good house guests who turn up with fancy cheese or who do dishes or who take us out for dinner. Her collar under my hand. A weekend spent with such beautiful, wonderful queers… you guys, my soul is restored. ❤
 
Inspiration: Garden as metaphor is starting to pick up some more steam. I’ve still got two poetry projects to get sorted before I can reeeeeeeeeeeeeally pick that one up again in earnest, but – maybe because it’s autumn and I’m harvesting a lot of things? – it’s starting to ring some bells again. Also, I’ve been reading the Queer Issue of ROOM Magazine, and it’s helping to refill my poetry well. Hurrah!
 
Creation: Still at a low tide on the creative front, though I did manage to write a couple of poems. I’m starting to get itchy for some scribbling, though, and want to make space for a writing date with myself in the very near future (possibly Monday).

The Naked Heart Challenge – Full Moon in Aries Spread (a few days late)

So I was browsing through instagram (like you do) and I found this spread, which is part of The Naked Heart Challenge. Not actually planning to take part in this challenge (seeing as it’s on Day 24 already and, for all I know, is all of a month long) BUT I like the look of this one, so I decided to throw it and see what turned up. Check in with the Internal Ant Farm, so to speak.
 

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn:  Top Left - 7 of Water.  Top Right - 3 of Water.  Bottom Left - 3 of Earth.  Bottom Right - 5 of Earth.  Center - The Fool v.N. + 99 of Air

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn:
Top Left – 7 of Water.
Top Right – 3 of Water.
Bottom Left – 3 of Earth.
Bottom Right – 5 of Earth.
Center – The Fool v.N. + 99 of Air


 
Readers, all four of those outer cards jumped from the deck all at once.
I drew the two in the center as a two-card-pull on purpose. (See below).
 
Where do I need to relax? – Seven of Water
Wanting in all directions, questioning whether what I’m wanting is wishful thinking (…projecting) and/or whether it’s okay/realistic to want what I want.
I’m inclined to take this as a big “Chill out” (and or “Stop over-thinking it”) from the Universe and my People. Like, yes, That One Crush isn’t into you and that’s not gonna change, but the friend zone is actually pretty great, so stop worrying about it. Like, yes, you’re about to try a new type of D/s play and you’re kind of freaking about the ethics of it (Oh, hey, just like you freaked over doing SM when you started out, or when you first got your Kitchen Ghost… does this sound familiar?), but your scene partner is totally down and offering you a lot of reassurance and full disclosure, and maybe you should stop worrying about it and trust her a little? Maybe stop making decisions based on the assumption that you have to know all the answers already.
 
Where do I need to take action? – Three of Water
Polyamoury card! (At least in my case). Joy. Celebration. Social interactions. Cultivating (and participating in) community/ies. Doing what makes me happy.
Maybe this is a(nother) push for me to get my Date on. Maybe it’s a reminder that poetry shows and kink events, queer get-togethers and group rituals and productivity parties with fellow writers are important because they both feed my soul and refill my creative well, so I need to make sure that I take part in them on the regular.
 
Where do I need to retreat? – Three of Earth
Teamwork. Planning.
This can just as easily be read to mean “back off” rather than (or in addition to) “retreat”, and can be a card about having appropriate boundaries at/around work (whether “work” is paid work or not). Taking on responsibilities that aren’t mine, that are more than I can carry, or that might go unacknowledged.
There’s some cross-over here wrt the feelings stuff in the upper half of this spread, but I think it’s mostly about taking a step back from the “muddy middle” when friend approach me to ask about work my wife can do, or refraining from stepping in to micro manage some other adult’s allergies, accommodations, or whatever else it is that they can really take care of on their own.
 
Where do I need to charge ahead/through? – Five of Earth
Being an outsider. Feeling unwelcome.
While I used the Silicon Dawn deck for this spread, my most familiar version of the Five of Earth is the one from the Osho Zen deck, which depicts a little kid looking longingly through a locked gate, without realizing that the chain can just be unwound, that they can just slip between the bars if they want to.
The is an earth card, so it means material security, stability, and worthiness/entitlement around physical/financial/bodily things. This is kind of a “right in the feels” card for me right now. The teeter-totter of who financially supports whom at our house is shifting again which, on the one hand, is a huge relief, but on the other is bringing to light (again) all the weird “unworthy of care” feelings that I’m carrying around with me that, if they can’t splort out in one area, find somewhere else to rear their ugly heads. I think this card is a reminder that, rather than continuing to believe what I know isn’t true (that my wife will resent me, leave me, or both if I don’t do Everything myself – uh… see above, re: Three of Earth…), why not just slip through that gate and let your partner be a partner now that she’s able to again.
 
