Category Archives: Uncategorized

Full Moon – Meltwater Moon Crests PLUS Ostara Activities

A grey sky full of heavy clouds hangs over the equally grey Rideau River. Photo by Leslie Mateus, via Wiki Free Images

A grey sky full of heavy clouds hangs over the equally grey Rideau River. Photo by Leslie Mateus, via Wiki Free Imageshttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rideau_River.jpg

Whelp. To the surprise of nobody, it’s raining today. Spring Equinox was last weekend. I finally (finally) took the Midwinter garlands down and put them away. The snow is gone (for the moment – I fully expect to get dumped on during the first half of April) and things – crane’s bill and, probably, solomon’s seal – are starting to come up in the front yard.

Happy Spring!

Most of what I did for Ostara – beyond cleaning my altar (finally, and with wet-wipes rather than anything fancy) and burning some Root Chakra incense while doing remote-online-Ritual with my adopted circle down in DC – happened “by accident”.

I made candles (twice). I made bread (also twice). I took myself out and bought myself the first ice cream cone of the year. I’ve taken a few walks down to the river to watch the ice melt and the sun set and the water levels rise (they’re still nothing like flooding – which is a nice surprise, given what things looked like this time last year and the year before).

I’m reading the “Power” chapter of the Magic of the Iron Pentacle book (Gede Parma and Jane Meredith) because that remains an area where I need to get stronger. I really like both the idea of power as responsibility (yes, I watched that decades-old Spiderman movie in theatres, how did you guess) and the idea of power as something you are rather than something that you do. I particularly want to chew on that from a D/s perspective, so… that might end up being a post on ye old kinky blog. But we shall see.

In other news, having just (just-just-just, like a couple of days ago) signed up for Laura Tempest Zakroff’s patreon, I got to take part in her monthly Sigil School for Patrons zoom call, and spent an hour work-shopping a sigil with a few people who Actually Know What They’re Doing. Which was pretty sweet.

Background: Most of my experience making sigils at all has been more like making bind runes. Which, as someone who’s not Heathen, making a sigil out of a preexisting magical alphabet I would almost say it’s like… Me making “bindrunes” using the elder futhark alphabet and all it symbolizes, is sort of like me writing fanfic. Because I’m using someone else’s characters and setting and so-on.

NOTE: This works just fine. T Thorn Coyle’s Sigil Magic: for Writers and Other Creatives, along with just about every chaos magician I’ve come across, says that an easy way to develop a sigil is to write down a succinct and specific sentence detailing what you want, then cross out all the vowels and all the repeating consonants, and then take what’s left and turn them into “magical-looking squiggles” that you then combine into a single image. It works.

I my particular case, though, I frequently ended up with a lot of blocky, boxy things that all looked the same. So I tried using a magical alphabet that came ready-made with a bunch of symbol sets and a built-in means of combining them into more complicated/specific directions.

My little charm helpers are made from runes, and they know what they’re doing and do their respective jobs very well.

AND

I still wanted to try making something entirely “from scratch”.

What I made is… a little big and complicated to be something that I would, say, write on my own body in hand-sanitizer or embroider onto the lining of a wallet (bind runes – being comprised of straight lines – are kind of great for embroidery and cross-stitch, if you’re not great at those things, fyi).

It looks like an art piece. The kind of thing you’d tag on a wall or pain onto a ceramic tile.

Which is fine, because it’s meant as a protection offering to the local river.

I’m thinking I might tape it onto a south-facing window and charge it with sunshine for a few days, since I’ll be chalking it out-of-doors when in actual use. You’d think I’d be using rainwater, but I’m not sure if that’ll do what I want. Maybe?

I’ll have to chew on this a little more, I think.

~*~

Wildwood Tarot – King of Vessels – A great blue heron stands in the middle of a creek

Given how literal my decks can be – especially this one – it’s probably not a shock that the card I pulled for my Tarot Card Meditation is a cups card.

This particular card is one that talks about tenderness and community.

The Wildwood’s own Little Book treats the King of Vessels as a gateway guardian, someone who stands at the balance point between life and death. Not an inappropriate card to have jump out of the deck at this time of rushing water when winter’s dormancy is just-just-just starting to tip over into spring’s quickening wakefulness.

But, beyond that, the King of Water is a card that speaks of responsibility to one’s arts and creative purpose. I made a promise, at Imbolg, not to abandon my writing. And I see this card as a reminder to keep creating and – because this is a King – to keep engaging with my artistic community, as well.

So: I guess I have another chapbook submission to send out.

On it, Gods. On it. ❤

~*~

Movement: Long walks, moving slowing, taking time to enjoy to warm, spring air on as much of my skin as I can offer (still not a lot, but hey). Weeks ago, I know, but a lovely dance-party-for-two with my girlfriend in our respective living rooms. I lit my alter candles and got to dance with my Baby for an hour+ and it felt really good. Moon salutations before bed.

Attention: The local birds – cardinals and blue jays, chickadees and sparrows, the returning robins and starlings and geese, the ducks and the wheeling crows. Watching one of my squirrel neighbours peel long strips of cedar bark off the tree outside my window for – I think – anti-microbial and anti-parasitic nesting materials in prep for impending babies. The perennials that are starting to green up and sprout again in the sunnier parts of my (largely shady) front yard. The river and the clouds and where the moon is in the sky. The way the temperature fluctuates up and down across the frozen line, the way it always does at this time of year.

Gratitude: Warm spring air, maple flowers, returning geese, cardinals and blue jays on my window sill, a story acceptance, a chance to submit my chapbook to another publisher, a shiny new job doing social media for a lefty church and the continued economic stability that brings me, long snuggles with my wife, internet-dates with my girlfriend, new (library) novels. Witch books that I’m finally making time to read, singing along with my wife while she plays her guitar. Hanging out in the back yard with my mom. The first ice cream cone of the year. My tiny blue bird and our other house birds. Green things coming up in the garden. Above-freezing temperatures. Sunshine. Rain. Spring.

