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Category Archives: divination
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.
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.
I’ll give that a try.
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.
I may be jumping the gun a little here, but there have been ripe apples falling off the trees between here and the Redeau river for weeks, so even if the crab apples aren’t quite (quite) ready to be picked by the grocery-bag-full yet (I will be testing this theory tomorrow, while doing The Laundry across from a bunch of city trees, so we’ll see) I’m going to go ahead and call this one Apple Moon.
I pulled a LOT of quack grass (and some crab grass) out of the raised beds today. Also, gave the bolting mustard and icicle radishes a bit of a hair cut. I want the seeds, but I also want the volunteer cherry tomatoes and the kale (or is it collards?) and chard to have some breathing room and light access. So a lot of it is now drying (like hay? Ish?) on a bed of as-yet-unflowered new dandelion growth in the hopes that it dries down before I chuck it in my compost heap.
For my efforts, I managed to find one (1) beautifully ripe yellow cherry tomato and one (1) undersized striped zucchini. (I also harvested a very, very woody icicle radish which I slivered – along with shredding the more delicate greens – and added to my current batch of “wild” (ish) fermented veggies.
It’s a start.
The veggie ferment, btw, is now in the fridge. It was smelling Not Great – as in “smells like saurkraut is supposed to smell but… also with an over-layer of Ewwwwww” – and putting it in a cooler environment will help the Good Bacteria take over from the not-so-great bacteria in a timely fashion.
I’ve got four at-home days coming up, and my plans include doing laundry (finally!), harvesting crab apples and/or heirloom red-fleshed apples (hopefully! If successful: also making crab apple jelly and/or apple butter), setting up a new batch of yoghurt in the instant pot, and digging a lot of sunchokes out of the other raised bed (Thanks, helpful squirrels! I so appreciate the way you replanted literally ALL of those…) with an eye to pickling them in big chunks with some garlic, ginger, and mustard seeds. Maybe some bird chilies as well.
We’ll see how this actually goes though, as the week progresses. I’ve got poetry to submit, word-counts (novel) and further poetry to write, and a couple of things to mend as well, so. We’ll do what we can.
I’ve run into a bit of a problem with the yoghurt. I’m not sure if I’m trying to culture too much milk with only half a cup of starter, or if I’m not mixing the starter in well enough, or if I’m over-heating the milk initially, or if I’m waiting too long to transfer the yoghurt to the fridge (unlikely), but… I’m winding up with “thick milk + lumpy bits” rather than the relatively smooth, definitely cultured-all-the-way-through yoghurt that I was initially getting. I’ll take a look around the internet and see what’s what, but if anyone reading this is recognizing the problem and knows how to solve it, do feel free to leave me a comment on the subject.
My sourdough bread is… getting more like the kind of bread I want it to be. Which is a good sign. It’s still not as dry as I’d like it to be… I’m not sure if that means I need to cook it for longer, or let it rise in the fridge over night (my current suspicion is the latter), but things went relatively well the last time I made bread, and I didn’t use any “booster yeast” (1/2 tsp of bread yeast added to the initial sponge), so that’s a good sign.
My wife and I are going to visit the Twist Fiber Festival in Saint-André-Avellin next weekend. There will be demos. There will be a food tent. There will be art exhibits. There will be a “mini farm” (which… is that like a petting zoo? Or an animal expo? I have no idea, but I’m looking forward to finding out). There will also be vendors and pay-to-register workshops, which I will be avoiding because I have very little cash but a HUGE yarn stash (by my standards) AND access to youtube tutorials. But the plan is, in addition to taking a day-trip, to pick up some manure compost (and maybe some bagged mulch?) and cart it all home where it will sit and do nothing until the fall.
My wife and I were chatting about the garden this morning. About how the food forests that I day-dream about are honestly waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond my current scope. My approach to gardening is mostly to ask “What grows here anyway?” and try to make the most of it, coupled with an attempt at planting things so heavily that the plants I want (like rainbow chard or “dazzling blue” flat-leaf kale or zucchini or winter squash or tomatoes, or, or, or…) overpower and shade out the plants I don’t (quack grass, crab grass… actually, that’s about it).
And that technique isn’t really working right now. So I’m starting (and ending up super out of breath… not a good sign) to weed my raised beds a little more intensively, in the hopes of preventing another wild-grass take-over of my food-growing spaces. Here’s hoping I manage to do some good.
Oh. I did, indeed, try mixing up a batch of rhubarb wine. Specifically, I took half a batch of my ginger beer, added 2C frozen diced rhubarb, and 1/2 tsp of bread yeast, plus some honey, and let it go for a couple of weeks. Just yesterday I racked it (sort of) and topped it up with a handful of chokecherries (that I mashed and pitted) plus honey, pomegranate molasses, some water, and 1/4 tsp more yeast. I figure I’ll let that sit for another week or so, and then rack it again and shove it into the back of the fridge to age (“age”) for a while. Based on the smell, I’m expecting something that tastes predominantly ginger-y but with lots of fruity undertones. Fingers crossed!
On the astrological front. It’s Leo Season. Everybody’s going “Look at me! Look at me!” on some level. Lammas, the first harvest, was a little over a week ago (or about two weeks ago, if you’re doing the lunar version), the nights are getting longer, though the days are still long (and hot), and Eclipse Season is in full swing.
The thing about quarter/cross-quarter days is that, because they happen roughly six weeks apart, they make for good points of reflection.
Liz Worth, who tends to talk about Eclipse Cycles – the multi-year dovetailing of eclipses that chase each other across any specific two signs at opposite points on the zodiac wheel (when the sun, and therefore the new moon, are in one sign, the full moon will be in the other) – recently brought up that Leo and Aquarius are both very creative signs, but that they’re creative in different ways. That Leo wants self-expression and the spotlight (freedom TO), but that Aquarius wants freedom FROM old habits/behaviours/rules that don’t apply or that hold them back. Maybe it’s no surprise that having eclipse energy (transformation a-go-go) in both of these signs, one of-which overlays Imbolg (a time of germination, stretching, hopefulness, and hidden/underground changes) and one that overlays Lammas (a time of reaping what you’ve sown, but also a time for sowing a second crop of short-season, cold-weather-loving seeds. In other words: Building new plans and projects in places where you’ve already seen some results), means feeling the push to make things (changes, projects, splashes) happen in your life.
What were you starting to work towards back in February? Now’s a good time to check in with where those projects are at. What kind of results have you been seeing? What do you need to turn under vs what do you need to tend better? What can you build from here-on-in before the Last Harvest at Samhain spins us back into the Root Time of resting and dreaming underground?
Liz suggests the intention/affirmation of “I am ready for my next step”, and offers a related tarot spread to figure out what that might be (it’s at the link, above).
Horoscope-wise: Jessica Lanyadoo, over at Hoodwitch, informs me that “There is strength in your willingness to move slowly and with intention, Scorpio”, and reminds me not to rush those changes unless I actually want to haul the same old garbage along with me into my next stages (which… not so much). On a related note, Chani offers this affirmation-scope: “What I am beginning now will grow over the next six months. I confidently pour my energy into what I want to bloom and become. I spend time developing the projects that most reflect my values.” Miriam, courtesy of Radical Tarot’s Tarotscopes, offers this bit of (awkwardly on-the-nose…) encouragement to Scorpios like me:
Oh Scorpio, it’s been a torrential few months. You seemed to be pulled back, dragged through the past, reminded of hurts and anger from several years removed. But even just the past few days have found you realizing that this was more a bow-and-arrow situation, necessary tension building to propel you further than ever before, quite specifically in the direction of hitting the mark where it comes to your passion. […] The magic is in your hands, and pushing past your need to pull away and be secretive will really allow all of this to spark, catch, and take blaze with truly dazzling effects!
