Tag Archives: Lunar Cycles

Full Moon – Slush Moon Crests (Spring Equinox)

“Frosty track in the King’s Forest” – Photo by Bob Jones, courtesy of Wiki Free Images – “Early morning and the well-trodden track leading into the forest from the car park is still showing signs of frost. Two hours later, the frost had turned to slush, as rising temperatures caused a quick thaw.”


 
The full moon, and the Spring equinox, are due to arrive tomorrow.
It’s the time of year for Spring Cleaning – which in my case means going through the closets and weeding out the stuff I’ve avoided wearing all winter, tackling The Mending, and trying to sort through All The Objects currently hiding out in our spare bedroom in the name of getting rid of some of them and making a bit more space in there.
 
At new moon, I mentioned feeling like “I’m constantly starting over, picking up the dropped threads, trying to find a way forward where I get to take care of myself, long-term, and get to have the freedom I want”. I was talking about employment. As I type this, I’ve got multiple tabs open to want-ads for part-time and casual office work, with an eye (again) to finding an anchor income. But there’s a heap of unwashed dishes downstairs, and a heap of mending beside me, and I haven’t written a poem in two weeks.
It’s like every week is the same cycle. Focus on finding and doing paid work, and everything else falls apart. Focus on creative work and personal growth? My finances get (even more) precarious and there’s dishes up to the ceiling. Focus on taking care of the house, and then chew my nails down to the nubs wondering if I’ll make the rent and, if all I’m going to do is cleaning and mending, can I really call myself A Writer and justify not having a full-time day job? Heck, can I say I’m living by my values if I’m buying heavily packaged prepared food to save on time, or buying not-so-ethical eggs and milk to save on money? And I’m like “And you want to focus on your sexual freedom??”
 
But, yeah, actually. I do.
I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with any of this. Not in the sense of going hard for the long haul. I know myself just enough to know that, yeah, I have to make myself keep moving, but also I’m more likely to keep it up past the first week (or month – Hi, Nanowrimo) if I treat any given thing as a marathon of consistent baby-steps rather than a sprint that just never ends.
None the less, I want this. I want to be a sex-bomb with flexible hips and a lot of tools in my toolbox for staying present in the moment. I want to be able to make erotic connections with my lovers and sweeties, and not have them be chucked off the rails due to my feeeeelings. I want my body to feel good enough, be strong enough, that I can be attentive to what feels pleasurable instead of worrying about warning signs of pain.
My wife says that I do “cognitive behavioural witchcraft” and… she’s not wrong. All that magic. All that rose quartz and thyme and breath work. All of it water. All of it easing new pathways through the stone.
 
So. Here I am. It’s about to be officially Spring. Aries Season, with its go-go-go focus on action is coming right along with it. It’s far too early to be planting things here (unless you’re one to start seeds indoors, granted), but the questions remain:
Just as the days gain length, slowly but surely, how and where can I make steady gains of my own?
What needs to thaw and flow? What needs to be contained and channeled? What needs to flood freely?
What do I need to do to prepare the soil for what I want to grow?
 
~*~
 
Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - Maiden of Fools (R), Princess of Earth (R), and The Lovers (U).

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – Maiden of Fools (R), Princess of Earth (R), and The Lovers (U).


 
Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - Five of Air (U).

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – Five of Air (U).


 
Tarot Card Meditation: The three cards along the top are my jumpers. The “Maiden of Fools” (the Silicon Dawn deck has, like, five Fool cards, plus Aleph November, the Fool Who Flies) jumped out first, as I was shuffling. Followed by the Princess of Earth and The Lovers (together) when I flipped over a section to find my hypothetical meditation card – which was the Five of Air. In this case, I’m reading the 5 of Air as almost an advisor card to the spread of cards that jumped out of the deck.
 
The five of swords is a card about conflict and zero-sum situations (if I win, someone else has to lose), but it’s also a card about thinking of your own needs and concentrating on yourself. Given that I was specifically asking about “Courage, curiosity, joy, and abundance: What do I need to know and focus on around this stuff?”, I’m inclined to lean towards the latter, though as an advisor – as a “be mindful of this” – card, it could go either way.
 
My jumper cards made me smile. If I read them as a time-spread (past, present, future), they bode well. Although part of me is looking at them and wondering “Okay, did my gods just answer with: Okay! Here are cards pertaining to courage, curiosity, joy,, and abundance!” Because it’s kind of looking like they did? (I’ll make it work).
 
The Maiden of Fools is all newness. The point I was at when I only had “yes” vs “no”. A point that I will happily be leaving in the past, provided I don’t fall back into it again. More broadly, the Fool(s) speak to spontaneity, freedom, new beginnings, and trust. This card says “start something new” and “begin and adventure”. It says “let go of expectations” and “step into the unknown”. It says “trust the flow” and “let go of your fear“. It says “live in joy” and “trust your heart’s desire”.
 
The Princess of Earth is literally a card about exploration and curiosity. It’s a card about trust and about getting comfortable with the unknown. It’s a card that says “grow and expand”, “seek abundance”, “enrich yourself”, and “draw to you what you need”. It also says “act on your dreams”, “make your plans real” and “achieve tangible results”. It says “experience nature”, and – possibly most relevant of all – “use your body”.
 
