Tag Archives: Empress Project

New Year New You 2019: Week 20 – Hearth Appreciation Week

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: This week, let’s focus on what is likely your disaster of a hearth.
 
Tarot Card: Ten of Pentacles
 

Wildwood Tarot – Ten of Stones: “Home” – A traditional wattle-and-daub Round House, visible through a stone arch. The house is in good repair, and there is a great tree growing through the center of its thatched roof.


 
Well… She’s not wrong. My house/hearth is often a disaster, and now is no exception, especially having effectively gone from the dazed-and-full-of-cheese headspace of the Midwinter-to-New-Years period directly into a week in a different country, visiting my Young Lady.
So this prompt is coming at a convenient time for a bunch of reasons but primarily… it’s just Time, and having multiple Reasons that aren’t connected to the feeling of “Ew, my home is gross and I want to avoid it” or similar… really helps to get me to Do The Thing.
 
Shame is not a good motivator for me.
“Elevate your daily work to the level of spiritual Work” (to quote Katrina, from Two Rivers Sanctuary in DC) is a good motivator for me.
“You’re an animist, so treat all the people who make up your living space WELL” is a good motivator for me.
“It’s EASIER to Entertain At Home when the dishes are reliably clean and the fridge isn’t crowded with suspicious tupperware” is a good motivator for me.
“You will have better sleep AND better sex in your bedroom if the sheets are clean, the sex toys are readily available, and the room doesn’t smell ever-so-faintly of the eight million dirty socks in the hamper”… is a good motivator for me!
So having Ms Sugar telling me – in stereo – to tidy up my physical living space is… working well for me on a number of levels.
 
While I know this is going to take more than a week, even with me having a fair bit of time available to dedicate to it, this where I’m at so far (having started two days ago):
I’ve given the living room bookshelves their first once-over, weeding out books that I want to rehome, and am starting the (more difficult but not Actually Difficult) task of gathering up all the Random Objects currently blocking access to the books I want to keep, so that I can re-organize the book shelves in such a way that all the photos and pretty rocks and similar look like they’re there on purpose, rather than because they had nowhere else to go.
I have a PLN for how to get my Sacred Writing Area actually tidy (it leans heavily on putting a set of stacking trays in one corner, tbh, and is pretty easy to do once I get ahold of some stacking trays).
I’m about 1/3 of the way through dealing with “my corner” of the bedroom, having gone through the side table and removed the expired safer sex supplies, and having unearth the deacon’s bench – and, in the process, having discovered that MOST of the clothing that’s been heaped on top of it for months is actually CLEAN, folded laundry that just needs to be put away – cleaned it out, and put away (or re-put-away) all the kink equipment. There’s still lots to do – finish sweeping the floor, tidy the surface of my side table, do about four loads of laundry at the laundromat, and hang the giant mirror above the deacon’s bench so that I can dangle various floggers, crops, and cute hats off the hooks that grace the frame’s corners.
My wife and I have a “date” this weekend to organize the part of the kitchen that will most help get the rest of the place tidy and easy to use – we were gifted a second-hand, needs-some-work washer and dryer, and we’ve finally determined that we are never going to clandestinely do the plumbing it would take to make the washer a usable item, so they are going out to the scrap yard and we are putting a couple of industrial shelving units + a small drop-leaf table (the latter is less relevant, but will probably be involved) in their place so that heavy things like 10kg bags of flour, flats of mason jars, small appliances (and the cider press my wife got my as a Midwinter Surprise), containers of dry goods, and baskets of root veggies – BUT ALSO buckets of mechanics equipment, jugs of cleaning vinegar, and various garbage and recycling bins – can be shelved in an orderly and accessible fashion, freeing up the Tall Zone on top of the cupboards for less-frequently-used and much lighter-weight items as the dehydrator and the canning pots.
The floors have been swept and vacuumed (this is a weekly/biweekly thing already, at least), the bathroom has been scrubbed, and will be getting graced with a cute art piece once it arrives from New Zealand in… anywhere from two weeks to two months, and I have an appointment with myself to Magically Scrubbing Bubbles my home in order to sweep insomnia, apathy, irritability, and avoidance right of the place.
Time to keep some appointments!
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Year New You 2019: Week 19 – Small Steps Towards Changing My Baseline

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: What can you do this week to change your life?
 