Inspiration: Look. I would love to say that I’m being inspired by all those folks I mentioned under “Attention” but that’s totally not what’s happening. I’ve been looking at tiktok and thinking “I could totally post poetry on here…” So maybe there will be some low-budget-artsy “spoken word” videos going up in the near-ish future. We shall see.

Creation: Hahahahaha. But seriously, the most Creative thing I’ve done in the past two weeks – beyond making that sigil – is rejig a story so the ending wasn’t so abrupt. (It has now been accepted by the publisher, tho, which is pretty great news!)

New Moon – Long Nights Moon Begins

A lit tealight in a glass holder casting a shadow onto a wooden floor. Courtesy of Wiki Free Images.

A lit tealight in a glass holder casting a shadow onto a wooden floor. Courtesy of Wiki Free Images.

New moon is Monday, or there-about. New beginnings coming my way.

I start a new job on Tuesday. Which brings me to three religious institutions and, technically, four jobs. I’m nervous – not the least of why being that I’m doing in-person training, which is not Ideal under current circumstances – and concerned about my own rather-rusty time-management skills, but I’m looking forward to learning new things and, more to the point, making enough extra money that I might actually accomplish the more physically-obvious goal of my King of Coins project.

So, woohoo, on that front.

Which, PS: Yeah, I’m doing another NYNY project, if you missed that memo. 😉

We’re getting ready for Midwinter here. The temperature has been going up and down – a lot of above-freezing weather, a lot of rain, some snow – but it’s due to drop hard by Monday. I have baking to do, low-budget mead to keep an eye on, and a LOT of cards to get into the mail.

It seems more of a Thing to do cards this year. I like doing them, but I’ve added a lot of people to my list who, in a different year – when we weren’t all Physically Distancing, when I was still down the street from a lot of them – I would have just visited in person or had over to the house. I suspect a lot of them aren’t going to get to their destination until nearly January, but they are something that people can hold in their hands, and that feels important right now.

Two years ago, at this end of the year, I had tonnes of time on my hands. time that I used to do a five part series looking at the “shadow” side of Midwinter through the lens of the major arcana. A year ago, I was two thirds of the way through my Empress Project and had just, just landed a remote desk job (my first of what is now a growing list). I wasn’t blogging nearly as much as I had been the year before. This year, I’m Mostly Working, making bank – thank you ALL the gods – by my slim standards at least, and making a point of coming out of the office in the evenings to spend some time with my wife, because that’s important too. I’m still making time for writing (thank goodness – I’m actively worried that I’ll lose touch with that as my workload increases, but I don’t want to and I need to remember to make time for it in a reliable way).

So. I was talking about the King Of Coins Project. Another year of Radical, Magical Transformation to try and make myself a better, more personally (and cosmically) empowered Self.

3amTarot, over on instagram, did a spread for Doing The Damn Thing. And I gave it a whirl.

While I was shuffling, I thought “I can’t even think what The Damn Thing would be at this point” and, right then, what fell out of my deck but Transformation.

So. Okay.

What I pulled:

A fear or frustration that’s holding me back: The heirophant / No-Thingness

A reminder of a strength or talent I possess: Six of Fire / Success

A good thing that could emerge on the other side: The Page of Air / Mind

My context cards were Postponement (the Four of Air as my summary/advisor), Ordinariness (The Eight of Earth as my Overarching influence), and Beyond Illusion (Judgement/the 20 of the Major Arcana, as my Underlying influence).

So what do I do with this? Am I afraid of my own potential? (…yes?) Might a new way of thinking or understanding be a likely Good Thing from undergoing the kind of transformation that I want to do through this Project? YEAH. Are major breakthroughs (Beyond Illusion) generally a journey of a zillion mundane-seeming steps? Yup. Is it time to Do The Damn Thing and level-up my brain in terms of abundance and various personal/emotional freedoms? Yes, it definitely is. (I’m freaking forty. I’m tired as heck of feeling anxious at the end of the month while working multiple jobs in a multi-income household, and I’m sick of feeling BAD about myself when I don’t know how to shop for my significantly-wealthier-than-me relatives. Time for all this stuff to change).

Am I deeply underwhelmed at the thought of spending the next two weeks slowly-but-surely getting things tidied and cleaned around here? Or having to reign it in with the seriously reckless way I’ve been throwing money at gifts, personal goodies, and fancy food for the past two months? …Also yes. (At least I’ve been paying cash, by and large, rather than adding to my credit card debt, but here we are).

I used a random tarot card generator for my tarot card meditation draw, this time around, and the card I got was The World.

The World - Wooden Tarot - A many-rooted tree with a sphere of water amid its roots and a house cradled in its strong branches

The World – Wooden Tarot – A many-rooted tree with a sphere of water amid its roots and a house cradled in its strong branches

“The World card represents triumph. Everything has come together and you’re now achieving success,” and touches on both remote work (work that you can do anywhere, from any location) and on internal things like being confident and acknowledging your own skills and know-how. It fits well with the elements of the King of Coins that I want to be working with and internalizing/evoking.

And it’s also a really great message to get from The World Herself, tbh, and a lovely reminder to carry with me as I move towards 2021 and start my next year of radical magical transformation.

~*~

Movement: Ha-haaaaaaaaaaaa. I have been keeping up with my Moon Salutations every night, which is a good thing. And getting out for walks in the woods, too. But I need to make a point of dancing up a storm at the next Stay Homo virtual dance party, especially since the impending temperature drop and corresponding icy conditions aren’t exactly going to be making the great outdoors look appealing any time soon.