The Lovers – one of the reasons I love this deck is because The Lovers here are explicitly skipping out on duality. This card says “transcend the yes/no dichotomy”: a nice nod to what I want to let go of in my Fool card. It’s a card that says “question what you’ve been taught”. But it’s so much a card of seeking and making connections, of experiencing and acting on desire, of being true to yourself, recognizing who and what you value, and devoting your time, energy, and attention to both who and what you care about.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Walking, squats, and the beginnings of something like sit-ups. (I dream of areal-hooping classes, but those will have to wait until the day I have a spare $300 just lying around. So, until then, I can do stuff that will make aerial hooping easier on, and more possible for, my actual body).
 
Attention: Watching the ice melt and freeze and melt. Watching the days get longer (hurrah!) and the temperature get a little more reasonable just about every day. Keeping an eye on the job boards. Listening to what my body’s enjoying.
 
Gratitude: Thankful for unexpected modeling gigs. For a poetry acceptance from a paid market. For date nights with my wife ft good cheese, cheap wine, and duck sausage. For library books. For selkie poems. For video-chat dates with my girlfriend. For cocoa butter massage bars. For do-it-at-home yoga videos. For clear, mostly-dry sidewalks and sunshine.
 
Inspiration: Longer days. Perfume. Floor work. Pigeon-blood rubies and other red things. The smell of roses.
 
Creation: Not a lot, tbh. (See above, re: I haven’t written a poem in two weeks). I’m sorting through poetry to send out on submission (and have a recent publication), but that’s not the same as making something new.

New Moon – Slush Moon Begins

“View southeast along a slush-covered Errecart Boulevard from the Humboldt River Bridge during a snowstorm in Elko, Nevada” – Photo by Famartin via Wiki Free Images.


 
“Slush Moon”? So appetizing, right? I know. But it’s that time of year. The temperature is going to be zig-zagging back and forth across the frozen line for the next few weeks, melting the winter’s vast store of snow during the day and then freezing the run-off into ice over night.
I am deeply, deeply not looking forward to this, but I’m also seriously hoping for a slow melt-season, because this much snow turning to water all at once would spell flooded basements for just about everyone I know who has one.
So here we are.
 
Two weeks ago, I put away the Solstice decorations. Two weeks from now, it’ll be Spring Equinox. I’ve spent this past week essentially going to ‘Sexuality School” online and miraculously staying somewhat on top of my ten-minutes-a-day of exercise stuff, albeit by the skin of my teeth.
 
Ms Sugar wrote something the other day, and I find I’m relating to it a little. I’ll be forty before the year is out, and I feel like I’m “running out of time” to make changes that’ll stick. Some of those changes are the sex-related stuff I’ve been talking about over on Syrens. Some of them are more basic. Eat more vegetables. Become a better gardener. Stave off arthritis and help my body get stronger. Figure out how to parlay this university-funded casual-hours contract into a sustainable, long-term, but still casual-hours, income stream[1].
 
I feel like I’m constantly starting over, picking up the dropped threads, trying to find a way forward where I get to take care of myself, long-term, and get to have the freedom I want when it comes to how I spend my time, energy, and attention.
 
~*~
 

Silicon Dawn Tarot – High Priestess – “[… The] High Priestess get things *done* because she is *connected* in a way that few of the others down in the Earthly half of the Majors are. […] The Priestess is busy consulting her Higher Self *right now*”.


 
I chose this card for my tarot meditation.
Maybe it’s an odd one to choose, or maybe I’m pulling it because I know I’ve got a little ritual planned for later today – one that I’m nervous about, but one that I hope has some effect – and I want as much help as I can get.
The High Priestess – The Seer, The Inner Voice – is the conduit between the word-using mind and the deep ocean space of everything else in you. The connection between conscious and unconscious. The union of opposites.
As I try to get back into doing regular glamour work again (again, again… even as I type this while wearing a fuzzy bathrobe and flip-flops), as I keep trying to put myself back together again, I think it’s relevant to think of the High Priestess, how she can be in and of two (or more) worlds at once while keeping everything connected.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Some yoga. A couple of long walks (commuting, basically). Some weights-work. Some dancing.
 
Attention: Root chakra stuff. Where I am, and am not, holding muscle tension. What feels good. What makes me nervous.
 
Gratitude: Afternoons spend with pals. Time for long baths. A new Toby Daye book to devour. Sunny days, even if they’re cold. Unearthed summer veggies filling my freezer. A writing date planned for the end of the week. Kisses from my wife. Catching-up chats with my girlfriend.
 
Inspiration: A lot of what I’ve been reading in Come As You Are and Ecstasy is Necessary and a lot of what I’ve been watching/hearing during the Explore More Summit.
 
Creation: A lot of personal essays. One ritual (that’s, admitted, still kind of being done on the fly). Plans to start turning all of the above-mentioned inspiration into poems (or at least drafts of poems) later this week.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] I have some leads on this one, at least.

Full Moon – Ice Moon Crests

February 18th 2019 - Waxing Gibbous Moon against a Black Sky - My wife took this photo of the almost-full moon while visiting her girlfriend's cottage.

