Tag Archives: King of Coins Project

King of Coins – Week 8: Are. You. Receiving?

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’s prompt is about asking someone for help. Most of us hate that shit with a hating that fires a thousand suns. Asking for help feels almost like admitting defeat. And by defeat, I mean admitting that you’re not invincible. Well. You’re not. Sorry.

Tarot Card: Six of Earth

This project is tied to the suit of earth. And this prompt, combined with… some stuff that’s going on right now… definitely has me thinking about debts vs redistribution and other related Very Loaded Topics.

Dark Days Tarot Deck, Six of Earth: A square card with the words "Six of 6 pentacles - dark days" written in white script along the bottom edge. The rest of the card presents this image: People in long, flowing robes prepare a table, laying it was pentacle-plates. There is a wood stove in the back corner, and grasses growing from the bottom of the card. At the back of the frame, birds can be seen through a large window. Seven small moon phases make an arc over the scene. The whole image is done in black and white and grey.

I had a visit to my Luxury Astra Sea Cave and talked to my Godself about… steps that need to happen and things that need to be in place before I can Do A Thing that would make my wife a lot happier in a way that can make me a lot happier, too.

And things started happening.

And, like the weirdo (this is not actually that weird, but you’d think I’d be less freaky-deaky about it by now) that I am, I’m digging my heals in, hesitating like heck, and basically going “Wait, wait, wait… is this really a good idea??”

And… it’s not NOT a good idea. It’s what I said I wanted.

(And, yeah, it’s not the only thing I want. Maybe I need to fine tune things or something).

But being offered TWO ways to achieve Goal #1 of this project MUCH faster… on the same day??

When my Girls move, they move.

O.O

But it does mean that I’m kind of hung up on thoughts of “owing” and “being beholden”. Somebody offered to help me. Somebody offered to help me. I didn’t even have to ask.

And I’m super uncomfortable with the thought of saying Yes – because I don’t want the potential scrutiny that I might be signing up for by doing so- AND kind of kicking myself for wanting to say No? Like… “uncomfortable” is still not “pissing hundreds of dollars into the debt hole every month for another year”.

The six of pentacles is basically about wealth disparities. In some cases, the focus is on sharing, “each according to ability and need”. For example, the Next World Tarot calls this card “Redistribution”. In other cases, not so much. In the Wildwood deck the 6 of Stones is “Exploitation”. The Osho Zen deck interprets this card as “compromise” and it’s about meeting everyone’s needs even if nobody gets everything they want. But mostly they seem to lean towards mutual aid. The Simple Tarot literally calls it “Giving and Receiving Financial Prosperity” and codes it as generosity.

Miriam Innis has a whole post on the Six of Coins about “unlocking what we deserve” and the role of the receiver (and her perspective, in some ways, is very different from mine, but I guess that’s why Goals #2 and #3 for this project are what they are).

Basically, I’ve spent most of the past week whinging and Having A Lot Of Feelings about accepting financial help – and, don’t get me wrong, it would HELP – from someone whose love-language is gifts, but whose gifts can come with strings or other uncomfortable things.

But boundaries are a thing, and a thing that I’ve been practicing, so…

So. I guess this is my call to be less of a prideful bitch, and say yes to the help that’s been offered?

<*squirms*>

Okay.

I did the thing.

We’ll see if the offer’s still open, but I did the thing.

Will be following up on the job – because the other Thing That Happened was I got a job interview – in a few days, if I haven’t heard from them yet. Hopefully I get it, and can continue, full steam ahead, to get Goal #1 locked down.

Cheers,

Ms Syren.

New Year New You 2021/2021 – King of Coins Project, Week 7: Glamour Panini

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, I would like you to think about how you’re presenting yourself to the world and how that’s affecting your own personal goals.”

Tarot Card: The Mirror

Because of course I did. It’s a mirror.

But also I’m at a point where I’m counting days to when I’m finished my ONLY leaving-the-house-required job and I kind of feel like I’m at a pause-and-evaluate point when it comes to how I present myself.

Also: Look. We’re closing in on two years of Global Pandemic, friends, and I just shaved my legs (badly) for the first time in months. It’s possible this prompt has come up at a really good time.

A mermaid (...?) holding a glowing orb and carrying an antique copper mirror stands in a lake with her dark hair streaming. There's a heron in the foreground and, in the background, there is what may be a corpse in a boat floating towards an island.
The Lady of the Lake is Not To Be Trifled With

I’d figured out by April 2020 that, oh, hey, I would do well to have a wardrobe filled with one-and-done dresses, long flowing cardigans and shawls, and ankle-length skirts, because it turns out I like wearing a nightgown all the time, but also that if I actually do that I end up feeling terrible and like I’m not getting anything done, even if I’ve been working all day.

So I’ve used some of this past year of unprecedented income (and stress levels) to get myself a few light-weight, 100% cotton summer dresses that I can (and do) throw on over maxi skirts (most of-which I’ve made myself, using solid colour, cotton bed sheets for fabric) when I want to feel warm, comfortable, and vaguely medieval all at the same time.

I’m glad I did, and I’m glad that I can use them, essentially, as patterns for future dresses that I can DIY. I’m glad that most – soon to be all – of my jobs are the kind that I do from home so I don’t have to worry about being On or presenting myself in ways that require me to look more Office Drone than I want to.

However, the other side of this particularly excellent leaf is… less ideal. Yes, seeing my boss once a week on zoom – and, as such, looking Professional just by adding earrings and mascara to the outfit (dress) that I’ve been wearing for three days straight – is easy. But I wouldn’t say it’s glamourous. It’s not exactly something that makes me Fascinating to the people I want to impress and/or connect with, even if it is a tactic I’m taking specifically to make myself look like a member of “us” within the context of my various work cultures.