Tarot Card: Ace of Earth
 

Ace of Discs - Mary El - A winged woman contemplates the ground beneath her feet. A green labyrinth blooms from her solar plexus. The alchemical sign for Earth is in the position of her third eye. Her head is that of a white cow (symbolizing Taurus, the sign of material comfort)

Ace of Discs – Mary El – A winged woman contemplates the ground beneath her feet. A green labyrinth blooms from her solar plexus. The alchemical sign for Earth is in the position of her third eye. Her head is that of a white cow (symbolizing Taurus, the sign of material comfort).


 
Oh, readers, this is where I witter.
I don’t know what’s going to change my life for the better.
I mean, I know: Getting a publisher for my chapbook (not 100% under my control, already under way, but waaaaay too early to follow up with my first – and first-choice – local indie imprint that’s already got the manuscript), submitting my work to paid markets, applying for PT jobs and landing myself an anchor income, booking more shoots in Renfrew[1].
 
But none of that is a new thing. That’s just the next step in a thing I’ve been doing for two years.
I’m looking at this writing prompt, reading it as “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”, and wondering what DIFFERENT thing I can do that will SIGNIFICANTLY change my life for the better.
And… I’m not sure?
But.
I have a friend who’s offered me a free “therapy practice-session” (she’s training to be a therapist, and wants some practice hours before she starts her actual Practicum).
So my “concrete thing I can do this week” is to schedule that hour-long session.
My plan is to use it to talk through some of my Weirdo Money Feels which, I hope, will help me reset my “baseline” without feeling gross and ugly.
Seriously, I look up Suze Orman books at the library and I have a literal disgust reaction to titles like “The Courage To Be Rich”[2].
But, in the spirit of trying to change up my “money mind-set”, I’ve put a few of her books, along with a couple of similar “psychology of personal finance” books, on hold at the library which, in theory, I should be able to pick up before the week is out, too.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad.
 
 
[1] Seriously. So much of what will change my life for the better boils down to “An extra $1000 per month in reliable income”, it’s not even funny.
 
[2] My reaction: “Oh, yes, because it takes such bravery to be a parasite“. So… clearly I’m having some feelings over here.

New Year New You 2019: Week 18 – The Sun Inside

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: She mentioned that she knew someone who took a moment in her cube every morning to empty her brain of the old crap so she had room to let new crap in. That made sense to me! So that’s what I am going to do. Why don’t you try it. too?
 
Tarot Card: The Sun (and The Chariot) – I chose these cards for their overlapping connections with confidence and success. The Sun touches on things like “knowing your worth”, “trusting your abilities”, “and believing you can succeed”, as well as “getting noticed” and “experiencing greatness”, while The Chariot pertains to “being successful”, “achieving goals”, and “getting your way”, as well as “using your will” and “feeling self-confident”.
 

The Sun - The Slutist Tarot - A witchy babe in a bell-sleeved mini dress, a broad-brimmed black hat, and sunglasses lounges on a red blanket with a book

The Sun – The Slutist Tarot – A witchy babe in a bell-sleeved mini dress, a broad-brimmed black hat, and sunglasses lounges on a red blanket with a book


 
The Chariot - The Next World Tarot - A femme in a pink cocktail dress, fur collar, turquoise boots, and with a crescent moon in her hair, takes her pet miniature elephants for a walk

The Chariot – The Next World Tarot – A femme in a pink cocktail dress, fur collar, turquoise boots, and with a crescent moon in her hair, takes her pet miniature elephants for a walk


