Tag Archives: divination

Summer Solstice 2018 – Elemental Tarot Spread

Happy Solstice All!
 

Left - Potato blossoms. Right - Buttercup squash blossoms.

Left – Potato blossoms.
Right – Buttercup squash blossoms.


 
My zucchini, cucumbers, and even buttercup squash are blooming! So are my tomatoes and snow peas and fava beans. So are my mustard and radishes, which means I need to regularly give them a haircut while I continue to harvest them as greens! (Don’t worry, I’m letting the radishes go to seed so they can continue to self-seed around the yard).
I set up my cucumber trellis the other day, and it hasn’t yet fallen over, so I’m counting that as a win.
Praying for LOTS of squash – cucumbers, buttercups, butternuts, and zucchini – this year. Prolific, fruitful plants and low-to-no squirrel/rodent/critter damage please. ❤
 
Summer Solstice – I did a "tell me about right now / where do I go from here" question using the Four Elements Spread from Little Red Tarot's Alternative Tarot Course and the Next World tarot deck, and here’s what I got:
 
Me Right Now: Arsenal (The Four of Pentacles)
Earth: The Fool
Water: The Team (Three of Pentacles)
Air: Temperance
Fire: The Empress

 
Me, Right Now – Where I’m at, what my situation is: Arsenal: I’ve long understood the 4 of Earth to be a card about tenuous shelter. Being afraid that nobody will have your back, being just barely able to make ends meet, having a roof over your head… for now. And part of me is feeling this. Like every summer, this is already a summer of hustling. Last year, I worked for part-time jobs at the same time. This year I’m technically working three, although one of them really only amounts to an hour/week, so I’m not sure it counts. I checked my bank balance earlier today, and it looks like I’ll have the rent in the bank before the month turns over (Hurrah! And also Thank You Gods and Ancestors and also the receptionist who frequently takes time off AND the various artists who hire me frequently because they know modeling is my main income source. Every bit helps!) AND, based on gigs already booked for July, I’ll be able to make August’s rent as well. And knowing that, fairly confidently, in advance is a BIG fucking deal.
So seeing this card as my “Me, right now” position is… not wrong.
But the Four of Earth is also Virginia Woolf’s “Room of One’s Own” to create in. It’s the home as sanctuary (both holy place and place of rest and safety) that Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha writes about so frequently. It’s a reminder of what I’m aiming for, of what makes me happiest.
 
Earth – The material, financial, bodily. Security and abundance (or it’s absense/unsteadiness): The Fool: When I drew this card, I laughed. The fool is someone who is going in a direction where they don’t know what the outcome is going to be. In the write-up for this deck specifically, Cristy C Road says that this particular Fool made the decision to walk away from the security of following the status quo, in favour of something riskier but truer to themself.
I look at this and go, “Okay, kind of?”
I told my wife that I was thinking I needed to find a one-year full time gig – just because it might be easier to find than the part-time permanent office work I’ve been looking for as an anchor income – and she got really quiet on the phone. She told me later that the thought of it make her really sad.
Because here we are, two self-employed people working in art/isan fields, trying to make a go of this. And we’re not quite making it yet. The instability of it is scary. The work is fulfilling and I’m good at it, and I don’t want to give it up.
The Fool is about taking risks, “following your bliss”, trusting the process, and doing the “foolish” thing that goes against conventional wisdom.
Okay. But, hoy, I hope it pays off in the end. O.O
 
Water – The artistic, emotive, spiritual stuff. The heart stuff. The feelings you have about your feelings: The Team: The three of Earth is a card about teamwork, but it’s also a card about making sure your work actually gets recognized. Seeing this card in the “Feelings” position is, like… It’s a combination of “Be aware that the stories you tell yourself about how your feelings (and wants, and needs) don’t matter and will never be prioritized are, y’know, bullshit. Saying what you want/need/feel is RISKY – or at least feels that way – but it’s necessary and you will be happier, by and large, if you actually do it” and “Pay attention to how much social and emtional maintenance/support work you’re doing in your various interpersonal relationships and don’t over-offer, or otherwise do all the work or (let yourself) get taking advantage of”.
 
Air – Mind, thinky thoughts, morality and values, decision-making stuff. Where’s your head at: Temperance: I mostly know this card as one about balance. But I find it interesting to see the Cristy writes her own interpretation of Temperance as being about both (a) self-care that comes with personal maturity and a willingness to listen to what’s needed, but also (b) self-forgiveness.
I think this is how I want to read this card in this position. Forgive myself my past mistakes. Forgive myself the wrongs I’ve done, or thought, and strive to keep making myself better every day. Forgive myself my failures and give myself permission to learn from them and to try again, and then again, and then again. Don’t let (don’t keep letting) my brain weasels and their stories get the better of me.
 
Fire – Drive, passion, Will, and where you’re putting your energy: The Empress: I was pretty happy to see The Empress in this position, because I am putting my energy there. But it’s also Midsummer, and I’m putting my energy into my garden as well as my art. I want to tie this card to the “where you are right now” of the Four of Pentacles, because the Empress asks: Are you treating Home Maintenance as a chore you have to slog through in order to Be A Grown Up, or are you treating it as a series of little rituals that make the everyday holy? I’m reading this as a call to (continue to) connect with sensuality, artistry, and embodied spirituality going forward. Because who doesn’t want that? 🙂
 
So there I have it. A weather report and some suggestions for where to aim next (or keep aiming – the FeelingsWitch over at Tiny Lantern Tarot says that healing works on its own timeline and tends to happen in spirals not straight lines, and… they aren’t wrong).
 
I’m off to wash dishes, tidy surfaces, and harvest rhubarb for Midsummer Pie.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

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New Moon – Berry Moon Begins

There are strawberries juuuuuuuust starting to ripen in my neighbour’s garden. There are service-berries juuuuuuuust starting to ripen on the trees around my neighbourhood.
There are no actual local berries (unless someone’s got super-early haskaps that I don’t know about) that are ripe just yet BUT by the time this moon waxes to full, there’s gonna be. So we’re calling this one berry moon.
I live in hope.
(Hahaaaaaa… I’ll get to that in a second).
 
