Tag Archives: goddesses

Canadian Pagan Declaration on Intolerance

Hey, Pagans, Heathens, Druids, Goddess-Spiritualists, Witchy-Woo Folks, and others who practice earth-centered religions/spirituality, ancestor veneration, and/or polytheism in Canada:

Please go and take a gander at the Canadian Pagan Declaration on Intolerance. You may wish to sign it yourself, as an individual or as a representative of your particular faith group, circle, kindred, grove, coven, or other congregation.

Thanks,
Meliad.

Full Moon – Sap Moon Crests (and Wains)

Got sick when the moon crested.
In spite of that (or possibly because of it, given how I spent last Sunday), I’m feeling a little bit more in touch with my glamourous side. I spent yesterday unpacking books that I bought during my (over-long and never-completed) MA in Religious Studies, where I focused on Menstruation and Goddess Spirituality (more on that here), and then knitting a bag for my third divination deck (the Daughters of the Moon deck that is… not actually a tarot deck, but calls itself one). It’s nice to have those books out, even if my personal understanding of Goddess Spirituality, as a faith with women’s bodily autonomy and self-(re)claimation at its core, has devoloped quite a ways away from the biological-reductionism & ciscentrism/cissexism that shows up in a lot of those texts.
I think I might be in the “slightly manic / risky behaviour looks appealing” phase of getting-over-a-breakup (at least according to this thing) which… may or may not do great things for my Glamour. But it’s giving me Reasons to drag my how-I-present-myself game up out of the doldrums it was in two weeks ago, so that’s something.
 
~*~
 
MOTION: Ye gods, I have got to get myself to a pool. With a hot tub. and a sauna. Next week can’t get here soon enough.
 
ATTENTION: Paying a lot of attention to the “I Wants” in my head (e.g.: I would love to go to an event like Sapphic Aquatic, but without the $100 round trip + accomodations-hunting it would require), but also trying to pay attention to, and acknowledge, the many elements of “What Happy Looks Like” (for me) that are already part of my life.
 
GRATITUDE: The option of buying popsicles just because I want them. A wife who is willing to do the cooking when I’m sick AF and who makes me tea and slow-dances with me in the living room. ❤ The luxury of new deoderant, Just Because (although I am laughing at myself, slightly, for believing that a femme chicky like me buying Old Spice is somehow "transgressive"… Yeah…).
 
INSPIRATION: Warsan Shire's gorgeous, evocative poetry (as featured in Lemonade). Clearly I have to look this woman up.
 
CREATION: Wrote a poem about claiming my body as my own the other day. Hopefully more to follow.

New Year New You 2016: Week 2 – Goals

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: Determine what you want to accomplish in 2012 2016 using both magical and mundane means, then break it down into magical and mundane steps that you can take.
 
Tarot Card: Queen of Cups for some fairly obvious reasons (see below).
 
Thoughts:
So, yeah. My Goal is to wake up my Queen of Cups energy and to become More Receptive on all fronts.
This feels a bit scary (but it probably should), and also a bit… foolish? Like I’m doomed to fall down the rabbit hole of Second Chakra Energy money-and-sex stuff (because Receiving Makes You Vulnerable and/or Wanting Is Shallow, or whatever other internalized crap I’ve got to deal with… is still up against money and sex being strongly conflaited in my culture, even as we deamonize sexworkers… yada yada yada, I’m already getting Meta in an effort to avoid looking at my own Issues, look at that) rather than focusing on some sort of heart-opening/ocean-soul thing that would be just so much more valid and less greedy and just… eugh. Internalized issues? You bet your ass!
 
Questions (and similar):
1. How are you going to accomplish these large goals in your daily life?

I… have no idea.
Which doesn’t work as an answer, I know.
It’s hard to think of “receiving” as something I can initiate.
None the less, I can pay attention. Like it says in this post, I can actively notice when someone does something nice for me in order to circumvent That Thing where it only takes one “no” to cancel out a dozen “yes” responses and maybe help me stop thinking that nobody wants to give me things (even when “things” are non-physical stuff like “kind words” or whatever).
 
I can do some of the exercises in Ecstasy is Necessary (because, yeah, some of this – lots of this, even – is totally to do with sex)
 
I can Try New Things. Stick with me here. Being receptive means being open. It means less holing up in my living room (oh hai, Winter… look who just arrived) and more (a) eating Korean BBQ, (b) reading at open mics (again), (c) volunteering, (d) taking classes, (e) going to Free Cool Events in my neighbourhood, (f) going to Free Cool Events in different cities[1]!, and other stuff like that there.
 