 
Maybe there’s something kismet-y about deciding to do this right around Winter Solstice, but my attempt to breathe out the old stuff to let the new stuff in looks like trying to unblock my 3rd chakra.
A while back – six months ago, maybe? – I was at a party, talking to a druid (as one does), who commented that I was very connected to the world around me via my first and second chakras, but had some kind of blockage or stuckness going on that was preventing those connections from happening any higher up.
Like, no kidding. A significant chunk of this whole project has been doing root-chakra and sacral-chakra energy work (and yoga and dancing and listening to the related binaural soundscapes on youtube) to try to balance those areas in order to make it easier for me to bring material stability and (further) sensuality and eroticism into my life.
 
I know this particular prompt was about “let yourself be still for a while” but… I hold still all the time. Literally, for my job, but also in terms of being frozen with indecision – like “Oh no, what if I apply for this job, AND this other job, and one of them hires me and then so does the other one, and I have to say No to somebody” and similar.
It’s a tad ridiculous, you might say.
 
I’ve been talking with Ms Sugar, she who created this whole Experiment in the first place, about “jumping and living to tell the tale” and about how I’m simultaneously scared to death of taking any risks ever at all AND feeling like I’ve been taking (admittedly tiny) calculated risks every other week for the past eight years.
But even knowing that. Even recognizing that my poetry is coming along, and I’m getting requests for contributions (I mean, they’re paid with contributor copies, but still) and occasionally getting my work accepted in paid publications. Even recognizing that I’ve built a solid modeling career over the past 10 years. Even recognizing that I’m getting better at small magics (like charmed objects and honey pots) and energy work. Even recognizing that I’m a LOT more comfortable in sexual situations than I was when I started my Empress Project… Even recognizing all of that, I can see myself keeping myself small.
I can see myself going “Okay, but if I step into My Power and actually Take Up Space, and people not going to come after me with literal baseball bats to make sure I never do that again??”
Which… is at least somewhat unlikely to happen?
I can see that there’s some kind of a disconnect between my Wanting and my Will.
So my current attempt at breathing out the old crap to let new, less-crappy crap come in, is this:
 
I am visualizing a sunflower and/or a solar flare and/or this hypothetical Pictish tattoo in my abdominal region, while repeating “I am powerful and I am comfortable with my power” and imagining the flower/flare getting brighter every time I breath in, as though I were stoking a fire.
I hope this will help me develop the internal fortitude for sustained acts of Will and for putting myself out there and Getting Noticed in bigger ways.
 

New Year New You 2019 : Week 17 – A Big Ritual

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: So now that you’ve done the small magics, I think it’s time to do a big ritual to further one or more of your goals.
 

Candle Magic in Progress - My working altar set-up, as viewed from the East.

Candle Magic in Progress – My working altar set-up, as viewed from the East.


 
As all of you know by now, I’m not a Big Rituals kind of gal. I put songs on repeat to help me enter something adjacent to a trance, maybe once or twice a year, and do little rituals (offerings roughly once a week, greeting my gods at the crossroads and as I see them, the first slice from a fresh batch of bread, stuff like that) fairly frequently, but Big Magical Doings that require a lot of prep and planning… are not typically My Bag.
 
BUT.
 
I just turned forty.
I love my weirdo freelancing art life, and I want to keep it.
But I am so, SO tired (like physically and emotionally worn out, but also “sick of this crap” tired) of the precarity that comes with it.
I marked my birthday with a week worth of fun and lovely events, which wrapped up just before the recent full moon in Taurus, and I wanted to harness that “manifesting abundance and pleasure and security” stuff that comes with the Taurus full moon and its major-major link with The Empress.
 