Attention: TBH, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to my schedule. My to-do-list is now colour-coded to help me keep track of everything. O.O

Gratitude: Grateful for slow mornings and snuggles with my wife. Grateful for weekly dates with my girlfriend. Grateful for jobs where I can be my whole self. Grateful for opportunities to learn new skills that are useful on multiple fronts. Grateful for friends who make me cookies. Grateful for the overflowing larder and the stuffed-to-the-gills freezers that I can now reach into and pull out peppers and broccoli and cauliflower and corn that I put up months ago. Grateful for the neighbour who surprised us with wine and a grocery thank-you card and a note that said “Have a nice dinner on me” (by leaving it on our windowsill, no less) after my wife did a repair job for him. Grateful for coupons turning up in my inbox and books turning up on my doorstep. Grateful for the knowlege that I’m going to be employed past the April 8 end of my mat-leave contract. Grateful for friends in the neighbourhood. Grateful for chickadees and nuthaches and very small woodpeckers who land on my hands and investigate the birdseed I’m offering them because, heaven and earth, they do my heart good!

Inspiration: Approximately a million years ago – aka the beginning of this pandemic – I placed a book order with a local queer-run sex-positive business. It FINALLY arrived (relax – there were a lot of special orders) about a week ago, which means I have a tonne of new books – mostly queer femme poetry, some sexuality and interdependence – to page through when I’m not eye-ball deep in ritual planning, library books, and video editing. But even just scanning the tables of contents is making me excited for poetry again!

Creation: I spent November writing erotic short stories so, while my current Creative endeavors are more “knitting” and “baking” and “making music videos for my job”, I do have a pile of creative out-put that I’ve started editing into shape and sending out on sub. And that feels really good.

At Samhain We Eat the Nasty Bits

A raw turkey heart rests in the palm of my hand

A raw turkey heart rests in the palm of my hand

This morning, I finally took the liver and heart – from the turkey I roasted a few weeks ago – out of the fridge. I gave them a wash, and fried them up in butter (lots of butter) with soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.

I put a slice of each on a tiny plate – technically I think it’s for putting spent teabags on, but here we are – and put the plate on my altar. Blew kisses to my People.

On Samhain we eat the Nasty Bits.

Or at least I’m trying this out, this year, and rather like the idea of keeping it up as a tradition. The heart, tongue, and one kidney of our long-ago pig (half-pig, from a local farmer who does humanely raised livestock) are finally being put to use. Being slow-cooked overnight and turned into a stew – with garden herbs and CSA veggies and cranberries and a wedge of baked squash to serve it in – for after Ritual tomorrow.

I’ve been eating turkey giblets since I was a kid. Which is one reason to be enjoying them on Samhain. I learned to cook them, to love the smell of fried liver with garlic, from my Dad, who died more than twenty years ago, when I was barely out of my teens. When I had a Chinese grocer up the street from me, I used to buy trays of chicken hearts to fry up just like this.

Our pig’s liver became fancy Liver Mousse, and when I don’t have that I use chicken livers.

I’ve been eating beef heart for years, and using it in stews and even a steak and kidney pie or two, and gods know I eat a lot of sausages.

So I’m no stranger to offal. At least not the tamer bits that you can routinely find at the grocery store.

But I’ve been squeamish about the tongue (too much like kissing? Too much like eating a piece of my own mouth?) and the heart of this pig – the heart, in particular, because it’s literally so similar to my own that the valves are interchangeable – since they arrived in my freezer order. And that was many years ago.

What foods make you squeamish? Make you stare your own mortal embodiment in the face?

I make a beet salad – a way to use up a few dark red beets, when I don’t have to worry about them staining everything else red – that I call “bowl of jewels” when I’m in mixed company, but that my wife has informed me makes her think of chunks of raw meat.

Which: Yes, actually, that’s what it’s supposed to do.

Don’t get me wrong. I make pumpkin cupcakes and baked apples. We have a giant, discounted box of mini chocolate bars sitting in the bottom of our pantry like most of our neighbours. But it’s increasingly important to me to make Samhain not just about sugar and spice, when it comes to food.

To be able to say “Take, this, eat this. This tongue that once tasted, as you taste it now”. To say “This heart that once beat, as your beats now”. And, okay, sure, I have no idea how to make kidney function sound profound, but you get the idea. This person, who was alive, who was killed – even if not by you, maybe especially if not by you – is keeping you alive right now. Life to death to life.

And, yeah, you can do fun things with it. Like “Whoever gets the bay leaf in their stew gets Bonus Prosperity in the coming year”. You can snap a year’s collection of wishbones and make some magic. Read the future in the guts and seeds of your jack-o-lantern or the patterns you see in kidney fat and tongue tendon.

But at the roots of this is a veil thinned by a lot of death happening at once. Every neighbourhood / village / extended-family-household slaughtering some of the herd to make sure everyone else – the humans, and the rest of the herd – have enough food to make it through the winter.

I don’t want to forget that.

Full Moon – Ancestor Moon Crests (Samhain 2020)

My Ancestors - Photo by me.

The “Rogues Gallery” of my family. I very much feel like the Keeper of the Ancestors, in part because I’m the one who wants the hundred-year-old photos. Here they are on my wall.

My CSA wrapped up a week ago. We just turned the furnace on. It’s snowed twice in the past week (it didn’t stay, but still). There’s ice on the puddles in the morning. We are crossing into the cold part of the year.

In related news, I (finally) got the ancestor photos hung up in the hallway. Six months after we moved in, and only barely in time for Samhain.