I can Ask. I can Use My Words and see what comes my way. (This is terrifying, but there you go).
 
2. What magical acts (rituals, spellwork, whatever it is you do) can you do to help you accomplish this goal?
This is almost easier. I’ve been taking Glamour Baths for ages, now, and word has it that my High Femme Smoulder is basically unstoppable. This is good to hear (for many reasons), and means that this particular form of magic is actually working for me.
I’m good at Honey Pots – calling things to me.
What I need to sort out now is how to see, and take, the opportunities/gifts/wooing/kindness/etc that come my way. I can:
 
Re-enchant my (new) mascara to help me see and recognize those things as they come.
 
Keep up with my ritual baths and honey-pot feedings, since those seem to be working well.
 
Re-charge my favourite lipstick(s) for added glamourous vavavoom.
 
Do some of the exercises in Urban Tantra with specific regards to opening up my energy flows.
 
Do Kundalini yoga (using an online free video, provided I can get it to stream properly) because… it helps. Though I’m not sure how/why. But go with what works.
 
Do “water meditation”. Yeah. You know that thing that everyone learns when they read Starhawk (or Silver Raven Wolf, or whatever you read as a baby Pagan learning the 101 stuff), where you send your roots into the earth and draw energy up from the earth’s core? I could never get the hang of that. But I tried looking for the water table and BAM! Now that’s energy I can access and draw upon! So I figure, what better way to access my Queen Of Cups mojo than to practice opening up to, and drawing in, specifically water-based energy? Gotta be worth a shot, right? Right.
 
3 and 4. What does [your preferred method of divination] and/or [patron deities/spirits] have to say regarding how to make sure you put these plans into action AND what kind of road blocks may keep you from doing so?
Yeah, I totally conflated #3 and #4 here. I get a lot of radio silence (or possibly I’m just failing to pick up the signal – Also likely. “Receptive” has a lot of meanings and I need help with all of them) when I ask questions without some sort of translation service (such as tarot cards) in play.
 
Yesterday – and I realize this isn’t the most Intentional way of doing this (call it Radiomancy with divination cards) – I was shuffling my Daughters of the Moon tarot deck[2] and, possibly because the cards are big and round and hard to handle, half a dozen cards toppled out of the deck, first two, then four, right after each other. I decided to go with it:
 
Road Blocks:
Reversal (the Hanged One)
Conflict (4 of Flames)
 
Actions to Take:
Cerridwen (Crone – King? – of Flames)
The Moon
Hokhma – Decisions (8 of Blades)
Mami Watu the Mermaid / Pisces (Maiden – Page-Knight – of cups)

 
With regards to road blocks I might have to deal with, the “reversal” card sometimes just means “hanging around and waiting” AKA: Inaction. That one’s easy enough to understand, although not strictly super helpful in terms of specifics. The “conflict” card is… one of the ones that doesn’t match up, to my knowledge, with anything like a traditional tarot card. The closest I can guess is the possibility of there being “too many cooks” involved in my personal receptivity-building project (I understand the 4 of Fire as participation/get-involved/everyone-onto-the-dance-floor/collaboration kind of thing) or maaaaaaaybe that I might “plateau” at the first sign of leveling up or start balking (inner conflict??) when it comes to trying to open up with/to someone(s) else.
 
As far as steps to take (or allies, or helpful hints, or however you want to read this bunch) go, I’m inclined to take the Moon card pretty literally, given that my own Moon Goddess handles trust and emotional stuff (and the ocean) as part of Her pervue.
As for the rest… Cerridwen’s cauldron of creation and transformation. Recognition of harms done in past relatioinships and needing to (actively) choose, moment to moment, whether those ripples are going to be the boss of me right now. That mermaid, again, calling me to dive deep, seek self-understanding/compassion, but also to trust and take risks. Which, okay, that last one is pretty clear. 😉
 
I don’t know if my Ladies were talking through those cards, but I’m willing to keep them in mind going forward, since they (mostly) seem to make sense.
 
Anyway. Week Three awaits, but it’s probably going to Await a little longer (which is hilarious, given that the topic is “something you’ve been putting off), since Week Four is pretty date-specific (New Year’s and all it’s accompanying guilt-ridden self-sabotage) and Miss Sugar commands that we all do that one right on time.
 