So I spent a day working out how to turn my Greatest Hits Wish List into a series of little doodles – not exactly sigils (except in the case of making a little glyph to represent my immediate polycule), but stuff along those lines. I planned out what I’d need, in terms of materials. I sorted out offerings and harvested the herbs from my (snowed under, so that was a thing) garden. I took a calculated risk in collecting one of the other elements of the altar and the magic to be made on it, and made sure to leave offerings and… I guess I could call them connections(?) in return. I took the time (and energy, and resources, and skills) to make bread from scratch, and on Moonday, which handily actually WAS the night of the full moon (and which I also, thankfully, had off AND which was overcast enough for it to get dark enough to light candles earlier in the day), I turned my coffee table into an altar space and got to work.
 
So. You know the thing “To Know, To Will, To Dare, To Keep Silent”?
I don’t actually know how many of the specifics of this I should be yacking about in front of the whole internet. So, in the interests of not screwing it up or pissing Anybody off, I’m going to be a bit vague on things.
BUT. The general gist is this:
 
First thing, as you can see from the photo, above, I was doing candle magic, just in a more intense way than I often do. Even when I go big, I’m still pretty basic in terms of what I do.
I wanted to have stuff that grew in my yard – my space, the place I have some kind of a friendly (uh, I’d like to think) relationship with – sitting in each of the quarters. I wanted the elements represented by things that I wanted and things that connected me to success and security. There’s a brick from the house my mom grew up in (among other things), in the North. The South is all sex toys and kinky equipment. The East is the various hard-copy books and chaps that I’ve been published in (why, yes, ALL of them). The West is the tarot cards I drew for my birthday, all those hope-and-heart cards, plus a piece of fancy stemware. The Centre was raised up on a fancy cake tray (40th birthday gift, also hospitality and fanciness), and has the Empress card that I used to kick off my whole Empress Project in the first place. The votive candles I used had been lit at my birthday party, and I treated them like Birthday Candles (as in “make a wish”).
 
I sang (just a little – the chorus of a song that I treated as a prayer), I gave offerings that were a little fancier than I usually do, and that included a little bit of pain, and a moderate amount of blood, on my part. But the big difference in how I did this whole thing is that, when I cast the circle, I got a little bit extra. I’m not usually one to call the guardians of the watchtowers of absolutely anything. But this time I reached out to the People of the four directions, and called the Above and the Below to run the world pillar through my spine.
And they showed up.
They came.
I hadn’t been expecting that.
Don’t go getting me wrong here, I’m very glad they did. But it was an optional thing for them. I’m… touched? That the Spirits of Place, the People who orient us in space and in… action? Is that a good way to put it? That they came and were willing to witness, and maybe even help.
 
Anyway.
I did The Thing.
I think my giant bag of soil is probably thawed out by now (it having had a week to hang out in the warm), so I can now take the last of the accoutrements off the altar space and do the last bit of the ceremony, at which point I can have my coffee table back.
 
In prepping for this, my wife asked me if it was going to come at a cost – because everything has a cost. She works with a goddess who takes payment in blood and pain (there are so many of these) and she was worried about me getting hurt, basically. So we ended up having a discussion about different types of relationships.
I talked about how I’ve been involved with my pantheon actively for a couple of decades, that I check in with them and say Hello often, and that I generally don’t show up with my hand out. I said “There’s wine on the altar right now” – wine that had been offered the previous Friday – and that while I didn’t give my Gods and Ancestors wine and cookies and bread and occasional whisky and other tasty things in order to, you know, manipulate them into feeling like they have to help me, the fact that I’ve been doing this for a long time – much as with more corporeal people – will get you a certain amount of trust and good will. If you show up for your friends, and want to hang out just for the sake of hanging out, they are more likely to show up for you when you need help with a thing. (This is, incidentally, one of the reasons I tend not to contract out and do transactional work with deities outside of my pantheon. I don’t know, and won’t necessarily be able to accurately discern, what kind of payment they might want. And I’m hesitant to offer any kind of tradesies when I don’t know what I’m getting myself into).
 