February 18th 2019 – Waxing Gibbous Moon against a Black Sky – My wife took this photo of the almost-full moon while visiting her girlfriend’s cottage.


 
Pisces season just started. The full moon shifts from Leo to Virgo tonight. I’ve been chewing on (not literally) the cards I drew at the new moon – the idea that I have a million options, if I just re-write the stories that I’m telling myself.
I’ve been reading Come As You Are to remind myself of how to build some detours around my worst ones, thinking of things I can do, ritually speaking, to help get unblocked. (I’m being kind of vague here, but I’m talking about sex-and-relationships stuff). It’s embarrassing how much of it is just how much of it is “What would reduce the stress in your life? Make that change”.
It’s singing the same tune as Liz Worth’s astrological advice, asking “What needs to get done today?” with an explicit eye to practical/physical things like “do the dishes” or “run errands”.
 
Today, I cleaned the stove, washed the pots and pans that had been languishing by the sink, and swept the floor.
Small things.
Things that I should have covered every single day, but rarely do.
I put away the Solstice decorations (finally – only 2 weeks later than planned).
I danced around the kitchen to a pop album (Fifth Harmony – yes, really) and did literal stair-climbing for all of five minutes. Which I realize isn’t “real cardio” but it’s more than I’d be doing otherwise, so I’m calling it a win.
A couple of things to make my house a nicer place to be hiding out inside of (because I so don’t want to go outside in winter, I just don’t) and a few things to make sure I’m moving my body in spite of that.
Tonight I’ll burn the last of the candle I lit on the 16th (my Dad’s death day – it’s been 19 years).
 
~*~
I used a Random Card Generator to pull three cards:
 
PAST - 5 of Pentacles - Wild Unknown Tarot - A wilted red rose against a black background

PAST – 5 of Pentacles – Wild Unknown Tarot – A wilted red rose against a black background


 
PRESENT - Seven of Cups - Wild Unknown Tarot - A card that can be read as night or day; snow-covered mountains or silhouetted crags; six full cups and one flipped over or six upturned cups and one still full; a crescent moon, or a bright sun to light the scene.

PRESENT – Seven of Cups – Wild Unknown Tarot – A card that can be read as night or day; snow-covered mountains or silhouetted crags; six full cups and one flipped over or six upturned cups and one still full; a crescent moon, or a bright sun to light the scene.


 
FUTURE - High Priestess - Wild Unknown Tarot - A Siberian tiger under a crescent moon, with a crystal orb before her.

FUTURE – High Priestess – Wild Unknown Tarot – A Siberian tiger under a crescent moon, with a crystal orb before her.


 
PAST: Feeling like an outsider. Scarcity thinking.
PRESENT: Overwhelm. Wishful thinking.
FUTURE: Intuition. Trust. Potential.
 
Well… One can only hope.
I know I’d like to leave my scarcity-thinking in the past, and that I’m feeling a certain amount of overwhelm these days (like, for the past couple of days, I’ve actually caught myself avoiding getting out of bed because I don’t want to go downstairs where it’s “noisy”).
Maybe I can leave a little bit more of my scarcity-thinking and overwhelm behind as this moon wains down again, and fill up that empty space with a little more trust in myself and in The Process.
 
~*~
 
Movement: I have actually been doing some! A little bit of weights or stairs or yoga (or all three, sometimes with added vocal warm-ups). That an a LOT of snow-shoveling. I’m a mix of embarrassed and concerned with how quickly I get out of breath when I’m doing something even slightly strenuous (like walking up hill). Ten minutes a day of barely-more-than-basic physical activity isn’t going to fix that. But it’ll get things to be better than they are now, which is something.
 
Attention: Have been looking into what stresses me out about my life (a number of things, some of-which I don’t have control over) and which of those things I can do something about. Looking, also, for cheep/free lit/music events in the neighbourhood that I can take myself out to.
 
Gratitude: I’m thankful for a long weekend had mostly to myself. Dates (plural!) with my girlfriend. My wife coming home from her girlfriend’s cottage so full of happiness (and knowing what she needs to do to give herself that happiness more often). Grapefruit all the way from Florida. Novels to re-read. Discount chocolate. A tea date with a friend set up for right around the next new moon. Ancestors I can talk to. Impending cuddles with said recently-returned wife. Grateful for people who love me. ❤
 
Inspiration: Come As You Are and the information there-in. Asking my girlfriend about some of her past ritual work. That big, gorgeous, super moon. Clear, bright days and puddles of sunshine that are warm through the window. Candle lit baths with colourful, heavily-scented bath bombs (the scent doesn’t cling to my skin, which is handy for leaving-the-house purposes). My friend/client’s first solo show about how life experiences (aging, trauma, dance/sport training, chronic illness/pain, pregnancy, and all sorts of other stuff) effect the body, and about bearing witness to those realities.
 
Creation: I have NOT been making a lot of things. Have spent most of my down time, these past two weeks, curled up in a blanket nest, drinking hot tea, and reading a bunch of books. Which is fantastic, but not particularly creative. Currently drawing up some prompts for a possible blog/brain project, so we’ll see what I come up with, essay-wise.