Much like it’s hard(er) to demonstrate to one’s Godself that one is ready to Let New Things In by deliberately going somewhere you haven’t been before, or experiencing something deliberately unfamiliar, while you – and the rest of the planet – are kind of avoiding leaving the house unless you absolutely need to, it’s hard(er) to invoke or embody one’s personal Fascinatingness while on day I’ve-Stopped-Counting of staying indoors unless you’ve run out of milk.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t do it.

I give my partners matchy-matchy jewelry and, sometimes, clothing as a way of saying “we are part of the same group”, an act which is cutesy and maybe silly, but which fills me with delight – and which I didn’t think was an “attachment thing” until my girlfriend pointed out that “When your attachment needs are getting met, they aren’t a source of anxiety, they’re a source of joy and delight”.

When my wife and I had our anniversary dinner, we both made a point of getting dressed up in order to make our dining room table experience a special one.

I put my Crown Of Light on before I go on a zoom call, or to the grocery store.

When I gave my six weeks notice at my soon-to-be-former job, I wore big, chunky black pearl earrings to remind myself that I’m dangerous and powerful – because pearls and shells are my “office-friendly shorthand” for wearing bones and teeth, a subversive note to myself (if nobody else) that my most divine self is a deep sea predator.

And I can push those elements harder. I can wear more home-made clothes to the nieghbourhood grocery store where one of the staff chats me up about hand-sewing, and charge it up with the same kind of generalized “like me and give me things I want” glamour that I have on the rosequartz I carry in my wallet. I can enchant my matchy-matchy jewelry – my very Venusian pink tourmaline and pearls, in particular – for love and connection. I can enchant some of my Very Conservative Looking pearl necklaces and earrings with Big Domme Energy or with some kind of direct link to my Godself. And all of that is great. Let’s do it.

But:

How can I use glamour to game the odds in terms of getting my King of Coins goals met, particularly in light of my impending job change?

My goals – along with finding gainful employment in 2021 (success!) – included Getting Out of Debt (I’m just over half way there) and changing up my Expectations so that I (a) got used to having Nice Things, and (b) wouldn’t feel weirdly exposed once my debt was paid off.

TBH, just shunting money into saving funds has gone at least some of the way towards managing any “money crazies” that might crop up, but we’ll see how that goes over the next few months as my debt continues to shrink AND I’m in a situation where I have less disposable income than I had during 2021.

I think my best bet, in terms of straight up glamour magic, include things like:

  • Enchanting the contents of my closet so that I feel excited (and exciting) when I’m wearing the pieces I already have (rather than wanting to go shopping all the time)

AND

  • Making a point of “shopping” in my closet, and using my fabric and yarn stashes (still plentiful) to make myself new items if I do want to add something new (most likely a slip and maybe a light weight, knee-length bath robe, tbh) to my collection.

Beyond that… Beyond that, I have to ask myself what is my kind of glamourous right now?

Because, between the winter just being cold and my tendency to lean towards the “dark mori” end of the Witchy Goth spectrum, it’s “nazgul but make it fashion”, and I’m not sure what message I’m sending with that vibe[1].

I kinda want to lean into it though. >.>

Cheers,

Ms Syren.

[1] No, but seriously. I am giving off “Vaguely Romano-Celtic Nobility” vibes? “Dramatic and Artsy yet Approachable”? Or do I look like a walking laundry heap? Send tweet.

New Year New You 2021 – King of Coins Project, Week 6: Looking for Omens

I’m (once again, still) 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: “The point of this prompt is more about being open to an experience and relaxing your mind and seeing what kind of revelations you come to.”

Tarot Card: This is a toss-up between Home and New Vision, but in the end I went with the former, for reasons that will become apparently shortly.

“Home” the Wildwood Tarot’s Ten of Stones: A traditional roundhouse with a deep, thatched roof, its doorway flanked by tall, carved stones, and a mature tree growing through the roof as central post, is seen through a stone archway.

It’s well-known that I’m a home-body. I call myself a kitchen witch for a reason, and I’m enough of an introvert that, after nearly two years of extremely limited socializing, I’m… fine, actually. Most of my Places of Ritual Significance – with the exception of a night club that I haven’t been to in decades but of-which I hold a lot of fond memories, a kink party that doesn’t happen anymore, and a few spots in DC – are literally inside my house. The slow, wonder-inducing walks that I take through local nature preserves are… mostly within 10 minutes walk of my front door. The river is down the street. Holy ground is right here, under my feet.

This absolutely fits with How I Do, and I kind of want for literally everyone to have that experience of deep magic and aliveness in the microbioregions that are their respective neighbourhoods. But it means that any situation where I’m magically Making Changes in my life (which: I am also a creature of habit who is scared of change, so) includes the stumbling point of “I also have to Do Something New” on purpose in order to show that I’m for-real game for those changes to happen.

I’ve been reading Lyandra Lynn Haupt’s Rooted – which I do recommend if you want to read some easy-to-follow ecophilosophy, it’s lovely – and what I read last Saturday morning, while drinking my reheated coffee, exhorted her readers to wander in a way that didn’t follow their usual routes around areas that they know.

So, between that and the snow and my stiff neck, I decided that I should get myself out for a walk.

I opted to head north-east to the little woodland nearby that – barring the couple of residential streets that cut through it – runs roughly between a small creek and a big park with a baseball diamond, across 3-4 city blocks.

The snow came down heavier. I saw what I thought were three crows, but which were actually two crows and a raven (which explained why the crows were so shouty about the whole thing). I admit, I made a “clock-clock-clock” approximation of a raven sound, at which point the crows headed further back towards the river and let the raven get on with their life.

