Category Archives: Wheel of the Year

New Moon – Harvest Moon Begins (and Grows) – Season of the Witch

“Winter Squash” – Photo by Sheila Sund, via Wiki Media Commons. Three winter squash – butternut, sweet dumpling, and buttercup – are to the left of the image, dramatically lit from the right, on an otherwise bare surface, against a black backdrop.


 
The mornings are down in the single digits these days, and the nights are hovering around freezing. The back yard is full of blooming New England asters (the purple kind) and, while nothing’s been knocked down by frost just yet (to my surprise), I know it’s coming. We turned the furnace on today and have extra blankets on the bed.
Autumn is so very, very here.
 
We’re slipping towards Root Time pretty quickly now. The leaves are turning. I have bunches of mugwort, yellow mustard (seed pods, in the latter case), sage, and thyme hanging in the kitchen to finish drying. We opened a bottle of Sortilege (a month earlier than I would have, if I hadn’t hidden said bottle away late last April), and I made an offering with the first glass of it to kick off the Season of the Witch.
It’s getting towards introspection season – although, realistically, that’s all year long if you’re me – and, like a lot of people, I’ve got a lot of stuff on my mind.
 
I went to the Climate Justice Rally the other day – and felt less useless for having gone, I have to admit, though I wasn’t expecting that. I keep looking at my somewhat feral yard, where – when we moved in, five years ago (just about exactly), I had hoped to plant a riot of winter squash, rather like the ones displayed in the photo at the top of this post, along with lots of perennial fruits and herbs.
I keep looking at it and wondering “Have I done right by you?”
 
Because, as I keep lamenting, I’m not doing very well at this vegetable gardening thing.
But my yard is a tiny ecosystem. Squirrels and rats (alas), a skunk and a rabbit, a family of raccoons, a semi-feral cat, and a lot of starlings and sparrows (and the odd bluebird, crow, cardinal) have our yard as part of their territory. The back patio is under-pinned (or destabilized, maybe) by a few different kinds of ants. There are spiders, wasps (parasitic and otherwise), two kinds of solitary bee, a few different kinds of butterfly, centipedes, pill bugs, ladybugs, slugs (alas) and snails, and earthworms the thickness of my finger. Between what I grow on purpose, what my neighbour grows on purpose, and what I just allow to grow wild, as it will, we’ve got about half the number of unique plant species that one would find in a healthy tall grass prairie represented and thriving between the front and the back yards of our little row of townhouses. And that’s something I’m proud of.
“Have I done right by you?”
 
The ground is so literal.
I like to think that the offerings of home-made beeswax candles, fresh bread and (not home-made) butter, maple whiskey, and sometimes other tasty things, are appreciated and enjoyed. (Certainly the squirrels like the bread, if that’s any indication).
But I kind of suspect that the compost heap, with its regular additions of coffee grounds, toilet paper tubes, stewed bones, vegetable peelings, and human hair, is more helpful (and more wanted) in the long run. That thinning the Himalayan Balsam so that the Crane’s Bill and Turtlehead had room to grow, but leaving enough of it for the bees to visit, and sowing white clover and wildflower seeds (after thinning out the grass, golden rod, and dog-strangling-vine), probably matter more to my Lady of Earth and my Lady of the Meadow than whether or not I managed to cultivate a lot of winter squash in any given year, even when my Lady of the Meadow is also the winter squash and the raspberries (which consistently refuse to fruit, even now).
“Have I done right by you?”
 
It’s harvest time. The squirrels have already dug up (and gnawed upon) the narcissus bulbs given to us by a friend. The two pounds of carrots I brought home from the grocery store a week or two ago are waterlogged and not doing so well, and I’m having The Feels about food waste. Again. The dill seed heads I harvested went moldy (because I didn’t dry them well enough and didn’t store them right). I still haven’t harvested crab apples, even though I walked by a tree loaded with them twice this past week. I feel wasteful rather than abundant.
“Have I done right by you?”
 
I shuffle the deck by my computer – the Next World, which isn’t the deck I’d usually use for this. The Chariot falls out. The Three of Cups almost jumps with it. I shuffle and shuffle. Look longingly at the Three of Cups, Nine of Cups, now layered one on top of the other at the very bottom of my deck. Pull a card off the top and it’s The Sun.
I want to take that as a Yes.
I want this to be true:
 

 
One of the other reasons why I was asking if I’ve done right by the land I live on is that we found out, just about a month ago, that the building we live in has been put up for sale.
It’s terrifying.
Not least of why being that we’re barely able to cover the bills we have now, and housing – across the city, not just in the neighbourhood we’ve lived in for over a decade and want to stay in – is running $400-$700 more expensive per month than we can handle.
I think about moving, and I just get a tight chest, churning stomach, racing thoughts, and nothing actually useful done. I sob my eyes out thinking that we’ll be this house’s last family and that life is going to stay (financially) hard for the foreseeable.
It’s awful.
I’ve been looking for an anchor income for a while now, but I’m kind upping the search because, if we’re going to afford to live, well, anywhere by the time this unusually-affordable rental house is yanked out from under us, I’m going to need to be SURE that I can show up with at least $800/month to put towards housing and utilities.
 
Sometimes I think that planning to move in the spring is putting the cart before the horse. We have to be able to afford to move before we can actually do so. (At least… I hope that’s how it works out). TBH, I’ve spent a lot of the past four weeks – when I’m not job-hunting or canning or cleaning or writing poetry or doing paid work – wondering how to get myself focused enough to determine What I Really Want, specifically so that I can work some magic towards those ends.
A lot of the past year has been working on the “art” and “sex” elements of my Empress Project. But the Empress, as much as she is VERY MUCH about creativity and sensuality, is also about abundance and stability and I think I need to spend some time (energy, attention, Work) leaning into those aspects.
I wonder to myself what I can offer in exchange for help getting the kind of moderately flexible, very-part-time office/remote-assistant job I’m looking for and what, should I actually secure said job, I can offer on top of that (or after that) to secure the kind of living space we want (2 bedrooms, laundry on site, no pests, ideally with gardening space and a big kitchen, pets A-okay), in any of the neighbourhoods we want, at a price we can afford long-term even if the rent goes up every year.
I keep thinking of Ms Sugar’s long-ago Thoughts on Blood As A Sometimes Food.
I keep thinking of… I think it’s T. Thorn Coyle’s book Sigil Magic where she talks about how doing ritual isn’t the same as doing magic any more than emoting or obsessing about something is the same as working your Will. I keep thinking about how I rarely have any idea if what I’m doing is actually going to get off the ground, let alone get results, let alone-alone get the kind of results I actually want.
Which, like, doesn’t help me actually have the confidence to try spellworking for this stuff, you know?
 