Which I guess brings me to my Tarot Card Meditation:
On top of being explicitly queer (both in the art and in the write-up), this is one of the most marvelously, deliberately polyamourous Lovers cards I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. I’m delighted to have drawn it for today’s meditation.
It is – as I’m finding a lot of these meditation random-draws are – remarkably relevant to current personal events, and also to that tarotscope from Miriam.
I pulled the card reversed – so this is about me and how I related to lovers-type situations. My relationship with my own desire. My relationship with my own sexuality. My ability to give myself permission to want, and ask for, and experience pleasure when there are other people involved.
I can’t help wondering how deeply this relates to the draw I did when Rampion Moon was full, about creatively engaging in my web of relationships by being willing to take some risks.
Movement: Hours of walking, some week-yanking (read: squating for 15 minutes at a time… urgh), but not much else. Plans for later this week to go apple picking in the neighbourhood and out near Mud Lake.
Attention: Totally absorbed by my friend’s recently-launched debut novel. Also paying attention to what veggies and fruits I can forage, harvest, and/or buy on-the-cheap-because-in-season. Brought home 3kg each zucchini and roma tomatoes, most-of-which will end up in the freezer, one way or another, for use in stews and pastas over winter.
Gratitude: Grateful for the rain that is still falling. For running water and a neighbour who lets me use her hose. Also grateful that said neighbour periodically hands us bags of snap beans or whole fuzzy melons from her much-more-prolific-than-ours garden. Grateful that I know what wild greens I can eat. Grateful for the apple trees that grow across from my laundromat. Grateful for upcoming work that has not been canceled (I had a bit of a scare last Friday but, while my next long-ish office booking has been shortened, I’m only losing two days, which is a BIG relief!). Grateful for a wife who loves me, and says so often. For a metamour who brings us corn on the cob and coconut oil and lends us her car so that her girlfriend (aka my wife) and I can go on day-trips together. Grateful for a second radish crop. For thriving rainbow chard (at last!). For my first home-grown zucchini EVAR and for the first tiny cherry tomato of my year.
Inspiration: The above-mentioned debut novel, and the woman who wrote it <3. A rejection letter from a paid market that was, none the less, very encouraging. My wife, who is quite the bad-ass and an astonishing wiz at fixing unfamiliar analogue machinery.
Creation: Making some progress on the spite-novel (aiming to make some more progress this Wednesday) and also on the knitted tank top. Made a batch of offering-candles today (beeswax + lard. We’ll see how they do). Plans to make some super-dangling rainbow earrings over the next few days as well.
Happy Solstice All!
My zucchini, cucumbers, and even buttercup squash are blooming! So are my tomatoes and snow peas and fava beans. So are my mustard and radishes, which means I need to regularly give them a haircut while I continue to harvest them as greens! (Don’t worry, I’m letting the radishes go to seed so they can continue to self-seed around the yard).
I set up my cucumber trellis the other day, and it hasn’t yet fallen over, so I’m counting that as a win.
Praying for LOTS of squash – cucumbers, buttercups, butternuts, and zucchini – this year. Prolific, fruitful plants and low-to-no squirrel/rodent/critter damage please. ❤
Summer Solstice – I did a "tell me about right now / where do I go from here" question using the Four Elements Spread from Little Red Tarot's Alternative Tarot Course and the Next World tarot deck, and here’s what I got:
Me Right Now: Arsenal (The Four of Pentacles)
Earth: The Fool
Water: The Team (Three of Pentacles)
Fire: The Empress
Me, Right Now – Where I’m at, what my situation is: Arsenal: I’ve long understood the 4 of Earth to be a card about tenuous shelter. Being afraid that nobody will have your back, being just barely able to make ends meet, having a roof over your head… for now. And part of me is feeling this. Like every summer, this is already a summer of hustling. Last year, I worked for part-time jobs at the same time. This year I’m technically working three, although one of them really only amounts to an hour/week, so I’m not sure it counts. I checked my bank balance earlier today, and it looks like I’ll have the rent in the bank before the month turns over (Hurrah! And also Thank You Gods and Ancestors and also the receptionist who frequently takes time off AND the various artists who hire me frequently because they know modeling is my main income source. Every bit helps!) AND, based on gigs already booked for July, I’ll be able to make August’s rent as well. And knowing that, fairly confidently, in advance is a BIG fucking deal.
So seeing this card as my “Me, right now” position is… not wrong.
But the Four of Earth is also Virginia Woolf’s “Room of One’s Own” to create in. It’s the home as sanctuary (both holy place and place of rest and safety) that Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha writes about so frequently. It’s a reminder of what I’m aiming for, of what makes me happiest.
Earth – The material, financial, bodily. Security and abundance (or it’s absense/unsteadiness): The Fool: When I drew this card, I laughed. The fool is someone who is going in a direction where they don’t know what the outcome is going to be. In the write-up for this deck specifically, Cristy C Road says that this particular Fool made the decision to walk away from the security of following the status quo, in favour of something riskier but truer to themself.
I look at this and go, “Okay, kind of?”
I told my wife that I was thinking I needed to find a one-year full time gig – just because it might be easier to find than the part-time permanent office work I’ve been looking for as an anchor income – and she got really quiet on the phone. She told me later that the thought of it make her really sad.
Because here we are, two self-employed people working in art/isan fields, trying to make a go of this. And we’re not quite making it yet. The instability of it is scary. The work is fulfilling and I’m good at it, and I don’t want to give it up.
The Fool is about taking risks, “following your bliss”, trusting the process, and doing the “foolish” thing that goes against conventional wisdom.
Okay. But, hoy, I hope it pays off in the end. O.O
Water – The artistic, emotive, spiritual stuff. The heart stuff. The feelings you have about your feelings: The Team: The three of Earth is a card about teamwork, but it’s also a card about making sure your work actually gets recognized. Seeing this card in the “Feelings” position is, like… It’s a combination of “Be aware that the stories you tell yourself about how your feelings (and wants, and needs) don’t matter and will never be prioritized are, y’know, bullshit. Saying what you want/need/feel is RISKY – or at least feels that way – but it’s necessary and you will be happier, by and large, if you actually do it” and “Pay attention to how much social and emtional maintenance/support work you’re doing in your various interpersonal relationships and don’t over-offer, or otherwise do all the work or (let yourself) get taking advantage of”.
Air – Mind, thinky thoughts, morality and values, decision-making stuff. Where’s your head at: Temperance: I mostly know this card as one about balance. But I find it interesting to see the Cristy writes her own interpretation of Temperance as being about both (a) self-care that comes with personal maturity and a willingness to listen to what’s needed, but also (b) self-forgiveness.
I think this is how I want to read this card in this position. Forgive myself my past mistakes. Forgive myself the wrongs I’ve done, or thought, and strive to keep making myself better every day. Forgive myself my failures and give myself permission to learn from them and to try again, and then again, and then again. Don’t let (don’t keep letting) my brain weasels and their stories get the better of me.