I did my ritual, my ceremony, made my offerings, around the themes of the Empress.
May it be, may it be, may it be. ❤
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Year New You 2019: Week Sixteen – Little Magics Everywhere (A Retrospective on a Magical Visit)

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: This is a good week to work on shoaling[…]. Make all your tiny magic fish into one big magic fish.
 

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - The Magician - A busty, long-haired individual in a traditional witch's hat and with a wand at her side, sits at a computer keyboard and points to the space above her head, where knives, a pentacle, a mug of coffee, a mask, and what look like a few chocolates(?) float and dance to her Will.

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – The Magician – A busty, long-haired individual in a traditional witch’s hat and with a wand at her side, sits at a computer keyboard and points to the space above her head, where knives, a pentacle, a mug of coffee, a mask, and what look like a few chocolates(?) float and dance to her Will.


 
Tarot Card: The Magician
When I sat down to write this, I was debating going with the High Priestess. Partly because the High Priestess is frequently coded as “passive” and a lot of these little/”little” magics happened because I was presented with the opportunity to Do A Thing by someone else. But I wanted to emphasize the role of choice here, in so far as it comes to what I chose to do with the opportunities presented.
 
Ms Sugar talks about shoaling – about doing a bunch of little spells, for little things, that happen to all aim (more or less) towards the same goal.
That’s… not exactly what happened here.
Rather, over a month ago, I went to visit my girlfriend in DC, and it felt like a very magical (in the literal, although also just the romantic, sense of the word). So this post is going to be a bit of a retrospective on that one.
 
At my girlfriend’s birthday party (where there was also live music, fire spinning, and poetry), one of her housemates ran an impromptu ritual – strengthening group connections through the Emerald Heart – that included all of us pouring our wills and heart-and-community-related goals into these little fuel-cube things that we fed into the fire to activate them.
I used the opportunity to do some magic about making poetry that serves myself while also finding the right audience for it – people who would also be served by the poetry, would see their own reflections more clearly by reading the ways I’ve written myself down.
It seemed appropriate, given that I’d been performing some of it earlier to a backyard full of exactly the kinds of people that I think of as My Audience. (Queers, kinky folks, trauma survivors, art freaks, sex workers, magic makers, dirt-worshipers, polytheists. Y’know. Us).
 
I practiced energy working a little bit, in a way that let me see if it was having any effect. Which it was! Amazing! 😀
 
We did a Museum Day where we went around and played tourist/tour-guide, and a couple of things happened:
 
We went to the Air & Space Museum – specifically to find Moon Landing goodies for my wife / her metamour – and, while we were there, we got to touch the moon rock. Which… I don’t know if the energy in that big chip of rock (about the size of the cuttlefish bones we get for our little birds to chew on) was due to me having A Religious Experience with one of my gods, or if this very hematite-like bit of rock – the moon has a lot of iron in her make-up – had just picked up and held onto the very human energy of thousands and thousands of people brushing their hands over it every day for decades. But either way, there was Something There that was strong enough for me to pick up on it. O.O
 
We also went to the Renwick Gallery, and the Temple Installation – “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man”, an installation by David Best and the rest of the temple crew – was unexpectedly still running. So I got to spend some time in a temporary – and made to be burned on the Playa – temple to grief and loss. What struck me so much about it was that in the writing that people had done all over the walls, the messages they’d left, the photos they’d brought to leave behind and be destroyed, the words that I saw repeated over and over were “I love you”.
 
And I left something there.
 
There were little wooden “cards” that you could write on – could take away and bring back with other items if you wanted to – and then tuck into the niches between the various layers of woodcut that made up the temple walls. So I wrote something.
Not long before I went to DC, someone on Twitter was doing single-card tarot readings – on the theme of “What you need for your love life” – for anyone who happened to ask for one during a specific time period, just because they were having a good day. And I was like “Sure, hit me up!” and the card this individual drew was Death. What they said about it was “Let the buried memories stay buried. You don’t need to carry them anymore”.
The grief I wrote about did not involve the words “I love you”. We’ll see if writing it down and leaving it there has any effect, but it was basically setting an intention, or maybe making a goal, around not defining my sexual and romantic self by my trauma(s?).
We’ll see what happens.
 