So! The new moon’s in Gemini. Venus is (for the moment) in Leo. Summer Solstice is only a week away! We’ve been having thunder showers, muggy days, and kind of weirdly chilly evenings, this week.
I had a rotten day yesterday, and a good day the day before, and it’s been a reminder that accomplishing things makes me feel better about myself. Buying groceries and baking All The Things and harvesting the garden and doing a load of laundry makes me feel better about myself. Writing a poem makes me feel better about myself.
I have no idea how much of this is due to the whole capitalist notion that our value lies in what we produce or how much money we have, versus how much of this is due to the reality that moving around, tending things, and creating things, actually ARE good for me.
It’s probably a bit of both.
 
Beth, over at Little Red Tarot, talks about how Gemini (my rising sign, as it happens) is the sign of both/and. This new moon is a good time to write up a manifesto about personal integration (a bit like what Ms Sugar talks about when she talks about Black Swans).
She suggested a Gemini New Moon tarot spread on this subject, and I went ahead and did it.
Element of Self 1 (a theme/undercurrent in your life): Ace of Swords
Element of Self 2 (a different theme/undercurrent in your life): Five of Swords
What Unifies These Elements: Knight of Cups
How Can This Integration Be Expressed: Knight of Pentacles
 
The Ace of Swords is a mental multi-tool (literally, if you’re Cristy C Road). It’s a card of thinking things through, overcoming adversity, using your head. It’s a card of honesty, of seeing through illusions, doing what’s right and wanting what’s fair. It’s a card of communication, clarity, and self-awareness.
 
The Five of Swords, on the other hand, is a card of frustration, black-and-white thinking, and zero-sum games. In the Osho Zen deck, this card is called “comparison”, and it’s about… keeping your eyes on your own paper, striving for personal bests rather than worrying about being better (or not) than someone else. In the Next World tarot, however, this card is called “survival”, and it points to the way that people in Bad Situations will do unethical things in order to get what they need.
 
It’s weird to see the unifying theme of these two air cards be presented as the Knight of Cups. I mean, yes, this particular knight can succumb to the uglier side of Comparison through feelings of jealousy, insecurity, and inadequacy, and can also work the feelings side of self-awareness, seeking the Why of things, striving for self-improvement and understanding. So maybe it’s not that weird.
If my “Black Swan” is a combination of my best (Ace of Swords) and worst (Five of Swords) selves, than the way to be that fullest, truest self, is by being the Knight of Cups. (Ha… The artsy poet who wears her heart on her sleeve and likes pretty things and romance. Oh, hai…)
 
BUT… How do I express said Knight of Cups? Apparently by behaving like the Knight of Pentacles.
I think… Look, I tend to tie the Earth and Water suits together pretty closely. Partly because they’re both inward-focused elements – intimate & introverted rather than exhibitionist? In-so-far as those things can be thought of as having no overlap, which isn’t really the case – and partly because they’re both creative elements. But mainly because emotional stability and material stability are so tied up with each other.
However I think this reading is saying that the way to Be Your Black Swan without being, say, massively self-destructive or making a lot of the same mistakes over and over again, is to balance it out.
So, YES, be the knight of cups.
But balance the dreamy sentimentality and big-picture creative vision of Water with both the prudence and the step-by-step diligence of Earth.
 
The folks over at Hoodwitch tell me to “[Y]ou can knock it out of the park, but you have to remember what you came here for,” and I think that relates to this spread, and the integration of my best and worst Air characteristics through the art and heart of Water. Remember what I came here for, and then actually get it done.
 
Actually, on a related note, Chani’s Affirmation Horoscope this week (Scorpio) talks about the importance of maintaining and strengthening connections with collaborators, with people who support and encourage your best self, your most courageous self, and about noticing and figuring out the (internal and external) Stuff that gets in your way when you push to put yourself, your creativity, your Most You You, out there.
 
This is all kind of relevant (“kind of”), right now. I’m still job-searching. Which… if ever there was a process designed to tell you over and over that you’re worthless and nobody wants you? It’s trying to figure out how to word your extensive resume in a way that will let you look “good enough” to someone who wants professional experience in exchange for an entry-level wage, so that they will maybe deign to call you back. It’s super frustrating, and very scary at the same time. Because I feel like I have to be either/or, rather than both/and.
I want to use this new moon Both/And energy to help me with my frankly threadbare income quilt in a way that doesn’t feel like I’m coming from a place of scarcity or desperation.
 
The card I pulled for my Tarot Card Meditation was the Seven of Earth from the Silicon Dawn deck[1].
 

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn Seven of Wands (which in this deck means the 7 of EARTH) A small, hooded figure (who might be a Jawa), holding two walking sticks, stands in the doorway of a crumbling brick building. There are five branches lying on the ground in front of the door.

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn
Seven of Wands (which in this deck means the 7 of EARTH)
A small, hooded figure (who might be a Jawa), holding two walking sticks, stands in the doorway of a crumbling brick building. There are five branches lying on the ground in front of the door.


 
This particular seven of earth, with its crumbling building and cryptic, stick-based messaging system… is kind of creepy, tbh. Like the Collective Tarot’s seven of bones, which is just a bunch of teeth falling everywhere, a reference, I think, to that dream where your teeth crumble and fall out of your head, to tell you that everything is fucked and you can’t handle it.
Other interpretations are a lot more hopeful (haaaaaaaaaaaaa). Like the Next World image of an old lady selling home-beaded jewelry by the side of the road, labeled “Vision” (and Saturn in Taurus); or the Osho Zen version, which features a calm-looking, heavily pregnant person and a bunch of moon phases, and is called “Patience”. The Wildwood seven of earth is even called “Healing” and carries notes of divine intervention.
 
So what does this mean?
In a long-ago post, I talked about how the sevens are all linked to both hope and action, but also that this seven in particular touches on the fact that things take time.
 
I feel like I’m running out of time.
It’s an awful feeling.
It took ten years for me to build a modeling career. A career that I’m proud of and find fulfilling and that I actually enjoy. And I feel like I’m going to have to give it up, in order to take on work that pays less, wastes my time, depletes my creative energy, and makes me feel physically and emotionally like crap.
And I don’t want that to be how this goes.
 
So. Talking to my lovely wife over the phone, I told her about pulling this card, and what I said was: You may have to re-evaluate some stuff and make some choices. But don’t be hasty about it. You are going to start seeing results, the work you’ve been diligently putting in WILL start paying off. Just be aware that it takes a little while.
That it takes the heart-on-your-sleeve hope (the willingness to take risks and be vulnerable) of the Knight of Cups combined with the methodical action (like composition, editing, cold-calling, querying, and sending out submissions) of the Knight of Pentacles to get the results you want.
 