Where Should I Focus My Fiery Energy? – The (Fiery, how appropriate) Fool version N AND the Ninty-Nine of Air.
This Fool, in this deck, is the one who eventually morphs into Aleph Yin November (The Fool Who Flies) . The other card – another one of the Silicon Dawn’s bonus weirdo cards – stands for over-reaction, for living in the shadow of Certain Doooooooooooom.
This is why I drew two cards. One for what I should focus that fiery energy on, yes, and one to show me what’s standing in my way.
Focus my energy on becoming my biggest, best, most integrated self. (Get your Empress Project back in gear, basically).
Be aware that my own fear of being Too Visible (and all the nasty, anti-femme, anti-women stuff that can be leveled at one when one does that under Patriarchy) is what’s convincing me to stay small, stay “safe”, avoid the certain dooooooom of being and expecting Too Much.
 
Well.
Alright then.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Moon – Squash Moon Begins

A very pale zucchini laid out on a wooden cutting board. The first zucchini I harvested from my garden, but not the last!

A very pale zucchini laid out on a wooden cutting board. The first zucchini I harvested from my garden, but not the last!


 
Strictly speaking, I’ve been harvesting zucchini for a month now, although “for a month now” means “my garden has successfully produced two zucchini, and that is all”. However, since I (might) have another zuke on the way, and since my butternut squashes have just started opening their fruiting flowers (fingers crossed that the bees work their magic and the squirrels and other four-legged neighbours leave them alone once they’ve started developing into fruit), I’m going with “squash moon” for this one, though “grape moon” or “wine-making moon” would also be appropriate.
 
Speaking of wine-making: Having tried the rhubarb wine… something has definitely gone off. There’s a weird under/after taste of corn, of all things, and I think I’ll probably be chucking the whole (1L and a bit, so not a huge loss) batch into the compost heap because, while it doesn’t have any weird effects to it, it doesn’t taste all that great. Still, a good effort, and something that I’ll likely try again later on (maybe in November, provided I remember to put a solid heap of rhubarb in the freezer before then).
I did make a five-pint batch of rhubarb curd, which will make us a number of very delicious pies over the course of the winter (five for sure, up to ten if I freeze enough diced rhubarb to do a mix). My wife and I took a day-trip last weekend to the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum and, while we were there, we hit up a bunch of antique shops and I found myself an acceptably-priced food mill that lets me mash up cooked rhubarb (or, say, choke cherries) without having to deal with the rhubarb fibers or the cherry pits or what-have-you. So my curd is substantially smoother than previous years thanks to this little gizmo. Behold!
 
Close-up of five unlabeled pint jars of rhubarb curd (three in front, two behind). The curd is smooth and has a very faint greenish tinge to it, though it mostly looks beige.

Close-up of five unlabeled pint jars of rhubarb curd (three in front, two behind). The curd is smooth and has a very faint greenish tinge to it, though it mostly looks beige.


 
Alstrologically speaking, Saturn has just stationed direct last Thursday after spending about five months in retrograde, the New Moon (like the Sun) is in Virgo, and Venus just moved into Scorpio today.
Liz Worth suggests setting your New Moon intentions to “invite in the rewards for a labour of love, or to cleanse your calendar of any extraneous commitments that you’ve realized are only holding you back from your true raison d’être“. She also offers the following spread (I used the Silicon Dawn deck to pull the cards) to connect with Virgo’s new moon energy:
 