I’m off!
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Yeah, I’m looking at taking “working vacations” to nearby cities where I have Crash Space in town, and booking 3-5 modeling jobs in as many days… if I can manage that. But: Receptive. (Gahds, so much of this is “power of positive thinking” crap. I feel like I’m subscribing to The Secret or something… Eugh…)
 
[2] Which, in my opinion are really not a tarot deck at all. They’re something new built from the bones of the tarot, but… while most re-interpretations / new-interpretations of the tarot stick to the 78 cards and their original meanings – so while some decks might put the emphasis of the 3 of Cups on “relationships between women”, others might put it on “your cup runeth over”, and still others might focus on “community building”, “partying to excess”, or “so many (too many?) options”, these different emphases are still all aspects of the actual card – the DotM deck amalgamtes a number of major arcana cards, conflates the pages and knights together, and redistributes the “troubling cards” of the suit of air across the entire minor arcana so that, basically, the elemental suits look a little bit less like the houses in Harry Potter.

Full Moon – Long Nights Moon Crests

It’s Mother’s Night. It’s Friday. I’ve got poly family hanging out in the living room (my wife all snuggled up on the couch with her other primary), where the altar candles have just been lit, and other poly family calling (or being called) to say hello. I have Fabulous Friday Dinner roasting in the oven (it’s a duck stuffed with wild rice and dried fruit, plus a couple of veggie sides – one of which hasn’t been started yet).
 
Two weeks ago, I was sick as a dog, and going through a self-made emotional wringer. Four days ago, I was still in that particular pit, but starting to lift myself (with help, y’all) out of it.
 
The messages I’ve been getting (since October, easily, but more and more since then) have all been pointing me towards “be more receptive”. Everything from “trust” to “accumulate rather than excise” to “use your words to ask for what you want”. My year-at-a-glance horoscope and “born under” notes in my shiny new date book, numerous tarot readings, and a lot of conversations, have all been saying the same things, which basically boil down to this:
 

Receptivity
Queen of Water
(Image of a Tarot Card ft a Woman’s body, superimposed over a blue, watery background. Her arms are lifted high & held wide open, and there is a blue lotus where her head would be).


 
I’ve spent the last few years trying to become a Queen of Fire – outpourings of creativity, hospitality, generocity, and personal power tempered by grace and the ability to adapt. I’m still aiming for those things (though doing a lot better with them than I was when I started that particular trip), but it’s time to balance those aims with some Water energy.
I need to learn how to receive, how to refill that well, so to speak, so that all my Queen of Fire out-pourings actually have something to draw on. I need to do like my recent New Moon tarot reading said to do, and start recognizing and internalizing that I’m not “going it alone”, that people care about me and have my back, that interdependence means letting others give to me, nurture me, too.
 
I recently figured out some of my astrological signs – I’ve known my Sun was in Scorpio for forever (I’m sure you’re all shocked, shocked by that particular revelation), but learned the other day that (a) my Moon, rather than being in Pices, is in Cancer, and (b) that Pices is actually my MidHeaven[1] sign. Turns out my Rising Sign is also Cancer. Hands up if anyone is surprised that my signs are all water, all the time? Nobody? Didn’t think so.
 
So it’s time to start living up to that.
My goals for the coming new year – I say, with that big, beautiful full moon rising as I type this – are to integrate a big dose of that Queen of Cups energy into my life and self.
 
Four years ago, I said: “I want my LIFE to be this glorious mash-up of art and sex and joy and beauty, I want my LIFE to be built on and fueled by, and in a symbiotic relationship with, pleasure in all its many forms.”
 
I still want that. But to get it, I can’t just be all push, all the time. Yes, I want to burn brightly with all sorts of sensuality. But I need to be able to take that beauty in as well.
 
Sending prayers to Maia, my wise, queer Lady of the Moon and the Ocean, to help me learn these ways.
Wish me luck!
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Your MidHeaven sign, apparently, has to do with Career. Pices’ best job-fair options, apparently, are: Art, art, art, art, art, healing and/or nuturing professions, more art, and foot massages. (Maybe I should work part-time at a day-spa? Dunno).

Hearth, Hospitality, and Home

My fingers are ringing with the bright chill of peppermint and rosemary essential oils. There’s lavender mixed in there, too, and white vinegar, and salt. I swear, the idea was just to deoderize (ye gods) a tea towel and some of my dish cloths, but I wound up sloshing the last of it across my steps, pouring out protections just ’cause I can.
 
