Category Archives: kitchen witchcraft

Canadian Pagan Declaration on Intolerance

Hey, Pagans, Heathens, Druids, Goddess-Spiritualists, Witchy-Woo Folks, and others who practice earth-centered religions/spirituality, ancestor veneration, and/or polytheism in Canada:

Please go and take a gander at the Canadian Pagan Declaration on Intolerance. You may wish to sign it yourself, as an individual or as a representative of your particular faith group, circle, kindred, grove, coven, or other congregation.

Thanks,
Meliad.

New Year New You 2016: Week Eleven – Casting Out Doubt

I’m doing 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: “[…]Use a method of your own choosing to banish the negative energy” or otherwise communicate with your own Jerk Brain to get it to give you a break.
 
Tarot Card(s): Page of Water, Queen of Earth (and, yes, my Mary-El deck arrived a few weeks ago, thense the links to images from that deck for this post). Neither of these cards explicitely have to do with Casting Out Doubt. But they’re relevant for a couple of reasons, one being that I did a two-card pull that relates to my Queen of Cups Project (and various points there-within such as my life-coaching sessions and the Plan that is to Get My Groove Back, so to speak) and I didn’t even pull these two cards, they just popped right out of the deck, like: Here’s your answer, kiddo. (This deck is proving very accurate on the jumpers front, so far, I’m just saying…).
Anyway, so there’s that. I’ll get into that a little more later, mind you. The other reason why these are relevant to the “casting out doubt” prompt is that the first one – being a Page card – is about approaching things (feeeeelings) with curiosity, rather than fear, while the second one is very much about being rooted and steady (rather than riddled with anxiety). the combination is basically a case of “Here’s something you can do instead of assuming the worst and spinning about it all the time”.
Useful? I think so.
 
ANYWAY.
 
So, as-you-know-bob, I am a BIG fan of ritual/magical baths as a form of spell-casting and Creating Change At Will. unsurprisingly, my method of casting out doubt involved (a) having a giant, scrubby shower (and, yeah, some Stuff came up during the shower, and I was just, like, “Don’t be mean to yourself. Let all that stuff just sluff off and let it go”. Which… we’ll see if that bit sticks, honestly, but I gave it a go), and (b) taking a sensual-glamourous bath after the fact to soak in (and soak up) something better to fill that vacuum left when I got rid of all the EUGH[1].
So.
The other day, I went out and gathered a whole wack of “second chakra associated” flowers and leaves. I picked bergamot petals, geranium blossoms, rose petals, rose leaves, and motherwort[2] tops (mostly leaves). All sorts of pinks and reds. I wound up explaining to a newly-arrived-home couple just what, exactly, they had growing under their tree (Motherwort – see footnote[2]). They’d asked if they had “something special”, since I was obviously investigating the weedy patch they’d (woohoo) missed with the mower.
 
I wound up waiting a solid 48 hours or more before I actually took my bath, though.
I kind of think that’s telling, seeing as the whole idea was to open up my centre of drive, passion, confidence, and sex… and I was consistently putting it on the back-burner while I got other stuff done. :-\
Hm.
 
But I took my bath: all the petals plus dried bay leaves, sea salt & epsom salts (to draw out any residual gunk), and essential oils of rosemary, clary sage, ylang ylang, and sweet orange.
Soaked and floated in the hot water. Did Child’s Pose to open my hips, and breathed in the smell of all those oils and flower petals.
 
Got interrupted towards the end, a young woman (possibly from Korea, going by the alphabet her phone was using) who’d taken a wrong turn trying to find her airBnB. This is most likely Just A Fluke, but I’m choosing to read it as any of the following:
Sometimes people turn up in your life when you’re not expecting them and/or when it’s not entirely convenient. Just go with it.
Things are not always going to go according to your internal scrips. See above and just go with it.
See also: Have a sense of humour about it, for fuck’s sake.
 
I can still smell rosemary on my skin.
I hope this is one more thing that will help me open myself up without seeing every damn thing as a threat. Which… I guess I can use as a handy segue?
 