Fire – Drive, passion, Will, and where you’re putting your energy: The Empress: I was pretty happy to see The Empress in this position, because I am putting my energy there. But it’s also Midsummer, and I’m putting my energy into my garden as well as my art. I want to tie this card to the “where you are right now” of the Four of Pentacles, because the Empress asks: Are you treating Home Maintenance as a chore you have to slog through in order to Be A Grown Up, or are you treating it as a series of little rituals that make the everyday holy? I’m reading this as a call to (continue to) connect with sensuality, artistry, and embodied spirituality going forward. Because who doesn’t want that? 🙂
So there I have it. A weather report and some suggestions for where to aim next (or keep aiming – the FeelingsWitch over at Tiny Lantern Tarot says that healing works on its own timeline and tends to happen in spirals not straight lines, and… they aren’t wrong).
I’m off to wash dishes, tidy surfaces, and harvest rhubarb for Midsummer Pie.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
There are strawberries juuuuuuuust starting to ripen in my neighbour’s garden. There are service-berries juuuuuuuust starting to ripen on the trees around my neighbourhood.
There are no actual local berries (unless someone’s got super-early haskaps that I don’t know about) that are ripe just yet BUT by the time this moon waxes to full, there’s gonna be. So we’re calling this one berry moon.
I live in hope.
(Hahaaaaaa… I’ll get to that in a second).
So! The new moon’s in Gemini. Venus is (for the moment) in Leo. Summer Solstice is only a week away! We’ve been having thunder showers, muggy days, and kind of weirdly chilly evenings, this week.
I had a rotten day yesterday, and a good day the day before, and it’s been a reminder that accomplishing things makes me feel better about myself. Buying groceries and baking All The Things and harvesting the garden and doing a load of laundry makes me feel better about myself. Writing a poem makes me feel better about myself.
I have no idea how much of this is due to the whole capitalist notion that our value lies in what we produce or how much money we have, versus how much of this is due to the reality that moving around, tending things, and creating things, actually ARE good for me.
It’s probably a bit of both.
Beth, over at Little Red Tarot, talks about how Gemini (my rising sign, as it happens) is the sign of both/and. This new moon is a good time to write up a manifesto about personal integration (a bit like what Ms Sugar talks about when she talks about Black Swans).
She suggested a Gemini New Moon tarot spread on this subject, and I went ahead and did it.
Element of Self 1 (a theme/undercurrent in your life): Ace of Swords
Element of Self 2 (a different theme/undercurrent in your life): Five of Swords
What Unifies These Elements: Knight of Cups
How Can This Integration Be Expressed: Knight of Pentacles
The Ace of Swords is a mental multi-tool (literally, if you’re Cristy C Road). It’s a card of thinking things through, overcoming adversity, using your head. It’s a card of honesty, of seeing through illusions, doing what’s right and wanting what’s fair. It’s a card of communication, clarity, and self-awareness.
The Five of Swords, on the other hand, is a card of frustration, black-and-white thinking, and zero-sum games. In the Osho Zen deck, this card is called “comparison”, and it’s about… keeping your eyes on your own paper, striving for personal bests rather than worrying about being better (or not) than someone else. In the Next World tarot, however, this card is called “survival”, and it points to the way that people in Bad Situations will do unethical things in order to get what they need.
It’s weird to see the unifying theme of these two air cards be presented as the Knight of Cups. I mean, yes, this particular knight can succumb to the uglier side of Comparison through feelings of jealousy, insecurity, and inadequacy, and can also work the feelings side of self-awareness, seeking the Why of things, striving for self-improvement and understanding. So maybe it’s not that weird.
If my “Black Swan” is a combination of my best (Ace of Swords) and worst (Five of Swords) selves, than the way to be that fullest, truest self, is by being the Knight of Cups. (Ha… The artsy poet who wears her heart on her sleeve and likes pretty things and romance. Oh, hai…)
BUT… How do I express said Knight of Cups? Apparently by behaving like the Knight of Pentacles.
I think… Look, I tend to tie the Earth and Water suits together pretty closely. Partly because they’re both inward-focused elements – intimate & introverted rather than exhibitionist? In-so-far as those things can be thought of as having no overlap, which isn’t really the case – and partly because they’re both creative elements. But mainly because emotional stability and material stability are so tied up with each other.
However I think this reading is saying that the way to Be Your Black Swan without being, say, massively self-destructive or making a lot of the same mistakes over and over again, is to balance it out.
So, YES, be the knight of cups.
But balance the dreamy sentimentality and big-picture creative vision of Water with both the prudence and the step-by-step diligence of Earth.
The folks over at Hoodwitch tell me to “[Y]ou can knock it out of the park, but you have to remember what you came here for,” and I think that relates to this spread, and the integration of my best and worst Air characteristics through the art and heart of Water. Remember what I came here for, and then actually get it done.
Actually, on a related note, Chani’s Affirmation Horoscope this week (Scorpio) talks about the importance of maintaining and strengthening connections with collaborators, with people who support and encourage your best self, your most courageous self, and about noticing and figuring out the (internal and external) Stuff that gets in your way when you push to put yourself, your creativity, your Most You You, out there.
This is all kind of relevant (“kind of”), right now. I’m still job-searching. Which… if ever there was a process designed to tell you over and over that you’re worthless and nobody wants you? It’s trying to figure out how to word your extensive resume in a way that will let you look “good enough” to someone who wants professional experience in exchange for an entry-level wage, so that they will maybe deign to call you back. It’s super frustrating, and very scary at the same time. Because I feel like I have to be either/or, rather than both/and.
I want to use this new moon Both/And energy to help me with my frankly threadbare income quilt in a way that doesn’t feel like I’m coming from a place of scarcity or desperation.
The card I pulled for my Tarot Card Meditation was the Seven of Earth from the Silicon Dawn deck.
This particular seven of earth, with its crumbling building and cryptic, stick-based messaging system… is kind of creepy, tbh. Like the Collective Tarot’s seven of bones, which is just a bunch of teeth falling everywhere, a reference, I think, to that dream where your teeth crumble and fall out of your head, to tell you that everything is fucked and you can’t handle it.
Other interpretations are a lot more hopeful (haaaaaaaaaaaaa). Like the Next World image of an old lady selling home-beaded jewelry by the side of the road, labeled “Vision” (and Saturn in Taurus); or the Osho Zen version, which features a calm-looking, heavily pregnant person and a bunch of moon phases, and is called “Patience”. The Wildwood seven of earth is even called “Healing” and carries notes of divine intervention.
So what does this mean?
In a long-ago post, I talked about how the sevens are all linked to both hope and action, but also that this seven in particular touches on the fact that things take time.
I feel like I’m running out of time.
It’s an awful feeling.
It took ten years for me to build a modeling career. A career that I’m proud of and find fulfilling and that I actually enjoy. And I feel like I’m going to have to give it up, in order to take on work that pays less, wastes my time, depletes my creative energy, and makes me feel physically and emotionally like crap.
And I don’t want that to be how this goes.
So. Talking to my lovely wife over the phone, I told her about pulling this card, and what I said was: You may have to re-evaluate some stuff and make some choices. But don’t be hasty about it. You are going to start seeing results, the work you’ve been diligently putting in WILL start paying off. Just be aware that it takes a little while.
That it takes the heart-on-your-sleeve hope (the willingness to take risks and be vulnerable) of the Knight of Cups combined with the methodical action (like composition, editing, cold-calling, querying, and sending out submissions) of the Knight of Pentacles to get the results you want.
Summer Solstice is a week away. The sun – and all the things it metaphorically touches on – is at its biggest and boldest. It’s the point when all those seeds you carefully planted start to (literally or metaphorically) bear fruit.
While it’s hard to hold onto hope, especially when it feels like most of my seeds have germinated and then withered before they could really get established, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for patience, for healing, for the chance to decode some secret, stick-based message, and get where I need to be going.