Summer Solstice is a week away. The sun – and all the things it metaphorically touches on – is at its biggest and boldest. It’s the point when all those seeds you carefully planted start to (literally or metaphorically) bear fruit.
While it’s hard to hold onto hope, especially when it feels like most of my seeds have germinated and then withered before they could really get established, I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for patience, for healing, for the chance to decode some secret, stick-based message, and get where I need to be going.
 
I’m modeling for a photography class in three hours.
I’m going to methodically get myself ready, put together a couple of looks for people to take photos of, do my hair and makeup (qua kosmesis), and then go Be Art for an evening.
And tomorrow?
Tomorrow I’ll light my altars and write some motherfucking poetry.
 
 
~*~
 
Movement: Has mostly been walking, this past couple of weeks. Yes, there’s also been gardening, but mostly my movement has been based around getting from place to place.
 
Attention: The wildlife in my back yard has multiplied. Babies every damn where. They are cute and also mildly worrying and, as such, are pulling a lot of my attention.
 
Gratitude: Grateful for the rain. For the zucchini plants starting to flower. For bread that rises. For rhubarb that grows in determined profusion. For ice cream being on mark-down. For yoghurt I can make from scratch. For a friend who shipped me cute and fancy clothes (and makeup and perfume, and the tiniest coach bag ever) from an entirely different country, just to help me out and make me smile. For $5 bags of un-dyed cotton crochet thread. For time to experiment. For old, beloved books. For not having to get up at 6am, three days a week (silver lining, right?) and for modeling coordinators who hire me because they know I need the work, and because I was brave enough to ask for it. For long baths. For friends who trust me. For a wife who thinks I’m beautiful and holds onto me all night long.
 
Inspiration: The deep, deep blue of a nearly cloudless sky, late last night when I walked home from my modeling gig, after an evening that was all thunder and rain. The bright gleam of those distant stars. The way the bee-balm and bleeding hearts come back, year after year, even in thin, rocky soil.
 
Creation: Urgh. I made a rhubarb-berry coffee cake and rhubarb muffins this past week. I also wrote one (1) poem. It’s okay. But more to come, right? More to come! 😀
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] So, when people design tarot decks, they often rename the suits. The suit of “earth stuff” (security, abundance, material things, bodies & embodiment, physicality, cash, housing, food, legacies, room-mates, relatives, etc), for example, which is traditionally called “pentacles” has been renamed a bunch of other things. Rainbows. Bones. Stones. Lots of things. In the case of the Silicon Dawn deck, from-which I drew the above card, the suit of “Earth Stuff” has been renamed “wands”. Which is annoying, sure, but not the end of the world. So I’m going with it.

Full Moon – Berry/Rose Moon Crests

Hey kittens,
 
So it’s been a while.
Can I tell you I’ve been feeling “distracted” for years? Like, very briefly, before we moved into our lovely new house (back in September 2014), I felt like I kind of had a handle on things, and I’ve been feeling like I’m playing Catch-Up ever since? I don’t know where this feeling is coming from. I mean, probably? Probably it’s a mix of scrabbling for money and the decrease in “free” time (and brain space) that comes with that.
Or maybe it’s something else.
I don’t know.
 
What I DO know is that my wife and I went on a Laundry Date today (yes, we have a washer and dryer, courtesy of a generous couple of friends; no, we haven’t re-arranged our own – somewhat-mousey, ugh – basement so that we can carry them downstairs and hook them up) chez the Laundromat.
We went for a motorcycle ride the other day. Can I tell you how amazing it is to have a vehicle again? Evne one that won’t keep you warm and dry, it still gets us to work in 15 minutes and lets us go away for the odd weekend, which is AMAZING.
 
I put in another in-ground garden bed yesterday. Planted rescue-cucumbers (discounted to $0.54 at the Loblaws, and probably not getting watered anymore) and a rescue zucchini, plus transplanted a few cucuberits (one cucumber, two… probably pumpkins? Not sure…) into the same bed and sprinkled bone meal around all of them.
I can’t say I’m super-hopeful about any of them taking off. That family doesn’t like having its roots disturbed, plus the super-market starts had been neglected for a while and it’s not like my yard is super-amazing in terms of soil nutrients. Mostly what grows in the ground is (a) self-seeded mustard greens, (b) dandelions, (c) cats’ ears, (d) yarrow, and (e) creeping charlie. Stuff that feeds lightly and/or has hella tap-roots. But, frankly, I have fertilizer (well, bone and blood meal) and I’m not afraid to use it.
 
On the more more hopeful end of things, I’ve pulled out most of the bolted mustard and radishes (few of which ever developed big, juicy roots, ’cause apparently they don’t like being transplanted either) and my chard now has a LOT more space. I’m hoping that between the additional breathing room and the on-going heavy rains (and sunshine, every now and then!), I will get myself some very healthy chard and kale… right up until November. Fingers crossed!
Likewise:
I seem to have one jalapeno pepper (so far), one eggplant (so far), three beefsteak tomatoes, one roma tomato, and a TONNE of cherry tomatoes slowly developing as actual fruit. I am hopeful that things will continue in this vein! 😀
We are continuing to get LOTS of herbs (sage, cilantro, apple mint, winter savoury, and garlic scapes, all of which I’m harvesting. The lemon balm and the peppermint seem to be doing nicely as well, but I won’t be harvesting them (much) this year, so that they can get well-established). The French Sorrel seems to be doing nicely, too, though I would still like to get some Leaf Sorrel (MUCH bigger leaves) added to the mix.
 
I harvested raspberries from the alley this morning! I still haven’t gone out to pick service berries. I honestly don’t know if I will. Part of me wants to, and part of me is all “Meh. I haven’t actually used up the ones from last year yet…” so… not sure. But if I do, I need to do it THIS WEEK or I’m out of luck.
The cherries look like lipstick trees! (This is such a great time of year).
 
 
My tracking of Full Moon Energy Weird is… not currently registering a whole lot? So we’ll see what this looks like when mapped over multiple months.
 