About that tarot reading!
It was a “who” and a “how” card to answer the question: “Who and how do I need to be in order to open myself up the way I want and need to?”
The page of water and the queen of earth, respectively, fell out of the deck almost as soon as I started shuffling.
So that’s apt.
WHO: The Page of Cups says “be in the moment”. It says “learn to trust” and “trust the learning”. The Page of Cups is very much me on a lot of levels, just figuring this heart stuff out (after nine years of working my ass off for it, still just figuring stuff out) but also being neck-deep in it all the time. It’s very much what my Life Coach is trying to help me do, with regards to approaching pleasure and relationships with curiosity rather than trepidation. It says be loyal, be devoted, be compassionate and supportive of yourself as well as others. Be emotionally vulnerable.
BUT
HOW: The Queen of Earth says “don’t fling yourself off a cliff to do it”. Offer that loyalty, devotion, compassion wisely. Make sure you have an oxygen mask of your own, rather than hoping someone else will pass you one in the event of an emergency. Explore, see where things go, walk into this stuff with joy and hope. For sure. But also make sure that you can stand solid on your own. Be aware of what you value, what you want and what you need, as you go out exploring. You can be emotionally vulnerable, you can let your heart be curious, because you can pull back and prioritize yourself when you need to. (Which is also part of the Life Coaching stuff, as it turns out).
 
The Queen of Earth, in the Mary-El deck, is weaping diamonds. It makes me think of this post I wrote just before C ended our relationship. In this context, I read it as “there is value is showing your emotions” and also “experiencing your bodiliness, letting your feelings come through your body, isn’t weak. Quite the opposite”. There are a million ways to interpret a given tarot card but this seems like a relevant way to read this one today.
 
So. That was how I went about Casting Out Doubt. It’s been helping. Every time I pass a rose bush (which are still quite fragrant in these parts, even as the flowers are fading), I catch the scent and breathe in love and gratitude. It’s a nice reminder and it helps me stop spinning my self-doubt wheels.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] That’s a thing to keep in mind. If you banish something, it can be a good idea to fill the void the banishment leaves with something you actually WANT (either by putting it there, or by ritually inviting it to take up residence), so that you don’t end up with either (a) the same damn shit again, OR (b) just any old thing that happened to be in the area filling in the available psychic/physical/emotional space. A bit like my tarot-pull being all “Here’s what to do INSTEAD of the disfunctional thing you’ve always done”.
 
[2] Motherwort calms the heart (it makes a good anti-anxiety tincture, similar to skullcap in that regard, but much muuuuuuch easier to get ahold of in urban areas as it grows quite happily in disturbed ground like construction sites), builds self-trust and confidence, bolsters libido, and attracts joy, success, & a sense of purpose. It encourages listening/discerning one’s heart’s desires and has associations with Venus, Freja, and Ogun (er… apparently). It can come and live in my garden any time.

Common Motherwort (Leonurus Cardiaca)

New Year New You 2016: Week Five – Some Enchanted Evening

I’m doing 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: Do some magical thing(s) to further your cause and give you an edge towards achieving your Goal(s).
 
Tarot Card: The Priestess (Inner Voice, The Seer) – looking inward, going deeper, mediating between the concious and unconcious, self-confidence, seaking internal calm.
 
Thoughts:
Okay.
So I’ve had a bit of a shock thrown into my (life) plans recently. My long-distance partner is… not my partner anymore. At least not for the moment. We’re “on a break” for reasons that I understand, even if I’m not happy about the situation or its effects on me.
Part of me is all “I totally get it, take the time you need.”
Part of me is all “Augh! Come baaaaaaaaaaaaack!”
And part of me is just all “Eugh. Whatever. You do you. I’ll survive.”
It’s not a fun place to be, and it does add a certain bleak nuance of “Why am I trying so hard to Fix The Problems that I’m trying to fix with this project if I’m no-longer in a situation where those Problems are actually causing Big Waves in important parts of my life??”
Which is a problem in and of itself, I know.
Why don’t I care about myself enough to just get to Happy for my own benefit, rather than it having to involve someone else’s comfort with me before I’m willing to Do The Work that will make my life better regardless?
It’s stupid and frustrating and it means that part of this Getting To project is getting a bit of a facelift.
 