Regardless – and I will surely come back to the above more than once over the coming winter – in my most recent fit of “I don’t know what to dooooooooooo!!!” I did what I tend to do in times of trouble and uncertainty, and started pulling tarot cards.
(Basically, I don’t necessarily even shuffle anything, I just grab the deck and split it at random points).
This is the spread I used.
 
What do I need to think about: The Chariot
What do I need to do: The Eight of Cups
What is my challenge: The Knight of Pentacles
What is my secret weapon: The Four of Wands

 
I tend to read The Chariot as “get up / wake up, and go”. A card about taking action. And it is. But it’s very specifically a card about working one’s will to achieve one’s goals. It’s a card about doing, sure. But it’s also a card about doing magic.
 
The Eight of Cups is typically a card of “mourn and move on”. It’s a card that touches on burnout and anxiety, for sure. And one that suggests leaning into spiritual growth and personal truth, as well. But it’s most often (for me, at least) a card about grieving and letting go, about tying up loose ends and walking away.
 
The Knight of Earth (I can find a picture of the Next World Tarot’s take on the Knight of Pentacles, but there are lots of options out there) is a solid character. But, in the position of a “challenge”, their slow-and-steady nature turns to “afraid to take risks” or “pessimistic” or “keeps themself (too) small”.
 
As for the Four of Wands, for me, it’s always been a card about Community. Participation. Joyful interaction. Strengthening the web of relationships that one is part of. It’s also, however, a card that feels, one the one hand, like the opposite of the Knight of Pentacles’ more challenging aspects – “looking forward expectantly”, “letting go of limitations”, and “opening to new possibilities” – while, on the other, being almost the flip-side of the coin to the Eight of Cups – “getting out of an oppressive situation”, “reflecting on accomplishments”, and “breaking free of bonds”. There’s also an aspect of this card that pertains to taking part in a ritual or rite, although I tend to think that’s more about things like weddings or milestone birthdays (like my upcoming 40th, ye gods…) than, like, solo magical workings in my bathtub. None the less. >.>
 
What do I need to think about: Taking action physically and magically.
What do I need to do: Mourn the (impending, as-yet-unscheduled) loss of this house, and move on (literally as well as figuratively).
What is my challenge: Doing the leg work without getting frozen into inaction due to fear and risk-aversion. Not losing sight of the good stuff over the horizon just because things feel (VERY) precarious right now. Avoiding despair while job- and neighbourhood- hunting in late-stage capitalism and an increasingly expensive city.
What is my secret weapon: My people. My hope. My resistance.
 
I want to keep these cards – these four, and The Sun – in mind as my tarot card meditaiton during this waxing moon. To get’er done without losing sight of my worth and without giving up my arts-oriented work (modeling as a career, and poetry as an a/vocation). To keep making art and magic, possibly in combination. To remember that I’m not entirely powerless. To accept the joy when it comes.
 
~*~
Movement: Not nearly enough. Short, dynamic poses during modeling gigs. Walking all over the place. But that’s about it. I think there needs to be more dancing in my life.
 
Attention: Unsurprisingly? Sniffing around as to what housing costs in which neighbourhoods in town. Keeping an eye on the job boards. Watching the garden for the inevitable frost that will knock a lot of it down (at which-point, it’s clean-up time).
 
Gratitude: Thankful, however ruefully, for the neighbours and friends who brought up having seen the listing for our building on the national real estate website, and for the landlords for not denying it when we brought it up. For library books. For quiet evenings in. For a furnace that works. For clean water that comes right out of the tap. For the tool library. For friends who check in. For slow mornings with my wife. For my girlfriend’s impending (mere days away!) visit. For the upcoming weekend-long kink convention we’ll be attending. For hand-me-down clothes that fit and look good on me. For kindness. For hope.
 
Inspiration: Ongoing climate disaster and housing insecurity, because it’s an ill wind, apparently. :-\ Outside of that, Mabon and related seasonal changes and astrological events, plus the poets of Hustling Verse and also those in my extended circle of queer, polyamourous chosen families. It’s a good place to be.
 
Creation: I wrote two new glosas! I wrote them yesterday! I’m so excited! 😀 😀 😀 I really hope I can keep this up! 😀 Fingers crossed!

Full Moon – Apple Moon Crests (and Wains) – #Mabon / #AutumnEquinox

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

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


 
I’m writing the last of this on Autumn Equinox, when Apple Moon is in its last quarter and we’ve just, just slipped into Libra Season.
It’s been, shall we say, a bit of a time around here.
As you know, things have been a wee bit fraught around here of late, although I’m relieved to report that we seem to have nipped that particular problem in its embreonic stages. Hallelujah. Also, I now have five 1-gallon tubs (with ill-fitting lids) hanging out in my kitchen, and I’m thinking that grabbing some builders’ sand from the local hardware store might be a good idea, because it would mean I could store my carrots and beets (and maybe potatoes?) in sand-buckets which, I gather, is the right way to do it).
 
I can’t tell for sure if it’s second-chance summer or not just now, but it’s above 20C, so I’m enjoying it while it’s here.
I’m currently steaming zucchini (the “naturally imperfect” stuff from the grocery store[1]) for the freezer, having already rough-chopped and blanched a few bell peppers for the same reason (they’re just all heaped on a plastic plate, though, rather than going in muffin cups).
I’ve got the steam-juicer home from the tool library (finally) and will be juicing choke cherries (because it turns out I didn’t miss the whole season AND was able to harvest a little bit of mugwort while I was out there). My plan is to do the choke cherries once the zukes are in the freezer, and then cool the juice on the counter, and then in the fridge. I’ll make chokecherry curd on… probably Monday.
 