New Moon – Ice Moon Begins (Imbolg 2019)

What I Did on My Imbolg Vacation: A burst pipe chez my GF meant a team effort to prevent the house from flooding PLUS shutting off the water for a then-unknown amount of time, which meant reserving some of the flood for toilet flushing and hand-washing while we still had the option. Pictured: A stand-up shower stall with six large pots/bowls of water sitting on the tiles, awaiting necessity.

What I Did on My Imbolg Vacation: A burst pipe chez my GF meant a team effort to prevent the house from flooding PLUS shutting off the water for a then-unknown amount of time, which meant reserving some of the flood for toilet flushing and hand-washing while we still had the option. Pictured: A stand-up shower stall with six large pots/bowls of water sitting on the tiles, awaiting necessity.


 
I got back from my Imbolg visit to my girlfriend’s place earlier this week, but have been holding off doing the write-up for the New Moon / Cross-Quarter Day until I had some free time and recovered energy to do so.
In my neck of the woods – which is undergoing its annual Winterlude Thaw right now[1] – Imbolg means that the light is noticeably coming back. There’s still a LOT of winter yet to go in a place where even the earliest flowers don’t turn up until well after the Spring Equinox. It’s a time to focus on the hearth and the forge, on what you can create – with your hands, with your head and heart – and on the seeds (literal and metaphorical) that you know won’t even be sprouting for another few months. Imbolg is the half-way point of Winter. We made it through the worst of the cold. Now we get through the lean times (much, muuuuuuch easier to do with two freezers and grocery stores available, I do realize). Mending and tending. A slow germination, leaning towards May, towards heat and light and the quickening earth.
 
But. I didn’t spend Imbolg in my neck of the woods.
I spent it, and the New Moon in Aquarius, in a different town (and a different country) entirely, in a climate that’s hypothetically much warmer than my own, but which was enduring unusually cold temperatures when I arrived from The Frozen North. And I spent it dealing with water a whole lot more than this fire festival would normally entail.
As you can see in the photo (and the caption) above, There Was A Flood. A burst pipe, low in the wall, that had to be shut off from the street by the local water authorities. There was a lot of baling; a lot of wringing out of sodden towels, outdoors in -13C temperatures, a lot of coming up with DIY solutions while my person and her housemates and I waited for the Landlord to show up with an actual plumber to fix the break, and wondering how many candles we’d actually be lighting once the sun went down given that the burst pipe was a little too close to an electrical outlet to safely keep the power (meaning the heat, and the lights, and the stove) running.
It all worked out in the end, of course, and mercifully quickly, but it was An Adventure.
And now my young lady and I have A Story to tell.
We were joking that we were “officially a couple now”, because we’d been through a crisis together.
It was a good visit, my dears. For so many reasons.
 
Now that I’m home, it’s time to do the cleaning that tends to come with Imbolg, the start-fresh moments that come with every New Moon. Time to pack up the Solstice decorations, change out the spruce wreath for the one that’s all grape vines, ribbons, and cinnamon. Time to vacuum the burlap-and-foam under padding for the imminant return of the Magic Carpet my wife (after joking about it literally since our first service-versary, AGES ago – we’re at nine years in a service dynamic as of this Sunday) has had professionally cleaned through one of her jobs. Time to shovel the back walkway (again), clean out the fridge, and take out a lot of compost.
 
Liz Worth talks about the New Moon in Aquarius being one that can help us break free of old patterns. She says:

What we are hoping for is there for a reason, and that our desires are arrows helping us to see the way.

Where are your desires, pleasures, longings directing you?
 
Steve Kenson, in his essay “The Queer Journey of the Wheel” (in Harrington’ and Kulystin’s Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries) refers to Imbolg as a time of Naming, of putting words around What Is, if only to yourself. A time of recognition and understanding. He’s talking explicitly about one’s self-recognition of being queer/trans/both, but I think it can go beyond that. We’re still in Root Time, contemplation time. What needs recognizing right now?
 
Imbolg is Brigid’s day. A good time for poetry (it’s ALWAYS a good time for poetry, but stick with me). Brigid is a wordsmith as well as a blacksmith. What are you trying to put words around right now?
 
~*~
 

Silicon Dawn - On the left, the 6 of Swords (a smith working in her workshop, five swords hung on the wall behind her, while she works the sixth using an electric current. On the right, She Is Legend (VIII - one of the bonus cards in the Silicon Dawn deck), a genderfluid love-cat in tiny clothing, possibly planning to dance all night at an house-based rave.

Silicon Dawn – On the left, the 6 of Swords (a smith working in her workshop, five swords hung on the wall behind her, while she works the sixth using an electric current. On the right, She Is Legend (VIII – one of the bonus cards in the Silicon Dawn deck), a genderfluid love-cat in tiny clothing, possibly planning to dance all night at an house-based rave.


 
For my tarot card meditaiton during this waxing moon, I drew two cards.
First, I flipped the deck over to find the Six of Swords.
Then I shuffled and split the deck to find She Is Legend.
 