I kept going north-northeast, rather than turning onto more familiar trails that would have led me down to the creek, watching my footing on the snow-slick, frost-hard, uneven ground, and noticing the beech trees (one of the few I can reliably pick out on bark alone). The little wood is full of foot bridges – which tells me how wet this place must be during melt season – and I crossed a bunch of them. Eventually I popped out on the other side of the wood (ha – and, as I type this, Madonna sings out “I made it through the wilderness” on my playlist…), still in familiar territory, just a part I’m not in that often. I headed home by a different road, and heard a familiar pip-pip. I looked around, and spotted the petal-red flash of feathers, a cardinal – probably in his first Winter – learning to fly, and navigate, through falling snow. Not a struggle, exactly, though it didn’t look easy. Definitely a learning process.

The red of his feathers made me think of the red of willow roots – red as paint – in the water of the nearby creek, all of a season ago.

I cam home, made hot chocolate, and pulled tarot cards for the New Moon.

Mary El Tarot Deck – The Tower (a burning image of something that looks a bit like the statue of liberty), reversed; The 10 of Disks (a winged, black horse whose rider is a white goat with numerous, spiraling horns, carrying a stylized set of scales), upright.

This is one of the reasons I opted for “Home” as my card for this prompt. Because the Ten of Disks fell out of my deck when I asked “Okay, then what?” after initially pulling The Tower. This is one of my “Everything will be okay” cards. Like Angler Fish June Cleaver, or my gods and ancestors, were just like “Relax. We know that your anxious as heck about this big change you’re about to make minus the safety net you initially thought you might get. But you’re not going to starve. You’re not going to lose your house. There’s going to be some struggle, but you’ll get the hang of your new normal, the way you always do, and everything will be okay.”

It made me think of the raven as a reminder of “You have back-up”. It reminded me of the cardinal, red as flame amid all that white, getting the hang of a reality that’s new, but for-which he wasn’t unequipped.

I admit, I want to skip the struggle. (Don’t we all). I want to skip the bit where things fall apart. At the same time, I think “things fall apart”, in this scenario, is the bit I’m in right now. The concluding that it’s time to leave. The awkward (hopefully not that awkward) part between handing in my notice and actually being done. The part where I try to tie up all the loose ends and, hopefully, don’t have to train my replacement before I go.

It’s possible that the Ten of Earth, the “what happens after” card, is literally “and then you’ll be home” – working from home, entirely – but I hope it means that everything will be okay, too.

New Year New You 2021 – King of Coins Project, Week 5: Action as Offering

I’m (once again, still) 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 are you going to do magically to make sure that your goals happened. This is the week to really focus on that.”

Tarot Card: The Magician

1 of MA - Thea's Tarot

Specifically, the one from Thea’s Tarot as interpreted by Oliver Pickle: Someone who is “able to focus and achieve [her] goals, create art […] the Magician signifies your awareness of, or ability to, access this power.”

Okay. This post brings me up to date.

A year ago I spent November writing 10 porn stories for Nanowrimo, and offering that time, energy, focus, and dedication to June, my Little Helpers, and anyone else who cared to lend a hand in finding me a source of income to replace the mat-leave contract that was going to be ending five months later.

It worked.

It worked so fast, and so well, that my annual income essentially doubled in the course of a couple of months.

Which is awesome.

And… me being me, I also took the first job I was offered, despite having a resume in for The Perfect Job (which… I also got, and also took), and despite going in with no experience on half of the required tasks.

Fast forward to now. I’ve been in that job for almost a year and I have not stopped hating it since I started. Over the summer, around the point where I was still working entirely from home but had more-or-less got the hang of the day-to-day basics, I had this thought that “Maybe I could just stay?”

And that’s part of why I put things off (see Week Three) for as long as I did.

I like having disposable income.

I like watching my debt go down (albeit more slowly than I’d planned), while watching my savings go up, while watching my mailbox fill up with all the new books, clothes, jewelry, and housewares I’ve been buying (with cash) now that I have money to do it with.

But September came, and I started working in the office one day per week, and… I have concluded that, while the stuff that was giving me nightmares, acid reflux, and occasional actual panic was… mostly, usually, under control, that I still don’t like the work, don’t like being closeted (it’s a conservative workplace and, while they know I’m a dyke, I don’t want to experiment with how they’re going to feel about having a hired a polyamourous witch), and don’t like working in-person, especially since I want to (eventually) be able to travel without having to negotiate time off.

So, in October, I got the ball rolling on my Exit Strategy and, finally, when the waxing moon was solidly Taurus on the 17th, and I had the house to myself for the evening, I did some magic to back it up.

I’m not doing Nanowrimo this year. Not pouring hours of each day into scribbling stories. But I AM doing another writing challenge with magical intent.

I started it the same day that I did the following ritual:

Drew myself a bath with basil (money), spicebush (luck), bay leaves (luck, money, creativity, and inspiration), allspice + cardamom (people saying good things about me) thrown in. Poured myself a big mug of mint-licorice tea (the stuff I’ve been using for close to two years for magical will-working), dolled myself up in shell beads and pearl drop earrings to encourage my ocean-soul/godself to do Her Thing, and to make it a special occasion.

I lit candles, cast my circle, climbed into the tub, did a little relevant iron pentacle work – Power comes to hand so much more easily than it did two years ago, Passion is still hard to catch, but is starting to show up tangibly, which is nice – and some lower chakra chanting.

And then I walked down the rainbow steps into my Luxury Astral Sea Cave and worked my will.

