- Eat From the Larder Challenge 2019 – Weeks Three and Four (After the Fact) + Some Goals
- New Moon – Flower Moon Begins
- New Year New You 2019: Week Fifteen – In Which We Are Grinding Along
- Full Moon – Leaf Moon Crests
- Eat From the Larder Challenge 2019 – Weeks One &Two (Includes: Pear Velvet Pie Recipe)
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Category Archives: Wheel of the Year
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, 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.
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.
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.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 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.
I admit, I might be jumping the gun a little bit on “leaf” for a name of this lunar cycle, as the trees are very much still bare. BUT the earliest crocus and scilla are starting to poke their green sprouts above the soil and the grey-brown creeping charlie in my back yard is starting to re-green, so I’m going with it.
The compost was turned for the first time this year (by my wife) last weekend. The snow is disappearing at a rate that seems both rapid and sedate (meaning: the streets were never a disgusting slurry of melt-water and accumulated dog shit, thank you literally all the gods). The freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw of night and day, since Spring Equinox, has – I hope – been good for the maple syrup folks but, either way, it’s sap time – the once-a-year heartbeat of the world (systolic-diastolic, hemisphere to hemisphere, north-south, north-south).
My wife asked me, yesterday, if I keep a garden journal and, yeah, I do. It’s this. So many things have been added to my lunar cycles posts since I started writing them in… 2011, I think? But they were initially a way to keep track of what the weather was doing and get a feel for what the seasons feel like in my bio-region. One more way of “getting to know the neighbours”.
I shuffled my wildwood deck and asked my Ladies of Earth and All Green Things how they were doing and if they had anything to say. The card that came up – and I do recognize that I have some say in this, which… I’m not sure how I feel about that right now – rather frequently was The Breath of Life.
Right now, the neighbours are waking up. A stretch. A yawn. A big breath in before the long out-breath of sprout and bloom and fruit and fall again.
Heh. I can’t help but smile a little at this, just because the folks who came up with the Wildwood deck in the first place think of Spring (Imbolg to Beltane, in their case, because they’re in Southern England) as the time of Arrows.
In my case, the waking up doesn’t happen until now and, like me, my Ladies may be stiff in the morning and need to thaw their joints out for a while. Still, I’m watching the back yard for the rhubarb, which should be sticking her head up above the soil, oh, probably right around Full Moon, if last year was anything to go by.
It’s early April. Which means I’m doing the eat from the larder challenge again – in my usual “milk and eggs are still fine” way – in an effort to clear out some freezer space and use up the vast quantities of jam and fruit butter I put up last year. So you can expect at least a few posts about fruit-butter Hippy Muffins and hummus seasoned with garlic, basil, and jam (no, really – just don’t use a LOT of jam). I’ve managed to successfully make two batches of tasty, structurally-sound sourdough bread which, while still in the realm of flukes and coincidence, bodes at least a little bit well for continuing in this vein.
Last full moon, I wrote about being on the hunt (again) for another anchor income. I’ve since had a few leads, and one “preliminary interview”, though we’ll see whether or not it comes to anything. Fingers crossed, because it would make a big difference to have that reliable cash coming in, even if there’d still be a fair bit of hustle going on, on top of it.
In poetry news: I spent last week at VERSeFest, getting inspired and scribbling drafts (hallelujah!), received a cheque in the mail for the publication of this poem, and – just this morning – signed the contributor contract for the pieces I wrote about here. It’s National Poetry Month, and I’m looking forward to writing many – probably mediocre, but drafting is still drafting – poems during the next few weeks.
I’m also looking forward to visiting some friends, just outside of town, this weekend, and am hoping to read, knit, and write some more poetry while I’m there.
Something I’ve recently started doing, which is relevant to the theme and scheduling of these posts, is Moon Salutations. It’s a series of yoga poses that focus primarily on (gentle) back-bends and hip-opener poses and, while I’m not scheduling them during my day to line up with moon rise, I am using them to take a couple of minutes in my day (usually morning) to both (a) help my lower back and hips unlock, and (b) spend some time intentionally thinking about and focusing my thoughts on my Lady of the Moon.
I figure I’m doing a lot of stuff that focuses on my Lady of the Sun – because she handles stuff like courage, money, and (most relevantly, in this instance) sex – with added, somewhat coincidental (sorry) links to my Lady of the Earth just because of all the root chakra stuff I’m doing, and I thought it might be a good idea to reach out to someone I feel like I’ve been kind of neglecting… for ever. Not right of me, you know? I want to do more to reach out to her. This is one way for me to do that, so I’m doing it. ❤
Scorpio Mystique says:
New Moon occurs on Friday morning, take time to set New Moon Intentions that allow you to embody Aries energy — let yourself be seen, take the lead, and be more self-confident. Where would you be six months from now if you had no fear?