Originally, I was going to do my Enchanted Evening spell by putting a glamour wammy on my bathroom and dressing-room mirrors so that, every time I looked at my own reflection, I was also seeing someone worthy of love and care, in the hopes that it would make it easier for me to pick up on the love and care (and other good stuff) being directed at me from all and sundry[1].
I’m still going to do that.
BUT.
… But the whole situation with the Queen Of Cups is that she doesn’t have to use logic to walk her heart through every damn thing. She’s emotionally healthy,and emotionally secure, enough that she is both trust-worthy and trustING in ways that don’t feel like jumping off a cliff (to use Leah Lakshmi’s very apt turn of phrase) and crossing my fingers that someone is going to catch me before I hit the rocks.
Which means I’ve got other Stuff I need to work on as well.
 
So what I did this morning was steap myself a cup of thyme tea and charge it with the prayer of “Open my heart, help me to trust the trustworthy, heal me”.
Tea because: Probably a safer bet than putting drops of pure thyme essential oil directly onto my tongue. But also tea because it has links to awareness, faithfulness, and enlightenment.
I chose Thyme because it corresponds to courage, hope, happiness, purification, healing, strength, the washing away of fear.
Other herbs I can use in similar ways:
Chamomile, lavender, and dill to calm the frightened child in me
Sweet Violet (I’m reading this as the edible flowers of wood violets that grow in my yard – and all over the place) for trust, peace, and strengthening the comfort of the heart
 
As for the glamour wammy on my mirror, I’m thinking it’ll be a cleansing spray that just happens to include a mix of rosemary, sweet orange, and ginger essential oils (plus witch hazel & water for a carrier).
 
Other possibilities for scrubbing away:
A Body Scrub to sluff away all the Negativity that’s been hovering around me ft brown sugar, sweet almond oil, baking soda, rosemary, clove, cedar, tea tree
AND
A Bath Powder to draw confidence, self-assurance, courage and calm ft ylang ylang, ginger, clove, myrrh(!), and sweet orange
 
I find it… veeeeeery interesting… that a LOT of the essential oils that one would use for drawing love, sex, & happy-solid romances into one’s life (and dispelling/preventing jealousy, no less) are also stuff that one would use to increase confidence, courage & self-assurance, while calming your ass down & dispelling fear and depression.
I mean, part of that is just: people use what they’ve got. If you’re a Strega with a rosemary bush the size of your house (or… me… with a cupboard full of pie spices and dried fruit), that stuff is going to find its way into every spell you do.
On the other hand… the two tend to benefit one-another, in my experience, so maybe it’s not that strange.
 
Lastly – though not remotely surprisingly -I’ve been doing a LOT of tarot readings for myself on the question of “How do I get to Happy?” (the Fool Spread is really handy for that kind of question) and the details of making those internal changes in ways that will actually stick and not turn me into more of a wreck in the process.
They’re turning up some… unsurprising but also pretty accurate information, which is a help in terms of things I need to remind myself of like: This is going to be a bit of a slog, so you will have to be patient with yourself. Be brave but not with without compassion for yourself. Push yourself, because it’s going to be hard and you will have to keep leaning into that discomfort, but don’t burn yourself out. Learn from your mistakes, but also forgive yourself and be gentle with yourself at the same time.
 
Wish me luck.
Up next: Fancying up my mirrors and taking a solid soak. Here’s hoping it works.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] So that I could recognize that kind words from a friend are actually meant and true, to pick a non-Faaaaaaaaaamily-related example, and so that (to pick another, even less-socially-fraught one) I could stop interpreting a lack of calls from temp agents as some sort of deliberate punishment for not being available That One Time, or for saying No to that thing I didn’t want to do. So that I can just sit with the quiet (as opposed to the Silence, as in Silent Treatment) of a non-ringing phone without believing in my bones that it’s a commentary on whether or not I’m worthy of someone having my back or looking out for me.

New Year New You 2016: Week 1 – Making Way

So I’m doing 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: Clean the house, weed the wardrobes, and generally get physical stuff out of your space (or back in its place). THEN Magically cleanse your place (and your head-space, too). Miss Sugar suggests doing this during the waning moon, which is technically happening right now, but only just.
 