1. What lesson am I ready to put to use? – Black Galaxy Rose
The lesson of infinite potential. If the white galaxy rose is the out-breath after the intensity, the pause between one burst and the next, the black galaxy rose is infinite potential, the calm before the storm, and the in-breath before the song.
Not sure how this works as a lesson, though the clarification card I pulled was the Queen of Air – someone with good boundaries, who’s learned from her experiences and wants you to have, and do, the same – meaning, perhaps, that the lesson in question is this business that I’ve been trying to get my head around for more than a year now. Maybe it’s time to put some of that theory (back) into practice. Maybe that’s the coming song.
2. Where am I still caught in the weeds? – Four of Air
A card of “strategic retreat”, this is overwhelmingly a card about rest and recuperation. As a “caught in the weeds” situation, though, I would say that maybe I’ve been focusing so much on “stability” and “creating a secure base”, and even on “questioning my motivation”, that I’m avoiding looking at a bigger picture, avoiding dreaming a bigger dream than just “don’t fall apart” and “don’t fuck it up”.
3. What can I focus on instead? – Six of Earth
The six of earth has, for a long time, been my “check in” card. It’s a card about the risks (and rewards) that come with trusting other people, particularly with your physical well being. (Cassandra Snow has a really good write-up on Queering the Six of Pentacles that digs nicely into this idea). I think this relates, on some level, to what I was talking about, yesterday, with regards to the necessary vulnerability of explicitly naming my desires (ha, see #2 above) where relevant people can hear me doing so.
4. What reward can I create for myself as a result? – Four of Water
This isn’t a card I would have expected as a “reward” card, unless the reward in question is “permission to be selfish”, to internalize that I have permission to ask for the experiences, care, and pleasure that I want and will really enjoy.
Which, I grant you, is indeed a goal of mine that I’d like to actually accomplish.
Alrighty then.
 
With that in mind, I can’t help but look at the tarotscope Ashley did for Scorpio over at Radical Tarot, asking us to “feel into our joy”, to be in the moment (rather than, oh, say, catastrophizing about how The Moment could all go the hell if I put a foot wrong… just to pick an example completely and totally at random), and to decide what Virgo Season’s themes of safety, connection, community, and stability look like for each of us as individuals. (It does not escape my notice that the card I tend to associate with polyamoury – the three of cups – is featured in this spread… though we’ll see whether that turns out to be significant or not as time moves along).
 
By the time this moon is full, we’ll have tipped past the Autumn equinox and right into the Season of the Witch, when the veil starts getting thinner and the ancestors can be heard a little more clearly, even for a concrete bunker like me. 😉
Right now, though, we’re in the tail end of summer. Chilly mornings calling for layers and hot afternoons calling the bees out for another forage amid the asters, phlox, and the squash blossoms.
If I were to set an intention for this new moon, this waxing moon, I would ask my gods and ancestors: “Help me to be brave”.
 
Princess (Page) of Swords - Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - A person with antenae sprouting from her forehead, a red flower in her long, piled up, blond hair, and a yellow butterfly painted across her eyes, examines a knife, fingering the point. She's wearing a long, flowing skirt (that might be wings) and a yellow crop top.

Princess (Page) of Swords – Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – A person with antenae sprouting from her forehead, a red flower in her long, piled up, blond hair, and a yellow butterfly painted across her eyes, examines a knife, fingering the point. She’s wearing a long, flowing skirt (that might be wings) and a yellow crop top.


 
The card I pulled – literally by just flipping the deck over and seeing what looked up at me – for today’s meditation fits really well with that intention.
The write-up by Egypt Urnash depicts this character as someone who is desperately lonely and afraid of letting anyone get close. That’s not exactly my situation, but it’s a flip-side of it. I’m more of a “get super close, and super bonded, super fast… and then hide all the bits of myself that I think might get me rejected” kind of gal. (Thanks, anxious-preoccupied attachment style. That’s super-great…)

She’s so much more than she knows she is. […] She’s the only thing that holds herself back from flying.

 
Let me be brave.
Let me expose what I’ve kept hidden.
Let me keep trying.
Let me remember how to fly.
 
 
~*~
 
Movement: I’m working in an office right now, so a lot of my movement – aside from walking my commute and running errands on foot – has been remembering to get up and move around regularly so that my left hip doesn’t freeze up. There will also be some yard work (in someone else’s yard) coming up shortly.
 
Attention: I’ve been watching my butternut (and buttercup) squash vines particularly vigilantly, hoping for pollenated flowers and visits from bees. I’ve also been reading up on attachment theory (again) and self-compassion, as well as watching how my anxiety acts up and what it takes to calm it back down.
 