I’m modeling for a photography class in three hours.
I’m going to methodically get myself ready, put together a couple of looks for people to take photos of, do my hair and makeup (qua kosmesis), and then go Be Art for an evening.
Tomorrow I’ll light my altars and write some motherfucking poetry.
Movement: Has mostly been walking, this past couple of weeks. Yes, there’s also been gardening, but mostly my movement has been based around getting from place to place.
Attention: The wildlife in my back yard has multiplied. Babies every damn where. They are cute and also mildly worrying and, as such, are pulling a lot of my attention.
Gratitude: Grateful for the rain. For the zucchini plants starting to flower. For bread that rises. For rhubarb that grows in determined profusion. For ice cream being on mark-down. For yoghurt I can make from scratch. For a friend who shipped me cute and fancy clothes (and makeup and perfume, and the tiniest coach bag ever) from an entirely different country, just to help me out and make me smile. For $5 bags of un-dyed cotton crochet thread. For time to experiment. For old, beloved books. For not having to get up at 6am, three days a week (silver lining, right?) and for modeling coordinators who hire me because they know I need the work, and because I was brave enough to ask for it. For long baths. For friends who trust me. For a wife who thinks I’m beautiful and holds onto me all night long.
Inspiration: The deep, deep blue of a nearly cloudless sky, late last night when I walked home from my modeling gig, after an evening that was all thunder and rain. The bright gleam of those distant stars. The way the bee-balm and bleeding hearts come back, year after year, even in thin, rocky soil.
Creation: Urgh. I made a rhubarb-berry coffee cake and rhubarb muffins this past week. I also wrote one (1) poem. It’s okay. But more to come, right? More to come! 😀
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 So, when people design tarot decks, they often rename the suits. The suit of “earth stuff” (security, abundance, material things, bodies & embodiment, physicality, cash, housing, food, legacies, room-mates, relatives, etc), for example, which is traditionally called “pentacles” has been renamed a bunch of other things. Rainbows. Bones. Stones. Lots of things. In the case of the Silicon Dawn deck, from-which I drew the above card, the suit of “Earth Stuff” has been renamed “wands”. Which is annoying, sure, but not the end of the world. So I’m going with it.
The dog roses bloomed the day before the full moon (in Sag). The lilacs are out all over the place. My self-seeded radishes and crane’s bill are blooming and my columbines, sage, peonies, and even bergamot are well on their way towards bursting into flower.
Flower Moon indeed.
The Full Moon in Sag – like all full moons – relates back to the New Moon that was in the same sign, six months ago. Looking back, I see that, six months ago, I was writing the Goals post for my Empress Project and trying to get myself to Dream Big rather than over-thinking and self-sabotaging my hopes and plans.
Which is… not out of line with what’s been going on in the past 8 days or so.
I did a tarot reading this time last week – a three-card draw suggested by Liz Worth in a guest-post for Biddy Tarot:
1. What do I fear about myself?
2. How can I face this fear and move past it?
3. What can I accomplish as a result?
The answers I got were:
1) The Empress (U) – Which, given my ongoing Empress Project, I’m interpreting as “I’m afraid of my own success” (just… see below for more on that one).
2) The Three of Swords (R) – Grief, sure, but grief that you are allowed to let go of. Recognize that Now is not Then. You are not going to be punished for reaching past scrabbling survival or for wanting things beyond being allowed to continue existing (ish).
3) Temperance (U) – Feeling centered and secure, finding the right mix, achieving some balance, flourishing. (Isn’t flourishing what the Empress is all about?)
You guys, the day I did this reading, I got invited to a job interview for a part-time office job, walking distance from my house. With benefits and a (likely) starting salary that, even pro-rated to three days/week, would cover our basic living expenses reliably and consistently for the foreseeable future.
The interview was on Monday.
Lunar-cycle-wise, that’s an amazing time for a job interview (almost-full moon in an energetic, get-up-and-seize-the-day Fire sign, with everything else in stable, secure, resourceful Earth).
I’m hoping that helped me.
I’m hoping everything helps me.
I have no idea if, or when, I will head the results but I have been straight-up harassing my gods and ancestors and everybody else who might potentially be listening about this. I am kind of feeling (exhausted from) what Ms. Sugar calls “getting in a staring contest with the universe“.
I’ve also been having Big Feels about not “deserving” this. Impostor syndrome. The fear that, if I don’t keep myself small and scared, some nebulous Big Bad is going to come along and hurt me to make sure I “stay in my place” (which is desperate and needy and never allowed to have enough). This weird, stupid, doesn’t actually make any sense, suspicion that my wife wouldn’t be having Extra Joint Pain right now, if I hadn’t been so “greedy” as to want us to be able to reliably make ends meet and potentially make them overlap.
It’s messed up.
I want to stop feeling like this.
But, tbh, even more than that? I want an email offering me that job. I’ll deal with, and hopefully banish, the imposter syndrome once I know that our rent & groceries are for-sure going to be covered.
But for the moment, I’m waiting. Fighting off anxiety. Distracting myself by reading YA novels (which is great). Working in my garden – the fava beans are coming up. So is the red mustard and (maybe) blue kale and dill (only one, so far) from my friend, who held the job I just interviewed for, along with the chard I seeded, and reseeded, and then seeded again (FINALLY). My tomatoes, cukes, zukes, potatioes, and winter squash all seem to be getting their roots in well. The sorrel and lovage I planted are getting their feet in, too.
I am hoping the flourishing of my garden, the re-balancing of its soil by giving it a good feed and planting some nitrogen fixers, will work as a thinking-in-things spell to help me be open to my own success, my Empress flourishing, to invite in those things ( like this job, Universe ) that will help me do and be all of that.
Today’s Tarot Card Meditation draw was the Eight of Pentacles.
I like this card.
The eights are all about hope. Even cards like the eight of cups, where the hope is less obvious (letting go of something, which can be painful, in order to make space for something better to come in). But this particular card is about both (a) super-relevant stuff like finding a new job, and also (b) doing the day-to-day “carry wood, fetch water” stuff of making life happen.
The above picture is from the Collective Tarot, but I did my draw from the Next World deck. Cristy C Road calls the 8 of Pentacles “Creation”. It’s a picture of two people, obviously proud of what they’ve made, standing in the foreground of stacks and stacks of paper (what looks like a self-published zine, chapbook, comic, guide, or similar).
Other versions of the Eight of Pentacles consistently touch on the honing of a craft, on diligence, on putting in the effort and attention to tend something that matters to you. The Next World rendition is very much in that vein.
But the Collective Tarot’s Eight of Bones talks about something else. The chrysalis under the rib cage. The “new normal” that’s been growing this whole time you (I?) have been breathing, learning, and baby-stepping forward. The heart that is developing, that is ready to emerge.
If I have a wish – beyond the very specific “let me get this job” that I’ve been praying and chanting and spell-casting for all week – for this full moon in Sagitarius, it’s this:
Let Me Thrive!
Movement: LOTS of walking. The heat has arrived (YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!) and… I have totally forgotten how to walk long distances (for a given value of “long” meaning about 5km at a time) in hot, hot, humid weather. BUT I’m walking a lot. Digging in my garden, planting seedlings, pulling unwanted plants (quack grass and dog-strangling vine, almost exclusively) and harvesting greens. Going dancing on Saturday night, too. 🙂
Attention: I strongly suspect that the content of this post has detailed where most of my attention has been of late. However, I’m also paying attention to what’s coming up in my garden (and what isn’t), and what it needs to thrive. I did a lousy job of taking care of it last year, and I’m hoping to do better with it this time around.