Tarot Card: If I were to assign a tarot card to this week’s prompt, I would almost definitely pick a Fire card. After giving the eye to the Queen, the 8, the 2, and the 4 (as well as The Chariot, as it happens – all that “get-up/wake-up and go” stuff), I’m inclined to stick with the Two of Fire (“Possibilities”) because of its connections to balance & harmony, planning & decisions, and new ventures, plus the fact that it’s a Two, which means this is all about taking small (but consistent) steps towards getting the hang of Doing(New) You well.
 
Thoughts:
I feel like the accumulate/de-stuff-icate cycle is one that I’m never going to actually finish. Like the Wheel of the Year, periods of abundance and paring down happen in their seasons.
I’ve got a year-at-a-glance horoscope (I get the we’moon date book every year as a birthday present to myself) telling me that, in spite of Scorpios (in theory) being better at elimination than accumulation, it’s time to deal with wealth (of various kinds) and material security.
 
A talk with a friend, about two months ago, included the ways in which we’re both more “switching up” than “throwing out” these days. Accumulating stuff, yes, but it’s stuff that will last. Good quality things. Things that actually fit our senses of self (whether we’re talking furniture or machinery or clothing), rather than “single-season” or otherwise disposable items that we’ll wear out too quickly because they’re poorly made. Glass not plastic. Cotton and linen, wool and silk rather than polyester. Things we can repair or alter ourselves. Things we’ve even made ourselves – thus getting Hours Of Fun from the making, before getting (hopefully) Decades Of Fun from the wearing or using of what we made. Things with stories attached to them (“I got this skirt at the Harvest Swap, it used to belong to A. Fatale” or “I got this necklace/yarn/knife on my trip to Iceland, last Summer” or “My wife found this antique yarn winder behind the crack house on the corner – Can you believe they put it in the trash??”).
 
I feel like the stuff in my life is edging slowly towards being the kind of Stuff that is (a) limited (hahaha, here’s hoping), but also (b) almost permaculture-y in the way each item comes with many “purposes”: This shrug will keep me warm (and stylish!) when it’s finished, keep my hands (and mind) busy while I’m knitting (and spinning) the yarn, help me strengthen chatty connections with other fibre artists in my community/ies, and help me become a better knitter & designer, too. This cheese plate is beautiful (beautiful is a purpose in my world), can be used to serve cheese and other goodies, and comes with a story because it’s a wedding present from the House of the Dragon.
 
As far as the state of my home goes…
Yeah…
Thanks, entirely, to our annual Winter Solstice Partay (and the corresponding, too-brief but much-appreciated visit from our Archivist), our house is actually… not a total mess.
Admittedly, “not a total mess” is about as good as it gets around here. Our front room is functional as a dining room, but it’s also doing multi-duty as (a) my spinning wheel storage room (none of my spinning-related machinery is functional… yet), (b) my wife’s steam-engines display area, (c) the work-shop-ish area (still lots of stuff for doing leather work, including a sadle-stitching bench and two sewing machines, but also jewelry-making), and (d) the garage because my wife – somewhat understandably – keeps her skis, ski boots, winter boots, and her bicycle in here.
Still. We’ve been eating at a table with chairs (rather than eating off our knees, sitting on the couch) for a couple of months, and I am overjoyed about that!
The party has meant that our kitchen is stocked (overstocked) with really fancy food, and the living room is cleaner and tidier than it’s been in a month.
We still have (lots of) art and family pictures to put on the walls, and heaven only knows when next we’ll try to tackle that business. I’m eyeing January 1st as a date to take the (put up on December 20th) Winter Solstice Decorations out of the windows, though we’ll see about that as well.
 