The six of swords is a card about change. Changing states. Changing locations. Sometimes it’s literally about going on a physical trip somewhere else – something that can be much needed as we slog through the cold, damp, grey, endless days of what author Amelinda Berube eloquently refers to as “the armpit of the year” (and that slog, itself, is an aspect of this card). But the swords are cards about intellect, about the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of the world and our respective places in it, and this card frequently puts me in mind of The Hermit – a reminder to make some inner changes, create some new neural pathways in order to enter a new frame of mind and deal with the effects of trauma. (I mean, don’t get me wrong. This takes FOR EVAR and is an absolutely cyclic, non-linear mess of an undertaking. But it’s a necessary one and it can be accomplished, little by little, provided you actually put some effort into getting the work actually done).
 
She Is Legend is one of the Silicon Dawn’s “bonus cards”. It’s a joyful, big-hearted, queer-as-fuck, indicator of having a million options, of infinite potential and fractal possibilities, of love never being a zero-sum game. This is a reminder that I don’t have to pretend to be need-less. That I don’t need to preemptively put myself onto anyone else’s back-burner. This more-experienced-than-they-look character is a reminder to remember the time when my skin knew what it wanted, and that naivete never saved me, but that the arrows of my own desire can.
 
~*~
 
Movement: A fair amount of dancing around the kitchen, singing along to tunes. (That said, I’ve been avoiding walking to work lately, because the ground is very icy and – even with crampons on – I have some concerns about falling). Doing some exercises to help my back (this means Plank more than anything else) and shoulders. Did my ten minutes (roughly – based on counting out minutes the way I do when I’m doing short poses) of weights and cardio (for a given value of “cardio” that means “walking up and down the stairs a lot”) and yoga things, and am honestly rather embarrassed about just how out of breath I am having done so. But I did them (and found myself wanting to do vocal warm-ups, at the same time, which was a nice bonus). So go me.
 
Attention: Keeping an eye out for submission calls and deadlines. Also keeping an eye out for icy patches when I’m walking.
 
Gratitude: Thankful for affordable (it’s relative) plane tickets, flexible work schedules, being able to see my girlfriend in person(!!!), for easy-free communication so that we can stay in touch without drowning in long distance bills, grateful for her patience and her kindness and her enthusiasm. Grateful for meeting my new metamours, and my GF’s Best People, and really liking them. Grateful for easy, largely hassle-free border crossings in both directions (thank goodness!). Grateful for snuggles with my wife when I got home, and being able to tell her stories of my time away. Grateful for her skills and her steadfastness and her willingness to make me comfort food the night I got back. And for the bucket of compersion she’s so happy to marinate in. Grateful for how much my two sweeties like each other. There are other things, too. Gratitude for modeling work, for a repaired coat and boots, for discount bath products at the pharmacy, for an in-coming clean carpet. All sorts of good things. But right now – as is so often the case – I’m grateful for having so much love in my life. In this case, for being able to say “I love you” to two romantic partners, two s-types, who say it to me, too. My heart is very full right now, and it’s wonderful.
 
Inspiration: The Shondes’ “Everything Good”. Hot baths (because: me). Saint Carmen of the Main (Linda Gaboriau’s English translation). Poems Between Women (edited by Emma Donoghue).
 
Creation: Started learning how to make lace this past week, and it’s actually working. Have started (just barely) a not-for-the-project glosa based on Elsa Gidlow’s poem, “Relenquishment”. May possibly have invented (ish?) a cocktail, though I’ll need to actually try it out, despite having zero of the ingredients. >.>
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] There’s been a rise in temperatures during most of February for a solid 100 years. It’s why they scheduled a festival of explicitly outdoor “winter fun” at this time. But a hundred years ago those temperature climbs still meant it was below Freezing. Just think, like, -7C rather than -30C. Instead of what it’s doing now, which is flip flopping between -18C and +5C without a lot of transition time, thus turning the whole city into a sheet of ice with intermittent flooding.

Full Moon – Cold Moon Crests

December 10, 2011 Lunar Eclipse from Laguna, Philippines - Via Wiki Free Images

December 10, 2011 Lunar Eclipse from Laguna, Philippines – Via Wiki Free Images


 
I gave my wife a book on backyard astronomy for Solstice. You can imagine that she’s slightly disappointed at the 36+ hours of steady snowfall (and -35C with-wind-chill temperatures) that we’re currently in the middle of, uh, “enjoying”, given that tonight is the night of the Super Blood Wolf Moon lunar eclipse.
 
Sounds fancy, right? The “blood” part of Blood Moon is about how the edge of Earth’s shadow makes the moon look rust-red. The “super” parts happens because the moon is at (or close to) its perigee – the point in its orbit that brings it closest to the earth. Astrologically speaking, the moon being both full and at perigee means that its influence is going to be that much stronger. Astronomically speaking, it means that the moon is going to look that much huger on the horizon due to being that little bit closer to the planet. The “wolf” part just means it’s happening in January. (I don’t know why, but hey, that’s why I call this one Cold Moon instead of naming it after an animal whose habits I know very close to nothing about).
 