Tonight, I’m doing Full Moon ritual with my girlfriend’s group via the internet. Sunday, I’m doing Samhain ritual the same way. I’m enjoying this year’s Between The Veils symposium (in bits and pieces, as I can – thank goodness the talks are pre-recorded…) over the whole weekend.

Tomorrow I’m baking pumpkin cake (provided the pumpkin from last Hallowe’en has thawed out completely), and having dinner with My Bubble.

But I’m also doing magic.

Because of course I am.

The full moon is in Taurus and it’s Samhain.

Taurus, as-you-know-bob, is all about Empress Stuff. Venus Stuff. Second Chakra Stuff. It’s creature comforts. It’s sex. It’s security. It’s body pleasure. It’s abundance. It’s knowing what you want and feeling confident articulating it. It’s wealth. And it’s also scarcity and poor boundaries and eating your feelings and avoiding leaving your comfort zone. Venus/Taurus Stuff do have a shadow side, after all.

Samhain, on the other hand, is all about Death Stuff. Pluto Stuff and Scorpio Stuff. Still sex! But also death, discomfort, Shadow Work, the unknown, magic, and mystery. It’s the doorway into Root Time, and it’s technically a harvest festival. But it’s the Last Harvest. As old as herding, and maybe older. So it’s a time of taking stock. For gathering things in as much as for letting things go. And – because of its undeniable links to the slaughter – it’s also a time of sacrifice.

So! What better time to do – or at least formally start – some (more) transformation Work around scarcity/abundance when it comes to Taurus Stuff like sex and money?

This time (ish) last year, I did Big Magic to get a new place to live (got it!) and a variety of other shoaling-related things, some of which have come to fruition (my polycule is happy, I have extra work hours, I got a writing grant) and some of which haven’t yet (still looking for a publisher for my chapbook, for example).

This year, I’m doing something a little less specific for my Scorpio Season magic: I decided that I wanted to use the time to kick off another Radical Magical Transformation Project. The project itself (I have learned) basically needs to have a SMART Goal if it’s going to be really workable. And, tbh, that still needs some thought.

But as far as some broad magic, working in the background to help things along on multiple fronts, goes? Now seems like a good time to get on that.

So I asked myself: What do I want to let go of?

And I asked myself: What do I want to invite?

I want to let go of: Scarcity and Debt.

I want to invite: Sexual and financial abundance and freedom.

And, of course, the question arose – because gods know I like to avoid this one, if it doesn’t get shoved into my head – What are you going to sacrifice to get it?

And, here’s the thing. The thing I have to remind myself of every time I do something like this, so I don’t freak right the fuck out:

As Ms Sugar once said, “You’re sacrificing your clean hair, not your mother”.

A sacrifice is supposed to take effort. It’s supposed to be challenging and kind of inconvenient or unpleasant. But it’s not supposed to render you nonfunctional, and it’s not supposed to hurt somebody else[1]. I’ve done blood offerings – which may or may not count as a sacrifice given the fairly small amount of blood involved – but I’ve also done sacrifices of things like money and time.

If I wanted to make a sacrifice towards housing security, and I didn’t typically cook from scratch, a sacrifice to that end might be something like “no more take-out meals for a month” and putting some time and effort into making meals at home. But, for someone like me who cooks a LOT, but doesn’t have a tonne of cash lying around, a more appropriate sacrifice might be… banking my pocket change instead of getting chocolate bars, and putting that money towards repairing my small appliances or reupholstering my couch (investing in my home, regardless of which building my home is in).

To this end, I have planned out a month-long “sacrifice” of sorts. It’s kind of like an austerity, though I’m not sure that’s the right word. It’s definitely a Challenge. The idea is to push myself out of my comfort zone (and out of my excuse-making, self-doubting “Fear Zone”, too), give myself a “bigger than me” reason to stop scrolling all the time, and hopefully re-hone some neglected creative muscles, all in service of helping me achieve my “background goals”.

The things I’m sacrificing, more than anything, are “free time” and “emotional comfort”, and the disciplines it’ll require are (1) actually finishing shit on a self-imposed deadline, and (2) time management on days when I have a lot of paid work to get done too.

My hope is that my Godself will pick up all the energy and dedication that I’m putting down (even if it feels really grudging and like I’m pulling my own teeth out to make it happen) and use it to bring about (or help bring about) Results on the fronts of what I’m trying to let go of, and what I’m trying to bring in.

So… Why am I telling you this, friends?

Because if I Tell The Internet, it will be one less reason to balk and not bother.

That’s why.

I need all the accountability I can get.

A grand cross spread using the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn, with four bonus cards

A grand cross spread using the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn, with four bonus cards

On a possibly related note. I did this tarot reading in the context of the King of Coins and my planned Samhain self-work ritual.

Beyond recognizing that “Wow, that’s a lot of reversed cards” – because, obviously, it self-work. It’s going to be about my relationship with myself – the things that jumped out at me were:

My jumper card, the Six of Swords, is a “Journey” card that has a lot of ties to Death – as in change, as in inner transformation – and my jumper card relates to my “Summary Trio” (the Advisor + Overarching and Underlying Themes cards) which basically say “You gotta let go of this resentment and your weird burden complex. You have to focus and stop weaseling out of things. You have ask “Why not me?” and step into your damn power”. Which, itself, very-much fits with my “fears” card – the Vulture Mother being very much this deck’s image of my “Scorpio Self”, my most empowered self (that kind of scares me, that I’m still afraid won’t be liked or will be inappropriately mean, and that has explicit connections to sex and kink).

Mary El Tarot - Queen of Wands, Ace of Swords

Mary El Tarot – Queen of Wands (a nude, fat, heavy-breasted person in a horned headdress, cradling a baby tiger), Ace of Swords (An anthopomorphic eagle with the alchemical symbol for air carved on their chest)

It also <*cough*> hits a lot of the same notes as the cards I pulled for my Tarot Card Meditation.