What I haven’t done (so far) is harvest apples. Part of me is making mental notes to pick some on my way to a modeling gig in the Glebe early next week. Make a batch of crab apple jelly (probably by freezing the apples, and then borrowing the steam-juicer from the tool library again in another couple of weeks). Another part of me is just going “Don’t worry about it! You’ve got buckets of apple butter left over from last year AND you’ve still got some crab apple jelly, too! Focus on harvesting rhubarb and chard! That’s a better idea!”
And… that’s probably what I’m going to do.
 
Between that and the meals I’m making for a friend (who’s working on a couple of NDP campaigns), I’ve got my hands full in the kitchen, which feels pretty good. I feel accomplished when I cook up a lot of food for people, make a really nice meal for us, and/or pack the freezer with produce from the nieghbourhood – or even just the province. It feels like I’m… Okay, this is going to include some negative self-talk here, but: It feels like I’m not being a total free-loader, even though I’m not making a whole lot of money right now. (Which, fuck capitalism, obviously, but here we are). I’m still looking for flexible, part-time office work – applied for a 15 hrs/wk job with the Friends of the Experimental Farm organization, which I would love to get, but who knows when, or even if, I’ll hear from them. So I’m still looking.
 
Listen. I have a confession to make.
Remember back at the New Moon when I followed Liz Worth’s spread for Virgo? How I chose a tarot card to meditate on specifically to remind myself to prioritize my health and my creativity? Remember this?

If all of my bits, from my Deep Self to my literal/physical self are saying “make time to prioritize what matters to you” + “have some confidence, already”, they are also saying “Remember you are worthy. Stop selling yourself short and putting your health and your own goals and priorities last”.

 
I lasted all of one week before a short burst of Bad News hit and an uptick in both anxiety and body-pain came with it. “Guilt and anxiety and despair”, you say? Yeah, kinda.
So maybe my Nine of Swords wasn’t entirely poorly chosen. >.>
I took some time, yesterday morning, to do some extra yoga – which has helped my lower back and hip pain, somewhat – but there’s been a lot of crying and stress-dreams and I’ve been clingier than usual (which is saying something).
Anyway. The end-result of this is that I’ve written a couple of poetry drafts, but I haven’t been doing a lot of writing in the past three weeks that hasn’t been fretful diary entries.
 
My tarotscope – the very last one, since they’re not happening anymore – over at Radical Tarot made a point of reminding me (and all the other Scorpios) that, despite (housing) worries and money fears, “[I’m] okay and [will] be taken care of”.
Which was a good message to have come my way right when ALL of my worst-case-scenario buttons were being mashed.
 
I shuffled my Next World tarot deck, and the following three cards flopped out and onto the floor:
Five of Wands (face up, so that’s my “focus” card)
The Messenger / Heirophant + The Empress (both face down, so I’m treating them as “overarching” and “underlying” cards).
The Ace of Wands (which didn’t fall out of the deck, but was the card on the bottom of the pile when the other three went flying, so I’m paying attention and calling it an advisor).
 
I want to take this as a message of “Don’t let scarcity govern your thinking” and “Take that leap of faith” (The Five of Fire), a message of “Stick to your values” (The Heirophant) and “Keep aiming for what you really want” (The Empress). A message to stay the course and have faith in my path, even when everything feels so fraught and impossible, because I’m going the right way, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and becoming my fullest, most integrated, self.
I want that to be what this means.
I hope it does.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Haaaaaaaa… I managed to hurt myself doing the most basic of crossfit-esque exercises (the “walking lunge” without any weights or anything to make it harder), so I haven’t been doing a lot of movement in recent days. Which doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a LOT of yoga (to try and help my back – which it’s done) and walking, but which does mean that I’ve been moving slower and a lot more carefully for the past few days. I was relieved to wake up in “normal pain” this morning, rather than the “extra, bonus pain” I’ve been, uh, “enjoying”, for the past few days.
 
Attention: Watching my L4 and L5 like a hawk in case of relapse into “extra bonus pain” territory. Trying to focus, every day, on “What do I want to accomplish, and receive, today” – this is a very recent thing, but it’s seems like it’s worth a try – in order to both get my To Do List actually done, AND to send some thoughts and receptivity out to The Universe Herself and all my Gods and Ancestors, in case they want to give me a hand with anything. Thinking some thoughts (at the invitation of a friend) about how kink and polyamoury relate to the imagery of the tarot suits. Attending – just a little bit more – to my Glamoury, such as it is, trying to remember to wear my Crown Of Light and bring little bit of ritual focus into my creative work and my self-care practices. (I mean, we’ll see how that goes… but try, try again, right? Right).
 
Gratitude: I wrote two poems, and I’m so happy and relieved and grateful that The Poetry is still there! 😀 Grateful for the Tool Library membership that lets me access tools – the steam juicer, the pressure canner, the enormous garden sheers and the pitch fork – without having to find a place to store them. Grateful for poetry acceptances (and getting paid for them, no less!). Grateful for modeling work and (tentative) temp work this coming week. Grateful for partners who love me and make time for me. For an hours-long date with my wife, riding the motorcycle on a bright, gorgeous day, eating ice cream in a little town before heading home the long way. For sexting with my girlfriend and the knowledge that we’ll be in the same place again, in just a couple of weeks. For time to spend with friends, catching up, chatting, and sharing stories. For productivity dates with fellow writers. For knowing my poetry resonates with, and matters to, other people whose histories overlap with my own.
 
Inspiration: Windfall apples and heavy clouds. The clover sprouting (fucking finally) in my front garden. The poetry in Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry, which arrived recently and which I’ve finally been able to sit down and start reading. The kids doing Climate Strike actions, and the adults who are joining them. The Wheel of the Year and the tarot suits (as per usual).
 