…and suggests thinking about it specifically and making a concrete plan to get there.
She says “You’re the Phoenix, baby. You can go through hell and back, and still you rise, from your very own ashes, soaring higher than ever before”.
So. Where would I be in six months, if I had no fear?
Reading at the local launch of Hustling Verse. Launching my chapbook of lunar poetry through a local qaf small press. Possibly prepping to facilitate a panel discussion on sacred kink, deep play, and ordeal work? (Yeah, that one feels a lot more precarious).
What would I be? More economically stable. Physically stronger and more limber. More sexually curious, joyful, and confident.
The card I drew – by splitting the deck at random and seeing what was there – for today’s (this waxing moon’s) tarot meditation is the Knight of Earth. A card of slow and steady progress, of responsibility, and of getting one’s house in order – literally and figuratively. Maybe because it’s tax season, maybe because I’ve got a lot of personal projects on the go, maybe because the earth herself is slowly but surely waking up, maybe because Yes, Aries Season, but I know myself enough to know that slow, steady, consistent steps get me where I need to go more reliably than a flat-out sprint ever has… maybe for a lot of reasons: this card seems particularly apt today.
If I were to set an intention, with this card in mind, for this waxing Aries moon?
It would be to bloom like spring. Slowly and steadily, but surely. Inexorably, moving towards creation, vitality, sensuality, and abundance.
I invite the firy energy and passionate verve of Aries to light me up and fuel me for the long haul ahead
I invite the steady, determined energy of the Knight of Earth to walk me through these small, cumulative acts of transformation.
I invite myself to open and open, to let my deep red umbilical roots explore their way deeper in to the earth and draw up the strength, stability, and nourishment I need, to breathe in the breath of life and feed my own warm fires of creativity, connection, and courage, to lift myself from a steady base and rise.
Movement: Moon salutations and other yoga, very close to daily (almost but not quite). A number of modeling gigs that were heavy on short poses (meaning more emphasis on strength and flexibility rather than endurance, in terms of what my body needs in order to be able to do them). Long walks to and from work. I skipped the ecstatic dance party last night (I have been more physically worn out lately than I’ve been in, I think, a while… don’t know why), BUT there’s another one coming up just before the full moon which, health & body stuff permitting, I’ll get out to. A little bit of dancing to F+tM and Kesha in my hallway, which does my back and hips and heart lots of good.
Attention: Watching the green come back. Keeping an eye out for rhubarb shoots and impending magnolia blossoms. On a more inward-focused note, doing root chakra exercises that have a lot to do with mindful/attentive/intentional/focused breath and muscle relaxation. Holding my Lady in my mind’s eye when I do my Moon Salutations. Attending to my sourdough starter in a way that is slightly less lackadaisical than it has been in the past. Watching the birds and other critters in the back yard as they wake up, come back, or just hunt around for nesting materials now that the snow is going away.
Gratitude: SPRING! Temperatures above freezing! The greening of the world! Birds making nests! A turned compost heap! Sunshine that actually feels warm! A great conversation with my girlfriend! An impromptu fancy meal with my wife and her girlfriend last night! My food processor and yoghurt-enabled instant pot! The friend who gives me a friends-and-family deal on her family’s sugar-bush goodies! Paid poetry publications! A donated replacement recycling bin from a friend up the street! Someone buying me two books of poetry as a thank you for a reading I did half a decade ago! Making out with my wife! Amazing poetry shows! Flirting with my girlfriend via text! A pretty amazing present from a metamour! Hanging out with other poets! Job opportunities that actually fit with what I want to do! Successful sourdough bread! Parties and hangouts with friends! …It’s been an astonishingly awesome couple of weeks, kittens. ❤
Inspiration: TBH, actually the contents of my freezer and cupboards. It’s nice to be meal-planning again, even if it’s not a hard-and-fast plan. Also: Talking about ritual and kink with a friend over twitter, because that’s always awesome and inspiring.
Creation: I have written some poems! I have plans (to be enacted this afternoon) to write some more! Woohoo!
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 “That would have to be important. How fast did a forest’s heart beat? Once a year, maybe. Yes, that sounded about right. Out there the forest was waiting for the brighter sun and longer days that would pump a million gallons of sap several hundred feet into the sky in one great systolic thump too big and loud to be heard.”
― Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters.
 The phsyio I do for my back effectively boils down to doing Plank on a frequent and regular basis, but some of the other exercises are meant to strengthen the muscles around my lumbar spine and yoga poses like Bow, Warrior 1, and Crescent Moon make a start at that as well. Between that and the hip-flexor stuff that goes on in the same poses, I find they’re helping – though I need to be careful with stuff like Bridge and Plow (good ones for Root Chakra work, and core strength, but also prone to exacerbating my back pain) – to loosen me up in the mornings and make it easier for me to both walk upright, and to sit at a computer for long periods of time. Woot!
The full moon, and the Spring equinox, are due to arrive tomorrow.
It’s the time of year for Spring Cleaning – which in my case means going through the closets and weeding out the stuff I’ve avoided wearing all winter, tackling The Mending, and trying to sort through All The Objects currently hiding out in our spare bedroom in the name of getting rid of some of them and making a bit more space in there.
At new moon, I mentioned feeling like “I’m constantly starting over, picking up the dropped threads, trying to find a way forward where I get to take care of myself, long-term, and get to have the freedom I want”. I was talking about employment. As I type this, I’ve got multiple tabs open to want-ads for part-time and casual office work, with an eye (again) to finding an anchor income. But there’s a heap of unwashed dishes downstairs, and a heap of mending beside me, and I haven’t written a poem in two weeks.
It’s like every week is the same cycle. Focus on finding and doing paid work, and everything else falls apart. Focus on creative work and personal growth? My finances get (even more) precarious and there’s dishes up to the ceiling. Focus on taking care of the house, and then chew my nails down to the nubs wondering if I’ll make the rent and, if all I’m going to do is cleaning and mending, can I really call myself A Writer and justify not having a full-time day job? Heck, can I say I’m living by my values if I’m buying heavily packaged prepared food to save on time, or buying not-so-ethical eggs and milk to save on money? And I’m like “And you want to focus on your sexual freedom??”
But, yeah, actually. I do.
I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with any of this. Not in the sense of going hard for the long haul. I know myself just enough to know that, yeah, I have to make myself keep moving, but also I’m more likely to keep it up past the first week (or month – Hi, Nanowrimo) if I treat any given thing as a marathon of consistent baby-steps rather than a sprint that just never ends.
None the less, I want this. I want to be a sex-bomb with flexible hips and a lot of tools in my toolbox for staying present in the moment. I want to be able to make erotic connections with my lovers and sweeties, and not have them be chucked off the rails due to my feeeeelings. I want my body to feel good enough, be strong enough, that I can be attentive to what feels pleasurable instead of worrying about warning signs of pain.
My wife says that I do “cognitive behavioural witchcraft” and… she’s not wrong. All that magic. All that rose quartz and thyme and breath work. All of it water. All of it easing new pathways through the stone.
So. Here I am. It’s about to be officially Spring. Aries Season, with its go-go-go focus on action is coming right along with it. It’s far too early to be planting things here (unless you’re one to start seeds indoors, granted), but the questions remain:
Just as the days gain length, slowly but surely, how and where can I make steady gains of my own?
What needs to thaw and flow? What needs to be contained and channeled? What needs to flood freely?
What do I need to do to prepare the soil for what I want to grow?
Tarot Card Meditation: The three cards along the top are my jumpers. The “Maiden of Fools” (the Silicon Dawn deck has, like, five Fool cards, plus Aleph November, the Fool Who Flies) jumped out first, as I was shuffling. Followed by the Princess of Earth and The Lovers (together) when I flipped over a section to find my hypothetical meditation card – which was the Five of Air. In this case, I’m reading the 5 of Air as almost an advisor card to the spread of cards that jumped out of the deck.
The five of swords is a card about conflict and zero-sum situations (if I win, someone else has to lose), but it’s also a card about thinking of your own needs and concentrating on yourself. Given that I was specifically asking about “Courage, curiosity, joy, and abundance: What do I need to know and focus on around this stuff?”, I’m inclined to lean towards the latter, though as an advisor – as a “be mindful of this” – card, it could go either way.
My jumper cards made me smile. If I read them as a time-spread (past, present, future), they bode well. Although part of me is looking at them and wondering “Okay, did my gods just answer with: Okay! Here are cards pertaining to courage, curiosity, joy,, and abundance!” Because it’s kind of looking like they did? (I’ll make it work).