Energetically speaking… My altar has had a cursory clean (using a Lysol wipe, of all things!), and I’ve been keeping up with my candle offerings. It’s time to start making water offerings again, I think, though I’m not sure how I’m going to do them. I may pour (boiled) water into the shell-composed tea cup on my altar once a week. Or I may do the water on the stove like I used to do. Maybe a bit of both? I don’t know. But it seems like the right thing to do, so we shall see where I go with this.
My wife has mentioned that my insense gives her headaches, so I’m going to have to find a different way of energetically cleaning my space – It may just mean that I do the Big Clean shortly after she leaves for work on a day when I know she’ll be spending the night elsewhere (Yay, Polyamoury!), since this is one of the least labour-intensive (and therefore most likely to actually get done) means of House Cleansing that I know of. That being said, ti’s been a long-ass while since I gave my place that kind of a clean. Time to get on it, me-thinks.
Other than that, I gave my brain a bit of a once-over as well. Not in the sense of going to my “Magical Internal House” and giving that a wipe down, but by having a look Inside and doing some self-care and assessments (relevant for Week 2, as it happens).
 
Questions:
1) Is my time being well spent?

At this point, mostly yes. I mean, I still Internet waaaaaaaay too much, and I know that. I’m generally making a point of keeping off the computer (like turning it right off, when possible) when my wife’s at home. I find myself looking at things that I’m neglecting though.
Some of it is “Should” stuff, like sending out more job applications for part-time/casual reception/admin work. But that’s not actually what I’m concerned with on the NYNY Project Front this go-round. (Doesn’t mean I should ignore it, and I do need to acknowledge it, but it’s not my focus. You’ll see why that’s relevant in a second).
Stuff I’ve been neglecting due to the guilt-shame-fear spiral that I have around money and employment:
(A) Self-care & my mental-emotional health. Which is part of why my goals for this Challenge are what they are, to be honest.
(B) Spiritual study and contemplation. Yes. I’m such a bougie whatever-whatever, but that stuff is actually important to me, and I’ve been missing it for over a year. I want to get it back! I’m considering the remarkably affordable Alternative Tarot Course from Little Red Tarot, actually, as part of way to get some of this back – this is also why I’m picking a tarot card for each week of this Challenge.
ART for the sake of making and finishing art. Yes, I’ve got a poetry manuscript on the go, and I want to keep up with that. But I miss scribbling stories for the hell of it, and I’d like to see if I can’t do something like the Fanfic 100, but for Random Short Stories and try to flash-write something in the 2000-word range, maybe once a week on Productivity Wednesdays or something).
 
This is all stuff that my Poisoned-by-Capitalism brain has a lot of trouble with allowing me to “get away with” doing (and, yes, finding myself a damn part-time job – the kind that lets me blog/novel/poet as needed in between phone calls and accepting deliveries, while earning a salary – would seriously help on this front, but go with me here) , but which are also all things that I think will seriously help me with my actual NYNY goals as well. Funnily enough, those goals have to do with putting down the baggage I’ve been hauling around for 20 years so that I can get myself free (or at least free-ER) and be happier and more open to Receiving things. More on that next week.
 
I’ve signed up to do one volunteer shift per week at a local food centre that focuses on neighbourliness and skill-building. I figure, I’m a fucking Kitchen Witch. Food is how I help people out. I might as well do it on a larger scale and see where it gets me. If nothing else, I’ll learn how to Feed The Multitude on donated produce, and that’s a skill I’d love to have.
 
2)What Big Rocks Are You Carrying?
I am carrying a couple of doozies. The whole point of doing NYNY again is to actually put some of them the fuck down. But I’ll fill you all in on that with my Goals post for Week Two.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Moon – Frost Moon Begins (Notice It, When You’re Getting What You Ask For)

I turned 36 a little over a week ago.
I ended up spending it Holding Still For As Long As Possible (25 minutes at a time) doing a two-full-day modeling job at a new drawing studio in town. It was a good gig, and I hope she’ll have me back next semester.
It feels strange to have not marked my birthday in a bigger way. A year ago, I was really hung up on the fact that, for the 3rd year in a row, my birthday had been pre-empted/over-shadowed by a local leather event and I was soooo determined that this year I would have Fuss.
… And then a whole bunch of Extenuating Circumstances happened, and my birthday “big event” ended up being having a quiet dinner in with my wife and two of her other partners. It was a really pleasant meal, and it also felt strange. Like “Why are my people not around me right now?”
 