Which is to say: “Cut the BS. You know what you want. Go do it”.

I love it when they’re specific, but it’s not always comfortable, you know? Especially not when I’m sitting here, eating crackers for dinner and avoiding the dishes. Especially not when I’m insisting to myself “You’ve promised to buckle down and Do The Thing on Sunday, and for the next 30 days there-after. Take the leisure time while you’ve got iiiiit”.

And yet. Here it is. I know what I want (to invite, to release). I made a decision as to what I’m willing to provide, as an energy source for related magical workings. So it’s time for me to have some follow through.

Wish me luck and devotion.

~*~

Movement: Moon salutations every night. Going for lots of walks, some through the local bird sanctuary with my wife, some by myself (picking up library books, dropping off Trick Or Treat goodie bags to friends and relatives in the neighbourhood).

Attention: TBH? Watching my behaviour patterns. Noticing where (and when) I need to be more disciplined with myself about follow-through or self-starting and trying to sort out some strategies to make those things easier to do.

Gratitude: Thankful for scrap yarn mitts and a warm coat that used to be my Dad’s. Thankful for a ritual group (even though it’s far away). Thankful for partners who love me. Thankful for big hugs and long-distance kisses. Thankful for quiet days. Thankful for extra billable hours. Thankful for tasty scones. Thankful for Samhain dinner invitations. Thankful for cooking skills. Thankful for central heating. Thankful for chickadees eating bird seed out of my palm. Thankful for meeting a wild turkey in the woods (who didn’t run away!) Thankful for friends to talk shop with. Thankful for my People.

Inspiration: The chipmunk who lives under my compost bin, and the spider who lives above it. My fantasy life. The #Novemberotic writing prompts series on instagram (it’s for poetry, but you could use it for prose too).

Creation: Have started knitting a new shrug, made myself a pair of fingerless mitts using scrap yarn, started the (easy) edits on my Femme Glosas manuscript, wrote five new, short poems at a workshop (they are not all great, but some of them were at least good immediately out of the egg), have started – but not finished (yet) – a couple of porn stories.

~*~

Cheers,

Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] Or at least it’s not required to. I know some people who are totally comfortable offing a wasp or a mouse or a fertilized egg and using that life energy as a power source for a spell. But I’m not, so here we are. Choose your own adventure.

Full Moon – Harvest Moon Crests

Four deep orange Buttercup squash, split open to reveal their seeds - Photo by TowerGirl (via Flickr)

Four deep orange Buttercup squash, split open to reveal their seeds – Photo by TowerGirl (via Flickr)

The moon was full last night.
I spent the afternoon steaming cauliflower and kale (with bonus cauliflower and broccoli leaves thrown in), and the evening reading to my wife.
I’ve got more beets than I know what to do with, but at least beets keep for a long time and the corn (like the beets, it’s from the CSA) is finally slowing down.
Today, it’s raining. Heavy grey clouds and a forecast that going to swing between “light drizzle” and “downpour” until some time this evening. I’m making cabbage-and-apple salad and roasting potatoes. Enjoying that my kitchen is a little more functional than usual.

Chani Nicholas asks “What we have built, healed, and come into a deeper relationship with over the past six months?”
If I rewind the tape to the New Moon in Aries – Leaf Moon just beginning – it’s an entry about the initial COVID-19 shutdown, when all of my modelling work was evaporating, when I’d just, just landed a one-year part time job that’s turned out to be my main source of income ever since, and I was negotiating with my own GodSelf (a very gentle and easy negotiation, as it turned out, but I was nervous going into it for some reason) about over-riding my austerity practice in order to make sure we had a month of basics on hand.

Which… is a weird mirror of where I’m at right now.
The leaves are starting to fall. I’m making decisions about how I’m going to (hopefully) make my living for the next 3-6 months. Accepting more hours at my from-home jobs (hurrah!), acknowledging that the thought of taking buses and working in even un-crowded classrooms and community centres is… feeling a little too dangerous, at the moment, to do if I don’t have to. Working out ways to make sure that I don’t have to, including looking for further at-home work to pick up once (or just before) that year-long contract ends.
I’m stocking up, a little at a time (10kg of flour two weeks ago, 10lb of potatoes today) with any eye to another lock-down, while simultaneously trying to drop my weekly grocery bill down to $25. Which… ask me how well that’s going. I’m trying to keep a hard lid on my “must stock up NOW” feelings when it comes to “specialty” items like oat flour, dried cranberries, and walnuts.

If I look back to six months ago, though, it was Full Moon in Libra, and we had just found the place we moved into a scant month later. The place where we live now. It was a big indicator that I could get significant, goal-oriented magic to work, and it was a period where I was trying to get my glamour practice up and working again (a constant renewal, tbh – I wore eye shadow for the first time in two months today). But it was also a period where there was a lot of change (which I’m not great at handling, even under really good circumstances) happening and a bit of an internal battle going on between grief and hope.

To try and answer Chani’s question:
I’ve built the beginnings of a place in this new neighbourhood, and developed the beginnings of a “brand” for my Office Goddess remote freelance admin/editing/transcription/marketing work.
I can’t say I’ve healed much of anything, but I’m doing shadow work around money stuff and continuing the work of balancing (ha… because Libra Season) all three of my lower chakras.
I have no idea if I’ve managed to deepen my relationship with my Fetch, let alone my GodSelf, but I’ve been attending (virtual) group rituals, which feels a bit like deepening my practice, and I’ve tried to make a good, if preliminary, connection with the new patch of ground that I’m living on, and the house I’m living in, which matters too.