Creation: I’ve been feeling really tapped out, tbh, for a while now. But this morning, I took myself out and sat myself down, and I wrote two poems and I’m feeling pretty good about both of them. One is going in my chapbook (taking the place of a piece I don’t like that much). The other is the first poem in what I hope will be another chapbook-length project. I have the beginnings of a third poem, though I’m not sure it’s that great (yet). With any luck, it’ll fit into the same new project, and I’ll be able to take it somewhere good.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Okay, full disclosure? There are a LOT of reasons why I don’t like that my neighbourhood is gentrifying, not the least-of-which is that, when our landlords sell the building (which they are currently trying to do) we’re not going to be able to stay here because the rent will be too high for us to find a 2-bedroom we can afford.
BUT
One thing I do like is that the fancier the local grocery store gets, the more I’m able to get aesthetically “imperfect” but otherwise totally fine produce at reduced prices. Meaning: The less I have to rely on stuff that’s already a little bit moldy and/or rotten on the quick-sell cart.
I appreciate this a whole bunch, let me tell you.

New Moon – Apple Moon Begins

Autumn is definitely on its way.
I kind of fear that my garden has been a bit of a bust this year – though we’ve got a few beans and I expect to bring in a few bouquets of chard over the next couple of months (mostly for the freezer). I’ve basically missed chokecherry season, so I didn’t make chokecherry curd this year. I feel a bit silly about that, but here we are. I’ll be harvesting apples (mostly crab apples) and trying my hand at cider and mead again this year, though.
At least my freezer is stocked with zucchini (though I’d like to get another 2-3 dozen pucks of the stuff frozen, tbh, if not more) and diced tomatoes (same – I’m doing this instead of canning them, this year, because I find I like the taste of the frozen stuff better than the taste of crushed tomatoes with sugar and vinegar in them… go figure) before the summer’s well and truly gone.
We’ve managed to acquire a new food processor, after I managed to melt the carafe on the our previous one. One of my art clients has downsized and is getting rid of some housewares, so she passed that along to us. As such, I have Grand Plans for lots of hummus, and also for (renewing my Ottawa Tool Library membership and) borrowing the pressure canner in order to put up a 4-8 liters of pumpkin soup, and a dozen pints of ready-to-go chick peas and great northern beans. I my try using their steam juicer, too, when I bring in the crab apples.
Other than that, the main thing I’ll be water-bath canning is pumpkin butter. No, my pumpkins didn’t give me any fruit (other than one half-eaten, but otherwise ripening, one low on a small vine… dammit), but I’ll be out at the grocery store buying up Porcelain Doll pumpkins – which are super meaty and don’t have a tonne of water content OR seeds – to turn into soup and pumpkin butter and, eventually, pumpkin-pie frozen yoghurt (and, um, actual pumpkin pies…).
I feel okay (…ish) about this.
I hope I still feel okay about it in November and, rather more-so, in February and April.
Fingers crossed.
 
~*~
 
Following Liz Worth’s spread for connecting with this very earthy Virgo new moon, I pulled the following cards (or, more accurately, had the following cards jump out of the deck in this order):
 
What is my body calling for? – The Star
This is a card about hope and optimism, not something I necessarily associate with “what is my body telling me I physically need”. But, as a body card, it says “Slow down. Find your center”.
Someone (Parneet on Chai Chats?) referred to meditation as “body time”. Like “Yes, mind, I see you having lots of thoughts, but it’s not time for that right now. Right now is body time”.
That said, and somewhat to my surprise, The Star allegedly has something to do with body issues like “ankles, legs, blood circulation, spasmodic complaints, nervous system“. Which is like… “I do have nerve-related issues in my legs because of my back stuff…” So that’s also relevant to attend to.
 
What is my schedule calling for? – The Page of Earth
This card, I pulled off the top of the deck when it felt right to do so. The other cards were all jumpers, so I feel like I had a bit of agency (not tonnes, but some) in choosing this. Which seems apt, given what it’s about. The Page of Earth is a card of curiosity (as opposed to anxiety) but, even more-so, it’s a card of steady, step-by-step actions: Make the time to make the things. Make the time to do the yoga. Make the time to do the offerings. Prioritize the commitments you’ve made to yourself, your art, your gods. Make the time to write the poetry and work on the phsyical, concrete projects that will get you where you want to go.
 
What is my foundation calling for? – The Page of Fire
Full disclosure? I’m not sure what “my foundation” is. When I was shuffling for this one, I sent my focus down to my roots, down to the seat of my need, but this could just as easily refer to the “Deep Self” or “Divine Self” that Starhawk and Gede Parma talk about.
Either way, the card I got was the Page of Fire, which is a card of creativity and optimism (much like the Star, actually) as well as a card of risk-taking and confidence. My foundation – whatever that is – says “Put Yourself Out There!”
 
What is my wisdom calling for? – The Three of Earth
This is the card of “know your worth”. It calls for collaboration and says “let your labour be meaningful”. It reminds me, just a little, of this post, from more than a year ago, reminding myself to make the holy every-day and to make the every-day holy. I may not need to conceptualize every single act of washing dishes and doing vacuuming as a specific thing I’m doing to honour a particular deity (Mattaer, in this case), but remembering what it will get me, what it’ll make easier or better for me, is also relevant. Vacuuming may not be meaningful in and of itself, but making the space clean and nice so that I want to roll out my yoga mat? That’s relevant. Doing the every-day labour because I’m worthy of the results.
 
What I’m picking up on:
Make your labour meaningful – imbue your work with meaning; Be brave and put your creative self out there. Know your worth and let other people see and recognize it. Your work is meaningful, so prioritize it. Make the time to do the things that are meaningful to you, that you (say you) value, that matter to you (…and that help your body deal with its physical issues).
 
~*~
 
It’s with the above in mind that I choose – because I’m choosing this one – for this waxing cycle’s tarot card meditation the Nine of Air.
Wait, what? Isn’t the nine of air about guilt and self-loathing and anxiety and despair??
Well, yes. And that’s relevant here – If all of my bits, from my Deep Self to my literal/physical self – are saying “make time to prioritize what matters to you” + “have some confidence, already”, they are also saying “Remember you are worthy. Stop selling yourself short and putting your health and your own goals and priorities last”. So, on the one hand, I’m choosing the Nine of Air as a “stop doing this specific business” reminder. It relates to my Body’s call to “find your center” as well, and to the my need to enter a slightly meditative (or at least quiet, slowed-down, non-spinning) state if I want to actually do my art with any degree of skill.
But the nines – as Melissa Cynova says in Kitchen Table Tarot – are all about maturing and awareness.
 