Gratitude: Grateful for an easy, restful weekend with my wife, for new library books, for thirteen hours of very needed sleep. Grateful for corn on the cob from my metamour, for leather boots and cool, sunny weather. For coffee and french toast in the morning. For wine on the back steps in the evening. For finding new Harvesters. For people who get me and appreciate my words. For free concerts I can walk to. For seven days of paid work. For the possibility of being hired by a fellow queer to do some flexible-hours transcription (fingers crossed that her funding comes in). For a coffee date with myself. For the chance to flirt with a friend. For a date night with my wife, walking arm in arm and holding hands across the table. For nights that are cool enough to justify the extra blanket and a lot of snuggling. For knowing that I’m loved. ❤
 
Inspiration: Other people’s writing. This past week, it’s been N.K. Jemisin’s amazing world-building, character-creation, and plot-resolution in The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. You guys, it is so very, very good, and I am SO looking forward to reading more of her work!
 
Creation: I wrote another poem and have added a few more thousand words to my novel manuscript! Go me!

Full Moon – Apple Moon Crests

Red Flesh Apples mid-prep for apple butter. Left of frame: Small cutting board with a sliced apple whose insides look like a red and white bullseye. Center-top of frame: apple cores. Right of frame: crock pot already half full of diced apples. Photo by me.

Red Flesh Apples mid-prep for apple butter. Left of frame: Small cutting board with a sliced apple whose insides look like a red and white bullseye. Center-top of frame: apple cores. Right of frame: crock pot already half full of diced apples. Photo by me.


 
The full moon is in Pisces. I helped a friend move, this morning. Yesterday, my wife and I went to a Pride BBQ.
It’s that time of year, and I’m feeling obnoxiously queer (which is… okay, that’s every time of year for me, but go with it).
😀
 
The picture, above, is of apples that I wild-harvested from a tree across from my laundromat. Mot of them have been cooked down into a cinnamon-nutmeg spiced apple butter that has a rich roan hue to it, but I have twelve of them left and have harvested two other kinds of apples (a tart green standard apple and a fleshy, deep red crab apple) that I’m hoping to combine (in part) with them to try my hand at pressing a very small batch of cider. The rest will be made into a warm ginger-vanilla apple butter and a maybe-chili-infused crab apple jelly, respectively.
 
Sour Dough Bread: I am backing off on the sour dough. I’m still keeping a starter going. It makes lovely pancakes and is a nice flavour addition to actual sandwich bread, but I made a dough that was mostly raised with baker’s yeast (with about a cup of starter thrown in- rather than 1C starter little to no baker’s yeast) and, you guys… I had well-risen, airy, easy-to-cut bread by the end of the day, instead of having to wait three days to see if I had a usable loaf. And it wasn’t so moist and dense that it went moldy ridiculously fast. I know this is a big turn-about from two weeks ago, but I’m going to stick with this for now.
 
My garden is doing much better. I was able to harvest enough chard to put up a little bit (so far) in the freezer, and turn the stems into a lacto-ferment that should work a lot like cucumber relish (mustard and dill seed for the pickling spices) when it’s done. If I can do the same thing, once a week or so, for the next couple of months, that should give us a really nice cushion (small, but nice) of frozen greens to work from over the winter. We haven’t eaten our home-grown zucchini yet, though we’ll do that soon.
 
My wife picked me up from a modeling gig on Friday evening, and we rode under the gibbous moon (then in Aquarius), and it was just lovely.
 
Speaking of Moon – well, that’s technically this whole post – Liz Worth offers this little phrase as an intention for this Pisces Full Moon: I trust in the path that unfolds before me.
She also offers a tarot spread (which I did, below, using the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn) for those who’d like to connect with the Pisces Full Moon:
 
1. What is awakening within me? – Queen of Fire
Oh, good! I’ve been wanting my creative, passionate, glamourous self to rise up again. Hopefully this is confirmation that it’s coming back. 😀
 
2. What is my higher self asking of me at this time? – Ten of Earth
I sort of want to interpret this as “focus on getting your house sorted out”. The ten of Earth is home, family, legacy, “what kind of ancestor do you want to be”. But it’s also literally stuff like “get your finances in order” and “have you vacuumed lately”. TBH, my higher self could be asking me to look after all of the above right now. I find myself asking: Is this about Job Stuff? Or is this about Chosen Family?
I pull a clarification card, and it’s the Queen of Earth (landing me 3/4 queens in this spread. Huh): Self-reliance. Confidence based on competence and planning rather than on illusion or magical thinking. The ultimate Mom figure with a freezer full of just-what-you-need and an ear when you need that, too.
This isn’t really clearing anything up for me, though.
Thoughts?
 