So, here’s a thing I’ve started to notice. I do a “spare cards” pull at the end of every tarot spread. Doesn’t matter what lay-out I’m doing, I pull an “Advisor” card (top of deck), plus an “over-arching influences” (top of deck), and an “under-lying influences” (bottom of deck) card to go with it.
What I’m noticing is that these cards tend to provide the jist of the answer I’m asking for. Like, the entire rest of the reading boils down to detail-work, but the answer is in those three cards.
Like, last months (just barely posted) Full Moon post included a very short tarot reading, and the “context cards” made more sense than the actual (two cards only) spread.
Likewise, I recently did a (much larger, grand cross) reading about Dealing With Money Feels, and the answer was so clearly written in those last three cards. Sure, the Queen of Earth fell out of the deck (relevant…), but here was the last little bit:
 
Advisor: The Emperor
Overarching/Underlying: The Guardian (15 MA) / 10 of Earth (“Home”)

 
Sure, the Emperor CAN mean “dealing with The Man”, it can mean Patriarchy. It can mean pre-established and disempowering rules and laws (which always have to do with power structures, not with What Is Right).
But the Emperor (the Green Man, The Code), is also: Structure, getting organized, bringing order our of chaos, recognizing one’s own authority. Taking control of your own life, getting your ducks in a row. Being in a position of strength. Being your own boss. Breaking the chains that held you and going in a way that is good for YOU to go. Setting a direction. Bringing security and comfort. Sticking to a plan. It can mean “skills, confidence, competence. Al the stuff that the Three of Stones asks you to recognize in yourself and expect to be valued. Being able to talk the talk of the walk you’re already walking. It can mean self-discipline. It can mean leadership and taking the initiative.
The Emperor has good boundaries, and a willingness to act, to dare, but also the pacing to get stuff done in an orderly and sustainable fashion.
(Seriously. I was going to search “Emperor” on Little Red Tarot, and Beth had JUST posted a new post on exactly what I needed!)
 
My overarching and underlying cards?
Home – the ten of earth – all that material abundance, solid foundations, financial stability, all that stuff in “Made It Home”, in “We Are The World”, a house where all the windows open, with fruit trees, berry bushes, greens and nightshades and cucuburits, growing lavish in the yard, a kitchen overflowing with good food for everyone who comes and out of my always-open door, no fear of the rent not being payable, a home-base to come back to, to anchor me (us), no matter where we go on our adventures. An absolute certainty that we have, and will always have, enough to share on top of having enough “just in case” and enough for ourselves.
Crossed with? The Devil. With bindweed, with conditioning, with the boogy-man that stands in the way of really examining all the Stuff that lurks in my personal underworld. Call to katabasis, to the digging deep (and surfacing) in all my dirty secrets about wealth, worth, value, and morality.
 
 
Well. Okay, then. O.O
 
Anyway, onwards.
 
 
~*~
 
Motion: Lots of walking, this past week, as I was temping close to home. Also lots of bending and digging in the garden.
 
Attention: Watching the clouds, waiting for (and receiving) rain, rain, and more rain. Over-thinking everything (alas, but there it is), and trying to figure out how to stop.
 
Gratitude: Long rides in the country under clear skies. Working farms. My wife loving me. The friend who gave me a lift home on Friday, when it was pouring rain. Greens (and snow peas! and more on the way!) from the garden.
 
Inspiration: Big, beautiful moon last night. All the flowers blooming like crazy.
 
Creation: Chasing the first threads of a new (ish) story. No idea if it will go anywhere, but trying to catch hold anyway. Wrote a poem (about Scorpios and Feelings and the High Priestess tarot card) the other day. Message is “finish your damn book”, and no clue how to get there, but: scribble, scribble, ugh, scribble, scribble. So here we go…

Full Moon – Flower Moon Crests (Finally Hitting POST on a Mo(o)nth-Old Entry…)

Wrote this, well, a couple of weeks ago, but only posting it now:
 
~*~
 
It’s Full Moon in Sagittarius, folks!
The sage bloomed the day of the Full Moon (which was Friday). As such, it will come as a surprise to nobody that sage (along with – apparently – peonies & tomatoes plus basil, borage, saffron, & chervile) is one of Sagittarius’ associated plants.
 

Five sprigs of sage ft tall, blue flower-spikes.


 
I’ve been having PMS-type symptoms/experiences all week. Tripping, dropping things, and otherwise ending up with unexplainable bruises, craving ALL the chocolate all the time, and being neck-deep and deeper in my Feeeeelings. Usually(?) this means I’ll start bleeding within 48 hours of this stuff showing up. But it’s been six days and… nothing.
We had a house-guest for most of the week who shed some light on the possibility that this might have more to do with the waxing, nearly full Moon than with the state of my uterus. So I’m going to start tracking that and see what-all lines up with what.
As for this full moon, in particular… Ugh. Everything comes full circle. Everything comes back around again… :-\
 
Sarah Gottesdiener, over at Little Red Tarot, says:

If you are doing a spell for this particular moon, […] feeling your desires within your body, take some time to summon what might feel hard. […] The shedding of one skin is not an easy transition. […] Acknowledge the feelings of fear, anxiety, the unease you might have of the unknown, of being fully seen, fully given the gifts you’ve wanted for years.
This Full Moon, bring it all up, let it be reflected under her light.
Realize we aren’t in linear time. […] We are in an internal spiral, where time and time again we are asked to encounter our most devastating patterns and our most inspirational truths.

 
…All of-which is kind of wacking me in the face right now.
See, the other day, I was having a Writing Date with a friend and working on a poem, when a stranger came up and said “I have something to tell you”.
She’s one of those people who are the opposite of me, in that rather than being a total bunker and Natural Ground, they get Messages that need to be passed along. She’s been getting them for 30 years, so she’s used to people being a little put off by her. I have no idea if it was weird for her to have someone go “Oh. Yeah, no, I totally get that.” And treat this as part of their Normal. Maybe it happens way more often than I think it does. Who knows.
ANYWAY.
What she said was (in highlights form):
 

There’s something happening / going-to-happen with you. Something about a child. And… math? Numbers? 2s and 3s
Look at the numbers.
You need to trust Divine, trust your soul more.
The answers are within yourself.
Everything comes full circle.
There are three people around you. The one in the middle might be male, but I can’t actually tell[1]. Two of them are younger.
Everything will work out how you want it to.
 
Also: there’s a ladder, like a symbolic ladder. You’re not ready to climb it yet, but when you are, you’ll climb up 1-2-3- rungs.