Wildwood Tarot – Nine of Arrows – “Dedication” – a woman in a blue gown and a red shawl plays her bow as though it were a musical instrument.


 
The Wildwood Tarot depicts, and defines, the Nine of Arrows (air, swords) in a much more positive light than most interpretations I’ve come across. In this instance, the Nine is a card of focus and dedication, of stripping away distractions. Here, as the little write-up book says, the figure directs “their arrows of inspiration by playing the bow as an instrument of summoning. The inner oath helps keep [them] on a balanced footing”.
 
I chose this card primarily for this reason. A reminder to Show Up. To do the actions (to start again, over and over, in doing them) that move me towards my goals. To dedicate myself to myself, to my art, to my gods. To do the daily practices (will I do them every day? Will I make sure of it?) that are good for my body, good for my religiosity, that will help me be open to the connections I want and miss.
 
So, with that, I’m going to work on my Collage workshop submission, see if I can write a poem, make some beeswax tea lights, and do a tiny bit of yoga.
 
~*~
 
Movement: LOTS of walking – maybe a little too much, due to Dyke March last Saturday. Moon Salutations. “Push Outs” in doorways, at the laundromat, and in the hall using the banister as support. There needs to be more dancing here, I think.
 
Attention: Watching the apple ripen, and just being very aware that autumn is pretty much on the doorstep – ye gods, but this felt like such a cool, short summer… Noticing all the queers, whose colours and finery are a little more obvious because of the recent Pride festivities. (I love us. I love our joy and how much we shine). Where I’m feeling Nerve Issues in relation to my lower back. When and whether I’m starting to spin, and how long it takes (and what it takes) to chill myself back out again.
 
Gratitude: Friends who invite me to visit, let me use their washing machines, turn up with butter and cheese after their non-vegan guests have gone home, make plans to see me and follow through with them, who send me bags of garden produce, who ask me how I’m doing. A weekend on my own. Video dates with both my partners. A fun novel to pour myself into. Poems that come fairly easily and work out pretty well in first-draft form. Three new poems in print. snuggles with my wife. Ice cream cones and successfully improvised “fancy flavours” yoghurt pops (I did crab-apple & juniper, and they were good). Letters from my girlfriend. Getting queer-spotted by another femme, and feeling Actually Seen, which was pretty great.
 
Inspiration: Trying to dig into my experiences in DC, about a month ago, to write poetry that touches a lot on spirituality. Digging out old books of Goddess Poetry for similar reasons. My chapbook is pretty-much ready to shop around – though I’d like to get four more pieces in print before I actually start that particular process – but it means that it’s time to start work on the next one, along side continuing to do my Femme Glosa Project. I’m currently thinking that maybe I’ll try writing some devotional poetry and see where that gets me, if anywhere? Seems like a good idea for now, so let’s see where it takes me. Planning to hit up an open mic tonight and (perform, but also) see if I get inspired there, too.
 
Creation: A number of poems, a couple of which is pretty good and the rest of which are… “very drafty”, let’s say. But still: Poems! Working on a knitting project that seems to be coming along much better than the last time I tried this one. Made and/or repaired a heap of earrings. The above-mentioned yoghurt-pops.

Full Moon – Thunder Moon Waxes and Crests

Thick, purple thunder clouds over a probably city-scape that has been largely cropped out of the frame. Photo by “Rubbish Computer” via Wiki Free Images.


 
Berry Moon has come and gone – my freezer has a big bag of service berries and a smaller bag of red currants to show for it – and it was very hot and very dry. My garden staggered by on 14 gallons of water roughly every other day, but I’m sure it’s as relieved as I am to be getting heavier waterings than my watering can and I have been providing.
Thunder Moon started a little over 10 days ago (at the time of this writing), in Leo, just before Lammas, and right around when I was getting home and settled after a week-long visit to my girlfriend’s place and the last of Mercury Retrograde kicking my ass on the way home. It’ll be full, in Aquarius, later this week, but I’ve got some time, so I’m doing the scribbling now.
 
You guys, my squash are not doing so well.
Technically, I’m not sure ANYTHING is doing well – my chard is okay, and my two tomato plants are doing their thing, but they’re giving me maybe 2-3 cherry tomatoes per day, put together, which is… not a lot. My beans have started flowering, and they look like they’re doing just fine. But the cilantro and dill have gone to seed (fine – I’ll use the coriander and the dill seed just as happily) and the basil and anise hyssop are… struggling. The ground cherries kind of just aren’t. And the squirrels ate about 1/5 of my one and only pumpkin and seem to be going after any fertilized squash bebes they can get their hands on.
Anyway.
I’m kind of like “Fuck it. The clover I sow won’t germinate. I dig a heap of manure compost into the ground and plant a compost-loving-plant like squash in it and… not a whole lot happens. Like, yes, I totally let the ground cover cover the ground. It’s what it’s for. But is it actually that bad? Is the apple mint a problem? Because it’s supposed to deter squash bugs but didn’t deter them much (the bottom of my shoe, however…) and maybe they are crowding the squash? Should I just yank out the smallest of them and give the rest some extra room?
Maybe?
So that might be a thing that I do with the squash, in the hopes of having the remaining ones get bigger and start producing Actual Food.
Beyond that? Beyond that, I have a basket of zucchini on my counter, half-of-which will go into my freezer, and plans to do similar with as many peppers, nectarines, and roma tomatoes as I can swing. Sweet peppers and greens, too.
Also, I’m starting to watch the apples and crab apples that grow near my laundromat and on my way to various libraries, because they’re ripe or ripening and, while I have a LOT of apple butter still lying around after last year’s bonanza, I’m pretty much not someone who say No to free food, so I will probably at least make some pies, you know?
 