The Maiden of Fools is all newness. The point I was at when I only had “yes” vs “no”. A point that I will happily be leaving in the past, provided I don’t fall back into it again. More broadly, the Fool(s) speak to spontaneity, freedom, new beginnings, and trust. This card says “start something new” and “begin and adventure”. It says “let go of expectations” and “step into the unknown”. It says “trust the flow” and “let go of your fear“. It says “live in joy” and “trust your heart’s desire”.
The Princess of Earth is literally a card about exploration and curiosity. It’s a card about trust and about getting comfortable with the unknown. It’s a card that says “grow and expand”, “seek abundance”, “enrich yourself”, and “draw to you what you need”. It also says “act on your dreams”, “make your plans real” and “achieve tangible results”. It says “experience nature”, and – possibly most relevant of all – “use your body”.
The Lovers – one of the reasons I love this deck is because The Lovers here are explicitly skipping out on duality. This card says “transcend the yes/no dichotomy”: a nice nod to what I want to let go of in my Fool card. It’s a card that says “question what you’ve been taught”. But it’s so much a card of seeking and making connections, of experiencing and acting on desire, of being true to yourself, recognizing who and what you value, and devoting your time, energy, and attention to both who and what you care about.
Movement: Walking, squats, and the beginnings of something like sit-ups. (I dream of areal-hooping classes, but those will have to wait until the day I have a spare $300 just lying around. So, until then, I can do stuff that will make aerial hooping easier on, and more possible for, my actual body).
Attention: Watching the ice melt and freeze and melt. Watching the days get longer (hurrah!) and the temperature get a little more reasonable just about every day. Keeping an eye on the job boards. Listening to what my body’s enjoying.
Gratitude: Thankful for unexpected modeling gigs. For a poetry acceptance from a paid market. For date nights with my wife ft good cheese, cheap wine, and duck sausage. For library books. For selkie poems. For video-chat dates with my girlfriend. For cocoa butter massage bars. For do-it-at-home yoga videos. For clear, mostly-dry sidewalks and sunshine.
Inspiration: Longer days. Perfume. Floor work. Pigeon-blood rubies and other red things. The smell of roses.
Creation: Not a lot, tbh. (See above, re: I haven’t written a poem in two weeks). I’m sorting through poetry to send out on submission (and have a recent publication), but that’s not the same as making something new.
“Slush Moon”? So appetizing, right? I know. But it’s that time of year. The temperature is going to be zig-zagging back and forth across the frozen line for the next few weeks, melting the winter’s vast store of snow during the day and then freezing the run-off into ice over night.
I am deeply, deeply not looking forward to this, but I’m also seriously hoping for a slow melt-season, because this much snow turning to water all at once would spell flooded basements for just about everyone I know who has one.
So here we are.
Two weeks ago, I put away the Solstice decorations. Two weeks from now, it’ll be Spring Equinox. I’ve spent this past week essentially going to ‘Sexuality School” online and miraculously staying somewhat on top of my ten-minutes-a-day of exercise stuff, albeit by the skin of my teeth.
Ms Sugar wrote something the other day, and I find I’m relating to it a little. I’ll be forty before the year is out, and I feel like I’m “running out of time” to make changes that’ll stick. Some of those changes are the sex-related stuff I’ve been talking about over on Syrens. Some of them are more basic. Eat more vegetables. Become a better gardener. Stave off arthritis and help my body get stronger. Figure out how to parlay this university-funded casual-hours contract into a sustainable, long-term, but still casual-hours, income stream.
I feel like I’m constantly starting over, picking up the dropped threads, trying to find a way forward where I get to take care of myself, long-term, and get to have the freedom I want when it comes to how I spend my time, energy, and attention.
I chose this card for my tarot meditation.
Maybe it’s an odd one to choose, or maybe I’m pulling it because I know I’ve got a little ritual planned for later today – one that I’m nervous about, but one that I hope has some effect – and I want as much help as I can get.
The High Priestess – The Seer, The Inner Voice – is the conduit between the word-using mind and the deep ocean space of everything else in you. The connection between conscious and unconscious. The union of opposites.
As I try to get back into doing regular glamour work again (again, again… even as I type this while wearing a fuzzy bathrobe and flip-flops), as I keep trying to put myself back together again, I think it’s relevant to think of the High Priestess, how she can be in and of two (or more) worlds at once while keeping everything connected.
Movement: Some yoga. A couple of long walks (commuting, basically). Some weights-work. Some dancing.