Lisa Stardust, over at Hoodwitch, says that Scorpios (meaning me, among others) need to pay attention to root chakra stuff right now. The root chakra – located at the perineum – pertains to stuff like security, safety, survival, grounding & being in your body, and pretty-much everything under the “Basics” section at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If your root chakra is kind of messed up, it can show up as being ruled by either fear or greed (or, y’know, both[1]).
I’m over here going, basically, “No kidding”, since I’m waiting for a cheque to come in and hoping that I’ll be able to pay the rent on time this coming month. >.>
Over at Elite Daily, Valerie Mesa is telling me that this particular eclipse is all about listening to, and celebrating, your soul’s truth. She says:
 

Where were you on Aug. 21, 2016? (If you can’t remember, take a moment to browse through your social media, and if not, no worries. Eclipse effects usually occur up to six months before, and after.) Secondly, how have you been sharing your unique gifts and creativity with the rest of the world throughout these two and a half years? The reason I ask is because this total lunar eclipse, aka Wolf Moon, is your grand finale.

 
Whelp. Part of why I do these new/full moon posts is so that I have both some kind of a micro-bioregional almanac and some kind of a record of my (attempts at) personal magico-spiritual & psychological development. So I looked it up. In late August, I had just started my life-coaching sessions, was (a) still reeling from a painful breakup that had happened about six months earlier, (b) looking into sacral (2nd) chakra care as part of my then-ongoing Queen of Cups project AND (c) I was starting to understand the the Queen of Swords is a card about boundaries and hard lessons rather than one about – as I had previously understood – being a Huge Disappointment to the people around you. I was, in short, trying to get the hang of boundaries and interpersonal connection, and to stop feeling so awful about my sexual desires.
 
Where am I now? Well… I’d say I’m definitely doing better. Better boundaries. Actively stopping myself from chasing after people who will be bad for me (and noticing that earlier). Taking romantic chances on people who have already got a track record of showing up for me and whose interests and desires actually dovetail with mine in significant ways. Backing off with better grace and a (marginally) shorter recovery time when people say they’re not interested in what I’ve suggested we could get up to. Feeling better showing sexual interest in people and negotiating the kinds of sexual relationships I have. Understanding what my anxiety feels like. Recognizing when I’m getting capital-A Anxious and/or when I’m dissociating/leaving-my-body, and mitigating that stuff with more success.
I don’t know that this is any kind of a “grand finale”. I certainly hope not. But there has been a solid evolution in terms of personal growth and interpersonal connections, so I’m calling it a win. Job well done, Me.
 

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn - Six of Fire - A triumphant fox in a crown and a fancy frock with the planet Jupiter in the background. Below her, a couple of people (who might be acolytes?) ooo and aah.

Tarot of the Silicon Dawn – Six of Fire – A triumphant fox in a crown and a fancy frock with the planet Jupiter in the background. Below her, a couple of people (who might be acolytes?) ooo and aah.


 
Considering the above chatter about calling my personal growth a win? I’d say this card (which I got by shuffling until something jumped out of the deck) is pretty apt. Thanks, deck! 😀
This is totally a card of “Ride that tiger!” Of “Go you!” and “Keep doing what you’re doing!”
Which is a nice message to get in the days leading up to things like impending, romance-related travel. (The next New Moon happens the day before I fly back home, so I’m going to try to remember “Keep doing what you’re doing” as I get ready to cross an international border, meet my new metamours, travel without my wife for the first time in years (ha, since 2016, actually), and see my new girlfriend in person for the first time since we officially started dating).
 
~*~
 
Movement: Mostly just walking, and dressing for the weather. I have definitely NOT being doing ten minutes of yoga/weights per day. Not even close. >.> Woops.
 
Attention: Paying attention to things like the rat tracks in the back yard (they still live under the neighbour’s shed, but… I have Concerns), the weather (I have an early morning tomorrow, and the amount of snow we’ve got is suggesting I should head out the door a solid 20 minutes earlier than I hypothetically need to… Yeeg…), and the mail box (has my next paycheque arrived yet, or not?) Not great things to be directing my attention towards, per se, but relevant none the less.
 
Gratitude: Grateful, in particular, for a metamour who was able to defend my computer from malware and get it working again. Also grateful for a wife who adores me, and a girlfriend who’s excited to see me in person soon. Grateful for a Productivity Date with a writer friend and for a number of social get-togethers with friends (impending and recent, planned and impromptu). Grateful for partners who like it when I read to them. Grateful for a poem finally arriving after several hours of essentially doing “morning pages” in the afternoon.
 
Inspiration: Astronomy. Bisexuality. Lipstick. Compost. NRE. (You know, the usual).
 
Creation: I finally wrote a fucking poem! AND I applied to present selections from my Femme Glosa Project at a women-and-non-binary-people arts festival happening in town, this August. I won’t know if I’m in (or not – but fingers crossed) for another few months, but I threw my hat in the ring, so there’s that!
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Like “White Culture has a Root Chakra Problem” is such a meme waiting to happen, not the least of why being that I – a white lady – have happily just absconded with the word “chakra” (Sanskrit) and the concept of “Muladhara” (from Hinduism) to point out that Western Culture’s heavy hook on both fear (mongering) and greed (and the environmental degradation and shitty labour rights that come with it) are probably all the same problem.

New Moon – Cold Moon Begins

Winter Exercise in Light and Shadow - Via Wiki Free Images - A frost-covered shrub casts a shadow over the snow.

Winter Exercise in Light and Shadow – Via Wiki Free Images – A frost-covered shrub casts a shadow over the snow.