I’ve been reading T. Thorn Coyle’s Sigil Magic and, in line with that, have been asking myself “What do I want???”
Those three question marks are intentional.
Sometimes “what I want” is simple, if not necessarily easy. I want my old, kind of broken, computer to keep working for another few years. Or I want the shredded comfrey leaves with-which I mulched my squash and beans, to translate into a lot of squash and beans for my kitchen (I think I need a lot more comfrey, and a couple of years of adding this kind of mulch frequently and regularly, to really get that, though). Or I want a machine that will wash three racks of dishes all at the same time, just by turning a dial and pressing a button. Easy. Specific.
And sometimes they’re not that.
Sometimes “what I want” is nebulous and fearful and teary and basically boils down to “I want this not to be happening. Please make this not be happening”. And I don’t even know what to do about those. The things I can do to mitigate them, I do, but most of what I can do is so negligible they seem utterly useless, utterly hopeless.
And sometimes they’re not that, either.
Sometimes they’re big – no less specific for being big, but big none the less – and require a lot of trust and a willingness to let a lot of it be out of my own hands as to whether or not I get what I hope for. Sometimes I feel guilty for wanting these things. Not because they’re “bad” or even “selfish”, necessarily. But because they’re just so substantial.
Sometimes I’m afraid to look at them. Mostly, I think, because I’m afraid if I make some kind of definitive statement about “This is what I want. I want XYZ”… and then I’m wrong…
And, yeah… Like, I just had to literally ask myself “Okay, so… what’s the problem? You want a thing, you try it, and it doesn’t fit as well as you thought, and…?” and the answer is some wordless jumble of “sunk costs” and “wasting other people’s time/energy/patience” wherein “other people” includes both human being who share my life with me and also various deities who showed up and helped with the opening of doors and so-on.
…Which is maybe a silly thing to feel?
 
Chani’s horoscope (for Scorpio) for the recent New Moon says:

With this new moon, I know that good things flow towards me all the time, but it’s my job to remember to flow with them. To prepare a space for them to land. Take root. Grow tall and wide.
I am an excited host for the arrival of all blessings. I know that nothing squashes good fortune like an expectation of what it should look, be, or act like. I remind myself that cosmic gifts come it all kinds of bizarre forms. The more I trust what shows up, the more I am able to work with it for as long as it is with me.

 

Osho Zen Tarot - Playfulness (the Page of Fire) - A joyful clown dances in a cloud of sparkles.

Osho Zen Tarot – Playfulness (the Page of Fire) – A joyful clown dances in a cloud of sparkles.


 
Osho Zen Tarot - Awareness (the Chariot) - A silhouette on a veil is burned through by the cold blue fire of enlightenment, a bodhisattva emerges.

Osho Zen Tarot – Awareness (the Chariot) – A silhouette on a veil is burned through by the cold blue fire of enlightenment, a bodhisattva emerges.


 
Following that, I pulled two cards (from my Osho Zen deck) for this upcoming Full Moon’s tarot card meditation: Playfulness (the Page of Fire, upright) and Awareness (the Chariot, reversed).
I can’t help but boil them down to “Be open to play, to trying new things just to try them. Send the shambling zombies of your poetry off into submission land and then forget about them. Scribble porn just to remember that you can, in fact, write porn. Proposition your sweeties as though you were doing pick-up play at a party. Don’t take everything so seriously because it’s not all life and death… and also, be ready for the ride when it comes, because it’s going to come and it’s going to come from inside”.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Moon Salutations on the dock of a metamour’s cottage + climbing those 69 steps up and down repeatedly over last weekend. Walking to and from my week-long temp job. Walking all over DC’s downtown checking out galleries and museums with my girlfriend + dancing in her back yard. Hauling home 30+ lbs of groceries before the cottage trip. Taking a long, rambling walk to, and then through, the Experimental Farm and then circling back via the arboretum. Sex that, while wonderful, also reminded me just how little stamina I actually have.
Nothing super heavy, but lots of good moving around.
 
Attention: Listening to The Shondes (uplifting tunes for the win!), trying to identify trees in on the Experimental Farm and in the Arboretum.
 
Gratitude: Thankful for being able to pay for plane tickets to DC twice a year. For a long, easy date with my wife, yesterday. For grilled cheese sandwiches. For cherry tomatoes off the vine. For unexpected temples and magical group rituals (uh… more on those later). For full-day modeling gigs. For thunder storms that rattle the windows. For a break in the heat. For breezy sunshine. For dinner with my sister and drinks with my brother-in-law in the same week, even though they both live out west. For sex. For poly-family photos and vacations.
 
Inspiration: Brian Eno’ and Peter Schmidt’s “Oblique Strategies” deck, as performed by this random prompt provider website. I like “remember those quiet evenings” and “a line has two sides”, so far, and find “Once the search is in progress, something will be found” to be kind of comforting, tbh.
 
Creation: Remarkably little, but I did write a scrap of something that might turn into A Real Poem.

Full Moon – Honey/Rose Moon Crests, Summer Solstice Impending

“Bee on a Rose” – Courtesy of AussieGal through Wiki Free Images – A honey bee approaches a cluster of pale pink rose blossoms.


 
It’s full moon today! It’s bright and sunny and breezy and warm! The seed-mustard that got decapitated at New Moon is now in full flower! The groundcherries have been transplanted to a slightly safer location! I planted tomatoes! (And also added anise hyssop, borrage, and extra squash to my garden). The roses in the neighbourhood are big and blousy and fragrant as heck! It’s a beautiful day, and my wife and I are going to go out for ice cream when she gets home from work. 😀
We’re both still recovering from bronchitis, which is less than fun, but the hot weather makes it easier (and encourages us both to drink heaps of water, which helps deal with all the crap that comes with bronchitis, tbh) and we’re both really ready for a date with each other, so we’re jumping on it while the weather’s nice.
 
In other news, I am trying to make “cooking wine” (because I’m not actually expecting this to be good) by fermenting frozen-from-concentrate grape punch with bread yeast. I mean, who knows. But it’s a $1.05 level experiment, so I’m giving it a go. I also have plans for a variation on cafloutis that uses rhubarb curd as a significant ingredient. The plan is to fill a grased pie plate with service berries, and then douse everything in a batter made from a pint of rhubarb curd plus a cup of milk and half a cup of flour. Possibly, there will be an extra egg, but I doubt it. Dinner’s going to be some kind of picnic food – probably chicken sandwiches with mustard greens and some quartered tomatoes with a little salt on them. We can eat them all on the back steps, with wine, and then take a walk to go get dessert.
 