Between now and the Full Moon before Midwinter I will draft 32 new poems, rooted in this time and in this place, and offer that focus, dedication, time, and energy to my Godself, my Fetch, my Little Helpers, and any of my Gods and Ancestors who want to lend a hand, so that they can bring me new, reliable, desirable income doing 100% remote work that I’ll actually enjoy, with-which to replace the job I want to leave.

My plan is that, once I’ve got them all drafted, I’ll have enough “wood on the pile” to put together a new chapbook or two, too.

But what it’s for is finding me some new, reliable, and more fitting sources of income.

New Year New You 2021 – King of Coins Project: Week 3: Something I’ve Been Putting Off… For Eight Months

I’m (once again, still) 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: “The critical component to success or failure in your goals is your ability to do shit you don’t want to do. […] Close your eyes and grit your teeth and just do it.”

Tarot Card: Two of Fire

Two of Fire - Dark Days

I chose this card because, in my own readings, it tends to mean “MAKE A DECISION!”

But I also chose it because it’s a card of “first world problems”. The decision one is being asked to make is more likely about experiencing success alraedy and asking “Where do you want to go next?” than about something life-or-death.

And where I want to go next is: Ditching the lucrative (by my standards) but stressful and draining job that I do on Mondays and Tuesdays, in order to trade up for something more like what I do the rest of the week: relatively low-stress, fairly easy work that pays well and challenges me in ways that are fun rather than in ways that give me nightmares and make me want to cry.

About a month ago, I finally did Week Three.

Talk about putting something off!

But, when the opportunity turned up, I jumped on an opening-salvo from one of my other clients – “Do you have enough hours to do what we’re asking?” – and told them I’d love it if they could give me an additional 5 hours/wk so that I could move beyond the basics and not have to make trade-offs during busy periods.

I was upfront about what else that five hours would get me / require of me (AKA: quitting the job I don’t like) and the kind of timeline I’d prefer, which would give them the time to budget for it appropriately, if it was an option, and my boss – who doesn’t control the budget, but still – said that she’d bring it up with the people who could potentially make that happen.

I also got in touch with a contact – a friend of said client-community – who was looking for work like the kind of work I want to stop doing. I asked if she’d be open to part-time, and she was interested and asked me to keep her posted.

So: I Did The Thing, a thing that makes me nervous (telling an employer that I want something) and another thing that makes me nervous (contacting a stranger, whilst having an Ulterior Motive), and I got good preliminary results from both.

So good.

And… Now we wait.

New Year New You 2021 – Week 2: Goals

Crystal Visions Tarot - King of Pentalces - A woman with long, brown hair and an antler crown, green greeves, and a staff topped with a big crystal, sits enthroned under a spreading oak. Crystal points poke out of the ground at her feet.

Crystal Visions Tarot – King of Pentacles – A woman with long, brown hair and an antler crown, green greaves, and a staff topped with a big crystal, sits enthroned under a spreading oak. Crystal points poke out of the ground at her feet.

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 do you want to accomplish using both magical and mundane means? Figure out your SMART Goal and the magical and mundane actions you need to take to achieve them.

Tarot Card: The King of Coins. I mean, obviously.

Next World Tarot - King of Pentacles - Someone with blue and black hair, motorcycle boots, and a pink mini-dress scatters jewels on a Hollywood Walk of Fame star labeled "Daddy".

Next World Tarot – King of Pentacles – Someone with blue and black hair, motorcycle boots, and a pink mini-dress scatters jewels on a Hollywood Walk of Fame star labeled “Daddy”.

Okay. I know. It’s been three months. I still feel really uncertain. Like I don’t really know what I’m doing. Like this project was done before I even got it started – I’ve been working one new job for, y’know, about three months, and have signed the contract for a second new job, even if I’m not going to see work from them (I’m VERY okay with this) until my current UU contract wraps up.

That’s what I wanted, right?

So I find myself… kind of flailing. What are my goals beyond the immediate one of “be able to pay the bills”?

And that’s a REALLY relevant question to be asking when you’re focusing on the King of Coins. This King is a character who (a) is a Navigator – she knows how to work, and how to make money work for her. But she’s also (b) someone who knows her own worth and doesn’t succumb to workaholism or forget about pleasure. Pentacles are the suit of embodiment and that’s important to remember.

So. Beyond the basics of the Four (tenuous shelter) or the Six (I’m okay, but someone has power over me), where do I want to go?

  1. I want to get out of debt – This is kind of a no-brainer, and being able to throw those monthly payments into a savings account is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more appealing that shoving money at a credit card company. This goal is pretty-much entirely a Mundane Means goal and, knowing that I’ve got at least six more months of reliable, more-than-survival income, it actually looks… fairly achievable if I just stick with it.
  2. I want to change up where my “baseline” sits so that I don’t feel… weirdly exposed(??) when I’m not in a pile of debt. You guys, I’m not even sure where to start with this, but it’s going to involve what my lovely wife terms “Cognitive Behavioural Witchcraft”.
  3. I want to ride the Hedonic Escalator up a level or two. I guess the best way to explain this one is that I want to re-program my brain to stop thinking that I’m going to be punished for having nice things, or for things going well, or – if I stretch this a bit – for recognizing my own skills and, qua the King of Pentacles, Knowing My Worth. I don’t particularly want to hit that point on the income scale where money stops “buying happiness” (more accurately: increasing emotional well-being) but I would like to continue this New Experience of being able to buy whatever I feel like at the grocery store, and being able to buy a few New Things (think: earrings, a book, a bra) in any given month without having to stress about it. It’s a hedonic adaptation – perceiving this as Normal rather than novel – that I really, REALLY like and would like to hang onto!