I did get a surprise visit from my out-of-town partner – for reasons that had nothing to do with my birthday, although we did make a point of eating cake together to celebrate it, which was nice. I did get take out by a friend (currently in Berlin) who brought me to a fancy spa for a day in the hot tubs. I did get taken out for lunch by a friend who just wanted to check in with me, and didn’t even know it had been my birthday two days earlier. So I have had some fuss directed my way, and that’s been nice.
…And I still kind of want to have a party. Possibly in early December. I could call it my “unbirthday party” or something and have people out for martinis or similar.
Still. I got something that I asked for. Look at that. O.O
 
The past 10 days have involved changing up our home a little bit. My wife and I put up (most of) our art and (some, though nowhere near all, of) our ancestor pictures. We tidied the kitchen, emptied (again) the front room and started using it as a dining room. It’s also going to be a music-and-fibre-arts space, but that’ll come. We’ve got most of the furniture sorted out. I just need to add an extenion cord and my loom, and then I can start filling up my new book case with small bins of yarn, roving, fabric and books on sewing and self-suficiency (profided they’ll fit -I think I can make it work)… which will mean that my craft cabinet can hold my beading supplies and some of my less-frequently-used candle-making supplies, too.
 
I can’t tell you how good it feels to eat dinner at a table like a fucking grown up.
We haven’t had a (usable, available) dining room table since we got married. Right now, my big, drop-leaf table lives in our kitchen and is basically being used as a shelf. I want to get it cleared off so that it can be a functional work-surface that gets cleaned & tidied on the regular. That’s going to take some doing, but I think it can be done. Maybe even before Frost Moon is full (wouldn’t that be great? That would be great!)
 
If feels a bit like things are moving more freely in the house because of what we’ve done recently. My sewing scissors came back to me. I’m starting (in bits and pieces) to be able to Feel My Feelings on fronts where I’d been pushing them away – like pushing away good feelings that I want to experience out of fear that, in letting myself feel them, I’d just be setting myself up for more pain. I’m doing Sofia’s self-forgiveness challenge which… is definitely challenging, I don’t mind telling you.
I feel like I’ve been kind of a massive failure at adulting this year. Like I was supposed to get the hang of so many things, and I just didn’t. But I recently re-read a post from a little over a year ago and here’s what I said I wanted from 2015:
 

I want 2015 to be a year of (a) reliable, steady part-time employment (and, as such, income!), but also a year of (b) writing, and (c) food-ing – garden, kitchen, feasting and preserves, you name it. There are other things. All of my Shadow Stuff is going to have to keep happening. I want there to be enough modeling, mixed in with all the rest of it, to keep me happy (and in cash, and in art). I want there to be lots of sewing and fibre-arts-ing, lots of Making All The Things. Without having to worry about whether or not I’ll be able to sell them somewhere.

 
…And that’s basically what it’s looked like.
The part-time work hasn’t been steady, but it’s been available when I needed it: Repeat single-day contracts from close-to-home reception clients who requested me specifically. A few months of 10 hours/week doing data entry from home that let me pay my rent all through the summer.
I’ve been mostly (if barely) supporting myself with modeling work – which is amazing – and have a LOT of modeling coming up (starting in a few hours!) this week.
I’ve spent most of this year growing my garden, keeping people fed, and making preserves.
I’ve fallen in love with a new person, whom I hadn’t even met when I wrote the post I just quoted.
I’m maybe, possibly, starting to get the hang of making Secret Project X work out the way I want it to (fingers massively crossed – we’ll see what happens on this front, as it may be just a fluke).
I (self-)published a chapbook and have continued to work on my “How To Cook a Heart” poetry manuscript, with an eye to the kind of themes I want to explore.
I finished two weaving projects on my loom, and I know what sewing projects I’m going to do in order to incorporate them into further work. I finished my fetish shawl in time to wear it during Unholy Harvest.
My wife is offering me a way to (a) help her out, while (b) making some money for myself through Making Things With My Hands, which I think will be good thing for me to do.
 
… I think I’m sort of getting what I want.
 
Which is scary as fuck, I don’t mind telling you.
 