Gratitude: My wife, who smiles at me and tells me she loves me all the time. The people who are willing to sing my praises to a potential employer, should they call. Dandelions, grape leaves, Vietnamese garlic, garden sorrel, mustard greens, radish leaves, and other goodies that have been doing their duty as our vegetables of late. Honouraria for working a “learn to mend” night at the OTL. Connecting with other queers. Clothing swaps. People showing up for each other when someone needs support. Having a spare room in-which to temporarily house someone (er… we had a 15-year-old stay with us for a couple of days while she was between group homes). The smell of wet earth and fresh, clean rain on just-mowed dandelions in the yard. Getting that interview and it (probably?) going well. Ancestors taking care of me. Goddesses who listen. A big, gorgeous full moon to look up at. Warm, gentle nights to walk home in. Extra modeling work. New poetry in the mail. The smell of flowers – lilacs and roses and the last of the crab apples – heavy in the air. It’s a beautiful time of year.
Inspiration: I have new poetry to read, and I’m paging through Kitchen Table Tarot, Modern Tarot, and She Is Sitting in the Night, trying to gain some new perspectives on my numerous decks of cards. I’m also drawing inspiration from my garden, since it’s waking up and making magic of its own right now.
Creation: Right now, a lot of my creative efforts are being put into trying to get the Universe to give me what I want. So my activities are less about poetry and more about getting my garden in shape to keep feeding us, and getting the Wider World to, well, like me enough to get me a stable and sustainable working situation. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please. Beyond that, while I’m still working on finishing my moon-inspired poetry chapbook, I’m finding that food and plant imagery is finding its way into my work – because: garden – more and more. Hoping to get this one finished before the next New Moon, but we shall see.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
The above picture is from a few years ago. It’s fava beans in bloom, which won’t technically be flowering until, like, July. None the less! It’s flower moon! I have Lungwort and one purple Tulip blooming in my front yard, and a bunch of dandelions, BUT my Crane’s Bill (wild geranium), Carpet Of Snow, and Lamia are about to open up, so here we are. The pear tree next door, and the cherry tree down the street, plus all the neighbourhood serviceberries and crab apples are blooming. Pretty flowers everywhere. It’s a gorgeous time of year.
Yesterday I made bread and yoghurt. Today I’m taking a care package to a kid who’s on her own for the first time and needs All The Things. (I’m bringing groceries – including some of said bread and yoghurt, along with a heap of crushed tomatoes, frozen sunchokes, non-parishables, jam, and frozen fruit – plus gender-appropriate clothes and shoes plus some other stuff). I’m also watering the garden, because the Big Storm that we were expecting yesterday… wasn’t, and they all need a drink.
The New Moon was born in Taurus, yesterday, but is now scooting through Gemini (my rising sign). Uranus just moved into Taurus, too, which is somewhat more significant. Gotta admit that given that the ONLY Taurus in my chart is its position in my 12th House (which, being an astrology n00b, is… I guess basically all the crap that The Moon brings up in tarot? Roughly?) I’m not at all sure what to make of this one. So I’m just gonna go with what Chani says about Uranus In Taurus for me (Scorpio) which… seems to be suggesting that I’m about to revolutionize how I do attachment bonds? I guess?
Heh. Which would definitely fit with the somewhat frustrating tarot reading I gave myself yesterday.
Short version (which is the trio of cards I add to the end: Advisor, Over-Arching, and Underlying): I got The Lovers, followed by The Tower and The Queen of Earth. All those stupid, unhelpful relationship patterns (er… see 12th House?), where I tend to bond to people more intensely when I’m afraid of losing them (because they’re distant or unavailable or super shitty at mutual care) are gonna fall the fuck apart which – going by the rest of the spread – is going to involve (a) probably STILL not dating anybody new for a while, dammit, and (b) learning to “go with the flow” rather than needing to know what’s what ALL the time (ugh… that’s gonna suck). But what comes after that will be flowering, security, and big, abundant, fam. Which I’m so into.
So here we are.
The general message from Chani was: Be your weird, strange self in all your complexity and in all your relationships. Give yourself the room to be your Self.
Sounds pretty good, tbh.
Here’s hoping it goes well.
Shall we do a Tarot Card Meditation? I think we shall:
This card has been following me around since New Year’s Eve. It showed up in the above-mentioned reading, and now here it is again, pulled out of an entirely different deck.
I commented to a friend, a couple of days ago, that I’m real sick of seeing it, and that the Cataclysmic Change that it tends to herald must be the kind of thing where a wall is worn away by time and tides, rather than one where something falls down thanks to an earthquake or an explosion.
Things usually break down for a reason. The tower can be a card of shocking insights and realizations. The kind of New Moon in Scorpio revelations that can shatter old patterns, ruts, and destructive habits. (That’s what I like about the Next World Tarot iteration of this card. The thing that is falling down isn’t necessarily a good thing. The loss will be hard – uncomfortable, full of bumps – but the end result is that you’ll be better for it). It can be a card of break-throughs and surprising new perspectives. I’m going to try and see it like that,and to work with that energy when I get surprising news.
Movement: Taking a long walk into Gatineau today. Turned the compost and added (fully composted, from a shop of all things) manure to the raised garden beds.
Attention: Keeping an eye on the garden. Pulling out seedlings that I don’t want (like manitoba maples) in the front garden, re-seeding what hasn’t come up yet. I’m hoping that feeding the garden beds will help on that front. (I still have one big bag in reserve, for when I want to plant zucchini and winter squash next weekend).
Gratitude: Kind friends who challenge me. Trust. Having a spare room to offer people who need it, but also learning that I’m not going to be on the hook as a demi-parental grown-up just yet. Friends who invite me out to play and give me opportunities to try new recipes. A wife who looks at me like I’m a miracle. Friends who send me clothes, just to help me out. Friends who take my no-longer-fitting clothes off my hands. Affordable writing wrokshops run by leather queers. Gods who listen and push and help me out (thank you!). Long, steady rain on freshly planted seeds. Bright sunshine and rising temperatures. Running into friends while running errands.
Inspiration: People who step up to be the grown-up when they’re needed, even when they’re barely out of childhood themselves. I’m in awe of you.
Creation: Got a new poem written, earlier this week, though it needs a LOT of tweaking. Fingers crossed that I can get it to work AND come up with another couple as well!
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 are you going to do magically to make sure that your goals happened. This is the week to really focus on that.”
Tarot Card: High Priestess
I admit I chose this card slightly because I’ve been feeling stuck and this can be a card of stillness to the point of inaction or not-getting-involved and… I’ve been avoiding this prompt for months because of those feelings.
However, I mainly chose it for its connections to mystery, intuition, trusting your inner voice, connecting with hidden talents, self-knowledge, and with secrets and magic.
Earlier this week, Becoming Dangerous: Witchy femmes, queer conjurers, and magical rebels on summoning the power to resist arrived in the mail – at last! – and I’ve been digging into it hard since it turned up.
It couldn’t have come at a better time, I don’t think, what with me spinning my wheels going “What the heck magical thing can I DO??” and mostly just feeling slumped and stuck and completely unmotivated.
The essays – written predominantly by queer femmes – have been reminding me of what everyday magic looks like, that the stuff I do to put one foot in front of the other isn’t just survival, that it can be symbolic action, magical action, as well.
I needed that reminder, and I needed it badly.
