I’m (once again) doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. It’s a good mix of practical, magical, and thought-based exercises to help accomplish specific and significant change in your own life. If it’s relevant to your interests, give it a try!
Instructions:“[R]eflect on the last nine weeks and talk about what you’ve learned. About yourself, about goal setting, about your magical practice, whatever was meaningful to you. Also reflect on where you would like to see yourself heading now that you’ve accomplished what you’ve accomplished.”
Tarot Card: Eight of Swords
This isn’t really the halfway point. But, when this course first ran, it was the last public prompt. Obviously there are, like, 13 more to go now, BUT long, long ago, this was the last stop for the blog-around.
Which is convenient.
Because I’ve been kind of wondering what the heck I’m doing.
The previous prompt, about asking for help, acknowledged that at this point in the project, participants are likely to be tired, demoralized, or otherwise wondering why they started this stuff in the first place.
And, y’all? I’m kind of there.
Some of the stuff associated with the eight of swords are: “floundering around / feeling lost” and “feeling overwhelmed”, and “needing guidance or clarity” right alongside “doubting anything you do will help” and “avoiding responsibility”.
I look at my response to this prompt from when I did it for my Queen of Cups Project, and in a lot of ways I’m in the same place I was two years ago. Still stuck on the Planes of Desolation.
What I said in my Goals Post, way back in January, was that:
This project is about opening myself up, rooting myself solid, and becoming my fullest, most integrated, femme self.
And I’m really not sure if that’s happening.
I mean, yes, things are going really well (I think) on the creativity front.
But that’s the easy bit.
The other stuff? The stuff about internalizing that my whole self – the needy part and the possessive part and, frankly, the violent, impatient, frightening part… as well as the care-giving part – is worthy of love and belonging? Or the stuff about understanding, really-really-for-real, that I’m allowed to ask for experiences, care, and pleasure that I want, just because I want them? Or the stuff about shucking off emotional/relational bad habits in favour of ones that reflect (and require) better boundaries?
That stuff is… it’s not going nowhere. I can recognize that. But it’s hard going, and I frequently catch myself deciding to do things where I am seriouslyquestioning the motivation behind those decisions, or else falling back on behaviours that I know are self-destructive and unhelpful and just… It’s good that I’m catching them. It’s good that I can recognize when my body-mind is doing stupid things like getting emotionally agitated specifically because I’ve been agitating the water to do the dishes, and my body-mind is reacting to “agitated movement” with “agitated feelings” and it’s just… at least I can catch it and stop it?
Which is a major deal, even if I’m not necessarily catching it all the time.
And I still have a LOT of concerns about just how quickly this mental health house of cards would come crashing down if I were to throw a wrench – like a new relationship or a new job (neither of which are on the horizon, fyi) – into the gears.
I feel like I need to reset my glamour, or otherwise give it a good wash-up and a polish because, wild-harvested apples, home-made rainbow earrings, and a day spent playing tourist at the local big Fibre Arts festival notwithstanding, I am feeling run down.
So I guess that’s the next magical-physical thing on my to-do list.
On the Glamour Front – because, as you may recall, this is being done in conjunction with the exercises in Miss Sugar’s book – I’m kind of… I don’t know, equal parts “checking in” about it as per the halfway point Glamour Checklist and seriously questioning if what I’m doing even counts.
I find myself avoiding the spaces where it’s socially appropriate to revel in my violence and possessiveness which… I don’t really know what to do with. I mean, sure, some of my reasons for not going to Those Parties are just practicalities. I don’t technically have the disposable income to pay the cover fee. I don’t want to be “stuck” in a room full of overwhelming noise and sensory overload with no way to just leave and go home without inconveniencing someone else (the usual venue for these things is an industrial park on the other side of town with no real bus access, so I’d be relying on rides from other people). But… How much of those are just excuses to avoid those parties? How much of “I don’t want to be stuck there” is really “I don’t want to be somewhere where the parts of myself I’ve been feeling more and more wary/ashamed of could get rejected by the only people (demographic) on earth that might be okay with them”? How much of “I don’t want to be stuck there” is me assuming “Even in a context where it’s okay to be gleefully violent and take-y, I’m not really allowed to do what I want but ‘have to’ ‘facilitate an experience’ for someone else, instead”?
How do I stop believing that, just because X or Y person wasn’t that into me, or into what I wanted to do, I’m supposed to stop wanting what I want? That what I want, and what I am, is bad and shameful (or, hey, boring and repetitive) by default?
This is both a relational/emotional bad habit and an assumption about how my “scary side” should/will be rejected.
As such, I think the next major point of focus is, well, “therapy magic”. The stuff that’s harder to do, the “learn self-compassion” stuff. The “let yourself be truly seen” part of Glamour that goes beyond dressing with intent and reading my poetry at the open mic, and gets into stuff like “talking to my partners about explicit, specific, desires” even when I don’t know if the thing I want to experiment with will ruin everything or wind up okay.
This is really fucking scary.