 
 
So, here’s the thing. I was writing a poem about trying to be family again with the ex who I thought was about to move back to Ontario (and who occupies a place in my heart that has a lot of “child” built into it. An ex who also used to date my wife, and who introduced me to a lovely person who turned out to live up the street from me), which included a lot of tarot references (6 of cups, 3 of cups, in particular).
 
So I thought I knew what this was about.
 
And then I got home, and my wife said she’d heard from The Ex that day, and that said ex was staying in Alberta and aiming to move overseas, permanently, in the next year or so.
Which.
I actually cried a whole lot that night, because while I’d been bracing for having to deal with seeing them around far more frequently than I did when they were living across the country, I’d also been hopeful of some kind of “we can actually be friends with each other and I’ll be able to trust you again” outcome and… that’s just not going to happen. And it sucks so much both that it’s not going to happen AND that I’d been holding onto that hope for just about a year-and-a-half at this point.
Feelings of grief (still, ffs).
But also a certain amount of humiliation? Like “how could I have been so foolish/stupid to think that this would end the way I wanted it to…?”
 
…All of-which to say: I basically have no idea what the message is actually about. Like, obviously, it’s about leveling up in some department. But I don’t know WHICH department, y’know? I mean, interpersonal relationships are kind of a huge deal for me, and there are clearly People Involved. But who even knows.
 
The folks over at Hoodwitch say:

What you fear says more about you than you may think, Scorpio. If you use the Full Moon on the 9th to help you investigate what you’re resisting, you may make some progress in dislodging its roots from your belly.

 
Once upon a time, I had a conversation with my Dad that went something like this:
Him: You’re carrying around a huge amount of anger.
Me: I know. But if I let go of it, I don’t think there will be anything left of me…

 
It was another 7-8 years before I did anything close to starting therapy and dealing with all that rage. BUT. I’ve been having similar feelings… sort of… about something else recently. That I have these internal Defense Walls inside me. They feel like gristle or scar tissue, but they’re energetic. Or something along those lines. And that, if I let all those guards down, let them go, I’ll fall apart.
So, on the “summoning what feels hard” and “investigate what you’re resisting” fronts, I had a conversation with My Lovely Wife about, well, all of that stuff. About the ladder I’m not ready to go up yet (or at least one aspect of what I’m currently assuming The Ladder is about), about things I’m resisting, about things that are hard.
I also did a couple of tarot spreads about the above-mentioned Message From Beyond.
The short one is a variation on the Who And How spread – which I want to say I got from Asali Earthworks, possibly via Little Red Tarot, but for-which I can’t find the original link. Basically, the answers looked like this:
 

“Who and How do I have to be to climb that ladder?”
Who: New Vision
How: beyond Illusion


 

“What is the context of this Leveling Up?”
Advisor: Seven of Air.
Over-Arching Influences: Page of Water.
Underlying Influences: Six of Water.


 
The “context” cards are the easy ones here. The over-arching and under-lying water cards…
I often think of myself as a Page of Cups, less inclined to wear my heart on my sleeve and more about dipping my toes in the water, still learning How To Relationship. And yet… When I look up the Page of Water, I get phrases like “Be intimate, be intuitive, be emotional, be loving”. Even the heavily-simplified Shakespeare Oracle tarot deck (I won it as a door prize last week) touches on the Page’s open-heartedness. The page of cups is a reminder that “The door is open and you know how to fly, you just need to step out on a limb and take off” (which makes me think of “you’re not ready yet, but when you are, you’ll climb up 1-2-3). The page lives gently, learns (is still learning) from her mistakes, but isn’t afraid to try again, try something new, take a chance.
The Six is the “wishful thinking” card. I’ve seen it interpreted more kindly or optimistically as “reunion” or “innocence” or even “playful connections”, interpretations that connect it with kindness, generosity, and the potential (and need) for mutual care. Little Red Tarot even reads it as “Fuck the system, I’m going to be who I really am!”… Which would be a lovely way to view this, and – given the whole “leveling up” thing – maybe is how I should go? In my case, though, the six of cups is frequently a card of longing that hints at… well, given that the 7 of Water in this deck is projections, I tend to read it as a bad tendency to assume one thing is happening when, in reality, no such thing was ever promised or put into words. (Weirdly, this card’s “key dates” fall right on top of my birthday. Hm…)
The 7 of Air has pretty much always spoken to the deep fear/suspicion that I’m a Monster Inside and that I have to pretend to be something so much smaller, less voracious, more polite than I actually am in order to be loved and wanted. It tends to serve as a reminder to Take Off The Mask. Which can relate to both the “be who you really are” and “stop assuming everyone means the same thing when they use the same words” stuff in the Six of Cups, to the “set yourself free” stuff intrinsic to the Page.
 
As for Who and How?
Who do I need to be? The Hanged Man. Which is patience, taking a breath, “hanging around”, a long look in the mirror, a willingness to entertain a change in perspective.
How do I need to be this? Judgement. Awakening, Liberation. (when you’re ready, you’ll climb). Don’t just hang in there, take a look around. Notice how things could be different.
 
Ugh.
And that’s the thing.
Because, when I read for myself, I tend to get the answers I’m expecting. Like when I assume the six of cups is always and only the “wishful thinking” card, and completely ignore all the numerous good/positive/hopeful aspects of it. I see The Hanged Man, and I read it as a specific thing. And sometimes I wonder what I’m missing. Can it mean “be willing to let your world be flipped upside down”? Can it mean “Stop worrying about controlling every little thing”? Can it mean “Let It Go“? Can it mean a whole bunch of stuff that I’m just not thinking of? (Uh… probably).
 
ANYWAY.
 
 
Ariel, at Siobhan’s Mirror, said in her (two weeks ago) tarotscope for Scorpio:

Understand that all you wish for already exists and is on its way to you.

…Which puts me in mind of the not-so-long-ago message in that reading I did for the New Moon right around Beltane.
 
Chani says:

Surround yourself with the folks that inspire you to trust in the ebbs and flows of life.
Surround yourself with the folks that help you to feel your own innate sturdiness.
Surround yourself with the folks that never have you second guessing your gifts.
&nbsp:
As Venus moves into Taurus, it wants to help you to connect with those that know how to build. Partnerships. Relationships. Life. This month-long journey of Venus’s wants you to open up to the possibilities of different kinds of partnering.
 
The season of love is upon you.

 
I can only hope.
 