 
New Moon was yesterday – and a Solar Eclipse with it, although it happened a solid four hours after sunset in my part of the world. New Moon. And a solar eclipse, which Lisa Stardust (over at The Hoodwitch) says is rather like a new moon, energy-wise, with regards to new beginnings and new life-chapters kicking off.
 
I finally – ha, I usually do this as soon as it arrives in the mail – looked up my 2019 year-at-a-glance horoscope in my date book. It literally starts out with the following:
 

In the beginning of 2019, you may be feeling anxious and riled up.

 
Ha. No kidding. I’m due to get on a plan in 25 days (yes, I’m counting days) to go visit my girlfriend, and my anxiety-brain is chittering away in the background about how “I’ve done something bad” (I haven’t) and “Someone is going to be mad at me” (highly unlikely).
Look, I’m just going to say a thing: My anxiety isn’t bad. I don’t have panic attacks – or whatever high-anxiety freak-out thing I have that I’m currently labeling as “panic attacks” – very often, and I can manage this stuff with breathing patterns and other non-meds-based ways of calming myself the heck down when I do start getting wound up.
But there’s a pretty constant attention-dribble, if I can call it that, that goes to keeping track of why my brain is telling my adrenal glands, and what-not, so that I can catch that stuff when it’s still in the “low-volume high-pitch note played on a violin” level of anxious background noise, before I’m irritably snapping at my wife, seething under my skin, or jumping at every unexpected noise. But it still gets ahead of me sometimes and I feel my chest getting tight and all the rest of it.
And, since it all seems to be stepping up a little right now, I’m noticing it. It’s tiring. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s tiring.
 
Anyway. So, yes, Rhea Wolf, I’m definitely starting 2019 feeling anxious and a bit riled up.
That said, I’m hoping she’s not wrong about the hypothetical influx of (Jupiter-related) greater security that’s coming my way. I admit, I’ve started listening to Gabby Dunn’s podcast with that in mind.
I’m still doing glamour work, still doing Miss Sugar’s NYNY cycle (even if we’re into the second year of this particular project). Keeping my fingers crossed for more transcription to follow the work I’m doing right now. A little bit of on-going steady-ish income would be really good, and this work is interesting and well-paid, too. So… it would be nice to keep that going. 🙂
 
Egregors being what they are, and Miss Sugar’s long-ago NYNY thoughts about resolutions being on my mind, I’m actively trying not to make long-term plans or year-based goals right now. But that doesn’t mean they’re not in there. Not-so-vague plans to finish my third chapbook (finally), write another dozen or more glosas (and get myself that much closer to a finished first draft of a full-length manuscript), keep sending my poetry out, ideally to more paid markets this year… They’re all in there, stewing around and percolating away, along with all those good intentions about more physical activity, more vegetables, and less social media that, tbh, I just want to keep a damn lid on for now lest I start thinking of them as things I can just abandon as soon as Imbolg turns up.
 
ANYWAY.
 

Knight of Cups - Mary El Deck - A person with long blond hair, a red skirt, and silvery armour with an eye over their heart, holds a chalice of blood out-of-which a lotus blooms.

Knight of Cups – Mary El Deck – A person with long blond hair, a red skirt, and silvery armour with an eye over their heart, holds a chalice of blood out-of-which a lotus blooms.


 
I thought I might shuffle my Mary El deck until four cards fell out, just to see what chance might bring to my attention with regards to the New Moon spread suggested by Liz Worth. But, no surprises here, I had three fall out, one at a time, and then got three all at once, then two more, then one. Which is not what I had in mind – even if I did, in theory, get the three of cups in the “what can stabilize for me this year” slot, which is definitely not a bad thing.
So I said “screw it” and decided to call the first card that fell out of the deck my meditation card for this half of the lunar cycle.
It’s not a bad card to have drawn. In the Next World deck, the Knight of Cups is “The Love Song” and wears their heart on their sleeve. (The is the card of NRE, or so it would seem). Michelle Tea – who, like everybody, interprets tarot through her own experiences – has a lot of (negative) stuff to say about the swept-away feelings that the Knight of Cups can bring but she also says that, if the Knight of Cups shows up as a situation, then it means “something glamourous” is on its way, and you should go for it – use that burst of artistic inspiration to churn out a LOT of rough drafts for new things, or say Yes to that invitation from a pal to attend an event you might otherwise have skipped. Take some chances. Explore some new things. Julia Cameron would call this “refilling the well”, creativity-wise, and Michelle suggests a “be the knight of cups” activity/ritual that sounds a lot like the Ideal Day exercise, but with added mood-lighting, in order to get an idea of where the wells are that need refilling and where to direct all the intense, passionate energy you (in theory) have available.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Nowhere near enough. I’ve got some modeling work tomorrow, which will mean a good solid 1.5-2hrs walking, plus three hours of modeling, but I don’t know if this will be short or long poses or what, so we’ll see. None the less, getting back on the “ten minutes a day of yoga/weights” train would probably do me a lot of good.
 
Attention: Cat paw-prints in my back yard. Where the icy spots are on the steps and the sidewalk. What we have in the fridge that needs to be eaten up (we’ve been eating Solstice leftovers for a while now, and I’m starting to forget what we’ve got, beyond that.
 