So let’s chew on this a little bit. For Goal #1: Easy peasy. Pay cash for all the things (which I’ve been doing for… roughly a year already – bless you, online retailers who accept paypal) and throw as much money as I can at my credit card debt in order to reduce it as quickly as possible. Super basic. Very straight-forward. Though admittedly not that interesting if I’m trying to write a post for my witchcraft blog.

Goals #2 and #3 however have some magical elements involved. Like, yeah, yeah, there’s mundane stuff – like throttling my panic and talking to my most-recent employer and asking for a better starting wage (which I GOT!) – and there’s mind stuff like journaling on questions like Why do I think a hammer of retribution is going to slam down on me if I have an RRSP instead of debt, or a CSA instead of a mental map of where I can most easily dumpster for produce? or Why is my relationship with money and/or employment so very much like anxious-avoidant attachment? But… there’s also a lot of room for ritual and spell-craft. Things like:

Using the Iron Pentacle meditation – maybe including, or building on, some of the ritual suggestions outlined in the “Power” chapter in the book of the same name by Jane Meredith and Gede Parma – to call back and reclaim my power.

Doing energy work with my three lower chakras (security, exchange/connection, and power/will), possibly in connection with my fifth chakra as well.

Continuing to feed and praise my Little Helpers at my tiny desk altar, and to light my offering candles and otherwise make offerings to my Gods and Ancestors at the big main altar in the living room (there’s whiskey on the altar right now, but I sure do owe them some fire. And probably a tidy-up.

Visiting my Fetch and my Godself in my enchanted astral sea cave / forest. This matters because: Building and Nurturing the relationships between your talking-self (The I Behind Your Eyes where we spend a LOT of our time) and the other parts of your magical/spiritual body is important just generally. But for my specific goals here, there are some pretty real actions that have to happen. (Which: Just a quick word about those…)

Fetch is your embodied, non-wordy, physical, sensual self. Fetch is the twig of YOU that’s part of a family tree two-hundred and thirty thousand years old, or older. She’s my skin-hunger. She’s my Trust Issues. She’s the stomach cramps, nausea, and persistent chills that show up when my anxiety gets bad. She’s connected hard to my lower chakras and showing up consistently for her – in magical as well as mundane ways – is going to go a long way towards convincing my physical body, my limbic and nervous systems, that I’m not going to die, frozen and alone, in the snow.

Likewise, Godself is the spark of YOU that is part of the unimaginably vast, wholly divine, thinking, feeling universe, the chaos-butterfly flutter that can make big changes way beyond your vulnerable, human body. Within the realm of this project’s specific goals: I can call on her help – or work magically inside the luxury astral sea cave where we communicate most directly – to rewire my own neural pathways. I can call on her help to send jobs, grants, and publishers swimming towards my nets. Heck, I can stock my astral fridge with smoked salmon and tuna sashimi to feed (and treat) my own divinity well.

So. Those are some areas where I can focus magical work in order to further my goals for this project. What are some bite-sized action I can take to further my goals this week?

Mundane: Update my spending spreadsheet, make a (small-but-additional) credit card payment, take some meat out of the freezer to thaw so that dinners for the next few days can be easier to deal with, and stay on top of my paid work.

Mind: Do the exercises at the end of Chapter One of my “money mindset” book. Spend some actual time on this, but don’t over-think it.

Magical: Light candles on my altar. Feed my tiny charms with breath and spit and whiskey. Take five minutes to run my chakras, put on my astral jewelry, and do some Listening. Make a soup for dinner and enchant it for prosperity (seaweed), security (carbs – in the form of rice noodles), and luxury (leftovder roast duck).

Wish me luck!

New Year New You 2021 – Week 1: Making Way

At least seven cardboard boxes, some open, some taped shut with masking tape, stacked in a jumble. Photo by Racool Studio, via freepik.com

Cardboard boxes on a white background

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: You can’t start putting all this awesome new crap into your life and body until you get rid of the old crap. Old crap here is defined as many things such as relationships that are no longer working, old crutches, clutter of the mind and of the house.

Someone with teal and brown hair, in a green tank top, tries to juggle two pentacles without dropping them

Two of Pentacles – This Might Hurt tarot – Someone with teal and brown hair, in a green tank top, tries to juggle two pentacles without dropping them

Tarot Card: I picked Two of Pentacles for this prompt because of its associations with disorganization and time-management, as well as with priorities and prioritization.
It feels appropriate, okay?

Look. If there’s anything that’ll highlight how much crap you’ve got, it’s Moving. Our move happened a solid seven months ago, but we moved everything. Just threw it all into boxes and shifted it across town in a borrowed van. It took us a month. But I don’t think we could have done it in a day the way I did at 28 when I was moving downtown (with a lot less stuff, and a lot more help). Pandemics, amirite?
But it means that what my Making Way looks like is finally getting ALL the boxes unpacked plus some re-organizing of the office-space in The Library so that I can add my latest job’s desktop computer to the mix.
O.O
Time management, indeed. O.O

Do I like cleaning? Heck no!
(…If that wasn’t abundantly obvious by now) BUT…
It also has to be done. My lovely wife said to me, yesterday, that houses – in addition to wanting to be filled with people, wanting to be lived in – want to be taken care of. Which, really, is a no-brainer. Especially for an animist. And, yeah, much the same way that I skip meals and avoid showering because “I have too much to do” (in reality, or when I’m just wound up and anxious, which is a lot of the time), I also neglect my house. The body that shelters my body.
What Ms Sugar says about the energy in a clean, organized house flowing very differently from how it does in a dirty or untidy house is… true. Even for all of us who resent cleaning, who go But Nature Isn’t Tidy(!!!), who view the whole “cleanliness is next to godliness” thing as an ugly hold-over from puritan christianity that feels like one more shaming thing that we have to deal with in our respective days. The energy does flow more easily. It feels more like fresh air. (Which: It’s winter: We’ve been cooped up for nine months. We all need fresh air). So it’s worth doing. And… this house is a person. If I care about this person who is taking care of me, I should be caring for them too.