I spent the morning writing myself a remind of what kinds of magic I am, or can be, doing when I go about my day-to-day. Like greeting my gods at the cross-roads, at the sight of green things pushing through the still-cold-but-waking ground, at the warmth of sunlight, brightness of moonlight, on my skin… everything I do can be a magical act, a holy-making/acknowledging act. Turning the compost, tending the ferments, lighting my altar candles, those are easy to ritualize, and I already do so (though I could stand to do it more reliably and frequently). I’m talking more about things like turning self-care stuff (like doing my back, hip, and leg exercises, cooking Real Meals from scratch, getting dressed in my I’m Awake clothes even when I’m not expecting to leave the house that day, and even showering regularly) into something that I conceptualize as body-honouring, glamour-making, goal-manifesting, creation magic.
Maybe it’s because it’s still well below freezing, or because I’ve been doing office work all week (and thus wearing office-appropriate (and polyester-lined!) clothes), but I needed to remind myself that dressing like the queer, femme, spooky-hippy, would-be-sexpot that I am is a way to make that reality manifest in real time.
So I dressed with intention this morning – even though it’s been a day of house-cleaning, mending, kitchen craft. Even though the laundry needs doing. Maybe especially so.
How much of my not-so-great house-keeping could I redefine as a way to symbolically (magically, thinking-in-things-ly) remind myself that I’m Worthy? Worthy of a clean house. Worthy of a functional kitchen. Fresh socks every day. Light that is warm and welcoming. Food that will actually nourish my gorgeous, lovable body. And, more (or maybe just equally?) to the point, would that get me to do it more reliably and/or less resentfully?
Liz Worth says that the incoming Aries new moon is an “open door” to walk through in order to make changes in your life – which is relevant to my above re-framing in-so-far as a change of consciousness ( at will) is definitely making a change.
She also posted a tarot spread to help figure out where to take risks and what to reach for when that opportunity arrives, because everything might be a bit up in the air right now (Mercury’s still in Retrograde until tomorrow, and won’t start moving “forward” again for another few days after that).
I had a friend over for a tarot-and-shop-talk evening a few days ago, and gave Liz’s spread a whirl, in the hopes that a spare set of eyes would help make sense of things.
What is it time for me to begin? –> Queen of Cups
What fear must I leave behind in order to do this? –> Empress
How can I cultivate deeper confidence? –> Ace of Cups (with a Six of Cups drawn when I was, like, “Huh??”)
What can no longer hold me back? –> Five of Cups
Advisor: Five of Swords (R)
Over-Arching + Underlying Influences: Page of Cups + King of Wands (R)
Most of this makes plenty of sense.
If I want my Empress Project to be successful, if I want to achieve my goals, I need to stop being afraid of “What If It Worked Out”, stop self-sabotaging, and similar, and start opening up and being receptive to the good stuff I’m trying to court and call into my life.
The grief and 20/20 hind-sight of the Five Of Cups – y’know, that stuff that’s been eating at me since 2016, if not earlier – is apparently far enough gone that I can just get on with things without drowning in it. (That’s not to say I don’t still Have The Feels about all that, but, well, see Prompt Three, tbh. You make Good Art by taking something, doing something to it, and then doing something different to it; and that’s also how you write a new future from a crappy history, so).
My over-arching/underlying pair are good mix of “open your heart” (Page of Cups) and “you have the inspiration/creativity/power” (King of Wands) that I think relates pretty clearly to the Empress and Queen of Cups in the initial spread. My advisor says “Focus on being your truest, best self. Don’t get distracted by zero-sum games, insecurities, or petty jealousies”.
The only card that’s really throwing me is the Ace of Cups. The card is meant to answer the question of HOW do I gain more confidence in this area, not WHERE do I need to gain more confidence.
What I said to my friend, after a bit of a chat about it all, was that if I were doing this spread for someone else, I’d read the Ace of Cups in that position as… As like when your therapist asks you “What nice thing are you going to do for yourself tonight” so that you develop a habit of making kind plans for yourself and then following through on them and, from that habit, build a relationship with yourself where you can trust yourself to be there for you. I think the card I drew for “what is this about” leans towards “Let yourself play, give yourself time for small pleasures and simple joys, continue learning how to recognize and accept good things when they’re offered to you rather than assuming there’s an ulterior motive or that everything will surely go to hell. Let yourself dream and desire beyond what you can currently grasp”.
So there we are. Little rituals in the every-day. Little offerings from myself to myself. Little glamours to lift me up and move me towards what I want.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 Totally a sales link.
 Which, that right there? I have a terrible tendency to get hungry, get hangry, and take it out on myself by basically telling myself that food is for people who deserve it. Which, intellectually, I know is garbage and unkind and generally a bad road to go down, but it’s still a thing I do. Having someone else to cook for/with helps a LOT, in terms of getting me to put food in my own mouth. But remembering to put it in my own mouth, whether anybody else is there to share it with me, is an important thing to keep doing.
Full Moon. In Cancer, which is the Moon’s territory. On Monday/Lundi, which is the Moon’s day. My shiny new date-books theme is The Moon (the tarot card, but also the giant ball of rock in the sky and all that she stands for. The date book being what it is, there’s a fair bit of Womb Stuff, too, which is… not as delightful for me now as it was 10-12 years ago, but that’s what it is).
I’m enjoying this post over at Little Red Tarot which includes a handy tarot spread that touches on the Moon (what are the gifts of this cycle, this full moon), the Queen of Cups (what does my heart need) and the Queen of Pentacles (what is the work involved in achieving/realizing my desires).
This isn’t a spread I’ve done today. Though it makes me smile because it kind of relates to the one I did do. (More on that in a second).
Liz Worth says of this full moon:
The Moon is water. It is an ocean, a heart that waits to swallow you whole.
What will you find when you swim to the bottom? Deep, nourishing love? Or tears? The sweat of pining, of longing for something that was once held dear?
These are deep thoughts for the first day of the year, I know. But this is the space that today’s Moon wants us to occupy.
It wants us to go deep. To get nostalgic. To take stock of what’s been lost and gained, and what hope we still hold for the future.
Which… I suppose is kind of happening.
A little over two years ago, I started my Queen of Cups project, with the Full moon swimming in Cancer’s ocean of emotions. I finished it all of four months ago, just days before September’s full moon in the healer’s territory of Pisces. Now the moon is full in Cancer again, and I’m looking at bridging my Queen of Cups project – a story about healing into receptivity that turned out to be about having healthy, consciously-fluid boundaries – into a new self-improvement/self-healing project that centers on the sex-and-sensuality, certainty, abundance, interconnectedness, and unapologetic embodiment of the Empress.
I did the Bridge Spread from Little Red Tarot, asking how I could bridge my Queen of Cups Project into my in-coming Empress Project and… what I got was actually really frustrating.
Like… You know how tarot is basically story-telling?
You know how everyone has meta-narratives and stories they can’t let go of?
You know how (well, maybe you don’t, but some of you do) I started my Queen of Cups project less than a month before a rather-messed-up relationship came to a very painful end, and that… mess… still feels like unfinished business to me, in significant part because it’s left me suspicious of my desires and uncertain around stuff like the difference between “wanting” to do something and “being willing” to do something. (There will be more on this later – either here, or on a different blog)…
… So it’s not surprising, but it IS extremely irritating, that the story I got from my bridge spread so easily fit the story of “My messed up experience with C and how I’m still dealing with the personal fall-out there-from”.
I want to tell a different story.
I’m not going to do a full write-up of the spread I laid. Not here, anyway.