Chani Nicholas is talking about how the New Moons and Full Moons connect with each other, and that right now – with the Full Moon in Sagittarius – is the time to check back on what you were striving for when the moon was new in the same sign. So right around Early December of last year.
At the time, I was thinking about the impending Winter Solstice, about social justice stuff and, more to the point, about long term planning and sharing what we have. A lot of the positive changes that have happened since then weren’t even on my radar yet. Still, I can look back, and see where the turning points are.
 
Summer Solstice is coming up at the end of the week. I’m watching cherries, red currants, and service berries fill out and start edging towards ripeness. All the flowers – motherwort, rose, wild geranium, and bergamot – that I gathered to open up my heart years ago, coming back to bloom again. How do I share myself in a way that doesn’t drain me? How do I open up, be curious, and believe my own Yes – intuitive or otherwise – without taking the kind of poorly planned risks that are more likely to get me in trouble than to get me somewhere I want to go? Where are my own turning points, and am I at one now?
 
Over at Hoodwitch, Lisa Stardust is pointing out that the current astrological configuration is one that “cosmically task[s] [us] to assert our will and fight for our dreams”, and warns about being clear on what those dreams actually are, and to actually be honest with ourselves about that. Like, do you want to Just Be Okay? Or do you actually want this weird Palimpsest Life to start making bank in a more than subsistence fashion that might mean you get to retire some day? Is your dream to be paid stupidly high amounts of money to do easy work, or is it to be paid appropriately to do work that you’ve been involved with for so long it feels easy, even though you know it’s not? Because one of those things is true, and the other is a lie that sells yourself short.
 

Next World AND Silicon Dawn decks – Seven of Earth, Knight of Air, Page of Earth, Nine of Air.


 
Liz Worth offers a tarot spread for connecting with this Full Moon, so I gave it a whirl. Here’s what I got:
 
What am I ready to break away from: Seven of Earth
The Seven of Earth is a card about “doing things for the love of it” and “things paying off in the long run” (rather than the short term). It’s a good card, with a lot of positive aspects, but I can relate to being pretty fed up with “work hard now, get paid… maybe?” situations when those labours of love aren’t being supplemented by labours – of love or otherwise – that are being appropriately compensated.
In a lot of instances, when I get this card, I tend to read it as “keep following your bliss, and the rest will work out eventually” but, in a slot designated as “what am I ready to break away from” I’m inclined to read it, instead, as a reminder to know the worth of my time, energy, attention, and skillsets, and to start demanding that people value them appropriately.
 
What kind of freedom can I create for myself: Knight of Air
The Knight of Air is opinionated, decisive, and doesn’t mince words. She knows how to navigate her own anger and channel it appropriately. I had hoped to find a pentacles cared here – some hint that I could create financial and material freedom for myself – instead, I have this. The suggestion that I need to stop beating around the bush, say what I want, and expect people to follow through, rather than doing the thing I tend to do – whether we’re talking romance or employment or anything else – where I shrink back and ask for less than I want in the hopes of getting anything at all.
The freedom I can create for myself comes from using my words and not settling for less.
 
What kind of inspiration can I now embrace: Page of Earth
The Page of Earth is a sweet card. It’s a card about embracing curiosity and exploring new things. All of that “Stop second guessing your Yes” from New Moon? This relates to that. It’s a card that says “use your body to act on your dreams”. It says – in direct relation to the Seven of Earth, above – “Work with what you have, but have a little faith in yourself, and in others, in order to grow prosperous and draw to you what you need”.
In the context of where to find inspiration, it’s a little harder to read. But I think it’s suggesting that I can be inspired by what I do in the day-to-day, whether that’s working in my garden or my kitchen, or working at a job. That, if I approach all my day-to-day things with curiosity and an openness to new experiences, that I will be inspired by what I come across and what I try.
 
What next step can I take to create the change I want: Nine of Air
Ugh. Okay. The Nine of Air is kind of a crappy card to pull. Even at the best of times. So often, it’s a card about giving up, a card about grief.
The Next World tarot treats it as a call to “stop ignoring your pain” and to really sink into it and feel all those feelings, to embrace grief and rage and hysteria as power. Which they are. Rather like the Osho Zen deck that depicts the Nine of Air as “Sorrow” and alludes to the awareness that comes when you actually pay attention and recon the costs of what you’ve lost, this deck suggests that “this is the moment we are asked to ignore” by our bosses, among others. In this way, it relates to the Seven of Air (in this reading) and its reminder to “know and demand your worth”.
The Silicon Dawn treats the Nine of Air as… “seeing enemies everywhere” and suggests that maybe – as suggested by the Page of Earth – my Next Step is to “have a little faith” that not everybody is trying to screw me over.
The Wildwood tarot offers a very different take from both of these, framing the Nine of Air as “dedication” – possibly via the way that people who go hard for things tend to be really stressed out – and remind us of the need to approach the things we want with sincerity, self-discipline, and hard work. Like, even if you land that dream job, it’s still a job, and you still have to show up and do what you get paid to do.
No kidding.
Here’s hoping I get to take that step.
 
~*~
 
The two cards that fell – or rather slid – out of the Next World deck as I was shuffling for my Tarot Meditation cards were: The Five of Swords and the Seven of Wands. “Survival” and “Courage”, respectively.
According to Cristy C. Road, the Five of Swords “asks you to walk the path of respect and humanity […] to challenge stability to find safety”. More broadly, this is a card of self-interest, of prioritizing your own needs and wants over someone else’s convenience or complacency. Similarly, Ms Road describes the Seven of Wands as one who has what she needs to make her own magic, to nurture and wield her own power, and who needs to create a bubble where she can do that, despite the systems of power (political, social, or personal) that employ scare tactics, intimidation, and shame to discourage her and keep her small. It’s a card about holding fast to your boundaries and going after what you want.
Both of these cards relate so much to above reading’s reminder to “Know and demand your worth”.
I’ll try to hold onto that as I take steps, in the next two weeks, to nail down my goals.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Lots of walking. A little bit of yoga – every time I skip it for a day or two, I’m reminded of why I actually should do it every day. >.> – but, still. A little bit of yoga. And I did, in fact, make it out to Actual Dancing two weeks ago, which was great.
 