 
ANYWAY. I’ve been sitting on this post for seriously a month… Time to hit the Post button.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad.
 
 
[1] Being psychic doesn’t mean you can’t be cissexist. I have a bunch of masc-of-centre NB folks in my life, which “…might be a guy, but I can’t tell” could sort-of apply to, but seeing as there aren’t a whole lot of straight-up dudes in my life, I have no fucking clue who this person is. Given the context, it seems unlikely to be my brother, so… Uh? No idea.

New Year New You 2016: Weeks 14 & 15 – Searching for a Sign + One Small Step and Then One More

I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!
 
Instructions: “Now would be a good time to check in with your personal Powers That Be (PTB) about your goals. […] How do your PTB’s advice change your approach to your goals?” PLUS “We’ve spent a few more weeks thinking, planning, and doing magic. Now it’s time to return to the task at hand: doing the work necessary to accomplish our goals.”.
 
Tarot Cards: Eight of Vessels (Week 14) + Two of Earth (Week 15).
 
So. I spent the past month-and-a-bit avoiding my tarot cards. A mixture of being afraid of what they’d tell me and being afraid of how I’d mis/read things (the stories in our heads are frequently how we interpret readings for ourselves, and it’s easy to read worst-case scenarios AND wishful-thinking daydreams into what the cards have to say).
None the less, messages have a way of getting through.
A huge part of the Queen of Cups Project has been, basically, answering the question of “How do I get to Happy?” Miss Sugar talks, occasionally, about Radiomancy – the practice of seeing what pops up when you spin the dial, put your playlist on shuffle, or otherwise just see what songs are screaming at you from the airwaves.
I’ve been getting these two a lot. Plus this came across my desk this morning.
Gosh, do you think someone is trying to tell me something?
>.>
 
Yeah.
 
My Eight of Water story is, basically, “Gotta let this one go. No fixing it. Time to start again. Put your energy somewhere else” like, say, feeding your whale heart and nurturing relationships with people who actually care about you. Combine that with all the “Femme Emotional Labour” and “Trojan Horse Boundary Crossing” stories I’ve been getting linked to, of late (or, y’know, all freaking year…) and, yeah. The Eight of Blooms (top, right) is the pearl found (at last?) after going through a lot of oysters. All those discarded heart and vulva shapes ringing a treasure found by moonlight, by shining a light on all my old patterns and assumptions. The “rebirth” of the Eight of Vessels is a reminder that there will be other chances, that it’s hard to be happy when you’re fussing over every little thing in order to “make” yourself worthy in the eyes of someone who, when you get right down to it, messed with your head and took advantage of you, no matter how much of a compassionate lens you can view that through.
 
So that’s the information I’ve been getting.
 
How does that translate into One Small Thing I can do to push towards my goal?
My Queen of Cups goal has been to become more receptive, to understand that I’m actually loveable and worthy rather than just some fuck-up who has too much privilege and too much monster-brain to warrant being cared for without having to seriously earn that stuff. So…
I mentioned feeding my “whale heart”. That’s a Life Coaching thing, my “new Way of being/operating” that is self-compassionate, and doesn’t truck with people who won’t step up to meet her needs the way she steps up to meet theirs. The one small thing, the moment-to-moment practical thing I can do to feed my Whale Heart is to practice being kind to myself and doing what’s actually good for me.
Yes, it’s totally a challenge – I’m something of what Nydia Dauphin calls a “high functioning self-neglector”. Way more likely to make food if I’m feeding someone other than myself. Way more likely to swallow the worst of my feelings and focus on others than make them listen to me whine (uh… this entire blog notwithstanding…) – but it’s also necessary. So. Things I can do right now along those lines?
 
Start the latest batch of stock + process a bunch of sunchokes/as’kebwan’ for the freezer. This will make it easier for me to make meals later on.
 
Put dinner in the oven (I dug through my meat bin, in the freezer, and pulled out a tiny roast. This, with some sunchokes/as’kebwan’ will be a good start to dinner. I can throw in some frozen veggies or pickled beets and sour kraut (if they’re ready) for veggie content) and make myself Real Food instead snacking on crackers until my wife gets home to start cooking. It’s not quite making Real Food For Just Me, but it’s a step in that direction.
 
Bake something (probably soda bread and/or brownies using whey and/or Gone Off Milk). This will be creative, plus it will mean easy go-to food available for lunches and snacks over the next few days. It will also clean out the fridge a bit, which won’t hurt.
 
Do 10 minutes of yoga (child’s pose, plank, tree, warrior pose in one direction, Goddess pose, warrior pose in the opposite direction, downward dog, heart-melting pose, child’s pose again), possibly while humming. This will work my body, strengthen my arms and my core (good for my back), remind me to make music and let me move energy through my body.
 
Start anointing my heart chakra with “Unveiled” – a limited edition perfume/magical oil that Miss Sugar made, years ago – to help me see what I usually can’t/won’t see, the bad stuff I wish wasn’t there, but also the good stuff that I’m too prone to ignoring or refusing to allow in.
 
Wish me luck!
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Year New You 2016: Week 13 – Sacrifice (You are the Thing That is Burning)

I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!
 
Instructions: A meaningful sacrifice to your Powers That Be. You and your PTB will know best what that is for you. Think on it.
 
Tarot Card: Judgement (20 of Major Arcana).
I picked this one for a couple of reasons. One is because of the Mary-El version of the card, which is very-much in line with the title of this post. Another is the idea of “Judgy Judgy Judgy” and the way we can be cruel to ourselves, the way our Jerk Brains can say the meanest things, in the (mistaken) idea that dissuading us from leaving our comfort zones will keep us safe. The third is the Osho version of this card, Beyond Illusion, which has to do with the “sacrifice” theme of this week’s prompt (the Collective Tarot’s take on it is also relevant, in terms of end goals, fyi).
So I’m going with it.
 
I’m just over two months away from the year-mark of my Queen of Cups project, and right about at the year-mark for when I started getting Messages about becoming more receptive in the first place. I have to say it’s been an interesting ride, given that where I’ve ended up is a question about how to have better boundaries. This isn’t particularly surprising, but it’s not what I was originally expecting when I set out to teach myself how to Let More Good Stuff In and how to be More Vulnerable (in the asking for what I need way) in relationships that matter to me.
Then again, it’s been a pretty constant internal argument with myself to avoid going back to the definition of “boundaries” that essentially means “nobody is allowed in, ever” and hang onto the one that (is fairly theoretical but also probably a better plan, and) says “boundaries” mean “I decide who is allowed in, and how far, and under what circumstances… and will back myself off accordingly if my needs aren’t being met”.
 
