Tag Archives: divination

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…

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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.

Summer Solstice Tarot Reading (2016) – Searching For Truth, Searching for Connection

So, Worts and Cunning has a tarot spread for Summer Solstice. I decided to give it a go:
 
I did this spread with my Osho Zen deck, but am pairing up the cards I drew with the corresponding cards in my Wildwood deck.
 
1. SUNRISE. What is your source of abundant growth?
Control / Kingfisher (King of Swords), R

Ugh!
I’ve pretty-much always read Control as Lord Domly Dom, so preoccupied with How Things Are Supposed To Go that he can’t (or won’t) bend to the realities of a given situation.
I have a hard time reading anything good into air cards, to begin with, so seeing three of them in this spread kind of made my heart sink a little.
A broader reading of the King of Swords – partially via the Wildwood’s Kingfisher rendering – points towards a preoccupation with truth, with knowing right from wrong, doing the actually right thing in a given situation, as opposed to an obsession with, say, knowing the Right Jargon to make it look like I know what I’m doing (at all costs).
I’m not sure how this can be read as a “source of abundant growth”, but it makes me think of that Thing that all the astrologers say about Scorpios: That we tend to swim in the deep end of the pond all the time (the way those kingfisher can dive so deep, with so much accuracy), tend to be so (impatiently) hungry to Understand Everything Intimately, understand everyone intimately, understand every part of ourselves intimately.
My wife says that she looks at my dedication to understanding my own Issues, figure them out, know them well so that I can live with (and mitigate) them, rather than be ruled by them, and that it impresses the socks off of her. (Bonus!) So, in terms of “source of abundant growth”… yeah. The thing that keeps me growing is my willingness to shine a light into my own often-icky, murky depths and sort out what’s really going on in there.
 
2. BONFIRE. Where do you shine brightest? How do you illuminate the world? Adversely, what do you fear to show the world? What holds you back from exposing your greatness?
Beyond Illusion / The Great Bear (Judgement, 20 of MA), R

When Beyond Illusion shows up in a reading, I tend to understand it as a “cut through the bullshit” card – so it relates a bit to the King of Air in my Sunrise position.
That said, I feel like that’s almost too easy?
I know I’m afraid to be Big – not stature-wise, because that’s been the case for 20+ years and is kind of just how things are, but Big like “visible”, like “noticeable”. Because people who get noticed, get hurt, get slammed back into the place where they’ll stay small and cringing.
Which is… frequently true. But is also clearly just something that my Jerk Brain is telling me (See: all of Miss Sugar’s posts about Glamour, basically). I could read this as just “Stop hiding your big light, lady”. But… I don’t know?
The write-up for The Great Bear says “Be honest, be patient, be forgiving”, and touches on the way that initiation strips us bare and then rebuilds us wiser and stronger than we were… Maybe this is still about illuminating the truth after all. (Suggetions are totally welcome here, y’all…)
 
3. SUNSET. What is it that you have to give?
Postponement / Rest (4 of Swords), R

Well, I knew that… People have been telling me I’m a “natural ground” for 10+ years. I can help people process their trauma. Or feed them. Or give them a couch to fall apart on. I give really good hugs. That’s what I’ve got.
 
4. SUMMER SUN. Overview of the strengths of your relationships between friends, family, and lovers.
Silence / The Pole Star (The Star, 17 of MA), U

I get this card confused with The Moon all the time, but this card isn’t about all the unconcious Stuff repeating in one’s life. Silence corresponds to The Star (or The Pole Star, as the case may be), and is all about guidance when you’re feeling lost (there we are with Truth again…).
In a different context, this card asks you to name & recognize your personal Inner Truth, but in the context of interpersonal relationships, it’s hope and holding fast – my sometimes foolish refusal to give up on people and believe (or tell myself again and again) that the Hard Stuff is mostly circumstantial and that we can get through the rest. It can touch on letting go of insecurities. It can touch on loving through changes, growing together, being generous with each other (be patient, be forgiving…). These are good strengths to bring to the way I relate to the people I care about.
 
5. SUMMER SHADOW. Overview of the weaknesses of your relationships between friends, family, and lovers.
The Dream / Reunion (6 of Cups), U

Ha! Yeah. What I said about telling myself that “everything is circumstantial”? The Dream (which could just as easily be named “wishful thinking”) is all about that: Longing for what could be, what might have been, for what you don’t have anymore, for the grass that could be greener elsewhere (for us poly folks, that probably looks like NRE on steroids or something – I did a reading the other day that reminded me not to forget how good things are at home). I totally do all of that. Reunion is a much more charitable way of reading the 6 of Cups, but it still touches on ruminating about The Past (what went wrong? how did I screw this up?), even if it’s coming at it from the perspective of taking responsibility, and the potential (maybe? wishful thinking?) for forgiveness that could come.
Accurate.
 