Instead, you’re getting the Advisor and the Overarching + Underlying Influences from that reading – the three cards I add to every spread that tend to offer a summary of what I’m supposed to get from it:
Advisor – Five of Wands (U):
The 5 of wands is about sticking to your convictions while picking your battles, dealing with (or living with) unresolved tensions, and resolving – or at least navigating – internal conflicts.
The Little Book that Cristy C Road wrote to go with her just-released Next World tarot deck (which is the deck I used for the initial spread, even though I also pulled the matching cards from the Silicon Dawn deck) has this to say about the Five of Wands:
It’s possible to do this healing work, and it IS work, in ways that are safe even as they’re a struggle. “What does collaboration look like? Are you co-conspirators able to meet you half-way?”
This is a card about challenging expectations. Maybe other people’s, sure, but in this reading? Definitely my own. (Weirdly, this resonates with the card I pulled at Midnight when the calendar turned over. The two of swords: Acknowledge why you’re guarded, but don’t let that stop you from making decisions and taking action).
Overarching + Underlying – Eight of Cups (U) + Queen of Pentacles (U)
Stuff about security and leaving the past in the past. Well, that’s… probably relevant.
Overarching: In the Osho Zen deck, this card is Letting Go. In the Wildwood deck, it’s Rebirth. The Silicon Dawn deck, as you can see in the picture above, interprets it as a “morning after” promise not to do that again. The folks at Little Red Tarot say, of the eight of cups, “There is great strength in walking away from something that just isn’t working any more. There is great strength in acknowledging the truth and, no matter how hard that truth is, acting from there.” Given that The Tower has shown up for me twice in less than 24 hours… I’m sort of resigned to this one, and hoping it’s something that won’t hurt too much to walk away from.
In the Next World, Cristy C Road calls us to “stay solid and true” (don’t ghost on anybody) but to “follow the path of rebirth with grace and dignity” and not to let your past govern your future.
Underlying: Flowering. Coming into your own. The protective bear in her cozy cave. The Queen of Earth is a “come on in, the door’s unlocked” kind of Queen. She’s solid and steady, secure in her resources, her supporters, and her resilience. She’s abile to back up her generous spirit with generous actions. Cristy says: Pursue your power, it’s well-deserved, but don’t lose your compassion.
On a related note, the card that fell out of the deck when I was doing this spread? The three of Earth. A reminder that, in whatever endeavor you’re undertaking, (a) you need to acknowledge the work, the labour, the skills, the effort that you bring to the endeavor, while also (b) recognizing that it’s not only on YOU to make The Thing happen or succeed. You are part of a team effort. Value you what you bring to that effort and don’t team up with people who will devalue you or expect you to do everything for them.
On that note, and with the spectre of The Tower sculking in my future, waiting to tear down whatever needs to go… I’m off to get ready for a casual New Year’s get-together where, hopefully, I be able to give a few readings that are less “resignation and gloom” and more “you got this” to other people.
Cheers, and onwards,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
Movement: Not a whole hell of a lot, tbh. It’s been -30 and worse for the past week, and I’ve mostly been holed up avoiding the cold, and grateful for the car rides I’ve been offered to various seasonal events. I even skipped Going Out Dancing last night in favour of board games and good lighting for NYE. Twenty minute walk in the freezing bloody cold coming up shortly though.
Attention: I admit to being thoroughly distracted, and prone to showing off, my shiny new Next World deck that arrived last week. 😀 The cards are HUGE (but I have big hands, so I can make it work), and the art is detailed and worthy of the large format. I like the deliberate social justice flavour and the write-ups that are designed with personal and societal healing in mind. Hers is the first Queen of Swords that didn’t rub me the wrong way, but instead looked like someone who might actually be on my side (even if she’s still prone to tough love).
Gratitude: Grateful for central heating. For friends who are hella generous with me. For a wife who loves me enough to say Very Clearly that when she asks me stuff, it’s because she actually interested in the answers (as opposed to because she’s monitoring my productivity, or something, which is what my Jerk Brain would suggest). For a mom who is getting the hang of my polyamoury. For being able to make things from scratch (even if I haven’t been doing so at ALL this week). For kindness. For welcome. For the optimism that seems to be hanging around right now. For tenacity. For the possibility that I might actually be able to finish my poetry manuscript this year AND start sending it out (it’s early, and I’m not more than half-done, but it kind of looks like it might be possible, so I’m going with it). For all the good people and things in my life. And for the friends who remind me that it’s okay to want even more.
Inspiration: Realizing that the “resolutions egregore” is probably not the best thing from-which to draw inspiration, I’m still doing so. I have at least one friend whose debut book is coming out this year. My wife is feeling happier, and like things have turned a corner for the better when it comes to her business. There’s a lot of optimism floating around my corner of the internet right now, and a lot of people making goals around being kind, pushing towards vulnerability, empathy, inclusion and mutuality. Things feel good right now, and I’m hoping I can grab that feeling and stretch it into something real and lasting. Wish me luck. 😉
Creation: Not so much. I’ve done a little bit of knitting, but otherwise? I haven’t really even cooked anything. I’m on vacation until tomorrow, at which point I’ll get back to work on the Femme Glosa Project, on editing poetry submissions, and on cooking actual meals. But today? Today, I’m still being lazy. With that? I’m off to be social. TTFN! 😀
Happy (belated) Winter Solstice to you all. 🙂
Tonight, I am drinking left-over red wine and snacking on cookies – rather than doing something sensible like eating left-over pâté on crackers or otherwise diving into something that contains actual protein. My lovely wife (we celebrated five years of marriage on Winter Solstice, btw) is spending the night with her partner and I’m, uh, procrastinating… after spending a day fixing security problems on various social media accounts. FML. At least things seem to be sorted out now, which is a relief.
New Moon was a solid week ago. If I were to look out the window, I’d see her – almost half-full and almost half-way up the sky – right now. Only a few days ago she was a hooked crescent, hidden by cloud banks, following the sun towards the western horizon while snow slowly piled up on the steps and I lit candles and poured offering libations inside my cozy house. We started our annual party an hour later than usual (and on the Friday, rather than on Solstice Proper, because it’s hard to get people to come out for a late night when they need to get up for work the next morning) and… it helped. Everything was out and ready (and tidy) with enough time to spare – whether because I gave myself that extra hour, or because a friend came early to help set up… thanks Mercury-Stationing-Direct for that stroke of luck – that I actually had a chance to throw on a nice dress and some party shoes before people started piling through the door.
It was so good to have a house full of people again!
It’s not that I forget. It’s that the amount of prep that goes into officially Hosting a thing leaves me wondering how much clean-up I can reasonably handle – both before and after the fact. But having people over makes me happy, it stirs up the energy (and forces me to vacuum, which ALSO stirs up the energy, and helps it cycle through rather than stagnating), makes me smile, and helps me bring my Queen of Wands side – the fabulous femme hostess with the mostess – to the fore. I need to make time for more of this in my life.
On the glamour front, I’m working at presenting myself a little harder. I’ve talked about using pinterest to show myself what “glamourous” looks like to me, and it’s… a lot of viking/”viking” warrior women, witchy moon goths, queer pin-up babes, sleek film-noir/office-domme outfits, iron-age and early medieval English & Scottish queens, Russian fairy tale pics, and pop-apocalypse/neolithic “shaman” type imagery. Which you’d think would be difficult to boil down into one cohesive whole.
At least I thought it would be.