Attention: Root chakra stuff. Where I am, and am not, holding muscle tension. What feels good. What makes me nervous.
Gratitude: Afternoons spend with pals. Time for long baths. A new Toby Daye book to devour. Sunny days, even if they’re cold. Unearthed summer veggies filling my freezer. A writing date planned for the end of the week. Kisses from my wife. Catching-up chats with my girlfriend.
Inspiration: A lot of what I’ve been reading in Come As You Are and Ecstasy is Necessary and a lot of what I’ve been watching/hearing during the Explore More Summit.
Creation: A lot of personal essays. One ritual (that’s, admitted, still kind of being done on the fly). Plans to start turning all of the above-mentioned inspiration into poems (or at least drafts of poems) later this week.
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 I have some leads on this one, at least.
Pisces season just started. The full moon shifts from Leo to Virgo tonight. I’ve been chewing on (not literally) the cards I drew at the new moon – the idea that I have a million options, if I just re-write the stories that I’m telling myself.
I’ve been reading Come As You Are to remind myself of how to build some detours around my worst ones, thinking of things I can do, ritually speaking, to help get unblocked. (I’m being kind of vague here, but I’m talking about sex-and-relationships stuff). It’s embarrassing how much of it is just how much of it is “What would reduce the stress in your life? Make that change”.
It’s singing the same tune as Liz Worth’s astrological advice, asking “What needs to get done today?” with an explicit eye to practical/physical things like “do the dishes” or “run errands”.
Today, I cleaned the stove, washed the pots and pans that had been languishing by the sink, and swept the floor.
Things that I should have covered every single day, but rarely do.
I put away the Solstice decorations (finally – only 2 weeks later than planned).
I danced around the kitchen to a pop album (Fifth Harmony – yes, really) and did literal stair-climbing for all of five minutes. Which I realize isn’t “real cardio” but it’s more than I’d be doing otherwise, so I’m calling it a win.
A couple of things to make my house a nicer place to be hiding out inside of (because I so don’t want to go outside in winter, I just don’t) and a few things to make sure I’m moving my body in spite of that.
Tonight I’ll burn the last of the candle I lit on the 16th (my Dad’s death day – it’s been 19 years).
I used a Random Card Generator to pull three cards:
PAST: Feeling like an outsider. Scarcity thinking.
PRESENT: Overwhelm. Wishful thinking.
FUTURE: Intuition. Trust. Potential.
Well… One can only hope.
I know I’d like to leave my scarcity-thinking in the past, and that I’m feeling a certain amount of overwhelm these days (like, for the past couple of days, I’ve actually caught myself avoiding getting out of bed because I don’t want to go downstairs where it’s “noisy”).
Maybe I can leave a little bit more of my scarcity-thinking and overwhelm behind as this moon wains down again, and fill up that empty space with a little more trust in myself and in The Process.
Movement: I have actually been doing some! A little bit of weights or stairs or yoga (or all three, sometimes with added vocal warm-ups). That an a LOT of snow-shoveling. I’m a mix of embarrassed and concerned with how quickly I get out of breath when I’m doing something even slightly strenuous (like walking up hill). Ten minutes a day of barely-more-than-basic physical activity isn’t going to fix that. But it’ll get things to be better than they are now, which is something.
Attention: Have been looking into what stresses me out about my life (a number of things, some of-which I don’t have control over) and which of those things I can do something about. Looking, also, for cheep/free lit/music events in the neighbourhood that I can take myself out to.
Gratitude: I’m thankful for a long weekend had mostly to myself. Dates (plural!) with my girlfriend. My wife coming home from her girlfriend’s cottage so full of happiness (and knowing what she needs to do to give herself that happiness more often). Grapefruit all the way from Florida. Novels to re-read. Discount chocolate. A tea date with a friend set up for right around the next new moon. Ancestors I can talk to. Impending cuddles with said recently-returned wife. Grateful for people who love me. ❤
Inspiration: Come As You Are and the information there-in. Asking my girlfriend about some of her past ritual work. That big, gorgeous, super moon. Clear, bright days and puddles of sunshine that are warm through the window. Candle lit baths with colourful, heavily-scented bath bombs (the scent doesn’t cling to my skin, which is handy for leaving-the-house purposes). My friend/client’s first solo show about how life experiences (aging, trauma, dance/sport training, chronic illness/pain, pregnancy, and all sorts of other stuff) effect the body, and about bearing witness to those realities.