6. SACRED HERBS. Overview of your relationship to the green world including the food you eat.
Transformation / The Journey (13 of MA)

Uh… I don’t know what to make of this one. O.O
In terms of Transformation, I’m inclined to take the word literally and draw on the words from Starhawk’s Earth Path, wherein she says that the land told her that, when she grows, forages, and eats the food that grows where she lives, she becomes the land, the land becomes the literal makeup of her body. Which is very much why I aim for local, “micro-bio-reeeeeeeeeeegional”, food when I get my groceries (whether at a shop, at a farmer’s market, or by foraging for greens and fruit in my neighbourhood and growing veggies, herbs, even fruit in my back yard), and why I try to Know The Neighbours, the non-humans, in my nieghbourhood so that I can recognize them as food, as medicine, as poison, as bee-lovers, on sight.
The Journey, with its carion imagery makes me think of compost, of the cycle of decomposition that feeds new life, and also of the way I have a somewhat “food not bombs” approach to left-overs + a focus on eating the whole animal (and eating animals at all), in my cooking. Which, granted, is slightly less about the plant kingdom, but there it is.
 
7. LAND SPIRITS. Overview of your relationship to the land spirits.
The Rebel / The Greenman (The Emperor, 4 of MA), R
I’m Bossy? Gosh, I hope not…
I like the Collective Tarot’s interpretation of The Emperor, the way flags tradition and rules of engagement (and even “daddy”) without hitting the Patriarchy buttons that often come with this card. The Rebel is similar, in that it’s a “master of your own domain / go your own way” card of self-definition. How that relates to the way I interact with the local spirits of place… I’m really not sure. Unless it’s because I put out a call, have a small pantheon of my own People, make offerings… inconsistently? But still make a point of making them?
The Green Man of the Wildwood reminds me of the Magician card, all the represented elements, a sense of control. But… I’d really rather be “working with”, or “part of”, than the “power over” stuff that comes up in Reclaiming as a thing to avoid. 😉 If I were to try to read this as how I relate to the local spirits of place… I would be inclined to talk about being a hearth witch rather than a hedge witch. I like to make things on the stove. I like to cultivate the plants I want in my garden rather than heading into the forest to try and find them amidst the poison ivy and potential for bears. Yes?
 
8. STIRRINGS. What part of you is awakening as the wheel turns towards the first harvest?
Schizophrenia / Injustice (2 of Swords), R

Great…?
Schizophrenia has consistently shown up as a feeling of being pulled (apart!) in two directions. The two of swords can sometimes mean “hiding from the truth” (truth again…) or “willful ignorance”. Injustice definitely touches on the “willful ignorance” aspect of this card. But this is all about the personal as personal (not so much political?), so I need to think about balancing introspection (air cards, searching for truth) with actual action. Making decisions in spite of fear (O, hai, life coach…), shuffling forward one tiny step at a time. Then again, maybe I’m just going to have a summer of “Eugh! So unfair!” about All The Things. I mean, I hope not, but it could happen. Better that (in theory) than blocking emotions (as if), Playing It Cool, or staying stuck while feeling confused about Feeeeelings. Wish me luck on that front. Life coaching, ahoy!
 
Added to this spread, I drew the following cards (two from the top, one from the bottom):
 
ADVISOR: Completion / The World Tree (The World, 21 of MA)
+
OVER-ARCHING INFLUENCES: The Lovers / The Forest Lovers (6 of MA)
+
UNDER-LYING INFLUENCES: We Are The World / Home (10 of Earth)

Yeah, well, that’s no surprise…
I mean, it is a spread about relationships, right? Of course The Lovers (even in the annoyingly heteronormative Wildwood depiction) are going to be all over it. Of course the Ten of Earth, the card that mean Home and Safe and Family, is going to be all over it.
I think it’s really neat how The World Tree and Home reflect each other so well, how that relates to the way my personal sense of Completion is the “We Are Family” security of We Are The World.
 
While I appreciate that this spread includes relationships with spirits of place and the green kingdom in general, my particular spread is very, very much about the human-interpersonal. I’ve seen the 10 of Earth intrepreted as “second chances” or “trying again, trying something different, now that you know better or have new/deeper understanding about X”. It makes me lookat that 2 of Air card, that “What’s waking up for you” card, with its calls to not hide your feelings, to nothold yourself back through willful ignorance or Pretending Everything’s Fine, to keep moving and be honest rather than telling yourself untruths that keep you stuck.
 
Onwards into summer. I’ve got some (more) digging to do.

New Year New You 2016: Week Six – Maps (Wait, They Don’t Love You Like I Love You)

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: “[G]o some place that is sacred to you and to use the experience to guide you in your work[…]”
 
Tarot Card: Ten of Cups + Knight of Earth (specifically the one from my Osho Zen deck, called “Slowing Down“, though the Wildwood’s Knight of Stones has some personal relevance as well).
 