So, my goals for physically Making Way are:
Finish unpacking the boxes in the Spare Room – at a rate of one box per day, it will probably take two weeks, but that’s very manageable so that’s how it’s being done.
Do dishes more frequently than I have been – which isn’t hard. I’d say “do dishes once a day” but that’s very unlikely and I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot. But every other day could be done.
Get the second computer set up in the office, and do what needs doing to transfer the files (hard-copy and digital) to where they need to be.

In terms of psychically/mentally/emotionally Making Way:
Making a point of visiting my Occult Barbie Dream House (yes, that’s also a Ms Sugar term) and re-stocking the Astral Fridge with tasty things for me and June to snack on. Maybe also brining my Fetch a healthy snack in her gym/forest house.
I’d like to include doing some of the journalling prompts from my “dealing with your money hangups” book, because those are definitely some big rocks I’m carrying around. So, I ask myself: How am I going to MAKE the time to do that? Answer: …This one might be a Boxing Day activity. I think I can make time for it then.

Wish me luck!

Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Moon – Long Nights Moon Begins

A lit tealight in a glass holder casting a shadow onto a wooden floor. Courtesy of Wiki Free Images.

A lit tealight in a glass holder casting a shadow onto a wooden floor. Courtesy of Wiki Free Images.

New moon is Monday, or there-about. New beginnings coming my way.

I start a new job on Tuesday. Which brings me to three religious institutions and, technically, four jobs. I’m nervous – not the least of why being that I’m doing in-person training, which is not Ideal under current circumstances – and concerned about my own rather-rusty time-management skills, but I’m looking forward to learning new things and, more to the point, making enough extra money that I might actually accomplish the more physically-obvious goal of my King of Coins project.

So, woohoo, on that front.

Which, PS: Yeah, I’m doing another NYNY project, if you missed that memo. 😉

We’re getting ready for Midwinter here. The temperature has been going up and down – a lot of above-freezing weather, a lot of rain, some snow – but it’s due to drop hard by Monday. I have baking to do, low-budget mead to keep an eye on, and a LOT of cards to get into the mail.

It seems more of a Thing to do cards this year. I like doing them, but I’ve added a lot of people to my list who, in a different year – when we weren’t all Physically Distancing, when I was still down the street from a lot of them – I would have just visited in person or had over to the house. I suspect a lot of them aren’t going to get to their destination until nearly January, but they are something that people can hold in their hands, and that feels important right now.

Two years ago, at this end of the year, I had tonnes of time on my hands. time that I used to do a five part series looking at the “shadow” side of Midwinter through the lens of the major arcana. A year ago, I was two thirds of the way through my Empress Project and had just, just landed a remote desk job (my first of what is now a growing list). I wasn’t blogging nearly as much as I had been the year before. This year, I’m Mostly Working, making bank – thank you ALL the gods – by my slim standards at least, and making a point of coming out of the office in the evenings to spend some time with my wife, because that’s important too. I’m still making time for writing (thank goodness – I’m actively worried that I’ll lose touch with that as my workload increases, but I don’t want to and I need to remember to make time for it in a reliable way).

So. I was talking about the King Of Coins Project. Another year of Radical, Magical Transformation to try and make myself a better, more personally (and cosmically) empowered Self.

3amTarot, over on instagram, did a spread for Doing The Damn Thing. And I gave it a whirl.

While I was shuffling, I thought “I can’t even think what The Damn Thing would be at this point” and, right then, what fell out of my deck but Transformation.

So. Okay.

What I pulled:

A fear or frustration that’s holding me back: The heirophant / No-Thingness

A reminder of a strength or talent I possess: Six of Fire / Success

A good thing that could emerge on the other side: The Page of Air / Mind

My context cards were Postponement (the Four of Air as my summary/advisor), Ordinariness (The Eight of Earth as my Overarching influence), and Beyond Illusion (Judgement/the 20 of the Major Arcana, as my Underlying influence).

So what do I do with this? Am I afraid of my own potential? (…yes?) Might a new way of thinking or understanding be a likely Good Thing from undergoing the kind of transformation that I want to do through this Project? YEAH. Are major breakthroughs (Beyond Illusion) generally a journey of a zillion mundane-seeming steps? Yup. Is it time to Do The Damn Thing and level-up my brain in terms of abundance and various personal/emotional freedoms? Yes, it definitely is. (I’m freaking forty. I’m tired as heck of feeling anxious at the end of the month while working multiple jobs in a multi-income household, and I’m sick of feeling BAD about myself when I don’t know how to shop for my significantly-wealthier-than-me relatives. Time for all this stuff to change).

Am I deeply underwhelmed at the thought of spending the next two weeks slowly-but-surely getting things tidied and cleaned around here? Or having to reign it in with the seriously reckless way I’ve been throwing money at gifts, personal goodies, and fancy food for the past two months? …Also yes. (At least I’ve been paying cash, by and large, rather than adding to my credit card debt, but here we are).

I used a random tarot card generator for my tarot card meditation draw, this time around, and the card I got was The World.

