Category Archives: Uncategorized

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! 😀

A Gardener's Table

brined cherriesPickled fruit? People often ask me that two-word question with a look of mixed astonishment and horror. But in the Anglo-American tradition fruits have commonly been preserved in strong vinegar, along with plenty of sugar, to make sour, sweet, and long-keeping accompaniments for meats. These pickles are similar to English-style fruit chutneys, though not as heavily spiced. Less common but also traditional in North America are lightly sweetened vinegar-picked fruits, such as cherry olives—that is, vinegar-pickled dark cherries that resemble olives more in appearance than taste.

These pickles all have their place. I love sweet pickled figs or plums on the Thanksgiving table, sour pickled grapes on a salad dressed with olive oil alone, and cherry olives with pâté. But for a milder-tasting fruit pickle that complements a wider range of foods and drinks, it’s worth considering leaving out vinegar altogether. Pickling fruits in brine, in the same way…

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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"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. 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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Full Moon – Tomato Moon Crests (Full Moon in Pisces)

On Monday, I put up 14 pints of crushed tomatoes. I’ve got another 20 pounds of tomatoes (probably another 14+ pints of sauce) on the go as I’m writing this. 🙂
As planned, I’ve included garlic (from my next-door neighbour) and winter savoury (from my own garden) in the mix, plus a handful of rosemary (dried, from a shop) just because it fits nicely with both the flavours and the intentions I’m blending into this batch.
Technically I’ve been getting ripe tomatoes (cherry tomatoes) for the better part of a month now, but these days I can go out and harvest a mix of beefsteak, cherry, and roma every 3-4 days. (Which didn’t stopped me from buying 40lbs of roma tomatoes from the farmer’s market last weekend, I don’t mind pointing out. Our garden tomatoes are almost all for fresh-eating – right up until the frost hits and I need to make a mammoth batch of chutney, at any rate…)
 
Sarah Gottesdiener, over at Little Red Tarot, has some insightful stuff to say about Full Moon Energy:

When the Moon is full it is reflecting the maximum amount of the Sun’s light. Something within us is stirred. For some, this glare from our subconscious is too strong—we shirk, spiral into shame, are overcome by emotion. Our energy sapped by disillusionment, bottle set adrift in the ocean with no message for the finder.
For others who know what they want, who are clear about their purpose and core, this time is excellent for further illumination. Now can be the time to come back inside, away from the noise and distractions. Any messages or inspired illuminations spark the fodder for later external manifestation. Write down, dance out, paint any and all inspirations that come through around this time.

 
A good time to do a tarot reading, radiomancy, dream interpretation, or any other divination you’re inclined to use, then? Yes, probably[1], in my case with regards to working through the rituals and experiments in Miss Sugar’s Glamour Magic.
Hoodwitch has some suggestions on The Point of It All:

Full Moons mark the end of an emotional cycle, and this cycle has been a biggie for most people personally, and most certainly for the world as a whole.
So let’s get spiritual! Wanna know what the point of life is? It’s really simple. It’s love.
Wanna know what it’s biggest enemy is? It’s fear, in all its crappy forms.

 
Their horoscope for me says: “Your freedom is hinging on your willingness to yield it, Scorpio. Making use of your choices can be a radical act when your anxieties, situation, or relationships tell you to be less intense or more OK with something” … than you actually are. Femme wisdom if ever there was some.
 
Chani suggests: “This week marks the beginning of a six week journey of getting more familiar with your potential to influence your peers, your community and future collaborators.” With a side-note of, basically, “write your damn book”. I’m working on it, okay? Okay.
 
On a related note, Liz Worth encourages us all to “Write in your journal, hang out at an art gallery, or do something that will help you to soak up some inspiration” …and offers a tarot spread on the subject of spirituality and intuition, as a way of connecting to all the Pisces energy.
 
Over in my little world, I’m about to spend a week+ on my own. Trying to arrange a few hang-outs and meet-ups with people, so I don’t go squirrely while my lovely wife is out of town. (It’s her birthday today, fyi. I have fancy potatoes to bake before she gets home, and a charcuterie platter to set out).
 
~*~
 
Movement: Ha. Lots of standing and chopping, what with all the tomato sauce. A little bit of walking, but not tonnes. Will be throwing knives with a friend this weekend, though. 🙂
 
Attention: Paying attention to anxiety levels (and what seems to stir me up, and what seems to calm me back down), and also to… just how people respond to me when I’m out and about. I have Very Gay Buttons on my purse now, and I’m curious to see if that changes how I’m received in any way.
 
Gratitude: 40 lbs of tomatoes and a food processor(!!!). The farmers’ market vendor who remembered me from last year. My wife thinking I’m a babe and also being patient with my weirdo, emotional brain. Seeing my wife wearing cute dresses! 😀 A garden full of chard, tomatoes, rhubarb, kale, and herbs. Femme poets who ask me about my femme poetry project. A shop up the street where I can get ethical animal products that are semi-cheap ($3 for liver mousse counts as cheap for me, though $3 for crackers does not) and where I can try the odd free sample of wine-cured beef or guancale. Cheese merchants who let me try every cheese in the shop, after telling other people that “I can’t do any more free samples today” (I think it helped that I walked in waving money around). New tarot cards AND a new novel coming in the mail. A variety of different kinds of paid work, so that I have an income quilt rather than all my eggs in a single basket. Reality checks that are gently given and seriously needed. Survivor music. Friends & beloveds who lend me their ears. ❤
 
Inspiration: All the poetry. So much poetry arriving in the mail. 😀 Also: Kesha’s new album.
 