But the thin line of makeup that follows the curve of a pop-apocalyptic warrior’s cheekbones and spans the bridge of her nose? Is the same line taken by the pin-up librarian’s rhinestone cat-eye glasses or my own oversized witchy-rocker shades. The rockabilly femme in the vintage-style mermaid skirt wears hair flowers that echo the flower crown of the Ukrainian fairy-tale character and the ATS bellydancer’s head piece. The glittering haute couture kokoshnik and the Queen Mum’s tiara are also the spiked hairband worn by the nu goth princess, the Rosy The Riveter kerchief, the band of the hand-knit toque I wear every winter day I leave the house. The mermaid’s tail is the leather scales down one arm of the contemporary turtleneck and the lace-pattern on the hand-knit wiggle sweater. The heavy woolen Ruana of iron age Scotland is the elegant shawl (and the chunky infinity scarf) of today. The Neolithic skin dress of a reconstructed Magdalenian Woman is the fur collar on a film-noir-inspired leather trench, the fox-pelt draped around the shoulders of a forest fairy, the stole – from my great-grandfather – that my grandmother passed on in her nineties. The horns on the forest elf are the ornaments crowning the neolithic regalia, are the chunky, multi-point antler hair sticks in the contemporary updo.
The shapes are becoming clearer, and it’s something I’m mindful of when I put my every-day clothes on.
Whether it’s doing anything to make me shinier in the eyes of anyone (or Anyone) who happens to see me… that remains to be seen. But this is still a thing.
Tarot Card Meditation:
I’ve heard (recently, though I can’t remember where… sorry) that New Moons are good for magic and intention-setting and Full Moons are good for healing work and deep-diving. On that note, as the new moon waxes towards full, the card I drew for my meditation is:
This is… relevant on more than just a “what do you wish for”/”what makes you truly happy” level, given what I spent a chunk of my morning getting re-set-up to do, but it also ties into my own questions about what makes me happy, what internalized Stuff do I need to free myself from in order to get the sex life (which, for me is SO tied to my heart and my relationships and all those watery cups subjects) I want.
Capricorn Season is all about showing up and doing the work (to quote the Hoodwitch). Chani tells me to fill my days with rituals that help me break bad habits (Scorpio) but also reminds my Rising sign (Gemini) to be mindful of the energetic exchanges (such as flirting, first impression, and interpersonal collaborations, all-of-which which your rising sign handles) and to figure out what you actually need, want, and have to offer in those situations. She tells my Moon (Cancer… to the surprise of absolutely nobody) that “love needs a home” – which, duh, got me all weepy, because: yeah – and that for the next three years Saturn-in-Capricorn is going to show me what I need to build and be honest about in order to make that home, with all its many chambers, a real one with solid foundations.
I think the nine of cups ties into this one hard.
Help me to know what I want.
Help me to acknowledge what I want.
Help me to seek what I want.
Help me to invite it in.
I need to bake a couple of pies and finish a sewing project so… no more procrastinating for me.
Happy Solstice all.
Movement: All I want to do is sleep. So not a tonne of movement going on, and what IS going on has resulted in my left hip swelling to twice its usual size. (It came back down again, but… Winter + long walks + carrying heavy loads in an unbalanced way + even the tiniest of high heels… did not do me any good in recent history. So I’m being careful with myself while I have the option).
Attention: Right at the moment? Chani’s pointed reminder to pay attention to how I spend my time.
Gratitude: Five years of marriage with my lovely wife. Polyamoury that works, even if it’s always going to be a learning process. Generous friends who bring us fancy food, who help me get things set up for company coming over. Company coming over and filling my house with warmth, light, and laughter. Sweet young folks who trust me. Extra garden space to look forward to this coming summer (maybe, possibly). Warm blankets. Sewing skills. Lazy days. Helpful tech support staff who are working on xmas eve and still willing to go the extra mile to help me out. Perfect clear nights that aren’t too cold. The chance to stroll home, looking at pretty lights, with my wife. ❤
Inspiration: Easy but fancy-looking up-dos. Moonlight. Iron-age fashion. Winter fairy tales. The hearth inside my heart and how I want to bring it into the solid world around me.
Creation: A lot of sewing, some knitting. Not a whole lot of anything else. Poetry is having a break until January while I spend some time with my wife (who is officially on vacation as of last Friday).
doing finishing up Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!
Instructions: “Push harder than you ever have this week. Push harder than you ever thought you could and then just a little bit more” + “please take some time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve learned, and where you’re going to go from here“.
Tarot Cards: The Moon. Because healing happens in spirals, because this whole project has been bringing up All The Feelings around meta-naratives that have been part of my (very unhealthy, generally mean-to-me) personal cosmology for a very, very long time. Like 3/4 of my life levels of “long”. And also the Seven of Stones… for much the same reason. All of the sevens are linked to both The Chariot’s get-up-and-go action orientation and to The Star’s call to find your own True North and set a course for it, but this particular seven is also about healing, about patience, about recognizing how much I’ve accomplished but also about realizing that the project I set for myself is going to take some time.
It’s not a “last push” kind of project.
2016 was a hard year, and the ‘hard’ extended well into the first third of 2017. The pep-talk I gave myself way, waaaay back in November of 2015, when this project was barely an embryo? That was challenged on a couple of fronts. I spent a lot of time wrapped up in – and trying to climb out of – some pretty deep hurts and resentments, trying – with help and on my own – to figure out Boundaries 301 (which is still a work in progress, but I have a better idea about it now).
Things I Have Learned
Being open and receptive to what’s being offered also requires (somewhat counter-intuitively) having enough personal boundaries in place that I don’t over-offer in return but can meet people where they are.
This is hard, and I’m very much in the part of this where I have to hash everything out really explicitely from the get-go:
– Yes, I can do X, but only under Y circumstances.
– I can’t do QRS without unwanted results in this situation, but I can do MNO just fine.
– DEF isn’t happening, so it’s not right/safe/appropriate for me to offer GHI yet, or maybe ever.
It’s exhausting, but it’s also relevant, necessary, and worth it.
I have got one hell of a skewed view of what is and is not okay to want from/with other people. Like, it’s pretty messed up and I’ve got a lot of… sorting out… to do on that particular front. Worth it to look back on the exercises I did during my life-coaching sessions and try to move further in this regard.
I can’t actually “open up and be receptive” to something that isn’t there. It takes two to tango (or whatever it is I’m trying to do with someone) and if words and actions aren’t matching up, I need to look at the actions and re-adjust (a) expectations, but more to the point (b) availability/openness accordingly.
The tarot study that I did right along-side this project? I have a bad tendency to read cards in ways that (a) give me news I don’t want to hear, but – at the same time – conveeeeeniently also line up with the meta-narratives that tell me I will be punished for wanting things or that I’m never going to get what I want. Easy example: I tend to read the 6 of Cups as “wishful thinking” or “you need to get a reality check” rather than the equally likely “get it, girl / claim what’s yours” or “you are surrounded by blessings / opportunities for play and ease” reads.
Opening myself to new possibilities means making space in my head for those possibilities to be options. I think my next step here is to do a “best case scenario” reading alongside my default read of any given spread. Doesn’t mean that the best case will happen, and I hope I won’t end up wishful-thinking my way through stuff I might be better off facing head-on, but… it can’t hurt to try this, right? Right.
Where Do We Go From Here?
My Queen of Cups project is going to continue. I’m far enough in that I can see that more needs doing (I can even see what some small parts of it are!), so… onwards we go.
It’ll probably inform how I work through the exercises in Miss Sugar’s new book, Glamour Magic, which I’m quite enjoying reading already.
Wish me luck, kittens.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.