Creation: I have NOT been making a lot of things. Have spent most of my down time, these past two weeks, curled up in a blanket nest, drinking hot tea, and reading a bunch of books. Which is fantastic, but not particularly creative. Currently drawing up some prompts for a possible blog/brain project, so we’ll see what I come up with, essay-wise.
I got back from my Imbolg visit to my girlfriend’s place earlier this week, but have been holding off doing the write-up for the New Moon / Cross-Quarter Day until I had some free time and recovered energy to do so.
In my neck of the woods – which is undergoing its annual Winterlude Thaw right now – Imbolg means that the light is noticeably coming back. There’s still a LOT of winter yet to go in a place where even the earliest flowers don’t turn up until well after the Spring Equinox. It’s a time to focus on the hearth and the forge, on what you can create – with your hands, with your head and heart – and on the seeds (literal and metaphorical) that you know won’t even be sprouting for another few months. Imbolg is the half-way point of Winter. We made it through the worst of the cold. Now we get through the lean times (much, muuuuuuch easier to do with two freezers and grocery stores available, I do realize). Mending and tending. A slow germination, leaning towards May, towards heat and light and the quickening earth.
But. I didn’t spend Imbolg in my neck of the woods.
I spent it, and the New Moon in Aquarius, in a different town (and a different country) entirely, in a climate that’s hypothetically much warmer than my own, but which was enduring unusually cold temperatures when I arrived from The Frozen North. And I spent it dealing with water a whole lot more than this fire festival would normally entail.
As you can see in the photo (and the caption) above, There Was A Flood. A burst pipe, low in the wall, that had to be shut off from the street by the local water authorities. There was a lot of baling; a lot of wringing out of sodden towels, outdoors in -13C temperatures, a lot of coming up with DIY solutions while my person and her housemates and I waited for the Landlord to show up with an actual plumber to fix the break, and wondering how many candles we’d actually be lighting once the sun went down given that the burst pipe was a little too close to an electrical outlet to safely keep the power (meaning the heat, and the lights, and the stove) running.
It all worked out in the end, of course, and mercifully quickly, but it was An Adventure.
And now my young lady and I have A Story to tell.
We were joking that we were “officially a couple now”, because we’d been through a crisis together.
It was a good visit, my dears. For so many reasons.
Now that I’m home, it’s time to do the cleaning that tends to come with Imbolg, the start-fresh moments that come with every New Moon. Time to pack up the Solstice decorations, change out the spruce wreath for the one that’s all grape vines, ribbons, and cinnamon. Time to vacuum the burlap-and-foam under padding for the imminant return of the Magic Carpet my wife (after joking about it literally since our first service-versary, AGES ago – we’re at nine years in a service dynamic as of this Sunday) has had professionally cleaned through one of her jobs. Time to shovel the back walkway (again), clean out the fridge, and take out a lot of compost.
Liz Worth talks about the New Moon in Aquarius being one that can help us break free of old patterns. She says:
What we are hoping for is there for a reason, and that our desires are arrows helping us to see the way.
Where are your desires, pleasures, longings directing you?
Steve Kenson, in his essay “The Queer Journey of the Wheel” (in Harrington’ and Kulystin’s Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries) refers to Imbolg as a time of Naming, of putting words around What Is, if only to yourself. A time of recognition and understanding. He’s talking explicitly about one’s self-recognition of being queer/trans/both, but I think it can go beyond that. We’re still in Root Time, contemplation time. What needs recognizing right now?
Imbolg is Brigid’s day. A good time for poetry (it’s ALWAYS a good time for poetry, but stick with me). Brigid is a wordsmith as well as a blacksmith. What are you trying to put words around right now?
For my tarot card meditaiton during this waxing moon, I drew two cards.
First, I flipped the deck over to find the Six of Swords.
Then I shuffled and split the deck to find She Is Legend.
The six of swords is a card about change. Changing states. Changing locations. Sometimes it’s literally about going on a physical trip somewhere else – something that can be much needed as we slog through the cold, damp, grey, endless days of what author Amelinda Berube eloquently refers to as “the armpit of the year” (and that slog, itself, is an aspect of this card). But the swords are cards about intellect, about the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of the world and our respective places in it, and this card frequently puts me in mind of The Hermit – a reminder to make some inner changes, create some new neural pathways in order to enter a new frame of mind and deal with the effects of trauma. (I mean, don’t get me wrong. This takes FOR EVAR and is an absolutely cyclic, non-linear mess of an undertaking. But it’s a necessary one and it can be accomplished, little by little, provided you actually put some effort into getting the work actually done).