Creation: I am managing to write 1-2 poems per week, which I’m happy about. Some of them aren’t great (yet), but they’re written. Drafts still count. 😉
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] As a side note, I finally got myself a copy of the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn. It hasn’t arrived yet, but it’s due to do so in the next 24 hours. Silicon Dawn is… not a traditional deck. I’m not talking about the art, either. I mean that there are 99 cards in this deck, rather than 78, there are duplicate cards, “99 of X” minor arcana cards, and “void cards” for every suit. Now that I’m more familiar with traditional (…ish) meanings for the cards, I’m looking forward to exploring this one and having some fun with it.

Divination as Psychic Homeopathy

Leah Lakshmi’s thoughts on kitchen table healing and tarot cards. Go have a look.

Brownstargirl Tarot

I’ve gotten more open about being a healer- I can even say it to people without coughing. It’s when they ask me, “What kind of healing?” that I still stammer a bit. I can joke with friends about being Deanna Troi identified, or being  “psychic tarot card reader identified”, but it’s still a profession with a lot of woo stigma in it.

It’s sort of easy to say that I do tarot and divination. But I’ve realized that what I do maybe is a little more than that- or maybe it’s what most tarot readers do most of the time. A friend and client said, “It’s like you’re one part card reader priestess, one part older sister giving you the real deal, one part life coach, with a little bit of somatics thrown in.”

A lot of folks who come see me are people who feel more comfortable getting their cards…

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Aug 30 – Sep 22 ~ Our Luckiest, Most Loving Mercury Retrograde Yet!

GOSH, I HOPE SO. (Started therapy 9 years ago…)

Alex Myles

On August 30th 2016 Mercury stations retrograde in Virgo and as Mercury rules Virgo, this is going to be a highly loving, affectionate, harmonious, memorable period.

Often we dread Mercury retrograde as it can bring with it many problems and difficulties, particularly surrounding communication with our friendships and relationships. However, this time Venus and Virgo are both going to be influential, making it a time filled with love, appreciation, acceptance, romance, forgiveness and making amends for any previous misunderstandings.

Usually we are cautioned to tread carefully during these few weeks, but this time luck and fortune are on our side and we are in for a huge awakening, as we feel optimistic, rational, courageous and ready for the intense energy that is about to flow through us.
The main thing we need to remember so that we sail through this period is to remain consciously aware and alert so that…

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Tarot, Circumstances and Interpretations (and a bit about the Queen of Swords).

A long time ago (by-which I mean early February) I did a quick reading because I was Very Preoccupied with an impending conversation with my not-quite-officially-gone ex-partner.
I used my then-very-new-to-me Wildwood deck, and pulled the Knight of Bows (which has been the card I associate with said ex pretty-much from the get-go), the Two of Vessels, and the Queen of Arrows.
Unsurprisingly, I burst into tears.
 
Pretty clear meaning, right?
Maybe not.
I mean, as it happened, my painful and grief-stricken interpretation turned out to be right. They’re not coming back. Our relationship has changed in a really big, really painful (for me, anyway) way.
But… here’s the thing.
I could have read that spread differently, and it would have been just as accurate.
 
See, up until very recently, I’d never met a Queen of Swords who looked like she might have my back. She’s always come across as haughty and dangerous. The Punisher of God putting on my mother’s face to say “I am very disappointed in you”, The rigid arbitor of whether or not (spoiler: not) I’ll ever be Worthy. She’ll pit you against someone else for her own ends, then pick at your bones when she’s done.
No wonder I looked at that white swan, with all its death imagery and Mean Girl regal violence, and saw “It’s over. You weren’t good enough”.
Why would the Queen of Swords have anything kind to tell me, when she’s never once looked like my friend?
 

Cristy C Road – Next World Tarot – Queen of Swords


 
But maybe she is my friend.
 
This woman in her queercore band t-shirt, her biker boots that are just like my wife’s, her long skirt and hair flowers (like Frieda, like Marsha)… she looks like the Best Femme Friend (4evar) who says “I love you a lot, but you are being an asshole here”. She’s the friend who will make you tea and listen to you cry, and then look at you with that eyebrow cocked, like, “You know that I know that you KNOW you’re doing The Thing again” and she doesn’t even need to say “Are you noticing a pattern here?” out loud because it’s all in that look.
 
In retrospect – because hindsight is 20/20 – I can look at those three cards and see my blunt-but-caring friend telling me:

If you want to have a relationship with this person – and I know you do – you are going to have to back off on what you offer them. Whether it’s can’t or won’t doesn’t really matter here. The reality is that they aren’t giving you the partnership they offered you. Stop throwing yourself off a cliff and put your own oxygen mask on rather than rushing to help them with theirs.

 
Thanks, friend. ❤
 
So here's my question: Given that it's damn hard, when reading for yourself (and possibly when reading for people you're close to), to push back against whatever dominant meta-narative is eating your brain at the moment and see what other interpretations are available… How do you go about doing just that?
'Cause clearly I need some help.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.