Gratitude: Thankful for a warm day that let me chip the ice off my steps. For a haul of library books that are, so far, proving to be a tonne of fun. For having a few modeling gigs and a few days of temp work already lined up for the next four months (fingers crossed for lots more, but here we are). Thankful for a girlfriend who’s looking forward to seeing me, for a wife who misses me when she’s visiting her partners, for morning snuggles and date nights.
 
Inspiration: I just read The Black God’s Drums, a novella that I wish had been a full-length novel. It’s been a reminder that you can sketch out a whole story in just a few thousand words and, from there, see where the fleshing out needs to happen.
 
Creation: I drafted one poem. It’s a terrible draft, but it’s got some usable lines, so I’m calling it a start. Sock-extension continues apace, and seems to be doing what I want it to do, so that’s something. Unlikely to be done by the time I get on that plane, though. Oh well.

Full Moon – Long Nights Moon Crests (Winter Solstice)

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.


 
The floors are (mostly) mopped. A new batch of candles has been made, using up the last ends of the old ones. There are lit candles heating the belly of our woodstove/end-table Boroslava. Cookies and liver mousse and artichoke dip are ready to be served up. Drinks are chilling in between the back doors, and the cider is mulling.
We’re going to take a walk shortly, but I wanted to get this up.
 
Full Moon in Cancer at Midwinter. A good day for hearth-tending and home-filling, and gathering our nearest and dearest, if ever there was one. I’m glad there’s snow on the ground. I’m glad I was able to make a (tiny, granted) offering of raw liver for the local crows who are the birds of a whole bunch of our Capital-P People.
 
The Hooded Man (The Hermit)  - Wildwood Tarot - A hooded figure carrying a lantern and a walking stick and wearing a robe decked with holly, confers with a wren in the foreground, outside a wreath-hung door into the World Tree.

The Hooded Man (The Hermit) – Wildwood Tarot – A hooded figure carrying a lantern and a walking stick and wearing a robe decked with holly, confers with a wren in the foreground, outside a wreath-hung door into the World Tree.


 
I pulled two tarot cards today, from my Wildwood deck.
The first I pulled was The Hooded Man.
In this particular deck, The Hermit is literally the card that represents Midwinter and the longest night of the year. So maybe it’s not a surprise that it decided to make an appearance.
It’s a card of stillness, of contemplation, of solitude. Apt for this time of year, and for the coding of the dark as a “gentle, enfolding space of safety and recovery“.
A good card for last night, anniversary notwithstanding.
 
Nine of Vessels - Wildwood Tarot - a bearded figure with long grey hair sits with their ankles crossed, surrounded by cups and radiating light.

Nine of Vessels – Wildwood Tarot – a bearded figure with long grey hair sits with their ankles crossed, surrounded by cups and radiating light.


 
The second card I pulled was the nine of vessels.
This is not my favourite depiction of the Nine of Cups. I strongly prefer the joyfully kinktastic Silicon Dawn version, the Next World version that reminds us to “stay glamourous”, and the Numinous Tarot’s version with its chuffed character so clearly pleased to be able to share the amulets they’ve made.
Regardless, though, this is a card of abundance. A card that speaks to the unblocking of emotional stuck spots. Of satisfaction, generosity, and sensuality. The card that says, to quote (or at least paraphrase) Doreen Valiente, “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”.
A perfect card for the turning over of one year into the next.
A perfect card for this evening, when my people are gathering for food and conversation and candle light and I get to fill my house with love and joy.
 
~*~
 
Movement: Dancing in my kitchen to Against Me and Heilung and, tomorrow night, at the warm-and-cozy queer dance party that happens periodically in my neighbourhood.
 
Attention: I’ve been paying attention to other people’s feelings. Sometimes that means doing check-ins, sometimes that means offering support. Sometimes that means remembering what appropriate emotional boundaries look like and not taking on responsibility for (rather than to) other peoples emotions. But, regardless, that’s where my attention’s been lately.
 
Gratitude: For six years married to my wife. For a lovely anniversary out. For slow-dancing in the kitchen. For enough money to pay cash for all the food we’re serving tonight. For friends who ask me how I’m doing. For sweet surprises from my young lady in DC. For snow, rather than ice, on our front steps this morning. For new dresses. For friends who send us their hand-me-downs, too. For all the friends coming to see us tonight, and for the ones who can’t make it. For magic. For hope. For another turn around the sun. ❤
 
Inspiration: The poetry that’s been arriving in the mail for the past week. (Michelle Tea, Mary Lambert, Room Magazine’s latest issue + the 40 Years retrospective anthology).
 
Creation: A little bit of singing – just for myself. Beyond that? I made hair ties. No, really. I knit myself a couple of meter-long lengths of i-cord (and am almost finished a third one, in a different colour) so that I can bulk up my dutch braids and make them colourful at the same time, without adding a lot of weight. It’s a nice “instant gratification” craft project, and it’s also been giving me some extra incentive to keep practicing doing those fancier braided styles on myself. Beyond that? Ha! I ripped out two knitting projects entirely. I’ll get them re-started over the next two weeks, because I’ll have lots of free time (woohoo!) but yesterday was absolutely a day of tearing out rather than building up on the knitting front. (Is it weird that it felt good to do that? It felt good to do that).