One other thing that happened on Museum Day happened when we stopped for lunch in a specific museum cafeteria. We sat by the window and looked out at the water feature, and we saw that there were four playing cards just… stuck to one of the rocks in the water feature, right were we could see them.
It felt a bit like radiomancy. Just this random chance that happened to include a message via the Language Of Metaphor:
The three of clubs (wands)
The ace of hearts (cups)
And, layered over each other, the eight of hearts and the joker (which can be either the Fool, specifically, or the sum-total of all the major arcana taken together).
 
And, I mean, there’s a lot of stuff in here about experiencing and fulfillment and expanding possibilities (3 of wands) around big-hearted love-intimacy-connection feels (the various cups cards) and I think that’s an accurate interpretation. BUT… I sort of see this as The Locals kind of just checking in, and I find that the land, in particular, tends to be very, very literal. So, given how ¾ of those cards have ties to traveling and journeys? Like, I’m inclined to read this as basically “Oh, hey, we see that you’re in a long-distance relationship together. Got it!” Which reminded me – in a really positive way – of that meme about how sometimes your tarot cards are just like “Wow, girl… you’ve been going through some really hard stuff” and you’re like “Yeah! Any suggestions on what I can do?” and they’re like “Just, wow… this has been really hard. Are you okay?”
Like, sometimes, it’s just The Family going “I see you and acknowledge what’s going on in your life”.
It was kind of delightful. 🙂
(That said, given that tarot draw, and the temple at the Renwick, I can read that 8 of Cups as relating to that, too, if I want to do a me-specific, rather than us-specific, reading).
 
Anyway.
So those were the little magics that I got to do/experience while in DC.
&bsp;
My girlfriend – who described me as being “all food, sex, poetry, blood, magic and religion”, which is not inaccurate – sent me home with T. Thorn Coyle’s book on sigil magic, which I started reading on the plane home (while hanging out on the runway for 45 minutes due to weather conditions, actually). A lot of it (so far) is about meditation and getting into the right headspace – for magic or creative writing work, either way – rather than being about making and working with sigils. But I’m finding it useful anyway.
 
My visits with my girlfriend – in significant part because we live far enough away from each other that we can’t do “every other weekend” type visits – tend to feel a little bit Time Outside Of Time anyway, because we’re both effectively on vacation when we get to see each other. Also, being both really woo, that tends to be a factor as well. But those periods where I have the time and the company that really, really allow for me to have religious experiences and long shop-talk about spirituality and our respective practices… they’re a reminder of how important this stuff is for me, how good it feels to be able to have these conversations and these experiences.
 
So it means that I’ve been pushing myself (just a little bit) to do that stuff more often. To do my Moon Salutations, with at least a little bit of vocalizations, every day. To finally make new beeswax candles for my altar. To light up some incense and do a little bit of energetico-spiritual tidying (and also some literal tidying, tbh). To follow Thorn’s directions and approach my writing as something akin to meditation (which, turns out, really helps me access the poetry-writing part of my brain). To take the time to put on my Crown of Light and write “worthy” on my leg in perfume oil. To start a couple of new poetry projects, one of-which is (so far) devotional in nature. To make a point of shifting my focus lower, to the permanent Ground that I always have going on, to actively try to run energy from those deep-set roots up to the crown of my head, to try to open up the top of my head when I’m reaching for connection with my Ladies.
And it feels good to be doing those things. Sometimes nervous-making, but still good.
I feel like this post connects pretty directly to the one I did for Week Five, almost a year-and-a-half ago, about making little magics in my life, every day. Re-enchanting my daily tasks in order to help me keep at them.
Because the challenge, for me, often is to keep at them, without feeling silly or just “tired” (but I did it yesteday…) or whatever, and deciding I can skip X, Y, or Z or “just one day” and then having “one day” turn into a week or a month or more than a month.
But even Granny Weatherwax was just starting, “every day, just starting”, so coming back and starting over every day is still worthy, you know? But it’s easier if I’m doing it all the time.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Year New You 2019: Week Fifteen – In Which We Are Grinding Along

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: 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.
 