To that end, I’ve been pushing up against some significant edges during my most recent life coaching sessions. I’ve been reading about Non-Violent Communication, the notions of observing and naming my feelings, and of voicing needs and making actionable requests of people to help me meet those needs.
It suuuuucks.
I read a chapter, and my shoulders hike right up around my ears. My teeth come out, and I seriously start spoiling for a fight. Turns out my metaphorical Flailing Mermaid has had a lot to say about changing the way I interact with people when it comes to boundaries, needs, and consequences.
This is the bit about “Judgy” that I was talking about, above.
So, here I am, staring the “sacrifice” prompt in the face, and haaaaating the idea of giving up something that I value. I don’t think this particular NYNY Goal is one that can be met by limiting my time on social media or deciding to stick with fair trade chocolate, sugar, coffee and so-on[1].
 
The thing I have to give away is my illusions.
 
You remember I did a tarot reading a little while ago?
The thing that is burning, when The Tower shows up, is me.
 
I’ve been telling myself old stories over the past couple of days. Like, noticeably replaying Old Tapes, grinding old axes, getting mad (inside my head) at everyone whoever Wronged Me in some way. And I know that pattern.
What do I have to give away in order to get what I want?
If what I want is Liberation (which could also be understood through the last “phase” of this version of the 10 of Air), I have to move myself Beyond the Illusions that I’ve build around myself that simultaneously tell me (a) that I’m not worthy of love and care and kindness, but also (b) that Needing Things is how you get yourself hurt, so better off to keep your damn mouth shut if you’re codependent enough to need something in the first place[2].
 
So. How do I offer this to the fire?
How, in a situation where the behaviours associated with The Flailing Mermaid are part of me, have redeeming qualities that I want to keep, and which – like it or not – are never going to go away, how do I give away the control I let those behaviours have on me?
How do I let that go?
The answer, I suspect, is “slowly”. Slowly, but consistently, a sliver at a time, one bad habit at a time, burn a new path through my internal woods, tread it enough that I know my new way and don’t always twist towards the old.
 
~*~
In terms of how to back this up with some magical working, mind you, I can see doing some sort of a fire ritual. Write out the old way and feed it to the flames, spread the ash on my garden and let it compost into something good and new.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Although, for the record, Ben and Jerry’s (which recently spoke out in support of Black Lives Matter) does fair trade cocoa and sugar on at least some (“Cherry Garcia” and “If I Had 1,000,000 Flavours”) of their stuff, which is always good to know. I’ve added them to my list of Approve Ice Cream (even if they are owned by Unilever), alongside Kawartha Dairy (which is Delicious and made in Ontario).
 
[2] Here I’m thinking of Brene Brown’s Rising Strong and the chapter about struggling with shame around need and needing, and how, when you are afraid/ashamed of needing things (or people, or help), you have set up a hierarchy where people who need/receive are Less Than people who help/give. I have a weird(?) relationship with needing and receptivity. Some stuff – like home-made dinner, hugs, or second-hand furniture – is easy for me to receive. Other stuff – like small-but-special presents or people going out of their way for me – is harder. Other stuff – like flirtatious attention, sexual touch, heaps of cash, or very generous gifts (which… 2nd Chakra Stuff, much?) – is very, very difficult. I get suspicious about what I’m going to “owe” the other person, or nervous about not giving them the performance/response they’re (in theory) wanting “in exchange” for giving me so much attention, effort, or “energy” (what is this thing where money = energy? I don’t entirely get it) which, in itself, can land me in Trigger Land or the kind of emotional storms with-which my Flailing Mermaid is all too familiar, real fast. I have difficultly needing things (and talking out loud about same) and difficulty receiving things – even if some of those things are much easier than others – and maybe it’s not surprising that the two go hand in hand AND that being “the giving one” feels powerful and safe (or powerless but indispensable, which is also a kind of “safe”… in a way) while being the “needing (“needy”) one” feels vulnerable (it is), dangerous/unstable, and burdensome/shameful (it’s not, but I’m having trouble working that into my bones). Relevant stuff here. Still sorting it through.

The Tower – What Are You Willing to Let Burn in Order to Get Free?

So, as-you-know-bob, I got a Mary-El tarot deck not too long ago. I brought it to a friend’s place the other day to show it off, and she went through all the cards and checked it out.
 
She commented on how the 16 of MA in this card looks like the statue of liberty on fire. And it totally does.
I commented to her that, if this card turned up in a reading – because The Tower showing up in a reading tends to freak people out – I would ask the querant “What do you need to let burn in order to get free?”
 
Fast forward two hours.
I’m sitting in a café, down town, and I pull out my deck and ask my gods, via the cards, to “tell me something new” about what I need to do in order to get where I want to go.
Guess what turned up.
 
the-tower-situation
 
My situation card is The Tower.
Now check out my crossing card:
 
situation-and-crossing-card
 
I look at that absolutely wrathful phoenix overlayed on The Tower, and went “Oh… It’s me that’s burning”.
And it is.
That phoenix is me, it’s the Scorpio entering the third phase of existence, it’s the balanced human being that grows out of the “door mat” camel, and the reactive lion, in the Ten of Swords. Old Me is what is burning away. New Me is what will rise from this immolation.
 
Take a look at my Past and Future cards:
 
past-and-future
 
The Devil usually talks about conditioning, learned behaviours, the systemic oppressions under-which we live. It’s The Protestant Revolution and the Spirit of Capitalism. It’s the story in your (or my) head about how The Good Girlfriend makes herself smaller, and smaller, and smaller and doesn’t get to want anything and to demand more than that (so… anything) makes you (me) Unworthy of love and care. BUT, as described by Siobhan over at Little Red Tarot, it’s also the voraciousness of wanting all of it – whether that’s chasing pleasure at the expense of your health (too many hang-overs + not enough sleep?), or the idea of the “superwoman” who wants (or tries) to Have It All (the career, the kids, the house, the spouse, the vacations, and the overtime pay) – and the pull towards what you want… which can be helpful if, like me, you sometimes have trouble sorting out what you actually want, but can also be a major problem when you’re trying to get What You Really, Really Want from someone or something (or both) that is just not capable of providing it (stalkers? Telling yourself that what you want is That Pay Raise when, actually, what you want is to have the work you put into your job be recognized and appreciated in a demonstrable way).
 