Scense From My Brain:
Me (wonderingly): … I think I’m sort of getting what I want…
Frightened Self: AUGH!!!
Reasonable Self: Uh…? What’s up with the flailing? Isn’t this a good thing?
Frightened Self: But if I get everything I want, then–
Reasonable Self: …then?
Frightened Self: then… then… I’ll be… happy?
Reasonable Self: … Is that a bad thing? To be happy?
Frightened Self: … Yes? Won’t something bad happen to me if I’m happy? Won’t I get punished? Won’t some huge hand from out of the sky come and break me into a thousand pieces and take away everyone I love and everything I’ve ever done and leave me destitute and alone and friendless and starving in the cold?
Mama Self: Oh, honey… Baby girl, listen to me. You are not going to get punished for feeling happy, for asking for what you want, for letting people love you, for shining as bright as you are, for singing like you do. You are not Oliver Twist. And this is not elementary school. You are alowed to want. And you are alowed to have. You remember Leah’s poem? About how a femme with her legs open, asking for more than a kick or a slur, is a blessing?
If you open your arms (your hands, your legs) and ask, say what you want, you are not going to get beaten down for the asking.

 
The thing is… I don’t know how to finish that Mama Self thought. I don’t know how to say “what will happen instead of getting kicked”. I’m afraid I’d be lying to myself if I said “when you ask, you will receive”. I’m not even sure if saying “I will take care of you” will make a difference, if that’s even a promise I can make myself. If that’s even the point.
 
Liz Worth has an elemental tarot spread that goes:
I feel
I think
I will
I am

And I think that, if I were to pull those cards for myself right now (not happening – I need to leave for work shortly), that my Will card would be so scrambled. So much of magic – whether we’re talking Glamour or talking Changing Conciousness At Will – is knowing what you want. And I am SO afraid to want, let alone to voice those wants. The Queen of Cups is something that I wish I could be. Open. Receptive. Ready and waiting and knowing, trusting, she’ll be filled. I want it to be safe for me to receive.
 
Now how the hell do I make that happen?

Full Moon – Harvest Moon Crests (Autumn Equinox, Super Moon)

So, about two weeks ago, I was sick as a dog and making a point of watching that big, beautiful Super Moon come up over the city anyway.
It was my first time out of the house for something like 48 hours, which is no big deal in my neck of the woods, but which bears mentioning since less than a day earlier, I was barely able to get out of bed without getting winded.
My wife had a great time at the Metal Show, by the way, and brought me home an AMAZING chest cold, since you were wondering.
Yeah. She was sick, too. It’s been a great week chez House Of Goat, let me tell you.
 
Anyway. That’s a big part of why I’m only getting around to posting (and writing, um…) my Lunar Cycles post for this paticular cycle now. Sorry about that, folks.
 
I was recently gifted a tarot deck (the “Daughters of the Moon” deck which… is a product of its time, and which kind of fucks with the lay-out of the standard tarot, changing up what the cards tend to mean… This is a bother, since I tend to read with my Zen Tarot deck and use various Little Books to get different perspectives on things. It helps if they’re all interpreting from the same general angle… although maybe that’s weird and silly of me). Regardless, I’m thrilled to have this and really touched that she thought of me when it was time to give her deck a new home.
 
This, of course, has me thinking about “inheritance” in the community sense, and how we pass things along to each other. I have a skirt I want to pass on to someone specific. People keep furniture “in the family” frequently, and we’ve inherited book shelves, a table and chairs, a rocking chair, and a bunch of other stuff from various friends who needed to make space in their own places. Some day, it would be nice to be able to do the same for other folks, not because we’re in money-trouble and need to downsize back to a one-bedroom apartment or something, but because we’re combining houses with a third partner (for example) and are able to pass things along from a place of abundance and generocity. That would be really nice.
 
Thinking About:
Acts of love and pleasure: How creating garments for people I care about, mending their clothes, cooking food that they enjoy and can eat, how these things are acts of pleasure – I like cooking, knitting, spinning, sewing; and I feel accomplished and nurturing and clever when I can solve a problem or have Just The Right Thing when someone needs it – and they’re acts of love, too, because I don’t necessarily do them for people I don’t care for[1].
 