The World - Wooden Tarot - A many-rooted tree with a sphere of water amid its roots and a house cradled in its strong branches

The World – Wooden Tarot – A many-rooted tree with a sphere of water amid its roots and a house cradled in its strong branches

“The World card represents triumph. Everything has come together and you’re now achieving success,” and touches on both remote work (work that you can do anywhere, from any location) and on internal things like being confident and acknowledging your own skills and know-how. It fits well with the elements of the King of Coins that I want to be working with and internalizing/evoking.

And it’s also a really great message to get from The World Herself, tbh, and a lovely reminder to carry with me as I move towards 2021 and start my next year of radical magical transformation.

~*~

Movement: Ha-haaaaaaaaaaaa. I have been keeping up with my Moon Salutations every night, which is a good thing. And getting out for walks in the woods, too. But I need to make a point of dancing up a storm at the next Stay Homo virtual dance party, especially since the impending temperature drop and corresponding icy conditions aren’t exactly going to be making the great outdoors look appealing any time soon.

Attention: TBH, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to my schedule. My to-do-list is now colour-coded to help me keep track of everything. O.O

Gratitude: Grateful for slow mornings and snuggles with my wife. Grateful for weekly dates with my girlfriend. Grateful for jobs where I can be my whole self. Grateful for opportunities to learn new skills that are useful on multiple fronts. Grateful for friends who make me cookies. Grateful for the overflowing larder and the stuffed-to-the-gills freezers that I can now reach into and pull out peppers and broccoli and cauliflower and corn that I put up months ago. Grateful for the neighbour who surprised us with wine and a grocery thank-you card and a note that said “Have a nice dinner on me” (by leaving it on our windowsill, no less) after my wife did a repair job for him. Grateful for coupons turning up in my inbox and books turning up on my doorstep. Grateful for the knowlege that I’m going to be employed past the April 8 end of my mat-leave contract. Grateful for friends in the neighbourhood. Grateful for chickadees and nuthaches and very small woodpeckers who land on my hands and investigate the birdseed I’m offering them because, heaven and earth, they do my heart good!

Inspiration: Approximately a million years ago – aka the beginning of this pandemic – I placed a book order with a local queer-run sex-positive business. It FINALLY arrived (relax – there were a lot of special orders) about a week ago, which means I have a tonne of new books – mostly queer femme poetry, some sexuality and interdependence – to page through when I’m not eye-ball deep in ritual planning, library books, and video editing. But even just scanning the tables of contents is making me excited for poetry again!

Creation: I spent November writing erotic short stories so, while my current Creative endeavors are more “knitting” and “baking” and “making music videos for my job”, I do have a pile of creative out-put that I’ve started editing into shape and sending out on sub. And that feels really good.

Full Moon – Ancestor Moon Crests (Samhain 2020)

My Ancestors - Photo by me.

The “Rogues Gallery” of my family. I very much feel like the Keeper of the Ancestors, in part because I’m the one who wants the hundred-year-old photos. Here they are on my wall.

My CSA wrapped up a week ago. We just turned the furnace on. It’s snowed twice in the past week (it didn’t stay, but still). There’s ice on the puddles in the morning. We are crossing into the cold part of the year.

In related news, I (finally) got the ancestor photos hung up in the hallway. Six months after we moved in, and only barely in time for Samhain.

Tonight, I’m doing Full Moon ritual with my girlfriend’s group via the internet. Sunday, I’m doing Samhain ritual the same way. I’m enjoying this year’s Between The Veils symposium (in bits and pieces, as I can – thank goodness the talks are pre-recorded…) over the whole weekend.

Tomorrow I’m baking pumpkin cake (provided the pumpkin from last Hallowe’en has thawed out completely), and having dinner with My Bubble.

But I’m also doing magic.

Because of course I am.

The full moon is in Taurus and it’s Samhain.

Taurus, as-you-know-bob, is all about Empress Stuff. Venus Stuff. Second Chakra Stuff. It’s creature comforts. It’s sex. It’s security. It’s body pleasure. It’s abundance. It’s knowing what you want and feeling confident articulating it. It’s wealth. And it’s also scarcity and poor boundaries and eating your feelings and avoiding leaving your comfort zone. Venus/Taurus Stuff do have a shadow side, after all.

Samhain, on the other hand, is all about Death Stuff. Pluto Stuff and Scorpio Stuff. Still sex! But also death, discomfort, Shadow Work, the unknown, magic, and mystery. It’s the doorway into Root Time, and it’s technically a harvest festival. But it’s the Last Harvest. As old as herding, and maybe older. So it’s a time of taking stock. For gathering things in as much as for letting things go. And – because of its undeniable links to the slaughter – it’s also a time of sacrifice.

So! What better time to do – or at least formally start – some (more) transformation Work around scarcity/abundance when it comes to Taurus Stuff like sex and money?

This time (ish) last year, I did Big Magic to get a new place to live (got it!) and a variety of other shoaling-related things, some of which have come to fruition (my polycule is happy, I have extra work hours, I got a writing grant) and some of which haven’t yet (still looking for a publisher for my chapbook, for example).

This year, I’m doing something a little less specific for my Scorpio Season magic: I decided that I wanted to use the time to kick off another Radical Magical Transformation Project. The project itself (I have learned) basically needs to have a SMART Goal if it’s going to be really workable. And, tbh, that still needs some thought.

But as far as some broad magic, working in the background to help things along on multiple fronts, goes? Now seems like a good time to get on that.

So I asked myself: What do I want to let go of?

And I asked myself: What do I want to invite?

I want to let go of: Scarcity and Debt.

I want to invite: Sexual and financial abundance and freedom.

And, of course, the question arose – because gods know I like to avoid this one, if it doesn’t get shoved into my head – What are you going to sacrifice to get it?