In my case, I can read this as, yeah, the conditioning around The Good Girlfriend – that Hunger Makes Me article said all the things about that, so go read it – but also my own bad habits around “relentless hope” and seeing the potential in people, and not taking it well when things don’t go as I was expecting them to.
This is also highly visible if you look at my Obvious and Hidden Influences cards:
 
obvious-influences
 
hidden-influences
 
Yeah. I’m not great at handling change and uncertainty (at the best of times), but particularly not when it comes to interpersonal relationships[1], Expectations (and whether or not I get to have them vs whether or not someone else gets to have them), and all that other stuff. I’m totally getting pissed off about it right this second.
 
Okay.
So The Devil is my Past card. That’s fine. I’d rather that bit was over and done with, even though it’s obviously not all burnt away yet. With any luck (and a tonne of hard self-work, honestly), that Emperor card in the Future spot is all about Self-Mastery.
At least I think it is.
 
It’s the “hard-won internal rules” that Oliver talks about in She Is Sitting In the Night. It’s the breaking of my own chains, as seen in The Rebel. It’s even, as Siobhan says about that Devil in my past, “the feeling of power when you notice you are free to choose”. In the past, I often haven’t felt I had that power, that my choices were “stick it out and take what you get” or “leave, and break your own heart”. Hopefully this Emperor in the Future position means that – rather than (or in addition to?) seeing it as breaking my own heart – I will start to understand that choosing to leave an unfulfilling situation is me taking care of myself, choosing to look for connections that feed me rather than choosing to hang around begging for scraps (see also: my “hopes and fears” card, below). This is the solid foundation, the order-out-of-chaos that I’m trying to create through my life-coaching sessions. This is knowing and having boundaries.
I think.
 
I did say “tell me something new”, though, so maybe I’m missing something?
 
Moving on to the next pair of cards:
 
close-up-picture-broader-picture
 
The Page of Disks is all about trying something new. It’s nascent. The beginning of getting things to manifest In Real Life. It also touches on building self-trust – keeping your commitments, proving yourself reliable.
Taking a step back to get a broader perspective on what’s coming down the pike, though, and I get the Ace of Cups. The seeds of joy, love, emotional fulfillment, connection, happiness all (I gotta hope) to be planted in that good, manifesting earth of the Page of Disks.
 
hopes-and-fears-outcome
 
The Four of Disks in the “fears” (or hopes) position. I read the Four of Earth as “tenuous shelter”. This totally connects with the other Four in this reading, the Emperor card in the Future slot. I have a history (and a present…) of Scarcity Thinking. The Four of Earth is The Miser, the person who can’t share, who really, REALLY believes that nobody has her back and that she has to take care of herself all on her own.
My fear – and it’s totally this – is that I’ll only be able to put myself first if I self-isolate. Like: It’s super-easy to walk away from people in-whom you have no investment. It’s easy not to ache at the knowledge that you can expect a grand total of NOTHING from another person when they aren’t important to you at all. But if I open my heart again… won’t I just end up right back in that Devil situation, pleading for a scrap of regard and offering everything I have in exchange?
I’m totally afraid I’m going to do that, and I’m not at all sure how to mitigate that possibility[2].
 
My outcome card is… Well, it’s not the sunniest card in the deck, to be sure. But it’s not horrible.
The Six cards all have to do with the assumptions we make, and the risks that we take, when it comes to interpersonal relationships. This card is about change and rest. About hard journeys that you’re still capable of making. About coming out the other side of grieving. It’s about getting over it. About moving on. That’s good. Moving on to where, though… That I have no idea.
Hopefully somewhere good.
 
advisor
 
My advisor card is the Heirophant. In this particular image, I can’t tell if she’s being depicted as a distressing, smothering, Mother Church kind of figure, or if she’s (possibly at the same time) the Shekina / Tree of Wisdom that you get (apaprently?) in Kabbalah. Traditional depictions of the Heirophant are frequently based around The Pope. It’s the religious version of The Emperor in all his patriarchal trappings (TRAP-ings. See what I did there?) and not a great card to get. In a lot of the decks I work with, though, the 5 of the Major Arcana actively moves away from this kind of externalized, top-down, mess and towards a whole slew of other possibilities – including a moderately professorial gay Archivist, a dominatrix called The Instructor, a deer-headed Ancestor, and the dark, fertile emptiness of No-Thingness.
This card is about tradition – the way things have always been done, about being aware of one’s own history, where one came from, and one’s own patterns. But it also asks “What kind of ancestor do you want to be?”, what kind of future do you want to create?
 
And then there’s these:
 
over-arching-underlying
 
Over-arching and underlying influences.
See the way the High Priestess – she who dives deep into the murk of my unconscious to drag up soggy napkins with messages drawn in pictures, done in painstaking crayon lines, for my words-using conscious brain to try, try, try to understand – echoes the Wheel of Fortune? See how the red and white unicorn-lovers of the Two of Cups echo the colours of Solomon and Bilquis as The Lovers? See how Bilquis, Queen of Wisdom, is both the High Priestess and the shadow-potential Shekina of the Heirophant? How Solomon is the Emperor who’s allowed his heart to split, to be vulnerable?
Yeah, that.
The underlying influence is basically me dealing with my own brain (as always). The over-arching one is how Me and My Stuff can still handle, and fully experience, human connection.
 
Alright then. Onwards we go.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Those “I’ll see you when I see you” folks… I don’t know how you do that. Because, when I see that happening, all I can think is “Yeah… Do you notice that you NEVER see them? Like you don’t demand to be a priority (not even THE priority, just A priority), so they just don’t bother prioritizing you, and they only ever call when they want you to help them out with something.”
But then, if someone is totally okay with “I’ll see you when I see you”, maybe they’re also totally comfortable with “you’ll see me when you see me” and are good at saying Nope and not throwing tonnes of energy and attention and time at people who aren’t offering the same level of investment? I don’t even know.
 
[2] And, for example, I’m a little worried that I’ll try to mitigate that by cutting and running at the first sign of even potential trouble, and (a) shooting myself in the foot, but also probably (b) hurting someone else who wasn’t necessarily hurting me.