By the time of this posting, Unholy Harvest has come and gone for another year. I’m really touched and happy that I got to do a couple of religiously significant body-mods for people, and I’m also really proud of myself for getting my shawl done (or done enough) in time to wear it for the whole weekend. Not bad for a year-and-a-half worth of work. 🙂
 
The wheel turns on, as it always does, and I’m back home in time for frost warnings and the heavy need to get the last of my canning done (I may or may not be able to rescue another harvest of cherry tomatoes, for example, but there’s still lots of chard and kale to freeze, plus I do want to make a good-sized batch of pumpkin butter, so… Onwards!)
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] That said, in the interests of growing up to be a Community Auntie, I am pushing myself to do this for people I don’t necessarily like and/or people I don’t know (yet) but who need a hand. It’s important. My lovely wife and I are agreed that we need to have an Open Door in this regard.

New Moon – Apple Moon Begins

A friend of mine has an apple tree. She’s invited me to swing by with a back pack and take as many as I can carry home with me.
I’m making her apple butter as a thank you. 🙂
 
Apple Moon is a physical moon, a labour moon. In my case, it’s going to involve about 20lbs of tomatoes and, hopefully, an equal amount of apples, being processed into the main-stays of my winter larder. It’s still hot and humid out, but the days have been getting noticeably shorter (noticeably since Lammas, anyway – just like how, around Imbolg, it’s finally light out at 4pm again) and, even with the heat and easy late nights out dancing (Pride Week is just getting started in these parts, so there’s that), I’m starting to feel the pull of the dark half of the year.
 
As my thoughts move in that direction, towards the season of hospitality in particular (which, in these parts, starts in early October and just keeps going until some time in March), I’m drawn to the idea of “community care” and the importance (as my wife puts it) of having an open door – of taking people in when they need it. Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarasinha – one of my favourite femme poets, and a hell of a tarot reader – asks “What kind of Ancestor do you want to be?” The year is bending now towards maturity, towards harvest, towards plans and intentions coming home to roost: The season of the Witch. What kind of community-member do I want to be? What kind of Witching do I want to do?
I once took a leadership course – Leather Leadership – and one of the questions we had to consider what what kind of leader do we (each) want to be?
I want to be the kind of person who is a community Auntie. Someone who’s generally ready with a spare bed or a hot meal or a kind-but-sensible ear (and the sense to only offer advice if it’s asked for, y’all…) when someone needs it, whether or not I think of said hypothetical someone(s) as part of my Nearest and Dearest or not.
Am I up to the hard parts of the task?
Am I worthy?
What steps do I need to take to get myself all the way there?
 
I’ve been coming to terms with what my garden is capable of this year, and whether or not I’m likely to get the perenial bed I want given the soil depth I’ve managed. I’m honestly worried about my (basically unkillable) rhubarb plants (plural) and am wondering what precautions to take in order to make sure they survive the winter and thrive next year and years to come. Simultaneously, and in a similar vein, I find myself looking at projects and wondering whether or not it’s okay to let some of them – like my hoped-for-but-not-happening squash harvest – fall to the wayside. It feels disappointing to consider this – I put a lot of time into them, and to find myself wondering if they’re worth continued, concerted effort is… a little bit demoralizing.
I love watching my wife’s ambitions and goals take off and start flying. That’s fantastic in and of itself, but also (from a D/s perspective) it’s great to see My Project – my Servant and the skillsets I’ve been encouraging for the past five years – starting to really bear fruit! I’m so proud of her, both as her partner/spouse and as her Owner. Be told: My wife is fucking awesome.
In terms of my own projects, though, I find myself wondering if I’m just being a lazy twerp by letting things slide on the Project X front for now. Part of me feels outright foolish for not sticking to my guns and pushing to improve my new skillset. Because it is foolish to do that. The other part of me says “You got into that business to make money (and pretty things). You are now making money much more reliably and much more easily by doing something else that takes up about as much time per week. Quitting may be a stupid option, but scaling things back to half-size production? That’s just fine.” And I think that might be the way to go.
Time will tell, but I’ve been on “Vacation” for about six weeks now, and some action has to be taken if I’m going to keep this project on the go.
 
Anyway. Those are my rambling thoughts at the beginning of Apple Moon.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.