Next World Tarot - 7 of Pentacles - Abuelita's Labour of Love Pays Off

Next World Tarot – 7 of Pentacles – Abuelita’s Labour of Love Pays Off – An old lady sits surrounded by the art she’s been making for years which, it turns out, people want to pay for.


 

Osho Zen Tarot – 7 of Rainbows – “Patience” – A heavily pregnant person with long hair sits serenely under the phases of the moon.


 
Tarot Card: Seven of Earth. I chose the Seven of Pentacles, and I’m not a hundred percent sure it’s the right card. I’ve often gone with the Eight of the same suit for prompts about gettin’ ‘er done and keeping at it. But I wanted a card that allowed for a little bit of stock-taking as well as action, for a little bit of thoughtfulness alongside the grinding, a little reminder that “this is a marathon, not a sprint” even if the point of doing this as a project with prompts and activities is to get that long process going a little harder and build up some solid momentum.
Cristy C Road says, in her write-up for her Next World rendering of the Seven of Pentacles, “Our bodies execute magic daily, and your destination will blur if you forget the journey”.
 
And this project continues to be a journey. I wrote my initial goals post almost a year-and-a-half ago. I can recognize that I’m making progress, even if it feels super slow.
My glamour magic is at least somewhat effective.
I’ve had eight poems published since I started this project, with another five accepted for publication before the end of 2019 (so far – part of today is dedicated to working on another submission that will, hopefully, up that number again).
I’ve started dating a pretty amazing out-of-town lady and have also been going on more dates with my wife.
I have a whole other project on the go that specifically pertains to sex and sexuality (partnered and otherwise).
While the “know in my bones” part of a lot of those goals is still very (very) much a work in progress, I’ve started telling myself that I have permission to ask for the experiences, care, and pleasure that I want and will really enjoy, that all of me is worthy of love and belonging, and that my “scary” side isn’t actually scary to people who are good for me.
So, like… I’m doing the fucking work, and I’m getting results.
 

Things I’m doing this week to further my goals:
 
Going to a poetry launch at VE, yesterday (helping to refill my creative well while surrounding myself with poetry folks)
 
Going to the Bi/Pan public get-together on my way home from work – also yesterday (thus potentially finding new people who are a great social fit for me, while also getting to say Hi to one or two people I already know are a great social fit for me)
 
Moon Salutations (which open up my hips and unlock my lower back, and which also give me 10 minutes to reach out to one of my Goddesses who I feel like I’ve been neglecting)
 
Reading Burnout, by the Nagoski sisters (and trying to remember to Practice Self-Kindness instead of spectatoring and catastrophizing in Very Specific Situations)
 
Taking care of my garden (because cultivating food is one way I also cultivate abundance and sensuality, particularly while feeling the FINALLY warm sun on my FINALLY bare skin)
 
Asking at the local coffee shop about how to get my self-published chapbooks onto their ‘zine wall, and then – earlier today – following up on that information
 
Going to the park a doing something akin to “assisted” or “suspended” pull-ups (in the interests of eventually being able to take an aerials class and actually get my body into the hoop to do all those cool, graceful, balance-based Beginner Tricks that I think I might be able to pull off… once I’m up there)
 
Working on new poems and finishing my latest poetry submission (to further show off my writing chops and move a little closer to the point where I can start shopping the chapbook around)