That’s the lovely thing about herbal magic. Generally speaking, if it’ll cure a cold or sanitize a diaper, it’ll probably also work in protection magic. That’s how it goes, right? If mint and birch will open up your lungs again, by breathing the steam or drinking the tea, then maybe hanging a bunch of them (to dry, yeah) over your threshold will keep the sickness from your door in the first place. Maybe it’ll keep other bad stuff away, too.
 
So that – along with putting the coffee on – was what I did before 8am this morning. (I know, I know, a whole heap of you folks have to be at a desk by 8am and were doing this with the sun barely over the horizon, but we run on a slightly different schedule here).
 
I’m going to spend the day (a) prepping my set list and numbering chapbooks for my show, but also (b) catching up on various house-wifely and kitchen-witchly tasks that have been needing some attention. Stuff like re-stocking my beeswax candle supply (since I’ll be lighting my altars tonight anyway), doing the laundry in the hand-crank machine, feeding & weeding the garden, patching my wife’s skirt, plus the usual daily tasks like dishes (endless dishes…) and dinner.
 

 
Maybe it’s because Mercury is (fucking finally) out of Retrograde, and the conversations are flowing more freely again, or maybe it’s because I just read S. Bear Bergman’s Blood, Marriage, Wine, and Glitter, but I’ve been thinking (and talking) a lot about hearth, hospitality, and family of late:
Talking with a friend, as I taught her to spin, about “career housewifery” and how some people are happiest and most fulfilled when their paid work is, at most, part-time and, frequently, piecework or casual hours.
Talking with my mom about both my sister’s new baby and my (and my wife’s) new, recently-relocated girlfriend and realizing that my mom is handling the reality of my polyamoury really quite well.
Understanding, more and more, how much hospitality matters to me, how much it feeds me on an emotional, heart-and-soul level, as well as how much it touches on, and overlaps with, my faith and what, in turn, that means in terms of being welcoming and offering people my spare bed to sleep on, whether or not I necessarily want to hang with them for the next 72 hours, or whatever. All that stuff from The Oddyssey, where you invite someone[1] in, feed them a really good meal, and then get around to “So, who are you, anyway?” that’s really relevant here.
 
So much of my day-to-day work/Work is… care-taking. The sheer weight of gratitude when my girfriend gets the interview, my friends (plural) come out of their surgeries safely, my brother gets to change streams, my extended fam gets to keep its reunion for another year. That my devotional candles include my gods, my ancestors, and one dedicated to “family and friends” – to my leather/glitter family close and distant. That the garden I plant, that is connected to and is-flat-out my gods (Misha, Mattaer, in particular), that connects me to my farming (and primarily maternal, though paternal too) ancestors, that I harvest with feeding The Multitude in mind, that it was built by that family (the soil, the bedframes, even some of the plants). That the garden I planted for beauty and the bees is made up almost exculsively of plants given to me by glitter-fam, wine-kin, leather-crew.
 

“Masha, my own, my littlest sister,” the matron called down. “Take this with you.”
She bit off her yarn in her teeth and tossed the red ball to Marya, who caught it and squeezed it like fruit at the market. The yarn was softer than any wool, expertly spun, thick.
“It will always lead you back, to your country, to your home. I make all my children’s stockings with the stuff, so they will know how to come home[…]”
Deathless (Catherynne M. Valente)

 
A million years ago (AKA 2004), in an entirely different house and an entirely different life, or close to it, I commented to one of my witchy friends who’d come for Summer Solstice (a week after I’d moved in) that my religion is garden-kitchen-table religion. It’s the feasting and the feeding, the communion of wine-and-weeding, weekly brunches in untidy homes because family doesn’t care about the mess; of potluck feasting and gifted jars of fruit-butter; of “I can stretch dinner for an extra person” and “Ye gods, please take this bag of zucchini/rhubarb/mint/tomatoes off my hands”. It’s the holiness, and wholeness, that are passed hand-to-hand along with the gravy, the green beans, the goodie bags. It’s the protections stirred into the soup, spun into the yarn, sewn into the patches. Every stitch to keep you safe and bring you home again.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] And, yes, there’s a bit of a “vetting process” as to whom you invite in. In the case of Ancient Greek Nobility, it was “Does he [always he] own his own his own warship? If yes, clearly he’s The Right Sort.” But it’s just as easily understood as Bear’s “shaking the queer tree” method of couch-surfing and finding couches for others to surf based on having a friend in common, wherein said friend’s existence is a tacit approval of both the person who needs the couch and the person who has one available.