She Is Legend is one of the Silicon Dawn’s “bonus cards”. It’s a joyful, big-hearted, queer-as-fuck, indicator of having a million options, of infinite potential and fractal possibilities, of love never being a zero-sum game. This is a reminder that I don’t have to pretend to be need-less. That I don’t need to preemptively put myself onto anyone else’s back-burner. This more-experienced-than-they-look character is a reminder to remember the time when my skin knew what it wanted, and that naivete never saved me, but that the arrows of my own desire can.
Movement: A fair amount of dancing around the kitchen, singing along to tunes. (That said, I’ve been avoiding walking to work lately, because the ground is very icy and – even with crampons on – I have some concerns about falling). Doing some exercises to help my back (this means Plank more than anything else) and shoulders. Did my ten minutes (roughly – based on counting out minutes the way I do when I’m doing short poses) of weights and cardio (for a given value of “cardio” that means “walking up and down the stairs a lot”) and yoga things, and am honestly rather embarrassed about just how out of breath I am having done so. But I did them (and found myself wanting to do vocal warm-ups, at the same time, which was a nice bonus). So go me.
Attention: Keeping an eye out for submission calls and deadlines. Also keeping an eye out for icy patches when I’m walking.
Gratitude: Thankful for affordable (it’s relative) plane tickets, flexible work schedules, being able to see my girlfriend in person(!!!), for easy-free communication so that we can stay in touch without drowning in long distance bills, grateful for her patience and her kindness and her enthusiasm. Grateful for meeting my new metamours, and my GF’s Best People, and really liking them. Grateful for easy, largely hassle-free border crossings in both directions (thank goodness!). Grateful for snuggles with my wife when I got home, and being able to tell her stories of my time away. Grateful for her skills and her steadfastness and her willingness to make me comfort food the night I got back. And for the bucket of compersion she’s so happy to marinate in. Grateful for how much my two sweeties like each other. There are other things, too. Gratitude for modeling work, for a repaired coat and boots, for discount bath products at the pharmacy, for an in-coming clean carpet. All sorts of good things. But right now – as is so often the case – I’m grateful for having so much love in my life. In this case, for being able to say “I love you” to two romantic partners, two s-types, who say it to me, too. My heart is very full right now, and it’s wonderful.
Inspiration: The Shondes’ “Everything Good”. Hot baths (because: me). Saint Carmen of the Main (Linda Gaboriau’s English translation). Poems Between Women (edited by Emma Donoghue).
Creation: Started learning how to make lace this past week, and it’s actually working. Have started (just barely) a not-for-the-project glosa based on Elsa Gidlow’s poem, “Relenquishment”. May possibly have invented (ish?) a cocktail, though I’ll need to actually try it out, despite having zero of the ingredients. >.>
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 There’s been a rise in temperatures during most of February for a solid 100 years. It’s why they scheduled a festival of explicitly outdoor “winter fun” at this time. But a hundred years ago those temperature climbs still meant it was below Freezing. Just think, like, -7C rather than -30C. Instead of what it’s doing now, which is flip flopping between -18C and +5C without a lot of transition time, thus turning the whole city into a sheet of ice with intermittent flooding.
I gave my wife a book on backyard astronomy for Solstice. You can imagine that she’s slightly disappointed at the 36+ hours of steady snowfall (and -35C with-wind-chill temperatures) that we’re currently in the middle of, uh, “enjoying”, given that tonight is the night of the Super Blood Wolf Moon lunar eclipse.
Sounds fancy, right? The “blood” part of Blood Moon is about how the edge of Earth’s shadow makes the moon look rust-red. The “super” parts happens because the moon is at (or close to) its perigee – the point in its orbit that brings it closest to the earth. Astrologically speaking, the moon being both full and at perigee means that its influence is going to be that much stronger. Astronomically speaking, it means that the moon is going to look that much huger on the horizon due to being that little bit closer to the planet. The “wolf” part just means it’s happening in January. (I don’t know why, but hey, that’s why I call this one Cold Moon instead of naming it after an animal whose habits I know very close to nothing about).
Lisa Stardust, over at Hoodwitch, says that Scorpios (meaning me, among others) need to pay attention to root chakra stuff right now. The root chakra – located at the perineum – pertains to stuff like security, safety, survival, grounding & being in your body, and pretty-much everything under the “Basics” section at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If your root chakra is kind of messed up, it can show up as being ruled by either fear or greed (or, y’know, both).