 
Concrete things to keep myself moving along, one foot in front of the other.
It’s funny. Or not funny, I’m not sure. I’m thinking about ritual. About Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha defining “prayer” as repetition, intention, change.
So often my repetitions feel like a rut. The rhythm of my days feels very small, less like the foundation of an ostinato and more just the trudge-trudge-trudge of someone who never does anything new. Returning to this post again and again. Some days I feel like nothing gets accomplished, in the grand scheme of things. Other days – like today – I write three new, good poems (based on a three-card draw of a deck I haven’t used in a while, no less) and a draft of a fourth; get extra cream in my coffee from a friendly, queer waitress; get to impress a 2-year-old with my not-so-amazing, but aiming-for-amazing, balancing tricks. Some days the rhythm of yoga and garden and kitchen and writing and making my living by the strength and stamina of my body, some days it feels magical. Some days I can see where this journey is meant to be taking me.

New Year New You 2018 (2019) – Week Fourteen: Spiritual Consultation

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: Now would be a good time to check in with your personal Powers That Be (PTB) about your goals“.
 

Wild Unknown Tarot - Temperance - A blue heron + the mingling of water and fire against a rainbow background

Wild Unknown Tarot – Temperance – A blue heron + the mingling of water and fire against a rainbow background


 
Tarot Cards: I picked Temperance for this one, because of how it relates to both “union of opposites” endeavors and, more broadly, to cooperation and compromise.
 
See, the whole “check in with your deities (etc)” prompt… I took a “radiomancy” approach to my tarot cards today and just… shuffled the deck until something fell out.
What fell out was this:
 
Empress crossed with the King of Air. Related Influences: Seven of Air vs Seven of Fire.

Empress crossed with the King of Air. Related Influences: Seven of Air vs Seven of Fire.


 
The Empress (which is what my whole project is about) crossed with – or is that brought about through? – the King of Air. The two other cards – both sevens, which means they relate to the Chariot and its “Get Up / Wake Up, and GO” energy – read as “obstacles” vs “helpers” or a case of “what do I need to let go of” vs “what do I need to act on/with”. Influences to be taken into account, if you will.
 
As far as messages from My Ladies go? This is… very relevant, nothing unusual, and… basically confirming stuff I’m aware of already? Unless I’m missing something?
The diametrically opposed sevens: The seven of air vs the seven of fire. Shame & avoidance vs Courage & conviction.
This has been my problem for ever. I push towards the thing, I get stuck, I regress, I push further, wash, rinse, repeat. Part of me reads this as just, like, “The struggle is real” with a side order of “Also, healing works in spirals and is not in any way linear, and there’s going to be points where you’re making a lot of progress very fast and there’s going to be points where you’re seriously feeling stuck and like nothing is changing”.
But, with this specific project in mind, I can also read it as the overthinking stuckness and “freezing” that I experience literally butting heads with the vitality and bravery that it’s going to take to navigate those Stuck/Lost feelings.
 
The one card I’m not sure what to make of is the King of Swords.
This card could be a reference to my tendency to over-think things and to how researching The Thing is not the same as doing it. But – while I don’t usually read upright cards like this – the fact that the King of Swords is upright suggests that maybe this is something about, well, what my wife called “Cognitive Behavioural Witchcraft”. The way I use magic and ritual to kind of reroute my neural pathways and get myself to, hopefully, stop believing the old tapes and, hopefully, stop making the same set of mistakes.
 
Heh. There’s this meme that’s going around right now:
 

 
And… it’s not inaccurate. Sometimes my readings look more like “Yep… that is definitely an accurate description of my situation…” rather than “Wow! That’s some useful advice as to next steps to get where I’m going!”
That said, I’m choosing to interpret this as a “Yes, keep using your Very Smart Brain and your magical skills to unblock your sexual blocks and further develop your shame resilience! It’s going in fits and starts, but it’s working!”
With any luck, I’ll be correct in this.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.