Chani’s horoscope for Scorpios (my Sun sign) suggests that it’s worth doing a retrospective/check-in about any ongoing project and/or career to see (and consider) what I may have learned over the past six months (I mean, see above re: Office Goddess, but also: I landed a grant during the past six month, and I’m getting paid to finish my first full-length poetry manuscript, so), while offering a reminder that “What heals you wants to remain close to you. What calms you carries you forward in ways that are unimaginably helpful so seek them regularly” which… when I’m stressed, I tend to treat myself like crap, so this is a relevant thing to keep in mind (now and pretty much always).

She also points out that “The proof is always in the pudding, but no matter the goals achieved, the process has been potent, and its aim has always been your evolution. Getting things done is satisfying, but getting a sense of the potential of your powers is life-altering” while pointing out that Scorpios’ witchy powers are riding high, even before we hit actual Scorpio Season, so it would behoove me, I suspect, to do some magical workings over the next couple of weeks – like shedding/releasing on the 15th and 16th during the last dregs of the waning Harvest Moon, or doing prosperity-and-abundance magic on the 11th when the Sun hooks up neatly with Jupiter.

~*~

Page of Swords - Mary El Tarot - A naked woman covered in a huge dragon tattoo, radiating sun rays

Page of Swords – Mary El Tarot – A naked woman covered in a huge dragon tattoo, radiating sun rays

The cards I pulled, then, for the New and Full Leaf Moons were the Fool and the Five of Water, respectively. Like I said, I was sliding back and forth between hope and grief.
Six months later, as we slide on through the Season of the Witch, I pulled the Page of Swords.

Much like Chani’s advice to Cancers (my Moon sign) at this time, this card is a reminder to “remember your influence”. Rather like Liz Worth, who’s advice for Libra Season is to dial it in and decide exactly where you need – and WANT – to put your power and your energy right now, it’s a card that says “be prepared to make important decisions quickly” AND a card that says “speak your truth”. More accurately, perhaps, given Cristy C Road’s description of this card as “The Home of Action”, it’s calling to mind those witchy powers, and the reality that:

I speak my truth. I use my words, my breath, my voice, my song to work my will and manifest it in this beautiful world.

~*~

Movement: Moon Salutations, walks around the neighbourhood and out to the library, squats and related exercises. Not nearly enough dancing though!

Attention: Nesting – filling my freezer, trying to get on top of the CSA veggies before they get past their best, digging out my picture nails and finally getting the art onto our walls, investing in a new set of bed sheets. Glamour – which, in some ways, is like “body nesting” (I don’t know if that sounds cozy or creepy… but that’s my Cancer/Scorpio Black Swan to a tea, so…). Washing my hair with baking soda and cider vinegar as some kind of a pre-winter detox for my scalp. Wearing makeup for the first time in ages. Skin-brushing. Remembering to moisturize. Digging out my crow skull pendant, pentacle earrings, and other Goth AF accessories, just because it’s leather weather and I want to. Remembering to drink my mint-and-licorice teas and say my magical words. Topping up my offerings. Trying to do things Mindfully and With Intention.

Gratitude: Grateful for my full larder, my full freezer. Grateful for the extra work hours I’ve been getting, and for skills that I’m getting paid to learn. Grateful for patience. Grateful for a functional internet connection. Grateful for friends who want to hang out. Grateful for a warm, cozy bed. Grateful for hugs. Grateful for new novels arriving at the library. Grateful for long-distance dates with my girlfriend and evenings on the couch reading to my wife.

Inspiration: tarot (for ever!), new books on witchcraft and spiriual kink, #gothtober, my growing collection of (mostly) fish vertebrae, and the abundance of gourds that have begun turning up in my CSA box and at local grocery stores.

<strong:creation:< strong=””> Lots of sewing. Also working on a cookbook, and have some new recipes to test out.</strong:creation:<>

New Moon – Rose Moon Begins (Summer Solstice 2020)

Tiny white climbing roses with simple, five-petal blossoms and yellow centers

Tiny white climbing roses with simple, five-petal blossoms and yellow centers. These grow against the deeply shaded north wall of our new house, and they are beautiful.


 
There are thunderheads gathering further west, but I don’t know if we’ll be getting any rain.
I hope we do. We could use it. The tiny roses are blooming on the climbing vine outside our front window, and the milkweed is getting ready to flower in the sunny part of our yard. It’s hot and sunny, even with the clouds rolling in, and I’m hoping for a thunderstorm once dinner’s off the grill and we’re in for the night.
 
I’ve done three rituals in as many days.
I set up my altar on the day of the Dark Moon (last Friday), washed the altar cloth in the tub and let it dry in the summer sun. Melted the wax off the protective piece of glass (something out of our former fridge, which has only ever been on our altar, but which makes me smile because of who it came from) that sits on top of the altar cloth to protect it, and the wood of the cabinet underneath it, from the heat of all those candles. Unpacked all the candle holders, pictures, and tiny statues that make up my altar, and laid them out where they’re supposed to go. (I moved a few things around before landing on the right spots).
I haven’t lit the altar candles yet.
But yesterday – the official longest day of the year – I like the House Candle during our Solstice dinner. The House Candle is… it’s one of my home-made coconut-oil-and-beeswax votive candles. I lit it on Beltane and burned it halfway down, with the intention of using it as a coal from our former hearth. I finally re-lit it yesterday and, when I did, it felt a bit like I’d sent up a Location Signal?
Like, I know my gods can find me. I know my Fetch and my Godself are part of me, and so can find me. I know my ancestors, who are in my blood and my bones and the shape of my face, can find me. And yet it still felt like an “Oh there you are” was going on once I’d lit that candle.
Not sure quite what was going on there, but that’s what it felt like.
 