And, here’s the thing. The thing I have to remind myself of every time I do something like this, so I don’t freak right the fuck out:

As Ms Sugar once said, “You’re sacrificing your clean hair, not your mother”.

A sacrifice is supposed to take effort. It’s supposed to be challenging and kind of inconvenient or unpleasant. But it’s not supposed to render you nonfunctional, and it’s not supposed to hurt somebody else[1]. I’ve done blood offerings – which may or may not count as a sacrifice given the fairly small amount of blood involved – but I’ve also done sacrifices of things like money and time.

If I wanted to make a sacrifice towards housing security, and I didn’t typically cook from scratch, a sacrifice to that end might be something like “no more take-out meals for a month” and putting some time and effort into making meals at home. But, for someone like me who cooks a LOT, but doesn’t have a tonne of cash lying around, a more appropriate sacrifice might be… banking my pocket change instead of getting chocolate bars, and putting that money towards repairing my small appliances or reupholstering my couch (investing in my home, regardless of which building my home is in).

To this end, I have planned out a month-long “sacrifice” of sorts. It’s kind of like an austerity, though I’m not sure that’s the right word. It’s definitely a Challenge. The idea is to push myself out of my comfort zone (and out of my excuse-making, self-doubting “Fear Zone”, too), give myself a “bigger than me” reason to stop scrolling all the time, and hopefully re-hone some neglected creative muscles, all in service of helping me achieve my “background goals”.

The things I’m sacrificing, more than anything, are “free time” and “emotional comfort”, and the disciplines it’ll require are (1) actually finishing shit on a self-imposed deadline, and (2) time management on days when I have a lot of paid work to get done too.

My hope is that my Godself will pick up all the energy and dedication that I’m putting down (even if it feels really grudging and like I’m pulling my own teeth out to make it happen) and use it to bring about (or help bring about) Results on the fronts of what I’m trying to let go of, and what I’m trying to bring in.

So… Why am I telling you this, friends?

Because if I Tell The Internet, it will be one less reason to balk and not bother.

That’s why.

I need all the accountability I can get.

A grand cross spread using the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn, with four bonus cards

A grand cross spread using the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn, with four bonus cards

On a possibly related note. I did this tarot reading in the context of the King of Coins and my planned Samhain self-work ritual.

Beyond recognizing that “Wow, that’s a lot of reversed cards” – because, obviously, it self-work. It’s going to be about my relationship with myself – the things that jumped out at me were:

My jumper card, the Six of Swords, is a “Journey” card that has a lot of ties to Death – as in change, as in inner transformation – and my jumper card relates to my “Summary Trio” (the Advisor + Overarching and Underlying Themes cards) which basically say “You gotta let go of this resentment and your weird burden complex. You have to focus and stop weaseling out of things. You have ask “Why not me?” and step into your damn power”. Which, itself, very-much fits with my “fears” card – the Vulture Mother being very much this deck’s image of my “Scorpio Self”, my most empowered self (that kind of scares me, that I’m still afraid won’t be liked or will be inappropriately mean, and that has explicit connections to sex and kink).

Mary El Tarot - Queen of Wands, Ace of Swords

Mary El Tarot – Queen of Wands (a nude, fat, heavy-breasted person in a horned headdress, cradling a baby tiger), Ace of Swords (An anthopomorphic eagle with the alchemical symbol for air carved on their chest)

It also <*cough*> hits a lot of the same notes as the cards I pulled for my Tarot Card Meditation.

Which is to say: “Cut the BS. You know what you want. Go do it”.

I love it when they’re specific, but it’s not always comfortable, you know? Especially not when I’m sitting here, eating crackers for dinner and avoiding the dishes. Especially not when I’m insisting to myself “You’ve promised to buckle down and Do The Thing on Sunday, and for the next 30 days there-after. Take the leisure time while you’ve got iiiiit”.

And yet. Here it is. I know what I want (to invite, to release). I made a decision as to what I’m willing to provide, as an energy source for related magical workings. So it’s time for me to have some follow through.

Wish me luck and devotion.

~*~

Movement: Moon salutations every night. Going for lots of walks, some through the local bird sanctuary with my wife, some by myself (picking up library books, dropping off Trick Or Treat goodie bags to friends and relatives in the neighbourhood).

Attention: TBH? Watching my behaviour patterns. Noticing where (and when) I need to be more disciplined with myself about follow-through or self-starting and trying to sort out some strategies to make those things easier to do.

Gratitude: Thankful for scrap yarn mitts and a warm coat that used to be my Dad’s. Thankful for a ritual group (even though it’s far away). Thankful for partners who love me. Thankful for big hugs and long-distance kisses. Thankful for quiet days. Thankful for extra billable hours. Thankful for tasty scones. Thankful for Samhain dinner invitations. Thankful for cooking skills. Thankful for central heating. Thankful for chickadees eating bird seed out of my palm. Thankful for meeting a wild turkey in the woods (who didn’t run away!) Thankful for friends to talk shop with. Thankful for my People.

Inspiration: The chipmunk who lives under my compost bin, and the spider who lives above it. My fantasy life. The #Novemberotic writing prompts series on instagram (it’s for poetry, but you could use it for prose too).

Creation: Have started knitting a new shrug, made myself a pair of fingerless mitts using scrap yarn, started the (easy) edits on my Femme Glosas manuscript, wrote five new, short poems at a workshop (they are not all great, but some of them were at least good immediately out of the egg), have started – but not finished (yet) – a couple of porn stories.

~*~

Cheers,

Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] Or at least it’s not required to. I know some people who are totally comfortable offing a wasp or a mouse or a fertilized egg and using that life energy as a power source for a spell. But I’m not, so here we are. Choose your own adventure.