Knowledge, Wisdom, and Gnosis – The Pagan Experience 2015

Knowledge, Wisdom, and Gnosis… They’re all different things, aren’t they. Knowledge can sometimes feel like theory, like book-learning, a fairly typical definition of what you accumulate while Getting An Education. the other two are… maybe more experiential? Maybe? It’s funny. “Wisdom” tends to show up, in my head, like “something you accumulate over years and years of experience”. It’s not formal learning, it’s “Street smarts”, and it’s usually the kind that you accumulate through learning from your own mistakes rather than from someone else’s. At this point, I don’t have much of that. A little bit, maybe, but I could be just confusing it for, like, Being Tired and Feeling Old more than anything else.
Knowledge is knowing which plants are safe to eat because you read about them in a (reliable) book or website or what-have-you.
Wisdom is knowing which plants are safe to eat because you’ve actually eaten them yourself and you know how to prepare them to neutralize the oxalis (or whatever) so that nobody gets sick to their stomaches and so that the plants actually taste good when you eat them.
Gnosis is… Gnosis is knowing which plants are safe to eat because they straight up told you themselves and you had the where-with-all to hear and understand.
Gnosis doesn’t happen much for me. I’m what sometimes gets called a “cement head” or, alternatively, a “natural ground”. I can bring people home when they get lost, bring them back to earth when they’re spiraling and can’t find their feet… but my radio signal is Not Receiving most of the time.
I do get this sometimes. Sometimes, my Intuition talks loudly enough for me to listen (this is usually within the context of modeling, where I’ve learned to listen to that little voice that raises the hairs on my neck). Sometimes I can feel the change in air-consistency that means a big heap of energy – whether we’re talking a wave or a non-corporial Person – is moving through or in. Sometimes I can actually hear the Gods & Ancestors talking to me – or at least pointing me towards The Thing (like it or not). But most of the time? Most of the time, I’m going on Knowledge, Wisdom, and Faith.
Wish me luck with that. 😉

Deities and the Divine – Pagan Experience 2015

So last week, I wrote about my particular pagan practice and what it looks like on any given day. I mentioned that I have an altar in my living room.
This is a new thing.
Between September 2008 and September 2014, I had little altars in most of the rooms in my apartment. Every one of my small spirits had a shrine to call her own. And that was important to me. However, over the course of that time, I moved from a one-bedroom apartment that I had all to myself to a two-bedroom apartment and, most recently, a two-and-a-half-bedroom rental house, that I share with my wife. It’s easy to keep track of multiple burning objects in a one-bedroom apartment. Even when the altars aren’t all in the same room. But when they’re on two different floors? Well, things get a little harder to keep track of. So, in the interests of (a) safety, and (b) match conservation, I opted to put everybody in the same space now that we’ve moved into the new house. Consequently, my five wee goddesses, plus my ancestors, plus my… I don’t know… “prayer candle”[1](?) all get their devotional offerings done in the same place[2].
 
My personal deities (all start with M, and) include:
 
Mattaer: A Lady who handles the earth and the hearth, who handles parenting and pregnancy, who handles the garden (because she’s the ground out-of-which everything grows), and who handles all the Mommy/Nurturing stuff that I’m occasionally called upon to provide.
 
Mitzu: A Lady who handles the sun and heat and fine, but who also handles courage, sexuality, dancing, sexwork, money, and a significant degree of activism. She’s fierce, as the saying goes[3].
 
Maia: My very first Goddess, and one who demanded my attention until she got it. My lady of the moon, of queerness and dykedom, of midwifery, of auntihood[4], of writing and music and creative output, of lasting love, of every kind of water (which is my element). For years I heard her name, over and over and over again, any time I looked at the moon… until I realized – and said out loud – “Oh, that’s your name!” at which point, it stopped. Like: “Okay finally. You got it.” She’s an alto. I think she finds me deeply ammusing in my fumblings, but there you have it. I miss her when I can’t feel her around, but Im not sure how well I’ll do at wooing her home again. :-\
 
Misha: A lady of the meadow. She’s very much a May Queen / Maiden type of young woman and, as I get older, I wonder what kind of shape she’ll take in my life. She was the first goddess I had in my panthon who is actively poly, I do know that (she’s got two boyfriends and they all see to get along quite nicely), and – as her mother is the Earth – she’s all the green and growing things but, in particular, winter squash, raspberries, wild flowering chicory, meadow-flowers/scrub-flowers in general, lilacs, and birch trees. A lady of liminal spaces, of adventure, of joyfully plunging in to try new things. She is, I suspect, someone whom I need more of in my life. I have no idea whether she’s into women or not. Meh? But I know am fairly confident that she likes the colour blue.
 