Solstice dinner, btw, was sausages-onna-bun done on the tiny, table-top gas grill my wife got us off kijiji, plus a salad (bagged salad mix from our CSA + diced black olives and some baby red onion, also from our CSA) in a creamy dressing I did up with plain yoghurt, dijon mustard, soy sauce, black pepper, and a little vegetable oil.
So nothing fancy. But I made white wine offerings with an Ontario wine my wife picked out, and we’re doing haskap short cake tonight, ft vanilla yoghurt + lemon ice cream, in lieu of whipped cream, because we’ve got a little thing of haskaps from the CSA, and I think it’ll be good.
We may also be doing some grilled chicken and some more salad – though that may be a tomorrow meal – and my wife, as you have no doubt guessed, is threatening/promising to teach me how to set up and light the gas grill so I can use it myself.
Part of me is excited about this, and part of me is… mildly dismayed at the prospect of doing All the Dinner Cooking again, rather than being able to take a sizable chunk of the summer “off”.
None the less: Grilled meat is amazing, and I look forward to having significantly more of it. 😀
 
On Friday night, I did ritual with Connect DC. That night was more like a sermon minus the rest of the service. No ceremonial workings, that kind of thing. But I pulled tarot cards for a couple of questions, and this is what I got:
What is my Work? – Heirophant, Page of Wands, Three of Cups
How do I do this [work for sweeping social change] – Five of Cups, The Sun
The second one was easy: Keep slogging, and don’t lose sight of joy.
The first one… I am here to love and to play. Learn through celebration, curiosity, and play. Make deep, loving connections and build family in all directions. Love and play are holy.
Which… was not at all what I was expecting, but I’ll take it!
 
Today, Sunday, I did two rituals over the course of about four hours.
The first was the Connect DC’s online summer Solstice ritual.
Unsurprisingly, I cried a lot – this seems to be a bit of a thing when I circle with this group. Not sure why, but here we are.
A couple of things:
(1) I think my Dad showed up? And possibly my grandmothers? (And maybe one grandfather and the great grandmother I knew… but I’m not entirely sure about those two).
(2) The Amazons showed up. I didn’t get much through/from Helios – possibly because I was talking to my own sun deity about that – but the Amazons came in strong enough that even bunker-ass me could feel them. I felt them at my shoulders, sister-moms. And I felt armor, too. I didn’t expect that. Like, it feels really weird to put it this way given how long I’ve been calling myself an amazon, but I didn’t actually expect them to accept me? So that was more than a little amazing.
(3) I am getting the hang of moving energy around. Trying to charge sigils on/through a computer screen is… it’s a situation where it’s a lot harder for me to discern whether I’m doing The Thing or not. But I think I managed to do something, which is good.
(4) The visualization that led up to the Working was very very Fetch Energy, from my perspective. I hope she enjoyed it and got to feel strong
 
The last ritual I did was the bookend to the big ritual I did back in November. It was a relatively small working. The follow-up and thank you to my gods and ancestors for bringing us this house, among other things, in the timeline I asked for. I included a lot of physical items from the original ritual – discovering just how disoriented I am regarding where the actual compass points are in my new neighbourhood, in the process, whoops – and kept it short.
I’m a little worried it was… not fancy enough?
But the significant bit – the blood on the altar – got done, so I’m okay with it. I need to finish burning the last of the House Candle, but the rest is complete and I’m glad I (finally) did The Thing.
 
~*~
 
Osho Zen Tarot - Innoncence (The Sun) - An old man with a long beard and flowing robes marvels at the grasshopper on his hand.

Osho Zen Tarot – Innoncence (The Sun) – An old man with a long beard and flowing robes marvels at the grasshopper on his hand.


 
It will surprise absolutely nobody to know that I’ve been pulling The Sun, repeatedly, for the past couple of days. As is so often the case, my cards tend to tell me what’s up in the literal sense. Yes, my cards, it’s MidSummer.
However.
I’ll be trying to hold onto the optimism, success, growth, and joy built into this card as we turn into the fullness of summer, the heat, the humidity, the fruit that has already started to ripen on the trees.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Since everything is From Home these days, and I’m not getting regular walks to a job where I’m taking and holding poses for three hours (some days it’s a lot like power yoga), it’s finally dawned on me that going out for a walk is something I should do on a fairly frequent basis, without having to do so for Reasons (like “I have to run an errand” reasons). So I’ve taken a couple of walks around the neighbourhood to try and help keep my Hip/Back Issue from totally seizing up my left leg. It’s helping, so onwards we go!
 
Attention: Paying attention to the cardinals who stop by our window sill most mornings. The chipmunks in the cedar shrub in the front yard. The crows calling to each other. Paying attention to which fruit trees grow where in my new neighbourhood. Trying to sort out which direction is where now that my living room is facing a substantially different direction than it has for the past three houses / twelve years.
 
Gratitude: Grateful for sex dates with both my partners. For hot, sunny days. For running water. For the opportunity to go to “church” with my girlfriend. For the mist setting on our shower head. For lemon ice cream. For coffee on the front steps before the cool of the morning burns away. For my gods finding me again. For being able to feel it. For the amazons. For the loan of a car and a long drive in the countryside. For magic that works. For my loves.
 
Inspiration: My wife’s bravery and the contents of our CSA (in very different contexts, to be clear).
 
Creation: Mostly I’ve been doing sewing. Nothing fancy, but trying to get the mending/WiP pile whittled down just a little while adding to my stash of summer-weight clothes. It’s slow, but it’s happening. I’ll probably have a new skirt finished before the end of June. That’s the plan, at any rate.

Reclaiming Dianic Wicca

Not Wiccan myself, but I do appreciate this article.