Thoughts:
So, it’s been over two months since I did the previous prompt for the NYNY Experiment. Put that down to trying to regain some equilibrium after waiting to see how the cards would fall out.
Ha. On that note: Trying to do tarot readings when you have exactly one thing on your mind? Is simultaneously devastatingly accurate (whether you like it or not), AND massively annoying because you can’t get information on anything else.
Eugh.
 
But I’m back!
 
So. Most of my sacred places are inside my home. They’re my kitchen, my altar, my garden, my couch and my tiny dining table (especially when I’ve got people over who I can feed). But I’ve been feeling weirdly (or maybe not-so-weridly, what with Winter’s Last Hurrah having hit but a few days ago[1]) stuck when inside my home of late, so I was hesitant to try and trance out while chopping beets in the kitchen (for example – though it works quite well with apples, as long as you don’t lop off a finger in the process). All that being said, I did keep my eyes and ears open to see what would pop up and… I got something. I wrote about it a little bit in my most recent lunar post, but the majority of this message came, not from my home-base, but from my extended leather family at Queering Power.
 
The message was: SLOW DOWN!
 
Not “slow down” in the frantic, you-are-about-to-drive-off-a-cliff sense of the word, but “Slow Down” in the sense of:
When you are Triggered (yes, I’m talking about PTSD), everything starts to rush.
When you’re drowning in shame, you run around like a chicken with your head cut off, trying to “justify your existence”, when you need no justification, you just need to BE.
When you are in that spiral of “I am Too Much” (too demanding, too slow, too needy, too big, too complicated… you name it), you tell yourself that you must rush through things for the benefit of someone else – don’t tell the whole story, don’t savour that meal, don’t sink into exactly as long as it takes you to get turned on, get into it, get off – instead of being really present, really authentic, really enjoying life’s pleasures.
When you are freaking out and trying to numb yourself, you rush through experiences without really experiencing them – eat a chocolate without even tasting it, skim a poem and feel frustrated by the (unfindable, in this state) meaning you didn’t give yourself time to catch.
When you are frantic, you make decisions that hurt people you care for, and also that hurt yourself (whether you are able to care for yourself in those moments or not).
 
So that’s the big one.
The thing is, it’s not the only one.
Possibly because all the Brene Brown I’ve been reading has been bringing home what Glamour is really about (not what I would have expected), and possibly because Glamour has been feeling kind of hard for me lately, I’ve caught myself thinking a lot about Miss Sugar’s Glamour Pop Quiz questions, particularly the one about What You Really, Really Want, and… what I really want, when I think about it – what this whole Queen of Cups project is supposed to allow me to access – is this. Nothing more, and nothing less, than the Happiness & Home embodied by the Ten of Cups.
 
When it first came to me, I sneared.
 
Really, Meliad? Happiness?? Is that all?
 
Shouldn’t I have been more ambitious? Isn’t wanting a steady, caring home, and a big, queer, chosen family to love and be loved by… isn’t that Not Much At All?
And then I thought: Am I greedy, to want so much? Is it too much to ask that my heart overflow with love and joy instead of sadness and yearning?
 
And then I had a dream.
I dreamed a house that was a weird combination of the house I once owned, a house I didn’t rent when I was in my 20s, the trailer-park home of a friend’s mom near Quebec City where I was made so welcome, the imagined architectural layout of The Cloud Club[2], my ex-partner’s apartment, and the second-floor walk-up of the Toronto friends who played host to me at the end of March and who have a huge, old, fruitful pear tree growing next to their balcony.
I dreamed this house, with the backyard I have now, and the neighbours I have now, except that the hella-gardening Vietnamese lady now looked suspiciously like Shine Louise Houston[3].
I dreamed this house with potted plants outside the balcony door, and garden ready to grow its next season of fruits and veggies. I dreamed my wife and I joking together while getting the balcony in shape. I dreamed C holed up in a messy nest of a room, healing and feeling safe and still part of my heart’s family. I dreamed a friend of my neighbour (she looked like Snow White, if Snow White had the kind of hips and ass normally associated with Fertility Goddesses and the kind of asymetrical bob currently associated with queers of a whole slew of genders) flirting with me, calling me “Hey femme,” and telling me she liked my legs.
I dreamed love and hope. I dreamed relationships that last. I dreamed joy in ordinary moments. I dreamed fruitfulness and abundance and having Enough, feeling Enough. Not Hungry. And not Overwhelming.
I woke up and knew that this was plenty “good enough” to be a Great Work. I woke up and knew it was not Too Much to ask.
 
~*~
 
So thats what my sacred spaces have had to tell me.
Onwards and upwards, campers!
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Today, on the other hand, the sun is out, the snow is pretty-much GONE, the crocuses are blooming, and the leaves are starting to stretch and open up. My rhubarb survived the winter! (At least one did – we’ll see about the other two, which got planted waaaaaaaaay later and may not have got themselves established before the cold hit for real). So things are looking up. 🙂
 
[2] Where Amanda Palmer lives, fyi.
 
[3] Yes, the Shine who runs Pink and White Productions.