3. How must I honour my spiritual path? – Queen of Air
Haha. Learn from your mistakes. Alrighty then.
 
4. How can I strengthen my intuition? – Four of Earth
This is… weird. I generally understand the Four of Earth as being a pretty awful card. The card of “nobody’s going to take care of me, nobody cares about/for me, so I have to do everything myself”. It’s an attitude I’ve been trying to shed, and I’m not sure how to read “all of my worst stories” as a way of strengthening my intuition. Unless this is a call to further pickup on when it’s those stories talking vs when it’s something I should actually listen to.
 
Advisor – Vulture Mother
This is my “Scorpio self”. The side that’s hungry all the time, that wants and wants and is kind of freaky. A suggestion to take the entire reading through the lens of my own particular “black swan”.
 
Overarching & Underlying Influences – White Galaxy Rose + Maya Maya is the card of “Loosen up! Stop over-thinking it! It’s Pride! Go have some fun for once!” and the two galaxy roses in the deck are… Well, like Maya and the Vulture Mother, they are part of the “Extended Edition”. I understand them as the avatars of Maya’s two lovers. But I don’t entirely know what they mean. The closest I’ve got is that the Black Galaxy Rose is “infinite potential”, the raw business that comes before everything kicks off. Something big is about to happen. So I would posit, then, that the White Galaxy Rose is the aftermath and the “now what”. The rest and recovery before getting it together for the next big thing.
With this in mind, what underlies this story of many queens, of sovereignty and desire (and sacrifice and prophesy? Uhm… not sure), is a calm before – or maybe after – a storm.
What over-arches it is a need to get out from under the weight of my own shame, to be shame-less and allow myself to enjoy things.
Which relates really strongly to my Scorpio Self as advisor. Turn towards, and lean into, pleasure, but don’t force them. Listen to the part that wants unapologetically.
 
Okay.
I’ll give that a try.
 
~*~
 
Collective Tarot - Five of Keys - A forest, after the fire has passed through.

Collective Tarot – Five of Keys – A forest, after the fire has passed through.


 
On a related tarot front, my meditation for this soon-to-be-waning moon, is: The Five of Fire. I pulled my card from the Silicon Dawn deck (where it’s the five of pentacles), where it definitely touches on the “strife” aspect of the card. However I’m most familiar with the five of fire as a leap of faith, as a boost of momentum that pushes you forward. Given the mix, and what’s been showing up in my life of late, I’m inclined to read this as “Don’t let the momentum of those long-held Stories push you forward into, well… repeating old mistakes and having a stressful, anxious life because of them”.
I’ll try to keep that in mind as I dig into those old stories and attachment-style Things over the next two weeks.
Wish me luck!
 
~*~
 
Movement: Lots of apple picking, weeding, and general harvesting. Really glad for a modeling gig on Friday that had me essentially doing “power yoga” for the first hour and a half. The mix of rapid changes and held poses seems to do my screwed up hip some good.
 
Attention: Keeping an eye on a friend’s garden. Looking for job postings and sending out resumes. Taking the time to look out the window and wave to the full moon. Watching the weather and the temperature fluctuations. Grinning at the way my squash vines are finally starting to take off.
 
Gratitude: Grateful for friends who encourage me to try things outside of my comfort zone. Grateful for thriving chard, free apples, neighbours who invite me to take bouquets of basil and tarragon from their garden or present me with fuzzy melons and bird chilies at random. For a freezer full of diced zucchini and frozen service berries. For home made bread and apple butter. For a better relationship with my mom than I used to have. For a growing number of poems accepted for publication. For writing buddies who hang out with me while we scribble and cheer each other on. For friends who will level with me when I’m repeating unhealthy patterns. For day-trips out of town. For home-made ginger beer and a wife who makes me grilled cheese sandwiches and tells me she thinks I’m amazing. ❤
 
Inspiration: My friend’s debut novel. A new book of poetry (Clementine Morrigan) to page though. My neighbour’s luxurious, unstoppable squash vines. The mallow plant that, against the odds, has germinated and bloomed in my front garden.
 
Creation: Reworking a knitting project (it seems to be working? Ish?) Adding a few more thousand words to my spite novel. A smidge of inspiration that might just lead to a poem.