Makaa: My lady of the dead, of the compost, of the cross-roads and the thresholds. Her liminality is much more pronounced, and includes margins of all kinds (the thin line between getting by and being screwed, the edge between water and ice on the surface of a puddle, the person sleeping in a doorway, genders and bodies that aren’t easily recognized/described with binary language, the difference between rotton and good enough to still eat. The emptiness at the bottom of every breath, as they say). She has sucked the air out of my lungs. Only once. But once is enough to know that she’s there and she’s powerful.
 
My Ancestors: In large part, when I talk about my ancestors, I’m talking about my actual biological ancestors through-whom I came, who gave me pieces of their faces, their bodies, to carry with me through my life. But I also mean my non-biological ancestors – people like Xanthra MacKay and Wendy Babcock and Leslie Feinberg, the people who are part of my socio-sexual cultural lineage. They’re included, and I hope all of my People aren’t stuck jostling for position around the flame. :-\ (Seems to be working out, so… we’ll go with it?)
 
My lovely wife has a relationship with a particular, much bigger, goddess. I tend to only hint at what that’s about, but she seems a good lady to have in your corner. We’ll see how this continues to go.
 
One particular deity who has turned up in the past year (and I have no idea if she’s sticking around or if it was just some random check-in kind of thing), is Freja. This kind of surprised me, and I’m not sure if she’s here (if she’s still here) for me or for my wife, but… I keep her in my thoughts, just in case.
 
Anyway, beyond that and your basic bioregional animism, there’s not a whole lot to my pantheon. They’re good people and I’m glad they’re in my life. I hope that I do well by them in my wee, haphazard, way.
 
 
TTFN,
Melaid the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] I got a bunch of those glass tea-light holders than have an uplifting message written on them. A bunch of them are in my office – which has an altar of its own, of sorts, that gets lit up when I’m doing Actual Work in there (ahahaha) – but one of them, which says “Bless this home with family and friends” is on my Main Altar and is basically a hope/wish/blessing to fill our witchy house with chosen family and dear friends (all of us kinky, witchy, poly, spooky dykes and our various nearest and dearest, too). I doubt that’s what the people who mass-produced those candle-holders had in mind, but… that was part of the appeal, as it happens.
 
[2] I also invested in two dozen LED “tea-lights” so that I could do things like outdoor vigils or jack-o-lanters without the wind putting them out, and also so that I could light up my candle wreath (once a year) without having to worry about whether or not I’ll have neough tea-lights on hand to do it. I’ve used them 2-3 times in the past month and a half, so I think it was probably a good investment.
 
[3] When I first started looking for Sun Goddess, I found it a little surprising which elements of life/womanhood accumulated under her purview. After a while though – nameley after I separated from my not-so-great-for-me husband – I realized that Mitzu had jurisdiction of pretty much all the elements of my own life (money, sex – to site two in particular) that I was deathly afraid of and thought of as things that happened to me or were done to me by other people rather than things over-which I had any control or autonomy. Hrm. Which was quite the realization. I’m still in the (long, loooooooong) process of unraveling that stuff and getting those situations/activities/whatever back under my own control and back into (or at all into) my own comfort zones.
 
[4] Auntie-hood. Being a good Auntie in the sense of “not just for your siblings’ kids”. Being a good Auntie is like being a good Witch. It means being available to take care of people when their parents (or what-have-you) aren’t necessarily the best people for the job. Sometimes that means teaching tenuously-housed queer-and/or-trans kids how to darn the holes in their socks. Sometimes it means knowing how to cook food that is vegan and gluten-free and paleo and also avoids nuts, eggplant and quinoa… even though I, personally, need none of those things. Sometimes it means letting people-in-your-community who are in crisis know that the front door’s open and that they can come on over for tea/hugs/listening/food or whatever else it is that they need. Sometimes it means being a teacher. Frequently, it means listening up and helping people get what they need. My wife is far better at this than I am, to be sure, but I’m learning. Always learning. 😉