Attention: Watching the garden, and the variety of wildlife that lives in it – we have BUNNIES! Or at least bunny, which suggests there’s probably a mom somewhere in the vicinity. My squash is doing… okay, given its initial attack-by-squirrels (or possibly rabbits), and the annual herbs are edging towards big enough to start harvesting.
 
Gratitude: Thankful for reality checks. For flirty texts with my girlfriend and dates with my wife. For greens and radishes and rhubarb from the garden. For sunshine. For laundry money. For a plane ticket and a travel date lined up. For all the gay-gay-gay happening in cities where I’m not, that makes it feel like Pride is an entire season long. Ice cream and weather warm enough to enjoy it outdoors.
 
Inspiration: Reading Trigger (Venus Selenite), Hild (Nicola Griffith), Ritual Sex (Tristan Taormino & David Aaron Clark), and Urban Tantra (Barbara Carrellas).
 
Creation: The tailoring on the leather jacket is… getting close to done. (I haven’t worked on it in almost a week, mind you).

Full Moon – Flower Moon Crests (and Wanes)

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

New Moon – Flower Moon Begins

White grape hyacinth blooming amid green crane's bill and last year's dry leaves

White grape hyacinth blooming amid green crane’s bill and last year’s dry leaves


 
The New Moon in Taurus brought summer weather with it. Hot sun on bare skin. Magnolias opening, but a week later, it’s cold again. Drizzly. Closer to five degrees than ten. The cold-weather crops (“crops”) that I sowed a week ago are sprouting and probably loving this weather. I have chickpeas (slooooowly) sprouting in a jar on the counter, but I’m huddled over my computer as I write this, looking out at the grey day and its Scotch Mist weather.
 
I have a Pinterest board where I put pictures that make me think “glamourous”. There are a vast number of women with horns among those images. Last night a memory tugged at my mind and I put “horn dance” into the search bar, and what I found was the oldest dance in England.
So now I’m thinking about how the Horn Dance – the one done in Abbots Bromley (Northern England, about 300km south of my families historical territories in Scotland) which is a solid thousand years old at this point – happens during the same time as the actual deer are rutting in the Fall (the few weeks on either side of Autumn Equinox, roughly), and how the dance is connected to the fertility of the fields. I’m thinking of Root Time and Leaf Time, the stag king and the wolf king – and since when do I think of “kings” at all, but here we are – and how they trade places at Samhain and Beltane, at first planting and last harvest.
I’m thinking about land-waking rights and how modern, city people (AKA: people like me) tend to think of “land waking” as a thing that happens in the Spring (AKA: right now) because the perennials are coming up again, the trees are leafing out, the geese are back and the robins are singing, and there are baby squirrels tearing about all over the place. I’m thinking about how Beltane is our sex holiday, but that – from a purely conception-related stand-point[1], so do what you wanna with that one – it kind of makes sense to have something similar in the Autumn, right around when you’d be planting new apple trees (or shallots and garlic, or larkspur and scilla for that matter) and feeding them up for the long sleep to come when they’ll get their roots in good and strong before their waking in Spring.
I’m thinking about Harvest – midway between Mabon and Samhain – and how much magic and ritual happens in that fucking dungeon. I’m thinking about the horned beast that lives in me, that came out to dance during one of those rituals, how the red thread of connection from that ritual is woven into the fetish shawl that I pin together with antler tips.
 
I’m thinking all this while my altar candles burn down and I huddle in my (recently washed – I’ve spent the past two days doing laundry) fuzzy bathrobe trying to stay warm, having turned the heat off in the house at the New Moon.
I have bread to make today (yeast bread, rather than sourdough, though I’ll be feeding my starter again), dishes to do, a lot of mending to work on – fixing a couple of sweaters, finishing a project that exists somewhere between a skater skirt and a cotton slip, seeing how many zippers I have lying around and whether or not I can put one in the side of a midi-length crinkle cotton skirt, or if I even need to do so (I might be able to do buttons and loops or something at the waist-band instead…) It’s a day for hot tea and having the oven on, for hiding out under a heap of cloth and keeping cozy.
 
Next World Tarot - PAST Three of Swords, Reversed - PRESENT Magician, Uprights - FUTURE Knight of Cups, Upright

Next World Tarot – PAST Three of Swords, Reversed – PRESENT Magician, Uprights – FUTURE Knight of Cups, Upright


 
For the New Moon in Taurus, I pulled three cards from Cristy C Road’s Next World Tarot. And then I wrote poetry about them, as one does. The short version is:
A past of heartache and a future of open-heartedness and, right now, a moment of change, of leveling up, of “from this moment onward, you have agency”. A claiming of my power and my potential.
A work in progress, obviously – I mean, it’s never “one and done”, right? But, if I’m reading this right, then I’m on the right track and should keep doing what I’m doing, and changing what I’m changing.
Fingers crossed!
 
~*~
 
Movement: Walking. Moon salutations. Went to the park and attempted to do pull-ups (and failed, utterly, but that’ll get better with time and practice).
 
Attention: Watching the weather. Watching the calendar (my girlfriend will be here in a week). Paying attention to my hips and lower back and how and when they ache and what helps. Watching the leaves come out and the flowers in the front yard start blooming (just barely) and the rhubarb start to get big and the lovage, for whether or not it’s taking its transplant well (seems to be).
 
Gratitude: It being warm enough (technically) to turn the heat off. Good relationships with my metamours. Fresh greens from the garden (dandelion, sorrel, crow garlic, nettles, lovage). Cucurbit seedlings from friends. A cupboard full of fabric and yarn for me to make things with. A fridge full of food. Hangouts with My People. A new bag of (parafin…) candles for the altar. Yoga poses that consistently open my hips and de-kink my lower back. My wife’s compersion. My girlfriend’s impending visit(!!!).
 
Inspiration: The garden. Household maintenance tasks (believe it or not). My romantic relationships. Queer communities and subcultures. Thousand-year-old dances. The Next World tarot deck. My hopes for the future.
 
Creation: I’ve written six poems in the past week, and have another one (barely) started, with notes for topics to explore in a bunch more, so Go Me.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] A kiddo conceived around Mabon would be born right around Midsummer which, in these parts, is just about when the food gets really plentiful, and just a little bit before the real heat sets in and makes being heavily pregnant utter hell.