The Techno Wytch

people holding rainbow hand fans Photo by Rosemary Ketchum on Pexels.com

Recently, even though I have not written a Dianic article in a hot minute, I came across some TERFS (Trans Exclusive Radical Feminists; they hate trans people and exclude them.) on both my Twitter and my Tumblr. Not sure how they finally noticed me. Don’t care. (It took along time though!) Tired of the political bullshit. The personal attacks. So I made a Facebook group for Inclusive Dianic Wicca. The mentality TERFs have, is the same as the Christian Right Wing evangelicals, that God is exclusive and hates trans, homosexuals, and so forth for some reason.

Here’s the run down… The Goddess (IN her many forms) is for EVERYONE. No exceptions! No one can tell you who to worship. If the Great Mother calls to you, she calls to you. And no TERF should stop you from that. I have a lot…

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Full Moon – Leaf Moon Crests

My perennial bed, still messy with deadfall, but the rhubarb, nettles, and crow garlic are reaching for the sky.

My perennial bed, still messy with deadfall, but the rhubarb, nettles, and crow garlic are reaching for the sky.


 
Okay. So, admittedly, the trees are still pretty bare around here. BUT at least we have this. Too small to harvest (yet), but my perennial food plants are doing their thing. Crow garlic, nettles, rhubarb, chives, dandelions, and sorrel are all coming back to life.
Which is fantastic.
Sometimes it’s warm enough, and sunny enough, in the mornings to drink coffee on the steps (while wearing a light coat, but still).
That said, I myself feel like kind of a mess. Possibly because my awful new provincial government is gleefully cutting everything that even slightly supports marginalized populations, I’ve been feeling frantic more than anything else. Trying to focus on much of anything has been difficult. Trying to slow my head down enough to write or Be Mindful/Present while doing yoga, has been difficult. I tried out an ecstatic dance group in town and… while I’m not saying I’ll never try it again, it was not a particularly comfortable, let alone enjoyable, time. I want to hide out in bed all day in the hopes of staying warm (and it is spring, the temperatures are reliably staying above freezing and the trees are budding and, in some cases, flowering).
 
It’s hypothetically “pink moon” right now – presumably because whoever came up with that name lives in Vancouver or Southern England or somewhere else where there are potentially cherry blossoms as early as Spring Equinox – but things are not feeling super pink around here.
That said, I’ve had at least one horoscope tell me that this Taurus Season is The Time to let go of all those old patterns that are preventing me from “[stepping] into full-flaming Scorpio Phoenix Power towards what [I] really want”.
Which I guess kind of brings me to the following:
For this cycle’s full moon tarot meditation, I did my usual “Shuffle until something falls out of the deck” method of divination. This is what I got:
 
Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - 7 of Fire, + 4th Fool + 99 of Air

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – 7 of Fire, + 4th Fool + 99 of Air


 
This is a story about risk, reward, and self-sabotage. At least I think it is.
Given the things I’m trying to accomplish through these projects, I’m reading this as:
7 of Fire: “Valour”. Egypt Urnash asks “Will she choose the strife or the will?” A card about being sure, about knowing what you want and going after it.
4 of Fools: The fool who’s so close to flying this time, but whose self-doubt trips her up. The one who mistakes “keep yourself small” with “have some common sense”.
99 of Air: The very Disaster Thinking that eats my brain, gets me spectatoring when I’d rather be engaged and enjoying myself, and makes me duck my head and avoid the spotlight when it comes looking for me.
 
So. what do I do with this?
Keep it in mind. Catch myself if I’m self-sabotaging or trying to keep myself small and… try to turn it around. Make the follow-up phone call. Send the chapbook out on sub. Keep breathing. Take one step closer rather than stepping away.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Attempt at ecstatic dance. Frequent (but short – ~15 minutes) walks to and from the place I’ve been temping these past two weeks. Moon Salutations yoga routine.
 
Attention: I’m watching the garden. I’m watching the buds on the trees.
 
Gratitude: Thankful for crow garlic, sorrel, nettles, chives, rhubarb, and dandelions. Thankful for date nights. Thankful for paid work. Thankful for risotto. Thankful for visits from friends.
 
Inspiration: My Glamour Board (which is on pinterest, you’ve been warned). I’ve been doing a lot of “shopping in my closet” and clothes-weeding this week.
 
Creation: Other than a couple of very drafty poems, I’ve mostly been working on a lace project (knitting). I think I need another six inches of length or so, at which point I can call it done.

Brined Cherries, for a Change

Oh, colour me fascinated! 😀

Conjuration – I’m In It!

Published! In a tiny bound book of magical micro-poems, no less! (Originally blogged over at The Breathings of My Heart, but sharing it here as well for the discussion of How Magic Works).

The Breathings of My Heart

So. This charming (see what I did thar) little book of magical micropoems dropped last night at the Coven Editions launch party.

A pocket-sized book of magical micropoems with a shiny ivory cover and the word CON JURA TION in black ink. Also in the frame: A pen shaped like a broom, A 1&quot;x6&quot; print of my poem, &quot;Pathworking&quot; on the same cover stock with an intention paper backing, and a selection of polished stones: rhodochrosite, snowflake obsidian, blue lace agate, bloodstone, and rose quartz. A pocket-sized book of magical micropoems with a shiny ivory cover and the word
CON
JURA
TION
in black ink.
Also in the frame:
A pen shaped like a broom, A 1″x6″ print of my poem, “Pathworking” on the same cover stock with an intention paper backing, and a selection of polished stones: rhodochrosite, snowflake obsidian, blue lace agate, bloodstone, and rose quartz.

It’s tiny! It’s shiny! And it’s packed with pint-sized poems conjuring love, loss, memory and magic (of course magic). And one of those poems is mine! 😀
As you can see, I’m more than a little excited about this. “Pathworking” is one of the poems I sent out on submission during December and January – my first crop of submissions since, like, 2011, iirc –…

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