I’m over here going, basically, “No kidding”, since I’m waiting for a cheque to come in and hoping that I’ll be able to pay the rent on time this coming month. >.>
Over at Elite Daily, Valerie Mesa is telling me that this particular eclipse is all about listening to, and celebrating, your soul’s truth. She says:
Where were you on Aug. 21, 2016? (If you can’t remember, take a moment to browse through your social media, and if not, no worries. Eclipse effects usually occur up to six months before, and after.) Secondly, how have you been sharing your unique gifts and creativity with the rest of the world throughout these two and a half years? The reason I ask is because this total lunar eclipse, aka Wolf Moon, is your grand finale.
Whelp. Part of why I do these new/full moon posts is so that I have both some kind of a micro-bioregional almanac and some kind of a record of my (attempts at) personal magico-spiritual & psychological development. So I looked it up. In late August, I had just started my life-coaching sessions, was (a) still reeling from a painful breakup that had happened about six months earlier, (b) looking into sacral (2nd) chakra care as part of my then-ongoing Queen of Cups project AND (c) I was starting to understand the the Queen of Swords is a card about boundaries and hard lessons rather than one about – as I had previously understood – being a Huge Disappointment to the people around you. I was, in short, trying to get the hang of boundaries and interpersonal connection, and to stop feeling so awful about my sexual desires.
Where am I now? Well… I’d say I’m definitely doing better. Better boundaries. Actively stopping myself from chasing after people who will be bad for me (and noticing that earlier). Taking romantic chances on people who have already got a track record of showing up for me and whose interests and desires actually dovetail with mine in significant ways. Backing off with better grace and a (marginally) shorter recovery time when people say they’re not interested in what I’ve suggested we could get up to. Feeling better showing sexual interest in people and negotiating the kinds of sexual relationships I have. Understanding what my anxiety feels like. Recognizing when I’m getting capital-A Anxious and/or when I’m dissociating/leaving-my-body, and mitigating that stuff with more success.
I don’t know that this is any kind of a “grand finale”. I certainly hope not. But there has been a solid evolution in terms of personal growth and interpersonal connections, so I’m calling it a win. Job well done, Me.
Considering the above chatter about calling my personal growth a win? I’d say this card (which I got by shuffling until something jumped out of the deck) is pretty apt. Thanks, deck! 😀
This is totally a card of “Ride that tiger!” Of “Go you!” and “Keep doing what you’re doing!”
Which is a nice message to get in the days leading up to things like impending, romance-related travel. (The next New Moon happens the day before I fly back home, so I’m going to try to remember “Keep doing what you’re doing” as I get ready to cross an international border, meet my new metamours, travel without my wife for the first time in years (ha, since 2016, actually), and see my new girlfriend in person for the first time since we officially started dating).
Movement: Mostly just walking, and dressing for the weather. I have definitely NOT being doing ten minutes of yoga/weights per day. Not even close. >.> Woops.
Attention: Paying attention to things like the rat tracks in the back yard (they still live under the neighbour’s shed, but… I have Concerns), the weather (I have an early morning tomorrow, and the amount of snow we’ve got is suggesting I should head out the door a solid 20 minutes earlier than I hypothetically need to… Yeeg…), and the mail box (has my next paycheque arrived yet, or not?) Not great things to be directing my attention towards, per se, but relevant none the less.
Gratitude: Grateful, in particular, for a metamour who was able to defend my computer from malware and get it working again. Also grateful for a wife who adores me, and a girlfriend who’s excited to see me in person soon. Grateful for a Productivity Date with a writer friend and for a number of social get-togethers with friends (impending and recent, planned and impromptu). Grateful for partners who like it when I read to them. Grateful for a poem finally arriving after several hours of essentially doing “morning pages” in the afternoon.
Inspiration: Astronomy. Bisexuality. Lipstick. Compost. NRE. (You know, the usual).
Creation: I finally wrote a fucking poem! AND I applied to present selections from my Femme Glosa Project at a women-and-non-binary-people arts festival happening in town, this August. I won’t know if I’m in (or not – but fingers crossed) for another few months, but I threw my hat in the ring, so there’s that!
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 Like “White Culture has a Root Chakra Problem” is such a meme waiting to happen, not the least of why being that I – a white lady – have happily just absconded with the word “chakra” (Sanskrit) and the concept of “Muladhara” (from Hinduism) to point out that Western Culture’s heavy hook on both fear (mongering) and greed (and the environmental degradation and shitty labour rights that come with it) are probably all the same problem.